ADVICE FROM HIS HOLINESS, THE TWELFTH GYALWANG DRUKPA
Ego is the creator of the world in which we are suffering. For example, when we take rebirth, we do so without any understanding or knowledge; without freedom. Also, after being born, when we are in the process of growth, we do not have any freedom.
KARMA IS THE LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT
Those people who are crippled, blind, sick or suffering very much do not have any freedom or choice about their situation, even though they may not like that kind of life. But they have to go through it because their “karma” has pushed them into that situation. I hope you understand what karma means; it is the law of cause and effect. It is the result of the seed that you have previously sown, but this kind of seed can be destroyed before it cones to fruition. This is possible. One should not think that “karma is karma”, and that you have to experience it as such. It is not like this. You do not have to suffer if your wisdom works well and correctly.
There are many ways of reducing or destroying karma before its result ripens. It may be a bit late if you are already born with the karma of past lives, but you can still do something. There are still solutions to get rid of these sufferings, even if it is a bit late. It is very important to know this. However, like a disease, it should not be too late to deal with. I guess that many of you are doctors and so you know this very well. If you can detect a disease in its early stages, it can then be cured very easily. But when you detect it at the terminal stage you say, “Now it is too late. It is hopeless. “ Karma is something very similar to this. Therefore, we have to work with our karma from today onwards. This is the reason why we should start taking care of ourselves from today, and act from today instead of waiting for tomorrow. We say this because life is impermanent and no one knows what is going to happen tomorrow. We should work immediately to destroy any negative karma.
Unfortunately, out of ignorance we are planting a lot of negative seeds. One may have to face the negative consequences because many such seeds have been sown. Then one has to work to deal with these consequences and neutralize them. This is the way that one destroys the negative karma.
THERE ARE SO MANY SOLUTIONS TO GET RID OF NEGATIVE KARMA
You should not wait for the negative karma to come into effect. You do not have to suffer because there are so many solutions to get rid of negative karma. Therefore, we need teachings and guidance, and this is why spirituality is very important. Spirituality does not help in any other way. We are, in a sense, quite well-off in this world; we have food to eat, clothes to wear, house to live in, etc and so we do not really need anything worldly from spirituality. The main idea of spirituality is to get rid of the negative seeds that you have planted. This is the main focus of the spiritual path because we do not want to suffer. If any of us need suffering, then we do not need to work for spiritual development. We can just sit tight and do nothing. Then we will definitely suffer. However, since we do not want to suffer we have to work to demolish all these negative accumulations. In order to demolish them, we need to develop wisdom.
YOUR MIND HOLDS THE ENTIRE WISDOM OF THE UNIVERSAL TRUTH
Where does karma come from? How does it exist? What is the make-up of karma? These are the things that you should understand with genuine wisdom, which by itself will demolish all the negative karma. So all you need is to develop wisdom. Wisdom is not something that you do not know and that I can show you. Wisdom is something that you can find within yourself. However, I can tell you where to look for it; it is in your mind. Wisdom is not something that you can buy or steal; it can only be found within yourself, within your mind; within your heart. Your mind holds the entire wisdom of the universal truth. When you realize this wisdom, you will then know everything.
Creation is an aspect of the mind, ego is an aspect of the mind and wisdom is also an aspect of the mind. Therefore, the mind holds everything, including wisdom and ignorance. We live in confusion because we do not recognize anything spiritually; spiritually we are very ignorant. Because we are ignorant and confused, the mind has two faces: the face of wisdom and the face of ignorance. The real nature if our mind is pure wisdom; there is no ignorance in this, but as long as we are not realized the mind holds two faces.
Since beginningless time until today, you have been doing everything with your ego. Si what is ego? It is actually your confused mind. This confused mind brings about the desire, which can give rise to all kinds of emotions, which in turn can influence your body and speech.
WISDOM IS YOUR INNER GURU
Wisdom is actually your “inner” guru, which indicates what your confused mind is doing. The “external” guru is the one who teaches you this and initiates you on the path of spirituality. But it is your own wisdom, as the inner guru, that reveals the functions of the ego to you. By knowing how your ego functions, you will definitely understand the teachings about cutting this ego a hundred times more effectively than just through the teachings of the external guru.
