Chapter 13: Farewell Speech
Phra Rajsuddhinanamongkol gave this speech at the Closing Ceremony of the
Novices Training Course in the summer of 1989.
The training was organized by Wat Ambhavan and The Young Buddhist Association of Thailand
May 4, 1989
Bless the president of the Young Buddhist Association of Thailand, under the Royal Patronage.
The ordination of young novices ofr a one-month period during summer holidays, has been a success and has met the objective of the association.
Bless everybody, the parents and the guardians of the novices. May you receive your wishes.
Bless all the novices. You have received fruitful results, as your representative has reported to me.
I am very glad and have some suggestions for you. I have summerized the details of the President’s report as follows:
First, I know the result of your work.
Second, there are things that need correction.
Third, there are things that should be promoted.
Fourth, there are things that should be improved.
Fifth, we should continue to persuade and instill the faith into young people.
Dear novices please listen carefully to my teaching so you can remember it.
I am deeply happy and appreciate the well-behaved novices. Even though there are some flaws, I think it is quite all right for adolescents. You are better than many adults because the vipassana meditation instructors have trained you well.
I want to express my opinion and teach all of you here. When you leave here and return to your home, you must be a good role model for your friends.
Why should you behave well? If you become worse than what you were before the ordination, your friends at school will look down upon you because you have accomplished nothing from this one-month ordination. They would be better than you without ordination. I want you to think about this. Please do not ruin it.
According to your report, you have learned many good things from your vipassana meditation instructors. You should be proud because you also have an excellent team of guest speakers. They are doctors. Some are academic experts. All of them practice vipassana meditation and are very good Buddhists who behave righteously. Your guest speakers were Dr. King-kaew Attakorn, Dr. Somchai Rakwichit, Dr. Wichai Sudheerajanon and the committee from The Young Buddhist Association.
What does this mean? It means that we have taken very good care of you and your parents. All we want from you in return is that you do not fail us. Please behave we.., as you have been taught or advised. The instructors and the quest speakers gave you the knowledge, the understanding and the method of vipassana meditation. They gave you both the knowledge and the morality. This is the benefit that you should gain.
This is like giving you a tea cup. It is up to you to make use of it to its best benefits. You must have morals. This tea cup will be useful when you use it. If you throw it away, you gain nothing. Do not act like a ship that only delivers goods, but takes nothing back with it, empty. Please remember this.
The parents who sit in the back of this pavilion should also understand the importance of this training. There were some parents who did not understand, because they allowed their sons to quit after two or three days of ordination. Their sons wanted to leave because they wanted to play with friends during the Songkran Festival (Thai New Year). The parents allowed their sons to do so. This is a bad example. “Let children have a lot of idle time, and far from adult supervision, they can easily get lost.” If you always let your children have their own way, they will not be good and successful.
Some novice cried because they wanted to go out with their friends. One mother let her son have this way and quit before the end of the ordination. Some parents permit their children to see too many movies even when they are not suppose to. So you should not blame your children when they ar up to no good. It is because of you, who raise them that way. One more example, one parents who are not close to their children and do not give them proper guidance. The children will cling to their friends instead.
If your family is lucky, your child will have a good friend who will lead him towards goodness. If your family is unlucky, your child will cling to a bad friend who will lead him towards destruction.
Very few students ordain as Buddhist novices during summer holidays. Even some teacher are not good, because they arrange tours for students during holidays. There are cases where they led children to their death.
Two days ago, a mother came to see me with tears in her eyes.
“Luang Poh, if I had known, I would have had my son ordained at this temple. Now he is dead.” She wept.
What happened? His teacher arranged a tour for the students and they ended up in a fatal accident. There are cases of student drowning.
“Do not cry and blame other people. This is your fault not the teacher’s. The teacher arranged the tour. But you are the guardian who has full authority to give permission to your child. He must have asked for your permission before he could go, didn’t he?”
Our children want to be good, but they do not known and understand the proper way. It is your duty to teach them. There is an ancient saying, “If you love your cattle, you must tie them properly. If you love your children, you must spank them.” This is not a cruel spanking, but it must be done with kindness and good intention in order to teach children.
I do not blame children. They all want to be heroes, be rich, be beautiful, be good and wise, but they do not know to speak politely. But their parents use bad language at home. How can they be good? This is because of the parents. Please think about it carefully.
Yesterday I gave a lecture at Chomsurang Ubhatum School. I taught the teachers how to teach their students to be good.
At Wat Ambhavan, I am willing to teach and awaken people so that they are god and work hard. I provide everything, such as good and utilities. Is there any one who does not agree with me?
I am building a multi-purpose building. It must be big enough to accommodate one thousand pepole. The construction is going on both day and night. I am rushing it so that it is in time to develop people.
I do not put my effort in buiding any sort of disposable material. What I build must be useful to people.
The Buddha taught that the Buddhist monks’s activities must be useful to people. If anything or any activity is useless, it is not the Sangha’s activity. We must help purify people’s mind, developing better educational programs and teach children so that they have faith in the Buddhist religion. Nowadays, we can rarely find an effective teaching program that teachs morality to children. The children should gain both academic knowledge and morality. Please think about it.
In order to reach our objective, Wat Ambhavan and the Young Buddist Accociation must provide every necessity, including transportation. We must have good relations and be morally generous.
The young novices are very persevering and stayed through the ordination period, but some older novices and their parents are not so persevering as the little ones. The parents saw that their sons had a hard time, so they let their sons quit and leave for home.
Dear fellow, in order to perform good deeds, you must be able to be self-control and withstand hardship. If one can not be self-control, that person cannot be successful in life.
