Author Topic: A gift for today, Full Moon of Monlam Chenmo  (Read 2775 times)

a friend

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A gift for today, Full Moon of Monlam Chenmo
« on: February 20, 2008, 08:00:50 PM »
A 12-year-old girl wrote a letter some years ago to a great Lama, considered one of Je Tsongkapa’s emanations, a XXth century Mahasiddha. His name I’m not going to reveal –but he’s in the gallery of Masters of our lineage. The girl asked the following questions: What is a Buddha? What is compassion? What is enlightenment? The Lama let her know that her questions were excellent, and dictated his answer to one of his disciples.

   The Lama left this world a few years ago, but some of his words are like a message directly addressing the deeds of someone who should be teaching Dharma and instead is destroying it with all his might. Since we are like the sons and daughters of our Lamas, we might appreciate these words, that I give today as a Full Moon of Monlam Chenmo gift for this website.


   What is a Buddha? A Buddha is one that has abandoned all imperfections. This means that he left behind the two obscurations; one, the obscurations that hinder liberation from samsara and two, the obscurations that hinder enlightenment; and he has achieved all good qualities. This happened billions and billions of years ago. There are many Buddhas. Every hour, every minute, someone is attaining that state, but we cannot see it.

   We only know about Buddha Shakyamuni who lived more than two thousand years ago in India. Today all teachings of Buddhism come from him. These teachings include taking refuge, venerating the Buddha and the lineage, compassion for all living beings and the four immeasurable mental attitudes: to wish that all beings be liberated from suffering, that they be happy, that they never be separated from happiness and that they live in equanimity, free from the extremes of hatred and attachment.

   You become a Buddhist taking refuge in the Buddha, in the teachings and in the community of realized beings. You have to take a vow in order to become a Buddhist. You take refuge every day and you repeat the sacred words of the refuge (Namo Gurubhya, Namo Buddhaya, Namo Dharmaya, Namo Sanghaya).

   To take refuge means that you cannot harm any other religion. It means that you have to respect, to share and maintain friendship with Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and people from other religions. But in your own practice, you are not going to mix it with that of other religions. For example, previously in history different religions fought among each other, the Hindus destroyed Muslims and the Muslims destroyed Buddhists and Hindus, etc. Buddhism is not like that. Buddhism never persecuted other religions. This is part of being a Buddhist.

   Buddhism also has many different levels, higher and lower, it’s not always the same. It depends on different levels of knowledge and wisdom, on different people, personalities ... Thus, there are many different Buddhist methods to practice.

   “Enlightenment” means different things for different people. In Buddhism there are different levels of “enlightenment”. For some persons it means to be liberated from the bonds of samsara and for others it means to free all beings from bondage and establish them in happiness.

   “Compassion” ... What type of compassion are you talking about? Buddhist compassion is different from what people generally understand by compassion. In Buddhism love and compassion go together. What we call “Great Compassion” starts with the wish of liberating all living beings from all types of suffering, not only from material poverty but from spiritual and cultural poverty and suffering. When one understands more clearly what really helps others, one decides to develop the wisdom and ability of a Buddha to be able to benefit every single being in every way. That is why “Great Compassion” has to be connected with true wisdom. Only Buddhists talk about this type of compassion and try to practice it.
   
   What happened to Prince Siddharta that he decided that he had to change his life? He saw that all types of different things changed. He saw that those things were not so useful, that they were not of great benefit.
   How did he change his life? He tried to abandon samsara. But his life was only a way of showing us; in reality he had become a Buddha a long time before that.


« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 08:02:31 PM by a friend »

lightning

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Re: A gift for today, Full Moon of Monlam Chenmo
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 12:31:33 AM »
Great  :D