Heart Sutra Retreat (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Genting View Resort, Malaysia (Archive #1048)

The following are teachings from a Heart Sutra retreat held in Malaysia in 1997.

The teachings include oral transmissions of the Vajrasattva mantra and the Heart Sutra and teachings on rebirth, bodhicitta and emptiness.

The Benefits of Living In Vows

So by living in the morality abstaining from the negative karma of telling lies, then one experience the result four happiness, body of the happy migratory being next life and then, experiencing the result similar to the cause, that other people do not criticize, do not cheat you, and they always very truthful to you, supportive.

Then, the possessed result to do with the place, so whether one is doing business or whatever, all those different things, so receiving, if one is doing transportation then receiving a lot of passengers or whatever, running restaurant receiving a lot of guests, so like this, so having success.

Then , so therefore, now here we can see, by going in details like this, and through the analysis how the karma is expandable and one has to experience, if it's negative karma then suffering result one experience many hundreds of lifetimes or thousands of lifetimes. Then also, if it's good karma, also the result you experience, you enjoy the result for many hundreds of lifetimes, thousands of lifetimes. So therefore now, before I gave example one negative karma done in this life, so first killing, so then what happens if the negative karma is not purified, and if one doesn't practice morality, if one doesn't stop then what happens, what danger goes on and on in all the lives, the suffering becomes endless. So now, one day, even just from these ten nonvirtuous actions there are so many we collect, there are many negative karmas that we collect so many times even in one day. The gossiping and covetousness and so forth, so in this life, one day there's so many negative karmas, even just from the ten nonvirtuous actions there are so many we collected, from these we collected so many even in this life up to now. Then, not just that, from beginningless rebirth, there are so many which are not finished experiencing, there are so many.

So now here, so therefore now it becomes something that you cannot wait without purifying, can't wait even a second, can't wait even a minute, second, without purifying all these negative karmas. And that, can't wait without practicing morality, changing the actions, stopping those negative karmas and living in the vows, can't wait. Becomes the most important thing, something to practice immediately, because, so if it's not done in this life or now, then death can happen any moment, so then in the future it's very difficult to say that have the opportunity to practice.

So here now the conclusion you can see, the real solution that is only Dharma, the real solution, ultimate solution is , there are many things to help, medicines, when one is sick, medicine, astrology, feng shui, there are many things to help the life, but the ultimate one is only Dharma. Even though there are so many things to help, but even to receive those helps, when one is sick to have, to meet qualified doctor who can cure your disease and to receive the good treatment, unmistaken treatment so for that you need good karma; without good karma that doesn't happen. So same with other, feng shui or any other method, same, so without, so in the first place is there's no good karma, those things don't happen, those conditions don't happen. So the real answer is Dharma to solve, the ultimate solution that is Dharma, to solve the problems and to have success of happiness, because everything comes from one's own mind.

So therefore, lay people living in the vows, precepts, ordained person, those by living in the vow, living in the monastery, nunnery, even they live very distant, very isolated place, how does it benefit to the world? So that we can understand how does it benefit to the world, so one can, how does it benefit to the rest of the world, the other sentient beings, so you can understand from this explanation of karma, so simple way to understand is because how many number of vows the person takes, lay person or the ordained person, that it means that person make vow to stop that many negative karmas, so stop that many harmful actions, which harms oneself, not only that, but especially to other sentient beings, which harms directly or indirectly. So therefore, so many number the person makes vow to stop, that means the rest of the sentient beings don't receive harm from that person, don't receive that many harm, receive less harm, that much less harm from that person, that means the rest of the sentient beings, the people, other living beings in this world receive that much peace, happiness, rest of the sentient beings and living beings who are living in this world receive that much peace and happiness from this person.

Then, as it's mentioned in the sutra teachings that, in the past, how by living in the vows how that helps for economic, by living in the vow, in the precepts, how does it help for economic, the development of economic, to develop the means of living, the enjoyments, to develop the country, to receive the rains right time, all the crops to grow well without obstacles, all these things, to have much peace and happiness. So in India in the past, one country there has been a lot of difficulties in the means of living, then later it was, the crops grow well and everything, the country developed so much and then, so the king of the country thought, I did this, and so one of, anyway, the ministers they thought they did it, and so then one of the ministers told the king, there is a sage who has clairvoyance, so must go to ask , who developed the country, by the minister or by the king or due to whom?

