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MIPHAM'S BEACON OF CERTAINTY

(Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection)

& A commentary by Khro shul 'Jam rdor

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(Note: 'L#:' indicates the level of this sub-section title;



These could be useful to regenerate the structure of the text if required.)

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[TABLE OF CONTENTS]



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Introduction

Chapter 9. Stainless Light: A Commentary on the Beacon of Certainty

9.0. Introduction [The need to induce certainty by the two types of valid cognition – investigating the real nature of the Two Truths]

9.1. Topic 1 [The problem of negation: Emptiness is also empty; it is not the real non-dual nature beyond all conceptualization]

9.2. 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, and are stuck hiding in cessation]

9.3. Topic 3 [Sudden vs. Gradual vs. dropping all: Should meditation involve conceptualization, modal apprehension, such as apprehending emptiness?]

9.4. Topic 4 [The Union of Shamatha vs Vipashyana – we need both depending on the situation]

9.5. Topic 5 [Basing the Tantric practices on adapted skillful means and views, based on a gradually induced certainty of the inseparability of conventional & Ultimate Truths]

9.6. Topic 6 [Using the mantrayana technique called “pure vision / deity yoga” in order to realize this coalescence beyond conceptualization]

9.7. Topic 7 [No absolute, only adapted skillful means – no absolute position, but a conventional position about a view (the inseparability of the Two Truths), a path and the result // the Great Perfection’s meditation]

9.8. Conclusion

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[THEMES:]

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[Investigating the Two Truths is the basis of all authentic paths]



Introduction [The need to induce certainty by the two types of valid cognition – investigating the real nature of the Two Truths]

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[Clarifying the authentic meaning of emptiness, and of the final view]



-- Topic 1 [The problem of negation: Emptiness is also empty; it is not the real non-dual nature beyond all conceptualization]

-- Topic 2 [About the limited realizations of the Hinayana’s arhat: they do not realize the full extent of the emptiness of phenomena; they still reify elementary dharmas, and are stuck hiding in cessation]

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[The role of the Two Truths teachings in Madhyamika meditation]



-- Topic 3 [Sudden vs. gradual vs. dropping all: should meditation involve conceptualization, like a modal apprehension of emptiness, or should we drop all conceptualization following Hashang’s path]

-- Topic 4 [The Union of Shamatha vs. Vipashyana – we need both depending on the situation; ]

-- Topic 5 [Basing the Tantric practices on adapted skillful means and views, based on a gradually induced certainty of the inseparability of conventional & Ultimate Truths]

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[The role of the Two Truths teachings in symbolic Tantrayana]



-- Topic 6 [The importance of investigating the basis of perception in order to induce this certainty – inseparability of appearances and emptiness]

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[Transcending the Two Truths with the Great Perfection]



-- Topic 7 [Whether or not Madhyamikas have a thesis – No absolute, only adapted skillful means; The Middle Way: not accepting, not rejecting. We need to use the Two Truths together until we can transcend the duality.]

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Conclusion



The six-syllable mantra [résumé of the 7 answers]

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[ORIGINAL SUBDIVISION OF THE TIBETAN TEXT]

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0.1 The introduction to the composition of the treatise, which is virtuous at the beginning; [Introduction]



0.2 the consummate main body of the treatise that has the enumeration of royal accouterments, which is virtuous in the middle;

0.2.1 a general explanation of the view of emptiness;

0.2.1.1 The actual explanation [topic 1]

0.2.1.2 an incidental analysis of whether sravakas and pratyekabuddhas have realization of the view of emptiness. [topic 2]

0.2.2 a specific discussion of the three views. [Madhyamaka-Sutra, Tantrayana, Great Perfection ?]

0.2.2.1 explanation of the view of intrinsic awareness, which realizes the equal taste of the coalescence of the two truths;

[0.2.2.1.1] The actual explanation;

[0.2.2.1.1.1] 3. Whether the maintenance of the actual practice of the view involves apprehension or not; [topics 3]

[0.2.2.1.1.2] 4. whether analysis or equipoise is correct; [topics 4a]

[0.2.2.1.1.3] 4.3. combining those two into a common meaning. [topics 4b]

[0.2.2.1.2] analyzing which of the two truths is most important by positing the differences of the views of the various vehicles [topic 5].

[0.2.2.2.] explanation of the view of the dharma-possessor (dharmin) through the stages of the manner of pure divine self-appearance; [topic 6]

[0.2.2.3.] explanation of the view of dharmata, which recognizes its nature as equality. [topic 7]

0.3 an excellent auspice of fulfillment, the conclusion that is virtuous in the end. [Conclusion & Colophon]

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L1: [Introduction]



L3: [A commentary on the book from the Internet]

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Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection by Mipham-Rgya-Mtsho Nes Ses Rin Po Chei Sgron Me edited and translated with commentary by John W. Pettit (Wisdom Publications)



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This study and translation of one of the more advanced texts on Madhyamika in the Nyingma school is a welcome relief amid the overabundance of geluk-oriented material on the subject. Written by arguably the most influential philosopher and master practitioner of the last 200 years of Nyingma history, the translated text alone makes this a valuable book. Add to that the highly readable analysis and background information, as well as the translation of another, shorter text by Mipham Rinpoche written from a contrasting point of view and you have a very well-rounded read certain to leave you with some enlightening and decidedly Nyingma perspectives. Lama Mipham was one of the most extraordinary thinkers and meditators of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In his Beacon of Certainty he illuminates some essential points of Madhyamika philosophy according to the view of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). In the grand spirit of Buddhist debate, 19th century Buddhist philosopher Mipham wrote Beacon of Certainty, a compelling systematic defense of Dzogchen that employs the very logic it was criticized as lacking. Dzogchen--the oft-misunderstood Tibetan meditation practice--is dissected in great detail here, revealing the buried rational origins and interpretation of this spiritual practice.

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John Pettit's translation and in-depth presentation is a major contribution to the field of combining Madhyamika and Dzogchen studies, which that remains largely unexplored.



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L4: [Authors words]

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Large, comprehensive, and all-too-human". I am very grateful to the many reviewers who have had kind things to say about my book, Mipham's Beacon of Certainty. But I would like to put a human, and hopefully honest, spin on this material.



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First of all, the book evolved -- and only a little bit -- from a doctoral dissertation. I spent about five years of intermittent, and often emotionally difficult, periods of research and writing under the guidance of Robert A. F. Thurman, my dissertation advisor at Columbia University. I worked mostly in upstate New York in various idyllic places -- Annandale-on-Hudson, Germantown, Tivoli, Pine Plains -- before moving to Rye, and then to a small room in Manhattan, where most of the final editing and translating was completed. I mostly worked alone, and was not able (or maybe just not willing) to consult very much with Tibetan scholars. While many of my friends did meditation retreats, or found good jobs, or made babies, I stayed home, behind a computer screen. It was lonely and sometimes deeply depressing -- a "dark night of the soul".

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I mention all of this because I find it somewhat amusing how different my own writing process has been compared to that of my subject, Mipham Rinpoche. Most of what Mipham wrote was done with minimal editing. He quoted scriptures extensively from memory. He wrote because he saw it would be of benefit to others, or because tutelary deities appeared to him in visions, or because his own teacher told him to do so. He wrote because it came naturally to him, and because he had the confidence of being free of any ulterior motives for his personal benefit.



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I wrote this book because I had to. I had to write it because without finishing it, I would never have finished my graduate degree, and I would have fulfilled my own advisor's prophecy (delivered to a few of our mutual acquaintances) that I would probably not finish. I had to write it the way I did because my advisor, Professor Thurman, saw I was capable of more than I was willing to give, so he pushed me and pushed me, and I though I resented it deeply at the time, now I am grateful because he never let me get away with anything shoddy. I wrote it in a piecemeal fashion, sometimes with no idea where I was going.

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In fact, I never thought I knew where the book was heading until it was almost done; and even now, I don't really think it has arrived. It is still a work in progress, but rather than let it hang over my head for the rest of my life, I thought it might be better just to publish and be done with it. The result -- if it has any value -- will help other scholars and meditators find a sense of direction. Like Wittgenstein's ladder, they should leave it behind once they get to the next stage of their learning. This is no gospel or authority. In a very roundabout way, it is a call for seekers to find their own authoritative voice within.



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I also wrote about Mipham because I thought what he has to say -- about the nature of valid knowledge, the role of intellect in the spiritual path, and about the point where all Buddhist teachings converge in the Great Perfection (i.e. Mahamudra or Dzogchen) -- were important. Important, not just for scholars who like the sound of their own voices, but for true seekers on the spiritual path. I think Mipham's message is important especially for those of us whose faltering efforts at Buddhist spirituality resemble nothing so much as shots in the dark, whose religious-minded gestures often become a mere display, or a self-deception, because we have such shaky confidence in our true nature. Making this book has been a humbling yet inspiring process, because Mipham's writings, like those of all great spiritual geniuses, are a mirror which simultaneously shows who we are, and who we are capable of being.

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L1: [Chapter 9. Stainless Light: A Commentary on the Beacon of Certainty]



L1: [9.0. Introduction [The need to induce certainty by the two types of valid cognition – investigating the real nature of the Two Truths]]

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(i.e. Résumé of the Introduction: Many beginners in Buddhism have much doubts and are not certain about the authentic view, path and result. Many have fallen into the reification of emptiness, or into nihilism. Many think the path consist of dropping all conceptualization and just resting with a blank mind. Many think that conceptualization is just plain bad and have no place on the path since the ultimate realization is beyond all conceptualization anyway. Many are far away from the authentic path and don't even know they are lost. Many are just tired of all of those skillful means and temporary views and want to know what is the truth behind all of this, what is the logic. Mipham wants to bring some light onto those doubts and mistakes with this text. He intends to prove that, even if the goal is beyond conceptualization, this doesn't mean that we should reject all conceptualization, logic, reasonings, and virtuous methods right now. On the contrary, it is when we are not using them that we are fooled by mistakes and end up into one extreme or another. According to him, the only way to remove all doubts, stay away from all extremes, be sure to be on the authentic path, and have a strong faith in the view path and result, is to study, contemplate, and meditate on the theory of the Two Truths as presented by Nagarjuna & al. And this is done using the teachings of both Chandrakirti (pramana or syllogism) and Dharmakirti (prasanga). We need both.)



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Namo Buddha-dharmasanghaya

From the churning ocean of many eons' dual accumulation [of merit and wisdom]

Springs the moon of the fortunate eon, teacher of gods and men,

Replete with the multifarious mandalas of the three kayas—

I bow to the Lord of Sages, the moon of philosophers!

The essence of the great treasure of wisdom of all Buddhas and their scions,

Blazing gloriously with marks and signs like brilliant clouds at sunrise,

Sun of my heart, Bodhisattva Manjusri,

Ripen the bud of my lotus heart!

Your appearance is a festive dance of Lord Ajita, Manjusri, and others;

Your laughing lion's roar of scripture and reasoning is victorious over opponents in all directions;

You open the door to the jewel treasury of important points and profound meanings of an ocean of sutras and tantras,

I bow to the Gentle Lord Lama, whose name has four definitive meanings!

Your fiery halo of wisdom, which is vast and luminous in the sky of profound intention,

With beautiful radiance embraces and causes my mind's bud to open

With a brilliant luster of authentic learning, contemplation, and meditation.

As it overflows with the nectar of exposition, debate, and composition, may all beings benefit!

Inspired by the stainless unconquered mind, which is the intention

Of the stainless light rays of good Dharma reasoning,

I write to discover stainless understanding of the expositions

Of stainless Dharma eloquence.

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The Buddha of great compassion appeared in the world, and all the causal and fruitional vehicles taught by him were gradually introduced from the sublime land of India and propagated in Tibet. The early and later periods of translation are known as "new" and "old," respectively. Here, regarding the profound and vast subjects of sutra and tantra, the profound and crucial aspects of the interpretation and practice of the view, meditation, and so forth, of the exegetical and practice traditions of the great secret Nyingmapa are explained in this treatise of practical instructions (man ngag gi bstan bcos), taught by way of question and answer.



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L2: [0.1 The introduction to the composition of the treatise, which is virtuous at the beginning;]

L3: [0.1.1 The name of the treatise, which is meaningful]

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"The Beacon of Certainty":



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Here, if one develops certain knowledge that is free of doubt about the profound and vast subjects of sutra and tantra—which are extremely hard to understand—through the wisdoms of study, reflection, and meditation, the darkness of ignorance will be dispelled. For example, a beacon that has a jewel fire-crystal or water-crystal, etc., dispels darkness. Thus, the name is given metaphorically, and the purpose is as generally [understood].

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L3: [[0.1.2 How the treatise with that name introduces the discussion]]



L4: [0.1.1.2.1 How to enter the profound and vast subjects of the Buddha's teaching]

L5: [0.1.1.2.1.1 The benefits of certainty, which is induced by two types of valid cognition]

L6: [0.1.1.2.1.1.1 Since this certainty illuminates the authentic path, developing faith that desires certainty]

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0.1.1.2.1.1.1

"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!

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(i.e. All of these conceptual explanations (+ studying, reflecting, meditating on them) help to remove doubt and develop faith / certainty in the Buddha-Dharma. They present the way things really are using the four types of authentic individual cognition – see Mipham’s four pramanas.)



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(i.e. And by “authentic” Mipham means “where ultimately method and emptiness are directly seen as inseparable” in opposition to “reifying emptiness”, see 7.2.4.3.1.1.3. “Therefore, as long as the dharmadhatu—which is the coalescence of appearance and emptiness—is not free of the projection of dualistic doubt, there is no authentic perfection of wisdom.”… “Thus, the coalescence of form and emptiness is just another way of expressing the inseparability of form and emptiness; if the absolute negation of emptiness is an authentic emptiness, it must not be exclusive of appearance. The distinguishing feature of the Prasangika approach according to Mipham is the non-separation of the two truths.”)

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When someone accepts a philosophical system, practices its path to liberation, and analyzes the profound and vast sublime meanings—which are extremely subtle and difficult to realize—his mind wavers. With respect to higher and lower vehicles, the way in which the subject of two truths is explained is progressively more profound. To the extent that one lacks the mental ability to investigate them accordingly, one might think, "some parts are all right, others are not all right" and so on. This leads to ambivalence, which is thinking "maybe yes, maybe not." This is doubt, produced by the power of ignorance. The Abhidharmakosa says: "From ignorance, doubt, and from that..." Accordingly, for those who are enveloped by the heavy net of extremely thick obscurations, the unalloyed gnosis that reveals [reality] without any disturbance or error is a beacon that blazes with the light of four types of authentic individual cognition, which is the stainless wisdom of Manjusrivajra.



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In this context, that [wisdom] is not only present in the author of the text as the wisdom that illuminates the excellent path. By means of this text, [that wisdom] will enter the heart-minds of certain fortunate disciples as the analysis of dharmas (chos rnam par 'byed pa), which is the inalienable wisdom that is certainty born of studying, etc., a text such as this.

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The Uttaratantra says:



Just as the sun without concepts

Instantly emanates its own light,

Causing some lotuses to open and

Others to ripen,

In the same way the light rays of the

Tathagatas' sun of holy Dharma

Enter non-conceptually

The lotus of the disciples.

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This kind of wisdom is like an eye that leads those desirous of liberation to see the excellent path. Therefore, that very certainty that does not stray into the views of others is the authentic view that is aware of the way things are, and is also the wisdom of Manjughosa. So the author of the treatise salutes it, saying, "I have faith."



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L6: [0.1.1.2.1.1.2 Showing the faults of being without this certainty]

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0.1.1.2.1.1.2.

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.

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(i.e. Generating this certainty through individual valid cognition is the link between conceptual reasonings and non-conceptual realization. It is not that conceptual reasonings are the cause of the non-conceptual realization, but that, without them, one gets lost into the labyrinth of doubts and extremes. Without certainty in the authentic path, one gets off of it and gets lost. One of the biggest problem is to reify emptiness or fall into nihilism. To correct problems like these is the goal of this text.)



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Because of not finding the authentic path due to the power of worldly ignorance, he says, "Alas!" Without you—the beacon of certainty, who is induced by valid cognition, which is entered by applying one's mind to the proper view and meditation on the authentic nature of things, which is the true nature of things, the inseparability of the two truths, the profound subject of the sutras and tantras that is to be discussed here—it is difficult even for the "intelligent" (blo dang ldan pa) and so forth to flawlessly understand this particular path without error. For those who have not been blessed by the tutelary deity, and whose ability to investigate all things in their mode of existence and diversity of appearance (ji lta dang ji snyad) is weak, it goes without saying that it is difficult to realize. Therefore, in this realm of existence, even if one has an idea to follow the path, one is still bound up in delusions cultivated from beginningless time, like a fish in a net. There is no external, truly existent "catcher" by which one is caught; one is enveloped and deluded in the illusory net of one's own doubts. Therefore, by depending upon a text such as this one, one can rend asunder the net of doubts about the profound nature of things and generate certainty through the path of authentic valid cognition.

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L6: [0.1.1.2.1.1.3 Explaining the reasons for these by example]



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0.1.1.2.1.1.3

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.

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(i.e. Certainty is gained by studying the authentic basis, path and result. Without doing this first, one gets lost and abandons the authentic path and fall into one extreme or another without even being aware of it. All of this studying, reflecting and meditating is to dispel misconceptions, abandon extremes. It is not the cause of the final realization, which is beyond all conceptualization, beyond causality space & time; but it helps a lot.)



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In general, followers of lower vehicles maintain

--- the basis, path, and result in terms of the five basic knowables, (five aggregates) etc.,

--- the four truths of the path and relativity, etc.,

--- and the four pairs and eight aspects of the result, etc.

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Mahayanists generally



--- maintain a basis of the coalescent two truths,

--- a path of dual accumulation and integrated method

--- and wisdom, and a result of two coalescent bodies.

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[With or without generating “certainty first”:]



--- by meditating with

--- certainty induced

--- through dispelling misconceptions

about them with

valid cognition.

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the difference between them is that one involves the elimination of doubts and superimpositions, and the other does not. For example, a real butter lamp actually dispels darkness, and its reflection does not.



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L5: [0.1.1.2.1.2 Explaining the necessity of valid cognition, which leads to that certainty]

L6: [0.1.1.2.1.2.1 How the two great system-builders (shing rta) came to this world and clarified profound and vast subjects [Chandrakirti & Dharmakirti]]

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0.1.1.2.1.2.1

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.

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(i.e. The basis for all of this studying, reflecting and meditating, about the way things really are, is the teachings of the Madhyamika School: Nagarjuna & al. More precisely, the correct reasonings as explained by Chandrakirti and Dharmakirti. By studying the way to establish the two truths through syllogism and prasanga, one gain this certainty about the view, path and result, and do not fall into extremes.)



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Thus, this master of yore sought the siddhi of victory in all directions through Sri Heruka, and was endowed with the fantastic, amazing, and unrivaled liberation of a learned, ethical, and noble person. The sound of his name, "Sri Dharmakirti," completely pervades samsara and nirvana. Also, the glorious Chandrakirti was victorious in many disputes with heretics, established many Brahmins and householders in the doctrine, founded many great Dharma institutions, drew milk from a drawing of a cow, etc., and passed unimpeded through walls, pillars, and so on. He possessed incredible and inconceivable qualities of learning and realization. These two masters, together with the light of the elegant compositions of such as the cycles of Pramana and Madhyamaka—enlightened speech that dispels the darkness of the world's ignorance— arose in the vast sky of the profound and vast teaching of the Buddha, which includes the middle and final turnings of the Dharma wheel. By [rising thus] they vanquished the thick darkness of doubt about all the subjects of the profound and vast scriptures and intentional commentaries of the Mahayana, and cleared up the eyes of the valid cognitions that see the meaning of the two truths.

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L6: [0.1.1.2.1.2.2 The two valid cognitions, with which those two [system-builders] opened the way of the path, cause one to understand the topics of dharma-possessor (dharmin, chos can) and dharmata [Pramana and Madhyamaka]]



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0.1.1.2.1.2.2.

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]

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(i.e. So the precise way to develop this certainty, and to stay away from all extremes, through studying, contemplating and meditation, is by using the two approaches to correct reasonings as taught by Dharmakirti and Chandrakirti. That is using the syllogisms that establish conventional truths, and the prasanga techniques that establish the emptiness of all dharmas. These correspond to the Two Truths. We need both, otherwise we fall into one extreme or another, or follow the wrong teachers. The details of those correct reasonings can be found in another text from Mipham: The Sword of Prajna.)



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Moreover, according to the meaning intended by Dharmakirti, by the valid cognition that analyzes the conventions of deceptive reality, one should unerringly resolve each and every of the entrances and abandonments of virtue and vice, etc., and the proofs and refutations of Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical systems.

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The Pramanavarttika says:



Taking the unique identifying characteristic [of something] as a subject of investigation

And investigating whether it exists or not

Has the result of accepting or abandoning [that something].

Thus, everyone engages [such characteristics].

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In particular, the ascertainment of the entrance to the authentic teaching through valid inferential reasoning based on direct experience , and the establishment of the valid person [teacher] who is superior to other teachers—the unique point of access to extraordinary confidence free of doubt—is the Pramana corpus consisting of seven treatises with their sutric [sources].



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Again, the Pramanavarttika says:

By superimposing the sixteen forms of wrong view,

Such as "permanence," "happiness," "I," and "mine,"

Upon the [phenomena] of the four [noble] truths,

One is totally attached.

These (sixteen) contradict reality,

By meditating well with the authentic view

That understands the nature of reality,

One conquers clinging and all that it entails.

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And, the Pramanasutra says:



The person who embodies valid knowledge, who vows the benefit of beings,

I bow to the Protector, the Teacher, the Sugata!

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According to the meaning expressed here, there are explanations of "intention" and so forth, using inductive reasoning according to the path, and explanations of "protection," etc., that cause one to know the [the validity of the teacher] through deductive reasoning. Thus the teaching and teacher are established as valid. Thus, the existence of good qualities in the object itself is taught by the path of reasoning. (i.e. First the use of syllogisms, following the teaching of Dignaga & Dharmakirti. This is like using logical rules of reasonings to establish conventional truths. This permits to understand dependent origination and to stay away from nihilism.)



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The Khyad par 'phags bstod says:

I abandoned other teachers,

And took refuge in you, Venerable One.

Why is that?

You have no faults and have good qualities.

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Likewise, according to the meaning experienced by the gnosis of sublime beings in meditative equipoise, the abiding nature of things is ascertained to be free of elaboration. (i.e. Then the path of Prasanga, the vehicle of philosophical dialectics, following the teachings of Chandrakirti & al. This is to establish the emptiness of inherent existence of all dharmas, including emptiness itself. This permits to stay away from realism …) This is the utterly non-abiding great Madhyamaka, which emphasizes the stainless valid cognition that rationally cognizes the final ultimate nature. In this world, this system, elucidated according to the profound intention of Chandrakirti, is known as the Prasangika Madhyamaka, and is supreme in the vehicle of philosophical dialectics.



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Candrapada said:

The explanation that negates production from something else is not simply a view of worldly [perception]. And why? Because it is posited according to the experience of sublime beings.

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Thus, these two textual traditions [Pramana and Madhyamaka] cause one to understand the aspect of vast skillful means, and teach the wisdom that opens up the profound, respectively.



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In this context, the basis for differentiating the two truths is the totality of phenomena, both afflicted and purified; and in differentiating those,

1. -- there is the differentiation of two truths with respect to valid cognition that analyzes the ultimate reality of the way things are,

2. -- as well as the differentiation of two truths with respect to the conventional valid cognition that analyzes the way things appear.

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These two [differentiations] are similar in maintaining ultimate reality as the expanse of great purity and the coalescence of appearance and emptiness—without accepting any elaborated defining characteristic of identity or difference whatsoever. However, with respect to positing the two truths as conventions, the former posits the aspect of appearance and the aspect of emptiness as different isolates of the same essence, while the latter posits the difference that negates their oneness.



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Note 712: In other words, as far as valid cognition goes,

1. -- Prasangika emphasizes ultimate valid cognition, which establishes the inseparability of the two truths qua form- and-emptiness,

2. -- while Pramana emphasizes conventional valid cognition, which differentiates the two truths according to the concordance or discordance of the way things are and the way they appear.

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Whichever valid cognition is used to engage the two truths, [according to the] former [definition], it is infallible. So in the objective cognandum's way of existing, there is no differentiation of truth and falsity, and that emptiness arises as the nature of relativity. All relative appearances are equal in being empty phenomena, [and hence] pure; from form up to omniscience, these two [form and emptiness] should be understood equally, without holding them to be higher and lower, or good and bad. Thus, the apparent aspects of both samsara and nirvana are equal in being empty and hence are not different. Because the emptiness of each is similar in that it arises both as samsara and nirvana, both appearance and emptiness are the abiding character of an object, and thus both of them are without the difference of "deceptive" and "non-deceptive."



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(i.e. In short, here, Mipham is warning us against the idea that one of the Two Truths is more “true” or “important” than the other one. He really doesn’t like the presentation of one being “less deceptive” than the other; or just calling one “conventional” and the other “Ultimate”. According to him, this could lead to thinking that emptiness is the very ultimate truth beyond all conceptualization, and this reification of emptiness could lead to nihilism – losing faith in the view, path and result. This whole text is set up in order to fix this problem and reestablish certainty in the authentic view, path and result. The whole text is set up in order to prove that the authentic meaning of the sutras, tantras and Great Perfection teachings is “the non-duality of the Two Truths” beyond all conceptualization – and certainly not an “extrinsic emptiness” or a “reified emptiness”.)

.

[As for which reasoning approach apply to each of the seven questions:]



.

[i.e. The seven question:

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?]

.

Since the ascertainment of the basis in the higher vehicles of our tradition is for the most part done only by means of this [latter] way of positing the two truths, the middle three questions are mostly engaged through valid cognition [as explained by] Dharmakirti. Also, in the context of the latter way of positing the two truths, the ultimate is both object and object-possessor for which reality and appearance are concordant, and deceptive reality is posited as object and object-possessor for which reality and appearance are discordant. (i.e. Inseparability of mind/awareness and world) This distinction is made with respect to whether, conventionally speaking, they are non-deceptive or deceptive, respectively. Moreover, insofar as the mere designations [of deceptiveness and non-deceptiveness are concerned], the lower philosophical systems as well as worldly [persons distinguish] deceptive reality as authentic or false in precisely that way. Consider, for example, a worldly person's [interpretation of] the appearance of two moons, or only one; or consider how the Vaibhasikas and Sautrantikas determine whether something is the actual referent of a conventional expression as regards its being liable to destruction or not, or as regards its being a specifically characterized phenomenon (rang mtshan, svalaksana) or a generally characterized phenomenon (spyi mtshan, samanyalaksana).



.

Here, in fact, the subject for which reality and appearance are concordant is gnosis, and because that gnosis views all phenomena of samsara and nirvana with respect to the concordance of their reality and their modes of appearance, if all phenomena of samsara are posited with respect to ultimate reality, the appearances of nirvana obviously are as well, because they are all are seen to be pure and equal. Deceptive reality is the arising of any and all appearances of samsara and nirvana as the object of a subject for which appearance and reality are discordant. Even if this [subjective] mind engages the kayas, gnoses, and so forth, it is still just an appearance of deceptive reality, so of course the same would be said for samsaric phenomena. Thus, those two truths are said to be taken as deceptive and non-deceptive in relation to one another, and the first two and last two questions should mainly be addressed with this way of positing the two valid cognitions according to Chandrakirti.

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L6: [0.1.1.2.1.2.3 Explaining the praise of right-minded persons who abide in that way]



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[The two valid cognitions emphasized in] these two [systems]

.

###



0.1.1.2.1.2.3

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!"

.

(i.e. So that is the way to develop correct vision and certainty: by analyzing and meditating on the Two Truths and their authentic meaning, using the correct reasonings approaches of Dharmakirti and Chandrakirti. To think one can bypass this and go directly to non-conceptual meditation is to take a great risk of falling into one extreme or another. Without this right view about the Two Truths there is no possible right practice, and instead much doubts and a general lost of faith and energy.)



.

When one's mind is well versed in the three kinds of wisdom (The wisdoms of learning, contemplation, and meditation) regarding the profound and vast textual traditions of Madhyamaka, Pramana, and so forth, the two eyes of valid cognition will be opened to the nature of things in all their diversity. Then, one will abide firmly on the authentic path with the light of wisdom that is not influenced by other people's opinions—the twofold path of the profound and vast traditions of the system-builders Nagarjuna and Asanga (i.e. The two accumulations, in accord with the goal, the result, the inseparability of the Two Truths), which clearly sets forth the meaning of the causal and fruitional vehicles (i.e. Using virtuous methods while realizing the emptiness of the three: subject, object, actions) that are the excellent paths to liberation and omniscience taught by the Buddha to his disciples. Those who, like Rong zom Pandita, understand [these two systems] together, without contradiction, are worthy of praise.

.

L4: [0.1.1.2.2 The posing of questions that identify those subjects]



L5: [0.1.1.2.2.1 The questions]

L6: [0.1.1.2.2.1.1 The layout of the way the questions are posed]

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###


0.1.1.2.2.1.1

As the sage reflected thus,

A mendicant who happened along

Asked these seven questions

In order to critically examine his intellect:

.

(i.e. So this text present the teaching about the authentic meaning of the Two Truths – the essence of all Buddhist paths: like Sutras, Tantras and Great Perfection – in the form of answering seven questions.)



.

Thus, that sage was thinking, "Having illuminated the excellent path with potent reasoning, this might draw a straight line that would eliminate devious caviling in Tibet." Then, a wandering mendicant happened along who, in order to dispute with and test him in the manner of intellectuals, asked him these seven questions to be explained below—which are the crux of the view and meditation to be explained—in the following manner.

.

L6: [0.1.1.2.2.1.2 The qualities of answering perfectly [evaluation grid]]



.

###


0.1.1.2.2.1.2

"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.

.

(i.e. Although we cannot validate one’s ultimate realization through conceptual analysis, since it is beyond all conceptualization; we certainly can validate that a teacher is not jumping to one extreme or another through conceptual analysis … and through their convergence toward the realization of the inseparability of the Two Truths beyond all conceptualization, the Union of The Two Truths, the coalescence, …corresponding to the way things really are, as seen by a Buddha.)



.

If in answering these questions you just imitate and repeat what other philosophical systems and other persons have to say, then what is the point of being called a scholar? It would be like giving the monastic precept renewal (so sbyong) to worldly people. One might think, "How to answer, then?" Suppose you depend upon the Buddha's speech and the elegant explanations of the sublime beings of India in general, and in particular, upon the stainless, elegant texts that explain the intention of both Rong zom (more in Topic 1) and Klong chen pa (more in Topic 2). Then you analytically determine in a relaxed way, without uptightness, the meaning of those [sources] without simply repeating those scriptures. Then, having differentiated the various objects of investigation—such as Dharma-possessor (topic 6) and dharmata (topic 7), reality and appearance, deceptive reality and ultimate reality. Now, please reply quickly to these questions in terms of how the two types of valid cognitions engage [those objects of investigation]! From your words, which indicate the result [of your knowledge], I will be able to determine clearly, as if with fleshly eyes, your personal mastery of analysis.

.

L6: [0.1.1.2.2.1.3 The defects of pretentious prattling]



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0.1.1.2.2.1.3

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.

.

(i.e. Just repeating blindly other’s positions or scripture without understanding them will not do the job of developing faith in the view, path and result, staying on the authentic path, and reaching the goal beyond conceptualization. One has to directly realize himself the way things really are. Only then can he teach it to others without leading them to one extreme or another.)



.

Thus, not only is it pointless to repeat what other [traditions and persons] say, even in our own tradition very erudite scholars, like elephants, hyperextend the trunk of prolixity, adorned with many scriptures, and talk. That well water, as in the popular saying "the well has gone dry," is not to be tasted just by having a long trunk. Likewise, without having experienced the Dharma water of the profound, definitive, and final meaning, those who yearn for worldly renown as scholars are like low-caste persons, such as sudras or candalas, lusting after the wife of a king. It is impossible for them to attain the object of their desires, and it is likewise difficult to attain fame as a scholar.

.

L6: [0.1.1.2.2.1.4 Enumerating the topics to be asked about (list of the seven questions)]



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0.1.1.2.2.1.4

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?

.

What are the seven questions?



1. -- The profound view of emptiness must be ascertained by a valid cognition that analyzes ultimate reality, and there is nothing whatsoever established as its object. Therefore, if all clinging to substantiality must be eliminated by the Madhyamika analyses, what sort of negation is involved?

2. -- In the context of Madhyamaka, do sravakas and pratyekabuddhas realize the two types of selflessness to the same degree as in Mahayana? What sort of difference in realization of emptiness differentiates the Hinayana and Mahayana?

3. -- When one engages in equipoise on that Mahayana view, must there be intentional apprehension or not?

4. -- In meditating upon that view, does one analyze and then meditate, or settle in meditation without analyzing?

5. -- In the divisions of that view, which of the two truths is more important, or is there no difference in importance?

6. -- What is the common object that appears differently to sentient beings?

7. -- Does the Madhyamaka free of extremes have a position or not? If in other systems there are many ways of establishing and refuting these topics, how do you of the early translation school interpret them?

.

L6: [0.1.1.2.2.1.5 Exhortation to give answers based on scripture and reasoning]



L7: [0.1.1.2.2.1.5.1 The subject that is the extraordinary profound point established through both scripture and reasoning]

.

# 0.1.1.2.2.1.5.1



Thus, starting with the topic of emptiness,

Give an answer established by reasoning,

Without contradicting scripture,

For these seven profound questions!

.

(i.e. The questioner wants some damn good answers with solid logic and support – as if this was possible in absolute terms.)



.

Having said that, since when one ascertains the profound meaning of Madhyamaka there are many different streams of philosophical systems with [a concept of] emptiness as their point of departure, please give an answer for these seven questions about profound and crucial points, using stainless valid inferential reasoning, without contradicting any of the scriptures or interpretive commentaries, in accordance with your own tradition; and in this way, your personal [philosophical] inclinations will be established.

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L7: [0.1.1.2.2.1.5.2 The exhortation to quickly compose the treatise that shows the way to explain it]



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# 0.1.1.2.2.1.5.2

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!"

.

(i.e. Seems like the questioner is tired of “adapted skillful means” and “adapted views”; he want to know the logic behind all of these and a final view that is fool proof, even to Prasanga arguments. These explanations are not usually taught because this could compromise the efficiency of the so called progressive adapted skillful means and views. You don’t usually say to a kid “come out of the house and I will give you candy” and at the same time “there is really no candy, this is just a trick to get you out of the house because it is on fire”. So, in other traditions, this teaching is usually reserved for very advanced people.)



.

If one has pure scriptural sources and reasoning techniques, which are like an excellent armor of extraordinary realization of profound subjects, even if one is attacked with a hundred thousand spurious scriptural references and reasoning techniques—such as the acrimonious reductio ad absurdum statements of mean-spirited sophists, which are like the horrible barbs of thorns—one will not be pierced; and of course this goes without saying if such attacks are few. (i.e. This seems to mean that there are absolute truths that cannot be demolished by the Consequentialists. That would mean that there are things that are inherently existing and that can be directly seen. I can’t wait to see if the author can prove that. But that would be contrary to Nagarjuna’s teaching that all dharma are empty of inherent existence and that there is no exception at all.)

.

The Prasannapada says:



By applying well-crafted words, one will not be

Shaken by the wind of intellectuals.

.

Therefore, even though other philosophical systems may be better known to worldly people, in response to these profound questions about difficult points that have mostly confounded those greatly renowned in the world, as soon as the question is asked, he says, "please extend your long philosopher's tongue immediately like a lightning bolt"! This means, please compose quickly, without going off on tangents, using many and lengthy scriptural references and reasonings that definitely resolve the questions at hand. (i.e. as if this was possible using conceptualization)



.

L5: [0.1.1.2.2.2 The specifics of how the questions are answered;]

L6: [0.1.1.2.2.2.1 Having generated enthusiasm for answering, how he refrained for a moment]

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0.1.1.2.2.2.1

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:

.

Thus, that question—the slight wavering of the speech wind that exhorted the swift composition of profound points—was incited by the intellect of that mendicant who suddenly appeared. By it, the heart of the scrupulous great sage was shaken, disproportionately to the mendicant's request, like a mountain by the wind at the end of time. [Thus, he had a] very joyful mind to answer, and the power of his wisdom, like the wind at the end of time, was moved to give a perfect answer, without hesitation, that would clear up all doubts and nescience about these important points. For example, like a mountain shaken and agitated, he quietly disciplined negative actions of speech and abided inseparably from the sun of philosophers, Manjusri. After a moment, he again propitiated his special deity. The meaning of "maintaining a moment of disciplined engagement" is explained as follows:



To the individually cognized [gnosis] induced...

.

And:



May we abide in the expanse of fundamental luminosity

Beyond mind, which dwells in the original state,

The state of the Great Perfection—Manjusri.

.

It seems that one should explain it as being the same [as the meaning of these two quotations]. It is said that the empty container for the meaning of this text is accomplished in this way through the six entrances of mantric eloquence.



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L6: [0.1.1.2.2.2.2 How other people of outstanding talent and training cannot establish these topics flawlessly]

.

###


0.1.1.2.2.2.2.

"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,

.

Alas! Even if, after having undertaken austerities for many years, perhaps a hundred, such as depriving oneself of food and clothing, suffering heat and cold, relying again and again upon many spiritual teachers, and continuously blazing more and more with the oppressive fire of intellect, like purifying and testing gold, one still cannot [settle these issues] rationally without faults of contradiction, then needless to say others cannot either.



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L6: [0.1.1.2.2.2.3 Therefore, having cast away arrogance, how he propidated the deity]

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0.1.1.2.2.2.3

Whose innate brilliance is weak

And who has not undertaken lengthy study?"

.

(i.e. In short: What makes you think I can give a better answer than all of those previous great teachers ? What make you think it is possible to describe such a thing in such a way ?)



.

Likewise, "the innate intellectual brilliance of a low person like me, which is the ripening of previous seeds, is weak. So how can a low person like me, who has not undertaken the task of lengthy training in a hundred austerities as explained before, explain this without any scriptural or logical contradictions?" Thus, he called with intense devotional longing upon the lord of his spiritual lineage, Manjughosa.

.

L6: [0.1.1.2.2.2.4 How he acquired the eloquence that expounds the answer, induced by reasoning in accordance with scripture]



.

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0.1.1.2.2.2.4

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.

.

(i.e. In short: Ok ! Since I am your teacher, and you are my student, and since I have great compassion for you, I will do my best. Here it is … But remember, we are just pointing toward the moon … no logical reasonings or concepts can fully describe what is beyond all conceptualization and has to be directly realized. But, at least, with those correct explanations about the essence you will not end up lost far from the true Buddhist path, thinking you are still on it. – But, still, the only thing he can use are adapted skillful means; he can never “prove” any absolute truth.)



.

Then, a sign arose that he thought to be from the force of the cause and condition, respectively, of the equanimity of ultimate reality, and of praying with intense devotion on the level of deceptive reality. That is, a brilliant wisdom unlike any before arose in his mind, like light at the time of dawn, dispelling the darkness of ignorance, and he achieved an opportune eloquence that could exhaustively expound upon the difficult questions. As soon as that happened, he vowed to compose the text, by analyzing all the ways of establishing arguments by means of the rational principles of dependence (ltos), efficacy (bya), and reality (chos nyid), which should be relied upon, according to the meaning of well-spoken scriptures and interpretive commentaries that have the four qualities of brahmacarya

.

.

.



.

.

.



*******************************************************

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

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L1: [9.1. Topic 1 [The problem of negation: Emptiness is also empty; it is not the real non-dual nature beyond all conceptualization]]



.

(i.e. Résumé of Topic 1: In this section Mipham clarifies the authentic meaning of emptiness; and shows the danger of misinterpreting it and falling into one extreme or the other. The Tetralemma, or the negation of the four extremes – of existence, non-existence, both, neither – doesn’t mean that emptiness is the very ultimate truth , the Union of The Two Truths, the inseparability of appearances and emptiness, the coalescence. Emptiness is only a part of this Union of the Two Truths. It only means that this coalescence, this union, is beyond all description, all conceptualization. Even if everything is empty of inherent existence, that doesn’t mean that everything is completely non-existent, nor that there is a basis of imputation that is real, that there are real conventional things. It means that, to find the meaning of this, one has to go beyond all conceptualization, to look directly at the real nature of his own mind without using conceptualization. – So the conceptual emptiness is a complete negation without affirming anything, without leaving anything on the base; but ultimately the non-conceptual emptiness is beyond establishment and negation. The very ultimate truth is beyond inherent existence and emptiness, beyond emptiness and non-emptiness.)

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L2: [0.2 The composition that is virtuous in the middle, the consummate main body of the treatise that has the [sevenfold] enumeration of royal accouterments:]



L3: [0.2.1 A general explanation of the view of emptiness]

L4: [0.2.1.1 The actual explanation [Question 1: The basis as the coalescence of appearance and emptiness" – The first topic concerns the definition of the Nyingma philosophical view]]

L5: [1.1 How the two systems of negation are generally known in the world]

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1.1

The dGe ldan pas say the view is an absolute negation;

Others say it is an implicative negation.

.

(i.e. Generally, in the world, some say the final view of the Prasangika is an absolute negation without affirming anything; and others say it is a negation that is affirming something. We say it is neither of them – see section 1.2.)



.

The Madhyamika view that is free of elaboration is ascertained by taking all elaborations that involve clinging and adherence to extremes, such as existence and non-existence, as the Madhyamika negandum. However, the views of the lower philosophical systems logically require the two types of partlessness in place of a person whose self has been refuted by means of [establishing] the absence of self-nature of continua and coarse [aggregates]. The Cittamatrins require the consciousness of relativity (gzhan dbang, paratantra) in place of the two kinds of falsely superimposed (kun btag, parikalpita) self that are negated. Thus, it is difficult for them to reverse the intentional apprehension that clings to substantiality. For an implicative negation requires the existence of some other dharma in the empty space left by the negandum, and if in the space of the negation there is some other dharma present as the view of ultimate reality, one cannot stop the intentional apprehension that clings to its substantiality, because it is not required.

.

Among Madhyamikas also, although it is held that neither Prasangikas nor Svatantrikas have higher or lower final intentions with respect to the ultimate meaning, the adherence of Svatantrikas to each of the two truths individually is a negandum of Prasangika. Accordingly, in the Land of Snows, those who maintain the philosophical systems of the new and old schools each claim that their final view is that of Prasangika. So which of the two negations is their Prasangika view?



.

In this world, those who are reputed to be exalted with respect to the brilliance of virtue, the Ri bo dGe ldan pas (i.e. note: the Gelugpas), take the view to be an absolute negation. How is that? For example, if the form of the son of a barren woman does not appear, then the form of his death likewise does not appear. In that way, if the aspect of true existence of a thing does not arise, the absence of [that thing's] being established in truth cannot be determined adequately. Thus, they say that the negation of that aspect that is the negandum—that is, true existence—requires skill in apprehending the range of the negandum, and maintain that in the place of the negandum, there is no implication of the existence of another phenomenon.

.

Other holders of Tibetan philosophical systems say that the emptiness of Madhyamaka is an implicative negation, thus, they must assert that, in the place of the negandum, the existence of either deceptive or ultimate reality is implied. The venerable (rye btsun) Jonangpas (i.e. the syncretism introduced by Dol-bo that contained the view of a permanent, stable tathagatagarbha, the concept of a positive, independent nature, a substantially ontic tathagatagarbha which is only empty of other phenomena, see Magee’s The Nature of Things), who are the most famous among them, claim that in the place of the negation of adventitious obscurations of deceptive reality, the existence of the Buddha nature—which is permanent, stable, changeless, thoroughly established, and not empty of its own essence—is implied.



.

In general, the reasons that the Madhyamikas use to negate true existence include the three marks of fruition, essence, and non-perception. From those [reasons of non-perception], the reasons of non-perception of cause, pervasion, essence, and result, as well as the perception of incompatibility, and so forth, are variously used in different texts as reasons for negation.

.

The negandum is also differentiated as the rational negandum and the path negandum, and those are further differentiated as superimposed and innate and so on. Therefore, in the Madhyamika context, some scholars expound both— an absolute negation in refuting the conceptual reifications of lower philosophical systems [of Buddhism] and heretics, and an absolute negation in refuting the Vijnaptivadins, and so forth.



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L5: [1.2 In our own system [the Nyingma very ultimate view beyond all conceptualization, beyond establishment and negation: the dharmata, reached by the direct realization of the inseparability of the Two Truths, beyond the duality of the Two truths]]

L6: [1.2.1 The question about the two negations]

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1.2.1

What is our own Early Translation tradition?

.

"Well, if Tibetans have various ways of ascertaining the view as an absolute negation and as an implicative negation, which of those two do the followers of the Early Translation school of secret mantra take as the Madhyamika negandum?



.

L6: [1.2.2 Plotting the answer, and explaining it]

L7: [1.2.2.1 From the perspective of the meditative equipoise of the coalescence of appearance and emptiness, [the view] is beyond establishment and negation, and there is no conventional distinction of two negations]

.

###



1.2.2.1

In the state of great gnosis of coalescence,

After making a negative judgment 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.

.

(i.e. Emptiness of emptiness; emptiness is not the very ultimate truth beyond all conceptualization. Isn’t it obvious that emptiness alone, or anything else existing, is not the Union of the Two Truths: conventional truths and emptiness. So the very ultimately, in non-duality, there is no emptiness, no more than dependent origination; there is no Two Truths; those are also conventional truths.)



.

There are two contexts here with respect to the Early Translation school, namely the conventions that relate to the state of gnosis that is manifest in the great equanimity of dharmata, and the ascertainment of how that [gnosis] is empty of essence through a valid cognition that analyzes ultimate reality. If one asks about the first context: with respect to the great self-arisen gnosis of the coalescence of the expanse and awareness—where one meets the face of naked freedom of elaboration, where the nature [of things] "abides in the womb" —there is no position of "non-existence." The bare emptiness of absolute negation in the place of negating the negandum of true existence is a mental imputation, but is not the actual nature of things. Having implicatively negated the adventitious obscurations, what other "thoroughly established reality" (yongs grub) could be implied in the place of negation? If in ultimate reality, even as an inclusive judgment (yongs gcod, pariccheda), some existent object of cognition existed or were required, emptiness would become a substantial entity. Such notions of "substantial" and "insubstantial" are the mind's conceptual projection and denial, respectively, upon the nature of things. Therefore, in fact, in the state of [sublime] equipoise, neither is maintained. Both of these are concepts of projection and denial, or negation and proof, while dharmata, which is free of all dualistic phenomena and beyond the mind that conceptualizes subject and object, is the primordial basis beyond negation and proof, and beyond eliminating and positing (bsal bzhag).

.

Therefore, in texts of the profound and vast [lineages of explanation, namely, those stemming from Nagarjuna and Maitreya-Asanga], reality is taught to be without negation and proof or eliminating and positing, and in this tradition of the great secret Nyingmapa, [those authors] can be quoted directly and interpreted according [to their actual mode of explanation] .° The reason is that, in reality, all dharmas are not naturally established and are empty of essence. Thus, modes of appearance that are not realized in that way, which are false appearances of adventitious defilement, are found, by practicing the path, to be divisible [from reality] or, [otherwise put], to have the characteristic of emptiness. The natural purity of the expanse is not a bare emptiness, because it has the characteristic of all undifferentiable qualities of the unsurpassable three bodies.



.

The Great Omniscient One said:

Having the nature of emptiness, luminosity, and awareness,

Having great masses of indivisible qualities,

Spontaneously present and naturally pure like the sun,

Primordially empty of stains that are differentiable [from it]:

Such is the primordially pure, luminous dharmata.

.

The great glorious Rong zom said:



In the system of the Great Perfection, all dharmas are completely realized to be quite similar to illusions. Having fathomed this completely, one's mind is no longer deluded by the power of appearances, and cannot produce manifest mental constructions. One does not accept, abandon, hesitate, or make effort. Thus, this final realization of the illusion-like nature of things is established by consummating the realization of the inseparability of the two truths.

.

Otherwise, for those who explain the basis as bare emptiness, reality will empty of the qualities of the formal kayas, and for those who explain the basis as non-empty, reality will be empty of the qualities of the unsurpassable dharmakaya. Furthermore, if one divides the two truths and explains that the ultimate is an exclusive emptiness (stong rkyang) that is without any removal or placement of something non-empty, because that something else cannot be removed or placed [in relation to an exclusive emptiness], it will not be of benefit to someone else whose mind [functions in terms of] eliminating and positing.



.

(i.e. Postulating a real non-dual nature with three attributes that can be directly seen with the gnosis that is manifest in the great equanimity of dharmata; a state of direct perception where there is no duality, no discrimination, no conceptualization; a state attained by consummating the realization of the inseparability of the two truths. This is still postulating something existing on its own which is contrary to the Middle Way. It is just another skillful means that emphasize the fact that emptiness doesn’t mean complete non-existence. It is not different than Tsong Khapa’s skillful means.)

.

L7: [1.2.2.2 From the perspective of the ultimate reality analysis that ascertains that, [the view] is an absolute negation]



L8: [1.2.2.2.1 The emptiness of self-nature is the intention of the great beings of India and Tibet]

.

###



1.2.2.2.1

But if you should ask about the way in which emptiness

is established,

.

(i.e. Emptiness is just another conventional truths; it means that the truth is beyond all conceptualization: not existence, not non-existence, not both , not neither – and there is no other possibility.)



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.

.

(i.e. There is no real good and bad because all of these are empty of inherent existence; in that sense everything is already pure. They say: everything is already pure in emptiness; but that is just an expression.)



.

According to the second alternative [elucidated in the first paragraph of 1.2.2.1.], if one only considers the way of analyzing into productionless emptiness that negates production from the four extremes, and asks which of the two negations it is: since one must negate even the slightest intentional apprehension, it is just an absolute negation. For glorious Candra of sublime India and Rong zom chos bzang of snowy Tibet both, with the same enlightened intention and the same melodious speech, established everything, however it appears—fabricated and unfabricated things, samsara and nirvana, good and bad, and so forth— as the great emptiness of primordial purity, without applying any qualification whatsoever.

.

Therefore, on that the Prasannapada says:



If you ask, "If one determines that something is not produced from itself, doesn't that mean that one also does not assert that it is produced from something else?" [the answer is yes], because we wish to say that it is an absolute negation.

.

And:



The Victor explained dharmas as being non-substantial.

.

And so on. Having referred to this sutra, the Prasannapada says:



... and because [we] wish to say that it is an absolute negation, the meaning of substantial entities [my emphasis] lacking self-nature is the meaning of "absence of self-nature."

.

And, the great glorious Rong zom said:



Unlike the Madhyamika tradition, the Yogacarins view ultimate reality as being [the] existent [subject of attributes], and they do not apply an absolute negation to imagination (parikalpita, kun brtags), saying, "it is totally non-existent"; they say that "an ultimate reality that is established as a negation does not establish the middle way." Thus, since objects of cognition (shes bya) are empty of imagination (kun brtags), we absolutely negate the [status of] being [the subject of attributes] and the existence of an intrinsic identifying characteristic, so there is nothing whatsoever left over as a basis indicated [as the referent of imaginative construction] ,

.

And so on. Thus, in the Madhyamika expositions of Mipham Rinpoche only an absolute negation is stated. Since some have mixed together the philosophical systems of the new and old schools, and some have thought that they have discovered new interpretations, this is a response to those who have not seen the sources for our tradition, or have seen them but have not understood them.



.

L8: [1.2.2.2.2 Having determined the negandum of the ultimate truth analysis, explaining how [phenomena] are intrinsically empty]

.

###


1.2.2.2.2

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"?

.

(i.e. Since everything is primordially empty then there is no real emptiness. Emptiness is the mere conceptual opposite of inherent existence. The two form an apparent conceptual duality that is also empty. The absolute nature of everything is beyond this duality. Once nothing is perceived as inherently existing, then there is no more need for its antidote: emptiness.)



.

Because the ultimate negandum of the Madhyamaka is like that, all these afflicted and purified dharmas are primordially pure, or are without self-nature from the beginning. Therefore, it is not as though something previously arisen is later non-existent or negated, because it is primordially pure; and it is not as though aspects of the object that are present in the context of conventionality are absent in the context of ultimate reality, because they are without self-nature from the beginning.

.

The Avatara commentary says:



If something had a self-nature or essence, and that were something arisen, that self-nature would not be existent [beforehand], so what would arise? This shows that it never arises at any time; from what does arise before, nothing arises later, and something that arises does not arise again. What is it then, you might ask: by its very nature, it is beyond the nature of suffering (rang bzhin nyid kyis yongs su mya ngan las 'das pa). "From the beginning" ('dod nas) does not mean that it does not arise only in the context of the gnosis of a yogi. What does it mean, then? It is taught that even before that, in the context of worldly conventionality, those dharmas are not born from their own self. The word "beginning" (gdod) is a synonym of "at first" (dang po). One should know that this is stated in the context of worldly conventionality.

.

Therefore, because things are not born ultimately, nor are they born conventionally either—and are thus not born in either of the two truths—why should one have any doubt about the statement that a subject, such as a pillar, "does not exist"?



.

(i.e. Saying the thing is conventionally existent only means that there is a convention among people to agree to use this name and those characteristics. The thing is empty, its parts are empty, the parts of its parts are empty, the irreducible components are empty, everything is empty of inherent existence.)

.

For this is the excellent path established by reason, and therefore, since a pillar is primordially pure and is equanimity, by searching for another ultimate negandum and negating it, there is no residual fragment whatsoever of either ultimate or deceptive reality left over.



.

Thus, the mDo sdud pa says:

As here one understands that the five aggregates are like illusions,

One does not take illusions and aggregates to be different.

Free of various concepts, one experiences peace.

This is the way of the supreme perfection of wisdom.

.

Here, the fact that all cognizable dharmas are empty of self-nature or are empty of essence is stated in the scriptures and treatises. Accordingly, since this is established by authentic reasoning, although this tradition of the Nyingmapa school of secret mantra expounds intrinsic emptiness (rang stong), it is not the "intrinsic emptiness" of the "intrinsic emptiness vs. extrinsic emptiness" dichotomy. These two are differentiated by the philosophical systems of the new schools of Mantrayana, so that assertion of [intrinsic emptiness in the context of the new schools] is somewhat incompatible with the reality of the integrated two truths. In that respect there are some differences [between the proponents of intrinsic emptiness in the new schools and ourselves] regarding how the middle and final turnings of the wheel are posited as definitive or provisional, whether the intentions of both the great system-builders are combined together or not, whether the two validating cognitions are emphasized equally or not, etc.



.

[Objection:] This statement of yours, "only thinking of the manner of emptiness," which you take to mean the instantaneous cutting of the four extremes, is not reasonable. It is not possible to eliminate all the four extremes at once. Therefore, both the Prasangikas and Svatantrikas first ascertain that all dharmas are empty in that they are not produced, and having thus eliminated the extreme of existence of entities, the latter extremes are then eliminated in a similar manner.

.

(i.e. The four components of the Tetralemma are four complementary antidotes used in order to stay away from the four extremes. They are used in turn depending on the situation. But only a Buddha can really realize the perfect Union of The Two Truths, and stay away from all extremes simultaneously.)



.

[Answer:] The Svatantrikas differentiate the two truths; and it is true, as you have said, that once having ascertained a pillar as emptiness and eliminated the extreme of substantial existence, they gradually eliminate the latter extremes. However, in this Prasangika context, where it is said that "this dharma is primordially pure," and so forth, by the very fact that the two truths are not differentiated, the pillar as it appears is the equanimity of integrated appearance and emptiness, which qualifies it as birthless emptiness. Since that actually cuts off both extremes of existence and non-existence, it automatically eliminates the extremes of "both" and "neither." For the non-finding of an experiential object of "both" or "neither" in the integrated appearance-emptiness of dharmata is ascertained according to the object of sublime beings' meditative equipoise. Therefore, if one looks honestly, although Prasangika and Svatantrika are similar in ascertaining substantial entities as emptiness, in fact they are dissimilar insofar as they eliminate the four extremes all at once and gradually, respectively, due to the fact that each system posits the presence or absence of a position differently.

.

Therefore, further on, in the context of explaining the disposal of faults in our system, that freedom from extremes is explained extensively, in the manner of coalescence of appearance and emptiness, and in the manner of coalescence being free from extremes and so forth, by means of examples like the moon's reflection in water. But aside from that, one should understand that the analysis of the two truths is not engaged merely by means of using the verbal expression of the complementary aspects of appearance and emptiness.



.

(i.e. He is saying the same thing: ultimately there is no need to use the Tetralemma when one finally realize the non-duality of everything and is thus able to stay away from all extremes simultaneously. That is done when one transcend the duality existence vs. non-existence, or appearance vs. emptiness.)

.

L5: [1.3 Refuting other systems [that lead to a reification of emptiness, or back to some realism] [like extrinsic emptiness]]



L6: [1.3.1 Their determination of the negandum of intrinsic emptiness brings the consequence of extrinsic emptiness]

L7: [1.3.1.1 Contradiction of the intention of Chandrakirti]

L8: [1.3.1.1.1 The question about the purvapaksa's Prasangika negandum]

.

###



1.3.1.1.1

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?"

.

(i.e. Nothing “exist” and is “empty”. Emptiness of inherent existence is not a basic characteristic of a real thing. As Nagarjuna said, characteristic and characterized are inseparable, not the same, not different, non-dual: not two, not one.)



.

[They say] that with an ultimate validating cognition (don dpyod tshad ma) the dharma-possessor, such as a pillar, is not negated, but must be posited as what is left over as a conventional residue. They say, "Well, but the negandum is not that pillar, and if it were, one would denigrate conventionality"; this is how they explain it.

.

(i.e. This should mean that it is not because things are empty of inherent existence that they are completely non-existent, not dependently arisen, not functional, or from the mind only; that would be idealism or nihilism. It doesn’t mean that there is something that is left that is inherently existing.)



.

[We ask], "If it is not the pillar, then what exactly is it?" to which they answer, "The pillar is not empty of being a pillar, but is empty of being truly existent."

.

(i.e. Emptiness is a total negation; there is nothing left on the basis that is not empty. But this means: not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither. It doesn’t just mean: “not existent” (that would be nihilism), or just mean “not non-existent” (that would be like thinking there is something left that is not empty). It only means that the real nature is beyond all description, beyond all conceptualization. Still, the best way to describe this, to point toward the moon, is to use expression like the Tetralemma, or the inseparability of the Two Truths, or the non-duality, or coalescence…)



.

L8: [1.3.1.1.2 Refuting their answer to it]

L9: [1.3.1.1.2.1 Even if one says it is an absolute negation, it becomes an implicative negation]

.

###



1.3.1.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Nothing “exist” and is “empty”. This absolute reality is not both existence and non-existence together; that is the third point of the Tetralemma. It is called the Union of the Two Truths, but it is not a real union because the two things has never existent independently in the first place.)



.

On the basis of that subject, such as a pillar, the emptiness that is the negation of true existence and a left-over appearance in the place where the negandum has been eliminated that is not empty cannot become the coalescence of appearance and emptiness, because one is a bare emptiness, and the other is implicated as a non-empty appearance. For example, there is no sense of coalescence in black and white threads wound together. Therefore, even if one proves an absolute negation over and over [in this way], reasoning establishes that in the final analysis it is an implicative negation. (i.e. To grasp at emptiness as an absolute real thing, or to think that there is something left that is not empty, is to miss the point. Emptiness is just another dependently arisen conceptual antidote; not an absolute characteristic.)

.

L9: [1.3.1.1.2.2 It becomes a species of extrinsic emptiness]



.

###


1.3.1.1.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. So nothing really “exist” and is “empty”; no more than a thing can “inherently exist” and “change” or “cease”. To grasp at emptiness is to think that emptiness is not empty, not a mere conceptual tool.)



.

