Tonight we celebrated the birthday of Bodhisattva Veda. Veda will be the last Buddha appearing in our present bhadrakalpa. He vows to protect the Buddha Dharma and will only attain Buddhahood after the rest of the Buddhas in this kalpa have done so. He will be known as Rudita Buddha by then.
Acho Rinpoche stressed the need of being diligent in our practice. He cited the example of Grand Master who continues to practise with vigour till now, without missing a single day of prayer. He even does his prayer on the plane too when he is travelling abroad. Acho Rinpoche said he did not think that he has any supernatural power but things usually worked out well because of the blessing of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who helped him because of his diligence in practice. He does not think that doing a sadhana session per day is adequate to help one attain enlightenment. An ordained monk should do at least four sadhana sessions a day (morning, noon, evening, night). When a practitioner is diligent in his practice, he will not forget about the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, when he is overwhelmed by the many activities in life. If a practitioner does not practise with vigour, he will eventually lose himself to the many temptations in life, including his work, financial gains, family and enjoyment etc.
Acho Rinpoche has been practicing for more than 30 years by now and he continues to do at least four to five rounds of sadhana session every day (morning, before lunch, after lunch, evening, night). Grand Master also stressed the importance of practicing the individual paramitas of the Six Paramitas (Six Perfections) with vigour, in order to be able to attain enlightenment.
In addition, there is a precept that must be observed by a Vajrayanist – one must not mingle around with ordinary people who indulge in their secular activities. Ordinary people are only concerned about secular enjoyment and their conducts will continue to make one stranded in the samsara (cyclic existence) perpetually. A practitioner will be influenced by his ordinary friends who are non-practitioners and become slack in his practice that will only lead him to the downfall. Practice is likened to a boat moving upstream that it will certainly be washed downstream if it does not maintain its pace moving upstream.
It is very important for a practitioner to participate in a group prayer too. Practising alone will make it hard for a practitioner to keep up his momentum of practising with vigour. Over time, he will just become slack in his practice and will finally give it all up. Group prayers will help the participants motivate one another and keep up the momentum of practising with vigour. The power of blessing bestowed by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on a group prayer is very powerful and can help cleanse the negative karma of all the participants effectively, while engendering a sense of vigour in them.
Acho Rinpoche has not become slack in his practice after his retirement, as he continues to do a few rounds of sadhana sessions every day. He even continues doing his sadhana in his dream and could help other sentient beings during his sleep. Samsara is indeed a very scary phenomenon. When a person truly feels the pain of samsara, he will naturally practise with vigour in order to break free of samsara sooner. When a practitioner finally attains enlightenment, he may do anything that appears to be unrelated to a spiritual practice in order to help other sentient beings; but that will be a different story altogether.
In gist, diligence is a very important quality of a practitioner. One will remember the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha when doing his sadhana, when his mind will not be distracted by the external environment which is both illusionary and transient in nature.
Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 18-7-2015