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 +Part of the List of [[Dharma Terms]] and [[Fair Use]] [[Hyperlinked Shastra commentary]] ([[Non-Profit Educational Purposes for Distance Learning]]) from the [[Buddhist Ayurveda]] Course ([[SUT560]] [[Introduction to Tantra]] and [[SKT220]]) on [[Sanskrit Terms]] of [[Ayurveda]],​ [[Tibetan Medicine]], [[Dharma]] and [[CLN301|Consultations]]
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 +[[Recent Changes]] | [[Ayurveda Terms]] ([[Ayurvedic Chinese Western Medicine Terms from Marma Points of Ayurveda]] | [[Dharma Terms]] | [[Dharma Teachers]], See also [[Six Session Guru Yoga]], [[Extremely Abbreviated Six Session Guru Yoga]], [[Samaya]], [[Tantric Vows]], [[Puja]], [[Sadhana]]
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 +======= Six-Session Guru Yoga Commentary by Geshe Tashi Tsering of Chenrezig Institute ======
 +
 +
 +For a formatted downloadable version, please see: 
 +
 +http://​www.ayurveda-california.com/​distance_learning/​index.php/​buddhist-masters-program/​six-session-guru-yoga/​6-session-guru-yoga-commentary-tashi-tsering-16
 +
 +----
 +This transcription has been very lightly edited, and has not been checked by Ven. Lozang Zopa. All mistakes, omissions, additions, errors, erratic spelling and bizarre punctuation are due solely to the transcriber. ​
 +
 +
 +Six Session Guru Yoga.
 +
 +
 +Teacher:​ Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator:​ Ven. Lozang Zopa
 +Transcribed:​ Carolyn McLeod
 +Chenrezig Institute; 29th April, 2003
 +
 +Tape 16.
 +
 +In the Root Text of Six Session Guru Yoga, the eighth reads, abusing my own aggregates, which is preceded by revealing secrets to those who are unripe. Which brings us to the ninth which reads: Denying voidness, which is rejecting or abandoning emptiness. ​
 +
 +This text we have, reads on page 4: - If you reject emptiness out of a lack of trust, it is a root downfall of rejecting emptiness.
 +
 +This is quite difficult because we have Bodhisattvas who are Mind Only proponents, and as a Mind Only proponents, they don’t accept the lack of inherent existence or the lack of true existence for that matter. It follows that they abandon or reject emptiness. What do you think? It follows that they incur this root downfall. ​
 +
 +If an individual is a Bodhisattva who is a Mind Only proponent, it follows that they necessarily have the root downfall of abandoning emptiness in their continuum.
 +
 +Student. Although they do not accept the middle way consequence explanation on emptiness, they do have their own explanation of emptiness and they don’t abandon that.
 +Geshe-la. Then?​
 +Student. But they abandon the real emptiness. This has to be explained in general terms and when explained in general terms, we adopt the middle way consequence perspective. It follows that they abandon the actual emptiness.
 +
 +What do you think – does the root downfall of rejecting emptiness involve someone saying, ‘oh this thing called emptiness is a bunch of rubbish. I don’t accept that’?
 +
 +There are also those Bodhisattvas who are sutra school proponents and those who are proponents of the Great Exposition School; these individuals don’t accept emptiness in any manner only the selflessness of persons. It follows that such an individual has the root downfall of rejecting emptiness. ​
 +
 +Student. It follows that the Bodhisattva who is a proponent of the sutra school does not have the root downfall of abandoning emptiness in their continuum because they’ve never been taught emptiness and you can’t reject what you have not been taught. ​
 +
 +Proponents of the Sutra school and the Great Exposition School are aware of the emptiness accepted by schools such as the Autonomous and the Consequence schools but they don’t accept that. We know about the positions of the different schools, of course, they know about them as well. Although they are aware of them, they don’t accept them. Such individuals do not accept emptiness and hence reject it.
 +
 +We were speaking earlier about abandoning the Mahayana and it follows that to incur the root downfall of abandoning the Mahayana you would first need to accept it to be in a position to abandon it. There are those individuals who say that the Bodhisattva Canon is not the Buddha'​s teachings.
 +
 +If we return to the wording of the commentary it says: - If you reject emptiness out of a lack of trust it is a root downfall of rejecting emptiness. There is a lot to consider with respect to this point.
 +
 +Number ten reads: - If through word and deed, you act friendly towards a person who aught to be subdued, since they disrupt teachings or belittle the jewels and the lama etc it is the root downfall of acting lovingly towards a malevolent towards a person. In the Six Session Guru Yoga the call this remaining close to malevolent people.
 +
 +Notice how we’re speaking about an individual who has belittled the jewels or the lama, or disrupts teachings. These actions make this person someone who aught to be subdued; dealt with in a wrathful way. If you were to act friendly through word and deed with such a person, you would incur the root downfall of acting lovingly towards a malevolent person.
 +
 +The word in question is this notion of being subdue, which refers to making use of wrathful activity as taught in mantra. Literally, to cut down or destroy another individual. As it says, afterwards, that this root downfall is not incurred simply because you fail to subdue such a person. In other words, just because you refrain from employing this wrathful activity to cut them down doesn’t mean that you will incur the root downfall; to incur the root downfall; you must also act in a friendly way in word and deed towards them.
 +
 +Sometimes it's also said that we aught to abandon acting lovingly towards such individuals – literally abandon loving- kindness for those individuals. This means that we should abandon acting lovingly through word and deed. For us to do so, implies that we are saying that these great negativities that they are performing are ok. Rather than act lovingly towards them through word and deed and thereby indirectly accept their activity, we should refrain from acting lovingly through word and deed, yet not loose loving- kindness on a mental level. The text continues by saying; Furthermore,​ we are not encouraged to abandon loving- kindness on a mental level. Even though in some cases it says, abandon loving- kindness, it's not referring to on a mental level. ​
 +
 +It's quite similar to what we find in the Wheel of Sharp Weapons where it says, do not befriend bad friends. When we’re advised not to befriend bad friends, we’re advised not to emulate the negative activities that other people do; we are encouraged not to place 100% trust and confidence in such individuals. Don’t act like them, basically is what they are saying, but they are not saying to abandon loving- kindness for them. 
 +
 + ​Number eleven reads: - If, after obtaining the mantra vows and after participating in a qualified empowerment,​ a day passes without you recalling either coarse or subtle emptiness to the best of your ability, it is a root downfall of not continuously meditating on emptiness.
 +
 +This is what is referred to in Six Session Guru Yoga as not recollecting the view.
 +
 +The text mentions a day passing without us recollecting the view, so it's very important that we be mindful of emptiness every single day. Recollect the view before you meditate on the deity; recollect emptiness, either coarse of subtle to the best of your ability. So draw upon whatever understanding of emptiness you have, whether it's the emptiness of the lack of true existence or the emptiness of inherent existence, or being empty of existing by way of one’s character or being empty of existing from ones own side. Each of these has their own implications and they convey a particular understanding. Whatever you have an understanding of, draw upon that and recollect emptiness. ​
 +
 +In general, we should recall the view of emptiness before we perform any virtuous activity. We speak oftentimes about the importance of developing the mind of enlightenment before engaging in virtuous activities. If we spend some time arousing the mind of enlightenment before we engage in virtue then the subsequent virtue is influenced by the mind of enlightenment. Even if you are not thinking about the mind of enlightenment while you’re actually engaged in that particular thing, the mere fact that you have aroused it before engaging means you are influenced by it. In other words, the activity is sealed by the mind of enlightenment. Similarly, we should recall the view of emptiness, thereby, sealing our virtue with that view. This helps to ensure that our virtue acts as an antidote of the misapprehension of self. If we failed to recollect the view and sealed our virtue with the view of emptiness, then our virtue will only act as cause for cyclic existence, in light of the fact that we are still under the sway of the misapprehension of the self. 
 +
 +In number eleven it’s referred to as not continuously meditating on emptiness; in Six Session Guru Yoga it's referred to as not recollecting the view.
 +
 +Number twelve reads: - If, with the intention to reverse faith, striving in aspirations for the oral instructions of mantra of a disciple who is a suitable vessel for mantra, you cause them to become disenchanted and their aspiration subsequently collapses, it is a root downfall of creating disenchantment in the faithful. Is that clear?
 +
 +The title of this root downfall should make it clear that we are speaking about making a faithful person become disenchanted,​ so it involves a reversal of faith and aspiration. The individual concerned is a suitable vessel for mantra and through your activities or something you do, you cause them to become disenchanted and their aspiration subsequently collapses. If their aspiration does not collapse, they do not turn back on their faith, you do not incur the root downfall; but, if they do, then the root downfall is incurred. ​
 +
 +Number thirteen reads: -If you do not partake of the samaya substances, such as the five meats, when a feast gathering of a Vira or Virihni’s Feast is offered properly in accord with the tantric commentaries,​ and do not willingly accept such substances due to a lack of trust or if you were to hold such ideas as, if inner meditation is the only thing of prime importance then outer symbols like the vajra and bell, hand implements, serve no purpose, it's a root downfall of not properly relying on samaya substances. ​
 +
 +Is it clear what a Vira or Virihni’s feast is – a hero or heroine’s feast.
 +
 +When a group of males offer a feast without any females present, it's a Vira’s feast or a hero’s feast; when a group of females offer tsog or a feast alone, it's called a Virihni’s or heroines feast. When males and females come together to offer tsog, it's called a feast gathering – a circle of tsog. 
 +
 +Is this clear? You’re not partaking or willing accepting of these samaya substances perhaps with the thought that they are dirty things. In general, it's very good to refrain from eating meat or taking alcohol. ​
 +
 +However, in performing tsog we have a special occasion that’s linked to the practice of mantra. We are adopting the attitude of divine pride and with that attitude, and then engaging in this mantra activity. In that context, it's not appropriate to view things such as meat as being dirty or unacceptable. It does not only relate to meat – whatever substance you care to mention should not be viewed as being impure. ​
 +
 +This is quite an important point, because in such context, it's very important for us to be training in pure perception and if we were to lack trust and refuse to partake of such substances, we would be falling prey to the impure perception. In fact, it's this impure perception that we are trying to do away with by the practice. ​
 +
 +Drolka, who used to be Geshe-la’s second attendant, when she would have even the slightest bit of alcohol, in fact, even when she would just smell it she would get this funny feeling and felt very uncomfortable;​ it has something to do with how much alcohol she drank before she became a nun, which used to be quite a lot. Obviously it brought back a lot of memories and made her feel very uncomfortable. In this case it wasn’t so much her seeing it as impure, as her actually becoming sick. 
 +
 +If that’s the case, then perhaps it's best to make aspirational prayers and set it aside, you don’t have to push forward if you become physically ill. Still in general, it's not appropriate to view such things as dirty. We do have these five meats and five nectars and if you think about what these five meats and five nectars actually are, there’s nothing that we should see as dirty. What are the five nectars? We don’t need to enumerate them. 
 +
 +We have these conventions in the world of dirty and clean; dirty and clean are really creations of our preconceptions,​ of conceptual mind. Rather than ascent to the distinctions created by our preconceptions,​ we are trying to see the equal taste of dirty and clean.
 +
 +Chandrakirti in his text, Introduction to the Middle Way, he speaks about how what is not tasty for others bestows the supreme taste to a Buddha. The experience of suffering for instance: - the experience of suffering arises because we have the seed, the substantial cause for the suffering, in our mind. That seed comes to fruition leading to the experience of suffering. This is how we speak about things all the time; about how the substantial causes for both suffering and pleasure exist in the mind. 
