Karmapa on ‘Definite Emergence’

SOURCE – After the initial introduction, His Holiness turned to the topic of renunciation, or “definite emergence”—the clear understanding that all samsara, or cyclic existence, is suffering in nature, and the wish to definitely emerge from that. The Gyalwang Karmapa cautioned against assuming samsara is something external and separate from us. Samsara includes not only the world around us, but also exists within us and is produced by our own troubled emotional state. Addressing the largely Western audience, His Holiness noted that there is a tendency to confuse subtle forms of suffering with pleasure. As a result, we end up exerting ourselves greatly, chasing more suffering. Quoting the 8th Gyalwang Karmapa, His Holiness stated that all authentic independence is happiness, while all lack of freedom is suffering. He went on to explain that this authentic independence is something to be cultivated and an attitude that can be developed, focusing on freedom from karmic cause and effect and emotional disturbances.


The World is a Sandbox

This world is made of sand.
Never ending tsunamis on the beach
will wipe out all our creation.

Worldly efforts are wasted -
they’re like trying to save corpses from a bonfire.

Heart Sutra

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, when deeply practising profound Prajna Paramita [Perfection of Wisdom]; clearly saw that all five skandhas are empty and thus relieved all suffering.

‘Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness, emptiness itself form; sensations, perceptions, formations, and consciousness are also like this.

‘Shariputra, all dharmas are marked by emptiness. They neither arise nor cease, are neither defiled nor pure, neither increase nor decrease.

‘Therefore, given emptiness, there is no form, no sensation, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind, no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind, no realm of sight . . . no realm of mind consciousness. There is neither ignorance nor extinction of ignorance, neither old age and death nor extinction of old age and death. No suffering, no cause, no cessation, no path. No knowledge and no attainments. With nothing to attain a Bodhisattva relies on Prajna Paramita [Perfection of Wisdom], and thus the mind is without hindrance. Without hindrance, there is no fear. Far beyond all inverted views, this is Nirvana.

‘All Buddhas of past, present, and future rely on Prajna Paramita and thereby attain unsurpassed, complete, perfect enlightenment.

‘Therefore know Prajna Paramita as the great miraculous mantra, as the great bright mantra, as the supreme mantra, as the incomparable mantra, which removes all suffering
and is true, not false, therefore, we proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra, the mantra that says:

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha!

Gone, gone, gone beyond, completely gone beyond ~ enlightenment.

Perceiving that all five skandhas are empty saves all beings from suffering.
Form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form.
Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.
No appearing, no disappearing.
No taint, no purity.
No increase, no decrease.
All dharmas are marked with emptiness.
No cognition—no attainment.

Unexcelled perfect enlightenment—anuttara samyak sambodhi.
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha!