Marking Dharma Texts

In accord with the previous post, I just came across this quotation by Lama Zopa Rinpoche with reference to making markings on Dharma texts.

Mark the things you don’t understand with orange color as an offering, like painting a Buddha statue or thangka, or like offering color or robes to holy objects, etc. In other words, mark the text in a respectful way. Don’t mark the texts with black ink. Marking texts in a disrespectful way creates negative karma and is a cause to be born in the lower realms. One professor who is very good in Buddhist philosophy, said that in the past he often marked manuscripts with black color right over the letters. This created the cause to be born in the lower realms many times.

When people go for consultations with high Lamas about why they were encountering such and such a problem, sometimes it comes out that it is because they had done particular negative and seemingly unrelated and seemingly insignificant actions in the past.  These karmas were often done out of ignorance of the laws of cause-and-effect and we create so much unnecessary problems/obstacles for ourselves in this way.  So on this blog, I sometimes like to share about such small details about causes-and-effects.

The way of the wise is to avoid cultivating the causes with a very careful and conscientious mind in the first place.  The way of the foolish is to hop around looking for solutions when the negative results have already ripened.

Sometimes people think they have learnt and read many dharma teachings and know many principles and such.  But we should always be careful and honest with ourselves when it comes to Dharma practice.  It is so easy to fool ourselves.  We should read and learn the Dharma over and over again, internalizing it in our hearts, not just our minds. We should listen to the teachings on impermanence again and again, using it as an antidote to our ego.  We should treat ourselves like babies in the Dharma, paying attention to perform the slightest virtue and avoiding the slightest negativity.  We should watch our minds for any sense of complacency and hubris.  There is no Dharma teaching that is not an antidote to the ego and delusions in some way or other and we should practice it like that.

As usual, my opinionated mind is full of its silly views again.  I have to go back to watching my own mind and mouth.  As Lama Atisha says:

“Excessive speech is a cause for nonvirtue,” and

“In general if there are many it’s hard to speak;
harder still is it to speak to those not kindred in mind;
harder still is it to speak to those who are ambitious;
harder still is it to speak to those who are small minded,”  and

“In the end, words destroy your roots of virtue;
the haughty man arrives in the hells!” and

“So Drom Je, analyze your speech;
Cease inferior speech and endeavor in mantra recitation.
Though you may hear pleasant or hostile words,
remain like a mute person.”  and

Dromtonpa said,
“Among others guard your speech;
when alone guard your mind.”