Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: TT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

The Way To Freedom

22/05/201117:12(Xem: 1712)
The Way To Freedom
the way to freedom dalailama
THE WAY TO 
FREEDOM
By His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Translated by Nguyễn Thúy Phượng
 

General Series Editor, John F. Avedon
 Editor, Donald S. Lopez, Jr

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

            With deep gratitude, I now prostrate my appreciation to:

  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to the Most Venerable Lhakdor at the Library of Tibet for the generous permission to translate this book THE WAY TO FREEDOM from English to Vietnamese.
  • The Most Venerable Thinlay Topgyal (Abbot), the Most Venerable Lobsang Ngawang (Vice Abbot), Venerable Tashi (Administrator) and all the monks at Gyudmed Tantric Monastic School and Gyudmed Tantric University (Tibet) for the tireless effort, prayers and all the spiritual support that they have given me in the last few years.
  • The Most Venerable Thich Duc Nhuan, Chief Advisor of the Steering Committee of The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. He is also an astute scholar, author, translator of many Buddhist scriptures, many valuable dissertations, many historical researchers for his gracious foreword to my translation despite his enormous obligations to his tight schedule and despite his limited health due to age.
  • The Most Venerable Thich Quang Do, President of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. He is also an eminent scholar, author, translator of many profound Buddhist scriptures for his loving- kindness and his compassion to encourage me in my study of Buddhism and in my commitment to engage with the path.
  • Venerable Thich Thien Tri, Chairman of Council of Vinaya and Commissioner for the clergy of The Vietnamese American Unified Buddhist Congress in the United States of America. He is also a translator of many sacred Buddhist Sutras. My thanks go to him for inspiring me to take refuge with The Triple Gems and my sincere prayers also go to wish him a speedy recovery from his illness and best of success in his devotion.
  • Venerable Thich Vien Ly, Assistant of the Vice President and Vice Secretary General of The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam; he is also Secretary General of The Vietnamese American Unified Buddhist Congress in the United States of America for his great compassion to create countless opportunities for me to overcome all arduous obstacles so that this book could be possibleNguyễn Thúy Phượng

Nguyễn Thúy Phượng Nguyệt Tuệ Huy
                               
2543-1999

 

 

FOREWORD

 

Buddhism is a religion of the truth. Buddha is a great healer.

                     The three Collections of the Buddhist Canon consists of 84,000 wonderful Dharma Paths, which are 84,000 miraculous medications to be used to cure 84,000 kinds of “illness caused by delusions” of sentient beings. It therefore, brings about harmony and happiness to those who BELIEVE IN and who APPLY that endless source of awakened and liberated Dharma lights during the course of their ordinary lives.

                     “The Way to Freedom”[1] is one of the Dalai Lama’s great teaching volumes which could bring peace to life. People from all walks of life, all around the world are currently welcoming it with full admiration and pleasure.

                     This volume consists of ten chapters. For instance, in chapter IV- “THE DEATH,” he taught:

  • “A practitioner of the Dharma thinks daily about death, reflects upon the sufferings of human beings, the suffering at the time of birth, the suffering of aging, the suffering of sickness and the suffering of death. Everyday, tantric practitioners go through the death process in imagination. It is like mentally dying once everyday[2]. Because of their familiarity with it, they will be quite prepared when they actually meet with death…”
  • “If you reflect upon death, you will begin to make your meaningful…”
  • “It is just like you have to go through a very dangerous and frightening terrain (The DEATH)…”

                     Upon mentioning “THE DEATH,” he taught that people should diligently fulfill the virtuous deeds in this life so he or she could rely on these as a good fruition for many future lives.

                     Upon taking a vow to follow the Bodhisattva’s path, a Buddhist disciple should learn how to forget his “SELF”- so that he can serve the True Buddhist Law and serve all beings…: a Buddhist disciple should know to suffer before his fellow being suffer and enjoy after the joy of others.

                     Examining carefully every single thought and single word of the supreme monk’s collection- The Way to Freedom- we see each thought and each word is overflowing with LOVE for human beings and for all beings. It is just like a bunch of beautiful lotus flowers, blooming and exhaling their fragrance to refresh all the painful spirits and it is just like sunshine, causing all dark clouds of life to disappear.

                     Today, Nguyễn Thúy Phượng- Nguyệt Tuệ Huy is devoting herself to translating the above mentioned textbook from English to Vietnamese; this is a genuine contribution of her share to the “Propagating the Dharma for the sake of others’ mission.” I praise her deeds and highly recommend this to all readers.

Written at Giác Minh Pagoda, Saigon
Springtime of 2543-1999

Thích Đức Nhuận



INTRODUCTION

                     To practice Buddhism is to wage a struggle between the negative and positive forces in your mind. The meditator seeks to undermine the negative and develop and increase the positive. The teachings in this book are meant to transform the mind; to read or listen to a single passage can bring great benefit.

                     There are no physical markers by which to measure progress in the struggle between the positive and negative forces in consciousness. Changes begin when you first identify and recognize your delusions, such as anger and jealousy. One then needs to know the antidotes to delusion, and that knowledge is gained by listening to the teachings. There is no simple way to remove delusions. They cannot be extracted surgically. They have to be recognized, and then, through the practice of these teachings, they can be gradually reduced and then completely eliminated.

