Tapping the Hidden Potential

“Emptiness is described as the basis that makes everything possible”
The Twelfth Tai Situpa Rinpoche, Awakening the Sleeping Buddha

‘It’s like coming home’ said Geshe Michael Roach on Indonesia. I was surprised to learn that the school of Tibetan Buddhism originated in Sumatra, Indonesia in the 10th century, and is attributed to Atiśa Dipankara Shrijnana. Atisa, a Buddhist teacher from the then Pala Empire, at the age of thirty-one, traveled for thirteen months to reach Sumatra, to study under the guidance of Buddhist master Suvarnadvipi Dharmakirti for twelve years. At the end of his study Atisa was advised by his master to “go to the north. In thenorth is the Land of Snows.” – Tibet.

Geshe Michael Roach

Geshe Michael Roach

 

Interview with Geshe Michael Roach – Audio
Geshe Michael Roach was recently in Jakarta to present a seminar on ‘The VALUES That Lead To SUCCESS for Professionals and Entrepreneurs’ and I had the privilege to meet him at Gouri Mirpuri’s house for a short interview. At first sight he did not look like my idea of a monk, dressed in a pink shirt, long wavy hair and a small diamond earring.  It was fascinating to know the journey of a Princeton graduate to being a Geshe or a Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monks.  He embarked on that journey looking for the purpose of life after the death of his mother, father and brother in quick succession.

in Jakarta

Geshe Michael Roach with team Jakarta

A visit to his website reveals his role as a successful businessman, musician, writer, musician and more. He shared that he was currently learning ballet in his fifties and this year he has become good enough to lift his partner while dancing. His ongoing work and passion is to the compile all the Buddhist texts and teachings through Asian Studies Institute. Geshe Michael has used his Buddhist teachings in business successfully at Andin International Diamond Corporation to generate annual sales of over $100 million, donating his profits to international aid projects. He now travels the world teaching the diamond sutra to bring success to people around the world.

‘The hidden potential is the realm of possibilities available to all of us’ he explained with a pen, the concept of the Sanskrit term shunyata, which is the basis of the Buddhist Heart Sutra:

Iha Sariputra rupam sunyata sunyataiva rupam, rupan na prithak sunyata sunyataya na prithag rupam, yad rupam sa sunyata ya sunyata tad rupam; evam eva vedana-samjna-samskara-vijnanam.

Here, Sariputra, form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form; emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness; whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form, the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness.

(As translated from the Sanskrit by Edward Conze in his book ‘Buddhist Scriptures’)

Geshe Michael explained that success is made up of four parts and each one of them is equally important. The first is money which makes the world go round and fulfills your material need. Then is health as money without a feeling of well being is meaningless. The third part of success is loving relationships to share your life and the last part is giving back to the world around to make a positive difference to the lives of the people you touch. The ‘seeds’ of success or hidden potential is available to us through our good deeds or karma and is translated into limitless possibilities. This message is basis of his book ‘Karmic Management’

The real way to be a success is to make other people—all other people—successful. We just need the courage to try; we need to be fearless.

Footnote: Tao Te Ching on Emptiness = Shunyata:

We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the vessel depends.
We pierce doors and windows to make a house;
And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends.
Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the usefulness of what is not.

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One Response to Tapping the Hidden Potential

  1. Rajat Dasgupta says:

    Rightly or wrongly, the following observation brings to my mind the appended song of Tagore

    RAJAT DAS GUPTA

    ‘The hidden potential is the realm of possibilities available to all of us’ he explained with a pen, the concept of the Sanskrit term shunyata, which is thebasis of the Buddhist Heart Sutra:

    Iha Sariputra rupam sunyata sunyataiva rupam, rupan na prithak sunyata sunyataya na prithag rupam, yad rupam sa sunyata ya sunyata tad rupam; evam eva vedana-samjna-samskara-vijnanam.

    Here, Sariputra, form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form; emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness; whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form, the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness.

    (As translated from the Sanskrit by Edward Conze in his book ‘Buddhist Scriptures’)

    ) Tomay natun kore pabo bole

    Harai kshne khan

    O mor bhalabashar dhan

    ……………………………..

    …………………………………

    [Note: With our limited perceptions we lose sight of God in our daily life. However,

    we do glimpse Him at times to realize that He is our dearest who had created

    humans to whom He occasionally flashes the mysterious intent behind his

    wonderful creation of life, but only to be left again to the mundane. Is this

    hide and seek His mirth, never giving us the final answer to our eternal

    quest of mystery behind our existence? I would also be inclined to invoke

    the scientists’ Big Bang theory here behind God’s Creation for occurrence

    of the lines “Endless Thou art / So delude as null to covert” if of course it

    means that the debut of myriad proliferation in Nature, as we see, started

    from explosion of a single atom and the Universe, now in an expansion

    mode will start shrinking again when it will reach the maximum point of

    inflation as its physical elasticity will permit and then will start its reverse

    course to be again reduced to an atom. My earnest request to the readers is

    they may please take my interpretation of the Big Bang theory with many a

    pinch of salt, if not with a lot of laughter too. However, assuming I have

    marginally grasped the Big Bang, are we not still dwelling on the mundane?

    Where is the spiritual dimension? I got a lot of spiritual stuff in an article by

    Dr. Jaba Chatterjee (Faculty in Bengali literature at Rishi Bankimchandra

    College at Naihati, not far away from Calcutta). Her subject is influence of

    Vaishnava cult on Tagore. In her essay she has mentioned the following song

    of Tagore and also another close to it ( No; 18- To Unite with me / Is Thy

    eternal journey) which appears in this volume. She also gives examples

    of a good number of songs of Tagore influenced by the Vaishnavite poets (e.g.

    from Joydeb’s (12th Century) Geetagovina.(in Sanskrit)& Bidyapati of 15th

    Century (who wrote in Maithili) and quoted them in their respective languages

    in original, in vogue in those periods in Eastern India, including Bengal.

    The crux of Dr. Chatterjee’s paper is, though human enigma about

    evolution of life on this earth is primordial going with an awe, the devotional

    blend in it assumed Tsunami height in Bengal, history of which is nearly a

    millennium old whose impact deeply influenced Tagore literature since mid

    19th Century onward which may be noted in a large number of his songs,

    which, quite a few in this volume illustrate (besides the 2 nos. mentioned in this

    passage) and the reader may hopefully relate this introduction to those. I am

    thankful to Dr. Chatterjee for making available her erudite paper to me

    without which my introduction in this Internet version of my book would

    remain deficient as in my original publication in January 2002.

    To get anew again

    I lose Thee now and then;

    O my precious love, Thy flight

    Is only to be back to my sight.

    Thou art not to remain,

    Endlessly behind the curtain;

    Mine Thou art for ever –

    Drown in the temporal for frolic mere.

    On Thy search trembles my mind,

    Passion waves my love thou to find.

    Endless Thou art

    So delude as null to covert;

    Such is Thy pleasure

    To leave me in desolation tear.

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