Ven. Ledi Sayadaw firmly believed that at the beginning of the Second Dispensation of the Buddha, Vipassana will return to India from Myanmar and will benefit people for a long time. Sayagyi U Ba Khin was also of the opinion that Vipassana will continue in its pure form during the Second Buddha Sasana, that is, for the next 2500 years. He sent our Principal Teacher Acharya Goenkaji to India for this express purpose. Goenkaji too is confident that the teaching of the Buddha will remain in its pristine purity for the entire duration of the Second Dispensation of the Buddha.
Pariyatti (the words of the Buddha and related Pali literature): Under Goenkaji’s guidance the text of the Sixth Council containing the Tipitaka and commentarial literature was published in Devanagari script in book form. The entire literature has been transliterated in several scripts of the world and is available freely on internet. Therefore, there is no doubt that this literature will remain in its pure form for centuries to come.
Patipatti (Vipassana): Goenkaji started this noble work immediately on arrival in India in 1969. In the past forty-one years, Vipassana has spread (and continues to spread) around the world. It is accepted by people of different religious backgrounds because it is universal and non-sectarian; it involves no blind faith or blind belief; it is scientific and gives results here-and-now.
To spread Vipassana in its authentic form, Goenkaji has so far trained and appointed about 1200 assistant teachers. Many more will be appointed in future. Till now, 162 centres have been established all over the world. Many more will be established in future. This will ensure the spread of Patipatti for the next 2500years.
To protect the teachings of the Buddha from any corrupting influence, the following rules have been framed for assistant teachers, teachers and the trustees of centres & Global Vipassana Pagoda.
- To keep the purity of Vipassana as it has come to us from the time of the Buddha. There should be no admixture in it.
- Not to condemn other forms of meditation but to stay away from them; that is, to practice Vipassana exclusively.
- Even if they are inclined towards a particular political party, they should never take part in active politics.
- All teachers and trustees should have their own means of livelihood. They should not be dependent on the centres or the Pagoda. They should never keep even a penny for themselves; but should hand over all dana to relevant trust immediately.
- There should be no discrimination between people coming to Vipassana centres or between those coming to Global Pagoda. Human being is human being. Vipassana doesn’t discriminate between people.
- There should be no entry-fee for those who wish to visit Global Pagoda. Those coming to Vipassana centres should not be charged any fee; neither for the teaching nor for the board and lodge; neither now nor in future. If a meditator donates voluntarily with a joyful mind, then the donation should be accepted.
Global Vipassana Pagoda: The third important task that Goenkaji has accomplished for the benefit of meditators from India and abroad is the building of this great Pagoda.
The Pagoda is built to express gratitude towards Sayagyi U Ba Khin who sent this benevolent technique to India and towards Myanmar, the country that preserved for 2000 years the teaching of the Buddha received through the efforts of Emperor Asoka. We should never forget the debt of gratitude we owe to Myanmar. Not only in Pagoda but in the whole premises, Burmese architecture, culture and paintings are seen. There should be no admixture or change in this either now or in future.
One more objective of the Pagoda is to spread information about Vipassana. Goenkaji has not allowed buying space in print media or time on television. In future too, this will not happen. Of course, all media is free to give proper information about Vipassana on their own. Given this situation, the Pagoda becomes an important source of information about Vipassana. Those who visit Pagoda will get to know about Vipassana. Some of them will certainly join our courses. The rest will, at the minimum, take home the message of Vipassana.
Financial Needs: At the existing centres and also at future centres, people will join courses of various durations including ten days and longer ones. Such devoted grateful meditators give donations. This will allow proper management of the existing and future centres.
However, in Pagoda, there is no entry fee now and there will be no entry fee in future. No residential Vipassana courses are held here and hence no donations will come from grateful students. This may lead to financial crisis at Pagoda leading to loss of purity.
The grandeur of Pagoda along with the huge pillar-less dome seating ten thousand people will surely attract people. They will want to use it for their personal, familial, social, political, sectarian and other gatherings. They will offer large sum for such usage. Present and future trustees have to be careful to avoid falling prey to this evil temptation that may lead to loss of purity of the Pagoda. Then, where will the hundreds of thousands of rupees required for repair, maintenance, electricity, water etc come from? In view of this, it has been decided to create a Corpus Fund the interest on which will take care of the present and future management of the Pagoda.
Just as thousands of meditators from India and the rest of the world contributed to the completion of the Pagoda, all will participate in the creation of this Corpus Fund.
We have a large number of teachers and trustees of our centres and of the Pagoda and even larger number of meditators all over India and the rest of the world. If any of them agree with the suggestion of Goenkaji to form a Corpus Fund, he or she can contribute as per his or her capacity with devotion and gratitude. Instead of sending the contribution directly to the Pagoda, meditator may give money to local centres requesting them to pass on the same to the Pagoda.
Generous donors will certainly ensure that the Corpus Fund target is met. One may give the donation in monthly installments. Any noble contribution to this noble cause will benefit many for a long time in future.
Just as in our tradition at Vipassana centres, only the requirement is made known and the names of the donors are never published; here too the names of the donors will not be published.
The donors should understand one more thing—the Corpus Fund will remain untouched and only the interest earned out of the fund will be used; and that too only for the management and maintenance of the Pagoda. Goenkaji is making a credible, reliable and legal arrangement for this.
The Sacred Relics donated to the Pagoda by late Ven. Vipulasara Mahathera of the Maha Bodhi Society, by the late Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Sirimao Bandarnayake and the relics given by the arahat Webu Sayadaw have been enshrined in the Pagoda. Goenkaji is confident that the Pagoda thus sanctified by the Sacred Relics will endure for 2500 years to protect the Sacred Relics continuously and, being a glorious symbol of the teaching of the Buddha, will spread its message for the benefit of many. This is the sole aim of the Corpus Fund.
Goenkaji sends metta to all.