Bodhgaya Teachings: 2006 (Audio and Unedited Transcript) Continued

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

These teachings were given at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India, December 26-31, 2006. Included here are lam-rim teachings, and oral transmissions of the Maitreya prayer, King of Prayers and the Stainless Beam Mantra. You can listen to Days 1-3 here.

Click on the audio links to listen to that portion of the teaching and read along with the unedited transcript.

Day Five: Karma

Lama tön pa chom dän dä….chho tu dä pä chhag tshäl lo

The dedication, you read? Yeah, “I prostrate to the Arya Triple Gem….”

Maybe the ?old ?one has, there’s one prayer dispelling the obstacles….

It’s there? Do you have that?

Huh? What? Alle, I see. So that is good to recite after Heart Sutra, before the Lion-face Dakini. That one is good to recite before, after Heart Sutra, before the Lion-face Dakini. It is there? Okay.


This prayer dispelling obstacles, this was recited, even though that’s not common, not common to recite during the teachings that part, but Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche when Rinpoche came to Land of Medicine Buddha in California, Rinpoche added this. So what I thought is, I think it becomes a puja for the center, whatever the obstacle that center has, so by reciting that it becomes very powerful. So by expressing the truth that you have just now meditated on the emptiness, so becomes extremely powerful, the reflecting on the meaning of the Prajnaparamita, the heart of the 84,000 teachings of the Buddha, yeah, the very heart of Buddhadharma, the 84,000 teachings, so Prajnaparamita that Buddha’s way, this is the Buddha’s way of, method, way of liberating us sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering, from this very difficult, unbearable suffering of samsara and the cause, the delusions and karma. So this is the Buddha’s method that he himself liberated from the oceans of samsaric suffering and cause basically by actualizing the Prajnaparamita, the meaning, by learning the words, actualizing the meaning, the emptiness, so himself did that, liberated and achieved enlightenment, but the wisdom understanding the teachings on emptiness, the Perfection of Wisdom, so the wisdom realizing emptiness, then, not realizing things which exist that they are nonexistent, not like that. Things which exist, there’s no way you can discover it doesn’t exist. Or doesn’t exist, something which doesn’t exist but you discover that it exists, that’s not possible. Impossible thing. But things which exist but you realize it’s empty, as it is empty, and also exist in mere name, merely imputed by mind, dependent arising, so unification of emptiness and dependent arising. So, the Buddha has realized the wisdom, so realizing this, so liberated himself from the ocean of samsaric suffering and causes, delusion and karma, so this is the way how liberates us sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and the cause, delusion and karma.

So one can include any problem that is so unbearable for you, any problem that is so unbearable for, in one’s own life, so including that, the one that you see very clearly, the one that you feel very clearly, including that, then the whole entire suffering of samsara, now then yourself to be free forever from all those sufferings and including the cause, the delusion and karma. So including the imprint, the trace, of delusion, totally to remove so nothing, no slightest, not even the slightest imprint left on the, nothing left, so fully awakened mind or fully enlightened mind. So therefore, it’s so powerful, so here using that truth, reciting the words and meditating on the meaning of that, how it, Indra, king of the deva realm, I think when there’s danger to lose fighting the war with the asuras, then such as like this, so remembering, reciting the words and remembering the meaning, meditating on the emptiness, the Perfection of Wisdom, then the obstacles are removed. So then using that as an example and also oneself, all the surrounding people, so whether it’s family member or whether it’s a meditation center or organization, so the whole, so including the teacher, so the obstacles get pacified, so it’s very powerful.

So Rinpoche recited, so I thought Rinpoche recited, the reason, even though it’s not normally, it’s not normal to recite during the teachings, that one, but mainly recited during pujas, when you have obstacles yourself or when you want to help to somebody to pacify obstacles. But then Rinpoche recited during that time, so I thought that’s particularly as a puja for the center, so I think it’s very good to recite this, after Heart Sutra, before the Lion-face Dakini. It’s very good.

