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Bodhicharyavatara, February 2015, Pune, India – Part 6


I’m going to talk a little bit about
the significance of some of the shlokas that we have been doing
this morning and yesterday. Because some of you
may end up…may think that many of these are sort of
cultural etiquette, ethic and/or even maybe some form
of asceticism like discipline. While this is of course
true to the certain extent, in this context of the Bodhicharyavatara
there is something that you have to notice. Remember… Okay, so I’m going to discuss
this a little bit before we get too sleepy. And then once we get
a little dull and drowsy, we will switch to—I don’t know
—question, probably argument? This is actually required—some
sort of a debate—if it is possible, because that’s how we have to learn. Remember we were talking about the truth and
Buddhist conclusion of the truth being non-duality? Okay, for instance, in the Heart Sutra
the non-duality is taught in four verses: form is emptiness, emptiness is form; form is not other than the emptiness,
emptiness is not other than the form. But how do you apply that in day-to-day basis? You know, if someone pinches your
girlfriend’s bottom, do you just recite, you know like, ‘form is emptiness,
emptiness is form’ and so on and so forth? Will that take care of your emotion? You know, so how do you apply that view?
How do you utilize that view? That is always the question here, isn’t it? So in preparation to the next chapters, let me
discuss a little bit about vipassana and shamatha. I’m sure many of you know vipassana, and
you know Goenka’s vipassana and all of that. I was just checking with my Sanskrit expert
here, what is the meaning of vipassana. And I’ve confirmed Tibetan word
‘lhag thong’, ‘lhag thong’, ‘thong’ is seeing, ‘lhag’ is something like extra, extra
or totality or without missing anything. Raji put it this way, which is very good. So vipassana is a technique to
see things in its totality, nothing missing. When we look…
Generally based on our habitual pattern, when we look at things, we miss a lot. We either miss or misinterpret,
or we have partial understanding or partial perception or
deluded perception, diluted perception. We have perception perceived through,
already contaminated by all kinds of prejudice, all kinds of religious prejudice, cultural
prejudice, and just your own habitual prejudice. So we don’t see things in its totality or
in its—sort of direct, how it is or what it is. So this is why vipassana is
a technique to see that. Now where does the shamatha come in? Actually the shamatha and vipassana, to the
certain extent, they’re kind of two different things. At the same time they are also, they are very…
Like, specially for us, habituated beings like us, both shamatha and vipassana
end up being necessary. Even though if you
look at the technique as it is, shamatha and vipassana are
kind of almost like contradictory, but this is how it is with
lot of the Buddhist methods. Buddhist methods are designed to erode
each other. I don’t know how to put this. Buddhist methods are… Lot of times Buddhist methods
are designed to cancel each other, so to speak. Because, you remember,
we don’t want… As a path dweller, we have to follow the path,
but path is not [the goal but] the means. You have to abandon the path, once you reach
to the other shore, wherever you want to be. So dharma, the path, the method… In fact if, for a—what you call it—quite a
matured practitioner, your path is going to be… You know if you are not a matured prac[titioner],
if you are a beginner, then of course we will say, path, you have to have the path,
path is the only saviour, you have to really follow the path, path will
lead you to the right direction, so on and so forth. But once you become matured,
after a while the master will then tell you, ‘Path is your obstacle,
you have to get rid of the path.’ And this is always going
to be the biggest challenge because by then you have
already fallen in love with the path. Because it is so—what do you call it?—
blissful and it is so convincing, and it is so logical, and it is so…
it make sense—Yes, that’s it. Specially when you reach to the tantric path,
like the path such as mahamudra or mahasandhi, they hate anything that makes sense. Anything that make sense
is very, very dangerous because anything that makes sense
has some sort of sophistication to trap you. Because it makes sense, so you of course
naturally likes it because it makes sense. But anyway let’s not get too distracted with this.
Let’s go back to the—what do you call it?— I was saying how shamatha and vipassana,
as a technique they are kind of a separate thing. But this is important. The reason
why they are separate is one— shamatha is purely a technique
for you to, technique to make your mind malleable, make
your mind workable, make your mind… You can…Once you are good at shamatha,
then you can basically order around your mind. At the moment you can’t. When the mind thinks something,
that’s it, you just have to follow that. Right now mind is controlling you;
you are mind’s slave. But the shamatha technique—which is
very simple, by the way, very, very simple. Don’t think that shamatha…
You know, as I explained this, shamatha… because shamatha sounds like
a technique to control your mind, you may think there has to be very
sophisticated steps, but it is actually not. It is as simple as looking at an object, and simply trying to bring the thoughts
again and again and again into this object. And then as I said
this morning, also yesterday, every time you realize you are distracted,
you going back to [the] designated object. That’s how you train your mind. Basically it’s simple.
Of course there is variations. And different meditation instructors will of
course also instruct you in a different manner. But… Okay, shamatha will make your mind
malleable, but shamatha will not liberate you. This is important to make note.
Shamatha is not designed to liberate you. Now this is important for buddhist
philosophy students to make note, because even though shamatha is not
really made or designed to liberate you… Saraha, who some say is from Maharashtra so we are probably very close
to wherever he was dwelling. Saraha said that, like muddy water,
if you want to see the clear water, you do not stir the water, you let it be; and when you let the water be,
then all the mud will settle, and then you see the pristine clear water. This is what shamatha is. But we know the mud is beneath. Any day, any time somebody could stir the mud
and the water can become muddy instantly. So, eventually applying the vipassana—
[by] which we have to get rid of the mud. Okay, so even though shamatha is not—as I was
saying, shamatha is not designed to liberate you, the fact that shamatha
actually calms you down, shamatha gives opportunity to
your mind to be at its normal state… Let’s put it this way. Because of the technique ‘shamatha’, actually
for the… when you apply the shamatha, it really makes your mind function at its…
using its own undiluted, uncorrupted state. So, many times the effect of the shamatha is
almost identical to the effect of the vipassana. So what I’m saying is that a perfect
shamatha practitioner could be seen as someone who has no jealousy,
no anger, no pride, so on and so forth. So this could happen. But this kind of person… So meditation,
you know in the scriptures we are warned again and again and again not
to fall for this kind of experience because it’s very dangerous. Because mud is settling,
so you think there is no more mud. And then you may begin to,
you know, act as the siddhas, and you may even deceive yourself, thinking that you have reached some
sort of attainment. But you have not. You are basically an ordinary person but who
has achieved certain control of your mind. But anyway, the training of the shamatha
gives you control over your mind. Using this control over your mind
we then practice the vipassana. Vipassana, as I was saying,
is purely to really see the truth. Shamatha is not.
