Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Real Values - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 1042 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: Real Values - Khenpo Sodargye
« on: June 22, 2016, 10:25:02 am »

Real Values


There was once a man who in five years received numerous exoteric and esoteric teachings from his master. After he left his teacher, however, in a matter of only one year he forgot completely all the instructions he had heard. The only thing he kept firmly in his mind was the 500-yuan he had offered to his master.

It is quite common to hear stories like this. But ordinary people do not know the vast merit of offerings to an authentic spiritual teacher from whom one is receiving the Dharma. Actually, no amount of gift is too big to offer for the sake of learning the Dharma.

Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, when once incarnated as Prince Moonlight, offered 4,000 taels of pure gold in order to receive a four-verse Dharma. Upon hearing this, his father king said: “Aren’t you giving away too much for the Dharma?” Prince Moonlight replied: “The Dharma is most precious, even giving up the throne and all the fortune in the kingdom would be well worth it, let alone 4,000 taels of gold!”

The teachings Prince Moonlight requested were only the common ones in Sutrayana. Should empowerment or pith instructions in Vajrayana from an authentic master have been involved; the kindness bestowed on him would have been beyond measure and reciprocation. In the Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish, there is a story of how the Buddha, in order to receive a four-verse Dharma, lit one thousand lights in his own body as offerings.

Even worldly wisdom is beyond appraisal by money.

Once a king entrusted 500 taels of gold to his minister Jin Jian and asked him to procure the most valuable thing from other kingdoms. The minister traveled to many countries but found nothing worth buying.

One day he heard an old man calling out from the street: “Wisdom for sale! Who want to buy wisdom?”

The minister thought to himself, that’s what we need in our country. He asked: “How much is it?”

“500 taels of gold, but you must pay in advance.”

The minister handed out the gold, and henceforth the old man articulated clearly and deliberately: “Listen: what I am going to say is the infallible wisdom of life. There are 12 words in it. You must remember them perfectly. Here: ‘Hold one minute, then get angry. Think once more, then take action.’” Hearing this, the minister thought he had been tricked unjustly; seized with intense remorse, he was sure he had squandered the 500 taels of gold.

When he got home, it was very late at night. He went to his bedroom and there was someone sleeping next to his wife. He couldn’t help but think: “This unfaithful bitch dares to carry on an affair, sleeping with someone behind my back!” Enraged, he pulled out his sword and was about to slay his wife. Suddenly, he recalled the 12 words, so he repeated them while taking another closer look. He discovered that the person lying next to his wife was actually his own mother. It turned out that his wife was ill today, and his mother had made a special trip to come help her.

It dawned on the minister then and there that these words did embody true wisdom! How can 500 taels of gold be compared to the lives of his wife and mother!

In this world, it is exactly the lack of wisdom that causes many regrettable things to happen. Therefore, wisdom is supremely precious, either worldly or spiritual.

9th of February, Year of RenWu
March 23, 2002


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