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Between Master and Disciples

Equanimity Of The Buddha: The Story of Ni Đề, Part 2 of 4, Aug. 11, 2015

Lecture Language:English


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Important is soon to go out of this world and what will you take with you? Nothing but spiritual merit and good deeds. That’s the only thing you can take with you. Remember that very well, I’m serious.

Just like in the class, the teacher always praises the good student, “Oh yeah, this is a good example, good student.” But if some students are bad, behave badly, then she also has to address it, for everybody to understand. I know you don’t like negative things. Nobody likes it, least of all me. But it happened, so I have to tell you. It’s really bad, not just normal bad – really bad, hellish bad. Too sad, too sad.

I don’t want people to have also the wrong concept, thinking that all my disciples are angels. Most of them are. Some still need to trim and… Trim and help. Just like Devadatta. Yeah. Life after life he’d been a bad guy. Maybe it’s his job. But the Buddha also talked about that. He didn’t hide that and He also told Ananda, “No, everybody’s good, everybody good.” Devadatta is His cousin. Also studied with Him, disciple and all that. Every time he competed with Him, every time tried to slander Him and do all kinds of things to harm the Buddha. What did the Buddha do? Anything wrong? (No.) Have you found anything wrong with Him? No! (No.) He teaches people, “Be good, do good.” He sacrificed His kingdom. Come and walk bare feet and bearing all the hardships and the criticism from outside and inside also. Just to help sentient beings. And originally, He didn’t even want to do that. He wanted to go to Nirvana, remember? I don’t blame the guy. Who wants to stay here? Just because the Brahman asked, so He had to do it.

I had never wished to be your Master, in the beginning also, and now, until the end. I never wished to be any Master of any kind. I’m repeatedly requested by the Brahman who manifested as my first Indian disciple, and my four, first Taiwanese (Formosan) disciples, and my five first African-American disciples. Wherever I go, just pushing me out, understand that? (Yes, Master.) I never wished, I never thought even to be a Master or anything. Never, ever. Never ever did. I never even thought about that. I’m just like you. Would you have thought that you want to be a Master of any kind, any of you? (No.) No. You just study and you meditate and you’re happy that everything’s smooth in your life after initiation and that you understand something and you’re happy. You never thought, “Oh, one day I’ll be Master.” Nothing!

And then I’m always pushed out by different countries. I went to Germany, it’s the same. I was in India, the same. At that time I was even just a silly so-called disciple, walking around the Ganges with the three pajamas – no, punjabs. Looked like pajamas, but decent, long, white. I had very little money in my pocket. Meditate here, meditate there. I never thought. Already in India, I was even in the bud, not yet open. Want to be my disciple already. You know the story? No? (I remember when you said it in a tape.) When I say what? (When you told this experience in a tape.) In a tape. Yeah. Even he knew. He knew it. You guys don’t know.

(In the US or India?) No. In India. The first one ever, I was still in India. I was still being a so-called disciple, feeling like a disciple. Never thought of anything else, just enjoying my time, meditation. In India at that time, I still went to the little island in the middle of the Ganges to meditate. You can do it in the daytime. Nighttime the water rises up and you can’t get out. One day it’s like that. I meditated too long, I forgot. And when I came back, I didn’t know how I got back. But I did get back. Because the water rises up, I didn’t see the stones anymore to walk on. But somehow I got out. I was thinking, “Oh my God, I’m going to drown here. I can’t swim with this kind of current.” So strong. So I had to get out quick. Somehow I got out. I don’t know, I just walked. I just walked, I just walked and then said, “I have to get out, I have to get out.” And then I got out. At that time I was still meditating like that. And then I went to a shop, I wanted to buy a book. I remember it was Bhagavad Gita, a small book, cheaper. They had also a big book in golden print and all that, but I bought a very little one, like this small. I went to that bookshop and asked for Bhagavad Gita and they told me, “We don’t have it, ma’am. Sorry, you come back another time.” I said, “You have it, I saw it. I saw it when I was in the shop the other day. So, I didn’t bring money, today I want to come back to buy.” They said, “No, we don’t have it. We didn’t have it for many weeks already. So, sorry, you’re wrong. Maybe in another shop.” I said, “You are the only shop that I go to. There’s no shop around here that sells books.” I only stayed in that vicinity, I didn’t go anywhere yet. Every day I’d go meditate and come back. I was very poor then and just ate chapati and peanut butter and cucumber, maybe, every day. I do it myself, chapati, it’s cheaper even. You buy flour, mix it with water, Ganges water, and you make into a dough and then you… I bake it on the only plate I have. Told you, to cook tea and chapati same time. Oh no, I mean in the same place. Just about this deep, the plate. Looks like a soup plate, because it’s deeper than the flat one. So I used that because you can boil water also with it, you can cook chapati with it. Because chapati, people do it in a flat plate. No ring around, no wall around. But I can’t afford everything, so just buy cheap and light to carry. And then I said, “You have it, I know you have it. The other day I wanted to buy, but I didn’t buy. Today I bring money, I buy.” I did not have much money, just a little. But I wanted to buy that book to read what it is all about, because I heard somebody talk about it, just some sentences, and it aroused my interest, I wanted to buy. “No, don’t have, don’t have. Sorry, sorry.” I said, “You have it.” And they said, “No, we don’t have.” “OK, fine. All right then, maybe I’m mistaken.” And then one person sat inside there with the owner of the shop. He said, “You come here. I want to read Your palm.” I said, “No. I don’t believe in such things, forget it.”

