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Bodhicharyavatara, February 2015, Pune, India – Part 5


So again,
extracting from the ninth chapter, along with the word shunyata, often you will find in the Mahayana
the term ‘unborn.’ So we are going to discuss this
a little bit this morning again. You know that the whole purpose
of trying to find the truth is not just for intellectual satisfaction, but really to find a solution
to uproot the cause of the suffering. This is what I say,
like Prajnaparamitahrdaya Sutra, it was…for a Buddhist it was a big summit
that has happened 2,500 years ago, just as all the summit
that is happening today with meeting with all the big
political leaders, business leaders. And they claim that they also
have these conferences and summits to find a solution to specific problems
like global warming, epidemic, etc. Just like that, 2500 years ago
on a place called Vulture’s Peak, Rajgir, the conference was held. The purpose of the conference is to really see what is the fundamental
cause of all the problems. And… Among many other answers,
one of them is Prajnaparamita teachings. Prajnaparamitahrdaya Sutra by the way
is just the shortest form. In the Prajnaparamita and Madhyamaka
there are twenty different approaches… there are actually 20 or sometimes
25 different approaches to… there are 20 or 25 different ways to find
the solution to uproot cause of the suffering. So…20 or 25 different points are
—just few names if I mention: birth, cessation, abiding, coming, going, one, separate—like as in one or two,
like as totality or a separate entity. So there are actually 20 different points. Some of these teachings you can find
in the larger Buddhist canon. Out of this, considerable amount of analysis
was done based on three points which is ‘kye wa me pa,
kye wa, gog pa, ne pa’ —birth or the genesis, presentness
or the abiding, and the cessation. And there’s a reason for that. When we define a phenomenon—
existence of a phenomenon, it’s almost always defined by
where it was originated, sort of the genesis of this phenomenon. Genesis of the phenomena is quite important,
for instance, like our birthday. To prove that we exist, even in the passports
for instance, we have birthdays. Things, you know like everything, like ‘made in Japan’, ‘made in India’,
where it was made, when it was made. And then to the certain extent,
expiry date is also important—the cessation. This kind of things prove
existence of something. And then of course the abiding—
the nowness, the presentness, okay? So considerable amount of analysis is done
based on these three points out of the 20 or 25 different points
that I was mentioning. Out of these three, though, big amount of analysis and writings have been
done on the first issue—the genesis. Out of these three, because we know that
once this is taken care of, the rest is sort of easier
or they’re interrelated anyway. And in not only the three points,
actually the rest of the other points also. So you will hear—
along with the words like ‘shunyata/emptiness’ you will also hear words like ‘unborn’—
‘unceasing’ and ‘unborn’. This is little difficult to
get used to this logic. So let me tell you this way. I think it was somewhere in Africa. I don’t remember the actual name of the nation.
I think it’s Somalia. In the Somalian’s mind, ‘solid’, you know… Something like this in their mind is ‘liquid’. I know you cannot accept this, because you are not accustomed to that.
You are not habituated that way. Anything like this, liquid, in the Somalian…
I think it’s Somalian, I forgot the name. You know I was trying to find out my note
this morning, I couldn’t. It’s ‘solid’. Words means different to different people. Also how you get trained, okay? So what I want to say is this: for ordinary people like you and me, to prove something exists,
you bring the reason— well, this thing exists because it was
born there, manufactured there, manufacturing date, birthday,
so on and so forth. And cause and condition—
it was made of this and that component. Like, we are very aware of this in India: son of Sri something something, remember? Like, I don’t know why
that is there in the forms: son of Sri something something. Because it’s very important to prove
you are existing—you had a father. You understand? You actually were byproduct
of a certain father. That’s important. So what I’m saying is,
for people like you and me, when we hear so and so phenomenon
is caused by this and that at this place, during that time, all this ends up becoming a solid proof
of something’s existence, right? Now, for Shantideva’s ear, this…all of this is the very proof
to hear that something is never born. Just like the Somalian ‘solid’ and ‘liquid’,
remember? For the trained Madhyamikan ear, you know, this is the quotation
from the Buddha: ‘Gang zhik kyen le kye pa de ma kye
de la kyewe ngo po yo ma yin.’ Okay. We are talking about genesis
by the way: genesis, the first ever cause. Actually this is also the main reason
why all the ideas of gods and the evolution and the first-ever cause
and the atom and the big bang… I’m sure
all must have emerged from this. For the trained Madhymikan ear, as long as something is
dependent on cause and condition, you can impute,
and you can believe and assume that this is the birth of a table for instance,
birth of a marigold, birth of a glass, birth of a chair…
whatever, you can say this, but it’s only imputed.
