Nov 9, 2018

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 15 Comments

Letter to disciples No. 270: European sky – Part 5: “Gods” & “Pedestrians”: Having experienced and known how nice our country is! (“Thượng đế” & “Bộ hành”: trông người mà ngẫm đến ta)

Letter to disciples No. 270: European sky – Part 5: “Gods” & “Pedestrians”: Having experienced and known how nice our country is!

Dear disciples,

In the security check before going out to the arrival hall in Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, passengers were queuing to wait for their turns. As a normal rule, you should queue after the white line, in a distance of about 1 meter from one who was presented to a security staff. I eagerly intended to walk forward, cross the white line to get nearer to the security’s staff. When my leg has just stepped up when I was suddenly stopped by hand that taps on my shoulder. I stood still and turn around when I see Catherine standing and making a sign not to move further forward; and thenI heard a soft voice in Vietnamese:

– “Uncle, standing after the white line, when you are called, you should step forward to the security’s desk” – When I heard her saying that I felt crippled under a big rock that I don’t want to come out and be seen. That I would be the “Moche” retribution of my act!

The traffic lights for the pedestrian crossovers

There was one time happened when I was passing the pedestrian crossovers, on the other side of the road, a group of French pedestrians stared at me as if I were an alien. Turn out, I went the red light. Fortunately, there were no cars running through at that time. So scary! In Europe, especially in France, the traffic lights are set up right in the pedestrians crossing, the people should go across pedestrian crossovers after the green light on, if no stop signs, they should not cross the street.  Although no cars are moving or running on, they should remain at freeze and wait for the red light to be on.

I have violated the traffic law while passing the pedestrian crossovers  3 times; but from then on, I always pass the crosswalk when the stop signs are on. This means that the pedestrians in ever country, in every continent have the different habits to walk on the street. If you’re not used to or not being instructed well, foreign tourists can get easily be confused and fail into a hard the situation for the traffic violations. I have just come to think of a hypothesis in which, if, there were a bandit chasing you, and you happened to run to the pedestrian crossovers and you must stop at the red lights. If you obey the traffic law, what would be your fate? At this point, I think of the principles to keep the percepts flexibly into the certain circumstances for the sake of all beings in Buddhism, which consists of the following four categories: fixation (close), flexibility (open), observance (should not break precepts) and violation (should break precepts to benefit others). My admiration and respect for the Buddha are much growing. I am so happy to think about the progress that Mat An, Mat Ngo Tanh and Mat Tat Kiem have just achieved. I am so touched with the “tolerance” of Mat Hong Nhat, Mat Tu, Mat Tinh Dung, Mat Tinh Giac, Mat Phap Khanh, Mat Khue Minh, Mat Kien and so on when they got my vajra criticism. I should use the methods of both soft-spoken manner and vajra criticism to tame your mind because I do not want any disciples or learners to fall back on the path of mind transformation. I have no fear to displease you, I do not fear that you can think wrong about me, or raise the impure thoughts towards me because in Avatamsaka Sutra, the Buddha enlightened me with the saying “all actions or good deeds become nothing but evil doings if they are not based on Bodhicitta”

Dear disciples,

While travelling on the roads in the European Union, we have to obey the traffic law for the benefit of community. But I wonder why in their countries including Latvia, people smoke too much, the number of women is quite large; Why is it that they are not implementing a law to minimize smoking to protect Health and Environment? Looking at the French and European Union pedestrians  travelling on the sidewalks, we silently admire their beauty. But their beauty turns out to nothing when seeing them (especially women) holding cigarettes in hands, inhale and exhale the smoke from a cigarette. I feel sorry for their red lips; I can feel their hands are touching the door of the death. With cigarettes, I wonder where is “the decency in the hand of five fingers”? (the lyric in the song “Giang Ngoc” composed by Ngo Thuy Mien). I also think about the fact that the majority of Buddhist monks in our country often smoke but they still raise the high voice to recommend the followers should stop drinking alcohol, stop eating meat. Oh, so strange! Why is it that they do not give a warning about smoking wherein smoking harms self and others? In contrast, drinking alcohol harms only yourself, eating meat is not prohibited by the Buddha and the Buddha accepted followers to consume the three kinds of pure meat, why do they arbitrarily recommend? According to the Buddha’s teaching, you should understand clearly the first factor of renunciation among the three principal aspects of the path and contemplate the principle of that “renounce what is worthy to renounce”. I should not discuss more about it.

