THE CAUSES AND RESULTS WITHIN THE TWELVE LINKS
[The Heart Sutra and motivation.]
The listening subject is the four noble truths. Here’s the Wheel of Life so this side—the left side of the Wheel of Life, and here is a buddha standing. On the right hand there is a white circle showing this. That shows liberation, the cessation of suffering. Because of your own mind, not somebody else’s mind or disturbing thoughts, and the three poisonous minds, so you take birth in samsara, experiencing either the realm of the suffering transmigratory beings or the happy transmigratory being, experiencing the three types of suffering: the suffering of suffering, the suffering of changes, and pervasive compounding suffering. That evolution happens as is shown in the details around the drawing of the twelve links, which I briefly went over yesterday.
To mention now a little bit about the twelve links—some more details. There are two actions and three disturbing thoughts, the cause, the compounding action and becoming, these two actions, disturbing thoughts, ignorance, and craving and grasping: so three disturbing thoughts and two actions, or cause. Then seven results.
There are no twelve links that finish within one life. There might be twelve links that finish within one life according to the Cittamatrin school, however not in the Madhyamaka school. The first school believed the twelve links finishes within a one life, and they have a different way of explaining. But in the Madhyamaka school, there are no twelve links that finish within one life. Within two lives is quickest. Relating to the present, the twelve links of the present human body, these twelve links must be the cause created just before this life. Some could have been created many hundreds, many thousands of lifetimes ago. Some could be done by past life’s human beings, just before this life. Some of you here whose past life was human being or maybe even Tibetan. Eating yak cheese or drinking yak milk.
Or you could have been an animal or a deva. You could have been an elephant. You could have been an ant or a butterfly. Anyway, the cause you created three lifetimes ago or four lifetimes ago, hundreds, many thousands, millions, billions of lifetimes ago—these could be the causes of this present human rebirth. However many lifetimes it took to experience, however many lifetimes it took between the ignorance and the compounding action, leaving the seed on the consciousness of the future-life samsara, on this present human body. From that of twelve links, there was craving and grasping, so between that was ignorance, compounding action, before craving and grasping arose to make that seed ready. Between that it could take many billions—many, many unimaginable, inconceivable—numbers that do not fit our ordinary minds, numbers that do not fit our knowledge. It could take uncountable numbers of eons or billions or thousands or one lifetime. Just before this life, whatever the life was, at the time of death, just before dying, the craving and grasping from this human, the body, these twelve links craving and grasping were arisen and that made already powerful seed which was planted on the consciousness, by the compounding action which is motivated by ignorance, of these twelve links, this human rebirth’s twelve links.
The seed that was left by the compounding action on the consciousness, to become ready to actualize this human birth, the present one, is called “becoming.” According to the seven results, in this life, the consciousness took place on the fertilized egg—the seven results up to the death, old age and death. Now what’s left from these seven results is death.
If you can control the time when you are going to die, if you can control craving and grasping, the arising of those disturbing thoughts by remembering the teachings of the graduated path to enlightenment, the renunciation of samsara, the shortcomings of samsara, the teachings of renunciation, shunyata, bodhicitta, on the basis of great loving kindness and great compassion—if you can control craving and grasping it gives you a chance to be born in the pure realms of the buddhas, like the pure realm of Tara, Amitabha, and other deities, where there’s the opportunity to practice tantra and the rest of the path that you haven’t completed in this life. In that life you can complete the whole path, taking the special body and being in the pure realm. There is no suffering body. Entering birth from a lotus, things like that, maybe the consciousness taking on the condition of life, I’m not sure. You have a special spiritual body, not a suffering body that has pain, old age, which experiences suffering rebirth, old age, sickness, death. Not a body that made of bone, flesh, skin, like this, not like that. Not like this terrifying or ugly body.
In that life you become enlightened by receiving teachings from the deity—that aspect of the Buddha. In that way you are able to quickly do the extensive works for all sentient beings, without the slightest mistake. So even if you wish to be born again in a human realm, where there’s all the teachings, even if you wish to receive a perfect human rebirth, in a family who has already met the teaching of the Buddha and who has refuge in their mind, who are practicing great devotion, to the guru, the Triple Gems, who do not interfere with one’s practice of Dharma, to develop your own mind and to benefit for sentient beings. Even if you wish to receive a perfect human body, to continue to practice Dharma, the very crucial time is before death—when you can control the craving and grasping that causes you to be born in the lower realms.
By remembering the teachings that you heard during your own lifetime, the Dharma books that you have read, the meditation that you have done, retreat or teachings, listening, reflecting, meditation practice that which you have done during the lifetime, by remembering those at the death-time, you control the links of craving and grasping from the set of the twelve links, which lead to the animal, preta, or narak’s rebirth.
PUTTING THE TEACHINGS INTO PRACTICE
In this course I think you have received much more than in other courses, in terms of teachings. In other courses I spend much time in the reincarnations, three or four days in the reincarnations, and discuss for several days, with a lot of discussion, and after seven days, there are always some such sufferings just after that. There are thoughts about bodhicitta but we don’t reach the complete technique, we finish in the general samsaric suffering, and then the course ends. Most time is spent on the perfect human rebirth, its usefulness, difficulty, and impermanence and death. And the lower realms especially, especially the naraks, the heaviest one. All the thought training, the commitments and advice—if I were teaching myself they would never come, they would never have five powers.
Actually you have received much more this time in regards to practice. If you want to practice, you have received all the essential practice to do in the life, all the basic, most important ones. But to really feel those things, to really practice, you need those basic ones very strongly. If those basic ones are not sure, even though those other thought-training practices are so practical, so beneficial, the best psychologist, unbelievable even when death comes, you can guide yourself in this most crucial time, even if there’s nobody there explaining Dharma, what to think, what to do, and you can use death as purification to benefit all sentient beings, to accumulate extensive merit. But if there is no feeling of karma, refuge, those things in the mind, no wish to practice those basic things, even though those later ones are so practical, an incredible practice, unbelievable practice, you may not feel much inspiration to practice, to take it like a patient taking medicine, a patient who really feels his sickness to be a serious disease, and feels a strong need of medicine.
Without the basics, no matter how much the rest of the subjects are put to you, those basic meditations, perfect human rebirth, its usefulness, its difficulty, those basic things that persuade the mind to take the essence, and later how to take the essence, how to make life meaningful. First of all persuading the mind how to make it meaningful and then later to make life meaningful.
