Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Khadro-la blessing people with a Dharma text, Bhutan, May 2016. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

“My iPad contains the Kangyur, the Tengyur, many teachings. It is the same as a Dharma text. You can’t put it on the bed or down [low]. You have to respect it and put it higher,” Rinpoche explained in a short teaching on how to show proper respect for Dharma texts, including when they are in electronic form, during a session at the 2017 Light of the Path retreat. 

“You can’t put glasses or malas on top of Dharma texts. You have to respect them, treat them as Dharma, the holy body, revealing the path to liberate you from samsara and to achieve enlightenment. You have to respect them as Rare Sublime Dharma,” Rinpoche advises in a short video clip of the teaching.

Rinpoche emphasizes this point by talking about how Choden Rinpoche said that even one’s hand should go around, and not over, a Dharma text. Also objects such as a tea mug should not pass above a Dharma texts as it shows disrespect to the Rare Sublime Dharma.

Referring to the refuge part of lamrim teachings, Rinpoche stressed that it is very important to know the instructions on what is to be avoided and what to practice. If you are disrespecting Dharma texts, Rinpoche warns that it “pollutes the mind and obscures the mind. So by respecting [Dharma texts], then you create much good karma.”

Watch the teaching in this video clip “Proper Respect for Dharma Texts”:

Quoted text based on the unedited transcript for the 2017 Light for the Path retreat, which you can find here with video recordings of the complete teachings:

Find more video clips from Lama Zopa Rinpoche:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service.