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Schools of Buddhism => The Library => Topic started by: Hanzze on April 14, 2013, 12:36:46 am

Title: Paths to benevolence - Dr. Hecker (Amonudana and invitation)
Post by: Hanzze on April 14, 2013, 12:36:46 am
(http://sangham.net/Smileys/sanghagift_sangham.gif)

Dear Dhammafriends,

I would like to share this great Dhammadana work from valued Dr. Hecker here in it's german original.

(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRLu8jt7IEq-CDAsweKbe_OCecCm-7cCppbpCOLXqaGRD5o7ra9) (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellmuth_Hecker)

Wege zur Eintracht - Hellmuth Hecker (http://sangham.net/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=item12)

I also had tried to translate it into English (I am sure it will be not the best) but your are invited to help to make it into a proper translation. I hope it serves the meaning in English or gives inspiration to translate it proper.



Paths to benevolence


There are two paths leading to benevolence. Which two?

I.   The good path, which is helpful and welcoming, and
II.   The best path, which is liberating and leads to salvation

Now what is the good path that is helpful and welcoming?

I.   The Good

The good path is of four manners:

1.   trough generosity
2.   trough friendly words
3.   trough spry encouragement
4.   trough impartiality


1.   Now what is the manner of generosity?

There is the case where a person gives gifts and presents, he/she is freehanded and helpful, hospitable and generous. Where ever a needed or dishonored approaches him/her, he/she helps. Where ever he/she is able to make somebody happy with a gift, he/she does that. Reducing misery and giving joy he/she gives. Giving makes him/here happy, giving makes him/here glad. Giving makes him/her joyful and he/she dwells apart form greed, envy and avarice. For others he/she is pleasant, the noble ones seek association with him/here, and he/she wins good reputation, his/here approaching is solid and his/here heart grows lighter and lighter in regard of fear and sorrow about the vital necessities. And also for the beyond he/she is performing him/here great merits and great potency. Not does he/she give lightheaded so that it might be a burden for others and he/she also gives not blindly, without the consideration of the receiver, but with care, considering the possibilities of others and considering the situation of others. And the more his/her heart is fulfilled with the intention to give, the more selfless he/she grows. That is how somebody transcendent to his/her own welfare and to the welfare of others.

But soon he/she realizes that this is not yet the perfect kind which leads to benevolence. And why? Because he/she realizes that even the best gifts often are not able to cheer others up. With full hands he stands with empty hands, helpless in helping. And further: He/she makes the experience that he/she destroys the benevolence and joy of others with hard words which he/she caused with his/her gift. In that way generosity encourage to understand the misery of others deeper and to investigate ones own faults deeper.


2.   . Now what is the manner of friendly words?

There is the case where a person speaks friendly words, mild, gentle, innermost which come from heart and go to heart. What ever he/she speaks, he/she speaks in a friendly manner, with a friendly sense. To solve and reduces tensions and misunderstandings he/she speaks: Friendly words make him/here joyful, friendly words makes him/here glad and he/she dwells apart of crudeness, snappishness and hurtful fierceness. He/she knows that friendly words are much stronger then any gift to melt the misery and sorrow of others away. He knows that gifts without goodwill are sometimes helpful as well but words without goodwill are nothing else then empty husk. And why? Because friendly words go behind the sphere of words and reach deeper. To be able to say friendly words, one needs to have empathy for the emotional state of others and needs to consider that. And to be able to do that, one needs to avoid all anger, all annoyance and all haughtiness. And the more his/her heart is fulfilled with the intention of friendliness, the more selfless he/she grows. That is how somebody transcendent to his/her own welfare and to the welfare of others.

But soon he/she realizes that this is not yet the perfect kind which leads to benevolence. And why? Because he/she realizes that even the friendliest words often are not able to cheer others up and solve only for a short time. He/she makes the experience that he/she often disturbs the benevolence and joy of others with unconsidered advices, which he affected with his words. In that way friendly words encourage to understand the misery of others deeper and to investigate ones own faults deeper.


3.   Now what is the manner of spry encouragement

There is the case where a person gives good advices, smart, well considered, supportive and able to lead to welfare. What ever he/she speaks, he/she speaks well-considered. To lead others away form non-good and direct them into the good, he/she speaks. He/she shows how to overwhelm this or that misery and how to avoid this or that sorrow.
He helps others to get independent for the gifts and friendly words of others. And to be able to do so, he/she needs to see clear what is good and what is not good. The more he/she realizes what leads himself/herself to misery and sorrow, the more he/she avoids it and the more he/she is able to tell it others. That is how somebody transcendent to his/her own welfare and to the welfare of others.

