MIPHAM’S BEACON OF CERTAINTY (Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection)

(Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection)
L1: [Contents]
L1: [Contents]
L1: Introduction [the need to induce certainty by the two types of valid cognition – about the Two Truths]
L1: Topic 1 [The problem of negation: Emptiness is also empty; it is not the real non-dual nature beyond all conceptualization]
L1: Topic 2 [about the limited realizations of the arhats in the Hinayana: they do not realize the full extent of the emptiness of phenomena; they still reify elementary dharmas]
L1: Topic 3 [about habit pattern – modal apprehension – of rational cognition]
L1: Topic 4
L1: Topic 5
L1: Topic 6
L1: Topic 7
L1: Conclusion

L1: Introduction [the need to induce certainty by the two types of valid cognition – about the Two Truths]
\ “Trapped in doubt’s net, one’s mind
\ Is released by the lamp of Manjuvajra,
\ Which enters one’s heart as profound certainty.
\ Indeed, I have faith in the eyes that see the excellent path!
\ Alas! Precious certainty,
\ You connect us with the profound nature of things;
\ Without you, we are tangled and confused
\ In this web of samsaric illusion.
\ The development of confidence through certainty
\ In the phenomena of the basis, path, and result,
\ And being roused to faith by studying them
\ Are like the authentic path and its reflection.
\ The fame of the Moon of the Amazing Dharma
\ Arises along with the light of elegant speech
\ In the vast sky of the Buddha’s teaching,
\ Vanquishing the heavy darkness of doubt.
\ The valid cognition that examines conventionalities
\ Is unerring with respect to engaging and avoiding.
\ Specifically, the textual corpus on valid cognition
\ Is the only way to acquire confidence
\ In the teacher and the teaching, and
\ The Madhyamaka of the Supreme Vehicle
\ Elucidates the stainless valid cognition
\ Of ultimate reasoning, which determines the nature of things.
\ [The two valid cognitions emphasized in] these two [systems]
\ Are the wisdom eyes of a well-trained intellect.
\ Praise to such enlightened beings who
\ Abide on the path taught by the teacher
\ Without taking detours!”
\ As the sage reflected thus,
\ A mendicant who happened along
\ Asked these seven questions
\ In order to critically examine his intellect:
\ “What’s the point of being a scholar
\ If you only repeat the words of others?
\ Give us a quick answer to these questions
\ According to your own understanding.
\ Then your philosophical acumen will be obvious.
\ Though they stretch out the elephant’s trunk of their learning,
\ Like well water, the deep water of Dharma is not tasted;
\ Yet they hope still to become famous scholars
\ Like low-caste men lusting for a queen.
\ [The seven topics:]
\ 1. According to which of the two negations
\ do you explain the view?
\ 2. Do arhats realize both types of selflessness?
\ 3. Does meditation involve modal apprehension?
\ 4. Does one meditate analytically or transically?
\ 5. Which of the two realities is most important?
\ 6. What is the common object of disparate perceptions?
\ 7. Does Madhyamaka have a position or not?
\ Thus, starting with the topic of emptiness,
\ Give an answer established by reasoning,
\ Without contradicting scripture,
\ For these seven profound questions!
\ Even though pressed with the barbed lances
\ Of a hundred thousand sophisticated arguments,
\ These issues have not been penetrated before.
\ Like lightning, let your long philosopher’s tongue strike
\ These difficult points, which have confounded the great!”
\ Thus incited by intellect,
\ The speech-wind wavered somewhat,
\ And that shook the sage’s heart
\ Like a mountain in the winds at the end of time.
\ After maintaining a moment of disciplined engagement,
\ he said:
\ “Alas! If by undergoing hundreds of difficult tests,
\ And analyzing again and again,
\ The fires of great intellects blazed ever greater
\ Yet were still not refined to a flawless state,
\ How can a low person like myself possibly explain this,
\ Whose innate brilliance is weak
\ And who has not undertaken lengthy study?”
\ Then, as he cried these words of lament to Manjughosa,
\ By what seemed to be His mystic power
\ A light dawned in the mind of the sage.
\ At that moment, as he acquired a little self-confidence,
\ He reasoned analytically according to eloquent scriptures, and spoke.

L1: Topic 1 [The problem of negation: Emptiness is also empty; it is not the real non-dual nature beyond all conceptualization]
\ [“Question 1: The basis as the coalescence of appearance and emptiness”
\ – The first topic concerns the definition of the Nyingma philosophical view]
\ 1.1
\ The dGe ldan pas say the view is an absolute negation;
\ Others say it is an implicative negation.
\ 1.2.1
\ What is our own Early Translation tradition?
\ In the state of great gnosis of coalescence,
\ After making a negative judgement of “non-existence,”
\ What other thing such as an exclusive emptiness,
\ Or something that is not [that which is negated],
\ Could be implied in its place?
\ Both are just intellectually designated, and,
\ In the ultimate sense, neither is accepted.
\ This is the original reality beyond intellect,
\ Which is free of both negation and proof.
\ But if you should ask about the way in which emptiness
\ is established,
\ Then it is just an absolute negation.
\ In India the glorious Chandrakirti
\ And in Tibet Rong zom Chos bzang both
\ With one voice and one intention
\ Established the great emptiness of primordial purity.
\ Because these dharmas are primordially pure,
\ Or because they are originally without intrinsic reality,
\ They are not born in either of the two realities;
\ So why fret about the expression “non-existent”?
\ In the place of a pillar, primordially pure,
\ There is nothing non-empty whatsoever.
\ If you don’t negate it by saying, “There is no pillar,”
\ What does it mean to say, “The pillar does not exist?”
\ The emptiness that is the negation of the pillar
\ And a left-over appearance
\ Are not fit, as “empty” and “non-empty,” to coalesce;
\ It is like twisting black and white threads together.
\ To say, “a pillar is not empty of being a pillar”
\ Or “dharmata is empty of being a pillar”
\ Is to posit the basis of emptiness and something
\ of which it’s empty.
\ These are verbal and ontological extrinsic emptinesses.
\ Woe! If this is not empty of this itself,
\ The empty basis is not empty and is left over.
\ This contradicts both scripture and reasoning—
\ “Form is empty of form!”
\ Consider a pillar and the true existence of a pillar:
\ If they are one, then refuting one the other is refuted;
\ If they are different, by refuting a true existence
\ That is not the pillar, the pillar
\ That is not empty of itself would be immune to analysis.
\ “Because true existence is not found to exist,
\ There is no need to debate sameness and difference”—
\ Even though true existence does not exist,
\ Individuals still apprehend vases as truly existent.
\ So aside from a non-empty vase
\ What is there to establish as truly existent?
\ And you think you’ve determined the appearance of
\ the negandum!
\ To teach emptiness by applying some qualifier
\ Such as “true existence” to the negandum
\ Is of course well known in Svatantrika texts.
\ But in the context of analyzing ultimate reality,
\ What is the point of applying it?
\ Thinking that if it’s empty, then even deceptively
\ A pillar will be non-existent,
\ You try to avoid misinterpretation of the word
\ [non-existent];
\ But this is itself a great contradiction!
\ You are not satisfied to say simply,
\ “A pillar is deceptively existent.”
\ Why must you say, “It is not empty of itself?
\ You may say, “They are the same in meaning,”
\ But it is not so; “A pillar exists” and
\ “There is a pillar in a pillar” are different statements.
\ The latter means “Something depends on something”—
\ This in fact is what you end up claiming.
\ If ultimately a pillar is not perceived,
\ Then how can a pillar not be empty of pillar?
\ In saying “Deceptively a pillar [is not empty of being a]
\ pillar,”
\ You are confused, using the same word twice.
\ If something is not empty of itself,
\ Then while it exists itself, it must be empty of
\ something else.
\ If the negandum is not something else,
\ This contradicts the claim that it is not empty of itself.
\ Generally speaking, extrinsic emptiness
\ Does not necessarily qualify as emptiness.
\ Although a cow does not exist in a horse,
\ How could one thereby establish the horse’s emptiness?
\ By seeing that horse, what harm or good
\ Will it do to the cow?
\ Therefore a non-empty nirvana and
\ An apparent samsara are unfit to be dharma and dharmata.
\ Here there is no coalescence of appearance and emptiness
\ Or equality of cyclic existence and peace.
\ “The moon in the water is not the moon in the sky”—
\ If you think the emptiness of being the moon in the sky
\ And the appearance of the moon in water
\ Are the coalescence of form and emptiness,
\ Then the realization of coalescence would be easy
\ for anyone.
\ Everyone knows a cow is not a horse;
\ They directly see the appearance of a cow.
\ How could the Mahatma have said,
\ “To realize this is amazing”?
\ 1.4.1
\ Therefore, in our own system,
\ If one examines a moon in the water, that moon
\ Is not found at all, and does not exist as such;
\ When the moon in the water manifestly appears,
\ It is negated, but appears nonetheless.
\ Emptiness and existence are contradictory
\ In the mind of an ordinary person. But here, this manifest
\ Coalescence is said to be wonderful;
\ The learned praise it with words of amazement.
\ If one examines from the side of emptiness,
\ Because nothing at all is non-empty,
\ One can say simply that everything is “non-existent.”
\ But that non-existence is not self-sufficient,
\ For it arises unobstructedly as appearance.
\ That appearance is not self-sufficient,
\ For it abides in baseless great emptiness.
\ There, distinctions such as “This is empty of that,”
\ Or “That is empty of this,”
\ Or “This is emptiness and that is appearance,”
\ Are never to be found;
\ When one develops inner confidence in this,
\ The one who searches won’t be frustrated
\ By pointless analysis,
\ But will attain peace of mind—amazing!

L1: Topic 2 [about the limited realizations of the arhats in the Hinayana: they do not realize the full extent of the emptiness of phenomena; they still reify elementary dharmas]
\ Some say that sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats
\ Do not realize phenomenal selflessness.
\ As long as the self that is the apprehension
\ Of the aggregates as the mere “I” is not eliminated,
\ By the power of that, emotional disturbances are not
\ abandoned.
\ That self is a designation made
\ With respect to the aggregates; it is the object
\ Of innate I-apprehension. That, and vases, etc.
