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Absolute Guru; Dharma vs. Samsaric Happiness

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By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Italian Club, Brisbane, Australia

The following are teachings given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in Brisbane, Australia in June 2006.

Although the teaching event was titled Eight Verses of Mind Training, Rinpoche did not give commentary on that text. Instead he taught on various lam-rim topics such as stories of Asanga, samsara, guru devotion and emptiness.

Absolute Guru; Dharma vs. Samsaric Happiness

Lama sang gye lama cho….

So, going back to the root, what, which I started. So Buddha’s, what I was talking before, the absolute guru, the dharmakaya, the holy mind of the buddha, the transcendental wisdom,

that which is bound with infinite compassion to oneself and to all the sentient beings without exception, so that which guides us to liberation, the cessation of the whole entire suffering of samsara and the cause, the delusion and karma.

Not only that then guide us to the great liberation, full enlightenment.

Either manifesting in the conventional guru, manifesting through this conventional guru, that which we can see, that which is according to our karma, according to the present level of our mind.

So, manifested in the conventional guru or through this, guide us. So here, that which has no beginning, no end, and which covers all the phenomena, which manifests in all the buddhas,

where all the buddhas come from, so without this absolute guru, so now here it’s clear that without the guru then there’s no buddha, that’s clear.

So what Khedrup Sangye Yeshe explained, Before the guru there’s not even a name what is called Buddha, so that become, it is proved.

So now here it’s easy to think, with this understanding, with this basic understanding that knowing that the guru has conventional guru, absolute guru, so that guiding us, educating us and persuading us to engage in virtue, cause of happiness, and then that way we achieve or receive happiness,

all the happiness from beginningless rebirth, from beginningless rebirth all the happiness, up to now.

So you can see, so that came from the guru, now here can be proved, and present happiness and all the future happiness, temporary happiness and liberation, enlightenment,

everything, all this ultimate happiness and all the realizations of the path to liberation, enlightenment, everything, so you receive from the guru, so that’s clear.

So if the happiness comes from the guru then it’s easy to understand the realizations, liberation, enlightenment, all those come from guru, that’s easy to understand.

So therefore here in the prayer, the first one there it says, the guru is Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and all the doer is the guru, I go for refuge to the guru.

So not only all the doer, from where Buddha comes, from where Dharma comes, from where Sangha comes is the guru.

The Buddha, Dharma, Sangha that we take refuge, that we rely upon to not be reborn in the lower realms, to receive a higher rebirth, and that we rely upon Buddha, Dharma, Sangha to not be, to be free from samsara, the oceans of samsaric suffering and cause, delusion and karma,

so to achieve the total, the ultimate happiness, total liberation, we rely upon, by relying upon Buddha, Dharma,

Sangha, so we achieve liberation and by relying upon Buddha, Dharma, Sangha we achieve full enlightenment and liberate each and every single sentient being from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them in full enlightenment.

So this Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, by relying upon them that we achieve all this, so came from guru, so all the doer is guru. And all the three-time happiness came from guru, so as mentioned before. So that’s the reason, so all the doer is guru.

So guru is Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, that’s also, I already explained at the beginning, what I explained at the beginning, that’s the explanation of this, commentary of this.

So from understanding that then you understand this, lama sang gye…, guru is Buddha, guru is Dharma, guru is Sangha, so you can understand from that.

Guru is Dharma, that’s the absolute guru, the absolute guru is Dharma, that is the ultimate Dharma, that is the ultimate Dharma that we, Rinpoche starts to lose his voice, drinks] that absolute guru, that dharmakaya,

that is our objective, our project, our objective to achieve, our mind to become one with that. Our mind to become that. So that’s our objective.

For what purpose? To benefit for others, to liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and cause, delusion and karma, and to bring then in full enlightenment, by ceasing even the subtle defilements.

So for others. So that is the purpose of our living, that is the purpose of our life, to achieve this absolute guru.

So, guru is Buddha, so there is, Buddha has absolute buddha and conventional buddha.

Absolute buddha is dharmakaya, that’s the absolute buddha. So it’s the same, absolute guru and absolute buddha, just one. So here, guru is Buddha.