Thus, both of these two kinds of Madhyamika interpretation—viz., (1) deceptive reality, where a pillar is not empty of being a pillar, but is empty of being truly existent, and (2) where the thoroughly established (yongs grub) dharmata that is a non-empty ultimate is the emptiness of deceptive reality, [such as] a pillar—posit the basis that is empty of something extrinsic as one or the other of the two truths. Therefore, they both propound an emptiness with respect to an extrinsic true existence and an adventitious deceptive reality, respectively. Therefore, whether or not the [exponents of these systems] apply the name [extrinsic emptiness] or not, they maintain a verbal and ontological forms of extrinsic emptiness, respectively. True existence is not established with respect to either of the two truths and is only an object of verbal designation, hence the term "verbal extrinsic emptiness" (tshig gi gzhan stong); and samsara exists conventionally in deceptive reality, hence the term "ontological intrinsic emptiness" (don gyi gzhan stong).

.

You might wonder, "We don't maintain extrinsic emptiness, so how can that be?" In your system, whatever exists conventionally is not negated ultimately and is not empty from its own side; and you claim that whatever is negated ultimately and whatever is empty does not appear conventionally. Because what is empty and what is not empty are different, they are [empty of each another, hence] extrinsically empty. If they are not now extrinsically empty, then even the proponents of extrinsic emptiness would not be proponents of extrinsic emptiness.



.

L9: [1.3.1.1.2.3 It contradicts both scripture and reasoning]

.

###


1.3.1.1.2.3

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!"

.

(i.e. Even the basis of imputation is empty of inherent existence. The conventionally thing left is also empty.)



.

As they do not have a view worthy of such arrogance, he begins with a word of amazement: Woe! If that pillar is not empty of being that pillar, [and one only applies the] negation of emptiness with respect to an extrinsic true existence that does not exist conventionally, then that negandum [of pillar, etc.,] is not empty and is left over. Thus, scripture and reasoning are contradicted. [For example], consider the meaning of scriptural passages [dealing with] the sixteen-fold differentiation of emptiness—"the eye is empty of eye, form is empty of form," etc., and from a sutra, "Kasyapa! Emptiness does not make dharmas empty; dharmas are by their very nature empty," and so forth. As for reasoning, if one analyzes a pillar from the perspective of cause, effect, and essence, it is not established. "Pillar" is the subject, which is non-substantial, because it is not produced from itself, another, both, or without cause, like a dream. Likewise, the subject and probandum are similarly bereft of being the result of an existent or non-existent. And since in essence it is bereft of singleness and plurality, cause, effect, and essence are all dependently arisen. Thus, if there were something non-empty aside from the three doors of liberation, it would contradict the sense of reason. Also, a truly existent thing does not have the distinctions of cause, effect, essence, etc.

.

Also, there would be the consequence of an emptiness without appearance not existing, because it would not be possible in either of the two truths. If it were possible, it would consequently not be realizable by anyone, because it would not be connected with an appearance that would serve as means to realize it. Even if it were realized, it would consequently not be able to serve as an antidote to that which must be abandoned, because it would be a separate emptiness. For example, when one is angry with an enemy, it does no good to recognize the emptiness of space.



.

L7: [1.3.1.2 The inappropriateness of applying one's own qualifications]

L8: [1.3.1.2.1 The unreasonableness of applying qualifications of latter words]

L9: [1.3.1.2.1.1 Refutation through examination of sameness and difference]

.

###


1.3.1.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. To say that something is empty of inherent existence but not completely non-existent doesn’t mean that the thing really exist conventionally, or that there is a real basis.)



.

You might think, "It is reasonable to apply the qualification of empty of true existence.'" But are the pillar and the negandum based upon pillar, namely, true existence, the same or different? (i.e. It is easy to pick any word, phrase, or sentence out of context and turn it into absurdity. That is proper of the limitation of all conceptualization. To understand the real meaning of the teachings one has to get more than just pieces here and there.) In the first case, if the negandum and the basis of negation are the same, when true existence is eliminated from one [of them], it is also reasonable to eliminate from the pillar what is essentially the same as it, because it also is the same as the true existence [of pillar]. For example, if you burn a pillar, its color also changes.

.

Also, according to the second alternative, even if one eliminates a true existence that is other than the pillar, then the pillar would consequently have a non-empty essence immune to analysis, no matter how many Madhyamika reasonings one used to examine it. If you accept that consequence, then a non-empty pillar is contradictory to a valid cognition of ultimate analysis, because it [that is, true existence] would be empty of an extrinsic pillar that is truly existent. This would contradict the position that the pillar is empty of its own essence (rang stong). Finally, true existence would not be negated, because something that is immune to analysis [that is, the pillar] is said to be "truly existent."



.

L9: [1.3.1.2.1.2 Refuting the answer that disposes of its faults]

L10: [1.3.1.2.1.2.1 The answer [to our criticism]]

.

###



1.3.1.2.1.2.1.

"Because true existence is not found to exist,

There is no need to debate sameness and difference"—

.

(i.e. Conventionally we say that everything is not different, not the same; but the very ultimate nature of everything is even beyond this discussion; it is beyond all conceptualization. They are not the same, not different, not both, not neither. The Tetralemma is merely a skillful means, not the very ultimate reality.)



.

"If true existence does not exist because it is not established with respect to either of the two truths, then this examination as to whether it is the same as or different than the pillar is unnecessary."

.

L10: [1.3.1.2.1.2.1 Its refutation]



.

###


1.3.1.2.1.2.2

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!

.

Granted, "true existence" does not exist if you analyze it. However, with respect to ordinary individuals who apprehend self and phenomena as truly existent, Madhyamika reasoning ascertains all dharmas as emptiness, because those ordinary individuals apprehend vases, etc., as truly existent. (i.e. Emptiness is the antidote to “inherent existence”, not the very ultimate truth beyond conceptualization that is called the Union of the Two Truths, or the coalescence.)



.

Since vases, etc., are apprehended as true, and the non-empty vase conforms to the mental object of an ordinary individual, the apprehension of true existence is not stopped. Then, if [as you say] there is some form of "true existence" above and beyond [the vase] that must be mastered as the scope of the negandum, whose object would that be? That mode of appearance of the two forms of self that are the negandum of Madhyamaka—of which self-apprehending person will it be the object? What need would there be to ascertain the selflessness through Madhyamika reasoning of that extraneous object? And yet you flatter yourselves with the idea that this is a Madhyamika interpretation never set forth by earlier generations! For example, it is like asserting the horns of a rabbit as the negandum.

.

Also, all subjects such as vases, pillars, etc., are not immune to analysis. If that [lack of immunity] is not [the same as] absence of true existence, then for whom is that dharma-possessor to be truly existent as the object of the apprehension of true existence? How can one realize that as not truly existent? For even though it is ascertained as not immune to analysis, you claim that it is not non-truly existent. Thus, you think this is how the negandum is explained, or how it appears.



.

L9: [1.3.1.2.1.3 Even though that kind of qualification is known in Svatantrika, it is not necessary for the final meaning]

.

###


1.3.1.2.1.3

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?

.

(i.e. The very ultimate nature of everything is beyond all conceptualization, beyond mere “emptiness of inherent existence”.)



.

To teach with the application of any kind of verbal qualification to the two truths, such as "true existence" or "utterly established" (yang dag par grub pa), etc., is admittedly well known in the Svatantrika corpus of the master Bhavaviveka, and so forth. But in the context of the final analysis of ultimate reality, what need is there to apply those qualifications such as "truly existent"? That [analysis] should ascertain the absence of all elaborations of the four extremes, but a bare emptiness of true existence is not sufficient. Thus, the Avatara commentary says:

For that very reason, the Master did not make qualifications, and saying "not produced from self," he negated production generally. "There are no substantive entities that are ultimately produced from themselves, because they exist, like sentient beings"—one should I think it pointless to add the qualification of "ultimate" to [a negation already] qualified in this way.

.

L8: [1.3.1.2.2 The unreasonableness of applying the prior verbal qualification:]



L9: [1.3.1.2.2.1 The fact that there is contradiction in positing the expectation that requires the application of qualification]

.

###



1.3.1.2.2.1

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!

.

(i.e. This very ultimate nature of everything is beyond existent (like to say that something is dependently arisen), beyond non-existence (like saying something is empty of inherent existence), beyond both (like something that exist and is empty), beyond neither (like something else))



.

If one thinks that one needs to add the qualification "the pillar is not empty of being a pillar": (i.e. This only means that even if everything is empty of inherent existence, they are not-completely non-existent, not from the mind-only. Anybody can show the absurdity of any phrase taken out of context. Why ? Because all conceptualization are necessarily imperfect, necessarily leads to absurdity. That is the meaning of “all views are flawed” from Nagarjuna.) Your expectation is that if the pillar is empty of its own essence, then not only ultimately but deceptively as well there will be no pillar. Thinking this, you fail to distinguish the two truths and doubt the words without investigating their meaning, like a crow struck with hesitant curiosity, and although you apply words in this way, it does not remove your doubt, and again you incur the contradictions arising from merely literal understanding.

.

From the gSung sgros:



The reason is that these words are not reasonable even with respect to deceptive reality, because they are not timely, they are unnecessary, and they contradict your own words. Because of these three faults, the logical mark is established gradually: (1) when explaining the way that eye is ultimately empty of being an eye, it is not the time to discuss the fact that conventionally an eye is not empty of being an eye; (2) the fact that conventionally an eye is not empty of itself, but is empty of being a nose and so forth, is the same for everything and is already established for the world, so it is not necessary to establish it again; and (3) if a vase were truly existent conventionally and were not empty of being a vase, this would contradict the position that "true existence is conventionally non-existent." There the first two cases, which refer to conventionality, and the second two, which refer to ultimate reality, are unreasonable, because they entail the three faults of (1) internal contradiction in the opponent's position, (2) harming the position that emptiness is an absolute negation, and (3) harming the meaning of emptiness arising as relativity. The reasons (rtags) are established gradually: (1) if ultimately the vase is not empty of being a vase, it is truly existent, so there is contradiction of the position of its being empty of true existence; (2) likewise, if the vase is analyzed into parts and part-possessors, etc., down to elementary particles, and is not found, the vase would be empty of vase, and because there is no other way of positing the absence of true existence than this conventional expression of non-existence in truth, this contradicts the statement "a vase is not empty of being a vase."

Moreover, (3) because your ultimate truth analysis implicates a vase in the space left by the negation of true existence, emptiness becomes an implicative negation. But if the vase is not implicated, when negating true existence, the vase will be empty [which is our position anyway]. Also, those dharmas that are not empty of their own essence do not arise from the emptiness that is empty of other dharmas, because empty and not-empty are mutually exclusive. For example, from the absence of a rabbit's horn, a ruminant horn does not arise.

.

L9: [1.3.1.2.2.2 Having asked about it, making a refutation]



L10: [1.3.1.2.2.2.1 The question]

.

###



1.3.1.2.2.2.1

You are not satisfied to say simply,

"A pillar is deceptively existent."

Why must you say, "It is not empty of itself?

.

(i.e. To say that something is empty of inherent existence means that it doesn’t exist as we think it does, nor that it doesn’t exist at all. But we should not grasp at the concept of emptiness itself. Emptiness is also empty of inherent existence.)



.

[The opponent] says, "This statement of ours does not refer to either of the two truths. [What we say] is that a pillar is not empty of being a pillar in terms of deceptive reality, and is empty of being truly existent with respect to ultimate reality. So there is no fault whatsoever." This shows that you are not content to accept the position of previous scholars, who simply said that things are "deceptively existent." For some reason you come up with the new expression "The pillar is not empty of being a pillar." You might say, "Those two expressions are not the same in words, but the meaning comes out the same. We say 'pillar not empty of being a pillar' because it is easier to understand."

.

L10: [1.3.1.2.2.2.2 Its refutation]



L11: [1.3.1.2.2.2.2.1 The contradiction of the meaning not being the same]

.

###



1.3.1.2.2.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. As any other cause and effect that are both empty of inherent existence; emptiness and its basis are also both empty of inherent existence, inseparable, non-dual.)



.

You say the meaning is the same. But if the different modes of expression are different, then these are statements made according people's [differing] intentions, which indicate different meanings, hence they do not mean the same thing. (i.e. There is no absolute meanings, or absolute concepts. One should not judge everybody according to his own interpretation, thinking it is absolute.) For the statement "a pillar exists" is accepted as what merely appears and is generally known, without damaging the way things are known in the world. That statement, and the statement that "a pillar possesses a pillar," are not the same. The former is a mere conventionality, unanalyzed and uninvestigated; the latter is a case of [epistemological] investigation and analysis, where the former [pillar] is the support and the latter [pillar] is supported by it. This is in fact what you end up claiming. It is like saying, for example, "A pillar exists impermanently." Therefore, insofar as a pillar that exists deceptively is a mere appearance of something empty that is naturally apparent as relativity, it is reasonable to accept that the pillar is empty. If [the pillar] were not empty, then not only are the two statements different in meaning, this would contradict the position that [pillars, etc.,] are mere verbal designations that are conceptually imputed. To say "empty of true existence" with respect to ultimate reality contradicts Chandrakirti's assertion that it is not necessary to apply qualifications, and it is the same as the application of the qualification of true existence to the negandum by the Svatantrikas, who expound [a conception] of substantial existence [conventionally].

.

L11: [1.3.1.2.2.2.2.2 That statement is not reasonable in terms of either of the two truths]



.

###


1.3.1.2.2.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. So there is nothing on the basis, nothing that is not merely imputed as Lama Zopa would say.)



.

Another fault follows. Does the statement "a pillar is not empty of being a pillar" refer to ultimate reality or deceptive reality? If one analyzes with respect to ultimate reality, analyzing parts and part-possessors, partless components, directional parts, and so forth, as well as establishment as one or many, and so forth, then one cannot imagine even the slightest essence proper to a pillar. This being the case, how can one possibly be intended by the statement that the dharma-possessor "pillar" is not empty of the dharma "pillar"? In the second alternative, with reference to deceptive reality, if in saying "pillar [is not empty] of being a pillar" the two [pillars] are not identical but are different, it makes sense to say "pillar" twice. And if they are not different, in saying this one is just deluded about words. This is an utterly pointless and cumbersome mode of expression that is difficult to read and write.

.

L11: [1.3.1.2.2.2.2.3 Intrinsic emptiness and not being empty are both unreasonable]



.

###


1.3.1.2.2.2.2.3

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.

.

Thus, if a pillar is not empty of being a pillar, then is the pillar itself not empty, or empty? In the first case, even though one claims that something is intrinsically empty, if, when ascertaining the thing itself, for example, a pillar, it is not empty of itself, the only alternative is to accept that it is empty of some extrinsic negandum, because the pillar exists without being empty of itself. For example, it is like the claim that "thorough establishment" [yongs grub, parinispanna] is extrinsically empty of adventitious defilements. In the second case, if the negandum that is negated ultimately is none other than the pillar, and thus the pillar is empty of its own essence, then this contradicts the claim that the pillar is not empty of itself, because it would be empty of its own essence.



.

The sDud pa says:

If through ignorance one conceptualizes form,

Experiences feelings, and consciously interacts with the aggregates,

Even if such a bodhisattva thinks, "This aggregate is empty,"

[S]he interacts with marks, and has no faith in the birthless.

.

Thus, if you postulate appearances that are empty of something else, you state that there is an appearance that is not empty, and if you say that there is emptiness that is empty of an appearance of something else, then you should analyze how your statement that "something that is not apparent is empty" accords with Nagarjuna's [thought].



.

L6: [1.3.2 Whether it is deceptive or ultimate reality that is extrinsically empty, they both are negated:]

L7: [1.3.2.1 If one focuses on that system, one will not give rise to the qualities of abandonment and realization]

.

###



1.3.2.1

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?

.

(i.e. So to say that everything is empty of inherent existence except emptiness itself, except the Buddha-nature itself, except Nirvana itself, is contradictory. If emptiness were real, then the object called empty would also be real. These two are not different, nor the same.)



.

In general, in each philosophical system there seem to be many different ways of explaining what qualifies as, or is disqualified as, existence, non-existence, emptiness, and non-emptiness, etc. In the teachings of the lord father, Lama Manjusri, it says that according to most earlier scholars, if something exists conventionally, it does not [generally] qualify as something existent, and if something is ultimately non-existent, it [generally] qualifies as something non-existent. Likewise, the earlier scholars who upheld extrinsic emptiness maintain that something that is deceptively existent does not qualify as existent, and that something that is ultimately existent qualifies as existent. Most later scholars say that something that is deceptively existent [generally] qualifies as existent, while something that is ultimately non-existent does not qualify as non-existent [in general]. In the system of intrinsic emptiness, there is only non-existence ultimately, because an ultimately existing thing is impossible. In the system of extrinsic emptiness, if something is non-existent ultimately, it must be deceptive, because what exists ultimately is ultimate reality itself.

.

These are both distinctions of the later philosophical systems. We Nyingmapas do not explain things according to either of these [systems of conventions regarding existence and non-existence in the two truths]. [We say that] because things do exist conventionally, they qualify as conventionally existent, but do not qualify as ultimately existent. Because things are ultimately non-existent, they qualify as ultimately non-existent, but do not thereby qualify as conventionally non-existent. It is taught [in the Nyingma tradition] that this is a way to understand ultimate non-existence and conventional existence as a single meaning that obtains without contradiction on the basis of existing things. In general, even though in philosophical models of the conventionality of appearances there are various conventions of existence, non-existence, deceptiveness, and non-deceptiveness, and so forth, at the time of ascertaining the dharmadhatu emptiness as the object of [sublime] equipoise, the emptiness of one thing with respect to another does not qualify as emptiness.



.

The Uttaratantra says:

Originally without center or periphery, indivisible,

Not dual, not three, stainless, non-conceptual,

The realization of this nature of the dharmadhatu

Is seen by a yogi in equipoise.

.

Since it has to be this way, as there is no dichotomy of dharma-possessors where one is empty and the other not empty, there are no elaborations that adhere to extremes of existence and non-existence; and since there is no eliminating and positing, such as eliminating one thing and positing another, one realizes the equality of all dharmas in birthlessness. Therefore, the extrinsic emptiness of adventitious deceptive reality with respect to the dharmata that is thoroughly established definitely does not qualify as the realization of the emptiness of non-elaboration, which is the support for consummation of the qualities of abandonment and realization, because there is apprehension of the absence of one thing on the basis of something that is other than it existing. For example, even though one realizes that a cow is not established in a horse, that absence of a cow does not suffice to determine that the horse is empty.



.

The Avatara commentary says:

It is not reasonable for the emptiness of one thing in another to be non-substantiality, for in scripture we see "Mahamati! That emptiness that is the absence of one thing in another is the most trivial of emptinesses."

To say "because a cow is not a horse, it does not exist" is not reasonable, because [a cow] exists [as a cow] by its very nature.

.

And so on. The opponent says, "By seeing a horse, one automatically knows that there is no cow there. Likewise, by realizing the very essence of the thoroughly established dharmata, one knows the emptiness that is empty of conceptuality, so that that qualifies as realization of emptiness." Well, even if one has realization of thorough establishment that is not empty of its own essence, what good does that do for realizing the emptiness of adventitious deceptive reality? The consequence is that it would not help, because their essences are different. For example, what good will seeing a horse do for seeing the emptiness of a cow? It won't help. Moreover, even if one knows that [dharmata] is empty of adventitious deceptive phenomena, how will this help one to understand the emptiness of thoroughly established dharmata? That won't help either because their essences are different. The example is as above [the cow and the horse]. Therefore, there is no reason why this should qualify as emptiness.



.

One might say, "The supreme realization is the realization of the non-empty thorough establishment of reality, so by realizing that, one does not need to realize emptiness." Well then, that kind of realization of reality is the subject. The consequence is that it could do nothing to harm the two obscurations that are to be abandoned, and the reason is that one cannot establish the intentional apprehension and antidotes that oppose the two kinds of self-apprehension that are the root of the two obscurations. For example, by knowing that a cow is not present in a horse, how does that help to stop grasping at the horse itself? It doesn't help.

.

On that account, the Pramanavarttika says:



Without refuting this object [of desire],

That desire cannot be abandoned.

The abandonment of desire, hatred, and so forth,

Which is related to [developing] good qualities and [eliminating] faults,

Is [brought about] by not seeing the objects [of the afflictions]

But not [by abandoning the] external [objects themselves].

.

And, from the Sher phyin rgyan:



Others teach that dharmas exist

And maintain that obscurations to the knowable

Are exhausted,

But I find this incredible.

.

If it is not different, then like deceptive reality, ultimate reality will also be intrinsically empty.



.

L7: [1.3.2.2 The coalescence of appearance and emptiness, etc., that transcends narrow-minded perception would be impossible]

.

###


1.3.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Samsara and Nirvana are of the same nature, both merely imputed by the mind. Their very ultimate nature is beyond all conceptualization, but we call them : not different, not the same; inseparable; non-dual, …)



.

In the scriptures and treatises, samsara and nirvana are said to be dharma-possessor and dharmata.

.

The Dharmadharmatavibhaga says:



There, the division of dharmas

Is samsara, and with respect to dharmata,

The divisions of the three vehicles

Have their respective nirvanas.

.

Because they are different, that non-empty nirvana is not the dharmata of samsara, because as something that is not empty of itself, it is different than samsara. Samsara also cannot be its dharma-possessor, because nirvana is something different. They cannot each [be both dharma and dharma-possessor]. Nirvana cannot be both dharmata and dharma-possessor, because non-empty appearance would become permanent; samsara cannot be both dharmata and dharma-possessor, because of being an exclusive emptiness of absolute negation. There is a pervasion—the dharma-possessor is the appearance of dharmata, and dharmata is the nature of the dharma-possessor, and samsara cannot be both of them. Thus, the hollow [claim that extrinsic emptiness is] the intention of Maitreya's teaching collapses.



.

Also, in this type of system, the coalescence of appearance and emptiness is impossible, because the bodies and wisdoms are exclusive appearance devoid of the aspect of emptiness, and samsara is the nihilistic emptiness of adventitious defilements, and those two [samsara and nirvana] are different. If one claims that they are empty of intrinsic nature (ngo bo stong pa), then one will contradict the previous thesis that [ultimate reality] is not empty of its own essence, but is empty of something extrinsic and adventitious.

.

Moreover, there is no sense of the equality of samsara and nirvana here. If there were, then all sentient beings would already have become that equanimity, because one asserts the permanence of a Buddha nature that is not empty of its own essence. If not, then even if sentient beings practiced the path, they would not manifest equanimity, because a permanent reality of equanimity is asserted to be other than samsara. Therefore, "By this syllogism of otherness, differences are vanquished," and "For whomever emptiness doesn't work, nothing works." Thus, because of being non-empty and different, all faults arise.



.

Not only that, the Acintyastava says:

"Existence" is the view of eternalism;

"Non-existence" is the view of nihilism.

Thus, Lord, you have taught the Dharma

That avoids these two extremes.

.

In this system, the middle turning is held to explain the extreme of nihilistic, absolute negation, and the final turning is held to explain the extreme of eternalistic non-emptiness. So if one does fool oneself into believing that this interpretation is terribly profound, that would be better.



.

The [Samadhiraja]sutra says:

Both "existence" and "non-existence" are extremes.

Permanence and impermanence are also extremes.

Thus, having completely abandoned both extremes,

A wise person does not abide in the middle either.

.

Likewise, the glorious Rong zom Chos bzang said:



It is taught that neither production nor destruction is established; the actual nature of things is the absence of production and destruction. One should not try to prove that things are characterized by emptiness of something else, as if saying, "Here, the temple is empty of monks," and so forth.

.

Also, the gSang 'grel says:



All dharmas are empty of intrinsic essence. [But if one] sees them as extrinsically empty, one will not realize that they are empty of their own essence, so their essence would be quite obscure.

.

L7: [1.3.2.3 If that point of view were the meaning of coalescence, it would be easy for anyone to realize it]



.

###


1.3.2.3.

"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.

.

(i.e. All conceptualization, like dependent origination, emptiness, the Tetralemma, non-duality, Union, coalescence, … are just like a finger pointing at the moon. They will never be the moon itself. We cannot realize this very ultimate nature through conceptualization, reasonings, logic, etc. This realization has to be done through direct perception of the real non-dual nature of our own mind in meditation – while uniting Shamatha and Vipashyana.)



.

According to this [opponent's] system [under consideration], the "coalescence of appearance and emptiness" means something like, for example, saying, "A reflection of the moon in water is other than the actual moon in the sky," where the moon in the sky is the emptiness that is empty of deceptive reality, and deceptive reality is the self-appearing apparent aspect of the moon in water. Taken together, these two would be the coalescence of appearance and emptiness. That kind of abiding reality of coalescence would be easy for anyone to realize, from foolish herdsmen on up. Just by seeing, one would definitely realize it, and expounding, debating, and composition would be completely unnecessary.

.

According to that example, the combination of emptiness that is the emptiness of adventitious deceptive reality, and the non-empty abiding ultimate reality that is thoroughly established, might be called "coalescence"; but in fact they cannot be combined, because they are different. Therefore, one might be confused because the mere words "coalescence" and "non-elaborated" are the same [in various systems], but one would be very mistaken in holding all systems to be the same. Whichever meaning one considers here, one must discriminate with respect to the actual meaning, because all of these philosophical systems have the mere words "coalescence" and "non-elaborated." Likewise, the Great Omniscient One says in the Comfort and Ease of Illusion?



Some people say that this dharma is not present in that, making an excluding judgment of emptiness, and claim that [the latter dharma] is not empty of its own essence. This is a fair-weather emptiness, like the fact that the sun is empty of darkness, but not empty of light rays. If one is attached to "truth," one can never be liberated; since the essence of the sun is empty of being one or many, its rays are also empty. This appearance-in-emptiness is said to be suchness. The Bodhicittavivarana says:

The nature of fire is heat,

And the nature of treacle is sweet.

Likewise, the nature of all things

Is taught to be emptiness.

And, from the Prajnaparamita:

Form is intrinsically empty of form.

And, from the Sher rgyan grel chung:

Because everything is empty of its own essence,

Twenty types of emptiness are asserted.

This does not mean that because something is empty, it is non-existent; because the nature of emptiness is inseparable from appearance, all dharmas are reasonable in emptiness—

.

And so on.



.

L7: [1.3.2.4 It would not be fitting for great beings to praise that [point of view]

.

###


1.3.2.4

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"?

.

(i.e. It is beyond all conventional truths, all concepts.)



.

Because it is easy for the wise and foolish alike to recognize that a cow is not a horse, to [maintain that] actually seeing that a cow is not a horse is realization was [sarcastically] said to be "a great wonder" by the Great One. If that is a great wonder, then what more ridiculous thing could there be that is not wondrous? For everyone knows that things are, by their individual [conventional] natures, exclusive of other things, and only exist in that way.

.

L5: [1.4 How those faults do not apply to us [finally saying the same thing as Tsongkhapa]]



L6: [1.4.1 A summary, using a common example, which teaches how our own tradition of absolute negation [implies] coalescence]

.

###



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.

.

(i.e. So when we say everything is still conventionally existent, this doesn’t mean that there is something that is left existing on the basis of imputation; that would be reintroducing inherent existence. It only means that it is not completely non-existent, because non-existence is just another concept, the opposite of existence; and that everything is really beyond this duality.)



.

For appearance and emptiness to be different is totally unreasonable.

.

(i.e. After all the author is saying the same thing as Tsongkhapa. “it is not because everything is empty of inherent existence that they are completely non-existent, not dependently arisen, not appearing, or from the mind only.”)



.

Therefore, how is it that, in our own early translation tradition, an absolute negation is asserted but doesn't imply that there is an emptiness exclusive [of appearance] and an appearance [exclusive of emptiness]? For example, if one analyzes a reflection of the moon in water with respect to the inside, outside, and middle of the water, and also with respect to its own essence, the reflected moon is not found to exist in even the slightest measure according to its manner of appearance, so it abides in emptiness. Though it does not exist—or, is empty— when it is actually perceived as a sensory object, as the form of the moon reflected in water, that kind of mere appearance and the emptiness of absolute negation are established by valid cognition as being inseparable, and hence there is an absolute negation. For to be that way [that is, an absolute negation], and yet be able to appear, is the dharmata of things.

.

A sutra says:



Just as the water-reflected moon at night

Appears in the clear and undisturbed ocean,

The reflected moon is empty, and aggregations are without essence.

All dharmas should be understood in that way.

.

And, from the Hevajratantra (brtag gnyis):



Naturally pure from the beginning,

Neither true nor false, the claim "like a moon

In the water"

Is understood by the yogini.

.

L6: [1.4.2 The extensive explanation:]



L7: [1.4.2.1 It is reasonable because it is directly seen by the wise]

.

###



1.4.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. The Union of the Two Truths, as realized only by a Buddha, also called here the coalescence of the Two Truths, is beyond the duality inherent existence and emptiness of inherent existence. It is neither one of them, nor both together, nor neither – or something else.)



.

The non-contradictory arising of the natural emptiness of all dharmas and the unobstructed apparent aspect of relativity as one object appear to immature, ordinary beings, from a single basis, as if contradictory. But here, it is established by the direct vision of yogis. This nature of things, the coalescence of appearance and emptiness, is praised by the wise with words of wonderment, as "amazing."

.

The Pancakrama says:



If one understands this emptiness of dharmas,

As the relativity of cause and effect,

There is no greater wonder than this!

Nothing is more amazing than this!

.

(i.e. He is saying exactly the same thing as Tsongkhapa: everything is empty of inherent existence because dependently arisen.)



.

And, from the Great Omniscient One:

When the yogi free of subject and object perceives

This appearance-in-non-existence, he laughs in amazement.

.

L7: [1.4.2.2 It is reasonable because it is inferred by reasoning]



.

###


1.4.2.2

If one examines from the side of emptiness,

Because nothing at all is non-empty,

One can say simply that everything is "non-existent."

.

(i.e. So we should not grasp at “emptiness”; it is also a dependently arisen concepts, an adapted skillful means, a conventional truths, something empty of inherent existence, something beyond existence and non-existence.)



.

For that reason, the previous thesis of absolute negation is reasonable. If one thus investigates from the perspective of emptiness, because there is not the slightest pure or afflicted dharma that is not empty, one can say apodictically, without the slightest doubt, that from the perspective of that valid cognition that investigates ultimate reality, it is an "absolute negation."

.

(i.e. He is saying exactly the same thing as Tsongkhapa: all dharma are empty of inherent existence, there is no exception.)



.

The Uttaratantra says:

The nature of mind is like space,

Without cause or condition;

It is not an aggregate and has no

Production, destruction, or abiding.

.

L7: [1.4.2.3 Perfectly explaining the meaning established with these reasons]



L8: [1.4.2.3.1 The manner of abiding of things is emptiness and relativity abiding inseparably]

.

###



1.4.2.3.1

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.

.

(i.e. Even if everything is empty of inherent existence because dependently arisen, everything is still “appearing” in dependence, and still “functional”. Emptiness and appearances are inseparable; one implies the other. That is the meaning of the Union of The Two Truths, of this coalescence.)



.

However, "non-existence" is not something other, because it appears to others. That non-existence or emptiness of essence does not remain on its own as non-existence, but arises unimpededly as the appearance of relativity, which is the basic reality of luminosity. It is not the case that something that existed before later becomes non-existent; whatever appears in samsara and nirvana does not remain on its own as appearance. It is not like "reversal to the basis" of emptiness in philosophical systems that propound existence; because self-liberation in baseless emptiness is taught according to the abiding nature of reality, which is coalescence free of elaboration, the meaning [of this teaching] abides in the Great Middle (dbu ma chen po).

.

(i.e. He is saying exactly the same thing as Tsongkhapa: it is not because everything is empty of inherent existence that they are completely non-existent, not appearing, not dependently arisen, not functional, or from the mind-only. Emptiness doesn’t deny conventional truths, doesn’t deny appearances, Those two are in fact inseparable, non-dual: not two, not one. That is the meaning of the Union of The Two Truths, the coalescence, the inseparability of appearances and emptiness, …)



.

Therefore, the Great Omniscient One said:

Existence is not established in appearance; emptiness does not veer into non-existence. This should be understood as the nature of non-dual great spontaneous presence.

.

L8: [1.4.2.3.2 In explaining that the way it is, it is not necessary to apply qualifications]



.

###


1.4.2.3.2

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;

.

(i.e. So nothing really exist and is empty, as if the two could have existed separately and then be united. They have always been inseparable – like any two poles of any apparent duality – merely imputed by the mind.)



.

When ascertaining that kind of Madhyamaka, although an extrinsic true existence or adventitious deceptive reality is the empty aspect that is absolutely negated, this negandum is not used to qualify the emptiness of pillars or Buddha nature, nor do we ever find any distinctions of dualistic dharmas, such as the twofold partlessness of [the Sautrantikas and Vaibhasikas], or the conventional establishment by way of identifying characteristics in Svatantrika. All such divisions of dualistic dharmas are never to be found, because they are the inseparable equanimity.

.

(i.e. He is saying exactly the same thing as Tsongkhapa: things do not “exist” and are “empty”. Emptiness is not an absolute or basic characteristic of real things. Emptiness is also empty of inherent existence; it should not be grasped.)



.

The Shing rta chen po says:

Those people who propound a nihilistic emptiness of non-existence do not understand the nature of emptiness, and are similar to the heretical Lokayatas (phyi rol pa rgyang 'phen pa). The emptiness of "this is empty, this is not empty" is a trivial emptiness similar to views of eternalism and the views of sravakas and pratyekabuddhas. Because these views fall into the extremes of nihilism and eternalism, one should simply not rely upon them.

.

Also, the great Rong zom Chos bzang said:



There all dharmas are without the establishment of the modes of dharma-possession and dharmata, and are thus empty of intrinsic essence. There no is postulation of "this being empty of that."

.

L8: [1.4.2.3.3 Even if one does not apply them, one will develop experience]



.

###


1.4.2.3.3

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!

.

(i.e. Knowing this, that the real non-dual nature of everything is beyond all of our capacity of conceptualization, then one is ready to let go of trying to understand everything conceptually, and ready to try to directly see the real nature of his/her own mind without using conceptualization.)



.

In the equanimity of inseparability one does not have to rely upon the opinions of others, and thus, free from the fetters of one's doubt, one acquires certainty within oneself.

.

Other scholars, through the power of not understanding in this way, have investigated the nature of reality again and again, and as much as they have tried to find it, they have just worn out and frustrated themselves, without realizing the meaning of dharmata. Without such frustration or regret, one becomes extraordinarily happy, even if others are dissatisfied.



.

Though others do not see it, one conceives irreversible confidence and thinks, "Amazing!" I say:

If one analyzes the meaning of things with an honest mind,

One sees with a mind that conforms to the meaning of emptiness.

If this statement about the nature that is sought on the path of liberation

Seems wearisome to anyone, I beg your pardon.

.

.

.



.

.

.



*******************************************************

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

.

L1: [9.2. 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, and are stuck hiding in cessation]]



.

(i.e. Résumé of Topic 2: In this section Mipham confirms that emptiness is a concept also used in the Hinayana; but that they do not cover the full extent of its authentic meaning by applying it to all dharmas without exception. They still believe in real elementary external and internal dharmas. And, this way, they still grasp at the seeds of their self; they still hold on to the causes for a subtle self, and thus cannot reach true authentic Liberation. So they do realize the two emptinesses of persons and phenomena, but not completely. To realize the selflessness of person is not enough. At one point or another, the arhat stuck in cessation (rejection and hiding) will have to realize that the job is not finish and continue within the Mahayana.)

.

L4: [0.2.1.2 An incidental analysis of whether sravakas and pratyekabuddhas have realization of the view of emptiness: [Nevertheless, arhats do not realize the selflessness of phenomena in its entirety]]



L5: [2.1 Refuting other systems]

L6: [2.1.1 Refuting the assertion of not realizing emptiness]

L7: [2.1.1.1 Setting up the purvapaksa]

.

###



2.1.1.1

Some say that sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats

Do not realize phenomenal selflessness.

.

(i.e. The two emptinesses: emptiness of person or self, emptiness of phenomena.)



.

Now, the meaning of the second question is as follows. Some earlier scholars (snga rab pa) have said that sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats realize only the selflessness of persons, but do not realize the selflessness of phenomena.

.

The Abhidharmakosa says:



If the conception of something such as a vase or water

Does not arise when it is destroyed or analytically divested [of properties],

That is deceptively existent;

Otherwise, it is ultimately existent.

.

Quoting this, the self of persons is said to be non-existent, and to know it as such is the authentic view of selflessness. Because the dharmas of the coarse skandhas, dhatus, and ayatanas have the nature of the two kinds of subtle partlessness, they are not understood as the emptiness of selflessness; but the attainment of the twice-four and eightfold liberation is nonetheless asserted.



.

L7: [2.1.1.2 Refuting it]

L8: [2.1.1.2.1 If selflessness is not realized, negative emotions are not abandoned]

.

###



2.1.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Realizing selflessness of our person is not enough.)



.

Let us examine that system: if the selflessness of phenomena is not realized, then to that extent there is apprehension of the five appropriating (nyer len, upadana) skandhas as a single substantial entity, and then there is the apprehension of "I." As long as the self that is the apprehension of a mere "I" is not eliminated, there is the root of the suffering of samsara, which is the apprehension of self. By the power of that, negative emotions are not abandoned.

.

The Ratnavali says:



As long there is apprehension of the skandhas,

There is the apprehension of them as "I."

If there is apprehension of "I," there is karma,

And from that comes rebirth.

.

As it is said here, there are karma and negative emotions, and by their power one is unable to abandon samsara, or attain the result [of liberation].



.

The Pramanvarttika says:

Everything that is harmful

Arises from the view [of the self] of the perishable assemblage.

That is ignorance, and attachment [arises] there,

And from that arise anger and so forth.

For that very reason, the cause

Of harm is said to be ignorance.

In other [treatises] it is [called] the view of the perishable assemblage,

Because when it is abandoned, [ignorance, etc.,] are abandoned___

.

L8: [2.1.1.2.2 how that kind of self is a mere designation, or a type of conditioned phenomenon]



.

###


2.1.1.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Both persons and phenomena are empty of inherent existence the same way. The real problem is not only the illusion of a self, but the ignorance about the real non-dual nature of all dharmas.)



.

For that reason, generally speaking the cause of samsara is said to be ignorance, and the special result (nyer len) of that is the view of the perishable assemblage ('jig tshogs lta ba, satkayadrsti). The self that is the object [of that view] is nothing but a designation made in dependence upon the five skandhas, and has not one iota of true existence. Nevertheless, from beginningless time there is the object that is apprehended as a self by the innate apprehension of "I," and the objects that are clung to by the apprehension of a self of phenomena; these exist from the perspective of delusion. If they are investigated as having a nature of unity or multiplicity, the self of persons and the self of phenomena are both found to be empty. Those two are differentiated as bases upon which emptiness is established, but are not at all different with respect to how emptiness is established. If the dharmas that are the bases of designation of vases and so forth are analyzed into their component parts, their inherent existence is not established; if the five aggregates that are the basis of the designation of "person" are analyzed into their component parts, the self is found to be empty of intrinsic establishment. [Thus, both the self of persons and the self of phenomena are] empty, but the way in which they are empty is identical. If this Madhyamika analysis of parts, which shows that all dharmas are not established, means that [all dharmas] are empty, then the non-establishment of the continuum and coarse [aggregates according to the systems of] sravakas and pratyekabuddhas is also emptiness. If the way in which the self of persons is non-established is not emptiness, then the way in which the self of phenomena is non-established would not be emptiness either.

.

Thus, the Abhidharmakosa says:



If the conception of something, such as a vase or water, Does not arise when it is destroyed or analytically divested [of properties]___

.

And the Bodhicaryavatara says:



The body is not the feet or the calves,

The body is not the waist or the thighs —

.

Since the manner of reasoning is identical, there is no difference in [the manner of] emptiness. Thus, it is pointless for sravakas to find anything unreasonable with the Mahayana explanation of emptiness.



.

L8: [2.1.1.2.3 it is proven by scripture and reasoning that (arhats) realize that, and the claim that they do not realize it is not proven]

.

###


2.1.1.2.3

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.

.

Thus, as explained above, the fact that arhats realize the emptiness of selflessness is proven in the Madhyamakavatarabhasya with seven scriptural quotations and three rational arguments, and is thus directly proven. To go beyond this and state, "Sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats do not realize emptiness" is just to make an unprovable claim.



.

L6: [2.1.2 Refuting assertions of realization]

L7: [2.1.2.1 The purvapaksa]

.

###



2.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Some think that all paths are equal.)



.

Thus, some later scholars draw unwarranted conclusions from Chandrakirti's proof based on scripture and reasoning, and conclude that the path of vision of sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas is the same, and make the assertion that their realizations of the meaning of the all-pervasive dharmata is without any distinction of profundity. However, in the Prajnaparamita it is said that the basic awareness (gzhi shes) has distinctions of near and far with respect to the resultant mother ('bras yum); and that sravakas and pratyekabuddhas realize the object of [wisdom, namely] the absence of inherent existence, but do not realize the absence of inherent existence of the subject that realizes it, and do not abandon [that misapprehension of the inherent existence of the subject]. In addition, most texts of Maitreya explain that cognitive obstructions are to be abandoned from the first bhumi onward; and, in the tantras of the Mantrayana, various distinctions of the vehicles are explained.

.

[Thus, since] the texts of sutra and mantra expound differences among the types of realization attained in the three vehicles, how should they be interpreted? "In the far-reaching [stage], the intellect becomes distinguished...." Thus, basing themselves on a single verse of the root text and commentary, the [purvapaksa] interprets all sastras as being of provisional meaning, even though there is no threefold evidence of purpose, intent, and contradiction-if-taken-literally.



.

L7: [2.1.2.2 Its refutation]

L8: [2.1.2.2.1 The criticisms of others cannot be deflected]

.

###



2.1.2.2.1

There, when those who have already traveled lower paths

Achieve 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.

.

(i.e. It would be wrong to think that after being an arhat there is nothing else to realize.)



.

In this kind of system, other scholars [have said], in accordance with your system, that those who have previously traversed the paths of the lower vehicles, such as sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats, must once again attain the path of vision and the second bhumi, and so forth. [Here] there is the fault that they would not have anything at all to abandon, for one would have to assert that a sravaka or pratyekabuddha arhat, who has already abandoned emotional obscurations, would not have to abandon cognitive obscurations on the seven impure [bodhisattva] bhumis. Moreover, [the particle] "and so forth" [implies that, in addition to there being] nothing to abandon, there would not be any primordial awareness of realization to be attained anew. Even if there were, there would be no use or ability [for one to abandon anything]—the dual accumulation of countless eons' duration would be pointless; the distinctions of higher and lower and faster and slower vehicles [would be senseless]; there would be no distinction of sharp and dull faculties among the three lineages (rigs can) of practitioner; and so on. Thus, many faults of logical contradiction would descend like spring water, and the refutations that are cast by perfect reasoning would descend irrevocably.

.

L8: [2.1.2.2.2 Their position is self-contradictory]



.

###


2.1.2.2.2

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] non-realization, 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!

.

(i.e. The realization of the arhat is not enough to abandon the cognitive obscurations; so they are still dependent on their ignorance.)



.

There is still another fault. If sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats have realization of both forms of selflessness, then they have abandoned the obscurations to liberation through realizing the selflessness of persons. So likewise, why wouldn't they [also] have abandoned the obscurations to omniscience by realizing the selflessness of phenomena—as those two are equivalent? Then they say, "[The reason] the [obscurations to omniscience] are not abandoned is because, although both forms of selflessness have been realized, in order to abandon cognitive obscurations, [one's practice] must be allied with the ornament of boundless accumulations [of merit and wisdom]." However, the accumulations are not the actual antidote to the abandonment [of cognitive obscurations].

.

The Pramanavarttika says:



Since love and so forth do not oppose ignorance,

They do not eliminate the worst of evils.

.

Well, then, what does? In order to attain realization, one needs [both] accumulations. If one attains realization through accumulations, one will eliminate what is to be abandoned, since the actual opponent is the attainment of realization, just as the rising sun eliminates darkness.



.

Then they say, "If one meditates extensively in terms of time and forms (dus dang rnams pa), that is the antidote for cognitive obscurations." Well then, is that extensive meditation the antidote for emotional obscurations or not? If it is, then sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats would not eliminate emotional obscurations, because they do not have such extensive meditation [as is taught in the Mahayana]. If not, then during the seven impure bhumis bodhisattvas would not have to undertake such meditation, because if during that time they only abandon emotional obscurations, that would not be the antidote for those [emotional obscurations]. Moreover, if obscurations are not abandoned by the primordial wisdom of realization, then sravakas and pratyekabuddhas also would not abandon emotional obscurations, because they are not adorned with boundless accumulations. If they did abandon them, sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats would abandon both obscurations, because they have the antidote—the realization of both forms of selflessness.

.

If it is the case that they do not abandon the cognitive obscurations, because they have not realized the selflessness of phenomena, this contradicts the position that they do realize [both forms of selflessness]; if they do realize them both, this contradicts the position that they have not abandoned cognitive obscurations. This would be like the sun rising, but not dispelling darkness.



.

The Uttaratantra says:

Without wisdom, the other [virtues]

Are not able to remove [obscurations].. .

.

And, from the Pramanavarttika:



Because the view of emptiness contradicts that,

It is proven to oppose

All evils that have the nature of that [ignorance]__

.

If, without being adorned with boundless accumulations, one does not abandon them, then from the first bhumi onward cognitive obscurations would be abandoned, because one would be adorned with the accumulations. If one does not at that point abandon them, because one does not have the boundless accumulations of the eighth bhumi, then one would not abandon them on the eighth bhumi either, because there one does not have the accumulations one does on the tenth bhumi. For example, it would be like the rising sun requiring assistance in vanquishing the darkness—quite strange! There, if "obscuration" that is obscuration of the nature of things—which is emptiness—were not obscuration, then even if the object of obscuration that is emptiness were apparent, it would not be abandoned, and the adornments of accumulation would be hard [to achieve].



.

L6: [2.1.3 Refuting assertions of realizing emptiness of each and every member of the catuskoti]

L7: [2.1.1.2.3.1 The purvapaksa]

.

###



2.1.1.2.3.1

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.

.

Some later [scholars] say that sravakas and pratyekabuddhas realize the emptiness that is the absence of true existence of the five aggregates that are the cause of the apprehension of self in their own continua of experience (rang rgyud), because they have the realization of selflessness of persons that is the result of that. However, [they also assert] that they do not realize the selflessness of other phenomena, such as the latter alternatives, and so forth.



.

L7: [2.1.1.2.3.2 Refutation based on its internal contradictions]

.

###


2.1.1.2.3.2

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?

.

In your system, if sravakas and pratyekabuddha arhats realize the emptiness that is the lack of inherent existence of the five aggregates, then since, except for noncomposite ('dus ma byas, asamskrta) [phenomena], there are no phenomena not included [in the five aggregates], and moreover, since in the Sautrantika system noncomposites are also held to be non-substantial designations (dngos med btags yod), there would be no phenomenon that sravakas and pratyekabuddha arhats would not realize to be without true existence. So, would the emptiness realized by that arhat be the selflessness of continua and coarse [aggregates], or would it be the emptiness taught in Madhyamaka? The first case would contradict the realization of the baseless emptiness of the five aggregates, because in the [abhidharma] two kinds of partlessness are asserted to exist ultimately. The second case would contradict the assertion that the selflessness of other phenomena are not realized, for in the [Madhyamaka] it is said that all dharmas, composite and noncomposite, are empty.



.

"That fault does not apply to us. In the path of the Hinayana, continuity and coarse [aggregates] are realized to be without inherent existence. For example, if one knows the interior of a reed to be empty, one can gradually come to know others to be so also. Likewise, having eliminated the first extreme of existence as explained in the Madhyamaka, which is the true existence of all phenomena, one gradually realizes selflessness. As the explanation of the latter three extremes is unique to the Mahayana, those other dharmas are not realized [by sravakas and pratyekabuddhas] to be empty."

.

Well then, they would also realize [the emptiness] of the latter three extremes, for if they realize gradually, they should realize the [latter three extremes gradually], as in your example of the empty interior of a reed; and whatever you say in response, for example, "they don't specifically try to," could also be applied to the first extreme. Also, lacking the middle two extremes could only apply to the systems of the pratyekabuddha and Cittamatra, for if there are differences in the views of the three vehicles, then the sravakas are the ones who eliminate the first extreme, and the Madhyamika view eliminates all four extremes. Thus, these assertions that sravakas realize emptiness would have to posit a new classification of paths and results that do not belong to either the Mahayana or the Hinayana, for the view is identical, while the meditation and conduct are dissimilar.



.

L5: [2.2. An explanation of our own system:]

L6: [2.2.1 Explanation of the intention of glorious Chandrakirti]

L7: [2.2.1.1 Chandrakirti's explanation in the Auto-commentary [of the Madhyamakavatara] of the purpose of teaching the two kinds of selflessness individually]

.

###


2.2.1.1

So what is our own tradition?

Glorious Chandrakirti's Auto-commentary

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.

.

The explanations that sravakas and pratyekabuddhas realize both types of emptiness completely, or not at all, are both unreasonable. Thus, in our early translation tradition, how do we take the intention of glorious Chandrakirti?



.

On the statement of the Madhyamakavatara that

This selflessness, in order to liberate beings,

Was taught as the selflessness of phenomena and persons...,

.

the Auto-commentary says that in order to abandon emotional obscurations that involve the three realms, to sravakas and pratyekabuddhas the victors teach the selflessness of persons and liberate them from samsara; in order to abandon cognitive obscurations that obstruct omniscience, to the victors' heirs—the bodhisattvas—the victors teach the selflessnesses of phenomena in their entirety, [and thus] both [types of selflessness] are realized.



.

The Auto-commentary says:

There, the selflessness of persons is taught in order to liberate sravakas and pratyekabuddhas; and in order to liberate bodhisattvas in the attainment of omniscience, both are taught. Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas see the conditioned nature of dependent origination, but in that [context] they do not meditate upon the entirety of phenomenal selflessness. This is just a method for abandoning the negative emotions that involve the three realms of existence.

.

L7: [2.2.1.2 Anticipating doubts about the above explanation that sravakas and pratyekabuddhas have realization of emptiness]



.

###


2.2.1.2

"Well then, what does it mean to say

That both sravakas and pratyekabuddhas

Have realization of emptiness?"

.

"Well then, why is it that in the Dasabhumikasutra it is said that, in the context of the far advanced [bhumi], 'both sravakas and pratyekabuddhas realize emptiness'? Thus goes the Auto-commentary..."



.

L7: [2.2.1.3 Explaining the intention behind it]

.

###


2.2.1.3

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].

.

The meaning of that statement is as follows. The doubt concerning the "realization of emptiness by sravakas and pratyekabuddhas" was already anticipated in the context of teaching the distinctions of emptiness [for example, as the selflessness of persons and phenomena]. As for the statement that "Sravakas and pratyekabuddhas have realization of emptiness": in order to abandon the samsaric emotional afflictions, by realizing the emptiness that is the lack of inherent existence of continuity and coarse [aggregates] of all outer and inner phenomena, there is realization and meditation upon the selflessness of persons. Although sravakas and pratyekabuddhas do have realization of the lack of inherent existence of continuity and coarse [aggregation], that kind of "selflessness of phenomena is not meditated in its entirety." According to this statement [in the Auto-commentary], one should be able combine the meanings of the earlier and later [statements] without any contradiction.



.

L6: [2.2.2 Laying out the position of omniscient Klong chen pa]

.

###


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.

.

The position of our own early translation tradition, according to the omniscient Klong chen pa: Klong chen rah 'byams... In accordance with the intention of Chandrakirti, Klong chen rab 'byams has said that all the earlier scholars of India and Tibet have disputed whether [sravakas and pratyekabuddhas] realize both forms of selflessness, with some saying that they do, and some saying that they do not. Our own position is as follows. We do not accept either of these onesided approaches. The earlier holders of the eighteen philosophical systems of the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas had various views concerning whether or not there was a personal self (gang zag gi bdag, pudgalatman). But regardless, in the final analysis, [they all agree that] in order to realize arhatship one must abandon the obscuration of emotional defilements, and in order to abandon it, one must realize the emptiness of the object that is clung to by innate self-apprehension, which is the apprehension of the five skandhas as a self-sufficient entity (phung po Inga ril por 'dzin pa), for otherwise, there is no liberation. That [sravakas and pratyekabuddhas] have realization of precisely that is established by scripture and reasoning in the sutras and sastras. If one must realize the selflessness of persons in order to realize the result of arhatship, its necessary and sufficient cause is to realize the absence of the inherent existence of continuity and coarse [aggregation] of all phenomena.



.

Nevertheless, they do not realize the selflessness of phenomena in its entirety. In some sutras, the example used is a droplet of water carried by a spra rtsi, and in some it is the space inside a sesame seed that has been eaten by a worm. In that way, sravakas' and pratyekabuddhas' realization of emptiness is said to be extremely limited. Thus, with "words that negate the small," it is said that they do not realize emptiness.

.

On this, the commentary of the Wish-fulfilling Treasury (Yid bzhin rin po che'i mdzod) says:



If one wonders whether sravaka and pratyekabuddha arhats realize emptiness, some earlier masters said that, aside from the selflessness of persons, they do not realize it, and that pratyekabuddhas realize only half of phenomena to be without inherent existence, and thus do not realize both. Some assert that they do realize emptiness, so there are disputes. This is how I understand it: in earlier times when the various sravaka schools were spreading, some asserted a self, some did not, some asserted it to be like a reflection, and so forth. [In this way], [basing themselves on distinct conceptions about the self], they established their paths. In the context of fruition, based on the paths followed, one can surmise that some did realize emptiness and some did not. Also, the arhats who followed the path of the Vaibhasikas, who previously had strong clinging to existence, are said to have realized only the selflessness of persons, but not of phenomena, because of their apprehension of characteristics. The Sautrantikas [on the other hand] understood it better, saying that [the self] is like a reflection, so I think they realized [both]. Now, those of sharp faculties would infer that everything is equivalent to the dharmas of the form [aggregate], while the dull would not understand anything other than what was actually taught to them. Since both are in agreement as far as realizing the nature of selflessness, both must realize the emptiness of apprehending the aggregates [as a self], and so forth.

.

Thus, this interpretation is an extraordinary eloquent explanation. In the Land of Snows, there is no other system like it.



.

L6: [2.2.3 Explaining our own system by examples, in accordance with their [explanations]]

L7: [2.2.3.1 Explaining that system through examples]

.

###



2.2.3.1

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.

.

"Well then, if this is an eloquent explanation unlike any other, what exactly does it mean?" The realization by sravakas and pratyekabuddha arhats that all dharmas are emptiness is like taking a gulp of the water of the vast ocean; if one drinks it, it is not correct to say that "I have not drunk the water of the ocean." The sravakas and pratyekabuddhas exemplified here realize the mere "I"—which is one of all the phenomena realized by bodhisattvas to be empty—to be empty or selfless; thus, they are asserted to see and realize emptiness.



.

The Madhyamakavatara says:

Thus, seeing the emptiness of "I" and "mine,"

The yogi is fully liberated.

.

Thus, it actually says that to see selflessness is to realize emptiness. For that reason, all the results of the three vehicles depend on the realization of emptiness, which is the non-dual doorway to peace. Thus, for those who think that sravakas' and pratyekabuddhas' vision of [the noble] truths is not the same as the meaning of emptiness, it is proven by the great system-builders [of the Mahayana, such as Chandrakirti] that the "vision of the truths" and the realization of emptiness mean the same thing, insofar as they are just a general case and specific instance. However, just as drinking a single gulp one does not suffice to ingest all the water of the great ocean, since they do not entirely realize the empty nature of all knowable things, such as the two kinds of partlessness, it is asserted that they do not see the selflessness of phenomena in its entirety.



.

The Sutra Teaching the Two Truths says:

Bodhisattva mahasattva! It is better to abide on the stage of faith that aspires to non-reification, even though one has emotional disturbances; for sravakas and pratyekabuddhas who have reifications, have attained liberation, and are without emotional disturbances do not have such [an aspiration] .

.

And further:



Consider this. For example, just like a droplet of butter that clings to a fragment of a hair split a hundredfold, the objectified uncompounded wisdom of sravakas and pratyekabuddhas is small, and is reified. Consider this, Kasyapa! Just as though the four oceans were filled with butter, a bodhisattva mahasattva is endowed with all sublime ways of acting, in the manner of non-action, on the stage of action through faith that does not reify anything; (s)he sees in the manner of non-seeing that all the accumulations of merit and wisdom are all collected, yet are not compounded. Moreover, the blazing fire of ultimate reality fully matures (the bodhisattva). (S)he comes to realize, in a non-reifying way, the omniscient wisdom endowed with all sublime qualities. Likewise, Kasyapa, the bodhisattva mahasattva overwhelms, in a non-reifying manner, all the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas who have attained the non-compounded and who reify things.

.

L7: [2.2.3.2. Responses that dispose of faults:]



L8: [2.2.3.2.1 Setting forth a fault]

.

###



2.2.3.2.1

If one sees the emptiness of a single thing,

Why wouldn't one see the emptiness of everything?

.

If one sees one dharma as being truthless and empty, one should see all dharmas in the same way. For example, as in the case of the empty interior of a reed, when one sees the selflessness of persons, why wouldn't one see the selflessness of other things as well?



.

L8: [2.2.3.2.2 The response:]

L9: [2.2.3.2.2.1 Those of inferior lineage do not realize it;]

L10: [2.2.3.2.2.1.1 The actual [response]]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.1.1

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.

.

Generally speaking, among the sravakas there are those whose spiritual destiny is determinate (rigs nges pa) and must go to peace, and those whose destiny is indeterminate, whose minds are changeable. If those whose destiny is indeterminate and who have sharp intelligence analyze according to the Buddha's scriptures, their own reasoning, and a teacher's instructions, and try to see in this way, it is possible for them to see [both forms of selflessness] . Not only that, in the long run, all will realize [both forms of selflessness]. However, in the short run, because they have a determinate spiritual destiny, those who have the destiny of being sravakas—who are progressing toward peace —are afraid of samsara, and in order to abandon it, they cling to its antidote, the selflessness of persons. For that reason, it is obviously difficult for them to realize [the emptiness] of the latter extremes. They do not cut off the subtle extremes of inanimate things and mind. With the reasoning of "blowing and scattering coarse aggregations" (rags pa'i bsil rtor), they assert that a vase [for example] is a non-substantially existent designation, but that partless atoms are the substantially existent basis for the composition [of things such as vases].



.

L10: [2.2.3.2.2.1.2 The reason, which adduces the example of not realizing partlessness]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.1.2

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].

.

If one were to analyze not only [composites like vases], but also the partless particles [that compose them], it would be reasonable to realize them to be non-existent. If one were to transfer the mode of reasoning from one case to another similar case and investigate [the latter] in this way, the mind that analyzes a vase and realizes it to be a designation would also realize that atoms are merely non-existent. However, with respect to individual dispositions, mental abilities and aspirations, usually (re zhig) the two [types of] partless [atoms] are not realized to be truthless, and the [emptiness] of the extreme of existence is not completely realized. Accordingly, the other extremes would be difficult to realize.



.

L10: [2.2.3.2.2.1.3 To some extent, lower systems are without fault as mere paths to liberation]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.1.3

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].

.

Well, if they don't realize emptiness perfectly, do Hinayanists reach liberation? If one investigates, although it seems contradictory for something to be both the basis for the composition of a macroscopic phenomenon (rags pa'i gzhi) and to be a truly existent partless atom, while those who have the spiritual destiny of aspiring to personal peace (nirvana) are reaching the temporary result [of personal nirvana], they are bereft of the scriptures, reasoning, and personal instructions of the Mahayana, and they accomplish the systems that do not contradict the paths of liberation from samsara—for just those can vanquish deluded concepts (tshul min yid byed kyi rtog pa). [These systems] are not like the mistaken systems that teach the existence of a self of persons.



.

L10: [2.2.3.2.2.1.4 Otherwise, all higher and lower systems would be untenable]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.1.4

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

Non-establishment 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] ?

.

