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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 ======
 +
 +
 +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-5
 +----
 +
 +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 
 +Teacher ​ : Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter : Lozang Zopa     
 +Number of the tape… 17 
 +Date of the teaching… Tuesday 1st
 + April 2003 
 + 
 +In the refuge and bodhicitta prayer we recite before our classes sometimes it is recited as: 
 + 
 +‘Dag.gi jin sog gyi.pai sö.nam kyi/ dro.la pan.ch’ir sang.gyä drub.par shog’.In English that means, ‘by 
 +the merit of my performance of generosity and so forth, may it act as a cause – may I attain ​
 +Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.’ ​ Sometimes, it is changed slightly to: ‘Dag.gi jin sog 
 +gyi.pai di dak kyi ….’ which means ‘by means of generosity and so forth’. ​ When would you recite the 
 +first? ​ When would you recite the second? ​
 + 
 +The first refers to gathering the accumulation of merit. In effect, it means: ‘May my gathering of the 
 +accumulation of merit act as a cause for the attainment of Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient ​
 +beings’. ​
 + 
 +There is no mention of the accumulation of exalted wisdom, yet we do gather the accumulation of 
 +exalted wisdom, by thinking about emptiness, for example. ​ Therefore we can alter the verse slightly so 
 +it refers to the accumulation of merit and the accumulation of exalted wisdom. His Holiness made this 
 +very suggestion. ​ He recommended people recite it as ‘Dag.gi jin sog gyi.pai tsök.nam ky’, which 
 +means ‘may I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings through the accumulations of 
 +generosity etc.’. This is a good alteration because it uses the plural ‘accumulations’ and thus includes ​
 +both merit and exalted wisdom.  ​
 + 
 +When we investigate whether or not things are truly existent and reflect on the subtle objects of 
 +negation, we are gathering the accumulation of exalted wisdom. Certainly if anything is an 
 +accumulation of exalted wisdom, it is this study of Grounds and Paths during which we are 
 +investigating these very issues. Yet at the same time we are also gathering the accumulation of merit.  ​
 + 
 +So let us think  ‘by our activities here may we integrate the accumulation of merit and exalted wisdom ​
 +so that they act as a cause for the attainment of buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings’. ​
 + 
 +We are nearing the end of the section on the grounds. We have the section dealing with the thorough ​
 +purification and then another section and then we are finished. So since this is the fifth week – what are 
 +the most important things we have studied over the past four.  ​
 + 
 +Student: The Mahayana Grounds  ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Why? 
 + 
 +Student: Because from the perspective of the mahayana path they are something to be engaged in. 
 + 
 +Geshela: Well you could also say that with respect to the hearer paths, the hearer paths and fruit are 
 +objects to be engaged in…  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  2
 +The beginning of the text has a section about refuting others’ systems which we have put aside for the 
 +time being but we actually began by discussing the section dealing with positing our own system. In 
 +that section that there is a presentation of grounds and a presentation of paths.  ​
 + 
 +Now we are just about coming to the end of the presentation of grounds. ​
 +Within the presentation of grounds there are 3 parts: ​
 +the definitions;  ​
 +the divisions and  ​
 +the meaning of the terms. (refer page 1) 
 + 
 +Follow in the text. Geshela is going to give an overview into what is being studied because it is not 
 +quite clear if we have really grasped the outline.  ​
 + 
 +By going through an overview, what the most important points are will become quite apparent. This 
 +kind of foundational overview is very important. ​
 + 
 +The divisions then introduce the grounds of the hearer, the grounds of the solitary realiser and the 
 +grounds of the mahayana and the grounds of a hearer also have a section devoted to the definitions and 
 +a section devoted to the divisions as before,​. ​
 + 
 +So let us consider the Mahayana Grounds since they were posited (by the student) as the most 
 +importantThere is a section called 2. The Mahayana Grounds. ​
 + 
 +If this is number 2. what is number 1.? 
 + 
 +Students: Hinayana Grounds… ​
 + 
 +How many parts does this explanation of the mahayana grounds have? Five as was just mentioned ​
 +the definitions,  ​
 +the divisions,  ​
 +the method of moving from ground to ground,  ​
 +the distinguishing features and  ​
 +the meaning of the words. ​
 + 
 +You all know the definitions don’t you? The definition of the mahayana grounds is quite easy isn’t it.  ​
 + 
 +So how many divisions are there? What are the divisions? If the Mahayana Grounds were divided how 
 +many would there be? 
 + 
 +Student: Two 
 + 
 +Geshela: Excellent! What are the two? 
 +Excellent - That’s correct the Bodhisattva Grounds and the Buddha Grounds.  ​
 + 
 +After having given the definition of mahayana ground, the text says that when this is divided there are 
 +bodhisattva grounds and buddha grounds. Geshela says you could actually put in a heading here which 
 +would say:2 Divisions… In the Tibetan text you don’t find this heading and therefore it’s not in the 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  3
 +English translation but we could insert for ourself, 2. The Divisions: the Bodhisattva Grounds and 
 +Buddha Grounds. ​
 + 
 +If the bodhisattva grounds are divided there are the grounds of ordinary beings and the grounds of arya 
 +beings, and within those bodhisattva grounds of ordinary beings there are two, the path of 
 +accumulation and the path of preparation. So how many arya grounds would there be? 10? That’s right. ​
 +There are 10 arya bodhisattva grounds?  ​
 + 
 +If the section to be headed ‘divisions’ is taken to begin from the point in the text which reads, “when ​
 +this is divided there are bodhisattva grounds and buddha grounds” there’s a lot covered in that section, ​
 +correct?  ​
 + 
 +For instance, within the arya bodhisattva grounds we’ve got the 10 grounds. If we look at the first of 
 +those 10, within that first ground there’s both the path of seeing and the path of meditation and then 
 +within the path of seeing we have the uninterrupted path and the path of release etc. So there is a lot 
 +material covered within that section. ​
 + 
 +So this then emerges as one of the more important points. There’s the very short section on definitions ​
 +and then you launch straight into the section on divisions. There’s a lot of important material in that 
 +section. ​
 + 
 +The third section which deals with the way in which the individual moves from ground to ground is a 
 +bit more manageable isn’t it. If you understand how you go from the uninterrupted path to the path of 
 +release and then emerge to have a exalted wisdom of subsequent attainment and so forth you basically ​
 +understand the way in which a person moves from ground to ground.  ​
 + 
 +The fourth section which deals with the distinguishing features and within that we have different things ​
 +such as the feature of the way in which one attains the higher practice of the perfections. We’re ​
 +essentially speaking about different features of the various grounds. How many sub-divisions are found 
 +in this fourth section distinguishing features? Five. 
 + 
 +The first of these five is distinguishing the method for attaining the higher practices of the perfections  ​
 +which is quite straight forward because essentially all you have to know is that at this particular point 
 +that particular higher practice of that particular perfection is attained. Tre’s not much more to it than 
 +that is there? ​
 + 
 +Second is distinguishing the method for increasing the qualities. And third is distinguishing the method ​
 +for taking a fruitional rebirth.  ​
 + 
 +Fourth is distinguishing the method for abandoning the abandonments ​
 + 
 +Does this seems to be the second most important s division we’re dealing with here? Once again there 
 +is a lot of important material. Think about all the different things that are objects to be abandoned. We 
 +have on the one hand, afflicted obscurations and obscurations to knowledge.  ​
 + 
 +Within afflictive obscurations there are those that are abandoned on the path of seeing and those that 
 +are abandoned on the path of meditation. Likewise within the obscurations to knowledge there are 
 +those that are abandoned on the path of seeing and those that are abandoned on the path of meditation. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  4
 +Doesn’t this section that deals with the objects to be abandoned seem like the second most important ​
 +point?  ​
 + 
 +So the questions could be asked: How many afflictive obscurations are abandoned on the path of 
 +seeing? How many obscurations to knowledge are abandoned on the path of seeing? How many 
 +afflictive obscurations are abandoned on the path of meditation? How many obscurations to knowledge ​
 +are abandoned on the path of meditation?  ​
 + 
 +The way in which we have discussed this should have clarified these issues.This is something that we 
 +need to read again and again. This is indeed quite a crucial point. ​
 + 
 +So, within this particular division we are working on – section 4 - we have the fifth subdivision yet to 
 +deal with, the feature of the thorough purifications.  ​
 + 
 +Also of the initial or root outline, we still have the fifth which is called the meaning of the terms. ​
 + 
 +The remaining ones should be quite easy. Try to get an understanding of the definition of thorough ​
 +purification and the rest kind of falls into place. ​
 + 
 +Now, if the mahayana ground are the most important within this material that we’ve covered thus far, 
 +then within that what points can we highlight as being of particular importance? The divisions and the 
 +objects to be abandoned. If we can gain an understanding of the relationship between these two 
 +(divisions and objects to be abandoned) then we gain a fairly good understanding of the material that 
 +we are working with. 
 + 
 +The mahayana paths are indeed the most important of the material we have covered here, first of all 
 +because we are of course emphasising the practice of the mahayana and secondly because it is said that 
 +the mahayana subsumes or includes those which are below it. They are all complete within the 
 +mahayana. ​
 + 
 +If a person practises the mahayana paths then their practice includes or subsumes that of the hinayana ​
 +however if a person practises the hinayana paths then mahayana paths are not subsumed under that. 
 + 
 +So when you get the time, be it after the BSP or in the privacy of your own home you should take the 
 +opportunity to read this material over again and again, focusing on what the outline is highlighting. We 
 +have the divisions, and within that section on divisions there are a number of definitions given – 
 +definitions of the uninterrupted path, definition of the path of release and so on a so forth.  ​
 + 
 +You will notice that the definitions of those respective paths are given in relation to corresponding ​
 +objects to be abandoned, so then you have to consider exactly what is abandoned by the uninterrupted ​
 +path and what the path of release is free from and so on and so forth. Returning to this material again 
 +and again would be very good to gain understanding. ​
 + 
 +If you gain an understanding in this way then you put yourself in the position of being ready to 
 +determine whether or not it’s possible to attain Buddhahood. This is pretty impressive isn’t it – to be 
 +able to determine through reasoning whether or not there is such a thing as liberation or Buddhahood to 
 +be attained? ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  5
 +So within these six weeks we are indeed accomplishing one of our purposes.  ​
 + 
 +If, over the course of six weeks you were to receive $10,000, you wouldn’t know if that $10,000 would 
 +bring you pleasure or pain. But if you study this material, gain an understanding of it, and reflect upon 
 +it again and again then you are establishing a basis. You are putting down your roots in the path. You 
 +are establishing the very root of these paths, which are certain to bear positive effect –happiness and 
 +pleasure. The effects that come from this kind of study, and our effort in this regard are much more 
 +certain. They bring forth much more certain results than getting $10,000 which, you never know, could 
 +go either way.  ​
 + 
 +Another reason the effects of this study are so definitely beneficial is because studying this material ​
 +helps to ensure that our mind works only in a positive direction and does not move in a negative ​
 +direction. It encourages us to engage solely in virtue and to refrain from negativity. With this kind of 
 +impact on us, we’re certain to experience the effect of happiness and pleasure.  ​
 + 
 +Within the teachings there is also the subject of mindtraining,​ sometimes called thought transformation. ​
 +The ultimate source for both mindtraining and grounds and paths is essentially the same but do you not 
 +see variances within the material? Do the two subjects not differ though they be of a single source?  ​
 +What are the differences between the two –mindtraining and grounds and paths? ​
 + 
 +Geshela often says how the Buddhadharma is intended to help us reduce the disturbing emotions. Now 
 +the reduction of the disturbing emotions has two aspects: there is the preventing the disturbing ​
 +emotions from becoming manifest in the meantime and then there is the more lasting or final complete ​
 +uprooting of the disturbing emotions. Two different aspects - preventing them from becoming manifest ​
 +in the meantime and completely uprooting them. 
 + 
 +The material that we are studying here explains the way in which you completely uproot the disturbing ​
 +emotions, the way in which you eliminate them from the very basis.  ​
 + 
 +Studying this material provides us with the direct methods that help us to bring that about doesn’t it? If 
 +you were to study this and begin to apply it, this would be the actual method by which the disturbing ​
 +emotions are actually uprooted wouldn’t it? 
 + 
 +After all the complete elimination of the disturbing emotions is done by wisdom. So studying this 
 +material gives you the confidence that indeed it is wisdom that completely uproots the disturbing ​
 +emotions, eliminating them together with their seeds.  ​
 + 
 +The material found within grounds and paths is the actual method that allows us to eliminate the 
 +disturbing emotions together with their seeds. Now if we were to develop these, then we would be 
 +developing the strength of mind that actually brings that about.  ​
 + 
 +Whereas when we deal with the subjects within mindtraining,​ we are dealing with things such as 
 +loving-kindness and compassion and the intention to definitely emerge. Those push the disturbing ​
 +emotions out of the way – take their place. So you develop the determination to definitely emerge, ​
 +giving rise to the thought that ‘I must attain liberation’,​ or develop the mind of enlightenment (‘I must 
 +attain Buddhahood’). In effect you’re giving rise to states of mind that prevent the disturbing emotions ​
 +from becoming manifest in the meantime. These are different approach from those taught here aren’t ​
 +they? 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  6
 + 
 +Can you recognise this difference? ​  
 + 
 +We need them both, don’t we? We need a very strong aspiration that strives to attain liberation or 
 +Buddhahood. We  need a very strong aspiration to abandon the disturbing emotions together with their 
 +seeds and so forth. Wisdom of course helps to lend force to those efforts. Thus we have method and 
 +wisdom and we need both, method and wisdom.  ​
 + 
 +There are different numbers of thorough purifications corresponding to different paths but it’s quite 
 +easy material. This ground has that number of thorough purifications,​ this one has that etc…  ​
 + 
 +A question has been raised about the seeds and the imprints. First of all, consider the fact that this 
 +material is given from an autonomist perspective,​ where the distinction between grasping at true 
 +existence and the disturbing emotions, is in effect a distinction between misapprehending the self of 
 +phenomena and misapprehending the self of persons. ​ Thus, seeds and imprints are of two different ​
 +types, related to which type of self is misapprehended. ​  
 + 
 +You might say that, on the paths that go beyond the world, a person ‘abandons the disturbing ​
 +emotions’. ​ That means that the person abandons the disturbing emotions together with their seeds, but 
 +not necessarily their imprints. ​ The question, then, arises, ‘What is the difference between seeds and 
 +imprints?​’  ​
 + 
 +There are four possibilities,​ or mu, between seeds and imprints. ​  
 +1. That which is a seed but not an imprint, for instance, the seed of a tree. Insert your favourite fruit 
 +here, an apple tree if you like apples, a mango tree if you like mangoes. ​ The seed of a mango tree is 
 +certainly not an imprint, yet it is a seed. 
 + 
 +What is an example of something that is an imprint but not a seed?  You takes skill and knowledge to 
 +posit this in a way that conforms to the autonomist school. It’s a bit easier from the consequence ​
 +perspective. ​
 + 
 +2. An example of something that is an imprint but not a seed is:  ​
 +an imprint of the obscurations to knowledge in the continuum of a bodhisattva on the 10th
 + 
 +ground in subsequent attainment. ​
 + 
 +Why bother including the phrase, ‘in subsequent attainment’? ​ A bodhisattva in subsequent attainment ​
 +has arisen from the 10th
 + ​ground’s path of release but has yet to enter into the one-pointed equipoise ​
 +upon emptiness again after that.  Such a person has yet to enter the uninterrupted path of the tenth 
 +ground.  ​
 + 
 +On the uninterrupted path, a bodhisattva does not have the imprints of apprehending true existence ​
 +present in his or her continuum. ​ Nor does such a person have afflictive obscurations or obscurations to 
 +knowledge in his or her continuum. Though they have not been abandoned, they are not present in that 
 +person’s continuum because the uninterrupted path acts as the actual antidote to them.  ​
 + 
 +The last stage [of the learner grounds, the uninterrupted path of the tenth ground,] is known as the 
 +vajra-like absorption. Due to the particular features of that time period, there are no imprints of the 
 +obscurations to knowledge present in the continuum of the bodhisattva who has entered this path.   
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  7
 + 
 +Therefore, when giving an example of something that is an imprint but not a seed, it is not sufficient to 
 +merely say, ‘an imprint of the obscurations to knowledge in the continuum of a bodhisattva on the 10th
 + 
 +ground’. We have to specify further, and hence the phrase, ‘in subsequent attainment’. ​
 + 
 +Student: Does Geshela mean to say that there are no obscurations to knowledge or afflictive ​
 +obscurations – or that they are not manifest? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: There are none. There are no imprints. ​ The general procedure is that when an uninterrupted ​
 +path becomes manifest, the corresponding objects of abandonment together with their seeds, are no 
 +longer present. Thus, there are no imprints of either of the two obscurations present in the 
 +uninterrupted path of the 10th
 + ​ground. ​ It is not that they are present but unmanifest. ​ They are not 
 +present. Full stop.  ​
 + 
 +Student: If you haven’t abandoned them how can they not be there? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: The presence of the actual antidote ensures that the imprints are not present. There is a 
 +difference between applying the antidote and having abandoned. ​ First, a person produces the antidote. ​
 +After some time, a corresponding true cessation is attained. Abandonment,​ as in ‘having abandoned’, ​
 +takes place at the same time a true cessation is attained. ​  A similar thing happens with each 
 +uninterrupted path and path of release. ​ At each stage, we must distinguish between the antidote [at 
 +work] and the abandonment [which comes about once that work is complete]. ​
 + 
 +Just because a thing has not been abandoned does not mean it is present. ​
 + 
 +Student: Did Geshela mean to say, ‘an imprint of obscurations to knowledge in the uninterrupted path 
 +of a bodhisattva on the 10th
 + ​ground’ is the example of something that is an imprint but not the seed. 
 + 
 +Geshela: ​ No. The subject you have posited is not established [i.e. does not exist]. There is no imprint ​
 +of an obscuration to knowledge in the continuum of a bodhisattva on the 10th
 + ​ground’s uninterrupted ​
 +path. Thinking some of you would make this very mistake, I intentionally included the phrase ​
 +‘subsequent attainment’. In the state of subsequent attainment there are imprints – on the 10th
 + ​ground’s ​
 +uninterrupted path, there are none. 
 + 
 +When is the uninterrupted path of the 10th
 + ​ground produced? In the last moment, or period, of the 10th
 + 
 +ground. When the corresponding path of release is attained, what happens? The person attains an 
 +exalted knower of all aspects [omniscience or Buddhahood]. ​ In the continuum of a person on this last 
 +uninterrupted path, there are no imprints because they have produced the direct antidote to them – to 
 +any remaining imprints. ​
 + 
 +Student: If the imprints of the obscurations to knowledge in the continuum of a bodhisattva on the 10th
 + 
 +ground in a state of subsequent attainment are imprints and not seeds, does this mean that the small 
 +small obscurations to knowledge abandoned by the 10th
 + ​ground’s uninterrupted path are imprints but 
 +not seeds – for there are no more seeds left? 
 + 
 +Geshela: There are no seeds of obscurations to knowledge, that is, seeds of apprehensions to true 
 +existence, in the continuum of a bodhisattva on the 10th
 + ​ground in subsequent attainment. Yet, there are 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  8
 +seeds amongst the small small obscurations to knowledge abandoned by the 10th
 + ​ground’s ​
 +uninterrupted path.  ​
 + 
 +Innate apprehensions of true existence are divided into three cycles, the small, middle and great cycle.  ​
 +Each of these is, in turn, divided into three such cycles. The small small cycle is present in the 
 +continuum of a person on the path of seeing, on the path of meditation. ​ It is present from the 1st
 + ​ground ​
 +and on the 8th
 + ​ground it’s still there. ​ But if you were to say ‘That means it is present in the continuum ​
 +of a bodhisattva on the 10th
 + ​ground ​ in subsequent attainment’,​ I would say ‘why?​’  ​
 + 
 +Included amongst the objects abandoned by the 10th
 + ​ground’s uninterrupted path are afflicted ​
 +obscurations their seeds as well as the seeds of obscurations to knowledge. Thus, there are seeds 
 +included amongst the small small obscurations to knowledge. [Remember that, according to the 
 +Autonomists,​ afflictive obscurations and obscurations to knowledge are abandoned together.] ​
 + 
 +What is the sign that there are imprints of obscurations to knowledge in the continuum of the 
 +bodhisattva on the 10th
 + ​ground in subsequent attainment? A bodhisattva in subsequent attainment on 
 +the tenth ground still has the appearance of true existence. The main thing imprints do is create the 
 +appearance of true existence, the appearance of true existence is a sign that those imprints still exist in 
 +that bodhisattva’s continuum.  ​
 + 
 +The seeds of the apprehension of true existence are understood as being ‘that which has the capacity to 
 +produce an apprehension of true existence.’ Whereas having the capacity to produce characterizes a 
 +seed, being capable of creating the appearance of true existence is characteristic of an imprint. ​ Think 
 +about it.  The seed of an apple has the capacity to produce an apple of a similar type. 
 + 
 +Alternatively,​ let us say there was a bag in which apples are kept.  Once all the apples are taken out, 
 +there are no longer any seeds in there, yet the smell of apples remains. Come close to it and you still 
 +have the impression that there are apples. The imprints of apples are there, yet there are no seeds in 
 +there. ​
 + 
 +The smell of an apple can create the appearance of apple – it makes it seems as if there’s apples. Yet it 
 +cannot produce an apple of a similar type.  This is like an imprint. ​
 + 
 +The imprints of apprehensions of true existence may be of a type that:  ​
 +creates the appearance of true existence and  ​
 +has the capacity to produce the apprehension of true existence ​
 + 
 +From the perspective that a particular imprint has the capacity to produce an apprehension of true 
 +existence at a later moment, it is called ‘seed’. ​ From the perspective that it produces the appearance of 
 +true existence, it is called ‘imprint’. ​  
 + 
 +3. The seed of an apprehension of true existence in the continuum of an ordinary sentient being is both 
 +a seed and an imprint. ​ That’s the third possibility of something that is both an imprint and a seed. 
 + 
 +4. It’s easy to posit the fourth possibility of that which is neither. ​
 + 
 +Hence, there are four possibilities between being a seed and being an imprint. ​  
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  9
 +An example of something that is an imprint but not a seed is an imprint of the obscurations to 
 +knowledge in the continuum of a bodhisattva on the 10th
 + ​ground in subsequent attainment. ​ In giving ​
 +that as an example, we highlight the fact that the objects of abandonment that correspond to the 10th
 + 
 +ground’s uninterrupted path are not present in the continuum of the bodhisattva on the 10th
 + ​ground’s ​
 +uninterrupted path. They are not present yet that have not been abandoned.  ​
 + 
 +The capacity to produce a later moment of an apprehension of true existence does not exist in the 
 +continuum of a 10th
 + ​ground bodhisattva. It is impossible. ​
 + 
 +To avoid all this discussion, you could posit as the example of that which is an imprint but not a seed, 
 +‘an imprint which does not have the capacity to produce a later moment of apprehension of true 
 +existence and was placed by an apprehension of true existence.’ Certain questions would follow and it 
 +would not be easy.  You would be challenged: ‘That subject is not a seed because…?​’ The reason you 
 +give in response is, ‘because it does not have the capacity to produce the apprehension of true existence ​
 +which would be its effect.’ ​
 + 
 +The subject, a basket meant to hold apples is not the seed of an apple because it doesn’t have the 
 +capacity to produce an apple as its effect.  ​
 + 
 +Through habituation with the apprehension of true existence, we deposit the capacity to produce later 
 +moments of apprehensions of true existence in our continuums. ​ In addition we also leave behind a 
 +potency that gives the impression of true existence, in other words, which creates the appearance of 
 +true existence. If two such capacities are placed in our continuum, they can be isolated. ​ The one that 
 +lacks the capacity to produce later moments of the apprehension of true existence is an imprint and not 
 +a seed. 
 + 
 +Student: Is the first ground bodhisattva released from the seeds and imprints? ​
 + 
 +You cannot say such a person has been released from them. To be free or released from them, a state of 
 +freedom from them must be attained. ​ This is equivalent to a true cessation. To attain freedom, a true 
 +cessation must be attained. ​ My basic point is that, although a thing has not been abandoned, it is not 
 +necessarily present. ​ To abandon something, freedom from it must be attained, or in other words, the 
 +person must have attained true cessation of it.  ​
 + 
 +Student: Can you say that there are no imprints in the continuum of a person in one-pointed equipoise ​
 +upon emptiness because all dualistic appearances have subsided? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: ​ No. The uninterrupted path of the 10th
 + ​ground is the final actual antidote, so it’s the actual ​
 +antidote to whatever imprints there are.  ​
 + 
 +Student: Why are imprints more subtle than the objects of abandonment that correspond to the 
 +uninterrupted path of the first ground still present in the continuum of a person on the 1st
 + ​ground’s ​
 +uninterrupted path?  Is it because he or she hasn’t developed the actual antidotes to that? 
 + 
 +Geshela: Just because the objects of abandonment are not present in a person’s continuum does not 
 +mean he or she has developed the actual antidote to it. For example, we [as people who maintain ​
 +phenomena do not truly exist] do not have the acquired apprehension of true existence in our 
 +continuum. Yet we have not abandoned it either. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  10
 + 
 +Last week I mentioned that when an acquired apprehension of true existence manifest in mind 
 +necessarily bears certain similarities with that mind. I further expressed my opinion that there is no 
 +difference between a manifest innate apprehension of true existence and an acquired apprehension of 
 +true existence for that very reason. Remember? ​
 + 
 +That which does not have the capacity to produce the apprehension of true existence, yet does have the 
 +capacity to create the appearance of true existence is more subtle than that which has the capacity to 
 +produce the apprehension of true existence. Thus, there is definitely a difference in their subtlety. ​
 + 
 +On the uninterrupted path of the path of seeing, a person abandons the acquired misapprehension of the 
 +self together with its seeds. ​ Yet that does not mean such a person abandons its imprints as well.   
 + 
 +Today we’ve counted the four possibilities between imprint and seed. 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  11
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Number of the tape… 18 
 +Date of the teaching… Wednesday 2nd
 + April 2003 
 + 
 +This morning we saw how the Master Kamalasila taught the misapprehension of the self of persons. He 
 +mentioned that there is a position which holds that the misapprehension of a self of persons can refer to 
 +a permanent, unitary, independent self, or the self-sufficient,​ substantially existent self. Now the 
 +position that asserts a permanent unitary, independent self is not supported by any buddhist. No 
 +buddhist tenet school asserts that a permanent self exists, but there are some, I think they are called the 
 +Vatsiputriyans,​ this is the gnal ma bu pa: the Nalma Bupa who are part of the Great Exposition school ​
 +who accept a substantially existent, self-sufficient person.  ​
 + 
 +Those of you who have not studied tenets then should make sure that that sticks in your mind.  ​
 + 
 +Excuse me. There are four hallmarks of the buddhist view. The first being that all compounded things ​
 +are impermanent,​ second that all contaminated things are in the nature of suffering, thirdly that 
 +phenomena are selfless, and fourthly that they are empty. Now Geshe-la feels that the ‘selfless’ refers ​
 +to the persons being empty of a self-sufficient,​ substantially existent self, and ‘empty’ refers to a person ​
 +being empty of a permanent, unitary, and independent self. 
 + 
 +Now Geshe-la thought to read over the text today and not to teach a great deal of new material because ​
 +there is still a bit to go through and we won’t have the opportunity to do so perhaps in the future. So to 
 +begin reading through this text again from the beginning turn to the packet that was handed out today, ​
 +that’s the beginning of this text on grounds and paths.  ​
 + 
 +It says, “In that there is the accumulation of exalted wisdom and ...” ​
 + 
 +We were speaking about the two accumulations,​ correct? That of exalted wisdom and of merit. The text 
 +in the very beginning makes reference to the accumulation of exalted wisdom. There are seventeen ​
 +accomplishments of accumulation. ​
 + 
 +Of these seventeen accomplishments of accumulation,​ why explain the accumulation of exalted wisdom in 
 +particular?​” Well there is a reason for the accumulation of exalted wisdom is difficult to realize and if 
 +realized, it carries great benefits and virtues.” ​
 + 
 +Now this is a reference to the accumulation of exalted wisdom that is taught in the context of 
 +Maitreya’s Ornament of Clear Realization. The accumulation of exalted wisdom is difficult to realize ​
 +because according to the Autonomists,​ one must realize emptiness in order to realize the accumulation ​
 +of exalted wisdom. For the accumulation of “exalted wisdom taught in this context” it is the wisdom ​
 +realizing emptiness.  ​
 + 
 +So here we have five sections:  ​
 +Setting out the individual systems of the Middle Way and the Mind-Only.  ​
 +Proving the validity of the Middle Way system.  ​
 +Abandoning the grounds for disputing that.  ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  12
 +Refuting the Mind-Only system, and  ​
 +The reasons for not explaining the other divisions of exalted wisdom. ​  
 + 
 +Geshe-la feels that there are two purposes that will be served in covering this material. The first relates ​
 +to those who have studied the tenets material before; by reviewing this it will help us to become more 
 +clear about the different positions regarding emptiness. ​ The second purpose has to do with those who 
 +have not studied the tenets material; by going over this section it will help you to be able to 
 +differentiate between the views of the Middle Way school and the Mind-Only school. Geshe-la was 
 +laughing saying that perhaps it’s important to point out the need for going over this material otherwise ​
 +you sit back thinking “he’s always talking about these peripheral topics, the things we don’t need to 
 +focus on”. ​ But there is actually two purposes in studying this material.  ​
 + 
 +So first we have the setting out of the individual systems of the Middle Way and the Mind-Only, and 
 +then they go on to prove the validity of the Middle Way system. Now because the author is a proponent ​
 +of the Middle Way, then he is clearly going to establish the validity of that system. Then we abandon ​
 +the grounds for disputing the notion that it is the Middle Way that’s the valid one. Then we go on to 
 +refute the Mind-Only system.  ​
 + 
 +So first of all we consider what the Mind-Only school says about the accumulation of exalted wisdom ​
 +that is taught in this context. According to the Mind-Only school, the accumulation of exalted wisdom ​
 +taught in this context refers to the wisdom that realizes the emptiness, that is the apprehender and the 
 +apprehended being empty of different substances. The Mind-Only school says this is the subtle ​
 +emptiness. Furthermore,​ they hold that this subtle emptiness is truly established. Finally, they say that 
 +that is the assessed object of the arya’s exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise.  ​
 + 
 +So the Mind-Only school would say that the apprehended object such as blue and white, and these 
 +objects and so forth, are a single substance with the consciousness that apprehends them. Yet the way 
 +these types of apprehended objects appear to us as ordinary sentient beings is as if they are distant and 
 +cut off or separated. So when you consider the objects apprehended by the sense consciousnesses such 
 +as white, or blue, or something, it appears to us ordinary sentient beings as if they are distant and cut 
 +off things, or disconnected. ​
 + 
 +It seems to us as if these appearances of good and bad have no relation or connection to internal ​
 +consciousness. Yet according to the Mind-Only school this in incorrect. They say that due to the 
 +awakening of imprints of internal consciousness,​ these appearances arise, and that those appearances ​
 +and the internal consciousness are of single substance. In other words they have the same substantial ​
 +cause.  ​
 + 
 +So whether it’s a good appearances which appear to you, it’s due to the awakening of the potencies ​
 +within your own mental continuum, or bad appearances that appear to you, those also are due to the 
 +awakening of these imprints which are in fact potencies of your mind within you. In effect they are 
 +saying that these appearances are the ripening or fruition of internal seeds of consciousness. Think-ing ​
 +about this Mind-Only presentation is said to be beneficial for reflecting on cause and effect.  ​
 + 
 +This view that the apprehended and apprehenders are empty of being different substances is the final 
 +view of the Mind-Only school. This emptiness is said to be thoroughly established. As a thoroughly ​
 +established phenomenon it is, according to the Mind-Only school, truly established.  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  13
 +Whereas what would the Middle Way school say? They would say that the emptiness that is all 
 +phenomena’s emptiness of true existence is the assessed object of the arya’s exalted wisdom of 
 +meditative equipoise. So the views of the Mind-Only and the Middle Way schools are not similar are 
 +they?  ​
 + 
 +In previous weeks we spoke about how Solitary Realisers take as their primary object of abandonment ​
 +the misapprehension which apprehends, the apprehendeds and apprehenders to be different substances. ​
 +In fact that is the object being negated here.  ​
 + 
 +In the rgyan snang which I think we are calling The Illumination of The Ornament, it says: 
 +  ​
 +If asked, ‘What is the focus of this non-conceptual exalted wisdom?’ some would maintain, ‘it is 
 +emptiness.’ Others would maintain that it focuses on an emptiness of the very entity of all phenomena. ​
 + 
 +So we have two responses. The first response is that on the Mind-Only. The second is that of the 
 +Middle Way. Is that sufficient for the first section of setting out the individual systems of the Middle ​
 +Way and Mind-Only? ​
 + 
 +Now we move on to the second section which is proving the validity of the Middle Way system. Which 
 +of these two systems is valid, in other words, logically acceptable? It is the Middle Way system that is 
 +valid because it has correct reasons to prove it.  ​
 + 
 +It follows that the Mind-Only school does not have such reasoning. Does the Mind-Only school lack 
 +logic and reasoning? Does the Mind-Only school have correct proofs? ​
 + 
 +The Mind-Only school have the reasons which prove their basic assertion, that the apprehended and 
 +apprehenders are empty of being different substances. The logic that they lack has to do with their 
 +further assertion that that is truly established. In other words, they are saying that emptiness is truly 
 +established and that’s what’s not sufficient.  ​
 + 
 +Now the Mind Only problem is that they cannot accept that emptiness is merely imputed, and thus they 
 +assert that it is established by way of it’s own character.  ​
 + 
 +It is the Middle Way system that is valid because it has correct reasons to prove it. So what are they? Well 
 +The Great Commentary gives a syllogism of nature. [It says:] “This is valid because whatever is 
 +consciousness focuses on [a dharma whose nature is] emptiness, the nature of all phenomena. Take for 
 +instance that which focuses on the emptiness entity such as an elephant or a horse in a dream. This non-conceptual exalted wisdom, which is the object in question, is also a consciousness.’ ​
 + 
 +This is just a direct quote from the root text: The Great Commentary. And we follow up with another ​
 +quote which shows the root where this Great Commentary is coming from. [Now there’s some question ​
 +about the textual purity of the spelling we have here anyway the English translation does reflect the 
 +Tibetan we have here]. It says: 
 + 
 +The syllogism, “ ‘if the focus is not directly perceivable,​ that which sees it’s object is not a thoroughly ​
 +established’,​ is not a non-established syllogism. Since it exists in the concordant class, it is not an 
 +excluding [proof]. Since the nature of all phenomena existing as suchness is later refuted, it is not an 
 +indeterminate [proof] either.” ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  14
 + 
 +We have this quote from The Great commentary and if we want to get to the bottom of what it’s meant to be 
 +teaching us then we would have to consider the following syllogism, for this following syllogism, in effect, ​
 +communicates what the meaning taught in the excerpt we have. It says: ‘the subject non-conceptual exalted ​
 +wisdom has a focal object which is empty of true existence because it is a consciousness. For instance like the 
 +dream consciousness that apprehends an elephant or a  horse in a dream.’ Do you understand?  ​
 + 
 +•  The subject is the non-conceptual exalted wisdom.  ​
 +•  It focuses on its own object which is empty of true existence; that is the predicate.  ​
 +•  The reason as stated is because it’s a consciousness. ​
 + 
 +So this syllogism would be:  ​
 + 
 +‘take the subject; the non-conceptual exalted wisdom, focuses on it’s own object which is 
 +empty of true existence, because it’s a consciousness. Like the consciousness that focuses on a 
 +dream horse or a dream elephant.’ ​
 + 
 +That’s how it should be said properly. Here we have not just the subject but we have a predicate, a 
 +reason, together with an analogy that illustrates it. Such a syllogism which includes an addition, an 
 +example which illustrates the basic point is known as a proof statement.  ​
 + 
 +The reason is ‘because it is a consciousness.’ The predicate, this is the predicate of the probandum, the 
 +property of what is being proved, is ‘focuses on its own object which is empty of true existence.’ So 
 +the conclusion you draw is that if something is a consciousness,​ it necessarily focuses upon an object ​
 +that is empty of true existence.  ​
 + 
 +So take this syllogism we have just been looking at. The subject, non-conceptual exalted wisdom ​
 +focuses upon its own object that is empty of true existence because it is a consciousness. Is the reason ​
 +established? ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: The reason is established because? ​
 + 
 +Student: because non-conceptual exalted wisdom is a consciousness. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: That’s correct, the non-conceptual exalted wisdom is a consciousness. You would have to 
 +say that.  ​
 + 
 +When asked ‘is the reason established?​’ then you have to demonstrate how the subject that is being 
 +illustrated here relates to the reason. In other words here you have to demonstrate how non-conceptual ​
 +exalted wisdom relates to consciousness. You have to demonstrate that it is it.  ​
 + 
 +If a person were to say ‘take tiger, it is an animal, because it is an elephant’,​ what would you say?  If 
 +someone asks ‘is the reason established?​’,​ what would you say?  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  15
 +No! Because a tiger is not established as an elephant. Or you have not proven that a tiger is an 
 +elephant. So when you are trying to determine whether or not the reason is established,​ you have to 
 +consider whether or not the subject in question is established in relation to the reason.  ​
 + 
 +Now if we look at what is being said here, non-conceptual exalted wisdom is a consciousness,​ isn’t it? 
 +So who is proving or establishing that it is a consciousness?​ The Middle Way Autonomists would say 
 +that the self-cognizer which experiences it knows that such is the case. The Middle Way Autonomists ​
 +accept self-cognizers don’t they? 
 + 
 +So there are different types of pseudo syllogisms, or basically incorrect proofs, one of which is that in 
 +which the reason is not established. This is known as ‘a non-established syllogism’. So we have already ​
 +dealt with that. Then the text goes on to state: ​
 +  ​
 +Since it exists in the concordant class, it is not an excluding [proof]. Since the nature of all phenomena ​
 +existing as suchness is later refuted, it is not an indeterminate [proof] either. ​
 + 
 +So if something is consciousness,​ it is necessarily something which focuses on its own object which is 
 +empty of true existence, and so in this case there is no contradiction in the concordant class.  ​
 + 
 +Is it necessarily the case that consciousness is something that focuses upon its own object that is empty 
 +of true existence?  ​
 + 
 +If you say that that is necessarily the case, then it follows that the subject, the sense consciousness to 
 +which the blue snow mountain appears is something that focuses upon its own object that is empty of 
 +true existence. Or maybe we could just say then it follows that the subject the conceptual consciousness ​
 +that apprehends a rabbit’s horns, is it something which focuses on its own object that is empty of true 
 +existence?  ​
 + 
 +Is it a wrong consciousness?​ Does it focus on its own object that is empty of true existence? It follows ​
 +that it does because it is a consciousness. Ok? This not difficult!  ​
 + 
 +For instance, the consciousness that apprehends the rabbit’s horns, is focusing on the rabbit and 
 +apprehending ‘horns’ isn’t it? Or perhaps it’s mainly focused on the rabbit’s ears and apprehending ​
 +them to be horns. So what’s the focus? It’s either the rabbit or the rabbit’s ears. Both of those are empty 
 +of true existence aren’t they? Thus it is something that focuses on its own object that is empty of true 
 +existence.  ​
 + 
 +Whatever our eye consciousness views, it’s necessarily viewing something which is empty of true 
 +existence, yet we do not know that such things are indeed empty of true existence. Not difficult! ​
 + 
 +This is just the view, yes? This is just the view that is held. Even if you are speaking about horns of a 
 +rabbit, it’s empty of true existence, be it an existent or a non-existent,​ it is empty of true existence. Is 
 +that clear? ​
 + 
 +Thus it is ok to say that if something is a consciousness,​ it necessarily focuses on its own object that is 
 +empty of true existence.  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  16
 +Now what about this consciousness that is focused on a horse or elephant in a dream? Is it a wrong 
 +consciousness? ​
 + 
 +Student: If the consciousness apprehends it as a horse or an elephant, then that would be a wrong 
 +consciousness,​ however if it apprehends it as a dream horse or as a dream elephant, then no. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: There is a distinction between apprehending a dream horse and dream elephant, and 
 +apprehending a horse or an elephant in a dream, isn’t there? [The question Geshe-la just asked me is ‘is 
 +there a horse or elephant in a dream?’ The response I gave was ‘no’, and he said in that case then the 
 +consciousness that apprehends horse or elephant in a dream is a wrong consciousness isn’t it?]. Yet still 
 +it is something that focuses on its own object which is empty of true existence. ​
 + 
 +It is not an indeterminate proof either because later on they are going to dispute or refute that the nature ​
 +of all phenomena exists as suchness.  ​
 + 
 +So, in short, the following proof statement; the subject non-conceptual exalted wisdom, is something ​
 +that focuses on its own object which is empty of true existence, because it is a consciousness. Like, for 
 +instance the consciousness that apprehends a horse or elephant in a dream. That’s a correct reason. A 
 +correct reason of essence or nature.  ​
 + 
 +This is in fact what they were saying on page 1 where it says that ‘The Great Commentary gives a 
 +syllogism of nature’, a syllogism of essence, or whatever. So if someone were to say; ‘give me the 
 +proof that has been set forth in The Great Commentary’,​ you would give them the proof statement that 
 +Geshe-la has just clarified.  ​
 + 
 +Now we are going to look at another reason that someone else posits. So pay attention to try and 
 +determine whether or not it’s acceptable.  ​
 + 
 +So continuing on then: 
 + 
 +As for what that means: some say ‘If a thing is consciousness,​ it’s object is necessarily empty of true 
 +existence. For instance, like the consciousness to which a horse or an elephant appear in a dream. Non-conceptual exalted wisdom is also like this. 
 + 
 +So here’s a proof statement put forward by someone else. Is it acceptable? Is it ok? 
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: What problem? What mistake? ​
 + 
 +Student: It looks fine Geshe-la ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: It looks fine! Come on! No, what is the problem? It is because it says that this is a syllogism ​
 +of nature. There are three types of correct reasons; there is the correct reason of effect or result, the 
 +correct reason of nature or essence, and the correct reason of non-observation. This syllogism we were 
 +just dealing with was identified as a syllogism of nature or essence. So go ahead Ben. What is wrong 
 +with it? 
