General Buddhism => General Buddhism => Topic started by: icy on October 18, 2012, 01:28:51 AM

Title: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: icy on October 18, 2012, 01:28:51 AM
As Maitriyogi said, "Oh King, this body, which is like something you have borrowed for a short time and must return, while it is still free of illness, not excessively feeble or old, it should be used well." - to achieve something truly useful for ourselves and others - "to overcome the fear of illness, ageing and death."  While you are still in good shape, you must use our present life to put yourself in a position where you no longer need fear illness, ageing and death.  Failing this, "once you are in the grip of illness and old age..." -once you have become very old and decrepit or have contracted a mortal illness - "....although you may wish to achieve these goals, you will be incapable of doing so." - even though you decide to work for the sake of yourself and others, it will be too late.

These few worlds "this body, which is like something you have borrowed" are indeed significant.  You do not control a borrowed object like you do something you truly own: one day you must return it to its owner.  The body you call 'yours' is similar in that one day you have to "return it", to give it up.  Each of you has a borrowed body.  some of us will not have to return it for some time, some will have to give it back in ten or fifteen years, others in to three years, and others yet sooner.  it is impossible to know.  You have the impression, however, that your body is yours and yours forever.  This is true of your body, it is also true of your house: you think of it as yours forever.  Ultimately, what can you call "home"? Where is "home"?  There is no place where you can stay forever.  Although this is the way things are, you see them differently.  We only decided it was ours.  Where is the body that is really ours?  Right now you only have one body, and the one you have was formed from parts of our parents' bodies.  So it would seem thee is no such thing as a body you can truly call your own.

Dagpo Lama Rinpoche Jampa Gyatso
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Q on October 18, 2012, 01:32:14 PM
Thank you for sharing this wonderful quote from Dagpo Rinpoche. It is very insightful on why we must start practicing Dharma as early as we can and not wait until we retire to do Dharma as if it is some form of pass time or hobby. Dharma is not a hobby, it is a necessity that many people fail to see it's importance due to the distractions we face in Samsara.

Samsara truly is 'cruel'... making things really difficult for people to realize that the importance they should place while they are alive and healthy is to train and prepare themselves for what will eventually come... instead, samsara deceptively make us feel like we will live a thousand years which is why most people decide to make spiritual practice their 'retirement practice'.... Some people may be fortunate to still be able to practice the Dharma at an old age, but many do not... they either are too ill or have already passed away due to some unfortunate incidents. However, even those that decide to do Dharma at an old age will have so many difficulties, as samsara is a bottomless pit... things will crop up to stop or deter them from leading a spiritual life, on top of that, the 60 years that they have lived life 'freely' has been so deep rooted into their lifestyle/ personalities that it is really difficult or takes such a long time to eliminate at such an old age.

Realizing that our body is actually a 'borrowed' item that needs to be returned eventually, is truly a great practice. When we realize that, we not only feel it easier to engage in Dharma full heartedly.... but also because we will begin to detach ourselves from our self grasping mind. After all, if even our bodies do not belong to us, what does belong to us in this material world?
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Rihanna on October 19, 2012, 04:52:21 AM

If anyone is interested to findout more about what happens to ones body after you die, click on this: (

(This is not a story for the squeamish, so read on at your peril. The one certainty that each of us has in this life is that we are going to die. What exactly does take place within the human body once the spark of life is gone?

First stage of decomp - 0 to 3 days

The actual process of decay is fascinating, in a morbid kind of way.
Written by: tonyleather
Read more at (

Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: bambi on October 19, 2012, 05:34:37 AM
Thank you for such a wonderful quote!

Yes, as morbid as it sounds to some people whenever I talk about impermanence and death, its the TRUTH! You think you gonna live till 80 and have a good healthy live? What more is better than serving the Dharma and going all the way while we can. How beautiful to know that when I am dying, I have done something right and worthwhile instead of wasting it chasing after things that only bring pain. No more time wasted, must go all the way and do it now! No procrastination. Always remind myself that.

The worse would be getting old and with sickness. It will be too late then. Want to do but physically cannot. So scary..
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Jessie Fong on October 19, 2012, 11:49:36 AM
Our body is just a shell, when our last breath leaves, there is nothing else.

A lot of us think we are going to live to a very ripe old age, not realising that death is just round the corner.
So what happens to our body - we can't take it with us; we can't take anything with us when we leave this world.

