Master Dharmakirti Debating

Class 3 Transcript: A Gift of Liberation 38: Becoming a Bodhisattva: Steps to Create a Kinder World (2021, Arizona)


Hi, welcome back to the Lam Rim and this is Geshe Michael Roach. The picture you just saw is Master Dharmakirti. He lived about 1,500 years ago. He is going to help us prove something. He is a great debater. He is a great logistician. He is the master of clear thinking. Nowadays, I don’t like to call it logic. Everybody hates logic; ogic is boring, but Master Dharmakirti, he was like, “clear thinking, clear thinking, just learn clear thinking!” If you see smoke, there must be fire.” How can we use that to develop bodhichitta? We are going to try to develop a vision of the bodhisattvas, but to do this method, we are going to have to prove that everyone has been our mom.

Let’s go to the text. Pabongka Rinpoche in his Lam Rim quotes a verse by Dharmakirti, or he starts quoting him and he says:


SKYE BA YONGS SU LEN PA NA means when you take your rebirth … BYUNG RNGUB, ‘BYUNG means “to breathe in” and RNGUB means “to breathe out”. When you do a basic meditation practice of breathing—watching your breath, watching ten breaths before you meditate to focus your mind—in the Abhidharma Kosha this is called DBUGS ‘BYUNG RNGUB. So ‘BYUNG RNGUB means “exhale and inhale”. DBANG PO means “the sense powers that you are born with”: your eyes, ears, nose, tongue and your skin. BLO DAG NI and your mind. RANG GI RIGS LA LTOS MED CAN they are not something which depends on something of their own type. Your breathing, the clarity of your senses, and your mind are not something which depends on the same type of thing. Then he cuts the quotation from Dharmakirti. I thought this is a great quotation; this is a great teaching. It is an entire teaching, and he mentions it but he doesn’t teach it. So I thought, why don’t we go learn this particular verse from Master Dharmakirti, which is incredibly important and incredibly beautiful.


I had the honor, 25 years ago at the monastery, to help a great scholar; he is the teacher of my main scripture teacher. My main scripture teacher is Geshe Thubten Rinchen from Sera Mey. A great, great, great scholar; a great teacher, extraordinary teacher, who has taught many, many, many geshes. His teacher was Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk, who did not come out of Tibet during the cultural revolution. He stayed in Tibet so we did not know what was happening with him, but later he was able to visit the monastery, and he said, “by the way, I have a book for you guys.” And we’re like, “what?” And he said, “It is just something I wrote.” And in English it would be like 8,000 pages that he had written about Dharmakirti—about this great, great debater from 1,500 years ago. My teachers and I looked at it and it was unbelievable. He explains Dharmakirti’s greatest book, word by word, and I have never seen anyone who did that. So then, usually if a book is modern—if it is not a thousand years old, we kind of look at it in the monastery and we are like, “it’s okay, that’s nice”. But as we checked his book we realized it is a great classic. It will stay for a thousand years, I think. It is a great, great classic. I actually was allowed to join the team, his team, and we produced two volumes. It was in two large volumes. We typed in the whole text. He checked the whole text. My responsibility was to put in the root text of Dharmakirti at the right places. So, this book means a lot to me, and it is a great, great commentary.

Let’s go see what Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk, one of the greatest explainers of Master Dharmakirti, says about recognizing people as your mom. Don’t forget that is what we are trying to prove: have people been your mom or not? So here are the full verses:


I am not going to … I am just going to read it roughly, and then we won’t understand everything; then we are going to go into Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk’s commentary and he is going to make everything clear. The goal is, by the end of this class, which is going to be a little bit long, okay? Don’t worry, we are going to try to prove that the people around you have been your mom. That is a great proof, and that is one of the greatest classical reasons for logic—to prove your past and future lives and to prove that everyone has been your mother. Why do Buddhists study reasoning or logic? It is to prove things like everyone has been your mom—then you are going to treat people differently if you can prove to yourself that they have been your mom. Then you are halfway on the way to be a bodhisattva.

SKYE BA YONGS SU LEN PA NA means “when you take a rebirth”. BYUNG RNGUB DBANG PO BLO DAG NI the breathing in and out; the clarity of your sense powers—your awareness. RANG GI RIGS LA LTOS MED CAN something which does not depend on something that came before them. MIN they are not something which does not depend on what came before them. Unfortunately, Pabongka Rinpoche leaves out that word, purposely. LUS NYID ‘BA ZHIG LAS SKYE MIN they do not just come from your body. We are going to get the explanation later.


HA CANG THAL PHYIR means “logically, it is too much”. MTSAMS SBYOR BAR when you make the crossing to a new life NUS LDAN MTHONG BA GANG DE LA you see that your senses have their own powers. CI ZHIG YOD ‘GYUR GANG MED PA you check what is there. Nothing is there. ,GANG GIS PHYI NAS MTSAMS SBYOR MED what was it that made the crossing into your new life from your old life?


GANG DU DROD GSHER LA SOGS PA let us take cases where beings appeared to be growing from warmth and liquid, and wet and moisture. SKYE BO SKYE BAR MI ‘GYUR BA’I if they are not born that way, GSA SOGS CHA DE ‘GA’ YANG MED then they don’t have any parts of the element of earth. DE PHYIR THAMS CAD SA BON BDAG therefore, everything consists of seeds. It does not make sense yet, don’t worry. I just want to get the root text in your mind.


DE PHYIR DBANG SOGS RANG RIGS LA if the sense powers don’t depend on their own type of thing before, ‘BYUNG YIN NA, JI LTAR GCIG NI YONGS ‘GYUR BZHIN in the way that one happened, KUN ‘GYUR KHYAD PAR MED PHYIR RO everything would happen the same way.


DBANG RNAMS RE RE LA GNOD NA if we heard the idea that there could be each sense power, YID BLO LA GNOD YOD MA YIN it is not necessarily hurting the sense of the thoughts. ‘DI ‘GYUR NA NI DE DAG KYANG if it were that way, ‘GYUR BA BDAG TU MTHONG BA YIN you would see them changing as well. Do not worry about the meaning, I am just loading them words in your mind.


DE PHYIR BLO GNAS PA YIN RTEN therefore, the staying of the mind is the basis. BLO NYID LA NI BRTEN PA ‘GA’ what is it that rests upon the mind? DBANG PO RNAMS KYI RGYU YIN PAS if the sense powers are the cause, DE PHYIR BLO LAS DBANG PO YIN therefore, the mind is coming from the sense powers. DE ‘DRA’I ‘PHEN BYED YOD GYUR NA, PHYIS KYANG DE ‘DRAR ‘GYUR BA YIN if the karma that throws these things into existence is like that, then later it should be the same. That is all. That is all the Dharmakirti says and it is completely un-understandable—you cannot understand it.


Now here comes Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk; he is walking into the room and says, “don’t worry, I am your man, I will explain this to you; in fact, I will give you an explanation and in every sentence I will use Dharmakirti’s own words.” That is called a ZHING ‘DREL. “I will put Dharmakirti’s words inside the sentence, and we’ll prove that everyone has been your mother.” Wow, okay, let’s do it!

BYIS PA SKYE MA THAG PA’I DBUGS ‘BYUNG RNGUB now comes the commentary. BYIS PA SKYE MA THAG PA’I DBUGS ‘BYUNG RNGUB means “look, when children are first born they start breathing”. I am thinking of Maitri, who is the son of two of our friends, Noor and Seiji Arao. They just had a child. Here is the baby, beautiful baby, and he came out six weeks ago and he started breathing. DBANG PO DVANGS PA means “his sense powers” … his eyes are alive. You can look at his eyes and you know he is already … maybe he does not see clearly, but he is already looking at things. BLO’I G-YER BAG SOGS CHOS. CANG-YER BAG here means “the tendency, mental tendency”. You can say his mood—the child’s mood; the child has specific moods. When a kid comes out of their mom, already within a few days, they are breathing, they have powers, they are looking around, and “mind” in the root text means G-YER BAG CAN. They have an attitude—some kids are cranky, some kids are generous, and some kids are happy. I know Veronica had two boys, she said one boy was happy all the time and one boy was crying all the time. They were not different—they did not grow up in a different house, they didn’t grow up with different food, they just had this … what do you call it? This kind of nature or attitude about them. What is the other word for that? [Student] Personality? Personality, different personalities. That is called G-YER BAG CAN—they have different personalities from the beginning.

So then he says, these things: the life in the being, the breathing which indicates life, the sensory awareness and the personality—which is the mind, right? SKYE BA YONGS SU LEN PA NA RANG GI RIGS ‘DRA. Now, I am going to follow the root text. I have underlined the root text so you can see how Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk mixed the root text into his sentence, very beautiful. He did not miss any words. SKYE BA YONGS SU LEN PA NA when that child takes birth, RANG GI RIGS ‘DRA SNGA MA LA BLTOS MED CAN MA YIN those beautiful eyes—that life expressed in breathing—and that personality that he is already showing … and by the way, Maitri is kind of very happy, friendly—his main personality is hungry like Geshe Michael. But these are not something which came out of nowhere—his breathing, his life, his bright eyes looking around, and his own smile, and happy personality—they must be like smoke and fire. His personality, the brightness of his eyes, and the fact that he is alive are like smoke—they are signs of something that happened before. When you see smoke, you see fire. When you see awareness, it must have come from something similar. That’s all, that’s where we are at. Maitri’s eyes are like smoke—something that happened before he came out, and his mom is like fire. We cannot see the fire. That was all happening inside. But we can see the smoke, so can we make some conclusions from the smoke? That is all.


DBUGS ‘BYUNG RNGUB DANG, DBANG PO DVANGS PA, BLO’I G-YER BAG SOGS DANG LDAN PA’I PHYIR he is breathing, he has bright sense powers, and his mind has a certain kind of personality. ‘BYUNG BA’I LUS NYID ‘BA’ ZHIG LAS SKYE BA MIN TE did the brightness of Maitri’s eyes, the life expressed in his breathing, and his personality, did they only come from his skin? Did those three things come from his skin? Is that where they came from? His personality came from his skin? And his bright eyes and awareness of the world came from his skin? And his breathing, his life itself, does it? Is it some result of his skin? When you look at his eyes, and his personality, and his awareness, like smoke and you try to guess what was the fire, is the cause of those three things his skin? Only his skin, you see?

‘BYUNG BA’I LUS NYID ‘BA’ ZHIG LAS SKYE BA MIN TE. No, Dharmakirti says, Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk says no. RIGS ‘DRA SNGA MA LAS SKYES PA’I PHYIR things are always coming from other things of the same type. Things always come from other things of the same type. You do not get awareness from skin, you get awareness from awareness. You get personality from the personality before. You get sense awareness from sense awareness. RANG GI RIGS CAN means “when you are looking for the cause of something you look for something similar”. Awareness should come from awareness. Sensation should come from sensation. Personality should come from personality. Not that they all come from your skin. That’s Dharmakirti.

RIGS ‘DRA SNGA MA LAS SKYES PA’I PHYIR, DE LTA MIN NA HA CANG THAL if you say all that stuff came from his skin, that is all, come on, that is BS! HA CANG THAL means “too much”. Who said that? Dharmakirti. HA CANG THAL BA means “come on, get real man!” It means get real man! Come on, get real! What
really happened here? ‘BYUNG BA KUN SROG CHAGS SU THAL then all the skin in the world, and all the chemicals in the skin—the carbon, the oxygen, and the nitrogen must all be babies; there must be babies everywhere. There is oxygen everywhere, there is carbon everywhere, and there is nitrogen everywhere. Poof! Oh, there is another Maitr! Does it come from your skin? Does it come from the chemicals? Yes, you can show the chemicals.

Does it come from your chemicals? Does Maitri’s awareness and Maitri’s friendliness, does it come from chemicals? Okay, you are right. Then, anytime you have that chemical, you have a smile. Right? That must be. Why do the chemicals sometimes make a smile and why the same chemical does not make a smile? YIN PAR THAL YID BLO ‘BYUNG BA ‘BA’ ZHIG LAS SKYE BA’I PHYIR because according to you, YID BLO means “the mind”, that awareness of the child, comes from the ‘BYUNG BA. Here ‘BYUNG BA means “the four elements”—SA CHU ME RLUNG: earth, water, fire, and wind. Which is the Tibetan way of saying chemicals: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, etcetera. Then, everywhere you have chemicals you must have Maitri popping out. Why? Because Maitri just came from chemicals. His personality came from chemicals. All kids must be as friendly as Maitri because all kids have carbon.

YIN PAR THAL SKYES MA THAG PA’I RIG PA RANG GI RIGS ‘DRA SNGA MA LAS PHYI MA MTSAMS SBYOR BAR NUS PA DANG LDAN PA MTHONG BA DE LA SKYES MA THAG PA’I RIG PA when you look at the awareness of the child who is just born, RANG GI RIGS ‘DRA SNGA MA LAS PHYI MAMTSAMS SBYOR BAR NUS PA there must have been some ability in the cause of Maitri’s friendliness that created Maitri’s friendliness, right? When Maitri was friendly, after he came out of his mom Noor, then there must have been some friendliness before that. NUS PA DANG LDAN PA MTHONG BA DE LA you can see that. RGYU LHAG PO CI ZHIG KYANG YOD PAR GYUR PA MI DGOS PA GANG GI PHYIR NA, PHYI NAS KYANG RIG PA PHYI MAR MTSAMS SBYOR BA MED PA MA YIN NO it is not the case that Maitri died five minutes after he was born. The mind that was friendly, just after he came out, continues to be friendly. The friendly mind of Maitri when he is three years old is a sign that Maitri had a friendly mind when he was one year old, and that is a sign of something before. When you see a kid who is friendly by nature, G-YER BAG CAN, personality, at three years old, then you can think there must have been some seeds for that in his mind when he was one year old. But who put the seeds in his mind when he was one year old? You have to think it came from something similar.