Personally, I saw many images the women holding cigarettes in hands, inhale and exhale the smoke from a cigarette on the street, even thousands of beautiful images from other pedestrians cannot remove such bad actions of smoking. I have learnt that the trend of smoking cigarettes in France has gradually increased over the years. Thus, we should call them “French residences are infected with, or are a carrier of, bacteria”. Chinese people were called with this such phrase by the European long before, then this time that phrase is worth for them now as a form of their retribution that they get. With the way on how they dressed up their selves, we all know that breeches originated from Western Europe, then spreading over Asian countries, which are considered to be neat, beautiful and convenient, yet in fact, they look so crummy and sleaze-like with such breeches and I have made explanation in many sermons and articles about this coarseness. Think of me as an example, I don’t wear breeches but many people do praised and admire how I wear my clothing when they see me. Some even asks for a photo with me. In this sense, it proves that my consort, Mat Dieu has the professional eyes to see the nature of fashionable art.

It is said that the French and Latvian need to smoke to overcome the bitter cold in winter. Why do not they stop smoking in summer or in sunshine seasons? Likewise, the monks who cultivate in the mountains give the argument of overcoming the cold to make an excuse for their bad action of smoking. The French people see the Asians make the traffic violation on the road, they look down on Asians, while they (including women) smoke then emit the harmful smoke as much as the train’s. Why do they wonder what Asians think about their smoking? Likewise, while monks see we eat the three kinds of pure meat, they underestimate us. How does the Buddha look at them when seeing them become heavy smoking? Similarly, the hypocrites of the Lotus Library tried to play dirty trick like “taking advantage of the wind to pick bamboo shoots”, “telling a lie” so as to ironize Tibetan monks. But they themselves smell bad, try to take credit for good things and blame others, make a trick to create faction and inside is completely crushed, why do they not feel ashamed? Meanwhile they still raise a high voice to teach others. How ironic! So that’s how to know there is rarely kindness and generousness in this world. Unluckily, such selfish, little men teach others four ways of leading human beings to emancipation (Catvari-samgraha-vastuni) (four integrative methods including kind communication (Priyavacana), beneficial action (Artha-carya), cooperation (Samana-arthata) and generosity (Dana)).

In a supermarket in Riga

Dear disciples,

The bill

The people in the European Union have the principle of queuing, but for me, perhaps the image of queuing to buy food and drink in restaurants is not good. In our country, the customers having a meal in restaurants, they just sit down then waiters or waitresses coming to give us menu to order dishes. While we are looking at the menu, they invite us some glasses of water. Some restaurants, the owner even go to welcome the customers. It is the way to please the customers in Vietnamese restaurants. In the European Union, on the contrary, the customers must queue to wait for food and drink while they have to pay for them. The people in the European Union consider themselves be civilized and cultural or they use it to increase profit for their restaurants?

A brioche

I went into a café in the old town of Latvia, where more than 10 people were queuing, only 2 young boys looking smug served the customers. They did not have the right attitude towards customers because they seemed to have the right to “give food and drink” to the customers. But they charged an extra money for service. That’s totally unacceptable! I did went to that café, I had to follow their regulation with a sigh and remembered the comfortableness in R.T restaurant in Ba Ria –Vung Tau city where we often go to enjoy.

Make a queue

What do you think to see the picture of people queuing to wait for food and drink? It is a way of being civilized or it is the culture of alms? Ironically, the famous saying of “the customer is God” is from the West. And here “God” must wait long for food and drink. For food and drink, what do our East people say about? Confucius said “the wise asks for moral knowledge, not for food and drink”. The Buddha taught “true practitioners only ask for dharma, never care about eating” (Mahaparinibbana Sutta). In addition, in the sutra of eight realizations, the Buddha taught “practitioners should stay content with modesty; retain the Path, taking solely wisdom as career, including stay content with food, stay content with medicine, stay content with seat, clothing and stay content with accommodation. The Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava also affirmed “having obtained a human body with the freedoms and riches, they claim to not have time for spiritual practice. Fully able to constantly slave for food and clothing, they claim to be unable to practice the sacred Dharma for even a year. Tireless in samsaric bustle, they claim to be unable to bear even the smallest hardship in what concerns the Dharma” ( a quote from the book “Advice From the Lotus-born”, p.130)