 +
 +If a Buddha were to experience something as untasty or not pleasant to the ear, or stinking, for the lack of a better word, then that would mean that Buddha would have the substantial cause for that in his continuum. We say that a Buddha has abandoned all incompatible things without exception; a Buddha is utterly faultless. So isn’t it clear that the sight of unpleasant things, the smell of stinky things, the taste of not so tasty things, is due to our karma? Of course.
 +
 +If, as a young person, you drink alcohol to excess over and over again, you are placing the seeds or imprints in your mind, so that later the very smell of alcohol is enough to make you go crazy.
 +
 +We have five sense consciousnesses and these sense consciousnesses have five different types of objects. The objects of these five consciousnesses might be appealing or unappealing,​ perhaps neutral. When we experience an unappealing form or an unappealing sound or sense that is something that is created by mind. Form, sense or sound can act as conditions for faulty or unpleasant things, in which case, we should train in purifying the fault. This is taking adverse circumstances on to the path; taking what could otherwise be a condition for unpleasantness,​ a negative fault, and transforming that onto the path. 
 +
 +Remember the story that Geshe-la told a few weeks ago about the Christian hospital where they made you listen to a sermon before you got the medicine; this was near Buxor where many of the monks came and stayed for many years after the exile in ’59. The little hospital was about three kilometres away in a Bhutanese area, and there was a Geshe from [?] who had to go up to the hospital one day to get medicine. So, he’s walking up there and there was a bit of an area where people used to go walking around and there were some Indians coming who had just gone for a walk somewhere up in the hills and were coming down. As they came closer to the Geshe who was going up to the hospital, they all covered their noses. The Geshe sees this and thinks, ‘oh, they must think I stink; they must think I am really dirty and they are covering their noses so they don’t smell me’. [End side a]
 +
 +………. he had to cover his nose too. He goes up to the hospital and gets his medicine and comes on down. He’s walking down the same trail and remembers that this was about the spot where those Indians covered their noses because they didn’t want to smell him, and thought he was dirty. He sat down to have a rest and before too long he smells what they must have been covering their noses from because right near there, the Bhutanese had left a whole bunch of shit, faeces, and it was really a bad smell. The Geshe at this point thinks that it was very negative of him to have covered his nose up back at them, to do it to spite them; at that point, he regretted what he had done. 
 +
 +The point is that when we come into contact with faeces and so forth, it seems as if the faeces is the substantial cause for this unpleasant experience, but in fact it isn’t.
 +
 +Fourteen reads: - If you disparage and criticise a transcendent being like Vajra Varahi, who has assumed the form of a woman, or, if you disparage and criticise women as a whole by saying things like women as a whole are very deceitful, then it's the root downfall of belittling women.
 +
 +It's inappropriate to criticise women in general because there are many inconceivable beings amongst women. It's also unacceptable to criticise specific women because you can’t tell if this is just an ordinary woman or one of very high class so it's inappropriate to belittle, criticise or disparage women in general and specific women. ​
 +
 +When we come into contact with a dog or cat we shouldn’t pray, ‘may I not take such a rebirth as this’, because we don’t know if that’s actually a dog or cat or in fact an emanation of a Buddha or Bodhisattva. If we were to be speaking about the subject of animals and what we are speaking about is an animal then there’s no question, obviously it's an animal we are speaking about. But, when we single out a particular being which appears to be a dog or cat, we can’t be totally sure that it’s actually an animal for it might be an emanation. Gyaltso Rinpoche has advised us to be very careful with making such aspirational prayers.
 +
 +Geshe-la asks who obtained this copy of the Tibetan, because the text contains a number of different errors; oftentimes spelling errors and omissions etc. Geshe-la was very sarcastically saying, ‘thank you for getting this text [full of errors] for us Lozang Zopa.’
