Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Resuming Secular Life-Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 361 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: Resuming Secular Life-Khenpo Sodargye
« on: December 18, 2016, 04:17:18 pm »
Resuming Secular Life

How reluctant am I to touch upon this subject! But “to leave the monastic order” presents a cruel reality we must face in the current time of five degenerations. Instead of dodging the issue, I may as well look at it squarely and bravely.

A few months ago a monk, beset by afflictions, declared to renounce his monastic life of more than 10 years. When I heard this news today, I got quite upset as if I had swallowed a fly. I recall early on, his ordained peers had regarded him as a model by his diligent study and keeping pure precepts. Once he asserted: “As long as I am alive, I will never leave the monastic order even for one day. For me, returning to the worldly life is worse than dying.” A person who proclaimed his faith with such strong determination still ended up eating his own words and repealed his vow. How can I not feel sick at heart!

Over the phone, he veered away from discussing the Dharma, but instead tattled endlessly about his business. When I asked how it was going, he started to pour out to me his pent-up miseries: “You know, it’s so difficult to do business these days! My hard labor of eight hours daily earns me less than 10 yuan. The ordained life at the monastery, as I recall now, was so peaceful and worry-free, almost like living in heaven! Alas!!” Hearing his complaints, I have no idea how to respond.

But there is some consolation for me: He is still holding onto his views and his faith in the Three Jewels has not waned. He takes every opportunity to do the purification practice and also remembers to recite mantras while busy with his shop.

Once, one of Lhala Chodri Rinpoche’s main disciples left the monastic order for some reason. When others condemned him, Rinpoche said: “It’s not right to speak badly about others. Although his body has resumed a worldly life, he has not done so in his heart.”

It is stated in the scripture: “Better to break the precepts than to damage the right view.” In the Four Hundred Verses of Madhyamaka, it says: “One would rather transgress edicts than abandon the right view.” If a person has ruined his right view but, instead of confessing sincerely, he points the finger at the guru or the Three Jewels, then this person’s mind is incurably corrupt, even though his body has not returned to the secular world.

19th of March, Year of RenWu
April 30, 2002

 


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