The Need for Wisdom and Compassion (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Tara Institute, Australia, June 3, 2006 (Archive #1585)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these teachings at Tara Institute, Australia, June 3, 2006.

Developing Guru Devotion

... that can understand words and meanings, but especially qualified of eight freedoms, ten richness, eight freedoms to practice Dharma, ten richness, those conditions to practice Dharma, and whatever Dharma one wish, one can practice. So, having this, having achieved this, so here, not just only met Buddhadharma, the teachings of the four noble truths to achieve liberation, not just only that. Not only Dharma, the teachings on karma, you abandon negative karma and practice virtue, you achieve happiness, you can achieve happiness of this life and future lives, not just that, not just correct path to happiness, correct method to achieve happiness, not just that, to achieve liberation from samsara. Even just have met this Lesser Vehicle teaching, teaching just the four noble truths, that’s just unbelievable, just you have this opportunity, it’s unbelievable. It’s ?more unbelievable, unbelievable. So doesn’t get to practice, so this how precious it is, more than having found mountains of gold, diamond. Now, if you don’t get to practice this in each hour, minute, it’s like having lost mountains of gold and diamond, much, greater loss than that.

And then, not only that, we have met on top of that, the Mahayana teaching, the Paramitayana teaching, able to achieve enlightenment to be able to enlighten all sentient beings, liberate them from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to full enlightenment. So this is like having, much more precious than having, you own, you received, you own this size of earth gold or diamond. So after having met and if one doesn’t get to practice then greater loss, each minute greater loss, even each second greater loss than having lost, didn’t get to practice Mahayana teaching then greater loss than having lost this size of this earth gold and diamond. So, then, having met the Mahayana secret mantra, Vajrayana, then it’s like the whole sky filled with gold, even, yeah, so like that. It’s much more precious than that, having met tantric teaching. So didn’t get to practice after one has met, after one received, if one didn’t get to practice no question a day, even a minute, second, didn’t get to practice, then greater loss than having lost skies of gold.

Then within tantra there’s Highest Tantra, where you can achieve enlightenment in a brief lifetime, much quicker than lower tantra, in a brief lifetime of degenerated time, that you can achieve enlightenment, that within three, if not this life, within three lifetimes, within seven lifetimes, definitely can achieve enlightenment within sixteen lifetimes, so this is very short. Even it’s sixteen lifetimes, very short. So, by living in the tantric vow, even you don’t meditate on the path, even you don’t get to meditate on the actual tantric path, but just living in the vow, tantric vow, the root vows, without breaking, within sixteen lifetimes definitely you become enlightened. So that’s very quick.

So as mentioned in the root tantric texts, the Highest Tantra even within a few number of years, in a brief lifetime of degenerated time you achieve enlightenment. Then that means you’re able to enlighten the numberless sentient beings who are obscured and so much suffering, devoid of happiness, so then they do not want to suffer and want, only seeking happiness, so those sentient beings, you’re able to bring them to enlightenment as quickest. So quicker one achieve full enlightenment by practicing Highest Tantra, you’re able to bring, liberate the sentient beings from the suffering of samsara, bring to enlightenment quickest. So now here, much more precious than whole sky filled with diamonds, much more precious than you own that much, so no question one day, even a minute, a second didn’t get to practice then great loss. You have met but you didn’t get to practice then greater loss than sky filled with the diamond, okay.

Then there’s Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching, unified of sutra and tantra, where you can, you practice integration of three deities, Yamantaka, Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, practice the integration of these three deities, which makes to achieve enlightenment much quicker than general maha-anuttara tantra, much quicker with this special practice. So after one received, these teachings met and then didn’t get, so much more precious than sky filled with the wish-granting jewel and each day, no question, even an hour, minute, didn’t get to practice, even a second, then it’s like greater loss than whole sky filled with wish-granting jewel you have lost.

So we can see here how we are, as much of those teachings as we have met, even one hasn’t met tantra but just met Mahayana teaching, just itself is unbelievable, unbelievable fortunate, so opportunity to practice. So then no question everyone, so many of us then have met tantric teaching and there’s opportunity to meet, even you haven’t met yet but there’s opportunity to meet, to learn and to practice. So actually, so we have no, so we don’t value, we don’t realize how this human body, like this, this body we received this time, which has all this opportunity, which has eighteen qualities and all these opportunities to practice, don’t realize how this is unbelievable precious, how this is unbelievably precious. [pause]

