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Illumination of the True Thought

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The Illumination

of the True Thought

 

Tsongkapa’s Masterpiece on Emptiness

 

 translated by

Geshe Michael Roach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright ©2018 by Geshe Michael Roach.  All rights reserved.

 

Sections may be reproduced with the author’s permission.

Please contact:

geshemichael@gmail.com

 

 

Volume 98 of the Diamond Cutter Classics Series

 

 

Diamond Cutter Press

6490 Arizona Route 179A

Sedona, AZ 86351

USA

 


Table of Contents

 

 

Illumination of the True Thought……………………………………………. 11

 

Chapter 1

Perfect Happiness………………………………………………………………… 12

 

The offering of praise, and a pledge to compose the work………………… 13

 

The meaning of the title of the book: “Entering the Middle Way” ………….. 18

 

The translator’s obeisance……………………………………………………………………….. 28

 

Singing the praises of great compassion………………………………………………….. 30

 

How listeners and self-made buddhas

are born from Enlightened Beings………………………………………………….. 32

 

What is a “medium Buddha”? ………………………………………………………………… 36

 

How Buddhas take their holy birth from bodhisattvas……………………………. 47

 

The causes of a bodhisattva…………………………………………………………………….. 56

 

Why compassion is the root of the roots………………………………………………….. 65

 

Compassion which focuses on living beings……………………………………………. 71

 

Compassion which focuses upon things,

and upon the way in which beings are not even there……………………. 85

 

The purpose and the connection……………………………………………………………… 99

 

A general discussion of how we practice this path………………………………… 100

 

Practicing the levels for normal people………………………………………………….. 108

 

A combined presentation of the ten levels…………………………………………….. 113

 

A brief presentation of Perfect Happiness……………………………………………… 127

 

The high qualities where our being is made beautiful…………………………… 135

 

The high quality where our being outshines those of others………………….. 135

 

The thinking of the autocommentary on these subjects…………………………. 162

 

How this is the position of the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life……….. 173

 

Sutras of the greater way which prove the same point………………………….. 190

 

Classical commentaries and sutras of the lower way

which prove the same point………………………………………………………….. 202

 

Refuting arguments covered in the autocommentary……………………………. 218

 

Refuting arguments not covered in the autocommentary……………………… 228

 

How a person practices giving at the first bodhisattva level………………….. 243

 

How people of a lower type of being practice giving…………………………….. 246

 

Why did the Buddha teach giving first? ……………………………………………….. 247

 

How we can meet realized beings…………………………………………………………. 250

 

Happiness comes from giving……………………………………………………………….. 252

 

Why giving is the most important…………………………………………………………. 253

 

The high happiness of a bodhisattva……………………………………………………… 254

 

Does a bodhisattva feel pain,

when they give away their own flesh? …………………………………………… 256

 

The different kinds of the perfection of giving………………………………………. 261

 

The moonstone………………………………………………………………………………………. 270

 

 

Chapter 2

Immaculate………………………………………………………………………… 273

 

How, at this level, ones ethical life is completely pure…………………… 274

 

Our ethical life is excellent…………………………………………………………………….. 274

 

Our good qualities are totally pure………………………………………………………… 278

 

Our life is even more ethical………………………………………………………………….. 279

 

Singing the praises of ethics…………………………………………………………………… 297

 

Enjoying the fruits of giving in the world beyond…………………………………. 287

 

Keeping it going…………………………………………………………………………………….. 289

 

Freedom from the lower realms is impossible……………………………………….. 290

 

Why ethics are discussed after giving……………………………………………………. 294

 

A song to the ethical life………………………………………………………………………… 296

 

We cannot coexist………………………………………………………………………………….. 303

 

Two kinds of ethics……………………………………………………………………………….. 304

 

Harvest moon………………………………………………………………………………………… 306

 

 

 

Chapter 3

Shining……………………………………………………………………………… 309

 

          The fire of wisdom……………………………………………………………. 310

 

High qualities of the third……………………………………………………………………… 312

 

Patience to a higher degree……………………………………………………………………. 313

 

How others practice patience………………………………………………………………… 317

 

Why anger is wrong………………………………………………………………………………. 318

 

The uselessness of anger………………………………………………………………………… 318

 

Wishes for revenge and to avoid pain are contradictory……………………….. 320

 

Destroying our store of good karma……………………………………………………… 323

 

How anger destroys good deeds……………………………………………………………. 334

 

Stopping anger by considering the problems it causes………………………….. 346

 

The good that comes from patience……………………………………………………….. 347

 

Advice to be patient………………………………………………………………………………. 349

 

The two kinds of patience……………………………………………………………………… 350

 

Other pure qualities of shining………………………………………………………………. 351

 

To win a Buddha’s body………………………………………………………………………… 358

 

The cutting light of the sun……………………………………………………………………. 361

 

 

Chapter 4

Radiance……………………………………………………………………………. 364

 

The blaze of joy……………………………………………………………….. 365

 

The qualities of enlightenment………………………………………………………………. 367

 

Things are not themselves……………………………………………………………………… 371

 

 

Chapter 5

Invincible………………………………………………………………………….. 374

 

          Invincible over the demons………………………………………………….. 375

 

An excellent mind…………………………………………………………………………………. 377

 

 

Chapter 6

Direct Perception………………………………………………………………… 385

 

About the name “Direct Perception” ………………………………………. 386

 

A praise of the perfection of wisdom…………………………………………………….. 391

 

A promise to explain the profound……………………………………………………….. 394

 

Who is a worthy vessel for the profound………………………………………………. 403

 

The good that comes from emptiness…………………………………………………….. 410

 

Listen, and teach, well…………………………………………………………………………… 417

 

How pure reality is presented in scripture…………………………………………….. 427

 

Things that work against an understanding of suchness……………………….. 433

 

How we hold on to things as being real,

according to the Independent group…………………………………………….. 435

 

The Independent group on real existence, and holding to it………………….. 436

 

The magic show…………………………………………………………………………………….. 442

 

The point of the metaphor……………………………………………………………………… 447

 

The position of the Consequence group………………………………………………… 455

 

Things are creations of thoughts……………………………………………………………. 455

 

What it is to hold things as real……………………………………………………………… 466

 

Confirming the scriptures, through reasoning………………………………………. 479

 

Using reasoning to prove that things have no self-nature……………………… 479

 

All four ways of growing are impossible……………………………………………….. 480

 

Four denials of the Realized One…………………………………………………………… 494

 

Nothing grows in either reality……………………………………………………………… 496

 

Nothing grows from itself……………………………………………………………………… 496

 

Chandrakirti’s logic against

things growing from themselves………………………………………………….. 496

 

Denying ideas of those who think

they perceive some actual nature…………………………………………………. 497

 

Denying causes that are results……………………………………………………………… 497

 

The pointlessness of self-existence…………………………………………………………. 498

 

Things grown need not grow again……………………………………………………….. 501

 

Things would grow themselves forever………………………………………………… 503

 

A thing cannot act to destroy itself………………………………………………………… 504

 

 

 

The Root Text of

Entering the Middle Way…………………………………………………….. 507

 

 

Je Tsongkapa’s

Outline of the Text………………………………………………………………. 537

 

 

Appendices……………………………………………………………………….. 553

 

          Sanskrit and Tibetan Equivalents for

Divine Beings & Places Mentioned in the Work……………………. 554

 

Abbreviated Bibliographical References

Used in the Original Text……………………………………………………………… 555

 

Bibliography of Works Originally Written in Sanskrit…………………………… 556

 

Bibliography of Works Originally Written in Tibetan……………………………. 575

 

Bibliography of Works Originally Written in English……………………………. 586

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illumination

of the True Thought

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

Perfect Happiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illumination

of the True Thought

 

 

The offering of praise,

and a pledge to compose the work[1]

 

[1]

[f. 1a] *,,BSTAN BCOS CHEN PO DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA’I RNAM BSHAD DGONGS PA RAB GSAL BZHUGS SO,,

 

Here begins The Illumination of the True Thought, an extensive explanation of Entering the Middle Way.

 

 

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[2]

[f. 1b] #,,DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA’I RGYA CHER BSHAD PA DGONGS PA RAB GSAL ZHES BYA BA, RJE BTZUN BLA MA ‘JAM PA’I DBYANGS DANG, ‘PHAGS PA YAB SRAS RNAMS KYI ZHABS LA GUS PA CHEN POS PHYAG ‘TSAL ZHING SKYABS SU MCHI’O,

 

In deep respect I bow at the feet of my Holy Lama, Gentle Voice,[2] and at the feet of those realized beings, the Father and Son.[3]  Please be my shelter.

 

 

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[3]

,ZAB CING RGYA CHE’I LEGS BSHAD KUN GYI GTER,

,’JIG RTEN KUN GYI MA ‘DRIS MDZA’ BSHES TE,

,SA GSUM ‘GRO LA LAM BZANG MTSON PA’I MIG

,THUB DBANG SMRA BA’I NYI MAS RTAG TU SKYONGS,

 

You are a goldmine

Of every fine explanation:

The profound and the wide.

You are the best friend

Of every living being,

Unbeknownst to them.

 

You are the eyes

Of all of those who dwell

In all three of the lands;

O Sun of Speakers,

Lord of the Able,

Protect us always.[4]

 

 

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[4]

,RAB ‘BYAMS RGYAL BA’I ‘KHOR DU ZAB MO’I GNAS,

,YANG DAG PHUL GYI GTAM GYI SENG GE’I SGRA,

,KUN NAS SGROG LA MTSUNGS PA MA MCHIS PA’I,

,’JAM DBYANGS BLA MAS RTAG TU BYIN GYIS RLOBS,

 

You are beyond compare—

Among all who attend

To the billions of victorious

Buddhas there are—

In the way you proclaim,

With your lion’s roar,

 

That highest of all the words

Which can ever be spoken:

That deepest thought.[5]

I pray I may always be blessed

By my Lama,

By Gentle Voice himself.

 

 

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[5]

,DUS GSUM BDE BAR GSHEGS PA’I [f. 2a] THUGS KYI BCUD,

,MTHA’ BRAL DBU MA RTEN CING ‘BREL ‘BYUNG LAM,

,JI BZHIN ‘GREL PAR LUNG BSTAN KLU SGRUB LA,

,SNYING NAS ‘DUD DO BRTZE BA’I LCAGS KYUS ZUNGS,

 

The very cream

Within the holy minds

Of all who have Gone To Bliss,

Past and present and future,

Is the Middle Way,

Free of extremes:

The path of dependent arising.

 

From the depths of my heart

I bow myself

To Master Nagarjuna,

The one who it was foretold would come

And unfold this way.

Set, I pray, the iron hook

Of your love within my breast.

 

 

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[6]

,MGON DE’I GDAMS PAS GO ‘PHANG MTHOR GSHEGS NAS,

,NYID KYIS GZIGS GANG ‘GRO LA GSAL MDZAD PA’I,

,LEGS LAM STON PA’I GTAM LA DBANG ‘BYOR PA,

,DPAL LDAN ‘PHAGS PA LHA YI ZHABS LA ‘DUD,

 

There was one who received

The advices of this protector

And reached the heights of realization;

Who went on to describe

The things he had seen himself

Clearly to the rest of us:

 

I bow thus at the feet

Of the Glorious One,

To Master Aryadeva,

Rich in the words

Which instruct us

In that excellent path.

 

 

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[7]

,RJE BTZUN ‘JAM PA’I DBYANGS KYI BKA’ GRUB CING,

,’PHAGS PA’I DGONGS PA MTHAR THUG GSAL BAR MDZAD,

,GRUB PA’I RIG ‘DZIN GNAS SU GSHEGS GYUR PA,

,SANGS RGYAS BSKYANGS KYI ZHABS LA MGOS PHYAG ‘TSAL,

 

I bow and touch

My head as well

To the feet of Buddha Palita,

Who carried out

The command of the holy

Gentle Voice;

 

Who clarified

The ultimate intent

Of the Realized One,

And who reached the state

Of an accomplished one,

A keeper of the knowledge.[6]

 

 

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[8]

,PHRA LA RTOGS DKA’ DRANG SRONG CHEN PO’I LAM,

,KLU SGRUB LUGS KYI THUN MONG MIN PA’I GNAD,

,YONGS SU RDZOGS PAR STON MDZAD ZLA BA’I ZHABS,

,ZHI BA LHA DANG BCAS PA’I ZHABS LA ‘DUD,

 

I bow as well

At the feet of the holy

Chandrakirti,

Who along with Master Shantideva

Has instructed us

In every single one

 

Of the unique and crucial points

Found in the system

Of Master Nagarjuna:

In the path of this great saint,

A way which is subtle

And difficult to grasp.

 

 

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[9]

,KLU SGRUB ‘PHAGS PA LHA YI GRUB PA’I MTHA’,

,SHING RTA CHEN PO GSUM GYIS [f. 2b] BKRAL BA NYID,

,THUN MONG MA YIN GNAD DON KUN RDZOGS PAR,

,DRI MED BLO GROS MIG GIS LEGS MTHONG ZHING,

 

I have seen, perfectly,

With the eyes of immaculate

Wisdom,

Each and every one

Of the unique

And crucial points

 

In the philosophical system

Of Nagarjuna and Aryadeva,

Just as this was commented upon

By every one of the three

Magnificent innovators.[7]

 

 

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[10]

,PHYOGS ‘DIR LUGS DE ‘CHAD ‘DOD PHAL MO CHES,

,BSHAD PA’I DRI MAS SBAGS PA BSAL PHYIR DANG,

,GZHAN GYIS BSKUL PHYIR YONGS DAG BSHAD PA YIS,

,DBU MA ‘JUG PA’I RGYA CHER BSHAD PA BYA,

 

For this reason,

I shall now undertake

A highly accurate

And detailed explanation

Of Entering the Middle Way;

 

I do so also because

I hope to clear away

The stench of the corruptions

Found in the great majority

Of the explanations of this system

Attempted thus far in our land;

 

And as well because I have been begged

By others to compose this work.

 

 

 

The meaning of the title of the book:

“Entering the Middle Way”

 

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[11]

,’DIR ZAB PA DANG RGYA CHE BA’I DON GNYIS, PHYIN CI MA LOG PAR GTAN LA ‘BEBS PA’I BSTAN BCOS CHEN PO DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA RANG GI ‘GREL PA DANG MTHUN PAR ‘CHAD PA LA BZHI, MTSAN GYI DON, ‘GYUR GYI PHYAG ,GZHUNG GI DON, MJUG GI DON NO,,

 

The great classical commentary entitled Entering the Middle Way sets forth, in an unmistaken way, the meaning of both the profound side of the teachings, and their widespread side.[8]  Here I undertake to explain this work, following the intent of its autocommentary.  My explanation covers four broad sections: the meaning of the title of the work; the translator’s obeisance; the meaning of the body of the text; and finally the meaning of its conclusion.

 

 

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[12]

[*,,RGYA GAR SKAD DU, MA DHY’A MA KA AA BA T’A RA N’A MA, BOD SKAD DU, DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA ZHES BYA BA,]

 

[From Entering the Middle Way:

 

In the language of India, this book is called Madhyamaka Avatara Nama.  In the language of Tibet, it is called Uma La Jukpa Shejawa.  {In the English language, these translate as “The Book known as Entering the Middle Way}]

 

 

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[13]

DANG PO NI, RGYA GAR NA SKAD RIGS BZHI YOD PA’I LEGS PAR SBYAR BA’I SKAD DU NA, BSTAN BCOS ‘DI’I MTSAN MA DHY’A MA KA AA BA T’A RA N’A MA’O, ,DE BOD KYI SKAD DU BSGYUR NA, DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA ZHES BYA BA’O,,

 

Here is the first.  In India, there were four major language groups;[9] of these, the title of this classic is given in Sanskrit: Madhyamaka Avatara Nama. [10]  Translated into Tibetan, this would be Uma La Jukpa, [or in English, Entering the Middle Way].

 

 

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[14]

‘DIR GANG LA ‘JUG PA’I DBU MA NI, DBU MA’I BSTAN BCOS LA ‘JUG PAR BYA BA’I PHYIR, ZHES GSUNGS PAS DBU MA’I BSTAN BCOS YIN LA, DE YANG ‘DI’I ‘GREL PAR RTZA SHE KHUNGS SU MDZAD PA NA DBU MA LAS, ZHES MANG DU GSUNGS PA LTAR RTZA SHE LA BYA’I, DBU MA’I GZHUNG GZHAN DANG, DBU MA’I DON GZHAN LA MI BYA’O,,

 

Now just what is the “middle way” that the commentary is “entering” into?  It is the Classical Commentary on the Middle Way;[11] after all, he says “because it enters into the Classical Commentary on the Middle Way.[12]  And in his commentary as well Master Chandrakirti often says “from The Middle Way” when he is using The Foundational Verses entitled “Wisdom” as a source.[13]  As such, “middle way” in this case refers to The Foundational Verses entitled “Wisdom,” and not to some other major work on the middle way, nor to some other connotation of “middle way.”

 

 

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[15]

MA DHY’A MA KA’I SKAD KYI BYINGS LA BRTZAMS NAS, DBU MA’I BSTAN BCOS SAM DBU MA’I GRUB MTHA’ LA DBU MAR BYAS PAR SHES RAB SGRON MAR YANG BSHAD PAS, DBU MA ZHES PA TZAM LAS MA BYUNG YANG, ‘DIR DBU MA’I BSTAN BCOS LA GO BAR BYA’O,

 

The Lamp on Wisdom, which of course is working from the original Sanskrit term madhyamaka, also refers both to the Classical Commentary on the Middle Way and to the philosophical system of the Middle Way as “middle way.”[14]  Thus we can say that here in the title of Master Chandrakirti’s work we are meant to understand that he is referring to the Classical Commentary on the Middle Way even when he directly mentions no more than “the middle way.”

 

 

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[16]

,’O NA [f. 3a] RTZA BA SHES RAB LA BSTAN BCOS ‘DIS ‘JUG TSUL DE JI ‘DRA ZHIG CE NA, ‘DI LA KHA CIG BSTAN BCOS DER KUN RDZOB DANG DON DAM PA’I RANG BZHIN RGYAS PAR MA BRJOD LA, ‘DIR DE GNYIS RGYAS PAR BSTAN PAS DE LA ‘JUG GO ,ZHES ZER RO,,

 

“Well then,” you may ask.  “Just how is it that Master Chandrakirti’s classical commentary ‘enters’ the Foundational Verses called “Wisdom”?”  Some have made the claim that “In that other classical commentary[15] the deceptive and ultimate natures of things are not described in detail; whereas here they are.”[16]

 

 

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[17]

DE KHO NA NYID GTAN LA ‘BEBS PA’I RIGS PA’I RNAM GRANGS NI, ‘JUG PA LAS RTZA BA SHES RAB SHIN TU RGYAS PAS, BSHAD PA DE LEGS PAR MA MTHONG NGO,,

 

The fact though is that the Foundational Verses called “Wisdom” uses a much wider variety of reasoning to set forth suchness than does Entering the Middle Way.  As such, this last explanation doesn’t seem so fine to me.

 

 

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[18]

RANG GI LUGS NI RTZA BA SHES RAB LA ‘JUG PA’I TSUL GNYIS YOD DE, ZAB PA DANG RGYA CHE BA’I SGO NAS SO, ,DE’I DANG PO NI RANG ‘GREL LAS, ,LUGS ‘DI NI THUN MONG MA YIN PA’O, ,ZHES MKHAS PA RNAMS KYIS NGES PAR BYA’O, ,ZHES PA DANG,

 

Our own position is that there are two ways in which Master Chandrakirti’s text enters into the Foundational Verses called “Wisdom.”  One is through the profound side of the teachings, and the other is through the widespread side of the teachings.  As for the first, the Autocommentary says that “Sages should understand one thing: that this is a truly unique system.”[17]

 

 

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[19]

DE NYID MA RTOGS PAS CHOS ZAB MO ‘DI SPANGS PAS, DE’I PHYIR BSTAN BCOS KYIS DE KHO NA NYID PHYIN CI MA LOG PAR BSTAN PAR BYA BA’I PHYIR, DBU MA’I BSTAN BCOS LA ‘JUG PA ‘DI SBYAR BA YIN NO,

 

It states as well, “They fail to understand suchness, and so they have rejected this profound teaching; as such, I have composed this work, which enters into the classical commentary on the middle way, so that this classical commentary might present suchness in an unerring way.”[18]

 

 

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[20]

ZHES RANG GIS DBU MA’I DON GTAN LA PHAB PA DE, DBU MA PA GZHAN DANG THUN MONG MA YIN PAR BSTAN PA DANG, BSTAN BCOS KYI DON RNAM PAR RIG PA TZAM DANG MTHUN PAR BSHAD DU MI RUNG BA LA NGES PA BSTAN PAR BYA BA’I PHYIR DU DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA BRTZAMS PAR GSUNGS TE,

 

What Master Chandrakirti is saying here then is that “I have composed Entering the Middle Way to demonstrate, first of all, why the way that I set forth the meaning of emptiness is truly unique in comparison to the way it is set forth by other proponents of the Middle Way School.  Secondly, I wish to demonstrate how one should come to an understanding that it is mistaken to explain emptiness in the same way that those who belong to the Consciousness-Only School do.”

 

 

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[21]

TSIG GSAL LAS BRTEN NAS BTAGS PA’I TSUL DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA LAS SHES PAR BYA BAR GSUNGS SHING, RNAM RIG PA’I LUGS DGAG PA RTZA SHE DANG, TSIG GSAL DU MI RGYAS PA [f. 3b] ‘DIR RGYAS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

After all, A Clarification of the Verses advises us to consult Entering the Middle Way for an explanation of the way in which things are projected based on a relationship of dependence;[19] and whereas the refutation of the Consciousness School is presented in a detailed way neither in the Foundational Verses called “Wisdom” nor in A Clarification of the Verses, the details of this refutation are to be found here in Entering the Middle Way.

 

 

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[22]

DE’I PHYIR GZHUNG ‘DI LA BRTEN NAS DGOS PA DE GNYIS KYI SGO NAS RTZA SHE’I DON LEGS PAR NGES PA NI, GZHUNG ‘DIS DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA’I TSUL GCIG GO ,

 

Thus we can say that one way in which this work “enters” the “middle way” is that a person can use it to gain a good understanding of the meaning of the Foundational Verses called “Wisdom” through these first two goals of the text.[20]

 

 

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[23]

RGYA CHE BA’I SGO NAS DBU MA LA ‘JUG TSUL NI, ‘PHAGS PA’I LUGS ‘DIR THEG PA GNYIS LA GNAS PA LA, SHIN TU ZAB PA’I DE KHO NA NYID RTOGS PA’I SHES RAB YOD MED KYIS MI ‘BYED CING, RTZA SHE LAS ZAB MO’I PHYOGS MA GTOGS PA RGYA CHE BA’I THEG CHEN GYI KHYAD CHOS MA BSTAN KYANG, GZHUNG DE NI THEG PA CHE CHUNG GNYIS KYI NANG NAS, THEG CHEN PA’I DBANG DU MDZAD PA YIN TE,

 

Here next is how Master Chandrakirti’s text enters the middle way through the widespread side of the teachings.  Here in the system of the Realized One, the distinction of which one of the two ways[21] a person belongs to is not drawn on the basis of whether or not they possess that wisdom which realizes the most profound form of suchness.  Furthermore—although it is true that Wisdom focuses on the profound side of the Greater-Way teachings, and not on the details of the widespread side of these teachings—nonetheless, in examining whether it is a scripture of the greater or lesser ways, we must say that it presents the Greater Way.

 

 

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[24]

RIGS PA’I RNAM GRANGS MTHA’ YAS PAS CHOS KYI BDAG MED RGYAS PAR BSTAN PA NI, THEG CHEN PA’I GDUL BYA KHO NA’I DBANG DU MDZAD PA’I PHYIR DANG, RTZA SHER YANG DE BZHIN DU BSTAN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

This is because presenting the lack of a self-nature to things in a detailed way, by using infinite forms of reasoning, is something that is done only with regard to disciples who themselves belong the Greater Way; and this happens to be exactly how the presentation is done in Wisdom.

 

 

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[25]

‘DI YANG RANG ‘GREL LAS, CHOS KYI BDAG MED PA GSAL BAR BYA BA’I PHYIR THEG PA CHEN PO BSTAN PA YANG RIGS PA NYID DE, RGYAS PAR BSTAN PA BRJOD PAR ‘DOD PA’I PHYIR RO, ,NYAN THOS KYI THEG PA LAS NI CHOS KYI BDAG MED PA MDOR MTSON PA TZAM ZHIG TU ZAD DO, ,ZHES SHIN TU GSAL BAR GSUNGS TE ‘OG TU ‘CHAD DO,,

 

This point is also made very clearly in the Autocommentary:

 

If one wishes to clarify the idea that there is no self-nature to things, then it is uniquely appropriate to present the Greater Way, since one will want to express the presentation in a very detailed way.  In the teachings of the Way of the Listeners, it is sufficient to cover the lack of a self-nature to things in but an abbreviated way.[22]

 

We will discuss this subject further as we continue through the current text.

 

 

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[26]

DE LTAR NA GZHUNG DER BSTAN PA’I LAM LA THEG PA CHEN PO’I RGYA CHE BA’I LAM GZHAN ‘PHAGS PA’I MAN NGAG GIS KHA BKANG NA SHIN TU LEGS PAS, DE SKONG BA LA SO SKYE’I SA’I CHOS GSUM DANG, ‘PHAGS PA SLOB PA’I SA BCU DANG, [f. 4a] ‘BRAS BU’I SA DANG, SA LNGA PA DANG DRUG PA’I GO RIM GYIS BSAM GTAN GYI NGO BO ZHI GNAS LA BRTEN NAS, BDAG MED PA GNYIS KYI DE KHO NA NYID LA SO SOR RTOG PA’I SHES RAB KYIS DPYOD PA’I LHAG MTHONG SGOM PA RNAMS GSUNGS SO,,

 

As such, it is perfect if one supplements the path presented in that scripture[23] with other advices from the Realized One on the widespread path in the teachings of the Greater Way.  We thus find in the current work[24] descriptions of the three qualities of the levels of common beings;[25] the ten levels of realized beings who are still learning;[26] the level of the goal;[27] and the way in which—at the fifth and sixth bodhisattva levels, respectively—one masters quietude, which is the very essence of deep meditation, and then uses this as a platform from which to meditate upon high insight, wherein one explores suchness in the form of the two different types of the lack of a self-nature,[28] utilizing the wisdom of individual analysis.[29]

 

 

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[27]

DE’I PHYIR RTZA SHE’I DON YID LA BYED PA’I TSE, ‘JUG PA LAS GSUNGS PA ‘DI RNAMS DRAN NAS ZAB PA DANG RGYA CHE BA GNYIS KA TSOGS PA’I LAM GYI RIM PA YID LA BYED PA MA BYUNG NA, GANG ZAG DE LA DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA BRTZAMS PA’I DGOS PA GNYIS STOR BA YIN NO,,

 

Suppose then that a person is contemplating the meaning of Arya Nagarjuna’s Wisdom, but fails to bring to mind the steps of the path which combines both the profound and the widespread sides of the teaching, by reflecting upon the points just mentioned as they are presented in Master Chandrakirti’s Entering the Middle Way.  Such a person would then be obviating the entire purpose for which the latter text was composed.

 

 

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[28]

DE’I PHYIR GZHUNG ‘DI LA BRTEN NAS RTZA SHE’I LAM LA RGYA CHE BA’I SGO NAS ‘JUG PA NI, DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA’I TSUL GNYIS PA’O,,

 

Thus we can say that the second way in which Master Chandrakirti’s work enters the middle way is the way in which we can use this text to engage in the path presented in Arya Nagarjuna’s Wisdom through the widespread side of the teachings.

 

 

 

The translator’s obeisance

 

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[29]

[‘JAM DPAL GZHON NUR GYUR PA LA PHYAG ‘TSAL LO,]

 

[From Entering the Middle Way:

 

I bow down to glorious Gentle Voice, become young.]

 

 

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[30]

GNYIS PA NI, TSIG GI DON GO BAR SLA LA, ‘JAM DPAL LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA NI, GZHUNG ‘DI DON DAM     {@adding DAM as per other versions; Jik check carving} PA’I CHOS MNGON PA RNAM PAR BZHAG PA YIN PAS, SHES RAB KYI BSLAB PA GTZO BOR GYUR PA’I PHYIR, SNGON GYI BKAS BCAD PA DANG MTHUN PAR MDZAD PA’O,,

 

This brings us to the second section from above: the translator’s obeisance.  The wording of this obeisance is easily understood.  As to why the obeisance is made to Gentle Voice, remember that Master Chandrakirti’s work is a presentation of the ultimate form of higher knowledge;[30] and as such it deals primarily with the training of wisdom.[31]  The object of the translator’s obeisance then is selected in keeping with the decree.[32]

 

 

 

Singing the praises of great compassion

 

 

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[31]

GSUM PA LA BZHI, BSTAN BCOS RTZOM PA LA ‘JUG PA’I THABS MCHOD PAR BRJOD PA, BRTZAMS PA’I BSTAN BCOS KYI LUS DNGOS, BSTAN BCOS JI LTAR BRTZAMS PA’I TSUL, BSTAN BCOS BRTZAMS PA’I DGE BA BSNGO BA’O,,

 

This brings us to the third section from above—the meaning of the body of the text.  This section itself covers four different topics: the offering of praise, which functions as a means of initiating the composition of this classical commentary; the actual body of the commentary which is then composed; a description of how it was that the commentary was first composed; and a dedication of the virtue of having completed the composition.

 

 

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[32]

DANG PO LA GNYIS, SNYING RJE CHEN PO LA SO SOR MA PHYE BAR BSTOD PA DANG, SNYING RJE CHEN PO LA SO SOR PHYE STE PHYAG ‘TSAL BA’O,,

 

The first of these—the offering of praise—has two parts: singing the praises of great compassion without dividing out the components; and bowing down to great compassion while making this division.

 

 

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[33]

DANG PO NI, DGOS PA [f. 4b] DBU MA’I BSTAN BCOS LA ‘JUG PAR BYA BA’I PHYIR DU, GANG ZAG DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA RTZOM PAR BZHED PA ZLA BA’I ZHABS KYIS, GZHUNG GZHAN LAS MCHOD BRJOD KYI YUL DU MDZAD PA’I NYAN RANG GNYIS, MCHOD BRJOD KYI YUL DU MA BKOD PAR MA ZAD,

 

Here is the first.  Let’s consider the venered Chandrakirti: the person who has agreed to compose the text of Entering the Middle Way, so that we may enter into the Classical Commentary on the Middle Way.  When he writes the traditional offering of praise at the beginning of his work, he decides not to take—as the objects of this praise—the listeners and self-made buddhas which other such classics do make the objects of this offering.

 

 

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[34]

SANGS RGYAS DANG BYANG SEMS RNAMS LAS KYANG THOG MAR SANGS RGYAS KYI RGYU PHUN SUM TSOGS PA DANG PO, SEMS CAN ‘KHOR BA’I BTZON RAR BSDAMS PA SKYABS MED PA MA LUS PA YONGS SU SKYOB PA’I MTSAN NYID CAN, RGYU’I GTZO BO LA ‘BRAS BU’I MING GIS BTAGS PA’I BCOM LDAN ‘DAS MA, SNYING RJE CHEN PO LA BSTOD BAR ‘OS PAR BSTAN PA’I PHYIR, NYAN THOS ZHES SOGS TSIGS SU BCAD PA GNYIS SMOS SO,,

 

And he even goes further: rather than bowing to both the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas, he instead composes the four verses which start with “The listeners…”  The reason that he does so is to indicate that great compassion is a worthy object for us to sing the praises of; for this compassion is the “Lady of Conquest”—this expression itself being a case where we use the name of a result in reference to its principal cause.  This Lady is the first and foremost cause of every Enlightened Being; and her very identity is to be that force which protects, perfectly, each and every living being who is confined in the prison of the cycle of life, bereft of an any savior.

 

 

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[35]

‘DI LA GNYIS, SNYING RJE BYANG SEMS KYI GTZO BO’I RGYUR BSTAN PA DANG, BYANG SEMS KYI RGYU GZHAN GNYIS KYI YANG RTZA BAR BSTAN PA’O,,

 

We will cover this compassion in two different sections: describing how it is that compassion is the principal cause of a bodhisattva; and then describing how it is the very root of the other two causes of a bodhisattva as well.

 

 

 

How listeners and self-made buddhas are born

from enlightened beings

 

 

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[36]

DANG PO LA GSUM, NYAN RANG GNYIS THUB DBANG LAS SKYES TSUL DANG, SANGS RGYAS RNAMS BYANG SEMS LAS ‘KHRUNGS TSUL DANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I RGYU’I GTZO BO GSUM BSTAN PA’O,,

 

The first of these itself we will discuss in three parts: how it is that listeners and self-made buddhas are born from the Lords of the Able; how it is that Buddhas take their holy birth from bodhisattvas; and lastly a description of the three principal causes of a bodhisattva.

 

 

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[37]

[,NYAN THOS SANGS RGYAS ‘BRING RNAMS THUB DBANG SKYES,

,SANGS RGYAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ LAS ‘KHRUNGS SHING,]

 

[From Entering the Middle Way:

 

The listeners, and the medium Buddhas,                

Are born from the Lords of the Able;

And Buddhas take their holy birth

From the bodhisattvas.

                                I.1-2 ]

 

 

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[38]

DANG PO NI, YANG DAG PA’I GDAMS NGAG GZHAN LAS NYAN NAS, BSGOMS PA’I ‘BRAS BU NYAN THOS KYI BYANG CHUB THOB PA NA, DON DE GZHAN LA THOS PAR BYED PAS NA NYAN THOS TE,

 

Here is the first.  The word “listener” (Tibetan: nyen-tu) here refers to practitioners who listen (nyen) to the perfect teachings from others; use them to attain, as a goal of their meditation, the enlightenment of the listener (nyen-tu) level; and then impart (tu-par je-pa) these points to others.

 

 

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[39]

THOS PAR BYED TSUL NI ‘DI LTAR BYA BA BYAS SO, ,’DI LAS SRID PA GZHAN MI SHES SO, ZHES BYA BA LA SOGS PA GSUNG RAB LAS MANG DU ‘BYUNG BA LTAR RO,,

 

How is it that they “impart” these points?  We see many references in scripture which describe it, reflected in statements such as “I have done what I needed to do; I will know no other suffering existence after this one.”[33]

 

 

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[40]

SGRA BSHAD ‘DI GZUGS MED KHAMS KYI NYAN THOS [f. 5a] SOGS ‘GA’ ZHIG LA MED KYANG, SKYON MED DE SGRA DNGOS MING DU ‘JUG PA LA SGRA BSHAD PA’I RGYU MTSAN YOD PAS MA KHYAB PA NI,

 

Now it is true that our literal explanation of this term, “listener,” may not apply in certain cases—for example, with listeners who are living in the formless realm.  This though is not a problem, since it need not always be the case that for a term to apply as a main name for something, its literal explanation applies to that thing.

 

 

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[41]

DPER NA, SKAM LAS SKYES PA’I PAD MA LA MTSO SKYES KYI SGRA DNGOS MING DU ‘JUG PA BZHIN NO,,

 

The name “child of the lake,”[34] for example, is applied as a main name even for a lotus which has grown from dry land.

 

 

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[42]

YANG NA NYAN THOS KYI SKAD DOD SRA BA KA NI THOS SGROGS LA YANG ‘JUG PA LTAR NA, ‘BRAS BU’I MCHOG GAM SANGS RGYAS SU BGROD PA’I LAM, SANGS RGYAS RNAMS LAS THOS NAS THEG PA CHEN PO’I RIGS CAN LAM DE DON DU GNYER BA RNAMS LA SGROG PAR BYED PAS NA NYAN THOS TE,

 

Moreover, the Sanskrit original for the word “listener” here is shravaka,[35] which can also refer to “someone who spreads what they have heard.”  In this context, a person is said to be a “listener” when they are someone who hears, from the Buddhas, teachings on the path which leads to the highest goal, or enlightenment—and then spreads these teachings to those people who aspire to this path, and who belong to the greater-way class of practitioner.[36]

 

 

 

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[43]

DAM CHOS PAD DKAR LAS,

,MGON PO DE RING BDAG CAG NYAN THOS GYUR,

,BYANG CHUB DAM PA YANG DAG BSGRAG PAR BGYI,

,BYANG CHUB PA YI SGRA YANG RAB TU BRJOD,

,DE BAS BDAG CAG NYAN THOS MI BZAD ‘DRA,

ZHES GSUNGS TE

 

As we see in the Holy Teaching of the White Lotus,

 

O Savior, today we have become the listeners,

And we will spread forever this highest enlightenment;

We will sing out this song of enlightenment—

Thus are we your never-ending listeners. [37]

 

 

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[44]

RGYU MTSAN ‘DI GNYIS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ LA NI NYAN THOS DANG ‘DRA BA’I RGYU MTSAN YIN LA, NYAN THOS RNAMS LA NI THOS SGROGS KYI DON DNGOS SO,,

 

In these two senses, listeners are similar to bodhisattvas; but it is the listeners in which the real connotation of “those who spread what they have heard” is complete.

 

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[45]

KHA CIG RKANG PA GSUM PA LA DAM PA’I SGRA MED PAS BYANG CHUB SNGA MA NI THEG CHEN GYI DANG, PHYI MA NI NYAN THOS KYI BYANG CHUB BO ZHES ZER MOD KYANG,

 

Now we do see those who make the claim that—because the word “highest” is not repeated in the third line of this quotation—the first “enlightenment” mentioned is that of the higher way, whereas the second is that of the listeners.

 

 

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[46]

DANG PO NI THEG CHEN GYI BYANG CHUB DANG, GNYIS PA NI BYANG CHUB DER BGROD

PA’I LAM LA BYED PA ‘GREL PA’I DGONGS PA’O,,

 

The intent of the commentary though at this point though is that the first refers to the enlightenment of the greater way, and the second to the path which leads to this enlightenment.[38]

 

 

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[47]

BYANG SEMS RNAMS KYANG SANGS RGYAS KYI LAM SANGS RGYAS LAS THOS NAS, GDUL BYA LA SGROG PAS NYAN THOS SU ‘GYUR RO SNYAM NA,

 

The following question might occur to you: “Bodhisattvas also listen to teachings on the path to Buddhahood from the Buddhas, and spread them to their own disciples; wouldn’t they then also be considered ‘listeners’?”

 

 

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[48]

NYES PA MED DE LAM DE SGROG PA BYED PA NYID YIN GYI,

[f. 5b] RJES SU MTHUN PA TZAM YANG RANG GIS MI SGRUB PAR BSAMS PA YIN PAS SO,

,

 

And yet there’s no such issue.  The idea behind the term “listener” here is that they only spread this path, and fail to actually practice it themselves, in even an approximate way.

 

 

 

What is a “medium Buddha”?

 

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[49]

SANGS RGYAS ‘BRING ZHES PA’I SANGS RGYAS NI, ‘GREL PAR SANGS RGYAS KYI DE NYID GANG ZAG GSUM CHAR LA ‘JUG STE, ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON NI, KHA CIG TA

TVA BUD DDH’A ZHES PA’I SGRA GANG ZAG GSUM GA LA ‘JUG PAR ‘CHAD PA LTAR LEGS TE,

 

Let’s turn our attention to the expression “medium Buddhas,” found in Master Chandrakirti’s verses here.  The commentary says that “the nature of a Buddha applies to all three levels of practitioner”[39]—let us examine just what this means.  Some have explained it by saying that the Sanskrit term tattva buddha[40] applies to all three, and in my opinion this is a good approach.

 

 

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[50]

TA TVA NI DE KHO NA NYID DO,

,BUD DHA KHONG DU CHUD PA LA’O, ZHES ‘BYUNG BA LTAR DE NYID RTOGS PA BUD DDHA’I SGRA’I DON DU BYAS PA’I TSE, DON DE GANG ZAG

GSUM GA LA YOD PAS, DE NYID RTOGS PA’I SGRAS RANG SANGS RGYAS KYANG BSNYAD CES ZER RGYU YIN PA LA, SANGS RGYAS SU BSGYUR RO,

,

 

As they say, “tattva means suchness”; and “buddha means to comprehend.”[41]  Following this, we can take the literal meaning of the word buddha to mean the perception of thusness.  This connotation applies to practitioners of all three levels; and so we can say that the expression “one who perceives thusness” applies to self-made buddhas as well—meaning then that they are buddhas.

 

 

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[51]

SPYIR BUDDHA’I SGRA SANGS RGYAS LA BSGYUR DU YOD KYANG, SKABS ‘DIR MI ‘TSAM MO,

,BUDDHA’I SGRA NI PAD

‘DAB RGYAS PA DANG, GNYID SAD PA LA YANG ‘JUG PAR BSHAD PAS SANGS RGYAS KHO NA LA BSGYUR MI DGOS SO,

,

 

Generally speaking, the word buddha can be translated as Enlightened Being; but the present context is different.  Recall those explanations which say that this term, buddha, can apply as well to the opening of the petals of a lotus; or to awakening from a state of sleep.  As such, it need not always be translated as Enlightened Being.

 

 

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[52]

‘BRING GI DON NI, RANG RGYAL RNAMS NI BSKAL PA BRGYAR BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES STAN [*BSTEN @Jiki check STEN or BSTEN] PA GONG DU ‘PHEL BA’I KHYAD

PAR GYIS, NYAN THOS LAS KHYAD PAR DU ‘PHAGS SHING,

 

How are we to understand the word “medium” here?  The practice of both merit and wisdom by self-made buddhas expands for the length of a hundred eons; and it is this difference which makes them infinitely superior to the listeners.

 

 

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[53]

BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES KYI TSOGS GNYIS DANG, SEMS CAN THAMS CAD LA DUS THAMS CAD DU ‘JUG PA’I THUGS RJE CHEN PO DANG, RNAM PA THAMS CAD MKHYEN PA

SOGS MED PAS RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS LAS DMAN PAS ‘BRING PO’O,

,

 

These self-made buddhas are, though, inferior to fully enlightened Buddhas in that they lack the two accumulations of merit and wisdom; that great compassion which embraces all living beings in all times; omniscience, and other such qualities.  As such we can call them “medium” Buddhas.

 

 

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[54]

KHA CIG NYAN THOS LAS YE SHES LHAG PA’I DON, GZUNG DON RTOG PA SPONG PHYIR DANG, ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR YIN ZHES SMRA BA NI

 

Now some have asserted that when we say that the wisdom of the self-made buddhas exceeds that of the listeners, we are following the distinction made in the line which says, “They have eliminated this idea about the objects which are grasped by their perceptions.”[42]

 

 

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[55]

MI RIGS TE, LUGS

[f. 6a]

‘DIR CHOS THAMS CAD RANG BZHIN MED PAR RTOGS PA NYAN RANG GNYIS KA LA YOD PAR GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR DANG, DE SKAD SMRA BA DES KYANG GRUB MTHA’ DE ‘DOD PAR ‘DUG PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

This though is a mistaken opinion, since it is taught in the current system that both listeners and self-made buddhas possess the realization that nothing has any nature of its own.  In fact, even the person who wrote that line was someone who followed this system.[43]

 

 

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[56]

DES NA ‘GREL PAR YE SHES

GONG DU ‘PHEL BA LHAG PAR GSUNGS LA, GONG DU ‘PHEL BA NI, LAM GYI BGROD PA GONG NAS GONG DU JE BZANG DU ‘GRO BA’O,

,

 

Thus it is that the commentary speaks of how “the wisdom, which has expanded,” is something more.[44]  The meaning of “expanded” here is that the journey of these self-made buddhas upon the path has gotten better and better.

 

 

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[57]

DE YANG BSKAL PA BRGYAR BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES LA GOMS PA LHUR LEN PA YIN GYI, NYAN

THOS LTAR LAM LA GOMS PA SRID MI NUS PA MIN PA’O,

,

 

This expansion refers to their habituation to the practices of merit and wisdom over the period of these hundred eons; it is not meant to imply that it is not possible that their habituation to the path might come in the form that it takes for listeners.

 

 

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[58]

BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES SPYI LA TSOGS KYI SGRA TZAM ‘JUG PA YOD KYANG, TSOGS KYI SGRA ‘JUG PA’I GTZO BO NI, ‘GREL PA DON GSAL LAS,

 

The word “accumulation,” in only its usual sense, can be used to apply to merit and wisdom in general.  Nonetheless, the primary application of the term is, rather, how we see it described in A Commentary which Clarifies the Meaning:

 

 

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[59]

YANG DAG PAR ‘GRUB PA’I NGO

BOS BYANG CHUB CHEN PO ‘DZIN PAR BYED PA’I PHYIR NA, SNYING RJE CHEN PO LA SOGS PA NI TSOGS YIN PAS,

 

Qualities such as great compassion are considered “accumulated” insofar as the very nature of their proper practice is that they bring one to embrace the great enlightenment.[45]

 

 

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[60]

ZHES BLA NA MED PA’I BYANG CHUB PHYIN CI MA LOG PAR SGRUB PA’I THABS KYIS, ‘BRAS BUR ‘DZIN PA LA GSUNGS PA LTAR GYI

DON TSANG BA’I BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES SO,

,DON DE MA TSANG BA GNYIS NI TSOGS PHAL PA’O,

,

 

We can thus say that the principal reference of the word “accumulation” is to merit and wisdom in a form in which the stated elements are complete: where they serve as a method of attaining matchless enlightenment in a way which is flawless, leading one to embrace the final goal.  In any case where these elements are not complete, we can only refer to them as “accumulated” in an ordinary sense of the term.

 

 

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[61]

‘DI YANG TSOGS KYI SKAD DOD SAm BHA RA LA NGES TSIG GIS BSHAD PA’I DON NO,

,

 

This is in fact the meaning of the original Sanskrit word for “accumulation”—sambhara—when it is explained in a literal way.[46]

 

 

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[62]

BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES KYI BGROD PA NYAN THOS

LAS CHES LHAG PA’I PHYIR, ‘DOD PA KHAMS SU YANG SRID PA THA MA PA’I TSE, SLOB DPON GZHAN GYIS BSTAN PA LA MI LTOS PAR DGRA BCOM PA’I YE SHES SKYED NUS SHING, DE YANG RANG GCIG PU’I PHYIR SANGS RGYAS PA STE

[f. 6b] DGRA BCOM THOB PA DANG THOB PAR BYED PAS NA, RANG SANGS RGYAS ZHES BYA BA RANG BYUNG ZHES KYANG GSUNGS SO,

,

 

Why exactly do we refer to them as “self-made buddhas” (or, as is sometimes seen, “the self-born”)?  It is because—in their final incarnation in the desire realm—these practitioners are able to give rise within themselves to the wisdom of an enemy destroyer,[47] without relying upon the teachings of any other master; and because they have either attained or are working to attain “Buddhahood” (here referring to the state of an enemy destroyer), all for themselves.  And all of this is possible precisely because they have journeyed vastly farther in merit and wisdom than the listeners.

 

 

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[63]

THUB PA’I SGRA NI NYAN RANG DGRA BCOM LA YANG ‘JUG MOD KYANG, THUB PA’I DBANG PO MIN PAS SANGS RGYAS NYID LA THUB PA’I DBANG

PO ZHES BYA STE, NYAN RANG DANG BYANG SEMS RNAMS LAS KYANG GONG NA MED PA’I CHOS KYI DBANG PHYUG DAM PA BRNYES PA DANG, GANG ZAG GSUM PO DE SANGS RGYAS KYI BKAS CHOS KYI SRID LA MNGA’ SGYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Now admittedly the term “able one” can be used with reference to enemy destroyers of both the listener or the self-made buddha type; these practitioners though are not “Lords of the Able,” and so it is only an Enlightened Being to whom we can refer with this expression.  This is because an Enlightened Being has attained an eminent lordship of the teachings which is higher than any of that reached by any listener or self-made buddha—or even by any bodhisattva.  Moreover, practitioners of all three of these types are invested in their power over the kingdom of the teachings precisely by the command of the Enlightened Ones.

 

 

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[64]

THUB DBANG DE RNAMS LAS

NYAN RANG RNAMS SKYES PA NI DE DAG GIS BSKRUN PA’O,

,

 

And when we say that the listeners and self-made buddhas are “born” from these Lords of the Able, what we are saying is that these Lords have produced them.

 

 

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[65]

THUB DBANG GIS NYAN RANG BSKRUN TSUL JI LTAR YIN ZHE NA, SANGS RGYAS ‘JIG RTEN DU BYON PA NA RTEN ‘BREL ZAB MO PHYIN CI MA LOG PAR STON PA LA ‘JUG LA, TSUL DE NYAN RANG GI RIGS

CAN RNAMS KYIS NYAN PA DANG, THOS PA’I DON SEMS PA DANG, BSAMS PA’I DON SGOM PAR ‘GYUR LA,

 

One might ask just how it is that the Lords of the Able do this “producing” of the listeners and the self-made.  When an Enlightened Being comes to a planet, they engage in teaching—unerringly—the profound instructions upon dependent creation.  Practitioners who are attracted to the paths of the listener and self-made buddha then listen to these teachings; and contemplate upon what they have heard; and meditate upon the conclusions reached in their contemplations.

 

 

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[66]

DE ‘DRA BA’I RIM PA LAS KYANG RANG ‘BRAS BU GANG LA MOS PA JI LTA BA BZHIN DU NYAN RANG GNYIS KYI ‘DOD PA RDZOGS PAR ‘GYUR BA’I

PHYIR, DE GNYIS THUB DBANG GIS BSKRUN PA’O,,

 

They begin to feel an aspiration towards certain goals of this process—that is, for either the goal of the listener or that of the self-made buddha—and in time their wishes are fulfilled.  And thus it is that we can say that they have been “produced” by the Lords of the Able.

 

 

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[67]

GAL TE NYAN THOS KYI RIGS CAN MANG POS SANGS RGYAS LAS CHOS THOS PA’I TSE DE NYID LA BYANG CHUB MNGON DU BYED KYANG, RANG RGYAL GYI RIGS CAN RNAMS KYIS TSE DE NYID LA RANG GI BYANG

CHUB MNGON DU MI BYED PAS, DE DAG GIS THUB PAS GSUNGS PA’I DON LA THOS BSAM SGOM GSUM BYAS PAS RANG GI ‘DOD PA RDZOGS PA MI ‘THAD DO SNYAM NA,

 

The following question might then occur to a person:

 

A great many practitioners of the listener type listen to teachings from the Buddhas, and then in that same life attain their enlightenment.  Those of the self-made buddha type though fail to reach their enlightenment in that same life;[48] and so it is incorrect to characterize them as having employed the three-fold process of learning, contemplation, and meditation upon what the Able Ones have said to them, and thus fulfilled their particular wishes.

 

 

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[68]

SKYON MED DE, GAL TE RANG RGYAL GYI RIGS CAN KHA CIG ,STON PAS

[f. 7a]

RTEN ‘BREL GSUNGS PA NYAN PA KHO NA LAS, DON DAM PA RTOGS PA LA MKHAS PA BYUNG YANG, CHOS THOS PA’I MTHONG CHOS KYI SKYE BA DE KHO NA LA, RANG RGYAL GYI MYANG ‘DAS MI ‘THOB MOD KYANG,

 

This though is not an issue.  It is admittedly the case that certain practitioners of the self-made buddha type might only listen to instructions granted by the Teacher upon dependent creation, and thus attain some mastery in the perception of the ultimate—but still fail to attain the nirvana of a self-made buddha in nothing more than the lifetime in which they heard the teaching, as what we refer to as “something seen in the same life.”

 

 

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[69]

SANGS RGYAS KYIS

RTEN ‘BREL BSTAN PA’I RANG RGYAL GYI SGRUB PA POS, MYONG NGES KYI LAS BSAGS PAS LAS SOG PA’I TSE DE NYID LA ‘BRAS BU MA MYONG YANG, SKYE BA GZHAN DU NGES PAR MYONG BA LTAR,

 

Nonetheless, a practitioner of the self-made buddha type who receives teachings on dependent creation from an Enlightened Being collects karma of the kind which is “certain to be experienced”; and so even though they may not experience the attainment of the goal in the very same life in which they collected this karma, it is certain that they will have this experience in another lifetime.

 

 

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[70]

TSE ‘DIR MYANG ‘DAS MA THOB KYANG, TSE RABS

GZHAN DU NGES PA KHO NAR MYANG ‘DAS ‘THOB PA’I PHYIR DANG, SNGAR SANGS RGYAS KYIS CHOS BSTAN PA LA NYAN BSAM BSGOM GSUM BYAS PAS, ‘DOD PA RDZOGS PAR BSHAD PA NI TSE DE KHO NA LA BSAMS NAS BSHAD PA MIN

PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Just so, it is totally certain that these practitioners will attain nirvana in one of their lifetimes to come, even if they do not achieve it in this particular life.  And when we say that they go through the three-fold process of learning, contemplating, and meditating upon the teachings that they have received previously from Enlightened Beings—and thus see their wishes fulfilled—it is not the case that we are speaking of all this having occurred only in that one particular life.

 

 

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[71]

DE LTAR YANG BZHI BRGYA PA LAS,

,DE NYID SHES PAS GAL TE ‘DIR,

,MYA NGAN ‘DAS PA MA THOB KYANG,

,SKYE BA GZHAN DU ‘BAD MED PAR,

,NGES PAR THOB ‘GYUR LAS BZHIN NO,

ZHES DANG,

 

The 400 Verses concurs when it says,

 

Once a person has known suchness,

Then—even if they fail to attain

Nirvana here and now—

They are certain to attain it effortlessly

Within another life; it’s like

The case with that kind of karma.[49]

 

 

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[72]

DBU MA LAS KYANG,

,

RDZOGS SANGS RGYAS RNAMS MA BYUNG ZHING,

,NYAN THOS RNAMS KYANG ZAD PA NA,

,RANG SANGS RGYAS KYI YE SHES NI,

,RTEN PA MED PAR RAB TU ‘BYUNG,

,ZHES GSUNGS SO,

,

 

The Middle Way states as well,

 

Fully enlightened Buddhas

May be yet to come,

And all the listeners

May be already gone,

 

But the wisdom

Of a self-made buddha

Will still rise forth,

Depending on no one.[50]

 

 

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[73]

‘GREL PAR GAL TE YANG KHA CIG CES SOGS KYI DON

LA, ,KHA CIG RTEN ‘BREL BSTAN YANG NYAN THOS LA SOGS PA’I GO ‘PHANG MA THOB PA SNANG BAS, RTEN ‘BREL BSTAN PAS NYAN THOS LA SOGS PA RNAMS YONGS SU RDZOGS PAR MI ‘GYUR RO, ZHES PA’I LAN BSTAN PAR ‘DOD PA

[f. 7b] DANG,

 

Some people have stated that the lines in The Commentary which include “Now it is admittedly the case that some practitioners…”[51] are meant to express an answer to some people who say, “We can see cases where practitioners are taught dependent creation, but still fail to attain the state of a listener or whatever else the case may be.  As such it cannot be said that listeners and the rest are fulfilled through receiving teachings on dependent creation.”

 

 

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[74]

GZHAN DAG RTEN ‘BREL SKYE MED KYI DON NYAMS SU BLANGS MA THAG TU ‘BRAS BU DE ‘BYUNG RIGS PA LAS, DE MED PAS NA, PHYIS KYANG ‘BRAS BU DE MI SKYED DO ZHES PA’I LAN STON PAR ‘CHAD PA NI,

 

Others have explained this section as expressing a reply to someone asserting that “It would make sense if these practitioners reached their particular goal immediately after putting into practice the teachings on dependent creation, in the sense of nothing in the world ever starting.  And yet they do not; and so neither do they make these goals come about later.”

 

 

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[75]

SKABS KYI DON MA RTOGS PA’I BSHAD PA STE, THUB DBANG GIS RANG RGYAL BSKRUN TSUL LA DOGS PA CHE BAS DE LA DMIGS KYIS BKAR NAS, DOGS PA GCAD DGOS PA MA BCAD PAR ‘DUG PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Both of these explanations though reflect a failure to grasp the point of the context of the work at this particular juncture.  The idea is that serious questions could arise in a reader’s mind about just how it is that the Lords of the Able produce self-made buddhas; and so this question needs to be isolated and resolved—whereas those proposed treatments of the section fail to offer such a resolution.

 

 

 

How Buddhas take their holy birth from bodhisattvas

 

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[76]

GNYIS PA NI, NYAN RANG GNYIS THUB DBANG LAS SKYES PA

YIN NA, THUB PA’I DBANG PO DE RNAMS GANG LAS BLTAMS SHE NA, RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS RNAMS NI BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ LAS ‘KHRUNGS PA YIN NO,

,

 

Here is the second point from above, on how it is that Buddhas take their holy birth from bodhisattvas.  One may ask the following question: “If listeners and self-made buddhas are born from the Lords of the Able, from whom then do these Lords take their own holy birth?”  The totally enlightened Buddhas take their holy birth from the bodhisattvas.

