Showing posts with label Community Projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Community Projects. Show all posts

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A New Tibet Comes With A Price

A few facts of Tibet Nowadays 

Modernization poses a new challenge for a new Tibet and herecomes with a price and the causes and effects of Urbanization and modernization of Tibet under People's Republic of China. 

Tibet in recent decades is transformed beyond recognition. Modern Face of Tibet is in fact, modernization poses a new challenge for a new Tibet and herecomes with a price.  What can we find true or real face of Tibet?

Pollution into the environment with new high rise apartment buildings, new highways, new railroads, new airports, new malls, business hotels, pubs and lounges, underground disco, KTV , alcohols, drug abuses , crime rate on the rise and diseases that easily find a place in Tibetan Soil.
STD and AIDS in Tibet autonomous region (TAR)
Tibet, one of the latest places in the world to be exposed to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is now becoming a place of high prevalence rate, according to some studies that have been kept low key where the first case was diagnosed in 2002. 

While the number of HIV-positive Tibetans are going up yearly, many residents of major Tibetan regions in Gansu, Qinghai, Suchuan and Yunnan Provinces and the Tibet Autonomous Region do now know what AIDS is or realize it is fatal, said Chupal Sangpo, deputy director of an NGO in Sichuan dedicated in educating Tibetans about HIV.

At the end of 2015, new HIV cases in Tibet went down, while 77,000 people diagnosed as HIV-positive received treatment in the past 12 months.
Tibetan Buddhism is a religion in exile, forced from its homeland when Tibet was conquered by the Chinese. At one time it was thought that 1 in 6 Tibetan men were Buddhist monks. The best known face of Tibetan Buddhism is the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since he fled the Chinese occupation of his country in 1959.

Tibetan Buddhism combines the essential teachings of the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism with Tantric and Shamanic, and material from an ancient Tibetan religion called Bon. Although Tibetan Buddhism is often thought to be identical with Vajrayana Buddhism, they are not identical - Vajrayana is taught in Tibetan Buddhism together with the other vehicles.
History
Buddhism became a major presence in Tibet towards the end of the 8th century CE. It was brought from India at the invitation of the Tibetan king, Trisong Detsen, who invited two Buddhist masters to Tibet and had important Buddhist texts translated into Tibetan.

First to come was Shantarakshita, abbot of Nalanda in India, who built the first monastery in Tibet. He was followed by Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, who came to use his wisdom and power to overcome "spiritual" forces that were stopping work on the new monastery.
The Groups within Tibetan Buddhism
1) Nyingmapa: Founded by Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, this is oldest sect, noted in the West for the teachings of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

2) Kagyupa: Founded by Tilopa (988-1069), the Kagyupa tradition is headed by the Karmapa Lama. Important Kagyupa teachers include Naropa, Marpa, and Milarepa.

3) Sakyapa: Created by Gonchok Gyelpo (1034-1102) and his son Gunga Nyingpo (1092-1158).

4) Gelugpa: (The Virtuous School) Founded by Tsong Khapa Lobsang Drakpa (also called Je Rinpoche) (1357 - 1419), this tradition is headed by the Dalai Lama.

In addition, Tibetan is widespread as a liturgical language throughout the Tibetan Buddhist cultural area. Tibetan culture and language are today under strong pressure. Tibet has today the status of an autonomous region (TAR) in the People’s Republic of China. The number of Tibetans living in China is disputed. According to official Chinese statistics, the number is between 4 to 5 million, and under half of these live in the TAR, while the rest are found in other Chinese provinces.

Somewhat more than 100,000 Tibetans live in South Asia, primarily in India, and in the West. According to the Tibetan Government in Exile, the total number of Tibetans is approximately 5 - 6 million. Tibetan Buddhism is a strong and living religious tradition in Tibetan areas in China and parts of neighboring countries. 
Together with Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism is the Buddhist movement which has spread more widely in the West.  Buddhism came to Tibet in the 7th century A.D., first and foremost from India. It assimilated local religious traditions and became what we call Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetans adopted an Indian alphabet in order to translate Buddhist texts and for practical purposes in the country's administration, and is still used today.