\ Aside from being different, bases of emptiness
\ Are no different in their modes of emptiness;
\ For phenomena and persons are both
\ Empty of intrinsic establishment.
\ Thus, this is proven by scripture and reasoning.
\ To go beyond this and state that
\ “Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas do not realize emptiness”
\ Is just a claim.
\ At this point, some draw unwarranted conclusions and
\ claim that
\ The paths of vision of the three vehicles are the same
\ And that there are no distinctions of levels of realization.
\ They interpret the Prajnaparamita and mantra, all of sutra
\ and tantra,
\ As texts of provisional meaning.
\ There, when those who have already traveled lower paths
\ Achieve the the Mahayana path of vision and so forth
\ There would be such faults as not having anything
\ to abandon;
\ By reasoning, harm would befall them irrevocably.
\ Moreover, though having realized what must be realized,
\ They say that in abandoning what must be abandoned,
\ [One must] ally [one’s practice with the accumulations]—
\ [But this means] nonrealization, which contradicts the
\ claim of realization.
\ To claim that the rising sun must rely on something else
\ In order to vanquish the darkness—quite strange!
\ Some say that sravakas and pratyekabuddhas realize
\ the emptiness
\ Of the five aggregates of their own continua of experience,
\ But do not realize selflessness of other phenomena.
\ If one realizes the five aggregates to be empty,
\ Then, aside from noncomposite phenomena [like space and
\ cessation],
\ What other dharma would be left unrealized?
\ So what is our own tradition?
\ Glorious Chandrakirti’s Autocommentary
\ Says that, in order to abandon obscurations, the Buddhas
\ Teach sravakas and pratyekabuddhas personal selflessness,
\ And in order to abandon cognitive obscurations, they teach
\ Bodhisattvas how to realize phenomenal selflessness.
\ “Well then, what does it mean to say
\ That both sravakas and pratyekabuddhas
\ Have realization of emptiness?”
\ In order to abandon just the emotional afflictions
\ Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas meditate on personal
\ selflessness;
\ But “They do not meditate on the entirety
\ Of phenomenal selflessness”—thus teaches [our tradition].
\ 2.2.2
\ Klong chen rab ‘byams said of yore
\ That although earlier masters all disputed
\ Whether they did or did not [realize both forms of
\ selflessness],
\ Our own position is that whatever types of sravakas and
\ pratyekabuddhas
\ Appeared of yore and reached arhatship
\ Did not become liberated without
\ Realizing the emptiness of the self
\ That is the apprehension of the aggregates;
\ But just having that realization does not mean
\ That they realized selflessness entirely.
\ Just like the space inside a sesame seed
\ That is eaten out by a worm,
\ [Their realization] is said to be a lesser selflessness.
\ Thus, with words that refute the lesser [of possible
\ realizations],
\ It is said that “They do not realize emptiness.”
\ This is a most excellent eloquent explanation;
\ There is nothing else like it.
\ For example, if one drinks a single gulp
\ Of the water of the great ocean,
\ One cannot say that one has not drunk the ocean.
\ Because they see the selflessness of the mere “I,”
\ Which is one phenomenon among others, it is held that
\ [Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas] see emptiness.
\ Just as by drinking a single gulp one cannot say
\ That one has drunk the entire ocean’s water;
\ Because they do not realize the nature of all knowables
\ To be emptiness, it is held that they do not see selflessness
\ perfectly.
\ If one sees the emptiness of a single thing,
\ Why wouldn’t one see the emptiness of everything?
\ If, with scripture, reasoning, and pith instructions,
\ They were to examine things, of course they would see it.
\ But, for the most part, those who are destined
\ To be sravakas and pratyekabuddhas
\ Are attached to the selflessness of persons,
\ So it is hard for them to realize the latter extremes
\ [of the catuskoti],
\ Just as those who analyze a vase
\ Might assert its particles to exist substantially.
\ If the mind that realizes [selflessness]
\ After analyzing a vase also were to
\ Analyze particles, it would be reasonable to realize
\ [their emptiness];
\ But usually, they do not realize [their emptiness].
\ Though coarse bases and partless atoms appear
\ contradictory,
\ Since [sravakas and pratyekabuddhas] are mostly bereft
\ Of those scriptures, modes of reasoning, and pith
\ instructions,
\ They practice systems that do not contradict [the possibility
\ of personal liberation].
\ Likewise, followers of the Cittamatra system
\ Do not accept the existence of external objects,
\ So why wouldn’t they also accept the non-existence of
\ the subject?
\ Why wouldn’t Svatantrikas use the reasoning that establishes
\ Ultimate truthlessness to understand the conventional
\ Nonestablishment of intrinsic characteristics (rang mtshan)?
\ So, for you everyone would become a Prasangika!
\ How would it be possible for sravakas and pratyekabuddhas
\ To denigrate the Mahayana [if they were Prasangikas] ?
\ Thus, although the nature of one thing
\ Is also the nature of everything,
\ As long as the collection of external and internal causes
\ and conditions
\ Is not complete, realization will come slowly.
\ Generally speaking, those with sharp minds become realized
\ Under their own power, while dullards
\ Do not necessarily reach realization immediately.
\ At some point, realization is inevitable;
\ At the end of ten thousand aeons, it is said,
\ The arhat wakes up from the state of cessation,
\ And enters the Mahayana path.
\ To properly abide on the Mahayana path,
\ One must cultivate oneself for a countless aeon.
\ So why shouldn’t it be impossible for
\ Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, who strive for their own
\ happiness,
\ Not to realize all forms of selflessness
\ During those [ten] thousand aeons [they spend
\ in cessation]?
\ Don’t those who have attained the bhumis
\ Gradually clarify and perfect their realization?
\ With the help of the accumulations,
\ Infinite modes of reasoning, bodhicitta,
\ The conduct [that follows from it], and perfect dedication—
\ When these conditions are complete, it is certain
\ That one will achieve realization,
\ Just as complete knowledge of skillful means is a condition
\ For swift realization on the mantra path.
\ Even if one has abandoned notions of permanent self,
\ Instinctive apprehension of “I” occurs in relation to
\ the aggregates.
\ Therefore [it is said], “[As long as] there is apprehension
\ of the aggregates,
\ There is apprehension of T”—this statement [from
\ the Ratnavali]
\ Means that, as long as there is a basis of designation in
\ the aggregates
\ And a mind that apprehends them,
\ The causes for designating a self are complete,
\ And as a result, apprehension of self will not cease.
\ 2.3.2
\ Thus, even if the permanent self were abandoned,
\ Since the object, in relation to which the designated self
\ Is instinctively designated, would not be eliminated,
\ There would be nothing to oppose the occurrence of
\ self-apprehension.
\ 2.3.2
\ Thus, in abandoning emotional disturbances,
\ The assertion “One must realize the aggregates and so forth
\ to be empty”
\ Is not the meaning of the passage [in the Ratnavali].
\ That meaning was explained in this way by Chandrakirti:
\ If one recognizes the designated mere “I,”
\ That is enough to stop the apprehension of “I.”
\ Though one does not know a rope to be non-existent,
\ By seeing the lack of snake, the apprehension of snake is
\ stopped.
\ Finally, one will definitely realize both kinds of selflessness.
\ The suchness of all phenomena is unique,
\ And the way of seeing suchness is the same,
\ So Nagarjuna and his son [Chandrakirti] have expounded
\ A line of reasoning that establishes the finality of a single
\ vehicle.
\ If, as in your system, sravakas and pratyekabuddhas
\ Had already seen reality, what would that line of reasoning
\ Do to establish a single vehicle?
\ It is just an assertion.
\ Here, the primordial wisdom of coalescence
\ That sees the ultimate
\ Is precisely identical with suchness;
\ All sublime beings head toward it, and enter it.
\ Therefore, if one understands this system well,
\ The systems of Nagarjuna and Asanga are like
\ Molasses and honey combined;
\ A hungry person will easily digest them.
\ Otherwise, as with inappropriate food,
\ One feels the discomfort of cancer within.
\ Poked and jabbed with a hundred sharp lances
\ Of scripture and reasoning, one is afraid.

L1: Topic 3 [about habit pattern – modal apprehension – of rational cognition]
\ 3.1
\ When pursuing the main practice of the view,
\ Some say one should not apprehend anything.
\ The meaning of “not apprehending anything”
\ Can be understood well or wrongly.
\ The first [way of understanding]
\ Is free of the elaborations of the four extremes.
\ For the gnosis of sublime beings,
\ Nothing is seen to remain,
\ So modal apprehension automatically subsides;
\ It is like looking at the empty, luminous sky.
\ The second is the mindless system of Hashang:
\ Letting the mind rest blankly without analysis and
\ Without the clarity aspect of penetrating insight,
\ One remains ordinary, like a rock in the ocean depths.
\ For example, though both say “There is nothing at all,”
\ The Madhyamika sees there really is nothing,
\ And the other one just imagines the absence of form;
\ Likewise here, though the words are the same,
\ The meaning is different like earth and sky.
\ Therefore, if in the absence of elaboration of the four
\ extremes,
\ One does not apprehend the four extremes anywhere,
\ One is beyond the four extremes, and modal apprehension
\ subsides;
\ Because it no longer exists, we say there is no modal
\ apprehension.
\ If some idiots think “Since there is no modal apprehension,
\ From the very beginning one should relax and not grasp
\ anything”—
\ Then because all beings are quite relaxed in their ordinary
\ state,
\ Always wandering in the three worlds of samsara,
\ There is no reason to encourage or remind them!
\ Some might say, “We have recognized the nature of mind,”
\ Without really understanding it; in recognizing the ultimate,
\ One must definitely realize the absence of true existence.
\ That “Deluded appearances are one thing, and I am
\ another”
\ Is obvious and requires no meditation.
\ You might say, “When examining the color, form, origin,
\ cessation,
\ And so forth, of the mind nothing is seen;
\ That is realization of emptiness.”
\ This system of teaching is extremely profound,
\ And there are also great mistakes one can make;
\ Because mind does not have a form,
\ It is impossible for anyone to see its color, etc.
\ However, it is a very great mistake to think that merely
\ not seeing them
\ Is the same as being introduced to emptiness.
\ Though you examine your head a hundred times,
\ A ruminant’s horns cannot be found.
\ To say that not seeing something is to realize its
\ emptiness—
\ Wouldn’t that be easy for anybody?
\ Therefore, if by this rational analysis
\ One sees the nature of things precisely,
\ One will profoundly realize the essential unreality
\ Of the illusion mind, which is like an illusion.
\ Then, just like looking directly into space,
\ One will derive profound certainty in the nature of
\ one’s mind,
\ Which though moving is empty.
\ You ask, “Well then, this mind of yours—
\ Is it non-existent, like space,
\ Or does it have disparate awarenesses?”
\ Because the vibrant mind that we all possess
\ Doesn’t rest for a moment, surely everyone would say
\ There is some sort of awareness.
\ Thus, you say that mind,
\ Which is neither existent nor non-existent,
\ Is the luminous dharmakaya.
\ Although he hasn’t done much study,
\ Such a person who claims to introduce the nature of mind
\ Thinks this is a teaching such that
\ “Knowing one liberates all.”
\ .
\ The teaching of “neither existent nor non-existent”
\ in the Great Perfection
\ Is the freedom from the four extremes of elaboration.
\ If you examine this mind carefully,
\ You cannot say it exists,
\ Nor can you say it does not exist.
\ But in fact, your mind does not go beyond either
\ The extreme of both existence and non-existence
\ Nor the extreme of neither existence nor non-existence.
\ You are just thinking about the mind on the basis
\ Of “neither existence nor non-existence.”
\ Aside from a difference in name, the mind,
\ Spoken of in that way, is no different than
\ The “inconceivable self” of the apostate.
\ The mind and dharmas other than it
\ Are determined to be unreal, and on that basis
\ Appearances arise as relativity,
\ Which is beyond thought and expressions of “existence”
\ and “non-existence.”
\ This is the crucial point of freedom from elaborations of the
\ four extremes,
\ Which is without a focal point and all-pervasive.
\ [But] just saying “This is free of both existence and
\ non-existence”
\ Is to place a target in front of your mind.
\ Depending on this apprehension of self and others as real
\ entities,
\ One enters the river of samsara continuously.
\ The antidote that ends all of this
\ Is the modal apprehension of selflessness.
\ If one does not know the manner of absence,
\ To imagine non-existence does not help;
\ If you mistake a rope for a snake,
\ It doesn’t help to think “There’s no snake;”
\ But if you see how it does not exist, it disappears.
\ Thus, having realized emptiness through analysis,
\ You should not rest content with analysis.
\ Since the habit of clinging to real entities is beginningless,
\ You should meditate again and again with modal
\ apprehension.
\ By meditating on selflessness the view of self
\ Is uprooted, so it’s been called necessary
\ By many seers of truth who practiced intensely.
\ If this is the fail-safe entry way for beginners,
\ To say that modal apprehension should be abandoned
\ From the very beginning is a rumor spread by Mara.
\ When you acquire outstanding certainty in truthlessness
\ Induced by that modal apprehension,
\ The mere apprehension of non-existence
\ Is not the final nature of things,
\ So meditate on the great emptiness free of elaboration,
\ Free of conceptual ambivalence.
\ When you’ve really understood truthlessness,
\ Emptiness arises as relativity,
\ Without apprehension of either form or emptiness.
\ This is worthy of confidence just like
\ Gold refined by fire.
\ Though this extremely profound matter
\ Has been realized with long-standing effort
\ By the great scholar-yogis of India and Tibet,
\ Woe to those idiots who say it can be realized
\ In a moment—they are plagued with doubts!
\ In the main practice of absorption,
\ Actual and potential phenomena, samsara and nirvana,
\ Are beyond existence and non existence. If in the nature
\ of things
\ Existence and non-existence are nowhere established,
\ Biased apprehension is [nothing but] conceptual
\ elaboration.
\ Therefore, when analyzing rationally,
\ One does not see anything established anywhere;
\ So how can apprehension come about?
\ However, if you analyze the nature of
\ Freedom from the four extremes of elaboration,
\ certainty is gained.
\ By this the penetrating insight of self-arisen
\ Luminous wisdom becomes clear like a lamp.
\ Its opposite—the dark night of the
\ Four extremes of inferior intellects—
\ Is uprooted by this very antidote;
\ So when you meditate upon it, certainty should arise.
\ The fundamental space beyond intellect where
\ The elaborations of the four extremes are eliminated
\ instantly
\ Is difficult to see all at once
\ At the level of an ordinary person.
\ The system of study and reflection
\ Is for eliminating the elaborations of the four extremes
\ in stages.
\ To the extent that one grows accustomed to it,
\ Certainty grows ever greater;
\ One’s intellect, which causes mistaken reification to subside,
\ Improves like the waxing moon.
\ The unsound view that doesn’t apprehend anything
\ Cannot produce the confidence that
\ No real entities are established anywhere;
\ Therefore, it cannot remove obscurations.
\ Therefore, just like inferring fire by smoke,
\ The difference between these meditations
\ Is known from the dividend of abandoned defilement and
\ acquired realization.
\ The ordinary idiot’s meditation
\ Is not a cause for abandoning defilements or realization.
\ Because it is an obstacle to producing good qualities,
\ It is like pouring tea through a strainer—
\ Scriptural learning and realization slip away,
\ While emotional disturbances accumulate.
\ In particular, one has little confidence in cause and effect.
\ If one has the eyes of the authentic view,
\ Scriptural learning, experience, and realization blaze up.
\ By virtue of seeing emptiness,
\ Confidence in the infallible relativity of cause and effect
\ Will increase, and emotional disturbance will lessen.
\ With the samadhi that abides one-pointedly
\ In the state of certainty induced by analysis,
\ The ultimate meaning is seen by nonseeing.
\ One does not succumb to any particular object of seeing
\ And of course does not apprehend anything.
\ Like a mute’s taste of molasses,
\ Confidence grows in a yogi who cultivates it,
\ But it cannot be produced by analysis alone.

L1: Topic 4
\ 4.1
\ In meditating the view of the supreme vehicle,
\ Which is right—to analyze or focus the mind?
\ Some say, “Don’t analyze, but meditate transically.
\ Analysis obscures the nature of things,
\ So without analyzing, sit like a bump on a log.”
\ Some say, “Only do analysis.
\ Meditation without analysis
\ Is like going to sleep and doesn’t help,
\ So one should always analyze.”
\ To adhere exclusively to analysis or transic
\ Meditation is not appropriate.
\ Most transic meditations without analysis
\ Can become a mere calm abiding,
\ But meditating thus will not produce certainty.
\ If certainty, the unique eye of the path of liberation,
\ Is abandoned, obscurations cannot be dispelled.
\ If you do not know the nature of dharmas,
\ However much you meditate, you are still
\ Meditating on ordinary concepts. What’s the use?
\ It’s like travelling on a path with your eyes closed.
\ The habits of beginningless delusion
\ Produce clinging to mistaken notions about the nature
\ of things.
\ Without endeavoring to investigate
\ With a hundred methods of reasoning, it is difficult
\ To achieve realization.
\ Insofar as clinging to mistaken appearances
\ And seeing the authentic meaning are mutually exclusive,
\ Here, in the darkness of existence to which
\ Sentient beings are well habituated,
\ It is difficult to obtain a glimpse of reality.
\ Through the ripening of the karma of previous practice
\ And the master’s blessing,
\ By just examining the origin, abiding, and cessation of
\ the mind,
\ It is possible to determine truthlessness.
\ But this is extremely rare;
\ Not everyone can achieve realization this way.
\ In cutting through to primordial purity,
\ One needs to perfect the Prasangika view.
\ As for the aspect of non-elaboration,
\ Those two are said to be no different.
\ In order to prevent clinging to blank emptiness,
\ The Mantrayana teaches great bliss.
\ This causes an experience of
\ The expanse of non-dual bliss and emptiness,
\ Free of subject and object.
\ Appearance, clarity, and awareness
\ Are synonyms of that bliss.
\ Here the appearance aspect is the formal Buddha bodies,
\ Which protect all beings and bring them to happiness
\ As long as samsara exists;
\ It has the nature of ultimate compassion.
\ Therefore great gnosis by its very nature
\ Does not abide in either existence or peace.
\ Because it abides in the basis,
\ By practicing the path Evam of bliss and emptiness
\ In this very life, one will manifest
\ The fruitional coalescence.
\ In fact the basis, path, and result
\ Are not divided; the path of the fourth empowerment,
\ Which is the culmination of the Vajrayana,
\ Is the self-arisen gnosis of awareness and emptiness.
\ This is exclusively emphasized
\ In the path of the vajra pinnacle of luminosity,
\ Which is the final point where all vehicles converge.
\ As long as certainty has not been born,
\ One should induce it with skillful means and analysis.
\ If certainty is born, one should meditate
\ In that state without separating from that certainty.
\ The lamp-like continuity of certainty
\ Causes false conceptuality to subside.
\ One should always cultivate it.
\ If it is lost, then induce it again through analysis.
\ At first, analysis is important;
\ If you don’t start out with analysis,
\ How can you induce an excellent certainty?
\ If an excellent certainty is not born,
\ How can miserable projections cease?
\ If miserable projections do not cease,
\ How can the foul wind of karma be stopped?
\ If the foul wind of karma is not stopped,
\ How can this awful samsara be abandoned?
\ If this awful samsara is not abandoned,
\ What can be done about this dismal suffering?
\ In reality, there is no good or evil
\ In samsara and nirvana;
\ To realize the equanimity of neither good nor evil
\ Is the nature of excellent certainty.
\ With excellent certainty, nirvana is not attained
\ By abandoning samsara.
\ The mere words may seem contradictory,
\ But in fact they are not.
\ This is the most important point of the path,
\ A crucial secret instruction on the view and activity—
\ You should examine and savor its meaning!
\ Next, you should alternate analysis and trance.
\ If you analyze, certainty will be born;
\ When you don’t analyze, and cling to the ordinary,
\ Analyze again and again, inducing certainty.
