The Benefits of Purification Practice (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Jinsiu Farlin Center, Taipei Taiwan, 1994 (Archive #1003)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these teachings before a Vajrasattva initiation at Jinsiu Farlin Center in Taiwan in 1994. In these teachings Rinpoche explains the benefits of ending our nonvirtuous activities and purifying our negative karma.

Click on the link above to listen to the teaching and read along with the unedited transcript.

Vajrasattva, painted by Nepali-Tibetan artists. Photo courtesy of FPMT.

...the base, thought, action, goal, each one has four, like this, that which are completed, these four things which are completed, it has four suffering results. The ripening aspect result is rebirth in the lower realms. Then if one reincarnate in the lower realms then not sure when you can come back, because us who have received a human body, not easy to practice Dharma, very difficult twenty-four hours' actions to become Dharma, very difficult. And even to practice one vow purely, it's difficult. So therefore, it is difficult to practice Dharma with a human body, then with an animal body, with preta being, hell being, who are overwhelmed by sufferings, extremely difficult to practice Dharma. No opportunity to practice Dharma.

So therefore now, for example if one died today, tonight, then reincarnate in the lower realms, then not sure one can come back in a realm and practice Dharma, path to enlightenment, not sure when. So therefore, so that ripening aspect result is rebirth in the lower realms. For example, now, that even we find one more wrinkle on the body, very unbearable. Or even one find one small white hair, very unbearable, and to change, if we see this life our bodies gradually deformed, changed, deformed, so unbearable. So in this life, the body suddenly becomes animal, can imagine that, suddenly become snake, if this body suddenly become snake in this life, we can't bear that. Or mosquito or become lobster, suddenly the body becomes lobster or octopus, this pieces coming from all over from the body. Can't stand. One will try everything that can be done, but there's nothing that one can do. Nothing that you can do. Except to experience the karma or commit suicide or something. Then if the karma is not finished then again you will reincarnate and experience the same thing, as long as the karma is not finished.

So therefore it is the same, it is exactly the same, after the death consciousness migrates in one of those bodies, in hell, preta. The hell beings, one tiny fire spark, how hot it is, all the human beings' fire it's like, it's very cool compared to the energy of the hell fire, human beings' fire is cool, like cool air. It's nothing hot comparing to hell beings' fire. Unbelievable hot. The hell beings their bodies are oneness with the fire, body being oneness with the fire, the Unbearable Suffering State, the hell being, like the wick oneness with fire. Only you can discriminate that it's sentient being by the sound, screaming, only by that, otherwise you can't see that it's a sentient being.

Then preta beings, the six types of sufferings, the hot and cold, hunger and thirst then being exhausted, then fearful, six general sufferings, then particular suffering outer obscurations, inner obscuration and food obscuration. Even one sees food, drink, from afar, when you arrive there, the food disappeared, the water become dried or become filled with pus and blood, hair, many dirty things inside, undrinkable. Then the karmic guardians they stop you to go to get food. So at least even you find the food in the hand, without any of those obstacles then the food is transformed into fire, like coal one with fire, then when you go to eat food then eating one's own flesh, become like that. So in Spain when I visited one freak house, where those kind of people are kept, so there are young girls about, their age is quite old but these girls they eat their flesh, they bite, so then the machinery, hospitals, they put the leather on, cover the skin with leather, put bars, square bars to put their arms on top, because they cannot walk also so then four wheels then they push around, so they put leather, so that they cannot bite, so there are even human beings like that similar like preta.

Then even the food goes inside, first of all there is like this, their throat has a knot, so these are food obscurations. So now inner obscuration is even the food, drinks, you put it inside, the mouth is so tiny like a needle, the hole of a needle, so even you put food in the mouth, then there's throat, due to heavy karma there's a knot, there's three knots, five knots, so, so difficult to get in stomach, unbelievably difficult to get in the stomach. So at least even it went inside the stomach then it becomes flame, cause of flame, like oil, like you see, it becomes cause of flame, flaming inside the body. Then, even it went inside the stomach, stomach is so big like mountain, so huge that doesn't, even a drop of water went inside it doesn't do anything. At least a drop finally goes inside the stomach, it doesn't do anything, it doesn't affect anything, doesn't solve the problem. So, unbelievable, just preta, even without thinking of the hell, just preta suffering is unbelievable, like this. So ___ ____, this with the five knots on the throat, this is the heaviest suffering. Then making five fearful screaming sounds. So there is special practice to make water charity to these preta beings. So unbelievable merit, purifies them, liberates them from the sufferings of preta, hunger and thirst, by doing the water charity practice. It's very short, water, that which you can do in the garden or at the beach.