In Tibet, there is a funerary practice called SKY BURIAL wherein a human corpse is incised in certain locations and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to the elements (mahabhuta) and animals – especially predatory birds. The locations of preparation and sky burial are understood in the Vajrayana traditions as charnel grounds. In Tibet the practice is known as jhator (Tibetan: ????????, Wylie: bya gtor), which means "giving alms to the birds."[1]

"Sky burial and open cremation may initially appear grotesque for Westerners, especially if they have not reflected on their own burial practice.

For Tibetan Buddhists, sky burial and cremation are templates of instructional teaching on the impermanence of life."





For more pictures, go to (

Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Tenzin K on October 19, 2012, 06:15:45 PM
The Buddha told us, "Human life is suffering". We all need to understand and recognize the meaning of this. The Buddha also said, "The human body is an illness, a carbuncle, and an ulcer, and this is what we all experience." We all experience the conditions of sickness and suffering. But all human and sentient beings cannot avoid illness and suffering. The only differences are less suffering, or more suffering, less sickness, or more sickness!

If we can reduce our suffering, then of course, we will feel much better. Please try not to compare yourselves with others, hoping for happiness without suffering, and health without sickness. This will only increase your unnecessary suffering. We must understand that all beings in this world are not able to avoid suffering. We always have some problems. The only way to solve these problems is by accepting them, and letting them go. This is the only way of going beyond life and death, and towards a state without suffering and illness!

Our body is a vessel that we should take care for a better use of serving others. To take care of the body is for others and if we keep on doing in such a way one day if the body is to be return at least we have make full use of it to benefit others.

Do not pamper the body just for samsaric purposes because it does not bring us anyway but just attachment and eventually when we depart with the body will just draw us to lower realm due to unable to forego the body.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: icy on October 20, 2012, 02:25:16 AM
If your body doesn't belong to you, can you call the mind residing in such a body, yours? If the base if not yours, what is based on it cannot be yours either.  It is important to reflect on these matters to try and determine where resides the "I" as something very dear that you hold so tightly to your heart, is the wrong view that you have a self which you can call your own.  Based on this belief you ascribe great importance to our self and as a consequence "others" become all the distant from you.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: rossoneri on October 20, 2012, 06:34:26 AM
Thank you Dagpo Lama Rinpoche's quote,

Very true many of us will spend thousands in order to look good, be it on cosmetics, hair do and clothing. It is not wrong to look decent but please do not attach to all this until the point whereby we are here to look good and be selfish. My point is please do not waste our previous human life away as our lifespan won't be long. Do something for others at times, think of others at time, instill this in your mind and be a more useful individual rather than the norm who is buying all these messages which encouraging us to self pamper, be yourself, enjoy yourself etc.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: buddhalovely on October 20, 2012, 07:26:24 AM
The body is "a thing borrowed" from God the Parent, and we are all kept alive by God the Parent's providence. We should use our mind in accordance with God the Parent's intention so that the body will not be injured, damaged, or broken. We will then be able to live a long life in good health.

God the Parent teaches us that "the mind alone is the truth of oneself" and allows us to use the mind freely. The way of using the mind is of importance because it will influence the function and condition of the body and may result in illness. When our mind becomes truly purified and spirited with joy, our physical condition can be restored, and we will be able to lead a healthy life. On the other hand, if our mind becomes dusty and depressed, God's care and guidance may be shown on the body, which is a thing lent, a thing borrowed.

Consider this Divine Direction:

You may bring up your children with the utmost care and affection. No matter how much care and affection you might lavish upon them, however, they could not even be alive were it not for breath. The providence of breath alone is the one truth.

Osashizu, March 18, 1894

Without God the Parent's providence, our body would cease to function and the breath of life would stop.

The mind has the important function of realizing God the Parent's intention and responding to it. We might say that, if the body is likened to an airplane, the mind could be seen as the pilot.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: brian on October 20, 2012, 09:09:18 AM
Thank you for sharing this. Dagpo Rinpoche is very insightful on why we must engage in Dharma practice when we are still able to and not wait until we retire to do Dharma and set other responsibilities in life as priorities. Practising Dharma should be set as priorities before it is too late as we are all in a borrowed body and some of us are in borrowed time even. We will just not know when are we going to pass on and take another rebirth. If we don't make use of this fortunate rebirth of being able to be reborn as a human and also able to come across and meet Dharma as described in Lamrim texts, then we would have wasted our precious human rebirth.

