Teachings from the Nyung-nä Retreat (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Shakyamuni Center, Taichung, Taiwan (Archive #1605)

These recordings are from teachings on the nyung-nä practice given at Shakyamuni Center, Taiwan on 23-24 February 2007. The series includes an oral transmission of the nyung-nä text and the long Chenrezig mantra.

For more advice on nyung-nä practice, see Nyung-nä Teachings at Lawudo, a series of ten teachings given at Lawudo Retreat Centre, 1978. See also Nyung-nä Practice: Prostrations and Offerings and Rinpoche's Online Advice Book.

Oral Transmission of Nyung-Nä Text; Songtsen Gampo

So I do the lung of the, probably you have in the nyung-nä text, this Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche’s root guru, when he was over fifteen he wrote this according to what during the retreat, when he was doing Compassion Buddha retreat, then what thoughts came in his mind, what various thoughts came in the mind then he wrote this as a request. So I received this from Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche.

[Rinpoche begins the oral transmission.]

You did chant this one? Anyway, then Songtsen Gampo, Dharma king Songtsen Gampo’s, the Chenrezig prayer composed by Songtsen Gampo.

So this is one, not every day but try to use, one of the prayers try to use, not every day, but there are different prayers, before chanting OM MANI PADME HUM, so this is one of the prayers before beginning Chenrezig practice. It’s, so eventually I thought to translate into, because it’s extremely inspiring, these different requesting prayers, there are quite a few other prayers. So you can do one day, one this, you can do another day, another requesting prayer, before you do the, whatever number you’re going to do, mala or a thousand or 10,000 or whatever, how much you do. So it’s very good.

So it is said that if you make one time request to Chenrezig then forever Chenrezig guides you when you are into the, yeah, great danger, Chenrezig guide you so even by doing one time request, so it’s very important, with the whole heart to request Chenrezig again and again.

Songtsen Gampo, when he was king, who Chenrezig embodiment the king, because the people in the Snow Land, Tibet, is the special object to be subdued, so there’s a whole story, that the karma, connection with Chenrezig, the similar basically it looks like, so chant OM MANI PADME HUM much but then do also prayer Amitabha too, but mostly OM MANI PADME HUM, but in China it seems basically it seems more connection with Amitabha, so everybody chant, because more connection with Amitabha so chant Amitabha mantras is very common. However, Amitabha is Chenrezig’s guru, so that’s why there’s the Amitabha on the crown, top, Amitabha, and to respect. To show that, the five types of buddha, within which essence Chenrezig become enlightened. And also the guru Amitabha, by becoming enlightened, Chenrezig become enlightened because of the guru Amitabha, so still to respect even after becoming enlightened still respect guru Amitabha. So then that’s two explanations. One is in whose essence, five types of buddha, in whose essence become enlightened. The other one, even though Chenrezig become enlightened, Chenrezig become enlightened because of guru Amitabha Buddha, but still even you become enlightened, still you respect the guru. That’s why, there are two reasons why the deities like Tara has the Amoghasiddhi, I think, yeah, I think the White Tara is Amitabha there, but the others, I think, Green Tara has Amoghasiddhi, something like that. So many, all the deities have a crown, so that has two explanations.

Of course, so which means, [pause] for some of us ordinary beings then when you have Dharma understanding or when you have experience or some Dharma understanding then you feel pride you’re better than the guru or, if you have some Dharma understanding or you have some experience. But here even Chenrezig, those deities, become enlightened but still they respect the guru, so that’s one purpose why have the, from the five types of buddha, one of them on the crown, it’s like that. For some of us, we have so much pride, that, with a little understanding of Dharma or some experiences one had, so that’s contradictory, complete opposite to the practice.

So Songtsen Gampo, the Dharma king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo, they have the, wrapped with the, like Sikh Indian, not sick person, Indian, but Sikh they have this tobyur or, what’s it called? Huh?

[Ven. Sarah: Turban.]

Sorry, I pushed to speak, sorry. Sorry, I made a mistake.

So, the turban, wrapped like that, not like Indian Sikh, but it’s different. Then there’s Amitabha head, those Dharma kings of Tibet, because showing that they’re Chenrezig, so _____ the guru Amitabha, Amitayus, Amitabha head on top, you see the statues or in the pictures or statues in Tibet of Songtsen Gampo, I mean those Dharma kings they have Amitabha on top, that’s showing that that’s Chenrezig.

