Essential wealth for the warrior…. -Atisha

Essential wealth for the warrior-like people who wish to be liberated
by Lama Atisha
The following text was translated in Bodhgaya by T. K. Lochen Tulku in the winter of 1996

E-ma-ho. When Jobo Je (Atisha) was in Ngari, after he had stayed two years he gave many instructions to those headed by Lha Changchub O, amongst which are these. When he thought to go back to India and was about to leave, Lha Changchub O requested him again to give further instructions. Joboje said that what had already been given was sufficient, but Lha Changchub O insisted and therefore he gave these instructions:

  1. Though it is improper for me, who is dull and cannot look after myself to give suggestions to friends who are highly learned and clear minded, nevertheless, since you who are a true friend of mine and dearer to me than my heart, and as you have asked me to do so, therefore I, an intellectually limited child would like to put these suggestions forth for the consideration by my friend.

  2. Friend, you must have a Guru until you attain Enlightenment so therefore always rely on a Guru. You have to study until you get the realization of ultimate reality so listen to the instructions of Spiritual Friends. Mere knowledge of the doctrine will not lead to Buddhahood, it is not enough, so practice the Dharma. Keep away from objects that harm the mind and ever stay where virtue finds increase.

  3. Activities (‘du rdzi) are harmful until one attains the doctrine, so take shelter in the silence of forest life. Avoid friends who cause delusions to arise and remain close to those who make virtue increase. Hold to that thought. The activities of the world are endless so leave them and relax. Bank (sngo) virtues day and night and always keep watch over the mind.

  4. What use is there in instructions if one does not meditate on them? So put the words of the Guru into practice. If one practices with respect and faith before long results will come quickly. It seems there is no need to be worried about a livelihood if one practices the Dharma from the depths of one’s heart. Friends, desires are never satisfied, like drinking salt water, so feel contentment.

  5. Feel contempt for arrogance, conceit, pride and for being puffed up. Be peaceful and disciplined. Even so-called meritorious actions are obstacles to the Dharma so refrain from them. Gain and honor are the snares of demons so get rid of them, as though they were rocks on the road. Words of praise and fame are deceptive so spit them out like spittle.

  6. Even if happiness, prosperity and relatives are all together here now, it is only for a moment so turn your back on them. The future is longer than the present so store up your wealth for the long journey ahead. Since everything is left behind when one goes and nothing can be done about it, do not be attached to anything. Cultivate compassion for those lower and stop ignoring and insulting them.

  7. Do not be partial, having thoughts of overcoming enemies and thoughts of attachment to one’s own people. Do not be jealous of those with good qualities, be respectful instead and get their qualities. Do not find fault with others, find the faults in yourself and remove them, like you purge yourself of bad blood.

  8. Do not think of your own good. Think of the good of others and be as though a servant to all. Consider all beings as your parents and love them as your child. Tell the truth without anger, always with a loving mind and smiling face. Too much unconnected talk will mislead, so know how much to say, and talk in moderation.

  9. To much unnecessary activity will interrupt virtuous work so set aside non-spiritual activities. Do not set great store in work which has no essence; it is meaningless toil. It is better to be free of tension as nothing happens according to one’s wishes, but is determined by far-off karma. Hey! If you become an embarrassment to holy persons it is like death so do not be devious, be honest.

  10. The pleasures and sufferings of this life are the result of earlier actions so do not blame others. All happinesses are the blessing of the Guru so repay his kindness. Unless you train yourself you cannot train others so first train yourself. Without the super- knowledges one cannot help others so make great effort to gain them.

  11. Since one will definitely have to leave all one’s collected wealth do not store up wickedness for wealth. The diversion into personal consumption goes nowhere, so see the value of the wealth of charity. Be ever moral because it beautifies this life and leads to future happiness. Anger flourishes in a degenerate age so wear the armor of dispassion and patience.

  12. You will be left behind on account of laziness so make your effort burn like a fire. Life ends in the byways of distraction so now is the right time to meditate. You will not be able to understand the way things are if you have wrong view, so try to get right meaning. Friends, there is no happiness in the mire of samsara so make for the dry land of liberation.

  13. If one meditates properly on the instructions given by a Guru, the river of misery that is samsara dries up. These words are not empty words, it is proper to listen to them and keep them in the mind. If you do so, I, myself, will be delighted, and you yourself and others will be happy.

Please pay heed to these instructions even though I am an ignorant person.

These are the instructions given to Lhatsun Chengchub O by Lhacig Jobo Je

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