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 +** [[Medicine Buddha Healing Center]]'​s [[Ayurveda Healing Arts Institute]] and [[Nalanda University]] of [[Ayurveda]] and [[Buddhism]] **
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 +Part of the List of [[Dharma Terms]] and [[course materials]] used as [[Fair Use]] [[Hyperlinked Shastra commentary]] for [[Non-Profit Educational Purposes for Distance Learning]] for the [[Buddhist Ayurveda]] Course ([[SUT411]] [[Grounds and Paths of Buddhism]] and [[SKT220]]) on [[Sanskrit Terms]] of [[Ayurveda]],​ [[Tibetan Medicine]] and [[Dharma]] and [[CLN301|Consultations]]
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 +----
 +
 +======= Grounds and Paths of Buddhism Commentary by Geshe Tashi Tsering of Chenrezig Institute 2 ======
 +
 +
 +For a formatted downloadable version, please see: 
 +
 +http://​www.ayurveda-california.com/​distance_learning/​index.php/​buddhist-masters-program/​salam/​grounds-and-paths-commentary-tashi-tsering-2
 +
 +----
 +
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  1
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 2003 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Tape No: 5 
 +Date of teaching: 11th
 + March 2003 
 + 
 +We talk about the thought to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings regularly. The 
 +supreme methods by which we can attain that state are the grounds and paths, so of course we are 
 +trying to develop these grounds and paths within our continuum. In order to do this, we need to become ​
 +familiar with them through developing understanding. Thus the motivation that we should generate is 
 +that we are studying the grounds and paths in order that we may generate them in our continuum so 
 +that we may, in turn, attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Geshela has also outlined ​
 +a process by which we can make such progress.  ​
 + 
 +Of course our ultimate aim, our goal, is to attain buddhahood and it’s important that we develop an 
 +understanding of the qualities of that ultimate goal. This understanding leads to faith, which in turn 
 +leads to aspiration, which in turn leads to joyous effort. And it is through joyous effort that we can 
 +develop these grounds and paths. ​
 + 
 +We should therefore regard the opportunity to study this material as being of a value beyond measure. ​
 +Geshela really thinks this way! We should think of this as an opportunity that is quite priceless. ​
 + 
 +For instance, if you suddenly came upon $10,000, or if you had the opportunity to do a couple of easy 
 +days’ work to get $10,000, you’d think things had really turned out well! You think it is really ​
 +excellent $10,000 because you’re expecting that it will lead to happiness. Essentially that’s it, isn’t it. 
 +The expectation that money leads to happiness makes you think you’ve come upon a great opportunity ​
 +but there’s actually no certainly about that $10,000 leading to happiness. There’s a great danger in fact, 
 +that it won’t. Any number of things can come into the picture, even loss of life, and then instead of the 
 +happiness you were hoping for, you encounter suffering as a result.  ​
 + 
 +However, assuming that you don’t have an improper or perverted motivation, studying this type of 
 +material is certain to lead to happiness as a result.  ​
 + 
 +So let us engage in our study with a sense of delight. Joyous effort is in fact delight. Let’s take this 
 +good opportunity that we have and develop a sense of delight in our good fortune. ​
 + 
 +Geshela has already covered this section dealing with the hearer’s path of accumulation and the 
 +hearer’s path of preparation quite completely. He also spoke a little about the hearer’s path of seeing ​
 +but it won’t hurt to return to some of this material.  ​
 + 
 +When moving from the supreme mundane dharma level of the hearer path of preparation to the hearer ​
 +path of seeing, the individual moves from equipoise to equipoise. The object upon which he/she is in 
 +one-pointed equipoise is selflessness of persons. ​
 + 
 +Regardless of the tenet school an individual subscribes to, all agree upon the fact that hearers take the 
 +selflessness of persons as their primary object of meditation ie that hearers emphasise selflessness of 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  2
 +persons in their meditation. The difference between the tenet schools is in the fact that those schools up 
 +to and including the middle way autonomist school, say that that selflessness of person is the person’s ​
 +lack of being self-sufficient and substantially existent. How the person is empty of being self-sufficient ​
 +and substantially existent has already been explained. ​
 + 
 +We will go over the definition of the hearer’s path of seeing again now. It is found on the second page 
 +(of the section on Positing Our System). It reads: ​
 + 
 +The definition of the hearer’s path of seeing is: 
 +a clear realisation of the truth of a hearer which arises after the completion of the path of preparation of 
 +a hearer which is its own cause and which is produced before the path of meditation of a hearer which is 
 +it’s own effect. ​
 + 
 +This phrase about arising after the completion of a hearer path of preparation which is its own cause is 
 +included so as to make the definition pervasive. Including it excludes the application of this definition ​
 +to more general things. ​
 + 
 +Without going to far into elaborate details required to exclude unwanted possibilities,​ we can say that, 
 +in general, the cause of the hearer’s path of seeing is the hearer’s path of preparation and the effect of 
 +the hearer’s path of seeing is the hearer’s path of meditation. The hearer’s path of seeing thus comes in 
 +between the hearer’s path of preparation and the hearer’s path of meditation.  ​
 + 
 +After the definition of the hearer’s path of seeing, the text gives a division of that. Geshela is aware that 
 +westerners generally don’t like this kind of topical outlines. But without these outlines a person would 
 +have no basis for engaging in analytical meditations on the paths. If you don’t rely on outlines then 
 +basically you have to have memorised the entire thing. So perhaps we should pay attention to the 
 +outlines mentioned here because they give us an understanding of the presentation and progression ​
 +with which we are dealing. They help us to gain an understanding of the overall structure. ​
 + 
 +When the hearer path of seeing is divided we have:  ​
 +exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of the hearer’s path of seeing,  ​
 +the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment of a hearer’s path of seeing and  ​
 +the hearer’s path of seeing that is neither of those. ​
 + 
 +The definition of the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a hearer’s path of seeing is: 
 +A clear realisation of a hearer’s truth which is a meditative equipoise focused one-pointedly on 
 +selflessness which is its object. ​
 + 
 +In order to be more precise, we can add something to this definition of the exalted wisdom of 
 +meditative equipoise of a hearer path of seeing. We would add the word ‘subtle’ so the definition ​
 +would then read. 
 +A clear realisation of a hearer’s truth which is a meditative equipoise focused one-pointedly on the 
 +subtle selflessness which is its object. ​
 + 
 +The reason it is a good idea to add this is that any established base is necessarily selfless. In Tibetan the 
 +term is very simple – da me - which can be translated as either selfless or selflessness. When translated ​
 +in English as selflessness,​ you lose the ambiguity which makes the addition of  ‘subtle’ perhaps more 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  3
 +important. The point, however, is that any established base is necessarily selfless and therefore to make 
 +this definition more precise we  can make it: 
 +A clear realisation of a hearer’s truth which is a meditative equipoise focused one-pointedly on the 
 +subtle selflessness which is its object. ​
 + 
 +This definition is acceptable even in light of the discussion we had last week, because emptiness and 
 +emptiness of duality can be considered subtle selflessnesses. By adding ‘subtle’ we are in fact donning ​
 +armour to protect ourselves against objections that may be raised against a definition which does not 
 +include it. 
 + 
 +The autonomists,​ mind only and sutra school proponents all hold that the person being empty of being 
 +self-sufficient and substantially existent is the subtle selflessness of persons. ​
 + 
 +The consequence presentation is quite different. According to them the subtle selflessness of persons ​
 +and the subtle selflessness of phenomena have the same object of negation and the distinction between ​
 +these two subtle selflessnesses is posited in terms of the subject which forms the basis for that 
 +emptiness. This will be dealt with in greater length later. ​
 + 
 +When the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise is divided there are three: ​
 +the uninterrupted path of a Hearer path of seeing,  ​
 +the path of release of a Hearer path of seeing and  ​
 +the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a Hearer path of seeing which is neither of these. ​
 + 
 +Now we go on to the definition of the uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing which is: 
 +a clear realisation of the truth of a Hearer which is in meditative equipoise one-pointedly on the 
 +selflessness of persons and which serves as the actual antidote for the acquired afflictive obstructions ​
 +which are the objects of abandonment which correspond to it. 
 + 
 +There are different parts to this definition. The first part which reads: “a clear realisation of the truth of 
 +a Hearer which is in meditative equipoise one-pointedly on the selflessness of persons” is quite clear 
 +but we need to think well about the second part which reads: “which serves as the actual antidote for 
 +the acquired afflictive obstructions which are the objects of abandonment which correspond to it” 
 + 
 +On a number of occasions, Geshela has indeed discussed this distinction between the uninterrupted ​
 +path and the path of release, but we have not gone into it in any great detail. If something is the 
 +uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing, it necessarily serves as the actual antidote for the 
 +acquired afflictive obscurations which are the objects of abandonment which correspond to it. It does 
 +not necessarily serve as the actual antidote to the acquired afflictive obscurations which are the objects ​
 +of abandonment. ​
 + 
 +Let’s look at this phrase ‘to serve as the actual antidote’,​ and what it means. What we are dealing with 
 +is an agent that causes harm and the object that is harmed. In this context, the object that is harmed is 
 +‘the acquired afflictive obscurations which are the objects of abandonment that correspond to it’. The 
 +agent that does that harm is the actual antidote. Here that is the uninterrupted path of a hearer path of 
 +seeing. ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  4
 +Thus the antidote is the agent that harms and the objects of abandonment are the objects which are 
 +harmed. It is similar to heat and cold or illumination and darkness. In each of these pairs there is 
 +something that causes harm and something which is harmed. ​
 + 
 +Then consider the phrase, ‘the acquired afflictive obscurations that are the objects of abandonment that 
 +correspond to it’. What is an illustration of this type of acquired afflictive obscurations that correspond ​
 +to it? The acquired misapprehension of self of persons.  ​
 + 
 +Once again, if something is an uninterrupted path of a hearer path of seeing, it necessarily serves as the 
 +direct antidote to the acquired afflictive obscurations which are the objects of abandonment that 
 +correspond to it, but does not necessary serve as the actual antidote to the acquired afflictive ​
 +obscurations. ​
 + 
 +There’s quite a nice illustration we can use, but it does create problems, quite a lot of problems in fact. 
 + 
 +This illustration is given as follows: the acquired misapprehension of true existence which is the effect ​
 +of the uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing…. ​
 + 
 +Are there such effects of the interrupted path of the hearer path of seeing? There are, aren’t there. ​
 +What is an example? ​
 + 
 +[Students make suggestions but without success…] ​
 + 
 +Is there an eye consciousness that is the effect of a vase? Does the eye consciousness that is the effect ​
 +of vase exist? ​
 + 
 +Student: yes 
 + 
 +Give an example. ​
 + 
 +Student: The eye consciousness that is the effect of seeing a glass vase. 
 + 
 +You could just say ‘ the eye consciousness focused on vase? 
 + 
 +What is the focal condition for the eye consciousness focused on vase, which is an effect of vase?  ​
 +In dependence on what focal condition does an eye consciousness apprehending vase arise? ​
 + 
 +Student: Vase 
 + 
 +That’s correct, the vase is the focal condition for the eye consciousness apprehending vase and the 
 +immediately preceding condition is the previous moment of eye consciousness. Those of you who have 
 +studied lorig, (awareness and knowledge) should know these things. ​
 + 
 +There is an acquired misapprehension of true existence that is the effect of the uninterrupted path of a 
 +hearer path of seeing because the uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing can act as the focal 
 +condition for such an acquired misapprehension of true existence.  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  5
 +This is to say that there is a misapprehension of true existence which holds the uninterrupted path of 
 +the hearer path of seeing to be truly existent and this is true because if something is an established base 
 +it is necessarily misapprehended to be truly existent by the misapprehension of true existence. ​
 + 
 +And the reason we can use this argument is because there exists a misapprehension of self of persons in 
 +which the focal object is the uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing. ​
 + 
 +How is there a misapprehension of self of persons which, in focusing upon the uninterrupted path of 
 +the hearer path of seeing, holds the person to be established? ​
 + 
 +This is difficult for you because you are all thinking from a consequence perspective. When we say 
 +‘grasping at the self of persons’ you are all thinking that the consciousness is focussed on a person. ​
 +This thinking is predicated on the consequence position. ​
 + 
 +You think that the grasping at the self of persons occurs only when focussing on the person and holding ​
 +it to be substantially existent and self-sufficient.  ​
 + 
 +This point has not been dealt with extensively. When we speak about selflessness of persons we tend to 
 +refer to how the person is empty of being substantially existent and self-sufficient,​ but according to the 
 +autonomist position, there is a selflessness of persons that can be realised in relation to all phenomena ​
 +including a pillar, a table, or a cup. 
 + 
 +It’s easier for us to comprehend how there is a selflessness of persons to be realised in relation to 
 +person. We say: 
 + 
 +‘take the person as the subject, a person is not established as substantially existent and self-sufficient”.  ​
 + 
 +What’s more difficult to understand is that we can recognise selflessness of persons in relation to an 
 +object such as table. A table is not something partaken of by a substantially existent, self-sufficient ​
 +person is it?  ​
 + 
 +Take the subject the table, it is not an object partaken of, or experienced by, or used by, a substantially ​
 +existent, self sufficient person. ​
 + 
 +We can also say that a table is not the object of use of a self-sufficient substantially existent person.  ​
 +  ​
 +Then, take the uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing. It is an object used by a person, because ​
 +a person meditates upon it and in dependence upon it. is released. It is not however, an object used by a 
 +substantially existent self-sufficient person is it.  ​
 + 
 +So do you now understand clearly how to explain this term ‘non-established person’ in relation to the 
 +uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing? ​
 + 
 +When you take as the subject some phenomena other than persons eg table, how do you relate that to a  ​
 +person not being an established self. What is the subject for that selflessness? ​
 + 
 +Essentially one is focusing on an object like table and this object can be held mistakenly to be an object ​
 +used by a substantially existent self-sufficient person. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  6
 + 
 +This cup is a cup from which Geshela drinks water, but it is not a cup from which a self-sufficient, ​
 +substantially existent Geshe drinks water is it. If in focusing upon the cup you were to misapprehend ​
 +that a self sufficient substantially existent Geshe drinks water from it, that would be a misapprehension ​
 +of the self of persons. ​
 + 
 +In that example the focal condition for the misapprehension of the self of persons is the cup. 
