Shabkar: Inspirational Tibetan Yogi

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Shabkar: Inspirational Tibetan Yogi

Post by Chi » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:51 am

Hey guys,

I just typed this out on another website, and I felt the urge to share the inspiration and joy:

This is the "Conclusion of the Life-Story in Prose" in Shabkar's autobiography, The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin (All text in brackets are added research material or clarification or definitions. I apologize for any misinformation which may be in these brackets. I apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes, which I may have overlooked.) A small sample of the book can be found here

By the power of merit accumulated in the past, in this life, I obtained a sound human body endowed with all the freedoms and favorable conditions. From childhood until now, touching my head to the dust of their feet, I have attended hundreds of spiritual teachers. From them I received time and again many vast and profound instructions uniting sutra and tantra.

I have done spiritual practice in hundreds of mountain retreats, from the White Snows of Kailash in Upper Tibet, to The Heart of the Lake, Tsonying Mahadeva, in Lower Dokham. I have also been to hundreds of villages and monasteries, benefiting as much as possible the teachings and all beings.

From the ages of twenty-one to forty I kept unbroken the precept of not eating after noon. I did the fasting practice more than three hundred times. I recited one million times the hundred-syllable mantra and the mani [short for the mantra of Avalokiteśvara, Om mani padme hum] ten million times, as well as many other mantras and prayers. From the ages of twenty to thirty I mainly practiced to perfect myself, and from the ages of thirty to fifty I worked mainly for the good of others.

I spent altogether nine years in the Three Provinces of Ngari in western Tibet, in the Four Districts of U-Tsang in central Tibet, and in the Three Heights of Dokham in eastern Tibet, tirelessly working for beings.

I always kept purely the three vows. Giving up meat, garlic, onions, and tobacco, I lived on the three whites [curd or yoghurt,
milk, butter (I think)] and the three sweets [molasses, sugar, and honey], and on tea, butter, and tsampa [roasted barley flour]. Wherever I went in Upper, Middle, and Lower Tibet, I told everyone there, men and women:

"There is no certainty as to when we will die. It may well happen tonight, tomorrow, or the day after. You must consider carefully the law of karma, cause and effect. If, as someone who has committed many negative deeds, you haven't taken this law into account and die suddenly, you will be reborn in the hell realm, while those who have practiced virtue will be reborn in the higher realms; therefore you must beware of negative actions and exert yourself in virtuous ones.

"Above all, you must constantly train your mind to be loving, compassionate, and filled with Bodhicitta. You must give up eating meat, for it is very wrong to eat the flesh of our parent sentient beings. If you are unable to give up eating meat, only take meat under the three permissive conditions, and by no means should you accept meat of an animal that has been killed for you.

"Keeping pure vows and samayas [a set of vows or precepts given to initiates of an esoteric Vajrayana Buddhist order as part of the abhiṣeka (empowerment or initiation) ceremony that creates a bond between the guru and disciple], you should study, reflect and meditate in a proper way upon the cast and profound teachings in both sutra and tantra.

After earnestly teaching in Upper, Middle, and Lower Tibet, I had over one hundred great learned and accomplished disciples, who were mindful of the law of cause and effect, maintained pure discipline, and had good hearts; who realized the natural state; who had thoroughly assimilated the practices of the development and completion stages and had visions of their yidam [a fully enlightened being who is the focus of personal meditation, during a retreat or for life]; and who were aware of the happiness and the suffering, the good and bad qualities of others, and were thus able to benefit both the Dharma and all beings.

I had over three hundred disciples who were practitioners who trained in the Bodhicitta practice of cherishing others more than themselves, were filled with compassion, and never ate meat.

I had one thousand eight hundred disciples--monks, nuns, and hermits--who, coming from all directions and all lands, lived in the mountains, kept pure vows and samayas, and gave up all concern for the affairs of this life.

Finally, I had countless disciples who were monks and nuns dwelling in monasteries, disciples who worked hard at making offerings, prostrations, circumambulations, prayers and recitations; village ngakpas [non-monastic practitioner] who pracitced recitation and meditation upon the yidam deities; and laymen and laywomen who took temporary vows of fasting, and recited the mani.

I was fortunate enough to be able to ransom the lives and set free tens and hundreds of thousands of goats, sheep, yaks, birds, and other wild animals, and to save over five hundred people who were on the verge of death--beggars, pilgrims, people coming from afar, people who had long been sick, condemned prisoners, and people who had been tring to kill each other in feuds.

Having returned to Domey, using spiritual and worldly skillful means, along with wealth, I settled eighteen great feuds, in which many people had been killed, thus putting a halt to the line of those waiting to enter the hells.

In brief, directly and indirectly I was able to bring vast benefit to the Dharma and sentient beings.

Wherever I worked for others, I would mentally call for the descent of auspiciousness on all the places I saw; call for a rain of blessings over all the mountain retreats I saw; consecrate all the sacred objects I saw; give empowerment to all the people I saw, and pray for all those who had died.

I felt loving-kindness when seeing someone bereft of happiness, compassion when seeing someone suffering, joy when seeing someone happy and free of suffering, and evenness who seeing someone free of attachment and hatred. While traveling I would continually repeat:

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering,
May all beings never be parted from the happiness free from suffering,
May all beings remain in the evenness free from attachment and aversion.

To conclude every action done in accordance with the Dharma, I would say prayers dedicating all merit, so that the precious teachings of the Buddha--the source of all temporal benefit and ultimate happiness--would spread vastly, and that in this way the sun of happiness and fulfillment would shine on sentient beings. I prayed that, by the power of my dedication, in all lands and particularly in the places I was visiting, the rain would be timely, crops good, and cattle prosperous, that diseases of men and beasts cease, that life span and merit would increase, that everyone might enjoy happiness and comfort in this life and the next, and that, ultimately, metting in a Buddhafield we would all have the good fortune to attain Buddhahood together.

Wow, what an amazing spirit. May I develop 1/100th of this man's love and compassion. Just typing this out has made me infused a sublime joy in the mind.

Time for bed. May all beings everywhere at all times be happy, peaceful, and liberated!
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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Re: Shabkar: Inspirational Tibetan Yogi

Post by Mkoll » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:29 pm

Reading that brought me joy as well.


Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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