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 +Attributed to [[Padma Sambhava]]
 +Tibetan title: [[man ngag lta ba’i phreng ba]]
 +A note summarizing the different views, vehicles and so on.
 +Homage to the Blessed Manjushrikumara and [[Vajradharma]]!
 +The Worldly paths
 +The countless erroneous views that exist in the realms of the world may be subsumed into four
 +categories: (i) the unreflective,​ (ii) the materialists,​ (iii) the nihilists and (iv) the extremists.
 +The unreflective do not understand whether or not all things and events have causes and conditions;
 +they are thoroughly ignorant. The materialists do not understand whether or not there exist previous
 +and subsequent lives and, relying upon the words of mundane secrets, they acquire wealth and power
 +[only] for this one life. The nihilists view all phenomena to be devoid of cause and effects and
 +maintain all elements of existence that have come about in this one life as having done so
 +accidentally. Thus they uphold nihilism. The extremists uphold the existence of an eternal self for
 +they reify all phenomena through conceptual imputation. [The extremists comprise of] those who
 +view the presence of effects where there is no cause; those who view cause and effects erroneously;​
 +and those who view the absence of effects where there is a cause. All of these are views of ignorance.
 +The Path Transcending the World
 +The path that transcends the world too consists of two categories: (i) the dialectical vehicle and (ii)
 +the indestructible vehicle [of Vajrayana]. The dialectical vehicle in turn is threefold: (a) the vehicle of
 +the Disciples, (ii) the vehicle of the Self-Realised Ones, and (iii) the vehicle of the bodhisattvas.
 +Disciple’s Vehicle
 +Of these the view of those who have entered the vehicle of the Disciples is as follows. They maintain
 +that the nihilistic view denying everything and the eternalistic view asserting the existence of eternal
 +realities, which are postulated by the extremists by means of reification and denigration,​ are as untrue
 +as perceiving a [coiled] rope as a snake. [In contrast] they view the aggregates, the elements and the
 +sources, [which are composed of] the four great elements, as well as the consciousness to be
 +ultimately real. [And] it is by means of meditating on the four Noble truths that, in due course, the
 +four kinds of results are realized.
 +Self-Realized One’s Vehicle
 +The view of those who have entered the vehicle of the Self-Realized Ones is as follows. With respect
 +to viewing the eternal self and so on that are postulated by the extremists by means of reification and
 +denigration to being non-existent,​ they are similar to the Disciples. The difference is that they
 +understand the aggregate of form and one aspect of the reality-element to be devoid of self-existence.
 +Also, at the time of attaining the fruit of Self-Realized One’s state, unlike Disciples, they do not
 +depend upon a spiritual mentor. [Rather] due to the force of their past habituation,​ they realize the
 +profound ultimate reality (dharmata) by means of the twelve links of dependent origination and attain
 +the fruit of Self-Enlightenment.
 +Bodhisattva Vehicle
 +The view of those who have entered the vehicle of the bodhisattvas is as follows. All phenomena of
 +thoroughly afflicted and enlightened classes are on the ultimate level devoid of intrinsic nature while
 +on the conventional level they possess their individual characteristics in clearly distinctive manner.
 +The bodhisattvas aspire to seek the unexcelled enlightenment,​ which is the culmination of traversing
 +the ten levels and the fruit of practicing the six perfections one by one.
 +The indestructible vehicle [of Vajrayana] has three classes: (i) the vehicle of Kriya-tantra,​ (ii) the
 +vehicle of Ubhaya-tantra and (iii) the vehicle of Yoga-tantra.
 +Kriya-tantra Vehicle
 +The view of those who have entered Kriya-tantra is as follows. Whilst there are no origination and
 +cessation on the ultimate level, on the conventional level one visualizes [oneself] in the form of a
 +deity and cultivates the deity’s image, the attributes - the hand implements - and the mantra
 +repetitions on the basis of the power of the coming together of the necessary ritual articles and other
 +conditions, such as observance of purity laws, performance of rituals on specific days and
 +[auspicious] star constellations and so on.
 +Ubhaya-tantra Vehicle
 +The view of those who have entered the vehicle of Ubhaya-tantra is as follows. Whilst there are no
 +origination and cessation on the ultimate level, on the conventional level one visualizes [oneself] in
 +the form a deity. This is cultivated on the basis of both the practice of meditative absorption
 +endowed with four aspects as well as the [necessary] ritual articles and conditions.
 +Yoga-tantra Vehicle
 +The view of those who have entered the vehicle of Yoga-tantra is twofold: (i) the view of outer yoga,
 +the tantra of the Sages, and (ii) the view of inner yoga, the method tantra.
