Mahamudra includes many different
forms of teachings, not only the teachings of Vajrayana, but also the teachings
of Theravada and the teachings of Mahayana. It contains the entire Universal
Truth. The Universal Truth is something that is primordially there, no matter
whether you are a Buddhist or believer of some other spiritual path.
The reason why I emphasizes
Mahamudra in such a way is that: the genuine quality of the characteristic of
all the phenomena is Mahamudra. Mahamudra can in fact be divided into three ~
the Fundamental Mahamudra, Path Mahamudra and the Result Mahamudra or the
Mahamudra of Fruit. Everything and every phenomenon that are available in this
world, including the subtle elements are the 'Fundamental Mahamudra'. We are
simply ignorant about these things being 'Fundamental Mahamudra' just because of
our egoistic attachment or the egoistic way of looking at them. This egoistic
attitude blocks us from seeing the Fundamental Mahamudra nature of such things
or phenomena that we are in.
Therefore, we need to practice a
lot in order to realize the nature, the 'Fundamental Mahamudra'. This is called
'Path Mahamudra'. The entire practice that is something to do with the
realization is called 'Path Mahamudra'. It doesn't really make any sense
by saying, "Everything and every phenomenon are the Fundamental Mahamudra,"
unless you realize the reality of these things: including yourself, your mind
and your emotions.
The intellectual knowledge can be
very useful to understand or to initiate yourself in order to practice. However,
the main thing is experiential knowledge.
Primordially, we were
we are Mahamudra and we will be Mahamudra. But we don't ahve the cognition,
which in Tibetan we call 'Rigpa', which means the wisdom seed. So, the
Fundamental Mahamudra doesn't make much sense to us.
Everything in this world,
including yourself, your emotions, your feelings and senses, all are fully
inter-dependent. Nothing is independent, that is one of the greatest indications
of these thigns being Mahamudra. And yet, we are not smart enough to understand
or realize it.
Inter-dependence itself indicates
to you that everything is not existing by itself, as it appears to be to you.
So, this is Emptiness in the Buddhist philosophy. Emptiness, Voidness
or Shunyata is the thing that is not really existing as it appears to be
because of it being inter-dependent. I think that is the furthest you can
explain about Shunyata or Emptiness. Many people get
confused with this, saying that if everything is 'Emptiness', then it means that
everything is empty, everything is not there, everything should actually be
empty. Because of our ignorance, when it is said that something is empty in our
illusory world, it means to us something like an empty bowl. Some people think
that since the world should be empty, there should not be anything there. This
kind of conception is a totally wrong view.
If you think of emptiness as an
empty bowl, there are so many risks or faults that can be produced by that kind
of misunderstanding. Then all the bad deeds are also empty, why not? Then,
whatever we do, there is no restriction. Also, there should not be any karmic
links, karmic causes and effects, because everything is empty, just like an
empty bowl. All kinds of misbehavior can be caused by that kind of
misunderstanding of the Buddhist philosophy.
The most important thing in order
to realize Mahamudra is that one has to understand the teachings of relative
truth and the teachings of the Ultimate Truth of Lord Buddha. All the
phenomena are very much in dualistic state right now because we created the
scene of dualism. Dualism is two things going together at the same time. The
dualistic world is actually a projection of our own dualistic mind. This is the
so-called relative or conventional truth of the Lord Buddha's teachings.
The Fundamental Mahamudra is the
so-called Right View, which has to be viewed by our wisdom. In order to have
wisdom, one has to work hard in order to purify the obstacles and defilements, etc.
The correct view is very important in order to practice the right path. If one
has right view, that itself is a very great purification.
When you realize the Fundamental
Mahamudra, you realize the entire phenomena as Mahamudra, including the negative
accumulations. But since most of us are unable to do this, we need the help of
doing all sorts of practices, such as prostrations, offering of mandala,
Vajrasattva mantra and etc. We are so ignorant, attached and stuck with
the relativities that we need lots of support of the so-called relative
We are actually the Fundamental
Mahamudra, as I have mentioned, because everything is inter-dependent. For
example, the distance of 'long' and 'short' are also very much inter-dependent
and very relative. This is because short distance depends on long distance. The
long distance makes the short distance, the short distance itself is not
existing as it appears to be. For instance, that particular short distance can
make another particular short distance long. Therefore, the short distance that
you are talking about becomes long, comparatively.
We can say that the distance
between here to Kuala Lumpur is very far if you compare to the distance between
the place where you are going to stay tonight and this temple. But if you are
going to talk about the distance between here and India, then the distance
between here and Kuala Lumpur is very short. So, the short distance is no longer
standing by itself, which means that the short distance is not existing itself,
as it appears to be. So it is just a matter of expression, just a matter of
conception. Anyway, this is just a hint of the Fundamental Mahamudra.