every time you see, ‘BYUNG BA’I DE CHA DE ‘GA’ YANG MED PA DE’I PHYIR, ‘BYUNG BA THAMS CAD SROG CHAGS KYI SA BON GYI BDAG NYID CAN DU ‘GYUR RO then of course, any time there is life, anytime there are chemicals, then then that should produce Maitri’s friendliness. If Maitri’s friendliness is just coming from his skin, or the chemicals in his body, and if that is the cause that turned into his friendliness—in the way that his one-year-old friendliness turned into his three-year-old friendliness—then it must be that chemicals
can produce friendliness, and that means you can make friendliness in a laboratory with the right chemicals, right? I guess the bottles of chemicals will be friendly or something. DE LTAR NA HA CANG THAL BA’O and that is a little bit too much, excuse me, HA CANG THAL BA’O come on, that is too much!

DBANG PO RNAMS RE RE LA GNOD PA YOD NA’ANG YID BLO RTOG PA LA GNOD PA YOD PAS MA KHYAB LA YID BLO RTOG PA LA MYA NGAN SOGS KYIS KYIS GNOD NAS ‘GYUR NA DBANG PO DE DAG KYANG ‘GYUR BA DAG TU MTHONG BA YIN PA’I PHYIR what is the relationship between the sense powers and Maitri’s state of mind? What is the relationship between his physical eye, his physical ear, his physical nose, and how he is feeling—his personality? What is the relationship between his nose and his personality? DBANG PO RNAMS RE RE LA GNOD PA YOD NA’ANG look, you can hurt the nose and the mind can stay friendly. It is possible; I had a friend, we saw her last night, Kayla, her daughter. Did you know? Her daughter was bitten badly by a dog and part of her nose was cut very badly, but the child is very sweet. It means—if Maitri’s skin was creating Maitri’s personality, then when you cut the skin Maitri’s personality should get mean. But it does not. That indicates that maybe the skin is not the cause of Maitri’s personality. Got it? You can hurt the skin, but you do not necessarily change the personality. But, YID BLO RTOG PA LA MYA NGAN SOGS KYIS GNOD NAS ‘GYUR NA if you hurt the mind then it tends to hurt the body. If a person’s depressed for a long period, usually their health will suffer—usually their physical health will get worse. So it is not the case that the physical body determines the state of the mind, but it seems that the state of the mind can affect the health of the physical body. Like that, he wants to go to this way.

MTHONG BA YIN PA’I PHYIR, YID BLO RTOG PA DE’I RTEN KHYAD PAR CAN GANG ZHIG NA, RANG GI RIGS MTHUN BLO SNGA MA NYID LA BRTEN PA’I SNGON GYI SEMS PA’I LAS ‘GA’ ZHIG DA LTAR YID BLO GNAS PA’I RTEN YIN PA DE’I PHYIR, YID BLO RTOG PA RTEN MED PA MA YIN NO so is it the case that Maitri’s personality is without a basis? In Buddhism, this is called BRTEN. The handkerchief is holding up the cup, so this is called “the basis” or “the foundation”, and this is called “what is resting on the foundation”. This is Maitri’s current personality—that he is friendly—it must be resting on something in the past. Something about his mind in the past made his current mind friendly, and this past state of mind is holding up his current state of mind. This current Maitri’s friendliness is resting on something in the past. It has to be—all results are resting on causes in the past—we call it “dependent origination”. This current state of mind is resting on some state of mind in the past. RTEN YIN PA DE’I PHYIR, YID BLO RTOG PA RTEN MED PA MA YIN NO therefore, it is not the case that Maitri’s personality came out of no place, came from nowhere. It was crying all the time and the other child was happy all the time—it is not the case that there is no cause for that—there must be a cause for that. It must have happened before they came out because it came out that way. The cause must be … the fire must be under the smoke. We can see the smoke, which is the personality of the newborn child, but we can not see the fire, but we can make some assumptions about the fire.


We can try to use our logic to say there must have been something before they came out. I think I have a picture here.

This is silverware, I don’t know, my mind is on tables and silverware because I am trying to get a cafe open. Look, can you see the table which is holding up the dishes and the silverware and glasses? Can you see the table? Yes or no? The wooden table? You can not see. You can see something is holding up the glasses, the dishes and the silverware, but it is covered with a cloth, right? And you can not see it. That cloth is the moment of birth. The silverware and the dishes is Maitri’s friendly nature—and Buddhism says there must be something behind the cloth. If you look into the darkness of the few hours before Maitri was born, is there something there? Or before he was conceived? Is there something there upon which his friendliness is resting? And shouldn’t it be of the same type? Being angry does not make you friendly an hour later. Being an angry person does not make you a friendly person the next year. Being a friendly person makes you a friendly person the next year.

