The Wisdom of Dharma

The Wisdom of Dharma

Date of Advice:
January 2011
Date Posted:
August 2016

Rinpoche hand wrote this card with extensive advice for a young student. Rinpoche commented on the student’s potential to help others and advised her to check Buddhism and analyze what is to be practiced. He also emphasized the importance of learning to benefit her parents and make them happy.

My very dear precious one,
How are you? Probably you are doing well, a good girl. I’m not sure, but maybe you are being influenced by some friends who don’t like religion, because they don’t know religions. To know one hundred percent of the religions in the world would be a deep subject. It’s not necessarily that all religions are wrong. There are right ones and wrong ones, and even wrong religions have some right things. People from wrong religions are sometimes required to help poor people, sick people and other suffering people who need help.

So many beings are suffering and you have the potential—the wisdom and compassion—to help, therefore you are responsible. Even non-believers with good hearts, reasonable human beings, would help by giving money, by giving medicine to those who need medicine and giving shelter to those who need shelter. No one wants suffering and everyone wants happiness, and you can help do that. Even non-believers try to make others happy. Even animals try to make other animals happy.

Beings with more understanding—human beings, suras and asuras—can develop their mind in the path to liberation from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and its cause, karma and delusion. Suffering comes in three ways, including the temporary pleasures that we can’t depend on and can’t count on. Dharma happiness, the happiness of meditation, can be completed with the highest happiness of full enlightenment.

There is unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable happiness by knowing the Buddhist path. There is incredible, inconceivable happiness by learning Buddhism, even the Hinayana path, and we can achieve calm abiding with rapturous ecstasy of the body and mind. We can learn about the four noble truths and realize the nature of true suffering and the true cause of suffering. We can actualize the path and achieve cessation, which is everlasting happiness, with liberation from the oceans of samsaric suffering and its causes. It’s impossible to experience suffering again because we have ceased its cause, karma and delusion.

The root ignorance is not knowing the nature of the self. It would be very good to discuss with your friends where the I is. You can’t find it in one of the aggregates (form, feeling, discriminative awareness, compositional factors and consciousness.) The compositional factors aggregate comprises 49 mental factors—the 51 mental factors minus feeling and discriminative awareness.

I’m not saying there is no I, because I exists. But the real I that appears to you and you believe one hundred per cent to be true can’t be found from the top of the head down to the feet, nowhere. Discuss this with your friends.

The mind is not the I. The mind is the base to be labeled; it’s part of the aggregates. It looks like there’s no I for whom we fight, thinking, “he harmed me” or “he helped me.” We can’t find that real I. When we get angry back at someone, we can’t find that real I. It’s a total hallucination.

By recognizing that the I is empty, we find real peace and happiness. By realizing and developing this wisdom, we can eliminate the root of karma and delusions, the cause of all our suffering. That’s the ignorance not knowing the nature of the I. Then we are able to be free by ceasing ignorance and the cause of ignorance, the seed of delusion. We’re then totally free from all the suffering—the suffering of pain, the suffering of change and pervasive suffering. The aggregates of body and mind are pervaded by suffering. The aggregates are completely under the control of karma and delusion, and come from an impure cause. That’s why the body suffers and the mind suffers. We have to understand how this is the cause of fear, worry and depression.

Another meaning of pervaded is that the aggregates are contaminated by the seed of delusion. The consciousness carries the seed of delusion, which compounds the suffering of mind and body. It also compounds future rebirth as well as future suffering. That’s why the aggregates are pervasive suffering. Total liberation from this is what’s called nirvana or the blissful state of peace for the self.

By meeting the Mahayana teachings we can develop compassion and bodhicitta, wishing to free all living beings from suffering, especially that of the lower realms, and bring them to enlightenment. There’s incredible happiness and joy in working for sentient beings. In the Mahayana sutras there are five paths and ten bhumis, where we can achieve incredibly great peace and happiness.

In tantra, with practices such as the Six Yogas of Naropa, we can achieve unbelievable, unbelievable happiness, much greater than before, and we can use that as the path. This is the quick way to overcome delusions, the wrong concepts. It’s the quick way to have success in meditating on emptiness. Without that as the antidote we can’t directly cease the delusions and then achieve enlightenment. It’s the quickest way to achieve the peerless happiness of full enlightenment, with complete realization and cessation for the benefit of all mother sentient beings—the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, asuras, suras and intermediate state beings. We don’t just space out. We liberate the limitless other beings in each realm from their suffering and bring them to peerless happiness. That is the ultimate meaning of life.

It’s very, very important that you use your influence and check. Don’t just listen to what other young people say. They don’t have much wisdom and don’t know Buddhism so they can’t discriminate what is right—and to be practiced—and what is wrong— and to be abandoned. You can only know that by knowing Buddhism; you have to develop the wisdom to know this. I’m telling you frankly, first learn Buddhism, then you can discriminate. Once you know Buddhism, you will see that Buddhism is deeper.

Western science is coming closer to Buddhism, which is very logical about what is wrong and what is right. If you put your hand in the fire, you will get burned. If an action is positive it brings happiness and if an action is negative it brings suffering. It’s very important to discover this, so you can learn deeper and deeper. By learning Buddhism, you will generate the wisdom of Dharma, then you can check. Without wisdom, how can you check? It’s essential. Analyze whether something is to be practiced or not. Decide for yourself.

