In Praise of Dependent Arising (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

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

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

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

Purification, Karma

…one's own mind, attitude, it's not like that. It appears like that.

So that in our everyday life if we are not careful our motivation, if we are not careful in the way of living the life, which means the motivation, the attitude, if we are not careful in the, if we don't pay attention in our daily life, the motivation of life, the walking, sitting, sleeping, so forth, even we do meditation, that by knowing how to meditate, how to meditate means by generating, we make the mind become Dharma, first we transform the mind into Dharma then we start, then with that Dharma mind, we begin the meditation, then this is the correct way to meditate. So the meditation becomes Dharma, this way the action of meditation become Dharma. So similar, how to live the life means first the attitude becoming Dharma, then with that attitude then one live the life, one do the works, one do the activities. So in this way then our daily activities do not become the cause of sufferings, cause of the lower realm sufferings, doesn't become cause of the problems and cause of the lower realm sufferings.

So, that [pause] all this, all kinds of very strange, all kinds of shapes of animals in the ocean, even on the ground, in the forest, in the different places, all sorts of things, unbelievable things, inexpressible, that some are like a water bubble, like certain fish, animals, that there's no solid body, kind of like transparent, there's all sorts of things, animals, born, have taken such a shape, rebirth. Unbelievable, that how it's possible to have such a rebirth, all sorts of things that there's one big fish which lives in the part of the very deep ocean where it's very dark, where there's no light, I think the Atlantic Ocean there are places that are very, very dark. No light, very, very dark and cannot see anything, so whatever, so those large animals, small animals, whatever, those animals, so the babies come out like mountains, like sand grains of mountains, piles of animals, very dark, so whatever animals next to their mouth, whatever is around then they eat. I have seen on TV that when I was in, I think in TV or book, I don't remember, I have some kind of memory that maybe I have seen in the TV in Adelaide, which I called retreat, but actually I was also sitting watching TV . So there's a program on animals, I think also there's a book of that one, there's a book on animals, all sorts of shapes of animals, that very peculiar ones.

Anyway, the point what I was going to say is this, there's a big fist that has a light here, that which carries light here, exactly like the person who dives in the water with the light, by wearing the flashlight on the head. So exactly like that there's big fish that who always stays in dark place, very, very deep water and dark. So then this fish has a light, exactly, round, kind of like having flashlight exactly the same light. So those are very interesting karma , unbelievable karma, something you can see by eye, which is not story that a thousand years ago or something like that. If it's something written in the text then one might say, Oh, that's Buddha's time, many thousands of years ago, now it doesn't exist, or now you don't see or something.

If one see a worm that is completely attacked by hundreds of ants, biting, even one ant comes on your body, bites, can't stand, even one tiny ant, the ant is very tiny, I mean there are big ants but anyway this normal one, this small ant that we see in the road, in the house, so this one if it comes, crawls on the body, bites, it's painful, can't stand, difficult to make charity to the ant. Very difficult to make charity to the ant, very difficult to have compassion to the ant.

So now, here we have, at the moment we have human body that you can, that unbelievable protection, that yourself more powerful than them, so powerful they can't, they are so pitiful, so tiny body and however now this worm attacked by many hundreds of ants and then that the worm doesn't have any weapons, the hands cannot take out the ants, doesn't have hands, even those flies has hands but still can't take off the ants, the ants they grab, hold on the hand, the flies with the ants holding on their hand, hand or leg, so that, so if one see like that, then again remember that I have also created various karmas like that, there are many negative karmas that I have accumulated like this, that not finished yet to experience, so possible that if this breath is stopped now, then I could be like this, that after this human rebirth I could be like this, worm, and being attacked by many hundreds of thousands of ants, so much suffering, no opportunity to practice Dharma and so much suffering.

