Compassion is Most Important for Healing Others

Compassion is Most Important for Healing Others

Date of Advice:
January 2016
Date Posted:
February 2019

Rinpoche discusses the need for compassion in the medical profession and recommends Medicine Buddha and Chenrezig practice in this advice given to a student who had asked what pujas were needed to pass tests in order to become a Chinese medicine practitioner.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche in the new gompa at Khachoe Ghakyil Nunnery, Kathmandu, Nepal, May 2015.  Photo: Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

I checked what puja is needed and it came out for the extensive Medicine Buddha Puja, composed by the Fifth Dalai Lama, to be done five times by Kopan Nunnery. This came out best, so please tell the nuns at Kopan Nunnery that I asked that they pray hard for your great success in studying Chinese medicine and for you to be most beneficial for sentient beings, not only to heal disease but to purify the cause of disease, so for them to make strong prayers.

Also for you to practice Medicine Buddha. The great Heruka yogi, Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo, said from the side of sutra, the most powerful Buddha to pray to for success in these degenerate times is Medicine Buddha. From the side of tantra, the most powerful deity to pray to for success in these degenerate times is Heruka.

Normally I think even mosquitoes, crabs, frogs and ants should recite OM MANI PADME HUM, the Chenrezig mantra, and also Medicine Buddha mantra. Why? Because they want happiness and don’t want suffering, but they don’t have the opportunity, they don’t have a human body or the karma to do this. Of course it doesn’t mean that anyone who has a human body has the opportunity to recite these mantras. Most human beings in this world don’t recite these mantras; they don’t have the karma, the fortune, good luck. It is so sad, so sad, because they don’t know, they have not created good karma in the past, so nothing happens. It is very sad, because they have to experience many problems and their mind always follows negative karma and stops the virtue, even though what they want is only happiness. It is like that, so difficult, an unbelievably sad situation. So we are most unbelievably, unbelievably, unbelievably, unbelievably, unbelievably fortunate to have met the Buddhadharma in this life while we are human beings.

[It is very sad] if you don’t take opportunity to recite these two practices; it is the most important thing in the life, not only for enlightenment, but even for ordinary things—for success with the ordinary things in this life; very, very, very ordinary things. If somebody is clever, intelligent and has a lot of merit then they must recite these two mantras every day. Don’t renounce that, it is so silly, it’s the worst thing if you have all the opportunity but don’t do it.

So please carry on, the one before. Where I said it’s the worst thing if you don’t do these two, I was just saying this generally, so maybe you are already doing this. Please recite at least these two practices, even if you don’t do other things, at least do Chenrezig and Medicine Buddha, please, please, please.

Especially if you are dealing with medicine and sick people, you have a responsibility, so please do the short Medicine Buddha practice every day. There might be another one, a shorter one, that might come out, but I haven’t got it translated into English, so this is the smallest Medicine Buddha practice. It is very rich, it is the essence of the middle length Medicine Buddha puja that is normally done at centers. There is also the most extensive Medicine Buddha puja that is written by the Fifth Dalai Lama, however, this one is the essence. The essence is reciting their names seven times and the mantra and making requests to them. This is so important, very important, very important, very important, very important, very important. Then at the end, after reciting each name seven times, you can make this request:

May I be able to heal sentient beings, not only their disease but also any sickness and spirit harm, and not only that, but also to heal where that comes from—delusion and karma. Just by seeing the patients, touching the patients, hearing the patients, remembering the patients and talking to the patients, by the patients hearing my voice, my name, so just by that, may their disease, sickness and spirit harm be completely healed and may the cause of this—delusion and karma—be completely purified. This is even before taking the medicine.

May I become wish-fulfilling for the sentient beings. Generally may I become wish-fulfilling for the sentient beings, more than skies filled with wish-granting jewels and wish-granting trees, so more than that, and may I be able to cause high rebirth and ultimate happiness, liberation from samsara, the peerless happiness, buddhahood, full enlightenment.

This is what you should pray after reciting each of the Medicine Buddhas name seven times and also at the end during the dedication.

If you can do this practice, wow, wow, wow, that will give you so much power and also wisdom and compassion.