 + 
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 +  17
 +So what this guy is saying is that if a thing is consciousness,​ its object is necessarily empty of true 
 +existence whereas what the earlier correct proof statement was saying is that if something is 
 +consciousness then it necessarily focuses on its own object which is empty of true existence. So is what 
 +this person is saying correct? ​
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Why? Come on! You don’t see the fault? Nobody? You haven’t seen it have you? If you 
 +haven’t seen it, just say I haven’t seen it. You’ve forgotten Ta-rig.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la was speaking about these three different types of correct reasons. We have a correct reason of 
 +result, a correct reason of nature, and the correct reason of non-observation. The predicate of the first 
 +two can be an affirming negation, whereas the predicate of a correct reason of non-observation has to 
 +be a non-affirming negation. Generally speaking, the first two types affirm while the third negates or 
 +excludes. ​  
 + 
 +So if you say ‘take non-conceptual exalted wisdom, it’s object is empty of true existence’ then the 
 +predicate you are identifying is a non-affirming negation isn’t it? And since it’s predicate is a non-affirming negation, it can’t be a correct reason of essence or nature, can it? 
 + 
 +No, it said very clearly at the very beginning when it quoted this great commentary that it’s giving a 
 +syllogism of nature, a correct reason of nature, essence. That’s the only fault. The fault being that as a 
 +correct reason of nature, it can’t have a non-affirming negation in the predicate. I mean if something is 
 +a consciousness,​ its object is necessarily empty of true existence. ​  
 + 
 +Now 
 +It follows that consciousness is a correct reason of nature that proves the object of non-conceptual exalted ​
 +wisdom is empty of true existence, because the assertion is logically acceptable. But that cannot be 
 +maintained because it’s predicate is a non-affirming negative. ​
 + 
 +Is that all right? ​
 + 
 +Our system [would say:] “If something is a consciousness it necessarily focuses on an object that is empty 
 +of true existence. For instance, take the consciousness to which a horse or elephant appears in a dream. ​
 +That proof statement is the [type of] proof statement being explicitly taught in this context. The definition ​
 +the accumulation of exalted wisdom being explicitly taught in this context is: an exalted knower of a 
 +Mahayanist who has realized emptiness. ​
 + 
 +If something is an accumulation of exalted wisdom being explicitly taught in this context, it’s ​
 +necessarily an exalted knower that realizes emptiness. ​
 + 
 +If something is an accumulation of exalted wisdom, is it necessarily an exalted knower that realizes ​
 +emptiness? No! There is no pervasion. No, that’s not necessarily the case because for instance, an 
 +understanding of emptiness that is still on the level of a correct assumption can be included within this 
 +accumulation of exalted wisdom. When thinking about it with proper reasons, and gaining an 
 +understanding based on that, that’s still an accumulation of exalted wisdom yet not yet a realization of 
 +emptiness.  ​
 + 
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 +  18
 +If that is divided, there are three that are paths of accumulation,​ the one that is a path of preparation,​ one 
 +for each of the seven impure grounds, two for each of the pure grounds and three that are grounds of a 
 +Buddha, and thus there are twenty. ​
 + 
 +Do you understand what the seven impure grounds, and the three pure grounds are? The first to the 
 +seventh grounds are the seven impure grounds, whereas the eighth, ninth, and tenth grounds are the 
 +pure grounds. So moving on to the third topic: ​
 + 
 +Someone might say, “The subject empty of true existence does not exist truly because it is a focus. If that 
 +is accepted, it follows that the subject, a sprout’s lack of true existence, does not exist because it does not 
 +exist truly. Yet this is an objection made by a system that does not understand the crucial points of the two 
 +[types of] negation. ​
 + 
 +“The subject empty of true existence does not exist truly because it is a focus”. True establishment is 
 +the object being negated isn’t it? So ‘empty of true existence’ refutes ‘true establishment’,​ doesn’t it? 
 +True establishment is the object negated by ‘empty of true existence’,​ isn’t it?  ​
 + 
 +So what they are basically saying here is that since empty of true existence is that which negates or 
 +refutes true establishment,​ then it, it-self has to be truly established. They are saying that if that, empty 
 +of true existence, were empty of true existence, then true establishment,​ what it negates, would be truly 
 +established.  ​
 + 
 +But: 
 +“Yet this is an objection made by a system that does not understand the crucial points of the two [types of] 
 +negation.” ​
 + 
 +So to give an example, to demonstrate how just because empty of true existence being empty of true 
 +existence does not negate what has been negated, they say: 
 + 
 +“It follows that there is no pervasion to that because, just as killing Yajana, who killed Devadatta, does not 
 +resurrect Devadatta, refuting the true establishment of a sprout’s lack of true existence does not resurrect ​
 +the sprout’s true establishment.” ​
 + 
 +Do you understand? Is it clear? Yajana and Devadatta are names of people if that’s not clear. Devadatta ​
 +means ‘given by the gods’. A family who doesn’t have children might make requests to the gods and 
 +then when the child is born, it’s ‘given by the gods’; devadatta. So whereas Yajana has an implication ​
 +of ‘offering’ so that a family who doesn’t have children then makes offerings and then after having ​
 +made that offerings, a child is conceived and born, then that’s ‘yajana’;​ the offering. So we have ‘given ​
 +by the gods’ and ‘given by offerings’ right? Devadatta, and Yajana, they’re just names.  ​
 + 
 +So let’s say that there is a knife, right? It kills Devadatta, yes? You take that knife and you turn it on 
 +Yajana. Killing Yajana is not going to resurrect Devadatta, even though the same knife killed both. 
 +Similarly,  ​
 + 
 +“refuting the true establishment of a sprout’s lack of true existence does not resurrect the sprout’s true 
 +establishment” ​
 + 
 +Quite a nice analogy, isn’t it? Ok! It doesn’t matter.  ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  19
 + 
 +Our most difficult class is the afternoon session, and the most difficult part of this grounds and paths 
 +material are the questions that we address in relation to non-conceptual exalted wisdom. So Geshe-la ​
 +has very intentionally brought the two of these together for the purposes of our gathering the 
 +accumulations. He wants to see how much patience you have. Geshe-la says that it seems that most of 
 +you have pretty good patience. ​
 + 
 +The fourth section deals with refuting the Mind-Only system. So: 
 + 
 +A refutation of the Mind-Only system: [The Mind-Only system says,] “The emptiness that is apprehended ​
 +and apprehender being empty of being different substances is both truly established and the final mode of 
 +being.”  ​
 + 
 +In order to refute the Mind-Only position first you must state the Mind-Only position, and that is essentially that 
 +this subtle emptiness Geshe-la mentioned earlier is ‘both truly established and the final mode of being.’ ​
 + 
 +This is the actual Mind-Only view; that apprehender and apprehended are empty of being different ​
 +substances. According to them, this is both the final mode of being, that’s the final nature, as well as 
 +truly established. ‘The emptiness that is apprehended and apprehender being empty of being different ​
 +substances is both truly established and the final mode of being.’ ​
 + 
 +It follows that the subject, [the emptiness that is apprehended and apprehender being empty of being 
 +different substances],​ is substantially established because it is truly established. If that is accepted, it 
 +follows that valid cognition that apprehends the apprehended is either a single substance or different ​
 +substances because that is what they maintain. Yet, that cannot be maintained because that [emptiness ​
 +that is apprehended and apprehender being empty of different substances] is neither a single substance ​
 +nor is it different substances. If [they respond by saying,] ‘The first is not established’,​ then it follows that 
 +the subject is a thing because the first is not established.  ​
 + 
 +According to the Mind-Only school, a thing can only be considered an ultimate truth if, in focusing on 
 +it, obscurations are purified. ​  
 + 
 +If you were to focus upon what the Mind-Only school consider to be other powered phenomena, that is 
 +the impermanent things, or if one were to focus on the permanent phenomena such as space, that would 
 +not lead to the purification of the obscurations,​ would it? Therefore it’s not emptiness. ​
 + 
 +It seems that the obscurations in this case refers to afflictive obscurations and obscurations to 
 +knowledge, this is after all the Mind-Only view.  ​
 + 
 +The Mind-Only position is that emptiness is, the apprehender and the apprehended being empty of 
 +being different substances, and they are going on further to say that emptiness is truly established. And 
 +so the debate that’s being pursued by the Middle Way proponent is pushing them. The Middle Way 
 +proponent says it follows that it’s substantially established because it’s truly established. Then it 
 +follows that the valid cognition that apprehends the apprehended is either a single substance or a 
 +different substance. Because that in effect is what the Mind-Only school is saying.  ​
 + 
 +If something is substantially established,​ then it follows that it is a thing. And it follows that in 
 +focusing on that the obscurations are not purified. And if the obscurations are not purified in focusing ​
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 +  20
 +upon that, then it follows that it is not the ultimate truth as you say. Or you could say that it follows ​
 +that it is not emptiness.  ​
 + 
 +So if it is not emptiness either, then what you’re saying, that it’s truly established and emptiness, ​
 +neither of them are correct. Do you understand? ​
 + 
 +Then it continues: ​
 + 
 +If that is accepted, it follows that the obscurations are not purified through meditation in which a Learner’s ​
 +exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise focuses on it, because it is not a thing. If [they respond by saying,​] ​
 +‘The latter is not established’,​ it follows that the subject is not the mode of being of the valid cognition that 
 +apprehends the apprehender because the latter is not established. ​
 + 
 +In other words they are saying ‘it follows that it is not emptiness.’ The basic point is that the Middle Way school ​
 +says that all things are empty of true existence whereas the Mind-Only school says that emptiness itself is truly 
 +established.  ​
 + 
 +So what questions do you have? What debates do you have to throw at Geshe-la? What haven’t you understood? ​
 +Have you understood everything? ​
 + 
 +What did we look into yesterday? ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la was saying that the Middle Way Autonomist school seems to have gotten more complicated. ​
 +He has yet to really check up in this text the dbu ma’i spyi don  but he will try and do so. He does have 
 +a small book in which he recorded certain notes and which he brought from India and in there he has a 
 +little bit about these points.  ​
 + 
 +He wrote in this book that according to Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen there are no seeds of the conceptions ​
 +abandoned on the path of meditation in the continuum of a person on the Mahayana path of seeing. ​
 +According to Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen, there are no seeds of the conceptions that are abandoned on the 
 +path of meditation in the continuum of a person on the Mahayana path of seeing.  ​
 +This is according to the Autonomist’s position. That is because the primary mental consciousness in 
 +that persons continuum has become uncontaminated. That’s the reason he gives.  ​
 + 
 +Now if that’s the case, that in the continuum of a first grounder that there are no seeds of the 
 +conceptions abandoned on the path of meditation, then clearly that is not going to be the case on the 
 +different stages above that either. Yet they haven’t abandoned those, have they? Because they still have 
 +to develop the direct or actual antidote to those seeds in stages. The reason that Geshe-la has given this 
 +quotation is because we seem to be holding on to this idea that in order for an actual antidote to do it’s ​
 +work, it needs to do it’s work on something that’s present in the continuum.  ​
 + 
 +So Geshe-la will check up in this text, the dbu ma’i spyi don and we’ll try and clarify it so as to get 
 +something together for you.  ​
 + 
 +According to the Middle Way Autonomists position, this primary mental consciousness is not just a 
 +mind, it’s also an illustration of the person. This primary mental consciousness is becoming a 
 +uncontaminated entity and in doing so it does not retain the seeds of disturbing emotions. For if it did, 
 +it would be contaminated.  ​
 + 
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 +  21
 +There’s absolutely no doubts are there? No one is asking any questions. Geshe-la is going to stay until 
 +4.30 whether you have questions or not.  ​
 + 
 +Student: Can I ask a question about how the Mind-Only school posits emptiness of duality. How it is 
 +truly established,​ what they mean by that? [What does it mean when the Mind-Only school says that 
 +the emptiness of duality is truly established?​] ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: The Mind-Only school talks about true existence, and being established by way of one’s own 
 +character as being basically the same thing. They say that if something isn’t merely imputed by 
 +conception then it’s established by way of it’s own character. For being merely imputed by conception ​
 +is the definition of imputed phenomena, or the imputed nature. In the Mind-Only’s tradition there are 
 +three natures. There’s the thoroughly established,​ the other powered, and the imputed. Emptiness of 
 +duality then is not merely imputed, its established by way of it’s own character, and thus truly existent. ​
 +The Mind-Only school says that the definition of the imputed is ‘a phenomenon that is merely imputed ​
 +by conception. ​
 + 
 +We’ll leave it there.  ​
 + 
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 +  22
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 2003 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Tape No:  19 
 +Date of teaching: ​ 3 April, 2003 
 + 
 +By nature, sentient beings do not want even the slightest suffering, and despite the happiness and 
 +pleasures they have, they are never satisfied and always want more. Let us keep in mind that we are 
 +investigating these matters so that we can find out how to ensure that all beings have nothing but 
 +happiness and abandon all the causes, however subtle, of even the slightest of suffering. ​ Having ​
 +looked into this matter and understood how that can be brought about then of course we seek to apply 
 +that.  Giving rise to the proper motivation is quite important. ​
 + 
 +As individuals we don’t want suffering, we want happiness. ​ On that basis we can infer that the same is 
 +true for others, that they also do not want suffering and want happiness. ​
 + 
 +If we were to find a way to abandon the suffering together with its causes, then clearly we could use 
 +that in order to help others do so. We could help them by demonstrating the way we have found. ​
 + 
 +Let’s pick up in the text on page 14, the sub-section 5 reading Distinguishing the Method for Thorough ​
 +Purification. ​ Under this it says that the definition of thorough purification in a ground is:- 
 + 
 +the good quality that eliminates the faults of that ground for whoever possesses it and which completes ​
 +the good qualities. ​
 + 
 +There are ten grounds and in order to move from one ground to the next ground, it is necessary to 
 +eliminate those flaws which obstruct the attainment of that higher ground. ​ This is a general way of 
 +proceeding for instance, that’s what you do when you go from one path to the higher path, eliminate ​
 +the flaws which obstruct the attainment of that higher ground or path. 
