THE THREE LEVELS OF TEACHINGS ARE CONDENSED INTO THE LAMRIM
Lama Tsongkhapa asked Manjushri, the embodiment of all the buddhas’ wisdom, what should be done to achieve enlightenment quickly. Manjushri answered these three things: purify the defilements that obstruct the transformation of the mind on the path, transform the mind to become Dharma, to become the path, and complete the path without obstacles.
That advice contains the whole path to enlightenment that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha taught, all the inconceivable teachings, the 84,000 teachings for the various types of sentient beings. There are numberless sentient beings the Buddha has taught, and he has given teachings like the limitless sky, but that advice is the essence.
These 84,000 teachings of the Buddha come in three levels, because sentient beings have different levels of mind, levels of intelligence, levels of karma. The first is the lesser vehicle or Hinayana teachings, which is the path whose goal is to achieve for oneself the blissful state of peace, the total liberation from the oceans of samsaric suffering and its cause, karma and delusion. The next is the great vehicle, or Mahayana, the Paramitayana teachings, the sutra path. By practicing the path that is revealed by that we can achieve full enlightenment, great liberation, completing the qualities of cessation and realizations for the benefit of sentient beings, in order to liberate numberless sentient beings from each of the six realms and bring them to enlightenment.
Benefiting sentient beings is more than healing their diseases or making them laugh. I guess each country might have them but in the United States on television there are many comedians who make people laugh. There are a few—one in New York and one in Los Angeles—who make up stories and make people laugh or maybe hire some people to laugh. Anyway, benefiting sentient beings is not just that, not just making people laugh or healing sicknesses.
Then within the Mahayana there are the Secret Mantra Vajrayana teachings, which reveal the path that we can take to achieve enlightenment in one lifetime. I’ve already mentioned this. We can complete the two merits—the merit of virtue which is the cause of the rupakaya, a buddha’s holy body, and the merit of wisdom which is the cause of the dharmakaya, a buddha’s holy mind. In the Paramitayana path, it takes three countless great eons to complete those two merits, but by practicing tantra, even the lower tantra, we are able to complete all those merits and achieve enlightenment within one lifetime.
As I mentioned before, by practicing the fourth level of tantra, Highest Yoga Tantra, we can achieve enlightenment more quickly because it has more skillful methods than the lower tantras so we can actualize the primordial clear light, the great bliss. It has more skillful methods to achieve enlightenment than the lower tantras, and the lower tantras have more skillful methods than the Mahayana Paramitayana path. By practicing Highest Yoga Tantra and attaining enlightenment in a brief lifetime of degenerate times, sentient beings don’t have to suffer for a long time; we are able to liberate them from oceans of samsaric suffering more quickly. Compared to the Mahayana Paramitayana and the lower tantras, it’s the quickest path and like that we are able to bring the sentient beings to enlightenment most quickly.
These three levels of the path are condensed into the lamrim teachings which are divided into three: the graduated path of the lower capable being, the general graduated path of the middle capable being and the general graduated path of the higher capable being.
I forgot the reason why I mentioned this.
Anyway, Lama Tsongkhapa requested Manjushri to advise him what was the quickest method to attain enlightenment and Manjushri advised him to purify the obstacles, the defilements, and to collect merits, which are the necessary condition for realizations.
Now I remember! In order to achieve realizations of the graduated path to enlightenment we have to understand the importance of doing all these various practices like Vajrasattva, retreats or daily recitations. Doing recitations of the Vajrasattva mantra and so forth are various methods for purifying the mind, while offering mandalas and so forth are various methods for collecting extensive merits.
There are many other practices for collecting extensive merits in order to transform the mind from not seeing any qualities in the guru and only seeing mistakes. Even though the guru is an enlightened being, from the disciple’s side they only see mistakes. The guru has done all the work and purified all the defilements and negative karma. There is nothing, no subtle obscurations left, and all the qualities have been perfected, but from the side of the disciple, they see only mistakes; they are unable to see any qualities.
The Buddha showed the path through the twelve deeds
My talk is getting longer, but anyway, for example, in reality Guru Shakyamuni Buddha became enlightened inconceivable eons ago. Showing the aspect of getting enlightened in Bodhgaya was for our sakes. Bodhgaya is the very center of the world, the holiest place. It is where all the thousand buddhas of this eon have shown or will show the holy deeds such as achieving enlightenment. So far, there have been Krakucchandra, the first Buddha, then Kanakamuni and Kashyapa. They have already shown achieving enlightenment, as did Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, the fourth one, the founder of Buddhadharma in this world. The fifth one will be Maitreya Buddha who will descend to this world and show the twelve deeds, including achieving enlightenment in Bodhgaya, the same place.