                     The more one comes to understand the Dharma, or Buddhist teachings, the weaker will be the grip of pride, hatred, greed, and other negative emotions that cause so much suffering. Applying this understanding in daily life over a period of months and years will gradually transform the mind, because, despite the fact that it often seems otherwise, the mind is subject to change. If you can compare your state of mind now to your state of mind now to your state of mind after you have read this book, you may notice some improvement. If so, these teachings will have served their purpose.

                      In the present eon, the Buddha appeared over 2500 years ago in the form of Shakyamuni, the sage of the Shakya clan. He took ordination as a monk and engaged in arduous yogic practices. Seated in meditation under a tree in a place called Bodh Gaya in northern India, he achieved complete enlightenment. Subsequently, he gave myriad teachings designed to suit our diverse interests and dispositions. Some he taught how to gain a better rebirth and others how to gain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The extensive and profound scriptures containing those teachings, called sutras, outline the methods and means to bring happiness to all beings. Derived from the Buddha’s experience and logically sound, these teachings can be practices and tested by anyone.

                      In Tibet, the Buddhist teachings were compiled to reveal the stages of the entire path to enlightenment in a single book. In the past, many people have been able to achieve the state of complete enlightenment by replying on these same instructions; they are suited to anyone with an untamed mind. Though we realize the harm caused by our delusions, such as the damage done to ourselves and others when we act out of anger, we still fall under their influence. Thus an untamed mind throws us recklessly into the abyss instead of stopping when it sees the edge.

                      We have been propelled into this cycle of suffering by our delusions and the actions they provoke, which are known as karma. Because of the cause-and-effect relation between our actions and our experience, we spend our lives enduring all sorts of ups and downs, in trouble and confusion. To be totally free from the weight of past deeds and from the thralldom of desire, hatred, and ignorance is called liberation, or nirvana. When we are able to eliminate delusions and karma by realizing the natural purity of the mind, total peace follows and we gain complete freedom from the cycle of suffering.

                      If we can do good deeds, such as saving the lives of animals under threat of death, we can accumulate the conditions necessary for gaining rebirth as a human being. If we undertake the serious practice of the Dharma, we will be able to continue our spiritual progress in our lives to come. But this life is precious and unpredictable, and it is important to engage in practice while we have the opportunity. We never know how long that opportunity will last.

                     What we do now, according to the law of karma, the principle of cause and effect, has consequences for the future. Our future is determined by our present state of mind, but our present state of mind is overrun by delusions. We should aspire to achieve enlightenment. If that is not possible, we should seek to gain freedom from rebirth. If that is not possible, we should at least plant the seeds for a favorable rebirth in the next life, without falling into lower realms of existence. At this auspicious juncture, when we are free of obstacles to hearing and practicing the Dharma, we must not let this rare opportunity pass.

                     However, freeing ourselves from suffering is only part of the quest. Just as you do not want even the slightest suffering and want only happiness, so also does everyone else. All beings are equal in the sense that all have a natural tendency to wish for happiness and freedom from suffering. Knowing this and still working only for our own liberation makes the accomplishment a small one. But if our underlying motivation is to be able to help others, we can attain the omniscient state and with it the capacity to benefit every living being. We can become Buddhas ourselves.

                     If our present state of mind is poor and our capacity limited, how can we fulfill the wishes of others? The mere wish to help them is not enough. First we much achieve the ability to perceive the diverse aspirations of others. In order for our perception to be clear, we much eliminate all the faults that prevent us from seeing things as they are. The obstacles to omniscience are the imprints left by such delusions as desire, anger, pride, and ignorance. Even after delusions have been eliminated the mind retains their imprints. But because the true nature of the mind is clear, pure, and knowing, it is possible to purify the mind thoroughly and so attain that clarity of awareness known as omniscience.

                     The principle motive impelling the Buddha to achieve all his great qualities of body, speech, and mind was compassion. The essence of our practice too should be the wish to help others. Such an altruistic wish is naturally present within our hearts in the acknowledgment that others are just like us in wishing to be happy and to avoid suffering. It is like a seed, which we can protect and help to grow through practice.All the teachings of the Buddha essentially to try to develop this kind heart and altruistic mind. The Buddha’s path is founded on compassion, the wish that others be free from suffering. This leads us to the understanding that the welfare of others is ultimately more important than our own, for without others, we would have no spiritual practice, no opportunity for enlightenment. I do not claim to have great knowledge or high realization, but remembering the kindness of my teachers, who gave these instructions to me, and with concern for the welfare of all beings, I offer these teachings to you.


 

[1] Original English Version

[2] A BIG DEATH means a person should let all the evil and wrongful habits as Greed,Hatred,Ignorance die…so that he or she can be reborn as a new person:a person with perfect virtue,who leads a life as wholesome as a lotus which has risen from the dirty mud,yet is has stayed clean.That life is a life filled with BUĐHA MIND.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

----o0o---

Typing: Kim Thu & Kim Chi
Update: Vinh Thai

Cập nhật: 9-2007



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