Buddhism was transmitted into Tibet mainly during the 7th to 10th centuries. Notable early teachers were the illustrious 8th-century Tantric master Padmasambhava and the more orthodox Mahayana teacher Shantirakshita. With the arrival from India in 1042 of the great teacher Atisha, a reform movement was initiated, and within a century the major sects of Tibetan Buddhism had emerged. 
The Dge-lugs-pa, or One of the Virtuous System, commonly known as the Yellow Hats ( The Gelupa lineage ) the order of the Dalai and the Panchen Lamas, was the politically predominant Tibetan sect from the 17th century until 1959, when the hierocratic government of the Dalai Lama was abolished by the People’s Republic of China.

Much of the Buddhist literature that was lost in India exists today in Tibetan translations, and Tibetan is therefore one of the important languages in the study of Buddhism. Since the 11th century, Tibetans have also composed their own Buddhist literature, which consists of historical, biographical and liturgical texts, commentaries, meditational texts, poetry, grammar and philosophy and, since the twentieth century, also secular literature, which comprises poetry, novels and short stories. 
In the second half of the 20th century Tibetan Buddhism spread to the West, particularly after the subjugation of Tibet to Chinese Communist rule sent many refugees, including highly regarded “reincarnated lamas,” or tulkus, out of their homeland. Tibetan religious groups in the West include both communities of refugees and those consisting largely of Westerners drawn to the Tibetan tradition.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of the picture(s).
Picture(s) courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Picture(s) is/are intended for editorial use only.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Smiling Of The Buddhas


Why the Buddhas and His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama always smiling?

When we look at a statue of the Buddha or the image of great enlightened beings with their serene smiles, it’s easy to say that these enlightened beings do not or never experienced the same reactive emotions or negative thoughts that swirl around in our mind.

The answer it would be incorrect.
The Buddhas and sages faced the same reactive emotions and negative thoughts that you face today. Fear. Anger. Sorrow. Doubt. Overwhelm…all of those and more if we could name all of these negativities. The Buddhas and enlightened beings faced them and through persistent compassionate facing and meditation discovered something remarkable.

The Buddhas and sages  discovered that every emotion & thought no matter how challenging can be transformed, healed, and expressed as life-giving energy. They discovered how to experience freedom not by suppressing, defeating, or avoiding emotions, but by transforming them. They discovered that freedom can be realized in the midst of life’s inevitable ups and downs.
The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and other enlightened beings developed a method we can use to realize how to be free in life. This method is based tapping into the life sources or forces  that underlying all emotions.

What is the sources or forces that underlies all emotions?
The sages traced emotions back to their original sources or nature of the sources, to their original form and found that reactive emotions are simply life energy running wild.

There’s power, juice, creativity, and aliveness in that wildness. But there’s also destruction, chaos, confusion and suffering. If you suppress the emotion—you suppress your life. But if you let it run wild, it destroys your well-being and happiness.
So what to do? 
The Buddhas discovered that at the heart of every emotion and every thought is an essential wisdom quality; at the still, radiant center of every emotion is a pure creative impulse. When you lose your connection with that pure creative impulse, your life gets tangled up in reactive emotions and conflicting thoughts.

When you reconnect to that essential quality, to that pure creative impulse, reactive emotions and negative thoughts are transformed into wisdom, creativity and bliss. The sages realized that the secret of transformation lies in attuning to the nature of the sources.
They called the underlying nature of forces and the answer is the six syllables Mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum Hri

There are many others life-enriching mantras. The Buddha once say that the mantras and the Dharma teachings are many as 48,000 pulsing at the heart of every emotion; there is a wisdom-bearing mantra resonating at the still center of every thought.

Mantra meditation attunes your mind to the original source that lies at the heart of every emotion and every thought. Through the practice of mantra meditation, you untangle your consciousness from the reactive patterns that create confusion and chaos in your life.

That’s why the Buddha and the sages are smiling. Not because they never experience reactivity, but because they know how to transform emotion into wisdom and blissful stage.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of the picture(s).
Picture(s) courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Picture(s) is/are intended for editorial use only.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Golden Drink Offerings - Serkyem

What is the golden drink Serkyem Offering?

The Serkyem offering set is used for making ritual offerings to Dharma-protectors and guardians. Literally, serkyem means “golden-drink.” Often serkyems are filled with black-tea and various grains such as hulled barley, rice, or wheat. Other offerings might include fruits, cookies, breads, and alcohol.

Serkyem, in Tibetan " Ser" literally  means golden and "Kyem" means beverage. Despite the existence of Serkyem-offering liturgies composed by High Lamas to certain Yidams, it remains largely a unique aspect of the Dharma Protector practice.

In the ancient times, the lamas developed this practice as an extended offering to the Dharma Protector to request for swift assistance. Hence, the Serkyem offering has become extremely popular among modern practitioners who seek assistance especially in times of dire need.
The Serkyem offering is traditionally offered by pouring the beverage into a two-tiered vessel, which consists of a taller vessel placed into a lower bowl. Naturally, the Serkyem offering is offered from a jug or a suitable pot.

During the offering, the beverage is poured into the taller vessel to the point where the liquid overflows down into the lower bowl. In Buddhism, the symbolism of the overflowing liquid is highly auspicious because it represents an abundant flow of merits, virtues, material resources and conditions that are conducive for one’s Dharma practice.

The beverage can either be poured fully into the vessel prior to the recitation of the Serkyem verses, or it can be poured a little at a time during the recitation of relevant passages throughout the liturgy. 
The Serkyem vessel can be of any material such as gold, silver, copper, brass or even glass. Offering vessels that are made of precious materials are considered highly propitious, especially for lay practitioners who want to create tremendous merits and establish the closest affinity with the Protector.

In addition, the traditional Serkyem vessel that is made up of a taller central vessel and lower bowl is optional although the overflowing symbolism is an auspicious offering to the Protector. In some cases practitioners even use a tall wine glass placed inside a glass bowl as a Serkyem vessel.
Tea is traditionally offered as Serkyem because in ancient times, it was considered a precious beverage and a valuable commodity that the Tibetans imported from China. Due to its exquisite taste, it is usually offered to the Lamas, Yidams and Dharma Protectors and its golden color reflects the meaning of Serkyem. When tea is offered, it is traditionally offered piping hot as a direct request to the Dharma Protector for the swiftest assistance, heat being symbolic of rapidity.

Besides tea, Tibetan beer or alcohol can also be offered because of the Tantric meaning behind such substances. During a Tsog offering that the Tantrikas perform, a little bit of consecrated alcohol and meat is partaken to symbolize the psychic winds and bodily elements used in Tantric meditation. Hence, beer or alcohol represents Tantric attainments and is offered to the Dharma Protector as a direct request to overcome all obstacles that obstruct spiritual attainments and to bring about beneficial conditions swiftly.

Other suitable beverages that can be offered as Serkyem include milk, which symbolizes spiritual nourishment and also various types of fizzy drinks such as Coca-Cola.
The actual Serkyem offering ritual begins with the pouring of a little of the beverage into the vessel so it’s not empty (if its not already poured in full) along with a few grains of rice. The Serkyem is consecrated with three repetitions of the mantra Om Ah Hum, while purifying with incense. Then, the Serkyem liturgy is recited with each stanza describing an offering of the Serkyem to a particular being or a class of beings that play a defined role in our spiritual practice.

During the offering, the Serkyem is visualized to be divine nectar that expands to fill an entire ocean. This ocean is made out of not just the beverage that the practitioner offered but of all the desirable things in the world that excite and please the 5 senses.

This vast ocean is offered to the Protector and to the other special beings mentioned in the liturgy. In addition, the request or what the practitioner wants to achieve is visualized to come into fruition with the assistance of the Protector.
A brief explanation of the Serkyem liturgy:-
To the lineage Guru - The first stanza is an offering to the root lama whose blessings and teachings guide us along the path of attaining Compassion (Bodhichitta) and realization of Emptiness (Shunyata), the two main qualities of a Buddha.

To the Yidam - Offered to the Yidam that has been received as a practice from our Master.  Examples of yidams include, Manjushri, Vajrayogini, or Guru Rinpoche, Arya Tara and Avalokestesvara. Through the yidam’s sadhana practice, we can achieve ordinary (health, wealth, clairvoyance and so forth) and extraordinary attainments (wisdom and compassion).

To the Enlightened Dakas and Dakinis - The offering of Serkyem continues by making offerings to the enlightened Dakas and Dakinis, the celestial enlightened beings that play a significant role in higher Tantric practices. This is to rouse them to come to our aid especially to make our practice successful.

To the Wisdom Dharmapalas - We offer Serkyem to the various Dharmapala Protectors like Mahakala, Palden Lhamo, Vaishravana, and so forth to create the merit to receive protection. 

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Pictures are intended for editorial use only.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nurturing compassion - Releasing and saving lives

Actually, you are the Buddha. Not such an effective Buddha, perhaps, but... a Buddha, a small Buddha... We need to nurture our inner Buddha, our child Buddha.” 
Nurturing Compassion Book - His Holiness The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

It is said that in the past in India, there lived a king named Trichen, who enjoyed eating meat so fresh that the blood was still warm, and he has killed ten thousand animals for his craved.  Through the karmic ripening of these actions, the king Trichen was reborn in Vajra Hell, one of the eighteen hell realms, where the extent of his sufferings such that the King died a hundred times and each time he fell back into hell as he revived.
The venerable Ananda saw the sufferings of him and asked the Buddha about it. The Buddha replied, This is the karmic ripening of a man who enjoyed killing and eating fresh meat and who enjoyed killing animals. Ananda asked the Buddha Shakyamuni , is there any way to liberate the "king" ? Buddha replied, "if you want to liberate this man from hell, save the lives  of animals in the worldly realms and he will be freed, so, Ananda saved many lives for the king's benefit, and the king was liberated from Vajra Hell. 


What is lives releasing ?
Generally, there is no difference in the size or species of any animals to be saved. However, buying and liberating animals that were certainly destined to be killed by butchers in a slaughterhouse naturally brings the greatest benefits.
Life release is a Buddhist tradition of saving lives of animals that are destined to be killed. Although every life is precious, the fact of being alive inevitably causes taking lives of other beings. We cannot completely prevent this situation because as long as we walk, breath, eat, and so forth, we cause the deaths of many creatures. However,  we can cultivate mindfulness, and try to reduce taking lives to the best of our ability. We can also offer a gift of life and protection through the practice of life release.

No matter what our lifestyle, we can do this practice. It benefits those who offer the gift of life as well as those who receive it. Regardless of what religion, we practice, its result will be strengthened if the practice is concluded with an aspiration that all beings without exception enjoy happiness and a life free from any harm.

If we are Buddhists, we dedicate the merit from the practice of life release for the benefit of all beings, to the long life of Buddhist teachers and to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje in particular, we dedicate the practice to His Holiness long life, and to the flourishing of his activity in the world.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje said that the meaning of life release is broad, that the practice can be done in a variety of ways, and that we should use our intelligence in deciding what way is most suitable in our particular circumstance. His Holiness has also encouraged His students to engage in saving lives through abstaining (at least periodically) from eating meat and in his address about protecting the environment, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa encouraged the Sangha to engage in planting trees as a form of activity that accords with the spirit of life release.

How to do the practice? The practice has two aspects:-
1. The act of saving lives, 
2. The blessing of the prayers that accompany life release. 
When releasing animals such as animals, fish, bait fish, insects, earthworms, please make sure that the species you are releasing the native to your locations. Invasive species are plants or animals that do not belong where humans have intentionally or accidentally brought them and the effects are immense, insidious, irreversible.

