Saturday, October 23, 2010

Buddha Shakyamuni Mantra

Buddha Shakyamuni Mantra


The following translation of the mantra is provided by Thubten Yeshe is a direct quote taken from here:

The mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha could be said to be the essence of the Buddha, the essence of his enlightenment. It is in no way separate from the Buddha himself.

Mantras are said to carry this enlightenment essence in the very sound of the syllables themselves. It's an energetic thing. So, translations can sometimes get in the way of the experience of the energy of the mantra if we focus on the so-called meaning of the words at the expense of simply experiencing the sound that is being generated.

Mantra has been described as "a creative sound considered expressive of the deepest essence of things and understandings" thus the recitation of the mantra "can evoke in a formulaic or even magical way" a transcendent state of mind and energy. Also, "mantra is the pure sound of enlightened speech."

It is Sanskrit, not Tibetan. In fact, mantras are almost untranslatable. But, what we can do is interpret the syllables. This is Lama Zopa Rinpoche's interpretation of the Buddha's mantra:

TA YA THA - it is like this

OM - The All-Knowledge of the three bodies of a buddha and of the infinite Buddha's Holy Body, Speech and Mind. The knowledge of the two paths to enlightenment (Method and Wisdom), and of the two truths (Absolute and relative) that contain all existence within them.

MUNI - Control over the suffering of the three lower realms and over the wrong conception of the self-existent I.

MUNI - Control over the suffering of all samsara and over self-cherishing thoughts.

MAHA MUNIYE - Great control over the suffering of subtle illusions and over the dualistic mind.

SVAHA - May my mind receive, absorb and keep the blessings of the mantra, and may they take root.

I'll finish with a quote from Lama Thubten Yeshe:

"Reciting a mantra...does not mean the mere vocal repetition of speech syllables. Many meditators know from experience that the act of reciting mantras transcends external sounds and words. It is more like listening to a subtle inner sound that has always inhabited our nervous system."

- Thubten Yeshe, quote taken from here:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

3 Qualities of the Student and 10 Qualities of the Guru

Source: Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha:

3 Qualities of the Good Student with the Analogies of the Cup:

1) The upside-down cup. Incapable of taking in the teachings.

The student should be open-minded and receptive to teachings.

2) The contaminated cup. Wrong motivations and views corrupt and distort the teachings.

The student should be discriminating and critical of their own and other's wrong views. They should have a sincere motivation when receiving teachings, rather than being motivated by gain or fame.

3) The leaky cup. Incapable to retaining the teachings.

The student should be enthusiastic and determined to listen, reflect, meditatate upon and retain the wisdom being taught to them.

10 Qualities of the Guru according to the Fifty Verses on Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha

1) Stable means that he should have very subdued actions of body; he should abstain from non-virtuous actions of body, keep his bodily actions proper and moral; immutable.

2) Cultivated refers to his speech; he should abstain from non-virtuous actions of speech, keep proper morality of speech, not hurt others by means of speech, sharp words, etc.

3) Mentally, he should abstain from the three non-virtuous actions of mind as well as from pretentiousness; his mental attitude should be very pure. He should possess intelligence and discretion; if he doesn’t, he can’t lead us on the path to liberation.

4) He should possess the three types of forbearance, or patience:
· forbearance of harm received from others;
· the ability to endure hardship; and
· the ability to hear profound teachings without being terrified.

5) He should be true and unbiased, or impartial; not biased towards near relatives or repulsed by enemies; he should be even-minded towards all sentient beings.

6) He shouldn’t be pretentious or conceal his shortcomings. Pretentious means pretending to have supernatural knowledge that he doesn’t have and concealing his shortcomings means always trying to hide his faults from others, especially with the intention of getting offerings.

7) He should have the power to drive out interferences by means of mantras and tantric practice.

8) He should be able to practice medicine, which actually means to help and benefit others by means of his teachings; to really pacify them.

9) He should possess great compassion, the wish that all sentient beings’ suffering be alleviated.

10) He should have profound knowledge of the scriptures, especially the Tripitaka.

10 Qualities of a Guru according to the Guru Puja (Mentor Worship) by the First Panchen Lama Lobsang Chokyi Galtsen

Sourse: Lama Zopa's Online Entry on Guru Devotion

1. Discipline as a result of his mastery of the training in the higher discipline of moral self-control;
2. Mental quiescence from his training in higher concentration;
3. Pacification of all delusions and obstacles from his training in higher wisdom;
4. More knowledge than his disciple in the subject to be taught;
5. Enthusiastic perseverance and joy in teaching;
6. A treasury of scriptural knowledge;
7. Insight into and understanding of emptiness;
8. Skill in presenting the teachings;
9. Great compassion; and
10. No reluctance to teach and work for his disciples regardless of their level of intelligence.