Saturday, April 6
So before today’s work for enlightenment, taking and observing ordination, in order for this to become the cause of enlightenment, besides the action becoming Dharma, it is necessary that it be possessed by bodhicitta. Therefore, it is necessary to cultivate the pure motivation of bodhicitta. So try to think briefly like this, “From beginningless previous samsaric lifetimes until now, I have been experiencing infinite samsaric suffering, such as the incredible suffering of the three lower realms numberless times. Still not realizing this, how I have been suffering in samsara, still not getting tired, not getting bored—terribly ignorant. Also, in the future I will continuously experience these sufferings without end, under the control of delusions and karma due to these wrong conceptions—believing impermanent things to be permanent, impurities to be pure, and selfless existence to be self-existing.”
This suffering is something that if you really check up through logic, it is a subject that we can really perceive, it is something that causes us to be very neurotic, to be terribly scared. It is a situation, something that makes tears come out. But due to ignorance, we don’t see anything, so we don’t feel anything.
“Even Guru Shakyamuni Buddha originally was not such an independent buddha; originally he was an ordinary being as we are now. By meeting the Mahayana guru and observing these ordinations, he achieved enlightenment, and enlightened infinite sentient beings. So, mother sentient beings are the root from which we receive all past, present, and future happiness, and they are the principal help at the beginning of Dharma practice, and in the middle and end as well. Besides, all sentient beings have been kind to us, to me, from beginningless samsaric lifetimes, and they will be kind until I get out of samsara, until I achieve enlightenment. Therefore, trying to receive cessation of samsara for oneself alone is not sufficient. Therefore, I must enlighten all sentient beings by releasing them from suffering. Therefore, I must achieve enlightenment. Therefore, I am going to take this Mahayana ordination.”
So, visualize the person granting the ordination as Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, surrounded by infinite buddhas, bodhisattva, and arhats.
Prayer No. 1
Think that now you have really received pure ordination, ordination in the form of light from the top of the head down to the feet, and that even all the atoms in the body are all full of light.
Also repeat the prayer of the precepts, thinking that as previous arhats followed the precepts, also you will follow the precepts until tomorrow morning.
Prayer No. 2
Also, when I say trowa yin then you answer lekso, which means making a promise to keep the precepts. Also, repeat the mantra that revives broken precepts and purifies negativity.
Mantra, Prayer No. 3, Dedication Prayer
Dedicate the merits of taking ordination, thinking, “In order to enlighten all sentient beings by releasing them from all their suffering, may I receive enlightenment soon on the basis of the achievement of the full realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and fully renounced mind of samsara due to the merits of taking this ordination.”
Make three prostrations by visualizing as before.
Brief Explanation of the Benefits of Precepts
First the result, the suffering result, of taking of others’ lives. Taking of others’ lives causes you to be killed by others in future lifetimes, to be disliked by others, and to have a short life. Also the living being is born in the lower realms.
This also interrupts the achievement of the indestructible vajra or enlightened holy body. Anyway, this is such an extreme profound subject, so there is no need to tell it at this time.
The benefits of keeping the precepts are the opposite of all this—they cause one to be born in the upper realms, such as in a rebirth of a human being or a god, and to have a long life. You will not have harm for your life, other people will like you, and you will receive the vajra holy body. Their omniscient mind makes the holy body indestructible; their holy body is also vajra and their omniscient mind is also vajra. So there is no need to explain, it is like this. It is talking about two realizations—that which is inseparable and indestructible oneness.
2. Then not stealing. Besides causing birth in the lower realms, also even the beings born in the upper realms have a poor life, have a life with poverty, suffering because of not having material things. Also, even if one has materials, they get stolen by others. For instance, a person sometimes, as much as they try to have bodyguards and so many things, as much as they try to protect themselves with many doors and locks, sometimes it is possible to be robbed, to have things stolen. These are also the suffering results of this action. Sometimes it is funny—even in one lifetime a person who steals things from other people gets things stolen by others just in that time.
That also interrupts the achievement of the enlightened being’s holy signs, which show that he is an enlightened being, a holy being. It interrupts the achievement of the holy signs—the chakra, the wheel that has 1000 spokes. These are all the knowledge of the enlightened being’s holy body. And having long fingers—not like our fingers which are like this, not separate like this, but having webs between. These are the holy signs of Guru Shakyamuni’s holy body.
So, by keeping the precepts and not stealing, the benefits are the opposite of the suffering results of the future lifetimes. Besides being born in the upper realms and having perfect materials, even if the person does not protect, does not take care, things do not get stolen. In the world it is clear; there are people who really don’t take care much, and things don’t get stolen, but for some people who really take care in the best way, clinging so much and protecting in the best way, their things do get stolen. Like this, these situations are funny. Not having things stolen does not only depend on not protecting them. Sometimes like this it happens—for people who are attached, there is more clinging, more worry, then things get lost; but people who don’t worry much experience no suffering, and things don’t get stolen. These are quite funny, interesting things, all to do with individual karma, nothing to do with protecting and not protecting, but mainly to do with karma—if you have created the karma before to protect it, even though you don’t work that much to try to protect the material from stealing, there is not much danger. And achieving these holy signs of Guru Shakyamuni, the enlightened being’s holy body.
Please have coffee or whatever it is.
From the holy speech of the great bodhisattva, Shantideva, “Just like the fire of the end of the world-existing period, just like the fire of the end of the world-existing time, it destroys the great sinfulness in one second, it definitely destroys the great sinfulness in one second. Also, the limitless benefits of it is explained to the bodhisattva, called Norsung, by Maitreya, who has wisdom.”
The meaning of this is as follows. When the world ends, when this universe ends, at the very end there is the decay of the four elements. The last is by fire, everything by fire—the universe finishes, it becomes empty, burnt by fire. This is karma. Also that fire, even though when it is burning there is no living being in that time, that fire that makes empty, that burns the whole world, that causes it to melt, to finish, is also karmically created fire, and is extremely hot. Also during that time, even the realms of the sense gods end. The very last thing that empties, destroys, is this incredible karmically-created fire, the fire of the end of the world-existing period. Just the fire has that much power to burn things, to destroy things—besides living beings, even places, even whole mountains the whole earth, and dry up the Atlantic and the Pacific—as it has that much power, bodhicitta, however much infinite great negativity was created by speech, body, and mind, in one second all that can be definitely destroyed, burnt by the bodhicitta. In one second, the infinite great negativity can be definitely burnt by bodhicitta, just as the fire of the end of the world-existing time.
So, this emphasizes that bodhicitta has that much power—no matter how much negativity has been created, to burn it. So why doesn’t the careful being depend on, follow the bodhicitta? I think “careful” means the person who is usually very conscious in action. Like a person who is going in the street, usually careful of himself, conscious of himself, how he’s going, what things he has, how it is working, at which show, careful, conscious, careful of mistakes, dangers, trying not to lose things, to not make mistakes. The Tibetan term is bag yod.
This is one of the most important things especially for those who practice Dharma. The person who has bag yod in the karma, the person who is careful in the karma, any action that he does, he’s always checking, always careful, every time checking with each movement whether it is negative or positive, every time checking with the worry, with the fear of creating negative actions, what the suffering result of the negative actions will be. He is then very careful in the actions and in the works of the speech, body, and mind. What he speaks, everything, everything—he watches himself always very carefully. The mind that does this is bag yod. So then, the one who doesn’t have this type of mind, because of the lack of this mind, bag yod, he makes many mistakes. Also, he makes many mistakes because of not being careful. Why is he not careful? Because he does not have that much worry and fear of creating negative actions, and of the suffering results of negative action. Also, there is a lack of being conscious, even though he generally knows that negative action is the cause of suffering. But why does he continuously make mistakes like that? Basically, because of lack of consciousness.
Still, even if one is conscious, the person knows that he is doing some mistake, but he doesn’t care. He knows he is creating an evil action but he doesn’t care—the negative action that he’s creating is unimportant, is insignificant, a little thing, it doesn’t matter. “I am doing this thing but it doesn’t matter.” He thinks it is unimportant, “It doesn’t matter, perhaps I may experience the result of this negative action; or perhaps not, perhaps it may disappear somewhere. Anyway, I have long life, who knows, and it may disappear between somewhere.” I am not sure there is no one who thinks like this. So you see, even when there is consciousness, still one doesn’t care, thinking it is unimportant and continuously doing this. This is lack of this mind, bag yod, the careful mind. Why is that mind, the careful mind, not there? Why? That is lack of fear and worry, lack of fear and deep understanding and fear of creating negative action and the suffering result of negative action; like this. So that’s why Shantideva, this bodhisattva, emphasizes that since bodhicitta has that much power, just like fire, no matter what kind of worst negative karma the person has, the living being has created, or how much has been created, it can be definitely be destroyed by bodhicitta. So why don’t careful beings follow it? Even though there is that much great possibility, the possibility given by bodhicitta, it is foolish to not follow the bodhicitta, like this. This quotation joins yesterday’s quotation.
In among us, if you tried to check up last night, if you have been checking, whether you found that since you were born until the present time, all of your daily life has been an evil life, all of the work that has been done is evil, the cause of suffering, or whether you found out that most of the work, even of those who meditate and try to practice Dharma, has been evil—if you feel guilty for those negative, evil works that were done, there is usefulness in discovering this. The usefulness in discovering this is that you will feel upset, and feel repentance. The usefulness of feeling repentance is that you then work to purify, to cut off the infinite great collections of negative karma, the cause of suffering, the delusions. So the quickest method, the most practical, quickest method to purify this is to follow and practice bodhicitta. Even those who discovered and found out like this, if you check, it is necessary to practice bodhicitta.
Even those people who checked but couldn’t find because of lack of wisdom, recognizing what is positive actions, what is negative action. Even they may feel they are all right, they are not guilty, they have not been evil, they didn’t kill human beings, they didn’t steal. “So I don’t remember anything like this and I don’t see that my daily life has been evil.” Even for those who feel like this, think like this, it is not definite that their life has been pure, that they have never created evil works, the cause of suffering. It is not correct as you think, feel—what makes you feel this? What makes you feel this is your mind. Mind is usually ignorant, so there is nothing to trust, it cannot be correct as you feel, as you think. So for those who feel like this, it still worthwhile to follow bodhicitta, to escape from the cause of suffering. As we have the time, as we have received the perfect human rebirth and have met the teaching of bodhicitta and the explanation about how to practice it, it is necessary to train the mind in it as quickly as possible, starting even at this time. Especially, we should do the actions of listening with the motivation of the cause of enlightenment. Therefore, cultivate the pure motive of bodhicitta, “I must achieve the most supreme happiness, enlightenment, in order to release all sentient beings who are suffering in the six samsaric realms and enlighten them. Therefore I must receive the entire realizations of the graduated path. Therefore I am going to listen to the holy profound teaching.”
So the listening subject, the holy profound teaching, the Mahayana teaching that leads the fortunate being into enlightenment is a teaching that is well expounded by the great philosophers, Nagarjuna and Asanga. It is a profound holy teaching from which the great bodhisattvas Atisha and Guru Tsongkhapa’s holy mind was produced, and this teaching includes all the essence of the 84,000 Guru Shakyamuni’s teachings set up for the practice of one person’s achievement of enlightenment. This graduated path, which is the path that all past enlightened beings received their Buddhahood stage through, has four outlines:
1. In order to show the pure reference, the knowledge of the authors, the author who wrote the text which has the name of the “graduated path.”
2. In order for devotion in the teaching to arise, the knowledge of the teaching.
3. The way of explaining and listening to the teaching, which has two knowledges.
4. Then the fourth, the way of leading the actual disciple in the path to enlightenment which has two:
a. the way of following the guru who is the root of path,
b. secondly, how to train the mind in the graduated path to enlightenment by following the guru. This has also two outlines:
i. persuading in order to take the essence and
ii. how to take the essence.
So this is part of persuading in order to take the essence. The perfect human rebirth, the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth, and the eight temporal needs were briefly finished. This time there was a longer explanation on that than last course. Last year’s course was a little bit longer than the year before, because it is my desirable object which has a taste in it, like—that doesn’t matter.
Generally, as the gentleman asked, there will be problems like this in the mind. The question was—wanting to receive bodhicitta because he wants to reach enlightenment himself—fantastic. Anyway, like this. Our experience, this motivation, is true because it is like this. Even if he thinks to receive enlightenment, wanting to receive enlightenment is like on the top of water—I am talking about the feeling in the matter, the form of the manifestation of wanting to receive enlightenment. The motivation is made in that way, but in the depth of heart, way down there, what is there? Way down there is a mind, a head, strongly thinking, “How good if I am happy, happy, happy.” Strongly thinking, “If I am happy all the time,” like this. “Myself, me, myself if I am happy all the time, all the time,” like this. If you open way down, the box there, like this. Anyway, this is why, generally, having the desire to achieve enlightenment is very good, very good, because the desire wanting to receive enlightenment, the motivation is not that strong, not that perfect or strong, but generally desire is good because if one desires, if one make a project in that way for enlightenment, one seeks the path. If that is the goal that one wants, then the person seeks the path to enlightenment, so the person has to achieve bodhicitta, so it is good. Then, by following the graduated meditations, it completely changes, it makes the motivation, the thought wanting to achieve enlightenment, more pure. More pure, strong, not involved with self-cherishing thought, wanting oneself to be happy.
So anyway, what I want to emphasis is this—the reason that things happen like that, feelings like that, why there is such a motivation like this, with the self-cherishing thought wanting only oneself to be happy is because of the lack of great compassion and love, like this. The reason the bodhicitta, the motivation, is not strong or pure is because even though you say, “for all sentient beings,” the feeling is like this, the feeling is completely different from what you say, in your heart. This is the lack of not having the sincere, strong motivation and love for other sentient beings, like this. For strong compassion to rise, it is necessary to think of the incredible sufferings of sentient beings, it is necessary to feel it, to really meditate, to really think of the sentient beings, and their incredible sufferings, what they are experiencing. To think that they are really suffering, not just words like the tape-recorder says. Your mind actually feels it and sees sentient beings’ suffering. Not having strong compassion is lack of this, not understanding more deeply, not having so much feeling for other sentient beings’ suffering—like this, like this. Anyway, further explanation will come afterwards, but it doesn’t matter; anyway it has to be repeated.
So, to have compassion, it is necessary to really, feel that other sentient beings’ suffering is unbearable and incredible. So to understand, to ride this feeling, it is necessary to understand other sentient beings’ different suffering. To really understand this more deeply and more widely, it is necessary to understand one’s own suffering and one’s own samsaric suffering nature. This is the way it works for sentient beings. Then you see, from your own experience of suffering, how it is incredible, and as you see yourself more clearly—your own suffering, confusions, problems—then also it is easy to figure out others’.
For instance, like this, if I had very bad diarrhea with pains, many things, complicated like this, then if someone says he has diarrhea similar to mine, then I have an idea, I feel something, because of understanding my own experience of this problem. I know the way that it is uncomfortable, I know this and that. Also, I can see easily see how it is unbearable, that she feels it, similar to my experience, so it is easy. Also, as I feel this, feel her suffering, as strong as I feel it, then also compassion ... you see, like this. For instance, when you are suffering from the problem of diarrhea, you want to release from this suffering as quickly as possible; there is always such a strong feeling because of unbearable suffering, like this. By understanding that the suffering that she has is unbearable, also there can be similar feeling that you felt from it, wanting to release from it. In the same way, also there will be the feeling that she be released from that suffering, from that problem. This is compassion, the general meaning of compassion, compassion. This is the way it works. So from this, compassion arises wanting her to release from that problem.
Also, another thing that causes compassion to arise—this is another way of saying it—another evolution that causes compassion to rise, really strong, pure compassion—you see, this way of eliciting compassion is like the usual thing, like the usual evolution; the usual evolution of eliciting compassion is not like equalizing your suffering and her suffering. Usually this is partial compassion, not this infinite great Mahayana compassion, but the usual, worldly compassion, the partial compassion.
You see, usually like this, when our relatives—our husband, wife, children, relatives, or friends to whom you are attached, who are kind to you, who helped you before, who are kind—when they get into problems you have a kind of love, kind of compassion, wanting them to not get into that problem, wanting them to help release from that temporal problem, like this. You get an uncomfortable feeling; they get in trouble, they have that problem and rising compassion wants them to release from that trouble, that sickness, whatever that trouble is. The feeling is not so much because you really see the other person’s suffering, not so much but more in this way, the second evolution, the way the compassion arises; it is because of reasons like this.
For instance, we say, “He is my relative, he’s my this and that.” Because he is your something, your possession, your something, something possessed by you, something your own, he is also your friend. Because he is very good to me, the reason is like this. He’s very good to me, always sweet to me, he helped me this and that, gave me such clothes, invited me for lunch, invited me for parties, reasons like this—thinking he’s good, kind. So by reasoning like this, what he did to you, because of this, when the person is in the problem, having a sickness or something, then because he has been kind, helped, having sickness or something, you don’t want him to suffer. Not so much because of really understanding the other person’s suffering, the nature of the other being’s suffering, but because of reasoning in this way. You see, if you reason much, “He did this and that good, so many things;” if you put these reasons, more and more, each time you think, you see the aspect of the person better and better, the feeling that you feel, your vision, what you see in your view, the aspect changes. So when he’s in the trouble, you want him to be happy—that is love, that is the meaning of love. Because of this wanting, by reasoning like this, all these things that he did, wanting him to be happy, that is love. Because of this, desiring him to release from suffering, this compassion, generally talking, this compassion.
Usually the way that worldly people feel love, with a few groups, a few people, the relatives, friends, something—the way the love arises is in that way. So also the way of rising compassion for other living being, for those worldly people, for the general, living beings, is also in that way. So like this, this is common, nothing special—even the animals, the lower beings, have this kind of thing, this kind of feeling.
Look; it is simple when you look at the chicken—when a goat or another animal comes that is terribly bigger than the mother chicken, even when it comes near the chicks—this I remember quite clearly because I have books of chicks! The books say that sometimes the chicks go round and sometimes they don’t see the mother, so the chicks get worried about losing the mother and make so much noise, and the mother also makes noise wherever the mother is. So what I want to say is this—even if there are bigger animals than the mother chicken near the chicks, the mother chicken goes there. The power of the being is so limited, but still the mother chicken tries something, tries to stop the other animal however she can. The only way she can is by pecking. Anyway, so she tries to chase the other big animal as much as she can, with as much control as she has. So the mother chicken also has this feeling, not wanting them to get in trouble. This limited, partial love and compassion arises only with the relatives and friends, attached to them—and this is common, nothing special. Even animals have it.
Look at the dogs that are kept at home, in the house. Sometimes they are strangers, sometimes they are like this also. If there is some other person coming to see this person who is the owner of the dog, if the dog is not much agreeable, without much interest, and doesn’t like the other person who’s coming, then also the dog has a kind of feeling—hates the other person, barks, and bites the other person that the owner doesn’t like so much. Same thing, the owner of the dog that he pleases, when he comes the dog likes him. They are also like this. Totally, like this. Even the dog, when there are outside people or animals, other dogs or other animals, other people at that man’s place, the dog barks. Nothing is owned by the dog, it is owned by the person—nothing by the dog but because the dog feels as if he is sort of responsible, anyway, he barks, he takes much trouble to guard his possessions, things, and place, chasing other animals away, like this. As much as the dog can. So why does the dog do that? Because the dog gets helped by the man, by the owner. He’s fed by the owner. The dog is also attached to the owner. For instance, when the owner fights physically with another person, also the dog fights other person. Many dogs are like this. They are animals, but they have this kind of mind, working because they received help from this person, were fed and taken care of by the other person, and have attachment to that. So also this protects them from trouble, things like this.
This kind of compassion, this kind of limited compassion, is not enough, not sufficient. This kind of worldly love and compassion is nothing new, nothing new. So anyway, the point is this. For sentient beings to feel strong compassion there are two ways for it to rise, to build compassion for sentient beings. One way is through suffering, through the full, deep suffering nature—of yourself and then other sentient beings. Then one is not only discriminating the temporal help given by those living beings, but understanding all sentient beings, their beginningless kindness, their present kindness, help, and also, the infinite kindness of all sentient beings. By thinking this then, through this, love arises, wanting the sentient beings to achieve happiness, to dwell in happiness. So, from this also the compassion becomes stronger. For strong compassion to rise there are two ways—both ways are so important, very important. So both ways are so important.
Therefore, the reason that I always begin the motivation with suffering is to build the feeling. The reason I begin with your own suffering and other beings’ suffering is to build the feeling, to construct the feeling in your mind, to build stronger love and compassion. Then bodhicitta becomes stronger. Otherwise, bodhicitta is not clear—no feeling, but words like this. Then what happens is the words don’t matter, even is the words say, “I must only receive nirvana.” Anyway, the main important thing is the feeling.
So in order to achieve bodhicitta and great compassion, great love, these things, it is necessary to deeply understand other beings’ suffering nature, and in order to understand, realize this, it is necessary to deeply understand one’s own suffering nature. In order to deeply understand one’s own suffering nature, it is necessary to follow these basic meditations such as samsaric suffering—the second meditation and third meditation—and the first meditation, such as the suffering of death, and the suffering of impermanent life, which is coming soon!
So when you meditate, the important parts that you should remember, the effective parts that are useful to remember are all these.
Thinking this is also useful at the beginning—two, three lines. Perfect human rebirth also gives other possibilities, possibilities of the perfections of this present life, which other living beings and lower beings do not have. So when the line about wasting this very precious human rebirth comes, that part (paragraph 2) is very important. Then the next one is numberless jewels and all the last part.
So there is nothing to talk about in terms of these eight things. Also all the front of page 49 is important. According to people’s wisdom, some people find it easy, so simple—by reading twice they learn; and some people find very difficult to keep by heart, to get in the mind. But it takes time, you have to be patient, patient, slowly, slowly, by each line, like this. You try to get it by each line, then afterwards, sometimes like this, many times like this. If you don’t remember by heart, always you look at the book; if you look at the book, the feeling, looking at people, the feeling is not so strong; so the purpose is this. So, one thing is, it is not sure whether you will have people always, not sure. So if you remember by heart the fundamental things, these things, then when you really think inside your mind, deeply check up, then there is feeling. As you are involved in that there is strong feeling, as if you are really seeing it. This is much more effective, so much more effective. For that, also it is not enough, it is not enough using, remembering once, remembering these fundamental things just once—you have to use them frequently as the background.
The reason you have to use them frequently—if you use these as a background, fundamental thing, if you use them each time, your perception, your understanding of that subject, such as the perfect human rebirth, how it’s greatly useful, you see clearer and clearer, deeper and deeper, you see it has more and more truth, you see it as more and more real. At the very beginning, I am sure you may see that it is kind of a fantasy nonsense, talking like baby talk, nonsense talking. When you at the very beginning listen to the subject, at that time your mind is very new to this subject and does not have an idea, cannot figure it out, so it doesn’t make much sense, like this. But of course, by keeping this subject fundamental, if you continuously check up, discover it more deeply, it is the nature of wisdom, the nature of mind—the progression that way does not stay always in one place like you felt at the beginning. As you do it, it can definitely change; the progression of your wisdom definitely arises.
Is it Easy to Receive a Perfect Human Rebirth?
Generally, the title of the third meditation is, “The difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth.” But in order to know the answer, in place of just putting the outline, “The difficulty of receiving perfect human rebirth,” it is put in the form of a question.
The brief meaning of morality is this. Morality is the thought of protecting. Charity and morality are both attached with thought, the thought of protecting. With this thought, protecting with speech, protecting with body, protecting with mind. But it is a decision made by mind.
Take for instance, a monk or a layperson who is living in the precepts. When that person dies, when the person’s body no longer contains the mind, then at that time, even though the person doesn’t break the precepts, doesn’t break the moral conduct, that body is not living in that morality because it has no mind.
It is the same thing with charity, the thought of giving. The meaning of charity is the thought of giving, the thought of giving. This is just a brief meaning about what it means, how it should be. So charity also depends on the mental decision; without having the mind making the decision, it cannot be charity. Even if the material is gone, it cannot become charity; even if the material, the possessions, are given to someone—if the mind doesn’t make the decision, even though the material itself, the possession itself is gone—it cannot become charity. Anyway, so the whole thing depends on the mental decision.
In Solo Khumbu, on the mountain, the families always have problems. They have the problem of thing getting stolen—possessions, pots, sometimes money, sometimes potatoes. They don’t have another place to keep things, they move to different villages in different seasons, so in each village they do this—they dig up, bury, cover them up, put a pot in a big hole and cover it up, and act as if there are no potatoes down there. But the natives know the place, so many times things get stolen—many big baskets of potatoes get stolen at night time. Sometimes they loan things to other people and people don’t give things back, as much noise as they make, people run away, like this. Always worries, that kind of problem. So they do this. Then they go to the monastery, see the lama, and ask him to make prayers, to dedicate—but it is not sure, because mainly whether dedication becomes merits or not depends on the other person, it is in the other person’s hands. So if he has really renounced, and feels compassion for other beings through checking, completely cut off this worry, renouncing things as if he had completely given them to the person, if it is something like this—then there are merits to dedicate. Even when the lama or whoever dedicates is asked, there is equipment to dedicate.
So, sometimes I feel funny—these people come to ask these things and I feel really funny, because it depends on them, on their mind; it doesn’t depend on the way I think. So the best dedication is to ask the person to renounce it, to really completely give it up, to feel compassion—if this person needed these things the other person also needs them—think of the other being’s suffering like that. Then renounce it with feelings of compassion, and it really becomes dedication. Then, even if someone makes a prayer, dedicates, there is something to dedicate, there are merits; it is not empty.
So, in regards charity, the same thing. Whatever charity you make, no matter whatever amount of material is given, even a small, infinite amount, whatever it is, it is necessary that it not become black charity, the cause of suffering, the cause of samsara. Sometimes like this. Of course, there is not much to tell you—there are also people doing like this. If there is a beggar begging surrounded by many people, if nothing is given one feels a little bit shy, so you give some rupees, ten or five, and then you go away; and then afterwards, because the beggar is surrounded by other people, he gets that much money, then he goes away a few steps and turns back and watches the beggar, whatever it is. If that is given because of the surrounding people looking at you, because of wanting to show the man that you are generous, “I am a good, generous, good person,” because you are attached to this idea, so that people will think like this and talk about it, no matter even if you give a billion dollars, no matter, since the mind is in that level like expectation, negative mind, it is essenceless, meaningless, you are wasting. So even though you give one paise, two paise, it doesn’t matter; whatever action is pure is important, because no matter what the material you give, if it is given with a sincere mind there is a way to help and it can become the cause of enlightenment, even if the material is that small. Also, many times charity can be involved in samsaric politics, which is the cause of suffering.
There are six paramitas, among which are morality and charity which is supposed to come after this (page 145). It is finished in English but there are still another two subjects, parts of shunyata, that have not been amplified, so it takes some time.
(Rinpoche reading from the book) Per, per, per ... prerequisites ... I don’t expect to be able to speak English in this life. I don’t expect that in this life! Maybe I have to create the karma to be born in the West!
So mainly the way it is constituted is like this—from the parents, from the mother and from the father. Because of this equipment, because of these things there is a good opportunity to practice tantra. There is a good opportunity, such a fantastic opportunity to practice tantra and to achieve realizations and enlightenment in the lifetime. Due to the ordinary, fundamental thing of these things. That’s all. However, the reason there is such an opportunity to achieve enlightenment in the lifetime, to do such quick practice, is because the understanding and the practice becomes perfect or rich due to these equipments, due to the body that is constituted of these things.
For instance, like this—if a person is dying from not receiving the delicious food, then the money itself does not have the food taste, the delicious food taste. But the money has the ability to get that food and fill your stomach. So these things are like money, just to have a rough idea, just to have a little idea, like this. So that’s why our human body, which is, first of all, born in this specific southern world and then formed like this—only this body has the possibility of receiving enlightenment in this lifetime.
So, because these fundamental things are needed in order to achieve the higher tantric realizations—these points are tantric subjects—so by understanding these fundamental meditations, practicing these fundamental meditations and then understanding and practicing bodhicitta and the fully renounced mind of samsara and the absolute true nature, on the basis of that understanding and practice, your mind really living in the practice of this, on the basis of this, then the person takes the pure intention from the perfect guru, definitely leaving the seed of the four kayas. The four kayas are the nirmanakaya, dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and svabhavakaya. Anyway, it doesn’t matter.
