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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-6
 +----
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  1
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 2003 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Tape No:  21 
 +Date of teaching: 8th
 +  April, 2003 
 + 
 +In general when we are involved in training the mind in the cultivation of bodhicitta, the mind of 
 +enlightenment and so forth, those actions, by their very nature, seem to engender a more positive state 
 +of mind even without paying particular attention to the motivation. When we are studying however, it 
 +is of particular importance to cultivate a proper motivation and we should be careful not to fall prey to 
 +the 8 mundane concerns or to have our study be directed solely at accomplishing the purposes of this 
 +lifetime. We should take care to cultivate a positive state of mind as a motivation.  ​
 + 
 +This is important, not ‘working solely’ or ‘not directing one’s actions solely’ for the accomplishment of 
 +the purposes of this lifetime. ​
 + 
 +Now we need to look through these somewhat problematic thorough purifications. ​ Since Lozang Zopa 
 +has already worked so hard to translate them into English it wouldn’t be good to just forget about them. 
 +We obviously have to go through at least the process of reading through them, but maybe the main 
 +study of them you can do at homes. Now that you have a translation of it you can review the material ​
 +there. ​
 + 
 +We already covered the 6th
 + ​ground. There are 12 thorough purifications on the 6th
 + ​ground.  ​
 + 
 +These are quite easy. Remember that by the time you attain the 6th
 + ​ground you have attained the higher ​
 +practice of the perfection of wisdom which means that you have attained the higher practices of the 
 +perfection of all six perfections. The 12 purifications can be broken down into the 6 that abandon that 
 +which is incompatible with these 6 perfections, ​ and the completion of the 6 perfections. Having ​
 +attained the higher practice of these perfections,​ if a beggar were to come along asking for something ​
 +you would be utterly without any desire not to give it. You have already attained the higher practice of 
 +the perfection of generosity and so forth – this is quite easy. 
 + 
 +As you see these thorough purifications on the 6th
 + ​ground are quite easy but if you have doubts or 
 +questions about it Geshela is happy to answer them. For now let’s move on to the thorough ​
 +purifications of the 7th
 + ​ground. ​
 + 
 +If these thorough purifications on the 7th
 + ​ground were counted in the same way as those on the 6th
 + 
 +ground were, then we would say that there are actually 40 (as opposed to just 20), for there are 20 
 +objects of abandonment to be abandoned and there are 20 antidotes that are applied. But they are not 
 +counted in this way, although both sets are explained here.  ​
 + 
 +Khedrup Tenpa Dargyey’s presentation is not as clear as Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s. We read over both of 
 +these texts and, on the basis of Gyalsab Rinpoche’s, ​ have clarified what is found in Kedrup Tenpa 
 +Dargye’s. ​
 + 
 +The first three are  ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  2
 +the misapprehension of self,  ​
 +the misapprehension of sentient beings and  ​
 +the misapprehension of the life-force.  ​
 +These 3 are in fact mentioned in the sutras, particularly in connection to the misapprehension of self –
 +self-grasping.  ​
 + 
 +Although the first three of course correspond to the misapprehension of the self of persons, the fourth is 
 +also  ​
 +the misapprehension of persons,  ​
 + 
 +and in fact all four of these diffferent types were given in sutra. This is because there are many 
 +different aspects to the misapprehension of the self of persons, eg you can misapprehend the person ​
 +holding it to be permanent unitary and independent,​ or you can just merely apprehend an independent ​
 +person etc. Because there are various types of misapprehensions,​ this variety is covered here.  ​
 + 
 +The fifth is: the apprehension of nihilism- to hold that sentient beings do not exist. ​
 + 
 +This list deals with the objects that are to be abandoned – later, when we look at the second group of 20 
 +– the antidotes – it will become clear how these are eliminated. So, we have the apprehension of 
 +nihilism and then the 6th
 + ​is: ​
 +the apprehension of permanence  ​
 + 
 +Once again, permanence doesn’t really convey what is meant in the Tibetan because we are speaking ​
 +about a superimposition or an exaggeration of what is there. It comes from the well known pairing of 
 +the view of nihilism and the view of superimposition (permanence). ​
 + 
 +More about these points will be explained when we are going through the second grouping of 20. For 
 +now we shall just read through the objects of abandonment. ​
 + 
 +So then you have: 
 +the misapprehension of characteristics, ​
 +the misapprehension of causes  ​
 +the misapprehension of aggregates ​
 +then constituents,  ​
 +sources ​
 +remaining in the 3 realms ​     ​
 +attachment ​
 +the complete discouragement of mind  ​
 +the views that manifestly grasp at the three jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.  ​
 +These are counted as three separate ones, one for Buddha, one for Dharma and one for sangha. And 
 +then of course there’s the fourth: ​
 +the view that manifestly grasps at ethics.  ​
 + 
 +These added up total 18. These are all cases in which one is grasping at true existence – grasping at the 
 +true existence of these things or grasping at these things as truly existent.  ​
 +No 19 is: 
 +In debating about emptiness, holding emptiness to be something that destroys things.  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  3
 +This is a wrong debate, a mistaken assertion. A person might say that emptiness is something that 
 +destroys things because your notion of emptiness destroys the idea that things are truly existent. Ifyou 
 +destroy the true existence of things, they no longer exist. By destroying the true existence you destroy ​
 +the thing itself and therefore emptiness is something that destroys things. This is a debate that another ​
 +person erroneously puts forwards. ​
 + 
 +And then no 20 is: 
 +   ​holding the position that emptiness and the relative are contradictory.  ​
 + 
 +Gyalsab Rinpoche phrases this in terms of the empty and dependant arisings being contradictory. That 
 +type of presentation conforms to the middle way consequence approach and fits in quite nicely with the 
 +way they explain the harmony between the two truths.  ​
 + 
 +Next there are the next set of enumerations – thr thorough purifications of the 7th
 + ​grounds that are in 
 +essance 20 antidotes. ​
 +1-3 are the abandonment of: 
 +His or her misapprehension of the self of persons ​
 +His or her misapprehension of sentient beings ​
 +His or her misapprehension of the life force 
 + 
 +The paragraph directly preceding these three explains that, for the bodhisattva on the 7th
 + ​ground,​ the 
 +understanding of the three doors of complete liberation, acts to abandon the misapprehension of self of 
 +persons, the misapprehension of sentient beings, the misapprehension of the life force. We really ​
 +should understand what these three doors of liberation are, but today we don’t have time to do so. If we 
 +get time in the future Geshela will give a more extensive explanation of these three.  ​
 + 
 +You will find that the 20 objects of abandonment correspond to the 20 antidotes given here. So the 
 +fourth of the objects of abandonment is the misapprehension of persons. This is explained in greater ​
 +detail, how it is abandoned and so forth, in no 4 of the antidotes. It reads:  ​
 +By perceptually realising that the 3 spheres of object, agent and action and the way of the 10 virtues are 
 +empty of true establishment,​ [a person] abandons the misapprehension of a unitary and independent ​
 +person.  ​
 + 
 +This clarifies the object that is abandoned, doesn’t it. 
 + 
 +5. Through the compassion that focuses on all beings, a person abandons nihilism with respect to sentient ​
 +beings.  ​
 + 
 +Due to the great familiarity one gains with regard to great compassion, one no longer grasps at nihilism ​
 +with respect to sentient beings. In other words, one no longer holds that sentient beings do not exist. So 
 +this corresponds to the nihilism mentioned in no 5. 
 + 
 +Then no 6 reads: ​
 +Being without the conceit that things are truly existent [a person] abandons the misapprehension of 
 +permanent sentient beings.  ​
 +This is easy. 
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  4
 +Once again, when it says permanent sentient beings, ‘permanent’ should be understood in terms of the 
 +superimpositions one makes with respect to sentient beings. This refers to the pair that are commonly ​
 +known as the view of nihilism and the view of superimposition. The literal translation is permanent but 
 +we can understand it to refer to superimposition. ​
 + 
 +Then no 7 is: 
 +By realising the equality that is all phenomena’s being empty of true existence, [a person] abandons the 
 +misapprehension that the signs of what are to be adopted and discarded are truly existent.  ​
 + 
 +There are certain signs or characteristics of what is to be adopted and what is to be discarded - the signs 
 +of course refers to their true existence - but one understands that both, that which is to be adopted and 
 +that which is to be abandoned, are actually empty of true existence and thus one abandons the 
 +misapprehension of such a sign. One abandons the misapprehension of the true existence of what is to 
 +be adopted and what is to be discarded. ​
 + 
 +The eighth has to be understood with respect to the final goal and the basic position that all beings will 
 +eventually go on to attain this final goal is known as the one final vehicle.  ​
 +By understanding the way in which there is one final vehicle, one abandons the misapprehension that the 
 +three types – causes for the final vehicle - are distinct.  ​
 + 
 +These three types are the three types of beings, all of which are causes for the final vehicle. Regardless ​
 +what type an individual is, that type will still act eventually as a cause to obtain the final result.  ​
 + 
 +No 9, in the objects of abandonment,​ mentions aggregates and hence no 9 in the antidotes speaks ​
 +about:  ​
 +By completely understanding that no phenomenon is ultimately produced, one abandons the 
 +apprehension that the aggregates are truly established.  ​
 + 
 +Kedrup Rinpoche says in no 10: 
 +By understanding the patience that is not afraid of profound emptiness, one abandons the apprehension ​
 +of truly existent three realms. ​
 + 
 +There appears to be a scribe’s error in number 10.  Rather than read ‘with respect to the three realms’, ​
 +as kham sum la implies, it probably ought to read ‘with respect to the three constituents.’ So: 
 +By understanding the patience that is not afraid of profound emptiness, one abandons the 
 +apprehension of truly existent constituents. ​
 + That 8,9,and 10 in the corresponding list are causes, aggregates and constituents supports this second ​
 +reading. ​
 + 
 +Without discussing the details of the Tibetan script it is sufficient to say that the error is a definite ​
 +possibility,​ Whether you look at Gyalsab Rinpoche’s text or Kedrup Rinpoche’s text this remains a the 
 +same. 
 + 
 +[The footnote mentions that the two phrases kham sum la as and kham su have very slight differences ​
 +between them but the difference creates a different meaning in the text. The point is that because ​
 +there’s such a slight difference between the two, it’s entirely possible that a scribe could make such a 
 +mistake.] ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  5
 +Then no 11 reads: ​
 +By demonstrating the unity of all phenomena’s lack of true existence including the sources and so on, by 
 +means of the mahayana method, one abandons the apprehension of truly existent sources. ​
 + 
 +Then no 12 reads: ​
 +The apprehension of that which abides in the 3 realms as truly existent is abandoned in dependence upon 
 +the complete destruction of conceptions that apprehend true existence. ​
 + 
 +So it seems quite clear that no’s 8,9,&10 amongst the antidotes correspond to abandoning the 
 +misapprehension with respect to causes, aggregates and constituents,​ whereas here in no 12 we find the 
 +misapprehension of the three realms, This once again lends credence to the idea that there has been a 
 +scribe’s error in no 10.  ​
 + 
 +No 13 amongst the objects of abandonment reads ‘attachment’ doesn’t it. So now in the antidotes we 
 +have  ​
 +A person does not have the attitude that apprehends the signs such as cleanliness and pleasure. ​
 +Furthermore the five such as the view of the transitory collection are discarded and finally attraction to the 
 +true existence of that which is to be discarded in the three realms is abandoned through the three 
 +abandonments of the disturbing emotions such as attachment.  ​
 + 
 +Basically we have three distinct things mentioned in no 13. 
 + 
 +Do you understand what it is to have this attitude or mental perspective that apprehends the signs such 
 +as cleanliness and pleasure? This refers to holding that which is not clean to be clean, holding that 
 +which is not pleasurable to be pleasurable,​ holding that which is impermanent to be permanent. ​
 + 
 +Do you notice it says ‘the signs such as cleanliness and pleasure’. It only mentions 2 – there is no 
 +mention of holding what is impermanent to be permanent. There might be a good reason for that 
 +however. After all we’ve already covered that in one of the above numbers. It’s still a possibility ​
 +however that grasping at what is impermanent to be permanent can be included here as indicated by the 
 +phrasing ‘such as’. It’s like using the word ‘etc’. ​
 + 
 +It also refers to attachment and the disturbing emotions – very clear in relation to the 3rd
 + of the 3 
 +objects covered in no. 13, when it speaks about ‘attachment to the true existence of that which is to be 
 +discarded in the three realms is abandoned through the three abandonments of disturbing emotions such 
 +as attachment’.  ​
 + 
 +Number 14 reads:  ​
 +One abandons the discouragement of mind that thinks that special higher quality which is the exalted ​
 +knower of all aspects cannot be attained through cultivating the certain mind of one-pointed calm 
 +abidance on an exalted knower of all aspects.  ​
 + 
 +Gyalsab Rinpoche says this in a different way but in effect it amounts to the same thing. He says: ‘one ​
 +abandons the discouragement of mind that thinks that higher qualities cannot be attained in dependence ​
 +upon calm abiding’. ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  6
 +In the root text of Maitreya’s Ornament for Clear Realisation it only mentions ‘calm abiding’ and 
 +‘discouragement of mind’ - discouragement of mind which thinks higher qualities cannot be attained in 
 +dependence upon calm abiding is abandoned.  ​
 + 
 +So then we dealt with the 3 that correspond to the Buddha Dharma and Sangha jewels correct? ​
 +Since those each are given a different number in the objects of abandonment,​ we deal with them 
 +separately as antidotes as well.  ​
 + 
 +No 15 reads,  ​
 +one attains a special wisdom that is included within insight and one abandons grasping at the true 
 +existence of buddhas through being expert in the way of knowing interdependence to be like an illusion.  ​
 + 
 +No 16. corresponds to dharma,  ​
 +One abandons apprehending the dharma as truly existent by taming the mind and freeing it from the 
 +arrogant views of true existence through realising the nature of things. ​
 + 
 +No 17 reads,  ​
 +One abandons grasping at the true existence of sangha due to their having an exalted wisdom that is not 
 +obstructed with respect to anything.  ​
 + 
 +‘Their’ doesn’t actually doesn’t refer to sangha as it might indicate – ‘their’ is referring to this 
 +bodhisattva on the 7th
 + ​ground.  ​
 + 
 +16, 17 ,18 correspond to the 3 objects of abandonment mentioned earlier – Buddha Jewel, Dharma ​
 +Jewel and Sangha Jewel.  ​
 + 
 +After we spoke about the Three Jewels in the objects of abandonment,​ next came mention of ethics ​
 +yeh? So this is what the next, no 18, deals with: 
 +One abandons grasping at the true existence of ethics through realising the grounds of attachment to the 
 +true existence of anything are improper abodes. ​
 + 
 +No19:  ​
 +Since the person can go equally to all other fields they might wish to for the sake of distinguishing dharma, ​
 +one abandons erroneous disputes about emptiness.  ​
 + 
 +The root text – the Ornament of Clear Realisation – merely mentions going equally to other fields. ​
 + 
 +The bodhisattva on the 7th
 + ​ground has realised how phenomena are not truly established. Through this 
 +realisation they have gained the capacity to go forth to, and abide in, different buddha fields. Clearly ​
 +these bodhisattvas have abandoned erroneous disputes about emptiness eg this idea that emptiness is a 
 +destroyer of things. ​
 + 
 +No 20 reads:  ​
 +Having attained control over the bodies of self that conform to disciples which [the bodhisattva uses] to 
 +look after sentient beings, the apprehension which holds the empty and the dependent arisings to be 
 +contrary is abandoned by teaching the nature of bodies. ​
 + 
 +So moving on to the thorough purifications of the 8th
 + ​ground… ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  7
 + 
 +The 8th
 + ​ground immoveable has 8 purifications.  ​
 +No 1. [The bodhisattva] knows infatuation with all sentient beings and freedom from that with a single ​
 +mind. 
