Bodhgaya Teachings: 2006 (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India 2006 (Archive #1588)

Days 1-3 of teachings given at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, December 26-31, 2006. Included are a Maitreya Buddha puja, teachings and meditations on Maitreya, and oral transmissions of the Maitreya mantra, Maitreya prayer and King of Prayers.

Click on the audio links to listen to that portion of the teaching and read along with the unedited transcript. You can listen to Days 4-6 here.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 2005.
Day One: Maitreya Buddha Puja Part A

[Rinpoche chants in Tibetan.]

Wisdom and compassion and perseverance for the sake of sentient beings, I [a couple of words missed]. In the presence of the buddhas, I will generate bodhicitta.

[Rinpoche chants in Tibetan.]

Wisdom and compassion and perseverance for the sake of all sentient beings I abide in the [a couple of words missed] and I’m going to generate bodhicitta.

[Rinpoche chants in Tibetan.]

So we’ll do the purifying the place.

[Rinpoche chants verse in Tibetan]

So purifying the place, you visualize the place Amitabha Buddha’s pure land, like that, the sapphire, the jewel ground, nothing hard and blissful nature when you step over, and then filled with the beautiful forms and the size of rooms, like that, the flowers, they all have scented smell, flowers, wish-granting trees and whole space filled with the scented smell and so all the, wind blowing the trees and that you hear from the noise wind blowing tree you can hear teachings. Birds flying [a couple of words missed] even from that they make sound of Dharma, so pure land which is like that, which has all the beauties, which has the purest enjoyment and whatever you generate a wish, everything gets fulfilled. Like that, a very pure place where there’s no suffering.

Visualize like that and all these offerings, there’s all these beautiful offerings. Every tree is a wish-fulfilling tree, whatever the sentient beings in the pure land, whatever they, the bodhisattvas, whatever wish they generate, everything gets actualized.

So as an offering, pure, [pause] so we can create the cause to enjoy, to be born in a pure land and to enjoy that.

Now, the next one, blessing the offerings, here all the thousand offerings here, we blessing all the offerings here, as well as we bless all the lights at the Root, all the offerings there at Root and bless all the offerings that which are in all the FPMT centers’ gompas, in the meditation hall, all the extensive offerings, as well as we bless the house where I live in the United States, the California house, all the flowers outside and inside, all the lights outside and inside, as well as the water offerings, fruit offerings, all those, and the Washington, Amitabha Pure Land retreat place, all the flowers outside and inside, all the waters offerings in all the rooms, many hundreds of water offerings, all the lights, many thousands of light offerings, so bless them all and then we offer.

[Rinpoche chants verse in Tibetan, then offering cloud mantra three times, with music; then words of truth.]

Now invocation.

[Ma lu sem chen….; prostrations to Thirty-five Buddhas; general confession]

Any negative action that has been done with body, speech and mind and all those particular ones, broke pratimoksha vow, ?bodhisattva vow, tantric vow, collected from beginningless, not only in this life but from beginningless rebirth, even it didn’t happen but happened from beginningless other lifetimes, all these negative karmas that is, the negative actions, vices, that one has committed, even it didn’t happen in this life, happened in other lifetimes. However, all these negative actions, vices, that collected from beginningless rebirths up to now are completely purified. So the negative karma, or negative action that means it can be purified. That it doesn’t exist, it is not inherently existent, it doesn’t exist from its own side, so therefore one can purify, any negative action, any negative imprints left on the mental continuum from beginningless rebirth can be purified. So think, it’s created by the mind and also it can be purified by the mind. It’s created by your own mind and also can be purified by your own mind, can be made nonexistent by your own mind, all the cause of the sufferings. So this way also it means, while it’s empty, suffering, means you can be free from that. Suffering, problems, you can be free from that, can be pacified [a couple of words missed] the negative action. So it has been purified, generate strong faith. This is how you, how you create it with your mind, make yourself totally pure. [pause] Even with this meditation technique, generating strong faith that it’s purified, with the power of the Sangha, with reliance on them.

So now, in emptiness there’s no I, creator of the negative actions, the action that which obscures the mind, action which result is sufferings, done with the impure mind, self-cherishing thought, ignorance, anger, attachment, so there’s no, so in emptiness there’s no creator, there’s no I who creates, in emptiness there’s no action, there’s no all these negative actions, there’s no action of creating these things. In emptiness there’s no negative actions, those negative imprints that which is created. [pause]

While everything are empty, existing merely imputed by mind, while everything are empty then one’s own mind label this and that.

