Enslaved listening

February 2023 edition

Enslaved listening

Article summary

As usual, let's discuss another essential quality which we should have for our liberation!  It is up to you to question yourself wisely... It is up to you to find out if there are any such weaknesses within... it's up to you to find your path to Nirvana... the true liberation!

One of the weaknesses of many people who listen to the Dhamma these days is that they are lack free listening.   In a way, that most of them are fear for free listening.  When we asked why, their simple answer is that, "Nowadays, there are so many misinterpretations happening... so what if we get caught on such a misleading path... What if I listen to the wrong explanation...? What if I have become a follower of a misleading preacher... What if... what if... I am fear for all these... So, I have to question everything... I just can't listen freely!"   

Now there is something else hidden inside this fearful listening.  What is that? "Doubtfulness". 

Doubtfulness also known as "vichikichcha" is the mental event in which one oscillates between two extremes.    "Did it happen like this? Or Not like this?”   No matter how hard one strives to find the nature of dharma or the truth, with this mental behavior makes it almost impossible, and then the sadness is always there.  This indecision creates obstacles for everything positive, and in particular for the vision of the truth.  When doubtfulness is there, it destroys the needful conditions for the understanding of eternal truth.  It is one of the five causes that prevent or block enlightenment, as it is closing the doors of undisturbed focus also known as Samadhi in Dhamma.  Samadhi is the state of mind which provides the opportunity to arise the absorption.  Without arising in the stage of absorption, one cannot realize the essence of what he or she listened.  Without profound listening one cannot realize the Dhamma which they never heard before and leading to liberation!

This doubtfulness often occurs when your search is not genuine or sincere.  All the unnecessary fear arises when you are not aware of what you are actually looking for.  When your question or your problem is not related to you or your behaviors, your search is bound with some unrelated external questions, which are totally strange for yourself.  Then instead of opening to the answer, you just start collecting various interpretations.  The more you get various type of interpretation your fear increase so as the doubtfulness. 

Do not forget that even the time during the Samma Sambuddha alive, there were various kinds of sermons with different interpretations.  But the true seekers always end up near Samma Sambuddha.  Coz, they were not concern about who is right... or they didn't judge what is right... instead they listen to everyone with a free mindset and open to the essence of those teachings.  Result is that they become enlightened ones!  They were liberated!  Because they were not enslaved for any person or any specific interpretation.  Their search was genuine, and their question was sincere, so the question guided them to the right answer!

When your search is not genuine and not related to you, you are concern about the person who is answering to you.  Rather than listening to what they say, your concern is to confirm the state of preachers’ mind first.  Then, you ask... preacher would say "Yes, I am enlightened" or "No, I am not"... then you agree to what he says or may not agree... If the preacher says instead of asking that question, listen first... listen carefully and freely, then the thousands of doubts arise.  You are not ready to do that freely, because your search is not genuine. 

Remember Siddartha Bodisathva before he becomes an enlightened one, he listened to all the teachers used to live in his era.  Followed the path genuinely.  Because the search was genuine, he understood that those paths are not leading to liberation.  Every truth seeker needs to have that quality.  Because, a person whom still unaware about the eternal truth can't make judgment over the truth, right?  But, if you are not a sincere truth seeker, you need to clarify first.  A clarification about the person... clarification about what you listen... etc… Etc... your agitated mind leads you to full of doubts.  And those doubts keep you away from the truth. 

So, do you understand that we need to listen first before making any judgments?  If your listening is unbiased and free, you will know the message hidden through the words you listened.  But if you are full of doubts, fear, you are listening with an enslaved mindset.  Your doubt begins even before listening... continues throughout the listening... and you will get an obvious doubtful ending! 

The result will be always such that you will miss the noble truth even it was explaining right in front of you. 

Remember, doubtfulness always leading us to what we already decided, and not to the unknown or unheard.  The doubtfulness always guides us to an enslaved listening.  So, first find your question.  It will guide you to the right answer.  If your question is genuine, and if your seek is sincere, you just don't have to worry or fear about what you get as the answer! 

So, seek within to find the weaknesses which prevent you from liberation and its needful.  Instead of following blindly with an enslaved listening, be open to the real truth!  May you be free from doubtfulness and enslaved listening!

Rajitha Viduransi | Kelaniya, Sri Lanka