Vipassana means to see thing as they really are, not only as they seem to be. The technique of Vipassana is based on the Satipatthana Sutta. Satipatthana means the establishing of mindfulness. This is one of the most original teachings of the Buddha and through it one can cultivate mindfulness and develop awareness. Vipassana meditation aims at the total purification of human beings and at the overcoming of sorrow, lamentation, the destruction of grief and suffering and the reaching of the right path and the attainment of the Nibbanic state. One who practices Vipassana meditation with this aim in mind, even before he attains the final goal, can achieve peace of mind, happiness, calmness, relaxation, and tranquility and the ability to face life's daily problems and enjoy a corresponding greater degree of happiness in this very life here and now.
Ever since I turned to Buddhism I had been interested in Meditation. Therefore, the very first article I contributed to the Maha Bodhi journal of the Maha Bodhi Society of India, Calcutta, in February 1960, was on "Meditation In Buddhism". But that understanding of Buddhist Meditation was at theoretical level. How to meditate in a systematic manner and how to attain self-mastery over mind I learnt many years later when I joined a Vipassana Course at Jaipur in November 1986. It so happened that after my retirement from Government service in February 1986, my wife and I visited England to meet our elder son, Nirmal Kumar, living there. It was at Luton in England on 24 August 1986 that, through the courtesy of my friend Gurmukh Sidhu, I first of all heard a Talk on Vipassana by Acharya S.N. Goenka, who also happened to be on a visit to U'K. at that time. Inspired by this talk, the first thing I did on return to India was to join the first available ten-day course (No. 278) at Jaipur in November 1986. During the course, I per chance came to know about the forthcoming Seminar On Vipassana Meditation to be held at Dhammagiri, Igatpuri (Maharashtra) from 20 December 1986 to 1st January 1987. I immediately applied for permission to participate in this Seminar. On being permitted, I not only participated in this 15-day Seminar- cum-Course (No. 280) but also presented a scholarly paper on "Vipassana and Asoka's Dhamma". Thus from November 1986 onward, I am closely associated with the Vipassana movement in India.
The primary object of this book is to highlight the universal character of Vipassana, a Buddhist Meditation Technique, a meditation which can be practised by anyone in the world without any distinction of colour, creed, race or religion. The study begins with a brief historical background of the advent of Vipassana in modern India, and its growing popularity in all parts of the world. It is followed by eight essays by the modern teachers of Vipassana on the theory and practice of this unique meditation. Then there is a scholarly analysis of 'Silence: Its Reach and Spiritual Significance' followed by a study of 'Vipassana and Asoka's Dhamma', and 'Place of Jhana And Samadhi in Theravada Buddhism'. The next six essays bring out in bold relief the benefits of Vipassana Meditation to individuals and society. And to make this study complete in all respects, the Code of Discipline to be followed during a Vipassana Course, and the Satipatthana Sutta, the Discourse on the Foundations of this Unique Meditation Technique, have also been added.
I am greatly in debited to the authors and publishers of the material included in this volume on Vipassana Meditation.
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