 

 

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[77]

GAL TE BYANG SEMS RNAMS KYANG SANGS RGYAS KYIS NYE BAR BSTAN PA LAS SKYES PAS,

RGYAL BA’I SRAS ZHES BRJOD PA MA YIN NAM, RGYAL BA’I SRAS YIN PA DE’I PHYIR, SANGS RGYAS RNAMS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ LAS ‘KHRUNGS PA JI LTAR RIGS TE, DPER NA BU’I PHA NI BU DE LAS SKYES PA MI RIGS PA BZHIN NO ZHE NA,

 

One may pose the following question:

 

Isn’t it though also the case bodhisattvas are born from being taught by the Buddhas?  They are after all referred to as “the daughters and sons of the Buddhas.”  And if it is true that they are the “children of the Buddhas,” how then can it be correct to say that Buddhas are born from the bodhisattvas?  It would be wrong to say, for example, that the father of a child were born from that child.

 

 

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[78]

BYANG SEMS RNAMS RGYAL BA ‘GA’ ZHIG GI SRAS YIN PA NI BDEN MOD KYI, ‘ON KYANG RGYU MTSAN GNYIS KYIS BYANG SEMS RNAMS SANGS RGYAS RNAMS KYI RGYUR ‘GYUR RO,

,

 

It’s true that bodhisattvas are the children of particular Victors;[52] and yet still bodhisattvas are the causes of the Buddhas, for two different reasons.

 

 

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[79]

DE LA GNAS SKABS KYI KHYAD PAR LAS BYANG SEMS RNAMS

SANGS RGYAS RNAMS KYI RGYUR ‘GYUR TSUL NI, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I GNAS SKABS NI BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I GNAS SKABS KYI ‘BRAS BU YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Bodhisattvas are causes of the Buddhas in the sense of the periods in a person’s spiritual evolution; that is, the period in which one is a Buddha is the outcome of the period in which one is a bodhisattva.

 

 

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[80]

‘DIS NI SANGS RGYAS KYI GNAS SKABS THOB PA GANG YIN THAMS CAD,

[f. 8a]

SNGON SLOB LAM DU BYANG SEMS KYI GNAS SKABS SU GYUR PA KHO NAS THOB PA YIN NO, ZHES SANGS RGYAS DANG RGYUD GCIG PA’I BRGYUD PA’I NYER LEN GYI RGYU’I SGO NAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ SANGS RGYAS KYI RGYUR

BSTAN NO,

,

 

The wording here is meant to indicate that bodhisattvas are the cause of Buddhas in the sense of being the material cause which transforms into the Buddha who follows them, as a continuation of the same mind stream: “Each and every one who has reached the period in which one has already become a Buddha had to do so by going first through the period in which they were a bodhisattva on the path of those who still have more to learn.”

 

 

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[81]

YANG DAG PAR ‘DZIN DU ‘JUG PA LAS BYANG SEMS SANGS RGYAS KYI RGYUR ‘GYUR TSUL NI, RJE BTZUN ‘JAM DPAL BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAR GYUR PA NYID KYIS, BDAG CAG GI STON PA DANG, DE LAS GZHAN PA’I SANGS

RGYAS RNAMS CHES THOG MA KHO NAR BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS ‘DZIN DU BCUG PAR MDO SDE LAS ‘DON PA YIN NO,

,

 

There is also a way of describing how bodhisattvas are the causes of Buddhas by virtue of “inducing them to make the perfect commitment.”  This we see in descriptions from the sutras, in incidents which took place in the infinitely distant past, where the holy Gentle Voice—in a form where he was nothing more than a bodhisattva—induced our own Teacher,[53] and other Buddhas as well, to make the commitment to the Wish for enlightenment.

 

 

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[82]

‘DIS NI BYANG SEMS GZHAN GYIS THOB BYA’I SANGS RGYAS DANG, RGYUD THA DAD PA’I BYANG SEMS KYIS SANGS RGYAS

DE’I LHAN CIG BYED RKYEN BYAS PA’I SGO NAS, SANGS RGYAS BYANG SEMS LAS ‘KHRUNGS PAR SGRUB PA YIN NO,

,

 

This then would be a case where the holy birth of a Buddha from a bodhisattva was accomplished in such a way that the bodhisattva acted as a contributing cause for a particular Buddha: the bodhisattva who did this was a separate person from the bodhisattva who would later attain their own Buddhahood.

 

 

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[83]

‘DIR PHYOGS SNGA MA SMRA BAS, BYANG SEMS RNAMS RGYAL BA’I SRAS YIN PAS, BYANG SEMS RGYAL BA LAS

‘KHRUNGS PA RIGS KYI, DE LAS BZLOG NAS SMRA BA MI RIGS ZHES BRTZAD PA LA,

 

At this point, a person who had raised the original issue might persist, expressing the following thought:

 

An argument has been raised which says that—since bodhisattvas are the “sons and daughters” of the victorious Buddhas—it makes sense to say that bodhisattvas are born from the Victorious Ones; but that asserting the reverse does not.

 

 

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[84]

BYANG SEMS RGYAL BA’I SRAS YIN PA BDEN MOD KYI, ZHES RANG YANG DE LTAR BZHED PAR BSTAN PA NA, DE KHAS LEN KYANG BYANG SEMS

LAS SANGS RGYAS ‘KHRUNGS PA MI ‘GAL BA’I RGYU MTSAN BSTAN DGOS PA MA BSTAN PAR,

 

In response to this argument, you have said that “It is admittedly true[54] that bodhisattvas are the children of the Victors”—indicating that you also accept this fact.  Having accepted this though, you should have followed up by giving us some reason why it isn’t then contradictory to say that Buddhas take their holy birth from bodhisattvas.  And yet you failed to do so.

 

 

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[85]

BYANG SEMS LAS SANGS RGYAS ‘KHRUNGS PAR SGRUB PA MI RIGS TE, DE LTAR BSGRUBS PA LA YANG DA DUNG DOGS PA SNGA MA SKYE BAS, [f. 8b] DOGS PA DE MI CHOD PA’I PHYIR RO SNYAM NA,

 

As such it remains the case that it is wrong to assert that Buddhas take their holy birth from bodhisattvas; for even if you persist in doing so, the same question that we expressed before must be raised—you have done nothing to resolve this issue in our minds.

 

 

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[86]

SKYON ‘DI MED DE BYANG SEMS LAS SANGS RGYAS ‘KHRUNGS PAR RTZA BAR BSTAN PA’I DON NI, RGYU MTSAN DANG PO’I SKABS SU SLOB LAM GYI BYANG SEMS KYIS, LAM NYAMS SU BLANGS PA

LAS ‘BRAS BU SANGS RGYAS THOB PA LA BSHAD PA NA, BYANG SEMS DES THOB PA’I SANGS RGYAS KYI SRAS BYANG SEMS DE MIN PAR SHES PAS, DE LA BDEN MOD KYI ZHES ZER BA GA LA YIN,

 

And yet there is no such problem.  When the root text[55] states that Buddhas take their holy birth from bodhisattvas, it’s understood that—in the context of the first way that they do so—when we speak of a bodhisattva who is on a path where they are still learning and who undertakes a practice of the spiritual path and then attains the goal of becoming a Buddha, then we are not saying that the bodhisattva who turned into the Buddha is the child of that particular Buddha.  As such we would obviously not be referring to this particular bodhisattva and Buddha when we say “It is admittedly true” that bodhisattvas are children of the Buddhas.

 

 

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[87]

YANG BDAG CAG GI STON PA’I GSUNG LAS

GSAR DU BYANG SEMS SU SKYES PA DE, SANGS RGYAS DE’I SRAS YIN KYANG BYANG SEMS DE LAS, SANGS RGYAS DE ‘KHRUNGS PA MIN PAS RTZOD PA DE NI TSUL DE GNYIS RNAM PAR MA PHYED PA’I RTZOD PAR, ‘GREL PAS LAN BTAB PA LA BRTEN

NAS, SHES RAB YOD NA CI’I PHYIR MI RTOGS, DE LTAR NA’ANG ‘DI LA YANG SNYING PO MED PA’I BSHAD PA MANG DU BYUNG SNANG NGO,

 

Consider furthermore a case where a particular practitioner has been given birth as a new bodhisattva by following the words of the Teacher.  They are then a “child” of this particular Buddha, but it is not the case that this same Buddha has taken their holy birth from this particular bodhisattva.  How on earth then could anyone with any intelligence at all fail to grasp, by reviewing the answer given in the commentary,[56] that the argument raised here represents a failure to distinguish between these two different ways in which a Buddha could take their holy birth from a bodhisattva?  Nonetheless, we do see a great many pointless discussions of this issue being offered.

 

 

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[88]

BYANG SEMS RNAMS SANGS RGYAS KYI RGYU’I GTZO BO YIN PA DE NYID KYI PHYIR, SANGS RGYAS RNAMS KYIS BYANG SEMS

LA BSNGAGS PA MDZAD PA YIN NO ZHES SBYAR RO,

,

 

What the author then is saying here is that “For precisely the reason that bodhisattvas represent the primary cause of Buddhas, the Buddhas themselves sing the praises of the bodhisattvas.”

 

 

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[89]

BSNGAGS PA MDZAD PA’I DGOS PA BZHI LAS, DANG PO NI, SANGS RGYAS KYI RGYU PHUN TSOGS NI CHES BRLING BA STE SHIN TU GCES PA YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

There are four reasons why it is necessary for these praises to be sung.  First of all, the most excellent cause of the Buddhas is “far beyond our ken”[57]—here meaning “something we should cherish deeply.”

 

 

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[90]

GNYIS PA NI, RGYU BYANG SEMS LA MCHOD

PAR BRJOD PA LAS KYANG, ‘BRAS BU SANGS RGYAS LA MCHOD PA SHUGS KYIS ‘PHANGS PAR DGONGS PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Secondly, the author intends for us to understand that—by making an offering of praise to the cause (that is, to the bodhisattvas)—he is by implication making offerings to the result: to the Buddhas.

 

 

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[91]

GSUM PA NI, SMAN GYI LJON SHING ‘DOD PA’I ‘BRAS BU DPAG TU MED PA STER BA’I SHING GI MYU GU DANG SDONG BU LA

[f. 9a]

SOGS PA MTHONG ZHING, SHING GI LO MA GZHON PA ‘JAM PO’I GNAS SKABS SU, LHAG PAR YANG GCES SPRAS SU BYAS TE SKYONG BA BZHIN DU,

 

Think, thirdly, about the point at which we first spot the sprout, and then the trunk and the rest, of a medicinal tree from which we can expect an infinite number of luscious fruits.  It is at this point—when the leaves of the tree are still young and soft—that we cherish the tree the most, and do our best to protect it.

 

 

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[92]

SANGS RGYAS KYI LJON SHING SKYE DGU THAMS CAD KYI GSOS SU GYUR PA’I MYU GU

BYANG SEMS LAS DANG PO PA LA YANG GCES SPRAS SU BYAS TE, ‘BAD PA CHEN POS BSKYANG BAR BYA BAR BSTAN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

The author wishes to express the thought that we should appreciate the small sprout of those neophyte bodhisattvas, which will grow into the medicinal tree of a Buddha, and thus become the sustenance of each and every living being there is; and we should expend every effort to protect this tiny sprout.

 

 

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[93]

BZHI PA NI, BYANG SEMS LA BSNGAGS PA GSUNG BA’I DUS DER ‘KHOR DU NYE BAR GYUR CING, THEG PA GSUM

LA BKOD PA RNAMS THEG CHEN NYID LA NGES PAR SBYAR BAR BYA BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

 

Fourth, the author hopes to guide those who were close at hand at the actual point when he expressed his praise of the bodhisattvas, and those who were already upon some one of the three different ways,[58] to the greater way alone.

 

 

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[94]

DKON MCHOG BRTZEGS PA’I MDO LAS KYANG, ‘OD SRUNGS ‘DI LTA STE, DPER NA ZLA BA TSES PA LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA LTAR NYA BA LA MA YIN NO,

,’OD SRUNGS

DE BZHIN DU GANG DAG NGA LA RAB TU DAD PA DE DAG GIS, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS LA PHYAG BYA’I, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA RNAMS LA NI DE LTAR MA YIN NO,

,

 

As a sutra within The Pile of Jewels also says,

 

O Protector the Light, this is how it is.  To use an analogy, we do not honor the full moon in the same way that we do the waxing moon.  Just so, o Protector of the Light, those who possess the highest devotion for me should bow to the bodhisattvas in a way that they do not do even to Those Who Have Gone That Way.[59]

 

 

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[95]

DE CI’I PHYIR ZHE NA, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ LAS NI DE BZHIN GSHEGS

PA RNAMS ‘BYUNG NGO,

,DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA RNAMS LAS NI NYAN THOS DANG RANG SANGS RGYAS THAMS CAD ‘BYUNG NGO,

,ZHES GSUNGS PA LTA BU’O,

,

 

Why is this the case?  It is because Those Gone That Way come from the bodhisattvas; and from Those Thus Gone come all the listeners and self-made buddhas.

 

 

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[96]

‘DIS NI SANGS RGYAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ LAS ‘KHRUNGS PAR LUNG GIS

BSGRUBS LA, RGYU MTSAN SNGA MA GNYIS KYIS NI RIGS PAS BSGRUBS SO,

,

 

This statement by the way serves to prove, through the use of authoritative scripture, the fact that Enlightened Beings take their holy birth from bodhisattvas; whereas the two reasons given before serve to prove this fact through logical reasoning.

 

 

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[97]

DE LTAR NA GZHAN LAS MCHOD BRJOD KYI YUL DU GRAGS PA’I NYAN RANG GNYIS DANG, SANGS RGYAS DANG BYANG SEMS LA ‘DIR DNGOS SU MCHOD BRJOD

[f. 9b] MA MDZAD PA NI, DE RNAMS KYI RTZA BA’I RGYU LA MCHOD BRJOD BYED PA YIN LA,

 

As such, the reason that here in this context we make an offering of praise not to the two of the listeners and the self-made buddhas, nor to the Buddhas or bodhisattvas—at least, not directly—is that we are making this offering to their root cause.

 

 

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[98]

DE BZHI RIM PA BZHIN RGYU ‘BRAS SU, NYAN THOS ZHES PA’I RKANG PA GNYIS KYIS BSTAN PA NI, DE RNAMS KYI MTHAR GTUGS PA’I RTZA BA’I RGYU NGOS GZUNG BA’I

PHYIR DU YIN NO,,

 

The four lines of the text[60] which start with “The listeners…” indicate how these four represent a chain of cause and effect;[61] and this is done all for the purpose of identifying the thing which serves as their ultimate root cause.

 

 

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[99]

 

DE LTA NA SANGS RGYAS KYIS NYE BAR BSTAN PA LAS, BYANG SEMS SKYE BA YIN KYANG, THUB DBANG SKYES ZHES PA’I SKABS SU, DE LA NYAN RANG LTAR BSHAD MI DGOS TE, DE GNYIS THUB DBANG LAS SKYES PAR STON PA NI, DE

GNYIS KYI RTZA BA YANG MTHAR GTUGS NA, SNYING RJE LA THUG PAR BSTAN PA’I PHYIR YIN LA, BYANG SEMS KYI RTZA BA SNYING RJE LA THUG PA NI LOGS SU STON PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

It is then the case that bodhisattvas are born from receiving teachings from the Buddhas; nonetheless, we need not explain their birth in the way that we do with the listeners and self-made buddhas in the part about being “born from the Lords of the Able.”  When we demonstrate how these two are born from the Lords of the Able, we are also saying that—ultimately—their very root traces back to compassion; and then we continue on to show separately how it is that the root of a bodhisattva traces back to this same compassion.

 

 

 

The causes of a bodhisattva

 

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[100]

GSUM PA NI, GAL TE NYAN RANG GNYIS THUB DBANG LAS DANG, THUB

DBANG RNAMS BYANG SEMS LAS ‘KHRUNGS NA, BYANG SEMS DE DAG GI RGYU GANG YIN ZHE NA,

 

This brings us to the third section from above: a description of the three principal causes of a bodhisattva.  We may begin with the following question: “Given that both the listeners and the self-made buddhas are born from the Lords of the Able; and that these Lords themselves take their holy birth from the bodhisattvas; what then is it that serves as the cause of those bodhisattvas?”

 

 

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[101]

[,SNYING RJE’I SEMS DANG GNYIS SU MED BLO DANG,

,BYANG CHUB SEMS NI RGYAL SRAS RNAMS KYI RGYU,]

 

[From Entering the Middle Way:

 

The causes which create

These children of the Victors

Are the attitude of compassion;

A state of mind beyond duality;

And the Wish for enlightenment.

                                I.3-4 ]

 

 

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[102]

‘CHAD PAR ‘GYUR BA’I SNYING RJE’I SEMS DANG, DNGOS PO DANG DNGOS PO MED PA LA SOGS PA’I MTHA’ GNYIS SU MED PA STE GNYIS DANG BRAL BA’I

DON RTOGS PA’I BLO SHES RAB DANG BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS GSUM NI, RGYAL SRAS BYANG SEMS RNAMS KYI GTZO BO’I RGYU YIN NO,

,

 

The principal causes which create these children of the Victors—the bodhisattvas—are three, all of which we will be explaining here in our text: the attitude of compassion; wisdom, referring to the state of mind with which we grasp that object which is “beyond duality” (meaning devoid of two typical extremes, such as being a thing or not being anything); and the Wish for enlightenment.

 

 

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[103]

BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS NI ‘DIR ‘GREL PAR MDO DRANGS PA LAS BSTAN PA BZHIN YIN ZHES GSUNGS

LA, MDO LAS NI, RANG GIS CHOS KYI DE KHO NA NYID RTOGS NAS, CHOS NYID ‘DI SEMS CAN RNAMS KYIS KHONG DU CHUD PAR BYA’O SNYAM NAS, SEMS GANG SKYES PA DE NI BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS ZHES BYA’O, ZHES GSUNGS SO,

,

 

Here the Wish for enlightenment is explained in the commentary as being the way it is described in a citation from sutra.[62]  Here is how the scripture words it:

 

What is this thing that we call “the Wish for enlightenment”?  It is a state of mind where we ourselves first come to a realization of the suchness of all things, and then have the thought, “I will work to see that each and every living being comes to grasp this way that all things are.”[63]

 

 

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[104]

‘DI NI

[f. 10a]

SEMS BSKYED KYI CHED DU BYA BA’I PHYOGS GCIG TZAM LA DMIGS PA YIN PAS MTSAN NYID MA RDZOGS LA, YANG ‘GREL PAR BDAG GIS ‘JIG RTEN ‘DI MTHA’ DAG SDUG BSNGAL NAS BTON TE, SANGS RGYAS

NYID LA NGES BAR SBYAR BAR BYA’O SNYAM DU NGES PAR SEMS SKYED PAR BYED DO, ZHES GSUNGS PA LA YANG THOB BYA BYANG CHUB LA DMIGS PA MED PAS MTSAN NYID PHYOGS GCIG PA’O,

,

 

This description of the Wish focuses upon only one part of its intended purpose, and so cannot be considered a comprehensive definition of it.  The following description from the Commentary also lacks an element of the full definition—where we ourselves are intent upon reaching enlightenment:

 

One should quite certainly develop the Wish for enlightenment, where you think to yourself: “I will rescue this entire world from pain, and without any doubt guide them to nothing less than Buddhahood.”[64]

 

 

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[105]

DES NA ‘GREL PAR SNYING RJE LA BRTEN NAS BYANG CHUB

KYI SEMS SKYE BAR STON PA’I SKABS SU, DAM PA’I CHOS KYI BDUD RTZI’I RO PHUL DU BYUNG BA ‘BYUNG BA’I RGYU, PHYIN CI LOG GI RTOG PA MTHA’ DAG LOG PA’I MTSAN NYID, ‘GRO BA YONGS KYI GNYEN NYID KYI RANG BZHIN DU GYUR PA, SANGS

RGYAS NYID YANG DAG PAR THOB PAR ‘DOD PA YIN NO, ZHES THOB BYA’I BYANG CHUB LA DMIGS PA GSAL BAR BSHAD PAS,

 

Nonetheless, this element of our being intent upon reaching enlightenment ourselves does receive separate attention in the section of the commentary where Master Chandrakirti describes how the Wish for enlightenment is developed by relying upon compassion:

 

We aspire to achieving, perfectly, nothing less than Buddhahood itself: that source from which the exquisite flavor of the nectar of the holy teachings flows; that being with whom, by their very essence, all misperceptions are turned away; that one who is, by their own nature, the one friend of every single living creature.[65]

 

 

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[106]

CHED DU BYA BA SEMS CAN THAMS CAD KYI DON DU THOB BYA BLA NA MED PA’I BYANG CHUB THOB PAR ‘DOD PA SEMS

BSKYED KYI MTSAN NYID RDZOGS PAR ‘DOD PAR BYA STE,

 

Thus we can say that what we accept as the full definition of the Wish for enlightenment is: “The desire to attain the goal of matchless enlightenment for the sake of every living being.”

 

 

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[107]

‘GREL BSHAD LAS KYANG DE LTAR ‘BYUNG BA LEGS SHING, RTOGS RGYAN LAS GSUNGS PA DANG LUGS ‘DI LA MI ‘DRA BA MED DO,

,

 

The fact that the Explanation gives this same definition is excellent; [66] and there is absolutely no difference between our definition and that which is stated in The Jewel of Realizations.[67]

 

 

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[108]

DE LTAR CHOS GSUM PO BYANG SEMS

KYI RGYUR ‘JOG PA NI, RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS,

 

Setting forth these three items as being the cause of a bodhisattva reflects the system found in the String of Precious Jewels:

 

 

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[109]

,BDAG NYID DANG NI ‘JIG RTEN ‘DIS,

,BLA MED BYANG CHUB THOB ‘DOD NA,

,DE YI RTZA BA BYANG CHUB SEMS,

,RI DBANG RGYAL PO LTAR BRTAN DANG,

,PHYOGS MTHA’ GTUGS

[f. 10b] PA’I SNYING RJE DANG,

,GNYIS LA MI BRTEN YE SHES LAGS,

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I LUGS SO,

,

 

If what you want

Is for you and all this world

To reach matchless Buddhahood,

 

Then you will need its roots:

A Wish for enlightenment

As firm as Mount Everest;

 

A compassion which reaches

Through infinite space;

And a form of wisdom

Which no longer rests on the two.[68]

 

 

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[110]

LUNG DES BYANG CHUB KYI RTZA BAR BSTAN GYI BYANG SEMS KYI RTZA BAR DNGOS SU MA BSTAN KYANG, RTZA BA NI DANG PO’I DON DANG, DE’I DUS KYI

GTZO BO’I RGYU GSUM STON PA’I SKABS YIN PAS, BYANG SEMS KYI GTZO BO’I RGYU YIN PAR SKABS LAS SHES SO,

,

 

Now it is true that this citation only indicates that these three are the root of enlightenment, and does not directly indicate that they are the root of a bodhisattva; nonetheless, the word “root” is meant to convey the idea of “original” cause—and this is the point in Arya Nagarjuna’s text where he is presenting the three principal causes during this initial period of the journey to enlightenment.  As such, we can deduce from the context that he considers them the primary causes of a bodhisattva.

 

 

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[111]

CHOS GSUM BYANG SEMS KYI RGYUR STON PA ‘DI NYAN RANG SANGS RGYAS LAS DANG, SANGS RGYAS BYANG SEMS LAS

‘KHRUNGS NA, BYANG SEMS GANG LAS ‘KHRUNGS ZHES DPYOD PA’I SKABS YIN PAS, BYANG SEMS KYI RNAM ‘JOG GI RGYUR MI RUNG BAS SKYED BYED KYI RGYU’O,

,

 

Now someone may come and raise the following objection:

 

This section, where these three items are described as the causes of a bodhisattva, is a juncture where we are examining the question of what it is that gives bodhisattvas their holy birth—since we have just covered how listeners and self-made buddhas take their holy birth from Buddhas, and Buddhas themselves take theirs from bodhisattvas.  As such, we must be talking about “causes” here in the sense of the causes which give birth to a bodhisattva, and not “causes” in the sense of the requirements for saying that someone is a bodhisattva.

 

 

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[112]

DE LTAR ‘DI GSUM GANG GI RGYUR BZHAG PA’I BYANG SEMS DE’I MA MTHA’,

LAM ZHUGS KYI BYANG SEMS THOG MA PA LA BYED DAM MI BYED, BYED NA THEG CHEN GYI SEMS BSKYED DE’I RGYUR ‘JOG PA MI ‘THAD DE, DE THOB MA THAG BYANG SEMS SU GZHAG DGOS PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

This being the case, we ask you the following question: Is it or is it not true that the bodhisattva who is said to have these three as their causes is someone whom you consider to be, at the very least, a brand-new bodhisattva who has already entered one of the five paths?  If it is true, then it cannot be correct to say that the Wish, in the form it takes upon the greater way, is a cause of this bodhisattva—because it is only just after one attains this Wish that we can consider them a bodhisattva.

 

 

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[113]

MTHA’ GNYIS LA MI BRTEN PA’I YE

SHES BYANG SEMS KYI RGYUR ‘JOG PA YANG MI ‘THAD DE, BYANG SEMS RNAMS NI THOG MAR KUN RDZOB BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS BSKYED NAS, DE’I ‘OG TU BYANG SEMS KYI SPYOD PA PHYIN DRUG LA SLOB PA YIN PAS, DE LTA BU’I SHER PHYIN LA SLOB PA’I

SKABS NYID NAS, MTHA’ GNYIS LA MI BRTEN PA’I YE SHES LA SLOB PA YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

It is as well incorrect to say that the type of wisdom which no longer rests upon the two extremes is one of the causes of a bodhisattva.  This is because a bodhisattva first develops the deceptive form of the Wish for enlightenment, and only after that begins their training in the activities of a bodhisattva: the six perfections.  And it is only at the point where they train themselves in the perfection of wisdom found among these six that they are training themselves in the wisdom which no longer rests upon the two extremes.

 

 

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[114]

MI BYED NA NI ZLA BA TSES PA LTA BU’I BYANG SEMS SU BSHAD PA DANG, SMAN GYI LJON SHING GI MYU GU LTA BU’I BYANG SEMS SU BSHAD PA DANG ‘GAL

[f. 11a]

BAR ‘GYUR RO ZHE NA,

 

And suppose instead that you reply, to our question above, that it is not true that the bodhisattva with these three as their causes is at least a brand-new bodhisattva who has already entered one of the five paths.  In this case you would be contradicting the description of this bodhisattva as one who is like a waxing moon, or as one who is like the first sprout of a medicinal tree.

 

 

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[115]

JI SKAD BSHAD PA’I SKYON DU ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR PHYOGS GNYIS PA NI KHAS MI LEN PAS DANG PO KHAS LEN NO,

,’ON KYANG SNGAR BKOD PA’I SKYON NI MED DE, BYANG SEMS KYI SNGON DU ‘GRO BA’I SEMS BSKYED

PA NI, SEMS BSKYED SGOM PA’I SKABS LA DGONGS KYI, BSGOMS PA LA BRTEN NAS SKYES PA’I SEMS BSKYED DNGOS MIN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

We certainly don’t accept this second position, since doing so would in fact lead to the problems which you have pointed out.  Therefore, we accept the first position: that we must be referring at least to a brand-new bodhisattva who is already upon one of the five paths.  We don’t agree though that this position leads to the other problems, the ones that you brought up first here.  This is because—when we refer to the Wish for enlightenment which precedes the bodhisattva—we are speaking of the form that this Wish takes while we are working to develop it.  We are not in this case speaking of the actual Wish for enlightenment—the one which we develop as a result of having completed this work.

 

 

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[116]

DE YANG DPER NA BUR SHING GI SHUN PA’I RO MYONG BA DANG, SHUN PA’I NANG GI RO MYONG BA DANG ‘DRA BAR

SEMS CAN THAMS CAD KYI DON DU SANGS RGYAS THOB PAR BYA’O SNYAM PA TZAM NI, TSIG RJES ‘BRANGS PA’I GO BA TZAM YIN PAS BUR SHING GI SHUN PA’I RO DANG ‘DRA STE, DE LA SEMS BSKYED PA ZER YANG SEMS BSKYED DNGOS MIN NO,

,

 

We can compare this distinction to the difference between tasting the skin of a piece of sugar cane and then actually tasting the inside.  Just thinking to yourself “I will reach enlightenment for the sake of every living being” is no more than an intellectual understanding of the Wish, and so it resembles the taste of the skin of a piece of sugar cane.  You can call it a “wish for enlightenment,” but it’s not the real thing.

 

 

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[117]

BYANG

CHUB KYI SEMS SBYONG BA’I MAN NGAG BZHIN DU SBYANGS PA LA BRTEN NAS, YID LEGS PAR ‘KHUL THUB PA’I MYONG BA KHYAD PAR CAN SKYES PA NI, SHUN PA’I NANG GI BUR SHING DNGOS KYI RO DANG ‘DRA BAS, SEMS BSKYED MTSAN NYID PA YIN

TE,

 

If on the other hand you follow the instructions on developing the Wish, and work at it, you can reach a point where you have a deep experience and are able to push the mind fluently into these thoughts.  This then is like tasting the inside of the sugar cane, and can thus be considered the Wish in its definitive form.

 

 

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[118]

DON ‘DI LA DGONGS NAS LHAG BSAM BSKUL BA LAS KYANG,

,JI LTAR SHUN PA DE BZHIN SMRA BA STE,

,RO LTA BU NI ‘DI LA DON SEMS YIN,

ZHES GSUNGS SO,

,

 

It is with this point in mind that the sutra called Urging Us to Take Personal Responsibility says:

 

Talking is like skin of the cane;

The actual state of mind

Is like the taste within.[69]

 

 

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[119]

BYANG SEMS KYI RIGS CAN DBANG PO RNON POS SNGON DU DE KHO NA

NYID KYI LTA BA BTZAL NAS, DE NAS SEMS BSKYED PA YIN PAS SKYON GNYIS PA YANG MED PA NI ‘CHAD PAR ‘GYUR RO,

,

 

Furthermore, practitioners of the bodhisattva type possessed of sharp faculties first seek out the worldview of suchness, and only afterwards give birth to the Wish.  The second problem you raise is thus also obviated, as we will elucidate further on in this work.

 

 

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[120]

GNYIS SU MED PA’I BLO NI GZUNG ‘DZIN GNYIS SU SNANG BA MED PA MIN GYI, ‘GREL PAR MTHA’ GNYIS

[f. 11b] DANG BRAL BA’I SHES RAB LA BSHAD LA, DE YANG BYANG SEMS KYI SNGON DU ‘ONG BA MI ‘GAL LO,

,

 

Moreover, the “state of mind beyond duality” mentioned here is not one which is free of the appearance of an independent duality of object and subject; rather, it is explained in the Commentary as referring to a kind of wisdom which is free of the two extremes.  As such, it is no contradiction to say that it could come prior to the Wish for enlightenment.

 

 

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[121]

DON DAM PA’I SEMS BSKYED LA ‘CHAD PA NI SHIN TU MA ‘BREL TE, GNYIS SU MED BLO ZHES PAS THOG MAR ZHUGS PA’I BYANG SEMS

KYI RGYU’I SHES RAB KYANG STON DGOS PAS SO,

,

 

Interpreting this particular “state of mind beyond duality” as being the ultimate form of the Wish for enlightenment is irrelevant to the extreme, since the phrase as used here must apply as well to the wisdom which is the cause of a bodhisattva who has just stepped on to the five paths.

 

 

 

Why Compassion is the Root of the Roots

 

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[122]

GNYIS PA NI, BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS DANG GNYIS SU MED PA’I YE SHES GNYIS KYI RTZA BA YANG SNYING RJE YIN PAS NA, DE GSUM GYI NANG NAS SNYING RJE GTZO BO NYID DU BSTAN PAR BZHED

NAS, GANG PHYIR ZHES SOGS GSUNGS SO,

,

 

This brings us to the second point from above: describing how it is that compassion is the very root of the other two causes of a bodhisattva as well.  The very root of both the Wish for enlightenment and the wisdom beyond duality is, in turn, compassion.  Master Chandrakirti—wishing to express how compassion is the very most important of the three—thus next composes the lines which include “For I believe…”[70]

 

 

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[123]

[,GANG PHYIR BRTZE NYID RGYAL BA’I LO THOG PHUN TSOGS ‘DI’I,

,SA BON DANG NI SPEL LA CHU ‘DRA YUN RING DU,

,LONGS SPYOD GNAS LA SMIN PA LTA BUR ‘DOD GYUR PA,

,DE PHYIR BDAG GIS THOG MAR SNYING RJE BSTOD PAR BGYI,]

 

[And so here at the beginning,

I shall sing the praises of compassion—

For I believe that love, and only love,

Is like the seed which produces

Those excellent crops of the Victors;

And like the water which makes them grow,

And like the ripened fruit

Which then long afterwards

Is something we can enjoy.

I.5-8 ]

 

 

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[124]

GANG GI PHYIR SNYING BRTZE BA NI RGYAL BA’I LO TOG PHUN TSOGS ‘DI’I THOG MAR SKYED PA LA GAL CHE BA SA BON DANG NI ‘DRA LA, BAR DU GONG NAS GONG DU SPEL BA LA CHU DANG ‘DRA ZHING, THA MAR

GDUL BYAS YUN RING DU LONGS SPYOD PA’I GNAS LA, ‘BRAS BU’I SMIN PA LTA BUR ‘DOD PAR GYUR PA DE’I PHYIR, ZLA BA’I ZHABS BDAG GIS NYAN RANG DANG SANGS RGYAS DANG, BYANG SEMS DANG DE’I RGYU GZHAN GNYIS LAS KYANG THOG

MAR RAM, BSTAN BCOS RTZOM BA’I THOG MAR SNYING RJE CHEN PO LA BSTOD PAR BGYI’O,,

 

And so here at the beginning of the act of composing this classical commentary, I—that is, the great Chandrakirti—shall sing the praises of great compassion.  (One could also read “beginning” here as referring to compassion itself, which precedes even the other two causes of a bodhisattva, and thus both full Buddhas and the listeners and self-made buddhas.)

 

This I do for I believe that love is crucial, like the seed which—at the outset—produces those excellent crops of the Victors.  And then in the interim love is like the water which makes these crops grow ever higher.  And then at the end, finally, it is like the ripened fruit, which long afterwards is something that we disciples can enjoy.

 

 

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[125]

DE YANG DA GZOD BSTOD PA MIN GYI DE MA THAG TU RGYAL BA’I LO TOG BSKRUN PA LA, THOG MTHA’ BAR GSUM DU GAL CHE BAR BSTAN PA DE NYID DE, ,

NYID KYI SGRAS NI DPE’I SKABS SU PHYI’I LO TOG LA THOG MTHA’ BAR GSUM DU GAL CHE BA GSUM, SO SO BAR SONG BA LTA BU MIN PAR, DON GYI SKABS SU RGYAL BA’I LO TOG LA SNYING RJE KHO NA THOG MTHA’ BAR GSUM DU GAL CHE

[f. 12a]

BAR BSTAN NO,,

 

At this point Master Chandrakirti is not yet actually singing the praises; he is only pointing out that the crops of the Victors grow just after one has developed compassion—and that it is extremely important at all three stages: at the beginning, at the end, and in between.  The way he repeats the word “love”—“love, and only love”—is meant to indicate that the context of the metaphor does not exactly match that of the actual case it refers to.  That is, in the metaphor we have three different things that are crucial for three different stages—the beginning, the middle, and the end—in the growth of outer crops.  Here though it is only one thing—compassion—which is crucial at all three of these stages in the growth of the crops of the Victors.

 

 

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[126]

THOG MAR GAL CHE BA LA SA BON LTA BU YIN TSUL NI, ‘DI LTAR SNYING RJE CHEN PO CAN NI SEMS CAN GYI SDUG BSNGAL GYIS SDUG BSNGAL BAS, SDUG BSNGAL CAN GYI SEMS CAN THAMS CAD

BSKYAB PA’I PHYIR DU, BDAG GIS SEMS CAN ‘DI THAMS CAD ‘KHOR BA’I SDUG BSNGAL NAS BTON TE, SANGS RGYAS LA NGES PAR SBYAR BAR BYA’O SNYAM DU CHED DU BYA BA LA DMIGS PA’I SEMS BSKYED LA,

 

Let’s talk about the way in which compassion is crucial at the beginning—in the same way that a seed is.  A person who possesses great compassion as it is described here is tormented by the way that living beings are tormented; and they hope to shelter all of those who live in such torment.  They develop a Wish for enlightenment with a goal expressed in the following train of thought: “I will remove each and every one of these beings from the torment of the cycle of life, and with absolutely certainty deliver them to the state of enlightenment.”

 

 

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[127]

DE YANG RANG GIS SANGS

RGYAS THOB PA LA RAG LAS PAR MTHONG NAS, BDAG GIS ‘DI RNAMS KYI DON DU BLA MED BYANG CHUB CI NAS KYANG THOB PAR BYA’O SNYAM DU, BYANG CHUB LA DMIGS PA’I SEMS NGES PAR BSKYED DO,

,

 

They recognize though that achieving this goal depends upon their achieving enlightenment themselves.  As such, they necessarily reach as well a Wish for enlightenment where they think, “No matter what, I will achieve matchless enlightenment, for the sake of all these suffering beings.”

 

 

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[128]

DE ‘DRA BA’I DAM BCA’ BA DE YANG

GNYIS SU MED PA’I YE SHES KYIS MTSON PA’I SBYIN SOGS KYI SPYOD PA DOR NA MI ‘GRUB PAR MTHONG NAS, YE SHES GTZO BOR GYUR PA’I SPYOD PA LA YANG NGES PA KHO NAR ‘JUG PAS NA, SANGS RGYAS KYI CHOS KUN GYI SA BON NI SNYING

RJE CHEN PO YIN NO,,

 

They recognize another thing too: that they will never be able to fulfill this commitment if they give up on the way of life represented here in the expression “wisdom beyond duality”—that is, giving and the rest.  As such they know that they have no choice but to engage in this way of life, where wisdom plays the principal role.  Thus it is that great compassion is the seed of all the qualities of an Enlightened Being.

 

 

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[129]

DON ‘DI LA DGONGS NAS RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS,

,THEG PA CHEN PO GANG ZHIG LAS,

,SNYING RJE SNGON BTANG SPYOD KUN DANG,

,YE SHES DRI MA MED BSHAD PA,

,SEMS YOD SU ZHIG DE LA SMOD,

 

The String of Precious Jewels is talking about the same idea when it says,

 

What person

With any brains at all

Would ever speak badly

Of the greater way—

Of the teachings which describe

That entire way of life

Ushered in by compassion,

And immaculate wisdom?[71]

 

 

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[130]

CES

SNYING RJE SNGON DU BTANG BA’I SEMS BSKYED KYIS DRANGS PA’I SPYOD PA SPYI DANG, KHYAD PAR DU MTHA’ GNYIS KYI DMIGS GTAD KYI DRI MA MED PA’I YE SHES KYI SPYOD PA GSUM GYIS THEG CHEN GYI DON KUN BSDUS PAR GSUNGS

[f. 12b] SO,,

 

The point here is that all the points of the greater way are covered in three concepts: in the general way of life inspired by the Wish for enlightenment, ushered in itself by compassion; and more particularly in the way of life of a wisdom which is free of the stain of allowing the mind to focus upon either of the two extremes.

 

 

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[131]

BAR DU GAL CHE BA LA CHU DANG ‘DRA TSUL NI, SNYING RJE’I SA BON GYIS BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS KYI MYU GU THOG MAR BSKYED DU ZIN KYANG, DUS PHYIS SNYING RJE’I CHUS YANG DANG YANG DU MA BCUS NA, ‘BRAS BU SANGS RGYAS KYI RGYUR GYUR

PA’I TSOGS GNYIS YANGS PA MA BSAGS PA ‘DI, NGES PAR NYAN RANG GANG RUNG GI MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA MNGON DU BYED LA, SNYING RJE’I CHUS YANG YANG BCUS NA DE LTAR MI ‘GYUR RO,

,

 

Let’s discuss next how it is that compassion is crucial during the middle period, in the same way that water is.  It may well be the case that the seed of compassion has already, during the initial period, produced the fresh sprout of the Wish for enlightenment.  If though during the time which follows we fail to apply the water of compassion to this sprout over and over, then we fail to accumulate any massive form of the two collections[72] which serve as the cause of an Enlightened Being.  This situation will then lead us, with certainty, to actualize only nirvana—either that of a listener, or of a self-made Buddha.  This is not the case when we do apply the water of compassion continuously.

 

 

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[132]

THA MAR GAL CHE BA LA SMIN PA DANG ‘DRA

TSUL NI,

,RGYAL BA’I GO ‘PHANG THOB TU ZIN KYANG SNYING RJE’I SMIN PA DANG BRAL NA, ‘KHOR BA JI SRID KYI BAR DU SEMS CAN RNAMS KYIS NYE BAR LONGS SPYOD PA’I RGYUR MI ‘GYUR ZHING, NYAN RANG DANG BYANG SEMS ‘PHAGS PA’I

TSOGS GCIG NAS GCIG TU BRGYUD PA BAR MA CHAD PA ‘PHEL BAR YANG MI ‘GYUR LA, ‘BRAS BU’I SAR SNYING RJE CHEN PO RGYUN LDAN DU ‘JUG NA DE LAS BZLOG STE ‘BYUNG BA’O,

,

 

Let’s look finally at how it is that compassion is crucial at the end, like the ripened fruit.  One may have already attained the state of a victorious Buddha; but if they were to lack the ripened fruit of compassion, then there would be nothing there for living beings to enjoy for all the time up to the last day of the cycle of pain.  In this case, the continued accumulation of the causes for enlightenment by listeners and self-made buddhas, and realized bodhisattvas, could never proceed one to the other, growing in an uninterrupted stream.  If though at the level of the final result one goes on with a continuous stream of great compassion in their heart, then the opposite occurs.

 

 

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[133]

DE LTAR NA GANG PHYIR ZHES PA BZHI’I DON BKRAL

BAS NI, THEG CHEN PA BYED PAR ‘DOD NA THOG MAR YID SNYING RJE CHEN PO’I GZHAN DBANG DU GYUR PA ZHIG DANG, DE NAS DE LA BRTEN NAS BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS MTSAN NYID TSANG BA CIG SNYING THAG PA NAS BSKYED PA DANG,

 

Given all this, a proper explanation of the four lines which include “for I believe” should inspire in us a certain understanding.  We should be thinking to ourselves how—if we have any hopes of becoming a follower of the greater way—then at the outset we must lose our heart to the emotion of great compassion.  And we should be thinking how, after that, we must build on this emotion to grow, from the very depths of our heart, a Wish for enlightenment which is complete in every necessary respect.

 

 

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[134]

SEMS

BSKYED PAS NI GDON MI ZA BAR BYANG SEMS KYI SPYOD PA SPYI DANG, KHYAD PAR DU ZAB MO’I LTA BA PHU THAG GCOD DGOS PAR ‘DUG SNYAM NAS DE DAG LA SLOB PA CIG DGOS PAR BSTAN PA LA NGES PA BRTAN PO RNYED DGOS

[f. 13a]

SO,

,

 

And then finally we should be thinking how—once we have developed the Wish—we will without the slightest doubt need to follow the way of life of a bodhisattva in general; and more especially a truly pure form of the view of the profound.  In short, we must come to an unshakable belief in the teaching which says that we absolutely have to train ourselves in each of these points.

 

 

 

Compassion which Focuses on Living Beings

 

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[135]

GNYIS PA LA GNYIS, SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA DANG, CHOS DANG DMIGS PA MED PA LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA’O,

,

 

This brings us to the second section of the offering of praise, where we bow down to great compassion as we make the division into its components.  Here the author bows down first to that form of compassion which focuses upon living beings; and after that to the form of compassion which focuses upon things, and upon the way in which beings are not even there.

 

 

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[136]

[,
[DANG POR NGA ZHES BDAG LA ZHEN GYUR ZHING,

,BDAG GI ‘DI ZHES DNGOS LA CHAGS BSKYED PA,

,ZO CHUN ‘PHYAN LTAR RANG DBANG MED PA YI,

,’GRO LA SNYING RJER GYUR GANG DE LA ‘DUD,]

 

[First they want a person,

Talking about “me”;

And then they crave for things,

Talking about “mine.”

 

I bow down to that thing

Which is compassion for all beings—

Those who revolve here helplessly,

Like buckets on a water wheel.

I.9-12 ]

 

 

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[137]

DANG PO NI, NGAR ‘DZIN GYI ‘JIG LTAS

NGA YIR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTA SKYED PAS, SEMS CAN ‘DI RNAMS NI DANG POR TE BDAG GI BAR MNGON PAR ZHEN PA’I ‘JIG LTA’I SNGA ROL TU, NGAR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTAS RANG BZHIN GYIS YOD PA MIN PA’I BDAG RANG BZHIN GYIS YOD

DO SNYAM NAS, NGA ZHES PA’I DON ‘DI NYID DU STE LA BDEN PAR MNGON PAR ZHEN PAR BYED DO,

,

 

We begin with the first.  The version of the view of destruction[73] where we hold to a “me” triggers the version where we hold to some “mine.”  Thus all suffering beings first (that is, before they give rise to the view of destruction where they begin wanting what is “mine”) give rise to the view of destruction where they want a “me, talking about something which is a thing that is itself—which exists “in reality.”  This is a view of “me” which thinks to itself that a person who could never exist in and of themselves does exist in and of themselves.

 

 

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[138]

DE’I ‘OG TU NGA YIR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTAS, NGAR ‘DZIN GYI DMIGS YUL LAS GZHAN PA STE DE MIN PA’I GZUGS DANG MIG LA SOGS PA’I DNGOS

PO LA, ‘DI NI BDAG GI’O ZHES BDAG GI BA LA BDEN PAR CHAGS PA BSKYED PAS,

 

And then subsequent to this, these beings give rise to the view of destruction which holds to some “mine.”  This view focuses upon an object which is different—which is other than—the object which is focused upon by the one which holds to a “me.”  This object consists of things such as visible forms, or the eye itself.  The view which holds it talks about “this” being “mine,” in a way where one craves the idea that what is mine exists “in reality.”

 

 

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[139]

ZO CHUN GYI ‘PHRUL ‘KHOR ‘PHYAN PA STE ‘KHOR BA LTAR, RANG DBANG MED PAR ‘KHOR BA YI ‘GRO BA LA SNYING RJER GYUR PA GANG YIN PA DE LA ‘DUD DO ZHES

PA NI, SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA’I DON NO,,

 

Because of all this, all beings revolve here, circle here, like buckets on a water wheel—turning helplessly.  And Master Chandrakirti is saying that he “bows down to that thing which is compassion for these beings.  The point is that he is bowing down to that form of compassion which focuses upon living beings.

 

 

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[140]

‘GRO BA RNAMS ZO CHUN GYI RGYUD MO DANG ‘DRA LUGS JI LTAR YIN SNYAM NA, DE LA SEMS CAN DANG ZO CHUN GYI RGYUD GNYIS NI ‘DRA BA PO DANG ‘DRA YUL TE KHYAD

PAR GYI GZHI’O,

,

 

“Now just how is it,” one may ask, “that the lives of beings resemble the mechanism of a water wheel?”  The point is that the ways in which both water wheels and the lives of suffering beings flow are similar—one being the thing which resembles the other, and one being the thing which the other resembles: the thing which possesses a certain quality.

 

 

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[141]

‘DRA TSUL NI DPE LA THAG PAS BSDAMS PA LA SOGS PA’I KHYAD PAR GYI CHOS DRUG YOD PA BZHIN DU, DON LA’ANG DE YOD PAR PHYOGS GCIG TU BSTAN NA,

 

How are their lives, and the wheel, similar?  The example in the metaphor here possesses six different qualities—such as that of being bound with ropes.  The subject of the metaphor also possesses the same qualities.  Let’s isolate these six for you here.

 

 

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[142]

KHYAD PAR DANG PO NI BCUD KYI ‘JIG RTEN ‘DI NI

[f. 13b] LAS DANG NYON MONGS PA’I THAG PAS CHES DAM DU BSDAMS PA’O,

,’DI NI ZHES PA NI ‘OG MA LNGA LA YANG SBYAR RO,

,

 

(1) The first quality is that this world—in the sense of the beings who inhabit it—are tied up incredibly tightly in the ropes of their karma and their negative emotions.  (For the remaining five, the same wording—“this world”—should be applied.)

 

 

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[143]

GNYIS PA NI, ZO CHUN GYI ‘PHRUL ‘KHOR BSKOR MKHAN DANG ‘DRA BAR, RNAM PAR SHES PAS BSKYED PA LA RAG

LAS PAR ‘JUG PA’O,,

 

(2) These beings depend upon being animated by consciousness for their operation, in the same way that the machinery of the water wheel depends upon something or someone to set it turning.

 

 

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[144]

GSUM PA NI, ‘KHOR BA’I KHRON PA CHEN PO SRID RTZE NAS, MNAR MED PA LA THUG PA ZAB PAR BAR SKABS MED PAR ‘PHYAN PA’O,

,

 

(3) Thirdly, these beings revolve in a well of immense proportions, turning without pause inside an area bounded above by the high level known as the “Peak of Existence,” and extending below to the depths of the hell known as “Torment Without Respite.”

 

 

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[145]

BZHI PA NI, THUR DU NGAN ‘GROR ‘BAD RTZOL LA MI LTOS PAR RANG GI NGANG GIS ‘GRO

ZHING GYEN DU BDE ‘GROR NI ‘BAD PA CHEN POS DRANG BAR BYA BA’O,

,

 

(4) Fourth, they slide downwards, into the three lower realms, almost automatically—without any special effort of their own.  But it is only with great effort that they are drawn upwards, to the three higher realms.

 

 

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[146]

LNGA PA NI, MA RIG PA DANG SRED LEN GYI NYON MONGS PA DANG, ‘DU BYED DANG SRID PA’I LAS DANG, LHAG MA BDUN GYI SKYE BA’I KUN NAS NYON MONGS PA GSUM YOD KYANG, DE

GSUM GYI SNGA PHYI’I RIM PA MTHA’ GCIG TU NGES PAR MI NUS PA’O,

,

 

(5) Fifth, their journey involves three different forces: negative emotions as a motivating factor, in the form of ignorance, along with initial desire and strong desire; karma in the form of fresh karmic seeds and then ripe karmic seeds; and the parts of a resulting rebirth which are imbued with negativity—that is, the remaining seven links.[74]  And yet it is impossible to say with any certainty which of the three has come before or after any of the others.

 

 

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[147]

DRUG PA NI, NYI MA RE RE ZHING SDUG BSNGAL GYI SDUG BSNGAL DANG, ‘GYUR BA’I SDUG BSNGAL DANG, KHYAB PA ‘DU BYED KYI SDUG BSNGAL GYIS GCOG PA’I PHYIR, ‘GRO BA ‘DI

NI ZO CHUN GYI RGYUD MO’I GNAS SKABS LAS MA ‘DAS PA ZHIG GO

 

(6) Sixth, these beings are battered like the wheel’s buckets, for every single day of their life they are assailed by outright pain; by pain in the form of change; and by the pain which pervades every creature’s life.  As such, we can say that there is nothing about these beings’ lives which ever escapes the metaphor of gears turning a water wheel.

 

 

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[148]

,’DIR KHYAD PAR GYI CHOS DRUG GI SGO NAS CHOS MTHUN SBYAR BA NI, SEMS CAN ‘KHOR BAR ‘KHYAMS TSUL GYI GO BA TZAM ZHIG SKYED PA’I PHYIR MIN NO,

,

 

Saying that the two situations are parallel in six different particulars is not simply something that we do to give our reader an understanding of the way in which living beings wander here and there in the cycle of existence.

 

 

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[149]

‘O NA JI LTAR YIN

SNYAM NA, SNGAR THEG CHEN LA ‘JUG ‘DOD PAS THOG MAR SNYING RJE CHEN PO SKYED DGOS PAR BSTAN KYANG, CI ‘DRA BA ZHIG BSGOMS PAS SNYING RJE SKYED TSUL SNGAR MA BSTAN PAS, ‘DIR SEMS CAN RNAMS RANG DBANG MED BAR ‘KHOR [f. 14a]

BAR ‘KHYAMS TSUL BSTAN PA LTAR BSGOMS PAS, SNYING RJE CHEN PO SKYED TSUL STON PA YIN NO,

,

 

And why not?  We have already described how those who wish to enter the greater way must, at the outset, develop great compassion.  But we haven’t, at least to this point, explained what it is that a person should meditate upon in order to develop this compassion.  As such, we are now showing how a person can develop great compassion, by meditating upon the way in which living beings wander, helplessly, here in the wheel of life.

 

 

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[150]

DE YANG BYED PA PO GANG GIS ‘KHOR DU BCUG NA, SHIN TU MA ZHI ZHING MA DUL BA’I SEMS ‘DI NYID KYIS SO,

,

 

What is the agent which forces us to turn in this circle?  It is our own mind, completely incapable of peace, and completely out of control.

 

 

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[151]

GNAS

GANG DU TSUL JI LTAR ‘KHOR NA, SRID RTZE NAS MNAR MED KYI BAR GYI GNAS ‘DIR, MI ‘KHOR BA’I SKABS CUNG ZAD KYANG MED PAR RO,

,

 

Where is it that we circle, and how is it that we circle?  We circle without the slightest pause, here in the land that stretches from the Peak of Existence down to Torment Without Respite.

 

 

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[152]

RGYU RKYEN GANG GIS ‘KHOR NA LAS DANG NYON MONGS PA’I DBANG GIS SO,

,

 

What causes and factors drive us to circle?  We are forced to do so by our karma and our negative emotions.

 

 

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[153]

DE YANG BSOD NAMS MA

YIN PA’I LAS DANG, DE’I NYON MONGS KYI DBANG GIS NGAN ‘GRO DANG, BSOD NAMS DANG MI G-YO BA’I LAS DANG, DE’I NYON MONGS KYI DBANG GIS BDE ‘GROR ‘KHOR LA,

 

Now negative karma, and the mental afflictions associated with it, drive us to the lower realms.  Positive karma, and the kind of karma we call “unshifting”[75]—along with the mental afflictions associated with them—drive us to the higher realms.

 

 

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[154]

DE’I DANG PO NI DER SKYE BA’I DON DU ‘BAD MI DGOS PAR NGANG

GIS ‘JUG PA DANG, PHYI MA NI DE’I RGYU RNAMS ‘BAD PA CHEN POS SGRUB DGOS PAS DKA’ BA STE,

 

And we tend to slide automatically into the first of these two, taking birth there without expending any special effort.  The causes to bring about the second, though, are difficult to assemble—for they can be achieved only through intense work.

 

 

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[155]

LUNG GZHI LAS, BDE ‘GRO DANG NGAN ‘GRO NAS ‘PHOS TE NGAN ‘GROR ‘GRO BA NI SA CHEN PO’I RDUL DANG, DE GNYIS NAS ‘PHOS TE BDE ‘GROR

‘GRO BA NI, PHYAG SEN GYI RTZE MOS BZHES PA’I RDUL DANG ‘DRA BAR GSUNGS PA LTAR RO,

,

 

Remember, for example, the passage in The Foundation of the Word, where Lord Buddha states that those who die in either the higher realms or the lower realms, and then pass on to the lower realms, are as numerous as the particles of dust contained in the entire surface of the Earth; whereas those who die in these realms and pass on to the higher realms are only, by comparison, as few as the particles of dust that remained upon the tip of his fingernail after he had touched it lightly to the ground.[76]

 

 

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[156]

RTEN ‘BREL TSAR GCIG GI NYON MONGS GSUM GANG RUNG ZHIG GI DUS SU YANG TSAR GZHAN GYI KUN NAS NYON MONGS GZHAN GNYIS ‘JUG PAS RGYUN MI

‘CHAD PA DANG, NYIN RE ZHING SDUG BSNGAL GSUM CHU’I GNYER MA LTA BUS LAN CIG MA YIN PAR MNAR BA RNAMS SEMS PA’O,

,

 

At the point where any one of the three negative emotions connected to one round of the links of dependent creation is active, then at the same time the other two groups of links related to negative emotions and belonging to a different round of the twelve are also active; thus it is that the wheel turns without a pause.  And each and every day, all three forms of pain radiate out and pass through every living being, like ripples on the surface of a lake, torturing them continuously.  We have to learn to think about these things.

