01.07.2012, Hungary

Becske, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa transmits the Bodhisattva Vows

Becske, Refuge and Bodhisattva Vow

Sunday, July 1, was the last day of His Holiness Karmapa’s stay in Becske and the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures climbing to almost 40 degrees. Consequently, the heat inside the teaching tent was stifling, but this minor inconvenience in no way dampened the cheerfulness and good spirits of the devotees who had once again assembled to receive the Bodhisattva Vows.

In his introductory teaching His Holiness Karmapa joked about the extreme heat, using it to illustrate the importance and benefits of training one’s consciousness to stay in the present moment. He then spoke about the necessity for practitioners on the bodhisattva path to never rest on their laurels but continue to train in developing the qualities of a bodhisattva: “The activity of the Buddha dharma must go on, always. We should all pray that we might be able to continue having good meetings like this one. It might seem a bit over the top, taking the Bodhisattva Vows on the day after the empowerment, but we should never say, “That much is enough”… The activity must always go on, and we must continuously generate bodhicitta, devotion, compassion.”

He then explained the meaning and the history of the transmission of the Bodhisattva Vows and guided the audience through the various stages of the ceremony by giving detailed instructions on how to focus the mind.

When it was time for the final blessing, His Holiness went down from the stage, moving between the rows of devotees and blessing each and every one of them.

In the afternoon His Holiness was asked for an interview by a big Hungarian TV channel.

The questions asked covered a large variety of topics, ranging from the nature of blessing to the meaning of lineage and transmission.

When asked why so many people came for blessing His Holiness said that “probably one of the first causes for searching after blessing is that when we begin to see that maybe material values and wealth cannot bring what we really need – which is peace, which is happiness – when we see that such experiences cannot be bought through material wealth, then we start to look for something else. First we don’t really know what it is that we are looking for, but then slowly we begin to investigate if there are other ways… And as we investigate further we come to some kind of idea that there is a cause and effect in what we do, that everything is not just the result of chance or coincidence, but that maybe there is a very simple logic in some way: that if you do good things good things will come to you, and if you do bad things then bad things will come to you.”

His Holiness left Becske in the early morning of July 2 for a few days of private time before his next official programme in Manchester.