Most of us who are not in the know of Dharma, would have taken life for granted. They plan as if they would live on forever and as though things will turn out good and as planned but sadly it is not. The negative or selfish pursues will make us being more being deluded and deceptive and in the end we suffer more in pursuit of the delusion that samsara is good.

If only all of us realised that we can die anytime in this life then we would take Dharma practices easily I guess. But sadly most often we find ourselves more grasping to what we have now and continue to be deluded.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: DSFriend on October 21, 2012, 07:19:38 PM
It is so true that the body is borrowed. One day, the form of the body that we identify with will disappear back into just the four elements (earth, water, air, fire)

I suppose there are two extreme views :
1. We live for the body - our whole life centres around satisfy every wimps of the senses
2. We disregard the needs of the body - emaciated

Either one of the extreme position we take will bring no benefit but striking some form of balance that we are able to fully utilize the body we have to develop the mind will be wonderful.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: dondrup on October 21, 2012, 07:47:21 PM
Our body is ‘borrowed’ - this is aptly used to describe our body as the temporary abode for our mind in this life.  It is borrowed because when we die, our mind will abandon the body or ‘return’ the body.  There is a lifespan or expiry date for the use of our body.  Hence once the lifespan or expiry date is reached, our mind abandons or returns the body.  Death is certain but the time of our death is uncertain, we could die any time.  Hence, we are certain to return our body but we are uncertain when to return this body.  In summary, we should make full use of our body now to accomplish liberation and enlightenment before our body is abandoned and returned by our mind.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Dorje Pakmo on October 22, 2012, 01:15:18 AM
The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.

George Carlin

 I think that from the moment we were born, the expiry date of this body have been set. Depending on the Karma of every individual. Some may live for a long time, some very short. But one thing is or sure, everyone will die eventually. Death can come at the least expected time and we cannot bargain or postpone it. Knowing this, one should cherish every single moment in life to do meaningful things that can benefit others and self. 
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: fruven on October 26, 2012, 06:33:14 AM
When we say borrow are we saying it is owned by someone else? Or actually no one owns it in particular.

I guessed this body with a human brain is yours responsibility to use it to the fullest possible, misusing or not using it would be the most tragic thing we can do to it. Why? This is because the human body is the interface for us to experience the world and be connected to others, therefore we are able to hear and understand about Dharma, collect merits, purify our negative karma, and finally cutting off the causes for us to be born uncontrolled into samsara again.

Otherwise we would be always changing our body from one form to another, sometime bodiless for example in spirit realm. It would be a never ending nightmare where we are always stuck in some body form and experiencing the pain and suffering in that particular body. Does it mean without a body we don't suffer? Most of us in human form cannot see the spirits but theirs are in spirit form which received tremendous suffering as described in Buddhist text.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: biggyboy on October 27, 2012, 04:44:54 PM
The Buddha said, “Oh, Bhikshu, every moment you are born, decay, and die.” He meant that, every moment, the illusion of "me" renews itself. Not only is nothing carried over from one life to the next; nothing is carried over from one moment to the next.

The above saying is very prevalent in this present times.  Many has heard of it but not truly practising to the tee as a matter of fact.  Many of us still chase after wealth, materialism and others which we think would bring happiness.  Just because the minute we are born, we are brought up, taught and follow what society wanting us to be, we lost our true self in chasing and amassing the unrealistic non-altruistic happiness.  At the end our life, the properties, wealth that we have gathered cannot be even bring along with us.  What more to say?  The only that matter most now is our mind.  How much we learn, practise and ingrained into us and unlearn our bad habituations will lead us to the ultimate happiness and to carry forward into our next lives.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: ilikeshugden on October 27, 2012, 08:37:31 PM
Our body is borrowed from the earth and it will return to the earth. Our human body is just a vessel for our mind. It is like a mindless puppet. A puppet of the earth. When we die, we give back our borrowed body.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Barzin on October 28, 2012, 11:54:05 AM
Thankyou for the post.  It is very true that actually nothing belongs to us.  We actually do not own anything, by the time of death.  We do not even own our body.  It is funny that so many of us are relying on many things, thinking that it will bring us happiness. We will try ways to keep the items, but knowing that once the items are gone, we get disappointed and sad,  some even will kill for it.  It is weird how our minds operate and sometimes i wondered what was the cause for our minds, i mean most of our human minds to be trained to believe in the same thing that causes us so much sufferings.

Nothing lasts.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: ratanasutra on November 03, 2012, 03:47:18 AM
Thanks for sharing meaningful quote.