On the basis of purely keeping—perfectly, strictly, purely keeping the precepts—there are not only one kind of precepts. There are tantric precepts, high, as I told before, and this does not only mean tantric precepts. Whatever precepts the person has taken—the general precepts, pratimoksha, the individual liberation, the general precepts, the bodhisattva precepts, then the tantric precepts. There is no way to practice tantra without discipline, no way. Especially in tantra, discipline is the most important thing. Like this; without the foundation of the earth, you cannot build anything. The person who practices tantra has to observe the general precepts and the bodhisattva precepts, then the tantric precepts. So like this. Keeping all this purely, just like the heart, just like the ball in the eye, because this is so important, the most important thing. To take care of it is so important—just like this, taking care like this, sounds funny. Anyway, this is to have some idea of how it should be done. Then, on the basis of this, purely keeping the precepts like this, then one has to use the profound technique with these things. Then enlightenment in the lifetime, like this. Even lay people have to observe the bodhisattva, even the lay people who take the intention have to observe the bodhisattva vows and the tantric precepts—without that there is no way to receive initiation or to practice it. So of course, there is nothing to talk about in terms of keeping the general precepts, without keeping the ten moralities. Keeping the ten moralities is the fundamental thing.
First example: but the person whose body has missing parts can still make charity, but he cannot receive ordination. There are many hindrances to taking ordination—also for general influence, it interrupts for general teaching. Many other purposes, many other reasons, according to the imperfection. But this does not mean morality.
There are thirty-six precepts, and two hundred fifty-three, there are other precepts, also for women, so for these things, before ordination, the abbot or helper has to check up the hindrances—whether he’s deserving, whether he has hindrances or not has to be checked up. Then, after checking the abbot can grant ordination, like this. But this does not mean that one who is legless or handless cannot keep precepts, cannot observe the ten moralities or five precepts. Even in order to take the higher ordinations the person’s body should be free of any of these hindrances, Anyway, just having the imperfect body that is missing these things, leg missing or things like this, you still observe the five precepts, ten moralities.
Paragraph 1 (Page 51)
Like this, for instance. In previous time, during Guru Shakyamuni’s existence, the king of the nagas asked Guru Shakyamuni Buddha why, “Before there were only a few nagas, but in this period there are so many, numberless nagas—the number is increasing so much.” He asked what caused it? So Guru Shakyamuni said, as he fully realized with his omniscient mind, “During the previous time of the past Buddha, the past founder of the Buddhadharma called Sangyousung, the monks who broke the precepts or didn’t keep the precepts purely and didn’t confess were born as nagas. There were less nagas before, because there were not that many people living in ordination and breaking, not confessing. So later on, they broke their precepts and did not purify their negativity, and didn’t confess perfectly. So that’s how they were born in the naga realm. This was the answer given by Guru Shakyamuni
The great pandit, Chandrakirti, wrote so much commentary on Madhyamaka. One of the main texts was called the Madhyamakavatara, “Following the Middle Way.” The lineage of that teaching was received from Nagarjuna, then it came to Chandrakirti. So this text, “Following the Middle Way” is one of the main texts that even present Tibetan monks study. They study this through many commentaries.
Generally, it is very good, on the basis of practice, on the basis of understanding, to do meditation, and increase the understanding and practice of the graduated path through the small text which is about the graduated path, which has all this essence of the essential meditation, the fundamental meditation. On the basis of practice and understanding, and meditation, experience, then if one studies Madhyamaka, the vast philosophical teachings which are really so deep, so vast, which have extensive concourse, then your mind becomes more and more rich. Generally, the way to practice and study Dharma—if it’s done in that way then it is very good. Then you study other vast subjects; your mind is also living in the practice, having understood the essence, the fundamental meditation, living in the practice. If you understand others, on the basis of this work you study other philosophical texts that have further, deeper explanations with so many details. Then whatever you study, you can bring this fundamental thing into your practice, the gradual path, the small text that has the essence of the gradual path. If you study, everything can be included in that practice. Then, everything that you study, every other extensive subject becomes very helpful, very beneficial in order to achieve enlightenment. Also, as you are living in the practice, whatever you know, whatever details, however much your wisdom grows, you always use for enlightenment. Otherwise, even though you know other work—texts, extensive subjects—even as much as you are wise, it is difficult for the subject matter that you teach, that you study, that you learn, to become the cause of enlightenment without the mind living in such this practice.
So this just came out, my general idea, this just came out of this from Chandrakirti. If someone wants to carry on the Dharma study deeper, then this way is the best way to work. Without knowing the essence of the graduated path, without living in the practice, nothing goes through, you cannot find much taste. Many scholars study these teachings and think that it is so small. They think it is like A B C D E F. Anyway, this is a big mistake, there will be no progression in the mind, no effect in the mind. As much as you know the words, as much as you can write, like this. It is important if you know, if you make the intellectual understanding to subdue the negative mind, to control your inner enemy. This is the main thing.
Thank you. Peepee. No, no tea I see. Anyway you are going to make peepee. This is just a general idea. Then also you know, as much as you study, those vast extensive subjects that you study, even though you have the ability do meditation, to control the negative mind, also one studies in this way and then the person knows how to use the mind for enlightenment, how to use it as a medicine for a cure for suffering. Otherwise, complication; otherwise, complication. So then you study, study; do meditation. They can be used for meditation, but the person himself, the way he studies, the mistake in his study—someone says “meditation” then when he thinks there is need of meditation, then he thinks maybe another technique, something separate. This is a mistake.
So, beginning in the meditation with Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, purifying meditation, then do it for a short time. Then do meditation on perfect human rebirth and the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth. Also do checking meditation like this—check today. Like starting from the morning, try to remember and then check how much action is done with evil thought; like this you check up. Also, in this life, check up if there is any day that you never acted, that you never worked for the evil thought, any works done without the evil thought, without being possessed by the evil thought. Do checking meditation at the same time—the problems, your life problems, and also other people’s problems, people and animals, all their different problems. Try to remember and see all the different problems, and meditate on the world people. Try to see all the different problems of each country, different things. The way you check up, try to see the root of the problem—what is the root and the evil thought? All is rooted in the evil thought, all caused by this evil thought, so how does it arise from the evil thought? Do checking meditation.
Then the great difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth. This is not finished, but if you have it, you can read that part, then try to know the essence, how it is difficult to receive it. Then do checking meditation on that.
Then after, dedicate the merits of keeping the precepts. As we repeated it before, as we said before, “Due to the merits created by me, may I achieve enlightenment soon by receiving fully the realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, the fully renounced mind of samsara and enlighten all the sentient beings by releasing them from all suffering.” Like this, you dedicate, so always you preserve your merits. By dedicating you preserve your merits like people who have diamonds put them in a big box in a safe place and maybe another, then inside another small box, to preserve, to keep them, to take care. This is important.
Sunday, April 7
Before taking ordination, in order for the action to become the holy Dharma and the cause of enlightenment, besides the motivation being merely virtuous, it is necessary to cultivate bodhicitta. Try to think of this short motivation.
“From beginningless previous samsaric lifetimes until now, I have been experiencing samsaric suffering, especially the sufferings of the narak stage, the preta realm, and the suffering of animals—numberless times from beginningless previous lifetimes. If I don’t try to stop the delusions and karma, and bring about the cessation of the continuity of the suffering in this lifetime when I have the chance, being born a human being, if I still continue following the delusions and karma with these wrong conceptions—such as thinking of impermanent things as permanent, impurities as pure, and the selfless as self-existent. As long as I follow these wrong conceptions, it is definite that I will suffer in samsara endlessly. I will be born again in the suffering of the three lower realms, suffering for many eons. Totally, without being born in the three lower realms, even if I am born as an upper being, I will still be born in much suffering still living under the control of delusions and karma, just as the present upper rebirth, life in so much confusion. So it is necessary to escape from the cause of suffering, delusions and karma.
“But only oneself receiving the cessation of samsaric suffering is not enough, is not sufficient—infinite sentient beings are experiencing such incredible suffering even in this present time. I have received a perfect human rebirth and have had the teachings showing the Dharma, have met the Buddhadharma, and have the wisdom to discriminate or to fully see the difference between positive and negative actions, the cause of liberation, and the cause of samsara. Most sentient beings do not have this chance—no matter how much they desire happiness, they create the cause of suffering, continuously putting themselves in the bondage of suffering. Therefore, because of this reason, I am responsible as I have the chance, I am responsible to help them, to look after them, to release them from suffering and lead them into enlightenment.
“Also, those sentient beings are the cause of all my past, present, and future happiness. Because of these reasons, I am responsible for releasing all sentient beings from suffering and leading them to enlightenment. Also, sentient beings are in the greatest need—they are the principle helpers at the beginning of the Dharma practice, in the middle, and even in the end. Because of this, I am also responsible for releasing them from all suffering and leading them to enlightenment. Also, sentient beings have been kind from beginningless samsaric lifetimes and will continue to be so until I achieve enlightenment. So because of these reasons and their being extremely kind, I am responsible for releasing them from all their suffering and leading them to enlightenment. So this responsibility should be done myself. At the moment I have no perfect power to enlighten even one sentient being, besides enlightening all sentient beings. I myself am caught in the bondage of suffering, so there is no power to enlighten even one sentient being. So who has the perfect power to enlighten the sentient beings? Only the enlightened beings. Therefore, I must achieve enlightenment. Receiving enlightenment depends on subduing the unsubdued actions of speech, body, and mind. Therefore, it is necessary to put in the discipline, to put in the moral conduct. Therefore, I am going to take the Mahayana ordination.”
Actually, the repetition which is said three times is involved in the motivation. I can explain how according to each word, but it takes time, so this is just a little idea of that. Actually, what we have already said in the motivation is the meaning of the repetition, but it contains the knowledge of the noble beings, the arhats, the enlightened beings—it talks about their knowledge, their supreme powers, too. They finished their own purpose and also completed the others’ purpose—like this, the purpose of other sentient beings. So, as the previous arhats those holy beings, as Guru Shakyamuni and the enlightened beings observed the Mahayana ordination for the sake of sentient beings, to benefit sentient beings, to release sentient beings from suffering and to stop famines, to stop epidemics, diseases—it does not mean only you. It includes oneself, but also all those on the earth, to achieve the bodhisattva’s path and to achieve enlightenment. So as they did this, for these reasons, so also I will observe the Mahayana ordination for those reasons.
That’s why it is the best method. Taking this ordination, observing these precepts, is the best method in order to bring world peace. Peace means what? Being out of these problems, these wars, especially these wars that harm thousands and thousands of human beings. Especially, it is the best method to stop it, and especially it can stop this without hurting anyone. It has power; it can benefit and stop these things such as famines, earthquakes, hail that destroys the crops, and the dangers of epidemics and diseases. Especially, this ordination helps a great deal to stop this suffering—not only for oneself, but also it can also benefit others. Totally, without hurting other people it can benefit—not like worldly action. Worldly method, however you try to stop it, always harms other people, because it is not a skillful method.
Anyway, there is so much history about the previous beings who observed and took the Mahayana ordination, how it benefited so many in that country. And many times it happened in previous times that the king himself obliged the population to take this ordination, especially on the special days such as the full moon day, three or four times on the special days in the month. As the king had made this rule, everything had less chaos, less danger in the country. By doing this, it brought the population perfection, less sickness, less disease, and good crops, even though they had been bad before. They received the rains in the time they needed them, and not when they didn’t need them; there was no danger. These are temporal things, but the people were much more peaceful. Even after they died they didn’t get born in the lower realms because of keeping these precepts. This caused so many of them to be born in the upper realm, and so many in our realm, receiving the state of an arhat and achieving enlightenment. So, like this. Anyway, there is so much history that happened in different countries by keeping this ordination. As there is time, this can be explained.
So, visualize the person granting the ordination as Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, surrounded by infinite buddhas, bodhisattvas, and arhats. But people may think, when visualizing this, that they are making themselves important, seeing the “I” as Guru Shakyamuni, something like this. Not like this, not like this. Guru Shakyamuni is something that you can create with your mind. If you have the mind, if you have the mind power, the high level of realization, you can see all sentient beings in the form of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha with that power, you can see all sentient beings in the manifestation of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. You would see a dog in that form; in the view of one who has that level of mind power, you would see a dog in the form of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Anyway.
Prayer No. 1
At the end of the third repetition, think that you have fully received the perfect pure Mahayana ordination. Think that all of your body from your head down to your feet is full of light. Repeat also the prayer of the precepts.
Prayer of Precepts (Prayer No. 2)
Mantra, prayer No. 3, Dedication Prayer
Dedicate the merits of taking ordination: “Due to these merits of taking ordination, may I achieve enlightenment by soon receiving the full realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and the fully renouncing mind of samsara, only for the sake of sentient beings, to lead them to enlightenment by releasing them from all their sufferings.”
I think the number of the precepts must be written down. Everyone may know the number of precepts. It is necessary to think of the responsibility of taking these vows for each sentient being, besides for each buddha visualized. It is necessary to continuously remember this. This includes your parents, your friends, your country people, those who are living in ignorance, those who have much suffering. It the biggest job, what you are doing, what you took the vow to do, to help numberless sentient beings including all of these that I have just said, to release them from all suffering and lead them to liberation. So think, just like people think that their responsibility is in the country, as people who have a job work for the country—the person thinks it is so important because it is for the population, just like this, the president, or the leader of the army, whatever. They are always concerned, always working in order to care for the country. Just like this, your responsibility, our responsibility, since we took this ordination, is to take care of all the sentient beings, to look after all sentient beings by restraining the speech, body, and mind from the negative actions. We are doing this through the method that never hurts, never harms one single sentient being—the special method, which is a much higher, more special method than the worldly methods to take care of one country’s population.
From the holy speech of the great bodhisattva, Shantideva, “If bodhicitta is summarized there are two divisions: the thought willing to achieve enlightenment and the thought following the path to enlightenment.”
Just as in this example—a person who has the thought willing to go to the States and a person who is following the path to the States. Having the thought willing to achieve enlightenment is a little earlier, and the second, the bodhicitta, the thought following the path to enlightenment, is more difficult. Why is the first one easier? Because the first one is just willing—a desire, wish—but the second one is putting yourself in the action, in the work, working for that. Besides the wish, working for that, yourself in the action.
