Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dalai Lama Says to Check Your Motivation

Avalokiteshvara Permission, Long Life Offering and Conclusion of Kalachakra Empowerment

Bodhgaya, Bihar, India, 14 January 2017 - Crowds two or three metres deep lined the road as His Holiness the Dalai Lama made the short journey from Namgyal Monastery to the Kalachakra Temple hoping to catch a glimpse of him once again this morning. The Sikyong, Parliamentary Speaker and Chief Justice, for the CTA, and a representative of the sponsors accompanied him from his car to the stage. Once again he acknowledged the audience, the eminent Lamas on the stage and in the temple inspected the Kalachakra sand mandala, before taking his seat on the throne.

“Usually at the end of a series of teachings like this we do a White Tara Longevity Empowerment,” His Holiness told the gathering, “but on this occasion I thought we might do a Chenresig permission from Tagphu Rinpoche’s cycle of visions. It’s called Avalokiteshvara Sarvadugati Parishodana. It’s said that every time you receive this, one rebirth in the lower realms is averted. I received it from my tutors, first from Tagdag Rinpoche and later again, as a result of a dream I had, from Trijang Rinpoche. While I do the preparation, you can recite ‘Manis’.

“There are different explanations of Om Mani Padme Hum, but in general Om is the opening syllable while Mani means jewel and indicates the awakening mind of bodhichitta. Just as a jewel fulfils people’s wishes, so bodhichitta benefits beings. Padme means lotus and indicates wisdom, the ability to discern right from wrong and how things are to a broad extent—how things are impermanent, in the nature of suffering and so on. Padme also indicates the ability to understand emptiness. In terms of the result, Mani gives rise to the Form Body. The wisdom of the Buddha always abides in emptiness, seeing the diversity of things and aware of their suchness. The lotus, indicating wisdom, gives rise to the Truth Body. Wisdom and bodhichitta, lotus and jewel, are combined in enlightenment.”

His Holiness began the permission by performing a ritual to mollify any hindering forces. The Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay came forward to offer a mandala, accompanied by his young daughter.

His Holiness took the opportunity to give a reading transmission of the Kalachakra Six Session Yoga compiled at his instigation by his ordination master, Kyabj√© Ling Rinpoche. Copies of this in Tibetan and English translation had been distributed earlier. His Holiness advised that it is good to clean the room before reading the verses. He added that if you have images of the enlightened ones, it’s fine to set them up, but images are not something to get excited about or to boast about. He recalled that Milarepa had no images in his retreat cave, in fact no possessions at all—and he attained enlightenment in that life.

“We’ve been going through teachings for the last few days,” His Holiness observed. “Check your motivation. Don’t let yourself become preoccupied with things of this life or even of the next. Don’t settle for finding peace for yourself alone either. Reflect on the difficulty of finding this human life, how things are impermanent and that cyclic existence is in the nature of suffering. Take refuge in the Three Jewels, develop a determination to be free of cyclic existence, generate bodhichitta and think about how we are beset by wrong views that can be overcome.

When it came to His Holiness’s name mantra, he said that he had received it from Kyabj√© Ling Rinpoche and now the audience had heard it from him.

Resuming the permission, His Holiness explained that it related to Khasarpani Avalokiteshvara with Green Tara to his right and Ekajati to his left.

He observed that humans are social beings, and while the intelligent thing to do is to try to help each other, we tend instead to work only for our own benefit. Nowadays, however, we do not live in isolation. Bodhichitta is about taking responsibility for each other’s welfare. He stressed that although all religious traditions teach about love and compassion, concern for others is not just a religious attitude, it’s of practical value.

“There will be change in Tibet,” His Holiness declared. “Tibetans who came here to attend the Kalachakra Empowerment were called home. Some officials in Tibet referred to the Empowerment as illegal—according to what legal system, I wonder? What they said was just an opinion. Nevertheless, Tibetans were warned that if they didn’t return in time, they would face trouble or their relatives would face penalties. This kind of action contributes nothing to social harmony, it is just disruptive.

“I’m pleased that Tibetans continue to be good hearted and generous. Chinese and other people abroad tell me this is something they admire in Tibetans. It’s something for us to be proud of.

“With regard to inter-religious harmony, instead of focussing so much on being Nyingmas, Sakya, Kagyus or Gelukpas, we should remember that we all follow the same teacher, the Buddha Shakyamuni and that our traditions derive from the 17 Masters of Nalanda.

“We can pray that all sentient beings are blessed by Avalokiteshvara Khasarpani. As a commitment it would be good if you could recite 10,000, or 1000, at least 100, ‘manis’ every day.

“There my job is done. Now it’s up to Sakya Dagtri to lead the Long-Life Offering.”

