‘I always feel the Buddha is present when I go to the temple here. If you come here and don’t recognize it, it’s like going to a treasure island and coming back without any jewels.’
His Holiness delivered a treasure island filled with jewels when he gave the bodhisattva vow at Tergar Monastery on January 3rd. The vow, which was from Santideva’s poetic Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, contained both the aspiration and engagement aspects. The preparation, His Holiness explained, was the 7 branch prayer, to purify obscurations. Here are some of the jewels:
‘Our parents may or may not have done a good job, but they did give us our body. This is the biggest gift they could have given on a fundamental level. They gave us a body and a life, and this is an incomparable kindness.’
‘All sentient beings depend on each other. Wanting to have a good name and be known – we cannot be famous alone. Even if you set up a big throne and call yourself Vajradhara, you cannot do it alone.’
‘Even the unmoving things on this earth are kind – trees, plants, the soil. We need to think about their kindness because they are all being destroyed. Arouse unbearable compassion for all of it and wish to relieve the suffering of all. If we develop the motivation to help them all, that is bodhicitta.’
‘It is more powerful to do the dharma in this place because the Buddha defeated the four maras so there are fewer obstacles here. The smallest action will multiply hundreds of thousands of times here. This is where the Buddha reached Buddhahod. Take the vow to awaken similarly.’
‘The very ground here is a blessed place. When the Buddha defeated the four maras, the earth shook. Here the earth is a support. Even the trees depend on this. The entire place has a connection with Buddhahood. We are on the good earth. We have entered the mandala of perfect enlightenment. We have become a child of the Buddha. For this reason we should rejoice.’
After His Holiness gave the vow in Tibetan, Chinese and English, he gave us all a small present.
‘I have two pictures for you. A Chinese calligraphy and a picture of White Tara I drew myself. But the White Tara has not arrived. Maybe she’s too busy so I’ll give you the mantra instead. In my heart I feel I’ve offered this picture and you can think I’m offering it to you with the intention that you may have long life. May the deathlessness of White Tara never be separate from you for the rest of your lives.’
It seemed that the earth had shaken again, so great were the treasures from Karmapa’s mind.