Mahāyāna Teaching: The King of Aspiration Prayer
The King of Aspiration Prayer from the Gaṇḍavyūha
King of Aspiration Prayer: Applicable in Daily Life
In the second teaching on this aspiration prayer, Phakchok Rinpoche continues his commentary on the text. He emphasizes that although this prayer is very ancient, we can see that it is very practical and applicable in our daily life.
King of Aspiration Prayer Teaches Useful Renunciation
Sometimes, we might feel that something is missing in our life. But even though we may come to a realization that our mundane pursuits have no purpose, we may just choose to keep living our lives like everybody else.
Rinpoche calls that feeling or reaction a type of useless renunciation. Instead, if we feel that life lacks a purpose, we can slowly and steadily adopt a Dharma life. Then, we can practice a little meditation, we can be kind and smile at people, we can make aspirations, and so forth. In this way, our aspiration has a real target. Otherwise, we can think of nice or kind thoughts, but they might have little strength. Of course, we all have different situations, so we can’t all practice in the same way. But slowly and gently, we can develop useful renunciation. And if we develop useful renunciation, then we can truly practice the Dharma.
Making the Aspiration to Have Practical Discipline
Rinpoche notes that the prayer teaches us to aspire to have discipline. Therefore, we can learn to train in three types of discipline. These are very practical because they correspond to three types of mundane activities. Briefly stated, we can learn how to:
- Accumulate merit
- Take care of others
- Avoid creating harm or making mistakes
Rinpoche notes that these simple guidelines help us avoid burn-out and feeling drained. When we accumulate merit by doing practice, we are actually taking care of ourselves. Then, we automatically are able to help others without stress and fatigue. And when we are solid in this practice, we can easily avoid wrong conduct or making mistakes. It is a very practical system!