Perseverance in joy!!

Teaching by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa

This morning, His Holiness gave a teaching on the working of Mara and how we should be counteracting the challenges posed by the Mara and his manifestations. Mara does not like virtuous activities, therefore he manifests as laziness, body pains, anger and all sorts of emotions to discourage us when we perform virtuous activities. We have to be strong enough to fight with him and move ahead like a bulldozer. These challenges are good if we know how to use them as support. As they will be able to accelerate our progress on the spiritual path. We should not be weakened by Mara and his manifestations, instead we should be working on them as a practice. When we succeed, when we win over them, we will have positive results in our practice.

His Holiness continued saying: I have a lot of obstacles whenever I do a pilgrimage like this. During the bicycle pilgrimage, my robe was caught in a wheel and I hurt myself, but I didn’t tell anyone; I just continued. Half way through, a jeep knocked me so badly that I was thrown in the air, I fell down and broke my nose. I wasn’t worried about my nose, I was just worried about my bicycle and my injured knee. If I couldn’t continue, the pilgrimage had to stop. So I pushed myself to continue, peddling only with one leg. During Sikkim Pad Yatra, I slipped on a very small stone and injured my ankle, on my way to one of the holiest sites of Guru Rinpoche. I could have told the group to continue and allowed myself to discontinue the Pad Yatra and check into a hotel. I pushed myself to continue even though my entire leg was swollen due to the injured ankle. This time at the beginning of the Pad Yatra, so many blisters appeared after just a few hours of easy walk and my backpack became heavier by the day without me adding any additional things.

His Holiness' foot

In fact, I removed my tent and some belongings, yet it still got heavier by the day, even my strong monks couldn’t believe how heavy my backpack has become. And of course, I caught a flu two days back and lost my voice, because of this, I couldn’t teach until this morning. All these I know are manifestations of Mara, to stop me from accomplishing great merit and great purification, and they know that if they stop me, the entire Pad Yatra has to end prematurely. You can check my backpack, how heavy it is, it is like having invisible rocks in it. I am not telling you this to scare you or boost my ego, Mara and his manifestations are with us all the time. Whenever we are off guard, they will win the battle. Persevere in spiritual practice fearlessly with joyful effort!