Also, normally when you do puja for the center or family or whatever, it’s very good to recite this one at the end of Heart Sutra, that’s very good, even for your own practices, it’s very powerful.

Then short, the requesting prayer to the lineage lamas. So first, a replica of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, so nectar beams emitted from the lineage lamas, purified all the obstacles, the defilements which interfere to actualize the path of, the ?Paramitayana path of, the path of method and wisdom, profundity and extensiveness, the whole path of method and wisdom to achieve dharmakaya, rupakaya, Buddha’s holy body and mind, so to achieve them also. So this, so all those obstacles, and then a replica of Buddha absorbed within oneself and then achieved all the qualities which contains the whole path. Then after that, then Manjushri and Maitreya Buddha then replica absorbed to oneself and received all the qualities. And then after that, Nagarjuna, Asanga, all the pandits, all the groups of pandits, replica absorbed to oneself and ______ ?obstacles ?purified and received all the qualities within oneself.

Then Lama Atisha and all the Kadampa geshes, there are three groups of Kadampa geshes, so the group of the extensive, the ?shungpawa, those who achieve enlightenment by studying the extensive teachings of Buddha, so [a few words inaudible]. Then there’s Kadam Men-ngapa, and Lam-rimpa, so those Kadampas, so not that way, but study lam-rim, the heart of Buddha, and then that way, then to achieve enlightenment, so Lam-rimpa, there’s a group of Kadampa geshes. So those, more condenses, the lam-rim, practiced and actualized the path and achieved enlightenment. Then there’s the Men-ngapa, who instructions, teachings, received from the, verbally from the lama, guru, then you put into practice and actualize the path and achieve enlightenment. So, three groups.

So that is similar, it happened in the past like this, so it’s similar, so not everybody can study, not everybody has the karma and merit, not everybody has the intelligence to study extensive teachings of Buddha to achieve enlightenment, so therefore, then what you do is, the heart of the teachings of Buddha, the lam-rim, the steps of the path to enlightenment, integrated, all the essence, all the heart, so then that one, one learn and put into practice, receive teachings and do listening, reflecting, meditation practice and then try to achieve the path to enlightenment. And then those who can’t even, unable to do even that, however, then the instructions, the essence of the teachings that you received from the guru verbally, then you put, you learn that and put into practice and actualize, the same. The conclusion is the same, try to actualize the path to enlightenment. So there’s, according to the level of mind, intelligence, so this is the most extensive way to learn and to achieve enlightenment, and the lam-rim, the integration, the heart, and then achieve enlightenment that way, by practicing that; and then there’s instructions, teachings, received from the guru, then you put that into practice and achieve enlightenment, so according to one’s own level of intelligence. So because not everybody has the karma or merit or intelligence to learn extensive, all the philosophical teachings. So one can achieve enlightenment, depending on the level, so according to the level of intelligence, most extensive, then more integrated, then more essence, like that. So similar to the sutra, same, and also similar to the tantra. So in the past, even the Kadampa geshes had three groups like that.

So all those who achieved enlightenment by, a replica absorbed within oneself and then achieved all their qualities.

Then after that the new Kadampa tradition, Lama Tsongkhapa and all the, many of the disciples, they all achieved enlightenment, then a replica absorbed also and achieved all their qualities, the path of method and wisdom, [a few words inaudible].

Then, after that His Holiness the Dalai Lama, all the direct gurus, so then, so anyway, so when there’s time then you’re supposed to recite all the gurus from whom you received lam-rim teaching, therefore, you have to recite all their names there, to receive blessings. So however, if not then just the root guru, so you can recite one or two names, so can do that. Then the general virtuous friends. So this is the short way, this is basically what Lama Tsongkhapa, in the beginning of the Lam-rim Chen-mo, the Great Commentary of the Steps of the Path to Enlightenment, how Lama Tsongkhapa paid homage, so that very condensed, short, so like that, only the last part. Lama Tsongkhapa, because it was written by him so his name wouldn’t be there, so then, that, and then one’s own root virtuous friend.