Shamatha is to gain control. Vipassana is to see the truth—truth
in its totality, not just partially, right? So vipassana is infinite. In fact what we have been doing
like yesterday and this morning can be considered as a vipassana. Strictly speaking,
we are discussing shunyata. We are discussing, we are
pondering, contemplating, discussing, having a dialogue, questioning, answering,
regarding the truth of the phenomena so this could be contemplative vipassana too. Also if you read words and the literature
that concerns the truth, the non-duality, this could be also
considered as the vipassana. Vipassana…Okay, the identity
of the vipassana is quite big. But…Okay, so generosity,
the act of generosity, act of discipline, all this can be also considered as
a vipassana to the certain extent. This is what the
Mahayana people would say. But normally whenever we talk
about the vipassana and shamatha, it always refers to something to do
with meditation, the fifth paramita, dhyana, meditation, concentration normally. So in this case we then have one… There are many different techniques. One very popular technique is
what we called Four Mindfulness. Four Mindfulness is basically
the mindfulness, mindful of, being mindful of the body,
being mindful of the form… Yeah, being mindful of the form
or the body, ‘lus dran pa nye bar gzhag pa’; ‘tshor ba dran pa nye bar gshag pa’,
being mindful of feeling; ‘sems dran pa nye bar gzhag pa’,
mindful of mind; and then being mindful of ‘chos’,
dharma, references, references. This is quite a big subject.
It, it’s basically… Let me come from this angle,
from more personal angle. Whenever we say ‘us’, ‘me’, whenever we are talking, inter-reacting,
perceiving, tasting, hearing, there’s always the phenomena of me. And this ‘me’ is almost always referred
to [as] form, feeling, mind and reference —if not all, at least three or two. So form, feeling, mind and the reference, these are four very very important sort
of attribute that acts as what we call ‘me’. For instance, like whenever we…
when we think about ourself, me, or someone else also, my mother, father, the first thing probably that comes
in your mind is a form, your form: so the structure of the body, the colour,
the shape, the weight or whatever, you know, just that tangible form. Then more subtle is the feeling
—not only the physical feeling, but sadness—that’s a big part of us— happiness, depression,
anger…feeling, basically. And then the mind,
the knower, the cognizant. And then lastly dharma,
which call—the word is ‘dharma’, but in this case it’s
referring to references, meaning, ‘I’m an Indian. I’m a man/woman.’
‘I’m father/mother.’ ‘I am something something.’ This is what makes ‘me’, okay? So extensive step-by-step vipassana
training begins with dealing with the form. Now of course, the most general way to
contemplate on the form is sitting and then just… I’m sure many of you have been
to the Goenka vipassana courses. So you just sit. Okay, you sit
hours and hours and hours. Really you have to know, it’s not as
there’s some sort of a blessing on cushion— When the cushion and your butt meet, there’s
some sort of strange blessing gets formed, and then it gives you the blessing,
it gives you the enlightenment. It’s got nothing to do with that, really. You can easily do the same thing
standing, walking, dancing, but we are, among—okay, standing,
dancing, lying down, whatever, among these forms, the thing that probably
will confine us more practically is sitting. This is why asana, all these asana is, among
many, many asanas the sitting is preferred. That’s the only reason. It’s not like sitting is some sort of holy
posture, holier than standing or walking. It’s just that it might
and it does actually, it does. So, okay, you are not allowed to lean on,
you are not allowed to scratch, you are not allowed to sort of walk,
you have to sit. So of course, if you sit just a minute or two,
it might not give you the impact, because you’re alrea[dy]…
your mind get distracted and all of that. If you are… Very thorough and step-by-step
guided vipassana meditation could begin with master telling you to sit for years,
every day, hours and hours of nothing. Nothing to think of, no love, no compassion,
no light going out, no light coming in, no visualization, no seed syllables,
no ‘om’, no ‘hum’, no ‘vam’… Nothing. Just sit.
And this is so profound. In, for instance like in Zen tradition
they even have a word for this. In the, in Japanese they call it
‘Shikantaza’ which means ‘just sit’. Just sitting immediately
takes you to the form. That’s just one, that’s just one single
method among other billions of methods. And what are the other billions of
methods if you want to hear? Wash this way. Don’t wash this way. Point like this. Rest… if you’re walking,
rest the opposite direction. Don’t open your mouth too much
when you stuff food inside your mouth. I don’t know, stuff like that. Don’t chew hard,
oh, I mean don’t chew loudly, so on and so forth. This is part of the form vipassana.
I need to put this in your head because really, this is really different from creating
some sort of a Buddhist culture here as… You know, there is that. There is that because or specially
in the monastic situation, there is that. But this kind of discipline must…
You have to remember this: every single Buddhist method, be it offering of incense, lamp,
circumambulation, prostration, meditation, cutting your limbs and giving,
feeding it to a hungry tiger, all of that must
complement to the absolute view. If it does not, then your
method is an extreme view. If your sitting is
not complementing the shunyata, you are a fundamentalist sitter basically, you’re basically extremist,
you’re extremist. And this is not right. It…
Path is not doing its job. So it is not just creating
some sort of code of conduct. So okay, so this is what I wanted
to put first. So now if you want to… I’m sure by now things are getting little
drowsy, so if you want to ask questions… If not, then we will go through
more of these small disciplines. And before that, actually
I’d like to also talk about other methods that has to do
with accumulation of merit. Okay, any que[stion]? Yeah. Rinpoche, I have several questions around
one specific notion of devotion. I’m just wondering whether
devotion is a kind of emotion. If yes, can emotion go beyond emotions? And the second question is, if yes, how can we take devotion
as the path to destroy our ego? Okay, I will explain to…I will
tell you within this context, okay? –Not like… –Okay, sure.
–But it will help I think. Within the Mahayana context,
within the Madhyamaka context I’m going to explain the devotion. You know, we talk about
what makes you not a Buddhist. For instance, like impermanence,
all compounded things is impermanent, all emotions are pain,
everything has no truly existent nature, all—I mean, nirvana is beyond extremes. So this is like, to be Buddhist
you have to be accepting this. Likewise there’s… I could explain
what makes you not a Mahayanist. You understand?
What will make you not a Mahayana. In this, we talk about
three doors of liberation. The ground to which we are
working has to be emptiness. Path that we apply has to be
characteristicless—shunyata again. The result that we are aiming—
enlightenment—has to be beyond aspiration. These three are so important for Mahayana. I’m telling you this because in a way, devotion is a longing
—Isn’t it? Longing. And in the Mahayana context it is actually a
longing…it’s a mind training and it is a longing. But we also know it’s a longing
for something unlongable. Does it make sense?
