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Everything posted by Csillag

  1. Tashi delek, Let`s say, there is one guy with many bad habits, but he started to work on himself. Now this guy has the habit to steal.He comes into the situation to steal, but then he remembers his spiritual path and gives everything back he wanted to steal. The question is, what is with the karma of the person who would have been the victim of the thief? 1.Does he still have the the karma of getting robbed - I mean this time he was not getting robbed because the conditions were not really complete as the thief changed his mind in the last minute- but with the next occasion if all conditions come together, he would get robbed? 2.Or was his karma never to get robbed that day? ( in esoteric cirecles they talk of a kind of law of resonance, like when you have a angry mind, you will/could attract angry people, or harmful situations, etc, which I think is in accordance with Buddhism) 3.Or was his bad karma just a week karma: not strong enough to ripen, unsure to ripen ( I heared once that karma can be different potential, like of 100%, 50% etc) Are all 3 possibilities possible? Best wishes Csillag
  2. Tashi delek, A friend of my friend got murdered before 2 days. He was a nice men, loved by many peoples, did lots of good things for people, he was a rich person, he had unfortuanetly connection to the mafia...... What happens to someone within the bardo who got murdered, what is different to a natural death? I guess a violent death is not happening with a happy mind, thus it could have some negative effect on the next rebirth.( we will do chenrezig and amithaba for him) Within the bardo, can this person read our mind, how much can we communicate with him? It is said that during the bardo after death the mind is like a sheet of tree within the wind: cannot stay at one place.If we talk with him, can he manage to stay for that time with us and listen to us? Could it be that the bardo visions sometimes preventing this? According to the discriptions, I remember, they are very terrifying. I mean if someone, lets say a great horror monster is cheasing you with a weapon could you concentrate, pay attention to what your friends are telling you at that very moment? Maybe within great panic you even would not hear them talking.... Is it almost a non stopp chasing within the bardo, do you have periods of peace within bardo even when your karma is not so good? With kind regards Csillag
  3. Hi, Different traditions ( Buddhism, Bön and Hindu) are using different syllabels or syllabels of different colors at certain chakras. Sometimes even the number of the chakras varies, sometimes some describe the central channel as blue, others as outside red and inside white, then for some tradition the right channel is red for others white, some make differences between women and men, some make no differences.Some say the central channel stopps at the crown some say between the eye brows. What confuses me is that for instance the hindu tradition sayes the opening of the heart chakra gives rise to unconditioned love, and when it is blocked the love is missing, you easily fall into addictions like alkohol drogs, sex or whatever for to feel better. Within the Bön tradition the opening of the heart chakra mean openess, and its closed state means envy, jalousy. For them the opening of the chakra at the feet/sole stands for love and its closed state for anger and hate. I thought the body with its chakras is always same doesn`t matter which lineage you practice, so when they open up, the experience must be same or not? Concerning to what I heared, I was reading it is not like that........ So I wonder what will be the effects if one practices in lineage X, and what will be the effect when one practices in lineage Y? What makes the difference of the different traditions? Is it the motivation? Is it with what a quality a certain seed syllabel is associated with within a ceratain chakra? How much role does it play if you visualize now a certain chakra as yellow and in another tradition as green? Some say it could be dangerous to work with energy channels, chakras as when you cannot bring the energy into the central channel and focus it on a certain chakra, if you cannot breath out at your crown through the central channel, you may get mental or health problems. ( Also at the 9 fold breathing ) Some say don`t worry with this practice you will learn to bring the rlung into the central channel through the excercises. It won`t happen immediatly, you need to execercise it. The body excercises and the concentration will open the central channel. The Bön and Hatha Yoga traditions, they teach tsa rlung practices more publicly whereas tibetan Buddhism does not. What is the reason for this? Is it Ok to do Hatha Yoga at fitness studios or in an institute/ to do do tsa rlung practices of the Bön tradition? How do we know if the excercises we do are good for us or not? I mean supposed I feel better through the excercises but is it still possibe even though I feel better, that I could destroy my mental or physical health for the long run without noticing it? Best wishes Csillag
  4. Tashi delek, I have questions to 2 topics: 1.It is often said that when we start to engage more seriously into dharma practice, then more obstacles, more negative karma and more kleshas are coming up. They say it is because bad karma gets quicker ripen in order that we can purify it, but it will be lighter experienced than if we would not practice. Because this bad karma could ripen in future lifes not just one time but many times and also bring us in a lower realm. So it is better to experience this bad karma now but in a lighter form. So people who are practicing more seriously would experience more disturbing emotions and other obstacles.Because of this it is sayed in order that we will not sink with our boat when those great waves of obstacles/ kleshas are coming, we have to practice dharmpala/protectors pujas like mahakala for instance. Another position is that when we are practicing, then actually a good sign of practice is that our kleshas are getting more less, we become more peaceful and compassionate. Especially when we are having a proper guru devotions we will be free of obstacles on our path. This position is completely contradictory to the above one. Both positions I`ve heared from high Lamas, I am sure both statements must be true, nethertheless, I still have some confusion on this topic, as with those informations it is hard for me to judge my own practice. When more kleshas , obstacles are coming is it now sign of good practice or not? Or maybe it is like this: I will experience more obstacles/kleshas, but I will be able to transcendent them very quickly, more quickly than before and "generally" I will feel more in peace, more compassion? 2.Then another thing: Some say it is sometimes better to choose a more difficult way, than the light one, as when going through obstacles and mastering them, our realisation will grow accordingly with it. There is a text from Patrul Rinpoche on the different kinds of maras/obstacles, and there it is sayed that obstacles are seen by a practitioner as a blessing of the Buddhas, make you more to practice etc. How can we judge if we really can master obstacles? I mean when we experience now anger than even just the mental formation of anger destroyes a huge amount of our good merit accumulated my physical and verbal deeds. Now the question is when we do not follow the anger, do not act it out and do not keep it in our mind, but work on it to transmute it either the Hinayana or Mahayana way, do we than accumulate more merit, and do not loose the merit, so the obstacle became now a source of blessing for us? Or is it already too late when we experienced the anger?And it is then just an illusion for us as beginners that we think we could really use the obstacles for our path? I would be very thankful for a clarification on this. Best wishes Csillag
  5. Hi to everyone, Thank you all for the replies, they were very interesting to read. But I do not have the power now to go into details to the answers. My relationship just ended before some minutes. I took today another way than I did in the past, a more ethical one,it was costing me some courage, and this I would like to share with you: I made him to decide, clearly told him what I want and what I do not want, that I do not let to play with me.He has to take a clear position. Because like this it cannot continue.Better to end something which is not genuine and strange than keeping it and suffering. Watching his behave and what he says it seems to me he does not know what he wants, one day he wants me , one day not.He has personal problems, job problemes and his behave just makes me crazy. I got the answer this night, suddenly he just wants to have friendship and no more relationship as he cannot give me what I need and deserve. So my relationship is today over. That`s fine for me. Than those ups and downs are over. I can relax. I told him he should find out his real feelings, build up his life, getting away from those unstability within himself and I agreed to have friendship with him. Something bad/not so good has to be ended that something new can begin, maybe with him or with some other person. Sometimes maybe the time was not right, or it just should not be. Who knows? But one thing I feel, if we really have a deeper connection, some deeper karma with each other then one day ( not in the near future), we will come again together, no matter how it looks at present but on a much more mature level, having a real relationship ( because when someone "really"works on himself, there will be a change, so then also a more mature relationship could be possible.) I just know that I really love him and therefore I can let him go. If he comes back I will be happy if not, so it be! I will be happy also with myself and someone new will come. Some thoughts and questions to karmic connections: I believe that karmic connections can change from the better or to the worse. Time and right conditions, causes, play a role, therefore an end is not always an end initself, just a end for something , for a certain situation . ( of course on the relative level, as on the absolute level there is not even such thing as a end nor beginning) What do you think? Is it very important how we feel, what happens, when we meet someone the first time,how our beginning feelings to someone are, does it give a kind of sign/tendrel how the character of the karmic connection is and this will stay like this for this life just changing within one life more rarely?And how can we influence those things? Best wishes Csillag P.S. It is interesting:It seems to me especially through my new experience that many of us think or feel, including me, that there is just one way to behave, to act, because of our habbits, but when we try to be ethical, then many other, new ways will show up. Suprisingly I had to notice, this vow of no sexual misconduct and other vows actually as well, can give more freedom, as we become more creative in our thinking, we are no longer slave to one pattern. We can always take a new direction, and a vow is helping in that.
  6. Hi to everyone Supposed you would have a quite unhappy relationship, but you still love that person,therefore you have not the power to end the relationship and he has also not the power to do so really. And imagine that your partner sayes I just want to have a loose realtionship at the moment with you. Would it be sexual misconduct when under this conditions starting something with a new person, and afterwards finishing with ones boyfriend? I mean the new person would than clearly know about the emotionalbackground and there would be no play with his emotions. It would be clear from both sides. So what do you think? Thanks Csillag
  7. Hello, I found something quite interesting about thoughts within a esoteric book. I translated some part of it. According their thinking, thoughts of fear can become manifest. Of what we are afraid of, exactly that can come true, because our minds creates reality though the energy of our thoughts. This is possible as everything else is also just energy. I think this could be true and I would like to know what you think of this.Sometimes I have the impression it can be true, I give you a example of my own life. I have a relationship since almost one year. In the beginning I had lots of fears, even to enter this relationship because of my past bad experiences. The relationship was already 4 times over and began anew. The more I relax and learn to trust, the better it gets.I had NO FIGHTINGS with my partner in the past, but fear that he will leave me the same way as my ex did. ( because job was lost, problems with himself etc, not having to do so much with me). And what happened was almost exactly the same thing witch happened in my past relationship! (Before my exboyfriend I had not so much fear. ) Therefore I tend to think I created my own difficult situation mostly by my fear.Of course some part of the problem is also because of him, as he is a not the easiest person to be with, he can be very egoistic, very cold, very selfish. But also this has to do something with me, as I was choosing him. Don´t we choose a partner according our past karma/conditioning? To the problems with him I responded in doing some prayers, when I recognized that I become angry, getting negative thoughts I made efforts to think positive, making wishing prayers. I had the feeling they had a effect.At least he is improving, I have a good emotional training, and our relationship is getting better and better, although still we have problems due to his difficult job situation. Question comes here as well, is this due to my positive thoughts, I mean, being a main factor that it functions between us in a better way? Concerning problems within partnership, I think they happen because of past bad karma, coming from past lifes, but can`t it be also that my fear was also provocing difficult situations within my relationship? Can it be that those temporary breaking of with each other was mostly because of my fear, and not because I did such and such bad in a past life to someone else? The fear is just a result of having had a bad partnership in the past, and the bad partnership was maybe the result of past lives karma. I could imagine this connection. But my question is, can it be that in my present situation the problems developed mostly because of my fear? What do you think? How much role do our present thoughts play? Can they have such a power? Best wishes Csillag Here is a part of the book: Thoughts are energy. Every thought accords with a special wave/vibration and therefore accords with a special energypotential. Because of this a thought can be considered as a certain energybody. As everything else is also just vibration/waves, our thoughts can have impact on them. As every thought has a energypotential, so has every thought the tendecy to manifest itself. This tendency is as much high as the energypotential of a certain thought is. We can have very strong and very week thoughts. The more strong our thinking is the greater the possibility that our thoughts will come true For instance if we have lots of intensive fearful thoughts, there is a certain tendency that our fear could become true. From Physics we know that no energy can be ever be lost. As thoughts are also energy, a thought cannot get lost. This means with each thought we are producing energy, and this energy will never get lost, it will manifest sooner or later. Furthermore whatever we think will also come back to us. It does not mean it has to come back in the same way, it can manifest in different forms. Therefore if you want to enjoy happiness in your life the best thing what you can do is to wish as much people as possible all your best. Within the field of thinking, distance is not playing any role. It doesn`t matter if Mr. Mayer is sitting in front of you or is having vacation in Hawai while ou are thinking of him badly or nicely. When you have a thought it is same when you throw a stone within water. Around the stone waves will radiate. And those waves will go into direction from where the stone was been thrown. When we have inside of us conflicts, then we will also have conflicts in the outside. Lots of catastrophe in our wordl is due to our way of thinking, this means they are due to the energies we have set free through our way of thinking. Our whole palnet is sick because of our way of thinking. Not the pollution is the great problem. Our way of thinking is the great problem, the matriell pollution is just the result of our wrong way of thinking. We are pollting our planet not just materially but also mentally! On what we concentrate, that will grow. If we concentrate on our shortcomings, then our shortcomings will grow. If we concentrate on our sickness, then our sickness will increases If we concentrate on not having money, this lack of money will grow If we concentrate on prosperity, our prosperity will grow If we concentrate on our health, our health will grow. This means for instance if you stopp to concentrate on your weekness but concentrate on your positive qualities, than your energy will not get lost by looking at your weekness but it will be invested in your positive qualities. Your faults can just dimish if you concentrate on your positive sides. We cannot change how we were thinking in the past, but now as we know about this we must now change our way of thinking, as our thinking will shape our future.