 + 
 +In order for a person to move from the first ground to the second ground then, they must develop the 
 +capacity to eliminate whatever flaws remain in their continuum which obstruct the movement towards ​
 +that second ground. ​ Until they develop this capacity to eliminate those flaws, they cannot move to the 
 +second ground, can they? 
 + 
 +Hence the definition of the thorough purification of the first ground would be:- 
 + 
 +a good quality of the first ground which eliminates the faults of the first ground and which completes ​
 +the good qualities. ​
 + 
 +What does it mean to eliminate the faults? ​ It is referring to eliminating faults of mind. Is that clear? ​
 + 
 +As Geshe-la often says, the difference between the mind of a Buddha and our mind is in terms of 
 +whether or not the stains have been purified and the stains we speak of are the disturbing emotions and 
 +their seeds.  ​
 + 
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 +  23
 +We could also refer to them as awarenesses which erroneously engage. ​ When an awareness which 
 +erroneously engages an object arises, it assumes certain similarities with the mind, it accompanies the 
 +mind. 
 + 
 +The mind retains the seeds of the disturbing emotions. In this case, the retaining of these seeds of 
 +disturbing emotions is not in the sense of an apprehension but in the sense of retention. ​
 + 
 +These seeds need to be purified. ​
 + 
 +So, in this context of thorough purification we are looking at two aspects, the elimination of faults and 
 +the completion of good qualities. ​
 + 
 +Thus through this process of thorough purification whereby the faults are eliminated and qualities are 
 +completed, eventually you develop to the point where all faults, without exception are eliminated and 
 +all qualities are developed to their utmost extent. Hence the word sang gye, the word for Buddha, ​
 +which means cleansed and full - cleansed of all faults and full of all qualities, sang gye, Buddha. ​
 + 
 +Would you be able to give a definition of a thorough purification in a ground then if you were asked?  ​
 +You find it at the top of page 14. 
 + 
 +Notice how it says that a thorough purification of a ground or in a ground is the good quality that 
 +eliminates the faults of that ground for whoever possesses it and which completes the good quality. ​
 + 
 +A person could say, take the subject, first ground. The first ground is a consciousness so they would be 
 +referring to a subject that is a consciousness right? ​
 + 
 +Who possesses that?  A person on the first ground. ​
 + 
 +So then the definition of a thorough purification of a ground is speaking about this quality which 
 +eliminates the faults and completes the good qualities of the ground for whoever possesses that.   
 +There are nine such purifications as it says in the text: 
 + 
 +When this is divided, there are nine. 
 + 
 +They describe nine thorough purifications because the thorough purifications of the tenth ground are 
 +not explicitly taught in Maitreya’s Ornament of Clear Realisation. ​ It seems that even Shakyamuni ​
 +Buddha in his sutras didn’t explicitly teach on the thorough purifications on the tenth ground. Hence 
 +they speak of nine. 
 + 
 +There is a terminology in which the first nine grounds are referred to as the causal grounds and the 
 +tenth ground is referred to as the resultant ground. ​
 + 
 +The definition of the thorough purification of the first ground is  ​
 +a good quality of the first ground which eliminates the faults of the first ground and which completes ​
 +the good qualities ​  
 + 
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 +  24
 +Thus, thorough purification of the first ground is a quality of the first ground. Do you get this meaning ​
 +from it – does it convey the meaning that the thorough purification is a quality of the respective ​
 +ground? ​
 + 
 +There are two aspects in relation to thorough purification,​ the agent that effects purification and the 
 +object which is purified.  ​
 + 
 +Later in the text it says that the first ground has ten thorough purifications. ​ This implies that the first 
 +ground has ten agents that effect a thorough purification and thus there are ten things which are 
 +thoroughly purified. ​
 + 
 +Each of the ten grounds has a different number of thorough purifications. ​
 +the first ground has ten thorough purifications,  ​
 +the second has eight,  ​
 +the third has five,  ​
 +the fourth and fifth have ten each,  ​
 +the sixth has twelve,  ​
 +the seventh has twenty,  ​
 +the eighth has eight and  ​
 +the ninth has twelve. ​
 + 
 +But although the thorough purification of the tenth ground is not explicitly mentioned here, this does 
 +not mean that it doesn’t exist. The exalted wisdom of the tenth ground which eliminates the faults of 
 +the tenth ground and which complete the good qualities of the tenth ground does exist. ​
 + 
 +Why is it that the thorough purifications of the tenth ground are not explicitly taught here?  This is 
 +because after explicitly indicating the thorough purification of the ninth ground, one is able to realise ​
 +the thorough purification of the tenth ground. In other words, by understanding that there is thorough ​
 +purification of the ninth ground, you can infer that there is also that for the tenth ground. ​
 + 
 +This all comes directly from the text, and you can follow it there. ​
 + 
 +If you read through this text then the doubts which arise will do so in relation to the material we have 
 +covered here in which case you won’t forget them. 
 + 
 +Then someone might ask a questions like: Is the thorough purification of the tenth ground, a thorough ​
 +purification for the sake of attaining the good qualities that have not been attained earlier, or is it a 
 +thorough purification of that which has already been attained? ​
 + 
 +This is the very question that is being asked in the text.  One response that someone might give could 
 +be that it is a thorough purification for the sake of attaining that which has not been attained because ​
 +for instance it is like a ditch for channelling water. ​
 + 
 +Or, someone else might say that it is a thorough purification for the sake of attaining that which has 
 +already been attained because for instance it is like sweeping a clean house. ​
 + 
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 +  25
 +The text says the first is not correct because whatever is a good quality of the first ground must exist at 
 +the time of the first ground, ie if something is a thorough purification of the first ground, it has to exist 
 +in the continuum of a first grounder. It is not something that comes about later. ​
 + 
 +It needs to be in the continuum of a being on the first ground because it is a quality of the first ground. ​
 + 
 +That brings us to the fifth section which deals with The Meaning of the Terms.  ​
 +Before moving on to that, Geshe-la would like to read about through this text by Khedrup Rinpoche ​
 +which is a commentary to the Ornament of Clear Realisation,​ a text used when studying the Fourth ​
 +Chapter of the Ornament. ​ In this text, Khedrup Rinpoche goes through an enumeration of the different ​
 +thorough purifications found on each respective ground and it is material that is not very hard to 
 +understand. ​
 + 
 +These different thorough purifications are also found in the root text of the Ornament of Clear 
 +Realisation so if you have interest, after having received commentary on them here, you can consult the 
 +English translation of the Ornament. ​
 + 
 +It’s not such a big deal if you don’t remember what each of these thorough purifications are.  After all 
 +as you develop these successive grounds in your continuum these qualities will arise. ​ Maybe for the 
 +time being, until then you can just think that on the first ground there are those and on the others there 
 +are these. ​ Anyway, they will come about with time. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la has already explained how the higher practice of one of each of the ten perfections,​ is attained ​
 +on each of the ten grounds correct. ​ We have already covered that material.  ​
 + 
 +The first ground then, is accompanied by the attainment of the higher practice of the perfection of 
 +generosity. ​ This higher practice of the perfection of generosity is like the foundation for the other 
 +qualities of the first ground. The same is true as you progress through the other grounds, that the higher ​
 +practice of the perfection attained acts as a foundation for the other qualities associated with that 
 +ground. ​
 + 
 +The first quality of the first ground then in the context of the thorough purifications is that:  ​
 +•  one has an intention with respect to all bases that is without deception or crookedness. ​  
 +This makes sense considering the fact that when you attain the first ground you attain the higher ​
 +practice of the perfection of generosity. ​ At that point a person is capable of giving away one’s body, 
 +one’s possessions and one’s roots of virtue for the sake of others. ​ Being capable of giving these away 
 +and being willing to do so, then clearly a person will be without deception and crookedness since 
 +deception and crookedness is about deceiving or fooling other people. ​
 + 
 +So the first of these is intentions which are without crookedness or deception and the second reads,  ​
 +•  holding or having the materials of Mahayana dharma that are of benefit for the needs of 
 +both self and other. ​
 + 
 +We might also translate that as holding to the things of the Mahayana dharma that benefit both self and 
 +others. ​ It basically means holding the practice of the Mahayana dharma to be of utmost significance. ​
 + 
 +The third reads:  ​
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 +  26
 +•  having a quality or balance of mind with respect to other sentient beings due to the four 
 +immeasurables. ​
 + 
 +In fact, this third refers to something from the root text, the Ornament of Clear Realisation. In the 
 +Ornament of Clear Realisation it speaks about this balance or quality of mind with respect to sentient ​
 +beings. ​
 + 
 +The fourth then reads:  ​
 +•  one does not give rise to this kind of stingy grasping so that one is capable of giving away 
 +one’s body, one’s roots of virtue and one’s resources due to the higher perfection of 
 +generosity on this ground. ​  
 + 
 +The fifth then reads that:  ​
 +•  one is striving for the very extensive scriptures that are counted as the holy dharma and 
 +include the teachings as well as those teachings of the three vehicles. ​  
 + 
 +The sixth is that  ​
 +•  one then bows to the spiritual friend with the three doors.  ​
 + 
 +In fact, in the Ornament of Clear Realisation it also mentions this paying obeisance, the bowing down 
 +to the spiritual friend, the spiritual teacher and also striving for the holy scriptures. ​ So here we have 
 +bowing down to the spiritual friend with the three doors and striving for the extremely extensive ​
 +pithakas or baskets that are considered the holy dharma and include the teachings, as well as those of 
 +the three vehicles. ​
 + 
 +In the root text it just talks about striving for the focus of dharma. Here this is expanded to illustrate ​
 +that it is striving for the extremely extensive baskets that are the focus of the holy dharma.  ​
 + 
 +In the Ornament of Clear Realisation,​ the root text mentions always intending to definitely emerge.  ​
 +Now the description of the seventh thorough purification in our commentary here uses those very same 
 +words saying:  ​
 +•  due to the ever present intention to definitely emerge, then one is not overjoyed at 
 +remaining in the household ​
 + 
 +What does this mean?  It means not being attached to the pleasures of a household. ​ It is not merely ​
 +saying that you shouldn’t like to remain at home, but you shouldn’t be attached to the pleasures of the 
 +household.  ​
 + 
 +There is a connection between ordination and the intention to definitely emerge, isn’t there? ​ In fact 
 +both words include the term to emerge, but the connection goes beyond that too. In many ways 
 +ordination is a support for the intention to definitely emerge. Why do we wear these clothes of yellow ​
 +and red? To help us develop this intention to definitely emerge. ​ How do we understand this intention ​
 +to definitely emerge. ​ We understand it as a state of mind that is not attached primarily to the pleasures ​
 +of cyclic existence, but rather is striving for liberation. ​
 + 
 +The eighth ​ reads that: 
 +•  recollecting the Buddha and wanting and liking the kayas of a Buddha and not wanting to 
 +be separated from such. 
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 +  27
 + 
 +Then the ninth reads:  ​
 +•  teaching dharma without being tight fisted and stingy. ​
 + 
 +Is it clear what tight fisted means? ​
 + 
 +Now the next reads:  ​
 +•  speaking words of truth due to having brought one’s promises to their utmost extent. ​
 + 
 +Acting out what one promises to do in full and hence speaking the truth. ​
 + 
 +Are these clear? Is it clear what recollecting a Buddha means? ​
 + 
 +The advice in relation to practicing calm abiding in a Buddhist way, is that we really should focus on 
 +an image of the Buddha. ​ An image of the Buddha should be taken as the focus for a calm abiding, for 
 +the benefits are that in doing so you will be recollecting or being mindful of the Buddha and as a 
 +Buddhist that is something that we should do on a regular basis. ​
 + 
 +So this eighth purification is being mindful of the kindness and qualities of a Buddha. ​
 + 
 +The person in question has already realised the qualities of a Buddha in light of the fact that they are a 
 +person on the first ground. ​ They already understand the kindness of a Buddha so it is not really similar ​
 +to our case but it is still necessary for us to recollect the qualities and kindness of a Buddha regularly. ​
 + 
 +These ten purify the faults of the first ground. How is it that this purification then takes place? ​
 + 
 +They are thoroughly purified by means of their being influenced by the great compassion and the 
 +wisdom which realises the non-referential nature of truth. ​ The ‘non-referential nature of truth’ ​
 +involves not seeing truth to be inherently existent. ​ Since Middle Way Autonomists accept that things ​
 +are inherently existent, the word truth must be added in the commentary. ​ The root text merely says 
 +‘not observing the nature of things’. ​  
 + 
 +Remember that the Middle Way Autonomists accept that things are inherently existent and thus in this 
 +commentary you have the addition of the word truth. ​ In the root text it merely says ‘not observing the 
 +nature of things’. ​  
 + 
 +The Buddha spoke about the lack of inherent existence, or rang zhin me pa. The word rang zhin means 
 +nature. ​ The Heart Sutra advises that Bodhisattvas should see the five aggregates as empty of nature.  ​
 +That does not mean the five aggregates have no nature. It means they are not established by their 
 +nature. ​
 + 
 +By including the word truth, we have the nature of truth which means the nature that is its being truly 
 +existent which is of course an object of negation even for the Middle Way Autonomists …. 
 + 
 +Not observing the nature of truth can be understood as not seeing things as truly existent right. ​ So this 
 +is what we gain by adding the word truth. ​
 + 
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 +  28
 +The Buddha often said, about may different things, that they lack inherent existent, literally rang shin 
 +me pa as it says in the Heart Sutra that Bodhisattvas should view the five aggregates empty of inherent ​
 +establishment,​ in other words empty of being established by their nature. ​
 + 
 +Even in the Heart Sutra speaks about this lack of inherent existence, lack of nature. ​
 + 
 +And then in the 100,000 verse and the 20,000 verse and the 8,000 verse Prajnaparamitas,​ Perfection of 
 +Wisdom Sutras, you will find such things mentioned many times over. 
 + 
 +This lack of inherent existence is mentioned many times over but the Middle Way Autonomists can’t ​
 +except it because they assert that things are inherently existent. Because of this hey have to add the 
 +word truth. So the phrase here is ‘not observing the nature of truth’ which makes the meaning not just 
 +inherent existence but makes it refer to the truly existent nature. ​ It then means that it lacks a nature ​
 +which is truly existent and thus the statement is made compatible with the Autonomists perspective. ​
 + 
 +So keep in mind that the term in Tibetan is rang shin me pa which is translated into English as ‘lack of 
 +inherent existence’ but which might also be translated as ‘lack of nature’. Now there are different ​
 +additions that the Autonomists might make to render such statements in the Prajnaparamitas ​
 +compatible with his or her own perspective,​ one of which is the rod ‘ultimate’. ​ They would say it is 
 +not ultimately inherently existent or they might add the word ‘truth’ as they have here or they might 
 +add the word ‘entitiness’. ​ All of these additions make those statements acceptable to them. 
