Kadampa Teachings (Audio and Unedited Transcripts), Continued

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Root Institute, Bodhgaya, India; 26 December 2003 - 02 January 2004 (Archive #1470)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these teachings at Root Institute, Bodhgaya, in December 2003. There were seven days of teachings; days 5 through 7 are included here. You can listen to the first four days here.

During these three days Rinpoche continued to give commentary on Atisha's Jewel Garland

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Geneva, Switzerland,1983. Photo: Ueli Minder.
Day Five: Jewel Garland Commentary - Cherishing the practice and turning away from samsaric happiness

[sang gye chö dang.... (3x)]

At any rate I must achieve enlightenment for the, to liberate the sentient beings, who have been one’s own mother, and been kind from time without beginning, source of all one’s own, from whom one has received all one’s own past happiness, present happiness, all the future happiness, up to enlightenment, and to liberate them from oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them in full enlightenment. Therefore, I’m going to listen the holy Dharma.

I received the lung of this, but not a commentary of this. I don’t remember a hundred percent whether I’ve received commentary on this, The Jewel Garland of the Bodhisattva’s Advice, by Lama Atisha. I don’t remember I received commentary on this, so there’s the lineage, just going over this, because this is a little bit short one, so as part of Kadampa teaching, so I thought to go over this. The transmitted teaching, I have received the lung, oral transmission, I don’t remember a hundred percent I received commentary on this. So just going over the Lama Atisha’s advice.

“Abandon all the doubts, cherish precisely, definitely cherish the practice, cherish definitely the practice.”

So however, there’s no other practice than the lam-rim. What is the practice that one should definitely cherish? So what one should understand, should come in one’s own heart is the lam-rim. And, [pause] as Lama Tsongkhapa explained in the lam-rim The Foundation of Good Quality, [Tibetan] then I’ve forgotten, [RL] the beginning part I’ve forgotten, recited but I’ve then forgotten, oh, [Tibetan], so this chä pä mi ngom duk ngäl kün gyi go, yi tän mi rung si päi pun tsog kyi, nye mik rik nä tar päi de wa la...., this is very powerful meditation, what I was going to say is the verse, the stanza next, but before the next comes, I think this one, by hearing this then the next stanza, then it makes, then that’s the purpose, to do the essential practice. Why living in the morality is the essential practice, Lama Tsongkhapa stressed. So chä pä mi ngom, by enjoying the, by using the enjoyments, it says, mi ngom, never get satisfaction, the samsaric enjoyments, how much you enjoy, how much you use, mi ngom, never find, never get satisfaction. We use, we have samsaric enjoyment, any samsaric enjoyment there is, we had numberless times. All the human beings’ pleasures, all the devas, suras, asuras, all the devas’ pleasures, million times much more sense enjoyment that they have than a human being, than the wealthiest human being has, the richest country. So, we had numberless times, this enjoyment this life’s not the first time, we had all these enjoyments, whatever enjoyments human beings have, whatever enjoyment devas have, we had numberless times, time without beginning.

As it is mentioned in the lam-rim teaching, the shortcomings of samsara, the six shortcomings of samsara, like that, the shortcomings, nothing’s definite, the relationships, relationship of the family, nothing definite, it changes ______ ________ ?life.

Like the story, as Sharipu saw as he was going for alms, he saw, was looking through the door of the family, the house of the family, then saw, [pause] the son’s father died, father used to catch fish from the pond, which is behind the house. So father died, born as a fish from that pond, from the same pond, behind the house and son was eating that, eating the fish, that which is the father, born, the fish, which consciousness is same continuity of the father of the son. Then, mother died with the thought attachment to the home, so born as dog to that family and chewing the husband’s bones. So son’s father, then the mother was born as dog to the family so chewing the husband’s bones. The son’s enemy was attached to his wife, so the son’s enemy was born to them. So he was carrying the child on his lap, but actually that is the enemy, his enemy who was born to them, was attached to his wife, so conceived consciousness in her womb, so now he was carrying the child, who was his enemy.

