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 Six: Deluded views

So as I mentioned last night, [pause] how you see the person, how you see the person’s body, as object of desire or object of anger, it’s the same, if you understand object of desire, how it’s creation of one’s own mind then you know then by the way the object of anger is also just came from, just simply came from your mind, creation of your mind, projection of one’s own mind. So, last night I mentioned the essence, that the view of, how you see the person, how you see the person’s body, that appearance came from your mind, it’s a projection of your mind, your present concept, depending what kind of concept, this moment, when you see that person’s body what kind of concept you have, so that creates that appearance. The labeled ugly, then there’s appearance of ugly. Labeled beautiful then there’s appearance of beautiful, appearance of the beauty, after one’s own mind labeled, interpreted or labeled. So, this is just your own view. So view of your present concept. So when you think that, when you think, This is my own view, view of my present way of thinking or concept, then you know there’s nothing from its own side, there’s nothing from its own side, person or the body, there’s nothing from its own side. So then that, because when the attachment rises, attachment arises by believing as there’s something from its own side, body, the person or the body. It’s coming from outside. On the basis of that belief, the attachment rises.

So therefore, so now here, this is my own view, that appearing ugly or appearing beautiful, whatever, appearing ugly then anger rising or appearing beautiful that attachment rises. So however, this is my own view, because the appearance happened due to what I label, what my mind label, then appearance happened as a result, projection. So when you think this is one’s own view then there’s no, then attachment feels shy, so there’s no place for attachment, it’s gone. No purpose to rise, doesn’t find purpose to rise attachment, purpose to be attached to.

So that and then I mentioned, then there’s a long-run evolution of this appearance, that view of the person or the body, long-run evolution, that is the past karmic imprint. The past karmic imprint left on the mental continuum, so this is manifest out, projected this view there. So I use the example that in so many people’s view that person’s body’s ugly, but there’s one person who see that person’s body is so beautiful, that and then, even though you have seen the body for a long time, but didn’t have that appearance, beautiful, but then suddenly one day you have this appearance, beautiful, so your karmic imprint, that day experienced out then projected this view and then attachment rises, this karmic imprint from past projected, created this view, like from the film, documentary, whatever, the movie film put in the machine then it’s projected on the movie screen or TV screen, so karmic imprint from past, today projected then you see this beauty and then attachment rises and clings.

So like that, another example how the object of anger and attachment and the jealous mind, all this, how the object is one’s own, appearance of one’s own mind, another example, as it is mentioned in the Madhyamika teachings, this example’s very useful in many places, guru devotion, very useful example in the guru devotion, to have the realization that the guru’s buddha from the side of the disciple. And also to respect others. I will explain the story then you can understand, respect others, that in our whole life, the view what we have, what one has is your own mind view. So if your mind is pure you have pure view; if your mind is impure, the view what you have is impure. Example again, the movie, film projected, then depending what it has, it projects on the movie screen, TV screen, whether it’s violence or whether it’s enjoying.

So, one bowl, so when I said “one bowl,” probably those who heard many times they understand, one bowl. When I said “one bowl,” then they understand. Who heard many times this example, anyway.

So, one bowl of liquid, there’s liquid there. When the pretas, who has no merit to see better quality, and they see pus and blood; it appears to them, their view of this liquid is pus and blood. And that came from their mind. There’s no merit, there’s no good karma to see better quality. Neither water, what we see, nor nectar, what worldly gods, devas, what they see. The view what we have is water and at the same time when devas are looking at it, view what they have is nectar. So they don’t have the merit neither to see water nor nectar. Lack of merit, so, impure mind, only see, see only impure, pus and blood, like that, in the bowl, that liquid. It’s liquid, same, all three beings, it’s liquid; but how this liquid appears to a preta is pus and blood, because no merit, so impure mind. So we, this liquid, same liquid appears to us human beings, water. So we have little more, we have some merit, better, so this liquid appears water, not pus and blood. Now this liquid appears to the devas when they’re looking at the same liquid, this one bowl, it appears nectar, because they have more merit, so this same liquid appears nectar to them.

So, one object but it appeared differently to the different beings, depending on how their mind is pure, how much merit they have. So, now here, you can see completely, how the object appears completely depend on the quality of the mind, the perceiver’s mind, the quality, how much pure and how much impure. So this example is very important; it’s very helpful in guru devotion. So there are four main reasons, the last one is, nothing’s definite in my view. Because it appears to me all these mistakes, so that can’t use as a reason, by the reason, in reality that being has this mistake, you can’t use that to prove that in reality that being has a mistake. So, like that, because how the object appears to you is totally dependent to you the perceiver’s mind.