The real arising, real genesis doesn’t exist. Do you like to ask some questions
regarding this so that I can go further? Because if you are stuck with this,
I can’t really discuss the ninth chapter. At least some vague discussions
we should have on this one. As long as…sort of for the Madhymikan, when you hear something is
dependent on cause and condition, to them it is equal to
something is not born, unborn. Therefore, it’s not truly abiding. And therefore, it is not truly…
it cannot have a cessation. So for this reason there’s no Armageddon. There is no…like the first ever cause,
no evolution, no genesis. A year back or so, I had seen this
National Geographic film in which they were like how to make a planet, And in that they were like researching on
how earth was before life came in, and the reason like why some bacteria and
trees came and the green color and everything. then oxygen came.
But still, like there existed a bacteria, what was there before for this consciousness
to pop in, something like that. Like I have this question,
what if everything on earth dies, maybe after some millions and eons after, this life, this consciousness will come again. Okay, maybe little bit different this one.
But what I’m trying to explain is this: as long as there is a cause and condition,
as long as the phenomena is interdependent —maybe interdependent is not the right word—
dependent arising, dependent arising is basically
equal to non-arising. This is why you will always hear
shunyata and dependent arising together. In a trained ear,
dependent arising means non-arising. For an ordinary being,
an arising, the act of arising, and the fact that it has a cause and condition
of its arising, and the date and the place, prove its existence is true,
but not for the Madhymikan. For your question I can only say for the Buddhists in general
and especially Yogacara Buddhists would never assert, never say that there is a consciousness
or that there is a bacteria or there is atom that is independent
from the mind that is conscious of. So, this is a fundamental argument between
I think some of the scientists and the Buddhists. Buddhists cannot say there is
an independent object before the subject. In other words, like my existence for many of you, thirty years ago,
let’s say, it does not exist. Now, of course, you can now imagine,
‘Well, he looks like fiftyish.’ ‘So about 49 years ago,
he must be like crawling on all four, you know, he must have cried.’ All of that. And you can even throw back
the present projection to the future. You can think,
‘After maybe about another 10 years, he will have less teeth,
he will have more wrinkles, he will have no hairs left…’
So on and so forth. But that is present projection throwing
to the past and the future. So does this also mean that there is really no
concept of causation in this Madhyamikan view? Because talking from a science
or physics prospective, that is, you look at sequence of events,
now sequence may not… Yes, there is no truly existing cause and condition.
That’s the only… ‘The truly’… Again, let’s define truly. This is important.
What is truly? ‘Rang shin ta nay gyu ma…’
This is… Nagarjuna’s definition of truly is… Okay, there are a few elements: It has to be independent.
Okay? It has to be independent. It has to be unfabricated—unfabricated,
independent, and therefore permanent. Truly. Because otherwise, if it is dependent
and if it is fabricated and if it is impermanent, we will never know which
aspect of ‘is’ is the truth. It’s now right this
but the next moment it will change. So we can never find out
what is the real truth. So the truth, when we say ‘truly/the truth’,
it has to be independent. It has to be unfabricated, or it should not be dependent
on other cause and condition. And therefore, it has to
be sort of somewhat permanent. Such kind of cause and condition
buddhists will not accept. Of course, we are not saying that
the Madhymikan will not agree on causation, and birth of a flower or birth of whatever. On a relative level, all this is fine. So just one follow-up question. So does that mean that this view
is useful only for the human condition? Because the view of dependent causation… or if there is a sequence: A, B, C, D, E that means there is guessing
that there’s a causal link. It is very useful in the world.