So even a billion times, the joy that we have, that you have just this precious human body and all these incredible opportunities, so many good things you can do for yourself, accomplish and cause for sentient beings, numberless sentient beings, so that happiness of this life you can cause others, happiness of all the future lives you can cause to others, liberation from samsara you can cause others, and enlightenment. So before, what you can achieve yourself. Now here what you can offer, with this precious human body what you can offer to others. What it can do, unbelievable. So anyway, but not realized this. So this is much more, so able to put the ball through the gate, through this gate or through the, so that doesn’t stop even rebirth in the lower realms. I think that doesn’t purify any karma, doesn’t purify any negative karma, so nothing. So, even you do this, even you’re able to put the ball in the ?close ?court…. Huh? Huh? [Students suggest goal and other things.] Even you’re able to put the goal, even you goal, even you put, even you’re able to throw the goal or what? [Students make various suggestions.] Kick the goal? Kick the ball. Able to put through the whatever, gate, even if you do that, even you’re able to do that a billion times, a zillion times, a trillion times, it’s nothing. It’s nothing! It’s nothing compared to the precious human body you have here, that’s nothing. That doesn’t purify one negative karma, except maybe you’re creating more negative karma, if the mind is attachment clinging to this life then it’s only nonvirtue. So that’s nothing. So here, compared to this, the precious human body, all this opportunity what we have, that’s nothing. That’s just , that’s nothing, that’s so silly thing. That’s nothing.

So the reason why we don’t, because we don’t realize this, we don’t meditate enough, we don’t realize this, intellectually, by hearing teaching, reading, ?interest, but you don’t, we don’t really continuously meditate and to really discover this. So you don’t, putting the ball in that you feel more, that one feels more exciting, more precious. I don’t know how to say, more exciting, more precious, than, you don’t feel much, by having this human body, you don’t feel anything, not even the value of $10. Oh, the $10, Oh! Must be careful. $10, must be careful, or $100, $10, must be careful, don’t give it away, must be careful that, so you cherish, because you see the benefits. But here with this incredible precious human body with all this opportunity, nothing. Completely abandoned, completely nothing, no feeling, really how much wasted since one met Buddhadharma up to now, how much wasted. Since the guru gave teachings, revealed, showed the path, how many years, totally ?wasted, that’s so much time.

Anyway, even one day we think we practice but much of the time there’s no practicing Dharma. With the attachment clinging to this life, nonvirtuous thought, then all the activities become nonvirtuous, job, everything, many hours job, many hours sleeping become nonvirtue, all negative karma, so totally wasted, even in one day. So now you can think of all those years, completely wasted. So as Shantideva says, no more ignorant, [Tibetan] so there’s no more ignorant than this, there’s no more foolish than this, there’s no more, you can add, cheating, deceiving yourself, in the world, in existence, there’s no more greater cheating than this. So you can see here, it’s unbelievable what opportunity we have and why this is so precious, unbelievable. So can’t see the value, even $10 you think that’s more precious, this is more precious than one’s own human body.

So maybe I finish this one, okay. Then I conclude.

Then now, on the eighth bhumi, a bodhisattva who achieved the eighth bhumi, then how much able to do practice, benefit sentient beings, so now, equaling the number of the atoms of three thousand galaxies. Anyway, you know what is galaxies, anyway. I just say the words. The commentary is in your mind. Anyway, so universes that, like this, so universe, the whole thing, so that when we do offer mandala, there’s four human continents, this is the one world, but this southern continent, then there’s eastern continent and western continent, northern continent, then Mount Meru, the whole thing, sun and moon, all that, so that’s one entire universe.

So now like that, one thousand, then one thousand like that, one, two, three, four…thousand. Then like that, again one, two, three, four…thousand. So like that, three thousand, okay. So that many universes. Now how many atoms? Even one universe has so many atoms, unimaginable, one universe how many atoms. Now here talking about, like that one thousand, then like that one thousand, counting one, two, three, four, five…thousand. Then like that, one, two, three, four, five…thousand. So that many, three thousand galaxies or three thousand universes, how many atoms it has, so equaling the number of the atoms of three thousand universe, okay, so that many times the eighth bodhisattva, so when we become, when we achieve the eighth bhumi, then we’re able to see that many number of buddhas, that many numbers of pure lands you’re able to go, then able to see that many past, able to see future that many, of others, yours and others, then that many different concentrations at the same time you’re able to do, that many different Dharmas you’re able to reveal to sentient beings, so that many sentient beings so equaling the number of atoms of three thousand universes, so that many number of sentient beings. So can’t imagine how many sentient beings. Even sentient beings equaling the number of one universe, equaling the number of atoms of one universe is unimaginable. Now three thousand, so one thousand, then like that a thousand, like that then a thousand, that many, sentient beings that many number of atoms you’re able to ripen their mind. So now it’s much deeper, much more extensive how much you’re able to benefit. And manifest your body that many times. Then surrounded by that many number of bodhisattvas. So this is even before achieving enlightenment, during this eighth.