 + 
 +Now if you were to focus upon the uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing, and apprehend it to 
 +be an object of use by a substantially existent self-sufficient person, that would also be grasping at the 
 +established self of person. ​
 + 
 +The type of person are you holding to be an established self is the person that is on the uninterrupted ​
 +path of the hearer’s path of seeing. The focal object in this case is the uninterrupted path of the hearer’s ​
 +path of seeing and it acts as the focal condition for this type of acquired misapprehension of self.  ​
 + 
 +The uninterrupted path of a hearer’s path of seeing does not serve as the antidote for the acquired ​
 +misapprehension of true existence that has as its focus the uninterrupted ​ path of the hearer’s path of 
 +seeing as the object of use by a self-sufficient substantially existent person. ​
 + 
 +If you take a person who misapprehends the uninterrupted ​ path of the hearer’s path of seeing to be the 
 +object of use by this type of established self, that hearer’s path of seeing is not the actual antidote to 
 +that misapprehension of self. It follows that it is not because they are cause and effect; they are the 
 +agent which benefits and the recipient of that benefit.  ​
 + 
 +If two things are cause and effect then they are necessarily an agent of benefit and a recipient of 
 +benefit. ​
 +If something is a direct antidote it is necessarily an agent of damage that causes damage or harm to an 
 +object of that damage or harm – the recipient of harm. That is clear. ​
 + 
 +The reason for including this phrase ‘which are the objects of abandonment which correspond to it’, is 
 +in order to exclude that uninterrupted path of a hearer path of seeing which is the cause of acquired ​
 +afflictive obscurations. That is enough for now – you will go home and study and think about all of 
 +this. 
 + 
 +The uninterrupted ​ path of a hearer’s path of seeing has eight forbearances. Geshela will talk more 
 +about these later, they’re not difficult. ​
 + 
 +The definition of a path of release of a hearer path of seeing is:  ​
 +A clear realisation of the truth of a hearer in meditative equipoise one-pointedly on the selflessness of 
 +person which is actually released from the acquired afflictive obscurations which are the objects to be 
 +abandoned corresponding to the uninterrupted path which induces it. 
 +Do you understand the relationship between the uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing and the 
 +path of release of the hearer path of seeing, how one progresses to the other? ​
 + 
 +The uninterrupted ​ path of a hearer path of seeing and the path of release of a hearer path of seeing are 
 +generated in a single equipoise. The uninterrupted path of a hearer path of seeing acts as the direct ​
 +antidote to the corresponding level of the acquired afflictive obscurations and the path of release of a 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  7
 +hearer path of seeing is actually released from that (corresponding level of the acquired afflictive ​
 +obscurations).  ​
 + 
 +In order to be actually released from something you need to apply the antidote to that, don’t you? If it’s ​
 +extremely cold in the temple, in order to be released from the cold, you need to apply the antidote to it; 
 +you need to raise the temperature,​ put a heater on. If you do this, after some time the entire temple ​
 +would become warm. There would be no cold left. 
 + 
 +It is similar when you attain the uninterrupted path of a hearer path of seeing that serves as the actual ​
 +antidote to the corresponding acquired misapprehensions of self but unlike this uninterrupted path, 
 +when we get rid of the cold from the temple, it is still possible for it to return if you no longer have a  ​
 +heater on.  ​
 + 
 +On the uninterrupted path, you eventually develop the capacity by which the corresponding acquired ​
 +misapprehensions of self are no longer able to arise again. At this point you attain the path of release of 
 +a hearer’s path of seeing. This capacity has developed through the application of the actual antidote to 
 +the corresponding acquired misapprehension of self together with its seeds.  ​
 + 
 +At that point at which you attain the path of release, together with that you attain what is known as true 
 +cessation. Unlike the consequence school, the autonomist school does not say that the true cessation is 
 +an emptiness of inherent existence. For them a true cessation is a state of freedom of having been freed 
 +from the corresponding level of obscurations.  ​
 + 
 +In attaining the uninterrupted path of a hearer path of seeing you attain true path. In attaining the path 
 +of release of a hearer path of seeing you attain true cessation. ​
 + 
 +The ultimate Dharma Jewel is posited as true paths and true cessations. What is it that the true path that 
 +is the uninterrupted path of a hearer’s path of seeing actually afford one refuge from? The 
 +corresponding acquired afflictive obscurations. ​
 + 
 +Because the uninterrupted path serves as the actual antidote to the corresponding acquired ​
 +misapprehension of self together with its seeds and abandons them,  it is impossible for the effect of 
 +that to ever arise again.  ​
 + 
 +Therefore the actual refuge from suffering begins with the uninterrupted path.  ​
 + 
 +Do you now understand true paths and true cessations – the Dharma jewel which is the actual refuge? ​
 +It’s perhaps strange to go for refuge to the Three Jewels without having done any study and gained ​
 +some understanding. ​
 + 
 +The three divisions of the hearer path of seeing are: the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a 
 +hearer path of seeing, the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment of the hearer path of seeing and the 
 +hearer path of seeing which is neither of those. ​
 + 
 +There is also the division of the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a hearer path of seeing: the 
 +uninterrupted path, the path of release and that which is neither of those two. It’s possible for the hearer ​
 +on the hearer path of seeing to have realised that form and the valid cogniser apprehending form are 
 +empty of being different substances, in other words to have realised the emptiness of duality. It’s also 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  8
 +possible for that hearer on the hearer path of seeing to have realised emptiness. From time to time that 
 +individual might engage in a one-pointed meditative equipoise upon emptiness or upon the emptiness ​
 +of duality. Either meditative equipoise would be  an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a hearer ​
 +path of seeing but would be neither the uninterrupted path nor the path of release of the hearer path of 
 +seeing.  ​
 + 
 +If we return to the first division, the hearer’s path of seeing can be divided into the exalted wisdom of 
 +meditative equipoise, the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment and that which is neither of those.  ​
 + 
 +Let’s focus on the second, which is the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment of the hearer’s path of 
 +seeing.  ​
 + 
 +The definition of an exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment of a hearer path of seeing is: 
 +A clear realisation of the truth of a hearer who has arisen from the path of release of the path of seeing ​
 +of a hearer and which is manifest in the continuum of a person who possesses that in her continuum.  ​
 + 
 +The first part of the definition, ‘a clear realisation of the truth of a hearer who has arisen from the 
 +uninterrupted path of seeing of a hearer’, is quite clear. ​
 + 
 +The second part of the definition refers to with the fact that this realisation must have arisen to become ​
 +manifest. There are other consciousnesses which might be latent in this person’s continuum. An exalted ​
 +wisdom of subsequent attainment is not a latent consciousness but a manifest one.  ​
 + 
 +The next line contains the phrase ‘ two roots’. The roots refer to the exalted wisdom of meditative ​
 +equipoise and the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment.  ​
 + 
 +The third possibility of the hearer’s path of seeing which is neither of those refers to eg the four 
 +immeasurables in the continuum of a person on the uninterrupted path of the hearer path of seeing, or 
 +the four immeasurables in the continuum of someone on the hearer’s path of release of the hearer’s ​
 +path of seeing, or alternatively an awareness which seeks liberation on the continuum of a person on 
 +the uninterrupted path of seeing or the awareness which seeks liberation in the continuum of a person ​
 +on the path of release of the hearer path of seeing.  ​
 + 
 +On the uninterrupted path and the path of release of the hearer path of seeing, the individual is in one-pointed meditative equipoise on selflessness of persons and nothing else. Therefore the only manifest ​
 +awareness is the exalted wisdom realising selflessness of persons. ​
 + 
 +Yet the four immeasurables are in that person’s continuum. Similarly, there is also the intention ​
 +definitely to emerge in that person’s continuum. If the intention to definitely emerge is not in their 
 +continuum, then their awarenesses,​ these valid states of mind, do not qualify as paths. ​
 + 
 +The intention to definitely emerge is however not manifest in that person’s continuum and since it is 
 +not manifest it is neither the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise nor the exalted wisdom of 
 +subsequent attainment. ​
 + 
 +Student: Is the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment necessarily a manifest realisation of the 
 +selflessness of persons? ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  9
 +No. It is not necessarily that. There are many types of awarenesses which can be manifest in the 
 +continuum of a person who has arisen from the path of release of the hearer path of seeing eg the 
 +intention to definitely emerge, or various other types of manifest realisations and so forth.  ​
 + 
 +For this third type of a hearer path of seeing which is neither an exalted wisdom of meditative ​
 +equipoise nor an exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment we first posit non-manifest awarenesses that 
 +exist in the continuum of a person who is on the uninterrupted path or the path of release of the hearer’s ​
 +path of seeing, and we posit eg the intention to definitely emerge or the four immeasurables etc  ​
 + 
 +We can also posit non-manifest awarenesses in relation to the exalted wisdom of subsequent ​
 +attainment. It’s possible for a person with the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment manifest to also 
 +have in their continuums an unmanifest exalted knower which perceptually realises emptiness or an 
 +unmanifest exalted knower which perceptually realises emptiness of duality. It is possible for these 
 +realisations to exist in the continuum of a being in the state of subsequent attainment yet not be 
 +manifest.  ​
 + 
 +In brief, any non-manifest or latent path in the continuum of a being in the state of subsequent ​
 +attainment or the state of meditative equipoise is a path of seeing that is neither an exalted wisdom of 
 +meditative equipoise or an exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment. ​
 + 
 +These paths cannot be an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise or an exalted wisdom of subsequent ​
 +attainment because they are not manifest. ​
 + 
 +The most important thing to focus on from today’s class is the way to posit a realisation of the subtle ​
 +selflessness of person in relation to all phenomena, according to those  systems that hold that the 
 +person’s being empty of substantial existence or self sufficiency is subtle selflessness of persons. ​
 + 
 +A question was asked earlier about the two Tibetan terms ye she and ken pa Now  the term ye she. We 
 +are translating this as exalted wisdom and ken pa is being translated as exalted knower.  ​
 +During Jampa Ignyen’s time here it became apparent that many western translators were translating the 
 +term, ye she, as wisdom. The same term wisdom was also used to translate the Tibetan term shes rab. 
 +Geshela pointed out that this is problematic because if something is ye she it is not necessarily shes rab 
 +ie if something is an exalted wisdom it is not necessarily wisdom. Geshela also pointed out that ye she 
 +or exalted wisdom should be understood as being a path. If something is an exalted wisdom it is 
 +necessarily a path. 
 + 
 +If the term wisdom is necessarily shes rab then it is best not to use the same term wisdom in translating ​
 +ye she, because shes rab is necessarily a mental factor. ​
 +Geshela uses a scriptural citation to defend his position in relation to the definition for ‘all-knowingness’. The term nam ken means ‘all-knowingness,​ which is very close to omniscience. The 
 +definition of nam ken, all knowing, is ‘the consummate exalted wisdom that knows all phenomena’. ​
 +This ‘all knowing’ can refer to the mind of a buddha and is not limited to the mental factors of a 
 +buddha. Because this term which is defined by using the term ye she can refer to mind and not just 
 +mental factors shows that it must be differentiated from shes rab. Ye she can be used in a broader way 
 +than the shes rab can and if we use the term ‘wisdom’ to mean shes rab then wisdom is not an 
 +appropriate word to translate ye she.  ​
 + 
 +Exalted wisdom (ye she) and exalted knower (ken pa) are mutually inclusive. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  10
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa (Bob Miller) ​
 +Tape 2 
 +12 March 2003 
 + 
 +When the hearer’s path of seeing is divided, there are: 
 +the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a hearer’s path of seeing ​
 +the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment of a hearer’s path of seeing and  ​
 +the hearer’s path of seeing which is neither of those. ​
 + 
 +And the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a hearer’s path of seeing could be: 
 +   an uninterrupted path  ​
 +a path of release or  ​
 +an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise that is neither of those. ​
 + 
 +The uninterrupted path is understood to be the actual antidote to a corresponding level of disturbing ​
 +emotions. The path of release occurs simultaneously with a true cessation which is the state of having ​
 +been actually released from that corresponding level of disturbing emotions.  ​
 + 
 +So the path of release and true cessations come about at the same time. 
 + 
 +The first of the true paths is attained at the path of seeing and after that comes the first true cessation. ​
 +This is the ultimate dharma jewel. ​
 + 
 +Student: Are all acquired afflictive obscurations of the meditator abandoned on the path of seeing’s ​
 +uninterrupted path? 
 + 
 +Geshela: All acquired afflictive obscurations that correspond to that person, are abandoned. Not all 
 +acquired afflictive obscurations are abandoned, because there are those that exist in the continuums of 
 +other beings. ​
 + 
 +In addition to the uninterrupted path and the path of release of the hearer’s path of seeing, there is this 
 +third type of exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a Hearer’s path of seeing, that which is neither ​
 +(of the first two). What could we posit as an instance of that? Let’s say that the person in question has 
 +realised emptiness. In that case their meditative equipoise on emptiness would be and instance of this 
 +third type. If it were a person who had realised the emptiness of duality, then their meditative equipoise ​
 +on  emptiness of duality would be an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a Hearer’s path of 
 +seeing but would be neither the Hearer’s path of seeing uninterrupted path, nor the path of release of a 
 +Hearer’s path of seeing. ​
 + 
 +Thus for the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a Hearer’s path of seeing we have three:  ​
 +the uninterrupted path,  ​
 +the path of release and  ​
 +that exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise which is neither of those two. 
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  11
 +The exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment of a Hearer path of seeing is that which is manifest in the 
 +continuum of the being who is in the state of subsequent attainment of a Hearer’s path of seeing. ​
 +We have returned to the first division of the hearer’s path of seeing, into  ​
 +the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise  ​
 +the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment and 
 +that which is neither an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise nor a subsequent attainment? ​
 + 
 +As instances of the third we could posit the four immeasurables,​ the intention to definitely emerge, the 
 +mind which strives for liberation, in the continuum of a being who is on the uninterrupted path, or on 
 +the path of release of a Hearer’s path of seeing.  ​
 + 
 +Those instances can be posited as this third type because the person would be in meditative equipoise ​
 +on the main object of meditation, nothing but the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise would be 
 +manifest for the person, and therefore these other awarenesses would be unmanifest at that time. 
 +  ​
 +In other words you could posit any non-manifest Hearer paths in the continuum of a being on the 
 +Hearer path of seeing as this third one in the classification of three. It is important to say ‘the non-manifest hearer paths’ because not all non-manifest consciousnesses in the continuum of a hearer on 
 +the path of seeing would be considered paths. For instance the misapprehension of true existence which 
 +might occur in an unmanifest state in the continuum of a being on the hearer path of seeing would not 
 +be a path of any kind. 
 + 
 +Probably the easiest way to speak about that third type of Hearer’s path of seeing which is neither an 
 +exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise nor an exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment is to say the 
 +non-manifest Hearer paths in the continuum of a being on the Hearer path of seeing. ​
 + 
 +What do you understand from that? Well you understand that exalted wisdoms of meditative equipoise ​
 +and exalted wisdoms of subsequent attainment of a Hearer path of seeing must necessarily be manifest ​
 +awarenesses. ​
 + 
 +Now the definition of the uninterrupted path of a Hearer’s path of seeing is given on page three, it 
 +reads…  ​
 +A clear realisation of the truth of a Hearer which is in meditative equipoise one-pointedly on the 
 +selflessness of persons and which serves as an actual antidote for the acquired afflictive obscurations ​
 +which are the objects of abandonment that correspond to it. 
 + 
 +Now, there are eight forbearances in relation to that. 
 + 
 +Now the definition of the path of release of a Hearer’s path of seeing is given below as: 
 +a clear realisation of the truth of a Hearer in meditative equipoise one-pointedly on the selflessness of 
 +persons and which is actually released from the acquired afflictive obscurations which are the objects to 
 +be abandoned corresponding to the uninterrupted path which induces it 
 + 
 +And in relation to that there are 8 knowledges. ​
 + 
 +The definition for the path of meditation is given on the next page where it reads…  ​
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 +  12
 +a subsequent clear realisation which arises following the completion of a path of seeing of a Hearer, ​
 +which is its cause and which is produced before the path of no more learning of a Hearer which is its 
 +effect. ​
 + 
 +Hearer trainees mainly meditate on the 16 aspects of the four truths and the reason for this is that most 
 +disturbing emotions arise due to the erroneous engagement or apprehension of the different aspects of 
 +the four noble truths.  ​
 + 
 +This erroneous engagement may be explicit or direct but it may also be indirect erroneous engagement ​
 +of the four truths or some aspect of them. 
 + 
 +The various disturbing emotions can be subsumed under a category of ten. These ten are known as the 
 +five views and the five that are not views.  ​
 + 
 +In the root text of the Abhidharma, the Abhidharmakosa,​ they speak about five, plus view. That refers ​
 +to desirous attachment, anger, pride, ignorance, afflicted doubt, and view. This sixth one, view, can be 
 +in turn divided into five, and thus we have five related to view, and five that are not views. ​
 + 
 +The five related to view are:  ​
 +the view of the transitory aggregates,  ​
 +the view that grasps at extremes,  ​
 +wrong views,  ​
 +holding views to be supreme,  ​
 +holding ethics and conduct (discipline) to be supreme. ​
 + 
 +These ten are enumerated in the section of this text related to the Mahayana but they aren’t actually ​
 +given in the section related to the Hinayana.  ​
 + 
 +Remember, we are speaking about that which is abandoned on the path of seeing. We can identify that 
 +which is abandoned on the path of seeing in relation to suffering, in relation to origins, in relation to 
 +cessations, and in relation to paths. There are  ​
 +the erroneous engagements related to the truth of suffering abandoned on the path of seeing, the 
 +erroneous engagements related to true origins abandoned on the path of seeing,  ​
 +those erroneous engagements related to true cessations abandoned on the path of seeing and the 
 +erroneous engagements related to true paths abandoned on the path of seeing. ​
 + 
 +Note that the order of the four truths presented here is in order of effect and then cause – thus you have 
 +true sufferings first and the true cause and true cessations followed by true paths (although it cannot be 
 +strictly said that true cessations can be posited as the effect or result of true paths)  ​
 + 
 +We can divide it further, speaking about:  ​
 +that which is abandoned on the path of seeing in relation to suffering that is included within the grounds of 
 +the desire realm,  ​
 +that which is abandoned on the path of seeing in relation to suffering that is included within the grounds of 
 +the form realm, and  ​
 +that which is abandoned on the path of seeing in relation to suffering that is included within the grounds of 
 +the formless realm..  ​
 + 
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 +  13
 +The order in which these are abandoned is as follows;  ​
 +First you abandon the abandonments of the path of seeing in relation to suffering that is included ​
 +within the grounds of the desire realm. Then you abandon the abandonments of the path of seeing in 
 +relation to suffering that are included within the grounds of the form and formless realms (the higher ​
 +realms) at the same time. 
 + 
 +There is thus an uninterrupted path which acts as the direct antidote to the path of seeing’s ​
 +abandonments in relation to suffering that are included within the grounds of the desire realm, and 
 +corresponding to that path is a subsequent forbearance (patience) of suffering. ​
 + 
 +In relation to the path of release that corresponds to that uninterrupted path, there is a corresponding ​
 +subsequent knowledge of suffering. ​
 + 
 +Thus pairing occurs; the first pairing is the subsequent forbearance related to the uninterrupted path and 
 +then the subsequent knowledge related to the corresponding path of release. ​
 + 
 +To enumerate the 8 forbearances: ​
 + 
 +1.  The subsequent forbearance of suffering included within the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 +2.  The  subsequent forbearance of origins included within the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 +3.  The  subsequent forbearance of cessation included within the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 +4.  The subsequent forbearance of paths included within the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 + 
 +These are the four forbearances which relate to the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 + 
 +The four forbearances related to the grounds of the higher realms are:  ​
 +1.  The doctrinal forbearance of suffering included within the grounds of the higher realms. ​
 +2.  The doctrinal forbearance of origins included within the grounds of the higher realms. ​
 +3.  The doctrinal forbearance of cessations included within the grounds of the higher realms. ​
 +4.  The doctrinal forbearance of paths included within the grounds of the higher realms. ​
 +These are the eight forbearances and there are eight uninterrupted paths which correspond to those.  ​
 + 
 +The eight knowledges: ​
 + 
 +1.  The subsequent knowledge of suffering included within the grounds of the desire realm.  ​
 +2.  The subsequent knowledge of origins included within the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 +3.  The subsequent knowledge of cessations included within the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 +4.  The subsequent knowledge of paths included within the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 + 
 +These are the four knowledges which relate to the grounds of the desire realm. ​
 + 
 +The four knowledges related to the grounds of the higher realms are: 
 +1.  The doctrinal knowledge of suffering included within the grounds of the higher realms.  ​
 +2.  The doctrinal knowledge of origins included within the grounds of the higher realms. ​
 +3.  The doctrinal knowledge of cessations included within the grounds of the higher realms. ​
 +4.  The doctrinal knowledge of paths included within the grounds of the higher realms. ​
 + 
 +[Note: the order of these was questioned and checked and later changed – see teaching no 10 page 1.] 
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 +  14
 + 
 +Here we have listed the eight forbearances together, and then eight knowledges together, correct? They 
 +are actually attained in a staggered fashion, for the forbearances are linked to uninterrupted paths, and 
 +the knowledges are linked to the paths of release. Thus in attaining a uninterrupted path and then a path 
 +of release, uninterrupted path, then path of release, likewise you are attaining a forbearance then a 
 +knowledge, a forbearance then a knowledge.  ​
 + 
 +The disturbing emotions such as anger, pride, attachment, and so forth, have many levels of subtlety, ​
 +eg you can speak about the anger, pride, and attachment that arise in dependence upon this 
 +misapprehension of self which holds the person to be self-sufficient and substantially existent. ​
 +Similarly, there is a level of those disturbing emotions that arises in dependence upon the 
 +misapprehension that holds form and the valid cognizer apprehending form to be different substances. ​
 +And there is also a level that arises in dependence upon the misapprehension that holds all phenomena ​
 +to be truly existent. Thus, you have a different level of the disturbing emotions arising in relation to the 
 +basic misapprehension which induces them.  ​
 + 
 +In the case of desirous attachment, for instance, there is level of desirous attachment that is abandoned ​
 +on the path of seeing, and level abandoned on the path of meditation. In relation to the instances of 
 +desirous attachment abandoned on the path of meditation, then there is also an internal division of 
 +them. Some are more coarse, others more subtle in accord with the level of subtlety of that 
 +misapprehension which induces them. This will come up in greater detail when we discuss the 
 +Mahayana paths.  ​
 + 
 +The hearer path of meditation is divided into: 
 +the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise  ​
 +the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment, and  ​
 +the path of meditation which is neither of these two. 
 + 
 +This is exactly the same as we had in the hearer path of seeing and just as we had before, when the 
 +exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a Hearer path of meditation is divided, there are:  ​
 +the uninterrupted path,  ​
 +the path of release, and  ​
 +the exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise that is neither of those.  ​
 + 
 +The definitions of the uninterrupted path and the path of release of a hearer’s path of seeing made 
 +mention of ‘the acquired afflictive obscurations that correspond to it’ and now, since we are talking ​
 +about the path of meditation, then there is mention of ‘the innate afflictive obscurations which 
 +correspond to it’.  ​
 + 
 +For instance, the definition of the path of release of a hearer’s path of meditation would include the 
 +phrase ‘which is actually released from the innate afflictive obscurations which correspond to it’.  ​
 + 
 +An example of an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise belonging to a Hearer’s path of meditation ​
 +which is neither an uninterrupted path nor a path of release would be, for instance, an exalted wisdom ​
 +of meditative equipoise on emptiness, or an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise on the emptiness ​
 +of duality. It is similar to the path of seeing. We just place it in the context of the path of meditation.  ​
 + 
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 +  15
 +So we can posit that the definition of the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment of a hearer’s path of 
 +meditation would be: (the text does not give this definition, it is extrapolated) ​
 +a subsequent clear realization of a hearer, who has arisen from the path of release of a hearer’s path of 
 +meditation, and which is manifest in the continuum of the person who possesses that in her continuum ​
 + 
 +There are again two parts of the definition;  ​
 +the subsequent clear realization of a hearer who has arisen from the path of release of a hearer’s ​
 +path of meditation,  ​
 +and which has arisen to become manifest in the continuum of the person who possesses that in 
 +her continuum ​
 + 
 +The non-manifest hearer path in the continuum of the being on the Hearer path of meditation would be 
 +an example of the hearer path of meditation which is neither an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise ​
 +nor an exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment. ​
 + 
 +The definition of a hearer path of no-more-learning is:  ​
 +a clear realization of a Hearer which is at the end of the progression of the paths of a Hearer ​
 + 
 +It is a clear realization of a Hearer which is at the end of the progression of the paths of a hearer, not at 
 +the end of the progression of paths in general. ​
 + 
 +What is this hearer path of no-more-learning?​ Geshela offers a possible alternative definition for this.  ​
 + 
 +We could say that a definition of a hearer path of no-more-learning is  ​
 +the exalted ​ knower of a hearer who has abandoned all afflictive obscurations without exception  ​
 +We are speaking about a hearer arhat. A solitary realizer arhat has also abandoned all afflictive ​
 +obscurations without exception but his path of no-more-learning cannot be an instance of a hearer path; 
 +it is not an exalted knower of a Hearer.  ​
 + 
 +Moving on to the solitary realizer grounds - the definition of the ground of a solitary realizer is:  ​
 +a clear realization of one who has entered the path of a solitary realizer which serves as the basis for the 
 +many good qualities which are its effect.  ​
 + 
 +When this is divided there are grounds of solitary realizer ordinary beings and grounds of solitary realizer aryas. ​
 + 
 +This definition of the grounds of a solitary realizer ordinary being is very similar to that of the hearer ​
 +ordinary being.  ​
 + 
 +If we want to give quite easy definitions,​ we can say that the definition of the hearer path of 
 +accumulation is  ​
 +the clear realization of the doctrine of a hearer.  ​
 + 
 +a clear realization of meaning of a solitary realizer  ​
 +is the definition of a solitary realizer path of preparation.  ​
 + 
 +The definition of a ground of an solitary realizer arya is:  ​
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 +  16
 +a clear realization of a solitary realizer arya which serves as the basis of the many good qualities which 
 +are its effect.  ​
 +When this is divided there are the three, the path of seeing and so forth [i.e., the paths of meditation and 
 +no more learning of a solitary realizer superior]. ​
 + 
 +The definition of a solitary realizer path of seeing is almost exactly the same as the definition of a 
 +hearer path of seeing.  ​
 +a clear realization of the truth of a solitary realizer which arises after completing the path of preparation ​
 +of a solitary realizer which is its cause and which is produced before the path of meditation of a solitary ​
 +realizer which is its effect. ​
 + 
 +When divided there are the three:  ​
 +the meditative equipoise of a solitary realizer path of seeing,  ​
 +the exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment of a solitary realizer path of seeing, and  ​
 +a solitary realizer path of seeing which is neither of these two. 
