Compassion is the Real Answer (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Madrid, Spain (Archive #1785)

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this talk in Madrid, Spain on June 10, 2009. The teaching includes a commentary on the visualization of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), and group chanting of OM MANI PADME HUM mantra. Rinpoche also explained the benefits of compassion and the laws of karma.

Thousand-arm Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara). Courtesy of FPMT Foundation Store.
Compassion is the Real Answer

...Then also to meet one friend, Marco, who helped benefact fixing the floors and the altar, Nagarjuna Center, in Madrid, so, came to Nalanda to talk. So, he went to Lawudo, he went to Solu Khumbu, he went to Solu Khumbu, Lawudo, Kopan, and so he helped the different monasteries, our Kopan Nunnery, and different, so he’s been there already, Solu Khumbu, I think, two times, already. So he came to meet me, he met Lama Lhundrup, Kopan Monastery abbot, so he came to discuss, he came to meet me at Nalanda, Nalanda in France, the monastery, so then we talked, to, he has ideas, he has many, many different projects.

So, he has one, one of the staff that, say, helped raising fund for Catholics, right? So very successful, so I think to use the same idea, to help, so you can discuss, to help FPMT, so it can be discussed, like that.

So, anyway, so came to meet Marco, and so yesterday, we had good time to meet Lama, so then, and then also today.

So I thought to meet students here, so just to say hello, just to, since I’m here, so I thought to just to meet, say hello. You say hello to me, I say hello to you, so like that. So that’s it.

So, say, so recent time we did the, tried to do 100 million OM MANI PADME HUM at the Vajrayogini, the retreat. So, they do Yamantaka retreat every year, I think, they mentioned that, but if you do Yamantaka retreat, then many people cannot attend, especially who haven’t received Yamantaka initiation, cannot attend. So Roger thought, his idea is maybe to do 100 million OM MANI PADME HUM retreat, so then, they organized everything, and so that’s the first time, first time reciting 100 million mantras in Europe.

Australia, we did Australia maybe eight years ago, how many years ago? Eight? So I think maybe eight years, something around, maybe ten years? Something around. But, never finish, never get done 100 million, because basically the Sangha, they’re the main ones who does, for one month? Then the outside people come, not so many, they come for just one day, two days, short, and, I don’t know, I don’t know what it is, whether they really do not understand the benefits of, really the skies of benefits chanting the mantra, skies of benefit, the merits, and unbelievable, negative karma collected from beginningless rebirth gets purified, unbelievable, unbelievable by just chanting even one, with bodhicitta motivation, even one, skies of merit you collect. Even without bodhicitta, inconceivable merits, like number of the dust of this earth, or like oceans.

So, anyway, so it _____ everything, and especially to develop compassion, compassion to numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, numberless animals, numberless human beings, numberless suras, asuras, intermediate state, all those who are unbelievable suffering, so to think of them, being aware of their suffering, they need help, so you see to develop compassion, and to, taking responsibility to liberate the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, all numberless, each realm, so to liberate them from oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to, not only to liberation, but to bring to full enlightenment. So, especially to develop compassion, so the most important thing, most important thing for all sentient beings, most important thing, most important thing, even in this world, even/ [gap in recording] /need compassion. For, there’s global problems, global problems, global warming, global problems, and then the country problems, that’s so many problems, and war, and many things, then, sicknesses, so many people dying, not like before, old times, now so many people dying so fast, by cancer. You can never tell. [snaps fingers] You’re healthy, you think you’re okay, you believe others okay, but suddenly the person got cancer, and then, like that, just, so, say, life-threatening disease, so like that. Then, not only cancer but many other sicknesses, many other life danger. So, so anyway, so for everything, economical problems, for everything, it’s ultimate, the real answer’s compassion, for everything; for everything it’s compassion.

So, if you have compassion, if you have compassion to others, then also wisdom can be developed, because you want to help others. In order to help others you need wisdom, you need wisdom. I mean, whatever activity you’re going to do to help others, of course you need the wisdom that, but besides that, you need to have Dharma wisdom, you need to have Dharma wisdom, otherwise, you’re totally ignorant the result of your actions, what result the action brings, happiness or suffering, you’re totally ignorant. So you think you’re doing for happiness, but actually your action become only negative karma, so like that, or non-virtue, so like that.

So, so much of the life, lack of understanding Dharma, lack of understanding the mind, lack of understanding Dharma, lack of understanding mind, and the action of the mind, lack of understanding that. All the different minds, different thoughts, that it effects suffering, that it effects happiness, all that, the karma. So, not having that education, not having that knowledge, then make so much mistakes. Your hope is happiness, but all the actions become negative karma, non-virtue, so, the whole life become like that.

