A teaching by Khenpo Kalsang Nyima Rinpoche
Given on the 5th of September 2016
Tashi Delek greetings to all the dear Dharma friends.
The only wish that all sentient beings have is to achieve happiness and everyone makes effort in order to abandon suffering. If we want to attain this happiness, we need to attain a complete accumulation of all the causes and conditions which bring happiness about. If we want to be liberated from suffering, we need to get rid of the causes and the results of the suffering. Other than this, there is no other method. Therefore, in the Buddha Dharma tradition, in order to try to achieve this, it is very important, at first, to know the principles of the view, meditation, action and fruits.
To start with, regarding the view, there are two kinds of views: A correct mundane view and a correct super mundane view. The correct mundane view is that which is based on knowing the conventional functionality of phenomena and shows that which is to be adopted and discarded in relation to causes and their results. This term of super mundane correct view refers to knowing the ultimate mode of abidance.
To begin with, what is the cause for the becoming of all conventional phenomena? All conventional phenomena have not arisen without a cause, they have not arisen from a discordant cause, nor have they arisen from an opposing cause. Hence, it is extremely important to know that phenomena arise from their own concordant causes and conditions.
What is the cause for us wondering in the three realms of Samsara? Initially, it is not realizing the ultimate mode of abidance of reality. In dependence on clinging to I, the self and clinging to phenomena as truly established, we have self grasping. And in dependence on that, we grasp to our own side and have aversion to the side of the other. In dependence on that, we experience jealousy, competitiveness and other such afflictions like the enumeration of the three poisonous afflictions, or the five poisonous afflictions. Based on these afflictions, we accumulate a variety of verbal and physical non-virtuous actions. By the force of contaminated virtuous Karma, the higher realms of the human and god realms are attained. And with attachment, aversion and ignorance
we accumulate non virtuous negative karma, which results in birth in the lower realms of hell, hungry ghosts, and animals, it is said. Once you have understood this reasoning, generate trust in the vital point that the cause of the arousal of suffering, the afflictions such as attachment, aversion and ignorance, brings about the results of birth in Samsara and the lower realms. Since you wish to attain happiness, engage in the causes of happiness which are performing properly virtuous actions of body, speech and mind with a pure motivation. Similarly, the cause of encountering suffering and difficulties is attachment and the other afflictions, as well as unwholesome non-virtuous actions. These should be abandoned with proper endeavor. In short, having trust in the principal of karma and its results by understanding its principal and having conviction and trust from the depths of your heart in karma and its results, this view is what is called the mundane correct view. It is very important to generate this view in one’s mind.
The supra-mundane view means that all phenomena which appear to us as a variety of good and bad, happiness and suffering, etc. arise from causes and conditions. Since they arise in dependence on causes and conditions, they arise in dependence on many causes and conditions which are a collection and not only from one cause or one condition. Also, if checking thoroughly the causes and conditions, the cause itself is an assembly of many phenomenons, it is a collection and is not an individual unitary thing.
For example, for the purpose of growing rice, we need a cause which is a grain of rice and conditions such as water, warmth and fertilizer. If we think only about the seed, it comprises a collection of many particles. Analyzing these particles even further, we see that they have many particles and partless particles. However, these parts and particles can not at all be found. This is because all phenomena primordially have the nature of emptiness. Therefore, if we analyze thoroughly with reasons, there is no phenomena which exists independently by its own nature. All phenomena have the nature of emptiness. Since that is the case, we might ask if everything has the nature of emptiness, how do sound, smell, taste, objects of touch and other forms appear to us? From limitless previous lives by the power of ignorance we have not realised that emptiness is the mode of abidance of all phenomena. By the power of ignorance we have been distracted and deceived by the different plays of the mind. We have been distracted and deceived by that which appears to us. By perceiving one’s own mind as having a self and clinging and grasping to that, we have been thinking that things exist as they appear. We think that things established truly as they appear. Having a clinging which is too strong to things as existing truly, the mind is the one which attributes externally the truly existing phenomena, rather than, the object is never at all established truly from its own side.
If we think about this properly, for example, if we think about the six kinds of beings who look at water, due to different ways of perceptions, gods would see the water as nectar, for humans the water would appear as a drink which quenches thirst, fish and other such beings would see it as a dwelling place, hungry ghosts would see it as mucous, while to hell beings it would appear as molten metal. The six kinds of beings have different ways of seeing things. This shows that the object itself is not truly established, but rather it appears through individual karmic vision. Similarly, when 10 people look at one person, some people would see this person as extremely good, wholesome and handsome. While others, would look at the same person and see him as extremely ugly, having bad behavior and generally very bad. Some people would see him as a mediocre person. So this variety of appearances depends on our individual mental habits and different predispositions.
If we think about one kind of food, Western kind of food would not be tasty for people from the East, while an eastern kind of food would not be tasty for people who come from the West and eat it for the first time. Similarly, in a place such as Asia, Tibetans consider Tukpa (noodle soup) as delicious, while Bhutanese and Sikkimese people consider Tukpa as a very poor kind of food. In Bhutan and Sikkim rice is considered as a very precious food, while in some places in India, they only eat Roti and bread and consider rice as a very bad kind of food. Just as these examples show, in short, everything is a delusive appearance and we cannot say this is good or this is actually that. Everything exists in dependence on the mind. Short exists in dependence on long and long exists in dependence on short. Good exists in dependence on bad and bad exists in dependence on good. Right exists in dependence on left and left exists in dependence and right. Everything is a mere labeled dependency on each other. All phenomena are not established from their own side and from the very beginning, primordially, they have the nature of emptiness. So in this way, regarding the meaning of emptiness and the mundane correct view of karma cause and effect, initially listen to teachings, in the middle think about them and finally eliminate exaggerations in relation to them. If you have conviction from the depths of the heart thinking there is nothing better than these two views. Really and truly emptiness is the true nature of all phenomena and all conventional phenomena arise from infallible causes and results and are infallible interdependencies. Having arisen conviction like this, we need to meditate upon the meaning of it. Once the conviction has arisen properly in the mind, this is what is called view. In order to generate the correct view in the mind, one has to directly experience it in meditation. This is what is called View.