Four Special Conditions Contemplations:
The Third Condition ~ Objective Condition
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004.
Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon
Teaching Chapter 18 and Practice Chapter 17
Now the third kyen, that is all about the second kyen. And now the third kyen is mik bei kyen, mik kyen or mik bei kyen. Gyu kyen, Dhak kyen, mik kyen. So Gyu kyen finished. Dhak kyen is described as three teachers, no. I meant four teachers. And now the third mik kyen, mik bei kyen. So Mik pa means actually your motivation, your aim. Objective, aim, motivation. Now the Mik pa of every Buddhist is to reach Buddhahood. And in order to reach Buddhahood, we have to be very clear. Buddhahood is clarity, is not ignorance. It is clarity. So no matter which path you follow, you have to be very clear. As a beginner, I give you an example with Theravada; as a more advanced, I give you an example with Mahayana. Then as the final step, then I give you example with Vajrayana. But you must know very clearly, when you say Theravada, it does not include Mahayana and Vajrayana. But when you Mahayana, it includes Theravada but not Vajrayana. But when you say Vajrayana, it includes Theravada as well as Mahayana. So it is very simple thing. Buddha's teaching is compiled into four categories. Vinaya, Abhidharma, Sutra, and Tantra. So these four is the entire teaching of Buddha, more than hundred volume. Hundred big volume, not hundred chapter, hundred volume. I am talking about the text that we have lineage and exist today is over one hundred volume. So Theravada means practice Vinaya as the main practice and Abhidharma. And Mahayana means practice Vinaya, Abhidharma and Sutra, almost all Sutra, all of the Sutra almost. Theravada has very few Sutra. Then Vajrayana means all the Vinaya, all the Abhidharma, all the Sutra and all the Tantra. So it is very obvious, Theravada are not very sure whether Vajrayana are Buddhists or not. Sometimes they think we are Hindu. I have no problem with that. Actually I like that. It is universal. No boundary. Vajrayana has no problem knowing Theravada is Buddhist or not, we have not this much doubt that Theravada are Buddhist or not. They are. They are very very very very much Buddhist. There are no problem, we have no doubt. Of course not all the Theravada think that way but some. Some even speak out, even they write and speak. So as a Maha Mudra practitioner, our ultimate aim is to reach Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings to reach Buddhahood. But we also have to see very clearly our immediate aim is to overcome our serious defilements and purify ourselves, accumulate merits, accumulate wisdom, that is our immediate aim and objective. And our ultimate objective is to become Buddha. So one step at a time but all of that has to be very clear to us. We have to be clear about our aim.
I'd like to share with you something. Lots of people like to do long retreats. Quite few of them also ask me this question before they start their retreat. "What should I do after I finish the three-year retreat?" So that means aim is not very clear, with due respect. Three year or four year or ten year or retreat or no retreat, doesn't matter. You practice Dharma until you reach Buddhahood. That's what you do. So that is brief description of ni bei kyen. Even in a very simple worldly sense, people also should have clarity. Lots of people, there are lots of people, who come to me and ask me, "I don't know what I am doing?", "What should I do?", "What is the purpose of my life?", you know, all that sort of things. These are genuine questions. But this condition will take care of that. We, as a Maha Mudra practitioner, we know exactly what is our objective and what do we want. We know very clearly. And where we are, also we know very clearly by knowing this. And then what we need to reach as the next step, we know very clearly.