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 +======= Wheel of Sharp Weapons by Dharmarakshita ======
 +
 +[[Wheel of Sharp Weapons]] by [[Dharmarakshita]]
 +
 +
 +For a formatted downloadable version, please see: 
 +
 +http://​www.ayurveda-california.com/​distance_learning/​index.php/​buddhist-masters-program/​wheel-of-sharp-weapons/​wheel-of-sharp-weapons-summary
 +
 +
 +Buddhist Studies Programme
 +Subject: Wheel of Sharp Weapons
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator: Ven Lozang Zopa 
 +Tape No: 1
 +Date of Teaching: Tuesday 4th November 2003
 +
 +Side A
 +
 +This is text is named mind training – the Wheel of Sharp Weapons and it is given by Dharmarakshita to Atisha. So the precious Lord Atisha had many teachers, of them Dharmarakshita a Lama from Indonesia (Serlingpa). Of those many lamas that Atisha had, it was Dharmarakshita who gave him this text known as the Wheel of Sharp Weapons.
 +
 +It seems that the emphasis in this text is on the practice of the mind if enlightenment. What is Geshe-la always saying in relation to this point? He is always saying that the purpose of this practice, the purpose of dharma in general, is to diminish the disturbing emotions. If our disturbing emotions are not decreasing through our practice of the dharma, there is something not right about the way we are going about it. So the purpose is of course, the emphasis is on diminishing the disturbing emotions. In this text it pays particular attention to ‘striking at the very core of the enemy’ the disturbing emotions, that is the grasping at self. So this text then revolves around finding the different ways not only to cause disturbing emotions ​ to decrease, but also that we can strike at that which lies at their very core.  What is it that can do direct damage to grasping at self?
 +
 +If we could recite this text on a regular basis – like within our prayers – and reflect on it repeatedly, we would find that it’ a question and answer form for the different problems that we experience in this lifetime. All the different difficulties that you have in your life, when you’re experiencing them then you turn to this text and say: ‘where do these problems come from?’ and you find your answer in here.
 +
 +This text is called the Wheel of Sharp Weapons that strikes at the core of the enemy. Enemy of course refers to grasping at self but also to self-cherishing. Now there’s 2 types of self-cherishing – there’s the self-cherishing that is conjoined with self-grasping and the self-cherishing ​ that is divorced from self-grasping. For instance and arhat – when an arhat attains the state of arhatship, that person has already abandoned self-grasping,​ yet they still have self-cherishing don’t they.
 +
 +So as for what exactly the enemy refers to in the context of this text, then we just have to look and see how it goes in accord with the context. Of course, this conjoined self-cherishing and self-grasping is the very worst, But even the self-cherishing that is devoid of self-grasping e.g. that which an arhat would possess, is also an obstacle to the practice of the mind of enlightenment isn’t it. So just what the enemy refers to here has to be determined in accord with the individual context.
 +
 +It says 
 +I pay homage to the great wrathful one
 +The enemy of the lord of death
 +The enemy of the lord of death is Yamantaka, literally. So what is this 
 +‘opponent of Yama’? Well generally speaking Yama can have many different connotations e.g. there is the Lord of Death Yama, which refers to the death that comes upon us powerlessly,​ the death that we are powerless to control. So the enemy of such a powerless death – or the antidote to such a powerless death is one Yamantaka.
 +
 +We don’t need to go into any more about the history – the initial origins of this text. We know it was something that Dharmarakshita gave to Atisha. There’s a commentary to this text however which is based on the teachings of the great throne holder of Ganden, Lama Tenpa Rabgye. It seems that this great throne holder of Ganden, Tenpa Rabgye, lived at Rabchen Monastery and in giving his teachings on this text, some of his students then took notes and the commentary that we have is the actual notes by his students. This commentary is quite long and we don’t have that much time so we don’t need to go through the actual commentary. We’ll use it as a source for explanations,​ and Geshe-la will base his teachings on what is found in the commentary, but we’ll really be teaching from the root text. We don’t have much time, do we. So we’ll focus on the root text and just make reference to the commentary. ​
 +
 +Tenpa Rabgye says that the great wrathful one can actually be – can be applied to all bodhisattvas. ​
 +
 +So here, Yama is understood to be this conjoined self grasping and self-cherishing. By applying the antidote to such things one institutes or develops the enemy to this form of Yama – the conjoined self grasping and self-cherishing. So generally this is how Tenpa Rabgye explains this line:
 +I pay homage to the great wrathful one, 
 +The enemy of the Lord of Death.
 +
 +Do you understand then how to understand this line, 
 +I pay homage to the great wrathful one.
 +The enemy of the Lord of Death
 +As it has just been explained. Cause another explanation can be given from a mantra perspective. From a mantra perspective we talk about Yamantaka – not just the enemy of the lord of death, but Yamantaka. And there’s both the Yamantaka of provisional meaning and the Yamantaka of definitive meaning. The Yamantaka of provisional meaning refers to the Yamantaka that has the form, you know with limbs such as legs and arms – in other words the form of this deity you see drawn on thangkas. Whereas the Yamantaka of definitive meaning refers to the primordial awareness of indivisible bliss and emptiness. So, of course we talk about Vajrabhairava,​ Vajrabhairava with certain features, having certain arms and so forth, but of course the Vajrabhairava of definitive meaning is this primordial awareness of indivisible bliss emptiness. Geshe-la has taught on the Yamantaka or Vajrabhairava self-generation text so he just, thinking that it is good for you guys to remember this, then he will just, from time to time, remind us of such points.
 +
 +Also we’re saying:
 +I pay homage to this great wrathful one
 +The enemy of the Lord of death
 +Perhaps it’s good to say what ‘homage’ in this case means. ‘Homage’ is the word ‘chag tsal’, which is often translated as prostration. It’s is made up of 2 syllables, the first being chag. This refers in this case to the non-dual primordial awareness, and tsal which means to seek or to search, which mean to have an affinity towards that.
 +
 +So this affinity towards this non-dual primordial awareness refers to the state of mind in which you think ‘oh if I could attain such a thing.’ In other words it’s a liking for, it’s an aspiration for the non-dual primordial awareness. ​
 +
 +You don’t often see a word explanation of the phrase prostration or homage in texts so this is quiet interesting here. As for the lineage that’s passed down orally, the term is also broken down into its component parts – chag and tsal – chag meaning to sweep. And so it’s understood to refer to sweeping out the stains that exist within our continuum. And tsal means to seek or to search – so we’re seeking the qualities – the positive aspects of buddhas and bodhisattvas. Sweeping and searching – prostration and homage – chag tsal.
 +
 +In this text the chag tsal is explained in a slightly different way. Chag from the same word that makes up the word ‘mudra’,​ like we do this mudra or gesture of drawing the hands together, we’re talking about non-dual primordial awareness. And tsal being, in terms of searching, being the affinity or aspiration towards this non-dual primordial awareness.
 +
 +We’re always prostrating aren’t we. It’s a bit strange if we don’t know what it means to prostrate – doing all these things and not knowing their meaning.
 +
 +Do we remember the non-dual primordial awareness from 70 topics – perfect wisdom? Does it remain or has it scurried away?
 +
 +In the text, the seven point mind training, it says that ‘first train in the preliminaries’. The same could be said for here. So, we begin by meditating upon the proper way to rely upon the spiritual teacher, then reflecting on the difficulty of obtaining the leisures and endowments. And reflecting on death and impermanence and actions and their effects and so forth… Then having meditated upon these points, then we try to develop things like loving kindness and compassion. Excuse me – then having meditated upon these things we think about the way that sentient beings cycle through samsara – either through reflecting upon the forward order of the 12 links of dependent arising or by thinking about the true sufferings and the true origins of suffering. Then we move on to try to develop loving kindness and compassion in our continuum either through applying one of the methods such as developing the recognition that all sentient beings have been one’s mother – recollecting their kindness and repaying their kindness. In this way we try and set the proper motivation through meditating upon these different preliminaries or these different stages that come from the Lam Rim and then proceed.
 +
 +Then the first verse begins with an analogy. It reads:
 +
 +Peacocks roam in forests of deadly poison5,
 +even when beautiful gardens of medicinal plants (exist).
 +The flocks of peacocks take no joy (in such gardens),
 +for thriving on deadly poison is the way of peacocks.
 +
 +Quite clear isn’t it?
 +
 +Special things become apparent when we begin to think about this. For most people poison is something that we are quite averse to, or that we stay away from, whereas medicine is something that everyone likes – oh yeah great medicine, everyone flocks around medicine. So stay away from poison and flock around medicine. In general this is the way we sentient beings are. Peacocks however have a particular liking for these poisonous plants, there’s a special relationship that peacocks have with poisonous plants so that they have,,, they enjoy the fruits and flowers of poisonous plants. They don’t have any special interest in medicinal plants. So if you think about it, there’s some quite special things being indicated here.
 +
 +It’s not just that peacocks like poisonous ​ plants. In fact if a peacock were to eat the flowers of a poisonous ​ plant then it helps to strengthen their body and enhance the brilliance of their colours – it helps to improve their lustre. ​
 +
 +And the next verse reads:
 +
 +Similarly, the brave enter the forest of samsara,
 +though beautiful gardens of bliss and happiness exist.
 +The brave do not become attached (to such gardens),
 +(for abiding) in forests of suffering is the way of Bodhisattvas.
 +
 +‘The brave’ refer to bodhisattvas,​ people who put others before self. We’re talking about people who really cherish others. To say that they ‘enter the forest of samsara, though beautiful gardens of bliss and happiness exist’ means that they remain unattached to the happiness and pleasures that there are and rather go in search of the places where there is the greatest suffering. And seeking out these places where suffering is greatest, they approach to work for the benefit of others. ​
 +
 +We need to think about this, the brave or bodhisattvas – what kind of thinking do they have – what are their thoughts. Such people are looking for opportunities in which they can increase their cherishing of others. If they can increase their cherishing of others, they are pleased. And if their self-cherishing increases they are displeased. Whereas for us, we are increasing our self-cherishing so that if we get good food to eat or nice clothes or a nice place to stay we are quite pleased and through this our self-cherishing ​
 +Increases. For the bodhisattva,​ actually they would be digressed by, and feel worried by situations in which they are unable to increase their cherishing of others, situations in which their self-cherishing is increasing. So, if a person were to have that attitude you can certainly see how they would be embracing sufferings for the sake of others. Such a person would – in search of opportunities to develop the cherishing of others would certainly accept suffering for the sake of others wouldn’t they?
 +
 +It’s like they say in Lama Chöpa that, even if I were to have to stay in the fiery hells of avici for incalculable aeons, then with this type of attitude one’s compassion is not deflated but in fact … one’s compassion is not deflated or lost but in fact finds sustenance – it increases when it has the opportunity to accept sufferings for the sake of others. ​
 +
 +Then the next verse goes on to mention:
 +
 +Because we long for bliss and happiness,
 +we are led to suffering by the power of cowardice.
 +Bodhisattvas who take on suffering,
 +are always blissful through the strength of bravery.
 +
 +A coward – being a coward as opposed to being brave. So while the brave are bodhisattvas,​ the cowards are those who always in search of one’s own welfare are constantly looking for attachment. But this brings about a situation as described in Lama Chöpa when it talks about how we are never satisfied with any pleasures – not wanting even the slightest of sufferings yet never being satisfied with any pleasures. This is the type of thing that happens when one is constantly in search or constantly longing for bliss and happiness. This is the attitude of a coward.
 +
 +Longing for happiness on the one hand, and embracing or accepting suffering – it seems that there is a difference between bodhisattvas and those beings who are not bodhisattvas. For bodhisattvas long for or embrace suffering whereas those beings who are not bodhisattvas like us ordinary sentient beings, long for bliss and happiness.
 +
 +This constant longing for pleasure and happiness seems to exacerbate our suffering. Well in fact Geshe-la thinks you could state a correct reason - for someone who is constantly longing for bliss and happiness, then the slightest sufferings are unbearable, because they are constantly longing for bliss and happiness. This is probably a correct reason.
 +
 +This conforms with logic and reason doesn’t it? It’s a correct reason isn’t it? Are the three modes established? ​
 +
 +We have to apply reasons to this – we have to think about how logical such things are. Think about what the glorious Chandrakirti says in the 1st Chapter – the first awakening mind section of his great text ‘Introduction to the Middle Way’.
 +
 +He talks about how bodhisattvas are constantly trying to increase their intention to give. Bodhisattvas have the intention to give. Bodhisattvas have the intention to perfect generosity don’t they. They hope to develop the paramita or the perfection of generosity so that if they encounter the opportunity to give, like say e.g. someone just merely by hearing someone’s request ‘please give me this’ then a joy or happiness is born in the mind that is greater than the bliss experienced by someone abiding in a cessation of suffering. The bliss of a bodhisattva seeking to perfect generosity that is experienced upon hearing a request for something is greater than that of somebody abiding in equipoise on the cessation of suffering.
 +
 +This is what the glorious Chandrakirti says in the Introduction to the Middle Way.
 +
 +Let’s see if the same reasoning can apply here. 
 +
 +A bodhisattva of course not only would want to develop the perfection of generosity but also would want to develop the perfection of patience. A bodhisattva has the intention of developing patience to its utmost extent correct? So if such a person, such a bodhisattva were to encounter another who denegrates them, who tries to arouse anger in them, then certainly that person would feel great joy or pleasure at the opportunity to practice patience right?
 +
 +So take for instance, harsh words or an abusive act, they are not unequivocally causes of suffering, because for some beings, they cause nothing but happiness, nothing but pleasure, like for instance these bodhisattvas.
 +
 +We view abusive acts directed towards us as being one of the primary condition for suffering don’t we. But this is because we lack the practice.
 +
 +Whether something is a condition for suffering or happiness doesn’t rely on the nature of the object itself – but relies on the nature of the person. This is quite clear isn’t it.
 +
 +So here cowardice refers to somebody who is unable to accept suffering. Because we long for bliss and happiness we are lead to suffering by the power of cowardice. Because we are unable to accept suffering, nothing is ever all right – it’s always, ‘this is wrong or that is wrong’. But bodhisattvas,​ who take on suffering, are always blissful through the strength of their bravery – always blissful.
 +
 +Continuing on it reads, we look more closely at this deadly poison.
 +
 +Now within this attachment
 +Which is like a forest of deadly poisonous ​
 +Only the brave like peacocks survive, ​
 +It would be death to cowards like crows.
 +[this is the version from an earlier translation – the current version follows…]
 +For that (Bodhisattva) and this (tantric practitioner)
 +attachment is like a forest of deadly poison
 +in which (only) the brave, like peacocks, thrive.
 +It would be death to cowards, like crows.
 +
 +This relates to the next verse so we should read them together:
 +
 +How can those who are selfish19 thrive on this poison?
 +When afflictions and other similar (states) combine20,
 +that would sever21 the possibility of liberation22
 +for those like crows.
 +
 +Therefore Bodhisattvas who are like peacocks,
 +enter the forest of samsara and mix with23 nutrients24,​
 +afflictions which are like a forest of poison.
 +In taking on25 (afflictions) they destroy26 their poison.
 +
 +Transform afflictions which are like a forest of poisons and mix them with nutrients.
 +
 +One thing Geshe-la meant to mention is that we think that harm or abuse is solely a cause for suffering but in fact that’s not necessarily so. It’s an indeterminate proof, isn’t it. Because there are some beings for whom that harm is a cause for nothing but happiness. Similarly we have the idea that poison is a cause only for harm and suffering, but that also is not necessarily so. It also is an indeterminate proof, for if it were given to a peacock it would only enhance and strengthen it. It would be a cause for pleasure. ​
 +
 +For us maybe really hot chilli is something we dislike and makes us suffer but for Bhutanese people, they love it – they really eat it up. In fact they’ll just have rice and slop a bunch of chilli on there and eat it. The chilli is so strong you can no longer taste the rice. For us it would burn our mouths but for them, they really enjoy it….. with cold water.
 +
 +Attachment is like a forest of deadly poison, bodhisattvas are like peacocks. For not only do they embrace suffering but they are not attached to the pleasures of cyclic existence. And therefore for them, they can thrive on this attachment. For us ordinary sentient beings who are unable to accept suffering, then this is something, such attachment actually harms us for we are like the crows who are cowards. It would be like death to us. 
 +
 +You might have heard that bodhisattvas do not take attachment as a primary object of abandonment. In fact in the second chapter of The Ornament of Clear Realisation it says that bodhisattvas do not take disturbing emotions as their primary object of abandonment. They do not do so because such things are used as supports or branches to accomplish the welfare of others. A bodhisattvas then uses attachment to accomplish the welfare of others. Since the attachment is helpful to accomplish the well-being of others and cannot harm the bodhisattvas then such things are not taken as primary objects of abandonment.
 +
 +It’s somewhat like a poisonous substance that is used to make a medicine. Traditionally we’d speak in terns of mantras and so forth but we know that medical science has devised ways to use substances which are otherwise poisonous as a component in medicine. So when we mix these substances together, when a skilful doctor mixes these substances together in a particular way, not only does the poison not harm the person who takes it, in fact it helps that person. It helps them to heal from their illness. So the 
 +
 +If you want it said clearly, the power of poison ends up helping – is beneficial.
 +
 +How is it that this power of poison can benefit? Because it’s accompanied by or assisted by, medicine. Although it might not be the case in all cases, when this poison has the assistance of medicine then it becomes beneficial. ​
 +
 +Similarly bodhisattvas who are not harmed by these disturbing emotions are actually helped by them. How are they helped by such disturbing emotions – how would this be the case? Well because such bodhisattvas cherish others and are indifferent to their own welfare. With this attitude of cherishing others and indifference towards oneself, they are able to embrace the disturbing emotions in a way that does not harm them but actually helps them.
 +
 +Hoe can those who are selfish thrive on this poison – in other words, how can somebody who has very strong self-cherishing and is indifferent to others thrive on this poison? They can’t, it actually harms them – they are harmed by that.
 +
 +When afflictions and other similar states combine that would sever the possibility of liberation for thos who are like crows. Now in the perfection vehicle you will not find statements about how bodhisattvas explicitly embrace anger or envy – however in the context of mantra you they do talk about how sich bodhisattvas might take attachment onto the path or take aversion or even hatred onto the path. So mainly they focus on these two, attachment and aversion and how these can be taken onto the path. How does this work? In the context of mantra then such a person comprehends,​ or realises such things to be like illusions of bliss emptiness and there are also some who would perceptually comprehend them to be like illusions of bliss emptiness. Now with this comprehension of things as being like the illusions of bliss emptiness, the bodhisattvas can embrace disturbing emotions ​ without being harmed.
 +
 +There are bodhisattvas who might see another person who’s on the verge of committing an act which will result in their accumulating the cause to be reborn in the hell realms for a long time. Such a bodhisattva might take the suffering of rebirth in the hells upon themselves and kill that person to stop that other person from committing that act which would lead to rebirth in the hells. But you probably wouldn’t say that this act is done out of anger. Also in the perfection vehicle you probably wouldn’t find discussions of bodhisattvas embracing anger. Probably not – let’s not come to a one-pointed – let’s not come to any conclusions about this but probably you wouldn’t.
 +
 +How does the perfection vehicle explain a bodhisattva using attachment as a branch, a support to accomplish the welfare of others. Well in the text, it mentions how such a bodhisattva might emanate 1,000 princes. Why princes – well perhaps it has to do with the Indian culture where a king would have many many children or many many sons and therefore many princes. So the bodhisattva sends forth 1,000 princes or sins to work on behalf of others – as the son of the bodhisattva then this emanation is going to act out the bodhisattva’s wishes and therefore bring abou8t the welfare of others. That’s about the… you don’t find any explanations… that’s about the clearest explanation you’re going to find in the text about how such bodhisattvas use attachment as a branch to bring about the welfare of others. What is clear is that attachment wouldn’t harm these bodhisattvas. We can understand how that is so.
 +
 +As for the way mantra describes this process they would say that the person through attachment enters into union with the consort and through union with the consort gives rise to the four joys, developing the co-emergent bliss. That co-emergent bliss is then used to ascertain emptiness, thereby developing the indivisible bliss emptiness and thereby taking attachment onto the path. But here although it’s called, the process is called taking attachment onto the path in fact attachment is really a condition. It’s really bliss that is taken onto the path. 
 +
 +As for how the aversion, or even as strong as hatred, is taken onto the path, then here the person inegrtaes method and wisdom and performs the wrathful activities e.g. one of the wrathful activities they might perform is the liberation of enemies and troublemakers. This is taking anger onto the path.
 +
 +For somebody who through yoga has reached one of the higher grounds of the bodhisattva or who has reached the high levels of realisation within mantra, then such activities would nto harm them. But for cowardly beings, like ourselves, whop are like crows, these things would be like death to us for we are solely concerned, we are concerned mainly with ourselves. We have such strong self-cherishing that performing these acts would be like death,
 +
 +Therefore Bodhisattvas who are like peacocks,
 +enter the forest of samsara and mix with nutrients,
 +afflictions which are like a forest of poison.
 +In taking on (afflictions) they destroy their poison.
 +
 +In the perfection vehicle then, the person avoids being controlled by desirous attachment. They gain control over desirous attachment and with time eliminate desirous attachment altogether. From a mantra perspective,​ then they use desirous attachment to generate bliss. That bliss is then used to comprehende emptiness and it is through this that they destroy desirous attachment. Hence bodhisattvas who are like peacocks enter the forest of samsara and transform into nutrients afflictions which are like a forest of poisons and taking on the afflictions,​ they destroy the poison.
 +
 +There is some sense behind this isn’t there? By embracing a disturbing emotion and mixing it with other means, one can destroy disturbing emotions. It’s like, by embracing a poison and mixing it with medicine you can destroy illness. The two are similar aren’t they?
 +
 +We need to understand such matters. Those who cherish others and are indifferent to one’s own wlefar are called brave. And those who cherish one’s own welfare and are indifferent to others are called cowards. Understanding this then:
 +
 +Now (we wander) without control (in) samsara,
 +(through) this demonic messenger of self grasping.
 +We should separate from the experience of selfishness and desire for happiness,
 +(and) take on the difficult practice of other’s purpose.
 +
 +By understanding the differences between the brave and the cowardly, we then turn our attention to what needs to be embraced or adopted, what needs to be discarded – so it begins from here.
 +
 +For instance in the past, the great knower of all, perhaps Lama Tsong Khapa this refers to, it’s said that… in the 7th verse it’s said that we should:
 +separate from the experience of selfishness and desire for happiness,
 +(and) take on the difficult practice of other’s purpose.
 +
 +Now Tenpa Rabgye quotes Lama Tsong Khapa in explaining what this means. It says that he, when sitting upon the great throne of another, might feel a great sense of apprehension. If you’re sitting on another person’s throne, cause you’re partaking of their position and their privileges, then you might feel a certain anxiety, right? So similarly, for the sake of others, when you partake of certain sensory objects for the sake of others, you should do so without a sense of selfishness and without any haughtiness or greed. But internally you should understand the shortcomings of such things, and with this understanding of their shortcomings then externally you can use them to complete the accumulations for others.
 +
 +It’s like this. Let’s say another person praises you or shows you respect in some way. You should think ‘oh wait’ don’t let that praise or show of respect to increase your pride. In fact you should be quite wary of the way in which praise can increase your pride. So don’t allow it to increase your pride. In fact you should be a bit anxious or afraid of it giving rise to pride. But you should, of course, e.g. say thank you to the person. Acknowledge the compliment or the praise so that they can complete the accumulations. So it’s like Geshe-la was saying in English. It’s appropriate to say thank you when you’ve been complimented. So you accept the compliment for the sake of the other person without allowing it to increase your pride.
 +
 +If a person says ‘oh you’re a really good person’ then you should say thank you shouldn’t you – it works quite well doesn’t it?
 +
 +Immediately upon hearing this compliment or this praise then you need to be aware of the shortcomings of pride so that you don’t let this compliment act as a cause for the increase of pride.
 +
 +It’s like if attachment arises, if you are controlled by that attachment it lead to negativities,​ or if anger arises and you are controlled by that anger, it leads to negativities. So if such a thing should arise you should immediately become aware of the shortcomings and accept it so that you can then purify. Through accepting it, you can destroy it.
 +
 +So this verse that we’ve just read through, seems to mark the beginning of the actual practice. It reads:
 +
 +Now (we wander) without control (in) samsara,
 +(through) this demonic messenger of self grasping.
 +We should separate from the experience of selfishness and desire for happiness,
 +(and) take on the difficult practice of other’s purpose.
 +
 +Here, when it says self grasping, the commentary points out that it should not be understood solely as self grasping but should also be applied to self cherishing.
 +
 +If we are to follow the commentary here we would say that when it talks about samsara here, samsara should not be understood as it typically is, and when it says self grasping it should not be understood as it typically is either, because we know it also refers to self cherishing. So think about it like this. Hearer and Solitary Buddha arhats do not take rebirth through the power of karma and disturbing emotions do they?
 +They have been freed from this cycle and therefore they do not remain within samsara as typically understood. So similarly they have been freed from self grasping haven’t they, but they have not yet been freed from self cherishing. So when we talk about samsara here, it’s talking about this existence in which one is still pursuing the bliss of peace, which of course is true of hearer and solitary buddha arhats. It’s also referring to a state in which one has not yet gotten rid of self cherishing. So when it says:
 +
 +Now (we wander) without control (in) samsara,
 +(through) this demonic messenger of self grasping.
 +
 +WE have to apply a special meaning of the terms ‘samsara’ and ‘self grasping’ because they do not apply to these arhats and they are meant to. So here ‘without control in samsara’ is pursuing the pleasure of peace, and the ‘self grasping’ also includes self cherishing. So that here, we are talking about those things that mainly inhibit or prevent the practice of the mind of enlightenment.
 +
 +Now (we wander) without control (in) samsara,
 +(through) this demonic messenger of self grasping.
 +
 +How should this be understood. It means to exist or to cycle through the control or the influence of self cherishing. This can be applied across the board can’t it.
 +
 +Now (we wander) without control (in) samsara,
 +(through) this demonic messenger of self grasping.
 +
 +So you can make a slight alteration in the Tibetan and also in the English to make this comprehensible. ​
 +‘Now we cycle without control through this demonic messenger of self cherishing’. Is that clear?
 +
 +What is the demonic messenger here? It should be understood as self cherishing correct? ​
 +
 +And through its influence we cycle without control. Through its influence we remain without power/​control.
 +
 +We should separate from the experience of selfishness and desire for happiness,
 +(and) take on the difficult practice of other’s purpose.
 +
 +This is also true for hearers and solitary buddhas isn’t it. They would also do such a thing wouldn’t they?
 +
 +Hearers and solitary buddha arhats do not have any disturbing emotions ​ whatsoever do they. They have abandoned disturbing emotions together with their seeds. So, however, they still have desire for their own happiness. In fact they pursue this happiness and pleasure that they find in this state of peace – or the pacified state. So since they are still in pursuit of pleasure for themselves, they would not embrace the difficult practice of others’ purpose.
 +
 +So we’ll leave it there and pick up…
 +
 +We haven’t covered a great number of verses so it would be good if you could go over this material and read over each verse again and again. Cause there’s a lot to think about here, e.g. if you put in terms of correct reason etc you could think about indeterminate reasons and non-establishing reasons. A variety of things came up when Geshe-la was explaining this didn’t it. In fact, there’s a great benefit to be derived from reading over this material again and again and reflecting on it.
 +
 +Mainly what they are talking about here is the difference between bodhisattvas and those who are not bodhisattvas correct – and the differences between peacocks and crows.
 +
 +End side B
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 +Buddhist Studies Programme
 +Subject: Wheel of Sharp Weapons
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator: Ven Lozang Zopa 
 +Tape No: 2
 +Date of Teaching: 5th November 2003
 +Transcriber:​ Thubten Drolkar
 +
 +Side A
 +
 +The numbering of the Tibetan verses is slightly unclear. Typically a verse would contain four lines but if we do that, it sort of breaks up the order. ​ But we’ve actually covered yesterday up to Verse 7 in the English translation.  ​
 +
 +7
 +Now (we wander) without control (in) samsara,
 +(through) this demonic messenger27 of self grasping.
 +We should separate28 from the experience of selfishness29 and desire for happiness30,​
 +(and) take on31 the difficult practice of other’s purpose.
 +
 +The third line in the 7th verse reads “from the experience of selfishness and desire for happiness”, ​ that is one’s own desire for pleasure and happiness, right? ​ We should separate from this experience of selfishness and desire for happiness and take on, that is to say, adopt or embrace the difficult practice, the austerity of working for the sake of others. ​ Yeah?  This is quite clear, correct?  ​
 +
 +8
 +(We suffer) through being driven32 by karma and through familiarity33 with affliction.
 +(Now) we should gather34 to ourselves the sufferings and desire for happiness,
 +of diverse beings35 of similar type36 (to myself).
