Wednesday, April 3
The second part of the morning’s quotation is, “Everyone could obtain the perfections of this life, the needs of this life—even if one could obtain them, it is not definite that the person could use or enjoy them with freedom.”
Even if the person could obtain that in order to receive the comfort of the life, whatever they obtain, it is not certain that it could help one receive comfort for this life. Sometimes things that are obtained for the comfort of this life could cause life dangers before enjoying them. Because of those possessions, other people are jealous, and there is also the danger the possession getting stolen before they are enjoyed. Therefore it is not definite that the person will enjoy them with freedom. Also, not definite that the person will enjoy them because they can get stolen or lost, many ways. Sometimes before enjoying them, the person gets killed, ad his death occurs before he enjoys the possessions that he obtained for the comfort of this life. So it is not definite. Also, because of possessions, even if other living beings do not cause life danger or problems to the life, the possession itself can cause life dangers. Because of these reasons it is not definite that person will enjoy with freedom as the person wishes. Just like the example of this morning—even if it is obtained, it not definite that it will be enjoyed with freedom.
“The definite thing that will arise for me is death.”
So, for example, we make plans about what to do for many years—we make arrangements for many years to obtain the perfections of this life. We make plans and arrangements to work for many years. What is more definite? That you complete the plan, work for the plan in order to gain the perfections of this life, or death? Death is more definite than your plan. Death is more definite to arise than your plan. At death, no possessions, nothing can benefit. Generally, there is much suffering because of releasing this—much trouble of suffering at death time. So what this great bodhisattva emphasizes in his instructions is thinking of the suffering. What he explained here is the shortcomings, the problems—how does the evil thought attached to the comfort of this life bring all the problems. How do all the problems arise from this? That’s what he is trying to explain. So the very last words mean, by thinking like this, renouncing the work of this temporal life, like this.
For people who meditate, for people who don’t meditate, for people who practice Dharma, for people who don’t practice Dharma, all problems are caused by the evil thought of the worldly Dharmas. What this bodhisattva is emphasizing is that this is a problem for all the people, those who practice Dharma, those who don’t, those who meditate, those who don’t—all these people. Especially at death time, there are problems like this, all caused by the evil thought attached to the comfort of this life. Therefore his heart-talk, whatever, his essential instructions or whatever, are “renounce this life”.
So, after talking about the problems, he gives the essential instructions, what is to be done—in order to solve these problems, what one is supposed to do. What one should do. Without explaining, first of all, without showing the problems, the person cannot recognize problems. If the person does not recognize problems, then they will only be continuously involved in the creation of the cause of problems, and never pay attention to the Dharma, never practicing Dharma, never receiving the wisdom eye, discrimination, or recognizing positive or negative actions. So further talk on these things, the last part, will come after wards—there is no need to talk much at this time.
Also, this great bodhisattva’s saying this is not only like this. His saying renounce this life is not like the radio, the tape recorder. It is not like a parrot talking, not like this. A parrot can say these words too, but his saying it is not the same as the parrot saying it. What I mean is that these are not empty words, not dry empty words; these instructions that are given by this bodhisattva are given as he fully recognizes the nature of samsaric suffering. When a parrot or a tape recorder talks, there is no understanding of the meaning, and also no practice of what he is talking about. But this is not something that this bodhisattva said without himself living in the practice, not like this. He lived the practice of this, lived in these instruction—because as he discovered the profit, the great infinite benefit, the knowledge that he could achieve from this practice, renouncing this life, as he experienced this by himself living in the practice, then so also he instructs that way to his followers. Also, if one doesn’t know how to practice this, and if one won’t practice, the person himself thinks that he is renouncing this life but that this action does not become Dharma, then his life gets in trouble.
One example, generally, there are many people who think, “I want to be exactly like Milarepa.” There are many westerners who say this. “I want to go to the mountains and live like Milarepa,” without an understanding of the Dharma. Also one student, when he was coming from Italy, he read Milarepa’s book that talks about renouncing this life, talks a lot about this practice. So he thought that this meant not have any possessions, to not keep any possessions, just go with this body and beg. So when he came he gave all his things to the other people. So afterwards he had sixty or seventy rupees, and even that got stolen. He kept it under the pillow, and it got stolen. But afterwards he found it. He got in a lot of trouble. He couldn’t continue that life. He got in so much trouble. So afterwards, he came to the same point because of the trouble.
Also, if one doesn’t understand correctly, doesn’t know how to practice, if one does like this, like this student did when he was coming from Italy, not like this. Also it is necessary to understand, not like that. Now you should understand a little bit, not only that. Some people may think, “Oh! He is making the Dharma so difficult, why? He’s not making the Dharma simple, he is making it so difficult. This is possible; also there are ideas like this. Why doesn’t he teach some simple, easy thing that makes us comfortable: why does he make things so difficult, make us scared, shocked, and tired?” Possible, possible. However, without going through, without understanding this important point, the actual meaning of the Dharma, this practice, without practicing this, there is no way to practice Dharma, no way for this to become the pure practice of Dharma, no way. However much you say you are practicing Dharma, without understanding this, going through this practice, there is no way for it to become pure Dharma practice. No matter whatever high practice the person does, no matter how much he meditates or talks about Dharma, no matter how much the person is famous in yoga practice or meditation, in the chakras and nadis, no matter how much power the person has—without knowing this, going through this, without living in the practice, there is no way for anything to become pure Dharma.
In terms of the knowledge of the benefits, between the actions of a person who knows lot of those things, who does a lot of this type of meditation, meditating on deities, things like that, but doesn’t know anything about those meditations, and the person who does even one action without being possessed by the evil thought attached to the comfort of this life, this one action that is not possessed by the evil thought has much more benefit, much more profit than those other meditations, such as those tantric meditations, those famous meditations in which many people are hung up. If those done with this evil thought, they do not help. They have no benefit, they are only the cause of suffering, the cause of rebirth in the suffering lower realms.
So therefore it is necessary that the Dharma that we are trying to practice not become only mouth Dharma, but that it become pure Dharma, even if we make meditation only once in the day. Generally, in daily life, especially when the person wants to create virtuous actions, to create the cause of liberation, it doesn’t matter if the action is small or big, it is necessary to remember what Dharma means, and it is necessary to make the action pure, to make it pure Dharma by remembering the border between Dharma and non-Dharma. Then, even if one does a little action in the day, it can become pure Dharma. If one does the action not possessed with the evil thought of attachment, you have planted a real seed of liberation, then you have planted the actual seed that can bring enlightenment. Otherwise there is a danger to plant the wrong seed. This is just emphasizing for you to be careful.
Taking care of our life does not depend on one person. The universal principle, oneness, something, I don’t know—it does not depend on things like that. Life has to be taken care of by ourselves. Anybody can teach simple meditation, simple things; that’s not enough, not sufficient, that doesn’t make us realize, receive the wisdom, and recognize the cause of happiness and the cause of suffering. Also, my spending time is not for mouth Dharma. Generally, renouncing this life is very profound, so profound Dharma that is done by renouncing this life is very profound—more profound than profound.
First of all it is extremely difficult—why it is profound? It is extremely difficult to justify, to fully see the depth of the Dharma, extremely difficult to see the depth of Dharma; it is like a very deep well. It is difficult for the mind to justify the depth and difficult to realize. And secondly, it has such a great method, a special method that is important to obtain happiness and to release one from suffering. So the Dharma that is done with the thought renouncing this life is more profound than profound! Like this.
As this great pandit called Shantideva said in his holy teaching, “By listening to the essential Dharma without distractions, he can receive happiness that is greater, that he has not received before. There is no way to degenerate from the happiness. The bodhisattva can receive unceasingly supreme happiness and enlightenment, and also the perfections of this life.”
This means this. The meaning of this quotation is that the practitioner who hears the teaching and lives in pure Dharma practice, without having the distraction of the evil thought of the worldly Dharmas, can receive great happiness, happiness that he has not received before the practice without poisoning by the evil thought of the worldly Dharmas, and the happiness that arises from that also does not degenerate. That helps one to receive the most supreme happiness, the unceasing, most supreme happiness of a bodhisattva, and also enlightenment. Even that practice helps to gain happiness and the perfections of this life, like this. Besides talking about all the future achievements of those higher goals such as enlightenment and the achievement of nirvana, the liberation that is the cessation of samsara, also one can receive the full realization of the absolute true nature. Besides this, one can be born again in the upper realms, and not be reborn in the lower realms. Even in this life, this Dharma practice, renouncing this life, brings the perfections of this life, brings happiness even in this lifetime.
Briefly before, when we were discussing the remedy of how to stop attachment from arising when we meet each different object, if you check up, at the same time that you renounce this evil thought by using the remedies and checking meditation, at the same time there is peace and happiness—the happiness that is devoid of that complicated mind, that confusion, of the arising of attachment such as hatred, all these things. At the same time there is happiness, there is peace. That peace that is enjoyed, received when one renounces this life, this evil thought, never becomes the cause of suffering as enjoying pleasure with attachment becomes the cause of suffering. Not like this. Those two are completely opposite. At the same time there is happiness, peace in the mind. Besides enjoying that peace, it is not the cause of suffering, and enjoying that peace always stops one from creating negative karma, and from the negative mind arising. There are many benefits. Also those who are living in that pure Dharma practice, renouncing this life, has a less complicated life, and is happier. His life is more peaceful than the other life, than the other living being who is living the worldly life. This is quite simple to understand because as we discussed with all these examples, the creator of the life problems for oneself and also for other people is this negative mind. So when the person is living in the practice of renouncing this life, he doesn’t follow the creators of this life problems. Just by this, we can see that the person who is living in this practice has much less life problems. So that’s how his life is much more peaceful and has more freedom.
The minds of the previous yogis, who lived ascetic lives, didn’t struggle as our mind does, even just by hearing this Dharma subject. Even though they lived this life, their mind was at peace—there was no confusion, no problems. You will understand this through the history of the great yogi Milarepa. By renouncing this life, life can be happy, with less problems, peaceful, like this. This subject is not an easy thing to understand or realize, it is something that cannot be imagined or figured; it is extremely difficult to imagine, to discover, realize by most Westerners.
For instance, there are many other stories about how even the temporal problems are relieved by this the Dharma practice renouncing this life. There are many histories. There is one meditator called Kharag Gomchon who lived in a family. Then he got an epidemic disease, leprosy, and the wound spread all over the body. The cause of it could spread to other people. So he had this disease, before he renounced this life, before he began to practice Dharma. Then, because he had this disease, no one came near him. People wouldn’t come near him and he never got respect from them, so he got terribly upset. He thought, “I will be definitely kicked out, expelled, from the family, so I must make it beneficial, worthwhile.” Then he thought to completely give up the family, and the attachment to the people, possessions, and the house. He made the decision to completely give up the family, to not be attached to possessions, people, houses, these things. So he thought he would completely give up this and only recite mantras. He would stay on the road and only recite mantras. He would live on that—begging and reciting mantras and staying on the roads. This was his decision. So he came down to a village called Gemo Trong—Trong means village. He came down, and near the road there was a rock cave, where he slept that night. That night he had a dream, in which a white man took him out of the river and put him on a rock, and much water came out of his body. When he woke up in the morning from this dream, all the pus that was stored in the wound came out, all wet, and he got better that day. There was no more leprosy; he got better. This was not because he took medicine, but only because he made this decision renouncing this life, renouncing the evil thought and attachment to those things. Because of this decision, even the temporal problems are completely cured.
So this is the power of this thought, the power of his mind renouncing this life. There are many other examples in the stories of the previous yogis. Also, there are many meditators like this. First they lived the worldly life, with children and families, and then they experienced much suffering later on. Because of this suffering, they renounced this life, and afterwards they led ascetic lives. Afterwards, they received all the realizations like falling rain, so quick, with much less hindrance, so quick, so easy. There were so many meditators like this in Tibet. Especially at death time, they died with good vibrations, and special signs, which meant that they are greater special people, not ordinary, but more holy than other people.
There was one meditator called Bok Kundell who had renounced this life. He had some possessions, so he offered to make a temple at the place where he was. He practiced Dharma by begging. Once, in one village in Tibet that was not very far from Lhasa in the center of Tibet there were many problems with thieves coming and stealing things. All the people in that area were so worried, so scared, and so busy hiding material—there was also this village in Solo-Khumbu, and when I was very little child people were doing like this, saying that something was coming to take things away, and they were so worried. People hid things in the mountains, and in the rocks underground. In this area the people had problem like this. They were so busy, so worried, so busy hiding things. All this meditator had to hide was only one very ugly water clay pot and one yellow robe, like this. He had no other things. So he went around following after the busy, worried people, carrying the clay water pot outside. He had no hassle, no nothing, no worry. Then he said, “I have no other place to hide my things.” What he meant was that there was no other method to hide than renouncing this life, because this meditator has already renounced this life. That’s all he is saying. So anyway, his mind was not scared, not in a hassle, not busy—this was also due to his mind being at peace while other people were not. The holy mind not being in such care or hassle is due to this meditator’s power of practice, renouncing this life.
Also, this meditator, in his village, when not practicing Dharma, when he was at his home he always kept a bow and three or four knives around his body, but still he had so many enemies. He was one person, but he had such a big field for one person. He received many crops out of the field, about forty sacks. So he had a nickname given to him by villagers—”forty-sinful.” He was called “forty” because of what he received for one person, and sinful because in the day he robs, and at nighttime he steals.
Question: Robbing and thieving are the same thing.
Rinpoche: You think so? I think you should go to school!