IUCN, the World Conservation Union, states that the impacts of alien invasive species are immense, insidious, and usually irreversible. They may be as damaging to native species and ecosystems on a global scale as the loss and degradation of habitats. Hundreds of extinctions have been caused by invasive alien species. The ecological cost is the irretrievable loss of native species and ecosystems.
At the time of saving a life, Lamas or Rinpoches and so forth will cleanse the animals by wafting the smoke of burning incense over them and burning juniper, throw charmed mustard seeds and so on in order to expel obstructing spirits, and perform ablution rituals. The Lamas will then recite the ritual chant such as the Long Life Amitayus Buddha's sutra or Dharani and aspire that the animals may enjoy long lives. They will then remove the halters from their heads, the saddles from their back and so on, and vow never again to make use of these animals, and then send them off.
When is the right time to save "lives" ?
Every day should be a good and meaningful day for practising and saving lives. If according to the Tibetan traditions,  the main days of the Tibetan lunar calendar for releasing animals are (-)
  1. 8th  ( Medicine Buddha and Arya Taras day ) 
  2. 10th ( Guru Rinpoche day )
  3. 15th ( Amitabha Buddha and full moon day )
  4. 25th ( Dakini day )
  5. 29th ( Dharmapala day )
  6. 30th and 1st ( Shakyamuni day )
  7. The Four Great Miracle Buddha's Days 
  8. Any Buddhist festivals
This is because if one free animals on these days, the resulting virtue is hundred, thousand, ten millions times greater  than other days. If one who is unable to attend for releasing lives on such auspicious days, it is advised that you should have observed or practised for  a full vegetarian diet - including no onion, garlic, egg
His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje himself a pure vegetarian, then turned to his own life as an example. “When I spoke about this, I was primarily thinking about the way I lead my own life. I can’t really do anything about how other people lead their lives, but in terms of thinking about myself there are some reasons for this.” 

He then explained two key reasons that he personally does not eat meat. The first reason is the intense suffering that the animals who are killed go through. Every single day millions of animals are killed to feed us, and many are subjected to terrible conditions to provide us with food. Just a few days previously the Gyalwang Karmapa had shared a story of how, as a child in Tibet, when animals were killed for his family’s food he felt unbearable, pure compassion for them.
The second reason he doesn’t eat meat, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued, is because of his Mahayana training in seeing all sentient beings as his mothers. “We say I am going to do everything I can free sentient beings from suffering. We say I am going to do this. We make the commitment. We take the vow. Once we have taken this vow, if then, without thinking anything about it, we just go ahead and eat meat, then that is not right It is something that we need to think about very carefully.” 
Benefits of Releasing Lives.
The benefits obtained by releasing the lives of animals are similar to the benefits obtained by holding full monastic vows. By freeing a single life, a single rebirth in the lower realms is purified. Even if one has committed the harmful actions in this world, the act of saving lives  can purify  those harmful actions and obscurations.

If one releases life on behalf of someone, whose life is coming to an end, their life will be extended. At the same time, in the sutras, it is said that killing  a single liberated animal ( i.e , an animal that has been released ) is equal to killing  one hundred animals, and that such an action brings countless other negative karmic consequences. 

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Pictures are intended for editorial use only.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Auspicious and inauspicious numbers in Tibetan Culture.

Numbers have different meanings in different cultures, especially the Chinese, the number of 3, 6, 8, 9 are always the most favorable numbers and the Chinese had embraced it, adopted it and even applying in their daily lives. The Chinese believed these numbers have the auspicious meanings that can bring favorable results for success, prosperity, wealth and good health.

What about the Tibetan culture and belief? Is there any auspicious or inauspicious numbers that had massively influenced the Tibetan ways of life, culture and religions?  Of course, they are. For instance, 13 is a lucky and holy number for Tibetan people.

In Tibetan culture, the odd numbers are always regarded as an auspicious number by local Tibetans. "6" may well be considered as a lucky number as number that multiple of "3". Tibetans would always deal with some important matters or travel to some place far from home on odd days, while even numbers are taboo. All these instances show that the principle of adoring odd numbers and regarding even numbers as taboo is always adhered to during any activities in Tibet.
As for the Tibetan people view odd numbers as lucky ones, herdsmen will choose a date with odd numbers in the first half of every month to assemble, set off on their journeys, and hold all other important events with the hope of safety.  Horse racing and archery have been popular for over a thousand years in Tibet. In the Tibetan horse racing, only thirteen runners in the front will can get a prize.

