I am crying with joy that I am able to give this great bodhichitta generation in the traditional way.
You are all very fortunate to receive this.
Originally, I was going to do it simplified. But then I thought, after the past week of teachings on the Uttaratantra Shastra, when you have been listening so intently, I should do the traditional way. Also, this center is one of the oldest in this country, and there is much blessings in this month, according to the Tibetan Lunar calendar.
First, we are supposed to have 2 tormas, one for local deities, and one for protectors.
(Local torma is taken out)
We made an offering to the outside deities to clear obstacles to the great bodhichitta ceremony. It is Important to generate altruistic motivation. Whether enemy or friend, should develop bodhichitta to all sentient beings, so generate altruistic intention.
Second, we will meditate on the wheel of protection. We visualize ourselves as Avalokiteshvara, and then visualize a Hri at heart center, then light from there strikes all the sentient beings in samsara, and they will experience great joy. And together we should mediate on this, while reciting Mani mantra.
(Short Chenrizig practice)
Next, each of you should hold flowers and make request to spiritual master to confer on us the bodhichitta vow, which we need to repeat after Rinpoche.
Throw flower. The flower has become a parasol above the guru. Just as we have receive instruction yesterday to develop bodhichitta in one’s own mind, need 4 conditions: accumulation of merit, going for refuge in 3 jewels, meditating on 4 Immeasurables, then seeing guru as real Buddha.
First, accumulation of merits. Just try to remember all the explanations of the 7 limb prayer from yesterday. So we will all recite the 7 -limb prayer on page 7. Need to use music instruments here.
Supposed to recite this 3 times, but once is ok.
Second, taking refuge in the 3 jewels. Hold the flower again. (Praying in Tibetan, throwing flowers)
Imagine you have received refuge vow, and received the precepts as explained yesterday. No need to explain again.
Third, meditate on training the mind on 4 Immeasurables. Developing Loving-kindness wish to possess the happiness to all sentient beings, then compassion wish to free all sentient beings of suffering – then when all sentient beings are free of suffering, you will experience joys, and you should experience this equally to all sentient beings, which is equanimity. Meditate on the 4 Immeasurables, and try to get some experience of this. We will do the prayer on pg. 6.
So, try to contemplate on the 4 Immeasurables meaning.
(short mediation session.)
After you develop the 4 Immeasurables toward all living beings, naturally in your heart,you will develop some wish to bring happiness to all sentient beings – the everlasting happiness. The only way to do that is attaining yourself to the state of Buddhahood. This can be attained only by receiving and practicing bodhichitta. You are receiving this to give all sentient beings everlasting happiness.
Fourth, see the guru as Buddha in person. Then recite the 7-limb prayer. On pg. 8 from third verse till under 3 verses- while reciting, imagine your body, speech and mind and all virtuous deeds of 3 times offering to Buddhas and bodhisattvas.
Here, repeat after Rinpoche, requesting the guru to accept you as becoming a bodhisattva.
Again, as we told yesterday, visualize the refuge field – guru, Buddhas, dakinis, etc. You will be making offerings again – pg 8 as before.
Significance of making offerings to Buddhas again and again is getting merit. Offering one petal of a lotus flower to Buddhas will be cause of generating bodhichitta in your heart. We are making the offerings over and over to do so.
Aspiration bodhichitta vow
Next, you will receive aspiration bodhichitta vow. Imagine entire 3 realms of existence are experiencing suffering, and you are trying to free them from suffering into state of Buddhahood. Must have sense of strong commitment in your heart that you will liberate them into Buddhahood.
Repeat 3 times – always 3 times repetition.
The first time, it is so that the bodhichitta which hasn’t arisen will arise.
The 2nd time, it is affirmation, the bodhichitta which has arisen in you, may it remain and become more stable,
The 3rd time, the bodhichitta which has arisen May it not decrease, but ever expand, higher and higher.
Then, join your hands together; kneel on right knee as possible.