So the whole relationship totally changed, so the Sharipu then said, Eating the father’s flesh, beating the mother, the dog’s in front of the, while he was eating the fish, the father, then, the dog’s waiting there in the front, so beating the dog. So the dog’s asked for food, so then beating the dog. Eating the father’s flesh, beating the mother, and carrying on the lap the enemy that was born. I laugh at the samsaric existence. So the whole changed, nothing’s definite, so then Sharipu said, I laugh at the samsaric existence. So, totally changes life to life, like that.

And even in this life, the friend, enemy, nothing definite. Even the friend become enemy, even the same day, morning friend, evening that friend become enemy or even next hour.

Then, [pause] so usually, so the family members that we have, so same, exactly the same as this family, how Sharipu saw, so same, one’s own family that we have in this life. So, have been enemy, maybe Nagarjuna’s Writing, might be that, I’m not sure, the father become son, the mother become wife, enemy become friend, nothing definite in samsara. [Tibetan] Something like that, the last part I didn’t remember word by word exactly. So, there’s a reason why this, the present family, these sentient beings together with oneself at this time, there’s a reason. So in the past, there have been all these different relationships with oneself in the past, numberless times. Numberless times, have been wife numberless times, have been one’s own child numberless times, has been husband numberless times, they all have been husband numberless times, they all have been father numberless times, they all have been mother numberless times, have been brother numberless times, sister numberless times, enemy numberless times, friend numberless times.

So, understanding this, the beginningless relationships in various ways, many different ways, have been all these relationships numberless times, then same, also in the future, depending on how long one will be in samsara, same in the future, so when you think this, it definitely, the nature of samsara, the changes of the relationships, meet again and again, but different, with the different relationship, so that helps, this understanding helps, the griefness, that family member passed away then you have griefness for whole life or for long, so long, and missing so much, the griefness, so it helps. By thinking of the nature of samsara, so then one had relationship many different, they all have been different relationships numberless times. And then also in the future. So, some people, father died, mother’s left alone or mother died, father left alone, so this is the only person that, if the mother passed away, so the father passed away, then the mother, this is the only person that she had, that she rely upon whole life or depend upon, so then of course, the husband, the father, her husband passes away, then she can’t stand, so left alone, she’s alone and nothing to depend upon, so she couldn’t bear that, and then because of that sadness, then also the wife, the mother or the wife, the mother of the children or the wife, then also many times doesn’t, unable to live long, dies soon. That, due to that sadness or so much grief, however, or the other way round. So I mentioned that no need worry, that you’ll meet again, the person you will meet again in the future lives, so then that helps the person to feel better. [long pause]

So, what it’s saying that stanza is, how much one has or uses the samsaric enjoyments, samsaric happiness, never get satisfied, and that is the door for all the sufferings. By realizing the shortcomings of the perfections of samsara, that nothing’s definite, so realizing the previous one, how much one enjoy samsaric happiness, one can never find satisfaction and that is the door for all the sufferings, realizing that then realizing the shortcomings of samsaric perfections that which is nothing definite, then please grant blessings to have thought, great longing the happiness of the liberation, that which is ultimate happiness.

For example, unable to, how much one use samsaric happiness, one can never find satisfaction. Another example, the alcoholic, so you drink the first sip, then second sip, then third sip, more and more, then become uncontrolled, so not stopping, so because unable to get satisfaction so drink more and more, then become totally uncontrolled. Then, no shame and then whatever secret things one has, what one has kept in the mind all comes out, somebody’s fault or somebody’s made mistakes or however, everything comes out then, then become quarrel, fight, and then kill each other. So usually, when one is not drinking, doesn’t express out. Then when one drink, then become uncontrolled, then no shame, no shame or shy, so it gets expressed out, whether it’s this anger or whatever it is, to that person. And, because there’s no control, so, so many people dying by car accidents, something which is very unnecessary, to experience that. Then oneself die, then other people in the car, not only oneself then other people in the car cause danger, they die. And then also other people, the people who are in the other car, then like that. However, at home, then causing a lot of problems for the family, to the husband or to the wife or to the family, beating and quarreling, then breaking things, destroy so many things. That so many, from kindergarten, so many years of education, that one sacrificed the life and then finally got a job, then did ?live in the job and then earn money, then buy a house and all these comforts, all these materials, and then, so destroy those things, however, causing a lot of unnecessary damage or harm to the family, to oneself, so become alcoholic, made one’s own life so difficult.

