Today is the third day of our prayers for the pandemic to subside. Today we will recite the Sutra of the Dharani of Akshobhya. There are two such Sutras. The first is the one in the Tibetan Kangyur, and the second is from that I translated from Chinese into Tibetan. It is said that the Akshobhya is the most effective for purifying karmic obscurations. It is connected to his own particular aspiration when he first arouse Bodhicitta. He made a commitment, until I awaken to Buddhahood I will never feel malice or hatred toward any sentient being. This is the reason he was named Akshobhya, the unshakable one.
These days the word Karma is well known throughout the world. But mainly understanding the word does not mean that we understand Karma. It is because karmic cause and effect is connected to even the tiniest thought we have and the action we do in our daily lives. If we never examine our thoughts and actions and their effects through our experience, there is no way we can understand how Karma works.
The current pandemic sends a clear message that Karma is not just theoretical, instead it is related to what we have chosen to do or what we have chosen not to do in our daily lives. We always pay lots of attention to the results but we don’t pay the same attention to the causes and conditions and motivations that led to the situation. For instance, if we do not consider it is important to wash our hands, practice social distancing, and so forth to prevent the transmission of the virus just wanting not to get sick won’t help us at all. In the same way, if someone does catch this virus they can spread it to others so we must take responsibility, but not only for our own health and happiness, we must also take responsibility for everyone’s health and happiness. This is the crucial point. Some people use Karma as an excuse they just blame everything on Karma as if it were their fate. Karma does not mean that we are unable to improve ourselves or move forward. Actually, the meaning of karmic cause and effect is that we can be even more confident and even more enthusiastic about taking on the responsibility of benefiting ourselves and others.
Now we will recite the two Sutras, those of you who do not speak Tibetan may recite them in your own languages. It is not necessary to keep up with me. If I recite too slow, Tibetan and those people who can read Tibetan will fall asleep.