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Category: Tibetan Rimé
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H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche 

 

 

DEVELOPING RENUNCIATION

 

THE ESSENTIAL PATH OF ALL THESE LIMITLESS DHARMA VEHICLES,

some of which have just been briefly described, is to DEVELOP RENUNCIATION

of the sufferings of Samsara. The basis for such renunciation is to follow the code

of the conduct set forth in any one of the seven acts of Self-Liberation
(Skt: Pratimoksa) Vows.

 

- The Precious human Rebirth and Impermanence

 

Meditate on the difficulties of receiving a precious human rebirth and on whether

this excellent condition of free time will continue. Think about how difficult it will be

to obtain another human form, endowed with such leisure, in the future. Right now,

we have it and our rebirth has such great meaning that it is as precious as a Wish-

granting Gem. But this life will not last. Death approaches quickly. It is uncertain

whether we will die when we are old, young or middle-aged. The circumstances and

conditions for death are many, but the conditions maintaining life are few. Days,

months and the four seasons, friends, relatives and enemies etc. all change and

pass away. By thinking again and again of all these changes, please remember

impermanence.

 

- Karma

 

You should not think that after death you will just dissolve into the middle of space.

Nor should you think that humans are necessarily reborn as humans, or horses as

horses. All sentient beings are thrown by their actions (Skt: KARMA) into the many

different places and forms in which one can take rebirth in cyclic existence: in high

or low realms; with great or small enjoyments; property or power; with a good or bad

body. In this Samsara there are a lot of different karmas and results. All these various

appearances amd aspects of existence arise due to different deeds of virtue, non-virtue

or some combination of the two. These deeds can be considered into the ten virtues

or non-virtuous actions.

 

The result of virtuous and non-virtuous actopms ripens in four different ways:

 

(i) as the matured result

(ii) as experience in accordance with the cause

(iii) as activity in accordance with the cause and

(iv) as the (personal and collective) environmental result.

 

Virtuous and non-virtuous actions ripen only in their own specific results. If

you have not done the action (karma) you cannot meet with its result, but the

results of all the actions that you have done throughout time, will not vanish of

their own accord. It is certain that the result will come, and that it will come to

the one who created the karma.

 

All the phenomena seen in your experience are the result of karma. You can

experience the result of your karmic actions during the same life, the next life

or any life after that. There are karmic results which are certain to ripen and

ones which are uncertain. Please refer to the Sutras and their Commentaries

for more detailed explanations of all the various aspects of action (karma) and

their results.

 

The practice of adopting and abandoning (the appropriate) causes and their

results is the heart of the Buddha's Dharma, and the Four Noble Truths and

the Law of Interdependent Origination are the Dharma's profound and

essential points.

 

- Cyclic Existence and Suffering

 

Thrown by the force of karma the six classes of sentient beings wander, lost

through the three lower and the three upper realms. In the Three Spheres

of Existence 31, there is nothing, not even one atom, which is not conditioned,

and, as a result, the suffering of suffering, the suffering of change and the

pervasive suffering of conditioned existence torment the beings reborn there.

In particular, each realm is afflicted with its own specific sufferings.

 

Non-virtuous actions result in sufferings, while defiled virtuous actions, cause

rebirth in the upper realms, and especially unwavering Worldly Concentration

which throws one into the highest realms, the Formless Realms. But even these

beings, who are in such high states, must take rebirth again because they have not

abandoned ignorance (the root of Samsara). They will fall into lower states in their

next rebirth. That is why remaining like this in cyclic existence is like staying in a

fire, or a nest of poisonous snakes. Do not wish or pray for samsaric happiness.

Instead, please develop a sound renunciation of the causes of suffering, always

wishing to be free from the circle of rebirths.

 

THE SPIRITUAL MASTER

 

The root of entering the path to Nirvana is the SPIRITUAL MASTER. Stay

near and rely upon him. Choose a Master who has tamed himself through

having heard many teachings. He must be skilled in the practice of the Law of

the Way (Tib: Tsul.trim or Discipline of Morality) and Bodhicitta, having a

Pure View of Reality and Great Compassion. He should have the ability to cut

the doubts of others. Then, after having received Initiation and Tantric Samaya

(sacred viws and committments) from this Lama, you should do whatever he

says. As your faith and devotion grow, good qualities will be accomplished.

Therefore, stay close to an excellent Lama, cherishing the opportunity to serve

him.

 

The Lama's speech and advice are the same as the nectar of immortality.

