Friday, May 19, 2017

Exposition of Lotus Sutra by Acho Rinpoche - 2

Today is the 8th day of the 4th Lunar Month, which was also the same day when Sakyamuni Buddha was born in this world more than two thousand five hundred years ago. Vajrayana Buddhism placed special emphasis on certain days of the year including the date when a Buddha was born in this world, when sun eclipse or moon eclipse happen etc.; we believe that the merits accumulated from doing the sadhanas on these days will increase by numerous folds, thus expediting our advancement on the spiritual path to enlightenment. A sadhaina performed today is equivalent to numerous rounds of sadhana performed for a long period of time, beyond one’s imagination.

Tonight, Acho Rinpoche mentioned the importance of the Lotus Sutra again. After Sakyamuni Buddha expounded the Innumerable Meanings Sutra (Amitartha Sutra), he entered the Samadhi of Innumerable Meanings. At this juncture, the whole world was illuminated brightly by the luminosity emitted from his body while he was dwelling in the state of profound samadhi.  It was indeed a very astounding and unprecedented experience to the entire assembly of students who observed the amazing situation in awe. Bodhisattva Maitreya could not help but asked Bodhisattva Manjushri, whether the latter had any idea of what was happening? Manjushri told the assembly that he had, in fact, witnessed a similar situation aeons ago when Sun Moon Lamp Buddha was about to expound the Lotus Sutra. True enough! Sakyamuni Buddha rose from this samadhi later and expounded the Lotus Sutra. There were five thousand Arahat students who left the assembly before the exposition began, leaving behind the remaining students who were ready to accept the teachings and receive the prophesy from Sakyamuni Buddha on their enlightenment in future with their Buddha titles clearly predicted.

Acho Rinpoche mentioned that the Vimalakirti Sutra despised the Hinayana practice but the Lotus Sutra mentioned that all three schools of Buddhism (Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana) are actually one and the same – the Buddhayana. Sakyamuni Buddha prophesized that all his Arahat students who practiced the Hinayana would attain Buddhahood in future. Lotus Sutra is the king of all sutras. We should revere and cherish the Lotus Sutra by copying, reading and practising the teachings expounded within.

The Three Realms (Desire, Form and Formless) are but a house on fire. Sakyamuni Buddha transmitted the three schools of teachings for the sole purpose of helping us to escape from danger. Ultimately speaking, there is only one teaching – the Buddhayana. A practitioner must complete the practice of the Six Perfections (offering, discipline, tolerance, diligence, meditation and wisdom), in order to attain the ultimate state of enlightenment - Buddhahood. There is a practitioner by the name of Despising No One being mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, who did not appear to be reciting the sutras, chanting the mantras nor doing meditations in his practice. However, he would prostrate to everyone whom he met and addressed everyone as a Buddha. This is just the practice free of ego which views all sentient beings as the Buddhas. How many of us are capable of doing so? Bodhisattva Despising No One finally attained a state of enlightenment with his six sensual organs fully transformed into a state of purity that they could be used interchangeably. So, the most expedient path of practice is just the practice free of ego.

The ultimate state of enlightenment can only be reached through the actualization of practice, without which there will be no chance! A believer can attain the ultimate state of liberation but a non-believer will continue to be stranded in the Six Realms of Existence. Today, our world is very near the verge of destruction, with possible nuclear war breaking out anytime which could wipe out certain countries from the surface of earth immediately. Acho Rinpoche advised us not to belittle ourselves nor belittle the spiritual power of our practice.  Instead, we should have full faith in the teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha and all the enlightened ones like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, that when we chant the mantras and visualize the numerous enlightened ones illuminating the Six Realms of Existence with bright lights to free all sentient beings of sufferings, and dedicate the merits of our practice to all sentient beings, it can actually help change the world and save it from destruction.

Sadhu! Sadhu!

Reported by Sun-Moon KFS on 3-5-2017