\ When certainty is born, rest in that state
\ Without distraction and meditate one-pointedly.
\ Certainty and the projecting mind
\ Are mutually exclusive;
\ So by the analysis that roots out projection,
\ You should increase certainty more and more.
\ Finally, if even without analysis
\ Certainty arises naturally, rest in that very state;
\ Since it has already been established through analysis,
\ There is no need to accomplish it again.
\ If you understand that a rope is not a snake,
\ That very certainty blocks the perception of a snake.
\ To say “Still you must go on analyzing
\ The absence of a snake” is silly, isn’t it?
\ When realization of the sublime paths occurs,
\ You will not meditate with analysis;
\ What need is there to apply
\ Inferential analysis to direct realization?
\ If you think that “When you leave off analysis
\ There is no realization of the ultimate,”
\ Then for you the gnosis of Buddhas and sublime beings,
\ And the undistorted perceptions of worldly beings,
\ Would all be mistaken.
\ Because they have already been perceived,
\ They are not subject to analysis.
\ Therefore, in the context of extraordinary certainty
\ Free of elaborations of the four extremes,
\ There is no occasion for analyzing or focusing on
\ Thoughts of “this” and “that.”
\ When the analytical apprehension of characteristics
\ Binds the thinker like a silkworm in its silk,
\ The authentic nature will not be seen as it is.
\ When this extraordinary certainty
\ Dispels the darkness that obscures reality,
\ One realizes the actual fundamental luminosity
\ And the flawless vision of thatness,
\ Which is the individually cognized gnosis.
\ How could this be analytical wisdom, a form of
\ mentation?
\ The object of analytical wisdom is “this” or “that,”
\ Which is differentiated and conceptualized,
\ Whereas this gnosis of equanimity
\ Does not reify subject, object,
\ Appearance, or emptiness in any way;
\ It does not abide in the characteristics
\ Of mind or mentation.
\ Therefore, the stainless analytical wisdom
\ Of equipoise in supreme certainty
\ Induced by analysis is the cause by which
\ One attains the resultant gnosis of coalescence.
\ The ascertainment of the view
\ And the establishment of philosophical systems
\ Determined [by that view]
\ Is the stainless valid cognition of analytical wisdom
\ That differentiates and cognizes individually.
\ The gnosis of sublime equipoise
\ That has reached the nature of things
\ By the certainty induced by that valid cognition
\ Is the main practice of the Great Vehicle.
\ If you have it, in this very life
\ The result of coalescence is bestowed;
\ So it is both a “vehicle” and “great.”
\ According to the system of four tantric classes,
\ This path of the word empowerment in anuttarayogatantra
\ Is of course the ultimate gnosis,
\ But it is not designated as a separate vehicle.
\ However, in the explanation of
\ The glorious Kalacakratantra.,
\ The body of the gnosis of equanimity
\ Is emphasized, so it is held as the ultimate tantra.
\ Among the classes of anuttarayogatantra,
\ The gnosis of the path of the fourth empowerment
\ That is emphasized and explained here [in the Great
\ Perfection]
\ Is the basic intent of all tantric classes.
\ Just as gold smelted sixteen times
\ Is extremely pure, so too here
\ The analysis of other vehicles’ philosophical systems
\ Reveals their progressive purity, which culminates here.
\ Thus the way this is established
\ Through the valid cognition of stainless wisdom
\ Is found in all the interpretive commentaries and tantras
\ And in the analysis of Dharmabhadra.
\ If you think about it, it is beyond the realm of Mara,
\ And causes inalienable wisdom to mature.
\ However, to teach the main practice of the view
\ As an object of mind and mentation, such as
\ Adhering one-sidedly to appearance or emptiness,
\ Is to make the inexpressible into an object of expression;
\ So it contradicts the intention of the learned.
\ Since atiyoga is the inconceivable gnosis
\ Of form and emptiness inseparable,
\ It is simply beyond impure mind.
\ Here the view of cutting through—which ascertains
\ The emptiness aspect of primal purity—and
\ The view of the luminous all-surpassing realization—
\ Which determines the nature
\ Of spontaneously present Buddha bodies and gnosis
\ In the inner luminosity of the youthful vase body—
\ Are inseparable;
\ They are just the coalescence of
\ Primal purity and spontaneous presence.
\ Here in the Great Perfection the so-called “indestructible
\ Tilaka of gnosis” of other tantric systems
\ Is very clearly taught as a synonym for this.
\ Each of the pith instructions of the mental class of the Great
\ Perfection
\ Is found in the practice of learned and accomplished
\ masters.
\ The Mahamudra, Path and Result, Pacification,
\ Great Madhyamaka of Coalescence, and so on,
\ Are known as its synonyms;
\ Because in fact they are all the gnosis,
\ Beyond mind, they are all the same.
\ The Buddhas’ and siddhas’ intention is the same—
\ The learned affirm this univocally.
\ Some people say, “Our system of the Great Perfection
\ Is better than other systems like Mahamudra.”
\ They have no realization and
\ No understanding of the conventions of the path.
\ If they understood, they would see that this unique
\ intention
\ Cannot be divided through reasoning.
\ Likewise, all the gnoses of the fourth empowerment
\ In the anuttarayogatantras
\ Are indivisible in the Great Perfection.
\ However, the source of all of those
\ Is the gnosis of the Great Perfection, whose tantric classes
\ Are divided into “mental,” “space,” and “instructional,”
\ According to their profound, extensive, extraordinary
\ meanings.
\ There are many instructions here that are not known
\ In other systems, which use just a fragment of them,
\ So it goes without saying that this is an “extraordinary
\ teaching.”
\ There, the ultimate Great Perfection
\ Is profound, peaceful, luminous, and unfabricated—
\ The gnosis of the Buddhas.
\ But here in the context of the paths,
\ One practices the exemplary and actual coalescences,
\ Which are like a drawing of the moon,
\ The moon in water and the moon in the sky,
\ Homologous to that gnosis.
\ Each one gradually leads to the next,
\ As one cultivates the self-arisen stainless gnosis
\ According to one’s own capacity.
\ Therefore it is like meditating homologously
\ In order to reach sublime gnosis.
\ 4.3.1
\ If one directly ascertains
\ The great gnosis of the coalescence of dharmata,
\ All views that are apprehensions of mental analysis
\ Will definitely subside, and one will see non-elaboration.
\ 4.3.2
\ Therefore, without citing the context,
\ Saying one-sidedly that modal apprehension
\ Should be used or not has both faults and good points,
\ Like the waxing and waning of the moon.
\ This is established through reasoning,
\ According to scriptures of definitive meaning.

L1: Topic 5
\ 5.1
\ Which of the two truths is more important?
\ Some claim the ultimate is most important.
\ “Deceptive reality is a deluded perception,” they say,
\ Understanding it as something to be abandoned.
\ “Ultimate reality is not deluded, so that ultimate
\ Is the perfectly pure view,” they say.
\ If deceptive reality were not erroneous, were indeed true,
\ Ultimate reality could not be emptiness, so
\ They are expressed differently in this way.
\ However, no ultimate can be established
\ Over and against the deceptive;
\ The two of them are method and methodical result.
\ Without depending on an entity for examination,
\ Its nonsubstantiality cannot be established—
\ Therefore both substance and nonsubstance
\ Are the same in being mere relativity.
\ If that clinging to emptiness
\ Were to fully exclude appearance,
\ It would mess up Nagarjuna’s fine system.
\ If by cultivating the path by that seeing of emptiness,
\ One were only to realize the expanse of emptiness,
\ Then one would have to accept that the
\ Sublime equipoise on emptiness
\ Would be a cause for the destruction of substantial entities.
\ Therefore, though things are empty from the beginning,
\ Appearance and emptiness are not separate things;
\ Adhering to the statement “Only emptiness is important”
\ Is an unskilled approach to the final meaning.
\ Some people put aside the ultimate
\ And from the perspective of mere conventionality,
\ Differentiate the levels of the view in the tantric classes.
\ Viewing oneself as a deity conventionally
\ Without complementing the view with the ultimate reality
\ of emptiness
\ And thus differentiating “higher” and “lower” teachings,
\ is incorrect.
\ Without having confidence in ultimate reality,
\ Just meditating on deceptive reality as divinity
\ Is mere wishful thinking, not a view;
\ Just as some heretical awareness mantras
\ Involve visualizing oneself differently during recitation.
\ Some say deceptive reality is more important;
\ They say you must integrate the two truths,
\ But then they heap praise on deceptive reality.
\ At the time of maintaining the view of coalescence,
\ They desert coalescence and grasp a blank emptiness.
\ Thus the toddler of practice cannot keep up
\ With the mother of good explanations.
\ Therefore, here in our early translation tradition,
\ Our Dharma terminology for the basis, path, and result
\ Does not fall into extremes or bias with respect to
\ Permanence, impermanence, the two truths, and so forth;
\ We maintain only the philosophical position of
\ coalescence.
\ If deceptive and ultimate reality are separated,
\ One cannot posit the basis, path, or result on the basis of
\ either.
\ Basis, path, and result are all
\ Without the distinction of abandoning one thing
\ or accepting another.
\ For if one abandons deceptive reality,
\ There is no ultimate; there is no deceptive
\ Reality apart from the ultimate.
\ Whatever appears is pervaded by emptiness,
\ And whatever is empty is pervaded by appearance.
\ If something appears, it cannot be non-empty,
\ And that emptiness cannot be established as not appearing.
\ Since both entities and nonentities should both
\ Be taken as bases for establishing emptiness,
\ All appearances are just designations,
\ And emptiness too is just a mental designation.
\ For the certainty of rational analysis,
\ These two are method and methodical result;
\ If there is one, it is impossible not to have the other,
\ As they are inseparable.
\ Therefore appearance and emptiness
\ Can each be conceived separately,
\ But in fact they are never different.
\ Therefore, they are called “coalescent,”
\ Since the confidence of seeing the nature of things
\ Does not fall to any extreme.
\ In the perspective of the wisdom of authentic analysis
\ Appearance and emptiness are considered to be
\ A single essence with different aspects, for
\ If one exists, the other exists, and if
\ One does not exist, the other does not exist.