After a moment’s reflection, His Holiness picked up where he’d left off:

“Usually there is a point in the ceremony when the Lama accepts the Long Life prayers offered to him. In fact, my prayer every day is to remain as long as space remains and as long as beings remain. In this life, someone who started as a small boy in a remote and secluded part of Amdo has now reached the age of 81 or 82. I can see what benefit I can offer to others. You Tibetans have a link to Chenresig and to me—I will continue to try to do my best to help you.

“I’ve been very moved by the story of the First Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup, who was a great scholar and adept. He lived to a ripe old age and when his disciples told him there was no doubt he would be born in a Pure Land, he told them that was not what he wished at all. He said he wanted to be where there were unprotected sentient beings, and that he’d be there to help them. I have to take rebirth and it would be better to do so in a place where I can serve others.

“You are making this Long Life Offering to me and praying ‘May you live 10,000 years’, but we know that’s not possible. However, my dreams and other indications have shown that I could live to be 113. I don’t know about that, but I think I can say I’ll live to be 100. So, be happy, be at ease.”

A magnificent Long Life Offering ensued, starting with a recitation of the Praise to the 17 Masters of Nalanda, followed by Trijang Rinpoche’s long eulogy of the garland of lives of the Dalai Lamas reaching back to the early Kings of Tibet and Buddhist masters in India. A ritual involving White Tara was then performed. The Nechung Oracle appeared in trance and there was a seemingly unending procession of people bearing offerings.

The last event of the morning was a ceremony to conclude the Kalachakra Empowerment 2017. Chairman of the Kalachakra Organising Committee, Kalon of the Department of Religion & Culture, Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok read a summary financial statement, noting that a full account would be posted on the Kalachakra 2017 website for all to see.

Actor Richard Gere, long-term student of His Holiness's, staunch friend of Tibet and Chairman of the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet was called on to say a few words:

"I don't think there's anyone here who fails to realise what an extraordinary opportunity this is, to be in Bodhgaya to be taking teachings from His Holiness, to be here with him, to spend these last many days with him and to become completely saturated in his kindness, his love and forgiveness. Hopefully we'll all walk away with a little more love, a little more kindness, a little more warmth in our hearts, a little more wisdom, a little more commitment to keep working very hard to transform our minds and our hearts.

"The great Milarepa once said that the real monastery is in our hearts, and the real Dalai Lama is in our hearts. The more time we spend with him, he completely saturates us with his wisdom and his compassion and his love for us. (Huge applause).

"It's not easy to get to Bodh Gaya, but those of us who made it here have to remember the Tibetans inside Tibet. They are really the focus of our love and compassion above all, above everything else. It's really all for them."

The Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay attributed the success of the event to His Holiness's leadership and example. He urged Tibetans in particular to pay close attention to His Holiness's advice, "In this day and age when violence is rife in the world, His Holiness not only preaches non-violence, he puts it into practice. We need to follow his example. May His Holiness soon return to Tibet, may freedom prevail in Tibet. Let us fervently pray that he may yet give the Kalachakra again on the ground in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa."

Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, had come to Bodhgaya especially to take part in the concluding events for the Kalachakra Empowerment. He linked this to other celebrations that have taken place in the state in the past month, such us the anniversary of the birth of the 10th Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh.

He said the people of Bihar were honoured and privileged to have been able to assist the organising of His Holiness’s 34th Kalachakra Empowerment here in Bodh Gaya. This is the fifth time they have done so. He said His Holiness’s teachings unite people of different cultures and nationalities, while the Kalachakra Empowerment enhances love and compassion in the world. He prayed that His Holiness would live to 113 and looked forward to the Kalachakra Empowerment being held in Bodhgaya again in the future. He also thanked His Holiness for supporting his initiative to prohibit liquor in Bihar.

In his remarks, His Holiness said that after listening to the Chief Minister, he was optimistic about a revival of interest in Buddhism. He suggested that the Nalanda tradition could be revived by Biharis, even though many of the great thinkers of the past seemed to have come from South India. With regard to the Chief Minister’s request that he give the Kalachakra Empowerment in Bodhgaya again, he said he would have to convince him first that he wouldn’t catch a cold.

His Holiness commended the organising committee’s excellent preparations and efficient provision of facilities and arrangements. He said everything had gone very smoothly.

“The most important thing that each and every one can do is to cultivate a warm heart, to commit ourselves to developing a sense of bodhichitta and an understanding of emptiness.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all the Indian police and security forces who have worked efficiently to ensure my security during this event, I have particularly valued the fact that so many of them were happy to return my smile.”

Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk, Vice-Chairman of the Kalachakra Organising Committee, delivered a vote of thanks in Hindi.

link with photos: http://dalailama.com/news/post/1531-avalokiteshvara-permission-long-life-offering-and-conclusion-of-kalachakra-empowerment

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