Everything in the world is fickle and impermanent, so indulgence in the pursuit of material desires will bring only physical and mental pressures and pains. Nevertheless, we don’t realize that it is our heart that determines our suffering and happiness. We mistakenly thought that happiness comes when we possess outward things. Therefore, in order to live a free and happy life, we need to learn to make an adjustment to our inner world.

For untold eons, we have been suffering in the endless cycle of birth and death, and yet we still cling to everything in it. We deem Samsara a real and everlasting phenomenon, and don’t know that it’s a mere dream. If we keep holding fast to this phenomenon, our pain will only increase, and our chance of attaining liberation from the suffering of Samsara will be little.

To put an end to our sufferings and afflictions, we need first of all to eliminate the causes of the five poisons: greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance and doubt. Working hard day and night doesn’t guarantee a fortune, because to be wealthy, one must have the cause of being wealthy. If you didn’t practice almsgiving and amass the cause of wealth in your previous lives, then you won’t be able to make a fortune in this lifetime.

But why should we practice Buddhadharma? We practice Buddhadharma because it’s influential in both this and next lives. Otherwise, there will be huge obstacles when we wish to attain great benefits. Hence it’s worth taking time cultivating so that we are able to accumulate merits and virtues and remove the hindrances.

Someday we all have to face death, at the moment of which we even have to let go of our most precious body, not to mention our parents, children, relatives, friends and possessions. “Nothing but the karma you create will go with you.” When we die, we can do nothing but are led by our karma, good or bad. That is why we should also make a preparation for our next life instead of pursuing the worldly pleasure of this life only.

With a family, business and children to run and support, people in general can’t devote entirely to practice the Dharma. However, besides being perfect in our job, family and business, if we know to practice the Dharma and plan for our future, even insofar as three lifetimes, we can be said to have led lives of wisdom.

Nowadays, many people suffer from melancholia because of insatiable desires. Our minds get sick when our desires can’t be satisfied. For example, some parents suffer from sleeplessness because they worry that their kids are .. Although the parents' duty is to take care of and educate their own children, the children can't give any substantial help when the parents pass away.

Therefore, what we should do is that when the children are young, we take good care of them, but when they have grown up, we need not to worry too much. In this Saha World, everyone is subject to his own karma; nobody can really help anybody out. The parents should be concerned about their kids, but should not be involved too much; instead, they should learn to be laidback and enjoy their own lives.

With great compassion, the Buddha shows us the gateway to liberation. But the key to liberation still depends on the level of achievement of sentient beings’ cultivation, their desire for learning, and also the level of their faculties. As a result, to arrange only for this lifetime isn’t enough; we need to consider the next lives and the law of cause and effect as well. Thus we need to reduce our afflictions. Moreover, jealousy and arrogance are harmful to us and will cause numerous sufferings, so if we want to avoid suffering in the future, we should accumulate the causes of happiness now.

Our enemy does not come from the outside world but from our inner afflictions, which result in many of our sufferings. It is not an easy thing to reduce or mitigate one’s afflictions right away, but we can alleviate our sufferings and mental burden by eliminating the essence of affliction.

For instance, when we point a finger at others, three of our fingers are in fact pointing at ourselves. Therefore, we should do self-observation before we criticize others, because when we make amendments to our attitude, the other will somewhat change theirs too. Therefore, Buddha’s teaching is basically one that teaches us to correct our own nature.

What I have said above is that mired in Samsara, we will meet with tons of afflictions. When we are in pain and trouble, learn not to be affected by it; when we have momentary happiness, remember not to be too attached to it. Our aim is to gain all the happiness and get rid of all afflictions. Hence we have to accumulate every virtue and merit to remove all our karmic obstructions.

 

Merits and Virtues gained from reciting “Prayers to Guru Rinpoche”
Guru Padmasambhava was the saint predicted by Buddha Sakyamuni before the Buddha entered nirvana. While Buddha Sakyamuni was entering the state of nirvana, his disciples asked him, “After you’ve gone, who will save the sentient beings from suffering? Who will evacuate the obstruction of the sentient beings’ ignorance, and who will give the teaching of the right path?” At that time, the Buddha told the assembly, “Don’t worry. I predict here that after 112 years, there will be an exceptional saint born to this world.”

Upon hearing this, the disciples doubted that there would be another great practitioner since the Buddha was already the supreme one. To eliminate the hindrance for the sentient beings, the Buddha, exerting his supernatural power, told the assembly about Master Padmasambhava’s greatness.

The Buddha was human-born and went into nirvana at the age of 80, while Master Padmasambhava was lotus-born, so Guru Rinpoche would never go into nirvana. The Buddha predicted that Master Padmasambhava would first of all go to the southwest to liberate demons and then come to this world, as the incarna-tion of Buddha Sakyamuni, 112 years after Buddha’s nirvana. Buddha Sakyamuni went into nirvana, because the capacities of the sentient beings Guru Rinpoche liberated had already been completed, so Guru Rinpoche was reincarnated as Master Padmasambhava.

Born in a milky lake on the border of India, Master Padmasambhava emanated from the light of the letter “HRI” revealed in Buddha Amitabha’s heart. At that time, a king who reigned over the borderland between India and Pakistan had generated boundless vows, amassed countless merits and virtues, and performed numerous kinds of charity. He even gave up the throne to Master Padmasambhava and went for dharma practicing himself.

We should feel grateful to Master Padmasambhava and the king for being able to read Sutras and Abhidharmas nowadays. For when Master Padmasambhava was a king, he translated Sutras from Hindi and Sanskrit to Tibetan, so Sutras are kept complete in Tibetan. With Buddhadharma extin-guished in India, Tibetan Sutras are now translated reversely back into Hindi.

Guru Rinpoche had liberated many sentient beings. Because Mara (ruler of the demons) brought so many pains and troubles, Guru Rinpoche came to Jambu Dvipa to tame him, to prevent the demons from harming more sentient beings and to arouse them to the development of the Bodhicitta. For the above reason, Guru Rinpoche came to the southwest first, where Mara dwelt, to tame Mara before he came to the throne.

Guru Rinpoche had liberated many sentient beings. Because Mara (ruler of the demons) brought so many pains and troubles, Guru Rinpoche came to Jambu Dvipa to tame him, to prevent the demons from harming more sentient beings and to arouse them to the development of the Bodhicitta. For the above reason, Guru Rinpoche came to the southwest first, where Mara dwelt, to tame Mara before he came to the throne.

So when we make a petition to Guru Rinpoche, we will gain swift blessing. While reciting “Prayers for Fulfilling Wishes,” “Seven-Line Prayers to Guru Rinpoche,” and “Vajra Guru Mantra,” we should visualize that Master Padmasambhava is over our head, kingly dressed, with his right hand holding a vajra pestle, and his left hand a skull.

Guru Rinpoche embodies the essence of the Buddhas of the three times—that is, the past, the present and the future Buddhas. The Dharmakaya Buddha is Samantabhadra; the Sambhogakaya Buddha is the Buddhas of the Five Directions, and the Nirmanakaya Buddha is Buddha Sakyamuni. Guru Rinpoche is also the manifestations of the Dharmakaya, the Sambhogakaya and the Nirmanakaya.

Master Padmasambhava is also dubbed the Congregation of the Triple Gem—his mind representing the Buddha, his speech the Dharma, and his body the Sangha. If we do not have enough time meditating on the yidam, we can just visualize Master Padmasambhava, because he represents the essence of all Tathagatas, the congregation of Buddhas, and is no different from the gurus and the dakinis.