 + 
 +No 2. As he or she clearly knows the miraculous manifestations of all worlds’ realms he or she is 
 +concerned ie compassionate.  ​
 + 
 +No 3. The bodhisattva creates the good essence of his or her buddha field with gold and lapis lazuli and 
 +the like. 
 + 
 +No 4 In order to thoroughly realise the meaning of all dharma teachings in all their aspects the bodhisattva ​
 +employs the methods that please buddhas. ​
 + 
 +No 5. Having developed the divine eye the bodhisattva knows those of supreme and superior faculties.  ​
 + 
 +The higher knowledge of the divine eye is not an instance of eye consciousness but of mental ​
 +consciousness. It’s a form of the higher knowledge which is sometimes called clairvoyance. Even a 
 +desire realm being could potentially obtain this clairvoyance or higher knowledge of the divine eye. 
 + 
 +No 6 Through his or her own buddha field, he or she thoroughly trains the continuums of sentient beings. ​
 + 
 +No 7 The bodhisattva remains in the illusory like state at all times both in equipoise and after having arisen ​
 +from it. 
 + 
 +No 8. The bodhisattva can take rebirth in accord with his thoughts through the power of compassion and 
 +aspirational prayers. ​
 + 
 +So now we move onto the thorough purifications of the 9th
 + ​ground. The 9th
 + ​ground,​ good intellect, has 
 +12 thorough purifications,​ the first of which is: 
 +Limitless aspirational prayers are accomplished through having completed the 6 perfections.  ​
 + 
 +There are different types of correct individual knowledges, one of which is that which knows the 
 +precise definitions,​ which has to do with etymology etc. 
 + 
 +No 2 corresponds to this: 
 +Precise definitions – having attained the correct individual knowledge of that [the bodhisattva] knows the 
 +specifics of all deities and so forth.  ​
 + 
 +There’s also a correct individual knowledge of confidence and so no 3. is: 
 +Confidence: having attained the correct individual knowledge with respect to that, then confidence in 
 +teaching the dharma is inexhaustible like a great river. ​
 + 
 +Next relates to entering the womb. In order to act for the welfare of others, the bodhisattva needs to 
 +take rebirth in doing this, they enter into the type of womb that is praised by all sentient beings. No 4. 
 +reads: ​
 +Supreme entering the womb – the bodhisattva enters into the mother’s womb praised by all beings. ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  8
 +If we were to guess what constitutes a mother’s womb praised by all beings, we might speculate that it 
 +refers to one that is free from illness etc. 
 + 
 +No 5. [The bodhisattva] abides in the excellent lineage of kings and brahmins. ​
 + 
 +6. Born into an excellent blood line like that of the Suryas and the Kravrikshas. ​
 + 
 +No 7. Having the relations of the past seven generations of ancestral kin of one’s mother and such be 
 +good. 
 + 
 +No’s 4,5,6 & 7 describe the circumstances that would facilitate a bodhisattva’s accomplishing the 
 +welfare of others. We have already established how a bodhisattva takes rebirth in order to help others. ​
 +First they enter into a mother’s womb free from flaws. Secondly they take rebirth in an excellent ​
 +lineage. Probably traditionally speaking this was actually an excellent caste, the kings and brahmins ​
 +referring to the two highest castes of Indian society.  ​
 + 
 +Thirdly they are born into an excellent blood line –the two names given here are names of esteemed ​
 +families. ​
 + 
 +And fourthly they take rebirth into a family that has a respected lineage of ancestors. If a bodhisattva ​
 +were to take rebirth in circumstances with these four qualities then he/she is said to be capable of 
 +accomplishing a greater benefit, such a rebirth putting them in a situation to be more effective. ​
 + 
 +This type of issue has come up before particularly with respect to tulkus or recognised rebirths. The 
 +question raised to Geshela in the past was: ‘Why were there no female tulkus in Tibet?’ Geshela ​
 +speculated – this was just his speculation – that it probably had something to do with the cultural ​
 +environment in which the practice began, because in former times in Tibet, when they were 
 +recognising tulkus, the women were not respected very much and they did not command a great deal of 
 +power in society. At that time naturally people would show a greater sense of respect to males. If a 
 +tulku, someone who is taking rebirth intentionally,​ is doing so in order to be of greatest benefit to 
 +sentient beings, then perhaps they would tend to take a rebirth that would naturally command more 
 +respect. Geshela doesn’t have a scriptural citation for that. He’s merely speculating that this is one 
 +reason why there were not a great deal of female tulkus in Tibet in the past. 
 + 
 +The question then naturally follows: ‘Well then if that is the case, is it possible that there will be female ​
 +tulkus in the future?’ And this is actually the question that they asked Geshela. Geshela relied: ‘Yes ​
 +sure! Of course it’s possible. After all, things are changing. The status of men and women is changing ​
 +in society and it’s certainly possible that there will be female tulkus in the future’.  ​
 +And sure enough after Geshela said that a woman in America was recognised as a tulku! ​
 + 
 +When Geshela first came to Australia another of the questions that was asked was: ‘Why are there no 
 +female Geshes?​’  ​
 +Geshela said: “Because the women aren’t studying well enough.’  ​
 + 
 +So they asked: “Well, does that mean that if a female were to really study well and reach the necessary ​
 +standard of education and understanding,​ they would become a Geshe ?​’  ​
 +Geshela replied: ‘Sure, they would have to, because Geshe is a title that is bestowed with respect to the 
 +amount of learning the individual has – not in terms of sex - male or female.’ ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  9
 + 
 +So if you want to become a Geshe then study and go and take the exams. These days there are specific ​
 +rules saying that anyone who wants to take the exam can do so. Lama Zopa Rinpoche went through a 
 +lot of effort a persuaded the  officials who oversee the Gelug Geshe exams to agree that if an individual ​
 +eg a westerner, were to reach this particular level of study, they would be able to take the exam. A 
 +commitment was made.  ​
 + 
 +So just to make the distinction as to why there are no female Geshes in the past – it is because of an  ​
 +insufficiency of study. So take what you will from that. As to why there are no female tulkus, Geshe 
 +says that it’s probably because a candidate for tulku has to be widely accepted by people and there 
 +would probably not have been a wide acceptance of female tulkus in many circumstances.  ​
 + 
 +That’s of course in the past. 
 + 
 +Then no 8 reads: ​
 +Having tamed oneself and set oneself towards enlightenment the bodhisattva has an excellent assembled ​
 +retinue.  ​
 + 
 +No 9. They take a birth praised by Indra and the ruler of men. 
 + 
 +And 10: They are inspired by buddhas and the gods of pure places etc to definitely emerge from the life of 
 +a householder.  ​
 +That’s pretty clear. ​
 + 
 +No 11 Sitting under the heart of enlightenment such as the Ashawarta and Maitreyanaga trees, taught to 
 +be trees of enlightenment that resemble wishfulfilling jewels. ​
 + 
 +No 12 Having all excellent qualities of buddhas and the powerful dharmas of buddhas.  ​
 + 
 +The text says ‘having all excellent qualities’ probably what it should say is ‘having the excellence of all 
 +qualities’ yeh? Slight difference but maybe significant. ​
 + 
 +So those are the 12 thorough purifications corresponding to the 9th
 + ​ground. ​
 + 
 +The 10th
 + ​ground is known as a resultant ground. The first nine grounds are called causal grounds, the 
 +10th
 + a resultant ground. ​
 + 
 +But when we refer to the first nine grounds, it might seem that we are talking about the first 9 grounds ​
 +of arya bodhisattvas,​ In fact this is not the case. The first 9 grounds referred to here include the 8 
 +grounds that were mentioned at the beginning of the section on positing our own system – you can see 
 +them at the beginning of the section of our system – Ground of lineage, Ground of eight, Ground of 
 +seeing, Ground of diminishment,​ Ground free from attachment, Ground realising the produced, Ground ​
 +of hearers, Ground of Solitary Realisers (= 8) and then the ninth ground is the grounds of bodhisattvas.  ​
 +Thus the 8 lesser grounds plus the bodhisattva grounds = 9 – 9 causal grounds. The resultant ground is 
 +the 10th
 + ​ground. ​
 +This is the way it is explained in the sutras.  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  10
 +That should be enough for the section on the thorough purifications. We move on to page 15 which 
 +deals with 3. Meaning of the Terms.  ​
 + 
 +The section on the meaning of the terms has two parts:  ​
 +the general etymology of ground and  ​
 +the etymology of the individual grounds  ​
 +but there is no real need to explain them as they ought to be self-evident – or at least clear. ​
 + 
 +1. The general etymology of ground ​
 +The [Sanskrit] equivalent of "​ground"​ is bhumi. From the point of view of developing the etymology, there 
 +is a reason for saying "​ground"​ for the Mahayana path of seeing and so forth, because it serves as a 
 +support for fearlessness for trainees regarding the limitless numbers of ghosts of the two obstructions and 
 +because it acts to increase good qualities to higher and higher [levels]. ​
 + 
 +They’re just saying that it resembles earth or ground. ​
 + 
 +The Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras states:  ​
 +Since they are fearless [with respect to] limitless numbers of ghosts ​
 +And since for the sake of limitless numbers [of good qualities] ​
 +Later one moves higher, ​
 +Just these are asserted to be grounds. ​
 + 
 +2. The etymologies of the individual grounds ​
 +There is a reason for calling the first ground "Very Joyous"​ because when one sees from the first ground ​
 +that one is near to complete enlightenment and the accomplishment of the welfare of sentient beings, ​
 +special joy is generated.  ​
 + 
 +Just this [Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras] states:  ​
 +Since they are near enlightenment ​
 +And see they will accomplish the welfare of sentient beings ​
 +Great joy is generated. ​
 +Therefore it is called "Very Joyful." ​
 + 
 +There is a reason for calling the second ground "​Stainless"​ because from the second ground] one is free 
 +from the stains of faulty ethics and the effort of taking the Hinayana to mind. 
 + 
 +This [Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras] states:  ​
 +Since it is free from faulty ethics and the effort [of taking the Hinayana to mind] 
 +It is called the "​Stainless"​ ground.  ​
 + 
 +There is a reason for calling the third ground "​Radiant"​ because from the third [ground] one makes effort ​
 +to seek doctrinal scripture even without looking after ones body and life and other trainees are gratified by 
 +the appearance of doctrine. ​
 + 
 +This [Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras] states:  ​
 +Since it causes the great appearance of doctrine ​
 +It is called "​Radiant." ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  11
 + 
 +At the third ground one attains the higher practice of the perfection of patience right? ​
 + 
 +There is a reason for calling the fourth ground "​Shining"​ because on the fourth ground one shines a fire-like light of exalted wisdom that burns one's corresponding two obstructions from the point of view of 
 +possessing doctrines concordant with enlightenment.  ​
 + 
 +This [Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras] states:  ​
 +Here, doctrines concordant with enlightenment ​
 +Thoroughly shine like light. ​
 +Due to possessing them, this ground ​
 +Since it burns the two [obstructions],​ possesses shining. ​
 + 
 +There is a reason for calling the fifth ground "​Difficult to Tame" because whereas for intelligent ​
 +bodhisattvas on the fourth ground and below it is difficult to bring sentient beings to fruition and hard to 
 +have patience with the errors of trainees, on the fifth ground these [bodhisattvas] are able to tame them. 