Religious morality makes people diligent, study hard, gain knowledge, get a good job, have a good spouse and attain a good social status. People can live together in peace and serenity. This world will be happy. There is an ancient teaching: “If you care about your cattle, you must tie them. If you love your children, you must spank them. If you want to be rich, you must trade. If you want to save you face, you must drink. If you love your friends, you must admonish them,”
Parents must teach your children because the youngsters do not know anything. You are more important than teachers are. I have been a guest speaker at many novice ordinations.
Several guest speakers were monks from various temples. They spoke about different things, but one of them mentioned the right direction for children’s education.
Several hundred temples offer novice ordination for children during summer holidays. However, they do not teach vipassana meditation to those young novices, but let them play at the temple grounds. During the one-month ordination at Wat Ambhavan, our novices have no time to play at all.
Several days ago, the Young Buddhist Association also organized a vipassana meditation course here. Six hundred people from thirty-six provinces attended this course. Other people who came to this temple to practice vipassana meditation could not stay because there was not enough accommodations for them and they had to return ot their home. It was very crowded here. Monks and novices not to mention the meditators had to share space. I think you have witnessed this situation.
You can also see that the temple area is very clean. Moreover, you have been well treated by the kind people who came here and offered food and refreshments to you throughout this one-month ordination. Be grateful and think about how you can repay their kindness. I do not mean that you should tell your parents to build something for this temple.
I want to awaken you so you know how to behave righteously. You can progress in education and be good citizens, as the president of the Young Buddhist Association said early.
Children will grow up to be adults. One of them shall be Prime Minister or Supreme Patriarch.
Do not forget that there is only one Supreme Patriarch in Thailand. There cannot be two at a time. There are several ministers, but only one prime minister.
Perhaps some child may ordain and become a Buddhist monk who studies Buddhism and is well knowledgeable. With the right virtue, he may become Supreme Patriarch.
Dear young novices, children will grow up and some will run the country. If our children are up to no good, then who will effectively run this country afer we die.
If the government badly rules the country, will Thailand survive? Religion will collapse. Thailand will not survivi. We all have to die, we should leave good things for future generations, so our children can effectively run this country, manage their property and bring prosper to their families.
Dear young novices, you learn to practice vipassana meditation, so you should not argue with adults. You must remain quiet with respect and calm yourself by practicing vipassana meditation. Do not argue with your parents, teachers or other adults. Though you think that they are wrong, keep in mind that they were born before you and know this world better than you do. You probably think that they are not correct, but they are right. Do not argue with them. It is sinful. You will have no wisdom and cannot be successful in education.
One novice said he liked to kill animals such as dragonflies. You must not do it, We love our lives; so do others. Do not take the life of another.
From now on, all of you must not be cruel and kill animals. Please be compassionate and kind to animals.
We love our property. Others also love theirs. If you have taken what belongs to others, you should return it to the owner. This is morality. You must be good citizens, good Buddhist, good children, good students and good people in the society. You must be real good and have your goodness stand out.
You are at a learning age, so you should not pay much attention to girls. Do not have girls as close friends.
Moreover, do not deceive or lie. It is very important that you always keep your word.
Do not become addicted to any drug or alcohol. Do not use them. Start behaving yourself righteously from today, for the rest of your life.
Dear young novices, please be aware that I do not want any money or anything from you. All I want is for you to be good people who have wisdom. You should behave well according to the Buddha’s teaching.
I thank all the monks who have taught and have taken good care of the novices through this course.
Patrons, do not be worried about your sons. I acted as their father and grandfather, who looked after them all the time. We have taken good care of them after them all the time.
There is one more teaching for you. You should be polite and pay respect to adults. You should “wai” when you meet and depart from them. You should speak politely, be grateful, have discipline, and pay attention to your studies. This kind of behavior brings you happiness. Please remember what I have taught you.
When you meet adults or old people, pay respect to them. When you meet your teachers, also pay respect to them. You should pay attention to what they teach you, otherwise you cannot be good at your studies.
You should pay respect to your parents by prostrating to them three times. It is normally done one time, but I suggest you do it three times because it signifies the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. Parents, the Buddha and the Sangha are good to us, like our parents.
Pay respect to your teachers when you go to school and pay respect again as you leave school. When you arrive home, greet your parents and tell them about your progress or achievement, for example, if you were good in Englishscience that day. Your parents will be proud of you.
When you go back to school, behave as we have taught you. If you do not, there are no benefits to you.
You must behave well so people can see the benefits you gained from this ordination. Behave properly and speak politely. Maintain yourself calmly because your mind is purified. There is no anger. Always maintain the precepts and have concentration and wisdom.
I am glad for all patrons, parent, and the president of the Young Buddhist Association and Professor Wichai Sudheerajanon for their attention throughout the ordination period. I would like to pay respect to all the monks for their moral support and attention to the novices throughout his ordination. They have had to skip some of their normal chores.
I thank the cooks an dthe kind people who offered food, medicine and proper refreshments for the Sangha. These helped bring accomplishment to this ordination.
The parents will also receive the vietues form the great deed of their children.
How do you receive virtue? It is because the novices made merit and dedicated it to you. When they go back to school, they will pay attention to their studies and make constant progress in life. This is the benefit to you.
May the virtues of the Triple Gem bless you, the parents, the novices, the committee from the Young Buddhist Association, and everybody who participated in this activity. Be happy and prosperous. May all of you be blessed with long life, good health, fair complexion, happiness, energy, wisdom and wealth. May everybody accomplish the good thoughts you desire.
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