On the Practice of “Begging”

Posted on November 22, 2009


On the Practice of “Begging”

by Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

Selected Quotes from Dharma Talk
So what’s very important now is to build something here so that the Buddhadharma will have a physical strong stable tangible structure for Buddhism to grow.

My life’s aim is to bring Buddhism to those who are ready, those who are ripe and those who are appropriate vehicles to bring the holy teachings of Buddha to their lives and to their minds and to their activities.

Begging is used for countering one’s pride and ego to beg or to ask, to lower one’s self for help.

In Buddhism, when we beg, it is not a connotation of failure, but a connotation of victory.  What type of victory?  A spiritual and emotional victory.  Why is that? It’s because we have given up all types of ambitions , all types of wishes and all types of methods to immerse ourselves in strictly the making of a career or the making of money to support ourselves.  We have basically surrendered that in order that we can use our time 100% for spiritual pursuits and exercises.  In order to support that spiritual exercise, the Buddha  has taught us to beg.  So therefore, if we beg, it means we are pursuing spiritual exercises…namely, overcoming one’s incredible mind that has wrong conceptions, misconceptions such as jealousy, anger, hatred, being sneaky, not being forthright.  So those are qualities we do not wish to have because those qualities reap unhappiness.

Begging for one’s livelihood benefits the person who gives and it benefits the person who begs.  It benefits the person who gives because they create a karmic imprint that in the future they may be able to gain the spiritual qualities or attainments by supporting the spiritual aspirants.  For the spiritual aspirant who begs, it counters the ego and the pride and the face factor that they wish to have in society that they are successful.

Asking or begging becomes a spiritual exercise.

How strong our aspirations towards benefitting others are is manifested in how effortlessly we hold our vows.  So, if our vows are effortlessly held, and we have no problems holding our vows keeping promises keeping our samayas clean, it means that our aspiration to benefit others is real, is spontaneous and very deep seated.

This wish to achieve spiritual benefit for the benefit of others is bodhicitta.  It can be artificial bodhicitta or it can be definite, confirmed bodhicitta. Whatever it is, artificial bodhicitta is generated in the beginning where it becomes, grows or manifests into real bodhicitta.

A person who has held their vows very well and their spiritual aspirations are very strong and they continue to do their prayers, they do their meditations, it is said to affect the very objects around them.  It will affect their clothes, it will affect the table, it will affect their rosary, it will affect your rings, it will affect even their watches, it will affect the thangkas, statues, it will affect their dharma books.  In fact everything they touch or use, it infuses those items with the energy of wishing to achieve benefit for others.

So when other beings touch these items, wear these items or make offerings to these items or enshrine these items in stupas or make prostrations or make personal aspirations in front of these objects, it is very, very powerful to open up their own imprints from their previous lives for them to continue the spiritual practice.

In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, objects are considered very holy and very valued.  Everyone wishes to obtain those objects.  Why?  Those objects remind us, connect us and bring us closer to the goal of Enlightenment.

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In my week long break during Thanksgiving, wanting to listen to online dharma talks and post a bit about them, one each day during this week.  May I be consistent with this aspiration!

A dharma talk a day keeps my unwholesome habits at bay!

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