As much as you have heard, none of it should have been in vain. So, without

abandoning any of it, adopt it into your own practice. Think and meditate

upon his advice, because no benefit will come from merely hearing, just as

water cannot quench your thirst unless you drink. For this reason, you should

stay in an isolated and secluded place.

 

REFUGE

 

Taking REFUGE is the foundation of the Path and of all the vows. It distinguishes

Buddhists from non-Buddhists, providing one with the protection of all gods and

humans. It causes one to achieve the accumulation of all good and auspicious things

in this and later lives. We should entrust our minds to the Three Jewels of Refuge:

Buddha, the teacher, Dharma, the protector and Sangha, the liberator. When taking

Refuge, do not deceive yourself by merely mouthing the words, but develop a real

confidence in the Objects of Refuge. Then, carefully guard all the commitments of

the Refuge.

 

BODHICITTA

 

The main practice of the Mahayana is BODHICITTA, which is the essence of the

churned milk of the Holy Dharma. If there is no Bodhicitta, your practice, whether

Sutra or Tantra, will be as 'essenceless' as a banana tree. Not only that, you should

also remember that, wherever space pervades, there are sentient beings (who are

searching for happiness). One's own rebirths, taken sequentially, are beginningless,

and so we have had parents countless times. Each sentient being has been our mother

and father innumerable times, and so, the amount of benefit we have received from

them is inconceivable. Therefore, we should meditate on Love and Great Compassion

for all sentient beings: enemies, friends, relatives and strangers. Develop equilibrium

which is free from holding some close with desire and others distant with anger. By

thinking with a good heart of the benefits of others, you must use your body, speech

and mind to practice virtue, always making special and noble prayers.

 

DEVELOPING THE PURE VIEW

 

- Methods

 

The methods for developing the PURE VISION withtin oneself are to completely

accumulate all the merits and to purify obscurations. It is extremely useful to exert

yourself in these. Practice the Seven Branches, do prostrations, circumambulations,

read Sutrasm recite Mantras and practice the Bodhisattvas' Confession of Downfalls, which is complete with the four Opponent Powers. Do this with diligence and all your negativities, obscurations, broken vows and downfalls will be purified. The essence of the accumulation of merit is the mandala offering, so you should do this also.

 

By joining all these accumulations of conceptualised merit with the Wisdom which

realises the lack of self-nature of the three (subject, object and action), we accumulate

the Collection of Wisdom. From the Collection of Merit comes the accomplishment

of the Form Kayas of the Buddha, and from the Collection of Wisdom, the Dharmakaya is attained. Therefore, if you work with diligence in both purification and accumulation, the Pure View will grow withtin you.

 

- Concentration

 

Firstly, search for CALM ABIDING (Tib: Shi.nay, Skt: Samatha) using the method

of progressing through the Nine Stages of Abiding Mind. Abandon the five downfalls

by relying on the eight compounded mental faculties. Concentrate one-pointedly,

either with, or without an object. Bliss, clarity and non-conceptualisation will grow in

deep meditation. All these, however, will just press the head of your defilements,

(temporarily suppressing them).

 

- Wisdom

 

Then, establish the VIEW OF EXTRAORDINARY INSIGHT, (Wisdom). The root

of beginningless Samsara is self-grasping and in order to destroy this ignorance from

the root, you must meditate on establishing Emptiness (Tib: Tong.pa.nyid, Skt: Shunyata) with certainty. From the support of the compounded collection of the five aggregates, the imagined 'I' is spontaneously born. In order to destroy, from the root, all the different aspects of grasping to this self, it is essential to analyse each of the various examinations, such as whether the aggregates and the self are the same or different etc., which are set forth in the logic of Madhyamika. First establish the realisation of the selflessness of the person and then the selflessness of phenomena. Do a detailed analysis of the many different parts of the self of phenomena, included in which are both the (objects) grasped and the (mental aggregates) grasping. Obtain a certainty in your understanding of the meaning of selflessness.

 

Then, finalise the realisation that all phenomena which are included in Samsara

and Nirvana are by nature unborn, and all arise in equality. Understand the deep

logic of Interdependent Origination by knowing that all phenomena of appearance

and sound unobstructedly self-arise from the state of unborn Emptiness. By having

an understanding of the unity of Emptiness and Interdependent Origination, and

not mixing this understanding with grasping, you should stay in the non-conceptual

meditation of the Middle Way. Meditate like this as much as you can.

 

- Conclusion

 

In conclusion, the two methods of Analysing and Focussing Meditation should be

mixed. By having discriminating Wisdom, we should unite together, one-pointedly,

unmoving Calm Abiding and Insight Wisdom Meditation. We call this the Pure View.

