Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Mental Offerings - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 458 times)

Offline UK Bodhi Association

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Mental Offerings

Sublime beings who are worthy of their names never seek fame, wealth, or other worldly enjoyment on their spiritual path. Instead, they always practice what they preach in order to cut off mundane desires and attain liberation.
Tsultrim Trophu Lotsawa (1173-1225), a master translator of the Kagyu lineage, went to India and Nepal to study Buddhism under the tutelage of great siddhas such as Pandita Kashmir. During that period, he endured severe hardships of deprivation and hunger, yet around the clock his incredible diligence never flagged. In the end, he became vastly proficient in the teachings of exoteric and esoteric schools. Upon returning to Tibet, he founded many monasteries and spread the Dharma, nourishing people in various places with the exquisite nectar of Buddhism. He has taught:

Failing to see that life is just like a bubble, one is oblivious of the imminence of death.
Although one performs numerous good deeds, the intention is to better this life only.
Failing to see fame and wealth as illusions, one covets prestige and is ensnared in profit making.
Being respectfully regarded as supreme, yet one still succumbs to the eight worldly concerns.
Striving to do good deeds without first renouncing the corporeal body, one inevitably heads to future lives empty-handed.
How downright miserable is this bleak prospect!
Unaware of the defects of samsara, one craves worldly enjoyment untiringly.
Prattling hollow words all the time, one is nothing but a deceitful hypocrite.

His main disciple Buton Rinchen Drub, the author of The History of Buddhism in India and Tibet, also says in his Self-Instructions:
For the sake of friends and foes in this life, you amass wealth and retinues with avarice and aversion.
None of your subjects will follow you when you die, you must bear the painful karma all by yourself.
Brahmins, Indra, or Universal Monarchs enjoy great pleasures that are unreliable samsaric happiness.
When they die, there is no guarantee to avoid lower realms, so become weary to samsara, Rinchen Drub!

Reading these, I reflected carefully on the seemingly good deeds I have done so far. Most of them boiled down to self-serving for this life only; I am not even sure what portion of them has been devoted to others or to future lives. How I admire the high realization and conduct of the accomplished sages!

The adage goes: “Instead of wasting time longing for the fish by the pond, it’s better to go back and prepare fishing nets.” I may as well take actions from now on; perhaps it’s still not too late!

7th of February, Year of RenWu
March 21, 2002

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Footprints on the Journey: Mental Offerings - Khenpo Sodargye
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 03:36:58 am »
Not only that, but I really believe that, 'No good deed goes unpunished'! Kind of makes it worse in some ways, but in others it protects us from the thought that we are gaining something by doing good. Merit is to be given away, not collected like brownie points.
The Christian prayer of St Ignatius Loyola says much the same thing as the UK Bodhi Association's post:
Teach us, good Lord,
to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will.
Take away the 'Lord' bit and you have the universality of the idea (I'm kind of into comparative religious studies at the moment- hope it doesn't offend any Buddhists here). 
“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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