Due to all the three-time merits collected by me and the three-time merits collected by others, may the bodhicitta, may it be actualized within one’s own heart, bodhicitta, the altruistic mind to achieve enlightenment or the cherishing the sentient beings, seeking only happiness for others, may this bodhicitta be generated within one’s own heart, in one’s own family members, in the hearts of everybody, every sentient being and in particular everyone in this world, leaders of the world, especially, so that they can lead all the millions of people in each country in the correct path to peace and happiness. And especially in the hearts of all the young and old people who have harmful thoughts to harm others, to the world, so bodhicitta to be taking place in their hearts without delay even a second.

Jang chub sem chog….

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me and the three-time merits collected by others, may I achieve Maitreya Buddha’s enlightenment and lead all sentient beings to the Maitreya Buddha’s enlightenment by myself alone.

There’s a lot of space there. There’s a lot of empty space there where there’s lights, if you want to see the text. There’s so much empty space there and also can come here, people can sit also here, with the lights there’s, it’s much warmer here. Some can sit also here. There’s lights. There’s light here. People can sit here also.

So this idea of making the thousand offerings to Maitreya Buddha, this is advice from Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, who recently passed away, who unfortunately that, who great yogi who has skies of qualities. Not only scholar qualities of, not only scholar, scholar in the words, the sutra and tantra, the extensive Buddhadharma, not only that, but who is a great yogi who has attainment of the whole path to enlightenment, whose experiences of the path, including the tantric path, not only the common path, the guru devotion, renunciation, bodhicitta, right view, not only that, but the uncommon the tantric path, the path of secret mantra of Vajrayogini, Vajrayana , oh that, so, who has experience like limitless sky. So, who was a great scholar, who was abbot in Tibet, where there are many thousands of monks in Amdo, and then in India, Dharamsala, he lived on the mountain, lived ascetic life. Then, meditated on the path for many years and so then later, my connection to Rin-, my connection, so this little bit becomes a little story, so my connection to, why, how my connection to Rinpoche happened was, started with the lung, the wind disease. So, there is a very profound meditation, very secret, extremely secret, very profound meditation called mani ?ha ?tun. So, this is very powerful when you have wind disease, that due to, for some people when you do intensive study, so you get this lung. Not everybody but many people when you do very intensive study you get this lung, or sometimes, well, there are different reasons you get lung. Sometimes due to attachment you get lung, the uncontrollable attachment and attachment do not get what you want then you get lung. That, and so there are different ways you get lung, wind disease.

But if you say lung [low tone], lung [low tone], if you change your little bit accent, lung [low tone], instead of saying lung [high tone], the lung [low tone] then this means oral transmission in Tibetan. Lung [low tone] means oral transmission. You know, receiving lineage of teachings or, the oral transmission, without the commentary, that’s called lung [low tone], but if you say lung [high tone], then that is the disease. Sicknesses, mental problem. That’s mental problems. So, I’m just explaining the two Tibetan language, lung [high tone] and lung [low tone]. So, a little bit Tibetan class.

Then, anyway, so, we had one Kopan great teacher, Geshe Lama Konchog, who escaped from Tibet, from Sera Monastery, Sera Je Monastery and who lived in the Himalaya mountains, very high mountains near the border of Tibet, Tsum, where he lived many years near Milarepa’s cave, lived like Milarepa, no food, just lived on the, took the essence, taking the essence of wind, he did taking the essence with wind, so there are different techniques, taking the essence with stone, water, flowers, things like that, so wind. So lived, like Buddha lived six years ?austerity life, like that, Geshe Lama Konchog lived six years in the cave like Milarepa, with nothing. Did meditation, meditating on the path to enlightenment and then, after people find out, after people came up and they saw him in the cave, the people in the valley didn’t know that, and they didn’t know that he’s a meditator, so they got very frightened because he has long, long hair grew and meditating with nothing. So some people came up, so saw then after a few days I think sixteen people or something, they came up to drag him, took him out.

So anyway, then, so the first time those people came up to, saw Geshe-la, Geshe Lama Konchog in the cave, they were very scared, they get very frightened, they threw rocks on him, at his cave. Then he moved a very high mountain and another Milarepa’s cave, he stayed there. Then he came out from that, lived, he did two years retreat under one tree, without a house, without any walls around, without even a tent, so just under the tree he did meditation for two years. So totally sacrificed his life to attain the path to enlightenment for sentient beings.

