Buddha, Sangha, and Dharma
A Talk by Guruji, German Ashram, July 1997
There are three things: the Buddha — the Master or the Enlightened, the Sangha — the commune or the group, and the Dharma — your nature, your true nature. One of the main things in the Buddhist practice is taking refuge in all these three. “Buddham Sharanam Gacchami” means “I take refuge in Buddha.” “Sangham Sharanam Gacchami” means “I take refuge in the assembly, the Sangha.” And “Dhammam Sharanam Gacchami” means “I take refuge in the true nature of things as they are.”
Buddha is the Enlightened. The closer you go to Him the more charm you find. You will never be tired of the Enlightened. The closer you go the more newness, the more charm, the more love you feel. It’s like a depth without a bottom. Buddha’s company will always be new and charming.
And then there is Sangha, the group. The group is very charming from a distance but the closer you get to it, it pushes all your buttons and brings about all the unwanted things from within you. Any group is very good from a distance or with just a little acquaintance. If you think some group is very good that means you are not yet completely with the group in totality. When you are part of that group you will find some bickering will come up. That’s why you find the other group better than your group. It’s really not the fact because you make the group. If you are better your group will be better. If you are not better anywhere you go you will make that group also like you.
Sangha has a reverse nature than Buddha – completely different. Once you are used to a Sangha you lose the charm in the Sangha. That is essential because while Buddha makes your mind one-pointed, Sangha because it is of so many people can scatter your mind. It will fragment it. So Sangha’s nature will be such though it is very supportive. If it is only repulsive all the time then nobody will be in the Sangha because our nature is not to be in repulsion. Sangha has its own bonding. At the same time it can bring about negativity from within you. And that is what it is meant to do. It is good. In this way Sangha will push you inside to your nature. Otherwise Sangha will distract you from your nature. Buddha uplifts you. Just by Grace, by Love, by Knowledge He pulls you up. The Sangha pushes up from down below. Buddha from above pulls you up and the Sangha pushes you up. And the Dhamma is to be in the middle. Your nature is not to go to extremes. Your nature is to be in balance. Your nature is to smile from the depth of your heart. Your nature is to accept this entire existence totally as it is. Do not crave or be averse. Often you crave for Buddha and you are averse to the Sangha. And you try t o change. By changing Sangha or Buddha you are not going to change.
The main purpose is to come to the center deep within you, your Dharma, to find your dharma. What is the Dharma? Knowing this moment is what has been offered to me and that is how I take it. This very moment and every moment. A sense of deep acceptance for this moment, for every moment. When this has come up then there is no problem at all. All the problems generate from our mind; all negativity comes in from our mind. The world is not bad; the world is beautiful. It is our world that is bad because our world has “us” in it. We make our world ugly or beautiful. So when you are in your Dharma, in your nature, you won’t blame the world and you won’t blame the Divine. The difficulty of the human mind is that it cannot be part of the world totally and it cannot be part of the Divine. It feels a distance from the Divine. It’s its own creation and yet it feels like blaming the world. It’s not comfortable with the world. Dharma is that which puts you in the middle and which makes you comfortable with the world. It causes you to contribute to the world, be at ease with the Divine, and feel that you are a part of the Divine. That is true Dharma.