Date: 20/12/2011 6:58:09 PM
Subject: [CASonline] Lam Rim @ CAS !!

As we all have problems in life, we are always looking for a way out.
The Lam Rim recommends reliance upon a holy, authentic Buddhist Teacher as THE first step and the sure step !!
It has never been taught though that a Guru should be funny, cute or quaint. ( The above is therefore a non-Guru. )
Having a Guru is uselss unless one has a precious human body receptive to the Dharma.
What's the use of being powerful, scary Yakshas if one cannot practise the Dharma ??
Having a precious human body is excellent but one could lose it anytime and eventually. Also, when death comes, only the Dharma will help !!
The Buddhas, Dharma and Sangha are the Refuges who protect us when the skies turn dark and stormy and when death strikes eventually !! 
The holy, authentic Guru/s also protect us because He / She is the embodiment of the 3 Jewels ( for the Vajrayana students !! ).
Since we take refuge in the Dharma, we are expected to refrain from the 10 Unskilfulness ( such as gossips etc ) and to enact their "Opposites" wherever possible.
This is because Karma strikes in perfect response to what we do !!
If / when we are wicked and bad, we surely suffer. Also, we will fall to the 3 Lower Realms.
In the Lower Realms, one is ugly and one's hair stands on end ( most of the time ) because there is so much terror !!  
If we are nice and lovely like the above ....
We will be happy and be reborn in the 3 Higher Realms where we will be happy like Garfield, the Gods or a lark.
Like what every other religions offer, one becomes a heavenly being when one is good and / or believe in their god/s, their son/s or prophet/s.
However, in the end, one becomes but a caged god, ready to be removed when one's store of good karma runs out.
At this moment, one gives up Samsara. We don't want heaven ( supposedly eternal ), human realms with all the curled up damsels or other fun.
One will rather prefer to be a pure monk who keeps all the Self-Liberation Precepts.
If one leaves samsara alone like Arahants do, one would have left all other beings still in samsara, forvever going up, down and everywhere in samsara, helpless and lost !!
This is ungrateful because all beings have been our mothers and died for us countless times in the past. One must be someone or something "higher" than an Arahant to bring them all out also from samsara. The someone or something fully capable of doing this is a BUDDHA !!
"I want to be a Buddha for all mother sentient beings !!"
At this moment, one becomes an aspiring Bodhisattva, a son / daughter of the Buddhas !!
Merely aspiring to be a Buddha is insufficient. So, one needs to engage in countless selfless acts to accumulate sufficient store of merit and wisdom to finally culminate in perfect Buddhahood for the sake of all mother sentient beings.
One lays out a veritable feast of selfless acts for the highest benefit and good of all. One then becomes like Buddha Shakyamuni Himself in the Jataka tales.
Layers upon layers, eternity upon eternity, we shall strive in the 6 BOdhisattva PErfections solely that we will accumulate enough Merit and Wisdom to ripen into the perfect state of a Buddha for the good and liberation of all mother sentient beings.
But this takes so much time and mother sentient beings are suffering meanwhile.
"I need to be a Buddha in the FASTEST way possible for all mother beings !!"
One suddenlybecomes a bodhisattva eligible to enter the tantric path, the path capable of bringing one to Buddhahood in one single lifetime.
One finds a qualified tantric Guru who bestows the empowerments and teachings and one flings oneself into the dual stages of Generation and Completion.
The 2 stages could be rough and feel alien-like.
Over time, the 2 stages ripen into the Form and Truth Bodies of a Buddha via the Illusory Body and Clear Light Mind; the Coarse, Fine and Transformation levels; the 9 Mixings; the 4 Joys; the Vajra Recitation; the Wisdom Seal; the 3 Unelaborated Conducts; the Semblant Illusory Body and Semblant CLear Light; the Great Seal and one finally flowers into ...
The Enlightened One, a Buddha, the Teacher of Gods and Men, the ultimate manifestation of perfected Wisdom and Virtues.
One is like an illusory dancer, unbounded by samsara but fully, resplendently acting for every beings' well-being and good, that, in the end, they shall all be free from samara or become a Buddha like oneself.   
When the occasion warrants, one transforms into a monster, but always, for the highest benefit and good of all.
When the occasion warrants, one transforms into a wild mass of flowers, but always, for the highest benefit and good of all.
When the going gets tough, one continues to emanate countlessly and ceaselessly for the highest good and benefit of all, just like a penguin thriving even if the weather turns snowy !!
In short, after one becomes a Buddha, one soars the endless space of samsara like the dragon, the king and lord of all creatures, soars the heavens, solely for the highest benefit and good of all, exploring hidden, latent karmic connections, that, in the end, all mother beings will one day become a Buddha like oneself ... eternally enacting for the highest benefit and good of the world.
This issue of Lam Rim @ CAS is dedicated to holy Je Tsongkhapa, the great Teacher of the Lam Rim tradition,
today, the 25th of the Tenth Month of the Tibetan Calendar, the Anniversary of Lama Je Tsongkhapa.
LAM RIM details are at  
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