Kopan Course No. 33 (2000): Audio and Unedited Transcripts, Continued

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kopan Monastery, Nepal. (Archive #1257)

The following are excerpts of the teachings given by Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche at the Thirty-third Kopan Meditation Course, held at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 2000. Included is an oral transmission of the Medicine Buddha mantra and portions of the Diamond Cutter Sutra.

Lectures 6-10 are below; the first five lectures can be found here. You can also read the entire lightly edited transcript here.

Day 8: Karma, Six Ways of Purifying, How to Live With Bodhicitta, Dedications

...from one negative karma you experience suffering result many life times, so many times, for many years again and again in one lifetime, experience many lifetimes, hundred thousand lifetimes.

For example it is said in the Shi gya pa, teaching of the Four Hundred Verses by Aryadeva, if you cheat one sentient being then you will experience, you will be cheated by other sentient beings for one thousand lifetimes, if you cheat one sentient being you will be cheated by other sentient beings in future lives one thousand lifetimes.

So like that karma is expandable; you do one, result is experienced for many lifetimes, so much more than the external, you plant one rice then many rice come; you plant one bodhi tree in the ground one small bodhi tree in the ground then big tree comes many thousand of branches many, many seed comes. Huge tree from the small seed. So in India there are many trees there where horse carriages are kept under the shade of that tree. But in the case of karma it is much, much more expandable than those outside phenomena.

So therefore, one good karma is done, you experience many lifetimes, you will enjoy the happiness so many lifetimes, hundred thousand lifetimes. One negative karma is done you experience the suffering result for many lifetimes. In one life so many times, or many hundred thousand lifetimes.

Therefore even very small negative karma must abandon, even if very small virtue must do it, so like that. Even to help insect or something if you see insect in the water having difficulty take it out of the water, whatever, towards people if it is small service do it. Even a small virtue, even offering, even one stick of incense, one rice, one tiny flower offered to the Buddha. However, even if you have candy you offer to Buddha, so however you see even glass of water first offer to Buddha. Anyway, conclusion even small virtue must do it because karma is expandable, even small nonvirtue must abandon.

Then, without having created the cause you don't experience the result lai.ma che.pa(?) Without having created the karma you don't meet the result.

Then that which is done never gets lost. Same, it all becomes, because of these things must abandon nonvirtue whether big or small, must practise virtue, and must abandon nonvirtue even if small. So it is mentioned in the Vinaya, even if it is a small negative karma don't think it won't harm me don't think that this so small it won't harm me, don't underestimate.

For example even if small fire spark can burn huge pile of hash… not hashish, dry grass, husk, so it is not hashish, it is hay, one tiny fire spark can burn a whole big pile of hay. For example one candle flame, one small candle flame can burn the whole mountain, whole forest, so you see like that. One small non virtuous action how harmful is like that example.

Also even small virtue don't underestimate because it is so small, must practise because like dripping water in the container one drop, two drops, three drops like that the whole pot can be filled up so like that Buddha is advising even small virtue must practise.

However, now as explained in the lam-rim there are six ways of purifying negative karma, like Thirty-five Buddhas name, reciting like that, by depending on buddha's holy name, reciting Buddha's name, you purify negative karma like Thirty-five Buddhas. Then mantras, by reciting mantra purify negative karma. Then by making statues or tsa-tsas by making statues of Buddha you purify negative karma or by making statues, thangkas, by making holy object that is one method of purification, purifying negative karma. Then reciting the Prajnaparamita text like Heart Sutra, like Diamond Cutter Sutra, the Prajnaparamita Sutra reading that and there are other sutras like Sutra of Liberation, that is very powerful, that is another text very powerful for purification, purifying negative karma of the lower realms. So then meditate on emptiness as well as bodhicitta things like that. Then making offering to the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, making offering, those are also counted as means of purification like that.

However, the stronger compassion you can generate to other sentient beings with the sincere heart, how much harder work will you do for others, those are very powerful purification, that is something to be kept in the mind. No matter how hard it is when you benefit others, how hard it is, so much negative karma, and strong compassion you can generate others, so many eons negative karma get purified. Then as well as the guru devotion then obtaining advice, service, those are most powerful purification.

So because of this, as I just mentioned about some example of negative karma, the unbelievable heavy suffering results, so therefore now you can see how it is so essential to live, how essential in one’s own daily life to live in, even if lay person to live in lay vows, lay precepts. As I mentioned the other day, so crucial this is one of the means to make your daily life extremely meaningful, basis for realisation, protecting you from negative karma, obstacles for realisation and also stop you giving, harming others so it involves many things.

