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
Government agencies had for long suspected that the Karmapa was a “Chinese spy”, but a decision was recently taken to review the restrictions on his travel in an attempt to “engage” him.
Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published:May 24, 2017 2:26 am
The government is set to lift the travel restrictions imposed on Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. The Home Ministry has proposed to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that the Karmapa be allowed to travel to any part of the country, except Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, without seeking prior permission from New Delhi.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu (Black Hat) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, was born in Tibet and escaped to India through Nepal at the age of 14. He reached McLeod Ganj, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, in 2000. He lives in Dharamshala and is recognised by the Dalai Lama.
Government agencies had for long suspected that the Karmapa was a “Chinese spy”, but a decision was re…
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…
Centre may allow him to visit any place, except Sikkim, without seeking its nod
Urgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, may be allowed to visit any place in the country, except Sikkim, without seeking the government’s permission. The Home Ministry has moved the proposal before the Cabinet Committee on Security, a senior government official said here on Tuesday.
The move assumes significance in the wake of China’s repeated warnings over the recent Northeast visit of the Dalai Lama, who Beijing describes as a “separatist” for spearheading the Tibetan freedom movement.
Though the Dalai Lama has endorsed Urgyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa, it does not necessarily mean that the latter succeeds him, said Amitabh Mathur, Adviser to the Home Ministry on Northeast subjects, including Tibetan affairs.
“But that doesn’t mean he is seen as his successor. That will depend on how Tibetans see him and whether they will look up to him for s…
May 24, 2017 – St Catharine’s and King’s College, Cambridge, England
Today His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa left London and travelled north to Cambridge, a city whose name has become almost synonymous with its world-famous university. The Karmapa’s visit to Cambridge was hosted by the International Buddhist Confederation’s Secretary for Environment and Conservation, Dr Barbara Maas.
His Holiness’s day in Cambridge began with an academic seminar on animal sentience and animal welfare science, and their significance for our relationship with and treatment of animals. Veterinarians turned animal welfare scientists, Dr Murray Corke and Peter Fordyce from the University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine, provided His Holiness with background about the complexities of assessing the wellbeing of animals and introduced him to some of the latest research developments that have transformed our understanding of animal awareness and suffering. These include a wide range of behavioural and physio…
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.
DHARAMSALA, May 19: Scores of people took to the streets in Gangtok for a march over a pending demand to allow the 17th Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim.
A day ahead of the Union Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Sing’s visit to the state capital, hundreds of monks and followers rallied in Gangtok yesterday demanding that the Karmapa be allowed to visit the state, reports The Sikkim Express.
The Union Home Affairs Minister will be in Gangtok today to attend a meeting of Chief Ministers of five states neighbouring China. Following the procession, the third rally organized by the Denjong Lhadey this year, the state government had assured 15 members from the group to meet with the minister to apprise him of their demand, the report added.
The followers of the Karmapa, head of Tibetan Buddhism’s Kagyue lineage, are said to have rallied round Gangtok. The opposition leaders and members of various organizations took part in the mass rally.
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…