 +Outer Yoga Vehicle
 +The view of those who have entered outer yoga, the Sage’s tantra, is as follows. Not holding the
 +external [ritual] articles to be of primary importance, they cultivate [their goal] on the basis of
 +emphasising the yoga of visualising male and female deities that are devoid of ultimate origination
 +and cessation and the form body of the Noble One that share resemblance with them, which is the
 +meditative absorption endowed with the four seals of a thoroughly purified mind.
 +Inner Yoga Vehicle
 +The view of those who have entered the vehicle of inner yoga, the method tantra, is threefold: (1) the
 +mode of generation, (2) the mode of completion, and (3) the mode of great completion [or
 +The mode of generation is achieved by means of the meditative practice of gradual development of
 +the three meditative absorptions and [gradual] creation of the mandala.
 +The mode of completion is achieved by abiding unwaveringly within [the visualization of] male and
 +female deities that are ultimately devoid of origination and cessation as well as the middle way of
 +ultimate expanse, which is the non-conceptual truth, while on the conventional level cultivating in
 +[perfect] equanimity and un-muddled manner the form of the Noble deity with clear visualization.
 +Presentation of the meaning of Great Perfection
 +The mode of Great Perfection is to meditate on the basis of understanding all mundane and
 +supramundane phenomena as being devoid of any differentiation and to recognize as having always
 +been present as the mandala of body, speech and mind.
 +It is stated in the tantra:
 +As for the limbs of the Vajra body,
 +They are known as the five Buddhas.
 +The sources and the numerous elements,
 +They are the mandala of the bodhisattvas.
 +Earth and water are Locana and Mamaki;
 +Fire and wind are Pandaravasin and Tara;
 +The space is Dhateshvari.
 +[So] the three worlds are primordially pure.
 +So all phenomena of cyclic existence and nirvana are primordially unborn yet they have the capacity
 +for illusory function as they have always been in the nature of the ten Tathagatas and their consorts.
 +All phenomena are therefore naturally transcendent of sorrow: The great [elements] are in the nature
 +of the five consorts; the five aggregates, the nature of the five Buddha families; the four
 +consciousness,​ the nature the four great bodhisattvas;​ the four objects, the four beautiful goddesses;
 +the four senses, the bodhisattvas;​ the four temporal stages, the four goddesses; the bodily organs, the
 +consciousnesses;​ the sensory fields and the bodhicitta drops arising from them, the four wrathful
 +deities; the four extremes of eternalism and nihilism, the four wrathful female deities; the mental
 +consciousness,​ the nature of Samandrabhadra,​ namely the indestructible bodhicitta; the objects [of
 +both] conditioned and unconditioned phenomena are in the nature Samandrabhadri who is the
 +receptacle [of the creation] of [all] phenomena. All of these in turn have already been in the nature of
 +complete enlightenment;​ they are not acquired now by means of the path. Thus all phenomena -
 +conditioned and unconditioned - such as the ten directions, the three temporal stages, the three
 +worlds, and so on do not exist apart from one’s own mind. It is stated:
 +The clear understanding of one’s own mind -
 +This is the buddhas and the bodhisattvas;​
 +This constitutes the three worlds;
 +This constitutes the great elements as well.
 +Thus it has been stated:
 +All phenomena dwell in the mind; the mind dwell in space, while space dwells
 +All phenomena are devoid of intrinsic nature; all phenomena are thoroughly pure
 +from the very beginning; all phenomena are thoroughly radiant; all phenomena are
 +naturally transcendent nirvana; all phenomena are manifestly enlightened.
 +This [then] is the [meaning of] Great Perfection. (The mode of Great Perfection means the
 +perfection of the accumulations of merit and wisdom and the spontaneous realization of the resultant
 +The four understandings
 +Conviction in this mode of Great Perfection [arises] by means of four understandings:​ (i)
 +understanding the oneness of cause, (ii) understanding through the mode of syllables, (iii)
 +understanding through the blessings, and (iv) direct understanding.
 +Understanding the oneness of cause refers to this: Since all phenomena are on the ultimate level
 +unborn, they are not different [from each other]; they are not different in sharing the characteristics
 +of illusions on the conventional level; what is unborn itself appears as diverse illusory forms just like
 +reflections of moon in water; since illusion is devoid of intrinsic nature and is unborn and since the
 +ultimate and the conventional are indistinguishable one understands the oneness of cause.
 +Understanding through the mode of syllables is as follows. The unborn nature of all phenomena is
 +AH, which is the nature of enlightened speech; that the unborn nature itself appearing as causally
 +efficacious illusion is O, which is the nature of enlightened body; and that the awareness that
 +cognises this, the illusory wisdom devoid of centre and peripheries,​ is OM, which is the nature of
 +enlightened mind.