Therefore, we say that there is the “inner” master,”outer” master and “secret” master. A person who finds all the right circumstances correctly will find his or her own mind full of wisdom. Then suffering will come to an end. There will be no mistakes and no influence from the ego or from desire. One will be free from everything. Whatever you do after that, you will do knowingly and freely. Maybe you do not like to live, so then I would say that your death would be a “free death”. If you want to be reborn, your rebirth would be a “free rebirth”. You will have achieved the great freedom, the so-called enlightenment. That freedom is the so-called Great Bliss or Buddhahood.
THE MIND IS THE CREATOR OF EVERYTHING
However, people do not understand this because of their ignorance. When they hear terms like “God”, “Buddha” or “Khodah”, they think that they exist somewhere “out there”. There is the notion of looking outside for everything, and so you are left with no direction. If you think that the Buddhas and Gods are outside, you are left somewhere else without any help. You will expect that a messiah will come to liberate you, but then nobody comes. So, you find yourself in a hopeless situation and by the time you realize this it will be too late. You will be too old or dying soon. Hence this is not the right approach to spirituality. The right way is to understand that everything is within yourself, if you understand that the mind is the creator of everything, then even if you are not free right now you will psychologically feel that everything is in your hands. This means that some kind of atmosphere of freedom is already there. Even though you are not accomplished in respect of practice and so forth- you can still feel a kind of freedom. This is my experience. I hope you understand.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
How can one be sure that it is really the inner guru that one experiences and not just a projection of one’s mind?
Of course, it is a projection of our mind. We will be having projections until enlightenment, but the inner guru is a different kind of projection. For example, experientially speaking, you will have a thorough understanding of how the world came about; you will know that first. Of course, you have to go through things according to your external guru’s instructions. But if an instruction that you are getting from your own wisdom is the opposite from the instruction that you get from the external guru, then this is something doubtful. So you have to be careful. But if the wisdom tells you everything exactly the same as the external guru, it means that you are getting on the right track.
If one is not right, then there is a conflict between the inner master and the ego. If the ego has the tendency to say that there is something I have to do, but the inner master says, “No, don’t do that “, it seems that part of the mind transcends both the inner master and the ego. Am I understanding this correctly?
I think this is the right understanding; at least it’s is not totally wrong. But it is not relevant to what I said, though it is okey. It sounds quite right. Anyway, you have to go further with things through practice. This is the reason why we meditate and go to isolated places to do retreat. We want to think about this over and over again, and contemplate. Contemplation is very important to generate that kind of wisdom. For example, since we have been talking about this subject, maybe we have found some kind of intellectual understanding, but maybe not. That experienced. But you can’t push it down into your heart with your hand; you have to push it into your heart through practice. This is the way to develop yourself.
Is there no relationship between your past life and this birth?
No, you can’t say that there is no relationship between whoever I was then and whoever I am right now. The relationship is very much there because you are you; it is exactly the same being. The only difference is that the form has changed. It is like a drama. You just change your dress and put on one mask. Then you change your dress and put on another mask- something like that.
In your previous life maybe you were a dog or a bird, but now your form has changed and you have become a human being. Obviously, you can’t remember because of the distance of time, the influence of ignorance and all these things. But those people who are very aware of themselves and have great wisdom remember many things. There are lots of people, even though they are common beings and not really respected reincarnations or holy beings, who remember their past lives very clearly. There are a few people who can recall things about their previous lives which can be proved by other people. So, this is just a question of remembering or not.
For example, like myself, I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast this morning, so because I am ignorant how can I remember my previous life? If I had enough wisdom, then I should at least remember what I ate for breakfast! There are many people who say similar things but more crudely. They say, “So what! May be I will suffer in the next life, but it doesn’t matter. I will not remember, I won’t feel sorry and I am enjoying things right now. “But that is not the right attitude because when the suffering comes, it will be too late. People who are crippled and blind are suffering now. Its too late for them to do anything because they are suffering now. They can’t say, “So what!” when they are suffering. It is you that is suffering. It is the continuation of the same mind.