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Dharma Quenches Your Thirst – PART 2


When it comes to worldly knowledge, one must be able to delve into the words in order to understand and acquire the knowledge of the world.

By Sanjoo Thangjam

The thorough analysis and penetration of phenomena; the experience and revelation of body and a mind When Buddhism speaks of the Dharma, it is referring to all phenomena around us and it does not depart from our body and mind. The Buddha has thoroughly explained that we cannot look at ourselves as being permanent.

Many people see themselves as being permanent and are trapped by their afflictions. Regardless of the time period in history, we must understand that everything is undergoing constant change.

Nothing stays still. If we observe our bodies and minds, we will see that there is no real self. After thorough examination, the Buddha concluded that there is no true self to which we can become attached. He expounded what is binding us in order to break our notion of a self and to penetrate our attachment to this life and death.


In the practice of Dharma of Buddhism, if we do not possess good literary skills, we cannot learn the Buddha. One must understand the words in order to delve into the Dharma and thereby manifest the culture and civilization.


One must perpetually and persistently try to remember the Dharma and then utilize and apply it, thereby gaining its strength. In order to acquire the Dharma, one must enter into the words in order to understand it.

When it comes to worldly knowledge, one must be able to delve into the words in order to understand and acquire the knowledge of the world.

For example, over fifty years ago in China, there was a very prominent scholar by the name of Hui-Shi. Although he did not want to be involved in Politics, the Chinese government asked him to be ambassador to the United States during the final Japanese war.

He was very knowledgeable and fluent in English. After several meetings with President Roosevelt, he actually gained his confidence. In fact, President Roosevelt told his secretary that if other people needed to meet with him, they had to make appointments, but Hu-Shi could meet with him at any time. This is because President Roosevelt was inspired by Hu-Shi.

Another example also occurred in China regarding Governor Bai, a great poet and statesman, who later became the governor of Hung Tso, China. In Hung Tso there lived a famous, peculiar Chan master. He did not dwell in a monastery. Hence, he was known as the Bird’s Nest Chan master.

At one time, Govenor Bai asked the Chan master, “Isn’t it very dangerous living in that shed high up in the pine tree?”

The Chan master replied, “I am carefree. What kind of danger am I in? I think you are in greater danger than me.” He continued, “Wouldn’t you consider it dangerous that just as the union of wood and fire burns, the defiled consciousness does not cease to burn? Aren’t you in more danger than me?”

Governor Bai understood and agreed, startled by the Chan master’s statements. He then asked the Chan master, “What is the essence of Buddhism? What is the essence of Dharma?”

To this, the Chan master replied, “Do no evil, do all good.”

Governor Bai said, “Even a three year old could say these two verses.”

The Chan master then said, “Although a three old is able to say these verses, an eighty year old man cannot practice it.”

After this incident, Governor Bai had even more respect and appreciation for the Bird’s Nest Chan master.

There’s a saying from a Chinese poem that literally means: “When one’s belly contains books and poetry, one’s spirit and deportment will have splendor.”

In these context books and poetry refers to culture in totality. In other words, when one is well learned and knowledgeable, then that person’s spirit and deportment will be brilliant and solid.

In essence, in order to deliver to highly intellectual people, one cannot be without wisdom and virtue.

Ordinary people, worldlings, are usually attached to themselves or the notion of others and due to differences in their views; all sorts of unseemly conflicts arise in their relationships with others. People become attached to their own views as right, and they look down at the views of others as wrong. From this difference of views, conflicts and disputes arise. We start with verbal fights and then move on to physical fighting, and eventually the result is battles and wars.

(The writer is a jounalist based in Imphal)

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