So anyway, how they did, unbelievable skillfulness, that’s also useful some ways, to know this, two young monks went to see, two getsuls went to see Songtsen Gampo for, I think, teaching or something, so then what happened was, they saw on the ground, on the field, ground, big piles of human heads, punished people who engaged in ten nonvirtuous actions, then their heads are cut, piled up on the ground. So then they saw this, then they felt so much heresy Songtsen Gampo, how’s it possible, so they got heresy, they didn’t understand, they did not understand what he was doing, they didn’t understand, so they just judged what they see outside. So they just believed what appeared to them, they didn’t see beyond, so they got so much heresy.

And anyway, Songtsen Gampo gave a sack, I think a sack of sand then he gave to them to take back to their home, anyway. Maybe it’s grain or sand, I’m not sure, sand. So however, in reality those people, head cut and piled up on the ground, they are not, the judge who punish, executing the people and those people who are killed, cut head [snaps fingers] they all are manifestations of himself, in order to control the people in the country, in Tibet, to follow the divine ten Dharmas, which means ten virtues, and the sixteen human dharmas, respect each other, there’s many things, for the happiness, peace in the country, harmony, unity, so respect the elderly and respect Sangha, I mean Sangha, no question, there are so many details, sixteen human dharmas, it’s all for peace and happiness. Yeah, good karma, all that. So people to engage into practicing these laws, Dharma laws, those moral laws so Songtsen Gampo manifested as judge and all the criminals, he manifested criminals, so many criminals he manifested and in judge, everything is himself and did killing them, piled their heads to show people, so that people to engage into Dharma, into moral discipline, good karma, so they don’t harm each other.

So that’s incredible skillful means, that’s unbelievable skillful means. So if you are enlightened being or if you are like the very high bodhisattva, so you can do that. You can do, you can guide the country this way. You don’t need to harm to anybody. You just manifest so many of you, judge and criminals, everything, so you don’t have to harm to anybody, so just naturally others they kind of follow. So how skillful it is.

So these disciples they came all the way from far, from their home to see Songtsen Gampo but then they got so much heresy and didn’t take teachings and, however, Songtsen Gampo met but then they gave a sack of sand.

So then, when they arrived back at home, when they opened it’s gold, everything’s gold. So what they achieved is just the gold or sack of gold. But Songtsen Gampo said these two young monks they have the karma to become enlightened in that life, but because of heresy then that interfered for them to achieve enlightenment in that life. But that’s, usually that is part of story to prove guru devotion practice, how your appearance, cannot trust to your own appearance, nothing definite in your own appearance. Your appearance is your projection. What appearance you have, view what you have is the view of your mind, your mind, so you can see it came from your mind, then it’s a projection of your mind.

So there are four outlines to realize that the guru is the buddha to your mind, mind which sees separation, guru is ordinary being, the buddha is something separate, so to realize the guru is all the buddhas and every single buddha is the guru, so to realize that, so there are four outlines in lam-rim, so then the last one, Buddha Vajradhara said the guru is buddha, accepted. Then, the guru is the doer of all the buddhas’ action. The guru is the doer, like embassy of the country, embassy of United States here in Taiwan or, which is doing the work for all the, the whole country, United States, this person represent everybody in the United States. So like Taiwan, the representative, there’s embassy in other countries representing all the people. That the doer of all the buddhas’ activities, the guru is the doer of all the buddhas’ activities. And then by that, buddha. Even nowadays, buddhas, bodhisattvas are doing the work for sentient beings, including myself, so then there’s no other, there’s nobody to point out except this person, this guru, so therefore, yeah, so the guru, so all the buddhas, bodhisattvas doing work for, all the buddhas who are doing work for me, so has to be this one. The buddhas, bodhisattvas doing work for me, this one, that’s the conclusion. So then buddha.

Then, the last one, nothing definite in your own view, appearance, so that’s the fourth one. So that’s one of the stories, there are many others, but this is one of the stories that how you can’t trust your own appearance. Appearing like this doesn’t mean that it’s true in the reality, so that’s what it means. So the two monks they saw all this, they didn’t understand, whatever appeared to them they thought that’s the reality, then that’s not the reality there. So Songtsen Gampo said they had karma to be enlightened in that life, but because of the heresy so then, so what they achieved in their life by coming to see Songtsen Gampo is the sack of gold.