So like this, as in everyday our lives to, as we see suffering beings just around us, even we don't see with our eyes exactly what described that in the teachings, the hell, what is described that there's nothing beauty you see, the whole ground just fire, which is experiencing the imprint left by the negative karma, the imprint manifested out, the imprint is actualized, manifest out, that this negative imprint manifest out in this appearance of hell, so where one cannot see one single beauty or nice, only object of fear. So, anyway, so all those unbelievable things in the teachings, that those major hells, even one, oneself as a human being now, that one doesn't have clairvoyance to see those hells with one's own, one doesn't have omniscient mind, one doesn't have even clairvoyance that to be able to see those suffering realms that other beings are experiencing, that other beings are seeing, which is appearance of those suffering beings of their negative karma, but however but these things that we see in everyday life, so if we can relate to our mind what we see, then one should remember that there's a connection with your own mind, sufferings that we see around, there's a connection to one's own everyday life mind, that is the negative attitude, ignorance, anger, attachment, these negative, disturbing thoughts, mind that which is possessed by the disturbing thought, delusions, and self-cherishing thought and action motivated by these, so there's a connection, that these sentient beings, who are so pitiful, so much suffering, there's a connection. So here, these negative thoughts that we have in everyday life, these are the cause of, rebirth of this evil-gone realm or the suffering migratory being. So then what I see here, this is the result of this attitude, this mind and actions motivated by these negative thoughts. So there is a connection, so like this.

Then also this way it helps to generate renunciation of samsara, to cut off the ignorance, anger, attachment, that [long pause] so, so this way, seeing suffering beings, whether it's human being or other living being, animal being, so forth, that it does not become just scenery; it becomes also that, it makes to be thoughtful, it reminds one's own life, when we see other suffering beings, if we look at this way, by relating to one's own mind, then it makes to watch, to remember one's own life, to remember one's own attitude in everyday life, it makes to see one's own karma. Then also it inspires to purify, it inspires to do practice, then it makes to think of solution, and solution is there's no other solution except only practicing Dharma, that is purifying the karma that which is already accumulated, to purify, then, the other solution is to not create the cause of these sufferings again. So it involves two things. Dharma practice, but it involves two things, one is purification, one is abandoning the negative karma, protecting karma, abandoning negative karma.

So therefore, from those two, purification and to not do again, purification, the Dharma practice purification purifying and the second thing, anyway, the other thing, to not create again the cause of the sufferings. From those two, which is more important, from those two Dharma practices, from those two solutions, what is more important is to not create again, that is more important. So if that part, to not create again, if one doesn't put effort into that, if one doesn't pay attention in that, doesn't put effort into that, and even one does purification constantly, but it depends on how much negative karma gets purified, it depends on how perfectly the practice of purification is done, the remedy of the four powers, having strong repentance, feeling sorry having done the negative karma. So having very strong, so to be powerful one should have, it's not enough just to think of the words, that one has to feel in the heart that strong feeling of sorry having done this negative action. So anyway, so dependent on doing the purification, whether it's perfected with the four remedy powers and how strongly that is done. So it's dependent on many things, so depending on that, that much get purified.

So therefore now, to not create again that is very important [pause]. So that one complete negative karma, for example, heresy, ill will, those negative karmas, negative karmas to do with speech, with the body, such as the stealing, sexual misconduct so forth, so that which is done, that which has base, thought, action, goal, that which has all complete, so each of these actions, these negative karmas, has four suffering results, that ripening aspect result, the imprint left by negative karma took the aspect, it manifested out, it took the aspect, the aspect is what? Hell, the rebirth in the body of the hell, then hungry ghost, animal, so those, in that suffering body, that imprint left by negative karma is manifest in that aspect, in that suffering body.

Then the other one is even when one is born in the human realm then one experiences that experiencing the result similar to the cause, that for example, the heresy, then when one is born as human being, then very difficult to understand the karma, because of past life heresy, this life, when one is born as human being, very difficult to accept, very difficult to understand, even somebody explains to you, no way, somehow the mind, somehow there's no space in the mind to understand, to accept that, to have faith in that, there's no space. Mind is like a rock, that it doesn't make any sense to that mind, talking about karma or emptiness, it doesn't make any sense, it's nonsense for this mind, all this is not true for that mind, so somehow that due to past life heresy towards the Triple Gem, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, heresy towards the Dharma in the past life, so very hard to understand, very hard to find faith in these things and to feel.

So, for somebody, even from very beginning, for some of the mind, from very beginning when you hear, you feel like home, you feel like you are home , when you hear karma you feel like you are home, that it is nothing new, you feel like nothing new, that this is what you, actually you before meeting Dharma, before hearing Dharma, this is what you have been feeling, this is what you have been thinking from child time, from childhood time, this is what naturally you have been thinking, or however when one hear you feel this is true right from the beginning. And also talking about the emptiness so forth. For somebody's mind all this subject become ridiculous, that doesn't make sense. So you can see now that what caused, why people have different character of mind, different personality, different mind, one can understand, one cannot understand at all, can never find faith, one can find faith immediately, so that, so it's experiencing the result similar to the cause.

Then there's possessed result, that being in the place, one possessed result of heresy, where one live, before there is productions of gold and precious things, oil, things coming, now when one come to live there then these things not happening any more or become more scarcity. The dirty things appearing to oneself as clean, the reality is suffering but appearing to you as pleasure. Then, that when one has problems one could not find refuge, that one could not find anyone to help, one could not find refuge, one could not find guidance, when one is into trouble, could not find refuge. And no protector, no savior. Then, creating the result similar to the cause, again doing the same thing. So there are four things like this.

Then same thing that, the covetousness, ill will, so these complete, these four things perfected, then they have also four suffering results, these karmas have four suffering results. The covetousness, then experiencing the result similar to the cause is that your wish doesn't get fulfilled, due to past negative karma the covetousness, which is part of attachment, so this life your wishes don't get fulfilled, like some things that one with attachment, not to benefit for sentient beings or for teachings but just with self-cherishing thought, with covetousness, for oneself, want to have this. If somebody is helping, somebody who has wealth, helping, then, now, if one with self-cherishing thought, for one's own happiness, not to benefit for sentient beings, for the teaching, nothing because of the reason of others but just mainly because of one's own happiness, then the self-cherishing thought, covetousness, then one cling to receive the wealth for oneself, that other person's wealth, didn't want other people to have, so the motivation is want to have, motivation is impure like this, so there's covetousness. Then, which one decide to have, to not allow other people to have, oneself to have, so which is the completion, which is the goal, completion, of the covetousness.

So then experiencing the result similar to the cause then one's own wishes, later, as a result of this, one's own wishes doesn't get to succeed, because other people interfere. So this is just description of our normal karma, it's a description how, why the wishes doesn't get fulfilled, that, so it's describing the cause. What is the obstacle that interferes to, that can't bring out the wishes, so anyway, so like that. So therefore, practicing rejoyfulness, to rejoice, the motivation to be pure, if it's covetousness then one should change into bodhicitta, motivation to bodhicitta, even that's the best. So this way then with bodhicitta wishing to have the wealth, wishing to have other's wealth, with bodhicitta wishing to have wealth, to receive wealth from other person, doesn't become negative karma. Generally wishing to have is same, but here now wishing to have different for the teachings of Buddha or for the sentient beings' happiness, the goal is for the sentient beings.

So however one can wish, but there's different, with bodhicitta one can wish, but there's different goal than previous one, which is covetousness and then especially self-cherishing thought. So this does not become cause of unsuccess, cause of failure. So like that, practicing rejoyfulness is very important, so especially that become the cause of success for oneself, that now and in the future.

