Kadampa Teachings (Audio and Unedited Transcripts), Continued

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India; 26 December 2003 - 02 January 2004 (Archive #1470)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these teachings at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, in December 2003. There were seven days of teachings; days 5 through 7 are included here. You can listen to the first four days here.

During these three days Rinpoche continued to give commentary on Atisha's Jewel Garland

Day Seven: Protecting oneself from delusions

Just mention that, a few things what was left from the other night’s talk. [pause] So here, what I’ve been talking, those two times, here the conclusion, so read this stanza, Lama Atisha is saying, always protect or control the door of the senses with the remembrance and alertness and conscientiousness, and always examine the mental continuum day and night, three times, again and again. So part of that section. So protecting oneself, which means protecting one’s own mind, and so one doesn’t engage in negative karma of body, speech and mind, by letting to rise delusion then endanger to oneself, creating negative karma with the body, speech and mind, so endanger others, harm others, harm oneself, and destroy one’s own happiness. Not only today’s, this moment’s happiness, peace, not only today, then future life happiness, destroying one’s own liberation from samsara, ultimate happiness, then one’s own ultimate happiness, full enlightenment. Then also become obstacle to actualize the path, then also become obstacle to offer extensive deep benefit to other sentient beings. So, protect, is one way of saying.

And the other thing is then, not letting yourself to be abused by the delusions, not allowing yourself to be abused by your own ignorance, anger, attachment, the delusions. Not allowing yourself to be destroyed by your delusions, your enemy, delusions. Not allowing yourself to be harmed by your delusions, your enemy, delusions. And not allowing, if you follow the delusions, if you let to be controlled, overwhelmed, possessed by delusion then you create negative karma, then that’s how one throw oneself in the lower realms. By following the delusions, same, the delusion throws you in the lower realms or you throw yourself in the lower realms. So we get upset, suddenly you remember childhood time what happened, you’re abused by father, by mother, by somebody, but here now, twenty-four hours a day, twenty-four hours you are abused all the time by self-cherishing thought, by ignorance, by anger, attachment, all these delusions, all the time. Not only one day, from birth, from twenty-four hours of a day, from birth, from beginningless rebirth, so therefore, what we do with this? What are we doing to do with this? When a person, somebody outside, person whom we have treated in the past, abused that person, and then now this time that person, karma is ripened, result of that karma is ripened so you get abused by that person. So that one gets so, I’m the worst in this world, so it makes you to think, you made yourself to think, I’m the worst one in this world, you have this problem, the worst being in this world, even maybe worse than, even maybe one think worse than animals, worse than all the animals, worse than among even all the animals, worse than the mosquitoes or worse than the ants or mosquitoes or flies, fleas, however, that is not understanding karma, not having thought of karma, not reflecting Dharma, not having thought of Dharma or not understanding Dharma. However, so then, showing so sad face, so I’m the worst, I’m the hopeless, I’m the worst in this world, so showing so unbelievable sad face. However, here we’re abused, oneself is abused all the time by self-cherishing thought, all the time by anger, ignorance, attachment, all these delusions, all the time, even no break, no break not being abused by them. So here, if we can recognize this here with the delusions and if we are able to separate from the delusions, rather being always friend with the delusions, rather being always one with the delusions, living the life inseparable from delusion, enemy, delusions, so then if we recognize, with delusions, how the delusions are harming you, abusing, have been abusing not only today but from birthtime, all the time. And then from beginningless rebirths, then, so if you can, you can generate the same thought that how you feel with that other sentient being, then it inspires you, gives courage to not follow delusions, that you defeat the delusions. Instead of letting the delusions control you, you control the delusions, you defeat the delusions, so rather than letting the delusions to defeat you.

So here there’s not even one slight, even slightest upsetness with the enemy, real enemy, delusions. So, we don’t like somebody dictate us, dictate, but however, you are always dictated by your self-cherishing thought, you are always dictated by the attachment, you are always dictated by your anger, ignorance, so they are dictatorships, always dictate, those control you and never give any freedom to oneself. So here, so one way, other way is protecting but another way say, other way of looking at it is, through this practice, then you are freeing yourself from the enemy, delusions, giving peace yourself, giving freedom to yourself from the delusions, giving peace to yourself away from the delusions, away from ?disturbance, outside delusion.