Even Buddha himself said to his disciples, “Examine my teachings like you check gold. You examine gold by burning, cutting and rubbing; thus, examine well my teachings, then practice, not by having blind faith.”

Other religions are not like this. In Buddhism we have total freedom to practice. The more we check, the deeper it goes. With other religions, the more we check, they don’t go deeper. There are no answers, so we can’t have a clear understanding. I’m not saying they’re wrong; I’m saying it’s good to discover. Just as different food and clothes suit different people; there are different religions for different people, based on karma.

For example, there may be medicines for sickness, and many wrong medicines don’t cure the sickness but the right medicine will cure it. Religions are similar. What are called religions, faiths, don’t necessarily bring ultimate happiness, liberation from suffering. Some create the cause of samsara, of the lower realms.

Guru Shakyamuni Buddha himself checked, experienced and achieved the path to enlightenment. He had great compassion for all sentient beings, totally sacrificing himself for others. He actualized the five paths and ten bhumis, purified the defilements and completed the two collections—the merit of fortune and the merit of wisdom—achieving the rupakaya and dharmakaya so that he could do perfect work for sentient beings. After the Buddha taught, many pandits and yogis, like stars in the sky, put the teachings into practice and numberless of them achieved enlightenment, with exactly the same experiences as the Buddha. This happened in China, Tibet and Nepal. The entire Buddhadharma was preserved by the Tibetans and practiced for hundreds of years. The whole land is blessed. Now Buddhism has spread all over the world, including very dark lands, which have the light of Dharma.

Followers in the East and the West have analyzed and seen Buddhism as real. There are different meditations, actual meditations that eliminate delusion, the sickness of mind, bringing freedom from all suffering and its causes. Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in Australia and in many other countries in the West. Buddhism is very scientific. When you study, you can check and discover so many things. It’s the source of so much happiness, higher and higher. It’s very good to read Dharma books, so you can understand more and more. Then you will develop realizations.

Here I want to say something. It’s very, very important to learn to benefit and not harm your parents, but to help them and make them happy. There are three types of karma. With one type you create the karma in this life and see the result in this life. Even helping in a small way is virtuous; it is powerful and therefore you see the result, happiness, in this life. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean only that. In future lives you will experience the results of one good act to your parents, such as praising them, saying nice things. If you harm them or get angry with them, even a small negative action such as criticizing them results in suffering in this life when you are older, not happiness. You can experience suffering in hundreds, thousands, of lifetimes, from that one act of disrespect.

The other type of karma is created in this life and experienced in the next life. Then there is the karma created in this life and experienced after billions, trillions, of eons. Even a small karma doesn’t get lost if it doesn’t meet opposite conditions. The happiness or suffering will be experienced even after eons.

All living beings experience different kinds of lives: success or failure, being educated, becoming a fool or a beggar, being forgetful or wise. Life can change with all kinds of experiences. It doesn’t stay one way all the time. Then it can also change from this life to the next life—being reborn as a hell being, a hungry ghost, a human being, an animal, a sura or asura, having all kinds of lives. These are real facts and the omniscient one, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, has explained this. Everything can be checked; it’s not blind faith, it’s not just telling people what to believe.

Every single comfort and service you give to your parents is an unbelievably precious cause of success for yourself in this life and future lives. Buddha has shown the correct life that leads from happiness to happiness to enlightenment. Otherwise, life is totally lost and ignorant, like the moths that fly into candle flames and are burnt. Once the suffering or happiness resulting from an action is being experienced, it’s difficult to stop it at that time.

If suffering comes and you don’t know how it happened, the mind freaks out and suffers so much. By knowing about karma, the cause of that suffering, the mind has unbelievable peace. You should understand that negative karma can be purified, that actions done in the past can be purified. If you learn from Buddhism and have wisdom knowing what is right and wrong—the inner science—it will become more and more clear by checking. It’s different from other religions. The more wisdom you have, then no one can cheat you and there is a direction in life for you to follow. Buddha showed how to check and put this into practice for happiness and success. Buddha showed how to develop happiness in life, so that all your wishes get fulfilled and you fulfill others’ needs through Dharma.

Getting angry is one thing that destroys good karma, the cause of happiness, collected from beginningless rebirth. Hundreds or thousands of eons of merit get destroyed by even one second of anger arising toward someone whose mind is at a higher level than yours. If you are not a bodhisattva, getting angry with a bodhisattva for one second destroys hundred of eons of merits. Getting angry with a buddha destroys unbelievably much more. Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable eons of good karma get destroyed. The most powerful one is the guru, thus anger toward the guru is the worst kind.

Practicing patience brings so much peace and happiness from life to life. By practicing patience and not getting angry, all your merits are protected and you don’t create the cause to be born in the lower realms. One second of anger destroys realizations for hundreds or thousands of eons. So you should live without anger and have a peaceful mind. If there’s only anger, it’s better to not communicate. That helps. Instead of saying something with anger, don’t talk. All actions done with delusion are suffering.

I love you, therefore I am giving you this advice.

With much love and prayer...