Feb 29, 2020

Posted by in Giáo điển | 31 Comments


Inferior complex is a negative feeling in personal consciousness

Inferior complex is a negative feeling in personal consciousness. When someone feels a lack of self-worth, not being “up to the mark”, regularly blames oneself unreasonably, he/she is said to have personal inferior complex. This is a psychological obstacle in pursuing career goals as well as in the cultivation for liberation. Therefore, among 24 general Tantric vows (including abandoning 14 root downfalls and 10 secondary downfalls), the 8thdownfall is: “Mistreating or despising one’s own body”.


Don’t mistreat or belittle your body because it accommodates 100 gentle and wrathful deities

Our body includes body, speech and mind. Don’t mistreat or belittle your body because it accommodates 100 gentle and wrathful deities, thus according to Tantric scriptures, the practitioner turns anger and hatred into mirror-like wisdom as well as from peace to purity. The ultimate goal is of no difference but means of spirituality that differ. It’s not by chance in Tantrayana, there’s a conception: “Five poisons are the five wisdoms” which means greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, jealousy can transmute into discriminating wisdom, mirror-like wisdom, dharmadhatu wisdom, wisdom of equality, accomplishing wisdom.

Feeling inferior about body will create an obstruction for our endeavor to improve physical strength. History of martial arts proves that many well-known masters in China, Vietnam and Japan were used to weak and sick in their young ages. As to spiritual practice, those beginners who enter Buddhist path at old age often have a feeling of inferiority due to failing to sit in lotus position, thus miss the chance to conquer themselves such as Mat Chanh Thai, Mat Khai, Mat Huan… . We despising our body (except for disability) means we can’t be patient which is also called in Buddhism as endurance, i.e enduring difficulties in physical state, weather, personal environment, etc.

Hence we have a saying that goes:

“First top is doing cultivation at home

Second is in the market and third is in pagodas”

On being asked to compare the cultivation results between the monastic and lay practitioners, H.H the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa affirmed that a lay practitioner will achieve [enlightenment] better than the monk because he or she has opportunities to develop patience in facing with existing reality.

H.H the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa affirmed that a lay practitioner will achieve [enlightenment] better than the monk because he or she has opportunities to develop patience in facing with existing reality.

Feeling inferior about speech will create psychological obstructions in the expression of oral language. Ordinary people often lower themselves that they are kind of awkward in speaking while Buddhist practitioners feel inferior that they just self-cultivate without being able to take care of others. Quite a few monastic practitioners or bhikkhus/bhikkhunis feel shame that they are incapable of giving lectures because they don’t know what and how to say in front of others. I still remember the day I asked a Buddhist layman named Thanh Tri in Binh Duong Province who practices nembutsu, to help and take care others, he answered that he should wait until having attained dharma or something. By saying so, Thanh Tri indelibrately denied Bodhicitta – the corpus of Mahayana. Praying for all sentient beings to attain Buddhahood in the future; and teaching and helping them to obtain right view and methods of practice to get rebirth in the Buddha’s land are the spirit of Bodhicitta. The Buddha and Bodhisattvas had never set restrictions on who are able to perform Bodhicitta, thus it doesn’t matter whether one has attained dharma or not. I recalled a saying of lay Bodhisattva Nghiem Xuan Hong: “Though being bounded by ignorance, still one vows to practice Bodhicitta – this is called the spirit of Mahayana”.

Feeling inferior about mind is the biggest hindrance for the practitioner because they are afraid of not being able to cultivate, observe precepts, and gain progress in dharma practice. This is seen as the biggest obstacle in the cultivation of endurance, which the Buddha had taught in the path of elimination of suffering.

Recently, a follower in Hanoi has written: “… from deep inside, I realize that I haven’t had enough good conditions to take refuge in the Three Jewels. I am still bounded by hatred and ignorance and regularly break five precepts. I often perform penitence right after each violation but don’t know why I’m still inclined to break them. Maybe I’m too weak and it’s my karma…”. This indicates an inferiority of mindset and unknowingly gives the cultivation of endurance a miss [cultivation of endurance is said to create boundless merit for the practitioner]. It’s not by chance the Buddha taught his followers to do refuge ceremony as the first step as well as set up precepts and guided the practice of penitence. A way for Pure Mind Yoga practitioners to show gratitude towards the Buddha’s compassion is to take refuge in the Three Jewels, take 5 lay precepts, 24 Tantric precepts and 94 Bodhisattva vows. Why should we do that? Because a day you observe precepts is a day that countless number of sentient beings enjoy benefits, thus giving you innumerable merit. If you break a precept, it lays effect only on you or some other sentient beings. We feel more deeply grateful to the Buddha upon knowing that sentient beings in realms of devas, asuras, animals, petas and hell are unable to take precepts, thus having no merit from precept observation. Meanwhile, keeping precepts is considered much worthier than charity activities of the heathens (see article “Do lots of charity work, get few blessings” or Kutadanta Sutra (Dirghagama Sutra)).