 +
 +Now, we suffer through being driven by karma and through familiarity with afflictions. ​ We are driven by the past negative actions that we have accumulated,​ the past negative karma, and also through this familiarity we have with afflictions,​ or disturbing emotions. ​ Now we should gather to ourselves the sufferings and desire for happiness of diverse beings of similar type to myself. ​  Of similar type to myself in the sense that we’re all samsaric beings. ​ For the sake of all sentient beings we should gather to ourselves the sufferings and desire for happiness.  ​
 +
 +It mentions here being driven by karma and then also through the influence of our familiarity with the disturbing emotions. ​ But here if we look at the Tibetan it says, The suffering of all those in different rebirths similar to myself that are driven by karma and the familiarity with disturbing emotions, ​ these very sufferings I should take upon myself, me who desires happiness for myself, me who desires pleasure for myself, I should take their sufferings upon myself. ​   In fact, in the commentary here it makes a point of saying that I will gather them solely upon myself.  ​
 +
 +There are probably a few different readings that one could give to this.  The first relates to loving kindness, oh excuse me, relates to compassion and the highest intention. ​ For when a person thinks, “May I myself alone relieve the suffering of others”, then this is the highest intention. ​ Right? ​ (Tibetan = Lhagsam). ​  ​“May I myself free others from suffering.” ​ This is the highest intention, correct? ​ We’re saying in effect that I am taking responsibility for myself for alleviating the suffering that diverse beings experience due to karma and their familiarity with disturbing emotions. ​ You’re saying that you’re going to gather their suffering upon yourself. ​ The Tibetan word implies heaping or piling. ​ You’re gonna pile their sufferings upon yourself and Geshe-la laughs saying, it’s all well and good to intend to heap and pile the sufferings of others upon yourself but the fact is that you can’t, can you?  There are no sufferings of others that can physically be heaped upon yourself. ​ But you still with the highest intention set yourself with the intention, the goal, of alleviating the suffering of others.  ​
 +
 +The second reading of this then, is perhaps we’re meant to heap the sufferings of others onto this self-cherishing combined with grasping at self.  And there is an understanding that one could apply……..this is a logical reading to give because in the context of tonglen, giving and taking, then we do imagine the sufferings and so forth of others dissolving into our sense of self-cherishing,​ don’t we?  So, it makes sense to say that we’re heaping these sufferings onto ourselves, but Geshe-la thinks that perhaps it should be read in accord with the first reading, where we ourselves out of the highest intention are taking responsibility for alleviating the suffering of others.
 +
 +If a mother has a single child, a dearly beloved child, and this child becomes ill with a disease, then the mother begins to think only of the way to help her child recover. ​ She goes in search of doing this and doing that doesn’t she?  And so in a sense she’s heaping or taking the illness upon herself. ​ She’s assuming responsibility for her child’s recovery. ​ It’s something like this, isn’t it.  Compassion and the highest intention are somewhat similar to this.  ​
 +
 +If this verse is read in light of the practice of tonglen, giving & taking, then you’d say that you take the suffering of others, and the suffering of others assumes the form of black light which is then ingested into you and dissolves into your sense of self-cherishing. ​ Being heaped upon self-cherishing so that it’s utterly squashed and can no longer be seen.  There’s no more self-cherishing to wait around for, it’s all gone.  This is at least the attitude that one adopts in doing so in giving and taking, correct? ​ Alternatively,​ this verse might be read in connection with compassion and the highest intention in which you yourself are taking responsibility for freeing others from suffering, so that you think that I alone will bring this about. ​
 +
 +The Master Shantideva said that all virtues arise in dependence upon mind, and therefore we must guard the mind.  But also, and this next point is quite important, also the same is true for the perfection of generosity and so forth. ​ To develop the perfection of generosity, or to attain the perfection of generosity we must increase our intention to give.  When the intention to give is developed to its utmost extent, then we have developed the perfection of generosity. ​ Though here the perfection of generosity depends upon the development of a certain mental attitude, doesn’t it, to a certain extent. ​ It does not rely upon external circumstances. For if it did, then if for instance the perfection of generosity was only attained once poverty and lack were eliminated, then nobody would have attained the perfection of generosity yet.  Because look around, there are still plenty of destitute people, people who are impoverished. ​ It’s not in terms of some external circumstances but rather it arises in dependence upon mind.
 +
 + A similar thing applies to loving kindness and compassion. ​ Loving kindness and compassion can be developed to their utmost extent, at which point you have consummate loving kindness and compassion. ​ When we ourselves develop these qualities to that extent we develop consummate loving kindness and compassion. ​ If, for instance, the development of consummate loving kindness and compassion were linked to eliminating the existence of sentient beings destitute of happiness and sentient beings tormented by suffering, then it would follow that no person before has developed the consummate loving kindness and compassion. ​ Because people still suffer and are still destitute of happiness. ​ It’s important to apply this here isn’t it, otherwise it seems a bit strange. ​ I mean, what are they going on talking about these things that can’t come about, these impossible things? ​  ​(Geshe-la laughs) ​
 +
 +9
 +Whenever we enter this tangle37 of selfishness38,​
 +we should reverse39 it and give migrators our bliss and happiness.
 +In that way when near ones40 act against41 us,
 +our hearts are uplifted42 reflecting: ‘this is due to (such) distraction’43.
 +
 +On page 3 in verse 9 it says, “Whenever we enter this tangle of selfishness,​ we should reverse it and give migrators our bliss and happiness”. ​ We don’t yet have the mind of enlightenment do we, but bodhisattvas do.  It would probably be impossible for a bodhisattva to enter the tangle of selfishness but, hypothetically speaking, if some bodhisattva were to enter into the net, or tangle of selfishness,​ then that bodhisattva would have to reverse that immediately and give their bliss and happiness to others. ​ Now we ourselves are constantly getting entangled in the net, or entering into the tangle of selfishness,​ aren’t we?  So, when this happens we should try and reverse it and give migrators our bliss and happiness.
 +
 +In the previous verse we talked about gathering the sufferings of others upon ourselves, which is the taking aspect of giving and taking, isn’t it.  We think that I am assuming the responsibility for alleviating the suffering of others, thereby cultivating both compassion and the highest intention, correct? ​ I myself assume responsibility for alleviating the suffering of others. ​ So you have not just the taking aspect of the practice of giving and taking, but the cultivation of compassion and the highest intention together. ​ In the meantime it’s possible that you might think, hey wait a minute, I don’t want suffering, I want pleasure. ​ In which case you must recognise how this type of thinking is an obstacle to developing consummate loving kindness and compassion. ​ Recognising it as an obstacle, then you seek to reverse it straight away by giving your happiness and your roots of virtue to others. ​ So this relates to the practice of giving, in giving and taking.  ​
 +
 +And, as well, you’re also developing the wish for others to have happiness and you, yourself are giving it.  And so you’re also cultivating loving kindness of the highest intention, or the highest intention of loving kindness because you’re thinking, “may I bring happiness to all sentient beings”. ​ Can you see then how these two verses work together with the practice of giving and taking and the highest intentions of compassion and loving kindness? ​ Now the highest intention has two aspects, correct? ​ Or there are two types of highest intention, the highest intentions of compassion and of loving kindness. ​
 +
 +“In that way when near ones act against us, our hearts are uplifted reflecting; ‘this is due to (such) distraction’ ”.  Near ones here in Tibetan is korwa, so it’s like, it has the connotations of retinue or those surrounding you, like your companions or maybe perhaps students. ​ In any case, it’s referring to those you have benefited. ​ Now, if in place of the benefit that you have extended to these people they have acted against us, or acted inappropriately,​ inverted what we have done for them and turned it towards us, acting inappropriately,​ then we shouldn’t become upset. ​ We should think that this is in fact due to my own distraction. ​ What is it that has distracted me?   My own self-cherishing in the past.  Due to my own wish to bring about happiness for myself and my own self-concern,​ this is now what I get.  ​
 +
 +For the commentary says that you should think when such a thing occurs that this is the effect of having harmed others in the past, coming to fruition. ​ Which indeed is accurate isn’t it, because if we suffer then we can be quite certain that this is the effect of a past negativity coming to fruition, ripening at that moment. ​ Though rather than think that this is the making of one’s companions or it is the making of one’s students, that one should recognise that it is the harm and the negativities that one has performed in the past that is ripening in this situation now.  Basically what this is saying is that if we are good to others yet they are not good in return, then we must accept that; we must accept that.  Understand? ​ Here the word accept is ??? in Tibetan which is related to the word for volunteer and also has these connotations of embracing something. ​ So when we accept something we’re not making considerations or dwelling on the situation of others are we?  Maybe in this case we’re thinking that this is the effect of my own past actions coming to fruition, so if you accept then you’re not then turning around and thinking about what others have done and becoming upset with them are you?  Ok?
 +
 +The tenth verse reads:
 +
 +10
 +When my body aches and I cannot bear it,
 +it is through delivering44 harm45 to the bodies of migrators.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall take on46 all (their) sickness without exception.
 +
 +We now enter into the section of the text where we’re looking at mo’s, doing divinations,​ right? So, when something bad happens to you and you want to know why, well then you say “what bad happened to me?” And then you look at verse (whatever) and say “oh here it is, this is what happened in the past”. ​ (Geshe-la laughs) ​ This section is not terribly difficult; there is probably no need to go into any elaborate explanations here.  We’re just going to read through it.  The Master Dharmarakshita has already done all the mo’s, so we merely have to consult his results. ​ (Geshe-la laughs again). ​ Ok?
 +
 +In brief this verse is saying that physical illnesses are the effect of having brought bodily harm upon another in the past.  So what are the effects or results of bringing bodily harm upon another? ​ Well, the fully ripened effect or the fruitional effect is that one takes rebirth in an unpleasant migration and the effect that is similar to the cause is that we experience physical illnesses. ​ Ok?  So when we become ill we know that we are experiencing the effect similar to a cause of having caused bodily harm to another person. ​ Whether we have already experienced the fully ripened or fruitional effect or have yet to experience it we’re not quite sure.  So we best take this opportunity to really purify and confess in a very strong way, because what if the fruitional effect is still outstanding,​ in the sense that it has yet to be experienced and can still be established. ​ So best to try and purify it to eliminate it before that happens.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand? ​ Very Clear.
 +
 +Then the next verse reads:
 +
 +11
 +When suffering occurs within my mind,
 +it is definitely through agitating the mental continuums of others.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall take on47 all (their) suffering48 without exception. ​
 +
 +Mental suffering or mental difficulties are the effects of having the disturbed the minds of others in the past.  Though when we experience that we should acknowledge that this is the effect that is similar to a cause of having disturbed the mind of another person. ​ We should also consider that the fruitional or fully ripened effect may not have been experienced yet so we want to confess and purify that and the best way to confess and purify that is through developing the wish to take on the suffering of all others without exception. ​ So in other words, to develop the highest intention of compassion; taking, as just described.
 +
 +12
 +When we are strongly oppressed by hunger49 and thirst50,
 +it is through acting with avarice, (committing) fraud51 and theft52.
 +This is the weapon of negative actions returning,
 +now I shall take on all (their) hunger and thirst without exception.
 +
 +“When we are strongly oppressed by hunger and thirst,” that’s quite clear isn’t it, hunger and thirst, right? ​ What is this the effect of?  It is the effect of having, for instance, defrauded another person of their wealth, of their riches, for personal gain.  It is from stealing the wealth of another, or through forcefully taking from others, or perhaps it’s through avarice, or as they say, miserliness. ​ So being oppressed by hunger and thirst is the effect of such negative acts.  As Geshe-la said in relation to the previous one, which I neglected to translate, is that this is the weapon of negative acts rolling back upon us.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Is this clear?
 +
 +Is it clear what avarice means? ​ Avarice, or miserliness as it’s also sometimes translated. ​ The implication is that while possessing something and while it is appropriate to give, that you do not give out of avarice, out of miserliness. ​ It’s not to say that you must give everything that you have, but when it is appropriate to give, or suitable to give, and you fail to give out of miserliness,​ these are the effects. ​ The practice of generosity is important, giving is important. ​ Think about Australia. ​ Within Australia it’s important that we lead good, pleasant lives. ​ To lead a good and pleasant life you need certain conducive circumstances;​ you need a certain basic financial well-being. ​ Without that, not mentioning practising Dharma, who knows what kind of person you’ll end up when you have all these difficulties.  ​
 +
 +So, we do need some basic conducive circumstances. ​ Of course to go to the other extreme and to hoard wealth, you know, you have all this but still you will not relinquish it, you will not give, is going too far in the other direction. ​ So basically we have to make sure that we do not fall into either extreme. ​  So the best way to purify and address such past actions is through taking on the hunger and thirst of all others without exception. ​ So, it’s basically the same as with all the other ones we’ll see.  Here we have this combination of the highest intention of compassion and taking.  ​
 +
 +So there’s the story they tell about here, because when you go through this practice of the highest intention of compassion and taking and you think that “May my experience of this suffering” which is of course manifest in these situations, “May my experience of this act in the stead of others so that they do not have to undergo it either”. ​ So there’s this story that they tell of a person who stepped over his mothers head as he was sneaking out to go on this traders journey, and as a result he had some sort of wheel penetrating down into the crown of his head.  And he looked over and he saw somebody else who happened to have a wheel penetrating into their head and this person said “Come what may I have to undergo this, I can’t get around this painful experience, so may my experience act in the stead so this other person doesn’t have to experience it as well”. ​ And through that this first person was relieved (of his suffering). ​ So there are certain benefits from adopting this kind of attitude. ​ This highest intention of compassion together with taking, “May my suffering act in the stead so that others do not have to undergo it as well”. ​ Perhaps it is a bit problematic to promote that there are such benefits because there is no guarantee, right? ​ People say “oh there’s benefit in doing such and such a practice” for example that you can be cured from doing a practice, and then if someone does the practice and isn’t cured from their illness then they’ll be dissatisfied and of course, upset. ​ Bit difficult to give a guarantee.
 +
 +13
 +When powerless, used by others53 and tormented54,​
 +it is through hating those who are inferior and using them as slaves55.
 +This is the weapon of negative actions returning,
 +now I shall use56 my body and life for the purpose of others.
 +
 +A person might not have any authority or any power and in this powerless state then they might be pressed into service. Without any agreement or choice from their own side, they might be pressed into service by those who are more influential. ​ And being pressed into service, being under the command of another person, they might be tormented. ​ So when such a thing happens it is the effect of having been hostile to one’s subordinates and pressing others into servitude. ​ Having made others into slaves and servants in the past against their will.  Such a state of being powerless, used by others and tormented is the effect of being hostile to those who are inferior and using them as slaves. ​ We have a body and a life-force and we can press this body and life-force into service; for instance, into the service of others. ​  We can make an effort to use this body for whatever time we have remaining, solely for the sake of others. ​ Not solely for one’s own sake but using it entirely to bring about the benefit of others. ​ Doing this is to press one’s body and life-force into service, the service of others.  ​
 +
 +End Side A
 +
 +The commentary mentions that just as being pressed into service can be given a positive meaning, so can being a servant, or being used as a slave. ​ Because a slave is of course somebody who is powerless and is completely under the control of another isn’t it?  Here we can become slaves or servants to, be we male or female, we can become slaves or servants to cherishing others, so that we are no longer slaves to self-cherishing,​ but being a slave or servant to the cherishing of others. ​ In which case, in a sense, we are a servant of others. ​ Which is somewhat similar to what the Master Chandrakirti was saying in his text “The Introduction To The Middle Way” where he mentions that bodhisattvas are controlled by compassion. ​ Now being controlled by compassion they are servants in the service of others. ​ They are controlled by their cherishing of others and therefore give themselves over as slaves to that.  Such a person who has developed this attitude, even if they’re hungry they still work for the sake of others.  ​
 +
 +Although it might be difficult to really embody such things, if we think about them it can be very powerful. ​ Now it seems that when a person develops uncontrived compassion that this is the kind of situation that comes about. ​ This is sometimes explained….an analogy is used to illustrate this, sometimes the analogy uses the beloved child, sometimes it focuses on the mother, Geshe-la reckons it could be explained well in either case.  Well let’s say that a mother has a child in hospital, and this beloved child is gravely ill.  The mother thinks only of how she can be of service to the child, only of how she can help the child recover from the illness. ​ The mother is not thinking at all of her own welfare but thinking solely of the welfare of the child. ​ Like they say in Guru Puja, “Bless me to develop the uncontrived compassion like that a mother has for her only child”. ​ Sometimes the analogy focuses on the mother, in the sense of the mother who’s only child is sick, and sometimes it’s on the child who is the only child of a mother who feels such great concern and love for the mother. ​ In either case, Geshe-la reckons it’s sufficient. ​ “Bless me to develop the uncontrived compassion like that a mother has for her only child”. ​ Now Geshe-la’s talking about “now I shall use my body and life for the purpose of others.”
 +
 +The fourteenth verse reads:
 +14
 +Whenever I hear unpleasant57 words,
 +it is through the faults58 of speech such as slander etc..
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall discard59 the errors of speech.
 +
 +This “unpleasant words” is one of the eight mundane concerns. ​ In the mundane concerns there is preferring to hear pleasant words and not liking to hear unpleasant words, or being pleased when something pleasant is said and being displeased when something unpleasant is said.  This is the same thing here.  It says that hearing such unpleasant statements made is the effect mainly of divisive speech, which in some cases takes the form of slander. ​ So you have for instance two people who are otherwise compatible and harmonious, and you go in there and say this or that, you say something that creates friction and divides the two people - this being divisive speech. And the effect of that is for you to hear unpleasant words. ​ Hearing unpleasant things said is the effect similar to the cause of divisive speech and divisive speech is speech isn’t it?  But the way we respond to that isn’t limited to one’s mind, of course one should discard and acknowledge the errors of speaking in such a way, but in addition to that we ourselves should reproach our faults, we should reproach the negative, divisive things that we have said to split up people who are otherwise compatible and harmonious. ​ Not just addressing it mentally, but also reproaching it through one’s speech, as it’s said in the Confession of Downfalls.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand?
 +
 +You can either verbally express, as I was saying, reproach one’s faults of divisive speech or you might alternatively hide them, make a secret about it, right? ​ Now here, one reading of the text says that we ought to express the faults of our speech, but that doesn’t probably mean that you go about indiscriminately telling people about what you’ve done and what you’ve said.  Rather, express these to the object to whom you confess. ​ In different texts they’ll talk about “Please grant protection to me the one who is full of negativities” or in the 35 Buddhas Confession of Downfalls, the actual different faults that we may perform are explicitly stated throughout. ​ Here, by expressing our faults and wrongdoings to the proper person, or the objects of confession, then it seems to be a way of purifying those things – not just through thinking about them, but expressing them to the appropriate people can be a way to purify. ​ During Nyung-Naes really one should be reciting the Confession of Downfalls oneself but because we have difficulties memorising such things then we put it on tape and kind of listen to it and follow along, which Geshe-la would assume that it ought to be alright, shouldn’t it?  But if we have it memorised then we ought to recite it ourselves.  ​
 +
 +Some people have the attitude that if you can’t really think about what it is that you’re saying, then just saying it is basically pointless. ​ Many older students seem to hold this opinion. ​ But if you can think in full about what it is you’re saying and say it in addition to that, then that’s the best.  That would be ideal. ​ But even if you can’t or are unable to for whatever reasons think about in full whatever it is that you’re saying, then it’s still important to express and recite such things, because we do need to purify the faults of speech don’t we.  In fact, the commentary gives us a choice about what reading we want to give, faults of speech or expressing faults through speech. ​ Both are important.  ​
 +
 +15
 +When we are born in an impure land,
 +it is through continuously meditating60 on impure appearance.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall meditate on pure appearance alone.
 +
 +It’s true, we do continuously meditate on impure appearance don’t we.  We’re always saying “Oh, I’m here and this isn’t ok, oh, it’s too hot, oh it’s too cold, oh, I wish it was like this, oh, this isn’t sufficient, oh it should be like that”. ​ Now this is continuously meditating on impure appearance, and doing this results in the accumulation of negative karma. ​ So we need to train in pure appearance, sometimes this is translated as pure perception. ​ Like for instance, focus upon the positive or good aspects of the place that you’re in, and although there might be certain negative or unpleasant aspects to the place, then don’t entertain all sorts of thoughts about that by really dwelling or familiarising yourself with those, but focus on the positive ones.  This is training in pure appearance.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand?
 +
 +Now the verse speaks in terms of places, it mentions an impure land.  But also we can cultivate impure appearance of others or cultivate pure appearance of others, as in other persons. ​ If there’s someone that you continually spend a lot of time with, that you accompany quite often, then you do need to know their faults, but even though you know their faults you should not accustom yourself to their faults. Don’t accustom yourself to their faults but rather think about and focus upon their positive qualities, thereby training in pure appearance with respect to persons. ​ If we do this, meditate on pure appearance and focus upon the positive qualities, then the relationship between us and the other becomes a close relationship. ​ And through this close relationship there comes harmony and compatibility,​ and through this there’s happiness, correct? ​ This illustrates the importance of cultivating pure appearance, cultivating solely pure appearance.
 +
 +16
 +When we are separated61 from friends who benefit and love62 us,
 +it is through oneself dividing63 others from their circle of friends64.
 +This is the weapon of negative actions returning,
 +now I shall not separate others from their friends65.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ This Clear.
 +
 +Lozang Zopa:  Very clear isn’t it.
 +
 +17
 +(When) no holy being66 likes67 me,
 +it is through casting aside68 holy beings and relying on evil circles of friends69.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall abandon (association with) evil friends70.
 +
 +We should really say that here when you have the impression that holy beings dislike you, then you should know that this is the effect of having, in the past abandoned the company of holy beings and taken up with, or followed negative influences or negative companions. ​ What do we need to do?  We need to abandon association with evil friends. ​ Now Geshe-la often times explains this, and has often explained this in the past - to say that we have to abandon association with evil friends doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t cultivate concern and compassion for them.  It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t help them.  It means that we should not be controlled by them, that we should try to follow the influence of the positive friends, not that of the negative friends. ​ “Now I shall abandon (association with) evil friends” means that we will not fall under the influence and power of them.  Whether you ought to sever relations with a particular person has to be determined in light of your own personal situation. ​ This advice here does not demand that relations be severed, it means that we must not fall under their power or influence. ​ In either case, you should never give up your loving kindness and compassion for them.
 +
 +18
 +When through over or underestimation71 we are (blamed) for the negatives72 of others,
 +it is through myself disparaging73 holy beings.
 +This is the weapon of negative actions returning,
 +now, through over or underestimation,​ I shall not disparage others.
 +
 +The commentary explains over-estimation and under-estimation like this.  Over-estimation would be when someone is accused of something they have not done.  And under-estimation would be when an act that they have not performed, a positive act for example, is attributed to them - they get credit for what they have not done.  When through being falsely accused or we are blamed for the negativities of others, or through something someone does we are forced into negativities,​ this is the effect of ourselves having disparaged holy beings. ​ And “now, through over or underestimation,​ I shall not disparage others”. ​ Geshe-la was just questioning a spelling in the Tibetan, and the spelling of course influences the way the verse is read.  It probably doesn’t mean that through over or under-estimation that we’re compelled into performing a negativity, rather it’s about being blamed for the negativities etc of others, that others have performed. ​ You know, when another person hits somebody else, another person does this or that, another person does something and we’re blamed for what they’ve done – another person smacks somebody up the side of the head and we take the blame for it….this kind of thing. ​ When this happens, when we’re falsely accused of something, this is the effect of having disparaged or over or under-estimated others in the past.  Since this situation is the effect of our having disparaged others in the past, then from now on I will not disparage others either through over or under-estimation.
 +
 +Geshe-la thinks to leave it here today. ​ How is it going? ​ Is everything clear up to now?  Do you have any doubts? ​ If you have any doubts then please express them.
 +
 +Student: ​ The text mentions that through disparaging holy beings - why is it the effect of disparaging holy beings rather than just disparaging others in general?
 +
 +It could also be through disparaging others in general. ​ To disparage a holy being of course would have graver consequences than disparaging another person, but yes, the effect of disparaging another would certainly be similar. ​ Because we’re talking about the effects that are similar to the cause aren’t we.
 +
 +Student: ​ It seems that if the effect of disparaging a holy being is simply to be falsely accused of something then you are getting of rather lightly, that’s rather lenient.
 +
 +Geshe-la mentioned that the fully ripened or fruitional effect is different, yeah? Most of the explanations that we find here are in terms of the effect similar to the cause, yeah?  The effects being described here are all in relation to someone having the physical support of a human body.  The situations being described up to now are all in terms of something happening to a human, and so these effects that ripen on this human, what is their cause? ​ And so it’s an explanation of the effects that are similar to the cause. ​ If all the effects of non-virtues and negativities were to ripen upon us in this life as a human, I mean things would be pretty good, right? ​  But actually, the fully ripened effects have yet to play out.  Now we know that here in each of the situations being described, that the effect similar to the cause is coming about. ​ We don’t know whether or not the fully ripened effect has been established in the past or has yet to be established.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand?
 +
 +Usually the sequence is that a fully ripened effect comes into fruition, meaning that for instance you take rebirth in say the animal realms, and then later the effect that is similar to the cause comes to fruition. ​ But it’s possible that for instance on the verge of death due to virtue or due to the rising of a very strong virtuous and positive mind that one avoids such a thing and the first effect to appear is the effect similar to the cause. ​ It’s possible isn’t it.  We’re talking about reasons of result aren’t we?  Talking solely in terms of the effects. ​ The unpleasant, unwanted suffering things that we undergo in this lifetime do not arise without a cause, nor do they arise from causes of a dissimilar type.  Each of them have a unique cause without which they would not arise. ​ Each of the situations being described here are illustrating a reason of result. ​ And the very same thing is true of pleasant experiences. ​ Each happy thing that we experience, each happiness that we have in this lifetime arose in dependence upon a unique cause without which it would not have occurred. ​ It’s certainly possible that through a strong and proper confession and purification that we can eliminate the fully ripened effect, that we can purify it so that a fully ripened effect will not be established. ​ It’s possible isn’t it?
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand?
 +
 +Excuse me, I didn’t catch the full connotations of what Geshe-la was saying. ​ Let’s say that you’re experiencing an effect that is similar to a cause and that in doing so you think, “I must confess and purify”, so you confess and purify it so that you don’t have to experience the fully ripened effect. ​ It’s possible isn’t it?  It’s important to confess and purify well.  Any questions?
 +
 +Question: ​ Is there any positive self-concern in the mind of a bodhisattva? ​ The question arises in light of the fact that it seems that bodhisattvas are always being qualified as doing things in terms of “for the sake of others”. ​ For instance, Geshe-la mentioned that Chandrakirti talked about bodhisattvas being controlled by compassion, and even within the expression of the mind of enlightenment,​ then the wish to attain enlightenment is for the sake of others. ​ So is there ever a case in which a Bodhisattva is working for one’s own sake, in a positive sense?
 +
 +You’d have to say that there is self-interest,​ interest in one’s own welfare, for a bodhisattva,​ certainly. ​ Because a bodhisattva is striving and seeking the Dharmakaya. ​ A bodhisattva is seeking to attain the Wisdom Dharmakaya and the Nature Dharmakaya, correct? ​ And these two are known as the kayas for one’s own welfare, the kayas for one’s own sake.  To fully accomplish the welfare of others, one’s own welfare has to be fully accomplished,​ doesn’t it.  So there is definitely self-interest in the sense of being concerned with one’s own welfare for a bodhisattva,​ certainly.  ​
 +
 +Student: ​ So is he striving for the Dharmakaya for one’s own sake or for the sake of others?
 +
 +Generally speaking yeah, it’s for the sake of others. ​ Ok?  In many texts you’ll find statements to the effect that bodhisattvas are concerned solely with the welfare of others with not even a thought for their own welfare. ​ So how are we meant to understand this statement? ​ Well, the bodhisattva gives no thought to the suffering that he or she goes through or bringing about happiness for him or herself, rather the bodhisattva is thinking solely of alleviating the suffering of others and bringing them happiness.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand?
 +
 +The point is that a bodhisattva chooses happiness for others before they choose happiness for him or herself. ​ But at the same time, the bodhisattva does strive for the Dharmakayas for one’s own sake, or for one’s own welfare. ​ So a person thinks that I am striving to develop the ultimate abandonments,​ I am striving to develop ultimate realisation. ​ So you would not say that a bodhisattva is utterly devoid or has absolutely no interest in his or her own welfare. ​ It’s not that they have absolutely no self-interest. ​ So, a bodhisattva seeks one’s own welfare for the sake of others. ​ Or, while cherishing the welfare of others, one seeks one’s own welfare. ​ They’re said to be very skilful in the way they pursue their own welfare – the way they accomplish their own welfare. ​ Nobody can tell them any different. ​ Nobody can say that that’s not the case.   When a person is very skilful and is striving for one’s own sake, for the sake of others, nobody can tell them that it’s any different. ​ Because we seek our own benefit for our own sake, then it doesn’t go down well with others. ​ Bodhisattvas seek their own welfare, for the sake of others. ​ Nobody likes it when somebody cherishes themselves and from that seeks their own benefit, their own welfare. ​ But people are quite impressed and amazed when somebody seeks their own benefit out of their cherishing of others. ​ They think, “wow, that’s really something”.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Bodhisattva very clever.
 +
 +So we’ll leave it there.
 +
 +Jang Chub Sem Chog Rinpoche……..
 +
 +End Side B
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +Buddhist Studies Programme
 +Subject: Wheel of Sharp Weapons
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator: Ven Lozang Zopa 
 +Tape No: 3
 +Date of Teaching: 6th November, 2003
 +Transcriber:​ Lozang Rigsal
 +
 +Side A
 +
 +Yesterday Geshe-la left off on the 19th verse, page 3, which reads:
 +
 +When the substance of (our) daily necessities74 is spoiled75,
 +it is through deprecating76 the daily necessities of others.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall provide77 the daily necessities of others.
 +
 +Typically the cause that is similar to the effect of taking what has not been given is that we squander away the daily necessities and substances that we have at our disposal. ​ That they go to waste, or that they are lost to others. ​ Typically this is the way that we explain the causes similar to the effect of taking what is not given. ​ Here, however, the text links it specifically not just with taking what is not given but actually through deprecating,​ that is to say disregarding or down playing the daily necessities of others.
