If we’re without Dhamma, then people can get together for all kinds of worldly victories, even to plot to kill somebody. So, harmony, really, actually means, practicing Dhamma-Viniya.
If you practice just the Viniya alone or Dhamma alone, then it’s not a complete or whole practice. If you’re just totally into Viniya, that’s all you care about, it’s easy to get stuck onto these rules. You get very fastidious. You just get tense and uptight. You get lost. You lose the perspective, worrying about all these rules.
But if it’s just Dhamma without the Viniya, then it’s the same. If you throw away the Viniya and are just left with the Dhamma, saying everything is impermanent so what can you do; taking a principle like “Tatha,” (which means “Suchness,”) and thinking, “Everything is just Suchness;” or speaking in terms of ultimate truth, then that doesn’t make sense. Then you just throw everything away. Actually, that just leads to carelessness and sloppiness.
But the Dhamma with the Viniya makes things very, very appropriate. Dhamma practice together with Viniya is really uplifting. Harmony and talking that’s grounded in Dhamma-Viniya leads to the peace of mind that brings true happiness. Dhamma-Viniya is what the Buddha said will be the guide in his place when he’s gone. Dhamma-Viniya replaces the Buddha. When we practice Dhamma-Viniya, then, we can be sure we’re doing the right thing.
This reflection by Ajahn Jundee Kantasaro is adapted from the talk, Harmonious Dhamma.