So there happened a story that Lopon, I think Khedrup Sangye Yeshe, I don't remember the name a hundred percent, went in preta realm and one preta mother, who got five hundred children, so she said, she sent a message to this yogi, my husband went to look for food in the human realm, didn't come back for twelve years, so that she was having so much difficulty to take care five hundred children. So then this great yogi said there are many pretas in the human world, how can I recognize him? Then she said, Oh, one eye is blind, one hand is something wrong and the right leg is limping and the right side hand is something wrong and one eye is blind, so you can recognize from that. So then this yogi came and looked for this preta, he met this preta, who is the husband. The mother sent message to come back soon because she was having much difficulties, the family having much difficulties. So her husband, preta, found one spit and kept for a long time in the hand, as if it's like jewel, precious like jewel. How that happened, how he found this spit is one pure monk, a gelong, fully ordained person, spit, threw the spit, threw the snot on the ground, dedicated for the pretas, so then this preta somehow found this food but kept so precious, kept in the hand, so became very dry and so even there's food but there are so many other pretas, like when you give food to the birds so many come to take it, or dogs, when there are many dogs, you give food so many dogs they come to, that so many pretas come to, it's not easy to get food, even one find food but it's not easy to get, so many pretas they attack. So somehow by opportunity this preta able to get the, with all the crowds able to get the spit, snot, kept so tight, so said he could not, he came to look for food but could not find food for a long time, so this is only what he found for twelve years. So then there are many stories of pretas like that. There is a practice that when you throw spit or urine or kaka, there's mantra to recite to dedicate it. So this practice one fully ordained monk did the practice, dedicated the spit, did spit and dedicated for pretas, and this is how the pretas found. Somehow it allows them to get it.

Then, same thing animals. There are generally six types of sufferings, hunger, thirst and hot and cold, then being eaten by another one, being extremely fool, then tortured by others. Then on top of that, these are general sufferings, then there are individual animal being sufferings. So same thing, even this life it doesn't change, the body doesn't change into animal or preta, but same thing if the consciousness migrates, takes those bodies, it's the same thing, it's just we don't have clairvoyance to see the result of our negative karmas, what negative karma we have accumulated, not having clairvoyance to see what negative karma we have created this life and past lives and the results of those negative karmas, what they will be and how the sufferings of those beings we could not see completely, due to not having omniscient mind, even the clairvoyance. Therefore, we don't see. But anyway, it's the same, even this life body doesn't change into animal but it's the same, how unbearable it is. This same consciousness, continuation of this consciousness has to experience that, it's the same thing. So anyway so it's so unbearable. All these mosquitoes, all these animals that we see in the restaurant, lobsters, fish, all those sea animals, they all have been human being like us before and they all have been millionaires, they all have been like oneself, being human being, they all had human body, but didn't get to practice Dharma, so that's why they, this is the result of the delusions, the result of following the delusions, having created negative karma, so this is the result.

So therefore now, ripening aspect result, rebirth in the lower realms. Then, even when one is born a human being then there's creating the result similar to the cause, no first, possessed result, that even one is born in the human realm, then that the protein of food is very little, little power of the food, drink, and degenerated. So that even one eat food, unable to digest, cause disease and cause untimely death. Even you have karma to live long, but the food causes untimely death. So that nowadays talking so much impure environment, pollution and so forth, all those, so why these are happening, why the environment become unhealthy, so mainly, the main cause is the past negative karma, one's own negative mind, this is the main cause. So that makes, the negative mind, and karma makes the environment unhealthy, the air so forth, water, makes unhealthy for, against, interfering for health. So that is possessed result, for example, killing, the negative karma of killing. So there are different possessed results, depending on which is the negative karma.

