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.

Day Three: Maitreya Buddha meditations; Tong-len; Dedications

So during the mantra, so you can do meditation on the loving kindness, you can do that. The other thing what was explained here, you can do that, then also you can do meditation on loving kindness, generate loving kindness to sentient beings and the great loving kindness or yeah, immeasurable loving kindness, whichever way. However if you do tong-len, if you do the very special bodhicitta practice, taking other sentient beings’ suffering and cause, taking other sentient beings’ suffering, that’s one, and the cause of suffering, the delusion, karma, the karma, delusion, including its negative imprint, including the trace, the imprint, so all the cause, including the subtle negative imprint, completely you take it on yourself. So, not only that, even the harmful environment, conditions, you take it, whether it’s dirty, whether it’s, whatever it is, whatever the harmful, yeah, whatever they have, for example the hell beings, the iron house, no doors, windows, for unbelievable billions and billions, billions, billions number of years, until their karma finished they have to be inside this iron house, no doors or windows, burning iron house, not only oneness, hot, oneness with the fire but hot-red, everything, then burning. So, the environment you take this, like that. Or the whole ground is swords, totally filled with swords and then wherever you step, cuts the body. That’s not a major hell, that’s a secondary hell. So all this, then being large, like a valley, like a city, large, the container, molten liquid, hot molten liquid and then the hell beings are cooked there. So all those take in on yourself, then give it to the ego, who did not allow you, who only causes suffering, obstacles, all the undesirable things, from beginningless rebirth never allow you to achieve enlightenment up to now and never allowed you even to achieve liberation from samsara and who will let you to suffer endlessly in samsara and who will never give, never allow you to achieve liberation, enlightenment. So this ego that tortures you all the time, never gives any peace and that harms sentient beings life to life, directly or indirectly. So you take all those, then absorb, like a bomb so you destroy your ego, self-cherishing thought.

So this, so if you do the tong-len meditation practice while chanting this mantra, that’s, because loving kindness is within that. So it’s very good.

Then when you, then all the sentient beings, hell being, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, suras, asuras, they all achieved the qualities of cessation. They all achieved the perfect qualities of cessation.

Then you generate loving kindness to them, how they are devoid of happiness, so the lower realm sentient beings devoid of even the temporary samsaric pleasure and then even deva, human beings, even those devas, the form, formless realm, even they have samsaric pleasure but they’re devoid of ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara, the ultimate happiness, they’re devoid. And then arhats, those arya beings, also devoid of enlightenment. So anyway, wishing them to have happiness, especially enlightenment, wishing them to have, then that yourself to cause this to all sentient beings, then with that then you do the meditation of giving, your body, possessions, all the past, present, future merits, all the cause of happiness, including enlightenment, everything, all the past merits, present, future merits, and result happiness up to enlightenment, completely then your body, possessions, everything you give, make charity to numberless hell beings, numberless hungry ghosts, numberless animals, numberless human beings, suras, asuras or you can do one by one. They received everything, and then, all these things became pure land, became pure land for the hell beings, so you think of the qualities of pure land, so very blissful, sapphire, the jewel ground but blissful nature, very soft, blissful nature. When you put steps, when you walk on that, then you feel great bliss, like that, blissful nature. So, no suffering, no suffering of rebirth, old age, sickness and death. There’s no suffering. Where there’s not even the name of the suffering. And all the trees are wish-fulfilling, everything’s wish-fulfilling, so whatever you think, it happens [snaps fingers]. So which has all the beauties, which has the purest enjoyment. All the enjoyments, purest enjoyment. So there’s no negative emotional thoughts [a couple of words inaudible], no negative emotional thoughts. So purest enjoyment. So as beautiful as possible, so beautiful swimming pond and beautiful park, huge, size of room flower petals, like that, which has all the beauties. You think filled with blissful scented smell, all the flower rains. Even the wind and birds they are making Dharma sound by blowing the tree, so everything like that. So one can think as beautiful as possible.

So if you have read the text explaining about Amitabha Buddha pure land or whatever, so there are a number of those. So it becomes like that.

And then also, by having these enjoyments then it becomes cause of realizations in their mind, path, so all these you give and all these become, pure land, enjoyment, everything, realization, everything. So then everyone become, and every hell being become enlightened, completed the whole path and ceased all the defilements, become enlightened. So you visualize them in the Maitreya Buddha. So then like that, now hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, suras, asuras. So that is extremely good.

