Essence of Dharma
(Essential Wealth for the warrior like People who wish to be liberated)
composed by Atisha, Translated from Tibetan by T.K. Lochen Tulku
Buddhist Himalaya: A Journal of Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods
Vol. IX No. I & II (1998)
Copyright 1998 by Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods
Ema Ho. When Joborje was in Ngari, after had stayed two years he gave many instructions to those headed by Lha Changchub o, amongst which are these, when he thought to go back to India and wads about to leave Lha Changchub or requested him again to give further instructions, Jo boje said that what had already been said was sufficient, but Lha Changchub insisted and therefore he gave this instruction.
1. Though it is improper for me, who is dull and cannot look after myself to give suggestion s to friends who are highly learned and clear minded nevertheless, since you who are a true friend of mine and dearer to me than my heart have asked me to do so therefore I, an intellectually limited child would like to put these suggestions forth for the consideration by my friendly.
2. Friend, you must have a guru until you attain enlightenment so rely on a guru. You have to study until you get the realization of the ultimate reality so listen to the in structions of spiritual friends. Mere knowledge of the doctrine will not lead to Buddhahood, it is no enough, so practice the dharma. Keep away from objects that harm the mind and ever stay where virtue finds increases.
3. Activities ('du rdzi) are harmful until one attains the doctrine, so take shelter in the silence of the forest life. Avoid friends who cause delusions to arise and cleave to those who make virtue increase. Hold to that thought. The activities of the world are endless, so leave and relax. Bank (sngo) virtues day and night and always keep watch over the mind.
4. What use is there in instructions if one does not meditate on them? so put the words of he guru into practice. If one practices with respect and faith before long results will come quickly. It seems there is no need to be worried about a livelihood if one practices the dharma from the depths of one's heart Friends, desires are never satisfied, like drinking salt water, so feel contentment.
5. Feel contempt for arrogance, conceit, pride and being puffed up and be peaceful and disciplined. Even so-called meritorious actions are obstacles to the dharma so refrain from them. Gain and honor are the snares of demons so get rid of the, as though they were rocks on the road. Words of praise and fame are deceptive so spit them out like spit.
6. Even if happiness, prosperity and relatives are all together here now, it is only for a moment so turn your back on them. The future is longer than the present so store up your wealth for the long journey ahead. Since everything is left behind when on goes and nothing can be done about it do not be attached to anything. Cultivate compassion for those lower and stop ignoring and insulting them.
7. Do not be partial, having thoughts of overcoming enemies and thoughts of attachment to one's own people, Do not be jealous of those with good qualities, be respectful instead and get their qualities. Do not find fault with others, find the faults in yourself and remove them, like your purge yourself of bad blood.
8. Do not think of your own good. Think of the good for others and be as though a servant of all. Consider all beings as your parents and love them as child. Tell the truth without anger, always with a loving mind and smiling face, Too much unconnected talk with mislead so know how much to say and talk in moderation.
9. To much unnecessary activity will interrupt virtuous work so set aside non-spiritual activities. Do not set great store ;in work which has no essence, it is meaningless toil. It is better to be free of tension because nothing happens according to one's wishes but is determined by far-off Karma. Hey! If you become an embarrassment to ho holy persons it is like death so do not be devious, be honest.
10. The pleasures and sufferings of this life are the result of earlier actions, so do not blame others. All happinesses are the blessing of the guru so repay his kindness. Unless you first train yourself. Without the super knowledge one cannot help others so make great effort to gain them.
11. Since one will definitely have to leave all one's collected wealth do not store up wickedness for wealth. The diversion into personal consumption goes nowhere so see the value of the wealth of Charity. Be ever moral because it beautifies this life and leads to future happiness. Anger flourishes in a degenerate ages so wear the armor of dispassion and patience.
12. You will be left behind on account of laziness so make your effort burn like a fire. Life ends in the byways of distraction so now is the right time to meditate. You will not be able to understand the way things are if your have wrong view so try to get right meaning. Friends, there is no happiness in the mire of samsara so make for the dry land of liberation.
13. If one meditates properly on the instructions given by a guru, the river of misery that is samsara dries up. These words are not empty words, it is proper to listen to them and keep them in mind, if your do so, I myself, will be delighted, and you your self and others will be happy.
Please pay heed to these instructions even though I am an ignorant person these are the instructions given to Lhatsun Changchub o by Lhacig Joboje.