Keep in mind that equanimity is most important – Message from Guruji S N Goenkaji

Keep in mind that equanimity is most important for you. The type of sensation you feel doesnot matter.

Whenever a deep-rooted sankhara comes to the surface, it will produce a particular type of sensation, but don’t assume that every sensation you feel is because of a sankhara.

When you are meditating, it is true that most of the sensations are because of sankharas, but there are many other causes for sensations to arise.

Whatever the cause, if a sensation occurs and you don’t generate a new sankhara, the purpose is served: naturally the old accumulated stock will start to come up to the surface of the mind and be eradicated.

Professionals’ Questions and Answers – Guruji S N Goenkaji

Q: How can professionals, who have less time, practice meditation?
A: Meditation is all the more important for professionals! Those who are householders, who have responsibilities in life, need Vipassana much more, because they have to face situations in life where there are so many vicissitudes. They become agitated because of these vicissitudes. If they learn Vipassana, they can face life much better. They can make good decisions, right decisions, correct decisions, which will be very helpful to them. For professionals, executives, and other people with responsibilities, Vipassana is a great boon.

Source: The Gracious flow of Dhamma, for details visit:

The Story of Thera Channa.

Channa was the attendant who accompanied Prince Siddhattha when he renounced the world and left the palace on horseback.

When the prince attained Buddha hood, Channa also became a bhikkhu.
As a bhikkhu, he was very arrogant and overbearing because of his close connection to the Buddha.

Channa used to say, “I came along with my Master when he left the palace for the forest. At that time, I was the only companion of my Master and there was no one else. But now, Sariputta and Moggallana are saying, ‘we are the Chief Disciples,’ and are strutting about the place.”

When the Buddha sent for him and admonished him for his behavior, he kept silent but continued to abuse and taunt the two Chief Disciples.

Thus the Buddha sent for him and admonished him three times; still, he did not change.

And again, the Buddha sent for Channa and said, “Channa, these two noble bhikkhus are good friends to you; you should associate with them and be on good terms with them.”

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

“One should not associate with bad friends, nor with the vile.
One should associate with good friends, and with those who are noble.”

[In spite of repeated admonitions and advice given by the Buddha, Channa did as he pleased and continued to scold and abuse the bhikkhus.

The Buddha, knowing this, said that Channa would not change during the Buddha’s lifetime but after his demise (parinibbana) Channa would surely change.

On the eve of his parinibbana, the Buddha called Thera Ananda to his bedside and instructed him to impose the Brahma-punishment (Brahmadanda) to Channa; i.e., for the bhikkhus to simply ignore him and to have nothing to do with him.

After the parinibbana of the Buddha, Channa, learning about the punishment from Thera Ananda, felt a deep and bitter remorse for having done wrong and he fainted three times.

Then, he owned up his guilt to the bhikkhus and asked for pardon.

From that moment, he changed his ways and outlook. He also obeyed their instructions in his meditation practice and soon attained arahatship.]

(The Dhammapada
78,Verses and Stories
Translated by
Daw Mya Tin,M.A.)

The Story of Upaka

The Buddha uttered following Verse in answer to the question put up by Upaka, a non-Buddhist ascetic,
while the Buddha was on his way to the Deer Park (Migadaya) where the Group of Five Bhikkhus (Panca Vaggis) were staying.

The Buddha was going there to expound the Dhamma cakkappavattana Sutta to the Panca Vaggis, his old associates, viz., Kondanna, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Assaji, and Mahanama.

When Upaka saw Gotama Buddha, he was very much impressed by the radiant countenance of the Buddha and so said to him, “Friend, you look so serene and pure; may I know who your teacher is?”

To him, the Buddha replied that he had no teacher.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

“I have overcome all,
I know all,
I am detached from all,
I have given up all; I am liberated from moral defilements having eradicated craving, (i. e., I have attained arahatship).

Having comprehended the Four Noble Truths by myself, whom should I point out as my teacher?”
(At the end of the discourse Upaka expressed neither approval nor disapproval but just nodded a few times and went on his way.)

Message from Guruji S N Goenkaji for beginner on path of Dhamma

A beginner who starts on the path has to work. You are being taught to reach the stage that is without “I” (anattā), and when there is no “I” there is no doer. But if we say there is no “I” in the beginning, you could become confused and think you do not need to work. You must first understand, “Well, I have to take steps on the path.” A time will come when you understand, “There is a path but there is nobody to walk over it, there are only steps being taken on the path.” That stage has to come naturally. If the “I” is still there in you and you try to impose a feeling that the “I” is not there, it is not helpful.

That is why the Buddha’s teaching is to work first with anicca. When you get established in anicca, then dukkha will naturally become clear to you, and you will understand that however pleasant a feeling may be it passes away. If you develop attachment to it you will become miserable. So misery is inherent in even the most pleasant experience. Understanding of dukkha becomes more and more predominant once you are established in anicca. When you are established in anicca and dukkha, then the third stage—an understanding of anattā—develops, and you think, “What is this phenomenon? Where is ‘I’? Things are just happening, there is just a flow of mind and matter interacting.” When the “I” dissolves at the experiential level it is helpful. An imposed conception of anattā will not help. That is why the Buddha never advised us to start with anattā . Start with anicca,then dukkha will follow, and anattā will develop.

When Ramana Maharshi spoke of no doer, he spoke of anattā, the third, final stage. He must have reached that stage, so naturally he spoke about it to people who he felt were developed. But it does not mean that a beginner should start working in that way.”

– SN Goenkaji
From “For the Benefit of Many”

The Story of Cincamanavika

As the Buddha went on teaching the Dhamma, more and more people came flocking to him, and the ascetics of other faiths found their following to be dwindling.

So they made a plan that would harm the reputation of the Buddha.They called the very beautiful Cincamanavika, a devoted pupil of theirs, to them and said to her, “If you have our interests in your heart, please help us and put Samana Gotama to shame.”

Cincamanavika agreed to comply.

That same evening, she took some flowers and went in the direction of the Jetavana monastery. When people asked her where she was going, she replied, “What is the use of you knowing where I am going?” Then she would go to the place of other ascetics near the Jetavana monastery and would come back early in the morning to make it appear as if she had spent the night at the Jetavana monastery.

When asked, she would reply, “I spent the night with Samana Gotama at the Perfumed Chamber of the Jetavana monastery.”

After three or four months had passed, she wrapped up her stomach with some cloth to make her look pregnant.

Then, after eight or nine months, she wrapped up her stomach with a round piece of thin wooden plank; she also beat up her palms and feet to make them swollen, and pretended to be feeling tired and worn out. Thus, she assumed a perfect picture of a woman in an advanced stage of pregnancy.

Then, in the evening, she went to the Jetavana monastery to confront the Buddha.

The Buddha was then expounding the Dhamma to a congregation of bhikkhus and laymen.Seeing him teaching on the platform, she accused the Buddha thus: “O you big Samana! You only preach to others. I am now pregnant by you, yet you do nothing for my confinement. You only know how to enjoy your self!”

The Buddha stopped preaching for a while and said to her, “Sister, only you and I know whether you are speaking the truth or not,” and Cincamanavika replied, “Yes, you are right, how can others know what only you and I know?”

At that instant, Sakka, king of the devas, became aware of the trouble being brewed at the Jetavana monastery, so he sent four of his devas in the form of young rats. The four rats got under the clothes of Cincamanavika and bit off the strings that fastened the wooden plank round her stomach. As the strings broke, the wooden plank dropped, cutting off the front part of her feet. Thus, the deception of Cincamanavika was uncovered, and many from the crowd cried out in anger, “Oh you wicked woman! A liar and a cheat! How dare you accuse our noble Teacher!”

Some of them spat on her and drove her out.

She ran as fast as she could, and when she had gone some distance the earth cracked and fissured and she was swallowed up.

The next day, while the bhikkhus were talking about Cincamanavika, the Buddha came to them and said. “Bhikkhu;, one who is not afraid to tell lies, and who does not care what happens in the future existence, will not hesitate to do any evil.”

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

“For one who transgresses the Truth, and is given to lying, and who is unconcerned with the life hereafter, there is no evil that he dare not do.”

Executives’ Questions and Answers – Guruji S N Goenkaji

1. I am in a business where I could be my breaking sila. I know enough not to be involved in a business that is going to harm anyone. For instance, making missiles is certainly going to harm people; I obviously won’t do that. But what about the gray area where I am building a third-party product and I really don’t know where itÂ’’s going to end up. If I know it is going to be used to kill people, then it’s obviously not good. When I don’t know, then what?

You manufacture a knife and people use it to cut vegetables. But if someone uses it to murder somebody, thatÂ’s not your responsibility. If you sell a knife that you know is going to be used to kill somebody, then it’s wrong; otherwise, you have no intention of harming anyone.

2. So, as long as you don’t have the intention.

Goenkaji: Yes, that is more important.

3) Investing in the stock market—is that harmful or it is okay? Because my gain may be a loss to someone that I don’t even know.

Goenkaji: Well, if your intention is to harm somebody, then it is wrong. If you are just trying to earn some money, there’s nothing wrong in that.
But whatever you earn, then you have to pay attention to how you are using it. If it is just to inflate your ego—look, I am wealthier than everybody else, I am one inch taller than everybody else—then it is madness; those earnings are not helpful to you. When you earn money, that money is coming from the society; so it is your duty to share with the society. If you have that sort of volition, then earning is not bad. A householder has to earn. You are not a monk.

4) But somebody may begetting hurt.

Goenkaji: Well, you can’t help that. You are just trying to earn money. If you make use of this money in a properway,there is nothing wrong. Your intention is not to harm anyone. If you do something intentionally to hurt somebody, then it is wrong.

Vipassana is not intended for the enjoyment of pleasant sensations – Message from Guruji S N Goenkaji

I repeatedly warn students that Vipassana is not intended for the enjoyment of pleasant sensations, but despite my advice some of them make that their aim.

They think, I must get a free-flow of very pleasant vibrations.

If I’m not getting it, I’m not progressing.” They are completely wrong.

The equanimity you have developed is the measure of your progress.

The Buddha explained: To dig out the stock of your sankharas of craving, make use of the pleasant sensations;
to dig out the sankharas of aversion, make use of your unpleasant sensations.

Both types of sensation are equally important as tools to help us eradicate the deep-rooted sankharas that we have accumulated.
If you ignore this advice and instead feel depressed with gross sensations and elated with pleasant ones,
you are simply repeating what you have been doing your whole life and for so many lives.

In the name of Vipassana, you have started playing the same game.

Why Morning and evening daily sittings are very important in Vipassana – Message from Guruji S N Goenkaji

I must progress on the path and also encourage others to come to the path and progress on it.

You progress only when you maintain your practice morning and evening.

If you take courses, whether of ten, twenty or even thirty days, and you miss your daily meditation, you will not really benefit.

A course ought to strengthen your practice, your understanding of Dhamma at the experiential and intellectual level.

But only applied Dhamma will give real benefits.

If you do not practice morning and evening every day, you will notice that real progress is missing.

Morning and evening sittings are very important.