Losar is the Tibetan new year,  it is customary or commonly practiced by the local would present gifts for their love ones, and in the monasteries, would present gifts to the Rinpoches, Tulkus and lamas. According to the Tibetan culture, If anyone is buying or presenting gifts to the Tibetan people, the gifts will or should not be in an even number, but instead it should be the odd numbers.
Odd Numbers Symbolizes In The Tibetan Culture
No. 3   - Symbolize the sun, moon and star. 
            - The universe is divided into the celestial realm, the Human realm and the Hell                            realm. 
            -  Connecting to the three Longevity Amitayus Buddha, Ushnisha Vijaya and White                      Tara.
            -  Body, speech and mind in Tibetan Buddhism.

No. 9   - Literally means everlasting or endless.
             - Is customary of the Tibetan people would always clink their glasses and drink 9                        glasses of wine once a clinking is proposed. 
                 - Only the silver bowls or dragon bowls can be used as drinking vessels in Tibet. In                     addition, ghee must be dipped on three spots in the bowls for good luck.

No.13  - Is an auspicious and holy number for the Tibetan culture. 
             -13 desireless celestial realms or pure lands to be reborn according to the Gelupa                      lineage of Vajrayana Buddhism. 
            -  Prigrims will perform kola or walk 13 clockwise rounds the Sacred Mountains of                      Tibet for purification and removing of negativity and obstacles.
            
Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Pictures are intended for editorial use only.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The 48 Great Vows of Amitabha Buddha

"If you wish to come and be born in my realm, you must always recite my sacred mantra again and again, you must always keep this thought in mind without letting up, and thus you will succeed in coming to be born in my realm. 
If my 48 Great Vows do not come to pass, may I not attain my enlightenment".
Amithabha Buddha 48 Great Vows

The Tibetan word of "Dewachen" literally means the celestial mandala or the Amithabha Buddha pure land, and in Sanskrit name is Sukhavati and in Chinese is 西方極樂淨土. The Sacred Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha was delivered by Shakyamuni Buddha at the Vulture Peak in Rajagriha, India.
Amithabha  Buddha 南無阿彌陀佛 he is represents the Padma Lotus family. Amitābha means "Infinite Light" so Amitābha is also called "The Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light".

He is the Buddha of the West direction.
His Mantra is " OM AMI DEVA HRIH " 
His Mantra in Chinese is " 南無阿彌陀佛 " 
His syllable is "Hrih" 
His color is in red.
His element is signifies or represents fire 
His symbolism is the Lotus.
His wisdom is signifies as Inquisitive and the wisdom of observation.
His hands mudras are signify as Meditation.
He is symbolizes or associated with summer season.
His consort is Pandara.
His Dhyani Bodhisattva is Avalokiteshvara.
His Pure Land is called Sukhavati, the Western Pure Land.

