The Truth of Life
Master Ruma’s Visit and Lecture
at Wat Trairatanaram Temple, College Park, GA, USA
31 December 2016
The year 2016 has passed with blessings from Buddha, God and heaven through the Living Master on earth. There have been many changes and occurrences this year, including natural disasters such as: earthquakes, storms and floods in some countries. However despite these circumstances, it is fortunate that there has been no major catastrophe. Thanks to the Buddha’s power which protects our world and keeps peace on earth.
2016 was the year that Master Ruma and his Sangha, including his disciples and the Light and Sound meditation practitioners, together prayed and united using the power of meditation retreats to clear the karma and reduce the impact of these natural disasters. Meditation practitioners also advanced in their spiritual path, with both the power of the Living Master on this earth and the power from the meditation retreats from all around the world including South East Asia.
USA was fortunate to be the country to receive Master Ruma’s blessings from heaven during the end-of-the-year holiday season. A special meditation retreat from 25th
December 2016 to 1 January 2017 was organized at Callaway Gardens, GA USA where over 200 participants, from all over the world, joined together for spiritual practice through Light and Sound Meditation and to pray for peace in this world. During the entire week, everyone enjoyed the bliss of meditation and the Dharma shared by the Enlightened Master.
On December 31, 2016, while other individuals all over America were celebrating the end of 2016 and welcoming the upcoming New Year, another group of Buddhists gathered together at Wat Trairatanaram Temple in Georgia U.S.A, to welcome Master Ruma, who had come to visit and share his love and compassion to the Buddhist monks invited to join this spiritual event.
Picture 1: Wat Trairatanaram in Riverdale, GA and its surroundings look like an ordinary temple in Cambodia.
Wat Trairatanaram Temple was built in 1997. It is located in the Riverdale Suburb about an hour drive from and South of downtown Atlanta. There are 3 monks in this temple. Even though this temple was in a discreet area, we could still see this Khmer temple’s unique architecture from a distance. The temple is like a combination of different South East Asian cultures. It has a big Buddha statue located dominantly, sitting gracefully with the position to send love and compassion to any visitors or commuters who pass. Its garden was also decorated with many statues of Hindu Gods, such as the Mother Earth Goddess and Bhraman which the latter was offered by the temple’s Thai disciples. It also had statues of angels and included the Cambodian Buddhist belief’s 12-lunar year animals. Entering the temple, I, as a Thai Buddhist, could feel the South East Asian temple ambiance. It was not surprising that there were a lot of Buddhists from Cambodia, Lao, Thai, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, all living in the US, who came to visit this temple regularly and celebrated special events such as Songkran or New Year in the traditional Buddhist way. Religions, no matter what they are, play an important role for people when they are in a difficult situation in life. It’s a life-saving pole to hold onto during a life storm. I feel glad to see that Buddhism has spread around the world including this free and civilized country, and how the faith of Buddhists here is indifferent to those in their original homelands.
Picture 2: Cambodian Buddhists came to the temple to join the religious morning ceremony to make merit and offer food to the monks according to its original tradition.
That morning, many Cambodian Buddhists came to the temple to join the morning ceremony to create merit and offer food to the monks. After receiving the offerings from people, the monks chanted together in Bali to bless them, a standard Buddhist tradition. Master Ruma’s disciples from the original retreat site had also joined this special event. Everyone united and enthusiastically helped each other to prepare for the Master’s visit. Despite the weather this morning being quite cold, everybody was clearly excited to see the Living Master of this 21st
Around 1 pm, light rains sprinkled onto the temple, washing away karma in that area, just before the pure-soul Master’s arrival. The weather was chilly, but the sincere Buddhists and disciples still stood in line from the gate to the hall in welcoming the Master. Once everyone heard that the Master was arriving, it seemed like everyone forgot about the cold and chill rain. Everybody stood still with their hands pressed together, staring at the car which came to a slow stop in front of the temple’s gate. Master Ruma stepped out of the car with a bright smile on his face. He pressed his palms together to greet the abbot of the temple and a Thai monk who stood at the gate to welcome him. He greeted the abbot warmly and gently blessed the flower bouquets that the Buddhists offered him. It felt like the sunshine warmed up the chilly atmosphere as the Living Master’s each foot step covered the ground. The invisible light of the Master warmed up our spirit and heart. Everyone followed him into the hall and sat down solemnly.
Picture 3 Master Ruma walked into the hall and greeted everybody, radiating warm energy to fill the chillness in the hall.