 + 
 +The exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a Solitary Realizer path of seeing also includes this 
 +phrase ‘the selflessness which is its object’, the same as before. So the definition in full is: 
 +a clear realization of the truth of a solitary realizer which is a meditative stabilization one-pointedly on 
 +the selflessness which is its own object. ​
 + 
 +The ‘meditative stabilization’ is equipoise, so this is a clear realization of the truth of a solitary realizer ​
 +which is a meditative equipoise one-pointedly on the selflessness which is its object.  ​
 +When divided there are three:  ​
 +the uninterrupted path of a solitary realizer path of seeing,  ​
 +the path of release of a solitary realizer path of seeing, and  ​
 +a solitary realizer path of seeing which is neither of these two.  ​
 + 
 +The definition of the uninterrupted path of a solitary realizer path of seeing is: 
 +a clear realization of the truth of a solitary realizer which is a meditative equipoise one-pointedly on the 
 +emptiness of duality and which serves as the actual antidote to the acquired conception that apprehends ​
 +form to be external objects, which is the object of abandonment corresponding to it.  ​
 + 
 +The wording in Tibetan is quite condensed, simply reading gzugs phyi rol don ‘dzin gyi rtog pa but 
 +Geshela says that this refers to the conception which apprehends form to be external objects. From this 
 +we can tell that we are dealing with the middle way yogic autonomists. Of the middle way autonomists, ​
 +there are the sutra practitioners and the yogic practitioners and this assertion is one of the middle way 
 +yogic autonomists. The view of the middle way yogic autonomists is somewhat similar to that of the 
 +mind-only school.  ​
 + 
 +They say that the external object, form, and the valid cognizer that apprehends that, are a single entity; ​
 +they are not distinct substances. According to this system then, that consciousness which 
 +misapprehends form to be a distinct substance from the valid cognizer that apprehends it, is a 
 +misapprehension of the self of phenomena, a coarse misapprehension of the self of phenomena.  ​
 + 
 +According to the middle way autonomists the subtle misapprehension of a self of phenomena would be 
 +that misapprehension that holds form and other phenomena to be truly established.  ​
 + 
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 +  17
 +The mind-only school says that external functioning things such as house, mountain, etc, are 
 +established from the substance of internal consciousness,​ ie they are not distinct substances from 
 +internal consciousness.  ​
 + 
 +Therefore, they say that there is nothing that is established as an external object, so any object of a 
 +valid eye consciousness for instance, has the same substantial cause as the valid eye consciousness ​
 +itself. That substantial cause is the awakened imprint of internal consciousness.  ​
 + 
 +Various things appear to us as good and bad, positive and negative. This appearance of such things ​
 +occurs due to the power of an imprint of internal consciousness being  awakened. Mind only 
 +proponents say that there is no external object that does not depend on the awakening of such imprints ​
 +of internal consciousness. They say  that such objects which appear to us, the good external objects, the 
 +bad external objects, do not exist, but this phrase, ‘do not exist’, has to be understood in relation to the 
 +other qualifications which were just made.  ​
 + 
 +In general it is said that this mind-only perspective is quite helpful in relation to our understanding of 
 +karmic cause and effect.  ​
 + 
 +A mind-only proponent would point out that when ten people look at this temple, not every single one 
 +of those ten people would think, ‘oh what a nice temple!’. Some among the ten might not think this. 
 +Thus a mind only proponent would say that a single temple which appears to be good to some and bad 
 +to others is a sign that an external temple does not exist but rather that it is dependent upon the 
 +awakening of the imprints of internal consciousness. The awakening of a negative imprint on that 
 +person’s internal consciousness will cause a bad temple to appear to that person, etc. 
 + 
 +Thus they hold that there is nothing that is established as an external object. Yet all objects appear to 
 +the sense consciousnesses to be established as external objects and that is their reason for positing that 
 +all sense consciousnesses are mistaken consciousnesses.  ​
 + 
 +We have to be careful however when we say that mind only proponents posit that external objects do 
 +not exist. We might run the risk of falling into an extreme view. It conveys the mind-only view better ​
 +to say that they posit that no external object exists that does not depend on the imprints of internal ​
 +consciousness.  ​
 + 
 +Of course the mind-only school might say that external objects do not exist, but that’s different from 
 +saying that a house doesn’t exist, that mountains do not exist, etc. It is important to explain it to others ​
 +by saying that they posit that there is no external object that does not depend upon the influence of the 
 +awakening of imprints of internal consciousness.  ​
 + 
 +The definition of the uninterrupted path of a solitary realizer path of seeing includes this phrase ‘which ​
 +serves as the actual antidote to the acquired conception apprehending external form objects which is 
 +the object of abandonment corresponding to it’. This refers to the acquired conception which 
 +apprehends form to be external objects. ​
 +When this is divided there are eight forbearances. ​
 + 
 +The definition of the path of release of a solitary realizer path of seeing is: 
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 +  18
 +a clear realization of the truth of a solitary realizer which is in meditative equipoise one-pointedly on 
 +the emptiness of duality and which has actually abandoned the object of abandonment which 
 +corresponds to the uninterrupted path which induces it.  ​
 + 
 +When divided there are the eight knowledges of the path of seeing. The other definitions and divisions are of 
 +similar type to those of the hearer paths. ​
 + 
 +As we saw in the hearer paths, we also have that exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise that is neither ​
 +an uninterrupted path nor a path of release. We also have a definition for the exalted wisdom of 
 +subsequent attainment of a solitary realizer path of seeing given in a similar way as it was before, and 
 +we also have an instance of a solitary realizer path of seeing which is neither an exalted wisdom of 
 +meditative equipoise nor an exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment. ​
 + 
 +Geshela has discussed the issues he will deal with now during the BSP on Tenets but some of you did 
 +not attend that course. The primary object of meditation, the emphasis in meditation, for a hearer is, of 
 +course, the subtle selflessness of persons, and the primary objects to be abandoned on the hearer path 
 +of seeing and the hearer path of meditation are the misapprehensions of this self of persons, the 
 +misapprehension that holds the self to be substantially existent and self-sufficient. ​
 + 
 +The primary object abandoned by solitary realizers, could be expressed in one of two ways; we could 
 +state it as the misconception which apprehends form as external objects, or as the  misapprehension ​
 +which holds the form and the valid cognizer apprehending form to be different substances.  ​
 + 
 +What is the primary object of meditation for a hearer? What’s the hearer’s emphasis in meditation?  ​
 + 
 +Student: subtle selflessness of person? ​
 + 
 +Yes. It’s the person being empty of self-sufficiency and substantial existence. ​
 + 
 +Now what is the primary object of meditation for solitary realizers? ​
 + 
 +Student: Coarse selflessness of phenomena. ​
 + 
 +This is correct. Their primary object of meditation is the coarse selflessness of phenomena, form and 
 +the valid cognizer apprehending form being empty of being different substances.  ​
 + 
 +So, the solitary realizer does not take the misapprehension of selflessness of persons as their primary ​
 +object of abandonment,​ do they? 
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshela: So what is their primary object of abandonment?​ Is it the coarse misapprehension of a self of 
 +phenomena? ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes 
 + 
 +Geshela: They don’t take the misapprehension of a self of persons as their primary object of 
 +abandonment do they? 
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 +  19
 + 
 +Student: No 
 + 
 +Geshela: So when they attain the fruit of an arhat, do they not abandon the misapprehension of a self of 
 +persons? ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes, but it’s not their primary object of abandonment. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: So they don’t act to primarily attain liberation do they? 
 + 
 +Student: I didn’t say that 
 + 
 +Geshela: Are they acting mainly to obtain liberation? ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes. 
 + 
 +Geshela: And do they take the afflictive obscurations as their primary object of abandonment?  ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes they do. 
 + 
 +Geshela: Oh good! So is the misapprehension that holds form to be an external object an afflictive ​
 +obscuration? ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes 
 + 
 +Geshela: (laughs) So, that person who attains the fruit of a hearer arhat has not abandoned afflictive ​
 +obscurations have they? 
 + 
 +Student: unheard… ​
 + 
 +Geshela: This is a big problem and we need to consider it. The misapprehension which holds form to 
 +be external objects is a coarse misapprehension of a self of phenomena, not a misapprehension of a self 
 +of persons. It is not an afflictive obscuration,​ but an obscuration to knowledge.  ​
 + 
 +If the misapprehension which holds form to be an external object were an afflictive obscuration,​ that 
 +would mean that hearer arhats would have had to have abandoned that. The alternate definition given 
 +for a hearer path of no-more-learning was ‘an exalted knower of a hearer which has abandoned all 
 +afflictive obscurations without exception’. This is important in relation to this issue. ​
 + 
 +The hearer path of no-more-learning and the solitary realizer path of no-more-learning are similar in 
 +that they are both the resultant state of arhat. Furthermore,​ they are similar in that they are states in 
 +which the person has abandoned all afflictive obscurations without exception.  ​
 + 
 +So consider again… what do solitary realisers take as their primary object of meditation? ​
 +  ​
 +If you look at the definition of the uninterrupted path of the solitary realiser path of seeing, it seems 
 +you would have to say they take the emptiness of duality as their primary object of meditation. ​
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 +  20
 +So it appears that they do not take the selflessness of persons as their primary object of meditation,  ​
 +their emphasis lies on the emptiness of duality. It might appear that this does not serve as an actual ​
 +antidote to misapprehension of self of persons. ​
 + 
 +If that’s the case, then it appears that they are not acting primarily to attain liberation. ​
 + 
 +In order to be considered a person that is acting mainly to attain liberation, you have to take the 
 +afflictive obscurations as the primary object of abandonment,​ for the primary obstacles to attaining ​
 +liberation are afflictive obscurations. ​
 + 
 +In order to attain buddhahood, one has to take the obscurations to knowledge as one’s primary object of 
 +abandonment. ​
 + 
 +This is, in general, how things go… so let’s think more about the solitary realisers and leave it for 
 +today. ​
 + 
 + 
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 +  21
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 2003 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Tape No’s: 7(a) and 7(b) 
 +Date of teaching: ​ 13th March 2003 
 + 
 +Every morning we recite this verse of refuge and bodhicitta which is roughly translated into English as 
 +I go for refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Supreme Assembly until I attain enlightenment. ​ By 
 +the merit of my listening to dharma or alternatively performing generosity and the like, may all sentient ​
 +beings attain Buddhahood, may I attain Buddhahood for their sake.  This is a verse that we recite ​
 +before our sessions so as to give rise to the motivation of bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment. ​  
 + 
 +If we consider what is contained in that verse, we go for refuge to the Buddha since it is the state of a 
 +Buddha that we are aspiring to.  In order to benefit all beings, we aspire to attain the state of a Buddha.  ​
 +We go for refuge to the Dharma since it is the practice of the Dharma which allows us to attain that 
 +state and we go for refuge to the Sangha for the Sangha are those people who are the in the process of 
 +applying the practice and who are examples for us to look up to.  They are in a sense our role models ​
 +and hence we take refuge in them.  We take refuge in them until we attain enlightenment,​ until we 
 +attain our final aim, the goal of Buddhahood. ​ In accord with these words of refuge and bodhicitta that 
 +we recite every morning before our sessions we should try and think that this also is a motivation for 
 +studying grounds and paths. ​ Here we are studying grounds and paths, going for refuge to the Three 
 +Jewels so that we may attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings. ​
 + 
 +As for these grounds and paths that we are studying, we are not studying those to clarify something ​
 +which we already have.  We are studying so as to gain a better understanding of that which we have not 
 +yet generated but can indeed generate in the future. ​ As Geshe-la was saying last week, I believe it was 
 +on Friday, that there are beings who possess these grounds and paths in their continuum, that there are 
 +beings who have already accomplished these and developed them to their utmost extent is not just 
 +some fairytale, it is not just a story. ​ In fact there are indeed beings who are in the process of 
 +developing them and who have indeed developed them to their utmost extent. ​ So in our studies we are 
 +trying to gain an understanding of the qualities that come along with developing these grounds and 
 +paths and with that understanding comes faith because after all faith is essentially a state of mind which 
 +understands the qualities that those Buddhas or those other beings possess, isn’t it, that is essentially ​
 +what it is.  So that in developing the wisdom that understands the qualities possessed by these beings, ​
 +naturally there is faith for that is how we understand the word faith and that faith in turn leads to this 
 +aspiration whereby you want to attain that yourself and from that aspiration comes in turn joyous ​
 +effort. ​ Let us not forget the purpose for studying the grounds and paths and let us not forget this 
 +process by which it occurs. ​
 + 
 +Having for the most part covered the grounds of the Hinayana, we will move on now to the grounds of 
 +the Mahayana. ​ Although we haven’t necessarily delved into the Hinayana grounds in all the detail that 
 +we could, Geshe-la feels that it is best if we move on to the Mahayana grounds, for in moving on to the 
 +Mahayana grounds the Hinayana grounds we have already covered will probably become more and 
 +more clear. ​ In fact Geshe-la would say that if we were to just stick with the material that we have 
 +already covered, trying to clarify solely with the information that we already have it would be difficult ​
 +to really gain that clarity. ​ That clarity is more likely to be encountered if we keep going, keep moving, ​
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 +  22
 +so we are going on to keep moving rolling on through the Hinayana paths into the Mahayana grounds.  ​
 +This is where we are on page 5 of the translation. ​
 + 
 +It is like if you climb to the very top of the pass, you have a view that commands everything, you can 
 +see all, but if you sit at the foot of the pass and try to look around, you can’t see very much can you. 
 + 
 +On page 5 it reads  ​
 +Mahayana Grounds. ​ The explanation of  Mahayana Grounds has five parts: ​ definitions,​ classification, ​
 +method from moving from ground to ground, distinguishing features, and the meaning of the words. ​  
 + 
 +As Geshe-la mentioned before it is very important that you try and ascertain the definitions and the 
 +outline of this text for typically when examining the student on this material, then questions related to 
 +the definitions and the outlines are the emphasis. ​ That is really what people are examined on in 
 +general. ​ These two elements, definitions and the order or the structure/​outline of the text are very 
 +helpful in gaining an overall understanding of the material. ​ Understanding the lines of reasoning and 
 +the material in a very deep manner is another thing entirely. ​ Just in terms of gaining a gross 
 +understanding of the material, the definitions and outlines should be emphasised. ​ So please, Geshe-la ​
 +says, pay attention to this. 
 + 
 +Now the definition of a Mahayana Ground is almost exactly the same as the definition of a Hinayana ​
 +Ground or Hearer Ground which you guys have already gotten down pretty well.  So it says  ​
 +a clear realisation of one who has entered the path of a Mahayana which is a support for the many 
 +qualities which are its effect. ​
 + 
 +That is the definition right. ​
 + 
 +So Geshe-la is going to ask a question. Is Mahayana Ground the definition for the clear realisation of 
 +one who has entered the path of the Mahayana which is the support for the many qualities which are its 
 +effect. ​
 + 
 +Student: No.   