Taking refuge in the Triple Gem is really important to the practitioner as it’s the official recognition that he is a Buddhist, otherwise he is merely an outside observer. Similarly, those who are holding precepts without taking refuge ceremony are seen practicing “Ten Wholesome Actions” (Dasa Kusala Kamma), which will lead to rebirth in deva world. Almost all heretic practitioners are just reborn into the World of Desire (Kamadhatu), World of Form (Rupadhatu) and World of Formlessness (Arupadhatu) after death because they do not take refuge and precepts from the Buddha. Those who observe precepts after taking refuge ceremony, meanwhile, will be reborn into the Buddha’s Land after their death. Moreover, all teachers and gurus take refuge and receive precept transmission following the last teachings of the Buddha before entering Nirvana: “The practitioner should take precept as their master and Dharma as their refuge.” If one sees himself as weak and feeble which needs a strength to transform his mind, there’s nothing better than taking refuge in the Buddha, then he will officially become a Buddhist and get support from vajra guardians to become stronger. An inferior mindset that clings to the perception of immutable karma is only found in heretic view while that of changeable karma belongs to Buddhist view. Practicing Buddha Dharma will help change karma so the first step you need to take on the path to the City of Liberation is taking Refuge Ceremony.

Practicing Buddha Dharma will help change karma so the first step you need to take on the path to the City of Liberation is taking Refuge Ceremony.

Regarding the inferior complex, some might think: “One thing that makes me most worried about is that I could continue to break five precepts after being your disciple and getting guidance and shelter from you. I understand that I myself would incur consequences but what I fear most is that you’ll be disturbed by my wrong doings. My bad deeds may affect Guru who I respect”. This is wrong thought since “you should not trust your thought unless you’ve attained enlightenment”. Thank you for thinking for me but as I said above, you will gain boundless merit when you hold firmly to the precepts. The breaking of  a certain precept is like throwing a grain of salt into the river, thus the Guru will not be affected. The bad impact on Guru is that he does not hold refuge ceremony and confer precepts on the disciple.

I really appreciate your comment for it shows your self-respect and devotion to Guru. Anyway, if you do not take refuge in the Three Jewels, you are no other than the heathen thus have no merit gained through Seven Holy Treasures (confidence, virtue, learning, self-effacement, sense of shame, sense of fear and right understanding) and the “Foundation of enlightenment”. In mundane world, a wise man can become a scientist and a hard-working one can become a billionaire, but in Buddhism, a practitioner who has yet taken refuge and received precepts shall not become the one who can save himself and others.

I conclude this article by Verse No.25 in the “Fifty verses on Guru devotion” by Master Asvaghosa:

“It is from your Guru that powerful attainments, higher rebirth and happiness come. Therefore, make a wholehearted effort never to transgress your Guru’s advice.”

Phuoc Thanh Village, September 16, 2014


Vietnamese version: MẶC CẢM

  1. Henrique says:

    thank you guru for the teachings

  2. Dr C H Lakshminarayana says:

    I pay my homage to the beloved Guruji.

    No man is superior or inferior ! . Hence, One should not have sense of superiority complexion or inferiority complexion in the spiritual field of Buddhism. We should aim at ” Equanimity” ( balance of mind of emotions , which is a versatile virtuous quality what Buddha taught.!

    Equanimity is protection from what are called the” Eighty Worldly winds”. According to Buddha, the way to bring about equanimity is Wise attention : to be mindful from moment to moment without a break based on the intention of development of the mind in strength, balance and stability. Equanimity is characterised by promoting neutrality towards all beings. It’s function is to see equality in all beings.! Equanimity does not rise easily in the minds of beginning yogis and Dharma practitioners.!

    Taking refuge in the ” Triple Gem ” is really important. So also Not to break any one of the five precepts of Buddha at any circumstances, and along with generating  bodhicitta and incessant Devotion to Guru are equally important milestones in the path of Enlightenment and Liberation.!

    Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

    Dr C H Lakshmi narayana

    (Tantra Nirvadeva )


  3. Mật Diệu Trang says:

    Kính bạch Thầy.

    Con hoan hỷ đọc bài viết này rồi ạ.

    Con nguyện cầu cho sức khỏe và sự trường thọ của Thầy cô vì lợi lạc của chúng sanh.

