To Make Our Lives Better
The 2nd Rigdzin Dharma Lecture by Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche– Changchun
Through Dharma, We can have ever-lasting fortune and merits, and the ultimate wisdom!
Through Dharma, not only we can be liberated from ignorance, we could also make this life time better, happier. It is everyone's wish to pursuit happiness and fortune. Let's start our Dharma studies! When your mind becomes an ocean of compassion, you will find happiness is right here!
Host: What a wonderful dance performance, it brought us into a gorgeous picture of the snow plateau in Tibet! The short film also allowed us to know this benevolent Buddhist master who have been expounding Dharma throughout the country, seemingly we are now sitting under a blue sky, with our mind returned to the nature, listening to the voice of our souls.
As human beings we need to be thankful, be thankful to the world, to the nature, and to everything we have; Be thankful to the fruits we will be harvesting,; Be thankful to life, let's have this openness and calmness arise in mind, so we can gain the faith and power to defeat all obscurations.
We are very fortunate to have Rinpoche here to give blessings to our guests, and be the host of this life release event. For a very long time, Rinpoche have been using his compassion and personal ethics to help saving sentient beings, and teaches us to treat friends, families and other livings with gratefulness, so we can use this compassionate heart to listen to the voice in the deepest of our soul.
Now let's arise, and welcome Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche to the stage
（Rinpoche comes to the stage and started the teaching）
Everyone please take your seat.
（Rinpoche started the teaching by reciting the Seven-Lines Prayer and H.H Jigmephuntsok Rinpoche's Prayer.)
I'm glad to have such a benevolent opportunity to share some basic Dharma teaching. Among you, there are Buddhists and non-Buddhists, some might even come here just to accompany your friends. I think it doesn't matter if you are a Buddhist or not, what's important is, we should first have a good understanding about Buddhism, that's important.
It is a very fortunate opportunity for us to meet here, it is also a rare opportunity to hold such a big Dharma gathering. Hence I am going to introduce some basic Buddhism knowledge.
First, allow me to briefly introduce Tibetan Buddhism. Actually it has no differences from Chinese Buddhism at all, they are both teachings passed down by our Buddha Shakyamuni. In Buddhism, there are different transmissions and practice levels, Chinese Han Buddhism belongs to the Mahayana school. You may have heard of the "Southern Countries school" and Greater Vehicle "Mahayana" school, there is also another name "Vajrayana", most you have heard of these names. The Pure Land practices is one of the most influential practice in Han Chinese Buddhism, which we also have in the Vajrayana school; And then in Han Chinese Buddhism there are higher level meditation methods such as the "Chan" practice, while in Vajrayana school we also have similar Dharma such as the Great Perfection, a higher meditation Dharma for practitioners after they've went through foundations practices base on Sutrayana schools.
Why am I talking about these today? Because a lot of people always thought Tibetan Buddhism is an entirely different religion than Chinese Buddhism, and were not from the same Buddha, this is a misunderstanding. There is only one Shakyamuni Buddha, whether you have religion or not, whether you are Tibetan or Chinese, or from the West, there is only one Shakyamuni Buddha, in the same way, there's only one Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. It is common to have misunderstandings in a field we don't know. Like today I'm wearing a saffron Tibetan robe, you may never seen dresses like this before, or never been in touch with a Tibetan Buddhist lama. So I'm using this opportunity today to tell you, Tibetan Buddhism is genuine Buddhism with no differences from other Buddhist schools at all, they are all lineages passed down by Buddha Shakyamuni with progressive stages of practices.
Secondly, Buddhism has a 2500-years history and still being flourished today. Our 21st Century is a time where many religions and personal worshipping habits exist. Why am I telling these? I just wanted to point out that, the reason Buddhism still exist until today, is because of its irreplaceable value, and its teachings has brought helps to countless people. Buddhism has more than 2000 years of history even in China, it is still not out-dated today, as everyone is recognizing its harmonious effect and meaningful teaching, many people have reach this common sense though Dharma study.
Some of you are beginners on Dharma practice, or haven't learned any Dharma in the past, but I'm sure you know the reason to be here - to attend a charity life release activity. This is indeed an auspicious opportunity for everyone to accumulate merits and fortune, by doing this good deed together, we are able to benefit self and others in a meaningful way, as we are usually "helping" ourselves only, instead of thinking about others.
The reason Buddhism can exist in the modern world and stays "updated" with the younger generation, is because of the use of social medias and modern technologies, so people can learn it through various ways, you all know what changes have Buddhism brought to the world. Because of limit of time I'm not going to talk further about this.
Our intelligent and material life is getting better in the modern world, however our spiritual life haven't advanced much. As we can imagine, we need both material and spiritual "foods" in our life, although the material life could bring us some happiness, however when people reached certain degree of material satisfaction, their degree of happiness is getting lower instead, why is our happiness not in proportion with the advancement of material life? Because human beings also need spiritual foods simultaneously, in order to find true happiness in this advanced world, this is an important topic of our time. "What is the feeling of happiness?" This is a common topic for everyone, regardless if you are a religious people or not.