So same as the ants, same as the worms, I mean, the animals in the forest, like the tigers who are living on other animals, eating another alive, another living, pitiful, living deers or those zebras, you know, those cows, you know, those animals, even they don’t harm others, like deer, they are vegetarian, you see, they don’t eat other animals, deer, so many of these, zebras, then the tigers, they have to live on, they have to live by eating other animals, living, alive.

So, anyway, so, worms, ants, or however, so they also, they keep, ants, ants/ [gap in recording] /so busy, the ants, so busy, it’s for happiness, everybody’s so, all the ants so busy running up and down, many towers, many towers in the city, they get into kitchen, they get into kitchen, say, honey, sugar, so they can find, so anyway, so they are so busy, so/ [distorted recording] /for their own happiness/ [distorted recording] /So, not understanding Dharma, not understanding mind/ [distorted recording] /so, all that things, so, that the mind create everything, the mind create this world, that the mind create this world, human mind, our mind created this world, our mind created this world, okay. This human world, our mind created, collective, our collective, so many people, so many human beings, who are born in this earth, collection, collective karma, so, created this, came from the mind, the whole world came from the mind, like that.

So, when there’s no more sentient beings’ karma to be born, to live in this world, then that time the world ends, this world ends that time. Then completely, completely become empty, this world completely becomes empty, like that. This one is not, I’m not talking about emptiness, I’m not talking emptiness.

I think, it is explained in the texts, I think maybe Abhidharmakosha or something, one great eon, nothing happens, empty. Then takes another, one great eon to evolve the world. Then after complete one great eon, one great eon/ [gap in recording] /human beings, animals, all the different living beings who are living in this world, so that, when they don’t have karma, sentient beings, so then the world ends.

Okay, what I was saying before?

So, compassion. So, compassion is the cause of long life. If you have compassion, why, because if you have compassion, you serve others, you help others. For the sick person, give medicine, I mean sick people need food, you give food, clothing, home, however, you see, that’s also cause of long life.

When you have compassion, you always, you think of others, you always help, whatever you can, so it’s always, always it’s a cause of your long life, and cause of long life, and, you help animals. Whenever you see one insect drown in the water, or attacked by other worms or ants, you try to help, so, or attacked by cats or some, you know, anyway, so try to save their life from being killed, so that becomes, because you cause some other sentient being to have long life, so it affects, even though you don’t want long life, but your karma, your action, affects to you, it effects long life. So, if you don’t want long life, so action, because the action has, it’s a dependent arising, so your action of saving somebody, causing somebody to have a longer life, it affects to your life, long life, even you don’t want.

So, there’s, when you have compassion, every day your life, every day your life, you do, give so much help, I mean, human beings, no question, everyday life, help, then even animals, insects, you help when you have compassion.

Even you don’t have actual realization of compassion, but just some compassion, always try to help. When you have some good heart, always try to help. So good, that life is so good, that life is so wonderful, so beautiful, so wonderful, beautiful, that’s great. That person then naturally, naturally achieves so much happiness, satisfaction, satisfaction, especially joyfulness, fulfilling, fulfilling, your heart is fulfilling, fulfilling your heart, your heart’s fulfilling, you see, not just satisfaction, peace, no, fulfilling, and rejoice, Oh, I’m able to offer service, cause happiness to others, so feel much happy, joy. So your life filled with joy, like that. So, every day like that, you get so much opportunity if you have compassion, good heart.

So it makes life meaningful worthwhile, every time when you help somebody, makes, it makes your life meaningful, born a human being, born a human being, each time when you do that, makes your life meaningful, so like that. You made your life beneficial for others, each time when you do that [snaps fingers], your life becomes meaningful, purpose to be born as a human being made worthwhile, beneficial, not useless, not harmful to others, especially, you see.

So, now, say, so cause of long life. So those people who are living, those human beings who are living a very long life, generally, I don’t know, generally, it seems anyway, in the East, if you compare East and the West, what I see is, East is, the life is shorter; who is able to live more than a hundred, in the West there are many more who are able to live more than a hundred. I think recent time, one month ago, some time ago, I think one who was 113, who was over 113, he died, passed away, I think, one mother, man or? Do you remember? One hundred and thirteen, who is over 113, I think United States. So, there are more people in the West who live, whose life live longer, more than a hundred. Now become, of course, less and less, less; less and less, less.