 

 

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[157]

‘DI YANG SNGON DU RANG NYID ‘KHOR BAR ‘KHYAMS TSUL BSAMS PA NA, YID LA ‘GYUR BA CI YANG

[f. 14b] MI THON PA CIG GIS, SEMS CAN GZHAN GYI STENG DU BSAMS PA NA, DE RNAMS KYI SDUG BSNGAL MI BZOD PA LAS DANG PO PA LA ‘ONG MED PAS,

 

Consider rather the kind of person who has yet to give any serious thought about how they themselves are wandering through this cycle of pain—and so has yet to experience any kind of mental transformation.  This kind of raw beginner then can hardly reach a state of mind where they can no longer bear the pain of these others because they have turned their attention to the situation that others face.

 

 

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[158]

BZHI BRGYA PA’I ‘GREL PAR GSUNGS PA LTAR SNGON DU RANG STENG DU BSAM MO,

,DE NAS SEMS

CAN GZHAN LA BSGOM PAR BYA’O,

,

 

Thus we should do as the commentary to The 400 Verses advises us to: first, contemplate our own situation, and then meditate upon the situation that others find themselves in.[77]

 

 

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[159]

‘O NA SEMS CAN GZHAN LA ‘KHOR BAR SDUG KUN GYIS MNAR TSUL BSGOMS PA NYID KYIS SNYING RJE CHEN PO ‘DREN NAM, GROGS GZHAN CIG DGOS SNYAM NA,

 

In this regard, the following question may occur to our reader: “Can we inspire within ourselves great compassion simply by meditating upon how others are tortured by these two aspects of life here in the cycle—the fact of pain, and the fact of the source from which it arises?  Or do we need to engage in some other contemplation together with this one?”

 

 

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[160]

‘DI NA DGRA LA SDUG BSNGAL MTHONG BA NA MI BZOD

PA MED KYI STENG DU DGA’ BA DANG, PHAN GNOD GANG YANG MA BYAS PA SDUG BSNGAL BAR MTHONG BA NA, PHAL CHER YAL BAR ‘DOR BA NI RANG GI YID DU ‘ONG BA MED PAS LAN LA,

 

Here in the everyday world, when we see someone that we don’t like going through some kind of pain, it’s not as if we feel that we can no longer bear it; on the contrary, we tend to derive some satisfaction from their problems.  And when we see suffering come to a neutral person—to someone who has neither helped nor harmed us—then we typically simply ignore them.  Both of these attitudes derive from the fact that we have no feelings that these people are beloved by us.

 

 

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[161]

GNYEN GYI SDUG BSNGAL MTHONG NA MI BZOD PA DANG, DE YANG

YID DU ‘ONG TSABS JI LTAR CHE BA TZAM GYIS DE’I SDUG BSNGAL MI BZOD PA SHUGS DRAG PAR SNANG BAS, SEMS CAN SHIN TU GCES SHING YID LA PHANGS PA’I YID ‘ONG SKYED PA ZHIG DGOS PA NI GNAD CHEN PO’O,

,

 

When however we see our friends or family undergoing some kind of trouble, then we feel that it is something unbearable to us; and the degree to which we feel this way follows from how strongly these people are beloved by us.  Thus it is crucial point that we must develop, within ourselves, feelings where we cherish other beings deeply—where we feel a healthy attachment for them, and see them as our beloved.

 

 

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[162]

YID ‘ONG THABS GANG

GIS SKYED PA LA MKHAS PA’I DBANG PO DAG GI LUGS GNYIS SNANG BA’I DANG PO NI, ZLA BA’I ZHABS KYIS BZHI BRGYA PA’I ‘GREL PAR SEMS CAN RNAMS THOG MA MED PA NAS, PHA MA SOGS KYI GNYEN YIN PA BSAMS NA, DE RNAMS BSGRAL BA’I PHYIR DU ‘KHOR BAR MCHONG PAR BZOD PA YIN PAR GSUNGS PA LTAR,

How do we reach this point, where everyone strikes us as beloved?  We see two methods for this described by the Lords of Sages.  With the first, we refer to the commentary on The 400 Verses composed by the great Chandrakirti.  Here we are instructed to contemplate how—over the length of time with no beginning—each and every living being has been our own father, or mother, or other family or friend.  And then we would be willing to throw ourselves into the cycle, in order to free them.

 

 

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[163]

BDAG NYID CHEN PO TZANDRA GO MI DANG, MKHAS PA’I DBANG PO KA MA LA SH’I LAS KYANG GSUNGS SO,,

 

This particular method has also been described by the great being Chandragomi, and by that Lord among Sages, Kamalashila.[78]

 

 

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[164]

PHYOGS GNYIS PA NI DPAL LDAN ZHI BA LHA’I LUGS TE

[f. 15a],

DE NI GZHAN DU BSHAD ZIN PA LAS SHES PAR BYA’O,

,

 

The second approach is that of the glorious Shantideva; I have already elucidated this method in other works, which our reader may make reference to.[79]

 

 

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[165]

DE LTAR SEMS CAN YID LA SHIN TU GCES PA DANG, ‘KHOR BA NA MNAR BA’I TSUL GNYIS KYI SGO NAS, SNYING RJE CHEN PO SBYONG BA LA ‘BAD PA DE DAG GIS NI, ZLA

BAS MCHOD BRJOD THUN MONG MA YIN PA MDZAD PA DON YOD PAR BYAS LA,

 

Those who make a true effort at this point to develop the attitude of great compassion—through this dual methodology of learning to cherish living beings deeply, and contemplating how the cycle of life torments them—are giving meaning to the unique offering of praise which Master Chandrakirti has composed here.

 

 

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[166]

DE LTAR MA YIN NA DE’I MKHAS PAR RLOM PA NI, NE TZO’I ‘DON PA DANG ‘DRA STE, SKABS GZHAN DU YANG DE BZHIN DU SHES PAR BYA’O,

,

 

Thinking though that we are some kind of master of this text without this kind of personal implementation of it is like living the life of a parrot that simply repeats whatever he hears.  Remember this, as we go through every other section of this work as well.

 

 

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[167]

SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I

SNYING RJER ‘GRO TSUL NI ‘CHAD PAR ‘GYUR RO,

,

 

How it is that we describe this as the kind of compassion which focuses on living beings is something we’ll be covering further on in this work.

 

 

 

Compassion which focuses upon things,

         and upon the way in which

beings are not even there

 

 

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[168]

GNYIS PA NI, CHOS LA DMIGS PA DANG DMIGS PA MED PA LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE YANG, DMIGS PA’I SGO NAS GSAL BAR BYA BA’I PHYIR ‘GRO BA ZHES PA GNYIS SMOS SO,,

 

Here is the second part from before—where the author bows down to the form of compassion which focuses upon things, and upon the way in which beings are not even there.  The two sections of the original text which include the words “every living being” are meant to isolate two aspects of compassion, according to their object of focus: the type which is focused upon things, and the way in which beings are not even there.

 

 

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[169]

[,
[‘GRO BA G-YO BA’I CHU YI NANG GI ZLA BA LTAR,

,G-YO DANG RANG BZHIN NYID KYIS STONG PAR MTHONG BA YI,

,RGYAL BA’I SRAS PO ‘DI YI SEMS GANG ‘GRO BA RNAMS,

,RNAM PAR GROL BAR BYA PHYIR SNYING RJE’I DBANG GYUR ZHING,

,KUN TU BZANG PO’I SMON PAS RAB BSNGOS DGA’ BA LA,

,RAB TU GNAS PA DE NI DANG PO ZHES BYA’O,]

 

[The one we call the “first” is the one

Where a child of the Victors sees every living creature

As constantly shifting, and empty

Of any nature of their own—

Like the moon reflected in shifting waters;

And where their heart becomes a slave

To thoughts of compassion,

Determined to free these beings;

Living in a place of joy,

Dedicating all they do

With the prayer of Perfect Goodness.

                                I.13-18 ]

 

 

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[170]

 

‘GRO BA RLUNG GIS G-YO BA’I CHU YI NANG GI ZLA BA LTAR G-YO BA STE SKAD CIG GIS ‘JIG PAR MTHONG NAS, DE LA SNYING RJER GYUR PA GANG YIN PA DE LA ‘DUD DO,

,ZHES PA DANG SBYAR BA NI CHOS LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA’O,

 

At this point, Master Chandrakirti is bowing down to the form of compassion which is focused upon things; to relate this to the root text, what he is saying is: “I bow down to that thing which is the compassion where we first see that every living creature is constantly shifting, like the moon reflected in shifting waters (which is to say, coming and going by the instant), and then experience the feelings of compassion.”

 

 

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[171]

DE BZHIN DU ‘GRO BA CHU’I NANG GI ZLA GZUGS LTAR, RANG BZHIN NYID KYIS GRUB PAR SNANG YANG DES STONG PAR MTHONG NAS, DE LA SNYING RJER GYUR PA LA ‘DUD DO ZHES PA DANG SBYAR BA NI,

,DMIGS PA MED PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG

‘TSAL BA’O,

,

 

He is also bowing down to the form of compassion which is focused upon the way in which beings are not even there; to relate this one to the root text, Master Chandrakirti is saying, “I bow down to that thing which is compassion where we first see that every living creature is like an image of the moon reflected in some water (that is, they may seem to exist through some nature of their own, but in fact they are empty of any such nature); and then experience the feelings of compassion.”

 

 

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[172]

‘GREL PAR ‘GRO BA ZHES PA BZHAG NAS SNYING RJER GYUR GANG DE LA ‘DUD CES GSUNGS PA NI, DMIGS PA ‘OG MA GNYIS LA ‘GRO BA ZHES PA YOD PA LA DGONGS SO,

,

 

At this point in the autocommentary,[80] the wording mentions “bowing down to that thing which is compassion,” but passes over “every living creature.”  The idea is that the phrase “every living creature” is assumed in the two subsequent objects of focus.

 

 

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[173]

‘DI LTAR CHU SHIN TU DVANGS PA

[f. 15b] RLUNG SHIN TU DRAG PO MIN PAS, CHU’I CHA SHAS BRLABS PAS KHYAB PA’I NANG DU ZLA BA’I GZUGS BRNYAN,

 

The picture here is of a crystal-clear body of water covered by ripples created by currents of a wind which is not particularly strong; and in a certain part of the water’s surface we see a reflection of the moon.

 

 

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[174]

GZUGS BRNYAN LAS SNGAR DMIGS PA’I RTEN GYI YUL CHU DANG LHAN CIG TU, NYE RE RE ‘JIG PA ZLA BA RANG GI DNGOS PO MNGON SUM DU DMIGS PA LTA BUR SHAR BA NA,

 

But rather than appearing to be a reflection, the moon—fluttering in and out of existence as it floats upon the surface of the water, the basis that we focus upon first— seems to be the real thing, standing right there in front of our eyes.

 

 

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[175]

DAM PA STE SKYE BO TSUL DE LA MKHAS PA DAG GIS SKAD CIG RE RE LA MI RTAG PA DANG, GANG DU SNANG BA’I ZLA BA’I RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PAR MTHONG NGO,,

 

“Holy ones”[81] though—meaning people who are well versed in how all this works—see that the moon in the water is impermanent, lasting only instant by instant; and that it is empty of having any nature of being the moon which it appears to be.

 

 

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[176]

DPE DE BZHIN DU BYANG SEMS SNYING RJE’I DBANG DU

GYUR PA RNAMS KYIS KYANG, SEMS CAN ‘JIG LTA’I MTSOR DE RGYAS PA’I PHYIR DU ‘BAB PA’I MA RIG PA’I CHU SNGON PO RGYA CHE BA DANG LDAN PA, TSUL MIN YID BYED KYI RNAM RTOG GI RLUNG GIS BSKYOD PA’I NANG NA GNAS PA, NAM KHA’I ZLA

BA LTA BU’I RANG GI LAS DKAR NAG GI GZUGS BRNYAN LTA BUR MDUN NA GNAS PA RNAMS,

 

The metaphor holds with those bodhisattvas who are slaves to thoughts of compassion.  They are focusing on living beings who possess vast rivers of ignorance, feeding into an ocean of the view of destruction, swelling it.  These beings exist within waters which are stirred by the winds of their wrong ideas—of how they think of things in the wrong way.  And there in front of them lies the reflection of how they have treated others—right or wrong—like that of the moon in the sky.

 

 

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[177]

SKAD CIG RE RE LA ‘JIG PA’I ‘DU BYED KYI SDUG BSNGAL THOG TU ‘BAB PA DANG, RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAS STONG PAR MTHONG BA NA, DE RNAMS

LA DMIGS NAS SNYING RJE CHEN PO SKYE BAR ‘GYUR TE,

 

In every passing moment of their lives, they are stricken by a special kind of suffering: the fact that certain forces have given them their birth—and so they must in turn be destroyed.  And they are devoid of possessing any nature which is their own.  The bodhisattvas see these beings thus, and in their hearts rises that great compassion which focuses upon them.

 

 

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[178]

DE YANG SEMS CAN YID DU ‘ONG BA DANG, ‘KHOR BAR ‘KHYAMS PA’I TSUL BSAMS PA LAS SKYE STE SNGAR BSHAD PA BZHIN NO,

,

 

This compassion is as well born, as we have already mentioned, from seeing all these beings as beloved, and from thinking about how they are wandering through the cycle of pain.

 

 

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[179]

‘JIG LTA MA RIG PA YIN KYANG DE LAS MA RIG

PA LOGS SU BSHAD PA NI, ‘JIG LTA ‘DREN BYED CHOS KYI BDAG ‘DZIN GYI MA RIG PA LA DGONGS SO,

,

 

What we call the “view of destruction” is a kind of misunderstanding, but misunderstanding is traditionally also treated separately.  The idea behind doing this is that what brings on the view of destruction is misunderstanding in the form of grasping to the idea that things could be themselves.

 

 

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[180]

‘DIR ‘GREL PAR SNYING RJE GSUM RNAM PAS MI ‘BYED PAR DMIGS YUL GYIS ‘BYED PAR GSUNGS PAS,

 

In the Autocommentary[82] we see the statement that compassion is divided up according to the object towards which it focuses, rather than being classified by how we are thinking as we feel it.

 

 

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[181]

GSUM GA’I

[f. 16a]

RNAM PA NI SEMS CAN SDUG BSNGAL DANG ‘BRAL BAR ‘DOD PA’I RNAM PA CAN YIN PAS, SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA YIN PA YANG ‘DRA STE, SNYING RJE DANG PO’I SKABS SU ‘GRO LA SNYING RJER GYUR ZHES GSUNGS

LA, PHYI MA GNYIS KYI SKABS SU YANG ‘GRO BA G-YO BA ZHES GSUNGS PAS, SEMS CAN DMIGS PAR BSTAN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

The way we think as we feel this compassion, then, is the same in all three cases: we want living beings to be free of pain.  As such, all three are also the same in that they are focused upon these beings.  This is true in the way in which Entering the Middle Way indicates that living beings are the objects of focus here: in the case of the first form of compassion, the text says “compassion for all beings”—and in the case of the latter two forms it speaks of “every living creature, constantly shifting.”

 

 

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[182]

DES NA CHOS LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJES NI, SEMS CAN TZAM ZHIG LA DMIGS PA MIN GYI, SKAD

CIG GIS ‘JIG PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA YIN PAS, SKAD CIG GI MI RTAG PAS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN DMIGS PA’O,

,

 

Thus we can say that the form of compassion which focuses upon things is not just focused upon living beings, but rather upon living beings who are being destroyed moment by moment.  That is, it is focused upon living beings as distinguished by the quality of instantaneous impermanence.

 

 

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[183]

SEMS CAN SKAD CIG GIS ‘JIG PAR NGES PA NA, RTAG GCIG RANG DBANG CAN

GYI SEMS CAN YOD PA BLO NGO DER KHEGS PAS, PHUNG PO LAS NGO BO THA DAD PA’I SEMS CAN MED PA NGES PAR NUS SO,

,

 

Once a person comes to a realization of the fact that living beings are being destroyed moment by moment, the idea that a living being could be unchanging, singular, and independent cannot be kept inside their mind.  And then they are capable of realizing there is no living being that exists separate from the parts that make them up.

 

 

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[184]

DE’I TSE SEMS CAN NI PHUNG PO’I TSOGS TZAM LA BTAGS PAR KHONG DU CHUD PAS, PHUNG SOGS KYI CHOS

TZAM LA BTAGS PA’I SEMS CAN DMIGS PAR ‘GRO BAS CHOS LA DMIGS PA ZHES GSUNGS SO,

,

 

At this point, they grasp the fact that living beings are projections overlaid upon nothing more than combination of their parts.  And so when they focus on a living being it turns into focusing on a living being which they see as the result of a projection upon nothing more than certain objects or things, such as the parts of a person.   As such, they are said to be “focusing on things.”

 

 

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[185]

MI RTAG PA’I SEMS CAN ZHES PA NI MTSON PA TZAM STE, RANG RKYA THUB PA’I RDZAS SU MED PA’I SEMS CAN DMIGS PAR

BYED PA LTA BU LA YANG, CHOS LA DMIGS PA ZHES BYA’O,

,

 

When we mention a living being here who is “changing,” it’s just one of the examples we could have chosen.  When we take, for instance, a living being who has no substantial existence—in the sense of not being self-standing—as our object of focus, this can also be termed “focusing on things.”

 

 

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[186]

DES NA CHOS TZAM LA BTAGS PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA LA CHOS LA DMIGS PA ZHES PA NI, BAR GYI TSIG MI MNGON PAR BYED PA’O,

,

 

Therefore the expression “focusing on things” is actually a shortened version of the full expression, “focusing on a living being who is the result of a projection upon nothing more than certain objects, or things.”

 

 

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[187]

DMIGS PA MED

[f. 16b] PA LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJES KYANG SEMS CAN TZAM LA DMIGS PA MIN GYI, DMIGS PA KHYAD PAR BA RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAS STONG PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS SO,

,

 

The form of compassion which we say is “focused upon something which is not even there” is another case where we are focused upon something more than a simple living being.  That is, there is a certain distinction in how we focus: we are focusing on a living being that we see as being devoid of existing through any nature of their own.

 

 

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[188]

DMIGS PA MED PA NI MTSAN ‘DZIN GYIS BZUNG BA

LTAR GYI ZHEN YUL MED PA BDEN MED DO,

,

 

The expression “something which is not even there” is a reference to the fact that something is not real—in the sense that the thing which we believe is there when we feel that the indicators of a thing are the thing itself could never be there.

 

 

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[189]

BDEN MED KYIS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA LA, DMIGS PA MED PA LA DMIGS PA ZHES SAM, DMIGS PA MED PA’I SNYING RJE ZHES BAR GYI TSIG MI MNGON PAR BYAS PA’O,,

 

Again this is a shortened way of referring to a particular form of compassion: in this case, we give the name “compassion for something which is not even there” or “compassion which is focused upon something which is not even there” to a compassion which is focused upon a living being while at the same time drawing the distinction that they are something which is unreal.

 

 

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[190]

BOD KYI t’IK BYED MANG POS SNYING RJE GNYIS PA NYID KYIS SKAD CIG GIS ‘JIG PAR DMIGS PA DANG, SNYING RJE GSUM PA NYID KYIS RANG BZHIN MED PAR DMIGS ZER BA NI, ‘DI DAG GI DMIGS RNAM LEGS

PAR MA RTOGS PA’I BSHAD PA STE,

 

Many Tibetan commentators have made the claim that the second form of compassion alone is focused upon how something is being destroyed moment by moment; and that the third form alone is focused upon how something has no nature of its own.  This explanation though reflects a failure to understand clearly what the objects upon which these forms of compassion reflect actually are—and here’s why.

 

 

 

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[191]

SNYING RJE GNYIS NI SEMS CAN SDUG BSNGAL DANG ‘BRAL ‘DOD KYI RNAM PA CAN DU KHAS LEN DGOS LA, SKAD CIG MA DANG RANG BZHIN MED PA GNYIS RNAM PA’I YUL DU ‘DOD NA, SNYING RJE GCIG LA

‘DZIN STANGS KYI RNAM PA MI MTHUN PA GNYIS SU ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

First of all, we have to accept the idea that how we think as we feel both these forms of compassion is that we want living beings to be free of suffering.  But if we go on to accept that the two facts of something changing moment by moment, and of lacking any nature of its own, are the objects of our thoughts at this point, then we come up with a single compassion which is entertaining, at the same time, two incompatible ways of thinking about the object it is considering.

 

 

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[192]

DES NA KHYAD PAR GNYIS KYIS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN SNYING RJE’I DMIGS PAR ‘JOG PA LA, SNYING RJE GNYIS RGYUD LDAN GYI GANG ZAG GIS SEMS

CAN SKAD CIG MA DANG, RANG BZHIN MED PAR SNGON DU NGES ZIN PA LA BRTEN NAS KHYAD CHOS GNYIS KYI RNAM PA SHAR BA CIG DGOS KYI, SNYING RJES DE GNYIS SU DMIGS PA MI DGOS SO,

,

 

Here then is how we actually have to describe the way in which a living being which we are distinguishing in two different ways can be the object upon which compassion is focusing.  A person who had the two forms of compassion in their mind would have had to realize, at some previous point in time, that living beings were both changing moment by moment, and also lacked any nature of their own.  Based on this realization, they could at some later point focus upon beings with these two distinctions still going on in the back of their mind; but we could not say it was the case that their compassion was focusing on these two distinctions themselves.

 

 

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[193]

RTZA ‘GREL GNYIS KAR SNYING RJE

[f. 17a]

PHYI MA GNYIS LA SNGAR BSHAD PA’I KHYAD PAR GYIS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN DMIGS PAR BSHAD LA, SNYING RJE DANG PO LA DE ‘DRA BA’I KHYAD PAR GYIS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA MIN PAR, SEMS CAN TZAM ZHIG DMIGS PAR GSUNGS PAS,

 

The root text and the Autocommentary both describe the living beings focused upon by the latter two forms of compassion as being distinguished by the features we’ve just mentioned.  The first form of compassion though is not distinguished by such features; thus it is said to focus “on simple living beings.”

 

 

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[194]

DE LA DGONGS NAS SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE ZHES PA YANG THA SNYAD BDE BA’I PHYIR NYER BSDU’I MING NGO,

,

 

It’s with this fact in mind that we speak of “the compassion which focuses on living beings”—this expression is itself a contraction, used for convenience’ sake.

 

 

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[195]

DES NA SNYING RJE DANG PO ‘DIS RTAG GCIG RANG DBANG CAN GYI

SEMS CAN LA DMIGS DGOS PAR ‘DOD PA NI, MI RIGS PAR SMRA BA STE, BDAG MED PA’I LTA BA MA RNYED PA’I RGYUD KYI SNYING RJE LA YANG SEMS CAN TZAM LA DMIGS NAS SKYE BA DU MA YOD PA’I PHYIR DANG,

 

Therefore the assertion that this first form of compassion must be focusing on a living being as one which is unchanging, singular, and independent is mistaken.  First of all, there can be many cases where the compassion which arises in the heart of a person who has yet to reach the viewpoint that things are not themselves is one which focuses on a simple living being.

 

 

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[196]

GANG ZAG GI BDAG

MED THUN MONG BA DANG, DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA RNYED PA’I RGYUD LA YANG, SNGAR BSHAD PA’I KHYAD PAR GNYIS GANG GIS KYANG KHYAD PAR DU MA BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE DU MA YOD PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

And there are also many cases where the compassion which focuses upon living beings—without the two aforementioned distinctions being drawn at all about these beings—can exist in the heart of a person who has reached the general idea of how no person is themselves; and the view of suchness.

 

 

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[197]

DPER NA BUM

PA RTAG PAR ‘DZIN PA’I ZHEN YUL SUN PHYUNGS NAS, MI RTAG PAR KHONG DU CHUD PAS KYANG, BUM PA DMIGS PAR ‘JOG RES KYIS MI RTAG PAS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I BUM PA DMIGS PAR MI ‘JOG PA DU MA ZHIG ‘ONG LA,

 

Consider, for example, a case where someone had been able to prove to themselves that it was impossible for the object that the idea that a water pitcher is unchanging is grasping on to, to actually exist.  There are still though many cases where they could be taking a water pitcher as the object of their focus and not take as the object of this focus a water pitcher which was distinguished by the quality of being changing.

 

 

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[198]

BUM PA MI RTAG PAR KHONG DU CHUD PAS KYANG, BUM PA DMIGS PAR ‘JOG RES KYIS RTAG PAS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I BUM PA DMIGS PAR MI ‘JOG PA BZHIN NO,

,

 

They would have already understood that the water pitcher was a changing thing, but it is not the case that in every single subsequent instance in which they focused on this pitcher they never again thought of it as something characterized by being unchanging.

 

 

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[199]

‘DI’I SNYING RJE GSUM NI DMIGS PA GSUM PO GANG LA

[f. 17b] DMIGS KYANG, SEMS CAN THAMS CAD SDUG BSNGAL MTHA’ DAG LAS BSKYAB PAR ‘DOD PA’I RNAM PA CAN YIN PAS, NYAN RANG GI SNYING RJE DANG KHYAD PAR SHIN TU CHE’O,

,

 

Regardless of which of the three objects of focus the three forms of compassion described here take at any particular point, they will always be doing so with the thought that they would like to protect every living creature from every pain there is.  As such they are vastly different from the kinds of compassion felt by listeners and self-made buddhas.

 

 

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[200]

DE ‘DRA BA’I SNYING RJE RNAMS BSKYED PA NA, SEMS CAN GYI DON

DU BDAG GIS SANGS RGYAS KYI GO ‘PHANG CI NAS KYANG THOB PAR BYA’O SNYAM PA’I BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS BSKYED PAR ‘GYUR RO,

,

 

Once we have been able to develop the kinds of compassion described here, we are then able to go on and reach the Wish for enlightenment, where we think to ourselves: “No matter what, I will attain the state of a Buddha, for the sake of every living being.”

 

 

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[201]

MCHOD BRJOD YUL DU GYUR PA’I SNYING RJE NI, THOG MA’I SNYING RJE GTZO BO YIN KYANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I SNYING

RJE GZHAN RNAMS KYANG YIN PAS NA, SKABS ‘DI RNAMS SU ‘GREL PAS SNYING RJE SKYED PA PO BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAR GSUNGS PA RNAMS KYANG MI ‘GAL LO,

,

 

It is the first of the three types of compassion which is main object of the offering of praise; nonetheless, other forms of compassion possessed by bodhisattvas are also included in this object.  As such, references at this point in the Autocommentary which describe the person who reaches the compassion as being a bodhisattva are in no way contradictory.

 

 

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[202]

‘O NA LAM DU THOG MAR ZHUGS PA’I BYANG SEMS KYI RGYUR GYUR PA’I SNYING RJE

DE LA SNYING RJE GSUM GA YOD DAM MED CE NA,

 

“Well then,” one may ask.  “Let’s talk about the compassion which acts as the cause which brings about a bodhisattva who has just entered the paths.  Can it be any one of these three types of compassion?”

 

 

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[203]

‘DI LA GNYIS LAS THEG CHEN GYI RIGS CAN CHOS KYI RJES ‘BRANG NI, YANG DAG PA’I DE KHO NA NYID SHES PA TSOL BA SNGON DU BTANG STE, DON DAM PA LEGS PAR GTAN LA PHAB PA’I

‘OG TU SEMS CAN LA SNYING RJE CHEN PO BSKYED PA LA BRTEN NAS, SEMS BSKYED CING THUB PA’I BRTUL ZHUGS BYANG SEMS KYI SPYOD PA LA SLOB BO,

,

 

There are two possibilities here.  Those who belong to the greater-way type and follow after actual things first engage in a pursuit of the knowledge of the absolute purity of suchness.  Only after they have been able to learn all about the ultimate do they come to great compassion for all living beings.  And then based on this compassion they give birth to the Wish for enlightenment and train themselvesin the activities of a bodhisattva—the “rigorous way of life followed by the Able Ones.”

 

 

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[204]

THEG CHEN GYI RIGS CAN DAD PA’I RJES ‘BRANG NI, SNGON DU DE KHO NA NYID

RTOGS PAR MI NUS PAS SEMS BSKYED PA’I ‘OG TU YANG DAG PA’I DON SHES PA TSOL BA LA SOGS PA’I SPYOD PA LA SLOB STE, DBU MA’I RGYAN LAS,

 

Those who belong to the greater-way type and who follow after faith haven’t the capacity to grasp suchness first.  And so they first develop the Wish for enlightenment and then afterwards engage in the various activities, such as the pursuit of a knowledge of the absolute purity of things.  The Jewel of the Middle Way puts it like this:

 

 

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[205]

,YANG DAG SHES TSOL SNGON BTANG STE,

,DON DAM RNAM PAR NGES GYUR

[f. 18a]

NAS,

,LTA NGAN THIBS GNAS ‘JIG RTEN LA,

,SNYING RJE KUN TU BSKYED NAS SU,

 

First they engage in a pursuit

Of the knowledge of absolute purity;

Once they’ve realized the ultimate,

Then all their mistaken views collapse,

And compassion bursts forth in their heart

For all the entire world.

 

 

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[206]

,’GRO DON BYED PAR DPA’ GYUR PA,

,BYANG CHUB BLO RGYAS MKHAS PA NI,

,BLO DANG SNYING RJES BRGYAN PA YI,

,THUB PA’I BRTUL

ZHUGS YANG DAG SPYOD,

 

These wise and intelligent bodhisattvas,

Warriors in the service of others,

Covered in jewels of compassion and knowledge,

Keep then to the rigorous way of life

Followed by the Able Ones.

 

 

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[207]

,YANG DAG DAD PAS RJES ‘BRANG BA,

,RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS BSKYED NAS,

,THUB PA’I BRTUL ZHUGS BLANGS BYAS TE,

,DE NI YANG DAG SHES TSOL BRTZON,

 

Those who follow after perfect faith

First reach the Wish for complete enlightenment;

Then they take up those rigors of the Able,

And strive in the pursuit

Of the knowledge of absolute purity.[83]

 

 

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[208]

ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR YIN PAS

SNYING RJE GSUM GA SNGON DU SKYED PA YOD DO,

,

 

As these lines are describing, there are cases where all three forms of compassion are developed first.

 

 

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[209]

SNGON DU DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA RNYED KYANG SPYOD PA LA SLOB PA’I DUS SU YANG, DE KHO NA NYID KYI DON GTAN LA PHAB NAS, DE LA SLOB PA LA ‘GAL BA MED PA TZAM DU MA ZAD TSUL DE NGES PAR

BYA DGOS PA YIN NO,

,

 

One may, by the way, have previously reached the view of suchness; during the period that one is training oneself in the various activities, though, a person may continue to work out the meaning of suchness further.  In fact it’s not only that this kind of thing is not a contradiction at this point; rather, it is without question necessary during this time.

 

 

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[210]

DE LTAR MCHOD PAR BRJOD NAS BRTZAM PAR DAM BCA’ BA DNGOS SU MA MDZAD KYANG SKYON MED DE, DBU MA RTZA BA DANG RIGS PA DRUG CU PA BZHIN NO,

,

 

It’s not a problem that our author here makes the traditional offering of praise but then undertakes no direct commitment to compose the work afterwards, as can also be traditional.  We can point to similar examples with the foundational verses of Wisdom, and the Sixty Verses as well.[84]

 

 

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[211]

DE BZHIN DU BRTZAM PAR DAM BCA’ MDZAD NAS, MCHOD

BRJOD DNGOS SU MA MDZAD PA BSHES PA’I ‘PHRIN YIG LTA BU YANG YOD DO,

,

 

There are also cases where the author makes a commitment to compose the work, and then adds no direct offering of praise; we can take The Letter to a Friend as an example.[85]

 

 

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[212]

‘ON KYANG DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA RTZOM PAR ‘DOD NAS MCHOD BRJOD MDZAD PA YIN PAS, SHUGS LA NI BRTZAM PAR DAM BCA’ BA YOD DO,

,

 

In the case of Entering the Middle Way though we can say that the author has written the offering of praise because he wishes to compose the work; and so the traditional commitment to compose the work may be assumed.

 

 

 

The purpose and the connection

 

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[213]

GZHAN

‘JUG PA’I YAN LAG DGOS ‘BREL LA BRJOD BYA NI, ZAB PA DANG RGYA CHE BA GNYIS YIN LA, THUN MONG MA YIN PA’I DGOS PA NI BSHAD ZIN TO,

,

 

This brings us to the preliminaries of the composition which are meant to inspire others to engage in the work: what we sometimes call “the purpose and the connection.”  The first traditional part is called “a statement of the subject matter”—which in this case includes both the profound teachings and the widespread teachings.  The second part, what we call the “unique purpose,” has already been covered.

 

 

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[214]

NYING DGOS LA GNAS SKABS PA NI BSTAN BCOS KYI DON SHES PA NYAMS SU

[f. 18b] LEN PA NAS BZUNG STE LAM BZHI BGROD PA’O,

,MTHAR THUG PA NI ‘BRAS BU’I SA’O,,

 

The immediate point of the third part—what is named the “ultimate purpose”—extends from coming to an understanding of the subject matter of this classical commentary, up through putting it into practice as we pass through four of the paths.  The final point of this part is to reach the level of the final goal.

 

 

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[215]

NYING DGOS DGOS PA LA RAG LAS PA DANG, DGOS PA BSTAN BCOS LA RAG LAS PA NI ‘BREL BA’O,

,

 

The fourth part is known as “the connection”; here, it is reflected in the fact that fulfilling the essential purpose depends upon fulfilling the simple purpose—and fulfilling this purpose depends upon a study of the commentary.

 

 

 

A general discussion of how we practice this path

 

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[216]

GNYIS PA LA GNYIS, RGYU’I SA DANG, ‘BRAS

BU’I SA’O,

,

 

This brings us to the second major division of our discussion of the body of the text, which is the explanation of the actual body of the commentary which is composed after the offering of praise has been completed.  We proceed in two steps: a presentation of the levels which act as a cause; and then a presentation of those which consist of the result.

 

 

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[217]

DANG PO LA GSUM, LUGS ‘DI’I LAM NYAMS SU LEN TSUL SPYIR BSTAN PA DANG, BYE BRAG TU SO SKYE’I SAR NYAMS SU LEN TSUL BSHAD PA DANG, BYANG SEMS ‘PHAGS PA’I SA’I RNAM GZHAG BSTAN PA’O,,

 

The first of these has three divisions of its own: a general discussion of how it is that we put the path of this system into practice; a more specific explanation of how we practice upon the levels for normal people; and finally a presentation on the structure of the levels for realized beings who are bodhisattvas.

 

 

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[218]

DANG PO

NI, GAL TE BSTAN BCOS ‘DIR BYANG SEMS KYI ZAB PA DANG RGYA CHE BA’I LAM KLU SGRUB KYI RJES SU ‘BRANGS TE GTAN LA ‘BEBS NA, RE ZHIG MGON PO KLU SGRUB KYI LUGS KYIS SANGS RGYAS KYI SAR BGROD PA’I LAM GYI RIM PA

CI ‘DRA BA ZHIG BZHED CE NA,

 

For the first, one may begin with the following question:

 

So the goal of this classical commentary is to provide a presentation of the profound and widespread paths of the bodhisattva, following the teachings of Nagarjuna.  Here then at the beginning, can you give us an outline of the steps of the path for travelling to the state of a Buddha, according to the system accepted by our savior, Nagarjuna?

 

 

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[219]

DE LA SANGS RGYAS GNYIS PA KLU SGRUB ZHABS LA SOGS PA’I LUGS THOS BSAM GYIS GTAN LA ‘BEBS PA NI, RANG GIS YANG DAG PA’I LAM NYAMS SU LEN TSUL LA NGES PA CHEN PO RNYED NAS, LAM

LTAR SNANG RNAMS KYIS BKRI BAR MI NUS PA’I CHED DU YIN NO,

,

 

Now the whole purpose of undertaking learning and contemplation in order to come to an understanding of the system of that second Buddha, the great Nagarjuna, is so that—by reaching a deep place of certainty in our own practice of the correct path—we can assure that it is impossible for us ever to be misdirected to some mistaken path.

 

 

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[220]

DE’I PHYIR SHING RTA CHEN PO RNAMS KYI LUGS KYI GZHUNG LA CI TZAM SBYANGS KYANG, RANG GI LAM NYAMS SU LEN PA’I TSUL LA NGES PA CI YANG MI RNYED PA’I THOS BSAM

PA NI, THOS BSAM BYED TSUL GNAD DU MA SONG BA’I PHYIR,

 

Thus we can say that—no matter how much a person trains themselves in the classics of the schools of the great innovators—the way in which they undertake study and contemplation misses the mark if this learning and thinking doesn’t at all result in their coming to some place of certainty in their own actual practice of the path.

 

 

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[221]

THEG PA CHEN PO LA NGAL BAR BYAS KYANG SNYING PO LEGS PAR MI LON PAS NA, LAM BGROD PA’I RIM PA RNAMS SHES PA LA ‘BAD PAR BYA’O,

,

 

They can then be expending themselves in efforts to follow the greater way, but still fail to really get the essence.  As such, we must exert ourselves in the task of learning the various formal stages for travelling the path.

 

 

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[222]

KLU’I ZHABS KYIS LAM GYI CHA

[f. 19a]

PHYOGS RE BSHAD PA MANG YANG ZAB PA DANG RGYA CHE BA GNYIS KA LAS BRTZAMS PA’I LAM GYI LUS STON PA’I GZHUNG GSUM LAS,

 

The magnificent Nagarjuna has composed a great number of explanations of specific individual components of the path; but there are three of his classic presentations which base their structure upon both the profound and the widespread sides of the teachings.

 

 

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[223]

RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS GSUNGS TSUL LA, DE YI RTZA BA BYANG CHUB SEMS,

,ZHES PA DANG,

SNYING RJE SNGON BTANG SPYOD KUN DANG, ZHES SOGS NI SNGAR DRANGS ZIN LA,

 

Here is how the first of these, the String of Precious Jewels, makes its presentation.  We have already quoted several sections, such as the one which speaks of “its roots, a Wish for enlightenment,” and another which mentions “that entire way of life, ushered in by compassion.”

 

 

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[224]

YANG DE NYID LAS,

 

The same work also includes the following lines—

 

 

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[225]

,DE LA BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ YI,

,YON TAN MDOR BSTAN BYA BA NI,

,SBYIN DANG TSUL KHRIMS BZOD BRTZON ‘GRUS,

,BSAM GTAN SHES

RAB SNYING RJE SOGS,

 

We may summarize, briefly,

The high qualities of the bodhisattva

As giving; an ethical way of life;

Patience; joyful effort;

Meditation; wisdom;

Compassion; and others as well.

 

 

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[226]

,SBYIN PA RANG DON YONGS BTANG BA,

,TSUL KHRIMS GZHAN PHAN BYA BA’O,,

BZOD PA KHRO BA SPANGS PA STE,

,DKAR PO’I CHOS SPEL BRTZON ‘GRUS SO,

Giving is to give away

All that you ever wanted;

The ethical life means doing things

Of benefit to others.

Patience is to give up anger,

And effort is working to increase

The good parts of ourselves.

 

 

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[227]

,BSAM GTAN RTZE GCIG NYON MONGS MED,

,SHES RAB BDEN DON GTAN LA ‘BEBS,

,SNYING BRTZE SEMS CAN THAMS CAD LA,

,SNYING RJE RO GCIG BLO GROS SO,

 

Meditation is a mind single-pointed,

And free of negativity;

Wisdom works out the meaning

Of true reality.

Compassion is a kind of intelligence

Which sings a single song

Of love for every single being.

 

 

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[228]

,SBYIN PAS LONGS SPYOD KHRIMS KYIS BDE,

,BZOD PAS MDANGS LDAN BRTZON PAS BRJID,

,BSAM GTAN GYIS ZHI BLO YIS GROL,

,

SNYING BRTZE BAS NI DON KUN SGRUB,

 

Giving brings us prosperity;

An ethical life brings happiness;

Patience brings a lovely face,

And effort brings respect.

Meditation leads to peace,

Understanding liberates us,

And compassion accomplishes all things.

 

 

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[229]

,BDUN PO ‘DI DAG MA LUS PAR,

,CIG CAR PHA ROL PHYIN PA YIS,

,YE SHES BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB YUL,

,’JIG RTEN MGON PO NYID THOB ‘GYUR,

 

If we can reach the perfection

Of all these seven together,

Then we can reach that object

Of inconceivable wisdom,

And become ourselves that one and only

Savior of the world.[86]

 

 

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[230]

ZHES PHYIN DRUG GI NGOS ‘DZIN DANG,

,PHAN YON

DANG SNYING RJE’I GROGS DANG BCAS PA LA BSLAB PAR GSUNGS TE, SPYOD PA’I RTEN SEMS BSKYED PA SNGON DU BTANG BA DANG, SPYOD PA DES BYANG SEMS KYI SA BCU BGROD PAR GSUNGS SO,

,

 

These verses serve to identify for us the six perfections, covering as well the benefits that they bring to us, and the way in which we train ourselves in them, by combining them with the attitude of compassion.  They speak of how first we utilize the Wish for enlightenment—which serves as a foundation for the activities of the bodhisattva—and then undertake those activities to complete our journey through the ten bodhisattva levels.

 

 

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[231]

CHOS DBYINGS BSTOD PA LAS KYANG, SKYABS

[f. 19b] SU SONG NAS SEMS BSKYED PA DANG, PHAR PHYIN BCUS KHAMS RGYAS PAR BYED PA DANG, BYANG SEMS KYI SA BCU GSUNGS SO,

,

 

The Praise of the Realm of Reality also speaks of developing the Wish for enlightenment once one has gone for refuge; of how we use the ten perfections to expand our potential; and of the ten levels of the bodhisattva.[87]

 

 

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[232]

LAM GYI LUS KYI SDOM RAGS PA CIG MDZAD PA DE, MDO KUN LAS BTUS LAS RGYAS PAR BSHAD PA NA,

DAL ‘BYOR DANG BSTAN PA LA DAD PA RNYED DKA’ BA DANG, DE DAG LAS KYANG BYANG CHUB TU SEMS BSKYED PA RNYED DKA’ BAR GSUNGS LA,

 

The Compendium of All the Sutras further devotes an extensive section to a rough summary of the entire length of the path.  Here it describes how difficult it is to find the various forms of leisure and fortune, and faith in the teachings.  It goes on to say how even more difficult it is to reach the Wish for enlightenment.

 

 

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[233]

SEMS CAN RNAMS LA SNYING RJE CHE BA YANG RNYED DKA’ BA DANG, SNGAR BSHAD PA RNAMS LAS KYANG,

BYANG SEMS LA RMA ‘BYIN PA’I LAS SGRIB DANG, DE LA BRNYAS PA’I SEMS DANG, BDUD KYI LAS DANG, DAM CHOS SPONG BA SOGS SPONG BA RNYED DKA’ BA SOGS KYI BSHAD PA MANG DU GSUNGS SO,

,

 

It also describes how difficult it is to develop great compassion for living beings—and it continues by saying that it is even more difficult than all of these to reach a point where we can remove a karmic obstacle created by speaking badly of a bodhisattva, or even just thinking badly of them; or else eliminate the influence of negative spirits; or stop ourselves from actions which consist of rejecting the Dharma, or anything of the like.  We see many such discussions there.[88]

 

 

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[234]

‘DI SNGA MA GNYIS LA LTOS NA

GSAL MOD KYANG, DA DUNG LAM GYI RIM PA RNAMS RTOGS DKA’ BA LA, SLOB DPON GYI LUGS ‘DZIN CHEN PO ZHI BA LHAS, SPYIR BSLAB SPYOD GNYIS KA DANG KHYAD PAR DU MDO BTUS KYI DON GYI ‘GREL PA BSLAB BTUS LAS SHIN

TU GSAL ZHING RGYAS PAR GSUNGS TE,

 

It is admittedly true that this last work gives a more explicit presentation than the two mentioned before it; but certain steps of the path can still be difficult for a person to grasp.  And so Shantideva, that great upholder of the system of the Master, has described these steps even more explicitly, and in much greater detail, in a general way in his Compendium of All the Trainings and his Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life—and in a much more specific way in his Compendium of All the Trainings which is a commentary explaining the meaning of the Compendium of All the Sutras.[89]

 

 

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[235]

THOG MAR DAL ‘BYOR DON CHE ZHING SHIN TU RNYED DKA’ BA BSAMS NAS, TSE ‘DIR SNYING PO LEN PA’I PHAN PA SEMS PA DANG, DE NAS DAD PA SPYI DANG KHYAD PAR DU THEG PA CHEN PO’I YON TAN BSAM

PA’I DAD PA BRTAN PO BSKYED DE,

 

That is, he is saying, we first contemplate upon the great importance of the leisure and fortune we have found in this life, and how extremely difficult it is to find.  Then we think on the benefit of getting the very essence out of our lifetime here.  This leads, in general, to feelings of faith; and more specifically to a solid faith in which we consider the high qualities of the path of the greater way.

 

 

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[236]

SMON PA BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS BSKYED PA DANG, DE NAS ‘JUG PA’I SDOM PA BZUNG BA DANG, DE NAS LUS DANG LONGS SPYOD DGE RTZA GSUM BTANG BA DANG, BSRUNG BA DANG, DAG PAR BYED

[f. 20a]

PA DANG, SPEL BA’I TSUL RNAMS GSAL BAR GSUNGS PA ‘DIS, MDO KUN LAS BTUS BSHAD PAR BYA’O,

,

 

This in turn leads to developing the Wish for enlightenment in the form of an intention—which inspires us to commit ourselves to the vows for this Wish in the form of actual action.  And then we can give away the three of our body, our possessions, and our store of good deeds.  We can honor, we can purify, we can increase.  Our author explicitly describes the way of doing these things; and thus do “I explain the Compendium of All the Sutras.”

 

 

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[237]

BZHI BRGYA PAR YANG ZAB PA DANG RGYA CHE BA’I LAM GYI LUS GSUNGS LA, DBU MA

SNYING PO DANG, DBU MA RGYAN DANG, DBU MA’I SGOM RIM GSUM LAS BSDUS TE GSUNGS PA’I LUS RNAMS KYANG ‘DRA BAS, ‘PHAGS PA’I LUGS ‘DZIN PA’I CHEN PO THAMS CAD LAM GYI KHOG LA ‘DRA’O,

,

 

The paths of both the profound and the widespread sides of the teaching are also recounted in The 400 Verses.  The content of the briefer presentations of them found in three works—The Heart of the Middle Way, The Jewel of the Middle Way, and The Steps of Meditation on the Middle Way—is also similar; and so we can say that the general shape of the path painted by the great upholders of the system of the Realized Being is always the same.[90]

 

 

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[238]

‘DI RNAMS LA NGES

PA BDE BLAG TU STER BA’I THABS LAS DANG PO PAS ‘JUG PA BDE BA NI SHING RTA CHEN PO’I LUGS GNYIS LA MKHAS PA’I DPAL MAR ME MDZAD KYI GDAMS NGAG BYANG CHUB LAM GYI RIM PAR, SHIN TU GO SLA BA’I ‘KHRID TSUL

BSTAN PA LAS SHES PAR BYA’O,

,

 

One way to gain, without great effort, a good understanding of these classics is through a study of the Steps on the Path to Enlightenment, a book of advice which is easily covered even by beginners, and which was composed by the glorious Dipankara, a master of the systems of both the great innovators.  This text makes its presentation in a way which is understood with great ease.[91]

 

 

 

Practicing the levels for normal people

 

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[239]

GNYIS PA NI, GAL TE BSTAN BCOS ‘DIR BYANG SEMS KYI LAM ZAB PA DANG RGYA CHE BA GNYIS KA DANG, DES THOB PAR BYA BA’I ‘BRAS BU GTAN LA ‘BEBS NA, BYANG SEMS LA GAL SHIN TU CHE BA’I

SO SKYE’I SA’I LAM GYI RIM PA RNAMS, MCHOD BRJOD KYI ‘OG ‘DIR BSTAN DGOS PA LAS, DER MI STON PAR ‘PHAGS PA’I SA NYID NAS ‘CHAD PA JI LTAR RIGS SNYAM NA,

 

This brings us to the second division in our presentation of the levels that act as a cause, which is a more specific explanation of how we practice upon the levels for normal people.  One may begin with the following question:

 

Let’s assume then that the purpose of the classical commentary we are covering here is to set forth both the profound and widespread divisions of the path of the bodhisattva—as well as the goal which we achieve by following these divisions.  It would seem necessary, since they are so crucial for bodhisattvas, to present here, right after the offering of praise, the steps of the path contained in the levels for normal people.  And yet the text does not follow this approach, but rather begins the discussion from nothing less than the levels of the bodhisattva.  How could this be right?

 

 

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[240]

‘DI NI MCHOD BRJOD KYI SKABS NYID DU BSHAD PAS,

SKABS ‘DIR MA BSHAD DO,

,DE’I DGOS PA NI GANG BSGOMS PA LA BRTEN NAS BYANG SEMS SU ‘GYUR BA’I RGYU’I GTZO BO GSUM BSTAN PAS, THEG CHEN DU ‘JUG PAR ‘DOD PAS DE GSUM THOG MAR NYAMS SU BLANG DGOS PAR

[f. 20b] BSTAN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

This question has already been covered, in the section on the offering of praise itself; as such, we will not go through it again here.  The point of doing it this way though is that the text first presents the three principal causes which—once one meditates upon them—lead one to become a bodhisattva.  This is in order to indicate that those who wish to enter the greater way must first put into practice these three.

 

 

 

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[241]

DE GSUM NI SNGON DU NYAMS SU LEN DGOS PAR MA ZAD, BYANG SEMS SU GYUR NAS KYANG NYAMS SU BLANG DGOS PA LA, GNYIS LA MI RTEN PA’I YE SHES NI SPYOD PA’I GTZO BO YIN PAS, DES MTSON NAS SBYIN SOGS

KYI SPYOD PA GZHAN LA SLOB PA YANG GO DGOS SO,

,

 

Not only must one put these three into practice before becoming a bodhisattva—they must also be practiced even after one has already become one.  The primary practice within all the activities of a bodhisattva is that of the wisdom which no longer rests in the two extremes.  The practice of this wisdom then represents the practice of all the other bodhisattva activities—giving and the rest.  When the presentation is done as it is, it is meant to help us understand this fact.

 

 

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[242]

DE YANG MDO KUN LAS BTUS PA LAS, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ THABS LA MKHAS PA DANG BRAL BAR CHOS NYID ZAB MO LA SBYAR BAR MI BYA STE, ‘DI LTAR THABS DANG SHES RAB  ZUNG DU ‘BREL BA NI, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS KYI SBYOR BA YANG DAG PA’O, ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR

 

This follows the Compendium of All the Sutras, where it states—

 

A bodhisattva who is without skillful means fails to apply themselves to the profound nature of things.  When one rather combines both method and wisdom in the way we’ve described, this becomes the perfect practice of a bodhisattva.[92]

 

 

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[243]

TSOGS GNYIS ZUNG DU ‘BREL BA LA BSLAB DGOS KYI, THABS SHES PHYOGS RE BAS CHOG SHES BYED PA DANG, THABS

SHES KHYAD PAR CAN GANG YANG MED PA’I SEMS RTZE GCIG PA TZAM LA YID BRTAN PAR MI BYA’O,

,

 

The point is that we must practice the two accumulations in tandem: we must not satisfy ourselves with practicing just one side or the other—method or wisdom; and we must not put all our faith in a single-pointed state of mind alone—in one which lacks any extraordinary form of method and wisdom.

 

 

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[244]

DE KHO NA NYID LA DPYOD PA’I RIGS PAS DGAG BYA ‘GOG PA’I SA MTSAMS MA ZIN PAR THAMS CAD BKAG PAR MTHONG STE, RTOG PA GANG

YIN THAMS CAD BDEN ‘DZIN DU ‘KHRUL BAS,

 

We do see people who fail to draw the correct line concerning how far we should go in denying the existence of what the concept of emptiness negates; that is, they fail in how they apply the various forms of reasoning which explore the idea of suchness.  And then they end up denying the existence of everything: they mistake all forms of discursive thought for the tendency to hold things as real.

 

 

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[245]

THA SNYAD KYI RNAM GZHAG THAMS CAD GZHAN NGO KHO NA LA SKYEL BA DANG, ‘BRAS BU’I SKABS SU YE SHES KYIS STONG PA’I DE BZHIN NYID TZAM ZHIG GI CHOS SKU LAS MED CING, GZUGS

KYI SKU GDUL BYA’I SHES RGYUD KYIS BSDUS PAR ‘DOD PA RNAMS LA NI,

 

Because of this they assert that the entire presentation upon how things do exist nominally was made only to satisfy those of other schools.  And they must also then assert that—at the stage where we have reached the final goal—there is nothing left but a body of reality which consists only of the ultimate nature of things, devoid of the attribute of wisdom.  At this point as well they must assert that the body of form is actually subsumed by the mental continua of the disciples experiencing it.

 

 

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[246]

NYAN RANG GNYIS THUB DBANG LAS SKYES PA DANG, SANGS RGYAS BYANG SEMS LAS ‘KHRUNGS PAR LUNG RIGS KYIS BSGRUBS PA SOGS THAMS CAD DBU MA

[f. 21a]

LA ‘JUG PA’I LUGS MIN PAR ‘GYUR ZHING,

 

And by that point, nothing like this whole exercise where we use both scriptural authority and logical reasoning to establish that the two of listeners and self-made buddhas are born from the Lords of the Able—and that Buddhas themselves take their holy birth from bodhisattvas—can any longer represent the system of Entering the Middle Way.

 

 

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[247]

CHOS GSUM BSGOM PA YANG BYANG SEMS DBU MA PA’I LUGS MIN PAR GZHAN NGO TZAM DU BZHAG PA’O, ZHES PAS RANG NGOS NAS LAM NYAMS SU BLANG

DGOS PA THAMS CAD LA SKUR BA BTAB CING,

 

There are also those who say that “even following those three practices is something that was taught for those of other schools, and is not the system followed by bodhisattvas who belong to the middle way.”  These kind of people are failing to show any respect for the path that they themselves will eventually need to walk.

 

 

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[248]

RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAS STONG PA’I SEMS CAN ZO CHUN DANG CHOS MTHUN DRUG GIS ‘KHOR BAR BSHAD PA RNAMS ‘GAL ‘DU ‘BA’ ZHIG TU ‘GYUR BAS,

 

Their thinking stands in total contradiction to the presentation on how living beings who are devoid of any natural existence spin through the cycle of life in a manner which is similar, in six different ways, to the way in which a water wheel turns.

 

 

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[249]

DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA’I MCHOD BRJOD NAS BZUNG STE, GZHUNG GI DON LOG PAR ‘CHAD PA LA ZHUGS PAR SHES PAR BYA’O,,

 

And so our readers should understand that they way they explain the entire text of Entering the Middle Way, from the offering of praise down to the last page, is completely mistaken.

 

 

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[250]

SBYIN SOGS LA SLOB TSUL ‘PHAGS PA’I SA’I SKABS SU BSHAD PA RNAMS LA’ANG SO SKYE’I SA NAS KYANG, NYAMS SU BLANG

BYA’I SPYOD PA MANG DU YOD PA RNAMS SHES PAR BYAS NAS, DA LTA NAS KYANG NYAMS SU BLANG BA LA ‘BAD PAR BYA’O,

,

 

They should also understand that there are a great many activities that come from the levels of normal people and which should still be followed as we undertake the practice of giving and the rest, as these are described for individuals who have reached the levels of those who are realized.  These are practices which our readers can in fact begin to work on immediately.

 

 

 

A combined presentation of the ten levels

 

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[251]

GSUM PA LA GSUM, SA BCU’I THUN MONG GI RNAM GZHAG, SA SO SO’I RNAM GZHAG, SA BCU’I YON

TAN BSTAN PA’O,

,

 

This brings us to the third point in our explanation of the levels which act as a cause, which is a presentation on the structure of the levels for realized beings who are bodhisattvas.  We will cover this subject in three different steps: a combined presentation of the ten levels; a separate presentation for each one of these levels; and then a description of the high good qualities of the ten.

 

 

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[252]

DANG PO NI, ‘DIR RAB DGA’ SOGS SA BCU GCIG BSHAD PA NI, RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS,

 

Here is the first.  Our presentation here on eleven levels—Perfect Happiness and the rest—is based upon the following lines from The String of Precious Jewels which speak of ten levels, and a broad presentation of eleven levels:

 

 

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[253]

,JI LTAR NYAN THOS THEG PA LA,

,NYAN THOS SA NI BRGYAD BSHAD PA,

,DE BZHIN THEG PA CHEN PO LA,

,

BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I SA BCU’O,

 

For the way of the listeners,

We see a description

Of eight different listener levels.

Just so, for the greater way,

There are ten bodhisattva levels.[93]

 

 

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[254]

ZHES SA BCU DANG, BCU GCIG PA’I RNAM GZHAG RAGS PA CIG GSUNGS PA LA GZHI MDZAD CING,

 

SA BCU PA’I MDO LA YANG BRTEN NAS MDZAD DE, DE LA RAB DGA’ SOGS SA

[f. 21b] BCU LA SEMS BSKYED PA BCUR BSHAD PA NI, DON DAM PA’I SEMS BSKYED LA DGONGS SO,

,

 

Our explanation is also based upon The Sutra on the Ten Levels.  In this scripture, the ten levels—Perfect Happiness and the rest—are spoken of as the “ten forms of the Wish for enlightenment.”[94]  We are meant to understand that this is a reference to the ultimate form of this Wish.[95]

 

 

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[255]

DON DAM SEMS BSKYED DU BZHAG PA’I SA BCU’I NGO BO NI, ‘GREL PA LAS, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS KYI ZAG PA MED PA’I YE

SHES SNYING RJE LA SOGS PAS ZIN PA NYID CHAR RNAM PAR PHYE BA NA, SA ZHES BYA BA’I MING ‘THOB STE YON TAN GYI GNAS SU ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO, ZHES SA YI NGO BO DANG GANG GIS YONGS SU ZIN PA DANG, SA’I MING ‘THOB TSUL DANG, SGRA’I DON BSHAD PA BZHIS BSTAN NO,,

 

What is the very essence of the ten levels which we describe as the ultimate form of the Wish?  The commentary gives the presentation in four parts: the essence of the levels; what it is that imbues them; how they came to be given the name “level”; and the literal meaning of their name—

 

The immaculate wisdom of the bodhisattvas—always imbued with compassion and the rest—may be divided into certain parts.  These are given the name level [or ground], for they are the places where high personal qualities are found.[96]

 

 

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[256]

ZAG PA MED PA’I YE SHES ZHES PA’I NGO BO NI, KHA CIG MDZOD NAS BSHAD PA LTAR GYI ZAG PA RGYAS SU MI RUNG BA LA ZAG MED DU ‘CHAD PA NI, LUGS ‘DI’I ZAG MED DU ‘JOG PA’I DON THUN MONG

MA YIN PA MA RTOGS PAR SNANG BAS,

 

What then is the essence of immaculate wisdom?  Some have glossed “immaculate” here as it is explained in The Treasure House—as referring to an instance where stains can no longer spread.[97]  It would appear that these people have failed to grasp the unique way in which something is described as “immaculate” in this particular system.[98]

 

 

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[257]

RANG GI LUGS NI BDEN ‘DZIN GYI MA RIG PA DANG, DE’I BAG CHAGS GANG RUNG GIS BSLAD PA NI ZAG BCAS DANG, BSLAD PA DE DANG BRAL BA’I YE SHES NI ZAG PA MED PA YIN TE,

 

According to our own system, something is “stained” when it is infected either by misunderstanding in the form of believing that things are real, or by the seeds for this tendency—or by both.  “Unstained” or “immaculate” then refers to the state of understanding which is free of such infection.

 

 

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[258]

TSIG

GSAL LAS, MA RIG PA’I RAB RIB DANG BRAL BA DAG GI YE SHES ZAG PA MED PA’I YUL GYI RANG BZHIN LA LTOS NAS NI MA YIN NO, ZHES GSUNGS PA BZHIN NO,

,

 

As A Clarification of the Verses puts it,

 

What we refer to as “immaculate” is the wisdom of those which are freed of the cataract of misunderstanding; it is not, rather, a term applied according to the nature of a particular object.[99]

 

 

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[259]

DE YANG SANGS RGYAS KYI SA MA THOB TSUN CHAD DU MA RIG PA’I

BAG CHAGS KYIS MA BSLAD PA’I SHES PA NI, ‘PHAGS PA RNAMS KYI MNYAM GZHAG MI RTOG PA’I YE SHES MIN PA MED LA, DE YANG RES ‘JOG PA STE MNYAM GZHAG LAS LANGS PA NA BAG CHAGS KYIS BSLAD PA CAN DU SKYE’O,

,

 

Now except for the non-conceptual wisdom of realized beings in their deep state of meditation, there is no state of mind (short of the one possessed by a person who has reached the level of Buddhahood) which is not infected by the seed for the tendency to misunderstand things.  Even this wisdom though is variable, in the sense that—when these beings come out of this type of meditation—their mind again takes on the infection by the seed for this tendency.

 

 

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[260]

SA

[f. 22a]

BDUN PA’I BAR DU NI MA RIG PAS SLOD PA YOD LA, SA BRGYAD PA NAS DANG DGRA BCOM PA GNYIS LA NI, SLOD BYED KYI MA RIG PA ZAD PAS, DES BSLAD PA MED KYI MA RIG PA’I BAG CHAGS KYIS BSLAD PA NI

YOD DO,

,

 

Up through the seventh bodhisattva level, our mind is still infected by the misunderstanding itself.  In two cases though—from the eighth level on up, and with enemy destroyers—the misunderstanding which does the infecting is finished off.  Thus it is no longer infecting our mind; but we do still have infection going on by the mental seed for this tendency to misunderstand.

 

 

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[261]

YANG ‘GREL PAR SA DANG PO LA GNYIS SU MED PA’I YE SHES KYI MING CAN ZHES GSUNGS PA NI, YUL YUL CAN RGYANGS CHAD DU GNYIS SU SNANG BA MED PA LA ZER GYI, MTHA’ GNYIS SPANGS PA TZAM GYI YE SHES LA MI

BYA’O,

,

 

And when the commentary speaks of something “having the name” of “wisdom beyond duality” at the first bodhisattva level, it is referring to a lack of duality in the sense of subject and the object appearing to be divorced one from the other; not to a state of understanding in which we have eliminated no more than the two extremes.[100]

 

 

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[262]

SLOB DPON ‘DI’I GZHUNG DU MA RIG PA’I RAB RIB DANG BRAL BA’I SHES RAB DANG YE SHES, ZHES DU MA ZHIG GSUNGS PAS MA RIG PA DANG, DE’I BAG CHAGS RIG PA’I KHYAB BYED DU BYAS NAS, DE GNYIS ZAD PA NA YE

SHES KYANG LDOG PA SLOB DPON ‘DI’I LUGS SU SMRA BA NI,

 

In the classics written by this particular master,[101] we see frequent references to the “wisdom” or “understanding” which is “free of the cataract of misunderstanding.”  And then some people have claimed that what this means is that the tendency to misunderstand—and the mental seed which causes this tendency—themselves subsume our very consciousness.  They say that when we finish off the two, then, we also put a stop to the understanding itself—and they conclude by stating that this idea expresses the system of the present master.

 

 

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[263]

MU STEGS DPYOD PA BA DRI MA ZAD NA SEMS KYANG ZAD PAR ‘DOD PA LTAR SMRA BA’I SKUR ‘DEBS CHEN PO YIN LA, ‘PHAGS PA’I MNYAM GZHAG NA YE SHES MED ZER BA YANG DE DANG ‘DRA’O,,

 

This though is a tremendous philosophical debasement, on the order of the belief of the “Examinist” school[102] of the early Hindus where they say that—when we finish off mental impurities—we finish off the mind itself as well.  Claiming that there is no wisdom present in the mind of a realized being engaged in deep meditation is also similar.

 

 

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[264]

RIN CHEN PHRENG BA LAS KYANG,

,DE PHYIR DE LTAR MTHONG BA GROL,

,GANG GIS MTHONG BAR ‘GYUR ZHE NA,

,THA SNYAD DU NI SEMS LA BRJOD,

 

The String of Precious Jewels says as well—

 

Therefore anyone

Who sees things this way

Is freed;

And if you ask

Who it is

That sees,

Our answer is that

It’s the mind,

In a nominal way.[103]

 

 

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[265]

,CES YUL CAN GYI BYED PA CI ‘DRA BA ZHIG GIS DE KHO NA NYID

MNGON SUM DU MTHONG BA DRIS PA’I LAN DU, THA SNYAD DU SEMS KYIS DE KHO NA NYID MNGON SUM DU MTHONG BAR GSUNGS SHING,

 

This section constitutes a question: “What kind of action, by what subject, is it that allows us to see suchness directly?”  And in answer it says, “It is the mind which, in a nominal way, sees suchness directly.”

 

 

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[266]

CHOS DBYINGS BSTOD PA LAS KYANG,

,JI LTAR ME YIS DAG PA’I GOS,

,SNA TSOGS DRI MAS DRI

[f. 22b] MA CAN,

,JI LTAR ME YI NANG BCUG NA,

,DRI MA ‘TSIG ‘GYUR GOS MIN LTAR,

The Praise of the Realm of Reality also says,

 

Think of how you put

A piece of cloth resistant to fire

But which has all sorts of stains

Into the middle of a fire.

The stains are burned,

But not the cloth.

 

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[267]

,DE BZHIN ‘OD GSAL BA YI SEMS,

,’DOD CHAGS LAS SKYES DRI MA CAN,

,YE SHES ME YIS DRI MA SREG

,DE NYID ‘OD GSAL MA YIN NO,

 

It’s the same with the mind,

The mind of clear light.

It may possess the various stains

Which come from feelings of desire,

But when the fire of wisdom comes

And burns the stains,

It cannot burn the clear light itself.[104]

 

 

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[268]

ZHES RDO

RGYUS KYI GOS DRI MA CAN MER BCUG PA NA, MES DRI MA TSIG KYANG GOS MI ‘TSIG PA LTAR, SEMS KYI DRI MA YE SHES KYI MES BSREGS PA NA, DRI MA SREG PA YIN GYI ‘OD GSAL BA’I SEMS MED PAR MI ‘GYUR BAR GSUNGS SO,,

 

What this is saying is that, when we take a fire-resistant cloth—one with various stains—into the fire, the fire burns away the stains, but not the cloth itself.  And when the stains in the mind are burned away by the fire of understanding, the stains are burned; but it is not as if the mind of clear light itself disappears.

 

 

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[269]

BYANG SEMS ‘PHAGS PA’I MNYAM GZHAG YE SHES DANG, NYAN RANG ‘PHAGS PA’I MNYAM GZHAG YE SHES GNYIS, MA RIG PA’I BAG CHAGS KYIS MA BSLAD PAR CHOS NYID MNGON SUM DU RTOGS PAR MTSUNGS KYANG,

 

 

Now it is the case that the deep meditative wisdom of a realized being who is a bodhisattva—and the deep meditative wisdom of realized beings who are listeners and self-made buddhas—are equivalent, in seeing the true nature of things directly, without being infected by mental seeds for the tendency to misunderstand things.

 

 

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[270]

BYANG SEMS ‘PHAGS PA’I SAR ‘JOG MI ‘JOG GI KHYAD PAR NI, SNYING RJE CHEN PO’I GZHAN DBANG DU GYUR MA GYUR DANG, YON TAN BRGYA PHRAG BCU GNYIS SOGS KYI NUS PA YOD MED KYI DBANG GI YIN NO,

,

 

The distinction though of whether either one is said to be the level of a bodhisattva who is a realized being is drawn on the basis of whether the person has become a slave of great compassion or not; and whether or not they possess the power of things like the twelve sets of 100 high qualities each.[105]

 

 

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[271]

GZHAN

YANG SNGAR BSHAD PA LTAR TSOGS SBYOR GYI SKABS SU, BDAG MED GNYIS KYI DE KHO NA NYID KYI DON LA, RIGS PA’I RNAM GRANGS DPAG TU MED PA’I SGO NAS, ZAB DON LA BLO RGYAS PA DANG MA RGYAS PA LAS DE KHO NA NYID

MNGON SUM DU RTOGS MA RTOGS KYI KHYAD PAR YANG SHIN TU CHE’O,

,

 

There is also a vast difference (as we have mentioned previous) between different ways in which one has perceived suchness; that is, a difference in whether the person’s mind has been “opened” or not towards this profound object,[106] by their utilizing an infinite number of different forms of reasoning—during their time on the paths of accumulation and preparation—to explore the meaning of suchness, as far as the two ways in which objects lack any self-nature.

 

 

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[272]

CHAR PHYE BA NA ZHES PA NI CHA CAN ZAG MED KYI YE SHES GCIG NYID KYI CHA SO SO SOR RIM GYIS PHYE BA’I SNGA PHYI’I CHA RNAMS SA SO SOR ‘GYUR BA STE,

 

The reference above to “division into certain parts” is meant to convey that there is a single whole: immaculate wisdom.  We divide it into sections as it continues on, and thus arrive at progressive parts which we refer to as “bodhisattva levels.”

 

 

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[273]

SA ZHES

[f. 23a]

PA NI YON TAN GYI GNAS SAM RTEN BYED PAS, SA DANG ‘DRA BAS DE LTAR BSNYAD PA’O,

,DE DAG GIS NI DON DAM PA’I SA BCU KA YANG MI RTOG YE SHES NYID LA ‘JOG PAR BSTAN NO,

,

 

When we say “level,” we are applying the name in the sense of “ground,” in that these levels are similar to solid ground as they provide the place or support for the development of high spiritual qualities.

 

 

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[274]

DE MTSUNGS KYANG RAB DGA’

SOGS SA SO SOR ‘JOG TSUL NI, BZHI’I SGO NAS ‘JOG PA’I KHYAD PAR DANG PO NI, SA DANG PO LA YON TAN BRGYA PHRAG BCU GNYIS DANG, GNYIS PA LA STONG PHRAG BCU GNYIS SOGS ‘CHAD PAR ‘GYUR BA LTAR YON TAN GYI

GRANGS GONG NAS GONG DU ‘PHEL BA’O,

,

 

In this regard, all the bodhisattva levels are the same; yet we do divide them out into the individual levels of Perfect Happiness and the rest, basing this division on four different criteria.  The first is that as we move up through the levels, the number of qualities which we attain increases higher and higher: as we will describe later on, we attain twelve sets of a hundred qualities each when we reach the first bodhisattva level; and then at the second another twelve sets of a thousand qualities each, and so on.

 

 

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[275]

KHYAD PAR GNYIS PA NI MTHU PHUL DU BYUNG BA GONG NAS GONG DU ‘THOB PA’I KHYAD PAR RO,

,DE NI ZHING BRGYA G-YO BA DANG STONG G-YO BA SOGS LA ‘CHAD MOD KYANG, DE YON TAN GYI GRANGS ‘PHEL BA’I

NANG DU SONG ZIN PAS, SA SO SO’I SKABS KYI DRI MA SBYONG BA’I STOBS DANG, LAM BGROD BA’I STOBS GONG NAS GONG DU ‘PHEL BA LA BYA DGOS PA ‘DRA’O,

,

 

The second distinction is that as we move up through the levels we attain extraordinary power, and this increases at each level.  Now this difference has been explained by some as referring to the fact that first we are able to shake a hundred enlightened realms; and then a thousand, and so on.  But this progression has already been covered where we spoke about how the number of good qualities increases.  As such, it would seem to me that what is mentioned here must refer to the steady increase in the capacity that we gain to clean ourselves of impurities, and to travel the path.

 

 

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[276]

GSUM PA NI, SA DANG POR SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN LHAG PA DANG, GNYIS PAR

TSUL KHRIMS KYI PHAR PHYIN LHAG PA SOGS PHAR PHYIN LHAG PA’I KHYAD PAR RO,

,

 

The third distinction relates to which of the perfections we take to a higher degree of practice at the particular bodhisattva level: at the first level we attain a higher practice of the perfection of giving; at the second, a higher practice of the perfection of an ethical life, and so on.

 

 

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[277]

KHYAD PAR BZHI PA NI, SA DANG POR ‘DZAM BU GLING LA DBANG BA DANG, GNYIS PAR GLING BZHI LA DBANG BA’I RGYAL POR SKYE BA SOGS RNAM SMIN GYI SKYE BA GONG

NAS GONG DU ‘PHEL BA’O,

,

 

The fourth distinction relates to the rebirth that comes to us as a karmic ripening.  At the first level, this ripening produces a life where we become a king or queen with authority over our own continent of Jambu; at the second, one where we have authority over all four continents, and so on.[107]

 

 

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[278]

DES NA SA SO SO’I MI RTOG YE SHES LA YON TAN GYI GRANGS LA SOGS PA’I NUS PA DMAN MCHOG GI KHYAD PAR CHEN PO YOD PAS SA RNAMS SO SOR ‘JOG LA, SA SO SO’I SKABS KYI RJES THOB KYI YON

[f. 23b] TAN RNAMS KYANG SA DE DANG DER BSDU DGOS PAS, MNYAM GZHAG KHO NA LA MI BYA’O,

,

 

Therefore, there is a great difference in the relative power—reflected in features such as the number of high qualities involved—for the non-conceptual wisdom which is found at each of the individual bodhisattva levels; and this is why we divide out the different levels.  These differences do not apply only to the periods at each level spent in deep meditation, because the high qualities which relate to the “aftermath” periods of each level must also of necessity be included into that particular level.

 

 

 

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[279]

SA SO SOR ‘BYED TSUL DE LTAR BYA’I, DON DAM PA’I SA ‘DI RNAMS LA RANG GI NGO BO’I DMIGS RNAM MI ‘DRA BA’I KHYAD PAR GYIS BYAS PA’I DBYE BA NI YOD

PA MIN TE,

 

This then is how the individual bodhisattva levels are divided out; it is not though the case that these ultimate levels are somehow divided out based on some difference in the essential object perceived by each one.

 

 

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[280]

SA BCU PA’I MDO LAS,

,JI LTAR BAR SNANG BYA RJES MKHAS RNAMS KYIS,

,BRJOD PAR NUS MA YIN ZHING MI MTHONG BA,

,DE LTAR RGYAL BA’I SRAS KYI SA KUN YANG,

,BRJOD MI NUS NA MNYAN PAR GA LA NUS,

 

As the Sutra on the Ten Levels puts it,

 

The trail left by a bird

Across the expanse of the sky

Is not something that the wise

Can describe, nor even see.

 

If all the different levels

Of the children of the Victors

Are beyond all being described,

How then could one hear of them?[108]

 

 

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[281]

ZHES BAR SNANG GI

NAM MKHA’ LA BYAS BGROD KYANG, BYA’I RJES ‘JIG RTEN GYI MKHAS PA RNAMS KYIS NGAG GIS BRJOD PA DANG, BLOS MTHONG BA MIN PA BZHIN DU

 

Here’s what these lines are describing.  A bird may fly across the expanse of sky above; but the trail left by the bird is not something that those who are wise (in a worldly way) could ever describe in words, nor see with their mind.

 

 

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[282]

BYA LTA BU’I DON DAM PA’I SA RNAMS KYIS,

,NAM MKHA’ LTA BU’I CHOS NYID LA BGROD

KYANG, DE’I BGROD TSUL ‘PHAGS PAS NYAMS SU MYONG BA JI BZHIN PA NI, ‘CHAD PA PO ‘PHAGS PAS KYANG BRJOD PAR MI NUS NA, NYAN PA PO RNAMS KYIS GZIGS PA JI BZHIN PA MNYAN PAR MI NUS PAR GSUNGS SO,

,

 

The ultimate levels are similar to the bird.  They cross the expanse of the real nature of things, comparable to the sky—and yet even if the one trying to describe it is a realized being themselves, they could never describe how the crossing is accomplished, in just the same way as this is experienced by the realized being.  How then could those listening to this person ever be able to hear what they are saying, in just the same way that they saw it?

 

 

 

A brief presentation of perfect happiness

 

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[283]

GNYIS PA

LA GSUM, RAB DGA’ SOGS SA LNGA BSHAD PA DANG, SA DRUG PA MNGON DU GYUR PA BSHAD PA DANG, RING DU SONG BA SOGS SA BZHI BSHAD PA’O,

,

 

This brings us to our second step from above: a separate presentation for each one of the ten levels.  Here we proceed in three sections: an explanation of the five levels beginning with Perfect Happiness; an explanation of the sixth level—Direct Perception; and then an explanation of the four levels starting with Gone Far.

 

 

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[284]

DANG PO LA LNGA, SA DANG PO RAB TU DGA’ BA DANG, SA GNYIS PA DRI MA

MED PA DANG, SA GSUM PA ‘OD BYED PA DANG, SA BZHI PA ‘OD ‘PHRO BA DANG, SA LNGA PA SBYANG DKA’ BA BSHAD PA’O,

,

 

The first of these three sections we will cover in five further divisions, which are explanations of the first bodhisattva level, Perfect Happiness; the second level, Immaculate; the third level, Shining; the fourth level, Radiance; and the fifth level, Invincible.

 

 

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[285]

DANG PO LA GSUM, KHYAD GZHI SA’I NGO BO MDOR BSTAN, KHYAD CHOS SA’I YON TAN RGYAS PAR BSHAD

[f. 24a],

SA’I YON TAN BRJOD PA’I SGO NAS MJUG BSDU BA’O,

,

 

And the first of these has three parts of its own: a brief presentation of what it is which possesses a certain feature—that is, the level itself; an expanded explanation of the feature which the level possesses—that is, specific high personal qualities; and then finally a concluding summary, accomplished through describing the high qualities of the level themselves.

 

 

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[286]

DANG PO NI, SA DANG PO LA GNAS PA’I RGYAL BA’I SRAS PO SNGAR BSHAD PA’I TSUL GYIS, ‘GRO BA RANG BZHIN MED PAR MTHONG BA’I RANG BZHIN

MED PA SNYING RJE’I DMIGS YUL GYI KHYAD PAR DU BZUNG BA

 

Here is the first.  Children of the Victors who are at the first bodhisattva level see—in the way that we described above—how living beings have no nature of their own.  But they take this absence of any nature as a detail of how they regard the object of their compassion.

 

 

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[287]

‘DI YI SEMS GANG ‘GRO BA RNAMS, RNAM PAR GROL BAR BYA BA’I PHYIR DU SNYING RJE CHEN PO’I GZHAN DBANG DU GYUR CING,

 

And so their heart becomes a slave to thoughts of compassion, determined to free these beings.

 

 

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[288]

BYANG SEMS KUN TU BZANG PO’I SMON LAM

GYIS DGE BA RNAMS RAB TU BSNGOS PA,

 

And they dedicate all the good that they do with the prayer of the bodhisattva named Perfect Goodness.

 

 

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[289]

RAB TU DGA’ BA ZHES PA’I MING CAN GNYIS SU SNANG BA MED PA’I YE SHES,

 

They possess a kind of wisdom free of any appearance of duality—a wisdom which is given the name of Perfect Happiness.

 

 

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[290]

DE’I ‘BRAS BU YON TAN GYI GRANGS LA SOGS PAS NYE BAR MTSON PA LA, RAB TU GNAS PA’I BYANG SEMS

KYI DON DAM PA’I SEMS DE NI ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA’I SEMS DANG PO ZHES BYA’O,

,

 

And as a result of these practices, these bodhisattvas live perfectly, in a place which is represented by details such as the number of high qualities attained.  The ultimate state of mind which they possess then is referred to as “the first state of mind that has gone beyond the world.”

 

 

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[291]

DE LA SA BCU PA’I MDO LAS GSUNGS PA’I SMON LAM CHEN PO BCU LA SOGS PA, SMON LAM ‘BUM PHRAG GRANGS MED PA BCU SA DANG

PO BAS ‘DEBS PA NI, KUN TU BZANG PO’I SMON LAM GYI NANG DU ‘DUS PAS, SMON LAM MA LUS PA BSDU BA’I PHYIR DU RTZA BAR KUN TU BZANG PO’I SMON LAM BKOD DE, BZANG PO SPYOD PA’I SMON LAM MO,

,

 

Now the bodhisattva at the first level makes ten billion billion billion billion billion billion million groups of a hundred thousand prayers—the “ten great prayers” and so on described in the Sutra on the Ten Levels.[109]  These are all included within the Prayer of Perfect Goodness, and so—because it does subsume each and every prayer—it is this Prayer of Perfect Goodness, the Prayer of Deeds of Goodness, which is recorded in the root text.

 

 

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[292]

DE’I NANG NAS KYANG

‘JAM DPAL DPA’ BO ZHES PA’I TSIGS BCAD GNYIS NI, BSNGO BA BLA NA MED PAR BSLAB BTUS LAS GSUNGS SO,

,

 

Within the entire prayer, by the way, it is the two verses with the part about “Gentle Voice, the Warrior” which is said in The Compendium of All the Trainings to be an unsurpassed form of the dedication of good deeds.[110]

 

 

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[293]

‘GREL PAR NYAN THOS SBYOR LAM PA ‘BRAS BU DANG PO LA ZHUGS PAR MI ‘DOD PA BZHIN DU, SA DANG POR

[f. 24b] DE MA THAG TU ‘BYUNG BAR ‘GYUR BA’I BYANG SEMS KYI MOS PAS SPYOD PA CHEN PO’I YANG CHEN PO NI, BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS MA BSKYED PA’I SA’O, ZHES GSUNGS PA NI DON DAM PA’I SEMS MA BSKYED PA YIN GYI, SPYIR NA DE LAS DMA’

BA NAS KYANG BLA MED BYANG CHUB TU SEMS BSKYED PA DANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ YOD PAR LUGS ‘DIS KYANG BZHED PA NI, SNGAR BSHAD ZIN LA,

 

The commentary—in the same way that it expresses the position that listeners on the path of preparation cannot have entered into the first of the fruits[111]—speaks of how the greater form within the greater one of the levels where the bodhisattva is acting out of aspiration[112] (from which the first bodhisattva level is in fact about to come) is not a level where one has given rise to the Wish for enlightenment.[113]  What this is saying though is that this is not a level where one has given rise to the ultimate form of the Wish;[114] more generally speaking, one can already have given rise to the Wish for matchless enlightenment at an even lower level, and there are bodhisattvas at such levels.  We have already explained how this position is accepted here in the system of the current text as well.

 

 

 

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[294]

BSLAB BTUS LAS KYANG, SO SO SKYE BO LA BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS

BSKYED PA YOD PAR MDO MANG POS BSGRUBS PAS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ BTAGS PA BAR ‘DOD PA NI LOG PAR ‘CHAD PA’O,

,

 

The Compendium of All the Trainings also uses many references from sutra to establish that normal people can also possess the Wish for enlightenment; as such, it is an error to think that such practitioners are only “nominal” bodhisattvas.[115]

 

 

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[295]

NYAN THOS KYI SBYOR LAM STAN GCIG PA NAS BZUNG STE, ‘BRAS BU DANG PO MA THOB PA’I BAR

RNAMS RGYUN ZHUGS ZHUGS PAR MNGON PA KUN LAS BTUS LAS BSHAD PAS ,DPE MA GRUB BO SNYAM NA,

 

One might raise the following objection:

 

The Compendium of All the Teachings on Higher Knowledge describes listeners on the path of preparation who pass up to the achievement of the first of the fruits in a single sitting as practitioners who are at the “entrance” stage of entering the stream; as such, your example is disproved.[116]

 

 

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[296]

RGYUN ZHUGS ZHUGS PA ‘PHAGS LAM THOB PA NYID LA ‘JOG PAR MNGON PA MDZOD LAS BSHAD LA, KUN LAS BTUS

LAS SNGA MA LTAR YANG BSHAD PAS, LUGS MI MTHUN PA GNYIS BYUNG BA LA SLOB DPON ‘DI MNGON PA MDZOD LTAR BZHED DO,

,

 

The Treasure House of Higher Knowledge states that attaining the path of a realized being is precisely what the “entrance” stage of entering the stream is; whereas the Compendium also gives the explanation just described.  As such, there came to be two incompatible systems on this question—but the master here accepts the position of the Treasure House.[117]

 

 

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[297]

‘DI NI MDO KUN LAS BTUS LAS, DAD PA’I RJES SU ‘BRANG BA ‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS THAMS CAD KYI

RDUL PHRA RAB KYI RDUL SNYED LA, BSKAL PA GANG+G’A’I KLUNG GI BYE MA SNYED DU, NYI MA RE RE ZHING LHA’I ZAS RO BRGYA PA DANG, LHA’I GOS BYIN PA BAS,

 

This position in fact accords with that found in the Compendium of All the Sutras, where it speaks of a practitioner who is following after faith,[118] and who—every single day, for the length of eons equal in number to the drops of water[119] found in the Ganges River—presents living beings,[120] equal themselves in number to the particles of dust that compose every planet that exists, with delectable feasts of the gods, and silk of the gods.

 

 

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[298]

GZHAN ZHIG GIS CHOS KYI RJES ‘BRANG GCIG LA, NYIN GCIG ZAN GCIG

[f. 25a]

BYIN NA SNGA MA BAS BSOD NAMS CHES GRANGS MED PA BSKYED PA DANG,

 

And then this text speaks of “another practitioner” (referring to one who is following after the teachings) and states that—if they present a single article of food on only a single day—they create good karma which is infinitely greater than that of the follower after faith just mentioned.

 

 

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[299]

YANG CHOS KYI RJES ‘BRANG SNGA MA LTA BU’I GRANGS LA, SNGA MA LTAR SBYIN PA BYIN PA BAS, BRGYAD PA’I GANG ZAG GCIG LA NYIN GCIG ZAN GCIG

BYIN NA, SNGA MA BAS BSOD NAMS CHES GRANGS MED PA BSKYED PAR GSUNGS PA DANG MTHUN PA YIN TE, RJES ‘BRANG GNYIS NI TSOGS SBYOR GYI SKABS YIN PAR GSAL BA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

And then it speaks of making the presentation mentioned to followers after the teachings who are equal in number to the living beings mentioned; and says that if we present a single article of food to a single person of the eighth,[121] we again create good karma which is infinitely greater than in the former case.[122]  The description relates here because the two mentions of “followers” are clearly a reference to the points at which one is on the path of accumulation or of preparation.

 

 

 

The high qualities where our being is made beautiful

 

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[300]

GNYIS PA LA GSUM, RANG GI RGYUD

MDZES PAR BYED PA’I YON TAN, GZHAN GYI RGYUD ZIL GYIS GNON PA’I YON TAN, SA DANG POR LHAG PA’I YON TAN BSTAN PA’O,

,

 

Here next we cover the second part from above—an expanded explanation of the feature which the level possesses—that is, specific high personal qualities.  We proceed in three sections: a description of the high qualities where our being is made beautiful; of the high quality where our being outshines those of others; and of the high quality where we bring our practice to a higher level.

 

 

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[301]

DANG PO LA GNYIS, YON TAN SO SOR PHYE STE BSHAD PA DANG, YON TAN MDOR BSDUS TE

BSTAN PA’O,

,

 

The first of these has two steps of its own: an explanation of these high qualities, made by separating them out individually; and then an explanation of the qualities by summarizing them.

 

 

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[302]

DANG PO LA GSUM, DON LDAN GYI MTSAN ‘THOB PA’I YON TAN, RIGS SU SKYE BA SOGS BZHI’I YON TAN, SA GONG MA GNON PA SOGS GSUM GYI YON TAN NO,

,

 

The first of these, in turn, includes three points: the high quality where we earn a very significant name; the high quality with the four characteristics that begin with taking birth into a royal family; and lastly the high quality with three characteristics, beginning with surpassing the levels before.

 

 

 

The name we earn

 

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[303]

[,
[DE NAS BZUNG STE DE NI THOB PAR GYUR PA YIS,

,BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES BYA’I SGRA NYID KYIS BSNYAD DO,]

 

[Starting from this point,

They have attained it;

As such, they are referred to

With nothing less

Than the name of “bodhisattva.”

I.19-20 ]

 

 

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[304]

DANG PO NI, SA DANG PO LA ZHUGS PA DE

NAS BZUNG STE BYANG SEMS DE NI DON DAM PA’I SEMS DE THOB PAR GYUR PA YIS,

,SO SKYE’I SA LAS ‘DAS PA’I SKABS SU DON DAM PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES BYA BA’I SGRA NYID KYIS BSNYAD PAR BYA BA YIN GYI, DE DANG MI

MTHUN PA’I RNAM PA GZHAN GYIS BRJOD PAR MI BYA STE, DE’I TSE DE BYANG SEMS ‘PHAGS PA YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Here is the first.  Starting from the point that a person enters the first level, the bodhisattva has attained the ultimate form of mind.  As such, this is a stage where they have gone beyond the levels of normal people; and they are referred to with nothing less than the name of “an ultimate bodhisattva.”  It would not though be appropriate to describe them in some other way—in a way that didn’t fit this name.  And that’s because, at this point, they are a bodhisattva who is a realized being.

 

 

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[305]

‘GREL PAR DKON MCHOG SPRIN DRANGS PA LAS, SBYOR LAM CHOS MCHOG CHEN PO PA LA, DON DAM

[f. 25b] PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I SA NI MA THOB PA YIN NO, ZHES GSUNGS PAS, BYANG SEMS KHYAD PAR BA’I MING GIS BSNYAD PAR SHES SO,

,

 

The commentary at this point quotes The Cloud of the Jewels as stating that—at the greater portion of the stage called “The Ultimate Experience,” within the path of preparation—one has not yet achieved the level of an ultimate bodhisattva.  From this we understand that the practitioner by the first level is to be referred to with a term signifying that they are an exceptional bodhisattva.[123]

 

 

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[306]

SHER PHYIN NYIS STONG LNGA BRGYA PA LAS, JI LTAR SHES SHE NA, MA BYUNG BA DANG YANG DAG PAR

MA BYUNG BA DANG, LOG PA DANG, DE DAG JI LTAR BYIS PA SO SO’I SKYE BOS BTAGS PA MA YIN PA DANG, JI LTAR BYIS PA SO SO SKYE BOS RNYED PA DE LTAR MA YIN PAR TE, DE’I PHYIR BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ ZHES BYA’O,

 

The Perfection of Wisdom in 2500 Lines includes a section that says,

 

How then are we to understand this?  The very reason that we call someone a “bodhisattva” is because they never started; they never started at all; they are the total opposite; they are nothing that the children, the normal beings, think they are; they are nothing at all like the way that these beings, these children, find them to be.[124]

 

 

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[307]

ZHES GSUNGS

PA’I SHUGS KYIS CHOS ‘DI DAG GI DE KHO NA NYID ‘PHAGS PAS RNYED PA JI BZHIN PA DE LTAR RNYED PA CIG ,BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAR GSUNGS PA YANG DON DAM PA’I BYANG SEMS LA DGONGS KYI, SO SKYE LA BYANG SEMS MTSAN NYID PA MED PAR

STON PA MIN NO,

,

 

What these lines are in effect referring to is a case where they could ever find the meaning of suchness in the way that these types of suchness are found by realized beings.  Speaking of those kinds of people as “bodhisattvas” here is meant in the sense of “ultimate bodhisattvas”; it is not meant to indicate that a normal being could never be a real bodhisattva.

 

 

 

You belong now to a royal family,

and you are free of the three bonds

 

[,’DI NI DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA RNAMS KYI RIGS SU’ANG SKYES PA STE,

,’DI NI KUN TU SBYOR BA GSUM PO THAMS CAD SPANGS PA YIN,]

 

[They have also taken their birth

Into the family of Those Gone Thus,

And they have eliminated, within themselves,

All three of the bonds.

I.21-22]

 

 

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[308]

GNYIS PA NI, GZHAN YANG SA DANG PO LA GNAS PA ‘DI NI SO SKYE DANG NYAN RANG GI SA THAMS CAD LAS ‘DAS PA’I PHYIR DANG, SANGS RGYAS KYI SA’I RJES SU ‘GRO BAR NGES PA’I LAM RGYUD LA SKYES PA’I PHYIR DE BZHIN

GSHEGS PA RNAMS KYI RIGS SU’ANG SKYES PA STE, LAM GZHAN DU MI ‘GRO BAR RANG GI LAM DU RIGS NGES PA YIN NO,

,

 

This brings us to our second point from above: the high quality with the four characteristics which begin with taking birth into a royal family.  We can moreover add that this person who is at the first bodhisattva level has taken birth into the family of Those Gone Thus—because they have gone far beyond the levels of normal people, and both the listeners and self made buddhas; and moreover because they have now given rise, within their hearts, to a path which is definite to lead them to the level of a Buddha.  That is, they are confirmed within the family of their own path, and will never go off to some different path.

 

 

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[309]

SA DANG PO ‘DI NI GANG ZAG RANG GI MTSAN NYID KYIS GRUB PA MED PA’I GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED MNGON SUM DU

MTHONG BAS, ‘JIG LTA DANG PHRA RGYAS KYI THE TSOM DANG, TSUL KHRIMS DANG BRTUL ZHUGS MCHOG ‘DZIN GYI KUN TU SBYOR BA GSUM PO THAMS CAD SPANGS PA YIN TE, SLAR MI SKYE BA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

This practitioner at the first bodhisattva level has seen, directly, the lack of a self-nature to the person: the fact that the person possesses no nature of existing by definition.  They have thus eliminated, within themselves, all three of what we call the “bonds”: the view of destruction; forms of doubt which are infectious negative thoughts; and the belief that mistaken forms of morality and asceticism are perfect.[125]  They have “eliminated” the three because these will never again make their appearance within the bodhisattva.

 

 

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[310]

DES NI DE GSUM GYI SA BON SPANGS PAR

[f. 26a]

BSTAN LA, ‘JIG LTA NI MTHONG SPANG DU GYUR PA KUN BRTAGS YIN GYI LHAN SKYES MIN NO,

,

 

This by the way is to indicate that the seeds of these three have been eliminated.  In the case of the view of destruction, however, the form which is eliminated at the path of seeing is the learned one, and not the inborn one.

 

 

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[311]

‘O NA PHRA RGYAS KYI MTHONG SPANG GZHAN YANG SPANGS PA LA, GSUM PO ‘DI TZAM SMOS PA CI YIN SNYAM NA, MDO SDE LAS ‘DI

LTAR GSUNGS PA’I DGONGS PA ‘CHAD PA LA LUGS GNYIS YOD KYANG,

 

One may wonder why—since there are other infectious negative thoughts also eliminated when we reach the path of seeing—only these three are mentioned.  There are two different systems of explaining what the sutras had in mind when they described it this way.

 

 

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[312]

LEGS PA NI MDZOD LAS,

,’GRO MI ‘DOD DANG LAM NOR DANG,

,LAM LA THE TSOM DE SNYED CIG

,THAR PAR BGROD LA GEGS BYED PA,

,DE YI PHYIR NA GSUM BSTAN

NO,

ZHES BSHAD PA LTAR RO,

,

 

The system which is best is expressed in the Treasure House of Wisdom, where it says:

 

The number given is three,

Since they correspond

To not wanting to go;

To choosing a wrong path;

And to doubt about the path—

The number that create an obstacle

To our journey to liberation.[126]

 

 

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[313]

DPER NA YUL GZHAN DU ‘GRO ‘DOD PA LA BAR CHAD KYI GTZO BO GSUM STE, ‘GRO MI ‘DOD PA DANG, LAM NOR BA DANG, LAM LA THE TSOM ZA BA’O,

,

 

If for example we wish to travel to some other land, then there are three main obstacles that can prevent us: not wanting to go; choosing the wrong road; and not being sure which road to take.

 

 

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[314]

DE BZHIN DU THAR PAR BGROD PA LA YANG BAR CHAD KYI

 

GTZO BO GSUM STE, DANG POS NI THAR PA LA SKRAG PAS DER ‘GRO MI ‘DOD PA DANG, GSUM PAS NI LAM GZHAN LA BRTEN PAS LAM NOR BA DANG, GNYIS PAS NI LAM LA THE TSOM ZA BAS GSUM BSTAN NO,

,

 

Just so, there are three primary obstacles to our journey to liberation.  The first of these causes us to have same fear about being liberated—and so this one is like not wanting to go.  The third one causes us to attempt to follow some other path; and that is similar to taking a wrong road.  And the second consists of having doubts about the path; thus it is that three are indicated.

 

 

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[315]

BYANG CHUB

SEMS DPA’ SA DANG PO BA DE NI SNGAR BSHAD PA LTAR RIGS NGES PA LA ZHUGS PAS, DE’I ‘BRAS BU’I YON TAN THOB PA DANG, SA’I SPANG BYA’I SKYON DANG BRAL BAS

 

The bodhisattva on the first level, as we have already mentioned, has reached a point of certainty about the family to which they belong.  They have thus attained the high spiritual quality which is the result of belonging to this family, and are free of the defects which are eliminated at this particular level.[127]

 

 

 

Happiness supreme

 

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[316]

[,
[BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ DE NI DGA’ BA

MCHOG TU GYUR ‘CHANG ZHING,

,’JIG RTEN KHAMS BRGYA KUN NAS G-YO BAR

NUS PAR GYUR PA’ANG YIN,]

 

[This bodhisattva holds in their hands

A supreme form of happiness;

And they are further someone

Who can shake a hundred planets.

I.23-24 ]

 

 

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[317]

THUN MONG MA YIN PA’I DGA’ BA SKYES PAS,

RAB TU DGA’ BA MANG BA’I PHYIR, RGYAL SRAS DE DGA’ BA MCHOG TU GYUR PA ‘CHANG BA YANG YIN NO,

,RAB DGA’ KHYAD PAR DU ‘PHAGS PA YOD PA’I PHYIR SA ‘DI LA RAB TU DGA’ BA ZHES KYANG BYA’O,

,

 

As such, they come to feel a truly unique form of happiness; and are thus filled with many different kinds of perfect happiness.  Because of this we can also say, “This level is named Perfect Happiness, since the son or daughter of the Victors holds in their hands a supreme form of happiness, and their perfect happiness itself is one which is truly superior.”[128]

 

 

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[318]

‘JIG RTEN GYI KHAMS

[f. 26b] MI GCIG PA BRGYA KUN NAS G-YO BAR NUS PAR GYUR PA’ANG YIN NO,

,

 

And they are further someone who has the power to shake not just a single planet, but no less than a hundred.[129]

 

 

 

Working Our Way Up

 

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[319]

[,
[SA NAS SAR GNON BYED CING GONG MAR RAB TU ‘GRO BAR ‘GYUR,

,DE TSE ‘DI YI NGAN ‘GRO’I LAM RNAMS MTHA’ DAG ‘GAG PAR ‘GYUR,

,DE TSE ‘DI YI SO SO SKYE BO’I SA RNAMS THAMS CAD ZAD,

,’DI NI ‘PHAGS PA BRGYAD PA JI LTA DE LTAR NYE BAR BSTAN,

 

[They want to work their way up

From the one level to the next;

They begin to move up;

And when it happens

They block all the paths

To the realms of misery.

At this point as well

All the levels for them

Relating to normal beings

Are finished.

They are spoken of this way

As a realized being of the eight.

I.25-28]

 

 

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[320]

GSUM PA NI, SA DANG PO NAS SA GNYIS PAR GNON PAR BYED PA LA SPRO BA SHIN TU CHE ZHING, SA GONG MAR RAB TU ‘GRO BAR ‘GYUR RO,

,SA DANG PO THOB PA DE’I TSE BYANG

SEMS ‘DI YI NGAN ‘GROR ‘GRO BA’I LAM RNAMS MTHA’ DAG ‘GAG PA STE ZAD PAR ‘GYUR RO,

,

 

With this we come to our third point from above, which is a description of the high quality with three characteristics, beginning with surpassing the levels before.  They start to feel an intense joy about working their way up to the second level from the first.  And then they actually begin to move up through the levels.  And when they reach the first level, the bodhisattva is able to block—that is, to stop—all the paths that would lead them to a birth in the realms of misery.

 

 

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[321]

‘O NA SBYOR LAM BZOD PA THOB NAS NGAN SONG DU LAS DBANG GIS ‘GRO MI SRID PA MA YIN NAM, NGAN ‘GRO’I LAM ZAD PA SA ‘DI THOB PA

LA LTOS CI DGOS SNYAM NA,

 

“Isn’t it the case though,” one may wonder, “that it is impossible—once one has reached the level called Mastery within the path of preparation—for that person to go the lower realms through the power of karma?  Why then have you said here that one must rely upon this particular bodhisattva level, in order to ‘block the paths to the realms of misery’?”

 

 

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[322]

BZOD PA THOB NAS NGAN ‘GROR ‘GRO MI SRID PA NI, DER ‘KHRID PA’I SA BON GNYEN POS BCOM PA MIN GYI, RKYEN MA TSANG BAS YIN CING, ‘DIR NI SA BON GNYEN POS BCOM PA YIN LA, KUN LAS

BTUS LAS KYANG NGAN ‘GRO’I PHUNG KHAMS SOGS MTHONG SPANG DU BSHAD DO,

,

 

The fact that it is impossible to go to the realms of misery once one has attained the level of Mastery is not due to one’s having destroyed the seed that can pull one there with a spiritual antidote, at that particular stage.  Rather, it is because the conditions that would make this happen are simply incomplete.  Here at this bodhisattva level though, the seed is destroyed, with a spiritual antidote; and The Compendium states as well that things like the heaps and categories of a being in the realms of misery are something which is eliminated by the path of seeing.[130]

 

 

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[323]

SA DANG PO THOB PA DE’I TSE BYANG SEMS ‘DI YI SO SO SKYE BO’I SA STE GNAS SKABS THAMS CAD ZAD DO,,

 

At this point as well—that is, when one reaches the first level—all the levels or periods for this bodhisattva which relate to normal beings are finished.

 

 

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[324]

GNYIS PA NI, MDOR NA JI LTAR ‘BRAS

GNAS BZHI DANG ‘BRAS BU LA ZHUGS PA BZHI’I DGRA BCOM NAS YAS BGRANGS NA, GRANGS BRGYAD PA YIN PAS ‘PHAGS PA BRGYAD PA RGYUN ZHUGS ZHUGS PA LA,

 

This brings us to the second step in our description of the high qualities where our being is made beautiful.  This is an explanation of these qualities made by summarizing them.  And so in brief we can think of the steps leading up to an enemy destroyer: where they have gone through the four stages of residing at the level of the result, and the four stages of entering the level of the result.  Counting downwards from here, we get eight stages, so we can refer to a someone who is just entering the state of a stream-enterer as an “eighth-rank realized being.”

 

 

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[325]

‘PHAGS PA’I CHOS THOB PA LAS RANG DANG RJES SU MTHUN PA’I SPANGS PA DANG, RTOGS PA’I YON TAN ‘BYUNG BAR ‘GYUR BA BZHIN DU, BYANG SEMS ‘DI YANG SA DANG PO THOB PA LAS SKYON ZAD PA DANG, YON TAN ‘BYUNG BA BRGYAD PA JI LTA BA DE LTAR NYE BAR BSTAN NO,,

 

Once we have attained the world of a realized being, a number of things happen in conjunction with this occurrence; that is, we gain specific personal qualities related to having eliminated certain negativities, and to having reached certain realizations.  In the same way, this particular bodhisattva—the one who has reached the first level—has finished off certain faults, and gained certain virtues, relating to the number eight; and is thus spoken of in this way.[131]

 

 

 

Outshining others by virtue of our family

 

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[326]

GNYIS PA LA

[f. 27a]

GSUM, SA ‘DIR NYAN RANG RNAMS RIGS KYI SGO NAS ZIL GYIS GNON PA DANG, SA BDUN PAR NYAN RANG GNYIS BLO’I SGO NAS ZIL GYIS GNON PA DANG, DE LTAR GSUNGS PAS GRUB PA’I DON BSHAD PA’O,,

 

With this we have reached the second of our more general sections above—the high quality where our being outshines those of others.  This we also cover in three steps: how a bodhisattva at this level outshines the listeners and self-made buddhas, by virtue of the family to which they belong; how, at the seventh bodhisattva level, they outshine these two by virtue of their state of mind; and then an explanation of the conclusion we can draw from statements to this effect.

 

 

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[327]

[,
[RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS LTA

DANG PO LA GNAS KYANG,

,THUB DBANG GSUNG SKYES DANG BCAS [f. 202a]

RANG SANGS RGYAS RNAMS NI,

,BSOD NAMS DAG GI DBANG GIS

PHAM BYAS RNAM PAR ‘PHEL,]

 

[Even those who stay at the first

Of the visions of total enlightenment

Defeat, by the force of both good karmas,

The self-made buddhas,

Along with those born from the words

Of the Lords of the Able Ones;

Then they continue to exceed them further.

I.29-31 ]

 

 

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[328]

DANG PO NI, RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS LTA GNYIS PA SOGS SU MA ZAD, SEMS DANG PO RAB TU DGA’ BA LA GNAS PAS KYANG, THUB PA’I DBANG PO’I GSUNG LAS SKYES PA NYAN THOS DANG BCAS PA’I RANG SANGS RGYAS

RNAMS NI, KUN RDZOB BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS DANG SNYING RJE’I BSOD NAMS DAG GI DBANG GIS PHAM PAR BYAS PA STE ZIL GYIS MNAN NAS, DE DAG LAS BSOD NAMS RNAM PAR ‘PHEL BAR ‘GYUR TE,

 

Here is the first.  This thing is true not only for those who have reached levels such as the second vision of total enlightenment; that is, even those who are staying at the first state of mind—at Perfect Happiness—“defeat” (which is to say, outshine) the self-made buddhas, along with the listeners: those who have been born from the words of the Lords of the Able Ones.  And they do so by force of both the good karma of their deceptive form of the Wish for enlightenment, and the good karma of their compassion.  They continue on then and exceed both these types of practitioners even further in this goodness.

 

 

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[329]

SNGAR BSHAD PA’I YON TAN GYI KHYAD PAR RNAMS LAS, YON TAN GYI KHYAD PAR GZHAN PA CIG YIN NO,

,

 

This is yet one more type of high good quality which they possess, in addition to those types which we have already described.

 

 

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[330]

‘DI YANG BYAMS PA’I RNAM PAR THAR PA LAS, RIGS KYI BU ‘DI LTA STE DPER NA RGYAL PO’I BU SKYES NAS RING PO MA LON PA, RGYAL PO’I MTSAN DANG

LDAN PA NI BLON PO’I TSOGS RGAN PO GTZO BOR GYUR PA THAMS CAD KYANG, RIGS KYI BDAG NYID CHE BA’I DBANG GIS ZIL GYIS GNON TO,

,

 

We hear too from the Life of Loving One,

 

O child of noble family, this is how it is.  Imagine that the king of a land has given birth to a son or daughter.  Within a short time after their birth, this child—the one who bears the name of the king—already outshines even all of those who are the most senior and foremost among the ministers of state, by force of the greatness of their family line.

 

 

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[331]

DE BZHIN DU BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ LAS DANG PO PA BYANG CHUB TU SEMS BSKYED

NAS RING PO MA LON PA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA CHOS KYI RGYAL PO’I RIGS SU SKYES PAS KYANG, BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS DANG SNYING RJE’I DBANG GIS NYAN THOS DANG, RANG SANGS RGYAS YUN RING DU TSANGS PAR SPYAD PA RNAMS ZIL [f. 27b] GYIS GNON TO,,

 

A beginner bodhisattva is just the same: not long after they have reached the wish for enlightenment, and taken their birth into the family of the Kings of the Dharma—Those Who Have Gone That Way—then by force of their wish for enlightenment and their compassion, they already outshine the listeners and the self-made buddhas, who have led a life of purity over a very long period of time.

 

 

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[332]

RIGS KYI BU ‘DI LTA STE, DPER NA NAM MKHA’ LDING GI DBANG PO CHEN PO’I PHRUG GU SKYES NAS RING PO MA LON PA’I GSHOG PA’I RLUNG GI SHUGS DANG, MIG YONGS SU DAG PA’I YON TAN GANG YIN PA DE NI, DE LAS GZHAN

PA’I BYA’I TSOGS MA LUS PA RGAS PAR GYUR PA THAMS CAD LA YOD PA MA YIN NO,

,

 

It is like, o child of noble family, the case with the Lords of the Skygliders, once they have given birth to a chick.  Within a short period of time, the baby’s wings possess a power of thrust, and their eyes possess a quality of sharpness—things that the great mass of other types of birds, even though they may have lived much longer, simply lack.

 

 

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[333]

DE BZHIN DU BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ BYANG CHUB TU SEMS DANG PO BSKYED PA, DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA NAM MKHA’ LDING GI DBANG PO CHEN PO’I

 

RIGS KYI RGYUD DU YANG DAG PAR BYUNG BA,

 

Bodhisattvas who have just given birth for the first time to the wish for enlightenment are the same.  They have now stepped into the family line of the great lords among skygliders: Those Who Have Gone That Way.

 

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[334]

NAM MKHA’ LDING GI DBANG PO’I PHRUG GU THAMS CAD MKHYEN PA NYID DU SEMS BSKYED PA’I GSHOG PA’I STOBS KYIS PHA ROL GNON PA DANG,

 

These chicks of the lords of the skygliders outshine others in the power of their wings—in the wish they have developed for a single goal: the state of omniscience.

 

 

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[335]

LHAG PA’I BSAM PA YONGS SU DAG PA’I MIG GI YON TAN GANG YIN PA DE NI, BSKAL PA BRGYA STONG DU NGES PAR BYUNG BA’I NYAN THOS DANG, RANG SANGS RGYAS THAMS CAD LA YOD PA MA YIN NO ZHES BYA BA LA SOGS PA GSUNGS PA BZHIN NO,

,

 

The quality of the sharpness of their eyes—that is, their sense of personal responsibility for others—is as well something that is simply lacking among any one of the listeners or self-made buddhas, even though they may have reached their state hundreds, or even thousands, of eons before.[132]

 

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[336]

‘GREL BSHAD LAS LUNG

DE GNYIS KYI DON BRDA LAS BYUNG BA’I SEMS BSKYED LA ‘CHAD MOD KYANG, LAS DANG PO PA DANG, SEMS BSKYED NAS RING DU MA LON PA ZHES GSUNGS PA NI, DON DAM PA’I SEMS BSKYED LA BLTOS NAS YIN LA,

 

Admittedly, the Explanation describes these two citations as referring to the Wish for enlightenment which comes from terms;[133] but the mentions of “a beginner” and “not long after they have reached the wish for enlightenment” are made relative to the ultimate form of this Wish.

 

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[337]

SNGAR DE BZHIN GSHEGS PA’I RIGS SU SKYES PA SA DANG PO NAS YIN PAR GSUNGS PA DANG, LUNG SNGA PHYI GNYIS KA NI DPE SO SO BA TZAM MA GTOGS PA DON GCIG YIN PA’I PHYIR DANG, RTZA BA’I TSIG RKANG GSUM GYI DON YANG

[f. 28a]

MDO DE’I DON BSDUS PAR SNANG BA’I PHYIR DANG,

 

This is the true because of the statement, earlier on, that ones birth into the family of Those Gone Thus begins from the first bodhisattva level; and because the meaning of the two metaphors—in the first and then the second citations—is the same, only that these metaphors are presented separately. Also, it would appear that the point of the three lines of the [Tibetan translation of the] root text at this point [seven lines in the English translation] is to summarize the meaning of this particular sutra.

 

 

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[338]

LHAG PA’I BSAM PA DAG PA’I SEMS BSKYED NI SA DANG PO’I SEMS BSKYED LA MDO SDE RGYAN LA SOGS PA MANG PO LAS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Finally, it is stated in many sources—such as The Jewel of the Sutras—that the Wish for enlightenment in the form of taking personal responsibility for all beings is the type of Wish for enlightenment at the first bodhisattva level.[134]

 

 

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[339]

‘O NA BYANG SEMS

SO SKYE’I KUN RDZOB SEMS BSKYED KYIS, NYAN RANG ZIL GYIS GNON PAR MI ‘DOD DAM SNYAM NA,

 

You might think to yourself, “But are you saying then that you don’t believe that the deceptive Wish for enlightenment possessed by a bodhisattva who is a normal being outshines listeners and self-made buddhas?”

 

 

 

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[340]

DE NI MA YIN TE MDO DE NYID LAS, RIGS KYI BU ‘DI LTA STE DPER NA RDO RJE RIN PO CHE NI CHAG KYANG GSER GYI RGYAN KHYAD PAR DU ‘PHAGS

PA THAMS CAD ZIL GYIS GNON CING, RDO RJE RIN PO CHE’I MING YANG MI ‘DOR LA, DBUL BA THAMS CAD KYANG RNAM PAR ZLOG GO

 

No, we’re not.  Because the very same sutra says,

 

Here, o child of noble family, is how it is.  A jewel which is a diamond—even if it is broken—outshines even an extraordinarily fine ornament made of gold.  Nor, even if it is broken, does it ever lose the name of “a diamond”—and it can still alleviate every form of poverty.

