The Three Principal Aspects of the Path – Showing the Right View and The Definition of not having Completed Analysis of the Right View – W10.

Week 10: Showing the Right View and
    The Definition of not having Completed Analysis of the Right View.

 Showing the Right View
[10] One who sees the cause and effect of all phenomena
Of both cyclic existence and the state beyond sorrow as forever unbetraying,
And for whom any object trusted in by the grasping mind has completely disappeared,
Has at that time entered the path pleasing the Buddhas.

 The Definition of Not Having Completed the Analysis of the Right View
[11] If the appearance of dependent relation,

Which is unbetraying, is accepted separately from emptiness,
And as long as they are seen as separate,
Then one has still not realized the Buddha’s intent.


It’s very nice to be back here. Alike general classes, it’s immense pleasure and feel very fortunate to be able to go through one of the finest texts composed by Master Tsongkhapa. There are many topics that Buddha explained according to the mental disposition of the disciples, but I feel very nice and fortunate to go through a selected topic which is the essence of all the teachings of Buddha.

Last time, we have been through the emptiness, the reason why we may feel like we understand more or less, but still when we come to situation which suffer, we might understand that all the sufferings come from negative emotion, yet, we are not able to control that negative emotion, and that negative emotion control us back; we might understand that we are suffering because of our own faults, but we are not able to control our own faults. We know that our karmas are the reason why we suffer, but still, we don’t have the control of our karma whether is physical, verbal or mental negativities.

Showing the Right view
One who sees the cause and effect of all phenomena
Of both cyclic existence and the state beyond sorrow as forever unbetraying,
And for whom any object trusted in by the grasping mind has completely disappeared
Has at that time entered the path pleasing the Buddhas.

All the reason like is the lack of understanding or the reason why we have to have all these issues, the reason why we are still suffering, why we are not able to control our emotion although we know that gives our own negative results, because we are so much habituated and we are not able to realize the emptiness, although we assume like the understanding that we have about emptiness is just a sort of assumption. That assumption has to go to lots of analysis. When we realize emptiness, that is the time we effect it, that is the time we approve the literally root of the poisonous tree. When we are able to understand the emptiness, we not only see the root clearly but we are able to approve this – the whole poisonous tree from where all the negative emotions which are like the branches grow and leaves which are like the suffering grows.

As I mentioned in the earlier classes, suffering is just like a leaf and negative action which causes suffering us like a sub-branch, like small branches, negative emotions are like the main branches, exaggeration is like the main stream of the tree or trunk of the tree and the root of the exaggeration is the lack of understanding of the emptiness, the ignorance of emptiness, ignorance of the most of existence or the reality is emptiness. Emptiness is the reality, emptiness is something that is real. Besides emptiness, everything is just an illusion, doesn’t exist as it appears to the mind which we see correctly. So, if you don’t want poisonous leaves, if you don’t want the suffering of the leaves, you gonna get rid of the negative actions which are like sub-branches, to get rid of the negative actions or physical, verbal or mental negativities which are like sub-branches. To get rid of that, you gonna get rid of the main branches which are like negative emotions. To get rid of the main branches, you need to get rid of the trunk which are like exaggeration. And also, to get rid of the exaggeration, we need to get rid of the root which is ignorance of the reality. The one and only way to get rid of the ignorance, which is like the root, is the emptiness.

Although we can understand more or less, we can understand a little bit briefly that all the sufferings come from our own negative emotions. But still, the reason why we are not able to avoid negative emotions, the reason why we are not able to avoid the exaggeration, the reason why we are not able to react or understand our such a mind in the way it perceives inherently existence, is because we are lacking the understanding of emptiness.

To understand the emptiness, you must be able to see the interdependence and the emptiness as a sort of meaning and the thing. When you are able to see the emptiness and interdependence as two sides of one coin, when you are able to see the interdependence is just definition of emptiness, when you are able to see that the interdependence is not other than emptiness while emptiness is not other than interdependence – Because of interdependence, emptiness is possible, because of emptiness, interdependence is possible – When you are able to see that, then you will be able to negate, you will be able to understand that nothing is there which is inherently existence, at that time, you will be able to engage or you are on the path which please all the Buddhas.

This is what we have been through in our previous class. The stanza says that:

One who sees cause and effect of all phenomena,
of both cyclic existence and the state beyond sorrow as forever unbetraying.

Here, it talks about two points, it talks about the cause and effect of ‘cyclic existence’ and the cause and effect of ‘State beyond sorrow’. ‘State beyond sorrow’ is like liberation, the freedom from samsara. When you see the cause and effect of cyclic existence, the cause of cyclic existence is the negative emotion and the ignorance, the effect is the suffering of samsara. So these are the cause and effect of samsara, the effect is samsara itself and the cause, the negative action, and the cause of that is negative emotion and then exaggeration then comes ignorance. Liberation itself is the effect, liberation is nothing but just a state of mind – it’s like when our own mind is free from all the negative emotions, that’s when we achieve the state of liberation, when we are able to remove all the negative emotions in a way that it never activate again, then that state is the liberation. That is possible with a condition, with the cause, and the cause is to apply the antidote of each and every negative emotion.

One can apply the antidote of the causes or antidote of the negative emotions separately. For example, to get rid of the negative emotion ‘anger’, we can apply the antidote which is love and compassion; to get rid of the ‘jealousy’, we have rejoicing other’s good qualities; to get rid of the ‘ignorance’, we have the wisdom, right view for misunderstanding or wrong view. And likewise, contentment for the ‘attachment’ and uncontentment. There is always positive antidote which acts as an antidote to get rid of all the negative emotions. At the end of the day, the king of the antidote or the main antidote is the wisdom realizing emptiness, because that is the one which literally cuts the root of samsara which is ignorance.

The cause and effect of the liberation or the state beyond sorrow, the result is the liberation itself and the cause is the wisdom realizing emptiness. All the wisdom which realize those antidotes with practice of antidotes when you see all the causes and effects unbetraying, when you engage in the such causes, it definitely gives a result. If you engage in negative action, it definitely gives you the suffering. When you engage in the cause which is the practice of antidote, it will certainly help you to get rid of certain negative emotions. So when you understand the law of cause and effect as unbetraying, at the same time, you should be able to see that none of these is inherently existence. That’s the reason why the causes can help to bring some results.

If things inherently exist by it own, then there is no way that it can be influent. If the negative emotion exists by itself without mind projecting, if the negative emotion exists inherently, then there would be no antidote which will be able to affect it to get rid of it. If the horse inherently exists, the cause can do nothing to get rid of this horse, if the darkness inherently exists, there is no light will be able to remove it. If it inherently exists, there is nothing can affect, nothing can change it.

Because of the fact that, it is not inherently existence, the cause and condition can affect it. Because the cause and condition can affect, it is not inherently existence. This is how the interconnection, the law, the unbetraying factor of cause and effect helps in the establishment of emptiness. Because of the fact that cause and effect is unbetraying, because that cause and effect is reliable, sudden cause yield in sudden result, it is emptiness. And I say it is emptiness meaning that is not inherently existence. It is empty of inherently existence, or, in other word, it doesn’t exist inherently. To make it simpler, it doesn’t exist as it appears to us, the way it appears to us is independent in such entity that doesn’t rely on anything. Each and every effect has to rely on the cause; each and every cause, like, mother is a mother because of the child, child as a child because of mother; this is because of that, and that is because of this. Before a child was born, the maiden is not the mother. You are a child because you have a mother. We cannot say this stone and that book is the child. The label ‘child’ itself, the label this and that or the solid or the liquid, is very much interconnected. Because of that, each and everything that is being by some causes and conditions, it means that it doesn’t exist inherently because it changes.

The verses here say: ‘And for whom any object trusted in by the grasping mind has completely disappeared’. So that ‘grasping mind’ is the mind which grasps inherently existence. If that completely disappeared and our mind starts to realize that nothing exists by it own without depending on others. When you are able to see that these two things can go mutually, side by side, as two sides of a coin or just the two respects of one object, then ‘one has at that time, entered in such a path’ which all the Buddhas appreciate, this can ‘please all the Buddhas’. Because this is the point which Buddha always want to deliver. There are many levels of the teachings that Buddha given, but there is something that Buddha always wanted, there was a target that eventually Buddha want all the sentient beings to bring to such a target and that is enlightenment.

