At Kagyu Samye Dzong Brussels, Rinpoche was asked to give a teaching on Gyud Lama (Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra), which is an important treatise on Buddha Nature by Arya Maitreya and Asanga.
In the first session Rinpoche talks about Refuge and gives the Refuge vows. Sessions 2-4 are a commentary on the first stanza of the text.
The English translation Rinpoche used was from Buddha Nature. The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra.
by Maggy Jones
Gyud Lama (Tibetan) or Uttaratantra Shastra (Sanskrit) means Buddha Nature. It is one of the five books of Maitreya; it is a true introduction to Vajrayana tantra and is studied in shedras and the three-year retreat.
REFUGE. In Buddhism there is no higher “Being” like “God”. Buddha’s life was dedicated to finding how all beings could have lasting happiness. Brief account of the life of the “Buddha”, the “Awakened One”; there have been many Buddhas before Shakyamuni and there will be many after. Anyone can become a Buddha. Explanation of the Three Refuges – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. Q & A
For detailed instructions on Refuge see https://bodhicharya.org/teachings/archives/three-refuges
Rinpoche will teach this fundamental topic as he taught Bodhicharyavatara. It will be recorded and also available on zoom as Live Q&A sessions where people can ask questions. They can also form discussion groups.
The various forms of Buddha’s teachings; direct and indirect; the three yanas; the meaning of shastra; the significance of the “Homage”; which pitaka it belongs to. Outline of the 3 turnings of the Dharmachakra (wheel of Dharma). This teaching belongs to the third Turning – the Abhidharma. If you study and can understand this text, it opens the door to understanding the teachings of the 3rd Dharmachakra.
There are 7 vajra points – Buddha; Dharma; Sangha; Buddha Nature; Enlightenment; Qualities of Buddha Nature; Buddha Activity. Rinpoche explains these. We all have the potential to be Buddhas but… – parable of swan reared as a chicken also dangers of self-delusion. Q & A
1st Vajra point, “What is a Buddha?” We have the historical Buddha c. 250 – 170 BCE. Brief life of Buddha Shakyamuni. His students, male and female continued his teachings.
Shakyamuni is not the only Buddha, there are countless Buddhas throughout the solar system and we all have this potential. The qualities of a Buddha are analysed from different views. “Buddha” is our true nature. It is said that when anyone becomes a Buddha they are Vajradhara. One does not change, one just becomes clear as you discover your true nature. The 8 qualities of a Buddha condensed into 2 are self-fulfilment and the ability to guide others to fulfilment. Rinpoche expands on these. We must develop wisdom, transform the intellectual understanding to an experience then recognise our true nature. Q & A
We discuss the 2nd Vajra Point – Dharma. The Homage – pays tribute to the four extremes. The Dharma cannot be defined, and is without defilement. It is the “experience of cessation” (of all problems) and the “Path”. And as it is “beyond concept” it cannot be described – it must be directly experienced. You progress slowly through the 10 Bhumis to this state; your mind will change from conceptual to non-conceptual. The teaching Dharma is pure, clear and an antidote. There is no one instruction, there are different teachings according to the needs and understanding of the students. All help us to overcome attachment, aversion and confusion to reach the “experiential Dharma”. To this we bow down. The 8 qualities of the teaching Dharma.
Q & A