Sep 28, 2020

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 20 Comments

Letter to Disciples No.291: LECTURING BUDDHIST TEACHINGS IS DIFFERENT FROM “GOSSIPING” (LESSON 2) ( Thư gửi các trò 291: GIẢNG BÀI KHÁC VỚI “TÁM CHUYỆN (Kỳ 2))

Dear disciples,
The instruction in lecturing Buddhist teachings (both written and oral forms) was guided in detail by the Buddha in order for his disciples to make progress while propagating right Dharma. The Buddha and many Buddhist successors summed up a variety of methods and experiences into “the five sciences” (Pancavidya) which help Buddhist practitioners improve proficiency in all kinds of worldly knowledge and skills.
The five sciences are five skillful means including (1) Logic (2) Medicine (3) Language (4) Craftsman (5) Philosophy. According to the explanation of Wanko Yeshe Norbu, the five sciences can be interpreted as following:

The five sciences are five skillful means including (1) Logic (2) Medicine (3) Language (4) Craftsman (5) Philosophy

The first science is “Logic”. According to Wanko Yeshe Norbu, this term refers to the logic of the law of cause and effect. Being equipped by this science, we are able to analyze thoroughly the past (cause) and the future (effect). For example, the light from an oil lamp can strike an object from many different directions, whether on the bright side or on the shadowed side. It depends on the direction and position of an object that decides different karma light. It describes exactly how karma works according to “logic” science! Holding a cup of tea, the cause is taking a sip, the effect is experiencing the taste of tea. It is similar to other phenomena. For instance, if one used to read and do research on Vajrayana Buddhism, as a matter of cause and effect, he would be destined to approach lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism easier than others. It does not require a lot of investment for him to make spiritual achievements. On the contrary, for people who pay most attention to learn and practice other Buddhist traditions/schools, such as Pure Land Buddhism, T’ien T’ai Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, etc.; as they sow most of their seeds on those lands, it is more difficult for them to follow Vajrayana Buddhism.
In my viewpoint, the fact that many monks such as Thich N.H., Thich N.T., Thich C.Q., Thich Th.L., Thich P.T disparaged and attacked other Buddhist traditions in their current lives is an effect made by the causes that they have been cultivating from previous lives until now. It can be seen easily by their specific characteristic which shows “The three egos” (me, mine, myself). If one “owns” this kind of characteristic, he reveals his earlier version in the previous life, everyone can easily understand without saying. For example, there was a monk disparaging the benefit of following Vajrayana Buddhism, his lectures aimed at denying the effect of reciting mantras; he even affirmed widely on social medias that he had never practiced, as well as taught his disciples to practice the Great Compassion mantra; while it was him who wrote and published a pamphlet to give instruction on reciting the Great Compassion mantra?! Taking advantage of his outward appearance as a monk with skinhead and kasaya, Thich Nhat Tu, blamed that Tantric Buddhism was a product of China without making any research or any actual experience in practicing Vajrayana Buddhism. According to Buddhist scriptures, Tantric Buddhism had been practiced by many successors such as Bodhisattva Nāgārjuna, Saraha (around the mid-first or early second century C.E.) in South India. I would like to extract one sparkling detail of his biography: “At Nalanda, Nāgārjuna studied sutra and tantra with Ratnamati, an emanation of Manjushri, and Saraha, especially The Guhyasamaja Tantra (dPal gsang-ba ‘dus-pa’i rgyud). In addition, he learned alchemy from a brahmin, and gained the ability to transmute iron into gold. Using this ability, he was able to feed the Nalanda monks during famine. Eventually, Nāgārjuna became the abbot of Nalanda. There, he expelled eight thousand monks who were not keeping the vinaya monastic rules of discipline properly. He also defeated five hundred non-Buddhists in debate..”. Meanwhile, Vajrayana Buddhism in China was led by two successors which are Śubhakarasiṃha (637-735 C.E.) and Dharma Master Vajrabodhi (671-741 C.E.). It can be seen that they came later, even more later than the milestone when Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava came to Tibet to propagate Vajrayana Buddhism.