So, generally something like that, so, but of course, but of course, you see, this is the result from the past life, good karma; it is a result of past good karma. I don’t know how many lifetimes ago, maybe a billion, zillion, trillion lifetimes ago, or life before this, so did some good for other being’s life, caused to stop harm, caused others long life, so like that.

Then, also, I mean, who has devotion to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, then, like offering cake, offering food, that’s for the long life, offering food to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, offering food, so there’s eight offerings, the last one is, before the music, before the music, also food offering, argham, padyam, phushpe, dhu-pe, aloke, gandhe, naivedya, shapta. Naivedya, food, before that, scented water, so visualized or the/ [gap in recording] /always to, while you’re in samsara, there’s no poverty, there’s always/ [gap in recording] /there’s no poverty, there’s always/ [gap in recording] /there’s no, so life to life, while in samsara, so no poverty [gap in recording] /one ?meets, always like that, result. Then, of course, when you become buddha, then, I mean, without slightest effort, I mean, skies of the nectar offerings, I mean, purest the food, nectar offering. So, like that, you see, you have opportunity to experience.

However, so, also long life, besides the last two benefits, achieve liberation from samsara and full enlightenment, so like that.

So the light, then light offering, then the [a student says something] uh? What did you say?

[Ven. Paloma: Actually, I just said that it was not _____.]

No, that meant, that meant for the future.

Anyway, so light offerings, they’re for long life. So it has many other, to achieve, to have very clear mind, to develop your Dharma wisdom. Light offering has very important benefit to develop Dharma wisdom, and clairvoyance, clairvoyance. So if you have clairvoyance, then you know exactly problem what the person has. You can read others’ mind, so then you know exactly what method, what to say, what exact word to say, what exact method to reveal, you know exactly. So, so you see, you can benefit, you can benefit unbelievable, so much. Even you don’t, even you haven’t achieved omniscience, but just to achieve clairvoyance, even you have just clairvoyance, that, even you haven’t achieved the exalted path, path of meditation, and no more learning, ah lay, right-seeing path, the path of meditation, even you haven’t achieved those paths, but if you have clairvoyance, wow, so much less mistakes, you can offer, you have unbelievable opportunity, you offer so much benefit, you can help others, much deeper, without mistakes, without problems.

So, anyway, so you can see future, you can see, you remember past, you can see future, so you know what to do exactly. So in the case of economic problems, in the case of business, business or the, in the case of healing people, in the case where your own life, to develop, however, from life to life, to develop, and then, to be liberated from oceans of samsaric suffering, and to achieve enlightenment.

So, anyway, of course, then, as a Buddhist, of course then make offering to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, there’s so many what you can do, so many cause, I mean, good karma, there’s so many, unbelievable, so easy and so powerful what you can do, full, like that.

So, however, even without that, just compassion, then compassion, if you have compassion, also compassion, also, I think from that, also then you will have long life, sorry, healthy life, healthy life, because of the compassion, you don’t harm others, you don’t harm others, you don’t harm others. So therefore, you don’t harm others, and abandoning harming others is virtue, and, not only that, you do so much benefit to others, help, to others. So that, so, you see, so much benefit, not only stop giving harm is virtue, then on top of that, helping others. So there’s so much you create good karma for being healthy, okay, so like that.

Then the, so even psychologically, psychologically, how to say, logical reason, logical reason, for example, when you’re not meditating, when you’re not practicing Dharma, so you follow, your mind you follow your emotion, negative emotions, okay, so, selfish mind, and follow the selfish mind, then anger arises, attachment arises, those things, jealous mind arises, jealous mind, okay, anger, ill will, all these other negative emotional thought arises, okay, then it harm others, it harm others, so much harm others by, with the speech, with the mind, with the body, you interfere others to have success in business, others’ wishes, others’ wishes for happiness, you interfere to not happen, to not happen, unbelievable, so much, so, in the daily life, you know, animals, or the human beings, say animals.

Okay, so, you see, when the mind ?live ?in selfish mind, anger, all this arise, attachment to this life and all that, so therefore, you see, so therefore your life is another world, it’s living in another world, another hallucination, with all this hallucinated mind. So there’s constantly harm others, constantly harm other sentient beings, okay, constantly.

So now, when your mind in compassion, living with compassion, you know, here, when your mind is living in the compassion—do not want others to suffer, do not wish, do not want others to suffer—so that’s the, you see, definition of compassion. The great compassion is when you take the responsibility on yourself, free others from the suffering, so that’s great, when you take responsibility to free the numberless sentient beings from oceans of samsaric suffering, and cause—karma and delusion—that’s great compassion. So, the general compassion is, that, you see, wishing to free others from the suffering.

So anyway, so that’s the nature of compassion, so, when your mind is in nature of compassion, then anger doesn’t arise, anger does not arise. Then, you see, so, generally speaking, the anger doesn’t rise, the jealous mind, jealous mind, you see, causing obstacles others to have success, others wishes for happiness to not happen, so all these things, so, with the attachment, and with the self-cherishing thought, all this, with the ignorance, so, so much harm to others, so much harm to others’ happiness, others’ wishes, stops, doesn’t happen.

So, compassion, then only you live your life stop harm others, stop harm others, that’s the first thing. Second thing, help others, can you imagine? Your life is totally different, totally, different, hts, it’s the happiest life, it’s the happiest life, it’s the most meaningful life.

So, you see, and even in your daily life, in your daily life, always, even you’re not Buddhist, but because compassion to others, to animals, people, so you create good karma, constantly, good karma, always, in one day, so many times you create good karma, with the sincere heart helping others, okay. So, it’s, see, so much opportunity to create, to collect good karma, cause of happiness.

So like this, so anyway, so maybe I’ll summarize now. Sorry. So, okay, I’ll tell you one thing is: What is the cause of success? One student says compassion.]

The cause of success, how to have success in the life, [snaps finger] see, every day, in our life, whenever you’re able to fulfill the wishes of somebody, animal or human being, fulfill the wishes of happiness, animal or, I mean, we don’t see pretas at this time. I mean, some people see, some people see, who has particular eye, they can see spirits, you see. But we see the animals and, animals who are around of us, and then human beings. Also devas we don’t see, at the moment.

However, so when you accomplish wishes of happiness for somebody, when you do that, [snaps fingers] when you’re able to do that, ohhhhhhhhh, that is the cause of happiness, that is the cause of your success. Not just one success [snaps fingers], not just one time success [snaps fingers], no. Your accomplishing somebody’s wish for happiness one time [snaps fingers], one time, so that karma has effect, say, effect, say, hundreds, thousands of lifetimes, to have success.

For example, it is said in the teachings, Aryadeva’s teaching, the commentary of the Four Hundred Stanzas of Middle Way View, so, in the commentary that, if a sentient being, if you cheat one sentient being, if you cheat one sentient being, then you will be, if you cheat one sentient being means one time, it’s not talking about cheat all the time, one time. So then you will be cheated, as a result, you’ll be cheated by, you’ll be cheated, as a result of that, you’ll be cheated by others one thousand lifetimes; you’ll be cheated by other sentient beings, one thousand lifetimes.

So, why? You see, that’s the nature of the karma. The four outlines of karma: Karma is definite. Definite, you see, the good karma, definite to bring, once you create good karma, s definite to bring [snaps fingers] its result, happiness. As long as that good karma [snaps fingers] didn’t meet, as long as that good karma is not destroyed by anger and heresy, didn’t meet the obstacles, then definitely you will achieve the result, happiness from that.

If you create negative karma [snaps fingers], definitely you achieve result suffering [snaps fingers], no matter how long, no matter billion, zillion, trillion, numberless trillion eons, how many it takes, never get lost [snaps fingers]. No matter how small it is, the negative karma, you will definitely experience the result [snaps fingers], the suffering. So, as long as that negative karma hasn’t met, I was going to say, obstacles, not purified, by actualizing the path, or through confession, it’s not purified, through perfect confession not purified, then, you see, even numberless trillion, zillion eons’ lives, result never get lost, the suffering will be experienced in time, when it’s ready, [snaps fingers], when it’s ready to be experienced out, okay.

So now the second outline, karma is, karma is expandable. So one karma, result you experience many times one life, or many hundred, thousands of lifetimes you experience. So now, here, what Aryadeva, the great, it’s one of the Six Ornaments, great pandit, Six Ornaments, those who, like sun shining in this world, who did great benefit to sentient beings, teaching of Buddha, that by, attaining the path, and then, explaining Dharma, compose, to the sentient beings, so, like that.

So therefore, now, karma is expandable. So if you plant one small seed, one small seed under the ground, then, a huge tree grows, huge tree, then branches, thousands and thousands of branches, so five hundred, in India there are trees, I forgot the name, five hundred horse carriage, five hundred horse carriage is covered by the branches of tree, India, hot, very hot country, so they keep under the shadow of the tree, under the branches of tree, there’s one particular tree has like this, so I’ve forgotten, don’t remember the name. So, like that. But it’s more than that, you see, inner karma, expandable, more than outside, those trees or the crops, so like that.

