Today the Karmapa began with the section in
theOrnament of Precious
eight benefits of aspirational bodhichitta. The first benefit is that
aspirational bodhichitta is the gateway into the mahayana. Whether or not we
are a mahayana practitioner depends on having aspirational bodhichitta in our
being. It is what distinguishes the mahayana path or indicates a truly
And what makes compassion great is the scope
of our resolve: we seek to benefit all infinite living beings without
exception, to bring them happiness and free them of suffering. If we can
shoulder this responsibility, our compassion is great; if not, we are just
repeating empty words.
Aspirational bodhichitta is also the very
basis for all the training of a bodhisattva. It is so powerful that if we can
maintain it, we can even retake full ordination vows we have broken. Just
keeping the vows of individual liberation (pratimoksha),
however, would not allow us to retake the full ordination vows in a perfect
way. From among four powers for repairing misdeeds, aspirational bodhichitta is
the greatest in terms of the power of the support. Aspirational bodhichitta is
also the seed that becomes the stable root for buddhahood.
Aspirational bodhichitta brings immeasurable
merit, and on the other hand, the consequences of abandoning it are huge: bringing
suffering, a reduced capacity to benefit others, and delay in achieving full
awakening. The Karmapa added that he read in an instruction manual that if
aspirational bodhichitta deteriorates, the negative consequences are as vast as
space, so there are both great dangers and great benefits.
The tenth and final topic in this chapter,
“The Proper Adoption of Bodhichitta,” treats the causes for losing the
bodhichitta that we have cultivated. Since this is a crucial point for
practice, the Karmapa spent some time discussing it. “Bodhichitta is lost when
we give up on a living being,” the Karmapa said. “This commitment not to turn
away from others is the most important one for the bodhisattva vow.”
Bodhisattvas are dedicated to helping others, but if they turn away from other
living beings, how could they possibly bring them benefit?
The Karmapa then added, “How do we measure or
define what it is to give up on another?” In his commentary on Atisha’sLamp for the Path to
Enlightenment, the Fourth Gyaltsap Rinpoche (Drakpa Döndrup,
1550-1617) writes that giving up on living beings means that your mind is not
able to rejoice for them. The Kadampa spiritual friend Potowa states that if
for any particular reason we get annoyed with someone, that means losing our affection
and compassion for that living being. The Karmapa then gave an extreme example
of abandoning another, telling of two worldly people fighting and saying to
each other, “In this life we can never be together, and when we die, we’ll be
buried in separate cemeteries as well.” On a different scale, he gave the
example of thinking, “If an opportunity comes, I will not help this person.” Or
“If there is a chance to remove a fault or an obstacle for this person, I will
not do it.” These illustrate losing our affection and giving up on someone.
In his extensive explanation of the
preliminary practices, Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye quotes Puchungwa, who speaks
of three conditions that need to come together for losing the vow: 1) The other
has to be suffering; 2) there is no one to help them; and 3) we have the
ability to protect or help them. When all three of these are present and we do
not help, that is abandoning the bodhisattva vow. The spiritual friend Chen
Ngawa said that if we think that there is no way that we could get along with
another person, that we could never be in harmony, this is giving up on them.
Continuing to cite other authors, the Karmapa
spoke of the Kadampa master Shonnu Gyechok (or Könchok Sumgyi Bang), who was
also a disciple of Je Tsongkhapa and wrote the most extensive commentary in
Tibetan on theLamp
for the Path to Enlightenment. He wrote that if we think that the
louse larva is so small and insignificant that it makes no difference if we
kill it, that is giving up on living beings. We are not valuing their life nor
remembering that even this tiny being wishes for pleasure and wants to avoid
suffering. A louse and an elephant are different in size but the same in having
a life force; simply because one is bigger does not make it more important.
The Karmapa summarized, saying that to give
up on living beings and lose our bodhisattva vow does not mean giving up on all
of them: giving up on a single being means that we have turned away from our
bodhisattva vow. If we are separated from our affection or compassion and
think, “Even if I could help this person, I won’t. Even if I could turn away
danger for them, I won’t,” we lose the bodhisattva vow.
