Ultimate Advice for Success

Ultimate Advice for Success

Date of Advice:
December 2016
Date Posted:
March 2019

Rinpoche gave this advice on the most powerful way to collect merit to a student who had asked about her daughter and about a practice to improve her own financial situation.

Rinpoche talks about a Chenrezig relic of Thangthong Gyalpo's incarnation at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, November 2016. Photo: Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

My dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
Thank you very much your kind letter, I am sorry for the long delay in replying. Your daughter needs to wear one Dzambhala protection amulet.

My advice for your daughter is to live the life with a good heart, to not harm others and to benefit others. I think she is good in that way; I remember in the past when tsog was distributed, she would get up and help. Anyway, for her always to be kind to others, however, I think she might be doing that. That is so important in our life. If we are kind to others—not only people, even animals—then this good heart creates the cause for everyone to be kind to us. The essence of life and conclusion for her is that. Of course, you also understand that. For you to have success this is needed.

According to my observation you have to recite two mantras for success [See p. 21, The Method to Transform a Suffering Life into Happiness (Including Enlightenment)]. If you can, recite two malas of each of these mantras every day:

Holy Name Mantra that Fulfills Wishes

Recite the homage and mantra together for each recitation:

DE ZHIN SHEG PA SA DZIN GYÄL PO LA CHHAG TSHÄL LO
To Tathagata Earth-Holder King, I prostrate.

TAYATHA / OM DHARE DHARE / DHARANI BÄNDHE SWAHA (108x, 54x, or 21x)

Whoever memorizes the name of this tathagata and the words of this mantra will have all their wishes fulfilled without exception.

If you are doing Six-Session Guru Yoga, which I am sure you are, when it comes to offering, you can offer all the offerings in all the FPMT gompas, as well as all the offerings of flowers, lights and water at my house in Aptos, and all the lights, water and flowers offered at the house in Washington. All of these you can offer to Guru Vajradhara, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whoever is your root guru, Vajradhara, oneness, in that aspect, so then make the offerings. So [you can make] numberless offerings to numberless buddhas.

Offering even a cup of tea or water, or candy or biscuits, to the pores of guru—this means disciples of the same guru; or the guru’s dog or horse, those that belong to the guru; or if the guru is a lay person, then his child or wife or whatever, his brother or sister or nephew, these are the guru’s pores—making offerings to the guru or to the pores of the guru, you collect unbelievable, much greater merit than having made offerings to numberless buddhas, Dharma, Sangha and numberless statues, stupas and scriptures. The guru is the highest, most powerful object, so you collect the highest merit even by making a small offering to the pores of the guru.

If you can, offer all the offerings in all the FPMT gompas, every center’s offering, and you can think you are making offerings to Guru Vajradhara. You can do this in the morning, afternoon and at night, but mainly when you have time. If possible, if you have time, do one mala of offering, each time offering to the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha; count with your mala and do one mala or more. If possible, think of yourself as the deity, whichever great initiation you have received, and all the offerings are in the nature of great bliss, non-dual with emptiness.

After each time you offer to the guru, Vajradhara, generate infinite bliss, non-dual with emptiness. That’s really the most powerful way to collect the most merit and it is the [cause of] success and happiness. You need to collect merit as much as possible, then if you have a lot of merit, you will have much success. If you have no merit, then however much you try, you won’t succeed. So, creating merit is very important.

Also, you should do tonglen for sentient beings, and even if you have nothing, you can visualize. You can read my advice on tonglen, and if you have time watch this recent teaching I gave in Bodhgaya. In essence visualize that your body is a wish-granting jewel, numberless, and give that to numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, suras, asuras and intermediate state beings, so everyone gets everything—what they want, what they wish for and what they need, such as meeting the guru, meeting the Mahayana teachings, and actualizing the path to enlightenment—and they are all enlightened at the end.

After that make charity of all the enjoyments and give this to the numberless hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, suras, asuras and intermediate state beings, so they receive everything—what they desire, what they wish for and whatever they need—and they all become enlightened.

Rejoice each time and then dedicate all your past, present and future merits to all the hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, suras, asuras and intermediate state beings. Think that they have received everything that they wish for and that they need, which means actualizing the path, from guru devotion up to enlightenment. Think that they have received all the happiness in this life and future lives, liberation and enlightenment.

Think that everyone is enlightened. If you can, do this in the morning, afternoon and evening, whenever you have time. Do this at least a few times a day if you can, however, do it at least one time a day or at different times, whatever you can. This collects unbelievable merit each time you give the enjoyments, for example, your clothes or your hats. By making charity to numberless sentient beings you collect unbelievable merits, and if you do this with bodhicitta then it is unbelievable what you create; you collect more than skies of merit with each item that you offer, like the hat and so forth.

You collect the most unbelievable merits if you do this with bodhicitta. You collect more than skies of merit if you do all these practices with bodhicitta motivation, in order to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsara by yourself and bring them to peerless happiness, buddhahood—the total cessation of all the obscurations and completion of all the realizations—by yourself. For that you need to achieve enlightenment, therefore you are going to practice tonglen.

The second one, when you make charity by offering all the enjoyments, for example, your hat; by making charity  to all sentient beings, if it is done with bodhicitta then you collect more than skies of merit, even if you just offer to one sentient being.

Now you can understand that if you offer $100 to each sentient being, can you imagine if this is done with bodhicitta, then you collect more than skies of merit. If you know how to practice Dharma, it is very easy to create merit, but those who haven’t met the Mahayana teachings don’t know, for instance there are many Buddhists who follow the Lesser Vehicle [Hinayana] path and so forth.

So you have to understand, toward sentient beings, this is how you can collect the most extensive merit. Each time you take the suffering of sentient beings on your self-cherishing thought, it destroys the self-cherishing thought, and when you do that you collect numberless merits, because sentient beings are numberless and suffering. There are the different sufferings, such as the suffering of the hell realms and hungry ghosts, and the suffering of animals, humans, suras and asuras, as it is explained in the lamrim. You have to remember all those if you don’t know the various sufferings in samsara, all the inconceivable sufferings.

Also each time you give, you collect unbelievable merits, but if you give with bodhicitta then you collect more than skies of merit. It becomes great purification, the most powerful way to collect merit, and this makes you achieve enlightenment quickly.

So this is my suggestion for you to see, to give you an idea of how you can have success. It depends on creating the cause, creating merit, causing others to have success, even in general life, in daily life. Day and night think of the kindness of others, even the insects, even the ants, making charity of sugar and so forth, reciting OM MANI PADME HUM, blessing them, offering charity to human beings, and when they have problems, helping them, doing whatever you can. That is very important. When you create the cause for others’ success they achieve happiness, then that becomes the cause of achieving your own happiness. When you help others, this is always what happens—your wishes get fulfilled easily, by the way, without much hardship.

The most important thing is that other sentient beings, numberless sentient beings, receive happiness and success. That is the main thing and then, by the way, without even thinking, when you put effort into achieving the happiness of others—even dedicating the merits and praying for them—then your success and your happiness happens naturally, by the way.

Please keep this in your heart; this is my ultimate advice. Even without talking about the karma for you to have success, money and so forth, the first thing is that you have to cause happiness to others, success to others.

Thank you very much.

With much love and prayers ...