Sit at a table

Taking their cup of tasteless coffee, I sat at the table and lost the interest in enjoying drinking. I recalled that when I was in the Riga commercial center. I did not want to become a beggar to queue for food and drink, so I looked for an empty restaurant to buy food even the food there was not good. I would rather buy tasteless food than be a slave for food. Now I understand why the foreigners who invest in our country always feel comfortable for food and accommodation. Considering the image of customers in Vietnamese restaurants or pubs, “gods” in our country are much more beautiful and luxurious; even they order a cup of coffee with the cheap price of 15,000 dong. I never want to become “a god” in a restaurant where I have to queue for food and drink while I am not a beggar. We are not impolite to say so. They should ask why they do not employ more service staff to please the customer if they want their restaurant to be crowded. If they apply the service in the European Union into Vietnam, they will close their restaurants soon.

I would like to end this article now.

May the sufferings about food of “gods” in the European Union be calmed down.

Om ah hum phat!

A rainy afternoon on the peak of Phu Van mountain.

7th November 2018

Thinley Nguyen Thanh

Translated by Mat Dieu Hang

Vietnamese version: Thư gửi các trò 270: ĐẤT KHÁCH TRỜI ÂU – Bài 5: “THƯỢNG ĐẾ” & “BỘ HÀNH”: trông người mà ngẫm đến ta

Letter to Disciples No. 270: EUROPEAN SKY


PART 2: Traveling Abroad to See How Beautiful Our Country Is (Thấy người rồi lại thương mình hơn xưa)

Part 3: Both Europeans and Asians, there is still the mind of good and evil (Á Âu đâu cũng tâm thiện, ác)

Part 4: The warmth in the winter (Hơi ấm giữa mùa đông)

Part 5: “Gods” & “Pedestrians”: Having experienced and known how nice our country is! (“Thượng đế” & “Bộ hành”: trông người mà ngẫm đến ta)

  1. Ahmed Khan says:

    Dear Guru,

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    I am sorry to read that you are facing difficulties in your travels.

    I have never been to Europe myself but some traffic light stops in Australia are the same, and I agree restaurants should have good customer service.

    I hope you have a pleasant time during the rest of your trip.

    Thank you for guiding us on the path to Enlightenment.

    May Guru, Guru’s consort and Guru’s disciples be free from suffering and become enlightened.

    May all sentient beings be free from suffering and become enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan)

    • Nguyên Thành says:

      Good. I appreciate your diligent reading and comments. 

    • Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan) sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      Kính bạch Thầy!

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết này.

      Con thấy buồn khi biết Thầy gặp những khó khăn nơi đất khách trời Âu.

      Con chưa đến Châu Âu lần nào nhưng ở đất nước con, nước Úc, khách bộ hành được qua đường khi có đèn tín hiệu giao thông.

      Và con cũng nghĩ rằng các nhà hàng nên phục vụ khách hàng tốt và chu đáo.

      Con cầu nguyện cho chuyến đi của Thầy được thành công và thuận lợi.

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã hướng dẫn, chỉ bảo chúng con  bước  đi trên hành trình giác ngộ.

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy Cô thân tâm an tịnh.

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ khổ đau và đạt được giác ngộ.

      Om Mani Padme Hum.

      Con – Tantra Sagovana (Ahmed Khan).

  2. Dr C H Lakshminarayan says:
    Respected Guruji, l bow my head at your lotus feet.

    Buddha is my life

    Dharma is my boat

    Sangha is my strength

    Guru is my guide and supreme !

    In this article , Guruji touches upon three important subjects like, ‘ Meet eating ‘,  ‘cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking ‘ and ‘ western culture’ which drew my attention.

    Somebody asked Buddha ” why you are called Buddha?”. Buddha answered ”

    “Because of three things :

    1. I  know what is to be known.

    2. I  renounce what is worthy to renounce

    3. I practice Dharma which is worthy of practice. So I am called  Buddha.”

    There is ambiguiy in consuming meat ( which is byproduct of violence) among  Buddhists. Buddha has not forbidden ( also not recommended) and accepted three kinds of pure meat by Buddhists according to the circumstanaces and conditions prevailing in his time.

    Also, Buddha said like this :

    “Believe  nothing

    no matter

    Where you read it or

    Who has said it

    not even if I have said it

    Unless it agrees with your own reason

    and your own common sense.”

    So, I would prefer to put ‘ meat eating’ under the clause  ” Renounce what is worthy of renounce”  and like to be a pure vegetarian as a follower of Buddhism, whether  one consider it as ” right view” or ” wrong view”  Buddha only knows !