  8. Tashi delek, A friend of mine told me the pig year is a so called black year, meaning obstacle year. It is not good to start any new things this year, like marriage, retreat, new job etc. Many lamas take those astrological influences quite seriously, like for instance they do not travel when they have a personal obstacle year, they better stay in retreat. But there are also exceptions between then Lamas, for instance Trangu Rinpoche was starting to build his monastery Vajra Vidaya Institute in Saranath on the most inausspicious day of the year, the other Lamas were warning him. But his monastery is nowadays despite of the bad day running very well. I wonder how much one is dependent on these astrological influences, how much can dharma practice do to prevent obstacles etc. ? Best wishes Csillag
  9. Hi to everybody, Here is some more to this topic " not eatig meat". I know it is an already well discussed topic within this forum, but I thought it won`t be bad to revive the topic again. So for anybody who is interested in becoming a vegetarian, staying a vegetarian, this may be as well beneficial to read in order to get an additional inspiration. Let us love all animals, insects, who are part of all sentient beings, not just with our mouths but also by our deeds! Best wishes Csillag Chatral Rinpoche's Steadfast Commitment to Ethics By Zach Larson Chatral Rinpoche is renowned in the Tibetan community for his peerless spiritual discipline, especially when it comes to refraining from eating meat. Meat eating is an entrenched aspect of Tibetan culture and there are very few who can do without it for long. His Holiness the Dalai Lama became vegetarian in 1966, but when he got Hepatitis B the Tibetan doctors who support him insisted he start to eat meat again, which he continues to do today in moderate quantities. A few contemporary mastersà¢-â€Âsuch as Kangyur Rinpocheà¢-â€Âwere also known for being strict vegetarians, but they are the exception. When I was on the University of Wisconsin-Madison College Year in Nepal Program in 2000, I was studying how Tibetans view the cultural convergence of Buddhism and meat eating and Chatral Rinpoche was one of the main people I interviewed. Here are some excerpts from that interview: Question: Why did you decide to stop eating meat? How old were you when you made this decision? Answer: It is written in many Theravadayana and Mahayana texts that one should not eat meat. There is also a Vajrayana text that says the same thing, that one should not enjoy meat or alcohol. Because of this I am following the instructions of Shakyamuni Buddha. Being a religious person, I don't take meat or alcohol and at the same time I try to tell other people not to consume these things. This is my reasonà¢-â€ÂI'm just trying to motivate other people. I was 47 years old when I went to Bodhgaya and made a vow to all of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to give up meat and alcohol. Question: Why do you think vegetarianism is an important aspect of practicing the Dharma? Answer: If you take meat, it goes against the vows one takes in seeking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Because when you take meat you have to take a being's life. So I gave it up. Question: Some claim that one can help the animals one eats by praying for them, and thus eating meat is compassionate. Other than for the most accomplished yogis and lamas, what do you make of this claim? Answer: With supernatural powers gained through certain meditations, it is true that there are some realized beings who can revive animals from the dead and help them reach a higher rebirth or enlightenment by consuming small amounts of their flesh. But this is not done for sustenance, only for the purpose of helping that animal. I personally do not have that power and because of that I never eat meat. Eating meat in one's diet is much different than eating flesh to liberate a being through supernatural powers. I am just an ordinary practitioner who really doesn't have these qualities. So, if I ate meat it would be the same if you or any other lay person ate meat. I would be committing sin and I would be getting negative karma. I don't pretend as if I have special powers and eat meat, I just avoid it altogether. From Compassionate Action: The Teachings of Chatral Rinpoche By Zach Larson (ed.) | Shechen Publications | New Delhi, 2005 Chapter II, published at Shabkar.Org with kind permission of the author Question: Do you know other lamas who are vegetarian? Answer: I know many of them from Tibet. There are Nyingma, Sakya and Gelukpa vegetarians in Tibet. Compared to the many meat-eating lamas, vegetarian lamas are very few though. I'm 88 [in 2000] and during my experience I have come across many lamas in Kham, Amdoà¢-â€Âall parts of Tibetà¢-â€Âwho don't eat meat. There are lamas who eat meat and those who don't. At my monastery in Tibet there are also lamas who take meat and those who don't. Question: Many Buddhist practitioners in the United States eat meat because their Tibetan lamas eat meat. What do you make of this? Answer: Many great siddhas in India drank enormous amounts of alcohol and developed magical powers. One of these mahasiddhas (Virupa) kept drinking alcohol all day and suspended the sun in the sky and kept it from setting. Naropa, Tilopaà¢-â€Âthese were great masters. If you can acquire supernatural powers, you don't need to follow the same standards of normal people and you can drink alcohol and eat meat. Those who have supernatural powers can still give great teachings and benefit all sentient beings. So, if the teachers in America are of that level, ask all your friends to join them in drinking alcohol and eating meat. * It all depends on the level of realization one has achieved. A lama who enjoys meat and alcohol can still bring people on the right path, so long as they have developed supernatural powers. Question: Do you see Tibetan Buddhists in exile making a sincere effort to reduce their meat consumption and become vegetarian, or has meat eating become an entrenched aspect of Tibetan culture? Answer: In Tibet, there's only meat and tsampa**à¢-â€Âthere is no other staple food. Tibet is at ahigh altitude and the climate is tundra-like. There are not many fruits and vegetables. After coming to South Asia, you really don't have to follow the Tibetan custom of meat and tsampa. There are many types of fruits and vegetables, nutritional supplementsà¢-â€Âall kinds of good foods. Everything is available. So there is really no need to talk about the customs of Tibet as an excuse for eating meat. From my experience, not eating meat has many benefits. I'm 88 and ever since I stopped eating meat, I haven't had any major sickness. When I sleep, Isleep well. When I get up, I can walk right away. When I read religious texts, I can see themproperly. I have very good hearing and can listen attentively. These are the qualities I haveexperienced from not eating meat. I didn't get sick or die when I stopped eating meat; nonegative consequences came to me. I can travel by vehicle, airplane or train without gettingnauseous or dizzy and I never get headaches. I am a human being formed with flesh and blood like anyone else and am proof that giving up meat does not make one ill like many Tibetans seem to think. I'm telling you from my own experience; only good things have happened to me from giving up meat. Question: Many Tibetans quote a sutra passage that says if one does not hear, see, or suspect that meat has been obtained especially for you, then it is acceptable to eat. How do you respond to this? Answer: If the animal being killed is unseen, then it is something like stealing something without being caught. That would also be deemed acceptable if you used this rationale. You could say something dirty without being heardà¢-â€Âas if you need evidence to judge whether it is a sin or not. What they say is not right. Killing, stealing and other negative actions can never be gotten away with. Even if other people don't see you do them, the deities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas see you doing these things. There is a Tibetan saying that even if one does not get caught committing a sin, that the gods catch you every time. It is impossible to do anything without being seenà¢-â€Âyou're always being watched by the deities. They see and understand what you didà¢-â€Âthey know that you helped to kill an animal by buying meat. From Compassionate Action: The Teachings of Chatral Rinpoche By Zach Larson (ed.) | Shechen Publications | New Delhi, 2005 Chapter II, published at Shabkar.Org with kind permission of the author This is my answer. Question: Some monks have told me that since insects are killed in the production of rice and other vegetables, then there is really no difference in eating those things and eating meat. What do you think about this? Answer: This would mean that you wouldn't eat anything and would starve to death. If you say you were going to go for a month without killing insects through the food you eat, then you would die. If you die, this precious human life is wasted. So if you just let your body be destroyed, that means you are taking your own life, which is killing in itself. You can always take the insect from the rice when you see it and let it free outside. You don't necessarily have to kill beings to eat. Although, when we walk we crush many insects under our feet. We may not see them or observel we must be killing them. Not being aware doesn't mean that we haven't created any sin, because after all, cause and effect are always there.[ii] After the interview, Rinpoche said to me, Today you came to ask me these things and I answered them. It is very good. I am very happy. You have recorded my conversation, so you should relate it to the people. We are here at the place of Guru Rinpoche's cave. At this place, we are exchanging questions and answers. It will be nice for other people to hear this. When you make your book, put my interview at the beginning. Thank you. Rinpoche's monastery at Yangleshöd has two signs posted on it related to meat eating. The first is in Tibetan, Nepali and English and is one of the first things you see when you approach the monastery. The sign, a full four square meters in size, reads: IN THIS BUDDHIST MONASTERY THE CONSUMPTION OF MEAT, ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE & TOBACCO AS WELL AS PLAYING CARDS OR GAMBLING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. One of the principal vows in Buddhism is to refrain from consuming intoxicants, along with refraining from killing, stealing, lying and sexual misconduct. Not many Tibetan Buddhists outside of the monastic tradition take this vow seriously and Nyingma practitioners are known to drink alcohol. Rinpoche does not tolerate this at all among his disciples. There was an incident a few years ago where a photo of a late lama was placed in Rinpoche's room by the disciples of this lama, who were asking Rinpoche for blessings. When Rinpoche saw the photo, he said, “This person was an alcoholic and had broken his precepts, don't leave this photo in my room; take it away!†When the attendant removed the photo from the wooden frame, there was another photo beneath. Rinpoche asked who was in the picture and was told it was the son of the late lama, who was also a heavy drinker. Rinpoche proclaimed, “Like father, like son. Take away both of their photos!â€[iii] In regards to smoking, Rinpoche said, The major defect of smoking is that it will close the Brahma's door at the top of one's head. So at the moment of death, it will be extremely difficult for one's practice of phowa,[iv] in trying to let one's consciousness out from there, either to liberate oneself from cyclic existence or to go to the three upper realms.It is most advisable for all Dharma practitioners à¢-â€Âfor the sake of both themselves and othersà¢-â€Ânot to smoke at all![v] The second sign is posted outside of the main worship area and reads in Tibetan and English, How can we practice true compassion while we consume the flesh of an animal to fatten our own flesh? Stop this filthy habit for your health, for the environment and for the animals. This large poster placed in a protective frame was made by an animal rights group at Dzogchen From Compassionate Action: The Teachings of Chatral Rinpoche By Zach Larson (ed.) | Shechen Publications | New Delhi, 2005 Chapter II, published at Shabkar.Org with kind permission of the author Monastery in South India and shows how highly Rinpoche values this ethic. The daughter of the great Nyingma figure Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche named Pema is a close friend of Chatral Rinpoche's family. She gave me some insights on the importance of vegetarianism in Rinpoche's practice of compassion in my interview with her in 2000. She said, Meat eating is high on Chatral Rinpoche's spiritual radar. Rinpoche is so connected with animals. He loves animals. He loves watching wildlife videos on TV. His great compassion caused him to stop eating meat. He gives all his money to save 70 truckloads of fish in Calcutta. It is his most important yearly activity. He prays for every bucket-full he dumps into the ocean, trying to bring them to a higher rebirth. In the Dharma, it is not just a matter of not doing somethingà¢-â€Âeating meat for instanceà¢-â€Âbut actively protecting life. Rinpoche lives this. He is so connected on a vast level to sentient beings and their suffering.Rinpoche is drawn to dark, sinful, murderous placesà¢-â€Âto Hindu animal sacrifice areas. He took his daughter Saraswati and myself to one once. It was beautiful on the outside, with flowers and carvings. He bought some birds in a cage and released them at the top of the roof. Then we came to the goat sacrifice place. At first I had my eyes closed, but then I saw ità¢-â€Âinnocent goats being murdered and blood everywhere. I was horrified. Rinpoche calmly walked over the goat blood as if he was doing walking meditation. He wasn't a bit fazed by it. I think he was trying to teach us the lesson of being fearless and patient in the face of suffering. * Rinpoche was being sarcastic with this response. ** Roasted barley flour. The great master Virupa was drinking one evening at a tavern and the bartender told him that he could drink as much as he wanted for free until sundown. As he didn't have any money on him, he stuck his purba (ritual dagger) in the ground at the confluence of the shadow and the sunlight, causing both to stay where they were and preventing the sun from setting. [ii] Tsetan Chonjore assisted in the translation of this interview, which was recorded. [iii] Light of Lotus Volume 3. p. 34 [iv] Phowa is the practice of ejecting one's consciousness through the central channel of the body out through the top of the head, known as the “Brahma's door.