If we are evolving over infinite time,
action in our lives has infinite consequences
for ourselves and others.
Unfortunately, as long as we can remember, war appears to be raging somewhere
on this planet, and it even has a prominent subject in the Kalachakra tantra.
Although Buddhism is well-known for the practice of non-violence, the Kalachakra
tantra predicts a future war against 'barbarians', after which the teachings of
the Buddha will prevail on earth for a long period.
This war is actually
seen mostly referring to the 'inner war' of a practitioner who tries to conquer
the 'inner barbarians' in the form of delusions like anger, greed, ignorance etc.
However, the texts predict an external war in 2424 between Shambhala and the 'barbarians'.
The prospect of a religious war in Buddhism and the relation between Kalachakra
and world peace can be confusing to say the least.
The second chapter of the Kalacakratantra
depicts the individual as the battlefield, in which the war that will be waged
between the Cakri and the Barbarians in the land of Mecca is already taking place
within the body of the individual. In that internal battlefield, Kalki, who is
the individual's correct knowledge with his army of four divisions - the four
Immeasurables - wages battle with the vicious king of the Barbarians, Krnamati,
who is the evil within one's own body, the path of non-virtue. Krnamati's fourfold
army, which consists of the four classes of Maras in the body, is led by the general
Asvatthama, who is one's own spiritual ignorance. Kalki's victory in this battle
is the attainment of the path of liberation, and within the body, the destruction
of Asvatthama is the eradication of the fear of cyclic existence. The established
lineages of of kalki's sons Brahma and Suresa are the pure Buddhas, who have become
the nature of one's psycho-physical aggregates, elements and sense-bases.
What exactly is
the connection between Kalachakra and world peace, and why do so many people attend?
Although empowerments for other tantras are intended for only a small number of
disciples at a time, there is a historical tradition of conferring the Kalachakra
initiation to large crowds of people. Buddha first gave it to the king of Shambhala
in order to unite them against the threat of a possible invasion and avert annihilation.
This is the origin of the association of the Kalachakra empowerment with world
peace and the tradition of conferring it upon large numbers of participants.
to the Kalachakra presentation of historical cycles, barbaric hordes periodically
invade the civilized world and try top eliminate all possibilities for spiritual
practice. A future invasion is predicted for the year 2424 of this common era,
when it is said there will be another brutal world war. At that time help will
come from Shambhala to defeat the barbarians. A new golden age will dawn, with
everything conducive to spiritual practice, particularly of Kalachakra. All those
who have previously received the Kalachakra initiation will be reborn at the time
on the victorious side. The highest motivation for receiving the empowerment is
to be able to practice the Kalachakra methods now in order to achieve enlightenment
in this very lifetime. Nevertheless, people have traditionally flocked to the
initiation with the motivation of planting karmic seeds to connect themselves
with this future golden age so as to complete its practice then.
HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA'S
NEW MILLENNIUM MESSAGE
From the Lama
Many people seem to be excited about
the new millennium, but the new millennium in itself will be nothing special.
As we enter into the new millennium things will be the same; there will be nothing
unusual. However, if we really want the next millennium to be happier, more peaceful
and more harmonious for humankind we will have to make the effort to make it so.
This is in our hands, but especially in the hands of the younger generation.
have had many experiences during this centuryconstructive as well as extremely
destructive ones. We must learn from these experiences. We need to approach the
next millennium more holistically, with more openness and farsightedness. If we
are going to make the right kind of efforts to make the future of the world better,
I believe the following matters are of great importance.
in material progress and taking care of physical well-being we need to pay equal
attention to developing peace of mind and thus taking care of the internal aspect
of our being.
Along with education, which generally deals only with academic
accomplishments, we need to develop more altruism and a sense of caring and responsibility
for others in the minds of the younger generation studying in various educational
institutions. This can be done without necessarily involving religion. One could
therefore call this 'secular ethics', as it in fact consists of basic human qualities
such as kindness, compassion, sincerity and honesty.
This past century in
some ways has been a century of war and bloodshed. It has seen a year-by-year
increase in defense spending by most countries in the world. If we are to change
this trend we must seriously consider the concept of non-violence, which is a
physical expression of compassion. In order to make non-violence a reality we
must first work on internal disarmament and then proceed to work on external disarmament.
By internal disarmament I mean ridding ourselves of all the negative emotions
that result in violence. External disarmament will also have to be done gradually,
step by step. We must first work on the total abolishment of nuclear weapons and
gradually work up to total demilitarization throughout the world. In the process
of doing this we also need to work towards stopping the arms trade, which is still
very widely practiced because it is so lucrative. When we do all these things,
we can then hope to see in the next millennium a year-by-year decrease in the
military expenditure of the various nations and a gradual working towards demilitarization.
Human problems will, of course, always remain, but the way to resolve them should
be through dialogue and discussion. The next century should be a century of dialogue
and discussion rather than one of war and bloodshed.
We need to address
the issue of the gap between the rich and the poor, both globally and nationally.
This inequality, with some sections of the human community having abundance and
others on the same planet going hungry or even dying of starvation, is not only
morally wrong, but practically also a source of problems. Equally important is
the issue of freedom. As long as there is no freedom in many parts of the world
there can be no real peace and in a sense no real freedom for the rest of the
For the sake of our future generations, we need to take care of our
earth and of our environment. Environmental damage is often gradual and not easily
apparent and by the time we become aware of it, it is generally too late. Since
most of the major rivers flowing into many parts of south-east Asia originate
from the Tibetan plateau, it will not be out of place to mention here the crucial
importance of taking care of the environment in that area.
Lastly, one of
the greatest challenges today is the population explosion. Unless we are able
to tackle this issue effectively we will be confronted with the problem of the
natural resources being inadequate for all the human beings on this earth.
We need to seriously look into these matters that concern us all if we are to
look forward to the future with some hope.
January 1, 2000
COMPASSION TO RESPOND TO VIOLENCE:
THE WAY OF PEACE
by Thich Nhat Hanh
I hold my face in my two hands.
I am not crying.
I hold my face in my two hands,
to keep my loneliness warm
two hands nourishing,
two hands preventing
from leaving me in anger.
I wrote this poem during
the Vietnam War after I heard about the bombing of Ben Tre city. The city of 300,000
was destroyed because seven guerrillas shot several rounds of unsuccessful anti-aircraft
gunfire and then left. My pain was profound.
All violence is injustice.
Responding to violence with violence is injustice, not only to the
other person but also to oneself. Responding to violence with violence resolves
nothing; it only escalates violence, anger and hatred. It is only with compassion
that we can embrace and disintegrate violence. This is true in relationships between
individuals as well as in relationships between nations.
What needs to be done
right now is to recognize the suffering, to embrace it and to understand it. We
need calmness and lucidity so that we can listen deeply to and understand our
own suffering, the suffering of the nation and the suffering of others. By understanding
the nature and the causes of the suffering, we will then know the right path to
The violence and hatred we presently face has been created by misunderstanding,
injustice, discrimination and despair. We are all co-responsible for the making
of violence and despair in the world by our way of living, of consuming and of
handling the problems of the world.
Understanding why this violence has been
created, we will then know what to do and what not to do in order to decrease
the level of violence in ourselves and in the world, to create and foster understanding,
reconciliation and forgiveness.
In this moment, we invite our spiritual
teachers, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and so many
others, to be with us, to support us, so that we can hold in our arms the suffering
of America as a nation, the suffering of humanity as a family, the suffering of
the earth as a home for all of us. We need their energy so that we can become
lucid and calm, so that we will know exactly what to do and what not to do, in
order not to make the situation worse.
We know deep in our heart that responding
to hatred and violence with hatred and violence, will only make hatred grow one
thousand-fold. Only with compassion can we disintegrate hatred. This insight,
this understanding should be with us in this very important moment.
If we look
and listen deeply we can see that when we pray for the victims, we must also pray
for the attackers. They are also victims of confusion and violence. If as a nation,
America wants to be safe and secure, it has to help other nations, other peoples,
feel safe and secure.