Atisha spoke of three types of not giving up
on living beings: 1) Those who have helped us; 2) those who harm us; 3) and not
giving up on a being who is actually suffering. The first type is the easiest
to maintain, for we have gratitude toward those who have helped us. The second
is more difficult, and we need to understand that we are linked to those who
harm us through the ripening of our karma. Here, of course, the Karmapa noted,
we must believe in karma as cause and effect: If we harmed someone in the past,
the result is that that we will be harmed in the future. That they harmed us is
not good, but we need to consider the whole human being, and as such, this
person wishes for happiness and wants to avoid suffering just like us, so we
should not lose our sense of respect and stop valuing them. Atisha’s third type
is not giving up on a being that is actually suffering. When we see suffering,
we should think of its cause—karma and the various afflictions—and this
naturally brings up great compassion and love within us. Not giving up on them,
we think, “Wouldn’t it be great if they were freed of this suffering and its
The Karmapa emphasized that training in not
giving up on any living being is mentioned first as it provides the basis for
the vow of aspirational bodhichitta. He then brought in the First Karmapa’s
statement that even if someone is going to harm your body or diminish your
possessions, if you continue to help and care for them without despair or
sadness, that is not giving up on a living being. We need real courage to do
this and let go of our own benefit to think of others first. If we are focused
on our own success or attached to our body or possessions, it is difficult to
continually help others, so we need to loosen our clinging to ourselves.
The Karmapa then cited an example from the
Kadampa teachings on the stages of the path: Your house catches on fire and you
immediately start to flee outside. At the threshold of the front door, when you
have one foot out and one foot in, you remember the other people left behind
and think, “Saving myself is not enough. There are others I must protect,” and
so you return inside to help. Great bodhisattvas think like this but for
ordinary people, it is difficult due to their fixation on themselves. To remedy
this, we need to do all we can to develop the realization that ourselves and
others are equal, in that we both have the feelings of pleasure and pain. With
this remedy and vivid example of what it means not to turn away from others,
the Karmapa concluded his talk on theOrnament
of Precious Liberationfor
One of the most important Tibetan Buddhist leaders worries about the growing Chinese influence and diminishing numbers of the community in exile
Sanjay Kapoor Delhi
In the year 2000, a 14-year-old Ogyen Trinley Dorji or Karmapa Lama, head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of Tibetan Buddhists, escaped from Tibet and walked across the mighty Himalayas to India. His daring escape was viewed with suspicion by some who thought that it was part of a Chinese conspiracy to disrupt Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhist Exile community in India. Karmapa, who was selected through a complicated process that combined prophecy and rigorous interviews by Buddhist monks in Tibet, through the force of his charismatic personality has been seeking to assuage the misgivings and controversies that plague the exile community. Karmapa lives in Dharamshala, where Tibet’s capital in exile is located. He enjoys an excellent relationship with Dalai Lama and many see in him as the spiritual lea…
United Kingdom Tour - 2017 (London Time)
May 2011:00 - 12:30• Public teaching: 8 Verses of Training the Mind• Lunch Break15:00 - 16:30• Public teaching: 8 Verses of Training the Mind
May 2111:00 - 12:30• Public teaching: 8 Verses of Training the Mind• Lunch Break15:00 - 17:00• Chenrezik Empowerment
May 2714:00 - 18:00• Long Life Empowerment
United Kingdom Tour - 2017 (Indian Time)
May 2015:30 - 17:00• Public teaching: 8 Verses of Training the Mind• Lunch Break19:30 - 21:00• Public teaching: 8 Verses of Training the Mind
May 2115:30 - 17:00• Public teaching: 8 Verses of Training the Mind• Lunch Break19:30 - 21:30• Chenrezik Empowerment
May 2718:30 - 22:30• Long Life Empowerment
Gangtok, May 20 (PTI) A delegation of monks of various monasteries of Sikkim met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urging early permission for Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit the state.
The monks called on Singh, who is on a two-day visit here, at the Raj Bhavan last evening, officials said.
They submitted the resolution taken after a peace rally here on May 18 which urged the Government of India to grant one of the "most important demand and aspiration" of the Buddhists of Sikkim seeking early permission for the Karmapa to visit Sikkim.
The delegation was led by the Sangha MLA Sonam Kelyon Lama, who is the elected political representative of the monks in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly, the officials added.