Also karma and refuge, and faith in the action and result, which is the root of all happiness. If you do not feel these things, these teachings in the heart, it is difficult to have faith in all these things because there are not enough causes created. Having devotion in the lam-rim teachings, especially karma, and refuge, is itself is a kind of a realization; that itself is an achievement, a realization. For example, to develop faith in the karma, the action and result which is the root of all the happiness and perfections, from the outline you can see how this is the most important thing. This is the root of all happiness.
From this wisdom of understanding Dharma, karma, and faith, from this the practice starts. Abandon, as much as you know about negative karma, and as much as you know and practice the right things, you accomplish that much happiness. As you stop the obstacles and practices, you accomplish that much happiness, then liberation, enlightenment.
Without having created much merit, purification, and pacifying obstacles, it’s not easy to understand the teachings. Even if you understand the words, to really feel it in the heart as true, that takes time. It needs a lot of merit. That’s why everybody is not the same—they hear the same words, but there are different effects on the mind. For some, the person feels nothing, For some, the person was already feeling like this, when he was child, he was feeling reincarnation and feeling completely that the purpose of life is for others, completely. Many things, karma and many things, naturally, even in child-time he feels it. So when he hears the teachings, it’s nothing new. It’s like talking about his own life, what he’s been practicing. For some, even after one month in the course, there is still uncertainty about reincarnation, whether there are past or future lives, and it is still difficult to understand.
This depends on each individual person’s merit is accumulated from past lives. Some have greater obstacles, some have less, some have no experience, some have very quick experience—after even a few days, doing retreat, doing meditation, they are able to see shunyata, emptiness, just by even one session trying to meditate on emptiness. Examine, study—even if it is difficult to have faith, try, examine, study, examine more and more, study more and more. If you practice correctly as explained in the teaching, then as the Buddha explained in the lineage lamas graduated path to enlightenment, continuously, skillfully, doing strong continual practice of purification, accumulating merit, in this way the realization comes. And then the understanding, the definite understanding, the faith comes.
So without practice, without correct practice, just by hearing the words, realization does not come. Just by hearing words, mind peace does not come, liberation does not come. Even if the person is taking medicine if he’s not taking it correctly, as the most skilled doctor has advised him, the person cannot recover. It is similar with the teachings. Even if you are practicing, if you are not correctly practicing as it is explained in the teachings, then like this.
YOU HAVE TWO CHOICES: TO CHERISH YOURSELF AND BE MISERABLE OR TO CHERISH OTHERS AND BE HAPPY
The conclusion: there’s nothing much to think about life, nothing complicated to think about. It’s a question of two things, whether you want to follow the selfish mind, whether you dedicate your life for the selfish mind, the continuation of consciousness that has no beginning. So far you have been following the selfish mind, the continuation of selfish mind with no beginning, and so far no end, and the disturbing thoughts with no beginning and no end, the true cause of suffering. So all the sufferings, samsara, all the confusions, did not have beginning, and still did not end. This is the result that happens if you follow the selfish mind. And same thing—so far without beginning until now it has been like this, still not free from suffering, samsara, and so if you devote your life to selfish mind, without end, continuously it will be like this within the six realms, just as we went over in the twelve links.
If you follow the thought of cherishing others, so far you didn’t achieve liberation from samsara for yourself. By leaving aside leading others, helping others, bringing others into liberation from samsara, you didn’t get to achieve even liberation even for yourself. So even the work for yourself didn’t succeed, it has still not been achieved. The result of following the selfish mind, becoming a servant, a slave to the selfish mind, interferes even with your own happiness. So that’s why His Holiness says that if you want to be selfish, if you want to live life with a selfish mind, be the best selfish—now, what is that? That is to cherish others, renounce yourself and cherish others. In that way you get all the happiness, all the success.
Whenever the mind, whenever the attitude changes, as soon as you cherishes others, no matter how many problems there are—family problems, personal problems—as soon as you cherish others, those who have greater problems and those who have similar problem, as soon as you change the attitude and cherishes others, immediately in the mind there is great happiness, there is relaxation, there’s no uptightness, but there is relaxation, inner peace, tranquility. As soon as you cherish yourself—“I am more important than others. My happiness is more important than others.”—as soon as you change the attitude, as soon as you cherish yourself, then immediately there’s this pain in the heart, there’s uptightness. If you analyze, if you watch the nature of that attitude, it is not peace, it is uptight.
When you meditate, when you remember how other sentient beings are kind, when you are aware how other sentient beings are precious, the uptightness in the heart becomes loose. There is relaxation when you feel the kindness of others, when you think how others are so precious. It’s very good to practice awareness of the other being the mother, kind in the four ways, the three great purposes, or the three levels of happiness—the happiness of the future life, liberation, enlightenment, and how all your three times’ happiness is received by depending on these sentient beings.
During the meditation session, practice awareness of the kindness of other sentient beings—those who are sitting around, behind, right side, left side, in the front, here in this meditation hall. Every person that you see, every bird, every fly, every dog—every creature that you see, practice, feel the kindness, whichever way you think, as soon as you see a being, remember the kindness. And especially with the person whom you dislike or who criticizes or who disrespects you, especially with this person. Either especially go to see that person, sit next to that person, then meditate, or walk, or sit with that person, and then meditate on the kindness.
At the center or at the family house, if you practice awareness like this, the mind is happy with everybody. In this way there’s loving kindness and compassion which naturally arises toward them and the mind is happy with whomever you meet, whomever you see. The mind is opened to everyone, and there’s a wish to help to everyone. Your mind is so happy, very happy, and there is no space for depression. Life becomes very enjoyable, and you have taken this human body, you are born to enjoy life with a good heart, without an egocentric mind. It is a very happy, very satisfied, very happy life.
Otherwise, as long as you cherish yourself, you are like a rock. The mind is like a rock, a rock of iron—with some sentient beings like this, with other sentient beings like that. There is nothing else to think about except yourself, your own happiness. So selfish, like a rock. No happiness. Life has no enjoyment—you open the door for suffering, the door for all problems. Then life is like another problem, depression, so much failure. The stronger the selfish mind there is, the greater the impatience, the greater the dissatisfaction, and so more and more problems arise.
Even if you live alone, or with other people, wherever you travel, everywhere there’s an enemy. Before you came to that place there was no enemy, but after you came to that place there were lots of enemies. Before you came, that place didn’t have enemies, but after you came there were so many enemies. Enemies develop more and more, the longer you stay there. Everywhere you go always there are stories, and always people talk about it, very soon everyone knows about you. When somebody starts to speak, starts to mention your name, “Oh, yes! Oh, yes! That I know!” As soon as you start the name, they will finish the name, and the other person has shown the expression, and you don’t need to say anything back. You don’t need to tell any stories. It is enough in what the other person expresses on his face.
