Lerab Ling, 17 August 1997
Still on the hill that dominates Lerab Ling offering sang, Rinpoche continues his teaching. After presenting the main principles of sang, he now gives a concise and clear explanation of “wind horse”, or lungta in Tibetan.
Now I will tell you the main reason why the Sollo Chenmo sadhana is so important, and why Guru Rinpoche needs to manifest in the form of a drala. This has all to do with the quality that we term lungta or “wind horse”. The ‘dralas’ increase that quality in beings. There is something quite important in what I am saying, so pay attention.
Among the six realms of samsara, ‘gods’ experience only happiness during their lifetime. Their minds experience no suffering. When the moment of death comes though, they have to face the suffering of transference and of falling into a lower rebirth. For humans, on the other hand, the experience is mixed. During our lifetime we experience states of joy and happiness, states of pain and suffering, or mixed positive and negative experiences. Hell beings in the lower realms experience only suffering.
We might think of beings in three categories: the highest realms in samsara, the lowest realms, and somewhere in between, where there is a mixture of good and bad. All of these experiences of happiness, suffering, or mix of happiness and suffering come from karma. The only thing responsible for producing karma is mind. Nothing or noone else does it.
The mind, however, is such that under ordinary circumstances we have no power over it. We may have in our mind the intention to do something of a very virtuous nature. But if something goes wrong, our mind can change and become quite negative. At the same time we can also experience states where we are motivated in a negative, non-virtuous way and then that changes into something positive.
In any case, the strongest factor is the mind. What controls the mind is the ‘lung’, the wind inside the body. At the moment, you’re just sitting there thinking. But you have no control over what thought arises in your minds. Thoughts do arise. When they arise, we act based on them, which creates karma. The wind is responsible for all this; it provides the conditions for the thoughts to arise. The wind (lung) is like a mount upon which the mind rides, like a rider on a horse (ta), so it is called “wind-horse”.
When lungta flourishes and is in a good state, the mount of the mind is going up and is stronger, even for the mind that arises from negative karma. So virtuous mindsets embrace attachment, aversion, ignorance, jealousy, and pride, which then arise as the five wisdoms, their nature.
However, if your lungta is not flourishing, then even though you may have the motivation to do something virtuous, or you try to follow the path of Buddha’s teachings, as your mind is motivated by negative emotions, it drags you down and you cannot find liberation from samsara. Needless to mention all the karma that we create through all the small worldly actions that we undertake in relation to our likes and dislikes; you all know that the experiences of like and dislike all arise based on the mind.
An extremely profound point that you should also know, is that the border between samsara, and nirvana beyond samsara – complete and perfect buddhahood – is very thin: a thought arises, and naturally it becomes a cause of staying in samsara. Whereas if that thought is liberated within the expanse of the dharmakaya, it is the wisdom of dharmakaya, the enlightened intent of a buddha. Yet both come from the same ‘thought’; so it can go either way. It can either go upward to a state of freedom, or it can go downward to a state of confusion. All of that depends upon the wind that mind rides, the lungta.
For example, Mipham Rinpoche wrote in a Gesar lungta prayer:
Grant us the good fortune to go at will from happiness to the bliss of the jewel island of omniscience.
“From happiness to bliss”, he says. Mipham Rinpoche qualifies the kind of bliss he means: “omniscient wisdom”, which he compares to an island of jewels. The mind can readily go wherever it pleases, “at will”: when you reach the point at which you experience realization and liberation simultaneously to every thought that arises, you can get whatever you want and the continuous stream of delusion has been stopped. This line is a request to accomplish the activities that will enable us to get there. That is what these prayers come down to.
In general, the lungta is initially heavily obscured in beings that live in the three realms of samsara; it is not flourishing at all. On top of that, now we are in times of degeneration, which naturally corrupts the lungta of beings. This produces a dulling of the clarity of mind, and the wisdom of rigpa is increasingly obscured.
When we pray to Guru Rinpoche and the dralas who cause the flourishing of the lungta, the clarity aspect of mind and the capacity of our rigpa to grow increase strongly. As we said earlier, if the realization of primordial purity (kadak) becomes manifest for us, there is no longer any suffering – ‘even the name of suffering does not exist’.
This is not the kind of thing that you can understand immediately. However, if you take the time to contemplate this again and again, and really reflect upon the logic here, you will come to an understanding that will make a big difference in your practice.
If you think that the mind is like a person and lungta is like a horse in a physical kind of way, you are making a grave mistake. Rather, it is just because what happens at that level needs to be explained to beings to be tamed, that this example has been used to help them understand – it is only an example.
Translated by Gyurmé Avertin
Edited by Ane Tsondru