It’s longing for unlongable. Now why would you do that?
You understand? Why would you want to do, why would you
want to long for something unlongable? The answer is: Well, because
you already long other things. And those other things that you are
longing and pursuing only give you trouble. So you should long for this,
which is unlongable—shunyata. Okay? So now in this, after hearing this, you will know the more quintessential
meaning of devotion in the Mahayana. Yes, initially it is an emotion. Has to be. All path is an emotion. All path. Meditation is emotion,
trying to concentrate is emotion, doubt is emotion, conviction is emotion,
confidence is emotion, all of this. It’s subjective and objective.
Love, kindness and… Until our path is completely
merged with the wisdom, it’s all emotion. But once your path, the devotion is
accompanied completely by the wisdom, then the means have become the end,
journey has become the goal. There is no more emotion in this case. So, just to put it simply, it’s…
Yes, devotion is an emotion, but it’s a necessary emotion—all the thinking
that there is an enlightenment. Okay. Yes? My question actually was similar
and it’s something I asked Aspi before. I was thinking, I wanted to know the
difference between emptiness and unborn, specially in relation to guru yoga. And if everything is unborn, what is exactly that thing that
happened when Milarepa heard the name of Marpa,
that led him to go to Marpa and…? And what is for us to believe in? Yes, yeah, well, first of all I’m not
going to talk about guru yoga too much, because this is tantric stuff that
those tantric people talk a lot. But anyway, that is a
purely karmic consequence. That is purely karmic consequence or
karmic connection or karmic manifestation. This is why it didn’t
work out with the first teacher, but when the first teacher
mentioned the Marpa, even very sound of the Marpa
made him really want to see this guy. It’s totally a karmic manifestation. And karma plays a very
very important role—very important. And I have already explained to you
yesterday about what karma is. Karma is another emotion, remember? Okay. Rinpoche ji, I would like to
ask a couple of questions, the first regarding
the bodhisattvahood and buddhahood. You explained yesterday that the
bodhisattva does not aspire for the buddhahood and prefers to be born again and again
to remove the sufferings of sentient beings. My question is why is it that? Why doesn’t he become a buddha and continues to remove
the sufferings of sentient beings like Siddhartha Gautama, after having got
enlightened, he continued to help people? This, this is actually a
path language. It’s a method. It is a manner of…
It’s a method to train yourself. There is actually [a] bodhisattva path.
It’s called—what is it called? There are many different varieties. You know. There’s like a shepherd-like bodhisattva, king-
like bodhisattva, boatman-like bodhisattva. So there are variations like that. But as a training… See, the bodhisattva really wants to not to
have this cherishing the self, no matter what. Even the wishing to get enlightenment,
the bodhisattva is very cautious of. So if such bodhisattva wants
to really train in this way, then right from the beginning
you aspire, you learn to aspire. I mean even us who are totally selfish, we cling to ourself, we cherish ourself
—probably just that’s all we do— but once we follow the Mahayana path, we at least recite prayers that has verses
like ‘May I never be enlightened’, or ‘My aspiration is as vast as sky’,
so on and so forth. This is mind training. Okay? Yeah. My second question, if you
allow me to ask about the reincarnation, which is very much…
which exists in Tibetan tradition. But we have not heard of reincarnations
in other Buddhist traditions. Why is it like that? Okay. It’s actually not really true that
reincarnation does not exist in the other tradition. You know why Tibetans got
‘credited’—if you like, I don’t know.
Should we use ‘accused’? I would like to use the word ‘credited’ because
reincarnation is a very, very important subject. I mean it’s a very important attribute.
It’s a very important point. First of all probably the English word
‘reincarnation’ is not doing the justice. What is it? Can you give Raji a… I’d like to get [to] the bottom of this. Please say in Sanskrit. What is
in Sanskrit the word for reincarnation? Rinpoche, normally the word
that gets used is ‘punarjanman’, but it is not reincarnation because
it’s rebirth, to literally translate it. But since we do now have
the few words to look at, the word will be ‘avatara’, that is
‘to come back again’, ‘to descend again’. So these are the two
words that normally are being used. –Okay, ‘jan’? –Punarjanman
–Pu… janman? –janman, yeah. –What is ‘janman’?
–It is ‘to come into being’. The root is ‘jur’, which means ‘to
come into being’…I mean ‘taken birth’. See, the ‘come into being’ is more
accurate, I would say, ‘come into being’. ‘Come into birth’—
birth is more misleading. ‘Come into being’ is much more…
it’s something that we can… The Tibetan word is ‘yangsi’. ‘Yang’ means ‘again’.
‘Si’ is ‘existence’—’being’ in this case. –Well, Rinpoche, ‘re’, it’s…
–‘Being born’, that also, yes. Yeah? I mean, we did not discuss the exact
translation of the rebirth or reincarnation, because it can continue, the debate
can continue like that. I just wanted to… Are you talking about
the reincarnated tulkus? –Yes, yes. –Oh, that. I see. That’ why I use the word
‘reincarnation’ deliberately because it’s not used
in the general sense of rebirth. And secondly, sorry to correct the professor,
but it is the root ‘jan’ and not ‘jur’. It’s Punarjanma. ‘Jan’ means to be born,
to come into existence. Yeah, yeah. So I’m talking about the tulku tradition. Yes. Okay. You want to know
why there is recognized tulkus. Right? That’s what you want to know. Because not recognize, unthroned tulkus
do exist in other traditions. In the whole Jatakamala Sutra
when Buddha said, ‘When I was a rabbit’, therefore he is reincarnate… he, he,
once upon a time he was a rabbit, and he is reincarnated now
as the Prince Siddhartha. So…But it is not labelled
as a reincarnation of a rabbit. Of course we will not say that. Right? Reincarnation, reincarnated tulku
that is found with the Tibetan tradition, which I have to say the purpose is
totally outdated. It is not working anymore. It was for… It has
served its purpose in the past. And it is based on
the philosophy of reincarnation. It happens like this—
I’m going to put an analogy here. It’s going to… It happens this way. Let’s say you become very
very significant to your disciples. You have done so much—
and we are talking…‘so much’, we are not talking about
benefiting few hundreds. We are talking about benefiting thousands and probably like hundreds
and hundreds of thousands. And we are not only talking about
benefiting them spiritually only. We are talking about you benefiting
in their social life, their—just everything, culture, their very existence.