The 48 Great Vows of Amitabha Buddha 
When Buddha Amitabha was still a Bodhisattva, by the name of Dharmakara, He had made the following 48 Bodhisattva vows:-
  1. If, when I attain Buddhahood, should there be in my land a hell, a realm of hungry spirits or a realm of animals, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  2. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should after death fall again into the three evil realms, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  3. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be the colour of pure gold, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  4. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be of one appearance, and should there be any difference in beauty, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  5. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not remember all their previous lives, not knowing at least the events which occurred during the previous hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  6. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the divine eye of seeing at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  7. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the divine ear of hearing the teachings of at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddhas and should not remember all of them, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  8. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the faculty of knowing the thoughts of others, even those of all sentient beings living in a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  9. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not possess the supernatural power of travelling anywhere in one instant, even beyond a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  10. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should give rise to thoughts of self-attachment, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  11. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not dwell in the Definitely Assured State and unfailingly reach Nirvana, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  12. If, when I attain Buddhahood, my light should be limited, unable to illuminate even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  13. If, when I attain Buddhahood, my life-span should be limited, even to the extent of a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  14. If, when I attain Buddhahood, the number of the shravakas in my land could be known, even if all the beings and pratyekabuddhas living in this universe of a thousand million worlds should count them during a hundred thousand kalpas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  15. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should have limited life-spans, except when they wish to shorten them in accordance with their previous vows, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  16. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should even hear of any wrongdoing, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  17. If, when I attain Buddhahood, innumerable Buddhas in the land of the ten directions should not all praise and glorify my Name, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  18. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, aspire to be born in my land, and call my Name even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excluded, however, are those who commit the five gravest offences and abuse the right Dharma.
  19. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten directions, who awaken aspiration for Enlightenment, do various meritorious deeds and sincerely desire to be born in my land, should not, at their death, see me appear before them surrounded by a multitude of sages, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  20. If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten directions who, having heard my Name, concentrate their thoughts on my land, do various meritorious deeds and sincerely transfer their merits towards my land with a desire to be born there, should not eventually fulfil their aspiration, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  21. If, when I attain Buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should not all be endowed with the thirty-two physical characteristics of a Great Man, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  22. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other directions who visit my land should not ultimately and unfailingly reach the Stage of Becoming a Buddha after One More Life, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excepted are those who wish to teach and guide sentient beings in accordance with their original vows. For they wear the armour of great vows, accumulate merits, deliver all beings from birth-and-death, visit Buddha-lands to perform the bodhisattva practices, make offerings to Buddhas, Tathagatas, throughout the ten directions, enlighten uncountable sentient beings as numerous as the sands of the River Ganges, and establish them in the highest, perfect Enlightenment. Such bodhisattvas transcend the course of practice of the ordinary bodhisattva stages and actually cultivate the virtues of Samantabhadra.
  23. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land, who would make offerings to Buddhas through my divine power, should not be able to reach immeasurable and innumerable kotis of nayutas of Buddha-lands in the short time it takes to eat a meal, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
  24. If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not be able, as they wish, to perform meritorious acts of worshipping the Buddhas with the offerings of their choice, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Formidable Symbol of Tibet - Kalachakra

Kalachakra symbol is a very common yet one of the most formidable symbol of protection from Tibet. Kalachakra is literally means "The Wheel of Time"  The Kalachakra symbol of Vajrayana Buddhism is comprehensive and complex. Kalachakra symbol is also referred to as the " Symbol of the Tenfold Powerful Ones”. 

Hence, it is named because it consists of 10 distinct parts. This ancient sacred symbol is made up of a mantra of 7 syllables surrounded by a ring of fire. Above and to the right and left of this potent mantra are 3 additional symbols, hence, totaling 10 parts of the design.
The seed syllable of the Kalachakra Heruka, the powerful mantra for peace and reducing suffering by calming negativity and conflict. It consists of seven individual syllables intertwined and crowned by symbols of the moon , the sun, and the flame, making a total of ten very powerful elements within the image. 

These seven symbols, along with the moon, the sun, and a flame make up the ten-fold powerful symbol, which is one of the most well-known Buddhist symbols.

The Tenfold Powerful Symbols are described as ten existences - body, awareness, space, wind, fire, water, earth, stable, moving, and the gods unseen and uncreated.
This ancient symbol of the "Tenfold Powerful mighty ones" has occupied a central place in Tantra Buddhism for more than a thousand of years and has become a symbol of good fortune and protection. 

Kalachakra tantra that is chanted in an effort to purify the mind and body. This powerful and efficient tantra is all about time, such as: the cycle of our own breath, the cycles of the planets and the various cycles in our bodies and lives.
The Kalachakra Symbol has been very often to be hanging onto your home or above the main door so that hostile and negative energies are barred from entering your home. Thus, it has become a powerful emblem of good fortune, protection against evil spirits and untimely death. 

Kalachakra Symbol is an ultra strong antidote for removing and purifying evil forces and negative energies. It is often used as a cure for difficult situations when other cures become helpless, in situations that may possibly carry misfortunes, disasters and accidents if not properly remedied. 
It is also a potent cure against visible and invisible harmful Chi or negative energies such as poison arrows and annual afflictions.
According to the Chinese Metaphysics or Fengshui beliefs, the Kalachakra formidable symbols uses the principle of 5 elements, combined with sacred symbols that invoke cosmic powers, in a simple, practical and effective manner to create big changes in energy without the need to remodel your home. It is like a few ounces of positive energy to deflect a thousand pounds of negative forces.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios. Pictures are intended for editorial use only.