His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s continues http://www.sangye.it/wordpress2/?cat=73 his 2013 teachings December 25, 2013 – January 4, 2014 on the 18 Great Stages of the Path (Lam Rim) Commentaries, at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, see here http://www.dalailama.com/webcasts/post/308-18-great-stages-of-the-path-lam-rim-commentaries—2013 . Translated into English from Tibetan by Mr Tenzin Tsepag. Trascript by Eng. Alessandro Tenzin Villa, first revision and editing by Dr. Luciano Villa within the project “Free Dalai Lama’s Teachings” for the benefit of all sentient beings. We apologize for any possible errors and omissions.
Day 1 – December 25, 2013. Second part.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Here is a huge assembly of monastic so you may not get so much money. Sometime people come here with the motivation to make money: that’s wrong! And sometimes people come here to listen to teaching and then to go out in order to do business and make money: that’s also is wrong. Or there is maybe somebody who has come here to exploit the crowd to make money: this is not what we are talking about, the dharma. There is somebody who has come here thinking: oh, I want to see the Dalai Lama. So this is not what we go about with the Dharma.
The Buddha himself has taught 84.000 teachings and in the Tibetan translation we have over one hundred volume of the teachings of the Buddha. What he teaches is what actually made my mind undisciplined, and what happens if our mind is undisciplined, and what happens if our mind is disciplined. And so, by seeing the benefits between the undisciplined and disciplined mind, we need to think about disciplining the mind, taming and subduing our mind, and not by merely asking some kind of prayers or blessing from the Buddha, the monastic community or to the Dalai Lama. Of course. I’m a follower of the Buddha and I need to find the mean to contact the undisciplined state of mind that I have and I need to find the means to discipline it. Mainly your mind is undisciplined or disciplined by self-cherishing attitude, grasping at true existence. Till now, what we have continuously given in, is to practicing these two: self-cherishing attitude and grasping at true existence. They have become our two friends and we have given us to them with the result of what we are now. This is a case. We need actually to come back, oppose to these two. Using a modern term: we need to be revolutionary. How we do actually combat these negative state of mind?
If you actually apply the teaching over yourself, then you go on by yourself. When you have spent one decade, two or three decades, then you will see that there are some changes. So, in order to erase this self-cherishing attitude, we need bodhicitta. This is the foundation for archiving temporary, intermediate and long long term goals. So Bodhicitta is the countermeasure to self-cherishing attitude. So, it’s told very well in Bodhisattvacharyavatara by Shantideva, If you actually read it, and use your mind to understand it, you will see how the explanation of bodhicitta that Shantideva gave can make this self-cherishing attitude down founded.
Of course, when you are practicing bodhicitta it’s not that you are making yourself holy, but that you dedicate for the benefit of others. Your only interest is to fulfill the wishes of all sentient beings. Je Rinpoche says: “While this attitude is applied, you are determined to serve others sentient beings”. So, when we recite the Hearth Sutra, we say that the four aggregates also are empty of inherent existence, inherent nature and then the form is empty and so forth.
So, we all recite the Hearth Sutra, not only in Tibetan, but in Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Koreans and of course in Mongolian and in Russian. As the Hearth Sutra is well known to us, we should actually use this to develop our understanding of selflessness, emptiness as it’s taught in the hearth sutra (like: “Form is empty, there is no sound, and so forth.) and use the understanding of selflessness or emptiness to counter our grasping attitude to true existence. So, making offers, prostration and doing prayer recitation will not help. Of course, may be helpful for accumulating some merits. So, just by cherishing others, love, and loving kindness, doesn’t counter the self-cherishing attitude, this grasping to independent existing self, and, in a final way, this self-grasping attitude. The bodhicitta and the Madhyamika study that we do, meant selflessness, of course, because selflessness is the base of Buddhist philosophical tradition and we need, as it’s explained in the Hearth Sutra, to understand selflessness far away.
We need to understand selflessness on the base of Madhyamika text. So, what we need to do now is to develop bodhicitta and realize selflessness, reason realizing emptiness by using this human intelligence and make this life, that we have gained now, a meaningful one. So, all the teachings that I’m giving here, are meant to do these principles.
This makes me happy, physical healthy, and even if I face a lot of problems, difficulties, I’m able to keep my mind calm. In order to train one mind you need to know, to gain conviction in the practice of yourself, not just in the text itself. But you need to read, to know the text, to study it and reflect on the text. So we need to listen to the teaching. So Lamrim teach to us: how to transform our mind. And it means to train our mind.
So broadly speaking, the 30.000 people gathered here from many different countries are part of the 7 billion of this planet. All the seven billion people say they don’t want suffering, they want happiness. But, then, as said in Shantideva’s Bodhicharyavatara: “Those that don’t wont sufferance run after suffering and those wanting happiness they destroy happiness”. That’s what happens. Everyone wants to achieve happiness and overcome suffering, but, then we aren’t able to archive the goal.
If you read the newspaper, if you meet with the people: everyone looks very nice externally. But we have to remember that, wherever we look at: we, man, woman, are all in the same boat of suffering beings, although we have different appearances with different costumes, different professions (some have high salary, some low salary), but then 90% have disturb at the level of mind. And many of them just live a very idle live or naughty live. So, all of us, human being, we don’t want suffering and want happiness.
Regarding happiness, there is a physical aspect of it, which is similar to animals which are based on sensorial experience: even animals try to avoid suffering and gain happiness based on a sensorial experience. But then there is another level of happiness based on the mind. Of course, also animals for some degree do that. As human being we have more intense kind of pain and pleasure then animals. This is because for all kind of thinking and perception that we have, because of hopes and fear, we have more anxiety, fear. And when we are full of these: we tell lie, we abuse, we deceive, we become hypocrite.
Even a lama, for example, if he is full of hopes and fear, then he pretend to know what he don’t know, and then he tells lie to others, so come problems: by thinking on selfish attitude. If you are full of hopes and fear then come so many problems.
I was in Mexico recently, nearby Mexico City there was a Pontific University, a seminary; they invited me and I was asked to give a talk. I said, very honestly, that many of us, that are practitioners of different religions, actually have different robes to wear, but wearing a rope we appear to be very holy as practitioner. And then a Bishop, who was told me that he is socially active helping poor people, next day came to see me and told me that, as we are religious people is very important to be very practical in giving teachings, to help others. And what you said, he told me, is very true.
That’s true, whenever things are going right, there are no problems, we may appear good practitioner, but when you face the challenges then you show your true color. So, many of us are in this kind of situation, perhaps.
Even if you are in monastic robes, if you are full of fear and hopes, desires, is better to leave the robes, and live like a lay person, otherwise it is a disgrace to the dharma and to the teaching of the Buddha itself, who says: “My Dharma will not be destroyed from the outside but from inside” like the lion which is eaten by the bugs from the inside. So, the monastic must remind to themselves that they are monks or nuns and they are followers of the Buddha and therefore they should not taking example from people who do this sort of things. Don’t think that if there are people who do that sort of things I should also do the same, this is wrong: you are deceiving yourself. Those should be careful.