His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Jangchub Lam Rim Teachings – Day 9
Dicembre 29th, 2015 by admin

Jangchub Lam Rim – the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings – Day 9

Tashi Lhunpo, Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India, 28 December 2015 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama came early to the Tashi Lhunpo Assembly Hall this morning to sit quietly and take the bodhisattva vows before the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni prior to offering them to the public.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with elderly Tibetans at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 28, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

When he was done he met about 60 old and infirm Tibetans from the Dekyi Larso and Lugsam Settlements.

You elderly people are nearing the end of your lives,” he told them, “Buddha Shakyamuni passed away at the age of 80 and even Nagarjuna eventually had to go. The point is to have lived a meaningful life. You’ve said the prayers and taken refuge in the Three Jewels since you were young. Buddha is the teacher who shared his understanding and experience with us. Pay attention to what he taught. He was like us, but he made the effort to practise and eventually attained Buddhahood. Pray that you’ll be able to meet with the Buddha’s teachings in the next life. And when you actually come to die, in your last moments, be positive, think positively about the future.”

The immediate area around the throne on the veranda was decorated with fresh flower garlands. Addressing the crowd, His Holiness said:
“Today, we’ll hold a ceremony for generating aspiring bodhichitta, followed by the ceremonial taking of the Bodhisattva Vows. But before all that I’ll offer the lay person’s vow. First, we’ll say the Seven Limb Prayer together at an easy pace. You need to put your hands together. Let’s do it respectfully. When we’re obsessed with some worldly pursuit we are really excited. Let’s be that eager about our spiritual affairs too.
“One of the sections or limbs of the prayer involves requesting the Buddhas to turn the wheel of Dharma. However, if we were to meet the Buddha and make the request face to face, he might say I’ve already turned the wheel and what I taught is contained in the scriptures. You need to read them.

Members of the audience standing respectfullly as His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives at the start of his Lam Rim Teaching at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 28, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

“You should use your eyes not just for trivial pursuits, but to imbibe the Dharma. You could also listen to recorded teachings by great masters rather than songs from movies. Let’s say the prayer sincerely.”

His Holiness explained the lay person’s vow, observing that you could be like Dromtonpa and take all five precepts to avoid killing, taking what’s not given, lying, sexual misconduct and drinking liquor, as well as the vow of celibacy. He said it was up to the individual to judge what he or she could keep. He told the story of Ling Rinpoche’s having given these lay vows and an elderly man dismayed to hear that he had promised to give up liquor told Rinpoche, ‘I can’t do that’. In kindness, Ling Rinpoche told him that if he couldn’t stop drinking altogether he could at least cut back and avoid getting drunk.
His Holiness mentioned that the ‘Precious Garland’ (Ratnavali) recommends avoiding the ten unwholesome actions and adds six more, such as not drinking liquor, not engaging in wrong livelihood and not harming others. He said this last precept, not to do others harm is very important. He counselled his listeners to take refuge in the Buddha, his teaching and those who have already acquired its qualities.
“Be determined to generate the Dharma within yourself,” he said. “The first Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup, advised ‘Crush this enemy, the disturbing emotions, within you’. Aspire for liberation, which is freedom from negative emotions. It’s not easy, but do your best. Since the goal is liberation and enlightenment we need to overcome disturbing emotions step by step.”
Turning to the last pages of Zhamar Pandita’s ‘Treatise on Special Insight’, His Holiness noted the importance of Atisha’s ‘Lamp for the Path’ in all Tibetan Stages of the Path literature. He also observed the roles of the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th Dalai Lamas in the Lam Rim lineage and that he is also a member of that lineage. He remarked on the kindness of the 5th, 7th and 13th Dalai Lamas to Tibet, highlighting the efforts of the 13th to bring about reform. He added, however, that his wishes were thwarted and largely unfulfilled. Lungshar was critical of the way Lamas were conducting Tibet’s affairs and tried to implement modernization. He was not successful. His Holiness said Tibetans cannot blame the Chinese for everything, Tibetans themselves were negligent.