You understand? So this is…
Okay, say this is the situation. So what happens is you die. Okay? After you die,
there’s a big legacy that you have left behind. There’s, let’s say, there’s an institution,
there is universities, there is villages, there is actually like, I don’t know,
big undertakings, hospitals, monasteries. Okay, so that’s something
that you have to think. And then as always, as Buddhism
travels to different parts of the world, your cultural habit also
influences the Buddhist thinking, and it’s not entirely contradictory to
Buddhist philosophy of reincarnation. So the Tibetans know that
there is something called reincarnation. Then it also gets mixed up with praying to
the Buddha to manifest out of compassion to continue benefiting ourself, right? So it’s really… it has so many
many many different aspects here. Let’s say I’m a follower of Avalokiteshvara
because I like the concept of compassion, I like the notion of compassion, I like the sound of compassion,
I like the activity of compassion, therefore I’m attracted to bodhisattva of
compassion who happens to be Avalokiteshvara. Then I dream of Avalokiteshvara.
I practice Avalokiteshvara. I recite his names. I think about
Avalokiteshvara as I fall asleep. The first thing that I think of when I wake up
is Avalokiteshvara, so on and so forth. You get trained, you know,
you train your mind like that. And then if I’m good at this,
even a dead leaf falling from the tree, I will consider this as
Avalokiteshvara’s manifestation, thinking that this is Avalokiteshvara
telling me life is impermanent. Even a breeze, cool breeze, I will consider
this as a blessing of Avalokiteshvara, telling me that I am alive
but my life is impermanent. So on and so forth. You understand? And then I have master who actually
speaks, who actually teaches me, who guides me, who gives me guidance
—spiritual, temporal, everything— who is like my father, who is like my
sister, brother, wife, husband, everything. And he or she is my guide. And because I love Avalokiteshvara, then I also think that he or she
is Avalokiteshvara’s manifestation. He or she dies.
I continue pray for his presence. Now the reincarnation, the existing
philosophy of reincarnation, comes in. And you say, you think, ‘Okay,
my master, the human master has died, so he must reincarnate for me.’ You see? Things get diluted
—you know, ‘For me.’ ‘He cannot give up me.
He will remember me.’ And many times it also happens that
some of these young tulkus, when they were very young,
they do recognize you, they do talk to you, they do actually
remember things, so on and so forth. This has happened.
And many times it served the purpose because this young tulku actually takes over
the job of the previous incarnation. And it has served this kind of
purpose for a long time in Tibet. But then what happens as usual, many of
these masters they become very powerful. They may not necessarily be
chasing after the power and fame, but the power and fame
may come to their doorsteps. They become powerful. They become royal
priests of Mongols and China and whatever. And then this master dies. And then many families who are newly wed…
and pregnant—powerful pregnant ladies, kin of the previous incarnation, powerful
warlords whose wife happens to be pregnant, maybe after about a month or two
after the dead master die, then they began to move their mind, because there is a big
trump card here, it’s like a lottery. So this kind of things get corrupted.
In this way it gets corrupted, you understand? So it is not baseless. It has a base on
reincarnation, the philosophy of reincarnation. But… Someone has, many has, you know,
there, even in Tibet there is a tradition such as, for in[stance] like a certain lineage their gurus are not necessarily a
reincarnation of some previous lama. Their head of the…important
religious heads are usually by merit through their training,
through their achievement. Now always they are better than tulkus who are
basically found in the completely unlikely place. So… But the system, and like
all the system it gets corrupted, very much. And this has a much more chance
to be corrupted, so to speak. And now there is, you know now there are more
ratio—ratio of tulku has gone up. You understand? If you look at, like if you are
thinking about 1930s and1920s, there is hardly…maybe
very few tulkus, very little. Karmapa happened to be one of the
earliest one. Otherwise very few tulkus. Now even the pet dog of a high lama
might get reincarnated and get enthroned. This is not a good situation,
but this is the reality. Thank you very much, Rinpoche ji, but my question is not about the
explanation of reincarnation, but why it is unique to Tibetan tradition
and not to other traditions? We have not heard of reincarnation, discovering
and rediscovering of reincarnation of tulkus in other Buddhist traditions like
in Theravada or China or Japan. I see. Okay, I think like Theravada… This may have something
to do with the Vajrayana. We have a Vajrayana tradition in Tibet,
China, Japan and other countries also. Yes, but the Japanese vajrayana
is like yoga tantra—Isn’t it? It’s not really the anuyoga tantra—
where the teachings such as the guru yoga is not really taught as intensive
as in the anuyoga tantra. When you reach to the
anuyoga tantra, guru is everything. Guru is above the buddha. Guru is the embodiment of the buddha,
dharma, sangha. Guru is everything. So this kind of practice also
gives birth to such situations where you actually have
reincarnated tulkus leading your life. Theravada is easy.
Theravada is never led by one person. Sangha is the most important in the
Theravada situation which is much more clearer. Whereas Vajrayana, especially Anuyoga
tantra practitioners, guru is the most important —and specially the gurus that
ended up becoming high ranking gurus. Then it gives birth to
lot of problems, I guess. I mean Tilopa was guru for Naropa,
but he was not high ranking at all. –He was some sort of fisherman,
wasn’t he? –Yeah, yes. Things like that. Virupa is a guru of Ḍombi
Heruka—no, Gayadhara and all of that. Virupa is just a drunken man, you know, who got disrobed, who got expelled almost
by Nalanda University, so on and so forth. But [the] moment when the guru
is institutionalized, when we have the legacy, big legacy, this is an unavoidable situation,
this happens a lot. It does have its own benefit, but it also
is open to lot of corruption, I think. So why does reincarnated tulku exist only
in Tibetan tradition, Tibetan Buddhist tradition, not in other traditions such as Theravada? I think it has something
to do with the Vajrayana because like Theravada monasteries
are headed by sangha, isn’t it? Mostly. It’s not really headed by
a specific guru, one person. This may have a lot to do with this
phenomena of emergence of reincarnate. And then of course also politics. Tibet is… And I will openly say here, the downfall of Tibetan
Buddhism is ever since the Tibetan lamas begin to
get interested into politics. During the, you know like, Mongol’s time, this is the beginning of
the downfall of Tibetan Buddhism. And I really hope that such kind of problems
will not occur in Burma and Sri Lanka, because as soon as the monks and the
high monks, when they get involved in politic, then this kind of power
struggle begins to happen. Okay, thank you, thank you. Rinpoche, if you allow,
I would ask you a question. This question again has some… Yesterday I already asked you
a question and you answered, but then it gave rise to
some more questions. And so I’m just putting it in front of you,
and specially because we are in Maharashtra. So I asked you yesterday about this question
of acceptance or belief in rebirth. As you yesterday said that,
in fact in terms of absolute reality there is no birth or