It makes trains run and so on and so forth. But it does not help our human condition. So is this two separate domains? That in one domain you have
the Madhyamaka viewpoint which is helpful. So I mean looking at it in terms of helpfulness. And there’s another domain in which looking at that there is an independent cause
or there’s a sequence of causes— that is helpful also. I didn’t really get your question. So let’s say if the stone falls and I think
that there is a cause for that stone falling. And then somebody gets hurt then
it’s because the stone has fallen and so on… Looking at it in that way, I understand
some things about maybe gravity, and that helps to send an airplane in the sky.
So there’s a helpfulness to it. Similarly, by looking that there is
no genesis and no cessation – No true genesis.
– No true genesis. That is also helpful for the human condition
in terms of my mind and so on. So are there two separate domains? One view is good.
One view is good in another place. Well, the usefulness of knowing that
there is no true genesis is because there is no—what do you call it—
there is no truly existing object that you can cling on to as self
and as god or as atom, so on and so forth. If you end up having that, your life and your perception
will always be dictated by that. So in other words…
Okay, so let’s be very practical. Why Shantideva earlier has talked about
all this mind training— You know, ‘Why you, mind,
why are you so attached to this body?’ And then he’s going to go on and on, and then finally come to the conclusion
that there is no self. And why do we have to establish this? Because we have clinging to the self.
We do cherish the self. Even though…Okay, we cherish the self
that in fact does not even exist. This is a total misunderstanding.
The self does not even exist. So when we talk about egoless-ness,
it’s not as Buddhist are saying that okay there is an ego and then
you have to get rid of it. There is no ego to get rid of. Fundamentally there is nothing. Yet in your habitual mind you established
an ego and thinking that there is a self. And you love yourself, cherish yourself. And that creates anger to others,
jealousy, pride… All the emotion arises based on this totally
ridiculous misunderstanding and misconception of something that even does not exist,
and thinking that it exists. And that way, by knowing that it’s helpful. Is it regarding this? Okay. Hello, yeah, coming back to unborn, and your definition that that which is
dependently arising is without true genesis – and we use the word unborn for that
– Yes. If you are…
Especially from the sublime viewpoint So can we then say logically that therefore all conditioned phenomena
are without true genesis? – And we use the word unborn for them.
– Yes. So we use the word,
we have now reserved the word unborn for all conditioned phenomena. Now my question is—
I may be wrong totally— but isn’t there somewhere in
the Buddha’s teaching where he says there is the unborn, the unconditioned—
I think maybe it’s reference for nirvana. There is the unborn, the unconditioned
the unbounded, etc. etc. Now what is that unborn? In other words, is there any phenomena
which is not conditioned and not empty? That is the question. And how do we
distinguish this unborn from that unborn? Okay, you know, Buddha does this a lot. I will quote actually the sutra. I think it’s the Samadhiraja Sutra.
I’m not so sure. You have to find this out. Buddha said… And this is Samadhiraja Sutra,
This is again a very important sutra that supposedly teaching that does not
require explanation or commentary. I will make it very…
I will translate it very loosely and make it colloquial, so to speak. So the Buddha could have said:
‘Hey everyone, what is there to worry?’ ‘You’re all Buddha. You have nothing to do.
You’re all Buddha.’ That’s what he could have said.
