I think first of all devotion is an ignorance. This we must know. Because it is a path. It has to be part of that corrosive path. Right. It is not something that we keep as a souvenir in the future once we get it, once we get what we want. Okay. Therefore, like many things, devotion has a blind element. Like I think word believe is quite good to describe, this element of so called believe. Shakyamuni Buddha in the Sutra, his teaching on emptiness is just amazingly logical I would say. So much argument, so much analysis and all of that. But at the end he told Ananda, ???, this is if you want to sort of intellectually understand, this is how it goes okay in emptiness. But if you really want to realize it the only way to realize is through the devotion. And this makes a big sense because actually it doesn’t matter who you are, you could be this sycophant, devotional superstitious backward primitive gullible. Or you could be critical, scientific, objective, rational, whatever you want to call it. We all human beings, all sentient beings, not only human beings, there is only one thing we can do at the end of the day. And it is called believe. Nothing else. Even so you are not believing, even you pride yourself so being critical to this this this you are believing so blindly to this reason why you are not believing in this and that. It always goes down to, boils down to so called believe. And remember I was telling earlier, freedom from known. When you are totally free from a known, or reference, then that is quite a high level, really high level of devotion. Because, you know the trusting and not trusting has a very very, the difference between trust and non trusting is so thin line. When you do not trust something, then you are blindly believing in reason for not trusting something. You are being nihilist basically. So when both, when you shrug off both your hang up of trusting and not trusting, when you are no more trapped by a known, then you have a devotion. This is, then you have nothing to lose.
You know Shantideva said, I like quoting this quotation, Shantideva, a great Mahayana master, he said: In order to dispel the suffering, the practitioners are allowed to have one ignorance. And that is thinking that there is an enlightenment.
Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010
You know if you read the life of the Buddha, twelve deeds of the Buddha. After the six years of penance Buddha went to the present day Bodhgaya. There under the Bodhi tree, he sat. And, what happened? Just as he was about to be enlightened, just as he was about to crush the last residual of ignorance, the usual suspect came. The lord of the Mara, the evil, the lord of the evil. That alone is actually a very very significant symbolic teaching. If there is any practitioners, you should hear this. You know when we practice Dharma many times we have obstacles like lost of inspirations, lost of devotion, lost of compassion, lost of wanting to even sit. Things like this. This actually means you are about to get it. Just like the Buddha, just he was about to get it, then the usual suspect came. This is their job, they are paid to do this kind of things. So that is the time where you have to be really mean. Sort of an enlightened way of being mean. You have to learn to do this. [Where is it?] Anyway, who came? The evil, the lord of the evil. The lord of the demon, the mara, he came. He tried all kind of things, he sent his daughters to seduce the Buddha, right? The story goes like that. That is not the last battle. The last battle was the lord of the mara came with the five different arrows. And the five different arrows are things like – this is what I was looking for but I couldn’t find anyway, just like doubt, distraction, making a big deal out of eight worldly dharmas. Desire. Yes, desire is a very big one actually. I think there is actually an order, I think it was Asvaghosa. Beautiful, the first arrow he aimed at the Buddha was I think the aggression. That, that’s the easiest one. And then it was desire. Things like that. I think the last one is the doubt or the distraction, I don’t remember this. Just constant distraction. We are just constantly distracted. For instance we don’t, you are sitting, your bottom is on that chair right now, and you are not feeling your sensation of your underwear and the chair and the hardness of the floor. You are not aware of it. You are wearing necklaces, you are not aware of its weight. Totally distracted, we are basically like a zombie, right, zombie. Yes. Just not aware of anything. Not aware of feeling, not aware of sound, not aware of what we are thinking. Just that. That is actually, I think is the, the enemies when they fight with you, they always send their best, right, the last, of course. They have to reserve that, that is the last bullet. Yes I think, constant distraction. I think before that is the doubt, doubt you know like. And doubt comes, do you know why? Doubt is there because you have become, you have become a victim of logic. That is why there is this doubt. You have become a logician. Logic is the most powerful way to make yourself trapped. So these are evil actually in Buddhadharma.