 + 
 +The text tells us that we should know that these thorough purifications occur through their being 
 +influenced by: 
 +great compassion and 
 +the wisdom which realises emptiness. ​
 + 
 +If we say that this thorough purification is occurring via its being influenced by great compassion and 
 +the wisdom realising emptiness, it is quite easy for us to get our heads around. ​
 + 
 +So why do they complicate things by mentioning not observing the nature etc?  Because those very 
 +words ‘not observing the nature’ are found in the Sutras of Shakyamuni Buddha and these texts are 
 +intended as commentaries to the words found in those scriptures and thus they use the words in those 
 +scriptures to explain their intention.  ​
 + 
 +Why did the Buddha make such statements? ​
 + 
 +Student: ​ Because they come from the second turning of the wheel? ​
 + 
 +We were speaking about the Prajnaparamita sutras, the perfection of wisdom, which are considered ​
 +sutras of the middle turning. The disciples of the Middle Way Consequence school are the specific ​
 +disciples for whom the middle turning of the wheel was given aren’t they. 
 + 
 +And Consequentialists can accept such statements literally. It is the Autonomists that must add the 
 +word ‘truth’. ​
 + 
 +If you just say emptiness it is the same for all.  Not that the meaning of emptiness is the same for all, 
 +but it becomes acceptable.  ​
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 +  29
 + 
 +So are we clear about the thorough purifications,​ the ten purifications of the first ground. ​
 +Understanding the way in which these thorough purifications occur on the first ground, you can extend ​
 +that to the way in which the thorough purifications on the other grounds will occur. ​ The difference is 
 +in the number of thorough purifications there are with each respective ground, but not in the manner or 
 +the way in which they occur. It is clear they occur through their being influenced by great compassion ​
 +and the wisdom realising emptiness. ​
 + 
 +So then the text says that the subject, the ten thorough purifications in the continuum of a Bodhisattva ​
 +on the first ground are thorough purifications of the first ground because they are qualities of the first 
 +ground which destroy that which is incompatible with the first ground and act to complete the qualities ​
 +of that, This is basically the same as was said in our text right. ​
 + 
 +Once you know that the way in which thorough purification takes place and the meaning of thorough ​
 +purification you can apply that to the higher grounds as well. 
 + 
 +The second ground has eight thorough purifications. ​ It says that there are three ethics: such as that of 
 +gathering virtuous dharmas due to the higher perfection of ethics on the second ground. These three 
 +forms of ethics are the ethics that refrain from negativities or faults, the ethics of gathering virtuous ​
 +dharmas and the ethics that work for the benefit of sentient beings. ​
 + 
 +•  These three forms of ethics are counted as the first of the eight thorough purifications of the 
 +second ground. ​
 + 
 +Now the second is: 
 +•  in recalling the benefits done by others one acts to repay that. 
 + 
 +Due to attachment we might repay the kindness of people but this is not what is being referred to here.  ​
 +We are speaking about bodhisattvas on the second ground who, in appreciating the kindness that other 
 +sentient beings have extended them, remain mindful of that benefit and seek to repay their kindness - 
 +not due to attachment but due to the higher motivations of the bodhisattva. ​
 + 
 +The third is: 
 +•  having patience or forbearance with aggressors. ​
 + 
 +The fourth is:  ​
 +•  the joy that delights in accomplishing virtue. ​
 + 
 +The fifth is:  ​
 +•  having great compassion in that they have great loving concern which does not in any way 
 +neglect sentient beings or does not neglect any sentient being. ​
 + 
 +The sixth is:  ​
 +•  showing veneration and reverence to those who are higher, such as the Abbot. ​
 + 
 +The seventh is:  ​
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 +  30
 +•  showing respect to the spiritual teacher and the lama, then acting in accord with the dharma ​
 +teachings that he has given and you have received, that this person has.  Practicing or acting ​
 +just as the lama or spiritual friend has taught. ​
 + 
 +The eighth is:  ​
 +•  making effort in the six perfections such as generosity which are pure practices  ​
 + 
 +The word practice could also be rendered as accomplishment for what we are doing in trying to 
 +develop the grounds and paths is practice so that we can accomplish them within ourselves.  ​
 +These are the eight corresponding to the second ground. ​
 + 
 +The third ground has five thorough purifications. ​  
 + 
 +The first is:  ​
 +•  not being satisfied by just listening to dharma due to one’s making effort to hear a lot. 
 + 
 +Not being satisfied with just having heard something is very important, particularly for us beginners. ​ It 
 +is quite common to hear somebody say ‘oh no, I’ve already had that teaching before.’ but in fact it is 
 +important not to be satisfied with merely having heard something once but to strive to hear things over 
 +and over again. ​ In fact we need to continue to hear things over and over again until we accomplish the 
 +ultimate aim. 
 + 
 +Furthermore,​ we should not be satisfied with having heard until that ultimate aim is accomplished. ​ We 
 +are not hearing or listening to these teachings merely to gain an understanding of them are we. 
 + 
 +If the Bodhisattva on the third ground is not satisfied with hearing but strives to hear over and over 
 +again, what do you think the case is for us? 
 + 
 +Then the second is:  ​
 +•  to give the dharma to others without striving for material gains and so forth, such as respect ​
 +and getting a good reputation and so forth. ​
 + 
 +We have phrase ‘material gain and esteem or veneration’ used quite commonly. ​ Above there was 
 +mention about the importance of venerating the lama and the spiritual teacher and so forth. ​ Here they 
 +are speaking about how it is important that one not be striving for such material gain and veneration ​
 +when one is teaching the dharma to others.  ​
 + 
 +There are two things to be understood from this.  First of all we need to venerate and respect the 
 +spiritual teacher. ​ Secondly the spiritual teacher should not make considerations for that veneration and 
 +respect but ought to persevere and continue in his or her efforts regardless of that. 
 + 
 +The advice of Shakyamuni Buddha is quite good isn’t it? Advice for the student and advice for the 
 +teachers. ​
 + 
 +So the next (third) reads:  ​
 +•  completely training in the basis and the based, the supported and the support of the buddha ​
 +fields. ​
 + 
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 +  31
 +Now buddha fields are not things that require you to first lay a foundation and then put up the frame 
 +and the walls etc Buddha fields are naturally accomplished,​ naturally established at the attainment of 
 +buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +So in the context of tantric practice, from the very beginning you train not just in the deity but also in 
 +the inestimable palace etc,  and it is said that training that you do in the context of mantra fulfils the 
 +requirement to train in the support and the supported of the buddha fields. ​  
 +Then they go on to say that the practice of mantra fulfils this qualification,​ whereas the sutra tradition ​
 +does not fulfil this training in the support of the buddha fields. There is another interpretation possible ​
 +however which is that essentially this training is a training of mind. This is because the other 
 +implication of this word ‘to train in’ is ‘to purify’ as in thorough purification. ​ Thus by training the 
 +mind you purify the mind and in completely purifying the mind you naturally establish the buddha field 
 +together with its support. ​
 + 
 +According to the tradition of mantra, buddhahood cannot be attained solely through the practice of the 
 +sutra tradition because one must attain the kayas, the buddha body, buddha speech and buddha mind. 
 +The mantra tradition asserts that in following the sutra tradition, although you have an excellent ​
 +substantial cause for the buddha mind you lack the substantial cause for the buddha body and it’s ​
 +support. Therefore they say that buddhahood cannot be attained solely through the practice of the sutra 
 +tradition and that the paths of mantra must necessarily be entered in order to attain buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +Sweeping up and cleaning a temple, and the for instance pilgrimage sites and places where certain holy 
 +images are kept are considered by the sutra tradition to be training in the support of a buddha field. ​
 +They say furthermore that doing so helps to accumulate the karma for being reborn in a buddha field, a 
 +pure land. 
 + 
 +Thus there are great benefits to be had from such actions which of course is something in which we 
 +westerners are quite fortunate, since we are so conscientious about keeping things clean and sweeping ​
 +our own homes etc. 
 + 
 +Then the fourth reads:  ​
 +•  one is without complete disappointment or discouragement in accomplishing the well being 
 +of others due to their having seen the faults of cyclic existence which include causing harm 
 +and doing other things which are incompatible with the well being of sentient beings and 
 +thus such benefits and such acts come about due to the higher perfection of patience on this 
 +ground. ​
 + 
 +Then the fifth is:  ​
 +•  one no longer generates non-virtuous dharmas due to having completed this sense of shame 
 +and embarrassment with respect to self and others. ​  
 + 
 +Now shame perhaps isn’t the best translation but you know what I am talking about… possibly we 
 +could use the word ‘self-respect’. ​
 + 
 +The two words convey the sense of refraining from acting in a negative way, for instance due to the 
 +fact that you might be shamed in the eyes of yourself or embarrassed in the eyes of another, these kinds 
 +of things. ​
 + 
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 +  32
 +The basic point is not engaging in the basis for negative actions, whether it be out of respect for oneself ​
 +or in consideration of oneself, or with respect to considerations that have to do with others. ​
 + 
 +The text says that these are the five thorough purifications which have the identity of being influenced ​
 +by the wisdom which realises ‘without focusing upon the ultimate’ and is without vanity or pretence.  ​
 +Here ‘the ultimate’ is referring to ‘the ultimately inherently existent’. ​ It is this inclusion which 
 +autonomists make to render the object of negation suitable to their tenets. ​
 + 
 +In some ways this is a restatement of what was made before, that they are being influenced by the 
 +wisdom realising lack of true existence or emptiness. ​ Here it is stated as a wisdom which realises ​
 +without focusing upon the ultimate (ie ultimate inherent existence) and without pretence or vanity. ​ The 
 +point is that we must gain acquaintance with this form of wisdom. ​
 + 
 +Now the main thing an individual has to purify on these respective grounds is the apprehension of true 
 +existence along with the disturbing emotions etc that correspond to it correct? ​
 + 
 +How many conceptions that are apprehensions of true existence are abandoned on the path of 
 +meditation. ​ There are 108. 
 + 
 +These are the objects to be abandoned that correspond to each of the respective grounds. ​
 + 
 +In order to effect that purification you necessarily need this agent that is the wisdom realising ​
 +emptiness. Besides that certain things, such as great compassion as mentioned here, are used to develop ​
 +the aspect of method further and further. ​  
 + 
 +At this point, since they are bodhisattvas,​ they have the mind of enlightenment and great compassion ​
 +and the highest intention and so forth. ​ The only difference of course at this point is that one is a mind 
 +and the others are mental factors. The object you are focused on is the same. In the continuum of a 
 +Bodhisattva there is not a great deal of difference between great compassion and the mind of 
 +enlightenment is there? Other than one being a mind and one being a mental factor. ​
 + 
 +What questions do you have? 
 + 
 +Student: What is the difference between the first and the fourth thorough purifications on the first 
 +ground? ​ When explaining the first, Geshe-la gave as the reason that the person is without crooked and 
 +deceptive intentions the fact that they are capable of giving away their bodies and roots of virtue and so 
 +forth, so is there a distinction? ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: The way it is explained is as follows. ​ On the first ground one attains this higher practice of 
 +the perfection of generosity which means that they are capable of giving away the body, the resources ​
 +and the roots of virtue for the sake of others. ​ This means that they don’t do this in order to gain 
 +material gain and respect or veneration but for others. ​ Since they are devoid of this striving for 
 +material gain and honour etc then they don’t resort to deception and crooked intentions. ​ So Geshe-la ​
 +was explaining it as due to something that is present, the one is like a reason for the presence of the 
 +other. ​
 + 
 +Do you understand deception? ​ Are you clear what that means? ​
 + 
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 +  33
 +Student: ​ Not trying to deceive someone else. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Taken as a whole, yo wa and gyu wa mean ‘deception.’ ​ Separately, they mean ‘deception’ ​
 +and ‘dissimulation.’ ​
 + 
 +In both cases of deception and dissimulation one is acting out of attachment to material gain and 
 +esteem. With that motivation a person might act as if they have certain qualities eg certain knowledge ​
 +etc though they do not - deception. Or alternatively they might act as if they are without certain faults ​
 +that they do have, dissimulation. ​
 + 
 +LZ: So together, deception, dissimulation,​ as a single word I translate as deception though it has both 
 +aspects. ​
 + 
 +Because they are capable of giving away their body, their material resources and their roots of virtue ​
 +for the sake of others, then they are not hoping to receive material gain and honour etc 
 + 
 +If you haven’t really grasped the enumerations then make an effort to do so and  ​
 + 
 +It is really important that an effort is made to retain the material that is actually presented in the 
 +Grounds and Paths text but even if you aren’t able to really grasp the enumerations of the different ​
 +thorough purifications,​ then just think that there are so many in this and so many in that. Try to retain ​
 +the knowledge that there are such enumerations. ​
 + 
 + 
 + 
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 +  34
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Number of the tape… 20 
 +Date of the teaching… Friday 4th
 + April 2003 
 + 
 +We are not studying grounds and paths thinking that by doing so we will become famous or that we 
 +will gain material possessions or honour. We are not studying thinking that we will have happiness in 
 +this lifetime. Keep in mind that we are practicing the mind of enlightenment and thus we are studying ​
 +these subjects because our aim is to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. In order to 
 +attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings we must understand the methods by which that 
 +Buddhahood can be attained. We engage in this study, and in particular, study the Mahayana grounds ​
 +and paths and the way one progresses through them, so that we may gain an understanding of the 
 +methods that lead to Buddhahood, that being our ultimate goal. 
