The Wish-Fulfilling Golden Sun of the Mahayana Thought Training

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal 1973 (Archive #488)

From the Preface, written by Lama Zopa Rinpoche:

"This book has not been written because there is some new Dharma that was not shown by Guru Shakyamuni. And because of my limited-experience realizations, in no way I have deserved to write such a book, and there is scant hope that it can benefit others.

"But in view of the remarkable fact that in this time, already beyond the period of the five degenerations and an age in which there is the great danger of atomic explosion, an increasing number of Westerners are finding the Buddhadharma as they seek like blind men opening their eye, and as it is extremely important to make meaningful this once-received Wisdom Eye, which analyses all dharmas, clearly discriminating between what to avoid and what to practise, my depthlessly kind venerable Guru, Thubten Yeshe, has given the Vajra instruction that it is necessary to write a book such as this in English."

Meditation Six: The Seven Techniques of Mahayana Cause and Effect (Part II)

THE SEVEN TECHNIQUES OF MAHAYANIC CAUSE AND EFFECT (PART 2)

  1. Shortcomings Of The Self-Cherishing Conception
    On the basis of the following short explanation, I should think about the shortcomings of self-cherishing thoughts.

    The self-cherishing conception

    1. has kept me locked in the prison of samsara for numberless lives since beginningless time, compelling me to bear the sufferings of the six realms as much as possible;
    2. has kept me in ignorance, continuously obsessed by countless problems;
    3. has prevented all opportunities of reaching Enlightenment;
    4. has stopped my receiving any other realisations;
    5. has prevented the understanding and practice of Dharma;
    6. has not even allowed the enjoyment of temporal happiness;
    7. will continually destroy me in the future, as it has done in the past; and
    8. changes helpful living beings and inanimate objects into enemies who destroy me.

    My Guru becomes my enemy. So do my friends—relatives and non-relatives— myself and my body, and possessions and non-possessions.

    Tzong.k’a.pa said:
    All the defects and sufferings are the fault of only one thing— the self-cherishing conception. From the beginninglessness of samsaric life, how much suffering has been experienced in all three samsaric worlds? But still the creator of all faults has not been recognised, and is sought in external objects. Because of this ignorance, I have held and harmed the wish-fulfilling mother sentient being as an enemy. On the other hand, my worst enemy, the self-cherishing conception, the cause of all suffering, has been held as the dearest friend. Whatever the action performed, it is under the control of the self-cherishing conception.

    Shantideva said:
    How much suffering and fear, and how many harmful things are in existence? If all arise from clinging to the “I,” what should I do with this great demon?

    There are three hundred and sixty kinds of harmful and interrupting evil spirits, one thousand and eighty kinds of hindering spirits, and four hundred and twenty-four kinds of sickness. Yet all disturbances and sufferings of the present life, all sorts of human tribulations, quarrels, arguments and similar problems arise from the self-cherishing conception. This wrong conception makes me create much evil karma by forcing me to work for self-happiness, self-perfection, good reputation, etc. It makes me jealous of those who possess even the most insignificant thing, proud of being rich and powerful, angry when I hear rude words or see ugly objects, regard other beings as enemies, break my relationships with friends, and not get along with my teacher, parents, spouse, brothers and sisters. The self-cherishing conception disrupts the peace between all beings, and as long as this great demon lives in my heart, keeping peace from myself and others, there can be no method whatsoever by which permanent harmony can be found.

    Sha.po.pa said:
    Until oneself has been recognised as one’s own enemy, no realised Guru can help. When one sees oneself as one’s own enemy, then the Guru can be helpful.

    This great enemy prevents my following the Guru’s orders correctly, despite repeated warnings from Dharma friends. It makes me follow only my own habitual and very old, bad character. Thus, I appear hostile to those whose advice I ignore. Instead of recognising my own bad habits as the cause of all these problems, I blame other beings for them.

PRAYER TO BE SAID AFTER THE FIFTH TECHNIQUE (during Meditation Six)
From the Profound Tantric Text, Guru Puja

With this prayer visualise:

Guru Shakyamuni, surrounded by Vajradhara, the Infinite Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Arhants, Dakas, and Dakinis, many other Tantric Deities, the Protecting Deities, and all the Holy Gurus in the direct and indirect Lineage of the Teachings, sending much light to me and to all sentient beings, who are visualised as surrounding me.