I have the conviction that America possesses enough wisdom
and courage to perform an act of forgiveness and compassion, and I know that such
an act can bring great relief to America and to the world right away. Such an
act could be a statement of the willingness to embrace all suffering inside and
outside the nation, to look deeply in order to understand better the cause of
the suffering and to act according to that insight. The act could be a project
to bring relief to those who actually suffer within and outside the country.
offer my heartfelt condolences, care and love for all who are suffering tremendously
at this moment. I am aware that most of us have not been able to overcome the
shock. Day and night I am deeply concerned with how to heal and transform this
national and global tragedy. We know that there are those of us who are trying
to help, to heal and to support. We are grateful to them. We know that there are
many of us who are trying to see to it that violence will not happen again.
and many others will fast from September 21st to the 30th in order to support
all who have died and all who are suffering terribly in this moment and embrace
them tenderly with compassion, understanding, and awareness. This is my prayer
September 20, 2001
by the Great Yogi Tang Tong Gyalpo translated by Lama
at the time of the terrorist attack in New York and Washington.
From the Lama Yeshe Archives
Here are the Words of Truth Pacifying the Dangers of Weapons
Great Loving Victorious One (Maitreya Buddha),
Sublime Compassionate Eye Looking One,
Wrathful Victorious Hayagriva,
Fully Accomplished Totally Pure (Jetsun) Tara and so forth,
your holy names eliminates all dangers,
Objects of refuge in the nature of
compassion, please pay attention!
When the sentient beings of the time of
quarrelling and five degenerations
By the explosion of the great ocean of
evil karma and jealousy
Are tormented by the intensive suffering of fighting
Please dry this up by the power of transcendental wisdom and
By letting great rainfalls of the nectar of loving-kindness
On the migratory beings who are enflaming the conflagration of hatred-fire
Please grant blessing with the recognition of each other like father-mother
Then increase happiness and auspiciousness.
May the multitudes of the vicious
Who enter the mental continuum and
Change it instantly to
the mind of asura
From now on never run in this area (country/world).
am requesting for even all the sentient beings who have died in the war
abandon from that time onwards all the evil karma, cause and effect,
having entered and been born in the Blissful Field (Amitabha's Pure Land)
To lead all others to that Pure Land.
Please bless all those who are born
and die (samsaric beings)
To have a long life, no sicknesses, to pacify all
quarrelling and fighting,
Enjoy the ten virtues, have rainfall at the right
times, always have good harvests
And for all the habitat and inhabitants to
be auspicious and increase.
By the ultimate reality which is pure by nature,
By phenomena having ultimate reality cause and result are unbetrayable,
by the compassion of the Guru, Mind-seal Deity and Rare Sublime Ones,
these pure extensive prayers be completed.
COMMENTARY BY LAMA ZOPA RINPOCHE
When there was unceasing war in Kham (Me Nyak), Tibet and nobody was able
to create harmony, the Great Lord Yogi (Tang Tong Gyalpo) came to Kham,
bodhicitta and just by merely saying these true words and sprinkling flowers all
the vicious minds (jealousy and anger) were completely pacified and the war that
had been continuous, ceased. There were prosperous harvests and so forth. The
country became auspicious and peaceful. This is blessed vajra speech.
is one of the prayers of the Great Tantric Yogi Tang Tong Gyalpo. The other prayers
that he composed were to stop famine and epidemics.
His Holiness Chobgye
Trichen Rinpoche who is a Guru of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (His Holiness received
the Sakya Lam Dre teachings and initiations including Dorje Phurba from him) and
also one of the main teachers of His Holiness Sakya Trizin was invited to one
part of Nepal by the Nepalese government. Rinpoche checked what could be most
beneficial for them and what prayer was most needed to benefit them. It came out
that the best practice for them to do was these three prayers composed by Tang
Tong Gyalpo. So then Rinpoche decided to give the oral transmission of these three
prayers. That is how I found out about these prayers and I received the oral transmission
from His Holiness Chobgye Trichen Rinpoche.
Through whatever merits have
come from making this translation available, may wherever this text is (whichever
country) and also by reading this prayer, cause all the people's hearts be filled
with loving-kindness, bodhicitta and the thought to only benefit and not harm.
