Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Three Symbolic Supports of the Dharma

There is a new free teaching available on the Vimala Treasures site: "The Three Symbolic Supports of the Dharma." It's a PDF document 51 pages long produced from a teaching given by Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche in the early 1990s while teaching from a text by Schechen Gyaltsap at Orgyen Dorje Den.

Khenpo Tsewang starts off with this excellent summary:
"This teaching is all about the benefits of building stupas, statues, monasteries, and writing dharma texts. It is good to understand the benefits clearly, so we can apply them in our daily life. This is not a teaching that we need to sit down and practice every day, morning and night. There are immense benefits to building stupas, statues, monasteries, and writing dharma texts, but they all depend upon our motivation. Everything depends upon our motivation."

The text gives an overview of four levels in building supports for Dharma:
  1. General benefits of building the three supports
  2. Special benefits achieved through pure motivation and pure activity
  3. Benefits achieved through making lots of offerings and paying respect, and finally
  4. Dedicating whatever merit has been accumulated
Other highlights include some nice references to the 12 links of interdependent origination and many gems of instructional stories :-)

If you looked at this text a few months ago, check it out again: there's a new version up with improved formatting, sections, a table of contents, and come corrections.