Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Dalai Lama on a Pure Refuge from Suffering

by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tsong-ka-pa
and Jeffrey Hopkins

Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

We live in an ocean of cyclic existence whose depth and extent cannot be measured. We are troubled again and again by the afflictions of desire and hatred as if repeatedly attacked by sharks.

Our mental and physical aggregates are impelled by former contaminated actions and afflictions and serve as a basis for present suffering as well as inducing future suffering. While such cyclic existence lasts, we have various thoughts of pleasure and displeasure: 'If I do this, what will people think? If I do not do this, I will be too late; I won't make any profit.' When we see something pleasant we think, 'Oh, if I could only have that!'

...Day and night, night and day we spend our lives in the company of the afflictions, generating desire for the pleasant and anger at the unpleasant, and continue thus even when dreaming, unable to remain relaxed, our minds completely and utterly mixed with thoughts of desire and hatred without interruption.

To what refuge should we go? A source of refuge must have completely overcome all defects forever; it must be free of all faults. It must also have all the attributes of altruism--those attainments which are necessary for achieving others' welfare. For it is doubtful that anyone lacking these two prerequisites can bestow refuge; it would be like falling into a ditch and asking another who is in it to help you out. You need to ask someone who is standing outside the ditch for help; it is senseless to ask another who is in the same predicament. A refuge capable of protecting from the frights of manifold sufferings cannot also be bound in this suffering but must be free and unflawed.

Furthermore, the complete attainments are necessary, for if you have fallen into a ditch, it is useless to seek help from someone standing outside it who does not wish to help or who wishes to help but has no means to do so.

Only a Buddha has extinguished all faults and gained all attainments. Therefore, one should mentally go for refuge to a Buddha, praise him with speech, and respect him physically. One should enter the teaching of such a being.

A Buddha's abandonment of defects is of three types: good, complete, and irreversible. Good abandonment involves overcoming obstructions through their antidotes, not just through withdrawing from those activities. Complete abandonment is not trifling, forsaking only some afflictions or just the manifest afflictions, but forsaking all obstructions. Irreversible abandonment overcomes the seeds of afflictions and other obstructions in such a way that defects will never arise again, even when conditions favourable to them are present.

--from Tantra in Tibet by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tsong-ka-pa and Jeffrey Hopkins, published by Snow Lion Publications

Tantra in Tibet • 5O% off • for this week only
(Good through August 13th).

Discover great articles, new releases and dharma news
in the latest edition of
Snow Lion: The Buddhist Magazine and Catalog!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: