Archive | November 2013

Last Prayer by Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Choggi Rinpoche given at Kunzang Palyul Choling in 1988.  He was telling the story of how His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche came to write his last prayer.

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche & Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

This prayer was the last prayer written by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche who was my teacher.  According to Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness is believed to be the manifestation of Padmasambhava.  Padmasambhava was born eight years after the parinirvana, the death, of Buddha Shakyamuni.  As prophesized, Padmasambhava was called the second Buddha, and was the founder of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet.  In every prophecy, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche is described as the manifestation of Padmasambhava himself.

This teaching is not a simple teaching.  It was a vision.  This is the story about how this teaching appeared.

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche’s wife had a special Dakini, a wisdom goddess, who would visit her in her dreams from time to time.  This Dakini would predict many things to her.  One day this wisdom Dakini appeared in her dream and asked her to please ask His Holiness for a prayer, which would be extremely beneficial for future human beings.

The next day His Holiness’ wife made the request.  She said, “I had a dream.  Please write a prayer for beings.”  And His Holiness said, “I have written so many prayers.  There is no lack of prayers for people to read.  It’s just that they don’t read.  That’s the thing.  There is no end to what I have written.”

And his wife thought maybe that was right, because in his last life, he wrote 23 texts of different practices.  These texts were not just composed. They were wisdom manifestation teachings called terma.

During the time of the eighth century in Tibet, Padmasambhava realized that in the future the teachings would be disrupted.  There would be negative forces – those who would try to change the essence of the teachings.  So Padmasambhava and his Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal concealed those teachings.  They concealed the teachings in the ground, in space, in the water, and predicted exactly at what particular time they would be revealed in the future and the name of the particular Terton that would reveal each teaching or practice.  And that is exactly what has happened to this day.  These terma revelations are so fresh, and therefore the whole teaching is preserved as it is.

The Terton, or treasure revealer, is like one who has been directly initiated by Padmasambhava himself.  All the protectors who were keeping that wisdom took a vow with Padmasambhava that the terma would be given only to the right person, to the Chosen One of Padmasambhava. The whole teaching might be 300 pages, but the 300 pages are written in one line.  It is secret and kept hidden in Dakini letters, which is itself hidden.  No one can read that text except for the Terton initiated by Padmasambhava.  Only he can read it.  When discovered, there is only one line and through that a spontaneous text comes out.  Terma is self-hidden wisdom. It is so important that we are able to have that.  I feel very fortunate.  We believe that His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche is the manifestation of Padmasambhava.

Then His Holiness’ wife had another dream. Twice the same Dakini appeared in her dream and this time she said, “I asked you before.  It is very important that you request a prayer and you did not.  Now please, ask him.  Don’t neglect that.  It is very important.  There is big meaning within the prayer.”

So again she asked His Holiness.  And then again His Holiness said the same thing.  “No, I have written so many prayers.  People just don’t do.  From my side there is nothing lacking.”

And then she requested a third time.  That morning His Holiness was in his Paris apartment in France.  In the early morning hours, he was in his sitting room, and suddenly he had a vision of Padmasambhava.  The whole room started to glow, and became big.  A person wearing a white cloth and a symbol came dancing.  And then Padmasambhava himself spoke.  He said, “Establish the dharma.  Plant it in your heart.  In the depth of your heart, you will attain Buddhahood.  Enter the Buddha land.  Purify confusion.  Happily the Pure land is nearby.  Generate diligence in the essence practice.  Without practice, who can get results?  Looking at all of one’s faults is difficult.  Laying down one’s own fault is the essential point.  One day all defects will slowly purify themselves.  And good qualities gradually flourish.”  That was the teaching.  And then right at that moment, His Holiness wrote this whole teaching.

The life of a Terton is extremely interesting, because all communication is on an extremely subtle level.  For gross consciousness it is very hard to understand.  His Holiness immediately picked up a table and told the attendants to fill it with milk, and then he asked his wife and son Shenphen Rinpoche to come.