Then, okay, ninth bhumi, bodhisattva who achieved ninth bhumi, then equaling the number of the atoms, so qualities how much the ninth bhumi bodhisattva has is equaling the number of atoms of the three thousand universes, not just that, I’m just building it up, so three thousand universes, like that how many? Ten hundred thousand times. Before, eighth bhumi, three thousand universes. Now here, three thousand universes like that, ten hundred thousand times. So this ninth bhumi bodhisattva able to see buddhas, how many buddhas? Then, equaling the number of the atoms three thousand universes like that ten hundred thousand times. Then three thousand universes ten hundred thousand times, then able to ripen, that many sentient beings’ minds able to ripen, able to reveal Dharma that many times, manifest your body that many times, so all the rest the same, able to go to that many pure lands, make prostrations, making offering to the buddhas. Then, now it’s more and more beyond our, can’t imagine, unbelievable how they’re collecting merits and benefit for the sentient beings. Unbelievable.

So now the tenth bhumi bodhisattva. Then it says, the qualities how much it has, how much all these things can do, manifesting bodies, and ripened sentient beings, how many sentient beings’ minds, able to see buddhas, all that, now, equaling the number of atoms of the buddha’s field, inexpressible of inexpressible, so that means unbelievable number, inexpressible or, so here, inexpressible, equaling the number of the atoms of the inexpressible of inexpressible buddhas’ worlds. So it means unbelievable number.

So anyway, in the Madhyamika commentary, the ninth and tenth bhumi bodhisattvas, this is before talking buddha, this is just what they could do is just hard to believe. Hard to believe. That many pure lands, on the pores of their body or something, can cover, can manifest, just, the capacity’s just beyond, it’s kind of hard to, but that’s the reality, that’s the potential, that’s because through developing the mind, by developing the mind you can do that. So our mind has all these potentials, even before buddha. And they can manifest any form, bridge or water, mountain, anything, for the benefit of sentient beings, this is even before becoming buddha. Just unimaginable, there it’s mentioned there in the commentary on the Madhyamika, the Uma ______ ______, and I’m sure other teachings.

So, now here, one conclusion is this. So now, practice Dharma, so here I’m going to mention this way, practice Dharma. Yeah. After this, the conclusion that, even before you become enlightened, how many bodies you’re able to manifest, equaling the number of atoms of just this one world is for us, for us it’s, atoms of this, not the whole entire universe, just this one continent, southern continent, atoms, even the number of atoms of this, you’re able to manifest for sentient beings, for us even just that without talking all the rest, all the universes, without thinking that, just this one world, this southern continent, how many atoms, that many you’re able to manifest bodies to benefit for sentient beings, it’s like enlightenment, it’s like a buddha. It’s not buddha, but it’s like for our, for us, it’s already like buddha. Even that’s beyond our, kind of inexpressible. So we’re talking about the bodhisattva. Then now this, thousands of the, one thousand, three thousand, now the whole entire universe how many atoms? That is still not the eighth, ninth, tenth bhumi bodhisattva, that not, below. Now you think there’s one whole entire universe, with all the four continents, all that, manifested bodies that many to ripen the minds of sentient beings, that many number of sentient beings, it’s amazing! It’s means like buddha for our mind. Then now, one thousand universes like that, number of atoms, then two thousand universes, one thousand like that, counting one thousand, one, then thousand, like that, two, three, so a thousand; then like that, one, two, three, four, a thousand, so great thousand of three thousand universes, so then equaling the number of atoms, that much. So anyway, so up to tenth, like that.

So now, then, can imagine, then from there you can guess what buddha means, how buddha can benefit numberless sentient beings, you can get the idea from there. You can get the idea from bodhisattva’s path, then you get idea of the buddha, far more greater, much, much more greater. Then you can generate faith to buddha. Can manifest the inexpressible, I mean, can’t imagine, to the sentient beings, without any effort, without any motivation, thought, effort, so everything spontaneously happening, revealing methods [snaps fingers], just whenever the karma of sentient beings, appear. Whenever the karma of sentient beings ripened, it’s there [snaps fingers] without delay even a second. There’s no delay even a second, just there. That manifestation, that method, exactly fit their karma. And then, able to bring, like this, from happiness to happiness to enlightenment. So we are led, I’m not saying I am buddha, but what I want to say is that we are led, we are also part of that, we are led by all the buddhas, by all the buddhas in the form of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in the form of Lama Yeshe. Here we have much more merit because we receive teachings, whereas others don’t receive teachings. The buddhas way of guiding sentient beings, many different ways, it’s not only giving teaching. Giving teaching is the highest, that’s the highest guidance of buddha, so we receive that. We receive that, so we are unbelievably fortunate. So numberless buddhas, like that, in various forms. Then also form of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, then Lama Yeshe. So, same, Geshe Doga, like that, that form that we have karma to be able to see and communicate. However, if it’s better than, anyway, so manifest us according to our karma that we can see, according to our impure mind, impure karma. So, which means manifest into having samsaric body, showing sicknesses and having delusion and mistakes in the actions, so manifesting according to one’s own impure karma, impure mind, it means that, so showing sicknesses and suffering, delusion, having delusions in the mind and then the actions, mistakes in the actions, things like that, ignorance, anger, attachment, delusions, then jealous mind, so forth, then, pride, then the mistakes in the action.

So better than this, more pure than this, aspect of buddha, where there’s no one single mistake, no suffering, no one single mistake we don’t have the karma to see. So with the aspect of buddha cannot help us. With that aspect, no mistake, nothing, so we cannot see, so we don’t have that pure mind to be able to see that pure aspect where there’s no mistakes. So therefore, that cannot guide us directly because we cannot see it, so therefore, only way that one can see, communicate, can directly guide us is only this manifestation, ordinary form that which has, shows suffering, having suffering, in the mind having delusion, mistakes in the actions, that which is according to our own impure mind, impure karma, the obscured mind, so according to this present state of mind. So lower than this, animal, like that, then we cannot recognize, cannot receive the teachings or guidance. So these things, so difficult to recognize and receive teachings and guidance.

So therefore, yeah, maybe I mention this later.

So therefore, without this ordinary aspect, without this guru, ordinary aspect, then one’s own life is totally lost, totally lost, guideless, totally lost. So as I often mention, like the child left on the hot desert where there’s nothing, child, baby, left there. Or in the forest, nighttime, surrounded by tigers, all these wild animals and nobody to guide, nobody to protect. So become very terrifying and totally lost. So therefore, in every second, even, not only each day, minute, but every second that we have this guru in ordinary aspect, that you can see and receive guidance directly, so it’s the most precious thing. Most precious thing, most precious and, every one of them, the ordinary aspect, guru in ordinary aspect, they are the most precious thing in your life and fulfilling all your wishes. More precious than the whole sky filled with wish-granting jewels. Again even here, same. So just in each second that you have this guru in ordinary aspect, so it’s so precious, most precious one in your life and then, the kindest, most precious in every second having this. And then, the most important one, most precious one in your life, one’s own life.

Then, with this aspect, then reveal the path, show the karma, the teachings on karma, refuge and then the morality, then that brings us higher rebirth, saves us from the lower realms, and those many eons of sufferings. And then revealing us the four noble truths or three higher trainings makes us to achieve liberation. And by revealing the compassion towards all sentient beings, the bodhicitta, the ?sutra ?Mahayana, then brings us to enlightenment, by revealing the Mahayana path brings us to enlightenment, brings oneself to enlightenment. Then, by revealing tantric teaching then brings even quicker in full enlightenment. So, now here the kindness, by giving refuge, the vows, pratimoksha vows, the lay vows or the ordination, pratimoksha vow, then bodhisattva, tantric vow, then giving the initiation then the explaining tantra, giving the instructions, so sutra, the oral transmissions, the commentaries, so now here the kindness is just, with all this guidance, unimaginable, no words to express. No words.

Oh, that’s just side-talk, just happened just by talking about buddha. So therefore now here, the guru is kinder than all the buddhas, the reason is that. So that is the reason for that, kinder than the numberless buddhas. They cannot directly, we have no karma to see, then cannot guide us directly. So this talk happened just because I was talking the buddha, working for us, we are part of the sentient beings that buddha, so like that. So those who haven’t received teachings on guru devotion and this will help, this is the heart of the guru yoga meditation, the heart, so this, if you remember this every day, think this.

Then here what happens is, when you see mistakes in the guru, you feel incredible kindness. Instead of losing your faith, rising heresy, anger, losing your faith, one second of anger, heresy towards the guru, then so, for a bodhisattva, who is not a bodhisattva to a bodhisattva, if you get angry, then the Bodhicaryavatara says, [Tibetan] so one second getting angry destroys for a thousand eons made charity and offering to the buddhas, so forth, then all the merits that you have created for one thousand eons get destroyed by one second anger. So that’s one non-bodhisattva getting angry to a bodhisattva. So now here, guru, the highest, higher than the buddha, so can you imagine? So with that to a bodhisattva, non-bodhisattva getting angry to a bodhisattva. So then should be much more, here, higher than a bodhisattva, more powerful than buddha, more powerful than buddha’s the guru. So then that will be much more heavier. If you use that reasoning then get angry, heresy to a buddha one second will be much more, then the guru will be much, far more greater.