 

 

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[341]

,RIGS KYI BU DE BZHIN DU THAMS CAD MKHYEN PAR SEMS BSKYED PA’I RDO RJE RIN PO CHE NAN TAN DANG BRAL

YANG, NYAN THOS DANG RANG SANGS RGYAS KYI YON TAN GYI GSER GYI RGYAN THAMS CAD ZIL GYIS GNON CING, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I MING YANG MI ‘DOR LA ‘KHOR BA’I DBUL BA THAMS CAD KYANG RNAM PAR ZLOG GO ,ZHES GSUNGS

LA

 

O child of noble family, it is the same with the jewel of the diamond where one has reached the Wish for the state of omniscience, even if he or she lacks any special effort in this thinking.  It still outshines all the golden ornaments of the good qualities of listeners and self-made buddhas; one still never loses the name of “a bodhisattva”; and it still alleviates every form of the poverty of the cycle of pain.[135]

 

 

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[342]

MDO ‘DI BSLAB BTUS LAS, BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS SPYOD PA DANG BRAL BA LA YANG BRNYAS PAR MI BYA BA’I SHES BYED DU DRANGS PA’I PHYIR DANG, SA THOB PA LA SEMS BSKYED SPYOD PA DANG BRAL BA NI SRID PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

It is further the case that The Compendium quotes—as support for the idea that one should never disparage even a form of the Wish for enlightenment where the person who possesses it has yet to act upon it—this same sutra.[136]  And finally it is possible for a person who has reached the bodhisattva levels to have the Wish for enlightenment and not be acting upon it.

 

 

 

Outshining others by virtue of our state of mind

 

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[343]

[,
[DE NI RING DU SONG BAR BLO YANG LHAG PAR ‘GYUR,]

 

[This same one will also exceed them

In their state of mind,

At the level called “Gone Far.

I.32 ]

 

 

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[344]

GNYIS

PA NI, BYANG SEMS SA DANG PO BA DE NI, SA RING DU SONG BAR SON PA NA, KUN RDZOB BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS KYIS ZIL GYIS GNON PAR MA ZAD, DON DAM PA’I SEMS BSKYED KYI BLO YI STOBS KYIS KYANG, NYAN RANG RNAMS

[f. 28b] LHAG PAR TE ZIL GYIS GNON PAR ‘GYUR TE,

 

Which brings us to the second step from above: how—at the seventh level—a bodhisattva outshines these two by virtue of their state of mind.  Once this same bodhisattva at the first level reaches the level called “Gone Far,” it’s not only the case that they outshine listeners and self-made buddhas by virtue of the deceptive Wish for enlightenment which they possess; that is, they will also exceed them—outshine them—due to the power of their state of mind: the ultimate Wish for enlightenment.

 

 

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[345]

‘DI NI SA BCU PA’I MDO LAS, KYE RGYAL BA’I SRAS DAG ‘DI LTA STE, DPER NA RGYAL PO’I RIGS SU SKYES PA’I RGYAL PO’I BU RGYAL PO’I MTSAN DANG LDAN PA NI, SKYES PA TZAM

GYIS RGYAL PO’I BYIN GYIS BLON PO’I TSOGS THAMS CAD ZIL GYIS GNON GYI, RANG GI BLO’I STOBS KYIS RNAM PAR DPYAD PAS NI MA YIN NO,

,

 

This recalls The Sutra on the Ten Levels, where it says:

 

O child of the Victors, this is the way of it.  A child of the King—one who has been born into the line of kings, and now possesses the name of the King—outshines the entire assembly of ministers, by nothing more than taking that birth: by virtue of the blessing of the King.  It is not though because they possess, at this point in their lives, high powers of discrimination: not because of their own state of mind.

 

 

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[346]

NAM DE NAR SON PAR GYUR PA DE’I TSE RANG GI BLO’I STOBS BSKYED PAS, BLON

PO’I BYA BA THAMS CAD LAS NI SHIN TU ‘DAS PA YIN NO,

,

 

When though they have grown to be an adult, they have developed their full mental powers; and then they absolutely surpass the ministers, in all their deeds.

 

 

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[347]

KYE RGYAL BA’I SRAS DAG DE BZHIN DU BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ YANG, SEMS BSKYED MA THAG TU LHAG PA’I BSAM PA’I CHE BA NYID KYIS, NYAN THOS DANG RANG SANGS

RGYAS THAMS CAD ZIL GYIS GNON GYI, RANG GI BLO’I STOBS KYIS RNAM PAR DPYAD PA NI MA YIN NO,

,

 

It is the same, o child of the Victors, with the bodhisattvas.  In the moment after they have developed the Wish for enlightenment, they outshine all listeners and self-made buddhas—in the magnificence of their attitude of personal responsibility.  It is not however in their state of mind: in their capacity of discrimination.

 

 

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[348]

BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I SA BDUN PA ‘DI LA GNAS PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ NI, RANG GI YUL SHES PA’I CHE BA LA

GNAS PAS, NYAN THOS DANG RANG SANGS RGYAS KYI BYA BA THAMS CAD LAS SHIN TU ‘DAS PA YIN NO, ZHES GSUNGS PA BZHIN NO,

,

 

A bodhisattva residing here, at the seventh bodhisattva level, is also residing in a magnificence of how they perceive their object—and so they absolutely surpass the listeners and self-made buddhas, in all their deeds.[137]

 

 

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[349]

SEMS BSKYED MA THAG TU ZHES PA NI SA DANG PO’I SKABS YIN PAS, LHAG PA’I BSAM

PA DAG PA’I SEMS BSKYED PA’O,

,

 

The expression “in the moment after they have developed the Wish for enlightenment” applies to the point at which they are at the first bodhisattva level, and is thus a reference to Wish for enlightenment in the form of taking personal responsibility for all beings.

 

 

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[350]

DE LTAR NA SA RING DU SONG BA KHO NA NAS BZUNG NAS, BYANG SEMS KYIS RANG GI BLO’I STOBS BSKYED PAS KYANG, NYAN RANG RNAMS ZIL GYIS GNON GYI, SA DRUG PA MAN CHAD DU NI

[f. 29a]

BLO’I STOBS KYIS ZIL GYIS GNON PA MA YIN NO,

,

 

Thus we can say that it is only from the point when they reach the level of “Gone Far” that the bodhisattva also outshines listeners and self-made buddhas in the powers of mind that they have developed: it is not the case that they outshine them in their state of mind at the sixth level on down.

 

 

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[351]

NYAN RANG GI BYA BA THAMS CAD LAS ‘DAS PA’I DON NI, DE GNYIS BLOS ZIL GYIS GNON PA’I DON YIN PAR ‘GREL PA’I DON BSDUS LAS SHES

SO,,

 

What does it mean when we say that the bodhisattva “surpasses all listeners and self-made buddhas in their deeds”?  We can understand, from the summation of this citation in the commentary, that it refers to how they surpass these two in their state of mind.[138]

 

 

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[352]

BLO’I STOBS ‘CHAD PA NA RANG GI YUL SHES PA’I CHE BA LA GNAS PAS, ZHES PA NI BYANG SEMS RANG GI YUL ‘GOG PA YANG DAG PA’I MTHA’ SHES PA’I CHE BA’O,

,

 

Where the lines are clarifying what “mental powers” are and mention “a magnificence of how they perceive their object,” the reference is to the magnificence of the bodhisattva’s own object, in the sense of the end that they have put to negativities; and of their perception of the absolute end.[139]

 

 

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[353]

DON ‘DI LA KHA CIG DRUG PA MAN CHAD DANG, BDUN

PA’I YE SHES KYI NGO BO LA KHYAD MED KYANG, YE SHES DANG PO RNAMS LA SHES SGRIB SPONG BA’I NUS PA MED LA, BDUN PA’I YE SHES LA SHES SGRIB SPONG BA’I NUS PA YOD PAS, BLO’I SGO NAS ZIL GYIS GNON MI GNON YOD

DO,

,ZHES PA DANG,

 

With reference to this point, some have made the claim that—although there is no essential difference between the wisdom we possess at the sixth and lower bodhisattva levels, and that which we possess at the seventh—the first of them lacks the power to remove obstacles to omniscience; whereas the wisdom of the seventh level does possess this power.  This then, they say, is what determines whether we outshine others by virtue of our state of mind, or not.

 

 

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[354]

YANG BDUN PA NAS TING NGE ‘DZIN LA THOD RGAL DU ‘JUG NUS PAS ZHES PA DANG,

 

Others have made the claim that the distinction is based upon the fact that—from the seventh level on—we are able to engage in what we call “alternating” meditation.

 

 

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[355]

BDUN PA’I YE SHES DE PHYIR MI LDOG PA’I SA BRGYAD PA LA MNGON DU PHYOGS PA’I YE SHES SU ‘DUG PAS, BLOS

ZIL GYIS GNON NO ZHES ZER RO,

,

 

Still others have said that at the seventh level we outshine others in our state of mind because the wisdom of this level is a kind of wisdom where we are closely approaching the unstoppable state of the eighth level.

 

 

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[356]

DE’I DANG PO NI MI RIGS TE LUGS ‘DIS NI, GANG ZAG BDEN ‘DZIN THAMS CAD NYON MONGS CAN GYI MA RIG PAR BZHED LA, DE SLAR MI SKYE BA’I TSUL GYIS SPONG BA LA, DE DAG

GI SA BON ZAD DGOS SHING, SPANGS PA DE YANG DGRA BCOM PA GNYIS DANG THUN MONG BA YIN PAS, BDEN ‘DZIN GYI SA BON SPONG BA NI SHES SGRIB SPONG BA MIN NO,

,

 

The first of these positions is incorrect because this particular system asserts that all forms of the tendency to believe that the person is real are a kind of misunderstanding which is involved with negative thoughts; and to eliminate these tendencies in a way which assures that they can never arise again, we must stop their seeds.  It being further the case that this kind of elimination is shared by both types of enemy destroyers,[140] we do not eliminate obstacles to omniscience when we eliminate the seeds of our tendency to believe that something is real.

 

 

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[357]

SA BON DE LAS GZHAN PA’I BAG CHAGS KYI SGRIB

[f. 29b] PA SHES SGRIB TU ‘JOG PA NI, SA BRGYAD PA MA THOB BAR DU SPONG BA MIN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

This is because we say that obstacles represented by mental potentials other than these particular seeds are obstacles to omniscience because they are not eliminated until we attain the eighth level.

 

 

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[358]

DES NA LUGS ‘DI LA BDEN ‘DZIN SHES SGRIB TU ‘JOG PA’I LUGS KYIS, DE LA SHES SGRIB CHUNG ‘BRING CHEN PO DGUR BYAS NAS,

SA GNYIS PA SOGS SGOM LAM DGUS SPONG BA’I RNAM GZHAG KHAS MI LEN TE, DA DUNG ‘CHAD PAR ‘GYUR RO,

,

 

Thus it is that in this particular system we refuse to accept the presentation—found in the system where they say that the tendency to believe that things are real is an obstacle to omniscience—which says that obstacles to omniscience are to be divided into nine degrees (starting from a division into lesser, medium, and greater), and that these are eliminated by nine forms of the path of habituation at the second and other levels.  We will elucidate this further on in this work.

 

 

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[359]

GNYIS PA YANG MI RIGS TE THOD RGAL ZHES PA LA NI, BRDA RNYING PA LAS SNREL ZHI ZHES KYANG ‘BYUNG BAS, RIM

PA ‘CHOL BA LA ZER ZHING, ‘DIR DE’I SGO NAS TING NGE ‘DZIN LA ‘JUG PA DRUG PA MAN CHAD LA MED CING BDUN PA NAS YOD PA LA SHES BYED MED PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

The second position is also mistaken.  The expression “alternating meditation” is also referred to with the archaism nelshi, which means “out of order.”  But there is no scriptural support for the idea that a form of meditation which engages in different meditative levels in this way—skipping through them out of order—would be absent at the sixth and lower bodhisattva levels, and then suddenly exist at the seventh.[141]

 

 

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[360]

GSUM PA YANG MI RIGS TE, DE LA NI DRUG PA MAN CHAD

DANG BDUN PA LA RTOGS PAS ZIL GYIS GNON MI GNON GYI RGYU MTSAN LA, DA DUNG DOGS PA MA CHOD PAS RTZOD GZHI RTAGS SU BKOD PA DANG ‘DRA BA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

The third of the positions mentioned is also incorrect.  It gives—as a reason for making the distinction that at the seventh bodhisattva level we outshine the sixth and lower levels by virtue of our state of realization—something which by that point we have not yet resolved; and so it’s as if the thing we are using as our reason is the very thing we are arguing about.

 

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[361]

‘GREL BSHAD LAS SA BDUN PAR KHO BO LAM LA ‘JUG

PAR BYA’O SNYAM PA’I RNAM RTOG YOD PAS RTZOL BA DANG BCAS LA, MDO LA SOGS PA’I CHOS KYI MTSAN MA MNGON DU MI BYED PAS, MTSAN MA MED PA’I LAM THOB CING, DRUG PA MAN CHAD DANG NYAN RANG RNAMS LA

MTSAN MED DE MED PAS, BLOS ZIL GYIS GNON PAR GSUNGS KYANG,

 

It is true that The Explanation speaks of how—at the seventh level—we still engage in discursive thought: we still say to ourselves, “I will practice the path”; and thus still exhibit conscious will.  But we do not at this point still bring up mental forms of the physical manifestations of the teachings—the books of the sutras, or anything such; and so we can say that we have reached a “path free of the signs of things.”  At the sixth and lower levels, continues this text, and with listeners and self-made buddhas, there is no “freedom from signs” of this kind.[142]

 

 

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[362]

‘DI LA DE KHO NA NYID KYI RTOGS PA’I STENG NAS KHYAD PAR GZHAG DGOS PAR SNANG NGO,,

 

And yet it appears to me that the distinction we are dealing with here must be drawn on the basis of how far one has realized suchness.

 

 

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[363]

DE YANG YANG DAG PA’I MTHA’I DE KHO NA NYID LA ‘JUG

[f. 30a]

LDANG GI SGO NAS YIN TE, SA BDUN PA’I SKABS SU ‘CHAD PA LTAR SEMS KYI SKAD CIG RE RE LA ‘GOG PA YANG DAG MTHA’ LA ‘JUG LDANG BYED PA SA ‘DI NAS NUS LA, SA ‘OG MAR MI NUS PAR

GSUNGS PA YIN NO,

 

In this version, the reference is to how we sink into or come out of suchness, in the form of the ultimate end.  As we will see in the section where we cover the seventh bodhisattva level, it is said that we are at this level capable of sinking in or coming out of this ultimate end, and a state of cessation, at will—in every successive instant of the flow of our mind.  We do not though possess this capacity at levels below this.

 

 

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[364]

ZHES BDAG GI BLA MA DAM PA GSUNG BA LTAR LEGS TE, MOS SPYOD DU SEMS DANG DE KHO NA NYID GNYIS RO GCIG TU MA SONG BA’I STONG NYID KYI TING NGE ‘DZIN LA DUS THUNG NGUR ‘JUG LDANG BYED PA MI DKA’

YANG,

 

This is how my own precious Lama has explained the point, and this is a good way to do it.  At the levels where our perception of suchness is no more than picturing how it must be, we have no great difficulty in entering and rising from—for brief periods of time—the meditative concentration on a form of emptiness where the two of our own mind and the suchness have yet to meld together into a single song.

 

 

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[365]

SEMS DANG DE KHO NA NYID GNYIS CHU LA CHU BZHAG PA BZHIN DU SONG BA’I ‘PHAGS PA’I SKABS SU, ‘JUG LDANG GI TSUL DE SHIN TU DKA’ BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

This particular way of entering and rising from the meditation though becomes extremely difficult at the point where we become a realized being: when the two of our mind and suchness have turned like water poured into water.

 

 

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[366]

GAL TE SA DANG PO’I YON TAN GYI SKABS SU, SA

BDUN PAR NYAN RANG BLOS ZIL GYIS GNON PAR ‘CHAD PA ‘DI SKABS LA MA BAB PO SNYAM NA,

 

Now you might be thinking to yourself that at this particular juncture—where we are covering the high spiritual qualities of the first bodhisattva level—an explanation of how a bodhisattva at the seventh level outshines the listeners and self-made buddhas seems a little out of place.

 

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[367]

SKABS ‘CHOL BA’I SKYON MED DE, ‘DIR SA DANG PO SOGS KYI BSHAD PA NI, MDO SDE SA BCU PA LA BRTEN NAS ‘CHAD LA, MDO

DER SA DANG PO LA GNAS PAS NYAN RANG RNAMS KUN RDZOB SEMS BSKYED KYIS ZIL GYIS GNON PA DANG, DON DAM SEMS BSKYED KYI SGO NAS ZIL GYIS MI GNON PA’I KHYAD PAR LEGS PAR PHYE NAS GSUNGS LA,

 

And yet there is no such concern, that the order of our presentation might be mixed up.  The treatment in the present work of the first level and so on is based upon the Sutra on the Ten Levels; and in that scripture, the subject is covered by making a very definite distinction between the way that someone at the first level outshines the listeners and self-made buddhas by virtue of the deceptive form of the Wish for enlightenment which they possess, and the way that they do so by virtue of the ultimate form of this Wish that they have reached.

 

 

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[368]

DE’I TSE SA GANG NAS

RTOGS PAS ZIL GYIS GNON SNYAM PA’I DOGS PA SKYE BA BSAL BA’I PHYIR DU, SA BDUN PA NAS RTOGS PAS ZIL GYIS GNON PAR GSUNGS PA DE NYID, GZHUNG ‘DIR YANG BKOD PA YIN PAS SHIN TU YANG SKABS LA BAB

[f. 30b] PAR SHES PAR BYA’O,,

 

 

And at this juncture in that text, it is stated that they are outshined—from the seventh level on—by virtue of realizations.  This statement is made in order to remove any possible doubt coming up where a person might wonder at exactly what level it is that these two types of practitioners are outshone by virtue of realizations.  As such, our reader should understand that inserting this same point into our present text at this juncture is in fact highly germaine to the discussion.

 

 

 

The thinking of the autocommentary on these subjects

 

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[369]

GSUM PA LA GSUM, SA BCU PA’I MDOS NYAN RANG LA CHOS RANG BZHIN MED PAR RTOGS PA YOD PAR BSTAN PA DANG, DE SGRUB PA’I KHUNGS BSTAN PA DANG, DE LTAR BSTAN PA LA RTZOD PA SPANG BA’O,

,

 

This brings us to our third step from above: an explanation of the conclusion that we can draw from statements about how the bodhisattva outshines others.  Here we will cover three topics: how the Sutra on the Ten Levels indicates that the listeners and self-made buddhas do possess the realization that things have no nature of their own; a presentation of authentic sources which prove this point; and a refutation of arguments concerning these presentations.

 

 

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[370]

DANG

PO LA GNYIS, ‘GREL PA MDZAD PA’I DGONGS PA GSAL BAR BSHAD PA DANG, DE NYID SPYOD ‘JUG GI LUGS SU’ANG BSTAN PA’O,

,

 

The first of these we will cover in two parts: a clear explanation of what the author of the autocommentary actually had in mind; and a demonstration that the position accepted by the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life is just the same.

 

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[371]

DANG PO NI, SA BCU PA LAS SA DRUG PA MAN CHAD DU RTOGS PA’I SGO NAS, NYAN RANG RNAMS ZIL GYIS

GNON MI NUS PAR GSUNGS PA’I LUNG ‘DI LAS NI, NYAN RANG RNAMS LA YANG CHOS RANG BZHIN MED PAR SHES PA YOD DO, ZHES GSAL BAR NGES TE,

 

Here is the first.  And so The Ten Levels does say that—at the sixth and lower levels—one cannot outshine the listeners and self-made buddhas by virtue of their realizations.  And from this scriptural citation, we can very clearly perceive that these listeners and self-made buddhas do also possess an understanding that things have no nature of their own.

 

 

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[372]

DE GNYIS LA SHES RAB DE MED NA ‘JIG RTEN PA’I LAM ZHI RAGS KYI RNAM

PA CAN GYIS SRID RTZE MA GTOGS PA’I SA LA ‘DOD CHAGS DANG BRAL BA’I DRANG SRONG RNAMS BZHIN DU,

 

If these two types of practitioners lacked this wisdom, they would resemble those sages who have freed themselves from desire for any of the different levels of the cycle—with the exception of the level called “Peak of Existence”—by utilizing a worldly path:[143] one which depends only upon moving up through discursive mental states of increasing subtlety.

 

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[373]

NYAN RANG DGRA BCOM PA DE DAG KYANG DON DAM PA’I SEMS DANG PO BSKYED PAS KYANG, RTOGS PA’I SGO NAS ZIL GYIS GNON

PAR ‘GYUR TE, DNGOS PO RANG BZHIN MED PAR SHES PA DANG BRAL BA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

In this case, one would outshine—by virtue of their realizations—enemy destroyers who follow the path of the listener or the self-made buddha by nothing more than their first experience of the ultimate form of the Wish.  And this would be because those two types of practitioners lacked a perception of how things lacked any nature of their own.

 

 

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[374]

PHYI ROL MU STEGS BYED BZHIN DU NYAN RANG GIS KHAMS GSUM NA SPYOD PA’I NYON MONGS PA THAMS CAD SA BON DANG BCAS PA SPANGS PAR YANG

MI ‘GYUR BAR GSUNGS PA NI, STONG NYID LEGS PAR RTOGS NAS GOMS PA MED NA, NYON MONGS KYI SA BON ZAD PAR BYED MI NUS PA, ‘JIG RTEN PA’I LAM ZHI RAGS KYI RNAM PA CAN DANG ‘DRA BAR BSTAN TO,

,

 

And then, the sutra is saying, these listeners and self-made buddhas would end up being the same as those of other traditions—the non-Buddhists, who have failed to eliminate everything connected to negative emotions, and the seeds for these, relating to any of the three realms.  What this is saying is that—if we fail to perceive emptiness perfectly, and get used to what we perceived—then we could never be able to finish off the seeds for negative emotions; and then our efforts would end up being like those who follow the path of the world, trying to go from one discursive state of meditation to another, from rough to fine.

 

 

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[375]

DE KHO NA

[f. 31a]

NYID RTOGS PA DANG BRAL NA, GZUGS LA SOGS PA’I PHUNG PO LA BDEN PAR DMIGS PAS, BLO PHYIN CI LOG TU GYUR PA’I PHYIR, GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED MTSAN NYID RDZOGS PA RTOGS PA MED

PAR ‘GYUR TE, BDAG DANG GANG ZAG TU ‘DOGS PA’I GZHI, PHUNG PO LA BDEN PAR DMIGS PA’I YUL SUN PHYUNG BA MED PAS PHYIR RO,

,

 

If we are without the realization of suchness, then we will see the parts of ourselves—our physical form and the rest—as being real; and then our mind is purely mistaken.  Because of this then we are without the realization, complete in every respect, that the person is not himself, or herself.  This in turn is because we would have failed to rip out, from its roots, the object that the tendency to see the parts of us as real thinks it sees; and these parts are in fact the very thing that is labelled “me,” or “the person.”

 

 

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[376]

‘DIS NI GDAGS GZHI PHUNG PO LA BDEN PAR ZHEN PA’I ZHEN YUL SUN MA PHYIN

NA, BTAGS CHOS GANG ZAG LA BDEN PAR ‘DZIN PA’I ZHEN YUL YANG SUN MI PHYIN PAS, GANG ZAG BDEN MED DU MA RTOGS PA’I PHYIR, GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED MTSAN NYID RDZOGS PA MA RTOGS PAR BSTAN NO,

,

 

What’s being said here is that—if we are not able to use this realization to rip out the object that the belief in the thing we label ourselves (the parts of us) believes is real—then we will fail, in turn, to rip out the object that our tendency to think that things are real believes is real when it focuses on the result of the labeling: the person themselves.  And then we will fail to realize that the person has no reality; and then we will fail to reach a realization which is complete in every respect as it sees that the person is not themselves.

 

 

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[377]

DE

LTAR SNGAR BSHAD PA DE DAG GI DON SHIN TU RTOGS DKA’ LA, LUGS ‘DI DANG ZHI BA LHA’I GZHUNG LA BRTEN PA RNAMS KYIS KYANG LEGS PAR MA SHOD SNANG BAS, ‘DI’I MTHA’ BCAD PA LA DOGS PA SKYE TSUL DANG, DE SEL

TSUL GTAN LA PHAB NA,

 

The points that we have just elucidated are extremely difficult to grasp; it would seem that even in our own immediate tradition—and even among those who follow Master Shantideva’s classic—people have failed to give these ideas a proper explanation.  To resolve the various issues then we could first examine how different questions come up in various people’s minds; and after that set forth a way of addressing them.

 

 

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[378]

GAL TE GANG ZAG RANG RKYA THUB PA’I RDZAS YOD PHUNG PO DANG NGO BO GCIG TU MED PA DANG, DE LAS THA DAD PAS STONG PA’I STONG BDAG MED DANG, MI RTAG PA LA SOGS PA BCU DRUG TU TSAD MAS GTAN LA

PHEBS PA NI NGES PAR ‘ONG LA, DE BYUNG BA NA DE’I GDUL BYA’I GTZO BO RNAMS KYIS, DE LA SHIN TU GOMS PAR BYED PA YANG ‘ONG NGO,

,

 

So suppose that someone were to think the following:

 

Suppose we are finally able to establish, through a valid perception, the fact that nothing is itself: suppose we are able to establish an emptiness where a person who was substantial—in the sense of being self-standing—could neither be one with the parts to that person, nor separate from those parts; and where the 16 aspects of being changing and the rest applied to this person.  If this were to happen, then the primary students of this approach would in turn be able to accustom themselves quite perfectly to this emptiness.

 

 

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[379]

DE BYAS NA GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED DE MNGON SUM DU RTOGS PA ‘ONG BA NI, RNAL ‘BYOR MNGON

[f. 31b] SUM SGRUB PA’I RIGS PA RNAMS KYIS ‘GRUB BO,

,

 

And if they were, then they would come to be able to perceive—directly—the fact that the person is not themselves.  This fact is established by the logic with which we establish the existence of a direct, mystic perception.

 

 

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[380]

DE LTAR NA DE RTOGS PA’I MTHONG LAM GYIS NYON MONGS KUN BRTAGS RNAMS SPONG BA ‘GRUB BO,

,DE GRUB NA GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED MNGON SUM DU MTHONG ZIN GOMS PAR BYED PA’I

SGOM LAM YANG ‘GRUB PAS, LHAN SKYES KYI NYON MONGS KYANG SPONG NUS PAS,

 

If this is the case, then we can establish that the path of seeing whereby we perceive this fact eliminates the learned forms of negative emotions.  And if we can establish that, then we can in turn establish the existence of a path of habituation, where we accustom ourselves to the lack of a self to the person which we have already seen directly.  This then means that we also have the capacity to eliminate the inborn forms of negative emotions.

 

 

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[381]

NYON MONGS PA’I ZAG PA THAMS CAD ZAD PA ‘GRUB PAS STONG NYID MA RTOGS KYANG, KHAMS GSUM GYI PHRA RGYAS THAMS CAD SA BON DANG BCAS

PA SPONG BAR NUS TE,

 

Having thus established that we would have eliminated all forms of the impurity caused by the negative emotions; we can say that—even without realizing emptiness—one can eliminate each and every widespread, negative emotion of all three of the realms, along with the seeds for these emotions.

 

 

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[382]

JI SKAD BSHAD PA’I TSUL DU MTHONG SGOM GNYIS KYIS SPANGS PA NI, ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA’I LAM GYI SPONG TSUL YIN PA’I PHYIR RO, ,DES NA MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG SGOM PA’I LAM GYIS KYANG NYON MONGS THAMS CAD ZAD PAR NUS SO ZHE NA,

 

And this is true because the process that we have just described here—where the elimination is done through the pair of the path of seeing and the path of habituation—is in fact the very way in which we eliminate these negativities by using the path which transcends the world.  In conclusion then we can say that it is possible, as well, to finish off each and every negative emotion by using the path of meditating upon the 16 aspects of being changing, and the rest.

 

 

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[383]

‘DI LA BSHAD PAR BYA STE, DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA MA RNYED KYANG MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG TSAD MAS GTAN LA PHEBS PA DANG, DE’I GDUL BYA RNAMS KYIS DON DE BRTZON PA CHEN

POS SGOM PA DANG, BSGOMS PA LAS GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED RAGS PA MNGON SUM DU MTHONG BA DANG, MTHONG ZIN GOMS PAR BYED PA NI MI ‘ONG ZHES KHO BO CAG MI SMRA’O,

,

 

Let us then present our response.  We are not saying that it is impossible that—even without coming to the view of suchness—a person cannot use valid perception to establish the 16 aspects of being changing and the rest; and that the students who follow this approach cannot then expend great effort in meditating upon these points; and that as a result of this meditation they cannot perceive, directly, the gross form of the lack of a self to the person; and that they cannot then accustom themselves to what they have succeeded in seeing.

 

 

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[384]

‘O NA CI ZHE NA, DE ‘DRA BA’I LAM DE GANG ZAG

GI BDAG MED MTSAN NYID RDZOGS PAR RTOGS PA MIN PAS, LAM DE MTHONG LAM DANG ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA’I SGOM LAM DU MI ‘DOD DO,

,

 

“Well then,” one may ask, “what are you saying?”  What we are saying is that this kind of approach does not constitute a perception of the lack of self to a person which is complete in every respect.  This being the case, we cannot agree that this approach is the path of seeing, or a form of the path of habituation which has transcended the world.

 

 

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[385]

DE’I PHYIR MTHONG SPANG DANG, SGOM SPANG GANG GI YANG SA BON SPONG MI NUS

[f. 32a]

PAS, LAM DE MTHONG LAM DANG SGOM LAM DU BSHAD PA DANG, SPANG BYA GNYIS SA BON DANG BCAS PA SPONG BAR BSHAD PA DANG, LAM DE GNYIS KYI MTHAR DGRA BCOM PA ‘THOB PAR BSHAD PA NI, DRANG BA’I

DON DU ‘GREL BA’I LUGS YIN TE,

 

And for this reason, the approach you have described cannot enable one to eliminate the seeds either of those negativities which we eliminate with the path of seeing; or of those which we eliminate with the path of habituation.  And this means that we must interpret as metaphoric any system which says that this kind of approach could be either the path of seeing or the path of habituation; or which says that with it we can eliminate these two types of objects to be eliminated, along with their seeds; or which says that at the end of two paths of this type we would ever be able to achieve the state of an enemy destroyer.

 

 

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[386]

DPER NA SEMS TZAM PAS RDUL CHA MED DANG, DE BSAGS PA’I PHYI DON DANG, DE LAS RDZAS THA DAD PA’I ‘DZIN PA GNYIS BKAG PA YANG TSAD MAS ‘GRUB CING, DES ‘DUL BA’I GDUL

BYAS RING DU GOMS PAR BYAS NA, DON DE MNGON SUM DU MTHONG BA DANG, MTHONG ZIN GOMS PAR BYED PA ‘GRUB TU CHUG KYANG, DE’I STENG NAS SA BCU DANG, LAM PHYI MA GSUM BGROD PA DBU MA PAS DRANG DON DU ‘GREL BA

BZHIN NO,

,

 

Followers of the Middle-Way School can, for example, accept the idea that those of the Mind-Only School might disprove, through a valid perception, the two ideas that (1) atoms could have sides, and that outer objects composed of such atoms could exist; and (2) there could exist a perception of these objects which was substantially separate from them[144]—and that students for whom this school was meant might then accustom themselves to these positions over a long period of time; and finally come to perceive them directly; and then get used to what they had at that point seen directly.  But as for saying that this process could be used to go higher, to the ten levels; or to travel the latter three paths;[145] those of the Middle Way would interpret any such pronouncements as only metaphoric.

 

 

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[387]

MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG SGOM PA YIN KYANG, SNGAR BSHAD PA’I GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED RTOGS PA NYID NYON MONGS LAS GROL BAR BYED PA’I LAM DU ‘DOD PA YIN TE,

 

The approach described is a meditation upon the 16 aspects of being changing, and so on; but it is only the perception of how the person is not themselves—the perception which we described above—which we accept as the path which can free us from our negative emotions.

 

 

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[388]

KUN LAS BTUS LAS, BDAG MED

PA’I YID BYED KYIS NYON MONGS SPONG LA, RNAM PA LHAG MA RNAMS DE YONGS SU SBYONG BA’I THABS SU GSUNGS PA DANG,

 

As The Compendium puts it, a state of mind where you are focused on how nothing is itself can enable you to eliminate your negative emotions; but all the rest of the ways of looking at things are only methods of improving on them.[146]

 

 

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[389]

RNAM ‘GREL LAS KYANG,

,STONG NYID LTA BAS GROL ‘GYUR GYI,

,SGOM PA LHAG MA DE DON YIN,

,ZHES

SNGA MA DANG MTHUN PAR GSUNGS PAS SO,,

 

The Commentary on Valid Perception is in agreement with the preceding where it says,

 

The view of emptiness

Will free you;

All other meditations

Are just to get you there.[147]

 

 

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[390]

STONG NYID LTA BA ZHES PA’I TSIG TZAM LA ‘KHRUL NAS, RGYA GAR BA ‘GA’ ZHIG GIS KYANG DE KHO NA NYID RTOGS PA’I LTA BA LA ‘DOD PA NI DON MIN PAS, GANG ZAG RANG RKYA THUB PA’I RDZAS

[f. 32b] YOD KYIS STONG PA’I LTA BA YIN NO,

,

 

Some of the Indian authors, misled by the wording of the expression “view of emptiness,” have taken the position that this last citation is referring to “view” in the sense of the realization of suchness; but that’s not what it’s talking about.  It is a view about the person being empty of existing substantially—an emptiness of any self-standing person.

 

 

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[391]

LAM DES NYON MONGS KYI SA BON SPONG MI NUS KYANG, NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR BA NI RE ZHIG ‘GOG NUS TE, PHYI ROL PA DANG THUN MONG BA’I ZHI RAGS KYI RNAM PA CAN GYIS, CI YANG MED PA

MAN CHAD KYI NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR SPONG BAR MNGON PA LAS GSUNGS PA LTAR ‘DOD DGOS NA, SNGAR GYI LAM GYIS MNGON GYUR RE ZHIG SPONG NUS PA LTA CI SMOS PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

That particular approach does not have the power to eliminate the seeds of the negative emotions, but it can for the time being block the manifest appearance of these emotions.  If though you insist on taking the above discussion as referring to statements in the literature on higher knowledge about eliminating the manifest form of negative emotions at the meditative level called “Nothing At All” on down—by utilizing a meditation that the non-Buddhists also use, going up and down through cursive states of meditation that are increasingly more or less subtle—then we couldn’t even say what we did, about the approach mentioned previously being able, for the time being, to eliminate the manifest form of these negative emotions.

 

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[392]

NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR SPONG ZHES PA’I NYON MONGS

KYANG, MNGON PA GNYIS NAS GSUNGS PA LTAR GYI DMIGS RNAM CAN GYI NYON MONGS YIN GYI, LUGS ‘DIS BDEN ‘DZIN NYON MONGS CAN GYI MA RIG PAR BSHAD PA DANG, DE’I DBANG DU BYAS PA’I LTA BA DANG LTA MIN GYI

NYON MONGS MNGON PA LAS BSHAD TSUL LAS GZHAN RNAMS NI MNGON GYUR YANG SPONG BAR MI NUS SO,

,

 

Even just the expression “manifest form of negative emotions” is a reference to negative emotions with a certain object of their focus, as described in the two presentations of higher knowledge.[148]  The system of the present text though explains the tendency to believe things as real to be a kind of misunderstanding tied up with negative emotions.  Negative emotions from this point of view, whether they be ways of looking at things or other types of negative emotions—that is, those other than ones explained as they are in the works of higher knowledge—could in fact never be eliminated by the approach described, even in their manifest form.

 

 

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[393]

MNGON PA NAS BSHAD PA’I SRID RTZE’I SAS BSDUS PA’I NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR, ZHI RAGS KYI RNAM PA CAN GYIS SPONG MI

NUS KYANG, SNGAR BSHAD PA’I GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED RAGS PA RTOGS PA’I LAM LA GOMS PAR BYAS PAS SPONG NUS SO,

,

 

Manifest forms of negative thoughts as they are described in the literature on higher knowledge, and which are subsumed by the “Peak of Existence,” cannot be eliminated by the forms of meditation in which we go increasingly more subtle, still in a discursive state of mind.  They can though be eliminated by mastering the path in which we perceive a gross form of the way in which a person is not themselves, as just described.

 

 

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[394]

DE DAG GIS NI ‘GREL PAR DE KHO NA NYID RTOGS PA DANG BRAL BA’I NYON MONGS KYI SPONG GNYEN DU

BSHAD PA’I LAM RNAMS, ZHI RAGS KYI RNAM PA CAN GYI LAM DANG ‘DRA BA DANG, PHYI ROL PA BZHIN DU NYON MONGS THAMS CAD SPONG MI NUS PAR GSUNGS PA RNAMS GSAL BAR BSTAN TO,

,

 

The point of these sections has been to describe, in a clear way, statements made in the commentary about how paths that don’t involve a perception of suchness but which are still described as antidotes we can use to eliminate negative emotions are in fact only the same as approaches involving moving through discursive meditative states of greater or lesser subtlety; and how they fail—as other traditions fail—to enable us to eliminate each and every one of our negative emotions.

 

 

 

How this is the position

of the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

 

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[395]

GNYIS PA NI, ‘DI NI

[f. 33a]

RGYAL SRAS CHEN PO ZHI BA LHA YANG BZHED DE, SPYOD ‘JUG LAS,

 

The position we’ve just described is, furthermore, also accepted by that great child of the victorious Buddhas, the bodhisattva Shantideva.  As the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life puts it,

 

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[396]

,BDEN PA MTHONG BAS GROL ‘GYUR GYI,

,STONG NYID MTHONG BAS CI ZHIG BYA,

 

Only by seeing the truth

Can we be freed;

What use is it

To see emptiness?

 

 

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[397]

ZHES BDEN BZHI MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG MTHONG BA’I LAM

GYIS, NYON MONGS LAS GROL BAR ‘GYUR BAS, NYON MONGS ZAD PA’I DON DU RANG BZHIN MED PA’I STONG NYID MTHONG BA MI DGOS SO, ZHES PA’I LAN DU,

 

These lines present the mistaken position that we can be freed simply with a path which involves seeing the Four Truths—with their 16 aspects of being changing and the rest; it is saying that it is not necessary to see a kind of emptiness where nothing has any nature of its own, in order to finish off our negative emotions.  In response to this position, the work continues with:

 

 

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[398]

,GANG PHYIR LUNG LAS LAM ‘DI NI,

,MED PAR BYANG CHUB MED

PAR GSUNGS,

 

But the use of it

Has been stated in scripture:

“Without this path,

There can be no enlightenment.”[149]

 

 

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[399]

ZHES RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAS STONG PAR MTHONG BA’I LAM ‘DI MED PAR, BYANG CHUB GSUM GANG YANG THOB PA MED PAR GSUNGS TE,

 

What this is saying is that—if we lack this path where we see how things are empty of existing through any nature of their own—then we cannot achieve any of the three forms of enlightenment.[150]

 

 

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[400]

GSUNGS TSUL NI SPYOD ‘JUG ‘GREL CHEN LAS, YUM GYI MDO

LAS DNGOS PO’I ‘DU SHES CAN LA THAR PA MED PA DANG, DUS GSUM GA’I RGYUN ZHUGS NAS RANG RGYAL GYI BAR RNAMS SHER PHYIN ‘DI NYID LA BRTEN NAS THOB PAR GSUNGS PA DRANGS PA LTAR YIN GYI, BLA NA MED PA’I

BYANG CHUB RKYANG PA LA BYED PA DON MIN NO,

,

 

The way in which the work makes this statement is described in the Great Commentary on the “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life,where it recounts how the Mother Sutras say that there can be no freedom for those who still conceive of things as things, and how all those who achieve the goals from entering the stream on up to becoming a self-made buddha—whether they have already come, or are here now, or are yet to come—do so by utilizing this same perfection of wisdom.  And so it is not as if the point applies only to those who reach matchless enlightenment.[151]

 

 

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[401]

DE NAS BSTAN RTZA DGE SLONG NYID YIN NA, ZHES PA’I RKANG PA BZHIS SEMS BDEN ‘DZIN GYI DMIGS PA DANG BCAS PA’I LAM GYIS MYANG ‘DAS MI ‘THOB PAR YANG BSTAN NO,,

 

The four lines [in the Tibetan] which include “that special monk who is the foundation of the teachings” are also meant to convey that one cannot achieve nirvana by using a path in which ones mind is still wrapped up in seeing something in the way that we do when we are holding things to be real.[152]

 

 

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[402]

DE NAS NYON MONGS SPANGS PAS GROL NA DE’I, DE MA THAG TU DE ‘GYUR RO, ZHES GSUNGS PA’I NYON MONGS SPANGS PAS GROL NA ZHES PA NI, PHYOGS SNGA MA’I LUGS BRJOD PA YIN LA,

 

The next lines in the Guide say:

 

If one were freed by this elimination

Of the negative emotions,

Then one would reach it

Just after that.[153]

 

The part about “If one were freed by this elimination of the negative emotions” is a reiteration of the opponent’s position.

 

 

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[403]

DE’I DON NI, BDEN PA

[f. 33b] MTHONG BAS GROL ‘GYUR GYI, ZHES BSHAD PA BZHIN DU MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG GI LAM BSGOMS PAS, NYON MONGS SPANGS TE GROL BA ‘THOB NA ZHES BSHAD RGYU YIN TE, SKABS ‘DIR MI RTAG SOGS CU DRUG GI

LAM TZAM GYIS NYON MONGS LAS GROL BA ‘THOB MI ‘THOB LA RTZOD PA’I PHYIR DANG, BDEN PA MTHONG BAS ZHES SOGS KYI RTZOD PA LAS SHIN TU GSAL BA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Here’s what the lines are referring to.  They should be read in the same way as we did the part that goes, “Only by seeing the truth / Can we be freed”—that is, “If one were freed by an elimination of the negative emotions which was brought about by meditating upon the path of impermanence and the rest of the 16 aspects of the Four Truths…”  This is because the whole point of this particular section is a disagreement about whether or not one can achieve liberation through using no more than the path of the 16 aspects of impermanence and the rest—and this is eminently clear from the preceding dispute upon the line about “seeing the truth.”

 

 

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[404]

DES NA MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG GI LAM TZAM GYIS

NYON MONGS ZAD PAR NUS PA KHAS BLANGS NAS, DES SDUG BSNGAL THAMS CAD LAS GROL BA MIN NO ZHES ‘CHAD PA NI ‘DI’I DON GTAN MIN NO,

,

 

Therefore explaining this section as meaning that someone has accepted that nothing more than the path of the 16 aspects of impermanence and the rest can finish off the negative emotions, but that this does not free one from each and every form of suffering, is missing the point completely.

 

 

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[405]

DE’I PHYIR LAM DES NYAN THOS SDE PA GNYIS DANG THUN MONG BA’I NYON MONGS SU

BZHAG PA RNAMS, SNGAR BSHAD PA LTAR GYI LAM RGYUD LA BSKYED PAS, RE ZHIG MNGON GYUR DU RGYU BA MED PA’I TSE, NYON MONGS ZAD PA’I GROL BA THOB PAR ‘JOG NA, NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR TZAM RE ZHIG SPANGS PA DE’I DE

MA THAG TU ZAG PA THAMS CAD ZAD PA’I GROL BA THOB PAR ‘GYUR RO, ZHES ‘GOG PA DGONGS PA YIN NO,

,

 

Therefore the real intent of these lines is to refute the idea held by those who present the negative emotions in the same way as the two listener groups do,[154] saying that—if we describe managing to develop within ourselves the path described earlier, and thus stopping, for the time being, the running of manifest forms of negative emotion, as attaining freedom in the form of finishing off the negative emotions—then it would be the case that just after the elimination of no more than manifest forms of negative emotion for a limited period of time, one would further reach a liberation where they had finished off each and every impurity.

 

 

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[406]

DE ‘DOD PAR MI NUS PA NI,

,NYON MONGS MED KYANG DE DAG LA,

,LAS KYI NUS PA MTHONG BA YIN,

 

The fact that we cannot accept this position is indicated in the very next lines of the work:

 

Even though they lack

Those negative emotions,

We can still see the forces

Of karma in them.[155]

 

 

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[407]

ZHES NYON MONGS

MNGON GYUR RE ZHIG MED KYANG, LAS KYI DBANG GIS YANG SRID PHYI MA ‘PHEN PA’I NUS PA MTHONG BAS SO, ZHES PAS STON NO,

,

 

What these lines are saying is that—even though a person may lack those manifest forms of negative emotion for a limited period of time—we can still see in them the forces that project another future life, through the power of karma.

 

 

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[408]

GZHUNG DE RNAMS NI DE LTAR BSHAD DGOS KYI, ‘GREL PA ‘GA’ ZHIG DANG BOD RNAMS, NYON MONGS

[f. 34a]

MED KYANG MOO GAL GYI BU DANG, ‘PHAGS PA SOR PHRENG CAN LA SOGS PA LA SNGON SO SKYE’I DUS SU BSAGS PA’I LAS KYI ‘BRAS BUS SDUG BSNGAL ‘BYIN PA MTHONG BAS, DE MA THAG TU GROL BA MA YIN NO, ,

ZHES PA LTAR MI BYA STE,

 

This then is how we should explain these major works; we should not though follow the interpretation of a number of commentaries—and of certain Tibetan thinkers—who say that “We do not, just after that point, achieve liberation; because we can see examples such as those of Maudgalyayana[156] and the realized being Angulimala,[157] who because of the fruits of karma they had accumulated previously—when they were still normal beings—experienced suffering.”

 

 

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[409]

‘DI NI TSE ‘DI’I SDUG BSNGAL SKYED PA’I NUS PA MIN GYI, LAS KYIS YANG SRID PHYI MA ‘PHEN PA’I NUS PA MI LDOG PAS GROL BA MED DO, ZHES STON DGOS PA’I PHYIR TE,

 

This is because we must interpret these statements as saying that one is not liberated so long as they have not yet stopped the capacity for karma to project another suffering life for them; this is not a reference to stopping the capacity for karma to produce suffering in this current life.

 

 

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[410]

,STONG PA NYID DANG BRAL BA’I

SEMS,

,’GAGS PA SLAR YANG SKYE ‘GYUR TE,

,’DU SHES MED PA’I SNYOMS ‘JUG BZHIN,

 

As the text continues,

 

For a mind still left

Without emptiness,

They may stop; but then

Once more spring forth—

Just as we see with the meditation

Where discrimination is stopped.[158]

 

 

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[411]

ZHES GSUNGS TE DE’I DON STONG PA NYID KYI RTOGS PA DANG BRAL NA, LAM GZHAN BSGOMS PAS NYON MONGS DANG BCAS PA’I SEMS

RE ZHIG ‘GAGS KYANG, GTAN NAS LOG PA MIN PAS SLAR YANG NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR DU SKYE BAS, LAS KYI DBANG GIS ‘KHOR BAR ‘KHOR BA MI ‘CHAD CES PA’I DON YIN PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

The point being made here is to say that a person who is still left without a realization of emptiness may be able to practice other paths and thus manage—temporarily—to stop states of mind that possess negative emotions.  These states are not though then stopped permanently; and so manifest negative emotions will once more spring forth.  And because of them, the power of karma will assure that the person continues to circle through the wheel of suffering.

 

 

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[412]

NYON MONGS DANG BCAS PA’I SEMS

RE ZHIG ‘GAGS PA ‘ONG BAR BSTAN PA NI, SNGAR BSHAD PA LTAR NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR SPANGS PA RE ZHIG ‘ONG BA’I DON NO,

,

 

Saying here that “it will come that states of mind which possess negative emotions will temporarily be stopped” has the meaning, as we spoke of earlier, that “it will come that one is able to eliminate, temporarily, manifest forms of negative emotion.”

 

 

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[413]

LAS KYI NUS PA MTHONG BA YIN, ZHES PA’I LAN DU,

,RE ZHIG NYER LEN SRED PA NI,

,MED CES

NGES PA NYID CE NA,

ZHES YANG SRID LEN PA’I SRED PA LAM DES ZAD PAR BYED PAS, LAS KYI DBANG GIS YANG SRID PHYI MA MI LEN PAR NGES PA NYID DO,

 

In response to the statement that “We can still see the forces / Of karma in them,” we find the lines,

 

And suppose you say it’s assured,

Since the material cause

Of initial desire is absent,

For the moment.[159]

 

Which is to say: “Given that these paths have finished off the initial desire which causes us to take our next rebirth, it is assured that we will not be forced by karma to take this rebirth.”

 

 

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[414]

ZHES PA’I LAN DU,

,SRED ‘DI NYON MONGS CAN MIN YANG,

,KUN

[f. 34b] RMONGS BZHIN DU CI STE MED,

CES PHA ROL POS KUN RMONGS MI SHES PA LA, MNGON PA NAS BSHAD PA LTAR GYI NYON MONGS YIN PA CIG DANG, DE MIN PA GNYIS ‘DOD PA BZHIN DU, SRED PA YANG MNGON PA NAS BSHAD PA

LTAR GYI NYON MONGS CAN YIN PA CIG DANG MIN PA CIG KYANG CI’I PHYIR MI ‘DOD, CES GSUNGS SO,

,

 

We respond in turn to this statement with:

 

It may be that this initial desire

Is not the type

Possessed of negative emotion;

But why couldn’t it be

Like the negative side of things?[160]

 

These words are being addressed to an opponent who doesn’t understand the concept of the “negative side of things.”  That is, we recognize two kinds of negative emotions: the kind that is presented in the works on higher knowledge, and another which is different.  And what we are asking them in these lines is why they couldn’t agree that a similar distinction could be drawn with initial desire: a type possessing negative emotion which is similar to that described in the works on higher knowledge; and a type which is different.

 

 

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[415]

DE NI SDE PA GNYIS DANG THEG CHEN PA LA THUN MONG DU GRAGS PA LTAR GYI NYON MONGS CAN MA YIN PA’I SRED PA YOD PAR

STON GYI RANG LUGS KYIS SRED PA DE, NYON MONGS CAN DU MI ‘DOD PA MIN NO,

,

 

This statement, by the way, is meant to indicate that there is a type of initial desire which is common to both the two groups and to the greater way, and which is not possessed of negative emotions.  It is not though meant to say that according to our own system this particular form of initial desire is not possessed of negative emotions.

 

 

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[416]

DES NA GANG ZAG RANG RKYA THUB PA’I RDZAS YOD DU ‘DZIN PA’I BDAG ‘DZIN GYIS DRANGS PA’I SRED PA MNGON GYUR BA RE ZHIG SPANGS KYANG, GANG

ZAG NGO BO NYID KYIS GRUB PAR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTAS DRANGS PA’I SRED PA CI STE MED CES PA YIN PAS, SNGAR BSHAD PA’I MNGON GYUR SPANGS PA LA NI, BSHAD MA THAG PA’I ‘JIG LTA DANG SRED PA MNGON GYUR BA YANG MI LDOG GO ,

 

Therefore what we are saying here is: “It may indeed be the case that one has eliminated, for the time being, manifest forms of that initial desire which is brought on by the tendency to grasp to some self-nature which holds that the individual is substantial, in the sense of being self-standing.  Why though would this preclude the form of initial desire which is brought on by the view of destruction[161] which grasps to the idea that the individual could exist in and of itself?”  The point is that a person who has eliminated the manifest form that we mentioned earlier will not have eliminated, in addition, the view of destruction that we just described; nor the manifest form of initial desire.

 

 

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[417]

GAL TE LUGS DE GNYIS KA’I NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR BA SPANGS NA, GNYIS KA’I SA BON MA SPANGS PAR NI ‘DRA LA, MNGON GYUR YOD MED LA KHYAD MA BYUNG NA, SRED PA LA KHYAD PAR PHYE BA DON MED DO,

 

If both these systems are similar in saying that—if one has eliminated the manifest form of negative emotion in the system—then one will not have eliminated the seed for the negative emotion as it is described in the same system; then there is actually no difference to be drawn at this juncture between possessing the manifest form or not. And in this case it would be meaningless to draw any distinction between different forms of the initial desire.

 

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[418]

,TSOR BA’I RKYEN GYIS

SRED PA YIN,

,TSOR BA DE DAG LA YANG YOD,

 

As the next lines themselves point out,

 

Initial desire occurs

Because of the factor of feelings—

And they still possess

These feelings.

 

 

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[419]

CES GSUNGS PAS NI LAM GZHAN GYIS NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR BA GZHAN SPANGS PA LA, SRED PA MI LDOG PA’I RGYU MTSAN STON TE, DE KHO NA NYID RTOGS PA’I LTA BA DANG

[f. 35a]

BRAL NA, TSOR BA LA BDEN ‘DZIN GYI MA RIG PA CUNG ZAD KYANG MI SPONG LA,

 

What’s being described here is a reason why other paths cannot be used to put a stop to initial desire, which in turn is necessary to eliminate the manifest form of other negative emotions; that is, a person who still lacks the viewpoint with which they realize suchness will continue to be unable to eliminate even the tiniest bit of that misunderstanding which holds that feelings have some real nature of their own.

 

 

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[420]

DE LTA NA TSOR BA BDE BA SKYES PA NA MI ‘BRAL BAR SRED PA DANG, TSOR BA SDUG BSNGAL SKYES PA NA ‘BRAL ‘DOD KYI SRED PA CI’I

PHYIR MI SKYE STE, MTHUN RKYEN TSANG ZHING ‘GAL RKYEN MED PA’I RGYU LAS ‘BRAS BU SKYE BAR NGES PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Why then in this case would we not see the arising of a form of initial desire where the person was hoping not to be separated from some feeling of pleasure that had come up in their life; and another form of this desire where the person was hoping to be separated from some feeling of pain that had made its own appearance?  For it is absolutely certain that a given result will occur, in a case where all the conditions which support its growth are complete, even as all the conditions which might impede its growth are absent.

 

 

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[421]

RANG LUGS KYI TSOR BA LA SRED PA LDOG LUGS NI,

,GANG TSE TSOR PO ‘GA’ MED CING,

,TSOR BA’ANG YOD PA MA

YIN PA,

,DE TSE GNAS SKABS ‘DI MTHONG NAS,

,SRED PA CI PHYIR LDOG MI ‘GYUR,

 

The position of our own system on how to prevent initial desire towards a particular feeling is described in the following lines—

 

At a certain point,

We see that there is no one

Doing the feeling;

Nor any feeling

For them to have.

Why then by this time

Would initial desire

Not come to a stop?[162]

 

 

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[422]

ZHES SPYOD ‘JUG LAS GSUNGS PA LTAR YIN TE, TSOR BA PO DANG TSOR BA ‘GA’ YANG RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PA MED PAR MTHONG BA GOMS NA,

SRED PA LDOG PAR BSTAN PAS, DE ‘DRA BA’I LAM MED NA SRED PA THAMS CAD CI’I PHYIR LDOG CES PAR YANG STON NO,

,

 

It’s just as the Guide is putting it here.  At some point, the lines are teaching us, we are able to see—and become accustomed to the fact—that there is no one at all doing the feeling, and no feeling at all for them to have, which exist through some nature of their own.  And it is at this point that we are able to stop initial desire.  The lines are also, in effect, saying: “How then, in the absence of such a path, would you ever be able to stop all forms of initial desire?”

 

 

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[423]

‘DI NI RIGS PA DRUG CU PA LAS,

,GNAS DANG BCAS PA’I SEMS LDAN LA,

,NYON MONGS DUG CHEN CIS MI

‘BYUNG,

,ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON NO,

,

 

This is also the point being made in The Sixty Verses on Reasoning where it says,

 

Why would we not find

The great poison

Of negative emotions

In a person who possessed

A state of mind

Where they still took some position?[163]

 

 

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[424]

TSOR BA YOD PA’I RGYU MTSAN GYIS SRED PA YOD PAR GSUNGS PA LA, RGYU YOD PAS ‘BRAS BU YOD PAR SGRUB MI NUS PAS LEGS PA MIN ZHES CHA PA DANG, RTZEGS DBANG PHYUG

SENG GES SPYOD ‘JUG ‘GOG PA NI,

 

Chapa and Tsek Wangchuk Senge have attempted to refute the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, claiming that this statement that “A person possesses initial desire for the reason that they possess feelings” is imperfect, since the presence of a cause does not necessarily establish the presence of its result.[164]

 

 

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[425]

NYAN THOS LA CHOS KYI BDAG MED RTOGS PA YOD MED GNYIS BOD NA PHYI MA GRAGS CHE ZHING, LUGS DE LA GOMS PA SHAS CHE BA DANG, PHYOGS DANG PO’I LUNG RIGS RNAMS LA MTHA’

[f. 35b] CHOD PAR MA SBYANGS PAS, RIGS PA BRLING PO’I DON ZHIB TU MA RNYED PAR MKHAS PA CHEN PO LA GYA TSOM DU SKYON BZUNG BA’I NOR PA CHEN PO’O,

,

 

Now there are two positions taken about whether practitioners on the listener track are able to perceive the lack of a self-nature to things: some say yes, and some say no.  The  latter position has become more widespread here in Tibet.  The problem with these two thinkers is that they were more familiar with this position, and failed to acquaint themselves with the exhaustive analysis necessary to establish the former position through both scriptural authority and reasoning.  And so they have fallen into a stupendous error, unable to unravel subtle shades of reasoning and thus accusing a truly great sage of error, with no foundation for doing so.