Anyway, so Geshe Lama Konchog, this great yogi, who completed the path to enlightenment, so he wanted, when he came from the mountains to Nepal, Kopan Monastery, so he mentioned many times that he need this lung, you see, to heal the lung. So, anyway, so that time at Dharamsala I was staying, the time when I was staying a long time at Dharamsala, so there was some, from Nepalese government officials there’s some misunderstanding, there was some problem to the Kopan Monastery, there was one time. So anyway, so the director of the FPMT, the International Office director, one student from Washington called Jeff Nye. So he got very stressed out and got lung, so I asked him to look for any lama who has the lineage of this meditation, so I sent him to Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche. So then Rinpoche had this lineage, so he took the oral transmission of this technique, meditation technique, this very secret, special one. So, there was no translator, but Rinpoche just read this and it helped for his lung, got better. So even just by hearing , without explanation.

So anyway, so then I went there, I went to receive the lineage, the oral transmission of this meditation. So then I passed to Geshe Lama Konchog and the abbot of Kopan Monastery, Lama Lhundrup, and like that. So that’s the first, that’s how it started, the connection to Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche. Then I have asked some questions of tantra, different things, then noticed that Rinpoche has incredible experiences in the tantric path. So I took, then I took more and more teachings, then that’s how it started, that’s how opened the channel or the, to Western students, also same, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, to all the students, so it opened, everyone is able to, then receive teachings from Rinpoche, receive guidance from his, not just words from the text but from his own experience, so then so many times Kalachakra, one of the most precious things, Kalachakra initiation, so many other initiations, so turned the Dharma wheel for, all over the West, many parts of the world, even Russia, Kalmuk, Russia, I think a few times, and then Latvia, then many parts of the world, Rinpoche has been all over many times and turned Dharma wheel very extensively and practiced, preserved very pure and spread very pure to the sentient beings.

So, unfortunately, Rinpoche, when Rinpoche went to Israel, during the war Rinpoche was in Israel to give teachings, then some, showed the aspect, Rinpoche manifested out some sicknesses, then in hospital they proved that had cancer, the doctors they proved cancer. Then Rinpoche canceled all other programs then Rinpoche went straight to Dharamsala. So recently passed away, and Rinpoche was in meditation for a few days and then also, I think, recently also the holy body was cremated as well at Dharamsala.

So this advice, the making a thousand offerings to Maitreya Buddha was Rinpoche’s advice for the success of the project, the building 500-feet Maitreya statue, in this world, in India, so that’s the idea, the advice originally came from Rinpoche. So then we started, since from that time then in Taiwan, other places and especially here in India, Nepal, so we did, so here we did many times also, last time with His Holiness Karmapa and many other high lamas, so did many times here, with Penor Rinpoche and, I think, so many times we did, organized here, did, did also with the high lamas from different Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, the head of the Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, the four different traditions and different lamas invited.

So, besides making holy objects, statue of Buddha and the stupa, which represents Buddha’s holy mind and scriptures, so however, making these holy objects has limitless skies of, like the atoms of this earth, like limitless skies of merit, inconceivable merit one collect, but why Maitreya Buddha statue build? The particular benefit that is that even one made the size of thumb statue or stupa of Buddha, so it is mentioned in the teachings of Buddha that how many atoms that size of thumb statue, stupa, has, that many lifetimes you will be reincarnated, you will be born as a king in the human world and in deva realms. You will be born as a king and then with all, I guess one thing is, being king with all the wealth and power so that you can help so many people with your power and with your wealth and especially with Dharma, if you’re, yeah, a Dharma king, have met Dharma, then you can benefit so many sentient beings, free them from many problems, sufferings and bring in happiness and bring in ultimate happiness. So I think, then so how many atoms the size of thumb stupa or statue, how many atoms it has, that many cause to achieve perfect meditation, the shamatha, calm abiding, the form and formless realm, those what causes to be born there is the perfect meditation, shamatha. So you create, how many atoms the size of thumb statue, stupa, has, you create that many causes to achieve perfect meditation, shamatha. So, anyway, without the meditation, without the realization, the perfect meditation, the shamatha, that totally, that you cut completely the attachment-scattering thought and then the other one is, not scattering but then even you’re still focused on the object but it’s sinking thought. So you, it’s said that you cut completely these two obstacles, so then only then you have perfect meditation, otherwise not. So the sinking thought has gross and subtle sinking thought; attachment-scattering thought has gross and subtle attachment-scattering thought, so you have to cut both, gross and subtle both in order to have perfect meditation.