 + 
 +The presentation of the Mahayana grounds and paths is in five parts:  ​
 + 
 +1.  The definitions  ​
 +2.  The divisions ​
 +3.  The methods in which one moves from ground to ground ​
 +4.  The distinguishing features ​
 +5.  The meaning of the words 
 + 
 +We know also that the Mahayana grounds can be divided into two: 
 + 
 +1.  The ground of a Bodhisattva  ​
 +2.  The Buddha grounds.  ​
 + 
 +The grounds of a Bodhisattva are in turn divided into two: 
 + 
 +1.  The grounds of ordinary beings who are Bodhisattvas.  ​
 +2.  The grounds of the arya Bodhisattvas.  ​
 + 
 +It’s important to keep in mind these divisions and the subdivisions,​ as well as the more important of the 
 +points covered within this topic. It is of utmost importance to return to these more important points, ​
 +reflecting on them again and again.  ​
 + 
 +Some of the most important points are covered in this fourth section on distinguishing features. This 
 +fourth section itself has five subsections:  ​
 + 
 +1.  Distinguishing the method for attaining the higher perfections, ​
 +2.  Distinguishing the method for increasing the number of qualities, ​
 +3.  Distinguishing the method for taking fruitional rebirth,  ​
 +4.  Distinguishing the method for abandoning the objects of abandonment, ​
 +5.  Distinguishing the method for thorough purification. ​
 + 
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 +  35
 +Geshe-la has already discussed a number of these including the section on how to attain the higher ​
 +practices of the perfections and so forth. In particular, he spent a great deal of time on the method by 
 +which the objects of abandonment are abandoned. We saw how important it is to understand the way in 
 +which one abandons these objects of abandonment and how, by doing so, one proceeds through the 
 +different grounds. ​
 + 
 +In general, Buddhahood and liberation are posited in terms of that which has been abandoned, isn’t that 
 +correct? Since the very states of Buddhahood and liberation are understood in such terms, it is quite 
 +important for us to know what these objects of abandonment are and to understand the manner in which 
 +they are abandoned. ​
 + 
 +Furthermore,​ it’s not as if all of these objects of abandonment are abandoned together in a single ​
 +moment, they are abandoned in stages. We have seen that there are particular objects of abandonment ​
 +abandoned on the path of seeing and others that are abandoned on the path of meditation. In general, as 
 +one successively abandons these objects of abandonment,​ corresponding qualities continually increase ​
 +and flourish. This underlies the importance of understanding the stages and the progression by which 
 +these things are successively abandoned. ​
 + 
 +Yesterday we commenced the teaching on the thorough purifications. These thorough purifications ​
 +constitute the fifth of the five distinguishing features of the Mahayana grounds and paths.  ​
 + 
 +The individual grounds possess differing numbers of these thorough purifications. Yesterday, Geshe-la ​
 +explained the ten thorough purifications of the third ground, the eight thorough purifications of the 
 +second ground, and the five thorough purifications of the third ground. It would be good if you could 
 +really grasp what these different thorough purifications are. Reading through them you can see that 
 +they include many things that we need to put into practice. Even if we are unable to do that, it is 
 +important to at least have some understanding of them and how many of them there are. 
 + 
 +The ten thorough purifications of the fourth ground. ​
 + 
 +In this text by Khedrup Rinpoche (mkhas grub bstan pa dar rgyas), he says that with regards to the ten 
 +thorough purifications of the first ground, the first is: 
 + 
 +1. Isolating oneself from the attentions of Hearers and Solitary Realizers, or isolating oneself from clamour ​
 +and diversions by staying in a sublime and secluded forests out of hailing distance from a town.  ​
 + 
 +‘Isolating oneself from the attentions of Hearers and Solitary Realisers’ refers to isolating oneself from 
 +the intentions of Solitary Realisers and Hearers. The implication is that the individual does not strive to 
 +attain the state of liberation solely for herself, she is not aiming to attain the pacified state of cessation ​
 +in which suffering and its causes have been abandoned solely for herself. She does not give rise to a 
 +mind that desires such a state solely for herself. Hence, she isolates herself from the attentions of 
 +Hearers and Solitary Realisers. ​
 + 
 +The next phrase states; ‘isolating oneself from clamour and diversions’. ‘Clamour and diversions’ ​
 +refers to the hustle and bustle that often accompany large gatherings of people such as that found in a 
 +market. The text goes on to mention a ‘secluded area’. The word used is dgon pa which many people ​
 +understand as referring to a monastery. The general meaning of dgon pa is ‘secluded place’. Here it 
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 +  36
 +refers to a place secluded from the type of clamour and diversion often found where many people ​
 +gather, such as in a marketplace. Such places where people shout and make lots of noise.  ​
 + 
 +For a place to be ‘secluded’ in this sense, it is said that it should be beyond hailing distance from town. 
 +‘Hailing distance’ (rgyang grags) refers to the Sanskrit krosha which is an Indian linear measurement. ​
 +Its literal meaning is ‘hailing distance’. Such an isolated place should then be at least one krosha from 
 +town, thus; out of hailing distance of a town. 
 + 
 +In general, isolation can be understood in two distinct ways: internal isolation which is a reference to 
 +being isolated from the preconceptions,​ and so forth, and the external isolation of being isolated from 
 +clamour and diversions. The most important of these is the former; internal isolation. If you are unable ​
 +to develop such an internal isolation from the misconceptions,​ then no matter how far out of the way 
 +your residence may be, it will not be of much benefit. It is therefore internal isolation that is of utmost ​
 +importance.  ​
 + 
 +Continuing with the thorough purifications of the fourth ground, the text goes on: 
 + 
 +2. Not seeking material gain or having few wants. ​
 + 
 +3. Being content without the excessive desire for the obtainment of material gain.  ​
 + 
 +These two basically refer to having few wants and being content. Their opposites are having wants that 
 +are too great and being discontented. They can be understood in relation to one another. ​
 + 
 +Vasubandhu in the Abhidharmakosa explains these two sets of opposites in the following way:  ​
 + 
 +•  If you lack something and upon seeing someone else with it, you desire to obtain that thing, that is 
 +having wants that are too great. It is the opposite of having few wants.  ​
 +•  If however you already have a thing but are not content or satisfied with that and instead want a 
 +second, third, fourth, and so forth, that is a lack of content. It is the opposite of contentment. ​
 + 
 +These two practices of having few wants and being content are quite important. Just look at where 
 +many of our problems come from. They come from either having wants that are too great or not being 
 +content with what we have. Isn’t that the case? For instance, the conflicts and disputes that break out 
 +amongst groups of people are often due to individuals having wants that are too great or a lack of 
 +contentment. The second and the third thorough purifications of the fourth ground, then indicate these 
 +very important practices necessary for everyone.  ​
 + 
 +4. Being stable in correct restraint through mental stability in the 12 ascetic practices such as begging for 
 +alms.  ​
 + 
 +This is mainly a reference to the twelve dhutaguna. These 12 ascetic practices, more literally translated ​
 +as ‘The Twelve Qualities Of Having Trained’ are mainly associated with the ordained. They refer to 
 +practices prevalent during Shakyamuni Buddha’s life. At that time once one became ordained [literally ​
 +‘arisen from the life as a householder] one would adopt certain modes of behaviour and lifestyle. These 
 +include behaviour related to the place in which one resides, one’s food, and clothing. Rather than reside ​
 +in a home, one would reside in the forest amongst the trees, for food, one would be sustained entirely ​
 +by begging for alms, and for clothing, rather than buying new fabric from the market, those who 
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 +  37
 +emerged from that life would wear clothes made out of discarded rags and so forth. These are the types 
 +of practices that characterize these twelve. ​
 + 
 +There is a plan to once again teach on the trainings of the getsuls or novices, and if indeed that 
 +opportunity arises, these twelve ascetic practices will certainly be taught at that time. Don’t however ​
 +think that something very special will be taught about them. None of them are that glorious so don’t get 
 +your hopes up. They’re actually very difficult practices and therefore it’s probably best that you don’t ​
 +hear about them. When you hear about them, you may no-longer want to be a monk or nun. 
 + 
 +5. In no way forsaking the trainings one has adopted even at the cost of one’s life due to not incurring ​
 +faults and downfalls. ​
 + 
 +In effect, this refers to trying to avoid faults and downfalls with respect to the vows that you have 
 +taken. ​
 + 
 +6. Spurning sensory pleasures due to one’s total abandonment of craving sensory pleasures. ​
 + 
 +7. Endeavoring to act in a way that conforms to those who are to be tamed [in other words disciples]. ​
 + 
 +8. Completely renouncing everything internal and external that one owns. 
 + 
 +9. Knowing that one has the ability to accomplish all virtues due to the higher perfection of joyous effort on 
 +this ground, one does not get discouraged in working to accomplish virtue. ​
 + 
 +The text mentions ‘accomplishing all virtues’. This would clearly include the virtues of abandoning ​
 +killing, abandoning stealing and the remainder of the ten non-virtues. Knowing that one can 
 +accomplish all virtues, however, includes the knowledge that one is able to endure whatever hardships ​
 +may arise when trying to accomplish the ‘ultimate virtue’; that of liberation or Buddhahood. In trying ​
 +to accomplish this ultimate virtue, of course many hardships must be encountered,​ yet in facing them, 
 +the Bodhisattva is not discouraged for she knows she is capable of accomplishing all virtues, even the 
 +highest. ​
 + 
 +10. One does not have the view that manifestly grasps at all things. ​
 + 
 +These ten are thoroughly purified through their being influenced by great compassion and the wisdom ​
 +perceptually realizing emptiness. They are purified through realizing that all phenomena lack inherent ​
 +existence. ​
 + 
 +The ten thorough purifications of the fifth ground. ​
 + 
 +As for the thorough purifications of the fifth ground, the text states: ​
 +  ​
 +“There are ten thorough purifications on the fifth ground. The ten thorough purifications have completely ​
 +abandoned the following partial dharmas and encourage the antidotes to the dharmas that run counter to 
 +them.”  ​
 + 
 +These are as follows: ​
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 +  38
 + 
 +1. Mixing with the ordained and the like out of craving for material gain and honour. ​
 + 
 +2. Displaying meanness to other faithful households out of craving for the household. ​
 + 
 +3. Due to craving diversion, staying in a forest with lots of diversions, for instance [a forest where] a 
 +number of people pass through. ​
 + 
 +4. Praising oneself for the sake of material gain and honour. ​
 + 
 +5. Belittling others for the sake of material gain and honour. ​
 + 
 +6. Encouraging and increasing the ten ways of acting non-virtuously due to that. 
 + 
 +7. Being arrogant and refusing to bow to others due to conceit about the teachings one has received etc. 
 +[This seventh essentially concerns pride]. ​
 + 
 +8. Erroneously grasping at what is to be adopted and discarded. ​
 + 
 +9. Being subject to poor intelligence such as wrong views. ​
 + 
 +10. Being patient with disturbing emotions such as attachment. ​
 + 
 +These are partial dharmas that one is overcoming. They are ten things to be abandoned, and there are 
 +ten antidotes to these ten dharmas that run counter to those. Those ten antidotes are to be encouraged. ​  
 + 
 +Look at the first three, these are: craving for material gain and honour, craving for the household, and 
 +craving diversion. These three are influencing factors that leads one, for instance, to mix with the 
 +ordained and so forth. Some may think that by obtaining ordination they will receive material gain or 
 +honour and hence act in such ways. Others, out of craving for the household, may display a meanness ​
 +to other faithful households. Another may crave diversion; not  wanting to remain in a secluded place, ​
 +they select a place with lots of diversion such as a forest where many people pass through.  ​
 + 
 +These three along with the remaining seven are objects that are to be abandoned. It seems that these ten 
 +objects of abandonment were taught by Shakyamuni Buddha in sutras, hence the antidotes which run 
 +counter to those ten are implicit in his teachings. ​
 + 
 +The ninth thorough purification is said to be; “being subject to poor intelligence such as wrong views”. ​
 +If you remember, the objects of abandonment of the path of seeing include a listing of ten disturbing ​
 +emotions, five of which are views and five of which are not views. Three of them; wrong views, ​
 +holding views to be supreme and holding ethics and holding certain kinds of conduct to be supreme are 
 +views solely abandoned on the path of seeing. Once you have attained the path of release of the 1st
 + 
 +ground, you have therefore abandoned these together with their seeds. The question therefore arises as 
 +to why we would still need to purify ‘wrong views’ on the fifth ground.  ​
 + 
 +After listing the ten objects of abandonment this text goes on to address that very qualm. It states: ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  39
 +Having reached the first ground’s path of release, [a person] has already abandoned wrong views such as 
 +the one that denies the effects of actions together with their seeds. Therefore, to properly attain the 
 +completion of the fifth ground’s qualities, [a Bodhisattva] defeats wrong views [he or she has] in relation to 
 +the disciples abiding in [his or her] retinue at that time, or defeats the extreme view of apprehending a 
 +permanent self which is called a ‘wrong view’ though [in fact] it is an extreme view.  ​
 + 
 +Essentially,​ the author is offering the above as a solution to the apparent contradiction that by the time 
 +the individual attains the 1st
 + ​ground’s path of release, wrong views have already been abandoned ​
 +together with their seeds, and yet it is listed here as a thorough purifications of the 5th
 + ​ground. He says 
 +that it is those wrong views with respect to other sentient beings within one’s retinue or in relation to 
 +such extreme views, and so forth that are what is meant here. It is these that are thoroughly purified ​
 +here on the fifth ground. Extreme view, remember, is the second of the five types of wrong view. It is 
 +listed after the view of the transitory collection. It is understood as being a view which apprehends an 
 +extreme. ​
 + 
 +“If wrong views were definitively explained [you would have to say that] the arisen antidote is prolonged for 
 +a long time”.  ​
 + 
 +The antidotes to the wrong views which were produced earlier continue to remain with this person even 
 +at this later stage of the fifth ground. ​
 + 
 +The text continues by saying:  ​
 + 
 +For the most part the objects of abandonment taught in this context are not [found] in the others either.  ​
 + 
 +The meaning is that these objects of abandonment don’t have to be found in the continuum of such 
 +Bodhisattvas.  ​
 + 
 +Nonetheless,​ so that [the reader] may understands that the various seeds on that ground have been 
 +abandoned, those objects of abandonment have been presented here. 