 + 
 +This [Ornament for the Mahayana Sutras] states:  ​
 +Since thoroughly maturing beings and 
 +Protecting ones own mind  ​
 +Is difficult training even for the intelligent, ​
 +It is called "​Difficult to Tame." ​
 + 
 +There is a reason for called the sixth ground "​Manifest"​ because meditating on the arising of the system of 
 +[the twelve links of] dependent-origination manifests a reversal from cyclic existence and meditating on 
 +the reversal of the system of [the twelve links of] dependent-origination manifests nirvana. ​
 + 
 +These are also called the forward and reverse processes. The arising of the system of dependent ​
 +origination and the reversal of the system of dependent origination are primarily explained in the 5th
 + 
 +Chapter of the Ornament ​
 + 
 +On the 5th
 + ​ground,​ then, one becomes quite adept in both of these systems, both the arising of the 
 +dependent arising and the reverse. ​
 + 
 +There is a reason for calling the seventh ground "Gone Afar" because in dependence on meditating on the 
 +path for a long time one relates the two, the final path having signs and effort, with the one path of 
 +progress. ​
 + 
 +The main reason the 7th
 + ​ground is called ‘gone afar’ is because one has meditated on the paths for a 
 +long time - one has gone far on those paths - due to which one has reached the end of the path with 
 +signs ie that requires effort. In connection with this, one links up with the single path of progress, the 
 +path which everyone must traverse in order to attain buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +There is a reason for calling the eighth ground "​Immoveable"​ because on the eighth ground both 
 +discriminations with signs and discriminations without signs but with effort do not move [the mind] and are 
 +non-existent. ​
 + 
 +There is a reason for calling the ninth ground "Good Intelligence"​ because one attains the forbearance ​
 +called "​Intelligence correctly knowing individual [phenomena]." ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  12
 + 
 +There is a reason for calling the tenth ground "Cloud of Doctrine"​ because just as an great harvest in the 
 +world occurs in dependence on rain falling from a gathering of rain clouds in the sky, so a great 
 +marvellous harvest of virtue in the continua of trainees occurs in dependence on a rain of doctrine from 
 +the gathering of clouds of doctrines regarding forms, meditative stabilization,​ and so forth in the mental ​
 +continuum of tenth ground bodhisattvas,​ which is like the sky. 
 + 
 +It is said that bodhisattvas on the 10th
 + ​ground and buddhas are almost equal in working for the benefit ​
 +of others.  ​
 + 
 +The bodhisattva abiding on the 10th
 + ​ground has both a state of meditative equipoise and a state of 
 +subsequent attainment and even the bodhisattva abiding on the 10th
 + ​ground who is in the uninterrupted ​
 +path of the 10th
 + ​ground has the ability to send forth limitless emanations – even while he is in 
 +meditative equipoise. ​
 + 
 +Thus there are emanations of the10th ground bodhisattvas in the desire realm. We can speak about ‘the ​
 +bikkshus of the desire realm’ some of  whom are emanations of bodhisattvas on the 10th
 + ​ground. Hence 
 +when a bodhisattva goes on to manifest buddhahood in Akanishta, at that time, simultaneously,​ his or 
 +her emanation, the emanation that is a fully ordained bikkshu in the desire realm, attains buddhahood ​
 +also.  ​
 + 
 +The question then arises: whose emanation is this desire realm bikkshu? You can’t really say a 
 +bodhisattva emanates a buddha, and this emanation has just become a buddha hasn’t it… 
 + 
 +Can this desire realm bikkshu be the emanation of a buddha when the emanation was sent forth before ​
 +buddhahood?  ​
 + 
 +Honestly speaking you would say that this desire realm bikkshu is the emanation of a 10th
 + ​ground ​
 +bodhisattva – so do we say that means that a bodhisattva of the 10th ground has an emanation that is a 
 +buddha? ​
 + 
 +The four kayas are manifest instantaneously ie at the same time. The manifestation of the 
 +sambhogakaya occurs in Akanishta. In conjunction with that, there is the manifestation of the two 
 +aspects of the dharmakaya, the nature dharmakaya and the exalted wisdom dharmakaya. Thus clearly ​
 +the manifestation of the nature dharmakaya, the exalted wisdom dharmakaya and the sambhogakaya ​
 +occur at the same time. How then is it that the nirmanakaya is manifested at that point? The emanation ​
 +in the desire realm becomes the nirmanakaya,​ manifests the nirmanakaya at that time. And hence all 
 +four kayas are manifested simultaneously. ​
 + 
 +In fact this is pervasively so. When an individual attains the state of a buddha he/she necessarily ​
 +manifests all four kayas at the same time. 
 + 
 +Next is The Presentation of Paths. The first definition is one that you probably know: 
 + 
 +An exalted knower which is influenced by the uncontrived intention definitely to emerge. ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  13
 +Read through this part. Familiarise yourself with the material. There is really nothing in here that you 
 +will have trouble with. Most of it has probably already been covered. If that’s the case then we’ll spend 
 +the rest of the week on the debates that began the text since we probably don’t need to spend any time 
 +specifically teaching the section on paths.  ​
 + 
 +We’ve already established how grounds and paths are mutually inclusive and have explained the entire ​
 +grounds, so why bother covering the paths in any particular detail.  ​
 + 
 +If you would like to just continue on in the text on the subject of the paths this is also possible – it’s up 
 +to you. Read through it and then discuss it and decide.  ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  14
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Number of the tape… 22 
 +Date of the teaching… Wednesday 9th April 2003 
 + 
 +Over the past weeks we have been mostly dealing with the second section of the text in which our own 
 +system is posited. That section follows a refutation of the systems of others. The text opens with a 
 +discussion on the accumulation of exalted wisdom and in particular deals with a dispute about non-conceptual exalted wisdom. When studying this, we looked at both the Mind-Only and the Middle Way 
 +schools’ presentation of non-conceptual exalted wisdom and concluded that the Middle Way’s ​
 +presentation is to be understood as the accumulation of exalted wisdom taught in this context. ​
 + 
 +The point made is that while both the Mind-Only and Middle Way schools accept an emptiness, the 
 +objects negated by their understandings of emptiness differ. This difference in their presentations of 
 +emptiness is in a similar vein to the presentations of relative truth and ultimate truth by the four 
 +Buddhist tenet schools. Each of the four schools asserts a relative truth and ultimate truth, but when 
 +you look at their illustrations of them, you find that there are differences. This is analogous to this 
 +question we are looking at with respect to emptiness.  ​
 + 
 +At the bottom of page 3 in the translation,​ two paragraphs below the heading: 5. The reasons for not 
 +explaining the other divisions of exalted wisdom, there is a section that explaining the accumulation of 
 +grounds. [Translator:​ As Stuart notes, it is not clear how these divisions can be considered sub-sections ​
 +of 5.]  The text states: ​
 + 
 +There are three subsections:​ Refutation, Positing and Abandoning.  ​
 + 
 +‘Refutation’ refers to refuting others systems, ‘positing’ refers to a positing of our own system, while 
 +‘abandoning’ refers to abandoning the disputes or issues that others might bring up with respect to our 
 +system’s positions that we have posited. If another points out faults with your system, then you need to 
 +‘abandon’ or dispel those faults, demonstrating how your system is in fact sufficient, and those faults ​
 +do not apply.  ​
 + 
 +We have largely covered the second section; that of ‘position our own system’. Based upon this 
 +understanding of our own system that we have acquired, we should find it easy to then follow this 
 +section on refuting others.  ​
 +A. Refutation ​
 +[1] A person says, ‘A clear realization that acts as a basis for many good qualities is the definition of 
 +ground.’ ​  
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Is their definition adequate?  ​
 + 
 +Students: No. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Why? What is the problem with it? 
 + 
 +Student: It should include the phrase; ‘which are it’s effect’. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  15
 + 
 +Let’s approach this another way. When determining whether or not a definition is sufficient, both the 
 +definition and the definiendum [that which is being defined] have to be considered. When assessing ​
 +this, you must consider, is the definition necessarily the definiendum,​ and is the definiendum ​
 +necessarily the definition. Definitions and definiendums are necessarily mutually inclusive (don gcig). ​
 +If something is the one it must also be the other.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: The definition is given as; ‘a clear realization that acts as a basis for many good qualities’. ​
 +That which it is said to be a definition of, the definiendum,​ is given as ‘ground’. Are these adequate as 
 +stated? ​
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Which does not pervade which? ​
 + 
 +Student: The definition does not pervade the definiendum. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Does everyone agree, if something is the definiendum;​ ground, is it necessarily the 
 +definition; a clear realization that acts as the basis of many good qualities? ​
 + 
 +Student: No! [chorus]. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Give an example of something which is the definiendum but is not the definition. ​
 + 
 +Student: The ground outside.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Anyone else?  ​
 + 
 +Student: The first bodhisattva ground. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Is that an example of something which is a ground but not a clear realization?  ​
 + 
 +Student: [inaudible withdrawal of statement] ​
 + 
 +In looking for that which is the definiendum but is not the definition, we are looking for something ​
 +which is a ground but is not a clear realization that acts as the basis of many good qualities. Tenzin said 
 +the ground outside. That is a ground but it does not conform to that definition. He said that the 
 +definition is not adequate because that which is ground is not necessarily a clear realization that acts as 
 +a basis for many good qualities. For instance, the ground outside, or, in common terms, the earth. He is 
 +saying that if something is the ground outside, it follows that it is necessarily ground.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: The ground outside is ground but is not a clear realization which acts as the basis for many 
 +good qualities. So take the ground outside, Why is it ‘ground’?  ​
 + 
 +Student: Because it is hard and obstructive. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: So if something is hard and obstructive,​ it follows that it is necessarily ground. Why? 
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  16
 +Student: Because ‘hard and destructive’ is the definition of ground. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Oh excellent! So, it follows that the subject, the ground outside is not a clear realization that 
 +acts as a basis for many good qualities. Why?  ​
 + 
 +Student: Because it is not a clear realization. ​
 + 
 +Second student: Because it is not a consciousness ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: The second answer is convenient and easy to understand isn’t it; ‘because it is not a 
 +consciousness’That’s correct, it follows the subject; the ground outside, is not a clear realization that 
 +acts as the basis for many good qualities because it is not a consciousness.  ​
 + 
 +Oh! Then it follows that if something is a clear realization that acts as a basis for many good qualities, ​
 +it must be a consciousness. Why is that? 
 + 
 +Student: Because a clear realization is necessarily a consciousness.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: That’s good. This is one entire debate. So please consult the text to determine whether or not 
 +it is accurate. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: What you have said initially is that if something is the definiendum,​ it’s not necessarily the 
 +definition but let’s look at in another way, is it pervasive that if something is the definition, it is 
 +necessarily the definiendum?  ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Is it necessarily the case that if something is a clear realization that acts as a basis for many 
 +good qualities, it is necessarily a ground? ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Don’t forget you said that ‘hard and obstructive’ is the definition of ground! So it follows ​
 +that if something is a clear realization that acts as a basis for many good qualities, it is a ground! ​
 + 
 +Student: No! 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Ah! Like that! Give us an example.  ​
 + 
 +Taking advantage of the position asserted by this other person the author states right here in the text: 
 + 
 +It follows that the subject, a Mahayana path of accumulation,​ is that definiendum [i.e. a ground] because ​
 +that is its definition. ​  
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Is the Mahayana path of accumulation,​ a clear realization which acts as a basis for many 
 +good qualities?  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  17
 +Student: Yes 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Don’t forget that you’ve said that it is! Is it a ground? ​
 + 
 +Student: It’s a ground within the two fold division of grounds and paths but it is not a ground as in hard 
 +and obstructive. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Is it a ground or not? It’s not a ground is it? it’s not ground because it is not hard and 
 +obstructive,​ which is the definition of ground. You have accepted, even posited, that as being the 
 +definition of ground.  ​
 + 
 +So then the text says: 
 + 
 +If that is accepted, it follows that it is hard and solid because it is a ground. Such would necessarily be the 
 +case because it says in the Abhidharmakosa,​ ‘Those which are hard, moist, warm and moving, are 
 +functional.’ ​
 + 
 +These are shortened versions of the definitions of the four elements given in the Abhidharmakosa.  ​
 +The definition of ground is ‘that which is hard and obstructive’[or hard and solid].  ​
 +The definition of water is ‘that which is wet and moist’.  ​
 +The definition of fire is ‘that which is warm and flammable [or burning].  ​
 +The definition of wind is ‘that which is light and moving’.  ​
 +This then is the way you need to proceed when discussing such things. If asked ‘is a clear realization ​
 +that acts as a basis for many good qualities the definition of ground?’ You might reply ‘no’, or if 
 +following a proper debate format say ‘the reason is not established’.  ​
 + 
 +They might follow that response with a question; ‘Why not?’ And you would say; ‘it is not the case 
 +because there is no mutual pervasion between the definition and the definiendum’. If someone asserts ​
 +such a thing you have to be able to make a similar response to that described here in this text. so you 
 +would say: ‘Ah, then it follows that if something is a Mahayana path of accumulation,​ it is a ground’, ​
 +and so forth.  ​
 + 
 +This is the way you debate. You ask questions to which they may give a correct answer or they may 
 +give an incorrect answer. If they give an incorrect answer you begin the debate, following it up, trying ​
 +to bring to light and eliminate the mistake that they have made. If they respond with a correct answer ​
 +then you must question them to ensure they have correct reasons to support their assertion. To debate is 
 +to make inquiries in a similar manner to this.  ​
 + 
 +Essentially then, it’s acceptable to say that if something is ground, it is not necessarily a clear 
 +realization that acts as a basis for many good qualities, for instance the ground outside. That’s fine 
 +although you don’t find that explicitly mentioned in this text. Rather than go with that type of 
 +approach, they say; ‘it follows that the subject, a Mahayana path of accumulation,​ is that definiendum, ​
 +because that is it’s definition’.  ​
 + 
 +Moving on to the next debate, a second person says: 
 + ​‘Such a clear realization is the definition of a ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and 
 +paths.’ ​  
 + 
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 +  18
 +This person has taken the same definition; clear realization that acts as the basis for many good 
 +qualities, and says it’s not just the definition of ground, it’s the definition of ground from among the 
 +two-fold division of grounds and paths. They have changed the definiendum.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Is that acceptable? ​
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Why? What is insufficient about it? If something is that definiendum,​ is it necessarily that  ​
 +definition, and if something is that definition is it necessarily that definiendum? ​
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: It’s not because . . .  . ? 
 + 
 +Student: You can’t really say that these two are mutually pervasive because the definition of a ground ​
 +from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths includes the phrase ‘a clear realization of one 
 +who has entered a path’.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: So are you saying that a clear realization that acts as a basis for many good qualities is not 
 +necessarily a clear realization of one who has entered a path? You have to think about the definition of 
 +a ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths as given within our own system. What 
 +is it? 
 + 
 +Student: A clear realization of one who has entered the path that serves as the basis for the many good 
 +qualities that are it’s effects.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: We have this phrase ‘which serves as a basis for the many good qualities which are it’s ​
 +effects’. Why do we need to include ‘which are it’s effects’? ​
 + 
 +Student: Because a particular ground does not serve as a basis for all good qualities. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: For example? ​
 + 
 +Student: For example the Mahayana path of accumulation ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: So the Mahayana path of accumulation is a ground from within the two-fold division of 
 +grounds and paths but it is not a clear realization which serves as a basis for many good qualities. It’s ​
 +that which acts as a basis for the many good qualities which are it’s effect but not that which acts as a 
 +basis for many good qualities, isn’t it.  ​
 + 
 +Feeling that this was extremely important, Geshe-la made a special point of giving an example of this 
 +earlier. Geshe-la’s mother is the mother of her children but is not the mother of children. If an 
 +individual were mother of children, she would have to be cause of children. If something is a cause it 
 +means that without that cause, you would not have that effect. [Therefore, in this case if Geshe-la’s ​
 +mother did not exist, children could not exist]. It seems that you have already forgotten this.  ​
 + 
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 +  19
 +In general if two things are cause and effect, that means that without the cause, it is impossible to have 
 +the effect. If you have the cause, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have the effect, simply that it’s ​
 +possible to have the effect. Cause and effect is very important, we really need to understand this 
 +connection between them. All things arise in dependence upon this relationship of effects with their 
 +causes. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: So then, if something is a ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths, is 
 +it necessarily a clear realization that acts as a basis for many good qualities? ​
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: For example? ​
 + 
 +Student: The Mahayana path of accumulation ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Mahayana path of accumulation,​ or even ‘path of accumulation’ is fine. Well then, take the 
 +subject, the Mahayana path of accumulation,​ if follows it is not that which acts as a basis for many 
 +good qualities, because? Because it’s not the cause of many good qualities. Because that which acts as 
 +a basis for many good qualities is understood to be the cause of many good qualities, isn’t it? So the 
 +subject, path of accumulation,​ is not the cause of many good qualities, because - -? 
 + 
 +Student: because without it there would be no effect ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: You could say ‘because if that did not exist, many good qualities could still exist’. Do you 
 +understand?  ​
 + 
 +Why then is this definition insufficient?​ Is a clear realization which serves as the basis for many good 
 +qualities the definition of ground from within the two-fold division of ground and path? No, it’s not 
 +because if something is the definiendum it’s not necessarily the definition, for instance the Mahayana ​
 +path of accumulation. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: It follows that the subject, a Mahayana path of accumulation,​ is a ground from within the 
 +two-fold division of grounds and paths. Why? What is equivalent to ground from within the two-fold ​
 +division of grounds and paths? ​
 + 
 +Student: Path. 
 + 
 +Geshe-la: That’s right, you could say that ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and 
 +paths is equivalent to path thereby illustrating the basic point that path of accumulation is a path. So the 
 +reason you stated is ‘because it’s a path’. The debate then continues by saying; ‘it follows if something ​
 +is a path, it is necessarily a ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths! ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes I accept. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: That is necessarily the case. There is a pervasion because the two are mutually inclusive.  ​
 + 
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 +  20
 +So do you understand the basic point? We have just demonstrated the fault in giving the definition of a 
 +ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths as ‘a clear realization which serves as a 
 +basis for many good qualities’.  ​
 + 
 +It is said that debate stirs up or ‘washes’ your brain. In Sera, not only do you have to wash your brain, ​
 +you have to slap your hands together and stamp your feet, and if you’re victorious you’ve got to do a 
 +little dance. The only thing that’s keeping you from really developing a serious interest in debate is that 
 +you don’t know Tibetan. If you did, you’d be very interested. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: What is the definition of human being? ​
 + 
 +Student: That which is of the type suitable to understand languages ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Is the definition of a human ‘that which knows how to express and understands meaning’?  ​
 + 
 +Student: There are some chimpanzees with a vocabulary of eight hundred words. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: But do they understand meaning? ​
 + 
 +Student: They understand the meaning of the eight hundred words.  ​
 + 
 +This topic is often debated by saying; “if the definition of human is ‘that which knows how to express ​
 +and understands meaning’, then it follows that the subject, the Great Lord Maitreya is a human, ​
 +because he knows how to express and understands meaning”.  ​
 + 
 +The Great Lord Maitreya is not a human because he’s a deity, or god. A newborn baby does not know 
 +how to express, nor does it understand meaning, but it is a human. The phrase, ‘classified as’ and ‘of 
 +the type’ is included in light of these. ​ Hence, ‘human’ is defined as ‘that which classified as and of the 
 +type that knows how to express and understands meaning’.  ​
 + 
 +The Great Lord Maitreya is excluded by the words ‘that classified’ (rab tu phye ba), because he is 
 +‘classified’ as a deity, not a human. ​ The words ‘of the type of’ (rigs su gnas pa), expand the  definition ​
 +so that it includes babies who have not yet learned how to speak and understand words. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: What is the definition of person? ​
 + 
 +Student: That which is imputed upon either four or five aggregates, or sometimes they say ‘any of the 
 +five aggregates’.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Broken Tibetan! Is there anyone here without broken Tibetan?  ​
 + 
 +Bill: A being imputed in dependence upon any of it’s five aggregates ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Yes, you have to include the word ‘being’(skyes bu). You could also replace the word 
 +‘being’ with ‘I’. There is something to look at with regards to whether including the word ‘being’,​ is 
 +appropriate because that Tibetan word skyes bu implies birth or production. Nevertheless,​ ‘being’ is 
 +equivalent to ‘person’,​ and also to ‘I’. ​
 + 
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 +  21
 +Student: With regards to that definition of the person as being imputed upon four or five aggregates, I 
 +am wondering why an animal isn’t a person. Doesn’t an animal also have form and the other 
 +aggregates? Doesn’t an animal therefore fit the definition of person? ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: That’s correct. Persons are not limited to being humans. In buddhist terms, a person is not 
 +necessarily a human [although in English there may be that implication]. ​
 + 
 +Student: As in ghosts or nagas. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Yes, those are persons along with many other examples. ​
 + 
 +Consider now the assertion of a second person on stated at the top of page 4: 
 + 
 +‘Such a clear realization is the definition of a ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and 
 +paths. It follows that is not acceptable, because if something is a ground from within the two-fold division ​
 +of grounds and paths, it must be a path.  If something is a clear realization,​ it does not need to be a path’. ​  
 + 
 +All of this is another person’s assertion, it is not our position. This person says that if something is a 
 +clear realization,​ it does not need to be a path. That’s ​ not accurate, we would have to say that if 
 +something is a clear realization,​ it is also necessarily a path. Path, exalted knower, and clear realization ​
 +are all equivalent terms. Therefore we respond by saying: ​
 + 
 + ​‘The latter is not established,​’ [to which they respond] ‘it follows that it is, because there are clear 
 +realizations in the continuum of persons who have not entered a path.  That follows because there are 
 +teachings of realization in such a continuum.’ ​ But that is not necessarily the case  ​
 + 
 +In other words, we respond by saying ‘no pervasion’. We dispute that these ‘teachings of realization’ ​
 +are clear realizations.  ​
 + 
 +Are there clear realizations in the continuum of a person who has not entered a path? No, because ​
 +ground, path, exalted knower, and clear realization are mutually inclusive equivalent terms.  ​
 + 
 +Are there teachings of realization in the continuum of a person who has not entered a path? Within the 
 +teachings of Buddha, there are teachings of realization,​ and teachings of scripture. the teachings of 
 +realization may be posited as, for instance, the three trainings, while the teachings of scripture are the 
 +three pitakas or baskets; the vinaya, sutra, and abhidharma.  ​
 + 
 +When a being is a holder of the teachings, she either holds the teachings of realization or the teachings ​
 +of scripture. If she holds the teachings of realization,​ she is practicing the three trainings, whereas if 
 +she holds the teachings of scripture, she has memorized aspects of the canon, explained aspects of it to 
 +others, thought about its meaning, and so forth.  ​
 + 
 +For a teaching of realization then, we would posit the three trainings. These three trainings do exist in 
 +the continuum of a person who has not entered a path, don’t they?  ​
 + 
 +Are we clear then that the assertion this person is putting forward in number two is rejected by us?  ​
 +Moving on to the third debate, here, in light of what has just been said, a person adjusts the previous ​
 +definition by including the phrase; ‘a person who has entered such a path’.  ​
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 +  22
 + 
 + [3] A person says, ‘A clear realization in the continuum of a person who has entered such a path is the 
 +definition of a ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths.’ ​  
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Where is the fault with this assertion?  ​
 + 
 +Student: Once again, it’s missing the phrase ‘which are it’s effect’. ​  
 + 
 +Geshe-la: That’s correct, the definition has omitted a phrase. It’s not a complete definition, is it?  ​
 +Something is missing; the phrase ‘that is it’s effect’.  ​
 + 
 +We go on to say if something is a ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths, it is 
 +not necessarily a clear realization that serves as the basis for many good qualities in the continuum of a 
 +person who has entered a path. As an example of something that is not that, we state: ​
 + 
 +It follows that the subject, the path of seeing’s uninterrupted path of a Mahayanist in one-pointed ​
 +equipoise on the suchness of a vase, conforms to that definition because it is that definiendum. ​  
 + 
 +We are saying that the path of seeing’s uninterrupted path of a Mahayanist in one-pointed equipoise on 
 +the suchness of a vase, is a ground within the two-fold division of grounds and paths [and therefore ​
 +must conform to that definition].  ​
 + 
 +If that is accepted, it follows that it is the basis for many good qualities because that is what they have 
 +maintained. ​
 + 
 +If you accept that it is that definiendum,​ that yes, it is a ground from within the two-fold division of 
 +grounds and paths, well then it is the basis for many good qualities, because in effect, that is what they 
 +are maintaining.  ​
 + 
 +If that is accepted, it follows that if [a person] lacks that, they necessarily lack many good qualities, ​
 +because that is what has been maintained. ​  
 + 
 +If you accept that the path of seeing’s uninterrupted path of a Mahayanist in one-pointed equipoise ​
 +upon the suchness of a vase is a ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths, it 
 +follows if a person lacks that, then they necessarily lack many good qualities, because that is what you 
 +are maintaining.  ​
 + 
 +If they accept, then it is easy. 
 + 
 +Which means that it’s easy to go about refuting that assertion.  ​
 +So you refute that persons assertion by saying that if someone lacks the path of seeing’ uninterrupted ​
 +path of the Mahayanist in one-pointed equipoise on the suchness of a vase, then they must also lack 
 +many good qualities, and that then it would follow that there are not many good qualities in the 
 +continuum of a Buddha. Why? Because a Buddha does not have the path of seeing’s uninterrupted path 
 +of a Mahayanist in one-pointed equipoise on the suchness of a vase within her continuum. ​
 + 
 +To clarify this point then, we could say that being a basis for many good qualities means that it’s the 
 +cause of many good qualities, and without the cause for many good qualities, you don’t have the many 
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 +  23
 +good qualities, or we could say; “it follows that the path of seeing’s uninterrupted path of a Mahayanist ​
 +in one-pointed equipoise on the suchness of a vase is the cause of many good qualities. If you accept ​
 +that it is the cause of many good qualities, then without it, you necessarily would be without many 
 +good qualities”. ​
 + 
 +Just as if mango seeds did not exist, mango seeds being the causes of mango trees, mango trees will not 
 +exist, so if something is a cause of many good qualities, then without it, you don’t have ‘many good 
 +qualities’. Because of this, we must include the phrase; ‘which are it’s effect’ in the definition of 
 +ground from within the two-fold division of grounds and paths.  ​
 + 
 +Debate number four states: ​
 + 
 +[4] A person says, ‘A clear realization of an Arya bodhisattva that is influenced by great compassion and 
 +the wisdom realizing emptiness is the definition of a bodhisattva ground.’ ​  
 + 
 +Geshe-la: ​ Is that acceptable? Please give a response it terms of the relationship between the definition ​
 +and the definiendum. Is a clear realization of an Arya Bodhisattva that is influenced by great 
 +compassion and the wisdom realizing emptiness, a Bodhisattva ground? What’s the definiendum here? 
 + 
 +Student: A Bodhisattva ground. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: And what’s the definition? ​
 + 
 +Student: A clear realization of an Arya Bodhisattva that is influenced by great compassion and the  ​
 +wisdom realizing emptiness. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: So is this adequate?  ​
 + 
 +Student: The definition does not pervade the definiendum ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: So you are saying that if something is the definiendum it is not necessarily the definition. ​
 +Does everyone agree? Give an example! ​
 + 
 +Student: Bodhisattva path of preparation. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: So take that subject, the Mahayana path of preparation. Which is it and which is it not? 
 + 
 +Student: It is a Bodhisattva ground.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: So you’re saying that the subject; the Mahayana path of preparation,​ is a Bodhisattva ground. ​
 +What is it not? 
 + 
 +Student: a clear realization of an Arya Bodhisattva that is influenced by great compassion and the 
 +wisdom realizing emptiness.  ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Ah so, take the Mahayana path of preparation. It follows that it is a Bodhisattva ground!  ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes 
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 +  24
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Why? 
