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Joyful Path of Good Fortune

– The Complete Buddhist Path to Enlightenment
A clear and comprehensive explanation of the entire path to enlightenment. We all have the potential for self-transformation, and a limitless capacity for the growth of good qualities, but to fulfill this potential we need to know what to do along every stage of our spiritual journey. With this book, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso offers us step-by-step guidance on the meditation practices that will lead us to lasting inner peace and happiness. With extraordinary clarity, he presents all Buddha’s teachings in the order in which they are to be practiced, enriching his explanation with stories and illuminating analogies. This is a perfect guidebook to the Buddhist path.
'I can personally guarantee that, if practised sincerely, following these wonderful teachings will bring greater joy and happiness to one's life.'
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Joyful Path of Good Fortune - Front Cover

Joyful Path of Good Fortune - Front Cover

Content

Contents

Illustrations vii
Acknowledgements viii
Preface ix
 
PART ONE: Foundations and the Initial Scope
The Stages of the Path 3
The Qualities of the Author 5
The Qualities of the Teaching 17
Listening to and Teaching Dharma 25
Preparing for Meditation 39
What is Meditation? 89
Relying upon a Spiritual Guide 95
Our Precious Human Life 121
Meditation on Death 144
The Sufferings of the Lower Realms 172
Going for Refuge 189
Karma 227
 
PART TWO: The Intermediate Scope
Developing the Wish to Attain Liberation 267
The Four Noble Truths 271
Meditation on True Sufferings 277
Delusions and Actions, Death and Rebirth 310
The Twelve Dependent-related Links 348
The Wheel of Life 359
The Path to Liberation 367
 
PART THREE: The Great Scope
Entering the Mahayana 381
Developing Bodhichitta 394
Engaging in a Bodhisattva’s Actions 447
Training the Mind in Tranquil Abiding 482
Training the Mind in Superior Seeing 513
Progressing through the Spiritual Grounds and PathsXX 535
The Vajrayana Paths 542
Full Enlightenment 548
Dedication 554
 
Appendix I – The Condensed Meaning of the Text 555
Appendix II – Sadhanas 581
Liberating Prayer 582
Essence of Good Fortune 583
Prayers for Meditation 595
 
Glossary 601
Bibliography 618
Study Programmes of Kadampa Tradition 622
Tharpa Offices Worldwide 626
Index 628
Illustrations
Buddha Shakyamuni x
Maitreya with Vasubandhu and Asanga 40
Manjushri with Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti 120
Vajradhara with Tilopa and Naropa 190
Atisha with Dromtonpa and Geshe Potowa 266
The Wheel of Life 360
Je Tsongkhapa with Jampel Gyatso and Khedrubje 446
Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche with Trijang Rinpoche and Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche 534
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Joyful Path of
Good Fortune

Also by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Meaningful to Behold

Clear Light of Bliss

Heart of Wisdom

Universal Compassion

Guide to Dakini Land

The Bodhisattva Vow

Heart Jewel

Great Treasury of Merit

Introduction to Buddhism

Understanding the Mind

Tantric Grounds and Paths

Ocean of Nectar

Essence of Vajrayana

Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully

Eight Steps to Happiness

Transform Your Life

The New Meditation Handbook

How to Solve Our Human Problems

Mahamudra Tantra

Modern Buddhism

Profits received from the sale of
this book will be donated to the
NKT-International Temples Project
A Buddhist Charity,
Building for World Peace

www.kadampa.org/temples.htm

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Joyful Path of
Good Fortune

THE COMPLETE
BUDDHIST PATH TO
ENLIGHTENMENT


THARPA PUBLICATIONS
UK • US • CANADA
AUSTRALIA • HONG KONG

 

First published in 1990
Second edition revised and reset 1995
Reprinted 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010

The right of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
to be identified as author of this work
has been asserted by him in accordance with
the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced
in any form or by any means except for the quotation
of brief passages for the purpose of private
study, research, or review. 

