Tonight, we did a Avalokitesvara Prayer because today was the birthday of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. After which, Acho Rinpoche shared with us on a letter left behind by the late Yangthang Rinpoche of Sikkim, who passed away recently. He left behind a letter giving advice to a niece but it is clear that the teachings in the letter were meant for the rest of world.
Yangthang Rinpoche advised us to ponder the purpose of life and choose our paths wisely, should it be the path of a commoner or a path of spiritual cultivation. For the path of a commoner, no matter how successful one is on this path, he must bid farewell to all his family members, wealth, career etc., and leave them behind when he passes away from this world, as he will not be able to bring anything along to his next life. However, the path of spiritual cultivation is a luminous path that could lead one to the ultimate liberation free of the endless cycles of birth and deaths in the Six Realm of Existence.
Yangthang Rinpoche said, out of the 40 billion human population in the world today, there are barely one hundred thousand people who have chosen the luminous spiritual path. In the current age of degeneration, the non-practitioners will naturally head for a downfall in the Three Lower Realms of Existence (animal, hell being and hungry ghost). A person should not assume that it is good enough to just be a kind-hearted person because almost everyone is competing with one another out of his self-interest, which is the reason for a downfall. When one falls into a lower realm in his next life, he will be stranded in a miserable state of existence not for a short period of one or two years but for millions of years! A human existence is a very precious condition for spiritual cultivation. However, if a practitioner does not take it seriously, he will fall into the Three Lower Realms of Existence too. Sakyamuni Buddha and the past patriarchs had been repeating the same teachings from generation to generation, which goes to show the truth of such maxims.
Acho Rinpoche reminded the audience that we may not necessarily be walking on a luminous path unless we abide by the precepts, be humble and do not assume that we have done better than others; otherwise, we will fall into the evil path too. If we made mistakes, we should just repent our mistakes and make amends.
Acho Rinpoche advised us that a person who leads in group prayers must aspire to help all sentient beings including taking on the negative karma of the sentient beings. He was experiencing excruciating pain in his swollen palm lately. One day, he placed his swollen palm above an incense burner in his shrine and “saw” the numerous spiritual beings coming out from his palm. Such is the process of soul deliverance, where one has to let the spiritual beings reside within his body for a period of time in order to undergo the cleansing process for eradicating their negative karma, before they could be delivered to the next rebirth.
Relevant link: Yangthang Rinpoche’s letter for his niece
Reported by Sun-Moon KFS on 19-10-2016, from Singapore