†The consciousness is then envisioned as entering the heart of Amitabha Buddha.In this way, one can better control the nature of one's next incarnation at the moment of death. [v] Light of the Lotus Volume 3. p. 34 From Compassionate Action: The Teachings of Chatral Rinpoche By Zach Larson (ed.) | Shechen Publications | New Delhi, 2005 Chapter II, published at Shabkar.Org with kind permission of the author A Powerful Message by a Powerful Yogi Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorjee Rinpoche is one of the most accomplished Tibetan Buddhist Yogis alive today. He was born in June, 1913 in Kham, Tibet. He rescues millions of animals each year and has been a strict vegetarian for over forty five years. Now in his 90's, he is as active as ever, helping humans and animals alike with an unfathomably deep compassion. Tibetan Volunteers for Animals (TVA) had an exclusive interview with the Yogi himself on 29th May, 2005 in Nepal. I was the first to become vegetarian since we came to India. The first year of the Nyingma Monlam in Bodh Gaya was non-vegetarian. In the second year I came there and spoke at a meeting of all the high Nyingma Lamas. I told them that Bodh Gaya is a very special place which is holy to all Buddhists, and if we say we are gathered here for the Nyingma Monlam and yet eat meat, this is a disgrace and the greatest insult to Buddhism. I said they should all give up meat from now on, during the Nyingma Monlam. Even the Tibetan lamas and monks eat meat! What a shame if even the lamas can't give up meat! First the lamas should commit themselves to being life-long vegetarians. If the lamas become vegetarian, and then you can address the lay people. Then also you should urge the monks to become vegetarian. Otherwise if knowledgeable religious people eat meat, how can one expect the ignorant public, who follow along just like sheep, to become vegetarian? Earlier in the Sakyapas, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo abstained from meat and alcohol. From then on gradually in the Nyingmapas there was Ngari Pandita Pema Wangyal, an emanation of King Trisong Detsen. He was a vegetarian all his life. Also the non-sectarian Lama Zhabkar Tsogdrug Rangdrol: he was born in Amdo and was a heavy meat-eater, but when he went to Lhasa and saw the many animals being slaughtered in the butchers' district of Lhasa, he became vegetarian for the rest of his life. Many of his disciples also became vegetarian. Many others - Sakyapas, Gelugpas, Kagyudpas and Nyingmapas - have done like this and become vegetarian. In Kongpo, Gotsang Natsog Rangdrol told his monks to abstain from meat and alcohol. Because the Kongpo Tsele Gon monks wouldn't obey his orders, he became angry with them and went to Gotsang Phug in lower Kongpo, and stayed there in isolated retreat for 20-30 years. Abstaining from non-virtuous actions such as eating meat and drinking alcohol, he attained realization and became known as Gotsang Natsog Rangdrol, a highly qualified teacher. Similarly, Nyagla Pema Dudul abstained from meat and alcohol. He meditated in isolated hermitages for 20- 30 years, not relying on people's food but rather nourishing himself on the essence of rocks and earth, and attained rainbow body. He is known as "Pema Dudul who attained rainbow body." He lived at the time of Nyagke Gonpo Namgyal. It happened like that. Interview by Tibetan Volunteers for Animal Rights (TVA) on May 29th, 2005, in NepalTranscribed by Ven Khenpo Dorjee Tsering and Jamphel Rabten | Translated by Chonyid Zangmo Published at www.shabkar.org with kind permission of TVA When I was in Bhutan, sometimes meat would be served during big ceremonies or pujas for dead people. This killing of animals for the dead person is an obstacle for the spiritual evolution of the dead and an impediment on the path to liberation. It is of no benefit to the dead person. The people in the Himalayan region are all Buddhist. Some of the Tamang and Sherpa lamas are ignorant. Because they want to eat meat and drink alcohol, they say that it is necessary since they are followers of Guru Rinpoche, who ate meat and drank alcohol. But Guru Rinpoche was born miraculously, not like those Lamas who were born from human parents. Guru Rinpoche is known as the Second Buddha. The teacher of the Sutras is Shakyamuni and the teacher of the tantras is the omniscient Guru Rinpoche, who prophesied exactly what will happen in the future. Abstaining from meat is a means of attaining world peace. I have given up meat, and I also don't eat cake since it contains eggs. Eating meat and eating eggs is the same. An egg will hatch into a chicken. A chicken is a sentient being. For example, there is no difference between killing the unborn fetus in a pregnant woman and killing the child after it is born; the killing is the same negative action. This is the reason why I don't eat eggs. Your work [see www.semchen.org] is not useless - it is very useful. This message is not just for Buddhists; everyone who thinks and reasons can understand it. Especially all the learned scientists and doctors should think about this: are smoking and meat-eating beneficial? As an indication of this, who has a longer life span, smokers or non-smokers? Who has more illnesses, smokers or non-smokers? You university students can think about all the reasons and figure it out. I only speak Tibetan; I don't speak other languages. But I have studied the Buddha's outer vinaya and inner vajrayana teachings. Especially I have studied the Dzogchen writings of many scholars and yogis. They all say that abstaining from meat is good for longevity. If I consider my own family, there is no one else who has lived beyond 60; all my relatives are dead. But because I left my homeland and abstain from meat and smoking, I am now 93 years old. I can still walk, sit and get around everywhere by car and plane. A few days ago I went to Lhakhang Gon in Helambu, where they are building a new Sherpa monastery. You asked me to talk about the reasons for becoming vegetarian, and what I have told you may be publicized. What I have told you is all true, not a lie. It is based on the Buddhist scriptures, the teachings of the gurus, and on my own experience, not on the words of a few people who claim to be scholars. That is why you should publicize this message. I also rejoice in your virtue. Your actions are definitely virtuous. You should continue your campaign to educate the lay people, and also the ordained people. You should tell it to the lamas and Tulkus who sit on high thrones and think they are important, and also to those of the lowest rank, to the monastic communities and also to the public, to those worldly people in high position with common sense who can reason for themselves and also to those without common sense. This is what I have to say. You have asked this frail old man to speak, so I have told you my heart advice. There is a need for this message and the reasoning to be publicized; there is nothing in this message that should be withheld. Dedication: May all sentient beings be happy. May all the lower realms be empty forever. Wherever the Boddhisattvas live, May this prayer be realized. Interview by Tibetan Volunteers for Animal Rights (TVA) on May 29th , 2005, in Nepal Transcribed by Ven Khenpo Dorjee Tsering and Jamphel Rabten | Translated by Chonyid Zangmo Published at www.shabkar.org with kind permission of TVA
  10. Tashi delek, I am sending you something from Trangu Rinpoche on this topic. ( see below the text ) Hotest news on this topic is that at the beginning of this january there was a meeting between H.H. Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje and Sharmar Rinpoche in Delhi. Also other Rinpoches were present. As it looks like Sharmar Rinpoche is giving up his candidate. VEN. 9TH KHENCHEN THRANGU RINPOCHE Talks on The Karmapa Controversy An interview with Thrangu Rinpoche on the Karmapa controversy was translated to English Language by TDSPJ Translation Team which was originally in Chinese prepared by For You Information magazine. The interview was arranged by Karma Choying Kunkyab Ling and given to the Chief Editor of For You Information magazine, Venerable Guang Chao at Karma Choying Kunkyab Ling, on 24th May 2000. There is this controversy on the identification of the 17th Karmapa within the Kagyu Lineage. Two senior disciples of the 16th Karmapa have identified two different boys as the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa. Tai Situ Rinpoche has identified Urgyen Trinley Dorje from Tibet whereas Sharma Rinpoche has identified Thaye Dorje from India. As a result, there now appears to be two 17th Karmapas. This has given rise to much confusion amongst the disciples. What is worse is that when the Khenpos and Rinpoches of the Kagyu Lineage were asked to clarify the situation by their disciples, they mostly said they recognised both of them. But Tai Situ Rinpoche and Sharma Rinpoche do not recognise each other's choice as the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa. I think controversial matter of this kind should be clarified by religious elders of the Kagyu Tradition. Recently, I was honoured with an opportunity to interview Thrangu Rinpoche. Not only is he a religious elder, he was also a religious teacher of Situ Rinpoche and Sharma Rinpoche. I think he is the best qualified Kagyu religious elder to clarify and inform us the truth. Q. Has there ever been such a problem within the Karmapa Lineage? A. HH The Karmapa is the first to reincarnate in the history of mankind. (A reincarnation is known as a Tulku in Tibetan) HH has the longest lineage and the present Karmapa is the 17th reincarnation. Upon his passing, every Karmapa will go to the pure land and then in keeping with his aspirations, he will return to this world. There were questions as to who was the real Karmapa during the 8th, 10th and 12th reincarnations. However, by relying on their faith in the Karmapa and their determination to support and protect HH, the disciples were able to resolve the matter on all the three different occasions. In the end, none of the incidents became a big problem. Q. Why were there controversies and why did they not become problems? What were the reasons? A. Usually, at the beginning of such a problem, there are two groups of people. Those in the first group do not have the capability and the psychic ability to identify the reincarnation of the Karmapa. Neither do they have the wisdom. What they rely on is their gift of the gab and mundane skill. So they doubt and question who really is the Karmapa. Those in the other group are true practitioners with accomplishment. Their wisdom enables them to know very clearly who is the real Karmapa. The moment there are these two different groups of people, there will be disagreement. The Karmapa is the embodiment of Sakyamuni Buddha and all the Boddhisatvas and their spiritual activities and accomplishment. Therefore, he is supra-mundane and is not at all disturbed by such disagreements. Consequently, none of them ever became a problem. Q. According to Rinpoche, the controversy will eventually be resolved owing to the quality and merits of the Karmapa. But before that, disciples of the Karmapa are thrown into a state of disarray and confusion. Therefore, it is hoped that religious elders of the Kagyu Tradition, like Rinpoche, will enlighten the Kagyu followers. From Rinpoche's point of view, how do they ascertain exactly who is the real Karmapa? If they do not know how to do it, they may not know their real Karmapa for therest of their life. A. This is an important matter. It is a matter concerning the lineage of the whole tradition. I would like to use a simple analogy as an illustration. Assuming that there are two apples on the table, one of them is a real apple and the other, a fake. Should we be hungry for food, it would be good if we picked the real apple and threw away the fake. If we had done otherwise, we would go hungry. It is the same with the case of ascertaining correctly who is the real Karmapa and who is not. The consequences of a mistake are grave. Who has the ability to identify the real Karmapa and to teach the disciples how to differentiate? It is my duty and also the duty of the religious elders and senior Rinpoches within the Kagyu Lineage. I want to take up this responsibility now. I want to inform all my disciples unambiguously who is the real Karmapa and who is the Karmapa they must follow in their Dharma practice. At the moment, two Karmapas have surfaced, one from India and the other from Tibet. In terms of worldly affairs, I have nothing to do with them. I am in Nepal. But in the course of my lineage practice, I constantly prayed to the 16th Karmapa for his help to enable me to know clearly and deeply in my mind who is the real 17th Karmapa. Praying with pure motivation and with the blessings of the 16th Karmapa, I have concluded with absolute certainty that Urgyen Trinley Dorje from Tibet is the17th Karmapa. I have reached this conclusion from my own practice and the blessings of the Karmapa. We could also determine who is the real 17th Karmapa from the following: First, there was a great Tibetan terton by the name of Chogyur Lingpa. In the record of his vision of the prophecies revealed to him, there are clear descriptions of various events in the life of the 1st to the 21st Karmapa. These descriptions include place of birth of the Karmapas and the names of their respective parents. According to this record of prophecies, Urgyen Trinley Dorje of Tsurphu Monastery is the real Karmapa. Secondly, when I was with the 16th Karmapa, he wrote a prediction letter about his reincarnation when he was on his way to India from Tibet. After he arrived at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, he also wrote a letter in poetic form predicting his reincarnation. I had read both the letters myself. The first of the two letters stated clearly that Urgyen Trinley Dorje of Tibet is the 17th Karmapa. The second letter written in Rumtek, which I had read, again stated clearly that Urgyen Trinley Dorje of Tibet is the 17th Karmapa. Thirdly, all the highly realized monks of the Vajrayana Buddhism, like HH the Dalai Lama, HH Sakya Trizin and many other compassionate religious practitioners, have in their