What Would You Do to Your Enemy?

17 April 2010 - 1:54am Comments Off

The great Atisha who was such an enlightened Being, had one monk in Nalanda who hated him. He was an older monk who only saw bad points in Atisha. When Atisha gave teachings, he would never attend. He would influence others and say, “Don’t go to the teachings.” He only saw Atisha as false and criticised him over and over and over. He tried to make Atisha’s life difficult in the monastery.

If it were me, I would have dropped an H-bomb on that monk immediately but because Atisha practised these teachings, do you know what he did? When the great goddess Tara told Atisha to go to Tibet to teach Dharma, Atisha invited this monk to go to Tibet with him and he sponsored his whole trip over. And you know why? No, not because Atisha was a fruit cake. Because he wanted to practise patience and love. And this was the best person, because he didn’t have anyone who didn’t love him; Atisha only had people who praised him. There was only one person who hated him, who constantly criticised him and constantly wanted to debase him.

So Atisha said, “Hey, what a golden opportunity! Come along with me to Tibet.” He was there for thirteen years with this monk who criticised Atisha until his dying day. And Atisha did wonderful prayers, and had a ceremony and funeral for this monk to get a good rebirth.

Atisha’s practice is as famous as Buddha Shakyamuni’s in Tibet. In fact we have teachings, we have lineages and teachings today because of Atisha. Even the Tara practice is because of Atisha. Atisha taught us how to make offerings to collect merit. The first person to teach us how to make wealth vases and to contain the energy to get wealth was Atisha. He was the one who wrote the original Lamrim. He was the one who disseminated the monk vows which spread all over Mongolia and Tibet. Because he was a pure monk, he created many new monks.

This great Lama served and compassionately took care of the old crony of a monk who had nothing but the ugliest things to say about him. Imagine that.

When it is our turn to practise, we are not willing to do what Atisha did or we think he’s crazy for doing that. But when we look deeper, Atisha saw a golden opportunity to practise patience and love and compassion because there was no one who hated him. He found one person and said, “Oh, it’s my opportunity. I want to make sure that I destroy the last traces of my negative emotions so I can become a Buddha to benefit others.” That was his motive.


Tsem Rinpoche

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