no rebirth and no reincarnation, and it only works at the level
of—you said—relevant truth. Now my question is,
for example, this idea of rebirth… Even now, just now
when you give this answer that about reincarnation that once it was useful. So similarly if I ask you this that, see for example, in case of the Buddhists
in Maharashtra for example… Now I don’t know about the English
and Americans why they deny rebirth, but here I can see a clear reason. And that this idea of rebirth which is also
here in Hinduism and related with the karma, in fact instead of doing good to the community, did more harm in terms of
the exploitation of the lower caste, because it in a way legitimized the exploitation
from the point of upper-caste people and at the same time it
demoralized the lower-caste people because they started thinking that
okay it’s just because of their karma that they got rebirth in the lower caste. So it in fact worked
like a double-edged sword, and empowered the exploiters
and demoralized the exploited. Now, if this idea is not
helping community to do better and if they reject it, then isn’t it… Since anyway it’s a relative level,
it has its utility in rejecting it, because by rejecting that, now you see
that the Buddhist, the community, the low-caste Buddhist community who
embraced Buddhism gained confidence, right? And they feel that, no, it’s not their
karma which sort of made them suffer, but it is because of the oppression of
high class or with their suffering. And they sort of gain their confidence,
their morale become high, and even they started
challenging this kind of ideology. Right? So I see there is
certainly a positive aspect of it. And as I said, if you also think
in terms of the Mahayana ideas, yes, since it’s a relative truth in a way,
so anyway it’s as illusory as the rebirth. The idea of rejecting rebirth or
accepting rebirth is more of the illusory level. From the Theravada point
of view, as I said yesterday, that Buddha says that ‘My dharma has
assurance for both, for all sorts of people, those who believe in rebirth and
those who don’t really believe in rebirth.’ So there is assurance for all of them
if they just start practicing. And like yesterday we
had this question like rebirth provides a reason
to act morally, to act ethically. Now I think that, personally,
for example, a person like me— now again I seek wisdom from Buddha’s
teaching, for example, Madhyamika. I haven’t really experienced a past life, or I don’t even have an experience of
the future, whatever the future of rebirth. So I said, okay for me this is still not a reality.
This is still what people say, what scriptures say. So whenever I realize it,
I experience it, I will believe it. But so, I am a person like I don’t even
deny it fully and I don’t even accept it fully. But still for me, in hearts of
my hearts I’m a hard-core buddhist, and I see that this belief in rebirth or not belief
in rebirth does not really stop me from practicing. So for meditating no problem, for practicing the moral code of conduct,
eight-fold path, no problem. Because I see there are
other principles in Buddhism, for example, the principle of empathy —or what we call as ‘atmaupamyata’
that means equating yourself with others. So as Buddha said in Dhammapada that ‘As I am, so are the others;
and as the others are, so am I.’ ‘So if I’m hurt, if I feel the pain,
I should not also hurt others.’ So this kind of ideas which are there and which are I think sufficient for me
to drive my actions as moral or ethical actions. So don’t you think that, I mean, there should
be a scope even to the non-belief in the rebirth? And I think is it really necessary to differentiate whether like real buddhists and buddhists who are not real buddhists,
if they don’t really believe in rebirth? So thank you, that’s my question. There’s a lot of elements in all your
questions so I already forgot the first one. No, in fact there’s only one thing. So my only thing is that:
Is the idea just about the utility? And as I said, if rejecting rebirth,
if it also has utility, so… And if it is all ultimately…you said that
if it is all at the level of relevant truth, then… I have been discussing,
yeah, I have discussed about how the Maharashtrian buddhists
interpret karma and reincarnation. I still haven’t really…
I’m still not clear. I do have a feeling, a vague feeling that the understanding of the karma and
rebirth somehow is sort of misplaced. I don’t know how the Hindus
explain karma and rebirth. Because for me, the very fact
that these buddhists can claim that they don’t have to go through the consequences such as
the lower birth and all of this, and segregate and choose
what they want to choose, that in itself is a karma, that in itself can cause
—and what do you call it?—higher birth or, well, higher in this…
I’m not talking about caste higher, you know like… I’m talking about
what the buddhists talk about, like a…the birth, like a heavenly birth, or the
birth basically not lower realm. You understand? I think the way I hear, the way you talk about the understanding of the reincarnation in some of these
Maharashtrian buddhists is that if you believe in reincarnation,
then you could be thinking that, you are born as a lower caste,
that’s because of your past karma. Right? Isn’t…And you are stuck with it. You are stuck with this. Now this is… Okay. I want to actually ask you,
what do you mean by ‘stuck with it’? This is the part that I’m not getting. No. What I was saying is that, see, this then became kind of accepted belief,
and as I said in terms of… Accepted as what? The unchangeable? Yeah. Accepted belief means ‘my present
state or my present birth in a lower caste maybe is a result of my past bad karma.’ So this is in terms of, like as I said earlier,
this is what people used to think, ‘So I’m bound to serve the higher class, and I’m bound to sort of suffer whatever
sufferings are there on account of that.’ And as I said, for the higher class,
it’s sort of justified. I think, yeah, this is where the Buddhist
explanation of the karma and reincarnation differs. I don’t think we’ve talked like that.
Is that how they interpret here? Yeah, and this… No, this is also the way it
was interpreted even in the Hindu community where like Ukala said it provides a legitimacy
for a higher class to oppress the lower class, because they said ‘now we don’t have to
really be compassionate towards them, because what they’re suffering
is because of their past bad karma’. Right. So that’s a totally
different explanations on the karmic and the way karma functions
from Buddhism, if that is the case. I don’t know whether that is
how Hindu scripture explains, but if that is the case,
it is totally different. So how would you think the way out of it? Let’s say I’m a higher caste and
let’s say I’m looking at a lower caste. I have no…
If I mistreat them, thinking that they are lower caste and
my mistreatment to this lower caste is justified, if I do think that, it is a negative action,
it is a negative thought because it is… Remember I was talking about
‘tsul shin ma yin pay yi la che pa’, which means, it is a deceptive thought,
it is not close to the truth. Because my negative actions and my negative
thought has got nothing to do with the object. In fact I could get bad karma
by getting angry with this tree. This tree is not even a human being.
This is not even a being. I could get…see, my world…
This is what Buddha said: ‘You can wipe away your defilement with
your own practice. I cannot do that for you.’ So… Similarly, let’s say I’m a higher caste
and I’m looking at a lower caste, and I treat this lower caste respectfully,
humbly, and treat them equally to me, I will gain so much merit. This is how I would be
understanding the karma. –You understanding what I’m saying?
–Yes. So I think this… I think I don’t
know what the Hindu scripture says, but this is how the buddhists
would explain the karma. So if you do that, then the karmic action and the
karmic consequences is entirely upon your hand. It’s all entirely in your hand. You decide. So this is why even in the…
Let’s talk about generosity, for instance. I can give a beggar in the street, thinking that this poor beggar,
I mean, this beggar, let me give him a coin so that
he will shut up and he will leave. That’s one attitude
and I give him a coin. And then I can think, ‘Oh, poor beggar, I should
give him because needs to eat.’ That’s one attitude. And then I can think,
‘Oh, another fellow human being…’ —much more respect here.
With that, you give the coin. Then another level is
‘He could be a bodhisattva, manifesting here at my door step,
trying to help me invoking my generosity.’ ‘Let me offer him a coin.’ And then if you reach to the tantric level: ‘Wow, my guru is manifesting here!
My deva is manifesting here!’ Then I give him a coin. Each of these will
have different consequences. Each of these will have a different power and
different manifestation of karmic consequences. So based on that… But that’s just
one element of your question, isn’t it? That’s just one element of your question.
–Yeah, yeah, yeah. Does that clarify something? Yes. I got what you want to say. Another thing, as a path
…everything as a path, if it is sort of …if this non-belief in rebirth
has a utilitarian value, if it’s helping, would you approve that?
Would you say that it’s okay, the path… Non, yeah, non-believing—
we were talking totally on the view. I don’t know what do you mean
by ‘not believing’ because sometimes when you say, when… because like you, I am supposedly by the way, I mean you are at least
not even recognized as a tulku. Here I am. I’m supposedly
a reincarnation of some great being. I don’t remember a thing
about him, you understand? I mean, forget about him, I don’t remember a thing about what
happened, what I ate today during the lunch. I don’t have any recollections. And I don’t have to always
believe and have this notion: ‘Okay, I have this reincarnation thing
within here and practice.’ Of course I forget that I’m reincarnation. But philosophically if you don’t
believe in the reincarnation, you are… What I’m saying is if your doctrine
does not have established the view— on the relative level, of course, not on the
ultimate level, we are not arguing on that. On the relative level if you
do not have that view, then… I know you have said that…
What did you say? Yeah, I mean I said that, is it really necessary for
ethical or moral behaviour to believe in rebirth? Not, no, no, you don’t.
But then you are not being buddhist. Are you trying to become buddhist
just to be ethical and morally sound person? But we are not. This is
the point that I’m trying to make. To be a buddhist [has] got nothing to do with
becom[ing] the most moral person on earth. We don’t care. What do we care? To be buddhist means to be
liberated from the ignorance. And the morality and ethic only
is a tool—in fact, not the best tool. It only becomes best tool when
it is accompanied with the wisdom. In fact, morality and the ethic,
if it is not accompanied by the wisdom, it becomes pain in the neck
to yourself and to others. Because you think, ‘Oh, I’m vegetarian.
Look at these non-vegetarians.’ You understand what I’m saying? ‘I’m this
person who is like I don’t drink, I don’t smoke’. So you segregate. It becomes
a cause of the pride, so on and so forth. Yes, if you are only looking for,
looking… if you are only… if your aim is to be a morally
sound, ethically sound person, yeah, no need to be buddhist. I mean not necessarily you have to
follow the path of the buddhadharma. Path of the buddhadharma
has to have this element where you are not only concerned…
It has to go beyond this life, basically. Because morally sound, ethically sound
person sounds like you only care this life. So… And also, then it’ll become so complicated
because what is good morality? Because there are so many human species
whose morality differs from us. And morality is so… you know,
ethic, as I’m sure you know, ethic and morality is just
very difficult to define, isn’t it? I mean, people laugh at Tibetan woman
in the past having seven husbands, you know like,
‘That’s so immoral’, you know like… And then yet people sort of assume it’s
all right for a man to have four wives or five wives. It, you know, morality and ethic
becomes very subjective. Okay. Thank you very much. Okay. So I think we
have dwelled enough on this one. We will just gallop through some of the
stanzas now and finish the 5th chapter, at least. This is a famous quotation. I mean, this is a famous shloka
that has been quoted many many times, ‘Gyal say nam kyi mi lab pa,
de ni gang yang yo min te, de tar nay pay khay pa la,
sonam mi gyur gang yang me.’ There’s nothing that
a bodhisattva will not learn. Bodhisattva must learn—if given the chance,
bodhisattva must learn whatever is necessary so that bodhisattva can benefit and
accumulate merit. Yes, talking about merit. You know we were talking
about the vipassana and shamatha, how vipassana is important to see the truth, and how shamatha is important to
make the mind malleable or stable. Within this context,
we have to also remember this is very much relevant
to what we have been discussing with Professor Deokar at the moment,
just now and many of you: karma. Karma plays an important role. Karma is an action and I’ve
already explained what is karma. Karma, strictly speaking, is the second
emotion that I talked about yesterday. The first, the emotion of ignorance;
second, karma, action; the third, birth. Remember? Karma is… Okay, mind, our thoughts,
we have a thinking, we have a thought. This thought is not
accompanied with the wisdom, or this thought gets…
we get distracted by this thought. As we get distracted by this thought,
this thought becomes gross thoughts. Then gradually the thought becomes emotion. Hope and fear arises; doubt arise. And out of the hope and fear,
all other emotions such as desire, anger, And once this emotion comes, then we
begin to act according to these emotions, adopting, abandoning, rejecting,
acquiring, so on and so forth. And as we then begin
all this myriad of action, this then create consequences.
And this is what we call karma. I have… I always quote this.
And please remember, this is very important. It is not—and this is an answer to
Professor Deokar’s question also. It is not the ultimate aim—for a buddhist,
it is not the ultimate aim to create good karma. You have to make note of this one. As Chandrakirti said, ‘Idiots do
bad things, bad karma and go to hell.’ ‘Idiots do good things and go to heaven.’ ‘Wise ones go beyond good deed
and bad deed and go to liberation.’ We, what we want is we don’t
want to do both bad and good deed. We want to go out of
the cycle of the karma. But right now we are trapped
by the karma, we have no choice. Probably this is what
these guys were talking about, ‘You are already a lower caste;
you are now finished’. Probably this is where the misunderstanding
may have happened. But right now, we are by-product of karma.
We are by-product of the past karma. Not necessarily past life, okay?