Nāgārjuna studied sutra and tantra with Ratnamati, an emanation of Manjushri, and Saraha, especially The Guhysamaja Tantra (dPal gsang-ba ‘dus-pa’i rgyud)

In an academic manner, monk Thich Nhat Tu has mistaken between Mantrayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. The lack of basis exposes his ignorance that was described in Hou Hanshu through three signals of an ignorant scholar: (1) To know what one does not need to know (2) To know not very well what one has known (but they go around spouting and boasting) (3) Don’t know what need to know (in order to support one’s subject of discussion).
If it is not the case that one does not lack of Buddhist scripture’s basis as mentioned above but still keeps disparaging and attacking other Buddhist schools, then he meant to play “dirty trick” purposely. The Buddha affirmed strongly that all Dharma methods can open doors to enlightenment and free sentient beings from samsara, why didn’t monk Thich Nhat Tu pay any respect to the Buddha’s teaching, and gladly followed instead of doing the opposite? Did he mean to drop a hint that his competence is even higher than the Buddha and the Buddhist sages such as Great Master Huiyuan (the originator of Pure Land school), Vajrasattva-Mahasattva (the originator of Vajrayana Buddhism), Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava (the founder of Tibetan Buddhism)?

On the other hand, it was also this monk who said that reciting mantra in Vajrayana Buddhism is just a means to maintain right mindfulness. This is a superficial and wrong comment! Right mindfulness is to keep one’s mind contemplate on the four main topics including Guru, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha; while mantra presents itself as a typical characteristic of Vajrayana Buddhism, which is an sublime means to accumulate both merits and wisdom that other Buddhist traditions are not able to “own the original edition”! In regard to Bodhicitta practice, mantra is one of the most flexible means to help sentient beings liberate. The benefit of reciting mantras is not that simple as T.N.T said by his subjective thought. If mantras are only meant for maintaining right mindfulness, why did many Buddhist sages, successors pay too much attention to teaching about mantras? Furthermore, in Vajrayana scripture named “One-word Dharani” or “Gyuzasamya” asserted five beneficial functions of mantra including (1) getting respect from others (including human beings, god, Asura), (2) increasing life longevity, health and societal achievement, (3) reducing afflictions, (4) conquering (exercising and overcoming the forces of evil spirits), (5) convening the pure power. There is no word that mentioned about the function of maintaining “right mindfulness”. Then did monk Thich Nhat Tu abide by the principle of using “the argument or evidence of authority in logic”? Or has he already achieved “full enlightenment” so that he can arbitrarily declare his own thought as ultimate truth?

In regard to Bodhicitta practice, mantra is one of the most flexible means to help sentient beings liberate. The benefit of reciting mantra is not that simple as T.N.T said by his subjective thought.

The second science is “Medicine”: this term can be interpreted as medicine or medical knowledge to relieve the sentient beings from illness. Apart from the medical healing, it should be understood as using flexible means to cure/improve one’s condition from bad to good. For instance, if someone shows misperceptions about different phenomena in life and about the universe, we should take it as a chance to give them proper explanation that will further instruct them to the right view. Or someone may be confused and pessimistic by their own problems, we should use Buddhist teachings to calm them down. That is an illustration of Medicine.


The third science is Language. This science is not limited to only arts and music, or form of “language” for communication. Wanko Yesha Norbu asserted that Language include all kinds of sounds, such as the human’s scream, the animal’s breathing sound, sound of earthquakes, the wind’s sound, the rage of ocean waves, etc., and the higher level of sounds such as human’s conversation, chanting sound, reading books out loud, etc. Those are all forms of Language science. By extension, all aspects of sound that are used effectively and efficiently to make benefits to all sentient beings are considered as the science of Language. For example, all the Dharma songs that were written to praise the Buddha and Buddhist teachings at Song Nguyen Tantra House are considered using Language science.
The fourth science is Craftsman. This term is defined as “craftsmanship”, or “skilfulness”. However, it is not just about the ability to create various kind of crafts in the arts such as sculptures or paintings. In the discipline of the Bodhisattva, this science is understood as the proper appearance of a Vajrayana Buddhist practitioner, such as proper walking and standing posture, courteous clothes in both daily and ceremonial usage, especially the gestures while communicating with others, as well as while giving a lecture, or proper manners while exchanging eye contact in different situations (depends on the position of the partner whether he is standing in front, behind, to the left or to the right), etc. All these skilful means influence positively or negatively to the practitioners.
The fifth science is Philosophy. This science reflects the practitioners’ ability to cultivate the Buddha’ wisdom by constantly learning, experiencing, meditating and contemplating. It is the most essential power to Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners. It covers both the knowledge of Buddhist teachings, the experiences in practicing Dharma, and the skilful means that are used to enhance the effectiveness in reality.
Dear disciples,


