Eight Freedoms

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eight freedoms (dal ba brgyad)

  • Eight freedoms (dal ba brgyad). Not being in the three lower realms, not a long-living god, not having wrong views, not a savage, a mute, or born in an age without buddhas.
  • eight freedoms (dal ba brgyad) and ten favorable conditions ('byor ba bcu) conducive to practicing the dharma. First are the freedoms from eight obstacles to practicing the Dharma, which are, 1) to be born in a hell realm, 2) among the pretas, or tormented spirits, 3) as an animal, 4) among savages, 5) as a long-living god, 6) holding totally erroneous views, 7) in a dark kalpa, during which no Buddha has appeared in the world, 8) with impaired sense faculties. Second, among the ten favorable conditions, there are five conditions that depend on ourselves (rang 'byor lnga): 1) to be born as a human being, 2) in a place where the Dharma flourishes, 3) with complete sense faculties, 4) without the karma of living in a way totally opposite to the Dharma, 5) and having faith in what deserves it. There are five conditions that depend upon others (gzhan 'byor lnga): 1) a Buddha should have appeared in the world, 2) and have taught the Dharma, 3) the Dharma should have remained until our days, 4) we should have entered the Dharma, 5) and have been accepted by a spiritual teacher. [MR-ShabkarNotes]

The eight obstacles to practicing the dharma are:

  • 1. To be born in a hell realm
  • 2. To be born among the pretas, or tortured spirits
  • 3. To be born an animal
  • 4. To be born among savages
  • 5. To be born a long-life god
  • 6. To hold totally erroneous views
  • 7. To be born in a dark Kalpa, where no Buddha has appeared in the world.
  • 8. To be born with impaired sense faculties. [MR]

To dwell within the three lower realms or among the perceptionless gods are the 'four nonhuman unfree states'. To belong to a primitive border tribe, to hold wrong views, to dwell in a realm where a buddha has not appeared, or to possess defective faculties or mental capacity, such as being imbecilic, inept or incapable of communicating, are the 'four human unfree states'. To be free from these eight are the 'eight freedoms'. [RY]