There are three protectors of the lamrim, the three capable beings: Mahakala (Tib: Nagpo Chenpo), Kalarupa (Dharmaraja; Tib: Chögyal), and Vaishravana (Tib: Namthösé). Vaishravana is riding on a snow lion, with big eyes and carrying a mongoose.
These three protectors are Dharma protectors of the three capable beings, [as explained in] the lamrim. The protector for lower capable beings is Kalarupa; the middle capable beings’ protector is Vaishravana; and the higher capable beings’ protector is Mahakala, Six-arm Mahakala.
And also the protector of the three capable beings is lamrim, which is the essence of the whole entire Dharma that the Buddha has taught, all 84,000 teachings. So that’s the basic teaching. And these three are Dharma protectors. There are three Dharma protectors of the three principal aspects of the path: Kalarupa is emptiness; Vaishravana is renunciation; and Mahakala is bodhicitta.
The basic path is to be free from samsara, from the oceans of samsaric suffering from which we haven’t been free from beginningless rebirth. The way to get out of samsara, the basic path is the three higher trainings: the higher training of morality; the higher training of meditation, shamatha; and the higher training of wisdom. We need to actualize these three, we need to practice, otherwise we can’t get out of samsara, we can’t be free from the oceans of samsaric suffering which we have been experiencing from beginningless rebirth.
People in the world [praise] shamatha, only shamatha, [they want to] achieve shamatha, but without thinking about morality at all, without thinking of the base. We have to have a foundation if we’re building a house, so without thinking about that and just building a house, it’s like we build a house in the sky, sort of like that. So, thinking “I want to do shamatha,” without thinking about the need for the basis, morality, many people do like that. No, no, no. We have to have pure morality; we have to have not just morality, but pure morality in order to have shamatha realization.
There’s actual, fully characteristic shamatha realization; and there’s similar shamatha realization, which is not fully characterized shamatha, but is similar to that. Then after that, the higher training of wisdom, so meditating, doing analytical meditation unified with shamatha.
This is very, very, very important in Buddhism, to be free from samsara—wow, wow, wow, wow—to stop rebirth, the suffering of rebirth completely, the cause which is karma, delusions, [we completely stop that.] Then by stopping that, we stop old age. By stopping that completely, then old age is completely stopped, so all those undesirable things. Then completely stop death. You have to know, the world has to know that, you can stop it! You don’t have to experience that, you can stop it!
That means we have to study; in Buddhism we have to study. In other religions there’s no study. They don’t talk about or study how to stop rebirth. We have to study in order to not get sickness, not get old age, not get death. When we’re in the shop buying things, food or clothing or whatever, we have to analyze: there are many materials and we have to check the size and quantity, we have to analyze, then we buy. So it’s like that. The reason is not because we’re Buddhist, or practicing Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. When we go shopping, we have to use our logic.
Of course, the best, the most important thing in life, is not to do with this life; it is to do with the next life. All the future lives, hundred, thousand, billion, and to be free from samsara, it’s all connected with and it all depends on what we do in this life. So how we live this life, if we practice Dharma, if we practice renunciation, and especially emptiness, and especially bodhicitta, wow, it’s like the sun shining in the world. There is only one sun shining in the world which gives happiness to the animals, to all kinds of animals and human beings. Can you imagine? Bodhicitta is like that. So, depending on how we live this life, that affects all the future lives, a billion, zillion [ future lives], and if we’re free from samsara.
Therefore, the higher training of morality, with its Dharma protector, Vaishravana. Then, meditation, shamatha, the protector of meditation is Mahakala. Then, emptiness, the higher training of wisdom, that’s Kalarupa. The three are like this.
These three protectors are a common thing when we practice the Mahayana teaching and tantra, Vajrayana—Mahayana sutra and Mahayana tantra. On the basis of Mahayana sutra practice, we then practice Mahayana tantra, so then we practice all three, it’s all related like that. Because of what they mean, we understand that’s what we need to achieve, so the three protectors come together like that.
And then of course each monastery or nunnery has a specific protector, so still like that.
The way to practice is that the protector, or deity, and the guru, all three, are one. For the guru you can think of His Holiness, as most of you have received teachings from His Holiness.
Thank you very much. I thank everyone very much for all your effort, your dedication, for holy Dharma, to help free sentient beings from the lower realms, from samsara, from lower nirvana, and bring them to enlightenment.
Thank you very much.