It was very early and Shenphen Rinpoche thought, “What’s happened? Is His Holiness’ health ok?”  He came rushing down.  And His Holiness said, “Just sit down.  And drink this milk.”  Now this is how delicate a Terton’s life is.  If Shenphen Rinpoche did not drink the milk at that point, what would become of the teaching?  Sometimes they say that one person represents all human beings when in front of a very powerful being.  So Shenphen Rinpoche drank it all.  And that showed that the blessing would be attained by all beings.  He drank all the milk.  And His Holiness said, “Good.”  This is how Tertons are.

Sometimes when one is next to a Terton, the Terton will tell you to get him something.  He or she may tell you in the middle of nowhere, “Get me something” which you can never get.  But the Terton never has the idea that it is not possible to get it, so the only thing you have to do is pick up anything and just give it to him because for the Terton habit is totally dissolved.  There is no such thing.  And when you just present that, it manifests in that state.  So when His Holiness said, “Drink the milk,” his son drank all the milk.  And His Holiness said, ‘Very good.  Just now I had this vision of Padmasambhava.”  And then he wrote this prayer.  This is the last prayer of His Holiness.  And there is a tremendous blessing in this prayer.

Namo Guru!

Homage to the Guru!

Conqueror Shakyamuni, Supreme Guide of the universe in this fortunate aeon.

Sons of the Conquerors, assembly of noble Bodhisattvas, you who train beings. 


Revered Guru, unsurpassed protector of beings of this degenerate age, 


Three Roots, host of oath-bound, and the Dharma protectors, one-pointedly remembering you from the depths of our hearts, 


We pray repeatedly invoking your attention

Hold us with loving kindness, and power of unobstructed compassion


Bless us to accomplish our aims in accordance with Dharma.

From former positive actions, we’ve gained this precious human body.

Due to merit, by no means small, we have met with holy Dharma.

Accepted by the Guru, we have received empowerments, blessings, pith instructions.

Though we hold such a jewel in our hands right now, our minds, like frivolous monkeys, fall for cunning demons of distraction.

And we cannot even use this wealth, which is our very own. 


Freedoms, endowments, and pith instructions have simply been wasted. 


Now we are coming to the crucial turning point.  Everything we ask for and receive has become like a story.

Putting on the appearance of Dharma, we even think we are practitioners, yet this minds falls far short of perfect practice, lacking even human dharma, let alone the view of Buddha dharma. 


With only a vague notion of the sixteen rules of proper human conduct, when examining ourselves, our own bad deeds bring us no shame.  When it comes to others, our patience is short like the tail of a door mouse.

Unable to execute the ten virtuous actions of
Buddhadharma, 
full of sectarian bias, although there is only one teacher and one teaching, we criticize teachings and the sages, accumulating bad karma; 


Using Dharma in this way is just carrying along a big burden of sin.

We have heard a lot of teachings, but they only increase our pride. Our mental analysis does not penetrate the depth of their meaning. 


Though we think we keep the Pratimoksha discipline, the four dharmas of the practitioner are scattered without trace. 


Though we think we possess the Bodhisattva precious training, the Four Immeasurables are like a painted picture of a lamp. 


Though we think we keep the samayas of the secret
Mantrayana, 
undervaluing the first root downfall we slip into it, taking for granted. 

Though we can mouth the explanations of the Four Thoughts that Change the Mind, attachment to the appearances of this life shows we have no renunciation. 


Though we rely on a guru, our respect and devotion gradually wane. In the place of pure vision, we wrongly think ourselves his equals. 

Respect, love and kindness toward our vajra brothers and sisters decline.

Even a bad word on their part seems intolerable and we shower them with curses. The love and compassion born of recognizing the beings of the six realms as our parents, vanishes like mist when we do not practice from the depths of
Bodhicitta. 


Though we act as though we have experience of the Development and Completion stages, we have no alternative to our ordinary confused perception. 


Though we know the Voidness is the ultimate teaching of Sutra and Tantra, 
we have no decisive understanding of it; our mind-streams become hard as horn. 


Unable to abide in the Original Nature, we pay mere lip service to the view and throwing cause and effect to the wind. 