Also the, in order to guide us which takes the form, which takes the ordinary form, definition of ordinary is having mistakes, taking ordinary form,

manifest, taking ordinary form or manifest is the same, so ordinary form which definition is having mistakes, so it means having delusions,

having suffering, having mistakes in the actions, so that’s the definition of ordinary, taking ordinary aspect or ordinary manifesting form, it means that. So showing these things. [pause]

That, like the Asanga, the same story I mentioned before, at the beginning cannot see anything then later, after twelve years having done retreat then in the road saw, it’s Maitreya Buddha but saw animal form.

As there’s only karma to see in animal form,

then manifested form to the, even that is wounded, very suffering, very suffering looking, filled with maggots, very suffering looking.

So then manifested in that, that which is according to Asanga’s, Arya, Asanga’s, my mouth got used to Arya Sanghata, Arya Sanghata Sutra, so….

So many mention Arya Sanghata Sutra so even Asanga become Arya Sanghata Sutra. So Asanga, so it’s according, so that time there’s some karma to see but it’s animal form, karma to see animal form, so manifest in the animal form.

Only after the unbelievable compassion generated, sacrificed one’s life then there’s the karma to see in the aspect of Buddha, then manifest in the aspect of Buddha.

So manifest according to our impure mind, obscured, impure mind, then manifested in ordinary aspect, having delusion, having suffering, having mistakes in the actions.

Then when our mind is developed more, more purified, we realize, by developing the guru devotion, through meditation, the Buddha’s quotations,

those Buddha’s words, all those words Vajradhara and Buddha said, all those quotations that they said, that they predicted in the past, they will manifest in various forms and guide us.

As Vajradhara said in the tantric text, Gyu Takpa, in this tantric text that, might be Hevajra root tantric text, I think, Gyu Takpa, I think maybe second chapter or something, In the future degenerated time I will manifest as a vajra master, in that form.

And also say, I am Vajrasattva, so Vajradhara, Vajrasattva, same, names just for different aspect, at least their hands, one is called Vajrasattva, one is called, if this embrace this with a vajra, then Vajradhara.

Then, holding a vajra here, bell like this, Vajrasattva, so it’s just, the same.

All the buddhas like that, some wrathful, some peaceful, and then different mudras and number of arms, like that, then called different names but it’s all one. It’s all one being.

So the absolute guru, dharmakaya, bound with infinite compassion to us sentient beings, then manifested all these, even aspect of buddha, male and female, like Tara,

male and female, various aspects of female, various aspects of male, wrathful, peaceful, all, like that, so to guide us, because sentient beings, because to guide even one sentient being,

there’s need different aspects of buddha, who reveal different, who shows different guidance, guide the sentient beings by revealing different methods, so for pacifying, for increasing,

for controlling, controlling deities, increasing deities and then wrathful deities, so various, even to guide one sentient being, to accomplish various activities, then manifest various different aspects of male and female. [pause]

So by developing the guru devotion then, sorry, I didn’t finish the quotation. Tibetan So in Gyu Takpa, the tantric teaching, mentioned by Vajradhara, Tibetan I, who’s called Vajrasattva, in order to benefit for other sentient beings, Tibetan I will abide in ordinary form, Tibetan in the form of ordinary being. Tibetan

And so those quotations then, so there are many quotations that Vajradhara himself predicted that he will guide us.

Now this is degenerated time, over-degenerated time, not only degenerated time, exploding the five degenerations, the degeneration of delusion, degeneration of life,

life becoming shorter and shorter, the degeneration of sentient beings, degeneration of time, degeneration of view, that less people, the view has worldly, worldly beings’ view, [pause] the perfect view and then the view of the worldly beings, jig ten ?kyi tawa. [pause]

So that is the, jig ten ?kyi tawa, so that is the karma, that view is the karma, from virtue, result happiness, having understanding, having faith, from virtue result happiness,

from nonvirtue result suffering, by engaging in virtue then you, result from that, effect from that, consequences from that is happiness, you get happiness, now and in the future.

Then, engaging in nonvirtue then the result, the effect or the consequence from that is suffering, you get suffering.

So, this is also called jig ten ?kyi yang tapai tawa, the perfect view of the worldly beings, so that’s karma, the correct understandings, the correct education of from where the happiness comes and from where suffering comes, correct education.