 +
 +In particular the author of our commentary here says that as for this disregarding or deprecating the daily necessities of others it is of course to deprecate their wealth and material resources of another person. ​ But in addition to that if we were to separate a person from that wealth or from their retinue, the people who serve them and then take them into our own power, our own sphere of influence, this also results…this is also considered dismissing or disregarding the daily necessities of others. ​  ​Basically,​ when we think ‘may I have whatever is good’ and we are indifferent to whether another person has it or not, this can be considered disregarding the daily necessities of others.
 +
 +In fact in the Vinaya, in the section that discusses taking what is not given. ​ This type of issue is addressed. ​ In fact that section on taking what is not given is very very extensive. ​ There are a great number of pages that discuss these points. ​ Of course we know that if we were to make use of something that we have no authority or ownership over then this is taking what is not given of course. Isn’t it.  We have no authority or rights of use to a particular thing. ​ If we unknowingly use it not recognising that it is actually something of another’s then it is kind of like stealing. ​ But knowingly making use of something that we have no authority over and is owned by another would be like snatching it or actually robbery you might say.  In any case what if there is a situation in which there is common ownership. ​ Something where you have some degree of authority or rights of use over where for instance maybe you don’t have any ownership claims to the thing but because you are working for somebody in your capacity as a worker or
 +a volunteer ​ you are allowed to use certain things. ​ Like for instance at Chenrezig, what type of authority do volunteers at Chenrezig have to use the things around here.  Certainly they are allowed to use the toilets right. ​ The Vinaya actually mentions soap in particular. ​ If a person was to use heedlessly make use of this type of soap then the effects that are similar to the cause and the effects that are the fruitional effects would be the same as taking what is not given. ​ In the Vinaya it says heedlessly using something that an other person owns or that you own in common with the other person has the same effects as taking what is not given.  ​
 +
 +It says that novice, that’s getsuls, and fully ordained monks, that is gelong would not incur a fault that is similar to a defeat or defeat as the case may be because they do have some authority or permission to be using this substance. ​ But the negativity is a very serious or grave one.  ​
 +
 +In fact Geshe-la says that in his position as a Geshe here at this centre he is….it would be quite easy for him to incur this type of fault. ​ For instance he has soap up at his place that he uses to wash his hands and different things and…or for instance food.  For the centre provides Geshe-la with what he needs be it soap or food or these different type of things. ​ So if he runs out of soap the institute buys him more soap.  So if you were to think Oh well I don’t have to be stingy or miserly about the soap that I use because I know that once it finishes the centre will buy some more.  So if he uses it heedlessly then he could incur this fault. ​ Understand?
 +
 +These are all occasions in which a person is dismissive of another’s daily necessities. ​ Or dismissive of another’s goods. ​ Right? ​ Is that clear? ​ The effect that is similar to the cause of these actions include also for instance if two people were to go out and work really hard to make, turn a profit. ​ The one person puts in a lot of work and makes a decent profit. ​ The other person doesn’t make a profit no matter how much work they put into it.  Their failure to make a profit despite doing the same amount of work is an effect similar to the cause of being dismissive of another’s daily necessities. ​ Of another’s goods. ​ So there are a variety of causes similar to the effect that come from this kind of behaviour.  ​
 +
 +Some people might say Oh things just don’t seem to work out for me.  Yeah.  Or sometimes in English we might say Oh I don’t have good luck.  Right? ​ The fact that things do not work out well for a person seem to be related to this kind of behaviour. ​ So the point is then that we should work on providing the daily necessities of others.
 +
 +20
 +When (our) mind has no joy78 and there is no clarity79 in (our) heart,
 +it is through accumulating negativities80 in other lives.
 +This is the weapon of negative actions returning,
 +now I shall abandon the conditions81 (supporting) the negativities of others.
 +
 +Now the author here says that about this mind having no joy and no clarity in our hearts and so referring to an occasion when for seemingly no reason we experience no joy in the mind but rather are beset by a very fierce suffering. ​ As for the lack of clarity in the heart its like for instance when you are meditating on the deity. ​ Visualising the deity as we usually say.  That how much you try it does not appear clearly to your mind.   ​That’s when ‘our mind has no joy and there is no clarity in our heart’.
 +
 +It says that it is through our allowing other beings to accumulate negativities. ​ Here the text links this with this combined grasping, self grasping and self cherishing. ​ And it is through this self grasping and self cherishing that we accumulate solely acts of negativity. ​ So in former lives then we have through the influence of self cherishing and self grasping failed to engage in virtue and rather engaged solely in acts of negativity and it is the weapon of such past negative acts that is now coming back upon us.
 +
 +The ‘others’ here seems to refer to this combined self grasping and self cherishing attitude. ​ What means can we use to address this problem. ​ Well, the text says that we should abandon the conditions supporting the negativity of others. ​ If you look at the verse it would seem that the way to address this problem is to abandon negativities,​ right? ​ If you were to say ‘and now I shall abandon negativities’ then there would be this continuity between the first three lines and the last line.  But rather than address it in this way the author says ‘now I shall abandon the conditions supporting the negativities of others’.
 +
 +Now Geshe-la reckons when the text says its through allowing other beings to accumulate negativities we should understand it like this.  In past lives a person would be putting effort into performing virtuous acts but we do something to prevent or hinder that.  So due to our having prevented or hindered an other persons performance of virtuous acts we have caused them to accumulate negativities. ​ So that is why the last line reads ‘I shall abandon the conditions supporting the negativities of others. ​ If we adopt this reading the fourth line makes sense in connection with the first three, doesn’t it.
 +
 +Thank you Kathy.
 +
 +How is it that we create the conditions that support the negativity of others. ​ Here the author gives an example; lets say that you are at a monastic seat, a monastery, where there is a disciplinarian,​ whose job it is to enforce certain rules and regulations. ​ So if a person was to flaunt the rules and regulations acting indiscriminately this would cause frustration to the disciplinarian,​ correct? ​ So the disciplinarian in fact would be perhaps disturbed by the fact that the rules are being flaunted and would end up striking or hitting a person. ​ So you have created the conditions for the disciplinarian’s negativity. ​ Basically it’s disturbing another and arousing their anger.  ​
 +
 +So if you make another person angry and they go on and they go on to perform a negativity well, you are also at fault. ​ Aren’t you?  I mean it makes sense doesn’t it?  Clear?
 +
 +So lets say the nun’s community has certain rules, the monk’s community has certain rules, the institute has certain rules and certainly there are some people who are really trying to follow the rules to the letter. ​ When another person maybe doesn’t try and follow the rules and then the others who are trying to follow the rules get annoyed with that person. ​ This is surely creating the conditions for the negativities of another, isn’t it.  It’s the same right, whether a monastic seat or here.  The same situation.
 +
 +We have to be very careful not to disturb the minds of others because the effect that is similar to such an act is for ourselves to be disturbed, as it says here for us to have no joy in our mind and no clarity in our heart. ​ Certainly this something that we must be careful about.
 +
 +How would you translate minyaka?
 +Jampa: (inaudible)
 +LZ:  It sounds a little bit like whinging, perhaps.
 +Jampa: ​ Oh no, (inaudible)
 +LZ:  I see, O.K., thank you.
 +
 +Geshe-la has a student, Lozang Jamyang and he just recently took his Geshe degrees and is now at Gyume Tantric college continuing his studies there. ​ And when Geshe-la returned to Sera in India he ??? to the disciplinarian once and it was again Tashi Gansal an older monk from Ando and so Geshe-la said Oh so Tashi Gansal is the disciplinarian and Lozang Jamyang said Yeah ??? which is like literally means compassion but is like ‘the poor guy’. ​ Tashi Gansal the poor guy he got appointed the disciplinarian. ​ Because you have the younger monks there who don’t want to listen to what he has to say, the monks in the middle who don’t want to listen to what he has to say and the older monks and of course there are older monks who don’t want to listen to what he has to say.  But of course as the disciplinarian it is his responsibility to go chasing after them all trying to enforce the rules. ​ As Geshe-la was saying and Jampa helped clarify Lozang Jamyang was saying the poor guy he has got to get up there in front of the assembly and talk about the different things that people are doing wrong. ​ So as Jampa explained to us to spur the people on to behaving better. ​ And Geshe-la said, if you think about it you do have a sense of compassion, Oh the poor guy, when a person gets appointed as the disciplinarian or Abbot because of all the responsibilities. ​ And of course even in our own lives, we experience how people don’t always do things the we want them to do.  Even more so somebody in that type of position.
 +
 +We have a set of rules or a discipline that we are meant to follow as part of the community. ​ And in forming the rules of the community then there is a certain plan that we are meant to follow. ​ So we really ought to respect the plan and the rules that have been formulated. ​ Because these rules were formulated in a conference in the sense of conferring with other people. ​ Since these rules were formed ​ and are a bi-product of a discussion about what type of rules we need in a situation like this and then we really ought to respect the conclusions that they came to.  If a person were to occupy a special position and just from on high say it is going to be like this and it is going to be like that and this is how it is going to be.  Then you have a bit of room to lodge some complaint. ​ Because if you had no part in formulating the discipline and you say Oh well, actually I cant do this and I cant do that.  But from the time that Lama Zopa Rinpoche came here he pointed out that it is important that the rules that we have here are discussed in the community and that it is something that there is a code of discipline that we arrive at through conferring with members of the community. ​ Given that that is the case, it is very important that we all and respect and follow them.  Now this is just a bit that Geshe-la is adding on the side.  ​
 +
 +There is a quote from the Vinaya that says something like the venerables attain buddhahood through following their discipline. ​ Of course if you can study very extensively this is an excellent thing and would prove and ought to be a support for you.  But even if you are unable to really study in a very extensive way it’s of foremost importance that we follow the discipline of the community. ​ The most important thing…in the Vinaya it says that the most important thing for a person in the community is to abide or to follow the rules of the community. ​ If in following the rules you can also study extensively this is excellent. ​ This is how the Vinaya explains it.
 +
 +If we do not act in such a way, who knows what the fruitional effects will be and we know that the effects similar to the cause is that we will for instance become upset and unhappy for no particular reason.
 +And though we meditate the meditation will not be clear.
 +
 +The next verse reads:
 +21
 +When (our) actions are not accomplished and (our) mind is agitated82 to the root,
 +it is through creating interruptions83 to holy actions.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall abandon all interruptions.
 +
 +Perhaps there is some virtue that you really want to accomplish and so you make an effort to accomplish the thing but you are unable to.  And being unable to accomplish this virtuous action your mind also becomes disturbed. ​ This is the fault that comes from having obstructed the dharma.  ​
 +
 +This could also be applied to the worldly affairs. ​ Maybe somebody embarks on a worldly endeavour but they are unable to accomplish the goal that they have set for themselves and their mind becomes disturbed. ​ This together with what Geshe-la has just been describing are all faults that come from having obstructed or hindered the dharma.
 +
 +So for instance somebody that is unable to accomplish the…somebody who starts a business and is unable to accomplish that and becomes disturbed. ​ This is the effect of having obstructed the dharma. ​ What does it mean to have obstruct the dharma? ​ Well for instance to put obstacles in the way of a teacher teaching the dharma, or to put obstacles or prevent or interrupt a person from reciting their prayers or a person from pursuing their meditation practice. ​  These are all obstacles or obstructions to the dharma.
 +
 +So how do we go about addressing this?  Well from now on we shall abandon all interruptions. ​ From now on we shall not interrupt or obstruct those people who are engaged in virtue.
 +
 +If we rejoice in the virtues that another is performing that carries the benefits of being able to counteract the karma of having interrupted such acts in the past.  Geshe-la often times speaks about the benefits of rejoicing in virtue.
 +
 +Then the next verse reads: ​
 +22
 +When whatever I do does not please my guru,
 +it is through acting hypocritically84 to holy dharma.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall diminish85 (my) hypocrisy.
 +
 +Is it clear what being hypocritical to the holy dharma is?  Maybe in front of other people you act as if you are a very good dharma practitioner. ​ But actually whether or not you practise in the dharma well relies on the mind, doesn’t it?  So if for instance your external conduct….if your internal thoughts do not accord with your external conduct and you are presenting yourself as a good dharma practitioner this is hypocritical isn’t it?  Maybe for instance internally you are doing things because you are under the sway of one the eight mundane concerns or something to this effect. ​ To act in this way for instance having negative intentions or so forth but acting externally like a good dharma practitioner would be hypocritical to holy dharma. ​ Understand?
 +
 +There is a Tibetan proverb which says for the sake of others one flutters ones eyelids or raises ones eyebrows for the sake of oneself one puts it all into practice. ​ One has it all at ones disposal. ​ What it means is that you know you talk about accomplishing another’s welfare then your eyelashes flutter and your eyebrows go up and you think Oh yes, what a thing to do for all sentient beings, right? ​ But actually not doing very much to bring that about. ​ But when it comes to something for your own benefit then of course you will endure whatever difficulties there are to bring it about. ​ And this of course is really bad isn’t it?  This is hypocritical. ​ This is hypocritical for the dharma.
 +
 +There are other people who say I’m not being hypocritical I’m doing exactly what I’m thinking. ​ But they are acting rather indiscriminately and heedlessly. ​ In this case the fire verse applies where we have to be careful about the things that we do so that they don’t disturb the mindstream of others and spur them on to negativity.
 +
 +If you guys will remember from Nagarjuna’s ‘Letter to a Friend’ he spoke about the kimpaka fruit which is there is those that are ripe on the outside but unripe inside. ​ Ripe inside and unripe on the outside. ​ Ripe in both and unripe in both.  We want to be ripe internally, within the mind, and externally in our conduct. ​
 +
 +In the next verse it reads:
 +23
 +When every being contradicts86 us,
 +it is through despising shame and consideration.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall refrain87 from that which is inappropriate88.
 +
 +Sometimes we will feel that other people don’t like us.  That maybe we have the perception that other people are saying unpleasant things to us because they don’t like us.  But this is something that is created by our ideas or our own preconceptions because we really don’t know if everybody dislikes us or not do we?  Here the text is talking about when people are actually saying things to contradict what we say.  So when every being actually does contradict and it is through despising shame and consideration. ​ Here it says that in past lives we have been dismissive about having a sense of shame and acted shamelessly towards lamas, towards our mothers, our fathers, towards our dharma companions and so forth. ​ Also that in the past we might think we don’t care if we offend another person and we continue to act in a way that is disregarding or dismissive of others. ​ Here we have the two things of shame and consideration. ​ Shame is described as, having a sense of shame means that you refrain from non-virtues and negativities for reasons that relate to ones own welfare whereas consideration occurs when you refrain from negativities and so forth due to consideration for others. ​ So if you lack a sense of shame then you shamelessly or you go ahead and engage in non-virtues regardless of your own welfare. ​ Consideration of course is the same, you don’t shy away from negativities with any sense of how that is going to effect others. ​ Without any consideration of others, excuse me.
 +
 +‘Now I shall refrain from that which is inappropriate’
 +
 +End side A
 +
 +That means that from now on I shall refrain from that which is not compatible with dharma.  ​
 +
 +24
 +When disagreement89 occurs immediately our circle of friends gathers90,
 +it is through inflicting91 our evil, negative temperament92 on others.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now93 I shall act with good temperament94 to everyone.
 +
 +Say that a circle of close friends comes together but before long the meeting breaks up in disagreement. ​ This type of thing where our circle of friends immediately disagrees upon coming together is due to a negative temperament. ​ That means basically that a person is behaving or having, or displaying, the person has a bad character or disposition in the sense that their expressions are quite negative. Because nobody likes it when….the Tibetan is nam do  and its used to talk about facial expressions. ​ But it also has the connotation of the way one conducts oneself or the way that one behaves. ​ So its not just behaviour but if someone is a bit of a sourpuss or very negative and so nobody likes it, right? And disagreement occurs.  ​
 +
 +The point is this that when we come together with others that we should relate to them with a sense of good will and in addition to the good will we should try and be gentle in our physical actions and in what we say.  Everyone likes a person who acts with good will towards others and who is gentle in their speech and their actions. ​  This is how we should be.
 +
 +A person might have a good heart but they express themselves using harsh words and they have course behaviour and that also is not very good.  And so we want in addition to the good heart to have positive behaviour of body and speech. ​ Positive expressions of body and speech.
 +
 +Certain people like people in the army have to learn how to make, put on a frightening face.  Over in India with lots of kids in Tibetan settlements and monasteries and so forth the disciplinarian or people in positions of responsibility have to know how to put on a bit of a scary face to keep the kids in line.  So of course they are just acting out the scary face to keep kids in line.  So sometimes this is necessary.
 +
 +When Geshe-la was at Gyume Tantric College he served a term as the disciplinarian. And there was a monk from the same area of Tibet that Geshe-la was from who was staying at Gyume. ​ At one point he went from Gyume back to Sera for a visit and he told Gen Loga a long time friend of Geshe-la’s who was also in the same house as his.  Excuse me, this is Geshe-la’s teacher. ​ Geshe-la’s teacher. ​ And he said I really would like to attend Geshe Tashi Tsering’s classes, his lectures, but I’m a bit scared he has always got this really dark expression on his face.  He’s got this really scary look, I don’t dare to go.  So when Geshe-la returned, Gen Loga his teacher said to Geshe-la, what are you doing why have you always got this dark and scary expression on your face.  I’m a disciplinarian,​ isn’t that what I need to do?  Yeah, but all the time, to everyone?
 +
 +If you don’t put on a bit of a scary face then the younger ones really start to misbehave so you really have no choice but to adopt such an expression.
 +
 +If Geshe-la was appointed the disciplinarian for us monks and nuns then you would never see him smile again. ​ He has always got this dark and expression ​ on his face its really scary, I’m not sticking around Chenrezig, no way, that Geshe. He’s always got the scary look on his face.
 +
 +If you’ve always got a scary expression, you know, a scary look on your face then you never have to punish anybody. ​ Otherwise they have to punish them so much.  Sometimes, they have to really beat these guys, these monks. ​ Because if a person doesn’t have a scary look on their face, they don’t have this dark look so that the monks look at the disciplinarian and think Oh yeah, yeah O.K. its all right and they start to act up.  But of course once they start to act up then it’s the disciplinarian responsibility to punish them and so then they have to hit them.  And Geshe-la says Oh boy do they hit them.  But when Geshe-la was the disciplinarian at Gyume he never had to hit anybody.
 +
 + The older monks a Gyume told Geshe-la that when he was disciplinarian Oh you’re so fortunate, you know they were thinking that nobody acts up with him and Geshe-la thinks, what about fortune I’ve always got this scary look on my face.  ​
 +
 +And that’s how it is for a disciplinarian,​ right? ​ I mean a disciplinarian is a special situation. ​ Now if you are not a disciplinarian then you don’t need  to go round acting as if you have a negative temperament,​ right?
 +
 +And now I shall act with good temperament to everyone.
 +
 +25
 +When all those considered dear95 rise as enemies,
 +it is through entertaining96 evil thoughts97 within.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall diminish98 deceit and pretension99.
 +
 +Those who are considered dear are those who are considered dear to oneself. ​ So for instance like your lama and these other close companions and so forth. ​ When such people become, or arise as your enemies then this is due to having entertained evil thoughts within in the past.
 +
 +The Tibetan actually has a couple of old archaic type of words but here they are translated into English and there newer versions are deceit and pretension which as Geshe-la is just explaining that is in fact what they mean.  So deceit and pretension comes when the way a person behaves does not reflect their thoughts. ​ So for instance maybe a person acts all good but inside have all sorts of negative thoughts and so forth. ​ This is of course deceitful, isn’t it?  ​
 +
 +Once these have been translated into English then the meaning of them is really quite clear isn’t it?  We don’t need to go into very elaborate explanations of them.  If you do have doubts please do ask otherwise we will just be proceeding through. ​
 +
 +26
 +When ill100 through interferences101,​ or gout102,
 +it is through lack of ethics103, theft104, and negligence with wealth105.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall abandon misappropriating (other’s) wealth106 etc.
 +
 +Here the interferences could be interferences through the practice of dharma. ​  But one may also become ill for instance with illness in general or specifically with a chronic disease like gout or dropsy. ​ So gout is chronic inflammatory illness that no matter how much treatment one receives it doesn’t seem to get better. ​ So here the author of the commentary states that that is the effect of having unethically gotten involved in certain financial, having been unethical and gotten involved in certain financially negative deals.  ​
 +
 +The text mentions here unethically using wealth or ‘bkor’ here.  And here bkor refers to the wealth that comes from offerings that a person makes with certain hopes and desires. ​ Certain wishes and desires. Maybe a person makes an offering in the hope that in doing so they will receive happiness and so forth. ​ Or maybe a person makes a certain offering in the hope that  will help them to recover from their illness. ​ Basically, the word wealth here carries a very specific meaning. ​ It’s a translation of the Tibetan word bkor which refers to the wealth that is accumulated through offerings that people make with certain hopes of becoming happy as a result. ​ So if a person were to unethically,​ i.e. without ethics make use of such a thing it would be unethically using or partaking of such wealth. ​ In addition to that, if that person was not to for instance make any aspiration prayers while they were actually using that wealth that would be to get involve in a negligent manner. ​ So they are being negligent in their use of  it in addition to using it.  ​
 +
 +For instance when you have a person sponsoring the tea for a Tara puja or for a Guru Puja  that we do on the tenth day of the lunar month, those people maybe doing so in the hope that they take a human rebirth in the future or they recover from illness or they will have success in their business. ​ So these things that they offer then are bkor in the sense of the wealth they donated with the hopes of receiving happiness. ​ Understand?
 +
 +There is a Tibetan saying that says this type of wealth, this ‘bkor’ is like metal balls, no like iron balls. ​ And to eat it requires steel jaws.  Its not easy basically is it?  Over in India and so forth there are a whole lot of these offerings made in the hopes or expectations of receiving happiness as a result. ​ In the general pujas where tea is offered to the entire assembly and so forth. ​ Really there is a lot of opportunities for someone to misuse this ‘bkor’. ​ So in fact we should know that they are like iron balls, iron pills, and to ear them requires steel jaws.
 +
 +In the text, in the traditional texts on these matters they speak entirely of monks so if we were transfer this to our situation here we include of course nuns within that, right? ​ And offerings are made to monks and nuns and in fact traditionally lay people make offerings to both monks and nuns because monks and nuns are considered a field of merit. ​ A field through making offerings you can gather or accumulate merit. ​ When such offerings are made then it is inappropriate for somebody who has lost their vows to partake of those offerings. ​ If a person were to, they are not permitted to.  A person who has lost their vows is not permitted to partake of such offerings. ​ If that person were to make use of those offerings without any particular thoughts then that person would be unethically partaking of this wealth in a negligent manner. ​ Maybe a person has lost their vows but they think that I really have no choice but to partake of these offerings because I have nothing else to use.  In that case they would be unethically using such wealth but they would not be doing so negligently because they would be doing so in the full knowledge that they ought not to be doing it.  They really ought not to be using this thing but they feel they have no other choice. ​ So the commentary makes a distinction between unethically using something in a negligent manner and unethically using it.  Someone who doesn’t have permission to do it is unethically using it.  If they do so knowing or thinking that I have no other choice then that is unethically using it in a negligent manner.  ​
 +
 +That is just an analogy that draws upon traditional occurrences. ​ Geshe-la gave an  analogy that applies to us by mentioning the tea that is offered as part of the Tara Puja or the Guru Pujus on the tenth day of the month. ​ In that case the tea has been offered to the entire assembly, not just to monks and nuns, right? ​ The person who sponsors the tea does so in the full knowledge that this tea goes round to everybody who is participating in the puja so everyone attending is permitted to partake of the tea.  But when we do so we should do so thoughtfully. ​ Not just this drinking of it without any thought ​ or anything, but actually recognising that may the person’s aspirational prayers come true.  Because they are offering this to come to be.  The person is making this offering of tea for a particular reason whether it is happiness, return of health, or success and so forth. ​ So while drinking this tea we should think that may the persons prayers be accomplished. ​ So we really do need to be conscientious and careful when partaking of such things. ​ Otherwise it would probably be unethically partaking of this wealth in a negligent manner if we don’t really think about what we are doing.
 +
 +It says that now I will abandon misappropriating other’s wealth. ​ There are situations in which it is suitable or fitting for a person to make use of such wealth. ​ In which case you are not misappropriating the wealth. ​ But if it is not suitable for a person to partake maybe because maybe they don’t have the authority or they don’t have any ownership or any claim to the particular goods then to make use of it would be misappropriating it.  So from now on I shall abandon misappropriating other’s wealth.
 +
 +In fact this whole notion of ‘bkor’ as wealth could be discussed at length because there are certain types of wealth, individual wealth, and then there is the wealth of the Sangha in general and the wealth of this particular group and so forth. ​ A lot of things to think about and a lot of things to be careful about.
 +
 +27
 +When sudden illness107 or infectious disease108 strike109 one’s body,
 +it is through the degeneration110 of one’s words of commitment111.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall abandon these non-virtuous actions.
 +
 +This talks about the degeneration of ones words of commitment. ​ Now ones words of commitment in Sanskrit are samaya. ​ The samayas are quite similar to vows.  Now this refers to for instance, particular promises or commitments that you have made.  Perhaps to the Lama, perhaps in relation to the general advice given by Buddhas and bodhisattvas. ​ If we do not guard these well, then it can result in the degeneration of ones words of commitment.  ​
 +
 +It says especially about ones words of commitment to ones Lama.  So maybe a person takes the vows of approaching virtue but then turns around and criticises the Buddha dharma, denigrates Buddhas and bodhisattvas and so forth. ​ Or maybe a person has established a relationship with the Lama, has actually received teachings from them and that person has taken the other on as their lama, the lama has adopted the attitude that this is their student. ​ But for the student to then turn around and criticise and defame the lama would be a very serious and grave degeneration of samaya. ​ This is something that we need to be careful about. ​ It says that now I will abandon these non-virtuous actions. ​ Why is it stated like this?  Well probably because you abandon the non-virtuous actions then you abandon the non-virtues of degenerated samaya. ​ In a general way it covers all bases. ​ But in particular it is abandoning the non-virtuous action of breaking samaya or ones words of commitment. ​ So basically we must guard our words of honour, our words of commitment. ​ The degeneration of samaya is a subset of non-virtue, isn’t it?  If you abandon non-virtue then as a bi-product you abandon the non-virtue of degenerated samaya.
 +
 +
 +28
 +When one’s intellect is confused112 to all objects of awareness, (Oh boy they are talking about us here, aren’t they?)
 +When one’s intellect is confused to all objects of awareness,
 +it is through (treating) dharma as something worthy to put aside113.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall meditate114 on wisdom (derived from) hearing etc..
 +
 +When all sorts of jobs and responsibility pile up then we think I’ll do my prayers later this evening. ​ We immediately put the prayers and this stuff off to the side and to get on to do the other work.  This is how it is isn’t it?  ​
 +
 +And that is why our intellect is always confused to all objects of awareness.
 +
 +Now I shall meditate on wisdom derived from hearing etc. Wisdom derived from hearing, wisdom derived from reflection, wisdom derived from meditation.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la hasn’t said anything about matters of length of time, has he?  The emphasis, our personal emphasis should be really on hearing, reflection and meditation. ​ Really I mean the emphasis, the main point of our lives should be on hearing, reflection and meditation. ​ But of course on the side we have no choice but to pursue some means of livelihood. ​ So the question that arises is that if livelihood is meant to be secondary then if I have to spend so much time on just earning a livelihood how can it be secondary. ​ Well the point is we have to spend so much time on our livelihood simply because we are unable to get by any other way.  But properly speaking our emphasis and ideally most of our time is spent in efforts on hearing, reflection and meditation. ​ It is important that we adopt this attitude that the dharma is really the heart or the essence of our lives. ​ And this is where our focus should lie.  On the side we do what we can to help ourselves get by.  ​
 +
 +That is the first important point. ​ The second important point is that is you do have the freedom to study and meditate without considerations of time then you should split your day into times for session and time between sessions. ​ The sessions don’t have to be very long.  But when you are in a session then leave all other things aside. ​ Don’t pick them up in the midst of the session but leave them aside to be attended ​ to in the time between session. ​ Geshe-la feels that if we are able to split our day into session times and the time between sessions and we are able to stick to that that will help to bring the things that we focus on in the sessions to fruition. ​ Once again the sessions need not be long.  Even if they are very short, short sessions if you observe the time within sessions as that time and not introducing other things then it should turn out well.
 +
 +Geshe-la advises us to keep a pad of paper and a pencil or pen near where we do our practice, where we meditate so that if something pops into your head you can just quickly jot down a note to yourself and get on with what you are doing your practice your meditation and stuff. ​ Otherwise if you don’t have it right there then you start to think about it, you get up, you break your session, this and that.  Keep it near where you do your prayers and practice and then you can just jot it down and get on with it.  Geshe-la thinks that perhaps he runs the risk of being a bit of a loud mouth or a ?? about this because he found himself thinking about, a couple of quite important things popped into his head while he was saying his prayers and he looked around, ​ ‘there’s no paper, there’s no pen’ ​ and here he is telling people keep some paper and a pen next to where you meditate and he didn’t have one himself. ​ He’s telling people to do this and even I’m not doing it.  He didn’t feel like getting up to find the piece of paper. ​  ​O.K.? ​ Don’t forget.
 +
 +Geshe-la says doesn’t have to attend to many of his own responsibilities because he has Tshering and Tenzin and he just thinks Oh Tshering and Tenzin will take care of it.  So he doesn’t have paper and pen next to his bed.  He didn’t at least at that point.
 +
 +A little bit lazy.  This weekend what doing I not knowing. ​ People say this weekend Geshe-la what have?  I don’t know.   ​(laughter) ​ You ask Tshering or Tenzin. ​ Sorry.
 +
 +Because Geshe-la thinks it’s a good idea he says it to you.  He is not saying that he does everything that he tells us to do.  But he says that O.K. this is one thing that you can do.  Its up to you to investigate whether it’s a good thing to do or not.  O.K.