    Con nguyện cầu cho tất cả các chúng sanh đều thành tựu hạnh phúc của Phật Tánh.

    Con nguyện cầu cho dịch bệnh corona sớm được tiêu trừ.

    Om mai padme hum.

  4. Pankaj kumar giri says:

    Honorable GURU


    THANK YOU so much for your teaching and for spend your valuable time for us

  5. Tantra Amitara says:

    Dear guru

    I bow my head on your lotus feet. I am thankful for this article.

    HH 12 gyalwang drukpa  said ” The lay person will attain  more enlightenment  than monks as he had opportunityto develope patience to face existing problems”.It gives me very much satisfaction and confidence. And in reality also we don’t have patience. Always doing this that. Not only by body but also by mind. Yes guru I have also a problem of inferior complexity. Doubting always on myself. But it was worst condition when I had not met you. After meeting you, budha, dhamma and sangha gave me more confidence in me. We have to develop Bodhichita.I pray for all to take refuge in triple gems and get free from all anays.I am very fortunate to be part of your learner.

    May guru and his concert live long for well being of all. May guru teachings illuminate all over the world for peace and happiness.

    May all sensient being attain enlightenment.

    Om mani padme hum

  6. Jason Cook says:

    Thank you dear Guru, for I have suffered this to great extent, and resonate deeply with this. In the business world, this can be known as Impostor Syndrome. I feel inadequate often, but this article has helped soothe my mind. Thank you for your time and words.

  7. Mật Diệu Hằng
    Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của bạn đọc Pankaj Kumar Giri sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy tôn quý!

    Con chân thành cảm tạ ơn Thầy vì những lời chỉ dạy của Thầy và con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã dành thời gian quý báu chỉ dạy chúng con.


  8. Mật Diệu Hằng
    Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của bạn đọc Jason Cook sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy. Con chịu nhiều khổ đau bởi mặc cảm nên bài viết này rất hữu ích với con. Trong thế giới thương mại này, mọi điều đều dối trá. Bản thân con thường xuyên cảm thấy mình kém cỏi, nhưng bài viết của Thầy đã giúp con gỡ bỏ tâm lý mặc cảm, xoa dịu tâm trí con.

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã dành thời gian viết bài chỉ dạy chúng con.


  9. Mật Diệu Hằng
    Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Amitara sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con cúi đầu đảnh lễ dưới chân sen của Thầy.

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã viết bài.

    Pháp vương Gyalwang Drukpa 12 khẳng định “người tại gia tu trong môi trường, hoàn cảnh đời thường sẽ giác ngộ tốt hơn người tu xuất gia, vì có cơ hội cọ xát thực tại hiệu hữu của sanh nhẫn.” Điều này giúp con cảm thấy thoải mái và tự tin rất nhiều. Và trong thực tế, chúng con không đủ kiên nhẫn, tri hành bất nhất.

    Kính bạch Thầy,

    Bản thân con cũng bị mặc cảm. Con nghi ngờ chính bản thân mình. Nhưng đó là điều tồi tệ nhất trước khi con được biết đến Thầy và học Thầy. Sau khi con được biết đến Thầy, đến Tam bảo, con đã tự tin vào bản thân. Chúng con được Thầy luận giảng về bồ đề tâm. Con cầu nguyện cho tất cả hữu tình được nương tựa Tam bảo để thoát mọi khổ đau. Con vô cùng may mắn khi được là học trò của Thầy.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy Cô trụ thế lâu dài vì lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Con cầu nguyện những lời dạy của Thầy được lan tỏa khắp nơi trên thế giới vì hòa bình và hạnh phúc của hữu tình.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đạt được giác ngộ.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.


  10. Tantra Niwakuwa says:

    I bow my head at the feet of holy Dhamma Guru. Thank you so much for this new information to me. I understand here why taking refuge in the Buddha Dhamma Sangha is so important. The method – starting from home then surroundings then pagodas. How to change poisons to wisdom’s. Detail information about inferiority complex.

    Thank you very much dear respected Dhamma Guru

  11. Tantra nikakuwa says:

    I’m extremely sorry respected Dhamma Guru, but here I realized now you know everything which I forgot. I have no words to explain dhamma Guru.



    Tantra nikakuwa

  12. Curt Owens says:

    Dearest Holy Guru you truly are a great one thank  you for blessing us with your words and inspiration only you can make a dark day bright thank you for  helping me down the path

  13. Saliu Abdulmumin says:

    Dear guru

    Thanks for your teaching. This motivational article has made my day.

    I bow my head at the feet of holy dharma guru

    May guru live long and have good health for the sake of beings.