"If Hinayanists realized the lack of inherent existence of coarse [aggregations], they should also realize [the lack of inherent existence of] the subtle partless particles that compose them—for if one applies the reasoning of one context to another, this would be established." Well then, since Cittamatrins realize the non-existence of external objects, by applying that reasoning to the subject, why would they not also realize its truthlessness? For they are of similar types. And why wouldn't Svatantrikas also be able to reapply the reasoning that establishes that ultimately things are not established in truth, and thus realize that even conventionally, the intrinsic characteristics of things are not established? In your opinion, these realizations would be entailed. Therefore, for you, all philosophical systems would become the Prasangika system.



.

Accordingly, if those sravakas and pratyekabuddhas understood the intent of the Mahayana, then how could they possibly denigrate the Mahayana, saying that it is not the teaching of the Buddha, and so forth? Moreover, just think what would happen with the [Samkhya teaching],

Whatever is visible

Is insubstantial like magic...

.

How could that be possible? Think about it.



.

L9: [2.2.3.2.2.2 When conditions are incomplete, it is not realized]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.2

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.

.

When conditions are incomplete, it is not realized: Thus, although... For that reason, between the nature of objects and the way in which the object possessing mind engages them, as far as the object is concerned, the nature of one thing (chos can) is equally the nature of all other things. If the internal and external causes and conditions for realizing how it is are complete, the object-possessor mind can engage things accordingly.



.

As the Pramanavarttika says:

When causes are complete,

What can prevent a result from occurring?

.

Similarly, as long as one has not assembled the outer condition of the support [of a teacher] (yongs 'dzin) and the internal condition of skillful methods, to that extent, one's realization will come slowly; it will take long to become realized.



.

Thus, the Abhisamayalamkara says:

Because there is reification,

There is no method, and it is far..,.

.

L9: [2.2.3.2.2.3 Distinctions of mental ability:]



L10: [2.2.3.2.2.3.1 How realization and non-realization arise according to distinctions of mental ability]

.

###



2.2.3.2.2.3.1

Generally speaking, those with sharp minds become realized

Under their own power, while dullards

Do not necessarily reach realization immediately.

.

Generally speaking, the nature of an object is engaged by the object-possessor mind; the speed with which this occurs is determined by the completion or non-completion of external and internal conditions. Specifically, the mental ability of the object-possessor is distinguished as "sharp" or "dull." Those of sharp abilities who follow the Dharma achieve realization quickly by their own power, while those of dull faculties do not necessarily reach realization immediately under their own power, because someone who does not have a complete set of mental abilities as a condition must rely upon [other] conditions.



.

L10: [2.2.3.2.2.3.2 How even the dull-witted should eventually become realized]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.3.2

At some point, realization is inevitable;

At the end of ten thousand eons, it is said,

The arhat wakes up from the state of cessation,

And enters the Mahayana path.

.

When a sravaka who has gone to peace is aroused by Buddhas from the obscuration of his destiny, at that point, it is certain that one will realize emptiness, the nature of things. For the sravakas and pratyekabuddha arhats have dried up the ocean of blood and tears, and cast away the heap of flesh and bones, and reached nirvana, where they are absorbed in the state of cessation for ten thousand eons. Finally, when those arhats arise or spring up from that state, it is said that they must enter the Mahayana.



.

It is said:

Although in what is called "nirvana"

You are free from the suffering of samsara,

Now you are stuck in nirvana,

And should look for this vehicle of the Buddhas.

.

L9: [2.2.3.2.2.4 Distinctions of time:]



L10: [2.2.3.2.2.4.1 Because conditions are not complete, one must realize in gradations of time]

L11: [2.2.3.2.2.4.1.1 Because the bodhisattvas take a long time, it is impossible for sravakas and pratyekabuddhas to realize in a short time]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.4.1.1

To properly abide on the Mahayana path,

One must cultivate oneself for a countless eon.

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 eons [they spend in cessation]?

.

Otherwise, when the disciple who has the Mahayana spiritual destiny and who has sharp faculties, but who does not have the complete assemblage of outer and inner conditions, dwells properly on the path of the coordinated dual accumulation of the Mahayana, (s)he must make efforts to cultivate direct realization of the meaning of equality, which is the realization of the two forms of selflessness, for one countless eon. If that is so, then how could it be impossible for sravakas and pratyekabuddhas—persons of inferior spiritual destiny whose acumen is dull, and who strive for personal peace on their respective paths—not to perfectly realize the two forms selflessness in just the same amount of time as bodhisattvas must practice, that is, in one thousand eons, or one countless eon? It would not make sense for it to be possible. How could it happen that those who have the spiritual destiny of sravakas and pratyekabuddhas—who have entered the paths of accumulation and preparation on the paths of sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, and who have only cultivated the selflessness of persons without incorporating skillful means into their practice—suddenly enter the path of vision of the Mahayana, without having to make efforts for one countless eon, that is, without possessing the causes for such realization? If it couldn't happen, then we can dispense with the idea of the path of vision of the great and lesser vehicles being identical. If it could, then one must specify a reason why it is impossible for sravakas and pratyekabuddhas not to realize selflessness during a countless eon, and why it is possible for bodhisattvas.



.

L11: [2.2.3.2.2.4.1.2 Because the bodhisattvas' realization increases gradually, the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas do not become realized instantaneously]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.4.1.2

Don't those who have attained the bhumis

Gradually clarify and perfect their realization?

.

Not only that, those who have realized the path of vision of the Mahayana and who have thus attained the bhumis realize the all-pervasive nature of the dharmadhatu. In traversing one bhumi to the next, they gradually increase and then perfect their understanding just like waxing moon, don't they? That being the case, it goes without saying that, on the accumulation and perfection paths of the Mahayana, realization increases gradually.



.

The Dharmadhatustava says:

Just as the waning moon

Is barely visible on the fourteenth day,

To those who aspire to the Mahayana,

The dharmakaya is barely visible.

Just as the waxing moon

Is seen to grow bit by bit,

So does the vision of those who dwell

On the bhumis gradually increase.

Just as the orb of the waxing moon

Is perfectly brilliant on the fifteenth day,

So too the dharmakaya that

Is perfectly luminous on the ultimate bhumi.

.

Thus, how could it be the case that sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, by following their respective paths, could suddenly develop the extraordinary realization of the Mahayana? If that were the case, then the dull-witted would have the destiny of subitists, and the sharp-witted would have the destiny of gradualists!



.

L10: [2.2.3.2.2.4.2 When they are complete, one is realized]

.

###


2.2.3.2.2.4.2

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.

.

When conditions are complete, there is realization: With the help of the accumulations... Thus, in order to realize the two forms of selflessness perfectly, one must have all the causes and conditions complete. That means one must have the help of the vast accumulation of merit, the infinite means of analyzing the triad of cause, effect, and essence—which are the reasonings that ascertain emptiness, the bodhicitta that has two dimensions—the six perfections that are encompassed by that bodhicitta, and the affirmation of perfect dedication. If those causes and conditions are flawless and complete, there is no doubt that the complete assemblage of causes will give rise to the result, and one will come to realize perfectly the two forms of selflessness. For example, if there is a Vajrayana disciple, a spiritual guide to teach it, and the creation and completion phases of the practice, and so on—if the conditions of skillful means are complete—that mantra practitioner will quickly become realized.



.

L5: [2.3. Dispelling doubts:]

L6: [2.3.1 Explaining the scriptural passage of the Ratnavali according to our system]

L7: [2.3.1.1 Setting up the meaning of the scriptural passage]

.

###


2.3.1.1

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]

.

(i.e. Realizing the no-self of the Hinayana is not enough; one has to realize the emptiness of all dharmas without any exception.)



.

"Well then, since in your system sravakas and pratyekabuddhas do not realize the emptiness of all phenomena, including the two kinds of partless atoms, then how do you interpret the statement of Lord Nagarjuna, 'As long as there is apprehension of the aggregates, [there is apprehension of "I"]'?" The meaning of that [passage] is as follows. There are two things to be abandoned: conceptualized [apprehension of "I"] and innate [apprehension of "I"]. The object of the first is the permanent self. But even if that is abandoned, as long as the object that is clung to by the second—which is designated in relation to the five skandhas—is not eliminated, there will be conceptions of "I." Therefore, as long as the five skandhas are apprehended as a single self-sufficient entity, there will be apprehension of "I." From that comes karma and emotional disturbances, and birth in cyclic existence—so says the Ratnavali.

.

L7: [2.3.1.2 Explaining its intention]



.

###


2.3.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. By only realizing the no-self, and still reifying the elementary dharmas, all the conditions for this self to come back are still there.)



.

The statement means that, as long as one does not realize the emptiness of the object that is clung to by the innate misapprehension of "I," one cannot abandon cyclic existence [simply] by cognizing the absence of a permanent self. With the five skandhas as the basis of designation, as long as there are subtle and extended thoughts that apprehend them, all the causes for designating a self are complete, and if they are not eliminated, the result of misapprehension of self will not be stopped. This is said [in the passage at hand] to go along with the complete assemblage of causes.

.

The Abhidharmakosa says:



The subtle and extended are not abandoned,

One dwells upon objects,

And from deluded mental activity

Emotional disturbances are born.

.

L6: [2.3.2 Explaining the meaning of this [passage], not according to others' opinions, but according to Chandrakirti's interpretive commentary]



.

###


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:

.

Thus, even though the conceptualized permanent self taught by heretics is abandoned, in dependence upon the five aggregates that are the basis for its designation, the designated self, which is the object clung to by innate misapprehension of "I," is not eliminated. Thus, even if the manifestation of emotional disturbances is repressed through meditative absorption, their tendencies are not abandoned, and thus the causes for the reappearance of the misapprehension of self are complete. This is what obstructs the realization of selflessness. That is the meaning of the scriptural passage at hand.



.

Some say, "In order to abandon emotional disturbance, one must realize all dharmas as empty," but this does not explain what the Ratnavali passage actually means. The reason for this is that the meaning of this passage, which has been explained above, has been explained in the same way by Chandrakirti.

.

"Well, if the meaning of this passage from the Ratnavali is not that one must realize the emptiness of all dharmas, including the skandhas, why then did Chandrakirti quote the Dasabhumikasutra in the Madhyamakavatara in the context of the [seventh bhumi, the] 'far advanced,' to the effect that a first bhumi bodhisattva cannot overwhelm sravakas and pratyekabuddhas with his intellect? That was said in order to inform [the reader] that sravakas and pratyekabuddhas have realization of the emptiness of all dharmas, such as the skandhas, even though this passage and others were not quoted as a proof thereof."



.

The meaning of that [scriptural quotation] is not as you claim. Because those aryas—sravakas and pratyekabuddhas—are similar to the bodhisattvas of the sixth bhumi and below (as explained in the Madhyamakavatara), insofar as they have a mental construction of objectification in the state [of samadhi] wherein the movement of mind and mental factors has ceased, it is said that those Hinayanists are not overwhelmed by [the bodhisattva's] samadhi. At the "far advanced" bhumi, meditative absorption reaches the reality limit (yang dag pa'i mtha', bhutakoti) of cessation, and thus the intellect becomes distinct from earlier absorptions. The Madhyamakavatarabhasya says, "because the absorption in cessation is absorption in the reality limit."

.

If that were not the case, and if one did not know entities that are continua and aggregations to be without inherent existence, one would have no way of knowing selflessness. For example, a worldly person who is free of desire enters into absorption, but cannot [know the lack of inherent existence]. Thus, the absorption of a first bhumi bodhisattva would be able to overwhelm [an arhat]. Moreover, to the extent that one is without such realization, even if one knows there is no permanent self, that will not suffice to abandon the subtle and extended [forms of emotional obscuration], because one would have a mistaken reification of the essence of form, etc., as being truly existent. Accordingly, it says below [in the Madhyamakavatara]:



If then the permanent self is abandoned, for that reason your mind, or aggregates, would not be the self. [But that would not mean] that by seeing selflessness in meditation you would realize the nature of form and so forth [to be empty]. Because [you would still] reify and engage forms, desire and so forth would [still arise] because you have not realized their nature [to be emptiness].

.

Thus, the apprehension of self would not be abandoned, because there is the cause of imputing a self, the reification of the aggregates:



"When selflessness is realized, the eternal self is abandoned"—

But that [eternal self] is not said to be the basis for the apprehension of "I";

Thus, one would have to assert that once having realized selflessness,

One would again have to dispel the view of self—amazing!

.

Both the earlier and later examples are made with reference to heretical [systems]. Thus, both the earlier and later examples are identical in words and meaning, and should be understood to be proven by the passage from the Ratnavali, and so forth. Otherwise, if the statement "without cognizance of the absence of inherent existence" meant being without realization of emptiness as explained in the Mahayana, and if one were to adduce the consequence of it being reasonable for [arhats] to be overwhelmed, then even though from the sravaka perspective there is no Mahayana emptiness, that does not necessarily entail the consequence of being overwhelmed.



.

On this, the Bodhicaryavatara says:

By seeing truth one will be freed;

By seeing emptiness, what is accomplished?

.

Accordingly, just because one is without the emptiness of the Mahayana does not necessarily entail the consequence of being a worldly person free of desire, because there are Hinayanists who are without desire. Therefore, that example is pointless. Also, as for the latter two lines of reasoning: one might adduce the consequence that, as long as there is no realization of emptiness according to the Mahayana, there is still mistaken reification of the entities of form, etc., and of the aggregates; that the subtle and extended [forms of mentation] are not abandoned; and that apprehension of self is not abandoned. However, the reason is not established, because the purvapaksa does not accept that form and so forth are substantial entities, that the five aggregates are a single self-sufficient entity, nor that, as a single thing, they are reified as the self. Even if apprehension of the two types of partless atoms is not given up, there is no way to prove, either by valid cognition or logical proposition, that this would necessarily entail that neither subtle and extended forms of mentation, nor apprehension of self, are not abandoned. The reason is that someone who has realization of the selflessness of persons, through cognizing continua and coarse [aggregations] as not inherently existent, has accomplished the antidote that opposes modal apprehension [of a personal self]. Using the example of a heretic cannot necessarily entail the consequence, as explained above.



.

L6: [2.3.3 Establishing that meaning through reasoning:]

L7: [2.3.3.1 Provisionally (gnas skabs), how recognizing multiplicity reverses the apprehension of "I"]

.

###



2.3.3.1

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.


.

If one investigates the multiplicity of the five aggregates that are the basis of designation for the self that is the object of innate "I" apprehension, and thus cognizes the mere "I" that is dependently originated and dependently designated, then one will dispel both conceptualized "I"-apprehension and innate "I"-apprehension, and that is sufficient. For example, when one mistakes a rope for a snake, one does not have to know that the rope is not existent in order to dispel the apprehension of "snake." Even if one does not know [it to be non-existent], by directly seeing a rope-entity, one stops the apprehension of a snake. A sutra says, "form is like foam" and so forth. [The meaning of this] way of knowing the multiplicity [of things] is explained in the Bodhicittavivarana as "sravakas see the five skandhas as bubbles..." and so forth. This is similar to the statements that bodhisattvas see form, etc., as bubbles, etc.:

Form, feeling, perception,

Conceptualization, and consciousness

Are the five aggregates; these were taught by those

Who wished to benefit sravakas.

Form is like foam.

Feeling is like a water bubble,

Perception is like a mirage,

Conceptualization is like the plantain,

Consciousness is like an illusion.

To teach the aggregates in this way

Is how the best of men

Always teaches bodhisattvas.

.

L7: [2.3.3.2 Conclusively (mthar thug), how one final vehicle is established]



.

###


2.3.3.2

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.

.

Though incidental liberation from cyclic existence is sufficient, finally, in order to attain omniscience, one must realize the nature of dharmadhatu, [which means] both kinds of selflessness. The reason is that all knowable phenomena are identical in suchness, and are not dissimilar; the gnosis that sees it is likewise unitary in character. Thus, although the three vehicles are distinct, in the final analysis there is only one vehicle, and this was explained through scripture and reasoning by Nagarjuna and his disciples.



.

Nagarjuna said:

Because dharmadhatu is indivisible,

The chief of vehicles is not divisible.

The teaching of three vehicles

Is designed to place sentient beings [in it].

.

Chandrakirti said:



Other than by realizing reality, to remove all stains

There is nothing else to do. Reality does not admit of divisions,

And likewise, what perceives reality is not differentiable.

Therefore, you have taught sentient beings a single, indivisible vehicle.

.

L7: [2.3.3.3 How this is not established in other systems]



.

###


2.3.3.3

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.

.

Thus, if in establishing a single vehicle it were the case, as it is in your system, that the paths of vision of the Sravakayana and the Mahayana were the same, then because sravakas would have already seen reality, if they were to achieve a resultant arhatship different from the result of the Mahayana, then what would that reasoning, [which establishes] that reality is unique, do to establish a single vehicle? Aside from being a mere assertion, it would accomplish nothing, because when what is realized is one, both lower and supreme results would already be accomplished.



.

L7: [2.3.3.4 Why our own system is reasonable]

L8: [2.3.3.4.1 On a single path to be traversed, sublime beings progress at many rates of speed]

.

###



2.3.3.4.1

Here, the primordial wisdom of coalescence

That sees the ultimate

Is precisely identical with suchness;

All sublime beings head toward it, and enter it.

.

(i.e. All dharmas are equal (non-dual: not two, not one) because all are empty of inherent existence. The two emptinesses and the coalescence have the same very ultimate meaning.)



.

Here in this exegetical tradition of the early translations, the coalescence of the expanse and awareness is the primordial wisdom of awareness, in which totally pure primordial wisdom—which sees the ultimate meaning of the abiding nature—is the unique suchness of dharmata, the primordial wisdom of awareness. This unique abiding nature is what all sublime beings of the three vehicles are headed toward and will enter into—by longer and shorter paths, more quickly and more slowly—in the manner of livestock wagons [as taught in the Lotus Sutra].

.

On this, the Great Omniscient One said:



Therefore, the "three countless eons" and so forth that are taught And that [lead to] quick perfection, long [awaited] perfection, and Liberation in this life, depend upon the power of one's mind. One who practices with supreme method, diligence, and wisdom— Such a person has the greatest power.

.

L8: [2.3.3.4.2 In that respect, Nagarjuna's and Maitreya's intentions are not contradictory]



.

###


2.3.3.4.2

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.

.

For the reasons explained above, if one understands all the points made in this system [of explanation], such as the context of the "far advanced" [bhumi], one will not [falsely discern] faults of mutual contradiction in the profound system of Nagarjuna and the texts of Maitreya, or see one to be logically established at the expense of the other. Instead, [persons] hungry [for knowledge] will take the texts of the great system-builders together, like the sweet taste of molasses and honey mixed together, and having easily digested them, their wisdom bodies will greatly increase in strength.



.

L8: [2.3.3.4.3 Otherwise, if one holds them to be contradictory, there is great embarrassment in the face of scripture and reasoning]

.

###


2.3.3.4.3

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.

.

Otherwise, if one holds them to be contradictory, one will not have an appetite, and as if one had eaten the wrong kind of food, one will suffer various internal contradictions of study and reflection upon the texts of the profound and extensive [lineages], like unpleasant cancers within oneself. In order to free [such a person] from his illness, other scholars with profound and vast minds will poke and jab him with a hundred sharp scalpels of scripture and reasoning, and like a person with cancer who has internal blockages, that person will be profoundly terrified. When he sees the antidote of scripture and reasoning, which contradict his own point of view, he will be embarrassed.



.

I say:


When inferior disciples realize

The meaning of equality, they go on the quick path.

Because there are doubts about the renowned Mahayana,

They have been discussed here.

.

.

.



.

.

.



*******************************************************

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

.

L1: [9.3. Topic 3 [Sudden vs. Gradual vs. dropping all: Should meditation involve conceptualization, modal apprehension, such as apprehending emptiness?]]



.

(i.e. Résumé of Topic 3: About sudden vs. gradual vs. Hashang’s method of dropping all How to meditate on the way things really are. Should we drop all conceptualization, or concentrate one pointedly on the idea of emptiness? Mipham discusses the dangers of misinterpreting the instructions for meditating on emptiness. It is true that ultimately one meditate in a state beyond conceptualization, but this state cannot be faked by artificially dropping all conceptualization and making the mind blank like a rock. Going beyond all conceptualization has to be a natural consequence of directly seeing the real nature of our own mind and of everything. Faking it will not bring us closer to this direct realization. Until then we need to analyze the way things really are using the teachings and reasonings based on the Two Truths. This permits to stay away from all extremes in meditation and out of meditation. And going beyond conceptualization doesn’t mean to reject all conceptualization as if they were essentially bad; it means to directly see their real nature and not being attached or conditioned by them. It is a state beyond thought and no-thought; beyond emptiness and non-emptiness; where a mind with or without thoughts are seen as not different, not the same, or inseparable, non-dual: not two, not one. It is a state where there is no acceptation, no rejection of thoughts, or anything else. It is a state of great equanimity.

.

This state can be reached very fast by some immediately after having been introduced to the real nature of his mind by their teacher. But for most of us it is a state that is reached after a long gradual process using techniques from either the sutras or the tantras. Those techniques are there in order to create a mind state that is not bending toward any one of the four extremes. But the final realization is beyond those four extremes, beyond any analysis, or concepts, beyond all causality.



.

And while meditating on it, it is important to go beyond simple non-existence (reifying emptiness), beyond the duality existence vs. non-existence (the Two truths), beyond thinking they are the same: dependent origination and emptiness.)

.

L3: [[0.2.2.] Explaining the particulars of the three different views:]



L4: [0.2.2.1 Explanation of the view of intrinsic awareness, which realizes the equal taste of the coalescence of the two truths]

L5: [ [0.2.2.1.1] The actual explanation [topics 3 and 4]]

L6: [[0.2.2.1.1.1] 3. Whether the maintenance of the actual practice of the view involves apprehension or not [Topic 3 - Should meditation involve conceptualization, modal apprehension, such as apprehending emptiness?]]

.

(i.e. Modal: in philosophy -- describing logical modalities: used to describe propositions involving necessity or probability, and those relating to knowledge, belief, and obligation. Apprehension: idea: an idea formed by observation or experience. – ability to understand: the power or ability to grasp the importance, significance, or meaning of something (formal))



.

(i.e. “… although this tradition of the Nyingmapa school of secret mantra expounds intrinsic emptiness (rang stong), it is not the "intrinsic emptiness" of the "intrinsic emptiness vs. extrinsic emptiness" dichotomy. These two are differentiated by the philosophical systems of the new schools of Mantrayana, so that assertion of [intrinsic emptiness in the context of the new schools] is somewhat incompatible with the reality of the integrated two truths. In that respect there are some differences [between the proponents of intrinsic emptiness in the new schools and ourselves] regarding how the middle and final turnings of the wheel are posited as definitive or provisional, whether the intentions of both the great system-builders are combined together or not, whether the two validating cognitions are emphasized equally or not, etc.”)

.

L7: [3.1 Taking up the subject of analysis through question and answer]



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3.1

When pursuing the main practice of the view,

Some say one should not apprehend anything.

The meaning of "not apprehending anything"

3.2.1.1

Can be understood well or wrongly.

.

When meditating and maintaining the actual practice of the view of the meaning of reality, if one asks whether there is an intentional apprehension, such as apprehending emptiness:



.

Some people say that one should have an intentional apprehension that sees the abiding character of emptiness, and they claim that having no intentional apprehension whatsoever is a fault for meditation on the object of the view.

.

Some people say that one should meditate on the nature of things without apprehension, "apprehending nothing whatsoever," and that if anything is apprehended, it is a fault.



.

L7: [3.2 Explaining that meaning extensively [of when to use concepts]:]

L8: [3.2.1 [The sudden path] If, by being introduced to the nature of complete awareness and settling in it, one gains realization of the esoteric instruction class [of rDzogs chen], and elaborations are cut off instantaneously, that is authentic non-apprehension]

L9: [3.2.1.1 A brief demonstration that mere non-apprehension is something to accept as well as reject]

.

###


The meaning of "not apprehending anything"

.

###



3.2.1.1

Can be understood well or wrongly.

.

(i.e. We have to know when to use conceptualization, and when to not use it. The path / goal is not to drop all conceptualization; otherwise a rock would be enlightened, and getting a lobotomy would be the fast path. But that is the view of idiots.)



.

Here we must discriminate the various contexts in which one should or should not have an intentional apprehension when maintaining the actual practice of the view. But if one makes the one-sided statement "Do not apprehend anything," both a proper and an erroneous understanding are possible.

.

L9: [3.2.1.2 Explaining that [the sudden path] extensively]



L10: [3.2.1.2.1 Determining both contexts (mtshan gzhi) of non-apprehension [the two cases of non-conceptualization: faking it, or inducing it with authentic wisdom]]

L11: [3.2.1.2.1.1 [Case 1: non-conceptualization induced by wisdom] If one realizes the total coalescence of calm abiding and insight into reality, which can stop the river of samsara, then intentional apprehension is destroyed]

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3.2.1.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. Ultimately, when one really gets the way to really do it, one meditate in the Union of Shamatha and Vipashyana, there is no accepting, no rejecting. That is the ultimate practice in perfect accord with the real non-dual nature of everything. So it is beyond apprehension and non-apprehension.)



.

"If meditation without apprehension is the system of most learned and accomplished beings, how could that have both aspects of abandonment and acceptance?" In the following way: if one understands the first [alternative] well, that is [to realize] the coalescence of appearance and emptiness—which is the nature of reality, the gnosis of sublime beings, free of all elaborations of the four extremes such as existence and non-existence, which abides in the state of dharmadhatu like salt dissolving in water. From the perspective of that gnosis, it is seen that no elaboration is present as the object of an intentional apprehension; there is no need to destroy intentional apprehension on purpose, because it is destroyed automatically. The innate radiance of the essence of emptiness is the purity of inseparable emptiness and clarity, which is without obstruction. For example, it is like gazing at the autumn sky free of clouds—although there is no intentional apprehension, there is no fault, because it is unnecessary.

.

L11: [3.2.1.2.1.2 [Case 2: non-conceptualization artificially induced – Hashang’s way of dropping all mentation] Not understanding that, the mere non-apprehension of calm abiding will become the cause of rebirth]



.

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3.2.1.2.1.2

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.

.

In the second context, that of misunderstanding, one abides in a dark mindless state of non-conceptuality, without apprehending anything. This is how the view is maintained according to the Chinese Hashang system. Without analyzing anything as "empty" or "not empty," and leaving the mind as it is, one might generate a bit of stability, bliss, clarity, non-conceptuality, and so forth. But without the clarity aspect of penetrating insight, no matter how long one cultivates the state of apprehending nothing whatsoever, one will not be able to abandon any concepts or emotional afflictions. For example, like a stone at the bottom of the wet ocean that doesn't soak through, one will still be an ordinary person. As it is said, "When well fed and the sun is shining, a Dharma practitioner; when things get tough, an ordinary person." Because that meditation is faulty, one should once again meditate with intentional apprehension.



.

L11: [3.2.1.2.1.3 [Analysis of the two cases of non-conceptualization: faking it won’t work] Demonstrating the reasonableness of those two [positions]]

L12: [3.2.1.2.1.3.1 Their reasonableness according to examples [with Hashang’s method one is only faking wisdom]]

.

###



3.2.1.2.1.3.1

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.

.

You might think that those two are equally faultless, because they are both without apprehension; but even though they have the same name, in fact they are different. For example, even though the term "[apprehending] nothing whatsoever" is the same, their meaning is different. One is to see the abiding nature of things by realizing the absence of elaboration through Madhyamika reasoning, and the other is just wishing for nothingness, thinking "There is no form, so there is nothing whatsoever." They are similar, both using the term "absence" [or "nothing," med pa], but in fact they are completely dissimilar, like the earth and the sky. Thus, in mere non-apprehension it is possible to have both a perfect and a mistaken path.



.

L12: [3.2.1.2.1.3.2 Their reasonableness in fact]

L13: [3.2.1.2.1.3.2.1 The reason why there is no intentional apprehension in the absence of the four extremes [when one is beyond the four extremes, conceptualization is automatically dropped due to authentic wisdom]]

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3.2.1.2.1.3.2.1

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.

.

You might wonder why, if one understands well, one doesn't need an intentional apprehension (i.e. no need to fake it). As said above, dharmadhatu is free of all elaborations of the four extremes; if there were something to apprehend in it, it would have to fall into one of those four extremes. If the object is not established in one of the four extremes, the subject cannot apprehend any of the four extremes. Because there is no intentional apprehension beyond the four extremes, we maintain for that reason that there is no intentional apprehension.



.

The Bodhicaryavatara says:

When neither entities nor non-entities

Abide before the mind,

Then because there is no other aspect,

Without reification, it is utterly pacified.

.

L13: [3.2.1.2.1.3.2.2 The reason why, if one does not realize that, non-apprehension that depends only on seeing and studying mere words is erroneous [mere conceptual understanding and artificial dropping won’t work]]



.

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3.2.1.2.1.3.2.2

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!

.

(i.e. It is not because everything is empty of inherent existence that we can “fake it”. This has to be directly seen. Just understanding it conceptually is not enough. And its true meaning is beyond all conceptualization; it is not the conceptual emptiness.)



.

Thus, if one has thoroughly understood the reason, it is reasonable for there to be no intentional apprehension. Some idiots analyze this meaning but gain no experience at all, just following the words "no intentional apprehension." From the very start they think "free of extremes, inexpressible. .." and stare into space. Unfortunately, they think "without any apprehension whatsoever, I'll just relax," and practice without relying on the actual meaning of those words. However much they relax, they will not be able to cut the root of samsara. From beginningless time, all beings have been extremely relaxed, just letting things happen in an ordinary state of mind, experiencing three kinds of suffering in one life after another in the three realms of existence. Since they have always been wandering, someone who thinks this is practice need not read this, or be encouraged to practice!

.

The Wish-fulfilling Treasury says:



If one is lost in the pointless [mere] words of "non-elaboration," These are conceptual fabrications, with the [verbal qualification] of "non-elaboration."

.

L10: [3.2.1.2.2 The extensive explanation [a partial realization is not enough to use the sudden path – it has to be a realization beyond the four extremes, beyond all conceptualization]]



L11: [3.2.1.2.2.1 It is not beneficial to simply recognize the merely delusive mind that has not gone to the depths of truthlessness [a partial realization of the nature of the mind is not enough to use the sudden path]]

.

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3.2.1.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. To simply realize the inconveniences of delusions and conceptualization is not enough. One has to go beyond the duality deluded, non-deluded; beyond simple rejection of the so called bad, and see the already pure nature of the mind and everything.)



.

Of course, if one relaxes without apprehending anything, one should realize the view. But those people who do not apprehend anything do not recognize the face of fundamental mind, and putting on great airs of being yogis they say "we know the nature of the mind." There is the fundamental mind of dharmata, which is beyond the eightfold mind that includes the alayavijnana; and the dharma-possessor, which comprises the eightfold consciousness, which is the deluded mind. In recognizing the first one, which is the ultimate reality of dharmata, one must either have definite confidence in the crucial points of vast scriptures and reasonings, or realize the meaning of profound pith instructions received from a master who has reached the stage of "heat" in his own practice, thus determining the emptiness of true existence of one's own mind, which is pure from the beginning, and thus, tear out the deluded mind from its root and basis. If one does not do it that way and says, "This clear knowing mind that apprehends the deluded appearances of the eightfold aggregation is me, and what is not this, is something different"—then that mind whose essence is to experience happiness, suffering, and so forth, is easy for anyone, stupid or wise, to realize. What need is there to meditate on it?

.

As it is said:



Having introduced the clear and cognizant nature of mind

And settled on that non-conceptually,

Thinking this to be the intention of Mahamudra and the

Great Perfection,

One contradicts the holders of philosophical traditions and their texts.

Both are nothing but lunatic ravings.

.

L11: [3.2.1.2.2.2 Explanation of the distinction between knowing and not knowing the proper sense of the emptiness of true existence [a partial realization of the authentic meaning of emptiness is not enough to use the sudden path – one has to go beyond the four extremes]]



L12: [3.2.1.2.2.2.1 Whether or not modal apprehension is necessary in "not seeing" depends upon whether or not one has been introduced to the nature of mind]

L13: [3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1 Not being introduced [to the nature of mind]]

L14: [3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.1 The opponent's expression of his understanding]

.

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3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.1

You might say, "When examining the color, form, origin, cessation,

And so forth, of the mind nothing is seen;

That is realization of emptiness."

.

(i.e. A superficial understanding of emptiness is not enough.)



.

Obviously, it is not enough to know that there is only mind; one must thoroughly fathom the emptiness of true existence. When analyzing the mind—whether it has a color such as blue or yellow, whether it has a shape such as round or square, where it arises, where it stays, and where it goes—one does not see any shape, color, etc., and that you say "is to realize the emptiness of mind."

.

L14: [3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.2 Investigating its meaning]



L15: [3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.2.1 The mere non-seeing form, color, etc., has great potential for error]

.

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3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. The real meaning of emptiness is not that simple to get.)



.

In general, it is difficult to realize the actual teaching of Dharma in the sutras and tantras.

.

The Lalitavistara says:



Profound, peaceful, unelaborated, unfabricated—

I have found a Dharma like nectar.

If I teach it, nobody will understand.

Without speaking, I will remain in the forest.

.

This path of the supreme vehicle is extremely profound. Because with respect to different disciples there can be both good and harm [from this teaching], the possibility for error in this is extremely great. The reason is that the mind has no form, so it is impossible for anybody to recognize color, form, and so forth, whether they recognize [the nature of mind] or not, because that distinction of each dharma-possessor does not belong to anything else.



.

As it is said:

The mind is subtle, profound, and difficult to examine;

It cannot be differentiated by various and sundry methods.

Unstable and deceptive, it causes confusion.

Even though it's yours, the mind is hard to fathom.

.

L15: [3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.2.2 In general, mere non-seeing does not qualify as emptiness]



.

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3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.2.2

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.

.

Therefore, you might think that merely by not seeing inanimate dharmas in the mind, you have been introduced to the nature of mind, the dharmata, which is empty of being truly existent. But this is a great mistake. For example, if you investigate one hundred times, it is impossible to find an animal's horns on a human head. Simply not to see it does not mean that you have understood the human mind and body's emptiness of true existence.



.

L15: [3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.2.3 If merely that were the realization of the nature of reality, it would be easy for anyone]

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3.2.1.2.2.2.1.1.2.3

To say that not seeing something is to realize its

emptiness—

Wouldn't that be easy for anybody?

.

(i.e. Usually the method consists of first being convinced that the thing we are looking for should be in one of the places we will be looking in. Only then, and after finding nothing, can we really be convinced that the thing is really not inherently existing.)



.

Therefore, your meditation on the view is a mere non-seeing of shape, etc., in the mind. Though you might think that [meditation] can realize the suchness of dharmata or emptiness of the mind, because that kind of dharmata of not seeing anything is easy for anybody to realize, what would be the point, then, of the statements in the sutras and tantras to the effect that the nature of dharmas is extremely difficult to realize? As it is said, "The fact that you don't see something doesn't mean it is non-existent." There are many things that, with respect to location, time, and aspect, are remote and hence invisible. But the mere fact of not seeing them doesn't qualify as a realization of the nature of the dharmata of those things, which is difficult to realize. This is similar to what has already been explained above [in topic i]—that realizing that one thing is empty of another does not qualify as realization of emptiness.

.

L13: [3.2.1.2.2.2.1.2 Generating perfect understanding [directly seeing the real non-dual nature of our own mind]]



.

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3.2.1.2.2.2.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. Only by examining and reasoning the proper way can we really gain certainty that the thing is really not inherently existing, not completely non-existing, not both, not neither, and go beyond the duality of existence and non-existence. Where everything is empty but still dependently arisen and functional, still appearing. That is pointing toward the realization of the inseparability of appearances and emptiness, the coalescence, the Union of The Two Truths.)



.

Gaining understanding of the nature of things: Therefore, if... For that reason, if one properly investigates with the reasoning of pith instructions that destroy the hovel of the mind, and generally with the power of analyzing the three natures of cause and effect, one will see intrinsic awareness directly, without mixing the ambivalence of concepts with the nature of mind, which one has clearly, precisely, and unmistakenly settled upon. The nature of the mind arises in any form whatsoever, similar to various forms of illusion. At the time of arising, it is liberated in the primordial purity of the lack of truly existent essence. If one realizes this in the depths of one's mind without any doubt, then, just like looking at the sky in front of oneself, which is clear, empty, and without center or limits, one will become certain that the effulgence of this mind that moves without obstruction is the self-radiance of the emptiness of dharmata, which does not exist anywhere in particular, and does not reduce to any particular appearance. If one understands in this way, then one has seen the reason for not needing to modify [one's mind] or [cultivate] intentional apprehension.

.

Nowadays, practitioners pretend that lack of understanding is understanding, and that uncertainty is certainty. But even those practitioners can know that they are still ordinary persons, like rocks at the bottom of the ocean, through inferential valid cognition.



.

L12: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2 The difference between eliminating and not eliminating elaborations: [whether or not modal apprehension is necessary depends upon whether or not one has eliminated elaborations with respect to the object of "neither existent nor non-existent"]]

L13: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2.1 That practitioner investigates our point of view]

L14: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2.1.1 The question about our point of view]

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3.2.1.2.2.2.2.1.1

You ask, "Well then, this mind of yours—

Is it non-existent, like space,

Or does it have disparate awarenesses?"

.

(i.e. This question is based on dualism: thinking it must be either empty or operational; either existent or non-existent.)



.

"Well then, you who pretend to be a yogi (rtogs ldan): is this mind of yours insubstantial like empty space? Or does it have the nature of various movements and changes, and is it able to know all phenomena? What is it?"

.

L14: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2.1.2 Analyzing it [the need to go beyond the other extremes also]]



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3.2.1.2.2.2.2.1.2

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."

.

(i.e. But simply saying that it is not existent, not non-existent is not enough either. That is not complete. Even the whole Tetralemma: not existent, not-non-existent, not both, not neither – is not enough. That is still only conceptualizing it; just pointing at the moon.)



.

How to express it? [In the context of investigating the mind], there is a mere non-seeing of shape, color, and so forth. But the mind that doesn't even rest for a moment but jumps around after various objects is present in all embodied beings. Therefore, even though everyone knows for certain that such a consciousness is in each of our bodies, this charlatan says that this is the nature of mind! If you analyze this idea, it cannot exist by the reasons that he gives, viz., because one cannot see its shape or color; and it cannot not exist, because it is a mind that doesn't stay still for a moment and changes constantly. Saying that this kind of mind is "the realization of the dharmakaya of luminosity explained in the rDzogs chen tantras," they deceive others. They bombastically claim "this is the introduction to the nature of the basic dharmadhatu." In their grand pretense, they show little regard for karmic cause and effect. Without a general knowledge of the sutras and tantras in general, nor great learning in the dialectical vehicle, etc., in particular, and without making much effort on the path of the three trainings, they say, "I have realized the luminosity that by knowing one, liberates all." If one analyzes this, it is just like the saying, "Not having seen one's true nature, but beating the dead horse of introduction." Even if they have understood one thing (gcig shes), there is no good evidence that they have liberated everything (kun grol), so I think this unfortunate idea is wrong.

.

L13: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2.2 Explaining the difference between eliminating and not eliminating elaborations]



L14: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1 The view of rDzogs chen is non-elaboration [free from all four extremes]]

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3.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Simply saying that it is not existent, not non-existent is not enough either. That is not complete. The whole Tetralemma is: not existent, not-non-existent, not both, not neither – is not enough. That is still only conceptualizing it; just pointing at the moon. The real meaning is more like non-duality: not two, not one, the Union of The Two Truths, the coalescence, the inseparability of appearances and emptiness. But that is also just pointing at the moon.)



.

That "not existing, not non-existing" may indeed be your system's dharmakaya of luminosity. The nature of rDzogs chen as intended by the knowledge-holders dGa' rab rDo rje and so forth is not existent, abiding in the primordial basis, and not seen even by the Buddhas; and not non-existent, as it is the basis for the appearance of samsara and nirvana. That is the expanse of the equality of samsara and nirvana, the coalescence of awareness and emptiness free of all elaborations of the four extremes.

.

Therefore, these two are not the same.



.

The Thal 'gyur says:

Dharmakaya is without elaboration,

Without unconscious apprehension of characteristics.

Its essence is inseparable clarity and emptiness —

.

And the Klong drug pa says:



The nature of the primordially pure dharmakaya,

Free of elaboration, the perfectly pure basis__

How can this possibly be the same as what you are saying? It cannot.

.

L14: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.2 The [false yogi's] meditation is one or another of the extremes of elaboration]



L15: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 The actual way that this is an extreme]

.

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3.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.2.1

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."

.

(i.e. So still grasping a the duality existence vs. non-existence is not enough, nor rejecting the duality completely enough. Transcending the duality means directly seeing the real nature of the duality: not accepting it, not rejecting it. All of this is pointing toward the Middle Way away from the four extremes of realism (existence), idealism or nihilism (non-existence), dualism (both), monism (neither). Accepting and rejecting is still being stuck in dualism, still reifying something, still being stuck in realism, still samsara.)



.

If the nature of mind that you see is analyzed well in accordance with scripture and reasoning, it cannot be said to have the identity of shape, and so forth. Because it wanders and wavers all over the place, internally and externally, it cannot be said to be non-existent. Therefore, your "nature of mind" does not go beyond either the extreme of "neither existent nor non-existent," nor the extreme of "both existent and non-existent." Thus, you are just mulling something over in your head, on the basis of one of these two extremes; [we know this] because a person's idea can be deduced from what they say.

.

L15: [3.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 Explaining why this is no different than non-Buddhist systems that adhere to the same extreme]



.

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3.2.1.2.2.2.2.2.2.2

Aside from a difference in name, the mind,

Spoken of in that way, is no different than

The "inconceivable self” of the apostate.

.

(i.e. So we have to be careful when thinking that the mind, or anything else, is not existent, not both, not neither. If we still think there is a mind that is like that, then we are missing the point. It is like saying that there is a mind but that we do not have the capacity to describe it, like saying that only God can. This is like saying that there is a real mind, a raw mind, but that it is corrupted by conceptualization, and all we have to do is to drop all conceptualization to rediscover this pure real mind.)



.

Once again, because this is a way of cultivating an intentional apprehension of analysis, it is nothing other than the way the "inconceivable self is propounded by non-Buddhists, even though the names given to them are different. Both of them maintain a reified object on an inexpressible basis.

.

L12: [3.2.1.2.2.2.3 The difference between having and not having a reifying focus:]



L13: [3.2.1.2.2.2.3.1 The absence of reifying focus when there is non-elaborated cognition that does not focus on mind or appearances]

.

###



3.2.1.2.2.2.3.1

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.

.

(i.e. No conceptual description like existence, non-existence, both, neither, can really describe what is beyond conceptualization, what is beyond all dualities. The Tetralemma, or the “non-conceptuality”, or “non-elaboration” should not be taken as is. Everything is much more subtle.)



.

Thus, the important points of establishing the view cannot be determined by words alone; they must be known through reliance on the actual meaning. Therefore "non-elaboration" is not simply a statement about how extremes are eliminated in relation to the existence of some dharmas and the non-existence of others. Whatever appears as the internal mind or as external phenomena is determined as the emptiness of primordial purity, which is the negation of true existence. On the basis of that confidence in the absence of the extreme of "existence," all these internal and external appearances appear as the relativity of the nature of unobstructed self-radiance, and are free of the extreme of non-existence. Likewise, the nature of things is not both [existent and non-existent], because a dharma that can be differentiated as both existent and non-existent on a single basis does not abide in reality, since reality is non-dual. Also, there is no tertium quid (phung gsum pa.) that is neither existent nor non-existent. If there were, it would have to be something expressible as "being like this," and if it were thus expressible, it would be none other than an existent object of cognition or a non-existent object of cognition. So there is no way of knowing the tertium quid that is neither existent nor non-existent.

.

Generally speaking, ultimate reality is not an object of cognition.



.

The Prajnaparamita says:

Ultimate reality is not an object of cognition.

It cannot be cognized.

.

Moreover, just as in the case of positing something in terms of existence or non-existence, here "both" and "neither" also do not go beyond the extremes of the two [former extremes, for example, existence and non-existence, because the latter two extremes are likewise posited in those terms] . Therefore, [reality] is beyond the thought and expression of all four extremes of elaboration. As it is said, "Manjusri asked perfectly, and the bodhisattva remained without answering."



.

By experiencing that crucial point—freedom from the darkness of the elaborations of the four extremes—and not just following after the mere words of scripture, reasoning, and pith instructions, that bare naked state that is pure and brilliant, homogenous, without contamination, naturally radiant, and free of all focal points, is known to be "unobstructedly arisen." The Rig pa rang shar says, "The self-purification of the stains of the four extremes...." Therefore, the maintenance of the main practice of the view is said to be an authentic non-apprehension.

.

L13: [3.2.1.2.2.2.3.2 An elaborated meditation, which does not realize this, is not free of reification]



.

###


3.2.1.2.2.2.3.2

[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.

.

(i.e. Grasping at any conceptual formula, any description, any view, is still grasping, still reifying something, still thinking something is empty of inherent existence, and missing the point. Dropping all, like Hashang proposed, is thus missing the point.)



.

If you don't understand it in that way, and your mind is distracted with the mere statement "Look at the nature of mind," you might focus on a kind of blank state where there is nothing in particular. But here you don't recognize whether or not there is a subtle intentional apprehension or reifying focus, and you fool yourself into thinking that the intentional apprehension wherein one ceases to perceive superficial forms, shapes, and so forth, is the absence of reifying focus and non-apprehension. This meditation has as its object the extreme of "neither-nor," which you think is "free of extremes." This object abides like a target in front of a mind that has a subtle intentional apprehension, and you are simply unconscious. By cultivating that state, you are not freed from samsara, and in dependence upon this kind of apprehension of substantially existing "I" and "other" that has been present from beginningless time, you pass from one life to the next in this great river of suffering, like a bee passing from one bottle to the next. It is said that such a person must meditate again upon selflessness with intentional apprehension.

.

L8: [3.2.2 [The gradual path] Because one doesn't understand, one gradually eliminates elaborations and meditates with intentional apprehension:]



L9: [3.2.2.1 The beginner eliminates elaborations gradually with intentional apprehension]

L10: [3.2.2.1.1 The way of meditating on selflessness as the antidote to clinging to substantiality]

L11: [3.2.2.1.1.1 Exemplifying the manner of selflessness]

.

###



3.2.2.1.1.1

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; (i.e. Hashang method)

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.

.

(i.e. Until one can really go beyond the duality existence vs. non-existence, and realize the Union of The Two Truths – the coalescence, then one should use conceptualization, correct logical reasonings, the two accumulations. Just faking the result by dropping all is not going to help at all. All of the conceptualization, the logical reasonings, the modal apprehension, will help in removing all the wrong views, and to gain certainty in the possibility of going beyond all of this by directly seeing the real non-dual nature of our own mind.)



.

Thus, the antidote that stops all the reifying focusing discussed above is an intentional apprehension that considers selflessness.

.

On that, Aryadeva said:



Seeing selflessness in the object,

The seeds of existence are blocked.

.

And, the Avatara says:



If [reifying] thoughts had substantial entities [as their objects], they would [always] happen.

[But, since] the substantial entities have been established not to exist [inherently],

Without substantial entities, these [thoughts] do not arise.

For example, without firewood there is no fire.

.

If one does not understand the sense of non-existence in that selflessness perfectly by means of the pure path of scripture and reasoning, like the seventh dhyana in the scriptural tradition, one will be obsessed with non-existence, and it will do no good for cutting the root of samsara. For example, if one mistakes a coiled rope for a snake, to think, "It is not a snake" does not help to eliminate one's fear. If through conditions such as "the fact of appearance" one correctly sees that the rope is not a snake, fear will go away.



.

L11: [3.2.2.1.1.2 Having analyzed rationally according to the example, meditating with intentional apprehension]

L12: [3.2.2.1.1.2.1 Having analyzed with respect to the absence of one and many, etc., the actual meditation with intentional apprehension]

.

###



3.2.2.1.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. This is like creating a wholesome habit in order to fight the usual unwholesome habits. It is the method of the antidote. But, of course, this is just creating another conceptual habit at first; just creating more wholesome karma. But it is good karma because it is aiming at being able one day to transcend all karma formation by directly seeing through the whole process of karma formation. But at one point one will have to go beyond this conceptual realization of emptiness.)



.

Therefore, by analyzing through the many types of reasoning explained in the gradual view and gradual meditation of Madhyamaka, one will come to understand selflessness and the emptiness of all dharmas. When first determining selflessness and emptiness, one should not simply rest content with having analyzed, but rather one should cultivate it. The reason is that one has been extremely addicted to clinging to substantial entities from beginningless time, so as the antidote to that propensity one should meditate again and again with analysis and an intentional apprehension that accords with its object, the object of analysis.

.

L12: [3.2.2.1.1.2.2 Explaining why it is necessary]



.

###


3.2.2.1.1.2.2

By meditating on selflessness the view of self

Is uprooted, so it's been called necessary

By many seers of truth who practiced intensely.

.

(i.e. By doing this repeatedly one ultimately realize the emptiness of all dharmas. So it is not really that one sees the real nature of everything, but that one finds nothing really existing, or not-existing, or both, or neither. The wrong views are eliminated, the illusions are seen for what they are: illusions. And directly seeing the illusory nature of everything then automatically all attachments are dropped. It is not faked here. It is based on wisdom. Here conceptualization are dropped automatically and one enter the Great Perfection meditation.)



.

Why does one need to meditate in that way? By accustoming oneself to the meaning of selflessness, one will not just abandon the manifestation of egotism, but will tear its seed out from the root. Therefore, many learned and accomplished beings who have seen the meaning of reality have forcefully established the need to meditate analytically in this way.

.

The Alamkara says:



Why is that? The Buddhas

Have realized it, and because they do not see dharmas__

.

L12: [3.2.2.1.1.2.3 Showing why not doing it is problematic]



.

###


3.2.2.1.1.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. Here, Mara is Hashang.)



.

Generally speaking, the first entry to the gradual path is selflessness. Moreover, in realizing the inseparable equal purity on the path of the Vajrayana, one must first realize equality. Thus, cultivating this entryway for beginners is the infallible method for [entering] transic meditation. Some people who are confused about the important points of the path say that meditation with intentional apprehension is, from the very beginning of the path, a fault, and that it should be abandoned. Because these are rumors spread by Mara in order to obstruct progress on the path, one should not confuse what is to be accepted and what is to be abandoned.

.

L10: [3.2.2.1.2 The way of meditating on the absence of extremes as the antidote to clinging to non-existence]



L11: [3.2.2.1.2.1 How the non-apprehending absence of elaboration is the antidote for apprehension of non-existence]

.

###



3.2.2.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Once one realize the emptiness of dharmas, one has to go beyond and realize that this doesn’t means that they are completely non-existent either. Then later one has to go beyond the duality of existence and non-existence itself: not accepting it, not rejecting it. So while meditating on emptiness, one should not grasp at emptiness.)



.

When, through the force of that modal apprehension, one has perfectly induced a confidence free of doubt in the secret pith of all dharmas—the emptiness of true existence of the unborn nature of mind— that modal apprehension, which is a mere apprehension of "non-existence," is just an aspect of the subjective mind. It is not the final reality of all objective knowables, so then one must meditate upon the great coalescence of appearance and emptiness, the non-conceptual ultimate, free of elaborations of projected doubts, as the antidote to that intentional apprehension.

.

L11: [3.2.2.1.2.2 Why it is appropriate to have confidence in that crucial point, by virtue of the fact that emptiness and relativity are inseparable]



.

###


3.2.2.1.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. It is important to realize this: that the real non-dual nature of everything is beyond simple conceptual emptiness, beyond simple conceptual dependent origination, beyond both, beyond neither. To realize that emptiness is not contradictory to dependent origination, to appearances; that they are in fact inseparable. If one get stuck on dependent origination, or emptiness, of the duality of the two, or think they are the same, then one will not be able to progress.)



.

You might think, "I doubt that not apprehending anything can end samsara," but that is not so. If one realizes from within the emptiness of true existence, which is the absolute negation of all afflicted and purified dharmas, that emptiness of absolute negation is not an exclusive emptiness, but is understood to arise as the illusory display of unobstructed relativity. At that time, one does not fall into either extreme of appearance or emptiness, and does not at all apprehend appearance and emptiness separately. Although it is not [specifically] apprehended, not only does one not fail to cut the root of samsara, one is confident in transcending the extremes of both existence and peace, just as one is confident in gold that has been purified in fire, so of course one cannot be dissuaded from it. This is the excellent teaching of the non-apprehension that gradually eliminates elaborations.

.

L11: [3.2.2.1.2.3 The reason why foolish meditators who pretend to have realization will be subject to doubts]



.

###


3.2.2.1.2.3

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!

.

(i.e. It is hard to get to this point, contrary to those fools who tell you to drop it all now, and that it is that simple. Nobody has ever succeeded this way. Enlightenment is “ultimately sudden” in the sense that it is beyond causality space & time, but cannot be gained by thinking that the cause is to drop all. That rejection is still reifying things.)



.

On the other hand, if having only seen and heard the words of the introduction to the nature of mind, one pretends to realize the nature of reality from the very beginning without eliminating elaborations gradually, or having to rely upon distinctions of "good" and "bad," or "sharp" and "dull" faculties, then it is in fact difficult to dispense with intentional apprehension. The reason is that the object of sublime persons, which is the extraordinarily profound, crucial aspect to be realized, has been striven for with great effort for long periods of time by the great, extraordinarily learned, and accomplished beings of India and Tibet. About that profound aspect they have said, "Alas! Nowadays, pretentious beings of the degenerate age say that they have realized that profound reality in a single moment, without having to make any effort," and they doubt those statements of clever speakers. They say, "I wonder how the result can arise when causes and conditions are not complete?"

.

L9: [3.2.2.2 Meditating upon the meaning of the main practice of [absorption] non-apprehension [when free of elaboration, in the main practice one meditates on the meaning of "non-apprehension."]]



L10: [3.2.2.2.1 By reason of seeing the object as non-elaborated, the mind does not apprehend any aspect]

.

###



3.2.2.2.1

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?

.

(i.e. Because one has directly seen that the objects of meditation are empty of inherent existence, but still not completely non-existent, then one is not attached to any of those aspects. So even emptiness is automatically dropped because one can see though this also. And this is not done artificially as in the case of Hashang’s method. And since one is abiding without abiding in any of the four extremes, then this feels like Nirvana.)



.

Thus, that gradual path eliminates elaborations alternately. Then, in the way that one practices the main practice of transic meditation, samsara and nirvana, actual and potential phenomena, are beyond all extremes, such as the eternalist extreme of existence and the nihilist extreme of non-existence. This is not something that has been fashioned or fabricated anew by someone, but is the way things are primordially. Likewise, if the proper mode of being of knowable things is not at all established as existing or non-existing, then the apprehension of non-empty appearances, or emptinesses that are not combined with appearances, does not exist in the object, but is rather the adventitious fabrication of elaboration wrought by the mind. Therefore, when one analyzes with authentic scriptural references and conclusive reasoning, whatever objects are apprehended cannot be conceptualized and do not possess even the slightest atom. Because [the conclusion of] dharmata reasoning does not admit of degrees, how could one adhere to any possible extreme, through not seeing the utter lack of [true] establishment in things? For the production of consciousness has to arise in the form of an existing object, and here there is no object whatsoever.

.

The Bodhicaryavatara says:



Having analyzed the object of analysis,

The analysis itself has no basis.

Because it has no basis, it is not produced.

That is called "nirvana."

.

L10: [3.2.2.2.2 Although there is no apprehension, it arises as penetrating insight, which is the self-radiance of luminosity [the mind is empty but still radiant]]



.

###


3.2.2.2.2

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—

.

(i.e. So the mind is free from all extremes, but it is not “blank” or “killed” like with Hashang’s method. That is the difference between a rock and a Buddha. The mind is thus in a position to directly see its real nature beyond all conceptualization and extremes, the primordial awareness, the intrinsic awareness. It is empty but still radiant, still luminous.)



.

However, this not like the sravaka in his nirvana, who does not cognize anything at all.

.

When one meditates within the view of irrevocable certainty induced by analysis of the way in which reality is free of the four extremes, one is not completely without knowledge of "this" or "that." The lamp of Manjusrivajra, the penetrating insight that is the unobstructed effulgence of the wisdom of luminosity, is radiant like an ordinary lamp. As it is said:



Desire, your root

Is known to arise from concepts.

.

Thus, conceptuality is stopped, and the effulgence of penetrating insight blazes.



.

L10: [3.2.2.2.3 That certainty is the antidote to both reification and denigration]

.

###


3.2.2.2.3

Is uprooted by this very antidote;

So when you meditate upon it, certainty should arise.

.

(i.e. In that state, beyond existence and non-existence, beyond thought and no-thought, one finally realize that there is nothing to accept as absolute, and nothing to reject. There is no need to stop thoughts; knowing their real nature is enough to be liberated from any conditioning. Everything is already pure and perfect, the display of luminous emptiness. With this “flash” of Enlightenment, one gain very strong certainty, faith in the view, path and result.)



.

Wherever any elaboration of the four extremes—which is contradictory to that penetrating insight in terms of its forms and intentional apprehension—apprehends something, the antidote, which pulls up the seed of the obscurity of the darkness of that mistaken view that stupid minds have about the ultimate meaning, is this penetrating insight. When one meditates on the antidote for what is to be abandoned, certainty should arise, because in this context one abandons what needs to be abandoned, and the [appropriate] antidote should arise.

.

L8: [3.2.3 A summary [of gradual vs. sudden]:]



L9: [3.2.3.1 Explanation of the qualities of realization and abandonment of gradual and sudden [enlightenment]]

L10: [3.2.3.1.1 Showing that the fundamental expanse beyond intellect that is the domain of subitists is difficult to realize]

.

###


3.2.3.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. The ultimate meditation that is the perfect Union of Shamatha and Vipashyana is difficult to realize; so most people have to get there gradually by accumulating both merit and wisdom together.)



.

As far as disciples' abilities and talents are concerned, there are subitists and gradualists, and of course that distinction also applies to how they eliminate the objects of elaboration. However, only a few persons with that karmic potential and sharp intelligence, and sublime beings, are able to enter the fundamental expanse beyond intellect by eliminating the four extremes all at once without having to eliminate them one by one. For most persons at the ordinary level, it is difficult to dispense with gradual cultivation and see dharmata all at once.

.

L10: [3.2.3.1.2 Therefore, by properly cultivating the view through study and contemplation, the qualities of abandonment and realization will arise [in stages]]



.

###


3.2.3.1.2

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.

.

Therefore, because [most people] cannot realize enlightenment in that way, they cultivate this successive cessation of the elaborations of the four extremes according to the graded view of the Madhyamaka; that is the tradition of study and reflection. Even if elaborations are not eliminated all at once, to the extent that one cultivates that view, the opponent of certainty will become clearer and clearer, and finally one will cause the object of abandonment—the erroneous darkness of reifications—to gradually subside. One's intellect, or wisdom of realization, will increase like the waxing moon, and having realized ultimate reality, the object of abandonment will be eliminated.



.

L9: [ 3.2.3.2 Explaining the degraded mistaken [Hasang] view that arises because of not analyzing or understanding those two modes]

.

###


3.2.3.2

The unsound view that doesn't apprehend anything

(i.e. Hashang’s method)

Cannot produce the confidence that

No real entities are established anywhere;

Therefore, it cannot remove obscurations.

.

(i.e. Trying to fake it by dropping all now will not result in anything.)



.

Like a frog who tries to follow a lion's leap, if one has the base view of not apprehending anything, existence or non-existence, without having understood anything from the start, how can one generate certainty that the self of persons and phenomena is not established anywhere? Without that certainty, that degraded meditation that doesn't apprehend anything cannot function as an antidote for objects of abandonment. Therefore, such a view cannot abandon any emotional afflictions or cognitive obscurations, because it does not realize emptiness.

.

On that, the Bodhicaryavatara. says:



The antidote for emotional and cognitive

Obscurations is emptiness.

Those who wish to attain omniscience quickly

Should not meditate on it in such a way.

