28th Feb –Vajra Vidhya Institute, Sarnath.
On the final day of his weeklong Spring Teachings, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, shared some thoughts about his own life. He began the session by openly reflecting on his life situation, compared to the vast accomplishments of the previous Karmapas.
“From my own perspective, I’m growing older and older but I have this feeling that up until now I still have not really done much to bring benefit to Buddhism and sentient beings, or anything to be satisfied with. When I look at the activities of the previous Karmapas, from a very early age they all did vast activity for the benefit of the teachings and for the benefit of sentient beings. Putting aside whether or not I can be compared to the other Karmapas, but as a follower of the Karmapas I still do not really feel that I have been able to do the same amount of benefit for beings and the teachings.”
The very name ‘Karmapa’ contains the seeds of vast accomplishments within it, since the name means ‘the one who accomplishes enlightened activities’, or ‘the embodiment of all the Buddha’s activities.’ And yet, the Gyalwang Karmapa said, he personally is surrounded by many difficulties and problems.
“I have the name of the Karmapa, and so I need to fulfill the role of the Karmapa and do the activity of a Karmapa. But performing the activity of a Karmapa is no joke. It is not easy. It is extremely difficult to do. In particular, it is extremely difficult for an ordinary being who has all the faults in his being to be able to try to perform the activities of Buddhas, who have removed all of their faults. This is extremely difficult. Although I’m still young I’m surrounded by many difficulties and many problems. Personally my life is very difficult.”
And yet, despite all these difficulties, the Gyalwang Karmapa expressed his innate aspiration to be able to continue to help the beings of this world.
“The Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas, and especially the previous Karmapas, have taken care of me with their compassion and their great affection, and they have given me in particular this special opportunity to be able to do something for the benefit of beings and the Buddhist teachings. There are many people who expressed that they feel like I am necessary, and that I am of benefit to them. And so for that reason I have the aspiration that I may be able to stay in this world-realm and be able to accomplish something of benefit for Buddhism and for sentient beings.”
With this pure aspiration to be able to benefit beings to the full extent of his extraordinary capabilities, the Gyalwang Karmapa drew the Spring Teachings to a close. “I don’t know whether or not these teachings have been beneficial for you,” he said, “but they have been beneficial for me. When you teach the dharma to others it sort of encourages and inspires you yourself. You have all been coming here to the teachings and many people in different countries have been watching and taking great interest, and I’d like to thank all of you very much.”