His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche:
In some other teachings, Lama Mipham Rinpoche said, “The present life is the cause, future lives are the results.” So why do we not create merits and virtues now? Farmers plant their crops in summer hoping to receive the harvests in autumn. Why do we not plant the seeds of virtue and cultivate the land of merit in summer? Every sentient being needs to follow his own karma, so one must create more virtues right now!
As we have said repeatedly in the past, even a very small virtue can give rise to a vast amount of joy and happiness in the future. For instance, if you recite the King of Prayers daily once, even though you only spend a short time doing so, this virtue cuts through the root of rebirth in the lower realms for the future and one receives boundless incomparable peace and happiness.
Or just as it is stated in the sutras, if one hears the sound of the dharma conch (blown to gather the disciples) for the sake listening and practicing the Dharma, one will not fall into the three lower realms, what to say of the merits of actually listening to the Dharma?
As Dharma practitioners, we should not consider these things trivial or immaterial, but try to accomplish some meaningful virtues as quickly as possible.
We should not cling to the small happiness in this life which is as brief as a flash of lightning. Otherwise, when you are aged and weak, you will feel sorry that you had not practiced more virtue when you were younger. This is very regretful.
Our mind stays in this body for a very short moment, like a little bird briefly landing on a tree branch. Take hold of this opportunity while the mind is still together with the body, like the short time the bird remains on the tree. May all of you realize what a difficult-to-gain opportunity this is and treasure it. Don’t be lazy and distracted. Practice diligently.
We older people with whitening hair, loose teeth and walking unsteadily with bent backs, are nearing the point when the bird departs from the tree. These are the signs that departure is imminent. You think that you will still stay for a long time, but it is impossible.
For younger people, the time that the bird stays with the tree may seem slightly longer, but even this is uncertain. A weak body or many illnesses may be signs that you are already getting ready for the next life.
Everything is impermanent, the temporary joys in this world pass swiftly. Even the gods Indra and Vishnu with their power, wealth and joy are subjected to change. All these wondrous qualities will be lost one day like the sun setting.
I hope everyone practices diligently and take rebirth in Sukhavati. If you fail to do so, at least don’t fall into the three lower realms. If you fall into the three lower realms, no matter how powerful a human you once were, you will be wretched with boundless regret.
Now that we have the chance to practice Dharma, don’t, at all cost, let go of this opportunity.
(Comments: Just this short advice is so precious. Imagine how many people in this world, including practitioners, lack the wisdom in this advice. If only they could truly internalize this advice in their heart, how drastically could their future improve? How much suffering could they spare themselves and people around them? How many people could they benefit directly and indirectly? Simple advice like this truly is like a wish-fulfilling jewel! Think about it deeply and try to embed it in your life. )