[Rinpoche recites short requesting prayer to the lam-rim lineage lamas in Tibetan.]

The Foundation of All Qualities.

Publishing all qualities, did you say “publishing all the qualities”?

I heard “publishing all the qualities.”


Short mandala.

Sang gyä chö dang sog kyi…. [3x]

So, the purpose to practice Dharma, the purpose to practice meditation, that’s not just because you need happiness and, you don’t want suffering, you want happiness, not just only that but the most important reason that is, there are numberless sentient beings from whom you receive all your numberless past happiness, present, future happiness, including liberation, enlightenment, everything, receive from the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, numberless human beings, suras, asuras, intermediate state beings, all the sentient beings. So the same, they also need happiness, they do not want suffering, so at this time you need to repay their kindness, as you have all the opportunities to repay their kindness and to free them from suffering, that yourself to be prepared or to be qualified, fully qualified, you have all the opportunities to make yourself fully qualified to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bring them in full enlightenment. So therefore, one has the responsibility, therefore, one has universal responsibility to free them from all the suffering and causes and bring to enlightenment. Therefore, I need to achieve enlightenment, there’s no other means to do that, so that’s the reason why practice meditation and why I need to practice Dharma. So need to practice Dharma, need to learn Dharma, that is, so the reason, the purpose, the reason is like limitless sky, the purpose, the reason. How important it is, there’s nothing in the life most important than this.

And there’s nothing more important than this. By this reason that I explained also happiness, happiness doesn’t come from money, happiness doesn’t come from job, happiness doesn’t come from money, happiness comes from the merit, good karma. So money came from merit, money came from the good karma, money came from Dharma. Money, so money came from your good karma, the merit, virtue, virtuous thought and virtuous actions. If it’s wealth then comes from, basically comes from Dharma, practicing generosity and giving, practicing giving, basically, that’s not the only cause of money or cause of wealth or cause of happiness, that’s not the only but that’s the general one. But there’s, there are many other causes. However, it’s all good karma, it’s all merit. So, usually people think comes from money, but they don’t know where the money came from, money came from good karma, that part, that’s the secret part, that’s secret. So, that become mystical. Doesn’t have to be mystical but when you don’t understand becomes mystical. When you don’t understand then becomes secret. It’s not secret but it becomes secret for those who do not understand.

So in Buddhism that, because negative karma, all the sufferings come from, problems come from negative karma, your, the impure thoughts, the nonvirtuous thoughts, those disturbing thoughts such as ignorance, anger, attachment, so forth, those negative emotional thoughts and the actions done out of, motivated by them, they become negative. So it’s created by your own mind, anger, whatever problem it came from your mind, and all the happiness came from virtuous thoughts, virtuous actions, non-ignorance, non-anger, non-attachment, non-self-cherishing thought, so the action motivated by them, so those pure actions, those healthy actions, pure actions, so that’s all came from, even the happiness all came from your mind, even including liberation, enlightenment, came from your mind, and this is, all the problems of this life, relationship and whatever, sicknesses, cancer and AIDS and whatever, all the sicknesses, everything came from, physical and mental pains, emotional pain, the loneliness and depression, whether the depression that which has a reason, that you know why it happened, or depression that you don’t know why it’s happened, however, all, it came from your own mind. So the, created by your own mind, the nonvirtuous thought, the result of the nonvirtuous thought and actions. So therefore, it’s all to do with the attitude. So the happiness came from the positive attitude of life, the suffering, problems came from the negative attitude of life. So it’s all to do with the way of thinking. So happiness came from the correct way of thinking; the problems of life and samsaric sufferings came from wrong way of thinking, your wrong way of thinking, mistaken way of thinking, so it’s just simply it’s like that. It’s all to do, so in the daily life, every hour, every minute, every day, every hour, every minute, every second, depending on how you think, depending, every day, every hour, every minute, every second, depending on how you think, one way of thinking, you create enlightenment with your mind; one way of thinking you create hell, the opposite, the heaviest suffering, so depend on how you think.

