Guru Vajradhara Chamgon Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche’s
Blessing for theTibetan New Year 2016 – Text version
Today is the first day of the Monkey Fire Year of the 17th Rabjung. Greetings to all of you for this New Year.
When we talk about New Year it means that today a new year is starting in our life. This offers us a great opportunity. The year of the Monkey is a year blessed by Guru Rinpoche, a year linked with Guru Rinpoche in an exceptional manner. In general all the Victors abide in the same wisdom. Other than for us ordinary beings, for the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas there is no such thing as a day that is especially good whilst other days are not that good.
However, people like us, those to be tamed have grasping to a self. We have dualistic grasping. We haven’t dispelled triplicity. So for people like us this is a holy period of time with blessings. With that regard New Year is an important time in one’s life. Therefore taking this opportunity I want to give a general teaching and I also have something more specific to share with you. Now what is it that I want to tell you?
We obtained a precious human life. We are having a precious human life, possessing both freedoms and circumstances. So it is not an ordinary life and for that reason it is important not to waste it. It is important that we apply ourselves as much as we can to accomplish all kinds of good deeds every day, good things and virtue and apply ourselves as much as we can to refraining from all kinds of bad deeds and negativity. We need to do it now. We need to do it every day instead of saying, ”I will do it tomorrow or later”. If we do so we will just spend our life like that. So from the time we take birth until we die we need to go forward like a flying arrow, not go on in circles, not turn back but just move forward. For that reason it is important to waste not even a single day.
What does “not wasting time” mean? We are Buddhists right? So we follow the Buddha Bhagavat, we follow the Dharma taught by the Buddha Bhagavat, we follow the Sangha who is upholding the lineage of the Buddha Bhagavat’s teaching. Lord Buddha’s teachings are about refraining from the ten negative actions, performing the ten virtuous actions and so on, having a pure mind. And to point out the core point: to cultivate bodhicitta and meditate on emptiness. In the same way, to practice the yidams and more generally: to cultivate virtue and refrain from non-virtue. Also, externally: to preserve the personal vows of liberation, internally the bodhisattva vows and secretly the sacred promise of the Secret Mantra etc. All of this is really vast, right? If we know them we have to apply ourselves to all of them. Even if we don’t know about all of them we must know some of them. We should not just commit them with words, not just knowing them or understanding them but we really need to apply them, every day in our daily life. And we need to live our life in accordance and in harmony with the dharma. That is important. By doing so we will give a meaning to this precious human life we obtained. All the merit that we accumulated during our previous lives will not be wasted. It also means being grateful to our parents, being grateful to our teachers. There is no better offering to our Guru. So it is important to do so. That is the general advice I wanted to give you. It is the same for the sangha members; they also have to apply this well.
Every day millions, dozens of millions of people are taking refuge saying, “I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha”. When they say, “I take refuge in the Sangha” it means us, the monks, the nuns, the yogis. Therefore we need to behave in accordance with the title we are holding. If we don’t we won’t be up to the mark. There are dozens of millions who pray to us every day, who address us in their aspirations, who take refuge in us. It is a very heavy load to carry. Since we cannot carry it therefore many obstacles arise and the genuine Dharma doesn’t occur. For that reason we should put our effort into becoming like the Jewel of Sangha. This is important. How to do that? We will know by following what our Root Lama and his lineage Lamas are saying.
Today I have something special to share with you. Why? Because it is something related to the place and the time we are living in. We are living in the 21st century and those called “humans” became the owner of this planet. Since we are the owner of our planet, therefore our planet is under the ruling of the humans. On earth there are lots of human races, animal species etc. There are millions of insect species and all are living under the influence of us humans. For that reason and since we have a strong power over all of them we should act well.
We have this power due to our great merit and if we don’t act honestly in accordance with this status, it is really negative karma. If we commit negative deeds we can see that what we call karma, cause and effect is undeceiving, right? Karma, cause and effect have lots of aspects in them: the experience of the result within this very life; the experience of the result in the next life, the experience in a later one, etc.
