Dearest All,
The beings @ CAS of Thousand-Arm Chenrezig will be PARROTING the Lam-Rim teachings...... Online !!  
The reasons:
A) Beings are too busy ( who isn't in Singapore ??!! )
B) Beings are too tired ( Frightful Work !! )
C) Beings are too bored ( think TCS ?? SCV ?? ) 
..........FOR LAM-RIM ??!!   
Hence, so as to allow perpetually samsara-fallen beings like ourselves  some glimpse of hope and light, born is this LAM-RIM ONLINE, a clever and easy way to learn all the teachings of the Buddha, in the convenience of your home, at your own time and leisure ( remember, we actually don't have much of either !! ) --
Beings who faithfully internalized these topics could -- if all conditions hold constant -- be the fully-qualified spiritual vessel for the coveted and prized TANTRIC PROGRAMMES dispensed here and then and there throughout the Pig's Year, the Donkey's and other Years......!!
( ignore the advice above and below at your own peril  )
The Three Principles of the Path
by Je Tzong Khapa

I bow down to the venerable Spiritual Masters.

I will explain, as well as I am able, the essence of all the teachings of the Conqueror, the path praised by the Conquerors and their spiritual children, the entrance for the fortunate ones who desire liberation.

Listen with clear minds, you fortunate ones who direct your minds to the path pleasing to the Buddha and strive to make good use of leisure and opportunity without being attached to the joys of cyclic existence.

For you embodied beings bound by the craving for existence, without the pure determination to be free (renunciation) from the ocean of existence, there is no way for you to pacify the attractions to its pleasurable effects. Thus, from the outset seek to generate the determination to be free.

By contemplating the leisure and endowments so difficult to find and the fleeting nature of your life, reverse the clinging to this life. By repeatedly contemplating the infallible effects of karma and the miseries of cyclic existence, reverse the clinging to future lives.

By contemplating in this way, do not generate even for an instant the wish for the pleasures of cyclic existence. When you have, day and night unceasingly, the mind aspiring for liberation, then you have generated the determination to be free.

However, if your determination to be free is not sustained by the pure dedicated heart (bodhicitta), it does not become the cause for the perfect bliss of unsurpassed enlightenment. Therefore, the intelligent generate the supreme thought of enlightenment.

Swept by the current of the four powerful rivers, tied by the strong bonds of karma which are so hard to undo, caught in the iron net of self-grasping egoism, completely enveloped by the darkness of ignorance,

Born and reborn in boundless cyclic existence, unceasingly tormented by the three miseries - by thinking of all mother sentient beings in this condition, generat! e the su preme altruistic aspiration.

Even if you meditate upon the determination to be free and the mind of enlightenment, without the wisdom realizing the final nature (how things actually exist), you cannot cut the root of cyclic existence. Therefore, strive for the means to realize dependent arising.

One who sees the infallible cause and effect of all phenomena in cyclic existence and beyond and destroys all false perceptions (of their inherent existence) has entered the path which pleases the Buddha.

Appearances are infallible dependent arisings; emptiness is free of assertions (of inherent existence or non-existence). As long as these two understandings are seen as separate, one has not yet realized the intent of the Buddha.

When these two realizations are simultaneous and concurrent, from the mere sight of infallible dependent arising comes definite knowledge which completely destroys all modes of mental grasping. At that time, the analysis of the profound view is complete.

In addition, appearances clear away the extreme of (inherent) existence; emptiness clears away the extreme of non-existence. When you understand the arising of cause and effect from the viewpoint of emptiness, you are not captivated by either of the extreme views.

In this way, when you have realized the exact points of the three principal aspects of the path, by depending on solitude, generate the power of joyous effort and quickly accomplish the final goal, my child!


Most Venerable


Denma Locho Rinpoche is one of the most esteemed Teachers of Drepung Loseling Monastery. He has served as the Abbot of the Dalai Lama's personal monastery and is universally respected within Tibetan Buddhism as one of Tibet's greatest scholars and realized masters. His students include most of the lineal-heads in the Gelugpa Tradition in addition to some of the greatest luminaries in Tibetan Buddhism.

5th October 2001

Aspect 1: Renunciation (part 1)


So when we begin the teaching with the prayer of going for refuge and then the aspiration to the highest enlightenment, that is to say, buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings, then we recite the four-line prayer as we have just done. So within that, as you know, we should recite, 'through the merit I receive by engaging in listening to this teaching, may I achieve buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings'. The lama who is giving the discourse recites 'through the merit I achieve through explaining the Dharma'. So as we, the disciples, are not explaining the Dharma, then we needn't recite this, so we should recite 'through the merit I receive through listening to this teaching, may I achieve buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings'.