So therefore, it’s all to do with the karma, so therefore, because it depends on the karma, your karma, your mind, so therefore, in Buddhism, you have total freedom. You can change. You have total freedom. It’s in your hands, because it’s up to your mind, how you think, so there’s freedom. So you learn Dharma, so you need to learn Dharma. Then by learning Dharma, then gives opportunity, you have wisdom so that gives you opportunity to change your mind. So even there’s so much, even you have all these delusions, there’s 84,000 delusions, like that, however the six root delusions, the twenty secondary delusions, however, [pause] so by learning Dharma, then you achieve, you develop Dharma wisdom, then from that then you get freedom to be able to, like you are the driver, maybe your mind is the driver, I think, maybe something like that. Your mind is the driver, the pilot or the driver. So however, so can, through wisdom, by having Dharma wisdom, then you have freedom to know, you have the wisdom to understand what’s the cause of suffering, from where the suffering, problems, comes, the mistaken thoughts, the delusions, then all the happiness including enlightenment, temporary happiness, liberation, enlightenment, everything, comes from your positive thoughts, the correct way of thinking, positive thoughts, healthy mind. So then, once you have this understanding, discovery, then you have freedom to keep, to practice those, to keep the mind in those positive thoughts, to develop your mind in that and abandon those negative thoughts which produce problems to you and problems, suffering to other sentient beings. So by actualizing the path you can gradually remove all those things.

So when you say or when you hear karma, oh, that there’s nothing you can do, you can’t move, then you can’t do anything, nothing, then you can’t purify, you can’t change. There’s all this, there’s so many hundreds of means to purify negative karma, sutra and tantra, in the sutra and tantra there’s so many hundreds of methods to purify negative karma, so therefore, yeah, so can be changed. So, even though there are many mistakes done in the past, even like in this past lives, and this life, can change. Like Milarepa, killed what? Thirty-six people with black magic. The mother wanted revenge to the uncle who badly treated them, so after the father passed away. So then mother wanted to revenge them so then advised Milarepa to go to learn black magic. So through black magic killed all the human beings who are upstairs, while they’re having a wedding, dancing and, while they’re in the middle of entertainment, dancing, singing, all this, enjoying, all this, so killed many animals, horses, downstairs, then all the people upstairs, the whole house completely collapsed. So, yeah, so like that, but then, yeah, then he met unmistaken guide, the fully qualified guide, Marpa, and then he correctly followed with thought and action, thinking that is buddha all the time and with the action doing service, whatever Marpa advises, everything to do, everything did exactly without any thought of dislike or without any thought of aversion or showing negative face towards Marpa, kind of that he’s abusing me or that he’s not giving me teaching and only giving work, hard work, so then never showing any negative aspect, bad thoughts towards Marpa. So without any slightest, so never gave teachings, initiations, even though that was the main purpose that came, offered his life to, offered his body, speech and mind to Marpa and he didn’t have any even food to, he himself to ______, so asked to care, to take care of food, clothing, everything, then also to give teachings.

So anyway for years and years and years then Marpa only gave hard works, building a nine-story tower by himself alone and then after he completed it then Marpa told him to take every pieces, every stone back to the same place from where he brought and then after, then again built, then again took the stones back to the same place and then again built. So then his back, Milarepa’s back become very, again very hard, the back side carrying stones, bluish, the hard skin, I think, like the animals when they carry luggage so much, how the skin become like that.

So however, so like this, but even he appeared in the teachings, even he sneaked, even mother and Milarepa sneaked, among the students, when there’s other students come for the teachings, he sneaked. So when Marpa sees Milarepa among the disciples, then he immediately scolds and then, immediately Marpa scolds and, among the people, among the public he scolds and kicks him out. So the specific treatment specific to Milarepa.

