H.H. the Dalai Lama, the most prominent contemporary figure in Tibetan Buddhism, teaches regularly on a variety of topics ranging from entry level lectures to profound oral commentaries on seminal texts covering subjects such as Wisdom, Compassion, Ethics, Nature of the Mind, Buddhism and Science, and Meditation and Psychotherapy. His office does a great job making the teachings available through its official webcast. Now they are available in a podcast here as MP3 audio files encoded at 64Kbps mono. If you rather see video, check out the “Dalai Lama Video Teachings” podcasts (available in Standard Quality and High Quality).
June 19th, 2009
Episode 77 of 409 episodes
In introducing the Nagarjuna and Kamalashila texts, His Holiness discusses the etymology of Bodhicitta, noting that the Bodhisattva path relies on the analytical power of intelligence to transform the mind through purification of afflictions/obscurations and attainment of realizations of ultimate reality. Nagarjuna’s text is a commentary on a verse from the root tantra of Guhyasamaja: Devoid of all [substantive] entities; Utterly discarding all objects and subjects, Such as the aggregates, elements and sense fields; Due to sameness of selflessness of all phenomena, One’s mind is primordially unborn; It is in the nature of emptiness. The main subject of this tantric text is the meaning of the wisdom of ultimate Bodhicitta (the objective clear light) which in tantra is focused upon by the innate subtle meaning clear light mind, i.e., the tathagatagarbha, Buddha nature. His Holiness analyzes the root verse with two methods for interpreting a tantric text set out in the Six Corners methodology. By the common interpretation, the first line of the verse rejects the view asserting an eternal, unitary and independent self while the remaining lines refute mistaken views of the Buddhist tenet systems of Vaibashika/Great Exposition, Sautrantrika/Sutra School and Cittamatrin/Mind Only and assert the Madhyamika/Middle Way view that all phenomena equally lack true existence as they are merely posited by thought. In the uncommon interpretation, emptiness also refers to the innate subtle meaning clear light mind freed of all grosser levels of mind and pollutants, so His Holiness explains two views of the changing nature of the tathagatagarbha. The wisdom realizing emptiness is only ultimate Bodhicitta when conjoined with the conventional Bodhicitta that is set out in the second paragraph of Nagarjuna’s text, which His Holiness explains through two interpretations of the awakening mind’s aspirations to free, save, relieve, and help all sentient beings.