Vimalakirti Sutra, New Delhi, India, 16 – 17 March 2018 – Part 1

Vimalakirti Sutra, New Delhi, India, 16 – 17 March 2018 – Part 1


So, first, I’d like to offer my obeisance to all my masters from whom I have received these teachings and then I’ll like to express my joy
for being here to share the wisdom of the Buddha, based on what is known as
the Vimalakirti Sutra. This particular sutra became
one of the most important, most important influences in China. I think some people even believe that what is known as Zen Buddhism or
‘chan’ Buddhism in China, use this Vimalakirti sutra
as the backbone or the road map or the I don’t know… the head,
the heart, the eye of the fundamental or the quintessence of the spiritual path. So much influence then spread it throughout
far East Asia such as Japan, Korea. A few years ago I went to China, especially the famous Dunhuang caves and there I saw the depiction of the whole Vimalakirti
sutra on the wall paintings and it is so moving, how the Chinese Mahayana
Buddhism especially, Mahayana Buddhism has cherished
this even back then. It is particularly interesting for me
because always in my mind, because of lack of knowledge about Mahayana Buddhism,
especially prevailing in China, I have always had this image of Mahayana Buddhism in China
as something quite… almost close to puritanical,
a little bit rigid, you know, like very proper with a influence also of the local
Confucius values and then suddenly when I find, when I found out that the Chinese actually
celebrate this sutra, and the reason why I’m so surprised
is because this sutra is… how should I put it? is really almost the opposite of
rigidity, puritanical, moralistic because our hero here is this rich, spoiled, indulged, lichavvi merchant,
businessman called Vimalakirti. And you know when you go to these Buddhist countries like
Japan or China, especially in China, monks are very, very much venerated and the lay people are always
considered lower than the clergy and especially the lay person
who has this kind of image, like Vimalakirti kind of image is almost looked down. It is interesting almost to notice that why Vimalakirti is really
not talked about in India because one would think India,
lover of chaos, and one moment what is considered good,
next moment is bad, one would think that in India
this sutra would be celebrated but somehow probably India
had too many choices so this somehow got neglected,
but this is quite interesting. Anyway, I have brought this printed version of the Vimalakirti Sutra
in my hand just to really give you an idea that this is, this is actually a venerated
and celebrated sutra for centuries. This is the Tibetan edition
translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan. Actually, I think there has been
several translations. I brought this partly because I want to… sort of tell you that although some of the contents of the
Vimalakirti sutra teachings and also especially how we are trying to celebrate the Vimalakirti Sutra,
especially this time, it may look like kind of something different or
something new or modern if you like. You may think that we are probably modifying or making it into… we are diluting probably, diluting the teaching. So to really express that actually what went, what went what has happened in the Vaishali
Vimalakirti mentions, that has been described in the sutra is… has so much… what do you call it?
not only it is a… from the Buddhist point of view
a historical event but it is also from the teaching point of view
each and every episode and the events and even the symbolism
has so much profound meaning. For instance, the very name Vimalakirti really has so much profound meaning in it. The word Vimala I think can be loosely
translated as stainless and kirti can be translated as sort of known or reputed,
sort of non labeled and I think that alone, from there alone we can draw
so much wisdom, especially in our day and age. So for instance, if I extract one verse
from the Vimalakirti Sutra it talks about how lotus is never
grown in the clear water, in that it actually grows in the muddy water likewise, the Buddha mind is never found
in the clear mind but it is found in the muddy mind. This is a very important. When we talk about a spiritual path we can’t help but think in terms of defilement as a problem and then
a path as a solution, we always have this kind
of dualistic distinctions, for instance, the majority of us here, maybe all
of us here are subject to defilement. We all have desire, we all have anger,
we have jealousy, we have doubt, we have all kinds of inhibition,
we have all kind of hang-ups, now according to Vimalakirti this is good. If you have these emotions,
if you have these defilements, then you have the chance or actually even more than a chance. Having the emotions, having the defilement is equal to having the wisdom and this is a really important statement
of the Mahayana Buddhism. Almost always we look down
at emotions especially, in other sorts of spiritual paths
even within Buddhism how many times we keep on hearing
mind training and when we talk about mind training
we always think in terms of looking down at volatile mind, distracted mind, we almost always see emotions as a negative but we never have this outlook or a perception of emotion as an
ingredient of the wisdom, if you like. And this is probably the quintessential wisdom of
the Vimalakirti Sutra. So this is, I just wanted to
tell you this before I… of course, we will not be able to go through
every episode of the Vimalakirti Sutra, this is an introduction to one of
the most important Mahayana wisdom in order to… stabilise our recognition of this wisdom here, today we try to recollect the Vimalakirti through different means. Okay so, the story begins with
Vimalakirti being not well so it’s basically very… how should I say… celebrated celebrity has fallen ill and this in itself has a lot of meaning because when…because the ailment
of the Vimalakirti aroused the curiosity. Not only why he was sick and
what is wrong with him not only that, all the attention that he drew because he was famous
and he had a lot friends and he had a lot of connections,
people really are in awe of him, people loved him,
people respected him. So our story is very much, story begins
with Vimalakirti being sick and he had all these visitors to check up on him and Buddha also being one of his
friends and also the teacher asking his disciples to go and check the state of Vimalakirti. So this is how the sutra is sort of, the sutra is categorized. I want to talk about his sickness, as I said the central theme of the sutra was triggered
by somebody getting sick, so I want to dwell on the sickness and I made a few notes. We are all supposedly sick,
just like Vimalakirti, all different kind of sickness. I’m just trying to remember there are so many different kinds
of categories of sickness. let me choose this six set of sickness
that the Mahayana sutras talk about and it’s a very interesting sickness, it’s sickness of… how should I put it, maybe habit but it’s much more than a habit,
it’s like inclination… what’s the English expression?
knack? knack? you have the knack, I think it’s more like a knack. So we have six different kinds of
inclination or a knack. Okay, the first one: We love to be… we love to be needy, needy that’s one of the sicknesses: needy. It’s very interesting,
you may not accept this, and you may think: “oh! I’m not
that needy” but we love to be needy, if you are not needy you almost feel
that something is wrong, it’s not right to be not needy,
you understand? So there is that, that sickness,
so that´s one sickness. And then the second sickness is
we love to be bad, bad as in immoral. I know you will think: “Oh! No, no I don’t like to be bad” but it’s not true, deep down
we all love to be bad, behind every sort of morally sound looking human being there is this thing in them to be bad,
there’s love to be bad. I’m not translating this very well, these are really important words
but maybe we can discuss this later. Then, the next is you may think
you are not violent but it’s not really true, we love to be violent of course not necessarily with
a knife and a gun and all of that, but we have a knack, knack
can you understand the word knack? we have knack for violence,
we just love it. Some sort of a violence is necessary
it sort of satisfies your itchiness you know…there is a…
you’re hungry for violence And then we love to be careless. Okay so love to be needy,
love to be bad, love to be violent and we want to be careless,
carelessness, as much as we think
we like to be careful but we, somewhere inside, we love to be careless and
we love to be lazy. That’s it; I think they are similar,
careless and lazy. Okay? And then the next sickness is as much as you think especially
this is it, modern people… modern people cherish individualism,
individual rights but it’s not really true,
we want (Tibetan) meaning… we love, we have a knack for being
dependent on something. We just don’t like the total independence. You may not know this but…
yeah we like, we like, we have… basically what I’m saying is there is
a little bit of masochism masochist, masochism within all of us, we like to be controlled by others doesn’t matter if it is by another human
or another gadget or, we like to be controlled by someone else
or something else. And then lastly,
this is a very important one this sickness is really
very difficult to get rid of, it’s really the most powerful sickness, the sickness of loving the wrong view,
we love it, we love all kinds of wrong views, I don’t know… it satisfies you,
it makes you feel that you are alive. So this is probably enough sickness
that we can talk about this morning, it’s, I think, covering quite a lot. Keeping this information
as the background sort of the heart of the
Vimalakirti sutras teaching, well, let’s us now talk about one, just one episode. Okay, I don’t know which one… let’s talk about gender. I have recently asked Harvard Buddhist University, I mean buddhist academics
to do some research because I’m actually really curious, I want to know…
probably Vimalakirti Sutra, probably is the first ever literature
that talks about equality of gender. In fact, what do you call it? In fact going beyond the gender issues. There is a scene in the Vimalakirti Sutra where one of the most respected monk,
Sariputra goes to Vimalakirti’s house and then there he bumps into this girl, one of the Vimalakirti’s, I guess, friend and she somehow transforms…
First of all Sariputra, a monk taken a bhikshu vow, according to the Vinaya
the Buddhist monks vow, one, a monk is not supposed to talk
alone in a room with a female and Sariputra bumping into
this girl, in a room already made Sariputra nervous and worse this girl magically transforms
Sariputra into a woman and a dialogue between Sariputra
and the god… this woman is probably the most profound teaching
on the wisdom regarding the gender, in Buddhism. When Sariputra was paranoid about…
first by being alone with a woman and then secondly transforming in, you know,
without his choice becoming a woman and getting freaked out. The women telling Sariputra
“I don’t see any women here, what do you mean by women?
Who is the woman?” So on and so forth. This is a direct dealing with
the sickness that I was talking earlier the sickness of wrong view, the most vicious sickness. We do have knack for the wrong view, we do have this habit of falling
into wrong views such as gender, such as morality, such as cast, race
all kinds of wrong views. How are we doing with the time? I’m going to let you ask questions because I think interaction is important but just one more episode or chapter of the Vimalakirti based on the sickness
that I was talking earlier. There is a very beautiful event
between Vimalakirti and Rahula, Rahula who actually is son of Buddha. where… I thought I just read this in Tibetan
just let you hear: (Tibetan) So, we were talking about the sort of… love to be needy, you know… this sort of knack for need, always needing something in order to counter that, we could say that the encounter
between Rahula and Vimalakirti, the story is really profound because Buddha’s son, Rahula,
was talking to a group of licchavi and Rahula was praising
about renunciation, how renouncing the worldly life
is important so on and so forth and then came Vimalakirti and he
contradicted Rahula by saying the renunciation has absolutely no benefit, challenging this wish to renounce
the worldly life is yet another need or needing, basically looking for another need. Only when a person is free from this urge
or this wish to need then, only then a person can be renounced. Only when a person is liberated from the idea of what is virtue and
what is not virtue, only if a person has a confidence
that there is no such thing as profane and sacred, that all these are projection of our mind,
only then a person can renounce, until then the renunciation,
the act of the renunciation, motivation for the renunciation and
practice of the renunciation all has no meaning. So with this I hope you sort of have
a glimpse of this very, it’s a very profound sutra it’s not that can be easily
understood with you know normal approach of what is spiritual path based on very dualistic path but if you can go beyond
the dualistic thinking, if you can appreciate
the wisdom of non duality then I think the event of Vaishali, 2500 years ago with Vimalakirti and rest of the Buddha’s disciples, would really liberate us from these
six sicknesses that I was talking about and if you can really untangle ourselves
from this six sickness, it’s quite an important freedom. So I’ll let you ask some questions and then we will talk about another eight different kinds of sickness if the time allows. Ask the questions. Q: Thank you Rinpoche, I’m very grateful for all
the causes and conditions to come together for me to be able to ask this
so early in the piece, thank you so much for allowing questions
because I read the sutra and I find a resistance and I’ll be really happy
to overcome that resistance right in the beginning, the resistance is born out of the fact
that we are talking about bodhisattvas who supposedly are beyond likes and dislikes and you know whether they would like
to go to Vimalakirti because they are supposed to
have transcended that. While I understand that they all are actors in a piece
and the idea is to get across a message why is it that people of the caliber
of Sariputra are being made to ask or made to have such extremely
mundane emotions, feelings and thoughts? And also whether this is supposedly something that actually happened
2500 years ago? Because it also interposes people like Manjushree who I’m not sure
walked the earth. R: Okay, my answer will really sound very classic Mahayana chauvinist answer, you understand? I hope it’s not going to rub those
who are practicing Sravakayana teachings. First, I have to say that the Sravakayana
teachings are really, really important, when I say Sravakayana I’m talking about
the tradition such as Theravada that is practiced in places
like Burma, Sri Lanka because these wisdom are
like the fundamental they are like the root but when we talk about Mahayana then
we are talking about altogether different capacity. It is said in the Mahayana Shastra that non duality that is conceived
and understood or realised by an arhat is… non duality that is understood by arhat and the non duality that is realised
by bodhisattva have a big difference. Chandrakirti said… Chandrakirti a great
Indian Mahayana commentator said, that a termite would eat the wood
and create a space you know, accordingly and the space that is created after eating
the wood is of course, obviously, much smaller than the sky, the space just like that the understanding of the sunyata
by arhat is so small compared to bodhisattva. Sariputra as great as he was… okay, depicted here as an arhat, who has accomplished the arhat level, arhat meaning who has basically, reach to the stage where he doesn’t
return to samsara anymore, you know even that, you know the arhat wishes to entangled
themselves from samsara even there, there is big difference,
the bodhisattva don’t have that wish, bodhisattva don’t wish to be
free from samsara, bodhisattva don’t also wish to be entering into nirvana and already even with the motivation
they have become… on the motivation level there is big
difference between arhat and bodhisattva, on the view level there is big difference, So I think this is demonstrated in
the Mahayana sutras since this is a Mahayana sutra. I’m sure, you know, the Sravakayana
people will not accept this, I mean historically they have never
really accepted this. I think the question, when you are asking the question, we’ll just have to appreciate the greatness of the Vimalakirti
who is depicted here as the bodhisattva who has already reached beyond first bhumi, so this is a demonstration, really a clear demonstration, between an arhat and a bodhisattva. Did I answer your question? I hope so! Q: Does that also make
Manjushree an arhat? R: No, no. Manjushree as you can see, Manjushree was, first of all… Manjushree was the first person
who said yes I will go because most of the people refused to go,
even Maitreya who was actually a bodhisattva refused to go. S: Yes R: So Manjushree went and not only that, he went he participated the whole episode
really extracting lots of teachings, in fact again I was talking earlier that how Japanese Buddhism and the Chinese’s Buddhism
known as zen or chan really put so much concentration
on sitting in silence, in fact, there is a very important point where the silence was used
as means to communicate I think, between Vimalakirti
and Manjushree. So I think they are on
the equal standing, okay… This may not sound really politically
correct but I guess since we are sort of in the Mahayana mode
I will tell you something quite shocking, probably is not too shocking for some people, I don’t know, it is believed that one time
Sariputra was teaching to 500 people and they were about to enter into to the arhatship, in came Manjushree, who did crazy things, who taught crazy things
and made sure that these 500 people go to hell realm and then Sariputra was shocked. Sariputra went to the Buddha and said: “You know, I was just this close to bring
these 500 poor beings to the arhat level not just like You know small level, Arhat! This Manjushree came in and
he made a big mess, and now they are in the hell”
and the Buddha said: “oh! Manjushree did the right thing. Manjushree did the right thing”. I think it’s in the sutra called
Tib. dam-chos dkon-mchog-brtsegs-pa Ratna… Ratnakuṭa Sutra, it’s a very important teaching because
here we are talking about many levels, one… Okay how should I put it? I’ll give first you some sort of
a mundane example, this is what the Mahayana people think:
to be irrational is not a good thing, irrational, illogical is not a good thing so you have to save from being irrational
to rational and logical, and you should but if there is a chance to
transcend the rational then that would be the ideal goal, so let’s say somebody is about to bring
500 people to rational, rational zone. Now another person observes this
and then he/she realise that these 500 people if they reach to this rational zone they will be stuck here in the rational zone,
for long time, the reason because rationalism and logic
and sensibility is very intoxicating and it’s like because it convinces you, it makes you feel comfortable again we could go back to the six sickness
that I was talking earlier, is one of those, we can refer later but anyway, being in the rational zone is
kind of very scary because it entangles you. You know you go round and round and round you bring your own logic so on and so forth. But let’s say you realise that if you can
temporarily for five days push you to the irrational zone so that actually rescue these 500 people
from irrational zone and the rational zone you might as well do that,
out of compassion and this is what Manjushree
is suppose to have done. It’s very, as I said, very Mahayana
you can call it chauvinistic, but if you are looking from really very
profound non dualistic philosophy point of view then you’ll
appreciate this statement. Non duality is a really… and I just went to Europe and I just
told the Europeans that if there is one culture and species that can digest
non duality it would be Indians, even the Tibetans, even though
the Tibetans have adopted, I mean…thanks to Buddhadharma, really, thinking back thanks Buddhadharma,
Tibetans are how they are right now. Just imagine Tibet, Afghanistan,
some parts of Pakistan if there is no Buddhism,
Tibetans are those perfect… they are made for certain… they will volunteer
blowing themselves up just like that because they have that kind of mentality. They are so, what you call it? tribal,
they are very narrow-minded, they are racist, they really see very small, and they are quite also very patriotic,
loyalty, mountain, horses, you understand? can you
think about something along this line? Buddhism has done a lot of
good things for Tibetans. It’s a miracle,
actually Buddhism did work. But when it comes down to non duality sometimes I wonder how much
the Tibetans are digesting it and really understanding it, Chinese also, the Japanese because it’s not an easy thing
is not a easy thing to really… probably you can understand it
intellectually but to really understand it emotionally and practically it is really,
really difficult and the non duality is taught completely and full scale
only in the Mahayana Buddhism. So if you appreciate that this
non duality is full sort of capacity I think you will understand
the Vimalakirti sutra and then you will also understand the five sickness
I was talking about, I mean the six sickness and by the way just to sort of conclude
the six sickness, it is because of this six sickness
we have also been taught the six paramitas, actually the six paramitas are sort of the antidotes
for this six ailments. Okay, any more questions. Here is a question from… Q: Hello. Rinpoche, These six sicknesses are sicknesses
from whose point of view? They are sicknesses if you are
in the rational zone, isn’t it ? so the society says you must not be needy,
be independent, all the wrong views of society
we make it our… R: Wait, wait you must not be needy… Q: Yeah, be self-sufficient, be independent, R: right Q: …don’t be careless, be diligent
R: right Q: because the economy has to progress and if everybody is careless
how will the economy grow. The wrong views of the society
we internalize, get conditioned and then we
develop these knacks, from the rational zone
these are sickness so if you say… R: No, no, in this case, it’s from the… of course from the irrational
we don’t even talk about, here when we talk about the six sicknesses
is from the point of view beyond rationalism, actually. Within the rational world it’s not really sickness because
it’s what we want, isn’t it? Q: I’m saying we rebel against that
and then we are called sick. R: oh I see… yes… of course… Q: So again we want to believe that
we are independent but the reality is we are all
dependently arising. R: not only reality but I am talking
about something else. Not only reality, you’re simply talking
about consequences I’m not even talking about that, okay, our mouth says
we want to be independent, but what I am saying is that
somewhere inside us we actually don’t want to be independent,
we hate being independent. Q: because we are actually
dependent on each other? R: not only that we are dependent on
each other we love to be dependent. Why do we even date, to begin with? Q:Yeah, that’s another whole ball game. R: You know what I mean,
we love to be dependent, everything about us is loving
to be dependent so let’s go through, you know yes we say I’m not needy
as if it’s virtuous, right? We say that: “oh! I’m not a needy person
and I’m actually quite simple, and I’m quite…”you know but it’s not true, we like to be needy, we have a knack for being needy,
and we love to be needy… wait… for instance, it’s a bit like this,
it’s a bit like my suitcase I think my suitcase is a good example,
I travel and 90% of what I carry in my suitcase
I don’t use because I have this knack for needy and I’m sure it’s like this. Okay. There is many questions looks like,
whoever please. Q: Hi Rinpoche, when you’re talking about
the sicknesses and talking about the renunciation
and being bad it’s almost like sometimes I have
a bit of a split personality where I have the strong aspiration
to be a good practitioner but the reality is I’m often
breaking my vows and I very attracted to unskilful behaviour. How do you sort of work
with the shadow side that you have and get over the hang up
to be a good Buddhist or… what do you have to say about this? R: Well, first of all, I should say,
Vimalakirti sutra is a really, really… This is a sutra that really
teaches the ultimate truth. So we don’t want to get too carried away, depending on what kind of person you are, but this is a wisdom that you need to hear, you need to have this
as your backbone, as the… sort of the fundamental foundation
if you like. So, okay, let’s talk about the renunciation. Often when we do the renunciation thing, when we look for renunciation, it is based on needing at least, a sense of relief,
sense of peace and quietness. it’s not really deeply rooted
to absolute renunciation. This is what Vimalakirti is talking about, if you have that, then
you are not really renouncing, you are actually escaping, you’re just retreating
temporarily from a burden… from your projection of burden, and the worst is that
you retreat from one burden and then you enter into another burden and probably, you even
get attached to that burden, and then that, in turn,
becomes entanglement, you get attached to that,
and then not only that, a certain pride in being a renunciant,
then develops, and then you become.. you develop… what you call it? sort of a puritanical, righteousness, which then gives birth to pride, ego which then gives birth
to loss of compassion, loss of empathy, then the whole point
of the renunciation is lost. That’s it. Okay? Q: Hi Rinpoche,
thank you so much for your talks. In the first section of Sariputra, there’s a conversation around meditate or don’t meditate at the same time, can you throw some light on that? R: Can we… Actually, I am thinking, after the break, we will come back, and we will talk
about this particular meditation. Any more questions? Yeah. Q: Thank you Rinpoche. In all this Vimalakirti Sutra
what I’ve seen is that, mostly Vimalakīrti is speaking to either Arhat
or Arya Bodhisattva and addressing him, I just have this kind of
a knack to understand, is it this teaching relevant also for
the sentient beings like us? because we deal at a very different level,
the Bodhisattvas they already have a certain level of concentration,
understanding and surpassed many boundaries and we are at a level where
we cannot even listen properly… R: Yes, in one way you are very right. But on the other hand,
I have to point this out, and this is really important I think we talked about this
right at the beginning, and this is where the Vimalakirti Sutra, even though it is supposedly very high Sutra, this is where this information
is something that ordinary beings like us need to hear, that defilement are the ingredient
of the wisdom, you understand what I’m talking about? You know, often we have this idea
that first you… okay, you are looking down at the defilements such as an emotion, let’s say, anger, and then we have this idea that
we get rid of the anger and then practice the path, or the getting rid of the emotion is the path. The Vimalakirti Sutra tells us
something different quite important, that the emotion itself is the ingredient, if you get rid of that like the lotus, it won’t grow in the clear water it will only grow in muddy water. so, no mud, no lotus. So, this aspect of the Vimalakirti Sutra and many others,
the fact his whole representation, first of all, himself as a layperson not a monk and his lifestyle kind of very spoiled not a renouncent like, living in a very luxurious situation those are important for even beginners
like us to understand because otherwise… it’s a bit like this… okay, we are talking about confidence I think we can start with the… talking about this confidence
which I was going to say, I thought we would talk this,
after the break confidence,
when we talk about confidence we are not talking about confidence that needs to be cultivated
or created or constructed we are talking about a confidence of
knowing, acknowledging, accepting and being aware of who you are, this is quite an important aspect in the
Mahayana Buddhism. We have our defilement or emotion itself… okay, I think the Vimalakirti Sutra
uses this word in Tibetan we call it “dung”
which is I think it comes from the sanskrit, I think it comes from the word caste
or creed, race or color okay, let’s say you belong
to a caste that makes, lets say, I don’t know… king or a merchant
or a shoe maker or whatever so you, not only you are entitled
this is your caste duty so on and so forth, you understand this? so we have that kind of an understanding of… how should I say? like an ore, before the gold is polished
we call it ore, that is already gold even though
it doesn’t look like gold, a smart gold dealer if he is given a kilo of ore before it looks shiny, polished or whatever will accept this 100% as gold. So in the Vimalakirti Sutra
what we need to know is that the emotion like our anger, jealousy and pride are like the ore, that itself is the wisdom it doesn’t look like the wisdom, it’s not polished, it’s not like shining, it’s not beautiful to look at probably now but if you get rid of that then you have gotten rid of the wisdom this I think needs to be noticed
in the Vimalakirti Sutra, this is fundamental, very important, sort of most essential aspect
of the Vimalakirti Sutra. Q: Thank you Rinpoche, another kind of
a follow up and more of a political question. Buddha taught mostly in a way to most of
the sentient beings in sort of the disciple way and He gave instructions on what to do
and what not to do. That’s quite a blessing for us I would say, but at the same time, when we see Vimalakirti
stage such a beautiful act for us where he guides us on what
the ultimate reality or the ultimate truth is and which Buddha has many times quoted
to be inconceivable and un-understandable, still, ¿Do you think that Buddha taught
more to the sentient beings, that’s why He took the way of the disciple? And that’s why the disciplined way should
be practised more than the Vimalakirti way, for us I would say, nor for the bodhisattvas? R: I didn’t hear this question completely
but based on… Q: I just wanted to understand
that Buddha taught mostly the disciples, He created the discipline way where He taught that this is to be done
and this is not to be done A: oh I see… Okay, this is important that you know and this is very specific about
Indian philosophy in general and especially Buddhism. Buddha taught many, many things and where He taught this is what you should do
and this is what you shouldn’t do, these are considered as the teachings
that require interpretation they are sometimes called
expedient teachings, Buddha did not really meant it, you understand? Where He taught sunyata, where He did not engage in teaching this
is what you should do and this is what you shouldn’t do
such as the Vimalakirti Sutra, such as the so-called Heart Sutra you know like the
Prajñaparamitahrdaya Sutra these are considered direct,
ultimate teachings and it is quite interesting for instance, both Prajñaparamita Sutra
and the Vimalakirti Sutra are considered what we call
Buddha ‘vachana’, which is the teachings of the Buddha, but in fact it’s not really coming out
from the Buddha’s mouth as you can see in the sutra it is all actually interaction
between his students, Buddha is there in fact maybe I should have told you right at the beginning of the sutra
it starts with Buddha in Vaishali and oldest licchavi
people with 500 parasols came and Buddha transformed all the parasol
into one parasol so on and so forth. This is how the sutra is set up some sort of a miracle power but miracle power is just
one way to understand, if you are talking about… philosophically what the sutra
is trying to express is 500 and one is just a projection,
it’s just an imputed number there is no such thing as one,
there is no such thing as 500 and this is what Buddha
symbolically demonstrated at the beginning of the sutra, and this is how the sutra begins. Just like in the Prajñaparamita sutra Buddha actually is doing meditation and the conversation was between
Avalokiteshvara and Sariputra again. So please keep in mind Buddha’s teachings usually
come in two forms one put in a very mundane language,
one where He did not really meant it and the other He really meant it. Many of the teachings that He did not
really meant it has 3 characters that we need to know. The first character is he always had
a hidden agenda so to speak, He always teach these teachings so that the listener will eventually go
to the ultimate teaching that is the sort of the hidden wish. The second character is: it depends with
what kind of a student is listening for instance, this might trigger some argument with
some of our friends here but anyway, if He is teaching to a student that…
those who have more Samkhya, Indian-Hindu philosophy, so called Hindu the Samkhya school that school which believes
in existence of self, the existence of the creator, so on and so forth Buddha might use words like “once upon a time when I was a monkey,
when I was a bird, when I was…” as if there is a self, atman exists but this is only because there is a specific
disciple listening with a specific conditioning and for that He needs to speak this way. Now the third character is very interesting, the third character of the expedient teaching is if you take these teachings literally then His teachings will have fault, fault, His teaching is imperfect and with this character we define whether the teaching is direct or not. Vimalakirti Sutra does not, can’t have a fault because here we are talking about
non-duality in its highest form and when we talk about the non-duality to construct a fault it’s very, very difficult because there is no reference. This is why Nagarjuna said: I have
no thesis, that’s why I’m free of fault. There is no thesis, there is no assertion,
there is no… what you call it? Reference basically. So we talked about non duality,
we talked about… just very briefly this morning we talked emotion as the
ingredient of the wisdom all these probably theoretically
maybe it’s kind of acceptable, theoretically, intellectually. But how do we live with this? How can we make use of this wisdom
in our day to day life? Because that’s important, if this can’t be used, if this can’t be applicable to our moment by moment,
day to day life then this is just an intellectual exercise and this is the great thing
about the Indian wisdom, the Indian wisdom really appreciates the relative truth
and the ultimate truth simultaneously, in fact simultaneous
is also not really the right word, because we talk about the simultaneous we seem to be indicating that
two things that come together, there is no such thing as relative truth
and ultimate truth Actually. even the labeling of relative truth and
ultimate truth is just for the sake of communication. What we know, obviously what we know
is that we get distracted all the time. The moment we think, actually the moment we think,
we are distracted and when I say distracted fundamentally what I’m saying is
whatever we are thinking, we are not aware of what we are thinking
as we are thinking, that is, as simple as that, we are not talking anything beyond that, we are not talking anything sophisticated,
anything magical, anything special, in fact at this level special is the hindrance we don’t want anything special, we don’t want anything mysterious, all the so called special qualities
like the halos, like the lights, like I don’t know,
like miracle powers these are all there in order to communicate because there are beings who like halos, there are beings who like miracles and not only that we are bound by symbols,
we are bound by language, we are bound by a certain set of thinking and it’s really difficult to get out
of that thinking. That’s really difficult, it’s almost unthinkable
to think a world without let’s say a Tuesday because Tuesday is forever
set in our mindset, it’s unthinkable to think of a world
without let’s say 4 or 5 because it’s you know
it’s just deeply ingrained, and also we are not against that. All the conventional truth
Buddhism is not against, Buddhism is… and especially Vimalakirti is not against any of these conventional
means and the truth, in fact beyond the conventional truth or beyond
the conventional reality there is… you will not find ultimate outside of that. So how do we understand this non-duality? There has been questions during the break, which are very valuable questions, How do we live with this?
How do we apply this? Is it possible? It is very possible; theoretically non duality… okay, in general maybe it’s kind of
difficult to understand but it’s something that you can study, and you can use logic, you can use some sort of a deconstructing, deductive, sort of deconstructive analytical tools that are prescribed in many of the
Mahayana shastras we can use that and through that we can gain conviction
towards the so-called ultimate truth. But applying this as I keep on repeating, applying this moment by moment is difficult, applying this wisdom, this knowledge. There are thousands of methods that are all designed and dedicated and aim to if you like, deconstruct
the dualistic distinctions… I don’t know…shrug off
the dualistic distinctions, see the raw ever present non-duality there are many, many methods… one that is going around these days
is so-called meditation which is also discussed
in the Vimalakirti Sutra. But at first I want to say
there are so many methods, for instance, pilgrimage is one of them. Although pilgrimage is now considered
as something backward, or maybe as something superstitious, it may be a cultural thing to do
but, in fact, it is not. I think again, this is also touched, this particular subject, is also discussed
in the Vimalakirti Sutra where right at the beginning when
Sariputra had a thought, where is the Buddhafield?
I only see dust and smell and at that every moment
Buddha talked about Buddhafield. So like the practice of pilgrimage which was once upon a time
very much practiced in places like India definitely,
China and elsewhere but of course now I don’t know, the practice such as
pilgrimage is not really popular. I mean probably
it is still popular among the more traditional
Buddhist society or countries but among the younger generation
maybe the pilgrimage is not as valued
as methods such as meditation. There are methods such as gesture, applying gestures such as, such like in the meditation one of the body
physical gestures is sitting straight but not just limited to gestures such as
sitting straight or closing eyes or breathing in and out
but actually carefully guided mudras, gestures, such as salutations, and then there is also the methods of How should I say? Decoration, and I just want to talk about
the decoration a little bit since especially this time
there are a lot of decorations here, this is kind of important and when we talk about the decoration we are not talking about
shrine or a temple decoration we are even talking about
on the personal level even combing hair,
even putting a t-shirt, decorating if done it with mindfulness, awareness it is or it can be geared towards the path that will lead you to understand
the non-duality. Now I was saying What is it that makes us
always forget the non-duality? Why do we lose this
awareness constantly? Distraction and the distraction fundamentally is… we are not talking about gross distractions
like browsing, I don’t know… you know getting distracted by
social media or browsing Facebook or watching movies of course those are
very obvious gross distractions. But we are talking about the moment we think whatever you are doing, whatever you are
thinking, right this very moment you don’t really know that
this specific thing, what you’re thinking is happening, as it is happening and this is the mother of all the distractions
or you can call it ignorance. What’s wrong with that? A lot of things, the moment you’re not aware
that this is what’s happening in your mind it gives a perfect ground
for all your emotion to take birth, grow, nurture themselves, they become strong, then they become agile, they become very strategical, then they become powerful and they empower you. For instance, for a few moments
without doing any specific posture let us just watch our mind
or be aware of our mind, try its difficult because a thought will come and then you will be
entangled by that thought, you’ll get distracted
to the sound of that thought, story of that thought and the whole drama of that thought, and the thought comes all the time. You don’t even have to wait
for a thought to come, it comes, many times as a thought comes
you don’t even know they come and they had done
what they wanted to do and they are gone, they have planted
the seed of more thoughts, they have planted the seed
of more entanglement. And as you get entangled it creates the perfect ground where all those six sickness
that we were talking this morning. You must be needing something
right this very moment, looking for something, some sort of a solution for instance or you don’t want to even look at it, you don’t want
to be aware of the thoughts, because it’s like…. you remember one the sicknesses we love to be lazy, we love to be careless. It’s a very big one the love
for being careless, it’s so tiring to be aware of whatever
is coming in your mind and also its not profitable. If every time when you are aware of this
thought, whatever is coming in your mind if you have a mileage let’s say
a free point for, I don’t know, for a free.. air ticket or something then you would do it but it doesn’t so it’s sort of no profit you’d think because you are accustomed
to think that there is no profit in it. There is nothing to gain, everything
has to have something to gain or at least you know you should not lose, fear of loss, hope for gain it’s always there. So to be aware of the thought fundamentally you may even think
it’s a loss of time, waste of time, when actually if you can be aware of whatever the thought is coming that would really open door to confidence, creativity, compassion, love and, of course, non-judgment not falling into extreme and then, therefore, non-duality. What is violence? Violence is a friction, this mind to fix something, the mind or this mind to control, to be on the top of everything, to be under control, paranoid to lose control, therefore, creating big distinctions
between right and wrong, black and white, virtue and non-virtue, these frictions are fundamental violence and we have a knack for it,
we love this kind of distinctions, we love to have this kind of friction. So when you apply just being aware of this,
whatever is happening in your mind this friction subsides, these distinctions dissipates, this judgment collapses and by the way as I speak you immediately wish
to lengthen this awareness and already again you are falling
into the trap of needing, you need to lengthen this awareness. No need to lengthen. As a lay person if you are aware of a thought once a day but when I say aware of thought
I’m not talking about recalling a thought that happened in the past, I’m not talking about anticipating a thought,
anticipating a future thought, I’m talking about simply being aware
of a thought as it is coming. even once a day, even for a moment, I’m not even
talking about a minute, I’m talking about a few seconds during those 2 or 3 seconds
you are free from distinctions you’re free from frictions,
you’re free from needing, you’re free from wanting to be careless, you’re free from being violent, you’re free from the wrong view or at the least you are planting the seed
of from freeing from all these sickness. So… non duality, shunyata definitely it’s something applicable, something that can be practiced, it’s not something that you can just
read and think about, it have some sort of a fake conviction but it is something that you can apply it does not require any kind of physical exertions, we are talking about
a moment of awareness and this is kind of important we are not talking about
a general mindfulness here. I think general mindfulness
that people talk about don’t even have the idea of non duality not only that, they don’t even
want to go closer to the world of non duality in fact, most of the mindfulness
that we talk today are all to construct
and strengthen the duality so the very act of the mindfulness, the very discipline of the mindfulness is totally different. As I pause, every time just be aware of whatever
the thought that is happening, that is coming in your mind and the moment you are aware you have done the samadhi, you have… you have at least begun to appreciate the Vimalakirti’s wisdom and this again this and beyond this is again explained
in one of the episodes but before that we are now going to actually do samadhi… You know the samadhi can be practised in many ways, it can come in a certain prescribed format
such as sitting straight and all that discipline or it can also come purely
as an act of awareness as I was talking earlier, no specific posture but to be sitting straight, breathing normally and all this kind of discipline could help, so I’m going to let ourselves remain in this state of awareness
or mindfulness for some time, you can do this with the posture
or without the posture as you like. Okay, so I’m going to let you… since you know this time it’s meant
to be more interactive, should have more interaction I don’t know somehow my old habit
of talking keeps on like taking over so I will let you ask some questions
but before that… you know we were talking
about awareness and we were talking about how this awareness can be applied in many, many different ways
like a pilgrimage and another way is like remembering or
recollection of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha so I think we will recollect and try
to reimagine or try to imagine what is the Vimalakirti’s
situation in the past. Vimalakirti: Viyasa!!! Viyasa!!! Viyasa: yes! Yes my lord! Why is it so loud here? Lord I thought you knew all your friends and acquaintances are
genuinely concerned about your health, the town’s overflowing with people
wondering how you’re doing. Tell them I’m really humbled. Yes my lord I really
appreciate their concern. Yes my lord and also make sure there is
a nice tent, they are well entertained, there should be some good food. I have arranged that already my lord. Viyasa ¿Yes my lord? Any word from the Tathagata? Take it off, you take it off… R: Do you have any questions
regarding this? I am supposed to explain here but I’m sure there is no
motorcycle during those days. Q: how can a man who is indulging
in all these activities be knowledgeable guy and give knowledge to everybody
who is a bodhisattva? R: I think, I hope I understood your question. Because mere knowing, mere knowledge, you said, of whatever
you are thinking releases you from entanglement and when you have no entanglement
it gives birth to the empathy and love and compassion and that leads us to wishing, liberate oneself
and others from more entanglement and this is the principle of the bodhisattva. Q: Thank you Rinpoche, When we read about Vimalakirti,
he mentions something related to inconceivable liberation…
inconceivable liberation Right so he says that he is well rooted and already there in
inconceivable liberation and there is another form of liberation
that Buddha has been teaching about, So are they two different things
or the same things? Because when you are
in inconceivable liberation then indulgence also becomes a form of stepping out of indulgence
and achieving that liberation. R: Okay let me try to explain this using
an example, that Nagarjuna used, he said that, it’s a bit like this: let’s say right now
I’m performing magic here and I’m doing like a magic show, I’m doing a lot of dramatic things and you are here as an audience you don’t really know, okay, let’s say actually you all are kids, you are not adults,
meaning you are easily amused, you easily get hooked
and you easily get upset and you easily get entangled with
whatever I’m showing, you understand? So…he talks about 3 experiences here: you as an audience,
you have an experience which is that you actually don’t know
the truth behind what you see, all you see is this appearance and then you misunderstand or
misinterpret this appearance as real that’s one of the experiences and then me as a magician I know
that this is a trick or this is a magic but I still get entangled with my own trick, you know there is a procedure, there’s an
order and there’s a step that I have to take and then on top of that I also need to sort of communicate with the audience
so on and so forth, so that’s another experience, and then there are people
who are not in this room, they have no knowledge
about what is happening and that’s another,
that is a third experience, altogether different kinds of experience. So he talks about… see you
were talking about liberation, the audience’s experience is what he
calls entangled, samsaric experience, Okay? A magician’s experience
is somewhat liberated in reference to the audience, the magician knows that
it’s not really happening so the magician´s experience is more like
a yogic experience, a path dwellers experience knowing that it’s not really true but at the
same time you are still entangled with reference of this is not true but it is some sort of a liberation
because me I’m not stuck, I’m not obsessed, I’m not
fixated with the magic I’m only fixated with the act of magic. It is some form of a… in this regard you can say
is a conceivable liberation and I think when people talk
about enlightenment usually people always talk about
this level of liberation. Now the guys in the street
they know nothing, nothing has happened in their head,
no magic, therefore no relief, nothing, there is no magician now their experience is actually
inconceivable liberation, Buddha’s. So there’s a sentient being,
there’s the bodhisattva level And these beings who are outside of
this context is the Buddha’s experience for them nothing happened there’s was no
trick, there is no magician, there’s no magic, so therefore, the concept
of liberation is redundant so that is the inconceivable liberation and Vimalakirti talks about that
quite extensively. There is quite a lot… okay
yes whoever have… Q: Yes, thank you Rinpoche
for the profound teachings. I got a question referring to what you have
been answering to this man’s question. When the 3 kind of categories of person
you were talking about in the analogy, the previous two I guess,
the kids and the magician, they sort of…kind of… pick concept that they have a ground
for experience like the mind, they experience it as an illusion or magic and this yogi experiences
as something illusonary and the person outside
doesn’t know of any of this and if that experience is similar
to what a Buddha would experience R: It’s the best example you could give… Q:Yes but the analogy always has
for me a difficult point where Buddha also kind of… in the analogy of the person outside, he also has some ground of experience like… R: Yes, but it’s not an issue in the context
of liberation from this specific illusion. Okay, what is the problem here? Can you hold the mike
a little bit? What is the problem here? The problem here is supposedly
we are suffering, You understand? There is a truth of suffering, of course, you don’t have the suffering
then there is no path, there is no need for path, there is a suffering, anyway… But before that we need to be careful
of the word suffering. The Sanskrit word ‘dukha’ is never really
translated properly with the word suffering, the suffering, the ‘dukha’
is a really, really big subject. So no one wants to suffer, everybody wants to be free from suffering cause of the suffering is,
according to the Buddha, ignorance. Here they are two kinds of ignorance one is audience ignorance of
not knowing it’s actually a magic, a yogi’s ignorance
is that they know it’s a magic but they are still stuck
with the procedure of the magic which is ignorance of knowing there is
something called enlightenment. The guy in the street he is not suffering, only as an example within this context, because he has no ignorance of
falling into illusion as real, or the method: illusion of liberation. So illusion of the samsara,
the illusion of the nirvana he doesn’t have both, therefore he has this what we call
inconceivable liberation. Did I answer that? Q: Yes, I think that answers that
in that context but… R: but you still think he has
some sort of a reference is it? Q: Yes! R: The third person… Okay you are now digging out more
Buddhist jargon but we have to use that, the Buddhist say that all he has
is called ‘janas’ and ‘kayas’, meaning altogether
a different dimension but here we are not talking
about anything theistic, the inconceivable is the only
best word that we can describe. Again, we are not talking
about something mysterious because mysterious is conceivable. Q: Thank you, Rinpoche! Oh, you want…
first why don´t you finish… can you? Q: Rinpoche, in your teachings in
Europe recently you helped people, perhaps discern between
the different schools of Buddhism between Vajrayana, Mahayana
and Sravakayana, but yet in a teaching like this and
a teaching like Vimalakirti Sutra one’s take away can be that:
oh, anything goes, because there are no references anyway. So how does one reconcile the two views? R: That’s a good question, actually it’s not really that anything goes remember in the Vimalakirti Sutra, one episode is Ananda. He goes out looking for milk because the Buddha is not well and he bumps into Vimalakirti who very dramatically
tells him to keep it quiet and you know,
not to be loud basically. He’s even saying something like
“you know you should be… this is embarrassing that you know you talk about Buddha not being well. That if other religious people hear this
is a disgrace to, you know, our path. How can Buddha be sick?
So on and so forth. And then he really gets so sarcastic
towards Ananda saying you know how can Buddha be sick. You know it’s impossible, you know that’s just your delusion, etc. So Ananda gives up
the idea of bringing the milk and as he was about to return,
Vimalakirti said: “no, you must take milk because for your own accumulation of merit you must make offerings to the Buddha. Even the appearance
of the Buddha not well is for your own good. He did it out of compassion so that you
have a chance to accumulate merit by acquiring the milk and all that”. So this is again a very beautiful way of explaining
the relative truth and ultimate truth together. The challenge to hear
the Vimalakirti Sutra is this, you have to hear the relative truth and
the ultimate truth together so to speak. This is always a challenge,
as I said this morning, and especially I think in our modern day so-called modern life we have
so much influence of duality I think India as I said earlier, Indians should be
more comfortable with this, because they have this kind of
culture in the past, but probably due to the different
kinds of education system and the influence may be that
non dual culture is waning, so it’s very difficult, it happens on a smaller
scale, I always give this example: like watching a movie. If you’re watching a good movie
engaging, romantic, thrilling, whatever you will watch and you will enjoy. But if your bladder is full,
What do you do? you have the confidence to go to the toilet. Why do you have this confidence? Because you know it’s not really there, especially if you’re watching a video,
you can always pause it or you can rewind it and watch it again. So there is this acknowledgment that
it’s there but it’s not there, is there but is not there, form is emptiness, emptiness is form a very important Vimalakirti teaching it’s there but it’s not there.
How to really live with that? With the movie, with something,
small thing like movie we do it or a rainbow, beautiful rainbow, we can do a selfie with a rainbow but we don’t really…. and also we have the wit to not
to get too close to the rainbow because we know that if
you go too close to rainbow then you don’t see the rainbow. You also have the wit to no
go there and cut it… you know, we are not
that stupid to think like this, so this level of understanding
that paradox or this level of understanding of
relative truth and ultimate truth is there, but when it comes to most of our life, especially
strengthen by our habit, I don´t know by values then it becomes really difficult,
then we totally forget and I think this is why
the Vimalakirti’s teaching… So basically what I am saying is,
you know all kind of discipline and
all kind of act is still very important. Q: Good afternoon Rinpoche. When we aware doing
the meditation right now and looking at our awareness so when we did not follow
our thoughts and let them be, so there was a point there
were certain sensations… R: When you are not looking
at thoughts did you say? Q: When we were not following them… R: okay, good. Q: So when we were not following them there was a point when we…
I can say in some way, observe the knack where the knack
is propelling the thoughts, for example, there are
certain sensations in the body could be anything, like pride also,
that propels a certain thought and that pride has a certain
concomitant sensation maybe like rising in the chest or a
certain elevation and it’s very subtle and the moment the mind goes to it
and gets attached to it the thought comes, so should I…? Since we don’t have
to fall into anything and that’s the concept that
you shared with non duality. Then, if I exercise willpower
and not follow that sensation Am I falling into anything?
and if I don’t exercise willpower Am I automatically going towards the
thought? So one way or the other, if I apply mindfulness at that moment Am I falling into something or not? R: okay the idea is this
you’re supposed to have awareness so okay, this question has
a lot of elements in here. As long as you have awareness,
even the awareness that you are aware of being distracted even though the sensation or feeling frustrated that you are
distracted doesn’t… you know it doesn’t sound good or
feels good for the practitioner, because many times the practitioners long
of some sort of a calmness, you understand? calmness, serene, some kind of a
stability and abiding, abiding. And this is again falling
into one of the sicknesses: needing to abide. Also there’s a little bit of wanting
to be lazy again, because… it’s quite complicated, here… in one sense you are being very diligent, Why? Because you are really
trying to know the thought. When you say not follow the thought
you mean not entangle isn’t it… yeah… so there is a sense of diligence because you’re trying
so hard not to get entangled but in the process of trying
not to get entangled: need to abide, need to not entangle arises and this need also
then becomes a hindrance but we are talking about
a high level here but this is what the V. Sutra stands for
its very high-level sutra so… I somehow forgot your second
part of the question can you… Q: I was saying that when we recognize
where these thoughts are coming from there is a kind of resting in the mind but we get to the source of
where it is coming from, the feelings or the sensations
that arise in the body, so the moment I recognise those sensations
or whatever is the root that it’s emerging from like for example, to state specifically I thought of myself looking at myself
sitting in the meditative posture and when I observed myself from outside
a kind of an ego or pride arose and then the moment I looked at that,
the thought got abandoned but that pride remained, and then I realized why is the mind
going towards that again and again it was because the mind was looking at
this pride of looking at myself or being able to look at myself in
that meditative posture, which is you know what we
aspired for, like Buddha so in that sense as I saw these
sensations arise in the body I tried to not follow them, so I was exercising my willpower and I’m not here talking
about the thoughts itself but the source from where they were coming, so there was a familiarity in the
mind which the ego was following, which the mind was following and it was
saying okay these thoughts they feel good, so that feeling good I was
trying to not feel, so that I don’t follow those thoughts… R: okay maybe you should not
try not to feel but instead just be aware that
this is what you are doing, that you are trying not to feel, you should be aware that you are trying
not to feel, do you understand? Because by then, the moment
you are simply aware that you are trying not to feel then that entanglement, that agenda, that needing to not feel will be
released and become weak, and then you gain liberation. Otherwise, you still have an
agenda you’re creating and then you’ll have a lot of agenda’s,
you will have a lot of goals, of course, it’s a little bit difficult you know, you’re supposed to not to have a goal
but then not to create a goal, not to have a goal ends up
becoming a goal so when you apply this into practice
you have to sort of have the confidence to this simply, merely being
aware of the situation is good enough at the same time you have to also,
how do you call it? try to advance your skill of being
mindful and being aware by telling yourself that you
should not be distracted. So, how should i put it? Both confidence and paranoia together and that’s how the path is this sort of the doubt and the belief,
paranoia and the confidence, and then what is supposedly
should be happening is these two will worn out each other the confidence will kill the paranoia and paranoia will kill or destroy
the confidence that has some sort of a… What you call it? Reference and when both are collapsed then
you are free from the solution and the problem. You can’t keep the solution because if you keep the solution then you still have the problem,
both you need to transcend. Q: Good afternoon Rinpoche, as you mentioned the 6 sickness and one of them is to be needy
and to be loved, Sir my question is to how to convert
our desire into enlightenment? Because I read somewhere that I quote:
“the greatest desire is the desire for enlightenment and it is the only desire
that brings us to the state of desirelessness” and then sir, in one of your books you
mentioned that if we left anything of it like if we are not on the right track, like if we have a desire to do anything or to have anything then
we are not on the right track. Sir and my second question
is regarding the… R: Wait, I think we have
already discussed… The best way, I think there are many, many ways
and some of it will have a…some of this hopefully some of my friends here
will perform I think it’s in our…
What you call it? Episodes but for now most sort of easy, economical, very user friendly so to speak
is what we have been discussing: the moment you have the desire, instead
of looking down desire as something negative, something non virtuous, something
hideous, something sinful you simply stare, watch and be aware, completely indifferent attitude by doing so and what will happen is
it will not entangle you. This is the Vimalakirti’s teaching because the more you think about it and
if you get occupied with it then not just the desire,
jealousy and pride all these emotions they become more…
what do you call it? Their grip, their strength binding you becomes much more evident
and much more vicious, so instead just be aware, not to engage,
not to involve. Q: sir one more question I have, sir, how to, as we see it within the first
performance of Vimalakirti, that everybody wants fame in psychology we call it
personal gratification. So sir, how to control? How to
get rid of desire of fame? R: How to get rid of? Q: the desire of fame
and personal gratification, that everyone wants to be recognized, We want to be known in our society
instead of going to the Buddha path. Everyone wants to
be recognized in the society to know his place
this the desire R: You mean fame?
Are you talking about fame? Q: Yes sir R: I think again thousands of ways.. thousands of reasons, fame like many other, you know there’s a desire to be famous
and then desire also to be What do you call it? Not known. Both are vicious you know Because desire to be not known
can be also… both can be tool or a hideout for our ego I think that fame is an
obvious hideout for ego, because the ego wants… One of the most obvious functions or
the manifestation of the ego is insecurity and out of the insecurity the ego
feels that if you’re famous then you will be more secure, but… I think I will stick with
the Vimalakirti okay, from the Vimalakirti point of view he will say something like this: yes, you should be free
from being famous but you should also be
courageous enough to be famous if it is benefiting yourself and the others, if you don’t do that you are hiding in this disguise of,
What you call it? This zone of not known and that may not necessarily be kind
and compassionate. You understand? I think this is how
Vimalakirti would say. Okay 2 more minutes, okay… There are so many questions, please yes… Q: Thank you Rinpoche, My question comes to you as a parent so I am also a psychologist and within that
there is the idea of developmental psychology so you have to have a self
to transcend the self, and I’m mother of a three-year-old and as he is kind of navigating
his magical world sometimes I don’t know how much he has… I’m scared I’m going to raise
a esquizofrenic child sometimes… R: When you say ‘he’.
Who are you talking about? Q: My son… R: Oh, I see, okay Q: So for example, sometimes when
he’s afraid that something’s in the room I fluctuate between turning
the lights on and having him see and sometimes just feeling the fear and then devising ways
to have the courage, so I guess I am wondering about
the non-duality as far as parenting goes. R: okay this is a little difficult
but I’ll try to interpret, okay? I think this is what Vimalakirti would speak and this is just imagining
based on reading the sutra and having some sort of vague ideas
of what Vimalakirti teaching is Vimalakirti would think that education of a kid is fundamentally wrong, this is what the Vimalakirti would think, that you are really destroying the child because in the Vimalakirti’s mind
he would think that… you know, just like he talked to Ananda or any other bodhisattvas and the monks,
he would come to you, let’s say he’s here today
and he would say: ‘what are you doing? Why are you
teaching your kid this, this, this, this? You are really ruining him completely’ this is what he would say and then you’d get so depressed and you will say: “ah… now, What will I do now?” And then you would give up. But then he would turn around
and say: “but look, you have to you have no choice
because your child is already formed and conditioned into this world, so you should educate only and you should always keep in your mind
that what you are doing is actually wrong but you have to do it” this is the Vimalakirti mindset
so to speak. You understand? You should really think that you
are doing something wrong but you should do it
because that’s the only way to liberate yourself from the duality. Did I answer your question? Okay. These are a little difficult but…
okay… Vimalakirti: Sariputra, no! What are you doing?
That’s not how you meditate. Sariputra: what do you mean? You should never
depart from cessation, and neither should you depart
from post-meditation activities. What are you talking about? Sariputra you see,
true meditation is to meditate and not meditate at the same time, the gap between meditation and
post-meditation should not exist and the wall between concentration
and distraction should collapse. You see when you meditate
you’re basically doing nothing, instead remain in cessation, one-pointedness,
whatever you want to call it. You see you meditate as though,
you are already a sublime being but without giving up the mundane. Be ordinary but also concentrate and don’t get distracted but this should not stop you
from using your senses. R: have lunch ¿no? 5 more minutes?…
okay one more question I think. Q: Thank you Rinpoche for your wisdom, just thinking out loud from the teachings, understanding Vimalakirti’s
lifestyle and adapting it in real life, Would that mean jumping into vanity
with realizing that all of it is just an illusion? would that not again be moral policing or practicing non-duality and
following and preaching the teaching? That’s one and… R: now wait, I didn’t get the second part… Q: Sir, understanding Vimalakirti’s
lifestyle and reflecting it in real life though Vimalakirti is a divine being
or a realized being but reflecting in real life as in
the 21st century millennials Would mean jumping into vanity with
realizing that all fit is just illusion? Would that not mean again
be moral policing or focusing on non duality by practicing
and preaching the truth of Buddha? that’s one and the second one… R: I think this is quite a big one, can you
do the second one later after lunch? Q: Okay, yes, thank you Well we are talking about … Vimalakirti’s lifestyle is
really important here it’s an important symbol because how many people
have this preconception that to be a spiritual person you have to
become a monk, a renounced, you have to not eat this, not drink this,
not wear this and so on and so forth. Oh this is really big… First of all Buddhism is never culturally bound,
geographically bound at the same time it adopts,
it accepts all the culture, everything human thing and the reason why it accepts it has got
nothing to do with some sort of empathy or understanding or you know it is because the very nature
of all phenomena is that there is never a divorce
between appearance and actuality. You know there is how it appears
and there is how it is also and these two are not a separate thing but divorcing these two, dividing these
two, this is what we call ignorance Avidya in Buddhism is basically
separating the appearance and the existence or the actuality. Appearance can be deceiving but reality is non-deceiving but these two are neither one nor separate that is the fundamental view
and that need to be actualized, a practice such as penance does not really…
practice such a as penance are designed to slowly take you there but the practice of penance
does not reflect the actual truth in a direct way. Vimalakirti’s lifestyle is
supposed to reflect that, he lives very lavishly he lives in this kind of lifestyle yet he is free from any
of these distinctions again is taught towards
the end here that he uses the analogy of the lotus, the lotus is born in the mud but
the lotus is never stained by the mud. And this is doable by the way; you should not think that this
is something very poetic and something far reached and something
only on the conceptual level actually it is doable and we have already done
it this morning for instance I am sure in the course of our
45 minutes attempting to be aware at least once or twice you
must have managed to be aware, mundane it maybe like honking
of the car behind us being aware at that very moment
we are not negating the car honk but we are also not engaged
with the car honk so there is that, I don´t know,
liberation so to speak, this spirit of the Vimalakirti
needs to be introduce and I think our friends
are doing much better here.

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