The Birth of the Buddha in this World,
A SHORT MESSAGE FROM PATRUL RINPOCHE ABOUT THE BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI ON THE OCCASION OF SAGA DAWA
Today is a very special day. A special day for an extraordinary man, a compassionate, wise, realised person, who is called Buddha Shakyamuni.
And in this world, more than 2000 years ago, one man appeared. He found what is called enlightenment. This position, this attainment and this kind of great achievement is possible for everybody. But of course, before the Buddha, nobody had discovered this. We are only looking at external things, in order to find great achievement or happiness. But this person is a peerless scientist, an archaeologist, a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist, and a peerless human researcher, a learned scholar and a great professor.
Thanks for the fact that he discovered great compassion, the realisation or the path of compassion, or the activity of compassion, great happy cause happy result, to benefit all creatures. The one who found it is one Indian person, he is called Buddha Shakyamuni.
And particularly this month is a very special month because of his beneficial activity. For instance, the 7th of this month, according to Buddhist astrology, on the 7th, he was born in this world, in the place we call Lumbini. And of course, everybody says today, the 15th day is the birthday of the Buddha. It is not the birthday, but when he entered the womb of his mother Maya, that’s a bit different.
But anyway, on the 7th this month, he was born in this world, and on the 12th of this month he became enlightened under the bodhitree in Bodh Gaya, and also attained the parinirvāṇa on the same day, the 12th. But that was moved to full moon, the 15th day. It is today.
From the beginning, he was concerned about the limitless sentient beings, was thinking about limitless sentient beings. What he thought was that he wanted to eliminate the suffering of limitless sentient beings. He did not want to be happy alone, but he was concerned only about the suffering of sentient beings. Therefore, in the beginning he generated or had the extraordinary kind mind, in Buddhist terminology we say bodhicitta, or compassion, impartial concern.
Then, in the middle, he applied himself, through compassion, to find the perfect happiness. For six years he applied himself through his compassion, meditated on compassion, practised with compassion, reflected on compassion and cultivated compassion, in order to find happiness for sentient beings.
Finally, he achieved, he realised the essential core, or the main principal point, the meaning of compassion that he discovered in his mind. He himself was automatically and completely free from all samsaric suffering. Afterwards, he proclaimed, “Please, everybody apply yourselves like this. Follow, practice, cultivate your own compassion and wisdom, you will become the same as me, you will be free from all the samsaric sufferings. You don’t need to rely on any external god, buddha, deity or any others. You can manage yourselves, you have your own precious source of happiness which is your inner nature, or bodhicitta, or positive mind. If you develop this, you can be the extraordinary man, you will become the extraordinary benefit for oneself and others.” This is what he proclaimed, what he affirmed.
He himself become a fantastic person, he become like this. With a golden skin, an extraordinary man. Of course, generally he is very handsome, but after when he became enlightened, he became really shining.
There is one sūtra, the samādhirāja sūtra, which says, “Those who, while walking, sitting, standing or sleeping, recollect the moon-like Buddha or sun-like Buddha like this, will always be in the Buddha’s presence and attain the vast parinirvāṇa.”
Nirvāṇa, that means if you do like this, if you recollect the sun-like Buddha or moon-like Buddha, automatically you will become same as him and the vast nirvāṇa. His pure body is the colour of gold, extraordinary. And if you recollect Buddha’s body, speech and mind, you will become the same as him, because fundamentally, the base of your mind and Buddha’s mind are absolutely the same, not different, all Buddhas, ourselves and the mind of sentient beings, it is extraordinary. It is extraordinary because it can become the source of both, happiness and sorrow.
And of course, if it becomes the source of sorrow, it is the source of a lot of samsaric complications. But that is removable, we can change it. The mind itself is nothing fixated, really wonderful. We can change, forever. We can change and shift into the positive way, cultivate the positive like compassion, wisdom. Then, our mind becomes the perfect source of happiness, our mind will even become enlightened. It is very important that we really have this in our minds. Thanks to the Buddha who discovered this.
Generally, all the time we think that we are very bad, we say, “I am nothing, I am not very valuable, I am just nothing, I am ordinary.” We don’t recognise our own qualities, we don’t recognise our inner precious value. And so, we look all the time at something external, we rely on something external. But the Buddha said, “All the external appearances are like eight similar illusions.” What does that mean? Externally like a rainbow, a dream, a hallucination, an echo, a mirage. You follow them, but you never catch them, you never succeed. The more you follow, the more you become confused. The more you take refuge externally, the more you are suffering.
From this perspective, we need to discover our own precious inner qualities, our own potential, our own Buddha nature, the fact that we have the same seed as him. The Buddha, the extraordinary, like gold, beautiful, he is the protector of the world. Whoever visualises him in this way practises the meditation of the Buddha Shakyamuni. This position, exactly like this, as I’m showing you. This statue is in Bodh Gaya, it is almost the same as the Buddha when he was alive, he was like this.
He had an Indian face, body, like Indian human style. But internally he is the Buddha. It doesn’t matter whether he is Indian, or Tibetan, Chinese, European, but he is enlightened. Whoever becomes the same as him is extraordinary. We call him the Buddha, Buddha Shakyamuni. Whoever practises or meditates like this is the great bodhisattva.