Because, according to tradition, after you’re initiated, your destiny changes. You won’t… Nobody can read you, nothing. You are not in the world, you are not in this system. So the destiny, you can’t read, future, nothing. Future you take care of yourself. You do good, then your future is good. You’re put back in the path of self-mastery. Not become a master of anybody; master of yourself. You decide your life from now on. It gives you a taste of Heaven, and then it changes your concept, changes your life. You know Heaven exists, the Light, Sound, Buddha exists. You might see Jesus, Buddha, etc., Heaven, then you know. OK. And then you are put on the Path of Five Disciplines. Then from now on you decide your life. So your future, nobody can read, supposed to.

So I said, “No, I don’t believe in that. Besides, I don’t have money to pay you. I’m sorry, sir.” He said, “No, no money. I just want to read You.” I said, “But why me?” He said, “You are something special. I don’t know what. Come here, I read You.” And then he came and read me. And he said, “Oh, You’ll soon become Buddha,” things like that. So everybody around, “Oh, really? Teach us, teach us!” So I said, “No, you said soon, not now. Maybe soon, OK.” And then suddenly, the owner somehow went into the back of his room where the storage was and he said, “Oh, I found the book! You still want to buy?” I said, “Of course I want to buy.” So everybody thought I’m, like, clairvoyant, future-to-be Buddha and all that, so they all want to learn. But I run. I run.

And next day, nobody’s there, I pass by again. It’s my path to go home, my mud hut. So the shop owner came out and said, “Oh, Master, please teach me, please teach me!” He’s young, very lovely. I said, “No, no. I’m not a Master, I’m just still meditating. I’m just learning.” He said, “No, no, You are a Master, You’re a Buddha.” I said, “No, to-be maybe, but not now.” “Oh no,” he insisted. “Never mind, You teach me. To-be-Buddha or not to-be-Buddha, teach me, please, please!” And he knelt down, and I said, “OK, OK! OK, stand up, don’t make a fuss. Everybody come and look and I’ll be more in trouble. Stand up, stand up, OK, OK, OK! Stand up! I’ll teach you, I’ll teach you! Just stand up!” I’m worried, worried all the tourists and all the Indians.

Indians, they’re very sincere. When they see any Master they think it’s a Master, or somebody told them it’s a Master, they believe. And I’m worried the whole village would come. And tourists and all. So I said, “Stand up, stand up! OK, OK, I teach you!” What to do? I said, “But…” I thought, “OK, I find a way to get out.” So I said, “Tomorrow.” I remember I said four o’clock, not five. Or at least something before five, at least five o’clock. I said, “You come early in the morning to the other side of the Ganges. I’ll be there and I’ll teach you then, if you come on time.” I thought he wouldn’t come. Number one, it’s too early, no boat. Number two, it’s too early, just… I thought today he just said that, but tomorrow… I said, “So many Masters in India, you go search for them. I’m just a tourist here, I’m just learning.”

OK. Tomorrow he came. I don’t know, he didn’t swim. There is a bridge very, very far away, I didn’t know. Because I didn’t go over there. So he crossed the bridge and went over. But it’s very far for walking, because there’s no car on the Ganges bank. Nothing there. He walked all the way to… far, far away and then he crossed the bridge and went over. So I had to teach him right there on the Ganges river bank. So I used the drawing on the sand and told him this and that, and then he left. I thought that’s it, maybe just go from one ear to another, but I tried my best. My reluctant disciple, first time. Forced, forced disciple. OK, I left.

Many years later, I don’t remember … I became a nun already, so it must be many years, I came back somehow to this area. I don’t know, I don’t remember for what reason, and I passed by his shop. He came out, jumped out, “Oh, my great Master coming, my great Guru coming! Guruji coming! Great Master! My big Master!” Big Master, you know? And then everybody ran after him and ran after me. And then he invited me to the house. They followed us all the way to the house. And then his wife made some food, and then I just stayed for a while and then I left. So, he still remembered me even though I changed. When I was in India, I had long black hair. And at that time when I came back, I was in monk’s robe, no hair. Like… yeah, like them. And he remembered. It was kind of embarrassing, but it was funny.