We explained aspiration bodhichitta yesterday, so we won’t explain one by one today.
Action bodhichitta vow
Next is the action bodhichitta vow.
it is said in the past, most of the times when guru give bodhichitta vow, mostly give aspiration vow- usually don’t give action vow. Action has more to do with personal practice, which is a serious responsibility. So, most teachers usually don’t give action bodhichitta vow in the past. When we talk about lineage of great bodhichitta tradition, we mean Maitraya to Geshe tendingpa and so on. Tendingpa mostly gave both aspiration and action. Geshe Yakinva- “how come you give the action bodhichitta vow to everyone just like that?” Tending to yagivqar – “I have no choice – in my vision, I had vision of Maitraya conferring the vow to gods and demons and so on “. When he had this vision, he made single flower offering to Maitraya Buddha. The flower formed a parasol above Maitraya Buddha. And Maitraya Buddha talked to him “fortunate son, today onward, you can give both bodhichitta vows to sentient beings Buddhas and all sentient beings will attain enlightenment.
Now “Serlingpa – the 7-fold offering puja of Vajrayana” – composed by Lord Jitgon Sumgon.
Now repeat after Rinpoche, as he is conferring the action bodhichitta vow.
7 limb prayer again.
Again, repeat after master. Requesting to grant the bodhichitta vow “quickly, Give, the bodhichitta vow!”
Next, to dispel obstacles to ourselves. The master asks. “are you a bodhisattva?” “Yes, I am.” When first question was asked, you said “yes, I am a bodhisattva.” Indicates you already received aspiration bodhichitta/ 2nd question “have you made any aspiration prayers?” (Any virtuous deeds or merits- have you dedicated merits or not) The third question is, “have you studied on the bodhisattva texts or not?” “yes, you have studied. “ if you have read/recited/studied texts of the bodhisattvas or intend to.
Here, after answering all these questions, come to know you have no obstacles to receiving the action bodhichitta vow. Have great joy that “soon, I will receive action bodhichitta vow!”
So, the practice of the action bodhichitta can be included in 3 moral ethics. First is collecting all the virtuous deeds, anything that is positive is included in the positive deeds. Moral ethic of fulfilling purpose of other sentient beings is the second ethic. Third is the moral ethic of refraining oneself from committing non-virtuous actions. Practice 10 virtuous actions. This includes 7 types of individual liberation vows. The 7 branches is not the Hinayana way of practicing. The 7 individual liberation vows Is Mahayana way, more to do with view to be helping other sentient beings.
Next, you will receive the action bodhichitta vow. Of course, you have to view the guru as Buddha in person. Making offerings to him of body, speech and mind and all virtues of the 3 times, and all possessions and wealth. This is the action bodhichitta vow. So again, will offer 7-limb prayer.
`Next, receive the action bodhichitta- “fortunate noble son, do you wish to train on path of past, present, future bodhisattvas?”
You have received action bodhichitta vow. So today, the ceremony of receiving vow is more elaborated and traditional. Each of you will receive a bodhichitta vow name. If you have name already, you don’t need one. In the future, use it to remind yourself you are a bodhisattva. Name, can’t differentiate female and male – if female – say “bodhivattani”
In front of you in space- guru and Buddhas, surrounded by all Buddhas and bodhisattvas – 7-limb prayer.
We have repeated that we will keep bodhisattva vow until the enlightenment is attained. Rinpoche then read everyone’s names.
Ultimate bodhichitta vow
This morning, received aspiration and action bodhichitta vow. Now, we will do the ultimate bodhichitta vow. Generally, when you receive bodhisattva vow, always have aspiration and action bodhichitta. These are Relative, but not really ultimate. Here, Lord Jitgon Sumgon said “in the secret mantra path, the ultimate bodhichitta is considered the Fourth initiation” which is the word initiation. It is good to leave a seed in our mindstream to realize the ultimate nature of mind.
