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29 June 2020

Picture our life

In his book Ocean of Nectar, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche says:

To help us to contemplate the suffering of others, Chandrakirti introduces the analogy of the mechanism of a well.
The plight of living beings in samsara has six points of similarity with the mechanism of a well:

  1. Just as a bucket is bound to the windlass by rope, so living beings are bound to samsara by delusion and karma.
  2. Just as a windlass is forced to rotate by its operator, so living beings are forced to wander in samsara by their unpeaceful and untamed minds.
  3. Just as one turn of a windlass is immediately followed by another, so one rebirth in samsara is immediately followed by another.
  4. Just as a bucket tumbles to the bottom of a well with great ease but is drawn up again only with much effort, so living beings readily migrate to lower rebirths but rise from them only with great difficulty.
  5. Just as when a windlass is spinning quickly it is difficult to identify where one rotation ends and the next begins, so as living beings wander in samsara it is impossible to tell which comes first –delusions, actions, or effects.
  6. Living beings wander in samsara in much the same way as a bucket moves up and down in a well. As a bucket repeatedly tumbles to the bottom and is drawn up again it swings uncontrollably and is battered, dented and scratched by the sides of the well. In the same way, as living beings roam uncontrollably from the highest heaven to the deepest hell they are constantly battered by the three sufferings, the six sufferings and so forth.

I bow down to that compassion for living beings
Who from first conceiving ‘I’ with respect to the self,
Then thinking, ‘This is mine’ and generating attachment for things,
Are without self-control like the spinning of a well.

Ocean of Nectar by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche is the first complete explanation in English of the renowned Indian Buddhist Master, Chandrakirti’s Guide to the Middle Way, a precious Mahayana scripture, which to this day is regarded as the principal presentation of Buddha’s profound view of emptiness, the ultimate nature of reality.

With a definitive translation and verse-by-verse commentary, the author reveals this profound meaning to the modern world with utmost clarity, and guides us along the stages of the Bodhisattva path to full enlightenment.

This book is an indispensable guide for the serious practitioner of Mahayana Buddhism.

Available online
Ocean of Nectar is available in different languages and multiple formats from Tharpa Publications.

For more information and online purchases visit the Tharpa International website and select your region.