The reason Guru Shakyamuni Buddha showed the aspect of becoming enlightened in India over two and a half thousand years ago is to show us sentient beings why we need to practice Dharma and how to practice Dharma. There is suffering, but suffering is not permanent. Suffering is a dependent arising, it comes from a cause; it has a cause. Buddha showed us the cause and what we can do to eliminate it, because it is a dependent arising—it’s not independent, it’s not permanent. If it were independent we couldn’t do anything, but it’s not like that. We can remove the cause of suffering, the cause of the cycle of death and rebirth that we have been going through from beginningless rebirths, making us experience all the sufferings of samsara one after another, in all the different realms.
According to Christianity, if we are born in hell, that’s it forever; there’s nothing we can do. We are forever in hell. We have caused the suffering and there’s nothing we can do. It’s not like that. The cause of suffering is a dependent arising; it exists by depending on causes and conditions therefore it can be removed. We can achieve everlasting or ultimate happiness, the blissful state of peace, forever. What is the method, the true path, to achieve that?
This was shown by the Buddha with the twelve deeds. The path is contained in that. When the Buddha revealed the first turning of the wheel of Dharma, the four noble truths, at Sarnath, he had already shown some of the other twelve deeds: descending from Tushita pure land, taking conception and being born, playing competitively like ordinary people do. He was born as a prince and resided at the king’s palace, where he grew up competing in competitions and playing. Then he discovered suffering—the suffering of birth, the suffering of sicknesses, old age and death. After he had discovered the suffering of samsara for the first time he left the householder’s life, showing renunciation. Then, he went to the forest to look for a guru, living an ascetic life in meditation for six years.
I don’t know which Western month it is but in the Tibetan calendar, in the fourth month on the full moon night—the fifteenth—he became enlightened. He meditated that day and then into the early morning of the day he was going to be fully enlightened. The night before at dusk millions of maras, evil-doers, tried to attack the Buddha to prevent him from becoming enlightened. Unless they could do that they would be under the control of the Buddha, so millions of maras tried to attack the Buddha. They filled the whole ground and the whole sky with all kinds of mischievous, angry forms, sending all kinds of weapons and creating thick fog and blackness, thunder and lightning. Whatever arrows or bullets they threw at the Buddha were unable to harm him at all. The Buddha didn’t receive any harm. They not only tried to harm him with weapons but also to distract him by manifesting as naked old women and very beautiful young women, completely naked with organs showing, in order to disturb him from his meditation, but they were unsuccessful.
First of all, there was no cause to suffer, no karma and delusion, in the Buddha’s holy mind; it didn’t exist, not even subtle defilements. It had all been totally purified. For that reason, from the Buddha’s side there was no cause to receive all this harm. So the bullets and whatever they threw all became flowers for the Buddha. Without even the slightest movement, the Buddha kept abiding in equipoise meditation. Then, by generating loving kindness for those millions of maras, they were completely conquered; their minds were completely tamed.
The next day at dawn he achieved full enlightenment. After that he turned the Dharma wheel three times. The first time was at Sarnath, then at Rajgir, the middle wheel, with the teachings on the Heart Sutra, on emptiness. He turned the Dharma wheel for the third time at Vaishali. This last turning of the wheel was for those who could not understand the middle way he taught in the third turning, even though that was the reality of the teachings. In this turning he revealed the Dharma according to what they could understand, and these became views held by schools such as the Mind Only school.
The Buddha showed these twelve deeds in order to show us sentient beings why we need to practice the Dharma, because of suffering and the cause of suffering and because we can achieve the cessation, and not only that, we can achieve enlightenment, the perfected quality of cessation and realizations, to benefit other sentient beings. In other words, he revealed the teachings to human beings, showing how we can use our human rebirth, how with it we can achieve the greatest meaning, not only the happiness of future lives, not only liberation from samsara, but full enlightenment. With this human body we can complete the path to enlightenment and liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment. With the twelve deeds, the Buddha showed the great meaning of having a human body to sentient beings. However, at Bodhgaya two thousand five hundred years ago was not the first time he had achieved enlightenment, not the first time he had discovered suffering. He had already become enlightened numberless eons ago.
We need purification practices
During the time the Buddha was in India there was a fully-ordained monk called Lekpai Karma. He was not just some distant disciple but actually the Buddha’s attendant for twenty-two years. In all the years he was the Buddha’s attendant he didn’t see any qualities in the Buddha, even though the Buddha had been enlightened for countless eons. However, Lekpai Karma had devotion to his own Hindu guru.
One day the Buddha predicted that those who had done something good would achieve enlightenment but Lekpai Karma couldn’t figure that out at all. He couldn’t accept that. As the Buddha was going on his alms round, a young girl put a handful of grain into his begging bowl and the Buddha predicted that the result of that good action was that the girl would become a buddha called Sangye Chenme in the future.
Whenever we make offerings, do prostrations or circumambulations toward not only the Buddha but even to statues, even just seeing a statue of the Buddha, we collect inconceivable merit that will result in enlightenment. Just seeing a statue has the power to do this, causing us to complete all the qualities of the realizations of omniscience and to develop compassion and perfect power to benefit sentient beings. It plants the seed of enlightenment in our mind, in our heart, and it brings us to enlightenment. This is just seeing a statue, without even circumambulating or prostrating to it. Even without faith, without devotion, there are such amazing benefits for sentient beings.
Anyway, when the Buddha predicted that the girl who offered a handful of grain would become this buddha, Sangye Chenme, Lekpai Karma though it was impossible and assumed the Buddha was just flattering the girl, just trying to make her happy. I guess he thought like this every time the Buddha explained karma.
Once the Buddha advised Lekpai Karma to tell his guru he should not eat sweets. I think the guru was sick. Maybe he had diabetes like me. I know I’m not supposed to eat sweets! But Lekpai Karma thought that the Buddha wished to harm his guru, so he told his guru he must eat sweets. He thought the Buddha was lying, and was saying the opposite in order to harm the guru. He interpreted the Buddha’s intentions like that. As a consequence, the guru ate sweets and died. Lekpai Karma was the Buddha’s attendant for twenty-two years but he didn’t believe the Buddha when he explained that his guru was born as a hungry ghost on the road. I’ve forgotten what he did after that.
Anyway, from the Buddha’s side he was enlightened inconceivable eons ago but Lekpai Karma only looked at the mistakes. When the Buddha gave a prediction like this, Lekpai Karma’s negative mind projected him as lying, telling lies. Unable to understand, he called the Buddha a liar.
I am using that as an example of how to our mind the guru appears to have mistakes, therefore we need these purification practices.
Difficult or easy depends on karma
Some people find it difficult to understand the Dharma but for some people everything’s easy to understand, everything feels like coming home. I remember that particularly because we have been doing these Kopan courses for a long time—this is the forty-second—and I’ve seen it here.
At the beginning we did the one-month courses twice a year but then Lama Yeshe and I started traveling to the West, to Australia and everywhere, and we were unable to continue doing it twice a year. I’m not talking about the week or fifteen-day courses but the one-month ones.
Some people, even when they first hear the teachings, they feel at home, they feel like they have come home. They feel like there is nothing strange there, nothing coming from outside. That feeling of coming home is not the same for everybody. Some people feel that Buddhism has nothing to do with them. It’s something exotic, with nothing to do with their life. Reincarnation and karma and all these things are something outside, not related to their mind. To them it seems difficult to understand; they can’t imagine how it’s possible. But that doesn’t mean that everybody has the same problems.
All this is due to karma. The feeling that people have of coming home is because they have met the Dharma in the life before this or some time ago. They have heard those teachings and that’s why they feel at home when they hear about bodhicitta, compassion or renunciation or whatever the subject. It is something they are familiar with from the past. Whatever Buddhist subject they haven’t heard or studied much in the past they find more difficult to learn, to understand.
There is the story of Vasubandhu and the pigeon. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha had two heart disciples and what were called the Six Ornaments, six great, highly-attained scholars. Vasubandhu was one of them. They were not like scholars at university nowadays, not only intellectually expert. These great pandits were highly-attained beings who had actualized the path and had gained realizations of all the lamrim subjects. Not only renunciation, bodhicitta, right view, guru devotion, not only that, but even those five paths to achieve liberation and the five Mahayana paths to achieve enlightenment, with the ten bhumis. They studied and actualized the entire path like that.