And then after some time, Marpa’s an enlightened being, you see, Hevajra or Heruka, so his wisdom mother couldn’t bear so then pushed Marpa to give teachings, initiations. So then Marpa accepted and he gave, Marpa manifested, because he’s himself enlightened being, he manifested the mandala and deity and then initiated to Milarepa. Then gave all the advice, teachings, then sent to those very holy places of Heruka to practice. So, guided which place to go to actualize the path, so those high mountains. So anyway, so the Lapchi and so forth, those Heruka holy places. So, he completed the path in that life, within a few number of years then completed the tantric path and achieved enlightenment, the unified state of Vajradhara. So Marpa said that, his own wish is that even to give more, even to continue even giving hardships even longer, that’s his plan. If that happened, Milarepa would have enlightened even much earlier. But Marpa’s wisdom mother pushed to give teaching earlier, so that happened. But if it happened according to Marpa’s wishes, which is to continue giving hardships even longer, then Milarepa will achieve enlightenment even earlier.

So however, all this building towers, all this, all those are preliminary practice, all those are like many hundreds of thousands of prostrations, all those are like many hundreds of thousands of mandala offerings, all those are many hundreds of thousands of Vajrasattva, Thirty-five Buddhas, so all these, refuge, many hundreds of thousands of refuge and, so all these preliminary practices. So that, those, building the tower, all the scoldings and beatings, everything is preliminary practice, purification, all these, pacifying obstacles, all the scoldings and beatings, purifying so many eons of negative karma and defilements. So because have met a very skillful teacher, a very skillful guru, so very wise guru, so then that’s why Milarepa with the, even though killed so many human beings in the early life and black magic, all this, but in the later life became a great holy being, became enlightened being, later part of the life, with the same body. Same body that which created the negative karma, then same body’s become enlightened.

So, here I’m explaining this, it has a different purpose, different angle, different purpose, the important point to understand, but however, one thing is, so the karma is not something that nothing you can do; it’s not like that. When there’s negative karma created, no matter how many heavy negative karma one creates, it can be purified, the mind can be transformed. So Buddhism, here, it shows like that, very great freedom. Because of your karma so you can, so because it’s your karma, not created by an outside being, God or somebody, it’s your mind created, so therefore, you have total freedom. It is in your hands. Hell or enlightenment, liberation or samsara, or even in everyday life, happiness, problems, it’s in your hands, depending on how you think. It depends which way you think. So if you stop thinking the way that which brings problems in the life, which brings problems in the life you stop thinking that way and then think differently, think opposite, which brings only peace and happiness in the life, so even daily life it’s like that. Moment to moment it’s like that.

So sometimes there’s situations, somebody’s angry to you or did something that you don’t like, but then you have a choice whether to get angry, say something bad to that person or practice patience, stay quiet. So , anyway, yeah, anyway, so even in day-to-day life, moment to moment your happiness or problem is up to how you think, which way, it’s like driving a car, which way you go, going to a better road, much more pleasant, better, happy road or the bad road. So then which way you make, you let, how you let your mind to think, which way.

So what I was saying before is, so because happiness comes from Dharma, the virtue, the good karma, the positive thought, positive action, so that’s what Dharma is, so therefore, so why you need to practice Dharma, for your benefit and as well as for, same, also for other sentient beings, their happiness has to come from Dharma so then you have to educate others in Dharma. For other sentient beings to achieve happiness, it has to come from their own Dharma, their own positive thoughts, positive actions. So therefore then it depends on educating them, so therefore, the teaching of the Buddha existing in this world, we learn, practice and we educate others, that becomes extremely, the most important thing, extremely important. Therefore, the teaching of the Buddha existing in this world is unbelievable, how important it is. Without that, then sentient beings cannot achieve happiness. So that means such as like His Holiness, the holy beings, who guide, propagate, who possess the teachings, who preserve the teachings, to exist a long time in this world become the most important, essential thing.