That is the ultimate teaching. But, he said in the Samadhiraja Sutra, that kind
of teaching could lead to misunderstanding. So he gives this intensive, extensive example
of how a doctor knowing a small baby infant— for nutrition, doctor knows that
he need to drink mother’s milk. He knows this very well. But he knows for the time being,
because of specific reasons, if he drinks for these next ten days,
if he drinks mother’s milk, he’s not going to digest this properly. So then he advises the mother to apply
something very bitter to the mother’s nipple to make the baby
shy away from mother’s breast. Likewise, Buddha taught emptiness to shy away temporarily
from this notion of the Buddha. So in this teaching nothing exists. Now after ten days, we know
the baby needs nutrition. The baby cannot hold on too long
without the milk. Now what do we have to do? The mother is given advice to put sweets
and lure the baby back to the breast. Likewise, Buddha taught
all the Tathagatagarbha teachings. And these Tathagatagarbha teachings—
when he taught that, then he talked about, there is unborn quality. There is unceasing, unchanging
buddha nature, so on and so forth. And again, just to make it more…
For the academics here, [regarding] this particular teaching,
there has a lot of arguments between scholars whether this kind of teachings
are expedient or not, because there’s a staunch emptiness student who would say this kind of teachings
are teachings that requires interpretation, because this kind of teachings sounds
very similar to some of the Hindu schools— Advaita schools—where they believe in the Self
—what do you call it—Atman, yeah. And it can be misunderstood as that. It is difficult, you know, you have to… See, it’s like this:
you have to talk about the truth. The truth is emptiness and fullness together.
That is the truth. And when you study it, it’s so difficult to understand the
emptiness and fullness together. So you have to sort of approach
this truth from one side, either from the emptiness side,
or from the fullness side. In the Buddhism colleges such as in Tibet,
we do apply certain strategy. It doesn’t guarantee that it works all the time. What we do is
we teach eight years of emptiness. On the last year, the ninth year,
the final year, we teach Tathagatagarbha. Now also for the practitioners,
let’s say you are doing retreats. All you are interested is practicing. You are not necessarily wanting to
gather information on Buddhist philosophy. Then, your teacher might emphasize
more on the fullness rather than the emptiness. But there is also the danger. This is going to be ongoing challenge.
And there’s a reason also. It’s not just a philosophical reason.
This is also a habitual reason. Habitually when we dwell in the samsara, at times we will be excited by
finding something, getting something. We become hopeful, you know,
we become hopeful. ‘Ah, there is an answer to something.’ ‘We have…We can make plan.’
—We get carried away by fullness. At times in our life,
we get so disappointed, so discouraged. ‘Nothing works.’
‘There’s no life after this.’ ‘There’s no cause and condition.’
‘Karma doesn’t work.’ ‘Nothing works, no plan works
there’s no point of living.’ All that kind of state of mind. You are getting carried away by
the emptiness aspect of your life. Combining the emptiness and the fullness— I am using just the word ‘fullness’,
but classic Buddhist term is ‘clarity’. Emptiness and clarity. Clarity…
Combining these two is always so difficult. But that is where I would say tantric teachings are very skilled
in really portraying the union or sort of the non-differentiation
of the clarity and emptiness. And it is very difficult because
it’s like dark[ness] and lightness. It’s like the truth and non-truth. Because within the non-truth
you have to talk about the truth. You cannot get rid of non-truth and
then find the truth, you understand? Within the non-truth
you have to talk about the truth. So…And this goes all the way into
the path, even in the Mahayana. Remember? Yesterday I was talking about Vimalakirti Sutra.
In the Vimalakirti Sutra— This is actually a big statement in the Mahayana.
I am not even talking about Vajrayana here. In the Vimalakirti Sutra
Buddha said, ‘You will find lotus in the mud,
in the garbage,’ ‘in the moisture, in the mud,
[in] dirty muddy water.’ ‘You will never find lotus in
the dry, no-mud situation.’ Likewise, Buddha said, ‘you will never
find Buddha where there is no emotion.’ ‘Buddha is found only within the emotion.’ Therefore, in the Vimalakirti Sutra, Buddha said emotion, negative emotion is—
‘nyon mong pay sang gyay kyi dung ngo’. What do you call it, caste? The ‘dung’ means sort of
a lineage or the caste. Color? Color? Caste?