So there’s many different ways you can do this practice, controlling the delusions, keeping away from delusion. I mean, those _______ you are giving liberation to yourself, giving liberation to oneself. So because you don’t, this way you don’t create negative karma by rising delusion, so you are liberating from the lower realms, you are liberating yourself from the lower realms, the very first thing, the very first thing that can happen, the immediate thing that can happen, the danger that’s _______, that can happen, death can happen any time, the immediate thing’s the lower realms. Then, being free from that, then means opportunity to practice Dharma then gradually to be free from samsara by actualizing the path.

So those two days, the talk on that stanza, so here the conclusion, so I think there are three things. So, before mentioning that, yesterday I mentioned, I used this example to discover the view of attachment, the view of anger, the view is anger when we see the object, body or whatever, then angry to somebody, however, so how these objects that we angry, that we get attachment to, so these, there’s no such thing from the side of the object, it’s, you get angry to only something that which came from your mind, appearance which came from your mind, projected by your mind. And then you get attached to appearance which came from your own mind, object which came from your own mind. So mentioned that way.

So yesterday used the example that, just to clarify, that the one liquid in the container, in one container and how that liquid appeared. So different perceivers their quality of mind, how much impure and how much pure, so then this one liquid in a pot, in a container, appeared different way, different quality. So for the impure mind, that which doesn’t have any merit, very impure mind, then appeared impure. The mind which is pure then appears pure, nectar. The other one, impure mind which doesn’t have merit, then appears pus and blood, all these ugly things, unpleasant. So, doesn’t appear to the pretas, who don’t have merit, then the impure merit, which doesn’t have merit, then appears only pus and blood, things like that. But the same liquid appears at the same time when a human being looking at it and then how it appears is water. And then when the devas, even the worldly devas when they’re looking at it, those who have more merit, then it appears, that one liquid in the, the same liquid, one liquid that which is in that one, that same container, appearing nectar to devas, who have more merit. And then, of course, for the buddhas, the yogis or those who have pure appearance, then especially buddha, then it appears nectar, the most blissful nectar, uncontaminated nectar, so ?how ?it ?appears buddhas who have totally purified their holy minds, so like that.

So therefore now here, you can see the view is a production of your own mind, the different beings, the perceiver’s different quality of mind, so there’s no such thing coming from the side of the object, existing from the side of the object without depending on the mind, the shortest way, from its own side, there’s no such thing. It’s just, it’s all appearance, what we see is also appearance of mind, which came from your mind, all these objects which came from, result of your own, the perceiver’s different quality of mind. So, the reason why, also this example is very good in guru devotion and also to respect the sentient beings, because even you see a dog, for example, is it a real dog or not, that’s the question. Because you see a dog doesn’t mean always it’s a dog. So, like for example, Asanga saw, it’s Maitreya Buddha but Asanga, before the mind is purified, sees dog, so dog. But after the mind is purified, after generated incredible unbelievable, incredible compassion, sacrificing himself to that one living being, then his negative karma is purified, then, which was appearing dog before, Maitreya Buddha but appearing dog before, now that impure appearance is gone, ordinary appearance is gone, now it’s appeared only buddha, now there’s appearance of buddha, this one sentient being now appeared as buddha, before appeared as animal, ordinary appearance.

So therefore we can’t say. So therefore this is very good for, this is very good this example, so, you see somebody, beggar or animal, something, so you can’t really say who’s buddha, who’s not buddha. You can’t guess, you can’t judge it from your own, what appearance, because I don’t see it, that doesn’t become logical reason, I see dog or I see ordinary being, that doesn’t become, that alone doesn’t become logical reason to prove it’s ordinary being. So, as it is mentioned in the teachings, in Tibetan [Tibetan]. So that also helps. Until I am free from the evil karma, evil karmic obscurations, until I am free from this, even all the buddhas descend in front of me, I have no opportunity to see the holy body adorned with the holy signs and exemplifications, I have no fortune to see in the aspect of buddha, who has all the holy signs, have no opportunity to see. So then what we see is only ordinary being, the meaning of ordinary, definition of ordinary means having mistakes, having delusions, having mistakes, having suffering, having delusions, having mistakes in the actions, so that’s the definition of ordinary, as His Holiness explained during the Guru Puja commentary that we requested in one of the Dharma Celebrations in Dharamsala.

So, afterwards when I went, during the interview, so I mentioned that these words benefited me so much, that what His Holiness explained benefited so much, so I did mention to His Holiness later.