 +
 +It says:​- ​ To incur these root downfalls you must have the mantra vows and a sound mind. In particular the four great binding afflictions must be complete for all thirteen, excepting the Great downfall of giving up bodhicitta. As before, giving up bodhicitta can be a root downfall even if the binging afflictions are not complete. If you engage in the basis for a downfall without the completion of the great binding afflictions then it is a gross violation. ​
 +
 +What are the most important of the four binding afflictions?​ The most important of all is to not view these acts as faults. This is to say that to fail to see a fault as a fault is the worse thing one can do in terms of the four binding afflictions. Also quite bad is to fail to develop the mind that thinks, ‘I will not engage in this activity again.’
 +
 +If all four, which is:- wanting to engage in the misdeed, lacking shame and propriety, feeling happy and satisfied about the action and not viewing the act as wrong are complete, we have the basis for a root downfall. ​
 +
 +On page four of the translation of the Bodhisattva Vows it reads, If in addition to not viewing the act as wrong, the other three binding afflictions are complete, it is a great binding affliction. If in addition to not viewing the act as wrong, one or two of the remaining three are complete or, if it alone is complete, it is a fault of medium contamination. ​
 +
 +Just failing to view the act as wrong – seeing it as a fault – results in a fault of medium contamination. If only the first three are complete and the last is not then it's a fault of lesser contamination. If you see the act as wrong and it's still only a fault of lesser contamination even if the other three are present. ​
 +
 +What this bit about seeing the act as wrong teaches us is that it's very important that we understand a fault to be a fault. ​
 +
 +Those are the fourteen root downfalls of the mantra vows. Are they clear?
 +
 +Gross violation – does this term convey a sense of magnitude or greatness, something serious? ​ If the actual act and corresponding binding afflictions are complete, you incur a root downfall. If there is some element incomplete from that, you have a gross violation. In terms of the Vinaya you have this division of faults. One of the most significant is this gross violation. ​
 +
 +In the Bhutanese language, which is a dialect of Tibetan, they use this term bom bo [?] gross, as their word of great or big. When they say this is a really big bloke, directly translated it would be a really gross bloke – it means it's big and thick. In fact some one who has a very deep voice, they say it is a thick voice. ​
 +
 +Giving up bodhicitta is a different situation because you don’t have to complete the four binding afflictions to incur a root downfall of giving up bodhicitta. Whereas, for the other thirteen, the four binding afflictions must be complete. It stands to reason that there are thirteen gross violations that correspond to the root downfalls. ​
 +
 +Moving on. The other great, gross violations are: - 1. Taking the strength of wisdom 2. Taking the strength of their nectar. Six Session Guru Yoga states, 1. Relying upon an unqualified consort and 2. Sitting in union without the three recognitions.
 +
 +One should not indiscriminately rely on a consort. If one were to rely on a consort, one should do so in a proper and qualified way. Wisdom is a euphemism for a consort, so to rely upon a consort in an improper way is to take the strength of wisdom. ​
 +
 +The consort should be given empowerment,​ be given samayas and vows and properly trained in the context of mantra. Their doing so, the consort ripens their continuum thereby becoming a proper consort. Failing to do so, results in incurring the root gross violation of taking the strength of wisdom. ​
 +
 +If you have done what is required, that is given empowerment,​ samayas, vows trained in tantra and mantra and the consort is qualified in that respect, but even though they are qualified and gone through the necessary preparations if you rely on the consort in a way forbidden by the classes of tantra it is a root downfall of taking the strength of their nectar. ​
 +
 +Six Session Guru Yoga speaks about sitting in union without the three recognitions,​ so it's absolutely necessary to adopt the three recognitions when in union. Failure to do so can result in this gross violation of taking the strength of their nectar. What are the three recognitions? ​
 +
 +The recognition of seeing oneself as the deity. The recognition of mantra, which is blessing the secret place of both oneself and the consort. The third recognition is the recognition of dharma within the mind, which is to have the attitude that you are engaging in union in order to develop uncontaminated bliss.
