In Praise of Dependent Arising (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Sydney, Australia (Archive #881)

Teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Sydney, Australia, in 1993. Rinpoche gives an oral transmission of Lama Tsongkhapa's text, In Praise of Dependent Arising, and teaches on emptiness, karma, and the benefits of bodhicitta.

Click on the audio links to listen online and read along with the unedited transcript. The praise is now freely available as a PDF file, produced by Piero Sirianni, for viewing on your mobile device or computer.

Evolution of Samsara

[short mandala]

So first thing, to listen to the teaching, the holy Dharma in order to achieve enlightenment, that which is cessation of all the mistakes of the mind and completion of all the qualities of realizations, to achieve this for the sake of all the kind mother sentient beings who have been one's own mother and kind from the beginningless rebirth, that these sentient beings who are equaling the infinite sky, to free them from all the sufferings and to lead to highest happiness, the full enlightenment.

So now that, the purpose why Guru Shakyamuni Buddha descended on this earth, that is to work for the sentient beings, to benefit for the sentient beings, to bring the sentient beings, to liberate the sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and lead to liberation and peerless happiness, the full enlightenment, that is the purpose why Buddha descended in this world, in our world. Then, so, what Buddha, the first teaching what the Buddha revealed is the four noble truths, that which is the foundation of the whole entire Buddhadharma. So first revealed, have shown the shortcomings of samsara, the true suffering. Then, as they seek whether it has cause or not, then Buddha revealed the true cause of suffering, the karma and delusions, why suffering exists, why it is happening, which contains that answer, revealing the true cause of the suffering. Then, after that, then as the mind receptacle, ready to recognize what means liberation, after introducing the true suffering and true cause of the suffering and when it came to the point, to come to know what is, what means liberation, then Buddha explained cessation of suffering, introduced, taught that. And then as one question that whether it has a path, whether there's method to achieve that, then Buddha revealed the true path, which leads the sentient beings who follow the path to achieve the cessation of the sufferings, the sorrowless state, the ultimate liberation.

So now, [pause] that, in the sutra [pause], so before mentioning this, that, like the patient's in order to recover, patient went in hospital then doctor, with x-rays so forth, by using various means checking the blood and so forth, checking the kaka, urine, then the, examine what, then explains the disease what the person has, what that patient has, and then also what could have caused this, the doctor explains that by diagnosing and things like that. Then, doctor, so by recognizing all these things, then by explaining all these things, introducing all these things, then also doctor explains how to recover, how to be healthy, that, to abandon those diet or those wrong diet or behaviors that which causes the disease, so doctor advise to abandon those things and also gives medicines, treatment, prescriptions that to cure the disease, so like that. So, then by depending on this skillful doctor then the person, following the prescription exactly then the person get recovered.

So like this, similar the practitioner who seeks liberation, so by depending on wise, skillful, virtuous friend, then, by following the teachings, the path that is revealed, by practicing correctly, then like the patients who get recovered, then able to achieve the liberation from the whole entire suffering and causes.

So now as mentioned in the sutra, Planting Rice Plant, [tsa lu ______ do] Buddha explained, Buddha introduced the twelve links that by relating to the outside phenomenon, the rice plant, by relating to that, introduced, explained the twelve links, the evolution of the samsara, how one enter in the samsara, how one get involved in the samsara, in other words how one get caught in the samsara. So, Lama Tsong Khapa explained that in the Hymns of the Experience of the Path to Enlightenment, this short lam-rim, before the Three Principles of the Path, so there's Great Lam-Rim, Great Commentary of the Graduated Path to Enlightenment, then there's middle one, then the shorter than this, The Hymns of the Experience of the Path to Enlightenment, then after that The Three Principles of the Path to Enlightenment, the shortest lam-rim. So, in the Hymns of the Experience of the Path to Enlightenment, Lama Tsong Khapa explained that if one does not reflect, if one does not attempt to reflect the shortcomings the true suffering, which means shortcomings of samsara, the sufferings, the thought of seeking the liberation won't rise exactly, won't get generated in the mind exactly, which means that suffering of samsara what you know is only suffering of pain, that which ordinary people know, us who haven't realized the suffering of samsara, the pervasive compounding suffering, and the suffering of changes, we who haven't realized that these are suffering and what we normally think, we who haven't realized those two other sufferings, who haven't recognized, us, we who think, normally what we think, this is suffering, this is undesirable for myself, the feelings that which is undesirable for oneself, so this is suffering of pain.

So sufferings what we normally, the feelings what we normally call suffering, by us who haven't realized pervasive compounding suffering and the suffering of changes, that these are samsaric temporary pleasures, how they are suffering of samsara, we who haven't realized this and sufferings what we normally label, what usually we call suffering, so that is only one part of suffering of samsara, suffering of pain. That, who do not know, even who do not know, even who never studied Dharma, never know Dharma, who do not meditate, suffering what one recognize or what one call, all those are just one type of suffering of samsara, the suffering of pain.

So, if one's recognition, if one's understanding of samsara is just that then the thought of renunciation of samsara, thought of renunciation of samsaric suffering is very limited. The thought of renunciation of samsara is limited so therefore the thought of liberation is very limited, so for that person, the idea of liberation is very limited, it's not complete liberation it's just, the idea of liberation is very limited and that is, not experiencing [pause], just not experiencing the suffering of pain, that is not ultimate liberation because samsara is divided in three, the desire realm, form realm, formless realm. So the form realm, formless realm do not have suffering of pain, only desire realm has suffering of pain, form realm doesn't have suffering of pain. So therefore then, in that case, then the form realm, the sentient beings who are in the form realm would have achieved liberation from samsara, this mistake rises. That means they are free from samsara.

So, [pause] there is no such thing, while one is in samsara at the same time not being in samsara , at the same time as one being in samsara that one is liberated from samsara - it's not possible! While one is in Australia, at the same time one is not in Australia - it's not possible. It's just one or the other way. So it's like that. So while one is Australia at the same time one is not in Australia, if that is possible then should be the same thing that the form realm, while the form realm is samsara, the samsara is in the three sections or categories, three types, desire realm, form realm, formless realm.

So, that, then, so even one recognize the samsaric temporary pleasures are in the nature of suffering, still the understanding of samsaric suffering is limited, so therefore renunciation of samsaric suffering is limited and the thought of seeking liberation, the idea of liberation is limited. So then again if there's no suffering of changes, that the form realm, the formless realm, they don't have [pause] clinging to the suffering of changes, the temporary samsaric pleasures, such as the sense pleasures, by having met outside object, the sense pleasures, they have the pleasure, they have the peace, they experience peace through development of the mind, meditation, they seek for that, this is they renounce, they have no clinging, they have renounced the desire realm pleasure, the sense pleasures, by having met form, sound, smell, so forth.

So, still, even those form realm, formless realm, those who do not, those who renounced the desire realm pleasure, the sense pleasure, who renounced, do not experience, so it doesn't mean that they are free from samsara, it doesn't mean that is the ultimate liberation, not experiencing the suffering of changes, the temporary samsaric pleasure, that they have renounced, that they do not experience the suffering of changes, the temporary samsaric pleasure, the sense pleasures, so it doesn't mean that they have achieved liberation, doesn't mean that they are free from samsara, just because they are free from the suffering of changes.

So now because they are still experiencing the pervasive compounding suffering, they still have the aggregates, they are still caught in the aggregates, even they don't have form that, the formless realm beings they don't have form, physical thing, however, the form realm, formless realm, they are not free from the aggregates, the aggregate this consciousness, even what they have is just the aggregate mental factor, just the mind, but that mind, these aggregates is caused by karma and delusion and still contaminated seed of disturbing thoughts, still with that, still there's a seed, not only that the aggregates caused by karma and delusion, that aggregates is contaminated seed of disturbing thoughts and because seed is there then delusion rises and motivated karma, and then that creates the future samsara, that forms the future samsara, so like this. So still they have, form, formless realm beings they still have pervasive compounding suffering, the defiled aggregates, then with the delusion, karma, then again creating...