In Practising Buddhism in a Pandemic this week, Geshe Tashi Tsering continues his commentary on Maitreya’s Prayer of Love, and the Six Perfections. He urges us, as best we can, to integrate these extraordinary practices into our everyday lives, rather than treating them as some kind of “wish list”.
Verse 22 brings us to the Perfection of Wisdom. There is a very involved verse, and Geshe la goes into considerable detail on the main topics presented here, the Three Doors of Liberation and the Three Direct Knowledges (or awarenesses).
The Three Doors of Liberation are emptiness, signlessness and wishlessness. They show us how we can best use our direct insights into emptiness to reach complete liberation, or enlightenment. To pass through these three doors we need to overcome self grasping, not just of the object itself (emptiness), but also the object’s causes and conditions (signlessness), and the object’s results (wishlessness). In this way we will realise that the past, present and future are all equally empty of inherent existence.
The Three Direct Knowledges are three of six that bodhisattvas need to develop to help approach living beings. These direct knowledges allow bodhisattvas insight into the past lives of living beings under their care; their potential futures as well as the best means and methods for helping them bring their afflictions to an end.
As usual Geshe la makes these advanced topics seem relevant and approachable. These are fascinating teachings by Geshe Tashi, and well worth listening to and taking on board.
Verse 23 is missing in the English translation, which is a shame, because this is a very uplifting verse. Geshe Tashi explains that when someone begins their bodhisattva journey, the Buddhas praise, support and appreciate that person. The result is that person has a tremendous sense of joy and fulfilment.
Verse 24 brings us full circle to the one who was named Love (Tib Jampa, Skt Maitreya) because of the deeds he performed and the perfections he completed.
As a reminder, there will be no episode next week (we are in retreat), but the three of us will be back to finish up Maitreya’s Prayer of Love on the 2nd of September.
With best wishes,
Your Admin Team
A note on the translation below: because verse 23 in the FPMT translation is missing, and in the light of the many major corrections Geshe la had to make to the meaning of these verses, we are presenting our own translation here, a team effort.
Maitreya’s Prayer of Love (Verses 22, 23, 24)
Through realising the three doors of freedom,
Seeing the three times as utterly equal,
And mastering the three kinds of direct knowledge,
May I complete the perfection of wisdom.
Entering the path of the bodhisattvas,
I will be praised by all the buddhas.
Ablaze with joy at having found my life’s true purpose,
May I engage in the joyous effort of the bodhisattvas
And fulfil my own wishes and those of all others.
In performing these deeds,
He became famed as “Maitreya”, love,
And by completing these Six Perfections,
He reached the 10th bodhisattva ground.
Translated by Geshe Tashi Tsering & Trisangma Watson
Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering taught in London for over 25 years and is currently Abbot of Sera Mey Monastery in Karnataka State, India.