Members of the audience watching His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaching on a big screen at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 28, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Regarding the Lam Rim texts he said: “I’ve received the eight major texts and other Lam Rim treatises, so the current Ling Rinpoche and the Ganden Shartse Abbot requested me to teach them. We are now coming to the end of the fourth season of those teachings.”
At the end of the text, the ‘King of Concentration Sutra’ (Samadhirajasutra) is quoted, ‘All things are like foam, a plantain tree and a flash of lightning.’ This is to say that all things are insubstantial, without essence and without duration. His Holiness read the verses of the colophon in which the author expresses his aspiration to have shed light on the difficult points of the special insight section of the Great Stages of the Path.
Reminded by Ling Rinpoche, His Holiness also gave the transmission of Je Tsongkhapa’s ‘Foundation of All Qualities’ and ‘Three Principles of the Path’. And, since this final teaching had been given at Tashi Lhunpo, he also read Gendun Drup’s praise to Je Rinpoche entitled ‘Song of the Eastern Snow Mountain’ of which these are the first two verses:
Above the peaks of the eastern snow mountains
White clouds float high in the sky.
There comes to me a vision of my teachers.
Again and again am I reminded of their kindness,
Again and again am I moved by faith.
To the east of the drifting white clouds
Lies the illustrious Ganden Monastery, Hermitage of Joy.
There dwelled three precious ones difficult to describe
My spiritual father Lobsang Drakpa, and his two chief disciples.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama making a ritual announcement from the throne that he has given the Bodhisattva Vows at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 28, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Advising that the root of happiness is a warm heart, His Holiness led a ceremony for generating the aspiring awakening mind of bodhichitta, and followed it by granting the Bodhisattva Vow. At the end he said:
“Remind yourselves every day to strengthen the mind of bodhichitta and actively cultivate the six perfections. Memorize the ‘Twenty Verses on the Bodhisattva Vow’ if you can, but at least read it.”
Recalling Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s custom, His Holiness stood on the throne and announced that he had given the Bodhisattva Vow, scattering offerings of flowers and grains in the air. Seated once more, he concluded the teachings by encouraging Tibetans to break with the custom of thinking that studying the scriptures is only the job of monastics. He noted with admiration that after urging nuns to study for many years there are now nuns on the verge of being awarded Geshema degrees. Meanwhile, he said he is aware that even in Tibet laypeople are increasingly studying the classic texts and engaging in debate.
Finally, he thanked the organizers of the teachings, the sponsors and those who prepared the food, acknowledging that all had gone well.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to groups from Asia who had attended his teachings at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 28, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

After lunch, His Holiness met more than 700 Asians who had attended the teachings, people from Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and China. After posing for photographs with them in smaller groups, he addressed them all.
“It’s difficult for you to come and the facilities are not very good, but you felt it was important to be here – thank you. Buddhism is not something new to us. Most of you follow the Nalanda tradition and recite the ‘Heart Sutra’. I’ve recited it myself for more than 70 years, I’ve reflected on it and my understanding has deepened. I encourage you to study too. Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom’ is also available in Chinese. Read it.”
He outlined his three commitments: the promotion of human values, the encouragement of inter-religious harmony and taking steps to preserve Tibet’s peaceful, compassionate and non-violent culture. He invited his Asian friends also to take an interest in protecting Tibet’s ecology.

Westerners who attended His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Lam Rim Teachings listening to him speak at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on December 28, 2015. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

Outside on the steps of the temple he met more than a thousand people from other parts of the world. Again he posed for photographs with them in groups according to nationality or language and then briefly talked to them about the importance of cultivating inner peace as the key to achieving the happiness all human beings aspire to find. It requires a warm heart and overcoming short-sighted narrow-mindedness, taking a wider perspective. He suggested that one of the reasons so many of the problems we face are our own creation is that our education system, focused on material goals, is inadequate. There is a need, he said, to improve the sense of inner values in education. He asserted his confidence that if this change were made, starting now, by the end of the century, the world could be a happier more peaceful place.
“That’s all I have to say,” he said. “Thank you for coming, despite the difficulties you face. I felt it was my duty to see you and for us to take photographs together. Thank you and good night.”—the-stages-of-the-path-to-enlightenment—teachings—day-9

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