So the other one is the, from the four schools of Buddhist philosophers, it’s not talking about the four traditions, the four Tibetan Mahayana traditions, it’s not talking these. It’s talking about the four schools of the Buddhist philosophers, which happened in India,

before Buddhism came in Tibet, the four schools of Buddhist philosophers, the Vaibhashika school,

or ?che ta me wa, Sautrantika school, ?do depa, and then Chittamatrin school, ?sem sampa, then the Madhyamika school, umapa, then the umapa has two, rang gyurpa, Svatantrika school, then teng gyurwa, the Prasangika school.

So Prasangika school’s view, Madhyamika school, the second one, the Prasangika school view, that is the, their view’s, the perfect view that is the Prasangika school, the Madhyamika school, the Prasangika school’s view, the unmistaken, the perfect one, the ultimate one.

So however, degeneration of view, yeah, so it means more people they find very easy to believe no reincarnation, no karma, all these things, and more difficult to understand, to have faith in the right view of the worldly beings, the karma.

And then so difficult to understand, there are so many people in the world easy to believe in the wrong view and the most perfect correct view of Prasangika school, then very difficult, don’t understand.

So however, degeneration of time, then many wars, sicknesses, many new sicknesses coming, wars and all these difficulties happening, tsunamis, all these earthquakes and dangers of fire, water, all these things.

So, it’s not only degenerated time but over-degenerated time now, so this is what Buddha Vajradhara predicted or accepted or promised, that predicted to guide us, manifesting in those forms.

So and as well as Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, the hundred-age time, in this world when the human being’s age is a hundred, when their age become shorter and shorter from 80,000, the very original human beings, the very first human beings on this earth, then ?tse la pang me,

means unimaginable, it doesn’t mean you can’t count, it doesn’t mean it has no beginning, but it means unbelievable number, so it’s said ?tse la pang me, unfathomable life.

Then, due to the mind becoming grosser and grosser, delusion arising, due to that, due to the effect of the mind, the mind become more and more gross, the delusions becoming more and more gross,

the delusions arising then becoming stronger and stronger, then affect everything, from the mind then affect everything, then life become shorter and shorter, so went down to the ten age.

Then again it goes up by creating merit, then goes again longer and longer, so up to 80,000 age, life span, then again comes down from there, then shorter, shorter, shorter.

So now here, so there’s, from the unfathomable life goes down ten age, then goes up, then again goes down, again from ten age, then again goes up, so there curves like that, goes down ten age then goes up, so curve like that, twenty, so that’s, one curve is one intermediate eon,

so the curve like that, maybe twenty, so that is one great eon. So how long this world exists, so that is one great eon.

So one great eon has a curve like this, life become shorter, shorter, shorter, from the unfathomable life, shorter, shorter, shorter, ten, then from ten again, by creating merit become longer and longer, then 80,000, so like that now there’s two curves, so like that, twenty, so twenty intermediate eons so that is one great eon.

So how long even this earth lasts is one great eon.

And how long it takes time to dissolve, to finish, then, yeah, the whole, including the hell realm of this world, this universe, including the hell realm, that’s the lowest one of this universe, so there is those realms, form realm, formless realm,

they are like this, so started from the form realm, the original human being’s consciousness came from the form realm, then like that.

So that’s why the original human beings they didn’t need light, they have light, their body has light; they didn’t have to depend on food, the very original human beings.

I think they, I don’t remember, whether there’s food of concentration, not concentration prison, not prison concentration .

The food of concentration, meditation, so might be that, I don’t remember. So they didn’t have to rely on the food.

Then later, I don’t know, maybe another time, I’m not sure anyway. So then the crops growing it happened later. So due to the karma, crops growing.

So beginning the crops, you plant in the morning and they grow, like one day’s like a season, plant in the morning, evening time you can enjoy, you can take, it grew.

So that’s what we, when we offer mandala, there’s ma mö pai lo tog, uncultivated harvest, so that’s, yeah, like that. So there’s no owner, there’s plenty so there’s no need owner.

So due to karma, then attachment rising to some, I think, impure earth, something, ?humidity or the impure earth, ate, so like impure food, ate, so then due to that then body become very gross.

That we can understand, depending on what food we eat, you can feel the body sometimes, yeah, certain foods after eating you can feel very gross.

I remember in the past after eating egg or garlic, something, then feeling the body very unhealthy or very polluted or very, like that, very kind of polluted or very gross.

In the past I used to feel that, by eating, it affects the body. So anyway, with attachment then, due to karma, then eating that impure food, the earth or something, then sex came out, male and female sex came out.

Then, due to, because of past karmic imprint, past life karmic imprint, then attachment rising to the opposite sex.

So why attachment rising is karmic, past life, other lifetimes, karmic imprint on the mind that get attached to the opposite sex, so that’s how the attachment came.

Due to food then this body become gross, then sex, then attachment opposite sex. Then that’s why they build shelter, that’s why they, to hide, so then they started to have sex and then other human beings throw rocks or dust, always they throw things when they have sex, so then they build the shelter .

The shelter’s, the very first time why build a shelter, at the beginning there’s no shelter, so I think there was no need of shelter, so I think the purpose of building shelter came after that, I think. For, I think, privacy. So anyway, something like that.

Then there was no owner for the land or food, things, plenty, so then some human beings they tried to collect, so I think they, past karmic imprint, I think, dissatisfaction, tried to collect the grains, in the house tried to collect.

Because I think before there was no collecting, there was nothing to collect because there was plenty, morning plant, evening you can get.

So then some people tried to hide, tried to get, tried to have more or, I think, past karmic imprint, wanting more, something.

So then it started to become, I think created disharmony or things like that, so then the leader, then the reason why there’s need a leader. Before there was no need leader, there was no need at all, no problem, no need leader.

But then because of the, some people that have more dissatisfied mind so then the reason to have leader, to control, to make rules, then that leader came, issue of the leader, so that happened after. So this is how it is explained in the teachings.

So anyway, so how long the world exist, so one great eon, like that, twenty intermediate eons.

So then how long it takes time to completely finish, I guess maybe starts from, when it starts from the form realm, the desire realm, devas,

human beings, so start like that, then down to the hell, then I think when it ends, from the hell then gradually ends, so this whole entire earth become totally nonexistent.

Then how long the space, where there’s world now, this earth, then totally space how long is one great eon, which is twenty intermediate eons, so that much length of time.

So, length of time that much, so like we counted the twenty intermediate eons like that, the same length of time like that, so one great eon.

So again starts, the wind starts from, starts with the element wind, wind comes from another universe.

Due to karma, due to karma of the living beings, the living beings who are going to live in this universe, so then, in that universe, so due to their karma then the wind comes from another universe, then again the same thing, the whole evolution starts.

Then there’s evolution of the place and then evolution of the beings, the human beings.

So here the main thing what I was going to say is that, I don’t know, I don’t know why I came to this point, again I lost.

Yeah, so like this. Yeah, what Buddha Vajradhara said, what Buddha said, degenerated time I will guide sentient beings, so degenerated, so I’m talking about the degeneration of life, why life become, getting shorter and shorter is because of the degeneration of mind, delusions becoming grosser and grosser.

So everything came from, all the degenerations came from the mind, as the mind get degenerated then all the degenerations happen.

So it didn’t come from outside. It looks like coming from outside but it’s not, it came from within the sentient beings, from the mind, from the degenerated mind comes the external degeneration.

So therefore, the mind, us sentient beingsmind is the creator for happiness, moment-to-moment happiness, peace, and day-to-day unhappiness,

our mind is creator of day-to-day peace and happiness and this life and all the future life happiness, creator of the ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara,

the everlasting happiness, total liberation from the whole entire suffering and causes, which never, impossible to degenerate, so it’s forever.

Once it’s achieved it’s forever, there’s nothing to change, like samsaric pleasure, temporary pleasure. [pause] It is one time, the ultimate happiness, total liberation, once we achieve it never decreases, impossible, and it’s forever.

You abide in that state forever. And also this is one time work, to achieve this, one time work, so working for this is one time, actualizing the path to achieve liberation, there are five paths to achieve liberation,

the path of merit, preparatory path, right-seeing path, path of meditation, no more learning, to achieve these five paths, which begins with total renunciation, the realization,

the total realization, that your mind in great peace, totally free from the attachment to samsara, to the three realms, desire realm, form realm, formless realm.