So that, so shortcomings by following the desire, all those people who has such a difficult life, whole life like this, completely, totally destroyed. Unable to do even the jobs properly or it become obstacle even to the jobs, then it makes to lose jobs, then financial burden. Then, when the person become alcoholic then the family, the person’s life becomes so difficult, so difficult, then family put outside, however, the person becomes homeless, there’s so many homeless in London or in New York, or in the cities, there are so many people who are homeless, seems many people are alcoholics, so due to that, however, family cannot take care of, then they become homeless. And still become alcoholic, even little money that one collects, then drink and even after that, still become alcoholic.

However, totally destroyed the precious human body that one has receives, just once, this time, totally made meaningless. [pause] Kunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen Rinpoche, when Rinpoche gave the Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, commentary on that in Nepal in the _____ ______ Monastery, Rinpoche stayed there. So Rinpoche was talking to the people about the shortcomings of drinking alcohol, then Rinpoche said, You fell down in the road, vomit, then dogs come, lick your food, lick what you vomited, to the mouth, I remember that Rinpoche was talking about that. However, so that part of the story is just mistakes of following desire, to the alcohol.

Then shortcomings of following desire to drug, similar. More and more get addicted to that, then become unbelievable difficult to control, so difficult, then so difficult, one crave so much for that pleasure and then because of that, then you engage in stealing from shops, from parents, then so like this, engage many negative, various negative karmas, because of following desire, clinging, grasping the pleasure of taking drugs, so that leads, become more and more addicted, then more and more difficult then that leads to many different negative karmas, killing, stealing, killing, telling lies, so many negative karmas, like that. Again your precious human body is totally destroyed, this is received is about one time, once, this time, then destroyed, become totally meaningless. Then again ending, end the life in prison again and again. You come out of that, again you do the same, again because one doesn’t control the desire, so again do the same thing, then again end up the life in the prison, so again and again like this.

Then, business, now shortcomings of following the desire in the senses of business. So no matter how much profit you are able to make, because one doesn’t control the desire, so you want more and more, so if one made profit 1,000, one want to make profit 10,000. Then if one is able to make 10,000, then one wants to make profit 100,000. If one makes 100,000 profit, one wants to make a million dollar profit. If one is able to make one million dollar profit then want billion dollar profit. Then even one is able to make a billion dollar profit, did I say a million or a billion, billion dollar profit, then want to make zillion dollar profit. And if one makes a zillion dollar profit then a trillion dollar profit, anyway, [RL] so it goes on, so no end. By following desire, no end, there’s no end. In the sense, in the case of business, mistakes of following desire, it has no end; it goes on and on, how much one gets, no end.

Then, there’s so much worry, fear, others becoming more wealthy than you or what you have there’s incredible fear to lose. So before you had the wealth, you didn’t have those problems. Before the wealth, before you received the wealth, you didn’t have those problems. Now, you have this new problem, that you didn’t have before. When you start to be wealthy, the problems with the wealth started. And so because continuously following desire, so then after some time you don’t have the karma always to have success, always to make profit. One doesn’t have the merit, what, some merit collected in the past to have profit, that’s already you have used, it’s gone, it’s finished. So suddenly one day then whole business collapsed, whole entire business completely collapsed, lost millions and millions of dollars, or billions of dollars lost. And then normally you don’t worry about food and rent, house expenses, family expenses you don’t worry, but now suddenly this year, this month, this week, it becomes great concern, even taking care of the family, all that. Or then, so if one didn’t follow the desire, and if you stopped before collapsed, if you stopped expanding the business before collapsing, that means you stop following the desire, so being content, then it’s no problem. But because one always follows the desire, always continue to expand, so then one day even what one has earned, those past number of years, then totally lost. Or want more and more, so then after some time, then because by following desire, want more and more, so then engage the illegal things, then after some time, even it’s not known at the beginning, but after some years, but after some time, somebody bring out that mistake, somebody, business partner or whatever it is, somebody bring, somebody who get upset with you, then bring out the mistake, illegal things or mistakes. Then, after all this then life ended in prison or very bad reputation in the world, in the whole country filled up with bad reputation. So like this, one can’t do anything. So, this is in the sense of relating to business, what shortcomings arises by following the desire, shortcomings of desire in the sense of business.