.

L9: [3.2.3.3 Inferring from signs [the way of inferring those two through the signs of their difference]]



L10: [3.2.3.3.1 Generally]

.

###



3.2.3.3.1

Therefore, just like inferring fire by smoke,

The difference between these meditations

Is known from the dividend of abandoned defilement and

acquired realization.

.

(i.e. The only way to produce results is to follow a gradual path and to gradually develop certainty as described above.)



.

For that reason, the difference between the correctly cultivated non-apprehension meditated on by both gradualists and subitists, and the ersatz non-apprehension that is meditated on by neither of those, can be known from the way that qualities of abandonment and realization are gained or not gained as the reward [of practice], like inferring fire from the sign of smoke.

.

L10: [3.2.3.3.2 Specifically]



L11: [3.2.3.3.2.1 The idiot meditator's non-apprehension is not the cause of abandonment and realization]

.

###



3.2.3.3.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. The disadvantages of trying to drop all now, following Hashang’s method.)



.

For the reason that qualities do not arise from this [mistaken view], remaining ordinary in the idiot's meditation that does not recognize anything is not the cause of any gnosis of abandonment and realization. As it is said:

If one gains confidence in the real meaning,

A hundred thousand Dharma treasures spring from the heart.

.

[The idiot's meditation] produces obstacles to this kind of discriminating wisdom, love, compassion, and so forth—indeed, for all the good qualities of the path and result. Without having the slightest purity of moral discipline, [practicing this meditation] is like straining the dregs of tea and calling that "tea." One's previous qualities will decrease further and further and will not be reproduced; faults and emotional afflictions that one did not have before will be produced and will increase further and further. In particular, this mindless "view of emptiness" will cause one's confidence in causality to decrease. Finally, one will be obsessed with senseless nihilistic ravings.



.

L11: [3.2.3.3.2.2 The authentic view is the cause of abandonment and realization]

L12: [3.2.3.3.2.2.1 The actual way [the authentic view] is the cause of abandonment and realization [efficient]]

.

###



3.2.3.3.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Benefits of a correct gradual path.)



.

If one has the eyes of the authentic view that realizes the inseparable reality of dependent origination, it goes without saying that the good qualities one already possesses will increase, and that the qualities of scriptural [learning] and experiential realization will blaze like dry wood heaped on a fire. From the quality of one's realization and vision of all dharmas as emptiness, one will be extremely confident in the arising of the nature of emptiness as the infallible relativity of cause and effect. To the extent that one develops its power as an antidote, objects of abandonment—emotional afflictions and concepts—will decrease. Even if one does not meditate on it specifically, great compassion will arise effortlessly, and with discriminating wisdom one will be able to master the ocean of sutric and tantric subjects on one's own. Such are the qualities that will arise.

.

L12: [3.2.3.3.2.2.2 That kind of realization is the dharmata of the coalescence of calm abiding and penetrating insight [leading to the great equanimity]]



.

###


3.2.3.3.2.2.2

With the samadhi that abides one-pointedly

In the state of certainty induced by analysis,

The ultimate meaning is seen by non-seeing.

.

(i.e. The very ultimate realization beyond all dualities (beyond emptiness and non-emptiness) gained through a meditation uniting Shamatha and Vipashyana. Gaining certainty through correct logical reasonings is a requirement, because otherwise we just waste our time on wrong and views and non-productive methods.)



.

Thus, with respect the fundamental expanse of coalescence that is beyond all elaborations of extremes, one does not just bask in the glow of excellent certainty induced by rational analysis. In that state, onepointed formless samadhi sees dharmata, which is the object wherein nothing in particular is seen. That authentic object of seeing, which is the way ultimate reality abides, does not fall into any extreme of emptiness or non-emptiness.

.

On that way of not falling into extremes, the mDo sdud pa says:



"I see space"—this is an expression of sentient beings.

But analyze this—how could one see space?

Seeing phenomena is also like this, taught the Tathagata;

Seeing cannot be explained by any other example.

.

L12: [3.2.3.3.2.2.3 Therefore, even if there is no apprehension, confidence is produced [generating certainty]]



.

###


3.2.3.3.2.2.3

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.

.

Therefore, when one sees the authentic reality of things, obviously no essence is apprehended at all, but this doesn't mean that, since nothing at all is certain, nothing is apprehended. For example, if a completely mute person tastes molasses, he has no doubt that it is sweet. Likewise, in the explanation that one does not need an intentional apprehension of ultimate reality, the extraordinary confidence of being freed from the fetters of doubt is produced in the yogi who cultivates the coalescence of calm abiding and special insight. But other positions—such as the idea that one should cultivate analysis exclusively, and the idea that one should cultivate the calm abiding of equipoise exclusively—cannot eliminate doubts, and it is difficult to gain confidence in them.



.

Moreover, since nowadays there are people who suppose that to meditate is to drift away in the dreamy expanse of mindless obscurity, without having to eliminate any doubts at all, it is obvious that they need to think about what needs to be accepted and abandoned.

.

I say:


Because the light of the lamp of biased modal apprehension

Cannot penetrate the gloom of biased obscuration,

By seeing this orb of the sun that dispels darkness,

Good and bad are like the disk of the quarter moon.

.

.

.



.

.

.



*******************************************************

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

.

L1: [9.4. Topic 4 [The Union of Shamatha vs Vipashyana – we need both depending on the situation]]



.

(i.e. Résumé of Topic 4: More on how to meditate and finally directly see the real non-dual nature of our own mind – intrinsic awareness. This is the continuation of the theme started with topic 3, whether we should use conceptualization and analysis in meditation, or simply drop all apprehension, all analysis, all conceptualization. In other words, which is the best: to develop concentration without conceptualization (Shamatha), or to analyze the real nature of everything using Vipashyana. The answer is again on the Middle Way: one alone is not enough, we need the Union of the Two. All traditions agree on that. To correctly determine when to use one or the other, we need to understand about the distinction between the sudden and gradual path. It is true that the final meditation is beyond all analysis or conceptualization, but in order to get there we need to use analysis and conceptualization so we do not fall into any extremes. Whether we use the sutric path or the symbolic tantric path, our practice needs to be based on a correct understanding and certainty about the basis, the inseparability of the Two truths. Just faking a state of non-conceptualization, or faking a state of perceiving ourself as a deity and everything else as pure, without basing those practices on true wisdom, is not going to work. They just become like going to an extreme, and missing the whole point. These practices have to be based on a certainty induced by virtuous methods and correct reasonings.)

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L6: [[0.2.2.1.1.2.] 4. The exposition of which is correct—analysis [Vipashyana] or trance [Shamatha]?]



L7: [4.1 The question]

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4.1

In meditating the view of the supreme vehicle,

Which is right—to analyze [Vipashyana] or focus the mind [Shamatha]?

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In meditating upon the meaning of the view of reality, the profound definitive meaning of the supreme vehicle, which is the infallible method taught by the Buddha. Which is correct—to exclusively meditate with analysis, or to exclusively meditate transically, without analysis?



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(i.e. Mipham sees to insist on the fact that we need both depending on the situation, but that ultimately we don’t need analysis when we can work at the level of direct perception. In other traditions they seem to insist on the fact that we need both in alternation, and then ultimately in Union. But I thing the meaning is the same.)

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L7: [4.2 The extensive explanation:]



L8: [4.2.1 A brief demonstration that in our own and in other systems as well, it is not appropriate to be prejudiced toward either analysis (Vipashyana) or trance (Shamatha) in meditating upon the view]

L9: [4.2.1.1 One-sided trance]

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4.2.1.1

Some say, "Don't analyze, but meditate transically.

Analysis obscures the nature of things,

So without analyzing, sit like a bump on a log."

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In general, regardless of who practices what is renowned as "the wandering yogi's transic meditation" or "the pandit's analytical meditation," if there is a one-sided prejudice toward either one, it is obviously a fault. In particular, nowadays it is said that people who cannot persevere in study and reflection should meditate by resting quietly without analyzing anything, and without analyzing according to the meaning of scripture, reasoning, and pith instructions, the reason being that to analyze the meaning of what is studied is just so much conceptualization, which obscures ultimate reality. Therefore, without analyzing what should be accepted or abandoned, such as the topics of abiding nature vs. apparent nature, consciousness vs. gnosis, and so forth, all those things being equal, one should be like a bump on a log. Because this is the crucial point of pith instructions, it is enough, so they say.



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L9: [4.2.1.2 [One-sided] analysis]

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4.2.1.2

Some say, "Only do analysis.

Meditation without analysis

Is like going to sleep and doesn't help,

So one should always analyze."

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Some scholars say that one should only analyze the absence of true existence, which is the toot of penetrating insight. If one does transic meditation without analysis, it is like going to sleep, and will not eliminate the apprehension of true existence. Because it does not help generate the qualities of abandonment and realization, they say that one should always analyze, both in meditation and in its aftermath.



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L9: [4.2.1.3 Demonstrating that it is not appropriate to be prejudiced toward either of them]

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4.2.1.3

To adhere exclusively to analysis (Vipashyana) or transic (Shamatha)

Meditation is not appropriate.

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You might think, "Well then, what is your position on these two?" We do not accept either of these, since they are both prejudiced positions. In meditating upon the meaning of the view, to focus exclusively on either analysis or trance is inappropriate, because one must integrate calm abiding and penetrating insight.



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L8: [4.2.2 Having differentiated the context and meaning of analysis and trance, an extensive explanation of the systems of interpretation of the previous two]

L9: [4.2.2.1 A general discussion, [held in] common [with other systems]]

L10: [4.2.2.1.1 Most transic meditations only produce calm abiding, and cannot dispense with obscurations [we need the coalescence of Shamatha and Vipashyana]]

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4.2.2.1.1

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.

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(i.e. Developing concentration alone, Shamatha, is not enough. The benefits of jnanas are only temporary. Only wisdom can remove ignorance. Hiding in the higher realms has no long term benefits. But that doesn’t mean that developing concentration is useless.)



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It is pointless to practice only transic meditation. Why is that? If at first one does not analyze what is to be accepted and abandoned, it is probable that most forms of transic meditation will accomplish a mere calm abiding or one of the worldly realms of formal meditation that are common [to Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions]. To whatever extent one meditates in that way, one will bring about the cessation of mind and mental events, but one will not generate even the slightest certainty, which is induced by the power of analyzing the nature of things. The unique eye for traveling the path of liberation is precisely this confidence free of doubt. If one is bereft of the authentic view, one cannot eliminate obscurations just by meditating. Therefore, one must have the coalescence of calm abiding and penetrating insight, which is cause for consummating qualities of abandonment and realization. The Bodhicaryavatara says:

By penetrating insight thoroughly suffused with calm abiding,

One will know complete victory over emotional afflictions

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L10: [4.2.2.1.2 Why one must have penetrating insight that knows the nature of things as the antidote for dispensing with obscurations [only wisdom can remove ignorance, the cause of all suffering; we need both method and wisdom]]



L11: [4.2.2.1.2.1 The view must precede the meditation of the path]

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4.2.2.1.2.1

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.

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The cause for eliminating obscurations and giving birth to realization is knowing the nature of dharmas by means of study and so forth; this is the authentic view. If one does not know it, no matter how much one meditates on the authentic object, insofar as one does not know the abiding nature of the object of meditation, one is only subject to ordinary, instinctual thought. Meditating on that is of no use for producing good qualities and traveling the path of liberation. Therefore, like a blind person, one will get lost and will not progress on the path that leads to the attainment of omniscience.



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L11: [4.2.2.1.2.2 The necessity of its ally, intense effort [with the two accumulations: merit & wisdom, virtuous methods & correct reasonings]]

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4.2.2.1.2.2

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.

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Therefore, although it is difficult to enter the difficult subjects of the profound and vast scriptures, treatises, etc., through study, reflection, and meditation, if one does not undergo many hardships, it is not possible to attain a result.



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Pha dam pa Sangs rgyas (rgya gar dam pa) said:

Buddhahood is rare for a person who is not steadfast;

Undergo hardships, people of Ding-ri!

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Through clinging from beginningless time to true existence and solidity in things, again and again, because of not having abandoned the propensity for delusion, and contrary to the nature of emptiness, one has erroneously clung to the intrinsic reality of purity, happiness, permanence, and self.



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The Avatara says:

Because it is obscured by the nature of ignorance, it is called "deceptive."

That which is fabricated appears as though real.. ..

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Accordingly, in order to stop those erroneous delusions, there are a hundred methods, such as love, compassion, generosity, morality, and meditation; the four great Madhyamika reasonings, which analyze the nature of equality, etc.; the four reasonings of realization, which realize the nature of purity, and so forth. As long as one does not investigate with a hundred reasonings, it is difficult to gain realization.



.

A sutra says:

Empty, peaceful, without birth—

Not knowing this Dharma, beings wander.

Through the power of compassion, with method

And a hundred reasonings, they will be made to enter it.

.

(i.e. The Two accumulations: accumulating merit through virtuous methods and accumulating wisdom through using correct logical reasonings.)



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L11: [4.2.2.1.2.3 The reason its opposite is very powerful]

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4.2.2.1.2.3

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.

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(i.e. It is not the appearances or the conceptualization per se that are “bad”, it is the idea that we have about them, the grasping / clinging at them. It is the way we see everything that is wrong. This is called the view dependent on ignorance.)



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For the very reason that one needs that kind of intense effort, clinging to the true existence of the two forms of self—which is deluded appearance contrary to the authentic path—and having the vision of the two forms of selflessness through the authentic view, are mutually exclusive and cannot abide together. Therefore, in this heavy darkness of the nescience of clinging to true existence and circling in existence through the power of karma and emotional afflictions deeply cultivated from beginningless time, it is difficult to obtain the authentic vision of wisdom that clarifies the nature of suchness, so one should strive to master both innate and acquired wisdom.

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The Bodhicaryavatara says:



In existence there are many precipices,

And in it [knowledge] of reality is absent.

Also, [emptiness] and [misknowledge] contradict each other,

But in existence there is no such thing.

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L9: [4.2.2.2 Our own uncommon system:]



L10: [4.2.2.2.1 If those with sharp faculties or awakened karmic connections realize the view correctly, they do not need to analyze [sudden path: Direct observation of one’s own mind without conceptualization]]

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4.2.2.2.1

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.

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(i.e. There is the fast path for those who can readily see the real nature of their own mind, thus of all dharmas, when introduced to it by their guru. But most are not able to see reality even if told, because of their thick layer of sticky illusions and misconceptions. Then there is the gradual path.)



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You might wonder, "Is that explanation of the necessity of effort definitely for everyone?" It is possible, in this corporeal frame, to gain realization without having to practice. With the ripening of the karma of practicing the path in previous lives, or through the conjunction of the conditions of a sharp-minded disciple and the blessing of a realized master, it is perhaps possible that by analyzing just the origin, abiding, and cessation of mind one can acquire authentic certainty in the emptiness of true existence without extensive practice of the path. However, there are very few persons like that. It is not possible for everyone to gain realization in that way, regardless of intelligence, previous practice of the path, and so forth. Therefore, all gradualists should practice according to the above quote: "If this is the fail-safe entryway for beginners___"

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L10: [4.2.2.2.2 If one cannot gain realization that way, one should gradually practice analysis and trance [gradual path: using the symbolic path of Tantrayana]]



L11: [4.2.2.2.2.1 determining the basis of what is to be analyzed and placed upon;]

L12: [4.2.2.2.2.1.1 How the three inner tantric vehicles have the Mahayoga view and meditation, which realizes the inseparability of the two truths in pure equanimity as their common basis]

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.1.1.1 The actual [explanation] [the many synonymous inseparability]]

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4.2.2.2.2.1.1.1

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 (i.e. body, speech, mind)

Are synonyms of that bliss.

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(i.e. Whatever methods used in Vajrayana, or in any other paths, it always comes down to realizing the inseparability of the Two Truths, whatever it is called in those particular vehicles: inseparability of bliss and emptiness, of compassion and emptiness, of dependent origination and emptiness, of appearances and emptiness, etc. It always mean that everything is beyond the duality existence vs. non-existence. The Middle Way between the two (or four) extremes.)



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According to this reality of all dharmas that is the uncommon teaching of the great secret Nyingma tradition, by the logical reasonings of the four understandings in the context of the three classes of inner tantras, the basis is determined as the pure equality of the inseparability of the [two] truths. This means that one should determine

the nature (rang bzhin) as unborn,

its display (rol pa) as unobstructed,

its essence (ngo bo) as indivisible,

and its defining characteristic (mtshan nyid) as beyond intellect.

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"Unborn nature" means that when one breaks through to the equanimity that is from the beginning unborn with respect to the four extremes—the primordially pure nature of the basic essence—by getting to the heart of the matter by means of analysis, one needs the final view of the Prasangika Madhyamaka. With respect to illuminating the dharmadhatu that is the epistemic object free of all elaborations of the four extremes, its nature is unborn. That is not different from "unborn from the four extremes" in Madhyamaka.



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From the Penetration of Sound Root Tantra:

The limit of the perfection of wisdom

Is included in directly cutting through appearance (trekcho).

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Likewise, from the Great Omniscient One's commentary to the Jewel Treasury of Dharmadhatu:



The ways in which this tradition of the natural Great Perfection investigates "freedom from extremes" are for the most part the same as Prasangika Madhyamaka. But while Madhyamaka mainly considers an emptiness like space, here it is primordially pure, naked awareness, not established, a mere absolute negation that is taken as a basis.

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(i.e. The Madhyamika teachings insists on the emptiness of all dharmas without any exception, and teach to stay away from the four extremes: existence, non-existence, both, neither. The Tantrayana, on the other hand, insists on the fact that emptiness doesn’t mean complete non-existence, and thus uses concepts like “unborn Buddha-nature, or primordial awareness, dharmadhatu …”. Both have the same essence. They are just insisting on different aspects as introduction. It is important to seek a very subtle nature of the mind during meditation. It non-dual nature is realized later. All of these adapted skillful means are just pointing at the moon anyway.)



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In order to stop clinging to the emptiness taught by Madhyamaka, the Mantrayana teaches the great bliss of unobstructed display. That changeless great bliss and the emptiness supremely endowed with all forms are identical in the essence of bliss and emptiness. The defining characteristic of that unique indivisible expanse that is primordially pure is that it is experienced in a manner beyond intellect, free of subject and object, and without dualistic appearance.

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The rNgam klog says:



Understanding (rtogs pa) has four aspects

That are accepted by Buddhist yogis.

One cause, the manner of words,

Blessing, and direct experience—

These induce entry to the meaning of the Great Perfection.

"Cause" means that the two truths simultaneously

Are one, and thus have the defining characteristic of oneness.

In the mandala of enlightened body, speech, and mind

The nature of all dharmas is realized;

And from the blessing of the unborn expanse,

All dharmas are known as appearance.

If that sort of nature,

Which does not depend on something else and is without contradiction,

Is determined and known directly,

The yogi reaches the bhumis.

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And, from the Instructional Garland of Views: "The way of the Great Perfection is to gain confidence through the path of the four understandings …" and so on. Having determined [the view] through these and other statements, one meditates on the cycles of the dharmata of deity and mantra by the stages of methodically generating body, speech, and mind as the display of that basis.



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The three meditations of

-- the body-vajra of appearance-emptiness,

-- the speech-vajra of clarity-emptiness,

-- and the mind-vajra of awareness-emptiness

are not considered separately.

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By knowing them to be mere synonyms for the vajra of gnosis of non-dual bliss and emptiness and practicing accordingly, the primordial purity of the causality of samsara and the causality of nirvana are demonstrated to be spontaneously present.



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(i.e. To transmute our impure body speech and mind into the pure body speech and mind of a Buddha, all we have to do is to directly realize their real non-dual nature – the inseparability of the Two Truths. That is to realize that the real nature of our body speech and mind are respectively: inseparable appearances & emptiness, inseparable clarity & emptiness, inseparable awareness & emptiness; and to realize the inseparability of the three kayas. All of this is called inseparability of bliss and emptiness in some Tantras, or inseparability of compassion and emptiness in some Mahayana sutras and sastras. It all comes down to the inseparability of Two Truths, or of existence and non-existence.)

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(i.e. Mahayoga: The appearances of phenomena, existence of relative truth, present primordially as the nature of the three cycles, vajra body, vajra speech and vajra mind of the Buddha, while they are emptiness, are the "superior relative truth". The indivisibility of emptiness, the non-existing nature, from the Buddha-bodies and primordial wisdoms is the "superior absolute truth". Mahayoga is based on the realization and progress of experience of the indivisibility of the "two superior truths," one attains liberation. In Mahayoga one meditates all the phenomenal existences as the mandalas of the deities. According to the scriptures of tantras and saddhanas, one trains on two yogas:



-- (a). The yoga with characteristics: one trains on two stages, the Development Stage and Perfection Stage

-- (b). The yoga without characteristics: one contemplates on suchness, the ultimate nature.

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The main goal is the attainment of state of fourfold knowledge-holders and achieves the five Buddha-bodies in this life or in the intermediate state.)



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L13: [4.2.2.2.2.1.1.2 How that basis by its very nature does not abide in the extremes of existence and peace]

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4.2.2.2.2.1.1.2

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,

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(i.e. Here it is said that the meaning of “great compassion” is the same as “great bliss” or “appearances” or “dependent origination”, … The important point is their inseparability with emptiness; their non-duality: not two, not one. This ultimate non-dual nature, or inseparability, is the reason why those adapted skillful means (bliss, compassion, morality) are efficient on the path. A path that combines the two aspects, in accord with the real nature of everything, that combine both virtuous method and wisdom, is an efficient path leading to Enlightenment. Otherwise it is just creating more karma. To drop all of those virtuous skillful means and adopt Hashang’s method of dropping all is to miss the whole point, and not being in accord with the real nature of everything.)



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The causal vehicle of the perfections achieves the final result of Buddhahood. Because it puts an end to both extremes of cyclic existence and peace, (i.e. The Middle Way: not accepting, not rejecting) by striving for three countless eons, etc., to collect the dual accumulation (i.e. merit and wisdom) that integrates emptiness and compassion, the result of the two kayas is attained.

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(i.e. On the path, the two accumulations should be inseparable to be in accord with the real non-dual nature of everything; and the result is explained as being the inseparable kayas, or the inseparability of body, speech and mind of a Buddha. All of this means the inseparability of the Two Truths, the Union of The Two Truths, the coalescence. It is to be not in accord with the real non-dual nature of everything that is creating karma and suffering. Knowing this, one doesn’t make any more mistakes not in accord with reality, no more cause for suffering.)



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Having manifested the emptiness aspect of the dharmakaya from the accumulation of gnosis of cultivated emptiness, the apparent aspect of the two formal kayas appears. These [formal kayas] protect sentient beings from all the fears of samsara by establishing disciples in temporary and ultimate bliss. Thus, the ultimate result of the accumulation of merit is the formal kayas, which have the nature of compassion. The fruitional Mantrayana contains all of the important points of the path and result of the causal vehicles, as the direct experiential meaning that is individually cognized by yogis, as the inseparable equality of the nature of emptiness endowed with all forms, and as supreme bliss having the nature of non-reifying compassion. Therefore, the path that causes the attainment of Buddhahood in mantra is more exalted than that of sutra.

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In the path of mantra, suchness—the abiding reality of the luminosity of mind, which is the coalescence of awareness and emptiness, or the inseparability of bliss and emptiness—is directly experienced for oneself. It is not absolutely necessary to have recourse to inducing intellectual understanding of the meaning of emptiness through inference.



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For example, those who have attained divine vision do not need to rely upon human vision in order to perceive forms. Likewise, the non-elaboration that is ascertained unerringly as the view through inferential valid cognition is more easily perceived directly on the path of skillful means.

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(i.e. Compared to Paramitayana (ordinary Mahayana), the Tantrayana uses a faster method that do not rely on much conceptualization and correct logical reasonings. But this method is much more dangerous and should be used only by a few, and under close supervision by a guru that has gone through the whole process himself. Instead of reasoning about the real nature of our own mind and the appearances, one directly experiments with the most basic components of his mind (pre conceptual components) and see their real nature directly. The findings are the same.)



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Therefore, the meaning of emptiness, which is coalescence free of elaboration as explained in the Prajnaparamita sutras, is seen just as it is on our Vajrayana path. It is entirely impossible that [this] is a path without the meaning of that kind of emptiness. Therefore, because the dharmakaya abides as the primordially pure essence and the formal bodies abide as the spontaneous presence of the aspect of the nature of clarity, the dual accumulation is by nature primordially complete and spontaneously present. It is the great self-arisen gnosis that by nature does not abide in either cyclic existence or peace. Once this is manifest, there is no need to purposefully negate the extremes of existence or peace.

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L12: [4.2.2.2.2.1.2 On that basis anuyoga manifests the path of inseparable bliss and emptiness]



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4.2.2.2.2.1.2

By practicing the path Evam of bliss and emptiness

In this very life, one will manifest

The fruitional coalescence.

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(i.e. Again the meaning is the same: the Union of The Two Truths.)



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While the mode of appearance of the kayas and wisdoms, and the extraordinary great dharmakaya that is the inseparable two truths of appearance and emptiness—which is the expanse of coalescence—is ascertained to abide as the basis according to the mahayoga system, anuyoga is understood with the view that determines that the expanse of emptiness is the mandala of Samantabhadri and the method of bliss is the mandala of Samantabhadra, and that these together are the all-pervading lord of the lineages and mandalas, the mandala of bodhicitta that is essentially inseparable emptiness and bliss. Because the path of bliss and emptiness is accomplished through the completion phase of the wisdom of coalescence of the Evam of the yogas of one's own and another person's body, there is no recourse to extensive external practices, and one penetrates the vital points of the channels, bindus, and winds of the internal vajra body. The result is that in this very life one manifests the resultant coalescence where there is nothing more to learn.

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(i.e. Anuyoga: Anuyoga ascertains that all the appearances of phenomenal existence are Samantabhadra (the father), the spontaneously accomplished man, data of the deities. The emptiness nature (of phenomenal existence), free from all the extremes, is Samantabhadri (the mother), the mandala of primordial suchness. The essence both of appearances and nature is indivisibly present as equalness nature, and that is the great blissful son, the mandala of enlightened mind.



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One meditates that all the deities are completed within one's own vajra-body. Things appear in various forms of good and evil, acceptance and rejection, and one becomes attached to them. To dispel those obscurations one trains in the method of actualizing the great blissful wisdom by penetrating the channels, air and essence of the body, and one progresses through the five paths gradually. In Anuyoga there are two major paths of training:

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-- (a) The path of skillful means (Thabs-Lam): the training with the four cakras or six cakras of one's body, which brings innate wisdom gradually, or by means of the lower entrances (A'og-sGo), the union with consort, which brings innate wisdom instantly.



-- (b) The path of liberation (Grol-Lam): The meditation on the signs or characteristics is the elaborate contemplation on the deities. By mere utterance of the mantra one visualizes instantly the world and beings as the mandala of the deities clearly without confusion.

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The main goal of this yoga is the attainment of the Great Blissful Body with the four Buddha-bodies and five Primordial Wisdoms.)



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L12: [4.2.2.2.2.1.3 The effortless arising of the self-arisen result of the three kayas in Atiyoga (Dzogchen)]

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4.2.2.2.2.1.3

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.

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(i.e. The result is the inseparable three kayas and five wisdoms of a Buddha. This has the meaning of the inseparability of the Two Truths, the Union of the Two Truths, the coalescence. This is the essence of all Buddhist paths.)



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The triad of basis, path, and result are, with respect to the meaning of the abiding nature of things, inseparable. This is the Atiyoga of the Vajrayana. But in the apparent nature of things, they are different.

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Therefore, the Tantra of the Mirror of Vajrasattva says:



The generation of mahayoga is like the basis of all Dharmas.

The completion of anuyoga is like the path of all Dharmas.

The Atiyoga or Great Perfection is like the result of all Dharmas.

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According to this, Atiyoga is like the result of the two lower yogas. Since it is the fourth empowerment that is the entrance to the paths of generation and completion, which are manifested as the gnoses of the four vajras by those [lower yogas], among those this is the gnosis of the completion phase, which is without characteristics and is free of effort. This is the meaning of the three bodies, which are complete in themselves, and which are introduced by the path of the fourth empowerment. Without relying upon external elaborations and effort, or internal yogic discipline of the body, the inseparability of generation and completion—the self-arisen gnosis that is the coalescence of awareness and emptiness—is exclusively emphasized in the practice of the equipoise of primordial liberation. This vehicle, which is the method where the self-radiance of luminosity appears manifestly, is the tradition of the supreme secret Great Perfection, the pinnacle of vehicles, the final swift path that is the destination of the results accomplished by all lower vehicles.



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Atiyoga (= Dzogchen): : Atiyoga is a means to liberate the meaning of primordial Buddhahood into its own state, and it is the nature of freedom from abandonments and acceptances and expectations and fears. The six million four hundred verses of Atiyoga scriptures are divided into three divisions by Jampal Shenyen. These divisions are:

1. The Series of the Nature of the Mind (Semde): for people who are (include to) mind.

2. The Series of Primordial Space (Longde): for those who are (include to) space.

3. The Series of Oral Instructions (Mengagde): for those who are free from gradual efforts.

.

The first two of these were introduced into Tibet by Vairochana; the third by Vimalamitra. Those teachings that were originally transmitted by Padmasambhava and then hidden in various places in Tibet are also part of the Series of Secret Instructions. This kind of text, known as "terma" (gter ma) or "treasures," began to be rediscovered from the 13th century onwards. Those texts which, on the other hand, were transmitted orally from the time of Garab Dorje onwards, are known as the "oral tradition" (bka' ma).



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There are two major categories of training in Mengagde:

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(a). Thregchod (Cutting Through): there are four stages of realizations through meditation: dwelling, unmoving, equalness, and spontaneity.



.

(b). Thodgal (the Direct Approach): there six crucial means of training, the four visions arise gradually. The four visions are: the direct realization of Ultimate Nature, development of Experiences, perfection of Intrinsic Awareness, and Dissolution of phenomena into the Ultimate Nature.

.

Thodgal is for breaking out of the cycle of existences (samsara) by directly experience of "naked," or "ordinary," mind, which is the basis of all activities of consciousness. In addition to approaches of this kind that are oriented toward emptiness and intended to be applied without goal-oriented effort, Thregchod places the emphasis on the clear light aspect of primordial knowledge. Their goal is realization of the "rainbow body," i.e., the dissolution of the physical body that is, of the four elements that constitute the body into light.



.

L11: [4.2.2.2.2.2 Differentiating the contexts in which one employs analysis or trance:]

L12: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1 In order to attain realization, one engages in analysis and trance progressively]

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1 The beginning practitioner generates understanding through study and reflection]

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.1 In order to attain qualities of abandonment and realization, one induces certainty through various methods and analysis]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.1

As long as certainty has not been born,

One should induce it with skillful means (i.e. virtuous methods) and analysis (i.e. wisdom).

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.

.

(i.e. But even in Tantrayana, before one can directly play with his own mind, like with pure visualizations, one has to develop certainty by using much conceptualization and correct logical reasonings – the two accumulations. Certainty is the link between conceptual meditation and non-conceptual realization.)



.

As long as one has not generated authentic certainty about the meaning intended by the Vajrayana that teaches the final abiding nature of things, by making effort in the practice of many methods and by referring to authentic scriptures for the meaning of the great pure equality of actual and potential phenomena for potent and analytical reasonings about the two truths, one will induce certainty. If certainty is produced, one must meditate without separation from the heat of that certainty.

.

Why is that? If one has that continuity of certainty that, like a lamp, causes the appearance of the authentic meaning, it will become a cause for the gnosis of realization, which causes the base conceptuality of inauthentic improper mentation to disappear like darkness. This should be done diligently, and if one is ever without certainty, one should induce [certainty] again through analysis.



.

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.2 If one cannot induce certainty, abandonment and realization will not occur]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.2

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?

.

(i.e. If certainty is not induced using much virtuous methods and logical reasonings, then one would not be able to progress with the symbolic tantric practices; one will only be faking pure perceptions, and Yidam generation. Some people might think that by doing those practice again and again they will start to really believe in them and make progress. But that would only be faking and self-generated hallucinations – that is not developing wisdom beyond conceptualization – it is only creating more karma.)



.

When one first practices the path, this analysis is important. The reason is that if one doesn't begin with an excellent analysis, there is no way to generate an excellent certainty thereafter. If excellent certainty is not generated, one will not have authentic experience, so how will one be able to make the darkness of miserable projections disappear? If one does not make miserable projections disappear, how will one stop the foul winds of karma? If those are not stopped, how will one abandon this awful samsara? If one does not abandon samsara, what will one do about dismal suffering? If one doesn't do anything about it, these will have the characteristic of conditions and things conditioned, and like the wheel of a chariot, one will cycle in endless suffering. Therefore, if one induces certainty with excellent analysis and stops miserable projections, by the power of that, one will be able to stop the winds of karma. If bound-up winds are stopped, then one can stop degraded concepts. Thus, one should strive in the methods for abandoning samsara with whatever strength one can muster.

.

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.3 Therefore, one must induce certainty that realizes the abiding nature of things



[The most important point of the path: To realize the equanimity of neither good nor evil Is the nature of excellent certainty – before practicing Tantrayana.]]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.2.1.1.3

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!

.

(i.e. The only way to practice the “pure vision” of Tantrayana, is to base it on this certainty, acquired through much logical reasonings. That is why Mahayana is required before Tantrayana. Otherwise it is only faking, and going nowhere.)



.

If one induces certainty by analyzing some object, in the final analysis of samsara and nirvana, there is no good thing called "nirvana" and no bad thing called "samsara," because if one analyzes them, neither is established.

.

The Mulamadhyamakakarika says:



The intrinsic nature of the Tathagata

Is the intrinsic nature of these sentient beings.

The Tathagata has no intrinsic nature;

These sentient beings also have no intrinsic nature.

.

(i.e. Buddhas and sentient beings are not different, not the same. They are non-dual: not two, not one. The same for samsara and Nirvana. One should try to go beyond these dualities. The Middle Way: not accepting, not rejecting. Everything is already pure in non-conceptual emptiness, in non-duality.)



.

According to this passage, samsara and nirvana have no good and bad, nor anything to accept or abandon. Their nature is the equality of dharmata, which does not abide in any extreme of cyclic existence and peace (i.e. not accepting, not rejecting) and is the basis of the perfection of wisdom. The excellent certainty that realizes that as it is, is the path of the perfection of wisdom. Because such a certainty does not establish a true "nirvana" by rejecting a true "samsara," the apparent contradiction that this poses for the explanation above—that one must have certainty as the antidote for abandoning samsara—depends upon the words alone. If one relies upon the actual meaning, there is no contradiction so far as the distinction of "manner of abiding" and "manner of appearance" is concerned. The making of this kind of distinction is the most important feature of the paths of sutra and tantra. (i.e. The Two Truths and their inseparability.)

.

On that, the Mulamadhyamakakarika says:



Without abandonment, without accomplishment,

Without annihilation, without permanence,

Without cessation, without production—

This is said to be nirvana.

.

And Lord Maitreya said:



In this, there is nothing whatsoever to remove;

There isn't the slightest thing to add.

Look at authenticity authentically.

If you see authentically, you will be liberated.

.

When one practices all the causal vehicles of "profound views" and "vast activities," the secret advice that rolls all important points of pith instructions into one, is this. As explained above, when one realizes the basis of the inseparable two truths and analyzes this way of practicing without eliminating or positing samsara and nirvana, one should not simply rest content with words, but experience the flavor of the meaning—this is Mipham's exhortation. (i.e. The Two Truths and their inseparability.)



.

(i.e. “The view which establishes a clear idea or determination of what must be understood

lta-ba: view, a clear understanding based in primordial wisdom, the pristine cognition of reality as-it-is.

This has three aspects:

1. view of objects and phenomena (chö-chin lta-ba)

2. view of absolute reality or truth (chö-nyid lta-ba)

3. view of self-awareness in non-duality (rang-rig lta-ba)

1. view of objects and phenomena (chö-chin lta-ba) has two categories; pure and impure. We are already well acquainted with the impure view. To recognize the five aggregates and elements as non-separate from the male and female Buddhas is the purified form of the relative truth, symbolized by the Deity of Initial Attraction. This marks the beginning of the developing stage practices and the path of accumulation. As your channels become more refined on the path of application, this becomes the Deity Buddha of the Winds. On the path of seeing, the Yidam deity is the Buddha of the Clear Light. On the path of meditation, s/he is the Buddha of Great Equanimity. Ultimately, practicing in this way will transform the three gates into the kayas of indestructible reality.

2. view of absolute reality or truth (chö-nyid lta-ba) presents the unborn, unoriginated, beginningless and endless sunyata as the transcendent cosmic matrix, the absolute beyond time and change, birth and death, bondage and liberation, the primordial ground. See Nagarjuna's refutation of logical systems (which posit the inherent existence of separate objects) implying that phenomena have no discernible source or destination (reality).

3. view of self-awareness in non-duality (rang-rig lta-ba) the four-fold formula of the Heart Sutra (i.e. the Tetralemma) realizes the absolute view, the virtual fusion of phenomena (samsara) and emptiness (nirvana) as the state of rig-pa or true presence. That which is born is truly unborn. Having discovered the unconditional source, the true mode of existence and real destiny of the mind, all emotions and mind-forms are self- liberated as they arise through mere recognition of subject-object dualism in light of interdependent origination, clearly understanding the machinery of appearances and intuitively recognizing the Unborn and True Nature of Guru, self and Reality. This is the essence of Dzogchen. To pursue this inquiry to its empowering and enlightening end is called 'firmly establishing oneself in the view.”

(i.e. The Two Truths and their inseparability.))

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.2 The intermediate practitioner combines reflection and meditation]



L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1 By occasionally analyzing again and again, certainty is produced]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.1

Next, you should alternate analysis (i.e. Vipashyana) and trance (i.e. Shamatha).

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.

.

(i.e. Uniting both Shamatha and Vipashyana, first in sequence, and ultimately like a real transcendental union, where they become indiscernible, inseparable, non-dual.)



.

In the intermediate phase of practice, one should combine analysis and trance and cultivate one's practice in that way. If one analyzes, one will give rise to certainty in equanimity. If, when one does not analyze, one clings to ordinary [appearances], in order to reverse that one should analyze again and again, and in that way certainty is induced. If certainty is produced, then one should meditate one-pointedly in that state, without wavering.

.

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.2 Explanation of the reason why, once one has produced it, one should meditate in that state]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.2.1.2.2

Certainty and the projecting mind

Are mutually exclusive;

So by the analysis that roots out projection,

You should increase certainty more and more. (i.e. Doing it again and again; it becomes more and more easy and powerful.)

.

What is the reason for meditating in that way? Because the antidote of certainty and the object of abandonment—the ambivalence of reification—are mutually exclusive and cannot exist at the same time, reification can be dispelled by the power of analysis, and certainty should thus be increased further and further.



.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.3 Finally, one attains an excellent certainty that realizes the nature of things]

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.3.1 One induces trance after the views of study and reflection]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.2.1.3.1

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.

.

(i.e. Once all conceptualization are calmed, then rest in that state, and look … be just aware … and directly see … this is directly seeing the real nature of our own mind in the present without using conceptualization, directly seeing the real nature beyond conceptualization … from this point you can ultimately directly see the root of all conceptualization and not being fooled by its appearances anymore. This is like seeing with your own eyes the source of the illusions; this is stronger than any conceptual proofs.)



.

Finally, having cultivated the view in that way, even if one doesn't induce it through analysis, certainty automatically arises by the power of previous cultivation. While practicing transic meditation in that very state of clear appearance, because one has already accomplished [certainty] previously, one does not have to do it over again.

.

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.1.3.2 Explaining the reason why one doesn't need to analyze]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.2.1.3.2

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?

.

To illustrate the reason for that: when one mistakes a rope for a snake, and then realizes through conditions that it is not a snake, that very certainty eliminates the apprehension of "snake." If one then said that one should still analyze, saying, "There is no snake" over and over again, that would be silly, wouldn't it?



.

L12: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2 When realization is manifest, analysis is not necessary: [we are like bellow conceptualization, beyond thoughts and no-thoughts]]

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 Expounding our own system along with the reason for not needing analysis]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.2.2.1

When realization of the sublime paths occurs,

You will not meditate with analysis;

What need is there to apply

Inferential analysis to direct realization?

.

(i.e. Ultimately there is no more distinction between thought and no-thought, between Shamatha and Vipashyana. They become perfectly United, non-dual. There is nothing to stop, nothing to not-stop. No analysis, no no-analysis. There is no meditator, no object of meditation. Everything is non-dual: not two, not one. – To know that this is possible is the “certainty”. – This state is like bellow all conceptualization. Here one directly see without using conceptualization. So the arising of anything is directly seen for what it really is, and it cannot fool us anymore. – This is the ultimate state of learning the way things really are, including our own mind.)



.

When the result of that cultivation is manifest as the realization of the dharmadhatu on the paths of seeing and meditation by sublime beings, one no longer meditates with analysis, as one has directly realized the dharmata, which is without any dualistic appearance of analysis and the object of analysis. There is no need for any application of mental analysis that ascertains a cognandum through inferential valid cognition in dependence upon the application of a logical reason.

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 Refuting the other system, which maintains that if one is without analysis, one will not see the meaning]



L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 Setting up other systems]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1

If you think that "When you leave off analysis

There is no realization of the ultimate,"

.

(i.e. So ultimately it is not about holding on to analysis, nor about rejecting all analysis. Ultimately a mind with thought, and a mind without thought, are seen to be not different, not the same. Analysis, or thoughts, are inseparable appearances and emptiness.)



.

In some systems, in order to see the meaning of selflessness through penetrating insight, one needs only analysis. They maintain that one does not attain the realization that sees the ultimate reality of dharmata when one is without analysis, because one does not know whether the object is this or that, that merely positioning or keeping the mind stationary is a mistake, and that even non-Buddhists have this kind of meditation.

.

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 Flinging consequences at them]



L15: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 The actual set-up of the consequence]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1

Then for you the gnosis of Buddhas and sublime beings,

And the undistorted perceptions of worldly beings,

Would all be mistaken.

.

(i.e. To say that ultimately there is still analysis, or thoughts, is to assume that there is still analysis like we do. That is unacceptable for a Buddha. On the other hand to say that there is no thought at all is to forget that the Buddha is still using the skillful means of thoughts and speech to teach. The reality is more subtle than those two extremes. To know what it is one has to realize the real nature of thoughts, the inseparability of appearances and emptiness, the real non-dual nature of the mind. The Buddhas and sublime beings are not without perception or thought or capacity to act at all; they are just never fooled by any of this and are never creating karma.)



.

If that were the case, then the equipoise of sublime beings, the omniscient gnosis of the Buddhas, and even the cognition of the unimpaired sensory faculties of worldly beings—all apprehension of ultimate and deceptively real objects—would consequently be mistaken for you, for those objects are already understood [hence not in need of analysis], and because those subjective minds that directly perceive their objects are without analysis at that time.

.

L15: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 Explaining how the logical reason is established]



L15: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 Establishing the logical reason through valid cognition]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.1

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."

.

(i.e. In that state there is no need to rationalize the emptiness of inherent existence of everything because it is directly seen: the appearances are seen as empty as they arise. So it is said that they are self-liberated. It is like a watcher below the level of conceptualization that is directly seeing the emergence of each concepts, each appearances, in dependence of their causes and conditions, and then later their cessation. The watcher is not fooled by them anymore; he is not chasing after them anymore, or trying to terminate them; he is just aware of them, admiring the natural show. He observe that even the idea of a self is like that; and then there is no more watcher watching the show. They are inseparable.)



.

In general, a logical mark (nags) that is set up for an absurd consequence (thai gyur) requires a thesis and establishment through valid cognition. Here, the disputant accepts the logical reason of unimpaired sensory faculties, but because he claims that there is analysis in the realization of the sublime paths, the reason must be established by valid cognition. The way to do that is from the perspective of the extraordinary certainty that is free of all elaborations of the four extremes. If its object is free of "existing," "non-existing," "both," and "neither," then there is no object different from it that is objectively focused upon as "this" or "that." If that object does not exist, then what occasion will the subjective mind have for analysis? There is no such occasion.

.

L15: [4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 The thesis is descended upon by clarification through valid cognition]



.

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4.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Obviously, at that stage, there cannot be any grasping at concepts like “emptiness”. We are beyond emptiness and non-emptiness; beyond the Two Truths as two, or as one. Beyond all reification or rejecting. Beyond the duality Shamatha and Vipashyana.)



.

If at the time of equipoise there is an analytical modal apprehension, then just like apprehension of true existence, that apprehension of a characteristic will obscure and bind up that person with analytical conceptualization, just like a silk worm who ties himself up with his own saliva. For if the correct vision of the meaning of the authentic abiding nature of things were harmed by valid cognition, one would not see it.

.

L11: [4.2.2.2.2.3 The difference between consciousness and gnosis]



L12: [4.2.2.2.2.3.1 By eliminating what is incompatible with certainty, one attains gnosis [this is like a purification of our body, speech and mind]]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.3.1

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?

.

(i.e. So it is like a purification of the mind. After having eliminated all the defilements belonging to the four extremes, one can directly see the real non-dual nature of his own mind, and thus of everything. This is beyond all conceptual establishment or negation. This mind is called inseparability of awareness and emptiness, intrinsic awareness; but this is still just pointing at the moon. – The main point is that to get there one has to induce this certainty using various progressive adapted skillful means and correct reasonings, and maybe some symbolic techniques based on Tantras.)



.

For that reason, with this extraordinary certainty in the nature of all dharmas, one dispels the darkness of ignorance and imagination that obscures the way things are. Then, just as one can see things at dawn, the actual fundamental luminosity is manifest. The self-arisen effulgence of luminosity that sees suchness unerringly, which is the radiance of that state, is the gnosis that is individually cognized. Mental events that have dualistic apprehension have no such wisdom as this.

.

L12: [4.2.2.2.2.3.2 Explaining the defining characteristics of those two [consciousnesses and originary awareness]]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.3.2

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.

.

(i.e. This is beyond all discrimination, beyond existence and non-existence, beyond appearances and emptiness, beyond all dualities. Consciousnesses are based on the belief of something inherently existing and recognized; this originary awareness is beyond discrimination based on this ignorance – beyond discrimination and non-discrimination – beyond establishment and negation)



.

The causal analytical wisdom that is a subjective modal apprehension differentiates "this" and "that" in its object, such as dharma and dharmata, deceptive and ultimate, samsara and nirvana, without mixing them up. It determines individual objects by conceptualizing them in terms of acceptance and abandonment, etc. The result of cultivating this is without analysis or modal apprehension, because it does not apprehend object and subject individually, or focus on any bias of appearance or emptiness whatsoever. This is the gnosis of the equality of appearance and emptiness, which does not exist with any identifying characteristic of differentiating the objects of mind or mental events.

.

L12: [4.2.2.2.2.3.3 Therefore, how gnosis arises in dependence upon consciousness [like empty cause & effect -- In dependence upon dichotomizing analytical wisdom, non-dichotomizing gnosis should be achieved. The ultimate state beyond conceptualization is induced by true wisdom, not by dropping all or faking purity]]



L13: [4.2.2.2.2.3.3.1 Analytical wisdom and gnosis have a relation of cause and effect]

.

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4.2.2.2.2.3.3.1

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.

.

(i.e. It should be clear that it is not by rejecting analysis (Vipashyana), nor by grasping at it, that one attain the ultimate result. The same for Shamatha. The Middle Way, not accepting them, not rejecting them. Only then is it in accord with the real non-dual nature of everything; only then is it really efficient in bringing the end to all suffering. The Middle Way: not discriminating, not non-discriminating, not conceptualizing, not non-conceptualizing. Once one sees that there is no contradiction here, that is the certainty.)



.

In dependence upon dichotomizing analytical wisdom, non-dichotomizing gnosis should be achieved. Therefore, by the causal analytical wisdom of meditative equipoise in the supreme certainty induced through analysis that is free of doubt, the fruitional gnosis of the coalescence of the expanse and awareness is attained. Thus, it is reasonable to persevere in the certainty that is induced by analysis.

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2 Positing the contextual meaning of each of those]



L15: [4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2.1 All analyses in the context of differentiation in the aftermath of meditation are analytical wisdom]

.

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4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. The way to establish conventional truths and negations leading to certainty.)



.

When first entering the path, with analyses of scriptural passages and reasoning the view is ascertained; and with the subsequent cognition, the philosophical systems that one has already determined the meaning of are established by way of refutation, positioning, and abandonment. The discrimination in objects of cognition of general and particular characteristics, abiding and apparent natures, provisional and definitive meanings, and so forth, is the stainless valid cognition of analytical wisdom that cognizes phenomena individually.

.

L15: [4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2.2 The equipoise of seeing the abiding nature of things as they are is gnosis]



L16: [4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2.2.1 The main discussion [the main practice of the Great Vehicle must be based on certainty based on true wisdom]]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. The state beyond all conceptualization, beyond all discrimination, beyond all dualities. A state that is not reached by merely dropping all conceptualization as Hashang suggested, but a state induced by true wisdom.)



.

The gnosis for which samsara and nirvana remain in equality, which is the final destination of the way all afflicted and purified dharmas exist, and which is induced by the path of certainty in that analytical wisdom explained above, is the authentic main practice of the stainless path of the Mahayana, and is the result of persevering in the analytical wisdom of specific cognition.

.

L16: [4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2.2.2 Establishing this as the Mahayana]



.

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4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2.2.2

If you have it, in this very life

The result of coalescence is bestowed;

So it is both a "vehicle" and "great."

.

If one has this gnosis, which is the main practice of that sort of path, one can be bestowed with the coalescences of practice and non-practice in this short life of the degenerate age. This is a vehicle, because it can cause one to travel to the level of fruition, and it is great, because it is a swift path that can bestow the goal of the supreme Mahamudra in this life.



.

The sDud pa says:

This vehicle is a great measureless mansion like space.

It is the supreme vehicle, because one actually attains pleasure, happiness, and bliss.

.

Moreover, if one is conveyed ('degs) "by this," it is a causal vehicle (theg pa); and if one is conveyed "in this," it is a fruitional vehicle. For example, whenever one mounts a sedan chair, whether one goes anywhere or not, one is still held up (btegs) by it. So, there are vehicles in which there is nowhere to go, and vehicles by which there is some destination.



.

The great glorious Rong zom said:

If one wishes to travel the gradual path, one will stray from the path that is not traveled. The path of greater and greater purity does not harmonize with the Dharma of non-action. For, if one should travel a path that is limit[-less] like space, one will never reach [the end of it].

.

The Dharma, just as it is, is the essence of all dharmas; it is not something to be reached by the paths and bhumis. If, as in the stages of the bhumis, there were established stages of purity, of purification, and of liberation, the dharmata of dharmas would be totally non-existent; if one attained another, and then another, there would be no end to it. The quotation from the sDus pa should not be understood to imply that from here one should go somewhere else; one should understand it to mean that one just abides in its essence.



.

As it is said:

One who rides without a destination in mind

Is said to go to nirvana, without reifying going.

.

L11: [4.2.2.2.2.4 The Great Perfection is the pinnacle of vehicles: [the same ending point as all vehicles, in all authentic traditions …]]



L12: [4.2.2.2.2.4.1 Establishing that this is the pinnacle of vehicles by the reasoning of its essential sameness with other tantric classes]

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.1.1 Although other systems do not posit it separately as a vehicle, it is the gnosis of the fourth empowerment of the final path]

.

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4.2.2.2.2.4.1.1

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.

.

There are many different classifications of the vehicles according to the old and new schools of secret mantra. The Early Translation school posits the vehicles in nine stages: three vehicles that lead one away from the process of cyclic existence, three intellectual vehicles that employ austerities, and three methodical vehicles of transformation. The systems of the later translations are for the most part identical in positing three vehicles and four tantric classes. According to the system of maintaining four tantric classes, there are four initiations in the unexcelled yoga tantras, and the paths of each of those [tantras] have practices from the creation phase up to the completion phase without characteristics. Among those, this path of the fourth "word empowerment" is the ultimate gnosis of the completion phase, the actual luminosity. Although that gnosis is not discussed separately as a vehicle and is not designated as a vehicle, that does not mean that it is not in fact so.



.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.1.2 We maintain that the tantric class that emphasizes the gnosis of equanimity is the ultimate tantra [Kalachakra Tantra]]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.1.2

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.

.

How is that? For example, because it is a tradition of explanation that emphasizes the pure and untrammeled nature beyond the dharmata of consciousness—the vajra body of gnosis equal to space, the equanimity of bliss and emptiness—the glorious Kalacakra should be considered the ultimate tantra, because its subject is more sublime than the lower tantric classes.



.

As it is said:

All things are the state of equality,

And abide without becoming one thing.

They arise from changeless gnosis,

They are not annihilated or permanent.

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.1.3 This vehicle is similar in being the gnosis of the fourth initiation of the corpus of anuttarayogatantra [the basic intent of all tantric classes]]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.1.3

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.

.

According to that example, among the mother, father, and non-dual tantras of the highest yoga tantras of the old and new traditions, the Great Perfection without characteristics, which is the path gnosis in the fourth precious word initiation, is emphasized and explained in this Nyingma tradition, and hence does not fail to be established. It is the quintessence of the intention of all the tantric classes of the old and new schools. Therefore, that extraordinary swift path is expounded as a vehicle, and in so doing there is no contradiction whatsoever.



.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.1.4 thus, analyzing the vehicles progressively, there is perfect purity here [the culmination of all other vehicles]]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.1.4

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.

.

"Well, how is it established?" It is like gold, which, having been purified by melting, merits confidence in its perfect purity. By stainless analysis and reasoning, starting with non-Buddhists and going up through the lower Buddhist philosophical systems, the great glorious Rong zom established the progressively higher vehicles in terms of the lower ones that were already established, by means of the three "witnesses of reasoning": the witness of prophecy, the witness of persons, and the commentary of scripture. In establishing the ultimate result above and beyond the lower vehicles, from the perspective of its relative purity, through reasoning he established the path of the natural Great Perfection as the ultimate and supreme of all swift paths. The lama Manjusri wrote and taught about those teachings of Rong zom by clearly differentiating them with respect to scripture and reasoning in the essence of luminosity.



.

Although it is difficult to fathom the idea that all dharmas are primordially Buddha, here I will explain a little bit about how this is established in the lineage for those who think it is unreasonable. First, for non-Buddhists who have doubts about the Buddha as an authoritative person: as rare as the udumbara flower mentioned in their Vedic scriptures, the omniscient teacher appears in the world as a prince or a Brahmin. When entering the womb, his mother dreams that he enters in the form of an elephant. When he is born, he is endowed with the marks and signs of [a Buddha]. It is prophesied that if he does not renounce the world, he will be a chakravartin monarch, and if he does, he will become a Buddha. This is the scriptural establishment of the Buddha.

.

As for reasoning: The path taught by that Buddha establishes the selflessness of persons, etc., with potent reasoning. Since that is established as the path of liberation, the Buddha is the authoritative teacher for those who desire liberation, and the path that he teaches is established as authentic. It is established according to the teaching by the proof of valid cognition, etc.



.

Although they accept the Buddha, for the sravakas who do not accept the Mahayana teaching of emptiness, the scriptural reference is found in the sutras of the Hinayana: "Form is like the prominence of a bubble," and so on. As for reasoning: If the five skandhas are not seen as unreal in terms of not being [one or] many and in terms of momentariness, then not even the selflessness of persons can be established. The way of attaining liberation by relying upon emptiness is established according to the teaching of the Ratnavali.

.

For those on the sutric path who do not accept the profound view and activity of secret mantra: The scriptural reference is the statement in the gDams ngag 'bog pa'i rgyal po sutra that mantra would appear later.



.

The sDong po bkod pa'i mdo says:

For those for whom the Buddhas

And sentient beings are naturally equal,

Without abiding or accepting,

They will become tathagatas.

Form, feeling, perception,

And consciousness—these thoughts

Are countless tathagatas.

Those will become the great Muni.

.

Thus, here the five aggregates are taught to have the nature of the tathagatas.



.

The Vimalakirtisutra says:

Mental afflictions are the bloodline of the tathagatas.

.

And:



The teaching of liberation through desirelessness and so forth is taught for the excessively proud. Those without "I" are naturally liberated from desire, and so forth...

.

Also, the 'Jam dpa' rnam par rol pa sutra and so forth teach that "emotional afflictions are the four vajras of enlightenment," and so forth, teaching that emotional afflictions are gnoses. The 'Jam dpal rnam par 'phrul pa and so forth teach that one does not meditate on nirvana by eliminating samsara, but teach that samsara is enlightenment by saying, "The reifications of samsara are nirvana."



.

The Avatamsakasutra says:

The many realms of the world

Are inconceivable, but to put them into words,

The sky is indestructible,

And self-arisen gnosis is like that.

.

This is the teaching of self-arisen gnosis. In the sutras one also finds the teaching that all sentient beings have the nature of self-arisen gnosis, and there are countless statements of Buddha Sakyamuni to the effect that "this world is extremely pure, but you do not see it."



.

As for the body of a woman giving pleasure to the Buddha, a sutra says:

A bodhisattva, in order to please the tathagatas, should emanate his body as a woman's body, and should always remain in the presence of the tathagatas.

.

And, there are statements that one should compassionately destroy those who harm the Dharma. These are statements from scripture.



.

As for reasoning: Since, according to the perception of those on the pure spiritual levels, all dharmas are naturally pure and all dharmas are equality, samsara and nirvana, good and bad, are not established as things to accept and abandon. According to this kind of teaching, secret mantra is supremely established. Beginning with the acceptance of emptiness, purity is also definitely established in stages.

.

Some people who have just glanced at the explanations of most mantra [systems] think that [what is explained in mantra] is not reasonable for the actionless Great Perfection. To them we say: The teaching in the tantric corpus of anuttarayogatantra that sentient beings have the nature of Buddhas, that the aggregates and elements are practiced as divine purity, and how in the ultimate meaning one does not need to rely upon mandalas and gtor mas, are established by the scriptural passages that introduce gnosis in the context of the fourth initiation. The fact that awareness is established as primordial pure equality does not need to be established anew by the path; for those who have the confidence of understanding this, the fetters of activity and effort are well established as obstacles on the path. Therefore, relying upon the yoga of the natural flow of meditative equipoise, the ways of mastering the appearances of gnosis that are the effulgence of [awareness] are accomplished quickly and easily.



.

Thus, one should not take this to mean that as the lower [views] are not established, the higher ones are not established either; for the Buddhas teach the different vehicles gradually, like stairs on a staircase, to purify the lineage and faculties of sentient beings as though they were gems.

.

The Nirvanasutra says:



Just like the stages of a staircase,

My profound teaching also

Should be gradually learnt and practiced diligently,

Not all at once, but gradually.

.

The great glorious Rong zom also taught how gradual progress is established, according to the example of earlier steps being gradually left behind by later ones.



.

Thus, if one explains profound subjects to persons of meager intelligence who have not gained certainty in the earlier practices, they will be afraid and either abandon their practice, or the teachings will become the occasion for misconceptions, so it is advised that they be kept extremely secret.

.

If one teaches the profound intention of the view of unsurpassable mantra to those who have gained certainty in the great equality of the sutric system, they will accomplish it completely. That kind of person will be skilled in all the levels of the vehicles, and should be known as capable of accomplishing the philosophical system of the ultimate vajra pinnacle. This is established by the statement, "If those [persons] analyze only from the perspective of reasoning, they are limitless."



.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.1.5 Eliminating doubts with the reasoning of the three valid cognitions [it is the way things really are]]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.1.5

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.

.

For those reasons, this wisdom that analyzes the nature of dharmas is without stains of partiality. As for establishing this supreme secret of the Great Perfection, which is to be established by way of the three genuine valid cognitions, it is said:



By the roar of the three genuine valid cognitions,

The deer of degraded views are terrified.

The lion's roar of the supreme vehicle pervades the three worlds.

.

Accordingly, we have the authoritative speech of the Victor in the great tantric corpuses, the authoritative instructions of masters in all the intentional treatises, and especially the authoritative instructions of the omniscient Rong zom Chos bzang.