So now, so like this, that so there are four suffering results to each one, each of these ill will and covetousness, the negative karma of body, stealing, sexual misconduct, so forth, that, besides ripening aspect result, rebirth in the lower realms, then later when one was born as human being, then the other friend, or other companion is not harmonious with oneself, thinking opposite, wishes are opposite to your wishes, the other person become not compatible. Then…

...get possessed by other, doesn't get to belong to oneself, get possessed by, belong to others. So things like that, disharmony. And then that, experiencing the result similar to the cause. Then possessed result, in the filthy, dirty, muddy places, unclean place. So the times, time to time, when we are in such a place, if we are crossing such a place, very filthy, dirty place, muddy place, times when we experience these places, that time we are experiencing the possessed result of that karma, that negative karma.

And then creating the result similar to the cause, doing the actions again, that, so this creating the result similar to the cause, again that has four suffering results, produce four suffering results, then one of them is creating the result similar to the cause, so again that produces, that complete action, complete karma, produces another four suffering results. Then again from that, so it goes on and on and on without end.

So like this, from this one, now here we are talking like this, one negative karma, here one complete negative karma that is done today, so this has four suffering results, so it goes on and on and on, life to life, goes on and on like that, experiencing the suffering, creating again, so like that, so without end, goes on like that until one purify this negative karma and make it complete, we purify this that completely that you don't have to experience any more the suffering result such as doing the actions again, doing the negative karma again, so I think, the remedy four powers, at the end, the last power, to not commit again, so this one, this last power, so there are remedy of four powers, so each one of these is method, solution to stop experiencing these four suffering results. So, at the end, the last power is to not commit again, so this one helps to stop, this one, making determination, this helps to not experience the creating the result similar to the cause, that which is the most harmful one, it's worse than the hell because hell is just for some time, until the karma finishes, there's certain duration, but this one, this creating the result similar to the cause, this doing again, so this is more harmful than the hell, because this one continuously produces again and again and again, goes on and on like this, from this one complete negative karma that is started today, then from this, if you don't purify with remedy of four powers, which contains the power to not create again, which stops the creating the result similar to the cause, doing the action again and again, which stops that. So, if you don't purify and if you don't change our actions that, for example, living in the vow, protecting karma or living in the vow, taking vow to not engage in this, to not create this.

So, as long as we don't, first thing is, here in this case, so first if we don't purify and second thing if we don't change our attitude and action, that to not commit, so if this is not done then today's one complete negative karma, result goes on and on and on without end. So this is how we make endless samsaric suffering. So now, one can, this one negative karma how harmful it is you can see, and also you can see what can be done for that, there are two solutions.

So, however that, anyway, so there, here we are talking about just one negative karma but then there are so many negative karmas that accumulated today, in this life and from beginningless past lives, so therefore now, so what I was saying before, that, so if one, by changing mind then changing action means protecting karma, renouncing that negative karma, so that becomes very important, so this way one do not create extra negative karma, whether one purify or not, whether one is doing practice of purification or not, but the main point is don't create extra negative karma. So because of that, that's what I was trying to mention that, from those two, that, to not create again more important, otherwise the purification has no end, the preliminary practice has no end, so like that.

So the conclusion, going back, the conclusion is, so even one is lay that there are lay vows, so whether it is one or two or three or four, whatever number of lay vows, anyway, maybe time to stop , so whatever number of lay vows, whether it's one or two or three, whatever one can, so that is, it becomes so essential, it's like jewel, it's like wish-granting jewel that become so precious, it's the source of your happiness now and in the future. Whatever, whether it's one or two or three, four, any number that one can.

So now going back to the previous talk, so the whole thing, now, everyday life, that, putting all the effort, putting all the energy, all the attention, all the effort, in the good heart, in the motivation of good heart, in our everyday life, attitude of living the life, to put every, to put all the energy, attention, effort as much as possible to the good heart, if possible the motivation of bodhicitta. So, again this become the answer for everything, for all the success and to pacify all the problems of life. So subdue one's own mind so that is, one can, main thing one can relate to, there are other delusions but particularly the self-cherishing thought, then this is the teaching of the Buddha.

Yeah, I think maybe break, yeah.

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