wisdom said that Urgyen Trinley Dorje of Tibet is the 17th Karmapa. I feel very fortunate to have obtained so much pure evidence; to have found the 17th Karmapa; to be able to prostrate to him. I hope all of you will generate pure motivation and also hope all of you will know that Urgyen Trinley Dorje is the 17th Karmapa. Consciously discard the fake apple. Reach for the real one. You will reap tremendous benefit. Q. Rinpoche said that the great terton master Chogyur Lingpa had written down prophecies about the 1st to the 21st Karmapa. What had he written about the prophecy for the 17th Karmapa? A. Chogyur Lingpa was a contemporary of the 13th Karmapa. The predictions were really for the 14th through to the 21st reincarnations. On the prediction about the 17th Karmapa, not much was written. Nevertheless, several important points were recorded. The first important point in the record mentions that the Karmapa was together with Tai Situ Rinpoche on a mountain with plenty of rocks and lush trees. Their minds are inseparably joined as one. On the 15th Karmapa, the record states that he achieved great accomplishment in his yoga practice of meditating on the bindus. The fact that the 15th Karmapa had dakinis with him showed that he did engage in the yoga practice mentioned in the prediction. The prediction on the 16th Karmapa was rather special. The record mentions a double storey building. The 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was seated on the ground floor and a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha was placed on the first floor. This illustration clearly shows that the 16th Karmapa was a very pure bikkhu. It also shows that the 16th Karmapa had many pure bikkhu disciples. The description that the 17th Karmapa is together with Tai Situ Rinpoche is meant to show there is disagreement in this reincarnation and the mind of the 17th Karmapa and the mind of Tai Situ Rinpoche are inseparable from each other. Q. On the basis of the predictions made by Chogyur Lingpa, Rinpoche has concluded that Urgyen Trinley Dorje, who is together with Tai Situ Rinpoche, is the real Karmapa. In addition, Rinpoche has mentioned that you had read the two letters written by the 16th Karmapa. Could Rinpoche kindly tell us in detail the contents of these two letters? A. The first letter consisting of two pages was written by the 16th Karmapa when he was in Tibet. After his arrival in Sikkim, he asked a printing company called Camata to print quite a number of copies. Many had the chance to read this letter. The second letter was written in Rumtek, Sikkim. Again many had the chance to read it. After reading it himself, the Abbot of the Rumtek Monastery asked the Karmapa for permission to have the second letter printed for wider circulation. Not agreeing to have too many copies around, the Karmapa allowed only 50 copies to be made. The common salient point in these two letters was the mention of the return of the 16th reincarnation to Tibet. In particular, the first letter said, "I am now in India, but I will return to Tibet very soon". The second letter also mentioned he would return to Tibet very soon. However, in his conversation with his disciples, he usually said, "I will not go back to Tibet". But in both his letters, he said, "I will return to Tibet very soon". Later on, his disciples realized that the main reason for him to say he would return to Tibet soon was to state his prediction that he would be enthroned in Tibet. Q. Rinpoche has given such invaluable information and insights to prove that Urgyen Trinley Dorje is the real Karmapa. Since it has been proven as such, how is Sharmapa able to oppose it? As he is a former student of Rinpoche, what reasons does he have to oppose and insist on different views from his former teacher? A. Before the 17th Karmapa was identified, I had spoken to Sharma Rinpoche regarding identifying the reincarnation. I had advised him not to do it (carrying out a different identification); not to create problem. For the sake of our master and for the sake of making a decision on this important matter, I hope all involved will disregard their own views and self-interest. But his relative (who has since passed away) was adamantly against my suggestion. Sharma Rinpoche did not accept my advice any more. Owing to those factors, I do not feel I should advise him again after that. This is because a practitioner of any Vajrayana method has no need to argue with anyone in his search for his master and refuge. This is very important. Q. I heard that Sharma Rinpoche had wanted to have the letter written by the 16th Karmapa examined by scientific methods. What was his reason that prompted him to make such a demand? A. The two letters mentioned earlier were not the prediction documents that Sharma Rinpoche wanted examined. Regarding forensic examination of the prediction documents, I personally think it is unnecessary, because the documents on reincarnation left by the past 15 Karmapas had never been subjected to forensic examination. Whenever there was a controversy, the disciples would finally resolve it with their faith in the Karmapa and his blessings. Similarly, in the present case, there is no need to have the documents examined by forensic experts. As a matter of fact, many high ranked monks and practitioners have through their compassion and wisdom pointed out clearly who is the Karmapa. All we need to do is to abide by what they say. Furthermore, forensic examination is used against criminals. The documents of prediction left behind by Karmapas are not only sacred but also blessed. Examining them as though they are documents left behind by criminals is rather strange from the religious point of view. On the basis of these two reasons, forensic examination of the documents is unnecessary. Q. Now there are two Karmapas in India. One of them is real and the other is not. Has Rinpoche considered enthroning Urgyen Trinley Dorje, wearing the black hat, at Rumtek Monastery in a ceremony attended by Their Holinesses, Rinpoches and Khenpos invited from the various schools of the Vajrayana Tradition in order to obtain their recognition? Is there such a plan? A. On the crowning with the black hat, it will be accomplished in due course, irrespective of whether we work hard towards it or we do not. Why? Because of his compassion and his aspiration to carry on with his Dharma activities to liberate all sentient beings, the Karmapa has returned to our fold of his own free will. With the power of such blessing, all Dharma activities of this nature will naturally come to fruition. There is no need for us to worry. Q. Quite a number of Karma Kagyu disciples are followers of Sharmapa. If after hearing your teaching, and they believe Urgyen Trinley Dorje is the real Karmapa, how are they going to face their teacher Sharmapa? A. The crux of the matter is the Karmapa lineage. It has to do with the purity of the whole Kagyu Lineage. This is because of the fact that in the Kagyu Lineage, the continuous transmission of all the blessing, Dharma practice, method, initiation, oral transmission, mantra and teaching come from the unbroken lineage of the Karmapas. In other words, if the Karmapa Lineage from the first to the 17th reincarnation is pure, then we will receive pure blessing in our practice. We can thus see that purity in the lineage is extremely important. This is the reason why we want to follow Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje. If disciples of Sharmapa Rinpoche realise that the person chosen by him is not the real Karmapa and still think it is fine for them for as long as they follow Sharma Rinpoche because the issue of the real and fake Karmapa is immaterial to them, then their thinking is very wrong. As a matter of fact, they are cheating themselves. If you believe Urgyen Trinley Dorje is the Karmapa, your faith and the blessing of your master will quite naturally take you close to Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje. In such a situation, you will naturally leave Sharma Rinpoche. At this juncture, I must clarify that I am not giving this teaching from the side of Tai Situ Rinpoche. I am not saying all this to show support for Tai Situ Rinpoche or Gyaltsab Rinpoche. Neither am I trying to criticize Sharma Rinpoche or negate his stand. The real purpose of this discussion today is to explain clearly that in Vajrayana practice, in whom we take refuge is the most important matter. The person/image to whom we express our aspiration and say our prayer must be a clear and pure one. This is very important. A clear and pure person/image will be of tremendous help to the practitioners. If the person in whom we take refuge and to whom we say our prayer is a wrong one, then there will not be much good result in our practice. This point is what I want to stress very strongly today. My purpose is to let Karma Kagyu practitioners know where their true refuge is. I hope all of you understand clearly the purpose of today's discussion is about true refuge. This topic is being discussed from the angle of Dharma practice. Q. According to Rinpoche's teaching, Karma Kagyu practitioners take refuge in the Karmapa and visualize him as their Root Guru. If they take Sharmapa as their master and also believe Thaye Dorje as the Karmapa, then there should not be any problem. In the case of Karma Kagyu disciples who do not believe in Thaye Dorje but believe in Urgyen Trinley Dorje as the Karmapa, are they then betraying their master? How should they resolve this in their practice? A. I do not take side, but I want to tell Kagyu disciples they must determine the correct spiritual path they want to follow in their Dharma practice. This is the most important thing to do. If we are Sharmapa's disciples on the one hand and are doubtful about his ways on the other, we still have no need to criticize him. There is also no need for us to stay put and continue to learn Dharma from him. If you have faith in Urgyen Trinley Dorje, you will immediately and naturally turn to him for Dharma teaching. Q. If disciples of Sharma Rinpoche take refuge in Urgyen Trinley Dorje in their Dharma practice, from which Khenpos and Rinpoches should they learn Dharma? A. There is no need for them to criticise Sharma Rinpoche, but they can learn Dharma from many Rinpoches of Urgyen Trinley Rinpoche. How does one find a new guru? In order to find a guru, one must keep on observing. When the speech, conduct and Dharma teaching of a teacher make you feel that his lineage is pure, you will develop the confidence to learn Dharma from him. If a Rinpoche says, "come, be my disciple", then something is not quite right with that Rinpoche. If one is not able to tell who is the real Karmapa and who is not, can one visualize both of them as Karmapas in one's practice? There is a Tibetan saying: "one cannot succeed with two minds; one cannot sew with two needles". Two minds means the absence of single-mindedness; one therefore cannot hope to achieve much. It is the same with visualizing Karmapa in Dharma practice. There are two types of people who visualise two Karmapas. The first type is made up of people who have no faith in either one, but have the belief that one of the two is the real Karmapa. As a result, their motivation for practice is only 50%. Their result reaped in the future will not be complete. Those in the second type are people who practiced under the 16th Karmapa. They are not sure if the 16th Karmapa has reincarnated and returned to the human realm. They think that whatever the situation is, it is best for them to follow the 16th Karmapa. Since he already passed away, they now visualize two 17th Karmapas and seek refuge under both. Their thinking is very erroneous. Nobody should visualize seeking refuge with a muddled head. There must be clear conviction in only one Karmapa and also in his return. In the 17th Karmapa one should take refuge. I am Thrangu Tulku. Whether my reincarnation is one or many does not affect the Karma Kagyu Tradition very much. In the case of Karmapa, all along there is only one reincarnation at any one time. This is what the disciples must firmly believe. Q. Assuming that every disciple of the 16th Karmapa feels that since he took refuge in the 16th Karmapa and received the methods and Sadhanas from him, so he does not need to care who is the 17th Karmapa and in his practice, he just follows everything the 16th Karmapa taught him, can he do that? A. This is illogical. Take an example. I had faith in my father when I was of the age of 1 to 30. From 30 to 40 years old, I did not have faith in him. Then you tell me I still have faith in my father! Maybe. In the case of the Karmapa Lineage, Karmapa's disciples must have sincere faith in the first Karmapa and in all his reincarnations, as well as the firm belief that the lineage is continuous and unbroken. Q. Rinpoche has repeatedly said that there is only one Karmapa. But I have heard recently that Karmapa could have body, speech, and mind reincarnations. There could be many Karmapa reincarnations. Is there only one Karmapa (at any one time) or are there many? In the Karmapa history, were there cases of a Karmapa giving rise to many reincarnations after he passed away? A. When some lamas took rebirth, they manifested body, speech, and mind reincarnations in order to expand their work of liberating all sentient beings wider. As for Karmapa, there is only one reincarnation at a time. Q. Lastly, there have been many Khenpos and Rinpoches who come to Singapore to spread the dharma. When asked who is the real Karmapa, they will as a rule not say whom they support. The reason is that they are on good terms with Sharma Rinpoche and do not wish to offend anybody. What are Rinpoche's views on these lamas? A. There are indeed many Karma Kagyu lamas who give people the impression that they are neutral, not offending either parties. Lamas of this category do not really care for the practice of their disciples. They also do not really want to teach their disciples the correct Dharma. When you tell your disciples a particular Dharma teaching is correct, you cannot tell them in an ambiguous manner. You cannot have hesitation and reservation. Personally, I am not bothered by people's criticism that I am always for the protection of Urgyen Trinley Dorje. My genuine concern is whether every of my disciples can follow a pure lineage and from this pure lineage, develop boddhicita and compassion for the attainment of enlightenment. My aspiration in giving Dharma teaching is to look after and care for every sentient being.
