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.

Urgent Need for Bodhicitta, Precious Human Rebirth

[preliminary prayers]

Do not commit any unwholesome actions, Engage in perfect wholesome actions, [pause]

So, as I mentioned yesterday, how unbelievable important it is that, the need of the good heart is like the emergency treatment or like the emergency hospital, the need in our everyday life the bodhicitta or the good heart it like more important than, many hundred thousands times of emergency hospital, that how important it is that in the everyday life, the twenty-four hours of life, the need of good heart is no comparison as regards the importance, urgent need, how urgent it is; it's nothing comparing to the emergency hospital, when somebody has heart attack or something, that danger of death, if there's no treatment, if didn't get done immediately by taking to emergency hospital, where there's danger or death.

So that is nothing, how important is that is nothing comparing to the importance, the urgent need of the good heart, bodhicitta, within every twenty-four hours of life, the one day, twenty-four hours of life. Because [pause] from that, from the practice of good heart, then from this bodhicitta, the precious thought of benefiting other sentient beings, from this then also you can, by accumulating extensive merit, that it purifies all the obstacles, obscurations, negative karmas, as it is mentioned in the Bodhicaryavatara, in the first chapter, talking about the benefits of bodhicitta, that there's no other powerful means to purify negative karma other than bodhicitta, renouncing oneself and cherishing other sentient beings, there's no more powerful than this for purification. And as well as even concerning the means of accumulating merit, this is the quickest, with the thought of bodhicitta, the thought of benefiting other sentient beings, this very precious thought, that this thought which concerns others, which cares or which cherishes others like oneself, or more than oneself, that through this one can actualize, one is able to proceed quickly in the, able to pass through the steps of the path to enlightenment quickly. And through this one is able to, it's the best way, quick way also to stop death, to stop experiencing death, to not experience death, the suffering death and rebirth, that means that which is caused you to experience death by the karma and delusions, without your own freedom, without your own choice or freedom, that delusion and karma obliges you to experience death and rebirth.

So that, for the bodhisattva, even the practitioners of the Mahayana, the sutra, practicing only sutra, not practicing the secret mantra, Vajrayana - no, this is not Vajrayana Institute . Maybe same . So even practitioners of the Mahayana sutra, without practicing the secret mantra, Vajrayana, that when one achieve the, as there's five paths to enlightenment, Mahayana path of merit and conjunction and right-seeing path and meditation, no more learning. So when one achieve the Mahayana right-seeing path, third one, then that meditator, that bodhisattva has control over the death, is free from death, that bodhisattva who achieved the third, right-seeing path, as it is mentioned in the teachings, for the arya beings, that there is no birth, the arya beings have completely abandoned the birth, old age, sickness and death, the arya beings have completely abandoned, in other words completely free. The way it is said, the arya beings have completely abandoned birth, old age, even the sicknesses and death.

Then the practitioners of the Highest Tantra, the level where one is completely liberated, free from the death, that is the, that first one actualized, one has laid the foundation in one's own mind, the sutra, the common path, renunciation of samsara, bodhicitta, emptiness, then one generate the particular secret mantra, the Vajrayana, the maha-anuttara yoga tantra, generation stage and completion stage. So completion stage has five stages, the isolation of body, speech, mind, isolation of mind that which is clear light and there's illusory body and unification. So when one achieve the clear light, the yogi or practitioner of Highest Tantra, when one achieve the clear light, then one who actualized the extremely subtle consciousness, the extremely subtle mind-wind that, so the yogi who actualized this, that, by ceasing, by stopping the gross consciousness through the most skillful means of the Highest Tantra, such as Six Yogas of Naropa, tummo meditation, so forth, those various means, technical or most skillful means, like a rocket that which has very sophisticated machine, that which is incredible method, technical things that which can reach, can go so fast, extremely fast, that can carry the person, can bring the people moon or whatever, those places where one wishes to go very fast. That which is incredible method or technique, very sophisticated, these tantric practices, generation stage or completion stage, those Six Yogas of Naropa, so forth, meditations on the winds, channels, drops, so forth, for quickest, to achieve enlightenment quickest way, the quickest way to stop, to cease the mistakes of the mind, quickest way to end the suffering, quickest way to cease the obscurations, the ordinary concept, ordinary appearance, to cease the dualistic appearances, dualistic view, to cease all these things quickest way.

So however that unbelievable skillful means, like the scientist through the development they made those machines, like that, the kind compassionate, the omniscient Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, that revealed or taught these unbelievable techniques to, that which we can apply, that which is according to our body, mind, technique that is related to nature of our body and mind, that which exactly fits according to our body and mind. So, however by practicing these things, so by stopping the gross consciousness then one actualize the extremely subtle consciousness, or one who experiences the clear light, so that meditator, that real yogi, so again is not under the control of the Lord of Death, Lord of Death is under the control of that practitioner, of that yogi. So again, so in Highest Tantra, maha-anuttara yoga tantra, so that is the practitioner who is free from the death, who achieved that level of realization.