Then they went to see the sage, and the sage, the saint, why the country is so much well developed, plenty of crops and everything is going very well, it's not because of king, it's not because of minister. In the forest there are four animals, four brother animals in the forest, so they lived in the vow, they lived in the precepts, and so it's due, why the country changed and developed so much, everything going so well is because these four brother animals lived in the forest they practiced morality, lived in the vow, precepts.

So what happened was, so there's elephant, the monkey , then there's the rabbit and bird. So they respected, whoever's elder they all have moral discipline, respect to the elder ones and then they decided, each of them I think lived in the five precepts and then elephant spread the precepts to other elephants and then monkey spread the precepts to other monkeys and rabbit ... precepts. So I think the bird is, that is manifestation of Buddha, then elephant and monkey and rabbit, those are Buddha's attendants, the Ananda and one is called Nyi gyä [Shariputra], I don't remember what name. So this is the story of the four brothers, the four harmonious brothers.

So it is said that if we have this picture of the four harmonious brothers in the house then it brings harmony in the family or in the office and prosperity.

Yeah, stop here. So can do Vajrasattva.

So think, purpose of my life is to free all sentient beings from all the sufferings and bring them to full enlightenment, and therefore I need to achieve enlightenment and therefore I need to actualize the steps of the path to enlightenment; therefore I need to purify all the obscurations, negative karmas. If I am now in the lower realms, in the hell realm, it is so unbearable that suffering there's no opportunity to practice Dharma and death can happen any time, so that means I'll be reborn there in any moment; so therefore, I must purify all these negative karmas right now without delay even a second. So think of all these negative karmas, each of the negative karmas worse than all the poison that which exists in the world, because eating poison it might cause death but doesn't make to be reborn in the lower realms, but negative karma makes to be reborn in the lower realms. So therefore, each of these negative karmas is much more harmful, dangerous, than all the poisons that which are in the world. Yeah, so I'm going to do Vajrasattva meditation-recitation to benefit towards all sentient beings.

So one visualize also, in one's own heart there's a moon disc, then all sentient beings there, all one's own family is there, and then particular person whom you want to pray, somebody who's died or, also one can, those particular persons one can visualize there and purify at the same time.

So visualize from one's own side the root virtuous friend Vajrasattva inseparable, oneness, on one's own crown and I go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha until I achieve enlightenment. Due to the merits of having done charity and so forth, may I achieve enlightenment in order to benefit for all the migratory beings.

I go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha until I achieve enlightenment - so the Guru Vajrasattva what you have visualized that is all the guru, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. So with the whole heart relying on that. The basic motivation of compassion, to free all sentient beings from all the sufferings.

[Refuge prayer]

[Recitation of Vajrasattva mantra]

Constantly flowing the nectar beams from Guru Vajrasattva's heart, purified not only oneself but all sentient beings, who are in your heart. So came out in the form of dirty liquid.

[Recitation of Vajrasattva mantra]

[Recitation of Vajrasattva mantra]

… so with one's own body, speech and mind from the beginningless rebirth were completely purified. So same thing, sentient beings, all their negative karmas were completely purified. 

So somebody who is very sick or passed away or specific person you want to pray, then also, then one can think, completely purified.

Now, meditation, then nectar beams chased up, purified up all the negative karmas, obscurations.

[Recitation of Vajrasattva mantra]

So all the negative karmas, obscurations, collected from beginningless rebirths with one's own body, speech and mind were completely purified.

So now doing meditation the instant purification. All one's own negative karmas in the form of darkness at the heart, and then strong nectar beams emitted, completely become non-existent right there. Same thing, then all sentient beings' negative karma, same, become non-existent there.

So then recite in silence.

[Silent recitation of Vajrasattva mantra, then final mantra out loud]

One can also think this way that, the mind become completely pure and then the body become like crystal, calm and clear light crystal, which is nature of light, can also think like that.