Though outwardly, we appear to be well disciplined and well behaved, inwardly, attachment, craving, desire and greed burn like fire. 


Though we keep our bodies secluded in the mountains, day and night our minds ceaselessly wander in the cities. 


We don’t really trust our own experience and practice and yet guiding and advising others is like a child telling stories. 


Though we can’t be cheated by the compassion of the Three Jewels, yet due to our failing devotion, we cheat and harm ourselves. 


In this way, although to the profound Lama and Dharma, we have no wrong beliefs arising from lack of trust and faith, we sentient beings perform bad actions and remain unfulfilled in these degenerate times. 


Knowing full well what we are doing, we get into self-destructive carelessness.

Not protecting mindfulness, we suffer great loss. 


Now at this time as mind looks at itself, everything we do adds to the confusion.

Everything we think is tainted by emotional affliction.

We see our virtuous activities mixed with sin.  So ultimately where else is there to go but to the lower realms? 

As to our actions and patterns of behavior, calling them to mind, we lose confidence in ourselves. 

Looking at others only amplifies alienation.   We find no one trustworthy to be sure and help us. 

Now if we don’t take ourselves in hand, then when we are caught by the messenger of the Lord of Death, 
no one will be able to protect us, and all hope will be gone. 


Don’t you feel that waiting for such empty expectations is just deceiving ourselves?

With remorse and regret, recognize your own defects.  Wherever we have failed in dharma through error, lapse or transgression, we will not now increase it by concealing it in the presence of those with the eye of wisdom.

We confess in the depths of our hearts: With your compassion, forgive us. Protect us from the terror of the precipice of the wrong path.  Guiding us so that we can attain the perfect path of liberation. 


Having busily spent life doing this and that we have not laid hands on the essential meaning.  Give up the path in which you know so much and miss the one essential point.

Should we not now enter the path of knowing the one thing that liberates all? 


Undeceiving supreme protector, sole certainty and support, Root Guru, who encompasses all refuges, we pray to you with one-pointed devotion.

Look upon us with compassion most kind and supreme refuge,

Bless us so that we can see our own faults. 


Please bless us to not look into the faults of others. 


Bless us so we pacify harmful scheming and violent thoughts. 


Please bless us so that good thoughts arise from deep within. 


Bless us so we have little desire and know how to be satisfied. 

Please bless us so we may remember the time of death is uncertain. 


Bless us so we have no plans left over at the time of death. 


Bless us so we can generate great confidence in Dharma. 


Bless us so we practice impartial pure perception. 


Please bless us so that we develop uncontrived respect and devotion. 


Bless us that we reduce mental activity about unobtainable goals. 


Please bless us with the power to establish the Dharma in the depths of our minds. The ultimate point of the Dharma is the effort put into the practice.  The ultimate point of practice is to liberate our mind streams.  Please bless us.

Bless us so that our practice is free of obstacles.

Please bless us so that its results may ripen immediately.

Bless us so that we may liberate everything we come into contact with. 

Please bless us so that we destroy the duality of hope and fear.

Bless us so that we to see the non-dual primordial wisdom. 


Please bless us so that we recognize our own primordial wisdom. 


Bless us so that we reach the secure ground. 


Please bless us so that we gain ultimate effortless certainty. 


With the great vajra weapon of primordial, pristine cognition, may the life force of samsara and nirvana be cut into emptiness with one stroke. 


Into the unobstructed great bliss enjoyment of Nyema, may we always enjoy activity transcending together and separating. In the expanse of the all-pervasive equalness even the word suffering does not exist. 

Who could there be still searching for happiness where happiness and suffering have the same taste and grasping is self-liberated?  This is the Kingdom of Samantabhadra: May we attain it in this very lifetime!

Rainbow Body practitioner

Composed by His Eminence Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche and his disciples on the 23rd of November, 2013, the auspicious day of Lha Bab Duchen, the Buddha’s Mother’s Day, at the auspicious place of the Dzogchen Retreat Center, USA.

Dear Students,

As you know from my recent message, my precious teacher Dzogchen Lama Karma Rinpoche passed away on the 11th of November, 2013. Yesterday I received extraordinary news from my Dharma friends in the holy Dzogchen area of Tibet that the sacred body of my kind teacher Lama Karma has obviously and dramatically shrunk in size. Lama Karma’s body was about 175cm (approx. 5’9”) tall, but two weeks after he passed away, his seated body has now shrunk to about 20cm (approx. 8”), which means his body, including his skeleton, shrank nearly 80%. According to Dzogchen tantra, this kind of miraculous display shows he has attained the Small Rainbow Body, which is a sign that he has attained the supreme accomplishment of Buddha in this very life. Please deeply rejoice in his devoted practice and realization of Dzogchen. In doing so, you accumulate immeasurable merit.

If his body continues to shrink and totally disappears, then this miracle will be categorized as Light Body or Atomless Body. I will describe these various miraculous results of Dzogchen practice later in this message.

Lama Karma Rinpoche received many Dzogchen teachings, mainly from Dzogchen Khenpo Apey Tsewang Rinpoche and Dzogchen Lama Achung Tokden Rinpoche. For many years after, Lama Karma mainly practiced Dzogchen Guru Yoga with trekchö in the caves of the holy Dzogchen area.

While some people assume that Dharma practice is a superstitious or meaningless activity, it is in fact the most meaningful and profound activity that you can do. The reason for this is because through Dharma practice you become Buddha, which means you transform yourself into Awakened Omniscience. Once you become Buddha then you are free from all suffering and the causes of suffering forever while you spontaneously help each and every being equally, without exception, in many different ways until they all attain Buddha. Therefore, there is nothing better for you and all beings than to become Buddha.

In order to complete the paths and stages of enlightenment, you must accomplish Dzogchen practice. Without realizing Dzogchen awareness, no one has ever become Buddha or will become Buddha. Accomplishing Dzogchen practice means you become Buddha. As it is said in the Dzogchen Atiyoga tantra, without realizing Dzogchen awareness one will not attain Buddha.

The swiftest method to become Buddha is correctly practicing Guru Yoga with Dzogchen. There are two main Dzogchen practices: trekchö (cutting through) and thögal (ridge-traversing).

When you accomplish Dzogchen treckchö you will achieve one of two results as described in the Dzogchen tantras.

One is ödlu, the Light Body, which means your body transforms into light and disappears. This can happen either gradually or instantaneously. Masters who have attained this include Master Vairochana in Western Tibet and Pong Gonpo and five generations of his main disciples in Eastern Tibet.

The other is dudral, the Atomless Body, which means your body dissolves into emptiness and totally disappears. This can happen with or without an eyewitness. Masters who attained this include Guru Junpey in Central Tibet and in 1998, Khenpo Achung in Nyarong, Eastern Tibet.

If you accomplish the Dharma practice of Dzogchen trekchö and thögal, then you achieve one of three types of Rainbow Body as described in the Dzogchen tantras.

The first is the Great Rainbow Body, which means directly transforming the present body into a luminous Rainbow Body, just like Buddha Shakyamuni in India, Padmasambhava in Nepal, Shri Singha in India, Vimalamitra in China, Yeshe Tsogyal and Chetsun Senge Wangshuk in Tibet, and so on. Those who attain the Great Rainbow Body eternally retain their present life’s body appearance until all beings become Buddha.

The second is the Medium Rainbow Body, most commonly known as Rainbow Body, which means the Dzogchen master’s body dissolves as rainbow light of many different shapes, colors, and all different sizes of rainbow spheres, rainbow rays, and rainbow ribbons until the physical body has totally dissolved into rainbow light, leaving nothing behind except some hair and nails. All these rainbow lights can pass through the master’s clothing and through solid walls. Even ordinary people can directly perceive this miraculous display of Rainbow Body accomplishment. Masters who have attained this accomplishment include Melong Dorje and Rigdzin Kumaradza in Central Tibet and in 1952, Sonam Namgyal in Mani Gedgo in Eastern Tibet.