I think most of us know about this fact but how we really realize and practice about it.
Can it be the point that it really turn us around, for example we stop from what we are doing now and ordain to become a monk/nun who hold vows, cut out from all our attachment (which is so many in this degenerate time) and totally use our body to benefit others.

Of course it not easy to do, so now a day some of high lamas use skill full ways to let us practice in the way that we still be who we are, stay with our family and our love one and still have social, normal life but add activities that bring benefit others for us to do, without these kind lama we will be stuck with our samsara activities.

Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Tenzin Malgyur on December 09, 2012, 04:05:05 PM
I agree that the body we are having now does not really belong to us. It is very surprising though that many people does not believe so, and spend a lot of time and money to beautify and adorn it. It is so sad they did not realize the fact that the beautiful body will grow old and sick and finally die off and decay. I have been taught that nothing belongs to us, except our mind and the effect of all the things we have caused to happen.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Midakpa on December 09, 2012, 06:50:13 PM
This passage is about death and impermanence. The Buddha said that everything compounded is impermanent. It is a natural law. Our body is composed of many parts or elements and is therefore impermanent. Whoever is born will die. When we understand that the body is made up of elements that are borrowed, we will not be attached to it. When we die, the elements (earth, water, air, heat) that make up the body will dissolve and be returned to the earth. When we understand death and impermanence we will appreciate our precious human life, become less attached to worldly activities and our faith in dharma will grow. We will have a clear and detached view of life and devote our life to the practice of dharma.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: psylotripitaka on December 10, 2012, 07:39:47 AM
The gross physical body is not our actual body. Our very subtle energy wind is our actual body. The gross body and mind and the self or 'I' imputed on these contaminated aggregates is the gross self that will cease when the mind of white appearance arises for the last time in this life. The very subtle body and mind are the basis for the actual body and mind of a Buddha. Knowing that this gross body is borrowed yet contains this treasure; knowing that this borrowed body will cease to function soon, we should urgently seek the instructions on the deathless vajra body from our Lamas and strive with every fiber of our being to access and realize it within this very life. Death is certain, but we can utilize that process to our advantage if we have the instructions, blessings, and vigilance.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: jessicajameson on December 10, 2012, 06:15:50 PM
Thanks for sharing!

There was a teacher named Jetzun Tara Natha. He entered the body of a dead child and stayed there for 3 years. Whilst in the child's body, he benefited many disciples by giving teachings... he continuously led them on the path to liberation. While he was in the child's body, he kept his own body incorruptible and stored safely away.

After he reentered his own body, the dead child's body was blessed. He didn't do this once... but SIX TIMES!

This is an attainment if you have achieved Powa Drung Jug.

There is another story where a lama named Gyalsae Drindon Dawa entered the body of a dead pigeon - and crossed the river.

How cool is that? Lol

Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: Dondrup Shugden on February 01, 2015, 03:45:11 PM
When I read this article the first thing I thought of was RENUNCIATION.  How we cherish this borrowed vessel called our physical body is intriguely interesting.  Imagine if we can truly understand that this physical body is borrowed, we shall be free to accept ageing, illness, death and decay.

With this acceptance, our mind will be liberated.  And the noble truth of suffering will be eliminated from our mind so that we can focus and dwell on make our lives worthy to everyone else.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: angelica on February 01, 2015, 06:10:22 PM
Thank you Icy for sharing.

Our body is like a time vehicle that help to transport us from the time of birth to the time of death. When we die, we will abandon this body and move on to another one. We will not know how long we can keep this body. While we still have this body in perfect condition, we should use this body to benefit others and to do our practice. We should start our dharma practice now and not wait till a certain date to do it, cos we don't know whether our body will stay with us till then. What we do now, will determine our future. We need to accumulate enough merits to ensure that we have a perfect body to continue our dharma practice till elightenment.
Title: Re: Your Body is Borrowed
Post by: RedLantern on February 01, 2015, 06:13:43 PM
Our present body is as if we borrowed it from someone. This means that the source of our body belongs to others. Our body developed from the union of our father's sperm and mother's egg. Consciousness into that union and then gradually our body developed. At death,we have no power to carry our body with us into our future life. We cannot prevent the decay and dissolution of our body after death.
Through Dharma practice there are three levels.The highest level is to achieve full  Enlightenment or Buddhahood in this life. The middle level is to achieve self-liberation from samsaric fears and sufferings.
The lowest level is to try to obtain a peaceful mind,to solve one's inner problems,and not to be reborn in the lower realms.