Sep 22, 2020

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 23 Comments

Letter to Disciples No. 117: DON’T BE A BUDDHIST WHO IS ABOUT TO BE REBORN AS A SERVANT OF INDRA (THE MIGHTY LORD OF DEVAS) (Thư gửi các trò số 117: ĐỪNG TU PHẬT TRỞ ĐỂ TRỞ THÀNH NGƯỜI HẦU ĐẾ THÍCH)

Dear disciples,

One day, while I was totally focused on driving, I heard the melody of an English song from the back seat. As an unwilling listener, I felt a bit uncomfortable. The same melody sounded again when we were in Osland apartment, Vung Tau city; which made me feel annoying. I happened to recall one incident in which I made a call to one disciple who stayed in Nhat Nguyet Lau. She did not hear the ringing tone and accordingly did not pick up the phone because she was listening to music with headphones. The disciples who have travelled with me might notice that I often asked the restaurant, or coffee shop’s owner to turn down the music volume. I would never visit places where they played loud music, no matter how beautiful and unique they could be. This afternoon, Mat Tu also complained that she was like “out of the frying pan, into the fire” because of the unimaginable singing voice of the neighbor’s karaoke performance. Mat Nga had the same trouble while working, because her boss always played music so loud. All these incidents that I have mentioned were just a fact to disciples in Song Nguyen Tantra House when they listened to music.

Dear disciples,

Music is the most popular form of art in the world. Nowadays, it is an indispensable part of mankind, it plays a critical role in people’s mental lives. That’s why there is one saying that said:

Life without any melody

Like a dry stream, like a fading blossom

There are also countless of famous sayings to glamorize the importance of music in human beings’ lives, several of them can be found as belows:

  1. James Armstrong: “Music enhances joy, alleviates all the sorrow, dispels all the illnesses, heal the pains and ease all the resentment
  2. Richard Strauss: “The human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play

    Richard Strauss

  3. Robert Schumann: “The painter turns a poem into a painting; the musician sets a picture to music” and “It is music’s lofty mission to shed light on the depths of the human heart
  4. Beethoven:

Music is the mediator between spiritual and sensual life.

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.

Dear disciples,

If music brings that much positive effects to our lives like the most famous artists confirmed above, why did I feel uncomfortable when you listened to music? Please take a moment to ask yourself, are you a normal person or a Buddhist practitioner? If you keep listening to those songs which deliver a variety of complicated emotions, whether they are about different feelings of a couple being in love, or the sound of sobs made by emotional scars, or even the screams of sufferings, etc., how do they benefit your mind? Still, many people are attracted to music, including some of you. It is not by accident that the music concert named “Dau an” of singer Ngoc Son on 6 September 2014 at Nguyen Du stage, Ho Chi Minh city attracted 2000 people, even though they had to stand in the heavy rain throughout the performance.

As Buddhist practitioners, though you are not about to isolate yourself from all social relations and phenomena, including music and different types of cultural art; music should not be misused. Specifically, you should not listen to music all the time, or become attached to music throughout your daily activities, or even try to lull yourself to sleep by music and singing voices, etc. At that point, you are bound yourself in a worldly pleasure. By sowing the seed of misusing worldly voices/music, you will accordingly pave the route to be reborn in the heaven of desire where you will always produce music to serve Devas beings. Therefore, among the Eight Prohibitory Commandments, there is one commandment that prohibits Buddhist practitioners from listening to worldly music. Bhikkhu’s commandments also specified the same.  The 30th verse of “50 verses of Guru Devotion” also affirmed that: “Never massage or rub your limbs. Do not sing, dance or lay musical instruments. And never chatter idly or speak in excess within the range of your Guru’s hearing”.

“Never massage or rub your limbs. Do not sing, dance or lay musical instruments. And never chatter idly or speak in excess within the range of your Guru’s hearing”.

