Aug 15, 2020

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 10 Comments

Some thoughts of Tantra Sutradaka concerning Self- cultivation, Gradual cultivation, Diligent cultivation and Self- cultivation

Revered Gurujee
Om Mani Padme Hum
I bow my head on your lotus feet
I was feeling ashamed for my inability to read the article due to my domestic engagements and my granddaughter’s demand to care her and share with the daily works of the house hold, which has become enormous because of the fear, restraints and constrains of Novel Corona Virus that has put us to be quarantined in the house as well as asking the maid not to come till the Corona crisis is away. It is again good as it’s fear has cultivated in us the work culture and trained us to do all the works of the house, whatever trivialities it has. Since adoption of a new culture and switch over into a new paradigm of life, out of sudden, is difficult, painful and time taking, I happen to read this article very late. Yesterday, with a planning, I went to the bed a little bit earlier. Today I woke up very early in the morning by 3.30 A.M. After getting fresh I started reading it very minutely line by line and word by word. To my great pleasure the this reading was giving me a sense of feeling of familiarity with the lines, words, contents and imports of the article, as if I have read it somewhere earlier. After reading the article patiently and collecting greater knowledge in the related field of spiritual learning and pedagogy of transforming the mental culture of the disciple from dormant to active, from ignorant to wisdom the Guru has a greater role in sowing the seeds of virtues that may take the disciple from ignorance to knowledge, darkness to the light and from no culture to the cultured way of life.

At the same time he has also reminded, like the Buddha that it is a double way process. The disciple has to strive a lot for his personal uplift Guru is simply to give the instruction. ( Tumhe hi kiccam atappam . Akkhataro Tathagata. Dhammapada). It is again a fact that unless Guru’s wisdom dawns upon the disciple the seeds of the knowledge will never germinate and sprouts will never come up. Hence for the fruition of sublime world view and evolution of disciple’s mental horizon, Guru’s inspiration and his transmission of divine spiritual gospels to the disciple’s dormant mind is a must. Thus it comprises of two way process involution and evolution. The first process is of Involution of Guru’s gospel to the disciple’s mind. Then the second process of evolution of Buddhist wisdom leading to liberation starts in the disciple’s mind. In between these two the process the work of watering, manuring and ploughing is needed for seedling of the Guru’s gospel in the disciple’s mind. The entire process, taken together is called cultivation.

the Guru has a greater role in sowing the seeds of virtues that may take the disciple from ignorance to knowledge, darkness to the light and from no culture to the cultured way of life.

The word cultivation appears like farming and growing grains or vegetables in the on the arable land. Thus the function of an expedient Guru is to nurture the noble ides in his disciple’s mind so that it may lead him to Nibbana and happy mundane life. For our Holy Guru Cultivation means the moral process. He says self-cultivation, family stability, ruling and bringing peace to people” It also means to correct oneself, stabilize one’s own family, then rule the country and bring peace to humanity. In the religious field it means the regulation that devotees need to follow their founder’s example. Normally through the word “cultivate” people feel uncomfortable and they feel unpleasant with such cultivators, because of the churches, temples, pagoda’s teachings that has caused the misunderstanding among the devotees mind. There is a striking similarity between the Buddha and our Guru. In Kasibharadvaj Sutta the act of spiritual cultivation has been discussed by the Buddha during a dialogue between a farmer Brahmin Kasibhadvajra and him. I cannot check my temptation of narrating the episode of the conversation of the Buddha and Kasibhadvajra here.

There is a striking similarity between the Buddha and our Guru

Kasibharadvaj was a very rich farmer Brahmin of Ekagala village of Magadh. The Buddha happened to meet him in the morning with a bowl when his five hundred ploughs were fastened to yokes at the sowing time. It was the work time for Ksibhardvaj as he was distributing food to the persons working on his farm. The blessed One also stood in the queue for alms. On this the Brahman said, ” O ascetic you should also plough and eat as we people eat only when we plough and sow.” On this the Buddha replied, ” I too, O Brahmin, Plough and sow. After I ploughed and sown, I eat.” The Brahmin mockingly enquired, “But I do not see your plough, yoke or ploughshares, goad or oxen etc. I have not seen you ploughing too. What type of ploughman you are? So kindly tell us about your ploughing” On this Buddha replied that faith is my seed, penance is the rain, wisdom is my yoke and plough; modesty is the pole, mind is the yoke-tie and mindfulness is my ploughshare and goad. I am guarded in body and speech, restraint in my belly in respect of food. I make truth my weeding (Hook) and meekness my unyoking. …This is my ploughing; its fruit is freedom from death. If you plough in this way you will be free from all the miseries of life. In Khagvissan Sutta explaining Cultivation Buddha says, Cultivating at right time the loving kindness, equanimity, piety and sympathetic joy, unimpeded by the whole world one should wander solitary leaving behind passion, hatred and delusion. And thus Buddha explains the method of spiritual cultivation. This how, Buddha says; if mental cultivation is done one will harvest as the crop of it a happy mundane life and the final emancipation, i.e. the Nirvana.