 +
 +It looks like the time has, the session has already passed. ​ The session has already finished. ​ Maybe we will leave it here today.  ​
 +
 +We are not covering a great deal but Geshe-la feels that what we are covering is quite clear so it is no big deal.  We’ll just see where we get to.  ​
 +
 +Do you have any questions about this?
 +Student: ​ (inaudible)
 +LZ:  What is deceit?
 +
 +The motivation is that for others to respect you or you stand to gain financially or you improve you reputation. ​ You are trying to bring about one of these things. ​ This is your motivation. ​ And then in front of people even though you have certain faults, you might act as if you don’t. ​ You try to hide those faults, this is deceit. ​ Or maybe you present yourself as possessing certain qualities that in fact you do not, this is pretension.
 +
 +End side B  ​
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 +Buddhist Studies Programme
 +Subject: Wheel of Sharp Weapons
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator: Ven Lozang Zopa 
 +Tape No: 4
 +Date of Teaching: Nov. 7, 2003
 +Transcriber:​ Tenzin Tsepal (US)
 +
 +Tape 4A
 +
 +If we think about it, the Wheel of Sharp Weapons begins with 8 or 9 verses that focus on the way to gain control over the disturbing emotions so that they do not harm us. It talks about how we need to accept, even embrace, suffering. It does so by referring to cowards and brave ones. This is the emphasis of the first 8 or 9 verses which are a rather general presentation,​ correct?
 +
 +Geshe-la reckons it would be good if we could enumerate the basic topics of each of these verses. After this introductory section then the next verse talks about my body aching and being unable to bear it. The next verse speaks about mental suffering and so forth. If you think about the different correct reasons of result, here we’re dealing with correct reasons of result that establish a previously existing cause. We’re talking about the fact that due to this experience of body aches and illness or mental suffering, we have an indication that the cause for such a thing has preceded it. You say, for instance, that when a person suffers from illness that person has done something in the past, some type of fault. And now as an effect that is similar to that cause of having, for instance, having caused bodily harm to another person, now we ourselves are suffering from physical illness. So you think that from the 10th verse down we’ve been discussing here established or proved a previously existing cause.
 +
 +Take a person who is suffering from an overwhelming illness. The cause of that, an act of negativity, has preceded it because it is suffering
 +.
 +What act of negativity which is the cause of that illness preceded it? What is this previously existent thing? Consult Dharmarakshita’s text. He says that it is through delivering harm to the bodies of migrators. Etcetera.
 +
 +Each of these verses then can be applied to the structure of a correct reason of result that establishes a previously existing cause. You look through and as you go through each verse you are introduced to the effects that come from certain actions. We have 30 or 40 of them. This is good because we need to recognize faults as faults, don’t we?
 +
 +The correct reason of result was applied to the stages of the path of a small scope being. Do you remember? Because reason of result was related to cause and result, or excuse me, karma and its effects. That’s applied in the stages of the path of the small scope being. ​
 +
 +Does that mean that this material here should be applied to the stages of the path of the small scope being? No, not at all. Because although actions and their effects are mainly introduced in the stages of the path of the small scope being, in fact it is something that all three beings – small, middle and great scope beings – need to apply and consider.
 +
 +Where does this material then fit in to the lam rim structure? Where do we put it in? Within the stages of the great scope being.
 +
 +Where in the stages of the path of the great scope being is this applied then? Having cultivate equanimity, we need to try and develop a type of loving kindness that feels drawn towards others, an empathetic loving kindness, correct? There are different ways to develop the state of mind in which you feel drawn to others, develop empathy. One is by equalizing and exchanging self and others. In this case when you equalize and exchange oneself with others, you reflect on the shortcomings of self-cherishing and the advantages or benefits of cherishing others. The other method to develop the sense of empathy is known as the seven fold instruction on cause and effect. This here is applied to that section there in cultivating empathetic loving kindness because these verses are talking all about the faults, shortcomings of self-cherishing.
 +
 +If you take the first one, for instance, it’s through delivering harm to the bodies of migrators. It’s out of a sense of self-cherishing that we cause bodily harm to others, isn’t it?
 +
 +If you think about it, it is. In cherishing the self, we cause bodily harm to others. In cherishing the self, we agitate or disturb the minds of others. In cherishing the self, we defraud and steal and rob others. If we think about it enough then eventually just merely hearing the word ‘self-cherishing’ makes us feel slightly uncomfortable,​ thinking that this is a very unpleasant and disadvantageous thing. This is something that we want to get rid of. 
 +
 +The opposite of this, of course, leads us to the advantages or qualities of cherishing others. ​
 +
 +By training in these things and reflecting on them again and again, we can get to the point where just the words ‘self-cherishing’ and ‘cherishing others’ make us, first of all, uncomfortable,​ and second of all, make us feel a bit of joy, a bit of happiness. If we can get to that point we’re doing pretty well.
 +
 +We see in verse 10 that illness comes from causing bodily harm to another. In the next verse we see that mental suffering comes from having disturbed the minds’ of others. You go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – each of these different verses you have a particular fault that comes from self-cherishing. It would be really good to make a list of these. Off to the side you have a list of all the different faults of self-cherishing. We really need to go through the material and dissect it like this and extract these types of things. We’ve got a list of all the shortcomings of self-cherishing right there.
 +
 +Otherwise we end up thinking, “Oh, too much material but ok there are certain faults to self-cherishing.” If we just think that there are certain faults to self-cherishing,​ it’s kind of like pushing all this stuff off to the side. It never really enters the mind. When it’s out here, it’s not all that helpful.
 +
 +If you go to the grocery store and you walk through the aisles saying, “Oh, I’ll bet that’s delicious. Oh, that looks really good. The grocery store has this and has that…..” that doesn’t really help your hunger, does it? Whereas if you were to actually go there and pick something out and actually eat it then eventually you’re full. We really need to taste this stuff. Otherwise without tasting this stuff, just sitting here talking about ‘all sentient beings this, all sentient beings that,’ it’s not really that helpful, is it?
 +Geshe-la believes that it’s very important that we try to apply this stuff in our minds to the best of our ability. If it wasn’t mentioned in this text, we probably wouldn’t think to include it on our list. So it’s really quite amazing stuff.
 +
 +We left off yesterday on verse 29 on page 5 which reads:
 +
 +29
 +When practicing dharma and I am oppressed with sleep,
 +it is through accumulating obscurations to holy dharma.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now for the purpose of dharma I shall practice that which is difficult118.
 +
 +Accumulating obscurations to holy dharma means basically performing negativities with respect to them. Accumulating disturbing emotions with respect to the holy dharma, but in particular Tenpa Rabgey in his commentary here is more explicit. He says that in our past lives we have not had the least amount of pure perception, without even the slightest pure perception towards texts and so forth. When Geshe-la describes the dharma jewel, he talks how texts are also included within the dharma jewel, correct? It says in the commentary here that in our past lives, without even the slightest pure perception towards texts and so forth, walked over them and trampled upon them, and (this is a real Tibetan one) wiped our noses with them. These would be obscurations that we accumulate in relation to the scriptural dharma. As for obscurations we might accumulate in relation to the dharma of comprehension,​ it says that for instance defaming or denigrating monks or any other dharma practitioner possessing the qualities of comprehension in their continuum. ​
 + 
 +Do you remember that Geshe-la said not long ago that the buddhadharma both includes the dharma of scripture and the dharma of comprehension?​ The dharma of comprehension is also known as the teaching of comprehension,​ or the comprehensional teachings. That refers to having the practice of the three trainings. Do you remember?
 +
 +But we don’t know who has a good practice of the three trainings, do we? If we were to abuse or criticize a person who has a good practice of the three trainings then we would accumulate obscurations with respect to the dharma of comprehension.
 +
 +That’s why we need to be careful with everyone. A person will often times be careful with those people who appear to be a good practitioner,​ maybe because of the way they carry themselves or the clothes that they wear or something so they think, “Oh, that person must be a good practitioner so I ought to be careful not to abuse them.” But if a person has somewhat ragged clothes and doesn’t look so impressive, we tend to look down on them, right? Actually we need to be careful with all.
 +
 +It’s like the great master Khunu Lama Rinpoche who had reached very high levels of realization within the mind of enlightenment but he was always seen living amongst Indian beggars. Nobody knew who he really was and what type of qualities he actually had until His Holiness the Dalai Lama met Khunu Lama Rinpoche and spoke of the level of the mind of enlightenment he possessed and actually took the vows of a bodhisattva from Khunu Lama Rinpoche. In fact, he hadn’t just reached a high level of realization within the mind of enlightenment but was extremely learned, as well, in a variety of subjects including, for instance, grammar and so forth, the literary skills. In fact, His Holiness the Dalai Lama encouraged the abbots and some geshes to study grammar with Khunu Lama Rinpoche. Who can tell?
 +
 +When we listen to teachings and when we read texts we get tired, don’t we? We get tired, of course, so we can be absolutely sure that we have accumulated obscurations with respect to dharma, whether that’s obscurations with respect to scriptural dharma or obscurations with respect to the comprehensional dharma. We know that we’ve got these obscurations,​ don’t we? When we do prostrations and so forth, these are certainly for the purification of negativities and obscurations.
 +
 +And so to address this issue then we must practice that which is difficult. we need to endure hardships.
 +
 +Is it clear what “I shall practice that which is difficult” means in English? When you’re practicing the dharma and for instance certain difficulties or hardships might arise, accepting and even embracing those hardships is what is meant by “practicing that which is difficult.”
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +30
 +When greatly distracted through taking joy in afflictions,​
 +it is through not meditating on impermanence and the disadvantages of samsara.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall develop disappointment with samsara.
 +
 +It talks about taking joy in afflictions,​ the disturbing emotions. We don’t take joy in afflictions,​ right? If someone asked you, “Do you take joy in the afflictions?​” you’d say, “No, I don’t take joy in the afflictions.” But actually naturally on some level there is joy, we do take joy in the afflictions. It’s important that each of us really look within and see how this is the case. For instance, we all take joy in attachment. For instance, we look to attachment and we have the hope that it’s going to bring us some pleasure, some happiness. Because we in fact enjoy attachment and what comes from it, we enjoy the afflictions. Also of anger, when another person harms us maybe we enjoy trying to retaliate and respond in kind to what they have done. And even if we are not able to retaliate against that person, we still take joy in saying, “Oh, this person did that bad thing.” We do actually take joy in the afflictions. So think about it.
 +
 +Ok, we’ve got anger and we’ve got attachment. What about this third one – delusions, tig muk, which is related to ignorance. We think that nobody really take joy in delusion, do they? But Tenpa Rabgey says actually, yes, we do because we take joy in sleep and sleep is counted in the class of delusion so we do take joy in delusion, as well.
 +
 +If sleep is counted within the category of delusion then we can be quite certain that there are many instances in which we take joy in delusion! So what do we need to do to address this? What is its antidote? We should now develop disappointment with samsara. If we reflect on the shortcomings of samsara, we come to see the flaws and the causes of samsara and thereby our minds begin to be disappointed with those causes. Our mind has some sense of revulsion towards that which causes samsara.
 +
 +In talking about reflecting on the shortcomings of samsara we need to be careful because, for instance, when you become ill or you’re upset by something you say, “Oh, this is the nature of samsara.” We can all recognize these things as being a shortcoming of samsara. But when we have some type of pleasure or some type of enjoyment of something then we find it more difficult to recognize this as being a shortcoming of samsara. Working to develop a wish to be free from this type of samsaric pleasure and happiness or more particularly,​ coming to recognize that the pleasures of samsara are inseparable,​ cannot be divorced from, the suffering of samsara. With this recognition then perhaps we can begin to cultivate some disappointment with cyclic existence.
 +
 +31
 +When whatever one does declines or fails,
 +it is through deprecating karma and causation.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall strive in patient action etc.
 +
 +Through being dismissive of actions and cause and effect then whatever we do it declines. Talking about this decline here probably refers to dharma practice. Although you want to improve your practice, you apply yourself to study and reflection but no matter how much you apply yourself to these things, they don’t develop. They actually decrease, they go down or here it says they decline. If we find that we cannot improve our practice regardless of what we do, this is the effect similar to the cause of having deprecated or been dismissive of actions and their effects.
 +
 +What does it mean to dismiss or disregard actions and their effects? In general, we acknowledge and accept that from pleasant causes come pleasant effects and from unpleasant causes come the causes of suffering and so forth. Generally we acknowledge this principle. But when face to face with an actual situation, we disregard that. Maybe we ignore it entirely or maybe we don’t think about the effects that come from the actions, but in any case we will act out in a harmful way or will say something negative, will do something harming to another person. Although we generally understand that suffering is the result we can expect from such negative actions, we disregard it and go ahead and act negativity in body and speech. This is disregarding actions and their effects.
 +
 +If someone like us were to kill or use divisive speech or harsh speech, something like this, this would be disregarding actions and their effects, wouldn’t it? Because we’re studying about these things. We understand in general these principles of cause and effect. Yet still in performing such actions, we are disregarding or being dismissive of actions and their effects.
 +
 +This could also be applied to worldly matters where for instance one’s business doesn’t improve no matter how much one puts into it or that one’s farming activities, for instance. One tries to develop the farm but it doesn’t work. It only gets worse and worse. This is also the effect that comes from disregarding actions and their effects.
 +
 +To address this it says that “now I shall strive in patient action, etc.” Why does it mention striving in patient action? Because disregarding actions and their effects comes about in the face of the difficulties themselves. When we are standing face to face with these difficulties and we cannot bear it and so we lash out or act out in some way. Before we actually find ourselves face to face with these difficulties,​ we need to cultivate some patience so that we can muster that patience or draw upon that patience in the face of the difficult, to stand up to it, accept the difficult.
 +
 +When you look at the previous lines of this verse it seems as if the last line should read, “and now I shall strive in positive actions” but the one who wrote this asked the lama about this point and the lama said that, no, in fact the last line should read, “Now I shall strive in patient action.” From this then we understand that it’s important for us to be patient with the hardships that come in practicing the dharma so that we can withstand difficulties when we come face to face with them. That we can not just stand up to such difficulties but also to avert such things.
 +
 +32
 +Whenever the performance of ceremonies goes wrong,
 +it is through placing our hopes in black practices.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall stop (my reliance on) black practices.
 +
 +Ceremonies here includes ceremonies that might be done, pujas as Geshe-la says, that might be done to help avert an illness or a puja that is done to bring about success in a particular act or endeavor that one is doing. When we perform a ceremony to bring one of these things about yet that ceremony goes wrong, that is the effect of having placed our hopes in black practices, or literally the black side, the dark side. As Geshe-la says, things incompatible with the dharma, is through placing our hopes in non-dharmic things.
 +
 +The Tibetan term nok per shok includes the things that are done but also the people who are doing those things that stand in opposition to dharma. So those people who are doing things that are entirely in opposition to dharma are the black side. To then place one’s trust or reliance in such a person is to place one’s hopes in them.
 +
 +In Bhutan the people are Buddhist. They go around on pilgrimage to the monasteries and they spin their Mani wheels and they are meant to be practicing the dharma. But there are many people in Bhutan - whether it’s everyone or not, who knows – who resort to such things when things go wrong. Like maybe a person has a cow who you milk regularly but for some reason the milk cow becomes ill. Or a person comes down with some illness all of a sudden. Often times what people will do is chop the head off of an animal and offer the flesh, the hot blood of this animal sacrifice.
 +
 +What are their hopes in performing this animal sacrifice? They say that there is some harmful force that is causing this illness and so if you offer the hot blood to this harmful force then it will withdraw its negative influence.
 +
 +Somebody probably taught them this. Somebody probably at some point came along and said, “Look, if you do this it will help.” But to kill an animal and then to offer its hot blood is certainly a black action, isn’t it? According to Buddhism at least, this is a black action. From their side you’d assume that it’s part of the white side, right? This person who encourages this type of animal sacrifice and the offering of hot blood is certainly doing things that are in contradiction to the dharma. They teach that there are certain beneficial effects that come from that action then those people perform those actions in the hope that they will derive such benefits. So placing one’s trust in such people and such things is to place our hopes in black practice.
 +
 +End Side 4A/Start Side 4B
 +
 +The basic point is this. If you have conviction in Buddhism, then you should know that you won’t achieve happiness through inflicting harm on others and that’s basically it. Happiness is not achieved through afflicting harm on others according to Buddhism. So we must be careful.
 +
 +33
 +When requests to the three Jewels are not fulfilled,
 +it is through not having conviction in the Buddha,
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall rely on the three Jewels alone.
 +
 +Years ago in Auckland at Dorje Chang Institute they were hoping to get a new house, were hoping to sell theirs to get a new property somewhere else in the city. Actually there was a raffle somehow where people put in bids and somehow they were going to basically pull a name out of a hat to determine who gets the house. Some of the older students at the centre all got together and did Tara praises all night. One of the guys that was there, Terry, was telling Geshe-la this story when we were there in New Zealand last time. Anyway, they did Tara pujas all night but in the end the next morning they lost the house. Their name wasn’t drawn.
 +
 +They had been up all night reciting Tara puja so they were a bit tired from that and they didn’t get the house in the end so they were also tired from that and so the next day nobody could open their mouths. They thought that since they were doing the Tara pujas all night that it was a done deal, that it was all theirs.
 +
 +Of course this kind of thing is the effect of past negative action. Here it says that through not having conviction in the Buddha then requests to the three jewels are not fulfilled. Here as for what that means that in the past we have not had conviction in the buddhadharma or the supreme rarities and thinking that although this particular dharma was taught, it is not like that, in actual fact it is not true. This is what is meant by not having conviction in it. We should know this to be the weapon of negative action returning.
 +
 +Basically it’s encouraging us to recognize how the dharma and the refuges are non-deceptive. We talk about how the dharma and the three supreme rarities are sources of refuges, how they are non-deceptive or infallible. It’s very important to reflect on this.
 +
 +
 +
 +34
 +When weakness and strokes (occur), and evil spirits arise,
 +it is through accumulating negativities related to deities and mantra.
 +This is the weapon of negative actions returning,
 +now I shall annihilate all preconception.
 +
 +Here the weakness being referred to is the degeneration of samaya, broken samaya. ​ Strokes is actually a general term which refers to particular illnesses which are said to come about due through certain negative influences. Also harm through evil spirits, these external spirits.
 +
 +When we experience such things, whether they be the degeneration of samayas or certain illnesses caused by negative influences or harm through spirits, these occur due to our having accumulated negativity towards deities and mantras in the past. Basically deities here doesn’t have to refer to transcendental deities, but there’s both transcendental deities and mundane deities, mundane deities being ones you might turn to for help or assistance. Accumulating negativity towards either of these might lead to this.
 +
 +Mantra, the Tibetan word is ? Mantra is a Sanskrit word and both of them mean ‘protection of mind.’ Protecting the mind from fear, protecting the mind from disturbing emotions. ​ Given that this is the meaning of mantra and that virtuous states of mind are able to give us this type of protection, then performing negativities with respect to any virtuous mind would be performing a negativity with respect to this also, wouldn’t it?
 +
 +To disregard or to deprecate virtuous dharmas and deprecate or be dismissive of deities of the white side who assist and help us to accomplish positive actions then can give rise to these types of effects.
 +
 +It mentions here this fruitional type of effect. It says that we should think that those types of actions, being dismissive towards virtuous dharmas and positive deities and so forth come to fruition as these various types of harms. What shall we do about this? We should annihilate all preconceptions,​ all conceptions,​ nam tog [rnam rtog].
 +
 +The Tibetan term nam tog is notoriously difficult to translate. It can mean many things like conception, thoughts, preconceptions,​ misconception,​ superstition. It has all these different meanings. Generally speaking, all negative conceptions would be nam tog. It’s like here – we should become free from all such nam tog. But here in particular, if we were to discuss this in relation to mantra then we are trying to become free from ordinary conception, aren’t we? For instance, we have an ordinary conception of ourselves that we’re trying to overcome through the practice of mantra. But also to explain it in a way common to others, here nam tog refers to the negative conceptions that are incompatible with dharma. Whether in a more general context or a mantra context, these are the type of nam tog that we want to annihilate.  ​
 +
 +It advises us here that mainly we should practice tonglen, giving and taking. If you think about it, these are problems that come about due to nam tog, superstition,​ preconception,​ negative conceptions. Given that that is the case then the best way to address them is through working through one’s thinking, working with the mind, practicing giving and taking.
 +
 +We should look a little more closely at these fruitional effects. The fruitional effect of an action is the main effect of an action, isn’t it? So of the various kinds of effects that might come from a particular action, the fruitional effect is the primary one. How can we destroy the fruitional effects that would otherwise be derived from negative acts. For instance, if we were to sincerely practice tonglen, not just pay lip service to it but sincerely practice tonglen with the wish that ‘may I be able to take the suffering of others upon myself and may I be able to give them my happiness and roots of virtue,’ then this could be quite effective in eliminating those fruitional effects.
 +
 +35
 +When, beyond our control, we are forced to roam,
 +it is through displacing (our) gurus etc. from (their) abodes.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall not evict anyone from their home.
 +
 +Beyond our control means powerless, right? Forced to roam means forced to roam in far away places without being able to stay for any length of time. it’s quite clear in English, isn’t it? This is the effect that comes from displacing others, expelling, exiling people even, probably out of negative intentions we should say.
 +
 +Maybe it’s good to mention this example they have in the commentary. They talk about for instance, what would happen in a monastic seat like with the disciplinarian or the abbot. Disciplinarians and abbots are on some occasions to kick someone out of the monastic seat. It’s possible that that might at some time happen here so perhaps one should mention it. There are certain acts that call for expulsion. Sera-je is known as an honourable college, as a compassion college because a person who does an act for which they can be expelled has to be talked to three times. First you talk directly to them. Then you talk to the people they’re quite close with, their companions, the people that they really like. Then third you get a group of people together and address the person through an assembly. And if they still aren’t listening after three times, talking with them individually,​ talking to their friends, and talking to a group, then they can be expelled.
 +
 +It points out here that if for instance a person needs to be expelled then the person who does the expelling, their attitude should be that if this person should remain their negative behavior is going to adversely effect or influence others and so this will cause a lot of people to go to waste. Wishing to avoid such a thing with a positive intention, you can expel the person involved.
 +
 +Before long there will be quite a few monks and nuns around here. What if someone were to need to be expelled?
 +
 +When Geshe-la approves someone for ordination, he does so only after discussing the issue with them at some length and consulting with Paldan Lhamo. Not only does he speak with them personally but he does a divination, asking Paldan Lhamo whether this is the right thing to do. But you don’t know. After you’ve discussed it with them and after the mo comes back, you don’t know how a person is going to turn out or how they’re going to behave. Maybe it’s not always great. But if after you’ve discussed the issue with them and after consulted Paldan Lhamo through divination and so forth and both of them turn out well and you continue to refuse to ordain a person, from Geshe-la’s perspective that would be like obstructing or hindering virtue. The Buddha said that every step that a person takes with the wish to become ordained is virtue. You discuss it with the person and the mo turns out well, then to prevent them from getting ordained would be to obstruct virtue so Geshe-la will ordain the person. But we do have people getting ordained and you don’t know how these people are going to behave and those of us who are ordained now might just have to be patient with people. We might just have to put up with certain things because we don’t know how it’s going to be. Geshe-la asks us that the elder monks and nuns take responsibility to try and help the people, but you really can’t tell how a person is going to turn out as a monk or nun even though you’ve discussed the issue with them and Paldan Lhamo has been consulted. Geshe-la doesn’t just indiscriminately approve people for ordination. For instance, Ken Summers wanted to get ordained. He’s a good guy, he’s a nice person but the mo didn’t turn out well. The results of the divination were that he should wait so he’s not going to get ordained this year. So it’s like this. It’s not done indiscriminately. There is consultation and thought put into whether it is. So Geshe-la asks that you keep this in mind. He, just as an aside, wanted to say that.
 +
 +If someone were to be expelled just because someone doesn’t like them or a person is not expelled just because they are liked, of course, this is self-cherishing,​ isn’t it? If a person is doing things that harm others then you can find ways to expel them from the community in a good and proper way. 
 +
 +The next verse reads:
 +36
 +When undesired (events) such as frost and hail etc. occur,
 +it is through not properly guarding our words of commitment and ethics.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall purify my words of commitment etc.
 +
 +Frost and hail of course effect farmers and agriculturists,​ don’t they? Here, words of commitment can be understood as it was explained before. The main emphasis in this context is that the words of commitment refer to the words of commitment of the lama. If such words of commitment of the lama were to degenerate or the ethics that we have committed ourselves to, if we do not guard our ethics that we have committed ourselves to and we’re just lead away like a calf by the nose then these are the effects of such actions we can expect. Although there are no farmers here right now, we do have certain difficulties with rain water. Maybe the difficulties with rain water are the ripening of such things.
 +
 +Now I shall purify my words of commitment, etc. means that now I shall guard my words of commitment well. It’s very important that we guard our words of commitment!
 +
 +37
 +When we are poor yet with great attachment to possessions,​
 +it is through not giving or making offerings to the (three) Jewels.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall put effort into making offerings.
 +
 +38
 +When our circle of friends condemn our appearance as ugly,
 +it is through (making) ugly statues and being consumed by anger.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall raise (beautiful) images and lengthen my temper.
 +
 +Lengthen my temper – to not be short tempered but to extend what it takes.
 +
 +39
 +When agitated by attachment and hatred no matter what we do,
 +it is through obstinately engaging ​ inappropriate and evil states.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall expel from the root this obstinate one.
 +
 +This obstinate one here is self-cherishing. To expel from the root this obstinate one means to try to remove from its very foundations the self-cherishing. ​
 +
 +40
 +When whatever we do doesn’t achieve our goal,
 +it is through deeply entering inferior view.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now whatever I do I shall do for the purpose of others.
 +
 +Generally speaking, there are transcendental views and mundane views but here it seems the importance is being placed on having a view that is qualified by the mind of enlightenment. this is what marks it as a view that is not inferior. There seems to be some stress placed on this point.
 +
 +41
 +When our continuums are not tamed though we train in virtue,
 +it is through taking on the vanity of this life.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall hold fast to the desire for liberation.
 +
 +‘Now I shall hold fast to the desire for liberation’ means that we will try to ensure that everything we do contributes to or acts as a cause for liberation. ​
 +
 +We’ll leave it there. So you have any questions or doubts?
 +
 +Student: The question goes back to yesterday and verse 26 when we were talking about misappropriating this wealth which was given with the expectation or the hope of happiness and so forth. The question is this: How do we as sangha appropriately use the funds that we are given in a puja or given to us because we are sangha - as offerings?
 +
 +In using the funds then we should be sure to make prayers that what they are hoping for, what they are praying for comes about as they wish. For whatever it is, success or health or whatever, in using the funds then we make aspirational prayers that may that come about and this would be a conscientious way of using the funds. Since they’re giving it to us we are able to use it for ourselves. ​
 +
 +We make these aspirational prayers that may all sentient beings attain buddhahood, right? And we make this aspirational prayer that may such things act as a cause for all sentient beings to attain buddhahood, correct? May this be a cause for all sentient beings attaining buddhahood.
 +
 +These people who have made this offering to you in a hopeful or expectant type of manner are foremost perhaps in your prayer. They are close to you in light of the fact of the circumstances of this particular lifetime, correct? With them foremost, you wish ‘may this act act as a cause – with them foremost – for attaining buddhahood.’
 +
 +When we’re dedicating our roots of virtue, we might dedicate them in the following way. Let’s say for instance that you have this idea that something is harming or obstructing our training in virtue. Because this will sometime happen that there is a preconception,​ a superstition,​ an idea that we are being obstructed in some way. When we have this then when dedicating our virtue we think that ‘may this virtue act as the cause for their attaining buddhahood’ and that can help. Geshe-la feels that this can help in pacifying these preconceptions or superstitions. But whatever the case may be we are allowed or permitted to use these funds.
 +
 +Student: at some stage you would like to request Geshe-la to give clear teachings on the proper way to use funds that are gained through the selling of images and texts and so forth, through any dharma activity, because although certain people feel that they know clearly what is appropriate,​ there is some disagreement about what is appropriate and you are concerned that this might be causing difficulties for the centre.
 +
 +Although Geshe-la has indeed explained this at length in the past, for instance to Mark Gerard, it’s possible that he will have occasion to explain it again in the future. Basically everything at Chenrezig comes in some say from the dharma. Well, maybe the pay phone is an exception.
 +
 +End Side 4B  
 +
 +Buddhist Studies Programme
 +Subject: Wheel of Sharp Weapons
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator: Ven Lozang Zopa 
 +Tape No: 5
 +Date of Teaching: 11th November 2003
 +Transcriber:​ Kathy Vichta
 +
 +Side A
 +
 +We left off on verse 42 page 7 of the text – it reads:
 +
 +42
 +When we examine and regret what we have just done,
 +it is through shamelessly pursuing new friends of high status.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall be careful in the way I make friends with anyone.