 +Understanding through blessing refers to the understanding that just as, for example, the power to
 +change a white sheet of cloth into a red sheet lies in the dye, the power to transform all phenomena
 +into enlightened Buddhas is obtained through understanding the oneness of cause and
 +[understanding the mode of] the syllables.
 +Direct understanding is, [understanding] that the abiding of all phenomena primordially as fully
 +enlightened is not contrary to [the intention of] the scriptures and the quintessential instructions and
 +that it does not depend upon the words of the scriptures and quintessential instructions alone. This is
 +understood directly as one has gained conviction from the depth of one’s mind by means of one’s
 +own intellect. “Gaining conviction through the path” refers to the comprehension of the meaning of
 +the four understandings,​ which is the path of a yogi. However this is not like the practice in which
 +the cause depends upon temporal process for its effect to arise; rather, one comprehends it directly
 +by oneself through faith.
 +The Three Characteristic Marks
 +It is by means of [understanding] the three characteristic marks successful realization of the goal will
 +take place. The comprehension of the four modes of understandings is the characteristic mark of
 +knowledge; constant cultivation of familiarity is the characteristic mark of engagement; and its
 +actualisation due to the force of habituation is the defining characteristic of the result.
 +[These three characteristic marks also] present the correlations,​ the purpose, and the ultimate
 +purpose. As for “correlations,​” it refers to relating the characteristic marks of the knowledge of the
 +cause - the understanding of all phenomena labelled as afflicted or enlightened as being, right from
 +the beginning, embodiments of enlightened body, speech and mind and as the expanse of natural
 +Buddhahood, which is the meaning of blessing - to being the cause for achieving the unexcelled
 +As for the purpose, it is the comprehension of all phenomena - those that are imputed as afflicted
 +factors or factors belonging to the enlightened class - as the five medicines as well the five nectars
 +and so on, within the great equanimity of primordial Buddhahood, with no [evaluative judgement of]
 +affirmation and negation. This is the characteristic mark of engagement and, since it is the cause of
 +achieving the unexcelled Buddhahood, it is the purpose.
 +The ultimate purpose is as follows. Given that all phenomena that are imputed as distinct realities,
 +such as, as afflicted factors, as factors of enlightened class, as five medicines, as five nectars and so
 +on, have spontaneously come into being within the great equanimity of unexcelled Buddhahood with
 +no [evaluative judgement of] affirmation and negation, the wheel of existence itself has existed right
 +from the beginning as the nature of unexcelled Buddhahood, sharing the characteristics of nirvana. It
 +is therefore the characteristic mark of the result and the manifest actualisation of this wheel of
 +adornment of inexhaustible body, speech and mind is the ultimate purpose.
 +The Four Branches of the Yogic Practice
 +To achieve this one must strive in the yoga that brings about spontaneous realization of
 +approximation,​ near approximation,​ attainment and great attainment. “Approximation” refers to the
 +knowledge of the awakening mind, which is the understanding that it is by means of the path that all
 +phenomena are realized as primordially in the nature of Buddhahood and that they cannot be altered
 +by means of their counter-forces. “Near approximation” refers to the knowledge of oneself as a
 +deity, which in turn is the understanding that since all phenomena are primordially the nature of
 +Buddhahood oneself too is primordially in the nature of a deity and that this is not something that
 +has been cultivated at present. “Attainment” refers to the generation of the mother. As for the great
 +mother, it is within the expanse of space the space itself appears as the great mother, namely as [the
 +four great elements of] earth, water, fire and wind. One recognizes these as the mother who is the
 +receptacle [of the creation of all phenomena]. The “great attainment” refers to the relating of method
 +and wisdom, which is the primordial uniting of the wisdom of the five great consorts - the space of
 +the consorts and emptiness - with the father of all the Buddhas of the five aggregates, free of
 +aspiration. From this [union] the bodhicitta drops appear as emanations whose nature is such that
 +within the truth of primordial Buddhahood, illusions play on illusions. And at this blissful moment of
 +illusory supreme bliss continuum one achieves spontaneously the truth of signlessness with the nonobjectified
 +space into a single stream. The four classes of mara are [thus] subdued and one achieves
 +the final objective.
 +The procedure for entering the mandala of Great Perfection
 +[This is achieved in the following manner:] With respect to entering the primordially unexcelled
 +mandala, which is the undifferentiated celestial wish-granting mansion wherein all phenomena are
 +primordially pure, hearing the scriptures of method vehicle is the opening of one’s eyes.