 + 
 +Geshela: Why? 
 + 
 +Student: Because Mahayana Ground is not a definition. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Take a Mahayana Ground, it is not a definition because… ​
 + 
 +Student: It is not suitable to be a definition. ​
 + 
 +This is good, isn’t it. 
 +Geshe-la thought that there might be a need to ask this question. ​
 + 
 +Geshela (to another student):​You said it is the definition, didn’t you? 
 + 
 +Other student: Yes. 
 + 
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 +  23
 +Geshela: You are saying basically that one is the definition of the other and other is the definition of 
 +that. 
 + 
 +The definition facilitates understanding. ​ The definition we are dealing here facilitates the 
 +understanding of Mahayana Ground. ​
 + 
 +More literally, Geshe-la is using a word which means like the agent of understanding. ​ So to say 
 +‘facilitates understanding’ doesn’t quite get at it.  The point is that it is what makes you understand ​
 +what is being defined. ​ So this definition that they have given in the text facilitates understanding of the 
 +term Mahayana Ground, right. ​
 + 
 +For instance, capable of performing a function is the definition of functioning thing. But you don’t say 
 +that functioning thing is the definition of capable of performing a function, do you? 
 + 
 +It doesn’t matter what tenet school you fall into, you can understand the phrase capable of performing a 
 +function. ​
 + 
 +We can all understand how the temple is capable of performing a function, clothes are capable of 
 +performing a function. ​ We can all understand how functioning things, that is impermanent phenomena, ​
 +are capable of performing functions, right. ​ The word functioning thing is ngo bo. 
 + 
 +Ngo bo or functioning thing is just a term which then has to be explained. ​ Although you can use the 
 +term in order to understand what that term is getting at you have to explain that it means capable of 
 +performing a function which then we can all understand. ​ ‘Oh, I understand - functioning thing.’ ​
 + 
 +So you have to understand functioning thing in dependence upon ‘capable of performing a function.’ ​
 + 
 +Lozang Zopa:  Is there a better translation for ngo bo.   
 + 
 +Bill Magee: ​ We say functioning thing. ​
 + 
 +Stuart Moore: ​ I just think thing would be better because by putting in functioning therefore you are 
 +kind of mixing up what Geshe-la is saying, functioning thing actually means thing that functions so 
 +you are actually bringing the definition into the term. 
 + 
 +Lozang Zopa:  True - there is that problem. ​ We could say capable of performing a purpose. ​ The point 
 +is functioning thing could be shortened to thing as long as understand that to refer to impermanent ​
 +phenomena. ​
 + 
 +Bill Magee : The term in Sanskrit refers to both permanent and impermanent phenomena. ​
 + 
 +Lozang Zopa:  Also, in Tibetan ngo bo can be used in the wider context as well.  So may it is better just 
 +to say thing. ​ So we are now translating ngo bo as thing which is defined as capable of performing a 
 +function. ​
 + 
 +So thing is the object is which is being understood and capable of performing a function is that which 
 +facilitates that understanding. ​ Now, similarly the “Mahayana Ground’ is the object that is understood ​
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 +  24
 +and “a clear realisation of one who has entered into the Mahayana paths which serves as the support for 
 +the many qualities which are its effect’ is the agent that facilitates that understanding. ​
 + 
 +If you have realised Mahayana Ground, you have necessarily realised ‘a clear realisation of one who 
 +has entered the path of a Mahayana which is the support for the many qualities which are its effect’ but 
 +just because a person realises ‘a clear realisation of one who has entered a path of the Mahayana which 
 +is the support for the many good qualities which are its effect’ doesn’t mean that that person has 
 +realised Mahayana Ground. ​
 + 
 +In other words, if you realise the definition, you don’t necessarily realise the definiendum. ​
 + 
 +If we were to take a syllogism, a logical proof, we could say,  ​
 +Take the Mahayana ​
 +path of 
 +accumulation,  ​
 +it follows it is 
 +a Mahayana ​
 +Ground,  ​
 +why?   ​because it is a clear realisation of one who has 
 +entered the path of a Mahayana which is the support ​
 +for the many good qualities which are its effect. ​  
 + 
 +That would be a correct reason, it is a correct sign. 
 + 
 +Now if you were to say  ​
 +Take the Mahayana ​
 +path of accumulation,  ​
 +it follows it is a clear realisation of one who 
 +has entered the path of the Mahayana which 
 +is a support for the many good qualities ​
 +which are its effect ​
 +why?   ​because it is a 
 +Mahayana Ground,  ​
 + 
 +you would be making a pervasive statement but the reason would be a pseudo reason, a false reason, ​
 +because there is no person that you could state this to in order to evoke that understanding. ​
 + 
 +There is no person to whom you need to posit it in this way.  The reason there is no such person is 
 +because if an individual realises a Mahayana Ground they have necessarily realised a clear realisation ​
 +of one who has entered the path of a Mahayana which is a support for the many good qualities which 
 +are its effect. ​
 + 
 +When you are dealing with a definition and a definiendum the definition must be easier to understand ​
 +than the definiendum. ​ That is the reason for needing to posit definitions in the first place. ​
 + 
 +That is enough for the definition of Mahayana Ground. ​ When this is divided there are:  ​
 +Bodhisattva grounds and  ​
 +the Buddha ground. ​
 + 
 +Bodhisattvas and Buddhas are mutually exclusive. ​ That they are different is clearly illustrated by this 
 +statement that if it is divided there are the grounds of a Bodhisattva and the ground of a Buddha. ​  
 + 
 +There was a man from Dergye which is a major area from Kham who had been in India from near the 
 +very beginning of the Tibetan diaspera. Since the early days he was also involved helping out with the 
 +Tibetan Government in Exile and so forth and he is quite old now although still in Dharamsala these 
 +days. He had a very good brain; he was known as somebody who had an understanding of the Dharma ​
 +and also was a very educated person known for his intellect. ​ Every once in a while, His Holiness ​
 +would come and address the people and the government and so on and so forth. ​ When they had a 
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 +  25
 +conference or discussion about a major issue His Holiness would often times make an appearance and 
 +say his piece or give his advice and so forth. ​ Having come into contact with His Holiness on such 
 +occasions this man from Dergye had a lot of faith in His Holiness. ​ One time at a major assembly  ​
 +for all the people, this guy says:  ​
 +‘oh the Conqueror, Yeshe Norbu, the Wish Fulfilling Jewel (an epithet for His Holiness), of course he 
 +is a Buddha, but we can also be quite certain that he is a Bodhisattva as well’. ​  
 + 
 +What he did was to put Bodhisattvas on a status higher than that of a Buddha, completely turning ​
 +things on its head. You hear all sorts of discussions and praises about how Bodhisattvas are always ​
 +working for the benefit of sentient beings and constantly active whereas the implication is that 
 +Buddhas, they don’t really don’t do much for the sake of sentient beings, but just sit there in equipoise.  ​
 +So in seeing all that His Holiness was doing on behalf of his people, this guy says of course he is a 
 +Buddha but we can also be quite certain that he is a Bodhisattva as well.   
 + 
 +The fact is that Bodhisattvas are still sentient beings. ​ Buddhas have developed the abandonments and 
 +the realisations to their utmost extent, so the status of a Buddha is actually higher than that of a 
 +Bodhisattva. We should understand how Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are mutually exclusive and it is the 
 +Buddhas, not the Bodhisattvas who have developed ultimate abandonment and realisations. ​
 + 
 +The definition of a Bodhisattva ground is:  ​
 +a clear realisation of a Bodhisattva which serves as the basis for the many good qualities which are its 
 +effect  ​
 +When a Bodhisattva ground is divided there are  ​
 +the grounds of Bodhisattva ordinary beings and  ​
 +the grounds of Bodhisattva Superiors (Arya Bodhisattvas). ​
 + 
 +The definition of a ground of a Bodhisattva ordinary being is  ​
 +a clear realisation of an ordinary Bodhisattva which serves as the basis for the many good qualities ​
 +which are its effect. ​
 + 
 +When this is divided there are two,  ​
 +the path of accumulation and  ​
 +the path of preparation. ​  
 +Just as we had with the Hearers. ​
 + 
 +Now the way the definition for the Bodhisattva path of accumulation is given is just as we found with 
 +Hearers and Solitary Realisers. ​ For the definition of a Bodhisattva path of accumulation is  ​
 +a clear realisation of doctrine of a Bodhisattva. ​
 + 
 +When divided there are three: ​  
 +small, middling and great.  ​
 +Just as before. ​
 + 
 +The definition of a Bodhisattva path of preparation is  ​
 +a clear realisation of the meaning of a Bodhisattva. ​  
 + 
 +When divided there are four:   
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 +  26
 +heat, peak, forbearance and supreme mundane qualities. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: What is the definition of path? 
 + 
 +Student: An exalted knower that is conjoined with the uncontrived intention to definitely emerge. ​
 + 
 +You must take measures not to forget that.  When a person develops that, they have necessarily ​
 +attained a path, be it a path of a Mahayana, that is a Bodhisattva,​ a path of Hearer or a path of a 
 +Realiser. Those are the only three types of paths there are to attain. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: So what special thing is required to attain a Mahayana path? 
 + 
 +Student: Uncontrived bodhicitta ? 
 + 
 +Geshela: So then the moment a person initially develops the uncontrived mind of enlightenment is the 
 +moment that person first attains a Mahayana path of accumulation.  ​
 +According to this logic then the person who attains a Mahayana path from the very outset attains the 
 +uncontrived mind of enlightenment and an uncontrived intention to definitely emerge at the same time.  ​
 +Because if you were to attain for instance the uncontrived intention to definitely emerge before the 
 +uncontrived bodhicitta you would be not be attaining the Mahayana path from the very outset and you 
 +can’t attain a path without that development of uncontrived intention to definitely emerge, can you. 
 + 
 +So if a person were to have developed the uncontrived mind of enlightenment without developing an 
 +uncontrived intention to definitely emerge, you would have to posit that that person had attained a 
 +Mahayana path without attaining a path -  but you can’t posit that can you?  This isn’t possible. ​
 + 
 +If a person were to attain uncontrived intention to definitely emerge without attaining uncontrived mind 
 +of enlightenment then you would have a person who has attained a path yet who still has some time 
 +before they attain the Mahayana path.   
 + 
 +Would you say this person has attained a path, but that path hasn’t yet become a Hearer or a Solitary ​
 +Realiser or a Mahayana path? This is not possible. You can only attain one of those three types of 
 +paths. ​ So it is clear then that for the person who attains a Mahayana path from the outset, they have to 
 +attain the uncontrived intention to definitely emerge and uncontrived mind of enlightenment at the 
 +same time. 
 + 
 +Geshela: Does the intention to definitely emerge exist in the continuum of a Bodhisattva on the path of 
 +accumulation? ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes because they have both the intention to definitely emerge and the mind of enlightenment ​
 +in their continuum. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: What is the difference between these two? 
 + 
 +Student: The intention to definitely emerge is for the sake of one’s own liberation and the mind of 
 +enlightenment is for the sake of other’s liberation – you want to attain Buddhahood for the sake of 
 +others. ​
 + 
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 +  27
 +Geshela: What liberation are you seeking for yourself, the Hearer’s liberation, the Solitary Realiser’s ​
 +liberation, the Mahayana liberation? ​
 +The person on the Bodhisattva paths, what liberation are they seeking? ​
 + 
 +It is the Mahayana liberation which means that they are striving to attain Buddhahood. ​
 +But that is the mind of enlightenment because the mind of enlightenment is striving for Buddhahood ​
 +for the sake of all sentient beings. ​ So does it follow that those two are the same? 
 +The intention to definitely emerge and the mind of enlightenment. ​
 + 
 +S: No. 
 + 
 +G:  What is different? ​  
 + 
 +Student: They are not the same because the intention to definitely emerge is in this case is striving to 
 +attain Buddhahood solely for oneself and the mind of enlightenment……. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Be careful you are going to posit that there is self-cherishing in the continuum of a 
 +Bodhisattva. ​ So would you like to try again. ​ You are speaking about striving solely for oneself.  ​
 +Tis is what Geshe-la is asking. ​ He said it follows that the intention to definitely emerge and the mind 
 +of enlightenment in the continuum of a bodhisattva on the path of accumulation are the same? Do you 
 +agree? ​
 + 
 +Student: Reason not established? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: You are calling out reason not established when I haven’t even given a reason yet. 
 + 
 +Student: So in this case in the continuum of a Bodhisattva on the path of accumulation then the mind of 
 +enlightenment has a two fold aspiration which is essentially to attain Buddhahood and then lead all 
 +sentient beings to that state whereas the intention to definitely emerge in that person’s continuum is 
 +merely striving to attain Buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: This is  quite close. ​ The mind of enlightenment has two aspirations,​ one of which is the 
 +aspiration that wishes for all sentient beings to be free from suffering. ​ This aspiration is known as the 
 +aspiration that strives for the sake of others. ​ The second aspiration is the aspiration to attain ​
 +enlightenment. ​ This is known as the aspiration that strives for the sake of enlightenment. ​ So it would 
 +seem that the intention to definitely emerge in the continuum of the Bodhisattva on the path of 
 +accumulation is this second aspiration which strives for the sake of enlightenment. ​
 + 
 +The intention to definitely emerge in the continuum of the Bodhisattva for instance on the path of 
 +accumulation seems to be a special type, a different kind. 
 + 
 +In general the intention to definitely emerge is understood as that aspiration or wish, the state of mind 
 +that is not attached to the pleasures of cyclic existence but rather strives to attain a liberated state that is 
 +free from that. 
 + 
 +Now the intention to definitely emerge in the continuum of the Bodhisattva is not attached to the 
 +pleasures of cyclic existence, but that is not all, it also has the assistance of this wish or desire to see 
 +other sentient beings freed from that as well. 