Tharpa Publications UK Office
Conishead Priory
Ulverston, Cumbria
LA12 9QQ, UK

Tharpa Publications US Office
47 Sweeney Road
Glen Spey,
NY 12737, USA

Tharpa Publications has offices around the world.
See page 626 for contact details.

Tharpa books are published in most major languages.
See page 626 for details

© New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union
1990, 1995

Cover painting of Atisha by Chating Jamyang Lama.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2001092513

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is
available from the British Library.

ISBN 978 0 948006 45 6 – hardback
ISBN 978 0 948006 46 3 – paperback

Set in Palatino by Tharpa Publications.
Printed on Munken Pure 80 gsm acid-free paper
by CPI Antony Rowe, Chippenham, SN14 6LH, England.

Paper supplied from well-managed forests and other controlled sources, and certified in accordance with the rules of the Forest Stewardship Council.

...

Acknowledgements

In 1981 Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso gave extensive teachings on the stages of the path to enlightenment to the fortunate students of Manjushri Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Ulverston, England. Those teachings form the basis of this present book. We would like to express our very deepest gratitude to the author for making these precious spiritual instructions widely available in English; instructions which if put into practice sincerely will bring peace and joy to many beings.

We also thank all the dedicated, senior Dharma students who assisted the author with the rendering of the English and who prepared the final manuscript for publication.

 

Through the merits created in producing this work, may all living beings find the happiness they seek.

Roy Tyson,
Administrative Director,
Manjushri Kadampa
Meditation Centre,
October 1997.

Preface

Although there are countless living beings, humans and non-humans, all are included within three kinds: those who seek mainly worldly happiness, those who seek mainly the attainment of liberation from samsara and those who seek mainly the attainment of full enlightenment.

In the scripture known as the Stages of the Path (Tib. Lamrim) the first kind of being is called ’a person of initial scope’ because his or her mental scope or capacity is at the initial stage of development. The second kind of being is called ’a person of intermediate scope’ because his or her mental capacity is more extensive than the first being but less developed than the third being. The third kind of being is called ’a person of great scope’ because such a person has progressed from the initial scope through the intermediate scope so that his or her mental capacity has become great.

The actual practice of the stages of the path fulfils the wishes of all three kinds of being. The practice of the stages of the path of a person of initial scope, which is explained in the first part of this book, brings us the happiness of humans and gods. The practice of the stages of the path of a person of intermediate scope, which is explained in the second part of this book, brings us the happiness of liberation. The practice of the stages of the path of a person of great scope, which is explained in the third part of this book, brings us the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment. Thus the main function of the Lamrim instructions is to fulfil the needs and wishes of all living beings.

The instructions of Lamrim form the main body of Buddhadharma. They arose from the omniscient wisdom of Atisha (AD 982-1054), and the tradition has continued to this day. It is wonderful and a sign of great fortune that these precious teachings are now beginning to flourish in western countries. I received these teachings from my Spiritual Guide, Trijang Dorjechang, who was an emanation of Atisha; thus the explanations given in this book, Joyful Path of Good Fortune, actually come from him and not from myself. Nevertheless, I have worked with great effort over a long period of time to complete this book.

The practice of Lamrim is very important because everyone needs to cultivate peaceful states of mind. By listening to or reading these teachings we can learn how to control our mind and always keep a good motivation in our heart. This will make all our daily actions pure and meaningful. By controlling our mind we can solve all our daily problems, and by gradually improving our daily practice of Lamrim we can advance from our present stage to the stage of a Bodhisattva. By progressing further we can become a fully enlightened being. This is the essential meaning of our human life. Such a great attainment will be the result of our practice of Lamrim.

 

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso,

Tharpaland,

November 1988.

PART ONE

Foundations and
the Initial Scope

The Stages of the Path

The great Buddhist monastic universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila each developed their own discourse style. According to the tradition of Nalanda, whenever a Spiritual Guide teaches Dharma he or she begins by explaining three purities. Whenever we listen to, read or teach Dharma these three purities are necessary: a pure mind on the part of the student, pure speech on the part of the Spiritual Guide, and pure Dharma. The mind of the student is pure if he or she is free from holding wrong views, has faith in the Spiritual Guide and in the Dharma that is taught and has a correct motivation. The speech of the Spiritual Guide is pure if it is unmistaken and clear, if he or she received it from an authentic Spiritual Guide and if the oral transmission and lineage teachings have blessings. The Dharma is pure if it reveals the entire path that leads to enlightenment, presents each point unmistakenly, and has been handed down in an unbroken lineage from Buddha Shakyamuni. The Dharma that is explained here, the Lamrim, is pure because it possesses these three necessary conditions. Therefore, our task as readers is to make sure that our own mind is pure while we read, contemplate and meditate on the meanings that are explained. Principally, we need to develop a good motivation by thinking:

Now I have a supreme opportunity to attain Buddhahood and lead others to the same state. To become enlightened I need to practise all the stages of the path. Therefore, I am going to study these instructions and put them into practice.

If we read Lamrim with such a pure intention we shall increase our collection of merit moment by moment. There is nothing more meaningful that we can do with our lives. For myself, the author, there is no greater meaning in my life than to teach and explain pure Dharma.

According to the tradition of Vikramashila, whenever a Spiritual Guide teaches Dharma he or she begins by explaining three things:

1         The pre-eminent qualities of the author of the root texts upon which the teachings are based

2         The pre-eminent qualities of the teachings presented in those texts

3         How to listen to and teach Dharma

There are great benefits to be derived from receiving these explanations before studying the actual instructions on the stages of the path. From knowing the excellences of the author we shall easily understand that the Dharma he or she teaches must be authentic. From knowing the pre-eminent qualities of Lamrim we shall naturally develop interest, respect and confidence in it. From knowing how to listen to and read the instructions, and how they should be taught, we shall be able to take the greatest advantage of opportunities such as the one we now have; and eventually we shall be able to benefit others greatly by giving the instructions to them.

All the explanations presented in this book are contained within four parts:

1         Explanation of the pre-eminent qualities of the author, showing that the instructions of Lamrim are authentic

2         Explanation of the pre-eminent qualities of Lamrim to inspire faith and respect for the Lamrim instructions

3         Explanation of how to listen to and teach Dharma

4         Explanation of the actual instructions of the stages of the path to enlightenment

The Qualities of the Author

EXPLANATION OF THE PRE-EMINENT QUALITIES OF THE AUTHOR, SHOWING THAT THE INSTRUCTIONS OF LAMRIM ARE AUTHENTIC

The Lamrim instructions were originally taught by Buddha Shakyamuni. They were handed down in two separate lineages: the wisdom lineage of Nagarjuna and the method lineage of Asanga. The wisdom lineage, or profound path, passed from Buddha Shakyamuni to Manjushri, from Manjushri to Nagarjuna, and then through further Teachers to Atisha. The method lineage, or vast path, passed from Buddha Shakyamuni to Maitreya, from Maitreya to Asanga, and then through further Teachers to Atisha. Both these lineages include instructions on method and wisdom, but they differ in emphasis.

The author of Lamrim is Atisha because it was he who first combined all the instructions of these two great Mahayana lineages in his work, Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, and gave his presentation the abbreviated title, Lamrim. He united the two traditions in a way that made both of them easier to understand and practise, and this work is the prototype for all subsequent Lamrim texts.

Atisha’s life and work are explained in three parts:

1         Atisha’s birth into a royal family and his early life

2         Atisha’s attainments of knowledge and spiritual realizations

3         Atisha’s work of spreading Buddhadharma in India

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Joyful Path of Good Fortune - Paperback
Paperback
Details: 656 pages includes 8 line illustrations
Language: English (UK)
ISBN: 9780948006463
Size: 21.6 x 13.8 x 3.2cm
Price:
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Joyful Path of Good Fortune - Hardback
Hardback
Details: 656 pages includes 8 line illustrations
Language: English (UK)
ISBN: 9780948006456
Size: 21.6 x 13.8 x 3.8cm
Price:
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Joyful Path of Good Fortune - Audiobook CD
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ISBN: 9780948006968
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Details: Total duration 22hrs, cover artwork included
Language: English (UK)
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