Let’s say this morning, let’s say last year. We are consequences of
the previous cause and condition. Since we are the consequences of
the previous cause and condition, we have to somehow unwind this,
unwind this cause and condition. Unwinding the cause and
condition is in itself an action, and this is called
virtuous actions, virtuous karma. We have to defeat the negative karma. The best way to defeat the negative
karma is the wisdom, remember? Wisdom not only defeats
the bad karma, it also… ‘Defeat’ is probably not the right word,
but it also ‘finishes’ the good karma. Okay, if you like, ‘defeat’ both karma. But we…the immediate,
our immediate attention… Because if we don’t have a good karma, then we know the consequences of the
bad karma is only going to allow us… the consequences of the bad karma is only going
to allow us to engage more into negative actions. So our immediate attention
is to collect some good karma so that we at least have
a favourable cause and condition, so that we can contemplate on the higher
things such as the prajna, samadhi, etc. So for this reason, in the Mahayana and
also in the Sravakayana and the Tantrayana, there are myriad of methods of
accumulation of merit, there is so many of them. So this is why we do not
reject the act of offerings, we do not reject the act of saving lives,
we do not reject the act of penance. We accept any of them as a
means to accumulate good karma so that you get released from
the entanglement of the bad karma. So, eventually using this good force
you go or you transcend all the karma. So accumulation, there is…
you will find a lot of methods of accumulation of good karma
in the Mahayana shastras, such as here. ‘Dedicate all the merit,
whatever there is, to sentient beings.’ And in order to follow
the bodhisattva path, one must try to find
a right master or a virtuous friend, who is skilled and well-versed
in the Mahayana teachings, who live up to what he teach. Finding such a master, one should
not trade this master even with your life. Follow the instructions of how to follow
a virtuous friend or a Mahayana master as it is taught by the Buddha
in many different other sutras. Read these sutras—read, or specially read the
Sutra of the Akashagarbha right at the beginning. Also read the collection of the advices
by Nagarjuna again and again, also the collection of the sutras
by the Nagarjuna again and again. Again and again find out what is not prohibited
by the Buddha and what is allowed by the Buddha. Also try to find out what will upset the
sentient beings, what will inspire them, and accordingly practice these. Again and again a bodhisattva
must look at the body— the presence of the body
and the presence of the mind. Again and again the bodhisattva
must invoke mindfulness and alertness. A bodhisattva must apply
these methods practically. What is the point of just reading these? There is no benefit
by reading physician/medicine book. If you are, if you have ailment, what point
is there by reading the medicine book? You must apply the medicine
according to your ailment. So this is the end of the fifth chapter. Well, the sixth chapter
or do you have questions? Oh, oh, this is not a good sign. –No, this is an easy one, Rinpoche.
–Okay. On, in 108, the last but one verse, it says, ‘To examine again and again the condition
of my body and mind’. Why not speech also? –It’s going to come.
–Sorry? –It’s going to come. –It’s going to come later?
–Yes. –Okay. And I’m going to speak
very loud in your ears. And now this is a difficult
question, Rinpoche. You know you said this morning
about—you know, you called clarity, and also it’s called ‘bliss’
in the Buddhist text. But today you called it ‘fullness’ also. I just trying to… I thought there’s
some really really new people, and we don’t want to excite them too much with
using words, very deceptive words like ‘bliss’. Okay. So they’re kind of equal in terms, is it?
‘Fullness’, ‘bliss’ and ‘clarity’. ‘Fullness’ is… I made this up,
so don’t make too much note of that. –And I’m coming to that, you see…
–Okay. –Well, you like ‘fullness’?
–Sorry? –You like ‘fullness’? No, because I’m also studying
the Kashmir Shaivism with Vidya Bonga. That’s where Kashmir Shaivism uses
the word ‘fullness,’ that all is full. So now we come to the next question.
It’s a tricky one, for me at least. Is that, if emptiness and
fullness are intertwined… It’s not. It’s even more than intertwined. Because when we talk about
‘intertwined’, it sounds as if there is two. Yeah, right. Okay. So then, now from the Buddhist perspective, we
say that all is emptiness and emptiness is form. Therefore emptiness is fullness. So if we study fullness,
can’t we arrive at emptiness also? Oh yes, we can,
but it’s a much more dangerous path. –Oh, that’s the one that
Kashmir Shaivism uses… –Right. Yeah, well, that from what I understand.
Raji can tell you better, perhaps, you know. I would say it’s much more dangerous,
because, just because, you know, I’ve been taught that way and
I’m quite convinced with that thinking: to teach ‘fullness’ first and
emphasize on that is much more dangerous, because most of the problem that we have comes
out of the notion of thinking something exist. Yeah, that’s true, that’s true. That’s why the first problem
to get rid of is clinging to existence. This is why unborn, emptiness, shunyata, is very
much emphasized by beings like Nagarjuna. So if that is avoided, then by seeing all is fullness, you can also arrive
at the same thing as all is emptiness, isn’t it? Oh yes. You go to any tantric teachings
in the Vajrayana, all they talk about is fullness. Oh my god, so much, so much of those.
You can’t have enough of them. Because we use that in Vajrayana, I think. As far as I’ve heard is that you
use fullness as the path actually. No, but there is also in the Mahayana. Instead of using the words,
exotic words like fullness, clarity, bliss, they use words of compassion and
bodhicitta. It is real equivalent of that. And it is actually so
user-friendly and absolutely safe, because if you use the ‘compassion’,
almost nothing you can go wrong. Fullness, bliss, all of these…
you know, you may end up in Goa. That wouldn’t be so bad.
A friend is here from Goa, Mr. Sharma, who is the chief secretary. I don’t think it’s so bad
being in Goa anyway. So now, and another thing is that emptiness
and fullness also refer to the two truths, right? Yes, you can, yeah,
you can categorize that way. –Clarity would only be in the relative…
–Relative, yeah. Okay, fine. Thanks a lot, Rinpoche. Okay. Rinpoche, I wanted to carry on the
conversation started by Professor Deokar, slightly from a different point of view. Karma and the issue of social oppression… What, how, what is…
Is there such a thing as… Because we look at anger as a defilement, and sometimes anger against oppression
is a natural, in a certain sense, reaction, Would that be then
considered as bad karma? Or, any struggle for social justice will have
some element of indignation against strangers. So how do we reconcile these issues? Yeah. Okay. Of course,
you know like, you know, passionately going against to something
that is completely injustice against society, all of that is a wonderful thing— admirable, to the certain extent,
rejoice-able, all of that. But here we are talking
about the wisdom, right? We are talking about
really high-level wisdom. When we talk about this level of
the wisdom, we have to really know what do we mean by social justice.
What is justice? Who decides? All of that. And when we go through that,
it becomes very shaky. So actually justice, democracy, all that,
you know, virtuous thing that we have on earth, from the Madhyamaka point of view,
they are all like a toy. Sure, if this makes people happy,
let them have it. But sooner or later we have to tell them, ‘This is not the ultimate.