.

As it is said:

Scripture, meaning, reasoning, and logical reasons.

Appearance, conformity, reasonableness, and sealing.

.

Here, we have "appearing in the scriptures [of the Buddha]"; conforming to the meaning [of scripture]; reasonableness discovered through reasoning; and sealing by syllogisms. In these ways, doubts about the authentic meaning of the probandum are eliminated.



.

Therefore, according to the meaning of those statements, one does not rely upon consciousness, but upon gnosis. To prove that the vision of the nature of that unique gnosis—which is the Buddha's gnosis of the self-arisen and unfabricated, the great equal taste of the inseparable purity and equality that is the nature of all dharmas, whatever and however they exist—is a perfectly pure vision, the Varttika says:

Valid cognition is non-deceptive cognition...

The one who has it is the Buddha, the embodiment of valid cognition.

[Valid cognition] realizes its own essence by itself.

Valid cognition is [known] from conventions.

Treatises reverse delusion.

.

According to this statement, if one properly considers analysis with authentic reasoning according to perfectly pure vision, it is beyond all disputes and demons of discordant wrong views, and hence it cannot be revoked by others. Because the object of the profound abiding nature of things is ripened by wisdom, one has no doubt about accomplishing the view; one does not need to concern oneself with others' opinions, and one is happy.



.

L12: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2 How this vehicle's view and meditation are more exalted than those of other systems:]

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.1 Dispelling the erroneous [reified] concepts that arise from not understanding the meaning of this [reifying one aspect or another]]

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.1.1 Were the meaning of this an object of mind, it would contradict the skillful intention of the teacher]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.2.1.1

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.

.

This may well be the pinnacle of all the tantric classes. But some people who are not able to investigate this properly claim that the main practice of the view of the Great Perfection conforms to a biased, exclusive appearance that is not empty; or they apprehend it as conforming to a biased, exclusive emptiness; or they claim that the "awareness" of the Great Perfection is a subtle aspect of mind. Thus, they teach [that the nature of awareness] is the object of mind and mental events. They say that what is beyond mind is mind, what is beyond mental analysis is a subtle aspect of mind, and try to express what is in fact beyond expression. This system contradicts the intention of the lord of scholars dGa' rab rDo rje and others.



.

The Samdhinirmocanasutra says:

The immeasurable object of individual awareness

Is inexpressible and bereft of conventionality;

Free of debate, it is the ultimate dharma.

Its defining characteristic is that it is beyond all intellectualization.

.

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.1.2 Explaining that the reason for this is that this meaning is beyond [conceptual] mind]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.2.1.2

Since Atiyoga is the inconceivable gnosis

Of form and emptiness inseparable,

It is simply beyond impure mind.

.

You might wonder why this intention contradicts those who are biased in favor of [either appearance or emptiness]. The Atiyoga that is the pinnacle of vehicles and the Buddhas' intent, insofar as it is the intention of the vast expanse free of extremes, the inconceivable self-arisen gnosis of the great equality of appearance and emptiness, is simply beyond impure mind and mental events.



.

The Mulamadhyamakakarika says:

Expressibility is eliminated

Because the mind's object is eliminated;

Not born and not ceased,

Reality (chos nyid, dharmata) is like nirvana.

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2 Explaining the harmonious aspect, which is the authentic view]



L14: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.1 The actual exposition of the manner of practicing the view and meditation]

L15: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.1.1 The formless view of trekcho]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.1.1

Here (A) the view of cutting through—which ascertains

The emptiness aspect of primal purity—and

.

(i.e. A: the Ultimate Truth, emptiness of inherent existence)



.

Here in the Great Perfection we have both trekcho and togal.

.

A tantra says:



With the samadhi of the breakthrough of equipoise,

The delusions of subject and object are exhausted.

By cultivating the effulgence of spontaneously present awareness,

The kayas and wisdoms are expanded in togal.

.

First, one ascertains that all subjective and objective dharmas are the aspect of the non-elaborated emptiness of primordial purity. Having been introduced to the naked awareness that is the unfabricated self-awareness of emptiness and clarity, the elaborations and modal apprehension of all inner and outer appearances are cut off immediately. To maintain equipoise in that state is the view of breakthrough. The Great Omniscient one said, "Because of pacifying all elaborations, it is called trekcho."



.

L15: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.1.2 The formal view of togal]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.1.2

(B) 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—

.

(i.e. B: the conventional truths, dependent origination, causality space and time, appearances, …)



.

In determining that the aspect of natural clarity [of awareness] has the nature of the kayas and wisdoms, which are the self-radiance that abides primordially as spontaneous presence, one induces certainty in the unfabricated inner expanse free of the vicissitudes of birth and death as being the youthful vase body. From within the state of primordial purity, with the crucial points of posture and gaze, and from the crucial point of wind and awareness with respect to external objects, in order to directly meet with the auto-luminance of luminosity, there is the formal meditation of togal.

.

L15: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.1.3 The inseparability of those two in self-arisen gnosis]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.1.3

(A+B) Are inseparable;

They are just the coalescence of

Primal purity and spontaneous presence.

.

(i.e. A+B: The inseparability of the Two Truths, the Union of the Two Truths, the coalescence, inseparability of appearances & emptiness, of bliss & emptiness, of compassion & emptiness, of dependent origination & emptiness. Inseparability of the three kayas: body, speech and mind. Inseparability of method and wisdom – the two accumulations. Etc. etc. There is just one taste.)



.

Both of these, formal and formless, involve the inseparability of awareness and emptiness. They are just the great self-arisen gnosis that is the coalescence of primordial purity and spontaneous presence. With respect to greater and lesser importance, one might posit the aspect of emptiness and the aspect of appearance [in relation to these two], respectively; but in fact there is no bias toward either one.

.

The Great Omniscient One said:



The cessation aspect of mind is trekcho,

And the inner clarity of gnosis is togal.

As the integrated gnosis,

They are explained on the secret path of the innermost essence.

.

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.2 How this Dharma terminology is just a synonym for the "indestructible drop" of other tantric systems]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.2.2.2

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.

.

In this tantra of the Great Perfection, it is not unreasonable to posit the "vase body of inner clarity"; indeed, the meaning of other tantric systems is clearly taught by this. The reason is that in the other tantric systems, the so-called "indestructible life-drop" or "tilaka” that is the “essence of gnosis" are just synonyms along with "youthful vase body." There is no reason why they should be dissimilar because one is a "drop" and the other a "body"; one cannot negate the other. If formally apprehended as a mental object, neither makes sense. Neither is actually the object of narrow-minded perception (tshur mthong, arvagdarsana). The Buddhas, who are authoritative persons capable of perceiving extremely esoteric objects, have spoken of both of them. Thus, since the indestructible drop that is naturally unfabricated is established as the kayas and gnoses, in this tantric system of the Great Perfection the way in which the basis of the ultimate result—the Buddha nature of indestructible luminosity— appears without impediment as the auto-luminance that arises naturally as the kayas and gnoses, is very clearly taught.



.

L12: [4.2.2.2.2.4.3 [How the individual pith instructions of other philosophical systems have the distinction of the mental class:]]

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.3.1 How Mahamudra and so forth actually have the distinction of the mental class [All traditions, all the same]]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.4.3.1

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;

.

In the tantric system of the Great Perfection, there are the mental, space, and esoteric instruction class divisions. Some portions of the instructions of the mental class were practiced by learned and accomplished masters of India, and in Tibet as well they have been practiced by holders of the philosophical systems of the new schools. The Mahamudra of the Kagyu, etc., the Path-Result of the Sakyapa, as well as the Pacification of Pha dam pa Sangs rgyas, and the Great Madhyamaka of Coalescence, and so forth, are known by different names, but in fact they do not go beyond the mental class.



.

In the bSam vtan ngal gso it says:

The Prajnaparamita, the Madhyamaka,

The Pacification of Elaborations and Suffering, Mahamudra,

The Great Perfection of the Essential Dharmata,

Are the primordial place of cessation, the abiding reality of things,

Luminosity, mind-as-such (sems nyid), self-arisen gnosis.

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.3.2 How the intention of all of those is identical]



L14: [4.2.2.2.2.4.3.2.1 The actual explanation]

.

###



4.2.2.2.2.4.3.2.1

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.

.

Even though the names are different, because the meaning taught by all of these systems is the gnosis beyond mind, Madhyamaka, Mahamudra, and the Great Perfection, etc., are equal without any good or bad, higher or lower. For example, all scholars have said that the intention of the Buddha and the siddhas is the same.



.

L14: [4.2.2.2.2.4.3.2.2 Eliminating doubts]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.3.2.2

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.

.

Some say that the Great Perfection tradition of our own Early Translation school is superior to Mahamudra, and so forth. If one does not realize self-arisen gnosis, there is no convention of the path; if that is realized correctly, then everyone has the same understanding of the abiding nature that is free of elaboration. There is no reasonable distinction that can be made through reasoning that establishes superiority.



.

The Great Omniscient One said:

If understood, everything [that] exists, everything is the display of dharmata.

Primordially the case, the natural flow, it is self-arisen gnosis.

If this is not understood, even if there is space-like emptiness without elaboration,

It is a conceptual determination, and a fabrication of one's mind.

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.3.3 Moreover, how the gnosis of the fourth initiation of unexcelled yoga tantra is included in this]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.3.3

Likewise, all the gnoses of the fourth empowerment

In the anuttarayogatantras

Are indivisible in the Great Perfection.

.

Not only are Madhyamaka, Mahamudra, Path-Result, etc., included in the mental class, the gnosis of the fourth initiation in the tantric classes of the old and new schools, which is actual luminosity, is entirely included without distinction in the natural Great Perfection. As it is said:



In the great king of self-awareness who realizes the meaning of equality,

Just as all rivers flow into the great ocean,

In these great methods whose meaning is taught by the master

All the inconceivable vehicles of liberation are included.

.

L12: [4.2.2.2.2.4.4 The extraordinary teaching [Dzogchen]:]



.

(i.e. To understand this section one needs a good introduction to Dzogchen. See Longchenpa, La Liberté Naturelle de l’Esprit …)

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.4.1 There are many instructions, not known to other systems, that take direct [perception] as the path]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.4.1

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."

.

(i.e. Seems to be some special techniques of Atiyoga not found in other traditions.)



.

However, that gnosis of the Great Perfection that is the source of all those other tantras and vehicles is the general form (spyi gzugs) of all gnoses.

.

The 'Jam dpal zhal lung says:



The Great Perfection is the general form of gnosis.

The perfectly pure kaya is the great Vajradhara.

.

To differentiate these tantric systems of the teacher: the external is the mental class, the inner is the space class, and the secret is the instructional class. The profound and vast meaning differentiated by these classes is an excellent, amazing, wonderful, and superior secret meaning, which is not known to other philosophical systems that only practice a fragment of the instructions that are passed from mouth to ear. Since there are many extremely secret teachings not known to those other systems, it hardly needs to be said that this is an extraordinary Dharma. In the old days, there were many people who were able to pass unobstructed through the ground with the rainbow body achieved in the body of this life, because the guide on the path—the authentic view—was this extraordinary Dharma.



.

Atiyoga (= Dzogchen): : Atiyoga is a means to liberate the meaning of primordial Buddhahood into its own state, and it is the nature of freedom from abandonments and acceptances and expectations and fears. The six million four hundred verses of Atiyoga scriptures are divided into three divisions by Jampal Shenyen. These divisions are:

4. The Series of the Nature of the Mind (Semde): for people who are (incline to) mind. (for the intellectuals)

5. The Series of Primordial Space (Longde): for those who are (incline to) space. (for the non-intellectuals)

6. The Series of Oral Instructions (Mengagde): for those who are free from gradual efforts. (the most popular one; direct presentation of rigpa)

.

The first two of these were introduced into Tibet by Vairochana; the third by Vimalamitra. Those teachings that were originally transmitted by Padmasambhava and then hidden in various places in Tibet are also part of the Series of Secret Instructions. This kind of text, known as "terma" (gter ma) or "treasures," began to be rediscovered from the 13th century onwards. Those texts which, on the other hand, were transmitted orally from the time of Garab Dorje onwards, are known as the "oral tradition" (bka' ma).



.

There are two major categories of training in Mengagde:

.

(a). Thregchod (Cutting Through): there are four stages of realizations through meditation: dwelling, unmoving, equalness, and spontaneity.



.

(b). Thodgal (the Direct Approach): there six crucial means of training, the four visions arise gradually. The four visions are: the direct realization of Ultimate Nature, development of Experiences, perfection of Intrinsic Awareness, and Dissolution of phenomena into the Ultimate Nature.

.

Thodgal is for breaking out of the cycle of existences (samsara) by directly experience of "naked," or "ordinary," mind, which is the basis of all activities of consciousness. In addition to approaches of this kind that are oriented toward emptiness and intended to be applied without goal-oriented effort, Thregchod places the emphasis on the clear light aspect of primordial knowledge. Their goal is realization of the "rainbow body," i.e., the dissolution of the physical body that is, of the four elements that constitute the body into light.



.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.4.2 Although that is the ultimate gnosis, on the path it is done gradually [this Great Perfection has many techniques and stages]]

.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.4.2

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.

.

The Dharma that is to be practiced by those who have that kind of extraordinary Dharma is the ultimate gnosis of self-arisen awareness, the Great Perfection. It is not touched by conventions and objects of cognition, it is not taken up by intellect and cogitation, and it is pacified of elaborations of existence, non-existence, etc. Because its natural radiance is unobstructed, it is luminous; because it does not change in the three times, it is, of course, the unfabricated gnosis of the Buddhas. Likewise, in the context of practicing the path, on the paths of accumulation and preparation it is homologous to that gnosis.



.

As for the stages of exemplary luminosity, actual luminosity, and the luminosity of coalescence on the paths of learning and non-learning: the first two stages of the path of preparation are like a drawing of the moon, and the latter two stages are like the moon reflected in water. On the path of vision, the actual luminosity is like the moon in the sky. Also, on the path of accumulation, there is the understood generality of luminosity; on the path of preparation, there is the experienced exemplary luminosity; and on the path of vision, there is the actual luminosity of realization, and so forth. By practicing in this way, one is liberated.

.

L13: [4.2.2.2.2.4.4.3 Explaining its reasonableness through examples]



.

###


4.2.2.2.2.4.4.3

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.

.

If those earlier and later [levels of realization] are induced continuously, one after another, the self-arisen, undefiled gnosis that is [induced] in that way accords with the power of one's own mind, because it has been practiced. For example, in order to achieve the gnosis of the sublime paths, one meditates in a way that conforms to that [pristine cognition]. This is also found on the sutric paths, and so forth.



.

L6: [[0.2.2.1.1.3.] 4.3 A summary: [We need both Shamatha and Vipashyana depending on the situation]]

L7: [[0.2.2.1.1.3.1] 4.3.1 Differentiating and summarizing the contexts in which one needs and doesn't need analysis and modal apprehension]

.

###



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.

.

Thus, to summarize the meaning of whether or not one needs modal apprehension, analysis, and trance:



.

As long as the great gnosis of self-awareness of the coalescence of appearance and emptiness that is the equanimity of dharmata has not become manifest, it is mostly said that one needs both subtle and coarse analysis and modal apprehension.

.

If one ascertains the individually cognized gnosis directly, intellectual analyses and views that have modal apprehension definitely subside, and one comes to see the meaning of non-elaborated coalescence directly.



.

L7: [[0.2.2.1.1.3.2] 4.3.2 Demonstrating that biased apprehension has both advantages and faults]

.

###


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.

.

Therefore, for that reason, if one does not differentiate the various contexts in which one needs or does not need modal apprehension, or in which it is appropriate to engage in analytical or transic meditation, maintaining one-sidedly that there is or is not a modal apprehension, or likewise maintaining analysis and trance separately, has both advantages and faults. For example, it is like the moon, which grows larger as it waxes and smaller as it wanes. Our way of practicing here, which does not fall into any of those extremes, is established through reasoning in accordance with the scriptural sources of sutra and tantra that express the definitive meaning. Therefore, having abandoned partiality, it is appropriate to engage whatever scripture and reasoning we have at our disposal, because we are not just looking for bones to put in our bowl, but are striving for liberation.



.

I say:


The vagaries of analysis are like juice without a container;

The stability of trance is like a container without juice.

The balance of insight and calm abiding free of bias

Is like a pure land replete with animate and inanimate luxury.

.

.

.



.

.

.



*******************************************************

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

.

L1: [9.5. Topic 5 [Basing the Tantric practices on adapted skillful means and views, based on a gradually induced certainty of the inseparability of conventional & Ultimate Truths]]



.

(i.e. Résumé of Topic 5: In all vehicles, the essence always come down to ultimately realizing the great equanimity, the non-duality, the inseparability of the Two Truths, etc. The adapted skillful means and temporary views used in the different vehicles may be different, but the essence is unique. Ultimately the Dharma has only one flavor. And that is described as equanimity, non-duality, the inseparability of the Two Truths, the Union of the Two Truths, inseparability of bliss and emptiness, inseparability of compassion and emptiness, the coalescence, etc. etc. The name change with the vehicle, the depth of understanding becomes more and more subtle, but the source, Buddha, and the essence, Dharma, are the same. Why is that? Because this is the way things really are. And without first having a correct conceptual understanding of these Two truths, and without generating a minimal level of certainty though correct reasonings and virtuous methods, one is never sure to be on the authentic path, or simply going toward one extreme or another. Meditating while faking, while going to one extreme or another, or while having doubts has no result.)

.

L5: [ [0.2.2.1.2.] 5. An explanation of which of the two truths is more important:]



L6: [5.1 The question]

.

###



5.1

Which of the two truths is more important?

.

(i.e. The Two Truths: conventional truths or ultimate Truth. Ultimate truth is “emptiness”, or wisdom. Conventional truths are methods like: the Four Noble truths, karma, dependent origination, space time, compassion, bliss, the various paths and adapted skillful means, the sciences, the laws, … The Buddha said we need the two together all the time. Why? Because only then is it in accord with the real non-dual nature of everything; only then is it efficient.)



.

Thus, the claim that there is no difference between the views of sutra and tantra, and the claim that there is a difference, are stated in response to the question, "Which of the two truths is more important?"

.

L6: [5.2 An extensive discussion of its meaning]



L7: [5.2.1 Refuting other systems that maintain that either of two truths is more or less important]

L8: [5.2.1.1 Refuting the claim that ultimate reality is more important]

L9: [5.2.1.1.1 Setting up the purvapaksa's claim [ultimate is most important]]

.

###



5.2.1.1.1

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.

.

Some holders of philosophical systems in the new schools claim that ultimate reality is more important. Their reason is that the dharma-possessor, deceptive reality, is only "deluded appearance," and realized to be an adventitious object of abandonment. Ultimate reality is non-deluded and is the basic reality of things, so only the view of that ultimate reality is a perfectly pure view, they say.



.

L9: [5.2.1.1.2 Refuting it]

L10: [5.2.1.1.2.1 The two truths are essentially non-different]

L11: [5.2.1.1.2.1.1 Explaining the meaning of the statement that deceptive reality is delusive]

.

###


5.2.1.1.2.1.1

If deceptive reality were not erroneous, were indeed true,

Ultimate reality could not be emptiness, so

They are expressed differently in this way.

.

(i.e. They are inseparable, not different, not the same non-dual: not two, not one. So one cannot be more important than the other one.)



.

Of course, deceptive reality and ultimate reality are explained as being "delusive" and "non-delusive," respectively, but that doesn't mean that they are more and less important. If the deceptive appearances of dependent origination—the apprehension of self and dharmas as being truly existent—were not delusive, but true, then it would be impossible for the other aspect [of the two], ultimate reality, to be posited as emptiness; for besides the non-empty deceptive reality, there is nothing else to posit as empty. Therefore, although the statement "Deceptive reality is delusive" is used metonymically to indicate the ultimate reality of emptiness, aside from stating in effect that "a mind that apprehends a non-empty appearance is deluded," it does not mean that the mere appearance of deceptive reality should be abandoned. If that were the case, then the ultimate reality of emptiness would not be found, since ultimate reality is posited as the essential emptiness of deceptive reality.

.

L11: [5.2.1.1.2.1.2 Explaining that the two truths are of equal force whether they both exist or both do not exist]



.

###


5.2.1.1.2.1.2

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 non-substantiality cannot be established—

Therefore both substance and non-substance

Are the same in being mere relativity.

.

(i.e. They represent the fact that everything is not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither. But they are both empty of inherent existence, both conventional truths. Emptiness is also empty of inherent existence; it is not an absolute. It is merely the antidote to inherent existence. When there is no more belief in inherent existence, then there is no more need for its conventional antidote: emptiness. The real nature of everything is none of those two, nor the two together, nor anything else. It is called the Union of The Two Truths, or the coalescence, but it is beyond all conceptualization.)



.

Thus it is not reasonable to posit greater and lesser importance. If one abandons the dependently arisen appearance of deceptive reality, there is no empty or non-empty ultimate reality left over; appearance and emptiness are related as method and methodical result. In dependence upon the appearance of this method of deceptive reality, one realizes the ultimate reality that is the methodical result of knowing its lack of intrinsic reality. And from the method of knowing ultimate reality as emptiness, one realizes the infallible occurrence of the appearance of deceptive reality as illusion-like relativity, as the methodical result of profound dependent origination. Without relying upon the entity that is investigated, or without relating to it, the non-entity of that entity cannot be, because each is posited in relation to the other.

.

The Avatara commentary says:



If this exist, this arises; for example,

If there is "long," there is "short."

If this is born, this arises; for example,

If a lamp arises, there is light.

.

For that reason, in relation to entities, there is production, and in relation to non-entities, there is designation; both are entirely equivalent, whether they exist or not, insofar as they are both mere appearances of dependent origination.



.

The Bodhicaryavatara says:

When you say that something is "non-existent,"

Unless you refer to the entity under investigation,

Its non-entity cannot be apprehended.

.

L10: [5.2.1.1.2.2 Explaining why it is a mistake to cling to their difference]



L11: [5.2.1.1.2.2.1 How your position contradicts the tradition of the great system-builder Nagarjuna]

.

###



5.2.1.1.2.2.1

If that clinging to emptiness

Were to fully exclude appearance,

It would mess up Nagarjuna's fine system.

.

(i.e. Grasping at emptiness, thinking it is an absolute, is a major fault.)



.

If one only maintains ultimate emptiness, and if clinging to that excludes the deceptive reality of appearance, this makes a mess of the good system of the profound view of Nagarjuna, according to which emptiness only arises as dependent origination. If appearance is excluded, there will be no distinction of greater or lesser importance. Also, if one clings to a non-empty appearance as being ultimate reality, even if that excludes other appearances of deceptive reality, it will also make a mess of the system of Nagarjuna, because [his system] does not fall into a biased interpretation of appearance or emptiness as being the nature of things, which both of these positions do in their biased claims about appearance and emptiness.

.

L11: [5.2.1.1.2.2.2 How Chandrakirti's statement of fault applies equally to you]



.

###


5.2.1.1.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. After going beyond realism, one has to go beyond emptiness (idealism or nihilism). Then beyond the Two Truths (dualism), and beyond thinking that they are “One” (oneness or monism). That is the meaning of the Heart Sutra, and of its mantra: “TAYATA OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA” – “Thus, Om, gone, gone, gone beyond, gone well beyond, enlightenment, hail” . Beyond the four extremes.)



.

If one sees the ultimate reality of emptiness and cultivates that as the path, and if through that cultivation there is some kind of exclusive expanse or emptiness to be realized that excludes appearance, then that kind of emptiness seen by the equipoise of sublime beings would be a cause for destroying entities. This would not only apply to the Svatantrikas, but to you as well, because your equipoise would render non-existent one half of the coalescence of emptiness and dependent origination. If the object to be realized is not exclusively emptiness, this would damage the claim that emptiness is most important.

.

L11: [5.2.1.1.2.2.3 Therefore, how your position is mistaken with respect to the final meaning]



.

###


5.2.1.1.2.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. Grasping at emptiness, thinking it is an absolute, is a major fault.)



.

For those reasons, even though all afflicted and purified dharmas abide primordially in emptiness, that emptiness does not exclude appearance. Because emptiness and appearance are not separate and distinct, the views that apprehend that only the ultimate truth of emptiness is important, or that only some non-empty ultimate reality is important, are not adequate to the final meaning of the nature of things, because they are not established through reasoning.

.

L8: [5.2.1.2 Refuting the claim that deceptive reality is more important:]



L9: [5.2.1.2.1 Refuting the system of some Nyingmapas]

L10: [5.2.1.2.1.1 Staking the claim [putting aside the ultimate]]

.

###


5.2.1.2.1.1

Some people put aside the ultimate

And from the perspective of mere conventionality,

Differentiate the levels of the view in the tantric classes.

.

(i.e. Grasping at the paths, at the skillful means, at the virtuous methods, as if they were absolute is also a major fault. Sectarism is a major fault. Thinking one vehicle is superior than others is stupidity and missing the whole point.)



.

Some Nyingmapas exclude the ultimate reality of emptiness and posit the views of the tantric systems as higher and lower merely from the perspective of the deceptive reality of knowing the aspect of appearance as deities and mandalas.

.

L10: [5.2.1.2.1.2 Refuting it]



L11: [5.2.1.2.1.2.1 Deceptive reality alone cannot be an extraordinary Dharma [grasping at conventional truths, paths, visualizations]]

.

###



5.2.1.2.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. The reason why Tantrayana is dangerous is because idiots end-up thinking they are real deities or Buddhas, and forget to dissolve everything into emptiness at the beginning and ending of their practice. They lose touch with conventional reality and emptiness.)



.

If that positing of higher and lower systems only from the perspective of deceptive reality is not completed by ultimate reality, or is not related to ultimate reality, then that kind of deceptive reality of divine appearance is not suitable as a teaching for ranking the views of the tantric systems of our own tradition. If the essence is not empty, then it is not right to establish anything as a deity, because that kind of deity is not possible as an object of cognition.

.

L11: [5.2.1.2.1.2.2 Explaining the reason for that through examples [without the certainty induced by the correct reasonings on the inseparability of the Two Truths, they are just faking self-purity in Tantrayana practices]]



.

###


5.2.1.2.1.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. They are just faking it, without basing their Tantric practices on real wisdom.)



.

Therefore, if one does not have confidence in the realization of the great equality of apparent and possible phenomena—which is the abiding character of ultimate reality—to divide the two truths and meditate only the aspect of deceptive reality as a deity is only wishful thinking that is not completed by the view. It is not a meditation that possesses the meaning of the view that realizes the nature of things. For example, when one recites certain awareness mantras of heretical systems, one imagines that one's own body is different.

.

L9: [5.2.1.2.2 Refuting other philosophical systems]



L10: [5.2.1.2.2.1 Expounding the way of ascertaining the philosophical system of the purvapaksa [like saying that emptiness in nothing more than dependent origination]]

.

###



5.2.1.2.2.1

Some say deceptive reality is more important;

They say you must integrate the two truths,

But then they heap praise on deceptive reality.

.

(i.e. Saying one thing, and doing the other. They think that the Two Truths are the same; that emptiness is nothing more than dependent origination. Like prof. Hayes. That is the fourth extreme of the Tetralemma: thinking the Two Truths are the same. That is not the meaning of non-duality, or the Union of the Two Truths: not two, not one.)



.

Some scholars of the new schools of the Land of Snows say that between the two truths, the appearance of dependent origination in deceptive reality is most important. The reason, they say, is that "the two truths of appearance and emptiness must be integrated." But then, again and again, they praise the position of deceptive reality and its establishment through conventional validating cognition. They say that deceptive reality is not empty of its own essence, because if it were empty, that would denigrate conventionality, and that, since it would be a nihilistic view, would be inappropriate.

.

L10: [5.2.1.2.2.2 Refuting it by showing that its theory and praxis have gone their separate ways]



.

###


5.2.1.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Saying one thing, and doing the other.)



.

Having made this explanation, when meditating on its meaning, that is, when maintaining the view of coalescence that has been ascertained in that way, they [in fact] abandon the coalescence that has been ascertained and do not meditate upon it. Instead, they explain that one meditates with modal apprehension on an exclusive emptiness that is the absence of true existence. This is like a thoughtless, wandering boy of meditative practice who does not follow his mother—the view [ascertained] through study and reflection, according to good explanations. The meditation does not follow suit after the explanation. It is like, for example, throwing a gtor ma to the north for a ghost staying in the east.

.

L7: [5.2.2 Expounding our own system [basis, path, result]: which maintains that there is no degree of importance in the inseparability of the two truths]



L8: [5.2.2.1 Ascertaining the basis, the coalescence of the two truths]

L9: [5.2.2.1.1 [A brief demonstration of our staying away from all extremes: the Buddha-nature is not permanent, not impermanent …]]

.

Original section title: A brief demonstration, with respect to the inseparability of appearance and emptiness, that our own tradition, the Early Translation school, does not fall into any bias of intrinsic emptiness, non-emptiness, permanence, non-permanence, and so forth.



.

###


5.2.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. They stick to non-duality beyond conceptualization, the inseparability of conventional truths and emptiness; staying away from all extremes as Nagarjuna taught,…)



.

.

Thus, in explaining the basic meaning, some positions of the new schools, as explained before, maintain that the basic Buddha nature is impermanent and empty.



-- In that respect, the sutras of the intermediate turning that teach emptiness and their interpretive commentaries are said to be of definitive meaning,

-- and the sutras of the final turning and their interpretive commentaries are said to be of provisional meaning.

.

Also, some claim that the Buddha nature is not empty of essence, and is stable and permanent; they say that the sutras and interpretive commentaries of the final turning are of definitive meaning, and the scriptures and interpretive commentaries of the middle turning are of provisional meaning. Thus, with a few exceptions, most of them interpret the scriptures and commentaries through dividing them in this way.



.

Some sutras, such as the Aksayamatipariprccha and the Samadhiraja, say that the middle turning is definitive; some, such as the Dhamnisvampariprccha, praise the final turning as supreme, and the Samdhinirmocana, and so forth, say that the final turning is of definitive meaning. Some sources agree with others, and some do not.

.

Therefore, here in our own tradition of the Early Translation school, in our terminology of the basic nature of objects of cognition, the dharmas of the path that is traveled, and the essence of the result that is to be attained, we do not favor either side of the two truths by asserting either permanence or impermanence, or an empty or a non-empty appearance, and so forth. Not falling into any extreme, we maintain only the philosophical system of the equanimity of the coalescence of appearance and emptiness that is free of the ambivalence of false imagination.



.

As it is said:

If a fortunate disciple practices sutra and mantra

Properly, without being influenced by others' ways —

.

Accordingly, whether it is the sutric or tantric path under consideration, we do not have any interpretive bias. With respect to sutra, the sutras and interpretive commentaries of the middle turning emphasize and explain the way of engaging the ultimate reality of the Buddha nature, the abiding reality of coalescence of the two truths; therefore, they teach the abiding character of primordial purity. Also, the sutras and interpretive commentaries that teach the essence of the final turning emphasize the systems of the conventionality of the appearance of the Buddha nature, which is the abiding nature of the coalescence of the two truths; thus, they are held to teach the system of the spontaneous presence of the qualities of natural clarity. Therefore, it was said, "All the scriptures and interpretive commentaries are perfect."



.

Likewise, as far as Mantrayana is concerned, not only do we maintain that all of the branches of the tantric systems and practice systems of the old and new schools, as well as the distant lineage of the transmitted precepts of the Nyingmapa, are authentic paths, the close lineage of treasures and its branches are complete and perfect.

.

It says:


In the scriptural great ocean of true speech,

The jewels of the profound Dharma treasure are beautifully manifest.

.

According to the previous explanation, in the teaching of the final nature of reality that integrates all those [scriptures and commentaries], when one has determined the coalescence of primordial purity and spontaneous presence, one practices the coalescent self-arisen gnosis on either the path of trekcho or togal. (i.e. Two Dzogchen Atiyoga techniques.)



.

The result, the purity of the inner expanse, is held to be the attainment of the goal of the inseparable coalescence of the three kayas.

.

(i.e. The result is the inseparable pure body, speech and mind, representing the real nature of the three realms: desire, form, formless, and their inseparability. For more on this see : Longchenpa's Great Chariot.)



.

The commentary to the Sems nyid ngal gso says:

In the apparent aspect of the natural luminosity of the mind—which abides primordially, is the holy gnosis of the Buddhas, the nature of mind, whose essence is stainless and which is naturally pure—the qualities of the formal kayas of the Buddhas are spontaneously present. This is taught with nine examples. For the emptiness aspect, the quality of dharmakaya is explained in all the sutras and tantras as being like space. The inseparability of those two [the dharmakaya and the formal kayas] is the virtue of the beginningless dharma realm. Because it is changeless, it is the naturally abiding lineage, and because it is purified of stains and has extensively manifested qualities, it is called the "expanded lineage" (rgyas gyur gyi rigs). But at its root, it is just the luminous gnosis of self-awareness.

.

Also, along the same lines, the great Rong zom said:



By realizing the two truths inseparably, one can engage dharmas and dharmata non-dualistically. This is called "abiding in the view of the Great Perfection."

.

L9: [5.2.2.1.2 The extensive explanation [about the basis of Dzogchen]:]



L10: [5.2.2.1.2.1 A general explanation of the inseparability of the two truths]

L11: [5.2.2.1.2.1.1 Setting up the proof of the inseparability of the two truths]

L12: [5.2.2.1.2.1.1.1 Establishing the subject (phyogs chos) [of the syllogism] [by demonstrating that] one cannot posit the basis, path, and result if either of the two truths is taken individually as a basis]

.

###



5.2.2.1.2.1.1.1

If deceptive and ultimate reality are separated,

One cannot posit the basis, path, or result on the basis of

either.

.

(i.e. The basis, path and result are all based on the inseparability of the Two Truths. Taking only one would result in absurdity, extremist paths, and no Liberation.)



.

The reason for not dividing the two truths is that the basis, path, and result cannot be posited on the basis of either deceptive reality or ultimate reality, if either of those two is taken separately. For exclusive emptiness and exclusive appearance cannot possibly be objects of cognition. The object of cognition and the object of attainment are impossible; if they are impossible, the path that connects the two of them as agent and agenda cannot be posited.

.

L12: [5.2.2.1.2.1.1.2 In the context of any of those three, taking the position that there is no accepting or abandoning of the two truths]



.

###


5.2.2.1.2.1.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. The basis, path and result are all based on the inseparability of the Two Truths. That is the Middle Way: not accepting, not rejecting. The perfect great equanimity.)



.

Therefore, our position is that, with respect to the aspect of appearance and the aspect of emptiness, the triad of the basis, path, and result does not involve any acceptance of "this" aspect, on the one hand, and abandonment of "that" aspect on the other. For once one has abandoned deceptive reality, there is no ultimate reality of exclusive emptiness, and once one has abandoned the ultimate reality of emptiness, there is no other exclusive appearance of deceptive reality either.

.

L12: [5.2.2.1.2.1.1.3 Establishing that with the logical reason that the inseparable essence is equanimity]



.

###


5.2.2.1.2.1.1.3

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.

.

(i.e. One cannot exist without the other; one implies the other; they are inseparable, non-dual: not two, not one. Thus the result is the great equanimity.)



.

By virtue of that absence, whatever appears is pervaded by emptiness, because if that appearance is analyzed, it is not established. Whatever is empty is pervaded by appearance, because if the emptiness is analyzed, it is the nature of that appearance; and sublime beings see emptiness arising as dependent origination. Moreover, it is impossible for whatever appears not to be empty, because if a sublime being sees it as empty and if one analyzes it, it cannot possibly be established as immune to analysis. Also, emptiness is not established as not appearing, because the nature of appearance is analyzed into emptiness, and it is impossible to have an independent emptiness as an object of cognition. Therefore, if something appears, it is impossible for it not to be empty; and if something is empty, it cannot be nothing whatsoever—the two cannot be separated. This is the nature of things.

.

L11: [5.2.2.1.2.1.2 Establishing the pervasion:]



L12: [5.2.2.1.2.1.2.1 Although appearance and emptiness are different isolates, in relation to their inseparable essence, both are mere designations]

.

###



5.2.2.1.2.1.2.1

Since both entities and non-entities should both

Be taken as bases for establishing emptiness,

All appearances are just designations,

And emptiness too is just a mental designation.

.

(i.e. All conventional truths are empty of inherent existence because dependently originate, and dependently designated. Emptiness is also dependent on conventional truths, thus empty. Dependent origination and emptiness are interdependent; one cannot exist without the other; one implies the other; they are inseparable, non-dual: not two, not one. Since they are both interdependent, they are both empty, both conventional truths, and ultimate truth.)



.

From the perspective of an analysis of the final ultimate reality, produced substantial entities and non-substantial entities that are dependently designated are both by nature dependently originated. Therefore, aside from being [separately] posited as the dharma-possessors that are bases of emptiness, they are no different in being necessarily empty. Thus, having divided the two truths, all aspects of the posited appearance of deceptive reality are just designations that depend upon emptiness. Because it depends upon appearance, conceptual emptiness (stong pa rnam grangs pa) is also just a designation of the intellect. Therefore, in the final meaning, both are the same in not being established.

.

L12: [5.2.2.1.2.1.2.2 Even from the perspective of ascertaining the isolates by two valid cognitions, they are inseparable as method and methodical result]



.

###


5.2.2.1.2.1.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Even in terms of the correct reasonings, emptiness is the “effect” of seeking “inherent existence”, thus dependent on its cause.)



.

With certainty about that manner [of inseparability] of the two truths—which is induced through authentic analysis by reason or through the two validating cognitions—[it is seen that] they are mutually dependent as method and methodical result; without one, the other is impossible.

.

It is not the case that they were previously combined; nor is it the case that what was previously combined has been rent asunder.



.

L12: [5.2.2.1.2.1.2.3 With respect to the way of inducing certainty through valid cognition in the inseparable essence [of the two truths], the convention of "the coalescence of appearance and emptiness" conforms to things as they are]

.

###


5.2.2.1.2.1.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. The Two Truths are not different, not the same. Not two, not one. Non-dual, or coalescent. Remembering this one, stay away from all four extremes.)



.

For those reasons, appearance and emptiness are both capable of being expressed and known verbally and conceptually in all systems of the two truths, as different isolates. But since they have the same essence, they can never in fact be separated. Thus the expression "coalescence of the two truths," since, from the perspective of the confidence that sees the abiding nature of things, appearance and emptiness do not fall into any extreme whatsoever.

.

L12: [5.2.2.1.2.1.2.4 These two truths, in the context of the valid cognition that analyzes the way ultimate reality abides, are different isolates of one essence]



.

###


5.2.2.1.2.1.2.4

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.

.

(i.e. The Two Truths are not different, not the same. Not two, not one. Inseparable; non-dual: not two, not one; or coalescent.)



.

From the perspective of the two validating cognitions that analyze the nature of things authentically, both appearance and emptiness are different isolates of the same essence, such that if one of them exists, the other equally exists; and if one of them does not exist, the other equally does not exist. We maintain the division of the two truths in this way.

.

In the Shing rta chen po it says:



The two truths are not different like two horns. When seeing the abiding reality of deception as being like the reflection of the moon in water, the aspect of the appearance of the form of the moon is deceptive reality, and from the perspective of the moon not being real, there is ultimate reality. Those two have one essence, apparent though non-existent in the pond; [thus one should understand] the inseparability or coalescence of the two truths. Therefore, as a mere conventionality, water and the reflection of the moon in water are of one essence and are different isolates, etc.

(i.e. Not different, not the same. No need to accept or reject, to establish or negate in absolute terms. The great equanimity.)

.

And so on. The Theg mchog mdzod says:



With respect to the apparent aspect of deceptive reality, there is spontaneous presence, and with respect to the emptiness aspect of ultimate reality, there is primordial purity. Aside from being mere verbal expressions, those two are not different substances and are not independent, just as there is no contradiction in saying, "If he is a Brahmin, he is a man," or "a vow-holder is a renunciate."

.

The great Rong zom said:



As mere deceptive realities, dharmas and dharmata have the same nature. Because ultimately all elaborations are pacified, they are non-dual. That is the meaning of enlightened awareness.

(i.e. The great equanimity of dharmata.)

.

L10: [5.2.2.1.2.2 Explaining the need for beginners to realize this gradually]



.

###


5.2.2.1.2.2

Nonetheless, for beginners

They appear as negation and negandum;

At that time they are not combined as one.

(i.e. not as one, but as non-dual: not two, not 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.

.

(i.e. Until we can realize the perfect Union of The Two Truths, their inseparability, their non-duality: not two, not one, we have no choice but to deal with them as two complementary concepts. But not falling in any of the four extremes.)



.

How, by practicing that, the four stages of Madhyamaka appear gradually: Nonetheless... Moreover, beginners who are practicing that meaning of the two truths

1. ascertain emptiness through Madhyamika reasoning and cultivate it; then appearance appears like a negandum, and emptiness appears like a negation.

2. At that time, even though emptiness and appearance are not mixed together, one meditates again and again on the nature of that appearance as emptiness, and

3. when the nature of that emptiness appears, in spite of being empty, one attains confidence in coalescence.

4. Once again, appearance and emptiness are not mixed together, but rather, primordial emptiness as well as appearance are coalescent. Being empty of elaborations, they appear even though empty, and although apparent, they are seen as empty. Thus, one generates certainty in the equality of appearance and emptiness.

.

L9: [5.2.2.1.3 Summarizing with the idea that this is the cornerstone of the authentic view of all of sutra and tantra]



.

###


5.2.2.1.3

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.

.

Summarizing: This equality [i.e. non-duality] of the coalescence of appearance and emptiness [i.e. this great equanimity] is the root [i.e. essence] of all profound points of the paths of sutra [i.e. Hinayana and Mahayana] and commonly held tantric systems [i.e. all traditions], as well as of the pith instructions that are not held in common with [lower systems – i.e. like other religions, philosophical systems, and even sciences]. This meaning, which eliminates all false conceptions through the study of and reflection upon the scriptures and interpretive commentaries, is the unmistaken authentic view that is the foundation of all practices of sutra and tantra.



.

Thus, one must analyze [and determine] its unmistakenness. Manjusri Sakya Pandita said:

Some other Dharmas that lack the crucial points

Are not complete, go too far,

Or are somewhat in error, so

One cannot take great pleasure in them.

If one distorts the crucial points of Dharma,

Even though it looks good, one will not reach Buddhahood.

Therefore, in some [systems] it is easy to make mistakes.

One needs to analyze crucial points without mistakes.

.

(i.e. The other vehicles, or religions, also talk about emptiness and appearances, non-duality, equanimity, the mystery of the inseparability of the three kayas, etc, but they do not cover the subject extensively. And this way can easily lead to extremes and the belief in absolutes. In short, the essence of all Buddhist vehicles and other religions is this equanimity beyond all conceptualization, this non-duality: not two, not one, the inseparability of the three realms. Why? Because that is the way things really are. One can understand and see this partially or completely; but the essence is always the same as confirmed by those who has seen it completely. All other explanations lead to absurdity and extremes. Gaining this certainty is the main goal of this text, and of all logical reasonings and virtuous methods. That is the essence.)



.

L8: [5.2.2.2 The different [tantric] paths:]

L9: [5.2.2.2.1 With the view of the subject who realizes the crucial point of the inseparability of the two truths progressively, the [four and] six tantric systems are posited]

L10: [5.2.2.2.1.1 Brief demonstration [The case of abandoning impure perceptions – it has to be done in stages]]

.

###


5.2.2.2.1.1

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.

.

That crucial point of the inseparability of the two truths is taught and realized more and more profoundly with respect to the differences among the various vehicles. Thus, if that naturally pure emptiness and the dharma-possessor of appearance that is inseparable from it are capable of abandoning clinging to impure, ordinary characteristics without depending on anything else, then the various higher and lower levels of the view of the "vehicle of tantric systems" appear to be the same with respect to the crucial point of integrating the two truths.



.

The Wish-fulfilling Treasury says:

There, at first it is important to know the nature of things.

Though there are many types of vehicle,

The determinate essence is the inseparability of the [two] truths.

This is the treasure house of all the Buddhas.

.

L10: [5.2.2.2.1.2 The extensive explanation [The case of abandoning impure perceptions and seeing everything as pure – it cannot be faked, it has to be based on true emerging wisdom, certainty]]



L11: [5.2.2.2.1.2.1 A general discussion of the difference between wishful-thinking meditation (mos bsgom) and complete certainty]

L12: [5.2.2.2.1.2.1.1 Explanation that the views of wishful thinking meditation and complete certainty are not the same]

.

###


5.2.2.2.1.2.1.1.

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.

.

(i.e. Pure illusions and tantric visualizations are different; one is based on ignorance, the other on wisdom. One is artificial, like the dropping of Hashang’s method, the other is the result of developing wisdom and certainty through correct logical reasonings – gradually realizing that everything is already pure in emptiness, or in non-duality. And thus developing this great equanimity.)



.

If you think that the meditation on one's own body and so forth as divine are meditations, but not a view—this is obviously true, but it is also possible that they are meditations that are not complemented by a view. With that kind of intellectual wishful thinking, aside from meditating on [the mere form of] divinity, one has no understanding of the way things are. To determine that the animate and inanimate universes are deities and mansions through scripture and reasoning, and then to meditate on the meaning of the view in which one has become confident through the certainty of knowing the abiding nature of things, is something else. Although both are called "meditation," there is no way they could be the same.

.

L12: [5.2.2.2.1.2.1.2 Demonstrating the specifics of that through examples [the difference between wishful magic and wisdom]]



.

###


5.2.2.2.1.2.1.2.

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.

.

For example, in Madhyamaka the ascertainment of all dharmas as being empty of true existence is a view. It is not the same as when a Brahmin recites a mantra over a sick person and has the view of wishing that the person were not sick. Therefore, these two are different in being or not being [informed by the] view of dharmata. Here, the difference between having previously integrated the dharma-possessing view with dharmata, and not having previously done it, is like the earth and sky.



.

L11: [5.2.2.2.1.2.2 Because we do not teach that the two truths that qualify the view are separate, that fault mentioned earlier does not also apply to us [so all virtuous methods have to be united with wisdom to be efficient because in accord with the inseparability of the Two Truths, the way things really are, toward the great equanimity]]

L12: [5.2.2.2.1.2.2.1 How the divine appearance of deceptive reality arises from the attainment of a clear perception of ultimate reality]

.

###



5.2.2.2.1.2.2.1.

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?

.

Thus, by realizing the conformity of the abiding and apparent natures in the state of the ultimate abiding nature of the coalescence of the two truths, one has confidence that all aspects of the dharma-possessor— deceptive reality—are the unobstructed divine appearance of the expanse. Besides this view, some assert that the vision of sublime beings is only emptiness, and by the power of that, in some other place or another, there is a Buddha adorned with the marks and signs. If one persists in apprehending that deluded appearances— which comprise suffering and emotional afflictions—are established just as they appear by way of their own characteristics, one will not know the abiding nature of the dharma-possessor at all. How can these appearances be established as divine? For this is to maintain that worldly vision is valid cognition.



.

L12: [5.2.2.2.1.2.2.2 Thus, how the ranking of the paths is not just with respect to ultimate reality [the stages are a gradual progression toward being more and more in accord with the way things really are]]

.

###


5.2.2.2.1.2.2.2.

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.

.

(i.e. The Tantric stages are based on getting closer and closer to this non-dual nature, this purity of everything, getting more and more closer to the real non-dual nature of everything. That is why all the stages have the same essence.)



.

Aside from the mistaken appearances comprised by both subject and object, the animate and inanimate universe, there is no such thing as "samsara," because the nature of suffering that is to be abandoned is precisely this. The divisions of the path that cause the abandonment of impure samsara—the nine vehicles—do not exist from the exclusive perspective of ultimate reality, because the mode of ultimate reality is unitary.

.

The Sher rgyan says:



Because the dharmadhatu is indivisible,

Lineages cannot be different.

.

L12: [5.2.2.2.1.2.2.3 Therefore, the ranking of the six tantric systems is taught with respect to differences in their capacity to cultivate vision of the inseparability of the two truths [the stages are skilful means adapted to the capacity of the students, but they all have the same essence]]



.

###


5.2.2.2.1.2.2.3.

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.

.

(i.e. The various stages of Tantra are progressive adapted skillful means depending on the capacity of the students to accept this ultimate non-duality and purity.)



.

Thus, these factors of dualistic appearance of the dharma-possessor—deceptive reality—are gradually cultivated and seen as non-dual with reference to the basic reality of the ultimate dharmata, like ice gradually melting into water. By the power of that cultivation, to the whatever extent that one develops the ability to understand the coalescence of the two truths, one will attain certainty in the great pure equality of actual and potential phenomena. The various tantras—the kriyatantra, its functional equivalent caryatantra, yogatantra, and anuttarayogatantra—are taught with those views in mind.

.

L10: [5.2.2.2.1.3 Summary [the stages are one natural progression toward realizing the way things really are, toward the great equanimity]]



.

###


5.2.2.2.1.3.

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.

.

(i.e. The various stages of Tantra are progressive adapted skillful means depending on the capacity of the students to accept this ultimate non-duality and purity. Depending on the development of his “certainty”.)



.

Thus, for that reason, the ranking of the tantric systems is not done with respect to either of the two truths individually. If an abiding nature that is an exclusive appearance or emptiness is not possible, and if its realization is also not possible, then a Dharma that ranks the tantric systems as higher and lower [according to such a nature] will be non-existent. Thus, to whatever degree one has cultivated the abiding nature of the coalescence of the two truths and attained confidence through it, all of one's practice of meditation and activity will follow suit, because the view and meditation are necessarily practiced in connection with each other.

.

L9: [5.2.2.2.2 The difference between how our own and other tantric systems are practiced:]



L10: [5.2.2.2.2.1 The difference between ascertaining and not ascertaining the authentic abiding reality through the view [one has to base his practice on the certainty induced through authentic valid cognition, otherwise it is only faking and inefficient]]

L11: [5.2.2.2.2.1.1 How meditation on the meaning of the view that correctly realizes the abiding nature is free of doubt]

.

###


5.2.2.2.2.1.1.

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.

.

Therefore, as explained above, if one correctly practices without error the three paths of the extraordinary quick unexcelled Vajrayana path—the creation phase, completion phase, and coalescence (i.e. or Mahamudra)—which bestow liberation in a single lifetime, it goes without saying that one should [follow the practices of] accepting and abandoning [modes of conduct] according to the example of the different perceptions of beings who see water in different ways that are impure, and Buddhas, who see it as pure. For, among those various visual perceptions, in dependence upon the vision that is purified of sullying obscurations, who would not become confident about the utterly pure sublime vision of the self-arisen mandala of actual and potential phenomena abiding in the basis? It would be unreasonable not to be confident. For example, it is appropriate for sublime beings to have confidence in the emptiness of all dharmas.



.

L11: [5.2.2.2.2.1.2 Demonstrating that by not understanding that, meditating with doubts has no result]

.

###


5.2.2.2.2.1.2.

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.

.

If one doesn't know how to experience the animate and inanimate universe abiding as divinities and mansions through authentic valid cognition, and asserts that there is nothing else besides this truth of suffering, which is the nature of samsara—the impure appearances of karma, emotional afflictions, and the resultant origination of suffering—then it will be difficult to accomplish the goal of inseparability from divinity by meditating upon Cakrasamvara, Hevajra, Vajrabhairava, Guhyasamaja, etc. For example, like a vase filled with vomit, if one has no view of realizing the pure abiding nature, and sees things as impure, then meditating upon the generation and completion phases and thinking that the calm abiding and mere methods are the special teachings of the Vajrayana is like spraying the outside of the vase with perfume. This is not to see the special teaching of Vajrayana, and Mipham thinks, "Alas! All the meditations on the meaning of the Vajrayana, [which teaches] the equality of samsara and nirvana, would be just like a drawing of a butter lamp; with only an image, it would be difficult to dispel the darkness of ignorance and illuminate the realization of the pure equality of the abiding nature." (i.e. the great equanimity)



.

L10: [5.2.2.2.2.2 The difference of a result arising or not arising from meditation]

L11: [5.2.2.2.2.2.1 Showing how, having distinguished modes of reality and appearance, one connects the view and meditation by meditating according to the mode of reality [it is all about realizing the way things really are, pure, inseparable appearances and emptiness; with great equanimity]]

.

###



5.2.2.2.2.2.1.

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.

.

(i.e. Basing it on the induced certainty of true wisdom.)



.

Those claims do not distinguish the modes of reality and appearance. In that mode of appearance, the five appropriated aggregates of sentient beings of the impure animate and inanimate worlds appear as impure. Who would assert this as the result of accomplishment or a philosophical system? That sort of appearance is the "philosophical system" that is posited by a mistaken mind that clings to impure appearances that are the result accomplished by delusion—karma and emotional afflictions.

.

With respect to what actually exists, it is not appearance, but the abiding nature, that is great pure equality. (i.e. the great equanimity) Whose philosophical system is this? Having consummated the result of accomplishment on the authentic path, the inseparability of the two truths, which is the pure equality that is the object seen by pure vision, is maintained as the inseparability of the basis and result, and is expounded as the philosophical system of the Vajrayana. Thus, having discriminated individual philosophical systems, it is appropriate to practice all views and meditations according to the philosophical system of the Vajrayana, since it is the Vajrayana that directly sets up the vision of gnosis, and because one should not rely upon consciousness, but upon gnosis.



.

If a philosophical system that establishes things according their appearance for deluded perception actually corresponded to the way things are, the emptiness that is the emptiness of true existence would not be established and that [system] would be in error, because it would apprehend self and dharmas as truly existent. For if one analyzes things, they are not established, they abide in emptiness. And since the appearances of the impure animate and inanimate universe are also not established if analyzed, according to pure vision, the animate and inanimate universes are the same in abiding both as a pure basis and as that which is based upon it.

.

L11: [5.2.2.2.2.2.2 The opposite of that]



L12: [5.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 The view and meditation are not connected [Faking to see purity]]

.

###



5.2.2.2.2.2.2.1

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;

.

(i.e. Faking it.)



.

Conversely, if one thinks, "the external animate realm and internal animate realm do not have the nature of a pure basis and that which is based upon it, deities and mansions," and while seeing them as impure, one meditates on the generation and completion phases, thinking, "they are deities and mansions"—that is just a separation of the view and the meditation, and is a sign that clearly indicates that the philosophical system has the fault of internal contradiction. Though it satisfies others, that path is a hollow reflection of the Vajrayana. For example, if one washes coal, it does not become white, and there is no way to make it white.

.

L12: [5.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 Demonstrating through examples that that cannot achieve the result [mere conceptual understanding]]



.

###


5.2.2.2.2.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. It cannot be artificially gained or fake. It is not like magic.)



.

Though it doesn't have anything to do with the real meaning, if with a fabricated meditation that thinks, "I am a deity" it were possible to attain the goal of a resultant deity, then consequently, without any certainty in the emptiness of true existence, the heretical Sun-worshippers (nyi ma pa), and so forth, would be able to realize selflessness by meditating on an emptiness bereft of appearance and abandon the emotional afflictions. The reasoning is the same [as in the previous example of a vase].

.

L9: [5.2.2.2.3 [The gradual development of the final view] If there are not different levels of views in the tantric systems, their different modes of activity would be mistaken]



L10: [5.2.2.2.3.1 Setting up the claim that there are no differences in the views [of the different tantric systems]]

.

###



5.2.2.2.3.1.

What if the action, performance, and unexcelled tantric

classes

Did not have different levels of view?

.

Certain philosophical systems in Tibet maintain that kriya, carya, yoga, and anuttarayoga tantras have different methods of meditation and activity, but do not have any differences in their respective views.



.

L10: [5.2.2.2.3.2 Refuting it [the view has to match the adapted skillful means – both are progressive, adapted to the level of the students]]

L11: [5.2.2.2.3.2.1 If the lower tantric systems had the same view as the higher tantric systems, activity would contradict the view [discriminating while having a pure view is contradictory]]

.

###



5.2.2.2.3.2.1.

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.

.

(i.e. So the path is gradual: gradual adapted skillful means, and adapted skillful views, that are more and more close to the real non-dual nature of everything, as the students develop certainty. Other wise there is a real danger.)



.

If, in the lower tantric systems, in spite of having confidence in the view that realizes the great equal purity according to the higher tantras, one viewed oneself, the pledge being (dam tshig pa), and the deity as wisdom being (ye shes pa), as "good" and "bad," or as "master" and "slave," and, while maintaining pure behavior, apprehended impure things as something to abandon, then that would be to discriminate good and bad, acceptance and abandonment, without respect to the view. Not meditating according to the meaning of the view, one would go astray from the authentic path, and this would only be an obstacle to quickly achieving the result.

.

L11: [5.2.2.2.3.2.2 If the higher systems had no view other than the lower systems' view, then the profound activity [of the higher tantras] would be pointless [non-discriminating while having an impure view is contradictory]]



.

###


5.2.2.2.3.2.2.

And, if you are still attached to what is accepted and abandoned 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?

.

(i.e. So as one progress along the gradual path, one should be able to go beyond the views and methods of the lower stages, gaining more and more subtlety and wisdom.)



.

If, in accord with the lower tantric systems, one maintained the view that clings to good and bad, acceptance and abandonment, and if one undertook the profound secret activities of the higher systems, such as union and liberation, and acted within the equality of acceptance and abandonment, without considering what is clean and unclean, without abandoning meat and alcohol, etc., then wouldn't this be the "reckless behavior of not understanding the view" in which the view and behavior are contradictory, which is condemned by the wise?

.

L9: [5.2.2.2.4 The especially exalted meditations and activities of [the higher tantras] exist because of that [The stages – methods and views – are defined according to the level of progress of this “certainty”]]



L10: [5.2.2.2.4.1 With respect to how the nine vehicles integrate the two truths, how one maintains meditation and activity in the state of ascertaining the view]

.

###



5.2.2.2.4.1.

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.

.

(i.e. The stages – methods and views – are defined according to the level of progress of this “certainty”.)



.

Whether one considers sutra or tantra, the different types of meditation and action follow after their respective views. Their views are said to be precisely how they have the confidence of seeing the profound meaning of the abiding nature of things. Thus, with respect to sharp and dull faculties, there are higher and lower views; but in accordance with how the view of each vehicle ascertains the meaning of the abiding nature without any doubt, so do they abandon and accept things in their activity. The Manjusrinamasamgiti says, "Having awareness and legs."

.

L10: [5.2.2.2.4.2 Disposing of faults: [nine arbitrary vehicles are defined along this one continuous unique path]]



L11: [5.2.2.2.4.2.1 Setting up the dispute about the indefiniteness of nine vehicles]

.

###



5.2.2.2.4.2.1.

"Because the vehicles are differentiated

By different levels of view, they are not necessarily nine in

number"—


.

"If in your tradition you posit nine levels of vehicle, then because you differentiate those nine with respect to their views, there are not definitely nine, because the view is certainty, and it is not certain that certainty has many different forms."

.

L11: [5.2.2.2.4.2.2 Demonstrating the response that disposes of it—the response that the fault applies equally]



.

###


5.2.2.2.4.2.2.

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.


.

That is not a fault. Among Buddhist philosophical systems, from the lowest system of the sravakas up to the peak of the ultimate Vajrayana, the Atiyoga, there is a reason for positing each of the nine. What is that? Even though there are many higher and lower vehicles, if one condenses their type, they can be summarized as the three vehicles of sravakas and bodhisattvas, etc.; those are established by necessity. If, with respect to the differences of disposition, intelligence, and aspiration among superior, mediocre, and inferior disciples, etc., it is appropriate to posit three vehicles, then it is also appropriate to posit nine. If they are not definitely nine in number, then they are not definitely three either.

.

L8: [5.2.2.3 A summary of the meaning of attaining the result of the coalescence of the two kayas:]



L9: [5.2.2.3.1 There are different ways of seeing with respect to great and small powers of gnosis]

.

###



5.2.2.3.1

Thus, according to the relative strength

Of inner gnosis, the animate and inanimate

Worlds are seen as pure or impure.

.