    In general, I would like to recommend to renounce ‘ meat eating’,  ” cigarette smoking and Alcohol consumption” as Buddhists, if not instantly, but gradually.!

    With regards to ‘ smoking’ in support of Guruji’s view, I would like to narrate a funny but a real personal story of my younger days. ! :

    While I was working as a Government medical officer in a remote village in Karnataka (India), I heard from my patients, there lived a  Godman (Guru) who is aged about 75 years with bald head and a

    long, thick white beard and a big mustache looking like OSHO !. living alone at the outskirts of  the  same  village  where  I am working  in his hermitage ( Ashram )  adjacent to a  Shva Temple. As I was in search of a Spiritual Guru, out of curiosity, I

    began to collect his bio-data. He is famous around that village treating the diseases of the people by herbal medicine which he prepares himself by going to hilly and forest areas by his own zeap now and then and collecting the needed herbs and plants during day time and conducting Spiritual activities like mass meditation and  Bhajans (singing devotional songs ) by men only enmass.! Of course ladies were not allowed.

    Public and patients used to come from distant places for his darshan and interview for remedy of their diseases and family problems.Royal family members from Mysore Palace also used to visit and get his darshan advice to their problems.!

    During night , he sits in an elevated platform starts his spiritual session commencing from 9 pm lasting late night 12 to 1am. Guru sits in silence all the time surrounded by his disciples (men only).one of the disciples prepares  ‘ Hukka'( a type of smoking instrument) in which some smashed herbal material is placed and fired which is now ready for the use of smoking) and it is given to the Guruji for smoking! Guru after smoking a  few ‘puffs’ gives it to the neighboring disciples, they smoking one after the another by applying their own handkerchiefs at the other end of the Hukka instrument and smoke,finally returning to Guru. Guru then again smoking pass it on to the disciples.This cycle repeats till late in the night. Meanwhile, simultaneously singing of devotional songs of God ( Bhajans) by the disciples in raised voice enmass goes on till the end.!

    One night I went to Ashram to see this and personally witnessed the same.!.I have read in some books such sessions of smoking and Bhajans will be done by certain groups of sages in Himalayan mountains who are meditating for Enlightenment !

    Why I told this smoking episode while doing Bhajans to raise a question “Does it not spread a wrong message to lay spiritual Practicioners about smoking which not only

    Cause pollution of environment, but also injurious to Health !

    Regarding culture and customs of western countries, I can only say it differs from Nation to Nation, country to country, person to person depending upon the geographical location, climate and environment and food habits etc..Ther is one saying, ” what can not be cured  must be endured !”.

    It really hurts one’s feelings, when one hears about our Guruji  standing for food and drinks like a ” begged in a que ”

    A similar instance in Goutham Buddha’s life also we notice. While doing alms- round ,Buddha approached  a former who was ploughing the lands with his bowl in his hands. That former abused Buddha ” why  do you spend time idle and wandering like a beggar. See ! I am doing hard labour by ploughing the lands and earn my bread and butter. Why don’t you do like me?”

    Buddha gave a right answer to his questions and subdued him and made to surrender him at Buddha’s feet begging forgiveness !

    So , there is nothing like ‘ begger’ or ‘ aristocratic’ in Buddhism. All are equal.’ Equanimity is the dictum of Buddhism.!

    Venerable Kadampa Geshe found this verse out of eight Verse of thought transformation composed by him  is extremely beneficial to Buddhists :

    ” When somebody out of


    Blames and critisises me,

    I will take the loss upon


    And offer the victory to


    Kadampa Geshe found these words of the verse extremely beneficial on piligrimage and was treated badly Hence, Bodhicitta should be kept as heart Practice !. Training one’s mind in Bodhicitta the thought r

    emoving ‘Yourself’ and cherishing ‘ others’is extremely important at all times under all circumstances.!( Please refer Yeshe wisdom  Archive)

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Dr C H Lakshminarayan.

    ( Nirvadeva)


  3. Mật Thái Hòa says:
    Kính Bạch Thầy.

    Con hoan hỉ tán thán thiện hạnh của đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng đã chuyển ngữ bài viết của Thầy sang tiếng Anh, nhằm giúp cho những chúng sanh hữu tình ở nước ngoài được tiếp cận với ánh sáng chánh pháp của Đức Phật, ngang qua những bài viết trên và được cơ hội làm học trò của Mật gia song Nguyễn, được cơ hội diễn tập và thực hành bộ môn yoga Thanh Trí theo trường phái kim cang thừa, nhằm hướng đến mục tiêu tối thượng là giải thoát khỏi sự đau khổ của luân hồi sinh tử, giác ngộ thành Phật trong tương lai.