However, so that, like the example the Asanga, like the example of the Getsul Tsembulwa, the Vajrayogini practitioner, the one who went in pure land of, Vajrayogini pure land. So, when the mind is not purified so ordinary, so one of the stories is that, the two stories, very inspiring stories and the benefit of generating great compassion even to one sentient being, even to one sentient being, and incredible benefit what you get, achieve from that, generating great compassion, sacrificing your life even to one sentient being and incredible benefit, quickest, such powerful purification and collect merit and so quick to achieve enlightenment. So the story also goes in that, the benefits of generating great compassion, sacrificing one’s own life even to one sentient being.

But here also, here what I’m saying is, here I’m using the story that how your view is pure, impure, whether you’re seeing pure or impure that totally is the view of your own mind, the production of your own mind, depending on it’s pure or impure mind itself. So using the story to understand this.

So as this quotation, just I mention, until I am separated away, one’s own mind from the evil karmic obscurations, so even all the buddhas comes in front of you, doesn’t mean you’re able to see buddha, so what you see is only ordinary being or even animal. So ordinary being having mistakes and even animal. So therefore, so here I’m saying, so mentioned story, before mentioning the story. So here, that person or animal, not sure whether it’s buddha or bodhisattva, you can’t, I can’t use because I see ordinary being having mistakes, this doesn’t prove that it’s ordinary being. So definitely there are buddhas, bodhisattvas, there are dakinis, definitely you see in our daily life, definitely we see different places, especially when you go to holy place like twenty-four holy places, there are numberless daka-dakinis, it doesn’t mean you recognize them. When we go in the cities, pilgrimage, however, but doesn’t mean we recognize, but doesn’t mean we realize. So we do meet but doesn’t mean we recognize. So, because we have ordinary appearance and we believe a hundred percent, so strongly cling in our ordinary view, so strongly, so got used of it or habituated or so strong believe, so therefore that blocks to see or even you see some special signs still difficult to believe completely that’s buddha. Even you see some special signs, it’s still difficult to believe that it’s buddha and to really respect or whatever, [few words inaudible] teachings says, to behave in that way.

However, certainly we do meet but such heavy ordinary appearance and strong believing in that, in your own view, so that blocks, interferes to see that it’s buddha or daka-dakinis. So then following them or requesting, so that doesn’t happen. So then, so here, because of your own ordinary appearance, your own view as ordinary, because your mind is impure, so therefore, that doesn’t prove in reality like that, all the time doesn’t prove. So therefore, this could be buddha, this could be bodhisattva, daka-dakini, so respect, so be careful, to get angry, to disrespect, so that creates very heavy negative karma, so ?still respect comes. And then, by thinking buddha, bodhisattvas, daka-dakini, holy being, then one respect, one offer service, one respect, so create so much merit, so even from that, in daily life, by thinking this, get a lot of advantages, you make a lot of profit, merit. The first thing is not creating negative karma, obstacles for realizations, cause of the lower realms, of samsara. So this example is very helpful even to respect the sentient beings.

So while Maitreya Buddha, twelve years of retreat done but nothing happened so as you’re heard the story many times, but only after he generated unbearable compassion, give up, sacrificed his life to take care of this wounded, dog but wounded, wounded in the lower part of the body, wounded and filled with worms, maggots, so cut one’s own thigh, from the thigh or flesh from there, stretched out on the ground, then when Asanga went to pick up the maggots with the tip of the tongue by closing eyes then could not touch, could not pick up. So then he opened his eyes then Maitreya Buddha. So because collecting the maggots with the fingers, that might get crushed, hurt, so therefore, to pick up the maggots with the tip of the tongue, then put on the flesh, one’s own flesh that was spread out there, that which was fresh from the leg, spread on the ground for the maggots, something to eat or somewhere to live. So, the dog, saw a dog, it is dog but very wounded and filled with maggots, he saw, something very kind of terrifying, very awful.

So, similar, even to us, in our daily life, so you can never tell that in reality it’s a sentient being because you see sentient being, so could be also buddha. So something very awful, something very ugly or something very terrifying, like that. Even ordinary, not only ordinary human, but this is dog, but even the dog is kind of very suffering dog, like that.