YID BLO LAS DBANG PO RNAMS ‘BYUNG BA YIN TE that sense powers have come from the mind, YID BLO SNGA MA ‘GA’ ZHIG DBANG PO RNAMS KYI ‘PHEN BYED KYI RGYU YIN PA DE’I PHYIR, because, according to Buddhism, it was your consciousness of your past life—affected by mental seeds—that has projected your sense powers: your eyes, your ears, and your nose into this life. Maitri’s friendliness did not come from his skin. His skin came from his friendliness. Now Dharmakirti is like turning it around. Again, I told you Maitri’s state of mind did not come from skin, from his chemicals. Okay, I got that. But you know what? His chemicals did come from his state of mind. Why? Because they came from the karma in his mind. PHYIS ‘CHI KHA’I SEMS SOGS KYANG SNGA MA DANG ‘DRA BAR RIGS ‘DRA PHYI MA MTSAMS SBYOR BA ‘GYUR BA YIN TE according to the state of the mind as you die, it strongly affects the state of the mind when you come out. RIGS ‘DRA DE ‘DRA’I ‘PHEN BYED KYI RGYU YOD PAR GYUR PA’I PHYIR there must be a cause similar to friendliness that existed in the mind in the past. RTZA ‘GREL DE DAG NI.

I think, I can say, we have finished Dharmakirti. We finished covering his verses. Basically, what he is trying to say is Maitri did not get his friendliness from chemicals. In fact, there seems like there could be some proof that his physical body came from his karma—from his mind. And now, Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk begins to interpret Dharmakirti for us. That is what is so cool about Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk. First, he tells you the meaning of the words then he stops and he says, “now, okay, we covered the words … now you know what the verses mean, but what does it mean for us?” That is Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk. That is his style. What does it mean for us?


Then he says, RTZA ‘GREL DE DAG NI, SKYE BA SNGA PHYI YOD PAR SGRUB PA’I RIGS PA BSTAN PA STE the whole point of these verses is to explain to us that we did have a past life. That’s all. All this argument about Maitri’s personality, and this argument about Maitri’s state of mind, and this argument about his sense powers—it all ties back to: is there a past life? Did you have a past life or not? BYIS PA SKYES MA THAG PA’I DBUGS ‘BYUNG RNGUB SOGS RANG GI RIGS ‘DRA SNGA MA LAS BYUNG BA SGRUB NAS. This is now Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk talking. Dharmakirti has demonstrated that the living-ness, the life, the breathing-ness of Maitri, has come from some earlier cause which is similar—life comes from life. SGRUB NAS RIGS ‘DRA SNGA MA DE SKYE BA SNGA MA’I DBUGS ‘BYUNG RNGUB SOGS YIN PAR SHES he wants you to understand that the life energy you see reflected in Maitri’s breathing is an indication, like smoke is an indication of fire, that Maitri’s living-breathing is an indication of a former living-breathing—meaning past life. That is Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk. Fish picture.

Now, what does that have to do with different color fishes? I am getting there. DA LTA’I SKYES MA THAG PA’I DBANG SOGS RNAMS ‘BYUNG BA ‘BA’ ZHIG LAS BYUNG NA now this is Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk trying to make Dharmakiti more clear to us. Look, even if your eye powers, your ears, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin … even if they did come from elements / chemicals … let’s say they came from chemicals, then if you have a sink full of the same chemicals why do you get different kinds of beings popping up? If the body came only from chemicals, then if you put the same chemicals in a pond you should get the same creatures coming out of those chemicals. But, CHU GCIG GI NANG DU ‘BU MGO DMAR LUS SER BA you see in some ponds there are fish with red heads and yellow bodies, and then you see other fish with yellow heads and red bodies. Why? If it is the same chemicals, why is there variation in the result? SROG CHAGS ‘GA’ ZHIG CHUNG LA ‘GA’ ZHIG CHE BA some of the creatures in the pond are big, some of the creatures in the pond are small … MI LA’ANG ‘GA’ ZHIG LUS CHE LA ‘GA’ ZHIG CHUNG BA even among humans, you get some with big bodies and some with small bodies. RES ‘GA’ BLO GROS RNO LA RES ‘GA’ BRTUL PA you see different people popping out from the same general chemical batch. From the same general chemicals, you get some people popping up who are very smart and you get other people popping up that are very stupid. That indicates that it might not be just the chemicals.