A central government order bans entry of all the three Karmapa claimants to the title of Karmapa at Rumtek monastery in East Sikkim since 1994.
The Sikkimese Buddhists who follow the Khagyu sect recognize the 31-year-old Ogyen Trinley Dorj…
DHARAMSHALA: Kalon Karma Gelek Yuthok, Department of Religion and Culture, Central Tibetan Administration, attended the convocation ceremony of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectic, Dharamsala and the college of higher Tibetan studies, Sarah, this morning. The event was held at Sarah college of Tibetan Higher Studies.
His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Thinlay Dorjee graced the inauguration of the convocation as the chief guest. The function began with recitation of prayers by the students followed by serving sweet rice and butter tea to the guests, staff and students.
Ven. Kalsang Damdul, the director of IBD and CHTS gave welcome speech and briefly introduced the college and courses provided by the institution. Mr. Passang Tsering, Principal of CHTS read out the report of the college. The function was attended by Mr. Topgyal Tsering, secretary of Kashag secretariat, CTA, Mrs. Nangsa Choedon and Mr. Karma Senge, Secretary and Acting Secretary of Department of Education, representives of…
The internet has brought people closer to each other but also needed is an "innernet" to make us feel our inter-connectedness inwardly too, Tibetan spiritual leader, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, said on Sunday.
"The information age makes us highly aware of our interconnectedness and the internet allows us to see how much we depend on one another. But we also need to have an innernet -- not just a connection on a material or outer level. We need to be able to feel our connectedness inwardly," said the Karmapa at the release of his new book "Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society".
The book, which came out of a month-long dialogue with a group of students from the University of Redlands, California, who travelled to Dharamsala to learn from him, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, outlines his vision for a global society that truly reflects the interdependence that is now becoming widely recognised and s…
India has been a special place for him and the Karmapa says it has helped him personally gain in many ways particularly in developing his spiritual powers including patience.By: PTI | New De | Published: April 23, 2017
India has been a special place for him and the Karmapa says it has helped him personally gain in many ways particularly in developing his spiritual powers including patience. "Particularly for Tibetan people, India is a very special country. Many of them have fled to India from Tibet. So for all Tibetan people, India really occupies a special place in our hearts," he says.
"It has been 17 years since I myself came to India. Personally, during this period, there have been some difficult times. But since I came, India has helped me develop my spiritual powers including patience," Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, told PTI in an interview.
The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism has come up with a book "Interconnected: E…
The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, arrived in central London this afternoon on his first ever visit to the United Kingdom. A long line of devotees offering katas greeted him on his arrival at his hotel. He was then officially welcomed at a special reception in the form of a traditional English afternoon tea.
April 30, 2017 – Sarah College of Higher Tibetan Studies, Dharamshala, Kangra, HP, India
The Gyalwang Karmapa’s car passed by ordained and lay students who stood along the tree-lined road leading to Sarah College. After a brief visit to the college office, he was invited into the main hall where he was offered a mandala and the three representations of body, speech, and mind. As the Chief Guest, the Karmapa had come to confer, along with Kalon Karma Gelek Yuthok, certificates to the Lobpon graduating students, the Uma Rabjampa and the Parchin Rabjampa students from Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, which shared this convocation ceremony with Sarah College.
Welcoming everyone, the Karmapa noted that he’d had quite a bit of experience attending functions at universities, both in India and abroad, yet he felt a special connection with Sarah College that made him especially happy to participate in this ceremony. For special greetings, the Karmapa singled out the students who had studied the…
GANGTOK, May 18: pending demand for allowing 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim saw scores of monks and followers taking out a robust rally in Gangtok on Thursday, a day before Union Home Affairs minister Rajnath Singh comes visiting the Sikkim capital.
Their well-timed persistence extracted an assurance from the State government that a 15-member delegation from their side would be allowed to visit Rajnath Singh on Friday to place the Karmapa visit demand.
Another strategic objective of the rally was to attract the attention of intelligence agencies based in Gangtok for sending a message to the visiting Union Minister that the Karmapa followers in Sikkim have reached exasperation level.
A meeting of Chief Ministers of five States who share borders with China is taking place at Gangtok on Saturday for which Rajnath Singh is arriving.
“We want the IB and RAW officials listening and taking note of our rally to take the…