So, as it is said in the sutra teachings by Guru Shakyamuni, even having the wish to achieve enlightenment for the sake of sentient beings is extremely difficult, so rare, so rare, so rare. Then, the thought following the path to enlightenment is much more rare, much more difficult and much more rare, much more rare than the other thought, the first bodhicitta.
Therefore, thinking of the infinite value and benefits of the first, and the greater continual benefits of having the thought following the path to enlightenment, it is necessary to practice as we have the chance—from our side, born as human beings and having met the method, the teachings on bodhicitta, having the chance to hear the explanation. As much as we work on that practice before death, that much it brings greater advantage and meaning. The achievement of bodhicitta depends on the mind training in it; also, it is necessary to train the mind in the gradual meditations that are the cause of bodhicitta.
So therefore, the present action, the work that we are doing now, in order for it to become the cause of enlightenment, and also the cause to receive bodhicitta, it is necessary to cultivate such pure motivation, bodhicitta. So think, “For me, one sentient being's suffering is nothing compared to infinite sentient beings’ suffering. Even numberless infinite sentient beings are experiencing incredible suffering in different realms. I, at this time, I have received this precious chance, having the wisdom to discriminate or to realize the cause of enlightenment, the cause of happiness. Most sentient beings do not have this precious chance, therefore, as I have the chance and they don’t have the chance, as infinite sentient beings are in suffering, so I must enlighten all of these sentient beings by causing them to be released from all their suffering, by giving up my own suffering, by not caring about one my own suffering. But, in order to do this, to enlighten all these infinite sentient beings, I must complete all the knowledge of the realizations and the knowledge of the avoidances—which means avoiding all the mental hindrances, all the obscurations that interrupt my receiving enlightenment. Therefore, I am going to listen to the holy profound teaching.”
The holy profound teaching is the listening subject—that is the Mahayana teaching that leads fortunate beings into enlightenment. This teaching was well expounded by the great philosophers, Nagarjuna and Asanga. It is a holy profound teaching, the essence of the great bodhisattva Atisha and Guru Tsongkhapa’s holy mind produced. It includes all the 84,000 teachings that were shown by Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, which means there is no teaching that is not included in the gradual path, there is no such Buddhadharma separate that is not included in the teaching of the gradual path. This means also every and all existence—there is no existence separate that is not explained in the Dharma, so there is no such thing that is not included, explained in the Dharma. Therefore the whole Buddhadharma is included in the teaching of the graduated path. So, the same thing—all existence is explained or included in the Dharma, and it is the same thing with the graduated path.
So anyway, the teaching is set up for the practice of one person’s achievement of enlightenment. This graduated path, which is the path that all the past enlightened beings received the stage of Buddhahood through has four outlines:
1. In order to show the pure reference, the knowledge of the authors.
2. In order to inspire devotion in the teaching, the knowledge of the teaching.
3. Then, the way of explaining and listening to the teaching, which has two knowledge.
4. Then, the way of leading the actual disciple on the path of enlightenment. This last has two outlines, that is:
a. The way of following the guru who is the root of the path.
b. Second, how to train the mind in the graduated path to enlightenment by following the guru. This has two outlines, that is:
i. persuading in order to take the essence, and
ii. how to take the essence.
This is a part of persuading in order to take the essence. The great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth can be summarized into three:
1. useful to obtain the temporal purpose, and
2. to obtain the ultimate purpose, and
3. how great it is useful to take the essence even in a second, minute, hour and day. Such as the time of drinking a cup of tea. Such as the time burning a candle or incense—how much the perfect human rebirth is useful to create merits, even in such that short time.
Also, this perfect human rebirth is the best object from which to take ordination, and receiving enlightenment in the lifetime is possible with the perfect human body that is received in this specific rebirth, this our present body. Briefly, so like this. So, it is necessary to carry on, to practice this meditation until one receives the experience, experiences that it is unbearable to waste this perfect human rebirth even for a minute, or half a minute, feeling that it such a great waste, such great waste. This happens when you deeply, really, fully discover the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth. Feeling like you have wasted a sack of gold, you have thrown a big sack of gold into the water, like that. Generally, like that feeling, there is such great, great upset—as if one had such a precious, most expensive diamond or something, and if that’s lost, it is incredible, the person is nervous, such an incredible feeling, there is upsetness, like this.
For instance, there is an example that happened in Tibet. One day a person who never had fish, had never tasted fish, got fish food, fish food. So, this was the only time that he received it, so he ate too much, so he started to vomit. He didn’t want the food to go out, to be wasted, so he bound his neck with a rope. Another person asked why. He said, “It is a great waste, the fish that I received I vomited, it is great waste, so I am taking care.” So anyway, just like this, when there is that feeling, then the experience is received.
What is the use of feeling this, having this experience? What is the use of having this experience? The purpose of this experience is to stop creating negative karma, and to continuously create merits. The purpose is this. That’s why you can understand even from the outline, “Persuading to take the essence.” Essence means this—working for enlightenment is taking the essence of enlightenment. The outline has a big taste, because, for instance just an example—a person who has a most expensive precious jewel takes really care. No matter whether the person is here in Nepal, his material is in America, wherever he is he thinks of that—always thinking of that and also taking best care. Anyway, even without telling other people that, the person is worried that it will get stolen. Why does the person try to take care so much? Because the person feels that the jewel is that much precious, that useful. As it works with material—the same thing happens, similar feeling happens through this meditation. But why is there no need to do meditation on the jewel, although it is necessary to do meditation on this? Why? Why? Peter, why is it?
Answer: There is no need to meditate on the jewel because it is always in your mind, you’re always thinking about that if you own one, but bodhicitta is continuously going out of the mind—mine anyway.
Rinpoche: Terrible good! But what I mean is this. Usually for a material jewel, a diamond, there is no need to do meditation in order to discover the preciousness, the usefulness of the diamond, these things. But to feel the usefulness of the perfect human rebirth, to really discover this, one has to do meditation, and this feeling, this realization, has to be received through meditation. So what I mean is why there is need to make meditation?
Answer: Tomorrow, today, the jewel can be blown up, stolen and then the usefulness of jewel is no more. Right now we have a perfect human rebirth and we have it now, it is very precious, so we should concentrate on that because it is all-encompassing, whereas the jewel is so little.
Rinpoche: Sounds interesting. But I can see, yes, good, good, good. But if I say, the jewel, even if it is lost, it is still useful isn’t it, it still has value, hasn’t it?
Answer: If you don’t realize you’ve got one, you wouldn’t use it, waste it (perfect human rebirth)—if you don’t meditate and realize it, you don’t use it.
Rinpoche: Yes, why need to meditate?
Answer: To break the old habit of mind. You have to meditate to realize it’s more important, something different.
Rinpoche: That’s right. But this, why is there need—this is the answer to this question, “Why one should feel great usefulness?” Then, because of this.
Answer: You can see the value of a jewel with the eyes we have been using all our life, but you cannot see the value of the perfect human rebirth without developing another kind of eye.
Rinpoche: Perfect. I think he is really an enlightened being! I think yesterday he wanted to receive enlightenment for himself, and this morning he received it! That’s right, that’s right. That’s very clear. You see, the usefulness of the jewel is something which can be seen by eye, it is limited, limited, is limited. It is limited, limited. As we talked before here, this is about the value of jewels, these things, numberless jewels. Totally the value, the usefulness of the value of the material jewel is limited. The value or the usefulness of the perfect human rebirth is profound. So profound. All the usefulness, all the value, all the usefulness of the perfect human rebirth is not something that can be seen by the eye, the object. Just like this—by selling the jewel you cannot find a better perfect human rebirth, you cannot buy it. By selling the jewel, the material that you can receive in return has a limited value. So the result that can be received through the perfect human rebirth, the value of the perfect human rebirth is so profound—profound? Profound to whom? Profound to ignorant beings’ mind, because it is hard for them to see it, to understand, to fully see it. So therefore, what interrupts the realization of that profound subject is ignorance, so there is need to do meditation. By doing meditation continuously, the ignorance that hinders the discovery of this, the realization of this, gradually, gradually diminishes. So as the ignorance gradually diminishes, at the same time the person sees the value of the perfect human rebirth, the usefulness of perfect human rebirth, deeper and deeper, the usefulness stronger and stronger, more and more true, real; like this.
Paragraph 3 (Page 51)
Should be a golden ring, we don’t like wooden ring! Golden ring!
Question: Gold ring would sink.
Rinpoche: No, no it has meaning. Don’t make joke. Okay it’s all right.
After Paragraph 4: Recapitulating Pages 50-51
So, how difficult is it to receive the perfect human rebirth? Why it is so difficult to create?
First of all, the perfect human rebirth is not independently received; it is not an uncaused thing—just as the crops growing out of the field are not uncaused. Beside the perfect human rebirth, all human rebirths are not uncaused. Just as the crops growing out of field depend on planting the seed in the field, same thing, to receive a perfect human rebirth, to receive any human rebirth, especially a perfect human rebirth, as it is causative, there should be a cause. This, the human rebirth, the perfect human rebirth is the cause. This is received and arises from cause, from cause, from cause. Planting stones in the field cannot bring the result of corn. Just as this, the cause, the evil action, the negative karma or the evil action cannot result in the perfect human rebirth—just as a stone cannot result from corn. So the evil work cannot bring the result of the human rebirth. So what? As the corn has to come, has to be grown from the seed of corn, just like this, the good result, the happy result or the good result, the human rebirth, has to be received from good karma, has to be received from the cause of good karma, has to depend on the cause of good karma.
Rinpoche: It’s coming slowly! Much subject, very long answer. Why does the rice come from rice? You see the rice coming from rice or coming from stone?
Answer: It comes from rice because of its chromosomes.
Rinpoche: Same thing, the human rebirth came from good karma because it is a good result. Anyway, so like this.
Generally, receiving a human rebirth depends on good karma, mainly morality. So—morality—so it is extremely difficult even to receive a human rebirth in the future lifetime. Why it is extremely difficult to receive? Because to create the cause, which is mainly morality, is extremely difficult. How it is extremely difficult to create morality? For instance, beings who do not know the purpose of following morality, making discipline, because of ignorance, the person doesn’t create morality, doesn’t observe morality. Many times ... first of all, like this. It is impossible to observe morality in the lower realms. For beings who are born in the lower realms, there is no way to observe the precepts.
Then human beings, because of those hindrances, not knowing morality, do not observe morality. Many human beings have the wrong understanding of morality, wrong action. Wrong action that they think is morality, but actually the action itself is not morality, like this. Also, beings born in a certain part of the country, in certain families, because of the environment, because of the influence, there is no influence of that—so it is extremely difficult to create, observe morality.
Sometimes, even if the person desires to observe morality, the family or the relatives, or the king, does not allow. They don’t allow, don’t allow—they force and they don’t allow, so it is extremely difficult to follow, observe precepts. There are so many hindrances, even if one desires there are so much hindrances, so many hindrances. Like this. Even someone who has the desire to do such things, to observe morality, with the mind attached to the temporal works that hinder the precepts it is also extremely difficult—the problem of attachment. Also, sometimes like this: it is extremely difficult to follow precepts because if one doesn’t do the opposite work of the precepts, then one doesn’t find food, one cannot support this life. Because of this, there is no desire, the work is opposite; because of these reasons it is extremely difficult, because the stomach always has to be filled up. If one doesn’t do that, it is difficult to support, so difficult. Also, there are many human beings, people like this. So generally, even if it is possible to follow precepts, it is possible in the human realm, there is that much hindrance.
Check this way, let’s say. In one country, on this earth, if you think of the number of the people who are living in the precepts and the number of people who are not living in the precepts, the number of the people living in the precepts is so little compared to the other number who are not living in the precepts, not observing precepts. Just by this we can understand. Then, in one country let’s say, how many people are keeping precepts, not keeping precepts. There are very few people who are living in the precepts, like this. So, checking one family—many more families are not living in the precepts than families living in the precepts. Even in one family there are more people who are not living in the precepts than the number of people from that family living in precepts, like that. Very little, very little, like this, very little.
Even though one takes precepts ... these are ... I am not talking about these 253, 364 ... such as 36 precepts, such as the eight precepts, just talking about even the five precepts, even two precepts from the five precepts, even two precepts from the five. The five precepts are included in the eight precepts that we are keeping, the four basic precepts and on top that, intoxication. Five, even two precept from the five, are extremely difficult, like this. So little, so little. Even just one, without talking two, even just one, so little who is keeping this, observing this, so little, so little, so like this. Then, just by checking this, keeping even one precept, very little, so rare, even just from this we can guess, we can figure out how difficult, without talking about perfect, just to receive a human rebirth. Just to receive rebirth in the upper realm. Upper realm does not mean the mountains, this does not mean those fields, this platform, what is this called? Like this. So then, now like this.
There are five precepts, eight precepts, then 36 precepts, then 253 precepts, 364 precepts; like this. This is only talking about general precepts, the precepts of the individual liberation—the Sanskrit term is pratimoksha. Moksha means liberation, also in Hindi, moksha means Liberation; prati means individual. So, general precepts. General precepts means the precepts which are taken by the beings who are following the greater vehicle or following the lesser vehicle. That’s why it is called general precepts. So the person keeping 253 precepts is extremely rare, extremely, extremely rare. The 364 has no lineage; 364, these are for women, woman’s full ordination, there is no lineage, it is ceased; in these days no lineage. So 253 is so rare, so difficult, so rare. Then 36 precepts, which are less than that, is so difficult, so rare, because it is so difficult to keep. Then eight precepts also are very rare, less than people keeping the five precepts. There are so many fewer people keeping these eight precepts than there are people keeping the five precepts, because it is that much more difficult to observe. Then, the five precepts; even let’s say people keeping five precepts is more, let’s say, the number.
But even among those who take them, those who purely keep them without breaking are rare. Extremely rare, extremely rare. Even among those who take other precepts, those which are kept for the lifetime, those who keep them purely are extremely rare, extremely rare. For instance, for people who kept five precepts, observing five or eight precepts, or the 36 precepts, if one checks up, “What didn’t I break, what precepts didn’t I break?” If one checks up, it is extremely difficult to find even one purely kept precept. Difficult. Anyway, ... so like this.
