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The Wish-Fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings. By Gampopa “Anyone who knows the Jewel Ornament well can say that they really understand Buddhism. Teachings from Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation the Karmapa began teachings on The Jewel Ornament of Liberation (literally, The. Teachings via video conference by PAVA. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation by Gampopa. Given Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa (Teaching in Tibetan with.

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Karma, Cause and Effect 8 January, This is the most important treatise written by Gampopa the Physician Sgam po Lha rje, —for it combines the instructions of two great rivers—the kadampa and mahamudra lineages. All kagyu practitioners should value, take an interest in, and study this text.

The Karmapa said that he himself considers it very important. The Karmapa continued his teachings, saying that this year, we have not only the nuns from the kagyu monastic colleges, we also have nuns from the practice sections of the nunneries. If they had no other jobs to do, they were allowed to stay on after the Kagyu Monlam for this gathering of nuns.

This enables them to receive these teachings and also promotes the connection between our branches of teaching and practice. Here in Bodhgaya, nuns focusing on practice can gain more interest and excitement about study, and nuns focusing on study can become more enthusiastic about practice. This blending together of the two sections provides a way of finding mutual faith and pure perception; it is only through teachings and practice that the sangha can uphold the teachings of Buddha, so it is critical to unify them.

If there is a gulf between those focused on study and those focused on practice, then not only will this cause discord within the ordained sangha, it will also cause the teachings of Buddha to wane, so a separation should be avoided. In particular, learning alone is not enough. In order to teach the dharma truly, we need experience in our being, for only then are the instructions no longer dry—they become rich and moist.

Now to turn to the text. We had completed the Fifth Chapter on the sufferings of samsara, so now we come to the Sixth Chapter on karma, cause and effect What causes the sufferings that were explained in the previous chapter is the karma of afflicted action.

Talking about karma cause and effect in terms of virtue and non-virtue is an extremely simplified way of understanding it. We do something to someone else and same thing will happen back to us. Actually, karma cause and effect is a difficult and complicated topic, because it is related to all sentient beings in the entire universe.

For example, think about rain falling from the sky. At first glance, it seems to be a simple event, but if we look into its causes and conditions, we discover that rain is an intricate phenomenon, dependent on many different aspects coming together—temperature, winds, clouds forming, and so forth. This is why our weather forecasts are often so inaccurate. It is difficult even for a bodhisattva to explain it.

The results are also extremely complex as there are myriads of circumstances that affect the ripening of karma. This presentation of karma cause and effect is a particular feature of Buddhism. Ultimately, many religions come down to a single cause, but in Buddhism, we talk about everything arising from a variety of different causes and conditions; no single autonomous creator or thing can be established. A multiplicity of situations gives rise to a phenomenon, so it is difficult to state that there is a single, autonomous, or initial cause.

If we can come to an understanding of karma cause and effect like this, it will not only help us understand Buddha Dharma, but also benefit us in this human life as well. In Buddhism, we talk about the ten non-virtues: Of course, in general, there are many different non-virtues, which are not included in these ten; they simply represent the most severe, or most perilous of the misdeeds.


In addition, you must engage in these ten intentionally and be aware you are doing them for the act to count as non-virtue. It is killing, but it is not deliberate. For both the ordained and lay sangha, Buddhism teaches a discipline to refrain from committing these ten non-virtues.

If you yourself commit the three non-virtues that relate to the body, of course, you are at fault, and not only that, if you order someone else to do these, you accumulate the same karma as if you had done them yourself. It is the same with jewdl four misdeeds related to speech.

And here, you do not have to actually say something to accrue a misdeed. For example, suppose that you pretend to be mute and someone asks you if you are clairvoyant.

To actually commit one of the ten non-virtues, there are five aspects that must be gmpopa If all five are not involved, it is not considered an actual commission of a non-virtue.

Path to Buddhahood: Teachings on Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation by Ringu Tulku

If we have time, we can talk more about these later. The Gyalwang Karmapa opened the second teaching session by continuing the reading transmission, this time giving the section of the text relating to the ten non-virtuous actions. He then explored these in greater depth, picking ornamenf from the previous day. He first explained what refraining from the non-virtues actually means.

Instead, in order for it to become virtuous, we need to actively refrain from the non-virtuous action. To take the example of killing, in order for non-killing to become virtuous, when looking at the being you would kill you then have to understand that when the wish to kill arises, this is extremely bad.

You also need to see that the preparation for killing is extremely bad, and then actively decide to refrain from that. This active refraining is what becomes a virtue. So merely passively not killing is not the actual virtue of abstaining from killing. Next the Karmapa explored the five aspects that must be present in a non-virtuous action—conception, affliction, intention, preparation, and completion—in more detail.

The reason that conception is included is because it needs to be an accurate conception. For example, if you thought that Tashi was Lobsang and then kill Lobsang, it would be mistaken. So we need to distinguish whether the conception is accurate or not. Next are the afflictions, which motivate the action but are not the actual deeds.

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation – Rigpa Wiki

They are conditions that instigate the act but are not the act itself. Then comes the motivation, such as an intention to kill. For that reason the intention or wish to kill is ofnament. There are many different ways to slaughter a sheep. The actual misdeed with killing is the motivation or intent to kill, and the physical and verbal acts we perform leading up to it and in carrying it out. The misdeeds and non-virtues of body and speech are relatively straightforward and easy to understand, but those of mind are a bit more difficult and less straightforward.

There are two types of afflictions, latent and manifest. As an analogy, take a glass or bowl filled with very dirty, silted water. Similarly our mind is polluted and contaminated with the afflictions. When our five faculties encounter external objects of form, this becomes the condition that stirs up gampopq latent afflictions within the mind and they become evident. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation talks jeweel many different types of results coming from each ornsment.

When discussing fully ripened results, we often say all happiness arises from virtue and all suffering from non-virtue.

But we ornajent to distinguish fully ripened results from the feelings of pleasure and pain. For example, through performing virtues, we can also experience suffering or other results that are painful.


Likewise, through non-virtues we can have the dominant result that is pleasurable. These are temporary feelings of pleasure and pain from our actions. Many different dominant and compatible results are also described. The text states that the dominant result of killing would be dying before your life force is exhausted. This is difficult oornament us to see and tell, but we know of people who die early, such as young people who suddenly die.

Another dominant result of killing is that the potency of medicines will decrease: You might eat one hundred supplements or receive one hundred different long-life empowerments, but more beneficial for your life is to spend a single day with the vow of non-killing.

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation

This will give you more power, cure illness, and allow for long life. The Karmapa stressed the subtlety and complexity of karma, cause and effect. There was no need to ask the Buddha because Shariputra would be able to give a good answer.

They would only ask these questions of the Buddha. Karma, cause and effect is extremely subtle and very problematic—so complicated only the Buddha can truly fathom it. Out of the five aspects that must be present, including conception, motivation, affliction, preparation and completion, he explored the aspects of preparation and completion a little further.

Returning once again to the example of killing, in terms of the preparation, there are two ways to do this—either carrying out the killing yourself, or having another person do it. Either way it becomes the actual commission of the act. This includes killing with a weapon, poison, or killing with mantras and spells, etc. In Tibet it used to be that if you killed someone with a weapon or poison, mewel was considered a sign of weakness and was seen as bad.

But to jfwel someone with sorcery or spells was a sign of a lot of power, and this was considered good! But in terms of karma, cause and effect, these methods of killing are the same.

There is a question that comes up about rejoicing. Suppose that instead of doing the killing yourself you have someone else do it.

The question is that if you rejoice when someone else kills on your behalf, do you yourself incur the actual commission of that act? Likewise, if a physician has the wish to help and gives wrong medication and then the patient dies, this is also not the actual commission of killing.

But the Karmapa cautioned that we have to be careful, as there are some instances where these acts may still produce results. He then turned to the four non-virtues of speech, and in particular, lying. A lie does not necessary have to gamplpa a lie spoken out loud. We can also tell it through a manner of not-speaking, as if pretending not to understand. There are ways to lie without speaking, and you can also have someone else tell a lie.

The completion of the act is that the other person understands the meaning of the lie you are telling. For the lies that become one of the four defeats, these are about having supreme human qualities.

Onament for lies that are the ten non-virtues, these are those that fulfill the aspects of basis, preparation, intention and completion. Next the Gyalwang Karmapa discussed an important exception: For example, there may be occasions when bodhisattvas are required to use harsh speech.

But, this could then raise a difficulty, because harsh speech is motivated by the afflictions.