"How to become happy?" I'm not only introducing what is Buddhism, what is the benefit of Dharma, in the mean time we are also sharing thoughts about "how to make our lives better."
What can Dharma bring us? As we know all living beings desire happiness, but people doesn't know how to sustain longevity, healthiness and happiness. A lot of people lost directions in their life, although having successful careers and power, but you may not be happy in your heart, you still feel despair and lost. Why is that? Because there's a law of cause and effect we need to know, and we need to be grateful, helpful to others and the world. Due to our disbelieve in cause and effect in the past, we have done many wrong doings and walked into many wrong paths. Many intelligent and powerful people have made mistakes in their lives in this way. Do not think our hidden evil deeds can never be found by others if they haven't seen it, because we will receive the karmic effects sooner or later, whether others know them or not.
We need to believe in karma and believe in Samsara, these believes would never harm your families or careers, they will just give you a more successful career and a happier family, because you become a person with respect to karma and life, you will treat self and others in an harmonious, meaningful way. Hence cause and effect is very important, I hope you can give serious thoughts on this matter.
Today I'm just giving a simple elaboration bout cause and effect, although I could talk about it for hours, but our time for this gathering is limited, so I will keep it short. We must believe that cause and effect absolutely exists, good actions bring forth good fruits, evil actions cause negative results, it is a law of nature in this world, we know it is not a rule made by Buddhism, it is a rule always been there. In fact many people knew about this, however they forgot about it when time passes by, not willing to think about it. The faith and respect in cause and effect will certainly help us, I hope you could learn more about this.
Next I'm going to talk about how to "worship Buddhas" and make intense offerings.
Many people here likes to make intense offering and worshipping gods, especially in the Province of Dongbei, many people are into these mystical religion behaviors. Buddhism is not about worshipping, it isn't even really an ordinary religion, it is the fusion of human being's ultimate wisdom and upmost spiritual stage. Buddha Shakyamuni is not a god, he was a living human being like us, who has realized the truth all phenomena, and the truth of life in the world, he was not a mythical god that existed in history, no scholars could deny that.
The key point is, as Buddha have told us, just same as Buddha himself, we too have the potential to reach enlightenment, we are able to attain Buddhahood, or become a Bodhisattva through studies and practices. If we do not systematically study Dharma, we wouldn't know the real meaning of intense offerings and worshipping Buddhas, in Buddhism it is called "Human and God's vehicle." There are four vehicles of Dharma: Vajrayana, Greater Vehicle, Lesser Vehicle and Human and God's Vehicle. Most Buddhists nowadays are believers of the Human and God's Vehicle, they will go to temples and make intense offering during new year's time. It is certainly a good habit, but in the other hand, they make offerings for the purpose of getting temporary fortunes and healthiness, without too much desire to pursuit transcendent wisdom.
I hope from now on you could realize it is not important about the value of the intense you offer, the priority should be having a good wish before making offering, as a good wish could bring you good results, it is simple for us to understand. Therefore we need to pursuit wisdom and compassion. We were being insatiable and without directions because of lack of wisdom, hence we should ask Buddhas and Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara for wisdom and compassion. If I have compassion, I would never harm others; If we have compassion, we would be helping others. Think about it, we need this in our world, don't we? Either for our families, daily jobs, and the entire society, only by having wisdom and compassion, our life can become perfect. We can absolutely seek for a noble goal, instead of going after only material needs and forget about spiritual progress. The most ultimate spiritual guidance could only be found in Buddhist teachings, I hope you could realize this more in future.
Intense offering and worshipping is barely a small portion of all normal Buddhist activities, but many people consider that's all Buddhism is about, they even think fortune-telling is part of Buddhism, because there aren't many teachers here to provide Dharma teachings and guidance with genuine Buddhist thinking.
Firmly believe in Buddhas, believe there is inferno and believe in the law of cause and effect, with these as foundation we can start Dharma studying gradually. Tibetan Buddhism is being flourished in China and the Western world, this system is going to change many people's view on Buddhist Dharma. Before we thought Buddhism is all about intense offering and worshipping Buddhas, or praying for worldly happiness, "Please Buddha, I wish to get rich, get healthy in this new year!" Those wishes are ok because we wouldn't be able to survive without basic material necessities, with a pressure in material life, we wouldn't have time to think of Dharma studies. But if we take a look at our time, do we really lack of materials in our life? We do not, all we need is to have less desire on material. In Buddhism we promote simple life with less craving, what does that mean? It does not mean we have to abandon our worldly jobs and careers......instead, if we spend our entire life to fill our worldly desires, it would be a big waste. We human beings have high wisdom, there are lots of meaningful things we can do to make life more meaningful, so we won't regret, please think about this matter carefully.