Master Ruma walked pass Buddhists and disciples who sat down in the hall. There were 10 Buddhist monks from Cambodia, Thai, Sri Lanka, Burma who joined this ceremony. They were sitting on the special monk seats welcoming the Master respectfully. Master Ruma greeted all the monks and prayed to the Buddha, then lit the candles to commence the holy ceremony. He sat down on the chair and spoke to everyone friendlily.
“Are you cold? Yes? All of you speak English, right? Sorry I can’t speak Khmer. I was born and lived there when I was very young. Then I went to Vietnam and lived there. I was separated from my parents.We ran into karma. Then I came to America. I didn’t have much chance to learn Khmer. I am surprised there are a lot of Cambodians in America. Thank you for inviting me…”
Picture 4 Venerable Piseth Komsan gave speech to welcome Master Ruma
After the MC presented a short biography of Master Ruma to everyone, the Abbot, Venerable Piseth Komsan, gave a speech to welcome him:
“First of all, I would like to pay respect to the venerable Master Ruma, and to the venerable monks from temple Wat Khmer Georgia. On behalf of Wat Trairattanaram Temple committee, we would like to keep you informed that there is a group of people from different nationalities, like Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Burmese, Sri Lankan, Thai and American Buddhists who joined the group meditation on 31 December 2016. Meditation is the training to live in mindfulness, capable of reducing stress, fear and mental disturbance. Without inner peace, outer peace will not be possible. I would like to thank the venerable Master Ruma, venerable monks, ladies and gentlemen for participating in this lecture and meditation ceremony. I wish everyone longevity, good health, success, peace and happiness throughout the New Year. Thank you.”
I would like to thank you venerable Master Ruma, monks, ladies and gentlemen in participating in this meditation ceremony, I wish you longevity, health, success throughout the new year.”
Picture 5: Master Ruma
It was time for the program everyone was waiting for, Master Ruma began his lecture:
“Ok. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your coming today. I say hello once again, especially to the Master. We are the children of Buddha. We are the messengers of Buddha sending messages of love, compassion and the truth from Buddha to all beings living without enlightenment, living in suffering. I don’t know what I will share with you today. I always think and believe you are all enlightened and understanding. I don’t know what to say. I can share with you that even though we live in a free country with luxury and materials, our mental health is still very important. It’s important whether we live in peace or not. Do we find the truth of mind, the truth of wisdom in our heart? Where do we find them? From whom? These are questions that all being have. All beings have asked these questions for thousands and millions of years but no one can find the truth. No one can know who they are. When the Buddha was alive, he searched for the truth and shared compassion and love from the almighty power within him to all beings. But he has passed away for over 2000 years now already. Every day human beings bow to the Buddha, pray to him and continue to be born, live and die. That’s for all human beings. We don’t know where to go. We don’t know how to get out of the circumstances of the mind, of the law of karma.
The law of karma always controls lives of human beings, if they are not enlightened, if they don’t know the truth from the Buddha. Where is the truth? In India? In the Himalayas? No. I have experienced it already since I was 18. I spent almost all my parents’ money to travel all over the world to find the truth. But I couldn’t find it. After all you have to look inside of you where the Buddha lives. In India? No, but everybody thought that way, including me. I always thought that the Buddha was in India. I always thought that we have to find peace, liberation or the Buddha in India. I spent a lot of money to travel in India. I climbed the Himalayas. I thought the Buddha lived there. I climbed up there but there was nothing but cold and snow. I lived in a cave. My friends and my family thought I was crazy because I had lived in the US with a beautiful life but I left home to go there. Why? It’s because of the mind…”
The rain was pouring, cooling down the temperature outside, but in the hall, it was warm. The Dharma from the Master attracted them from the coldness.
“…We always look very far away to find the truth, to find liberation. Or we stick to the Buddhist scriptures to read and bow but no one listens to the inside. No one listens to the Buddha Nature. No one tries to understand the words that the Buddha is teaching you. How does the Buddha teach us? Using human words? I don’t think so. Animals have words, vibrations to communicate with each other. Human beings have words, languages to communicate with each other. The Buddha or spiritual monks or we as spiritual humans want to connect and understand the truth, for which we don’t use human words. We have special words to understand and connect with each other. It’s the inner sound to connect from the truth and wisdom. We call it the ‘Buddha Nature’. How do we connect with the Buddha Nature or how do we open the wisdom or communicate about the truth without human language? Yes we can do that through meditation, with the power of the Master who burns all the human beings’ karma which has been created over thousands and million years.
We don’t know where to go. We are born, live and die. This life, whether we are a king, a millionaire, a monk, a teacher, a poor person, a suffering person or a normal person, we are in the same circumstances. We keep going, being reborn to be human beings or any kinds of beings within the universe. Even if we are the angels or Bodhisattvas, we still live in the law of karma. If we are not liberated, we still live within the law of karma. The law of karma still controls us. The law of karma always gives us poverty, riches, power, the title of a king or president or anything else. It can give you the chance to be smart, very intelligent and then take it back. You see anyone who doesn’t die? No one. We have to use our physical body even if we are special. No matter how great or rich you are in this life, you will still suffer because you are still in the hands of karma. You have to continue following the law if you do not clear your karma, burn all your karma and destroy the root of karma. No matter how rich or powerful you are, whether you are a king or a millionaire, you still die, live and are controlled by the law of karma….”
After the abbot’s welcoming speech, there was a chanting in Khmer to welcome the Master in Cambodian Buddhist tradition. It was impressive to see that Khmer people still continued to preserve their traditions so well despite living far from home.
Picture 6: “If we are not liberated, we still live in the law or karma. The law of karma still controls us. The law of karma always gives us poor, rich, power, king, president or anything else. It can give you smart, very intelligent and then take it back. You see who don’t die? No one.” - Master Ruma
Everyone in the hall listened to the Dharma that the Living Master shared intently. The truth that he shared was simple yet meaningful. The Master told a story as an example:
“…Like Alexander, one of the generals of India. I think you know the history. He is very famous all over the whole world. He is a powerful general. He is very rich and very intelligent. At the end of his life, he had cancer and he couldn’t heal from it. He had a daughter who lived far away from him. He asked all the doctors if anyone could extend his life for 3 days to wait until his daughter came to see him before he died. He would share all his fortunes or half of them with them. But no one could extend his life. Before he died, he told people to put him in a cage and roll him everywhere to show that even though he was rich, very powerful but when he died, he was empty-handed. He had nothing and didn’t know where he would go after he died, he didn’t know whom he should pray to and whether they would come and take him….”
“…You see that? All individuals controlled by the law of karma are like that. If you know how to control the mind or your know how to control the karma, we will burn it and be liberated. We will go to the Buddha land. We will be free. We call it ‘liberation’. We have life to connect to the power of the Buddha, the power, the wisdom, the almighty within all beings. Heaven is within here, the Kingdom is within here but no one understands. Everybody looks outward. Everybody uses the mind to think I am good already but they don’t know that the next minute something can happen to our life. What is that thing that brings something else into our life? The law of karma. We don’t know what to do…”
The hall was quiet. Everybody paid attention interestingly to what the Living Master was sharing. The Master continued:
“…The reason I share this with you today is to remind you to look at the inner to meditate. The method of meditation doesn’t use human words. No matter who you are. All are the same. God or Buddha is always within us. Power of compassion is within us. Please spend time for yourself 1-2 hour a day to look inside, to find the truth, to find peace. We don’t pray for anything else, we don’t need anything. We have enough to live. We live, we want, we pray, we wish we have peace: peace of mind, peace of heart, peace of life. That’s all that beings pray for but that wish or the hope doesn’t come true.
Why is that? It’s because you aren’t connected with the powerful words from the Buddha or from heaven. Even though we pray very sincerely, do those words go through? Yes but you disconnect the power with the heaven so we keep praying everyday sincerely but we still have problems. That is because we live and are covered by the non-enlightenment. We live in the darkness. We live in the circumstances of the mind. We don’t use our wisdom. We have wisdom. We have power but we don’t know what is true. We were born, live and die. That’s the Law of Karma, giving all beings life. It will take it away at any time. It can give you wealth any minute. It can give you poverty any second. It can take your life at any time.
Everything has two sides: black/white, life/death, bright/dark. That’s the law. Who wants to be in the dark? No one. Who wants death? Humans live forever, no death. We return to the Mandhi. The body is changed. The Law of Karma will make us reborn as a human, wealthy, intelligent, to be human beings or animals. It is controlled by the Law.
Today I pray for all of you and share with you love and compassion. All of you have power. Please look inside of you. Meditate, calm down and concentrate, you will see beautiful love, peace of mind and the karma will be cleared and burned. We will live in peace. If you want to do it, I am happy to share with you. It’s not from me. Everything comes from you.
Ok, I am done. Even we speak for a million years it’s not like we speak one word. Even if we speak a million words, there is no way to describe enlightenment, love and compassion. That’s why I share love and compassion with you. The entire mind is karma. Forgive it. Live with peace, happiness of life, heaven, love and compassion from the Buddha…”
Picture 7: International monks and lay people listened to the Dharma talk from Master Ruma attentively.
Master Ruma looked at the monks, all from diverse nationalities, and admired them as they listened to his solemnly shared Dharma:
“Once again thank you so much for your time to come in here and listen. And thank you to the Master and all the messengers from Buddha who offers your life to Buddha for purpose of sharing love and compassion to all beings and all disciples. Many people in the world especially Vietnamese, Cambodian, Burmese, Lao, Thai, leave their country. They miss home. They miss the golden land but they can’t go back home to live; you are the light for them. When they see monk robes, it means they see the Buddha. They see all the monks with the yellow robes, your face, your compassion, our life, they see we offer our life and sacrifice everything for all beings. It means they see the Buddha, they see the truth.
I pray for all of you to continue to practice, to send messages of love and compassion to all human beings and create more temples to express the Buddha teachings everywhere all over the world. When I went to Cambodia, Lao, and Myanmar, there were a lot of monks. Some of them are very smart, intelligent but they don’t have a chance to go out to share the Buddha’s teachings. We have a Cambodian temple here, it’s very good. Cambodian people also need mental support. Even though they have materials, they still need some spiritual place to live. Even if they have home, they have family but they still suffer. When you suffer, who do you call to? If you don’t have a temple, where do you go? You are lonely. That’s why the temple is very important. I wish all the monks here spread teachings of the Buddha more and more. When I go to Cambodia, I wish that one day there are a lot of monks who go out to share Buddha’s teachings, making the entire world to have love, peace and compassion, otherwise
everywhere will be a disaster. That’s why you see our monk lifestyle is very important. I wish all monks continue their life. I support you 100%. I pray for you every day and that we communicate. We are here from the life of Buddha. Thank you for your patience and thank you for your time in coming here.”
Apart from his invaluable shared Dharma and visit today, Master Ruma also brought some gifts for the monks as well as gave donations to the temple for its new construction project.
“…I wish the temple to be built soon and all the disciples to have a spiritual land. We can create the Buddha land here. Ok. Once again, thank you so much…”
Picture 8 Master Ruma gave donation to the abbot for building the new temple.
Before leaving, the Master conducted a traditional ceremony to pray for peace in the world and disciples’ life by ringing the Tibetan bowl. The sound resonated all throughout the hall and passed through individuals’ souls. The vibration of the sound cleared up the negativities and impurities in their soul and mind, creating a peace that they never felt before.
After the prayer, it was the time to say goodbye. Even though it was the first time that Master came to this temple, everyone greeted the Enlightened Master with warm gestures, and the truthful Dharma He shared from his insightful wisdom made for a memorable first impression. The audiences bowed to pay respect to the Master as he walked out of the hall.
The Master left, but the feelings of peace and happiness from seeing the Living Buddha and listening to His Dharma still remained in their hearts. Most of them had noticeable brighter and happier faces. The abbot, venerable Piseth Komsan, had a brightened face and big grin on his face. He told us that he was very happy today. He really liked the Master and he had never heard the Dharma from any monks like him before. He wished the Master would come to visit the temple again.
Picture 9: Master Ruma ringing the Tibetan bowl
Today everyone didn’t only enjoy food for thought, but they also enjoyed the actual food that Master Ruma’s disciples prepared for them. It was Master Ruma himself who told his disciples to prepare Lao’s vegetarian food to share with all the Buddhists who joined the event today.
Someone asked ‘why does Master come to this Cambodian temple in the US despite there being many other places to visit?’
He told us that the Buddha gave him a message to come here to see people who have affinity with him at this place. The Buddha told him to come here to share love and compassion with them and see how many people understand and open their hearts or wisdom to welcome him.
Today our mission was accomplished. Master Ruma came to visit those people who had an affinity with him and brought light and sound from heaven to bless this place, lit up lights in their souls and dispelled their karma. We are happy that today the Cambodian people, who live far away from their motherland, had a very rare opportunity to meet the Living Master. They must have a great affinity with him.
We, as disciples of Master Ruma, were fortunate enough to follow him and attend this spiritual ceremony today, feeling much gratitude and appreciation towards this opportunity and His grace. We have witnessed the importance of religion to human souls and the beauty of Buddhist traditions that Cambodian people preserve so well. Temples are the centers of moralities that unite human spirits together. No matter what nationality we are, our souls are the same. Everyone seeks inner peace, no matter whom they are and where they live. Therefore, as human beings, we have to take care of our souls together with our physical bodies. The right method of spiritual practice is with the guidance of a true Master to walk towards the path of liberation. This is very important in order for human beings to live in this impure and impermanent world. We are fortunate to have met the true Master and have the right method available to us in our hands. We would like to thank our beloved Master Ruma once again for his love and compassion towards all beings in this world. OM! RUMA.