Spacious Passion

Chapter 6 – Quelling the Storm

Buddha karma

Q: What is Buddhakarma?

NN: The Buddhakarmas have nothing to do with karma in the sense we have been discussing. Here the word karma simply means action or activity. Karma, as we have been discussing it, is lé-kyi and karma as in Buddhakarma is thrin-lé9. There are four Buddhakarmas which relate to the elements as they arise from space. The Buddhakarma of the earth element is enrichment. The Buddhakarma of the water element is pacification. The Buddhakarma of the fire element is magnetisation. The Buddhakarma of the air element is destruction.

Different Lamas manifest different Buddhakarmas according to what is most helpful for their students. Their Buddhakarmas are responses to whatever situations require. It is always compassionate activity but it may not appear so to us, because we judge everything by dualistic reference.

Kyabjé Chhi’mèd Rig’dzin Rinpoche was always kind, but could appear quite terrifying. His response was always direct and personal. I once asked him how one would know who was your root Lama. He looked at me with a piercing glare and said, You married, yes? I replied that I was. Who is your root husband? he asked. The point was clearly made.


9. Buddhakarma (Sanskrit): thrin-lé (sPrin las) (Tibetan). There are four Buddhakarmas, lé-zhi (las bZhi) (Tibetan), or methods of enlightened activity: enriching – gyé-pa (rGyas pa); pacifying – shi-wa (Zhi ba); magnetising – wang (dBang); and destroying – drakpo ngön-gÇod (Drag po mNgon spyod) (Tibetan).