The third is the Small Rainbow Body, which means a Dzogchen master’s body shrinks to the size of a cubit or less (in a seated position). This is also known as the Shrunken Rainbow Body. Masters who attained this include Master Nyaklha Rangrik Dorje in Eastern Tibet. (His body is still preserved and is the size of a hand. His hair is ten times bigger than his body.) Atha Lhamo in 1982 in Eastern Tibet. Her body also shrank to around 10cm (approx. 4″).

All these results of Dzogchen practice, the Light Body, Atomless Body, and all types of Rainbow Body, are signs of the same supreme accomplishment. The differences refer only to what happens with the miraculous display of the master’s physical body, but their attainments are all exactly equal. This means that these practitioners have attained Buddha in this very life.

After such sacred miraculous displays occur, most people no longer physically see these masters so we pronounce that they passed away. However, during this time, when the students pray to these masters who achieved Light Body or Rainbow Body, sometimes they can perceive their teacher physically appear to them and they receive tremendously powerful transmissions and pith instructions of the Dzogchen lineage.

Anyone who sees or even hears about the miracle display of the Light Body or Rainbow Body at the time it occurs is extremely fortunate. According to the Dzogchen tantras, when a master attains Light Body or Rainbow Body, the master’s wisdom pervasively emanates to all beings without exception and especially profoundly penetrates the minds of 3,000 disciples who have knowing-devotion to the master, such that these disciples directly receive the Dzogchen Lineage transmission.

Therefore, I encourage all my disciples to faithfully pray, supplicate, and joyfully offer to the Dzogchen Lineage masters, especially to my kind teacher, Dzogchen Lama Karma Rinpoche. From now until December 27th is an auspicious opportunity to practice The Buddha Path every day, to take or renew virtuous vows, and to fulfill your special commitments to do any virtuous activities or practices. In this way, you will receive the blessings, empowerments, and attainments of the Dzogchen Lineage, which will help you to become a Dzogchen Lineage Holder and swiftly attain Rainbow Body, Buddha, in this very life.

May you realize that all Result Buddhas always reside in your heart and the hearts of all beings.

May you swiftly attain the accomplishment of Rainbow Body in this very life.

I invite my international students to translate this and my previous message regarding Lama Karma Rinpoche into your native languages and share with others.

With love and blessings,
Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche

The connection between creating virtue and liberation

In the Kimattha Sutta, this is addressed by Lord Buddha

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “What is the purpose of skillful virtues? What is their reward?”

“Skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, Ananda, and freedom from remorse as their reward.”

“And what is the purpose of freedom from remorse? What is its reward?”

“Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward.”

“And what is the purpose of joy? What is its reward?”

“Joy has rapture as its purpose, rapture as its reward.”

“And what is the purpose of rapture? What is its reward?”

“Rapture has serenity as its purpose, serenity as its reward.”

“And what is the purpose of serenity? What is its reward?”

“Serenity has pleasure as its purpose, pleasure as its reward.”

“And what is the purpose of pleasure? What is its reward?”

“Pleasure has concentration as its purpose, concentration as its reward.”

“And what is the purpose of concentration? What is its reward?”

“Concentration has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its purpose, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its reward.”

“And what is the purpose of knowledge & vision of things as they actually are? What is its reward?”

“Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward.”

“And what is the purpose of disenchantment? What is its reward?”

“Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward.”

“And what is the purpose of dispassion? What is its reward?”

“Dispassion has knowledge & vision of release as its purpose, knowledge & vision of release as its reward.

“Thus in this way, Ananda, skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, freedom from remorse as their reward. Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward. Joy has rapture as its purpose, rapture as its reward. Rapture has serenity as its purpose, serenity as its reward. Serenity has pleasure as its purpose, pleasure as its reward. Pleasure has concentration as its purpose, concentration as its reward. Concentration has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its purpose, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its reward. Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward. Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward. Dispassion has knowledge & vision of release as its purpose, knowledge & vision of release as its reward.

“In this way, Ananda, skillful virtues lead step-by-step to the consummation of arahantship.”