Keeping this in mind, we should practise remembering our incomparable teacher, peerless, extraordinary, all the time compassionate teacher, teacher of wisdom, non-harming teacher, the one who found peace, enlightenment, therefore we call him the incomparable teacher, the Lord of Sages, who is the Buddha Shakyamuni.
And if you want to continue this kind of practice, it is really extraordinary. And also, in general, whatever you do, whether it is moving, or walking, sleeping and sitting, you should constantly remember the Buddha, Buddha Shakyamuni. Even at night, when you go to sleep, consider that the radiance of the Buddha’s form illuminates the whole space in every direction, up, down, the four directions, sub-directions, lighting it up as brightly as during the day, just the same as during the day.
At all times, emulate the Buddha’s actions. How can we emulate the Buddha’s actions? Generate bodhicitta, being purely concerned to benefit sentient beings, to conduct ourselves according to the six transcendent great perfections such as generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, meditative concentration and wisdom. With such a beneficial conduct, we need to emulate the Buddha’s actions.
We also need to emulate the Buddha’s actions of the speech: tell truth and give wonderful, nice pleasant speech to others, recite the mantras, prayers, and stop all the negative verbal actions.
And we need to emulate the Buddha’s mental actions: pracitse meditation, cultivate our own bodhicitta, cultivate our own wisdom, and be concerned about the benefit of all sentient beings – this kind of Buddha’s actions.
From the moment he first generated the mind of awakening, exactly and early, a kind of preliminary, and from the beginning he had a great concern for the benefit of sentient beings, like generating a warm heart, a good heart, and being purely concerned about the benefit of other sentient beings. This is what we call generating the mind of awakening, and it is very important for us: in the morning when you wake up, first you should generate bodhicitta. When you start your job, you need to generate bodhicitta. When you start eating, you need to generate bodhicitta. When you start talking, you also need to generate bodhicitta. When you are walking, talking, sleeping, any kind of action, as a leader or preliminary, as starting the process, generate bodhicitta. It is like awakening, and following the buddhas and the great bodhisattvas of the past, present and future, maintaining your commitment to precious bodhicitta, absolutely.
Last time we studied this, and you know that bodhicitta means compassion, kindness, love. You should develop this, they said. This kind of person is wonderful. Everybody can become like that, it is possible, it is wonderful, it is really possible. Without ever allowing this to weaken, exert yourself as much as possible in the bodhisattvas’ conduct in general, and be concerned about the benefit of sentient beings. This is what I would like to express today. Today it is very important to pray to Buddha Shakyamuni, take the bodhicitta vows, generate bodhicitta each moment.
The practices of śamatha and vipaśyanā in particular make the freedoms and advantages of this human existence meaningful. That is very, very important. It has been said in several sūtras and tantras that merely by hearing the name of our teacher, incomparable teacher, peerless teacher, Buddha Shakyamuni, ensures that one will gradually progress on the path to great enlightenment, without any mistakes or falling back.
It is also said that the bodhisattvas revealed the dhāraṇī in the samādhirāja sūtra I was talking about before. It is through the force of discovering this kind of benefit, if you remember, you recollect the incomparable Buddha Shakyamuni and so on, you will be the same as him.
During meditative concentration, vipaśyanā or śamatha meditation, to remember the Buddha and develop bodhicitta, that is the bodhisattvas’ conduct, the attitude. And even through simply hearing about the Buddha’s activities, the conduct, the vast accumulation of merit will naturally, easily be gained, and all karmic obscurations will be purified.
When it is recited, obstacles will not occur. This has been taught in many sūtras and tantras, and it is said particularly in the prajñāpāramitā sūtra. For example, to you recite the dhāraṇī sūtra or the dhāraṇī mantra, Buddha Shakyamuni’s mantra, like ‘Teyatha Om Muni Muni Maha Muniye Soha’ as much as you can today, it’s very, very important.
That is what I wanted to say, and also, I wanted to wish you to become the same as him in this life, and to benefit all the sentient beings!
I wanted to say this and send you a message. Maybe, if you like, you can study a little bit, this afternoon Dharma City organises prayers to the Buddha, there is Tulku Chimed Rinpoche and other people. If you can participate, it is very good and beneficial for you. If you become enlightened, if you become the same as him, it will be wonderful. I will immediately take refuge in you, I will pray for you, and also, I will consider you as a buddha.
Okay thanks, I wanted to express this, just today I have holiday. I just love him very much, I want to follow him, I want to become the same as him. But I am not a good follower, I am not a good practitioner. Why do I follow him? Why do I study his speech or advice? Because of compassion, because of wisdom. Therefore, just in this family perspective, I’m sending this message. If you like it, watch it. If you are not much interested, forget it.
Okay lak, some kind of message, thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you lak!
Message sent by Patrul Rinpoche on May 19, 2021
Dzogchen ranyak Patrul Rinpoche
is a very warm-hearted and highly realized master who loves to share the precious teachings of the Buddha.
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