Now Guru Vajrasattva is telling you, You the lineage of the race of son, all the negative karmas, the defilements, all the degenerated samaya vows were completely purified. So think everything purified and there's no slightest negative karma in one's own mind, even the size of atom, nothing left there. And think now, there's no cause in my mind, such as to be reborn in the lower realms, so forth. So generate very strong faith and also rejoice having purified, having the opportunity to purify with the Vajrasattva meditation-recitation.

So now, the last power, making commitment to not do again. So if we say, I'll not commit again that becomes, for many of us, that, due to our uncontrolled mind that unable to, as one made the commitment, it doesn't happen, difficult to happen. So therefore, in order to not become telling lie towards the holy object, towards the object of refuge, then one make commitment that I will abstain from those negative karmas, downfalls, ones which I can I will abstain from them from now on and the ones where extremely difficult to abstain from, one hour, one day, minute, even for a few seconds I will abstain from them. 

Now, Guru Vajrasattva, so meditate the Guru Vajrasattva is extremely pleased with your determination of practice and melted into light, absorbed through the center of the two eyebrows where there's the tip, upper tip of the central channel and blessed your body, speech and mind. Then those who have received Highest Tantra initiation, then can do the meditation entered in the heart. Then one's own body, speech and mind transformed into vajra holy body, holy speech, holy mind of the Vajrasattva, the Guru Vajrasattva, one visualized, that which one think. 

Now in emptiness there is no I, creator of negative karma. In emptiness there is no action of creating negative karma. In emptiness there is no creation, negative karma. So by this, by meditating on emptiness, by sealing, the three circles by sealing with emptiness like this, meditating on emptiness, it becomes unbelievable powerful purification. So, while one is meditating on emptiness , in emptiness all the three time merits collected by me and by Buddhas, bodhisattvas, sentient beings, today's merits that I collected, that which is totally non-existent in emptiness, may the I who is also totally non-existent in emptiness achieve Vajrasattva's enlightenment, which is also totally non-existent in emptiness and lead all sentient beings, who are totally non-existent in emptiness, to that enlightenment, which is also totally non-existent in emptiness by myself alone, who is also totally non-existent in emptiness.


Dedicate to actualize bodhicitta within one's mind, within the mind of all sentient beings without delay even a second; and that which generated to be increased.

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by oneself, by Buddhas, bodhisattvas, sentient beings, may all the father and mother sentient beings have happiness; may the three lower realms be empty forever; may all the bodhisattvas prayers to be succeeded immediately and to be able to cause all this by myself alone.

Due to all the three time merits collected by oneself, Buddhas, bodhisattvas, sentient beings, may any sentient being who hears me, who touches me, who remembers me, who thinks about me, who talks about me, who makes connection with harm or help, may all these sentient beings, just by this may they never be reborn in the lower realms from now. May they immediately get liberated from all the disease, spirit harms, negative karmas, obscurations and may they achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible.

Due to all these merits collected by me and by Buddhas, bodhisattvas, sentient beings, may I be able to offer extensive benefit like sky towards all sentient beings, like Lama Tsongkhapa by having all the qualities that Lama Tsongkhapa has within me, from now on in all the future lifetimes.

I will dedicate all my merits in the best way to quickly enlighten all sentient beings, as the three time Buddhas, bodhisattvas dedicated their merits and Samantabhadra and Manjugosha realizes.

Due to all the three times merits collected by oneself, by Buddhas, bodhisattvas, sentient beings, may Lama Tsongkhapa's stainless complete path, unified of sutra and tantra, may it be actualized within one's own mind, in the mind of all sentient beings and in the mind of all the students and all those who sacrifice their life to serve others and the teaching of Buddha. All the wishes to be fulfilled according to the holy Dharma and all the Dharma projects, everything, to be accomplished of each meditation center and including the Maitreya Project everything to succeed and to be most beneficial towards all sentient beings and oneself able to lead all sentient beings to enlightenment as quick as possible by spreading Lama Tsongkhapa's teaching.