His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 8
Dicembre 28th, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 8

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 27 December 2015 – Following the usual recitation of prayers this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said: “Today, we’re going to continue to read this text which deals with the special insight section of the ‘Great Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’ by posing and answering questions.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with retired staff before the start of the eighth day of his Lam Rim Teaching at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 27, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

The Buddha taught about selflessness, an idea otherwise unheard of at the time. He related it to the practice of the path. If you read the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in 8000 lines along with the ‘Ornament for Clear Realization’ (Abhisamayalamkara), you’ll understand how to use this to progress on the path. The wisdom understanding selflessness is important in the beginning, middle and end. And it needs to be understood in the context of the Four Noble Truths as a source of peace, excellence and deliverance. It’s important to understand that true cessation too is a dependent arising.

The Four Noble Truths are fundamental to all Buddhist traditions. But you can really only teach the Four Noble Truths thoroughly when you understand emptiness thoroughly. In the Nalanda tradition it’s important to understand the reality of dependent arising. Dependent arising is the basis for cultivating faith in the Buddha.
“What was the purpose of the Buddha’s teaching emptiness? Was it so scholars could show off and boast about how bright they were? Seeing things as lacking any essence is in contrast to how they appear. When we’re shrouded in ignorance, things appear to have objective existence. If you sit and look at things, they seem to be there. When I look at you, you seem to be there. When you look at me, there seems to be a Buddhist monk here, it seems as if there is a person, a solid entity here. And yet if you seek for that person, you can’t find it. You can see the body of a Buddhist monk. When I speak you can hear my voice. Perceiving the actions of my body and speech, you have some idea of what is going on in my mind. Yet, when you look for the Dalai Lama under analysis, you can’t find him. It seems as if there is a solid entity there, but everyone is a mere designation on the basis of body and mind.
“Whether internal or external, nothing exists in the solid way it appears; we objectify and reify the slightest thing. A wrong conception, a wrong mentation takes place. However, love and compassion arise not on the basis of such inappropriate thinking, but on the basis of appropriate thinking. By thinking of the suffering of sentient beings, generating an aspiration to enlightenment, a wish to become a Buddha, for their benefit, we counter our self-cherishing attitude.

Some of the more that 31,000 people, mostly monks and nuns, attending His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Lam Rim Teaching at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 27, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

“We don’t want suffering, we seek happiness, and this links us to everyone who feels the same way. Selflessness is the basis of the Buddha’s teachings. The second turning of the wheel elaborates on this. Commenting on what the Buddha taught, what Nagarjuna had to say helps us bring a halt to self-centredness. Chandrakirti, Aryadeva, Shantarakshita and Kamalashila all wrote about the Madhyamaka. Their explanations of emptiness were brought to Tibet and have been passed down to us. Our Dharma brothers and sisters in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ as we do, but we possess the explanation of what it means, understanding of which can lead us to liberation and enlightenment.”
His Holiness explained how in the ‘Heart Sutra’ ‘form is emptiness and emptiness is form.’ He said that we can read in the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in 25,000 lines that form is not made empty by emptiness. Form is empty by nature. What is dependent on conditions doesn’t have any intrinsic existence. One who understands this ceases to be reckless. He said that form is empty because of being a dependent arising. Form is dependent on conditions. It may appear to have some essential existence, but it doesn’t actually exist that way – form is emptiness.
“The question is how to distinguish between the conventionally existing self and our misconception of it. When we understand how we cling to our self-cherishing attitudes, we’ll see that we need to cultivate concern for others to counter it. It’s useful to understand that we need to counter both our self-cherishing attitudes and out misconceptions about the self.
“Buddhists have long said that things don’t have an objective existence. These days we find quantum physicists are saying much the same thing. We grasp at permanence and yet everything changes from moment to moment. If we examine the tiniest particle, there is movement and change. I’ve seen it through a microscope. All the Buddha’s teachings are based on the Two Truths and the Four Noble Truths. When we recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ we should reflect on what it means, it will leave a special imprint for understanding emptiness on our minds.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaching from the veranda of the Temple at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 27, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

His Holiness explained that the teaching of emptiness is not easy to understand, but it is worth the effort to try doing so. That’s what Je Tsongkhapa did. He said we may refer to him as Manjushri in person, but it may be better to think of him as a human being who studied, reflected and meditated on what he learned. The Buddha was born a prince, belonging to a royal family. But this man who revealed enlightenment was born on this earth as we were. We can draw inspiration from his example.

We don’t need to think that he and subsequent masters were different from us. We too can achieve Buddhahood. The teaching of emptiness was not given to terrify us, but to inspire and lead us who are otherwise entranced by the pleasures of this life.

His Holiness then turned to the text which he read steadily, pausing only occasionally to make observations like this:

“Ignorance pervades all negative emotions. It grasps at the true existence of things of its own accord. Because disturbing emotions grasp on the basis of that ignorance, they are aspects of ignorance grasping at true existence.”
In the afternoon, His Holiness continued from where he’d left off before lunch. He noted that the text identified ignorance as the root of cyclic existence by picking up on a line from Je Rinpoche – “Any kind of afflicted mind that grasps at any phenomenon as having its own reality is ignorance.” When it is asked ‘What about attachment and desire, which have a sense of grasping at true existence?’ it is replied, ‘When attachment grasps at true existence – it’s ignorance.’
The 400 Verses are cited too, ‘The seed of rebirth is ignorance’. Nagarjuna is quoted as saying, ‘There is no sense of anything ever having been produced from self, other, both or neither’.
His Holiness stopped reading a little earlier than usual and made as if to leave it there for the day. He looked up at the crowd and then at his watch and exclaimed, “O, some of you seem to be in a rush to leave, maybe I’ll read for another fifteen minutes more!”—the-stages-of-the-path-to-enlightenment—teachings—day-8

Comments are closed

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa