Analects of Dharma
The Palyul Tulku, His Holiness Jigmed Rinpoche’s
Classic Analects of Dharm
Chapter of the Right View ～
1. “View” is the basis of practice.
All Buddha’s disciples, both your meditation and practices are based on your “view”. A lot of people become unhappier as they do more, for they think they don’t get prettier in appearances by offering flowers, and the Dana (alms giving) is not making any money. The result in the end is not good because the initial idea is not right.
2. With the wrong intention, what you do will fall short, despite of the greatness of act.
Learning Buddha Dharma is not based on how many sutras you read, mantras you chant, or materials you offer or donate. If you lack pure wisdom or right intention, the more you try to do, the more it will fall short.
3. Buddha’s disciples must have the right view in order not to be beaten by life.
Buddha’s disciples, if you have the right concepts (right view), upon your cultivation and when facing problems on work, family and life, you will neither encounter major problems, tumble nor be beaten.
4. With the enormous power of right view, you find joy and happiness.
To separate yourself from reincarnation, to acquire the eternal joy and happiness, you need the right view. Yet, many do not understand this and consider it achievable simply by practicing a commendable Dharma, worshipping an efficacious Buddha, or, burning incenses and offering flowers, etc. Nothing’s wrong with that, but the power is too little. Right view has a tremendous power to help you.
5. Wealth is accompanied by three sufferings and three misfortunes.
You made lots of money. You thought you had acquired happiness and peace. But rather, you didn’t know your sufferings had started. Wealth is accompanied by three sufferings: the suffering of accumulating wealth, the suffering of protecting your wealth, and lastly, the suffering of spending all your fortune. Wealth also causes three mishaps: with the greed for money, you become a feeble and lax person; you will not have time for practices, nor to mention any achievements; as a result, you will never escape from reincarnation. By that time, gurus and the Three Jewels will not be able to save you, and you will be on your own. Please think about this thoroughly!
6. Right View helps you transcend everything.
Most of our concepts are wrong when it comes to how we face life or look at each other on a daily basis. We always think that whatever outside must be real without deeming it as false that is always changing… therefore, we did many mistakes, said things we should not say, and fantasized a lot. Should we have the right concept (right view), we can be less attached and clinging to many things, and then let go and transcend everything.
7. The right view is the treasure able to break through all obstacles.
One must establish the “right view” after “listening to the teachings and pondering on them”, for it is the only treasure to fight against adversities and break through any obstacles. Such cultivation relies on your heart more than mere resolution by dharma.
8. Keep “Dharma” in mind and problems will be resolved.
Keep “Dharma” and what you learned from < A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life > in mind, and you can confront and resolve problems when facing them. This is the right view.
9. The right view is parijata tree with infinite harvests.
Would you choose a plantain tree or a parijata tree? A plantain tree only fruits once, but parijata will have endless fruits with everything you wish. A right concept is exactly like that. Therefore, I hope everyone has the right concept- the “views” after listening to and contemplating Dharma are the right concept. Compassion and Bodhicitta are also right concepts. However, your views can recede, thus we should have the “clear knowing” to look after and take care of them.
10.With the establishment of the right view follows establishing wisdom.
Speaking of wisdom, how do we build it? Buddha’s disciples, if you can listen to more Buddha Dharma, and think carefully afterwards to establish right concepts, this is your initiation into wisdom.
11.With no pure intention, there is no way to emancipate everyone.
At this ending age of Dharma, you must have the right view whatever dharma you practice. Otherwise, you will be like walking blind. Use your heart to do everything with pure intention. Whether practicing or learning dharma, or doing goods, it is crucial to have both aspiring Bodhicitta and acting Bodhicitta. Sentient beings cannot be emancipated from karma by good deeds only.
12. Eighty-four thousand dharmas exist just to change your hearts.
Only through continuously listening to the teachings and then pondering upon them to establish the right concept will we be able to have power and chance to change our minds. “Your mindfulness and awareness already have all power”, says < The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas >. Therefore, the purpose of the eighty-four thousand Dharmas exist only to change your hearts.
Chapter of Meditation ～
13. Learning dharma is the practice of not being changed by circumstances.
There is very little to do with the outside world to those who practice dharma. Learning the dharma is the practice of not being affected by circumstances.
14. The importance of practices is for you to go beyond the outer borders.
Practicing dharma is to escape and transcend the outer boundaries. Your practice has problem if you are easily affected by the circumstances.
15. Things go out of control because our worries and bad habits are too strong.
Normally we face many issues. For small issues, it will pass by with mild pain. However, bigger problems may go beyond control since we have many worries and bad habits.
16. From the beginning-less eons, the five poisons have the deepest relationships with you.
From the eons without beginning to now, what constantly tied to you and being in the deepest relations with you are desire, anger, ignorance, pride and envy. To eliminate the five poisons, you can only rely on the right concepts. You should fully possess the observing power and accurate knowing and not to let any chance for the five poisons to rise. Therefore, you have a chance to destroy it.
17. persistent people are troublesome, they will fight with you till the end.
Sometimes, things that seem to be nothing to us might be serious for others. To a persistent person, maybe it’s just that one word that will make him fight with you until the end. Never become this kind of person.
18. One can hold no grudges after practices.
People with practice feel nothing after you cursed them, just like the echoes in the valley long gone. Why can cultivators accomplish such? Because they cultivate.
19. Cultivators, look after your mind.
In fact, there is no one cultivator freed from guarding their mind or not to observe what they have in mind. If your heart is tied to the circumstances, then the cultivations are no more than superficial matters.
20. Don’t keep stirring your heart.
Why is your heart in a mess? Because you don’t have the “clear knowing” for scrutiny. Like a child who always wants to play, if there is an adult keeping an eye on the child, the child will slow down. The heart is like a bucket of water, if you keep stirring it, it will not stop; Keep your mind steady and look at it, it will gradually become clearer, with “mindfulness” rising non-stop.
21. I cannot take anything… then it is evil.
“The many spirits” means so many demons are in the heart! In life, what you cannot take becomes evil. As a result, demons are your own thoughts. A couple may get married out of impulse after they meet. However, at a later time, they become enemies… How come it turns out bad? It is all for one’s own thoughts. Thus, “the powerful spirits” represent egocentrism, and this shows the fact that powerful spirits do not exist in this world. “The wild spirits” are your own concepts; if there are no own concepts, there are no such things as wild spirits. Therefore, things can be “severed” is the five poisons in your heart: the many spirits, powerful spirits and wild spirits, not your marriage!
22. Egocentrism is like fire; if you don’t let go, you will burn yourself.
No matter how extraordinary your practice is or how many high-rank monks’ blessings you have, you will only receive transient comfort before you let go of your ego. All the pains will be unstoppable. Just like holding fire in your hand, you will burn yourself if you do not let go.
23. Work hard on cleansing your heart and soul.
You should read < A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life > often and observe your mind more. We carefully cleanse our bodies all our lives, and, even more, put on perfumes… However, no matter how carefully you take care of body, it will not be clean. If we spend the same period of time cleansing our minds, we may have been freed with any spec of worry.
24. Things work their ways after all.
Why can you understand upon learning (listening to the teaching) but cannot come up with it when facing the problems? Therefore, it is not enough just to understand. You need to think carefully and observe on detail. After careful pondering, observing and thinking, you will realize this is how things work.
25. Cumulative blessings are not equal to the achievement of merit and virtue.
The Crawford you created is not necessarily equal to the achievement of merit and virtue. Virtuous achievements are the fruits, while good fortune is your accumulation of food. Therefore, practices in Six Paramita, including Dana (alms giving), are to accumulate grain, and attaining Buddhahood is the achievement. For example, you earn money from selling things are advantageous rewards, but owning a huge amount of fortune in the end is the achievement of merit and virtue. Therefore, karmic reward is figure, and wisdom is what surpasses figure.
26. One who has obstacles in mind cannot be satisfied.
The best condition of the blessed rewards is “satisfactions”, not the great digits in your bank account. However, most people see fortune in digits, and that is the obstacles in their minds.