 + 
 +Student: Because it is a clear realization in the continuum of a person who has entered the Mahayana ​
 +paths which serves as the basis of the many good qualities which are it’s effect. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: Excellent! Properly speaking it is a Bodhisattva ground because it is a Bodhisattva’s clear 
 +realization which serves as the basis for the many good qualities which are it’s effect. This is an 
 +excellent response ​
 + 
 +Here in this text it says: 
 + 
 +If [they say] it is not established,​ it follows that is it because it is the ground of a bodhisattva’s devoted ​
 +conduct. ​
 + 
 +It follows that it is a ground of a Bodhisattva’s devoted conduct because:  ​
 + 
 +because the awakening mind in the continuum of one on the bodhisattva ground of preparation is an 
 +awakening mind of devoted conduct.  ​
 + 
 +Although this is the reasoning given in the text, Tsepel’s assertion still stands. In fact her response can 
 +be considered even better for our purposes than that given here, because if you can give the definition, ​
 +then you can eliminate doubts.  ​
 + 
 +The text now quotes The Ornament of Sutra which says: 
 +‘On the grounds, that awakening mind  ​
 +is held to be other than devotion, the highest pure intention and the fruitional. ​
 +That [occurs once] the obscurations have been abandoned.’ ​
 + 
 +So we’re going to leave it here for this afternoon. Is Geshe-la correct in assuming there are no 
 +questions? ​
 +  ​
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 +  25
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 2003 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa  ​
 +Tape No:  23 
 +Date of teaching: ​ 10 April 2003 
 + 
 +Our goal is to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. ​ In order to do that, we are 
 +studying to try and get a handle on and gain an understanding of the paths by which one accomplishes ​
 +Buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +The last two lines of the refuge bodhicitta verse we recite can have slight variations as Geshe-la was 
 +saying last week.  For instance we can say “that by the merit that I accumulate through giving and the 
 +other perfections may I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings” or alternatively “by the 
 +accumulations of giving and so forth, may I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings” or “by the 
 +merit of hearing and reflection may I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings” or “by the 
 +accumulations of hearing and reflection, may I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all beings”. ​ These 
 +four variations come down to the same essential point. ​
 + 
 +So, Geshe-la has used my preferred translation so I am very flattered: literally, “hearing, reflection and 
 +meditation” but the word “hearing” as we were saying before has connotations much beyond hearing, ​
 +so “study”,​ through study and reflection, the merit or the accumulations thereof. ​
 + 
 +There are only two days left and today he would like to go over some of the more important points that 
 +follow the section on the debates we covered yesterday. ​ So we might do a little bit of jumping through ​
 +the text. 
 + 
 +Now the definitions and divisions of paths are for the most part similar to those we covered in grounds.  ​
 +For that reason then we probably don’t need to pay any particular attention at this moment to what 
 +those are. Geshe-la has also explained quite clearly how an individual moves from ground to ground, ​
 +correct. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la has also spoken a bit in the past about how one moves from path to path.  For instance, what 
 +is the demarcation or the criteria, the measure for saying that someone has attained the Mahayana path 
 +of accumulation? ​ How is it that one moves from the path of accumulation to the path of preparation, ​
 +from the path of preparation to the path of seeing? ​
 + 
 +In general, the moment a person develops the uncontrived intention to definitely emerge is the moment ​
 +that person attains a path, correct. ​ There is no doubt about that.  ​
 + 
 +In addition to that then we could speak particularly about the Mahayana. ​ When an individual develops ​
 +the uncontrived mind of enlightenment,​ they attain the Mahayana path of accumulation,​ correct. If we 
 +are dealing with a person who has entered into the Mahayana paths from the outset, without having ​
 +entered into a Hinayana path before, then that individual develops the uncontrived intention to 
 +definitely emerge and uncontrived mind of enlightenment at the same time, correct. ​
 + 
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 +  26
 +And Geshe-la has indeed addressed the question, how then do we posit this individual’s intention to 
 +definitely emerge with respect to their mind of enlightenment. ​ Geshe-la has gone over this as well as 
 +the certain doubts, which came up in relation to that. 
 + 
 +What happens, or what is it, what is occurring when this individual transfers on to the path of 
 +preparation? ​ What can you say about this process? ​ What is the measure of having moved to the path 
 +of preparation? ​
 + 
 +Student: Union of calm abiding and special insight. ​
 + 
 +Jamyang has said the measure is the individual attaining the union of calm abiding and insight focused ​
 +upon emptiness and Geshe-la points out, yes that is indeed the case for an individual who enters the 
 +Mahayana paths from the outset. This excellent. ​
 + 
 +If an individual has not realised emptiness before entering into the Mahayana paths, then while on the 
 +Mahayana path of accumulation he or she must endeavour to realise emptiness. ​ Having realised ​
 +emptiness they go about trying to develop calm abiding focused upon emptiness, then insight focused ​
 +upon emptiness. ​ Having done so they continue until the moment they attain the integration or union of 
 +calm abiding focused on emptiness. ​ At that moment, when they attain such, they move to the 
 +Mahayana path of preparation. ​
 + 
 +So what is the measure of such a person attaining the Mahayana path of seeing, because this is indeed ​
 +how we progress, path of accumulation,​ path of preparation,​ path of seeing? ​
 + 
 +Student: When they develop the perceptual realisation of emptiness. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Correct. ​ Whenever the individual perceptually realises emptiness they move to the Mahayana ​
 +path of seeing. ​
 + 
 +Jamyang’s responses are similar to the presentation Geshe-la usually gives. ​ Now that presentation that 
 +Geshe-la usually gives is from the perspective of an individual who enters the Mahayana paths from 
 +the outset. ​ Such an individual is known as a Bodhisattva of definite type or a Bodhisattva of definite ​
 +lineage. ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la hopes that although it was Jamyang that spoke, that what she said reflects the knowledge of 
 +the class in general. ​ Geshe-la wonders, suspects in fact, that people being quite full of pride avoided ​
 +answering in the fear that they might be mistaken. You can’t debate if you have lots of pride, and if you 
 +don’t enter into debate then you can’t learn this process of debating and disputation. ​
 + 
 +In debate class those who are full of pride sit in the back waiting for the opportunity to say just the 
 +right thing. ​ They are trying to come in with that real sharp response, but of course they don’t develop ​
 +in that way, they never get the opportunity to do so because debate is constantly changing like the 
 +wind.  Whereas those people who are not so concerned with that, they just say “okay come what may, I 
 +might be mistaken, I might not, but I’m just going to have a go”and sure, just like the changing wind, 
 +the debate changes and they get lots of opportunities to put their say in and get a chance to train in 
 +debate. ​
 + 
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 +  27
 +When Geshe-la first arrived in Australia, Geshe Loden from down in Melbourne gave Geshe-la a call 
 +and said are you learning English, and Geshe-la said oh I don’t know, I’m probably not going to be 
 +able to learn it very well and Geshe Loden said, no, no, no it doesn’t matter, just say it, just speak.  ​
 +Whether you are mistaken or not just get it out.  He says if you always wait to say it in just the right 
 +way you will be just like those people in debate class who are always waiting to say just the right thing, ​
 +they never get any better, so just go ahead and say it, it doesn’t matter and then you develop.  ​
 + 
 +Now, for the presentation of one who enters the Mahayana paths after having entered the Hinayana ​
 +paths, there are such people who first enter into the Hinayana paths and then later enter into the 
 +Mahayana paths. ​ Of these types there are two, there are those who have realised emptiness while on 
 +the Hinayana paths and those who have not. 
 + 
 +For the individual who, upon having entered the Hinayana paths, realises emptiness, they perceptually ​
 +realise emptiness on the path of seeing and the path of preparation. ​ Of course, their emphasis is on 
 +selflessness of persons but they also perceptually realise emptiness. ​
 + 
 +So when does such an individual attain the Mahayana path of accumulation? ​ When that individual ​
 +develops the uncontrived mind of enlightenment. It is quite simple, quite straight forward. ​ This 
 +individual has already developed the uncontrived intention to definitely emerge, that much is clear, yet 
 +they have not developed the uncontrived mind of enlightenment. ​ So upon developing the uncontrived ​
 +mind of enlightenment they enter into the Mahayana path of accumulation. ​
 + 
 +What is the measure of such an individual attaining the Mahayana path of preparation then?  Consider ​
 +the fact that this person has already developed the integration or union of calm abiding and insight ​
 +focused upon emptiness while on the Hinayana paths. ​ So the earlier explanation of what it takes to 
 +move from the path of accumulation to the path of preparation does not apply. ​
 + 
 +As for the criteria that has to be applied to this individual, we can deal with what the text says later, in 
 +fact it is the same presentation,​ but basically the only criteria we have to apply to this person has to do 
 +with gathering the accumulations. ​ So when this individual gathers the required accumulations for 
 +attaining the path of preparation then they move on to the path of preparation. ​
 + 
 +The fact is they have uncontrived mind of enlightenment,​ awakening mind, the moment they attain the 
 +path of accumulation. ​ That initial awakening mind is known as the earth like awakening mind, the 
 +next level is known as the gold like awakening mind and the third level is known as the crescent moon 
 +like awakening mind.  Now the forth level is known as the fire like awakening mind.  When the 
 +individual develops the fire like awakening mind they move to the path of preparation. ​
 + 
 +What is the measure…considering the fact that this person has already perceptually realised emptiness, ​
 +what do we say the measure of their moving to the path of seeing is? 
 + 
 +The second moment after having gathered the requisite two accumulations in the context of the 
 +Mahayana path of accumulation marks the attainment of the heat level of the path of preparation. This 
 +is just what the text says, it is like scriptural authority.  ​
 + 
 +Now that is the measure for moving on to the path of preparation from the perspective of the individual ​
 +who has entered the Hinayana paths, and have realised emptiness, before entering into the Mahayana ​
 +paths, correct. ​  
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 +  28
 + 
 +If an individual has entered the Hinayana paths but has not realised emptiness during that time then we 
 +could say that probably their movement from the path of accumulation to the path of preparation is the 
 +same as one who enters the Mahayana paths from the outset. ​
 + 
 +And then it goes on to mention that second moment after having gathered the requisite two 
 +accumulations in the context of the path of preparation marks the attainment of the Mahayana path of 
 +seeing. ​ So we have requisite or required amounts of the two accumulations to be gathered on the path 
 +of accumulation and on the path of preparation. ​
 + 
 +We can say that generally speaking or universally speaking the criteria for attaining the Mahayana path 
 +of accumulation is the development of the uncontrived mind of enlightenment. ​ Regardless of whether ​
 +or not one has entered into the Hinayana paths before or realised emptiness, that is the mark, the 
 +measure, the criteria for entering or attaining the Mahayana path of accumulation. ​
 + 
 +Essentially if one’s aim is to develop a path in one’s continuum then one ought to try and develop the 
 +intention to definitely emerge in an uncontrived way whereas if one is intent on developing a 
 +Mahayana path in one’s continuum, then one ought to try and develop the mind of enlightenment in an 
 +uncontrived way, meditating on it again and again. ​
 + 
 +So we are right with the way you transfer on to the path of accumulation,​ from the path of 
 +accumulation to the path of preparation,​ path of preparation to the path of seeing and the two different ​
 +ways to do so? 
 + 
 +Let’s say we are dealing with an individual who has entered into the Hinayana paths, gone through the 
 +path of accumulation,​ path of preparation,​ the path of seeing, the path of meditation to attain the 
 +Hinayana path of no more learning. ​ They become a Hinayana Arhat. ​ This person then goes on to enter 
 +into the Mahayana paths. ​ They must enter into the Mahayana paths because there is only one single ​
 +final vehicle and hence there is no alternative. ​ They go on to attain the Mahayana path of 
 +accumulation. ​ So take this individual on the Mahayana path of accumulation,​ the individual is an 
 +Arhat aren’t they? 
 +Is the individual a Hinayana Arhat or a Mahayana Arhat? ​
 + 
 +They say the individual is not a Hinayana Arhat because the person is a Mahayana being. ​ A Hinayana ​
 +Arhat is necessarily a Hinayana being. ​ A person on the Hinayana path of accumulation is necessarily a 
 +Hinayana being. ​ A person on the Hinayana path of preparation is necessarily a Hinayana being. ​ A 
 +person on the Hinayana path of no more learning is necessarily a Hinayana being. ​  
 + 
 +We have established that the individual is not a Hinayana Arhat. ​ Is the individual a Mahayana Arhat?  ​
 + 
 +Is a person is an Arhat without being a Hinayana Arhat nor a Mahayana Arhat? ​ That is indeed the 
 +case; you have to say yes. You need to sign on the dotted line. 
 + 
 +Is the subject, the Mahayana path of accumulation in the continuum of that Arhat a learner path or a 
 +path of no more learning? I think we’ve got all possibilities there. ​ I’ve definitely heard both and I’ve ​
 +definitely heard neither. ​
 + 
 +There was a definition of a path of no more learning given; do you remember it?  ​
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 +  29
 + 
 +Student: The exalted knower in which all afflictive obscurations have been abandoned. ​
 + 
 +Page 22 in the translation. This is the definition of the path of no more learning, not the Hearer path of 
 +no more learning, not the Solitary Realiser path of no more learning, not the Mahayana path of no more 
 +learning, the definition of a path of no more learning. ​
 + 
 +So we could say then the following, the subject the Mahayana path of accumulation in the continuum ​
 +of the person who has previously attained the state of a Hinayana Arhat is a path of no more learning ​
 +because it is an exalted knower in which all afflictive obscurations have been abandoned. ​ We are 
 +dealing with a Mahayana path of accumulation in the continuum of this Arhat or in other words a 
 +person who has previously developed the realisation of a Hinayana Arhat. ​ That path of accumulation ​
 +is a path of no more learning because it is an exalted knower in which all afflictive obscurations have 
 +been abandoned. ​
 + 
 +Student: ​ For the Middle Way Autonomists or the Consequence? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Whichever system you are dealing with it is the same. 
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshela: Then it follows that they have not abandoned all afflictive obscurations. ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes. 
 + 
 +Geshela: It follows that that person is not an Arhat. ​
 + 
 +Student: Yes. 
 + 
 +Geshela: It follows that it is because that is the subject. ​ The subject is the path of accumulation in the 
 +continuum of an Arhat or alternatively the path of accumulation in the continuum of one who has 
 +previously realised the Hinayana Arhat. ​
 + 
 +There is no reciprocity between the Hinayana paths and the Mahayana paths, like you can’t be a dual 
 +citizen. ​ Is it an Arhat or not? 
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshela: That person has already attained the result that is the Hinayana Arhatship. ​ So has that 
 +attainment diminished. ​
 + 
 +Student: No. 
 + 
 +Geshela: So then they are an Arhat, aren’t they. 
 + 
 +Remember we were saying that this individual is an Arhat who is neither a Hinayana Arhat nor a 
 +Mahayana Arhat. ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  30
 +Student: They are not an Arhat. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: It follows that they have not abandoned all afflictive obscurations without exception. ​
 + 
 +Student: I agree. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: It follows that they have not attained the state of a Hinayana Arhat. ​
 + 
 +Student: Why. 
