Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Advice and Encouragement - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 2259 times)

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Advice and Encouragement

As practitioners, besides paying attention to our own minds constantly, we should also lead others to embrace the Dharma at the proper time. For instance, we can encourage our family members, friends, and colleagues to take refuge and study Buddhism, or even to enter a monastic life. Many people have tried to do so but gave up the “difficult task” when seeing no results after one or two attempts. In fact, this is also the reason that we fail to truly merge bodhichitta with our minds.

When Buddha Shakyamuni was Bhikkhu the Power of Diligence in a previous life, it took him 84,000 years (at a time when beings had long life spans) to advise Prince Auspicious Treasure to abandon evil, adopt good, and take refuge in Buddhism. During that period, the Bhikkhu often sat on the steps of the Prince’s garden gate, endured unjustified public insults and learned much about the Prince’s arrogance and insolence. But for the sake of benefiting beings, he persisted assiduously and never gave up. Eventually the Prince was deeply touched and he embraced Buddhism with strong faith.

The Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras says: “With matchless diligence, the Bodhisattva ripens sentient beings; to kindle merely one altruistic thought in them, the Bodhisattva strives for eons.” The Omniscient Longchenpa also says: “Even if there is merely one being left behind in samsara, be willing to stay in samsara life after life and strive day and night tirelessly to bring that being to liberation. For the sake of kindling one moment’s virtuous thought in one sentient being, be willing to work on it with utmost courage, even for hundreds of thousands of eons.” As followers of Buddha’s footsteps, and as the Mahayana heirs to carry on the Tathagata’s activities, let us do as instructed.

The merit of causing bodhichitta to arise in one being’s mind is tremendous. The Four Hundred Verses of Madhyamaka says: “Comparing the merit of building stupas as high as the world with the merit of causing bodhichitta to arise in one being’s mind, the latter is far superior.”

Well, it’s easier said than done. I have right before me a few doctors who are quite unreceptive. Despite my daily preaching to them the Buddhadharma, none of them has taken refuge yet. How embarrassing!

5th of February, Year of RenWu
March 19, 2002

 


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