So, even though he did this, he never got enough food. Even though he tried that much, the food that he had didn’t last. Even though he tried in order to receive the perfection of this life, besides having that quantity of crops from the field, day and night he did this in order to receive the perfection of this life. But still his food didn’t last, he didn’t get enough food. Even though he had so many beings around, they were always enemies, always enemies. Later on, after he renounced that life, as he had completely given up keeping weapons, he had no enemies. As he had completely given up all his work before, his work in the fields and robbing and thieving and all these things, after he gave up the temporal life’s work, there was no problem—no problem of not receiving food. Even if there is a famine or fears of a thief, he can be on the same level as a rich person. However much trouble or danger is happening in that area, for him there is no danger even of not receiving the temporal needs. So, he said this, “Before, when I had crops and I robbed and thieved, and had many weapons, at that time my mouth didn’t find food—but now food does not find my mouth.” This was his life experience.
Also, another time, another example of the way he practiced the evil thought and the way he practiced Dharma—once he was in the temple in the village, so there was an invitation for curd. All the people lined up, and he was a little bit down in the line. He watched the other person pouring curd into the other people’s bowls, and the person was pouring the curd so strong and thick—in Tibet there is good curd! Sorry! Anyway, he was worried about curd running out, and as he thought this he recognized his mind’s problem, and he put his bowl down and did not accept the curd. This was in order to punish the negative mind. I am sure we never do things like that. Anyway, before his negative mind was harming him, destroying him, harming him, causing suffering. Now after this, as he realized, he put down his bowl, upside down. Before he was following the evil thought, and after he did not follow the evil thought wanting the curd to reach him. So the way he practiced Dharma, the way he renounced is like this; this is just one example. This bowl that he set upside down—this is not following the negative mind, this is really pure Dharma practice because it is done with the mind renouncing this life, done with the root renouncing this life, the evil thought that gave him trouble. The work was done renouncing this evil thought.
These examples are useful; the histories and the examples help us to practice, so it is also useful to know their practice.
First, do meditation on the visualization of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and do purification. Then after the purification, as you become one with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, send rays to all suffering sentient beings, purifying, and enlighten all suffering sentient beings in the essence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then all the sentient beings who become Guru Shakyamuni Buddha absorb into you and then concentrate on it by not letting other thoughts arise.
First, cultivate the pure motivation, in order for the action of meditation to become Dharma, cultivate bodhicitta, the pure thought of bodhicitta, in order for it to become Mahayana Dharma, or the cause of enlightenment. So think; “From my beginingless samsaric lifetimes until now I have been suffering in samsara in these six different samsaric realms, always circling round and round, taking rebirth and dying, and again taking rebirth in another realm and dying, and again taking rebirth—like this, continuously experiencing the infinite sufferings of samsara, from beginningless lifetimes until now.
“For instance, from beginningless previous lifetimes until now, especially I have been experiencing the infinite hot and cold sufferings of the narak stages, numberless times. Same thing, I have been experiencing billions and billions of different sufferings of the animal realms, such as the suffering of the pretas—their food is stopped by those karmically created fearful protectors. Also, there is the suffering of food that changes or stops; such as the suffering of food being received in the mouth or the stomach that becomes the cause of suffering, pain, burning, and the suffering of inner food. There is the animal’s suffering—the suffering of being eaten by others, the suffering of being beaten, the suffering of feeling cold and hot, thirsty and hungry, many things.
“Also in the human realm, besides the suffering of the lower realm, even in the human realm suffering of rebirth, old age, sickness, death; so many other suffering, suffering of not finding desirable object; suffering of release, even it is found, suffering of releasing from desirable object; suffering of deluded bodies; so many suffering. Also, much suffering even in the realms of the samsaric gods, such as suffering by being under the control of other rich gods. Such as suffering, much suffering, fighting, killing each other; incredible suffering of the death, as different death signs happen. Also, much great worry by knowing, seeing understanding with this karmic mind, karmically seeing where he’s going to be born, in the lower realms such as the narak, animal realms; so much suffering releasing from that such rich position, that realm which has high enjoyments.
“So, all these sufferings have been experienced by me numberless times from beginningless lifetimes. Not one suffering is definite that I will not experience again among these infinite samsaric sufferings. When I think of previous beginningless sufferings, continual suffering, I think that I must achieve liberation or enlightenment in this lifetime with this body, in this present lifetime. No matter how extremely difficult it is to work for enlightenment, when I think of all these previous continual unceasing sufferings, this lifetime should I not completely sacrifice myself, completely give up my whole life to work for enlightenment? As I have been experiencing such incredible sufferings in numberless times from beginningless previous lives, creating the cause of suffering, but not giving up, being unable to renounce oneself for enlightenment, it is silly, it is an extremely foolish action.
“Releasing myself from samsara is not enough, receiving peace is not enough, because infinite sentient beings are also living in incredible suffering. Now, I have received a perfect human rebirth, having a certain level of wisdom to recognize what is negative action, what is positive action, and having met the teaching of the Enlightened One that leads me to enlightenment—having the chance to study, to listen. But most sentient beings don’t have this chance, not received a perfect human rebirth and not having met the Buddhadharma and not having any chance to study or meditate and, as much as they desire happiness, always creating the cause of suffering. As I have received the greatest chance, the perfect chance, it is my responsibility to help them to release from suffering, to lead them to enlightenment. In order to do this at the moment, besides leading all sentient being to enlightenment, I have no power even to enlighten one sentient being. Besides that, I have not completed even my own purpose or work, not completed the realizations and not completely achieved the knowledge of the purity of all the obscurations. Therefore first, in order to enlighten all infinite sentient beings which equal space, I must achieve enlightenment. In order to achieve enlightenment I must purify and receive the realizations of the graduated path. Therefore I am going to do purifying meditation on Guru Shakyamuni Buddha.”
Then knowledge rays come from him purifying all your negativity and obscurations, as we discussed before.
Before meditating on the graduated path, just as before you made the visualization, keep the visualization of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then the rays come from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, the knowledge rays that include the realization starting from guru practice up to enlightenment. As you are receive the rays from Guru Shakyamuni’s holy body, think that the essence is the realization from guru practice up until enlightenment, and especially the realization fully recognizing the perfect human rebirth and the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth, and the realization to fully see the evil thought of the worldly dharmas as the cause of suffering, and the power to be able to give up this evil thought. Then, whatever meditation you didn’t finish this morning, carry on with that. Those who did all the meditation on the perfect human rebirth and the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth, and the checking meditation on the evil thought of the eight worldly Dharmas, do the brief meditation on the perfect human rebirth and the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth, and do longer checking meditation on the evil thought. As you find each problem that you discover with your life, that you remember with your life, that you saw other people having—anyway, try to recognize the root of the problems in the world as caused by the evil thought and see how it is caused by the evil thought not renouncing this life.
The Guru Shakyamuni that you have visualized absorbs and melts into light and becomes oneness in the form of emptiness as space—this mind, and great happiness. Concentrate a little bit. From this state visualize a throne, lotus, sun, and moon, and then yourself in the form of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Go inside of your body as Guru Shakyamuni, up and down, inside to the toes, and then come up, go all over, and check what you feel. What do you feel with that thing that goes up and down? Keep it at the heart and check what you feel at the place of the heart.
Dedicate the merits, “Due to the past, present, and future merits may I achieve Guru Shakyamuni Buddha in order to lead all sentient beings in his enlightened stage.”
Also you can think, “May these merits be successful as the meaning of these prayers.”
When you are concentrating going inside through the body, did anyone feel anything? Something affecting the body as you go up and down, affecting the body, inside, some feeling?
Since we listen to teachings, since we create virtuous actions with the pure motivation of bodhicitta, of course if can definitely help every sentient being, without excluding even one sentient being, without excluding even one living being; generally, it is like this—such a great, incredible job or work, doing for every single living being that we know, that we don’t know, that we see, that we don’t see. Generally, it is like this.
But specifically Malcolm, who is from Australia, who is here among us, his sister Dallas and her child Caroline died by car accident in Australia, just recently. So as he feels that something should be done as he’s temporarily in relationship with this. He feels that he should do something, that he should help them to not have incredible suffering. Even if they are born into those suffering realms, even if they are suffering in such realms, to quickly release them from those suffering realms and receive rebirth in the upper realms.
However, it is extremely difficult for them to be born in the upper realms, extremely difficult. So as we have been talking generally, in order to completely release from samsara, from the cause of suffering, without depending on sentient beings’ effort, practicing Dharma and following the path—there is a way to release from this. Infinite enlightened beings have incredible, infinite compassion, feeling those suffering sentient beings are unbearable, in incredible suffering. As much as they send—of course, strongly, they have such incredible compassion, infinite times greater than the compassion of the person, than the suffering person’s compassion for himself. Even though the enlightened beings have such strong compassion, if from the side of sentient beings they don’t follow the path, if they don’t understand the teaching, without depending their effort, there is no way to release them from the cause of suffering.
This we have been talking about before. But due to the supreme powers of the Triple Gem, the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and the power of the truth of karma, that which does not betray, that virtuous action which definitely brings a good result, which does not betray in any way, due to these, and also due to how strongly, purely the puja or prayer for the dead person is done—these things can definitely help and affect the living beings who are suffering. Their terrible suffering can become a little less. Also, even though the suffering being is in incredible suffering, he or she can pass from that stage and be born in the upper realm. There are many stories that happened in previous times, so many thing explained by the enlightened beings through these methods. There are also many special tantric and sutra way methods to lessen suffering or cause rebirth in the upper realms more quickly for those dead living beings. So wherever the dead person is born, there is no choice, this is according to their karma. Whatever karma they have arranged, it is according to that. However, it is extremely difficult to be born in the upper realms.
When he was coming from Australia they were there, all right, but of course they didn’t have any idea, they didn’t expect it. Their death didn’t happen expectedly, knowing it. I am sure that, this is almost definite, that right until the time of the accident, until that moment, she might have carried on, thinking that she will exist, that she will live, her death won’t happen, her death won’t occur. Her death won’t occur in that day, in that moment. Thinking, “In this present time, I am not going to die today, I am not going to die.” This idea might have carried on until she had the accident. However, it is not sure that what we believe will happen. So, also it is not sure—also among us there are people who will end their lives by car accidents, we are not sure, not sure. However, there is no other way, without going through an impermanent life, there is no other way.
Counting from now on, fifty years—sixty or seventy years are possible, before eighty years, there is almost no need to talk, we all would exist. However, from now, before one hundred or ninety, before that it is definite that all people here, that are talking, listening, and looking each other, all completely become empty. Whatever name the person has, whatever he looks like, it will become empty. Maybe a few possessions may be left, this can be possible—the possessions will be left but there is no possessor, the possessor is gone.
Anyway, you concentrate. For this dead person, specifically this one, and also visualizing all other sentient beings in the form of human beings, first visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha as usual sitting on the throne, lotus, sun, and moon; and then you visualize the rays as usual, the knowledge rays coming from him purifying you. First of all think, first of all try to remember the suffering of the living beings who are in the suffering states, in the narak and preta realms, in the human realm and the realm of the gods. Try as much as you understand, try to feel or see it.
Think, “Now I am born as a human being, having such incredible suffering as most sentient beings have, and besides that having met the precious teaching, the method that leads me to enlightenment, and having the chance to study and to meditate, to follow, and having the wisdom, the capability, the wisdom to recognize what is negative and positive action, but most of the sentient beings are in incredible suffering in different realms. These sentient beings don’t have this chance. Most of these sentient beings, due to ignorance, due to ignorance, as much as they do not desire suffering, they always give suffering to themselves; as much as they experience suffering, the cause of which was created by them, as much as it is unbearable, incredible, as much as they do not desire, they always give suffering to themselves by creating the cause. These sentient beings have such incredible, ignorant suffering.” Try to feel great compassion.
Think, “As I have the chance, the possibility to help them, I must cause sentient beings to be released from all these sufferings and from the cause of suffering, and also specifically these two people, Dallas and Caroline, whatever suffering realm they are born into and however they are suffering, I must cause them, specifically these two, to be released from that suffering realm and find a better rebirth, find a perfect human rebirth. By finding a perfect human rebirth and having met the perfect guru and teaching, may they then achieve enlightenment. Therefore I am going to do purifying meditation with the Guru Shakyamuni yoga practice.”
Now, visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha as usual sitting on the throne, lotus, sun, and moon. Then, knowledge rays come from Guru Shakyamuni’s holy body and purify all your delusions, all the obscurations that interrupt the achievement of enlightenment and nirvana. Recite the mantra, and make the prayer with the visualization.
Visualize knowledge rays with nectar coming from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha like very strong rain falling, then purifying. As it is absorbed through the body, think that you have completely purified all the obscurations and all the delusions, and that nothing, not one single delusion is left; you are completely purified. Think that your entire body is full of rays and light which is infinite happiness. Try to feel the complete emptiness or the purity of all delusions and wrong conceptions.
Now, the throne absorbs into the lotus, sun, and moon, and that absorbs into Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha melts into light and absorbs into you and becomes oneness, in the form of emptiness, space, oneness with your mind and oneness with Guru Shakyamuni’s holy mind and infinite happiness. Out of this then, this nature itself transforms into the form of a throne, then a lotus, sun, and moon, and then yourself in the form of Guru Shakyamuni’s holy mind, in the manifestation of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Think, “I am really enlightened in the essence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha.” Think of the body as not yourself, but that your entire speech, body and mind are completely one with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, a very shiny, very remarkable, very transparent holy body. Then, also visualize all sentient beings surrounding you. Think that the earth is endless and that all sentient beings on the earth are in the form of human beings. In the center is you, and all the space of the earth is filled with the form of human beings. From your place you cannot see even the end.
Then visualize a lotus and a moon at your heart, a large lotus and moon at your heart, and visualize the letter MUM. You can visualize it in English, a yellow-colored letter MUM, whose nature is Guru Shakyamuni’s holy omniscient mind but in the manifestation of a letter, very shiny and bright. Think that it is oneness with you, that you are oneness with the Guru Shakyamuni syllable letter, oneness with the omniscient mind of all the Buddhas. And then yourself as the mantra, yourself as the syllable letter MUM, oneness with all the omniscient mind of all the Buddhas, with great compassion for sentient beings and specifically these two dead people. Send light rays from this syllable letter, which is in the nature of the omniscient mind. You send light to those two dead people in the realm where they are born and suffering, and release them from that realm and, visualizing the dead bodies in front of you, bring the consciousness into the dead body with light rays which you send with the syllable letter. Think that with the rays, you brought the consciousness from there, and by releasing them from that suffering that they are suffering now, and bring the consciousness into the dead body. Then with great compassion for sentient beings and these two specific dead people, in the center of the visualized syllable letter MUM, visualize the usual mantra in the same color, standing around on the edge of the moon. The letters are like the letters that that can be seen nighttime with electricity, like those fluorescent letters—very bright, very transparent, in the nature of omniscient mind and with the mantra surrounding the edge of the moon. And as you recite the mantra, with great compassion send other sentient beings and these two specific people from suffering, while you are reciting the mantra. Send the rays from the mantra, from the center syllable, and also the round mantra—the mantra is like the switch, like a torch. And then, besides purifying all sentient beings, also the rays of those specific people whose consciousness you brought in that human body are purified also, and besides purifying all the sentient beings’ delusions and obscurations, which cause them to continuously suffer, think that as you are sending the rays of light to all sentient beings and these two specific people, it purifies all their illusive vision. In the same way, think about these two specific people, purifying all their obscurations that interrupt you from receiving nirvana and enlightenment. Visualize all sentient beings including these two people, that all their negativity is purified, going out in the form of black ink like very dirty water. Then recite the mantra. Concentrate on yourself as oneness with the syllable letter MUM. The mantras are also oneness, and you are also oneness with the mantras, not separate. So concentrate on yourself as oneness with the center syllable letter MUM, and then do purifying meditation for sentient beings and specifically for these dead people, who are called Dallas and Caroline. Visualize the mantra in English letters as the accent.
Now, concentrate on yourself as oneness with the syllable letter MUM. You read the mantras round, at the same time sending light rays, so until I finish you send rays, purifying the illusive mind that produces incredible fear and suffering with the illusive vision, and purify all the delusions and interruptions to receiving nirvana and enlightenment.
Now you think of all living beings, and in specific these two, and all the negative karma and obscurations that have been created from beginningless lifetimes, and think that all other sentient beings’ obscurations and negative karma that have been created from beginningless lifetimes are completely purified. Think that you have attained enlightenment. Think that all sentient beings including these two specific living beings, that all achieve the state of Guru Shakyamuni’s holy speech, body, and mind. In this manifestation, the sentient beings are also sitting on throne, lotus, sun, and moons and in the form of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Think, “Now I have enlightened all sentient beings in the essence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha.” Visualize rays coming from all sentient beings who become Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, with knowledge rays coming from all of them and absorbing into the mantra and the syllable letter MUM. The rays that you receive are the essence, the infinite knowledge of Guru Shakyamuni’s holy body, speech, and mind.
Now think that all the sentient beings who become Guru Shakyamuni Buddha absorb into you.
Dedicate the merits, “May all the dead living beings, specifically these two dead people whose names are Dallas and Carolina, due to my merits and their merits, may all the dead living beings, specifically these two, achieve the holy body, the Enlightened Being’s holy body which is the dharmakaya and rupakaya, by achieving the path of method and wisdom through the cause of perfectly following the perfect Mahayana Guru, through receiving the perfect human rebirth.”
Also dedicate the merits, “Due to these merits created by me, may all the living beings who are alive, and specifically all the people here, all the people who are meditating, and the friends who are here meditating together, achieve enlightenment soon by achieving the full realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and the fully renouncing mind of samsara, and to may their minds become oneness with Dharma before the death of this life.
I think it is about lunch time, to preserve the life today!
Maybe afterwards if it comes in certain points, perhaps this can be explained a little bit further. But generally, if you want to do something for a dead person, an animal, whatever it is, you can do this meditation. This is simple and not so complicated as other meditations, not so complicated for our mind, but simple, and also effective and very useful. But of course, the effect for that living being depends on many things. As I said before, it depends on many things—firm concentration with great compassion, and your mind power, like this. There are many histories, stories of that, where it is helping.
Anyway, just a brief talk about what meditation one can do in order that the enjoyment of eating food may not become the cause of samsara, and that it may become the cause of enlightenment. Before eating food, think, “In order to attain enlightenment and free all these suffering sentient beings from suffering, I must achieve enlightenment; therefore, I need to create merits; therefore, I must achieve enlightenment; therefore I am going to create merits.” Think, “I am going to create merits.” Merits can be included in charity, and also offering, so if you have the food and if there is such strong attachment because you receive desirable food, then use those remedies as I explained before.
Then, think that either you become Guru Shakyamuni Buddha yourself, or if you cannot do that, then visualize Guru Shakyamuni sitting at your heart on a lotus, sun, and moon, inside at the heart visualize, and think, “This food is not mine, it is completely possessed by Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. It is Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s. Not mine.” Make this decision first. Also there is a difference—it affects the mind when you make this decision, when you think to yourself, “It is mine, it belongs to me.” There is something, some kind of feeling, and when you think, “It is Guru Shakyamuni’s, it is not only mine,” there is a different feeling. Also, by thinking this, there is less attachment, there is not that much clinging to the food.
So think that you have completely offered, completely dedicated the food to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then after this, dedicate the food for all sentient beings. Think like this, think that you have made charity, dedicated the one plate of food dedicated, given it to every sentient being, every sentient being, and think that each sentient being has received it. As they enjoy the food, it becomes the realization starting from guru devotion up until enlightenment, and think that the the food they enjoy has turned into realization and that they all receive the realization, and all of a sudden they become released from temporal suffering, from all the causes of suffering, from all the delusions, from every single delusion—like this.
Anyway, this is another very profound, practical method for attachment not to arise, and especially to lose miserliness and make charity. This practice of charity is a complete opposite remedy to the miserliness that causes you to be born in the preta realm. It is completely opposite to this miserliness, this clinging. This method helps a great deal to not create the cause to be born in the suffering realm, to not create the cause of samsara. Also, turning the food into realizations is a very profound technique—by making charity, in that way also enlightening sentient beings.
Then, like this. Each time, this is what you do at the beginning. As you visualize Guru Shakyamuni at the heart, each time think that you are making offerings, think of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha as the total essence of all the infinite buddhas, as if he is all the infinite buddhas. As you take each spoonful, if you can do this without the mind getting disturbed and distracted, and being conscious of what you are eating, if you can continue each time starting from the beginning until the food is finished, you create merits, good karma, and the cause of enlightenment. No matter what action, little or big, the whole thing depends on understanding the practice. The whole thing depends on your understanding and the practice, the way of using the technique. It does not depend on an action that takes years, or on changing the aspect or the body; it doesn’t depend on this. So if you do this with strong bodhicitta, then even with each action of taking food, each spoonful, there is that much great infinite benefit and merits created. If you have understanding, if you practice, there is a possibility to do that much with a simple little action—there is a way. If you don’t have understanding, if you don’t practice—anyway, even if you do an action, it benefits so little. Even if you make charity to all sentient beings physically, if your understanding is not so profound, not so high, not possessed by bodhicitta, it benefits so little; like this.
Then also think, Guru Shakyamuni has received infinite bliss. Actually, he doesn’t need extra infinite bliss because there is no need, because he has completely finished and created the cause of infinite happiness, so he has infinite happiness; he has the achievement of infinite bliss. So there is no extra bliss, something that he doesn’t experience and did not experience. But for our purification, we should visualize it in this way, as an offering. Also think that by offering this you receive infinite bliss, like this. Like this also.
It is good generally to concentrate like this while eating food; very good, very good. All becomes Dharma practice. So you can visualize all sentient beings at the heart of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha also. There is the lotus, moon and sun, and there is the syllable letter—you can visualize sentient being on the moon, then as you take offerings to Guru Shakyamuni, they are also to all sentient beings together. Also, the same thing, you can think that you are giving great infinite bliss to all sentient beings, you can think in a similar way as I explained before—doing purification, and transforming the food that they are receiving into enlightenment. Afterwards, you think that all sentient beings become enlightened. You can think also in that way, after you made charity, think that all become enlightened in the essence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, like this.
In regards benefits and how they work, there is too much to talk about. If you practice, maybe you can understand slowly, because if you practice it becomes purification, and through purification you understand the benefits and the way they work more deeply.
Also, it is necessary to have such discipline during the meditation course; mental discipline like this is necessary, because the meditation course is not mainly what the physical body is doing, but mainly the meditation course is mental discipline. The meditation course is to realize the suffering nature and by realizing it, try to stop creating negative karma and achieve enlightenment for other sentient beings. That’s all.
“I must lead all sentient beings to enlightenment right now, by releasing them from all suffering. As I am not enlightened, this work cannot be done, therefore, first of all it is necessary to achieve enlightenment. In order to achieve enlightenment I should receive all the realizations of the graduated path. For that reason, I am going to listen to the holy profound teaching, and cultivate bodhicitta.” So this time there is no need to talk about the benefits of bodhicitta because it takes time.
The listening subject, the holy teaching, is the Mahayana teaching that leads the fortunate beings to enlightenment. It is the teaching well expounded by the great philosophers, Nagarjuna and Asanga. It is the profound holy teaching from which the holy minds of the highly realized bodhisattvas Atisha and Guru Tsongkhapa was produced. It is the teaching that includes the essence of 84,000 teachings shown by Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. It is set up for the practice of one person’s achievement of enlightenment. This graduated path, through which the past enlightened beings received enlightenment, has four outlines:
1. For reference, the knowledge of the author who wrote the teaching called the graduated path, the text. But this does not mean that before he wrote the text there was no graduated path; it does not mean this. The graduated path in meaning existed, but the title of the text happened only after Atisha wrote it.
2. In order to have devotion, the knowledge of the teaching.
3. How to listen to and explain the teaching, which has two objectives.
4. And how to lead the actual disciple on the path to enlightenment. The last one has two outlines:
a. The way of following the guru, who is the root of the path
b. The second, how to train the thoughts in the graduated path to enlightenment by following the guru.
As we studied the outline in meditation, what is finished is the perfect human rebirth and the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth. That’s briefly finished. So, according to this book, the subject that we have been talking about is the shortcomings of the evil thought of the eight worldly Dharmas and the benefits of renouncing the evil thought.
As we were discussing yesterday, besides the practice renouncing this life helping to attain those future goals, the temporary and ultimate purposes, this practice of renouncing this life brings enlightenment, liberation, nirvana, and the cessation of samsara; more than any of the higher bodhicitta realizations, by this also one can receive the higher tantric realizations that are the shortcut, and by this one can enter the path. Without going through this practice, there is no way one can enter the path; it is absolutely impossible. Why is there need of this practice in order to enter into the path? Because the fundamental realization that causes us to receive the path is the mind fully renouncing samsara.
For instance, the meaning of the path is this: the knowledge that is possessed by renunciation, the knowledge that is possessed by the renouncing mind. Without achievement of this mind fully renouncing samsara, there is no way to achieve the path—no matter whether it is the paramita or the Vajrayana path or the lesser vehicle path—there is no way to enter, the path is blocked. How can this be possible? It is impossible without having renounced the mind of this life. On the other hand, as there is a mind that is attached, that is seeking the comfort of this life, as long there is this mind, there is no way to receive the fully renounced mind of samsara, renouncing all samsaric happiness, not having a mind attached to all samsaric happiness and pleasures. So as I said yesterday, however we are smart or clever, without going through this practice, this realization, there is no way to enter the path, no way to receive liberation.
Therefore we should, since we seek liberation, sine we are seekers of everlasting peace, we should not underestimate, we should not think that giving up this life is insignificant. First, if we are sincere seekers of everlasting happiness, we should respect. Respect is the opposite of thinking of it as insignificant, little. Insignificant is a word I received from Ann! Anyway, we should not think it is little or unimportant. If one thinks it is unimportant, if one forgets it, thinking it is unimportant in your practice, then the realization or the path, whatever you are seeking, becomes very difficult to achieve and takes much time. The more you respect this, the more you think it is important, the most important thing, the stronger your respect, the more you practice this, even though you don’t do any other thing, whatever practice you do becomes more pure and quicker for the achievement of enlightenment. Besides bringing all those future good results, it also helps to bring the perfections of this life. Doing this practice, besides not causing problems for this life, doing this correct pure practice brings the perfection of this life, and the temporal needs. You will receive these things without expectation, without effort, without working purposely or spending your life purposely for that.
One great pandit who received enlightenment in one lifetime, a disciple of Nagarjuna, said in his holy teaching, “Those who find it difficult to see this worldly life are great fools to others; beings who follow them can be betrayed for a long time.”
What he means is this. If one purely practiced Dharma, besides talking about other lives, even this life would be more happy than that of the other worldly beings who spend and work only for this life. For instance, the meditator that we discussed yesterday—how he was complicated before and how he was after, his mind so peaceful—such as this examples. Besides this present life being more happy than those living beings who work for this life, besides this, especially these beings have no problem at death time, the mind is peaceful. There is not such a great danger of a death so that every being, all the uncontrolled beings, have to worry and be afraid at this most dangerous time. This being’s mind is comfortable, relaxed, and peaceful. Also, as he has made arrangements he knows where his mind will go, which path will be taken, no problem. That is the really happy present life. For people who find it extremely difficult to realize by doing this Dharma practice, renouncing this life, even this present life will be much happier than other peoples’ lives. This person’s ignorant mind not realizing this can betray their life and also other people’s life too.
How can wrong conception, this ignorant mind, betray their own life? Because of this wrong conception, he doesn’t make pure practice, there is no way to make pure practice. Then, this person who has this wrong conception because he finds it difficult—by doing this he wouldn’t get pleasure, he would suffer much not receiving the material or temporal needs. The person’s mind gets so scared, like this. So because of this ignorant fear, mainly due to this wrong conception, so he dare not make pure Dharma practice, like this. In that life, which closes the door of the path, he has this wrong conception, also telling others, “You should not do that, if you do this.” Besides not doing it, not practicing it, even telling other people, “You should not do that, shouldn’t practice that much deep Dharma; you should not renounce that much, don’t simplify that much, that is too much,” discouraging other people, interrupting others’ practice. Saying, “If you do that, you will get problems and this and that,” saying many things that discourage other beings to practice, like this. Also saying things like, “This life should not be suffering, this life should be happy, work for enlightenment.” Advising that one do both samsaric work and the work for enlightenment. Then there is danger to betray oneself and also others.
This teaching, this quotation is from Uma Shi Jepa, a text written by this great pandit. This text has much explanation on shunyata, on the absolute true nature. There is also a long history of this pandit. He practiced the Dharma and received tantra and sutra teachings from Nagarjuna.
I will give just a brief history of this great pandit. In Tibetan we say Phagpa Lha—Aryadeva is the Sanskrit. Arya means noble, but it doesn’t mean rich people, noble; it is different. Arya here means high, transcended from the worldly beings. Any being who has the achievement of the full realization of the absolute true nature is called Arya, which is the real Sangha among the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. So he’s incomparable. Generally, Nagarjuna had so many followers, but this one was incomparable, the closest disciple of Nagarjuna. Even from childhood, he wished and desired to take precepts, to take ordination. For a long time Aryadeva took teachings and practiced Dharma under Nagarjuna. All the other learned pandits refer to Nagarjuna as a father, and Aryadeva as a son. This was not a physical relationship, but a relationship of the teaching. The other learned pandits always respected and believed in this, and thought that whatever Nagarjuna and Aryadeva said was a logical reference. Besides this text, this pandit wrote so many others.
Nagarjuna was in the southern part of India, and at that time Aryadeva was also there. During that time, in Nalanda there was a pagan, a person who came to the monastery, the famous school, and said, “I am the pagan Mutektachang. I came to debate with you.” He met this person who said, “If you monks win this debate I will go to the river Ganges to die. If you don’t, all these people should follow my theory, and also all your temples and texts will be burned.” So the witness was the king, and he was also an expert in debate. At that time, the monks from that famous school could not answer him, and all the monks consulted each other about what to do. They thought, “If all the followers of Buddhadharma in the southern, eastern, and western parts of India are in danger of being lost, we cannot do anything, cannot debate.” So they thought about a famous mountain in the southern part called “Magnificent Mountain,” a holy place of Nagarjuna, where Nagarjuna’s cave was, where Nagarjuna and also his disciple Aryadeva stayed. Otherwise, other beings cannot debate this person.
So all these monks were very depressed, because Nagarjuna’s place is so far from Nalanda. One night, one of the pandits in Nalanda had a dream about the method to dispel that debate—he dreamed that if they rely on, ask, or request the Dharma protector Mahakala, that this Dharma protector’s manifestation will get the pandit from Nagarjuna’s place as a messenger. As they worried, he had this dream. Then, as he had had this dream, they made offering cakes. They made a short letter to send to the pandit Aryadeva who was with Nagarjuna, talking about the danger of losing, and saying that this is your responsibility, so please come, do this, and solve this problem. They wrote this letter and sent it with an offering cake, and said many prayers to persuade the protector, the holy mind. Then the Dharma protector manifested in the form of a black bird, a crow, maybe in the West, in Tibet, maybe a big vulture. Just like a small black crow but very strong, bigger than that. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, don’t worry! Even though you mention the name, I don’t understand. So this black bird we call Charok—it is different than crow, different. This crow took the letter in his beak, and then the letter was given to the pandit.
The pandit saw the letter and discovered that there was a great danger of losing the teaching, losing the Buddhadharma. He discovered that he was invited in order to protect it. So Nagarjuna asked his disciple Aryadeva, and Aryadeva said that Nagarjuna didn’t have to go, saying, “I can subdue, control these people.” Before Aryadeva could go from Nagarjuna’s place to debate and control, Nagarjuna checked up whether he could do this or not. He and his disciple Aryadeva debated each other, one acting as the pagan person with the other theory, and one acting as the follower of the Buddhadharma. Nagarjuna wanted to check up whether he could do it or not, so Nagarjuna explained the other theory as the pagan and Arya Deva as the follower of the Buddha Dharma—like this they debated each other. Nagarjuna’s disciple Aryadeva won the debate, so it arranged good auspiciousness. So then with Nagarjuna, with his Guru’s instructions, his disciple Aryadeva left, and then he left with his psychic powers.
(Much laughter—Rinpoche questions)
Ann: Not used to physic power!
Anyway, on the way one girl who followed the other theory, the opposite to the Buddhadharma, met this pandit Aryadeva on the way. She asked for charity of the eye—she said she needed the eye of a very learned bhikshu for an ailment, for a certain method. So this pandit gave one eye, he gave charity to this girl. When he was giving charity, even the earth moved, like an earthquake—many special signs happened. Then, during that time there was such a big talk all over—that this person named Mutek Tachang came, and will debate at Nalanda, the famous school, and the king will be the witness. Also there is big talk going around that one of Nagarjuna’s monks came to Nalanda to debate. Then Aryadeva came, but that time it was very difficult to allow a new person to be in the line.
Aryadeva came, and as he came there, he met a water carrier and told him, “I am coming ...” He didn’t mention his name, he just said, “I am coming, tell them I am coming.” This water carrier went to the monks’ place, and said there is a person who says, “I am coming.” So the monks discovered that one of them was coming, Nagarjuna or his disciple. They discovered that one of them was coming but they didn’t know who it was. So anyway, they asked, “Who are you?” And he said “Nagarjuna didn’t come.” But they were extremely pleased that Aryadeva had told them this—all the sangha were extremely pleased. Then they made many offerings, prostrations, and offerings.
Then this pandit went to the place of Mutek. He was giving food, made arrangements of food for the corpses of the dead parents. The pandit said, “If you are doing that, I am going to throw water. I have dead wood at the famous mountain in the southern part, and I am going to throw the water to it.” Mutek said, “How can this benefit? How can it profit?” The pandit asked Mutek, “Why do you throw water to the corpse, why do you throw water to the parents who have been dead for a long time?” And when Mutek was bathing, the pandit asked, “What are you doing?” He said, “I am purifying.” Then the pandit said, “Are you cleaning the gold pot full of kaka, are you cleaning the outside?” He said, “What are the benefits—the dirt is inside, and it is clean outside, how it can purify?”
Anyway, the pandit sat down very last—all the monks at Nalanda lined up for the debate, and he sat down, the very last in line. Then Mutek counted the monks because he had made the decision to not let anyone come in. He asked, “Where’s that person who has a round head, where is that person?” he asked. The pandit answered. Then Mutek discovered that he was going to debate, and he has a bird inside, and asked the pandit whether it was going to be killed or be alive. The pandit said, “It depends on your compassion, whatever you do.” Then Mutek went to the door and put both his feet like this, and asked whether he would come in or go out. So what he wanted to do was play a trick. The pandit said, “It depends on your wish.” He asked whether he will come in or go out, and the pandit said, “It is up to you, of course, and your wish, so I can’t do anything or say anything.” So this pandit, Aryadeva, promised to debate. Then they invited the king to be witness, and they set up the thrones as they were going to have to the debate tomorrow. They put up the thrones for the king, and the thrones for both people who would debate, and also many thrones performed for the other pandits who were to check up who was correct and who was not correct.
So the next day, during the debate time, Mutek asked what is the one who has one eye called, because this pandit had only one eye. So the pandit said, “These are the samsaric gods; one god that has three eyes, three wrathful eyes, and one thousand eyes.” The pandits said, “There are gods with three wrathful eyes and one thousand eyes, who didn’t see the absolute nature of all the world.” So Mutektachang, the other person, said, “You cannot debate with me, you should debate like, I can’t do anything,” sort of like abusing them, so he asked them to debate with his sister. He also said he could answer.
His sister was the goddess Uma. So the pandit manifested as an upasika—a man who keeps the five precepts—without clothes on. He manifested in this body, with no clothes on, in order to make the sister to feel shy, with his testicles showing up, in order to make her feel shy. Then, all of a sudden, when the goddess showed up, she ran away.
Then Mutektachang asked the pandit, “You should debate with my parrot, the parrot also said he can debate and answer.” The parrot was the manifestation of another samsaric god that others follow. Then the pandit manifested as a cat, and the cat took off its head. Then Mutek said, “You are Buddhist and what you are doing—taking other’s life—is the opposite of your actions, and you are creating negative karma.” So this pandit said, “I have a guru at the Magnificent Mountain doing purification.” And Mutek said, “Will help to purify your negativity?” And the pandit said, “How can I get the negative karma created by the cat by taking the parrot’s head?”
They debated so many times like this. So anyway, the pandit dispelled all the wrong conceptions that Mutek had by many thousands of logics. Then Mutek become the loser of the debate. In the beginning, all the other scholars understood the debate, but then as it went deeper and deeper, the other pandits understood only very little. Then, as it became very subtle, even the other scholars who were witnesses meant to check up who is right and who made mistakes could not discriminate.
Therefore, even the king couldn’t do anything for the pandit, so Mutek said, “Now we compare magic powers.” So Mutek manifested as a god that has one hundred eyes, and then the pandit manifested with one thousand eyes and one thousand arms and controlled him. And then Mutek manifested flames coming out of his mouth, and then this pandit, in reply, showed water coming from his feet, and he controlled the fire. So anyway, finally, Mutek performed a mandala, and the pandit obliterated it with many. They competed like this, and finally Mutek lost.
Mutek tried to jump in the water of the River Ganges, and the king put him in a prison in the temple where there were many Buddhadharma texts. And then the doors locked, and nailed around him. Mutek was very upset and there was nothing he could do, so he took out the texts, the tantric texts, and read them. As he was reading he gained so much knowledge, and all his wrong conceptions were released and dispelled. He found one text in which there was a prediction about Nagarjuna and himself, about what would happen as it was explained in the text. Then he had such an incredible belief in the Buddhadharma. So then from that time, he had such confidence, belief, and realizations—full confidence that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha never betrays, that he is the perfect guide who never betrays. Then after that he wanted to become a renounced being—which means keeping precepts, taking ordination. Then Aryadeva took him to Nagarjuna, and he was ordained by Nagarjuna. Mutek became a full eminent scholar, a learned being in the complete teaching of Buddha.
This is just in order to have some idea about this pandit, some idea in order to help the Dharma wisdom. Dharma wisdom depends on so many thing, so I hope that it can also help to gather things that can help for the Dharma wisdom. Thank you so much.
In the very first course on only one day, the very final day, the last day when it was over, the one day ordination, the eight precepts, were taken. Then, I think in the second course, I wasn’t there! I think starting from the third course, for the last two weeks people took the Mahayana ordination. Also, this was the same thing in the fourth and fifth course. But, one thing we should understand is that taking this one day ordination is for the same goal, not for a different goal, not for different goal—not for a goal that is not a meditation course goal—not opposite to the goal that we have had. The purpose of that is the same as the goal of the meditation course. The same as what we have been meditating on, listening to, teaching about, and discussing.
The reason that at the beginning this idea came that it would be good to take this one day ordination—also on the other hand it is not that complicated, there are not so many precepts, only eight, and if one does it there are incredible benefits. Since people come to join the meditation course, they can take this one day thing, and it will be such a great benefit. Besides listening and knowing about Dharma, by taking this ordination even for one day, it will be of great benefit for enlightenment, and also to receive better lives in the future. Even if people, after leaving the course, don’t create even one single merit, that person’s life is not completely empty, not completely empty. So that’s how it has been, each course starting from the first and second, it has been happening like this.
Also, there is not much reason that people cannot follow the precepts. Some people may think that taking ordination for two weeks is such a long time, too long. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps—who knows—perhaps there is no chance even to take ordination for two weeks, who knows? Not sure, not sure. Anyhow, simply talking, it has been two weeks since the course started, now those other two weeks are finished. You stand up and come into the tent and meditate and go to have tea and meditate and then come back and what? Again listen to teachings and then again have lunch and then come back to something else and then discuss a little bit and then listen to something, and then again get up, have tea, and then meditate, perhaps! Then go and have supper and then go bed. Like this it is gone, finished, two weeks finished. Same thing, same thing, we think too long—this two weeks for which we keep the ordination. Same thing, it will finish like this, same thing. That’s all.
The Tibetan title for the Mahayana ordination is tekchen sojong. Tekchen means Mahayana and so means precepts that are broken. So means the precepts that are broken, and jong means purify. So the precepts that are broken, revive. Jong means to purify the negativity, that negativity created by breaking precepts, the negative karma that has been created, the negative karma that has been created from beginningless samsaric lifetimes. Purify the negativity.
Don.ba means ordination. I don’t know what it means, how it is explained in the West, but however, don.ba means ... anyway. For instance, if there is sack that contains food or things, and you don’t bind it or tie it, there is a danger that it will spill out. To spill out. But if it is tied down it won’t spill out. Anyway, ordination or don.ba means binding away from negative actions. Another meaning is protecting away from negative actions, binding away from negative actions. Binding what? Binding or protecting the speech, body, and mind. On the other hand, protecting away from negative or evil actions. I think I have already talked about the purpose of this.
For instance, in order to achieve the enlightenment, the most supreme happiness that we all seek, it is necessary to complete the realizations of the training of higher wisdom, higher concentration and higher moral conduct. So even to become a higher bodhisattva, a transcendental being who is beyond, who is higher, who has transcended the worldly beings, ordinary beings, it is necessary to have these three trainings, necessary to achieve this state through these three trainings. To go though these three practices, even just to achieve nirvana, the cessation of samsara, it is necessary to have the achievement of the practice of higher wisdom, the practice of higher concentration, and the practice of moral conduct.
The practice of higher wisdom depends on the practice of higher concentration. Vipassana means “penetrative insight”—but ... [disturbance by seeing lamp wood post on fire]
Ann: Would you repeat what vipassana means?
I think I forgot! Anyway, I have not much to talk about. I think penetrative insight is the correct translation, but what you think and what I mean can be different.
Anyway, penetrative insight is like, on the other hand, one very simple thing. The absolute nature, the actual nature of the object that we don’t see, beyond the aspect that we do see, that we have to seek beyond the view of the object that we have. We always have to seek the nature of the object. We can find this by going through the reality or nature, beyond the usual view of the object. It can be discovered or found by seeking beyond the usual view of the objects that we have. The Tibetan term for vipassana is lhak.thong. Lhak means higher, and thong means seeing. Higher seeing or seeing beyond.
In order to penetrate or to fully see the nature of the object, the reality of the object, in order to have this penetrative insight, it is necessary to have the practice of higher concentration. It is like this. Why is there need for the practice of higher concentration? For instance, in order to see the paintings clearly, it is necessary to have the light not moving, to be straight, firm, and not moving like this. If the light is moving like this in the darkness then the drawing and painting cannot be seen clearly. In order to see the painting clearly the light should be immovable, not moving, firm. So, it is necessary to stop the wind that blows the light, blows the flame, in order to see the painting clearly. So in the same way, in order to receive the penetrative insight fully seeing the absolute nature, the practice of concentration is necessary. Otherwise, because of distraction, the scattering thoughts, and sluggishness, one cannot fully see the absolute nature. So there is the need for higher concentration, the practice of higher concentration, in order to control these distractions.
So, in order to make the practice of higher concentration, it is necessary to have the practice of moral conduct. Moral conduct. It is like this. If the person is not in the discipline of moral conduct, it is like dirty water that is mixed with mud. It is no good to drink dirty water that is not calm, that one cannot see through. One can see through very clean water that is very calm, but not through dirty water that is not calm. Because of the dirt one cannot see through it. Not being in the discipline of moral conduct is like dirty water—this person whose mind is always involved in negative action has a mind like dirty water. In order to see the jewel that is under the water, it is necessary that the water be clean and calm, so clean. The person who has the discipline of speech, body, and mind, the disciplines of moral conduct is like clean water. The person who practices concentration on the basis of following moral conduct is like calm water. Seeing the absolute nature is like seeing a precious jewel under the water—just like this, a simple example.
Also, a person whose speech, body, and mind is not in the discipline is like a person who is riding on a mad elephant. How? For instance, as much as the person wishes to get to the desirable place, that beautiful park, as much as he desires to go there, because the elephant is crazy and not controlled, not subdued by him, as much as he wants to go there, to receive peace, because the elephant is not controlled, not subdued, he always goes the wrong way, he never reaches or gets to the desirable place, the beautiful park. He never gets there and always goes in the wrong direction. As the mad elephant goes on to many different places, there is much trouble, always much trouble. So in order to get that desirable object, it is necessary to concentrate, to continuously go and concentrate on the path that leads there, and in order to do this, it is necessary to control the elephant. By controlling it, it concentrates on the path, and continuously goes straight, without going in the wrong way. Just like this. The person who does not have discipline in moral conduct can never achieve even liberation, the cessation of samsara. Besides that, there is no way even to receive the fundamental realization of penetrative insight. Also, to gain the fundamental realization of the practice of higher concentration without putting speech, body, and mind in discipline, in moral conduct, there is no way to gain higher concentration. There is no way to achieve samadhi, no way to achieve perfect samadhi, mental quiescence.
In order to develop the quiet, peaceful mind, the speech and body have to be calm, have to be peaceful. Without putting the speech and body in discipline, without being calm, peaceful, and subdued, there is no way to make the mind peaceful and quiet, to achieve this state. So the way of making the speech, body, and mind calm is to discipline it. Calm from what? Has to be calm from something. The actions of speech, body, and mind have to be calm from unpeaceful action of speech, body, mind, from the evil action of speech, body, and mind—that is calm, that is calm or peaceful action of speech, body, and mind, like this. So the way of making these three calm is through the discipline of moral conduct. Like this. Making the speech subdued and peaceful depends on making the mind peaceful and subdued. The main precept, the essence of the ordination, the essence of the precepts is to control the mind, subdue the unpeaceful mind, the negative mind, the cause of suffering. The essence of ordination, the essence of keeping precepts is controlling the mind. Then through this, also the speech and mind are controlled. For this purpose Guru Shakyamuni Buddha observed moral conduct as he was following the path. That’s how also there is no one, no way, no one living being who achieved enlightenment without following moral conduct, without going through the discipline. All the future, infinite future Buddhas, as well as the present infinite buddhas, as well as those past, numberless buddhas who achieved enlightenment also went through this process, this practice, beginning with this practice of disciplining one’s speech, body, and mind in the moral conduct, like this.
So therefore, it is necessary to feel that you are fortunate, as this time you are born human being and have the chance to observe this moral conduct, have the chance to discipline, like this. The human rebirth is the only one that can receive ordination. Also, this is part of the usefulness of the perfect human rebirth—receiving enlightenment in one lifetime is only possible with the perfect human rebirth. So we should think that we are fortunate in place of depressed, getting upset, getting worried about keeping the meditation course discipline, getting upset about taking ordination. If you feel upset, the upsetness is created by mind, but also you can make your mind happy. On other hand, if you make your mind upset by thinking in another wrong way, it is the same thing—thinking these things, this knowledge of following the precepts as the path, think it is the path to enlightenment, the cessation of samsara—by thinking of these things and also how only the human body offers the opportunity for these things. Thinking of these things, you can make yourself happy. It is worthwhile, to feel this.
If you really recognize the reason that that you are coming from the West—you think that there is missing method. So in order to seek a new method, you come to the East. First of all, you went through the drugs, then you wouldn’t find satisfaction, and you get tired. Then the idea arises thinking that maybe there is another higher method because you didn’t receive what you wanted, you didn’t receive the satisfaction. So then you come to the East. And starting from the beginning of the course until now, what you have been listening to and what I have been talking about, the purpose of all of this is the discipline—you put your speech, your body, and your mind in the discipline of moral conduct, to practically use the body, speech, and mind for enlightenment. The reason I am talking about all these things is for this purpose. Also, what we are going to talk about until the meditation course finished is also for this purpose.
And actually, if you recognize the whole purpose ... so far we haven’t received satisfaction, however much we have tried, going to the different countries, doing different things, doing different businesses in the countries, different ways of living, married life—however many different methods we try, still we don’t find satisfaction, don’t get out of suffering. That is because something is missing in the method. What is missing is the moral discipline. Because of this, because of missing this method, we do not find satisfaction or peace. So what you have been seeking so far is the satisfaction, cessation of suffering. Whether you can put it into words, this is what you desire. But you have no wisdom to recognize the path. So if you have really come to seek, putting your speech, body, and mind in discipline is the path that leads to the cessation of suffering.
So I will introduce the precepts just briefly as there is that much time. Generally, there are so many benefits of keeping precepts, so maybe if there is time, when ordination is taken, according to the time, maybe perhaps they can be explained.
1. First of all, the first precept; the first precept is taking others’ lives ... not taking other’s lives! Not taking others’ lives. So generally it is like this:
a) The object is the living being.
b) Having desire to kill.
c) And then the action is direct or indirect. Direct means killed by you, and indirect action means giving an order to other people, asking other people to do it, to kill, to take the life. Because if you don’t give the order to the other person to kill, then the life danger does not happen. It is caused by you. So also, even though physically you don’t kill, this is also killing, taking other’s life.
d) Then the living being dies before you are dead.
If there are all these things: the impulse, action, object of the living being, and the death, if all these thing happen, then it is full, it is perfect, it is a complete action of killing others, like this. Also, if one or two of the four things are missing, even if they are not complete there are still branches. So the whole thing is, if one takes the precepts, one has to be careful as much as possible.
Sometimes, you know, because our old thoughts so strong, and we are so used to them, there is a danger that because of old habit, if there are insects going around and they bite you, you kill them. Even though the person took the ordination, all of a sudden the negative mind arises, there is anger. “Why did he bite me?” And the anger makes you kill, like this. Then finished—you have big luggage to carry to your future life. Heavy loads. Generally, creating negative karma does not depend on your understanding. If that were so then we must be crazy; if that were so then Guru Shakyamuni must be crazy. Many people have this idea; but it is not like this.
Also, you know, since the ordination is taken with bodhicitta—why it is called Mahayana ordination? Because ordination has to be taken with bodhicitta. So the title yana means vehicle, and maha means great. So it is called so according to the realization, the motivation, the different level of motive. It does not depend on any external thing. The Mahayana or Hinayana is only determined by the realization, by the different level of motivation. It does not depend on the external changes. Whoever has this realization of bodhicitta, or whoever has this great motivation, no matter whether he is in a red robe, in a yellow robe, whether he’s a person, or in the aspect of an animal, whatever, that living being is a Mahayanist. It does not depend on external things; this title is only determined by realization. It does not depend on looking freaky! Since the being has such this great motivation, this realization, that being is a Mahayanist, that person is higher. Between the freak who’s going round, since he has such great realization, these things, and the president who has that much reputation, that many possessions, if the president doesn’t have as much realization as that freak had, then the freak is higher. [much laughter]
Something like this.
I think we are only going to keep one precept tomorrow! Then, then just three others:
2. Then stealing: Also to complete this action there are four things.
(b) The action, direct or indirect.
(c) The object that has value.
(d) Thinking “Now I have received this.”
So anyway, there are many different ways of stealing—peaceful stealing and also depriving, robbing, is also stealing; it doesn’t have to be something not seen. There are many different ways. Then, sometimes you borrow something and then you make the decision to not give it back—this is also stealing. There are many different ways. The object doesn’t have to be like gold, silver, or diamonds. Even a needle, a thread—even small things. And then in order to become the action of stealing, the object should be possessed by others, not possessed by you—you take from you as much as possible! There is no danger there.
There is a peaceful way of killing also, like magic, not with knives, not necessarily with guns but through magic. Causing a person death like this, or giving them poisonous things, like this.
3. Then telling lies. Also to complete this action there are four things.
c. To other living beings as the object.
d. The lie being heard.
To complete the action there are four things. Even if one thing is missing it is just like other things. Even if one thing is missing it is still like the other person didn’t hear or something, and also it becomes branches.
In regards to telling lies, they don’t always have to be oral. Physical signs also become telling lies—if you move hands like this as an answer to another person, even if you answer physically like this, without speech, this also becomes telling a lie. It doesn’t necessarily have to become words. If someone ask you, “It looks like you are out of samsara,” and then the other person smiles, as if he is kind of out of samsara, as if he has that realization, this also becomes telling a lie. You don’t have to answer “yes.” Pretending you have realizations, acting towards other people as if you have them, either with words or signals, is the worst kind of telling lies.
In regards telling lies, pretending, telling other people that you have realizations is the worst. There is quite a danger that this may happen, especially for people who take drugs. Then there are many other forms of telling lies; but these are the worst things, the heaviest negative actions of telling lies. The impulse is wanting other people to change their minds. For instance, the impulse is wanting to change the other person’s thoughts. And also, sending messages that others tell is telling lies. For instance, you have parents, someone in the West sending you money, and then you send a message through people that you didn’t receive the money, even though you did receive it. This is also telling lies. For instance, if you had lunch before, and then the other person didn’t know you had lunch, and the other person asks you, “Did you have lunch?” and you don’t answer, you keep quiet, pretending you didn’t have lunch, keeping quiet, and then he gives and you accept, this is also telling lies, having the desire that he know that you didn’t have lunch. This also becomes telling lies.
4. Then what? Then I think sexual intercourse. The impulse to do this, the action—it doesn’t have indirect action! That is one thing that is missing. The final thing is when the person experiences sexual happiness then that action is complete.
Then…I think I will stop here.
Dedicate the merits, “Due to the merits created by me, may I achieve Enlightenment soon by receiving the realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and the fully renouncing mind of samsara, in order to enlighten all sentient beings from the suffering they have.”
Dedication and further prayer.
Think, “As the meaning of the prayer, may it quickly succeed.” The precepts should be taken before the sun rises, about the same time as the light starts.
Also during those two weeks, there should also be silence, except discussion time. But this silence should not be like animal silence, this is what you should understand. The purpose of silence is that it is related to the precepts, like telling lies, so it helps. Generally, people like silence, but I am not sure what the reason is; it can be a samsaric reason, a cause of samsara; I am not sure it becomes a positive action, a cause of happiness; generally, like this
The purpose of the silence is to help keep the precepts, to not lose them. So there is benefit, because it is done to keep the precepts for the achievement of enlightenment for sentient beings. So keeping precepts has great value and benefits. Not only the mouth being dumb, that’s not enough. Also it is necessary that the mind be in silence; to control it. The silence should also be used to control the mind—if one doesn’t use it for that, it doesn’t do anything, and we are just like an animal, a dumb animal.
Except the person who is really sick and has to discuss it with a doctor. Anyway, according to the silence that Guru Shakyamuni explained, according to the purpose to make it beneficial according to the Buddhadharma, the silence is used to control the negative mind, so silence should not be used for the evil thought, for the service of the evil thought. If it becomes a service to the evil thought, then it is a cause of suffering. This is … I think that’s all.
Friday, April 5
Before taking ordination, if we are taking ordination in order to receive enlightenment, it is necessary that the action become a pure Dharma action. Becoming only a pure Dharma action is not enough—since we want to achieve enlightenment, it should become a Mahayana action. In order to become a Mahayana action, it is necessary that the action be possessed by bodhicitta, by the pure motivation of bodhicitta. If it is not possessed by the pure motive of bodhicitta, it cannot become Mahayana ordination. So therefore, as I briefly explain the motivation, at the same time you try to think with feeling as much as possible.
“From beginningless, previous samsaric lifetimes, I have been continuously suffering in samsara. Also, I have been suffering in the three lower realms for numberless lifetimes.” Thinking how much we have been suffering is something that makes tears come out. It is something that now we should be tired of. We should feel terribly upset about suffering continuously without beginning. It is something like this, but due to ignorance, in place of getting tired, in place of getting upset about all your past experience, about what negative work has been done, besides that, in place of that we continuously create the causes of suffering. Just exactly like the blind man running to the cliff or precipice, just like that we continuously create the cause of suffering, which makes us continuously reborn in the suffering lower realms.
“Still it is definite that we will endlessly suffer in samsara, also especially in the lower suffering realms, as we have been suffering in the past, as we still continue like past times, being under the control of delusions and karma.” If you still continue, the negative actions, the evil actions, the cause of samsaric suffering, the creator, this wrong conception believing that the impermanent is permanent, that the impure thing is pure, that the selfless existent things have self—are existent—if you really think, if you really see the future suffering that you will continuously experience, you will never get sleep in this life, you will never fall asleep. “I cannot eat food because of this fearful, terrible suffering,” something like this. But, due to the unpeaceful mind, unsubdued mind, the ignorance, we don’t see this, even though it is definite that we are going to suffer as we did in previous times.
So anyway, as Guru Shakyamuni Buddha met a Mahayana guru and followed and observed these precepts, he achieved the cessation of suffering and enlightenment. By that he enlightened infinite sentient beings. Just like this, also we have the capability to do the same thing by following the precepts, this Mahayana ordination that has eight precepts.
All mother sentient beings are the principal relatives, helpers, at the beginning of the Dharma practice, even in the middle, and even in the end. Also, all sentient beings are also the field, they are the fundamental field from which we receive all our past, present, and future happiness, all happiness. They are just like this field from which we receive crops. Until we get out of samsara, until we achieve enlightenment, we have to depend on their kindness, the kindness of the help of sentient beings. Therefore, as they are extremely kind in many ways, only oneself trying to achieve liberation is not sufficient; it is ungenerous; not being concerned about repaying and releasing these extremely kind sentient beings from suffering. Therefore, in order to release all sentient beings from suffering and lead them to enlightenment, which is the highest way to repay their kindness, in order to do this, it is necessary to achieve enlightenment for oneself first. Think, think, “Therefore I am going to take the Mahayana ordination.”
Then, visualize the person granting the ordination as Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, surrounded by countless buddhas and bodhisattvas and arhats, without thinking that you are taking ordination from an ordinary little boy. Then, repeat the prayer that I said then with the hands in prostration like this, putting the two thumbs inside, and putting the right knee down on the floor. If someone’s knees cannot sit in this position, if it is not possible because if you have sickness in knee, then you don’t need to sit that way. Those who can, sit in that position, kneeling, putting the right knee on the floor and the left up; the hand prostration is like this. Then with that visualization, then repeat:
(See Appendix One for the prayers of the ordination ceremony)
(Prayer No. 1)
Da ming— after I say this, you say your name.
So, when the third repetition is finished, when it comes to the same point, at that time you have to think that you have really received the ordination. Then think that the ordination that you are receiving is in the form of light and all your body, from head down to the feet, is full of light, every atom of your body. Think that you received ordination in the presence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, the countless buddhas, bodhisattvas, and arhats.
Then, think, “As the previous arhats followed the precepts, I will also observe the precepts until tomorrow at sunrise.” With this impulse then repeat also the prayer of the precepts.
(Prayer of Precepts (Prayer No. 2))
So when I say “Trawayinnam,” you have to answer “Lek so,” which means making the promise to follow the precepts.
Also, repeat the mantra that is to purify the broken precepts and also to revive the broken precepts and also to purify the negativity.
(Mantra and Prayer No. 3)
Thrim kyi tshul thrim kyon med ching—that means to not break the precepts.
Tshul thrim nam par dag dang den— to purely live in the precepts.
Lom sem med pei tshul thrim kyi, Tshul thrim pha orl chhim dzog shog, means, “May the paramita of moral conduct be completed by keeping the precepts without pride, without breaking, without pride, and purely.
Then, also dedicate the merits of taking the ordination for the achievement of bodhicitta.
Think, “May I achieve enlightenment soon by receiving bodhicitta and the realization of the absolute true nature and the fully renounced mind of samsara, to enlighten all sentient beings by releasing them from suffering due to the merits of taking ordination.”
Then make three prostrations, visualizing Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and similar objects like you did before.
The prostrations are just brief, physically how to make. Generally, it is a prostration of speech mind, and body, like this. The mind prostration is remembering the knowledge with arising devotion, remembering the supreme knowledge of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, the supreme knowledge of the enlightened beings.
Speech prostration is saying the prayer that explains the knowledge of the enlightened beings. Admiring through speech is the speech prostration.
Mind prostration purifies the negativity of the mind, the negative karma created by the mind, these delusions. The speech prostration purifies the negativity created by the speech. The body prostration purifies the negativity created by the body.
So like this [hands together neatly with thumbs bent inside]. Not with one hand, with two hands. This has much meaning—in a sutra way, in a tantric way, it has much meaning. It can symbolize also achieving enlightenment, it can symbolize the other two results, the two holy bodies, the rupakaya and dharmakaya, the two paths of method and wisdom. Through the cooperative paths of method and wisdom, the enlightened being, the rupakaya and dharmakaya—thinking also by these means. Also there can be other meanings.
So like this, first of all you put it on the center [crown] of the head, like this; then you put it on the forehead; then you put it here [throat]; then you put it at the heart.
The purpose of prostrating on top of the head is to create the cause for the perfection of the enlightened being’s holy body, such as Guru Shakyamuni’s hair. These are the perfections of the enlightened being, the holy signs of his holy body that signify that he is a holy being. There are many others, so we have to also create them. As Guru Shakyamuni Buddha has achieved that holy body which has so much knowledge, and also so many perfections, holy signs of his holy body—while he was following the path, before, when he was an ordinary being, he created merits in order to achieve that holy body with its perfections and signs, so this is the knowledge of the holy body. So the same thing, we have to create merits, the cause that brings that holy body. Prostrating on top of the head creates the cause to achieve the enlightened holy body, just like Guru Shakyamuni having a hair knot.
Then, prostrating here (forehead) creates the cause to receive the holy sign of the enlightened being’s holy body. There is a curled hair that can stretch out the length of one arm, it can stretch out and then instinctively goes back and stays curled. This signifies that he is a holy being. These are holy signs, the merits of which were created before. Anyway, it is not like the animal hairs that are received by creating negative actions, not like this. It’s different—in order to achieve this, one has to create so many merits for a long time. So anyway, prostrating here makes an arrangement to receive that.
Then this [throat] is to achieve the perfect knowledge of the enlightened being’s holy speech; and also to purify the negativity of speech. Then here [heart]—this makes arrangement to achieve omniscient mind, and to purify negative mind.
Then the five limb prostration. That means five limbs—two feet touch the ground, then two knees, and two hands, and then the forehead—it is necessary that these touch the ground. Then when you make prostrations, put like this, very gentle way [fingers together neatly], not like this [fingers spread apart]. Also not like this [one hand forward, the other hand back] so it doesn’t become respectful. So then you touch your forehead on the floor.
Some people lie down for a long time—but if there is no discipline, if it is out of discipline, the prostration can create negativity, and this becomes disrespectful. So you touch, then quickly you get up, you don’t lie down, like this. Then quickly get up—getting up quickly, getting up from samsara, this symbolizes liberation, therefore it is necessary to quickly stand up after you touch. Then when you stand up, the hands should not drag and the two feet should be together; not like this [apart], but together like this.
Also, during the prostrations, if your body can stretch as much as possible, you create that many merits. For instance, as Guru Shakyamuni explained in the sutra teaching with his omniscient mind, according to one’s motivation and all those things, there is so much incredible benefit. Even making one prostration, you create the merits of the number of atoms that are under your body. You also create the merits that cause rebirth as a universal king.
Anyway, according to your motivation, the way you make prostrations can bring so much benefit. So just briefly like this. But also, at the same time, prostration is not just physical thing. You have to think of the object to whom you make prostrations, the holy perfect object who is released from samsaric suffering, who is a higher being, who has full achievement of the absolute true nature. So prostrations are also one remedy to lose pride. Those who have pride never respect others. Anyway, it’s a remedy to destroy pride.
There are many other benefits also. In previous times, one lama, one meditator, really discovered the great benefits of making prostrations, and because his body wasn’t that big he was really worried about not being taller.
Anyway, then making three prostrations, you can think as you visualize Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and the light coming. As you make one prostration, you visualize light coming from his forehead, white light absorbing into you purifying all negativity of body. The second time you make prostrations, you think of red light coming from his throat, purifying the negativity of speech. Then, blue light comes from his holy mind [heart] and purifies all negativity of your mind. As you make three prostrations like this, it will be very effective. Each time, you think that you are purifying different negativities, like this.
Also when you make prostrations it can be very useful to visualize all your beginningless previous lives in which you took the form of a human being, filling up the whole earth space with your beginningless previous lives making prostrations. This is a method to purify all negativity, to purify all these different lives. Purifying negativity does not only refer to negativity created in this life—we have to purify all negativity created in each previous life. This is very useful, so useful.
That’s all, make three prostrations.
[Having done so, people stand.]
Excuse me, I think I will briefly explain the precepts. But if one of the people around here will make clear notes of just the title of the precepts and maybe the people who are not clear can sit down and look at those notes. They can be in the mind, the numbers, each precept, and try to keep them by heart—if you don’t know what the precepts are then there is danger that even though you have made the promise to take this ordination, you are unable to keep them. Also there is the danger that they may get broken.
So last night we came to the sexual intercourse. So anyway the benefits of each of these precepts and the shortcomings can be explained briefly afterwards.
4. Sexual intercourse. This includes even the branches, even if there is not contact with another person. Also this includes losing the seed.
5. Then fifth is intoxicants, which make the mind unconscious, cause the mind, speech, and body to have no discipline. Taking intoxicants makes the mind unconscious, changes the speech and body from the usual, causing unrighteous action.
6. Then, without Dharma reason or any special reason sitting on a rich, high throne, just like me! And on an expensive large bed. Sitting on a high, rich throne, such as a golden throne adorned by jewels. A high bed means a bed that is higher than this [length of forearm], sitting on a large expensive bed covered with animal skin, or very expensive things which cause pride, attachment, or greed to arise.
7. Then seventh is fasting. So today, when you are taking this ordination, you have no breakfast, only one meal, and also no supper. You collect all the suppers and when you achieve enlightenment, when you achieve nirvana, then you take! Anyway, so the whole thing is to lose attachment, the whole thing is to stop attachment, the whole reason is this. Then, if that’s so, why should we have even one lunch? This is so we can exist, we can live—with one meal we can live with no trouble, no real trouble. So having one meal in order to live, the person who practices Dharma can work for enlightenment, for the method.
8. Then the eighth, the last one. Without any special Dharma reason, with samsaric reason, putting smells and ornaments on the body with attachment. Also, with samsaric reason, with evil thought, singing and dancing. Like this. I think briefly like this. These are just the reasons.
Some people think fruit and biscuits, are not food, not a meal—but it is not like this. Anything that makes kaka cannot be taken. One of my gurus says you cannot even drink fruit juice; because I asked, and he said also you cannot drink fruit juice. So you cannot take anything which makes kaka.
When one takes this ordination there are things—radish and onions—that are considered black food, and then white food. Black food usually meat, egg, onions, garlic, radish. White food is peanut butter, honey, curd, milk, these things. These are the white foods. Why black? Why not taken? Because when you keep this ordination you have to keep the body clean too. Generally, before you take this ordination you have to clean your mouth, keep the body clean, because the body is place of keeping the ordination. So before taking the ordination generally, the body has to also be clean. So those black foods, because they are black, they are evil, they have bad elements, and taking them affects the body. There are radishes that make much gas and very bad smells, dirty smells, things like this. Also these can affect the body because the elements are not pure, and they make the body impure. The same thing with the garlic, you can feel it—kind of feeling tight, darkness—even the color kind of changes, something not free. It is the same thing with the wrong elements so it affects the body, makes the body impure. So anyway like this. Not only that, but the black, bad elements make the body impure, interrupt the purity of the body, also interrupts the mind because the body is the vehicle of the mind. Just like a person riding on a horse—it affects the body and also the mind. If someone hits a horse it affects the person too; if the horse jumps and falls down, also the person falls down. Like this. Also, these foods are not the principal cause—but the person who is out of ignorance, out of the cause of suffering, even if they take this there is no problem of these things because their mind is out of the cause of suffering. So also it affects the mind, makes the mind impure and have more disturbance, not clear, usually like this. Tea, anything that doesn’t make kaka, this can be taken.