“if mental cultivation is done one will harvest as the crop of it a happy mundane life and the final emancipation, i.e. the Nirvana.”

In this background if one casts a glance on our holy Guru’s article one will be wonder stroked to find that Guru has very methodically developed this idea of mental cultivation in a Buddhist framework and presented in an articulated way without impairing its basic import and tenets. He has recoiled its inherent meaning and import beautifully so that it may become intelligible to the modern disciples. Our holy Guru’s explanation is based on his rigorous and continuous endievour of 6 years in which he has to undergo to the process of (1) research (2) survey (3) practice (4) application (5) results, based on the preaching and the teachings of the Buddha. In doing so he has also taken into consideration the works of the great masters of Buddhism and indexed them too. He categorically mentioned that 1/ Eight Dharma methods of taking refuge in the Three jewels (based on the teachings of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava on “Dakini’s teachings”

2/ Uninterrupted offerings (based on the teachings on The Avataṃsaka Sūtra)
3/ Samayagdrsti-Prabha Samadhi (based on the teachings on the Sammàditthi sutta revealed on “Vimalakīrti’s room” on
4/ Lotus walking Dharani (based on the advice from Great Master Marpa Lotsawa)
5/ Meditation on Bodhicitta (Based on the teachings of the Lord Buddha to the king Pasenadi written on “the Excellent Path to enlightenment” by
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche)
6/ Five Degrees of Chenrezig meditation and Dharani (based on Tantric Giuyasamaza)

This is how the theoretic consciousness coded in the texts and tradition, nurtured in the hands of masters of Buddhism, when warped and woofed under the hands of our Guru, revealed in a practical way of learning and agriculture emerges in a beautiful form of mental culturing. While explaining the art and acumen of this double way process of spiritual learning, the four fold path of Buddhist pedagogy comes up to meet the ends of the disciple’s journey to liberation is revealed which are very decently articulated here. The process learning, practice and application comprises of four fold path that contains of 1. Self-cultivation. 2. Gradual cultivation. 3. Diligent cultivation and 4. Self-cultivation.
1. Self-cultivation:- It is really amazing that Self-cultivation is the first and the fourth step of the process of learning. The reason is very simple in the first step the disciple has to cultivate what is received from the Guru as the seed of knowledge. For preserving, protecting and grooming it the watering, manuring and making the land of soft is essential. It helps the seed grow and gain strength. Since the seeds of knowledge are coming from the common trajectory it imperative on the part of the disciple to put his own endevour otherwise he cannot know the liberation even he has learnt from the Guru for million years.

2. Gradual cultivation:- Here too the perpetual guidance of Guru is needed for the proper progress in the right direction. He is dependent on the Guru’s direction as he is purely unaware of paths proper or improper. The methods have to be learnt from the Guru only, and Guru imparts him the knowledge tenderly and compassionately. Till this stage the active support of the Guru continues as it is the stage of involution. After this stage Guru starts withdrawing himself slowly but stealthily in order to make the disciple strong and confident.
3. Diligent cultivation: – In this stage the disciple makes effort to focus on the essence of the doctrine without distraction. But he must be very careful as during this practice some supernormal powers are achieved. One must not get delude of it and fall into the state of personal pride as they are the impediments of the holy journey leading to emancipation. Since there is a need of full attention in this stage this is called diligent cultivation.
4. Self-cultivation:- This is the last stage of the holy path. Coming to this stage the disciple becomes competent enough to walk on the path alone as he has undergone the rigorous training under the compassionate guidance of the Guru and perfected himself against any eventuality that may arise in course of his journey to Nibban. The Buddha also did the same when his Guru Alar Kalam and Uddak Ramputta asked him to strive alone. Then started his rigorous self-cultivation that culminated in his enlightenment. Due to this reason when he was on his death bed and his disciples were weeping he said, Do not think your teacher is no more. Who will guide you? In my absence “my teachings will be your teacher”. This statement directly or indirectly hinges on the process of self-cultivation

