Ajahn Chah Establishes Wat Nong Pah Pong and a Dhammapada Verse

In Episode 37 of the Ajahn Chah Biography Ajahn Jayasaro relates the Establishment of Wat Nong Pah Pong and a Dhammapada verse with commentary by Aahn Munindo

Flamboyant outer appearance
does not in itself constitute
an obstruction to freedom.
Having a heart at peace, pure,
contained, awake and blameless,
distinguishes a noble being.
v. 142

Outer forms are not what really matter. The Buddha always pointed to the heart, the place we need to
focus. He emphasized this because we easily forget, becoming too concerned with how things appear.
This verse is about an inebriated householder shocked by massive disappointment and despair.
The Buddha’s teachings, pointing directly at that which really matters, transformed his despair;
instead of falling apart, he realised perfect unconditioned peace. When the focus of our practice is merely on forms and appearances, spirit is compromised. Straining too much for the ultimate explanation of the five precepts, for example, may stop us from seeing the intention behind the action.
The form of the precepts is there so we become mindful of our motivation. Holding the precepts correctly, there is a chance they will serve their true purpose. Correct living is noble being.

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