 + 
 +It’s not necessary that these be present in the continuum of that Bodhisattva. Yet to illustrate the fact 
 +that the seeds of such have been abandoned, it’s given here.  ​
 + 
 +The twelve thorough purifications of the sixth ground. ​
 + 
 +The sixth ground called “manifest” has twelve thorough purifications.  ​
 + 
 +The text states: ​
 + 
 +“Six objects of abandonment are abandoned through the excellent completion of the practice of the six 
 +perfections of generosity, ethics, patience, joyous effort, concentration and wisdom,​” ​
 + 
 + Each of those six being counted as one of these twelve thorough purifications.  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  40
 +“By completing the perfection of ethics and concentration,​ [a person] abandons the joy in and desire to be 
 +a Hearer student and a Rhinoceros-like Solitary Realizer student. By completing the perfection of 
 +patience, [a person] abandons a state of mind that fears not observing the entityness of all phenomena.” ​
 + 
 +In brief, each of the six perfections has a corresponding incompatibility;​ something incompatible which 
 +is particular to it:  ​
 + 
 +•  That which is incompatible with the perfection of generosity would be stinginess that holds onto 
 +everything.  ​
 +•  That which is incompatible with the practice of ethics would be lax ethics.  ​
 +•  That which is incompatible with the perfection of patience would be anger.  ​
 +•  That which is incompatible with the perfection of joyous effort would be laziness, and so forth.  ​
 + 
 +Through abandoning that which is incompatible with each of the six perfections,​ one completes the 
 +training in those perfections,​ the practice of those perfections. Remember here we are speaking about 
 +the thorough purifications of the sixth ground. By the time the Bodhisattva attains this ground, she has 
 +attained the higher practice of each of the six perfections up to and including the perfection of wisdom. ​
 +Hence, such a person who has reached this stage has given up or abandoned the delight they would 
 +otherwise take in manifesting the state of a Hearer or Solitary Realizer. ​
 + 
 +In particular, by completing the perfection of patience a person abandons that state of mind that fears 
 +not observing the entityness (ngo bo nyid mi dmigs pa) of all phenomena. Not observing the entityness ​
 +of all phenomena is another way of saying “perceiving emptiness,​” because you’re not focused upon a 
 +truly established entity of phenomena. You’re not observing it. 
 + 
 +This is related to that often spoken of fear of perceiving emptiness. A person may think that if all 
 +phenomena lack an entityness, that would mean that no phenomena exist. They think that if the actor, ​
 +the actions, and the object of actions were to lack entityness they would pass out of existence, hence 
 +they fear falling into this extreme of nihilism.  ​
 + 
 +Khedrup Rinpoche says that if one meditates on the object emptiness and the subject wisdom realizing ​
 +emptiness as being distinct, essentially one meditates on true existence. Rather than meditate upon the 
 +two as being distinct, one should meditate such that emptiness alone appears as an object of mind. One 
 +then dwells in that state in which subject and object are not distinct. When doing this, it’s possible to 
 +encounter this fear of nihilism, a fear of passing out of existence. One abandons such fears here on the 
 +sixth ground, through the completion of the perfection of patience,​.  ​
 + 
 +When one attains the completion of the practice of the perfection of patience one has developed to the 
 +point where one can bear anything. The word bzod.pa, or patience, means forbearance,​ to forebear. One 
 +finds nothing unbearable any longer.  ​
 +  ​
 +It is very important to distinguish between phenomena not being established by their entityness, and 
 +phenomena not having an entity. Saying phenomena are empty of entityness is just another way of 
 +saying that they are empty of true existence.  ​
 + 
 +“By completing the perfection of generosity, one abandons discouragement if the beggar takes, and is 
 +without discouragement” ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  41
 +With regards to the perfection of generosity, due to this Bodhisattva having completed the perfection of 
 +generosity, having abandoned discouragement when the one who is requesting, the beggar, ​ takes what 
 +is offered, she is ‘without discouragement’. ​
 + 
 +Notice that the text mentions that they have ‘completed’ the perfections of generosity and so forth. ​
 +Earlier we heard that in the Autonomist context such attainments are usually explained as attaining ‘the ​
 +higher practice of’ the perfection of generosity. Geshe-la would speculate that perhaps it is acceptable ​
 +to say that they have ‘completed the perfection of generosity’. We know however that the perfection of 
 +generosity has not been developed to its utmost extent. This ultimate level is not achieved until 
 +Buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +“By completing the perfection of joyous effort that delights in generosity, [a person] abandons all dislike of 
 +completing renouncing all of one’s possessions,​ due to which he or she is without any dislike”. ​
 + 
 +“By completing the perfection of wisdom, one does not turn beggars away even though one be destitute ​
 +and poor.”  ​
 + 
 +“In this way, the completion of the six perfection and abandoning of the six objects of abandonment ​
 +constitutes the twelve thorough purifications of the sixth ground. Through these, the completion of the 
 +sixth ground qualities are attained.” ​
 + 
 +We will leave the explanation of the thorough purifications at this point today. We have now covered ​
 +the different thorough purifications for all grounds up to and including the sixth. Really understanding ​
 +these thorough purifications in their entirety is of course quite difficult but merely understanding their 
 +enumeration is not so difficult.  ​
 + 
 +This week, we have not covered much new material from the text of grounds and paths, but we will go 
 +over some of the main points.  ​
 + 
 +A few days ago we looked at some doubts that had been raised with respect to the non-conceptual ​
 +wisdom. Here, ‘non-conceptual wisdom’ refers to the exalted wisdom that realizes emptiness. It was 
 +said that the accumulation of exalted wisdom explicitly taught in the Ornament of Clear Realization ​
 +refers to that wisdom that realizes emptiness. This ‘accumulation of exalted wisdom’ is that often 
 +referred to in the context of the two accumulations:​ the accumulations of merit and of exalted wisdom. ​
 + 
 +If the exalted wisdom in this context refers to the exalted wisdom that realizes emptiness, then the 
 +question arises, “How is the accumulation of exalted wisdom posited with respect to the Mind Only 
 +School, and the Middle Way Autonomist School? Each of these schools refers to a wisdom realizing ​
 +emptiness. How does each understand that emptiness?  ​
 + 
 +The Mind Only School asserts that that emptiness is the apprehended and the apprehender being empty 
 +of being different substances. Furthermore,​ the Mind Only hold that this emptiness is truly established. ​
 +The Middle Way Autonomist School, on the other hand, says that that emptiness should be understood ​
 +as phenomena not being ‘ultimately inherently’ existent. In other words, that they do not truly exist. ​
 + 
 +The author states that the Middle Way is valid (‘thad pa), and that the Mind Only is not. The problem ​
 +is, he says, that the Mind-Only assert this emptiness which is the valid cognizer apprehending form and 
 +form being empty of being different substances, to be truly established. The basic critique hinges on 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  42
 +this point. The Autonomists assert that not only do all phenomena lack true existence, but that 
 +emptiness itself also lacks true existence. ​
 + 
 +Familiarizing with emptiness even if just based on an understanding which is a mere correct ​
 +assumption still constitutes gathering the accumulation of exalted wisdom. Hence, these types of 
 +meditations on emptiness are instances in which we also may gather that type of exalted wisdom. It is 
 +said that virtue that is subsumed under the accumulation of exalted wisdom cannot be destroyed by 
 +anger whereas virtue subsumed by the accumulation of merit can be. This destruction of virtue is 
 +sometimes said to be by wrong views, but basically this is understood to be by anger. ​
 + 
 +When we practice generosity, the perfection of ethics, and so forth, the virtues accumulated thereby are 
 +not protected from anger unless they are influenced by an understanding of emptiness. Dedicating our 
 +roots of virtue to complete manifest enlightenment alone doesn’t protect them from destruction by 
 +anger. Thus before meditating, it’s important that we generate the motivation of the mind of 
 +enlightenment and draw upon whatever understanding of emptiness that we have. Take a moment to 
 +reflect on the emptiness of the three spheres, that the act of meditation, the object meditated, and the 
 +individual meditating all lack true existence. By doing this, we can ensure that our meditation is 
 +influenced by both the mind of enlightenment and this understanding of emptiness. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: What is the purpose of dedicating one’s root virtues to complete manifest enlightenment? ​
 + 
 +Student: So that they won’t be exhausted until you achieve enlightenment.  ​
 + 
 +What if they are destroyed by anger? The way this should be phrased is that those virtues that have 
 +been dedicated to complete manifest enlightenment are not exhausted through experiencing their 
 +effects, through the partaking of their effects. Those virtues which we accomplish for the purposes of 
 +this lifetime have effects which are exhausted within this lifetime since they were only accomplished ​
 +for the purposes of this one lifetime. This distinction must therefore be made. Saying that virtue will 
 +not be exhausted through experiencing its effects is differs from saying that it cannot be destroyed by 
 +anger. ​
 + 
 +What does the statement; “anger can destroy virtue mean”? It refers to those virtues that are subsumed ​
 +by the accumulation of merit. Those can be destroyed by anger. It means that that anger renders virtues ​
 +that are subsumed by the accumulation of merit  incapable of producing an effect.  ​
 + 
 +What questions do you have? 
 + 
 +Student: [inaudible]  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: The syllogism we considered began: “Take the subject non-conceptual exalted wisdom, it’s ​
 +object is empty of true existence.” If you were asked to give the predicate of that you would say, 
 +“empty of true existence” (bden stong) In this case, the predicate is a non-affirming negation, isn’t it? 
 +A non-affirming negation is necessarily a negator therefore that reason is considered a reason of non-observation and as such it doesn’t function as a reason of nature. That is the meaning. ​
 + 
 +Student: I understand how “empty of true existence” is a non-affirming negation but is “its object is 
 +empty of true existence” an non-affirming negation or an affirming negation? ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  43
 +Geshe-la: In the syllogism; “The subject sound is impermanent because it’s a product,” the predicate ​
 +given is “impermanent,​” the predicate is not “is impermanent.” Similarly, in the syllogism, “Take non-conceptual exalted wisdom, it’s object is empty of true existence because it is a consciousness,​” the 
 +predicate given is essentially “empty of true existence.” You could say “it’s object of true existence.” ​
 +The word “is” is included simply to link the predicate within the proof statement. ​
 + 
 +Student: When we say that the predicate is “its object empty of true existence,​” are we saying that “its ​
 +object is empty of true existence, for instance its object being a pillar is empty of true existence,​” or are 
 +we saying that “the non-conceptual exalted wisdom itself is focused upon empty of true existence?​” ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: We are saying that the object of non-conceptual exalted wisdom is empty of true existence ​
 +[hence my translation is “emptiness of true existence” because that’s essentially what we’re speaking ​
 +about]. That’s what this non-conceptual exalted wisdom is. It is focused on emptiness, empty of true 
 +existence. ​
 + 
 +In general it is correct to say that if something is a consciousness,​ its object is necessarily empty of true 
 +existence. The issue with this syllogism is not to do with the pervasion because it is acknowledged that 
 +if something is a consciousness,​ its object is necessarily empty of true existence. The critique of this 
 +reason, this sign, is simply that the predicate does not conform to the type of predicate required by a 
 +syllogism in which the reason is said to be a reason of nature.  ​
 + 
 +[Lozang Zopa: One thing I might add is that there’s a bit of a play on words here which creates this 
 +ambiguity.] ​
 + 
 +The Great Commentary to the Ornament of Clear Realization clearly mentions a syllogism of nature.  ​
 +Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen says the following syllogism cannot be the one intended by the Great 
 +Commentary, because its predicate does not conform to the type of predicate required by that type of 
 +syllogism. ​ The criticized syllogism is “Non-conceptual exalted wisdom is an object empty of true 
 +existence because it is a consciousness.”. Though the reason is correct it is not a correct reason of 
 +nature. ​ Its predicate is a non-affirming negation. ​ It is a correct reason of non-observation. ​
 + 
 +We’ll leave it there for today. ​
 + 
 +We’re studying the way in which grounds and paths are developed within an individual hence we are 
 +studying the different qualities attained on successively higher grounds. Although we may not have 
 +these qualities within our continuum, we have an understanding of what they are. That understanding ​
 +can give way to faith in these qualities. Since this faith is a faith that follows in the wake of wisdom, it 
 +appreciates how it’s possible for us to develop these qualities even if we lack them right now. The 
 +understanding that we also can attain them leads to the development of aspiration, the wish that we too 
 +develop these qualities.  ​
 + 
 +It’s very important that our understanding develop into this type of faith, and that this in turn gives rise 
 +to that type of aspiration. In dependence upon such an aspiration joy and delight arise, a joyous effort ​
 +which strives to develop these things within ourselves. Should joyous effort continue to develop in our 
 +continuum, at some point we will develop the grounds and paths. They are developed in dependence ​
 +upon just such joyous effort. With time and through the increase of joyous effort, we can develop these 
 +grounds and paths within ourselves. ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  44
 +Geshe-la really believes that a great deal of negativity is purified by reflecting on the way one 
 +progresses through the Hinayana and Mahayana paths, reflecting on the qualities developed on these, ​
 +on what is abandoned, and how those things are abandoned as one progresses through the levels.  ​
 + 
 +It is not so easy to explain how reciting Vajrasattva’s 100-syllable mantra purifies negativities. Of 
 +course, the mantra itself has great power and potency, but it’s not easy to explain how just its recitation ​
 +purifies negativities. If however our study of this material follows in the wake of faith and aspiration ​
 +based upon wisdom, then this must certainly purified negativities. If anything purifies negativities,​ this 
 +type of approach and activity would, wouldn’t it? If these types of activities don’t purify negativities, ​
 +Geshe-la doesn’t know if reciting the 100-syllable mantra would either. ​
 + 
 +I heard once of an American woman who lodged a complaint. She was told that in order to attain ​
 +Buddhahood she should do 100,000 prostration,​ recite the 100-syllable Vajrasattva mantra 100,000 and 
 +complete the other sets of 100,000. She went away, and on returning complained that she had 
 +completed all these practices but hadn’t attained Buddhahood. It’s a valid complaint, isn’t it? That’s ​
 +how things actually are. 
 + 
 +Here however, when you look at this material, the grounds and paths that you progress through on the 
 +way to attaining Buddhahood are clearly displayed. If you were to follow these, develop these, then 
 +you certainly would attain Buddhahood, wouldn’t you? There are no stories of anyone saying they had 
 +studied this material, progressed through the grounds and paths, yet hadn’t finally attained ​
 +Buddhahood! No-one says that do they? 
 + 
grounds_paths_of_buddhism_commentary_geshe_tashi_tsering_5.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:11 (external edit)