Saturday, October 11, 2014

Where to Find True Love? by Shang Rinpoche


Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche Blog ImageSeveral atrocious crimes of passion have appeared in the news recently, the most shocking of which involves a graduate from National Taiwan University named Zhang who, on account of his feelings of unrequited love, suddenly gave rise to murderous intent and so went lurking about the place where the girl lived. He seized the moment when she left her house to commit the heinous crime. After stabbing the girl in the neck, chest, and abdomen over forty times, he still didn’t give up, proceeding to sever her windpipe and then he tried but failed to kill himself. Then there is the case of the Cheng Huang Temple murder, also a crime of passion, in which the man had lost all sense of right and wrong and, in a fit of madness, stabbed the male friend of his ex-girlfriend over twenty times. A third, even more absurd account, tells the story of a man who had set out to deliver a gift to his girlfriend’s home to try to make peace with her. When his attempt failed, he went so far as to murder the grandmother of the girl. These various disturbing and gruesome cases, incited by love and coming as they have in quick succession, cause great discomfort just to hear about. For average citizens who hear about these utterly heartless acts, finding out about the total lack of self-control would bring about uncontrollable sobbing. In comparison with the true meaning of love, one feels even more that the modern people in this mundane world really make a mockery of romantic relationships. Public morals shift by the day, and many people adopt a ‘fast food’ approach and let their desirous appetite rule their concept of love. Very few people start from a rational perspective of sacrifice, devotion, lack of greed, non-expectation, and selflessness, thinking only to make the other joyous, happy, and blessed. This means that until this day, many, many people use a selfish, possessive, jealous attitude callously pursuing their own selfish agenda by all possible means to the point of ruining theirs and others’ lives, with complete disregard for karma.

A truly mature, stable, and even enviable mate is indeed not easy to find. However, there have been numerous tales of marital bliss throughout history, the perfect match that incites the envy of the world. In recent history, I think very highly of the sacrifices made by Duke of Windsor for the sake of love. He had always been a keen defender of democracy and liberty in his early years, and his subsequent abdication from the British throne for love was unprecedented. On the 20th anniversary of his marriage to American socialite Wallis Simpson, he informed the general public through the media, “Even if we could turn back the clock now to 20 years ago and I would have to choose between love and the throne, I would still choose marriage.” These very bold words are indeed awe-inspiring. The Duke was widely respected for his character until he passed away. When he died, Queen Elizabeth sent a telegram to the Duchess applauding his services during the war and that he would always be remembered with gratitude and affection. Moreover, the entire nation would mourn the death of the Duke for two weeks with all flags flown at half-mast.

The most touching thing is that from their wedding day onwards, the two of them were never apart, inseparable at all times of day and night, mutually helping one another. It is even said that, at the end, when the Duke of Windsor had lost consciousness due to his illness, the Duchess refused to leave his side at any time. She just remained there lovingly holding his hands for a long time. Actually, the only wish the Duke had at the time of marriage was that his wife would be accepted as part of the British royal family. He couldn’t have imagined that this wish would only be granted upon his departure from this world. It is a powerful story which shows that the greatness of love can even lead a hero to give up his kingdom for good without harboring regrets. Only such a love as this is worthy to be called dignified.

Healthy and mature affection must be founded upon a well-rounded and robust outlook on love, and not motivated by selfishness, in which one ought to place the wishes and desires of the other party above one’s own. One ought also to place the considerations of the other above one’s own. It requires one to concede and accommodate more, to maintain communication. As for the envy felt by most people when observing the stable relationships of others, we must understand that all relationships in this human world fall within the realm of cause and effect which rules the Three Worlds. It is just as the Buddha said when he gave The Discourse on the Ten Wholesome Ways of Action in the palace of the Dragon King of the Ocean, that one must at all times consider and observe whether or not one’s conduct and deeds deviate from the ten wholesome ways of action, while at the same time constantly amplifying these ten types of virtuous acts. Not an instant of unwholesome action ought to be mixed in at any moment, until these ten wholesome ways of action have been fully accomplished and the practice ought not to be interrupted until then. If one is able to observe these ten ways of wholesome action pertaining to cause and effect, then the enjoyment of unimaginable karmic rewards awaits one in future lives. Of course this also includes being able to meet a virtuous and loyal companion. Many people have asked, “Why is it that I am nearly fifty years of age and I still have not encountered an opportune marriage partner?” I always advise them, “Recite The Discourse on the Ten Wholesome Ways of Action more often, and contemplate on cause and effect and karma.” This has always been an important issue, and many virtuous knowledge holders will encounter issues regarding the ethics of family and relationships. Even I have a hard time avoiding such issues. And so it is said that we must walk the deepest depths of the ocean, and being able to persist when the going gets tough is the true practice.

These are some feelings that I, Shang Longrik Gyatso, have to share after witnessing the recent escalation of social issues. I hope that all of the men and women currently bathing in the river of love, will see that all that has happened in the past has disappeared like dust in the wind. In the future, I hope that everyone can give rise to an attitude of limitless and open-minded love, one of sacrifice, of offering, and of devotion to those around us who are just like our fathers, brothers, and sons, our mothers, sisters, and daughters. A love without selfish expectations, of giving and of fairness, an uninterrupted offering of confidence to others, of security and trust. If men and women all over the world today can also incorporate bodhicitta (the mind to help all beings be released from suffering) into their treatment of others, in my opinion this is also an extremely beautiful thing!

1 comment:


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