Extracted from 55th issue of monthly e-letter from Lamayeshe.com
Golden Light Sutra recitation for World Peace (click to download the sutra)
(Picture source: flickr.com)
Those who want world peace should read the Golden Light Sutra (Ser-ö dam-päi do wang-gyi gyäl-po) . This is a very important practice to stop violence and wars in the world. The Golden Light Sutra is one of the most beneficial ways to bring peace. This is something that anybody can do no matter how busy they are. Even if you can read only one page or just a few lines a day, if you do so continually you eventually finish reading the entire Golden Light Sutra.
The holy Golden Light Sutra is the king of the sutras. It is extremely powerful, fulfills all your wishes, and brings peace and all happiness up to enlightenment to all sentient beings as well. It is also extremely powerful in promoting world peace and protecting you, your country and the world. It also has great power to heal a country's people.
For those who desire peace for themselves and others, this is the spiritual, or Dharma, way to bring about peace in a way that does not require you to harm, criticize or even to demonstrate against others. Just reading it can still bring peace. Also, you don't have to be Buddhist for reading this Sutra to bring peace. Even non-Buddhists who desire peace can read it to good effect.
The Golden Light Sutra also protects individuals and countries from so-called natural disasters--disturbances of the wind, fire, earth and water elements--such as earthquakes, floods, cyclones, fires, tornadoes and so forth. Actually, such events are not natural because they derive from the appropriate causes and conditions--people's past inner negative thoughts and actions meeting certain external conditions.
Thus the benefits of reading this Sutra are immeasurable. It is said that you create more merit by reciting a few lines of the Golden Light Sutra than by offering infinite buddhas precious jewels equal in number to the atoms of sand in the Pacific Ocean.
Reciting this Sutra directs your life toward enlightenment--it's an unbelievable purification, it creates enormous merit, everything gets taken care of, your life becomes very easy, you receive whatever you wish for--and you also liberate numberless sentient beings from oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment.
So here, with my two palms pressed together, I request you to please recite the Golden Light Sutra for world peace as much as you can.
(Picture source: flickr.com. Click to enlarge)
Why Preliminary Practices Are Important
1) Because you have received a perfect human rebirth
You have received an extremely rare, precious human body just this once. Not only that--you have received a perfect human rebirth, which is rarer still. This perfect human rebirth gives you the incredible opportunity to experience happiness in your present and future lives--such as rebirth in a pure land where you can become enlightened very quickly--or to again find a perfect human rebirth, meet a perfectly qualified guru, receive Mahayana teachings, train your mind on the path, and achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.
By doing these practices you create the merit to enjoy a long life, find happiness, get whatever you need now and in future lives, eradicate all mistaken states of mind, gain all realizations, and attain the ultimate happiness of liberation from samsara and full enlightenment. You also bring happiness into this and the future lives of numberless other sentient beings, causing them, too, to gain the ultimate happiness of liberation from samsara and full enlightenment.
All this comes about because you now have this perfect human rebirth, which is more precious than all the wealth in the world, even a wish-fulfilling jewel. The wealth of the god realm is nothing compared to the value of this precious human body. And you can create the cause of all these incredible results every second of your life; every moment you don't practice Dharma is irrevocably lost along with the profound benefits you would otherwise have gained. This is like losing limitless skies of billions of dollars, diamonds and even wish-fulfilling jewels. Yet even were all this inconceivably vast wealth to be lost, it would be nothing compared to the loss of wasting this most precious human body. Wasting even one second is a great loss.
2) Because worldly attainments alone do not bring suffering to a complete end
We have achieved all worldly qualities and psychic powers numberless times in previous lives but are still not free from the suffering of samsara because worldly attainments do not eradicate the cause of suffering and we have not gained the realizations of the lam-rim, the graduated path to enlightenment. To escape from suffering we have to actualize the four noble truths and develop renunciation of true suffering by recognizing what suffering actually is. Then constantly, day and night, we will seek liberation from samsara, realizing that its perfections are, in fact, in the nature of suffering, finding not even a second's attraction to ordinary, worldly happiness.