(i.e. So, depending on the level of certainty that we have induced though the virtuous methods and wisdom, one see the worlds as more or less pure, more or less the way they really are: non-dual, inseparable appearances and emptiness; and one abides more or less in the great equanimity.)



.

Therefore, although there is no difference in the dharmadhatu, which is the coalescence of appearance and emptiness, the condition for increasing the subjective internal gnosis is the distinction of sharp intelligence, practice of the path, etc. To whatever extent the power of gnosis has been previously increased, to that extent one sees that animate and inanimate realms naturally abide in primordial purity. For example, if one is cured of an eye problem, one sees the whiteness of a conch shell more clearly; thus, when the subject-mind has an impediment, the conch is seen to be yellow, so it is seen impurely. Therefore, those various ways of seeing, where actual and apparent modes are or are not concordant, refer to the subjective mind, but not to any difference in the object.

.

L9: [5.2.2.3.2 By practicing according to the way of seeing the conformity of actual and apparent modes, one attains the result [the inseparable two kayas]]



.

###


5.2.2.3.2

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.

.

(i.e. The result is the purification of the three kayas, directly seeing their real non-dual nature and inseparability.)



.

For that reason, without mistaking the basic abiding nature of the inseparable truths of appearance and emptiness, a mind that is authentically concordant with its object realizes the two truths as being inseparable. By cultivating the path of the inseparability of the generation and completion phases in that way, one attains the gnosis of [knowing everything] that is just as it is, which is the fruition of the integrated two kayas, and one will be able to liberate disciples of the high and low vehicles.

.

I say:


Wishing to imbibe sweet juice from the fruit of an excellent view,

Even though one collects the milk of ultimate reality,

Without this fine brass vessel of deceptive reality,

Bare emptiness gets burnt in the Madhyamika oven.

.

.

.



.

.

.



*******************************************************

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

.

L1: [9.6. Topic 6 [Using the mantrayana technique called “pure vision / deity yoga” in order to realize this coalescence beyond conceptualization]]



.

[i.e. “Topic 6 concerns the common object of disparate perceptions; also serves as the occasion for differentiating the various levels of view in the Vajrayana—in particular those of Mahayoga and the Great Perfection—and for demonstrating the necessity of Mipham's fourfold classification of valid cognition.”]

.

(Résumé of Topic 6: This topic is about the validity of assuming a dharmin, something really existing out there, independently of the mind, and that is the basis of direct objective / impartial perception. It would be the “thing” or “phenomena” that everybody is perceiving the same; a commonly accepted phenomenon, a commonly understood subject; the basis for further discussion and inference.



.

In this section it is shown that all perceptions are conditioned by accumulated karma, that there is no real object existing out there independently of the mind, that there is no real objective / impartial perception by the senses organs. But the emptiness of inherent existence of the appearances doesn’t mean that everything is completely non-existent, useless, from the mind-only. The Middle Way is between the two extremes of existence (appearances) and non-existence (emptiness). Everything is inseparable appearances and emptiness.

.

That means that all of our discriminations in terms of good vs. bad, pure vs. impure, objects of attachment or fears, are like illusions. That there is not an authentic perception based on the way things really are.



.

To perceive everything more in accord with their very ultimate nature, would be to perceive everything with Great Equanimity. In short, it is like as if samsara was caused by an erroneous perception of reality, while Nirvana was caused by a correct perception of reality, in accord with the principle of the inseparability of appearances and emptiness. Using this model, the progression on the path correspond to a purification of our perceptions. By analyzing this and getting to the essence of the problem of perception, one gain certainty in the validity of “pure vision” as practiced in Tantrayana. This technique cannot be faked, it is efficient only if based on certainty induced by analyzing the problem of perception through correct reasonings. If “pure vision” is practice without this certainty, that is with doubts, then it will be useless. That why Tantrayana must be practiced only after studying and mastering the Mahayana sutras and techniques.)

.

L4: [ [0.2.2.2.] Secondly, the explanation of the view of the subjective viewer: [explanation of the view of the dharma-possessor through the stages of the manner of pure divine self-appearance / Yidam yoga]]



L5: [6.1 The question about what the commonly perceived object is [the purity of objects depend on the subject perception / karma purity]]

.

###



6.1.

When a single instance of water appears

As different substances to various sentient beings,

.

(i.e. There is no absolute good and bad, not absolute objective perception; everything is perceived in dependence of the accumulated karma. All perceptions are conditioned by past habits. Whether an object is perceived as samsara or Nirvana mostly depend on the subject, not the object. So to understand samsara, one has to investigate the perception by the subject.)



.

The perfect Buddha, who taught the ways of acceptance and abandonment, appeared in the world of human beings, and the exponents of his teaching are human beings; so in this context "water" is taken as a topic of discussion. In that respect, various beings perceive it variously as the viable (don byednus, arthakriya) substances of pus, blood, nectar, and so forth. Among those, which is the commonly perceived object? This is the question.

.

L5: [6.2 The extensive explanation:]



L6: [6.2.1 Refuting other systems that claim that different subjects perceive the same object [no real objects of perception independent of the mind; but still not completely non-existent or from the mind-only]]

L7: [6.2.1.1 Refuting the claim that water is the common object]

L8: [6.2.1.1.1 Setting up the purvapaksa's claim [absolute objects]]

.

###



6.2.1.1.1.

Some say there is a single object of perception

And that all perceptions of it are valid.

.

(i.e. The belief in absolute objective perception of independent objects with true characteristics. The assumption is that there is a “dharmin”, something really existing, and that is why everybody see it the same. It is the “commonly accepted phenomena”, the conventional truths supposedly directly perceived by all.)



.

Some scholars say that the common object of beings' perceptions is water. By dint of the fact that it is water, they say minds that perceive it as such are valid cognizers, and those for whom it appears otherwise are mistaken.

.

L8: [6.2.1.1.2. Refuting that [not the same, not different]]



L9: [6.2.1.1.2.1 If only water were established as the common object, both valid cognizers and non-valid cognizers would be impossible]

.

###



6.2.1.1.2.1

If water had some kind of essence,

Valid and invalid cognitions would be impossible [here].

.

(i.e. Not the same / not independent of the mind: If there were pure objective direct perception of the essence of things, then everybody would perceive everything the same. But that is not thee case. There is valid and invalid perceptions conventionally.)



.

If, from the perspective of a mind [that analyzes] ultimate reality, there were a water that was established by way of its own non-empty nature, and [thus] beings unanimously perceived water, all of them would be valid cognizers. But if on that same basis there were no other non-valid cognition and its corresponding perception, such as pus, blood, nectar, and so forth, it would be impossible for valid and invalid cognitions to be distinguished, because if one is not present, the other, which depends upon it, is not possible.

.

L9: [6.2.1.1.2.2 If there were no common object, an object of perception would be impossible]



.

###


6.2.1.1.2.2.

If the various objects that appear were distinct,

It would not be possible for [different minds]

To perceive the same pillars, vases [etc.].

.

(i.e. Not different / not from the mind only: On the other hand, the perceptions are not totally from the mind only, otherwise there would be no conventional truths at all. So it is sort of in the Middle. All perceptions are dependent on the mind perceiving, but not totally from this mind.)



.

On the other hand, if various beings' individual visual perceptions, such as water, pus, nectar, and so forth, were not based on a commonly appearing object, they would not be based upon the same thing. This would be similar to, for example, the minds of a single person that variously perceive pillars, vases, etc. If a common object were not possible for [different] sentient beings, it would be like the system of the Vijnaptimatrins.

.

L7: [6.2.1.2 Refuting the claim that liquidity is the common object [absolute basis characteristics]]



L8: [6.2.1.2.1 The purvapaksa]

.

###



6.2.1. 2.1.

Some say [that in the case of water] there is just wetness;

.

(i.e. The belief in absolute basic characteristics directly perceptible.)



.

Also, some scholars say that since water, pus, blood, and so forth, all without a doubt possess liquidity, that must be the common object.

.

L8: [6.2.1.2.2 Its refutation:]



L9: [6.2.1.2.2.1 It is not reasonable for liquidity to be a basis of perception [not the same, not different]]

L10: [6.2.1.2.2.1.1 If liquidity is the basis of perception, visual perceptions of it would have to be non-different]

.

###


6.2.1.2.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. Not the same / independent of the mind: Same thing about the so called basic characteristics of things; they are not directly perceived either; their essence is not impartially directly perceived. These perceptions are also dependent on accumulated karma, on acquired habits, of assimilation schema.)



.

Thus, if the dissimilar visual perceptions of the beings of the six realms unmistakenly possessed the individual characteristic of liquidity as the common object of their various perceptions, then those beings would not be able to have different visual perceptions, because [liquidity] would have an individual characteristic and would be able to stand on its own. If there were no such individual characteristic, and water, pus, and nectar were simply known as mutually exclusive aspects of liquidity, to claim a basis of perception would be pointless, because it would be non-substantial. It would be like the saying:

Whether a eunuch is beautiful or not—

What good does it do for a desirous person to consider this?

.

In some texts it says, "many arise," which is a bit awkward, so one should investigate whether this is a typographical error.



.

L10: [6.2.1.2.2.1.2 The different visual perceptions would have nothing to perceive]

.

###


6.2.1.2.2.1.2

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.?

.

(i.e. Not different / from the mind only: But again, this doesn’t mean that all perceptions of characteristics are from the mid only, otherwise there would be no conventional truths at all.)



.

Thus, if the water and so forth that are seen by each of the six realms' beings is not there for the gods, for example, because they see nectar, then one cannot posit what the common object of perception for the water, pus, and so forth, of those dissimilar [perceptions] would be. For liquidity cannot have several different visual perceptions, and water, pus, etc., are different visual perceptions, and having and not having distinct perceptions are mutually exclusive. Thus, a single basis of perception would become many, as in the case of individual visual perceptions of pillars, vases, etc.

.

L10: [6.2.1.2.2.1.3 Demonstrating indetermination for the infinite space realm]



.

###


6.2.1.2.2.1.3

Moreover, what would happen to the wetness basis

In the case of beings of the realm of infinite space?

.

(i.e. Beings of the different realms see the same things and characteristics differently, depending on their accumulated karma. All perceptions are dependent on the mind perceiving, but not from this mind only.)



.

Also, if there is a basis of perception such as liquidity, it becomes indefinite for the beings of the infinite space realm. When they perceive nothing but space, what kind of basis will liquidity be? It won't be.

.

L9: [6.2.1.2.2.2 Refutation by analysis of whether it is the same as or different than the water [characterized and characteristic are not different, not the same]]



.

###


6.2.1.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Characterized and characteristic are not different, not the same.)



.

If "liquidity" were identical to the water that is the visual perception relative to human beings, it would not be appropriate for liquidity to appear in pus and so forth, for that very reason. Also, if it were different from the water perceived by humans, it would likewise also be distinct from pus, nectar, and so forth; so as the identifying characteristic of liquidity is not perceived anywhere, this would be mere fancy.

.

L7: [6.2.1.3 Combining the meanings together [there is no dharmin independent of the mind, nor from the mind only]]



L8: [6.2.1.3.1 Positing in relation to a contextual object of perception]

L9: [6.2.1.3.1.1 The actual [argument]]

.

###


6.2.1.3.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. Not independent of the mind: There cannot be an inherently existing object of perception, an essence, that would be perceived differently, in dependence. Dependent origination and inherent existence are not compatible.)



.

For those reasons, for the various individual visual perceptions, such as water, pus, and blood, a common perceptual object is not possible, because it is impossible for those beings to perceive a commonly appearing substance, such as water, pus, and so forth. Therefore, that basis of appearance, from the perspective of humans, is water, and in reference to gods, is nectar. Aside from a mere appearance, which is not immune to analysis, and which dependently arises from positing a variety of perceptions on a single objective basis, if one maintained the existence of a basis that was immune to analysis by the two kinds of valid cognition, it would have to be established as the abiding character of reality, because no matter how one analyzes [the basis] in relation to the two truths, it is simply not reasonable.

.

L9: [6.2.1.3.1.2 The unreasonableness of appearing to the mind]



L10: [6.2.1.3.1.2.1 The unreasonableness of maintaining cognition as the object, like the Cittamatrins]

.

###



6.2.1.3.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Not from the mind-only: On the other hand, the object perceived is not completely non-existent either, otherwise there would be no possible conventional truths at all, no sciences, no paths, no possible communication. So the objects perceived are not independent on the mind perceiving it, on the accumulated karma; nor is it completely non-existent, or from the mind only.)



.

Thus, if those various visual perceptions of the beings of the six realms had no common perceptual object, like the proponents of the Cittamatra philosophical system, one would have to maintain that there was no object of cognition, and that the apprehending cognition was the object itself. To claim that is not reasonable.

.

The Wish-fulfilling Treasury says:



The ignorant think everything is mind.

They are extremely confused about the meaning of the three kinds of appearance.

There are many faults of internal contradiction and absurd consequence,

So please abandon the tradition that they maintain.

.

L10: [6.2.1.3.1.2.2 The reason that mind and appearance are equal in deceptively existing]



.

###


6.2.1.3.1.2.2

The subjective apprehension of a non-existent object

Would also be non-existent in fact.

.

(i.e. Thinking that everything is from the mind only, like in the Cittamatra tradition, leads to nihilism.)



.

How is it unreasonable? Subject and object are posited in dependence upon one another. While there is no object, it would seem that the apprehending possessor of the object is likewise in fact non-existent. Among those two, if one claims the existence of an apprehending mind, an apprehended object must likewise exist in dependence upon it; so both subject and object are equal in being deceptively existent as mere appearances. For example, if there is "the mountain thither," there must be "the mountain hither" also.

.

L10: [6.2.1.3.1.2.3 Are equal in not existing ultimately [the mind is also like an illusion, empty]]



.

###


6.2.1.3.1.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. To think that the mind is real, but that the objects are from the mind only doesn’t make sense. The perceiver and the objects perceived have the same nature: empty of inherent existence because dependently arisen, inseparable, non-dual: not two, not one.)



.

If one examines the appearance of an object, and, finding it unreasonable, thinks it is non-existent, unreasonableness under examination also applies to the subject, so if one examines any subject and object that appear, it is unreasonable to differentiate them and find one existent and the other non-existent. Although there is the appearance of an object, it appears in a deceptive manner. Likewise, though apprehension appears, it is not established as the same as or as different from mere appearance.

.

The Avatara says:



If there is formlessness, do not apprehend it as the existence of the mind.

If there is an existing mind, do not apprehend it as formless.

Those were abandoned by the Buddha

In sutras dealing with wisdom, and spoken about in the abhidharma.

.

L8: [6.2.1.3.2 Showing the final object of perception to be a mere appearance [all appearances are empty because dependent on accumulated karma, that is the only way to explain the similarities and differences while perceiving the same object]]



L9: [6.2.1.3.2.1. The reasonableness of all common and uncommon [perceptions] having mere appearance as their common object of perception, which all beings have in common]

.

###



6.2.1.3.2.1

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.


.

(i.e. There is no inherently existing objects of perceptions, independent on the mind. Only conventionally defined objects and characteristics based on shared conditioning and accumulated karma.)

.

Thus, without being partial to either the external thing or the internal cognition, the mere appearance that can appear anywhere, which is the very nature of emptiness, is posited as the commonly perceived object. That mere appearance is established as the basis of the appearance of all common and uncommon perceptions of sentient beings; for it goes along with all things pure and impure, and there is no scripture or reasoning whatsoever that can refute that mere appearance. Therefore, without that, any other position is unreasonable. For example, if there is a dancer, there are many who will see or not see the dance; if there is not an appropriate actor [that is, one visible] for the various gods and raksasas, those appearances [of gods' and raksasas' dances] will not exist [for them].



.

L9: [6.2.1.3.2.2 If not, it would be unreasonable for different individual perceptions to arise]

.

###


6.2.1.3.2.2

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 non-apparent, like space.

.

(i.e. There is no other alternative.)



.

For that reason, aside from this merely existent or merely apparent dependent origination that is the basic nature of things, a particular existent thing is not possible either internally or externally; however much one searches, it becomes a cause for pointless fatigue. If that kind of merely existent basis of perception did not exist, all phenomena pure and impure would not appear anywhere and would become like the empty expanse of space. Because it is unreasonable, it is reasonable to posit [a mere appearance] here.

.

L9: [6.2.1.3.2.3 The unreasonableness of various conditions for appearance being the object of perception]



.

###


6.2.1.3.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. Everything is like an illusion.)



.

"If the basis of perception is not seen, how can things appear in different ways?" That is due to various external circumstances of appearance and internal propensities, etc. Not seeing the object of the basis of perception just as it is, is due to fabrication [of perception] through the admixture of circumstance and conceptual dividing. For example, when the eyes are impaired by a magical spell, a piece of wood appears like a horse or an ox; therefore, one does not see the actual thing. One cannot say that a piece of wood, which is the appearance of the special condition for the appearance of such things as horses and cattle, is the common object of perception, because that fragmentary appearance [of a piece of wood] does not go everywhere.

.

L6: [6.2.2 Secondly, according to our own system [inseparability of appearances and emptiness]]



L7: [6.2.2.1 Showing what common perceptual object is posited]

L8: [6.2.2.1.1 Positing inseparable appearance and emptiness as the actual basis of perception]

.

###


6.2.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. So there is no real common dharmin, no real object or characteristic directly perceived by all. The only thing in common is the inseparability of appearances and emptiness; the fact that the appearances is conditioned by accumulated karma when ignorance is predominant. But, of course, this is only pointing at the moon beyond all conceptualization.



.

As explained above, the indivisibility of appearance and emptiness is reasonable as the basis of perception. Therefore, in our own system, in the earlier context of the two truths "we only maintain the philosophical system of coalescence free of divisions and partiality." Accordingly, on the basis of the impartial and indivisible equanimity of appearance and emptiness, samsara and nirvana are not in any way established, and because that [indivisibility of appearance and emptiness] equally accompanies whatever appears in samsara and nirvana, a single substance can appear in various pure and impure ways, and we accept just that as the basis of perception.

.

The Great Omniscient One said:



The primordial state of inseparable appearance and emptiness

Cannot be conceived as one or many (i.e. non-dual), is without elaboration (i.e. beyond conceptualization),

Without partiality or divisions, it is all-embracing equanimity (i.e. not accepting, not rejecting),

Equal in appearance, equal in emptiness, equal in truth, equal in falsity,

Equal in existence, equal in non-existence, equal beyond all limits—

It is the primordially pure state of the unique expanse.

.

L8: [6.2.2.1.2 Explaining how it can appear as anything]



.

###


6.2.2.1.2

For whomever appearance and emptiness are possible,

Everything is possible;

For whomever appearance and emptiness are impossible,

Nothing is possible.

.

(i.e. That is the only common thing that can explain samsara and Nirvana.)



.

For whichever philosophical system, yogi, and so forth, this basis of the equanimous coalescence of appearance and emptiness is possible and reasonable, it is also possible, from their perspective, for samsara, nirvana, the path, and all the various pure and impure appearances to appear on that single basis, and they will see the reasonableness of this, as they have minds that are in tune with the power of the way things are. Moreover, for whomever the inseparability of appearance and emptiness is not possible and appearance and emptiness are cut off from each other, it is difficult to rationalize a common basis of perception. So for them it goes without saying that the reasoning of all appearances of samsara and nirvana arising on a single basis, etc., would not be possible.

.

The Dharmadharmatavibhanga says:



If aside from unreal appearance nothing

Whatsoever were possible, delusion and non-delusion,

And likewise mental afflictions and

Liberation, would be impossible.

.

Accordingly, if one thinks that the delusion and liberation of samsara and nirvana are somehow possible apart from emptiness and appearance, this kind of position, which does not accord with the meaning of the way things actually are, cannot be justified by scripture and reasoning.



.

L7: [6.2.2.2 Disposing of objections about it]

L8: [6.2.2.2.1 The disagreement [does that “relativism” means everything is meaningless, chaotic]]

.

###



6.2.2.2.1

"Well then, the distinction of valid and invalid cognitions

Would be invalid."

.

"Well then, this means that the distinction of valid and invalid cognition would be unreasonable for you! For a single substance can appear in any which way. Therefore, the appearances of the beings of the six realms, cause, effect, samsara, and nirvana would all be confused together, because they can appear anywhere. Thus, all systems would be contradictory."



.

L8: [6.2.2.2.2 Its disposal]

L9: [6.2.2.2.2.1 A general discussion of our own system's disposal of faults]

L10: [6.2.2.2.2.1.1 The reasoning that posits a valid cognition dependently is established as an inclusive judgment (yongs chod, pariccheda) [valid cognition is still established in its context]]

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.1.1.1 Contextually, the mind that apprehends in dependence upon an objective basis is established as a valid cognition]

.

###



6.2.2.2.2.1.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. There is still room for conventional truths, and valid correct reasonings, even in a Buddha. He is just never fooled by the appearances thinking they represent something inherently existing or absolute.)



.

It is true that you, the opponent, do not understand the great secret Nyingmapa's uncommon way of engaging valid cognition, but the fault you find here does not exist.

.

Glorious Candra said:



When a wise person has abided in the sublime vision and made a valid cognition, at that time there is no harm from worldly [forms of perception] . Wise persons should also analyze from this perspective.

.

And from the Varttika:



To understand the essence of something from itself:

This is to validate something conventionally.

.

Likewise, the Don rnam par nges pa'i shes rab ral gri [DRG] says:



Since conventionally the abiding and actual natures [of a thing]

Have different ways of appearing,

With respect to impure, narrow-minded perception (tshur mthong, arvagdarsana)

And the pure vision of [sublime beings],

There are two conventional valid cognitions,

Like the eyes of humans and gods.

.

According to those statements, valid cognition that engages a cognandum comprises both the conventionalizing valid cognition that refers to the pure vision [of sublime beings], and the conventionalizing valid cognition of narrow-minded perception. The difference between them is said to be delineated by essence, causality, and function.



.

If you ask how one experiences with [those validating cognitions]: If one analyzes according to the conventional statements made in treatises about the objects of narrow-minded perception, through the direct and inferential valid cognitions [based on] autonomous syllogisms, one will be able to induce an unmistaken experience of that conventional thing. Likewise, with respect to the inconceivable object that is beyond narrow-minded perception, by analyzing in accordance with the conventions of treatises, one can ascertain that the pure vision that engages that cognandum is unmistaken. Because the meanings taught in this context are not contradictory in their prior and latter modes of expression, nor in what is actually said and what is implied, one can engage that extremely obscure object, without its being hidden.

.

Therefore, having realized the coalescence of the two truths, for the vision that comprises the harmony of the reality and the appearance of things, anything can arise from the great expanse of equality without divisions of time and place. Because all those arisings do not waver from that expanse, in relation to it everything abides in equanimity without discriminating truth and falsehood, such as the misperception of a mirage as water. Therefore, aside from the valid cognition that experiences according to pure vision, divisive appearances are all equally eliminated, and in that way, in relation to each subject, there are no harmful consequences whatsoever of one kind of substance becoming another, of the karmic perceptions of sentient beings, etc., belonging to one another [as mentioned above], and of both valid and invalid cognitions being impossible, because the possibility of any such thing happening is not established at all.



.

Thus, worldly beings do not understand that dharmata, because they apprehend a self in various dharma-possessors (chos can). As a result of that, all appearances that grow out of propensities are apprehended individually and separately, and become objects of attachment. At that time anything that appears, appears in that [apprehension] and does not appear otherwise. Because each [phenomenon] has its own defining characteristic, which is not mixed with others', the various karmic appearances of virtue, vice, and their effects, etc., cannot appear in a confused way.

.

The Varttika says:



As all things naturally

Abide in their own essence,

Similar things are complementary to other things,

From which they differ.

.

Therefore, that narrow-minded [perceiver] does not fail to establish that object of experience. That mind easily establishes whatever system it tries to experience, as validly or invalidly cognized, etc.



.

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.1.1.2 The positing of one and many by that mind in dependence upon that object of investigation establishes that object as validly cognized]

.

###


6.2.2.2.2.1.1.2

For all things naturally abide in their own essences,

Because they are established by valid cognitions

That determine their sameness and difference.

.

(i.e. There is still room for common characteristics and classifications (conventionally) even in a Buddha. He is just never fooled by the appearances thinking they represent something inherently existing or absolute.)



.

For the reason that things do not appear indistinctly, all things that appear in that way do not become otherwise or discard their mode of being by force of their individual natures or dharmatas, because their very nature is not to be combined with other things. Thus, the identifying characteristics of water, pus, and so forth, are not muddled together. The ways in which things, such as water, mirages, pus, etc., are the same or different are all valid.

.

The glorious Rong zom said:



What is something identical to that? The defining characteristic of a pillar is to hold up a roof. The defining characteristic of a vase is to contain water. If you say, "Those are both produced," the producedness of a pillar abides in the essence of a pillar. The producedness of a vase abides in the essence of a vase. Although their individual defining characteristics are perceived as different, their producedness is not perceived as different. Although the producedness is not perceived separately, that doesn't make a pillar into a vase, nor a vase into a pillar. The characteristics of roof-holding and water-holding are not lost.

.

And, from the Rigs gter:



The intentional apprehension that discerns the sameness and difference

Of defining characteristics makes possible the four alternatives (catuskoti).

.

Thus, apprehending a single characteristic as one, different characteristics as different, many aspects (ldog pa) for one characteristic, and one characteristic for many aspects, are the four alternatives.



.

Therefore, although words and thoughts apply various conventions, because of the fact that individual characteristics are not confused, it is a valid cognition for humans to apprehend water as water, because it is infallible; and it is an invalid cognition to apprehend a mirage as water, because that is fallible. Moreover, by the power of the karmic appearances of beings, the apprehension of water as water by humans is a valid cognition in the context of the defiled perception of hungry ghosts. When the perception of pus and blood occurs for hungry ghosts, it is infallible with respect to attainment and loss and is a valid cognition. But in relation to humans, it is an invalid cognition, because it has a fault that must be eliminated. Therefore, because the ways in which cognitions are valid and invalid are by nature differentiable and infallible, they are established as valid or reasonable. But nonetheless, they are not established by their own power, because whatever is posited in dependence upon different beings is not established ultimately.

.

Therefore, Rong zom Chos bzang said:



Thus, in the case of an appearance like this, it does not appear differently everywhere; it appears on a single basis. Not everything appears concordantly; things appear individually as pure or impure. Accordingly, there is the distinction of "completely pure" and "not completely pure" appearances.

.

In this context, "established as a valid cognition" means that because of being generally renowned, a single subject can generate understanding; this is the same as saying, "Dharmata reasoning should rely on the object."



.

The great Rong zom said:

Thus, the particular way in which each thing abides in its own state, and the mind that accords with it, are both engaged with words of reasoning....

.

Thus, I think valid cognition is also like that.



.

L10: [ 6.2.2.2.2.1.2 The fact that such reasoning is established by its own power is proven automatically by an excluding judgment (rnam chad, vyavaccheda) [It is exactly “because” everything is empty of inherent existence that there can be valid cognition: perception and inference]]

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.1.2.1 Generally, it is not reasonable for all dharmas to be established under their own power]

.

###



6.2.2.2.2.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Dharmins are accepted conventionally as common truths, and used to establish other things. But they never can be established themselves in absolute terms – otherwise they would be inherently existing. They themselves are dependently arisen, conditioned by accumulated karma – that may be common to many who accepts the dharmins as valid basis.)



.

For that reason, in dependence upon defiled appearances, there is a dependent origination—which is not immune to analysis—that is posited as the establishment of a valid cognition. External objects of knowledge are not established by valid cognition independently, by their own power. If they were thus established, they would just be an ultimate abiding reality, and that is not reasonable.

.

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.1.2.2 A single, particular instance of water does not exist under its own power, and it is reasonable for it to have a relation of dependence]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.1.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. These are not inherently existing, they are always dependently arisen and conventionally labeled. But for those who do not share the same conditioning, they are not accepted.)



.

Since all dharmas are generally not established by their own power, although a single instance of water is established by a validating cognition that is quite infallible from the perspective of the humans who apprehend just that water, it is not established in any way under its own independent power. Just how is it not established? It is not immune to an analysis vis-à-vis ultimate truth, because it is not even established conventionally from the perspective of a hungry ghost.

.

L10: [6.2.2.2.2.1.3 And therefore, valid cognition is meaningful [so there are valid rules of inference]]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.1.3

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.

.

(i.e. It is not because everything is empty of inherent existence that everything is completely non-existent, not dependently arisen, not functional , not logical, random, chaotic. There is room for direct perception, logical reasonings, inference, …)



.

The meaningfulness of valid cognition: Moreover, an object such as water is perceived directly by a mind or sensory faculty that apprehends it. And if it is ascertained through a valid inferential cognition from a mark that is complete in the three aspects, just as it is determined, the object is infallible with respect to both engagement and disengagement. So, although it is not one-sidedly established under its own power, it is not meaningless to posit "valid cognition," because although it is posited for a contextual object like water, it is infallible in engaging and disengaging both mundane and supramundane objects.

.

L9: [6.2.2.2.2.2 Other systems cannot dispose of faults [a system where the basis for each of the six realms perceptions are mixed together in the same object]]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. The same object cannot contain the six basis for the perceptions of all six realms. This theory leads to absurdity.)



.

Other systems cannot dispose of faults: Therefore, as a mere indication, the stated convention of "basis of perception" is made for a single instance of water with respect to human vision, without depending upon [the vision of] other beings, who see that water in different ways. For the gods a single [instance of] nectar is apprehended as the basis of perception. But if and when hungry ghosts, humans, and gods each see the different substances of pus, water, and nectar in the water of a single vessel, not all three [perceptions] are assembled in the mind of each being. Because the human does not have the dominant karmic influence of the other two beings, pus and blood do not appear, and the same goes for the other two beings. If that vessel has the three substances [according to our purvapaksa], and if when the human drinks from it the three become water, when the hungry ghosts drinks from it the three become pus, and when the god drinks from it the three become nectar, then, among those three, which would be the basis of perception, and which a valid cognition? Which would be deluded, and which an invalid cognition? For they would all become each other, like the appearances of a dream.

.

Thus, if those three were identical but not valid cognitions, there would have to be another substance other than those three that might serve as the basis of perception of those three and that could not be established through valid cognition. Therefore, for that reason, it would not be possible to establish any of those three objects of vision, nor a basis different from them, by valid cognition.



.

Accordingly, if this water seen by a human were filled with the six types of non-water substances, such as pus and nectar, it would be unreasonable, because something different from [water] cannot be water. Therefore, a human's seeing [the vessel] filled with a flow of water would have to be completely impossible as a valid cognition. Thus, since there would not be invalid cognitions of seeing that water as another substance, like pus, it would seem that in that tradition the ways of positing "valid" and "invalid" cognitions would be unreasonable, wouldn't it?

.

L9: [6.2.2.2.2.3 A special reasoning for our own system's disposal of faults:]



L10: [6.2.2.2.2.3.1 Explaining the contextual establishment of valid cognition without referring to grades of defilement by causes of perceptual error [even if all perception are relative to the individual or collective karma, there is still the notion of getting closer and closer to the way things really are, which is defined as the only common basis possible: the inseparability of appearances and emptiness]]

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.3.1.1 Explaining that an object perceived by an unflawed sense faculty established for oneself is established as valid]

.

###


6.2.2.2.2.3.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. So even if ultimately all perceptions are conditioned by accumulated karma, it is conventionally accepted to call valid perception, one that is not fooled by relatively temporary conditions. It is just never absolute.)



.

For that reason, there are no external things that are established as valid without depending upon each other. However, that object of a sense faculty that is not flawed by adventitious causes of error must be established as valid in relation to flawed perception. For example, the water perceived by a human being's unflawed eyes is established as valid, and the perception of water in a mirage by flawed faculties is posited as invalid.

.

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.3.1.2 For that reason, in relation to defilement, what is sometimes perceived by humans as water is established as valid]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.3.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. We always judge other’s perceptions and judgments in our own frame of reference, conditioned by our own accumulated karma.)



.

Although water and mirages are alike in appearing as water, they are respectively true and false, flawed and unflawed. Thus, for a particular hungry ghost, when the fault of karmic obscuration that causes pure water to appear as pus is dispelled, the appearance of pus then appears as water. Therefore, those two [appearances]—the water seen by a human, and the faulty perception of hungry ghosts and so forth, which is a cause of suffering for them—are, respectively, valid or mistaken appearances. In this way the water that is free of defilement should be established as valid.

.

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.3.1.3 Otherwise, it would not be established according to deceptive or ultimate truth]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.3.1.3

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.

.

(i.e. Anyway we have to realize that whatever frame of reference we have, it is never an absolute impartial basis. It is always dependent on our own accumulated karma, thus empty of inherent existence. There is no absolute basis to judge all appearances, reasonings, logic, …)



.

In any case, all of these impure karmic appearances are just erroneous appearances of [karmic] propensities if one analyzes them with a final, ultimate reasoning. There is not one that is established by way of its own nature. Although pure and impure appearances are equivalent in their way of lacking intrinsic nature, if, from the perspective of conventional analysis, a hungry ghost removes the obscuration that causes the appearance of pus, there will be only a perception of water. And likewise, for some pure disciples, pure realms and Buddha bodies will appear. Therefore, human experience is not exclusively or one-sidedly viable as valid cognition, because in relation to the higher [form of experience, that is, pure vision] it is flawed.

.

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.3.1.4 Therefore, in dependence upon the lower, the higher is established as valid [the arrow of progress]]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.3.1.4

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,

.

(i.e. But, even if everything is relative, there is still the notions of better or worst perceptions and reasonings conventionally. There is still possible progress along the path, like a direction pointing toward Enlightenment. And this “direction” is defined relative to the very ultimate view of a Buddha. And this is imperfectly defined as “perceiving the Two Truths and their inseparability”. The more we get to this very ultimate view, the better it is. It can also be defined as “the further we get from all extremes”. – Note: this very ultimate truth, the way things really are, is still beyond conceptualization, but it seems that by pointing toward the mood, we have at least accepted a direction.)



.

Therefore, it is reasonable to accept as valid the vision of progressively higher forms of perception over lower forms of perception, because the conditions of karma that obscure the [final] meaning where actual nature and appearance are concordant become progressively worse [the lower one goes].

.

The Bodhicaryavatara says:



Yogis, by the difference of their minds

Progressively refute lower [types of minds].

The idea is the same here.

.

L10: [6.2.2.2.2.3.2 Establishing final valid cognition through the reasoning of dharmata [a unique point of view that is taught to be superior]]



L11: [6.2.2.2.2.3.2.1 Because suchness is unitary, self-cognizant pristine awareness is established as a single valid cognition]

.

###



6.2.2.2.2.3.2.1

The valid cognition that sees only it

Is likewise unique; a second type is impossible.

.

(i.e. Ultimately there is a unique transcendental vision without faults. The vision of a Buddha: that which we call the inseparability of appearances and emptiness; of dependent origination and emptiness … the perfect Union of The Two truths. Knowing that we are just pointing at the moon. But it is reasonable to assume that there is one and that it is unique. – That is Mipham’s position here.)



.

Thus, when the ultimate result of the path is made manifest, there is no second to the unique suchness of the object, the dharmadhatu, and there is also only one valid cognition that sees in that way, namely, gnosis. A second, dissimilar object or valid cognition is impossible.

.

The Avatara says:



There is nothing else to do; reality does not admit of divisions,

And likewise, what perceives reality is not differentiable.

.

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.3.2.2 Therefore, it is reasonable for samsara and nirvana to have their origin in unawareness and awareness [relative to this unique truth]]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.3.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. So, since all perceptions are dependently arisen, conditioned by accumulated karma, thus empty of inherent existence; and since seeing this one becomes free from any attachment or fear; then we can define samsara as unawareness of this (ignorance), and Nirvana as awareness of this (wisdom). The final vision of a Buddha is knowing the real nature of appearances as they arise, being aware of the way the mind work, and not being fooled by it. – Purifying our body, speech and mind consist simply of realizing their real nature and their inseparability. That is the meaning of the inseparable three kayas.)



.

Therefore, this abiding reality, ultimate reality, is unique; it is the coalescence of appearance and emptiness, or suchness. The way to cognize it validly is by self-arisen gnosis. The root of all that which must be abandoned for it [to arise] is nothing other than the single fact of unawareness. Thus, the only thing that obscures abiding reality is unawareness, and samsara depends upon it. When the self-radiance of the gnosis of awareness is manifest, without relying on any other support, the unawareness to be abandoned is purified automatically, and the three kayas are spontaneously present. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that samsara and nirvana have simply awareness and unawareness as their roots.

.

The great glorious Rong zom said:



Therefore, aside from the fact of conventionally designating knowledge and misknowledge as mental afflictions and purified constituents, all dharmas have no entity whatsoever to be removed, nor any entity to be added.

.

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.3.2.3 The strength of the great glorious Rong zom is in [uniquely] establishing apparent objects as deities in that manner]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.3.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. So in order to purify our perceptions toward this unique destination, there is the practice of perceiving all appearances as mandala of deities.)



.

Therefore, as explained above, with respect to this type of valid cognition it is reasonable for the perceptions of these sentient beings to be mistaken. This establishment of apparent objects as naturally being mandalas of deities is little known in the New Translation schools (i.e. I don’t think so; this seems common in all Tantra traditions), and is the unique tradition of the Early Translation school. This emphasis is the eloquent lion's roar of the great pandita, the omniscient Rong zom.

.

On that, the great glorious Rong zom said:



Hungry ghosts see a river as pus. But one of them might say, "My friends! This river of pus, which hungry ghosts like us see as if filled with pus, is seen by humans to be a river of water! If those who enjoy it as water dedicate it to us, then even we hungry ghosts will see it as water and be able to enjoy it. This the very same water that we have, on occasion, been able to find in the past." Likewise, I have heard that the bodies and enjoyments that appear in accordance with human [perception] are seen by some very pure persons as mandalas of deities, and according to the way of secret mantra, they are taught actually to be mandalas of divinity. Someone might then say, "My friends! These appearances of ordinary enjoyments that humans like us perceive are, according to the vision of pure persons, the mandalas of deities. If those who have the power to enjoy the domain of purity bestow spiritual boons upon us, we human beings also will see this domain [of ordinary objects] as divinity and be able to enjoy it, just as persons like myself, who have occasionally gained spiritual accomplishments [in previous lives], have been able to reach the domain of divine [experience]."

.

L11: [6.2.2.2.2.3.2.4 Others do not have reasoning established in this way, so whatever claims they make are contradictory]



.

###


6.2.2.2.2.3.2.4

Other [systems] do not explain [this] point correctly;

In this respect whatever other systems say is contradictory.

.

Elsewhere, in other philosophical systems, no explanation whatsoever is made according to this way of authentic reasoning, which in this tradition establishes the great pure equality of actual and potential phenomena. And it goes without saying that they have nothing to say [about it on the basis of] realization and meditation. Therefore, whatever positions other philosophical systems uphold in the context of this [particular discussion of] the view and meditation are all seen to be contradictory to reason and scripture, [Mipham] says.



.

This is the same as what the Avatara says:

Elsewhere, this Dharma

Is not present, and likewise

The system presented here is not found in other [systems]—

The wise should be certain of this!

.

L6: [6.2.3 Emptiness and appearance are not something to view separately:]



L7: [6.2.3.1 A synopsis [Inseparability of appearances and emptiness]]

.

###



6.2.3.1

The claim that the common object of perception

Is either appearance or emptiness is untenable.

.

The claim that the common object is exclusively appearance, or exclusively emptiness, is not correct, because of the faults explained below.



.

L7: [6.2.3.2 An extensive explanation]

L8: [6.2.3.2.1 Emptiness [alone] cannot be a basis of perception]

L9: [6.2.3.2.1.1 Refuting that emptiness is something to perceive]

L10: [6.2.3.2.1.1.1 The consequence that space, vases, and so forth, both entities and non-entities, would be the same]

.

###



6.2.3.2.1.1.1

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?

.

If the object of perception were merely emptiness, for that reason any being would be able to [perceive] it. And if an exclusive emptiness could appear or were the basis of appearance, then the consequence would be that non-apparent space would also appear as a vase. If exclusive emptiness were not capable of appearing, an apparent vase would also not appear like space, because its basis of appearance is that [emptiness]. Therefore, if a mere emptiness without appearance could be an object of perception, why wouldn't it appear? It should appear.



.

L10: [6.2.3.2.1.1.2 They would be the same in being causeless]

.

###


6.2.3.2.1.1.2

Things would either be permanently existent,

Or become entirely non-existent, being causeless;

Either way, it is the same.

.

Also, things like vases and so forth would be either permanently existent or permanently non-existent. If an exclusive emptiness fit to be a basis for appearance were simultaneous [with the appearance], they would have to be completely identical; and if it were not simultaneous with the object, they both would have to be completely distinct. Therefore, the reasonings adduced for causelessness all apply in this context as well.



.

L10: [6.2.3.2.1.1.3 If the basis of perception were emptiness, it would contradict appearance]

.

###


6.2.3.2.1.1.3

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.

.

Also, in this way, as the occasion for [there being a] basis of perception is [the fact of] emptiness, the karmic appearances of individuals would not appear. Like rabbit horns and cattle horns, those two [appearance and emptiness] exclude one another as existence and non-existence, respectively. If there were something non-empty, it would contradict the position of a mere emptiness as the basis of appearance.



.

L9: [6.2.3.2.1.2 That fault does not apply to us:]

L10: [6.2.3.2.1.2.1 Setting up the fault]

.

###



6.2.3.2.1.2.1

"Well, didn't you say earlier

That appearance and emptiness are not contradictory?"

.

"Well then, how is it that you said before that 'non-empty' and 'appearance' are non-contradictory?"



.

L10: [6.2.3.2.1.2.2 Disposing of it]

L11: [6.2.3.2.1.2.2.1 They are contradictory as the object of a conventionalizing valid cognition]

.

###



6.2.3.2.1.2.2.1

Here, the object of visual perception is understood

In the context of conventional valid cognition,

For which existence and non-existence are contradictory;

.

Here, in the context of demonstrating that the claim that emptiness is the basis of perception is problematic, since the mutual exclusivity of appearance and emptiness is made with reference to the way visible objects are [objects of] valid cognition, the absence of a basis of appearance and the presence of the appearance of karma are contradictory, insofar as one is existent and the other is non-existent. Because they cannot combine in a single substratum, there is a problem.



.

L11: [6.2.3.2.1.2.2.2 How they are not contradictory as the object of gnosis, which sees the abiding nature of things]

.

###


6.2.3.2.1.2.2.2

On the basis of a single thing the two truths

Are non-contradictory only for gnosis.

.

(i.e. Appearances and emptiness are inseparable; not different, not the same; non-dual: not two, not one.)



.

The non-contradictory coalescence of both truths, appearance and emptiness, on the basis of one entity is the context for ascertaining the ultimate object of the equipoise of gnosis. Therefore, if one can discern it in that way, there is no fault of contradiction in our way of expressing it.

.

L8: [6.2.3.2.2 A non-empty appearance [alone] cannot be a basis for perception:]



L9: [6.2.3.2.2.1 Claiming that it is impossible]

.

###



6.2.3.2.2.1

If a mere appearance bereft of emptiness

Were not viable as the basis of appearance,

That appearance could appear any which way;

.

If an exclusive appearance without emptiness were not viable as a basis of appearance or perception, [or] if that kind of non-empty basis of appearance were possible, it would have to be established in truth, and from that fact alone all the various objects of knowledge that are karmic appearances could not appear.



.

L9: [6.2.3.2.2.2 Explaining the reason for that]

L10: [6.2.3.2.2.2.1 If there were an indistinguishable appearance, cognizing validating cognition would be impossible]

.

###



6.2.3.2.2.2.1

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 one had to say that this kind of non-empty appearance of a basis of perception is the way an entity's own nature appears, then one could not posit a distinct appearance such as water [as the basis of perception]. An appearance that is indistinguishable from its basis has no way of being made to appear to a mind, and thus cannot be thought, so that kind of appearance is not established as the basis of appearance. It has no basis in scripture, and to say that something "exists" without perceiving it with a valid cognition is nothing more than a claim, like claiming the existence of a thoughtless actor.



.

L10: [6.2.3.2.2.2.2 If there were a distinguishable appearance, it could not be a general basis of perception]

.

###


6.2.3.2.2.2.2

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.

.

Moreover, if the thing that appears is distinguished by its identifying characteristic (rang mtshan) [as in the case of liquidity and water, pus, etc.], it could not appear in any other way but with that [characteristic]. As [the root text said] earlier, "For a common object that appears according to [various perceivers]/ Distinct appearances are not possible." Therefore, that distinct appearance cannot be a basis of perception, because it is an exclusive appearance that is not empty of its own essence. Therefore, not only is that kind of appearance not conventionally viable as a basis of perception, ultimately an exclusive appearance is also not reasonable. If there were such a thing, it would be immune to rational analysis. Among knowable things, this kind of thing—heavier than the hundred thousand vajra mountains of analytical reasoning and able to withstand them—is not possible, even in the slightest degree.



.

L10: [6.2.3.2.2.2.3 None of the specific possibilities is suitable to be a common basis of perception]

.

###


6.2.3.2.2.2.3

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.

.

Even if one believes it to be a non-empty appearance, whether one takes the basis of perception to be the water, pus, nectar, etc., of humans, ghosts, or gods, etc., it will be contradictory. How is that? If that water were pus, how could it appear as water for humans? It is not reasonable. If it is not pus, but water, it is reasonable for humans, but how would it appear as pus for ghosts and nectar for the gods? You might think, "That which appears as the object for ghosts is essentially water." Then even if it appears as pus for ghosts, you would have to accept that it [the pus] is non-existent, because its essence is water.



.

L7: [6.2.3.3 A summary [they are inseparable]]

.

###


6.2.3.3

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.

.

A summary: For all those reasons, the basis of appearance of whatever appears to various perceivers is not a separate exclusive emptiness, because if it were, the appearance and the basis of appearance would be different. For example, a pillar and a vase would exist individually while having a single basis of appearance, and if they were not different [from the basis of perception], the above-mentioned fault would apply to them.



.

L6: [6.2.4 The necessity [of ascertaining the common object of perception in our system] [the “pure vision / Yidam yoga”]:]

L7: [6.2.4.1 Briefly explaining how, by ascertaining [finding out with certainty] the common object of perception, [which is the coalescence of inseparable appearance and emptiness,] one goes to the heart of the authentic philosophical system [the Great equanimity, the goal]]

.

###



6.2.4.1

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.

.

(i.e. Non-duality = great equanimity: Everything is already pure in emptiness, or in the coalescence. So seeking the coalescence is the equivalent of gradually purifying our perceptions; or purifying our body, speech and mind. In Vajrayana this is done by developing the “vision of purity”. Since this vision of purity is in accord with the goal, it is efficient by itself, and by its feedback it permits to gain confidence in this goal: the equality of the coalescence.)



.

As explained above, since neither appearance nor emptiness taken alone and exclusively is viable as a basis of perception, the coalescence of inseparable appearance and emptiness, or the illusion-like appearance that is inseparable from the expanse of emptiness of true existence—that and that alone does not, as a cause, fall into either of samsara or nirvana; nor does it fall into the partiality of appearance or emptiness. All dharmas of samsara, nirvana, and the path abide primordially in equanimity, in the great equal taste of the coalescence free of any extreme of existence or non-existence. Therefore, in the innate spontaneously present equanimity of the Great Perfection, the meaning established by the three valid cognitions, which is the actual basis of perception, is ascertained by refuting, positing, and abandoning. Then one should realize the way the nature [of things] abides in the basis.

.

L7: [6.2.4.2 The extensive explanation:]



L8: [6.2.4.2.1 By ascertaining [finding out with certainty] the basis of perception, [which is the coalescence of inseparable appearance and emptiness,] one acquires an excellent certainty in the meaning of mdo, sgyu, and sems [gaining confidence about “pure vision” as taught in Tantrayana]]

L9: [6.2.4.2.1.1 Attaining confidence in the meaning of the vajra words of the Great Perfection of equanimity]

.

###


6.2.4.2.1.1

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."

.

(i.e. Having ascertained [found out with certainty] the common object of perception, [which is the coalescence of inseparable appearance and emptiness,] one has real confidence on this “vision of purity” as used in Tantrayana. Both have the meaning of the Great Equanimity beyond all extremes, beyond samsara and Nirvana.)



.

Thus, in the context of the self-composing, effortless path of cultivating that way of realizing the basic abiding character of reality, one must first cut off one's doubts on the path of both scripture and reasoning. Reasoning [here] means relying upon pure vision, for which the abiding and apparent natures are concordant. When the coalescence of the great equal taste is manifest, one experiences according to that kind of vision, so one does not have to abandon ordinary appearances and cling to antidotes. One has no doubts about the manner of letting everything rest in its own nature of self-liberation. Scripture here means that, when one attains an inviolable, extraordinary confidence through experiencing what is called in the Atiyoga tantras "the pure dharmakaya of actual and potential phenomena," one's mind connects with the meaning of the scriptural corpus that is the vajra pinnacle of luminosity.

.

The Kun byed rgyal po says:



However things appear, they are one in suchness.

Here, nobody fabricates anything.

In that sovereign of uncontrived equanimity,

Without abiding, the primordial dharmakaya is spontaneously present.

.

L9: [6.2.4.2.1.2 Discovering the intention of the Magical Net Tantra]



.

###


6.2.4.2.1.2.

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].

.

(i.e. So this “pure vision”, this great equanimity, is based on this “inseparability of appearances and emptiness”.)



.

Because one abides in the great exalted dharmakaya, which is the inseparability of the truth of the abiding nature of things, then, as it says in the Magical Net of Vajrasattva, "Right now, the five aggregates, which as mere appearances are empty of true existence, are illusion-like appearances of the indivisible suchness that is naturally pure, and appear as the divine mandala of the five families and five gnoses." One attains confidence in the sense intended by the magical net of inseparable thought and deity.

.

The Le lag says:



In the illusory gnosis of the five aggregates,

The five self-cognizant families of method are emanated.

.

L8: [6.2.4.2.2 Explanation of the reasoning that establishes their final intent on the nature of things [justification of “pure vision”]]



L9: [6.2.4.2.2.1 The actual reasoning that establishes that]

L10: [6.2.4.2.2.1.1 Showing what the final valid cognition is through gradually purifying sullying obscurations [gradually realizing the inseparability of the Two Truths is equivalent to gradually purifying our body, speech and mind, or gradually purifying our perception]]

.

###


6.2.4.2.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. Just by developing this “vision of purity" artificially in the beginning, it gradually permits to see things with a vision more and more in accord with the goal; or one sees more and more the illusory nature of appearances. The proof is in the pudding … by trying it. Ultimately this leads to the realization of the coalescence. But this has to be done in stages.)



.

Thus, the proof that pure vision is a valid cognition is completed by analyzing in this way: when a person cultivating the path has reversed the tendencies of the lower realms that cause the experience and apprehension of pus, which is a delusive appearance, one realizes that apprehension of pus to be delusion, and that appearance of pus to be sullied (bslad pa). When one is free of clinging to appearances, the previous appearance is purified and water appears. And by cultivating the path further, for the yogi that appearance of water is somewhat further purified compared to the previous appearance. In general, because sullied appearances are impure, when they have been gradually purified, the great bodhisattva sees each of the atoms of water as numberless pure Buddha fields, and water appears as the great mother Mamaki. When it is touched, it performs the action of moistening, and when it is enjoyed, the bliss of samadhi and non-conceptual gnosis are produced, etc. It is manifestly apparent as a pure appearance of support [entity] and supported [experiences of it].

.

Then, when one has cultivated the path in its entirety, on the bhumi where the two obscurations and their propensities have been abandoned, one consummates the character of perfectly pure vision in the great equal taste of samsara and nirvana, the basic abiding nature of pure equal coalescence.



.

The Uttaratantra says:

Sentient beings and bodhisattvas

And tathagatas are said to be

Impure,

purified of impurity, and

Extremely pure,

in stages.

.

L10: [6.2.4.2.2.1.2 The way in which our position, which accords with that way of seeing, is established as the culmination of all vehicles [the final result is pure vision, or great equanimity, so it is the ultimate valid cognition]]



L11: [6.2.4.2.2.1.2.1 Other than just that pure vision, there is no other authentic final reality of things]

.

###



6.2.4.2.2.1.2.1

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

.

(i.e. It is in accord with the goal. Realizing the great equanimity and seeing everything as pure, is the same as the perfect Union of The Two Truths, the coalescence.)



.

For that reason, on the bhumi of the consummated fruition, all actual and potential phenomena are seen as the great extraordinary dharmakaya, the inseparable [two] truths of pure equality, which has abandoned all obscurations and their tendencies without exception. Since, aside from the pure vision, free of the cataracts [of delusion], which knows the actual nature of things unerringly, there is nothing else, one should accept that alone as a valid cognition and ascertain the view [accordingly].

.

The Avatara says:



Just as the perception of one with cataracts

Cannot challenge the cognition of one without cataracts,

Likewise the intellect that is bereft of stainless gnosis

Cannot challenge the stainless intellect.

.

L11: [6.2.4.2.2.1.2.2 Explaining conventional valid cognition according to the cognitive [mode] of that [pure vision] [Buddha-nature]]



.

###


6.2.4.2.2.1.2.2

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."

.

(i.e. It corresponds to the real non-dual nature of everything. Everything is equal in emptiness, or in the coalescence.)



.

That very vision that is bereft of the two obscurations and free of defilements is held to be the ultimate valid cognition beyond all contextual valid cognitions. Moreover, since all the various appearances are primordially contained in the profound and vast Dharma essence that has the nature of purity, there is the statement that "they abide in the dharmakaya Buddha nature." This is the meaning established by the ultimate validating cognition. This is precisely the intention of the Great Perfection of the supreme secret bindu, the pinnacle of all vehicles of sutra and tantra. By relying upon the presence of perfectly pure scripture, it is proven for those honest individuals who have the guiding eyes of reason.

.

L10: [6.2.4.2.2.1.3 Showing that other [systems] cannot realize it in this way]



.

###


6.2.4.2.2.1.3

Moreover, this vehicle has thousands

Of wonderful rays of light.

The low-minded, like spirit birds,

Are as if blind to it.

.

(i.e. But it is something hard to accept for ordinary people, this purity of everything. So most people will reject the teachings of the Tantrayana because of lack of faith in this “vision of purity”. But we have proven here that it does make sense because it is in accord with the goal.)



.

This extremely profound vehicle is supported by that particular crucial point of establishment, and the result that is acquired through hundreds of efforts in other vehicles is here shown spontaneously, without effort. That vehicle, like the orb of the sun, "does indeed have the beautiful rainbow body, the unique teaching of the king of vehicles." But, because it possesses a thousand light rays of amazing and wonderful qualities, most people, like spirit birds with inferior lineages and dull faculties, are as if blind and cannot easily understand it.

.

The Lord Maitreya said:



Their aspirations are low, and their faculties are extremely dim.

They are completely surrounded by unworthy friends, so

How can they accomplish, without aspiration,

This Dharma, which is explained in a profound and vast way?

.

L9: [6.2.4.2.2.2 Cutting off doubts:]



L10: [6.2.4.2.2.2.1 This authentic meaning of the abiding nature of things can arise as anything, so one cannot prove that the subject (chos can) only appears as a deity]

.

###



6.2.3.2.2.2.1

Although it cannot be incontrovertibly proven

That the final space of equality

Only appears as divinity,

.

(i.e. The way we see everything depends primarily on our accumulated karma. One may see deities, another may see anything else. It is not because appearances varies with the individual that the ultimate nature is not purity, or non-duality, the coalescence … It is exactly because everything is empty that everything can appear differently, and that everything is ultimately pure.)



.

There, with regard to how appearance manifests from the basic expanse of the equality of samsara and nirvana, the final nature of things, one cannot prove that deities ought to appear to everyone without appearing otherwise, because it is not contradictory for [the basic expanse] to appear as anything whatsoever. Nagarjuna said, "Everything works for him/ For whom emptiness works."

.

L10: [6.2.4.2.2.2.2 The ultimate deity of dharmata is the inseparability of the expanse and gnosis, so it is not challenged by an ultimate analysis]



.

###


6.2.4.2.2.2.2

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,

.

(i.e. So once one has purified his perception, purified his body speech and mind, what is left in the inseparable appearances and emptiness, is the appearance of an originally pure deity. It is not nothingness; that would be the extreme of nihilism. And it is nothing that is inherently existing either; that would be the extreme of realism. So that is the basis of the pure vision where one sees oneself as a deity, and everything else as pure mandalas. That is the basis of the so called Buddha-nature.)



.

Moreover, in general all aspects of discordance between reality and appearance are the neganda of any path or form of reasoning. Both the dharmadhatu, which is by nature primordially pure, and the self-radiance of that dharmadhatu, the apparent aspect that is the body of gnosis, are by nature inseparable. Therefore, not only is the apparent aspect—which is primordially pure as divinity—not negated on the path, it is also not harmed by an ultimate analysis. By virtue of the fact that, however much one analyzes it, one is made to see the empty nature of gnosis, the two obscurations are purified, and one is made to see the aspect of clear appearance as the arising of the self-radiance of emptiness. For example, it is like the purification of gold by fire.

.

On that, Nagarjuna also said:



The sutras teaching emptiness

That were spoken by the Buddha

All reverse mental afflictions.

That faculty [the Buddha nature] is not harmed.

.

And, the Lord Maitreya:



The ultimate limit is devoid

Of all kinds of fabrication;

Afflictions, karma, and ripening

Are said to be like clouds.

.

L10: [6.2.4.2.2.2.3 Therefore, the vision bereft of the two obscurations is the object established by the two valid cognitions]



.

###


6.2.4.2.2.2.3

For the expanse of coalescent form and emptiness,

Which is free of the two obscurations,

Is the final suchness of things.

.

(i.e. That establishes the parallel between the purification of the two obscurations and the realization of the inseparability of the Two Truths using the two valid cognitions. So valid cognitions would not invalidate pure perception, and Buddha-nature.)



.

For which reason is it not harmed? The perfectly pure vision that has abandoned the two obscurations and their tendencies, which are the things to be abandoned on the path, is the primordial expanse of the coalescence of appearance and emptiness; precisely that is the final object established by the two valid cognitions. Therefore, since it is the result of accomplishment, it is not something to negate.

.

Thus, the Wish-fulfilling Treasury says:



Statements to the effect that "In establishing ultimate reality, there is no appearance" are meant to indicate that, conventionally speaking, the object thus established is authentic. But it should not be understood to mean that [ultimate reality] is truly existent over and against that [appearance]. For this would contradict statements above and below, such as "In the expanse, appearance and emptiness are inseparable; thus, that reality is called inseparable."

.

Thus, since earlier and later statements are contradictory, they should be understood according to the teaching of inseparability, which is explored exhaustively in the eighteenth chapter [in this text, the Yid bzhin mdzod} .



.

L8: [6.2.4.2.3 Purifying obscurations [advice to purify the stains of the mind for which reality and appearance are discordant]]

L9: [6.2.4.2.3.1: A précis]

.

###



6.2.4.2.3.1

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.

.

(i.e. The result is beyond all analysis, all conceptualization, all karma formation. All appearances of the six senses are always like illusions, conditioned by accumulated karma. In that sense our body, speech and mind have to be gradually purified.)



.

If, unlike above, one takes this self-centered intellect as a valid cognition, no matter which aspect one exclusively analyzes, be it appearance or emptiness, it is not the final meaning. As one does not completely abandon the two obscurations, the subjective intellect has defilements, because as long as one does not integrate the object of cognition, the two truths, the abiding and apparent natures of things are in all respects discordant.

.

The Samadhiraja says:



Eyes, ears, and nose are not valid cognizers.

Likewise the tongue and the body are not valid cognizers.

If these sense faculties were valid cognizers,

What could the sublime path do for anyone?

.

L9: [6.2.4.2.3.2 [The extensive explanation:]]



L10: [6.2.4.2.3.2.1 Because the subject is pure, the way the appearance of the object arises is pure]

L11: [6.2.4.2.3.2.1.1 The actual [explanation]]

.