  11. H.H. Karmapa ON NOT EATING MEAT (1) Kagyu Monlam, Bodhgaya, January 3, 2007 I want to talk about vegetarianism. Since I have about half an hour, so I thought I should talk about being vegetarian. It is not easy to talk too much about being vegetarian, to give up meat. It is very important nowadays to give up eating meat. I think it is very important to know how to think about eating meat and how to put it into practice. (H.H. Karmapa reciting prayers) Now I should start to talk about this because half an hour is about to finish. Again to begin with we say the prayers: (Prayer recitation) Generally, those who are ordained, if you ask whether the eating of meat is allowed for the monks or not, when you ask this question, some people say that it is not allowed, because if there is some people who are eating meat, then there will be people who will kill those animals and if there is nobody eating this meat, then there will be nobody who would kill animals for having meat. So therefore eating meat is very much related to killing and therefore the negative deed of killing is very much caused by eating meat. Now whether that is true or not is something different. That is the situation. If there are people who are using the pearls, then these people who use the pearls cause the killing of the shellfish. And also those people who wear certain kind of dresses, people who wear brocades - silk is also made by certain animals or certain insects - so anybody who is wearing these clothes or anything that is coming from animals [is also killing animals]. And also if there is nobody who eats meat, then because of the eating things like grains and so forth, also this causes lots of insects under the earth to come up on the earth and then all those beings living on top of the earth go below and therefore cause a lot of beings to die. Because there are sheep, there will be people who are killing the sheep. So therefore, being a sheep is also a problem, a kind of source of the negative deed. Just being one cause cannot be the same as being the actual deed of negative things. There was once a person in China, who used to butcher pigs. Each day he used to kill a pig and used to make his sword red. Sometimes he thought, "Why should I do this? Each day I am killing a pig." And he thought, "It's not because I want to kill the pig but because other people want to eat [the meat] and need the pig and therefore that's why I'm killing it," and so he was consoling himself that it's not too bad. There was a monastery nearby and in the monastery there was a big bell and every morning when the bell rang he got up went to kill the pig. And then one morning, he overslept and woke up late. And when he went late to kill the pig, the pig that he was supposed to kill already had 10 piglets. Then, because that morning there was no bell rung, he went to the Khenpo [of the monastery] and he asked him, why was it that this morning there was no bell rung and he asked the Khenpo, why he did not ring the bell. And then the head monk told him that he had a dream last night and in the dream he met ten beings and they came and asked the monk, "Please save ten of us." And then the monk asked, "How do I save you piglets?" And the piglets said, "The only thing you need to do is not to ring the bell this morning and then you save all of us." "And for this reason I did not ring the bell," the monk said to the butcher. When the butcher heard this, he was very moved and stopped killing any pigs from that time onward. So what I am saying is that ringing the bell became a cause for killing the pigs. And so therefore, sometimes it may also happen that we should not ring a bell because otherwise somebody might kill a pig. So only being one condition, cannot become the real cause of the problem. That is not logical. But whether the Buddha allowed the monks to eat meat or not, in the Vinaya it is mentioned that there are certain ways of being able to eat meat, and certain kinds of meat cannot be eaten and it is also mentioned that those kinds of meat that usually cannot be eaten, can be eaten in some circumstances. There are things like that. But generally, I think, it is very important in the Mahayana, not to eat meat. In the Vinaya they talk about the three kinds of pure ways of making meat. That eating meat should be free from three kinds of ???, then it is allowed to be eaten. For example if is not killed for yourself and things like that. But because you are so much attached and so much craving for the taste of the meat, you might not know whether this meat is especially dedicated for you or not. Because sometimes people are so much attached to the meat that they go and ask other people, "Please give me some meat." When I was young I was also very attached. I liked meat very much. My meat and that of the Labrang finished very quickly. And then sometimes there was still some meat in the monks' kitchen because the monks were more careful. Then I went and asked them to send some meat from the monks' kitchen. Because I was eating meat I also influenced other people to eat meat. If I like meat then people around me are also kind of influenced by me, because I give meat. I said, "I would like some momos. Let's go and have some meat momos." And so other people would also eat meat momos. So therefore the Buddha said that Bodhisattvas should not eat any meat. Because we have so much strong attachment and habitual tendencies to eat meat, therefore, for the beginner Bodhisattvas, it is very good not to eat meat. When we go to a restaurant and order some chicken, then we do not know whether they already have some chicken prepared for us or they have to kill the chicken. And therefore it is said that a Bodhisattva should not eat meat. That's how it is said. And when you talk about Bodhisattvas here, we are not talking about the great Bodhisattvas like Chenresig and Chana Dorje and great kind of Bodhisattvas who are in higher bhumis, but just ordinary Bodhisattvas like ourselves who can be called Bodhisattvas and who wish to work for the benefit of sentient beings. According to the Bodhisattvayana, it is said that even if à¯Ã‚›meatà¯Ã‚ is pure from the three ways as allowed in the Vinaya, even those kinds of meat, the Bodhisattvas or the beginner Bodhisattvas should not eat. Because of our having too much attachment to the taste therefore unknowingly we will kind of commit mistakes. Therefore it is not good to eat meat. Therefore it has been prohibited to eat meat in the Bodhisattvas Way of Life. When you say this, it is not that because eating meat is allowed in the Vinaya, it does not mean that the Vinaya is not good. It is not like that. We have to see every being as our own son, our own child, and therefore, when we eat meat, it is like, just for our food we are giving up the sentient beings whom we are supposed to treat like our own children. And for this reason this way of using the meat for our food, is a little bit like not only something that is prohibited or something looked down from the Bodhisattva's point of view, but it is also something that is regarded à¯Ã‚›asà¯Ã‚ÂÂÂà¯- not good from the Shravakayana's point of view. First, maybe, I should drink the tea. (Prayers) Meat that you have either seen or you have heard or you are doubtful about whether this animal is killed for your consumption: That is not pure. That meat is impure. Meat that is not killed for you, as we said before, the three reasons, even if à¯Ã‚›the animalà¯Ã‚ÂÂÂà¯- was not killed for you and you haven't seen or heard the animal, or you have no doubt, that the à¯Ã‚›à¯- animalà¯Ã‚ was not killed for you, even then it is not permitted to eat à¯Ã‚›meatà¯Ã‚ in the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. But in Tibet, of course, we usually eat the meat that is dedicated for us. In Tibet, if a big lama or some lama goes to the village, they will immediately kill a sheep or kill a yak and then the lama says some mantras and everybody thinks that's okay. That is not good. Even if the lama is very good and thinks that it is okay, it is not okay because the Buddha said that one should not eat any meat that has been specially dedicated for oneself and especially killed for the consumption of oneself. That is why. There was once a lama in Amdo, a Jonang Lama, and one man came to have his chang blessed. Chang means alcohol. This man came to the lama with some alcohol and then asked him to bless it because he thought that if it is blessed, then he can drink it. The lama said, "I do not know how to that. I don't know how to bless it." Then the lama said, "If that is the case, in Tibet sometimes they kill a yak by suffocating it and if you suffocate an animal and then bless it, does it not die? In the same way, I cannot bless the alcohol in such a way that you can drink it without having any problem." Therefore, whether it is in Tibet [or somewhere else], whether the lama or the person is very highly realized, even then one has to act according to the law and the precepts that have been prescribed by the Buddha. There are also many great masters and very realized beings in India, and there have been many great realized beings in Tibet also, but they are not saying, "I am realized, therefore I can do anything. I can eat meat, I can drink alcohol." It is nothing like that. It should not be like that. According to the Kagyupa school, we have to see what the great masters of the past, the past Kagyupa lamas, did and said about eating meat. Drikung Kyoba (name???) Rinpoche, master of Drikungpa, said like this, "My students, whoever is eating meat or calling it Tsog, then these people are completely deserting me, à¯Ã‚›theyà¯Ã‚ are completely going against the dharma." I cannot explain each of these things, but he said that anybody who is using meat and saying that this is something good, this is completely against the dharma and against him, they have nothing to do with the dharma. He said it very, very strongly. Other great masters also said this. And each of them said that if anybody eats meat and thinks that this is allowed, that this is nothing bad, you cannot even dream like that, because this is something that is never good and never right. In some places it is said that if somebody has a great method by which he can liberate beings whose meat he eats, only then might that person eat [meat] according to the Vajrayana. Otherwise, other than that, you cannot eat meat. According to Karma Chagme Rinpoche, we talk about using the five meats and the five amritas, "If somebody is completely realised, then only can one eat meat." And then, if you say that many things are mentioned about this in the Vajrayana, in Vajrayana lots of things are mentioned about the five meats and the five amritas and things like that. What is this? He said that this is only for the most advanced people. For instance, if you put some excrement and some urine on the altar, then that it is very bad. It smells [bad], we do not like it and we feel like vomiting. Making offerings is not for the fulfilment of the great masters, [something to please the great masters], that they are hungry and thirsty and then we have to give things to them. It is not like that. Why we have to offer is to accumulate positive deeds for us. Mikyo Dorje, the Karmapa Mikyo Dorje, also said that if you offer meat during the Gyutor??? and things like that, for the Mahakala Puja, [if] you put some meat or some alcohol and things like that, he very strictly prohibited that. He said, "If you do that, then I am not your lama. Then you are not my disciples or my followers. Completely not." In all our monasteries, wherever, in all Kamtsang monasteries, the Karmapa said like this, you do not need to make any offerings of meat and alcohol, maybe you can put some fruits. I have heard, that in Sikkim during the Gyutor??? or the Mahakala Puja, you must put some meat. If Mahakala himself comes, maybe, he will eat some meat, maybe that's okay. But if we do that for Mahakala, make an offering of meat and alcohol to Mahakala, that's completely useless, that is not good. Again, Mikyo Dorje said in Tuton Gytsa??????? that there are eight things to be given up by the monks, like meat, alcohol, weapons, and things like that. I can't remember all of them, but this is what has been described in Do Palmo Che?????, Most important about this is the meat, alcohol, and weapons. These you can't even look, he said. If you don't give up these eight things, then you don't belong to Kagyupa, he said. Then you just go away or sit somewhere else. That is how it's said. If you eat meat, you are not included in Kagyupa. So we don't know whether we are Kagyupas or not. Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye also - [The Fourth] Jamgon Kongtrul is here-, said again and again before he died, that he is always praying that he will be reborn as somebody who would not eat meat anymore. There are lots of things to read, there are lots of quotations. We should put it into action. How to put it into action? ???, ???, ???three Sutras, in all of these sutras, eating meat has been very clearly prohibited. And even those places, where eating meat was just merely allowed, it was not that it was encouraged to eat meat. Nobody said that eating meat is good or eating meat is no problem. It was just said, that those people who have too many difficulties not to eat meat, then eating meat was kind of merely allowed. Something like that. Then in Tibet, Kagyu, Nyingma, Sakya, Gelug, and the Jonang, I haven't read too much about Bonpo, but all these places, eating meat was very strongly prohibited. There is something that I want to tell about myself personally: When I was young, about 11 or 12, someone who knew palmistry looked at my hand: "When you are 23, 24, there will be a big obstacle." At that time I was young and did not think about it. I forgot about it. Then I came to India, about 5 or 6 years ago. It happened after. Then I had a dream. [in that dream] a lama said that somebody who did palmistry also told me, that there is an obstacle. "Don't you remember?" he asked me. I said, "I remember." Then he said, "There is an obstacle for your life." Usually I am not very afraid of death. I am a Khampa, so I pretend to be a little bit brave. In that dream [however] I was very scared. When I woke up, my heart was just beating very fast. That was a dream. I feel also that there is some obstacle. And also for people like me, if I live long, I do not know, whether it is of much use or not, but from eight years of age until now, I have been raised by the monasteries and the dharma and my only intention is to be able to serve a little bit the dharma, and the Sangha, and the monasteries. All my intentions and actions have not been too negative so far. If everything goes well, I would like to, I aspire to serve the dharma and the beings. To get rid of this obstacle, I feel that the most important thing is to save lives and therefore not to eat meat. So I feel that is the most important thing. Whether you look at it from the general point of view or from the specific point of view, it is very important not to eat meat. And also, this year or next year, the obstacle year of H.H. Dalai Lama also is happening. Especially last year he completely prohibited wearing the skins of wild animals and things like that. Now it is very important to do those things. But how can we do this? I have some proposals: First breathe out, breathe out strongly. If you are Kamtsang, whether you are a monk or nun or whether you are a layperson, you should not do business in meat, through buying animals, and killing them and then selling the meat. So never make a business by selling meat. That's one thing. That's very important. That is not only for those who are in India. There are lots of people in Tibet who are doing this. I have heard that even some tulkus are doing this kind of business. Regarding Tsurphu-Monastery, everything got destroyed but the slaughterhouse is still there, that still remains. There should not be a slaughterhouse. We should make every effort that there is no slaughterhouse wherever there is a Kamtsang Monastery. I usually think about the whole Kagyu, but first thing we have to talk about is Kamtsang. So there should not be a slaughterhouse in the compound or anywhere which is belonging to the monastery. That should not be. That is not only for the monks or nuns, but for anybody who is claiming to belong to or to follow the Kamtsang tradition. Everybody should keep this in mind. Now for the monks and nuns: Again you have to breathe. [Monks and nuns should not] cook meat in a big way. I was looking at a western magazine, and I saw about ten monks cutting meat. And it looks as if they making so much meat and cooking so much meat. Sometimes you have to do a little bit, but to cook lots of meat for big gatherings, especially wearing the robes, this should not be done. That doesn't look good also. Usually we say that there is no being who has not been our father or mother, and then going to the butcher, wearing robes and buy meat, when you go to the butcher, the only reason is to buy meat. We should lessen going to the butcher. If you really, really need to buy some meat, then you should ask some other people to buy it. Monks in their robes going to the butcher and buying meat look very bad. And then you should lessen the eating of meat. Generally, we eat three times a day. So therefore, we should eat meat only once a day and not with all the meals. Or something like that. Or we should say something like "I will eat meat only once a month," or something like that. Tibetans usually think that kind of special days are very important, like the 15 th day, or full moon day, or new moon day, or Chotrul Dawa, or Saga Dawa. There are people who do not eat meat on those days. Some people give up meat altogether, but some people cannot. But at least one should reduce it. Because in the society, if everybody is eating meat, then it is very difficult to give up meat, but if there is a society and the whole environment is not eating meat, then it is easy not to eat meat. But if everybody is eating meat, then it is not easy to give up eating meat. In the next session I will ask you, how many of you will eat meat for only one meal and not in the two other meals. Those who will do that, should raise their hands. I don't have to see all of them, but you have to make the promise to yourselves. Then, [i will ask] how many of you would like to give up meat on special days and then how many of you would give up meat for all the time? So you have to think. [but] there is nothing much to think about. You just have to decide. Thinking too much is not very useful, you just have to decide. I thought that I will talk about this [eating meat] on the first day [of the Kagyu Monlam] and then give some time for you to think it over, but I think it is not really necessary to do that, there is not much time. Another thing I have forgotten is that any monastery that belongs to Kamtsang Kagyu, the monastery kitchen cannot and should not make any food with meat. And if you bring meat and cook it in the monastery kitchen, then that means that you are not taking me as your teacher, your are not belonging to Karma Kagyu. And there is nothing to discuss about that. That's finished. That is very important. Especially in Tibet, before it was very, very difficult, but now, because of the kindness of the Chinese, it is not so difficult. It is not that there is only meat you can eat, there are some other things also. There are vegetables and things like that. You have to think, eating meet is not good, eating meat is dirty, eating meat is bad for your health. This kind of way of looking at it has to be cultivated. It is good for the long life of H.H. the Dalai Lama and also for Apo Gaga. You can use my name also. If you want Apo Gaga to live a little longer, then it is useful not to eat meat. And your own Tsawai Lama, your own root guru, and all the great beings, if you want them to live long, the best way, the best method is to reduce meat or not to eat meat. In the next session, once you make the commitment, then you should really keep it. If you make the first commitment very clearly and very strongly, then your second commitment will be good and the third also, and so on. So you have to make the first commitment extremely clear. [However] you should not make the first commitment unless you can really keep it or you are determined to really keep it. (Prayer recitation) H.H. Karmapa ON NOT EATING MEAT (2) Kagyu Monlam, Bodhgaya, January 3, 2007 So we dedicate for the dead people all the positive things that the person who died performed in his life and before and after and all the positive things that his survivors, his relatives and his friends have done or are doing. So we dedicate all of them for the person who died. So with that understanding let us concentrate on this dedication. This time we have no break. So have you thought about it [not eating meat]? How many of you don't want to eat meat more than once a day? Out of the three meals [per day], how many of you will eat meat only once a day, not more than once a day? How many of you don't want to eat meat more then once a weak? Eat meat only once a weak, don't make it less. How many of you will not eat meat on auspicious days? Like Saga Dawa and so forth. And how many of you don't want to eat meat for a certain number of years, like for one year or for three years? (Clapping) How many of you want to reduce eating meat slowly, slowly and then eventually stop eating meat [completely]? (Clapping) That's good. Regarding the monasteries and the Dharma Centres, please give me a list of the monasteries and the centres outside Tibet and in the western countries, or wherever, please give me a list. I am very happy that you could do so much. I am very delighted. (Clapping) Now you have seen who has raised their hands besides you. Please keep them in your mind. Don't forget them. That's all.
  12. Tashi delek, I can understand your sceptism, but nobody can judge the qualities of a person, as long one is not somewhat clearsighted. To ask at a forum about the qualities of a Lama, well I don`t know if this is a good solution, and if this should be done in a forum as the danger is there to create a lots of negative krama, if one would judge a Bodhisattva wrongly and then influencing all the people in a negative way who are reading the post...... In my eyes the only thing we can do is trying to conclude what is going on in the mind of another person, guessing his realisation, by watchig a person. But even with that we have to be careful, because it could be always different as it seems to be, so we need to keep our mind open in this way if we try to judge somebody: "It could be always different as I perceive." Nevertheless a careful watching is what will help. Of course asking others can be also one way for examining, but people will say different things, so you could just pick the general of what they are saying. For this you need to ask then many people, and it should be people who know Rinpoche very well, not just some people who were once at a teachings. Then there will be always people who like to talk negatively about someone, they are people for whom the whole glass is half empty rather than half full. If you are happen to be a person who is tending to look more for the faults, then I guess such people could influence you more, I mean when 10 are saying good things, but 1 is saying a bad thing, then this 1 negative thing could for you become equal to 10 positive things , if the 1 negative thing is not even overshining ( darkening ) the 10 good things, almost making them as nonexistent.....this especially if you are person who wants everything to be perfect ( which can never be in samsara as there will be always something your ego wont like.) My opinion is that one should not be overloaded with the opinions of others before meeting a person,because when you meet then that person, you will see him through the eyes of others. I think it is important being able to distinguish between what comes from others and what is my own impression. The most important thing is always ones own experience.What you hear from others must be examined; and then please in an open minded way, NOT in a way: I am just waiting for the fault. If we are waiting for to find a fault, we will find it more likely, and maybe we will see as well something as fault which is not a fault, because our perception is already polluted by our waiting for faults. Examining a teacher in the west may not be so easy, as they are traveling a lot and stay in a place in avarage for 2-3 days, and with most Lamas you just get an interview for 5-10min, and in those 5-10 minutes you will be totally occupied to pose the right question and with listening to the master, and then people are knocking on the door, before you could overthink what the master said. Maybe for the next question concering to what he told you in the interview you maybe need to wait 6 months, 1 year or more.If you are lucky you can write him an e- mail, and if you are very luck, he will reply to you quite often. ( depends on how much buzzy he is, how is your karmic connection to him ) So you have actually almost no time in an interview to examine the teacher by asking him personal questions for example to explore if he is sectarian or not.The only thing you can watch is if his advice is helping you or not ( provided you really do ALL what he sayes, and not just half of it as well that you understood him correctly) You have then as a option to listen to his teachings, to examine whether he is really teaching the Dharama or not, and you can ask puplicly question if you have some doubts.....but this is just functioning if you have some knowledge about dharma. I do not think a new comer to Buddism, knowing almost nothing, could descriminate. Such a person can just depend on ones intution, if it is somewhat developed, other on feelings, which are never safe. Concerining Mingyur Rinpoche, I know him since 6 years.First personally and just since last october he is the teacher who is directing my practice according to the advice of H.H. Karmapa. My experience with him is that he is very much oriented to benefit others; he was able to tell me what is going on with me, without that I had to explain him. Just few lamas are able to do like this. What touched me very much was his empathy, I saw his compassion in his eyes when we talked about my suffering, I really had the feeling he is feeling with me, that is healing in itself. His teachings I liked very much. To my knowledge he is an expert for meditation, someone who really has experience. With best wishes Csillag