So the other one is, Getsul Tsembulwa’s guru, Nakpo Chöpawa came, first Nakpo Chöpawa came, he was going to Oddi to practice the last part of tantric practice, to engage in chöpa, tantric, I think, conduct. There’s seems all kinds of different conduct according to the person, there’s not one particular fixed one. So Chöden Rinpoche said that, in Gaden Monastery, one person’s about to achieve enlightenment, so he’s engaged in tantric conduct, then built a huge building, built a huge, his house he’s building, but there’s no particular use, just build. Seems there’s all sorts of different activities. However, so Nakpo Chöpawa going for cho, going to do tantric conduct to do in Oddi, this holy place called Oddi.

But, so in the road there is a lady who is filled with leprosy disease and pus, blood coming out, looking very, extremely ugly, dare not touch. So she asked Nakpo Chöpawa to pick, take me other side of the river, but then Nakpo Chöpawa didn’t pay attention. He went straight across the river.

Then after some time, his disciple Getsul Tsembulwa, the monk living in thirty-six vows, came by and then saw this lady and then this lady asked him, Please take me, carry me to other side of the river. Take me there. So then Getsul Tsembulwa saw the lady and then he got unbelievable compassion to this lady. Then even though he’s a monk, then especially leprosy sicknesses, all this pus and blood coming out, completely covered by leprosy, sicknesses, whole body, but without any hesitation then he carried the lady on his back, with incredible compassion, then when he reached the middle of the river, then that appeared Dorje Phagmo, not any more ordinary lady, but Dorje Phagmo. Then brought Getsul Tsembulwa, with the same body, in the pure land, Tharpa Kacho, so that way became enlightened there already.

So here, so because of unbearable compassion generated even to one sentient being, just one living being, then sacrifice completely oneself to take care of that being, so then it become unbelievable powerful purification, so without crossing the whole river, just in the middle of the river, when he reached, so the defilements is purified during that time and even middle of the river, because all the defilements are purified, the impure karma purified, so then now, what’s left, what view you have of that lady is only Dorje Phagmo, deity. So then took in the pure land without need to die or go to next life or intermediate stage, go with the same body in this life go in the pure land.

So, [pause] therefore, another angle of this story is, so therefore so important to generate as strong, able to generate compassion as strong as possible, as strongest even to one sentient being brings enlightenment so quickly, so brings enlightenment, even to one living being, one sentient being, so it brings to enlightenment, able to achieve enlightenment so fast.

So here, so the view before was view of impure mind, seeing ordinary lady. Then next one, impure defilements, the impurities of mind is purified, so now you have pure view, see in deity.

So using as example to understand that in our daily life our view is, that we’re attached to, that we get angry to, all these are one’s own karmic view, came from one’s own karma. It’s a creation of, production of one’s own karma. So it came from, those views came from, something ugly or undesirable, so it’s a view of one’s own karmic imprint, manifested, came from that. So object of attachment, so that’s also the same, that’s something desirable, that view, that object or that view also a creation or production of one’s, came from one’s own karmic imprint. So there’s nothing there, so that means there’s nothing there from the side of the object, from outside. So that means, what we normally believe that’s totally wrong. We normally believe something not came from one’s own mind but came from its own side, so then the attachment, anger, all those delusions rises. Because thinking it came from, it exists from its own side or came from outside, instead of thinking it came from one’s own mind, one’s own karmic imprint. It’s the view of one’s own karmic imprint, instead of thinking that, the appearance. The object of anger, attachment.

So now the conclusion here, so three things, conclude up this part of the talk. So, the appearance, for example, friend, enemy, it’s just an example, or attachment to opposite sex or however, friend, enemy also same. So, the appearance came from, this moment’s appearance of this is from this moment’s your concept, mind merely imputed, gave those labels, made up those labels and believed in that, then they appear. Then after the label then there’s appearance to you, so then you see that way. So, these things, this moment’s appearance is to do with this moment’s, it’s a creation of this moment’s way of thinking, concept.

And the other one is, this friend, enemy, or the object of appearance, ________, ?opposite ?sex, so forth, object of the, so here we’re using object of delusion, so production of karmic imprint, production of karma, came from karma, came from karmic imprint, so means it came from one’s own mind. So again there’s nothing from the side of the object.

So now, third, I want to tell the third, so now, third, truly existent, the truly existent enemy, the truly existent friend or truly existent desire object, member of the opposite sex or whatever, so forth, so however, so now, so that, so truly existent enemy, truly existent friend, truly existent harm, truly existent help, however, so forth, all these, doesn’t come from its own side, it came, it is a projection of the negative imprint left on the mental continuum by the past ignorance.