Once, while Vasubandhu was reciting the Abhidharmakosha, there was a pigeon on the roof of the hermitage. Every day the pigeon heard Vasubandhu reciting this text and after the pigeon died, Vasubandhu checked with his clairvoyance where it had been born. Seeing that the pigeon was born as human being in a family nearby, he went down to the family and asked whether he could have that child as a disciple. The family offered him the child—they must have been a very obedient family. He became a monk called Lobpön Loden and because of the teachings he had heard in his past life when he was a pigeon he become an expert, learned in that subject. He wrote four commentaries on that text. But then, when he heard the Madhyamaka teachings, he had difficulties understanding that because he had not heard much of it in the past.
It’s similar when you hear Buddhism. Some of you find it easy, some find it difficult. It depends on how many imprints were planted on your mental continuum in the past. Understanding this story you can understand the point I am making. It depends a lot on how many imprints you have, whether you have heard Buddhism in past lives, and whether this has left positive imprints on your mental continuum. Whether an imprint was left and how strong that imprint is determines what happens in this life, how much you are able to learn and understand and have realizations.
Knowing that, you can see it doesn’t mean that if you find something difficult to understand it is wrong. It’s just that, even if you had heard it in a previous life, it hadn’t left much of an imprint on your mental continuum. You can understand this through the story of Lobpön Loden, who heard the Abhidharmakosha in his previous life as a pigeon, then became a monk and an expert in the subject.
If you can put a lot of effort into studying, reflecting and meditating as much as possible, then even if you don’t understand the subjects very well, you are leaving positive imprints by listening and studying. Of course the goal of all this is to have realizations. That’s the conclusion we are all working toward, to bring the path into the heart.
Therefore, what I am saying is that no matter how difficult it is to understand, no matter how hard the subject is, you must make yourself as familiar as possible with it, and study it as much as possible. The goal is to put it into practice and to actualize the path so that you can overcome the suffering of samsara and its cause, karma and delusion. Not only that, you can liberate other sentient beings from suffering. Not only that, you can achieve enlightenment for sentient beings. The main goal is to benefit other sentient beings.
You shouldn’t give up because you don’t understand something. If you don’t understand it now, through study you’ll be able to understand it in the future. If, from your heart, you give up because something is difficult it becomes very heavy negative karma, the karma of avoiding the holy Dharma. If you completely give up from the heart having respect for the object of devotion, that teaching, you receive the unbelievably heavy negative karma of abandoning the holy Dharma. This is heavier than having destroyed all the statues, stupas and scriptures in this world—not just in one country like Tibet but in the whole world. Completely destroying all the holy objects—the statues, stupa, scriptures and temples and everything in this world, every single holy object—the negative karma of abandoning the holy Dharma is far heavier than that. It is advised in the teachings that if at this stage you find something very difficult to understand, think that you will learn and understand it in the future. Leave it like that, instead of abandoning it.
If you put as much effort as possible into understanding the Dharma in this life, not being lazy, being wise and skillful, then when you hear the same teaching later, in this life or a future life, it becomes unbelievably easy to understand the words and the meaning. Then, you become very learned in the next life. So, there are huge differences. Even if you didn’t understand the subject in this life, in the next life just by hearing or reading about it you can understand and become extremely learned in it. Then, of course, by putting it into practice, by meditating on it, you are able to have realizations. Like that, from life to life, by developing the mind on the path you are able to achieve enlightenment.
If you don’t listen to the sutra and tantra teachings or study much in this life, then in the next life it will be very, very difficult to understand the Dharma and to practice it because no preparation was done in this life. You shouldn’t cheat yourself; you shouldn’t deceive yourself. You should think like that.
The seven-limb prayer is a practice of seven parts that creates enlightenment. The seven limbs are like seven very important parts of a car or an airplane that carries people to whichever country they wish to go. The essence of the seven practices is collecting all the means to have realizations and purifying all the defilements, all the stains on the mind, that are obstacles to realizations.
Maitreya Buddha achieved enlightenment practicing the seven-limb practice every day, three times during the day and three times at night. So, these seven practices are extremely important.
As I have mentioned, the mind is like a mirror covered with dust and the more merit you collect or the more you purify with these seven practices the clearer the mirror becomes, the more clarity your mind has. Just as the mirror has the potential to reflect everything back perfectly once it is cleaned, by cleaning the mind you are able to memorize the words and understand the meaning, even though this has been too difficult in the past.