###


6.2.4.2.3.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. This suggest that the way to finally see everything as pure is to purify the subject first – to purify our own body speech and mind – to purify our perception. By ultimately realizing the real nature of our own body, speech and mind, everything will be seen as pure inseparable appearances and emptiness.)



.

Therefore, contextual appearances of the path appear as a mixture of pure and impure. Practicing the path is like purifying a defect of the eyes—for instance, removing a cataract—in that purifying the subject's stains likewise purifies the object. Internally, when the subject is purified of stains, externally there is no object that is not purified. For that reason, from the form realm up to omniscience there is no difference in the naturally pure state.

.

The Sutrasamuccaya says:



The purity of form should be considered as the purity of result.

The resultant purity of form becomes the purity of omniscience.

The purity of the result of omniscience and pure form

Are the same as the element of space and are indivisible.

.

L11: [6.2.4.2.3.2.1.2 Cutting off doubts]



.

###


6.2.4.2.3.2.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. The same thing, the same experience, can be samsara for one, and Nirvana for another. Everything depends on the way we see things, on our ignorance or wisdom. So it is not about the purity of the objects of perception, but about the purity of the perception, of the perceiver.)



.

In that way, if an individual practices the path, in his own perception all dharmas are manifestly fully enlightened, and at that time there is only pure appearance, but that doesn't mean that impure things—the animate and inanimate universe—will not appear to other individuals, since sentient beings who do not practice the path are themselves obscured by self-appearing obscurations. For example, to purify the eyes of another person does not benefit the person with cataracts.

.

L10: [6.2.4.2.3.2.2 Therefore, advice that the stains of the subject must be purified]



L11: [6.2.4.2.3.2.2.1 Advice to purify the stains that obscure the abiding nature of things]

.

###



6.2.4.2.3.2.2.1

Thus, although object and subject

Are originally pure,

They are obscured by adventitious defilements,

So one should strive to purify them.

.

(i.e. Although we are the unborn Buddha-nature, we are still conditioned by accumulated karma because we still don’t understand its true nature, we are still fooled by our perceptions because we still haven’t realize their true nature. So realizing the real nature of everything is like a gradual purification of our own body, speech and mind. Then everything becomes pure.)



.

Therefore, both subject and object—the object-possessor and clinging to ordinary appearances—abide in the non-dual equanimity that is naturally pure from the beginning. Nonetheless, when one misunderstands that and errs due to extrinsic conditions, one is obscured by adventitious stains of the way things appear. Therefore, the advice is given that one should strive diligently with one's three doors in the methods for purifying those kinds of obscurations.

.

The Varttika says:



This is the nature of things; other than this,

By other causes, one will err.

The opposite also depends upon the condition,

Like the unstable mind that perceives a serpent.

.

L11: [6.2.4.2.3.2.2.2 In the authentic meaning, stains to be purified are not established]



.

###


6.2.4.2.3.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. But it should be understood that this purifications is just an image; there is no real stains to remove, no real purification. Those stains are also empty of inherent existence, like illusions, and that is part of what has to be realized. There is ultimately nothing to get, nothing to drop or reject or remove. So purifying the stains is to see their real nature, to see that everything is inseparable appearances and emptiness.)



.

Thus, though the "stain to be purified" is conventionally stated—like, for example, a rhinoceros [skin] vessel, which has no hairs—stains are perfectly pure insofar as they are empty of their intrinsic essence; otherwise, there are no impure substances. Though the term "adventitious" is applied conventionally, the fundamental nature of things is the beginningless luminosity of equanimity.

.

The Uttaratantra says:



Because sentient beings are realized

To be just the peaceful dharmata

Because they are naturally completely pure,

They are primordially liberated from affliction.

.

L9: [[6.2.4.2.3.3 ??] 6.2.4.2.3.2.2.3 The summary:]



L10: [6.2.4.2.3.2.2.3.1 One is bound in samsara by the nescience of ignorance]

.

###



6.2.4.2.3.2.2.3.1

A childish person whose mind is attached

Is an ignorant child whose ignorance enslaves him;

.

(i.e. In short samsara is due to the ignorance of the real non-dual nature of everything, ignorance of the pure coalescence beyond all conceptualization. This is presented as impure body, speech and mind.)



.

Thus, when the abiding reality of the way the various karmic appearances appear, such as water, pus, nectar, and so forth, is not understood, those children who are fooled by apprehending self and other, and so forth, are foolish children attached and clinging to things such as the appropriating aggregates. As long as they are thus fooled, they will be bound by that ignorance.

.

The Sutrasamuccaya says:



The lowest, middling, and greatest sentient beings

Are all arisen from ignorance, said the Sugata.

From the gathering of conditions, the machine of suffering is produced.

That machine of ignorance neither is exhausted nor increases.

.

L10: [6.2.4.2.3.2.2.3.2 How one achieves liberation through the gnosis of awareness]



.

###


6.2.4.2.3.2.2.3.2

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.

.

(i.e. In short Nirvana, abiding in equanimity, is due to the wisdom of the real non-dual nature of everything, having realized the pure coalescence beyond all conceptualization. This is presented as the pure inseparable body, speech and mind of a Buddha.)



.

If one realizes the mode of abiding of those modes of appearance, all dualistic dharmas—oneself and others, samsara and nirvana— are purified in the equal taste of samsara and nirvana, the coalescence of the two truths, and one reaches the haven of the ultimate fruition. Because, in the fundamental expanse of the primal purity of the three times and timelessness, there is no fruition arisen from an extrinsic cause; self-arisen gnosis is victorious over all fabricated phenomena.

.

That same text says:



The bodhisattva who knows relativity

As birthless and stainless with this analytical wisdom

Will vanquish the darkness of ignorance and attain the self-arisen

Just as the cloudless sun dispels darkness by radiance.

.

L8: [6.2.4.2.4 The benefits [analysis of the Two Truths ? confidence ? pure vision technique ? entering the range of Buddhahood]]



L9: [6.2.4.2.4.1 By taking such a position, one gives rise to tolerance for the profound meaning]

L10: [6.2.4.2.4.1.1 From the dharmata, which does not exist anywhere, things can arise anywhere]

L11: [6.2.4.2.4.1.1.1 The actual explanation]

.

###



6.2.4.2.4.1.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. The basis for the practice of “pure vision” is already established by showing the necessity to stay away from all extremes, which is based on correct reasonings.)



.

Thus, this way of positing the great indivisible pure equality of apparent and potential phenomena as explained above is already well established by the three types of validating cognition. Because the partial extremes of appearance and emptiness are not established anywhere, it is possible for pure self-effulgence to arise anywhere from the great vast expanse free from extremes. And when distorted by conditions, it is possible for impure appearance to arise anywhere.

.

The Madhyamakalamkara says:



As for the nature of things,

By following the path of reason,

One eliminates the claims of others,

So their criticisms are pointless.

.

L11: [6.2.4.2.4.1.1.2 The inappropriateness of other reifications for that]



.

###


6.2.4.2.4.1.1.2

However else you look at it,

Nothing can appear anywhere.

.

(i.e. There is no other way to look at it that would pass through the ultimate reasoning. Seeing everything as pure is the same as staying away from all extremes, the same as the Buddha’s equanimity.)



.

Otherwise, for the positions that maintain an exclusive emptiness or an exclusive appearance as the basis of perception, and so forth, aside from whatever is falsely mentally imputed on the actual object, nothing else can arise.

.

That same text says:



Wherever there is no entity,

There is nothing that knows it.

.

L10: [6.2.4.2.4.1.2 Explaining from the perspective of gaining confidence in that]



L11: [6.2.4.2.4.1.2.1 Generating profound tolerance through realizing emptiness as dependent origination]

.

###



6.2.4.2.4.1.2.1

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].

.

(i.e. The way to gain certainty in this “pure vision” method is by analyzing the Two Truths and their inseparability. Developing this certainty, one can practice equanimity and pure vision more easily.)



.

The way to gain confidence in this object or way, which is extremely esoteric and beyond narrow-minded perception, is this excellent and profound path, where emptiness and dependent origination are inseparable. If through the path of the coalescence of the two valid cognitions one acquires certainty in the way divided fabricated appearances are, like illusions, inseparable from emptiness, then, regardless of how delusion and liberation, etc., appear, in the self-arisen mandala that is the basis of apparent and possible phenomena, which is beyond increase and decrease, one generates from the core of one's being a fearless tolerance in all the profound and inconceivable objects of dharmata, such as the fact that by attaining nirvana the limits of samsara are empty, and by not attaining it the limits of existence do not fail to be emptied, and so forth. (i.e. “The pure perception practice is gained through faith and devotion. You could try other methods, too; meditation is also very good.” – the first one if the guru-yoga…, the other one is the path of the coalescence of the two valid cognitions.)

.

The mDo sdud pa. says:



The entrances to gnosis, methods, and all roots

All arise from the supreme perfection of wisdom.

From various conditions, the machine of gnosis issues forth.

In the perfection of wisdom, there is no exhaustion or increase.

.

L11: [6.2.4.2.4.1.2.2 That can engage the cognitive domain of the Buddhas]



.

###


6.2.4.2.4.1.2.2

In the width of an atom

One sees as many Buddha fields as are atoms,

And in a single instant an eon appears.

With certainty in the absence of true existence

Which is like an illusion,

One can enter the range of Buddhahood.

.

(i.e. So these are the steps: one has to gain confidence in the method using correct reasonings (as explained in previous topics), then use “pure vision” (of Tantrayana as explained in topic 6) to progress much faster.)



.

Not only that, by that entrance to tolerance of the profound object, in the space of a single atom one sees as many pure lands as there are atoms, without the atom becoming larger or the pure lands becoming smaller. And in a single moment, one can see an entire eon, without the moment becoming longer or the eon shorter. By this very certainty in the absence of true existence, which is like an illusion, one can enter the inconceivable domain of the Buddhas.

.

The Avatara says:



Empty things, such as reflections,

That do not depend upon aggregation are not known to exist.

Just as form from empty reflections, etc.,

The form of a cognition is produced,

Likewise, though all things are empty,

From emptiness itself they are produced.

.

L9: [6.2.4.2.4.2 If one has no karmic connection, it is difficult to realize]



L10: [6.2.4.2.4.2.1 The specifics of the Dharma terminology of the tradition of the early translations]

.

###



6.2.4.2.4.2.1

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.,

.

(i.e. But to go through the steps required to gain this certainty is not easy. One has to have the required capacity, the predisposed karma to be able to start and progress.)



.

Thus, the creative expression of the primordial basis appears of itself, without distinction [of location]; at the time of arising, there is equality without differentiation or extremes; from the inconceivable basic expanse of equality, phenomena appear in every which way; at the time of appearing they are not established in reality in any way whatsoever; and thus, appearance and emptiness are coalescent. The meaning of these statements, which express the philosophical system of the early translations, is indeed difficult to fathom.

.

L10: [6.2.4.2.4.2.2 Without a karmic connection, one will have no interest (mos pa) in it]



.

###


[6.2.4.2.4.2.2]

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.

.

(i.e. And the required karma to be able to go through it all. Somebody can be very intelligent in ordinary sciences, business or Hinayana, but be completely incapable of understanding even the most basic concepts of Mahayana, and possibly totally against anything like Tantrayana. And that is extremely sad.)



.

Though one disciplines the three doors of the bodily support, which lasts about one hundred years, and contemplates [the teaching], if one doesn't have a ripened cause or karmic connection from previous cultivation [of the path], then even if one has a great mind and is not a lowly person, and has both innate and acquired wisdom, that alone will not suffice for understanding. For example, it is like the Hinayanist who has consummated both innate and cultivated wisdom, but who cannot comprehend the Mahayana.

.

Glorious Candra said:



When this is explained, someone who has previously cultivated this frightening, profound meaning will definitely understand it, while another person, even if greatly learned, will not be able to comprehend it.

.

L7: [6.2.4.3 The summary:]



L8: [6.2.4.3.1 An explanation of the greatness of this establishment of the view of our system]

.

###



6.2.4.3.1

Thus the hundred rivers of elegant explanations

In which flow the quintessences

Of all philosophical systems

Pour into this great ocean, which is amazing.

.

(i.e. So it all comes down to realizing the real non-dual nature of our own perceptions, or our own body, speech and mind; of purifying them.)



.

Therefore, although the sutric and tantric philosophical systems have various ways, according to context, of inducing their particular [forms of realization], this great ocean, wherein enter the great rivers of elegant explanations of the one hundred holy Dharmas that deal with the ultimate profundities, is the most wonderful.

.

From the bShad rgyud rdo rje:



The continuum of the ocean of individual teachings

Is taught here, is taught by this, is taught on account of this.

Because all meanings are completely perfected here,

It is explained as the "universal scripture."

.

L8: [6.2.4.3.2 Summarizing by explaining the difference between abiding and apparent natures]



.

###


6.2.4.3.2.

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.

.

(i.e. So there are many adapted skillful means and temporary views along the path; but this coalescence is the final view. Although it is still just pointing at the moon conceptually.)



.

The basic mode of appearance where appearance and abiding natures are not concordant, as well as other appearances at the time of the path, are not certain, are deceptive, and appear with fluctuations, such as happiness and suffering. Therefore, they cannot be relied upon. By directly seeing the true sublime meaning that is not deceptive—the unfabricated gnosis that is the coalescence of the two bodies, the final stage of the path where appearance and reality are concordant—one attains the realm of the changeless, and one can rely upon it.

.

I say:


By preparing the maksa of deluded karmic appearances,

One does not see the excellent pure gold of the apparent basis.

Though one debates [the alchemical virtues off ice, fat, butter, and so forth,

This charcoal of analysis obviously only colors oneself.

.

.

.



.

.

.



*******************************************************

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

.

L1: [9.7. Topic 7 [No absolute, only adapted skillful means – no absolute position, but a conventional position about a view (the inseparability of the Two Truths), a path and the result // the Great Perfection’s meditation]]



.

(Résumé of Topic 7: This topic is about the validity of assuming a dharmata, an absolute real nature of everything: either by calling it emptiness, or the Two Truths, … Or by assuming that we should have no position at all.

.

Some might say, like the Consequentialists, that one doesn’t need to adopt any conventional position of their own, but only adopt the opponent’s position in order to show its absurdity from the inside. But with the Great Perfection, one adapt a conventional position consisting of a view, a path and a result.



.

The conclusion, is that we need adapted skillful means and views, but that we should not take any of them as the absolute truth which is beyond all conceptualization.

.

So we need to use the Two Truths, then realize their emptiness, then transcend this duality. On the path we need both together all the time; one alone is never enough. And without them together we fall into one extreme or another.)



.

L4: [[0.2.2.3.] Third, in the analysis of whether the great Madhyamaka has a position or not [explanation of the view of dharmata, which recognizes its nature as equality]]

L5: [7.1 The question [whether it, the great Madhyamaka, upholds a position on the conventional level, since it doesn’t have one at the ultimate level]]

.

###



7.1

When analyzing whether or not there is a position

In the Great Madhyamaka of non-elaboration,

.

Having already determined that the great Madhyamaka, which is a facet of the "Middle, Mudra, and Perfection" triad (dbu phyag rdzogs gsum), has no position vis-à-vis ultimate reality existing or not existing, etc., the time has arrived to discuss the question of whether it upholds a position on the conventional level.



.

L5: [7.2 Extensive discussion of its meaning]

L6: [7.2.1 Refuting the system of earlier [philosophers], which exclusively asserts that it is without a position. [No absolute position, but a conventional position on a view, a path, and a result]]

L7: [7.2.1.1 Positing other philosophical systems [rejecting all positions]]

.

###


7.2.1.1

Earlier scholars univocally stated

That our own Madhyamika system has no position,

Because existence, non-existence, being, and non-being

Do not exist anywhere.

.

(i.e. Like: They do not abide in any position as absolute because the very ultimate truth is beyond conceptualization. No absolute, only adapted skillful means.)



.

The earlier [philosophers] of Tibet uniformly followed the meditative equipoise upon ultimate reality of the noble ones, which does not uphold either of the two truths, because it is utterly without any particular adherence to being, non-being, both, or neither, and existence, non-existence, and so forth. They said that, in reference to the worldly deceptive [reality] of others, "we have no such position."

.

L7: [7.2.1.2 Explaining how they are opposed to our own Prasangika tradition [They do have a position on a view, path and result]]



.

###


7.2.1.2

In our texts, all the philosophical explanations

Of path and result and relativity

Are accepted as our own position [i.e. conventionally], so

To say that all conventions are only set forth

From other people's perspective

Is to contradict both the words and the meaning.

.

(i.e. But they do accept conventional truths as conventional; they do use adapted skillful means and useful progressive views. But these are never accepted as absolute. So, in that sense, to say that they reject all positions is to miss the point. The Middle Way is: not accepting, not rejecting. Conventional truths are not inherently existing, but they are not completely non-existent either. That would be nihilism. – And they have a conventional position, the inseparability of the Two Truths. They do accept a view, a path, and a result … conventionally. They do not only use Prasanga after adopting the opponent’s position.)



.

Although it is reasonable to maintain that the ultimate Madhyamaka has no position, if one maintains that exclusively, there is a problem, because it contradicts the textual tradition of the Prasangikas. The [latter's] way is explained in our own tradition's texts, the Madhyamakavatara and the Bodhicaryavatara. [There] the basis is the two truths, the path is the perfection of the dual accumulation on the five paths and ten stages, and the result is incidental as well as conclusive. Conventionally, or deceptively, all dharmas exist as dependent originations, and for that reason our own system accepts all positions of the Madhyamika philosophical system. That being the case, to attribute all conventional positions to the perspective of other worldly beings' manner of perception would be to contradict both the words and the meaning of our Prasangika textual tradition.

.

L6: [7.2.2 Discussing the origin of our own system, which proceeds by way of differentiating [the meaning of the expressions] "with" and "without a position" [The Middle Way: not accepting any position as absolute, not rejecting all positions as useless]]



.

L7: [7.2.2.1 Earlier systems are a mixture of good qualities as well as faults [jumping from one extremes to the other]]

.

###


7.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. To accept a position, or to reject all positions, these are the two extremes that the Middle Way warned us about.)



.

As for that system, the victorious Lord Klong chen Rab 'byams bzang po said that, on the subject of whether the Prasangika Madhyamaka has a position or not, earlier philosophers such as Pa tshab and his four sons, and so forth, each adhered one-sidedly to either the position that there is, or that there is not, a position, and that each of those systems of explanation had both its faults and its virtues. If one maintains those positions one-sidedly, one should understand their faults according to what is explained above and below.

.

L7: [7.2.2.2 Analysis of the position of our own system, which eliminates those faults [staying away from the two extremes about positions; not accepting, not rejecting]]



L8: [7.2.2.2.1 When one determines that nothing is established in reality, one has no position [not accepting any position as absolute]]

.

###



7.2.2.2.1

Thus, when approaching the nature of reality,

Nothing is established in the original state;

What then is there to accept as a position?

.

(i.e. Everything is dependently arisen, thus empty of inherent existence. So all views are flawed. Grasping at any view, any concept, is still grasping, creating karma and the cause for more suffering. Rejecting everything, thinking everything is non-existent, or useless, or from the mind only, is still a position.)



.

For the reason stated above, in Klong chen pa's interpretation, emptiness and dependent origination are in a state of equality, (i.e. Inseparability or non-duality of dependent origination and emptiness. None of them is the absolute truth, nor both, nor neither. Staying away from the four extremes.) and when one determines the nature of things that is free of all extremes of elaboration, none of the four extremes is established in any way whatsoever. So how could one hold any position about that nature of things vis-à-vis the two truths? It would be unreasonable. Therefore, a "philosophical system" [grub mtha'] is a way of determining just how things exist in reality, because it posits or maintains a system [that describes] that [reality]. Moreover, when debating the establishment of the view as a basis, and so forth, on that second occasion there is no position [of non-position] maintained when it is said that "In the nature of things, there is no position whatsoever."

.

L8: [7.2.2.2.2 When one establishes the system of the path and result in apparent reality, one distinguishes the two truths and maintains them [as a position] [not rejecting all positions as completely useless]]



.

###


7.2.2.2.2

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."



.

(i.e. So one should not accept anything as absolute, nor reject everything. Conventional truths and adapted skillful means are still very useful.)

.

Also, with respect to the manner of appearance in the aftermath of meditation, according to the texts of the Prasangikas there is a philosophical system consisting of, for example, the triad of basis, path, and result. The establishment of these, whichever and however they exist, is carried out without confusing them, and they are asserted as a position. "Henceforth, if Tibetan [scholars] are able to analyze and expound according to this system, it shall be by dint of my own elegant treatise, the White Lotus Commentary to the Wish-fulfilling Treasure" he [Klong chen rab 'byams] said.



.

L6: [7.2.3 Refuting other systems that one-sidedly maintain that there is a position to maintain [Staying away from extremes like reifying the duality of the two truths]]

L7: [7.2.3.1 Setting up the philosophical systems of others [the dualism of the Two Truths]]

.

###



7.2.3.1

In that respect, some Tibetan scholars

Established and overestablished the fact that

Their own systems had a position.

.

In Tibet, some scholars, such as gTsang pa, maintained that the Madhyamika system has a position. In dependence upon that one-sided view, some scholars in the Land of Snow proved over and over again that their [Madhyamika] system has a position. They distinguish the two truths by saying that ultimate reality is emptiness and deceptive reality is not empty of itself, thus establishing the point of view that there is a position.



.

L7: [7.2.3.2 Secondly, refuting that view:]

L8: [7.2.3.2.1 In general, it contradicts the view of the Prasangika school to say that there is a position]

L9: [7.2.3.2.1.1 Explaining and analyzing the reason for that]

L10: [7.2.3.2.1.1.1 Establishing a sign that it is difficult to assert a position [how could we have an absolute position since everything is relative to its context]]

.

###



7.2.3.2.1.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. All views, all theories, are relative to their own little context, and never absolute.)



.

If one maintains that there is a position without specifying a context, there is a problem. Because in the actual state of things, existence and non-existence are not established, and it is difficult for there to be an unequivocal position, because if one analyzes, there is nothing to maintain as a position. If the referent of excluding judgment is something merely existent, it is not the nature of things.

.

The Prajnamula says:



There is an end, there is no end, and so forth, the four positions:

How can there be any peace in these?

.

L10: [7.2.3.2.1.1.2 Explaining the reason for that [the Madhyamaka is a toll to show the absurdity of all views, not an absolute position]]



L11: [7.2.3.2.1.1.2.1 In our Madhyamika tradition, the object of ascertainment is the ultimate nature of reality]

.

###



7.2.3.2.1.1.2.1

If you say "Madhyamaka is our system,"

It should refer to the way that the Madhyamika system

Approaches the ultimate meaning.

.

(i.e. Madhyamika is a tool, not an absolute final view.)



.

As for "our Madhyamika system": having thoroughly analyzed the view of reality that is free of extremes, what is settled on [subsequent to] that [analysis] is the final meaning that is ascertained in the Madhyamika philosophical system. For that analysis is what causes one to know just what to contemplate in our [Madhyamika] tradition.

.

L11: [7.2.3.2.1.1.2.2 Whatever else is not established from that perspective is not our own system]



.

###


7.2.3.2.1.1.2.2

Anything else is not our own system,

Because when other systems are approached

By a Madhyamika, they cannot be established.

.

(i.e. It is a tool to deconstruct all other views.)



.

Aside from that, "our system" is not anything like what is known to a worldly old man. Why is that? Because, if we Madhyamikas investigate with that valid cognition of rational knowledge about ultimate reality, and do not maintain any system of conventionality in that respect, it goes without saying that those "other" things, for example, false theoretical imputations of philosophical systems, are not established.

.

L9: [7.2.3.2.1.2 How the point under consideration is harmed by reasoning [all views are ultimately empty, even the view that all views are empty: so we should not accept, nor reject]]



L10: [7.2.3.2.1.2.1 If our system had any position, then it would consequently be ultimately established]

.

###



7.2.3.2.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. They do not accept any position in the sense of accepting it as absolute.)



.

For that reason, if a Prasangika Madhyamika analyzes and maintains each of the two truths individually as the ultimate reality that is empty of being truly existent from the perspective of a valid cognition of rational knowledge, and as the deceptive reality that is not empty of being established by valid cognition, then the mere conventional appearance that is not investigated or analyzed would not be ascertained relationally, but should, by dint of [valid cognition], be analyzed and accepted as a position, precisely because it would be established by the force of reasoning. An empty non-entity that is maintained as a position [according to such a Madhyamika interpretation] would not be established in relation to entities, but would be ultimately existent. And deceptive realities would not just be what is renowned in the world, but would be immune to analysis and not empty of themselves, because they would be understood in the context of rational valid cognitions (rig shes kyi tshad ma)—for example, like the paratantra of the Vijnaptimatrins. Thus, the commentary to the Avatarabhasya says, "therefore, because it depends upon other things, what I maintain is not established by its own power."

.

L10: [7.2.3.2.1.2.2 If not, it would contradict the statement that we do have a position]



.

###


7.2.3.2.1.2.2

If our own system had no position,

This would contradict the statement,

"We do have a position

[That accords with worldly renown]."

.

(i.e. They do accept conventional truths as conventionally established. No more, no less.)



.

If such a way of explanation, vis-à-vis our own Madhyamika system, had no position, then it would contradict the extreme establishment of the aspect of saying "we do have a position."

.

L8: [7.2.3.2.2 Regarding the internal contradiction of the two truths: [the problem with the duality of the Two Truths]]



L9: [7.2.3.2.2.1 A question about whether or not we have a position on analysis and non-analysis]

.

###



7.2.3.2.2.1

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?

.

(i.e. The fault of taking position for emptiness as the ultimate truths, and the rest as conventional truths. That is dualism.)



.

[Someone objects:] If in our own Madhyamika system ultimate reality is emptiness—which is the analysis of [existing entities] into nonreality through a valid cognition of rational knowledge—and deceptive reality is not investigated and not analyzed, then we would have two positions. If both of them are true, then is "our system" one or the other of these, or both of them?

.

L9: [7.2.3.2.2.2 Refuting the answer to that]



L10: [7.2.3.2.2.2.1 If our system were one or the other, then each would contradict the other]

.

###



7.2.3.2.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. To accept emptiness as absolute, and reject conventional truths, is impossible, because one cannot exist without the other.)



.

If, according to the first alternative, [our system were each of the two truths] separately, each would contradict the statements regarding [the other truth], as well as the received statements of our own Prasangika corpus. If in our Madhyamika system there were no existent to posit, and everything were posited as unreal, then the positing of something "existent" would not be possible, even according to deceptive reality. If this were the proper system of Madhyamaka, then it would have to posit only non-existence.

.

L10: [7.2.3.2.2.2.2 If it were both, showing its untenability]



L11: [7.2.3.2.2.2.2.1 If it were both, both would consequently be resistant to analysis]

.

###



7.2.3.2.2.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. To accept the dualism of both of them being real, like saying that both dependent origination and emptiness are real, is also impossible because conventional truths cannot resist ultimate analysis.)



.

Moreover, if our Madhyamika system did not posit them separately, but posited them both at the same time, since all lower systems and any position whatsoever, when analyzed, are the same in not resisting analysis, if we had no position, our way of thus having a position [of no-position] would posit a basis that is not refutable by reason, in the empty space left over once you have refuted all things not resistant to analysis. Thus, both [truths] would become resistant to analysis.

.

L11: [7.2.3.2.2.2.2.2 And there would be no point]



L12: [7.2.3.2.2.2.2.2.1 Both of those cannot combine]

.

###



7.2.3.2.2.2.2.2.1

Accordingly, both existence and non-existence

Cannot be mixed together;

.

(i.e. It is also impossible because then it would mean that existence and non-existence can exist simultaneously.)



.

According to that way of positing a claim, those two objects cannot possibly be combined together. A non-existent that withstands analysis cannot combine with an existent, and likewise an existent that withstands analysis cannot be combine with a non-existent either.

.

L12: [7.2.3.2.2.2.2.2.2 Even if they could, it could be proved meaningless from each side]



L13: [7.2.3.2.2.2.2.2.2.1 Even if one realizes that exclusive emptiness, it does not cut off attachment to deceptive reality, so analysis becomes futile]

.

###



7.2.3.2.2.2.2.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Conventional truths are not resistant to ultimate analysis. If it were then this would not help us at all.)



.

If a combination were possible, then even if at the time that one realizes that things are unreal by means of reasoning that examines the nature of ultimate reality, does one still possess an understanding (rtogs pa) of deceptive existence or not? If one does, then just when one is not analyzing the nature of ultimate reality, one experiences (rtogs) something existing, so what good will an analysis of ultimate reality do to reverse the two kinds of self-apprehension? The consequence is that it would not benefit [the reversal], for the reason given earlier. Not only that: if we Prasangikas wanted to establish that conventional, deceptive reality is not harmed by reasoning, indeed is immune to reasoning, then wouldn't it be similar to the way in which the Svatantrikas reason, whereby conventional reality is proven to be immune to reasoning? For that would be similar to one's own position.

.

L13: [7.2.3.2.2.2.2.2.2.2 That apprehension of non-existence lacks the context of view, meditation, action, and fruition, so systems of conventionality become futile]



.

###


7.2.3.2.2.2.2.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. And if emptiness were the absolute truth,, then that would be equivalent of nihilism.)



.

Moreover, according to the second [alternative] : If, apart from that absolute negation that excludes the negandum, there is no nature of things—that is, appearance, or a combination [of appearance and emptiness]—and an understanding of existence is unnecessary, then it will never be possible for that modal apprehension to have an apparent aspect. Thus, for that Madhyamika system of ours, why wouldn't the view, meditation, and conduct all share the context of that conception of non-existence? They would, because one must cultivate oneself according to the nature of things [which would be non-existence].

.

L6: [7.2.4 Differentiating according to the quintessential [meaning] of our own tradition, namely, the way one settles in meditative equipoise [Transcending the duality of the Two Truths: not accepting it as absolute, not rejecting it as useless conventionally]]



L7: [7.2.4.1 Explanation of the Prasangika Madhyamaka, which emphasizes the non-conceptual ultimate [Ultimately we need to transcend the duality of the Two Truths]]

L8: [7.2.4.1.1 Explaining that, when one ascertains [ultimate reality] in accordance with the gnosis of sublime equipoise, the two truths are not established, and there is no position [The duality of the Two Truths (conventional truths vs. ultimate truth) cannot be the very ultimate truth beyond conceptualization]]

L9: [7.2.4.1.1.1 The pacification of elaborations in accessing the expanse of integrated appearance and emptiness [the view is established as the coalescence beyond all extremes, all conceptualization]]

.

###



7.2.4.1.1.1

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 non-elaborated Madhyamaka.

Because, by defining it according to

The gnosis of sublime equipoise,

All extremes of existence, non-existence, and so forth,

Are completely pacified.

.

(i.e. The very ultimate truth beyond all conceptualization, beyond the four extremes, cannot be the concepts of the Two Truths. We usually call this transcending the Two Truths, the Union of The Two Truths, or the coalescence, or the inseparability of appearances and emptiness. But all of these are still merely pointing at the moon.)



.

One hears that the great awareness-holder 'Jigs-med gLingpa said that in the context of Madhyamaka, one establishes the system of conventionality according to the Gelugpas, who uphold intrinsic emptiness, and that Lo chen Dharmasri of sMin-grol gLing established Madhyamaka in the context of extrinsic emptiness. Since they were both great scholars of the Nyingma tradition, I think they must have had their reasons for so doing. However, if one should ask whether the explanatory tradition of the Early Translation school accords with either of those, it does not; for it is said that those systems are just other [traditions'] explanatory systems. Therefore, our own system should be understood in accordance with the explanation of the White Lotus commentary to the Wish-fulfilling Treasure by the omniscient Dharma king Klong chen pa, [which propounds] the intention of our own unique system, the Prasangika Madhyamaka. In accordance with that commentary, the sun of philosophers who was identical to Manjusri, Mi pham phyogs las rnam rgyal, was able to unpack the meaning clearly and unmistakenly. He says that our own Madhyamika system, which integrates the intentions of the Prasangika masters and the Great Omniscient One [Klong chen pa], should be understood in this way: "Henceforth, if anyone knows how to explain it this way, it is by dint of my elegant composition [the White Lotus].''

.

Accordingly, if it is a qualified, non-abiding Madhyamaka of coalescence, it must be a great Madhyamaka that is the coalescence of appearance and emptiness according to the interpretive commentaries and essential sutras of the Buddha's final turning of the wheel of Dharma, or it must be the great Madhyamaka free from all elaborations of the four extremes, as taught in the sutras and interpretive commentaries of the middle turning. Having ascertained that way of accessing ultimate reality, which combines those two without contradiction in a manner homologous to the way in which the equipoise of sublime beings engages gnosis, the dharmadhatu of coalescence does not need to be understood in terms each of the two truths alternately [in order to] eliminate extremes, because it has the nature of complete pacification of all the very subtle elaborations of extremes, such as existence and non-existence. As it is said, "profound, peaceful, free of elaboration, luminous, unfabricated."



.

L9: [7.2.4.1.1.2 Aside from this, coalescence and absence of elaborations are pointless]

L10: [7.2.4.1.1.2.1 That mere emptiness is neither [coalescent nor non-elaborated]]

.

###



7.2.4.1.1.2.1

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;

.

(i.e. So emptiness alone cannot be the very ultimate truth that is beyond all conceptualization; it cannot be the Union of The Two Truths alone, or the so called coalescence. Reifying emptiness is one extreme. Reifying dependent origination is the other extreme. The Middle Way is to stay away from all extremes.)



.

For that reason, that path that takes emptiness alone as the path falls into one of the two extremes of appearance and emptiness, so that trivial view does not have the sense of the coalescence of the final turning, or of the non-elaboration of the middle turning.

.

L10: [7.2.4.1.1.2.2 Explaining each of them]



L11: [7.2.4.1.1.2.2.1 That mere emptiness does not have the sense of coalescence]

.

###



7.2.4.1.1.2.2

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].

.

(i.e. Emptiness alone is obviously not the Union of The Two Truths, since it is only one part of it. Emptiness alone is obviously not the very ultimate truth beyond all conceptualization since emptiness is a concept.)



.

One might wonder why there is no sense of coalescence here. The coalescence of appearance and emptiness is equal with respect to existence and non-existence, and has the nature of non-dual equality of the coalescence of appearance and emptiness. But here, this is just a subjective intentionally apprehensive consciousness that takes as its exclusive object the expanse of ultimate emptiness.

.

L11: [7.2.4.1.1.2.2.2 Does not have the sense of non-elaboration]



.

7.2.4.1.1.2.2.2 Likewise, elaboration is any and all types of reification of existence, non-existence, both, neither, permanence, impermanence, etc. Among those possibilities, the present case is not free of an elaboration of non-existence, because it takes that emptiness as its object.

.

L9: [7.2.4.1.1.3 Therefore, from the perspective of the great Madhyamaka, which investigates according to the nature of reality, there is no position [it is beyond all views, establishment or negation]]



.

###


7.2.4.1.1.3

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.

.

(i.e. No absolute truth that can be conceptualized.)



.

Since in that [exclusive emptiness] there is no sense of coalescence or non-elaboration, from the perspective of the great Madhyamaka free of extremes that encounters reality just as it is (gnas lugs ji bzhin 'jal ba), there is no position. Because the gnosis of sublime equipoise realizes the equality that is the coalescence of appearance and emptiness, it is free of all elaborations of establishment and negation, such as having and not-having, being and non-being. Therefore, when in that way one ascertains with a valid cognition of rational knowledge (rigs shes tshad ma), in accordance with the sense [of that form of cognition], all dharmas of samsara and nirvana are not established by reasoning no matter how they may be asserted to exist, and are thus not maintained according to any ontological extreme. The Teaching for Ocean-mind Sutra says, "Brahma, that dharma that is thoroughly non-established is not accepted as 'existence' or 'non-existence.'"

.

L8: [7.2.4.1.2 Setting up the system of the two valid cognitions conventionally, without confusing them [But the duality of the Two Truths and their inseparability is a useful conventional tool, pointing at something beyond conceptualization]]



L9: [7.2.4.1.2.1 In analyzing the manner of appearance from the perspective of a conventionalizing valid cognition, there is a position on the two truths]

L10: [7.2.4.1.2.1.1 The main point [both truths exists conventionally]]

.

###


7.2.4.1.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. But still useful conventional truths. And there is a truth that has to be directly realized beyond all conceptualization. And pointing toward this moon is the teachings of the inseparability of the Two truths.)



.

Thus, the fact that there is no position vis-à-vis the ultimate meaning of reality is proven by both reasoning and scripture, but from the perspective of the conventional valid cognition that analyzes things' manner of appearance, the two truths are posited.

.

The Meeting of Father and Son Sutra says:



You should not listen to others, but realize them for yourself, these two truths that are known by the world—namely, deceptive truth and ultimate truth. There is no third whatsoever.

.

Just as there are various modes of perception based upon a single cognandum, according to the way in which the meditative equipoise of sublime beings ascertains things—for which the way things are and the way they appear are concordant —there is an definitive ultimate truth, a reality (chod nyid) beyond all establishment and negation, not abiding in any extreme, which is the object of a non-conceptual gnosis. Thus, there is ascertainment of an ultimate truth that is free of extremes by means of a valid cognition that analyzes ultimate reality in accordance with that [gnosis of sublime equipoise], and there is also a deceptive reality, comprising objects and the subjects that perceive them, which are posited by a mind for which appearance and reality are discordant. All systems of things that are known or appear infallibly in the world for oneself and others—all dependently arisen appearances—are not destroyed and are not analyzed or investigated as to whether or not they exist ultimately; these are posited by conventional validating cognitions. The two truths that depend on those two kinds [of valid cognition] are each posited.



.

The Bodhicaryavatara says:

Deceptive and ultimate reality

Are held to be the two realities.

.

L10: [7.2.4.1.2.1.2 Explaining the reason for how it appears in that way [but they should not be thought as real, or existing independently of each other]]



L11: [7.2.4.1.2.1.2.1 The two truths as objects of engagement are only modes of appearance vis-à-vis their inseparability]

.

###



7.2.4.1.2.1.2.1

With respect to the gnosis that

Sees that they are inseparable, both valid cognitions

.

(i.e. Until we can transcend the duality of the Two Truths, we need both Truths together, virtuous methods and wisdom together, the two accumulations.)



.

Thus, the [conventions] of the two truths as modes of appearance are [mere appearances] in relation to the equipoise of sublime beings that engages the reality of the inseparable two truths just as it is. If, in the domain of an ultimate valid cognition, the objective non-elaboration—which is a conceptualized negation that is the exclusion of elaboration—is merely an appearance, it goes without saying that the establishment of deceptive reality visa-vis conventional valid cognition is also an appearance. Therefore, each of the two valid cognitions is merely an appearance, and their objects are not the actual ultimate.

.

L11: [7.2.4.1.2.1.2.2 The two valid cognitions that engage them are trivial vis-à-vis gnosis]



.

###


7.2.4.1.2.1.2.2

Are fragmentary, because with only one of them

Both realities cannot be apprehended.

.

(i.e. Because one alone is not enough; it would lead to one extreme or the other.)



.

In relation to the subjective gnosis that sees the meaning of the inseparability of the two truths, both of the two kinds of valid cognition that ascertain the two truths are apprehensive of an exclusive object, and are thus fragmentary. Neither by itself is capable of simultaneously comprehending the two truths.

.

L9: [7.2.4.1.2.2 In relation to the ascertainment of those two by means of two types of valid cognition, how [our] system is established [both are established by their valid cognition alternatively; but we should know that these two are inseparable]]



L10: [7.2.4.1.2.2.1 Each of the objects found by the ascertainment of the two ascertaining analytical wisdoms has its respective essence]

.

###



7.2.4.1.2.2.1

Therefore, if the wisdom of ultimate and

Conventional valid cognition

Both engage a vase, etc.,

Two essences are found.

.

(i.e. Until we can realize the perfect Union of the Two Truths, the coalescence, we will see the two truths alternatively. So we use one to counterbalance the extreme tendency of the other. One alone is not enough.)



.

For that reason, the valid cognition that posits systems of deceptive or conventional reality, and the valid cognition that analyzes the nature of ultimate reality are both forms of discriminating analytical wisdom. If one investigates a subject, such as a vase, with those two valid cognitions, the objects one finds are the two essences of "abiding nature" and "apparent nature."

.

Likewise, the Madhyamakavatara says:



By seeing all things with respect to their falsity and their true nature,

One will comprehend the two essences found in things.

Whatever is the object of authentic seeing is reality;

False seeing is said to be deceptive reality.

.

L10: [7.2.4.1.2.2.2 The position that the two truths to be ascertained are entered alternately]



.

###


7.2.4.1.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Until we can realize the perfect Union of the Two Truths, the coalescence, we will see the two truths alternatively. So we use one to counterbalance the extreme tendency of the other. Only a Buddha can see both simultaneously in a way that cannot be described with concepts.)



.

When one of those two realities is investigated, the other is not present. At the time of ascertaining ultimate reality by a valid cognition that investigates the nature of things, there is no position whatsoever on conventional, deceptive reality; and at the time of positing systems of deceptive reality, one must make one's position without investigating or analyzing ultimately. Since, as an ordinary person, one cannot go beyond an alternating investigation of the two truths, be it in considering the view or actually meditating, it is established that there are two positions—namely, the systems of the abiding nature of things and their modes of appearance, which are established from the points of view of the different validating cognitions.

.

L8: [7.2.4.1.3 Eliminating faults [We don’t have these faults and contradictions because we can distinguish between the conventional / path Madhyamika and the result Madhyamika beyond conceptualization – and aim at transcending the duality]]



L9: [7.2.4.1.3.1 Setting up the argument]

.

###



7.2.4.1.3.1

"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?"

.

"Well then," someone might say, "As far as your previous statements are concerned—criticizing later scholars for saying that there is a position, and criticizing earlier scholars for saying that there is no position, and also saying that in having a position, an internal contradiction between the two truths follows—those faults you have ascribed to others also belong to you as well, don't they?"



.

L9: [7.2.4.1.3.2 and eliminating its faults]

(i.e. There is another error in the numbering here.)

L10: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1 Actually giving the response, that there is no fault]

L11: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1.1 Summary of the specifics of the response, that both faults are absent]

.

###



7.2.4.1.3.1.1.1

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?

.

(i.e. We don’t have this fault because we can distinguish between the conventional / path Madhyamika and the result Madhyamika beyond conceptualization. Or between the coarse and subtle Madhyamika. Or the cause and the effect. Or the consciousness and the gnosis beyond consciousness. – In short, using adapted skillful means and also being aware of the emptiness of the three: subject, object, action.)



.

As for not having those faults, [Mipham says], I have made special distinctions—namely, the path Madhyamaka of meditative aftermath, and the principal (dngos gzhi) Madhyamaka of meditative equipoise. Those can be distinguished by degree of difficulty, as coarse and subtle; or by invariable concomitance, as cause and effect; or by reference to the subjective mind, as consciousness and gnosis. Thus differentiating by context both great and lesser Madhyamakas, the presence and absence of a position are variously determined. Because I have explained myself in that way, how can those faults of permanence and annihilation possibly apply to me?

.

Moreover, in the context of ultimate reality, you apply verbal qualifications, and thus discriminate between the two realities, so you have a position. In our system, at the time of determining the view in meditative equipoise of our own Madhyamaka, which is free of extremes and differentiation of the two truths, we have no position. And by differentiating the two validating cognitions, we differentiate two contexts for ascertaining systems of appearance in the aftermath, which involve positions. Therefore, all important points referring to the non-entailment of the two faults depend upon this kind of specification. I also think this is an important point for understanding the differentiation of Madhyamika systems in our own and other schools.



.

L11: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2 Explaining its meaning extensively]

L12: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.1 The first answer to the fault]

L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.1.1 Criticizing others who have a position [Ultimately we have no position]]

.

###


7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.1.1

Thus, the Great Madhyamaka

With no position is our ultimate system.

.

(i.e. Ultimately the duality of the Two Truths is also empty of inherent existence; it is not the very ultimate truth beyond conceptualization.)



.

As has been said above, because in ascertaining the great Madhyamaka free of elaboration there is no position established, our own final system of Madhyamaka is the explanation that there is no position whatsoever. The Prasannapada says, "If one is a Madhyamika, one does not make inferences according to an entity existing in common, because one has not accepted anyone else's position." The Yuktisastikas says, "The great-minded, who do not engage in anything, have no position [to defend]. How can whoever has no position have some other position?"

.

Therefore, whatever position one maintains, be it the side of appearance or the side of emptiness, fails to eliminate conceptualization of characteristics. As long as there is imagination and modal apprehension, there will be some fault, and whoever has no theses or positions to uphold will have no fault whatsoever. That very text [the Yuktisastika] says, "If I have some thesis, then I have this fault. Since I have no thesis, I am quite free of fault." The fact that one must elucidate the definition of "position" does not mean that one has a thesis and a position, because one has the thesis of not having the position or elaboration that characterizes the opponents' previously stated position, such as "produced" or "non-produced," etc. Thus, there is no fault whatsoever.



.

L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.1.2 Criticizing others who don't have a position, and the fact that their fault is also not applicable to us [Conventionally we have a position about a view, path and result]]

.

###


7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.1.2

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;

.

(i.e. But, still, the duality of The Two Truths, and its two valid cognitions, are useful adapted skillful means in order to fight the extreme tendencies, in order to help us to stay away from the four extremes. So we do not accept it as absolute, nor reject it as useless.)



.

Also, the faults that are shown to harm some others do not apply to us. Even though the Madhyamaka of meditative equipoise has no position, at the time of experiencing the aftermath, in reference to the mode of appearance of the basis, path, result, and so forth, the two truths appear to exist individually, without confusion. Then at that time it is not right to cast the aspersion of "non-existence." For that reason, from the perspective of the authentic experience wrought by the two distinct validating cognitions that cause the experience of both of the two truths, all conceptual elaborations adhering to philosophical extremes are eliminated. The correct establishment of all the systems of the path and result is for the purpose of eliminating all erroneous concepts in those contexts. Moreover, all biased views that adhere to notions of substantiality in Buddhist and non-Buddhist systems, as well as to existence and non-existence, are eliminated. On the basis of that ultimate reality, all good qualities of abandonment and realization are established, and assertions of the conventional non-existence of the path, result, and so forth, are eliminated. There is a position that maintains that all systems of basis, path, and result exist infallibly in their manner of appearance, and they are not something to be cast away as unnecessary.

.

Accordingly, the Prasannapada says, "Like a vessel for someone desirous of water, at first deceptive reality should definitely be accepted."



.

L12: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.2 The second answer]

L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.2.1 The internal contradiction and the fault of withstanding analysis do not apply in the context of ultimate reality [Ultimately the two truths are transcended, their Union is realized]]

.

###



7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. And, ultimately, the apparent opposition between the Two Truths, or between existence and non-existence, is transcended. They are seen as inseparable, non-dual: not two, not one. There is no contradiction like when one think that the duality of the Two Truths is real. But it should be clear that transcending the duality doesn’t mean to reject it completely, no more than to accept it as real.)



.

So at the time of experiencing the fundamental nature of all dharmas, there is no position whatsoever of establishment or negation.

.

From the dBu ma She rab la 'jug pa:



Both establishment and negation are just negated;

In fact there is no establishment or negation at all.

.

If you wonder why there is no position: In the fundamental nature of reality, both levels of truth are primordially without divisions or partiality. There is no fault whatsoever, either ontologically or psychologically, in saying that there is no position. Therefore, whichever of the two faults one implicates—either the internal contradiction, or immunity to analysis that establishes something in reality—that characterizes the systems of others who have positions about the differentiation of the two truths, in our tradition there is no fault of establishing something in truth, because there is no basis for the internal contradiction that arises from having no position, even though the two truths are dualistically perceived, nor is there a basis for [either of the two truths being] immune to analysis.



.

L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.2.2 They do not apply even with respect to deceptive reality [But conventionally they are established by their valid cognition respectively]]

.

###


7.2.4.1.3.1.1.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. So the Two Truths are used conventionally as adapted skillful means, but should not accepted as absolute, because they would not resist the ultimate analysis. Both are empty of inherent existence.)



.

Not only that, [the criticism] does not apply to deceptive reality. Even though we accept both truths on the conventional level— insofar as all dharmas have both a fundamental as well as an apparent nature— because this is accepted in reference to deceptive reality, and even though it is not ultimately established, as long as one is temporarily abiding in this apparent reality level, both levels of reality are true from the perspective of the validating cognitions that apprehend them. The non-contradiction of there being both an abiding nature and an apparent nature on a single basis is the nature (chos nyid) of things, so there is no internal contradiction. Thus, the two truths are posited as mere designations, but because they are posited without analysis or investigation [into their ultimate nature], the faults of being immune to analysis and so forth do not descend upon us.

.

L10: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2 Refuting others with that:]



L11: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.1 Having differentiated the abiding and apparent natures of a thing and differentiated appearance and emptiness, all designations are the deceptive reality of modes of appearance [But all of this is still only conventional truths]]

L12: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.1.1 Explaining that existing things and non-existing things (dngos dang dngos med) are not immune to analysis]

.

###


7.2.4.1.3.1.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. All dharmas of the three worlds are empty of inherent existence; there is no exception. This also applies to the Two Truths, to dependent origination and emptiness.)



.

So, in relation to the ultimate meaning, the dependently arisen psychosomatic aggregates, realms, and bases, etc., are things that are not immune to analysis, because they are neither one nor many, and because their non-substantialities, which are designated dependently, are likewise not immune to analysis, since they are designated in dependence upon entities. Therefore, in the final analysis, both substantiality and non-substantiality are equal in not being established, and are contextually dependent upon one another; they are just designated deceptive realities.

.

L12: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.1.2 Explaining that even though those two are posited as the two truths, they are [actually] modes of appearance]



L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.1.2.1 Explaining that uninvestigated deceptive reality is the way things appear]

.

###



7.2.4.1.3.1.2.1.2.1

Something that exists by consent, without investigation,

Is a mode of appearance, not the way things are;

.

(i.e. They are called the Two Truths, but they are also dependently arisen conventional truths empty of inherent existence. Merely adapted skillful means, antidotes to each other extreme tendency.)



.

Thus, a thing that exists merely because it is renowned in the world, without being investigated or analyzed, exists as a mode of appearance, but not in relation to its actual abiding nature. So there is no debate or doubt as to the fact of its being a deceptive reality.

.

L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.1.2.2 Explaining that unreality (bden med) is just conceptual]



.

###


7.2.4.1.3.1.2.1.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Even emptiness is dependently arisen, thus empty of inherent existence. It is dependent on the belief of inherent existence. Without the belief of inherent existence there is no more need for its antidote: the reasonings proving the emptiness of inherent existence.)



.

By analyzing that mode of appearance into unreality with a rational cognition, one sees an emptiness of absolute negation. That of course is held to be emptiness, the abiding nature of things. That functions as the counterpart of deceptive reality, or as the contextual ultimate reality in relation to it; but in relation to the final, non-conceptual ultimate, it is a mere non-substantiality. Moreover, it is just a conceptual ultimate, and an authentic deceptive reality.

.

The master Bhavaviveka said:



Without the staircase of authentic deceptive reality,

It is not possible for a wise person

To ascend the staircase

Of the great house of the ultimate.

.

The Ornament says:



If it depends upon conceptuality,

It is still deceptive, and not ultimate.

.

L11: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2 By explaining that abiding and apparent realities are without sameness and difference, one dispels other false conceptualizations [The two truths are not different, not the same]]



L12: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.1 The sameness and difference of appearance and reality]

.

###



7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. The Two Truths are not different, not the same, for the reason given here. They are non-dual: not two, not one. That is just a way to point toward the moon. No concept or sentence can really describe the very ultimate nature of everything. So to say that things appear one way, and are in reality another way, is to indulge into dualism.)



.

Then, if the above-mentioned ultimate, which is the way things are in reality, and the deceptive, which is the way things appear, are mutually exclusive, they should be ultimately different. Then, just as the Samdhinirmocana says, the four faults of the two truths being different would result: (1) Even if one directly realized the ultimate, the deceptive would not be included in it, and would have to be focused upon separately, so one would not obtain nirvana. (2) That ultimate that is different from deceptive reality would not be the dharmata of deceptive reality, as a vase is not the dharmata of a cloth. (3) The mere fact of a deceptive self not being totally established would not be an ultimate truth, just as a vase not being totally established does not make it a cloth. (4) Having realized ultimate reality and achieved nirvana, because one has imagined it separately from that deceptive reality, one will become afflicted again. It would be possible for both afflicted and purified constituents to exist simultaneously in the mind of a single person. These are the four [faults].

.

Those who have delved into the Samdhinirmocana should analyze the two truths of their own systems with this in mind. Also, if those two realities—the way things are and the way they appear, which appear as though not mutually mixed—were conventionally non-different, there would be the four faults of the two truths being identical, which are stated in that same sutra. To wit: (1) Ordinary individuals would see ultimate reality, because they see deceptive reality; (2) just as defilement increases in dependence upon deceptive reality, it would likewise increase in dependence upon ultimate reality; (3) just as there are no divisions in ultimate reality, there would be no divisions in deceptive reality; and (4) just as deceptive reality does not need to be sought apart from what one sees and hears, ultimate reality would be the same.



.

L12: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.2 Excluding misconceptions about that [sameness or difference]]

L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.2.1 In general, there are different systems according to the great and small vehicles]

.

###



7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. Everything is like that: not different, not the same. Even the duality sentient beings and Buddhas, even cause and effect.)



.

By explaining that the two truths are the abiding reality and apparent reality in that way, Buddhas and sentient beings are the abiding reality and apparent reality [respectively]. But in the Hinayana, Buddhas and sentient beings are held to be effect and cause, respectively. The [followers of the Hinayana] maintain that when a disciple in the lineage of sublime beings whose [spiritual destiny] is uncertain abides for a very long time and undergoes hardships on the path of the lesser vehicle as a cause, the result is the one supreme among two-legged creatures, who achieves the goal of perfect Buddhahood.

.

The Mahayana maintains that by practicing the path that is the antidote for the cloud-like mass of things that are to be abandoned, the final result is the Buddhas who have become free [of those things]. Having perfected and consummated the equality of primordial Buddhahood, which is the abiding nature of all appearances of samsara and nirvana, which are the apparent nature of things, apparent and abiding natures come into harmony, and they abide in the self-nature of utterly pure self-appearance. Nonetheless, that primordial Buddha nature that is the basic abiding reality of sentient beings is not understood [by those sentient beings]. For the sake of those who are worn out and daunted by searching for Buddhahood outside themselves, the Lord Maitreya taught that from the perspective of the three types of dharmata reasoning that are to be relied upon, it is established that the lineage of the nature of Buddhahood is present in the realm of sentient beings.



.

That kind of lineage undertakes the actions that achieve Buddhahood, and Buddhahood, in dependence upon the existence of the lineage in the realm of sentient beings, is proven to be manifest. If you wonder whether [sentient beings and Buddhas] are related as cause and effect, as taught in the small vehicle, the answer is no. Even if that were proven, because the apparent existence of things appears as cause and effect, nonetheless in the actual nature of things both Buddhas and sentient beings abide without distinction in the state of thusness. Likewise, if both dharmata or thusness that is unfabricated and sentient beings are non-different, then sentient beings must be Buddhas, because Buddhas are non-different from that [dharmata].

.

The Uttaratantra says:



Although it has adventitious ills

It has good qualities by its very nature;

As before, so it is after:

The changeless dharmata.

.

And:


Luminous, uncreated, and inseparable,

It is completely endowed with the dharmas of

Past Buddhas as numerous as

The sands of the Ganges river.

.

Thus, this oceanic realm of fundamental Buddha-dharmas, which is inseparable from the unfabricated luminosity that is the nature of mind, is an authentic reason [for inferring that sentient beings are Buddhas, etc.]. If it is unfabricated and inseparable, then there is no reason for establishing it anew. So the Buddha that is apparently the result [of some cause] is spontaneously present in the basis. If it had to be established anew, it would become fabricated, and thus it would not be an immutable refuge, etc.—such would be faults [of such a position].



.

Moreover, Rong zom Pandita said, in accordance with the meaning of the Ye shes snang ba rgyan gyi mdo:

The permanently uncreated dharma is the Tathagata;

All dharmas are like the Tathagata.

The infantile apprehend substantial characteristics

And always interact with non-existent phenomena in the worlds.

According to this statement, all dharmas are the Tathagata, because those dharmas that are permanently uncreated are the Tathagata, like the Sugatas of the three times. How are they similar? The Sugata is not distinguished by body, speech, and mind; [the Sugata] is distinguished by dharmata. For, the distinction of dharmata is said to be [that of] a "sublime being." Just as the sublime ones have attained sublimity through attaining the unfabricated, likewise all dharmas, by having attained the unfabricated, have attained suchness and are the Tathagata. The domain of characteristics is not like that. Although they are not as they seem, those who interact with them are just reacting to things that do not exist.

.

Thus, the crucial point of the first two reasonings depends upon this dharmata reasoning, so since it depends upon the ultimate dharmata, there is no need to look for another reason.



.

From the Praise to the Attainment of Omniscience:

Among reasonings, with respect to dharmata,

Among liberations, with respect to non-wavering,

Among wisdoms, with respect to omniscience,

You are supreme among the embodied.

.

L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.2.2 Therefore, as the Buddha nature is the definitive meaning [of all vehicles], it is not harmed by reasoning]



.

###


7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. Staying away from the four extremes concerning the duality of the Two Truths permit to solve apparent contradictions and absurdities. So the Buddha-nature, the possibility of Liberation, the usefulness of the path, apparent causality, … are not contradicted. This way, emptiness doesn’t contradict dependent origination, nor lead to nihilism.)



.

There is no error whatsoever in this kind of exposition. Insofar as both reality and appearance are not claimed to be either wholly identical or wholly different, if sentient beings are Buddhas, there is no implication that they should appear as such, for the previous reason. If they are Buddhas, there is no implication that they must all appear as such. You might think, "All the Buddhas now living in the ten directions either appear to you or, if they don't, [you] are obscured by obscurations"—all sentient beings abide in the [nature of] Buddhahood, and though they don't appear [as such], they are obscured by that obscuration. If you think, "Even though we haven't met the Buddhas, previously there were many people who met them and bore witness to [the possibility]." There are many people who have experienced the fact that sentient beings are Buddhas. For example, the Brahma [god] "Locks of Hair" saw this realm as pure.

.

Moreover, even if [sentient beings] are Buddhas, there is no implication that the five paths, ten bhumis, and two accumulations, which are the antidotes for abandoning obscurations, are pointless; for they are the method for manifesting the fact that [sentient beings] are Buddhas. If you think that since they have been Buddhas from the beginning there is no need to manifest that anew: well then, there would be no need to accumulate merit and purify obscurations for realizing emptiness, because from the very beginning [sentient beings] are emptiness, and since the effect resides in the cause, if one ate tainted food, there would be no harm. As explained before, there is a distinction between the systems of the Hinayana and Mahayana, and you would have to want to make this pretentious philosophical system of yours the same as the system of the Hinayana! Thus, in such a position [as we have here] there are no faults as described earlier, because of the speciousness of [your] scriptural quotations and reasonings.



.

L13: [7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.2.3 Showing that it is meaningful to purify the stains that obscure it]

.

###


7.2.4.1.3.1.2.2.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. So it is not because we have the Buddha-nature that we are already full Buddhas. We are still stuck in samsara, slaves of our illusions, obsessions, accumulated karma. But there is a way out as we can see now. All of this is to develop that certainty.)



.

Thus, the Buddha nature and emptiness are both obscured by the obscuration of karma, afflictive emotions, and ripening effect, so [we and the opponent] are in all respects the same in [maintaining that Buddhahood] is not apparent. Therefore, in order to abandon obscuration, both we and others assert that one must try to practice the path.

.

L7: [7.2.4.2 Explanation of the Svatantrika Madhyamaka, which emphasizes the conceptual ultimate that is easy to understand [The concepts of the duality of the Two Truths is very useful as long as we specify the context, and always consider both together. This permits to stay away from all extremes.]]