\ Nonetheless, for beginners
\ They appear as negation and negandum;
\ At that time they are not combined as one.
\ When the nature of emptiness
\ Arises as appearance, one attains confidence.
\ Thus, everything is primordially empty,
\ And these appearances are empty;
\ Though empty, they appear; though apparent,
\ They are seen as empty—this is the birth of certainty.
\ This is the root of the profound paths
\ Of sutra, tantra, and pith instructions.
\ This is the meaning of cutting off misconceptions
\ Through study and reflection;
\ It is the unmistaken, authentic view.
\ By realizing that crucial point more and more profoundly,
\ Clinging to the characteristics of appearances of
\ Deceptive reality will gradually be abandoned.
\ The stages of the vehicles of the various tantric classes
\ Appear in that way.
\ Intellectual wishful thinking and
\ The view of certainty that finds confidence in the
\ Divine appearance of animate and inanimate phenomena
\ Cannot possibly be the same.
\ The determination that phenomena are truthless
\ By Madhyamika reasoning is a view.
\ But when a Brahmin recites a mantra over a sick person,
\ His imagining a lack of illness is not the view.
\ By realizing the abiding nature of ultimate reality,
\ One grows confident in the divine appearance of deceptive
\ reality.
\ Otherwise, if one dwells on the manner of deceptive
\ appearance,
\ How can divinity be established?
\ Aside from this deluded appearance of subject and object,
\ There is no such thing as samsara;
\ The divisions of the path that abandons it
\ Are not only made from the perspective of ultimate reality,
\ Because ultimate reality has a unitary character.
\ With respect to the mental ability gained
\ Through seeing and cultivating all phenomena
\ Of apparent deceptive reality, the subject (of qualities),
\ With respect to ultimate reality, the action tantra,
\ Performance tantra, yoga tantra, and unexcelled yoga tantra
\ are taught.
\ Therefore, the tantric classes are not differentiated as higher
\ Or lower with respect to either of the two truths
\ individually.
\ According to one’s attainment of confidence
\ In the coalescence of the two truths,
\ The practice of [each of the tantric classes naturally] follows.
\ Therefore, if one properly practices without mistakes
\ The peerless Vajra Vehicle,
\ The path that bestows liberation in a single life,
\ Then, just like the example of water seen
\ By several different types of sentient beings,
\ With respect to pure vision
\ It will be impossible for anyone not to see
\ Actual and potential phenomena as a manifested mandala.
\ If you don’t know things that way,
\ Meditating on deities while holding
\ The nature of samsara to be impure
\ Is like spraying a vomit-filled vase with perfume.
\ Alas! That sort of meditation on the Vajra Vehicle of
\ equanimity
\ Is just like a drawing of a butter lamp.
\ The way things appear is impure,
\ But that is the system of delusion.
\ We say that authentically seeing the nature of things
\ Is the meaning of the undivided Vajrayana system.
\ Seeing the animate and inanimate universe
\ As lacking the nature of pure support and supported,
\ But meditating while imagining that they do—
\ This path evinces an obvious contradiction,
\ And is just a reflection of the Vajrayana path.
\ Coal cannot be whitened by washing;
\ Likewise, a fabricated meditation that thinks
\ “It is not, but it is”
\ Attaining some kind of result
\ Would be like the heretical sun worshippers (nyi ma pa)—
\ Who have no confidence in the emptiness of true
\ existence—
\ Abandoning emotional afflictions through meditating
\ On an emptiness devoid of appearance, etc.
\ What if the action, performance, and unexcelled tantric
\ classes
\ Did not have different levels of view?
\ If you have confidence in the view that realizes
\ The pure equality of actual and potential phenomena,
\ But fail to take advantage of the correct view,
\ Seeing yourself and the deity as superior and inferior
\ And discriminating things as pure and impure,
\ You will only harm yourself.
\ And, if you are still attached to what is accepted and aban-
\ doned in the lower tantras
\ But practice the equality of what is accepted and abandoned
\ in the unexcelled tantras,
\ Such as “union and liberation,” eating meat, drinking
\ alcohol, etc.,
\ This is known as the “reckless behavior of
\ misunderstanding”—
\ Isn’t that despicable?
\ The view is defined according to one’s certainty
\ In the vision of the nature of things;
\ According to one’s confidence acquired by the view,
\ One maintains the practice of meditation and conduct.
\ “Because the vehicles are differentiated
\ By different levels of view, they are not necessarily nine in
\ number”—
\ From the lowest of the Buddhist philosophical systems
\ Up to the ultimate vajra pinnacle of atiyoga,
\ There is a specific reason for positing
\ The enumeration of nine classes.
\ Of course there are many levels of vehicle,
\ But they are posited by necessity, as is the three-vehicle
\ system.
\ Thus, according to the relative strength
\ Of inner gnosis, the animate and inanimate
\ Worlds are seen as pure or impure.
\ Therefore, the basis of inseparable appearance and emptiness
\ Is realized as the inseparability of the two realities;
\ As you cultivate the path in that way,
\ You will see the gnosis,
\ The coalescence of the two Buddha bodies.

L1: Topic 6
\ 6.1.
\ When a single instance of water appears
\ As different substances to various sentient beings,
\ Some say there is a single object of perception
\ And that all perceptions of it are valid.
\ If water had some kind of essence,
\ Valid and invalid cognitions would be impossible [here].
\ If the various objects that appear were distinct,
\ It would not be possible for [different minds]
\ To perceive the same pillars, vases [etc.].
\ 6.2.1. 2.1.
\ Some say [that in the case of water] there is just wetness;
\ But if [different appearances] are not different aspects [of the
\ same substance,
\ But merely perceptions belonging to different perceivers],
\ Different perceptions [of the same thing] would be
\ impossible.
\ If what one [being sees as] water, pus, and so forth,
\ Is not present to other [beings],
\ What would be the basis of [those perceptions of] water,
\ pus, etc.?
\ Moreover, what would happen to the wetness basis
\ In the case of beings of the realm of infinite space?
\ If wetness were the same as water,
\ It could not appear as pus and so on;
\ If it were different from water and so on,
\ Liquidity would not be perceived anywhere.
\ It is not possible for there to be a common object
\ Of each distinct perception,
\ Because it is not possible for a suitable common substance
\ To appear in different ways.
\ If one accepts an analytically [determined] basis
\ Other than a dependently designated one,
\ One must establish its existence in reality—
\ However you look at it, it’s unreasonable.
\ If the common object were non-existent,
\ There would be no object as in Cittamatra,
\ And one would have to accept that consciousness itself
\ is the object;
\ That is unreasonable.
\ The subjective apprehension of a non-existent object
\ Would also be non-existent in fact.
\ Both subject and object are equally apparent
\ In relative truth, so considering whatever appears
\ It is not reasonable to differentiate
\ Subject and object as existent and non-existent.
\ Although an object appears, it is false.
\ Likewise apprehension of an object appears but is
\ not established.
\ The common perceptual object is a mere appearance
\ That is established as the basis of similar and dissimilar
\ perceptions,
\ Because otherwise it would be unreasonable, as in seeing
\ a dance.
\ Aside from this mere existence [of an appearance],
\ It is not possible for it to come from some other existent;
\ Without this, all appearances
\ Would be nonapparent, like space.
\ On the basis of outer and inner conditions,
\ One does not see the thing itself as it is,
\ But in the manner of seeing horses and cattle
\ In the place of wood blessed by illusion mantras.
\ Therefore the common object of perception
\ Cannot be specified as “this” or “that.”
\ So in our system appearance and emptiness
\ Are not differentiated in the basis itself,
\ Which is not established anywhere.
\ Because it is the same in everything that appears,
\ A single substance appears as various things.
\ For whomever appearance and emptiness are possible,
\ Everything is possible;
\ For whomever appearance and emptiness are impossible,
\ Nothing is possible.
\ “Well then, the distinction of valid and invalid cognitions
\ Would be invalid.”
\ Whatever appears does not appear otherwise,
\ So it is not the case that the perception of its being thus
\ Does not establish it as a cognandum.
\ For all things naturally abide in their own essences,
\ Because they are established by valid cognitions
\ That determine their sameness and difference.
\ Thus, things by their very nature are
\ That in dependence upon which valid cognitions are
\ established,
\ But they are not themselves established by valid cognition;
\ If they were, they would be reality itself.
\ An instance of water that is established
\ By the valid cognition of one’s own apprehension
\ Is not independently established under its own power.
\ It is not established by ultimate reasoning,
\ Nor is it [established] for a hungry ghost.
\ If one determines the objects of one’s own perception
\ By means of direct perception and inference,
\ One is not deceived with regard to engaging and avoiding
\ The objects of those [valid cognitions];
\ So valid cognition is not pointless.
\ Thus, when we say “a single instance of water,”
\ We refer to the visual perception of human beings.
\ In the divine context,
\ A single instance of nectar is understood as the basis
\ of perception.
\ When water is seen as pus, water, and nectar,
\ The three are not mixed together.
\ If one of those three were not valid,
\ Then it could not be established as validly cognized
\ By being cognized as a different substance, and
\ All three objects of visual perception would be non-existent.
\ If this instance of water perceived by a human being
\ Were not water, it would not be viable as water for another,
\ And “water” would be completely non-existent.
\ In such a system, a system of valid cognition
\ Would also be untenable.
\ Thus, the object of a sense faculty
\ That is undistorted by accidental conditions
\ Should be established as validly cognized,
\ As in the appearance of water and mirages.
\ Thus, in the context of hungry ghosts
\ Karmic obscurations cause clean water
\ To appear as pus, but if the fault [of such obscuration]
\ Is dispelled, it then appears as water.
\ For this reason, what is seen by human beings
\ Is posited contextually as validly cognized,
\ Because the other is distorted by perceptual fault.
\ For now water is established by a valid cognition.
\ But if one analyzes with ultimate reasoning,
\ Everything is the appearance of karmic propensity.
\ Since [for sublime beings] water appears
\ As the pure realms and kayas,
\ The human perception cannot itself
\ Be established one-sidedly as the [only] valid cognition.
\ Thus, by progressively purifying the causes of obscuration,
\ It is reasonable to posit higher forms of seeing
\ In relation to lower forms of seeing.
\ Since the final nature of things is unique,
\ The valid cognition that sees only it
\ Is likewise unique; a second type is impossible.
\ Reality is a unique truth, coalescence,
\ And valid cognition is self-arisen gnosis.
\ Since there is nothing to abandon except unawareness,
\ It is simply a case of awareness and unawareness.
\ Thus, this system of valid cognition
\ Establishes the nature of all appearances as deities.
\ This is the unique tradition of the early translations,
\ The lion’s roar of the elegant works
\ Of the omniscient Rong zom Pandita.
\ Other [systems] do not explain [this] point correctly;
\ In this respect whatever other systems say is contradictory.
\ The claim that the common object of perception
\ Is either appearance or emptiness is untenable.
\ If it were only emptiness,
\ It would be possible for any sentient being
\ To perceive space as vases,
\ And vases would disappear like space.
\ If emptiness without appearance
\ Were viable as an object of perception,
\ What would not appear?
\ Things would either be permanently existent,
\ Or become entirely non-existent, being causeless;
\ Either way, it is the same.
\ In the context of emptiness there is no appearance,
\ Because they are contradictory;
\ If there were something non-empty,
\ It would contradict the position
\ That mere emptiness is the basis of appearance.
\ “Well, didn’t you say earlier
\ That appearance and emptiness are not contradictory?”
\ Here, the object of visual perception is understood
\ In the context of conventional valid cognition,
\ For which existence and non-existence are contradictory;
\ On the basis of a single thing the two truths
\ Are noncontradictory only for gnosis.
\ If a mere appearance bereft of emptiness
\ Were not viable as the basis of appearance,
\ That appearance could appear any which way;
\ For there is no appearance that is not
\ Distinguished in one way or another.
\ [A non-empty appearance] is not established as the basis
\ of appearance,
\ It is not perceived by a valid cognition that causes one
\ to know it;
\ To say that it exists is only a claim.
\ If whatever appeared were entirely separate,
\ Nothing other than it could appear;
\ Because it would be a non-empty appearance,
\ It would be immune to an ultimate analysis.
\ Whether one understands the basis as water, pus,
\ Nectar, or whatever, there is contradiction.
\ If that water were pus,
\ How could it appear as water?
\ If it were water and not pus,
\ How would it appear otherwise as pus, etc.?
\ If you say that the object that appears to hungry ghosts
\ Is water, then you would have to accept that the pus
\ That appears is non-existent.
\ For aside from whatever appears to oneself,
\ There is no separate basis of appearance,
\ Because if there were it would be something different,
\ Like pillars and vases, having a single basis but being
\ different.
\ Therefore the coalescence of appearance and emptiness,
\ Or the absence of true existence and mere appearance,
\ [Is equivalent to] the original pure equality of all
\ phenomena
\ In the great equal taste of the coalescence
\ That is free of partiality and extremes.
\ In that way, when one determines the essence of accomplishment
\ In the Great Perfection of equality,
\ In the context of the path where one cultivates
\ [that essence],
\ In dependence upon the vision of purity,
\ Impure appearances self-liberate.
\ Hence one attains confidence in the meaning
\ Of the statement from the vajra scriptures,
\ “Dharmakaya, which is the purity of all appearances.”
\ So, in the Magical Net Tantra, it is taught that
\ The continuous appearance of the five aggregates
\ Is the “pure divine body of thatness”;
\ This is confidence in the intended meaning [of that
\ scripture].
\ Similarly, when the apprehension of pus is removed,
\ It is realized to be delusion, and by cultivating that
\ Water appears in its place.
\ A great bodhisattva [on the] pure [stages]
\ Sees countless Buddha fields in each drop of water,
\ And water itself manifests as Mamaki.
\ On the bhumi where the two obscurations are finally
\ abandoned,
\ One sees the great equal taste of coalescence.
\ As for pure vision,
\ If in order to abandon all obscurations
\ The unerring reality of things is seen
\ By it and it alone,
\ It is taken to be the final valid cognition
\ And is established for those with the eyes of reason
\ Who abide on the pinnacle of the establishment of
\ the statement
\ “Everything abides originally in the purity of dharmakaya.”
\ Moreover, this vehicle has thousands
\ Of wonderful rays of light.
\ The low-minded, like spirit birds,
\ Are as if blind to it.
\ Although it cannot be incontrovertibly proven
\ That the final space of equality
\ Only appears as divinity,
\ To the extent that the expanse of original natural purity
\ And its apparent aspect, the wisdom body,
\ Are inseparable, the apparent aspect is
\ Originally pure divinity,
\ And cannot be harmed by ultimate reasoning,
\ For the expanse of coalescent form and emptiness,
\ Which is free of the two obscurations,
\ Is the final suchness of things.
\ Aside from this, whatever else one analyzes
\ Is not the final meaning;
\ For if the two obscurations are not completely abandoned,
\ Abiding and apparent natures are always discordant.
\ Contextual appearances in the practice of the path
\ Are like healing a cataract;
\ By purifying defilements of the subject,
\ The object is likewise seen in its purity,
\ Because for a pure subject
\ There are no impure objects.
\ Thus, when an ordinary person becomes a Buddha,
\ [There is no impurity], but impurity still appears to others,
\ Because they obscure themselves with their own
\ obscurations.
\ Thus, although object and subject
\ Are originally pure,
\ They are obscured by adventitious defilements,
\ So one should strive to purify them.
\ Because there is nothing impure with respect to
\ The purity of one’s own nature,
\ There is the equality of natural luminosity.
\ Not realizing it, one apprehends
\ Various appearances individually.
\ A childish person whose mind is attached
\ Is an ignorant child whose ignorance enslaves him;
\ But everyone who realizes this will seize
\ The citadel of fruition in the state of equality,
\ And become victorious in self-arisen gnosis
\ In the fundamental expanse of the three times and
\ of timelessness.
\ This system, which accepts the principle
\ Of great pure equality, is well established.
\ Because appearance and emptiness are not established,
\ Whatever can appear appears anywhere and everywhere.
\ However else you look at it,
\ Nothing can appear anywhere.
\ The way to gain confidence in this system
\ Is the path of emptiness and dependent origination.
\ If one gains certainty in appearance and emptiness,
\ In the self-arisen changeless mandala,
\ Profound tolerance will be born within oneself
\ For the inconceivable dharmata
\ And for the emptying and non-emptying [of the limits of
\ existence].
\ In the width of an atom
\ One sees as many Buddha fields as are atoms,
\ And in a single instant an aeon appears.
\ With certainty in the absence of true existence
\ Which is like an illusion,
\ One can enter the range of Buddhahood.
\ One may have disciplined oneself and thought for a
\ hundred years
\ About the meaning of the words of different philosophical
\ systems, such as
\ The undifferentiability of one’s own appearances [and
\ their basis],
\ The absence of partiality and extremes,
\ The inconceivability of the fundamental expanse,
\ The dharmata that is not established anywhere,
\ The coalescence of form and emptiness, etc.,
\ Yet if one lacks the cause of prior familiarity,
\ Then, even if one’s intellect and training are not
\ inconsiderable,
\ One will not get it.
\ Thus the hundred rivers of elegant explanations
\ In which flow the quintessences
\ Of all philosophical systems
\ Pour into this great ocean, which is amazing.
\ Other modes of appearance
\ That appear in the process of transformation are indefinite;
\ The consummate gnosis of coalescence
\ Sees the infallible meaning and is changeless.

L1: Topic 7
\ 7.1
\ When analyzing whether or not there is a position
\ In the Great Madhyamaka of non-elaboration,
\ Earlier scholars univocally stated
\ That our own Madhyamika system has no position,
\ Because existence, non-existence, being, and nonbeing
\ Do not exist anywhere.
\ In our texts, all the philosophical explanations
\ Of path and result and relativity
\ Are accepted as our own position, so
\ To say that all conventions are only set forth
\ From other people’s perspective
\ Is to contradict both the words and the meaning.
\ According to Klong chen rab ‘byams,
\ Earlier scholars veered to the extremes of
\ Asserting that Madhyamaka has or does not have a position;
\ Each of those positions has defects and qualities.
\ Thus, when approaching the nature of reality,
\ Nothing is established in the original state;
\ What then is there to accept as a position?
\ Therefore, because a philosophical system
\ Is a position about the nature of things, at the time of
\ debate, etc.,
\ No position is taken, in accordance with the original state.
\ In meditative aftermath, the systems of path and result—
\ Whatever and however they are posited—
\ Are expounded according to their respective positions,
\ Without confusing them.
\ Klong chen pa said, “From now on, if someone knows
\ how to
\ Expound this, it is because of my elegant explanation.”
\ In that respect, some Tibetan scholars
\ Established and overestablished the fact that
\ Their own systems had a position.
\ But if one does not differentiate the context,
\ Because the meaning of the original state
\ Is not established anywhere, it is difficult
\ To assert one-sidedly that one has a position.
\ If you say “Madhyamaka is our system,”
\ It should refer to the way that the Madhyamika system
\ Approaches the ultimate meaning.
\ Anything else is not our own system,
\ Because when other systems are approached
\ By a Madhyamika, they cannot be established.
\ Thus, if the Madhyamika accepts [deceptive reality],
\ Then he accepts it as established by its own power,
\ Because it is established by the force of reasoning.
\ That position would be established ultimately
\ And thus be immune to analysis.
\ If our own system had no position,
\ This would contradict the statement,
\ “We do have a position
\ [That accords with worldly renown].”
\ We would have two positions according to
\ Whether or not there is analysis.
\ If both of them were definitely true,
\ Would “our system” be each of them separately,
\ Or would it be both of them together?
\ If it were each of them separately, then
\ Each would contradict the other.
\ If we do not accept “existence”
\ But do accept “non-existence,”
\ The position of “existence” would not
\ Even be conventionally acceptable,
\ Because of only accepting non-existence.
\ If we accepted both of them together,
\ Having removed that which is susceptible to analysis,
\ We would posit something not harmed by reasoning.
\ Thus, both existence and non-existence
\ Would be immune to analysis.