For those people who think that “Oh, enlightenment is such a long time, I prefer to just do something for my own liberation”, Buddha talked according to that. Because if Buddha tried to show the final point, people might think that “Oh, so long way, I can’t do that”. They don’t have the courage, so Buddha just say, it’s more like, you want that your kid become a doctor but the kid thinks like “Oh I don’t want to go to school for these many years”, so, skillful parents may say that “It’s ok, you just study until the high school”, so the kid say “Okay, just a few years, I gonna study for the high school”. When he finished the high school, you can show and inspire him to try just for few more years to finish the bachelor, “Just do your college, just few years”; then you can slowly say ‘Ok, you just have few more years, then you will have a really big and very good positive result’.

This is why Buddha showed in many ways. For those people who just think like “I just want to get rid of suffering in my next life”, for those people who think that “I just want to achieve something in this life”, Buddha gave teachings according to that. Those people who just wish to be born in some heaven realm or as human in next life, Buddha talked such a teaching for them. Those people who think that “I want to get rid of all the sufferings, just don’t want to be born again”, Buddha said “Okay, I will give you teaching according to that”. Those people who achieve liberation, who achieve the state where there is no more suffering for themselves, then Buddha literally inspires them “Yes, you got rid of all the sufferings, but there are many more achievements that you haven’t achieved yet. What’s the point that you enjoy? The blissful liberation, the state of salvation when all your mothers are suffering? What’s the point of enjoying this blissful happiness when all the sentient beings who have been much more kinder than your mother of this life are suffering? What’s the point of being dissolved in the meditation, good point of liberation?”. Slowly, Buddha inspired them to work for sentient beings, that is when Buddha slowly takes them to the path of liberation.

Even the emptiness, Buddha explained in many layers, according to their understanding. Buddha said like “If I tell the ultimate emptiness, they not only misunderstand, but they will think that this doesn’t make sense, because they have a very strong background view which is very contradictory with the ultimate emptiness”. So, Buddha explained in a bit low way which is true, but still, it doesn’t go along with emptiness. But sometime Buddha even said that, if a person is not ready to understand emptiness, it’s better not to show it. Emptiness is not something that Buddha recommends for everyone, if you are ready, go for it, if you are not ready, hold on. Even from my teachers, respective, teachers are not allowed to explain emptiness, unless the student is ready to get it, or to understand it.

This is pretty much we have been through in the last classes. The verses that we go today, this interdependence or cause and effect and emptiness has to go together. Like there are many people when they think about emptiness, they think that ‘Oh, nothing exists. It’s all illusion’, that is one extreme if you think that nothing exists when you think of emptiness. There were some great practitioners as well, when they think of emptiness, they think that ‘Oh, if it is such and then nothing exists’, so they might explain as nothingness, nothing exists, the reality is that nothing exists, it all is empty. Some people think that, if it exists, it has to be inherently existence, that is another extreme.

Buddha showed or explained emptiness as the middle way, that is the middle way, you all might heard about that, people take middle way in different ways. The middle way can go with pretty much everything, very compromises can be explained as middle way. The ultimate meaning of middle way is, when you don’t get toward the two extremes, and the two extremes are when you think that nothing exists if it is emptiness or when you think of another extreme, everything has to be inherently existence if there exist. These are two extremes! Here, Buddha said that, it is because of emptiness that it is interdependent. If nothing inherently exists, then it doesn’t mean that nothing exists, it can exist in a very conventional level.

In the Heart Sutra, when we say that “Form doesn’t exist, or form is emptiness”, some people may misunderstand like, ‘Okay, according to Buddism, form doesn’t exist, it is empty, it’s nothing’ – that is one extreme. Yes, form is not other than emptiness, emptiness is not other than form, which means that because of the emptiness, form exists conventionally; because the form, emptiness of the form is not other than inherent existence of the form. Emptiness in the form is absence of inherent existence in the form, because it doesn’t inherently exist; it exists because it’s absence of inherent existence, it’s caused by some causes. The birth, the cause and effect, the change can take place when it doesn’t exist inherently. Inherently existence is like, nothing can change, it just exist by itself, so no change can take place, no cause, no condition can change, that is more like inherently existence. So, emptiness is just absence of this.

The appearance here is the unbetraying interdependence and absence of inherent existence or the emptiness. As long as you see these two different, see these two as sun and moon, or moon and star, or a different entity, you haven’t realized the ultimate intent of Buddha, you haven’t realized the ultimate teachings that Buddha gave. The most profound, the essence of all the teachings is not something that you have understood yet. If you see the emptiness separately from interdependence, when you are able to see that – because of interdependence, it is emptiness, because of emptiness, it is interdependence – that is the time you have realized the intent of Buddha, that is when you realize the essence of all the teachings of Buddha, that is when you realize what Buddha want you to realize and what you get rid of the sufferings.

Now, let’s go to the verses, it shows that:

The Definition of not having completed the analysis of the Right View

It shows both: in order to understand the Right View or in order to understand the ultimate mode of existence. In order to understand the reality, you have to go through some analyses. When you see that interdependence and emptiness is one, non-duality, then you understand or you have completed the analysis to realize the real nature of phenomena, the ultimate mode of existence. Unless you realize this, you haven’t realized that, the verses say:

The Definition of Not Having Completed the Analysis of the Right View
If the appearance of dependent relation,
Which is unbetraying, is accepted separately from emptiness,
And as long as they are seen as separate,
Then one has still not realized the Buddha’s intent.

If you accept or you see that dependent origination as separated from the emptiness, then you haven’t realized the ultimate teachings of Buddha. On the other hand, if you see the emptiness not other than the dependent origination as the one, then that is the time you have realized the Buddha’s teachings, the ultimate nature, the reality, the ultimate intent of the Buddha that Buddha want everyone to understand, and the main object to practice to achieve the liberation. ‘And as long as they are seen as separate’, emptiness and dependent origination, as long as you see these two things separately, then one has still not realized Buddha’s intent, which is very much understandable.

One of the reasons why this is very much profound because when the Buddha gave this teaching, people were with the Hindu’s background, people were with non-Buddhist background. They believe in just the opposite of interdependence, they believe in just the opposite of emptiness. When Buddha explained the two truths: conventional truth and ultimate truth, Buddha had to explain in a very different levels, according to the understanding of the disciples.

Those people who believe the in Creator God, they believe the Creator God as a sort of inherently existence – something that never change, something that exists permanently, something that exists by it own, something that is not being caused by anything. You see that is the reason why in Islam, they don’t have any statue or picture of Allah or a God, it is because if they have a picture of a God, if the God has a form – That is why in many religions, God is something formless – they find contradictory, if they think that God has a body, then the question will arise, from where the body comes to exist. If a God has a body, then the question will be there, like “Who creates this body?” So, there should be someone or something before the God which created the God’s body.

That is why all these religions which believing in Creator God, they say that ‘Oh God’. You never see, it doesn’t have any form, the reason if it is a form, it has to be created by something or someone. And you cannot say that something or someone who creates the God because God the one which creates the whole universe. If you ask them “Who creates the God?”, they say like “No one creates the God”. They can even say that “God creates the God”, otherwise they might have to say like “God was there before the God’ or they have to say “There are two Gods or three Gods”- which again, goes to contradictory, there is like a single entity that created each and every phenomenon, even the suffering and the happiness giving by the God. That is why those people who believe in Creator God, when they have some problems, they complain the God “Why God, why me, why I have to suffer?” Also, when you believe in Creator God, sometimes for some people, they are not able to appreciate their own parents, not able to appreciate the people who support them, because they see them just as a means or messenger or delivery person. They see that each and everything has been giving by God.