Also, if one breaks the precepts it is very, very heavy. Generally it is very heavy. Anyway, briefly talking about the result of breaking precepts—there is burning in the narak stage, or after the death the person is born in the animal realm. So it is very dangerous. Also, maybe one is not born in the animal realm only for one year, one month, but for a long time. Born once in the animal realm, then again die; born in the animal realm, then again die; and again born—this is possible. So it’s very heavy, very heavy. This just a general introduction for what to be careful of.
Whether you fully see the karmic conclusion, the karmic evolution, the karmic cause or not, Guru Shakyamuni explained cause and result with his omniscient mind so that we may—perhaps even now you don’t believe in this result, in what it brings, in these things, but however, perhaps karmically, perhaps you may remember when you are suffering, right at the second you start to suffer, karmically you may remember the previous karma that helped to create that. This doesn’t help—you have to suffer, there is no choice at all. No choice. No way to escape from the actual time when you are there. So that time is finished, there is no choice, it is finished. So it’s wise to be careful ahead of time. It’s wise to put the dam before the flood happens. It is wise to put the dam.
Anyway, like this. So we should be careful and conscious. Also, this is very heavy because, since you took the ordination with bodhicitta, making the decision that you are going to keep these precepts for sentient beings, if you tell a lie, having made the decision for all sentient beings—if you tell a lie for one sentient being, think about two people, that much heavy negative karma—then a lie for all sentient beings brings that much incredible karma. Especially since you made the decision in the presence of infinite buddhas and bodhisattvas. So that much heavy telling lie is very heavy. Very heavy.
In previous times when Guru Shakyamuni was giving teachings in one place in India, among the disciples there was one disciple who came in the form of a universal king with many decorations. So because Guru Shakyamuni has omniscient mind, he realized he’s not serious. So Guru Shakyamuni said, “You should listen to Dharma in your actual form.” The second day when Guru Shakyamuni gave teachings, that person who was in the form of a king with decorations came in his actual form, which was the form of a snake, a very, very long snake, incredible, with a long body. Even though his head was in the presence of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, his tail was so long, so fat that it was in the village. And a big tree called Eli Dama grew out of his head. As the wind blows the tree moves, so the brain stirs and causes incredible suffering, like this. So when he came in the second time, Guru Shakyamuni’s disciples ran away because of the snake. Guru Shakyamuni said, “There is no need to be afraid. This is the same person who came yesterday, the same living being who came yesterday in the form of a king.” Then they asked Guru Shakyamuni, “What is the cause of this?” And he explained like this.
“He was a monk in the previous Buddha’s time—the previous founder of Buddhadharma before Guru Shakyamuni—and during that time there was a tree, and that tree belonged to the Sangha. The monk was going around the tree, and his head knocked the branch of the tree and he got angry and broke the branch of the tree. This was not a living being, it was a nonliving being. So because of this, breaking these precepts, getting angry doing this little action, not killing, not harming other beings, even not purifying this little action before death caused him to be born as an animal, a naga, suffering for a long time like this.” There are many other stories of other beings who suffered.
So the same thing, it is necessary to be careful with precepts. Anyway, the whole day you should think that you are doing a job for all sentient beings, for every living being—you have a job to keep these eight precepts for enlightenment, for every living being, for every sentient being you are doing this job. So think that you have a big responsibility. You made a big promise, took on a big responsibility. By thinking like this there is some feeling, you feel heavy—otherwise, if you feel like usual, there is the danger to break the precepts being unconscious.
That’s all, thank you.
Today all the people look like they received nirvana!
From the holy speech of the great bodhisattva, Shantideva, “Even extremely limitless negativity is created; as the great fear, as the great fear, by depending on brave person, the one that makes to release in a second, the one which makes, the one which makes to release in a second while, in a second while, why doesn’t one depend on, why doesn’t the conscious being, conscious being, who don’t the conscious being depend on this?” The meaning of this is that even if infinite negativity is created, such as the heaviest negative karma, such as the five extreme actions—such as drawing blood from those higher beings, such as killing parents, causing life danger for those noble beings, such as causing disunity among Sangha—these actions are the most heavy negative actions that cause one to suffer in the narak stages for eons and eons. What Shantideva is instructing is that even if one creates such infinite negative karma, so heavy, such as the five extreme negative actions, just as the person in great danger of being punished or afraid of being killed, punished in that way, has great fears, they can be released by depending on a higher person, the powerful, brave person.
Like, for instance, when someone is in danger, someone in court to be punished and things, they request the help and power of an important person, and with his guidance that fear, that great danger, can be released. So just like this, even the person who has created much infinite negative karma can be released from this infinite negativity by relying on and practicing bodhicitta, they can be released in a second, in a while, in such a short time by depending on bodhicitta. There are many ways to understand this. Generally, like this.
When a person makes confession, the stronger he has the bodhicitta motivation, the stronger the confession is. If the bodhicitta is stronger it purifies the negativity, the negative karma. So bodhicitta is extremely helpful, greatly beneficial for purifying negative karma. With strong bodhicitta, strong negativity created in many lifetimes can be purified in a very short time. Also, if the human being purifies negativity with bodhicitta—for other beings, living beings such as the gods, such as the beings who are in the lower realms, for them generally to purify even that much negativity it takes so many eons. So there are two ways to understand the way that depending on bodhicitta can purify negative in a second, in a while. Depending on how much time takes for them to purify, for human beings purifying with bodhicitta it is so quick, like a second, making purification in a second. It becomes so short, because for them it takes much time, because most of them have a limited chance to make purification.
So the last one, “Why don’t the conscious beings, why don’t the conscious beings depend on it?” It means, why don’t conscious beings practice it? If bodhicitta is that powerful, so helpful, so helpful, quick for purification, why don’t the people who are conscious—that means this. It means those conscious beings who do not desire sufferings who want to be careful, away from suffering, should practice this bodhicitta. Why? Because they don’t want suffering; these beings don’t want suffering. Why don’t the conscious beings depend on this, practice this? They should practice this.
Anyway, it is all the experience of other holy beings. You, through practice and actual work, can feel the experience, receive the experience. Therefore, to make such purification with bodhicitta, it is necessary to have the achievement of bodhicitta. So that also depends on training the mind in the gradual meditations which lead to bodhicitta, and also the mind training in bodhicitta. If the present action of listening to teachings can be possessed by bodhicitta, then it becomes the cause of enlightenment and also makes arrangements to achieve bodhicitta. So it is a very helpful, a very beneficial action, and therefore it is necessary to cultivate this short summary.
“I must achieve enlightenment right away, to lead all sentient beings. In order to do this, it is necessary to complete the realization of the graduated path. In order to receive the realization of the graduated path, I am going to listen to the holy profound teaching.”
So what is the listening subject? The listening subject is the Mahayana teaching. When I say “Mahayana teaching” it is not a definition that doesn’t include other teachings. Not like this. There is no Buddhadharma that is not included in the Mahayana teachings, there is no such thing. There is no such thing as understanding the Mahayana teaching and not understanding teachings—no such thing. Such as the Vajrayana teaching, the teaching of the lesser vehicle—no such thing.
The Mahayana teaching that leads the fortunate beings into enlightenment is the essence of the teaching that is well expounded by the great philosophers Nagarjuna and Asanga. It is the holy profound teaching of the great bodhisattvas Atisha and Guru Tsongkhapa—the essence of the great bodhisattva Atisha and Guru Tsongkhapa’s holy mind produced. And this teaching includes all 84, 000 teachings shown by Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, and set up for the practice of one person’s achievement of enlightenment. The gradual path, where all past beings received enlightenment, has four outlines:
1. In order to know the reference is pure, the knowledge of the authors.
2. Then in order to have devotion in the teaching, the knowledge of the teaching.
3. Then how to listen and explain the teaching, which has two objectives.
4. Then how to lead actual disciple in the path to enlightenment—there are two:
a. the way of following the guru who is the root of the path; so there is no need to explain that part of the outline.
b. the second one is how to train the mind in the path to enlightenment by following the guru. This has two outlines:
i. persuading the mind in order to take the essence, and
ii. how to take the essence. This is part of persuading the mind in order to take the essence.
So, according to the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth, this is the last talk on the eight worldly Dharmas. Anyway, so the last part of the talk is renouncing this evil thought bringing even the perfections of this life.
Renouncing pleasure brings the best pleasure, like this. That means—still people, as much as it is repeated, people do not understand—anyway, renouncing the attachment to this pleasure brings the best pleasure. Renouncing attachment, renouncing receiving material things, which means renouncing attachment to receiving material is the best receiving and it brings continuous material receiving. Also, renouncing interesting, sweet sounds, and renouncing admiration, renouncing admiration and attachment to admiration is the best admiration and brings greater admiration.
For instance, these previous yogis, such as Guru Shakyamuni Buddhas, renounced all this, all these objects, but this does not mean that he had no admiration, he never heard sweet sounds; that he never enjoyed pleasure. He had infinite pleasure, happiness all the time, unceasingly, it never stopped. Even if all the worldly samsaric beings put their pleasure together and compared it to his pleasure—there would be nothing to compare, nothing to compare. It is so limited like this. He had the best admiration in the past, present and future times because of his knowledge. His having admiration does not mean that he is attached to that admiration. His having the most supreme happiness that is unceasing—for the enlightened beings, there is no unsweet taste, there is no unsweet sound. All tastes are the best for the enlightened beings, for the enlightened beings all sounds are sweet. Also for the enlightened beings there is no such thing as feeling rough like we feel with our body, like our body feels with clothes—sometimes soft, sometimes rough, uncomfortable—there is no such thing as this. Also for the enlightened beings there is no bad smell. There is only a sweet smell, infinite bliss, everything that only receives infinite happiness, the nature of infinite happiness. So all this knowledge comes from this practice.
Also, Guru Shakyamuni said, “If one desires all happiness, it is necessary to avoid all desires, the samsaric desires that keep one in samsara.”
These things contains much teaching; they are not easy to understand. It is extremely profound to understand the meaning. So it is same thing, same as, this Guru Shakyamuni, this teaching, this quotation, what I have just said—by renouncing, receiving. The same thing. If one avoids all the samsaric desires then one achieves the most supreme happiness. As long as the living being follows samsaric desires, he can never find satisfaction. So how to receive satisfaction ... so far, why we don’t receive satisfaction? So far, that is from the lack of not trying, the lack of avoiding samsaric desires. So how to avoid and receive satisfaction? Satisfaction has to be received by avoiding the samsaric desires with wisdom. The living being who has received satisfaction with wisdom is more happy than the person who is living in dissatisfaction, who has samsaric desires and is living in dissatisfaction. This is the way it works. The person who has satisfaction with wisdom never goes under the control of craving and attachment, like this.
For instance, in the case of a person who itches and receives pleasure from scratching, he would be happier not having the itching in the first place. If he did not have the itching, then there would be no need to scratch, and it wouldn’t make a wound. Otherwise, there is a danger, if you are attached to the pleasure that is derived from scratching, as the mind is attached to it and you scratch one or two, three times, more and more, then it makes a wound; instead of a pleasure, it is not the same feeling as happened in the beginning. These are the natures of samsaric pleasure. This one example can help us to easily understand how samsaric pleasure is suffering, and how samsaric pleasure is not true happiness, in the nature of suffering.
Just like this example, you have other pleasure similarly. Like this. The way we make mistakes is like this. We cause trouble to ourselves like this—by being attached, thinking pleasure is really true, and then working for it. Scratching more and more, it then turns into a wound; then even that pleasure, like the previous samsaric pleasure, becomes the suffering nature. Why is it the suffering nature? Because it doesn’t last, it changes. It changes, it doesn’t last and it becomes suffering. It is seen as that, it is seen as pleasure, but actually is not. That’s why it turns into suffering. Same thing, the pleasure of the stomach, filled by food. Same thing. Also the person who receives pleasure by drinking, also same thing. The person eats more and more food, it changes, and the first pleasure is no more; now there is suffering. Same, the person drinks more and more, it doesn’t last—the same feeling that he had at the beginning doesn’t carry on. Same thing like this, same thing with many objects, like this.
Just like this, another example: the person who has defective eyes, sees all the mountains as yellow, and also the person sees the white snow mountain as yellow, he believes it is yellow. Then afterwards, when he recovers from the disease, he sees it as white. Actually it is not yellow, it is white, but it is seen by him as yellow. Same thing, the way we who have attachment to the samsaric pleasures, temporal pleasures, really believe is like this—the person who really believes that mountain is yellow, like this. The person who is sincere, purely living in Dharma practice, those noble beings who did understand the samsaric suffering nature, even those who have no achievement, even those who are not higher noble beings, who have a deep understanding of suffering nature, these beings see like this. Like the person who has yellow glasses, and recognizes that it is not really yellow because it is eyeglasses, because the eyeglasses change the eyes, but it is actually not yellow. So the one wearing yellow glasses has complete understanding; he never believes that the mountain is yellow. Same thing, the person who has the real understanding of samsaric suffering nature, the actual understanding of samsaric suffering nature, has no belief like we have—like this person, like this.
So you should not think only these few examples as I mention. By understanding these examples that I introduce, and what you are supposed to do with any of the temporal life pleasures you receive, and meeting the object—there should be similarity with all this. Then your Dharma wisdom amplifies, gets bigger. Totally, it helps to make no existence of the cause of suffering.
The Eight Worldly Dharmas (Page 49)
“If I use ...”
