Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vipassana Meditation in modern times.

The purpose of Vipassana Meditation is never to cure physical diseases but by mental purification many diseases get eradicated automatically.

The first picture is of Pagoda (The main Centre) of Vipassana Meditation at Igatpuri.The second picture is of Sayagyi U Ba Khin (1899-1971)-He was Goenkaji's teacher and also an outstanding civil servants of Burma.He, who, perserved Vipassana meditation .The third picture attached is of S.N.Goenkaji-As the principal teacher,Goenkaji,as he is known,has been instrumental in the spread of Vipassana Meditation in modern times.

About Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana is one of India"s most ancient meditation techniques.Long lost to humanity,it was rediscovered by Gotama the Buddha more than 2500 years ago.Vipassana means to see things as they really are,it is a process of self-observation.One starts by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind.With this sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind and experiences the Universal truths of impermanence,suffering and egolessness.

This truth-realisation by direct experience is the process of Purification.The entire path is a universal problems and nothing to do with any organised religon.For this region,it can be pratised freely by all without any conflict with race,caste or religion,in any place,at any time and will prove equally beneficial to one and all.

Vipassana meditation aims at the highest spiritual goals of total liberation and full enlightenment.Its purpose is never to cure physical diseases,but by mental purification,many diseases get eradicated.Actually,its an art of living which destroys unhappiness,craving,aversion and ignornance.

With continued pratice,the meditation releases the tensions developed in everyday life and opens the Knots tied by the old habits of reaching in an unbalanced way to pleasent and unpleasent situations and develops positive creative energy for the betterment of the individual and society.

The process of self-purification by introspection is certainly never easy,one has to work really hard at it.By his own efforts the student arrives at his own realisations,no one else can work for him.Therefore,the meditation will suit only those willing to work seriously and observe the discipline,which is actually for their own benefit and protection.The rules and regulations are an integral part of the meditation pratice.

A student will have to stay on for the complete 10 days.Besides this,the other rules should also be read carefully and considered.Only those who feel that they can honestly follow the discipline should apply for the admission.Those not prepared to make full-hearted efforts will only waste their time and worse still,cause a disturbance to those others who wish to work seriously.

All students will have to observe abstention from Killing,stealing,sexual activities,telling lies,from all intoxicants etc.For the period of the course the student must surrender himseif completely to the Teacher and the technique of Vipassana which includes all the rules,regulations,code of discipline and the course timetable.The surrender shold be with discrimination and understanding not with any blind faith.Such confidence in the Teacher and techniques is essential for the student"s proper guidence and protection.Any doubts or confusions which may arise can always be clarified by meeting the Teacher.

Lastly,students must observe Noble silence from the start of the course until 10 a.m on day 10 i.e the last day.Noble silence is silence of body,speech and mind.Any form of communication,whether by physical gestures,written notes,sign language etc is prohibited.However the student may speak to the Teacher whenever necessary.

There is absolutely no charge for the Dhamma Teaching.The cost of all boarding and lodging is met by donations of past students and these donations also covered all other expenses of the Dhamma.The Academy has no other source of income.

Finally,students should note that their progress in Vapassana depends solely on their own accumulated merits and five factors:full-hearted efforts,faith,sincerity,health and wisdom.

By Rajendra Ganotra

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