4. The Things He Did to Further the Doctrine after Gaining these Qualities
In India, Atisha held up the teachings and ‘because he showed no sectarianism, he became the crowning jewel of all the Sangha in Magadha as well as across India. He was the acknowledged master of the whole teachings of sutra and tantra to be found in the three baskets and the four classes of tantra. And as for the teachings themselves, it was as if the Victorious Ones himself had returned.”
Atisha went beyond what most people would have done. He purposely and completely made the teachings his life. And when people see that you are committed, they look deeper. They look beyond what images appear….they look at the Dharma itself.
That is the point…it is not our reputations, for ourselves, it is our reputation for the Dharma. The teachings went far due to Atisha’s diligence and dedication and he did this only for the Dharma to flourish.
Image by Wonderlane via Flickr
“Immerse yourself in the meaning of the teachings, day after day, month after month and the spiritual qualities of a Bodhisattva will develop without difficulty, like honey collecting in the hive as the bees go from flower to flower, gathering nectar.”
– Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche –
Self-deception seems always to depend upon the dream world, because you would like to see what you have not yet seen rather than what you now seeing. You will not accept that whatever is here now is what is, nor are you willing to go with the situation as it is. Thus, self-deception always manifests itself in terms of trying to create or recreate a dream world, the nostalgia of the dream experience.
~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Image via Wikipedia ~ Nagarjuna
By this merit may we obtain omniscience
Having defeated all the enemies of wrong-doing
May we liberate migratory beings suffering in the ocean of existence
From its stormy waves of birth, old-age, sickness and death.
~ Nagarjuna’s dedication of merit
A meaningful life must also answer the question, “What have I brought to the world?” If I can look at a day and see that virtue, happiness, truth, and living an altruistic life are prominent elements, I can say, “You know, I’m a happy camper.” Pursuing happiness does not depend on my checkbook, or the behavior of my spouse, or my job, or my salary. I can live a meaningful life even if I only have ten minutes left.
~ B. Alan Wallace, “What Is True Happiness?”
Image via Wikipedia Atisha /!\
“To trace a river back to its source, you need to go right back to the snow line. so too must you trace a Dharma back to the Buddha, our Teacher.” pg 27 of “Liberation..”
It is always wise to know where your information comes from…validating information allows faith to grow. And we need faith…for our practice to flourish. Practice without faith is wasted.
Here we learn of Atisha‘s family background…why he is an entirely reliable source for lamrim (graded teachings). We have now traced the river back to Atisha.
There are many wondrous signs marking Atisha as being more than a mundane Prince. Please read for yourself.
Yet today….these two sections jumped out at me…
“It is hard for us even to give up the things in our pokey little rooms, let alone the power of a price. Contrast this with great Atisha , who gave up his royal position, treating it like spittle left in the dust,…”
Also, this…”Atisha had already become a great scholar and a adept. As we have said, when only eighteen months old he had without any prompting spoken words that proved he was already conversant with bodhichitta. And yet he willingly underwent these hardships [to reach Indonesia], which must convince us that nothing is more fundamental in the Mahayana then precious bodhichitta.”
I cannot say it better…”nothing is more fundamental in the Mahayana then precious bodhichitta”. Bodhichitta is the reason your practice flourishes. Bodhichitta is the reason your eyes open to new understandings. Bodhichitta.
Image via Wikipedia
When talking about others is motivated by thoughts of ill will, jealousy, or attachment, conversations turn into gossip. These thoughts may seem to be subconscious, but if we pay close attention to our mind we’ll be able to catch them in the act. Many of these are thoughts that we don’t want to acknowledge to ourselves, let alone to others, but my experience is that when I become courageous enough to notice and admit them, I’m on my way to letting them go.
~ Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, “The Truth About Gossip”