YANG PHRU GU ‘GA’ ZHIG SHES RAB DANG BRTZE BA SOGS CHE LA ‘GA’ ZHIG CHAGS SOGS NYON MONG SHAS CHE BA YOD PA SOGS MI ‘THAD PAR ‘GYUR TE that must be incorrect because also we see some kids, young young kids, some are naturally gifted with intelligence and with love—BRTZE BA. You have seen kids who come up to you, you give them a piece of candy and they want to give it back to you. It always amazes me these kind of kids. “Wow, they did something I wouldn’t do!” And then, CHAGS SOGS NYON MONG you see other kids who are very possessive of their toys; you try to get them to share a toy with somebody else and they start getting angry and fighting. So he says, this is an indication that those kid’s minds, personalities, sense powers, are not just coming from the chemicals in the womb. If they were just coming from the chemicals in the womb, there should not be such a variation of results from the same batch of chemicals—from the same pool of chemicals you should get similar people GI RIGS ‘DRA SNGA MA LA BLTOS MI DGOS PAR ‘BYUNG BA TZAM LAS SKYE BA’I PHYIR if they just grew from chemicals, then their personality would not depend on a past personality from a past life. If they just grew from chemicals, then since people are growing from the same kinds of chemicals they should be similar—they should not be different.

YANG SROG CHAGS RNAMS ‘BYUNG BA ‘BA’ ZHIG LAS SKYES NA, ‘BYUNG BA GCIG SROG CHAGS SU ‘GYUR BA NA, ‘BYUNG BA KUN SROG CHAGS SU ‘GYUR BAR THAL then I will give you another argument. Who is talking? Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk. He is trying to explain Dharmakirti to us. He said, “Look, I finished the root text; I taught you all the words. Here is what he is really saying.” SROG CHAGS RNAMS ‘BYUNG BA ‘BA’ ZHIG LAS SKYES NA if living beings, if life was created only from chemicals, ‘BYUNG BA GCIG SROG CHAGS SU ‘GYUR BA NA then if one batch of chemicals became a person ‘BYUNG BA KUN SROG CHAGS SU ‘GYUR BAR THAL then every time you have those chemicals there should be a Maitri. Poof! Maitri comes. Why? Well, there is nitrogen, there is oxygen, there should be life wherever those chemicals are present if it was only the chemicals that created the life. CHAGS SU ‘GYUR BAR THAL, ‘GYUR MI ‘GYUR GYI RGYU RKYEN GANG YANG MED PA’I PHYIR because what things are and what things are not follows from their causes and their conditions. RANG LUGS NI what does it mean Tim?, RANG LUGS? Come on, RANG LUGS. Yes, “Us guys”. Now Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk says, “Hey, do I have you confused yet?” Yeah. “Did you learn anything?” Yeah, I think so. “What did you learn?” Maitri’s personality did not come from the chemicals in Noor’s womb. Okay, good. Well, okay, I understand. Where do you think his personality came from? Now, he says, “You want me to tell you?” “You want to know my opinion where Maitri’s personality came from?”

YID BLO RTOG PA SNGA MA ‘GA’ ZHIG ‘PHEN BYED KYI RGYU BYED PA LAS DA LTAR RNAM SMIN GYIS BSDUS PA’I DBANG PO SOGS BYUNG LA Maitri’s personality and his sense powers have come from karma, karmic seeds, that were collected in his mind previously—in his past life. Those are creating his current personality. ‘CHI KHA’I YID BLO RTOG PA ‘GA’ ZHIG GIS RGYU BYED PA LAS and in particular, the particular thoughts that he was entertaining as he died … ‘CHI KHA means “in the moment of his death”. YID BLO RTOG PA ‘GA’ ZHIG GIS RGYU BYED PA LAS PHYI MA’I DBANG SOGS KYANG ‘BYUNG BAR ‘GYUR BAS the seeds of the mind at the moment of this past life’s death, that had the NUS PA—had the power to create his current personality. Those seeds in his mind are what created his current personality. We are continuing. Let’s see the commentary.


DE’I PHYIR, DBANG PO LNGA RE RE LA GNOD NA YID BLO ‘GYUR BAS KHYAB PA MED LA if you think about it, you can damage the sense power but that does not damage the mind. You can have a happy person … I met a lady like that in Taiwan. She came to me, very big business lady. Her daughter brought me to her, and she said that something happened. First she told me how rich her mom is and how successful her mom is. And I am like, “Wow, that’s cool.” Then she said, “Well, something happened.” And I said, “What?” I do not know, I think she was getting cosmetic surgery and they cut her optic nerve, and she is blind. They cut the nerve in her eye and she is blind. She got blind because she did not want to have wrinkles or something. Now she is blind, completely blind. So you can hurt the sense power, but that does not necessarily make the person upset. She was quite calm and she was quite lucid, and she was ready to keep working. It is possible to damage the sense power; it is possible to damage the chemicals in the skin but not damage the personality. It is possible.

KHYAB PA MED LA YID BLO LA MYA NGAN DANG ‘BYUNG PO SOGS KYIS ‘GYUR NA DBANG PO LA GNOD PAS KHYAB PA’I PHYIR but if some kind of influence of depression—or you can say grief at the loss of a loved one—affects the mind strongly, that does have an effect on the chemicals of the body. The person gets older, the person gains weight, or things happen to depressed people. So now you can show my chandelier, Pachi.