Whatever variety there is we can clearly see the relation between cause and effect, karma. The most important on our planet is the weather, isn’t it? And when there is a big climate change, when the weather is bad there are droughts and droughts will threaten our most important basic necessities, right? In this way, when important climate changes are taking place like heavy rains falling in places where there is no use for them, they then create landslides, floods and all kinds of such things. Similarly, when it doesn’t rain in places where it usually rains crops doesn’t grow, animals don’t get the grass they need to eat, etc. Unmeasurable problems arise. Warm places become cold, cold ones become hot. Such climate changes are happening, right? If there were no water on earth we couldn’t do anything. Oceans contain salt water and at the same time we can’t do without drinkable water, without water such as natural spring water. Pure water comes from the snow. Snow comes from the ocean water that evaporates and comes down as snow in high altitude and as rain at a lower altitude. Snow at high altitude accumulates to form glaciers or eternal snow and this is where the water comes from. And all those are irreversibly damaged today. We can see it clearly with Tibet. From the vastest highland on earth a lot of rivers spring forth and those who are in Tibet can see how it all changed. It is the same for all other places on our planet: water, forests, deserts, plains, Snow Mountains, lakes, all are affected, and even the vast oceans are affected. Therefore, we all have to pay attention to that. Because if we don’t … just think of how much change the world climate went through in only one lifetime, such a big change! How will it be in one, two or three hundred years, you see? The relation between action and result is undeceiving. A result comes from a cause. Cause and effect are undeceiving. Therefore each and every one of us should take on the responsibility. We need to do so as much as we can, right now. Because of the merit accumulated in the past we are living in a world where we can find lots of the conditions needed to stay alive. But we are using them and indulge in them. Amongst us there are some who cannot enjoy them the way we do, they don’t indulge in them, they struggle and they live a life in troubles. There are millions of them who don’t even have access to drinking water, enough to eat and a place to stay. We should think about all of them, we should think about all the creatures living on earth. In that way it is very important to pay attention to the environment.
To restore the environment will take dozens of thousands of years and it is also possible that in some places there will be nothing to do to restore it whilst in other places it will take millions of years. However it is not too late. Since we are still alive within this environment it is not too late. If we all feel concerned about it we can make this earth a better place. That is for sure. Sometimes we may think in such a way, “I am a single person, what can a person alone do? Even if I do my best nothing will change”. We think like that, right? That is a big mistake. One person plus another and another one and so on lead to one million, one billion people. If one person doesn’t count how can we then reach a million? If each person thinks about it, everybody on earth will then think about it and will work towards it. That is why I think it is very important.
According to the dharma there is the outer universe and the beings that live within it. For those who have impure perceptions they see snow mountain ranges, six classes of beings, etc. That is just their individual perception but for those with pure perceptions it is the mandala of yidam deities. Ultimately, bodies and pure lands are not separate. That is how it is for those who perceive the ultimate state of things. Those who don’t realize it also want to have a good house. The earth is our own house, right? So we want to live well in this house and we should look at sustaining it for future generations, for the next thousands and millions of years. It is very important to be concerned about that and to work towards it. This is what I particularly wanted to share with you.
Since we are practitioners we should always consider karma, cause and effect. We should have an altruistic mind towards others and at best we should have the precious bodhicitta which means to think, “In order to bring all beings to the precious state of perfect Buddhahood I myself will attain the precious state of The Perfect Buddha”. Even if we don’t clearly understand what it means we need to have a positive state of mind.
It is said that,
“With a positive state of mind, places and roads are good.
With a negative state of mind, places and roads are bad.
Since all depends on our state of mind, I will work towards a positive state of mind.”
Everything depends on our state of mind therefore it is very important to feel concern by having a state of mind oriented towards the good. Doing so will accomplish the wishes and aspirations of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It will be the way to repay kindness to our parents and there is no better offering to our Root Guru and no better altruistic way to help our mothers, the beings of the six classes. So please all of you, be kind. If you don’t know what bodhicitta is please ask your Guru. Those who understand it please keep it in your heart. That much for Buddhists in general.
Those Buddhists who practice the lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, they are all practitioners of the vehicle of the Secret Mantra, no matter where they live around the world. If there is no bodhicitta then there is no foundation for the practice of the vehicle of the Secret Mantra. So please feel concern for this. For those who are Buddhists, please uphold the Buddhist view, have a Buddhist state of mind and behave like a Buddhist. For those who are sangha members, if you are yogi please be a good yogi. If you are a monk, please be a good monk, if you are nun, please be a good nun. All the Tulkus, please be good Tulkus. All khenpos, please be good khenpos. If you do that, the Buddha’s teachings will spread and beings will live in happiness and wellbeing. Please keep all this in your heart.
Happy New Year! Be blessed by the Three Jewels! Be seen by the compassion of the Three Jewels. Excellent! Tashi deleg.