Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Calling the Guru-Triple Gem from Afar

That is the alternative of the name of the prayer in the previous blog entitled, "A Desperate Supplication to the Guru-Triple Gem". It is an SOS to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. To prevent further distortions in understanding, this is the explanation offered by the writer.

The first paragraph is alluding to this paragraph in Lama Tsongkhapa’s Foundation of All Good Qualities:

Seeking samsaric pleasures is the door to all sufferings:
They are uncertain and cannot be relied upon.
Recognizing these shortcomings,
Please bless me to generate the strong wish for the bliss of liberation.

Buddhists also should know that the term “Lion’s Throne” is referring to the state of mind of a fully enlightened Buddha. It’s not a physical throne where anyone can sit. And to explain further, this whole prayer is really about the first principle aspect of the path, i.e. Renunciation. Many Buddhists “jumped the gun” without first developing the mind of renunciation. Without renunciation firmly established in the mind, there will not be any bodhicitta, which is the mind of enlightenment.

It’s importance is well documented by all great masters such as Milarepa, Atisha, Lama Tsongkhapa and others.

Lama Tsongkhapa said:

Those with bodies are bound by the craving of existence.
Without pure renunciation, there is no way to still
The attraction to the pleasures of samsara:
Thus, from the outset, seek renunciation.

It is a strong state of mind that needs to be realized. And how do we know we have achieved the mind of renunciation? Lama Tsongkhapa offered an answer:

Contemplating this, when you donot for an instant
Wish the pleasures of samsara,
And day and night remain intent on liberation
You have then produced renunciation.

Even if it is not consistently demonstrated in your daily behaviour, somehow your mind will be forever subtlely restless, even in periods of samsaric happiness. There is no room for faking such a mind of renunciation. It’s either you have it or you do not. It’s stated that:

“Great Compassion (or mind of enlightenment) is a state of mind where you can absolutely no longer bear to see other beings tormented by the sufferings of life; there’s no way you can achieve it as long as your concern about the way of life torments you yourself is so feeble that it couldn’t blow down a single upright hair. As the famous verse of The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life says:

If people like these have never before
Even in the dreams they dream
Felt such a wish just for themselves,
Then how can it come to them for others?

So, this mind of renunciation must be demonstrated in some ways. Of course when we see the negative violence and deaths and illneses that’s happening around the world, we think it is renunciation. But the moment you step into your office, you have forgotten about renunciation. It’s not reflected in the actions you do in your office. Your so-called renunciation has flown out of the window. That's just an example.

Bye, bye renunciation! See you next when I read the newspaper or turn on the TV. :)

updated: 5 Dec '08
So, we all should seek to develop renunciation properly first.

Yeah, yeah, yeah! Just when I am learning my renunciation, it looks like I am sinking even deeper into samsara. I got "news" on Thursday about 2pm... a happy but yet "disturbing news" from the spiritual sense. To a worldly person, it would conventionally be considered happy news but for a person who's trying to renounce the world, it's not. However, I hope this "news" will result in benefitting sentient beings and I cannot and should not stop it. I hope it will not bring any negative consequences...although I fear "something". One Indian professor said to me that there will be events in my life that even I am unable to control, try as I may. He also said certain things about me that I cannot reveal here. Well, I can only pray that it will turn out well for everyone. This "news" also confirms my suspicion that something is about to happen, esp. after my water bowl incident. Cannot say much of what it is until I get the full "picture".

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