For the person who always practices loving kindness, compassion, cherishing others, it is the opposite. Even if you live alone there is much happiness, satisfaction, in your life. You lives life for others, and there is that much less problem, with a less dissatisfactory mind and less anger. Wherever you go, with whomever you stay, there is always much to enjoy, much happiness for you, and also for other people.
For the other person who is so selfish and who so impatient, all the friends become enemy. Even in one day, even within one hour they become enemies. When others hear that he is coming to the house, they manage to stop him. They say, “We are not at home,” or they tell the person, “Oh, we’re busy,” or something. Or “We have to go out,” or something. Or somebody else makes a phone call saying that he’s not there. Even if the person’s coming, before the person comes, they lock the door and they go away.
If you have a good heart, cherishing others, wherever you go, with whomever you live, there is always much happiness and instead of meeting the enemy, you only meet friends. Everyone who meets you becomes a friend and everyone wishes to receive you at their home, everyone wishes to help, to give you food and clothing, a place. Especially when you are in trouble, and everyone is worried. Somebody who is very selfish and so impatient, with no thought of others, only doing what he or she wants, no matter how much of a problem that person has—even starving, disaster, no place to stay, no job—nobody want to help.
So Shakyamuni Buddha, all those buddhas, all the lineage lamas of the graduated path to enlightenment that complete the path, by renouncing themselves and cherishing other sentient beings, achieved the complete path and achieved enlightenment. They are continuously doing extensive works for all sentient beings, without the slightest mistake. Even in one second, uncountable numbers of sentient beings are brought enlightenment, and they are manifesting in various forms with the holy body, holy speech, holy mind. Even the beams emitting from the holy body lead uncountable numbers of beings to happiness, freeing them from sufferings. They are able to do extensive works for all sentient beings, equaling infinite space.
There is nothing much to think about, nothing complicated to think about. So two things, two choices: you look at if you follow the selfish mind, you examine what advantage there is, whether there’s an advantage or not. Then by following the thought of cherishing others, how much profit it has. It’s like you want to buy something. If you’re going to spend ten rupees or going to spend $100, $1,000, you check, you carefully analyze much the quality of the material. You don’t want loss, don’t want to cheat yourself, you want profit, even for five rupees, you want to buy the better one, the better quality.
This is the question of the whole life, after death, which is the foundation for all the coming future lives—however much happiness there will be, you can enjoy, however much suffering you has to experience in all the coming future lives depends on this life, each day, each twenty-four hours, each minute life, each second’s attitude. Not only the happiness, the mind peace of this life, but that of all the coming future lives, from here up to enlightenment—whether it’s going to be endless samsaric suffering or have an end. That is dependent on the attitude.
ONLY WITH THIS HUMAN BODY CAN WE PRACTICE DHARMA
So it’s a huge question. I’ll give you one example. This one hour, this one minute, you are not born as an animal, as a pig, and you have the freedom to practice Dharma. First of all, to a pig, even if they explain meaning of the mantra TADYATHA OM MUNÉ MUNÉ MAHAMUNAYÉ SOHA, or OM MANI PADME HUM, the Chenrezig mantra, or about Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, or karma, action and result, or virtue and nonvirtue, or what is the cause of suffering and what is the cause of happiness, for billions of eons, there is no way the pig can understand. You tie the pig there to your meditation cushion or to the table, and then you explain for billions of eons about cause of suffering, nonvirtue, the cause of happiness, virtue. And there is no way to make it understand. But for a human being, a sentient being who has a human body, who is able to understand the words, the meaning, within a minute, within one hour, you can make him understand what is the cause of happiness and what is the cause of suffering, about virtue and nonvirtue, by giving the definitions of each one. So immediately, within that minute, that human being has the opportunity to practice, to abandon nonvirtue, to practice virtue, the cause of happiness. He can transform his actions into virtue, and ensure that his actions do not become nonvirtue. Immediately, within that minute, there is unbelievable freedom. You can see from this how the human life, the body is so precious, unbelievably precious. You just think of this example, comparing your life to that of the pig.
So there is no question in relation to the rest of the other Dharma subjects, to achieve liberation, enlightenment. This freedom, not being born as an animal such as a pig, having the freedom to practice Dharma, having the opportunity, any happiness that you wish in the next life, wealth, perfect surroundings, being a king, having the body of the happy transmigratory being—with this human life, with this body, within this second, this minute, you can create that cause. So this human body is much more precious than mountains of dollars, or diamonds. Within this minute, this second, not being born as an animal, as a pig, having the freedom to practice Dharma. Even if you wishes to achieve liberation within this minute, this second, you can create the cause. The mind training in moral conduct, living in the vows, even in a minute, in a second. So therefore this human body is much more precious than the diamond the size of this earth, or dollars equaling the number of the atoms of this earth. Within such a short time, a minute, a second, even if you wish to achieve enlightenment, you can create the cause, thinking, “May I achieve enlightenment. I’m going to practice bodhicitta in order to achieve enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.” Generating bodhicitta, the motivation of bodhicitta, creates infinite merit, the cause of happiness, to do extensive work for all sentient beings. Even putting the palms together like this, prostrating to the Buddha, even though you doesn’t see Buddha, even the thangka, the statue, the holy object— you can create the cause of enlightenment. Just in this second by doing this.
Lighting one stick of incense, thinking of the Buddha and offering, creates the cause of enlightenment. You see a beautiful flower, and you offer it to the Buddha. Just simply think of the Buddha, then offer the flower to the Buddha. In that second you create the cause of enlightenment. Even by thinking of the Buddha, offering grains or visualizing gold, grain, offering to the Buddha. By thinking of the Buddha, immediately in that second, you create the cause of enlightenment. By prostrating to the Buddha, one who has finished all the stains, one who has completed all the realizations, in that second you create the unimaginable cause of happiness, merit, the cause of enlightenment.
From your side as long as you don’t know how to practice Dharma, how to create the cause for happiness, not having listened to the teachings, you don’t know that there’s this incredible unbelievable opportunity in the life to create the cause of happiness for the sake of other sentient beings. Or you do know the teachings, but don’t practice. That obstacle you create from your own side, otherwise there’s nobody stopping you from creating the cause of happiness. There is so much that you can. It is incredible how you can enjoy life.
