In the last post we discussed making a vajra commitment to others. In this post, I will explain how we actually fulfil our vajra commitment to others. We can fulfil our vajra commitment to others by practicing for them as if we were them. We are prepared to take on all their delusions and negative karma and work through it for them. With total faith in Dorje Shugden and like Shantideva explains in Chapter 8, we offer ourself to others and are willing to become whatever they need us to become to be able to provide them temporary and ultimate benefit. We are ready to endure whatever we need to endure. We are ready to go through whatever we need to go through. Soldiers are ready to give their lives to protect others and go through difficult training and situations to be able to do this. We are the same, except we are seeking to protect them from samsara. We are ready to work through their obstacles for them so that they do not have to.
How do we do this? We view our delusions and negative karma as those we have taken on (from our vajra family). When a delusion arises in our mind, we imagine that it is one that we have taken on – that of our vajra family/future students. We then imagine that as we overcome it in our mind, we are eliminating it in their mind. Quite simply, we completely exchange ourself for others, where we impute “self” onto others and “others” onto what we previously considered to be ourself. Shantideva explains this practice in Chapter 8 of his Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. For example, when we are sick we can imagine that as we are overcoming our delusions related to being sick, we are actually overcoming all of the delusions of others related to them being sick. Literally, like Christ, we feel like we go through others suffering for them so that they don’t have to. We have taken their suffering upon ourselves and are working through it for them. We take on the delusions of our vajra family because we realize we are in a better position to work through them than they are. Our mind becomes like a TV screen which reflects the aggregate nexus of the delusions arising in the minds of our vajra family. We become like a contaminated mind treatment facility. We bring in delusions and negative karma, we treat it within our mind and then return it back purified.
Technically speaking, how can we do this? We essentially take on the contaminated karma of our vajra family. This includes all negative karma, deluded tendencies similar to the cause and their obstructions to omniscience. We can also accomplish this through requests to Dorje Shugden. We have on our mind the contaminated karma for virtually any experience. So we are essentially requesting Dorje Shugden to activate the karma in our mind that corresponds with the delusions and negative karma of our vajra family. We make requests to Dorje Shugden and dedicate: may the delusions that arise in my mind be those of my vajra family; and when I overcome them in my mind may they be eliminated from their minds. Since ultimately, the world is a creation of our mind, if we eliminate these delusions from our mind, their effects will also gradually vanish from our world as the karma giving rise to these appearances exhausts itself.
How does it feel to practice in this way? We can imagine that we are the ‘resultant’ Vajra Family, and we engage in the practice. We view ourself as the ‘resultant person’ of our vajra family, and seeing ourself in this way, we try gain the realizations of the stages of the path of Sutra and Tantra. This is really the highest form of King-like bodhichitta, and can easily be understood as Christ-like bodhichitta. Even though the delusions are arising in our mind, we don’t feel them as “our delusions.” Rather we experience them as the delusions of our vajra family that we have taken on. When we work through them, we feel like a spiritual surgeon directly healing the minds of others. We feel ourself as the Dharmakaya performing spiritual surgery on the minds of our vajra family. As the Dharmakaya, we imagine that we are accomplishing the function of the various practices on the minds of your vajra family (purifying their subtle body, etc.)
The benefits of this practice are limitless. By doing this for others, we create the causes for the Spiritual Guide to do it for us. Doing this gives us enormous power in our practice, because we feel like we are directly practicing for all living being. We feel, “if I succeed, they succeed; if I fail, they fail.” If our superior intention is genuine, this will really motivate us. This practice gives our suffering meaning, so we gladly accept it. It helps cut our identification with the delusions arising within our mind. They are not our delusions, they are the delusions of others that we have taken on. With this practice, bodhichitta comes naturally. We see the direct connection between overcoming our delusions and negative karma and benefiting others. This practice creates a special karmic connection with these beings which will ripen in the form of them being our disciple in the future. It will karmically draws us closer to them in the form of a special relationship with them as our disciple. If we think deeply, it is nearly a miracle anytime somebody turns to us for spiritual advice. Dorje Shugden does not activate the karma for others to come into contact with us before we have the realizations necessary to actually help them. When we overcome their delusions in our mind, then we know exactly how to help them. On this basis, then Dorje Shugden can safely activate the karma for them to appear. It is in this way that Dharma centers grow. Venerable Tharchin said that all we need to do to make a center grow is for ourselves to gain realizations. Ultimately, by eliminating others delusions in our mind, we are actually eliminating them from their minds. This is so because their faults and delusions come from our mind anyway, they are the reflection of our own faults. If we eliminate the fault in our own mind, we will no longer project it into others. In this way, we can directly engage in the actions of a Buddha liberating all beings right now simply by working on our own mind. Venerable Tharchin said every step we take towards enlightenment, we take all beings one step closer as well in proportion to their karmic connection with you. With this practice, we can understand how this is so.