So however, no matter how long it takes time, no matter years and eons, lifetimes or eons it takes time, no matter how hard it is, I’m going to practice, how to say, I must achieve enlightenment to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring to enlightenment; therefore then I must achieve enlightenment. Then, here, going to listen to the teaching. Like that, motivation of bodhicitta.

So, I’m planning to, originally I planned to talk more on the meaning of life and more on the practice, not so much session time, more break time, more break time from sitting meditation, how to make the life, when you’re not in the meditation session, sitting meditation session, then how to make it Dharma, beneficial. So anyway, that was the plan but I think now maybe I now change. So anyway, I think it is very important, but I think, so to be able to do some of Lama Atisha’s teaching, to, I don’t remember, I think one time I tried here, I think maybe, I don’t remember whether I finished or not. I think it’s maybe some years ago. So I thought to go over that today and tomorrow, I think.

So before that, so this is a very important practice, so like that. So yesterday, not all the benefits of circumambulations, that’s just the essence, what I did yesterday. So how important it is that, so that, so like this, when you go on pilgrimage or when we see holy objects, stupas, statues, things like that, so there are so many things you can do to take advantage or collect, to make great purification and collect extensive merit. So also I mentioned the body creating good karma, virtue, the circumambulation, then speech circumambulation, mind circumambulation, I mentioned yesterday, so the recitation of mantras or reciting the praise to Buddha, all these prayers, these mantras of purification or the praise to Buddha, teachings on emptiness and bodhicitta, things like that, those precious texts you can recite. And so, circumambulation with the speech and then, good karma, create good karma with the speech. Then, mind with devotion or compassion, like that, so keeping in those meditations which I explained, then speech circumambulation, how to say, mind, circumambulation of the mind.

So then it didn’t happen to go together up there, anyway, to explain and, do the practice together and explain, and also there’s so many people also not so much space to do that, to do group practice there, explain things, difficult. Also don’t feel very comfortable among people doing things like that.

So anyway, so it’s good also to, while you are circumambulating also to make offering. That’s also very good. I would like to mention this here. So some of you heard many times and also did together, so you know. But maybe, also maybe there’s many or some may not know, so but this is one time to explain to you and so then once you explained one time then you have the knowledge and then all your life, wherever you are making pilgrimage or whenever you see holy objects then you know how, what extensive merits how you can collect. So that brings you to enlightenment, extensive merits, so easy to achieve realization and brings to enlightenment quickly, get out of samsara quickly by actualizing the path.

So while you are circumambulating you can offer, when you see holy objects you can offer flowers, you can offer rice, the grains, you can offer whatever. So the whole point is, every opportunity you can collect merit, so many ways, every opportunity there is you take it. Every opportunity there is, take it. So, like the business person, if you’re traveling doing business, so then every opportunity that person, on the way, whatever opportunity there is, always that business person looks for profit and, benefit, profit oneself, and then buy or sell, whatever, all the time focus on that, whatever profit he can make anywhere, in any part of the world, day and night. So here, but that’s just for this life, however, I mean, that’s just with the attachment, nonvirtuous thought, but however, basically speaking, most people, anyway. Here, to achieve liberation or highest, to achieve enlightenment, to be able to, you yourself to be fully qualified to do perfect work towards the sentient beings. You yourself to be fully qualified to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and then bring them to enlightenment. Here, the purpose is like limitless skies. Why you’re doing all these practices, offering one light or one incense or whatever, one step, even one step going round, every movement here is for, it’s for total liberation, cessation, oceans of samsaric suffering, ?every suffering to end, to finish. And not only that, to achieve enlightenment and to be able to enlighten all sentient beings. To be able to enlighten each and every single sentient being, hell realm, animal, hungry ghost, human being, each realm there are numberless beings, so to enlighten each and every single sentient being. So here every movement, whatever you do with body, speech and mind, is for that. So should discover that, should have that idea.

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Day Five: Bodhicitta »