Within a minute, a second, this human body now is much more precious than the dollars, diamonds, filling all of space. If you don’t have these freedoms, okay, if you don’t have this human body, if being born as an animal, a pig, you don’t have the freedom of having the human body to practice Dharma, even if you own that many dollars or diamonds filling the whole sky, there is no way to achieve even the happiness of future lives, leaving aside liberation and enlightenment. No way, no opportunity. There are many beings such as the great yogi, Milarepa, who achieved enlightenment within a few years, within one short lifetime, who completed the path. He lived on nettles, he had one shawl, he didn’t have even one dollar, didn’t have even small piece, atom of diamond, and yet he became enlightened.
So you visualize your precious human body here, on this side, and there, on that side, visualize all the diamonds, all the dollars, mountains of them, the whole earth, the whole of space filled with them. Without having this precious human body, even if you own that much, you cannot close the door of the lower realms. And you cannot achieve the happiness of future lives, nor liberation, nor enlightenment. But with this precious human body, even if you don’t own even one dollar, you can close the door of the lower realms, the happiness of future lives, and can achieve liberation and enlightenment. In one minute, in a second. So you can see, even in one minute, in one second of the human body, it is unbelievably precious, how precious it is. Inexpressible. All those materials are nothing.
IF YOU WANT HAPPINESS, JUST DO IT!
Also it is mentioned in the teachings, if you want to know what you have done in the past, look at your present body. It means that in the past you have done virtuous actions, practiced moral conduct, charity, dedicated the merits, practiced Dharma. So the proof is that you have the body of the happy migratory being, the human body. Now the question is, where you will go your next life, where you will go in the future life, and that depends on present-life karma.
So even if the past has been mostly lived creating negative karma, before death there’s an opportunity to purify, to create the cause of the happiness, to make preparation for those happinesses up to enlightenment.
Also there’s another verse that His Holiness used to say,
Because of the precious previous life, this precious human body has been achieved and this present yellow-robed monk won’t be thrown over the precipice in the next life.
This means by practicing Dharma you received the present precious human body, but don’t waste it and in the next life be thrown into the abyss of the lower realms.
So my conclusion is that this perfect human rebirth is so unbelievable precious. Examine which one has more profit. If you’re going to buy something from the shop, even ten rupees, twenty rupees, you analyze the quality, you spend so much time in order to not have loss and to have profit. Even if you are going to the beach, you go to the best beach where there are big waves.
We analyze these things so much, but here now the most important thing about the precious human body is that it has opportunity to create the cause, happiness, from now on up to enlightenment, from today up to enlightenment, which is an unbelievable opportunity. Not feeling the value, the way of living the life, not examining how much worth to put in life, the precious human body, that is lack of understanding Dharma, especially the lam-rim teaching, not having the realization of the usefulness of the perfect human rebirth. This perfect human rebirth is useful and difficult to find again, and can be stopped in any moment. The actual death can happen in any moment. There is no opportunity after that.
This is important to examine, so there are two points: the selfish mind and the thought of cherishing other sentient beings—examine which is more profitable. And after that, dedicating life, the precious human body, to cherishing others.
Each day, each hour, each minute, this is a period that you make decision where you will go after death: to the three lower realms or to the three upper realms. You have a choice. With this precious human body you have a choice, a freedom to purify, to abandon the cause of the lower realms and to make preparation, from there up until enlightenment. Each minute you have a choice, where to go to create the cause and to stop the cause of happiness and to abandon and purify the cause of suffering.
So I think, I started from the Buddha holding the white circle at the top of the Wheel of Life which shows the sorrowless state, liberation. Now on the other side there is a verse, two stanzas that I mentioned yesterday, that show the true path. The conclusion of what the Buddha is saying is that if you do not want life of suffering, if you do not want a life of problems, if there are ways to be liberated from the problems, then do it! Then practice it. There is point to being depressed or upset and doing nothing. Practice! If there’s a method to be liberated from true suffering, the true cause of suffering, from problems, then practice it! If there’s no method at all, then what’s the point of being upset? That doesn’t help. That is like being worried and depressed because the sky is not the earth. The mind is not oneness with the true cause of suffering, with ignorance, it is temporarily obscured.
Even in day-to-day life, without meditating, you can understand that you get attached to that object, and in the evening, it is no longer an object of attachment, an object of anger. It changes. One hour before what used to be an object of anger is no longer an object of anger. Now there’s no anger for that object. So even without meditating, this disturbing thought arises and goes. So especially by meditating, especially by following the path, you definitely see that these daily experiences come and go, disturbing thoughts come and go away. This shows that if you do really practice, follow the path, the right path, the correct path, you can definitely cease the true cause of suffering, the disturbing thoughts, completely. The daily life experience shows that. So therefore, you need to do it by listening, reflecting, and meditating, while you have the precious human body which is the complete means, method and wisdom, to liberate yourself from samsara, to be free from even subtle obscurations, and to achieve enlightenment, the great non-abiding sorrowless state. In order to show this, that one can be free from suffering forever, the Buddha holds the white circle, showing liberation, the other path is the true path.
So that is a very brief description of the Wheel of Life.
YOU ONLY HAVE TO ELIMINATE THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING ONCE
There are uncountable numbers of sentient beings who have become enlightened, who have practiced the path. During Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s time uncountable numbers happened, great yogis, pandits in the various countries. You can read their life-stories, how they practiced and achieved enlightenment. Milarepa, Lama Tsongkhapa, like that. You can read the experiences written by them and you can visit the holy places, the monasteries where they lived, where they practiced. It’s not just mere belief; becoming enlightened is not just mere belief without logic, or experience. This is the way of examining. If there are many others, then this is the proof, this is the worthwhile path to practice. There’s no cheating from the side of the teaching, from the side of the path. This is only from your own side if you do not correctly practice. If you practice correctly there’s no cheating from the side of the teaching.
Even if I give enough food and money to all the present human beings on this earth, if they don’t change their mind, if they don’t change their attitude of miserliness, their dissatisfactory mind, attachment, anger, ignorance, and if they don’t change their actions, their negative karma, such as stealing, they will continue to create the causes of poverty. In another life they will become a beggar. Again they continuously create the cause, and in another lifetime they will become a beggar. So on and on like this. All the famines, all the starvation, the droughts, the killings, the wars, all the problems, all these things, it goes on and on like this. As I mentioned, the one who has the greatest suffering of hunger and thirst is the preta, and what causes them to be born in the preta realm and suffer those things is so many hundreds of lifetimes of miserliness and attachment.
