Animal Liberation (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Shakyamuni Center, Taichung, Taiwan (Archive #1609)

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this teaching on animal liberation at Shakyamuni Center, Taichung, Taiwan on March 4, 2007. Transcribed by Thubten Munsel. The audio files for Part A and Part B include the Chinese translation of the teaching.

Animal Liberation Part B - English with Chinese Translation

To tell you how we receive all this past, present, future happiness and liberation and enlightenment, every single happiness we receive by their kindness. So I need to explain the logic behind.

So, now, the, so like this, that, all the happiness comes from your virtuous action, your virtuous thought. Every single happiness whether temporary happiness, ultimate happiness, enlightenment, everything comes from your mind, your virtuous thought and the virtuous action. So your virtuous thought, the action is the action of Buddha. There are two actions of Buddha: one is within us sentient beings, one is possessed by Buddha, buddhas themselves.

So now, so one’s own, the good karma, the virtuous thought, virtuous action, this, so this good karma, this came from Buddha, so this is Buddha’s actions, so it came from Buddha. So Buddha came from bodhisattva. And bodhisattva came from bodhicitta. Bodhicitta came from great compassion. Great compassion is generated by depending on the, exists, the existence of obscured, suffering, sentient beings. So the great compassion is generated by depending on the kindness of each and every single the numberless obscured, suffering sentient beings. So the great compassion is generated by depending on each and every single the obscured, suffering sentient beings.

So therefore now you can see all, every one of us, all the past happiness we experienced from beginningless rebirth, present, all the future happiness and the ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara, full enlightenment, everything we receive by the kindness of each and every single obscured, suffering sentient beings.

So therefore, we receive, every one of us here, all our past, present, and future happiness we receive up to enlightenment, every realization, everything, realization of the path, everything we receive by the kindness of each and every single these creatures—each chicken or each fish, or whatever—from each of them we received.

So you can see now, they are the most precious, most kind ones in our lives, in our life, root of our happiness.

[Translation into Chinese]

So now, so I would like to, everyone to meditate a little bit in this what I’ve just described, all your numberless past happiness, from beginningless rebirth, samsaric rebirth, received from them. So received from all the sentient beings. So therefore, it came from them, these sentient beings that we’re liberating. And then all the present happiness received by their kindness. Then all the future happiness, all the future samsaric happiness received by their kindness. Then, on top of that, the ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara that you’ll achieve in the future, came from, depend on their kindness, have to receive by their kindness. Then great liberation, enlightenment one has to receive, what we will attain, comes from them, by their kindness. So we reflect, we meditate on this, reflect how they’re so precious, so kind, just one minute, like that.

[Translation into Chinese]

[Long pause for meditation]

Now we extend this kindness of others to all the sentient beings, same. To all the sentient beings, numberless hell beings, numberless hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, suras, asuras, intermediate state, to everyone, same, we receive all the past, present, future happiness; past happiness, present, future happiness we receive from them. And then liberation from samsara, full enlightenment, all, we receive by their kindness, everyone is so precious.

Now, including the person whom you hate, who hates you, who criticizes you, who’s angry to you, who harms you, so, especially including that, remember that person in the heart, in your heart, and so especially think that from that person I received all the numberless past happiness from him or her, and all the present happiness from him or her, and then all the future happiness from this person, and then I receive liberation from samsara, the ultimate happiness, that, this everlasting happiness I receive by this person’s kindness, then enlightenment, the peerless happiness I receive by the kindness of this person. So this person is most precious, most kind one in my life.

So now here, you have total positive view of this person in your life. Now here, before, you have negative look, negative label, you put negative label to this person, and negative appearance and you look at this person, negative. That, because what this person, what this person is angry to me, just relating to this life now, in this life now what the person did to me, angry or badly treat me, disrespect o me, criticize me, related to the present situation, this life.