Also, in the Lam-rim Chen-mo, Lama Tsongkhapa’s lam-rim commentary, I think there also at the beginning, I don’t know, maybe which part when it talks about, I don’t know, criticizing a bodhisattva or something or when it talks about the four advantages of the lam-rim, maybe there. So anyway, so mentioned that, so like that like how Shantideva mentioned, there it’s also mentioned. So therefore, so that many eons get destroyed and one second anger, heresy, that many eons of merit get destroyed and then that many eons realizations get delayed then that many eons you have to suffer in the lower realms.

So therefore now here, so thinking, meditating in this way, then when you see mistakes in the guru it only makes you to feel incredible kindness of the guru. So, without the aspect showing mistakes, my life is lost. There are numberless buddhas but I cannot see. So only this, showing ordinary aspect, with mistakes, only this is who can directly guide me, that I can see, have karma to see, so according to my impure karma, impure mind, manifested exactly that it fit. So therefore, so kind, showing mistakes, unbelievable, to me unbelievable kind. It is so precious, this aspect, to me, the most precious, because this is the only way to liberate me, to guide me. So that, so this way then every mistake you see, having delusions, suffering, making mistakes in the actions, everything, all, seeing all the mistakes, seeing every mistake become cause to develop devotion within you. It becomes support to the devotion, which is the root of receiving blessing of the guru, which is the root of all the realizations, the path to enlightenment. The devotion, which is the root of all the realizations.

The devotion, [Tibetan] so Konchog ?Talai, in the Kangyur, Buddha’s teaching, Kangyur, the Konchog ?Tala [Tibetan], devotion is like the mother, from the mother then children, children, children, children, grandchildren, like that, so all the birth, I mean, all comes from the mother. So all the qualities, all the realizations of the path to enlightenment comes from the devotion, like the mother.

Then, [Tibetan] so if you have devotion, then all your experience of meditation, all knowledge of Dharma, experience of meditation, all then get protected. Otherwise, if you lose devotion, otherwise, what happens, if you don’t have devotion, even the intellectual knowledge doesn’t happen, no, besides no experience of meditation, it’s like a hot desert where nothing grows. So then the devotion helps to protect, to not lose, to protect the experience of meditation, realizations, to not lose, protect. So even the intellectual knowledge, even the Dharma, understanding words and meanings, to not forget, not degenerate. So if something happens there, break samaya or lose, then even you have, some understanding you had before, words, meanings, you forget, lost. Some experience, it’s gone. So it’s like your mind, your heart is like burned, like burnt rice, like burnt plants, so can’t grow. [Tibetan] The devotion is like the city from where the collections of goodness comes, city where there’s so many good things, so many good things, so like a department store where people can get anything from there, with the city, so the devotion is like from there, all the good things come, collections of goodness.

[Tibetan] So there are a few more, there are many, actually I saw this sutra, there’s so many things. In the quotation there’s only a short, few, but in there in the text there’s so many things about, talking about the benefits of devotion.

[Tibetan] So that’s one important, so when you have devotion, your mind is so clear, like very clear water you can see through. So your mind is very clear. So it’s said that when you have very strong devotion then the mind is so peaceful and through strong devotion then even the gross mind, kind of I guess sort of, temporarily stopped, overwhelmed. Then there’s one lama at Dharamsala, he’s Khamtrul Rinpoche, not, anyway, the one who was head of the Religious Office some years ago, no he ?died for a long time. So got incredible devotion to his guru, unbelievable devotion, then because of that mind become so peaceful, so fine, he can remember that he was existing in Tibet when Milarepa was in Tibet. He could see, he could see so, I mean, I don’t know how many hundreds of years ago. So when his mind was so much devotion, his mind become so fine, so clear, so then can see even the time when he was in Tibet, the Milarepa’s time he was there. His Holiness used to say also in the teachings sometimes. So when strong devotion, so mind become so fine and gross mind, all these superstitions covered, like fogginess covered, so many superstitions, all these delusions covered, then become like the dust, up then went down, ?depending on ?water.

So, [Tibetan] anyway, there are many, so I think just stop there.

So this, the meditators who have so much devotion that they experience.

So here with this meditation, thinking this way, become cause of so much developing devotion, each time you see mistakes cause to develop devotion, only to cause you to achieve enlightenment, never become obstacle for that.