So anyway, just, this story has different ways to understand. One is, of course, the guru devotion meditation, but then you know how buddhas, bodhisattvas, how they work for sentient beings, by being even king and how they do the punishment and all the, their own manifestation, everything’s their own, like that, so skillful, actually there’s no harm there for sentient beings. So you can see the best way to be president and the best way to be king of the country, by becoming buddha. If not, then a bodhisattva, then a higher bodhisattva, then if not then an ordinary bodhisattva. So that’s the best leader. Yeah so then there’s so much peace and happiness in the country. So for example, the Queen of England, what is her name? Elizabeth? No, not Elizabeth. Queen Victoria, so now after this, you don’t speak, close up. Queen Victoria. Lock up. Then Queen Victoria time there happened so much peace and happiness in England, not only England but countries around, they have so much peace and happiness happened. And His Holiness Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche said that Queen Victoria is Palden Lhamo, it’s wrathful aspect of Saraswati or you can say Tara, Saraswati, the wisdom goddess, so Palden Lhamo. So there’s so much peace and happiness not only in England but countries around. So her, Queen Victoria’s stick in the hand, hand-stick and there’s a diamond on top, so that was in France, I think it was in France, yeah, a museum somewhere, so His Holiness Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche when he was in France he specially went to visit, he specially went to see her hand-stick, which has diamond on top, as Rinpoche explained.

Yeah, so anyway, the prayer composed by [pause], I don’t know whether there’s English, whether there’s prayer in English or not, anyway I read the Tibetan.

Yeah, go on.

Then to think, At any rate, no matter how difficult it is, no matter how long it takes time then the only purpose of my life is to free sentient beings from suffering and cause and bring to enlightenment, therefore I must achieve enlightenment, therefore I need to do the oral transmission this holy Dharma, okay.

[Rinpoche gives oral transmission]

So when you’re taking the oral transmission then the meditation is that the lama who is giving the oral transmission, think that is, who ?recite the meditation is that, this is Guru Shakyamuni Buddha giving me lung, giving me lung, not lung, lung, this is Tara giving me, so all the buddhas, think, This is Chenrezig giving me lung and all the buddhas, numberless buddhas giving me teachings. That and then also, so then this way you feel connected to all the buddhas. Then think, each word that I listen, it cuts, it stops oceans of suffering of samsara, oceans of suffering of my samsara, oceans of sufferings of hell, hungry ghost, animal, human being, sura, asuras, intermediate state beings, so each word what it does to me is that, liberates me from all the sufferings and brings me to enlightenment, so each word is most wish-fulfilling. So by listening to each word, may it cause to actualize the meaning of the prayer within me immediately and may it cause, when I teach others, recite for others, may it cause to actualize the path within the hearts of sentient beings immediately. So you should dedicate like that now so then in the future when you recite for others or when you explain to others, so it has a lot, a great effect to their mind. Yeah, then also each word is most precious, so then also you get, to not miss out, the lung.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

This is the prayer taking the Eight Mahayana Precepts, so this is the lung of that.

[Rinpoche continues the oral transmission.]

So, for the Sanghas, I mean lay can also, lay who do, take five vows, can also do that but especially Sangha, then after the end of the Thirty-five Buddhas’ prostrations in the morning then, part of the refuge vow is, at least you do three prostrations in the morning, at least, to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, by having refuge, so if we do Thirty-five Buddhas it’s best and then, so at the end you recite this mantra twenty-one times, so my root guru, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, said that by reciting this mantra then all the ten direction buddhas their pure morality you receive. And the negative karmas, vices, that you degenerated the vows get purified by reciting this and then you’re able to keep pure. So this helps, reciting this mantra is one solution, one that it helps to be able to keep pure and also purify what has been degenerated, okay.

So this is one suggestion especially for, lay can do, those who have taken vows, five lay vows or eight, but especially Sangha it’s very good in the morning to do this.

So for the gelongs, for the bhikshus, in the morning there’s, to get permission from Buddha, there’s certain things where you can get permission, that food that has been collected, then to get permission to use, there are things, food and so forth, those things which are not blessed then eating, there are certain things which you can get permit, so then it comes in the prayer. So also can, this mantra can recite also after that.

It’s called the sung, which makes morality pure, sung of the pure morality. That’s the name of this mantra.

[Rinpoche continues oral transmission.]