But soon he/she realizes that this is not yet the perfect kind which leads to benevolence. And why? Because he/she realizes that even the best advices often are not taken to heart by others. He/she makes the experience that he/she often disturbs the benevolence and joy of others with his/her condescending kind. In that way spry encouragement encourages to understand the misery of others deeper and to investigate ones own faults deeper.


4. Now what is the manner of impartiality?

There is the case where a person has left the thought “Here I am, there are the others” behind, he/she is free of pride and conceit, he/she does not methought himself/herself higher than others and sees himself/herself equal to them. In deed, speech and thinking he/she serves others in a friendly kind, open and hidden as well. He/she is disposed for the concerns of others, he/she is available for them, he/she has always time for them. He/she has given up his own will and has grown devoted and humble.

A higher kind of a helpful and welcoming manner does not exist. It is the perfect kind which leads in a good manner to benevolence.


II.   The best

Now what is the best path that is liberating and leads to salvation?

The best path is of four manners:

2.   trough generosity
3.   trough friendly words
4.   trough spry encouragement
5.   trough impartiality


1.   Now what is the manner of generosity?

There is the case where a person shows the teaching of the reality, broad visible, like he has heard and understood and is not greedy with his insights and he/she does not disprize others. But what is the teaching of the reality? It is the discernment: “All appearances are ephemeral, what ever is ephemeral is stressful and what ever is ephemeral and stressful will always lead to harm, it is not worthy to mess about and that it is not mine, that is not me, that is not my self.” In that way that somebody shows others this discernment, he/she wins further clearance, goes deep into it. That is how somebody transcendent to his/her own welfare and to the welfare of others.

But soon he/she realizes that this is not yet the perfect kind which leads to benevolence. And why? Because it is not enough to just supply this discernment to others.


2.   . Now what is the manner of friendly words?

There is the case where a person shows those who seeking for welfare and are interested in it the teachings of the reality again and again, unremitting, with a friendly heart, without grumbling, without anger. Not does he/she grow tired to speak from heart to the heart of those who understand and he/she is never aggrieved if it seems that he/she speaks unavailing. As he/she is indefatigable in this kind, his/her patient grows as well as his/her imperturbability. That is how somebody transcendent to his/her own welfare and to the welfare of others.

But soon he/she realizes that this is not yet the perfect kind which leads to benevolence. And why? Because it is not enough to just to repeat this discernment just in general.

3.   Now what is the manner of spry encouragement?

There is the case where a person puts effort to advices a person without confidence to win confidence, to find foundation in confidence so that confidence can grow firmer and firmer. There is the case where a person puts effort to advices a person without virtue to win virtue, to find foundation in virtue, so that virtue can grow firmer and firmer. There is the case where a person puts effort to advices a selfish person to win selflessness, to find foundation in selflessness, so that selflessness can grow firmer and firmer. There is the case where a person puts effort to advices a person without discernment to win discernment, to find foundation in discernment, so that discernment can grow firmer and firmer. And why? Who ever gains firm confidence in his discernment tends to a virtuous life. Who ever is firm in virtue tends to selflessness. Who ever is firm in selflessness tends to discernment. And one, who supports others to firm those four wholesome things, gives him/her self always reason to firm him/her self in it. That is how somebody transcendent to his/her own welfare and to the welfare of others.

But soon he/she realizes that this is not yet the perfect kind which leads to benevolence. And why? Because he/she realizes that he/she himself/herself is not perfect yet.


4.   Now what is the manner of impartiality?

There is the case where a person has left the thought “Here I am, there are the others” behind, he/she is free of pride and conceit, he/she does not methought himself/herself higher than others and sees himself/herself equal to them. And he seeks such association, such friends who are equal in discernment or outmatch in it. In deed, speech and thinking he/she serves others in a friendly kind, open and hidden as well. He/she is disposed for the concerns of others, he/she is available for them, he/she has always time for them. He/she has given up his own will and has grown devoted and humble. But the highest kind exists in that regard, when someone has found secure to reach total liberation and associates with those who have gained the same security. If all of them give up there own will, benevolence itself serves the interacting of support in deeds, speech and advices.

A higher kind of a helpful and welcoming manner does not exist. It is the perfect kind which leads in a good manner to benevolence.


These are the two manners which lead to benevolence: The good manner, which is helpful and welcoming and the best manner, which is liberating and leads to salvation. Of this two manners the last includes the first within, requires it, can not exist without the first.

(http://sangham.net/Smileys/sadhu_sangham.gif)


Title: Re: Paths to benevolence - Dr. Hecker (Amonudana and invitation)
Post by: Samana Johann on September 26, 2017, 07:31:53 am
Some month ago Upasaka Helmut Hecker died. Even it is, as my person just accidentally saw, more then fifty yeas ago that an "offical" translation of this work was published, it's really not sure that Upasaka Helmut Hecker finally found and saw the third and secure way to final peace in his sphere.

