Preeminence of the Dharma

Preeminence of the Dharma Spiritual instructions constitutes the divine Dharma. Studies, researches, and activities that are directed only toward material progress and well-being in the framework of this present existence form the temporal dharma.

The human existence we now have is not a random result. It implies that, in our past lives, we have been able to accomplish more positive acts than negative acts. The human condition is generally good, according to the use we make of it; however, there are inferior, mediocre, or superior human existences.

  1. Inferior human existence characterizes beings who turn away from the spiritual path and positive activity and commit many negative acts.  This existence is considered inferior to the extent that it will lead to great future suffering.
  2. Mediocre human existence regroups those who accomplish neither great negative acts nor great positive acts. Consequently, they will encounter mediocre conditions, neither very pleasant nor very painful in their future lives.
  3. Superior or precious human existence, finally, characterizes those who meet with spiritual masters, are interested in their masters’ teachings, and put those teachings into practice. Through these acts, they will go to superior worlds and liberation.

Spiritual practice does not imply that it is necessary to abandon this life entirely. We must feed ourselves, dress, find shelter, and so on. Let us remember, however, that the intent of Dharma is for something greater than temporal activities.

Everything we do in this life indeed resembles a dream. In the evening, we fall asleep, and then at night, we dream. We can dream that we have a beautiful house, or that we stroll around on a magnificent landscape and everything is beautiful and pleasant.

However, when we wake up, the house, landscape, and everything that charmed us have disappeared. Nothing remains. It is the same with our life. When it ends, we will not be able to take anything we have accumulated with us. The only thing that will help us at the moment of death is the inner wealth we have acquired by the practice of the Dharma. This is why the Dharma is so precious.

Shantideva emphasized that it would be in vain to hope for a future precious human existence, if we do not make good use of the one we now have.

– Kalu Rinpoche–Secret Buddhism/Vajrayana Practices