The highest realm of samsara is the formless realm, where there’s no suffering of pain and suffering of change, temporary samsaric pleasure, but they are not free from the pervasive compounding suffering.

Their aggregates is under the control of karma and delusion, so their aggregates are nature of suffering, so that’s pervasive suffering.

Then the compounding, so their aggregates are contaminated, they don’t have a physical body, they have only consciousness, mind, body and mind, only mind,

but it’s contaminated, but contaminated seed of delusions, imprint, the seed of delusions, so that’s also another meaning, pervasive suffering, so the aggregate, mind, contaminated seed of delusions.

And then from that seed, delusion rises, motivates karma.

And then that karma of the future rebirth, and then that leaves, from delusion, motivated karma, the action, which leaves imprint, seed, on the mental continuum and from that imprint that is left on the mental continuum produces the future rebirth, the future samsara.

So that it compounds, the present aggregates, nature of suffering, and then it compounds the future life sufferings. So the formless realm beings they are not free from pervasive compounding suffering.

So anyway, the mind in great peace, happiness, free from the attachment that’s grasping to these desire realm, form realm, formless realm, by discovering all these three realms are only in the nature of suffering, as they are in reality as they are only in nature of suffering.

So, with this totally free mind or this renunciation, then you enter in the path to liberation.

So you actualize the five paths to achieve liberation.

So this is one time work, one time practice. Whereas samsaric pleasure, the comfort, the pleasure of food and shelter, clothing or pleasure of sleep, pleasure of sex, all these pleasures, because their nature, by analyzing what you discover is only suffering nature, and so therefore, the feeling on which one labels pleasure is only suffering.

Through analysis, what your wisdom discovers is only suffering.

It appeared as pleasure to one’s own hallucinated mind and believed as pleasure and then attachment rises, as ultimate pleasure or as independent pleasure, ultimate pleasure, independent pleasure, that pleasure exists from its own side.

So then, on the basis of that then attachment rises, grasps on that, clings on that, then that attachment becomes, makes us to tie again to samsara, so makes to be reborn, that’s the immediate cause, makes to be reborn again and again in samsara.

So anyway, because these feelings are only in the nature of suffering that’s why the pleasure doesn’t, first of all, the pleasure does not increase, that’s the first thing.

Doesn’t increase, doesn’t get bigger and bigger longer and longer, doesn’t become bigger and bigger, doesn’t increase.

So first of all, the first thing, it doesn’t increase. Second thing, it doesn’t last. So then you repeat again, do again, again, again and again, so there’s no end, never finishes.

The happiness, the samsaric pleasure, which nature is only suffering, that these samsaric pleasures, which I mentioned before, never, you can never complete.

Not only from birth, from beginningless rebirth up to now, we didn’t get to complete, still the same.

Still the same, try again, try again, try again, doing again and again, so the work, trying to achieve those pleasures has no end, never finishes, like the ripples of the ocean, the waves, like that, never finish.

So, but the Dharma happiness, you can increase, you can develop, you can complete, so such as liberation and full enlightenment. Dharma happiness you can develop and then complete.

It’s one time work. And Dharma happiness covers all the body and mind, whereas samsaric pleasure doesn’t cover all.

And Dharma happiness covers all the three realms, desire realm, form realm, formless realm, but samsaric pleasure doesn’t cover all three realms. So there’s big differences. So therefore, the other one is meaningless.

So here, working for Dharma happiness, liberation, enlightenment, now here, the ultimate one is the liberation, enlightenment.

So here, it’s just one time work. No matter how difficult it is, no matter how long it takes time, to achieve the realizations of the path to liberation, to enlightenment, no matter how many eons it takes time, not only lifetimes but how many eons it takes time, it’s one time work. You never have to repeat again.

So huge differences. So here, so working for Dharma happiness, the liberation, enlightenment. Then, I mean, this is not only for your own happiness but this is, after you’re liberated then you’re able to liberate the numberless other sentient beings with your complete experience of the path and enlighten all sentient beings.

So therefore, so this is the big, the most important is benefiting others, causing happiness to all, liberation, enlightenment, to all living beings.