BODH GAYA: Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferred the explanatory teaching on Gyalsey Thokme Sangpos’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva to over 30,000 Tibetans, Mongolians and western devotees on the second day teaching series at Bodh Gaya, Bihar.
Thirty Seven Practices of the Bodhisattvas (Tib. རྒྱལ་སྲས་ལག་ལེན་སོ་བདུན་མ་) is an important lojong text by Gyalséy Thokmé Sangpo. In the 37 verses, it gives instructions on how to follow the bodhisattva path.
“Gyalsey Thokmé Sangpo, the son of the victorious ones is a referance to the Bodhisattvas. Through training along the path, the Bodhisattvas reach enlightenment therefore they are called sons or children of victorious ones,” His Holiness said while offering his respects to the great master.
Reading through the opening verse of the text of 37 practices of Bodhisattvas, His Holiness expounded on the step-wise approach to Buddhist teachings. “Practices of hearing and listening to teachings, or getting a scant idea will not have transformational effect. One needs to reflect on the teaching over and over gain and through that gain conviction in the teachings. Having gained conviction in the teachings, then you meditate and familiarise your mind with that so that you actually integrate these three: listening to the teaching, studying, reflection and meditating on the teachings. Through this process, you will be able to make progress along the five-foldpath given in the Heart Sutra.”
His Holiness pointed that Buddha Shakyamuni too engaged in the process of training his mind through the path of study, reflection and meditation. “Therefore the term, ‘having become the reliable’ is used to refer to the Buddha. He had the courage, determination, diligence and perseverance to engage in the practices for aeons and aeons. With determination is as strong as it is captured in the prayer, “As long as space endures, as long as sentient beings remain, Until then, may I too remain, and dispel the miseries of the world”.
Paying homage to the infinite compassion and qualities of Buddha, His Holiness said, “The way Buddha benefits beings is not by washing away their sins nor by removing or transferring his realisation into others but having gone through the path himself, being embodiment of experience of those path, he teaches the reality of things as it is. The way he saves beings from fearful existence is by showing us the path so that we are able to integrate the teachings within ourselves in order to those qualities that leads one to purify the negativities and build up the positive qualities within oneself and gradually teach the same goal as Buddha.
“Buddha is a teacher who can show the path to others form his own experience. He has reached the realisation of cessation, the purification of negatives of his mindstream and also the realisation of everything, including conventional and ultimate. He is said to be the Sugata, the blissfully gone.
His Holiness encouraged the disciples to employ an investigative and open mind while studying the Buddhist texts. “These teachings are something that you can verify through reason and logic and be able to infer the higher experiences”.
As part of the ritual, blessed Kusha grass and protection strings were distributed to the 30,000 devotees. His Holiness will confer the Avalokiteshvara empowerment tomorrow morning.