So when you take all their sufferings, there are numberless sentient beings in each realm, hell, hungry ghost, animal, human, suras, asuras, intermediate state, in each realm there are numberless sentient beings. So when you take their suffering you collect numberless merits. Seven times numberless merits, so including the numberless intermediate stage. So you collect numberless merits, how many? Seven times. Then there’s also cause of suffering. Then there’s all the harmful, unpleasant environments of each realm. So, so much merit you collect and then by taking on yourself, by destroying self-cherishing thought, it becomes a great purification. It becomes a great purification.

Then when you give to other sentient beings by generating, when you take but you generate great compassion, and then you take, that’s how you do, how to start. Then, you know, how they are suffering, so then, what they do not want is suffering, what they want is happiness, what they do not want is suffering but they’re ignorant in the cause of suffering, so in the practice, in their actions, they constantly create the cause of suffering. So think of those things. Because they don’t know Dharma, they don’t know karma, so in the actions they do all the opposite, by following ignorance, anger, attachment, that’s the attitude. So if that’s the attitude how can the action be virtue? So you can understand from that. By following attachment to this life, then how their action can be virtue? No way. So, the whole entire life, from childhood time, from birth, up to the death, all the activities, all the study they do at university, college, from kindergarten, all done with, basically, attachment. Of course, if there’s thought benefiting, thought to benefit other sentient beings, that’s Dharma, but always done with attachment to achieve happiness for this life. So then it all become negative karma.

And whatever activities they do, always do negative karma, with that motivation. Then all the business, all the jobs what they do, done with the motivation, if they did with the motivation that which is non-ignorance, non-anger, non-attachment, then it would be Dharma, especially no self-cherishing thought, of course, then purest Dharma. Without self-cherishing thought, but most is not in that case. Most is, all these activities are done, jobs, business, all these are done with the attachment clinging to your own this life’s happiness. So that’s the main goal, that’s the main achievement. So therefore, that’s the, motivation is nonvirtue, so all the, doing business and all the jobs that’s done for years and years and years and years and years and years, all become negative karma. So to actually clarify, everything becomes negative karma. If you explore, if you examine, explore whether it’s virtue or nonvirtue, if you explore, it’s all negative karma because the motivation is nonvirtue. Most people’s motivation is that, nonvirtue. They have attachment clinging to this life, to achieve only the happiness of this life.

So you can see here now, including the insects, including the ants that are so busy running around, or the flies, mosquitoes or flies on the cow dung or all the flies so busy flying round, birds, fish, so busy in the water, so it’s the same, attachment seeking the happiness of this life. So therefore it’s all become negative karma. But their aim, but their wish is happiness. What they want, what they want to achieve, their motivation want to achieve is happiness, but what they do and what they want to achieve and what they do, their method or their way of earning happiness is wrong. What they want is happiness but the way they do is all, so in the practice all negative karma. So it’s very good, just watch around and you try to see. So it’s completely true, what the teachings, the lam-rim explained about the sentient beings.

So then, how wonderful it is if they are free from all the suffering and causes. And I will cause them to be free from all the suffering and causes. So then you do the taking, so like that.

So when you give, by giving your body to numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, suras, asuras, human beings, so seven times numberless merit you collected by giving just the body. Each realm there are numberless sentient beings. So then all the past, present, future merits, so can’t imagine how much merit, how much limitless skies of merit, numberless merit you collect. Then all the happiness up to enlightenment you give to all sentient beings. So then, can’t imagine, unbelievable, inconceivable, so many times numberless merit. Then, each, how many possessions you have, you make charity to all sentient beings. So, sentient beings are numberless in each realm, so then by giving, by making charity each possession to the numberless sentient beings in each realm, again you collect numberless merit. Again you collect numberless merits with each possession. So unbelievable source of merit, incredible. Within that [snaps fingers], a minute or a few seconds [snaps fingers] when you give everything. So each time when you do this, each time when you do the taking, each time when you do giving, you become closer to enlightenment. Unbelievable merit you collect and unbelievable defilements purified, so each time you become closer to enlightenment.