 +Understanding the meaning [of these teachings] is seeing the mandala; cultivating its familiarity
 +following its understanding is entering the mandala, while actualising it after entering it is the
 +obtainment of the great siddhi attainment. This procedure signifies the final stage of Great Perfection
 +- that is one arrives spontaneously on the level of great accumulation,​ which is the wheel of syllables.
 +Demonstrating that this mode of Great Perfection is not suitable for everyone
 +The persons of excellent mental faculty understand what are primordially enlightened as primordially
 +enlightened and the familiarity of this [knowledge] enhances with firm steps. This is not a pursuit of
 +the ordinary person. As for the ordinary person, even though he contemplates,​ he will have no
 +conviction in its truth and profundity. Relating to this fact of the mind of the ordinary person not
 +gaining conviction, having difficulty in comprehending it and accepting its truth and profundity,
 +there is the danger of thinking that this must be the same for everyone. [One might then] denigrate
 +the excellent persons as all liars and thereby engender thoughts of refuting them. Because of this it is
 +being kept hidden as such it is taught as the “secret vehicle.” Therefore until the mind understanding
 +the truth of all phenomena as being primordially enlightened has arisen, if one engages in other’s
 +welfare on the basis of the lower vehicles, one will not undermine the spiritual trainees. So extensive
 +statements are found [in the scriptures] that the master must be versed in [the knowledge of] the
 +defects of cyclic existence, the excellent qualities of nirvana, as well as in all the vehicles, and that a
 +master who is ignorant of some aspects [of the teachings] must not hold [the position of a teacher].
 +Due to the difference of views differences exist too in the ascetic practices and conducts. Those
 +devoid of ascetic practice are the unreflective worldly and the nihilists. There are four kinds that have
 +ascetic practices: (i) the mundane ascetic practice which the materialists and the extremists have, (ii)
 +the ascetic practice of the disciples, (iv) the ascetic practice of the bodhisattvas,​ and (iv) the
 +unexcelled asceticism.
 +Of these the unreflective is ignorant of cause and effects and is therefore devoid of ascetic practice.
 +The nihilists uphold nihilistic view and are devoid of ascetic practice. The materialists seek qualities
 +characteristic of this life so they possess ascetic practices, such as observance of purity laws and so
 +on. The extremists, with the goal of purifying the eternal self, engage in such asceticism as abusing
 +the body, keeping themselves in the five types of fire and so on; they engage in the conducts in a
 +distorted manner.
 +As for the ascetic practice of the Disciple, the Discipline scripture states:
 +Do not commit any evil;
 +Engage in virtues as best as you can;
 +Thoroughly tame your own mind -
 +This is the doctrine of the Buddha.
 +Thus they view all factors of existence, virtuous or non-virtuous,​ as existing separately and
 +respectively belonging to [the categories of] ultimate and conventional truths. They engage in the
 +conduct of practising the virtues and relinquishing non-virtues.
 +As to the ascetic practice of the bodhisattvas,​ the Bodhisattva Vows states:
 +Not effecting the means when circumstances call for;
 +Not employing supernatural powers, threats and so on;
 +He who has compassion and out of loving kindness,
 +And those of virtuous mind, there is no fault [in these acts].
 +So if it is sustained by great compassion, regardless of whatever acts one might engage in, be it
 +virtuous or non-virtuous,​ one’s vows will not degenerate. For the bodhisattva vow is, in brief, to act
 +with taking great compassion as its ground.
 +As for the unexcelled asceticism, the Great Pledge Sutra states:
 +If one is thoroughly affirmed in the Buddha’s vehicle,
 +Even if one indulges in all the afflictions and the five senses,
 +Just like a lotus [growing] in muddy water,
 +In him morality remains pure and perfect.
 +Since all phenomena are in perfect equanimity from the very beginning, no compassion is to be
 +cultivated and no hatred to be eliminated. It does not mean, however, that enlightened compassion
 +does not arise for those who failed to understand this way. Just as they comprehend by means of the
 +view that [all phenomena are] primordially pure, they engage also in the ascetic practices and the
 +conducts with thorough purity.
 +This secret [instruction],​ a garland of views,
 +If there are persons who posses skills of wisdom and method,
 +May such excellent beings encounter this [instruction],​
 +Just as the blind who opens his own eyes and recovers his sight.
 +The instruction entitled A Garland of Views is complete. It was composed by the great master [[Padmasambhava]].
 +© English translation. Geshe Thupten Jinpa, 2004. This translation is based on the version of the root text
 +found in The Collected Works of Rongzom Chösang, vol.1 (pp.291-300). All section headings introduced here in the
 +translation are mine; they are based on Rongzom Pandita’s commentary (The Collected Works of Rongzom Chösang,
 +vol.1, pp.301-351).
a_garland_of_views_attributed.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:10 (external edit)