For example, in the Lhasa temple there happened a story, somebody, I think butcher, I think, a butcher went to see the Lhasa temple, Jhokang, where there’s the most precious statue built during Buddha’s time under Buddha’s advice and this manifestation, artist which is manifestation made this statue for Buddha’s mother, because Buddha’s mother misses Buddha so much when Buddha goes to Thirty-three realm, I think, for vinaya, the abiding in the summer retreat, yer-ne, abiding in the summer retreat, but I don’t know whether it’s raining or not in this Thirty-three realm, I’m not sure, whether it’s raining or not, but abiding, yer-ne, abiding in the summer retreat. So, statue was made under Buddha’s instruction for the mother, so the mother can look the Buddha statue during those times, during Buddha’s absence. Then Buddha predicted that this statue will be in India, benefit so many sentient beings in India for that many number of years, then this statue will go to Mongolia, and it will benefit so many sentient beings, this many number of years. Then it will go to China and benefit so many sentient beings, this many number of years. Then this will go to Tibet, Snow Land, Tibet, and benefit so many sentient beings this many number of years. And then go to naga land, I think means under the ocean.

So this butcher went to Lhasa temple to see the statue of Buddha, so could not see the statue, could not see even the butter lamps. Even the butter lamps around could not see, it’s totally dark. It’s not because his eyes, we might think, you might think the Tibetans don’t know, because this person there must be something wrong with the eye, cataract or something, but it’s not that. Then, after he did, he went to see one lama, I think lama told to do so much prostrations, many hundreds of thousands of prostrations by reciting the Thirty-five Buddhas’ names. Then he came and he still could not see the statue. He could see the lights. Or he saw, maybe I kind of, maybe I didn’t ?know very clearly. Maybe he saw, instead of seeing statue he saw big piles of meat, big piles of meat, it might be that. Anyway, after he did so much prostration, by reciting Thirty-five Buddhas’ names, then he saw the lights.

Then another person went to receive teachings from a lama. The lama was giving lung, oral transmission, reading the text, so that person, one person must have so heavy negative karma, so could not see the text. What he saw is this lama was eating meat all, during whole hours, there’s piles of meat and he was eating meat. This is only what he saw. So when the mind is so, when there’s so much heavy negative karmas, so obscured, then even you cannot see the statues of Buddha, or even the holy texts you cannot see. Something very extreme, very heavy negative karma.

So, now here, so here’s one liquid, when it appeared to different beings, it appeared pure, impure, different quality according to the mind, perceiver’s quality of mind. So now, this view, now here you can see the view came from their mind, appearance of pus and blood, appearance of water, appearance of the nectar, came from their mind. So now here this you can understand very easily, came from their mind, whether there’s merit, whether there’s no merit, and the amount of merit and how much the mind is pure and impure, so here it’s easy to understand. This view’s a production of those minds.

So now, exactly the same, in our daily life, object of anger, object of attachment, it’s exactly the same, came from our mind. Normally we think it came from object’s side, so then the attachment rises. Something that’s real from its own side, so that is totally wrong. That belief, that appearance, totally wrong. I already mentioned yesterday, already described yesterday, I don’t want to repeat again, but according to Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching, Lam-rim Chen-mo, which Lama Tsongkhapa quoted to the commentary of the 400 Stanzas, composed by Aryadeva.

So now here even makes more clear, this analysis, discovery of this, our perception. So it’s nothing from the object’s side, nothing from object’s side. It’s from our mind’s side, the thing, _____ ______ projected. So, [pause] this is what we should remember, meditate, when you see, by practicing mindfulness, when you see there’s danger to rise attachment or danger to rise anger on these objects. Or when you are in the situation, about to happen. As the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, By examining, by watching, by examining one’s own mental continuum in all the actions, in all the conducts, so the minute when you realize a delusion rising and endangers oneself and others, whether it’s attachment, endangers oneself and others, then to create negative karma, engage in, you create negative karma then you cause others to engage in negative karma. Then same thing with anger, other delusions. Making evil oneself and others, how evil? Then by rising delusion, the evil mind, delusion, then commit, then engage in evil action, which results only suffering, obstacle to achieve liberation, obstacle to achieve happiness for oneself and others, and especially liberation, enlightenment. Then, I will practice diligently to avert, to avert diligently, so to stop quickest way, the powerful, quickest way.

So more late, more one become late to apply the meditation, then you get destroyed, your liberation, your enlightenment, your happiness, not only this life, future lives, all the happiness get destroyed more. Destroy so many eons of merits, so in the Bodhicaryavatara it says, rising anger one second destroys the merits collected having done charity and so forth for, having made offering to buddhas and made charity, so forth, for one thousand eons. So more you become, if you miss out to apply that meditation, more you become late, then greater destruction to one’s own happiness, to one’s own merits.

So, here, so like this, so immediately to meditate this, that this view, that I’m attached or get angry, it came from my mind, if my mind didn’t impute, didn’t label then this is what this view, this appearance, so my mind imputing. And then the other thing is karma, karmic imprint, this is my karmic imprint, there’s nothing there from the object’s side, this is just my karmic imprint, appearance of karmic imprint whom I get angry, whom I get, so first thing, whom I get angry, whom I’m getting attached to is appearance that created by my own mind, so totally childish, totally nonsense. It’s a like a child that puts feet in the mud or sand, you put sand over the feet or mud, put mud over the feet. Then you pull the feet, then it makes cave or makes a house there. But then somebody destroys that then it gets so upset, You destroyed my house! Or you destroyed my house! So, so cried, so angry, so like that, similar. So, appearance that which, that your mind created, get angry to that. Appearance that your mind created, came from your mind labeling, get attached to that. Then the past karmic imprint projected this view, then you get angry to, attached to, thinking totally opposite to the actual, real reality, it’s existing or coming from outside, from object’s side, which is totally false, which is totally false, hallucination. There’s no such thing.

And Gyalwa Götsangpa, one Kagyu great yogi, Gyalwa Götsangpa, said, Others’ mistakes is your mistakes, one’s own mistakes. Therefore, visualize appearance of mistakes into deity, into yidam, your own mind-seal deity. So here what it’s saying is, your change, you have mistaken appearance and you change into pure, like tantric practice, this is talking about tantric practice. So, practicing pure appearance. However, similar in tantric practice. So Gyalwa Götsangpa said when we see others’ mistakes, it’s your mistake. So this is one, this is also good to understand, in the case of anger, and other things. So, when somebody cheat you, when somebody tells lie to you, when somebody get angry to you, when somebody abused you, so now here Gyalwa Götsangpa says, others’ mistakes is your mistakes. [pause]

For example, the Mahayana arya beings, the exalted beings, who actualized the Mahayana right-seeing path, the path of meditation, wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, their body is special body, not like our body.

They have abandoned suffering of rebirth, old age, sicknesses, death, so even others try to harm, there’s no pain. Like we experience pain, they don’t experience pain. So that is through purification, having actualized the path, ceased the certain level of obscurations, not necessarily all the obscurations, not that, but certain level of obscurations, so doesn’t experience pain, that arya being who actualized the Mahayana right-seeing path, path of meditation. Then no question for the Buddha, who has totally removed the subtle negative imprint, even the subtle negative imprint, which projects the dualistic view, truly existent appearance. So, even all these maras, millions of maras try to attack Buddha, but all these become, all the weapons that they throw they become flowers, transformed in flowers. So Buddha do not receive harm. Even before Buddha, the Mahayana the bodhisattva, attainer of the right-seeing path, path of meditation, even the right-seeing path, do not experience pain. So that is through development of the mind, having purified the defilements, negative karma, having purified.

So we receive harm, we feel pain, is because our mind is not purified. So receiving harm, experiencing pain, totally dependent on our mind, having purified or not purified. So it’s totally dependent on the mind.

Somebody’s saying words, somebody insult or say bad words it hurts the mind or somebody hit, hurts, pain, it’s totally to do with our mind. If our mind is purified, actualized those levels of path cannot experience pain at all. And especially if one has reached completion stage, I think the clear light, illusory body, clear light of meaning, those stages, clear light, illusory body, if you reach those stages, then you don’t experience pain, even you feel down or somebody hits with sticks, whatever, you feel bliss, you feel only bliss, you don’t feel pain.

So, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche recently, when Rinpoche was explaining, giving commentary on the tantric grounds then Rinpoche explained that. And also proof, one meditator, so many of you heard of Gen Jampa Wangdu, one of the old meditators from Dharamsala, from Dalhousie, whom many of our old Sanghas received the practice living, taking the essence, the pill retreat, so then if you are living in the remote, very far, isolated place for many years of retreat, then to do shi-nä, calm abiding, or meditating on the path, then when it’s so far to get food, then you just live on pills. So that he himself lived on these, accomplished.

So when we were taking teachings, either Heruka commentary, the Clear Explanation of the Hidden Meaning, the Heruka or the lam-rim, that which has four commentaries of lam-rim, then His Holiness giving teaching in the palace, not in the temple. In the morning, so one morning there was a lot of rain, so the, so it was during the pipi break, so outside this stage, cement steps is very wet so Gen Jampa Wangdu, what he told me is that, fell, slipped out and fell his head on the cement step. So, after the teaching is finished, then ?both went back to Tushita, we talked a little bit. So he mentioned that he fell down, slipped out because wet, and then his head fell down. He felt bliss, his head fell down on the cement, the steps, but felt much bliss, that’s what he told me. And then, this is his, he doesn’t experience pain, bliss. So when he came inside there was a little blood, I didn’t see, I think His Holiness blow on Geshe-la’s, on Gen Jampa Wangdu’s head.

He didn’t become the traditional geshe, where you make big offerings, there are different levels of geshe degree, however, that where you, you do examination, give answers to the questions, then you get degree. Or you recite many number of pages, you recite by heart, some geshes are like that, if you’re unable to give the answers. However, so he didn’t do any of those. But he’s a real geshe because great, he has actualized bodhicitta at Dharamsala, so many years ago. So he told me and Lama, so sometimes in the evenings, after the teachings, or sometimes he comes to see us. So in the evenings we chat, so Gen Jampa Wangdu he tells stories, because some meditators they offer their realizations, they give news to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and some meditators their root guru is His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, so they go to see Trijang Rinpoche and they explain what they achieved. So then His Holiness tells, whatever news happens, whatever people from far, from remote countries, whoever writes to His Holiness what realizations they achieved, so when he goes to see His Holiness then, he can go to see His Holiness without going through the office appointment. Only one time he went through the office is when I requested Gyalwa Gyatso initiation. So only that one Gen Jampa Wangdu went through the Tibetan secretary, ________-la, then to request His Holiness. He told me that this is the only one that he went through the office, normally not. I think when he was in the cave there at Dharamsala, down below where His Holiness Ling Rinpoche, down below the hill on top where His Holiness Ling Rinpoche lived, down below where he made cave there, maybe with Geshe Rabten, I’m not sure. So, because he has clairvoyance, anyway; he achieved shi-nä and also Six Yogas of Naropa, so he can see the time, I think he can see the time, whether His Holiness has time or not to see, I think, he’s clairvoyant, so any time he can go straight. Maybe sometimes he has to wait a little bit or so never has to go through appointment office. Also he comes to see, Gen Jampa Wangdu he comes to see us, certain times when there’s need he’s there, he appears. So he goes to see other people similar cases, somebody’s dying, dying so much suffering, so much difficulties, he as in the cave, so I think he’s able to see and he just goes there in the right time in that house.

So anyway, so without expanding the story, that, so he told us that, Seven years ago that I have never been in anybody’s house for myself. He said that. So that means he, it didn’t mean that he didn’t go other people’s house, but it means he generated bodhicitta seven years ago. So since from that time, not only not going other people’s house for himself, but means, since seven years ago, any activity not done for self, so that means, for seven years ago any activity is not done for self.

So also realized emptiness there in the same cave, the cave under the rock. Then, calm abiding he accomplished in Dalhousie. After Geshe Rabten, His Holiness sent Geshe Rabten to inspire others to practice, to have this realization, so then Gen Jampa Wangdu started to meditate on shi-nä and then accomplished. So when he began he had a dream that he was riding over the horse and the horse fell down. So he thought that it’s inauspicious sign, maybe he won’t achieve. So I think actually it’s, probably it means the obstacles for one-pointedness concentration, attachment-scattering thought and then sinking thought, controlled or able to stop.

So anyway, so when Gen Jampa Wangdu comes then he used to express that, with his arms like this, expressed that the bliss, by achieving calm abiding, he said, he used to say that, Until you achieve shi-nä, what you call meditation is not meditation. So because always we have attachment-scattering thought or the sinking thought, always the gross, subtle attachment-scattering thought, gross, subtle sinking thought. So he used to say that until you achieve this, what you call meditation is not meditation. But however, so then great success with Six Yogas of Naropa. Because reached those completion stage, so that’s why here this, even so heavily fell down, slipped out on the cement step, so knocked head on the cement floor as Gen Jampa Wangdu explained, but experienced bliss instead of pain.

So, anyway, so like this now, if oneself doesn’t have delusion and karma, put this way, if yourself doesn’t have karma, you don’t receive harm, you don’t experience pain, put it this way.

So others’ mistake is your mistake, somebody abused, somebody insulted, somebody disrespected, somebody cheated, whatever they did, now, so if you analyze it is one’s own mistake. In ordinary, yeah, before mentioning that. It is one’s own mistake, why? As bodhisattva Shantideva mentioned in Bodhicaryavatara, [pause] this quotation, there are two types of quotation. One quotation is, [pause] My karma persuaded; therefore, I received this harm. [pause] I mention the other one, this is the quotation at the end using what the other, how they treat you, using that to develop compassion, before, I’m not going to mention the other one. [Tibetan] In the past, I gave such harm to other sentient beings. Therefore, I’m deserved other sentient beings giving harm and I receive harm. I’m deserved.

So here what it’s saying is that, why this person is treating like this, all the examples I mentioned before, is because in the past I treated that person similar, exactly the same. I treated that person, harmed that way to that person. So, therefore this time I’m receiving harm from that person is I’m deserved, so that’s what it’s saying. So it means accepting, so deserved means, rather than rejecting, I gave, it’s okay that I give harm to others this way, but I cannot receive harm from others in that way. When others treat you similar way, you reject, but from your side, treat others, harm that way, that is okay. So that is unreasonable, so that’s why it’s saying “I’m deserved,” so accepting one’s own mistake. So what others harming, how others treat, others harming to oneself this life, so that’s the result how you treated them in the past, in early lives and this life, early life, or past lives, how you treated them, so it’s the result of your harming them. So therefore, you can see now, it’s totally, when others they badly treat, when others they do these actions, they treat this way to oneself in this life, so here you can see now, this is one’s own mistakes. So as Götsangpa says, others’ mistakes are your mistakes, so it’s very clear. When you relate to karma, very clear.

There, here, [Tibetan] the appearance of the mistake then you visualize into deity. So means the other person means you visualize in deity. Giving the meditation technique, so that way then anger, those things, do not rise.

So I thought to bring up this issue, what Gyalwa Götsangpa said, so normally, even we talk about karma, including myself, even we talk about karma, but in our daily life when we actually experience karma, somebody badly treating, insulting, disrespecting, abusing, however, cheating, so that time never remember karma, never think of karma, and totally it’s the mistake of the other person, not your mistake. You yourself never did any mistake, they are totally the other person’s mistake, the other person totally blamed.

So this one, this reason, this way of meditating, this analysis, this discovery, that it’s one’s own mistake, others when they create negative karma relating to object, oneself, relating to oneself, all this is one’s own fault, one’s own mistake, so this understanding, meditation, understanding or meditation, whatever it’s called, however, this becomes practice of patience. Impossible to rise anger. It becomes the practice of patience in this way.

And then other one is, it becomes cause to, it becomes inspiration, it causes to rise compassion, because this is not other person’s mistake, it’s your mistake, you did like this to others in the past. So then the person, then that obliged, that caused this person or these people to create negative karma, to treat you like this, to harm you, to treat you like this and create negative karma. So therefore, so then that makes them to be reborn in the lower realms, so who is throwing them in the lower realms is by you. You caused them, you’re the one who caused them thrown from human realm fell down in the lower realms. So therefore, these people who abuse you, whatever the ?harm they ?did, it’s only object of compassion, it’s only purely only object of compassion. So it does two things, patience and very powerful way to generate compassion.

So I think maybe, sorry, so I meant to go, I meant to finish this today, this evening, but anyway, so didn’t, it only got stuck at the beginning. Okay. Then, yesterday’s subject, that stanza, the protecting always the door of the senses with the remembrance, alertness and conscientiousness, and then always examine the mental continuum day and night, three times, again and again.

So, yeah, I think we stop there. So we’re going to do the initiation, half in the dream, half in the, alive, or , anyway, so anyway.

[Dedication in Tibetan, short mandala.]

Due to all the past, present, future merits collected by me, the three-time merits collected by others, that which are empty from its own side, may the I, who is empty from its own side, achieve Compassion Buddha’s enlightenment, which is empty from its own side, lead all the sentient beings, who are empty from their own side, to that enlightenment, which is empty from its own side, by myself alone, who is also empty from its own side.

To actualize Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching, the stainless teaching unified of sutra and tantra, general teaching of Buddha, particularly Lama Tsongkhapa’s teaching, actualize within one’s own heart, one’s own family members, and all of us here, in the hearts of all the students, benefactors of this organization and those who give up their life to the organization, doing service to sentient beings, teaching of Buddha, in all our hearts. Then, in that way, spread in all the directions and to be flourished forever in this world.

[LTK dedications in Tibetan]

Okay, so please enjoy dinner, whatever enjoyment, okay.