Only the five paths to liberation--the paths of accumulation, preparation, seeing, meditation and no more learning--can bring all the defilements to an end, destroy all distracted thoughts and obstacles and their seeds, and make it impossible to ever be reborn again or experience suffering, sickness, relationship problems and death. Until we realize the four noble truths and complete these five paths, we will have to suffer in the beginningless samsara without end.
3) Because the purpose of life is to benefit others
The greatest way in which we can benefit sentient beings is to free them from suffering and lead them to enlightenment. In order to do that we first need to achieve enlightenment ourselves. That means actualizing the Mahayana path, and that means practicing the lam-rim. Thus the purpose of practicing the lam-rim is as vast as the limitless sky and we should dedicate our lives to actualizing the stages of the path to enlightenment. Ultimately this is the best way of benefiting sentient beings--liberating them from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bringing them to the peerless happiness of full enlightenment.
4) Because these practices benefit the practitioner
The purpose of the preliminary practices and meditations on the lam-rim and the reason for doing so many of them is for you to fulfill your own purpose--eradicate all your own defilements and mistaken minds and gain all the realizations of the path--and be able to work perfectly for the benefit of numberless sentient beings so that they, too, can actualize the path and achieve enlightenment. In other words, to fulfill your own purpose and that of others you need to purify all your obstacles, negative karma and defilements and create all the necessary conditions, that is, complete the accumulation of merit. You also need to receive blessings from your guru and for that you need to practice guru yoga. So that's why all these practices are given--for you to purify your mind and accumulate merit.
If you do the practices as advised will not waste your life and, little by little, over time, doing some every day, they will gradually all get done. Practicing like this every day, you will collect skies of merit and purify many eons of negative karma, especially if you do your practices with bodhicitta.
5) Because life is short
Life is very short. This most precious human rebirth is very short, much shorter than a thousand years or even hundreds of years; and it's constantly getting shorter. Furthermore, death can arrive at any time--any day, any hour, any minute, any second. Therefore you must do your best to engage in beneficial actions all the time, in other words, practice Dharma: meditate on the path that leads to bodhicitta and then live with bodhicitta, the cause of enlightenment; learn about and meditate on emptiness in order to develop the wisdom that directly eradicates all your defilements; and while living your daily life in all these meditations, you need to abide in correct guru devotion, a proper relationship with your virtuous friend. This is the essence of Dharma practice.
6) Because it's hard to meet the right teacher
It is difficult to meet the right lama. Even if you do meet a qualified lama, he may not speak English. Then you have to find a reliable translator and that can be quite difficult too.
Sometimes a lama with many students doesn't get to meet many of them very often to discuss the practices being done, so that's why these are given all at once. In this way you'll know what to focus on and will have your practices laid out for some years to come. Thus you'll be able to make your life most meaningful and create the cause of all happiness, from now up to enlightenment.
Rinpoche's advice scribed by Ven. Holly Ansett, 2007, and edited by Nicholas Ribush.
Technorati: Buddhism Buddha Buddhist Dharma Compassion Wisdom Religion Meditation Zen Philosophy Spirituality Inspiration Peace Insight
“Sariputra, if there are people who have already made the vow, who now make the vow, or who are about to make the vow, ‘I desire to be born in Amitabha’s country,’ these people, whether born in the past, now being born, or to be born in the future, all will irreversibly attain to anuttarasamyaksambodhi. Therefore, Sariputra, all good men and good women, if they are among those who have faith, should make the vow, ‘I will be born in that country.’”
~ Amitabha Sutra
When I obtain the Buddhahood, any being of the boundless and inconceivable Buddha-worlds of the ten quarters whose body if be touched by the rays of my splendour should not make his body and mind gentle and peaceful, in such a state that he is far more sublime than the gods and men, then may I not attain the enlightenment.
~ Amitabha Buddha's Thirty-Third Vow
Friday, June 29, 2007
Extracted from 55th issue of monthly e-letter from Lamayeshe.com