There are many individuals who have this very strong view of, as I said earlier, unequality. If they see women inferior, if they can say all the bad things about women by saying “Oh, women are not this, women are not that”, they pretty much forget that their existence is something that has been created by a woman. Their whole growth not just nine months, but these people who see women as inferior also see that the woman is the one who is supposed to cook, as in these people’s life, it is the women always there in the kitchen cooking for them. So, unfair to see woman inferior when your whole life will be relied on a woman. There is always some women cooking for you and then here you are outside the kitchen or never been in the kitchen, talking better about the one who literally cooks for you whole life. Many of these people who say that men are superior and women are inferior, they don’t cook themselves, you can check, my personal observation – such wrong views are very bad.

We are not criticizing anybody else, we just criticizing such views. From Buddhism perspective, each and every sentient being are very important to us, very kind to us. We should see them as our own parents very kind, we should remember their kindness, we should love them, but it doesn’t mean that we should love everything about them. We should see those persons with these views and the views separately. We love those persons, we are not against those persons, we are against those activities and those views. Personally, I’m totally against those views, but I love all the sentient beings, of course including them.

So understanding interdependence, it’s very important, even from these respects, think about one on interdependence, to whom we are dependent, where we are originated, who has contributed in our existence. There could be some people whose growth might have taken place in absence of biological parents, very rare, yes they are, but very rare. There are some orphans unfortunately that their parents passed away.

I don’t know where I heard that story but there is one story, there was the hunter, I am not really sure, but there is a story, I thought maybe this is the story related to the place – we said Vanarasi, the Deer Park, where Buddha’s giving the first teaching of the Four Noble Truths. If I am not mistaken, but the story doesn’t matter if it is not hundred percent but then you will get the concept advised behind. So, I focus on that concept. There was a King and he was a hunting, then he saw a deer, he literally shoot an arrow to kill the deer. When the arrow hit the deer, it was very badly but still the deer was in a situation that the deer could go and run a bit. The last thing that the deer did – the deer was hit with an arrow – is to ran toward the deer own baby [fawn] to give some milk, with a sort of compassion that “before I die, maybe I can feed my child”.

From this story, I think there are lots and lots of advices that we can take from. One is that, each and every sentient being has being kind to us like the deer to its own child. Even if they’re died, even if it is taking their life away, it like very selfless, they still think about your welfare, they still think about your concern. You are dying but you are not worrying whether you die or not, but you are worrying much about the existence of your baby. Each and every sentient being has this much kindness to us. Seeing such a mother who literally sacrifices in this manner as an inferior is pretty much non-human. In all the societies where they see woman as an inferior, they also see and also want the women always be there in the kitchen, that’s pretty much neglect. In some eras, woman having period is also something very bad. In some cultures, when the women were about to delivery baby, they were sent to their parents’ house, some people say that, it brings something negatives which are not really nice.

From that perspective, we see how kind the sentient beings have been to us, which is why for many people, Mahayana practices are very much relevant effective, because they see how compassionate all the sentient beings have been to us, like the deer mother to the deer baby. We should not just too much involve, should not just focus on the worldly things, but we should try our best to make the best use of this human life into practice through which we can help all the sentient beings. If this precious human rebirth, if we just spend a whole life for something to eat, something to wear, a place to stay, for a car, there are many people who say “I’m earning all these all my life and I wana get this and that car, oh it’s my dream to have my own house, whatever it is, so I’m literally working for 20-30 years for that’. After literally spending 30-40 years try to achieve something, who know whether you will be able to enjoy that, whether you will be living to enjoy that?

Look at all the billionaires and millionaires, are they happy? Are they happy personally in the world? Like the freedom that we have, the billionaires don’t have. We must have compassion toward them in some sense. You can go and run around the market, you can just go and have a nap in the park, but they cannot. You might like to go to some cities, some markets, run around here and there as a free person, but they cannot. Some celebrities, if they go in some public places, people gonna cheer them. The freedom as a common man, I see that is such a freedom, you can pretty much feel comfortable, you pretty much go where you wish to, there is no body chasing you behind you, if you are celebrated, if you go somewhere, this and that, there would be lots of people behind taking pictures and making story about that, and then that all affect you, you go to the hospital they gonna make all the stories to public in the newspapers, now you spend like day and night to explain that is not the case. So the common people more pretty much like the one with the power of invisible, doesn’t matter wherever you go, there won’t be many people to whom you will be visible, so you can literally go and walk around the market pretty much as an invisible.

