Five Root Downfalls of Vajrayanaii (Part II)*
We will talk again about the five root samayas. It is root samaya, but compared to branch [samaya], I think this is easier to do. Some of those branch samayas are very difficult to do. But “root” means “root”. It is the most important part. So this is MUST. Someone like us, [who] already practice Vajrayana and [have] received many teachings, many instructions, many empowerments, then we must [do that]. There is no option not to do so, but [we] have to.
So the fourth one, right? It is the most difficult part (Rinpoche laughs) among these five things. Which means you have to be nice to each other (Rinpoche laughs). So it is said that one must be compassionate to those on the same path, on the correct excellent path, which means everyone with the same Guru, in the same mandala. For example, this time, you go up here, you guy are all on the same path, sharing the same path. This is being company to each other – direction to the liberation.
So, we must try to be compassionate to each other, kind to each other, respectful to each other. Of course, we can – I mean [this is] the Buddhist view on sentient beings. When we talk about “Dharma brothers and sisters”, this is a very great way of seeing sentient beings and accepting sentient beings in a special way, in the Buddhist tradition. We say because all sentient beings have the same nature, the essence of the mind of sentient beings is the same – it’s Buddhahood. From that point of view, all sentient beings are like brothers and sisters, because we have the same base, the same foundation.
The reality, the emptiness of the mind is exactly the same. So, all sentient beings are like external friends, brothers and sisters. And then, that’s the first well-seeing on sentient beings – like beings’ brothers and sisters. Second, we say all these Buddhist people, anyone who practice Buddhism, anyone who takes refuge in the Three Jewels, they are distant friends, distant brothers and sisters. Third, it is the same lineage. All of those who are in the same lineage, the same school, they are inner friends, inner brothers and sisters. The fourth one, those who are sharing the same teacher, the same mandala and receiving the same instructions, the same empowerments – this is called Vajra brothers and Vajra sisters.
So, all sentient beings, we can divide into these four categories. So we can learn that all sentient beings, somehow, are friends to us and we are friends to them. It is not seen that we stay based on some regular connections, relationships in between us, but we base on the special best way of seeing. We say the first thing is we all share the same nature, therefore, in this nature, everyone is friend, everyone are like brothers and sisters. Because the essence [of everyone] is the same.
So, of course, even those who are vajra brothers and sisters, they are even much closer, because having the same teacher, having the same instructions, or taking the same path. But all sentient beings, since when we are the same nature, therefore, we have to try to see them important. So we have to be respectful, we have to be very kind and compassionate. Therefore, it is said that whoever is on the same, pure, perfect excellent path, we must try to be compassionate with them. So, it is the Fourth one.
The Fifth one, it is to keep secrets, whatever it is a secret. It means whatever you have learned, whatever instruction, teaching in Vajrayana that you have received, you should keep it as secrets. Do not make a big deal! Do not show you are a big hero by saying: “I am such a special person. I’ve received this teaching and I received that empowerment. Now I am a very big siddha or something” (Rinpoche laughs). Do not make a big deal of these things.
To keep secret means to keep things so that other people cannot see [them] very easily. But inside, you may be very pure, very great, very good, but it is not very easy [for people] to see that! You should not show that you have any quality. Because the view of Secret Tantra is very high, but if you have action, but if you have behavior tries to reach this view then people may not understand you. People may think: “Oh! You are crazy!” or [they think] you are too much, or you are maybe folly or something. So that becomes a problematic for Vajrayana system, for Vajrayana teachings. So, therefore, even Guru Rinpoche said that your view may be high like the sky, but your conduct has to be very, very detailed, and very and very fine like flour. It is what Guru Rinpoche said. Therefore, Secret Tantra, we have to keep as Secret Tantra.
I think that’s a very important part and also it makes sense, because if you talk too much, and people, I think, start to investigate you. Are you very many? Do you have that view? Can you do that? When you talk too much, if you keep things very simple, if you see yourself very humble, then people respect you. “Oh! Maybe this person is a good practitioner, maybe has a good view and high view.” So, in this way, of course, it’s beneficial for oneself to keep everything in a very simple, and to keep oneself in a humble way. When you talk about your practice too much [that] means you’re showing your ego actually and you are saying that: “I’m a good practitioner. I’m practicing Vajrayana. I have a very high view”. That is the meaning behind that. Therefore, it becomes easily an obstacle to develop your path.
So, in early time, the Masters in India, when they practiced Yidam or a practice of Vajrayana, for example, almost nobody knows that this person was a practitioner, what were the deities that this persons practiced. Because they kept everything as a secret, a personal thing. So, practicing is actually a personal thing. It’s not for the public. So therefore, we have to keep it as a personal thing. But personal thing still, we can see that is beneficial for others, and we can develop Boddhicita inside for others.
Of course, we can say some qualities and some benefits of the path of Boddhicita to others. But even if you talk too much, people may ask if you are really practicing Boddhicita? Do you get angry sometime? Are you enemy, of course but, with your friend, with your husband, with your wife, something like that? (Rinpoche laughs). Will you say “No”? (Rinpoche laughs). When you say: “Of course, I get angry!” and what you mean you’re practicing Boddhicita. So, not talking too much has a lot of benefits part.
To think that we should keep secrets, the first one is whatever you are supposed to keep secrets, you should keep secrets. It’s the general meaning of Vajrayana. The second [is that] things is you are told to keep secrets, you should keep secrets. Nowadays, of course, most people may say: “Oh! My teacher said do not tell you, but I tell you anyway.” You are breaking your samaya. When you are really understanding that you are obviously breaking your samaya, this is even more serious problem than breaking samaya without knowing. Because the teacher and a person told you to keep these secrets, you should keep secrets, do not tell others. I found that many people, especially Western people, they want to be honest and they think they are being honest: “Oh! My teacher said do not tell you but I tell you,” (Rinpoche and everyone laugh). I think that way Tibetans are better. Ah! It’s what I see (Rinpoche laughs).