It is the actual meaning of the meditation of the Perfection of Wisdom (Skt:

Prajnaparamita), the mother of the Buddhas. By doing this Focussing Meditation,

where the mind is placed without mental wandering on the view, free from all the

illusions of the eight extremes and free from all mental fabrications, we are

engaging in the action of the excellent and holy path of the Bodhisattvas. From this,

we shall achieve the result of the completion of the Five Paths and the Ten

Bodhisattva Stages (Skt: Bhumis). We shall attain the realisation of Enlightenment,

abiding in neither Samsara nor Nirvana, spontaneously accomplishing the two purposes of self and others.

 

ALAS! Nowadays, in the depths of the five degenerations, many of the great Dharma Holders have passed away to another sphere and this earth is filled with a lot of gossipers, like myself. All the anti-gods are laughing with joy (when we are naughty) and the gods and goddesses favouring the white side (virtue) have scattered and escaped far away. The teachings of the Buddha are like the drawings of a butter lamp. This is how it has become.

 

All Great Compassionate Ones, please pay attention to us!

 

Those who hold a great love for the Buddha's Dharma should work diligently with

the scriptures, realisations, explanations, practices, renunciations and readings,

never going beyond the ten virtuous actions. Make prayers and offerings, acumulating

the Collections as quickly as possible.

 

THE NON-SECTARIAN APPROACH

 

The Sangha should be friendly with each other.
DO NOT HOLD ANY SECTARIAN ATTITUDE towards the different lineages.
Do not create differences and contradictions amongst the different teachings. Abandon criticism of the Dharma. In short, avoid taking sides and being sectarian. By understanding that the many different ways of explaining the ocean-like Dharma are all for the purpose of taming one's own mind, please practise.

Always keep your body, speech and mind in a tame, calm, relaxed and peaceful state.

With mindfulness and understanding, please be careful.

 

King Krikri had a dream 49 which signified that Buddhism in India would become

a doctrine disputed by the eighteen schools of the Hinayana. And so it happened

that gradually Buddhism declined in India. Even in the northern direction of Tibet,

the seeds of sectarian disagreement were sown in the Traditions of the Sakya,

Gelug, Kagyud and Nyingma. Such sectarian disputes cause people to become agitated, disturbed and confused. They harm both this and future lives, creating negatives for oneself and others. There is not even the slightest meaning or essence in holding these sectarian views, so we must abandon all such attitudes in order to protect and preserve the Buddha's Dharma.

 

Since the Buddha has attained a state of fearlessness, no one has the power or

ability to destroy his Dharma from the outside. But, just as small insects consume

the stomach of a snow-lion from the inside, destroying his health, in the same way,

it was predicted in the Sutras that the Buddha's Dharma would be destroyed from

within.

 

Remember this advice and keeping it in your mind, abandon whatever is contrary

to it and adopt whatever is in accord with it.

 

Householders should make offerings to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and,

with the intention of benefitting others, enthusiastically persevere in doing virtuous

actions. In this way, the present life and all future lives will be happy, virtuous

and auspicious.

 

I (Chökyi Lödro) am close to death now. I am old. All I can do is to have a good

heart, with devotion for the Buddha's Dharma. I really do not have any power to

benefit the Dharma or sentient beings. All I can do is to pray earnestly for the

flourishing of the Dharma.

 

The highest source of benefit and happiness in the Land of Snows is Tenzin

Gyatso (Holder of the Ocean of Dharma), the fourteenth Dalai Lama. May his

lotus feet remain on this earth for a very long time. May Amitabha protector

Panchen Lama, the Gyalwa Karmapas and the Manjushri (Tib: Jamyang, sweet-

voiced) Sakyapas (His Holiness Sakya Trizin) and all other Dharma Holders

have long lives and may their Dharma activities constantly increase and become

vast.

 

May the Prime Minister, President, Ministers and peoples of the Noble Land

of India have wealth, happiness and enjoyment and may the Buddha's Dharma

flourish there once again. May the sounds of the great drum of the Dharma's

Sacred Writings spread from here to the top of the Universe. May all be auspicious.

 

This "Opening the Dharma" was written at the request of the Governor of

Sikkim (Upa Sahib), by a Tibetan holding the name of Jamyang Khyentse's

emanation (from Dzongsar), stupid Chokyi Lodro, who, with an extremely

good heart, wrote uninterruptedly. May this virtue bring benefit to the Holy

Dharma and to all those wandering in Samsara.

 

Sarwa Mangalam.

© Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche