Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Four Powers - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 791 times)

Offline UK Bodhi Association

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Footprints on the Journey: Four Powers - Khenpo Sodargye
« on: June 27, 2016, 07:44:28 am »
Four Powers

It is well known that in Gelugpa, Nyingmapa, or other schools of Tibetan Buddhism, every purification practice relies on the four powers of antidote. Some Han Buddhist practitioners, however, consider it a mere Tibetan tradition and hence neglect it. Such a viewpoint misses the big picture.

In fact, this practice epitomizes how Tibetan Buddhism aptly applies Buddha’s pith instructions. In the Chinese Buddhist canon Tripitaka, there are many accounts of the four powers in sutras and shastras. For instance, the Sutra Teaching the Four Dharmas says: “Maitreya, if a Bodhisattva possesses these four Dharmas, all the evil deeds which have been performed and accumulated will be overcome. What are these four? They are: the power of regret, the power of action, the power of resolution, and the power of support. As for the power of regret, if we have done negative actions, we repent them strongly. As for the power of action, it is the remediation of our evil deeds; we strive to do wholesome actions. As for the power of resolution, we make genuine vows never to repeat the same evil deeds again. As for the power of support, we go for refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and always uphold bodhichitta.”

Thus the four powers of antidote are not exclusively found in Tibetan Buddhism. Moreover, the recitation of the Vajrasattva mantra has been described in detail in the Sutra of Three Wrathful Ways of Taming as well.

People these days are committing non-virtues all the time and hardly anyone bothers to repent sincerely with wisdom. The Sutra of the Great Lion’s Roar Requested by Maitreya says: “The fool commits evil karmas and knows not to confess faults. The wise person purifies faults and dissociates from negative karmas.”

Therefore, either Tibetan Buddhism or Han Buddhism contains the practice of confession with four antidotes that, if followed properly, will purify innumerable non-virtues. However, someone with recalcitrant habits from past lives may find it difficult to renounce completely bad tendencies such as taking lives or telling lies. In this case, by reciting sincerely the Vajrasattva mantra every day, one can still accrue incredible merits.

I hope people will not forget the purification practice besides tending to other distractive activities!

10th of February, Year of RenWu
March 24, 2002

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Footprints on the Journey: Four Powers - Khenpo Sodargye
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 03:40:05 am »
Confession is good. I really miss not going to the Buddhist center and 'checking in' with a great group of people that you can tell anything to. We got to know each other over a number of years. But of course, everything is change, so eventually the group folded.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka


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