The more you purify the mind the easier it is to understand and realize reincarnation, karma, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and their qualities, emptiness and all these subjects. The subjects you found too difficult or unbelievable for a long time you can now see very clearly and you are able to understand them. This is exactly like the example of the mirror. Or the weather. When the sky is covered in cloud or fog you can’t see anything, neither the sun nor the moon, but when those conditions go away you are able to see them very clearly. The mind becomes clearer and clearer and you are able to understand more and more.
Problems come from following the eight worldly dharmas
Therefore, you need to purify and collect extensive merits. From that, realizations will come, even though at the beginning you think it’s impossible. For example, at the beginning you probably think, “Without attachment how can I live my life?” “How can I even survive without a selfish mind?” That’s very common in the West.
Of course, even without being Buddhist, there are many people in the West who have a good heart in their daily life. I have met many really good people. They have no knowledge of Buddhism but they are very kind to others: their family, those around them, animals and so forth. When I say they have a good heart, I mean a kind of selflessness. There are different levels, but for these people, they always think of others before themselves. Others’ happiness comes first. There are many people like that even without meeting Buddhism.
But overall what people believe is that without a selfish mind there is no way you can live. There is no life without a selfish mind. If you are living, you have to have a selfish mind, you have to have attachment. I don’t know whether you agree or not, but I think this is the general attitude in the West. You have to have attachment, anger and all these things! How is it possible to have life without attachment, without desire? People don’t see that attachment is delusion.
This is how people think at the beginning. How is life possible without attachment, without a selfish mind? Impossible! But then later, by studying and meditating on those incredible, unbelievable teachings of the Buddha—and not only the Buddha but also those great pandits, and the great Tibetan lamas like Lama Tsongkhapa, Milarepa and many others—we find that it is possible. Milarepa is known a little in the West from people who have read his life story or have heard about his amazing experiences and all the tantra realizations he had based on bodhicitta.
Only later, by listening to the teachings, by reading, analyzing and meditating, your mind changes and you understand life—how practicing the good heart, the selfless attitude, living life without attachment but with renunciation, brings about a really healthy, peaceful mind, free from worries and fears. You no longer have the ups and down caused by worldly concern, by attachment to the comforts and pleasures of this life. I’m not talking about enlightenment or liberation here, I’m not even talking about future lives’ happiness. I’m just talking about grasping onto today’s pleasure; grasping onto reputation, wanting to become famous in the world; wanting praise, wanting people to praise you; and grasping onto material objects such as gifts. These are the four desirable objects of the eight worldly dharmas.
When you don’t get any of these four things there is dislike, unhappiness. This is the opposite of the four desirable things, and so you have all the worries and fears about these four undesirable things happening: not having comfort, not having reputation, not having people praising you and not having material possessions. When you have the four desirable things your life goes up and when you don’t have them, when it’s the opposite and you have the four undesirable things, your life goes down. Your mind becomes negative, worried, angry. These worldly concerns lead to unhappiness and depression. There is so much depression in the West because of this.
Now you can see what kind of mind creates depression. With all the attachment to this life, grasping onto these four desirable objects, when this doesn’t happen, then depression comes. Depression doesn’t come from outside; it comes from your own mind. What kind of mind does depression come from? It doesn’t come from the mind of wisdom realizing emptiness nor does it come from bodhicitta, from loving kindness or compassion. It comes from the evil thought of the eight worldly dharmas, this attachment that grasps onto these four desirable objects. Not getting what attachment wants, what the self-cherishing thought wants, triggers depression. It happens in this way more than getting depressed in the evenings or mornings.
It is mentioned in the teachings by the Buddha that getting depressed at certain specific times is related to having committed sexual misconduct in the past. The person can’t tell why there is depression at these particular times, but this is due to past negative karma of having done actions of sexual misconduct with this evil thought, the eight worldly dharmas.
This is an extremely important subject, even on a purely psychological level, without thinking in a Dharma way about it. If you analyze where depression comes from you will see it is this and, once you know that, you have a method to cure it. You are able to use the technique to heal this evil thought of the eight worldly dharmas, this wrong concept, this mistaken way of thinking.