Then, so these past years you see so many times on TV, all those wealthy people, somebody sue them, so many, and they end up their life like this.

Then, shortcomings of desire, relating to relationships. So in this field, so there’s unbelievable suffering, more, suffering is growing more and more, bigger and bigger and bigger all the time, one after another, the relationship sufferings expanding, continuing. So, the mistakes of following desire in connection to the relationship, so, not being satisfied with one, with what one has, then always following desire, something better, so not practicing contentment. So, because of that, because of not practicing contentment, then by following desire, then by having, making relationships to many then becomes, then created hell in the family, within one’s own life, in the life of the other companion, so become hell. Not born in hell yet, but it’s like hell. So then court cases or so, along with that, so many fear, worry, so many problems, hundreds of problems comes with that, so much expenses, unnecessary expenses, then, it become incredible prison, double prison, become hell, when the husband find out or when the wife find out, however, then become incredible double prison or the hell. However, then, it’s very easy thought to commit suicide, very easy to kill oneself, very easy to kill others, so it engages so many, again various negative karmas, killing, then telling lies, so forth, stealing, so many, insulting, the harshly speaking, causing separation, slandering, so it makes to engage so many negative karmas, so opens the door for so many negative karmas, to create in this life. And then like sunk in the quagmire, then one’s own life is sunk in the quagmire, the mud, sank, drowned in the mud, drowned in the ocean or drowned in the mud, so life become like that, so suffocating. So ongoing like this. Then pain in the heart for years, pain in the heart, the other person’s heart and your heart, so many people’s hearts, so much pain created in your heart, so for years and years of pain in the heart, doesn’t get healed easily.

So however, same, in the shortcomings of the desire, [pause] unable to do pure Dharma practice, being attached to reputation or attached in the power or material receiving, unable to do pure Dharma practice, all those become, with the desire, all those become obstacle to practice, continuously to practice pure Dharma and to have realizations. And the shortcomings of following desire, then even one took the vow, ordination, even one took the vow of ordination, more one follow, as one does not practice contentment, as one continuously follow desire, then more vows get degenerated, more and more, unable to live pure and then become more and more difficult, then breaks even the root vow. So, that is shortcomings of following desire in connection to the, how that harms, greater and greater harm to the vows, to be able to live in the vows.

So, one can meditate the shortcomings of desire with the different ways like this. So, unable to, even one is doing meditation session, even one is doing retreat, but unable to concentrate, even during the recitation of one mala of OM MANI PADME HUM, unable to concentrate, that even during one mala or recitation of OM MANI PADME HUM, that mind is so distracted, unable to focus, so distracted, so mind distracted on the object of attachment, even during the one mala of OM MANI PADME HUM, so like this. So, unable to, even one try to make time to practice Dharma, to recite mantra or to do retreat or sessions, but because of following desire, the eight worldly concerns, then there arises, they come back and doesn’t allow to be able to focus mind on the object well, during those times. While the life is so short and death can happen any time, so here with these examples one can see, chä pä mi ngom, so by using this, enjoying or using the samsaric happiness, one doesn’t get satisfied and so that becomes the door for all the sufferings. So example, like that, how it becomes the door for all the sufferings.