Using the bodhimind as the motivation is very, very profitable, so much so that accumulation of good karma is done by itself, automatically, without putting so much effort in – or any effort at all. The purification is also done by itself, without putting efforts in. When you read through the first chapter of the Bodhisattvacharyavara, there are tremendous benefits, one after another. I just did the teachings on Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 at Jewel Heart Netherlands. So when you really look at it, they say that it is like some solution, like one that changes the molecular nature of all metals into gold. It is not gilded or polished, but the molecules changing and becoming really gold. The traditional Hindu-Buddhist mythological stories tell you that. Maybe it is not just mythology. It might really have happened.
It was reported to have happened as late as during Gandhi’s Indian freedom movement. That’s what sponsored the Indian Congress movement through the help of saddhus. The example of that for the motivation has been used by many great Buddhist teachers to illustrate what this perfect motivation will do. It means that copper pennies will be changed into gold pennies, as a natural change, not through gilding or gold-plating. That’s one example.
Also, another example: this is the tremendously powerful antidote to the negative deeds that we have committed, even to the point of saying that, “such powerful negativity cannot be destroyed except through bodhimind.” Every other virtue will have difficulties to destroy the negativities to that extent. Also Buddhas call people with bodhimind the “Children of Buddhas” because they their future. Then they also say that it is like becoming a prince. That may be a little bit too much of a Buddhist thing. However, these benefits are tremendous. So for us to try that, there is nothing better.
We need this powerful bodhimind and it is possible, and done by so many, and people are currently doing that and there will be a lot. Millions of bodhisattvas will be there, no doubt. There is no single doubt in my mind that they will be there. So if we don’t do it we will be lacking and left behind. So it really is the time and place and the moment to engage in that for our own good and the good of all others.
Moving that forward requires tremendous compassion and care. In order to get such good compassion and care, you require love, and last Sunday I talked about love. Today, from love, where do you go? This is interesting. It is also common with our humanitarian behavior. When you love somebody you care. The love brings caring. Caring brings one to the point where one can even sacrifice one’s own interest. So here human common sense tells us if you have good pure love, even if you just have love, this brings the possibility that you can even go out of your way and even sacrifice a little bit of your desire for the sake of the one you love. So really, if you open your eyes you see that love makes compassion possible. This is the reason why I have been saying that love is the basis and the moisture and the butter in the cheese cake.
The slightest possibility of a small, little sacrifice for the sake of one we love, we can see in our mind that this is possible. Then if you extend it, it is even more possible. Once you see the possibility it is opening and then we can extend is. Care, concern, fulfilling their desire and their wish; all of them – love makes it possible. You are happy to be able to do it. So now let’s move from love to care, and from care to compassion.
What is compassion? Compassion and love are one part of the mind, but with two different aspects. The compassion seeks or wishes to be free from suffering, separation from pain that the the individual is going through, whether it is myself or my loved one or anybody. Love seeks joy and compassion seeks separation from pain and misery. If you have love for someone and you see them suffering, the desire to separate them from that suffering is almost automatic with you. You know it. The desire to separate from suffering is compassion.
Photo Courtesy Allen Ginsberg Estate