facilitate the copying of the Sanghāta
by hand, a traceable edition of the new translation is available for
download from this site. To get your copy of the traceable
In the Words of the Sanghāta:
Mistaken fully, we were born.
Beings are endlessly mistaken.
Mistaken fully, we hear sounds,
holding on to what is not the holy Dharma.
We seek liberation and meditation.
We will not carry the burden of the body.
May we become the chief of beings —
buddhas, teachers — for the sake of the world.
All that is compounded is empty.
Empty too are riches and wealth.
When one sees as empty even oneself,
at that point, one has no hopes.
- Ārya Sanghāta Sūtra
Website of the Arya Sanghata
Stories and Experiences
Winning the Lottery
Article reprinted from June/July 2005 issue of Mandala
The following article was published in Mandala, a
Tibetan Buddhist journal. It is reprinted for you here with their kind
Sanghāta Sūtra is like winning the
lottery – for real
By Bruce Farley [in a letter to Lama Zopa
Somewhere in the Sanghāta
Sūtra it says that “one who preaches the Dharma
in this world is the best virtuous companion that is hard to
It seems a miracle to me that one as
ignorant as myself has stumbled upon a virtuous friend and found a
worldwide Dharma connection within the FPMT family.
Rinpoche, you are indeed the
inspirational thread to
which I cling to in this seducing world of wants, lusts and deceptive
appearances that form an endless merry go round of suffering.
I have heard that you wish to hear
stories regarding the potency of the Sanghāta Sūtra.
I wish to share the following tale.
I remember some time ago Phillipa
co-director with Bruce of Chandrakirti Tibetan Buddhist Meditation
Centre in New Zealand] saying that we had been asked to read a certain
number of Sanghāta
She got a few copies printed off for the core members of our center.
She told me at the time that reading this Sutra had a very powerful
effect on her. Others in our group said they found it difficult to
understand and did not persist in reading it. When I was told it is
eighty pages long, and takes three hours to read, I convinced myself I
was too busy at work to read and left it up to the others.
More recently we were asked to read the
Sutra, both for creating merit for the Maitreya Project and for the
well being of Chenrezig Institute.
The dedicated core at Chandrakirti
Centre has read
the Sutra together some evenings in the hall. Because I work most
evenings, and because I am particularly lazy and tell myself that
sitting for hours reading is too hard, I usually leave this up to
“the others” and rejoice in their merits
– in short,
a total cop out!
Back in June 2004 we were asked to read
Sutra to benefit Chenrezig Institute’s financial situation.
particular evening I think I simply ran out of excuses not to attend,
and also I was influenced by our close relationship with Geshe Tashi
Tsering, and felt a commitment. Besides, the original plan was to read
for one and half hours, and then continue again tomorrow night.
But once we got started, we were like
one stopped! And just over three hours later we had completed a full
I had never read one line of this sutra
Despite the reading being quite fast, and half the effort was
struggling with the big words, the reading of the Sanghāta Sūtra
had an immediate effect on me. I talked about it with Ven. Youdon, our
resident nun. It’s hard to explain, but it cemented the
things that we hear and read all the time but never really inculcate.
Particularly the following –
a) That it is possible for ordinary
ordinary – beings like myself to create huge merit. It
doesn’t necessarily feel like we are doing so because nothing
dramatic happens, but if the Buddha himself says it as in this sutra
how can it be doubted.
b) That there really is nothing else in
this life worthwhile other than Dharma.
c) That the whole path is based on
morality and to waste this life is a complete tragedy.
Suddenly it was like this Sutra had
– hauled me in like a helpless fish. So I started reading the
sutra again. This time paragraph by paragraph, page by page.
Often I had to go back over the same
pages again and again. The second reading took three months to complete!
At CPMT in Holland [August-September
2004] I heard
loud and clear that even though great things are being achieved, one of
the major obstacles is of course money.
So at one of the free topic sessions I
gave a talk
on how I think FPMT needs to create long term investments in property
to create future wealth and passive income. (This topic is a whole
essay in itself).
After CPMT, Phillipa went onto Italy to
and I caught a 24-hour flight back to New Zealand. All the way home I
thought about all the money needed for centers and projects, and
obviously our own plans with Chandrakirti Centre. I thought, if no one
else does it I am going to do it by myself alone. As I drifted in and
out of a fitful sleep I made fervent prayers to be a Dharma king and a
benefactor so I can help others achieve results in their projects. I
unashamedly prayed to get rich!
I already had the method. Phillipa and I
slowly building up a property portfolio, and studying the New Zealand
property investment market quite intensely. We have no doubt that over
time we can create wealth to support our Dharma aspirations.
I was so intense when I got home that I
Youdon by arriving in the meditation hall each morning before her.
I’d do some simple prayers, and read a page or two of the
Sanghata Sutra, and inspired by Rinpoche I would make extensive
I would pray fervently that all our
aspirations would bear fruit and our investing would be successful so
we can become useful in helping others.
I had arrived home from Holland late on
The following Tuesday afternoon I was talking to Ven. Youdon on the
deck. She was on her way to set up for our weekly Medicine Buddha Puja,
when the phone rang.
After establishing that I was indeed Mr.
Farley, the lady said she was calling from Boystown Lotteries in
Australia, and that I had won a prize in their draw that morning. I
wasn’t really concentrating – still talking and
to Youdon with one ear – and said,
nice.” She chatted for a minute before I asked,
I won?” She said, “Mr. Farley, you have won first
prize.” I asked, “What is first prize?”
She replied, “First prize is a
style house situated in Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast in
Australia, complete with $AUD83,000 of interior furnishings and
$AUD10,000 gold bullion, with a total value of $AUD1,070,000..
A few minutes later she sent an official
confirmation letter by fax with the ticket number. I found the ticket
in my drawer. I have supported Boystown Lotteries for several years
because they are a great organization helping Australian youth, and I
always thought of it as a donation. Every five weeks they raffle a
luxury house – this is how they get 85% of their funding.
I was shocked by this news of course, I
Youdon, “I’ve only been making these prayers for
and I’ve won a million dollar house!”
But there’s more. Boystown
sent me some
brochures so I could see the house. Out the back is a swimming pool
with a waterfall, cabana and a patio. The feature in a special
enclosure is a buddha statue. As you walk through the house the
entrance hall has special enclaves lit up with spotlights, each of
which has a buddha head in it. It all seems quite cosmic to me!
The house is situated about a 40-minute
Chenrezig Institute – and the first time I recited the Sanghāta Sūtra was
for Chenrezig Institute.
I did not tell Phillipa of my win when
she returned home from Italy. It was very hard. Instead I told her we
had to go away for
ten days on
a secret trip. I wouldn’t tell her anymore. Having just been
for a month, she was hesitant to come but played along.
In the meantime I arranged to fly all my
their girlfriends and wives plus my mother to Australia; they arrived a
few hours before us and were at the house when we arrived. We made
Phillipa read out the winning letter. We had a great family holiday
together. For the last weekend Geshe Tashi Tsering came to stay with us
and we offered the house to Geshe-la for a holiday whenever he wishes.
Rinpoche, there is not an ounce of doubt
in my mind that reading and developing faith in the Sanghāta Sūtra created
the conditions for this prosperity to arise. I also believe that it has
had other major effects on aspects of my mind.
We have decided to sell the house and
use the money
to continue our investment strategy in New Zealand. We are determined
to create prosperity for Chandrakirti Centre and beyond. We will also
use some money to actualize Holy Objects, particularly more Twenty-One
Please live long, Rinpoche, and please
and again to lead your students and all beings to enlightenment.