 +
 +There are many things that we do in our lives that are cause for regret aren’t there. Such things are the effect of shamelessly pursuing the high status through putting a high – through greatly valuing a high status and so forth, we perform acts that are regrettable. At the very root such acts depend upon self-grasping and self-cherishing so it’s most important for us to recognise how the instructions we get about ‘doing this’ and ‘not doing that’ come back to the need to overcome self-cherishing and self-grasping for such things are the fruits of these things. ​
 +
 +There’s 2 elements we have to consider in this – shamelessly pursuing your friends and shamelessly pursuing high status. So the text offers and example. Let’s say e.g. when you first meet a lama and you newly befriend this person by receiving dharma teachings etc from them. But before long, you shamelessly turn around and criticise them. Yeh? This would be ‘shamelessly pursuing new friends’. As for this pursuit of high status – it basically refers to being 2 faced – so that perhaps at first you – when you first meet a person – you put on some impressive airs – you act very well. But then perhaps indirectly or implicitly, you criticise them so it has this ‘sycophancy’ (is that how you say this word?) or being two faced – it has both of these connotations. ​
 +
 +This notion of shamelessly pursuing your friends can also be applied to the dharma and our practice. Maybe somebody’s principle practice is the mind of enlightenment but then they encounter somebody who comes along teaching emptiness. And since these teachings on emptiness are new for them, they might quickly become enamoured with those so that they leave aside or neglect their practice of the mind of enlightenment in pursuit of this new teaching that they are enamoured with. So if we immediately launch into the practice of something that we are enamoured with without checking to see whether it’s appropriate for us or not, we might be ‘shamelessly pursuing new friends’.
 +
 +Basically shamelessly pursuing new friends in relation to the dharma practice means casting aside one practice in favour of the other – right?
 +There’s another way we can understand this shameless pursuit of high status as well. If a person does not properly train their minds in the stages of the path of a small scope being then their practice of the mahayana dharma cannot possibly turn out well. In other words, if we do not really embrace the teachings on abandoning negativities and accomplishing virtue, then you cannot properly practice the mind of enlightenment or emptiness and so forth. So maybe a person then tries to jump straight into the teachings on the mind of enlightenment or emptiness without abandoning negativities and accomplishing virtue and this would be one way to understand the pursuit of new friends and high status.
 +
 +What is the – what are the principle practices in the stages of the path held in common with small scope beings? Abandoning negativities and accomplishing virtue correct?
 +
 +And the principle practices of the stage of the path held in common with the middle scope beings are – the three trainings correct? The training in ethics training in concentration and the training in wisdom.
 +
 +And the principle practice in the stages of the path of the great scope being is the mind of enlightenment correct?
 +
 +We’re not being told that you shouldn’t practise the mind of enlightenment. We’re not being told that we cannot practise the mind of enlightenment – that’s not the intention here. Rather the abandoning negativities and accomplishing virtue together with the 3 trainings, can be taken as supports or branches of one another. So the practice of the mind of enlightenment can be a branch or support of the abandoning negativities accomplishing virtue and the 3 trainings. And the abandoning negativities and accomplishing virtue together with the 3 trainings can be branches or supports of the mind of enlightenment. So the point is that we integrate the practice of these for they are mutually supportive – mutually beneficial.
 +
 +The master Shantideva said that there is nothing superior to the mind of enlightenment in being able to destroy or abandon negativities – to purify negativities. ​
 +
 +So we have to think of the mind of enlightenment as a way to destroy – or excuse me – a way to purify negativities correct? In this respect the mind of enlightenment is a support, a branch, of the stages of the path in common with the small scope being.
 +
 +As for our practice, we need to practise whatever we have the ability to do. As for study and reflection, then the more extensive the better. There is nothing wrong with studying very widely and reflecting very widely even if you cannot practice everything that you study and reflect on. Think about it – the more a person studies and reflects upon abandoning negativities and accomplishing virtue, then the more able that person will be to abandon negativities and accomplish virtue. So there’s not contradiction in practising what one is able to and studying and reflecting more widely. ​
 +
 +In a mantra context you find statements that there’s nothing superior to mantra in its ability to purify negativities – so you’ll find that statement made in mantra won’t you. As ought to be clear here, the very root of all of this is to purify negativities. This is – these practices must come back to this point. ​
 +
 +In his text, The Way of the Bodhisattva Master Shantideva says that for the learned, or you might say, for the wise, even heavy negativities are light. Whereas for the stupid (I apologise for this rather offensive word but anyone have an alternative) even light negativities are heavy.
 +
 +Geshe-la says – how about for someone who has not learned, someone who is not learned, someone who has not studied about such matters, then even a rather light or minor negativity is quite heavy or grave. If you think about it, for the learned or wise person, they have all sorts of means at their disposal. They have a certain capacity or ability which means that even a heavy, grave negativity can be quite light for them. Whereas for a person who is not learned in such methods, who has not learned a great deal about such matters, the even rather minor negativities can be quite heavy because they are set to face the effects of such actions.
 +
 +It’s like for a good swimmer – when a good swimmer goes into the ocean it doesn’t matter how far from shore they can still swim and they are still quiet comfortable but for somebody who doesn’t know how to swim, soon as you get past the point where your feet no longer touch the bottom – you’re dead! Geshe-la says, take for example himself. A good swimmer can swim out far from shore but Geshe-la, he gets our beyond where he can touch his feet and that’s it – he gets swept away – he’s dead.
 +
 +We have this shamelessness – and the pursuit of new friends and the pursuit of high status. Where do these things come from? Well at the very root they come from self-cherishing. For us self-cherishing is inextricably linked to self-grasping and with these 2 as the basis, this shamelessness and pursuits come about. ​
 +
 +Self-cherishing is different from self-grasping isn’t it. It is important that we distinguish the two. For all of these root verses are meant to help us identify the shortcomings of self-cherishing to help us identify what self-cherishing is. They are also meant to help us identify the shortcomings of self-grasping and to identify what self-grasping is. But still the 2 are different aren’t they. 
 +
 +Take self-grasping. In essence self-grasping is a wrong awareness. It is a case in which we erroneously apprehend the ‘I’ whether it be the ‘I’ of oneself or the ‘I’ of another. Basically self-grasping is to erroneously grasp at ‘I’ isn’t it – it’s a wrong awareness.
 +
 +So self-grasping might involve grasping which hold the ‘I’ to be self-sufficient and substantially existent or it might be a case in which it grasps at the ‘I’ holding it to be inherently existent. These are both forms of self-grasping aren’t they. 
 +
 +As for self-cherishing – in self-cherishing one places a very high value on one’s own happiness and pleasures. That self-cherishing involves an attitude in which one’s own happiness and pleasures are first and foremost. ​
 +
 +There are in fact 2 types of self-cherishing so in addition to this quality described, then the negative form of self-cherishing – the first type of self-cherishing involves indifference to others. In trying to bring about one’s own happiness and abandon suffering for oneself then a person is indifferent to the suffering. This is the first type. The second type does not involve this indifference towards others.
 +
 +There’s 2 types of self-cherishing – the first in which one pursues one’s own happiness (and suffering?) to the neglect or the indifference of others, and the other in which one does not have this element of indifference. For ordinary sentient beings, i.e. beings within samsara, then self-cherishing is for the most part of the type which is indifferent towards others. ​
 +
 +The opposite of self-grasping is wisdom that comprehends selflessness. Self-grasping and the wisdom that comprehends selflessness might have the same focus but the way they apprehend or grasp at this focus is contrary to one another. Their mode of grasping is exclusive. And therefore if a person familiarise him or herself with the wisdom that comprehends selflessness,​ that will act as a direct antidote to their self-grasping. ​
 +
 +The opposite of self-cherishing is to cherish others however these two - self-cherishing and cherishing others – it’s not like we have things that are focused on the same thing but are contrary modes of grasping at it – that’s not actually the case. Because in self-cherishing one focuses on oneself and cherishes that and in cherishing others, one focuses upon others and cherishes that.
 +
 +Yet still cherishing others is the antidote to self-cherishing. ​
 +
 +How does it function as the antidote to the other? Well cherishing others helps to overcome and reverse the indifference a person has to others and therefore in overcoming that indifference it acts as an antidote to it. 
 +
 +So can you see then how self-cherishing and self-grasping are slightly different? They are not entirely the same? This is very important for us to recognise for in studying the Wheel of Sharp Weapons – one of the main things we should gain from studying the Wheel of Sharp Weapons is to be able to recognise self-cherishing and self-grasping
 +
 +If you were to give in short the basic subject matter of the Wheel of Sharp Weapons what would you say? If someone asked, what in brief is the subject matter of this text? You could refer to this line from Lama Chöpa Guru Puja where it says that cherishing the self is the doorway to all troubles or torments and cherishing others as if they were the mother is the foundation of all good qualities.
 +[Lama Chöpa, verse 94: 
 +Since cherishing ourselves in the doorway to all torment,
 +While cherishing our mothers is the foundation of all that is good….]
 +
 +This is the beginning of the second week isn’t it. And for one week we’ve been looking at all the troubles, the problems, the torments that are caused from cherishing the self – and this self-cherishing
 +Is the doorway to all the torments, the problems.
 +
 +This is in effect the practice known as exchanging self and others isn’t it. In the practice of the mind of enlightenment,​ i.e. the practices of a bodhisattva,​ one practice is called ‘equalising and exchanging oneself and others’. Here we’re focused on exchanging self and others and in studying this we want to b able to see how – see all the many gateways to problems that self-cherishing opens up and see all the many bases or gateways to good qualities that cherishing others opens up. Seeing all the different ways, the different shortcomings of self-cherishing and all the different positive aspects of cherishing others. ​
 +
 +These are reasons: since self-cherishing is the gateway to all troubles and cherishing others is the foundation of all good qualities, we want to exchange self-cherishing for cherishing others. Up to now we have been constantly under the control or sway of self-cherishing and these are the problems it creates. We want to change that attitude for an attitude in which we cherish others. ​
 +
 +Basically Dharmarakshita,​ the author of this text, is trying to get us, make us angry with self-cherishing and self-grasping isn’t he? Basically that’s what he is doing. He’s pointing out over and over again, that the one behind this problem, this suffering, is self-cherishing,​ self-grasping – the one behind these problems, self-cherishing / self-grasping. He’s putting all the blame on self-cherishing and self-grasping isn’t he. And if a person were to coma long and say about a particular person ‘this person is to blame for all your problems – this person is responsible for these unpleasant things that are happening. I mean you put the blame on this person enough and the other person gets quite angry and frustrated with that person and wants to do something about it. Is the text working like this for you? Can you see how Dharmarakshita is trying to get us angry with self-cherishing and self-grasping?​
 +
 +We very patient – whatever talking smile – ok ok – very patient isn’t it. Therefore we not angry – very very special…
 +
 +So moving onto the next verse it reads:
 +43
 +When we are deceived188 by the deceit and pretense189 of others,
 +it is through pride and having190 excessive desire191.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall lessen my desire for everything192.
 +
 +Once again we have this kind of archaic terminology which is rendered quite easily into their equivalent terms – deceit and pretence. We discussed these last week didn’t we. Did we understand deceit and pretence?
 +
 +It’s, with a bad motivation, to make out as if you do not possess faults that you do have or with a bad motivation pretending that you posses certain good qualities that you do not – deceit and pretence.
 +
 +Pride is quite clear – I mean the pride that ‘I’m really something special, I’m really quite impressive’ this pride. Then ‘having excessive desire’. The word in Tibetan is tode and to meaning hunger and de meaning desire. A contemporary translation (this is just speculation) might be something like ‘materialistic’ because what it refers to is somebody who is always yearning for and always longing for praise and financial gain and these types of things. In fact someone who is very hungry can’t stop thinking about food. So somebody who is tode or we might say materialistic is always thinking about how to improve their reputation or how to gain praise and how to make material gains and so forth.
 +
 +Earlier we looked at this one verse where a person might have this thought that other people don’t like them – that nobody likes me – and this is the effect of having made – literally made bad faces at people in the past – basically that one has not expressed oneself in a pleasant and pleasing way to others in the past and now, as a result, the response that we feel we are getting from others is one of dislike. This is quite similar to what we are speaking about here.
 +
 +So the response that we are supposed to give here is that now I shall lessen my desire for everything. Regardless of the responses we get from others, whether they be praise or defamation, then we should not fall sway to the mundane concerns but we should lessen our desires for everything.
 +
 +44
 +When attachment and hatred accompanies what we hear or say,
 +it is through not contemplating196 in our heart the errors of demons197.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall abandon counter conditions through analysis198.
 +
 +This is quite clear isn’t it. Maybe we’re studying the dharma or listening to teachings and explanations on them. Maybe we’re discussing the dharma and so forth. But when such activities actually seem to increase and assist our attachment and our hostility then this is a fault that comes about through not reflecting – excuse me, through not taking to heart these faults of demons – the faults of demons means actually the shortcomings of disturbing emotions. By not taking to heart the disadvantages of the disturbing emotions, then these positive activities related to the dharma end up increasing the disturbing emotions. So we should try and understand the difference between conducive circumstances and adverse, or counter, conditions and embrace the one and abandon the other. ​
 +
 +45
 +When all our good actions199 go wrong200,
 +it is through wrongly dealing with201 all repayment of kindness202.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall treat with great respect203 the repayment of kindness.
 +
 +Perhaps you have a good motivation and with this good motivation, you do something to assist or help another person. But though from your side you are trying to help the person, they perceive it as being some harmful activity – why is this person doing this bad thing to me they might think, When despite the fact that you are, with a positive motivation, trying to help, it all goes wrong or backfires, then this is the result of our having failed to repay the kindness of others in the past. And not just have failed to repay their kindness but actually – as it says in the text – through wrongly dealing with the repayment of kindness. Turning the proper response on its head and acting in an opposite way. 
 +
 +WE know that this happens and we have to be careful that we do not wrongly or improperly respond to kindness – our mother and our father, our teachers, those people who feel affectionately to us – all those people are kind to us. Yet maybe the relationship goes slightly wrong and because the relationship goes slightly wrong then we get annoyed. We feel resentment towards them – maybe we become angry with them and so forth. Yet these types of responses are inappropriate. WE should try hard not to do such things but rather to treat with great respect those people whoa re kind to us.
 +
 +now I shall treat with great respect203 the repayment of kindness
 +
 +We should recognise and understand who is kind – know those people to be kind and treat them with great respect and try to repay them.
 +
 +46
 +In brief (when) undesired (events) suddenly occur204,
 +it is like a blacksmith killed by his own sword.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall be diligent205 in (avoiding) negative action206.
 +
 +Most of the verse up to this point i.e. up to verse 45, are teaching us how certain circumstances arise from our past karma – now from this verse, the 46th verse, it begins to teach the way in which such things arise due to sudden or temporary circumstances in this life. So e.g., when pleasure that we want do not occur and undesired events that we do not want do occur, then these sufferings that befall us suddenly, are similar to a blacksmith being killed by a sword that he himself has made. In other words these things come about due to the actions that we have performed in previous lifetimes and thus it is the weapon of negative karma that we have accumulated ourselves coming back upon us – it is entirely this. 
 +
 +It’s like this is similar to what is said in the Lam Rim where we do not receive the pleasure and things we desire… it’s like it says in the Lam Rim in that we do not get what we seek, the things that we seek and desire and yet undesired events befall us suddenly. And this is exactly what this verse is saying here. Understand?
 +
 +Let’s say a blacksmith makes swords and this is how he makes his living so he then sells these swords to other people. Then he gets in a fight with the person who he sold the sword to and that person uses the sword that he made to kill him – it’s all been decided. I mean maybe this person doesn’t get in any fights with the people he sold his swords to and it’s all well and good – but as soon as he gets in a fight then it’s all been determined.
 +
 +It’s very similar with the past karma, that if we’re able to confess and purify our past karma then we are able to eliminate it. But if we do not confess and purify and just leave it as it is, then one day we get in a fight with them – and it comes back to get us.
 +
 +now I shall be diligent205 in (avoiding) negative action206.
 +
 +If we want to translate this word ‘diligent’ easily – we say ‘careful’. Now I will be careful to avoid negative actions.
 +
 +What does it mean to be careful with respect to negative actions? Well be careful not to accumulate any new negative karma and be careful to confess and purify the past karma we have accumulated – that’s it, those two. 
 +
 +47
 +(When) we experience suffering in evil migrations,
 +it is like an archer killed by his own arrows.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now I shall be diligent in (avoiding) negative action.
 +
 +This is the same as the verse above. ​
 +
 +In the 46th verse when it speaks about undesired events suddenly occurring and the commentary mentions that what we desire does not occur, these are speaking about the sufferings of the pleasant migrations. Here the word, suffering, is actually in here is dukha the sanskrit word for suffering and it implies suffering in the evil migrations, the bad migrations. So other than the fact that the first applies to the pleasant migrations and the second applies to unpleasant ones, we have basically the same statement being made.
 +
 +48
 +(When) the sufferings of home life suddenly befall one,
 +it is like a cherished son killing his mother and father.
 +This is the weapon of negative action returning,
 +now it is appropriate that I always (seek) ordination213.
 +
 +They’ve stated it quite easily haven’t they…
 +
 +This isn’t the only text to speak about the shortcomings of a householders’ way of life, in fact Nagarjuna mentions many shortcomings of a householders way of life in A letter to a friend. Maybe a person takes a partner, or maybe a person takes a partner and has a child in the hope that this is going to lead to happiness. This is why a person embraces a householder’s way of life because they think that this is going to bring them happiness in this life correct? So in embracing this lifestyle and then maybe having a child then the hope is that there will be happiness. But when, despite the fact that they are hoping for happiness, suffering befalls them – this is the suffering of home life referred to in this text. Cause there are very specific or particular sufferings that come along with embracing that type of lifestyle. In fact when such a lifestyle leads to suffering though you hope to lead to happiness, this is like a cherished son killing his son and father.
 +
 +A cherished son killing his mother and father’ – let’s say a couple lovingly raises a child in the hopes that this will bring happiness – that child that beloved child then turns around and kills the mother and father. Well this is quite obvious how the actual results are contrary to the ones that they hope for. It’s obvious that they hope for happiness and the exact opposite comes – suffering comes. The beloved child killing the mother and father. That much is obvious but we should also understand how a mother and father work very hard for the sake of the child. They endure many sufferings for the sake of the child and we don’t often think of these as being sufferings that befall one in a householder life or we don’t often think that this is the opposite of one’s hopes coming about but actually we should clearly understand how these hardships and sufferings that a parent takes on for the sake of the child are also referred to here. Basically it says the best thing to do is to get ordained.
 +
 +Some of these verses use – refer to swords and arrows and swords and arrows are common symbols e.g. Chenrezig is depicted holding an arrow which symbolises wisdom. Manjushri is depicted holding a sword which symbolises wisdom. So here the sword and the arrow that the author refers to are symbolic of the ultimate mind of enlightenment. ​
 +
 +What is the antidote to self-grasping – the wisdom that comprehends selflessness. The perceptual comprehension of selflessness – excuse me – the mind of a bodhisattva who perceptually comprehends selflessness is ultimate mind of enlightenment – this is how we describe the ultimate mind of enlightenment normally isn’t it – understand?
 +
 +You can see how the ultimate mind of enlightenment acts as a direct antidote to self-grasping right? Because it is comprehending selflessness. ​
 +
 +So whether we talk about the wisdom comprehending selflessness,​ or ultimate mind of enlightenment,​ we should understand them both to be direct antidotes to self-grasping. ​
 +
 +What is the mind of enlightenment?​ The relative mind of enlightenment?​ It is the antidote to self-cherishing.
 +
 +Since the relative mind of enlightenment is a state of mind – an awareness that cherishes others, it acts as an antidote to the self-cherishing attitude. Although the 2 do not have exclusive or contradictory modes of grasping, by cherishing others, the relative mind of enlightenment acts as an antidote to self-cherishing.
 +
 +The next verse reads: ​
 +
 +49
 +Convinced of this, I shall seize my enemy.
 +
 +Many of the verses up to this point have discussed the flaws of self-cherishing correct? Now these different flaws of self-cherishing that have been mentioned are not just exaggerations,​ are not over-exaggerated or underestimated,​ but in fact they are actually the case – that these faults of self-cherishing are in reality – are like that in actuality.
 +
 +Yet from our perspective as practitioners,​ we need to see that this is the case and that’s why it says at this point that:
 +Convinced of this, I shall seize my enemy.
 +
 +It’s not just enough that these are so in reality but also we ourselves must see that to be the case and seeing that we must seize our enemy.
 +
 +Dharmarakshita was the one who wrote this wasn’t he and certainly he was convinced that these really are the certain faults and flaws that come from self-cherishing. If we ourselves haven’t actually recognised this, then we probably shouldn’t say ‘convinced of this’. If we’re not convinced of it we shouldn’t say that we are should we.
 +
 +If we are not… if we haven’t identified them then we ought to make sure that we are able to.
 +
 +I shall seize this deceptive thief in ambush.
 +I shall seize this deceiver disguised as me.
 +
 +It’s really quite difficult to recognise the self apart from the self-cherishing. If you think about it, it’s quite difficult.
 +
 +There are many things that have been said about these verses on training the mind where it says that this harms self-cherishing – and we think about these different things and the thought occurs to us that ‘these things harm self-cherishing but they also harm me’ or ‘all this advice on how to cherish others, we think that all those things that harm others but they harm me. The thought that that which harms self-cherishing harms us and that which benefits others harms us is probably due to the fact that up till now we have been holding the 2 to be one – that self-cherishing has been impersonating us.
 +
 +E.g. think about the practice of giving and taking. In the practice of giving and taking we need to develop a willingness or an attitude in which we are going to take the sufferings of others upon ourselves, but when we think about this we say ‘oh I couldn’t take the sufferings of others upon me, that would harm me.’
 +
 +This seems to be a function of self-cherishing ok.
 +
 +In other parts of the practice we are training in giving away our happiness and our virtues and we also find ourselves unable to give away our happiness and our virtues. This inability to relinquish such things is also a function of self-cherishing.
 +
 +If we can recognise how up till now we have taken self-cherishing to be the self. Self-cherishing is masquerading as the self and see how we have been deceived, it would be quite easy to practise giving and taking wouldn’t it. 
 +
 +We tend to think that what harms self-cherishing harms me. And what helps self-cherishing helps me. But actually we’re deceived. We have been fooled. It’s very important to recognise this. WE take the 2 to be the same but they’re not.
 +
 +Oh self grasping is this, sever all doubt.
 +
 +There’s a Tibetan word ema which is a word of exclamation – it’s an exclamatory phrase you know. Sometimes used to express amazement as in emaho. ​
 +E.g. on the first morning of the Tibetan new year everyone yells and screams ‘ema – ema bhadra and ku kansang’ and all this different stuff – because one is allowed – it’s permissible to yell at that time at the beginning of the new year, then everyone does it. So they’ll say ‘emabhadra and ku kunsang’ Actually it’s funny about this ‘emabhadra’ because at Sera in Tibet (just below there) there was a woman – older woman – who lived there whose name was Ama (like mother) Ama Bhadro – and the young monks didn’t realise that actually the traditional saying was ‘ema bhadro’ – they thought they were calling out to Ama Bhadro – so they’d go out in the morning and ‘Ama Bhadro!! Ku kumsang…” not knowing what they are yelling but just yelling because they can.
 +
 +The reason it’s found in this verse is because the author is exclaiming joyfully that he has now identified the enemy and having identified what the enemy is he can now try to gain control over it. He can now try to gain power over it. And so it is an exclamation of amazement = ‘Ah now, this is good – now I can gain control over it!’
 +
 +So basically what they are saying is: ‘Ema now let me cut my doubts that it is the self-cherishing and self-grasping that are behind such things. – Let me now cut my doubts that – cause here self-grasping actually refers to self-cherishing that is in union with or integrated with self-grasping – so it says: now let me sever my doubts that this combine self-cherishing and self-grasping is the enemy.
 +
 +Then the next verse reads:
 +
 +50
 +Now turn the wheel of action above,
 +wrathfully turn it three times above.
 +
 +These 2 lines basically mean the same thing. IN many of these previous verses we have talked about these negative experiences and so forth are the weapon of negative action returning upon us. We’ve also come to see how it’s self-cherishing that is behind this wheel, this cycle of negative action. So in saying turn the wheel of action above, wrathfully turn it above, we are saying, let this wheel of action roll back upon the self-cherishing itself. ​
 +
 +That’s what the 1st line means.
 +
 +So we have identified that self-cherishing is the enemy – is the perpetual enemy – so this verse: ​
 +Now turn the wheel of action above
 +Reads like a request to please let us destroy this enemy of self-cherishing. ​
 +
 +Excuse me I should say that this line reads as a request – let the enemy of self-cherishing be destroyed. So: 
 +wrathfully turn it three times above. ​
 +
 +Why three times? The first time symbolises the ultimate mind of enlightenment,​ the 2nd time symbolises relative mind of enlightenment and the 3rd time symbolises the union of these two. 
 +
 +Here the word ‘wrathful’ is taken to refer mainly to Vajrabhairava – Yamantaka. So the reason is that Dharmarakshita himself was a Vajrabhairava yogi and he practise this Yamantaka. So, what is the ultimate Vajrabhairava – the ultimate mind of enlightenment,​ What does the ultimate Vajrabhairava destroy? Powerless birth and death. After all he is known as the conqueror of the lord of death isn’t he – the slayer of the lord of death. And so the ultimate Vajrabhairava is destroying the powerless death and rebirth.
 +
 +What type of meaning do we draw from this – that we need to practice the ultimate mind of enlightenment,​ the relative mind of enlightenment together in a unified manner. We need to integrate our practice of these two. 
 +
 +Why do we need to integrate these two? Well think about it. To apply the antidote to self-cherishing we need to relative mind of enlightenment. To apply the antidote to self-grasping,​ we need to ultimate mind of enlightenment. So we need to integrate or unify our practice of both ultimate and relative mind of enlightenment – to overcome these two things that are behind this powerless cycle of birth and death.
 +
 +We always talk about how we must be motivated by the relative mind of enlightenment don’t we. I mean we talk about how it’s important to have the motivation that ‘I’m going to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.’ But in fact that alone is not enough is it?
 +
 +This is relative mind of enlightenment isn’t it?
 +
 +Yet actually if we are thinking about ways to apply the antidote to self-grasping then we need to unify the two minds of enlightenment. We need to incorporate the ultimate mind of enlightenment as well.
 +
 +So in addition to thinking that I am doing this to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings, we think about the state that we are striving for – enlightenment lacks inherent existence – does not exist truly. We think that I, the one who is striving, the practitioner,​ as well as the virtues that I use to attain such a state, we also do not inherently or truly exist. So if we are able to study and learn about these points and use them as part of our motivation, then all of the virtues that we accumulate can act as an antidote to samsara, cyclic existence. So, it
 +S very important to unify these things at the outset of any virtuous act – to use these 2 – the union of these 2 as a motivation for it.
 +
 +If we have this emptiness as part of the motivation – then anger ….
 +
 +Slowly slowly fading away – these young people they never last very long – anyway I apologise, what Geshe-la actually said is that if we have a good understanding of emptiness then anger will not be able to destroy our roots of virtue.
 +
 +So we’ll leave it there…
 +
 +Mainly we need to identify self-cherishing and self-grasping.
 +
 +In studying the Wheel of Sharp Weapons we need to recognise how self-cherishing and self-grasping are at the root of all our physical and mental suffering. ​
 +
 +Do you have any questions? If you have no questions Geshe-la is going to leave it there.
 +
 +Student: The unified practice of the two minds of enlightenment seem to solidify the true existence of others? No cherishing others seems to solidify the true existence of others, so what is the best way to practise so that we can see others as the display of a non-dual primordial awareness?
 +
 +Geshe-la: Cultivating an attitude in which you cherish others doesn’t have to strengthen our tendency to see others as truly existent. If we properly resolve the lack of true existence then cultivating cherishing others will not strengthen the tendency to grasp at them as truly existent. If are unable to properly resolve the lack of true existence, then everything that appears to us will strengthen the grasping at true existence. As for this bit about the display of non-dual primordial awareness, this is a different matter - this is something that with time we can come to see things like this. But it is a different situation.
 +
 +We have to gain a good understanding of lack of true existence. If we do not gain a good understanding of lack of true existence, then even great hunger leads us to grasp at food as truly existent – everything truly exists – not only cherishing other.
 +
 +End side B
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 +Buddhist Studies Programme
 +Subject: Wheel of Sharp Weapons
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator: Ven Lozang Zopa 
 +Tape No: 6a & b
 +Date of Teaching: Wednesday 12th November 2003
 +Transcriber:​ Stuart
 +
 +Tape 6A side A  ​
 +
 +On page 8, verse 50 it reads:
 +
 +50
 +Now (Yamantaka) turn the wheel of action above,
 +wrathfully turn it three times above.
 +
 +Geshe-la has explained what this ‘three times’ means. To apply the antidote to self-cherishing,​ self-grasping,​ and the union of those two, we require relative mind of enlightenment,​ the ultimate mind of enlightenment,​ and the union of those two, yes? 
 +
 +Since we need to practice these two in union, it’s good if we can integrate them in our motivation so that our motivation is likewise a union of these two.
 +
 +(Your) legs parted are the two truths,
 +
 +Normally the two truths are said to be relative truth and ultimate truth, correct?
 +
 +(your) eyes open are method and wisdom.
 +
 +Simply put, ‘method’ refers to relative mind of enlightenment,​ ‘wisdom’ refers to ultimate mind of enlightenment;​ that is, the wisdom that realizes emptiness. ​
 +
 +The relative mind of enlightenment refers to the relative truth side of things, whereas the ultimate mind of enlightenment refers to the ultimate truth side of things. Generally, ultimate truth is said to be emptiness, correct? So we have then this connection between relative mind of enlightenment - relative truth, ult mind of enlightenment - ultimate truth, and in turn, method and wisdom. So here, when it says ‘your legs parted are the two truths’, we can understand this to refer to the relative truth side of things, and the ultimate truth side of things, and when it says ‘your eyes open are method and wisdom’, we understand ‘method’ to correspond to relative mind of enlightenment,​ and ‘wisdom’ to correspond to the ultimate mind of enlightenment. The basic point being that there is this basic parallel between two truths, method and wisdom, and relative mind of enlightenment and ultimate mind of enlightenment. ​
 +
 +Yamantaka is depicted with his right left bent and his left leg outstretched,​ correct? ​
 +
 +So the bent right leg, or ‘legs’ as it were, symbolizes method; the relative mind of enlightenment. ​
 +
 +Whereas, the extended left leg symbolises wisdom; the ultimate mind of enlightenment. ​
 +
 +So as to symbolise the need for practicing both the relative and ultimate in union, then his two open eyes, which symbolize method and wisdom, are taken together, that is like they’re parallel or on par, even with one another. Ok?