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 +  28
 + 
 +Geshe-la says if you want to answer clearly you would say that the aspiration that strives for 
 +enlightenment is the intention to definitely emerge in the continuum of the Bodhisattva. ​ Jamyang was 
 +sort of in the right direction but when she included this phrase striving only for oneself then that is 
 +tantamount to self-cherishing which then equates basically a Bodhisattva with a Hearer so you don’t ​
 +want to do that. 
 + 
 +In short, if you were to respond to the question Geshe-la asked earlier by saying ‘take the subject, the 
 +aspiration that strives for enlightenment in the continuum of a Bodhisattva’,​ that would be fine. 
 + 
 +The aspiration that strives for enlightenment is not the mind of enlightenment is it?   
 + 
 +Student: It’s not because the mind of enlightenment has two aspirations. ​  
 + 
 +Geshela: Not good enough. ​
 + 
 +Student: Because the mind of enlightenment is a mind  ​
 + 
 +Geshela: That’s correct. ​ The mind of enlightenment has to be a mind. Yet the aspiration that strives for 
 +enlightenment is a mental factor, isn’t it.  If something is mind of enlightenment,​ does it necessarily ​
 +need to be a mind? 
 + 
 +Student: Yes. That is part of the definition that is given. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: The definition of the mind of enlightenment is quite long.   
 + 
 +[This definition is inserted from the text of 70 Topics: ​
 +The definition of the conventional mind of enlightenment (relative bodhicitta) is: 
 +The exalted mahayana main mental cognition, differentiated by type as the path which is the entry to 
 +the mahayana path, and concordant with the aspiration focussing on complete enlightenment for the 
 +purpose of others as its aid. 
 + 
 +The basic point is that it must necessarily be a mind and it is identified as a mind which has the two 
 +aspirations,​ one aspiration being related to aspiring for the sake of others, one being aspiring for 
 +enlightenment. ​ Also, you have to belong to a certain class, and it has to be an entrance gate to the 
 +Mahayana and so on and so forth, there are many different aspects to it. 
 + 
 +As you develop the mind of enlightenment in an uncontrived manner then the two aspirations that 
 +assist that also become uncontrived,​ correct, the aspiration which strives for the sake of others and the 
 +aspiration that strives for enlightenment become uncontrived as well. And vice versa and that happens ​
 +at the same time, so think about it. 
 + 
 +The definition of a Bodhisattva path of accumulation is  ​
 +a clear realisation of doctrine of a Bodhisattva. ​
 + 
 +When that is divided there are three: ​  
 +small, middling and great. ​  
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  29
 +These three levels are related to the mind of enlightenment or mind generation. ​ So you have the earth 
 +like mind generation, the gold-like mind generation and the waxing moon-like mind generation. ​
 +The names of these respective divisions are linked to the analogies used to explain them.  The 
 +Mahayana path of accumulation is like the ground or basis/​support for the development of the unique ​
 +Mahayana qualities. ​ In so far as it acts as a ground for these unique Mahayana qualities, it is earth like. 
 + 
 +There are instances in which a person can fall from the small level of the Mahayana path of 
 +accumulation into Hinayana paths. It is not that the path of that Bodhisattva declines. Rather what 
 +declines is the mind generation, the awakening mind of enlightenment. ​
 + 
 +The middling level is called the gold-like level or gold-like mind generation because you attain a mind 
 +generation from which it is impossible to decline. ​ In other words, once you reach that level the mind 
 +of awakening will not deteriorate. ​ Just as gold can be placed under ground or remains under ground ​
 +for years and years without ever becoming something that is not gold. So this mind is likened to gold 
 +which doesn’t deteriorate when it is put under ground because having reached the middling level of the 
 +Mahayana path of accumulation the mind generation, the awakening mind does not deteriorate,​ it is 
 +impossible for it to. It becomes stable. ​ It is no longer possible for it to decline. ​
 + 
 +The third great level of the Mahayana path of accumulation is likened to the waxing or crescent moon 
 +because once you begin to see the first part of the moon (crescent moon) then for the next two weeks at 
 +least, the moon continues to increase until it becomes full. In that regard having reached the third level 
 +of the Mahayana path of accumulation,​ mind generation continues to increase just as the moon 
 +continues to wax. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la is mixing explanations of the mind of enlightenment together with the explanations of the 
 +levels of the path of accumulation so as to facilitate your understanding of it. 
 + 
 +The definition of a Bodhisattva path of preparation is  ​
 +a clear realisation of the meaning of a Bodhisattva. ​
 + 
 +When they are divided there are four:   
 +heat, peak, forbearance,​ supreme mundane qualities. ​
 + 
 +Each of these has three divisions: ​ small, middling and great, making twelve. ​
 + 
 +The Hearer path of preparation is also divided into heat, peak, forbearance,​ and supreme mundane ​
 +quality but the supreme mundane quality of a Hearer’s path of preparation is not divided into three 
 +whereas the first three are.  So heat, peak and forbearance have three levels, making nine plus the one 
 +level of the supreme mundane quality making ten.  That was how it was in a Hearer path of 
 +preparation. ​ Here all four levels are divided into three making twelve. ​
 + 
 +The moment a person attains an uncontrived mind of enlightenment they attain the Mahayana path of 
 +accumulation. That person takes as their primary object of meditation the emptiness which understood ​
 +in this context to be the lack of true existence. Remember that we are speaking about the Autonomists ​
 +here. When a person develops the integration or union of calm abiding and insight focused upon that 
 +emptiness, they attain the Mahayana path of preparation. ​
 + 
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 +  30
 +There are some that say that it is almost always the case that a person who has attained the Mahayana ​
 +path of accumulation has already realised emptiness but they acknowledge the possibility that there are 
 +those who have not done so - for instance due to the tenets that they hold.  So you could point to a 
 +proponent of Mind Only Tenets who has developed uncontrived bodhicitta yet, due to their tenets, has 
 +not yet realised emptiness and only does so after having attained the Mahayana path of accumulation. ​
 + 
 +The view that understands emptiness as the lack of true existence is not found within the Mind Only 
 +view. The most subtle view posited in the Mind Only system is that form and the valid cogniser ​
 +apprehending form are empty of being different substances, correct. ​
 + 
 +So if you take the Autonomist Tenets as the basis, then a proponent of the Mind Only School has 
 +necessarily not realised emptiness. ​
 + 
 +For instance, the precious lord Atisha himself was a Middle Way Consequentialist. His teacher, ​
 +Serlingpa or Suvarnapadvipa,​ the lama from the golden isle, held the Mind Only view. Yet Atisha did 
 +not go wrong in the manner in which he relied upon the spiritual teacher. ​ Atisha had something like 
 +over 130 gurus, lamas, but Serlingpa, the lama from the golden isle, was his primary one. 
 + 
 +It should be clear from this story that the way in which one relies upon the spiritual teacher doesn’t ​
 +depend upon things from the lama’s side but rather it depends on the way in which you rely upon the 
 +spiritual teacher. Nowhere in the Lam Rim does it say that a lama necessarily has to be a Buddha does 
 +it, but it does speak a great deal about the need, the purpose and the possibility or the potential for 
 +seeing the lama as a Buddha, correct. ​
 + 
 +If a lama must necessarily be a Buddha that means that Bodhisattvas cannot display the aspect of a 
 +lama and in that capacity work on behalf of sentient beings. ​ Bodhisattvas are not Buddhas yet they still 
 +have the capacity to send forth emanations in the aspect of a lama and in that role, in that capacity, ​
 +accomplish the well being of others. ​ So if a lama has to be a Buddha, that means that Bodhisattvas ​
 +cannot emanate in the aspect of lamas to accomplish the well being of others. ​  
 + 
 +If you read the section on relying upon a spiritual teacher from Lama Tsong Khapa’s Greater Stages of 
 +the Path to Enlightenment,​ you will find that it does not say that a lama has to be a Buddha. ​ You will, 
 +however, find the statement that the lama should be viewed or you have to view the lama as a Buddha ​
 +which leads one to the conclusion that there is some special significance or meaning to that statement, ​
 +seeing the lama as a Buddha. ​
 + 
 +It seems that through familiarity and acquaintance we can develop to the point that when the name of 
 +the lama who is kind in three ways is uttered, that we think of the Buddha and when the Buddha’s ​
 +name is uttered, we are mindful of the lama who is kind in three ways.  In short, viewing the lama as 
 +Buddha involves seeing the lama and Buddha to be an indivisible entity. ​
 + 
 +It seems that we definitely can develop that so that hearing the name of one makes you mindful of the 
 +other, so we need to definitely train ourselves until we reach that point. ​
 + 
 +Once again, if you read through the section in the Greater Stages of the Path to Enlightenment,​ you see 
 +that there is a need to arrest those thoughts focused upon the faulty side of the lama who is kind in the 
 +three ways and that there is a need to think solely of the positive qualities side of that lama, so there is a 
 +definite need to do this as clearly illustrated in Lama Tsong Khapa’s text. 
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 +  31
 + 
 +Geshe-la thinks it might be in Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, but he seems to recall this 
 +statement that even if the lama who is kind in three ways has faulty limbs then do not entertain ​
 +thoughts of that in your mind.  Stop those and think solely of his qualities. ​
 + 
 +The meaning that is to be drawn from this advice is that you must see the lama as a Buddha and you 
 +must really entertain thoughts only of the lama’s positive side. Even if thoughts of the lama’s faulty ​
 +side were to occur, you should stop those, prevent them from arising. ​
 + 
 +The reason for this is that the more you can see the positive side of the lama, the more benefit there is 
 +for you, and that the more you are considering the faulty side of the lama who is kind in three ways, the 
 +more detriment there will be for you.  It is not because it benefits the lama.  ​
 + 
 +We’ll wait until the next session to speak about the path of seeing because the path of seeing can in fact 
 +be quite problematic. ​
 + 
 +Student: Exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise of a Hearer and Solitary Realiser can be divided into 
 +three categories, there is the uninterrupted path, the path of release and that which is neither of those.  ​
 +The question is in regards to this third, which is neither the uninterrupted path nor the path of release.  ​
 +The example the text gave was of a clear realisation of truth of a Hearer that is in one-pointed ​
 +equipoise upon emptiness. ​ How is it that they could realise emptiness and wouldn’t they be led out of 
 +the path of a Hearer if they realised emptiness? ​  
 + 
 +Geshela: Gyaltsab Rinpoche in his text, Ornament to the Essential Presentation,​ gives an illustration or 
 +an example of a person who had perceptual realisation of emptiness yet is on the Hearer path.  He says, 
 +take for instance that person who first enters into the Mahayana paths, perceptually realising emptiness ​
 +but then as his mind of enlightenment decline or deteriorate and then enters into the path of a Hearer.  ​
 +That is example of someone on the Hearer path who would have a perceptual realisation of emptiness.  ​
 +The person could have this perceptual realisation of emptiness yet because they do not take emptiness ​
 +as their primary object of meditation and because they are striving to attain the Hearer liberation, are 
 +on the Hearer paths and are not drawn away from that path. 
 + 
 +Consider a person who had a realisation of emptiness before they even entered into the Hearer paths.  ​
 +Then in entering the Hearer path of accumulation,​ they might still meditate on emptiness even if they 
 +do not take that emptiness as their primary object of meditation. ​ Then they eventually move on to the 
 +path of preparation,​ continuing to deepen their familiarity with their realisation of emptiness. ​ Finally, ​
 +through their familiarity with that, eventually they perceptually realise that emptiness as they attain the 
 +path of seeing even though that isn’t the primary object of meditation, so they have a perceptual ​
 +realisation of emptiness. ​
 + 
 +For the sake of clarity the example Gyaltsab Rinpoche gives is one who has realised emptiness, enters ​
 +into the Mahayana paths and then has the bodhicitta decline then he enters into the Hearer paths and as 
 +Geshe-la explains, although that individual does not have to take emptiness as their primary object of 
 +meditation ​ they can continue to familiarise themselves with that meditation, through the path of 
 +accumulation,​ the path of preparation until it becomes a perceptual realisation on the path of seeing.  ​
 +Now the doubt or the qualm that arises in relation to this is, when that person attains the state of a 
 +Hearer Arhat, don’t they abandon the misapprehensions of true existence because after all what they 
 +have been familiarising themselves with is the person’s lack of true existence. ​
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 +  32
 + 
 +They say that although that person was indeed familiarising themselves with the person’s lack of true 
 +existence, because they did not take that as their primary object of meditation, they cannot abandon the 
 +misapprehensions of true existence. ​
 + 
 +Furthermore,​ according to the Middle Way Autonomists,​ the misapprehensions of true existence are 
 +subtle obscuration to knowledge and they say that without the assistance of the mind of enlightenment, ​
 +they cannot be abandoned. ​
 + 
 +Student: Geshe-la when you talked about the Hearer path of accumulation,​ the three levels of that path, 
 +you mentioned that the intention to definitely emerge on the first level was unstable in the same way 
 +that the mind of enlightenment was unstable on the first level of Great Vehicle path of accumulation,​ is 
 +it possible for a being at that level of the path of accumulation of a Hearer path to lose their intention ​
 +definitely to emerge and fall from the path? 
 + 
 +Geshela: The small, middling and great levels of the Hearer path of accumulation were explained in the 
 +following way:- 
 + 
 +The intention to definitely emerge is developed and developed until eventually it becomes stable at 
 +which point you attain the second level and then in that period when you are developing that intention ​
 +to definitely emerge, to reach that second level you are still on the small. ​ So the middle level occurs ​
 +when you attain the stability and then the great level occurs when you just on the verge of moving from 
 +the path of accumulation to the path of preparation. ​
 +Although we explained it in those terms once you have developed an uncontrived intention to 
 +definitely emerge, it is not possible for it to completely decline. ​
 + 
 +So the question then arises that if the intention definitely to emerge cannot decline then wouldn’t that 
 +mean that the mind of enlightenment couldn’t decline also. 
