Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Online Advice Book
Lam-rim Topics :
Qualities of the Buddha
|A student had a vision of Kuan Yin, a manifestation of Compassion Buddha. In the vision, Kuan Yin was displaying various mudras, which the student then reproduced on camera and sent a videotape to Rinpoche for comment.|
My very dear Jill,
I hope you are better now. In your letter you asked a few questions. According to my divination, the mudras may have been taught by Kuan Yin. But you must always be aware that all the buddhas have one mind, or you can say the same mind. For example, from the ocean come rivers, streams, and rain. They look different, but in the end, they are all one. So, there are all these various ways. The waters look different, but they are all one.
What Kuan Yin does to you is, in reality, the action of all the buddhas. This is also the root of the path to enlightenment, which is guru devotion. This meditation is similar to the way to have realizations of guru devotion, from our side.
However many gurus one has, whatever different actions they perform, however different they appear, one should realize that they all come from the same source, like in the example of water. All the gurus, from our side, are embodiments of our root guru, or the one for whom we have the highest devotion. From our side, we should realize they are all the Buddha’s holy mind, Dharmakaya, which has no beginning and no end, which pervades all existence and manifests and takes form the second our karma ripens.
Some of these points you may not understand at the moment. But if you keep this in mind, you will understand later. This is a very important meditation, causes all the realizations in the path to enlightenment, and liberates all sentient beings from suffering and its causes and brings them to enlightenment.
You mentioned that the faces of the buddhas Amitabha and Medicine Buddha are the same. The way to differentiate, generally, is not by the face, but by their mudras. The second thing is color, and sometimes the position of the legs. As far as faces, there are many wrathful faces, so by the face alone it is difficult to tell which deity it is. For example, Guru Shakyamuni is golden in color with his legs crossed, and the palm of the right hand on his knee, which signifies the mudra of having control, and the left hand is holding a begging bowl in the mudra of concentration, having destroyed the delusions.
Amitabha is red in color and his two hands are in the mudra of concentration. There can also be a bowl filled with nectar. Medicine Buddha is blue in color, holding a medicinal plant called arura in his right hand, and a begging bowl in his left hand.
I will be doing retreat for ten days, then go on a tour to Mexico, Colombia, Florida, and Boston, then maybe to your house for breakfast or, if not, then for a cup of Chinese tea and cookie, or a mandarin or durian.
We requested teachings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and His Holiness has accepted to teach for eight days in Bodhgaya. Are you able to come? That would be the most precious thing in your life, as His Holiness is the actual Kuan Yin.
With much love and prayers...
|Praise to the Buddha
|Rinpoche gave the following talk about the Buddha under the bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, India.|
The first thing is that Buddha gave up his life, made an offering of his holy body, eyes, and limbs, and practiced the rest of the paramitas. By completing the six paramitas or ten paramitas, he completed the merit of wisdom and the merit of method, achieved enlightenment, revealed Dharma, and revealed the path to sentient beings, not only for other sentient beings, but also for me. Buddha sacrificed his life and offered charity for me. That is so incredible, so kind. Buddha sacrificed his life for other sentient beings for eons. He did that for me, to liberate me.
In the Praise to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, composed by Lama Tsongkhapa, it says that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha has unmistaken realizations, having realized that phenomena are dependent arisings, and then taught sentient beings in that way, liberated sentient beings from samsara, and brought them to enlightenment. It is good to recite that praise, also it helps to realize emptiness, because the subject is emptiness – dependent arising.
There are other prayers which praise the qualities of the Buddha. It is very good to recite them in front of an image of the Buddha. One of these prayers, which is translated into English, comes at the end of the text called Slaying the Ego, Chöd Practice. There are also different bodhisattva life stories that are very inspiring.
Buddha’s kindness is like the limitless sky. He is kinder than all the buddhas. We are going to think and meditate, 21 times, on how Buddha is kinder than all the buddhas. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha then melts into light and dissolves into you, you become empty, and then you arise as Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Visualize the Guru Shakyamuni Buddha mantra around your heart sending out light, then send out beams of light to the six realms, one by one, enlightening them, while chanting the mantra. The beams touch all the hell beings, all their defilements and negative karmas are completely purified, and they achieve all the realizations of the path and become enlightened, and are in essence the same as Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. So, we practice the meditation like that, enlightening the sentient beings of every realm, one by one.
Then, having made offerings, dedicate all the past, present, and future merits, collected by oneself, others, buddhas, bodhisattvas, and all sentient beings, through meeting the peerless founder, and the teachings of the peerless founder, which is due to the kindness of the guru, to all transmigratory beings and their being guided by holy, perfectly qualified virtuous friends.
May this world and the whole universe be filled up with the teachings of the Buddha, undisturbed by the wind of evil, superstitious, negative thought. May sentient beings in all universes, through understanding the teachings of the Buddha, fill their mental continuums with faith in Buddha’s teachings. May all sentient beings, through understanding the teaching of Buddha, find faith in the teaching of the Buddha. May I always hold and preserve the Buddha’s pure traditional teaching of dependent arising in all lifetimes, even at the cost my life.
May I spend all day and night remembering the hardships undertaken by the sublime guide Shakyamuni Buddha, in order to show the path. May I spend day and night thinking how to spread the teaching of the Buddha and practice it, analyzing and practicing this by performing this meditation practice. As I am attempting to practice this, with a pure, special attitude, may all the Dharma protectors always guide me.
Through the three times’ merit collected by me and others, may bodhicitta, which is the source of happiness and success for oneself and all sentient beings, be actualized within my mind, my family members, and in the minds of all the students, benefactors, and others, as well all sentient beings, without the delay of even one second. May that which has been generated increase.
May all the father-mother sentient beings have happiness; may the three lower realms be empty forever; may all the bodhisattvas’ prayers succeed immediately; and may I be able to cause all this to happen by myself alone.
I dedicate these merits to Lama Osel’s long life, the Buddha of Compassion: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, other virtuous friends, and other holy beings who live their lives for sentient beings, to benefit all sentient beings.
I dedicate all the past, present, and future merits, all happiness up to enlightenment, whatever merits are collected during this time, through making offerings, practicing meditation, reciting mantras, and making praises to Buddha, one’s own body, wish-granting jewels, all possessions, and all realizations, up to enlightenment, to all sentient beings. May they receive whatever they want, whatever they need. May human beings receive everything they need. May everyone receive billions and billions of dollars. May the suras and asuras receive armor and so forth, whatever they need, for protection. May the pretas receive vast amounts of nectar food and drink, and so forth. May the animals receive the protection of Vajrapani, to save them from being eaten by others.