Buddhasahassanamavali (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAW063
Author: Acharya Goenka
Publisher: Vipassana Research Institute
Language: English
Edition: 1998
ISBN: 81744141340
Pages: 54 (Throughout Colored Illustrations)
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 90 gm
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Book Description


It is my great good fortune that I was born and grew up in an extremely devout Indian family settled in Burma. The devotional books of the Gita Press, Gorakhpur, had a great influence on the whole family. My father was a devotee of Shiva while my mother was a devotee of Sri Krishna. In the first decade of my life, I used to daily chant either the Vishnu Sahastranama or the Gopal Sahastranauma or the Shivamahimna Stotra or the Shivatandav Stotra or some chapters of the Gita. I used to enjoy it. Besides strengthening my devotion, another important benefit was that I learned the proper pronunciation of Sanskrit and also gained some knowledge of it.

In the second decade of my life, my good fortune increased when I came in contact with the Arya Samaj. The teachings jolted my mind. I began to understand the difference between truce devotion and blind devotion, true faith and blind faith. Instead of blindly accepting everything that I heard or read, I developed the wisdom of examining it and testing whether it was logical and rational. I was indeed fortunate.

In the third decade of my life, I got sufficient opportunity to study the Dharma literature of Sura, Tulasi, Meera, Kabir, Nanak, Dadu etc. I was greatly influenced by them. During these days, I also studied in detail the Gita and a few important Upanishadas. I was going through the entire spectrum of the spiritual literature of India. I was wonder struck. It was in those days that I made it the ideal of my life to become ‘Sthita Pragya’ — tree from craving, fear, anger, and make my life filled with equanimity and total detachment, although it looked so difficult to achieve.

At the end of the third decade of my life, my good fortune reached its peak. As a result of an unbearably painful incurable disease, I came in contact with the pure teaching of the Buddha. In 1955, at the age of 31 years, sitting at the feet of the Burmese householder saint, Sayagyi U Ba Khin I learnt Vipassana, the ancient technique of India. I was freed from my physical ailment, hut now this seemed very insignificant. The most notable attainment was that I found the medicine that could liberate me from the miseries of existence. I found the straight path that could free me from the endless cycle of birth and death.

Whatever I read and heard in childhood while immersing myself in devotion was "received" knowledge. Whatever I understood through my contact with the Arya Samaj and Gita, Upanishad etc. was intellectual knowledge. But now, whatever I realised through my contact with Vipassana was experiential knowledge. The first and second kinds of knowledge were indirect knowledge but the knowledge that I gained now was direct knowledge, meaning puvfid, experiential wisdom in the real sense. The first and second steps generated the desire for high spirituality, while this third step established me on the royal road for progress towards its perfection.

One one hand, my mind was filled with high spiritual ideals; on the other hand achievement of worldly success beyond all expectations at a very young age filled my mind with tremendous ego. A mental conflict resulted. When the mind was immersed in devotion, it would become calm temporarily but after some time, it would again become agitated. Upon intellectual reflection, the mind would become balanced for some time, but after a short while it would again become disturbed. By the practice of Vipassana, I acquired a beneficial technique that freed the mind from defilements at the depth. I began to thoroughly understand, on the basis of body sensations, the manner of the arising, multiplication, and accumulation of defilements, and at the same time, the means of their suppression and destruction, expulsion and eradication became clear. There was a complete transformation in my life through the application of the practical aspect of this pristine pure Dhamma of ancient India.

Because of some false belief, there are delusions about the Buddha and his teaching in the minds of many Indians. I was also a victim of such deluding misconceptions. Therefore while taking part in the Vipassana course, there was some hesitation in my mind. But in the very first ten-day course I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was not the slightest blemish in whatever I learnt. I could not find any cause for opposition. What objection could anyone possibly have in living a life of morality, in concentrating the mind on the basis of experiential truth, in awakening of wisdom that eradicates defilements from the roots by the experiential analytical study of the truth of the interrelationship of the body and mind, and in filling the purified mind with mettd (loving kindness), compassion and goodwill? What objection could I have? Indeed I felt as if I have understood the true nature of the ancient pure Dhamma (Dharma) of India. I received the essence of Dhamma. After tasting the flavour of this spiritual technique giving results here and now, there was also the sorrowful surprise in my mind about why the spiritual nation of India had lost this beneficial technique.

When the depths of truth were experienced by the study of this remarkable technique, a desire arose in my mind to study the mother-tongue of Lord Buddha which was the ancient language of the people of North India, the language that preserved and protected the teaching of the Buddha and therefore was called Pall. I did not have any knowledge of Pali. But I gradually started to understand it because of my knowledge of Sanskrit and Hindi. I began to savour the nectar of the Buddha’s words in his own language. While reading, my mind was often filled with joy and rapture. The depth of the technique of Vipassana became clearer and clearer. The practical application of Vipassana and the related theoretical knowledge started strengthening each other. My good fortune was boundless.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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