We should gather our spiritual energy at one point. Do not diffuse your energy and tie yourself to mediocre pleasures, which will bring you back to the circle of birth and death in samsara. Meanwhile, you should not go to extremes and interpret my teachings as you must absolutely stay away from all kinds of music! No. Music is one of the means among the five sciences which help human beings improve their wisdom (Pañcavidyā); however, it needs to be converted to the right track of Dharma to properly support Buddhist practitioners. The music with meaningful lyrics that delivers the sublime and immeasurable value of Dharma, praises the Buddha’s teachings, especially mantra music are definitely good for the listeners, specifically for Buddhist practitioners. At that time, it seems to be easier for the quintessence of Buddhist teachings to be absorbed into our subconscious by the help of music. That is a right and effective way of using music!

In the realm of heavenly, there is one kind of being named Gandharvas who is known for their skill as musicians, ranking among the lowest variation of devas. Their music specialty is only used to serve Indra, the mighty lord of devas, and other devas beings. It is similar to the singers in our world who are working diligently to serve constantly changing trends and tastes of the audience. As Buddhist practitioners, we are at a high and noble position who will sit on the throne of the King of the universe in the future; why should we sow the seed of becoming a relative of Gandharvas and a servant of devas beings?

For that reason, I am writing this letter to recommend that you should restrict the frequency of listening to worldly singing voice/music. If it is possible, it is better for you to listen to Dharma music. By doing so, you are able to satisfy your passion towards this form of art, simultaneously accumulate more Buddhist seeds. If any Buddhist practitioners keep listening to worldly music, it is very hard for them to make any progress in spiritual practices, which will result in prolonging their karma purification process. Finally, it will be hard for them to be reborn into the Pure Land after death. By this letter, I would like to warn beforehand for you to follow the right track of Dharma; on the other hand, you also won’t be surprised when you do not see the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas coming to escort to the Pure Land in the Intermediate existence body!

Phuoc Thanh Village, 7 September 2014.

Thinley – Nguyen Thanh.

Translated by Mat Tu.


Vietnamese version: Thư gửi các trò 117: ĐỪNG TU PHẬT ĐỂ TRỞ THÀNH NGƯỜI HẦU ĐẾ THÍCH

  1. Cao Diệu Chánh Tấn says:

    Dear holy Guru!
    I have read this article. I would like to express my gratitude to the holy Guru for giving a “Dharma is life” lesson, which is related to a daily activity: listening to music.
    Through the holy Guru’s explanation, I understand that I should not get attached to the music, which delivers a variety of complicated emotions. Because getting attached to this kind of music could tie myself to the mediocre pleasure and bring me back to the circle of birth and death in samsara. However, I should not go to extremes to stay away from all kinds of music. Instead of that, I should find a balanced way. And one of the right and effective ways of using music, which still helps me to go to the right track of Dharma, is to listen to the music with meaningful lyrics delivering sublime and immeasurable value of Dharma, such as mantra music.
    Thank you holy Guru for giving such an important lesson, which helps me to reflect my own daily action of body, speech and mind. That helps to remind and guide me to the main goal as a Buddhist practitioner: going on the liberation path.
    May holy Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the epidemic of Covid-19 come to end soon.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  2. Mật Khánh Thảo says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!
    Con đã đọc xong bài rồi ạ. Con cảm tạ ơn vị Thầy đã từ bi luận giải cho chúng con hiểu được không nên gieo mầm hạt giống để trờ thành họ hàng của Gand Harvads và là người hầu cùa chư thiên.
    Con thành tâm cầu nguyện cho sức khoẻ và sự trường thọ của vị Thầy vì sự nghiệp hoằng dương Chánh pháp.
    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc Phật tánh.
    Cầu nguyện dịch bệnh Covid 19 sớm được tiêu trừ.
    Om Mani Padme Hum

  3. Mật Tấn Sơn (Đỗ Trường Giang) says:

    Dear Guru,
    I read this article.
    Thank you so much.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    May Covid-19 pandemic soon be over.
    Om mani padme hum.

  4. Mật Định Châu says:

    Dear Guru!
    I read this article.
    Thank you Guru.
    Om Mani Padme Hum

  5. Mật Diễm says:

    Dear Guru,
    I am delighted to read this article.
    I pray for the health and longevity of Guru  for the sake of all sentient beings,
    I pray for all sentient beings to awakento the enlightened state.
    I Pray for the coronavirus disease soon to be eradicated,
    OM AH HUM.

