On 17th June 2019, coinciding with the auspicious 15th day of the fourth Tibetan month (Saga Dawa), His Eminence Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche conferred the 3rd teaching on ‘Introduction to Buddhism’ at the main temple ‘Kalsang Chokyi Jungney’ of Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute.
Since 2018, after having the discussion with some important community members, Dzongsar Institute has been arranging the teaching program on ‘Introduction to Buddhism’ for the public. With kind acceptance to the wish and imploration of administrative committee of the institute, His Eminence Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche conferred the teaching for the third time, at the main temple ‘Kalsang Chokyi Jungney’ of the institute, to over five hundred attendees, comprising the students from nearby schools, public of Tibetan settlement area and the students of Dzongsar Kanishka Primary School.
Foremostly, as a preliminary aspect of the teaching, highlighting the fourth Tibetan month which has turned out to be a very great period of attaining enlightenment by Shakyamuni Buddha, His Eminence Dungsey Rinpoche, likewise, advised us to strive to make one of the days of, for instance, second Tibetan month, to be a great period of attaining enlightenment by oneself in the future. Dungsey Rinpoche advised that we have to practise the dharma without wasting the precious opportunity when we have gotten the precious human life, met with the sublime dharma, when Buddha has also taught the dharma in accord with the mindset of the sentient beings and when there is an opportunity for all of us as well to practise the dharma according to our dispositions and likes. Further, adding to the preliminary mode of the teaching, Dungsey Rinpoche gave a profound advice in which Rinpoche expressed that since we need the guru in order to practise the dharma, it is of utmost importance that we make offerings to the guru and have conviction of the guru as being the real Buddha. The guru need not be the renowned one, rather even if we have an ordinary one, the way how one’s guru should be viewed as being no different from the Buddha is also what Dungsey Rinpoche expressed. It is also advised that, like the manner in which the prince Siddhartha had searched for the way to be free from sufferings, we have to be in a position to be able to doubt where all the sufferings in life are actually coming from. Rinpoche mentioned that from one angle, our true, essential nature is the Buddha, but as we are just stained or defiled by the afflictive emotions which can be completely eliminated, we therefore always have the potential to be enlightened. By not wasting such profound potential that we are enriched with we should strive to make, like the fourth Tibetan month or Saga Dawa, the month and day of our own enlightenment in the future is also what Rinpoche kindly advised.
Then, in the main teaching, His Eminence Dungsey Rinpoche said that since interdependent arising is very important, for its purpose, he would begin with the introduction of the Four Noble Truths that day. It began by mentioning that when Buddha was first seen by the retinue of the five first excellent disciples at Varanasi after his enlightenment, he was promptly asked by them about what result he had achieved, and to which, as an answer, the first turning of the wheel of dharma about the Four Noble Truths was delivered by the Buddha. In the introductory phase of the Four Noble Truths, first and foremostly, Buddha had said that the suffering should be recognized. Likewise, beginning with explanation of the importance of knowing the truth of suffering, Dungsey Rinpoche said that until the disease of the patient is diagnosed it is unable to know the way of curing it. In the same manner, whatever sufferings of the body and mind there may be, characterized by the sufferings of birth, old-age, sickness and death which are caused by the karmic actions and afflictive emotions, they must be recognized as the suffering. After having recognized the suffering as the suffering, it is not that all we can do is to merely bear it as if there is no means. That’s why, it is also said by the Buddha that the cause of the suffering should be abandoned. Pointing out the means of abandoning the cause or root of the suffering which are the karmic actions and afflictive emotions, Dungsey Rinpoche said that the cause of the suffering should be abandoned like in the same manner where the disease is diagnosed first in case of the patient, and then the cause of the disease is recognized in order to explain the means to abandon it. Likewise, when one’s body and mind are inflicted with the sufferings, it is the cause of the suffering that needs to be abandoned, rather than turning towards the alcoholic drinks which is merely like a patient taking tranquilizer that temporarily makes the suffering remain dormant, but one is not free from it. The main cause of the suffering of both this and next life is the self cherishing mind which gives rise to the partial mind of craving and aversion due to which, subsequently, the karma of the body, speech and mind, characterized by killing, stealing and so on, are accumulated. The fruit of these karma are what we get as the sufferings of the body and mind which shows that the cause of the suffering is nothing other than the karmic actions and the afflictive emotions. And the root of all these karmic actions and afflictive emotions is the ignorant mind that cherishes the self. Thus, Dungsey Rinpoche, as said that the cause of the suffering should be abandoned, pointed out the way of how the root of all the sufferings, which are mainly the ignorance related karmic actions and the afflictive emotions, should be abandoned.
His Eminence Dungsey Rinpoche further explained that the cessation, as said by the Buddha that the cessation should be actualized, is when the cause of the suffering is abandoned, the continuum of the suffering is annihilated which consequently gives rise to a state of peace and happiness known as the cessation. Then, as said that the path should be practised, after recognizing the suffering and its cause, and knowing that the continuum of the suffering is annihilated when the cause of the suffering is abandoned, to practise the sublime dharma which is the means to abandon the cause of the suffering is what it means by practise the path. Explaining the way, from all these the main thing, of letting the wisdom that realizes the selflessness or no-self to grow in one’s being, Dungsey Rinpoche said that since self-view or the grasping at a self or belief in the concrete self is nothing but the ignorant and deluded mind, so in order to let the mind opposite to it which is undeluded or the wisdom that realizes the selflessness to grow in one’s being, the so called self should be examined with thorough and deeper analysis and selflessness should be recognized. The Buddha has attained the enlightenment by practising the path of realizing the selflessness, and since, after gaining the enlightenment he has taught us the very way of practising the path, it is important to practise accordingly. Thus, by granting the profound advice, His Eminence Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche introduced the Four Noble Truths.
Lastly, by highlighting the 15th day of the fourth Tibetan month called Saga Dawa, His Eminence Dungsey Rinpoche said that if the wholesome or virtuous deeds are performed, characterized by the love, compassion and so on, abandoning the unwholesome or non-virtuous deeds on that day, one will be able to accumulate the merit. And if one is able to accumulate the collection of merit and wisdom, then gradually one will be able to attain the enlightenment. Thus, these are what His Eminence Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche profoundly advised and finally concluded the teaching with the ornament of the dedication of merit.
After the teaching, inside Tara temple of the institute, His Eminence Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche granted the refuge vow to all the students of Dzongsar Kanishka Primary School and granted dharma name to some of the newcomers as well.
By Chokyi Lodro Editorial Section