The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Blessing (Skt. adhiṣṭhāna; Tib. chinlap; Wyl. byin brlabs or byin gyis brlabs) — in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, the true meaning of blessing is defined as “a transformation in which your mind transcends into the state of the absolute.” Blessing ‘Jin gyi lab pa’ in Tibetan. The transformation of our mind from a negative state to a positive state, from an unhappy state to a happy state, or from a state of weakness to a state of strength, through the inspiration of holy beings such as our Spiritual Guide, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas
- The Tibetan word for blessing, chin lap, can be broken into two parts—chin means ’magnificent potential’ and lap means ‘to transform’. So chin lap means ‘transforming into magnificent potential.’ Therefore, blessing refers to the development of virtuous qualities that you did not previously have and the improvement of those good qualities that you have already developed. It also means decreasing the defilements of the mind that obstruct the generation of wholesome qualities. So actual blessing is received when the mind’s virtuous attributes gain strength and its defective characteristics weaken or deteriorate.
- inspiration (Berzin)
- An essay on 'Inspiration (“Blessings”) and Its Relation to Mantras and Oral Transmission', Alexander Berzin, December 2008
Blessing (Tib.: jin lap): as a technical term - a supplementary initiation into a specific deity yoga based on having already received a major empowerment. For example - Vajrayogini initiation is a 'Blessing' based on the Chakrasamvara or Hevajra empowerments. An individual must receive the empowerment first before receiving the 'Blessing' initiation.
A blessing (maṅgala) is a protective power usually imparted by repeating certain words, sprinkling special water, being touched with holy objects or by certain hand gestures. The Buddha was sceptical of the efficacy of this type of blessing. As with other issues, he taught that the best way to acquire ‘blessings,’ ‘protection’ or ‘good luck’ is to be virtuous, honest and kind. In the famous Discourse on Blessing, the Maṅgala Sutta, from the Sutta Nipāta, he said: ‘Generosity, being just, supporting one’s family and acting blamelessly, this is the greatest blessing. Disapproving of and rejecting evil, refraining from alcohol, watching one’s own mind, this is the greatest blessing. Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude and listening to the Dhamma from time to time, this is the greatest blessing.’ (Sn.263-5).