Now from this you can understand, everything is to do with the attitude, all this is to do with your mind. Therefore become so essential to keep the daily life attitude in the lam-rim. So now here when we talk about karma now comes here practise of lam-rim in daily life, not only lam-rim when you doing sitting meditation in the morning but the whole 24 hours, while you are doing job mind to live in lam-rim, to practise lam-rim all the time, to protect yourself from the negative karma immediately. Then eventually to achieve enlightenment and to be able to liberate sentient beings from all the suffering and bring them to enlightenment so like that.

If one really wants to practise, you begin the day with bodhicitta. The very first thing when you wake up you begin by generating bodhicitta attitude in your life. So one day you can do this meditation while you chant OM MANI PADME HUM, creating merit with the good karma, purifying with the speech, recite the mantra, you purify so many negative karma and collect much merit and the mind meditates on bodhicitta. One day the seven techniques of mind cause and effect, as I explained, some idea I gave last night.

So morning you begin the day when you wake up with bodhicitta attitude of this life, how you are going to spend your life from now on until death, especially this year, especially today. Never allow myself under the control of self cherishing thought, always practise, never separate away from bodhicitta.

In other words separate from ego but never separate from bodhicitta like that. Anyway it means, what it contains is “I am going to live my life for others,” thats all it contains, “from now on I am going to live my life for others.”

You begin the day with that bodhicitta motivation then the rest of the day while you are working, whatever you do, continue with that thought. When you meet people “this is my most precious kind mother sentient being who has been kind from beginning less rebirth,” so continue your bodhicitta motivation that you generate in the morning the rest of the day, you continue that. When you meet people think of that, think of their kindness that is so precious, then the respect comes naturally, to not harm all those come, to respect, to help, to offer service, so practise of loving kindness, compassion all comes, so like that. So by keeping the mind in that continuously you take opportunity, you create merit with every sentient being, with every person you meet, you generate loving kindness, compassion to others, offer service. Anyway, so you create cause of enlightenment with every sentient being, the rest of the day, with this attitude.

Then next day, you begin the day with the other technique of bodhicitta, exchanging oneself with others. I think today I mentioned, today I explained that way, just gave you some idea of the very powerful bodhicitta practise, exchanging oneself with others. Actually in the lam-rim outline there is equalizing, then meditating on shortcomings of self cherishing, benefit of cherishing others, then training in the attitude, then actual change. They are outlines.

So second day you begin with meditation bodhicitta, you begin day with meditation on bodhicitta, exchanging oneself for others, chanting mantra OM MANI PADME HUM at the same time. Then you get done your practise of also chanting OM MANI PADME HUM, if you have commitment you do your commitment like that. So then rest of the day you try to continue your mind in that bodhicitta, that “every sentient being is source of all my peace and happiness,” anybody you meet, animals, insects, your enemy or your friend, each one is “source of all my past and future happiness most kind most precious.” So try to feel that with people. So again here respect, service, everything comes naturally. You collect so much merit rest of the day with the other sentient beings, cause of enlightenment.

(R confer). Already? Okay. So I think anyway maybe finish the oral transmission in a dream. So that is the bodhicitta, morning meditate then rest of the day how to live the life with that. Then of course there is emptiness which I started but didn't happen, mention.

The mandala offering


Same every day but I change the subject division just to give you an idea how to dedicate the merits most productive way, most productive way to make your life most beneficial to other sentient beings. Now in the future so to know how to dedicate merits, that is the purpose.

Due to the past, present, future merits collected by all buddhas and sentient beings that which appears something real from its own side but which is totally hallucination, empty, non existent, not there. May the I, who appears something real from there, which is a total hallucination, non existent right there, achieve Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which again appears something real from there, which is a hallucination, non existent. And lead all the sentient beings, who appear real from there which is total hallucination, non existent right there, to that enlightenment, which appears real one, which is total non existent hallucination there. By myself alone who also appears real one from there, which is total hallucination and non existent there.

I dedicate all the merits in the same way as the three times bodhisattvas dedicate their merits and admire the most. May the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa which is unified sutra and tantra, the ------teaching which is unified sutra and tantra may it be completely actualised with one's own mind without delay for a second as well as may it be completely actualised in the minds of all of us here and all the rest of the students and benefactors of this organization, those who sacrifice their life to the service of others through this organization. May it be actualized, both sutra and tantra completely without delay for even a second. May teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa flourish forever and spread in all the directions.