Chanting “Vajra Guru Mantra” a hundred thousand times has the same effect of chanting the heart mantras of other Buddhas. While visualizing Guru Rinpoche, we should picture him as someone with Master Padmasambhava's appearance, whose inner mind is our Mula Guru (Root Guru), and that our Mula Guru is no different from Guru Rinpoche. Through this visualization, we will gain blessings from the Buddhas of the three times. “You are frequenting all the Tathagatas by frequenting me. I symbolize the achievements of all yidams,” said Master Padmasambhava.
The picture may not be very clear when you launch yourself on visualizing Guru Rinpoche over your head, so you can start with looking at his image or tangka. After a long time, when you close your eyes, you will be able to visualize him, and the picture will be getting clearer.

The image of Guru Rinpoche is like the rainbow and the light, which has no substantial entity. With such visualization, you can start reciting “Vajra Guru Mantra”: “OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM.” The sounds OM AH HUM are the seed syllables that symbolize the body, speech and mind of all the Buddhas of the three times. VAJRA means the diamond; GURU means the master; PADMA means Nirmanakaya, signifying the lotus blossoming from the lake, while SIDDHI refers to the accomplishment of the guru’s wishes. There are two kinds of siddhis: ordinary and supreme.

HUM is a supplication for blessing. The heart mantra “OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM” supplicates Vajra Master Padmasambhava, the Nirmanakaya of the gurus of the three times, for blessing. It’s important we have faith in the mantra while we are reciting, or else we won’t be able to get compassionate blessings.

It is said in Tibet that people with dull faculties tend to attain complete achievement in the spiritual practice. This is because when they are taught to recite, they immediately believe it and accept it. But when the guru teaches us to recite, most of us will doubt the effect of recitation. This doubt will damage our faith and disable us from gaining all accomplishments and powers of blessing.

The Buddha said that He will appear in front of anyone who has faith. Guru Rinpoche also said that he will grant achievements and supreme blessing where the sun shines. Therefore, on the tenth and twenty-fifth of every month in the Tibetan calendar, Guru Rinpoche will visit Jambu Dvipa in person. The reason why we can’t see him is that we lack faith.

In the past, Master Asanga had practiced meditating on Bodhisattva Maitreya for three years, but failed to see him personally. He continued practicing meditation, however, and saw Bodhisattva Maitreya in person finally. This is because when Master Asanga saw Bodhisattva Maitreya incarnated as a dog corpse, whose lower body had a wound with worms swarming in it, he generated immense compassion in his heart, using his own tongue to lick the wound. At that moment, the dog corpse turned into Bodhisattva Maitreya. Master Asanga then asked Bodhisattva Maitreya, “I’ve been meditating on you for a long while. Why couldn't I see you in person?” Bodhisattva Maitreya replied, "I was with you all the time. You couldn't see me because your true nature was blocked by various defilements and delusions."

The mind of Guru Rinpoche is pure because he has already detached himself from every defilement and delusion. When we are reciting the prayers, we shouldn’t be doubtful whether the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas will hear and understand. We shouldn’t think this way; we should pray with a pure mind, instead.

Next, we visualize two rays of light emitting from Guru Rinpoche illuminating the Triple Realm of Desire, Form and Formlessness, eliminating all the afflictions and obstructions in it. As we have read in the “Seven-Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche”, we should visualize every form as the dakini, the daka and the pure Buddha, every sound as the sound of chanting Buddha's name or mantra, and every single thought as identical with Guru Rinpoche’s mind.

At last, we visualize Guru Rinpoche turned into light and merging with our body, speech and mind, and that our body, speech and mind are identical with Guru Rinpoche’s. By visualizing so for about five to ten minutes, we can gain great blessing from Guru Rinpoche. We recite “Prayers for Fulfilling Wishes” for the purpose of removing outward hindrance and obtaining the supreme Buddha’s blessing.

The dedication of merits is important after we have recited the prayers. The whole process is then complete with the development of the Bodhicitta in the preliminary stage, the generation of compassion in the middle, and the dedication of merits in the end. When we recite in the morning, we visualize Guru Rinpoche over our head, and in the evening, we visualize Guru Rinpoche in our heart. The best way of meditation and the source where we can gain Guru Rinpoche's most profound blessing is to visualize Guru Rinpoche being with us at every moment throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

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