 

 

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[426]

DE BZHIN DU ZLA BA’I ZHABS LA BOD RNAMS KYIS SKYON BZUNG BA ‘GA’ ZHIG SNANG BA

YANG, PHYOGS SNGA MA ZHIB TU YE MA GO BAR SKYON LTAR SNANG BRJOD PAS, RANG GI DE NYID STON PA MKHAS PAS MTHONG NA SHIN TU NGO TSA BA’I GNAS KHO NAR SNANG NGO,

,

 

So too we have seen some Tibetans of the past who considered the great Chandrakirti to have made some kind of errors—but these are just false errors seen by a person who has no understanding at all of the finer points of the former position.  And so if a sage were to see the way that these people themselves describe suchness, it seems that it would be no more than a total embarrassment.

 

 

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[427]

DE LTAR NA ‘GREL BSHAD LAS MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG GI

LAM GYIS NYON MONGS KUN BRTAGS SPONG NUS LA, LHAN SKYES SPONG MI NUS SO ZHES KHYAD PAR ‘BYED PA YANG RIGS PA MA YIN TE,

 

As such it is also wrong to draw a distinction of saying that the Explanation states that a person can eliminate learned forms of negative emotion by using the path of impermanence and the rest of the 16 aspects; and yet not thus eliminate inborn forms.

 

 

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[428]

THEG PA THUN MONG BA LA GRAGS PA’I NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR TZAM RE ZHIG SPONG BA LA NI, KUN BRTAGS

DANG LHAN SKYES GNYIS ‘DRA LA, SA BON SPONG MI NUS PA YANG GNYIS KA LA ‘DRA BA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

Even with the question of eliminating just manifest forms of negative emotions—as they are described in the way which is common to the schools, and then only for some period of time—the case with both learned forms and inborn forms is similar; and the point is also similar for both regarding the issue of whether one is able to eliminate the seeds or not.

 

 

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[429]

‘DIR ZLA BA DANG ZHI BA LHA GNYIS DGONGS PA GCIG TU ‘CHAD MA SHES ‘DUG GO

 

On this matter, people haven’t understood how to explain both Master Chandrakirti and Master Shantideva as having the same idea.

 

 

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[430]

,PHUNG PO BDEN MED DU MA RTOGS NA, GANG ZAG

BDEN MED DU MI RTOGS LA, DE LTA NA GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED MI RTOGS PA NI, DPER NA PHUNG SOGS KYI CHOS BDEN PAS STONG PA CHOS KYI BDAG MED DU ‘JOG PA LTAR, GANG ZAG BDEN MED KYANG GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED DU GZHAG DGOS TE, RGYU MTSAN KUN NAS MTSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,

,

 

If one fails to realize that the parts of a person have no reality, then they will also fail to realize that the person themself has no reality; and then they will fail to realize that the person has no nature of being themself.  We must, for example, describe the fact that things have no nature of being themselves as referring to the fact that things—in the form of the parts of a person and so on—are devoid of any reality.  Just so, we must describe the fact that the person has no nature of being themself as referring to the fact that the person is devoid of any reality: the reason is completely the same.

 

 

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[431]

DE LTA NA GANG ZAG BDEN PAR ‘DZIN PA GANG ZAG GI BDAG ‘DZIN DU GZHAG DGOS PAS, DE MA ZAD BAR DU NYON MONGS THAMS CAD ZAD PA MI ‘ONG BA DANG, GANG

[f. 36a]

ZAG DANG CHOS LA BDEN ‘DZIN NYON MONGS SU ‘JOG DGOS PA YIN TE, ZHI BA LHA’I LUGS LA’ANG ‘DI NYID RNAM PAR BZHAG DGOS SO,

,

 

As such, we must describe the tendency to hold that the person is real as being the tendency to hold that the person is themself.  And then we would have to say that—until such time as we manage to finish off this tendency—then we could never finish off all of our negative emotions.  We must also describe the two tendencies of holding that the person is real, and that things are real, as being themselves negative emotions.  And we would have to describe it exactly this same way in the system of Master Shantideva as well.

 

 

 

Sutras of the greater way which prove the same point

 

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[432]

GNYIS PA LA GNYIS, THEG CHEN GYI MDO’I SHES BYED DGOD

PA DANG, BSTAN BCOS DANG THEG DMAN GYI MDO’I SHES BYED DGOD PA’O,

,

 

This brings us to the second topic in our explanation of the conclusion that we can draw from statements about how the bodhisattva outshines others: a presentation of authentic sources which prove the point that listeners and self-made buddhas do possess the realization that things have no nature of their own.  We proceed in two steps, presenting sutras of the greater way which prove this point; and then presenting classical commentaries, and sutras of the lower way, which prove the point.

 

 

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[433]

DANG PO NI, LHAG PA’I BSAM PA BSTAN PAS ZHUS PA TSIG GSAL DU DRANGS PA LAS,

 

Here is the first.  Our point is stated in very clear terms in The Section Requested by Sthira Adhyashaya, as this work is quoted in A Clarification of the Verses:

 

 

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[434]

DPER NA MI LA LA ZHIG GIS SGYU MA MKHAN GYI ROL MO BYUNG BA’I TSE, SGYU MA MKHAN GYIS SPRUL PA’I BUD MED MTHONG NAS, ‘DOD CHAGS KYI SEMS SKYED DE, DE ‘DOD CHAGS KYIS SEMS DKRIS NAS ‘KHOR GYIS ‘JIGS SHING BAG TSA STE, STAN LAS LANGS NAS SONG STE

 

“There are for example some people who—when the magician begins his music—lay eyes on a woman conjured up by this sorcerer.  They then begin to feel lust for her and, overcome by this lust, they jump up from their seats; much to the concern and consternation of those around them, they run to the woman.”

 

 

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[435]

DE SONG NAS KYANG BUD MED DE NYID LA MI SDUG PAR YID LA BYED CING, MI RTAG PA DANG SDUG BSNGAL BA DANG STONG PA DANG BDAG MED PAR YID LA BYED NA,

 

“But once they approach her they begin to think of this woman as being unattractive; and they think of her as impermanent; and something painful; and empty and not even herself.”

 

 

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[436]

RIGS KYI BU DE JI SNYAM DU SEMS, MI DE YANG DAG PAR ZHUGS PA YIN NAM ‘ON TE LOG PAR ZHUGS PA YIN,

 

“And so I ask you, o child of noble family.  Do these people know what they are doing, or not?”

 

 

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[437]

GSOL BA BCOM LDAN ‘DAS GANG BUD MED MA MCHIS PA LA MI SDUG PAR YID LA BYED CING, MI RTAG PA DANG SDUG BSNGAL BA DANG STONG PA DANG, BDAG MED PAR YID LA BGYID PA’I MI DE’I MNGON PAR BRTZON PA DE NI LOG PA LAGS SO,,

 

And the bodhisattva Sthira Adhyashaya replied, “O Conqueror, for people to make the effort to think of an impossible woman as being unattractive; and to think of her as being impermanent; and something painful; and empty, and not even herself, would show that they didn’t know what they were doing.”

 

 

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[438]

BCOM LDAN ‘DAS KYIS BKA’ STZAL PA, RIGS KYI BU ‘DI NA DGE SLONG DANG DGE SLONG MA DANG, DGE BSNYEN DANG DGE BSNYEN MA KHA CIG MA SKYES SHING MA [f. 36b] BYUNG BA’I CHOS RNAMS LA MI SDUG PAR YID LA BYED CING, MI RTAG PA DANG SDUG BSNGAL BA DANG STONG PA DANG BDAG MED PAR YID LA BYED PA GANG YIN PA DE DAG KYANG DE DANG ‘DRA BAR BLTA BAR BYA’O,,

 

And the Conqueror spoke, “O child of noble family, there are here a number of monks, and nuns, and men and women with lifetime vows, who look at things which have never started, and never even happened, and think of them as being unattractive; and think of them as impermanent; and empty; and painful; and not even themselves.  You should view them as being the same as those other people.”

 

 

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[439]

NGA NI MI BLUN PO DE DAG LA LAM SGOM PA YIN NO ZHES MI SMRA STE DE DAG NI LOG PAR ZHUGS PA ZHES BYA’O, ZHES SHIN TU GSAL BAR GSUNGS SO,,

 

“And I do not say that foolish people such as these are practicing the path—for they don’t know what they are doing.”[165]

 

 

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[450]

SGYU MA’I BUD MED LA BUD MED DNGOS SU BZUNG NAS, DE LA MI RTAG SOGS SU YID LA BYED PA DANG, PHUNG PO BDEN PAR BZUNG NAS PHUNG PO LA MI RTAG PA LA SOGS PA LNGAR YID LA BYED PA GNYIS DPE DON DU SBYAR BA LA,

 

What we have here is a metaphor and the thing to which the metaphor refers.  That is, someone is taking an illusory woman to be a real one, and then thinking of her as impermanent and the rest.  And this refers to someone who is taking the parts of a person to be real, and then thinking of them in these five different ways—impermanent and so on.

 

 

441 Leave a comment on block 441 0

[451]

BDEN PA’I PHUNG PO DMIGS PAR BYAS NAS MI RTAG SOGS SU YID LA BYED PA CIG KYANG YOD LA, DE NI ZHEN YUL LA ‘KHRUL BA’I LOG SHES RKYANG PA YIN PAS, TSAD MAS GRUB PA MIN KYANG

 

And so there are people who think they are looking at parts to a person which are real, and who think of them as impermanent and such—but their state of mind is a total misperception, mistaken in the object that it believes it sees.  Therefore we can go further and say the object here is not even one which is established by a valid perception.

 

 

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[452]

BDEN ‘DZIN GYI YUL SUN PHYUNG BA’I LTA BA MA RNYED PA’I RGYUD LA, BDEN BRDZUN GANG GIS KYANG KHYAD PAR DU MA BYAS PA’I PHUNG PO LA DMIGS NAS, DE GNYIS GANG GIS KYANG KHYAD PAR DU MA BYAS PA’I MI RTAG PA SOGS SU THA SNYAD PA’I TSAD MAS GRUB PA DU MA ZHIG ‘ONG LA, SGOM PA’I TSE YANG DON DE BSGOMS PAS SNGAR BSHAD PA BZHIN GYI LAM RGYUD LA SKYE’O,,

 

The mind of this person—one who has yet to arrive at the viewpoint in which the object of the tendency to hold things as real has been demolished—is focusing on the parts of the person and failing to make any distinction at all between what is real and what is false.  And then they do manage to establish, but only with valid perception operating at a nominal level, no small number of facts such as impermanence and the rest—even as they fail to make the distinction between these two.  And since when they then meditate they are meditating on these particular kinds of facts, the path that arises in their mind looks like the one we described above.

 

 

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[453]

YANG ‘PHAGS PA BSAM GTAN PA’I DPE MKHYUD KYI MDO TSIG GSAL DU DRANGS PA LAS KYANG, ‘JAM DPAL ‘PHAGS PA’I BDEN PA RNAMS YANG DAG PA JI LTA BA BZHIN DU MA MTHONG BAS, SEMS CAN PHYIN CI LOG BZHIS SEMS PHYIN CI LOG TU GYUR PA [f. 37a] RNAMS ‘KHOR BA YANG DAG PA MA YIN PA ‘DI LAS ‘DA’ BAR MI ‘GYUR RO,

 

We also see in A Clarification of the Verses the following citation of the Sutra of the Realized Being “Possessiveness of Meditation”:

 

O Manjushri, there are people whose minds are misled by the four misperceptions, for they have yet to see—correctly, in just the way they are—the higher truths.  And these people will never be able to go beyond this impurity, the cycle of suffering.

 

 

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[454]

ZHES GSUNGS PA LA ‘JAM DPAL GYIS, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS GANG LA NYE BAR DMIGS PAS SEMS CAN RNAMS ‘KHOR BA LAS ‘DA’ BAR MI ‘GYUR BA BSTAN DU GSOL,

 

And in response to these words, Manjushri says:

 

O Conqueror, could you explain to us what it is that people would have to have a viewpoint about which would cause their failure to go beyond this cycle of pain?

 

 

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[455]

ZHES STON PAS BDEN BZHI YANG DAG PA JI LTA BA BZHIN DU MA SHES PAS, ‘KHOR BA LAS MI GROL BAR GSUNGS PA LA,

 

And the Teacher is saying that it is because they have failed to understand the four truths correctly, just as they are, that these people fail to achieve liberation from the cycle.[166]

 

 

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[456]

RJE BTZUN GYIS YUL GANG LA JI ‘DRA BA ZHIG TU DMIGS PAS, ‘KHOR BA LAS MI THAR BA BSHAD PA ZHUS PA’I LAN DU, BDAG NI ‘KHOR BA LAS ‘DA’ BA DANG, MYANG ‘DAS ‘THOB PAR ‘GYUR RO SNYAM DU BDEN PAR ZHEN PA’I TSUL GYIS RTOG PAR BYED PAS, MI RTAG PA LA SOGS PA BSGOMS PA NA,

 

And so the Holy One is requesting an explanation of what object a person needs to focus on—and in what way—in order to fail to free themselves from the cycle of suffering.  The response given to him is that there are people who meditate upon the aspects of impermanence and so on, but in a way in which they are imagining to themselves that things are real as they think to themselves, “I will go beyond the cycle of pain; I will reach nirvana.”

 

 

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[457]

,BDAG GIS SDUG BSNGAL SHES SO, ,KUN ‘BYUNG SPANGS SO, ,’GOG PA MNGON DU BYAS SO, ,LAM BSGOMS SO SNYAM NAS BDAG NI DGRA BCOM PAR GYUR TO SNYAM PA ‘BYUNG BAR GSUNGS TE,

 

The Buddha mentions how they start thinking to themselves, “I will become an enemy destroyer: I will understand suffering; I will abandon the source of suffering; I will bring about the end of suffering; I will practice the path.”[167]

 

 

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[458]

SNGAR BSHAD PA LTAR GYI NYON MONGS MNGON GYUR RE ZHIG SPANGS PA NA, ZAG PA THAMS CAD ZAD DO SNYAM PA SKYES PA’O, ,DE ‘CHI BA’I DUS KYI TSE RANG SKYE BA LEN PAR MTHONG BA NA, SANGS RGYAS LA THE TSOM ZOS PA’I NYES PAS, DMYAL BA CHEN POR LTUNG BAR GSUNGS SO, ,DE NI LAM DE LTA BU LA GNAS PA ‘GA’ ZHIG LA YIN GYI, THAMS CAD LA NI MA YIN NO,,

 

As we mentioned earlier, the scriptures describe how these people are able to eliminate—for the time being—manifest forms of negative emotions, and so the thought comes in their mind that “I have managed to finish off all my impurities.”  But then as they come to their death they perceive that they are going to take another birth, and so they begin to doubt the Buddha.  Because of this error they fall to the greater realms of hell.  This last by the way only happens with some of the people who are following this kind of path; it is not the case with everyone who does so.

 

 

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[459]

DE NAS ‘JAM DPAL GYIS ‘PHAGS PA’I BDEN PA BZHI PO JI LTAR RTOGS PAR BGYI ZHUS [f. 37b] PA NI, SNGAR ‘KHOR BA LAS GROL BA LA BDEN BZHI YANG DAG PA JI LTA BA BZHIN SHES DGOS PAR GSUNGS PA DE ‘DIR DRIS PA’O,,

 

Manjushri then asks how it is that we are to correctly understand these four higher truths.  He is here asking about the earlier statement by the Conqueror that in order to gain liberation from the cycle of pain we must understand—correctly, and just as they are—the four truths.

 

 

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[460]

DE’I LAN DU, ‘JAM DPAL GANG GIS ‘DU BYED THAMS CAD MA SKYES PAR MTHONG BA DES NI, SDUG BSNGAL YONGS SU SHES PA YIN NO,,

 

In reply, Lord Buddha says:

 

O Manjushri, anyone who sees that nothing involved in causing things ever starts has understood suffering, completely.

 

 

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[461]

GANG GIS CHOS THAMS CAD ‘BYUNG BA MED PAR MTHONG BA DES NI KUN ‘BYUNG BA SPANGS PA YIN NO,,

 

Anyone who sees that nothing ever happens has abandoned the source of suffering.

 

 

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[462]

GANG ZHIG CHOS THAMS CAD GTAN MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PAR MTHONG BA DES NI ‘GOG PA MNGON DU BYAS PA YIN NO,,

 

Anyone who sees that everything there is has gone entirely beyond all grief has brought about the end of suffering.

 

 

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[463]

GANG GIS CHOS THAMS CAD SHIN TU MA SKYES PAR MTHONG BA DES NI LAM BSGOMS PA YIN NO, ZHES GSUNGS NAS LAM DES LEN PA MED PAR MYA NGAN LAS ‘DA’ BAR GSUNGS TE,

 

And anyone who sees that no thing at all has ever in the least begun is practicing the path.

 

Which is to say, only those who see the path as nothing they can follow will be able to reach nirvana.

 

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[464]

‘DIS NI BDEN BZHI RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PA MED PAR MTHONG BA DES, ‘KHOR BA LAS GROL BAR BYED LA, BDEN ‘DZIN DANG MA BRAL BA’I LAM GYIS ‘KHOR BA LAS MI ‘DA’ BA SHIN TU GSAL BAR GSUNGS PAS,

 

The point being made is that people who see that the four truths cannot exist through any nature of their own are able to liberate themselves from the cycle of pain—meaning that the Buddha is very clearly stating that one cannot go beyond this cycle by using a path where one is still not free of the tendency to think that things are real.

 

 

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[465]

BDEN BZHI MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG TZAM GYI LAM GYIS NYON MONGS KYI SA BON SPONG MI NUS PA DANG, DE SPONG BA LA YIN LUGS KYI DON RTOGS NAS SGOM PA DGOS PAR BSTAN NO,,

 

What the Buddha is teaching us here is that we will never be able to eliminate the seeds of negative thoughts only by using the path of impermanence and the rest of the 16 aspects of the four truths; rather, stopping these seeds requires that we follow a practice which involves perceiving the way things are.

 

 

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[466]

‘DI RNAMS LEGS PAR MA PHYED NA NYAN THOS LA NYON MONGS SPONG BA’I LAM MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG TU SGOM PA TZAM LAS MED PAR BZUNG NAS, NYAN THOS ‘PHAGS PA DANG NYAN THOS DGRA BCOM PAS ‘PHAGS PA DANG DGRA BCOM GYI GO MI CHOD DO, ZHES ‘PHAGS [f. 38a] PA LA SKUR ‘DEBS KYI SDIG CHEN PO SOG LA,

 

Anyone who fails to make these kinds of distinctions successfully can begin to think that the only path that listeners have at their disposal for eliminating negative emotions is the practice of the 16 aspects of impermanence and the rest.  And then they can start thinking that realized beings who are listeners, and enemy destroyers who are listeners, aren’t really up to the standard of “real” realized beings and enemy destroyers.  And by thinking this, they collect the serious misdeed of denigrating a realized being.

 

 

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[467]

DE LTAR SMRA BA LA BYANG SEMS KYI SDOM PA YOD NA, RTZA LTUNG YANG SKYED PA YIN TE, BSLAB BTUS LAS,

 

If a person who says this kind of thing has also previously taken bodhisattva vows, then in addition they commit a root downfall of these vows.  For in fact The Compendium describes this kind of thing as a root downfall, in the following words:

 

 

,SLOB PA’I THEG PAS CHAGS LA SOGS,

,SPONG BAR ‘GYUR BA MIN ZHES ‘DZIN,

,PHA ROL DAG KYANG ‘DZIN ‘JUG DANG,

ZHES RTZA LTUNG DU GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

It is when a person holds the view

That one cannot eliminate desire and the rest

By following the way of the learners;

And when they try to convince

Others to hold this view as well.[168]

 

 

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[468]

DON ‘DI RDO RJE GCOD PA LAS KYANG GSAL BAR GSUNGS TE, RAB ‘BYOR ‘DI JI SNYAM DU SEMS, RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA ‘DI SNYAM DU BDAG GIS RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA’I ‘BRAS BU THOB BO SNYAM DU SEMS SAM,

 

This same point is also expressed, quite clearly, in the Diamond Cutter Sutra:

 

Now Subhuti, what do you think?  Do those who have entered the stream ever think to themselves, “Now I have attained the goal of entering the stream”?

 

 

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[469]

RAB ‘BYOR GYIS GSOL PA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS DE NI MA LAGS SO, ,DE CI’I SLAD DU ZHE NA, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS DE NI GANG LA YANG ZHUGS PA MA MCHIS PA’I SLAD DU STE, DES NA RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA ZHES BGYI’O, ZHES

 

And Subhuti respectfully replied,

 

O Conqueror, they do not.  And why is it so?  It is, o Conqueror, because it would be impossible for them to enter anything at all. And this is precisely why we can call them a “stream enterer.”

 

 

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[470]

DANG, BCOM LDAN ‘DAS GAL TE RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA DE ‘DI SNYAM DU BDAG GIS RGYUN DU ZHUGS PA’I ‘BRAS BU THOB BO SNYAM DU SEMS PAR GYUR NA, DE NYID DE’I BDAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR BA LAGS SO, ,SEMS CAN DU ‘DZIN PA DANG, SROG TU ‘DZIN PA DANG, GANG ZAG TU ‘DZIN PAR ‘GYUR LAGS SO, ,ZHES GSUNGS SHING, ‘BRAS GNAS PHYI MA GSUM LA YANG DE BZHIN DU GSUNGS SO,,

 

We also see:

 

And if it happened, o Conqueror, that a stream-enterer were to think to themselves, “I have attained the goal of entering the stream,” then they would begin to grasp to some self in it.  And they would begin to grasp to a living being, and to something that lives, and to a person.

 

And then we see the same thing repeated for attaining the latter three goals as well.[169]

 

 

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[471]

RGYUN ZHUGS KYI SA THOB MKHAN DANG, THOB BYA’I ‘BRAS BU LA BDEN PAR BZUNG NAS, BDAG GIS RGYUN ZHUGS THOB BO SNYAM DU SEMS NA, DE NYID DE’I BDAG TU ‘DZIN PAR [f. 38b] ‘GYUR RO, ZHES PAS NI GANG ZAG DANG ‘BRAS BU BDEN ‘DZIN GNYIS BDAG ‘DZIN DU GSUNGS PA’I DANG PO NI, GANG ZAG GI BDAG ‘DZIN DANG, GNYIS PA NI CHOS KYI BDAG ‘DZIN NO,,

 

That is, suppose that someone holds that the person who attains the level of entering the stream—as well as the goal which they are attaining—are real; and with this state of mind thinks to themselves, “I have attained the goal of entering the stream.”  Someone like this would then be holding that this experience was itself.  The statement here that the tendency to hold that both the person and the goal are real is a form of holding that something is itself is describing, in the first case, the tendency to hold that the person is themselves; and in the second case, the tendency to hold that things are themselves.

 

 

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[472]

RGYUN ZHUGS KYI SA BDEN PAR BZUNG NAS BDAG GIS ‘BRAS BU THOB BO SNYAM DU MI ‘DZIN PA NI, BDEN ‘DZIN GYI YUL SUN MA PHYUNG BA’I DBANG DU MDZAD PA YIN GYI, LHAN SKYES KYI ‘DZIN PA YANG MED PAR STON PA MIN NO, ,DES NI PHYI MA RNAMS KYANG SHES PAR BYA’O,,

 

Holding that the level of entering the stream is real, but not then holding to the idea that “I have attained the goal,” refers to a point where one has not yet demolished the object of the tendency to think that something is real; but it’s not that what is being described here is that one no longer possesses the inborn tendency to do the holding.  With this we can understand the latter cases as well.

 

 

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[473]

LUNG ‘DI DBU MA RANG RGYUD PA KHA CIG GZHAN DU ‘CHAD KYANG, SHER ‘BYUNG BLO GROS KYIS NYAN RANG GI BYANG CHUB TU BGROD PA LA, STONG NYID RTOGS DGOS PA’I SHES BYED DU DRANGS PA LTAR LEGS SO,,

 

Certain members of the Independent Group within the Middle-Way School have interpreted this citation in a different way; but it is best if we interpret it as Prajnakaramati does: he quotes it as verification for the idea that it is necessary to perceive emptiness in order to make the journey to the enlightenment of the listeners and self-made buddhas.[170]

 

 

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[474]

DE LTAR NA LUNG DE DAG GIS NI DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA DANG BRAL NA, ‘KHOR BA LAS MI GROL BA DANG, ‘KHOR BA LAS GROL BA LA LTA BA DE DGOS PAR GSAL BAR BSTAN LA, NYAN RANG DGRA BCOM PA ‘KHOR BA’I ‘CHING BA LAS MA GROL BA NI, MKHAS PA SU YANG MI ‘DOD CING MI ‘THAD PAS, NYAN RANG LA CHOS RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PA MED PA RTOGS PA YOD PAR GSAL BAR BSTAN NO,,

 

These citations then are clearly indicating that, so long as one still lacks the view of suchness, they cannot be liberated from the cycle of pain; and in order to achieve such a liberation, one must possess this view.  And since there is no sage anywhere who would ever agree to the idea that enemy destroyers who are listeners or self-made buddhas have not yet achieved liberation from the shackles of the cycle of suffering—and since it would be wrong in any case to do so—then what these citations are also indicating clearly is that these listeners and self-made buddhas do possess the realization that nothing exists through any nature of its own.

 

 

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[475]

GZHAN YANG YUM CHEN MO SOGS KHUNGS MANG MOD KYANG, TSIG MANGS SU DOGS NAS MA BRIS SO,,

 

There are admittedly a great number of other authoritative sources for this concept—such as those found in the Great Mother—but I shall not write of them here, for I fear it would make my composition too lengthy.

 

 

 

Classical commentaries and sutras of the lower way

which prove the same point

 

 

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[476]

GNYIS PA NI, RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS,

,JI SRID PHUNG POR ‘DZIN YOD PA,

,DE SRID DE LA NGAR ‘DZIN NYID,

,NGAR ‘DZIN YOD NA YANG LAS TE,

,DE LAS [f. 39a] YANG NI SKYE BA YIN,

 

Here is our second step from above: presenting classical commentaries, and sutras of the lower way, which prove the point that listeners and self-made buddhas do possess the realization that things have no nature of their own.  The String of Precious Jewels puts it this way:

 

As long as one holds

To the parts of a person,

One will surely hold

To a “me.”

 

And as long as one holds

To a “me,”

One also has karma,

And from it in turn rebirth.

 

 

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[477]

,LAM GSUM THOG MTHA’ DBUS MED PA,

,’KHOR BA’I DKYIL ‘KHOR MGAL ME YI,

,DKYIL ‘KHOR LTA BU PHAN TSUN GYI,

,RGYU CAN ‘DI NI ‘KHOR BAR ‘GYUR,

 

These three patterns

Have no beginning,

Or end, or middle;

 

So the wheel of pain spins,

Like a spinning wheel of lights,

 

Each pattern triggered

By each of the others,

Creating a wheel of rebirth.

 

 

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[478]

,DE NI RANG GZHAN GNYIS KA DANG,

,DUS GSUM NYID DU’ANG MA THOB PHYIR,

,NGAR ‘DZIN PA NI ZAD PAR ‘GYUR,

,DE LAS LAS DANG SKYE BA YANG,

ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

But here there is no itself,

Nor something else or both,

Nor can anything reach

The now or then or going to be;

 

So the tendency

To hold to a “me”

Will end,

 

And then as well

Will karma,

And then will rebirth too.[171]

 

 

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[479]

DE’I RKANG PA DANG PO GNYIS KYIS NI PHUNG PO LA BDEN PAR ‘DZIN PA JI SRID YOD PA DE SRID DU, DE LAS NGAR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTA ‘BYUNG BAR BSTAN PAS, ‘JIG LTA MA LUS PAR ZAD PA LA PHUNG PO BDEN ‘DZIN ZAD DGOS PAR BSTAN TE, DE’I TSE NYAN RANG DGRA BCOM PAS KYANG PHUNG PO BDEN ‘DZIN ZAD PAR SPANGS PAR SHES SO,,

 

The very first part here, from “As long as one holds…” up to “…to a ‘me’,” is meant to indicate that—as long as one holds that the parts of a person are real—then one will be subject to the view of destruction that holds to a “me.”  And what this implies is that—if one wishes to finish off every form of the view of destruction—then one must finish off the tendency to hold that the parts of the person are real.  And we thus come to understand that at this point enemy destroyers who are listeners or self-made buddhas also eliminate the tendency to hold that the parts of the person are real.

 

 

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[480]

DE LTAR NA BDEN ‘DZIN GYI ZHEN YUL SUN MA PHYUNG BAR DU, ‘JIG LTA’I ZHEN YUL SUN MI PHYIN PAS, THEG PA CHE CHUNG GI GRUB MTHA’ SMRA BA LA THUN MONG DU GRAGS PA’I GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED NI, RAGS PA’I GANG ZAG GI BDAG TZAM BKAG PA YIN GYI, PHRA BA’I GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED MIN PAR SHES SO,,

 

As such, we cannot demolish the object that the view of destruction thinks it sees, until we manage to demolish the object that the tendency to think that things are real thinks it sees.  And so you should understand that the version of the lack of a self-nature to the person which is generally understood to be held in common by those who follow the schools of the greater way and those who follow the schools of the lesser way is a denial of a self-nature to the person in no more than its gross form; and is not the subtle form of the lack of a self-nature to the person.

 

 

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[481]

DE’I PHYIR SLOB DPON ‘DI’I LUGS KYIS NYAN RANG GIS GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED RTOGS TSUL, GRUB MTHA’ SMRA BA GZHAN DANG ‘DRA BA BZUNG NAS, CHOS KYI BDAG MED RTOGS PA YOD MED LA MI MTHUN PAR SMRA BAS NI, ‘DI’I LUGS LEGS PAR MA RTOGS PA YIN TE,

 

Therefore those who make contradictory statements about whether listeners and self-made buddhas perceive the lack of a self-nature to things—because they have interpreted this particular master’s presentation on how these two types of practitioners perceive the lack of a self-nature to the person in accordance with proponents of other schools—have in fact failed to grasp this presentation correctly.

 

 

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[482]

DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA DANG BRAL BA LA GANG ZAG GI [f. 39b] BDAG MED PA RTOGS PAR YANG MI ‘GYUR BAR ‘GREL PA LAS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And this is true because the Autocommentary states that anyone who lacks the view of suchness cannot be someone who perceives the lack of a self-nature to the person.

 

 

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[483]

DE NAS RKANG PA GNYIS KYIS ‘JIG LTA YOD PAS DE’I DBANG GIS ‘KHOR BAR ‘CHING BA’I LAS SOG PA DANG, DE LAS LAS DBANG GIS ‘KHOR BAR SKYE BAR GSUNGS TE,

 

The following lines of our citation—the ones that go from “And as long as…” up to “…in turn rebirth”—are saying that, because one then possesses the view of destruction, it will cause them to collect the kind of karma that fetters them to the cycle of pain; and because of this, one will be reborn into this cycle, through the power of karma.

 

 

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[484]

DE YANG PHUNG PO LA BDEN ‘DZIN GYI ZHEN YUL SUN MA PHYIN PA’I DBANG DU MDZAD KYI, SPYIR ‘JIG LTA YOD TZAM LA MIN TE, SA BDUN PA’I BAR DU ‘JIG LTA YOD KYANG, SA DANG PO NAS LAS DBANG GIS SKYE BA MI LEN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

This statement by the way is made with reference to someone who has failed to demolish the object that the tendency to hold that the parts to a person are real thinks it sees; it is not though a general reference only to anyone who possesses the view of destruction.  Up to the seventh bodhisattva level, we still possess this view; but from the first bodhisattva level on up, we no longer take rebirth through the power of karma.

 

 

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[485]

GZHUNG DE DAG GIS NI DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA SGOM PA DANG BRAL NA, ‘JIG LTA ZAD PAR BYED MI NUS PAR BSTAN PAS, MI RTAG SOGS BCU DRUG GI LAM TZAM LAS MED NA NYON MONGS ZAD PAR SPONG BA MED PAR BSTAN NO,,

 

What these works are teaching us is that—so long as we lack a deep familiarity with the view of suchness—we will be unable to put an end to the view of destruction.  As such they are teaching us that there can be no final elimination of our negative thoughts so long as we possess nothing more than the path of impermanence and the rest of the 16 aspects.

 

 

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[486]

DE LTAR THUN MONG MA YIN PA’I GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED KYI ‘JOG TSUL MDZAD PHYIN CHAD, GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED THUN MONG BA TZAM GYI DBANG DU MDZAD NAS, ‘JIG LTA LA SOGS PA’I NGOS ‘DZIN MDZAD PA’I NYON MONGS KYI RNAM GZHAG RNAMS SOR BZHAG TU MDZAD NA, THUN MONG MA YIN PA’I GRUB MTHA’, MTHA’ MA CHOD PA’I NOR PA CHEN POR ‘GYUR BAS, DE LA MKHAS PA’I DBANG PO ‘DI ‘KHRUL BA GA LA SRID,

 

And so suppose we start with a thinker who was actually the one who set forth the way of defining the lack of a self-nature to the person in a way which was not shared by the different systems; and who supposedly then limited themselves to the shared concept of this particular lack of a self-nature; and who then set aside the presentation of the negative emotions which correctly identifies the view of destruction and so on; and thus made the stupendous error of failing to thresh out the views of this very unique school of thought…how could this Lord of All Sages ever possibly make such a mistake?

 

 

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[487]

DES NA NYAN RANG LA CHOS KYI BDAG MED RTOGS PA YOD PAR BSHAD PA’I GZHUNG ‘DZUGS PAR SGOM ZHING, NYON MONGS KYI RNAM GZHAG LA THUN MONG MA YIN PA’I ‘JOG TSUL YOD DAM MED SNYAM PA TZAM YANG MI SKYE [f. 40a] BA’I ‘DI’I RJES ‘BRANG RNAMS NI, LUGS ‘DI LA DAD PA TZAM DU ZAD DO, ,’DIS MTSON NAS GZHAN YANG MANG DU SNANG BA RNAMS LEGS PAR RTZAD GCAD PAR BYA’O,,

 

So what we have here is a person who has failed to sit down and put in front of their mind the great classics which explain how listeners and self-made buddhas do possess the perception that there is no self-nature to things; and to whom it has never even occurred to examine whether or not there is a unique way of setting forth how the negative emotions work.  And then we have all of those who have followed this person, and who possess no more than a blind faith in our school.  And all these people are only one example that we have dealt with here; there appear to be many others like them, and you should learn to scrutinize their views carefully.

 

 

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[488]

LAM GSUM NI NYON MONGS DANG LAS DANG SKYE BA’I KUN NYON GSUM MO, ,DE GSUM LA THOG MTHA’ DANG DBUS MED PA NI NYON MONGS LAS LAS DANG, DE LAS SDUG BSNGAL SKYE ZHING SDUG BSNGAL LAS KYANG DE’I RIGS ‘DRA DANG, NYON MONGS SOGS SKYE BA’I PHYIR PHAR SKYE TSUR SKYE BYED PAS, SNGA PHYI’I RIM PA NGES PA MED PA STE, PHAN TSUN GYI RGYU CAN GYI DON NO,,

 

The “three patterns” mentioned in our quotation, by the way, refer to the negative-emotion side of things, in the form of negative thoughts themselves; karma; and rebirth.  When we say that these three “have no beginning, or end, or middle,” what we are referring to is how there is no definite sequential order to them, for they trigger each other: that is, negative thoughts lead to karma, and then karma instigates suffering, and suffering in turn gives birth to more of the same, as well as negative emotions and the rest—so that all of the three are triggering each other.

 

 

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[489]

RTEN ‘BREL DE NI RANG DANG GZHAN DANG GNYIS KA LAS SKYE BA MED LA, DE YANG DUS GSUM GANG YANG RANG BZHIN GYIS SKYE BA MA THOB PA STE MED PA MTHONG BA’AM, MA MTHONG BA’I PHYIR TE, RGYU MTSAN GYIS NGAR ‘DZIN PA’I ‘JIG LTA ZAD PAS ‘KHOR BAR ‘KHOR BA LDOG GO

 

But here in the system of dependent creation there is no such thing as something which has come from itself, nor something which has come from something else, or else from both of these two.  Nor can anything reach any of the three times—being here now, or then in the past, or going to be in the future—which come into being through some nature of their own.  Here the expression “not reach” refers to the fact that we can see that such things cannot exist; or simply that we never see such things.  And it is only because of this fact that we can finish off the view of destruction which grasps onto some “me,” thus putting a stop to our spinning through this wheel of pain.

 

 

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[490]

,DE’I ‘OG TU PHUNG KHAMS SOGS RANG BZHIN MED PAR GTAN LA PHAB PA’I MTHAR,

,DE LTAR YANG DAG JI BZHIN DU,

,’GRO BA DON MED SHES NAS NI,

,RGYU MED PA YI ME BZHIN DU,

,GNAS MED LEN MED MYA NGAN ‘DA’,

ZHES DE KHO NA NYID KYI DON MTHONG NAS MYA NGAN LAS ‘DA’ BAR GSUNGS SO,,

 

The following lines come further on in the same work, at the end of a section where things like the parts to a person and the categories are shown to lack any nature of their own:

 

And once they understand,

Purely and correctly,

That it is not the case

That anything can come—

That there is no such thing,

That it could never be held,

That it would be the same

As a fire that flamed

With nothing at all to cause it—

Then they reach nirvana.[172]

 

What these lines are saying is that a person who sees the object of suchness will reach nirvana.

 

 

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[491]

CI STE DE LTAR MTHONG BA DE BYANG SEMS KHO NA’I DBANG DU MDZAD NAS GSUNGS SO ZHE NA, DE LTAR GSUNGS PA DE NYAN RANG GI DBANG DU MDZAD NAS GSUNGS PA YIN TE, MYA NGAN [f. 40b] ‘DA’ ZHES PA’I MJUG THOGS NYID DU,

 

One may ask: “Is seeing things this way being described here with reference only to bodhisattvas?”  The answer is that in fact the reference here is to listeners and self-made buddhas, for we read lines such as the following just after the words “Then they reach nirvana”:

 

 

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[492]

,DE LTAR BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAS KYANG,

,MTHONG NAS BYANG CHUB NGES PAR ‘DOD,

,’ON KYANG DE NI SNYING RJE YIS,

,BYANG CHUB BAR DU SRID MTSAMS SBYOR,

ZHES BYA BA LA SOGS PA GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

We assert as well that bodhisattvas

Always reach their enlightenment

By seeing the very same thing,

Although up to the point where they

Attain enlightenment they may

Make the crossing into a new life,

Because of their compassion.[173]

 

 

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[493]

‘GREL PAR DRANGS PA’I RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA’I GZHUNG RNAMS NI SNGA ‘GYUR MI LEGS PAR ‘DUG GO

 

The selections from the text of the String of Precious Jewels quoted in the autocommentary are translations from the earlier period and are not the best.[174]

 

 

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[494]

,NYAN THOS LA BSTAN PA’I MDO LAS KYANG, NYAN THOS RNAMS KYI NYON MONGS PA’I SGRIB PA SPANG BAR BYA BA’I PHYIR,

,GZUGS NI DBU BA BRDOS PA ‘DRA,

,TSOR BA CHU YI CHU BUR ‘DRA,

,’DU SHES SMIG RGYU LTA BU STE,

,’DU BYED RNAMS NI CHU SHING BZHIN,

,RNAM PAR SHES PA SGYU MA LTAR,

,NYI MA’I GNYEN GYIS BKA’ STZAL TE,

ZHES DPE LNGAS ‘DUS BYAS RNAMS RANG BZHIN MED PAR DPYAD PA YIN NO,,

 

We further see, in sutras presented to listeners, an examination of how caused things lack any nature of their own; these presentations utilize five different similes to help listeners eliminate the negative-emotion obstacles:

 

The Friend of the Sun declared

That physical forms are like bubbles,

And feelings like the froth on a wave;

That the capacity to discriminate

Resembles a mirage;

That the other factors

Are like the hollow cane of sugar;

And consciousness like an illusion.[175]

 

 

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[495]

BYANG CHUB SEMS ‘GREL LAS, STON PAS NYAN THOS RNAMS LA PHUNG PO LNGA DANG, BYANG SEMS RNAMS LA GZUGS DBU BA SOGS LNGA DANG ‘DRA BAR BSHAD CES KHYAD PAR PHYE BA NI, RE ZHIG DE KHO NA NYID RTOGS MI NUS PA’I NYAN THOS LA DGONGS KYI NYAN THOS THAMS CAD LA MIN TE,

 

The Commentary on the Wish for Enlightenment makes a distinction between how the Teacher has taught the listeners the five parts to a person; while teaching the bodhisattvas how physical forms and the rest of the five are like a bubble and so on.  This statement though is intended to refer to listeners who for the time being are unable to perceive suchness; it is not meant to refer to all listeners.[176]

 

 

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[496]

DE NYID LAS,

,GANG DAG STONG NYID MI SHES PA,

,DE DAG THAR PA RTEN MA YIN,

,’GRO DRUG SRID PA’I BTZON RAR NI,

,RMONGS PA DE DAG ‘KHOR BAR ‘GYUR,

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

As this text itself states,

 

There can be no freedom at all

For those who cannot

Understand emptiness.

 

These in their dark ignorance

Will continue to spin in the prison

Of the six realms of existence.[177]

 

 

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[497]

THEG DMAN GYI SDE SNOD DU CHOS RANG BZHIN MED PA’I DON ‘DI NYID STON PAR MDZAD PA NA, RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS [f. 41a],

 

And it’s because this is in fact how the collection of scriptures in the lower way presents what it means for things to have no nature of their own that The String of Precious Jewels can say the following:

 

 

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[498]

,THEG PA CHE LAS SKYE MED BSTAN,

,GZHAN GYI ZAD PA STONG PA NYID,

,ZAD DANG MI SKYE DON DU NI,

,GCIG PA DE PHYIR BZOD PAR GYIS,

 

The greater way teaches how things

Never start; while the others describe

Their end as emptiness.

 

Stopping and never starting

Refer to the very same thing;

Thus you must bear with it.[178]

 

 

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[499]

ZHES THEG CHEN GYI MDO SDE LAS RANG BZHIN GYIS SKYE BA MED PA STONG NYID DU BSTAN PA DANG, GZHAN TE THEG DMAN GYI MDO LAS NI STONG PA NYID STON PA NA, ‘DUS BYAS ZAD PAR BSTAN PAS STONG PA NYID STON PA GNYIS DON GCIG PAS, THEG CHEN LAS STONG NYID BSTAN PA LA MI BZOD PAR MA BYED CES GSUNGS SO,,

 

What this is saying is that the collection of sutras of the greater way teaches that the fact that things never start through any nature of their own is emptiness; while when the “others”—referring to the sutras of the lower way—present emptiness, they do so by describing how caused things end.  These two though refer to the very same thing; and thus, says the text, you must be careful not to fail to bear with the way in which the higher way presents emptiness.

 

 

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[500]

‘DI GNYIS DON GCIG LUGS LA KHA CIG NA RE, NYAN THOS PA RNAMS DNGOS PO LA ZAD PA KHAS LEN NA, RANG BZHIN YOD NA ZAD PA MI RIGS PAS, DE KHAS LEN NA DANG PO NAS RANG BZHIN MED PA KHAS LEN DGOS PAS DE GNYIS DON GCIG GO ZHES ‘CHAD PA NI,

 

On the question of just how these two refer to the same thing, some have given us the following explanation:

 

Given that the listeners accept that functional things do end, and given that—if something had any nature of its own—it would be illogical for it to end, then because of these givens we can say that listeners must from the very start accept that nothing has any nature of its own; and this then is what it means here when we say that “the two refer to the same thing.”

 

 

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[501]

SHIN TU MI ‘THAD DE, DE LTA YIN NA DBU MA PAS YOD PAR ‘DOD PA’I MYU GU LA SOGS PA’I CHOS GANG KHAS LEN PA LA YANG, RGYU MTSAN DE YOD PAS MYU GU LA SOGS PA THAMS CAD DANG, STONG PA NYID GNYIS DON GCIG TU HA CANG THAL BAR ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

This position though is grossly mistaken.  If it’s the way you’ve described it, then we would be forced to accept the ridiculous implication that—because the very same reason applies to how those of the Middle Way School accept any particular object, such as the sprouts whose existence they believe in—then they would have to be saying that all objects, such as sprouts and the rest, are the same thing as emptiness itself.

 

 

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[502]

RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA’I ‘GREL PAR SKYE BA MED PA DANG, SKAD CIG MA LA DON GYI KHYAD PAR ‘GA’ YANG MED DO, ZHES PA YANG GZHUNG DON MA GO BA’I BSHAD PA’O,,

 

And to say that the commentary to the String of Precious Jewels draws no distinction at all between the meaning of things never starting, and of things changing moment by moment, is also the explanation of a person who has no understanding of this classic.[179]

 

 

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[503]

RIGS PA DRUG CU PA’I ‘GREL PAR DRANGS PA’I THEG DMAN GYI MDO LAS, GANG SDUG BSNGAL ‘DI MA LUS PAR SPANGS PA, NGES PAR [f. 41b] SPANGS PA, BYANG BAR GYUR PA, ZAD PA ‘DOD CHAGS DANG BRAL BA, ‘GOG PA, NYE BAR ZHI BA, NUB PA, SDUG BSNGAL GZHAN GYI MTSAMS MI SBYOR ZHING, MI ‘BYUNG MI SKYE BA ‘DI NI ZHI BA, ‘DI NI GYA NOM PA STE,

 

We see the following sutra of the lower way quoted in A Commentary to the “Sixty Verses on Reasoning”:

 

Anytime someone is able to eliminate every bit of this suffering; to rid themselves of it forever; to clean it away; to reach the end, free of all desire; to finish it; to put it to a final rest; to see it melt away; never to cross over into more of this suffering; never to see it come again, never to see it rise again—this then is peace, this then is beauty.

 

 

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[504]

‘DI LTA STE PHUNG PO THAMS CAD NGES PAR SPANGS PA, SRID PA ZAD PA, ‘DOD CHAGS DANG BRAL BA, ‘GOG PA, MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA’O, ZHES GSUNGS LA,

 

In this way they have eliminated each and every part to the person; they have finished off this kind of existence; they are free of all desire; they have stopped; they have reached nirvana, beyond all grief.

 

 

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[505]

DE’I DON ‘GREL BA NA SDUG BSNGAL ‘DI ZHES PA’I NYE BA’I TSIG GIS GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR, DA LTAR GYI RANG RGYUD KYI SDUG BSNGAL LAM PHUNG PO KHO NA’I DBANG DU MDZAD NAS, MA LUS PAR SPANGS PA NAS NUB PA’I BAR DANG, MA ‘ONGS PA’I SDUG BSNGAL GYI DBANG DU MDZAD NAS, SDUG BSNGAL GZHAN MTSAMS MI SBYOR BA NAS, MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA’O ZHES PA’I BAR DU GSUNGS SO,,

 

When this text interprets the sutra, it draws our attention to the demonstrative adjective of proximity: “this suffering,” saying that this phrase thus applies only to the suffering or parts of a person included within our own being, in the present time.  And then the description from “eliminating every bit of this suffering” up to “see it melt away” is said to apply to this present pain.  Next, the wording from “never to cross over into more of this suffering” up to “nirvana, beyond all grief” is said to apply to future pain.[180]

 

 

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[506]

SDUG BSNGAL LAM PHUNG PO ‘DI ZHES PA DE GNYIS KYI BYE BRAG NYON MONGS LA ‘JUG PA’I SPYI SGRA BYE BRAG LA ‘JUG PA’O SNYAM NA, DE YANG MI RUNG STE SPYI SGRA NI SPYI’I DON LA BSHAD DU MI RUNG NA, BYE BRAG LA BSHAD DGOS MOD KYANG, ‘DIR NI SPYI SGRA’I STENG NAS BSHAD DU YOD PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Now one might think to oneself that there is a case here where the general refers to the specific: that is, where the expression “this suffering or parts of a person” refers to the negative emotions which are a subcategory of both of these.  This though would be a mistake.  While it is true that the general term here cannot be explained as referring to the general category itself, and must be explained as referring to a subcategory, we should still adhere to an explanation referencing the general.

 

 

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[507]

DE LTAR BYAS NA DNGOS POR SMRA BA RNAMS LTAR NA, RGYUD BLA MA LAS NYON MONGS GDOD NAS ZAD PHYIR RO, ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR PHUNG PO GDOD MA NAS RANG BZHIN GYIS SKYE BA MED PAS, GDOD MA NAS ZAD PA LA BSHAD DU MI RUNG BA’I PHYIR,

 

As such, when we are speaking from the viewpoint of the schools which accept the reality of function, it would be improper to follow the idea expressed in the section of The Higher Line which goes “…because the negative emotions have been finished off since forever”—that is, to say that the parts to a person are “finished off since forever” because, since forever, they have never started through any nature of their own.[181]

 

 

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[508]

LAM GYIS MA LUS PAR SPANGS PA LA BSHAD DGOS NA, DE’I TSE MNGON DU BYA RGYU’I MYANG ‘DAS YOD PA NA MNGON DU BYED MKHAN [f. 42a] MED PA DANG, BYED MKHAN YOD PA NA PHUNG PO MA ZAD PAS MNGON DU BYA RGYU’I MYANG ‘DAS MED PAR ‘GYUR BAS, MDO ‘DI BSHAD MI NUS PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

And so that would be wrong; but we would still be left with having to explain how it is that we use the path to “eliminate every bit.”  If at this point the thing we were trying to bring about—the nirvana—did exist, then the person who brought it about could not.  And if the person who brought it about did exist, then the nirvana that they were trying to bring about could not—since the parts of a person would still not have been finished off.  And then in this case we would be left unable to explain the wording of this sutra.

 

 

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[509]

KHO BO CAG LTAR NA, ‘DI’I ZAD PA NI, ZAD PA GNYEN POS ZAD PA MA YIN TE, DE NI GDOD NAS ZAD PAS ZAD CES BYA, ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR BSHAD PAS CHOG PAS MDO’I DON LEGS PAR BSHAD PAR NUS SO,,

 

The way we ourselves would explain the sutra would be to say that the “finishing off” here is not the kind of finishing off that you do by applying a particular spiritual antidote.  Rather, we would follow that kind of thinking which says “We say something is ‘finished off’ because it has been finished off since forever.”  It would be fine to do it this way, and this would leave us easily able to explain the meaning of this sutra, correctly.

 

 

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[510]

DES NA MDO LAS ‘DI ‘DRA BA’I ZAD PA BSTAN NAS, SDUG BSNGAL ‘GAGS PA’I ‘GOG PA MYA NGAN LAS ‘DAS PA BSTAN PA DE DANG, RANG BZHIN GYIS SKYE BA MED PA’I ‘GOG PA BSTAN PA GNYIS DON GCIG TU ‘PHAGS PAS GSUNGS PA ‘DI MA RTOGS PAR SNANG BAS ZHIB TU BSHAD DO,,

 

Given that the sutra has presented this kind of “finishing off,” we can say that it appears that people have failed to grasp this statement by the Realized One,[182] where he explains how these two—presenting nirvana as a cessation where suffering has been stopped; and presenting a cessation which consists of the fact that nothing ever starts through any nature of its own—can be seen as amounting to the same thing.  And so this is why I have taken the time to go into such detail on this point.

 

 

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[511]

RTZA SHE LAS KYANG,

,BCOM LDAN DNGOS DANG DNGOS MED PA,

,MKHYEN PAS KA TY’A YA NA YI,

,GDAMS NGAG LAS NI YOD PA DANG,

,MED PA GNYIS KA’ANG DGAG PA MDZAD,

 

Wisdom says as well:

 

The Conqueror sees

What is real and what is not;

And thus in the advices

Given to Katyayana

Denied both things existing

And not existing at all.[183]

 

 

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[512]

CES GSUNGS PA ‘DIS KYANG THEG DMAN GYI MDO LAS MTHA’ GNYIS BKAG PA GSUNGS PAR STON TE, MDO ‘DI NI LUNG PHRAN TSEGS NA SNANG NGO, ,DE DAG KYANG MTSON PA TZAM YIN GYI, RIN CHEN PHRENG BA NA ‘DIR MA DRANGS PA DU MA ZHIG DANG, RIGS PA DRUG CU PA DANG, BSTOD PA’I TSOGS LAS KYANG DU MA ZHIG GSUNGS SO,,

 

These lines are also expressing how sutras of the lower way state that both extremes should be denied—and this particular sutra citation appears in The Assorted Topics of the Word.[184]  These are all just representative examples; there are many other supporting citations from the String of Precious Jewels that we have not quoted here; as well as many others from the Sixty Verses on Reasoning, and the Collection of Praises.[185]

 

 

 

Refuting arguments covered in the autocommentary

 

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[513]

GSUM PA LA GNYIS, ‘GREL PA NAS BSHAD PA’I RTZOD PA SPANG BA DANG, DER MA BSHAD PA’I RTZOD PA SPANG BA’O,,

 

With this we have reached our third topic from above: a refutation of arguments concerning the presentations we have cited which show that listeners and self-made buddhas do possess the realization that things have no nature of their own.  We proceed in two steps: the refutation of arguments covered in the autocommentary; and a refutation of arguments not covered there.

 

 

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[514]

DANG PO NI, ‘GREL PA LAS, GANG ZHIG GAL TE NYAN THOS KYI [f. 42b] THEG PA LAS KYANG CHOS LA BDAG MED PA BSTAN NA, DE’I TSE THEG PA CHEN PO BSTAN PA DON MED PAR ‘GYUR RO SNYAM DU SEMS PA DE’I LUGS DE YANG ‘DI LTAR RIGS PA DANG LUNG DANG ‘GAL BAR RTOGS SO,,

 

Here is the first.  We see the following in the autocommentary:

 

Someone might think to themselves: “If it is the case that the lack of a self-nature to things is presented in the way of the listeners, then it becomes pointless to present it again in the greater way.”   You should understand though that this approach contradicts both logic and scriptural authority.[186]

 

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[515]

ZHES PA’I PHYOGS SNGA MA SMRA BA NI SLOB DPON LEGS LDAN YIN TE, SANGS RGYAS BSKYANGS KYIS RAB BYED BDUN PA’I ‘GREL PAR THEG DMAN GYI MDOR CHOS THAMS CAD BDAG MED PAR GSUNGS PA’I DON, CHOS RNAMS NGO BO NYID KYIS GRUB PA MED PA’I DON DU BSHAD PA LA, SHES RAB SGRON MAR DE LTA YIN NA, THEG CHEN BSTAN PA DON MED DU ‘GYUR RO ZHES DGAG PA MDZAD DO,,

 

The person who expressed the first position found in this citation is Master Bhavaviveka.  Master Buddhapalita, in commenting upon the seventh section of Wisdom, had described the statement that the sutras of the lower way speak of how nothing has any nature of its own as referring to the way in which nothing exists through any unique quality of its own.  And then in his Lamp on Wisdom, Master Bhavaviveka tries to refute this position, saying that if this were the case, then the presentation found in the greater way would be pointless.[187]

 

 

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[516]

DE LA SPYIR THEG CHEN BSTAN PA DON MED DU ‘GYUR ZER RAM, THEG CHEN DU CHOS KYI BDAG MED BSTAN PA DON MED DU ‘GYUR ZER,

 

On this position we would ask: “Are you saying that the teachings of the greater way in general would be pointless, or are you saying that it would be pointless to present the lack of a self-nature to things in the greater way?”

 

 

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[517]

DANG PO LTAR NA NI, THAL BA DE LA KHYAB PA YOD NA NI, THEG CHEN BSTAN PA CHOS LA BDAG MED PA TZAM ‘BA’ ZHIG STON PAR ‘GYUR NA, DE NI MA YIN TE

 

Suppose you respond that the former is the case.  If then the relationship expressed in this statement of absurdity here always held true—and it were the case that only the lack of a self-nature to things were presented in the teachings of the greater way—we would have to respond that this is not at all the way things are.