Varna? Varna, right? And Buddha said: ‘The wisdom comes from the varna of emotion.
Wisdom, you will find it within there.’ So this is why you will find
in the tantric teaching like ‘A kilo of desire is a kilo of wisdom.
Not less, not more.’ ‘A kilo of water is a kilo of moisture.
Likewise, a kilo of anger is a kilo of wisdom.’ How should I put it? And this is why also
Nagarjuna’s statement like, ‘Khor wa pang pa gyur pay
Nya ngen day pay cho mi she.’ When he praised the Buddha, ‘I praise the Buddha who has never said that there is a nirvana
that requires abandoning the samsara.’ Samsara does not exist truly,
that is the nirvana. So samsara is the nirvana. You cannot find the nirvana
after abandoning the samsara. There’s no separate entity. We are really talking about the shunyata—
the Mahayana concept of emptiness, Mahayana concept of unborn, un-arising,
unceasing, un-abiding… we are covering all of this. So… I’m sorry if some of you
are getting little bit lost. Yes. And after that Suresh who is… I’m a little bit confused still on the concept
of dependent origination. If everything comes from cause and condition
and there’s no genesis, then how do you reverse
the wheel of samsara? What is the genesis for meditation,
for example? ‘What is the genesis of meditation?’
What is genesis in your mind? When I say ‘genesis’,
I’m talking about the first cause. Are you talking the same way? Isn’t that what it means, genesis?
So the first ever cause… Yeah, that’s the only issue here.
That’s the only issue. As for…What was the second part
of your question? Can you just re-phrase it again? So, I would think that you have no control
it seems like from dependent origination because everything leads to another thing.
So what would lead you to reject samsara? Oh no, no… ‘gang la tog’
actually because of that you have control, because everything is cause and condition
and because there is no original cause. That’s why you have a control.
Can you get that? Yeah. If you do have an original cause,
this original cause will dictate you. This is why the Buddhists
really hate original cause. They really don’t want to hear this. Original cause means you are stuck with that. As for practicing and enlightenment, did you talk about something like that?
Did you say something like that? Yeah, what is the cause for meditation?
What is the cause for one wanting to meditate? Oh, okay. Suffering—I’m serious—
But you have to know the suffering. Yes, as I said, the cause of wanting
to meditate is actually the suffering, but many times we don’t know the suffering. We have the suffering— I never said
we don’t have—but we don’t know. So this is why in the Four Noble Truths Buddha’s statement is never
‘abandon the suffering’—he never said that. He said, ‘Know the suffering.’
‘Dug ngel she par ja.’ He never said ‘abandon the suffering’. His usage of the word is important.
‘Know the suffering.’ What does that mean? Because most of the time,
we don’t know the suffering. We are…It’s like small mundane things,
like enjoying an ice cream. You know, you are looking for trouble here.
You know, eating pastas… We know very well we are looking for… Everything what we call fun, happiness is either suffering in its right,
or cause of suffering, or eventually it will become suffering. And of course, the fact that we cannot control…
like over-eating the ice cream, whatever, that also adds up, right? So my answer to you is:
it is the suffering. And this is what I was saying yesterday:
you will always…there is a fundamental feeling… Some of us…Again,
this depends on the cause and condition. There are thousands of people out there. They have done so much.
They have tried everything. And still they don’t give up. They think that one day
something is going to work out. ‘One day I can fix my life.’ That blind hope drives them. But some of us, maybe not all the way but during this weekend maybe,
once in a blue moon we think, ‘Okay, I have tried enough.
It’s not really working.’ ‘Something must be drastically going wrong.’ That kind of awkwardness. That… Why is this happening?