Why did I talk about this? Because you asked? Oh no, no, somebody asked. Oh, you said you read it. Oh, God. These two persons are very, very, very intelligent. He and his wife. They see, even this tape was an early tape, somehow, and he knows it, and you didn’t know. Shame on you. OK. Never mind. There’s too many, you can’t read it all. You’re busy, I understand. They do charity quietly. I just found out last night when I talked to them. So, support a little. This is the thing. You do good things, even quietly, Heaven knows, and somehow it happens that help will come your way, if you need it, if you need more.

When I was a housewife, I earned very little money; I worked part time. Before I worked full-time, but after marriage I worked part-time for the Red Cross. And not… little pay, but good enough. But I gave most of my earnings to African children, orphans or whatever organization. So I wrote check, check, check and sent it, until I didn’t have much anymore, just enough money for bus, and… And then, always my ex-husband, he wrote manifold, and put it in my bank account for me. Many times. I remember that. That’s how… Even then, at that time he was still in apprenticeship, not a real… not an independent doctor yet. He had to practice in different clinics and he had to pay mortgage for the house and for the car and everything. He still gave me a lot of money. For him at that time it was a lot. 4,000 Deutsch Mark. That’s a lot of money, back 35 years ago, and for him also. He was still almost like a student. Earned very little by working and practicing in different clinics, just to acquire experience. All doctors have to do that. They don’t just graduate, write the doctor degree, and then go out and open their own clinic or immediately get employed. No, no, they have to do apprenticeship. I think like every other job, right? And still so generous and kind. That’s why I always remember him. He did it quietly. But what I mean is, I didn’t expect that. But because I gave to charity and then he saw I had no money, he gave me more than what I had, more than what I gave. Of course it’s not much, but it’s still more than what I gave out.

So, it’s like that. So, you just do good quietly and the reward will be openly. You’ll be surprised. You know it, right? Some of you know it. Like your brother and sister, they didn’t tell anybody what they’re doing. Just by the way, we were talking and then they slipped it out and then… I thought somebody else is doing it and they are helping, but they are doing it themselves. They try whatever they can to bring something, that people… maybe people even discard or don’t need in America, bring back to their country to help the poor children and village who has nothing. No medicine, no doctors, even clinics don’t have beds. So they bring whatever they can, whenever they can. And then because I heard of that, I helped them, too. And they were very surprised, “Oh, no, Master.” I said, “No, not for you, for them, so don’t say no.” Understand now? (Yes.) OK. Just do good.

Now do we want to read a story or we want to sleep, we want to eat, we want to go out and make noise, what? (Story.) Story. OK, OK. Story is good. You want a hell story or you want…? (Heaven. Happy story.) Happy story. I’m not sure if any Buddha story is a happy story. Some happy story last night about Ananda, but mostly it’s just… He wants to teach people, he can’t just tell happy stories. He has to tell things that “Don’t do this and then you’ll be in trouble like this.” (That’s very important.)Huh? (That’s very important, Master.) What is important? (Even it’s maybe not nice talk, but you say the truth to us and it’s really important to us to grow and (Yeah.) to think about what we are doing wrong. (Yeah.) If you’re always talking the nice things, we don’t grow.) It is so happy, just laugh, laugh, laugh… Come back again.

All of you must be vigilant, that’s it. Not just the person who committed something wrong or wrong concept, but you think about it, whether you have it yourself. Because you’re so many, you don’t even tell me your wrong concepts, so I don’t know. Therefore, I tell one here, everybody understands. If you have it, you change. If you don’t have, be glad that you don’t have. “Oh, Master, I’m a little better than that. Thanks God, thanks God!” So you can measure your attainment also. Like in the old time, the old lady, she had two jars, one black and one white bean. Whenever she did something wrong, she put a black in, and she did something good, she put a white. What if when you do nothing? What to do? Put a transparent grain. It’s not that. Like this you know if you’re bad or good. So slowly, slowly, before it was the black more than the white. And slowly every month she did that, or every day, then slowly the white was more in number than the black beans. And slowly, slowly, no black beans at all, just all white. That’s how we do it.

We have to check ourselves. That’s why you have a diary. Don’t be too comfortable in this world. It will leave you. Whatever you do in this world, it will leave you. You will leave it behind, it will leave you. So, just do what you can, but remember that. Important is soon to go out of this world and what will you take with you? Nothing but spiritual merit and good deeds. That’s the only thing you can take with you. Remember that very well, I’m serious.

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