And, I mean, of course, it is a challenge. Somebody has cancer and you take that person’s cancer in you. Before we’re talking taking all the suffering, but here I’m talking about one problem, taking one problem of that person on yourself, on the ego. Give it to the ego and destroy the ego. So, whether it’s a relationship problem or sicknesses. So it’s very, so when you do this practice, if your mind gets scared, so if the mind get scared, it means it is working. It means your mind is not dead. It’s working. Anyway, so, it means, yeah, that’s good. Like similar when you meditate on emptiness or recite the Heart Sutra, if you feel, if there’s some fear comes when it says no this, no that, no this, no nose, no tongue, anyway, when there’s some fear comes, that’s a very positive sign. That’s very good. That means your reciting the Heart Sutra, it hits on the ego. That means, it’s like a bullet, hits on the object of ignorance, such as the I that, even though, yeah, the object of ignorance, the I, self, exists in mere name, merely imputed by mind, but as it is appeared truly existent then ignorance hold onto that it’s true. So when you recite the Heart Sutra, saying no this, no that, so it is working. When the fear rises it means it hit, like a bullet it hit on the object of ignorance, the object to be refuted, it hit on that. Right on that. It hit on that. So when it hits on that, then the fear comes. When it doesn’t hit on that, then there’s no, kind of like numb, no feeling. When some fear starts to rise, it means it has hit on that, object of ignorance. Hit means that this is not true. That you have been believing from birth, from this morning, from birth, from beginningless rebirth up to now that it’s true, but now it isn’t true. So when we think a little bit like that, saying no, there’s no this, no that, so then fear rises. So that’s positive. Yeah, so that’s it. So maybe I should do the lung of the other Maitreya, the Maitreya Buddha prayer, not the one dedicating the merits of building the statue, not that one. There’s other one, and that prayer is helpful for the project. This other prayer. It starts with the, I’m not sure [Tibetan]. Actually it’s a prayer came from Maitreya himself, this one. So maybe I bring the Tibetan tomorrow, the text tomorrow. If not, then maybe in the Russian language. I’m joking.

Dag gi ji nye sag päi ge wa di….

So, normally when we do retreat, not only here, when you do individual retreat or group retreat, whatever, we should know that what it means, it’s not just recitation of mantra. Normally people might think retreat means just finishing the number of mantra. Actually that’s not the main one. How it should be is that, the main idea of retreat it should be a retreat from anger, a retreat from attachment, the clinging, eight worldly dharmas, retreat from ignorance, so delusions, I mean, should retreat from pride, retreat from jealous mind, these are the very, very foundation of retreat. On top of that then you do the recitation of mantra.

So example like this, so even you’re doing tantric retreat, but what makes tantric retreat successful, effective, is if you do that tantric retreat based on lam-rim, the three principal aspects of the path to enlightenment, guru devotion, very important to receive blessing, then you receive the blessing of the deity. Otherwise, without guru devotion, the lam-rim, there’s no way to receive blessing, no, how many billions of mantras you recite of the deity cannot receive blessing of the deity. So, it is blessing of the guru, blessing of the deity, should know the same. So it’s just a different name. One should discover, it’s just a different name, like one person different names. So, the renunciation, the contentment, the renunciation, then bodhicitta, right view. So, I think especially bodhicitta. So on that basis, thought of, I mean, compassion for sentient beings, thought to benefit sentient beings, on that foundation then you do tantric retreat, then the place in mandala, yourself the deity, all that, all the things, then the more advanced or more sophisticated or more advanced. But that becomes tasty, tantra becomes tasty, all the sadhanas, reciting mantra, all those become tasty only if you have the foundation of lam-rim. Like what makes icecream very tasty is by what? By what? Huh? Cream? What makes it tasty? Icecream? [Student: Honey.] Honey?

So anyway, for Tibetans there’s ?tu, ?tu is a powder, dried cheese, so you put a lot of butter. Maybe nowadays put sugar but in the past sugar didn’t exist in Tibet so powdered cheese and then a lot of butter inside, so then that become _______, with those butters then it becomes nyum-nyum. It becomes nyum-nyum. So there’s expression called, this is called ?tu, [a few words missed] so the tu is delicious is because of the kindness of the butter. So the sadhanas, the deity’s practice, and reciting mantra, all those things become very tasty, very nyum-nyum only if you have lam-rim background, foundation. If you do the guru devotion and three principles of the path then it becomes nyum-nyum. Then the whole retreat, your practice, daily life or, so normally we have to know how to do retreat. It means just in abbreviated way, how to do retreat, something effective, that you can receive blessing, the deity, that [pause] so then [pause], well, one example, it’s not that those who follow or regard me as a guru, it’s not that I have blessing, but that person’s pure way of thinking, the devotion, then receives the guru’s blessing, like that. The deity’s blessing. Then, everything works. Then like a seed is planted there, then water, then a stem comes out. Then experience comes out, the realization comes out, from within, from one’s own mind. So, the recitation of mantra and those things, beneficial, how much beneficial, useful, effective, depend on the lam-rim, on the basis of guru devotion, three principal aspects of the path to enlightenment. So how much one is able to have this, stronger the tantric practice. Those become more effective, then a lot of experience can happen during that retreat, discovery, a lot of discovery can happen during the retreat, practice.