Generally, we have this feeling that … and by the way, it took me a long time to get this picture. Understand this—generally we say that this is the past-life condition and this is the present-life condition. The present-life condition is resting on the past-life condition, right? But it seems like to scientists that Maitri’s personality is resting on chemicals that were in his mom. Maitri’s mind is made from chemicals that were in the soup inside his mom. So it looks like his mind is resting on the chemicals. But with this chandelier, it is not always the case that the thing on top is what is resting on the other thing. The chandelier is resting on the ceiling. The ceiling is holding up the chandelier. It is not that the thing on the bottom is always the support, and the thing on top is always what is being supported. Sometimes, when you have a chandelier hanging from the roof, the roof is on top but it is holding up the chandelier. So Maitri’s personality did not come from the chemicals in his mom’s womb. Maybe it is the opposite. What’s the opposite? His personality created his mom’s womb. His personality created the chemicals in his mom’s womb. Think about it that way.

DPER NA, YID LA ‘JIGS SKRAG SHUGS DRAG PA’I DUS NA, LCE DBANG GIS RO ZHIM PO MI MYONG BA BZHIN NO for example, if you are drinking a very good chocolate milkshake and then someone shows a gun in your face, maybe you won’t taste the chocolate—intense fear can affect the sense powers. Therefore, the sense powers, the chemicals, are affected by the mind and not the mind coming from the chemicals. It is very interesting. ‘O NA, MIG DBANG NYAMS PA’I STOBS KYIS MIG SHES KYI YUL MI MTHONG BAR ‘GYUR LA, DES DBANG GIS YID LA MYA NGAN BYUNG NAS YID BLO RTOG PA ‘GYUR BA MNGON SUM DU MTHONG BA’I PHYIR the guy comes back with another argument. We are almost done, hang in there. The guy comes back with another argument. “Yeah, yeah, that is right, but look, when people go blind they get upset, right? Most people get upset when they go blind.” “Yeah, most people get upset when they go blind.” “Therefore, the skin is controlling the personality.” You lose your physical skin-eye, you are going to be depressed and upset. The guy says, “you can see that.” Therefore, there is a cause and effect relationship between chemicals and the mind. People get upset when they lose their eyes—their eyesight. That is chemicals affecting the mind. Then he says … who is that? Geshe Yeshe Wangchuk, being Dharmakirti, he says:


SKYON MED DE, DE LTAR ‘GYUR BA YOD KYANG, DBANG PO NYAMS PA’I STOBS KYIS YID BLO ‘GYUR BA MA YIN GYI, MIG DBANG NYAMS PA DES RKYEN BYAS NAS YID LA MYA NGAN GZHAN ZHIG look, I agree, there are cases where people lose their eyesight and they get upset, but that is not … the change in the mental state was not caused by the change in the eye. MIG DBANG NYAMS PA DES RKYEN BYAS NAS the loss of the eye was only a factor, RKYEN, not the main cause. YID LA MYA NGAN GZHAN ZHIG BYUNG MYA NGAN DE JE RGYAS SU SONG BAS YID BLO YANG ‘GYUR BA YIN PA’I PHYIR it is not that, by the way, without sustaining more damage to your eye you can also get more and more upset so that the damage to the eye contributes to the depression, but it is not that as you get more depressed your eye got more damaged. Got it? All right. Morover, MIG DBANG NYAMS PA TZAM GYIS YID BLO RTOG PA ‘GYUR BA MA YIN TE it is not also the case that every time they lose their eyes people get upset. BDAG NYID CHEN PO ‘GA’ ZHIG GIS MIG SBYIN PA BTANG YANG YID LA BDE BA ‘BYUNG BA YOD PA’I PHYIR. Some BDAG NYID CHEN POs. What does that mean? Some Mahatmas, some great people, when they give away their eyes they get more … [Student] Happy. [GMR] Happy (laughing). Somebody says, “Can you give me your eye? Would you give me one of your kidneys?” And they are like, “Sure, thanks for asking!” “Yeah, take my kidney”, and they feel happier. Therefore, it is not that a reduction in the cell count, by cutting a kidney, will make a corresponding reduction in the happiness level. You cut out one kidney, you are not half as happy. Some people cut out and give their kidney away and they get twice as happy. Therefore, it is not the cells that create the personality.

