Lamrim Teachings by HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche
The lineage of the Lamrim originated from Buddha Shakyamuni himself. Buddha Shakyamuni taught the profound stages of the path (the wisdom of emptiness) and the extensive (method) stages of the path which forms his 84,000 teachings and the source of the Lamrim. The profound part of the teachings was passed to Manjushri and from Manjushri to Nagarjuna. The extensive part of the teachings was passed to Maitreya and from Maitreya to Asanga.
The profound and extensive lineages were eventually passed down to Atisha, the renowned 11th century Indian pandit. Atisha also received the lineages of secret mantra. Thus the lineages inherited by Atisha carried the complete teachings of sutra and tantra. Atisha later composed the Lamp on the Path to Enlightenment that combines the key points of this complete doctrine and it is since then that the convention of calling this set of teachings the Lamrim started.
I have here the Lamrim teachings taught by my root Guru the great Kyabje Zong Rinpoche himself. The teaching is in Tibetan and translated in English at various intervals. There are five parts to this teaching and I have given a short synopsis to each part.
I hope you will benefit from this Lamrim teaching by this very great master.
Much care and prayers,
Part I: Reliance on one’s guru and developing sincere faith in him is of utmost importance
If you believe your guru is a Buddha, you will receive the blessings of a Buddha. If you believe your guru is a Bodhisattva, you will receive the blessings of a Bodhisattva. However, if you believe your guru is an ordinary being like yourself, you will receive no blessings. Zong Rinpoche also spoke on the preciousness of our human life, its impermanence and the sufferings of the lower realms.
Part II: We should meditate on the sufferings of the lower realms as if we ourselves have been reborn there
Now is the time for us to do something to prevent our rebirth in the lower realms because once we are reborn there, there is really not much we can do. Zong Rinpoche spoke on taking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, to stop committing the ten non-virtuous actions and acting in accordance to the law of cause and effect.
Part III: There are many causes of death
Zong Rinpoche said that when we die we have to leave everything behind and we will have two options. If we have practiced Dharma sincerely when we were alive, we will take higher rebirth. If we have committed non-virtuous actions, we will have a high likelihood of taking lower rebirth.
Part IV: There is no real happiness in samsara
What we call happiness is just the suffering of change. All suffering in samsara comes from the karmic actions motivated by the ignorance of self grasping that thinks that the perceived ‘I’ is inherently existent. To sever this root of ignorance, we must realize emptiness.
We need to realize our own sufferings in samsara and develop renunciation, a wish to attain liberation from the suffering in samsara. Only then we can realize the suffering of other sentient beings in the same predicament and develop compassion for them. On this basis, we will realize that the most effective way to help all sentient beings out of their suffering is to attain full enlightenment. This wish to attain enlightenment to free all sentient beings from suffering is Bodhicitta or the mind of enlightenment. Zong Rinpoche explained the seven fold cause and effect method of developing Bodhicitta.
Part V: A continuation in the explanation of the seven fold cause and effect method of developing Bodhicitta
Tibetan ‘Ah’ syllable found on the inside of the skull of the 2nd Zong Rinpoche, Zongtrul Tenpa Chopel (1836-1899 AD) after his cremation ceremony
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