The bodhisattva who wishes to follow this path must invest time and energy to understand law and rule of, or the truth of depending arising. The dependent. Nothing is independent. That everything is dependently arising. A bodhisattva must pay attention, invest time and energy to understand that. And by the way this is the quintessential Mahayana path, aim of the Mahayana path, to understand the dependent arising. Wishing, longing, aspiring, working hard to understand the dependent arising is offering to the Buddha, it is the meditation, it is the generosity, it is the discipline, it is so called meditation, it is basically Mahayana path. Trying to understand dependent arising.
Student: Can Rinpoche tell me what is the difference between a very strong aspiration and attachment. And how strong is not over strong.
Okay. For the beginners like us, very difficult to differentiate. But here, the practice of the bodhisattva, aspiration, it has to have an element of wishing for enlightenment. Then it eventually, it cannot be the ordinary attachment. Because ordinary attachment is something to do with making your life more comfortable. The enlightenment is different so it has to have that element.
I think I spoke this briefly, Nagarjuna wrote the Mulamadhyamakakarika and in its homage,?..?, the Buddha is the only one who is like the supreme speaker or the supreme expounder or the supreme teacher basically. This is not just a poetic kind of expression of devotional, poetic thing, it is actually, there is quite a lot of element into this statement that Buddha is the supreme speaker or the teacher. ?..?, anyone who is not buddha including the tenth bhumi bodhisattvas doesn’t have that quality. It is actually one of quality of ??, ten power, one of the very special power.
As you remember the triple gem again and again, the benefit, enlightenment aside, your attitude towards the life changes. For instance what used to be such a big deal is not a big deal anymore. What used to really stir you does not stir you. What used to make you go crazy such as fame or criticism or gain or lost, slowly slowly you have no difference with them. So slowly slowly eight worldly dharmas we call it, you will begin to see – okay criticism and praise. Not a big deal. You will not make a big deal out of this praise, criticism. You will not make a big deal about gain and lost. If you, when you reach to this stage where you don’t make a big deal out of these things you are becoming a dharma practitioner, you have become a very good manager of life. Everything is fine. If it works out, good, if it doesn’t work out, that is also good. So the life is no stress, economical, happy. And then people look at you, you are easy going, friendly, because you have no agenda. Nothing really sort of makes you go crazy. So you very likable person to be with. Whatever you say will have a big impact on them. Then you are beginning to become quite an effective bodhisattva. And this is something that we can do. We must try to do.
By the way applying the practice of motivation is not an excuse of easy way out from all these infinite bodhisattva activities, it is not. It is in fact entering to the door of these infinite bodhisattva activities.
Most of us, people like you and me, we are beginner bodhisattvas. Infant bodhisattvas. For younger bodhisattvas, infant bodhisattvas like us, actually according to the bodhisattva manual, we are not really allowed to do extreme things like cutting our limbs and giving to hungry tiger. Such as what happened near by here by the way. That we cant do. But we must get used to these great paramita practices already. So what would I suggest to someone like you and me. Aspiring bodhisattvas we call it. I know I will have attachment to my artwork, my whatever profession, but no matter what happens, may it one way or another, directly or indirectly lead to benefit sentient beings. And benefit not only just temporary, giving them temporary happiness, but actually put them into the enlightenment. That you should to. Forget about art, even a bright colored T-shirt, you should wear it, and walk in the street and really have aspiration that today I am really some wearing some obnoxious red, you know like shirt, whoever sees me, whoever even gets a little startled by my presence, may they have connection to the bodhicitta and the Mahayana path. That is very right thing to do for people like us.
If you can enlighten sentient beings then a Bodhisattva must do that. If he or she doesn’t do that you are breaking the most important discipline. You are not being disciplined in the most important way.
Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010
Bodhicitta, now that is the essence, the quintessence of the Mahayana teachings. Without that there is no Mahayana path. Really important. It is because of the bodhicitta a Bodhisattva never gets tired helping sentient beings. So in the bodhicitta – okay there is two kinds of bodhicitta, relative bodhicitta and the ultimate bodhicitta. Relative bodhicitta. Okay bodhicitta is not just wanting sentient beings to have some kind of a good time. Okay that is really kindergarten stuff. That everybody has. It is not just wanting them to have nice time. Bodhicitta is wishing the sentient beings to have enlightenment. Thus the subject is very big. If you keep on talking about it, I will never reach Johor Baru tonight I think. Anyway I want to clarify something here. Just out of my experience. You know sometimes we go to see the lamas and then some of these lamas are so gentle, so soft. And they don’t scold the student who has so much ego, so much pride, so much jealousy. They are so nice to them. And what do we say? “Oh he is a great bodhisattva. It is because of his bodhicitta he has been so compassionate. But I can’t stand this guys.” I think it is a good example. This kind of thing intrigues me because I don’t know whether the lama is a great bodhisattva or not. Sometimes you go and see these lamas, some lamas, who doesn’t give a damn about what people think or what his disciple – okay he might scold this disciple. Not for some petty things but because he wants to destroy his ego and pride. And he is risking it because he might lose his disciple by scolding. Okay next door there is a very good Rinpoche, who is gentle, soft, and all that. And this Rinpoche is going like this. Scolding, grill him and minced him. Risking, there is a big risk because he might go to the other. But this Rinpoche doesn’t care, he says what he needs to say. He says what the student needs to hear not what the student wants to hear. I think he is a bodhisattva. Why? I was talking about bodhicitta, remember. Bodhicitta is not just a wish to make someone sort of happy and give him a lollipop. It’s not that. Bodhicitta is really concentrating on making the other person get rid of their ego, pride, and all these emotions and make him reach enlightenment. And what is enlightenment? CCL [couldn’t care less], absence of paranoia. Remember? Bodhicitta is a wish to cut the chain of this unnecessary formalities and just all this rituals and habitual patterns and inhibitions. I mean inhibitions, that is right, that is the right word. We have so much inhibitions. First of all we have inhibitions as a human being. Secondly we have an inhibition as a Chinese, then we have an inhibition as a Buddhist. We have then inhibitions as Mahayana Buddhist. All kind of inhibitions. We collect more and more inhibitions and each time we collect the inhibitions are more sophisticated. Sophisticated inhibitions means more difficult to overcome inhibitions. That is what we do. So you know what I mean. A bodhicitta is a wish to enlighten others. That is a relative bodhicitta anyway. It is very necessary, amazing, so special. Without that Mahayana has no path.
Then for those who can actually, those who have time, those who are more matured, those who are used to the infinite plan and the vision of the bodhicitta, or the Bodhisattva, then maybe what they can do is learn to generate the confidence. This is the second type of practice. Generating the confidence. Never thinking that enlightening all sentient beings is not my thing. It is such a difficult task. It is an endless task. How can someone like myself do this. Such kind of cowardly thinking, which is basically a type of a laziness. So in order to counter that, generating the confidence that: “Yes, I can do it. I will do it alone.” Trying to generate that kind of courageous mentality. As all the Bodhisattvas of the past have done, and of the future will do. This is what we call ???, the middle type of the Bodhisattva, mainly this is what they generate. Try to counter this laziness of condemning oneself. Generating the confidence. And with this kind of the Bodhisattvas, you try to abandon what we call ???, the four non virtues or negative. Four negative actions, which is deceiving a noble being, scandalizing or saying nasty things to the Bodhisattvas, some other Bodhisattva. And making some one, another person, who is actually doing something good, make them feel regret that they are doing that. With a deception in our mind, we basically deceive sentient beings. This is what a Bodhisattva must try to refrain. And then on top of that, apply what we call ???, four rightful practice of the Bodhisattva, which is basically: Not lying. Monitoring or ?leading or gearing or luring sentient beings into the Mahayana path. Making sentient beings, encouraging sentient beings to take the Bodhisattva Vow or generate the bodhicitta. And praising and saying good qualities about the bodhicitta and the Bodhisattva. These are what Bodhisattvas can do.
Compassion is like the – it is necessary in the beginning, as a seed. As a seed compassion is necessary. Compassion is also what nurtures during the path, so in the middle. Bodhisattvas, they need the compassion. At the end, once you achieve the enlightenment, compassion is what is driving the force of the Buddhahood basically. It is the machine of the Buddha that actually benefits all sentient beings. So in the beginning, compassion is important. In the middle compassion is important. At the end, it is the compassion that is benefiting. Compassion is so important.