  6. Mật Đức says:

    Dear holy Guru
    I have read the article
    Thanks to the teachings of the Guru.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the epidemic of Covid-19 come to end soon.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    OM MANI PADME HUM

  7. Mật Hồng Liên says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy
    Bài này con đã đọc rồi ạ
    Con xin hoan hỷ và cảm tạ ơn của vị Thầy đã từ bi luận giải cho chúng con hiểu .Qua bài này cho con biết được là người tu theo đạo Phật thì không nên nghe nhạc thế gian nhiều bởi vì nó sẽ gây cản trở , khó tiến bộ trong việc tu hành. Bên cạnh đó thì nhạc thần chú sẽ giúp ta tiếp thu, hấp thụ những tinh hoa của giáo lý Phật giáo một cách dễ dàng hơn
    Con xin cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì lợi lạc của chúng sanh
    Cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh
    Cầu nguyện cho dịch bệnh covid 19 sớm được tiêu trừ
    Om mani padme hum

  8. Phan thị Bạch Tuyết says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!
    Con Mật Phong Tuyết xin cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho chúng con một bài pháp liên quan đến sinh hoạt hằng ngày là “nghe nhạc”.Con hiểu rằng, chúng con không nên đắm mình vào âm nhạc thế gian, để rồi trở thành người hầu hạ của chư thiên.
    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy.
    Cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sinh thành tựu hạnh phúc của phật tánh.
    Cầu nguyện cho đại dịch covid 19 được tiêu trừ.
    Om mani padme hum.

    • Mật Chi says:

      Dear Guru
      I am delighted when l read letter 117 ,through Guru article, you understand that music brings people many levels of complex emotions, immerses your mind in the pleasures of samsara,as a practitioner of the Dharma should not listen to music, for it will be a barrier to our attachments of liberation.
      I pray of the health and longevity for the Guru.
      Pray for the corona epidemic soon to be spent.
      Om mani pedme hum

  9. Mật Chánh Hưng says:

    Dear Guru!
    I joyful when I read this article. I am very happy to thank Guru for teaching me about “Done be a buddhist who is about to be reborn as a servant of Indra”.
    May Guru has a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  10. Mật Thiền Đức (Nguyễn Vân Linh) says:

    Dear Guru!
    I have finished reading this article.
    I learned that I should not listen to wordly music often, and enjoy Dharma music instead.
    Thank you for your teachings.
    May Guru live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the Covid-19 pandemic soon ends.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  11. Mật Phước says:

    Dear Guru,
    I am delighted to read your article. The music, it’s bind the human mind in worldly pleasure and delivers a variety complicated emotions, which will bring the soul human back to the circle of birth and death in samsara. From here, I have been learning lesson that, as Buddhist practitioners toward the enlightenment, we shouldn’t sow the seed of becoming a relative of Gandharvas and a servant of devas beings.
    May Guru have good health and longevity for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the covid 19 pandemic be soon over.
    May all sentient benigs achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  12. Mật Bích Thủy. says:

    Dear Master!
    I am very happy to read this article.
    Thank you to compassionate Master for teaching us that Buddhists should not abuse music because we then tied ourselves to mundane pleasures, by sowing the seeds of abuse. This worldly voice / music will pave the way for rebirth in the realm of desire and return to the cycle of samsara. However, we should also not stay away from songs with sublime lyrics, immeasurable meanings about the Dharma, praising the teachings of the sages, especially mantra songs that will help peace of mind. enjoy the pleasure.
    I sincerely pray for Master’s health and longevity for the benefit of all sentient beings.
    Pray for all sentient beings to attain the happiness of Buddha Nature.
    Pray for the 19 covit plague soon to be eliminated.
    Om Mani padme hum!