In this line of work (medicine) compassion is the most important thing. In India, where I lived for eight years at a place called Buxa Duar,  I heard that some doctors, just by touching their hand on the patients, just like that, they cured them of their pain, so that was from compassion. It is very important. Even if you are not expert in medicine, in diagnosis, but just have a lot of compassion, people can be healed. Some patients aren’t healed even by wise doctors, those who have studied so much about medicine and diagnosis; the patients don’t recover. However, some doctors who didn’t learn much, but who have so much compassion, they can really help the patients recover immediately. You have to know these things, what is the most important thing, the key thing to have.

Actually what you need, what is most important to benefit and to be most beneficial for sentient beings is to develop compassion, so that means you need  to read lamrim and also Shantideva’s Bodhisattva’s Way of Life and other things that help the lamrim. By developing renunciation then you are able to develop compassion, so that helps you to develop compassion. Also developing realization of the suffering of the lower realms, the devas and human beings, and the general sufferings of samsara, by understanding that, we generate more compassion. When you think of the suffering of others, meditate on that—that is really, really the best thing. It means you have to know Dharma, read lamrim and any other books like The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Nagarjuna’s teachings like Letter to a Friend and so forth.

If you want my advice, this is my suggestion. This is what is most helpful for the people.

For example, Geshe Lama Konchog was at a center and there was one baby that was in the hospital and the doctors had completely decided that the baby was going to die soon. But Geshe Lama Konchog did a few minutes’ puja and that baby completely recovered. Even though Geshe Lama Konchog had not studied extensively about the disease and diagnosis, he just did a few minutes’ puja and the baby recovered. Of course, he had compassion as he is a meditator. There are many stories like this, even though they didn’t learn about medicine or diagnosis, they didn’t go to school and didn’t learn from doctors for many years; they didn’t study medicine.

In the West, doctors don’t know that compassion is the most important thing in their work, in the treatment. Compassion is the most important thing, but they have no idea, they only study medicine and diagnosis. To really know well you need clairvoyance, especially in such degenerate times, the diagnosis of disease changes, it is not the same as before, and then many times there is the danger of giving the wrong medicine. I think in the West people care too much their health, they take so many medicines and sometimes the medicine kills them. This is just my view.

Also, sometimes the medicines are made by companies for profit, to be useful in business, then the companies ask famous doctors to say how this medicine is very good and then they take the doctors for seven days’ holiday in a five-star hotel at a beach resort. I heard these things—that it is just for business, for money. There is no compassion in that. In Tibetan medicine, to learn Tibetan diagnosis and medicine, it is explained that first you need compassion, you need to respect the patients, not to think of them as dirty, as you have to taste their pipi, so in Tibet medicine there is no thought of dirtiness. There are few things to learn at the very, very beginning that are not mentioned in Western medical knowledge, such as being kind to patients. This is explained as it is a very basic, important thing.

Medicine Buddha is very powerful for success. Praying to Medicine Buddha, reciting the seven names of the Buddha and the mantras is so powerful for success. Also not only to have success at being a doctor, but also generally when death happens, so as not to be reborn in the hell realms, as a hungry ghost or in the animal realm and to get a high rebirth, a perfect human rebirth, to meet the Dharma again, to meet a perfectly qualified teacher and by pleasing most, all the time, then to achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible, for sentient beings. Or to be born in pure land where you can be enlightened; this is a quick way to free the sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and to bring them to enlightenment. Praying to Medicine Buddha is very powerful for success.

I was asked what puja should be done for the family this year. What came out in the observation was to recite the Golden Light Sutra four times. Maybe this can be discussed at the center; drinks and tea or whatever people need can be offered and then they can read the sutra four times. The pages can be shared. Or request the Sangha in Taipei or Taichung to meet at the center and read the sutra.

The other puja is the Four Mandala Offerings to Tara to be done well. It came out to be done at Drepung Nunnery in south India, There is one nun who is Lama Yeshe’s relative, she is one of the elder ones, who is a teacher and in the first group of nuns to become geshe-mas.

Thank you very much for carving the crystal Padmasambhava mantra, but this is not the normal Padmasambhava mantra. You have to copy from the ones I have given to people before, which is the mantra given by Padmasambhava to put in water that people drink. It purifies the mind, blesses the mind and makes us achieve enlightenment. So please copy from those ones, as it is not the normal Padmasambhava mantra.

With much love and prayers ...