 + 
 +Geshela: Because they have attained that state and it has not declined or diminished. So the individual ​
 +is an Arhat, correct. We don’t have any doubts about whether or not this person is an Arhat. In general ​
 +in the middle way system there is no falling from the state of the Arhat. ​ You don’t decline from that 
 +state once you have attained it. 
 + 
 +Furthermore,​ it was explained earlier about how when an individual attains a respective path of seeing ​
 +they become definite or certain in the lineage or type of their own path so that they necessarily ​
 +continue to go on to attain that result which they seek.  Whether it is a Hearer, when they attain the 
 +Hearer path of seeing they necessarily go on to attain a state of a Hearer Arhat. ​ A Solitary Realiser ​
 +attains the Solitary Realiser path of seeing, necessarily goes on to attain the Solitary Realiser Arhatship ​
 +and so on and so forth. ​ There is no falling from that. 
 + 
 +Remember that there is no doubt about this person’s status as an Arhat. ​ The question then is what 
 +about this Mahayana path of accumulation in their continuum. ​ Is a learner path, or a path of no more 
 +learning? ​
 + 
 +If this question is asked then you have to remember that you have already accepted the definition of 
 +path of no more learning is an exalted knower in which all afflictive obscurations have been 
 +abandoned. ​
 + 
 +Holding to this definition then you must conclude that this path of accumulation is indeed a path of no 
 +more learning. ​ No doubt about that.  Having accepted this definition this is the position you must 
 +accept. ​
 + 
 +Furthermore,​ this definition we have given is not just some definition given off the top of our head in 
 +an indiscriminate manner, it is a definition that was reached after a lot of investigation. ​ If indeed the 
 +definition in question is one that you have just come up with off the top of your head then it is a 
 +different matter, you might begin to question it, but that is not the case here is it. 
 + 
 +When we are dealing with these definitions,​ which have this pure source as the one here does, then we 
 +must be certain about them, to have a conclusion about that.  If we are not able to come to a 
 +determination,​ a definite conclusion about such things, then we won’t transform our minds into entities ​
 +of wisdom. We won’t transform the consciousnesses right, into entities of wisdom. ​ So we can be 
 +certain that the path of accumulation in question is the path of no more learning. ​
 + 
 +So a person then says, it follows that this path of accumulation in question is not a path of no more 
 +learning, because it is a learner path.  To which you respond, the reason is not established. ​
 + 
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 +  31
 +They say it follows that it is a learner path because it is a Mahayana learner path.  No pervasion. ​
 +Geshe-la is basically speaking from the text. This is not Geshe-la’s own invention. ​
 + 
 +A person says, it follows that the Mahayana path of accumulation for one who has previously realised ​
 +the state of a Hearer Arhat is a path of no more learning. ​ Why?  Because your presentation is valid.  ​
 +But the person says you cannot maintain that because it is the path of a learner. ​ It follows that it is a 
 +path of a learner because it is the Mahayana path of a learner, to which we respond there is no 
 +pervasion. ​
 + 
 +Here it is in the text, this is our source, we can come to a conclusion about it. 
 + 
 +Though this person is an Arhat, he or she is also a Mahayanist. Right? As a Mahayanist, what are the 
 +paths of his or her own system? ​ Mahayana paths. Because this person is pursuing Mahayana paths, in 
 +fact they have already developed the Mahayana path in their continuum. ​
 + 
 +A person takes that position and says, it follows that that subject is a path in which the training of one’s ​
 +own individual system and vehicle has been brought to a conclusion because it is a path of no more 
 +learning, to which we respond by saying no pervasion. ​
 + 
 +Notice how this predicate includes the phrase one’s own system. ​ We are saying that the thing in 
 +question is a path in which the training of one’s own system has been brought to a conclusion because ​
 +it is a path of no more learning but we are saying, not necessarily the case because yes it is a path of no 
 +more learning, it fits the definition, but no they have not brought the training of their own system to 
 +conclusion because their own system is that of the Mahayana. ​
 + 
 +In general they are one who’s training in the Mahayana though they have this path of no more learning. ​
 +So how many possibilities or mu are there between the Mahayana learner paths and the path of no more 
 +learning. ​
 + 
 +How many mu, how many possibilities? ​
 + 
 +Student: Mu shi (four possibilities). ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Okay, well let’s check and see if that is okay.  What would you posit as that which is a path of 
 +no more learning but not a Mahayana learner path, not a Mahayana path of learning? ​ An example ​
 +please. ​
 + 
 +Student: A Hinayana path of no more learning. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: We could posit the paths in the continuum of the Hinayana Arhat, couldn’t we. That’s a 
 +sufficient example to illustrate that which is a path of no more learning but not a Mahayana path of 
 +learning. ​
 + 
 +What would you give as an example of that which is a Mahayana path of learning but not a path of no 
 +more learning? ​
 + 
 +Student: A path of accumulation of a Mahayana or a Mahayana path of accumulation. ​
 + 
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 +  32
 +Geshela: It is important to include the phrase definite type because we need to indicate that we are 
 +speaking about somebody who has entered the Mahayana paths from the very outset. ​ So the Mahayana ​
 +path of accumulation of one who is of definite type in the Mahayana. ​
 +Basically what that addition implies is that we are speaking about an individual who has not previously ​
 +attained Hinayana Arhatship, a person who has not previously attained Arhatship, someone who has 
 +not previously entered into the Hinayana paths yet. 
 + 
 +That is an example of that which is a Mahayana path of learning but not a path of no more learning ​
 +because we specifically excluded those people who have previously attained Arhatship. What is 
 +something that is both a Mahayana path of learning and a path of no more learning? ​
 + 
 +Ben has said a Mahayana path of accumulation in the continuum of an Arhat. ​
 + 
 +It is an excellent answer. ​ Do you understand? ​ Do you find it easy to understand? ​ But… ​
 + 
 +Student: A Buddha has that path in her continuum. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: There are paths of accumulation in the continuum of a Buddha. ​
 + 
 +Student: A Buddha has all paths in her continuum. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Ooohhhh Tsapel.  ​
 +When a person moves from the path of accumulation to the path of preparation,​ the path of 
 +accumulation transforms its entity to become path of preparation,​ doesn’t it. And thus in the continuum ​
 +of the person of the path of preparation there is no path of accumulation,​ correct. Yes or no. 
 + 
 +Student: I accept now. 
 + 
 +Geshela: When a person moves from the path of accumulation to the path of preparation,​ the path of 
 +accumulation ceases, it stops, it is arrested, it has changed to become the path of preparation. And 
 +similarly when an individual moves from the path of preparation to the path of seeing, you have 
 +contaminated paths transforming to become uncontaminated paths. ​
 +When you attain the path of seeing, an Arya path, you attain uncontaminated paths. At that point the 
 +individual has no contaminated paths do they.  They don’t have the path of preparation. Similarly when 
 +an individual moves from the path of seeing to the path of meditation, they no longer have the path of 
 +seeing for it transforms its entity to become the path of meditation. It continues to increase upward and 
 +upward. ​
 + 
 +So when the Mahayana path of meditation transforms, it transforms into the exalted knower of all 
 +aspects. ​ The person becomes a Mahayana Arhat. ​ At that point, they are left with…they no longer ​
 +have that path of meditation nor do they have the path of accumulation,​ the path of preparation or the 
 +path of seeing. ​
 + 
 +Student: So why would someone who has attained the state of a Hinayana Arhat having attained the 
 +Hinayana path of no more learning still have the path of no more learning despite the fact that they 
 +have entered into the Mahayana path of accumulation? ​
 +  ​
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 +  33
 +Geshela: Basically because that person, as before, still is in the state in which they have abandoned all 
 +afflictive obscurations and that is in fact how the definition of the path of no more learning is given. ​ It 
 +is given in terms of this exalted knower in which all afflictive obscurations have been abandoned and 
 +that doesn’t change just because they enter into the path of accumulation. ​ Now the path of 
 +accumulation in turn is posited as such in terms of its existing in the continuum of a person on the path 
 +of accumulation. ​ Their attainment of the path of accumulation does not wipe out the previous ​
 +abandonment of all afflictive obscurations and therefore they still have the basis, which is the defining ​
 +characteristic of a path of no more learning. ​
 + 
 +Everyone think about this. In what terms or from what perspective is a path of accumulation posited?  ​
 +It is posited in terms of it being a path that is present in the context of the path of accumulation. ​
 + 
 +The path of preparation can be understood by looking at its etymology. You begin to see that it is 
 +probably more properly translated into English as the path of joining or maybe the path of preparation ​
 +because it is a path in which one is preparing to perceptually realise emptiness or a path in which one is 
 +joining up with the eventual perceptual realisation of emptiness. ​ The point is whether you translate it 
 +as preparation or path of joining the implication in both cases is that you have yet to perceptually ​
 +realise emptiness. ​
 + 
 +Since the path of preparation is a preparation for the actual thing, when you attain the path of seeing ​
 +you attain the actual thing, you no longer have the preparation. ​
 + 
 +While the path of preparation is understood as being a path in which one is preparing for the 
 +subsequent path of seeing, the path of no more learning is posited in terms of it being a state in which 
 +these obscurations have been abandoned. The basic terms in which they are posited differ.  ​
 + 
 +This path of no more learning cannot be said to be a hearer’s path of no more learning because if it 
 +were it would have to be in the continuum of a hearer and thus you have to posit the existence of a path 
 +of no more learning which is neither a hearer’s path of no more learning nor a Mahayana path of no 
 +more learning.  ​
 + 
 +Can you say that an Arya Buddha has the attainment of the path of accumulation?​ Can you attain the 
 +Mahayana path of preparation without attaining the Mahayana path of accumulation?​ Can you attain ​
 +the Mahayana path of no more learning without attaining the Mahayana path of accumulation?​ Is there 
 +such an attainment? Is there? ​
 + 
 +NO? Tsa! 
 + 
 +It follows that an Arya Buddha attains the path of accumulation,​ because it attains the path of no more 
 +learning of the Mahayana. The question is not whether or not it’s present in their continuum but rather ​
 +whether or not they attain it. 
 + 
 +Do they attain it? There are some people who are saying they don’t attain it. Who else was it? Tencho. ​
 + 
 +When someone says something good they find they have a lot of companions rising up and that begins ​
 +to fall out of favour, begins to be questioned suddenly everyone sinks back. 
 + 
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 +  34
 +Student: For the individual who has passed through all of the Hinayana Paths in addition to realising ​
 +selflessness of person they have realised emptiness. Why then do they enter into the Mahayana path of 
 +accumulation without having the path of seeing in their continuum? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Forget about why don’t they have it when they attain the Mahayana path of accumulation, ​
 +they no longer have the path of seeing when they attain the path of meditation of the hearer. ​
 + 
 +Student: They have a clear realisation of emptiness though. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Yes but the clear realisation of emptiness is not the meaning of the path of seeing is it? The 
 +short definition is a clear realisation of truth.  ​
 + 
 +Yes the definition of path of seeing is indeed clear realisation of truth, but if truth is necessarily ​
 +understood to refer to emptiness then how does this definition apply to the hearer and solitary realiser ​
 +path of seeing? ​
 + 
 +This distinction is something that comes about in light of the specific Autonomist Tenets. If we 
 +consider the consequence position there is nothing wrong with saying that truth is understood as 
 +emptiness because that realisation is had by all by beings of all three vehicles on that path of seeing. ​
 + 
 +If you wanted to debate then you should debate in this way. You would say “it follows that the subject ​
 +the path of meditation that perceptually realises emptiness is a path of seeing because it is a clear 
 +realisation of truth.” ​
 + 
 +If this statement were made to you how would you respond in debate? ​
 + 
 +If Geshe-la were to say it follows that the subject a path of meditation in which emptiness is 
 +perceptually realised is a path of seeing because it is a clear realisation of truth, how would you 
 +respond? The only response that’s available to you is “reason not established” because you have 
 +already accepted that the clear realisation of truth is the definition of the path of seeing and therefore ​
 +you have accepted the pervasion. ​
 + 
 +Student: da ma drup (the reason is not established) ​
 + 
 +Geshela: So if you respond saying the reason is not established then it follows that emptiness has not 
 +been perceptually realised, or that it does not perceptually realise emptiness. ​
 +Why? 
 + 
 +Student: They have attained the perceptual realisation of emptiness but it’s not in the continuum. ​
 + 
 +LZ: It’s opened up this whole new world of things not being in the continuum hasn’t it? 
 + 
 +Student: (Unheard) ​
 + 
 +Geshela: The question is not whether or not it’s been attained. Geshe-la is asking whether or not this 
 +path of meditation that perceptually realises emptiness is a clear realisation of truth. You might say it 
 +follows that it is not a clear realisation of truth. You must say it. Because you have already accepted ​
 +that clear realisation of truth is the definition of the path of seeing. Geshe-la said to you it follows that 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  35
 +the subject the path of meditation in which emptiness is perceptually realised is not a clear realisation ​
 +of truth. ​
 + 
 +The respond that you give at this point is that although truth is perceptually realised it is not a clear 
 +realisation of truth. And hence as Geshe-la says there are some problems and difficulties with such 
 +short definitions,​ whichever way you cut it. 
 + 
 +The word for person in Tibetan is gang zag. The two syllables in other contexts mean full and fall. A 
 +teacher was teaching on this subject and after having finished teaching he asked his student what is an 
 +illustration of gang zag, of a person? The student responded by saying a “the strainer”. Inside the 
 +teapot, we have this thing with lots of holes in it that filters the tea. Tibetans cook up the tea together ​
 +with water and when you pour it into the teapot first it has to go through the filter or the strainer. So 
 +when you pour it in there it fills up but the tea leaves fall to the bottom. So it is something which is 
 +filled and falls. That’s the illustration of gang zag. 
 + 
 +So the point is that the response you give is that it perceptually realises truth but it is not a clear 
 +realisation of truth. Similarly you could say that with respect to the exalted knower of all aspects. It 
 +perceptually realises truth but it is not a clear realisation of truth. ​
 +So these are things that it’s important you understand. ​
 + 
 +  ​
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 +  36
 +Buddhist Studies Programme ​
 +Subject: Grounds and Paths 
 +Teacher: Geshe Tashi Tsering ​
 +Interpreter:​ Lozang Zopa     
 +Number of the tape… 24 
 +Date of the teaching… Friday 11th
 + April 2003 
 + 
 +Today is the day to dedicate our virtues. In some Tibetan texts it is said: “Virtue in the beginning, ​
 +virtue in the middle, virtue in the end.” This is, of course, the virtue in the end. We’ve all worked very 
 +hard over the past six weeks and it’s turned out very well. Please say prayers and ensure that you give 
 +rise to a positive motivation so that all your efforts over the past six weeks do not act as causes for 
 +samsara, but rather as causes for the attainment of buddhahood for the benefit of all beings. ​
 + 
 +The topics of grounds and paths is taught from the perspective of the Middle Way Autonomists so 
 +Geshe-la has often said “According to the Autonomists this, and according to the Autonomists that.” ​
 +This might lead you to sometimes wonder exactly what it is that you have to practice. ​
 +Actually there is not a great deal of difference between this autonomist presentation and that which 
 +we’re really supposed to be practicing. Of course there are some differences in the view between this 
 +and the Consequentialist School, but in general, with regard to the way in which one proceeds through ​
 +the paths, it is for the most part the same. Take for instance the measure for attaining a path. All 
 +traditions would say that in order to attain a path at the very minimum you need the uncontrived ​
 +intention to definitely emerge. There’s complete agreement on the fact that the definition of path is ‘an 
 +exalted knower that is influenced by an uncontrived intention to definitely emerge’. ​
 + 
 +Furthermore,​ these different systems are exactly the same in that they speak about five paths and they 
 +even give these five paths the same name: path of accumulation,​ path of preparation,​ path of seeing, ​
 +path of meditation, and the path of no more learning. ​
 + 
 +And once again, regardless of the system there are still three vehicles presented: the hearer, the solitary ​
 +realizer and the mahayana. ​
 + 
 +In order to develop the mahayana path in one’s own continuum an individual must develop the 
 +uncontrived mind of enlightenment. Without this there is no development of a mahayana path within ​
 +one’s own continuum. In this regard, once again the presentations are the same. 
 + 
 +So the basic questions are:  ​
 +What does it take to develop a path in one’s continuum?  ​
 +Answer: The development of an uncontrived intention to definitely emerge.  ​
 +What does it take to develop the mahayana path in one’s continuum?  ​
 +Answer: The development of an uncontrived mind of enlightenment.  ​
 +This is something that all systems agree on. 
 + 
 +In training oneself in the mind of enlightenment,​ you might use one of two different techniques: the 
 +seven-fold instructions on cause and effect, or the technique known as equalizing and exchanging self 
 +and others. In developing this intention to definitely emerge, essentially you are reversing or 
 +overcoming your grasping at the pleasures of cyclic existence and developing the state of mind that 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  37
 +strives for the pleasures of liberation. That’s essentially it. For the most part the different systems give 
 +the same presentation with respect to method. ​
 + 
 +One difference that has emerged is with regard to what the Autonomists consider the main object of 
 +meditation for the hearers, solitary realizers and bodhisattvas. There’s a difference in what the three 
 +types of beings take as their primary object of meditation, isn’t there? Hence there are slight ​
 +differences between the way an Autonomist understands the views of the different vehicles and that of 
 +the Consequence.  ​
 + 
 +The Consequence School says that all three vehicles have the same primary object of meditation. ​
 + 
 +In general, the mahayana tenet schools can be divided into two: the Mind Only and the Middle Way. 
 +Yet the Middle Way can be further divided into the Autonomists and the Consequence. Thus there are 
 +three different mahayana tenet schools each with their own explanation of the view. 
 + 
 +There are similarities between them, eg. all of them agree that the misapprehension of self of persons is 
 +the root of cyclic existence.  ​
 + 
 +However, although they do have this same assertion about the misapprehension of self of persons being 
 +the root of cyclic existence, they identify what that is in a different way. The Mind Only proponents ​
 +and the Middle Way Autonomists assert a subtle misapprehension of self of persons which is that 
 +misapprehension that grasps at a self-sufficient,​ substantially existent self of person. According to these 
 +two schools, there is no misapprehension of self of persons more subtle than that.  ​
 + 
 +The question might arise: “What about the fact that the Autonomists speak about the person’s lack of 
 +true existence and the Mind Only speak about how the apprehended and the apprehender are empty of 
 +being different substances. How does that apply?​”  ​
 +The response is that, if you misapprehend the person, holding it to be truly existent, that is a 
 +misapprehension of the self of phenomena, not a misapprehension of the self of persons.  ​
 +Similarly according to the Mind Only, if you were to realize that the apprehended and the apprehender ​
 +are empty of being different substances, you would be realizing selflessness of phenomena, not the 
 +selflessness of persons. ​
 + 
 +Hence they say that an individual can attain liberation without abandoning that apprehension of true 
 +existence, as long as they abandon the misapprehension of self of persons together with its seeds. ​
 + 
 +Thus from the point of view of the Mind Only and the Autonomist Schools one might say, “It follows ​
 +that the subject, the apprehension of true existence, is not an afflictive obscuration.” How would you 
 +respond to this 
 + 
 +The response given in accord with the Mind Only and Autonomist is that apprehensions of true 
 +existence are not afflictive obscurations.  ​
 + 
 +This is one of the unique difficult points of the Middle Way Consequence School - the fact that 
 +according to the Consequence school, the apprehension of true existence is an afflictive obscuration. ​
 +These eight difficult points have been taught previously (Explaining the Eight Major Difficult Points of 
 +the Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way by Gyaltshab Je – original text translated by Ven Lozang ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  38
 +Zopa and commentary by Geshe Tashi Tsering available from Chenrezig Institute Buddhist Studies ​
 +programme coordinator) ​
 + 
 +If you have a good understanding of the eight difficult points, you will understand what the subtle ​
 +differences are between the Mind Only, Middle Way Autonomists and the Middle Way Consequence. ​
 + 
 +That the apprehension of true existence is an afflictive obscurationsis a unique position of the 
 +Consequence School, isn’t it? 
 + 
 +If you have a good understanding of the eight difficult points, you will understand what the subtle ​
 +differences are between the Mind Only, Middle Way Autonomists and the Middle Way Consequence. ​
 + 
 +That the apprehension of true existence is an afflictive obscurations is a unique position of the 
 +Consequence School. Now that we have established this position of the Consequence School let’s turn  ​
 +our attention to the fact that there’s agreement that the misapprehension of self of persons is the root of 
 +samsara, but disagreement about how that misapprehension is identified.  ​
 + 
 +Both the Mind Only and the Autonomist Schools say that the subtle misapprehension of the self of 
 +persons, that which acts as the root of cyclic existence, refers to the misapprehension which grasps at a 
 +self-sufficient and substantially existent person. What does the Consequence School say? They say that 
 +that is just the coarse form of the misapprehension of self of persons. The most subtle misapprehension ​
 +of self of persons is that which holds the person to be inherently existent, existent from its own side or 
 +established by way of its own character.  ​
 + 
 +The way the Consequence School approaches this is to say that the subject in question is a person and, 
 +that person’s being empty of inherent existence, existence from its own side, or existence by way of its 
 +own character, is the subtle selflessness of persons. That person’s being empty of self-sufficiency and 
 +substantial existence is a more coarse form, not the most subtle form of selflessness of persons. ​
 + 
 +How do the Consequence School go on to identify the subtle selflessness of phenomena? They take as 
 +the subject phenomena other than persons, such as the aggregates etc. Then the emptiness of inherent ​
 +existence of all those things is subtle selflessness of phenomena. ​
 + 
 +Hence according to the Consequence school, the distinction between the selflessness of persons and the 
 +selflessness of phenomena is made in terms of the subject that is taken. ​
 + 
 +In order to abandon cyclic existence and attain liberation one must abandon the subtle misapprehension ​
 +of self of persons. Does that then mean that one must abandon the apprehension of inherent existence, ​
 +the apprehension of true existence? That’s the implication isn’t it? You would have to say yes. 
 + 
 +According to the Consequence School, in order to abandon cyclic existence and attain liberation one 
 +must abandon the apprehension that holds the person to be inherent existence. So then a pwrson might 
 +ask whether that means that you have to also abandon the apprehension that holds aggregates and 
 +phenomena other than persons to be inherently existence, because after all the two are equal in terms of 
 +their subtlety?​” The response you give to that is, “Yes, I accept. That misapprehension has to be 
 +abandoned as well.” ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  39
 +So they might then say, “It follows that in order to attain liberation you must abandon the 
 +misapprehension of self of phenomena.” And you would say, “I accept.”  ​
 +And they might say, “It follows that the misapprehension of self of phenomena is an afflictive ​
 +obscurations,​” and you would say, “I accept.”  ​
 + 
 +So we see that it is asserted that the misapprehension of self of phenomena is an afflictive obscuration. ​
 +This seems to indicate that emptiness must be realized in order to abandon the afflictive obscurations ​
 +and we would agree with that.  ​
 + 
 +Does that mean that an arya must necessarily realize emptiness? After all, aryas make the afflictive ​
 +obscurations their primary objects of abandonment. So the response that is given is “Yes. Since aryas 
 +are focused on abandoning the apprehension of true existence then an arya must necessarily realize ​
 +emptiness.” ​
 + 
 +Another of the unique aspects of the Consequence School is that aryas necessarily realize emptiness. It 
 +is pervasive that if one is an arya, that individual perceptually realizes emptiness. Regardless of 
 +whether it is the hearer path of seeing, the solitary realizer path of seeing or the mahayana path of 
 +seeing, when an individual attains that path, they necessarily perceptually realize emptiness. WE 
 +should be clear about that. 
 + 
 +Does that mean that when one attains the respective path of preparation that an individual must attain ​
 +the integration or union of calm abiding and special insight focused upon emptiness?  ​
 +Yes, we accept, whether it is a hearer, a solitary realizer or a mahayanist. ​
 + 
 +We you think about it in these terms, you begin to see a difference in terms of the view, don’t you. 
 + 
 +When you study these things from the Autonomist point of view you get the impression that without ​
 +realising emptiness, one may not be able to enter into the mahayana path of seeing but could enter into 
 +the hearer path of seeing. According to the Consequence view, that possibility is eliminated. ​
 + 
 +From the perspective of the Mind Only and Autonomist then one could hold out a hope to attain ​
 +liberation without having to realize emptiness, but from a Consequence perspective then you can no 
 +longer hold that hope because without the realization of emptiness liberation is not possible. ​
 + 
 +In this way the wisdom realizing emptiness is important for the attainment of liberation, not just for the 
 +attainment of buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +Emptiness is understood as a negation of a very subtle object of negation. It does not mean just some 
 +blank, empty state in which one holds absolutely nothing in mind, does it. There’s a difference between ​
 +empty and emptiness. ​
 + 
 +So how do you think anyone can attain buddhahood solely through meditation without study and 
 +learning? How do you think liberation could be attained? It would not be easy. 
 + 
 +Of course from the Autonomist perspective a mahayanist must realize emptiness and abandon the 
 +apprehension of true existence, but the hearer and solitary realizer merely need to overcome the 
 +misapprehension that holds the person to be self-sufficient and substantially existent in order to attain ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  40
 +the liberation that they strive for. Thus for the Autonomists there is a clear differentiation between what 
 +these respective schools take as their primary object of meditation.  ​
 + 
 +From our perspective emptiness is clearly very important, even from the Autonomist perspective. ​
 +We’re mahayana practitioners and therefore emptiness is what we would take as our primary object of 
 +meditation. When we move up to the Consequence School, this is no longer limited merely to the 
 +mahayanists which already applied to us anyway, but to all types of beings. So, whichever perspective ​
 +you adopt, cultivating an understanding of emptiness is of utmost importance. ​
 + 
 +As for the uninterrupted path and the path of release, according to the Consequence School these paths 
 +are necessarily states of meditative equipoise that focus one-pointedly upon emptiness. According to 
 +the Consequence School, there are no uninterrupted paths and paths of release that are one-pointedly ​
 +focused upon the person’s being empty of self-sufficiency and substantial existence. Do you 
 +understand? ​
 + 
 +Taking the Consequence School as the basis then, you can then look at certain assertions of the 
 +Autonomist system eg what they consider to be an  arhat and what they consider to be aryas. From a 
 +Consequence perspective,​ what the Autonomists call arhat and aryas are merely called that (ie they are 
 +arhats and aryas in name only)  ​
 + 
 +So how would we classify those arhats? ​
 +They are arhats according to the autonomist position, because the autonomists maintain that the state of 
 +an arhat can be attained merely through abandoning the misapprehension that holds the person to be 
 +self-sufficient and substantially existent, etc. 
 + 
 +Do you have any questions? Perhaps it’s more important at this stage for you to have an opportunity to 
 +ask some questions.  ​
 + 
 +Student: For the Autonomist School, when are the afflictive obscuration abandoned? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Upon the attainment of liberation. Or upon the attainment of buddhahood. ​
 + 
 +Student: Yesterday it was explained that we can posit two different types of people who enter into the 
 +mahayana paths after having entered the hinayana paths first: there’s the one who’s realized emptiness ​
 +and the one who has not realized emptiness. The one who has realized emptiness would have gone 
 +through the path of seeing and the path of meditation and attained the path of no-more-learning which 
 +means that they have abandoned all the afflictive obscurations. So for that person to then enter into the 
 +mahayana paths having abandoned all the afflictive obscurations seems to contradict this notion that a 
 +mahayanist only abandons the afflictive obscuration at the attainment of buddhahood.  ​
 + 
 +Geshela: That’s it. That’s the way it is. For the person who realizes emptiness on the hinayana paths 
 +that object is not their main object, their emphasis. Because they don’t take emptiness as the primary ​
 +object of meditation then the objects that are induced or arise in dependence upon the apprehension of 
 +true existence are not their primary focus of abandonment either.  ​
 + 
 +While they are pursuing the resultant state of an arhat, for instance a hearer arhat, then they take the 
 +person’s being empty of self-sufficiency and substantial existence as their primary object of meditation ​
 +and take the corresponding objects of abandonment as their primary objects of abandonment. Even 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  41
 +though they have progressed through those stages to abandon all the afflictive obscurations,​ they still 
 +have yet to take emptiness as their primary object of meditation and to take the corresponding objects ​
 +of abandonment that are induced by that apprehension of true existence as their primary object of 
 +abandonment. ​
 + 
 +Those hearers who realize emptiness may meditate on emptiness but do not take emptiness as their 
 +primary object of meditation.  ​
 + 
 +The question might arise, “What if a being like this were to take emptiness as their primary object of 
 +meditation? Does that mean that they would go on to attain buddhahood?​” The answer would be: “No, ​
 +because you need the support of the mind of enlightenment.” ​
 + 
 +This individual is not striving for buddhahood, but for the state of liberation. ​
 + 
 +Irregardless of which system one is following, all agree that a being cannot attain buddhahood solely ​
 +through the realization of emptiness. It needs the support of the necessary accumulation of merit. The 
 +union of method and wisdom. ​
 + 
 +What is the mahayana method? What does method mean to you?  ​
 + 
 +Student: The accumulation of merit.  ​
 + 
 +Geshela: What does that mean? 