It is said that for the individual of very high intellect, the clever-superior practitioner, by receiving this ultimate bodhichitta vow, one may realize one’s own true nature of mind. A mediocre practitioner may be able to use the potential to realize emptiness, to realize one’s own true nature of mind. Even an inferior practitioner will get great benefit by hearing and receiving the ultimate bodhichitta vow.
To receive ultimate bodhichitta vow, make Mandala offering in conjunction with reciting the 7-fold Vajrayana puja.
First, everyone would traditionally do a prostration. There is not enough room, so one of you does a full prostration. (A little Tibetan kid does do a full prostration (laughter))
Fold hands and hold flowers…..
Next- 7-fold puja in Tibetan. To receive actual ultimate bodhichitta vow, if you have your own personal deity, visualize that deity now. If you don’t have one, you can visualize yourself as Chenrizig. You aren’t trying to bring Avalokiteshvara into your own body or rejecting your own body. What you are you have been as Avalokiteshvara. Everything that appears is a manifestation of our own mind, what you think is what you are.
Everything that appears to mind is the manifestation of your own mind, what is the form of mind. From that point, will receive the ultimate bodhichitta vow. Repeat again.
You will be repeating after master. The meaning is all the Buddhas of the past that have been able to realize non-dual state of mind and also abandon dualistic mind and get rid of clinging to self they have been able to realize their own nature of mind that is dharmadhatu that has no birth, nor abiding, nor cessation.
You will receive ultimate bodhichitta vow. What is the mind like? “I” is no form of aggregates. “I” is not given birth at all. “I” is selfless of phenomena. “I” is not born, and “I” not ceasing. This true nature of mind is the emptiness nature. The emptiness nature doesn’t form from blessings of guru or strong devotion of the disciple. By nature, the true nature of mind is the emptiness nature. The state of the mind has no pinpoint. This is the ultimate bodhichitta.
Next, repeat, making aspiration prayer that life after life, I will not be separated from bodhichitta, and not separated from the guru who has bodhichitta.
We have now received the complete formal great bodhichitta vow.
So, it is said after you receive these here bodhichitta vows in day to day life.
Aspiration practice: the first opening prayer the “altruistic motivation” prayer.pg. 2 is the action bodhichitta.
Of course, Lord Jitgon Sumgon said his core is the 5-fold mahamudra. First, motivation, then if you have a deity yoga, arise as that. If not, arise as Avalokiteshvara. At heart center of deity, visualize your own root guru. Once you visualize the guru in the heart center of the deity, that is part of practice of Mahayana tradition.
When you are listening to a teaching, look at the nature of mind of who is listening to the teaching If you look, you can’t find, you can’t identify “what is the nature of this mind? What does this mind look like?”
The mind is devoid of inherent existence. All Buddhas of the past have not seen mind had true existence. All the Buddhas of the present have not seen mind had true existence. Nor will the Buddhas of the future see mind has true existence. If you don’t have clinging to thoughts that arise in you, if you are beyond that concept, that is called transcendental wisdom. When you reach that point, it is also mahamudra. Or you can call it ultimate bodhichitta.
The Great master Saraha said, “The practice of ultimate bodhichitta is not having any concept in mind. Having no concept in mind is ultimate bodhichitta.“
The torma just offered was an offering to the protectors to clear the path to our state of enlightenment.
In terms of bodhichitta practice, there is no point talking about it, since there is not much time. Try practicing in your life the 37 bodhisattva practices. To support the bodhisattva precept, I will also give reading transmission of the 37 bodhisattva practices. I received this precious teaching from many precious teachers, including the Dalai Lama. I am giving it to you in hopes some of the blessings come to you.
So today is a very auspicious day and month, we have received great bodhichitta vow, which is very auspicious. We are now going to do the 100 syllable mantra. During the ceremony, may have done some mistake, or been missing points. To purify the negatives we have created, we will recite it 7 times, and then dedicate all merits of receiving and bestowing the bodhisattva vow.