    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy Cô vì hạnh phúc của chúng sanh.

    Con cầu nguyện cho ước nguyện hoằng dương chánh pháp của Thầy Cô tại chân trời Âu luôn được thành công viên mãn.

    Cầu mong cho tất cả chúng sanh thức tỉnh với trạng thái giác ngộ.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  4. tantraupatissa says:
    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article.

    By reading this article we get knowledge of French culture and their habits. We came to know when to cross the road as different countries have different traffic signals.

    I understand due to cold bitter climate most of the people in Europe including women do smoking.

    Here there is a different service in hotels called self-service where in one has to stand and wait in big lines to order food. This is a bit different from East countries.

    May Guru and his consort live long and protected and get enlightened.

    They may return back to Vietnam safely.

    May all beings and Guru’s disciples be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum..

  5. Mật Phê Rô says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy !

    Con hoan hỷ thiện hạnh đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng đã chuyển ngữ bài viết Thượng đế & Bộ hành : TRÔNG NGƯỜI MÀ NGẪM ĐẾN TA sang tiếng Anh cho các bạn đọc hữu duyên có thể đọc được .

    Con cầu nguyện cho đạo huynh Mật Diệu Hằng luôn được hạnh phúc tự tâm, thế sự hanh thông và thành đạt xã hội .

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy Cô sức khỏe, trường thọ vì đại nghiệp hoằng dương chánh pháp, làm lợi lạc tất cả chúng sanh .

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh được nương tựa bóng lành Thầy, Phật, Pháp, Tăng .

    Om Mani Padme Hum !

  6. Tantra siramitra says:
    Venerebol Guru.

    My name is tantra siramitra.

    Yes, specially in big cities, people is conditioned, like robots, to stand and wait, that is my reason, why i dont like to live in big cities, this is the reason also why i prefer to live in a village!!

    I did live in Paris, and also the province, in wich i preferred  Insted of Paris.

    Wan i wose in the USA, i could not stay in New York, so i want to stay in in New Jersey in a very small city, the only problem that i had is that i could not go for a work around in the small city becose the were not pedestrian paths so i had to go bay taxi to the center, i did find tha very frustrating, because i like to work. I did stay in New York jus for the day i just cant live in big cities i find people stressed out, and don’t even look at your face.

    I do personally prefer a small village in Noth yorkshire, were people are very friendly and very tolk active.

    May Avery one be happy.



  7. tantra mahavita says:
    DEAR SANTO GURU: Thank you very much for sharing stories of your travels. May you continue to have pleasant moments during the rest of your trips. Thank you for guiding us on the path to enlightenment. May the Guru live happy for the benefit of all sentient beings, May all beings find happiness and causes That all beings find the happiness of the Buddha Nature. OM MANI Padme Hum
    • Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Mahavita sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý! 

      Con chân thành cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã chia sẻ những trải nghiệm về chuyến đi của Thầy cho chúng con. Con cầu nguyện cho những chuyến pháp sự của Thầy được hanh thông,  thuận lợi. 

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã chỉ dạy,  hướng dẫn chúng con được bước đi trên hành trình giác ngộ. 

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy thân tâm an tịnh,  trụ thế lâu dài vì sự lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh. 

      Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh. 

      Om Mani Padme Hum. 

  8. Tantra siramitra. says:
    Venerebol Guru.

    My name is tantra siramitra.

    Thank you for your response!


  9. Tantra Amishuta says:
    Dear Holy Guru, Thank you for sharing this article and all other articles. I’ve enjoyed following you in your travels. I hope that you are well. Om Mani Padme Hum
    • Kính bạch Thầy! 

      Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Amishuta sang tiếng Việt như sau:

      Kính bạch Thầy tâm linh tôn quý! 

      Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết này cũng như các bài viết khác trên trang nhà. 

      Con hoan hỷ được dõi bước theo chân Thầy trong các chuyến đi qua các bài viết của Thầy. 

      Con cầu nguyện Thầy luôn khỏe mạnh. 

      Om Mani Padme Hum. 

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