Today is the sixth day of our prayers for the pandemic to subside. Today we will recite Karma Chagme’s aspiration for birth in Sukhavati. In Tibet, there are many different prayers to rebirth in Sukhavati, some long and some short. But the one that people know the best is this one by Karma Chagme. The Mahayana tradition teaches that there are pure and impure world realms, But we shouldn’t understand pure and impure as referring to the outer form, instead we should think that they refer to the subtle causes and conditions that create the world. He said that an impure realm such as this earth is created by this shared Karma of the sentient beings in it, and the pure realm is created by the aspiration of Buddha. Among all the many pure realms, Sukhavati is the easiest to take birth in and has the greatest benefits. So it is the most well-known.
Modern scientists have done a lot of research into our solar system, our galaxy, and the rest of infinite universe. They are searching for other planets that might be habitable just as the earth is, but we are neglecting our own precious planet. This beautiful earth that sustains us, and this bursting with the energy of life. Although since the industrial revolution, our lives have become easier and facilities more developed. We have achieved this by planting the earth for resources and we have covered more of it. The building and roads causing great destruction in the process. We have to go global warming and cause deforestation and melting glaciers and pollution of rivers and oceans. Everyday hundreds of species go extinct because of human actions. Our greed knows no limits. It is so strong that even swallowing the entire earth could not satisfy.
We hear about all of these on the news we hear about the research, but when it gets hot we turn on the AC when it’s cold we turn on the heating. We always try to make ourselves more comfortable and life more enjoyable. For individuals, it seems such a small thing but we never consider how great the burden we are causing to the earth or the cost to the environment. If you feel slightly uncomfortable, then we get upset and want to change things, but all the other beings are enduring a thousand times more suffering and pain due to the environment destruction that we have wrought. And they can do nothing but suffer and die. Therefore we need to see things from their perspective and think hard then we can finally become more motivated and more sincere in taking care of the home we share together. We must recognize how dense our ignorance is. We must cherish this planet that provides the foundation for us to live and treasure the natural environment. The survival of our own and future generations depends on this.
Yesterday was Earth Day. Actually, every minute that we are alive, every breath we take is intimately connected with our planet. So everyday should be Earth Day for us. Perhaps it’s even a little sad that we need to have Earth Day to remind us to celebrate. It is a sign that we human beings are forgetting how we are.
Now we will recite the Karma Chagme’s aspiration for birth in Sukhavati together. Thank you so much.