  13. Mật Ngữ says:

    Dear Guru.
    Thank you Guru for writing this letter to recommended that you should restrict the frequency of listening to worldly singing voice / music. If it is possible, it is better for you to listen to Dharma music.
    I pray for the health and longevity of Guru for the sake of all sentient beings.
    I pray for the Coronavirus disease soon to be eradicated.
    I pray that all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  14. Mật Hoàng Trúc says:

    Dear Guru
    I am delighted to read the article.
    Thank you Guru.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    May the covid 19 pandemic end soon.
    Om mani padme hum.

  15. Mật Hồng Thức says:

    Dear Guru,
    I have read your letter number 117.
    Through the writing, I understand the necessarity of music and it makes a positive contribution in life. But for Buddhis cultivators, it is necessary to choose songs with words that have profound meaning in accordance with the Dharma. The worldly songs are the cause of samsara, hindering the cultivators in the process of reaching the liberation.
    I pray for the health and longevity of the Guru for the benefits of all beings.
    Pray for the Coronavirus pandemic to be eliminated soon.
    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  16. Mật Chánh Hưng says:

    Dear Guru!
    I joyful when I read this article. I very happy to thank Guru for teaching me about “DON’T BE A BUDDHIST WHO IS ABOUT TO BE REBORN AS A SERVANT OF INDRA”.
    May Guru has a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the covid 19 will be soon over.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  17. Mật Phê Rô says:

    Dear Guru!
    I have read article.
    Thank you so much!
    Pray Guru good health, live long because benefit of all beings.
    Pray covid 19 end.
    Om Mani Padme Hum!

  18. HÀ Thị Nguyệt says:

    Dear Guru
    I read this article already
    Thanks you for your article
    I pray that the healthy Guru will live long for the benifit of all beings
    May all sentient beings achieve happiness of Buddha’nature
    May the corona pandemic will end soon
    Om mani padme hum

  19. Mật Thuận Nguyên says:

    Dear Guru
    I read this article
    I thank the Guru for giving us the beneficial dharma so that we startled our dreams to realize seemingly harmless habits and hobbies that can create many emotions in life through such music but it is an obstacle to our way to liberation because the pleasures of the world are satisfying our desires to keep them in samsara. Changing from worldly music to Dharma music will bring an incredible benefit when quintessential music will help us to quickly open up our mind.
    May the Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings. May sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s narure.
    May theo Corona will end soon.
    Om mani padme hum

  20. Mật Như Pháp says:

    Kính bạch Thầy
    Con đã đọc bài viết này rồi ạ.
    Con cầu nguyện cho vị Thầy sức khoẻ trụ thế lâu dài vì lợi lạc chúng sanh.
    Cầu nguyện chúng sanh luôn thành tựu hạnh phúc Phật tánh.
    Cầu nguyện đại dịch Covid 19 sớm được tiêu trừ.
    Om mani padme hum

  21. Mật Thái Hòa says:

    Kính bạch Thầy.
    Con đọc bài này rồi ạ.
    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã từ bi luận giải, dạy cho chúng con bài pháp lợi lạc.
    Qua đó con hiểu được, là người học Phật, tu Phật chúng con nên nghe nhạc của Phật pháp, vì nghe nhạc Phật pháp sẽ giúp chúng con tích lũy nhiều hạt giống Phật pháp, giúp chúng con luôn tỉnh thức, chánh niệm, chú tâm vào Thầy, Phật, Pháp, Tăng và nằm trong quỹ đạo chánh Pháp.
    Theo đó nhạc của thế gian luôn mang cảm xúc và màu sắc của luân hồi, làm cho tâm trí của chúng con bị xao động, trói buộc vào tám ngọn gió của thế gian. Vì vậy chúng con nên hạn chế hoặc không nên nghe nhạc của thế gian, nhằm giúp cho chúng con không bị phân tán đạo lực, xa rời quỹ đạo chánh pháp quay về đau khổ của luân hồi sanh tử.
    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì lợi lạc của chúng sanh.
    Cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.
    Cầu nguyện cho đại dịch Covid19 sớm được tiêu trừ.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  22. Mật Hoa Pháp ( 9 tuổi ) says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy.
    Con Mật Hoa Pháp đã đọc xong bài này rồi ạ!
    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy.
    Con cầu nguyện cho đại dịch Crona sớm được tiêu trừ.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

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