8 Jun

Recently Kechara House has been engaging in a Lamrim recitation retreat to create the cause for the new Kechara House Gompa to arise. Just imagine KH1 and KH2 combined together to form into one massive temple in Sunwaymas! Yup, that’s whats going to happen in the near future. Such a massive project require certain pujas to be conducted in order to create the cause and remove obstacles and so amongst the recommendation was a reading of the Lamrim.

So what is the Lamrim?

Youarehere..1155306840.img_8651 Well, it is not to be mistaken to be just one book, it is actually a genre of books that was started of by Dipamkara Srijnana Atisha. Rinpoche gave a wonderful account of the story of Atisha in KH regarding his travels to Tibet at the request of one of the Tibetan chieftains, Jangchub O. Upon commencing his journey to Tibet, he promised the Abbot to return. However, when he was about to return, a war broke out in the Nepalese border, effectively closing the borders to travellers. Hence, not wanting to break his promise, Atisha composed the first Lamrim text, which he named Bodhipathapradīpa and sent it back to India. 

Incredibly, it condenses the entire teachings of Lord Buddha into one volume. It was revolutionary in that way and that is why Lama Tsongkhapa elaborated it by basing it upon Atisha’s root text. The text itself is divided based upon three scopes – lower, middling and higher. They correspon with liberation for oneself, for others and attaining Enlightenment for all sentient beings. Lama Tsongkhapa further condenses the Lamrim into 3 Principle Aspects of the Path, namely discovering renunciation, Bodhichitta and the realisation of Emptiness. Lama Tsongkhapa said that if you have studied all the texts and have not come to a realisation of these three aspects, one would still not understood the actual intent of Buddha Shakyamuni.

Hence, studying and even reading the Lamrim is a very powerful blessing because it imbues the blessings of the entire set of Buddha’s teachings upon us. Even having basic understanding of the topics contained within the Lamrim is particularly powerful for our spiritual practice and learning because it will enable us to integrate any other teachings within the framework of Lamrim. Any authentic Buddhist teachings whether Sutra or Tantra would fall within the Lamrim framework. Hence, just knowing this framework would allow us to put into practice almost any Buddhist teachings immediately.

Phew! I know that was deep, but I read it somewhere in chapter 3 and I was flabbergasted. Thanks to this lamrim recitation retreat, I have learnt something. I hope to find some time to read more of the Lamrim and learn even more.

(The haunting statue in the photo is a depiction of Atisha)

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