The conclusion is this. With the evil thought of the eight worldly dharmas, you always suffer; you always have problems in the life. You suffer when these four undesirable objects happen, the opposite of the four desirable objects. When the four desirable objects don’t happen you get into problems. They are created by your own mind, this attachment clinging to this life. This worldly concern, that concept, gives you problems, such as depression, unhappiness, anger and so forth and because of that you create negative karma again and have to experience the same thing again in the future.
That’s when you receive the four undesirable objects, but even when you receive the four desirable objects, the mind that grasps onto those objects is suffering. That clinging mind itself is suffering, is a problem. You still have problems in your life; your heart is still without peace.
When you analyze whether the mind clinging to these things is peaceful or not at that time, you will find that it is not peaceful. The clinging causes disturbances on your mind. There’s no peace, no satisfaction. The only thing you get is dissatisfaction, so that’s a huge problem.
What you want is a healthy, peaceful mind. That’s what Dharma means—a totally healthy, peaceful mind, a mind filled with inner peace and satisfaction. It is a mind free from this evil thought of the eight worldly dharmas, this attachment, this worldly concern. When there is Dharma there is incredible stability in your heart, incredible stability in your life. You are peaceful and calm.
I want to mention this. With the eight worldly dharmas, if somebody praises you, saying nice things about you—“You are so wise.” “You are so kind.” “You are so beautiful.” Or something like that—you cling to that praise so much. Grasping onto that, you put yourself in prison. You put yourself into the prison of attachment. Conversely, if somebody says you are ugly or selfish or even fails to thank you when you give them a glass of water or a napkin, you get very angry. It hurts you so much.
These two extremes don’t happen when your mind is Dharma. You really have to understand what Dharma is. It’s not praying, not doing all these actions. Of course, that can become Dharma but real Dharma, virtue, is in your heart. When your heart is Dharma, if a person praises you a lot, it’s nothing; it doesn’t disturb your mind. You’re not under the control of that attachment. And if somebody doesn’t thank you or abuses you, it’s nothing. It doesn’t bother you because you are free from this grasping mind, this attachment. Your mind is in a state of peace. With these two, praise and criticism, your mind is balanced, equalized.
This is what Nagarjuna explained. When you are practicing the real Dharma, when you experience what for worldly people would be either the four desirable or the four undesirable things, they cannot disturb your mind. Whatever happens cannot bother your mind; your mind is always in a state of peace.
This is the very first Dharma that Milarepa talks about in his life story. He explains that the unbelievable peace and happiness he always experienced came from this very first Dharma, this very fundamental Dharma. It brings a state of great peace to the mind; it creates a totally healthy mind. Then, everything else is built on this. All the realizations are built on this, the whole lamrim, all the stages of the path to enlightenment are built on this, including renunciation, bodhicitta, right view and the two stages of the tantric path. That’s how you achieve enlightenment.
Maybe I’ll stop here.
Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me, the three times’ merits collected by numberless sentient beings and buddhas, may bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all my own family members, in the hearts of all the sentient beings, in the hearts of all the students of this organization and in the hearts of all the benefactors of the organization, in the hearts of all those I have promised to pray for, those who have died and those who are living. May bodhicitta be actualized in all their hearts, in the hearts of all the sentient beings without delay of even a second. In the hearts where bodhicitta has been generated may it increase.
May bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all the leaders of the world, especially the leaders of mainland China, and the other countries where there are so many problems and sufferings, and may those leaders achieve enlightenment.
Due to all the three times’ merits collected by me and numberless sentient beings and buddhas, may bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of everybody who follows different religions. May bodhicitta be actualized in all their hearts. May everybody in this world have perfect peace and happiness.
Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me and numberless sentient beings, which exist but do not exist from their own side, may the I who exists but does not exist from its own side, which is empty, achieve the Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists but does not exist from its own side, which is totally empty, lead all sentient beings, who exist but do not exist from their own side, who are totally empty, to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists but does not exist from its own side, which is totally empty, by myself alone, who exists but does not exist from its own side, who is totally empty.
I dedicate all the merits in the same way as the three times’ buddhas, the numberless past, present and future buddhas and bodhisattvas like Samantabhadra and Manjugosha dedicated the merits. I dedicate all my merits in the same way as they did.
Due to all the three times’ merits collected by me and collected by others, may Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings be actualized in my heart and in the hearts of all the kind sentient beings, in the hearts of all the students in this organization, all the students who offer service to the organization and to the spiritual friend, and in the hearts of all the sentient beings.
Thank you very much.