Experience the Sickness for All Sentient Beings

Experience the Sickness for All Sentient Beings

Date of Advice:
January 2017
Date Posted:
April 2019

This advice was given to a student who had worked for many years helping Rinpoche and who suddenly became very sick and was in hospital.

White Tara, artist unknown. Photo courtesy of FPMT.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
You are the luckiest person. Every day you collect so much merit, every moment, by thinking of me, because we have a Dharma connection, so you collect the highest merit and the most powerful purification, you purify obscurations and negative karma from beginningless rebirths and this is the quickest way to achieve enlightenment. So please enjoy your life.

In regards to what you are experiencing right now, recite malas of this [prayer below], by dedicating your life to the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, suras, asuras and intermediate state beings. Dedicate your life to them, give your life to them, to free them from suffering and for them to achieve all the happiness up to enlightenment, by thinking:

By me experiencing this sickness, may all my mother sentient beings be free from all the sickness, spirit harm, negative karma and defilements, and immediately achieve buddhahood, the peerless happiness.

Recite this like a mantra.

Also you are experiencing this, because—as we made prayers so many times, like when we recite Lama Chöpa—we recite [the verse] to receive the suffering of all sentient beings, particularly the obstacles, so now you are receiving it, which is a sign of great success. Now it has manifested as this sickness, and now you are experiencing this for all sentient beings.

The prayer is from the great yogi Choje Gotsangpa, this is the way he practiced Dharma, the essence of his Dharma practice, not to have pleasure, comfort. His preference was the suffering, the hardships, and he almost died four times making charity to lice and to lice eggs. They attacked him, and he made charity and almost died four times. He underwent unbelievable hardships.

Compared to that, myself practicing Dharma is just between the lips. His way of practicing was not to have a monastery or organization, because it creates attachment, so he never had that. That was his own particular view, however, later he gave many teachings. He underwent unbelievable hardships to practice Dharma, and this is what he advised whenever he met problems; he saw them as very positive and he recited:

Whatever experience of problems or suffering I have, may it purify every sentient being—the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, sura, asura and intermediate state beings—so everyone.

That means every single different-sized fish, those that are so tiny and those the size of a mountain, all sizes in the water; every single mosquito in the different universes; every single ant in the different universes; every single slug and every single worm, like the fishing bait worms that are used to catch fish.

As you know, there is the story of Kadampa Geshe Gönpawa, Lama Atisha’s disciple, who was always busy only meditating. Lama Atisha’s other disciple Gyalwa Dromtonpa was always very busy translating for Lama Atisha and then Amé, who was the cook for Lama Atisha, was always busy cooking. So Geshe Gönpawa thought, “I am the only one meditating, the only one who has time, the others are very busy, so I must have the highest realizations.”

Lama Atisha knew he was thinking this with his clairvoyance, so he called the three together and had them sit in front of him and he checked who had the highest realizations. Dromtonpa had higher realizations than Gönpawa, even though he was always busy translating, but it was the cook [Amé] who had the highest realizations, even though he was always so busy cooking. That’s what Lama Atisha said.

Not that I have realizations, but because we have a Dharma connection, your helping me as cook; you were also director at the center and so forth, then, as you remember, I told you to come to help with cooking.

So unbelievable negative karma and obscurations collected from beginningless rebirths are purified. Unbelievably heavy negative karma to be reborn in the lower realms and suffer, like in hell, for eons and eons, so this gets purified; this is great purification. Therefore when some form of sickness manifests in this life, and even doctors don’t know what it is, this causes the unbelievably heavy negative karma collected in the past, that would have caused you to be reborn in the lower realms for eons and eons, to finish. So there is great, great, unbelievable benefit.

It is a good thing, then [you] will be like the sun shining. There is one sun shining in the world not only for all the people, but even for all the animals and insects to enjoy, so like that. So in the future [you will be] like that; in the future [you will] go to enlightenment, buddhahood.

Kadampa Geshe Kharag Gomchung said:

This present small suffering I am experiencing finishes my past negative karma and then there will be happiness in future lives. Therefore, rejoice in this suffering.

He is advising to think of the advantages of the suffering that we feel, such as sickness. So this is an unbelievable, unbelievable profit, an unbelievable quality. So rejoice!

Thank you very much. A billion, zillion, trillion thanks.

With much love and prayers ...