Sangha are the Real Champions

Sangha are the Real Champions

Date Posted:
August 2009

Rinpoche sent this handwritten card to the monks at Nalanda Monastery, France.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche with Sangha at IMI House, Sera Je Monastery, India, in December 2013. Photo: Ven. Thubten Kunsang (Henri Lopez).

My dear venerable, courageous, brave warriors,
Like the worldly Olympic champions, you are all like warriors against the enemy: delusion, which has made all sentient beings suffer in the oceans of samsara numberless times in the past, including the sufferings of the hell beings, intermediate state beings, and pretas—all the sufferings. Not only is oneself suffering, also numberless sentient beings are suffering, endlessly.

The rest of the world's champions are not champions, just silly and childish, but you, the Sangha, are the real champions, the best champions, because to defeat and control delusions is the most difficult thing. You're doing that; you are the best champions.

Even though it is the most difficult thing, it is the most important thing in life to defeat delusions, to extinguish them completely, so there is no trace. Therefore, what you are doing is so special, because by ceasing delusions completely, only then are you free from all the sufferings forever.

Then, also, you can liberate all the other sentient beings, who are numberless, from the oceans of samsara’s suffering. The most enjoyable, exciting thing is that you can liberate others. Even to liberate one sentient being is the most exciting thing.

This experience: liberation, actualizing the path, is the most important thing to dedicate to, to live for. In the West, they do all kinds of research on the slightest thing, on cockroaches and so forth, spend so many years studying dolphins. When you die, what benefit is there from so many years of this study?

We have had all the samsaric pleasures numberless times. We have experienced all the pleasures of the devas numberless times. Whatever pleasure there is, it is nothing.

There is no better life than your life as a member of the Sangha, living in the pratimoksha vows. This is the most “yum yum,” delicious life.

If you don't realize the benefits of living in the pratimoksha vows, if you don't know them, then you might think it is similar to taking medicine. If you don't know that it is medicine and can help you, then it appears as a poison.

By knowing the shortcomings of samsara, of worldly life, you can have skies of happiness by living in the pratimoksha vows, renouncing the householder life. You feel free. This way you can have the most precious and most happy life.

With much love and prayers ...