 + 
 +Basically the intention to definitely emerge does not decline because it is uncontrived but then 
 +wouldn’t it follow that the mind of enlightenment also does not decline because it is uncontrived. ​
 + 
 +It is important to state questions clearly so that they are of benefit to others who are listening.  ​
 + 
 +The way in which the mind of enlightenment declines or degenerates is similar to what happens when 
 +western monks and nuns give back their vows.  So western monks and nuns, first they get ordained and 
 +then later they develop this feeling that it is just too much to have these vows, they don’t want them 
 +any more so they are just going to give them back. They always come up with some kind of reason – 
 +‘oh because this isn’t right, or that is not right,’ without ever really saying that they just don’t want to 
 +guard the vows any more. 
 + 
 +Similar to that, it is not that the Bodhisattva on the path of accumulation is unable to meditate and 
 +sustain the mind of enlightenment. ​ Rather, they find it too difficult or they have problems or for other 
 +reasons and so they forsake it.  They give it up. The declining or the degeneration of the mind of 
 +enlightenment is not something that comes through a failure to maintain. It is not a decline in that sense 
 +but is a giving away, a forsaking of the mind of enlightenment,​ in the same way that western monks 
 +and nuns sometimes forsake the vows. 
 + 
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 +  33
 +Here in the context of the Bodhisattva,​ a similar situation occurs in that the person that is troubled by 
 +the thought of how much work it is going to take to continue to progress and how difficult it is etc and 
 +they think that they will therefore to pursue the path of for instance a Hearer, the Hinayana paths This 
 +they forsake the path of enlightenment. ​
 + 
 + 
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 +  34
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject : Grounds and Paths 
 +Teacher : Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter : Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Number of tape… 8 
 +Date of teaching… Friday 14th
 + March 2003 
 + 
 +In order to attain buddhahood, we need the integration of the accumulations of both merit and exalted ​
 +wisdom. One way we may gather the accumulations of merit is through understanding the qualities ​
 +possessed by those persons who have entered into the paths. Through understanding these qualities, we 
 +can rejoice in them and develop faith and joyous effort. ​
 + 
 +Let’s not just merely leave it at understanding these qualities. Let’s try also to familiarize ourselves ​
 +with these qualities to the best of our ability. We are studying neither to become famous, nor to 
 +accumulate material gain or honour. As neither ourselves nor others wishes to experience suffering, we 
 +are trying to eliminate the causes of that suffering and accomplish those causes that lead to happiness ​
 +for ourselves and others. This is why we make effort in studying. ​
 + 
 +Some, before taking ordination, plead with Geshe-la to ordain them saying they want to study. After 
 +ordination however, they go off to work. At this time we have only six weeks to study. It’s important ​
 +therefore, that we really do all that we can in this time to study. This module is followed by a month or 
 +two of break. You can work then. Geshe-la feels that such an approach will most likely help us to avoid 
 +falling into either of the extremes. Let’s keep that in mind. 
 + 
 +A question has arisen about the order of the doctrinal forbearances,​ and knowledges and the subsequent ​
 +forbearances and knowledges. It has been many years since Geshe-la has studied this, and it is 
 +therefore quite possible that he reversed their order. This is not however a matter of primary ​
 +importance and we will not address it now but will return to it at a later time. 
 + 
 +This text is presented from the perspective of the Middle Way Yogic-Autonomists and therefore states ​
 +that Hearers and Solitary Realisers have different primary objects of meditation. According to Yogic-Autonomists,​ form and the valid cognizer apprehending form being empty of being different ​
 +substances is the coarse selflessness of phenomenon. This means that the misapprehension that holds 
 +form and the valid cognizer apprehending form to be established as different substances is a coarse ​
 +misapprehension of the self of phenomenon. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la raised a qualm the other day which he feels is important to consider. It seems that Solitary ​
 +Realisers take the coarse misapprehension of a self of phenomenon as their primary object of 
 +abandonment. This would mean that they take a coarse obscuration to knowledge as their primary ​
 +object of abandonment. What then of the afflictive obscurations?​ It could be said that they are 
 +abandoned ancillary to, or as a by product of, the abandonment of the coarse obscurations to 
 +knowledge. That explanation would be similar to that given in regard to the Mahayana Grounds. ​
 +It seems Solitary Realisers act primarily to attain liberation yet take a coarse misapprehension of 
 +selflessness of phenomenon as their primary object of abandonment. This kind of wording leaves us a 
 +little uncomfortable,​ it doesn’t quite add up. Geshe-la has consulted Kunchok Jigmey Wangpo’s text on 
 +tenets and it does indeed state that Solitary Realisers take the misapprehension that holds form and the 
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 +  35
 +valid cognizer apprehending form to be their primary object of meditation, and that they go on to attain ​
 +the fruit of a Solitary Realiser Arhat.  ​
 + 
 +It doesn’t seem acceptable that they take both the coarse obscurations to knowledge and afflictive ​
 +obscurations as their primary objects of abandonment. That would in effect mean that they take both 
 +the emptiness of duality and the subtle selflessness of persons as their primary objects of meditation. ​
 +This isn’t really possible as both would have to be meditated on when the entity known as the 
 +uninterrupted path becomes manifest. That’s not possible, is it? There is form and the valid cognizer ​
 +apprehends form being empty of being different substances, which is, of course, the coarse selflessness ​
 +of phenomenon, but then you have this other object of meditation which is the subtle selflessness of 
 +persons. Subtle selflessness of person is considered a relative truth by the Autonomist School. If both 
 +of these are taken as the primary object of meditation on the uninterrupted path, that would mean that 
 +both would have to appear. Yet only one of these could appear together with the subsiding of dualistic ​
 +appearances. If a person enters a one-pointed meditative equipoise upon emptiness of duality, it would 
 +not be possible for the meditative object of selflessness of persons to arise because there is a great 
 +difference in their respective degrees of subtlety.  ​
 + 
 +The basic issue is that both objects of meditation can’t appear in the state of meditative equipoise in 
 +which all dualistic appearances are said to subside. At that time only the object of meditation appears. ​
 +How could you say that two objects of meditation of differing degrees of subtlety appear together! ​
 + 
 +Is it possible that a person enters the paths of a Solitary Realiser after having attained the fruit of a 
 +Hearer Arhat? The Solitary Realiser meditates on emptiness of duality, seeing form and the valid 
 +cognizer apprehending form as empty of being different substances. In this way the Solitary Realiser ​
 +abandons the coarse misapprehensions of selflessness of phenomenon. Yet the person who follows the 
 +Hearer paths to attain the fruit of the Hearer Arhat does not meditate on and abandon those, do they? 
 +The Solitary Realiser is higher.  ​
 + 
 +Given that understanding,​ Geshe-la asks again, “Is it possible to enter the paths of a Solitary Realiser ​
 +after having attained the fruit of a Hearer Arhat?​” ​
 + 
 +Student: ​ There is no reason for them to do so as they have already attained liberation. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Yes, since she has already attained the goal of liberation, there’s a lack of motivation. That’s ​
 +exactly correct. That hits it on the head. 
 + 
 +The goal that both Hearers and Solitary Realisers are aiming for is the same, that of liberation. The 
 +Hearer has already attained that so has nothing to gain that would require them to enter the Solitary ​
 +Realiser paths. This person might enter the Mahayana paths, and, in fact, will do so because this Yogic-Autonomist presentation asserts that there is only one final vehicle. Hearers and Solitary Realizers ​
 +must therefore inevitably enter the Mahayana paths and thereby come to abandon the subtle ​
 +misapprehension of the selfless of phenomenon.  ​
 + 
 +While still on the Hearer paths of accumulation and preparation,​ there is still the possibility that the 
 +individual ‘swerves’ and enters the Solitary Realiser paths. Once an individual attains a path of seeing, ​
 +however, they attain a certainty or definiteness in their own path. That applies equally to Bodhisattvas, ​
 +Solitary Realisers and Hearers. Once an individual attains their respective path of seeing, they have 
 +attained their respective arya path, and are certain to continue on in those paths until they attain the 
 +fruit of an Arhat. Please understand this clearly. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  36
 + 
 +Moving on to the Mahayana path of seeing, on page 6, the definition of the ground of an arya 
 +bodhisattva,​ is given as: 
 +A clear realization of an arya bodhisattva that is governed by great compassion and the wisdom that 
 +directly realizes emptiness. ​
 + 
 +It mentions that this is influenced or governed by this great compassion and wisdom that directly ​
 +realises emptiness. Do you understand what great compassion is?  ​
 + 
 +Great compassion is developed in dependence upon a sequence. This includes: the development of 
 +equanimity, the recognition that all sentient beings have been one’s mother, becoming mindful of their 
 +kindness, seeking to repay that kindness, developing a sense of great empathy (love) towards them, and 
 +then developing great compassion. ​
 + 
 +According to the textbooks of Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen, Hearers and Solitary Realisers do not have great 
 +compassion within their continuums. Jangkya Rolpay Dorje, in his great text on tenets, a text which 
 +Geshe-la holds in very high esteem, also asserts this.  ​
 + 
 +Although Jangkya Rolpay Dorje was from Drepung Gomang college, the primary textbook author of 
 +that college; Jamyang Shayba, states in his work on tenets, that great compassion does exist in the 
 +continuums of Hearers and Solitary Realisers. It may therefore seem that these monks of Drepung ​
 +Gomang do not accept Jangkya Rolpay Dorje’s textbooks ​
 + 
 +Some say that Jangkya Rolpay Dorje is the rebirth of Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen, the Sera Je master. It is 
 +said that he was born in an area quite close to Lhasa.. At that time, an oracle predicted to the monks of 
 +Drepung Gomang via a medium that unless they quickly ordained this child as a monk of Drepung ​
 +Gomang, in future he would refute all of their textbooks. Better then to make him a monk quickly ​
 +because if in future he were to go, for instance, to Sera Je, that’s what he would do.  ​
 + 
 +Being very clever, those in charge at Drepung Gomang secured the child and made him a monk at 
 +Drepung Gomang. That child later became known as Jangkya Rolpay Dorje.  ​
 +Jangkya Rolpay Dorje became quite learned and eventually studied under Jamyang Shayba at Drepung ​
 +Gomang. He became so learned in fact that he began composing his own texts including this great text 
 +on tenets in which he makes reference to this issue of whether or not great compassion exists in the 
 +continuums of Hearers and Solitary Realisers.  ​
 + 
 +In asserting that great compassion exists in the continuum of Hearer and Solitary Realisers Jangkya ​
 +Rolpay Dorje didn’t say Jamyang Shayba was wrong or mistaken, he merely said that Jamyang Shayba ​
 +was referring to the greatness of their compassion in general. Usually when ‘great compassion’,​ is 
 +referred to, the ‘greatness’ spoken of is not a general greatness, but a specific manner of greatness. ​
 +[This word; che lugs is literally translated as “the manner of greatness]. It’s important to make this 
 +distinction. ​
 + 
 +Basically Jangkya Rolpay Dorje says that in order to be considered [an actual] great compassion, the 
 +manner in which compassion is great is that it must possess a great aim; that of being both concerned ​
 +with all sentient beings, and being directed toward buddhahood. Hence this ‘greatness’ has the 
 +connotation of assuming this great responsibility that can only be fully accomplished within ​
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 +  37
 +buddhahood. The great compassion mentioned in the context of the seven fold instructions on cause 
 +and effect is therefore the great compassion that is referred to here. 