 +
 +These are important points for us to know, particularly in the context of practicing mantra, correct? It’s good to know this stuff, yeah? 
 + 
 +51
 +Bare your fangs of the four strengths,
 +and strike this enemy.
 +
 +Although it doesn’t say so explicitly, Geshe-la believes that we can take the four strengths to be a reference to the four opponent or antidotal strengths, sometimes referred to as ‘the four powers’. These would be: 
 + the power of repudiation,​ or regret, ​
 + the power of the support, ​
 + the power of the antidote, and 
 + the power of turning away from negativities,​ from faulty conduct. Also known as ‘the power of resolve’. ​
 +These are the four opponent strengths, four antidotal strengths. These are meant to . . . the four fangs of Yamantaka symbolize these four strengths and meant to ‘strike’,​ that is ‘suppress’ or ‘overcome’ the enemy. Well what is an enemy anyway? An enemy is one who acts negatively and brings harm upon us, correct? Here, we utilize the four strengths to overcome the enemy which brings harm to us. So let’s say if you were to properly confess and purify, utilizing these four strengths, then you would be able to suppress or overcome the seeds of negative acts, so that they cannot cause harm to you. So you see the connection here? Can you see how these four strengths; the fangs, suppress, or overcome the enemy so that they cannot bring harm upon us? Geshe-la reckons that it’s like this. If you disagree and you have some alternative viewpoint to express, please feel free. 
 +
 +What does ‘the enemy’ here refer to? You could say it refers to self-cherishing and self-grasping,​ correct? So we use these fangs of the four strengths to overcome the enemy of self-cherishing and self-grasping. ​
 +
 +(You are) also the king of mantra,
 +who oppresses the enemy.
 +
 +It seems that in the context of mantra, there are certain rituals that can be used to create disorientation in, for instance, non-human forces thereby creating harassment for them so that they do not cause harm. This is the kind of symbolic reference of ‘the king of mantra who oppresses the enemy’; certain rituals that are performed to create disorientation in non-human interferences. Here of course, though, the king of mantra is an attitude in which one is indifferent to oneself and cherishes others. This is ‘the king’. ​
 +
 +What exactly does this ‘king of mantra’ which is an attitude of cherishing others and indifference to oneself, what exactly does this torment or oppress? Well this situation described in verse 52:
 +
 +52
 +We are out of control in the forest of samsara,
 +pursued by the weapons of (our negative) actions.
 +Subdue this brutal one called the evil demon of self-grasping,​
 +degenerating what is holy, ruining self and others.
 +
 +It’s quite clear isn’t it? I mean self-grasping is being likened to a particular type of spirit; a gong-po spirit (‘gong po) which is a very harmful spirit, indicating the harm that lies in self-grasping,​ and this negative spirit, so to speak, chases us with this weapon of negative actions. It chases us through this dense wilderness of cyclic existence in which we are powerless. Then it mentions ‘subdue this one which degenerates what is holy and ruins both self and others’; what is it that brings ruin upon both self and others? It is here identified as self-cherishing. Self-cherishing not only overthrows ourselves, but also through its influence, the actions that we do on behalf of others become quite rare, and both indirectly and directly we might make out as if we’re helping others but we’re hoping that good comes upon us and not them. 
 +
 +We take this line; ‘subdue that which degenerates what is holy, which ruins or brings ruin upon self and others’. We need to take this line and think about it so that it makes sense to us. So in a worldly sense, people will become enemies and when people hold another as an enemy, then they work to overthrow, even eliminate, another person. Why do people grasp at others as enemies and seek to overthrow them? Well basically because of the influence of self-cherishing. Self-cherishing is behind these types of behaviours. Understand?
 +
 + In fact there have been many reasons offered earlier to support this notion that self-cherishing lies at the root of all the different problems and difficulties we experience in this lifetime. What is the best type of responsibility that we can adopt? What is the best dharma practice that we can adopt? Well cherishing others, correct? This is the best, and self-cherishing prevents us from getting a start in practicing cherishing others. Even if we are able to start cherishing others, in the mean time it acts as an obstacle preventing us from bringing it to completion and from really practicing it properly and purely. So self-cherishing acts as an obstacle to many things including the development of the best dharma that we can practice; cherishing others. ​
 +
 +Self-cherishing also feeds the continual thought that ‘may things be good for me’, ‘may this work out for me’ and this itself can be an obstacle for developing our cherishing of others. This much is clear if we reflect on our own experience. ​
 +
 +This is how it brings ruin upon self and others now:
 +
 +53
 +Subdue him, subdue him, wrathful enemy of the Lord of Death.
 +
 +We’ve heard mention of the ‘enemy of the Lord of Death’ earlier. Geshe-la was explaining what this meant. ‘Lord of Death’ refers to powerless death; the death that we do not control but rather happens through the influence of actions and disturbing emotions. The enemy of that is the antidote to that; the wisdom comprehending emptiness or selflessness. ​
 +
 +The enemy of the Lord of Death can be understood provisionally and definitively. On a provisional level, the enemy of the Lord of Death refers to Yamantaka, and so how would, for instance, the enemy of the Lord of Death act to overcome enemies and hindrances, and so forth? Well first they would hook them in, and then subdue them by some means. In fact there’s a quote which Geshe-la remembers that says that first out of compassion you liberate the enemies and the hindrances, and then send their primary consciousnesses into the basic space of phenomena, or into the dharmadhatu. So for someone to actually hook in and then subdue a harmful force is not so easy. It’s not enough to just eliminate it, right? Having eliminated it, you’re meant to send it’s consciousness into the basic space of phenomena; the dharmadhatu,​ which is no easy matter so . . 
 +
 +Understand? Or think about it like this; say someone breaks a law. To punish this person, first you need to apprehend them, you need to catch them. Once you catch them, you bring them into custody and you can just talk to them about the crime that they’ve committed and only then can you punish them. Ok!
 +
 +How does this relate to what we’re talking about? Well we need to apply the antidote to self-cherishing,​ right? So we need to hook the self-cherishing in; ‘come forth! Come forth self-cherishing,​ so that I apply the antidote to you’. We need to kind of . . . we need to make it manifest, or uncover it, so that we can get a good look at it; what is its real essence? What is it focused upon? What is it’s object? So we kind of invite the self-cherishing in so that we can get a better look at it and consider what it’s focused upon. What the subjective attitude in it is. That is, what its aspect is. And what is its very nature? And then, once we are able to get a good look at it and understand these different things, we have a lot of power that we can then use to overcome it. 
 +
 +The antidote becomes quite powerful. Because we understand the way to apply the antidote and what the antidote is being applied to, to apply the antidote at that point can be quite potent. ​
 +
 +Understand? The same is true of self-grasping and desirous attachment, and anger and so forth. First we need to recognise these things, and then, that is hook them in, and once we’ve hooked them in we can apply the antidote to them; figuring out the way to apply the antidote to them based on our understanding of the way that they are and what they focus on. In this way the application of antidotes becomes powerful and potent. ​
 +
 +Otherwise, if we don’t do this stuff, and we just sit there hoping that self-grasping goes away, that the disturbing emotions; may they be gone, may self-cherishing be gone, we can pray to the three jewels; ‘please may these be eliminated’ but self-cherishing,​ self-grasping,​ the disturbing emotions, will just be sitting there laughing at us thinking; ‘oh yes! the poor guy! Sitting there, he’s really shouting out and screaming “oh please get rid of these, please get rid of these” but it’s not doing a single thing to hurt me’. Because if you want to eliminate these things, you have to do harm to the mode of grasping that supports them, and if you just sit there hoping without doing any of this analysis and investigation,​ you won’t harm the mode of grasping.
 +
 +Understand? So it says ‘subdue him, subdue him’ and the word in Tibetan, Geshe-la is playing on the word for subdue here which another similar word means to hook in, so ‘hook in and subdue him; the wrathful enemy of the Lord of Death. . . . 
 +
 +Beat him, beat him, strike the heart of the enemy self.
 +
 +It’s like this! It says ‘heart’ doesn’t it? If you don’t know where the heart is, you can’t harm the heart, can you? If you don’t know where the heart is and you try and stab it the heart, you don’t know where to go do you? 
 +
 +So we need to find the heart of self-grasping,​ the heart of self-cherishing,​ the heart of the disturbing emotions like desirous attachment and anger. And the heart of these things lies in the conceived object of the mode of grasping. The conceived object of the mode of apprehension. Recognising that, we then overcome it to apply the antidote to it. Then we have really struck at the heart.
 +
 +Then having struck at the heart, and eliminated it, then we need to do a little bit of a dance. So it says here:
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +
 +In fact, the words in Tibetan make reference to the cham dances; these ritual sacred dances.
 +
 +So do you understand the way to eliminate and overcome these enemies of self-grasping and self-cherishing?​ First you hook them in by recognising them. And then you strike at their heart, through applying the antidote. And then once you’ve eliminated them, you do a dance which integrates the relative and ultimate mind of enlightenment.
 +
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +In fact this commentary and other texts separate the ‘slaughterer’ from the ‘enemy self’. The enemy self refers to self-grasping,​ and the slaughterer who is like the servant of this enemy self is self-cherishing. But, Geshe-la says in many respects this is kind of like the chicken and the egg. Who knows which comes first. Because certainly self-grasping is a support, it gives back-up to self-cherishing but there are also instances in which self-cherishing acts as a support for self-grasping. So like the chicken and the egg, it’s difficult to say which comes before. Here, however, the enemy self is self-grasping,​ and the slaughterer which serves this enemy self is self-cherishing. And in this respect it’s like self-cherishing which carries a knife or a sword. So then in both of these, we want to slay the heart of this; the enemy self and it’s slaughterer. In other words, we want to kill it by piercing the very heart of this distinctive and unique thing, the mode of self-grasping. ​
 +
 +Generally, just because a person has self-grasping doesn’t mean they also have self-cherishing. And just because a person has self-cherishing doesn’t mean they have self-grasping. However, for us basically when we have one we have the other. So the two mutually support one another, but we still should acknowledge that just because you have the one doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual has the other and vise versa. ​
 +
 +Understand? Did you have a question? Geshe-la was under the impression that you had a question and meant to ask you about it but then he forgot, he go into his explanation and forgot.
 +
 +Geshe-la: If a person has self-grasping does he or she necessarily have self-cherishing?​
 +Student: No
 +
 +Geshe-la: For instance?
 +Student: a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation
 +
 +Geshe-la: Is everyone of a like mind? So take a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation,​ it follows that in his or her continuum there is self-grasping.
 +Student: Self-grasping yes. self-cherishing no.
 +
 +Geshe-la: So take a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation. It follows that person necessarily possesses self-grasping?​
 +Student: [inaudible humming and hawing]
 +
 +That’s right, Tsapel I think pointed out to Chodron that no you could have somebody that attained hinayana arhatship . . . . .[on going inaudible banter] . . . would not have self-grasping. So Geshe-la says yes, if you want to be precise or correct then you have to say ‘take a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation who entered the mahayana paths from the very outset’. Otherwise, your response will not be very precise because a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation who entered the mahayana paths from the very outset would still have self-grasping. ​
 +
 +Actually Chodron jumped ahead of everyone else and everyone kind of followed in line after her. Like ‘oh yes, yes’. Geshe-la continued to ask the question and then heads actually started to shake; ‘oh no, no, no’. So therefore the knowledge is not stable, is it? 
 +
 +You need to understand very firmly. You need to be decisive, or conclusive in our knowledge. This is something that Geshe-la talks about all the time, isn’t it?
 +
 +Ok so give Geshe-la an example of someone who has self-cherishing but not self-grasping.
 +
 +Student: An arhat
 +
 +Thank you I think everybody. Really. ​
 +
 +That’s correct, a hinayana arhat would not have self-grasping in his or her continuum but would have self-cherishing. ​
 +
 +Student: I can’t understand how you can have one without the other because self-cherishing implies cherishing a self and once you have eliminated the self, how can you cherish it? but maybe you could have self-grasping without self-cherishing.
 +Geshe-la: This issue was addressed quite clearly when we studied The Ornament of Clear Realization. The selflessness of persons, according to most of the lower schools, refers to the fact that the person is empty of a self-sufficient substantially existent self, correct? I mean, in the middle-way consequence school, would also acknowledge that this is a form of selflessness of persons, right? So one type of grasping at a self of persons is to grasp at the person, holding it to be self-sufficient and substantially existent, correct? Now when a person obtains the hinayana path of seeing, any path of seeing actually, then that person has necessarily perceptually comprehended selflessness of persons, haven’t they? All schools would accept this, correct?
 +
 +So by familiarizing oneself with this comprehension,​ then, one develops to the point until one eventually attains the state of a hinayana arhat. Once the person attains the state of a hinayana arhat, that person has necessarily abandoned all grasping at the self of persons together with its seeds, without exception. All schools would accept this. Ok?
 +
 +Yet . . . . . . 
 +
 +END OF 6A, SIDE A
 +SIDE B
 +
 +. . . . a persons continuum, a self still exists doesn’t it? in the continuum of a person who has attained hinayana arhatship, there is still a self because in comprehending selflessness,​ they have comprehended the non-existence of a non-existent self, they have realized that there is no self-sufficient,​ substantially existent self, yet a self still exists, correct?
 +
 +Geshe-la: The arhat still is an ‘I’, still is a person, yes?
 +Student: Yes.
 +Geshe-la: And so that person still has the thought; ‘I am an arhat’, right? Even though they have abandoned all self-grasping.
 +
 +So that person would also have the self-cherishing,​ correct? Because that person would still have a sense of cherishing him or herself because they have not yet developed the antidote to that self-cherishing. They don’t have the antidote because they don’t have the discernment which cherishes others. ​
 +
 +Understand? Before a person attains arhatship they have both self-cherishing and self-grasping,​ correct? That person has not yet applied the antidote in any way to self-cherishing,​ have they? They’ve been applying the antidote entirely to self-grasping. So when abandonment takes place, they abandon the self-grasping but not the self-cherishing. At some future point when that person develops the relative mind of enlightenment,​ then the self-cherishing is stopped. Whether you call it, probably you wouldn’t call it ‘abandonment’ here but you would say that it definitely ‘ceases’ in that person’s continuum. ​
 +
 +Understand? Once you develop the uncontrived relative mind of enlightenment in your continuum, you put an end to self-cherishing,​ you no longer have self-cherishing. Do your understand that clearly? Everybody? [raps on desk]. This is really one of the main points that we must understand! In studying The Wheel of Sharp Weapons, that’s what we’re trying to do; understand self-cherishing. ​
 +
 +If Geshe-la were to tell you ‘memorize ​ The Wheel Of Sharp Weapons, that wouldn’t go down very well, would it? So we say what’s the point of studying The Wheel Of Sharp Weapons? It’s to recognise or identify self-cherishing,​ and there we have something. ​
 +
 +So do we understand? Do we understand self-cherishing well?
 +
 +Student: Can we say that self-cherishing is removed by developing bodhicitta or does it have to be the higher levels of bodhicitta that are developed to remove it? 
 +Ven. Zopa:  removes in the sense of stopping or abandoning? ​
 +Student: Abandoning. ​
 +Ven. Zopa: So can we say that the development of bodhicitta alone abandons the self-cherishing,​ or is it only the higher levels of bodhicitta?
 +Geshe-la: ​ If a person develops the uncontrived mind of enlightenment,​ that person has necessarily put an end to self-cherishing. That is not so for the periodic mind of enlightenment which comes and goes, because here keep in mind that when we talk of the development of the mind of enlightenment or bodhicitta, we’re talking about what occurs during the time in which a person in on the paths of a learner. So necessarily being uncontrived mind of enlightenment. ​
 +
 +In short, If self-cherishing were to arise in the continuum of this bodhisattva,​ that bodhisattva’s mind of enlightenment would decline. It would be akin to relinquishing or forsaking the mind of enlightenment. ​
 +
 +Understand? It is said that the mind of enlightenment can decline during the small period of the mahayana path of accumulation. How does such a decline take place? well the conditions for that decline occur when this bodhisattva in particular is working for the welfare of others. Let’s say that this bodhisattva has good intentions and is trying to help others, and is doing all that they can for the sake of others but the people that they’re trying to help view this bodhisattva as an enemy. So the bodhisattva then becomes discouraged thinking ‘Oh I cannot accomplish the welfare of the sentient beings, it would be best if I were to just enter into the paths of a hearer’. So their mind of enlightenment declines out of discouragement,​ and the feeling that they’re unable to accomplish the welfare of others and they enter into hinayana paths.
 +
 +Understand? These are the circumstances in which that bodhisattva’s mind of enlightenment declines. It’s not as if that person, with all their faculties, intentionally or through their own control, develops the self-cherishing and thinks ‘Oh forget about the mind of enlightenment. I’m just going to pursue happiness for myself’. It’s not like that. 
 +
 +Understand? So since that person has developed the uncontrived mind of enlightenment,​ they have obtained a mahayana path. That path itself does not decline. Since the person had relinquished the mind of enlightenment,​ then the path that they have becomes either a hearer or a solitary-realizer path. Maybe they develop the intention to definitely emerge in accord with the hearers, and strive for the fruit of a hearer arhat. Or maybe they develop the intention to definitely emerge in accord with the solitary-realizer,​ hoping to attain the solitary-realizer result. In any case, the path becomes a hearer path or a solitary-realizer path. 
 +
 +Understand? So it seems that if a person were to develop the uncontrived intention to definitely emerge, that that would never decline. ​
 +
 +Ok? Geshe-la often says that there’s a collection which contains both the relative mind of enlightenment,​ and the intention to definitely emerge, correct? ​
 +
 +So if you were to relinquish the mind of enlightenment,​ then these two are then separated, correct?
 +
 +It’s like this. We do need to understand this point clearly for it relates to the way we progress through the paths.
 +
 +We need to be careful here because these terms are new to English, aren’t they? And so we talk about self-cherishing and ‘self-grasping’,​ and ‘my house’ and ‘my brother’ and ‘my sister’, right? So all of this talk of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and so forth can get mixed up so that the ideas or the things they start to mingle and mix; perhaps the implication being in inappropriate ways. So you can rightfully talk about ‘my dharma robe’, ‘my begging bowl’. The Buddha can rightfully talk of . . .. The Buddha is said  . . . In the vinaya it says quite clearly that ‘the Buddha’s begging bowl’, ‘the Buddha’s ​ . . . .’. It says quite clearly in the vinaya that the Buddha said, or spoke in terms of ‘my begging bowl’, ‘my dharma robe’, ‘my hearers’, and so forth. ​
 +
 +Understand? This is not self-cherishing. We’re not talking about grasping at the ‘I’, grasping at the self. Understand?
 +
 +Student: Geshe-la, when Paul’s uncontrived mind of enlightenment,​ for a being, is it possible for self-cherishing to be manifest at the same time as the contrived mind of enlightenment?​ [could the uncontrived and contrived mind of enlightenment be manifest at the same time in the same being?​] ​
 +
 +[re-phrased] Could self-cherishing and the contrived mind of enlightenment be manifest in the same continuum at the same time?
 +Geshe-la: Geshe-la feels that probably not. The reason that Geshe-la feels that that probably would not be so is because think about what we talk about with contrived loving kindness, and contrived compassion. We say that when a person directs loving kindness or compassion towards another individual, it’s not possible for anger to arise towards that very same individual at the same time, is it?
 +
 +Understand? This Clear? You don’t have such a thing do you? [silence]. Do you think? [silence].
 +
 +Ho-ho We have to understand the nature of anger well. What is the nature of anger? In essence anger is a discernment of ill will, isn’t it? In brief, loving kindness is goodwill, right? The altruistic intention. You can’t have goodwill and ill will towards the same person at the same time can you?
 +
 +I think! Probably impossible, yeh? But! The funny thing is it seems that there are situations in which a person has attachment and anger towards the same object at the same time but Geshe-la thinks that in these cases, were really dealing with some, not so much a variation, but a particular type of attachment, a particular type of anger, and furthermore he believes that this is quite new to this world. It’s only come about recently.
 +
 +Australia new. I before India never, I . . . . . While in India, Geshe-la assumed that it was impossible to have both attachment and anger towards the same object at the same time. Having come to Australia, it seems . . . I mean it’s almost as if you see these very things with your own eyes, so . . But we do have to look more closely, investigate these matters. Geshe-la believes that a close investigation would probably reveal that the objects of attachment, the objects of anger, are slightly different. ​
 +
 +I think! Whatever! So are we clear about that? Are we clear on self-cherishing?​ Self-cherishing! Ho-ho.
 +
 +To eliminate doubts, to overcome certain suspicions we have about these ideas, Geshe-la will often times, or usually explains self-cherishing as a state of mind in which we’re indifferent towards others, yeh? But we have to divide self-cherishing into two types, a better type and a worse type. Now the self-cherishing that exists in the continuum of an arhat, as well as in the continuum of the hearers and solitary-realizers who are on the paths of a learner, is the better type of self-cherishing which does not involve indifference towards others. Because having entered these paths, that person never feels ill will towards others.
 +
 +Student: If a person on the hearer paths or a hearer arhat were to continually teach others what to adopt and what to abandon, would that not be working with the altruistic intention?
 +Geshe-la: That person would be working on behalf of others with altruistic intention however that person would be only working in part for the sake of others, or their activities on behalf of others would only be partial. So although they do work on behalf others with the altruistic intention, they would not have the cherishing of others that involves indifference towards oneself that bodhisattvas possess. ​
 +
 +That person teaches the way to liberation for those who wish to attain that liberation, correct? So in the case of a hearer arhat, that hearer arhat has manifested the hearer liberation and then teaches the paths that lead to that.
 +
 +
 +54
 +HUM, HUM, Great Deity produce miraculous powers.
 +DZA, DZA, bind fast this enemy.
 +PHAT PHAT, Great Lord over Death please liberate us .
 +
 +As we have said before, Dharmarakshita,​ the author of this text, was a Varjabhairava yogin. His meditational deity was Yamantaka. So these lines read as almost a praise to the deity. ​
 +
 +The two syllables; ‘dza, dza’ mean ‘to hook in’ as we were saying, ‘to draw in’. ‘Phat, phat’ means ‘to cleave’ or ‘to split’, and the fact that these syllables are said twice indicates the importance of integrating both relative and ultimate mind of enlightenment. We want to practice a union of the two. 
 +
 +DESTROY, DESTROY, sever the knot of grasping.
 +
 +Similarly, that’s why ‘destroy’ is said twice; ‘destroy, destroy’.
 +
 +55
 +Come forth (Great) Deity, wrathful enemy of the Lord of Death,
 +this sack of five poisons of karma and affliction
 +is stuck in the mire of samsaric action.
 +
 +Cyclic existence, or samsara is often times referred to as ‘a mire’ or a swamp of karma. It’s like if you step into a muddy swamp, it’s difficult to move, isn’t it? Laboriously you take each step. Having entered into cyclic existence, it’s difficult to become free. 
 +
 +The one who put us in this mire, in this swamp, is self-cherishing. Self-cherishing put us in this swamp, and what did it give us to carry? ‘This sack of five poisons of karma and afflictions’. So we’re walking through the swamp of samsara carrying this bag of five poisons! Do we know the five poisons?
 +
 +You have: desirous attachment, hostility, and delusion, which is another way to say ‘ignorance,​ and then in addition to those three, you have pride and envy. These are the five poisons. ​
 +
 +Where do you think this bag of five poisons is? Is it in the brain? Or in the heart? Ho-ho. in either case, it’s somewhere tucked away, isn’t it?
 +
 +Cut it loose, cut it loose, separate me from it right now.
 +
 +Once again, the repetition indicates both relative and ultimate mind of enlightenment. ​
 +
 +56
 +Though we are carried to suffering in the three bad migrations,
 +not knowing the terror we pursue (its) cause.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +The disturbing emotions, self-cherishing,​ self-grasping,​ carry us to the three types of bad migrations, and towards suffering, but we don’t understand this and so we are not alarmed. We have some tsang-pa dialect here so ‘to be alarmed’ is another way of saying ‘to be afraid’; we’re not fearful. So since we do not fear, are not alarmed about the way in which these five poisons carry us towards the bad migrations, we continue to pursue the causes for them. 
 +
 +The ‘ruinous conception’ is self-cherishing,​ and this ‘enemy self’ is self-grasping. ​
 +
 +57
 +We have little effort for establishing our highest expectations .
 +We have many activities we never carry to their end .
 +
 +These ‘highest expectations’ (‘dod thag nye ba), the word itself implies kind of a short term attitude, that you’re not really in it for the long haul. This is a great obstacle; thinking that you’re going to be able to accomplish everything very, very quickly. Thinking ‘Oh, it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen’, but when it doesn’t happen that quickly, then you leave the action aside. ​
 +
 +In fact it’s the combination of these short term aims with a weak sense of joyous effort that creates the problem. If we had strong joyous effort, then perhaps, these short term aims; the ‘highest expectations’ wouldn’t be so bad. 
 +
 +So when you have these high expectations which . ..  . I should ​ . . rather than ‘short term’ the connotation is that they’re going to be accomplished quickly. So the highest expectations that things are going to be accomplished quickly isn’t as bad if you have a strong joyous effort. But with little joyous effort and very high expectations,​ then we end up embarking on many activities that we never carry to their end. We never complete them. This is really the case isn’t it?
 +
 +‘We have many activities we never carry to their end’; is that clear? Who creates this? Self-cherishing.
 +
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 + Self-cherishing creates highest expectations. ​
 + Self-cherishing makes it so that we have little joyous effort. ​
 + Self-cherishing makes us embark on many activities, and
 + Self-cherishing makes sure that we do not carry these to their end
 +
 +If we think about our own experience, we see that this is the case. So we should ‘dance on the head of this ruinous conception’;​ self-cherishing,​ ‘slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self’; self-grasping. ​
 +
 +58
 +We have great desire for happiness but do not accumulate its causes.
 +We have little (desire for) hardship but ferociously pursue (our) evil desires .
 +
 +This is also due to self-cherishing and self-grasping. This ‘little desire for hardship’ (sdug sran chung ba)  might also be translated as ‘little perseverance’. So that means that when we encounter the slightest hardships, we’re unable to bear them. 
 +
 +‘ferociously pursue (our) evil desires’; this word ‘ferociously pursue’ (rngams sems che ba) implies that you very excitedly or energetically pursue a thing. It’s like there are great, very learned beings of the past, very famous accomplished persons, you very energetically idolise such people but with little perseverance. You can’t bear the hardships that it takes to become such a person but you very energetically want to be such a person. ​
 +
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +It’s self-cherishing creates this great desire for happiness. It means that we do not accumulate its causes. It leads us to have very little perseverance,​ and little desire for hardship. And then it causes us to ferociously pursue these evil desires. It’s very, very clear the role that self-cherishing plays in these things.
 +
 +These are all faults of self-cherishing. It’s important that we think about these and recognise these faults so that we can overcome it. I mean this is the same for everyone, isn’t it?
 +
 +We all! Geshe-la is looking in this direction at it. We’re looking in this direction at it, but it’s all the same. We all need to reduce and eliminate self-cherishing. ​
 +
 +So we’ll leave it there for this afternoon. If you just read through the text, I mean it’s not a great deal that you don’t understand, is it? it’s all pretty clear. ​
 +
 +Do you have any questions? If you have questions, we have some time to answer them. 
 +
 +Student: Shantideva said all the pain and suffering in the world comes from cherishing self and all happiness comes from cherishing others. Can we take that to be the combined self-cherishing and self-grasping,​ given that arhats do not suffer and still have self-cherishing?​
 +Geshe-la: You can say that . . . First of all Geshe-la pointed out that the way it is expressed in Tibetan is that ‘all happiness comes about in dependence upon cherishing others, all suffering comes about in dependence upon self-cherishing’. So you can say that smoke arises in dependence upon fire, correct? ​
 +
 +So what we’ve said is that ‘smoke arises in dependence upon fire’, not that ‘if there’s fire there’s necessarily smoke’, correct? Crash! Come on!
 +
 +Student: What’s the relationship between the . . . 
 +
 +Geshe-la: No! Answer first! So we say that smoke arises in dependence upon fire, yes? we’re not saying that if there’s fire there’s necessarily smoke, correct? Yes? yes?
 +Student: Yes
 +
 +Geshe-la: Oh heh! Similar. So you’re saying that all suffering arises in dependence upon self-cherishing,​ not that if a person has self-cherishing,​ they necessarily have suffering, correct? Crash! Wake up! Understand?
 +Student: Yes. 
 +
 +Suffering arises in dependence upon the seeds of negativities,​ correct? But just because a person has the seeds of negativities,​ doesn’t necessarily mean that suffering is established. because if you were to confess and purify through the four opponent powers, you could destroy those seeds’ ability to establish the result of suffering. ​
 +
 +Understand? This clear? So Chad asked the question but surely all of you have the doubt. Geshe-la has said in the past that whether or not we’ve developed wisdom depends on whether or not we’ve been able to eliminate doubts, yes? Not being able to eliminate doubts is a sign that we haven’t properly developed wisdom, ​
 +
 +Ok? So we know that Chad has not yet developed wisdom about the syllogism; ‘on a smoky pass, there is fire, because there is smoke’. ​
 +
 +I mean we all think ‘oh yes I know that if there’s smoke, there’s necessarily fire, I mean come on, I’ve realized that thesis already!’ but actually it’s not so easy to realize that, is it?