So, then our mind interpret negative, that’s bad, because what the person does, it harms, because it harms to your attachment, to your ego, self-cherishing thought, so then you, because, why you think it’s bad, that person angry to you, criticize you, badly treat you, why you think it’s bad because that time, you’re friend of your attachment, you’re friend of ego, self-cherishing thought, so while you’re friend of attachment and ego, self-cherishing thought, then, this person having anger to you, disrespect, criticize, then bad because it hurts the ego, it hurts your self-cherishing, it hurts your attachment. So, then, because you’re not against them, you’re friends with them, so then, like you’re joining with a party who thinks those other groups are bad, same, similar. So when you become a friend of them so same, you do the same thing, it’s like the other person, so here, so by yourself being friend of attachment, the self-cherishing thought, then because what the person does it hurts the attachment, self-cherishing thought, so then you think bad, interpret bad, put negative label, then appeared negative, bad, then you see it’s bad. So, like that, or enemy, like that.

So that’s according view of attachment and self-cherishing thought, that’s not, so if you’re friends with the bodhicitta, if you’re friends with the bodhicitta, the thought cherishing other sentient beings, if you’re friend of compassion, if you’re friend of contentment, opposite to the attachment, letting go the attachment, renunciation, so if you’re with this pure mind, you’re friend with them, they wouldn’t label, in their point of view, their point of view is this is not enemy, this is not enemy. They don’t label, “this is negative, bad.” So you don’t see, so there’s no negative label, so you don’t see this as the enemy, bad. So you don’t see it that way. So, in the view of wisdom seeing emptiness, in the view of wisdom, you don’t see that, you don’t see this is enemy, bad.

So, in the view of your positive mind you don’t see this as bad, enemy. Only in the view of attachment, ego, self-cherishing thought, you see this is bad. So therefore, before, like that, what this person is doing, angry, so now, whatever the person does now, then, if the person’s helping you or something, good; and then, criticizing or angry to you, bad. So then, or especially while following the negative, attachment and self-cherishing thought, okay.

So now here, skies of reason, all the past happiness I received from this person, all the present, all the future happiness, all the future samsaric happiness I receive from this person, now on top of that, then, the even more important, even more precious liberation from samsara, then even more precious, full enlightenment I receive from this person.

So this, now, the kindness of the person is like sky, so now here, only most positive, pure, like that.

[Translation into Chinese]

So now the next thing, so I would like to say that, request, this meditation or this discovering of kindness of others, this how so most precious, kind, that these sentient beings for us, not only these creatures here today, but what I would like to suggest or request is that in daily life to feel this with people in the office, at home, family, so in the street, when we’re in the restaurant, all the people in the restaurant, feel the depthless kindness, all my three-time happiness I receive by their kindness. So to feel that. Same, when we’re in the street, people, animals, dogs, or cats, or insects that we see in the road, birds, around, people, everybody see the most precious, most kind one in my life, I receive all my happiness from them. So to feel like this in our daily life, kindness of all the sentient beings. So I think then especially the person whom you call enemy, so to think of their kindness, to think of the kindness, by using this reason that I explained before.

So, then, I think it brings so much peace and happiness in your life, in your heart, and your heart is open to everybody, family, people in the office, everywhere, east or west, or wherever you are, human beings, non-human beings, even insects, mosquitoes or snakes, to everybody your heart is opened. Everybody become your family, everybody, everyone including insects, everybody become one family, that’s what you feel, like how you feel in your family, there, everybody so close to you, so they feel also you’re very close to them, you feel they’re very close to you. So now here, that feeling extended to the rest of the sentient beings. So become one big family. So then unbelievable peace and happiness, and then, so when you feel like this, then they also, you feel that they’re close to your heart, to you, also then, they feel that, also they feel also you are close to them. So, however, there’s no gap between you and them, it’s all one family, so like this including the people that live on this earth is one big family as His Holiness often talks that, Dalai Lama, one big family.

So, like this, so happy, your mind, everyday life, day and night your mind is so happy.