From the above analysis, it is obvious that noble teachings were turned into gossips as mentioned in lesson No.1 because the lecturers/teachers lack of basis on “Medicine” science. They failed to recognize the sentient beings’ illness which are rooted in “attachment to self”, “attachment to Dharma” (me, mine, myself); they failed to identify “the truth of suffering” and “the truth of the cause of suffering”. For that reason, their discussions only focus on those topics that are out of the right track, which are no more or less than a “gossip”. Even if the teachers are able to identify the two mentioned principles, but if they fail to deliver the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering, “samsara mental illness” will stay permanently until the very last moment when they suffer illusions from near-death karma. That is to see that those teachers only provide basic and outward treatment, so that the patients will suffer a lot more when they are about to die. The patients will eventually understand they have been practicing “evil Dharma (or fake Dharma)” at their last minute, all intention of regret is too late at that time.

“Samsara mental illness” will stay permanently until the very last moment when they suffer illusions from near-death karma. Afterwards, they will understand they have been practicing “evil Dharma (or fake Dharma)”, all intention of regret is too late at that time.

From the beginning, they (monks or those who are considered as “Buddhist teachers”) have no idea about the science of Medicine. Therefore, even their hearts are filled with passion to sentient beings, they can do nothing. The best thing they can do is to sow the seeds to be reborn in the realm of God, which is such a waste of a human being’s life, as the Buddha asserted the precious chance of being born as human being to practice Dharma. Those Buddhist teachers have sold themselves short as mediocre doctors. They diagnosed one’s illness as internal disease, however, they skipped to give further instruction on taking medical test. Instead, they wrote a temporary prescription. How could they treat internal diseases that simple while there are hidden deadly viruses in every bit of the patient’s vein? Similarly, how could they detect every aspect of egoism (me, mine, myself) which are extremely subtle without using the “Bodhyanga of discrimination”? It is such a pity for the patients who insisted on searching for the doctors and expecting to have a proper treatment, however, their illnesses are not only not treated but also at risk of drug reaction. It is similar to the case in which many Buddhist practitioners kept considering vegetarianism as a Dharma method and blindly followed, thereafter they involved in all kinds of afflictions among family members, colleagues, friends. Eventually, all they received are bad consequences.

he was the one who was fined 50 million dong for violating business law

Once many bad consequences came, instead of making positive changes, they chose to protect their ego by insisting that “eating vegetarian food is an illustration of developing the compassion”. That is a familiar affirmation that was made by many monks. On the other hand, they blamed that those who eat meat are “ignorant”. This is the case of a medicaster named Ngo Duc Vuong (he was the one who was fined 50 million dong for violating business law) who kept speaking ill of different religions. He violated the human rights, most seriously, he defamed the ancestors (Lac Long Quan, Au Co) who had never managed to be vegetarian? Facing catastrophic consequences, they shifted the blame on “karma”! It must take forever to list out all disguised Buddhist teachings. I will explain the other four sciences in the next article. May all the sentient beings’ suffering be decreased. Om Mani Padme Hum!
A rainy day on the top of Phu Van Mountain, 28 June 2019
Thinley – Nguyen Thanh
Translated by Cao Dieu Mat Tu.


Vietnamese version: Thư gửi các trò 291: GIẢNG BÀI KHÁC VỚI “TÁM CHUYỆN” (Kỳ 2)

  1. Cao Diệu Nhất Nguyên says:

    Dear Holy Guru,

    In this lesson, I have learnt the reason why some “teachings” (by incompetent preachers) become gossips.