This light is absorbed into me and into all sentient beings, purifying all negativities and obscurations and bringing all Knowledge—especially the Knowledge of all the shortcomings of the self-cherishing conception, completely dispelling this wrong conception from my mind.

RANG.NYI CHE.PA DZIN.PA CHONG.NÄ.DI
myself care holding horrible disease this
MI.DÖ DUG.NGÄL KYE.PÄ GYUR.T’ONG.NÄ
undesired suffering arising as cause seeing by
LE.LÄN DÄ.LA KÖN.D’U ZUNG.J’Ä.TE
creator of faults regarding spiteful holding by
DAG.DZIN DÖN.CH’EN JOM.PAR J’IN.GY’I.LOB
I clinging demon great destroy please bless

(Please bless me to destroy the great demon of the “I”-clinging conception by seeing that horrible disease, the self-cherishing mind, as a spiteful object and the cause of all the undesired suffering, and by blaming it for the creation of all faults.)

After this prayer, complete the visualisation as described on pp. 16-18 and dedicate the merits with the prayer on the last page.

  1. The Benefits Of Cherishing Others More Than Oneself
    Infinite benefits result from taking care of others more than myself. A simple example, taking care of other beings makes them happy, as I am happy when cherished by others; and what could give me greater happiness than seeing my mother happy?

     

    But this practice has great purpose and infinite benefits—the definite cessation of all interrupting obscurations and negative actions and imprints, that I have been creating from beginningless time until the present. Thus it allows me to accumulate merits, thereby receiving basic, gradual realisations leading to perfect Enlightenment, so pleasing the Kings Buddha and their sons: Bodhisattvas and Arhants.

    Since reaching Buddhahood depends on this practice, it is of the utmost importance to cherish others more than myself.

    How is this?

    1. Buddhahood is the co-operation of Dharmakaya and Rupakaya.
      Obtaining these depends on
      • following and completing the co-operative path of Method and Wisdom, which depends on
      • practice and realisation of the six Paramitas, which depends on
      • Bodhicitta, which is based on
      • Mahayana great compassion, and this depends on
      • taking care of others more than myself.
    2. Becoming an Arhant depends on the three Trainings:
      • Wisdom Training (penetrative insight) depends on
      • Concentration Training: disciplining the mind away from immoral actions, that is control of intense agitation and selfishness by moral discipline. This depends on
      • other beings—the object of keeping precepts.

PRAYER TO BE SAID AFTER MEDITATION SIX
From the Profound Tantric Text, Guru Puja

With this prayer visualise:

Guru Shakyamuni, surrounded by Vajradhara, the Infinite Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Arhants, Dakas and Dakinis, many other Tantric Deities, the Protecting Deities, and all the Holy Gurus in the direct and indirect Lineage of the Teachings, sending much light to me and to all sentient beings, who are visualised as surrounding me.

This light is absorbed into me and into all sentient beings, purifying all negativities and obscurations and bringing all Knowledge—especially the Knowledge of how to take more care of all other sentient beings than of myself, and the Knowledge that taking greater care of other sentient beings and leading them to Enlightenment is the door to Infinite Knowledge.

MA.NAM CHE.ZUNG DE.LA GÖ.PÄ.LO
mother all taking care to happiness leading thought
T’A.YÄ YÖN.TÄN JUNG.WÄ GOR.T’ONG.NÄ
infinite knowledge door of seeing by
DRO.WA DI.D’AG DAG.G’I DRAR.LANG.KYANG
living beings this all my raise as enemy even
SOG.LÄ CHE.PAR DZIN.PAR J’IN.GY’I.LOB
life than as dear to hold please bless

(Please bless me to be able to hold sentient beings dearer than my life, even should they all rise against me as enemies, by seeing that the thought of taking the greatest care of sentient beings and leading them to Enlightenment is the door to Infinite Knowledge.)

After this prayer, complete the visualisation as described on pp. 16-18 and dedicate the merits with the prayer on the last page.