 +
 +Understand? I just joking, thank you very much. That good question. ​
 +
 +So if we have a result, we necessarily have a cause, but just because you have a cause, doesn’t necessarily mean that the result is established. ​
 +
 +Student: [inaudible: restatement] We know that the afflictions are removed by the perceptual comprehension of emptiness, and how they are prevented from becoming manifest through the conceptual comprehension of emptiness. How is it though that self-cherishing is stopped by the attainment of the conceptual mind which is the relative mind of enlightenment? ​
 +Geshe-la: I don’t know! Well, you have to consider the self-cherishing’s mode of apprehension,​ and consider how cherishing others’ mode of apprehension contradicts that. Then it should be clear. What is self-cherishing’s mode of apprehension?​
 +Student: It focuses on itself and cherishes that with indifference to others. ​
 +
 +End of Tape 6A, side B
 +
 +Tape 6B, side A
 +
 +Geshe-la: You don’t actually have to mention indifference towards others because generally self-cherishing entails the wish that ‘I avoid problems and difficulties,​ and sufferings’,​ right? That ‘may these problems, and difficulties,​ and sufferings not come about for me’. So the cherishing aspect, or ‘holding it to be dear’, literally, implies that I am more important that others, or this attitude in which I am more important than others, yes?
 +
 +In cherishing others, others are more important than myself. So do you see how you have differing modes of apprehension?​
 +
 +Anyway, it ought to be something like this but continue to think. Continue to reflect on this.
 +
 +Student: Does self-cherishing have seeds in the continuum, and if so, at what stage are they removed?
 +Geshe-la: Geshe-la has often said that self-cherishing is a factually concordant state of mind, yeh? It’s a discernment that tends towards the fact. It’s not a wrong awareness, is it? So therefore it is not included within the afflictive obscurations or the obscurations to knowledge. It’s not counted as one of those objects of abandonment,​ but it, together with its seeds, do indeed obstruct the attainment of buddhahood. As for when they’re abandoned, well how about buddhahood? You abandon all obstacles at buddhahood so why not then?
 +
 +Ok? So we’ll leave it there. Jang chub sems chog . . .  .. 
 +
 +Buddhist Studies Programme
 +Subject: Wheel of Sharp Weapons
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator: Ven Lozang Zopa 
 +Tape No: 7
 +Date of Teaching: 13th  November, 2003
 +Transcriber:​ Lozang Rigsal
 +
 +Side A
 +
 +Just about anyone intends to do well and not act negatively but not being in full control we find ourselves doing negative action and…..just about anyone….is that better?
 +Just about anyone intends to do well and doesn’t and not act negatively but because not being in full control we find ourselves doing negative actions and encounter obstacles to acting positively or well.  This is due to self grasping and self-cherishing,​ that point is made very clearly in the wheel of sharp weapons so it is important for us to really be certain about this in our mind.  Keep this in our mind.
 +
 +Since our mind is controlled ​ by self-cherishing and self-grasping then they are what holds power or sway over us.  We are under their power.
 +
 +Its important to continue to look into these matters. ​ Considering how exactly it is that self cherishing and self-grasping control our minds. ​ The better we understand this point then the better able, the more able we will be to recognise and identify these two things. ​ The more able we are to be able to recognise self-cherishing and self-grasping then the easier it becomes to apply the antidote to them doesn’t it?  ​
 +
 +We left of yesterday on page 9 verse 59 which reads:
 +59
 +We have great (desire for) new friends, but lacking consideration256 (friendship) does not
 +endure257.
 +We have great desire for food258 (etc.), but frantically seek259 these through stealing260.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +Having great desire for new friends means that when we encounter something appealing that we immediately go after it without properly investigating. ​ That’s what this having great desire for new friends means. ​ Lacking considering friendship does not endure but lacking consideration and being short lasting means that before too long we begin to see the faults. ​ We begin to see flaws. ​ And these are two of the greatest problems that we have, isn’t it.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand?
 +
 +Geshe-la often speaks about how when we encounter a new friend, a new companion that we might approach that person through the influence of attachment. ​ But when our approach to a new friend is controlled by attachment we don’t get the opportunity to really investigate that person. ​ Investigate the situation. ​  So that later with time that creates different problems, doesn’t it?
 +
 +So what if we were to cultivate loving kindness and compassion even if it wasn’t pure loving kindness and compassion. ​ Later when we encounter a new friend that practice would probably help us to get the opportunity to investigate him.  Don’t you think?
 +
 +Not having the opportunity to investigate comes about due to our attachment, the attachment in turn is due to self-cherishing and self-grasping.  ​
 +
 +How does it apply here?  Well, a lama might be giving a certain dharma teaching, people will say ‘Oh’ this lama is giving this new dharma teaching its going there and for us it is a new dharma and so we go chase after it.  Now if having chased after the dharma we were to really stick with it and it turns out well, that’s O.K.  That’s one thing but maybe we chase after this thing because it is a new dharma and we want the new dharma but after some time we become disillusioned with it and we turn around and begin to criticise or abuse the lama and so forth…..
 +
 +Its important that we first investigate the lama to determine whether this is good or bad, whether it is appropriate for us to proceed or not.  In the way to rely on a spiritual teacher we were instructed on the importance of investigating the teacher before relying on him or her. This relates here.
 +
 +We have great desire for food but frantically seek this through stealing. ​ The Tibetan talks about this great desire for food and drink but it also has a more general meaning like a great yearning. ​ So it also has great desires so that a person thinks, Oh I need this and I need this and I need that.  But a person wants this and wants that there is all sorts of things that everyone needs but not having the means to properly obtain such things they might turn to stealing and burglary to obtain the things that they want and they frantically seek these through stealing. ​ So it is important not to have such great desire in fact young people if they are not careful might find themselves in this situation, wanting this and wanting that and not having the means to obtain it and they turn to things like stealing to obtain it.
 +
 +In India amongst the Tibetans there are many young people who finish school and then turn to deception and stealing as a way of getting what they need.  There are many Indian people who do this and there are probably many Australians who do this also.  ​
 +
 +Our donation box was broken into wasn’t it?  And not so long ago the telephone was broken into.
 +
 +A young person with no means to get what he or she needs or desires then turns to stealing and so forth and often times this leads to use of drugs. ​ It is a very very unfortunate situation. ​ People turn to stealing and burglary because they think this is going to be a cause for their obtaining what they need but actually the commentary says that the cause for obtaining what one needs is making offerings to the precious rarities, the jewels and practicing generosity. ​ But people don’t do this.  Either they steal others riches or they burglar them and they go in search of different…they embark on all sorts of different endeavours to get what they need.  In fact the commentary says they go on trading missions to China and India.
 +
 +This is really kinda a Tibetan explanation Geshe-la says.  You say to a Tibetan that if you make offerings to the triple gem and you practice generosity then from this you will obtain resources and they believe that.  Even if they don’t obtain the resources in wealth and riches and so forth immediately then they generally, being Buddhist the Tibetans kept confidence in the belief that with time slowly they will obtain resources from these generous acts.  But around here you wouldn’t dare to just leave the explanation at that would you?  Because you could say to a person that by practicing generosity and making offerings to the triple gem you will obtain resources and riches and so forth. ​ So the person then goes about and practises generosity and they say Oh well I practise generosity but where are the results. ​ I don’t see any results. ​ It is said that resources will be obtained as a result of having practised generosity but it is difficult to say when you will obtain those resources isn’t it?  It is up to us to check. ​ That’s what the statement is made and we have to investigate whether or not it is true.  But still a person who practises generosity and then does not see immediate results is going to question, being an Australian or something, is going to question where the resources, the promised resources are because I don’t see them right here.  This type of explanation that we find in the commentary is really tailored to somebody who has found a deep conviction in actions and their effects or somebody who has a conviction a belief in these matters in general. ​ Its not enough for most people around here is it?
 +
 +So you have to check to see what is most appropriate for the people you are explaining things to.  ​
 +
 +We need to use our logic to investigate these statements that by making offerings to the triple gem and by practising generosity then we get the result of material resources. ​ We need to use our logic to try and find some certainty in these matters. ​ And once we have found some certainty that from this generosity comes resources then whether it comes about now or it comes about later we still know that these teachings are non-deceptive and with the confidence that we have not been deceived we do not feel regret about the generosity that we have performed. ​ About the offerings that we have made to the triple gem.  So it is important to use our logic to come to the conclusion that these statements are non-deceptive and thereby avoid regret about our generosity.
 +
 +There is a Tibetan saying…something that the Tibetans say.  A person will be advised if they are to sponsor a ceremony. ​ The ceremony will be performed and the person says well, it didn’t really help.  But sure, there is going to be some result, some effect. ​ There is some truth to that statement because maybe the ceremony didn’t help the immediate circumstance that it was intended for but because the person acted properly they acted well then certainly there would be an effect.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Nepal people black business ?and Nepal? ​ Some business people. ​ Then some black thing ? buy and then taking Nepal. ​ Then this day this person come time then necessarily some puja doing. ​ Only puja doing then always telephone this and this.  Sometimes police knowing and taking then say O.K. what time, maybe lunch time or before. ​ Then say O.K. now not benefit please go O.K.  Puja not finished. ​ (laughter). ​ Like this.  (laughter). ​ O.K. not benefit (inaudible) police taken (inaudible) puja (laughter) Tara puja (inaudible).
 +This very difficult. ​ Story Nepal, Nepal monks sometime this possible therefore Kopan monks very careful, what puja, what…
 +LZ: …… what is the puja for?
 +Geshe-la: ​ Be careful, like this sometimes …….
 +These people aren’t thinking about actions and their effects. ​ They don’t believe in actions and their effects. ​ They are just looking for the immediate outcome or the result. And when that immediate outcome is not met then they say well O.K. forget it, its over, finish the puja early.
 +This great desire for new friends the fact that these friendships do not endure our great desire, this great yearning for different all come about due to self cherishing and self grasping and so we say;
 +
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +60
 +We are expert261 in flattery262 and innuendo263 but (suffer) great despair264.
 +Though cautious265 with our hoard of money266 we are bound by avarice267.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +These things also come about in dependence upon self-cherishing and self-grasping.
 +
 +Flattery and innuendo are two of the wrong, five wrong livelihoods. ​ Flattery refers to doing things to impress people, you know if you say a flattering word you speak or do something that impresses or makes something ornate or adorn something beautiful. ​ Innuendo is like suggestion so that although you don’t directly ask for riches and so forth you might tell a different story about how in the past this person did this for another person and it worked out very well and it was very beneficial to the recipient. ​ And so in an indirect way you suggest that another do something for you.  Innuendo.
 +
 +It says in the commentary here, that in the past I taught such and such a dharma to these people and these were the rewards that I received as a result. ​ So of course the implication there is why don’t you also give me something like this.  This is to impress a dharma teacher.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ This is really nice. 
 +
 +With the hope that you will receive a similar material gain and respect then you make some effort to get something.
 +
 +Teaching the dharma or something to this effect in order to get material gains is inappropriate for a dharma teacher. ​ In fact in the definition or the defining characteristics of a spiritual friend such things are addressed. ​ One of the defining characteristics of a spiritual friend is that they have a compassion and concern for those they teach. ​ Which is to say that they are teaching the dharma to benefit these people. ​ If a person were to teach the dharma with the hope….in order to gain financially,​ this would be inappropriate. ​ It is up to the students to investigate whether an individual has such motivation in teaching or not.  ​
 +
 +Some of the other types of wrong livelihoods include acquiring through clever schemes and seeking to gain through giving. ​ The text also mentions suffering great despair. ​ And this great despair here refers to a person who has a certain amount of goods and things available to him or herself but they are continually beset by the thought that Oh I’m so poor, Oh I don’t have anything. ​ This is the great despair.
 +
 +So basically this despair here refers to the feeling that you are without.
 +
 +The thought that you are without and therefore you cannot make offerings to the triple gem, you cannot practise generosity and so forth.  ​
 +
 +The text also mentions that we are bound by avarice. ​ These are due to self-cherishing and self-grasping.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +61
 +We have done little for others268 but we greatly brag269.
 +We have no accomplishments270 yet we have great conceit271.
 +
 +We have done little for others means that although we have done very very little for lamas and Sangha etc, we act as if we have done a great deal.  ​
 +
 +We might do a little for somebody, maybe it relates to the dharma maybe it relates to helping them financially. ​ Although we have done only a little for that person, we act as if we have done a great deal.  So this is to act in a conceited way.
 +
 +Doing very little but bragging that one has done a lot.  The word here that is translated as bragging also implies bemoaning. ​ So you do just a little bit for a person but you go on and on about how you did so much.
 +
 +We have no accomplishments yet we have great conceit. ​ Maybe we have very little to show for ourselves, our dharma qualities are quite sparse or meagre. ​ But we act as if we have very great qualities and so forth. ​ We act in a very conceited way.  ​
 +
 +These are all due to self-cherishing and self-grasping. ​ We should keep this in mind when we talk about Oh this person did this and that person did that, that person stole and this person did this other bad thing or even that I’m bad, because we have to remember that it is not the person, him or herself who is bad but the strength of self-cherishing and so forth in that’s persons continuum that makes them do certain acts.  In short all of this advice is meant to remind us of the short comings of self cherishing and self grasping.
 +
 +We should in fact do the opposite of what is being described in these lines. ​ We should do a great deal for others and bemoan it very seldom. ​ We should do a great deal and brag about it very little or not at all.  Self-cherishing doesn’t allow us to act that way.  ​
 +
 +62
 +We have many masters272 but take little responsibility273 for our words of commitment274.
 +We have many students but do little for their benefit275 or care276.
 +
 +This also is due to self-cherishing.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ This very clear isn’t it?
 +
 +It’s O.K. to have many masters but we need to properly guard the samayas, these words of commitment. ​ It’s not O.K. to not guard the samayas that you have taken. ​ If you have these many masters.  ​
 +
 +Similarly it is O.K. to have many students but you must be careful and looking out for their benefit. ​ You must be cautious in looking to see if they are being benefited or not.  Though it is fine to have many students but the danger is that you end up doing little for their benefit and your care for them declines. ​ You want to be careful to not allow this to happen. ​
 +
 +63
 +We have many commitments277 but we have little practice of benefit278 to others.
 +We have great fame279 yet when examined280 even spirits and the divine are embarrassed281.
 +
 +This is true isn’t it?  We make many promises but have very little practice. ​ We have this problem don’t we?
 +
 +Great fame is like having a very good reputation isn’t it?  Everyone says Oh yeah this person is such a good person, but when you investigate and you can forget about the deities even the demons or devils are embarrassed because they see the contradiction between what is said about the person and what is actually true.  Forget about gods, even spirits are embarrassed.
 +
 +Generally it is very important that we have good behariour. ​ We have the three doors body, speech and mind and our behaviour or the conduct of the three doors aught to be good.  So while it is important that we display a good physical and verbal behaviour to others we want to be careful that our thoughts and our intentions do not fall prey to the different poisons of desirous attachment, hostility and delusion, because there is the danger that although a person has externally behaved or conducted him or herself well that there mind is controlled by these different disturbing emotions. ​ We want to be careful so that this does not come about.
 +
 +This commentary speaks very clearly on these issues. ​ It says that although we have a great many commitments that we have made like for instance promising to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. ​ But we get drawn away by the nose from all of these commitments,​ these samayas that we are meant to be guarding so that we have very little practice to show.  There is very little that we do that we could say is ‘this is what I do for the sake of others’. ​ This is what is meant by the line ‘We have many commitments but we have little practice of benefit to others.’  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la has often commented on the fact that we all like to cultivate loving kindness, compassion and the mind of enlightenment. ​ Yet in practicing these things there are many commitments,​ many trainings that we are meant to abide by and even if you don’t have the vows there are still many things that you might do that violate the trainings of loving kindness, compassion and the mind of enlightenment and so we need to be careful not to do things that violate these practices.
 +
 +Its very important to understand these matters. ​ It says likewise, externally different lamas and tulkus and geshes may have very great reputations but secretly if you were to investigate their continuum and their conduct then forget about these mundane and transcendent deities I mean even harmful spirits would be embarrassed. ​ Geshe-la was saying…the second line doesn’t just refer to everyone it in fact refers to lamas and geshes and stuff like this. 
 +Geshe-la: ​  Lama, Geshe, Tulku. ​ (inaudible) not me.  (laughter).
 +
 +It mentions evil spirits right? ​ There are certain evil spirits with high awareness mushe so they would understand what is the case for a person and seeing the discrepancy between the reputation and the way they actually are even the evil spirits would be embarrassed.
 +
 +Even…these also come about due to self-cherishing and self-grasping. ​ As before we should see the role that these two things play in creating these situations.  ​
 +
 +64
 +We have heard few282 (teachings) but greatly boast283 of our description of emptiness284.
 +We have little (knowledge of) scripture285 but apply that to everything286.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +Now Geshe-la has just read from the commentary and it says for example, householders might ask certain dharma questions to persons who have done some study and reflection and then the person who has been asked the question might think how to respond. ​  They want to respond in a way that suits the person asking the question. ​ So the thought process occurs and ‘what are they capable of understanding’? ​  This seems to be the appropriate way to go about it.  Otherwise you just go ahead and say everything you know about the subject and it is not necessarily going to be beneficial to the person asking the question is it?
 +
 +This is good instruction for how we should respond to dharma questions. ​ That we should investigate the person and figure what they are capable of understanding and then our response should be tailored to what is appropriate to them.  If a person has a good understanding then it would be excellent if you could give them a really good and full explanation. ​ If a person however does not have such a good understanding then what is the benefit in giving this elaborate and complete explanation. ​ I was actually, just before Geshe-la came down, someone approached me and asked ‘what is samsara?’ I didn’t get a chance to answer because Geshe-la was coming right down there. ​ I told Geshe-la about it and he said it is like that there how should you respond to such a question? ​ You have to figure out what is the most appropriate response for this person in this circumstance. ​ Otherwise you end up giving all this explanation to somebody who doesn’t understand what you are saying. ​ So here in the commentary it is saying that a person might think that if I was to explain this thing as it actually is they wouldn’t get it.  So they then give a response that is tailored to the questioners capacity.
 +
 +Now that the proper way of addressing a question has been addressed now we look at a possible improper way of doing  so.  The commentary mentions that a person who is like a fraud or you might even say a charlatan might be asked a question about practice these days.  Without considering how things actually are they posit a response. ​ For instance they might say that if you realised the mind then that is Buddha and there is no need to search for Buddha elsewhere and so forth. ​ Generally speaking you can give this type of explanation and such a thing can be appropriate but maybe in the circumstances that they are speaking about the person who is asking has asked a question that is unrelated to this point. ​ Yet the person doesn’t want to admit that they don’t understand. ​ They don’t want to admit to the fact that they haven’t done a great deal of study, they haven’t done a great deal of listening. ​ So rather than respond to the question at hand they will go on and just come up with some fabricated answer like….without doing a single thing you just rest in the nature.  ​
 +
 +In fact you can place the mind in the nature without doing a single thing. ​ For instance if you realise emptiness you can without invoking any conception simply place the mind in its nature. ​ You can indeed do this in a state of equipoise.
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand?
 +
 +But before you enter into a state of concentration which rests in the nature you must realise that nature mustn’t you?   ​Whether it is the nature of mind or the nature of anything else before you can rest in that you must realise it.
 +
 +However, a person might not have realised the nature and does not….and having not realised the nature they might also not take anything to mind at all and claim that this is resting in the nature and so forth. ​ This is just like this blank form of meditation not realising the nature and not doing anything at all.
 +
 +The texts do indeed speak about placing the mind in the nature without doing a single thing. ​ But another person might come along and take these statements and ignore the need to identify or realise the nature and simply encourage a person to do nothing at all and then say to do nothing at all you are resting in the nature. ​ This of course is to act as if a person understands what in fact they do not.
 +
 +Then there is this other statement if you realise mind that is Buddha and there is no need to search for Buddha elsewhere. ​ You could say that to somebody and they understand. ​ There is reason to make this kind of statement. ​ But you might say it to somebody that understands and you might say it to somebody who doesn’t understand and there is a difference there isn’t there? ​ A person who doesn’t understand such matters might be told that if you realise mind then that is Buddha and there is no need to search for Buddha elsewhere but what purpose does that serve when they don’t really understand the background or the context for this kind of statement. ​ It can be said in a valid way and where it is appropriate but we need to distinguish between saying it to those who know and just simply saying it as a way of passing of knowledge and so forth.
 +
 +There is no need to search for Buddha elsewhere. ​ That itself is accurate isn’t it?   
 +
 +But to say that if you realise mind then you attain buddhahood then that is perhaps making it out to be too easy.  ​
 +
 +Nyingmas and Kagyu have a way of giving an introduction to mind.  What they are doing in fact is introducing the student to the nature of mind.  Mind has both a relative and an ultimate nature and according to the Gelugs a student has to be introduced to the ultimate nature of mind.  Being to the relative nature of mind by itself is by no means sufficient. ​ It is simply not enough. ​ There seems to be however some disagreements about these issues whereas some people say that introducing the student to the relative nature of mind is enough. ​ So its in the gap between these different positions that there are certain debates or disputes that a person has.
 +
 +There are those who understand these matters. ​ And for those who understand then that is a different matter but there are also copy caters, people who don’t understand such things and will go around saying that is you are introduced to mind then you will attain buddhahood and so forth. ​ This copycatting without understanding is not good.  This is not appropriate.
 +
 +(Some general discussion to identify a person)
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ His visit here he me translator Woodford. ​ Nice boy.  He said ? Rinpoche, I teaching some Dzogchen, I practice Dzogchen. ​ Then I say I like Dzogchen we discuss something. ​ He really not knowing (inaudible). ​ (inaudible) not mainly talking, just sitting and then not nothing ​ (transferred to Tibetan)
 +Geshe-la being quite interested in Dzogchen asked ?? well O.K. if you are Dzogchen practitioner then tell me a bit about the practice and all he could come up with was that without thinking anything at all you just relax the mind.  Geshe-la found this quite humorous that he went around acting as if he was a Dzogchen practitioner but that was the most that he could say about the practice. ​ Although Geshe-la says that the two of them are good friends and he is a nice boy but he wasn’t too impressed with his ability to explain the practice.  ​
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ He before a ? monastery monk.  One again an American man His Holiness said (transferred to Tibetan).
 +His Holiness met an American man who had this experience he became a bit dizzy and then fainted. ​ This man related his experience to His Holiness saying ‘the best Dzogchen I ever experienced was when I fainted’ or became dizzy and fainted. ​ So His Holiness then said I don’t think he has been properly introduced to Dzogchen. ​ (laughter)
 +
 +The basic point is that when we talk about placing the mind in the nature and not doing anything at all we are not…this is not some light or indiscriminate matter. ​ Its certainly not a blank state.  ​
 +
 +We have little knowledge of scripture means that a person has not studied the scriptures at great length. ​ And to apply that to everything means that one speaks falsely and applies that to a great many things.
 +
 +So here once again that apply that to everything refers to a person saying all sorts of false things and thereby deceiving others. ​ So we shouldn’t listen to these types of people. ​ There are people who don’t want to study but like to explain topics and when a person doesn’t study very widely ​ but likes to give a lot of explanations then certainly there is the possibility for misunderstanding. ​ In fact, of course, if that is what they are doing then they are going to say a lot of false things. ​  We should be careful.
 +
 +Geshe-la thinks there is a certain danger to the person who wants to be a teacher but who does not want to do a great deal of study. ​ Excuse me, I should say the person who wants to be a teacher but does not really want to study.
 +
 +65
 +We have many attendants287 but no one takes responsibility288.
 +We have many masters289 but lack support290 or protection.
 +
 +This is also due to self-cherishing.  ​
 +
 +66
 +We have high status291 but our qualities are less than a spirit292.
 +We are great gurus but our attachment and hatred are coarser293 than a demons294.
 +
 +It is important for both student and teacher to try and diminish desirous attachment and hostility. ​ This is what the dharma is for isn’t it?  What is the dharma for if not to reduce our desirous attachment and our hostility? ​ It is very important that this is what our dharma practice is directed at.  ​
 +
 +67
 +We have high views295 but our behaviour296 is worse than a dogs.
 +We have many qualities but cast to the wind their foundation297.
 +
 +These things are due to self cherishing and self-grasping and in this world you encounter all sorts of different types of people and we need to be careful not to loose our loving kindness and compassion for them.  If we can remember that these types of behaviour are due to self-cherishing and self-grasping we begin to develop even greater loving kindness and compassion for these people. ​
 +
 +For beginners it is most important to abandon negativities and accomplish virtue and in addition then engage in the three trainings. ​ For abandoning negativities and accomplishing virtue are the main practices of the stages of the path held in common with small scope beings and the three trainings are main practices of the stages of the path held in common with the middle scope beings. ​ Then the best way to enhance and increase those is through practising loving kindness, compassion and the mind of enlightenment. ​ The basic point being that our practice should integrate these different elements.
 +
 +Otherwise a person might practise mantra but forget about the intention to definitely emerge and the mind of enlightenment. ​ In fact this is something that Geshe-la has seen with his own eyes in certain acquaintances of his.  People who focus only upon meditating on the deity but leave these other things behind. ​ Or a person might emphasise the practice of the mind of enlightenment but then neglect the abandoning of negativities and the accomplishment of virtue. ​ Really trying to get the loving kindness and compassion to develop. ​ But this is a bit strange and we should be careful not to neglect or loose the foundations in pursuing these things.
 +
 +In The way of the Bodhisattva Shantideva says that practising the mind of enlightenment is the best way to abandon negativities and accumulate merit. ​ In fact the practice of the mind of enlightenment is very much abandoning negativities oneself and increasing ones merit. ​ To fully accomplish the welfare of others you really need the support of your own welfare. ​ So you would say that Bodhisattvas would do things for their own sake.  ​
 +
 +So we will leave it there. ​ Do you have any questions?
 +
 +Student: ​ (inaudible)
 +The example for innuendo that we looked at was quite a blatant or obvious one.  What about when the innuendo is more subtle. ​ That seems to be one question. ​ Then the other question is what if you have said something and you think that it might sort of be innuendo and then the person then offers it to you and you think Oh maybe I shouldn’t take it because I have actually suggested that they give it to me but you feel that the person might be upset if you don’t take it.  So what to do in that situation.
 +
 +Innuendo can be quite subtle, true.  The text describing innuendo is involving the motivation or the hope that another person gives you something. ​ So you might say that in the past I did such and such a thing and a person gave me such and such a thing. And part of the motivation for making this statement is that you hope that they will the person you are speaking to will then give you something. ​ If you are speaking in a forthright manner and you just happen to say incidentally that in the past such and such a person gave me this thing and it helps out but you do so without the hope that they are going to give you something that is not innuendo. ​ When the text describes innuendo they say it has to do with motivation. ​ It depends on motivation. ​
 +
 +Or maybe you give something to someone in the hope that by giving this thing to them you are going to something in return. ​ If that is your motivation then that would probably be considered another type wrong livelihood as you are seeking to gain through giving. ​ Whether it is fully fledged seeking to gain through giving or not Geshe-la is not sure, but it would probably be counted as that.  If however, you just give someone a gift without any hope of return or getting anything then that couldn’t be considered hoping to gain through giving.
 +
 +Whether or not an act counts as innuendo or seeking to gain through giving and so forth has to be established in relation to oneself. ​ So if totally independent of (independent is one word right) totally independent of ones own motivation doing these acts counts as innuendo or seeking gain through giving well then how could we possibly establish innuendo and seeking to gain through giving. You couldn’t really. ​ So that is why an act counts as one of these things if the motivation is present.
 +
 +There is nothing that the Buddha taught that cannot be accomplished. ​ In other words, we are encouraged to avoid innuendo and so forth, right? ​ If our motivation had nothing to do with whether an act is innuendo or not then we couldn’t possibly avoid innuendo could we.  And of all the buddha’s teachings there is nothing that cannot be accomplished. ​ Does that make sense, do you understand that?  I’m not sure that that came through clearly in my translation. ​ No.  I’ll try again, yeah.   ​Geshe-la was saying that innuendo and seeking to gain through giving come about in dependence upon a persons motivation. ​ Whether or not a particular act is innuendo or some other thing has to be determined in relation to oneself. ​ And we are encouraged to give up such acts.  So if a particular act counted as innuendo etc wholly independent of ones own motivation then we couldn’t possibly give that act up could we?  Yet in the buddha’s teachings, the Buddha didn’t teach anything that cannot be accomplished. ​ In other words everything the Buddha taught can be done.  ​
 +
 +You might say something and another person interprets that as flattery but you from your side had no intention of flattery. ​ If that person then thinks I am being flattering that is not a fault of mine is it.  ​
 +
 +Even if another person thinks he is using flattery that is not necessarily a fault of mine is it.  Not if I didn’t have that intention. ​
 +
 +It’s a fault on his or her part isn’t it?  Because it is a mistake in their thinking.
 +
 +In the things that we should avoid to protect the Bodhisattva vows we find similar advice. ​ The Bodhisattva accepts things that are given… Oh excuse me I just need to check with Geshe-la…
 +In the secondary offences of the Bodhisattva vows there is one that relates to not accepting silver and gold and so forth. ​ If a person offers you silver or gold with a positive motivation then there is a fault in your not taking it.  That is the other aspect of your question.
 +
 +We will leave it there for today.
 +
 +End side B
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +Buddhist Studies Programme
 +Subject: Wheel of Sharp Weapons
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering
 +Translator: Ven Lozang Zopa 
 +Tape No: 8
 +Date of Teaching: 15 Nov. 03
 +Transcriber:​ Tenzin Tsepal & Lozang Rigsal
 +
 +Side A
 +
 +We left off yesterday with verse 68 which is found in page 10 which reads:
 +
 +68
 +Every hatred and desire enters our inner being.
