Monday, October 23, 2017

Only a True Practitioner will Attain Enlightenment, Regardless of Ordained or Layman.

          Tonight, we did a Guru Rinpoche Prayer under the guidance of Acho Rinpoche. After which, he told us about an ordained Tibetan Khenpo, who was quite actively teaching in Taiwan and Australia in the past, has disrobed and renounced his monkhood. This Khenpo admitted in public that he has failed to abide by the precept of an ordained monk, as he has succumbed to the temptation of desires. An ordained monk who chose to disrobe means that he has not accomplished his spiritual practice, which is certainly not a glamorous thing.

          This Khenpo was praised by H.H Dalai Lama in the past, and the latter requested him to teach in Taiwan. He has many students in Taiwan, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. He has also published some books on Buddhism and appeared quite frequently on TV and radio, doing the teaching. Acho Rinpoche met him once when he came to Singapore in the past.

          This Khenpo became a monk since young. He was trained in Tibetan Buddhism for about thirty years by now and is very familiar with the method of Tibetan Buddhist Debate too. He also expressed his disagreement with the views of a Taiwanese layman Buddhist teacher who opposed to the practice of Smoke Puja. This Khenpo said that there were many patriarchs including the 5th Dalai Lama who commended the merits and advocated the practice of Smoke Puja in the past. Therefore, he disagrees with that layman Buddhist teacher who opposed to the practice of Smoke Puja. He also explained the method of Tibetan Buddhist Debate, in which the two parties involved will simply oppose and argue against the views of each other, in order to win the debate. Therefore, the party which wins the debate may not necessarily mean that his argument represents the “truth”, for there is no right or wrong between two debaters. So, he is worried that the Taiwanese students of the layman Buddhist teacher might be misled by their teacher, for they do not understand the rule of Tibetan Buddhist Debate.    

          Acho Rinpoche opined that our spiritual practice ought to be guided by the ethics and social values of the current society; one should not follow the literatures blindly. Besides, a person who can convey the teachings very well in writing or in speech does not necessarily mean that he has truly attained the state of realization. One who has disrobed clearly shows that he has failed to uphold the precepts of an ordained monk. However, Acho Rinpoche commended his honesty of admitting his own faults in public, for failing to uphold his precept as an ordained monk. One should renounce his ordination when he transgresses the precepts of ordination, instead of hiding his faults from the public. When an ordained person transgresses the precepts of ordination and refuses to renounce his ordination, this act of ignorance will bring an end to the true teachings of the Buddha. Acho Rinpoche also opined that the merits and pace of practice of an ordained practitioner is certainly far more superior than that of a layman practitioner. However, the real issue does not lie in the question of ordination nor its renunciation. What truly matters is whether a practitioner has attained a true state of realization. Actually, an ordained practitioner can attain a true state of realization, so can a layman practitioner. So, learning too much of the teachings does not help much because the teachings are, essentially, just theories. Actually, the most important point lies in the “practice”, which is the only way to attain the true state of realization.  

Finally, we ended our prayer by reciting the names of the Buddhas under the guidance of Acho Rinpoche, and dedicated the merits to all sentient beings - may all sentient beings be happy, free of sufferings and attain enlightenment one day. 

Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 21-10-2017 @Singapore