\ Accordingly, both existence and non-existence
\ Cannot be mixed together;
\ For if they were, then even though one
\ Could realize [coalescence] through analysis,
\ When not analyzing, existence would be engaged.
\ So what good would analysis do
\ For eliminating clinging to deceptive realities?
\ For deceptive reality to be established
\ Through analysis is irrational.
\ If there were no reality beyond the mere
\ Exclusion of a negandum, an absolute negation,
\ That modal apprehension could not have
\ An apparent aspect; so why would this be any different
\ Than the position of someone who thinks
\ That view, meditation, and action are simply non-existent?
\ For there would never be any need to meditate
\ In accordance with the nature of things.
\ Therefore, according to the statement
\ of the Omniscient One,
\ Our system should be understood as follows:
\ If ours is to be a definitive Madhyamika system,
\ It must be the Great Madhyamaka of coalescence,
\ Or the nonelaborated Madhyamaka.
\ Because, by defining it according to
\ The gnosis of sublime equipoise,
\ All extremes of existence, non-existence, and so forth,
\ Are completely pacified.
\ That path that objectifies emptiness alone
\ Succumbs to each of the two realities one-sidedly;
\ That trifling point of view
\ Is neither coalescent nor unelaborated.
\ Coalescence means the equality of
\ Existence and non-existence, or of form and emptiness;
\ Whereas that view is just the subjective aspect
\ Of the expanse of ultimate emptiness.
\ Among all types of reification, such as
\ The elaborations of existence and non-existence,
\ This is nothing but an elaboration of non-existence,
\ Because it reifies [emptiness].
\ Therefore, from the perspective of Great Madhyamaka
\ There is no position whatsoever.
\ In order to realize the equality of appearance and emptiness,
\ It is free of all proof and negation such as
\ Reality, unreality, existence, and non-existence.
\ According to the sense of [ultimate] reality, all things
\ Cannot be asserted through rational proof;
\ Therefore, there is nothing to have a position about.
\ Thus, although the ultimate meaning of reality
\ Has no position, in the way things appear
\ There is a position on the conventions of each of the
\ two realities;
\ With respect to how the two realities abide inseparably,
\ They are both simply ways of appearing.
\ With respect to the gnosis that
\ Sees that they are inseparable, both valid cognitions
\ Are fragmentary, because with only one of them
\ Both realities cannot be apprehended.
\ Therefore, if the wisdom of ultimate and
\ Conventional valid cognition
\ Both engage a vase, etc.,
\ Two essences are found.
\ But when one is engaged, the other is not, for
\ In the mind of an ordinary person the two realities
\ Can only appear in succession.
\ Thus, the positions based on each type of engagement
\ Are established in fact.
\ “Well, don’t the faults of having or not having a position,
\ And the internal contradiction of the two realities
\ That you have ascribed to others above
\ Apply just as well to you?”
\ By making subtle distinctions,
\ I have differentiated the path Madhyamaka and
\ The equipoise Madhyamaka that is the main practice.
\ Since my explanation distinguishes great and little
\ Madhyamakas
\ With respect to coarseness and subtlety,
\ Cause and effect, consciousness and gnosis,
\ How can that defect apply to me?
\ Thus, the Great Madhyamaka
\ With no position is our ultimate system.
\ In the context of meditative aftermath,
\ When the two realities appear separately,
\ All the proofs and negations engaged by
\ The validating cognitions of each of the two realities
\ Are for negating various misconceptions;
\ But in the original state, there is
\ No position of refutation or proof.
\ Therefore, in the original state
\ The two realities are not divided,
\ Because neither of their positions
\ Is established in truth.
\ If [a position] is posited [conventionally about either] of
\ the two [truths],
\ It is only with respect to the way things appear.
\ For the time being, each is established as true
\ In its own context, so there is no contradiction,
\ And the fault of immunity to analysis, etc. does not apply.
\ Real entities are not immune to analysis;
\ Nor are unreal entities immune to analysis.
\ In the final analysis, they are the same;
\ They are just designated contextually.
\ Something that exists by consent, without investigation,
\ Is a mode of appearance, not the way things are;
\ Whatever is seen by the rational knowledge
\ That analyzes truthlessness is considered
\ As the way things really are.
\ This is an ultimate reality in relation to
\ Deceptive reality, but in the final analysis
\ It is just a conceptual ultimate.
\ If the way things appear and the way things are
\ Are mutually exclusive,
\ The four faults of the two realities being different are
\ incurred.
\ If the two realities are mutually inclusive,
\ The four faults of the two realities being identical are
\ incurred.
\ In this way, Buddhas and sentient beings
\ Are just the way things are and the way things appear;
\ The claim that they are cause and effect
\ Should be known as the Hinayana system.
\ Because the way things are and the way they appear
\ Are not posited as either the same or different,
\ There is absolutely no logical fault, such as
\ Sentient beings appearing as Buddhas,
\ The path and practice being pointless,
\ The cause residing in the effect.
\ However things may be in reality,
\ They are obscured by obscurations,
\ And do not appear as such.
\ Everyone accepts the need to practice the path.
\ Because the two truths are not contradictory,
\ Though the two views of “existence” and “non-existence”
\ Are posited, how could they be contradictory?
\ Because they are not mutually inclusive,
\ The two positions are formulated.
\ For this reason, as long as the two realities
\ Are engaged by minds for which
\ They appear separately,
\ Both realities are quite equivalent in force,
\ And there is no one-sided position about either of them.
\ The determination of the emptiness of truth as
\ “non-existence”
\ And the determination of appearance as “existence”
\ Are the objects found or seen alternately by each
\ Of the two valid cognitions at the time of their engagement,
\ And are said to be the two truths.
\ Because those two are neither the same nor different,
\ It is not possible to one-sidedly discard one
\ And accept the other.
\ The wisdom that analyzes these two
\ Differentiates their respective positions.
\ For example, when the dharmakaya is finally attained,
\ All minds and mental events without exception
\ Cease, conventionally speaking;
\ But ultimately there is no cessation.
\ In all the texts of all sutras and treatises,
\ Among the various kinds of proof and negation
\ Some posit ultimate reality,
\ And some are stated with respect to deceptive reality.
\ With respect to ultimate reality alone,
\ The path, Buddhas, sentient beings, and so forth,
\ Are rightly said to be “non-existent.”
\ It is not the case, however, that
\ Without relying on conventions, they are simply
\ non-existent.
\ Though they do not exist, all appearances of samsara and
\ nirvana
\ Appear, and are established through direct perception.
\ Therefore, with respect to conventional valid cognition,
\ The path, Buddhas, sentient beings, and so forth,
\ Are rightly said to be “existent.”
\ But this doesn’t mean that they are really existent
\ Without reference to ultimate reality.
\ They exist, but are not established as such,
\ Because they can be determined by
\ An analytical cognition of ultimate reality.
\ Thus, those two can never exist
\ One without the other.
\ “When both are true with equal force,
\ Will existent things be non-empty?”
\ Both are not established by their intrinsic nature,
\ Nor are they, as objects, really different;
\ Whatever appears is empty, so what can be non-empty?
\ Both are equally apparent,
\ So they are established as empty;
\ If they were not apparent, how would emptiness be known?
\ Thus, both appear together as cause and effect,
\ Without contradiction.
\ If one is certain that one exists, the other does too:
\ They are always inseparable.
\ There is no case where one does not
\ Encompass the other; therefore,
\ Whichever one investigates, it is correct.
\ By knowing appearance as emptiness,
\ One realizes appearance as realitylessness;
\ And by knowing emptiness as appearance,
\ One will not conceive emptiness as real.
\ Therefore, when they are seen as inseparable,
\ One will not revert to seeing them as real.
\ The abiding character of whatever appears
\ Is emptiness, so they are inseparable.
\ If one rejects appearance,
\ Emptiness cannot be established independently.
\ Therefore, one cultivates the wisdom
\ Of meditating on the two realities alternately.
\ In the context of this samsara of dualistic perception,
\ Gnosis does not appear,
\ So the two stainless analytical wisdoms
\ Should be upheld without ambivalence.
\ When one of these is incomplete,
\ The coalescence of gnosis
\ That arises from them will definitely not arise,
\ Just as fire will not occur without
\ Two pieces of wood rubbed together.
\ Therefore, a path where method and emptiness
\ Are separated is inauthentic
\ According to all the Buddhas and vidyadharas.
\ Therefore, if one abandons these two causes,
\ There is no other way for the great gnosis to arise.
\ The essence of gnosis
\ Is beyond thought and expression.
\ Therefore, aside from symbolic means and mere words,
\ It cannot actually be indicated.
\ Thus, the teaching of the word empowerment in the
\ Mantrayana,
\ In the tantras of the vajra essence, and so forth,
\ It is taught by words and methods.
\ The supramundane gnosis
\ Cannot be understood without relying on
\ Some kind of verbal expression,
\ So the path of the Madhyamaka of the two realities is taught.
\ The result of analyzing in the manner of two realities
\ Can be established as coalescence itself.
\ Therefore, when the two realities are ascertained,
\ Appearance and emptiness are taught alternately
\ As negation and negandum.
\ Their result, the gnosis of coalescence,
\ Is taught by many synonyms in tantra.
\ Thus, all Madhyamika systems
\ Are established by way of the two realities;
\ Without relying on the two realities,
\ Coalescence will not be understood.
\ Whatever the Buddhas have taught
\ Has relied entirely on the two realities;
\ Therefore, the Madhyamaka that contains
\ The positions of each of the two truths
\ Is the little Madhyamaka of alternation,
\ Which gives the result’s name to the cause.
\ The emptiness of the analyzed five aggregates
\ Is the mere absolute negation exclusive of the negandum;
\ In that respect there is the position of “non-existence.”
\ Whatever the causal or path Madhyamaka
\ Posits as the two truths,
\ Both are our own system.
\ It makes no sense to posit the ultimate as our system,
\ And say that conventional reality
\ Is only from other people’s perspective.
\ If that were so, then our own system of the ultimate
\ Would be a blank nothingness,
\ And we would wind up totally denigrating
\ All appearances of the basis, path, and result
\ As “delusions to be abandoned.”