I think, if you see that from this perspective, then you are happy the way you are, you can enjoy the way you are, you can enjoy this part pretty much invisibility. Some people like ‘Oh, I want to be famous’, but what are you going to do with the fame? You gonna eat, sleep and die, there is nothing much you can do with the fame. Many people know you, then what’s happen? Then they gonna chase you, every small minor mistake with you, they gonna shout to the whole world, “Oh, he has this issue” Is that what are you looking for? There are many people so craving to this fame. Those people who literally crave, attach to the fame, they want the fame. You know what they want? They want the others praise them, they feel like, so nice when others praising them. It’s not nice, because the same people gonna curse you back. The more you enjoy other’s praises, the more it gonna hurt you when others talk bad about you. So, why you are literally made your happiness as a sort of paper ship/boat, and then just throwing in a water? And you don’t have any control over it? When the water sweeps it, it gonna let you go through, when the water doesn’t want it throwing, then it’s untightly, you are literally giving up your own key of happiness in the hand of the public. Then you will end the being pleasing the public for your whole life.

Just think about the body of Michael Jackson, the number of injections that he used to have. For what? You just attach to a fame, you literally thought yourself, you give the key of your happiness in the other’s hands, then you have to throw yourself to please others. The wealth, give me one billionaire who doesn’t leave all his wealth when he died? All the billionaires, when they die, they are also billionaires which means they haven’t spent their wealth. What’s the point of being billionaire? There are many billionaires who spent less than many millionaires. Many of the people like villagers, they eat much healthier or get much food than many billionaires in the city. Many people in villages they live more meaningful life, happier life, more content life than all those billionaires. So what’s the point of being billionaire? You might be very rich, super rich or whatever it is, what’s the point of wearing all those cloth which is not comfortable for you, you are super rich and you are wearing this very long heel, this and that, as a fashion, like when you go to party this and that, so you literally have to pretty much stand for like few hours on that such high heel, just not really comfortable. That is what happen when you literally give happiness to other’s hands. Villagers that are spending much happier life, no fancy cloth, no wealth, no fame, are content, happier to the life.

By understanding that happiness is not out there, it is inside, at the same time, by understanding that the life that we are living is just temporary. This is something that can go away in a blink of the night. When we have this opportunity, we should understand and practice Dharma, do something meaningful not just for oneself but for all the other sentient beings, not just for one life, but all the other lives. Because each and everyone has being that mother deer to us. How can we sleep after a meaningless day?

No need to give away everything that you have like wealth and everything. What I am asking you is to have bodhicitta, compassion equally to all the sentient beings, or at least you can try. What I am asking you is to think about this essence of the teachings that Buddha giving, because these are the things that can become our strength to be able to serve all the sentient beings who have been kind to us, these are the tools. So, without wasting this life, not just for oneself but for other sentient beings, not just for one life but for all the future’s lives, there is nothing more important that we can look forward to. I think if you live this life, if you are living this manner just one day, trust me, the quality of sleep is different. You don’t need any reason to be happy, because you can generate happiness within your mind. A content life, a content day is when you think about others for the whole day.

Thank you all of you for joining this class, and we really are very fortunate to meet Buddha teachings to be able to practice as much as we can and at least we have the faith toward Buddha teachings.

Doing something for dharma, doing something for Buddha so that the sentient beings can be happier, so that we can leave something behind even when we die after two years, three years, 10, 15, 20, 50, whatever. Even when we die, let leave something behind in this world, let leave something for the next generation, for the sentient beings. By understanding the Buddhist teachings that’s a lot more we can do. Here all are young so you can do a lot, contribute a lot to the community, to the world, to the Buddha Dharma.

Noted down from the Dharma Talk by Lama Nawang Kunphel on June 29, 2021, organized by The Aura of Wisdom.