So what I was trying to say is, so the main retreat what we should know is, the very first retreat is retreat away from, as much as possible, the anger, attachment, ignorance. Otherwise, then just becomes only finishing the number of mantras normally. So then that becomes a very poor quality of retreat or the real retreat is not happening. You are doing all the mantras but the real retreat is not happening. So the real protection is not there. So that’s just to emphasize that.

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me, the three-time merits collected by others, may the bodhicitta be generated within one’s own heart, in the heart of one’s own family members, in the hearts of all the students and supporters and all those, there are so many who give up their life, who sacrifice their life to the organization, doing service to other sentient beings, teaching of Buddha, in all their hearts. And those who rely upon me, whom I promised to pray, whose name is given to me, doing service, in all their hearts, and in the hearts of all the sentient beings without delay even a second.

Jang chub sem chhog rin po chhe…..

May the bodhicitta be generated in the hearts of all the leaders of the world. That’s a very important prayer, so that all the millions of people in each country, they will have, they are led, so they can be led in the correct path to peace and happiness and they will have so much peace and happiness in the country, all those millions of people.

Due to all the three-time merits collected by oneself, the three-time merits collected by others, jang chub sem chhog rin po chhe…..

Now very important prayer. May the bodhicitta, due to all the three-time merits collected by oneself, by others, may the bodhicitta be generated in the hearts of all these people who are called, who has harmful thoughts to harm the world and to harm other sentient beings, and those who are called terrorists or however, whether they are labeled or not, however, all the people who has harmful thoughts to harm others, to harm the world, to harm other people in this world. So bodhicitta, we make strong prayer bodhicitta to be taking place in their hearts, instead of harmful thoughts. Instead of harmful thoughts, instead of the thought of bombing, all those things. Making the life, making the world, making the life of the people in the world so difficult. [pause]

Jang chub sem chhog rin po chhe…..

Every single understanding of Dharma that we have, every single purification that happens to us, that which we do, every single merit that we collect every day, and that we have all this opportunity to do this retreat, all this, is only by the kindness of Compassion Buddha, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is the one object of refuge of us all sentient beings, and originator of all the peace and happiness of us sentient beings. So please pray for long, stable life and all the holy wishes to be succeed, actualized immediately. As well as all other virtuous friends.

Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, who did extensive benefit to the world, for so many years turned Dharma wheel, sutra and tantra, so whatever centers or individual people what they like, who fulfilled, who preserved the whole entire Buddhadharma, Lesser Vehicle, Paramitayana, Mahayana Paramitayana, sutra, Mahayana tantra, who preserved the whole entire Buddhadharma very pure and spread very pure to the world. So made, numberless beings, people in this world, made their life meaningful, made them to turn their life towards enlightenment instead of the lower realms. Made their life turn towards enlightenment. Made their lives meaningful. So Rinpoche’s whatever holy wishes he had, so Rinpoche passed away some days ago, so his holy wishes to be, whatever he had, to be actualized immediately.

And then to reincarnate, to be able to see the smiling holy place, holy face, the new manifestation, to be able to see, us to see as quick as possible. And then to benefit again, to illuminate this world, to benefit again to this world, sentient beings, illuminate the darkness of ignorance of the sentient beings of this world and direct everyone’s life towards enlightenment by revealing Dharma again. So please make prayer.

Gang ri ra wäi….

Päl dän la mäi ku tshe tän pa dang….

Due to all the three-time merits collected by me, collected by others, may all the father and mother sentient beings have happiness. May the three lower realm beings empty forever. May all the bodhisattvas’ prayers be succeed immediately. May I be able to cause all this to happen by myself alone.