We only live once in every life time, and have gone through many difficulties since our birth, such as health issues, family, jobs and so on. Take our parent's generation for example, in their time life was rough and lack of materials. Nowadays we no longer live in hunger, but our life paces are getting faster than before, and will be getting more faster in future. We suffer from a lot of pressure because of this, look at what's happening in the world, children in their teenager age are getting depression, and some senior people in their 80s are committing suicide. Why is that? It is all because of lack of beliefs, and not being able to face the truth of human life and the world, challenges in the world have brought them many obscurations. I hope you could get into deeper studies on Buddhism theories, it is ok if you are not a Buddhist, it is also ok that if you don't do any worshipping, but about your own life, do you need wisdom and skillful means to solve and change your problems? It is a serious question isn't it.
I talked about those because we have many attendants in this Dharma gathering, keep in mind there could be more people showing up, because we didn't even announce this event to the public, for the time being. For those who come here today, you all have very good connections with Dharma, and have a good heart on charity and life release, for participating this charity event.
In the end I will talk about life release briefly.
Today we are having a life release event, what does it mean life releasing? It is about life saving. For us human beings, our life time is very precious, as for those beings in animal realms, they too, have fears against death, they too would like to avoid suffering, which has no differences than human beings, therefore In Buddhism we often say: the core value of Dharma is great compassion. Today we are doing this major good action together, it is much more meaningful than offering intense and worshipping in temples, because we are going to save lives. Think about our lives, isn't it the most precious thing we have? All other living beings think the same way, I hope you could try to do more life release in future and abandon killings.
Life release is in fact a way to repay our karmic dept and confess negative karma. Since we were born, we have done a lot of evil deeds like killings in various ways, either intentionally or accidently, so our life release nowadays is a good way to confess and repay those negative karma, only when negative karma is cleansed we could accumulate merits. As I said before, evil actions always bring forth negative karmic fruits, in the past we didn't know about this nature law, but from now on we can try to abandon killing and start doing good actions. Even a notion like this in your mind can bring unimaginable merits. Following this good aspiration, we can actually start doing it by changing our life styles during new year's or on birthdays, in the past we used to kill a lot of animals to celebrate in those days, many animals were killed for foods, especially in southern China, Dongbei is not that bad. Therefore I hope you could try to avoid killing, although entirely abandon killing is difficult for some of you, just try your best. I might be going to serious on the non-killing precept today, but if you did some research on Buddha's teachings, isn't Buddha telling truths? Isn't his teachings necessary for us to follow? We need to learn Dharma because it wasn't in our education system in the past, as you have learned all your knowledge from elementary school, middle school and university, in the same way I studied Dharma since I was a few years old, the more I study, the more I feel it is precious and valuable. But even until today, it is impossible for me to learn all Dharma, neither could I elaborate all deepest stages of Buddhas. I have been in contact with people from various level in the society in China main land, some of them are famous person or work for the government, they all consider Buddhism an indispensible spiritual food.
Next I am going to teach you a couple mantras, the first one is Vajrasattva's mantra, it is able to purify our karmic obscurations. We have done many killings and evil deeds in the past, which we need t confess in order to purify them, and these mantras are like medicines to cure diseases, do we need remedy when we are sick? we do! Just like following doctor's prescriptions, we take these mantras as remedies. Now I am going to teach you this mantra, follow as I say: OM, VAJRA, SATTVA, HOM.
Next I will teach Pamashambava's mantra, what is it going to bring us? It is to give us blessing and auspicious energy, it can protect us from all kinds of unfortunates in our life, with Buddhas and Bodhisattva's blessings. We can recite this mantra ay time in our daily life. Now follow as I say:"OM AH HOM, VAJRA GURU PEDMA SIDDHI HOM"
Alright, if you are interested in these two mantras, recite them as much as you can, because this is an prayer gathering, I will recite another prayer for everyone's well being in your life —— "The Great Cloud of Blessing Prayer", "OM AH HOM HIR......"
This is a prayer for auspiciousness. And then here are some fortune gifts for everyone, they have been blessed by our monastic people, and here I will once again bless these items. Also there are some books for Dharma studies, you could use them to learn more about Dharma.
I would like to thank for hose, Merit Field Corp. for organizing today's prayer event, I wish you can become a field for all sentient beings' merits! thanks to every volunteer and all anchors! I sincerely wish the majority of you, members, associates and customers of Group Merit Field, receive blessings from Buddhas, may you achieve brighter goals in your life, may your life be filled with happiness! Best wishes to you all!
Now I am going to give blessing to these Dharma ornaments, and then we will be heading out to release lives.
（Rinpoche gives blessing on the ornaments）
Tashi Delek to everyone! Let's sing this auspicious Buddhist song together in the end.
May I have the fortune to meet supreme guru and deities in all life times,
May I thoroughly attain essence of the Three Immaculate practices,
And be able to expound them easily;
May I attain the nectar of the profound, non-dualistic, effortless practices,
May I receive the power to liberate countless sentient beings, using skillful means that match their faculties;
May the blessing of lineage masters dissolve into my mind, and deities to bestow me various blessings!
May the Dharma protectors and Dakinis accompany us as our shadows,
So our wishes can naturally accomplished!
May this merit bring longevity to our Guru, and all their aspirations come true;
May all Sangha achieve perfect wisdom and attainments;
May all lay practitioners receive perfect fortune and wealth;
May Buddha's teaching last for eternity, Tashi Delek!