Koyasan, Japan, 14 April 2014 - In contrast to yesterday, the weather this morning was bright as His Holiness the Dalai Lama walked to the Koyasan University Auditorium. He was to undertake the preparatory rituals for the Vairochana-abhisambodhi empowerment he was going to give.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama and monks from Namgyal Monastery performing Vairochana-abhisambodhi empowerment preparation rituals at the Koyasan University Auditorium in Koyasan, Japan on April 14, 2014. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL|
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during the morning session of his teachings in Koyasan, Japan on April 14, 2014. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL|
Beginning with the first verse His Holiness explained that cherishing others is about not looking down on them and regarding them as more important than you. It involves acknowledging that all worldly success comes about in dependence on other beings. Higher rebirth is achieved in dependence on other beings. Omniscience is achieved by relying on other beings. The question then is why we show the Buddhas respect, but not other beings. Chandrakirti says that compassion for sentient beings is both the seed and the harvest. Because sentient beings are kind to us, we should be grateful and cherish them as supreme.
Suggesting that we need to take account of how we exclude others through our use of language, he said:
“I tell myself that as a Buddhist monk, a follower of the Buddha, a follower of the pure authentic Nalanda tradition, if you are unable to cherish others, you should think of yourself as the lowest of all. “
It is because we cling to true existence and cherish ourselves that we are under the sway of disturbing emotions. Among those referred to negatively in the fourth verse, His Holiness suggested we could include people beset by serious illness. He said that he recently visited a leprosy clinic in Delhi where a Japanese called Sasakawa offers help and support to those afflicted by the disease.
|Members of the audience at the Koyasan University Auditorium listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings in Koyasan, Japan on April 14, 2014. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL|
When someone insults you or behaves unpleasantly to you it is hard to be good to them in return, especially if you have already tried to help them. It is important to practise patience and you can be grateful to them for giving you the opportunity to do so. His Holiness explained that the description of the practice of exchanging self for others, ‘May I give all help to my mothers and may all their negativity ripen on me’ may not actually help them, but it builds your courage and self-confidence.
The final verse refers to not letting your practice be sullied by worldly concerns, such as a wish for praise and reward. The solution is to see things as like an illusion. His Holiness remarked that selflessness of persons was referred to in the first turning of the wheel of Dharma, but the Perfection of Wisdom teachings of the second turning of the wheel explain that phenomena are empty of intrinsic existence too. Because phenomena still appear to be intrinsically existent, even when you know they are not, regard them as like an illusion. This is to avoid clinging to that appearance which is the basis for the arising of emotions like anger and attachment. Ignorance pervades all disturbing emotions. By overcoming ignorance we will overcome all disturbing emotions. His Holiness concluded:
Senior students receiving ritual blessings during the Vairochana-abhisambodhi empowerment bestowed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Koyasan, Japan on April 14, 2014.
Photo/Office of Tibet, Japan
Mantra, His Holiness explained, can be understood as shielding the mind; shielding it from ordinary appearance.
He noted that the Vairochana-abhisambodhi empowerment belongs to the second class of tantra, Performance Tantra, that he received it from Ling Rinpoche in the Tsuglagkhang in Dharamsala and subsequently performed the retreat. At the end he remarked that the goal was to fulfil the temporary and ultimate purposes of all sentient beings and that what is important is to cultivate compassion and an understanding of emptiness.
With that he returned to his rooms in the Kongo-bu-ji temple nearby. Tomorrow he will return to the auditorium for a public talk and an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions, before travelling to Tokyo.