In the last post we discussed how to use the Migtsema prayer to gain the realizations of the stages of the path. In this post, I will try explain how we can use the Migtsema prayer to gain the seven types of wisdom.
Geshe-la explains very clearly in the book Heart Jewel exactly what we are supposed to do, therefore I will merely summarize the main points. He says first we make requests for the different types of wisdom, and then we strongly imagine as follows: White rays of light like straws go from the hearts of the three deities, and come to our crown where they join. Through these straws orange-colored nectar descends from their hearts to our crown where it enters and fills our body. The nectar is composed of atoms in the shape of the various things indicated in the chart below. We then imagine that all these atoms radiate countless rays of light which draw back the wisdom we requested of all the Buddhas in the aspect of the atoms. We then dissolve all these atoms into our root mind in the aspect of a letter DHI at our heart and mix our mind with the specific wisdom of all the Buddhas. Finally, we strongly believe that we have received the specific wisdom of all the Buddhas. Typically, what people do is they cycle through the seven wisdoms over the course of a week, focusing on one per day.
The seven wisdoms can be understood as follows: the first column indicates the name of the wisdom, the second column explains the meaning of the wisdom, and the third column explains the aspect the nectar atoms assume when we dissolve them into our mind.
|Great Wisdom||Ability to know what are the objects to be abandonded and what are the objects to be attained for both ourself and others||Tiny Manjushri Form Bodies|
|Clear Wisdom||Ability to understand the subtle characteristics of phenomena||Manjushri’s mantra OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHI|
|Quick Wisdom||Ability to respond to our own and others questions. Always knowing what to do in all situations external and internal||Manjushri’s seed letter DHI|
|Profound Wisdom||Wisdom realizing emptiness||Tiny Dharma scriptures and Manjushir’s wisdom sword|
|Wisdom of expounding Dharma||Ability to present the Dharma in ways that living beings can accept and understand. Ability to let the guru work through you to teach the Dharma||Tiny Dharma books that we are going to explain|
|Wisdom of spiritual debate||Ability to skilfully overcome wrong views through spiritual debate. Ability to let the guru work through you to overcome other’s wrong views||Wheel of wisdom swords|
|Wisdom of composing Dharma books||Writing flawlessly reveals the path to enlightenment and inspires others to follow it. Ability to let the guru write through you.||Tiny Dharma books on the subject we are going to write on a wheel of wisdom swords|
Since all of this is quite clear from the book Heart Jewel, what I want to focus on is why we should want the seven wisdoms. We can sometimes think it is selfish to want things for ourselves, but if we know we are going to use everything we have for the sake of others, there is no fault whatsoever in passionately wanting things ourselves. A bodhisattva is, for all practical purposes, a spiritual philanthropist. A philanthropist actively seeks to become incredibly wealthy so that they can give their wealth away to good causes. In the same way, a bodhisattva actively seeks to become incredibly wealthy internally so that they can give their realizations and merit away to others.
We need great wisdom so we always know what to do, and what others need to do. Our lives are pervaded by confusion with respect to what we should do. Others come to us with problems and we have no idea how to help them. But with great wisdom we always know exactly what needs to be done and we are right. We need clear wisdom because the gross world arises from the subtle. If our subtle mind is pervaded by delusion, it is actually impossible for our gross world to be anything other than the expression of that delusion. Even if we manage to rearrange the gross level of reality in a good way, if the subtle level remains flawed, the flaws will reassert themselves into the gross level. Clear wisdom is like great wisdom, but with respect to the subtle level of reality.
We need quick wisdom because the longer we take to understand what to do, the longer we continue to accumulate negative and contaminated karma through our faulty reactions to things. We likewise need quick wisdom to help others because often we get only one chance to help them and if we give the wrong advice on the first go, we subject them to needless suffering and we risk them never coming back. We need profound wisdom because the definitive reason establishing the rest of the Dharma is profound emptiness. If we understand emptiness correctly, everything else naturally falls into place. The world is created by our mind and is in fact the nature of our mind. We cannot fix the world without fixing our own mind, but if we fix our own mind we fix the entire world. In the beginning, these are just words; but when we realize their truth we understand Nagarjuna when he said, “for whom emptiness is possible, everything is possible.”
We need the wisdom of expounding Dharma because the best way we can help others is by helping them wake up from their samsaric dream. There is no escape from samsara from within samsara; the only solution is to wake up. If we understand this, we will realize nothing else really matters other than waking up and helping others to do so. But it is useless to understand this if we can’t present it to others in a way they can accept, understand and most importantly put into practice. We may know the secrets to the universe, but all of our understanding is worthless because we can’t transmit it to others. For the same reasons, we need the wisdom of spiritual debate to help beings overcome their wrong views and we need the wisdom of composing Dharma books so that all the realizations we have worked so hard to attain are not lost, but can be shared with all.
Understanding the value of these wisdoms for the accomplishment of our bodhichitta wishes, we request these blessings.