Then, experiencing the result similar to the cause. What, how you have harmed to other sentient beings, then similar one experiences this life, so one dies in mother's womb, even without chance to come out. Then one die young time, one get killed by others, things like that, experiencing shortage of life, that's experiencing [Tibetan], experiencing the result similar to the cause which you have done towards others. Then there's creating the result [Tibetan] similar to the cause. The negative karma that you have done in the past, now doing again, because of the imprint, repeating the same again even later when you are born as a human being. So like this, all the ten non-virtuous actions, complete ten non-virtuous actions, [Tibetan] then it has four suffering results like this. [pause]

So among those four suffering results, the most harmful, the worst one is creating the result similar to the cause, why? That is worse than the suffering in hell, why because creating the result similar to the cause, creating negative karma again, because this has again, this complete action has again four suffering results, then one of them is creating the result similar to the cause so again that has four suffering results, so it goes on and on and on, so like this, today if we do one complete negative karma, from the ten non-virtues, one of them today, this goes on and on and on, from life to life, creating the result similar to the cause, so there's no end of that suffering, creating the cause, experiencing the result, creating the cause, so no end. It becomes endless. So it's unbelievable, endless.

So now if you stop this one negative karma today, for example from these ten non-virtuous actions, whether it's one time covetousness you stop or one time gossiping you stop, gossiping with delusions or with impure motivation, attachment clinging to this life or anger, which is also related to attachment clinging to this life, then so if we stop this one negative karma today then all the continuation, the endless suffering, from life to life, all this one doesn't have to experience, which rises from that one negative karma accumulated today, whether it's gossiping, whether it's covetousness or whichever it is. So it's unbelievable profit to stop one negative karma, you are about to create a negative karma, from the ten non-virtues, one of them, either gossiping, covetousness, whatever it is, about to create, then you realize shortcomings of that, what I'm doing, by recognizing creating negative karma, danger to create negative karma, then one stop doing that. One transform one's mind, one stop the action, so all these endless sufferings which comes, which is caused by this, all one doesn't have to experience. But if that one negative karma is done, not abandoned then depending on that then the constant suffering, creating the cause again and again, experiencing the result again and again, from that negative karma continuously happening, so this endless suffering it started. So it's one day, in one day we start so many endless sufferings, from each complete negative karma, with each complete negative karma four suffering results, so creating the result similar to the cause, is like this, which makes the suffering, creating the cause, no end.

So therefore, with Vajrasattva practice there's nothing that one cannot purify. Even the heaviest negative karma having killed father and mother, so forth, arhat, caused blood to Buddha, disunity among the Sangha, those things, even broke Highest Tantra vow, those very heaviest negative karmas, root vow, even they can get purified with this Vajrasattva, with that meditated in father-mother aspect, this one.

Then, on top of this, ten non-virtuous actions then there's, that's not all the negative karmas, any action that which brings the result suffering, motivated by ignorance not knowing karma and anger, particularly attachment clinging to this life, so if we think from this morning until now how many actions are done with attachment clinging to this life, for the happiness of this life, so one can find almost everything from this morning, eating, walking, sitting, sleeping, working, talking, almost everything becomes, done out of this attachment, seeking the happiness of this life, so therefore all, that motivation is non-virtue, so then all the actions become non-virtue, because the result is suffering, so non-virtue, it receives the label "non-virtue." So this is besides the ten non-virtuous actions, there is this negative karma, become negative karma by the motivation, by non-virtuous motivation, particularly the attachment clinging to this life, so therefore one day is like this, so no question one month like this, one year like this, from birth until now it has been like this, this has been the life, how we live the life it has been this way. Now this is talking about only one life. Now there are beginningless lives. So we cannot say, Oh, I haven't created, somebody who is having so much problems in their life, so much sickness or so much problem happening in the life, incredible terrible things, Oh, I haven't created, I won't experience that, I haven't created that negative karma, thinking, I won't experience that, it's nothing to do with me. We cannot say a hundred percent because we don't know that even this life we cannot say we haven't created the cause of that, so we cannot say we haven't created the cause in the past lives. So there have been all sorts of negative karmas accumulated in the past, from beginningless rebirth, so now then we add the four outlines of karma on top of that: karma is definite to bring its own result, and karma is expandable, second outline of karma, which means much more expandable than outside, by planting one rice, many rice come from that. By planting one small seed then big tree, many thousands of branches and many seeds, fruit or seeds come out, so many, millions, so now the inner karma is much more expandable than outside. If it's virtue, also it's much more expandable, result is so much more than the external examples. Same thing, non-virtue is the same. One non-virtuous action then result one experiences for an incredible length of time. From that one non-virtue, so many problems one experiences, so like this, karma is expandable. One negative karma that one experiences for many lifetimes and many different problems, so like this, different problems or same problem, again and again.

And without having created the karma, one cannot experience the result. The karma that is created doesn't get lost. No matter how long, how many eons time to experience it never gets lost, as long as it doesn't meet the obstacles, whether it's virtue or non-virtue, as long as it doesn't meet obstacles, then it is definite, it never gets lost, so heresy, anger destroys the virtue and then non-virtues purified by doing practice of powerful confession, by doing practice of purification...

[tape dropout] doesn't get lost so we put this outline on top of that, the karma is definite to bring result and its expandable,

[tape change]

it become so essential, even lay person but to, as lay, to take lay vows, whatever one can and practice living pure in that, becomes so essential. And then, that's the first thing and the second thing is then to do practice of purification. So, to not create negative karma is more important than, that is more important than doing purification. Of course both are important, extremely important, but from those two, purifying the past negative karmas, that practice, and to not create negative karma again, which one is more, such as living in the vow so forth, which one is more important, then the first one is more important. Otherwise, the purification, we constantly create negative karma, then it makes the purification practice has no end, there's no end for purification.

So as I mentioned before, that by reciting, by doing Vajrasattva practice, it stops the one negative karma to become double the next day, triple the third day, then after fifteen days it becomes the same heavy karma as having killed one human being, so all these things don't happen, become mountains or earth, this much size of earth of negative karmas, from that one negative karma multiplying. All these things don't happen by doing Vajrasattva practice before going to bed. So the twenty-eight times, maximum om vajra sattva hung twenty-eight times, that has the power to stop multiplying. Then the long one twenty-one times, which has power to stop multiplying. Not only that it purifies today's negative karma, this life's negative karma, past life negative karmas, so it has unbelievable advantage. It becomes extremely important practice in the daily life.

So now, it is not sufficient that oneself is liberated from samsara, achieve liberation for oneself, that one must achieve full enlightenment for the sake of all kind mother sentient beings.

As it is mentioned in the teachings by Buddha, by pandits, yogis, by highly attained Panchen Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen that cherishing oneself is the source of all the suffering; cherishing the mother sentient beings is the basis for all the qualities. Therefore, please grant me blessings to be able to do the practice, exchanging oneself for others.

I'm not going to mention much on the shortcomings of self-cherishing thought, but I'm going to mention the benefits of cherishing others. So now, the person who doesn't love you, who dislikes you, who is angry to you, whom one dislike, so if you renounce this one, now if you don't cherish this person, there's no enlightenment for you. As long as one doesn't cherish this person, as long as you give up this person there's no enlightenment for you. But if you cherish this person, there's enlightenment for you. So by cherishing even one sentient being, even one insect, one mother sentient being, that becomes cause of success of this life, happiness of this life, not only that, happiness of future lives, and not only that, liberation from samsara, by that merit, by that also one can achieve liberation from samsara, one can be liberated from samsara. The ultimate happiness. Not only that, by cherishing this one sentient being, you can achieve all the Mahayana, all the realizations of the path and bhumis, Mahayana, and then the whole Mahayana secret mantra, Vajrayana, all the realizations, all the qualities of Dharma and Sangha you achieve. And then you achieve all the qualities, infinite qualities of Buddha's holy body, holy speech, holy mind, you achieve, such as omniscient mind, perfect power to free all the living beings from all the suffering and causes and to bring to enlightenment, to bring happiness, enlightenment, one can achieve all this, to do perfect work for each sentient being, you can achieve this by cherishing one sentient being, one insect, one person, even that.

So cherishing others is the door opening, opening the door for all the qualities, infinite qualities. Cherishing oneself is opening the door for all the problems, obstacles, for all these qualities, obstacle for all these qualities that we are talking about, all these desirable objects, obstacles, opening the door for problems, opening the door for all the obstacles.

