Yongdzin Rinpoche’s Message to the Worldwide Yungdrung Bön sangha, Iron Elephant Year, 2021
Today is Losar of the Iron Elephant (or Ox). I send many tashi delegs to all friends and Tibetans, especially those connected with Yungdrung Bön. Whether you are Tibetan or a foreigner, I send special tashi delegs to everyone connected with Yungdrung Bön.
This year, many things are different. According to Yungdrung Bön history, New Year, Losar, was last month. According to the government, Losar is this month. This is a general celebration, all Tibetans do it this way. Nevertheless, many Tibetan people inside Tibet, Upper and Lower Tibet, Central Tibet, and Western Tibet celebrated Losar one month before. So this month is called the first month and everybody celebrates and is very happy and joyful. But this year there are many troubles in the world, in all countries. There are economic problems everywhere, and also the corona virus, which has caused big problems for all the world. This virus makes everyone worried, and impacts negatively on economics. There are all sorts of big troubles. Everybody is upset, concerned.
We practise the virtuous dharma, so we take refuge in the Three Jewels. We do our best. But some have only a little power, some have great power, it is like this. We cannot be sure what will happen in the world. Nobody knows what the future holds. The world might not be liveable. For each kalpa, there is the time of creation, the time of abiding, then comes the time of destruction. These three epochs gradually appear, and disappear, and nobody knows how they come and go. Everybody can see the signs and characteristics of what problems are appearing now. But no matter what people say, whether you believe it or not, you cannot avoid this. It is not possible to hide from this. You cannot blame the problems on somebody else or accuse each other; this is the way, it appears by itself. Everything is controlled by cause and effect, from your own karma.
Like that, for people who are connected to Yungdrung Bön and have samaya and are dharma friends, and who are connected by common Yungdrung Bön samaya, this is the meaning of all the scriptures. I have already taught whatever is written in the Yungdrung Bön scriptures, you have heard this already. You say you listened, but just listening is not enough. Don’t waste it. This is my request to all of you.
Whatever problems appear in the future – so many, inconceivable things can appear – but in particular, personally you will experience the four sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death. You can’t escape from this. Everybody has these sufferings. Buddha has already perfectly explained the benefits of what we do. Only this is trustable, nothing else is trustable. Money or property or wealth cannot make it better. No matter how clever you are, how rich you are, how famous you are, everybody must die. You can’t avoid this.
After death, whatever appears is according to karma. You have to follow your karmic cause and effect. No matter how much property or fame you have, no matter how powerful you are, you can’t do anything with it, it will be of no benefit to you.
Because of that, whatever teachings you received in the past, don’t forget them in the future. This is my request. All of you, all students, keep this in mind. Please do this. For sure.
Nowadays, we speak via machine, through computers, in many ways. Now you can listen to teachings in a new way. Keep them in mind. It is not enough just to listen. Please keep them in mind. Why am I asking you to do this? Because this will be of benefit for you. This is compassion. Everybody faces the four sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death. As a solution for this, the Buddha gave teachings. Buddha’s teaching is only the solution to these sufferings. His teachings are not for getting fame or property, or for worldly enjoyment. Buddha’s teaching is not for that. Nowadays, many people say Buddha’s teaching brings benefit, some say Buddha’s teachings bring harm – don’t argue like this. Buddha’s teaching is only for the benefit of sentient beings.
Or people say: “I am scholar!” “He is a scholar!” Don’t argue like this. Nobody can change karma.
Be careful. Keep your Yungdrung Bön samayas carefully. Whatever you have understood from the teachings – how to do, how to think, how to meditate, how to take the view – whatever you have understood from the teachings, don’t waste it. Don’t throw it away, don’t put it to one side. Keep it in mind. Don’t just follow words – the meaning is in your mind. Practise as much as possible. That will bring you benefit, personally. This is my request.
I am old now. I have nothing particular new to say to you. Young lamas, young geshes, they are doing their best for you. Keep these teachings in mind,
Tibetan transcription by Geshe Tenzin Jimpa.
Orally translated by Drubdra Khenpo Tsultrim Tenzin, edited by Carol Ermakova and Dmitry Ermakov.