Power of Manjushri *
Afternoon 13.9.2015, Sui Pagoda
The ceremony we want to do is called ‘Riwo Sangcho’, which means Purification for local Protectors. We believe that there are some protectors that are really important to protect individual Dharma practitioners and to protect the teachings of Buddha. Some of the protectors are pretty important, but also they need to be done some ceremony to purify negativities in the environment, and negativities within people. It is because people like we are, since we have negative thoughts in the mind, we make a lot of mistakes. Negative thoughts also destroy the purity of things [in the environment]. Therefore, we need to purify negativity through such ceremony.
The king Trisong Detsen – one of the greatest king in Tibet – a Dharma King, who invited Guru Rinpoche and many other great Masters from India to Tibet to establish Buddhism. During that time, King Trisong Detsen was sick, and no doctors actually can heal his sickness. So, he came to Guru Rinpoche to ask him what He can do for his sickness to remove [it]. So, Guru Rinpoche composed some texts, some prayers about purification – this Riwo Sangcho. And also Guru Rinpoche taught Trisong Detsen to collect all sorts of different natural substances to burn during the ceremony, because the substances have power to purify negativities that are in people and environment.
Trisong Detsen, who was very faithful to Guru Rinpoche, very happily accepted [the text] and did that ceremony. And after he had done the ceremony, he felt fine. He recovered from the sickness because of the power of the ceremony. So, the ceremony has such great history. Therefore, as followers of Guru Rinpoche, as followers of Buddhism, we also believe this ritual has such power.
(Rinpoche leads the Riwo Sangcho)
So, I will do the Manjushri [empowerment]. This is a very short, very simple way doing the Manjushri empowerment. Everyone knows Manjushri is a great Bodhisattva, a great Wisdom Deity. Buddha says Manjushri was one of his teachers, and Manjushri was like father to Shakyamuni. And one of the commitments that Manjushri did, or one of the qualities or powers that Manjushri has is whoever establishes his or her devotion in Manjushri and recites Manjushri, prays to Him, will get his wisdom. He will give his blessing to the person.
And I think it is also very important for people like us who are very not smart. Maybe I wouldn’t say very stupid, but kind of very ignorant. We must have a Protector like Manjushri, because we don’t know where we are going. Actually we don’t know what we want, and we don’t know the reality. We are very ignorant about the nature of our own mind. Therefore, we are in samsara, wandering around, suffering a lot, stuck there forever. Therefore, we need to have wisdom – wisdom like Manjushri wisdom. In order for us to have that kind of quality, we need to practice Manjushri. And we have to be very close to Manjushri, so that Manjushri is able to give us empowerment, and give us blessing, give us wisdom, knowledge.
Also younger generation – students – need a lot of knowledge, need a lot of mental power to study, to investigate things. But since there are too many things to study and also a lot of distractions at the same time in their lives. Students in the world now have a lot of difficulties and a lot of problems. Sometimes it’s too much for [them]. Studying is too much, too heavy duty or so some students cannot take. So, they do such strange actions. Sometimes they end up their lives because they lack of knowledge, lack of wisdom. They cannot take things very easily. So, also students specially need a lot of wisdom.
Usually there’re 2 ways to establish one’s own knowledge. The first one is, of course, we need to study. We have to learn different things, different subjects as much as possible. One should not be lazy, but must be very diligent to study to be knowledgeable, to be smart person. The second thing is: some people no matter how much study they do, how much time they spend on study, their mind are is still not bright, not sharp. [Their mind] so ignorant or dull, doesn’t know things clearly, because ignorance is such heavy tendency in the mind that blocks, that obscures everything. Therefore, we need to practice like Manjushri so that it purifies the negativities, purifies the obscurations in the mind, so that the nature wisdom exists in the mind will grow gradually due to that power [of Manjushri].
We can say that we’re lost. We took a departure from our own nature, we are not able to be with our own Mother-nature. Because of that, we are in samsara. As long as [we are] in samsara there are a lot of troubles, sufferings, all kinds of problems because of that. Mother-nature is obscured by the negative emotions. Practicing Manjushri has the power to cut that root of ignorance and to reintroduce to that Mother-nature. It is a great benefit in doing Manjushri practice. Therefore, it’s very good idea and very important for people, for us to recite mantra of Manjushri, name of Manjushri, and visualize Manjushri, to think of Manjushri, and to pray to Manjushri, and through the practice of Manjushri to purify oneself.
So, you already understand that reality. I think it is a very great quality of you and I appreciate that very much. My personal opinion or experience: practicing Manjushri has a great great power and benefit. Because I did not have a very good opportunity to study when I was very young. When I was small there I did not have any options, but to practice Manjushri, and I think I receive a lot of benefits from practicing Manjushri. Therefore, I have a lot of confidence in practicing Manjushri to establish one’s own wisdom, knowledge. The knowledge not only on the reality but things in daily life, things in samsara also.
Manjushri gives a lot of skills, a lot of wisdom for oneself to solve problems, to overcome difficulties. Of course, I am not saying that I am very smart or a great scholar, but if I did not practice Manjushri I was much worse than, much more stupid than normal. Therefore, I say I have a lot of faith, devotion, and confidence. Of course, when practicing any deities to receive a real benefit from any practice of deities, we have to go through great efforts. It’s not very easy to receive such blessings, such power from a deity to just recite a few mantras. We have to recite many many times, many millions of times of mantras. Then, you will receive the benefit, the power.
We can study from the story of Buddha, Buddha’s life. When the Buddha was born in this our world, he was a very high being. There were very little negativities in his mind. He was very pure and very noble, very great noble one. But he still went through hardship practice. He went to such difficult times for his Dharma, for his realization, for his path. Of course, as a regular person or person like us, we need to go through even much more difficulties. We have to go through more works, we have to be much hard-working than the Buddha, because we are much more ignorant people, much more negative people, a lot of desire, a lot of anger. So, if one wants to purify these negativities in the mind, of course, we have to apply and we have to work very diligently. That is very important to understand.
I found the biggest problem with me is laziness. I also know the most difficulty to handle is my laziness. The biggest obstacle for myself to improve, to accomplish, to take a step on the path is laziness. I think most people here you also have the same problem. I believe that because we are naturally probably similar. I believe that there are a lot of similarities in between us. Therefore, if one wants to be a good Dharma practitioner, a smart and knowledgeable person, then we have to be diligent.
We shouldn’t be lazy. We have to fight with our laziness. We have to reduce our laziness as much as possible in daily life, so that eventually we will accomplish something. But if one doesn’t know even that problem and there’re no way, no opportunity to improve oneself. Since these many years that I have spent my time to study Dharma, to practice Dharma, the biggest obscuration as I’ve said is laziness. So, people here please notice that and try to use your time correctly, properly. And do not forget about life impermanence. Do not forget about the importance of improving oneself, one’s own mind. That is, I think, very important, and it is my essential instruction or advice to you.
Hard work for Dharma is very different from hard work for life, money, and work. These [things] are is very different. Sometimes in some way, everyone has very hard works, everyone tries very hard to accomplish something but it doesn’t count. When we talk about diligence [that] means having diligence for Dharma to be very hard worker, to work with one’s own mind, to fix mental kleshas, negativities in the mind, and try very hard to do that continually. That is real diligence. We have taken countless immeasurable lives in samsara. How many births that we have taken? Nobody knows. Even Buddha doesn’t know because it’s not countable, it’s countless. But each single life everyone here has been a great loser. We have not accomplished anything, just suffering and suffering, and die. Reborn, suffer, and die again. This is our story, real story.
Since this is the only opportunity, since this is the only human life that we are able to obtain, we need to do something. If you notice that, you’re being a human being. If you do not know that, then you’re like everyone else or you’re like an animal, something like that. Because there’re no difference: animals are suffering and human beings are suffering, [too], in this world. What’s the difference? The only difference that we know: “I want this. I want this much more.” That is the only difference between human beings and animals. But, if one is able to s really use one’s own knowledge of Dharma that will make a big difference, a great difference.
Now I will recite Manjushri mantra. And everyone visualizes oneself as Manjushri, thinking: “I am Manjushri.” The reason for me to say we must think: “I am Manjushri,” because our mind has a power, a nature to be like Manjushri. Therefore, if you believe in that, if you do not get distracted by your negative thoughts, just focus on that, Manjushri will give you a lot of chance to be like Manjushri. Of course, our nature has a tendency to think: “I am not Manjushri. I am myself. I like my wife, my husband, this and that.” This is our tendency. So did you get any benefit from thinking that? No. Right? Now we need to change the way we think, because there’s a great quality that exists in our mind. If one is able to see that nature, reality, there’s a very good opportunity to be or to receive wisdom from Manjushri.
You also can recite syllable “DHIH”. So, now we recite syllable “DHIH”.
Today is very special day, actually a very good opportunity for us to practice Manjushri together on the solar eclipse day. Because of that special day, our mantra, each single mantra, turns into 1 million times more [powerful], which is very good. And there’s some story, a great story of a great master, the emanation of Manjushri – Mipham Rinpoche. He is one of the greatest scholars in Tibet history, who accomplishes great result from doing practice of Manjushri on a lunar eclipse day. He spent just one night [practicing] and he had the vision of Manjushri. Just in one night. Of course, he is very different [from us]. He has a very good foundation, very pure mind. But he also sees how important that to use at special day, to practice on a special day.
(Rinpoche gives Taking Refuge ceremony)
End of excerpt of teaching on 13.9.2015
*The title is created by the translator for the reader’s convenience.