And, now, so everyone is most precious, most kind to you. They are more kinder, not by quality, by kindness, the sentient beings are more kind than Buddha, the sentient beings are more kind than Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. Not precious by quality, because Buddha has the highest quality. So, as regards kindness. Why? Because Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Buddha came from sentient beings. I already explained before, Buddha came from bodhisattva, bodhisattva came from bodhicitta, bodhicitta came from great compassion, great compassion generated by depending on the obscured, each and every single obscured, suffering sentient beings. Now it’s very clear: Buddha came from sentient beings, from each and every single sentient being. So Dharma which came from Buddha came from the sentient beings. Sangha which came from Buddha, it also came from the sentient beings, that whom we take refuge every day, before we begin any practice, we begin with refuge and bodhicitta, as a Mahayana practitioner. So, with this Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, came from sentient beings. So, the sentient beings is kinder.

So Kadampa geshe explained that, the ordinary people in the world regard Buddha, Dharma, Sangha more precious than sentient beings. But as Dharma practitioner, then should regard the sentient beings are more precious than Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. Then, ordinary people in the world cherish the I more than others, but Dharma practitioner must cherish others more than oneself. Then the Dharma practitioner seeking, the ordinary people in the world seek happiness of this life than seeking happiness of future lives. They think this life’s more important happiness. But Dharma practitioner should seek the happiness of future lives, happiness of future lives more important than this life’s happiness. So the Kadampa geshes, they ?will advise like this, most effective advice and practice.

And, so therefore, now, no way, we can harm to the sentient beings. No way to harm, impossible to harm, impossible to get angry to them, impossible to harm, impossible to criticize, anything to harm, no way. Only to benefit, even a small happiness you can offer, that’s, even a small comfort, small happiness you can offer, it’s so precious, it’s incredible lucky, you’re so lucky, unbelievable, to be able to offer even a small comfort, a small pleasure to them, to the sentient beings. It’s incredible good luck, so precious, it’s something that when you’re able to offer a small service to a sentient being, even to one sentient being, it’s something that makes most happy your life.

So now, Buddha, bodhisattva, now the bodhisattva how the mother feels her beloved child, she cherishes, mother cherishes her child most, more than her life. Anything best she gives to the child. If somebody criticizes, if somebody says a few bad words, criticizes to her child, she gets hurt so much. If somebody praises a few good words, sweet words to her, how to say, to the child, [pause] so now finish up. Sorry, it took time. So if somebody says some nice words to the child, the mother, it makes the mother so happy, unbelievably happy.

So now the bodhisattva who cherishes sentient beings most, does everything for sentient beings, so therefore, now, this sentient being, mosquito or this person who is angry to you, this is cherished most by a bodhisattva, cherished most by a bodhisattva. So a bodhisattva he, attaining the path to enlightenment, everything for this sentient being.

So now there are numberless bodhisattvas who cherish this mosquito, this person, so a small harm to this person, to this animal, it harms to the bodhisattva. So small comfort, small happiness you are able to give this insect, this person, that’s the best, what makes most happy the bodhisattva.

Now, same, Buddha, one Buddha cherishes most is sentient beings. So Buddha achieved enlightenment only for the sake of sentient beings. So therefore, the little harm, even a small harm to sentient beings, it harms to them. Even a small benefit to them it’s the best offering, a small happiness, comfort to them, best offering to the buddhas, to the numberless buddhas, so this is what we have to remember every day, to be aware. So therefore now, the liberating, the saving the lives of others, so this, now here, becomes best, unbelievable service to them, then this is the best offering to the numberless bodhisattvas, numberless buddhas, all the holy beings, so besides benefit to them.

So thank you very much.


[Translation into Chinese]

So I brought Lama Tsongkhapa tsa-tsa, made by Lama Tsongkhapa, this stupa that he daily practiced and here contains Lama Atisha’s tsa-tsa, the Namgyalma deity, long-life deity made by him, his own hand, and there’s Nagarjuna’s relic, Buddha’s relic, given by His Holiness, so to put it there, so for circumambulation, so just for that.

Then again I would like to thank very much the, from the bottom of my heart, for skies of benefit the Master does for sentient beings.

[Translation into Chinese]