My answer to what is really bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is, put it very simply, bodhicitta is a wish – if you ask this question, what is bodhicitta, usually the answer is this wish and practice to enlighten all the sentient beings. But the word enlightenment has the connotation of nonduality. Because when we talk about enlightenment, enlightenment meaning awakened from something. Awakened from what? Awakened from a sleep, a deep sleep. And what is that sleep? What is that ignorance? It is non other than the dualism. So all the Buddhist practice, generosity, morality, including exotic methods in the Vajrayana, Tantrayana, such as visualization, all of this must be accompanied by the wisdom of nonduality.
Where does the ignorance come from? That is the first question. When we talk about first – ignorance first comes from – you are talking about evolution isn’t it. You are now asking a genesis, question of genesis. In the beginning the god created hamburger. You know, that kind of thing. Isn’t that what you are talking? Well, the genesis is one subject that if you want to know more should read Nagarjuna or Chandrakirti. They don’t believe in genesis. There is no such thing as in the beginning. Therefore ignorance, if you are asking about the first ignorance there is no such thing. Ignorance is again a relative entity.
We have anger, passion and ignorance. Ignorance, passion and aggression, these three emotions are kind of – of course they are not good of course. You know within the five emotions, ignorance, passion, aggression, jealousy and pride, if you were to ask me, which out of this five which is the worst. I my own experience, the ignorance, passion and aggression is, you know I don’t mind them so much. Because with the passion you can get things done, you can read, because of the passion. Aggression also get things done. Ignorance is kind of naive and kind of stupid so it is okay. But there are two loser emotions. Pride and jealousy. They are such a loser. You gain nothing out of being jealous, or you gain nothing out of having so much pride. Pride. When you have pride, with the pride, you perception is different, so different. I cannot finish even talking about it. Someone who has so much pride, because of the pride, you can’t even have a good date, you know dating. Because of the pride. Have you experienced this? Because you are dating with this new friend. And because of your pride you don’t want to be the one who breaks the ice first. You wait until the other person talks, isn’t it. Pride, because of the pride, you know pride makes you so fragile. More pride you are, easier to get hurt. And because of your pride your world is so limited, your perception, your perception of the world has become so limited. You don’t make friends. You make yourself very limited. Jealousy is another continuous paranoia. So much, as we were talking about earlier, so much story you write because of the jealousy. So much imagination. All of these is created by jealousy.
I am sure many of you have seen this painting, wheel of life, sidpai korlo we call it. Okay. In fact in the future if your non Buddhist friend asks you what is the definition of life according to Buddhism what you should do is go to a book shop and buy this painting and show. This is it. This is the description or a definition of life according to Buddhism. Okay. Just briefly, in the center you see a pig, a bird, and a snake which represents ignorance, passion and aggression. Which is the delusion that we have. Now these three then perceive, when you have ignorance, passion and aggression then everything you see is impure. It is like you are looking at a snow mountain, white snow mountain. But you are wearing a blue, red and an orange sun glass on the top of each other. And then you look at the snow and that snow is not white. You see a purplish kind of snow. So if you ask, whether the snow is purple, of course not. How come you see it purple. Because you see it wearing three layers of sun glass. That is why all you vision or perception is altered, manipulated. So to begin with we already have three sun glass, snake sun glass, bird sun glass, and then the – what was it the other – pig, right. Out of these three, as you see things, you see five realms, five or six realms. So hell realm, hell, hungry ghost, animal, good, asura, human. These are the six realms that you are experience or you perceive. Let’s stick with our language here. Okay this is a snang sum teaching so we should use the same language I guess. So that is the perception you get, that is the perception you end up with. Right at the outside, we see a big monster, clutching, holding the wheel of life. This monster actually represents time, time. Time is like a monster it is changing. Time means change of course. If everything is not changing that means freeze. Then there is no past time, no present time, no future time. And we like time. At the time we hate the time. It is a monster, it is really a monster. Okay all this perception are subject to time, all this perception are subject to time. Meaning our perception are going to change all the time, all the time. Of course some takes longer than the other but no perception ever last forever.