(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an11/an11.001.than.html)

On Giving

Bhojana Sutta ~

“In giving a meal, the donor gives five things to the recipient. Which five? He/she gives life, beauty, happiness, strength, & quick-wittedness. Having given life, he/she has a share in long life, either human or divine. Having given beauty, he/she has a share in beauty, either human or divine. Having given happiness, he/she has a share in happiness, either human or divine. Having given strength, he/she has a share in strength, either human or divine. Having given quick-wittedness, he/she has a share in quick-wittedness, either human or divine. In giving a meal, the donor gives these five things to the recipient.”

The prudent person giving life, strength, beauty, quick-wittedness — the wise person, a giver of happiness — attains happiness himself. Having given life, strength, beauty, happiness, & quick-wittedness, he has long life & status wherever he arises.

Kaladana Sutta ~
“There are these five seasonable gifts. Which five? One gives to a newcomer. One gives to one going away. One gives to one who is ill. One gives in time of famine. One sets the first fruits of field & orchard in front of those who are virtuous. These are the five seasonable gifts.”

 Dana Sutta (Context: Teaching given to a laywoman who was giving to monks)

How is a donation endowed with six factors? There is the case where there are the three factors of the donor, the three factors of the recipients.

“And which are the three factors of the donor? There is the case where the donor, before giving, is glad; while giving, his/her mind is bright & clear; and after giving is gratified. These are the three factors of the donor.

“And which are the three factors of the recipients? There is the case where the recipients are free of passion or are practicing for the subduing of passion; free of aversion or practicing for the subduing of aversion; and free of delusion or practicing for the subduing of delusion. These are the three factors of the recipients.

“Such are the three factors of the donor, the three factors of the recipients. And this is how a donation is endowed with six factors.

“And it is not easy to take the measure of the merit of a donation thus endowed with six factors as ‘just this much a bonanza of merit, a bonanza of what is skillful — a nutriment of bliss, heavenly, resulting in bliss, leading to heaven — that leads to what is desirable, pleasing, charming, beneficial, pleasant.’ It is simply reckoned as a great mass of merit, incalculable, immeasurable.

Dana Sutta (another Dana Sutta with similar name)

(Motivation on Giving ~~)

Ven. Sariputta, together with the lay followers from Campa, went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: “Might there be the case where a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit?”

“Yes, Sariputta, there would be the case where a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit.”

“Lord, what is the cause, what is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit?”

“Sariputta, there is the case where a person gives a gift seeking his own profit, with a mind attached [to the reward], seeking to store up for himself [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death.’ He gives his gift — food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp — to a brahman or a contemplative. What do you think, Sariputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this gift seeking his own profit — with a mind attached [to the reward], seeking to store up for himself, [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death’ — on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Four Great Kings. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Then there is the case of a person who gives a gift not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached [to the reward], not seeking to store up for himself, nor [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death.’ Instead, he gives a gift with the thought, ‘Giving is good.’ He gives his gift — food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp — to a brahman or a contemplative. What do you think, Sariputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this gift with the thought, ‘Giving is good,’ on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas of the Thirty-three. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead of thinking, ‘Giving is good,’ he gives a gift with the thought, ‘This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas of the Hours. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Contented Devas. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past — Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa,Bharadvaja, Vasettha, Kassapa, & Bhagu — in the same way will this be my distribution of gifts’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the devas who delight in creation. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the devas who have power over the creations of others. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead of thinking, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,’ he gives a gift with the thought, ‘This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind.’ He gives his gift — food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp — to a brahman or a contemplative. What do you think, Sariputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this, not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached [to the reward], not seeking to store up for himself, nor [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death,’

” — nor with the thought, ‘Giving is good,’

” — nor with the thought, ‘This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued,’

” — nor with the thought, ‘I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off,’ nor with the thought, ‘Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past — Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bharadvaja, Vasettha, Kassapa, & Bhagu — in the same way this will be my distribution of gifts,’

” — nor with the thought, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,’

” — but with the thought, ‘This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind’ — on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of Brahma’s Retinue. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a non-returner. He does not come back to this world.

“This, Sariputta, is the cause, this is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit.”