Why it is so rare? Because it is difficult, the discipline. It is difficult, difficult. Why? Why it is difficult? Because generally to take them, to observe, is difficult. Why? Because there is too much hindrance, too much hindrance. So many hindrances for keeping ordination—from outside, from inside in your mind, so many hindrances. But mainly what causes you to break the precepts is the inside hindrance, which is much stronger. So because of that, because so many hindrances and inner hindrances are so strong, the person doesn’t control it, so that’s why it is extremely difficult, like this. So by checking like this, now we can see how difficult it is—on yourself, like that, generally, like this, general influence, like this. Difficult, extremely difficult to receive human rebirth.
So whether we will receive a human rebirth next time, whether we can receive human rebirth or not, we can guess, we can check up, guess from the present life situation—the way it lives, way it works, the actions, the way it’s conditioned. It depends on this, so individually if you check up, individually, each of us, by ourselves, to receive a human rebirth again in the future depends on us. Not a negative cause, because it is the same thing as from the stone—there is no connection, as stone and corn have no connection between cause and result, same thing, the good result is a human rebirth, and it has no connection, no link, completely separated. So it needs good karma. What is that? That is mainly morality. Whether I observe morality or not in this life, whether I observe or not, how long I observe it, and then how purely you followed it or not.
You see, as the example I told—broken precepts, being born in an animal realm such as the naga realm, like this. This is why those monks in the example yesterday were born as animals. But rebirth in the narak realm is because of this, the worst suffering stage, narak; then, preta; then animal, like this. So, the person who has the heretical mind arise—maybe first of all believed in the existence of karma and things like this, then later on disbelief in this arose—those beings, because of the discipline, because of the heresy, can be reborn in the narak stages. But the person who believes in the karma, in the evolution of karma, not degenerated, but couldn’t follow the precepts well even though they believe in the evolution of karma, and has not confessed, not purified, is born in the animal realm. Still having the confidence in the belief in the evolution of karma, just that, protects one from being born in narak stages, like this.
Then, from this, “At the present time my situation is like this, my life is like this. So for a long time I didn’t observe morality; even one day, two days I observed, but not purely, broken, so it is impossible to receive again a human rebirth, to receive just the human rebirth in the future life, after this life.” Like this. As it is said in the teaching, like this. How one can figure out how one’s previous life worked hard, created merits—one can check up, discover with this present rebirth, whatever the situation, whatever your present life, from this cause, guess how your previous life worked hard, created merits. So what your future life will be depends on this present life, the decision is in the present life’s hands. So it is useful to check up like this, generally, and also to check up through your life. According to your present life, how it is, you can guess what your future life will be—either it is down or it is up, either it is downstairs or upstairs.
However, I am sure that observing eight precepts, even just observing eight precepts is much more precious, so much precious, much more. Anyway, there is no need to talk about how it is precious, it is something that takes time to explain, talk about, anyway, so rare, so rare, so rare, so much rarer than a diamond, a jewel, so rare. For instance, in America, the diamond jewel is more common than people keeping the eight precepts. The number of the diamonds which are in America is so much, and the number of people who are keeping the eight precepts are so rare, extremely rare, extremely rare. Of course, there is nothing to talk about two weeks keeping the precepts—even one day keeping eight precepts is much rarer than those material jewels. So anyway, the material jewel causes much problem, confusion, fighting, so many things, so many problems happen between groups--parents, two people, due to material.
Question: I have some doubt in my mind. When we see how the world is going and how much ignorance and how little knowledge there is of what creates human rebirth, how much, so many humans, thousands, receive this rebirth every day, population in world increase so quick and ...
Rinpoche: You think this only one world?
Answer: That’s all I know.
Rinpoche: There are infinite sentient beings, okay? Not only in this world, there are infinite sentient beings in many other worlds. This idea, your feeling, for instance, saying this—the whole family never created merits, nothing, but had so many babies—I am translating, I am making commentary on your feeling. So how that is possible? One family never creates merits but has so many babies, like this. If there is a village in which all the people don’t create merits, but they have so many babies, because of the family relationships they increase so much. It is not like the village people, like Kathmandu people, they die and are born there; not like this, not like this. They die there, they can be born in other places, not always in the same place. So same thing, people who are born on the earth are not always born here and do not always die here. Like this. Also, sentient beings are not only people, not only human beings; this is one thing. Also, after people die, they are not born as human beings, like the Chinese say. The Chinese say—I am not sure if it is a main conception, but they say if an animal dies, after they die they will be born again as animals. Same thing, people die, and are born again as people. If it were like this, then it would be correct what you say, but it is not like this, it is not sure. People dying can be born as a human being again, it is not definite, like this. Anyway, the whole answer is in meditation, okay? Sorry. Thank you.
As the great yogi Guru Tsongkhapa said in his teaching, “When the difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth is realized, the person becomes unable to live without creating merits.”
Just like this example. For instance, in the West, there is no other way for the person to live without working, without doing something, without doing a job. So without working, doing a job, without working, there is no other way to support, to receive the temporal needs. So just like this example, when the difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth is realized, the person is unable to live without creating merits, unable to live doing meaningless actions. When the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth is seen, is fully seen, spending time in the meaningless way is avoided.
Then, “If death is remembered and the person makes arrangements for the future lives: if death is remembered, the person makes arrangements for the future life.”
Anyway, these are the results, what comes. The purpose of meditating on the great usefulness of the perfect human rebirth is to realize that, to avoid, to receive the energy to avoid spending time in a meaningless way. So the purpose of making meditation on the great difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth is by realizing, building the energy that makes one unable to live without doing something, without creating merits. The person cannot live, can’t stand just living without creating merits, even for a short time.
So, meditating on death builds energy to make arrangements for the future life. This does not mean just to this present life—there is no need to worry in regards not a life after this, no need to worry. There is one arrangement that happens, that is always made by us without depending on effort for the future life. But the arrangement that is made for the future life by meditating on death is different from the others that has been always made by us without depending on effort, without depending on understanding, without depending on Dharma wisdom. The other arrangement is creating negative karma, for which we don’t have to depend on effort, on wisdom, progression of wisdom, or Dharma wisdom. So that is collecting negative karma, to suffer in the future life—this is our usual arrangement. Then, there is no arrangement to have a better future life. “For the future life” means to have a better future life to practice Dharma, to follow the path. This arrangement has to be made by doing meditation on death. So now the part of the subject, the great difficulty of receiving the human rebirth, is briefly finished. Something like that.
(Page 50) Is it Easy to Receive a Perfect Human Rebirth?
But now, to receive a perfect human rebirth. It is much more difficult than receiving just a human rebirth. Same thing, as we were talking about this morning, the number of the perfect human rebirths is smaller than the number of just human beings. Just being a human being, having a human body, just only talking on this earth, the beings who have received the human rebirth are many, but those who have received a perfect human rebirth are so little, so few. It is extremely difficult to increase the perfect human rebirth, especially in such a time as this, difficult. It is only decreasing, the beings who have a perfect human rebirth. It is extremely difficult to increase this perfect human rebirth. It is not easy, not easy. So many things are needed. The person who has received the perfect human rebirth has to be very rich receiving these things; really rich, that person.
Why, instead of increasing, becoming more, according to the time, is it decreasing, the number getting littler and littler like this? Because this is a time that teaching starts to degenerate. The number following this and having devotion are so little, so little. So because of many of these things, it is getting more difficult to happen, so the number of perfect human rebirths is like that.
So generally, why it is so little? Because the cause of the perfect human rebirth is extremely difficult to create. Because in order to receive the perfect result, as we were talking this morning on human rebirth, that perfect result has to depend on the perfect cause. So it depends on receiving the ten results, the ten receptacles, and the eight freedoms. That depends on creating the cause of the eight freedoms and the ten receptacles. So creating these causes is extremely difficult. It is not something like a one hour walking meditation, not like this. The cause of receiving a perfect human rebirth is not simple, it is not easy to create; such as one hour of doing meditation. It depends on many things. Totally, it depends on creating the perfect cause, depends on purely keeping the moralities and creating charity—creating these two causes, to make these two causes perfect, and pure prayers. Such created cause and the pure prayer. So because that, the cause and the prayer, joins to the future result, the perfect human rebirth is not simple, is not easy to create—it is not like one hour of doing meditation; it depends on many things, many things. Totally, it depends on creating the perfect cause, and depends on purely keeping the moralities and creating charity, creating these two causes, to make these two causes perfect, and pure prayers. So because of that cause and the prayer, this joins to the future result, the perfect human rebirth. So at this present time we have received the perfect human rebirth. The previous life has made the cause perfect and also there have been many prayers—many things in order to receive this result. So, to make such a cause perfect is extremely difficult, really difficult. So receiving the perfect human rebirth is extremely difficult, even from the cause point of view it is extremely difficult.
So, we have briefly finished how it is difficult to receive the perfect human rebirth from the point of view of cause. Now some examples, like this.
Paragraph 3: The Example of the Tortoise
“On the ocean there is a golden ring.”
The golden ring signifies the Buddhadharma, the teaching of the Enlightened Being. And the blind tortoise is we who are ignorant, who are blind to the Dharma wisdom, who have no Dharma wisdom. The blind tortoise signifies we sentient beings whose wisdom eye is blind. As the blind tortoise usually goes round under the ocean from place to place, so the sentient beings whose eye is blind to the Dharma wisdom suffer by being born in the lower realms, dying in the lower realms, and being reborn in the other lower realms. From the narak stage, one is born in the animal realm, sometimes in the preta realm. Sometimes in the narak realm; like this. Sometimes they die from the narak stage and also are born again in the narak stages as well as the animal realm and the preta realm. Extremely difficult to come up, to come up means...
For instance, how difficult it is to come up—look at the animal, birds, insects, look at them—they have no Dharma wisdom, no way to receive Dharma wisdom, no way to open the Dharma wisdom eye, no way. Even the flies that jump in the fire—if you tell them, “Please don’t jump in the flame, you will be burnt,” they cannot understand this—forget about Dharma, even this, there is no way for them to understand. Even physically trying to protect them, there is no way for them to understand. Even physically trying to protect the animal, from their side they think they are disturbed, hindered—they don’t think that the other person wants to protect them. Sometimes the animals, even if you don’t want to disturb them, you want to give them something, they don’t understand, they get scared and run away, being extremely foolish. And telling them, “You recite the OM MUNÉ MUNÉ mantra, creating benefits,” they cannot understand, they have no way to understand. If you really check up, putting yourself in their own situation—how difficult it is, it is something that makes tears come out; the chance is completely blocked, really, so closed. Sometimes I think, I have two puppies upstairs, and sometimes I think, as they are coming round, “If I was like this puppy, what could I do in that kind of mind, that kind of body?” Nothing to do, no chance to do anything, whatever you desire. Even if you are very hungry, wanting something, feeling thirsty—they may try to tell you, but there is no way to communicate. If there was the chance then of course they would tell. But this is blocked, the person cannot understand anything; scratching, licking, difficult to understand—the person doesn’t understand anything. Really difficult.
So from this we can check up, we can see how difficult it is for them to receive a human rebirth and create merits in their lifetime. Always they are only creating negative karma—every time, since they were born until death, they are always creating evil actions. So therefore, no doubt, it is almost impossible to receive an upper realm rebirth, to receive a human rebirth, because of this situation, this mind situation and body situation; it is almost impossible to receive an upper realm rebirth. So therefore, they die and are born again in the lower realms like this for a long time, for eons. So, like the blind tortoise usually goes under the ocean to another place, like this.
Only after one hundred years it comes once on the surface of the ocean. That is like being born in the upper realms. But what it is supposed to be—if the blind tortoise comes up, its neck should be in the golden ring. But after each one hundred years when the blind tortoise comes up, the golden ring is on the other side. Then it goes down and after one hundred years comes up again, and then perhaps the golden ring is in another place, blown by the wind, not always at the same place—it goes like this all over with the wind blowing. So just like this, even though sentient beings from the lower realms receive an upper rebirth, they don’t receive a perfect human rebirth, like this.
For instance, even though one is born as a human being, one is born in dark times, in a dark eon, in a period where there is no teaching, where the Buddha has not descended, in such a time. So, like a golden ring is somewhere and the blind tortoise comes up and the golden ring is not there, but way far away in another place, this is like the dark eon before the Buddha descended. Then, the blind tortoise coming up where there was a golden ring before, but not meeting the golden ring—not meeting the golden ring is like receiving a human rebirth after Buddha descended, gave teachings and showed the teaching and the period becomes empty. And sometimes, even though one is born in the upper realm, born in the human realm, one is born in a country that is an irreligious country, where there is no teaching, no Buddhadharma—and then again life is empty, not perfect because of that specific place. Then, sometimes the blind tortoise comes up but not through the golden ring—the neck comes nearby the golden ring but not through it, that is like this. Even though at last we are born in the human realm from the lower realm, if we are born in a religious country, a country where there is Buddhadharma existing, during the period of the Buddha, during the existence of Buddha’s teachings, and born in a country where there is the existence of Buddhadharma, but from our side we do not follow the teaching, we do not practice the teaching, this is the meaning of this. This is like the example of the blind tortoise coming up but not putting its neck through the golden ring, like this. Also, being born in the human realm after Buddha descended but when he hadn’t shown the teachings yet.
So, it is really difficult, extremely difficult to receive the perfect human rebirth. Even when we think of the examples it is almost an impossible thing. The ocean is so wide, then there is a small golden ring that does not cover much. It is small, but then also it does not stay in one place—because the teaching is not always at one place, it goes as the people’s karma, the fortune changes and degenerates—according to the people’s karma. The teaching is like the golden ring, like the wind blowing—the teaching also goes round like this. Just like before in Tibet, in ancient times, the country was so evil—it was jungle, forest, a very mischievous place. Then, during those times, there was a very big great separation of areas widely developed with Dharma, in such as in China, India, and other countries. Then after that, it came to Tibet, and where there were teachings before, it changed, degenerated, it went down, like this, like the golden ring going round. So now, in Tibet it is finished, and now the teaching is highly developing in the New York streets! Like this.
So, receiving an upper rebirth is more difficult than this example. Just as rice cannot sit if you throw it on the tip of the needle, just like that. If you throw grains on the glass wall, they don’t stay. Just receiving a perfect human rebirth is much more difficult than these examples. This is how difficult it is to receive a perfect human rebirth, how difficult it is, from the point of view of cause, and from the point of view of examples.
As Guru Shakyamuni said in a sutra teaching, “That living being who is born in the lower realms is like the dust of a great mountain, a big land. Then the being who receives an upper realm rebirth, coming up from the lower realms, is like the dust in the fingernail.”
When you check up, the dust in the nail is like this, so little. Even in numbers, it is extremely difficult to receive it. The greatest number are the narak beings, who are suffering in the narak stages. And then the pretas, then the animals. Still, the animals that are on the human earth are little, few—not only that number under the Pacific, the main places of the animals. Like this, the grass growing on the roof of the house and the grass growing on the ground in the country, in the field. The number of lower beings is like the grass on the ground, on the earth, and the number of upper beings are so rare, just like grass growing on the roof of the house, like this.
So, among the rebirths in the upper realms, comparing the numbers of gods and then humans, the human beings are less. Among the human beings, the perfect human rebirth is less, so little.
At this time we have received the perfect human rebirth about which we have talked and talked, and we can make it possible, even though there is something missing. So like this, we can always, as we have the chance, not use it for creating virtuous actions and for creating evil actions. Those who meditate, those who don’t meditate, whatever, expecting, “Oh this time I am okay, I am so good, this and that, I didn’t create much negative karma, I am perfect, then thinking also that one will receive a human rebirth again without checking and without making any arrangement, creating merits, purifying, or without stopping the creation of negative karma—this is a mistake, silly. Like this—you plant a poisonous seed in the field, and you cultivate the poisonous seed in the field in the spring time, and then in the autumn expect a medical plant to grow out of it. This is the complete opposite, which does not work.
The great bodhisattva Shantideva, said in his teaching, “As it is said by Buddha, even the negativity created in one second causes—I think better word, suffering—suffering and in the unceasing suffering stage, as it is said by Buddha—the negativity created in one second causes suffering in the unceasing suffering stage, the narak stage, then of course, why not, there is nothing to talk about in terms of the negativity that has been created from beginningless samsaric lifetimes. The negativity that has been created from beginningless samsaric lifetime causes you to not be born in the upper realms, causes the person to not go to the upper realms.”
These are very tasty teachings, they make much sense. So if you check the teaching through your life as you understand this, if you see this, put it on yourselves and then check, it is extremely difficult, as he said.
After Paragraph 8
I think I will stop here. Actually, this sounds also right but anyway, the original word is “ceases” [instead of “sees”].
Again two or three brief explanations on the benefits of precepts. Generally, there are differences—this is nothing new, many people have the idea, “Why it is necessary to take the precepts from someone?” What you are thinking now is not new, it is an old thing that I heard, it is old information since I met Westerners! Anyway, there is a difference—in so many ways it is different. Like this.
Without taking the ordination, the number of the precepts, from an abbot, from a guru, from any object, then you are not making the decision. Also, some people have the idea, “I am not doing any of this, I am not killing, I don’t kill human beings. I don’t hurt them, I don’t go hunting. What’s the point of taking precepts? I don’t need them.” Many people have an idea like this. It is different. First of all, that person has not made any decision to not kill. There is a difference, so in making the decision there is a difference. Some people think, “I am the same as if I had the ordination, I don’t do these things, I live quietly by myself. Why should I keep precepts? I don’t need them.” If there is no decision, nothing is made, so there is danger in doing the actions, the negative actions that are the opposite of the precepts. So it is easy because one hasn’t made the decision. That does not mean that the person is living in ordination, living in the precepts. It does not mean this.
For instance, if that were so, there are animals and insects that are growing in the rice and corn, and inside tree and rocks—no holes, just born inside there, many insects. They should be living in the precepts because they have no decision to do this and to not do that; there are no other insects around that those insects can harm, can eat. So therefore, that is a mistake, a complete mistake.
So, the person who thinks that without taking the precepts from an object, his making the decision by himself that he’s living in the precepts is enough—making the decision by oneself, without making the decision in the presence of an object does not have that many benefits, blessings or power. Also, it is a decision made by oneself, it is not taken in a group, in the presence of an object, an abbot, or a group of monks or Sangha. So, even if they are broken, you don’t feel it is that much guilt, because your mind made the decision, so you don’t feel guilt or shyness. There are two things, shyness and shame—things to do with other people and oneself—feeling uncomfortable because of other people. So also if the person does the opposite, the person has no shame or shyness, these things. There is also no lineage of the ordinations. The 36 precepts or the 253 precepts should be taken in the group of Sangha, in front of the abbot and the Sangha. The abbot has to ask the Sangha whether he can give the ordination or not, and the group of Sangha has to answer whether it is all right or not. Then, through those groups the person can receive ordination. So also today, it is necessary to have that group or Sangha. Generally, for the five precepts, the eight precepts, generally for all the precepts, if they are taken in the presence of an abbot or guru , this kind of object, then also it is much more as if you have made a vow. Making a vow in the presence of these beings is much more powerful and stronger, and also there is a way to receive blessings through that, if the abbot granted ordination, as there is the lineage from Guru Shakyamuni.
Also, because making a vow in the presence of these objects has great benefits, breaking it is that much more dangerous, because, you see, telling a lie becomes telling a lie to the Abbot. Then, these eight precepts, the Mahayana ordination, that you took by visualizing the infinite buddhas, bodhisattvas, and arhats, and thinking that they are here and you are in their presence, making the vow in their presence, then it becomes telling a lie to that group of sangha. This is very, very dangerous. There are many benefits, but also on the other hand, if they are broken, it is very dangerous. And also, if you take them from someone, you feel very heavy, you want to be careful because of shyness, feeling shame.
This is for ordinary beings, but those who have higher realization, those who are noble beings, those who are transcendental beings, who have the achievement of the full realization of the absolute true nature, they don’t have to take ordination from someone. However, having the realization too, is living in the ordination. Why doesn’t that living being have to take ordination from someone? Because there are no hindrances—keeping the precepts is to stop the hindrances for liberation and to continue the Dharma practice for the achievement of liberation. So, this being who has the achievement of the full realization of the absolute true nature—but generally, to receive this path, this noble path, one must depend on the penetrative insight, the training of higher wisdom. That depends on concentration and moral conduct—in order to achieve that stage one has to follow moral conduct and discipline. Without discipline it is impossible to achieve that stage. So anyway, when you achieve enlightenment, there is no purpose to keeping ordination, it is finished, the purpose of keeping precepts is finished, there is no more purpose of keeping precepts. The enlightened being has completed keeping the precepts.
Why is the purpose of keeping precepts finished in time? Because to achieve enlightenment, it is necessary to purify all the obscurations and every single mental, illusive vision. Therefore, when the being achieves enlightenment, all these are purified, so the necessity of following precepts is finished. [The bell for the finish rings.] In the future life; explain the precepts in the future life!
RInpoche: I am sorry for interrupting your beautiful meditation. Whether it is emptiness or full! What is Dharma? Someone answer.
Answer: The opposite of negative action, of negative thought.
Rinpoche: The opposite of negative action. I see. What makes the definition of negative action, the action negative?
Rinpoche: Good, good, really perfect, yes. But I am interested in finding out the definition of the negative action.
Answer: An action performed with greed, hate and delusion. Greed, hate and ignorance.
Rinpoche: I see.
Answer: An action that doesn’t have pure impulse.
Rinpoche: Good, thank you.
Answer: An action performed for self-cherishing thought, ego.
Rinpoche: Thank you so much. I haven’t left any more thanks for you! What about the action that is done such as sacrificing animals in order to go to heaven? Who answers greed, ignorance, hatred. Yes ... what about that action done in order to not suffer?
Answer: An action performed with ignorance.
Rinpoche: Performed with ignorance, why?
Answer: If you see an animal suffering and very close to death you think you should kill it to stop its suffering. You are acting out of ignorance, self-cherishing thought, because it is painful to you to watch it. You will rid yourself of pain by having the animal in no pain. I believe it is possible to say mantras at this time which is of more benefit than killing it.
Rinpoche: Good. It is ignorant because of not knowing the animal’s suffering. That is the essence of your talk?
Answer: Ignorance, yes.
Rinpoche: I see. What about... you are saying this because it is a negative action, because you give suffering to the other animal?
Answer: No, it makes you feel uncomfortable to see an animal in suffering and you feel it would be compassionate to kill it. But this is acting out of ignorance.
Rinpoche: Making the person see suffering, watch the action?
Answer: Yes, they don’t like to see an unpleasant sight, feel uncomfortable.
Rinpoche: Now you are changing.
Answer: No, it’s what I said.
Rinpoche: You mean the person always keeps an animal, they want to see it suffering?
Answer: They don’t want to see it suffering.
Rinpoche: All the butchers?
Answer: She didn’t understand the question originally.
Rinpoche: I am asking about sacrificing an animal to be born in heaven to not suffer.
Answer: It is ignorance.
Rinpoche: Ignorance, how?
Answer: Someone else’s turn!
Rinpoche: I see, I am sorry, yes. I made a mistake!
Answer: It is the ignorance of true morality.
Rinpoche: I see, yes, but hasn’t that pure action?
Rinpoche: Hasn’t that ... because it is possessed by positive motive, isn’t that possessed by positive motivation?
Answer: No, it’s possessed with the motivation to get to heaven. To get yourself to heaven. Self-cherishing, misconception, the animal will take you to heaven in this body.
Rinpoche: I see. What about creating the action to receive a better rebirth in the future for practicing Dharma?
Answer: It is a cause of harm to sentient beings, causing suffering to another sentient being.
Rinpoche: Who is saying that? First gentleman ... is the action that is done in order to receive human rebirth in future lifetime, is that also negative action?
Answer: It is self-cherishing thought.
Rinpoche: Is that creating negative karma, it depends ...
Answer: It is negative out of ignorance, thinking something external like sacrificing, something other than yourself, can give you a higher rebirth. You can’t kill something else and expect to get there. You have to change within.
Rinpoche: I want to finish with the other gentleman. Is this a virtuous action or evil action, an action created in order to receive a perfect human rebirth in future life?
Answer: It could be either, but I don’t think it would be positive because of the ulterior motive.
Rinpoche: It could be positive, could be not positive. I see. It can be both, isn’t it?
Answer: I really don’t think so. It could be good but it wouldn’t be as good; the results wouldn’t be as good as if the motivation were really pure. It could also turn out to be a negative result. I think!
Rinpoche: Yeah, I see. But isn’t your present human rebirth received through virtuous action. Has it cause?
Answer: Yes, yes.
Rinpoche: So is that virtuous or non-virtuous?
Answer: The action so created was virtuous, but it couldn’t have been done with pure motive.
Rinpoche: Then same thing. Then your present life trying to create merits, doing meditation, creating merits in order to receive a human rebirth again, is that only virtuous?
Answer: As I understand, to do something with the object of creating merit is virtuous. To do something with the object of doing good is good, but to do it with the object of acquiring merits, it can’t be good. Merit is something you don’t seek, you get.
Rinpoche: Okay, okay (laughing). So if the cause of your present rebirth is only virtuous, it should be same thing as your future—the cause of your future human rebirth should be also only virtuous, not non-virtuous. So the same thing in terms of the creating action to be born in heaven, that should be virtuous also, isn’t it? Is that virtuous?
Answer: Yes. Just a moment. If you mean to create ...
Rinpoche: Create cause, working to be born in heaven.
Answer: It is a negative action.
Answer: It has to be done with that true motive, I believe so.
Rinpoche: Same thing working to receive perfect human rebirth, is that also the same thing. Also negative, evil work?
Answer: Yes, because again it is the same thing as before, to do something with the object other than ... wait a minute. Our motive is for enlightenment ourselves, our enlightenment.
Rinpoche: So I am saying, in order to receive a perfect human rebirth in a future lifetime, in order to receive enlightenment in the future lifetime, it is necessary to continue Dharma practice in the future human lifetime, so it is necessary to receive a perfect human rebirth again. So working to receive that perfect human rebirth, is that a negative action?
Answer: Working to receive a perfect human rebirth?
Answer: I think it is negative in the sense there is still a self trying to attain, from the definition of pure motive as pure selfless action.
Rinpoche: What kind of selfless?
Answer: Selfless is without the thought of acquiring something for oneself. There has to be an absolute pure motive, but I think that conception is beyond anyone ... well, I don’t know about anyone!
Answer: Doesn’t it depend on the motive, why a person wants a human rebirth? If he wants another one to have a good time, it is a non-virtuous action, if he wants human rebirth to further the path to help sentient beings, that it is a virtuous action.
Rinpoche: It is getting clearer and clearer. Okay, so wanting to receive a perfect human rebirth again because by receiving a perfect human rebirth you enjoy things, so you create an action, create an action that is the opposite of the evil thought, that Dharma action? Even if the person desires the future rebirth, with the future human rebirth he will enjoy, but this time for that reason he creates the action opposite to the evil thought, negative mind. Isn’t that a virtuous action?
Answer: A virtuous action but a non-virtuous impulse.
Rinpoche: A virtuous action doesn’t have to be created by virtuous impact?
Answer: Yes, it does.
Rinpoche: So you see, it’s virtuous action. But is it non-virtuous action because it is done with self-cherishing thought, isn’t that negative?
Answer: It seems that if the cause was created then the resulting effect, no matter what the motivation, would work and if that was a perfect human rebirth, that’s what you would attain. But it would only last as long as the virtuous actions performed in your past life—they run out and you would go into another realm, according to your karma; but if you had a pure motivation it would continue unceasingly.
Rinpoche: If you had pure motive what?
Answer: Then the good karma effect, cause would continuously create.
Answer: The way I understand I am sure is wrong! I think you can have a negative motivation that does produce a good effect, a limited good effect, because even if someone wanted to be a human for other than a Dharma reason, once he became a human being he would have the possibility, be put into an environment where he was accessible to teachings with a perfect human rebirth. Therefore I think in a limited way negative...
Rinpoche: So negative mind is useful? Not an object to avoid, but something which should be practiced also?
Answer: I think because negative mind is pure mind, they are beginningless and exist together at any one moment, and they manifest themselves in a single action, so the result of an action may be positive or negative at the same time. In a situation where an animal is sacrificed ...
Rinpoche: How does it exist positive and negative together?
Answer: Because positive and …
Rinpoche: Why it is beginningless?
Answer: Because ...
Rinpoche: I think that much. Now this. Oneself wanting to release from samsara is that negative?
Rinpoche: Ann, oneself wanting to release from samsara, is that negative?
Ann: It depends on why I want to be released.
Rinpoche: No, because I want to achieve everlasting happiness.
Ann: That’s negative, if happiness is only for my benefit.
Rinpoche: What I mean, is that negative karma?
Rinpoche: Then does negative karma get us out of samsara?
Answers from Tent: Yes.
Rinpoche: Yes? Beautiful.
Answer: If you want to get out of samsara, then you have to be pure, somebody told me, more and more pure. And when you are getting more pure you have less ego, and you are suffering more and more because you see other people, beings, suffering.
Rinpoche: You are suffering as you get more pure?
Answer: You suffer more as you get pure, then you get more motivation to get everybody out.
Rinpoche: (laughing) Yah, yah: more and more pure, then more and more suffering taking from others, then comes the motivation—no understand?
Answer: There are different levels of positive, different levels of negative. So to get out of samsara, if you create, if you want to release from samsara it is positive, maybe not completely pure...
Rinpoche: Yes, correct, correct.
You see, as we have been talking like this, usually since it is evil work that is done with greed, ignorance and hatred, with it, only the cause of samsara. But the action that is done opposite to the evil thought, with the motivation of non-greed, non-ignorance, non-hatred—totally opposite to the evil thought of the eight worldly dharmas, the motivation, but still having, desiring to achieve everlasting happiness, wanting to release from samsara, this is positive. This is positive. This is not creating negative karma. This is not creating negative karma, this is not non-virtuous action. This motivation it causes release from samsara, causes the achievement of everlasting happiness, even though it has the smell, the pollution, of self-cherishing thought. Because it causes one to get out of samsara, no evil works. Since it’s evil work, non-virtuous action always causes one to be born in the suffering realms. Also, a person born in the upper realms due to the cause of good karma, this time we are born as human beings—but to be born as human beings came from another cause. With this there is trouble, like so much having diarrhea, such things, anyway, these things, troubles, come. But those troubles are not from another different cause, that is a virtuous cause. So it can be possible even that virtuous causes can bring results while we are experiencing the result of virtuous cause, such as experiencing a suffering result in the upper realm, that which has to be experienced by a human rebirth. Like this.
But this self-cherishing thought—okay. Also, the same thing, if that is evil work, working to cease, work with that desire wanting to receive everlasting happiness and creating merits for that, if this is evil work then working for the future life to receive a perfect human rebirth should also be evil work, negative karma, even if the action is done with the opposite to evil thought, even if the action is done with a motivation that is non-greed, non-hatred, non-ignorance, totally opposite to the evil thought. But, this is positive because of positive motivation. However, even if it is uncertain all people can understand. I think that’s all. That’s all. Thank you so much, for all your explanations of the speech.
Dedicate the merits: “Due to the merits of observing the precepts, may I achieve enlightenment soon by receiving the full realization of the absolute true nature and bodhicitta and the fully renounced mind of samsara, only for the sake of sentient beings, to bring them into enlightenment.”
You see, that much we have talked about evil thought, that many days we talked on this subject so people may have got bored, always talking about evil thought, evil work; every day an hour, you hear it many times but you get tired, bored, I am not changing words. But—do you understand? Really understand? Even this most important, fundamental thing? Anyway, it shows our ignorance, so we should not expect the subject to be easy.
We find it difficult because we have a difficult mind. We cannot think it is an easy subject, simple. Even the same subject, like a short text on the graduated path, each time there are new things to hear, new things to understand. Because each time it is done, the wisdom purifies the ignorance, and the ignorance becomes less as wisdom develops, even though it is the same subject that you read many years before. Because of the power or knowledge of the Buddhadharma, you receive new understanding each time, even though it is the same subject; like this. However, you should not expect simple and so easy; this is mistake.
One thing, there are many people who complain, discourage their mind because of not having good visualizations. It is like this: at the beginning of the course you would feel something good, because you have not done it a long time, like the person who has done it before. So as it is beginning things can happen, like having better visualization. Then, after three, four days, it changes. This happens in dependence on many things. There is nothing to discourage your mind, because when you are sick, the elements are not balanced, and this can affect the mind. You may not have a clear visualization; if you get very tired you also won’t have a clear visualization, if the body is tired—there are many things. Also, if you sleep too much, it causes you to not have a clear visualization; sleeping also increases ignorance—kind of feeling more and more heavy. There are many things—due to many things and also other things. Anyway, it is not necessary to talk, there are also other things that disturb to the clear visualization, but this is no reason to talk.
So however, there is meaning, since as long as your mind—even if you don’t get the clear visualization, perfect with each line, but just concentrate on the general feeling, even though it isn’t that clear, just as much as you can concentrate on that, like this. Among people who write letters, everybody doesn’t write the same, with perfect handwriting, but still one can read it, even though some are crooked, some straight. Just like this, you visualize as much as possible, then whatever comes just hold it; concentrate on that, then make knowledge rays coming, make purification—this is not meaningless. As long as it benefits, definitely there is meaning, there is a way to benefit, to receive blessings or to receive benefit, to benefit your mind, even though the subject is not so clear. Just remember him in that form, even though he’s not perfect as explained or done in paintings.
Then, especially from the person’s side, as much as it purifies with this, Guru Shakyamuni has no partial thought, he has compassion for you. He has infinite times greater compassion than you have for you. But how quickly it purifies the mind does not only depend on Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, it depends on the person’s side, their devotion, their understanding of the supreme infinite knowledge. So in this way then, as strong devotion as there is within the person’s mind, the purification is that much stronger, quicker. So then, through purification, through continual purification, making purification. Also, even if there is no devotion now, devotion has to arise by understanding, Guru Shakyamuni’s supreme powers, omniscient mind and great compassion. But devotion to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha has to arise, and this knowledge is interrupted by ignorance, interrupted by ignorance. For devotion to arise it is necessary to receive knowledge; seeing knowledge is interrupted by ignorance. So, it is necessary to purify ignorance; even though you don’t have that strong devotion, it is necessary to purify. Then, as you continue the purifying, as ignorance becomes less, then you see more and more knowledge through meditation. So, as you find more knowledge, the devotion arises like this. Then, as there is stronger devotion, that much quicker there is purification and realization of the meditations, much quicker like this.
So we should not be discouraged. Just continue whatever the form, as much as you can, to concentrate on that without letting the mind be distracted. Make the strong decision, “Perhaps I may not have time to do meditation after this, maybe this is the only time, so I must really do it carefully without letting the mind go under the control of distractions? So then concentrate, even though it is not clear, concentrate on that, then do purification. Generally, the Enlightened Being helps every other sentient being even though they don’t know about the Enlightened Being, even though they don’t believe in the Enlightened Being. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha always works for them with compassion but it is stronger, as Guru Shakyamuni from his side has always such incredible compassion, but from the person’s side it is not like this. Like this, making communication for Guru Shakyamuni Buddha so very strong. Like two people gathering—like if one person is going to build a house, it takes much time, so if there are two people it is quicker. This is a rough example, but like this, don’t think it is meaningless. It takes time to understand, it takes time to understand.
Thank you so much.
Monday, April 8
Before taking ordination, besides having the motivation of a virtuous impulse that is opposite to the evil thought, it is necessary to have a pure motivation that is the essence of bodhicitta, and to be possessed by the pure motivation of bodhicitta. So briefly think like this:
"From beginningless previous samsaric lifetimes I have suffered numberless times—in the narak stage, as well as in the preta realms, animal realms, and also in the upper realms, until this time. So, when I think of my beginningless experience of suffering in this lifetime, I must receive enlightenment, I must make enlightenment possible in this lifetime by dedicating, even if it cost me my life, by completely dedicating my speech, body, mind, possessions, anything—it is something like this. At least I must manage to not be born again in the suffering lower realms. This must be done right away, right away, because the actual time of death is not definite; so the arrangement has to be made right away, as this is my chance to close the door of the three lower realms. But to be born again in the upper realms without being born in the lower realms is not sufficient, because it is still the suffering nature, as is the present lifetime. It is necessary to release from the bondage of suffering, from the cause of suffering.
"Only oneself releasing from that is not sufficient, because infinite sentient beings are in suffering. Most of them do not have the chance to practice Dharma as we have, most of them have not received a perfect human rebirth, have not met a guru explaining the teaching, have not met the teaching, and do not have the wisdom to discriminate what is the cause of enlightenment, the cause of happiness, the cause of suffering. Due to this ignorance, no matter how much they desire happiness, day and night they create the cause of suffering, the opposite of what they expect. With ignorance, they become enemies to themselves, causing trouble to themselves—they are in such an upsetting situation. As they are the foundation from whom I receive all my past, present, and future happiness, including enlightenment, therefore, as I have the chance now it is my responsibility, as they have been extremely kind, to repay them. How I should repay them is to enlighten them by releasing them from suffering. To do this I must achieve enlightenment, therefore it is necessary to subdue the unsubdued actions of speech, body, and mind. Therefore, I am going to take Mahayana ordination.”
So do the visualization that you are taking ordination from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha and from other infinite buddhas, bodhisattvas, and arhats.
Prayer No. 1
At the end of the third repetition, think that you have completely received the pure Mahayana ordination and think that all of your body, all inside, all atoms, is all full of the light whose essence is the ordination.
Think also, "As the previous arhats followed the precepts, also I will observe the precepts until tomorrow.”
Think in the depth of your mind, "We are going to work for each number of sentient beings, to release them from suffering and bring them into enlightenment. We are working, observing precepts, disciplining ourselves, so for this reason, for each of the sentient beings, I am going to observe precepts until tomorrow.” With such a compassionate thought, it is necessary to then make the decision to observe the precepts. Also, do this without excluding your enemies—if you have enemies you cannot exclude them, otherwise how can it become impartial work for sentient beings? When cultivating the motivation, it is especially necessary to remember the enemy; it is very effective. When you think of sentient beings, you have good feelings, but if you think about each sentient being around here who says bad things, who complains, who doesn't show a good face, things like this, then you don't have the same feeling when you cultivate the motivation. Generally, when you think "sentient beings,” it looks nice, good, but it is necessary to think, remember like this—it is very helpful to bring peace in your mind also, to destroy the conception of the enemy that he is bad. Then, starting from these people who are not interesting, whom you dislike, starting from them, think of all sentient beings: it is very good, your thought is really impartial. Then, also it is a fantastic thing because, generally, if you remember the enemy, you want to harm, take revenge, react, and the mind feels unpeaceful. When you remember the enemy, the other person in whom you are not interested, at the same time your mind becomes like stone, sort of dead, unpeaceful. So this is such a fantastic method. In place of doing this you are helping, working for the enemy, you are working for enlightenment in order to help the enemy, to release the enemy from suffering, to lead the enemy to enlightenment. This is the complete opposite of the worldly beings, the ordinary beings, action, what they desire with the enemy.
Prayer No. 2. Mantra
Prayer No. 3, Dedication Prayer
Dedicate the merits, "Due to the merits of taking ordination, may I achieve enlightenment soon by receiving the full realization of the absolute true nature, bodhicitta, and the fully renounced mind of samsara in order to enlighten all sentient beings by releasing them from suffering.”
Just one, two precepts, brief explanation on the benefits. So like this. When the first prayer is repeated three times, it is making a vow, saying that I am going to take ordination for such purpose. Anyway, the ordination of the eight precepts is general, which means the followers following the lesser vehicle also observe the eight precepts, but the precepts number and the precepts themselves are the same thing. The difference between that and this Mahayana ordination is, first of all, the motivation has to be bodhicitta; and then secondly, the object from whom you take this ordination is the infinite buddhas, bodhisattvas, and arhats. So the object from whom you take ordination makes a little difference. This Mahayana ordination can be taken by a full monk who took two hundred and fifty-three precepts, by anyone—anyone who can observe this can take it. But for the monks who took thirty-six precepts or two hundred and fifty-three precepts, taking just the general eight precepts makes it empty—it hinders the other eight general precepts. It hinders the other higher ordination, it cannot be taken. But this Mahayana ordination can be taken by anyone, a layperson, anyone, and in one day. Also, for the person, if his motivation is that way, his body is also different; it also becomes the body of Mahayana ordination. Anyway, this is just a brief introduction.
3. So, sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is like, without talking about the future result—the achievement of enlightenment, the cessation of samsara—the temporary purpose—it causes the result in a future lifetime of having an ugly body that is the opposite of beauty, and having a very ugly color. There are so many examples; the world is full of examples.
Question: Is this from breaking the precepts?
Rinpoche: Not following precepts: yes, not free. No one all own freedom.
It brings those results. Even though the person is in the human realm, he or she will have such a body like that, a body that people do not like, that people hate. If you lose the seed, also it hinders the achievement of your future holy, perfect body of an enlightened being—the magnificent perfected holy body.
The benefits of keeping these precepts are as follows. Even temporarily, in future lifetimes, when you are born as a human being you will have a very peaceful relaxed face, a beautiful face, a body with good color, not ugly color, in a shape that brings calm and peace to other people's minds. There are many other examples.
Okay, thank you so much.
From the holy speech of the great bodhisattva, Shantideva, "From the thought willing to achieve enlightenment an extensive result arises while the living being is in samsara, but as the thought following the path to enlightenment, no continual merits arise. Any being not wanting ..."
It means this. The opposite is following the six paramitas, so for any being who has the thought to practice, to follow the six paramitas in order to release infinite sentient beings from suffering, even in the time when they are unconscious, continual strength and power of the merits equaling space, equaling the sky, can be received. So making it clear, like this. Generally, the thought wishing to achieve enlightenment for the sake of sentient beings has incredible benefits; it has infinite, incredible benefits. But it doesn't have such continual power, continual merits as the second bodhicitta, following the path to enlightenment. So, for instance, for the living being who has the thought to practice the six paramitas—not desiring to come down from that practice in order to release all sentient beings from suffering, this being, because of this second bodhicitta, even during the time of sleeping, or eating, or working, or talking, or lying down—whatever he does, there is always, because of this second bodhicitta, the thought following the six paramitas, so the person always creates merits. All the time the person creates merits, day and night, even while the person is asleep. The person continuously creates merits because he has already made the decision to follow the bodhisattva practice, the bodhisattva deeds. So if the person is living in the practice, that is started with this second bodhicitta, so always continuously, whatever the person does, there is always the continuity of increasing merits, so much continual powerful merits that equals infinite space. That is the power of the second bodhicitta, the thought following the path.
