Tuesday, 25 March, 2008

Take Refuge Within

When The Buddha was about to die-as a physical body- he worried that a number of his disciples would cry, and that they would suffer, because they had not seen his dharma body. They had only seen his physical body.
So he gave this teaching to all his disciples in the hope that they would somehow come to realise that what is physical is transient, so there was no need to feel sad over physical losses
: “ My dear friends, there is a beautiful island within, that you may take refuge in every time you suffer. Don’t take refuge in anything, in anyone, except in the island Inside.”

At that time The Buddha was in the city of Vaishali. And there he met with the groups of students, and he visited sanghas, and met with the monks and nuns ; he met with dozens of groups of friends and disciples and he spoke about taking refuge in the Island Within.

He said to them, “The Island within is for you to discover. It’s a safe place where you feel calm, you are not disturbed and you feel happy and protected. Every time we feel we suffer, we feel we are attacked on every side, we feel that no one loves us, that everyone wants us to suffer, everytime we fail in everything we do, then we have to remember there is a very fine, beautiful place that we can go home to, and that place, you have to discover…it is not located in space.”

Why is it so easy to go to Paris or any other city or town whereas it is so difficult to go to a place within oneself? You look at the map, you follow directions and you find Paris, but this island of Self, this refuge where you can feel safe, happy, connected, calm, that island of Self you have to discover by your practise.
There are days when you feel that its not your day, everything goes wrong. In fact, there are days when you feel that whatever you do, it was sure to go wrong. And the more effort you make, the situation only becomes worse.
Of course, you have gone through days like that in your life.You fail, you suffer, you get angry, people blame you, you are not happy, you are frustrated. And you tell yourself that you have to make more effort, but the more effort you make, the worse the situation becomes and then you know that its time to stop everything ; its time to go home to yourself and take refuge. To go home and take refuge in The Island Within.
You have to close your windows, the eyes, the ears, you have to close the five windows. You should not be in touch with the outside any more: you have to close the windows of your hermitage. Because there is a Hermitage within- that is the Island of Self you must discover.

If you continue to be on the outside, then you continue to suffer. That is why in moments like that, you have to go home within.
Everyone has a hermitage within, very safe, cozy, comfortable, calm. The espression that The Buddha used is , “dmpa atta dmpa sarana.” “Atta” means Self, “dmpa” means island, and “sarana” means refuge……Taking Refuge in The Island of Self …if you rely on the outside you get lost.
The Buddha gave this Dharma talk when he was 80 to many disciples.

- An Interesting Article published in The Times Of India

8 comments:

darvish said...

Alhamdulillah! A really beautiful lesson from the beloved Buddha :) My dearest sister Krishna, when one has a day when everything seems to go wrong, bless that day. Truly, bless the day when everything goes wrong, for it is a day when you are taught what will not work, what is not good for you, and how to do things better. A bad day is a gift from God that makes you smarter and better the next day :)

My love and blessings to you and your family :)

Ya Haqq!

solitaire said...

Thank you for this posting!

Buddha also taught the 3 marks of existence/phenomena: that they are impermanent (anicca), unsatisfactory (dukkha) and non-self (anatta). As is taught in other religious traditions, seek not what is without but what is within. If we remain firmly anchored within, then we will be able to look at the world and relate to the world with clarity and equanimity, which is also the beginning of wisdom..

Blessings to you and your family!

Sadiq Alam said...

great article, and loved the sharing of darvish bhai!

indeed, blessed are that day and blessed are all days. this simple understanding can change the darkness to light for every single day.

ned said...

Why is it so difficult to go within and seek refuge in the Self? Well, mostly it's because the ego convinces us that we need it and its neurotic anxieties to survive ... because it is afraid of dying. Going within scares the ego ... it is afraid that it will be destroyed, which it undoubtedly will be. So the truth is that our socially-constructed ego drives us to keep participating in the farces and hypocrisies of daily life ... and only the lion-hearted are willing to make the sacrifices needed to seek their authentic Self.

Thanks for your post! And Brother Irving as usual has some great insights to offer. Indeed, the Mother often insists that it's our failures and our mistakes that usually take us much further than our limited displays of virtue. So bless the day when we hit our limitations -- it is precisely those moments that open us to wider possibilities. There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail!

Frieda said...

I sometimes go too much within that I feel I loose my connection with outside. Sometimes that scares me that i do feel any need for outside....

surjit said...

Hello Krishna,
A wonderful reminder to all of us:
...'You look at the map, you follow directions and you find Paris, but this island of Self, this refuge where you can feel safe, happy, connected, calm, that island of Self you have to discover by your practise...'
I don't think I can add anything more to your post because it is self explanatory.
Thanks for sharing.
God bless.

Krishna. N. C. said...

Beloved Brother Irving,
Thank you so much for these precious words :) You are truly an ocean of Infinite Wisdom!
These words are Life's important lesson and i have etched them on my heart and soul :)A very timely reminder brother, my heartfelt love and gratitude on behalf of us all.
My humble salaam and prayers for you and your beloved family.



My Dear Solitaire,
I am so delighted to read The Buddha"s 3 marks of existence. The Beginning of wisdom actually lies in our relationship Within and that really defines our world outside.
Thank you so much for this beautiful insight.
God bless you and your loved ones ,keep shining!


My Dear Sadiq,
Thank you so much for your kind comment :) i am so glad by your visit!
Its always a pleasure to hear your inputs.
God bless your beautiful soul :)



My dear Ned,
Thank you so much for your thoughts.I always look forward to hear your version of Spiritual seeking :)
I loved your reasoning about how our Ego is in a fix when we try and look within..also the truly bravehearted and determined make it
to explore the so very dreaded-Inner world.
I also loved reading The Mother. Thank you so much for your sharing ned, you boost up my seeking even furthur.
God bless you :))


My dear Frieda,
Hey, i am so happy by your visit :)
Thanks for sharing your thought ..i feel that its your psyche which responds in a negative manner telling you to refrain from too much of seeking within , maybe because it fears that you wont be a part of that daily chaotic life and this would harm our so called condiioned Ego which demands us to act only to its command.
Looking forward to hearing more from you frieda.Take care.
God Bless you :))


Respected Surjit ji,
Thank you so much for your kind comment. I too felt this post is an excellent reminder for all seekers like us.
I so dearly thank you for your blessings and goodwishes.
My love and prayers for such wonderful soul :))

Dipti said...

dear sister krishna .. a vey beautiful, inspiring and informative post...loved it...