How ever, my person thinks that it is good to share the offical accidently found here as well:

Quote
from [url]http://vipassana.org/nl/201709.php[/url] ([url]http://vipassana.org/nl/201709.php[/url])

The Way to Peace and Harmony

By Hellmuth Hecker

 This is a Way, helpful and agreeable, which leads to Peace and Harmony. What is this Way? It is fourfold and consists of: Giving, Kind Words, Helpfulness, and Self-forgetfulness.

What is the Way of Giving?

Here a person is fond of sharing: he gives, makes presents, is generous, hospitable, magnanimous. Wherever he meets need and suffering he is ready to help. Wherever he can bring joy with a gift to someone, he gives it. His motive for giving is to alleviate want and to bring happiness. Giving makes him glad, makes him happy, fills his heart with joy. He is free from envy, ill-temper and avarice. People like him, enjoy his company. He is of good repute, his bearing invites confidence, his mind is serene and calm. He earns for himself merit and strength—even for a future life. He manages his affairs wisely, never becoming a burden unto others. He does not give blindly, he always considers time and circumstances when help is called for. The more his mind is filled with the spirit of giving, the more unselfish he becomes. Thus by caring for his fellow men he reaps the benefits of his own welfare. But soon he notices that this is not yet the perfect way to Peace and Harmony. And why is this? Because he discovers that, by giving alone, it is not always possible to make people happy. Strange to say, he finds himself at times with full hands -- empty-handed and with all his ardent endeavour to help—standing helpless. And what seems to be more disconcerting, he realizes that in a less generous mood, with a single harsh word he destroys the atmosphere of Peace and Harmony, which his gifts have helped to build up.

Thus the Way of Giving stimulates him to strive for deeper understanding of the plight of others, to be watchful over himself, to correct his own shortcomings.

What is the Way of Kind Words?

Here a person speaks kind words, is mild-mannered, gentle and sincere. What comes from the bottom of his heart touches other hearts. He will never hurt the feelings of anybody but rather try to remove misunderstandings and tensions among people. Kind words gladden him; harshness, cynicism and sarcasm he abhors. He knows that to relieve mental strain, kind words may prove more effective than gifts. An indifferent donor, even if not motivated by kindness, can be of great material help, but sweet words spoken without genuine feeling are nothing but empty sounds. And why is this? Because words spoken with true kindness reach beyond and go deeper than the ordinary range of words; they awaken response and understanding. To place oneself in the other’s position one must discard anger, irritation, and arrogance. The more the heart is filled with the spirit of kindness the more unselfish one becomes. Thus with a heart reaching out for the benefit of others he benefits his own welfare.

But soon he notices that this too is not the perfect way which leads to Peace and Harmony. And why is this? Because he finds that it is not always possible to make others happy by merely saying words of kindness and understanding. Or that any gain they bring is only of short duration. Furthermore he discovers that, in a less favourable mood, he destroys the Peace and Harmony of others by his impetuosity and thoughtlessness. Thus, the Way of Kind Words arouses an earnest longing in him to strive for deeper understanding of the plight of others and to correct his own shortcomings.

What is the Way of Helpfulness?

Here one helps others by giving good advice and counsel, well thought out, wise and useful, to the advantage and well-being of one’s fellow man. Whatever he speaks about is well considered. He warns others of paths leading to destruction and guides them to paths leading to happiness. He advises others how to avoid strife, idle gossip, vain arguments and noisy quarrels. He helps them to become self—reliant and less dependent on someone else’s assistance. The more he knows of things which lead to trouble and sorrow, the more he avoids them and the more convincingly he can talk to others. Thus he benefits his own welfare and the welfare of others. But soon he realizes that this is not yet the perfect way to Peace and Harmony. And why is this? Because he discovers that not even the best advice is followed and that one can only help in a limited way. Furthermore, he finds himself at times listless and cold, indifferent to the welfare of others. His manner becomes condescending and thus hurts the pride and self-esteem of others. As a result even his good counsel is not heeded, Peace and Harmony are shattered. Thus the Way of Helpfulness stimulates him to strive for deeper understanding of the afflictions of others and correct his own shortcomings.

What is the Way of Self-forgetfulness?

Here a person gives up all his thoughts about: “This is I, there are the others.” More and more he gives up pride, conceit and self-esteem. He does not think of himself as better than others but considers himself their equal. In thought, speech and action he serves in a kindly manner; open-minded, without reservation. He is ever ready to listen to the problems of others, is at their disposal, has time for them. He is not self-centred, he does not insist having his own way. In all his actions he manifests inner strength, modesty and humility. A better way, more helpful and agreeable, which leads to Peace and Harmony does not exist.

Source: BPS, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Excerpted from Wheel 74-5 (1964). For free distribution only.

Originally published in Wissen und Wandel, 8, No. 7


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