Since one has made that decision to follow the bodhisattva practice, since one has made that decision, the merits continuously increase—such infinite merits. This does not depend on the person being aware, or doing something—all their rest time is possessed by the second bodhicitta, following the path. So in order for this powerful second bodhicitta to arise, this second bodhicitta that brings infinite merits just like infinite space, in order to receive this, one must receive the first bodhicitta, the thought of willing to receive enlightenment. So that depends on training the mind in the technical meditations of bodhicitta. And that depends on the Mahayana techniques. That depends on the practice and realization of the fundamental meditations such as those of the first, second and third meditations. Also, it depends on the mind getting used to this pure thought, on the mind getting closer and closer to this pure thought. So that depends on how much we leave the impression of bodhicitta by meditating, by cultivating pure thoughts. So therefore, for today's work, this momentary action, to become the cause of enlightenment and also to become the cause of receiving bodhicitta, it is necessary to cultivate the pure thought, bodhicitta.
"All the infinite sentient beings have been suffering from beginningless samsaric lifetimes as I have been suffering from beginningless samsaric lifetimes. But now I have the chance to work for enlightenment and to achieve enlightenment. As I have this chance I must achieve enlightenment for the sake of sentient beings, to enlighten them by releasing them from suffering. Therefore, I must complete the realization of the graduated path. Therefore, I am going to listen to the holy, profound teachings.”
So the holy profound teaching that is the listening subject is the Mahayana teaching that leads the fortunate being into enlightenment. It is the teaching that was well expounded by the great philosophers, Nagarjuna and Asanga. It is a profound holy teaching from which the essence of the great bodhisattva Atisha and Guru Tsongkhapa's holy mind is produced. It is the teaching that includes all the essence of the 84,000 teachings shown by Guru Shakyamuni Buddha 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. In order to have, in order to show the pure logical reference, the knowledge of the authors.
This means, first of all, that the original teaching was shown by Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, and the pandits and the great numbers of yogis checked up, practiced, and realized it. It involves the explanation of the path, how it has been proven. Also, the knowledge of the author Atisha.
2. In order to inspire devotion, the knowledge of the teaching, and
3. How to listen to and explain the teaching, which has two knowledges. The two knowledges are explained at the beginning, just briefly. That is another big subject. And then,
4. How to follow the guru, who is the root of the path, and then
a. How to follow the guru, who is the root of path, and then
b. How to train the thought in the path to enlightenment by following the guru. Then the last one has two outlines:
1. Persuading in order to take the essence, and then
2. How to take the essence
So, persuading in order to take the essence is perfect human rebirth and the great usefulness of perfect human rebirth; and the great difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth; like this. Then the rest:
2. How to take the essence, way of taking the essence is included in three divisions, that is:
a. The path of the lower being,
b. The path of the middle being,
c. The path of the higher being.
So the whole graduated path is divided into three—all the realizations are divided into three, these three paths.
Also, in this way, we can understand how all the teachings are included in the graduated path—such as the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana—how they are included in the graduated path, this way we can understand easily. For instance, like this—in the path of the lower being and in the path of the middle being, in these fundamental subjects and all the teachings, the path of the Hinayana teaching is explained. Then in the path of the higher being, as well as bodhicitta and the six paramitas, the Mahayana is explained; there are also others. Then, Vajrayana is also included in the path of the higher being. So that's how all the teachings shown by Guru Shakyamuni is included in the graduated path, in these three paths. These three paths are the divisions of the graduated path. So therefore, there is no such teaching that is not included, that one cannot understand from the graduated path; there is no such other realization that one cannot receive by following the graduated path.
So yesterday, the great difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth. Making summary, in case there is someone who does not know how to make meditation. So making it short, as we said yesterday—
Receiving the perfect human rebirth is difficult. Creating the cause is difficult. Then, how is it difficult? It is necessary to check the causes of morality and charity—there should be both. So first of all check generally on the earth. First of all check whether it is possible to create these causes in the lower realm—it is not possible. Then check the earth generally, in the countries—how many people follow morality—such as on the earth, one country, village, family. Like this, checking—think that it is a very little number from any of these groups. Generally, like this. Even though one has the desire, there are so many disturbances, so many hindrances. Then first of all, check generally like this.
Then secondly, check that it is not possible, even in the realm of the gods; besides for the lower beings, even in the realms of the gods it is not possible. Then, in this way you think, "Therefore, it is extremely difficult to receive the perfect human rebirth.”
Then, check up on yourself. "For me to receive a perfect human rebirth in the future life depends on creating the causes in this lifetime, so have I created the cause of a perfect human rebirth, following morality?” If you have followed keeping precepts, then for how long? Then, how purely; check up. If they are not pure, if they are broken, then you cannot be born in the upper realms. So check up how much, how long you observed, and if you observed, how purely. Also, those who are observing precepts, check how many have not been broken, how many were left pure, never broken—also check like this. It is very effective and helpful for the mind, very helpful to fully discover the difficulty of receiving the perfect human rebirth. Also check up on yourself, like this.
Then, after checking like this, also check like this—if you have observed the precepts only one day, two days, such a short time, even that is not so pure. Compare the creation of good karma and merits and following the precepts to the creation of negative karma—which have you done more in your life? You have done more negative karma, therefore even because of this it is extremely difficult—because of the negative karma created in life especially, much more than good karma, virtuous actions, following precepts. This is a hindrance to receiving the human rebirth in the future lifetime, after this life. So because of this, also much less virtuous action has been created, and because of this, it will be extremely difficult to receive a perfect human rebirth again—like this, checking. Even if you followed the precepts, even though you created virtuous actions by following precepts, taking ordination, then because of heresy and anger, your merits were destroyed, and what you created no longer exists, even a little. So it is not certain that the merits, however much you have created in this life, will bring the full result, because it is not certain whether they were all destroyed or whether they exist. This is not certain because of the hindrances of the negative mind—anger and heresy, these things. For anger to arise is so easy, it is the easiest thing. Even if someone complains, says something we do not like, all of a sudden it comes up like a balloon; the mind gets ballooned by anger, like this. It is so easy and simple, and it doesn't take many hours or days, it doesn't take much time for the arrangement. So, not sure. Therefore, it is extremely difficult for you to receive a perfect human rebirth in the future life.
It is not enough just creating the cause to be born as a human being. In order to receive a perfect human rebirth after this life, it is necessary to create the cause of the ten opportunities and the eight freedoms, it is necessary to create the cause of these eighteen results. The perfect human rebirth includes eighteen things, the eight freedoms and the ten opportunities, so to receive these again, it necessary to create their cause, as well as making prayers to the Triple Gem—continual prayers which have power. The prayers cause one to join to that result.
So, by checking many different ways like this, from generally and from one's life, like this checking, then you can really .. as you check , the difficulty of receiving a perfect human rebirth more and more, deeper and deeper, you will see more and more clearly, you will meet a deeper feeling with it. You will feel that the perfect human rebirth is more and more precious, like this, like this. When the person talks just generally about how difficult it is to buy a diamond, talking about how much money one needs for that, how expensive it was, when the other person understands that information, the other person sees the diamond as more and more precious, rare, difficult to get. Through doing meditation like this, your feeling gets stronger—you should experience this. But receiving the experience depends on many things.
Generally, how quickly you receive the realization or experience of these meditations depends on how strong, effective, active, and strong checking meditation you do. Like this—if you are going to cut grass, to be able to cut a bunch of grass at one time, in order to quickly cut the grass, easily and quickly cut it, it depends on a sharp knife, a sickle, a very sharp round knife. It depends on having this. If this is good, then you can hold many bunches of grass in the field, and you can cut them at one time easily, without needing much strength. It quickly finishes, no matter how big the field is. But if it is not sharp, if it is dull, then it is difficult. As much as you try, it doesn't cut quickly. Even if you use so much strength, still it doesn't cut equally and easily, like this. So just like this, meditation is the same thing. Receiving realization, having experience, can be easy and quick; also, it can take time and be difficult, depending on people and the individual's purification and using powerful, effective checking meditation. It is possible that one can receive even one specific meditation in one month, three weeks, fifteen days. It is possible; this depends on the person doing meditation with skill, it depends on his skill.
Then checking through the cause like this ... (Nepali band went by playing loudly). These things are samsaric nature. So many things happening at the same time ... anyway. At the same time as people are getting married, there are also people dying. At the same time as people are being born, people are getting sick—so many things are happening, going on. At the same time people are happy, at the same time some people have so much suffering, terrible suffering. So many things are happening. Totally, it is all in the nature of samsara, it is all in the nature of impermanence. There is nothing that is definite in the nature of samsara.
So, first checking through cause. Then secondly, checking through example, like the blind tortoise. Through example, the blind tortoise—the sentient beings who are in the lower realms, who have no Dharma wisdom eye. The golden ring is the Buddhadharma. Then, coming up sometimes, after each 100 years, being born. Living beings from the lower realms come up only sometimes, after a long, long time, so many eons, and are born once in the upper realm. But finding this is difficult, extremely difficult. This is like the blind tortoise, the neck inside the gold ring. Sometimes the turtle comes up where there is no golden ring. Sometimes it comes up in the place where there was a golden ring before, but at that time the golden ring is in another place. Then sometimes, if it is more fortunate than that, as it comes up it gets near the golden ring, but still not inside—the neck doesn't get through. Even just to get it near is so difficult, even to get near. So it is more difficult to get inside the ring. Just like this, even though there is the existence of the teaching, even though you want to follow it, there is no person teaching it, no guru, no teaching explaining Dharma—you do not find it. Like the modern problem many people have in the West—as much as they desire, they do not know how to find it; and not knowing how to find it, how to seek it, they do not find the one who shows the teaching, who knows the teaching. For example, like this. Many things. It is more difficult to receive the perfect human rebirth than it is for the tortoise to put its head in the golden ring. So through examples, checking like this.
For the third time, check through numbers, try to see how difficult it is to receive the perfect human rebirth through numbers. The number of the narak beings, then the pretas, then animals. We see animals are less, less than pretas and naraks, but for instance, like this—in one country there may be several thousand people in one place—maybe ten thousand or something. But even on the ground where one person sits, even just there, if you check up, there are so many insects that can be seen. There are also those that cannot be seen by our eye but that can be seen through machines. There are so many insects, so many worms, insects—incredible. On the avenue, the place where one person sits on the ground, there are an incredible number of insects. Look at one plant—there are so many tiny insects. Look at one tree, just one tree—so many. Even in a small palace, just that, it is incredible. Look at the flies! You see, if you are going to count the flies in Kathmandu you cannot count; even in one place, so much. The flies are not only in Kathmandu; in India, in many countries—also in Tibet there are flies! Also on the mountain there are flies; like this.
For instance, even a piece of wood, firewood—there are so many tiny insects, tiny ones jumping. They usually come on damp wood where there is humidity; like this, an incredible number. Look at the ants—even in one place, on a tree, in one place there are so many ants; in the forest, even in one place—in this part there are ants, in that part there are no ants. Wherever you go, on the mountain, so many, an incredible number. For instance, in the summertime, look on the ground, it is full of animals. On the ground, if you really check, it is full of different kinds of insects and all kinds of things. Then you look on the trees—of course. So you look in the sky—so many insects, so much going on down there, really. For instance, if an animal is dead, very soon it becomes full of worms, many worms get there, so many, so easily, very quickly get born there. For instance, like vegetables, or rotten meat—if it goes for a few days, then it so easily gets worms there, and insects, so many. Besides that much we see them on the ground, under the ground, so many, so many. Also in space, in the sky.
Besides that there are many more who are ready to take the body, incredible numbers to go in the body. As there are that many in number, there are that many numbers of living beings who are in the intermediate stage—that means after death, before rebirth. We say, the Tibetan term for that is "the life between.” The life between--between means between, the middle living beings, that means after death, before rebirth. So there must be an incredible number of intermediate beings who are ready to take the body of an animal. If it is easy to get born, so easy—even if the animal is dead, one quickly gets born, many things, such as in dirty water, which easily gets worms. This is not in one specific country, not on one specific mountain; wherever, they so easily get born. So like it is that very easy, there are that many intermediate beings who are finding the place, ready to take rebirth; incredible numbers.
So also in the oceans there are incredible numbers of insects, animals. Generally, the number of animals is less than preta and narak, but it is an incredible number of insects, unbelievable. This only talking about this earth, still talking about this earth; like this. Also there are animals in our stomach and in the hairs—especially those who have warm hairs! I am joking! They are so easily born on the body. So easily, like on fruit. Why it is so easy? Why are there that number of insects? Why it is so easy to get born, so easy? Compared to the number of animals, the number of the beings who receive birth in the upper realms is so little. There are less that are born, that receive human rebirth.
So now we can see, as you check up in this way, the number of the people is nothing compared to the insects and animals on one hill top—they are on a little ground, in and out, a little hill; it cannot compare, besides talking about the number of animals that are in this valley, on the ground, on the planet; nothing compares. The number of the people on this Earth is so little, is nothing, there is nothing to compare between the number of animals and human beings. Why? Because—this shows why there are not as many numbers of human beings as animals, why there are many numbers of animals. It is because the cause for a human rebirth is so difficult. To create evil work one doesn't need effort—effortlessly the action is created, continuously, unconsciously. In many ways like this, the perfect human rebirth is most rare.
So check like this; it is difficult to receive the perfect human rebirth even when you check through the number. In previous times one lama was giving teachings in Tibet to the people and there was a Chinese man. He said in China there are so many people—the lama was explaining how rare the number of human beings were compared to animals. The Chinese man said, “This is because you haven't been in our country, we have so many people in China.”
Usually we think that there are so many numbers of human beings, so many people. We think like this; but if we check like this, with details at each place, on the ground, above ground, if we check up like this, the number of human beings on this earth is nothing. This evolution shows that to be born in the upper realm is difficult.
I had a small bottle, and I made some different things, a kind of pill, then I put it in a small bottle. After few days it was full of these tiny ones—they usually jump, but also go slowly—tiny white ones, I think maybe smaller than lice eggs. Anyway, an incredible number; it is not something that can be easily counted. It is so easy to be born there.