Listen to Rinpoche’s opening remarks from the 2012 KF Board of Directors Meeting held in Bodhgaya:
Or, read the transcript here:
Rinpoche’s Welcome Address to the Khyentse Foundation Community
October 25, 2012 Shechen Monastery, Bodhgaya
Thank you for coming here, thank you for all the support and encouragement that we have been receiving from all of you over the years. More than thanking you, I should express my rejoicing, because I know that all of you, especially the executives, those who have been volunteering, those who have been sweating and bleeding almost, working for the Foundation, I know that you have done this with the motivation of preserving, propagating, and nourishing, strengthening the longevity of the life of the Buddhadharma, and this is something very worthwhile to be rejoiced.
It looks like we do still have merit, we the sentient beings, we do have still have some merit left, even in this degenerated time, to appreciate the existence of the Buddha, his teachings, and the sangha. And for me this is a very important statement because I believe that one day the teachings of the Buddha, in the form of texts, in the form of books, in the form of symbols, will exist as a display in the museums and in the form of books in some giant libraries, but the contents of these words, even as seemingly ordinary words such as love and compassion, of course, [not to mention] profound words such as sunyata, interdependent arising, all of this, I believe that one day they won’t mean much. (I hope not, but everything is impermanent.) In fact, the meaning and the strength, the effect of even a single word of the dharma, will be lost. And by then, no matter what we do, I think nothing much can be achieved. By then we will be experiencing the dark age.
But right now, it looks like, even though many say that this is a dark age and Kaliyug and so on and so forth, it does still seem to indicate that there is some merit. You can even observe it externally if you go to the Mahabodhi temple, the fact that there are all these different people from all different walks of life, nationalities, in different languages, in different colors of robes, in different ways of chanting and aspiring and praying and making offerings and offering salutations, all of this does indicate that we still have followers of the Buddha who have the merit to trust his teaching.
I was told that Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö said that whatever endeavor we pursue, when this endeavor seems to indicate that it’s leading somewhere, this is the point we should all put our effort. Like making a fire; when we use the kindling and try to make a fire, when it seems that the fire is catching on, this is the point we should pour in the oil and dry wood and fan it—so this the juncture. Likewise I feel that it is very important to be concerned, at the least, about the authentic, living teachings of the Buddha.
I’m reminded of one of the great Jonangpa masters who had these amazing shlokas and prayers: May all sentient beings be happy, may all be free from suffering, and so on and so forth, but at the end he concluded by saying that if nothing happened, if none of this worked, at the least, may I be reborn as someone who would be concerned about the life of the dharma. I believe that many of you are concerned and this is why you are here, this is why you have been helping this Foundation, so for this I rejoice.
Many times we talk about practice, putting the dharma into practice. It’s very important that we should consider even coming here not only for a Holy Land pilgrimage but even to just participate in this meeting and spend time rocking our heads and digging ideas and discussing and brainstorming. With the right motivation, this thing we are about to do, this very action can be considered as a practice. So that’s another reason to rejoice. Thank you.