So one of the most important things before receiving a Dharma teaching is one's motivation for receiving the teaching. So our motivation should be one that is in accordance with the Dharma, that is to say, in accordance with the Three Jewels. So what should our motivation be? Most of us already know, but it's good to go over that. One should listen to the teaching with the thought 'I must achieve the highest unsurpassable enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings in order to lead them out of the state of dissatisfaction into one of everlasting satisfaction'. So with this motivation one should then listen to the teachings, not rather with the motivation to gain fame or renown or some kind of strange blessings; rather one should adjust one's motivation or attitude to one of achieving the highest enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

The Benefits of Listening to the Dharma

So with regard to this attitude or motivation for receiving the teaching - initially if we understand the benefits of listening to the teaching, of receiving the Dharma discourses, then we will willingly engage in the practice of hearing the teaching, or delight in hearing the teaching. So then we should understand this through an example: If we are engaging in some kind of worldly work, for example a business, if we understand the benefits of engaging in a certain business deal, then we will put a lot of effort into that business deal, we won't have a two-pointed mind, that is to say, we won't have doubt with regard to that deal because we will have firstly seen the benefits, understood the actual deal itself and then engaged in that action. So in the same way when engaging in the practice of Buddhism, then initially one should understand the benefits of engaging in the Dharma practice. So this is understood through understanding a quotation from a book which talks about the benefits of hearing the Dharma. So within this text then it first instructs that we should delight in the practice of hearing the Dharma because through this all qualities arise. So what is meant by this is that through engaging in the three higher trainings, we achieve the state of liberation; whether we are engaging in a lesser vehicle practice or in a greater vehicle practice, we achieve the result which is the state of liberation. Of those three higher trainings, the most important is the one of wisdom. So with regard to this wisdom which is crucial at the base and path and resultant level of the path, then how does this come about, how do we generate this wisdom within our mind, or within our being? We generate this through initially hearing a teaching about wisdom and then engaging in that particular practice. So initially then, the benefits that come about through engaging in the three higher trainings - the state of liberation and so forth - al! l come a bout through initially hearing the Dharma teaching.

Then the second line from that text goes on to say that through listening, negativity, or non-virtue, is reversed. So what this means is that through hearing the teaching, we understand what is virtuous to take up and what is non-virtuous and thus what are the objects to be abandoned. So this is principally talking about the higher training of morality. So here then if we talk about restraint - what is meant by 'restraint' here is the subduing of negative actions or negative states of mind. So this again is something that is learned through hearing the teaching. So through hearing the teaching we understand what is meant by a negative action and how to refrain from that particular action - we understand what is the base, what is the motivating factor, what is the intention with regard to the particular action or the particular karmic deed which we are going to perform and then what is meant by the rejoicing in that action afterwards. So then if we don't understand this fourfold mode of action, then we can easily engage in negative actions, and then the ripening result of those, or the negative result of those, which will inevitably come will just be something that causes us displeasure later on. For example, if we have not heard the Dharma teaching about the necessity of abandoning the negative action of stealing, we might engage in the practice of stealing, through borrowing something and not returning it, or we might engage in the practice of killing through being pestered by an insect, and through this we will inevitably receive the result of such actions. If we don't want to have such unpleasant karmic results, we need to know what actions to abandon, and the only way we are going to understand what actions are to be abandoned is through hearing the Dharma teachings. So again here then, the praise of listening to the Dharma teaching is that one will know exactly what negative actions to reverse and this is only understo! od throu gh initially engaging in the practice of hearing a teaching upon that.

So then the third line talks about the higher training of concentration. So if we talk about the mind of calm abiding, or shamatha, then this mind is one which spontaneously and effortlessly remains single-pointedly upon its object of observation. So let's talk about the achieving of that state of mind - what does one need to initially engage in? One needs to initially understand what is meant by the object of observation, the object upon which we are going to generate this single-pointed mind, this single-pointed concentration. Then we need to understand what are the beneficial mental factors which we need to take up, for example faith in the practice, introspection and so forth. Then we also need to know the objects of abandonment which are abandoned by these positive attitudes, for example mental sinking, laxity and so forth. So when we understand what is to be taken up and what is to be abandoned on this path of achieving this single-pointed mind of concentration, we will be able to engage in this particular practice of achieving a mind of calm-abiding. So again, we only know what objects are to be taken up and what objects are to be abandoned (in this case, mind-states) through engaging in the practice of hearing the teaching about this particular mind-state, or the mind of calm abiding. Then the last line says that in essence one achieves the state of liberation through hearing the teaching. So here when we talk about having engaged in the practice of the three higher trainings, the natural result of that is to achieve the state of liberation. If we look for the root cause of achieving the state of liberation, we will find that it is hearing the teaching. So initially when one engages in the practice of hearing the teaching, then generating the various wisdoms which arise form hearing, and then contemplating the teaching, and then meditating single-pointedly on the teaching, then through having done that one generates! the yog ic direct perception of suchness, and then through single-pointed placement on that, one goes through the various stages and paths and achieves then the state of omniscience. So all good qualities arise through initially engaging in the practice of hearing the teaching, thus hearing the teaching is incredibly important.

( Helpful notes by bb @ CAS: So ends lAM-rIM ONLINE lESSON oNE -- THE PRELIMINARIES )