Monday, February 23, 2009

The Global Ecological Crisis : An Aspirational Prayer by HH Sakya Trizin

Even though this may seem like a poem, in reality, it contains many teachings. I hope we will take note of them.

For instance, paragraph 4. It is because of human greed, that we have caused the ecological imbalances to happen and hence, affects the abodes of spirits, nagas, and other beings. That's why there is also so much diseases such as cancer. Most nagas do not simply spread diseases. If we just dispel the nagas, but donot curb our human greed, and if we donot take care of the environment, do you seriously think our diseases will be cured?
Look at our own actions. Have we thrown rubbish indiscriminately? I honestly admit that I may have done that in the past. Hence I am sorry. I am sure we all have done that. Have we split our saliva indiscriminately or urinate where we should not? Or have we pulled out/chop down a plant/tree without inviting the spirit to go out first? Ask questions like these to know what have we done. Have we been unkind to the environment?

Our lamas are very good to us. Because we request for practices, they still give us the practices, even though they know we will not be able to cure our diseases or benefit much from it at least in this life. Even though our disease will not be cured, or benefit much from it now, they still give us the practices because of the karmic imprint for our future lives. So, our lamas are very kind. They think of our benefit in the future. It is we who have been unkind.

Another friendly reminder: I hope we donot do all those good deeds during Losar because of the multiplication of our merits by 100 million times alone. Donot think so much of how much merits to be gained. Just do it sincerely and think of benefiting sentient beings instead of the 100 million times multiplication factor for our ownselves. To think like this will only inflate our ego and caused self-grasping to multiply by 100 million times too. "My" merits. "My" good karma. So much "me", "my", "I" . Recite Sutras even if there is no merits. Prostrate even if there is no merits whatsoever.

Reminds me of the story of the emperor of China who had been doing good deeds for a long period. So, when he had the opportunity to ask Bodhidharma how much merits he had obtained, Bodhidharma answered, "None whatsoever!" Merits is like water, the more we grasped it, the less we will hold. If we just let go, be natural and sincere, our hand will scoop up much water.

When I pray one-pointedly, with fervent faith and devotion,
To the master Padmakara, to Padmapani, venerable Tara and other deities
In whom the Three Precious Jewels are all gathered,
I beseech you to direct your enlightened intention compassionately toward us
From the invisible expanse of reality!

All aeons of time that are illustrious in lifespan and merits are destroyed
By ill-intentioned thoughts and deeds, and by evil barbarity.
Will you not therefore direct your enlightened intention compassionately
Toward living beings who, lacking positive opportunities,
Commit an enormous mass of degenerate actions, embodying the five degradations?

Due to rapacious greed that covets the world’s resources
Trees and forests are cut down and so forth,
Causing an imbalance of the rain water element.
May you swiftly and compassionately protect
Living beings who fall into such disastrous circumstances!

In order that countless diverse machines might be brought into service
There is unlimited excavation of mines, and through these actions
The abodes of celestial, aquatic and terrestrial spirits are imbalanced.
Grant your blessings therefore that afflictions associated with the elements might be assuaged!

The air is being polluted by billowing clouds of smoke from countless factories,
And through this primary cause,
The whole world trembles due to unprecedented diseases.
Grant your blessings that it may be protected from such states of misery!

In particular, due to insatiable desires and cravings,
Coarse human behaviour pulverizes the physical world and its organisms,
Giving rise to an imbalance of the four naturally occurring elements.
Grant your blessings therefore, that the mundane aggregates
Might be pacified right where they are, without causing harm!

The poison of global warming due to the harnessing of machines in all places and times,
Is causing the existing snow mountains to melt, And the oceans will consequently bring the world within reach of theaeon’s end.
Grant your blessings that it may be protected from these conditions!

Moreover, there are incurable skin diseases that arise
From the breaching of the natural ozone canopy
Which inhibits the intolerable and terrifying poisonous radiation of the sun.
Grant you blessings that these may be pacified, remaining behind in name alone!

In brief, dependent on strong desire and craving,
This world generated by ordinary past actions
Is beginning to be swiftly transformed into a desert.
Grant your blessings that the negative past actions which are responsible
Might cease, right where they are!

Although the entire mass of defects that afflict the physical world and its living organisms
Has been engendered by the dissonant mental states associated with past actions,
Comprising all primary and secondary dissonant mental states,
Even so, through the unfailing power of truth, of the Three PreciousJewels,
I pray that all the points of this aspirational prayer may be fulfilled!

This prayer was composed by Ngawang Kunga of the Dolma Palace, throneholder of Sakya, in accordance with the repeated exhortations of Dr JohnStanley, conveyed with the great clarity of higher aspiration, withregard to the impending catastrophe that now confronts the environmentand living organisms in all parts of the world. May its aspirations beaccordingly fulfilled! Translated by Dr Gyurme Dorje

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