    One reason is because of the Buddhist teacher’s false knowledge, risen either from their lack of understanding or selfish motives. One example is radical vegetarianism, which is against the science of logic, cause consequences rather than good, and drives many people away from Buddhism.

    Another reason is the lack of “science of medicine.” That is when the Buddhist teachers fail to recognize and cure the mental/spiritual health problems of their disciple. The disciple might enjoy the lecture but gains no benefit from it, just like a sweet, fragrant medicine that cures nothing. They should take the bitter pill that works instead.

    In this lesson, I also learnt about the five sciences (Pancavidya) including (1) Logic (2) Medicine (3) Language (4) Craftsman (5) Philosophy. All five are aspects that I should improve on the Dharma path. I’m grateful for the Guru’s explanation. May the Guru have good health and longevity for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature. May the Covid-19 pandemic will soon be over.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  2. 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.

  3. Mật Mai says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy !
    Con đã đọc bài viết này rồi ạ.
    Qua bài viết thì con hiểu được do nhiều người phật tử không hiểu biết mà bám chấp vào việc ăn chay, ăn mặn mà cuộc sống nhiều khi trở nên phiền não với những người xung quanh mình, khi Đức Phật còn tại thế Ngài đi khất thực ai cúng dường những phẩm vật nào thì Ngài dùng. Người phật tử làm theo lời dạy của Ngài là duy tuệ thị Nghiệp và lấy trí tuệ là đạo nghiệp chứ đâu phải duy thực thị Nghiệp và ăn chay là đạo nghiệp đâu
    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầvì lợi lạc chúng sanh
    Cầu nguyện cho dịch bệnh Covid 19 sớm được tiêu trừ. Om Mani Padme Hum!

  4. Mật Hữu Tâm says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy
    Con đã đọc bài viết này rồi ạ
    Con vô cùng hoan hỷ và tán thán công hạnh của vị Thầy đã từ bi ban cho chúng con một bài pháp thật là sâu sắc và lợi lạc ạ.
    Con thành tâm cầu nguyện sự trường thọ của vị Thầy vì lợi lạc tất chúng sanh ạ.
    Con cầu nguyện cho dịch bệnh Covid 19 mau chóng được tiêu trừ.
    Con cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật tánh.
    Om Mani Padem Hum

  5. Mật Ỷ Nguyên says:

    Kính bạch Thầy
    Con là Mật Thái Xuyên, con đánh máy comment giúp mẹ con.
    Kính bạch Thầy
    Con đã đọc xong bài rồi ạ. Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy Cô vì lợi ích của tất cả chúng sanh.
    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đạt được hạnh phúc Phật tánh.
    Om mani padme hum

  6. Mật Thuận Nguyên says:

    Dear Guru
    I read this article.
    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 nature.
    May the Corona will end soon.
    Om mani padme hum

  7. Mật Ly says:

    Dear Guru.
    I have read this article.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the benfits of all sentient beings.
    May all the senbeings attain the happiness of Buddhas natures.
    May Covid _19 pandemic end soon.
    Om mani padme hum

  8. Mật Hoàng Trúc says:

    Dear Guru
    I am delighted to read this article.
    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 will be soon over.
    Om mani padme hum.

  9. Mật Hồng Liên says:

    Kính Bạch Thầy
    Bài này con đã đọc rồi ạ
    Con xin hoan hỷ và tán thán công hạnh bồ đề tâm của vị Thầy đã từ bi luận giải cho chúng con hiểu
    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 covid19 sớm được tiêu trừ
    Om mani padme hum

  10. Mật Diệu Linh says:

    Dear Guru
    I am very happy to read your article.
    I am very touched that your Bodhicitta has given us.
    Thank you very much for the teaching and guidance của Guru.
    May you have good health and a long life for the benefit of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha nature.
    It is possible that the 19 covid pandemic will soon end.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  11. Mật Hoa Pháp ( 9 tuổi ) says:

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

  12. Mật Đức says:

    Dear holy Guru
    I have read the article.
    I thank Guru for teaching.
    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.

  13. Mật Thái Hòa says:

    Kính bạch Thầy.
    Con đọc bài này rồi ạ.
    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã luận giải dạy cho chúng con bài pháp lợi lạc.
    Qua đó con hiểu được, như Đại sĩ Liên Hoa Sanh đã dạy trong giáo huấn Dakini:” Giáo pháp mà không tinh túy là phiến diện”, cũng vậy một bài giảng thuyết về Phật pháp mà không thể hiện được tính cốt lỗi giải thoát (Xả ly, Bồ đề tâm, Tánh không), không giúp người nghe chuyển hóa được tâm thức theo quỹ đạo Phật pháp, thì bài giảng đó thất bại và chỉ xem như là một cuộc tám chuyện phù phiến. Đều đó đồng nghĩa với người giảng thuyết về Phật pháp, còn thiếu trình độ trong việc ứng dụng thành thạo phương tiện thiện xảo ” Ngũ minh: Nhân minh, y phương, thanh minh, công xảo minh, nội minh” vào trong bài giảng, dẫn đến gây cho người nghe hiểu mù mờ và ngộ nhận sai lệch về thực chất của Phật pháp.
    Con cầu nguyện cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy vì lợi ích của chúng sanh.
    Cầu nguyện cho đại dịch Covid19 sớm được tiêu trừ.
    Cầu nguyện cho tất cả chúng sanh thức tỉnh với trạng thái giác ngộ.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  14. Tantra Mashita says:

    Dear compassionate guru,

    Thank you so much for sharing this letter with us, I really admire it, it changed my opinion about the sciences which you mentioned, especially the languages, and as usual you gave me alot of new informations thank you so much dear honorable guru,

    I bow my head down for you
    I devote myself to you

    May you have a good health and live long for the benefit of all sentient beings
    May all the sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature
    May the pandemic caused by corona virus soon end
    Om Mani Padme hum 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 the benefit

  15. Mật Phước says:

    Dear Guru,
    I am delighted to read this article.
    Thank you, Guru, for your inerpretations helps me realize that, many monks haven’t owned five skillful means including (1) Logic (2) Medicine (3) Language (4) Craftsman (5) Philosophy, therefore, they have made the noble teachings of Buddha were returned into gossip.
    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 beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  16. tantra mahavita says:

    Dear Holy Guru: Thank you very much for your article. I bow my head at the feet of the Guru .May the Guru be healthy and have a long life for the benefit of all sentient beings , May all beings find Buddha Nature .May the pandemic end soon .OM MANI PADME HUM

  17. Phan thị Bạch Tuyết says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!
    Con Mật Phong Tuyết đã đọc bài viết này rồi ạ .Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã kiến giải cho chúng con một bài pháp thật sâu sắc và lợi ích.Bài viết đã giúp con hiểu Phật giáo kim cương thừa bao gồm năm khoa học là năm phương tiện thiện xảo: (1) logic ,(2) y học ,(3) ngôn ngữ ,(4) thợ thủ công ,(5) triết học, giúp các hành giả Phật giáo nâng cao trình độ ,thông thạo mọi kiến thức thế gian.
    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 covid 19 được tiêu trừ.
    Om mani padme hum.

  18. Cao Diệu Tuyết Hoa says:

    Dear Guru,
    I am delighted to read this article.
    Thank you so much for deeply explaining how to recognize the lecturing Buddhist teachings is different from Gossiping in this article. Through it, I understand that their teachings must be based on the Buddha doctrine that was affirmed by the enlightened and holy ones. If they didn’t focus it, this means “They failed to recognize the sentient beings’ illness which is rooted in “attachment to self”, “attachment to Dharma” (me, mine, myself); they failed to identify “the truth of suffering” and “the truth of the cause of suffering”. For that reason, their discussions only focus on those topics that are out of the right track, which is no more or less than a “gossip” and they still live in the Samsara, even that they are the monk, who lives in the large temple big gate. It is like you are fake doctors but you want to heal patients so that the results are consequences of.
    I am grateful to Guru for the article of the value. I will keep in mind the five sciences including (1) Logic (2) Medicine (3) Language (4) Craftsman (5) Philosophy. It helps us “improve proficiency in all kinds of worldly knowledge and skills” on the way to the path of Enlightenment.
    May Guru have good health and live long for all the sake of sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings suffering be decreased.
    May the COVID 19 will end soon.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

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