 +Everything crooked and deceitful we meaninglessly attribute to others
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +When practicing the mind of enlightenment through the practice of equalizing and exchanging self and others, we’re taught from the very outset to reflect upon the shortcoming of self-cherishing. In doing so we should think of as many of the shortcomings of self-cherishing as we can. So drawing upon our own experience, we think of whatever shortcomings that we’re aware of. Even if we’re unable to do this then it would be good if we could read through the Wheel of Sharp Weapons and look at all the different shortcomings that are illustrated here. The practice would probably develop well if we were to do this.
 +
 +Every hatred and desire enters our inner being, everything crooked and deceitful we meaninglessly attribute to others. Anything crooked or deceitful, that is anything that goes wrong we try to pass off as the act of others. We try to through responsibility for such unsatisfactory things to others. We meaninglessly attribute them to others. This is something that we don’t really have to train in. we don’t have to learn to study, do we, this thought that I’m good and they’re bad, that I’m doing well and they’re not. It’s something that just comes naturally to us but this also comes about through self-cherishing and self-grasping. It’s not that I am bad, that you are bad, rather it’s self-cherishing and self-grasping.
 +
 +We say, “that person is bad because they such and such a bad thing.” We use bad acts as a reason that prove they themselves are bad. But actually if we look at  what is said in the text then that is not a correct reason for establishing that a person is bad. “This person is bad because they have done this bad thing.” We use all sorts of these types of reasons but actually it’s self-cherishing and self-grasping,​ the desirous attachment and hostility that’s in their continuum that leads that is bad. If we were then to say that this person does these bad things because they are forced to, because they are compelled to through self-grasping,​ self-cherishing,​ desirous attachment and hostility, that would be accurate. To say that that person is bad, perhaps not.
 +
 +Say a person gets hit over the head with a stick and you say, “Take that stick. It’s is bad because it has hit me over the head.” That’s not a correct reason, is it? 
 +
 +Or you say, “This stick is bad because it’s made me suffering.” When you get hit over the head with a stick or anywhere on the body, the place that is struck is going to have some pain, some suffering. So then you use the fact that it’s made your suffering as a reason to prove that it is bad. Consider the subject which is the basis of dispute which is the stick. Look into the situation surrounding the stick. Look into the stick’s nature. This stick is powerless and was taken up by another person and was used by that person to hit me over the head. The stick itself did not get up on its own accord and hit me. so you can’t say that the stick is bad because it’s made me suffer.
 +
 +Or we might say that a person is bad because they kill, because they steal, because they commit sexual misconduct and so forth, but really look into this. The person is bad because they kill, the person is bad because they steal, the person is bad because they have taken what is not given. Once again, we must investigate the subject which is the basis of dispute and we find that simply because the person has done those acts is not reason enough to say that they are bad because the person themselves is powerless. The person itself committed those acts because that person is controlled by self-cherishing,​ by self-grasping and so forth.
 +
 +Basically, it’s the person’s mind and that person’s mind is controlled in turn by self-cherishing. We need to continue to investigate this further and further.
 +
 +What is the reason for studying reasons and logic? What is the purpose of studying logic? It is to comprehend certain theses, right? So to understand an thesis, of course, we say that you must establish the position property. To establish the position property you must consider the situation surrounding the subject which is the basis of dispute. You have to have a good understanding of the subject which is the basis of dispute and then you go on to consider the reason and what the relationship is between the subject and the reason. And through this, only then can you establish the position property. First you must establish by valid awareness the subject which is the basis of dispute. Without doing that you cannot possibly establish the position property, can you? If we’re able to investigate the subject which is the basis of dispute and these other elements then we begin to establish things in a way that follows the path of reasoning, the line of reasoning. Then through following this process we come to find correct reasons, don’t we?
 +
 +In brief, if we have a clear understanding then what we practice will be excellent practice. If our practice is assisted or accompanied by wisdom, it will be easier to develop realizations,​ wsidom possessing realizations or comprehensions. This is the basic point.
 +
 +So it says, “Dance on the head of this ruinous conception. Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.” This is of course referring to both self-cherishing and self-grasping,​ and the need to recognize and overcome the conceived object of them.
 +
 +The next verse reads:
 +69
 +We wear saffron robes but make requests to guardian protector spirits.
 +We take vows but our behaviour conforms with (the actions of) demons.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +The saffron robes refers to the saffron robes of the ordained. It mentions these guardian protector spirits. There are a variety of different classes of gods and spirits that people might turn to. They might turn to them for guardianship and protection yet in fact the actual guardian or protector are the vows within your own continuum. If a person were not to turn to the vows in their own continuum as a guardian and protector, rather they turn to gods and spirits, this is rather unfortunate for the actual guardian and protector is found in the vows themselves. Geshe-la says this perhaps is not so common in western culture. In Tibetan culture you have this notion of the descent of a deity where you have like an oracle that descends into a medium and Tibetans regard such a thing quite highly so they turn to them seeking success in their businesses or make certain requests that things work out well or maybe they’ll make certain ritual offerings and offer incense to local spirits and land guardians and these types of things.
 +
 +They will turn to these types of gods and spirits seeking refuge, seeking protection. It’s ok to solicit assistance from these types of spirits and gods but it’s not ok to take refuge from them and this is where the problem lies. It’s quite unfortunate if a person fails to turn to the real guardian protectors and turns to these class of spirits for protection. ​
 +
 +In taking the vows of individual liberation or the vows of a bodhisattva or the mantra vows, we do so primarily through going for refuge so that taking the vows of refuge is a necessary prerequisite for participating in an of these vow ceremonies. Whether you’re taking the vows of a lay person known as the vows of approaching virtue, or whether you’re taking the vows of a novice/​getsul or the vows of a bodhisattva then you still must do so through primarily through going for refuge. Why? In taking vows there are certain things that we are told that you should do this and you should not do that. The prescriptions and prohibitions are not things that any old person just made up. Rather, they are based upon what a person has seen through his own experience, what is faulty and what is beneficial or advantageous,​ what are flaws and what are qualities. In fact, it was the Buddha himself who came upon such tihgs through his own experience and then gave the advice of the prohibition. The guidance or the things that are proscribed and prohibited in the vows need to be compatible with this so that in abiding by these vows we do not act in a way that violates the basic experience of Shakyamuni Buddha. ​
 +
 +So if you take these vows then you necessarily must go for refuge to the Buddha.
 +
 +If you do not have a good refuge or if you do not properly go for refuge to the Buddha then this is a sign that you do not have the pure vows, or rather it’s a sign that you are not properly guarding the vows. Because vows are a promise, aren’t they?
 +
 +And what promise are you making? The basic or root promise that you’re making is that I will follow ​
 +follow the advice of Shakyamuni Buddha, correct?
 +
 +If you wear the saffron robes then you have become ordained and in being ordained that you have committed yourself in following the Buddha’s advice and if that is the case and you fail to seek protection in those ways but rather turn to worldly spirits and gods then it’s very unfortunate,​ very sad state of affairs.
 +
 +Going for refuge as we often talk about it is like recitation, they are words themselves but proper refuge has to be found in the mind. We locate proper refuge in the mind. Properly speaking then going for refuge is to mentally place all your trust in Buddha, one pointedly placing your trust in Buddha.
 +
 +In many Tibetan gompas, Tibetan monasteries like Sera you’ll have the main image will be one of Shakyamuni and then you’ll have, for instance, like Lama Tsong Khapa and his disciples and then off to one side you’ll have a statue of a guardian, what we often times call a protector, like for instance Palden Lhamo. In front of Palden Lhamo you’ll have an offering of made of black tea. When Tibetans come to visit these temples they put a whole bunch of money in front of Palden Lhamo and her little black tea offering but very little money is offered in front of Shakyamuni Buddha, right? This is what we do, isn’t it? We turn to the protector, the guardian and, “Oh, the protector, the protector, the guardian, help me!” in fact, this is why His Holiness has said that the way that people rely upon or turn to these guardians is incorrect. His Holiness has made many protests and has been very outspoken in how the way we rely on guardians is incorrect and this is why. Look, we turn to the guardian before the Buddha.
 +
 +It’s not such a problem around here. You don’t have so many people making offering in front of Shakyamuni but then you don’t have so many people making offerings in front of the protectors either so it’s not that big of an issue around here among westerners.
 +
 +We take vows but our behaviour conforms to the actions of demons. Geshe-la supposes that we could understand this in the following way. When we’re taking vows we’re given advice that to so this is acceptable, to do this is not acceptable. Rather than guard this advice that we receive that this is acceptable and that’s acceptable when taking vows, we follow the advice that self-cherishing gives us. We follow the advice that self-cherishing gives us, doing everything that our self-cherishing tells us to do so that we don’t follow the advice of the vows but our actions conform with the advice that we receive from self-cherishing. We take our vows but our behaviour does not conform with them; if conforms with the demon of self-cherishing.
 +
 +This integrated self-cherishing and self-grasping is really the demon or mara of definitive meaning, isn’t it? 
 +
 +We take the bodhisattva vow and in doing so we’re called upon to guard against the 18 root downfalls and the 46 secondary offences, correct. We’re meant to do the best we can to guard against such things. Geshe-la includes himself in this bit of advice. He doesn’t mean to present himself as someone who is doing so impeccably, but he says that for all of us, since we have taken these vows, we are meant to be guarding against the root downfalls and the secondary offences. Though that is the case we still do exactly as instructed by our sense of self-cherishing. This is taking the vows but having our behaviour conform to demons. ​
 +
 +So from this point forward we must apply the antidote to self-grasping and self-cherishing,​ dance on the head of this ruinous conception, slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +70
 +Our bliss and happiness is bestowed by the divine but we make offerings to ferocious
 +spirits.
 +Our Guide bestows dharma (on us) but we deceive the (three) Jewels.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +71
 +Though we always live in monasteries we are carried away  by distraction.
 +We request holy dharma in temples but (instead) practice (the art of) divination.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +72
 +We forsake317 ethics and liberation318 and hold to (the life) of a householder319.
 +We pour away320 the water of bliss and happiness and pursue321 (further) suffering.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +73
 +We forsake322 the ford323 of liberation and roam324 to the ends of the earth325.
 +We have found326 this precious (human) body but (instead) establish hellish realms327.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +74
 +We leave aside328 the transformation dharma (brings) and engage329 in trade and profit330.
 +We cast aside331 our guru’s instruction332 and roam (other) cities and countries333.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +75
 +We store334 our own income335 and plunder336 (other’s) savings337.
 +We store our father’s inheritance338 and steal339 from others.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +76
 +Oh, we have little perseverance340 in meditation, but are keen341 for higher perception.
 +We have not attained342 the various paths, but meaninglessly rush about343.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +77
 +When (others) advise us344 to benefit us345, with a mind of hatred we hold them as an enemy.
 +When (others) deceive us by turning our head346, though heartless347 we hold348 them as kind.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +78
 +When (others) rely on349 us as family350, we disclose351 their heart’s secrets352 to their enemies.
 +When (others) are constant friends353, lacking consideration354 we take everything from
 +them355.
 +Dance on the head of this ruinous conception.
 +Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.
 +
 +Our bliss and happiness is bestowed by the divine but we make offerings to ferocious spirits. ​ The word divine, the deity, the god could be taken to refer to worldly ones or transcendent ones but in any case if we just look some of the connotations of the divine. ​ If we think of the divine or deities as those who help us, those who offer us support and assistance, correct? ​ So if we take a more general understanding of the term divine then the divine is that which helps and that which assists. ​ Whereas the ferocious or the harmful spirits would be those who are, quite clearly, causing harm  and so forth. ​ Our happiness and pleasure comes from the divine and yet what is the real divine? ​ The real divine would be cherishing others. And the real ferocious or harmful spirit would be self-cherishing,​ wouldn’t it?  And so though our bliss and happiness comes from cherishing others we make offering to self-cherishing. ​ In fact that the supreme offering is the offering of practice don’t we?  And here we are offering our practice to self-cherishing but neglecting and being indifferent to the cherishing of others. ​ Although our happiness and bliss actually comes from the divine sense of cherishing others we worship, we turn to, we make offerings to the self-cherishing.  ​
 +Geshe-la: ​ Understand?
 +
 +Of all offerings the offering of practice is supreme. ​ Yeah?  And here we are trying to accomplish the intentions set forth by our self-cherishing. ​ And so we make the offering of practice to self-cherishing don’t we?  And we don’t so easily make offerings to cherishing others do we?
 +
 +So it is quite accurate this statement that ‘our bliss and happiness is bestowed by the divine but we make offerings to ferocious spirits’.
 +
 +Our Guide bestows dharma (on us) but we deceive the (three) Jewels. ​ What is it that guides us from suffering and its causes? ​ What is it that guides us away from these things? ​ Well really, it is the dharma, in fact the dharma jewel, correct? ​ And it is the buddha jewel that teaches us unerringly the way to become free from such things, and it is the Sangha jewel that assists us or helps us in doing so.  So though the guides are found in the dharma jewel ultimately and the three jewels in general, we are not honest and straight forward with them, we don’t do exactly as it says, rather we deceive them.  ​
 +Though we always live in monasteries we are carried away by distractions. ​     We request holy dharma in temples but instead practice (the are of) divination. ​ The word Gompa is the word we use for monasteries but actually it has another meaning which is isolation or seclusion. ​ In fact in the Vinaya it says that Gompa means seclusion. ​ And so properly speaking a place of seclusion is a place that is outside of  like a kroda as they say or not within calling distance of a town or a village. ​ There are of course Gompas, monasteries that are within this calling distance, or hailing distance as we were saying before, within hailing distance of a town but those are not, properly speaking, Gompa in the sense of a place of seclusion. ​ A proper Gompa would be outside that distance.  ​
 +In the Abhidharma ​ this kroda or hailing distance is calculated as being 500 double arm spans.  ​
 +Properly speaking a Gompa or place of seclusion needs to be at least 500 arm spans away from a town.  The root text is quite clear isn’t it?  It says that ‘though we always live in monasteries we are carried away by distraction’ so perhaps bodily you stay in a monastery or place of seclusion but mentally you are always thinking of the town and the goings on that occur there. ​ In that case then although physically you are inside a place of seclusion, mentally you are unable to remain in seclusion. ​ So you are not really fulfilling the purpose or the meaning of being in seclusion. ​ Perhaps bodily you always remain here staying at Chenrezig but mentally you are always going down to Maroochydore and Mooloolaba and so forth.  ​
 +The commentary here describes it like…lets say a person stays in a Gompa…the commentary here is more in the sense of…is more related to the sense of the word Gompa as a place of seclusion. So a person stays in the place of seclusion but is always going down to perform rituals and ceremonies for the people in the village and so forth always interacting with them.  This is kinda what this commentary is talking about. ​  In English we have it translated as monastery and we…this is the meaning that often attach to the word Gompa, monastery. ​ But in accord with the Vinaya it should probably, properly be understood as a place of seclusion.
 +Generally distraction is mainly refers to mental distraction. ​  ​Distraction of mind.  But in the commentary here the throne holder Tempa Rabgye talked about distraction in terms of being distracted towards performing rituals in the villages. ​ Always going down to villages and towns and so forth. ​ Maybe one is distracted by good food, or one is distracted by the money offerings that one receives. ​ It seems that, as Geshe-la says its like I go for refuge to the throne holder Tempa Rabgye, he seemed to be quite sharp tongued, actually, he seemed to be scolding the monks quite a bit.  He decided that he had to be a bit tough on the monks here, so he scolds people for being distracted towards the towns and the activities and doing ceremonies and so forth.
 +
 +We request holy dharma in temples but (instead) practice (the art of) divinitation. We receive the holy dharma, teachings. ​ We receive teachings on the ‘The stages of the Path’ and Mind Training and so forth but we don’t try to accomplish those teachings. ​ Rather we spend our time in doing things like divination or all sorts of different types of arts like you might say medicine or astrology and so forth. ​ There are of course such things. ​ So a person nurtures the activities like divination and astrology rather than try and accomplish the teachings that one has received on the Stages of the Path and Mind Training.
 +
 +If these things are done out of a sense of self-cherishing it is not good.  If however, being controlled by cherishing others of course we need to work  to accomplish their welfare. ​ We need to work to accomplish their benefit, correct? ​ The basic point is that if you are engaging in these types of acts solely for personal gain for profit this is not acceptable, this is not good.  You have to do things on behalf of others when you are influenced by cherishing of them.
 +
 +End side A 
 +
 +…..?? has given a piece of advice he says that……
 +LZ:  it helps when you are feeling particularly dense when he says ‘he may as well have translated it himself’. ​ Excuse me.
 +
 + Jampa Yang gave this piece of advice he says ‘do not grasp on to the secondary branches while dismissing the root by being deceived by things such as literature, poetry and medicine etc’. ​ So certain things, certain traditional arts like literature, like grammar, and spelling and so forth. ​ Things like poetry, and things like medicine etc that one can justifiable study but these are considered secondary branches. They are not the real root of things. ​ The person might dismiss or ignore the very root of things while clutching on to the branches thereby holding on to what is secondary and overlooking the main point. ​ Many of the teachers at the monastic seats like Sera will continually quote this piece of advice to the younger students and say that is why they don’t allow many of the younger monks to spend their time studying grammar and literature because they might do so to the neglect of their textual studies.
 +
 +One time Geshe-la was sitting down in his room to write a letter back home and his teacher Gen Loda  came along probably to see what Geshe-la was doing. ​ To see whether or not Geshe-la was studying the text.  Gen Loda seemed to be under the impression that Geshe-la was just practicing his writing because back where Geshe-la is from in Kunzi there is a school and Geshe-la spent a bit of time at that school. ​ Gen Loda walked in saw what Geshe-la was doing and without saying a word smacked him on this check, smacked him on that check and grabbed the piece of paper away from him and walked away.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Like this.
 +
 +Once the Tibetans came to India the situation totally changed. ​ Back in Tibet you could very well just never study grammar and literature, that is writing and so forth and you could just simply study the text, try and gain an understanding of the text and just try and meditate on what it is you have understood and that was considered enough. ​ Having come into exile from Tibet into India however, then the Tibetans were forced to conform to the world situation. ​ Now, so that the educational system was compatible with the basic standards of the world the students had to start learning how to read, Oh excuse me, learning how to study grammar and learning how  to spell and learning the art of writing and so forth. In fact the Geshe exams also changed somewhat once they came into India. ​ There was new introductions of written exams and essays as part of the Geshe exams that never were part of the exams in Tibet. ​ This was of course to make the system acceptable in light of the world situation. ​ That is why the younger geshe’s and people studying these days will be knowledgeable or more knowledgeable in grammar and writing and so forth. ​ So since there was a need to teach these subjects in exile then there was a need for teachers as well.  So rather than have the teachers to be sent up from the monasteries to Dharamsala to study His Holiness actually sent teachers specifically for that purpose down to the monastic seats. ​ And in doing so His Holiness said, yes, yes, I know you’re probably thinking of Jampa Yang’s advice that dismissing the root and clutching onto secondary branches but His Holiness said that if you don’t have some hold on the secondary branches then the root will not be very beautiful, it wont be very pretty. ​  So basically His Holiness was saying you need both the root and the branches. Geshe-la is saying that the elder ones are the people without the branches but have a firm hold on the root.
 +
 +When some of the elder monks who had spent this time in Bhagsu this refugee camp.  When it came time for them to do the Geshe exams then they weren’t marked down so many percentage points if they made certain mistakes in the writing because they hadn’t really focused on the writing in their studies. ​ Special exemptions, special exceptions rather where made them.  So basically solely for your own purpose and your own gain and profit you spend time doing things like divination and so forth then this is through the influence of self-cherishing. ​ We should not do this.
 +
 +We forsake ethics and liberation and hold to (the life) of a householder. ​           We pour away the water of bliss and happiness and pursue (further) suffering. ​  If we guard pure ethics then the results we attain from that is liberation. ​ It is important that we reflect on this cause and effect relationship that exists between the guarding of pure ethics and the attainment of liberation. ​ But perhaps a person doesn’t reflect on these matters and they pour away the water of bliss and happiness and pursue further suffering. ​ How to understand this phrase? ​ Lets say for instance that we pour unchanging bliss and happiness away as if were water and go of in pursuit of contaminated pleasures and happinesses. ​ This is pouring away the water of bliss and happiness and pursuing further suffering.
 +
 +Chasing or pursuing after suffering. ​ Geshe-la often times speaks about how the pleasures of cyclic existence and the sufferings of cyclic existence are of the same nature. ​ That is like a single entity that they are inter mingled, correct? ​ Although we go off in pursuit of the contaminated pleasures and happinesses what comes about are simple more suffering because the two are inextricable.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Bodhgaya, His Holiness Kalachakra time and many many Tibetan people from Tibet (continues in Tibetan) When His Holiness was giving Kalachakra in Bodhgaya there were many Tibetans that came down from Tibet and there was one in particular who Geshe-la saw carrying a leg of lamb, sheep, and Geshe-la and some of his companions one of whom was Lugha saw this guy and said who is going to buy that and sure enough another Tibetan, a Tibetan who lives in India sure enough he bought it.  At which point Geshe-la’s companion Lugha remarked Oh that person just bought one suffering. ​ This remark could be understood in a few ways.  One of which is that the meat was probably pretty old.  This was his remark upon seeing this person buy this leg of a sheep where His Holiness was giving the Kalachakra. ​ That person just bought one suffering. ​ Perhaps sheep are quite rare in India. ​ Perhaps it is quite difficult to find the meat of sheep in India and therefore he felt the need to buy it.
 +
 + So basically striving after contaminated pleasures is the same as striving after suffering. That is the first thing we must understand. ​ Second of all we must understand the guarding of ethics is a cause for unchanging pleasure and happiness. ​ We really must understand this situation.
 +
 +The commentary that we are using was inputted into a computer by some monks at Sera.  There is actually a commentary that we have in fact here at Chenrezig but it is not very clear and it is very difficult to read and it would have been impossible for me to photocopy so what Geshe-la did he had the commentary inputted into the computer so that we have a much clearer copy but it seems that somewhere along the line that verses 73 and 74 have…well a few lines omitted and so 73 merges with 74 in the commentary itself. ​ Whether that is actually the case with the commentary or whether it is a mistake of the young monks who were inputting it we are not entirely sure.  Probably the later. ​ So verse 73 reads, the English is fine.
 +
 +We forsake the ford of liberation and roam to the ends of the earth.
 +We have found this precious (human) body but (instead) establish hellish realms.
 +We forsake the ford of liberation and roam to the ends of the earth
 +
 +Geshe-la believes that this line could be read in a few different ways, a couple of different ways.  The ford of liberation is in fact a reference to the Path of Liberation, the Path to Liberation. ​ Now ‘ford’ in former times a ford or du mok was taken to refer to like a canal. ​ If you needed to lead…if you had water in one area and you needed to get it to another area then you build an irrigation canal so that the water can get there. ​ Now in these days the modern equivalent would be like a pipe.  So the pipeline to liberation or something like this.  In any case a ford, a canal, a pipeline to liberation which is in fact renunciation,​ the intention to definitely emerge and the wisdom that comprehends selflessness,​ correct? ​ How do we understand this line that says that we forsake this pipeline to liberation and roam to the ends of the earth. ​ Now Geshe-la thinks it might be a reference to for instance things like pilgrimage. ​ Sure I mean when going on pilgrimage you accumulate certain virtues and so forth, a person might neglect the practice and not try and cultivate the intention to definitely emerge and develop the wisdom that comprehends selflessness but rather go about on pilgrimage instead or for instance go about as a tourist on a holiday just wandering from here to there just simply having fun, having a good time and maybe that’s what it means here.  Neglecting the basis for liberation and just going about having a good time.
 +
 +Certainly there is some truth to the root verse isn’t there? ​ I mean a person forsakes the call of liberation and is wandering to the ends of the earth. ​ I mean this is a mistake isn’t it?  Perhaps there are some people who do both.  Both in the sense that we both apply ourselves to attaining liberation and at the same time still wander to the end of the earth. ​ At least that is what we make out as if we are doing both.  The individual him or herself knows which is the case.  It is difficult for another person to know.
 +
 +‘We have this precious human body but instead establish hellish realms.’ ​ Once we have attained this precious human body we need to accomplish virtue. ​ To accomplish non-virtue is like putting oneself in the hells.
 +
 +We leave aside the transformation dharma (brings) and engage in trade and profit. ​                                                                                                                         We cast aside our guru’s instruction and roam (other) cities and countries. ​      As these too come about through the influence of self-cherishing we should ​      Dance on the head of this ruinous conception. ​ And                                             Slay the heart of this slaughtering enemy self.  ​
 +We store our own income and plunder (other’s ) savings. ​                                   We store our father’s inheritance and steal from others. ​                                 Rather than use what we have….we are refusing to use what we have ourselves, we also do not allow others to use what they because we want to take it for our selves, for instance you try and get your hands on what has been offered to the Sangha rather than use what you have and so forth. ​ This is also due to self-cherishing.
 +
 +We will leave it here the rest of the verses say more or less the same thing. ​ Here we have….there are a hundred different short-comings of self-cherishing described in this text so we need to become aware of the different short-comings of self cherishing and then apply the antidote to them.  We need to understand the benefits and advantages ​ to cherishing others. ​ And to cultivate these states of mind to the best of our ability, as much as we can.  So think about loving-kindness,​ compassion and the highest intention. ​ These are some of the best forms of cherishing others aren’t they?  In short we need to try and practice the mind of enlightenment as much as we can.
 +
 +If we suffer in body or mind the effect of a negative seed has already been established by evidence of the fact that we are experiencing suffering. ​ If we then suffer in either body or mind then we should just accept or even embrace that and practice also giving and taking. ​ Tong Len.  If we are able to do so then not only does this act as an antidote to self-cherishing but we also derive the benefits and advantages that come from accepting suffering. ​ This is what we ought to do.
 +
 +If there are seeds which have not yet been established as effects and which certainly there are then we need to and confess and purify them.  We want to try and confess and purify the seeds that have not yet come to fruition, that have not yet ripened so that they do not.  This is another important thing to confess and purify the seeds that have yet to come to fruition.
 +
 +So basically before suffering occurs we need to try and confess and purify the seeds that lead to that.  But once the suffering occurs and the effect is established well, then as we say in English its too late.  The effect has been established so we need to try and practice giving and taking and accept the suffering. ​ But at the same time of course don’t think that O.K. that’s it now it’s all finished. ​ Recognise that there are other seeds that are yet to come to fruition. ​ And so use that experience to really forcefully to confess and purify other seeds so that they don’t become suffering in the future.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Thank you.
 +
 +We have been here studying for two months now first Reasons and Logic and now The wheel of Sharp Weapons. ​ A special thank you goes out to Gen Jampa Ignyen who has specially come here to help us out and to be our tutor and so thank you to Jampa for that.  And also Lozang Zopa who……and this is it.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ and Kathy, programme hard working.
 +
 +Geshe-la would also like to express his heartfelt thanks to all of you who have come here and studied. ​ In teaching Reasons and Logic Geshe-la has made an effort to communicate to us everything that he knows on the subject and to really let us know the way he thinks and give us an insight into these things. ​ We all want to realise the things like emptiness and other hidden entities like for instance impermanence. ​ But these hidden entities like emptiness and impermanence are not things that you can find simply by looking around. ​ Its not like you are trying to find some mundane object like your pencil or something you cant just search around and find it.  In fact these hidden entities need to be comprehended in dependence upon correct reasons. ​ So we need to know the way to follow these reasons. ​ If we were to use logic and reasons to think about the different things that we see and the different things occur then perhaps in dependence upon such reason and logic then we begin to comprehend the way things are.  The final nature of things. ​ That’s why reasons and logic is so important because it gives us an avenue through which to comprehend hidden entities, the nature of things.
 +
 +To comprehend lack of true existence we must first establish the three modes that establish true existence, correct? ​
 +How is it that we can go about establishing the three modes that prove lack of true existence. ​ Well the most important thing for us to do is to comprehend the example, the compatible example, right? Paying attention to the compatible example and gaining a good understanding of that allows us to establish the three modes.
 +
 +The most important for us to do is to recognise the relationship and the similarities between the object whose true existence we must realise and the compatible example. This advice that we find in the context of Sutra and Mantra that all dharmas are like illusions they are like a dream, they are like reflections. ​  This is very very important advice. ​ Some of the most important advice that we can receive.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​   Chenrezig temple summertime very hot and winter time very cold.  (continues in Tibetan)
 +So Geshe-la was saying since Chenrezig’s temple is so hot in summer and so cold in the winter, I mean set aside thanks that he might extend to you for coming to study he says a heartfelt thanks to you for even coming into the temple.
 +
 +Geshe-la has teased Colin a bit in the past saying forget about the kindness of these people coming to listen to the dharma I mean who would want to come into this hot temple in the summer and you come into the cold temple in the winter. ​ Just think of the kindness of these people for even coming into the temple in the first place. ​ He of course says it with a joke.
 +
 +This is a sign the fact that we come together for these studies and so forth is a sign that we have a relationship with Geshe-la from past lives and although Geshe-la is Tibetan and some of you are Australians and then we have a variety of nationalities here, then clearly what was taking place here was an indication or sign of connection from past lives. ​  So Geshe-la respects this relationship between cause and effect and he is not just here to pass his days to fill up space in his day.  He is really here to respect this karmic or cause and effect relationship by, which is mutually beneficial, by trying to share with us all that he knows about the dharma. ​ Geshe-la respects this relationship. ​ We too must respect this relationship between cause and effect.
 +
 +Geshe-la: ​ Thank you!
  
wheel_of_sharp_weapons_summary.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:13 (external edit)