Om Mani Padme Hum
Long live our Guru
May all the sentient being enjoy the Buddha Amrit
May the pandemic Covid 19 be away from this planate earth
Tantrasutradaka (Avinash Kumar Srivastava)




  1. Admin
    Mật Diệu Hằng says:

    Dear Tantra Sutradaka,
    I am happy to read your beautiful sharing about self-cultivation, gradual cultivation, diligent cultivation and self- cultivation after reading Guru’s article concerning these aspects. I am delighted with your devotion towards Guru.
    I have learnt that Guru devotion is the key for the success of this four fold path. If the practitioners do not connect with the purely spiritual energy of Guru, Buddha by Guru devotion, it is so easy for them to go away from the orbit of Dharma, all of their efforts and diligence in practicing will get in vain.
    Guru is so kind and compassionate to draw the clear map for these steps with the detail guidance what to do, how to do, why to do and where to be. He is ready to share the secret to get true happiness and devotion towards Guru brings us an amazing energy to the place of pure bliss in the Pure Land.
    I am interested in your beautiful writing about Guru with the image a Buddha in his teachings. I love your pure comparison. The photo of Guru and Buddha is so beautiful. This photo is more wonderful because it was created by Guru’s devotion of learners like Tantra Dharma Bodhisita and you.
    Thank you so much for your article.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May Tantra Sutradaka have good health and get your righteous wishes.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha nature.
    May covid 19 pandemic end soon.
    Om Mani Padme Hum

  2. Tantra Sutradaka says:

    Revered Gurujee
    Om Mani Padme Hum
    I bow my head on your lotus feet
    Today I am at my wits end to find myself at fixed when I started writing the comment on my own article shared by my holy Guru. What to write and what not to write has become my problem. The reason is very ridiculous. Before writing the comment I had plethora of ideas to express. My pedantic zeal thought to create a wonderful write-up as comment. Unwarrantedly I made a commitment to my friend for creating thoughtful comment in a lucid manner. Now, there is no word in my mind, nor any novel idea. I came to the state of hopelessness and grappled by inertia of thought and power. In the state of helplessness I remembered my Guru to pull me out of this state of despair. I made several reading of my own article to take some clue. I think this has helped me to type a few words on the white sheet by the grace of my Guru. slowly but stealthily the real meaning and import of Guru’s four steps of learning suggested by him started getting clear an percolate in my understanding as this of the part of my comment was written at pure intellectual level by analyzing and traversing the Guru’s lines and their literal meanings. I forgot that from the first step of knowledge cultivation to the last stage of learning i.e. from Self-cultivation to the Self- cultivation the guidance and help of the Guru is a must, because Guru is in know of the fact that what is to be dismissed, abandoned, accept and the proper method to practice it. The unwavering confidence in Guru generates inner potency and flow of ideas and acts as one has the hope that in case of any problem Guru s there to tackle the situation and extend the helping hand. This emboldens the disciple to take the right step in right time without any hesitation. It is a fact that that Guru frees him slowly to make him stronger, more knowledge and confident on the path of mundane happiness and spiritual liberation. Coming to the third step his practical guidance become much less. This is the stage a disciple like me gets delude. A sense of pride and prejudice starts emerging. this is the stage of the child for a disciple who in the process of learning to walk takes severals steps catching hold of father’s fingers thinks he can walk alone. he leaves the finger after moving a few steps starts stumbling and falls down. One has to be careful of it and must jerk the self-hypnosis and egocentric predicaments. Then he may advance further as at this stage he achieves some powers. One should not glue to is as these are impediments to the holy path of liberation. In the last stage too the gospel of the Guru has to be perfected, protected and developed as we water, manure and cultivate the field for a good growth of the crops in the farm. Hence guru is an indispensible factor in the Buddhist holy pursuit to the Nirvana. This is the spiritual pedagogy of our Guru developed by him through his strenuous and perpetual efforts of 6 years.
    Last but not the least on more very interesting story needs to be narrated that at the very beginning of my comment I expressed, ” To my great pleasure the this reading was giving me a sense of feeling of familiarity with the lines, words, contents and imports of the article, as if I have read it somewhere earlier. After writing my comment on Guru’s article I started reading the comments given by other disciples and to my great surprise I found that I have already written comment on this article of Guru about three years ago on dated 30- 12- 2017. Those days too I had the same existential problem of my granddaughter who did not allow me to do anything but to play with her. She is my elder granddaughter now she is about 5.4 months old. Surprisingly today I am with her but these days she is not disturbing. It is again very interesting to reveal that both the comments have been written while I was and am with her.
    During those days I was a l earner under Guru’s fold but could meet him. Rose Tran was my male friend of my imagination of tall height, bulky body and fair complexioned, with whom I met in Kolkata Buddhist conference. He regularly shared Guru’ article to me and get the comments often with repeated reminder. My both comment are with my Guru. Now I am waiting for his final judgment whether I have improved in the years of short journey after having admonition of my kind, compassionate and holy Guru.
    I am indebted to two persons for my spiritual culturing. One is my great Guru and other is my nice hearted friend who had been instrumental in getting me connected with Guru. I express my gratitude to my Guru and sublime thanks to my friend.
    Om Mani Padme Hum
    Long live my Guru
    May all sentient beings be happy and free of COVID 19
    Tantra Sutradaka. (AVINASH KUMAR SRIVASTAVA)