    May beings be free from suffering

  14. tantra mahavita says:

    Dear Guru: I duck my head on your lotus feet … Thank you so much for sharing your time, your Bodhichita, your wisdom and your compassion with us. There are no words that can express how deeply grateful we are. Have a long life to continue benefiting many beings. We have tremendous gratitude … May all beings find the nature of Buddha ..OM MANI PADME HUM

  15. Thank you for this. I will continue to study.

    Blessings to all

  16. Tantra Mashinaga says:

    Dear Guru,

    Thank you for this article. An inferiority complex is hard to deal with. Because the person believes he/she are not worthy of love. After my divorce I developed a complex because I believed I was not worthy of my wife’s love. I still believe this.

    May guru live a long and happy life

    May all beings be free of suffering and attain happiness

    Om Mani Padme Hum

    Tantra Mashinaga Mark Hamilton

  17. Tantraupatissa says:

    Dear thank you for sharing this article. Thank you for making us understand the results of feeling inferior. One should not have inferior complexity which can harm him more than others. One should take refugee in the triple gem and follow the teachings of Guru strictly to overcome difficulties in this life and coming life.

    May the Corona virus come to an end in the world.

    May Guru and his consort live long for sake of other beings.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum…

  18. Mật Diệu Hằng
    Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con xin phép được dịch comment của đạo hữu Tantra Upatissa sang tiếng Việt như sau:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã cho con được đọc bài viết này.

    Con cảm tạ ơn Thầy đã luận giảng cho chúng con hiểu hậu quả của sự mặc cảm. Con người không nên có tâm lý mặc cảm bởi vì mặc cảm sẽ hại chính bản thân họ. Hành giả nên quy y Tam bảo và tuân theo lời chỉ dạy của Thầy không móng nghĩ suy để vượt qua mọi chướng duyên đời này và đời sau.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy Cô trường thọ vì lợi lạc của tất cả chúng sanh.

    Cầu nguyện nạn dịch corona sớm tiêu trừ.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh đoạn trừ khổ đau và đạt được giác ngộ.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  19. Cameron says:

    Thank you for the article.  It was helpful.

  20. Mona lund morris says:

    This is a great article! Thank you so much for sharing, dear Guru! It is just what I need right now! I have always felt less than others, but this helps me to have right view of myself.

    Thank you

    Mona Morris

  21. Matthew Franzen says:

    The artical spoke to my soul…!

  22. Srogers says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    I am Tantra Haramitra

    thank you for your guidance,I feel that this issue is one the worst afflictions we suffer. Having bad thoughts about oneself causes insular thoughts, stops the practitioner from being of benefit to all sentient beings and encourages them only to attract the company of people who can harm them further.

    Love is the answer, love of oneself, love of others without judgement and love of the Guru who guides you to a Buddha like existence.

    Holy Guru, May you continue to have a long healthy life for the benefit of all sentient beings

    Om mani padme hum

  23. Petra says:

    Dear Holy Guru

    This really went into my heart. This has always been me. Not loving myself, feeling I’m not worthy of love. I thought of myself as a mistake.

    But since I started reading the articles I’m finding a new side of myself. I thank you for this lesson and helping me on a new journey.

  24. Brian Audinett says:

    Dearest Guru,

    thank you for this absolutely necessary article.

    i feel this is the foundation of what I need to practice

    Dharma. This article described me accurately. I really

    needed to hear and understand this. I feel that just

    by reading and understanding this article is a breakthrough

    for me. I was struggling with the exact obstacles that this

    article mentioned. This is the most, most precious article

    i have ever read, most helpful article I have ever read. Dearest Guru

    I truly needed this article, it’s as if you are here instructing me.
    I pay homage to you and my heart is filled with over flowing

    gratitude. I feel I have what I need now. May dearest Guru have a

    long and healthy life to help guide others to the path of liberation.

    Om mani padme hum.

  25. Randy says:

    Inferiority complex is one the ways the darkness keeps people from enLIGHTenment.  People CAN be their own worst enemy.  The way to abandon it, I believe, is to find something about your life that you can be proud of.  Even contemplating the Buddha is something that someone can feel proud of.

  26. Sonam Tshering says:

    Dear guru,

    You are always like a water that disolves solute like us. Your words are so powerful that we start to think that we never had before. We never knew the impact of feeling inferior to ourselves. Simce we are not monk who practise darma daily, we are really encouraged to do. We are now melting to the right direction by your holly words. Thank you so much for directing us to gain merits of the life..


    I would like to thank my friend violet for your kind help and support to attain this article. Your help is now making us more valuable and thoughtful.

    Thank you.

    Thank you guru..🙏🙏🙏


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