Posts Tagged With: Atisha

It is better to practice

 

Cover of "Atisha's Lamp for the Path to E...

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Dromtönpa once saw a monk doing circumambulations and intuitively knew he was doing them for a worldly motive. He remarked, “It’s good to do circumambulations, but it would be better to practice.” Later he saw the same monk making prostrations. “Prostrations are good,” he said, “but it would be better to practice.” After some time, the monk began to do meditation and Dromtönpa again remarked that doing retreats was laudable, but it would be even better to practice. Finally the monk, who by this time was thoroughly perplexed, inquired what he meant by the word practice. Dromtönpa answered that it meant letting go of our preoccupation with this life and developing true love and compassion. ~ Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, by Geshe Sonam Rinchen, edited and translated by Ruth Sonam, pages 30-31

 

 

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Categories: World | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Headings 10, 11, and 12…

10. The Greatness of allowing you to Easily Discover the True Thinking of the Victorious One.

Suppose the great classics were an ocean. The thoughts of the Victorious One  – the three fundamentals of the path, for example – would be the jewels within the ocean; the lamrim is like the boat; the guru who teaches the lamrim is like the captain.

Depend on a guru, the skillful captain, get on board the boat, the lamrim, and you will easily find the jewel in the great ocean of the classics: the ultimate thought of the Victor.

11. The Greatness of Allowing you to save yourself from the Worst Misdeed.

You would save yourself from holding some of the Dharma to be good and some bad – the biggest contributing factor to abandoning the Dharma. Also, if you think over the ways to devote yourself properly to your spiritual guide, you will rid yourself of any karmic obscurations you may have in relation to him or her.

12. The Lamrim is Complete Because It Contains All The Subject Matter of Sutra and Tantra.

Thus, the great

English: Tibetian Dharma Wheel.

Image via Wikipedia

said:

‘It condenses the essence of all scripture.

By teaching and studying this system for a session,

One gains the benefit of discussing and studying all holy Dharma.

Contemplate its meaning, for that is certain to be powerful.’

When you perform even a single sequence of retrospection meditations on the lamrim, you are practicing the meaning of the scriptures and commentaries.

Categories: World | Tags: , , , , ,

The things He did to further The Doctrine after Gaining these Qualities ~ Heading 6

English: Atisha with Twenty-eight of the Eight...

Image via Wikipedia ~ Atisha

How He did this in Tibet:

“There is no other pandit who can benefit Tibet,” they said.

The king listened to them…and made it his life’s purpose to bring Atisha to Tibet. Later, after King Lhalama Yeshe had been captured….his nephew visited him.

“If he [Atisha] will see you [Jangchub Oe], give him my message: ‘I gave up my life to the Garlog khan for both the Buddha‘s teachings and your own.” and then….’Nephew, forget about me; think of the Buddha’s teachings!’

After hearing the king’s story…’Atisha then investigated whether it would benefit the Buddha’s teachings if, out of love for his potential Tibetan disciples, he went to Tibet.’

Once Atisha arrived in Tibet , King Jangchub Oe made a request of him….

“Compassionate Atisha,” he said, “for now, do not teach the profoundest and most amazing of Dharmas to your uncivilized disciples of Tibet. I ask that you teach instead the Dharma of the law of cause and effect. Also, may it please the protector to compassionately teach some error-free yet easy-to-practice Dharma, one yourself practice, one that includes the whole path, would be beneficial to Tibetans in general, and encompasses all the intent of the Victorious One’s scriptures — the sutras, tantras, and commentaries.”

How very loving and true the king was. He only wanted the Buddha’s teachings to flourish as they are…not as they had become. His compassionate nature shown through.

‘Atisha was highly pleased by this, and so composed the Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment. In only three folios this elucidates all the thinking of the sutras and tantras. It begins:

“Most respectful homage to all holy victors of the three times,

To their Dharma, and to the Sangha.

Requested by my noble disciple Jangchub Oe,

I shall light the Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment.”

And thus ends the brief outline of the greatness of the authors.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have recently started Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment by Atisha….it is wonderful. I highly recommend it. It is clear and it is profound.

Categories: Buddha, lamrim | Tags: , , , ,

Part One: The Preliminaries Heading 4

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.”

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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.

/!\ Debra

Categories: lamrim | Tags: , ,

Part One: The Preliminaries ~ headings 1 – 3

Portrait of Atisha

Image via Wikipedia Atisha /!\

Heading 1

“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.

Heading 2

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.

Heading 3

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.

Categories: Attitude, Buddhist Quote, lamrim, Tibetan Buddism, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , ,

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