The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva – Aspiring For Liberation

9. Aspiring for liberation

Si sung de wa tsa tse’i zil pa zhin
Yu tsam zhig gi jig pai chö chen yin
Nam yang mi gyur thar pai go phang chog
Dön du nyer wa gyal se lag len yin

Like dew on the tip of a blade of grass, pleasures of the three worlds
Last only a while and then vanish.
Aspire to the never-changing
Supreme state of liberation –
This is the practice of bodhisattvas.

Now we are talking about the “Common with the Middle” level. Bodhisattvas never waste their time or energy. If you are looking for or working for something temporarily, like temporary joy or something, every temporary joy will not last long. Samsara’s joy, wherever you are, either you are above the higher realms within samsara, or on the ground, in the middle level realms in samsara, or in the lower realms, which is called “under the ground” [is only temporary]. The “three worlds” is on the ground, under the ground, and above the ground, in the sky. All those joys, no matter whatever, are just like the morning dew and for a very short time we enjoy. Then very suddenly because of its impermanent nature, it its not lasting joy at all. So the unshakable, everlasting, totally reliable joy is nirvana or liberation. So working for that is the bodhisattva’s way.

So in short, whatever we get within samsara is not worth it. Therefore having attachment to samsara is an obstacle. Instead, have the desre to maintain liberation. That’s what they are urging. How to get liberation? As I said yesterday, there are only three things to do: maintain proper morality, bring kindness and compassion, and then learn focus and build wisdom. That is the Tripitakas’ way of managing one’s life. That is the way to turn away from samsara, and work for nirvana.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva, 2014

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