27. The more you hold on, the more pain you feel.
Rich people gain their wealth from the blessed rewards, but it can still be gone; the more you hold on to your fortune, the more pain you feel. Everyone wants to own all the fortunes and happiness forever and wishes their children to be with them forever… but it is not happening! Therefore, achiever said, “You feel the pain of losing a horse when losing one.”
28. Persistently holding onto what you have now, though, you ought to head for where you belong eventually …
I like my house, and I want to live in there for long; I am pretty used to sleeping in my bed… and I love Taiwan, I only want to reside in Taiwan… However, it won’t be long, merely decades, and eventually I will still be going where I am supposed to.
29. Husband and wife, and families, all have to part in the end …
Every couple wants to be together forever, growing old till the end, and to get together in every life just like how soap operas go. Families also want to be together forever without parting, yet part in the end. This is impermanence. From the beginning-less eons to now, does any couple remain together? No! Neither do the families.
30. One wishing to live for a hundred years for disseminating dharma still has to leave.
One dowered with “the eighteen freedoms and advantages” is called “Human Body Treasure”. A monk endowed with the eighteen freedoms and advantages wants to live for a hundred years in the hope of spreading dharma, yet will definitely die eventually, for life is impermanent… I’m talking exactly about my kind of persons! Am I virtuous? I have no idea, but my disciples will surely say they do not want me to leave since they could learn more about the Dharma while I am here… But will this be long? Certainly will not! Also, we do not know that the teacher or the disciple will leave first either.
31. You must contemplate impermanence of life to seize the time.
If you do not consider your human body hard to obtain, how would you cherish your body? This precious body will still die, and because of the fear of dying, you value your time. If you do not observe this now but think of it tomorrow, and think of it next year, then time will be gone.
32. Cherish “Human Body Treasure”, for you may have this only shot to be human …
Guru Padmasambhava said, “It is difficult to obtain a human body treasure with the freedoms and advantages.” You will not obtain it each life. People get born and die, we have 6 places for reincarnation. People are full of karmas but have no virtues, so, we may only be human once. The most you can live is a hundred years, if you die, it takes one a long time staying in other paths, especially the 18 levels of hell...
33. Learning dharma needs great consideration of cause and effect.
If one does not consider causes and consequences seriously, one would not fear of them. Have you ever imagined what hell is like? What pain will you suffer from? Why ended up at 18 levels of hell?... You must figure them out and do hard thinking. This way, you heart will return.
34. With the right view, you must actually practice it.
Establishing the “right view” after hearing the teachings and pondering on them is essential, but disciples of Buddha cannot spend all their lives merely in learning; spending all your life learning without practicing is also wrong. One must practice after learning. Having cooked rice, you won’t feel full if you don’t eat it.
35. Change your attitude to find happiness and bliss.
Many like this: please bestow empowerments on me, do esoteric ceremonies, or any oral transmission of the dharma to me… This will only resolve a bit of your body or mouth’s karma, but the greatest worry in your mind cannot be cleared. Therefore, Buddha’s disciples must change their attitudes so they will have a chance to find happiness and bliss.
36. Buddhists must review and reflect.
As a Buddhist, we must review ourselves, observe our body, speech, and mind. Observe the action of your body, the words and tone you speak, and also your every thought. Looking at everything and examining if it is how a qualified Buddhist should behave is vitally important.
37. A Buddha’s disciple cannot be focusing on sensations.
Sensations are the problems of attitudes. For example, if you had a dream, it is because your heart holds onto it, and it happened… but the dream is not real and disappeared after you wake up, thus, you cannot be holding it. Reciting mantras makes you fulfilled because you focus on sensations and do not understand the Buddha Nature. A Buddha’s disciple must let this go.
Chapter of the Bodhisattva Path ～
38. Learning Buddha dharma must be respectful for all Buddhas.
Learning Buddha dharma must respect all buddhas, so there will be no obstacles learning and spreading dharma. How do we respect all buddhas? < A guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life > says, “we respect buddhas from the ten directions and three times, the past, present and future’s buddhas.” Therefore, for all buddhas, we must respect with body, speech and mind, put your hands together with your body, say prayers with your mouth, and heart holding respect, faith and purity. The benefit will be significant this way.”
