Extracted from the website of Buddhist Vajrayana Charity Funds Association and translated (為何學佛) into English:
|Why Learn Buddhism|
|Rinpoche gave this discourse in February 1990|
|Uploaded to website on 1st January 2015 (after about twenty five years)|
|1.||Nowadays, some people study in order to pursue knowledge, but for the majority of people it is to find a better job in the future, to have no worries about food, clothing, accommodation, travel, to live a comfortable life, etc. Just as the proverb says: “Within books there are naturally houses filled with gold”. However, there are also people who study in order to search for a kind of ideal: the pursuit of ‘Truth’ ‘Benevolence’ ‘Perfection’.|
|2.||Why learn Buddhism? To become a monk? To become a senior monk? To become a grand Master? To become a Vajra Master? ... ... Is it to acclaim a respected status so that one may have the support of many fellow worshippers, of whom can freely be at one's disposal?
In fact, learning Buddhism is also for the pursuit of Truth, Benevolence, Perfection. ‘Truth, Benevolence, Perfection’ is not just one thing; they are three things. These three things further comprise of many things, for example transcending the Three Realms, detachment from the six realms of reincarnation, untarnished by the Five Aggregates and Six Sense Bases ... ... .
|1.||There are two minimum objectives in learning Buddhism:|
|•||Deliverance of Oneself (Saving Oneself)|
|•||Deliverance of Others (Saving Others)|
|Deliverance of Oneself ─||To Benefit Oneself. One applies the right knowledge and concept to solve issues in daily life. In addition, one’s behaviour, demeanour, thoughts, way of thinking ...... should all be cultivated and corrected until self-enlightened.|
|Deliverance of Others ─||To Benefit Others. Not only should there be no intrusion to others, but it is also to help other people gain fortune and happiness. As such, this enables a calm orderly society and world peace.|
|Therefore, to bring up Buddhist disciples is to develop them to have the spirit of benefitting both oneself and others as well as saving both oneself and others. With this kind of spirit, Buddha Dharma can basically continue its inheritance in the world. In due course, there will be more and more people who harm others and themselves, thus the oppressive atmosphere will gradually take over this world and Buddhism will gradually diminish. If there is no such spirit of benefitting oneself as well as benefitting others and saving oneself as well as saving others, Buddhist disciples cannot be developed and Buddha Dharma also cannot flourish.|
|2.||Even though one may possess the spirit of benefitting oneself and others as well as saving oneself and others, how can excellent Buddhist disciples and outstanding disciples of Vajrayana be nurtured? How can one make progress with pragmatism ... ... and mastering? Once some mastery is achieved, how can one integrate Tantric Dharma into daily life and transform it into a type of contribution to benefit mankind? Like weapons, how can one make use of them in bringing happiness to mankind rather than war?|
|3.||In order to enable Tantric Dharma to evolve into a kind of law and regulation that benefit mankind and contribute to society (to guide people towards benevolence, to guide people to get out of samsara (liberation from reincarnation), ... ...), one must first put Tantric Dharma into practice. What will be the result after practice? Practitioners will have a series of questions after another series of questions. Fundamentally, it is all based upon the initial state of mind of the individual at the time of learning Tantric Dharma; what method is used in learning; what is the achievement; how much time is spent; how much effort is made,etc. A practitioner can get an equivalent amount of achievement depends on how much effort he/she has made, similar to giving as much light as the heat can produce(remark: it means doing one's utmost). As the【Lotus Sutra】states: “All efforts are not made for nothing” (this means all hard work and merits gathered, will not be for nothing or wasted). Furthermore, there is the freedom to choose during the period of learning and these choices are determined by the fateful coincidence of each individual. The more meticulous one learns the more sophisticated and precise one's thinking will be and only then, will one have the experience to evaluate whether the Tantric Dharma one has learned is benevolent or not. When one's heart possesses Perception Ability (Sankrit: Pratyaksa 現量) and Inference Ability (Sankrit: Anumāņa 比量) to evaluate things, one is regarded as having the Right Knowledge and Right View.|
|4.||Tantric Dharma has both its theory and principle, but how can one enable sentient beings to properly learn Tantric Dharma?
For example, Master Chan teaches Disciple A, Master Lee teaches Disciple B and Master Cheung teaches Disciple C. Disciples A, B and C all learn the same set of theories and the same Tantric Dharma, yet they may have different views on certain matters in the future. This is not because they possess the mind of differentiation; it is because each individual has different karma, different fate and different thoughts. The reason why they all have different thoughts is probably derived from the different masters. Although the three masters teach the same set of theories, the methods of teaching and training are not the same. Hence, the achievements of the Disciples A, B and C have their own merits.
|5.||Having said this much, I hope you all understand that what is the most important is to learn from the same set of theories (The right theories of the Buddha), and not to observe the difference between Master Chan, Lee & Cheung; the difference between Disciples A, B & C; the difference between Red, White, Yellow and Flower Sects; the difference between Pure Land Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Tiantai Buddhism; the difference between Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism; the true or false difference between East Esotericism and Tibetan Buddhism; the difference between you and me ; the difference between Buddhism and Taoism; the difference between Christianity and Catholicism. The only thing that has no difference is Buddha’s Theory, which is the Eternal Truth of the Universe. The Truth never changes. Any changes and differences are down to human beings, and within these differences each show its own high and low levels. What is considered as The Supreme, only those people who attain the Truth can realise and understand.|