  13. Tashi delek :hello: It is said : “Your devotion must be such, that your Guru is always present within your mind.” I was little bit contemplating on this sentence. In order to have ones Guru always in ones mind, I guess one must begin by trying to feel his presence all the time and according to the development of ones practice, a visualisation will be added, for example like that described within Guru Yoga. I guess when performing such a practice it could naturally lead to an inward/mental communication with ones guru, for example when one experiences a hard time, one tells him about ones suffering and askes for his blessing to overcome that particular suffering, or when one experiences something very nice, one shares that with ones guru mentally and offers that to him in the form of a mandala. I could imagine that the whole thing becomes such vivid that one could start even to have visions of ones guru or hearing from time to time his voice . I know about few people who were talking about such experienes. . How can one distinguish if someone became crazy/ schizophrenic or not in such a case ? Would you say this depends on whether one becomes with time more and more happier, more and more emotionally balanced or not ? I guess an important factor may be that if one understands that all that what happens ( visions etc ) are just projections of ones mind, nothing to do with the outer guru, it is just a manifestation of ones inner guru and thus one does not develop too much attachment and aversions to such phenomenas. Could it be possible that some people, who are engaging in practices such as Guru Yoga, but who have not sufficient knowledge about the functioning, nature of ones mind, but having such experiences like feeling a presence, having visions etc, could they become carzy with time, as they cannot deal with the experiences properly ? Best wishes Csillag
  14. Tashi delek dear Lama Shenphen Rinpoche, Thank you very much for your answer. Oh, I was not writing clear enough: at the beginning I was talking about lama in its real sence and at the end about just dharma teachers, who have the permission to teach dharma ", like khenpos, geshes, people who did 3 years retreat etc.;-( sorry.Yes, I know that the title lama can be hold by people with different qualifications, not necessary being a lama in its real sence Talking about what a real Lama is, as I know a real lama by definition is someone who has some degree of realisation of emptiness as well of bodhicitta, it is someone who is capable to lead beings towards enlightenment. Idially that person should possess all qualifications mentioned in the tantras/sutras . A lama can be someone who is even not recognized as such by a paper, main thing is that he has the inner qualities.Would you define as a lama someone who needs to abide at least at the first bhumi ? Concerning different tradition, I can just say something about kagyu tradition :As I know within kagyu lineage not everybody becomes a lama who did 3 years reatreat. One needs a special letter for this, given by ones own teacher. Such people with letter are called then "Drup Pe Lama" ( Lama of practice )Not everybody who does 3 years retreat becomes such a paper. Yes but, as you know there are very high Lamas, lineageholder who had at the beginning the qualifications to be a lama in real sence and then it happened to them they broke their samayas. I do not want to mention here names in a forum, but that such people would break their samayas was even predicted centuries in before....So according this even if someone is a lama, the lama can still break his/her samaya when mara catches him. What do you think ? I mean as long someone is not 100% enlightened like the Buddha , mara has still a chance or not ? What would you advice to the following situation: Over a time one met several lamas, dharmateachers establishing with them a spiritual bound. Then someone found his root guru. Would it be then advisable to check up the already established spiritual connections with ones root guru ? But with this there could be one problem: maybe the root guru doesn`t know the other lamas one has connection with ......Could you please also write something about pure view, concerning receiving teaching, personal advices from lamas who are not ones root guru? With best wishes Csillag
  15. Tashi delek Lamas should possess certain qualities which are described within the sutras/tantras. In Vajrayana we can have "one root guru" and aditionally to that some lamas who are transmitting to us the teachings, helping us on the the path. Now if we discover that one of our lamas ( not the root guru ) seems to break one of his/her samayas vows very obviously, lets say by being sectarian, fighting with his vajrabrothers/sisters etc. and lets say it is really a breaking in its full sence, how much does this influence me as a practitioner who has build up a karmic connection with such a lama ? As I can almost never know for 100% that someone was breaking ones samays or not, unless I have developed cleasighted abilities, how much can pure view help me in such the case a lama was really breaking ones samayas? Personally my view is that even if I discover some faults in a particular lineage lama, I have the attitude, that this lama has still some qualities, so I can learn from him/her. If a particular fault is something I can cope with , I feel being able to continue listening to his/her teachings.Especially if I remember the fact that nowadays it is very rare to find a lama with all qualities complete., and that maybe what I consider as a fault is not really a fault. What do you think about this ? Furthermore I was contemplating about that there must be for sure some dharma teachers who think they do right, but in fact they do not, not even recognizing, that they are breaking their samayas or giving wrong informations about dharma. And let`s say those teachers are very much keeping on working on themselves, they are very cincere, making efforts on the path, so they perform everyday as well their confession practice. Having commited out of IGNORANCE a breaking of their samayas, and even if others would tell them: "Hey, are you sure that what you are doing is alright ? "they would continue to think out of IGNORANCE, "No I am not at fault", whereas they are. So they would be the victim of their own ignorance, and in such a case how much does a purification practice work for them ? This interests me very much, as it is said that to have contact with people who are breaking their samayas is the same as oneself would break them. Best wishes Csillag
  16. Dear Lacu I found a teaching from Ringu Tulku on precious human life and how to integrate it. I hope it will be of benefit for you. Best wishes Csillag ..............A real change in ourselves will not take place through an intellectual approach. We need to find the understanding at an intellectual level, then bring it deep into ourselves so that it becomes a real experience. We need to take the meaning of these four Foundations and through meditation and contemplation absorb this understanding until it becomes part of our system. When that happens, then our fundamental outlook, our basic way of seeing things changes. Soon everything else follows. All the other things, our beliefs, our ways of reacting, also change, because these are dependent on this outlook. Until we change our basic way of seeing things, nothing else will change. We may have some information on how things really are, but if we do not use that information we will continue to react in the same way. Only when it becomes our experience, will we be transformed. The only way to absorb it into our experience is to think about it again and again, to familiarize ourselves with it so totally that it becomes part of us. There is no other way. Around 1042, Atisha Dîpankara (982-1084 AD) an Indian scholar and devout Buddhist practitioner, was persuaded to travel across the Himalayas to restore the practice of Dharma in Tibet. Buddhism had been introduced into Tibet in 8th century but had lapsed and followers were no longer integrating the teachings into their daily life. Reform was needed and Atisha devised the practice of "The Four Foundations" or the "Ngöndro Practice". This was found to be so clear and so effective that it has been followed by all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism right up to the present day. It is still recommended for every follower of Tibetan Buddhism, whatever their country or nationality. The "Four Ordinary" or "Preliminary" Foundations I am teaching here are the introduction to the Ngöndro Practice of Atisha Dîpankara. The Precious Human Life "The first meditation topic concerns the precious human life endowed with every freedom and asset. It is difficult to get and can be easily destroyed, so now is the time to make it meaningful." The four leading quotations were translated under the kind and illuminating guidance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche by Katia Holmes, 1980. It is said that the human realm, the human body, is the perfect condition for the practice of Dharma. In this human body we know about unhappiness but we also have some leisure. We are not completely controlled by our own conditions; we have free will and are able to exercise choice. At the same time, we see the problems of others, their troubles and unhappiness: compassion develops within us and the motivation to help. Some people think that being born a human being (as opposed to animal or fish or insect) is only precious if you also have certain favorable conditions. But all human life is precious. Unfortunately we don't always value it or appreciate our good fortune. When we don't realize the true value of something, we don't appreciate it in the right way or use it properly. If you have a crystal glass, but do not know it is crystal, you might just treat it as an old jam-jar. If you know it is crystal and therefore precious, then you will treat it carefully and even if you only use it for drinking water, you will appreciate its beauty and feel proud and happy when you use it. You may only be drinking water, but it is from a crystal glass! When you realize that your life is important, valuable, precious, hard to get and easy to lose you will not idle it away. You will appreciate it more and use it to better purpose. You will not waste it by making yourself uselessly miserable or worrying too much about small things. If something goes wrong, then all right, it goes wrong, but you still have your life, which is very precious. If you understand this deeply, then even if you have nothing else, absolutely nothing except your life, you still have your most important possession. As you know, human beings are considered the most intelligent species on earth - and maybe we are. We can use this intellect, we can use this power for right or wrong; we can use it to destroy ourselves and the whole universe or we can use it to benefit ourselves and others. But whichever way we use it, we have this great power and this great opportunity. To understand deeply the value of our human life means to understand the great opportunity we have to benefit so many people - including ourselves. If we really want to and if we really try, we can even eliminate all our problems. If we can develop that understanding, that conviction, whatever we do will be affected and influenced by it. Moreover, this will not only change the way we look at ourselves but also the way we look at others. When we appreciate ourselves, when we value our own life, then we value others' also. "I appreciate myself as I am so I will not waste my life; and similarly, I shall respect the value of the lives of all other human beings also." If we really see things that way, we could all become pleasant human beings, no? If we first understand this, then think about it over and over again, meditate on it, remember it, and make it part of ourselves, we can actually transform ourselves and become better people. Human life is precious, difficult to obtain and very easy to lose. When you understand that deeply, when you truly appreciate the value of your life, you will feel a great inspiration, a strong urge to use your life purposefully, for yourself and for others. When you really have that understanding, that attitude, it means you have accomplished the First Foundation.
