The Autobiography of Jamgon Kongtrul: A Gem of Many Colors by Richard Barron

The Autobiography of Jamgon Kongtrul: A Gem of Many Colors by Richard Barron

Author:Richard Barron
Language: eng
Format: azw3
ISBN: 1559391847
Publisher: Snow Lion
Published: 2003-03-25T00:00:00+00:00

The causes of all these situations is said to be the four ways in which moral failings occur-that is, due to ignorance, lack of respect, heedlessness, and a plethora of afflictive emotions. [ 190a] First, as for ignorance, if most of those who are given the titles of a lama or tulku nowadays haven't the slightest clue about the three levels of ordination-about what constitutes the guidelines to be observed or the various degrees of infractions, transgressions, or violations that can be incurred-how can we expect the rank-and-file monks to know? Second, although someone might not have a deeply-held lack of respect for the training, without knowledge there can be no real respect; and those who, worse still, deliberately flout their ordination are committing an egregious mistake. Third, it is necessary to cultivate heedfulness, mindfulness, and alertness, for if one is unable to do so, one's physical, verbal, and mental behavior falls under the sway of heedlessness. Fourth, people born in these times of spiritual degeneration are subject to afflictive emotions that are growing steadily more powerful, so people for the most part are under the sway of one or another of the three emotional poisons.996 Due to such flaws, I myself am constantly plagued by the nagging dread that there is no destiny for me but some lower state of rebirth. The foregoing amounts to my concluding remarks.


The superb accomplishments of holy people are well-known as the "nine modes of the holy" and the "three spheres of activity." Although there is no question of my having any of these in the true sense, I do have certain accomplishments that serve merely as partial approximations. Let me discuss these under the headings of the three spheres of activity-that of erudition, which includes study and contemplation; that of renunciation, which concerns meditative stability; and that of projects, which concerns other undertakings.


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