Author Topic: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"  (Read 13622 times)

vajrastorm

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"An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« on: August 28, 2014, 09:08:34 AM »
In 'Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand'(our modern day Lamrim) Pabongka Rinpoche, in Day 9 - 'The Optimum Human Rebirth' states:

"It sounds impossible that a red, slimy earthworm could surface out of the ground and prostrate itself to the Buddha. That is how impossible it has been for us earthworms to surface from the lower realms, take human forms, and even to go through the motions of studying and contemplating the Dharma".

This shows us, in no uncertain terms, that our precious human life, with all the 18 opportune conditions that would enable us to meet with and practice the Dharma, was impossible to acquire. Yet we have acquired them and furthermore, our Spiritual Guides are here to guide and direct us along a path, like the Lamrim, that has already been set out so clearly by our great masters, like Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa. Nonetheless, most of us still resist the firm and compassionate hand of our Spiritual Guide, much to our detriment.

However, most tragic is that the knowledge of this , which is part of the Dharma - the teachings of the Buddha- has evaded innumerable people, out there. Hence out of ignorance, when the going is rough, they choose the way out by deliberately snuffing out their lives, not knowing that , in doing so, they bring upon themselves more untold suffering . The worst suffering is to be cut off from the chance of an optimum human rebirth again, to meet with the Dharma again and , above all, to meet with a spiritual guide again.

vajrastorm

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 09:56:10 AM »
Even great saints like Dromtoenpa - Atisha'a heart son - bore with immense suffering in the last parts of their lives. Maudgyalyana was horribly stoned to death. All great beings are aware that it is on this side of life that we must bear with and suffer uncountable torment; and let go, knowing that all this will exhaust our negative karma, and put is on the path to peace in the lives to come.Nothing can compare to the pain and torment of hell and the lower realms, which we may have to face and experience after this life. Hence, it would be more beneficial for us to bear with the pain and the experience NOW than to bash our head against the wall and scream at all and say it is so unfair. Nothing happens without reason. so we accept , whatever pain that comes.

Even in pain, and the acceptance of pain, we are making meaningful use of all our experiences in this life, with its opportune conditions, so precious and so impossible to find again..

In  light of this, euthanasia and suicide are transgressions,which bring more negative karma and more suffering.  They waste our human life even in its last drops.


Klein

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2014, 11:10:47 AM »
What vajrastorm wrote makes so much sense. It is actually worse to end one's life just because of too much suffering. When we understand how karma works, out of compassion we should let the person go through the karma. There are many ways to lessen the effects of the negative karma. That's why it's important to have a guru so that he or she can help us generate the merits to lessen these kinds of extreme sufferings.

For animals, it is also not advisable to euthanize them when they are suffering. It's better to lessen their pain. Otherwise, they will have to go through the suffering again in their future lives because their karma wasn't exhausted. It's important that all pet lovers are aware of this.

fruven

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 02:01:09 AM »
The impossible has happened when an earthworm prostrates itself to the Buddha but it would take much more being a human than just living day by day pursuing the happiness of this life. Unknowingly all beings pursue happiness but it is only temporarily due to wrong motivation and wrong methods. The first is to realise it is not just me is the one who wants happiness but everyone of us want happiness. There can no forever happiness if we only concern ourselves with our own happiness which is kind of twisted. But there is saying that one must help oneself only then one can help others. I would think it doesn't work that way. The thing is that happiness for oneself and others must go hand in hand. Otherwise it would neglect whatever effort we have put in pursuing it.
 

MoMo

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2014, 10:33:05 AM »
Before one could realized that this human rebirth is as rare as an “ earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha”, One had to realize that one worldly life is nothing but source of suffering. Many times it takes some traumatic incident of life to jolt one out of that comfort zone wanting to search for some solutions to it. Thus, realizing the first noble truth.
The downside of this realization is that every thoughts, speech, actions we ever committed in present and past lives are nothing but opposed to us gaining happiness.
The upside of this new knowledge is that there is a solution to all our problems, that is change our thought/views toward our world according to Dharma and works hard toward maintaining it and at the same time strive hard to abandoning our old habit of thought and actions.
The suitable vessel for this practice is the same as one that we used for committing non-virtuous. The one vessel that could either lead us to suffering or to total liberation from it depend on its usage.  The rarity of obtaining such a vessel that are as per analogy of this post's title and it's one easily lost too!