And then the cause of the naraks is basically anger, and of animals is ignorance. If you use your enjoyments now with ignorance, if you don’t try to understand Dharma, what is the right thing to practice, what is the wrong thing to be abandoned, then continuously the mind becomes ignorant in karma, and creates the cause to be born as an animal. When you use the enjoyments without bodhicitta, without renunciation, without shunyata, this is the cause of an animal rebirth. With miserliness, a preta. Or with anger, a narak being. It’s all to do with the attitude, the mind. Virtuous karma that is done unstained by anger or worldly concern leads to the body of the happy transmigratory beings in the next lives.
The six realms all these come from the mind and the lower suffering realms come from the three poisonous minds, signified by the three animals. As long as you don’t change your attitude, as long as you don’t change your actions, the problem will be continuously like this. So you develop your mind in the graduated path to enlightenment, and then change the attitude, action. Even just giving the teaching of patience, knowing how to control anger, just one meditation technique on how to control anger stops rebirth in the lower realm, and stops you from creating all those problems in the human realm, all the problems that which you experience in the human realm and next lives. It stops this life and next life’s problems.
Even knowing how to keep the mind in equanimity without being involved in anger and the dissatisfactory mind, attachment, even though one meditation on equanimity, that you yourself practice—this can be an example of equanimity and teach others. Just one meditation on equanimity, one meditation on patience, helps changes the attitude. It benefits all the years you are going to practice. It’s the same with loving kindness and compassion. Unbelievable negative karma is stopped. Each complete negative karma has four suffering results. The worst one is creating the result similar to the cause. Besides the suffering rebirth in the lower realm, you can be born as a human being doing the actions again: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, speaking harshly with the negative mind. All those things you repeat again. That’s one of the results: creating the result similar to the cause. Then again you experience all that, and there is no end in the suffering of samsara.
You can see now how unbelievably important the change of the attitude and action is. So you yourself being the good example and teaching other just even one meditation on equanimity or patience stops unbelievable negative karma. The benefit is unbelievable.
By giving one hour of the teaching of the graduated path to enlightenment, you are healing billions of people. There is no comparison to this one hour of teaching of the graduated path to enlightenment. This gives me a little bit of encouragement to teach lam-rim.
You should examine like this—this is the real benefit. Eliminating the cause of the sufferings is a one time work, a one time healing. Once the root of suffering is eliminated, it is impossible to come back. For you, it’s a one time Dharma practice. In this way, starvation, fighting, war, everything, all the thousands of problems altogether stop.
We all think, “I want to benefit others, I want to help others.” So it is very good to check how you’re going to benefit others. What kind of benefit. That’s very important. To benefit them in this way you bring them to enlightenment, the highest peerless happiness, and you yourself need to develop your mind by listening, reflecting, and meditating, practicing the complete path, such as this graduated path to enlightenment.
So then, might finally stop. So it’s good to discuss, those who don’t know, okay? Yeah, thank you so much. Good night.
LECTURE 8, 6 DECEMBER
NEPALI MUSIC IS THE SOUNDTRACK OF SAMSARA
[The Heart Sutra and motivation.]
The subject of listening is the four noble truths.
Lama Tsongkhapa explained in the Hymns of the Experience of the Graduated Path to Enlightenment, if you do not attempt to think of the true suffering, the shortcomings of the samsara, you won’t get the thought seeking liberation exactly or correctly. If you don’t know what exactly liberation means, you wouldn’t know what you needs to achieve. Even though you believe that you have ultimate liberation it is not actual liberation, but only temporary happiness.
Even if you are able to experience that, it doesn’t last, since that is not ultimate liberation, the cessation of the control of the karma and disturbing thoughts. Since you don’t know that is the fundamental suffering, that its cessation is the main liberation, then ultimate liberation wouldn’t arise and also the very strong thought seeking liberation won’t happen.
[Nepali music in background]. This Nepalese music is very sad music, kind of showing the nature of samsara, showing the biography, the life-story of samsara. There’s music when a marriage goes on, and then there’s music when the body is being carried out.
There are biographies of the holy beings and of samsaric beings. There is meeting and separating, becoming high then falling down. After collecting there is finishing, after meeting there is separating. The end of birth is death. This music shows samsaric life. All these things happen being under the control of karma and disturbing thoughts.
The way of entering samsara is through the twelve links, by the cause of the karma and disturbing thoughts. If you don’t reflect well, you will not know how to cut the root of samsara. So therefore, practice renunciation, the sadness of being in samsara. Then, to understand what binds you to samsara is extremely important. The way that Lama Tsongkhapa wrote it: “I, the yogi, practiced like that and you, the seeker of liberation, practice this way.”
So one very important thing, as I mentioned yesterday, at the time of death be careful. Yesterday I mentioned about the craving and grasping that arises at the time of death, and how important it is to control, because what rebirth you take in the next life and in the life after that depends on that. Before death craving and grasping arise. So therefore it is very important to not cling, to not be overwhelmed by the dissatisfactory mind, attachment and anger, these three poisonous minds. If there’s attachment arising for the family, if there’s attachment rising for the home, the property, the house, even for your own reputation, even for your own body, it is extremely important to remember the teaching of the graduated path to enlightenment at that time. It is the most crucial time to remember the meditations you have done, the retreats you have done, the teachings you have listened to. If you have to die, remember the twelve links, the three types of sufferings, and the six types of suffering
Nothing is definite in the shortcomings of samsara, not friends, or enemies.
And then as is mentioned in the sutra teaching, Ting nye seng nyi Gyalpo, the father becomes the son, the mother becomes the wife, the enemy becomes the friend—so it always changes. Therefore, in samsara nothing is definite. Nothing is certain. Life to life the whole thing changes, and even in this life, even in one year, one month, even in one day it changes. Nothing is definite.
There is a story that Sharipu, Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s disciple, when he was going for alms in India, he went to one family. He looked through the door of the family house, and he saw the father who used to catch fish from behind the pond to live on, he died and was reborn as a fish in the pond. The son was eating the fish who is the father. The enemy of the son was attached to his wife and died and was reborn to him. And so the son was carrying his enemy on his lap. The mother was attached to the property, to the house, and was born as the dog of that family. The son was beating the dog, the mother. Sharipu laughed at samsaric existence. The whole family was completely changed. It is like that. In our present families, we have animals, and it is exactly like this, like the story of this family.
The problem is only that you cannot recognize past relationships. So therefore when you meet other sentient beings there is a big gap, no feeling of the father, no feeling of the relatives, no feeling of closeness. You feel you have nothing to do with them, they’re nothing to do with you. But nothing is definite.
SEEKING ENJOYMENT IS THE DOOR TO ALL SUFFERING
There is no satisfaction in samsara. Lama Tsongkhapa explained in the prayer of the graduated path to enlightenment that seeking enjoyment is the door of all the sufferings.
If you put this teaching into your own life and experiences, on what you see in the world, on other samsaric beings’ lives, it becomes very extensive commentary. Put this verse on your own life and put this verse on the life of other samsaric beings. This is what you see by reading the newspaper, all the time, or if you watch TV. You see the six shortcomings of samsara, the three types of sufferings. It’s all commentaries on the three types of sufferings, the six types of suffering, and the eight types of suffering, the particular human sufferings. The whole newspaper is a commentary on the lam-rim. If you look at it with the thought of lam-rim you can relate to shunyata, bodhicitta, the renunciation of samsara. The shortcomings of samsara, dissatisfaction. Uncertainty is one basic problem of the shortcomings of samsara—from the six types—so therefore Lama Tsongkhapa particularly mentioned this. Also, enjoying no satisfaction being the door of all the sufferings—it’s very clear.
A person who’s an alcoholic is unable to stop, even though he sees it is a problem, not only to himself but to others in the family, to other people. He has no control. Because of this, he has no satisfaction. He is not satisfied with the previous experience, the comfort, he wants more and greater, and expects to get more, more, even though it’s not possible in reality. So he loses all his money that he collected by working hard. It’s all used to create a shorter life, to cause more problems. The whole family fears that something will happen, a car accident. Also, fights. When one is intoxicated things that people usually hide comes out. On and on. Interfering, harming the family, besides other people.
He has to go to prison again and again and again, and it’s exactly true as Lama Tsongkhapa says. Not having satisfaction is the door to all of the sufferings. You can apply this in so many cases. Drugs. Some people begin to open their mind, but are never satisfied, and later destroy their own lives, their body and health, causing worry, fear, and so forth. They lose all their possessions. Also cigarettes. I saw one body in America, one dead body, one old mother, I think it had been six months ago since she died, so the body was laying down there. The Tibetan doctor, Ama Lobsang, said it was due to smoking cigarettes. She gave the body to the hospital or the university, where they study the body.
It is very clear what Lama Tsongkhapa says, that not having satisfaction by enjoying is the door of all the sufferings. So now another big problem is sexual misconduct—having other people, other husbands or wives, belonging to others—it is the same as alcohol, as I mentioned. Even in reality there is nothing, there’s no pleasure increasing, more and more. Even in reality there’s no pleasure. This is a problem of the dissatisfied mind—dissatisfied with the previous experience, wanting it again and again, expecting greater pleasure—the whole life is lived on this hope and this expectation, but actually in reality it is like this. So because of this hope, this expectation, this samsaric work is done continuously, on and on and on, and there is no satisfaction. The more you follow desire, suffering has no end, the problem has no end. That brings various problems. Lama Tsongkhapa explained in the great commentary of the lam-rim that the worst suffering of samsara, the greatest suffering of samsara, the most painful you are that however much you follows desire, it has no satisfaction, it has no end.
This is mentioned and that’s very true. All those are bigger and bigger, and there is more and more disharmony in the relationships, you are continuously living life in disharmony with that person, then after that with another person disharmony, with another person disharmony, on and on.
Therefore, if you live the life with loving kindness, with compassion for each other, there’s happiness. With the thought of cherishing others, loving kindness, and compassion, you are born—the purpose of the life, I think I might have mentioned already before. I don’t remember. The purpose of life, of each day’s breathing, eating, each hour, each minute breathing, in and out, surviving, this human body, this is an incredible unbelievable opportunity to obtain happiness. To eliminate the sufferings of all other sentient beings equaling infinite space, to obtain the happiness of all the sentient beings equaling infinite space. That includes this person with whom you are living. This is the purpose of the life according to your own capability. If you are able to benefit others for ultimate happiness that is the best thing, that is what they need. The purpose of life is to cause happiness for others, to obtain happiness for others, to eliminate the sufferings of others, and not to harm others. That is contradictory—if you harm others then the reason you have taken this human body, this precious human body, is lost. To give harm you don’t need to take a human body.
For that purpose, giving food to this body, giving clothes to this body, giving a good comfortable place to this body, giving medicine when it’s sick, spending much money to be healthy, to have a longer life is all for the benefit of others. In that way all these things become for others. Naturally it becomes for others, it’s not for you, but for others. Naturally it becomes for others. That includes however many people there are at the center, or however many there are in the family—one person, two people, three people. Parents, children—it includes all these. So therefore your own life is for other sentient beings. So thinking like this, the other person also learns, other person also changes their attitude and practices in that way. So there is much happiness, much freedom, much happiness.
Otherwise what happens is pointless, from child-time when you went to learn the A B C D, all the education, to get a job to earn money. But if you don’t stop giving harm, if you don’t do the practice of Dharma, if you don’t stop giving harm to others, then what it looks like is that from child-time you were born, went to school, college, all these things, took a job to make money to have a longer life in order to give harm to others—it all becomes ridiculous.
One example of following the desire of the samsaric work is sexual misconduct. This is one example. This involves killing and brings many other troubles, many other negative karmas. It involves killing, hurting others, beating others, harming others with body, speech, and mind. So many things, so many negative karmas it brings. Each of the actions of following desire. These examples can be seen very clearly—they bring much negative karma, so much trouble.
So this is very clear what Lama Tsongkhapa says—not having satisfaction by enjoying is the door of all the sufferings. It’s very good to meditate on this verse using your own life-story, and in this way your own life-story becomes the commentary of this verse. Then every day what you hear, what you see in the world becomes commentary to this verse, a lam-rim teaching.
Many people think, “I don’t need to practice Dharma, I don’t need to practice meditation. I don’t have problems, I don’t have suffering. Dharma practice and meditation are something only for the poor people to practice. It’s a practice for poor people. It’s a practice for beggars, who don’t have money. It’s for them to practice.” They have incredible suffering but do not recognize it. The person looks very nice outside, the appearance is very nice, wealthy, but if you speak a little bit longer and longer, you hear more and more problems. Whichever class, lower class, middle class, high class person, whatever, at the beginning you might believe he’s okay, it’s all completely all right, very healthy, but when he relaxes, you can hear suffering. Business problems, family problems—there are some problems there. In his mind there is some problem there, some dissatisfaction. She is not happy with her husband; he is not happy with his wife, something is not satisfactory.