So now there's big differences if we don't cherish this one person, this one animal, if one doesn't cherish, you don't achieve all these qualities. You miss, you lose up to enlightenment, bringing each sentient being to enlightenment, all these qualities you lose. If you cherish, you gain infinite qualities. So therefore now, this one insect or this one person, who is angry to you, who criticize, complains, now this person, even the whole sky is filled with diamonds or millions of dollars or even wish-granting jewels, cannot, all that much value is nothing comparing to the value of this one person, who he benefits to you in your life. This one living being, this one sentient being what she or he can benefit to you in your life, it's unbelievable, all those material, the value is nothing. What they can give to you and what this one living being can benefit to you. So now this one living being is unbelievable, by cherishing this you achieve all these qualities, infinite qualities, so that you can bring each sentient being to enlightenment by liberating from suffering. So now this one sentient being, this one person, unbelievable precious, so precious. How precious it is is inexpressible. Become so important in your life. This person becomes so important in your life. The person who doesn't love you or angry with you, whatever, whom one call enemy, so important, so precious, so important person in your life. So now, from whom you get all your happiness, temporary, ultimate, everything, past, present, future, all the happiness, because all your happiness came from good karma, that came from Buddha, that is action of Buddha, Buddha came from bodhisattva, bodhisattva came from bodhicitta, bodhicitta came from great compassion and great compassion is generated by depending on each sentient being, each suffering sentient being. So, great compassion is generated also by depending this person, this insect, this person. So again, this person is source of all one's one past, present and future, all the happiness, so precious, unbelievably precious.

So now, ten people, now we add more, ten are like that, even more precious by number, so before mentioning that, so cherishing oneself is the source of all the sufferings, opens the door for all the suffering, so therefore now, now this, now who is more important this one person, this one sentient being who is angry with you, criticizes you, whom one call enemy, this is more important or you are more important? Who is more important? So now you, cherishing you is the source of all the suffering, all the obstacles, so there's nothing to compare. Even you compare to, who is more precious, you and this one person? You are nothing, you are the source of all the sufferings, so it's object to be renounced forever. And this one sentient being is object forever to be cherished. Whereas cherishing this sentient being is source of, opens the door for all the happiness, all the qualities, so there is a huge difference, that cherishing oneself is only obstacle, opening the door for obstacles, suffering. Now cherishing just one sentient being is opening the door for all the happiness, all the qualities. So just from this, so even it's one, it's object to be cherished forever and what is called I is to be renounced forever. So first we make this clear.

Then now, ten people, then others, more number, so each of them, like the first person, how precious, everyone is so precious, so ten, so much more important, more precious. Now, one hundred thousand, even much more precious than you, much more precious by number, here we're talking by number, much more precious than the first one person, than the one hundred thousand is much more precious than ten people. So there's nothing left to compare, with your precious, there's nothing left to talk about. So now numberless other sentient beings, so then it becomes, for your mind it becomes unbelievable precious, because the number of other sentient beings is numberless. So by number, not only each of them is so precious but by number, numberless, so unbelievable precious and important.

So now, what is called I is nothing, completely lost, nothing, when we compare others, who are numberless. How much problem one has then nothing. How much, even one has achieved liberation from samsara for oneself, nirvana for oneself, it's nothing to be excited, because it's one person.

So now in my life there's nobody to cherish other than the sentient beings, in my life there's nobody to cherish other than the sentient beings. In my life there's nobody to work for other than the sentient beings. There's nobody to concern other than the sentient beings, nobody to work for other than the sentient beings. Then works other than working for sentient beings is meaningless, empty, so therefore now, what sentient beings want is happiness, what they do not want is suffering. So what they want is the greatest happiness, longest happiness, so that is the peerless happiness, that is full enlightenment. So this is what the sentient beings need to achieve. Even they don't know but this is what they need to achieve. So therefore, I must, so my job, my responsibility, now to free, as I mentioned before, there's nothing to work, there's nobody to work for other than, in one's own life other than the sentient beings. So therefore now, one should free the sentient beings, one should work, do service to free all sentient beings from all the suffering and causes and to lead to peerless happiness, full enlightenment, and therefore one must achieve full enlightenment, there's no other way to do this perfect work for others, so therefore one must actualize the steps of the path to enlightenment; for that then one must purify the obstacles, the negative karmas, obscurations, so therefore then one must, Vajrasattva is the most powerful one that any negative karma can be purified. So therefore, I'm going to take the permission, the jenang, the permission to practice, the blessing of Vajrasattva, permission to practice, to recite, to meditate on Vajrasattva.