eyesoftara

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 03:05:59 AM »
It is definitely true that the optimum human rebirth is as rare as "An earthworm prostrating to the Buddha". Even amongst the realms that humans can perceive, the humans and animal realms, we can deduce easily that there are many more animals to humans in the orders of millions of animals to one single human being. So to be a human being by just comparing the numbers of animals is already harder than striking the lottery. If we then extent it to the hells, ghost the gods realms the number is definitely larger.
From the 7 billion or so humans in this earth, about 5% are buddhist and among these there are the Southern School and the Northern School of Buddhism. So it is further diluted among humans in the order of 1 to 20.
So just to be a human buddhist is the very very rare. To be Buddhist is 20 times rarer. To really practice Buddhism even rarer. To practice with Guru Devotion, rarer.

yontenjamyang

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 03:34:26 AM »
When we realise the rarity of the human rebirth, it should bring us fear that this life can cease anytime and further if we have the 18 opportune condition we should have joy that we have met path and the Guru to bring us out of the suffering of samsara.
Combining this fear and joy is not contradictory and is the key to the practice. While we fear that every second may be the last, the fear should be derived from the fact that we have not practice and gained the results of the Dharma but at the same time, every second that we practice; and it should be 24/7; we should be joyful that we are indeed practicing.
This fear should also lead us to renounce cyclic existence and the joy is that we have the way out of it.

pinecone

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 01:00:43 AM »
Being reborn as a human is very rare. If one has wasted this rare chance, one finds great difficulties to be reborn again as a human being. Why? Lacking good moral conduct, a being in the lower realms has to suffer for countless eons. Those reborn in the animal realm have to struggle for existence, preying upon each other .Therefore, to be reborn as a human and precious opportunity to learn the Dharma and to perform meritorious deeds is extraordinarily rare as “The earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha”.

Kim Hyun Jae

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 04:10:39 AM »
If "the earthworm can even remember to prostrate to the Buddha" literally, then that earthworm must have strong karmic imprints with the Buddhas. Then this is truly Rare and one in a million eons.

The point here is the rarity and the preciousness of being born a human, and being a Buddhist practitioner with guru devotion.

Midakpa

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2014, 02:46:54 PM »
"This opportune physical form
Is worth more than a wish-granting gem.
You only gain its like the once.
So hard to get, so easily destroyed,
It's like a lightning bolt in the sky.

Contemplate this, and you will realise
All worldly actions are but winnowed chaff,
And night and day you must
Extract some essence from your life.
I, the yogi, practised this way;
You, wanting liberation, do the same!"
(Lama Tsongkhapa)

RedLantern

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2014, 03:18:25 PM »

This ancient slogan can awaken us to the mystery of birth itself. To all such grave reflections however, the birth of a child offers a joyous, thundering rejoinder.For as the Tibetan slogan eloquently reminds us ,that even is as momentos as it is unlikely and as it is rare.
The teaching of the precious human life empowers people and directs them towards seeking refuge in the Dharma.

maricisun

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2014, 04:00:15 PM »
An earthworm to prostrate itself to the Buddha is indeed rare and unheard of. This earthworm must have a strong imprint from previous lives to be able to prostrate to the Buddha.
Therefore it is important to do more dharma work and to have the seeds to be planted in our mind hoping that we will be able to meet with the Dharma in our next life.

dondrup

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Re: "An earthworm prostrating itself to the Buddha"
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2014, 10:18:41 AM »
Yes, vajrastorm I couldn't agree more with the preciousness and rarity of human rebirth with the 8 freedoms and 10 endowments. It is very easy to fall into the three lower realms and very difficulty if not impossible to obtain yet another such precious human rebirth with the said freedoms and endowments! A spiritual practitioner on the path must realise this truth and practise purely and sincerely. How very unfortunate it is if the practitioner did not take the essense of the said rebirth to transform their minds!