DE LTAR NA, YID BLO RTOG PA DE, RANG ‘BRAS DBANG SOGS KYI LDOG BYED KYI RGYU KHYAD PAR CAN YIN GYI therefore, it is the state of mind that has power over the condition of the cells. DBANG PO LA SOGS PA RNAMS RANG ‘BRAS YID BLO RTOG PA LDOG BYED KYI RGYU KHYAD PAR CAN MA YIN NO it is not the case that damage to the cells has to have a corresponding effect in the mind. DON BSDUS NA that is going to give you guys some hope because it means … let me summarize for you guys … DON BSDUS NA SKYES MA THAG PA’I RIG PA CHOS CAN let´s take the mental state of Maitri just after he was born. RIG PA SNGA MA SNGON DU SONG STE that is smoke that indicates a fire before. Meaning, if Maitri has a state of mind which is friendly now, he must have had a state of mind before he went into his mom. RIG PA YIN PA’I PHYIR, DPER NA, DA LTA’I RIG PA BZHIN ZHES PA SKYE BA SNGA MA SGRUB PA DANG the same thing is going to happen with your personality right now. Your personality as you listen to this long argument is going to help make your personality when you finish this video. Your current personality, as you listen to this long argument, is going to create how you feel after this video. But the way you felt during the video is proof that you were feeling some way before the video. Got it?


The fact that you have a mind now is going to be reflected in the mind you have after the video. But the fact that you have a mind during the video shows that you had a mind before the video. THA MAL PA’I ‘CHI KHA’I RIG PA CHOS CAN, RIG PA PHYI MA MTSAMS SBYOR TE, CHAGS BCAS KYI RIG PA YIN PA’I PHYIR then he says, “look, by the way, the fact that your awareness in your past life could trigger an awareness in this life … if both awarenesses are in samsara—the wheel of life and suffering—it says something not only about your previous state of mind but about the content of your previous state of mind. Your previous state of mind must have been screwed up in some way that caused it to be born in a place where it had to die again.

TSIG LA ‘KHRID NA, RIG PA SNGA MA CHOS CAN, RIG PA SNGA MA SNGON DU SONG BAR THAL, RIG PA YIN PA’I PHYIR, RIG PA PHYI MA CHOS CAN, RIG PA PHYI MA MTSAMS SBYOR BAR THAL, CHAGS BCAS KYI RIG PA YIN PA’I PHYIR, RTAGS KHYAB KUN KHAS,’DOD MI NUS TE, RANG RANG DANG GCIG YIN PA’I PHYIR I am going to skip that … do you want to skip it or … you do not want to skip it? You do not want to skip it. He says, “look, if you want to get confused with the words … you want me to mess you up with the words?” “Yeah, mess me up with the words.” Okay, here we go. TSIG LA ‘KHRID NA means “do you want me to tie you up with the words until you do not know what I am saying?” Yeah, okay, let’s do it. ‘KHRID means “to embrace somebody”, which is kind of funny. Do you want me to give you a verbal hug so hard that you can not remember what I am talking about? RIG PA SNGA MA CHOS CAN let’s take Maitri’s mind in his past life. RIG PA SNGA MA SNGON DU SONG BAR THAL it must have been in the past RIG PA YIN PA’I PHYIR because he has a mind. RIG PA PHYI MA CHOS CAN let´s take Maitri’s thoughts when he is 20 years old. RIG PA PHYI MA MTSAMS SBYOR BAR THAL it must give birth to thoughts when he is 40 years old. Why? CHAGS BCAS KYI RIG PA YIN PA’I PHYIR because it is not the kind of personality that is going to get him out of that samsara if it has desire—if it has attachment to self existence. ‘DOD MI NUS TE, RANG RANG DANG GCIG YIN PA’I PHYIR, DE DAG NI, SLOB DPON KA MA LA SH’I LAS, SKYE BA SNGA PHYI SGRUB PA DANG ‘DRA BA YIN TE this is very similar to the way in which Kamalashila proves past and future life. That is all, I think we can stop it there.

What now, Geshe-la, what just happened? Do not ask me, look at the video. Look at the video five times. Thank God for videos. Lookat the video five times. Yeah, but why did we just go through that? I thought we were doing Lam Rim. No, you do not understand, he just proved you had a past life. Now what does it have to do with the Lam Rim? If you had a past life, then you had a past life … [Student] You had as a mother. Mom. If I can prove to you that you were alive five minutes before you were born, then I have proved that every living being around you has been your mother. Got it? I will say it again. If I can prove that you were alive five minutes before you came into your mom—if I can prove that your mind was working at that moment—then I have proved that every living being around you is your mother. And if you agree that you were alive, and that’s what gave life to you in your mom, then that in itself proves that every person you ever met in your life has been your mom.

We’ll tie it up in the next class. But do not forget what I said. If you were alive five minutes before your life in this mom, and if your life in this mom did not come from chemicals, dead chemicals, then every being … every person you ever met in your life has been your mom. Now we have to go through that, but we will.

All right. See you in the next class. Yay!