So however so point why I brought up this is that again you need bodhicitta as the foundation of all this and so need, all this depends on having accumulated, all this depends on accumulation of extensive merit, that to be able to buy big property, to be able to buy big apartment that if we have those millions of dollars then you can buy that large property, similar need extensive merit, one who experiences these realizations, who can have these experiences, has to be very, extremely fortunate person, so one can make oneself lucky or successful or fortunate, the best way is by bodhicitta.

So [pause], from this perfect human rebirth, such as this freedom, means this body, this precious body qualified of eight freedoms and ten richnesses, then if one does not train, if I do not train the mind in virtue, then when I'm born the evil-gone realm, the evil-gone suffering realm and being ignorant all the time, that time, what can I do? Nothing. So that time what can I do? So the quotation is written in the form of question, questioning to oneself, so if one is born, now I have received a precious human body, that is qualified of eight freedoms, ten richnesses, that which has all the opportunities to practice, to train the mind in the path to not just happiness of future lives, not just liberation from samsara, but complete the path to highest enlightenment, that I have all the opportunities, have met Mahayana virtuous friend, who reveals or who revealed the complete path to enlightenment, who already revealed, and that I have all the opportunities, all the necessary conditions, all the conditions that is necessary, everything I have received, and if I don't get to practice, then if I get reborn the evil-gone suffering realms, then what can I do? How you can help to yourself? Nothing. How I can help to myself? Nothing. Now I can help to myself but that time can't help, anything I can do for myself. That evil-gone realm, the Tibetan term, nyen song, [Tibetan], so evil is ngen song, nyen dro, evil migratory being or nyen song, evil-gone one or evil-gone being, so evil that describes the cause, from the first syllable it describes the cause and gone, so because of that, gone into that suffering realm, so evil-gone, or nyen song, nyen dro, so evil migratory being, so because created negative karma, the evil mind, the evil thought and evil action, evil attitude and action, so nyen dro, so migratory being, so then because of that migrated either hell or hungry ghost or animal, so evil migratory being. So the title describes the whole evolution, the name describes the whole evolution, contains the cause and result, both.

So however so once one reborn in the evil-gone suffering realm, constantly one is overwhelmed by the heaviest suffering, that comparing to our human being problems it is nothing, which is nothing comparing to the sufferings of the even the animals, without talking about the hell and the hungry ghost, so the suffering of the human being, how much we think we have so much problem, that is nothing. [pause]

So it is very beneficial to meditate like this, that if one see animals that is taking to the butcher place, in the car or in the bus, truck, that, or at the butcher's place or already killed, that they are cutting the meat, and to remember, to meditate that now I have created, there have been various negative karmas I have accumulated, from the beginningless rebirths, so many negative karmas that are not finished experiencing, so many which has not finished yet experiencing, there are so many left, so like that, me to be born like those pigs or like those chickens there, taken in the trucks, that put in the container that so suffocated, those cows or whatever, so as one sees the animal, always one see the meat hanging in the shop, here in the West doesn't hang anyway , there's no hanging meat but anyway, the butchers cutting or the people after they kill then cutting the meat, selling to others, so anyway as one see then one think that one has various karmas that one has created in the past, there's so much negative karmas, uncountable number of negative karmas to be born in the lower realms, it's left on the mental continuum, not finished experiencing, to be born like this, like these animals, then being in the truck and going to the butcher, that your meat is there in the shop to be sold. Bones are broke in pieces. So this thing can happen after this life, what is happening to these animals, it could happen to me.

So if one see mosquito flying round, stinging, taking blood, making noises flying around, annoying you, disturbing you however that, that from beginningless rebirths I have created various negative karmas, so right after this life I could be like this, the life after this I could be reborn like this mosquito, this type of, having taken such this suffering pitiful body, insect, then suffering so much that, so first of all there's no opportunity to practice Dharma, then because having taken the animal body then third, overwhelmed by unbelievable sufferings, so that time what can I do? What can I help to myself? Nothing. There's nothing that I can do, except constantly creating negative karma with the ignorance, anger, attachment.

If one see this animal who it flies around the light or in the corners or where there are flies around, the lizard, so when one see lizard catching the insects, living on the insects, those tiny insects, whether it's the very quick tongue, or I don't know, whatever that catches, so fast, due to negative karma, it's so active, so fast to catch. So h/e after this, when you see this, there have been so many negative karmas accumulated, so after this life I could be like this, eating flies, living in the buildings, living around the light or on the glass, on the windows, I could be this, so it's very, so this is very good to think all the time, it's very good meditation, that very effective, very powerful meditation, that not, trying to relate what we see here now, at the moment they are called insect, at the moment we are human being and they are animal beings, but trying to make connection them and one's own mind, one's own mind and these lower realm beings, to think of the connection with one's own attitude and these suffering beings, to remember that there's a connection, it is not that this is independent human being and that is independent animal, independent without depending on cause and conditions, it just happened. That…

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