Author Topic: We are Fortunate to Have The Ten Endowments  (Read 4017 times)

icy

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We are Fortunate to Have The Ten Endowments
« on: March 23, 2013, 01:59:26 AM »
Even though you have taken rebirth in a country or community where dharma is available, if you were to lack physical and mental capabilities, you would not be able to benefit from its availability. This is not the case, nor is it the case that you are under the influence of wrong views, such as the total negation of the possibility of rebirth or the authenticity of dharma. Whether or not you have cultivated a deep conviction derived from valid cognition, you do have a certain understanding of dharma that is powerful enough to persuade you to take an interest in it.

Therefore, at this juncture, if you probe you will find that you are free of most of the obvious adverse conditions for the practice of dharma and that you are equipped with favorable conditions. You are free from lack of leisure, and on top of that you possess what are called the ten endowments [favorable circumstances], personal and circumstantial. You have been born at a time when, although the Buddha is not still alive, his doctrine is still alive and you can meet a living spiritual master. Also, you can emulate certain exemplary personalities who have gained high realizations by engaging in such a practice. So, if you think in such terms, you will be really able to admire and rejoice in the present opportunity.
After you reflect along these lines, it is very important that you finally make a conclusion and decide on the basis of this human existence to explore its potential to its fullest extent by engaging in a serious practice of dharma.

--from The Path to Bliss by H.H. the Dalai Lama

Midakpa

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Re: We are Fortunate to Have The Ten Endowments
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 04:10:03 PM »
A precious human life is a life that has the eight special freedoms and the ten special endowments. Of the ten endowments, five are personal endowments and the remaining five are favourable characteristics of the world in which we take our human rebirth. In other words they are favourable environmental conditions.

The five personal endowments are:

1. being born human
2. being born and remaining in a country where Dharma is flourishing
3. being born and remaining with complete powers, free from mental and physical disabilities
4. not having committed any of the five actions of immediate retribution
5. having faith in the three sets of Buddha's teachings

The favourable environmental conditions are:

1. taking human rebirth in a world where Buddha has appeared
2. taking human rebirth in a world where Buddha has taught Dharma
3. taking human rebirth in a world where pure Dharma is still being taught
4. taking human rebirth in a world where there are people practising pure Dharma
5. taking human rebirth in a world where there are benefactors and sponsors for Dharma practitioners
(from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Joyful Path of Good Fortune)

yontenjamyang

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Re: We are Fortunate to Have The Ten Endowments
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 08:34:19 AM »
Dear Icy,

What is your point of starting this topic? Yes we have the 10 endowments and the 8 freedoms as well. Together it is known as the 18 opportune conditions. So what do we do when we are in this conditions? It is like we hit the lottery; only a thousand million times more precious. So what do we do? Unfortunately, it is very hard for even practitioners to truly appreciate this. It is like the prodigal son of a tycoon. One who only uses these conditions to enjoy life and only to create more negative karma that leads to the 3 lower realms.

First we need to know that there are many many many beings in the lower realms than the human realm. Since we cannot see the hells and the human ghosts we contemplate on the animal realm. We then just need to do simple calculations to know that there are many more animals than humans. Further, it is said that there are even more beings in the hells and hungry ghosts realms than animal realms. Already the odds are like one in a million, million, trillion, trillion...trillion. So difficult to get and yet we are born human. That is what we mean with the word "precious" when we say "precious human rebirth". And animals are born with little if not no wisdom at all and cannot understand Dharma. Animals spend all their lives creating negative karma. Beings in the hells and hungry ghost spend their time in so much sufferings that it is almost impossible to practice any virtues.

Just taking a human rebirth is so fortunate and among human on this planet alone only a small fraction really has the 18 opportune conditions.

So, having "achieved" the 18 opportune conditions of a precious human rebirth we then need to understand its value. The true value of the precious human rebirth "is like a great ship crossing the ocean of cyclic existence, not using it is like returning empty-handed from island of liberation, the only body among pure and impure realms which can keep pure conduct, is suitable for all precepts of individual liberation, Bodhisattva and Tantra ordination and can practise the Highest Yoga Tantra and reach even the Buddhahood in one short lifetime in these degenerate times"

This is the true value of the 18 opportune condition.