Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Samaya Bond (三昧耶戒)

Grand Master mentioned an Australian master in his book entitled “Vision Beyond A Thousand Miles” (千里之外的看见). This was an exceptional master who was diligent in his practice and a long time practitioner. Grand Master conferred him the title of a vajra master and gave him the name for his chapter. He printed many sutras, especially the “The Root Vows of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha Sutra”. Later, he built a big temple in Melbourne and was ordained as a monk. He taught Buddhism and helped many. He suddenly died at a very young age, causing many to feel a great sense of loss.

Some students asked Grand Master why did he end up dying so young? Grand Master said that he had broken his Samaya Bond. What is Samaya Bond? It is a spiritual bond between a disciple and his root guru, principle deity and dharma protector. It is a precept that cannot be transgressed. One who does not uphold the Samaya Bond will not succeed in all his practices. Especially so for a Vajrayanist who should never break the bond for there is no one who can help you if you have, including the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

But Grand Master continued to say that had he been willing to chant Grand Master’s heart mantra once, or recite the name of the Buddha or the name of Grand Master once, or just give Grand Master a call, Grand Master would have been able to help him. However, he was unwilling to do so. Maybe he had heard too much negative criticisms about Grand Master in the past that he decided to leave the True Buddha School. He had stopped believing in Grand Master and therefore broken his Samaya Bond, and he ended up losing his life too.

How inconceivable is the practice of Vajrayana! I feel that the most important thing about spiritual practice is to avoid transgressing the precepts. We must uphold the precepts carefully, especially the Samaya Bond. We should maintain the purity of our practice, for “heaven is watching over what men are doing.” The heavenly beings are watching us all the times. Every action and every thought of ours are being monitored closely by someone above – giving us marks. "Good deed – good!" "Bad deed –let’s record it and sort it out one by one." This is the reason why we, the practitioners, must abide by the precepts very closely and practice the purity of our action, speech and mind.

You know well that I have never thrown my tantrum and I have never pointed my finger at others or scolded anyone. Why? Because I do not wish to create bad karma, for I understand the inconceivable power of karma. An evil thought, the moment it is harbored, has created a bad karma. That is something which I will never dare doing. You can criticize me, scold me, spit at me, slash me, hurt me etc – it does not matter to me. “Forget it…forget it… ” I will do what the Tolerance Deity (one of the past re-incarnations of Sakyamuni Buddha) did – just keep silent. I will not retort for I do not wish to and dare not create a negative karma. So, if you want to succeed in your practice, you must maintain the purity of your action, speech and mind. Reflect inward – this is a key practice.