LEAVING THE BODY AGAIN AND AGAIN
Then leaving the body again and again, and joining again and again. This mother came from another mother. If you count, starting from this present mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother—even this whole earth is not enough. With this meditation, you can also use your father or your grandfather. This body, this blood, came from this present life’s mother and grandmother. That continued from another mother—it is unbelievable, the continuation of this physical body. Then the other part of the body came from the father, which came from the grandfather. It is kind of like junk, garbage. This is a very effective way to meditate to cut the clinging to this body, the attachment clinging to this body.
However much you clean it from the outside, this is what it is in fact. After each of these points, you should make this conclusion, therefore there’s nothing to be attached to. Otherwise, that is the whole point, that is the cause of samsara, the cause of suffering, making the conclusion after each meditation. You can elaborate with examples, with each outline, and then make the conclusion that there is nothing, no reason, no point at all, to cling.
Leaving the body again and again, there is nothing to cling to. There is nothing that you haven’t taken in samsara. Even this body has to be left at any moment—there is nothing to cling to.
Then, again and again, becoming higher and lower, not having compassion when you are born and when you die, you have to go to the intermediate state alone and to the next life without companions, without friends. However many friends, billions and billions of friends, you cannot take even one when you die. As it’s mentioned in the Bodhicaryavatara, when you get born, when you die, you are alone.
Then remembering the six types of sufferings, the five types of suffering of the aggregates, all these things are very important to control, to stop, especially when you are near death. Letting go of clinging to your own body, possessions, your son, family, properties, then there is no problem. Even if you don’t know those particular methods of transferring consciousness to the pure realm of a buddha, just remembering these teachings, the shortcomings of samsara, controlling the mind, there is no problem at all of rebirth in the lower realm.
In this way, nothing keeps you down, and even if you wish to have a perfect human body in the next life again to practice Dharma, to train the mind in the path, to benefit other sentient beings, you get the chance from this. Or to be born in the deva realm. Even rebirth in a pure realm comes from this fundamental practice of not letting the mind under the control of these disturbing thoughts.
Otherwise even if you have trained well during the life in powa, transferring the consciousness, these special methods, at the time of death if you don’t remember the lam-rim, desire comes at the time of death, clinging to the family, property, things like that, your own belongings, your own body, it’s like the bird—the legs are tied with rope, with stone, tied, and you cannot fly.
A person who is going to be born in the hot naraks feels very cold. If you have the experience of being around sick people, being around dying people, before they die many people scream and talk about feeling cold. Many of them are very hot. You have to put many blankets on them, and however many you put it’s never enough—still the person feels cold. This is the craving and grasping arising, which causes them to be born in the hot naraks or cold naraks. If they feel very cold they cling to the heat, and that craving and grasping leads to the hot narak. Then the person feels so hot he wants everything to be taken off, and that leads then to the cold naraks. During their lifetime they make preparations like this for the path to the lower realms.
At that time it is important to recognize the teachings that you have heard during your lifetime, and then control the disturbing thoughts. In this way you gets protected from the lower realms.
As Shantideva said in the Bodhicaryavatara, when you have the fortune to accumulate merit, if you don’t do it, then when you are born in the suffering, evil-gone realm and you are always ignorant, what will you do? You won’t get even a human body and if you don’t get human body, there is no virtue, only nonvirtue. I think we can understand this to mean, as I mentioned yesterday, that if you get born like those red worms that are given to the fish, to feed the fish, or as a goat or a buffalo, or a sheep it’s impossible to accumulate virtue, the causes of happiness. For so many eons, life is like this, and there is no opportunity to accumulate virtue at all. There is only nonvirtue, wandering back and forth in the lower realms, like the turtle that lives under the ocean, just going back and forth under the ocean, in the three lower realms. For eons and eons like this.
Therefore, to be able to practice, to be able to control the mind at the time of death, you need to train. So therefore you need to make preparations training in the lam-rim, the teaching on the graduated path to enlightenment. Like the military, like the army—before the actual fighting they have to do a lot of training as if they’re actually fighting. You need training in everyday life, and this way you can remember it at the time of death. When anger comes, immediately you are able to control it, immediately you are able to recognize it and control it—as well as attachment and ignorance.
Otherwise you will still get angry. I’ve seen a benefactor who did a lot of prayers and read so many texts, lots of prayers, but at the time of death he got angry. Doing so many prayers, reading so many scriptures, many texts, every day while he’s doing business for the family, but I have no idea how much the person practiced in terms of the actual lam-rim meditation controlling the mind. I’m sure that my death will be much worse than his death. At the time of death suddenly he got very strong anger at his friend—even though there was no anger before, the karma was very strong, so those negative reasons suddenly came into his mind, like a water bubble.
Before when he was sick I asked him, “What prayers do you do?” I didn’t know that he was doing a lot of prayers, so I asked him. I was going to suggest to say some Chenrezig mantras and maybe some thought transformation, how to think, how to use the sicknesses, even death, for other sentient beings.
When I asked him, “Do you do prayers or not?” he laughed. I didn’t know that he was doing many prayers so he laughed. Then after some days then he showed me all the texts that he read every day, so many—but I don’t know how much he understood.
Therefore the happiness that you want is not only happiness right this moment—if there’s anger, there’s no happiness even at this moment. Especially if you wish for long-run happiness, you need to every single effort into this to pacify anger. You need to remember all the teachings.
It is a serious disease, anger. Put every single effort into controlling it. By trying like this, after some years, six or seven years, even if anger arises, it arises for just one second. The mind becomes dark for one second, then it disappears. It doesn’t last.
After some time, no matter whatever they say, whatever they do, even if they come to kill you, instead of anger arising, there is only unbelievable loving kindness and compassion.
Therefore, if you have problems, the main thing, especially with anger, is that you should put all your effort, all your meditations into controlling it. If your main problem is jealousy, put all your effort into this. As well as pride. Listen to the teachings, use it for that, read Dharma texts, use them for that. Even sightseeing, even reading newspapers, everything, use it for that. Hearing other people’s life-stories, those who have much pride, who are so jealous, who are so angry. Use this to solve your own problems, for your own liberation.
SAMSARA IS ONLY IN THE NATURE OF SUFFERING
What is samsara? These aggregates. So you have some idea of the evolution of samsara’s twelve links. These aggregates are caused by karma—now you have the idea of how these aggregates came from karma and disturbing thoughts. One explanation of the twelve dependent arisings is related to the outside of the plant, then the second explanation of the twelve links. These aggregates are caused by karma and disturbing thoughts, and the contaminated seed of karma and disturbing thoughts. This is samsara. Samsara means the circling or the cycle. The straight translation is not cyclic existence. “Circling” can be more effective. Korwa: circling.