So without this then you can’t achieve great insight, by meditating on emptiness unified with the shamatha, calm abiding, realization, that you’re able to derive rapturous ecstasy or this bliss of the body and mind. You can’t have this experience of great insight. Without this you cannot have exalted path, arya path, wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, that which is the only one that which directly ceases the cause of the sufferings, the cause of the death, cause of the old age, cause of the sicknesses, cause of the rebirth, so that we have to experience all these over and over, again and again, so what causes all this to happen, why we have to become old or why we have to be sick, so why we have to die, why we have to be reborn again and again, die again and again. So the cause of the delusions, the misconceptions, delusions, and the due to wrong doctrines then born with it and from past lives, then the simultaneous born the delusions, so however, then the action, karma, so including the negative imprint, seed of delusion, from where delusion rises, so that wisdom directly perceiving emptiness is the only one that which directly ceases the delusion and its action, karma, which is called karma, so including the seed of delusion. So then that’s how one can achieve total liberation, free forever from the oceans of suffering of the human beings, oceans of suffering of hell, hungry ghosts, animals, suras, asuras, all those other different sentient beings, their sufferings, free forever from them. Then also cease subtle defilements with the support of bodhicitta, those paramitas, the morality, charity, perseverance, patience, concentration, all those, so able to complete the merits, merit of wisdom, merit of virtue, and able to achieve the two kayas, the holy body and the holy mind, dharmakaya, rupakaya, one is able to achieve. Then one is able to do perfect work towards sentient beings, only then one can do without the slightest mistake, one can do perfect work towards sentient beings. So therefore, you can see now the perfect meditation, shamatha, how important it is.

So here you create the cause, so here making even size of thumb statue or stupa, there’s so many atoms so you create so much cause, so many causes to achieve perfect meditation. And then how many atoms the size of thumb statue or stupa has, that many causes to achieve exalted path, the right-seeing path, path of meditation, so you achieve those where, that where, as I mentioned before, where you remove the different types of delusions. And then you achieve sorrowless state, after having removed even the seed of delusion. So that’s where you overcome completely the death, you never have to experience death after that.

Then also, same, by achieving the Mahayana path, exalted Mahayana path, right-seeing path, path of meditation, there’s five Mahayana paths to achieve enlightenment, Mahayana path of merit and preparatory, then right-seeing path, path of meditation, no more learning. So when you achieve the third and fourth, those Mahayana paths, the right-seeing, the meditation, so no more learning. So when you achieve the third, the Mahayana right-seeing path, that time then you have abandoned the rebirth and, suffering rebirth and old age, sicknesses and death, you have overcome all this. Even that time, this is much before enlightenment. So this is by actualizing the Mahayana the arya path, exalted path. So if you make a statue, the size of thumb statue or stupa, that many atoms you create the cause, that many atoms, you create the cause equaling the number of atoms of that size of thumb statue or stupa, cause to achieve arya path, by achieving that where you can overcome death, all those sufferings. Then, how many atoms that size of thumb statue, stupa, has, that many cause you create to achieve, not only liberation but enlightenment.

So now, making a size of thumb statue or stupa has unbelievable merit, very important cause, very important need, all this achievement, for your own happiness as well as for, to be able to do, to be able to liberate numberless other sentient beings from suffering and causes and bring them in ultimate happiness, liberation, especially the full enlightenment, the peerless happiness. So now here can’t imagine 500-feet Maitreya statue or any big size, can’t imagine how many atoms it has, so how many, how much merit you collect, cause of all those realizations, is numberless. So now here, now that’s the same any statue’s the same, now here particular why we are building a Maitreya statue, so one thing is that after now, the present founder of the Buddha’s teaching is the Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. So first of all, we need, to say that we need to understand why important that the teaching of the Buddha exists in this world. It’s not just trying to preserve as a culture, a tradition, a culture. It’s not just that. Because it’s a tradition, it’s a culture of a thousand years ago, preserve, because it’s very old, preserve, it’s not that. In the world normal thing is it’s very old so antique, so you must preserve, very important. But it’s not that. That thing, like some old bones, a thousand years ago then so precious you must preserve. But here the teaching of Buddha how important it is in this world, it’s not like this. But if it’s old tradition but no use, but there’s no benefit to the world, the religion or the tradition there’s no use, there’s no benefit to the world, it doesn’t bring happiness to the world, it only harms to the world, and it doesn’t help when you die and after the death then, so then there’s no use, so then what’s the purpose of preserving? It doesn’t make sense. So it has to be useful, it has to be useful for the happiness of the sentient beings, for the happiness of this world, peace, then it’s important, then there’s a purpose to preserve, not by age or how old it is. Not by that, but by whether it’s useful or not to the world, to the sentient beings.

So anyway, so now here, why the teaching of Buddha, why it’s important to preserve and to exist in this world, it’s because...