\ Then a mere expanse of emptiness without obscuration
\ Would be left over, while the two types of omniscience
\ Would be negated. This would be similar to the sravaka
\ path,
\ Which asserts a remainderless nirvana,
\ Just like the blowing out of a candle.
\ Thus, the Buddha said that these
\ Spaced-out people who denigrate
\ The expanse of coalescence as mere nothingness
\ Are thieves who destroy the Sakya Dharma.
\ With reasoning, one can see how
\ That system denigrates the existent as non-existent,
\ And one is able to destroy the mountain of bad views
\ With the vajra-fire of certainty.
\ Thus, in all Madhyamika texts,
\ Without establishing the causal Madhyamaka
\ Of analytical wisdom through rational analysis,
\ The fruitional coalescence is not established.
\ Therefore, even if one has rationally determined
\ The character of the two realities,
\ The fruition is the establishment of the inseparability
\ Of the two realities. This is the quintessence of all vehicles.
\ Therefore, gnosis
\ Does not abide alternately in the two extremes,
\ And is beyond intellect;
\ Thus it is Madhyamaka, and also great.
\ As long as one has not reached gnosis
\ By means of alternation, this is not
\ The ultimate Madhyamaka that is
\ The heart of all Buddhas’ realization (dgongs pa).
\ Like fire stirred up by a fire-stick,
\ The fire of coalescent gnosis induced
\ By the stainless analytical wisdom of the two realities
\ Pacifies all elaborations of the four extremes
\ Such as existence, non-existence, both, and neither.
\ This is the gnosis of sublime equipoise,
\ And is considered the fruitional Madhyamaka of
\ coalescence.
\ Not falling into the extremes of the two realities—
\ For the analytical wisdom of meditative aftermath
\ This may be considered the “coalescence of
\ Appearance and emptiness,”
\ But for the great gnosis of equipoise,
\ Appearance, emptiness, and coalescence
\ Are not reified as having some essence.
\ Appearance is the object of conventional valid cognition,
\ Emptiness is the object of ultimate analysis,
\ And coalescence combines these two components.
\ Since these are objects of words and concepts,
\ The equipoise that transcends them
\ Is merely designated as “gnosis known for oneself.”
\ [In the context of sublime equipoise,]
\ “Apparent,” “nonapparent,” and so forth,
\ Are not established by authentic reasoning.
\ Thus, as long as one meditates on the two realities
\ Alternately, this is analytical wisdom,
\ And when there is no such alternation,
\ One attains the coalescent gnosis.
\ Then one transcends the bare emptiness
\ That is the absolute negation that
\ Is the analytical exclusion of the aggregates.
\ Negation and negandum no longer appear separately.
\ The great nonelaborated emptiness that
\ Is consummately endowed with the aspect
\ Of appearance as method,
\ Mahamudra of coemergence, and so forth,
\ Have many synonyms.
\ Because these are all the gnosis that transcends mind,
\ They are inconceivable by any other concepts.
\ Because this gnosis is not the object of words and concepts,
\ It is not differentiated by
\ Implicative and absolute negations,
\ Nor as different, nondifferent, apparent, or empty, etc.
\ Because it does not fall into any extreme or partiality,
\ It is beyond having and not having a position,
\ And appears as the nonabiding self-arisen gnosis of
\ The coalescent Evam.
\ Thus, the ultimate meaning, free of reification and negation,
\ That is beyond all positions,
\ The state of awareness and the expanse inseparable,
\ Is held to be without any expression or indication of “this”
\ or “that.”
\ However, unlike the “thoughtless agent,”
\ It is not something that cannot be known by anyone,
\ Because the Dharma lamp of certainty
\ Is the consummate gnosis attained subsequent
\ To the individually cognized gnosis induced
\ By the analysis of stainless reasoning,
\ What appears directly to those [yogis] who
\ Are free of the darkness of doubt.
\ In the sutra path, both method and wisdom
\ Are considered in light of each other,
\ But here both method and wisdom
\ Are realized and cultivated inseparably.
\ Both the Great Madhyamaka of coalescence and
\ The Great Perfection of luminosity
\ Have the same meaning, and their names are synonymous.
\ There is no view higher than that,
\ For anything other than the absence of the elaborations
\ Of the four extremes—which is the nonapprehension
\ Of appearance and emptiness alternately—
\ Is nothing but some sort of elaboration.
\ However, the meaning of coalescence in the sutra system
\ Is ascertained through analysis;
\ In mantra, it is established through directly experiencing
\ The expanse of intrinsic awareness.
\ Therefore, “Madhyamaka” refers to the
\ Path Madhyamaka of analytical wisdom that
\ Investigates each of the two realities,
\ And the single savor of the two realities induced by it,
\ Which is the Result Madhyamaka of coalescence.
\ With respect to the causal and resultant views of sutra
\ and mantra,
\ The former is the aspect of analytical wisdom,
\ And the latter is just gnosis.
\ Therefore, this latter is praised
\ With the word “great.”
\ As for the “the way things are”:
\ There is the way things are as the emptiness of entities,
\ And the way things are as the inseparability of the two truths.
\ The term is the same in both cases, but in fact
\ The difference is like the earth and sky.
\ Accordingly, the terms “nature of things,” “expanse
\ of reality,”
\ “Emptiness,” “non-elaboration,” “limit of cessation,”
\ “Ultimate,” and so forth, function similarly in different
\ contexts,
\ But their difference—in terms of final or partial significance—
\ Is great, so one must explain them in context,
\ Like the word sendhapa.

L1: Conclusion
\ Thus, when the seven profound questions
\ Were explained with profound, vast, meaningful words,
\ The questioner said, with great respect:
\ “Alas! Like a frog at the bottom of a well,
\ Having not seen the depths
\ Of the Dharma ocean of other textual traditions,
\ And having tasted only the flavor of the well
\ Of our own arrogant view, our pride is crushed
\ By these words of yours!
\ In the great ocean of sublime spirituality,
\ The ecstatic dance of Manjusri,
\ Known as “Rong zom” and “Klong chen pa,”
\ Is an ocean of the sublime enlightened mind,
\ Which possesses many and sundry bejeweled Dharma
\ treasures.
\ Those who abandon them and hanker after
\ The trinkets of other systems are surely deceived!
\ Those who have the discerning intellect
\ Born of the analysis of the excellent Dharma (chos bzang)
\ Are never obstructed by demons.
\ As this great lion’s roar of the path of reasoning
\ Is proclaimed, will they not find confidence in
\ This outstanding tradition of the Lake-born’s teaching?
\ Please grant us the opportunity to firmly grasp
\ The handle of wisdom’s sword, which cannot be stolen away
\ By the refutations of arrogant extremism!
\ The profound meaning that is found in the
\ Nectar ocean of Dharma learning
\ Is like a jewel that should be taken, wherever it
\ happens to be;
\ One should not just follow the external behavior of
\ another person.
\ It’s not enough to receive a lot of teachings and talk
\ about them,
\ For though one seems talented and well trained, one’s
\ analysis
\ cannot get this profound point, like a buried treasure.
\ But whoever does get it should be known as a spiritual
\ genius.
\ As if it were a jewel-encrusted vessel
\ For a hundred thousand spiritual treasures,
\ My mind realized that it was time
\ To accept the beneficence of instructions
\ Accomplished in the great ocean of profundity and vastness,
\ And I joyfully drank the ocean of the glorious
\ King of Nagas.
\ Having definitely realized the vast extent of the
\ analytical mind
\ By the river of eloquent explanations that descend from him,
\ One should realize that the source of these explanations
\ Is the oral tradition of the vidyadhara lineage,
\ Which is like the Lord of Nagas himself.
\ Please brighten the lamp of the amazing Dharma,
\ Which causes the mind to acquire great strength
\ By receiving the springtime nectar that benefits the heart,
\ The quintessence that is imbibed
\ All at once from the limits of space!”
\ When he had shown his respect with these words,
\ The sage advised him again,
\ Condensing the meaning of what he said before,
\ Which converts a shallow mind to a deep one:
\ “The lion’s milk of the supreme Dharma
\ Is only contained by the vessel of a sound mind.
\ Though others may try, it won’t stay in place.
\ A vessel that can hold it is like this:
\ A is the door of unborn dharmas;
\ Ra is the door free of particles;
\ Pa is the door of the appearance of the ultimate;
\ Tsa is the absence of death, transmigration, and birth;
\ Na is the absence of names;
\ Dhih is the door to profound intelligence.
\ If one focuses on all of these six doors
\ In the manner of the two truths
\ And accomplishes the samadhi of illusion,
\ With one gulp, one will be able to stomach
\ The water of the great infinite ocean of phenomena,
\ And in the stainless gem of one’s heart,
\ The dharani of spiritual brilliance will blaze with glory.
\ By the path of certainty that eliminates
\ The elaborations of four extremes,
\ May we abide in the expanse of fundamental luminosity
\ Beyond mind that reaches the original state,
\ The state of the Great Perfection Manjusri.
\ Having seen the real meaning of remaining in the
\ equanimity of
\ The vast expanse of the regal view without extremes,
\ All the darkness of the crude mind of the four extremes
\ Will naturally disappear as the sun of luminosity rises.”
\ Thus, the questions asked by that wanderer
\ Were explained in the number corresponding to
\ The [seven] accoutrements of royalty.
\ Thus, a feeble-minded intellectual like myself
\ Has received this extremely profound and abstruse meaning
\ From the heart of sublime great-minded beings
\ And presented it here.
\ This elegant explanation like a shower of Dharma
\ Is the path trodden by millions of bodhisattvas;
\ By listening joyfully, hoping to attain the great goal,
\ And by inquiring, the joyous opportunity for blessing has
\ appeared.
\ Therefore, I have considered these profound
\ And vast subjects again and again,
\ And just as they arose in the face of the mind’s mirror,
\ The Dhih-named one arranged them playfully.
\ The profound way of the Buddhadharma, like the limit
\ of space,
\ Cannot be put into words entirely,
\ But if you rely on this Beacon of Certainty,
\ You can discover the amazing path of the supreme vehicle.
\ Mangalam


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