 

 

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[518]

THEG CHEN LAS NI, BYANG SEMS KYI SA RNAMS DANG, SBYIN PA LA SOGS PA’I PHAR PHYIN GYI SPYOD PA DANG, SMON LAM DANG BSNGO BA RLABS PO CHE RNAMS DANG, SNYING RJE CHEN PO SOGS DANG, TSOGS GNYIS RLABS PO CHE DANG, BYANG SEMS KYI MTHU RMAD DU BYUNG BA SO SKYE DANG, NYAN RANG GIS BSAM GYIS MI KHYAB PA’I CHOS NYID KYANG STON PA’I PHYIR TE,

 

And that’s because the following subjects are also presented there: the levels of the bodhisattva; the activities of giving and the other perfections; vast and effective forms of prayer and dedication; great compassion and the like; powerful ways of completing the two collections; and the extraordinary might of the bodhisattva, the very nature of things, inconceivable to beings who have yet to see emptiness, and to the listeners and self-made buddhas.

 

 

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[519]

RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS,

,NYAN THOS THEG PA DE LAS NI,

,BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I SMON LAM DANG,

,SPYOD PA YONGS BSNGO MA BSHAD DES,

,BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAR GA LA ‘GYUR,

 

As the String of Precious Jewels puts it,

 

The prayers of the bodhisattva,

Their actions and their dedications,

Find no presentation in the way

Of the listeners;

How then could they ever

Become bodhisattvas?

 

 

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[520]

,[f. 43a] BYANG CHUB SPYOD LA GNAS PA’I DON,

,MDO SDE LAS NI BKA’ MA STZAL,

,THEG PA CHE LAS BKA’ STZAL PA,

,DE PHYIR MKHAS PA RNAMS KYIS GZUNG,

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

What it means to live

The life of a bodhisattva

Is not something spoken

Within these sutras;

But it is in the greater way—

Keep these teachings then,

Sages among you.

 

 

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[521]

‘DI NI THEG DMAN GYI SDE SNOD NAS BSHAD PA’I LAM NYID KYIS, SANGS RGYAS SU BGROD NUS PAS, THEG CHEN GZHAN MI DGOS SO SNYAM PA’I LOG RTOG SEL BA LA GSUNGS LA, KHYED LTAR NA THEG CHEN LAS CHOS KYI BDAG MED GSUNGS PAS THEG DMAN GYI GZHUNG NAS BSHAD PAS MI CHOG CES GSUNG DGOS PA LA, DE MA GSUNGS PAR RGYA CHE BA’I PHYOGS GZHAN GSUNGS SO ZHES PA’O,,

 

This statement was made to counter the idea that—since it is possible to travel to Buddhahood using nothing more than the path presented in the collection of scriptures of the lower way—then there must be no need for another, higher way.  It is saying that—if we follow your line of thinking—then we would have to say that, because the lack of a self-nature to things is spoken in the teachings of the greater way, then it would be disallowable to explain it in the scriptures of the lower way.  But even if it were not so spoken, the teachings on the widespread side of things still are.

 

 

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[522]

GAL TE PHYOGS GNYIS PA LTAR NA NI DE LA YANG KHYAB PA MED DE, NYAN THOS KYI SDE SNOD LAS NI CHOS KYI BDAG MED PA MDOR BSDUS PA TZAM LAS MI STON LA, THEG CHEN LAS NI CHOS KYI BDAG MED SGO DU MA NAS SHIN TU RGYAS PAR STON PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Even according to the latter position expressed above, there is no certainty to your conclusion.  And that’s because the lack of a self-nature to things is presented in the scriptural collection of the listeners in no more than a cursory way, whereas in the greater way this lack of a self-nature is presented in an extremely detailed way, from many different angles.

 

 

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[523]

DE YANG ‘PHAGS PA’I BZHED PA YIN TE, ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PAR BSTOD PA LAS,

,MTSAN MA MED PA MA RTOGS PAR,

,KHYOD KYIS THAR PA MED PAR GSUNGS,

,DE PHYIR KHYOD KYIS THEG CHEN LAS,

,DE NI TSANG BAR BSTAN PA LAGS,

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

This is also the position of the Arya, for in the Praise of the One Who Went Beyond the World he says,

 

You stated that—

Without grasping how things

Have no signs of their own—

There is no freedom.

And that is why,

In the greater way,

You taught this in its entirety.[188]

 

 

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[524]

DE’I RKANG BA DANG PO GNYIS KYIS MTSAN MED KYI DE KHO NA NYID MA RTOGS PAR NYON MONGS ZAD PA MED PAS THAR PA THOB PA MED PAR BSTAN NO,,

 

The part in this verse from “You stated that…” up to “…there is no freedom” is meant to convey the fact that—if one fails to perceive suchness, the lack of signs to things—then they cannot put an end to their negative emotions; and thus they cannot achieve freedom.

 

 

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[525]

KHYOD KYI ZHES SOGS KYIS THEG CHEN LAS MTSAN MED CHOS KYI BDAG MED TSANG BAR TE RDZOGS PAR BSTAN, [f. 43b] ZHES PAS THEG DMAN DU NI CHOS KYI BDAG MED RDZOGS PAR MA BSTAN PAR SHES SO,,

 

The part of the verse which includes “you taught” is saying that the lack of a self-nature to things—the lack of signs—is presented “in its entirety” (meaning “in a complete way”) in the teachings of the greater way.  We can understand from this statement that the lack of a self-nature to things is not presented in a complete way in the teachings of the lower way.

 

 

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[526]

‘O NA DE PHYIR ZHES PA RDZOGS PAR BSTAN PA’I RGYU MTSAN DU ‘GRO TSUL JI LTAR YIN SNYAM NA,

 

“Well now,” you may ask, “just how is it that ‘that is why’?  Just how is it that a reason for why these things were ‘taught in their entirety’ is given here?”

 

 

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[527]

MTSAN MED MA RTOGS PAR NYON MONGS ZAD PA’I THAR PA MI ‘THOB PAS NA, NYAN THOS KYI THEG PAR YANG CHOS KYI BDAG MED BSTAN DGOS LA, DE LA THEG PA CHE CHUNG GI KHYAD PAR YANG DGOS PA DE’I PHYIR ZHES BSHAD DGOS SO,,

 

One cannot reach the freedom where the negative emotions are finished off unless they perceive how things have no signs.  Thus, the lack of a self-nature to things must necessarily be presented even in the way of the listeners.  But still there must exist a distinction between the higher and lower ways—and “that” then “is why”.  This is how the point should be explained.

 

 

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[528]

DE DAG GIS NI SUN ‘BYIN PA’I THAL BA DANG, DES BZLOG PA ‘PHANGS PA GNYIS LA KHYAB BYED MA NGES PA’I SUN ‘BYIN LTAR SNANG DU BSTAN PA NI, RIGS PA DANG ‘GAL BA’O, ,LUNG DANG ‘GAL BA NI SNGAR MANG DU BSHAD ZIN TO,,

 

Saying that the pair of (1) the statement of necessity here which overthrows the other’s position and (2) the opposite which this implies are a false refutation due to the necessity failing to hold in every instance contradicts logic.  And we have already demonstrated, with many citations, that it contradicts scriptural authority.

 

 

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[529]

‘O NA THEG PA CHE CHUNG GI SDE SNOD DU CHOS KYI BDAG MED RDZOGS PAR STON MI STON DANG, DE GNYIS KYI LAM DU’ANG CHOS KYI BDAG MED RDZOGS PAR SGOM MI SGOM SLOB DPON ‘DIS BSHAD PA’I DON GANG YIN SNYAM NA,

 

“What then is the point,” you may ask yourself, “for this master to go into an explanation of whether or not, in the scriptural collections of the greater and lesser ways, the lack of a self-nature to things is presented in its entirety; and whether or not, on the path of these two ways, one meditates—in a complete way—upon this same lack of a self-nature?”

 

 

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[530]

DE NI THEG CHEN PA LA SHES BYA THAMS CAD RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PA MED PAR RTOGS PA YOD LA, NYAN RANG LA DE MED PAR SHES BYA PHYOGS GCIG PA ‘GA’ RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PA MED PAR RTOGS PA YOD CES PA NI,  GTAN MIN TE

 

It is not at all the case, as some have put it, that this presentation is meant to convey that those of the greater way possess a realization that no existing object exists through any nature of its own; whereas those of the ways of the listener and the self-made buddha lack this same realization—since they realize only that some portion of all the things there are exist through no nature of their own.

 

 

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[531]

GZHI GRUB PA CIG GI STENG DU, CHOS KYI BDAG MED TSAD MAS GRUB PA CIG BYUNG NA, DE NAS GZHI GZHAN LA BDEN PAR YOD MED KYI DPYOD PA ZHUGS NA, RIGS PA SNGA MA LA BRTEN NAS BDEN MED DU RTOGS PAR NUS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And this is because—if one is able to establish, by using a valid perception, that the lack of a self-nature to things is true with regard to any single existent thing—then when one engages in an examination of whether things exist in truth with regard to any other object, they will be able to perceive that in fact it does not exist in truth, simply by using the same reasoning that they have employed previously.

 

 

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[532]

DBU MA PAR ‘DOD PA KHA CIG GIS DNGOS [f. 44a] PO BDEN GRUB KHEGS PA’I LUGS SU BYAS NAS, BDEN STONG BDEN GRUB TU ‘DOD PA DANG, KHA CIG GIS CHOS NYID SGRUB PA’ANG DBANG BA {%SGRUB PA RANG DBANG BA} BDEN GRUB TU ‘DOD PA’I

 

Now some people who consider themselves to be followers of the Middle Way School—thinking to use it as a way of denying that functional things could exist in truth—have expressed the opinion that this lack of real existence itself does exist in truth.  And others believe that the proof of the very nature of things is itself something which has its own inherent power: that it exists in truth.

 

 

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[533]

SNGA MA NI, BDEN TSAD LEGS POR MA ZIN PAR RAGS PA CIG LAS MA KHEGS PAR ‘DUG PA’I SKYON DU SNANG LA, PHYI MA NI DNGOS PO BDEN PA BKAG PAR RLOM YANG, TSAD MAS KHEGS PAR MI SNANG GI DNGOS PO LA SKUR ‘DEBS KYI LTA BAR ‘DUG PAS, DE DAG GIS MA NGES PA MED DO,,

 

The former of these two positions would appear to have the problem that—because this person has failed to identify, correctly, the point at which something can be said to exist “in truth”—it refutes no more than a very gross version of some object.  Those who have put forth the latter position may entertain the delusion that they have managed to disprove that a functioning thing could exist in truth, but it would not appear that they have been able to do so with any valid perception; rather, their position only serves to deny the existence of functioning things which do in fact exist.  As such, there is no doubt in our assessment of these positions.

 

 

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[534]

DES NA THEG CHEN PAS NI RTZA SHE LAS GSUNGS PA BZHIN DU, GZHI GCIG BDEN MED DU SGRUB PA LA YANG, SGRUB BYED KYI RIGS PA MI ‘DRA BA MTHA’ YAS PAS BSGRUBS PAS, DE KHO NA NYID LA BLO SHIN TU RGYAS PAR ‘GYUR LA,

 

Thus it is that when, as described in Wisdom, those of the greater way undertake to prove that any single object is devoid of true existence, they do so by using a limitless number of proofs to make their point—and their minds are thereby made wide open towards suchness.

 

 

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[535]

THEG DMAN LA NI RIGS PA MDOR BSDUS PA CIG GIS DE KHO NA NYID TSAD MAS GRUB NA, SNGA MA LTAR MI BYED PAS DE KHO NA NYID LA BLO RGYAS PA MED PAS RGYAS BSDUS DANG, BDAG MED SGOM PA RDZOGS MA RDZOGS SU GSUNGS SO,,

 

Those of the lower way, on the other hand, employ only abbreviated forms of reasoning to prove suchness with valid perception.  Since they fail to do what those other ones do, they lack any broadening of their mind towards suchness.  Thus it is that pronouncements have been made about the relative detail of the two approaches; and whether or not one has meditated in a complete way upon the lack of a self-nature.

 

 

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[536]

DE LTAR ‘ONG BA YANG NYAN RANG RNAMS NI, NYON MONGS TZAM SPONG BA’I PHYIR BRTZON PA YIN LA, DE LA NI DE KHO NA NYID KYI DON MDOR BSDUS PA DE TZAM ZHIG RTOGS PAS CHOG GO ,THEG CHEN PA SHES SGRIB SPONG BA LHUR LEN PAS, DE LA DE KHO NA NYID LA SHES RAB MCHED NAS BLO SHIN TU RGYAS PA CIG DGOS PA YIN NO,,

 

The reason this has come to be is that the listeners and self-made buddhas are making efforts towards nothing more than eliminating their negative emotions—and that may be done by perceiving the meaning of suchness in no more than but this abbreviated manner.  Those of the greater way, on the other hand, are striving to rid themselves of the obstacles to knowledge; as such, they must develop wisdom towards suchness which grows in an exponential way: they must make their minds wide open.

 

 

 

Refuting arguments not covered in the autocommentary

 

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[537]

GNYIS PA NI, ‘O NA MNGON RTOGS RGYAN LAS,

,GZUNG DON RTOG PA SPONG PHYIR DANG,

,’DZIN PA MI SPONG PHYIR [f. 44b] DANG NI,

,RTEN GYIS BSE RU LTA BU’I LAM,

,YANG DAG BSDUS PAR SHES PAR BYA,

ZHES RANG RGYAL GYI LAM GYIS GZUNG BA LA BDEN ZHEN GYI RTOG PA SPONG NUS KYANG, ‘DZIN PA LA BDEN ZHEN SPONG MI NUS PAR GSUNGS PA DANG,

 

This brings us to our second step from above: a refutation of arguments not covered in the autocommentary.  “How then can it be correct,” one may ask, “that in the Jewel of Realizations it says that, by using the path of the self-made buddhas, one can rid oneself of the idea where we imagine that objects held by the mind could exist in truth; but at the same time are unable to rid ourselves of the idea that the states of mind which hold onto objects exist in truth?  For that work does say,

 

The path of those like a rhinoceros

Is known as ‘the path

Which is perfectly combined,’

Because one rids oneself

Of wrong ideas of the object held;

But not wrong ideas

About what holds them;

And because of the person

Who follows it.[189]

 

 

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[538]

YANG

,NYON MONGS SHES BYA LAM GSUM GYI,

,NYAMS PHYIR SLOB MA BSE RU DANG,

,RGYAL SRAS RNAMS KYI DAG PA STE,

ZHES GZUNG BA LA BDEN ZHEN SHES SGRIB TU GSUNGS PA JI LTAR DRANG ZHE NA,

 

“And what of the part in the same text where it states that a belief that objects held by the mind exist in truth is an obstacle to knowledge?  For it says—

 

Those of the negative emotions

And of the objects of knowledge

Wither away through the use

Of three different paths;

Therefore the purity

Of students who are rhinoceroses

And those who are children

Of the Buddhas…”[190]

 

 

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[539]

DE LA GZUNG BA PHYI ROL LA ZHEN PA SPONG BA’I DON NI, PHYI ROL GYI DON TSAD MAS GRUB KYANG, PHYI ROL BDEN GRUB RIGS PAS KHEGS PA DBU MA PA LTAR GTAN LA PHAB PA’I DON BSGOMS NAS BDEN ZHEN SPONG BA DANG,

 

What does it mean then when we say that one has “rid oneself of a belief in objects of the mind—outer objects”?  It could mean that we have meditated upon the way as those of the Middle Way School describe it—showing how, although outer objects are confirmed by valid perception, the idea that outer objects could exist in truth is disproved by reasoning—and through this meditation we have been able to rid ourselves of this particular belief that a thing could exist in truth.

 

 

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[540]

YANG NA SEMS TZAM PA LTAR PHYI ROL GYI DON RIGS PAS BKAG PA’I DON BSGOMS PA LA BRTEN NAS, PHYI ROL YOD PAR ‘DZIN PA SPONG BA GANG RUNG GCIG LAS MI ‘DA’O,,

 

Or else it could mean that one has meditated on the point as the Mind Only School explains it—using logic to deny the existence of outer objects—and through this meditation has rid oneself of the belief that outer objects even exist.  It has to mean one of these two; there is no other choice.

 

 

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[541]

DE LA DANG PO LTAR NA NI MI RIGS TE, PHYI DON SPYIR YOD PAR ‘JOG THUB PA LA, BDEN YOD DE KHO NA NYID LA DPYOD PA’I RIGS PAS KHEGS PA CIG YIN NA NI,

 

And yet the first option is incorrect.  That is, suppose a person were someone who was able to establish that, in general, outer objects do exist; and at the same time were someone who had managed to disprove—through the use of reasoning which examined the meaning of suchness—the idea that they could exist in truth.

 

 

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[542]

DE NAS ‘DZIN PA LA BDEN PA YOD MED KYI DPYOD PA ZHUGS PA NA, RIGS PA SNGA MA’I MTHU LA BRTEN NAS BDEN MED DU RTOGS PAR NUS TE,

 

When this person subsequently undertook to examine whether the state of mind that holds to objects exists in truth or not, they would be able to realize that in fact it does not exist in truth, based simply on the power of their previous reasoning.

 

 

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[543]

‘PHAGS PA LHAS,

,GANG GIS DNGOS GCIG DE BZHIN NYID MTHONG BA,

,DE YIS DNGOS KUN DE BZHIN NYID DU MTHONG,

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

This in turn is established by the words of Master Aryadeva:

 

Anyone who sees

That any single object

Exists in just that way

Also sees

That all the objects there are

Exist in just that way.[191]

 

 

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[544]

GNYIS PA LTAR ‘DOD PA NI SLOB DPON SENG GE BZANG PO LA SOGS PA’I ‘GREL PA’I LUGS YIN [f. 45a] PAS, DE’I LTAR NA PHYI ROL MED PAR TSAD MAS GRUB PA YIN NO,,

 

Accepting the second option is what we see done in the commentarial tradition of Master Haribhadra and others; and in this case then, it would be established through valid perception that there are no outer objects.

 

 

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[545]

PHYI ROL MED PAR GRUB NA DE ‘DZIN PA’I SHES PA, GZUNG BA LAS RDZAS THA DAD PA MED PAR NI, SU DBANG PO RTUL YANG ‘GRUB PAS,

 

Once a person has established that there are no outer objects, then they can figure out—regardless of how dull they might be—that the state of mind holding to an object cannot be substantially separate from the object being held.

 

 

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[546]

‘DZIN PA LA BDEN ZHEN MI SPONG BA NI, SPYIR SHES PA BDEN GRUB TU KHAS LEN PA LA BYED KYI, GZUNG ‘DZIN RDZAS THA DAD KYI PHYED KHEGS SHING PHYED BDEN PAR ‘DZIN PA GTAN MIN PAS,

 

And so when we say that someone has yet to rid themselves—with respect to the state of mind holding to an object—of the belief that it exists in truth, what we are referring to is someone who accepts the idea that the mind could exist in truth.  It is not at all as if they deny half of the idea that subjects and objects could be separate from each other, and believe that the rest exists in truth.

 

 

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[547]

‘DZIN PA BDEN PAR SMRA BA’I RANG RGYAL DANG, GZUNG ‘DZIN GNYIS MED KYI SHES PA DON DAM DU GRUB PAR SMRA BA’I RNAM RIG PA GNYIS GRUB MTHA’ MTSUNGS PA MTSAR ZHES PA NI, GSAL BYED PA’I BZHAD GAD DO,,

 

Thus they are having an illuminating laugh when they say, “Isn’t it weird that self-made buddhas who say that the state of mind holding to an object exists in truth; and those that believe everything is the mind who go on to say that the perception that objects and subjects are no two things exists in an ultimate way, are actually sharing the very same school of thought?”[192]

 

 

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[548]

‘DIR RANG RGYAL GYI LAM THEG PA ‘BRING DU STON PA LA, GZUNG BA DANG ‘DZIN PA LA BDEN ZHEN SPONG MI SPONG GI KHYAD PAR GSUNGS TE, DE GNYIS KYIS NYAN THOS LAS LHAG PA DANG, THEG CHEN LAS DMAN PA’I PHYIR ‘BRING PO’O,,

 

Here the path of a self-made buddha is said to be a “medium” way, and a distinction is described between whether or not they have rid themselves of the tendency to believe that the objects which are held by the mind, and the state of mind which holds to those objects, exist in truth.  In these two respects, they are higher than the listeners, but lower than those of the greater way—and so they are called “medium.”

 

 

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[549]

‘DI NI THEG PA CHE ‘BRING CHUNG GSUM GYI GANG ZAG GSUM, DBANG PO RNO ‘BRING RTUL BA YIN PAS, BDAG MED LA LTOS TE DBANG PO’I RIM PA BZHAG PA STE, THEG CHEN LA LTA BA RAB DBU MA’I LTA BA DANG, THEG ‘BRING LA LTA BA ‘BRING SEMS TZAM GYI LTA BA DANG, THEG CHUNG LA LTA BA THA MA GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED THUN MONG BA’I LTA BA BZHAG PA YIN KYANG, DER MA NGES SO,,

 

These are the three types of practitioners, of the ways which are greater, medium, and lesser; and their intellectual capacities are sharp, middling, and dull.  Thus with the presentation where they say that the different levels of ones faculties are decided upon the basis of the lack of a self-nature—where those of the higher way are said to have the best viewpoint, the viewpoint of the Middle-Way School; and those of the medium way are said to have a middling viewpoint, the viewpoint of the Mind-Only School; and those of the lesser way are said to have very lowest viewpoint, a viewpoint held in common about how the person has no self-nature—there is no certainty that this is the case.

 

 

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[550]

DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA GSUM GA LA YOD PA LTAR NA’ANG, DE KHO NA NYID MYUR DU GTING DPOGS MI DPOGS SOGS KYI [f. 45b] SGO NAS DBANG PO’I RIM PA GSUM MI ‘GAL LO,,

 

The fact is that—despite it being the case that all three possess the view of suchness—there is no contradiction to saying that there are three different degrees of intelligence, based upon distinctions such as whether or not they get to the bottom of suchness quickly.

 

 

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[551]

‘DZIN PA SHES PA LA BDEN ZHEN SPONG MI NUS PA DMAN KHYAD DU BSTAN PA’I PHYIR, MNGON RTOGS RGYAN NAS BSHAD PA’I BDAG MED KYI LTA BA NI MDO RGYAN DANG, ‘BYED RNAM PA GNYIS LTAR SEMS TZAM LA BSHAD DU MI RUNG NGO,,

 

Given that the Jewel of Realizations expressly presents the inability to rid oneself of a belief that what holds onto things—the consciousness—exists in truth as a lower viewpoint, it is incorrect to say that this text, like the Jewel of the Sutras and the two books of “distinguishing,” should be described as a work of the Mind-Only School.[193]

 

 

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[552]

MNGON RTOGS RGYAN LA’ANG DBU SEMS SU ‘GREL TSUL RGYA GAR BA RNAMS LA’ANG YOD PAS, DE DAG GI RGYU MTSAN MANG DU BSHAD DGOS KYANG, TSIG MANGS SU DOGS NAS RE ZHIG MA BRIS SO,,

 

The Jewel of Realizations has also been explained by different Indians as belonging to either the Middle-Way School or the Mind-Only School; there is certainly a need to explain the many reasons for this, but I shall not cover that point here, since I fear that the book would go on for too long.

 

 

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[553]

YANG,

,CHOS KYI DBYINGS LA DBYER MED PHYIR,

,RIGS NI THA DAD RUNG MA YIN,

,BRTEN PA’I CHOS KYI BYE BRAG GIS,

,DE YI DBYE BA YONGS SU BRJOD,

CES GSUNGS PA ‘DIS NI NYAN RANG RNAMS LA’ANG CHOS NYID RTOGS PA YOD PAR BSTAN NO,,

 

Moreover, we read that:

 

Because the sphere of reality

Cannot be divided up,

It would be incorrect to say

That there are different family qualities.

And yet the division between them

Is only described

According to the things

Which rely upon them.[194]

 

These lines are saying that listeners too can possess a realization of the way things are.

 

 

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[554]

DE LA CHOS KYI DBYINGS ZHES PA NI NYI KHRI SNANG BA LAS, DE LA RTOG PA DANG RNAM PAR RTOG PA NI DNGOS PO DANG DE’I MTSAN MA LA MNGON PAR ZHEN PA STE, DE MED PA’I PHYIR CHAGS PA MED PA NYID DU RIG PAR BYA’O, ,YOD PAR MA GYUR PA NYID NI CHOS THAMS CAD KYI DE BZHIN NYID DO,,

 

As for this expression, “sphere of reality,” we see it explained in the Illumination of the Twenty Thousand:

 

When we talk about “thinking that something is there” or “imagining that something is there,” we’re referring to a belief in things, and the indicators of things.  And you should understand that—since these don’t even exist—the attachment to them doesn’t really exist either.  The ultimate nature of things is in fact nothing other than this same quality, of not even existing.

 

 

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[555]

DES NA ‘DIS NI CHOS KYI DBYINGS NYID ‘PHAGS PA’I CHOS RNAMS KYI RGYU YIN PA’I PHYIR, ,RANG BZHIN DU GNAS PA’I RIGS SGRUB PA’I RTEN YIN NO ZHES STON PAR BYED DO,

 

Thus it has been taught that—because this sphere of reality is in fact the cause of the qualities of a realized being—the family quality[195] that exists in all beings by nature is the foundation of all Buddhist practice.[196]

 

 

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[556]

ZHES DNGOS PO DANG DE’I MTSAN MA LA BDEN PAR ZHEN PA’I CHAGS PAS BZUNG BA LTAR YOD PA MIN PA’I BDEN STONG LA BSHAD DO,,

 

These lines are describing the “sphere of reality” as the quality of being empty of any true existence, in the sense of something’s not existing in the way that it is held to exist by the kind of attachment which believes that things and their indicators exist in truth.

 

 

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[557]

DE LA CHOS DBYINGS RIGS YIN NA, SEMS CAN THAMS [f. 46a] CAD RIGS LA GNAS PAR ‘GYUR TE, CHOS DBYINGS NI THAMS CAD LA SPYIR GNAS PA’I PHYIR RO, ZHES PA’I RTZOD PA BKOD DE, RIGS LA GNAS PA NI LAM GYI SKABS KYI RIGS LA BSAMS PA’O,,

 

If the sphere of reality here is the family quality, the argument thus goes, then all living beings reside in this quality—for the sphere of reality resides in all of them, as a general characteristic.  And when they speak of “residing in the family quality” here, what they have in mind is the family quality as it is present while one is still traveling the path.

 

 

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[558]

DE’I LAN DU, JI LTAR DMIGS PA NA ‘PHAGS PA’I CHOS RNAMS KYI RGYUR ‘GYUR BA DE LTAR RIGS YIN PAR BRJOD PA DES NA, ‘DIR HA CANG THAL BA MED PAR GSUNGS TE, CHOS NYID YOD PA TZAM GYIS LAM GYI SKABS KYI RIGS LA GNAS PA MIN GYI, CHOS NYID LA LAM GYIS DMIGS NAS BSGOMS PA NA, ‘PHAGS CHOS KYI RGYU KHYAD PAR CAN DU GYUR PA’I TSE, RIGS KHYAD PAR CAN DU ‘JOG PA’I DON NO,,

 

In response, we might point out that—since you are here referring to something as the “family quality” insofar as, when one focuses upon it, that becomes a cause for the qualities of a realized being—then we would have to say that this is no great thing.  This is because we don’t say that—while they are still on the path—a person is considered to be residing in the family quality simply because they possess the very nature of things.  Rather, the point is that—when one uses the path to focus on this nature of things, and then meditates upon it—then this becomes an exceptional cause for the qualities of a realized being: they are talking about how we define something as an extraordinary form of the family quality.

 

 

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[559]

DE LTA NA’ANG CHOS DBYINGS LA DBYE BA MED PAS THEG PA GSUM GYI RIGS NI THA DAD MI RUNG NGO ZHES PA’I LAN DU, BRTEN PA’I CHOS DMIGS BYED KYI LAM GYI DBYE BAS RIGS THA DAD DU BRJOD DO, ,ZHES STON NO,,

 

“If that’s the case,” one might say, “then—because the sphere of reality cannot be divided up into different versions—it would be incorrect to say that there are different family qualities, corresponding to the three different ways.”  In response we would say that, nonetheless, it is appropriate to divide the family quality into different types, according to the divisions of the things which rely upon them; that is, the paths which focus upon them.  This then is what’s being described [in the verse from the Jewel of Realizations].

 

 

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[560]

RTEN NI ‘DIR DMIGS PA DANG, BRTEN PA NI DMIGS BYED YIN LA, DMIGS BYED LA NYAN RANG GI THEG PA GNYIS KYANG YOD CING, CHOS NYID LA DMIGS PA LA DE BLO NGOR ‘GRUB DGOS LA, BDEN GRUB BLO NGOR MA BCAD PAR, BDEN STONG BLO NGOR MI ‘GRUB CING, DE MA GRUB NA CHOS NYID BLO NGOR MI ‘GRUB BO,,

 

The thing being relied upon here is the object of the perception; while what relies upon it is the state of mind doing the perceiving—and the mind doing the perceiving can also include the minds of those who belong to the two ways of the listener or the self-made buddha.  And to say that one is perceiving the way things are, this way must have presented itself to the mind.  Yet if one has yet to exclude the idea that things exist in truth from presenting itself to the mind, the idea that things are void of existing in truth cannot present itself—and so long as it does not, then the way things really are cannot.

 

 

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[561]

DE YANG DANG POR GZHI CHOS CAN GCIG GI STENG DU NGES DGOS PAS, NYAN RANG LA YANG PHYI NANG GI CHOS CAN LA DMIGS NAS, DE’I CHOS [f. 46b] NYID BDEN PAR MED PAR DMIGS PA YOD PAR BSTAN NO,,

 

This way that things really are, in turn, must be confirmed first with regard to some one particular object, or instance.  That being the case, what’s being indicated here is that listeners and self-made buddhas also first focus upon different outer and inner instances of things, and then perceive that their real nature is to lack any real existence.

 

 

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[562]

DE LTAR BYAS NA RANG RGYAL LA DE KHO NA NYID KYI DON RTOGS PA CIG KYANG YOD PAS, RANG RGYAL LA SHES PA LA BDEN ZHEN SPONG MI NUS PAS MA KHYAB BO,,

 

Given all this, we can also say that there does exist the possibility of a self-made buddha who realizes the meaning of suchness; and that therefore it is not necessarily the case that a self-made buddha is incapable of ridding themselves of the belief that the mind exists in truth.

 

 

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[563]

NYAN THOS LA YANG DE KHO NA NYID RTOGS PA DANG MA RTOGS PA GNYIS SU DBYE DGOS PA’I PHYIR, MNGON RTOGS RGYAN DU YANG THEG DMAN LA TSUL GNYIS GSUNGS PAS, GZUNG ‘DZIN RDZAS THA DAD DU BDEN PAR ‘DZIN PA LA, SHES SGRIB TU ‘JOG MI ‘JOG GNYIS NGES PAR BYA DGOS SO,,

 

And since we must as well divide listeners into two types of those who have realized suchness and those who have not, we must—given further that the Jewel of Realizations divides the lower way into two systems—say that the tendency to hold that objects and subjects exist in truth, as substantially separate, can either be described as an obstacle to omniscience, or not.

 

 

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[564]

GAL TE THEG PA GSUM GYI RIGS THA DAD PA MI RUNG NGO ZHES MI RTZOD KYI, RIGS BCU GSUM GYI DBYE BA MI RUNG BAR RTZOD PA YIN SNYAM NA’ANG MI ‘THAD DE,

 

And if you think to yourself that the argument here is not that it is incorrect to say that there are different family qualities for the three ways—but rather that it is incorrect to say that the family qualities can be divided into 13 different types—then you are also mistaken.

 

 

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[565]

NYI KHRI SNANG BAR JI SKAD DU ‘JAM DPAL GAL TE CHOS KYI DBYINGS GCIG DANG, DE BZHIN NYID GCIG DANG, YANG DAG PA’I MTHA’ GCIG YIN NA, DE LA JI LTAR SNOD DANG SNOD MA YIN PAR GDAGS SO ZHES GSUNGS PA BZHIN NO ZHE NA,

 

This is because the Illumination of the Twenty Thousand itself includes the lines:

 

Suppose one says that it’s similar to the statement: “O Gentle Voice, given that the sphere of reality is one; and that the ultimate nature of things is one; and that the ultimate end of things is one; then how can someone imagine that there are some people who are worthy vessels, and others who are not?”[197]

 

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[566]

ZHES MDO GZHAN LAS CHOS DBYINGS LA DBYE BA MED PAS, THEG CHEN GYI SNOD DANG SNOD MA YIN PAR JI LTAR BRTAG CES GSUNGS PA DANG ‘DI ‘DRA BAS, THEG PA CHE CHUNG GI RIGS THA DAD PA MI RUNG BA LA RTZOD RGYU YIN GYI, RIGS BCU GSUM LA BYAS NA SNOD DANG SNOD MA YIN PAR RTZOD PA MI RUNG BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Here, our point is being compared to one in a separate work, a sutra, which asks the question: “Given that there are no separate versions of the sphere of reality, how then can one imagine that there are some people who are worthy vessels for the greater way, and other people who are not?”  The argument here is about the question of it not being correct to say that there separate versions of the family quality for those belonging to the greater or lesser ways; it wouldn’t be correct to argue about people being worthy vessels or not after distinguishing 13 types of family quality.

 

 

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[567]

SLOB DPON CHEN PO SENG GE BZANG PO YANG ‘PHAGS PA GROL SDE DANG MTHUN PAR BZHED DO, ,DE BZHIN DU RGYUD BLA MA RTZA ‘GREL LAS KYANG, NYAN RANG LA CHOS NYID RTOGS PA DANG MA RTOGS PA GNYIS KA GSUNGS [f. 47a] PA YOD DE MANGS PAS ‘JIGS NAS RE ZHIG MA BRIS SO,,

 

The great master Haribhadra takes the same position as the realized being Vimuktasena.  And the root text and commentary of the Higher Line also say that listeners and self-made buddhas include some who have realized the real nature of things and some who have not—it is only out of a concern that I might go on too long that I do not write more on that, for the present.[198]

 

 

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[568]

DE LTAR GNYIS ‘ONG BA NI MNGON RTOGS RGYAN DU NYAN RANG GI LAM SHES PA’I LAM SHES STON PA NI, NYAN RANG GI RIGS CAN RNAMS RJES SU ‘DZIN PA’I PHYIR DU YIN PAS, RJES SU GZUNG RGYU’I THEG DMAN LA YANG ZAB MO’I SNOD DU GYUR MA GYUR GNYIS YOD CING, DE GNYIS LA’ANG PHYI MA CHE MANG BAS PHAL CHER DE’I LAM MANG DU GSUNGS SO,,

 

The fact that we see these two types relates to the fact that, in the Jewel of Realizations, the presentation of the knowledge of the path—where the listeners and self-made buddhas each know their own path—is something made in order to attract persons who fall into either the listener type or the self-made buddha type.  As such, we can say that—among those of the lower way that the presentation is trying to attract—there are two types: those who are worthy vessels for the profound, and those who are not.  And among these two types, the latter is by far more numerous; thus it is that for the most part, the path meant for them is spoken of more frequently.

 

 

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[569]

THEG CHEN LA THOG MAR SEMS TZAM LA MA KHRID PAR DBU MA’I LTA BA MI RNYED PA SNANG BA BZHIN DU, RANG RGYAL LA YANG YOD LA DE NI NYAN THOS LA’ANG YOD PAR MNGON NO,,

 

It would seem that there are people belonging to the greater way who must be guided through the ideas of the Mind-Only School before they are able to find the viewpoint of the Middle-Way School; it would appear that there is a similar process for the self-made buddhas, and for the listeners as well.

 

 

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[570]

GZHAN YANG NYI KHRI SNANG BA DANG, BRGYAD STONG ‘GREL CHEN GNYIS KAR CHOS DBYINGS THEG PA GSUM GA’I RIGS SU ‘JOG PA’I SHES BYED DU, ‘PHAGS PA’I GANG ZAG THAMS CAD NI, ‘DUS MA BYAS KYIS RAB TU PHYE BAR GSUNGS PA DRANGS LA,

 

Moreover, both the Illumination of the Twenty Thousand and the Great Commentary to the Eight Thousand cite—in support of the idea that the sphere of reality is the family quality for all three ways—the statement in scripture that “all those people who are realized beings are distinguished by something which is unproduced.”[199]

 

 

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[571]

DE NI RDO RJE GCOD PA LAS SANGS RGYAS PA’I CHOS DANG, DES BSTAN PA’I CHOS THAMS CAD MA MCHIS SO, ZHES PA’I SGRUB BYED DU ‘PHAGS PA’I GANG ZAG RNAMS NI ‘DUS MA BYAS KYIS RAB TU PHYE BA’I SLAD DU’O,

 

This statement recalls the statement in the Diamond Cutter Sutra that it is impossible for there to be any such thing as a being who becomes enlightened; and for there to be any such thing as the teaching which this being gives.  And in support of this idea, it is then stated that people who are realized beings are distinguished by something which is unproduced.[200]

 

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[572]

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON NI THEG PA CHE CHUNG GI ‘PHAGS PA’I GANG ZAG THAMS CAD NI CHOS RNAMS DE KHO NAR MA GRUB PA’I DON DAM ‘DUS MA BYAS MNGON DU BYAS PAS BZHAG PA’I PHYIR ZHES PA’O,,

 

The point being made in these words is that all realized beings—whether they belong to the greater way or the lesser—are established as what they are by actualizing the ultimate unproduced thing: the fact that nothing in the universe is only what it is.

 

 

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[573]

DE’I PHYIR LUGS ‘DI DANG MNGON RTOGS RGYAN GNYIS ‘GAL BA MA YIN NO,,

DES NA RGYAN GYI ‘GREL MDZAD DE DAG GI [f. 47b] LUGS LA YANG TSUL GNYIS SHES PAR BYA’O, SPROS PAS CHOG GO ,

 

Thus it is that the system we are presenting here is not one which is inconsistent with the teachings of the Jewel of Realizations.  And thus too you should understand that there are two different ways expressed in the systems of commentators to the Jewel.  Much more could be said about all of this.

 

 

 

How a person practices giving at the first bodhisattva level

 

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[574]

GSUM PA LA BZHI, SA DANG PO LA GNAS PA’I SBYIN PA BSHAD PA, RTEN DMAN PA RNAMS KYI SBYIN PA BSHAD PA, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ RNAMS KYI SBYIN PA BSHAD PA, SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN GYI DBYE BA BSTAN PA’O,,

 

With this we have come to our third section from above, which is a description of the high quality where we bring our practice to a higher level.  We will proceed in four steps: an explanation of the giving practiced by a person who is at the first level; an explanation of the giving practiced by people of a lower type of being; an explanation of the giving practiced by bodhisattvas; and a presentation of the divisions of the perfection of giving.

 

 

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[575]

[,
[DE TSE DE LA RDZOGS SANGS BYANG CHUB RGYU,

,DANG PO SBYIN PA NYID NI LHAG PAR ‘GYUR,]

 

[At this point,

It is none other than giving,

The first of the causes

Of total enlightenment,

Which becomes higher for them.

I.33-34 ]

 

 

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[576]

DANG PO NI, SA RAB TU DGA’ BA THOB PA DE’I TSE BYANG SEMS DE LA PHAR PHYIN BCU’I NANG NAS SBYIN PA’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA NYID DE KHO NA, CHOS LHAG PAR YOD PAR ‘GYUR TE, DE LA PHAR PHYIN GZHAN RNAMS MED PA NI MIN NO,,

 

Here is the first.  At this point—that is, when the bodhisattva achieves the level called “Perfect Happiness”—it is only the perfection of giving (from among all the ten perfections) which is a practice which becomes higher for them.  It is not though that they lack all the other perfections.

 

 

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[577]

‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA’I SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN DE YANG RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB KYI RGYU DANG PO STE, DE YANG ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA’I DBANG DU BYAS PA’O,,

 

And it is the perfection giving that transcends the mortal world which is the first of the causes of total enlightenment—and this refers too to those that transcend the mortal world.

 

 

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[578]

SPYIR PHAR PHYIN SNGA MA RNAMS LAS PHYI MA RNAMS LHAG PA YIN KYANG, SA ‘DIR SBYIN PA LHAG PAR GSUNGS PA NI, SA ‘DIR SBYIN PA NYAMS SU LEN PA LA MTHU PHUL DU BYUNG BA DE’I TSOD TZAM TSUL KHRIMS LA SOGS PA NYAMS SU LEN PA LA MED PA’I DON TE,

 

As a general rule, each of the perfections is higher than the one preceding it in the list; but saying that giving at this particular level is higher is only meant to indicate that—at this level—ones practice of an ethical way of life and the other perfections is not as incredibly powerful as the way one puts giving into practice.

 

 

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[579]

SA DANG POR BDAG GI LUS DANG, PHYI’I YO BYAD GTONG BA LA SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN DANG ‘GAL BA’I KUN ‘DZIN GYI CHAGS PA CUNG ZAD KYANG MI ‘BYUNG BAR GSUNGS PA LTAR SPYOD NUS KYANG, SA GNYIS PAR RMI LAM NA YANG TSUL KHRIMS KYI MI MTHUN PHYOGS ‘CHAL KHRIMS LA GTAN MI SPYOD PA LTAR MI NUS PA’O,,

 

Here at the first bodhisattva level, one is able to practice their giving, as they say, without even the slightest bit of that possessive attachment which acts contrary to the perfection where one gives away their own body, and all their outer, material possessions.  But they are not yet able to practice as they will at the second level, where a person avoids—even in their dreams—each and every form of that immorality which works against an ethical way of life.

 

 

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[580]

[,
[RANG SHA STER LA’ANG GUS PAR BYAS PA YIS,

,SNANG DU MI RUNG DPOG PA’I RGYUR YANG ‘GYUR,]

 

[The fact that this person

Esteems even the act

Of giving away their own flesh

Acts as a cause for the deduction

Of something not normally apparent.

I.35-36 ]

 

 

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[581]

YANG SA DER SNANG DU MI RUNG BA’I RTOGS PA SBYIN PAS DPOG PA NI, PHYI’I YO BYAD STER BA LA GUS PAR MA ZAD, SLONG BA LA RANG GI SHA STER [f. 48a] BA LA’ANG CHES GUS PAR BYAS PA YIS, GANG ZAG GZHAN PHAL CHE BA LA SNANG DU MI RUNG BA’I NANG GI SA THOB PA SOGS DPOG PA’I RGYUR TE GTAN TSIGS SU ‘GYUR TE, DU BA SOGS KYIS ME LA SOGS PA DPOG PA BZHIN NO,,

 

There is also at this level a deduction, triggered by the giving, of a state of realization which is not normally apparent.  That is, this person not only has a high regard for the act of giving outer, material objects; but they also greatly esteem even the act of giving away their own flesh to someone who asks for it.  This fact then acts as a cause, or sort of a logical reason, which allows someone else to deduce things like the fact that within themselves this person has attained the level—a condition which is not normally apparent to the majority of people.  This is similar to how we deduce facts such as the presence of a fire, from the presence of smoke.

 

 

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[582]

‘DIS NI LUS SROG DANG LONGS SPYOD GTONG BA LA KUN ‘DZIN GYI DRI MA MED PAR BSTAN TE, DE LTAR BTANG YANG RGYUD RNAM PA GZHAN DU MI ‘GYUR BAR BRTAN PAR GNAS PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

All this is meant to indicate that the practitioner is free of the stench of any possessiveness about giving away their own body, their own life, and all that they own.  This in turn is because they have reached a kind of steadfastness in their practice where—even after they had given these things away—the feelings that had inspired them to do so would never change.

 

 

 

How people of a lower type of being practice giving

 

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[583]

GNYIS PA LA GNYIS, SBYIN PAS ‘KHOR BA’I BDE BA ‘THOB PA DANG, SBYIN PAS MYANG ‘DAS KYI BDE BA ‘THOB PAR BSTAN PA’O,,

 

We will cover the second point here—how people of a lower type of being practice giving—in two steps: a description of how we reach happiness in the circle of pain, through the practice of giving; and a description of how we reach the happiness of nirvana, through the same practice.

 

 

 

Why did the Buddha teach giving first?

 

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[584]

[,
[SKYE BO ‘DI KUN BDE BA MNGON ‘DOD CING,

,MI RNAMS BDE BA’ANG LONGS SPYOD MED MIN LA,

,LONGS SPYOD KYANG NI SBYIN LAS ‘BYUNG MKHYEN NAS,

,THUB PAS DANG POR SBYIN PA’I GTAM MDZAD DO,,]

 

[All people here have a hope

For happiness;

And without things,

Human beings are not happy.

The Able Ones,

Understanding that things

Come from giving,

Thus speak of giving first.

I.37-40 ]

 

 

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[585]

DANG PO NI, SKYE BO ‘DI RNAMS KUN NI, BKRES SKOM DANG NAD DANG TSA GRANG SOGS KYI SDUG BSNGAL PHYIR BCOS PA’I BDE BA THOB PAR MNGON PAR ‘DOD CING, MI LA SOGS PA RNAMS KYI BDE BA DE’ANG ‘DOD PA’I YUL GYI LONGS SPYOD BZA’ BTUNG DANG, NAD GSO BA’I CHAS DANG GOS DANG GNAS KHANG SOGS LA, SPYAD PA MED PAR SKYE BA MIN LA,

 

Here is the first.  All people here have a hope for happiness, first in the form of alleviating their hunger and thirst; of comfort when they are too hot or too cold; and so on.  And without enjoying the use of things, in the form of the things that they want—be it things to drink or eat; or the things they need to treat some illness; or clothing; or houses to stay in; or all the like, human beings do not feel happy.

 

 

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[586]

LONGS SPYOD DE RNAMS KYANG NI SNGON SBYIN PA LAS BYUNG BA’I BSOD NAMS BSAGS PA LAS ‘BYUNG BAR MKHYEN NAS, ‘GRO BA THAMS CAD KYI BSAM PA MKHYEN PA’I THUB PAS, CHES DANG POR SBYIN PA’I GTAM NYID MDZAD DE, THABS DE LA ‘JUG PAR YANG SLA BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And the Able Ones, understanding that these things in turn come from accumulating the merit that is created by giving—and also knowing the wishes of all living creatures—thus speak of the practice of giving first, long before anything else.  They understand as well that it is much easier for beings to follow this practice.

 

 

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[587]

[,
[SNYING RJE DMAN ZHING SHIN TU RTZUB SEMS CAN,

,RANG DON LHUR LEN NYID DU ‘GYUR BA GANG,

,DE DAG GI YANG ‘DOD PA’I LONGS SPYOD RNAMS,

,SDUG BSNGAL NYER ZHI’I RGYUR GYUR SBYIN LAS ‘BYUNG,

 

Even people with little compassion,

Or those with a very cruel heart,

The ones who are only

Watching out for themselves,

Can still get the things they want

From giving, the cause which puts

Suffering to a final rest.

                                I.41-44 ]

 

 

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[588]

GAL TE SBYIN PA BTANG BA LAS LONGS SPYOD PHUN SUM TSOGS PA THOB PA DE LA, GTONG BA PO TSUL DANG MTHUN PA DGOS SAM SNYAM NA, DE NI MI DGOS TE [f. 48b] ‘DI LTAR, TSONG PA BZHIN DU NOR CHES CHUNG NGU BTANG BA LAS, ‘BRAS BU NOR GYI PHUNG PO CHES YANGS PA ‘DOD PAS LONGS SPYOD ‘DOD PA’I SLONG MO BA LAS KYANG LONGS SPYOD RGYA CHE BA ‘DOD PAS, SBYIN PA BYED PA LA GUS KYI,

 

You may be wondering whether this person who engages in the practice of giving needs to be someone who is acting in an appropriate way, in order to acquire excellent things from their giving.  In fact they do not; consider someone like a businessperson who is already extremely wealthy, but who is hoping to reap a tremendous quantity of riches as a result of giving something small to someone; and so has their sights set on gaining great wealth from even just a single beggar who comes to them asking for some material thing—and so the businessperson has a high regard for the practice of giving.

 

 

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[589]

BYANG SEMS RNAMS LTAR SNYING RJE’I GZHAN GYI DBANG GIS SBYIN PA’I ‘BRAS BU DON DU MI GNYER BA KHO NAR, SBYIN PAR ‘DOD PA’I DGA’ STON MNGON PAR ‘PHEL BAR MI BYED PA’I GTONG BA PO SNYING RJE DMAN ZHING,

 

These kinds of people are givers who have little compassion—they are not like the bodhisattvas, who are slaves of their compassion, and who with absolutely no expectations of what they will get back from their giving live in an ever-expanding celebration of the pursuit of generosity.

 

 

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[590]

DER MA ZAD SEMS CAN LA SEMS SHIN TU RTZUB PA’I SEMS DANG LDAN PA, RANG GI DON MNGON MTHO’I BDE BA TZAM LHUR LEN PA NYID DU ‘GYUR BA STE,

 

There are as well other types of people with a very cruel heart, the ones who are only watching out for themselves, just trying to reach the higher realms for their own sake.

 

 

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[591]

GTZO BOR BYED PA GANG YIN PA DE DAG GI STE LA YANG, LONGS SPYOD MI GTONG BAR ‘DZIN PA’I SKYON LA RGYAB KYIS PHYOGS PA RNAM SMIN LA RE BA’I YON TAN TZAM ‘DZIN PA LA G-YER BAG THOB PA’I SBYIN PA LAS, LONGS SPYOD PHUL DU BYUNG BA PHUN TSOGS ‘BYUNG BA’I SGO NAS, BKRES SKOM SOGS KYI SDUG BSNGAL NYE BAR ZHI BA’I RGYUR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

Even those who make such things their main goal can still get the things they want—the most amazing, excellent things—from a kind of giving where they do exhibit the virtue of being extremely careful to avoid the faults of possessiveness, the refusal to share ones things, but only because they are hoping for some great karmic payoff.  This kind of giving then does become a cause which puts to a final rest sufferings such as hunger, thirst, and the rest.

 

 

 

How we can meet realized beings

 

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[592]

[,
[‘DI YANG SBYIN PA’I SKABS KYIS NAM ZHIG TSE,

,’PHAGS PA’I SKYE BO DANG ‘PHRAD MYUR DU ‘THOB,

,DE NAS SRID RGYUN YANG DAG BCAD BYAS TE,

,DE YI RGYU CAN ZHI BAR ‘GRO BAR ‘GYUR,]

 

[Because of these instances of giving then,

Even they at some point will quickly attain

Opportunities to meet people

Who are realized beings.

And then the flow

Of their lives of suffering

Will be stopped completely,

And those with this cause

Will come to peace.

                                            I.45-48 ]

 

 

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[593]

GNYIS PA NI, GANG ZHIG SNYING RJE DANG BRAL BAS RANG GI SDUG BSNGAL PHYIR BCOS PA’I BDE BA TZAM LA LTOS PA NYID KYIS, SBYIN PA GTONG BA LA GUS PA ‘DI YANG, SBYIN BDAG GTONG BA PO’I THAD DU DAM PA DAG GIS BGROD PA YIN NO, ZHES GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR, SBYIN PA GTONG BA’I SKABS KYIS NAM ZHIG GI TSE ‘PHAGS PA’I SKYE BO DANG PHRAD PA MYUR DU ‘THOB BO,,

 

Which brings us to the second point from above: a description of how we reach the happiness of nirvana, through this same practice of giving.  Consider again these people who have no compassion—those who seek only the happiness of alleviating their own suffering—and thus hold the act of giving in high regard.  Even they then, because of these instances of giving, will at some point quickly attain opportunities to meet people who are realized beings.  This is the case because, as they say, “The holy ones come into the presence of sponsors—meaning all those who give.”[201]

 

 

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[594]

DE NAS DAM PA DES CHOS BSTAN PA LAS, ‘KHOR BA LA YON TAN MED [f. 49a] PAR RIG CING, ‘PHAGS LAM ZAG PA MED PA MNGON DU BYAS PAS MA RIG PA SPANGS NAS, SRID PA ‘KHOR BA’I RGYUN THOG MED NAS SKYE ‘CHI GCIG NAS GCIG TU BRGYUD PA YANG DAG PAR BCAD PAR BYAS TE, DAM PA DANG PHRAD PA DE YI RGYU CAN NYAN THOS SAM RANG RGYAL GYI ZHI BA MYANG ‘DAS SU ‘GRO BAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

And then the holy ones grant these people the teachings, and they come to an understanding that there is no good thing in the cycle of pain.  And then they manifest the immaculate path of a realized being, and rid themselves of misunderstanding.  And then they put a complete stop to the spinning of this beginningless wheel of suffering, lives of births and deaths flowing one after the other.  Thus then those listeners or self-made buddhas with this cause—that is, who have met the holy ones—will come to peace: meaning nirvana.

 

 

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[595]

GSUM PA LA BZHI, BYANG SEMS KYI SBYIN PA’I PHAN YON THUN MONG MA YIN PA BSTAN PA, RTEN GNYIS KA LA SBYIN PA’I GTAM GTZO BOR BSTAN PA, BYANG SEMS KYIS SBYIN PA’I TSE DGA’ BA JI ‘DRA BA ‘THOB PA BSTAN PA, BYANG SEMS KYIS LUS SBYIN PA LA SDUG BSNGAL YOD MED BSTAN PA’O,,

 

This brings us to the third of our four steps from before: an explanation of the giving practiced by bodhisattvas.  We proceed in four sections: a description of the unique type of giving practiced by a bodhisattva; a description of how the discussion of giving is primary for both types of people; a description of the kind of happiness that a bodhisattva feels when they are giving; and a description of whether or not a bodhisattva feels pain when they give away their own body.

 

 

 

 

Happiness comes from giving

 

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[596]

[,
[‘GRO LA PHAN PAR DAM BCAS YID CAN RNAMS,

,SBYIN PAS RING POR MI THOGS DGA’ BA ‘THOB,]

 

[The giving of those

Who have resolved in their hearts

To be of benefit to living beings

Makes them feel happiness,

Not long afterwards.

                       I.49-50 ]

 

 

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[597]

DANG PO NI, BYANG SEMS MA YIN PA RNAMS NI SBYIN PAS SLONG BA PO TSIM PAR BYAS PA DANG, DUS MNYAM PA STE DE’I MJUG THOGS NYID DU SBYIN PA’I ‘BRAS BU’I BDE BA LA NGES PAR LONGS SPYOD PA MIN NO,,

 

Here is the first.  When someone who is not a bodhisattva performs an act of giving and thus satisfies the needs of the person who has asked them for something, there is no certainty that they will experience that happiness which is a result of this giving “at the same time”—meaning immediately subsequent to the giving.

 

 

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[598]

DES NA DE RNAMS NI SBYIN PA’I ‘BRAS BU MNGON SUM DU MI MTHONG BA’I PHYIR SBYIN PA LA MI ‘JUG PA YANG SRID NA, ‘GRO BA THAMS CAD LA PHUGS SU PHAN PA DANG, ‘PHRAL DU BDE BA SGRUB PAR DAM BCAS PA’I YID CAN GYI BYANG SEMS RNAMS, SBYIN PAS RING POR MI THOGS PAR SLONG BA PO TSIM PAR BYAS PA MTHONG BA’I MJUG THOGS NYID DU, SBYIN PA’I ‘BRAS BU DGA’ BA MCHOG TU GYUR BA ‘THOB CING SBYIN ‘BRAS LA LONGS SPYOD PAS, DUS THAMS CAD KYI TSE SBYIN PA BYED PA LA DGA’ BAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

As such—because they don’t see the results of their giving in a direct way—there is a possibility that they will fail to engage in the act of giving.  But the bodhisattvas—who have resolved in their hearts to be of benefit to every living being in the long run, and in the short run to make them happy—undertake acts of giving and then not long afterwards (meaning immediately subsequent to seeing that their giving has satisfied the needs of those who have asked them for something) these acts make them feel a supreme form of happiness as the result of their giving.  Having thus enjoyed the fruits of their giving, they are at all times very pleased to engage in giving.

 

 

 

Why giving is the most important

 

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[599]

[,
[GANG PHYIR BRTZE BDAG BRTZE BDAG MA YIN PA,

,DE PHYIR SBYIN PA’I GTAM NYID GTZO BO YIN,]

 

[And these are the reasons

Why it is none other

Than the discussion of giving

Which is primary for both

Those who are the embodiment of love,

And those who are not this embodiment.