It’s only going to deceive you’. Wouldn’t it be difficult to even practice dharma
if an atmosphere of justice is not there? Yes. That’s why I was
saying earlier—remember?— [the] most immediate thing that we should
be concerned is to defeat the non-virtuous. So let’s say you are a social activist. In this context I would say,
‘Yes, go on, do it.’ If you’re a social activist,
I would say ‘Go on, do it’. I would support you, I would
encourage you, I would rejoice. But extra thing. Now that you have…
let’s say, you are a… now you want to enroll, now you
want to follow the Shantideva’s path. Then the extra information
I will give you is, ‘My friend, here you have to realize that
this justice that you are looking for is subjective.’ ‘It is a perception of a certain human being.
Let us not get entangled.’ And… I mean,
not only a certain human being. At the end of the day, your own decision— it is your own decision, it is your
own judgement that this is a good thing. If you ask George Bush, I’m sure he thinks
he is the biggest social activist. He would think that ‘I’m doing such a benefit
to these Arabs by imposing democracy’. He may think that. And to… And until we are equipped with
the non-dualistic absolute wisdom, to the certain extent
we have lot of this kind of dualistic— yes, moralistic, ethical
and very philanthropic [ideas], but nevertheless still not really
beyond the realm of ignorance. We are talking about the
very high truth here, higher truth. This is what I was talking earlier.
Remember? I was quoting Chandrakirti, ‘Idiot does bad things and go to hell.
Idiot does good things and go to heaven.’ ‘Wise ones must transcend both
bad and good and go to liberation.’ This quotation is important
in the Madhyamaka. Rinpoche, what would
stop a fully-enlightened being who has actualized non-duality,
falling back to duality? –As in, you know, you say…
–What will, what will it take? What would stop that enlightened being from coming back into duality,
going back into the nightmare? Oh, uprooting the clinging to the self. That is usually the virus— clinging to the self and
thinking there is a self. Actually, yeah, not only… Actually more than clinging to the self—
I mean, more than cherishing the self, believing to the existence of the self, that will make a practitioner
fall back to the dualistic realm. So then there is no self
to have a nightmare again. What do you mean? Or what will…
You mean once the enlightened being knows this, not just intellectually, [but also]
practically, emotionally, if you want? No, no going back.
Root of the samsara is burned. A seed that is burnt
will not give rise to shoots. But the path is still not finished
if you are a Mahayana practitioner. Your aim is not just not to go back.
Remember? Your aim is much higher. Okay. If I don’t give up my bodhicitta, still if I am discouraged
by numbers, eons, space and all the things you
were talking about yesterday, still even if I’m discouraged, is it
going to tame my ego, somewhere like…? If you are not given up,
if you haven’t given up the bodhicitta, yes, it will tame your [ego], it will. The reason why it will is because the very character of the bodhicitta
is opposite of how ego thinks. It’s much more visionary.
Ego is not visionary. Ego has very little vision.
It doesn’t think beyond two feet. Bodhicitta is big vision. Now if you want to be visionary,
if you want to be a big leader, if you want to have a big plan, there is no greater bigger
vision than bodhicitta vision. Even from this point of view
bodhicitta should be practiced. –Rinpoche –Yes? I have a question that’s kind of connected to
all three or four questions being discussed. The way I understand
the discussion from the morning, if we are not born and we are not
abiding and we don’t have cessation, then what is the basis or
even the purpose for compassion? Because you said there is a more
clearer word than ‘fullness’ and so on. What is the basis for compassion at all?
Why have bodhichitta? Yeah, yeah. This is a classic question. You are…
Very good. This is a classic question. ‘If everything is emptiness,
why are we practicing the dharma?’ That’s what you are saying, basically. Because we have not understood the emptiness,
we only know intellectually. That’s what I was saying.
Remember? What would you do? Would you chant ‘form is
emptiness, emptiness is form’ if somebody pinch someone else’s butt? Remember? Yeah. It won’t. You know, these scholars like
Shantideva and Chandrakirti, they weren’t just a scholar
who wrote book, who had amazing intellectual discussions,
who gave intellectual academic discourses. They were practitioners.
——Not only practitioners, they were realized beings,
they realize this truth of emptiness. Some of the account of
the evidence of this cannot be… If I tell you, it would just be a story. Why? Because our small
mind cannot conceive it. For instance, Chandrakirti, one of
the great commentator of Madhyamaka, he was appointed as the manager of
all the buffalos of Nalanda University. And once when there was no milk to serve, he milked a painted cow
and served that milk to the monks. Okay, fairy tales— for most of us narrow-minded
dualistically-bound mind, [we] cannot conceive. And this guy Shantideva, he was sitting on the throne as he was teaching
the verses that we are at at the moment. Towards… in the middle section of the ninth
chapter he disappeared from the throne. Without even dismounting
from the throne, he disappeared. Simply he disappeared and there was
only the voice people could hear. He was demonstrating that this is not only
something that you can talk, read, discuss, but this is something
that you can experience, okay? Now for you, probably
something similar has happened. When you are a little boy,
a toy that you played with, you must have thought this is the whole world
—haven’t you?—when you were young. Now if somebody dismantled this toy,
it’s not that a big deal. So that much of a siddha you are,
from that childhood to now. But you still have all the other toys, so that’s why you are not
as equal siddha to the Shantideva. You have understood a very, very very
very shallow non-duality regarding the toy. When you are young,
that toy is everything—it’s real. But now you look at this toy with different eyes. So it’s a toy.
It’s something that you can use. But it’s also not a big deal. That’s how a practitioner,
a mahasiddha sees everything. That’s how…
And that’s achievable. This is important because otherwise philosophy, Buddhist philosophy
will be just like any other philosophy that you just discuss, talk about and
get some sort of intellectual satisfaction. Then it is not a path, it’s useless. It has to be something that you can practice
and put into the practice and benefit yourself. And it is doable. It is really doable.
It’s not… Actually it’s not difficult. It is something that
you can get accustomed to. It is much less difficult than
many of the habits that you have. Right now you are just so used to
the old habit that you have. You think they are easy, but you took
long time to accumulate those habits. You just have to pay some attention
to this habit. It’s very much doable. I would say if you can think about, if you can do
the shamatha, vipassana, let’s say, continuously, let’s say an hour a day for [the] next ten years, you will begin to make less deal out of the things
that you used to make such a big deal out of, such as ironing your underwear, or I don’t
know, certain obsessions that you have, you know, you will be free,
and that is a small time enlightenment. That, that’s achievable. Okay, so shall we stop here today?
Dedication please.

Jean Kelley

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