39. He who cares for self-interest is a mortal, and caring for others is Bodhisattva.
Mortals only care for themselves, and also suffer from it; Bodhisattva only wants to benefit others, so the heart is full of happiness. Mortals only want to benefit themselves, so they have many fixations, therefore karmas and reincarnations. Bodhisattva has no desire, fixation, and only wants to benefit others, so ends up with blissful Bodhicitta and blissful Bodhi fruits.
40. Bodhisattva’s Dana asks nothing in return for offering, not even in the next life …
Bodhisattva’s Dana asks for nothing in return, not even in the next life, and wants only the fruit of Bodhicitta. This kind of Dana is spreading all roots of good and karmic results and not keeping any for themselves.
41. Understanding all for the great others and it brings innumerable benefits.
Taiwanese people set off firecrackers for Mazu, which I don’t understand why. Does Mazu like it? Many do it because their parents do without understanding why. You worship and offer flowers and fruits, that is good for your family, wealth, and your bodies, but the advantages are only limited to yourself. How much can you eat or use in this lifetime? If you dedicate to every being in the three worlds, it will be of great value.
42. To make everyone rejoice is a great virtue.
One must make everyone happy with a spectacular dharma assembly, since the one
that makes people “compliantly rejoice” is a great accumulation of virtue.
Chapter of following a spiritual teacher ～
43. Following a spiritual teacher to establish the right view.
From the one practicing on the dharma seat to disciples on the cushion, everyone must have the right concept (right view). Establishing the right concept must rely on Guru, not just by lying there and hoping the right concept will come out of the blue.
44. You will be able to relieve if you take in the Dharma.
If you ask yourself: Do I have a chance to relieve in my lifetime? Am I able to achieve? The answers to it depend on your understanding in lessons. If you do not take in my lectures and think, I don’t think it’s quite possible.
45. Keep my words in your mind, and you are adjusting your attitude.
Think about what I said today after my lecture. Regardless of monks, practitioners, or disciples of Buddha, try to learn hard and not to allow your minds to wander. Also, keep words I said in mind and do more thinking. By doing so, you are adjusting your attitude, no matter how little you received from me.
46. Changing body, speech, and mind is the most important thing between gurus and disciples.
Before you met me, you did not have the right concept, but you have levitated and have changed your body, speech, and mind after my lessons. It is the most important thing between gurus and disciples in this lifetime.
47. Only gurus with realizations can lead you to realization.
Don’t leave a realized guru, because one day the Guru will lead you to realization. Leave the guru with no realization, because without Guru’s realization, how can they make you realized?
Chapter of taking refuge ～
48. Taking refuge opens the passage to all teachings and cultivations of Buddhism.
Your taking refuge represents opening of passage to all teachings and practices of Buddhism. To enter the Vajrayana Nyingma school, the first step is to take refuge, which is a spectacular chance. In our lifetime, if we do not take the chances of practicing dharma, we might be reborn in a negative rebirth. Beings of the six realms have their own pain~ Hell is fire, hungry ghosts mean hunger, animal rebirth means slavery, human rebirth is birth, aging, sickness, and death; Asura’s rebirth is fighting, and heaven is falling. All the three worlds are faulty momentary happiness, and only the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss has the eternal joy.
49. Taking refuge is the seed of relief.
Taking refuge is the seed of relief, and you must fertilize the seed carefully. If not, it will not grow. Any good deed and good heart will not liberate you from karma because You do not plant the seed. Guru Padmasambhava said: “Beings without relief are like revolving wheels keeping on revolving.” I understand the suffering of the six realms, so I take refuge and learn Buddha dharma.
50. Taking refuge in the Three Jewels is easier to realize and practice Dharma.
Shantideva said: “Taking refuge in the Three Jewels can avoid obstacles of passing dharma, and can make people who hear the teachings easier to realize, practice, and accumulate virtue.” That’s why we take refuge, respect with manners, and offer the Three Jewels.