                                   I.51-52 ]

 

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[600]

GNYIS PA NI, GANG GI PHYIR SNGAR JI SKAD [f. 49b] BSHAD PA’I TSUL GYIS BRTZE BA’I BDAG NYID BYANG SEMS DANG, BRTZE BA’I BDAG NYID MA YIN PA THAMS CAD KYI MNGON MTHO DANGKYI BDE BA RNAMS SBYIN PAS ‘DREN PA DE’I PHYIR, SBYIN PA’I GTAM NYID GTZO BO STE SHIN TU GAL CHE BA YIN NO,,

 

Here is our second section, on how the discussion of giving is primary for both types of people.  These then—that is, the points we have discussed just now—are the reasons why it is none other than the discussion of giving which is primary (here meaning “extremely important”) for both those people who are the embodiment of love (the bodhisattvas) and for those who are not an embodiment of this kind; for it is the act of giving which brings to all these people the happiness of both the higher births and definite good.[202]

 

 

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[601]

BSHES SPRING LAS KYANG,

,LONGS SPYOD G-YO BA SNYING PO MED MKHYEN NAS,

,DGE SBYONG BRAM ZE BKREN DANG BSHES RNAMS LA,

,SBYIN PA TSUL BZHIN STZAL BGYI PHA ROL TU,

,SBYIN LAS GZHAN PA’I GNYEN MCHOG MA MCHIS SO,

ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

The Letter to a Friend says as well,

 

First understand that your possessions

Are fleeting, and have no essence—

And then work to give, in the proper way,

To the monks; to the brahmans;

To the poor; and the friends.

There is no higher companion

In the world beyond

Than the giving you have done.[203]

 

 

 

The high happiness of a bodhisattva

 

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[602]

[,
[JI LTAR BYIN ZHIG CES SGRA THOS BSAMS LAS,

,RGYAS SRAS BDE ‘BYUNG DE LTAR THUB RNAMS LA,

,ZHI BAR ZHUGS PAS BDE BA BYED MIN NA,

,THAMS CAD BTANG BAS LTA ZHIG SMOS CI DGOS,]

 

[When a child of the Victors

Hears “Please give it to me,”

And thinks to themselves,

They feel a happiness

Which is even greater

Than the happiness

Of the Able Ones,

When they enter into peace.

What need then is there

To mention how they feel

When they give away everything?

                                I.53-56 ]

 

 

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[603]

GSUM PA NI, RGYU GANG LAS BYANG SEMS RNAMS SBYIN PA LA GUS PAR ‘GYUR BA, ,SLONG BA RNAMS LONGS SPYOD KYIS TSIM PAR BYAS PA NA, BYANG SEMS LA DGA’ BA’I KHYAD PAR SKYE BA KO CI ‘DRA ZHIG CI {%CE} NA,

 

This brings us to the third section: a description of how the discussion of giving is primary for both types of people.  One may ask the following question: “Just what is the cause that makes bodhisattvas—those people who have such a high regard for the act of giving—feel this special type of happiness, when they have given some material thing to to someone who has asked for it from them, and thus satisfied their needs?”

 

 

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[604]

JI LTAR SLONG BA POS BYIN CIG CES ZER BA’I SGRA THOS PA’I DON BSAMS PA NA, ‘DI DAG NI BDAG LA SLONG BA ZHIG GO SNYAM PA LAS,

 

Think of when a bodhisattva—a child of the Victors—hears the words “Please give it to me” from a person who is asking them for something.  Then they think to themselves, “I have found someone to ask me for something!”

 

 

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[605]

RGYAL SRAS LA YID LA BDE BA YANG NAS YANG DU ‘BYUNG BA DE LTAR NI, THUB PA DGRA BCOM PA RNAMS LA ZHI BA MYANG ‘DAS KYI DBYINGS SU ZHUGS PAS, BDE BA SKYED PAR BYED PA MIN NA,

 

This makes them feel—over and over again—a happiness which is greater even than the happiness that the Able Ones, those destroyers of the enemy, feel when they enter the realm of peace: nirvana.

 

 

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[606]

PHYI NANG GI DNGOS PO THAMS CAD BTANG BAS SLONG BA PO TSIM PAR BYED PAS, ZHI BA DE LAS LHAG PA’I BDE BA SKYED PA LTA CI ZHIG SMOS DGOS TE MI DGOS SO,,

 

If then they go further and give away every outer and inner thing they have to satisfy  the needs of the person who’s asking them for something, what need is there to mention that they feel a happiness greater than this peace?  There is no need!

 

 

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[607]

ZHI BA DES SEMS PHROGS PA NA GZHAN DON LA G-YEL BAR ‘GYUR LA, BYANG SEMS KYI BDE BA SNGAR BSHAD PA DES SEMS PHROGS [f. 50a] PA NYID KYIS, GZHAN DON LA LHAG PAR YANG BRTZON PAR ‘GYUR BAS MI ‘DRA’O,,

 

If a person’s heart is stolen away by this kind of peace, then they will lose themselves completely in working for others.  But if your heart is stolen away by nothing less than the happiness of a bodhisattva that we’ve just described, you make even greater efforts to work for others—and so the two are not the same.

 

 

 

Does a bodhisattva feel pain,

when they give away their own flesh?

 

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[608]

[,
[LUS BCAD STER ZHING BDAG GI SDUG BSNGAL GYIS,

,GZHAN DAG RNAMS KYI DMYAL BA LA SOGS PA’I,

,SDUG BSNGAL RANG RIG NYID DU MTHONG NAS NI,

,DE BCAD BYA PHYIR MYUR DU BRTZON ‘GRUS RTZOM,]

 

[What do they do with the pain

Of cutting off and giving away

Their own flesh?

When they have seen for themselves

The pain of others—

Those in the hells, and the rest,

They leap to do the deed,

In order to cut that pain.

I.57-60 ]

 

 

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[609]

BZHI PA NI, YANG SBYIN PA BTANG BA GANG LAS BDE BA PHUL BYUNG SKYE BAR BRJOD PA PHYI NANG GE {%GI} DNGOS PO GTONG BA’I BYANG SEMS LA, LUS KYI SDUG BSNGAL YANG MI ‘BYUNG NGAM ZHE NA,

 

Here finally is the fourth section from above: a description of whether or not a bodhisattva feels pain when they give away their own body.  One might ask the following question: “You have mentioned, in your description of the giving from which the bodhisattva feels such wonderful happiness, their giving away ‘outer and inner things.’  But doesn’t such a bodhisattva feel then bodily pain?”

 

 

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[610]

BDAG NYID CHEN PO SA THOB PA’I DBANG DU BYAS NAS ‘DRI NA NI, SEMS MED PA RNAMS LA BCAD PA LTAR LUS KYI SDUG BSNGAL MED DE, ‘PHAGS PA NAM MKHA’ MDZOD KYI TING NGE ‘DZIN LAS,

 

If you are asking this question with regard to those great beings who have reached a bodhisattva level, then the answer is that in this moment they feel no suffering at all: it is just as if you have cut an inanimate object with a knife.  This recalls a statement in the exalted Concentration of Gagana Ganja:

 

 

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[611]

‘DI LTA STE, DPER NA SHING S’A LA CHEN PO’I TSAL ZHIG YOD LA, DER ‘GA’ ZHIG ‘ONGS NAS S’A LA GCIG BCAD PA NA, DER SHING S’A LA LHAG MA DE RNAMS ‘DI SNYAM DU ‘DI NI BCAD PA’O, ,BDAG CAG NI MA BCAD PA’O SNYAM DU SEMS SHING, DE DAG LA RJES SU CHAGS PA DANG KHONG KHRO BA MED DO, ,RTOG PA DANG RNAM PAR RTOG PA MED DO,,

 

This then is how it is.  Picture a forest of huge sal trees.  And then suppose that some people show up and cut one of them down.  It’s not as if the remaining trees think to themselves, “Oh, they cut one of us down.  But they aren’t cutting the rest of us down.” The trees don’t feel attachment, and they don’t feel anger.  The fact is that they have no thoughts—no awareness at all.

 

 

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[612]

BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I BZOD PA DE LTA BU GANG YIN PA ‘DI NI, BZOD PA YONGS SU DAG PA MCHOG NAM MKHA’ DANG MNYAM PA YIN NO, ZHES JI SKAD GSUNGS PA LTA BU’O,,

 

The type of forbearance which a bodhisattva possesses is similar; it is a totally pure forbearance, the highest of its kind, and equal to space itself.[204]

 

 

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[613]

RIN CHEN ‘PHRENG BA LAS KYANG,

,DE LA LUS KYI SDUG BSNGAL MED,

,YID KYI SDUG BSNGAL GA LA YOD,

,DE NI SNYING RJES ‘JIG RTEN SDUG

,DE NYID KYIS NI YUN RING GNAS,

ZHES GSUNGS PA ‘DI YANG SA THOB PA LA DGONGS SO,,

 

The String of Precious Jewels says as well:

 

They feel no pain in their body;

So how could they in their mind?

They stay in the world out of compassion;

And for the same reason stay here long.[205]

 

This statement, by the way, is also made with regard to someone who has attained the levels of the bodhisattva.

 

 

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[614]

YANG LUS DANG LONGS SPYOD LA KUN ‘DZIN GYI CHAGS PA MED PA’I SA RAB TU DGA’ BA MA THOB PA’I DBANG DU BYAS NAS ‘DRI NA NI [f. 50b] LUS GNAS PA DANG ‘GAL BA’I RKYEN RANG GI LUS LA BABS PAS, LUS KYI SDUG BSNGAL GDON MI ZA BAR ‘BYUNG MOD KYANG, DE’I TSE YANG SDUG BSNGAL DE LA BRTEN NAS SEMS CAN GYI DON LA LHAG PAR ‘JUG PA’I RGYU NYID DU GNAS TE,

 

Suppose though that the same question is asked with regard to someone who has yet to achieve the bodhisattva level of Perfect Happiness—a stage where one is free of attachment which grasps on to ones body or possessions.  In this case a person will beyond any doubt experience bodily suffering, since something has befallen the body which is a factor acting in contradiction to the body’s continued existence.  Nonetheless, even at this point they utilize this pain as just another reason for redoubling their efforts to work for the sake of other living beings.

 

 

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[615]

‘DI LTAR BYANG SEMS RNAMS NI, DMYAL BA DANG, DUD ‘GRO DANG, YI DVAGS LA SOGS PA’I ‘GRO BA MI BZAD PAR CHUD PA, BAR MTSAMS MED PAR SDUG BSNGAL CHEN PO DRAG POS LUS ‘JOMS PA, RANG GI LUS GCOD PA’I SDUG BSNGAL LAS STONG ‘GYUR LAS KYANG CHES LHAG PA’I SDUG BSNGAL BSRAN DU MED PA DANG LDAN PA DAG LA BLTAS PA NA,

 

And so the bodhisattvas look upon those who have been forced into these unbearable forms of life—those in the realms of hell, or living as animals, or craving spirits, and all the rest; their bodies battered by extreme torment.  And what they see is that these beings are undergoing pain which is completely intolerable—thousands of times greater than the pain that the bodhisattva feels when they cut their own flesh.

 

 

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[616]

SLONG BA PO LA RANG LUS BCAD NAS STER BA’I BDAG GI SDUG BSNGAL GYIS TE SDUG BSNGAL LA RTZIS MED PAR BYAS NAS, RANG GIS SDUG BSNGAL NYAMS SU MYONG BA DE NYID KYI RGYU MTSAN LAS, SEMS CAN GZHAN DAG RNAMS KYI DMYAL BA LA SOGS PA’I SDUG BSNGAL DE GCAD PA’I PHYIR DU CHOS {%CHES} MYUR DU BRTZON ‘GRUS RTZOM MO,,

 

And when the bodhisattva cuts the flesh from their own body and gives it away to someone who asks them for it, the first words they say are “With this pain of mine”—meaning they pay no attention at all to their own pain, but rather see this same suffering they are undergoing themselves as a reason: as something whose purpose is to cut off the suffering of other living beings—those living in the hell realms, and so on.  And so they immediately leap to do the deed.

 

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[617]

‘DI NI NAG TSO’I ‘GYUR LAS,

,LUS NI BCAD NAS BYIN PA’I SDUG BSNGAL DES,

,DMYAL BA LA SOGS SDUG BSNGAL GZHAN DAG LA,

,BLTAS NAS RANG GI NYAMS SU MYONG DE LAS,

,GCOD PA’I DON DU DE NI BRTZON PAR BYED,

,CES ‘BYUNG BA DANG ‘GYUR GNYIS KA LA BRTEN PA’I BSHAD PA’O,,

 

We also see these lines translated by Naktso[206] as:

 

What do they do with the pain

Of cutting off their flesh,

And giving it away?

They look upon those other pains—

Of people in the hells and such—

And leap to do the deed,

Hoping that what

They will undergo themselves

Will serve to cut the others.

 

For my own explanation here, I have utilized both translations.

 

 

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[618]

DE ‘DRA BA’I BSAM PA’I STOBS YOD NA LUS GTONG BA YIN LA, BSAM PA DE YANG SA MA THOB PA LA ‘ONG BA MI ‘GAL BAS, SA MA THOB PAS KYANG LUS GTONG [f. 51a] BA GSUNGS SO,,

 

If a person possesses an intention with this degree of strength, then they will be able to give away their body; and it is no contradiction to say that this intention can come to one even before they attain the bodhisattva levels.  As such, it has been stated that even those who have yet to attain these levels do give away their bodies.

 

 

 

The different kinds of the perfection of giving

 

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[619]

[,
[SBYIN PA SBYIN BYA LEN PO GTONG POS STONG,

,’JIG RTEN ‘DAS PA’I PHA ROL PHYIN ZHES BYA,]

 

[Giving which is void

Of anything which is given;

And anyone who receives it;

And anyone who gives it

Is what we say

Is a “perfection beyond the world.”

I.61-62 ]

 

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[620]

BZHI PA NI, GTONG BA’I SEMS PA’I SBYIN PA ‘DI YANG SBYIN PAR BYA BA DANG, LEN PA PO DANG, GTONG BA POR BDEN PAR DMIGS PAS STONG PA’I SHES RAB ZAG PA MED PAS ZIN PA NI, ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ZHES BYA’O, ZHES SHES RAB KYI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA CHEN MO LAS GSUNGS TE,

 

This brings us to the fourth step of our description of the high quality where we bring our practice to a higher level: a presentation of the divisions of the perfection of giving.  Now the great Perfection of Wisdom says that—

 

That perfection which we say is “beyond the world” is where the giving of the bodhisattva doing the act is done in a way where it is imbued with immaculate wisdom: where the object which is given; and the person receiving it; and the person giving it are all void of being considered to exist in truth.[207]

 

 

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[621]

MI DMIGS PA’I ‘PHAGS PA’I MNYAM GZHAG NI ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA YIN PAS DES ZIN PA’I SBYIN PA YANG ‘JIG RTEN LAS ‘DAS PA’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PAR BZHAG LA, MI DMIGS PA DES MA ZIN PA’I SBYIN PA NI ‘JIG RTEN PA’O,,

 

The deep meditative state of a realized being who is no longer looking at things as coming from themselves is beyond the world; as such, we say that the giving which is imbued with this state of mind is a perfection which is beyond the world.  Giving which is not imbued with no longer looking at things that way then is considered to be worldly.

 

 

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[622]

DE GNYIS KYI RNAM PAR DBYE BA NI DON DAM PA’I BYANG SEMS MA THOB PA DAG GIS MNGON SUM DU NGES PAR MI NUS SO,,

 

The distinction between these two is something that those who have yet to achieve the ultimate form of the Wish for enlightenment are incapable of perceiving directly.

 

 

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[623]

DE LA PHA ROL NI ‘KHOR BA’I RGYA MTSO’I PHAR ‘GRAM DANG, NGOGS TE SGRIB GNYIS MA LUS PA SPANGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS SO, ,PHA ROL TU SON PA NI PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA’O,,

 

When we say “beyond” here, what we’re referring to is the far side or shore of the ocean of cyclic existence: the state of enlightenment where one has rid oneself of every form of the two obstacles.  The word “perfection” as we use it here means “passed” or “gone” to that far shore.

 

 

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[624]

‘DIR ‘GREL PAR TSIG PHYI MA YOD NA MI MNGON PAR MI BYA’O, ZHES BYA BA’I MTSAN NYID ‘DIS LAS KYI RNAM PAR DBYE BA MI MNGON PAR MA BYAS PAS GZUGS SU GYUR PA’AM, PRi shO DA RA LA SOGS PA YIN PA’I PHYIR MA’I MTHA’ CAN NYID DU BZHAG GO ,

 

On this point, the autocommentary says—

 

Remember the injunction that “If there is an elided m letter, don’t fail to show it”; meaning that we should leave the final m as it is when we have an instance of the accusative case: we shouldn’t fail to represent it physically, as we would with examples such as pirshodara.[208]

 

 

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[625]

ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON PAndI TA DZA YA A’A NAN+TA ‘DI LTAR ‘CHAD DE, RGYA GAR GYI SKAD LA PHA ROL LA P’A RA DANG, PHYIN PA LA AI T’A ZHES PA YOD LA, TSIG GNYIS SDUD PAR BYED PA’I DUS SU P’A RA LA RNAM DBYE GNYIS PA’I GCIG TSIG AAM BYIN, AI T’A’I RJES SU RNAM DBYE DANG PO’I TSIG SU BYIN TE, P’A RA [f. 51b] MRA {MA\} AI T’A PA RA MI T’A ZHES TSIG BSDU BAR BYAS NA, AAM DANG SU MI MNGON PAR ‘GRO BA YIN NA’ANG, ‘DIR TSIG PHYI MA YOD NA MI MNGON PAR MI BYA’O, ZHES PA’I SGRA’I RTZA BA’I TSIG GIS SU MI MNGON PAR BYED KYANG AAM MI MNGON PAR MA BYAS PA’O,,

 

The meaning of these lines is explained by Pandit Jayananda as follows:

 

In Sanskrit, the word for “other side” is para; whereas the word for “gone” is ita.  When the two words are combined, we add a final m to the end of the para, to represent the singular form of the second grammar case [the accusative].  After the ita we would add a –su ending for the first grammar case [the nominative].  Thus we have param and ita, which combine into paramita.  And although an m and su could have not been shown, we are told here “don’t fail to show it” when a final m could have been elided.  This is an instruction from the root texts on the study of Sanskrit, saying that—although we may drop the su physically—we should not do so with the m.

 

 

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[626]

MTSAN NYID ‘DIS LAS KYI RNAM PAR DBYE BA ZHES PA NI, RNAM DBYE GNYIS PA’I GCIG TSIG AAM MO, ,DE MI MNGON PAR MA BYAS PAS P’A RA MI T’A ZHES PA’I SGRA’I RANG BZHIN DU GYUR PA’O,,

 

The part about an “injunction” concerning the “accusative case” is a reference to the singular form of the second grammar case, where the ending is m.  When you don’t fail to represent it, you come out with paramita, simply by the way that Sanskrit is structured.

 

 

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[627]

PRi shO DA RA LA SOGS PA’I NANG NA P’A RA MRA {%MA\} ZHES PA’I TSIG MA’I MTHA’ CAN TE, P’A RA MRA {%MA\} ZHES BRJOD PA YIN PAS MI MNGON PAR MI BYA’O ZHES BSHAD DE, AA MRA {%MA\} GYI AA PHYIS MRA {%MA\} BZHAG PA LA AI BYIN PAS MI T’AR SONG ZHES PA’O, ,

 

And so the param here, with m at the end, needs to be pronounced as param, and we “should not fail to show” the m, as is done within words such as pirshodara.  Technically, the ending here is –am, and we drop the a and leave the –m, adding the following i straight on so we come out with mita.  And so this is what’s being said in this section. [209]

 

 

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[628]

DANG PO’I TSIG SU NI MA DAG PA ‘DRA BAS SI YIN NAM DPYAD DO,,

 

It seems as though the syllable su mentioned in the first part here might be a misspelling; I think perhaps it is supposed to be si—this is something that should be examined further.[210]

 

 

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[629]

BOD KHA CIG PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA’I RGYA SKAD LA P’A RAm AI T’A ZHES PA YOD PA’I RA’I KLAD KOR GRAL DU BZHAG PAS P’A RAM AI T’AR ‘GYUR BA LA, MTSAMS SBYAR BA’I TSE AI YIG GI GI GU MA LA BYIN, AA PHYIS PAS MI T’AR SONG ZER BA SOGS KYI MUN SPRUL GYI BSHAD PA MANG DU SNANG NA YANG, PAndI TA’I BSHAD PA SNGAR BKOD PA NYID LEGS SO,,

 

It appears that here some Tibetan writers have indulged in quite a few different harebrained explanations such as saying—

 

In explaining the original Sanskrit for the word perfection, we take the little circle over the r in the word pāraitā [पारं  अिता] and set it down in the row with the other letters, and so we come out with pāram itā [पारम अिता].  When we do the phonetic joining here, the i [ि]vowel sign of the i [अि] changes to ma; then the a of the ma is dropped, and we come out with the mita.

 

Nonetheless, it is only the explanation of the Pandit, as we have just presented it, which is well done.

 

 

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[630]

SBYIN PA SBYIN BYA ZHES PA’I RKANG PA GNYIS KYIS ‘KHOR GSUM MI DMIGS PAR RTOGS PA’I SHES RAB BZUNG NAS, DES ZIN PA’I SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN BYE BRAG TU BSHAD PA YIN TE, DES MA ZIN PA’I SBYIN PA LA SOGS PA RNAMS NI, SHES RAB KYIS ZIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN DANG ‘DRA BAS PHAR PHYIN ZHES BYA’O,,

 

The two lines [in the Tibetan] which speak about a “giving” and “anything which is given” are are identifying a state of wisdom which perceives that the three spheres of any particular act have no existence; and, more particularly, they are explaining the perfection of giving which is imbued with this wisdom.  Acts of giving and the rest which are not thus imbued are referred to as “perfections,” but only because they resemble perfections which are imbued with this wisdom.

 

 

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[631]

[f. 52a] DE YANG SHES RAB KYIS MA ZIN KYANG BYANG CHUB CHEN POR BSNGOS PAS ZIN PAS PHA ROL TU ‘GRO BAR NGES PA LA BZHAG PA’I PHYIR, SBYIN PA’I PHAR PHYIN GYI MING RNYED PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

And—even if it is not imbued with that wisdom—an act of giving can still deserve to be called “the perfection of giving” if it is imbued with a dedication of this act to achieving the Great Enlightenment; since then we can say, with certainty, that it will take one to the other side; [which is, again, the literal meaning of the Sanskrit word paramita].

 

 

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[632]

DES NA PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA’I DON LA PHA ROL ‘DIR PHYIN PA ZHES LAS LA SBYAR NA, SANGS RGYAS KYI SAR PHYIN PA YIN LA, ‘DIS PHA ROL TU PHYIN PAR BYED PA ZHES BYED PA LA SBYAR NA, SLOB LAM NA YANG PHAR PHYIN YOD DO,,

 

Thus if we render the expression “perfection” as meaning “arrived here at the other side”—as referring to the finished deed—then we would have to say that it connotes having reached the level of a Buddha.  If rather we render it as “that which gets you to the other side”—something like a “perfectionizer”—then we can say that a perfection can be present even when we are still on the paths of learning.

 

 

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[633]

SBYIN PA LA BSHAD PA DES TSUL KHRIMS LA SOGS PA LA YANG SEMS BSKYED DANG, BSNGO BA DANG, SHES RAB KYIS ZIN PA SO SO BA DANG GNYIS KA RIG PA BYA’O,,

 

You should understand that this clarification of the act of giving can be applied—both individually, and to the pair—when we are speaking of cases where leading an ethical way of life, and the rest, are said to be imbued by the Wish for enlightenment, dedication, and wisdom.

 

 

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[634]

[,
[GSUM PO DAG LA CHAGS SKYES GYUR PAS DE,

,’JIG RTEN PA YI PHA ROL PHYIN CES BSTAN,]

 

[When a person feels an attachment

To all the three of these,

This has been taught

As a “perfection of the world.”

                                     I.63-64 ]

 

 

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[635]

SBYIN PA’I ‘KHOR GSUM PO DAG LA CHAGS PA STE BDEN ZHEN SKYES PAR GYUR PAS BCINGS NA NI, SBYIN PA DE LA ‘JIG RTEN PA’I PHA ROL TU PHYIN PA ZHES MDO LAS BSTAN NO,,

 

When a person feels an attachment to all three of these spheres within the act of giving—that is, when they are chained by a feeling where they believe that these things exist in truth—this has been taught in the sutras as a “perfection of the world.”[211]

 

 

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[636]

DE LTAR BSHAD PA RNAMS LA DA LTA NAS NYAMS SU LEN TSUL NI, LUS GZHAN LA STER BA DANG, DGA’ BA SKYED TSUL KHYAD PAR CAN RNAMS NI MOS YUL DU BYAS NAS SBYONG LA, ZANG ZING GI SBYIN PA GZHAN RNAMS NI YAR MAR GYI ZHING LA BRTEN NAS, CHU YAN CHAD GTONG BA’I SGO NAS RGYUN LDAN DU SOG PA DANG, DE’I TSE ‘KHOR GSUM MI DMIGS PAR RTOGS PA’I SHES RAB KYIS ZIN PAR BYA’O,,

 

How do we put into practice, starting right now, all that we have explained here?  Things like giving away our own flesh to others, and having some extraordinary feeling of joy about it, are practices that we can practice as aspirations.  Things like giving material stuff away to others—to those who are both higher and lower objects of offering—are karmas that we can collect on a continual basis.  As we do, we should make sure these practices are imbued with the wisdom which realizes that none of the three spheres exist.

 

 

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[637]

DE YANG RANG GI LUS DANG LONGS SPYOD DANG DGE RTZA GSUM SEMS CAN GYI DON DU BSAM PAS YANG YANG GTONG BA DANG, MA BTANG YANG DE RNAMS ‘JIG PAS ‘DOR DGOS LA, GTONG TSOD ‘DRA BA LA SNGON DU RANG GI BSAM PAS GTONG BA [f. 52b] MCHOG YIN PA RNAMS BSAM STE,

 

If you think about it, we have to give up all these things, just the same: we can either give them away consciously—give away the three of our flesh, our things, and the good things we have done—for the sake of others; or we will have to give them up later anyway, even if we refuse to do so now, but in a state of terror.  Think then to yourself that the very best thing to do would be to give them away before that day, now, purposely.

 

 

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[638]

SPYOD ‘JUG LAS,

,LUS DANG DE BZHIN LONGS SPYOD DANG,

,DUS GSUM DGE BA THAMS CAD KYANG,

,SEMS CAN KUN GYI DON BSGRUB PHYIR,

,PHANGS PA MED PAR GTANG BAR BYA,

ZHES DANG,

 

As the Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life puts it,

 

Give up everything you have:

Your own flesh, the things you own,

And the good things you do

In the past, in the present, in the future—

All for the sake

Of every living being.[212]

 

 

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[639]

,THAMS CAD BTANG BAS MYA NGAN ‘DA’,

,BDAG BLO MYA NGAN ‘DAS PA SGRUB,

,THAMS CAD GTONG BAR CHABS CIG LA,

,SEMS CAN RNAMS LA BTANG BA MCHOG

,CES GSUNGS PA LTAR BYA’O,,

 

We reach nirvana

Giving up all we have;

Let me reach it then

Within my own mind:

It’s best, when I give it all up,

To do the giving

To every living being.

 

 

 

The moonstone

 

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[640]

[,
[DE LTAR RGYAL BA’I SRAS KYI YID LA RAB GNAS SHING,

,DAM PA’I RTEN LA ‘OD CHAGS MDZES PA RNYED GYUR PA’I,

,DGA’ BA ‘DI NI NOR BU CHU SHEL JI BZHIN DU,

,MUN PA STUG PO THAMS CAD RNAM PAR BSAL NAS RGYAL,]

 

[Thus does the happiness we have found

Rest, perfectly, within the mind

Of a child of the Victors;

Thus does its light, like a moonstone,

Lend great beauty to this ultimate setting;

Thus does it clear away and conquer

All the masses of darkness.

                                         I.65-68 ]

 

 

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[641]

GSUM PA NI, DA NI SNGAR JI SKAD BRJOD PA’I SA RAB DGA’ ZHES PA ZAG MED KYI SHES PA’I KHYAD PAR GYIS, SA DE’I YON TAN MDOR BSDUS TE BRJOD PA’I SGO NAS BSTAN PA NI,

 

This bring us to our third and final point from above; that is, we will give a concluding summary of the first level, named Perfect Happiness, by describing its high qualities, singling out the quality of immaculate knowledge.

 

 

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[642]

SA RAB TU DGA’ BA ‘DI NI NOR BU CHU SHEL ZLA BA’I DKYIL ‘KHOR BZHIN DU GNAS SO, ,’DI LA ZLA BA DANG CHOS MTHUN GSUM LAS, DANG PO GNAS MTHON POR GNAS PA NI, SNGAR BSHAD PA DE LTA BUR SA’I YON TAN THOB PA’I RGYAL BA’I SRAS SA DANG PO BA’I YID LA RAB TU GNAS PA’I PHYIR, LAM MTHON POR GNAS PAS ZLA BA NAM MKHA’I GNAS MTHON POR GNAS PA DANG ‘DRA’O,,

 

The bodhisattva level of Perfect Happiness is like the disc of the moon, which is made of moonstone.  The simile of the moon for this level extends to three characteristics—the first being that it rests in a high place.  This level rests, perfectly, within the mind of a child of the Victors—a bodhisattva—who has attained the high qualities of this level, as we have described above.  As such, it rests in a very high place; and so it is similar to the way in which moon rests in a high place in the sky.

 

 

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[643]

SA DANG PO NI BYANG SEMS DE’I YID KYI CHA SHAS SHIG YIN PAS DE LA GNAS ZHES BYA STE, DPER NA MGO LA MIG GNAS PA BZHIN NO,,

 

When we say that the first bodhisattva level “rests” in the mind of this bodhisattva, what we mean is that it is a part of their mind—in the same way that, for example, we say that the eye rests in the head.

 

 

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[644]

SA DANG PO’I DON DAM PA’I SEMS DE RANG GANG LA GNAS PA’I DAM PA STE MCHOG GI RTEN DE’I YID DE, YE SHES KYI ‘OD CHAGS PAS MDZES PA RNYED PAR GYUR PA’I PHYIR, ZLA BAS RANG GI RTEN GYI NAM MKHA’ ‘OD DKAR POS MDZES PAR BYED PA DANG ‘DRA’O,,

 

The ultimate state of mind of a person at the first bodhisattva level covers the “ultimate”—meaning the high setting of the person in whom this state rests—with the light of understanding, thus lending it great beauty.  It is thus again similar to the moon, which with its alabaster light lends great beauty to its setting: the sky.

 

 

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[645]

YANG SA DANG PO NI RANG GI MI MTHUN PHYOGS MTHONG SPANG RNAMS LAS RGYAL TE GNAS PA’I PHYIR, [f. 53a] ZLA BAS MUN PA STUG PO STE ‘THUG PO THAMS CAD RNAM PAR BSAL NAS GNAS PA DANG ‘DRA’O,,

 

We can also say that the first bodhisattva level rests in a state where we have conquered, or rid ourselves of, what works against it: the negativities which we eliminate at the path of seeing.  As such, it resembles the way in which the moon rests in a state where it has cleared away all the “masses” or thick clouds of darkness.

 

 

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[646]

[,
[DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA LAS, ,SEMS BSKYED PA DANG PO’O,,]

 

[This concludes the first wish for enlightenment, or chapter, of Entering the Middle Way.]

 

 

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[647]

DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA’I RGYA CHER BSHAD PA DGONGS PA RAB TU GSAL BA LAS, DON DAM PA’I SEMS BSKYED PA DANG PO’I RNAM PAR BSHAD PA’O,, ,,

 

This concludes our explanation of the first ultimate “wish for enlightenment,” or chapter, of An Illumination of the True Thought, an expanded explanation of Entering the Middle Way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

Immaculate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How, at this level, ones ethical life is completely pure

 

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[648]

GNYIS PAS {%PA SA} GNYIS PA DRI MA MED PA BSHAD PA LA LNGA, SA ‘DIR TSUL KHRIMS YONGS SU DAG PAR BSTAN PA DANG, TSUL KHRIMS KYI BSNGAGS PA BSTAN PA DANG, TSUL KHRIMS KYI MI MTHUN PHYOGS DANG MA ‘DRES PA’I DPE BSTAN PA DANG, TSUL KHRIMS KYI PHAR PHYIN GYI DBYE BA BSTAN PA DANG, SA’I YON TAN BRJOD PA’I SGO NAS MJUG BSDU BA’O,,

 

Here is our second division from above, which is an explanation of the second bodhisattva level: Immaculate.  This has five parts of its own: a presentation about how, at this level, ones ethical life is completely pure; a presentation of the praises of an ethical life; the presentation of a metaphor to describe how—at this level—ones ethical life is beyond any adulteration by the things that could work against it; a presentation of the divisions of the perfection of an ethical life; and a concluding summary of this level, accomplished by describing its high qualities.

 

 

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[649]

DANG PO LA BZHI, SA ‘DIR TSUL KHRIMS PHUN SUM TSOGS PAR BSTAN PA, DE LA BRTEN NAS YON TAN YONGS SU DAG PAR BSTAN PA, SA DANG PO LAS TSUL KHRIMS LHAG PAR BSTAN PA, TSUL KHRIMS YONGS SU DAG PA’I RGYU GZHAN BSTAN PA’O,,

 

The first of these five has four divisions of its own: a presentation about how, at this level, ones ethical life is truly excellent; a presentation of how, due to this ethical life, ones good qualities are totally pure; a presentation of how ones ethical life, at this point, exceeds that of the first level; and a presentation of additional causes that make our ethical life totally pure.

 

 

 

Our ethical life is excellent

 

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[650]

[,
[DE TSUL PHUN TSOGS YON TAN DAG LDAN PHYIR,

,RMI LAM DU YANG ‘CHAL KHRIMS DRI MA SPANGS,]

 

[Their ethical way of life

Possesses both an excellence

And high qualities;

As such, they have rid themselves

Of the stench of immorality,

Even in their dreams.

                                II.1-2 ]

 

 

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[651]

DANG PO NI, SA GNYIS PA LA GNAS PA DE NI, TSUL KHRIMS RAB TU GYUR PA’I PHUN SUM TSOGS PA DANG, YON TAN RNAMS DAG PA DANG LDAN PA’I PHYIR, SAD PAR MA ZAD RMI LAM DU YANG ‘CHAL BA’I TSUL KHRIMS KYI DRI MA SPANGS PA STE DES MA GOS PA’O,,

 

Here is the first.  The ethical way of life of a person who is staying at the second bodhisattva level possesses possesses both an excellence—a preeminence; and certain high qualities.  As such, they have rid themselves of (which is to say, they are unsullied by) the stench of immorality; not only while they are waking, but even in their dreams.

 

 

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[652]

‘DI NI RTZA LTUNG DANG RANG BZHIN GYI KHA NA MA THO BA TZAM GYI ‘CHAL KHRIMS MIN GYI, BCAS PA DANG ‘GAL BA THAMS CAD KYI ‘CHAL KHRIMS KYI DRI MA SPANGS PA’O,,

 

All this is meant to convey that they have rid themselves of the stench not only of immorality restricted to primary downfalls and bad deeds which are inherently  reprehensible; but also of the stench of immorality in the form of any deed which contradicts the teachings on actions which have been pronounced wrong.[213]

 

 

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[653]

DE LA ‘CHAL KHRIMS KUN NAS SLONG BA’I NYON MONGS DANG DU MA LEN BA {%PA} DANG, BCAS PA [f. 53b] DANG ‘GAL BA’I SDIG PA’I LAS MI ‘BYUNG BA’I PHYIR NA, BCAS ‘GAL GYI LTUNG BA BYUNG BA LA ‘GYOD PA’I ME ZHI BAS BSIL BA THOB PA’I PHYIR TSUL KHRIMS TE,

 

This practitioner no longer allows themselves the negative emotions which act as the motivation for immorality; and with this person, there no longer occurs the kind of harmful deeds that are in conflict with the instructions on actions which are prohibited.  As such, they have extinguished the fire of the regret that a person feels when they have fallen, by contradicting these instructions.  And thus they have achieved a kind of refreshing coolness; that is, an ethical way of life.

 

 

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[654]

DE’I SKAD DOD SH’I LA LA SH’I TA BSIL BA DANG, LA TI THOB PA LA ‘JUG PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

The mention here of “achieving a refreshing coolness” is a reference to the original Sanskrit term for an ethical way of life, which is shila.  This is composed of two parts: shita, which means “coolness”; and lati, which means “to achieve.”[214]

 

 

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[655]

YANG NA BDE BA’I RGYU NYID KYIS DAM PAS BSTEN BYA YIN PA’I PHYIR TSUL KHRIMS TE, ‘DI YANG NGES TSIG GI BSHAD PA’O,,

 

We can also say that an ethical way of life is referred to as shila in that—since it is the one and only cause of happiness—it is something that holy ones should rely upon.  This too is an explanation based on the etymology.[215]

 

 

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[656]

DE NI NGO BO’I DBANG DU BYAS NA LUS NGAG GI ‘CHAL TSUL BDUN SPONG BA’I SPONG BDUN GYI MTSAN NYID CAN YIN LA, MA CHAGS PA BRNAB SEMS MED PA DANG, GNOD SEMS KYI ZHE SDANG MED PA DANG, LOG LTA DANG BRAL BA’I YANG DAG PA’I LTA BA NI, SPONG BDUN KUN NAS SLONG BAR BYED PAS NA KUN NAS SLONG BYED DANG BCAS PA’I DBANG DU BYAS NA, NAG PO’I LAS LAM BCU SPONG BA’I DKAR PO’I LAS LAM GYI SPONG BA BCU’O,,

 

Treating an ethical way of life from the viewpoint of its essential nature, we can describe it as defined by “ridding oneself of the seven”—referring to ridding oneself of seven forms of immorality expressed in ones bodily and verbal actions.  But we may go further and speak of freedom from attachment, meaning freedom from covetousness; freedom from anger, or the wish to harm; and the achievement of correct view, free of mistaken views.  And so if we treat the seven in conjunction with the states of mind which motivate them, we can speak of the ethical way of life as “ridding oneself of the ten”—a way of life which consists of ten white karmic paths where we have rid ourselves of ten black karmic paths.

 

 

 

Our good qualities are totally pure

 

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[657]

[,
[LUS NGAG YID KYI RGYU BA DAG GYUR PAS,

,DAM PA’I LAS LAM BCU CHAR SOG PAR BYED,]

 

[Since the movements

Of their body and speech and mind

Are pure,

They accumulate all ten

Of the ultimate karmic paths.

                                            II.3-4 ]

 

 

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[658]

GNYIS PA NI, YANG BYANG SEMS DE TSUL KHRIMS JI LTAR PHUN SUM TSOGS PAS, YON TAN RNAMS DAG PAR ‘GYUR ZHE NA, LUS DANG NGAG DANG YID KYI RGYU BA STE KUN SPYOD GSUM, SAD PA DANG RMI LAM GYI SKABS KUN TU LTUNG BA PHRA MOS KYANG DAG PAR GYUR BAS, DAM PA STE MCHOG GI LAS LAM BCU CHAR MA TSANG BA MED PAR SOG PAR BYED DE,

 

Here is the second division from above: how, due to this ethical life, ones good qualities are totally pure.  One may ask, “How is it that the excellence of a bodhisattva’s ethical way of life makes their good qualities pure?”  The movements of their body, speech, and mind—all three forms of a person’s actions—are pure, in the sense that they are free of even the most subtle moral error, in every situation: whether they are awake or even asleep.  As such they accumulate all ten of the ultimate—or highest—karmic paths, missing none of them.

 

 

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[659]

DGE BA’I LAS LAM DANG PO SROG GCOD SPONG BA SOGS GSUM NI LUS KYIS DANG, BAR GYI BZHI NI NGAG GIS DANG, THA MA GSUM YID KYIS RDZOGS PAR BYED PA NI SOG PAR BYED PA’I DON NO,,

 

The meaning of the term “accumulate” here is that the three beginning with the first of the paths of virtue—giving up the taking of life—are completed through actions of ones body; the four in the middle are completed through actions of ones speech; and the final three are completed through actions of ones mind.

 

 

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[660]

DE YANG DGAG BCAS KYI MTSAMS LAS LDOG PAR MA [f. 54a] ZAD, TSUL KHRIMS LAS BRTZAMS PA’I SGRUB BCAS KYI PHYOGS KUN RDZOGS PAR BYED PA’O,,

 

The point here, by the way, is not only that a person leading an ethical way of life has been able to turn away from transgressing deeds pronounced to be things that we shouldn’t do; but they have been able as well to accomplish the opposite: deeds which, from a moral viewpoint, have been pronounced to be things that we should do.

 

 

Our life is even more ethical

 

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[661]

[,
[DGE BA’I LAM ‘DI LTA ZHIG BCU CHAR YANG,

,DE LA KLAGS TE SHIN TU DAG PAR ‘GYUR,

,STON KA’I ZLA LTAR RTAG TU RNAM DAG DE,

,ZHI ‘OD CHAGS PAR DE DAG GIS RNAM MDZES,]

 

[They possess these same

Ten paths of goodness

In a way which is even better,

Reaching extreme purity.

They are always pure,

Like the autumn moon,

Made lovely by both

Peacefulness and light.

                                            II.5-8 ]

 

 

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[662]

GSUM PA NI, YANG CI LAS KYI LAM ‘DI RNAMS SA DANG PO’I BYANG SEMS KYIS KYANG BCU CHAR TSANG BAR SOG PAR MI BYED DAM ZHE NA,

 

Which brings us to our third division—how ones ethical life, at this point, exceeds that of the first bodhisattva level.  “But doesn’t a bodhisattva at the first level,” one may ask, “also accumulate all ten of these karmic paths, missing none of them?”

 

 

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[663]

DES KYANG SOG MOD KYI ‘ON KYANG DGE BA’I LAS KYI LAM ‘DI LTA ZHIG BCU CHAR YANG, SA GNYIS PA BA DE LA KLAGS PA STE SHIN TU PHUL DU BYUNG BAR DAG PAR ‘GYUR BA DE LTAR SA DANG PO BA NI MA YIN NO,,

 

Admittedly they do accumulate all ten; but people at the second bodhisattva level possess these same ten paths of goodness in a way which is even better, reaching extreme, exceptional purity; whereas this is not the case with the ten possessed by the person at the first level.

 

 

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[664]

‘DI LA SA DANG POR SBYIN PA LHAG PAR GSUNGS PA NI YAR LDAN DU YOD PAS, SBYIN PA LAS GZHAN PA’I PHAR PHYIN LHAG MA DGU’I NANG NAS, TSUL KHRIMS LAS BRTZAMS PA’I NYAMS LEN PHUL DU BYUNG BA’I TSOD TZAM BZOD PA SOGS LA MED PA’I PHYIR, TSUL KHRIMS LHAG PAR GSUNGS KYI, PHAR PHYIN LHAG MA RNAMS MED PA NI MIN NO,,

 

Now when we say that the giving of a person at the first bodhisattva level is “higher,” what we mean is that they are working their way up; and so here—from among the nine perfections other than giving—one has reached an exceptional practice of the perfection of an ethical way of life; but has not yet reached this same degree in their practice of patience and the rest.  It is only in this context that we say their practice of an ethical way of life is “higher”; it is not to imply that they lack the remaining perfections.

 

 

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[665]

DGE BCU SMOS PA NI DE LAS BRTZAMS PA’I TSUL KHRIMS KYI BCAS PA’I MTSON BYED YIN PAS, TSUL KHRIMS KYI BCAS MTSAMS THAMS CAD GZUNG NGO,,

 

And when we mention here the ten good deeds, it is only as examples of moral guidelines; thus you are meant to understand that we are referring to each and every ethical injunction.

 

 

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[666]

DE ‘DRA BA’I TSUL KHRIMS DAG PA CAN DE NI, STON KA’I ZLA BA LA TSA GDUNG ZHI BAR BYED PA DANG, DKAR BA’I ‘OD KYIS LAM MER GNAS PA GNYIS YOD PA LTAR, RTAG TU TSUL KHRIMS RNAM PAR DAG PAR GNAS PA DE, DBANG PO’I SGO BSDAMS PA’I ZHI BA DANG, LAM MER GSAL BA’I LUS CAN GYI ‘OD CHAGS PAR DE DAG GIS RNAM PAR MDZES SO,,

 

A person who possesses an ethical way of life with this degree of purity is similar to the autumn moon, which displays two different qualities: the ability to put to rest[216] the torment of extreme heat;[217] and a radiance born of its ivory light.  Which is to say, a person who is always pure in their morality is made lovely both by their peacefulness—the fact that they are able to restrain the doors of their senses; and by their light—the radiance that seems to come from their body.

 

 

Additional causes of purity

 

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[667]

[,
[GAL TE DE NI KHRIMS DAG RANG BZHIN LTA,

,DE PHYIR DE NI TSUL KHRIMS DAG MI ‘GYUR,

,DE PHYIR DE NI RTAG TU GSUM CHAR LA’ANG,

,GNYIS BLO’I RGYU BA YANG DAG BRAL BAR ‘GYUR,]

 

[If they were to view

Following an ethical way of life purely

As something that existed by nature,

Then their ethics would no longer be pure.

Thus it is that they are always free

Of their mind running in duality

Towards any of the three.

                                II.9-12 ]

 

 

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[668]

BZHI PA NI, GANG GI PHYIR DGE SLONG KHA CIG SO THAR LAS BRTZAMS TE, TSUL KHRIMS CHES YONGS SU DAG PA YIN KYANG, GAL TE DE NI CHOS RNAMS LA RANG [f. 54b] BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAR LTA BA MI SPONG NA, DE’I PHYIR RGYU MTSAN DES DGE SLONG DE TSUL KHRIMS DAG PAR MI ‘GYUR TE,

 

Here finally is the fourth division from above: a presentation of additional causes that make our ethical life totally pure.  Now there are certain monks who, with regard to the way in which they observe the vows of individual freedom,[218] possess an ethical way of life which is incredibly pure.   And yet if a monk like this has failed to rid themselves of the viewpoint in which they think that objects exist through some nature of their own, then because of this—for this reason—that same monk’s observance of an ethical life is not pure.

 

 

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[669]

TSUL KHRIMS ‘CHAL BA TSUL KHRIMS DANG LDAN PA LTAR BCOS PA STE, DKON MCHOG BRTZEGS PA LAS, ‘OD SRUNGS ‘DI LA DGE SLONG KHA CIG TSUL KHRIMS DANG LDAN PA YIN TE, SO SOR THAR PA’I SDOM PAS BSDAMS SHING GNAS, CHO GA DANG SPYOD YUL PHUN SUM TSOGS PA,

 

That is, a person who has failed to live an ethical way of life is imitating someone who does live this way of life.  The Pile of Jewels explains this in a section beginning with:

 

O Kashyapa, there are some monks here who are following an ethical way of life; they keep their vows of individual freedom, and continue in this path.  Their observance of the proper rituals, and the things they engage in, are excellent.

 

 

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[670]

KHA NA MA THO BA PHRA RAB RNAMS LA’ANG ‘JIGS PAR LTA BA, YANG DAG PAR BLANGS TE BSLAB PA’I GZHI RNAMS LA SLOB CING LUS DANG NGAG DANG, YID KYI LAS YONGS SU DAG PA DANG LDAN PAR GYUR PAS, ‘TSO BA YONGS SU DAG KYANG

 

They fear committing even the slightest reprehensible deed, and they do what they should, and well—that is, they verse themselves in the foundations of the training, and possess purity in every action of their body, speech, and mind.  And so the way they make their living is completely pure.

 

 

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[671]

DA {%DE in original from Kangyur} BDAG TU SMRA BA YIN TE, ‘OD SRUNGS DE NI TSUL KHRIMS ‘CHAL BA TSUL KHRIMS DANG LDAN PA LTAR BCOS PA DANG PO’O ZHES BYA BA NAS,

 

Nonetheless, they assert that things are themselves; this then, O Kashyapa, is the first way in which a person who is failing to live an ethical way of life seems to be following one—and is only imitating those who do.

 

 

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[672]

‘OD SRUNGS GZHAN YANG ‘DI LA DGE SLONG KHA CIG SBYANGS PA’I YON TAN BCU GNYIS YANG DAG PAR BLANGS KYANG, DMIGS PAR LTA BA YIN TE NGAR ‘DZIN PA DANG NGA YIR ‘DZIN PA LA GNAS PA DE NI, ‘OD SRUNGS TSUL KHRIMS ‘CHAL BA TSUL KHRIMS DANG LDAN PA LTAR BCOS PA BZHI PA STE, ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

And it continues in this vein up to:

 

Moreover, O Kashyapa, a number of monks engage—very purely—in the twelve traditional practices of a monk.[219]  And yet still they are looking at things; which is to say, they are still living in a way where they grasp to some kind of “me,” and some kind of “mine.”  This then, O Kashyapa, is the fourth way in which a person who is failing to live an ethical way of life seems to be following one—and is only imitating those who do.[220]

 

 

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[673]

BDAG TU SMRA BA NI DMIGS PAR LTA BA’O, ,DE YANG NGA DANG NGA YIR ‘DZIN PA LA GNAS PAS BSTAN TE, DE’I DON NI THUN MONG BA’I ‘JIG LTA LA MI BYA’I, NGA DANG NGA YI BA RANG GI MTSAN NYID KYIS GRUB PAR ‘DZIN PA MI SPONG BA LA BYA’O,,

 

By the way, when the text here refers to a monk who “asserts that things are themselves,” it is actually referring to a monk who views things as being themselves.  This is as well what the words “they are still living in a way where they grasp to some kind of ‘me,’ and some kind of ‘mine’ are referring to: the point is that they have yet to rid themselves of the idea that they and theirs exist by definition.

 

 

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[674]

DE NI ZHES PA BSHAD MA THAG PA LA SNYOG TU MI RUNG BAS,

,GAL TE RANG BZHIN TSUL KHRIMS RNAM DAG PAR,

,MTHONG NA DES DE TSUL [f. 55a] KHRIMS ‘CHAL BA YIN,

ZHES NAG TSOS DES DE ZHES BSGYUR BA LEGS SO,,

 

It’s important not to muddy the part [in the root text] following “they were”; as such, the way that Naktso has done the translation—saying “in this way then, they”—is preferable:

 

If they were to see

An ethical way of life

Which exists by nature as pure,

In this way then they’d fail

In this way of life.[221]

 

 

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[675]

DMIGS PA CAN GYI LTA BA MI SPONG NA TSUL KHRIMS MI DAG PA DE’I PHYIR, SA GNYIS PA BA DE NI, RTAG TU SEMS CAN GANG LA TSUL ‘CHAL SPONG BA DANG, SPONG GNYEN GANG ZHIG BYED PA DANG, GANG GIS SPONG BA GSUM CHAR LA’ANG DNGOS PO DANG DNGOS MED LA SOGS PA’I GNYIS KYI CHOS LA RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAR LTA BA’I GNYIS SU ‘DZIN PA’I BLO’I RGYU BA YANG DAG PAR BRAL BAR TE SPONG BAR BYED PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

If then we fail to rid ourselves of a point of view which still holds that there is something to view, then our attempt to follow an ethical way of life is no longer pure.  Thus it is, a person at the second level is always “free of”—meaning, they have rid themselves of—their mind running in a way where it grasps to duality: where it looks upon dual divisions such as things which function and things which do not, and views them as existing by nature; and this applies to having this view towards any of the three of (1) the living beings towards whom one has rid themselves of failing to live an ethical way of life; (2) the spiritual antidote which one has employed to do so; and (3) the person who is ridding themselves of this failure.

 

 

 

An ethical life makes us pure

 

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[676]

GNYIS PA LA LNGA, SBYIN ‘BRAS BDE ‘GROR SPYOD PA TSUL KHRIMS LA RAG LAS PA, SBYIN ‘BRAS LA SKYE BA BRGYUD MAR SPYOD PA TSUL KHRIMS LA RAG LAS PA, TSUL KHRIMS DANG BRAL NA NGAN ‘GRO LAS THAR PA SHIN TU DKA’ BAR BSTAN PA, SBYIN PA’I GTAM GYI RJES SU TSUL KHRIMS KYI GTAM MDZAD PA’I RGYU MTSAN, MNGON MTHO DANG NGES LEGS GNYIS KA’I RGYUR TSUL KHRIMS BSNGAGS PA’O,,

 

This brings us to our second part from above: a presentation of how, due to this ethical life, ones good qualities are totally pure.  Here there are five topics: how it is that enjoying the fruits of our acts of giving in a higher rebirth depends upon our following an ethical way of life; how enjoying the fruits of these acts in a succession of lifetimes depends upon following this same way of life; a presentation about how difficult it is to find freedom from the lower realms, if we lack an ethical way of life; the reason why leading an ethical life is discussed after the discussion of giving; and singing the praises of an ethical life, as the cause that brings us higher states and definite good.

 

 

 

Enjoying the fruits of giving in the world beyond

 

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[677]

[,
[SBYIN PAS LONGS SPYOD DAG NI ‘GRO NGAN NA’ANG,

,SKYE BO TSUL KHRIMS RKANG PA NYAMS LA ‘BYUNG,]

 

[When people who have practiced giving

Enjoy their wealth in a lower realm,

It’s because the legs of an ethical life

Have failed them.

                                II.13-14 ]

 

 

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[678]

DANG PO NI, DE LTAR BYANG SEMS KYI TSUL KHRIMS PHUN SUM TSOGS PA DANG LDAN PAR BRJOD NAS, DE’I ‘OG TU SPYIR DE LAS GZHAN PA’I TSUL KHRIMS PHUN SUM TSOGS KYANG, SBYIN SOGS LAS YON TAN SHIN TU CHE BA DANG, YON TAN PHUN TSOGS THAMS CAD KYI RTEN DU GYUR PAR STON PA NI,

 

Here then is the first.  Now that we have described how this bodhisattva possesses a truly excellent ethical life, we move on to explain how—generally speaking—additional forms of this excellent ethical life bring us even more magnificent personal qualities, through being combined with giving and the rest; and how this way of life provides a foundation for each and every high personal quality.

 

 

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[679]

SBYIN PA PO TSUL KHRIMS DANG LDAN PAS SBYIN PA BTANG BA LAS, LHA MI’I NANG DU KHYAD PAR DU ‘PHAGS PA’I LONGS SPYOD PHUN SUM TSOGS PA DAG ‘BYUNG RGYU

 

When someone who is following an ethical way of life engages in the practice of giving, this acts as a cause for them to enjoy excellent wealth—a truly superior form of wealth—within a rebirth among pleasure beings or humans.

 

 

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[680]

DE NI, ‘GRO BA NGAN PA NGAN ‘GROR LHUNG BA’I NYI TSE BA’I [f. 55b] DMYAL BA DANG, BA LANG DANG RTA DANG GLANG PO CHE DANG SPRE’U DANG, KLU LA SOGS PA DANG YI DVAGS RDZU ‘PHRUL CHEN PO LA SOGS PAR SKYES PA LA, LONGS SPYOD PHUN SUM TSOGS PA SNA TSOGS PA ‘BYUNG BA NI, SKYE BO TSUL KHRIMS KYI RKANG PA NYAMS PA STE BRAL BA LAS ‘BYUNG NGO,,

 

But when this same practitioner must enjoy their excellent wealth within one of the lower rebirths—falling into the realms of misery; taking their birth for example within a hell on earth; or as a cow, or a horse, or an elephant; or as a water dragon or the like; or as a craving spirit possessed of miracle powers—then this is because “the legs of an ethical life have failed them”: meaning that they failed to follow this way of life.

 

 

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[681]

DE NI TSUL KHRIMS DANG BRAL NA DES SBYIN PA BTANG BA’I ‘BRAS BU LONGS SPYOD RNAMS, BDE ‘GRO’I RTEN LA MI SMIN PAR NGAN ‘GRO’I RTEN LA SMIN PAR ‘GYUR BAR BSTAN PAS,

 

What’s being taught at this point is that—if a person like this has failed to follow the ethical life—then none of the wealth that they are to experience as a result of their practice of giving will come back to them in the body and mind of a being living in the higher realms; rather, it will come to them as they live in the form of a being living in the lower realms.

 

 

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[682]

SBYIN ‘BRAS BDE ‘GRO’I RTEN LA SMIN PA CIG DGOS PAS DE ‘DOD NA, SNGAR BSHAD PA’I SBYIN PA GTONG BA POS TSUL KHRIMS BSRUNG BAR BYA’O,,

 

What we need is for the fruits of our giving to come back to us in the body and mind of a person in the higher realms; and if they want that to happen, then the person that we described above—the person engaged in the practice of giving—must honor their moral code.

 

 

Keeping it going

 

[,BSKYED BCAS DNGOS ‘DU YONGS SU ZAD PAS NA,

,PHYIN CHAD DE LA LONGS SPYOD ‘BYUNG MI ‘GYUR,]

 

[When you splurge the accumulated capital

From which you are earning your interest,

You will having nothing more

That can bring you wealth later on.

                                II.15-16 ]