 + 
 +Student: The first five perfections. ​
 + 
 +Student: Developing bodhicitta.  ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Excellent. Method - mind of enlightenment. Wisdom - realizing emptiness. ​
 + 
 +Of course there will also be loving kindness and compassion and possibly the perfection of generosity ​
 +and ethics as well, in that individual’s continuum. Thos are branches, or supports, for the mind of 
 +enlightenment. ​
 + 
 +Engaging bodhicitta or engaging mind of enlightenment,​ subsumes or includes all of those things such 
 +as the practice of the perfections. ​
 + 
 +You need to be completely clear that mahayana method is referring to the mind of enlightenment. But 
 +we are not saying that to be method it necessarily has to be mind of enlightenment. Loving kindness, ​
 +compassion etc also classify as method. ​
 + 
 +From the mahayana perspective,​ method is referring primarily to the mind of enlightenment;​ things ​
 +such as loving kindness and compassion are its supports, branches to it. 
 + 
 +And wisdom of course is the wisdom realizing emptiness. ​
 + 
 +What are method and wisdom from the hinayana perspective?  ​
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  42
 +Student: Method is the intention to definitely emerge. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: That’s what it is. Excellent.”  ​
 + 
 +Similarly, the main method for the hinayana is the intention to definitely emerge and there are many 
 +branches or supports for that eg reflecting on the shortcomings of samsara.  ​
 + 
 +According to the consequence perspective the wisdom aspect is the same  and refers to the wisdom ​
 +realizing emptiness. ​
 + 
 +Perhaps it’s important to include the word “main” or “primary” when we talk about these methods and 
 +wisdoms because if we don’t include it then it might appear that there is nothing else that is wisdom of 
 +method, we might exclude other methods etc as mentioned above and it’s not that they are not method. ​
 +It’s just that they’re not the main method. ​
 + 
 +Any further questions? ​
 + 
 +Student: I was wondering if the Middle Way Consequence School has a definition for the path of no-more-learning that applies. The Autonomists give the definition of the path of no-more-learning as the 
 +exalted knower in which the afflictive obscurations have been abandoned. What is the Consequentialist ​
 +definition? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Excellent question. Yes, the Autonomists posit the definition of the path of no-more-learning ​
 +as the exalted knower in which the afflictive obscurations have been abandoned. The Consequentialists ​
 +do not give an explicit definition. ​
 + 
 +If the Consequence were to accept the definition of a path of no-more-learning as an exalted knower in 
 +which the afflictive obscuration have been abandoned, you could say, “it follows that the subject, the 
 +path of release of an 8th
 + ​ground bodhisattva is a path of no-more-learning. It follows that it is a path of 
 +no-more-learning,​ because all afflictive obscurations have been abandoned.” ​
 + 
 +The sutra system does not give such an individual the name arhat.  ​
 + 
 +In some places within the mantra system some individuals are called arhats. Whether this is a case of 
 +mantra applying their own terminology,​ Geshe-la is not sure. But in the sutra school, they’re not 
 +spoken of as being arhats. That much is clear.  ​
 + 
 +But this is not because they’re saying that if one is an arhat it must be a hinayana arhat or a mahayana ​
 +arhat. Don’t think that.  ​
 + 
 +Is an arhat necessarily a hinayana arhat or a mahayana arhat? Is that necessarily the case? Is there 
 +pervasion? ​
 + 
 +Student: no 
 + 
 +Geshela: We can give an example of an arhat but not a hinayana arhat or a mahayana arhat. It’s a 
 +person on the mahayana path of accumulation who has previously experienced the realization of a 
 +hinayana arhat. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  43
 + 
 +If, according to the consequence school, a person who has attained the path of release of the 8th
 + ​ground ​
 +has abandoned all afflictive obscurations,​ why can we not call them an arhat? Someone might say: 
 +“It follows that the subject, the path of release of the 8th
 + ​ground is indeed a path of no-more-learning or 
 +that person who has it is an arhat.”  ​
 +Why can’t you say that? 
 + 
 +Student: Because they  haven’t abandoned the objects of abandonment that they aimed to abandon. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: Whether they have abandoned those objects of abandonment that they aimed to, they have 
 +abandoned the afflictive obscurations,​ haven’t they?  ​
 + 
 +Student: They haven’t abandoned the obscuration to knowledge and those are the ones that they’re ​
 +aiming to abandon. ​
 + 
 +Geshela: The more common way to express that is ‘their primary objects of abandonment.’ ​
 + 
 +So we’ve established that an arhat is not necessarily a mahayana arhat or a hinayana arhat. However, ​
 +according to the consequence school when an individual newly attains arhatship, they necessarily ​
 +newly attain a hinayana arhatship or a mahayana arhatship. So this person who has attained the path of 
 +release of the 8th
 + ​ground is newly attaining this status which if called an arhatship has got to be either a 
 +hinayana arhatship or a mahayana arhatship. An arhat is not necessarily a hinayana arhat or a 
 +mahayana arhat. However, if it’s a new attainment of arhatship then it must be one of those two.  ​
 +Does that question arise? ​
 + 
 +Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the individual who has just attained this path of release ​
 +of the 8th
 + ​ground has abandoned the afflictive obscurations as a by-product.  ​
 + 
 +Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that this person who has attained the path of release of the 
 +8th
 + ​ground has abandoned the afflictive obscurations as a by-product of what they’re primarily aiming ​
 +at. They have not made the abandonment of the afflictive obscurations their primary object of 
 +abandonment. It has only happened as a by-product of the focus of their efforts. ​
 + 
 +Any questions?  ​
 + 
 +Student: For the hinayana arhat who goes on to enter into the mahayana path of accumulation,​ when 
 +they enter into the mahayana path of accumulation do they have both a path of no-more-learning and a 
 +learner path in their continuum? ​
 + 
 +Geshe-la: No, you say: “Take the subject, a mahayana path of accumulation. It’s a path of no-more-learning,​”  ​
 +This may lead you into the mistake that it’s a mahayana path of no-more-learning.  ​
 +It is not a learner path. It is considered a path of no-more-learning.  ​
 +It’s a path of no-more-learning and it’s a mahayana path of accumulation but it doesn’t follow that it’s ​
 +a mahayana path of learning. ​
 + 
 +It’s a path of no-more-learning but not a path of learning. Someone might say: “But it follows that it is 
 +a mahayana path of learning.” We would say: “Why? No pervasion”. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  44
 + 
 +Are there more questions?  ​
 + 
 +Student: It is said that a buddha abandons all afflictive obscurations and obscurations to knowledge ​
 +without exception and that it follows that he has abandoned those in our continuum. How is it a buddha ​
 +abandons the afflictive obscurations and the obscuration to knowledge in our continuum? ​
 + 
 +Geshela: They are abandoned in the sense that those obscurations cannot hinder a buddha. They are 
 +abandoned in the sense that those obscurations cannot be produced again in buddhas continuum.  ​
 + 
 +It’s not a big point really. It’s really a debate response - a debate thing. The basic point is that in order 
 +to be abandoned there does not necessarily have to be contact between the object of abandonment and 
 +an actual antidote, a direct antidote. So in this context, when this point is being debated, the basic issue 
 +is: What is the implication of saying that a buddha has abandoned all obscurations without exception? ​
 +What if someone posits: “The obscurations in another person’s continuum!” You could give either ​
 +answer in that case.  ​
 +You could say that a buddha has abandoned them  because those obscurations have been rendered ​
 +unable to hinder them. You could also say that they have not abandoned them.  ​
 +You could give a certain response and still maintain your basic position. It’s just a debate point. ​
 + 
 +So if you were to say that no, they haven’t abandoned the obscurations in others’ continua you could 
 +still maintain the integrity of your basic argument. What you would say is that in order for it to be 
 +posited that a being has abandoned all obscurations without exception, it would not be necessary that 
 +he has abandoned the obscurations in another’s continuum. This would maintain the basic integrity of 
 +your position that the buddha has abandoned all obscurations without exception yet has not abandoned ​
 +those in another’s continuum.  ​
 + 
 +So what does it means to abandon all afflictive obscurations without exception? It means to to abandon ​
 +all afflictive obscurations which can hinder the individual. ​
 + 
 +The disturbing emotions in another person’s continuum are not an obstacle to your attainment of 
 +liberation, are they? In order for that person to attain liberation, he needs to abandon those disturbing ​
 +emotions, but in order for you to attain liberation you do not need to abandon the disturbing emotions ​
 +in that other person’s continuum. ​
 + 
 +Perhaps it’s best to express it in this way for westerners ie that an individual does not have to abandon ​
 +the obscurations in another’s continuum because those obscurations do not hinder their own liberation. ​
 +You could say to Tibetans that they abandon all obscurations both of self and others. And the Tibetans ​
 +wouldn’t even question it. They would just be amazed by the attainment. ​
 + 
 +So this is how we’ll state it. You don’t need to abandon the obscurations of others. In order to abandon ​
 +the afflictive obscurations without exception, you must abandon all those afflictive obscurations that 
 +are obstacles to your own liberation. ​
 + 
 +Student: We spoke previously about how from the path of release of the path of seeing certain ​
 +obscurations are not present in that individual’s continuum yet they have not been abandoned. How is 
 +this the case? 
 + 
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  45
 +Geshela: This is a problem that arises with respect to the Autonomist position. It’s not something that 
 +the Consequence would say.  ​
 + 
 +According to the Consequence School, the repository for imprints of virtue and non-virtue is the “mere ​
 +I”.It is upon the mere I that such imprints are placed. This mere I is also the illustration or instance of 
 +person. And so this mere I retains the seeds from the 1st
 + ​ground,​ 2nd
 + ​ground,​ 3rd
 + ​ground on up, until the 
 +seeds are abandoned by their corresponding direct antidote, the corresponding uninterrupted path.  ​
 + 
 +The Autonomists,​ on the other hand, say that the repository for these seeds of virtue and non-virtue is 
 +the primary mental consciousness and this is also the instance of person ​
 + 
 +When an individual attains the path of seeing (ie an arya path) then this illustration of the person, the 
 +primary mental consciousness,​ becomes an uncontaminated thing. Thus the seeds of disturbing ​
 +emotions cannot be retained by such a thing because if it retained the seeds of disturbing emotions, it 
 +would be contaminated.  ​
 + 
 +And thus it is said that those are not present in the continuum and yet they have not been abandoned. In 
 +order to be abandoned the corresponding uninterrupted path must be attained. But in order for that 
 +corresponding uninterrupted path to abandon them, they do not have to be present in the continuum. ​
 +This is quite different from abandoning obscurations in another person’s continuum.  ​
 + 
 +The absence of such seeds in a person’s continuum (ie from the attainment of the path of seeing) is due 
 +to the fact that the support, the basis where these were retained has been eliminated. Although they are 
 +not present in the continuum, they still have to be abandoned because hey can still obstruct that 
 +person’s attainment of buddhahood.  ​
 + 
 +In fact, they can still obstruct that person’s attainment of subsequently higher grounds. This is what we 
 +were dealing with in the thorough purifications ie that there are certain things that obstruct the 
 +attainment of each subsequently higher ground and in order to progress to this higher level, certain ​
 +faults need to be dispelled and certain qualities developed. These seeds are some such things that need 
 +to be eliminated to move on to the next ground. Thus although they are not in the continuum, they still 
 +need to be abandoned because they can still obstruct that person’s progress. ​
 + 
 +If you’re uncomfortable with this position you need to take it up with Bhavaviveka. This is, of course, ​
 +Bhavaviveka’s position. So perhaps we’ll leave it there for today. ​
 + 
 +[Geshela then extended many thanks to our visiting tutor, Bill Magee, to the interpreter. Ven Lozang ​
 +Zopa and to the students themselves, without whom the course would not be possible] ​
 + 
 +The activities that we have been engaged in over the past several weeks are certainly virtues ​
 +compatible with liberation. Through studying the grounds and paths as we have we‘ve certainly gained ​
 +a better understanding of the way in which we progress through the paths and therefore probably ​
 +developed some wisdom with respect to the exalted knower of all aspects. This type of wisdom of 
 +course can lead to a sense of faith, faith which in turn develops an aspiration. This aspiration of course ​
 +contributes to the development of joyous effort, which helps us to work continuously to try and 
 +improve our understanding and actually develop these things within our own continuum. These steps 
 +are absolutely indispensable – wisdom, faith, aspiration, and joyous effort. It’s only through these 
 +things that these positive qualities can come about. So certainly this time has been virtuous and helpful. ​
 +Chenrezig Institute BSP – Grounds and Paths 2003 – lightly edited transcripts for the use of course participants only 
 +  46
 + 
 +So in dedicating our virtues let’s think that if we are unable to attain buddhahood before the decline of 
 +Shakyamuni’s dharma, then may we come into contact with the teachings of the future buddha, ​
 +Maitreya, and attain buddhahood in that time. May all our virtues act as causes for that. 
 + 
  
grounds_paths_of_buddhism_commentary_geshe_tashi_tsering_6.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:11 (external edit)