Fujisan's Kyareng

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Nalanda Certificate Course 1 Session 2

Tibet House New Delhi Nalanda Certificate Course / NCC1

2nd Session (8/06/2022)

 Buddha Nature, two goals, two obstacles, two kinds of practitioners

 Buddha Nature is a nature of mind with a potential to achieve Buddhahood. It talks about existence of a seed of perfection within all of us.  Just as seeds of sunflower have intrinsic quality to produce oil, our mind also has an intrinsic quality to awaken Buddhahood within us. Buddha Nature has two kinds, Proliferating Buddha Nature and Natural Buddha Nature.

 Proliferating Buddha Nature is a growing mind with a good capacity to grow. Natural Buddha Nature is a Proliferating Buddha Nature with the realization of emptiness of all phenomena, the ultimate reality.

 Two goals: What we generally seek in our life can be categorized under two heads, Fearlessness and Infinite Happiness. We need freedom from the fear of sufferings and complete joy and happiness, Nirvana and Buddhahood.

 But we are not able realize our Buddha mind because of mental defilements, which obstruct or obscure us from seeing the reality and achieving fearlessness and infinite happiness. The obscurations are of two types. They are: Afflictive obscuration (AO)[Tib:Nyon sgrib] and Cognitive obscuration (CO) [Tib: Shes sgrib].

 Our mind has potential to clean and remove all the defilements due to Afflictive obscurations and Cognitive obscurations.

 Afflictive obscurations: Mental defilements due to attachment, anger, ignorance etc. are the causes of the Afflictive obscurations. We are living in constant fear of sufferings and miseries because of the obscurations. By removing or overcoming Afflictive obscurations we achieve fearlessness, freedom from fear. This is a stage where you have attained Nirvana. In vernacular language it is fearlessness and in technical term it is Nirvana or Moksh.

 Cognitive obscurations: Mental defilements due to ignorance and its off shoots and strong Karmic stains are the causes of the Cognitive obscurations. Complete control or removal of this obscuration leads us to the fully awakened state of mind and achieve infinite joy, Buddhahood.

 There can be two seekers, Personal liberation seekers and Mahayana practitioners. The former targets Nirvana and the later targets Buddhahood.

 The cause of suffering and our circling in the Samsara is said to be two factors. They are: Self Grasping Ignorance (SGI) and Self Centered Attitude (SCA).

 Nature of mental defilements are ignorance, it's off shoots and the stains. Ignorance is like darkness. In order to remove darkness, a light should be applied. So, in order to remove the darkness of ignorance, a light of wisdom should be applied. This light of wisdom is realization of wisdom of emptiness through study, reflection, and meditation.

 Ignorance is like a poisonous tree. We need a sharp axe and a strong motivation to cut this poisonous tree of ignorance. A sharp axe is a metaphor for sharp wisdom, and a strong motivation for Nirvana or Buddhahood.

 It is more difficult to get rid of Cognitive obscurations than Afflictive obscurations. Motivation required to cut Afflictive obscurations is Renunciation and motivation required to cut both Afflictive and Cognitive obscuration is Bodhicitta, altruism.    

 It is here the importance of the teaching of the three Principle Paths [Tib: lam gtso rnam gsum] is emphasized. They are: Renunciation, Bodhicitta, and Emptiness. These three should be practiced to achieve fearlessness and infinite happiness. If these three points are missing, we are missing the path.

 How to cultivate the three: Renunciation and Bodhicitta are motivations to achieve fearlessness and infinite happiness. Emptiness is a light of wisdom to remove the two obscurations.

 Teachings of the Buddha are all compiled in Tripitaka or Baskets, the three Shiksha, also known as three higher learning. They are: Vinaya, discipline; Sutra, meditation; and Abhi Dharma, wisdom. All the teachings of Buddha come under one of these categories.

 Mind has three doors to project itself. These are through physical, mental, and verbal. Physical and verbal are easier to control than the mental. Buddha spoke on rules on physical and verbal. All our actions come from mind. Training of mind is important.

 Training of mind is achieved through the proper study of the contents of these baskets.

 Wisdom acquired through the trainings should have two qualities: the light of the wisdom should be very bright to dispel the darkness of the ignorance; and the light should be steady enough to show the path clearly.

Mind should acquire sharp wisdom to see the subtlest of the truth. It should be steady enough to fathom deep into the truth. Therefore, it should have the quality of sharpness and steadiness.

Note: This is a student's note. Error and omissions are bound to be there. A serious student should study the actual teachings of the teacher, Geshe Dorjee Damdul la, from www.tibethouse.in website. I write these notes to help my understanding and recollections. རང་གི་ཡིད་ལ་ངེས་ཕྱིར་ངས་འདི་བརྩམས། (Tib:Rang gi yid la nges phyir ngas dhi brtsams).



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