“The teachings say that our universe is not the only one. There are countless universes in every direction, and this is just one of those worlds. Right now many universes are newly forming, some perfectly exist, and still others are declining. Universes go through cycles. This world also follows a cycle: forming, existing, declining, and then disappearing into space. Our lives follow the same pattern—we’re born, stay, leave, and then return to space. Then we take birth as the cycle begins again. Among all the universes that currently exist, there are many buddhas about to reach enlightenment right now, but they’re still resting in meditation. For example, when Buddha Shakyamuni reached enlightenment, he didn’t immediately give any teachings. At one point he even said, “This profound nature that I realized, it looks like no one can understand this teaching. Therefore, I should remain completely silent and stay in the forest.”
Afterwards he didn’t give any teachings for forty-nine days. When that happened, the energy of the Buddha’s statement spread throughout the world, and the king of the gods, Indra and Brahma immediately understood and thought, “This is the time to request the teaching.” Indra then offered a beautiful conch shell that spiraled clockwise, and Brahma offered a 1,000-spoked golden wheel. Together they said to the Buddha, “Oh great master, light of the three worlds, please turn the Wheel of Dharma. Please blow the sound of the conch shell of Dharma.” The Buddha immediately accepted their request and replied, “Yes, I will turn the Wheel of Dharma of compassion, loving-kindness, and wisdom.” In this way, Indra and Brahma were instrumental in bringing the entire teaching of the Buddha to this world, known as the teaching of the nine yanas, or the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma.
Similarly, there are many enlightened beings in different universes that are still in the state of pause after reaching enlightenment. If we sincerely request them to teach with devotion and longing, just as Indra and Brahma did with Buddha Shakyamuni, those buddhas will have no blockage to knowing our request. Buddhas are all-knowing, omniscient enlightened beings. They have no distinctions between past, present, and future; they see and hear everything. Therefore, if we sincerely make this request, we’ll be instrumental to bringing the teaching in a similar way as Indra and Brahma.
Turning the Wheel of Dharma is so special. The Dharma is compassion and wisdom. The union of compassion and wisdom is what we all need to ignite our own wisdom and compassion, and to bring peace, harmony, and good things to this world, now and in the future. Requesting the teaching is a very beneficial and powerful method to accumulate merit.”
Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
The Essential Journey of Life and Death, Volume 1:
The Indestructible Nature of Body, Speech, and Mind
Chapter 20 (pgs 282-283)
Photo of Ven. Khenpo Rinpoches at Padma Samye Ling in the early 2000s.
Copyright © Padmasambhava Buddhist Center at Padma Samye Ling. All rights reserved.