  17. Tashi delek dear Lodreu One reason why it is more easily to break those vows nowadays, is in my opinion also because of the lack of knowledge. We hear at teachings lots about Bodhicitta ; the vows are so easily given, it almost becomes like a fashion to take the vows. Same time one is not really clear about what it entails, one even is not clear about ones own capacity......of course there are books on this topic, so someone who is really interested will find out "with time". ( if it not already too late ). I see a danger in it if Bodgisattva vows are given publicly for a large group, as totally new comers to Dharma could be there, but the same time I understand that circumstances of our modern life may do not allow another solution...... So I wished there would be more teachings about Bodhisattva vows, about Vinaya(morality ) in general. - So here we are at a christian- like situation......;-( ( I think that the original meaning of confessing ones sins to the priest got degenarated with time within christianity ) - So than most of us have to work with a special attention on shine, and on the 4 powers ........ What do you think of the following situation : Lets say in ones past life one took the Bodhisattva vows and tryed to do ones best to maintain it. It is said that the bodhisattva vow continues till future lifes and as Alexander Berzin sayes: "if we have taken the vows in a previous lifetime, we do not lose them by unknowingly committing a full transgression now, unless we have taken them freshly during our current life. Retaking the vows for the first time in this life strengthens the momentum of our efforts toward enlightenment that has been growing ever since our first taking of them. Therefore, Mahayana masters emphasize the importance of dying with the bodhisattva vows intact and strong." So now next life one would renew ones Bodisattva vow, but because of some very bad karma of past lifes ripening he would break ones vow and afterwards purifying it. So now comes the question: Last life the person kept the vow pure but this life not, which kind offect will this have, cosidering the fact that even with confession, purifying ones vow one will not become this lifetime a bodhisattva on a bhumi? What is about the karmic force of having kept the vows intact in past life ? You know why I am asking this, is because I heared something about vajrayana vows: If you take the vows and keep it purely, even if you do not practice it is garanteed that within 16 lifetimes you will reach enligtenment. But within the coming 16 lifetimes, you could break the vajrayana vow, and what is then with enlightenment within 16 lifetimes ? Could such a person still go to Vajra hell ? So in an analogy to this situation I asked for the Bodhisattva vow and with the attempt to understand the functioning of karma more deeply. With kind regards Csillag
  18. Tashi delek, - But I could get angry at somebody while still having the attitude: "But when you will need my help I will be there for you " it could even happen that after I got angry I will sit down and practice for that person specially who annoyed me, or was treating me unfair....... I`ve found the following to the vow "Never to abondon Bodhicitta ", ( see below ) and that is actually the same you`ve mentioned here. But I think to know it really how is it with anger and Bodhicitta, that would be very important, because I remember that I heared something with Bodhicitta in connection to anger. And it is hard for me to believe that with anger I would break my Bodhicitta, but I can imagine, that anger can lead to loosing ones Bodhicitta....... To give up Bodhicitta means to give up the wish wanting to reach Buddhahood fort he benefit of all sentient being and giving up the wish wanting to work for the benefit of all sentient being. Actually with such an attitude one is about to follow the Hinayana motivation. Just the mere thought of wanting to give up the welfare of one single sentient being is enough to loose Bodhicitta. As soon as we turn away inwardly from a person who was treating us unfair, and even if this unfairness is a long time ago, and we`ve already calmed down, but if we keep against this person thought like: “ I will and want to help all sentient beings, but I will for sure not help this person, he is such a bad person, that he doesn`t deserve my help” or “If he needs one day help, I will not be there for him; he can forget about me.” or “ If I would have the chance to prevent him from harm, I wouldn`t do so “ .....if we think like this, have such an attitude, this would mean we are excluding a sentient being, which means that the vow is broken Also to have doubts about ones own ability of being able to hold the Bodhisattva vow, constitues a root downfall, for example as one thinks: “ Oh it seems to be too difficult. I just cannot work for all beings benefit. It is better to give up and to try something else”....... This is a discouraged mental attitude which doesn`t go along /fits with the Bodhisattva vow`s spirit Bodhicitta is lost the moment we exclude one sentient. If we do not apply the antidote within 2h we are loosing our Bodhisattva vow. With kind regards Csillag
  19. Tashi delek, I´ve found the follwing written in a book, ( The Bodhisattva vow by Geshe Sonam Rinchen ) to that I have a question: While the Pratimoksha vow cannot be taken again, once a defeat has been created, the Bodhisattvs vow can fortuanetly be renewed, but nevertheless we shouldn`t think that since it can be taken again, losing the Bodhisattv vow is of no consequence. It is in fact a more serious matter than creating a defeat of the pratimoksha vow. Creating a basic downfall is an obstacle to reaching the Bodhisattva stages called “Bhumis “; one will not become an exalted Bodhisattva in this life nor accumulate the positive energy necessary to become an exalted Bodhisattva. Well if I read that .....then I am asking myself what about when entering into Vajrayana practices ? I mean there are powerful purifying practices. Lets say one is breaking ones Bodhisattva vow, but with time develops spiritually very well and enters Vajrayana, practicing vajrayana quite well, has such a person a possibility to reach enlightenment within this very life or at second best at death ? Or would it be more the case, because of having once broken ones Bodhisattva vow one will not being able to practice vajrayana well in this life ? Could an downfall of the Bodhisattva vow have such an serious effect ? With kind regards Csillag
  20. Did you read or hear somewhere that with a singe instant of anger one can break ones vow "Never to abandon Bodhicitta "? You know why I am asking here is because of the branch vow within the boddhisattva vow concering patience; it says: (4) Dwelling on anger Once we become angry in any situation, we act contrary to our development of patient tolerance if we dwell on it, holding a grudge, without applying opponent forces to counter it. If we apply these forces, such as meditating on love for the objects of our annoyance, but are unsuccessful, we are not at fault. Because we are at least trying, we do not weaken our cultivation of patience. So reading this I became sceptical, I mean for what the branch vow concerning anger if you can break your root bodhisattva vow with a single instance of anger.....that makes no sence. With kind regards Csillag
  21. Tashi delek dear Lama Shenphen Rinpoche Thank you very much for your explanation, I get now an better understanding ! But still I have some remaining questions to karma: Is there a way/possibility to make an distinction between thoughts which are result of past karma and between thoughts which are result of mental factors ? - How can the second ones activate previously accumulated karma ? Could you please give an example for this ? Concering karma the following is little bit unclear to me: On a teaching on karma one Rinpoche teached, that there is karmic seed with different potientiality, for example: A karmic seed which is of 100% will have such an power that you can do whatever you want, you will still experience its consequense. For example the story with the monc who tried to kill a little girl which was predicted as his wife, so he tried to kill her in order that the prediction will not come true. Then thinking that he was killing her he went meditating for his whole life into a cave.....but at the end he could not escape the prediction. ( I don`t know if you know the story ) Then if a karmic seed is of 50% we have a chance in this life to change there something. Concerning the 100% potentional seed, what about the power of purifying practices ? With kind regards Csillag
  22. Tashi delek, Do you just "think" that it is like that or do you know it for 100% sure....? Because if this is so, that with anger you would break the root bodhisattva vow, it would mean that quite frequently or for some people "almost every day", we have to rush to our lama for officially renewing them, having there also some witnesses and if we can`t find a Lama we have to do it in front of a Buddhastatue. I have here a special text for the ceremony of retaking the Bodhisattva vow. I wonder if the the first part of ngöndro would also qualify for retaking the vow as there is somewhat a similarity to that text . With kind regards Csillag
  23. Tashi delek Some time ago, I already started this topic, but I did not really got an reply to my question. So I thought I am trying again. I was reading the following lines, and to these lines I have some questions Q. I thought that everything that happened was caused by Karma, so how is it some things aren't caused by Karma? Mingyur Rinpoche:. Rinpoche says not everything is, it’s about half and half actually, half of it is your previous Karma and then the other half will be the obstacles in this lifetime. Obstacle, so when they say in Tibetan barche its like something is supposed to happen but then the obstacle cuts through that so that the arising of the obstacle so instead of something happening smoothly the obstacle comes and cuts through that smoothness, so that’s the obstacle. Half of it will be the karma from before and half of it will be the obstacles arising in your present life. If one is practising the mind training, the Bodhicitta and one prays to the Three Jewels, then these obstacles can be pacified. If it is due to one's previous Karma then one can’t immediately purify it and remove it. The main point is that through thinking of the emptiness and thinking that one is going to practice in a very strong way then one can purify. If one just prays one cannot purify the Karma. You have to practice too. Q. Isn't it due to previous karma that we get obstacles or not? Why do some people seem not to have them? Mingyur Rinpoche: The majority of things are the Karma but then the obstacles are caused by the different conditions that one meets in one's life so then some people have them some people don’t have so much of them but the majority of things are the Karma. So then if one has this negative Karma from before if one continually supplicates to the Three Jewels and practices then one can purify that. If after supplicating and practising is not able to pacify the suffering associated with the arising of the obstacle then that is due to the Karma and one accepts that, that’s the way to pacify it. Trangu Rinpoche:"........Everything is not karma. There are 2 things, your previous karma and immediate circumstances.Things like physical suffering, whether you have wealth or are impoverished, depend upon your previous karma.Other things like sometimes your state of mind is more dependent upon circumstances than upon karma. For instance, if you have good dharma friends with you, then it might be that your mind is in a good place for practicing and you are quite happy most of the time., whereas when you are around people who are not good for you, then your state of mind will not be good either, your anger will increasei.e. you will be quick to anger.That is called circumstance. Inner obstacles do not come from previous karma. What comes from previous karma are such things as physical suffering, poverty, things like that. Inner obstacles, which are various bad conceptual thoughts, come from previous bad habbits, bad thinking habbits. So to do confession and things like that will not purify inner obstacles. What purifies inner obstacles is for instance contemplation on the 4 thoughts which turn the mind , because it is habitual thinking., a very, very old habit, these inner obstacles. So gradually , as one does the 4 contemplations, thinking about impermanence and also other things, such as the qualities of the buddhas, will gradually change the bad habits of mind, that will clarify the inner obstacles........." Why do circumstances have nothing to do with karma? I mean it could be ones bad karma that one has most of the time bad circumstances..... Until now I believed, that according to that what happenes within me consciously, subconsciously I will meet the suitable circumstances, like I am meeting my reflection in the mirror. I was reading the above explanations more than one time why not everything happenes because of karma, but I am not convinced. Also for meeting many obstacle there must be a reason, there must be a reason why someone is meeting more obstacles than others. There must be a cause. And that the obstacle comes, that is the result. So why is it then not karma ? I do not really understand it. Can someone please help me to understand it ? With kind regards Csillag
  24. Tashi delek, Not to give up Bodhicitta is one of the root vow within the Bodhisattva vows. Concering this vow I have some unclearity/uncertainty: I think I heared once that even to get angry at someone for a short moment is breaking this vow. But I am not sure. To give up a sentient being does this mean "as well "to be angry with a sentient being ? Is it to get angry at someone a definitive break of ones vow (which would then imply that formally one needs to repair the vow ) or is it just a transgression ? Within the branch vows of the Bodhisattva vows I`ve found within a text of Chandrakirti, that there is defiled transgression, transgression without defilement and there is no fault. For example : to reject an invitation Should a Bodhisattva, upon being invited to another`s place and so forth, fail to go constrained by pride, anger or hatred, there is defiled transgression. To fail to go out of laziness or absentmindedness is a transgression without defilement. There is no fault in cases of a distraught mind, exerting discipline by that means, a previous commitment, obligation to continue some wholesome endeavor, when it would interrupt the hearing or teaching of doctrine, the places remote and dangerous, guarding the mind of another, suspecting the invitation was made with malicious intention, suspecting that the patron will come to regret it, or keeping a internaIl rule of community. I wonder if these 3 also apply to the root Bodhisattva vows ( exept giving up Bodhicitta and wrong views )....????? With kind regards Csillag
  25. Dear Simona About influencing each other few thought went through my mind.Actually what I will write here is a quite private thing for me, but maybe it is good too share. When I came more deeply into Buddhism from many sides I was told that I should avoid contact with people from "the other side". I had no problems to accept this, as I knew Lamas from the other side already, also privately, and I had with them bad experiences, also energetically I felt bad. I consulted with time one Rinpoche. He told me clearly that a Lama /Rinpoche who even goes to see Taye Dorje is breaking his samaya with their teacher.This has to do something with the fact that they have samaya, they know about what is going on. I`ve been told this and I cannot say more details to this therefore. For sure you know that to have contact to people who broke samayas is the same as you were breaking your samayas, so a contact to them should be avoided. But people who just get in contact with the other side, they are not breaking their samayas. We could say they just get misleaded. Now there is this energetic thing. I would say, when we have a Lama we get also part of his energy, his mandala. In the past I had the experience that even to meet people from the other side makes me to feel sick, I am loosing my energy or more disturbing emotions are arising ( I `ve been in a dharmacenter of the other side, but I did not met a Lama from the other side ). Others had same experience. But at present I am not sure if this comes now of a subtle paranoja " oh other side " or not. I heared a story from one guy who told me that sudenly in the metro he felt sick and bad, and he didn`t know what`s happening to him. Some time later, just before he was about to go out of the metro he saw a guy of whom he knew he is from the other side. When he got out of the metro, he started to feel better.....so maybe it is not just a subtle paranoja, but it is an energetic phenomena. So I was avoiding to have contact with those people, and one day I got a good work from one lady. During the work she came many times visiting me we also went to have a cup a coffee. I felt good with her.With time it came to the surface that she is Buddhist, and then she told me she is at the other side. I was surprised, because I do not feel bad. She was also surprised that she is not feeling bad with me. We had actually the same fears concerning the other side. It was an interesting talk we had. This is why I was starting to be sceptical concerning the matter avoiding people from the other side and it made me to ask not long time ago the Rinpoche concerning this matter. The answer you know now.But I did not ask him about this energetic phenomena. Maybe his answer to me is just for me. Maybe I changed, and I am not so sensitive anymore then before, it doesn`t harm me anymore to meet people from the other side. That can be a reason. But I don`t know what he would have told to somebody else....... And because of this I would say,one has to check it out for oneself. "How do I feel with a contact to someone, is it contributing to that that my problems, my disturbing emotions just all of sudden increase or not ? Do I start feel sick when I meet a certain person? If yes, maybe it is better than to have a certain distance to that particular person. What do you think ? With kind regards Csillag
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