Generally, because of suffering. Specifically, your innate wisdom is
kicking, so to speak. It’s making you think, ‘Okay…’ And just to finish, to answer your question, longing, wanting to meditate, dwell on
the path and then finally achieve enlightenment… Okay, so how does this work within
the context of unborn that I was talking? Like a nightmare.
If you are having a nightmare, that nightmare never existed
[or is] somewhere stored. Let’s say you are going to have nightmare
tonight. It’s not stored somewhere now. While you are having the nightmare,
whatever it is, even as you dream,
it’s not happening in reality, right? It’s a dream only. When you wake up,
it’s not as if the nightmare has gone somewhere because there’s nothing to go.
It doesn’t exist. But the absence of the nightmare is labeled
as relief, liberation from the nightmare. And that’s called the nirvana here
in this con[text]. That’s why the spinning of the wheel
clockwise or anti-clockwise still works. I think you make me understand a lot more
about the teaching of the Theravada of something arising will be passing away So therefore, in the term of unborn, there is the observer mind that is continuous
to observing something arising and passing away. So something arising and passing away
now is non-significant and not non-exist. But there is some observer. We have some Buddha nature or
Dharmakaya or whatever to observe that, and it is continuous, is unborn. And is that unborn going to be born one day when all the world is enlightened
by the bodhisattva? Is that something along the line? You know, I gave the example of
the mother, the milk. As a means to teach, we do say
there’s something called dharmakaya. You know, remember yesterday I said
that you are allowed to have one ignorance. Why? You don’t want to suffer. And that ignorance that you are allowed to
have is thinking that there is a dharmakaya. I have to be kind of loyal
to the Madhyamaka here when I speak, so I have to use much more sort of
deconstructing language. Madhyamaka does have that feeling of
deconstructing everything—that’s the style. Now if I’m teaching Uttaratantra, let’s say,
Uttaratantra, which is another text, then I will not be using
the deconstructing language. Then I would be talking about you no need to
do anything because doing is a mistake. – Every time you do, you are…
– Create karma. Yes, not only creating karma,
you are altering. And when you are altering,
you are diluting the truth. So you have to learn the art
of not doing anything. Like observing things. Not even observing, at the end. At the end killing the observer,
that was what I was told. Not even doing that, actually.
That’s what you have to learn. To reach the emptiness, I think I was told to
observe. Killing the observer at the end. Yes, of course.
That’s okay, that’s okay. For the path language it’s okay. To encourage the students,
you have to speak like that. You know, to encourage the students,
to create a path, you have to create railings. You have to create rest house. You have to create signposts. You have to create toilets,
you know, gas stations. We have lot of that in Buddhism,
you understand? Those are very necessary, so necessary.
Without that… So this is why the Zen, for instance,
Zen minimalism is very, very, very valid path and that does not mean that the Indian
or the Buddhist, the Mahayana tantric— all this chaos and color and shapes and the mudras and the mantras
and the songs and the chants Zen minimalism does not
disqualify them as a path. They are also equally valid. So, back to the Nagarjuna,
for those who can accept sunyata, Zen garden is good,
and Vajrayana tantric shrine is equally good. One is not better than the other. Okay, who wants to…
Okay, is it about the unborn? Okay. I hope it is. Is the Madhyamaka position—as far as
I can figure out by what you are saying, and I might be wrong so please forgive me— is it a sort of position of
co-emergence or co-evolution? We use that language. Okay. And hence there is no one original
cause for each of the phenomena, but each phenomenon is the cause of
—by that I mean phenomena in its totality— is the cause of each individual phenomenon. Ah, let me say this first. We use the word ‘co-emergence’
very reluctantly and carefully because the word ‘co’ indicates
there is another one. And we are very suspicious of that.
You understand? Basically you are talking about two things
together and we have to be so careful with that. But yesterday also you said that
Buddhism doesn’t have a theory of the one. No. -Did I misunderstand?