 +
 +We are not permitted to engage in union if we are pursuing contaminated bliss or pleasure. They say that to engage in union due to your pursuit of contaminated pleasure is not permitted, in fact, to do so is a negativity. ​
 +
 +The first recognition refers to seeing oneself or seeing one’s body as that of a deity. The recognition of mantra; blessing the secret place of oneself and the consort. In connection of that we have the recognition of dharma within the mind, which refers to having the attitude that you are engaging in union in order to develop uncontaminated pleasure.
 +
 +If you were to engage in union without any of these three, it would be a gross violation of taking the strength of their nectar.
 +
 +Perhaps we’ll leave it there for this evening. Are we clear about the material to this point?
 +
 +Question. The consort referred to in the first violation does that refer to an actual consort that we might eventually encounter or a consort that we would visualise?
 +Geshe-la. It refers to relying on an actual consort not a visualised one, a actual consort.
 +Question. So if you don’t rely on a consort really apply that?
 +Geshe-la. That’s right, if you’re not really relying on a consort, you are not going to incur this gross violation.
 +Question. Does that apply to the second as well?
 +Geshe-la. Yes. ​
 +
 +For those of you who have studied the grounds and paths of mantra you might remember that we spoke about the three isolations: physical isolation, verbal isolation and mental isolation. There’s a clear light that comes at the end of mental isolation. Having reached that point, the individual can rely on a consort without danger. There are times in which someone with sharp faculties will be able to rely on a consort before they reach that point, particularly during the third empowerment,​ yet there are still dangers. There are dangers until you reach the clear light at the end of mental isolation. ​
 +
 +Question. Does a mind only Bodhisattva incur the root downfalls of abandoning emptiness?
 +Geshe-la. No. In order to reject emptiness you must first accept it. There’s meaning to be drawn from that. 
 +Question. When Geshe-la was explaining the fourteenth root downfall he mentioned the inappropriateness of disparaging women in general, and specifically. If you disparage a specific woman does that result in a downfall?
 +Geshe-la. If the woman you disparage possessed the faults that you’re accusing her of, then you probably would not incur the root downfall. But, you don’t really know if that is the case, do you.
 +Disparaging women in general refers to statements that we’ve all heard, ‘women this, women that’, those type of statements should not be made at all.
 +If you read this closely it says: - If you disparage and criticise a transcendent being like Vajra Varahi who has assumed the form of a woman. If you disparage a woman and it turns out to be someone like Vajra Varahi who is in the form of a woman, then clearly you incur the root downfall. Body and speech Geshe-la was saying, it's very difficult to determine whether or not the person you disparage is just a transcendent being taking the form of a woman or an ordinary woman. Similarly, becoming angry with others has its dangers as well. If you become angry with another person who happens to be a Bodhisattva it's a very serious or grave negativity. ​
 +
 +In certain texts, Geshe-la believes it's found in The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva, they speak about the negativity of looking askance at someone. If looking askance at a Bodhisattva is a serious negativity you can imagine how disparaging them, would be a much greater negativity. ​
 +
 +Geshe-la has often thought about these types of things. When he was disciplinarian at Gyume tantra college you’ve got to look askance at people, looking out of the corner of you eye; you’ve got to look askance at people to make sure that they know whose in charge so they don’t misbehave too much. Oftentimes at the end of the day he would think about how he is really in for it if one of those people is a Bodhisattva. You’ve got absolutely no hope if you are always smiling, particularly with the young people. If you’re always smiling and have a happy face with the young people, you are never going to get them to follow all the rules and recite things properly and do everything as they should.
 +
 +Ok – be careful, take care.
 +
 +
 +
  
six-session_guru_yoga_commentary_geshe_tashi_tsering_of_chenrezig_institute_16.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:13 (external edit)