 + 
 +The textbooks of Drepung Gomang say that while great compassion exists in the continuum of Hearers ​
 +and Solitary Realisers, the compassion of the highest intention does not. They therefore do make a 
 +distinction between those and Bodhisattvas,​ but it’s not a great difference. In fact, great compassion ​
 +and highest intention are ‘neighbors’ in the sequence of the seven fold instructions on cause and effect. ​
 +First you attain great compassion, then you attain the highest intention. Once you have attained great 
 +compassion, you are certain to go on and attain the highest intention. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la has brought this up in order that we gain a clear understanding of this term “great ​
 +compassion.” It’s important that we do understand this, especially in light of the sequence that Geshe-la has just alluded. Please retain that information.  ​
 + 
 +When divided there are ten: the first ground "Very Joyful,"​ the second ground "​Stainless,"​ the third ground ​
 +"​Radiant,"​ the fourth ground "​Shining,"​ the fifth ground "​Difficult to Tame," the sixth ground "​Manifest,"​ the 
 +seventh ground "Gone Afar," the eighth ground "​Immovable,"​ the ninth ground "Good Intelligence,"​ and 
 +the tenth ground, "Cloud of Dharma." ​
 + 
 +Having covered the definition of the grounds of an arya bodhisattva,​ we move onto the divisions of that 
 +and see that there are ten grounds of an arya bodhisattva. This paragraph merely gives the names of the 
 +ten grounds. These we will deal with in due course.  ​
 + 
 +It should be clear from this that all ten grounds are grounds of sentient beings. Tibetans have a manner ​
 +of speaking whereby they refer to ‘buddhas who have attained the tenth ground’. The assumption of 
 +course is that once you have attained the tenth ground, you attain buddhahood. Actually, on the tenth 
 +ground, you are still a Bodhisattva,​ therefore still a sentient being and have yet to actually attain ​
 +buddhahood. It is understandable that this mistake is sometimes made as these terms are often 
 +abbreviated and if you’re not careful in the way you expressed this, you might make this mistake. This 
 +is merely a manner of speaking common among Tibetans, and is actually not accurate.  ​
 +The following paragraph mentions a qualm or debate which is raised. From this qualm you can tell that 
 +we’re dealing with the Middle Way Autonomist position. It reads: ​
 + 
 +If someone says, "the definition of the first ground is: an exalted wisdom of the first ground that is 
 +governed by the higher perfection of generosity”,​ this is incorrect because such an exalted wisdom of the 
 +first ground does not exist.  ​
 + 
 +According to the Middle Way Autonomist system, the six or ten perfections do not exist on the grounds ​
 +of a bodhisattva. Only the ‘higher practices’ of those perfections exists on those grounds. Although the 
 +perfections themselves don’t exist on those grounds, they say, ‘the higher practices of the perfections ​
 +do. Therefore they say that you have to make the distinction by saying not that “it is governed by the 
 +perfection of generosity,​” but that it has “attained the higher practice of the perfection of generosity.” ​
 +the opponent, the “someone” in this context, is probably a Consequentialist since Consequentialists say 
 +that the perfections do exist on those grounds. ​
 + 
 +So then the definition of the first ground which is known as the Very Joyful, is: 
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  38
 +An exalted wisdom of the 1st
 + ​ground which has not attained the higher practice of the perfection of 
 +ethics and above but which has attained the higher practice of the perfection of generosity from within ​
 +the ten perfections. ​
 + 
 +This phrase “which has not attained the higher practice of the perfection of ethics and above” is 
 +important to include as this higher practice of generosity has been attained not just on the 1st
 + but on all 
 +subsequent grounds as well. By including this phrase “has not attained the higher practice of the 
 +perfection of ethics and above,” you exclude those higher grounds and the definition is thereby made to 
 +accord only with the first ground. ​
 + 
 +With regards to the ten perfections,​ the first six are those taught as the six perfections. Geshe-la ​
 +suggests that you record the ten for reference. The order as given in this text is as follows: ​
 +1.The perfection of generosity ​
 +2.The perfection of ethics ​
 +3.The perfection of patience (or forbearance) ​
 +4.The perfection of joyous effort ​
 +5.The perfection of concentration ​
 +6.The perfection of wisdom ​
 +7.The perfection of method or means 
 +8.The perfection of aspirational prayers ​
 +9.The perfection of power (or strength) (stobs) ​
 +10.The perfection of exalted wisdom ​
 + 
 +These are the ten perfections the higher practices of which are obtained as one progresses through the 
 +ten grounds. ​
 + 
 +The definition of the subsequent grounds can be formulated, using the definition of the 1st
 + ​ground as a 
 +basis. In this way, the definition of the 2nd
 + ​ground,​ the Stainless, would read: 
 + 
 +An exalted wisdom of the 2nd
 + ​ground which has not attained the higher practice of the perfection ​
 +of patience and above but which has attained the higher practice of the perfection of ethics from within ​
 +the ten perfections.  ​
 + 
 +For the definition of the 9th
 + ​ground:​ Good Intelligence,​ you would say: 
 +An exalted wisdom of the 9th
 + ​ground which has not attained the higher practice of the perfection of 
 +exalted wisdom, but has attained the higher practice of the perfection of power from within the ten 
 +perfections. ​
 +In defining the 10th
 + ​ground,​ you wouldn’t include this phrase “which has not attained the higher ​
 +practice of the perfection of --.and above” because the perfection of exalted wisdom is the highest ​
 +perfection. The definition of the 10th
 + ​ground would therefore read something like: 
 +An exalted wisdom of the 10th
 + ​ground which has attained the higher practice of the perfection of exalted ​
 +wisdom. ​
 +With reference to something said yesterday, [and to make problems, one problem at least], Geshe-la ​
 +said that a definition must be easier to realize than its definiendum:​ that which is being defined. This is 
 +because the definiendum is realized in dependence upon the definition. ​
 + 
 +Look then at the definition of the 1st
 + ​ground:​ ‘Very Joyful’. It includes this phrase “the exalted wisdom ​
 +of the 1st
 + ​ground.” Clearly, the exalted wisdom of the 1st
 + ​ground has already been understood. It is the  ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  39
 +‘Very Joyful’ which is yet to be understood. This is an instance in which the individual who has to 
 +understand [a term, in this case], the 1st
 + ​ground ​ ‘Very Joyful’, has not yet obtained the terminology but 
 +has already understood the basic meaning. This is something that we will encounter. There are 
 +occasions in which a person has understood the meaning but has not yet obtained the terminology. ​
 + 
 +It’s a little similar to a small child who can speak but has not yet learned the word for “water.” You 
 +could say “water” but the child would not understand. The child could be sitting there drinking a glass 
 +of water and has already understood, wet and moist. (Wet and moist is the definition of water). Having ​
 +already having realized wet and moist, you then have to teach the child the word for it: “water.”  ​
 + 
 +In a similar vein, you could say that cows have not realized water but they have realized wet and moist. ​
 +It’s a little strange, isn’t it? Similarly, the definition of wind is light and moving. So if we consider the 
 +New Age definition of emotions that Doug has so kindly offered us; “energy in motion”, it seems that 
 +emotions must be winds. (ho-ho-ho) ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la thought to give us the definitions of afflictive obscurations and obscurations to knowledge ​
 +today.  ​
 + 
 +The definition of the afflictive obscurations is: 
 +Those obscurations which primarily obstruct the attainment of liberation. ​
 + 
 +Afflictive obscurations are not necessarily disturbing emotions. Usually we speak of them as if they 
 +were equivalent, but properly speaking, an afflictive obscuration is not necessarily a disturbing ​
 +emotion. Take the subject seeds which are afflictive obscurations. The seeds of afflictive obscurations, ​
 +are not disturbing emotions, are they? To be a disturbing emotion, the thing in question needs to be a 
 +consciousness or an awareness, doesn’t it? Seeds are not consciousnesses. So what then is the seed of a 
 +disturbing emotion? It is that which has the capacity to generate a disturbing emotion in the future. ​
 + 
 +There is a question concerning the fully ripened aggregates in the unpleasant migrations. The question ​
 +is “Are the fully ripened aggregates in the unpleasant migrations afflictive obscurations?​” we know 
 +that the fully ripened aggregates of the unpleasant migrations are neither disturbing emotions nor are 
 +they the seeds of disturbing emotions, yet they are objects that need to be abandoned for they obstruct ​
 +the attainment of liberation, don’t they?  ​
 + 
 +The definition of the obscurations to knowledge would be: 
 +Those obscurations which primarily obstruct the attainment of buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +[Ven. Lozang Zopa mishears ‘buddhahood’ as ‘omniscience’]  ​
 +Omniscience is usually understood to refer to buddhahood, but if you equate these two terms then you 
 +open yourself up to a debate. This issue is difficult to translate into English because of the phrasing in 
 +Tibetan which lacks articles and doesn’t distinguish between singular anbd plural.  ​
 + 
 +The Tibetan word for omniscient literally translates as ‘all knowing’, or ‘knowing all’. In debate a 
 +respondent could therefore say; “Ah, it follows that bodhisattvas are not omniscient (do not know all).” ​
 +In general, is there a single thing that is not realized by bodhisattvas?​ No. Bodhisattvas are in the 
 +millions. They are numberless so there is not a single phenomenon that is not realized by them.. In this 
 +debate, you either say that there are phenomena that are not realized by bodhisattvas,​ or you say that 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  40
 +bodhisattvas are omniscient (know all). If you say that bodhisattvas are omniscient, they can then go on 
 +throwing further unwanted consequences at you 
 + 
 +This is not just a problem in English. The term tam che kyen pa (thams cad mkhyen pa) can be read as 
 +a noun but it can also be turned into a verb whereby it would mean “know all.” Because of the structure ​
 +of the language, the way in which it is expressed means that while bodhisattvas do indeed know all, an 
 +individual bodhisattva is not all knowing. ​
 + 
 +Student: I don’t think Bodhisattvas know everything. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Give an example of an object of knowledge that is not known by bodhisattvas. ​
 + 
 +Student: the inexpressible ground of a buddha. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: What are you talking about? Inexpressible ground? You’re studying dzog chen, aren’t you? 
 +We don’t know what you’re talking about but take this subject you have given us; ‘the inexpressible ​
 +ground of a buddha’. Is it something that was expressed in the sutras of the Bhagavan Shakyamuni ​
 +Buddha?  ​
 + 
 +Student: La, namaste (i.e., I surrender’). ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: If something is an established base, it is necessarily an object expressed in the sutras of the 
 +Bhagavan because that which is expressed in the sutras of the Bhagavan were taught for specific ​
 +disciples. Is there a phenomenon not realized by valid cognition?  ​
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Take valid cognition. It follows that it is the knower of all aspects (since all phenomena are 
 +known by valid cognition). ​
 +Take valid cognition. It follows that it is not found in the continuum of sentient beings because it is an  ​
 +exalted knower of all aspects.  ​
 + 
 +In the 70 topics, where do they posit the boundary line of the exalted knower of all aspects? Remember ​
 +that exalted knower of all aspects ​ (rnam mkhyen or kun mkhyen) is a synonym for omniscience (thams ​
 +cad mkhyen pa). Does it exist solely in the continuum of Buddhas? If yes then: take the subject; valid 
 +cognition. It follows that it is only found in the continuum of buddhas. Then it follows that it is not in 
 +the continuum of sentient beings. ​
 + 
 +The initial question that Geshe-la asked was “is there a phenomenon not realized by valid cognition?​” ​
 +Valid cognitions exist in the continuum of all sentient beings (and valid cognitions {collectively} do 
 +indeed ‘know all aspects’) ​
 + 
 +Student: Do bodhisattvas know the exalted knower of all aspects? ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Of course they know it. If the bodhisattvas didn’t know the exalted knower of all aspects, ​
 +they wouldn’t strive to attain it. Bodhisattvas are of very sharp faculties. They don’t just chase 
 +something merely through having heard its name. Geshe-la mentioned before, that when a person ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  41
 +develops the mind of enlightenment,​ they recognize not only the purpose and need for developing that, 
 +but also the capacity, or potential, to attain buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +Student: But they don’t know the mind of a buddha. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: They do indeed know it. Whether through clairvoyance (mngon shes), [perhaps better ​
 +translated literally as ‘higher knowledge’],​ or through logic, they do indeed know the mind of a 
 +buddha.  ​
 +I think this must be sufficient on the definition of the obscurations to knowledge:  ​
 +the obscurations that obstruct primarily the attainment of buddhahood ​
 + 
 +The way in which the individual schools of tenets posit obscurations to knowledge differs. The 
 +Consequence School asserts that only the imprints of the disturbing emotions, and those mistaken parts 
 +of dualistic appearance are obscurations to knowledge. Autonomists say that grasping at the 
 +selflessness of phenomenon is the obscurations to knowledge. The afflictive obscurations,​ they say, are 
 +the misapprehension of selflessness of person and the disturbing emotions such as anger, pride, ​
 +attachment, envy, that that engenders.  ​
 + 
 +An Autonomist would say that the misapprehension that grasps at the person, the “I,” as being truly 
 +established is not a disturbing emotion [and is not an afflictive obscuration]. In the ‘Eight Difficult ​
 +Points of the Middle Way Consequence School’, as recently taught by Geshe-la, one of the eight 
 +unique features of the Consequence School is taught to be that grasping of the selflessness of 
 +phenomenon is held to be an afflictive obscuration. ​
 + 
 +Those teachings on the Eight Difficult Points are something worthy of rejoicing in. Geshe-la rejoices ​
 +that he had the opportunity to teach on it and we should rejoice that we had the opportunity to listen. ​
 +We definitely accumulated a lot of merit, even if we have forgotten them! Edited transcripts are 
 +available. Hopefully, we can get a book together. ​
 + 
 +It is very important that we understand what these afflictive obscurations and obscurations to 
 +knowledge are. You’ll find mention of them in the different texts you read such as the Lam-Rim, but if 
 +you don’t understand the meaning of these terms, then you will just read the names ‘afflictive ​
 +obscurations’ and ‘obscurations to knowledge’ without them having any impact on you. 
 +---------- ​
 +The first point we covered today was this unique situation whereby Solitary Realisers take emptiness of 
 +duality as their primary object of meditation yet are acting primarily to attain liberation. Although ​
 +Autonomists assert this, they do not say there are any who attain the fruit of a Hearer Arhat and who 
 +then go on to enter the paths of a Solitary Realiser. There are those who have attained a Hearer path of 
 +Accumulation,​ or Preparation and who then enter the paths of a Solitary Realiser but no one who has 
 +attained a Hearer path of seeing then goes on to enter Solitary Realizer paths.. Autonomists do say 
 +however, that one who has attained the fruit of a Hearer or Solitary Realiser Arhat is “suitable to enter 
 +the Mahayana paths”, which is to say that they will indeed [eventually] do so. It is good if you can 
 +understand these details. ​
 + 
 +Student: Did Geshe-la say that a person who achieves the Hearer path of seeing or the Solitary Realiser ​
 +path of seeing will not, or is unable to, enter the Mahayana paths until they attain the fruit of an Arhat? ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: You heard correctly. Such a person has reached that path of seeing through a lot of effort ​
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 +  42
 +exerted on their paths of accumulation and preparation,​ a lot of effort exerted in which he or she took 
 +the afflictive obscurations as their primary object of abandonment. Having expended all that effort on 
 +those first two path,s and reached the path of seeing, they are not going to discard their endeavours and 
 +enter another path until they complete the task that they set out to achieve.  ​
 + 
 +Student: (question partly inaudible) It’s not just that they don’t want to have wasted all that time on the 
 +path of accumulation and path of preparation. In fact, aren’t they certain to continue? ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Yes, that’s a nice way to think about it. That’s right; it is said that in having attained one’s ​
 +respective path of seeing, one becomes certain or definite in that path. 
 +We will speak more on the Mahayana path of seeing in the coming days but one thing I should mention ​
 +now is that, according to the Autonomist School, once a person attains the Mahayana path of seeing ​
 +they begin to abandon both the afflictive obscurations and the obscurations to knowledge ​
 +simultaneously. This is an Autonomist assertion that the Consequence School does not share. The 
 +Consequence School asserts that the individual does not start abandoning obscurations to knowledge ​
 +until they reach the 8th
 + ​Bodhisattva ground. ​
 + 
 +Student: Do Solitary Realisers also abandon the afflictive obscurations and obscurations to knowledge ​
 +simultaneously once they attain the path of seeing? ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: You should be more precise. You could say that they abandon the afflictive obscurations and 
 +the coarse obscurations to knowledge simultaneously,​ but it’s important to include the word “coarse”. ​
 +All obscurations to knowledge are not abandoned completely until buddhahood.  ​
 + 
 +Today, Geshe-la also introduced us to the 10 perfections. Each of the 10 grounds has its own name and 
 +these are given in the text on page 6. It’s important that you retain that information as then the 
 +definitions for each of the 10 ground will be clear.  ​
 + 
 + 
  
grounds_paths_of_buddhism_commentary_geshe_tashi_tsering_2.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:11 (external edit)