Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part V, by Ven, Mahasi Sayadaw

(78) Buddha could only Teach and point the way


          Tumhehi kiccamatappam,
          akkhataro tatthagata.
          Patipanna pamokkhati,
          jhayino marabanahana.

Tumhehi – You, who are my disciples, atappam sammappadham – relating to the practice of sila, samadhi and panna, which need to be exercised with diligence and right exertion, kiccam – shall and must be carried out by yourselves. Tathagata – We, the Buddhas, akkhataro – can only preach the right method of practice to be exercised Jhayino – By contemplating both Samatha and Vipassana, patipanna – he who practises according to my teachings, marabandhana – from the bonds of kilesa, mokkhati – will be liberated.

This means that those who work out their own salvation with right exertion and diligence as taught by the Buddha, will be free from the fetters of kilesas, cravings, which are but the miseries of Samsara. If no practice is exercised according to His Teachings (desana), there will be no escape. The Right Method can only be known and heard only when Buddhas appear in this Universe. Outside the realm of Buddha’s Sasana, there can be no emancipation from miseries since no right method is known and understood to be practised. In the absence of the right method of exercise, and inasmuch as there is no one on whom reliance can be made, beings are whirling round and round in Samsara, i.e. floating and drifting in the whirlpool of endless existences, and are therefore, suffering in misery. This state of pitiable condition being seen and observed by the Lord Buddha, the flame of compassion for all beings had awakened in him. Just as Buddha had his compassion, we shall dwell our mind on all beings who have no one to rely upon as a protector, and then develop karuna. Please follow the recitation:

          “May all beings who are suffering misery in the Samsaric existences without having anyone to protect
           them from becoming old, sick and meeting death, be liberated from misery.” (Repeat three times)