Even though, it is not necessary, you think maybe not very necessary to keep these secrets, but because you are told by your teacher that to keep secrets, then you should keep it secretly. Then you are very listening to your teacher, you respect the words of your teacher. If you do not do that, that means you are not a reliable person, a reliable disciple. So, the teacher thinks: “Oh! This is not reliable, I cannot tell instructions or secret views, because, this will not keep the samaya.” So you have to understand this part. And I said earlier, they think they are being honest and they think the teacher is sneaky or something. That is a wrong view.
So, of course, in Buddhism, in general speaking, we have to rely on the meaning not the words, right? So the meaning is more important. So, what is the most important for you is the act. Action is more important than words said. So, when you do something good or bad, we don’t count your words, but we only count your actions. This how we recognize oneself, just oneself for being a good Dharma practitioner or not. This is very important part.
So, the essential reason for the Vajrayana masters to say to keep things in secret, to keep things in a simple, humble, not to talk too much is [that this is] a good protection for yourself. Because when you talk too much, it becomes a real distraction for you. And later you make it stronger, make it very sad, make it anger, many things would happen. Therefore, Buddha many times does not allow anyone in Buddhism path, especially in the Vajrayana path, to tell anything, any good sign you think related to your practice. Maybe good sign or maybe good dream, or good visions, whatever, just keep it, do not tell. If you tell them, that becomes a problem for yourself. Then people talk about you too much, then you get distracted, or you get upset, or maybe you get very excited, then you will lose your strength in your practice. You may lose your diligence, because you are already distracted. “Now, I become a great master! I want to do this and that and these other things,” and you totally forget your Dharma practice. And that’s a big loser. It’s really! (Rinpoche laughs).
That is that!
Now I tell you. Actually I mentioned you earlier this morning, but having received many teachings, many empowerments, and now what should we do? The answer is we have to keep and practice these parts. Then I mentioned Guru Yoga. It’s very good practice, that includes everything. But if you have the ability to have energy, to have time, then you can practice more. For example – Guru Yoga is the best – and then you can practice Vajrakylaya, Orgyen Jambala, Vajrapani, Kalachakra, Yamantaka, of course. If you want too, you can practice 10 different practices a day. There are nothing wrong to do that, right? But I don’t think so. (Rinpoche laughs). I think most of you are come from US, Canada, Russia, I think you want fast food (Rinpoche laughs). Not very formal food. But fast food always is good, right?
I repeated again: to establish pure view, because Vajrayana – Secret Tantra – is actually based on that kind of pure view. H. H. Dalai Lama said when he is in a bad mood even he gets angry at his watch. He wants to throw it out, to break it down. But when he is on a good mood, he sees he watch is very beautiful, gold, silver and diamond, everything very valuable. What makes difference? Of course, your mind becomes like that. When you’re very distracted, then everything become very bad. When your mind is very peaceful, then you see everything peaceful and beautiful. So when you see someone’s problem, when you see a problem maybe by your teacher or something, then you must see: “Oh! That is my mind problem! At least most are my mind problem.” You have to. We have to blame oneself, not to [blame] others. Not easy to do. But we have to try, and this is the only homework we have now. (Rinpoche laughs).
And then the other thing: having too much desires. Of course, this will bring a lot of problems and unhappiness. Therefore, we, somehow, must establish some sort of contentment and satisfaction. We have [to] understand: “Oh this is my merit. I have that much merit, so that is what I have now and I’m happy to accept that.” This is ok. But if your desire is beyond your ability, your merit, that is a big problem then for you, because you’re always chasing something, following something, running after things. Only yourself will get very tired. The things do not follow you, but you follow them, because you desire them. So, Nagarjuna said contentment is the only treasure. If you want to have a special, very valuable treasure, then satisfaction – to develop, to increase this kind of mind is very important. And I found this very practical and very useful.
I said the same thing what I said to you earlier to Chinese people. I also criticized their view, their seeing how important the material things [are] (Rinpoche laughs). But it’s really. When you see material things so important and you think you cannot live without having this – whatever in your imagination, in your desire – then you are always distracted, you are always wandering something. Your mind does not have any ability to rest. Therefore, sometime, we have to be very contented, right? It’s very important, I think.
Also, Buddha said that renunciation is actually the best kind of satisfaction, contentment. We have no this kind of contentment, of course, [but] there is no renunciation, because you have so much desires and end up in Samsara. But when you have this kind of satisfaction, said: “Ok, it’s enough! Really enough! It’s enough for me, for my life this time.” Then you have some chance to train your mind, to do something differently. But when you never get satisfaction, then you are always chasing those things, similar things in a circle. Everyday thinking the same thing, doing the same thing.
Milarepa said: “I see Samsara is crazy, but Samsara sees me crazy,” (Rinpoche laughs). So I think we have to have some sort of these understandings. Is that enough? (Rinpoche laughs). I think since you have renunciation, satisfaction, and keeping those five root samayas very nicely, I think you can go and rest and sleep right now (Rinpoche laughs).
The end of the teaching on 24.8.2013 (part II)
Transcript by Drolma Lhamo (Pham Hoa).
Taken from MP 3 Hungkar Dorje Rinpoche teaching, 24.08.2013, Golok.
*The title is created by the translator for the reader’s convenience.