    • Admin
      Nguyên Thành says:

      Thank you for your comment.
      Your writing is good with vivid images and illustration. I am happy to read your good sharing with reasonable, logical and practical expressions.

      • Tantra Sutradaka says:

        Revered Gurujee
        Om Mani Padme Hum
        I bow my head on your lotus feet
        I am really very happy that Guru has read my Article and my personal comment on the same, as well as he has commented on the both. It generated in me immense pleasure that is inexplicable. Reverend Guru I am thankful to you for this unconditional favour, and grateful too.
        Long live our guru for the pleasure, happiness and liberation of all sentient beings
        May this Novel Corona be evaporate from this planet earth
        Tantra Sutradaka (Avinash Kumar Srivastava)

  3. Tantra Ashihata (Simon Michael) says:

    Dear Holy Guru,
    my name is Tantra Ashihata ,
    I thank you for this article which you have shared to us which you stressed on cultivation.
    May you guide us in all our endeavor to cultivate right.
    May Guru live long and have a good health for the seek of all sentient beings, may all sentient beings be free from suffering and may the covid 19 come to an end soon.
    Om mani padme hum.

  4. Mật Thủy says:

    Dear Tantra Sutradaka,
    I’m delighted with your sharing about our Guru’s article of self-cultivation, gradual cultivation, diligent cultivation and self-cultivation.
    Your thoughts on that help me contemplate on Guru’s six marvellous spiritual inventions, which are the dharma methods leading to liberation as well as happiness in this mundane life. Guru has interpreted the process of learning, practising and application in his article, which contains 1) self-cultivation, 2)gradual cultivation, 3) diligent cultivation and 4) self-cultivation (in a higher level). Thanks to his teaching, we now mark in our mind of the striking point in these 4 phases, that is we are unable to separate Guru devotion from the process. Guru devotion is considered “the foundation of enlightenment”, taught by Holy Master Avagosha.
    I praise the wisdom and the immeasurable merit of Guru. May we be diligent in cultivating ourselves on the field of Guru devotion.
    Thank you for your sharing.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May the epidemic of Covid-19 come to an end soon.
    Om mani padme hum!

  5. Mật Tấn Sơn (Đỗ Trường Giang) says:

    Dear Guru,
    I read this article.
    Thank you so much.
    May Guru have good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature.
    May Covid-19 pandemic soon be over.
    Om mani padme hum.

  6. Mật Phê Rô says:

    Dear Guru!
    I have read this article,
    Thank you so much!
    Pray Guru good health, live long because benefit of all beings.
    Pray corona end.
    Om Mani Padme Hum!

  7. Tantra Aradhana says:

    Thank you so much Guru this was a wonderful article and great teachings and I want to thank you for the email this morning as well about the online classes as well as soon as in done here I will be registering for them so this new learner can learn even more I am very excited for this opportunity as well I have learned so much from you as well as violet I thank you both so much all this has helped so much at this trying time’s of covid-19 and as well with the elections going here in America and with covid-19 having to pretty much staying in as much as possible and only doing what is needed right now and now that the numbers of case’s are going up as well its been pretty scary at time’s and other time’s its been ok here I know we all will get passed this it just going to take time

    Thank you so much again
    Om mani padme hum

  8. Tantra Pramitdhita (Josh Hacker) says:

    Tantra Sutradaka,

    I rejoice in reading your article. Thank you so much for sharing “Some thoughts of Tantra Sutradaka concerning Self- cultivation, Gradual cultivation, Diligent cultivation and Self- cultivation”. After reading this I have a better understanding of the 4 types of cultivation.
    May you have a blessed and peaceful day!!

    May Guru live a long and healthy life for the sake of all sentient beings

    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of Buddha’s nature

    May the global pandemic caused by the corona virus soon end

    Om Mani Padme Hum

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