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me, the three-time merits collected by others, may all the projects, building Maitreya statue and all the rest of the holy objects in different parts of the world, quickest way to purify sentient beings and collect extensive merits and bring to enlightenment as quick as possible and so all the needs for that, all the funding and all other needs be received without delay even a second. And as well as offering service to the monasteries, to the Sanghas, the largest monasteries, particularly the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition, where they learn the most extensive, depth Buddhadharma, the philosophy, then continue to offer service to them, their needs, continue to offer service to them. Then as well as Sanghas in this organization. Then building monasteries, nunneries, different parts of the world, to preserve Dharma, spread Dharma for sentient beings, as well as all the various social services, then the universal education for wisdom and compassion, so that, the school and things like that. Then all those extremely important in this world, to be most successful, beneficial, and then, the sick people, those things, giving food, shelter, giving food and so forth, Mongolia, those things, and then building hospitals in Tibet all those eye-operating hospitals and so all the various, and then hospice, many countries there are hospices in the West, in many countries. Those, then to be most beneficial, all those to be most beneficial, to be actualized, those ?which has to be actualized, then receive all the needs, all the funding, all the needs and then all these projects to be most beneficial for sentient beings. Then as well as the publication of Dharma texts, spreading Dharma in the world, spread Dharma all over the world, every corner of the world spreading Dharma through texts, making available, so all those, in different languages, however, all the Buddha’s teachings, to be most successful, most beneficial, all those receive all the needs for that.

And so one thing, these two things normally I forget. The publication and the prison project. So there are so many, I don’t know how many, many hundreds of, I think, I’ve forgotten the number, prisons, in the West, prisons, then helping them, that teaching them, helping them, teaching meditation, preliminary practices, people in the prison and also giving them vows, five lay vows and Eight Mahayana Precepts and so forth. So this extremely well-running for the last quite a number of years prison project. So that, so many of the prisoners they did many hundreds of thousands of prostrations, Vajrasattva mantras and so many practices they did and some take Eight Mahayana Precepts all the time, so there are many great practitioners happened in the prison. Physically in the prison but the mind mentally liberating, so because practicing Dharma, so liberating from samsara, the real prison. So there is great success happening. That even myself wrote letters to them, many pages of letters, twenty pages or this, many pages of letters, anyway. So there are the Sanghas who are doing, the main person is Robina, and dedicated all that. So there’s supposed to be one prisoner in Australia or somewhere, I don’t know, in the United States, I think, who is going to be killed. So he asked Robina to be there while he get injected or killed, wanted her to be there, so I’m not sure what happened now. So sent advice what to think or do when the time.

Anyway, so there are so many social services, many, so it’s very fortunate to offer all these social services, so they are by the kindness of the students who dedicated, with compassion, devotion, dedicated, so able to, so like that. That, and then those receive all the needs for that, all those to be most beneficial for sentient beings.

Now may all these social services, whoever receives it, may it cause them to generate compassion, so then only then become something very worthwhile. That compassion brings them to enlightenment. So we offer social service and then generate compassion, if we can generate compassion in their mind, in their heart, then that brings happiness in all the future lives, liberates from the two extremes, samsara and the lower nirvana, brings to enlightenment. So, and then each mediation, each center to be most beneficial for sentient beings, able to cause to find faith in refuge and karma, find faith in refuge, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and karma, only then they can abandon the cause of suffering and practice the cause of happiness, only then, by understanding karma. So it’s very important to have understanding faith. And then generate loving kindness, compassion, bodhicitta in all their hearts, able to cause, each center able to cause to the sentient beings.

Then particularly to spread Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching in the hearts of all sentient beings, bring to enlightenment, so by receiving all the needs, all the funding, all the needs.

Then each center has many projects, social services, many things to benefit sentient beings, besides teaching, so all those things to be actualized, to be most beneficial, okay. So we pray. [pause]

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me, the three-time merits collected by others, [pause] that which exist but which is empty from its own side, may the I, who exists but who is empty from its own side, achieve Maitreya Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists but which is empty from its own side, lead all the sentient beings, who exist but who are empty from their own side, to that Maitreya Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists but which is empty, by myself alone, who exists but who is empty. [pause]

I dedicate all the merits to be able to follow the holy extensive deeds of bodhisattva Samantabhadra and Manjugosha, as they realizes.

I dedicate all the merits as the three-time buddhas dedicate their merits.

May the general teaching of Buddha, particularly Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching, may it be spread in all the directions, may it be flourished forever in this world by completely actualizing within one’s own heart, in one’s own family members, in the hearts of all the students and supporters and those who, so many who give up their life, who sacrifice their life to the organization, doing service to other sentient beings, teaching of Buddha, in all their hearts to be actualized, and then in the hearts of everyone in this world, the Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching, the stainless teaching, unified of sutra and tantra, may it be actualized in the hearts of everyone in this world.

Chhö kyi gyäl po tsong kha päi….

Dag dang zhän gyi dü sum dang…

So good night and good morning.