-No, no. You are right. One, we may use it,
but only as a path language. Thank you so much. Okay. Badri? Thank you, Rinpoche. I wanted to discuss the notion of creativity
in the context of unborn. A lot of us think we are very creative, and we are pursuing, making a lot of
things, situations, objects. And we have a very fine sense of
discrimination of what is ugly, what is beautiful, and we are constantly striving for beauty. And you yourself in your work,
you have this amazing eye for beauty. So what is the role of pursuing of beauty
within the context of ultimate reality? Is it still worth it? And what is the relationship between
the sense of discrimination, the fine sense of discrimination
and discriminating wisdom? Thank you. Buddha is supposedly very beautiful. And he is supposed to have at least
thirty-two major marks to beautify himself—
his body actually we are talking about. And if you go through that,
they are so strange. Is there a list of…
Have you ever read some of them? It’s really strange.
Like antelope-like ankle. And the width and the length of
the Buddha’s body is supposedly equal. That doesn’t reflect beauty. To understand the ultimate truth, all this creativity, beauty
can be an aid/help. It can contribute,
but it can also equally interfere. When we talk about discriminating wisdom,
that’s quite an interesting one. Discriminating wisdom indicates that… Actually discriminating wisdom
is beautifully explained by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
in one of his books as… What did he say?
I think he termed it as ‘chaotic order’— the non-difference between order and chaos. We, the deluded beings,
distinguish these two so painfully. We believe in some sort of an order and
we kind of develop animosity towards chaos. Little do we realize that
the order can only happen within the chaos. When we talk about discriminating wisdom,
we are talking about shunyata. As you hear shunyata, there is a tendency that
you may think that everything become chaotic. There’s no order, there’s no cause,
no condition, no effect. Everything is chaotic. But it is the opposite. Because of the shunyata,
everything functions so wonderfully. You and I can look at a glass of water
and enjoy this as a glass of water. And billions of the fish in this world
can look at this glass of water and think that this is something else. And you and I will never have to
convince the fish and say, ‘Hey look, you guys are wrong.
What we are thinking is right.’ You know, all this exists wonderfully. Cats can completely communicate
each other with two vowels, and they don’t have to learn
all the complicated… How many vowels do you have in Hindi? You don’t have to go through that. And we can communicate and
they can communicate. This is a manifestation of shunyata, understood as the dependent arising
in other words. Wait, there’s so many questions here so… So you can have a path that works. Yes, to yourself. But I would say this path must take
you to non-duality, otherwise it is a wrong path. But that is my stance.
You can always argue. Chandrakirti has stated, saying that any path that is not leading to
the non-duality will never liberate you. Because the cause of the bondage
is dualism, dualistic mind. As long as you have the dualistic mind,
you will always be bound. You will always have good and bad. You will…Therefore, you will always have
expectations or hope and fear. You will always have a reference. It’s understandable not being able to
conceive the shunyata in its depth because for us, one of the biggest fear
is losing the reference. Referencelessness is one of the biggest…
Fear of reference-less-ness is very very big. This is also one of the reasons why
we also have the fear of death— because of referencelessness. -Isn’t that encouraged, referencelessness?
