Sunflowers for the Elderly

Sunflowers for the Elderly

Date of Advice:
January 2016
Date Posted:
March 2016

Rinpoche wrote to ask some students to send sunflower seeds to a home for the elderly at the Tibetan settlement in Hunsur, South India. He advised that the red flowers growing in the garden there were inauspicious.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, 2010. Photo: Ven. Roger Kunsang.

My most dear, most precious, most kind, wish-fulfilling ones,
Here is what I want to ask you. Last time when I was at Sera, the Tibetan school needed to make a new kitchen and they needed food sponsored, etc. They asked me to help, so I helped them, then they came to see me and said they were very, very happy with the new kitchen and the new food.

This time when I was in Hunsur, I was asked to help the old age home, so I promised to help, to build a few extra rooms and build a stupa for the old people to go around. Also they will have prayer wheels, sponsored by Taiwanese people, so it will be easy for them to purify past life negative karma and easy to create merit and to achieve enlightenment. Now it is not easy for them to understand Dharma and there is no way for them to learn Dharma extensively, like Liberation in the Palm of your Hand.

Having holy objects is a very easy way for them to purify the negative karma collected in the past lives and in this life, and it also plants the seed of enlightenment, every day that they go around the stupa, in the mornings, the evenings or anytime, whenever they want. It is such an easy way to bring them to enlightenment, to free them from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment.

I went to see them and gave an oral transmission of OM MANI PADME HUM and explained some of the benefits. Then I was also asked to help the Tibetan old age home in Bylakuppe [a Tibetan settlement in South India.] There are 40 people at the Hunsur home at the moment and 20 people at the home in Bylakuppe, so I went also to see the old age home in Bylakuppe.

There I explained the benefits of OM MANI PADME HUM and I said that they are extremely lucky, even more lucky than billionaires or zillionaires in Western countries who have no opportunity to recite OM MANI PADME HUM even one time, in order to be able to purify heavy negative karma collected in the past and to be able to collect extensive merits. This is just by reciting OM MANI PADME HUM one time. These [elderly] people have much more opportunity and are unbelievably lucky. Even though at the moment they are not materialistically wealthy, that is like lightning and their suffering now is for a very short time.

What I told them was that when they recite prayers like OM MANI PADME HUM, even though they are poor now, from life to life, like the sun shining, their life will be unbelievable, just as from one sun the plants grow, the animals enjoy, and the people enjoy it. When it shines like that then all the life lifts up to enlightenment. They will have incredible, unbelievable happiness, all their wishes will succeed, and they will have unbelievable, incredible happiness, like the sun shining, they will go to enlightenment. I tried to give them the idea, but of course what they should understand, even those billionaires or zillionaires have this [wealth] for just a short time. They are extremely rich for a short time, then for so many lives after that they will be in the lower realms, with the most unbelievable suffering. If it manifested in form it couldn’t even fit in the sky, there will be so much unbelievable suffering, pain, [being born in the] lower realms as an animal or a hungry ghost, where there is so much suffering even for eons.

Anyway I am emailing you because the old age home has so many red flowers outside. It has very nice red flowers, but having too many red flowers is no good, it is a sign of death. When Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche gave Liberation in the Palm of your Hand in Kopan a long time ago, many years ago, he said Kopan had too many red flowers and it was not good. It becomes a dependent arising condition for death, and it is inauspicious, but we didn’t take them out just then. Also that was Lama’s 49th year and then he passed away.

I told the old age home to cut the red flowers, but to leave the more beautiful, rare ones.

What I want to request you to do, if you can, is to order big sunflowers from Italy, then send the seeds with instructions on how to plant them in the garden there. Also send some seeds to Osel Labrang [at Sera Je Monastery, India] and also to Kopan.

First, if you can, send big sunflower seeds and [instructions on] how to plant them and how to take care of them. I want to have many more sunflowers in the garden at the old age home and also at Kopan.

Thank you very much, that would be very kind.

With much love and prayer...