Now sort of finished, that part of the subject. I am not sure whether it is the end, but ...! It is really difficult to understand this point. I am not sure even if the people who have been in those past courses understand this point or not. Even those who came the first time don’t understand. Perhaps they may think that I am talking nonsense, thinking, “He is talking nonsense, which I don’t feel. Impossible thing, impossible thing. Like way that the ‘I,’ the self, the ‘I’ should be cut off, like this, sort of like this. This is an impossible thing, to cut off the ‘I,’ to make it non—existent.” Is it possible? [No answer.] Like this, some people think it is an impossible thing.
Anyway, you cannot feel this until you go through this practice. Only through words you cannot discover this. So you should not feel, you should not cause suffering to yourself, “He’s talking about some impossible thing, very boring.” As I said, even the people who have been in past courses are not sure that they have clearly understood this point, the way it works. So it takes time, it depends on many things.
That’s all. I think better to have lunch!
Paragraph 2 (Page 49)
Sentence 1: This should be “self-cherishing thought,” self-cherishing thought. Instead of “self-everlasting happiness,” self-cherishing thought.
Maybe, I think, instead of looking at the book, better to close eyes and think. (Rinpoche reads from the book.)
All these beginningless previous samsaric suffering lives have been caused by the attachment of the eight temporal, worldly dharmas to samsaric pleasures and self-cherishing thought. If I still use this human rebirth for the attachment of temporal needs, the samsaric pleasures and self-cherishing thought, I will continuously circle in the bondage of samsaric suffering without end.
Sentence 2: Even the Enlightened Being, who has the achievement of omniscient mind, cannot see that our previous lives began at such a time.
For instance, during life, most of our previous lives, and even this present life ... instead of being scared of the future suffering that will be experienced at death, such as the suffering of the lower realms, and those different sufferings even in the upper realms—we have no worry and no fear of those future sufferings, only fear of the present, temporal, little temporal sufferings. Our method is only because there is no worry and no fear for the future, those great sufferings, so our method is only trying to stop the temporal problems. But usually the method, the skill that we use in order to stop the temporal suffering is always evil; the method that we use is always evil.
How are these methods that we use in order to stop the temporal problems always evil? All these methods are done with the evil thought that is attached to the comfort of this life, done with the evil thought attached to samsaric pleasure, done with self-cherishing thought. So all the methods that we practice, that we use with ignorant mind in order to stop the temporal problems, are all evil.
For instance, if we get sick, because we are attached to pleasure, we cure this sickness with this evil thought, with this negative mind. So it is an evil method. Same thing, when we feel hungry, we eat food; we eat food with the evil thought, the self-cherishing thought, so it becomes an evil method, same thing. When we catch cold, same thing. When we feel warm, heat, when we feel much heat, wanting to be cool, also the method is done with the evil thought, with attachment. So all these are the evil method.
What we do in our daily life, starting from morning until night, going to bed, even talking to people, going to a job, is all done with this mind, so the method does not become pure. Even when it is inside the room, outside the house, going round, seeing things, shopping for things, all things are done mostly done with this mind, so it becomes an evil method. Even when we write a letter, even when we answer a letter, even when we make a drawing, even when we put clothes on, all this is done with this mind.
So it is all done in order to stop the temporal problems, but actually we are creating the cause of suffering; we are creating the cause of greater, continual suffering in the future. Each time we do this, when we use the methods for this reason, we think, “I am trying to stop the temporal problems.” But actually, each time we do this, we are creating the cause of continual future suffering. So like this, we carry on; many other previous lifetimes we have been carrying on and spending the life like this, with this evil thought. We were born human beings also in this lifetime, because in previous lifetimes we have been carrying on, we have been using life that way. That’s how still in this present life we are born as human beings so many problems arise—that is because of the way the previous life was used.
So, if you still carry on like this, the same thing will carry on, endlessly—the same thing in the future without end. So there will be always temporal problems arising, besides the greater suffering that will arise in the future. These temporal problems that we are experiencing now will continuously arise in future lifetimes because of the way we use methods—we use them in the wrong way, we treat the temporal problems with the wrong methods. So if you really check up, in this case we can really see that we are crazy, completely crazy.
We often think solving the temporal problems is more important than stopping the future, greater suffering, and also stopping the cause of suffering—greed, ignorance and hatred. We have always the feeling—even when we try to meditate, practice Dharma—thinking that solving temporal problems is more important than stopping the cause of suffering, due to the ignorance not deeply recognizing the difference between negative and positive actions, the virtuous action and the evil action. So the worst mistake is this—treating the temporal problems with wrong methods, which is the cause of only future greater suffering.
So if we want to quickly escape from suffering, if you want to stop the circle of suffering, then it is necessary to have a change; it is necessary that by understanding and recognizing this mistake, thinking with the thought that the future greater suffering, the delusions, are worse, worse, much more dangerous and worse than these temporal problems. With this understanding, with this thought, even when you treat the temporal problems, you use the right methods.
As long as you think that it is more important to stop the temporal problems than the future, as long as your mind is conditioned to that, you will have problems with right methods. So with such deep understanding of these mistakes, and thinking and understanding that the future suffering, the delusions, are worse, much more dangerous than the temporal problem, then when the person has the strong feeling, the understanding and feeling, then there is a way. So in that way also the person can treat the temporal problems with right methods—besides solving the present problem, it helps to cut the future continual suffering and problems.
So the total purpose of making meditation and practicing Dharma, whatever the person does, extra work from the worldly life, from the worldly problems, job life, work, then it has meaning, makes them a spiritual person, in the form of spiritual work, then it has meaning. It has meaning. As long as there are always mistakes in the way of using the methods, as long as we are involved in these as in our previous lives, then there is no difference between people who practice Dharma and those who don’t seek a spiritual path; there is no difference between those who follow Dharma and those who don’t follow Dharma—because there is no chance, nothing in this life, no change in the methods or in the actions. Both of them are creating the cause of suffering through using wrong methods in order to solve the problem. If you really deeply check up, we can feel this, we see ourselves.
As the great pandit Shantideva, said—it is true, it is exactly true what he instructs, it is exactly like a mirror that shows our life, our mistakes—“Such this way, my behavior can never make me even receive a human rebirth. If a human rebirth is not received then there is only the creation of negativity; there is no creation of virtuous action.”
That means this: “Such this my behavior” means as I have just explained: our life, this old life, that which has resulted from the previous life’s behavior. So it means like this. Forget about expecting to achieve enlightenment, or to get out of samara’s bondage of suffering—even such this my behavior, this present behavior, cannot make me even receive a human rebirth in samsara, cannot make me even receive a human rebirth. If the human rebirth is not received, of course there is nothing to talk about if the rebirth is taken in the lower realms. Even if the rebirth is taken, even if we are born in the upper realms, it is extremely difficult to create merits. Even if we are born in those upper realms it is extremely difficult—we are mostly creating negative actions, creating bad karma. So if, if you are born in the lower realms there is nothing to talk about, only the creation of evil, no virtuous action.
So thinking in this way, check your daily life if you are involved. It is very useful, very useful. In this way you understand more of your daily life, you understand more of your own behavior, yourself—you understand more of yourself. Also, through checking the daily life, also one can feel or guess the future rebirth, where the person will enjoy, where he will make the picnic—happy picnic or suffering picnic. Also, through this you can guess by yourself, you can have confidence by understanding one’s behavior, by checking, by understanding this.
Shantideva Quotation (Page 49)
After receiving this opportunity, receiving the perfect human rebirth, which is extremely difficult to find and with which one can create great benefits—receiving such a rebirth is not usual, not common. Just like the beggar finding a jewel in the rubbish, by an opportunity like that, if the person has the wisdom to know the difference between the negative and the positive action, if he goes again to the old place, to the narak stage, where he has been numberless times, it is like the person is purposely trying to be ignorant, very silly, very foolish.
This is useful to think, very useful. Also, those who have great worry about future suffering, those who have great worry of the cause of suffering, even if they have temporal problems, there is a difference between that person and the other person—there is a difference in regards feeling—between the other person who has no worry, who is never scared, who has no worry, no concern for future greater suffering, the delusions. For that person, because he has no idea of those, no concern, whatever little problem he has he thinks it is great; his idea, his feeling, his thinking is this—this suffering is so great, tremendous—the way he judges makes the suffering greater, like this.
There is a difference, even in experiencing the temporal problems, there is a difference between these two persons, a big difference. The other person has much worry; besides, using all the methods, all the treatments to solve temporal problems, all wrong methods only lead her or him in a circle in the future. Besides this, with these temporal problems the mind is never happy, there is no way to enjoy it. As long as there are temporal problems, the mind is in such a great unhappy state, with many complaints. Also, this makes other people busy and worry and many things like this, so as it is a great problem, it is important.
So the other person who is concerned more with the cause of suffering and future suffering, this person is wiser, and has a human mind. The other one is like not having a human mind—because even the animals and lower creatures, with little problems, also try to use the methods that they know according to their wisdom to treat their suffering. But these animals never have concern for the cause of suffering and for the future great continual samsaric suffering. The same thing; other people and these animals’ ways of thinking is the same thing; the way of treating—both are black, both are mistakes; like this. So, he is not so much higher than the animal, that person whose mind is conditioned in that—both make mistakes like this. So the reason why the animal mind is like this is that the animal has the same thing ... for instance the dogs, when they have a wound they lick it, and by licking once, twice, more and more, slowly, slowly it gets cured. They have no chemical medicine, something to put on, but licking and licking they have certain methods according to their wisdom. So anyway, this person who has a human mind can understand also that there is difference; even if he has temporal problems, he does not have that much worry, not that much suffering.
For instance when tourists come from the West to the mountain, where there are no facilities and they have to make firewood which takes them hours and hours—anyway, these people who live on the mountain with such a primitive life in such a terrible poor situation, not having that many possessions, living, eating things that grow on the mountains, very rough food, like animals, eating corn—what I mean is this: those people are much happier there than in the ... anyway, it doesn’t matter. When people come on the mountain, they cannot live, they cannot stand that situation, they cannot bear it. They cannot understand that life in that way as those people do—the way the people eat and live, they cannot understand. You see, in the mind there is so much confusion and so much suffering—they think it is such an ugly place, no facilities or anything, very rough, hard food. They suffer very much, they cannot stand it. But for the other person, those who live there in that life, it’s okay, they are happy with that situation. They are much more happy with their food than what the tourists get which is in cans, which is already mixed. They are not interested in that, they don’t want it. Anyway, so like this.
So for both people it is only a creation of the mind. Those meditators—those who lived a simple life, who have this deep understanding—for them, with the temporal problems they don’t have much confusion. Of course it depends—people may think it is because they are not used to that life, and because the other person is used to it, so no problem, but this European, who has more suffering with temporal problems, is not used to life in that way. But not being used to it, habituated to that is also mental conception, mental creation. It is mind creation. Why? Because for this European who had like this before, the feeling can change—what was suffering before with that situation can change afterwards, can become less suffering in terms of the temporal problems, with understanding. By having understanding of the future continual suffering and the cause of suffering things can change like this.
So in the first hour, do meditation on Guru Shakyamuni, do a little longer purifying meditation with Guru Shakyamuni. And then, after seeing the similar aspect, as it comes down, absorbs into you, and becomes oneness, you are transformed into the form of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then concentrate. We talked that morning, yesterday, visualizing the lotus, sun, and moon and then the syllable letter MUM in the center standing, then the mantra coming from left to right—you can visualize it in English. It is very light and bright, but oneness—the essence of the mantra is the syllable, the essence manifested is the mantra, but oneness with your mind, which is oneness with Guru Shakyamuni’s holy mind and the infinite buddhas’ holy mind. You are the syllable, the seed of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then read the mantra around, like this. Then, like we did in that morning, the same thing, send rays of light. Knowledge rays from this seed syllable and the mantra to all sentient beings, purifying all their negative karma and delusions that have been created from their beginningless previous lifetimes. You can either visualize sentient beings as we have visualized them in that morning in the form of human beings on the Earth, as the whole Earth filled up, or think that you are sending rays to all six different realms, all six samsaric realms. While they are suffering there, you are sending rays—all of a sudden, suffering is cut off, ceased, as are all the delusions and negative karma; like this.
In the first hour you concentrate on this, yourself as the syllable, the seed. You don’t have to say the mantra with your mouth. Read the mantra with your mind. Then send rays, do purification. Then after all sentient beings become Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, you receive the knowledge rays, starting from all the knowledge of Guru Shakyamuni’s holy speech, body, and mind, from each sentient being who becomes Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, receiving it from you. All knowledge is received by you in the form of rays, the mantra, and the syllable seed, like the sun’s rays coming through the water, like this. Then also like this for some time recite the mantra. That’s all.
Then, in the second hour do quick meditation on the perfect human birth and its great usefulness, and spend most of your time in the checking meditation on your daily life, since you were born until now, using the checking meditation on your entire life—how much good karma you have created. Check up, whether you remember or not, it is useful. Because the works that we have done in the past do not finish or disappear. That action that we did in the past doesn’t disappear as the time is finished. The time passed, but the ability exists, does not disappear, so we have to destroy the ability left by the negative mind, like this. Think that each problem is the fault of evil thoughts, and think also that as we have been talking just now, how much we have been using our life for samsaric pleasure, for self-cherishing thought. Check like this. Check how many actions, whether you remember or not, are not done for this. This is a very elaborate meditation, checking like this. Do checking meditation with the evil thought, this very broad meditation. It helps a great deal to realize, to understand the deeper samsaric suffering nature, such as the second meditation, the third meditation. It is very useful for the following meditations to cooperate with each other. So if you think deeply enough, also there is not much problem in understanding the following meditations. It is easy. That’s all.