-What? Isn’t that kind of encouraged
in the practices, referencelessness? If you know, if you know
and appreciate the referencelessness of course it is encouragement. This is why
shunyata is painstakingly taught here. Okay, so now again back to the
fifth chapter somewhere in the middle. If someone is giving us opinion
or even criticism, one must take this as an advice, and learn to be the student of everyone. If someone is praising you, one must acknowledge that by praising
the person who is praising you. If you observe someone doing virtue, one should praise this person and
encourage this person. One must also praise this person
behind his back. If this person is praising you, you must also realize that this person
knows the value of virtue. One must always try to rejoice virtue
and the good quality of others. One must learn to have the bliss… One must learn to reap the bliss that
is created by others, meaning that the others have done
the virtue, and you rejoice. So you don’t even have to go through
all the hardship of doing the virtue. Yet, just by rejoicing, you also not only
get the immediate bliss of rejoicing, but even have the good karma of rejoicing. When you speak, speak with calmness,
clarity and make it articulate. Whatever you speak, refrain from speaking
that is stained by desire anger. When we look at the others, you must remember that it’s because
of these beings, I shall attain enlightenment. With this attitude, you generate appreciation
of the very existence of others. Because if the others do not exist, other sentient beings do not exist,
you don’t have the path. When you do higher virtuous acts
such as Samadhi, like meditation, you can relax with more gross or
lower virtuous actions such as generosity. In all times, no matter what you do, benefiting the others should be
the primary concern. One’s diligence should be dedicated to the
act that benefits others, and only that act. If it is benefiting others, Buddha have even given the bodhisattva
the allowance to act that are usually prohibited. If…Again this is specific advice to the monks. If you have attained offerings
that are more than what you can use, share it with those who are protectorless
those who are wanderer, beggars. Eat moderately. If you have more than three pieces
of dharma robes, give the rest. Do not harm your body for
small trivial purposes. If you act according to these instructions, your wish to liberate all sentient beings
will be fulfilled swiftly. Until you are perfected with the compassion, meaning until you have achieved
the first bhumi bodhisattva, it is advised not to give up this body. Do not teach to those who are not
respectful to the teaching. Do not teach to those who are wearing turban, those who are also holding umbrellas,
spears or weapons, or those whose head is covered. These are also, you have to remember, the ancient Indian etiquette
that are still found in these texts. Do not teach to those who are not ready. Do not teach the profound teachings
to those who are not ready. And the monks do not teach ladies
without the presence of another man. Again if you encounter a student who can actually appreciate
the profound and the vast teaching, do not side-track them
by insisting on preliminary teachings. Do not waste their time
by overloading them with all kinds of ethical and
moralistic teachings. Do not deceive them with teachings
such as dharanis or the mantras. If you have used toothbrush— I think it’s the one that
Indians sometimes use. Toothbrush and saliva, after throwing it,
must be covered by earth. Same with… like [don’t] urinate in the water, like a river,
and field that are commonly used. When you eat, don’t overstuff
your mouth with food. Don’t eat with loud noise.
Don’t open your mouth too much. Don’t sit stretching your legs. Do not wash your hands together. Now this is always so interesting
for me, you know like, why you have to
go through all that? But again remember this is all… You know, one could think as I did,
like why not wash like this? Why do I have to wash first this,
and the second this? You are not supposed to wash like that. This is a vipassana training.
This is a confinement training, basically. If you can appreciate, when you are told to
meditate, if you can appreciate instructions like: ‘Okay, let’s meditate, let’s sit straight.’ Sitting straight, the instruction of
sitting straight is as arbitrary as this. Actually it’s…Why sitting straight…
Why sit straight? Why not just lie down and meditate? Why not walk around and meditate?
Why not dance and meditate? But for the beginners… You see, in the higher teachings,
you can dance, you can eat, you can do whatever.
You can even sleep and meditate. But here we are talking about
the beginner bodhisattvas. For them,
this kind of gradual confinement becomes like a reminder,
like a source of mindfulness. So this is why… But I know many of these are also based
on a certain period, culturally different. Maybe some of us could think
it’s a little bit irrelevant and maybe it is true. But the gist of this, the essence of this
is mindfulness in action— Basically, vipassana in action. Monks should not be sitting with a woman
unaccompanied by another monk. Ask what is considered unrespectful
when you travel in different places and avoid doing that. One should not indicate or show
the path with finger. With the right hand, with a complete hand
one must show the path. One should not move the hand violently. Use gently snapping fingers to indicate
whatever you need to indicate. When you sleep, like the Tathagatha,
how he slept, follow that manner. Again and again,
pay attention to mind training. Again and again, preferably
three times in the day and the night, a bodhisattva should read
the Three Heap Sutra. Again and again the bodhisattva must refer
to what a bodhisattva can do and cannot.

Jean Kelley

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