With this samsara, these aggregates, because the seed of karma and disturbing thoughts is there, when you meet a beautiful object, attachment arises, when you meet an undesirable object, anger arises. When you meet an indifferent object, ignorance arises, and then with these aggregates, creating karma, compounding the seed of the future samsara, it leaves the potential on the consciousness. So with this samsara you compound the cause of future life’s samsara.
As long as you are not liberated from samsara, when you don’t experience the suffering of suffering, you experience the suffering of change. Pleasures don’t last. On the other hand, Dharma happiness, however much effort you put, however much you practice, however much you attain, it increases more and more. More and more, and it can be completed.
Samsaric pleasures that depend on outside conditions, however much effort you put into them, they do not last. The longer you try, they change into suffering. They become greater sufferings, greater and greater sufferings. And it has no end. You try again and then it changes into suffering of suffering. It becomes a problem. It has no end. The work has no end, no way to finish. This is said in the Four Hundred Stanzas by Aryadeva.
The reason samsaric experiences transform into the suffering of suffering is because the nature of the pleasure itself is suffering. If the nature of the pleasure were not suffering, if it were true happiness, then the more you sit, the longer you sit, the longer the pleasure would last. The happiness should be developed more and more. Like after feeling so hot, and jumping into the water, at the beach, you could stay there for months and years, like doing retreat—and there should by unbelievable, inconceivable happiness, bliss. More and more.
The same thing—if you kept on eating for months, years, after, then at nighttime there should be unbelievable, inconceivable happiness. That is not the reality. Were it the reality, even death would not happen. The reason it changes is because the nature is suffering. The basis is suffering, and you label it pleasure.
So for example when, after you are standing a long time, you sit down, the tiredness of standing stops, and then the tiredness of sitting starts, from very small. As soon as you sit down the tiredness of sitting starts from very small. On that feeling you label pleasure. The feeling is only that the great tiredness of standing has stopped and the small tiredness of sitting has started. So on that you have labeled pleasure. The longer you sit, the more the action of sitting compounds the tiredness of sitting—as soon as you sat down it is started compounding. The longer you sit, the more the tiredness of sitting compounds. It increases and so because it increases, when it becomes visible, as it grows, it becomes suffering, the suffering of suffering.
This is the same with all samsara, with all the pleasure that is to do with the outside conditions, except the happiness derived from practicing Dharma. As long as you don’t get liberated from the samsara, whatever life changes, if you become a king, if you become a farmer, if you become a circus performer, or it you live your life in sports, or travelling, on the mountains—whatever different style of life you live, it is in the nature of suffering. Whatever you do. So therefore, again, besides the suffering of suffering again, there is nothing to cling to. The conclusion is that there is nothing to cling to. There’s nothing to be attracted to.
Guru Shakyamuni Buddha said in the sutra text Entering the Womb, which he basically taught to his younger brother, Chungawa, that one should understand that eating, standing, sitting, walking, sleeping—all these actions individually are only the nature of suffering. When the meditator examines it (I don’t remember word by word) he sees only suffering. He experiences these things, not happiness or pleasure. Then Guru Shakyamuni Buddha told Chungawa, whose story I told the other day, when the suffering arises, when it arises and arises, it is the nature of suffering. Even when it stops, it is the nature of suffering. So like this it compounds: when it arises, it is in the nature of compounding; when it stops, it is in the nature of compounding.
Even when you don’t experience the suffering of suffering, or the suffering of change, there is the contaminated seed of karma and the disturbing thoughts. This is caused by the aggregates, which came from karma and disturbing thoughts, under the control of karma and disturbing thoughts. So that’s why even when you pinch you flesh like this, there’s a pain. The body is so easy to find discomfort.
I used to tell it like this. Even having this pain proves reincarnation. If there were no past lives there wouldn’t be this pain. There’s no reason why there has to be pain. This came from karma and disturbing thoughts, so therefore we don’t have a choice to use the aggregates to do virtue, as you wish. So as we meet the different objects, suddenly the disturbing thought arises. We get overwhelmed by the disturbing thoughts, the six root delusions, things like that.
Lama Tsongkhapa explained in the Lam-rim Chen-mo, even if you’re not experiencing the suffering of suffering now, even if it you’re not experiencing the suffering of change, since there’s the third suffering, pervasive compounding suffering—being under the control of karma and delusions, not being free from these,—from this pervasive compounding suffering, the suffering of change and the suffering of suffering can arise. Immediately, right this minute. They can happen, they can arise.
Pervasive compounding suffering, as I told you before, is compounding, because by meeting the object, again these disturbing thoughts arise and you create the karma compounding the cause of another samsara.
Now pervasive, ka-pa du-che, pervasive, this is being under the control of karma and delusion, and this one becomes the base for the suffering of change and the suffering of suffering. This one covers those, like a water bubble coming from the water. This one covers both sufferings: the suffering of suffering and suffering of change. Therefore this is the root of all problems and sufferings. So therefore, it is extremely important to have strong renunciation for this pervasive compounding suffering. Lama Tsongkhapa said in the Lam-rim Chen-mo, very clearly that this is the main renunciation we should have
Now you can see that the whole samsara is completely, only in the nature of suffering. Meditate on the sufferings of samsara. And then, not having the slightest attraction to it, feel that it is like the nature of fire, it is like being in the center of a fire, as long as you are in the samsara. If you feel like this, like an arrow has gone inside your own heart, and then think about other sentient beings, unbearable compassion arises. Then, it is very quick to generate bodhicitta—bodhicitta, strong compassion, strong renunciation for you own samsara, and there’s aversion and strong compassion for other beings’ suffering in samsara. There is stronger bodhicitta to lead sentient beings into the highest happiness, peerless happiness, enlightenment. So therefore, enlightenment is quicker. The stronger the bodhicitta there is, the quicker the enlightenment.
So I think I’ll stop here.
Please dedicate all the three times’ merits accumulated by yourself and all other sentient beings, of listening and explaining the teaching. May I be able to have all realizations of Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings, the understanding of sutra and tantra both within my mind, and that way be able to spread the pure teaching on liberation through sutra and tantra, the complete teaching of Lama Tsongkhapa in the minds of all sentient beings, and in this way lead sentient beings to happiness, and to enlightenment. Do a short mandala.