May the sun of peace and happiness arise and may any wars that are happening stop
May there be harmony, peace and may there never be war or
REGARDING NEGATIVE REJOICING
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Zopa offered this advice to FPMT Centers regarding the war in Afghanistan. It
is a rough transcript made by Roy Harvey from the audio recording of a teaching
given at Land of Medicine Buddha, Friday Oct. 27th, 2001, lightly edited by Claire
What I wanted to mention to the Centers was to make sure you
don't rejoice. It's very heavy negative karma. When we hear the name of the Taliban,
or whoever, of course if there is dislike or hatred towards them, then when you
hear that they have been killed or destroyed then naturally you rejoice or feel
happy. Then when you rejoice, for example when you hear 1,000 people were killed
or hurt, you feel happy - and then you receive the same heavy karma of having
killed 1,000 people. You are sitting on the meditation cushion, and you hear the
information, then simply by rejoicing or just feeling happy it's the same heavy
karma as having killed 1,000 human beings even though you are not in the war.
You didn't actually bomb or shoot them, you didn't do anything. But you get the
same heavy negative karma as that person who actually killed 1,000 people.
as Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo explained in Liberation in the Palm of your Hand, I
thought I would mention that there is great danger when you hear the news and
then immediately feel happy and rejoice. If you have dislike or hatred towards
them then this happens. If you didn't have hatred towards them I don't think the
rejoicing would happen. If you have hatred or anger then the rejoicing happens,
so bringing a very heavy outcome.
People who remember Lam Rim in daily
life, remember about karma and what is said in Liberation in the Palm of your
Hand and the Lam Rim teachings and who practice this don't need to be told. But
others, who maybe heard Lam Rim but maybe don't remember it in daily life, it
might be useful to just announce this or to remind those students.
I heard the first time about the destruction in Afghanistan, where there were
a few places destroyed, I was not careful at that time. The news didn't say 'people'
but said some 'places' were destroyed. I was not careful with the mind and watching
the mind, so I felt something kind of good or something, then immediately I remembered
what I felt. There were no persons mentioned or killed, but there was a place
destroyed. So after that I was more careful. So be more careful not to rejoice
when you hear the news.
Of course if one meditates like this the view changes.
But when you don't meditate and when your mind is not in this state, holding those
sentient beings as precious, with compassion, then you see them as undesirable.
Usually you feel heavy when you don't meditate like that.
AND UNDERSTANDING ARE THE BEST WEAPONS AGAINST TERRORISM.
Terror is in the human heart. We must remove this terror
from the heart. Destroying the human heart, both physically and psychologically,
is what we should avoid. The root of terrorism should be identified so that it
can be removed. The root of terrorism is misunderstanding, hatred, and violence.
cannot be located by the military. Bombs and missiles cannot reach
it, let alone destroy it. Only with the practice of calming and looking deeply
can our insight reveal and identify this root. Only with the practice of deep
listening and compassion can it be transformed and removed.
be dissipated with more darkness. More darkness will make darkness thicker. Only
light can dissipate darkness. Violence and hatred cannot be removed with violence
and hatred. Rather, this will make violence and hatred grow a thousand fold. Only
understanding and compassion can dissolve violence and hatred. "Strike against
terror" is a misleading expression. What we are striking against is not the
real cause or the root of terror. The object of our strike is still human life.
We are sowing seeds of violence as we strike. Striking in this way we will only
bring about more hatred and violence into the world. This is exactly what we do
not want to do.
Hatred and violence are in the hearts of human beings. A
terrorist is a human being with hatred, violence, and misunderstanding in his
or her heart. Acting without understanding, acting out of hatred, violence, and
fear, we help sow more terror, bringing terror to the homes of others and bringing
terror back to our own homes. Whole societies are living constantly in fear with
our nerves being attacked day and night. This is the greatest casualty we may
suffer from as a result of our wrong thinking and action. Such a state of confusion,
fear and anxiety is extremely dangerous. It can bring about another world war,
this time extremely destructive.
We must learn to speak out so that the
voice of the Buddha can be heard in this dangerous and pivotal moment of history.
Those of us who have the light should display the light and offer it so that the
world will not sink into total darkness. Everyone has the seed of awakening and
insight within his or her heart.
Let us help each other touch these seeds
in ourselves so that everyone could have the courage to speak out. We must ensure
that the way we live our daily lives (with or without mindful consumption, with
or without discrimination, with or without participating in injustice ...) does
not create more terrorism in the world. We need a collective awakening to stop
this course of self-destruction.
Holy Wars in Buddhism and Islam: The Myth
of Shambhala Abridged Version
Holy Wars in Buddhism and Islam: The Myth of Shambhala
Identity of the Non-Indic Religion in Kalachakra
Religious Conversion in Shambhala