So, therefore, now here, if you do, so now here, if you do one, yeah, maybe I finish the last two outlines.

So, [Tibetan] then next, third outline is: If the karma is not created, the result won’t be experienced. [Tibetan].

Then, the fourth outline is [Tibetan], karma, that which is done, never gets wasted. No matter how many billion, zillion, trillion eons it takes, never get lost. No matter how small negative karma is, never get lost. If it didn’t meet obstacle then, [snaps fingers] you definitely experience the result, the happiness or suffering, whatever, so like that.

So now here, so therefore, now, therefore, now, here, helping somebody, helping somebody, a person or animal, whatever, fulfilling the wishes of that person’s happiness, that act, that one act of helping [snaps fingers], oh, the result, you have success, you experience success for hundred, thousand lifetimes, like that. So, we have to understand that. So this is how the action, how your action, affect to your life, to your mind, to your life, like that. [pause]

For example, for example, there’s seed. You plant that, seed of that flower, then you plant, grows that, leaves like that design, leaves, you know like that, you know leaves, you see the leaves there, and flower like this, and it has many, many, you know, many, many small, so many small ones, you see, so many small ones. And it fits very well, the leaf and the flower fits very well. Any flower, I mean, fits, it fits, I always watch, always watch, always you see it fits very well, the flower and the leaf, when you see the nature, it fits, it’s very interesting.

But it’s a result of our mind, whoever sees the flower. It is not independent, it’s not truly existent. So insects or the people who see the flower, who, sense contact, it’s based on that, based on the mind.

So, anyway, so, but you plant the seed of that flower, okay. So from that seed, all this comes, all that details, all the details, leaves, details, shape of the flower, amazing, can you imagine? And look at the back side of the flower, look at the back side of the flower, there’s a lot of art there, there’s a lot of art, so it’s really amazing, it’s not made by somebody with the hands, it’s not made by somebody’s hands, no. Then, who decide that? Do you know who decide that? Do you know who decide that? Do you know who decided the design? Huh? Do you know who decided the design? Who decided the design? Who makes the design? Oh, this is very interesting. That’s very interesting to meditate, to check. I find very interesting, very, very interesting.

So all this, all this, so, when we see, so how many of us we see this flower, how many people see the flower, or ants living on that, okay, so, this came from our mind, came from our mind, came from our mind. It’s subtle karma, what is the cause of, what is the cause of that leaf like this, design like this, what is the cause of that, leaf, design like this, like this? And then the flower, that shape like this, so small, shape like this, what’s the cause of that, you understand? So those are subtle karmas, subtle karma; gross karma, so like this, subtle karma.

Of course, so, while the flower is not dead, I mean, with colors, okay, so, that’s, our sense contact that, so, that’s something nice, so if you find nice, if you see nice, not ugly, nice, then it came from your good karma, okay. If you see ugly, something you don’t like, you hate, something terrible, came from your negative karma, came from your, that person’s negative karma. So, basically like that. So it’s, who created? By your karma. Anyone who see us, our karma created that, our karma created that, all the design, all the things, our past good karma created that, okay, all the design.

So it, but to go into details, what is the cause of the leaves like this, why the flower is so tiny, and shaped like this, those, every single detail, those tiny details, cause of that is subtle karma.

Similar, similar the butterfly wing has so many color, design, all those are, cause of each of those design is the subtle karma. So, like that. It’s similar mentioned the peacock, those different colors, those, cause of those, the karma of each of those details is subtle karma, mentioned, so same. So like that.

So, what, here what I’m talking, my talk got expanded, but, by planting the seed, by planting the seed, that seed of that, then you grow like this, so that’s the nature, that’s the nature. The, us sentient beings’ karma, and then you see, the seed, by planting that seed, then grow like that, that nature, the seed has that power to bring, to produce like this. Us sentient beings’ karma, and the seed has the power to produce that, okay.

So now, same, now same, the action, action what we do has that effect, action what we do with the body, speech and mind, action what we do, so helping somebody one time, causing happiness to somebody, fulfilling somebody’s wish for happiness, oh, it cause success to you, for hundred, thousands of lifetimes, hundred, thousands of lifetimes, okay. Oh, so like this. So I’m telling about the power of the action, what the action, what our action affect, I’m talking about that, I’m using that seed, seed, oh, that’s interesting, flower, I’m using that example, seed has that power, so similar, our action has power, okay.

So, what I’m saying? So anyway, should finish, what? So like that.