L8: [7.2.4.2.1 A general discussion of their exposition of the two truths [Until we can transcend the Two Truths, we need to realize both essences about anything; and that they are inseparable: not the same, not different]]

L9: [7.2.4.2.1.1 The claim that the two truths have one essence and different isolates]

.

###


7.2.4.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. The Two Truths are inseparable; not different, not the same; non-dual: not two, not one. To think that they are the same, or ONE, would not be wise.)



.

Thus, in this context of the great Madhyamaka, if you should wonder if, in analyzing whether or not there is a position in the coalescence that is free of extremes of elaboration, the Svatantrika system is discussed, the answer is of course that it must be explained, because both contexts of having and not-having a position must be demonstrated. Why is that? The fruitional Madhyamaka, which is the gnosis of equipoise, and the causal Madhyamaka, which is the analytical wisdom of aftermath, are individually distinguished as the Prasangika Madhyamaka, which from the start emphasizes the non-conceptual ultimate free of positions, and as the Svatantrika Madhyamaka, which emphasizes the conceptual ultimate that involves a position. [The conceptual ultimate must be discussed first, because then, on the basis of that,] one must explain the experiential confidence, etc., in the final, non-conceptual ultimate free of all positions.

.

You might think that the difference between the two is determined only with respect to the conceptual and non-conceptual ultimates. Indeed, in positing the differences between the views of [these] philosophical systems, this alone is the fundamental distinction. The claim that valid cognition is or is not established, whether or not the distinction of ultimacy is applied to the negandum, whether logical reasons are prasangas or autonomous syllogisms, and so forth, are just auxiliary distinctions. In brief, the Svatantrikas' way of explanation is to distinguish the two truths individually, and the Prasangikas' is not to differentiate the two truths, but to explain them as the being experienced by the two kinds of validating cognition. All the distinctions explained above converge upon this crucial point.



.

The glorious and great Rong zom Chos bzang said:

All dharmas are ultimately pacified of elaborations. Though one considers that there is no probandum whatsoever to be proven, the [tendency] to apprehend something to be abandoned or accepted as characteristics of authentic deceptive reality is an error in the extreme, and is cause for amazement.

.

And, from the Secret Commentary of the Great Omniscient One:



The Svatantrika Madhyamikas maintain that all dharmas are deceptively apparent, and that if one investigates them, they are ultimately without intrinsic nature. The dBu ma bden gnyis says, "This deceptive reality, which appears in this way; if analyzed with reason, nothing is found. It is the primordially abiding dharmata."

.

The Prasangika Madhyamikas maintain that whether one analyzes or not, all dharmas are pacified of all elaborations and free of any position.



.

The Avatara says:

While you claim that the paratantra is real,

I do not accept that deceptive reality [is real].

.

And:


If one differentiates that deceptive reality, there are both appearances that are not viable as they appear, like the reflection of the moon in water, and those that are viable, like the moon in the sky. Even if you analyze them, both authentic and mistaken (yang log gnyis ka) are equally appearances, and if you examine them, they are equal in not being established in fact. So to that extent, samsara and nirvana, actual and potential phenomena, abide in equality, without differentiation. Such an ultimate is beyond intellect, so in essence it is without differentiation. But if one were to loosely discern it intellectually, there the "emptiness with respect to the essence of dharmas themselves that is the actual ultimate," and so forth, and the birth of a mind that is free from elaboration in the yogi who meditates on that object, are called the conceptual ultimate. The bDen gnyis says:

The cessation of birth, etc.,

Is held to conform to the authentic;

The unborn, the pacification of all elaborations,

Signifies the ultimate.

.

Because just this is an object of the mind, it is explained as a definitive deceptive reality, and as a designation of ultimate reality.



.

Likewise, in the sGyu ma ngal so:

Here, proponents of true existence (dgnos smra ba) maintain deceptive establishment, and non-establishment ultimately, taking the two aspects separately. In that case, since dharmas are not established in their own context, it is not reasonable. For, from a mere intellectual concept of these two aspects of [non-existence and existence], there clearly manifests, on the basis of an appearance, a non-existence. And, by the thought that nothing is established, a thing does not become anything less [than what it is]. The system of the Prasangika Madhyamaka is this: from the moment of appearance, to be free of all positions is the quintessence of the Middle Way. Nagarjuna said:

Because its essence is just as it appears

Do not start analyzing this.

.

Whenever Mipham Rinpoche ('jam mgon bla ma) spoke of the Prasangika system or the difference between Prasangika and Svatantrika, he always based himself on Rong zom Pandita and Klong chen Rab 'byams.



.

Moreover, since these two truths of appearance and emptiness, which are the object of the validating cognition that analyzes the abiding nature or ultimate reality, are non-contradictory on a single basis—just as substantial entities, on their own ground, are not contradictory—the two validating cognitions that investigate them have search criteria (dpyod yul), which are conventionally existent, and ultimately non-existent, respectively. How could these be contradictory? They are not. Thus, although they only have one essence, the two isolates of appearance and emptiness are not mutually inclusive. Since they are different, they are formulated with two positions—those of deceptive existence, and ultimate non-existence.

.

L9: [7.2.4.2.1.2 The position that those two are equally potent, based as they are on [their respective] objects]



.

###


7.2.4.2.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. Until we can transcend the duality of the Two Truths and realize the Union of The Two Truths, the coalescence, we need both together all the time. We need to see those two aspects in everything, as inseparable. One alone is not enough.)



.

Therefore, on the basis of the foregoing explanation, as long as these two truths—appearance and emptiness—appear separately without being mixed, and the mind engages them thus, the isolate of appearance and the isolate of emptiness will be in all respects of similar value in being true and false, respectively. Thus one does not adhere one-sidedly to a position of existence or non-existence. From the realm of form to omniscience, they are equivalent.

.

L9: [7.2.4.2.1.3 Determining that the objects found by the two subjective validating cognitions are the two truths]



.

###


7.2.4.2.1.3

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.

.

(i.e. The two methods // correct reasonings: syllogism and Prasangika permits to find these Two Truths in everything. It is important to realize that one doesn’t negate the other.)



.

For those reasons, if one analyzes ultimately, one determines "non-existence," which is the emptiness of [establishment in] truth. And if one analyzes deceptively, one determines "existence," which is the apparent aspect established by validating cognition. These two are not established at the same time. In proving emptiness by negating true existence by means of an ultimate truth-validating cognition, one does not negate or establish appearances. In proving the infallible relativity of appearances, while negating permanence and annihilation, etc., one establishes the infallibility of dependent origination, but one does not negate or establish emptiness. Therefore, by alternating the two validating cognitions, whenever the two kinds of validating cognition meet with any object of cognition, the objects that are found or seen by them—the isolates of appearance and emptiness—are named or posited as the two truths.

.

L9: [7.2.4.2.1.4 Explaining that there is no choice but [to conclude that] those two are neither the same nor different]



.

###


7.2.4.2.1.4

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.

.

(i.e. We need both. They are not different, not the same.)



.

Thus, those two truths of appearance and emptiness are different isolates, so they are not the same; and since they have no more than one essence, they are not different either. Therefore, one cannot apprehend one of the two truths in the absence the other. For although the isolate is insubstantial (dngos med) in relation to the "thing itself," the mind that engages it in that way, which accords with the "thing itself," has a single essence.

.

L8: [7.2.4.2.2 How qualifiers are applied [It is useful to specify the context of any statement: from a conventional or ultimate point of view. And to always consider these two aspects about anything.]]



L9: [7.2.4.2.2.1 The common way of explaining the reasonableness of applying the qualifier]

L10: [7.2.4.2.2.1.1 Showing through analogy the way Svatantrikas apply the qualifier at the time of ascertaining the two truths]

.

###


7.2.4.2.2.1.1

For example, when the dharmakaya is finally attained,

All minds and mental events without exception

Cease, conventionally speaking;

But ultimately there is no cessation.

.

(i.e. So it is useful, when talking about something, to specify if we are talking from the conventional point of view, or the ultimate point of view. Ex. Conventionally we speak of origination, duration, change, causality, and cessation. But from the point of view of the ultimate truth (emptiness) there is no such phenomena. There is no fault as long as we specify the context.)



.

Thus, in the context of the two truths, from the perspective of the two kinds of analytical wisdom derived from the ten reasonings, the different modes and contexts of positions are differentiated. Because a qualification is required, it is shown with examples. [For instance], at the time of attaining the ultimate fruition of dharmakaya, mind and mental factors are, conventionally speaking, "ceased." But with respect to ultimate reality, they are not [ceased], because they are not produced. Thus, if having specified the context, one explains "cessation" and "non-cessation," it is appropriate to use qualifiers; and if one does not use qualifiers, it is because the context does not require it.

.

L10: [7.2.4.2.2.1.2 How it is applied in the sutras and sastras]



.

###


7.2.4.2.2.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. So the context is usually specified in the texts.)



.

That application of qualifiers is also clearly present in all the texts of the great sutras and sastras. In relation to the exigencies of various and sundry negations and proofs in those texts, sometimes the exposition is framed as an ultimate-truth position, and sometimes it is framed as a deceptive-truth position. Those positions are stated in those ways for the sake of removing the delusion of disciples.

.

L9: [7.2.4.2.2.2 The reasonableness of specific cases of application]



L10: [7.2.4.2.2.2.1 The actual reasoning behind those qualifiers]

L11: [7.2.4.2.2.2.1.1 Applying a qualifier at the time of ascertaining ultimate reality]

.

###


7.2.4.2.2.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. So from the ultimate point of view, everything is empty of inherent existence. But that doesn’t mean that they are completely non-existent, useless, or from the mind-only. That would be idealism or nihilism. So they are said to be conventionally existent, in order to insist on this point. But that doesn’t mean that they are really existent conventionally; that there is something left on the base.)



.

It is appropriate to say, with exclusive reference to ultimate reality, that the path, Buddhas, sentient beings, and so forth, are "non-existent"; but why is that? Samsara, nirvana, and the path are not established as one or many, but they don't become completely non-existent without any connection to the apparent aspect of deceptive reality. Although they are ultimately non-existent, the apparent aspects of samsara, nirvana, and the path are established as manifestly appearing, infallibly and indisputably. Therefore one must teach by applying the qualifier in the context of ultimate reality. If one doesn't apply it, on the basis of the object [negated], the very "non-existence" one intends will not come about, because [the student] will not be able to discern the object of one's intention.

.

L11: [7.2.4.2.2.2.1.2 The necessity of likewise applying it to conventional systems]



.

###


7.2.4.2.2.2.1.2

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,

.

(i.e. On the other hand, from the conventional truths point of view, things are dependently arisen and functional. We then talk about specific causes and conditions, and specific effects. But that doesn’t mean that dependent origination and those phenomena are real, or inherently existing. They are always dependent on the mind merely labeling them, dependent on accumulated karma.)



.

Likewise, in reference to a validating cognition that analyzes conventional systems, it is reasonable to say that the path, Buddhas, and sentient beings, etc., are all "existent." For conventionally the cause and effect of both samsara and nirvana are infallibly existent. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that they are ultimately existent, without any connection to the non-establishment of ultimate reality, because although they are conventionally existent, they can be ascertained by a validating cognition as not being established in that way.

.

L10: [7.2.4.2.2.2.2 Its meaning summarized [they are inseparable]]



.

###


7.2.4.2.2.2.2

Because they can be determined by

An analytical cognition of ultimate reality.

Thus, those two can never exist

One without the other.

.

(i.e. Those two aspects are inseparable, and should always be considered together.)



.

For that reason, it is completely impossible for the empty aspect of ultimate reality and the apparent aspect of deceptive reality to exist separately, one without the other.

.

L8: [7.2.4.2.3 Disposing of criticisms:]



L9: [7.2.4.2.3.1 The criticism [does that mean that things are inherently existing]]

.

###



7.2.4.2.3.1

"When both are true with equal force,

Will existent things be non-empty?"

.

(i.e. The objection: wouldn’t that mean that things are ultimately existent ?)



.

"Well then, if by analyzing ultimate reality one cannot eliminate deceptive reality, at that time of establishing the two truths as equally potent and true without qualification, the undesirable consequence of substances being non-empty would follow, because both of them are true with equal force."

.

L9: [7.2.4.2.3.2 Its disposal [both are empty of inherent existence, but not completely non-existent either]]



L10: [7.2.4.2.3.2.1 Summary demonstration that from the perspective of a final analysis of ultimate truth, both are without intrinsic reality]

.

###



7.2.4.2.3.2.1

Both are not established by their intrinsic nature,

.

(i.e. Emptiness of inherent existence doesn’t mean existence , nor complete non-existence. The Two Truths are not different, not the same.)



.

That is not a fault. The two truths are differentiated contextually. To ascertain the path Madhyamaka, one meditates again and again, thinking, "inherent existence is not established," as an antidote to beginningless adhesion to substantial realities, which is so hard to stop. This is quite necessary, but in the final analysis, both truths are not established intrinsically.

.

The Madhyamakalamkara says:



Finally, it is free of

The entire mass of elaborations.

.

The bDen gnyis says:



The negandum is not existent;

It is clear that ultimately it is not negated.

.

L10: [7.2.4.2.3.2.2 An extensive explanation of that]



L11: [7.2.4.2.3.2.2.1 The way in which one is liberated in emptiness, because appearance is not established in truth]

.

###



7.2.4.2.3.2.2.1

Nor are they, as objects, really different;

Whatever appears is empty, so what can be non-empty?

.

(i.e. Appearance implies emptiness. Dependent origination implies emptiness.)



.

The object of the two validating cognitions has two isolates, which in respect to the thing itself (don gyi steng na) are not different. For that reason, if one analyzes just the essence of that appearance, it is empty. How could it not be empty?

.

L11: [7.2.4.2.3.2.2.2 The way relativity appears, because emptiness is not established in truth]



.

###


7.2.4.2.3.2.2.2

Both are equally apparent,

So they are established as empty;

If they were not apparent, how would emptiness be known?

.

(i.e. Emptiness implies appearance; it cannot exist without appearance. Emptiness implies dependent origination.)



.

As for emptiness, both substantiality and non-substantiality are equivalent in being the appearance of the mere relativity of depending upon one another. Therefore, emptiness is without nihilistic negation or true existence, and is established as empty. Why is that? If both substantiality and non-substantiality were not the appearance of dependent origination, how could one cognize emptiness? One could not.

.

L11: [7.2.4.2.3.2.2.3 The ways of cognizing arise as cause and effect, are of equal force, and are inseparable]



.

###


7.2.4.2.3.2.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. One cannot be without the other. They are inseparable, non-dual: not two, not one.)



.

For that reason, appearance and emptiness are non-contradictory in a single basis. If one analyzes with the two validating cognitions, the objects of appearance and emptiness appear in a mutual relation of cause and effect; if one has, on the one hand, appearance, one will have, on the other hand, its nature, which is emptiness. If one acquires an extraordinary certainty in this, appearance and emptiness will always be inseparable.

.

"Well, if they are equally viable, how can they be truths?" They just are. Appearance and emptiness are mutually inclusive, and for that reason, whichever validating cognition one uses to access [one of them], its object is infallibly existent according [to that validating cognition], so they are both truths.



.

L11: [7.2.4.2.3.2.2.4 Being known to be thus indivisible, they cannot revert to truly existing;]

.

###


7.2.4.2.3.2.2.4

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.

.

(i.e. One cannot exist without the other. So investigating either of them will lead to the other. One is the antidote of the extreme tendency of the other. So emptiness cannot lead to nihilism; and appearance cannot lead to realism.)



.

"If it is a truth, then isn't it non-empty?" That is not the case. When something appears, by knowing it to be empty one is not carried away with the appearance, and one knows that appearance is not true according to [its mode of] appearance. And if one knows that emptiness appears unobstructedly as relativity, one does not get carried away with emptiness, and one will not think that an absolute emptiness is real. For that reason, those two [truths] are inseparable on the basis of a knowable object; and when one sees them that way, neither of them will ever revert to true existence.

.

L11: [7.2.4.2.3.2.2.5 The proof that they are that way]



.

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7.2.4.2.3.2.2.5

The abiding character of whatever appears

Is emptiness, so they are inseparable.

If one rejects appearance,

Emptiness cannot be established independently.

.

(i.e. The inseparability of appearances and emptiness. Everything is not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither. The Union of The Two Truths. The coalescence, … But all of these are still merely pointing at the moon.)



.

Because the abiding reality of whatever appears in samsara and nirvana does not go beyond emptiness, on the basis of that mere appearance, they are inseparable. An independent emptiness existing apart from that appearance is never, ever established to exist.

.

Accordingly, in the Sems nyid ngal gso, it says:



This appearance is primordially non-produced, like a reflection.

Without essence, there are various appearances.

Having seen relativity, which is naturally pure,

One quickly realizes the supreme, non-abiding goal.

.

L7: [7.2.4.3 Combining the Prasangika (non-conceptual ultimate) and Svatantrika (conceptual ultimate) into a single stream : [Using the duality of the Two Truths, then realizing its emptiness, and later transcending it]]



L8: [7.2.4.3.1 The reason why one should meditate upon the view in gradual stages, starting with the causal small Madhyamaka;]

L9: [7.2.4.3.1.1 On the sutra path, in dependence upon dichotomizing analytical wisdom, non-dual gnosis is generated]

L10: [7.2.4.3.1.1.1 If one does not rely upon the two stainless forms of valid cognition, the forces contrary to gnosis will prevent it from arising]

.

###



7.2.4.3.1.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. On the sutra path we use much of conceptualization, analysis about the Two Truths, to reach the very ultimate truths beyond all conceptualization. Without this we would easily fall into one extreme or the other.)



.

Thus, the ascertainment [of reality] in the Prasangika and Svatantrika schools is practiced gradually. Therefore, as long as the view or realization of equipoise is not fully manifest, one meditates upon the two truths alternately; this is "analytical wisdom." Why is that? In this context of samsara, where one has the dualistic appearances that are the antithesis of non-dual gnosis, the activity of mind and mental factors prevents non-dual gnosis from manifesting. Therefore, the two stainless validating cognitions that are analytical wisdom, which is in turn the cause of gnosis, should be maintained without accepting, abandoning, or hesitation, because they are an indispensible cause.

.

L10: [7.2.4.3.1.1.2 If the causal factors of either of those two forms of analysis are not complete, gnosis is not generated]



.

###


7.2.4.3.1.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. One alone is not enough. Indulging in dependent origination alone, like in the Hinayana, is not enough. Indulging in emptiness alone, like thinking it is the very ultimate truths, is not enough. If we don’t use both on the path, then we will never be able to reach their Union beyond all conceptualization.)



.

When one practices in that way, if either of the two validating cognitions that alternately analyze both appearance and emptiness is deficient, the result that arises from those two causes, the gnosis of equipoise coalescence, will definitely not be produced. For example, if one lacks the fire-producing stick or the wood that it rubs, fire will not be produced as a result.

.

L10: [7.2.4.3.1.1.3 Thus, to separate them is not the authentic path]



.

###


7.2.4.3.1.1.3

Therefore, a path where method and emptiness

Are separated is inauthentic

According to all the Buddhas and vidyadharas.

.

(i.e. That is why, on the sutra path, it is said that we need the two accumulations: merit and wisdom together. We need to use adapted virtuous methods, but also to gradually realize the emptiness of the three: subject, object, action. That is the meaning of the perfections – paramitas.)



.

For that reason, emptiness that is separate from the apparent method aspect of compassion, and so forth, and" method that is separate from the analytical wisdom of emptiness, are said to be inauthentic paths because of this separation. This has been taught by the Victor, the perfect Buddha, and all the great learned and accomplished lineage-holding masters of India and Tibet. The non-path where the two are separate, and the true path where they are coalescent, are exemplified by various examples, such as one clutching an umbrella with both hands and jumping into an abyss, etc., and by many similes.

.

The Sutrasamuccaya says:



If that is completely embraced by method and wisdom,

Without harm, one will come to realize the enlightenment of the tathagatas.

.

And, from the Sutra Insistently Requested by Rab rTsal:



By analytical wisdom that is bereft of method

It has not arisen, nor will it arise.

Method bereft of wisdom will also

Not satisfy the learned.

.

The glorious Saraha said:



If one views emptiness without compassion,

One will not discover the supreme path.

Moreover, if one only meditates on compassion,

One will remain in samsara—why even mention liberation?

.

According to these statements, if one abandons the dual cause of gnosis, no other method for generating the fruitional gnosis is possible.



.

L9: [7.2.4.3.1.2 On the mantra path, there are many methods that can indicate the essence of gnosis, by means of empowerment and symbolic means]

.

###


7.2.4.3.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. In the Tantras also we need both method and wisdom together. But, here, the conceptual analysis are replaced by symbolic means, and minimal instructions. There is no need to develop complex reasonings. The work is done at a level bellow conceptualization. That is why it is more direct and fast. But it is also more dangerous, and should be done only under the supervision of someone who has gone through it before.)



.

The result of the sutric method and wisdom, namely gnosis, is essentially beyond conceptual thinking and verbal expression. Therefore, there is no other method in the sutra path besides cultivating the coalescence of method and analytical wisdom. However, the tantras only teach by symbolic means, such as empowerment, and by verbal indications, hence the teaching of the "word empowerment" in the Mantrayana. In the uncommon tantric classes of the vajra essence, and so forth, [gnosis] is demonstrated by verbal introduction and various symbolic methods.

.

L9: [7.2.4.3.1.3 Summary:]



L10: [7.2.4.3.1.3.1 Showing the Madhyamika path that differentiates the two truths and their purpose]

.

###



7.2.4.3.1.3.1

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.

.

(i.e. So, one way or another, one needs to rely on some form of conceptualization in order to get to the very ultimate truth beyond all conceptualization. Much conceptualization in sutra, much less with Tantras. The important point taught in both case is about the Two Truths.)



.

As for that gnosis that is beyond the world and free of conceptual thought and expression: the self-arising gnosis cannot, as explained above, be attained without relying upon some extrinsic cause and method, nor can it be comprehended. Therefore, a path Madhyamaka is taught that differentiates the two truths and cultivates them alternately.

.

L10: [7.2.4.3.1.3.2 Summarizing by explaining that the non-conceptual gnosis of coalescence that is the result [of the two truths] is a crucial point common to both sutra and tantra]



.

###


7.2.4.3.1.3.2

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.

.

(i.e. So, one way or another, one needs to rely on some form of conceptualization in order to get to the very ultimate truth beyond all conceptualization. Much conceptualization in sutra, much less with Tantras. The important point taught in both case is about the Two Truths. The result though is beyond all conceptualization, analysis, beyond the duality of the Two Truths.)



.

Thus, by teaching the two truths through differentiating them, as the result of their analysis one is able to accomplish the gnosis that is the coalescence of appearance and emptiness. Therefore, when one ascertains both truths of appearance and emptiness, the negandum—appearance—and negation—emptiness of "appearance-emptiness"—are taught as alternating practices. The result [of that practice] is the gnosis that integrates the expanse and awareness without contradiction. [That coalescence] is taught by many synonyms in the tantric classes, as the gnosis that arises from the many practices of generation and completion on the path, as the "actual luminosity," and so forth.

.

L8: [7.2.4.3.2 The fact that this requirement [the Two Truths] represents the intention of the scriptures and treatises]



.

###


7.2.4.3.2

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;

.

(i.e. One way or another, someone has to be introduced to the Two Truths in order to get to the very ultimate Liberating truth beyond all conceptualization.)



.

The fact that this is the meaning of the scriptures and interpretive commentaries: Thus... Therefore, because one must practice without separating method and wisdom, all the Madhyamikas take as their point of departure the system of the two truths. The reason for that is that if one does not know how to integrate the two truths as a basis, one does not know the basic character of reality. Thus, if one does not rely on that knowledge of the coalescence of the basic character of reality, one will not come to practice the path as the coalescence of method and wisdom. Without that, one will not comprehend the coalescence of the result, the bodies and gnosis of a Buddha. Therefore, all the teachings taught by the Victor, in all contexts of the basis, path, and result, are taught entirely with reliance upon the two truths. The Root Stanzas on Wisdom says:

The Dharmas taught by the Buddhas

Rely entirely upon the two truths—

Worldly deceptive truth

And ultimate truth.

.

L8: [7.2.4.3.3 The consciousness and gnosis that meditate in this way are the context for applying the conventional designations "small," "great," and so forth]



L9: [7.2.4.3.3.1 The causal small Madhyamaka of analytical wisdom]

L10: [7.2.4.3.3.1.1 The two truths maintained as a position in our own tradition]

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.1.1.1 The reason for being "small"]

.

###



7.2.4.3.3.1.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. So there is a need to use the duality of the Two Truths as a skillful means on the paths. But ultimately one has to transcend this duality.)



.

Therefore, according to what has been said above, the designation "Madhyamaka" is given to the Madhyamaka that has the positions of the two truths, vis-à-vis "ultimately non-existent" and "deceptively existent." This is giving the name of the fruitional gnosis to the cause, namely, all situations where one ascertains appearance and emptiness alternately and meditates upon them accordingly. This is the "small Madhyamaka."

.

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.1.1.2 The reason for having a position]



.

###


7.2.4.3.3.1.1.2

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."

.

(i.e. So from the conventional point of view, the Two Truths are in apparent opposition. One is the antidote of the extreme tendency of the other. They seem to represent opposite position; but by using both together one can stay away from all extremes.)



.

The emptiness that is the object of analysis, insofar as all dharmas subsumed by the five aggregates are not immune to analysis as being one or many, is a bare absolute negation that eliminates the negandum, true existence. In dependence upon that [negation], there is the position of "ultimately non-existent."

.

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.1.1.3 The fact that the two truths are our own system]



.

###


7.2.4.3.3.1.1.3

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.

.

(i.e. We need both. One alone is not enough. Emptiness alone is not enough. It is not the very ultimate truth.)



.

Thus, that causal or path "small Madhyamaka," which causes the attainment of the fruitional gnosis, maintains whatever position is posited by the two truths—non-existence with respect to ultimate reality and the systems of deceptive reality. Both of these are maintained as the position of our own Madhyamika tradition, but we do not take that ultimate non-existence as our own system and then posit deceptive reality in terms of [what is known by] others in the world.

.

L10: [7.2.4.3.3.1.2 The fact that to do otherwise would be unreasonable]



L11: [7.2.4.3.3.1.2.1 That denigrating view is not reasonable as a basis, path, or result]

.

###



7.2.4.3.3.1.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. To grasp at emptiness as the very ultimate truth beyond conceptualization would not be wise. That would lead to nihilism.)



.

If [our view] were like that, our own tradition's view of the absence of true existence would be an ultimate reality of exclusive emptiness or exclusive non-existence, and we would underestimate what exists as being non-existent, thinking all of these various infallibly existent appearances of deceptive reality, such as the basis, path, and result, were nothing but illusions and things that should be abandoned. Finally, at the time of establishing the result, we would have nothing left over but an expanse of emptiness, free of obscurations, which would exclude appearances altogether, and we would have to assert that the two types of omniscience—which know everything that is just as it is—as well as the bodies and gnosis, were completely absent. For example, just as the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas are held to pass into a remainderless nirvana on their respective paths, this type of Madhyamaka is also no different than extinguishing a candle.

.

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.1.2.2 It can be refuted by both scripture and reasoning]



.

###


7.2.4.3.3.1.2.2

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.

.

(i.e. To teach that the very ultimate truth beyond all conceptualization is emptiness is to jump to one extreme, and to steal the hope of people. On the other hand, teachings like this text, restore the certainty and faith in the result, and the path. The dharmadhatu is not complete non-existence, no more than inherent existence, or both, or neither. There is no absolute emptiness to realize; it is more like the Union of The Two Truths, their inseparability, their non-duality.)



.

Someone who denigrates the dharmadhatu that is the coalescence of appearance and emptiness, which abides as the basic reality of all dharmas, as being absolutely non-existent like empty space, was said by the Victor to be a thief of Sakyamuni's teaching and a destroyer of the holy Dharma.

.

The Sutra, of the Samadhi of the Mudra of Gnosis says:



Emptiness is not born, nor produced by anyone,

Not seen, neither come nor gone.

Having imagined [it falsely, and saying,] "I have mastered it well"—

Those prattlers are thieves of the Dharma.

.

Such an inferior way [of understanding], which is not authentic, is a way of denigrating the cause and effect of karma, the path, and the result—which are infallibly existent appearances—as being non-existent. With rational analysis— the downpour of the indestructible vajra-fire of certainty that it is impossible for an absolute emptiness without appearance to become an object of knowledge on the path of validating cognitions that analyze the two truths—one will be able to destroy the mountain of bad nihilistic views without remainder from the foundation.



.

On that, the Great Omniscient One said:

If he doesn't understand this, he will talk about

An absolute emptiness "free of extremes of existence and non-existence."

(i.e. That would be the fourth point of the Tetralemma: neither existence, nor non-existence.)

But without understanding the basis free [of those extremes], this is the view of the peak of existence.

As he has gone beyond the pale of this doctrine,

That space cadet should be smeared with ashes.

.

L9: [ 7.2.4.3.3.2 On the fruitional Madhyamaka [the Great Perfection]]



L10: [7.2.4.3.3.2.1 The reason why it is both "Madhyamaka" and "great"]

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.2.1.1 The way of meditating on the essence of the intentions of the causal and fruitional vehicles, the Madhyamaka that is the gnosis of the coalescence of the two truths]

.

###


7.2.4.3.3.2.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. The Great Perfection meditation. See sections 4.2.2.2.2.3.3.2.2.1 & 4.2.2.2.2.4)



.

For that reason, Madhyamika texts that do not teach the view and meditation progressively, do not analyze with potent reasoning the meaning of the causal Madhyamaka of analytical wisdom. And without authentically establishing the meaning of selflessness, they do not establish the fruitional Madhyamaka, which is the gnosis of coalescence. Therefore, although the reasoning that perfectly analyzes all knowable dharmas in the system of the two truths ascertains the crucial meaning, it is not the final nature of things. So the result of that very ascertainment, the inseparability of the two truths, the coalescent equality that is thus established, is the essence of all the causal and fruitional vehicles. Thus, the ultimate thing to be realized is precisely that.

.

The Avatara says:



When conceptions are turned back, that

Is said by the learned to be the result of analysis.

.

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.2.1.2 Such a gnosis is the great Madhyamaka]



.

###


7.2.4.3.3.2.1.2

Therefore, gnosis

Does not abide alternately in the two extremes,

And is beyond intellect;

Thus it is Madhyamaka, and also great.

.

(i.e. This method of meditation does not analyze the Two Truths in sequence. It consist of going directly to the result beyond conceptualization. It is obviously for those who can do it without going through a gradual path (after having been introduce to the real nature by the master), or after going through it. It is when the conceptualization are dropped automatically after having realized its real non-dual nature.)



.

Therefore, the final result to be realized, the self-cognizant pristine awareness, is beyond mind and free of elaborations, and does not abide in the two extremes, having cut off those two extremes by alternating [the focus on the two truths]. Thus, it is Madhyamaka, and also great.

.

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.2.1.3 If that is not touched upon, then it is neither Madhyamaka nor great]



.

###


7.2.4.3.3.2.1.3

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).

.

(i.e. It is not about dropping conceptualization artificially like with the Hashang’s method. And it is not there yet if there is still analysis and conceptualization.)



.

As long as the forms of appearance and emptiness appear to the mind in the manner of alternating [one's focus] on appearance and emptiness, that is not the final essence of the intention of all the victors, and does not touch upon the ultimate gnosis. It is a progressive stage in the context of the Madhyamika path.

.

L10: [7.2.4.3.3.2.2 The reason for positing coalescence and fruition]



L11: [7.2.4.3.3.2.2.1 The gnosis of sublime beings that is free of elaboration is designated as the state of coalescence and fruition]

.

###



7.2.4.3.3.2.2.1

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.

.

(i.e. It is called that way, but this is merely conceptually pointing at something beyond all conceptualization, beyond causality space and time; merely pointing at the moon.)



.

Just as fire arises as the result of rubbing firewood, the fire of self-arisen gnosis, the integrated expanse and awareness, is the result brought about by its cause, stainless analytical wisdom that analyzes the two truths. That fire, in turn, is the fruitional Madhyamaka, which is the sublime gnosis of equipoise, in which all elaborations of the four extremes, such as existence, non-existence, both, and neither, are pacified.

.

The Root Stanzas on Wisdom says:



Not known in dependence upon another, peaceful,

Not elaborated by elaborations,

Without conceptualization, not multifarious:

That is the characteristic of reality.

.

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.2.2.2 From the perspective of that equipoise, deceptive elaborations are eliminated]



.

###


7.2.4.3.3.2.2.2

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,"

.

(i.e. idem – ultimate equanimity, beyond discrimination and non-discrimination, beyond conceptualization and non-conceptualization, beyond though and no-thought, beyond the duality of the Two Truths.)



.

Such an abiding reality of things, which does not fall into partiality with respect to the two truths, is posited with mere conventionalities and terms as "the coalescence of appearance and emptiness" by the analytical wisdom that differentiates it in the context of meditative aftermath. Because such terms and conventions are not established in any way whatsoever from the perspective of the great gnosis of equipoise, the essence of the coalescence of appearance and emptiness is not something that can be imagined. They are deceptive elaborations of the meditative aftermath, and this [equipoise] is the complete pacification of elaborations.

.

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.2.2.3 How all conventionalities are engaged in the aftermath state through words and concepts]



.

###


7.2.4.3.3.2.2.3

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,

.

(i.e. Beyond doesn’t mean rejection; it means transcendence.)



.

For that reason, cause and effect, and so forth, are all objects of validating cognitions that analyze conventionalities, and emptiness, which is non [establishment]-in-truth, is the object of validating cognitions that analyze ultimate reality. The "coalescence" that depends upon them both is analyzed and thought through a combination of both [types of valid cognition]. Because it is [only] the object of words and thoughts in the meditative aftermath state, it cannot be imagined in equipoise itself.

.

L11: [7.2.4.3.3.2.2.4 How, from the perspective of that equipoise, neither the presence nor absence of appearance is established]



.

###


7.2.4.3.3.2.2.4

The equipoise that transcends them

Is merely designated as "gnosis known for oneself."

[In the context of sublime equipoise,]

"Apparent," "non-apparent," and so forth,

Are not established by authentic reasoning.

.

(i.e. So it is not about eliminating conceptualization or appearances, but about transcending them, like directly seeing their two aspects simultaneously – but in reality it is beyond description. Like still using them, but not being fooled by them.)



.

The equipoise that is beyond words and thoughts is, as a mere conventionality, said to be "gnosis realized individually." [In it] the object and subject called "expanse and gnosis," and "existence and non-existence," and all such dichotomies, are elaborations that are pacified. The implicative negation that has an apparent aspect, the absolute negation that has no appearance, emptiness, and so forth, are also not imagined in the state of equipoise. If one analyzes accordingly, they are not in the slightest bit established [in that context].

.

Nagarjuna said:



Because I have no negandum,

I do not negate anything.

Therefore by saying "I negate,"

It is you who denigrates.

.

L7: [7.2.4.4 The differences among Madhyamika, Mahamudra, and the Great Perfection:]



L8: [7.2.4.4.1 The differences in practicing the path]

L9: [7.2.4.4.1.1 The differences in the view of analytical wisdom]

L10: [7.2.4.4.1.1.1 In the sutric path, by gradually practicing the path, one realizes the views of Mahamudra and the Great Perfection]

.

###



7.2.4.4.1.1.1

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 non-elaborated 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.

.

(i.e. In the sutric path one uses much conceptualization, analysis, correct reasonings, about the Two Truths in order to ultimately realize the very ultimate truth beyond all conceptualization that is called the Union of The Two Truths, or the coalescence. The tantric path is similar; much of the conceptualization is replaced by symbolic methods; but the Two Truths are still present, and the result is the same.)



.

In the final analysis, the significance of both sutra and tantra is compatible. Therefore, as long as one is meditating upon the two truths of appearance and emptiness alternately, that is "analytical wisdom." And when one realizes the gnosis of integrated appearance-emptiness without alternation, that is the attainment of the supreme realization of the peak of the dialectical vehicle. At that time, one is beyond the absolute negation of bare emptiness, which is the absence of true existence of the negandum—true existence—brought about by analysis of the two truths, and by the elimination of true existence in relation to the aggregates. When the modalities of negation and negandum do not appear individually, and appearances arise as aspects of method, that is the emptiness "fully endowed with characteristics."

.

The Summary for Those Who Want the View says:



The emptiness that is the analysis of the aggregates

Is like a plantain tree, without essence.

The emptiness fully endowed with all characteristics

Is not like that.

.

Accordingly the great Madhyamaka that is free of elaborations, the all-pervasive Mahamudra of coemergence, and so forth, have many synonyms, but since their actual being is the gnosis beyond mind, they cannot be conceived by other kinds of superimposing concepts that involve a subject-object duality.



.

The Comfort of Mind says:

With its antidote, the gnosis of awareness,

One gains confidence that all samsaric habits are empty,

And by determining the nature of emptiness to be appearance,

One knows the meaning of the two truths, inseparable appearance and emptiness.

By practicing the Madhyamaka, which dispels the two extremes,

One does not abide in samsara or nirvana, but is liberated in space.

This is the ultimate essence of the definitive meaning.

This is the reality of the natural Great Perfection.

.

L10: [7.2.4.4.1.1.2 Such a view is explained as effortless in the path of the Great Perfection]



.

###


7.2.4.4.1.1.2

Because this gnosis is not the object of words and concepts,

It is not differentiated by

Implicative and absolute negations,

Nor as different, non-different, 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 non-abiding self-arisen gnosis of

The coalescent Evam.

.

(i.e. With the Great Perfection, Mahamudra or Dzogchen, there is no conceptualization, no analysis, not symbolic methods. One meditate directly on the result beyond all conceptualization, beyond all dualities. It is the great equanimity.)



.

Because such an abiding reality is not an object of words and concepts, it is indivisible by any concept such as "absolute negation," "affirming negation," or "different," "non-different," "appearance," "emptiness," and so forth. Therefore, because it is free of divisions and partiality, it is beyond all positions of philosophical systems, such as "existing" and "non-existing." It is the Evam of the indivisible purity and equality of the extraordinary dharmakaya. The appearance of non-abidingly abiding in that very state of self-arisen gnosis, the coalescence of awareness and emptiness, is the final mastery and consummation of the kingly method of the innate dharmakaya.

.

Likewise, from the Secret Essence:



Thusness is free from one and many,

Center and periphery,

Is not seen even by Buddhas,

Is the non-abiding appearance of gnosis.

.

L10: [7.2.4.4.1.1.3 By realizing it, one comprehends the profound doctrine, and is able to help others]



.

###


7.2.4.4.1.1.3

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," (i.e. Hashang’s ?)

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.

.

(i.e. And this ultimate direct vision beyond all is not complete nothingness, not complete rejection of everything. The result is not a Buddha that does not think, talk, act, or teach, etc. That would be nihilism. It is the realization of the complete purification of our body, speech and mind. It is the realization of our own Buddha-nature, the inseparable tri kayas, with the five wisdoms, and the Buddha deeds.)



.

As explained above, "beyond all positions" means the claim that the unfabricated ultimate reality of the expanse and awareness inseparable is without the superimposition of existence upon what is non-existent, and the denigration of non-existence where something exists, and that there is no indication of "this" through signs, words, or concepts, nor any verbal expression.

.

The Ornament of the Perfection of Wisdom says:



The path of meditation is profound,

And profundity is explained as emptiness.

That profundity is liberated from the extremes

Of superimposition and denigration.

.

Although that is the case, it is not the same as saying that there is nobody who realizes anything, like the non-Buddhist theory of a "thoughtless actor." The yogi has to make it manifest in equipoise. That means that it is seen directly through the self-cognizant pristine awareness that is produced by the rational analysis of stainless validating cognition that analyzes the two truths. Not only that, a person for whom it becomes manifest in that way has modes of reasoning—such as this treatise, which is a Dharma beacon of the certainty of subsequently attained gnosis—that can dispel the darkness of doubt about extremely profound subjects for those disciples on this excellent path of perfect reason, by means of inferential reasoning and direct perception.



.

L9: [7.2.4.4.1.2 The differences in both analytical wisdom and skillful means]

.

###


7.2.4.4.1.2

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.

.

(i.e. Like in the sutra path Shamatha and Vipashyana are practiced alternatively. But here, with the Great Perfection, Mahamudra or Dzogchen, the practice consists of the Union of Shamatha and Vipashyana. The method and wisdom are perfectly united. The two kayas are produced inseparably.)



.

The different ways of entering through skillful means and wisdom on the path: In the sutra path... Although the object seen, the dharmadhatu, has no divisions, there are various ways of entering it. On the sutric path, the apparent aspect of method such as compassion and the emptiness aspect of the analytical wisdom of selflessness are engaged by a mind that differentiates them each with respect to the other, though it is not the case that they are newly mixed together or superimposed upon one another.

.

Nagarjuna says:



Emptiness, which has the nature of compassion,

Is the attainment of enlightenment.

.

Accordingly, on this Vajrayana path, the great bliss of method, which has the nature of compassion, and the emptiness of analytical wisdom, which is endowed with all characteristics, are primordially inseparable, and are realized by the view of the basic expanse of reality, the dharmadhatu, and habituated by being cultivated in meditation; they are not newly combined together.



.

The Great Omniscient One said:

The causal vehicles claim that like a seed and sprout,

Method and wisdom produce the two kayas.

The result vehicles posit types of conditions

That dispel the two bodies' obscurations.

Method relies upon the path of immeasurable compassion.

In fact they are one, for emptiness has the nature of compassion.

Thus, one practices by harmonizing cause and effect.

.

L8: [7.2.4.4.2 Differences in the manner of ascertaining the basis:]



L9: [7.2.4.4.2.1 The dharmadhatu free of elaborations is the unique object]

.

###



7.2.4.4.2.1

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,

.

(i.e. The object of meditation of Dzogchen or Mahamudra is the dharmadhatu, which has many names ….)



.

Therefore, the great Madhyamaka that is free of all elaborations of the four extremes and the luminous Great Perfection of the vast expanse free of extremes are both identical with respect to their object, the dharmadhatu that is the coalescence of appearance and emptiness, but with respect to mere names, they are different. Insofar as they realize such an abiding reality, there is no view higher [than them]. Except for the speed with which they realize the primordially pure abiding reality free of elaborations, they are similar.

.

L9: [7.2.4.4.2.2 Differences in the analytical wisdom that meditates upon it—whether it has an intentional apprehension or not]



.

###


7.2.4.4.2.2

For anything other than the absence of the elaborations

Of the four extremes—which is the non-apprehension

Of appearance and emptiness alternately—

Is nothing but some sort of elaboration.

.

(i.e. It is the perfect equanimity, free of all extremes.)



.

Why doesn't one need a view higher than that? Because it is free of elaborations of the four extremes, and is without the intentional apprehension that apprehends appearance and emptiness alternately, and because, were it otherwise, it would have elaborations.

.

Sakya Pandita said:



If there were a view higher

Than the non-elaboration of the perfection [of wisdom],

It would be a view with elaboration.

If it were without elaboration, there would be no difference.

.

L9: [7.2.4.4.2.3 In the view that ascertains that, the difference between the expanse and direct or inferential [valid cognition]]



.

###


7.2.4.4.2.3

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.

.

(i.e. The difference between the sutra and tantra systems.)



.

Third, the difference in the speed with which the basis is ascertained: However... Although the dharmadhatu is the unique object [of all these systems] as mentioned before, nonetheless that very meaning—the coalescence of appearance and emptiness—of the vehicle of philosophical dialectics is principally based upon the practice of analytical meditation, which ascertains through an inferential valid cognition that analyzes in dependence upon an authentic reason. Thus, analytical meditation is most important [here]. In the pinnacle of the Vajra Vehicle, the tradition of mantras, without wavering from the dharmadhatu, one directly practices with one's own awareness, and establishes [the nature of reality] from within that state.

.

As it is said:



With few hardships, great meaning, and infinite methods, Its pith instructions are easy to practice but hard to fathom.

.

Therefore, the stages of the different vehicles are progressively more profound and sublime. For that reason, the abiding character of reality that is equanimity is extremely esoteric, and is only partially understood in dependence upon mere scripture. The ascertainment through valid inferential cognition, or being able to experience the object through direct valid cognition, etc., are characteristic of the differences among disciples and vehicles.



.

L8: [7.2.4.4.3 A summary:]

L9: [7.2.4.4.3.1 How to show that those stages of the various vehicles have different subjective views]

L10: [7.2.4.4.3.1.1 Understanding the views of sutra and tantra by explaining the difference between the great and small Madhyamakas to be that of mind and gnosis]

.

###


7.2.4.4.3.1.1

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.

.

(i.e. The causal and resultant Madhyamaka)



.

For the reason explained above, "Madhyamaka" means, in the context of an outstanding wisdom that analyzes the two truths individually, without mixing them into one taste, the causal or path Madhyamaka. And the certainty in the expanse of the equality of coalescence where appearance and emptiness and the two truths are of one taste, which the [former] Madhyamaka induces, is the fruitional Madhyamaka. Those two have an invariable relation of cause and effect, and the views of sutra and tantra are also like that. Therefore, if one comprehends the equality state of the causal vehicle of the sutras, one will be able to realize the utter purity of all dharmas that is non-different from that.

.

On that, the Great Omniscient One said:



Moreover, the way in which beginningless virtue, like a seed,

Is primordially present without being produced, is stated in the sutras.

That, and the assertion that the adventitious obscurations of the

Three primordially present Buddha kayas is purified, is the same in mantra.

In brief, the identity of the sutric and tantric paths

Is explained exoterically and esoterically by the learned and accomplished.

.

L10: [7.2.4.4.3.1.2 Praising the state of gnosis with the word "great."]



.

###


7.2.4.4.3.1.2

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."

.

(i.e. The causal and resultant Madhyamaka)



.

Moreover, of the two Madhyamakas, the former is the aspect of analytical wisdom, and for that very reason the former is small and the latter is specially praised with the word "great." The term "Great Perfection" is thus lauded for the same reason. If by inferring that very gnosis and making it the path, it is praised with the word "great," why shouldn't the vehicle that actually uses it as the path also be praised with the word "great"? It should be extremely praiseworthy in that respect.

.

L9: [7.2.4.4.3.2 Likewise, though its name is the same, the object also has a different meaning understood in accordance with different contexts]



.

###


7.2.4.4.3.2

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.

.

(i.e. So when we talk about the real nature of everything, this should be put into a context. It has a different meaning depending on the stage. And all of these synonyms are merely pointing at the moon.)



.

Moreover, the object that is engaged by the term and convention of "reality" (gnas lugs) is above called "great" and "small" in relation to its aspects of analytical wisdom and gnosis. Likewise, the reality of emptiness with respect to substantial entities, and the reality of the inseparable two truths that is emptiness with respect to both substantial and non-substantial entities, are both called "abiding reality." But, in fact, in terms of one-sidedly cutting off true existence, or cutting off all elaborations of the four extremes, and with respect to differences in equipoise and aftermath, etc., they are like the earth and the sky. Likewise, "dharmata," "dharmadhatu," "sunyata," "non-elaboration," "ultimate cessation," and "ultimate truth," etc., are similarly [used in different systems], but since they are very different in being greater [or lesser] in being either final or partial, having discriminated the various contexts [in which they are employed], without confusing them, one should unerringly explain them according to their distinct meanings. It is like the word "sendhapa"; in [the context of land] travel, it means "mount," and in traveling by water, it means "boat," etc.

.

I say:


Propped up on a pillow, truthless but conventionally existent,

Those self-proclaimed "Madhyamikas" would sleep in peace!

That rather unfortunate misery of extremism—

A bogus "freedom from extremes"—

Is cured by this medicine for obstinate slumber?

.

.



.

.

.



.

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

*******************************************************

.

L1: [9.8. Conclusion]



L2: [0.3 Thirdly, the final virtue, knowing well the complete and perfect conclusion:]

L3: [0.3.1 The reason why the interlocutor should be humbled and awed at the extensive explanation]

L4: [0.3.1.1 The way the interlocutor generates humility]

.

###



0.3.1.1

Thus, when the seven profound questions

Were explained with profound, vast, meaningful words,

The questioner said, with great respect:

.

Thus, according to the meaning of the text explained above, in response to the seven questions about the profound meaning that is difficult to realize, he has explained in accordance with the path of perfect reasoning, with good words, those good meanings that are extremely vast and profound, without delusion or straying [from the point]. At that time, the interlocutor, with a humble mind, said the following:



.

L4: [0.3.1.2 The destruction of his arrogance]

.

###


0.3.1.2

"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,

.

(i.e. Jumping from one well to another one, even if bigger, is not seeing the ocean, or going to the moon. It is still just a story. But it seems to be a useful story …)



.

Kye ma means "with regret" or "alas!": "Alas! Like the fabled frog who lived in a small well, we wandering intellectuals are surrounded by a vast ocean of other traditions' textual corpora—the sutras, tantras, and their interpretive commentaries—but we have not seen their subtle points by means of valid cognition. Stuck in the well of our own opinions, we have only experienced the taste of our own arrogance, which has been completely eradicated by this eloquent discourse!"

.

L3: [0.3.2 Joyfully praising the undertaking and explanation of the profound and extensive meaning]



L4: [0.3.2.1 The greatness of the teaching and lineage holders of Padmasambhava]

L5: [0.3.2.1.1 Although the author has not simply repeated the words of others, Rong zom's and Klong chen pa's tradition is like a treasure-house of jewels]

.

###


0.3.2.1.1

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!

.

The omniscient ones, Rong zom and Klong chen pa, indisputably reached the goal of learning and accomplishment in maintaining the philosophical system of the authentic tradition of the Early Translation school of the early Indian mahapanditas, Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Santaraksita, and so forth. The white umbrella of their fame encompasses the triple world. Together with their spiritual sons, who embody the gnosis of the victors and sport the joyous dance of Manjusrivadasimha, like a great ocean, their wisdom minds see everything that is, just as it is. These persons, who have the nature of utmost sublimity, have mastered the inconceivable Dharma treasury of jewels, which contains the various profound and extensive Dharmas, and with many elegant explanations, they make them radiate with brilliance. The key for opening this [treasury] of things that can be known is this elegant explanation of the lama Manjusri, and if one should abandon this opportunity to enjoy that wealth [of Dharma], and instead place one's hope only in the trinket tradition that offers the "realization" of vast and extensive words, such a person who just repeats the ideas of others is without realization, and deluded.



.

Thus, the All-Powerful Great Fifth [Dalai Lama] composed a praise:

The explanation of emptiness by pretentious scholars

Who hope to find Buddhahood somewhere else,

Is like placing a ransom [glud] in the north

For a ghost in the eastern direction.

The distinctive Dharma of the great secret Nyingmapa

Is that, when one sees [reality], the defiled body dissolves into light.

.

L5: [0.3.2.1.2 Therefore, by taking up those important points of the good Dharma of the Nyingmapas on the path of reasoning and explaining them properly, confidence is gained]



.

###


0.3.2.1.2

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?

.

Therefore, the consummate abode of words and meanings is the glorious Dharma.



.

As it is said:

The Dharmas of enlightenment, which is naturally endowed with good qualities,

Are all consummated in the Great Perfection.

It is the reliquary of the dharmakaya of all Buddhas.

As a field of merit, nothing is better than this.

.

Accordingly, those whose minds have attained a firm certainty through rational analysis of the provisional and definitive, as well as the apparent and actual aspects [of reality] through that Dharma and the doctrine of the Early Translation school in general, [such as] the sutras and tantras with their interpretive commentaries, at all times and places are always blessed with freedom from obstructing demons and philosophical antagonists. For that reason, by proclaiming the lion's roar of an authentic path of reason such as this one, which is victorious in all directions, one will gain irrevocable confidence in the supreme good qualities of the extraordinary Dharma of our own system, the Early Translation school of the second Buddha, Padmasambhava, which is supreme amongst all.



.

L5: [0.3.2.1.3 Moreover, in dependence upon this path of reasoning, one can prove and refute with explanation and debate]

.

###


0.3.2.1.3

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!

.

Moreover, by simply following the words of others and being motivated by rigid arrogance and extreme views of existence and non-existence, without investigating reality, some foam at the mouth as they refute others and prove themselves right. But please bestow on those other disciples the fortunate opportunity to grasp the handle of this sword of discriminating analytical wisdom, which cannot be revoked by any demon or disputant!



.

L5: [0.3.2.1.4 Therefore, it is reasonable to rely upon this kind of Dharma, which is the supreme jewel of the profound meaning that dispels ignorance]

.

###


0.3.2.1.4

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.

.

Listening to the ways of the holy Dharma that is not deluded with respect to all the vast and profound textual traditions causes the faithless to conceive faith, and is said to be like nectar for the ears. It is like an ocean of nectar that expands the pristine realm that is free of suffering. To see and realize the domain of the gnosis of definitive meaning is like finding a wish-fulfilling jewel that dispels sickness. Since one can attain the good qualities of abandonment and the gnosis of realization, it is like a gem. Whatever philosophical system or person such a profound and vast meaning may abide in should be accepted with the three kinds of wisdom. Since one should rely not on the person but on the Dharma, one should not simply follow after a person who appears to be good.



.

L4: [0.3.2.2 This treatise's praise for the holders of that [lineage]]

L5: [0.3.2.2.1 Whoever is able to hold an authentic Dharma teaching like this receives the name of "bodhisattva"]

.

###



0.3.2.2.1

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.

.

Even if one has studied many textual traditions with others and proclaims various and sundry syncretisms and speculations regarding one's own and other traditions, this misses the point. Though one's talent and expertise seem quite profound, one analyzes in dependence upon spurious scriptural references, and does not get the point. This extremely profound meaning is like a treasure buried in the ground; whoever gets it, however they appear— good or bad—should be known as a spiritual genius (blo ldan), an actual bodhisattva.



.

L5: [0.3.2.2.2 Because the meaning of the Dharma, like a treasury of gems, is attained, how to study and contemplate common and uncommon subjects]

.

###


0.3.2.2.2

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.

.

The vessel in whom this [teaching] is contained is like a hundred-thousand-gem treasure of intellect and eloquence that realizes the extremely profound meaning of the pith instructions. "In order to accomplish the great ocean of profound and vast [teachings], when I, the author of the text, recognized the appropriate time for undertaking practical instructions of the vidyadhara lineage and the well-written texts of scholars and siddhas, just as the Naga king Sri joyfully dove into the ocean, I poured all the textual traditions of scriptures and interpretive commentaries down the throat of hearing, reflection, and meditation." Not only that, he also implores others to drink.



.

L5: [0.3.2.2.3 This elegant explanation is not something made up, but is the oral tradition of the vidyadhara lineage]

.

###


0.3.2.2.3

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.

.

Whence springs this very text, which is like a great river of elegant explanations? The author of this text certainly realized the analytical intellect that is as broad as the ocean and vast as the sky. The origin of that mind should be understood to be the oral tradition, as vast as the ocean of the Naga king, of the lineages of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of India and Tibet, the panditas and siddhas, as well as the vidyadharas, beginning with dGa' rab rDo rje, down to Rong zom and Klong chen pa, and so forth.



.

L3: [0.3.3 Once again to summarize the meaning and give advice:]

L4: [0.3.3.1 An exhortation to be a vessel containing meaning that condenses the quintessence of vastness]

.

###



0.3.3.1

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!"

.

Recalling all knowable phenomena that pervade the limits of space in one gulp, one ingests them as juice and they manifest as a pure essence abiding in one's heart. If one wants to inhale that utterly perfect juice of springtime nectar, which bestows happiness and benefit both temporary and final, one should quickly undertake to accomplish that intention by cultivating the great power of the three kinds of analytical wisdom in one's mind; this is the advice given. What fulfills and perfects that intention is the amazing beacon of the Dharma, so please give advice that makes that text most easily apparent.



.

L4: [0.3.3.2 The actual advice]

L5: [0.3.3.2.1 The way of giving advice with respect to the establishment of a profound and vast intellect]

.

###



0.3.3.2.1

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:

.

When the mendicant with the staff who had suddenly appeared [earlier] said those words and bowed humbly, in order to establish the mendicant, who previously lacked a profound understanding, in profound and vast understanding, the sage summarized all the points made earlier, and gave them as advice in this way: This excellent juice of the supreme holy Dharma, like the milk of a lion, can only be held by an excellent container, such as a golden vessel. Otherwise, just as a clay vessel does not hold the milk of a lion even if one tries very hard to make it do so, it will not stay put. Therefore, the golden vessel for these profound meanings is "A," etc.



.

L4: [0.3.3.2.2 The actual meaning of that advice]

L5: [0.3.3.2.2.1 The six-syllable mantra, which is explained before, etc., is the entrance way for these [résumé of the seven answers]]

.

###



0.3.3.2.2.1

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.

.

What are those?



.

The letter "A" is the name for birthlessness. Since, without wavering from that emptiness that is an absolute negation of a thing, it appears as relativity, the entrance to the Dharma of birthlessness in terms of the two truths is shown by the first question as the meaning of the main practice, the coalescence of appearance and emptiness.

.

Ra means "free of dust," and thus the realization of equanimity, which is the door free of the dust of being afraid of existence, or being attached to thoughts of one's own benefit. It shows the profound, because it is not an object for sravakas and pratyekabuddhas. This indicates the profound, because in the second question it is shown not to be the domain of sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, etc.



.

Pa means that although the equipoise of ultimate reality has no grasping, it is not a thick darkness devoid of mindfulness and the light of special insight. From the perspective of that equipoise of ultimate reality, the entrance to appearance is addressed by the third question, and shows the meaning of how to meditate on coalescence.

.

Tsa is the extraordinary equipoise that is induced by analysis. It is unstained by non-understanding and misunderstanding and doubt, and is without fabricated mental activities of death, transmigration, and birth, which agitate like waves. How to preserve the natural abiding and flow of the equanimous dharmakaya is the subject of the fourth question, which shows how to generate that meditation in the mind.



.

Na means that neither of the two truths is more important than the other, because appearance and emptiness are inseparable. Even conventionally, they are of equal status, and both are objects of words and concepts. Ultimately, the abiding reality of their inseparability is beyond the path of words and concepts; that namelessness itself is inconceivable and inexpressible, to be discerned by individual cognition alone. This indicates the subject of the fifth question, which shows how the two truths arise from the perspective of generating realization of the profound in one's mind.

.

Dhih ascertains such a profound meaning on the basis of a subject such as an atom. To know the equality of all dharmas, one investigates the basis of appearances that are compatible or incompatible. Having adduced examples there, there is a way in which there is no position in the equanimity of ultimate reality free of elaborations, and there is a way in which there is a position conventionally. Having joined them together without contradiction, there are [two ways] of understanding them, [namely] the way of limited intellectual perception, and in the systems of Prajnaparamita up through mantra, there is [the way of understanding] just how things are. This [latter] is the way of profound intellect, the sixth question.



.

The seventh question concerns how one is to advise others about the profound view, according to one's own realization of the equality of all dharmas.

.

Thus all seven questions comprehend the crucial points of all systems, which are like the precious lifeblood of the profound and vast philosophical systems of the sutras and tantras, so one automatically generates certainty in all Dharmas.



.

L5: [0.3.3.2.2.2 Those ways are accomplished in dependence upon the yogas of calm abiding and special insight [the Union of Shamatha and Vipashyana]]

L6: [0.3.3.2.2.2.1 By practicing in that way, the individually realized analytical wisdom blazes]

.

###



0.3.3.2.2.2.1

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.

.

Thus, by focusing on each syllable of the six doors of the dharani according to the two truths, one generates certainty. It is indisputably and infallibly the case that one develops clear understanding of these dharmas, such as birthlessness, by these [syllables] A, etc., which express them. But if one analyzes with respect to ultimate truth, both the expression A, etc., and the expressed, "birthlessness" and so forth, are not produced on the basis of expression. Thus, equanimity does not have anything to express in the state of equanimity, like space drawing a picture in space.



.

Likewise, if one analyzes the other five syllables, Ra and so forth, the expressions with their expressed [meanings], and any other names that arise from the combination of letters, there is no expression or expressed [meaning] established [in reality]. Accordingly, one generates the certainty that expression per se is "amazing." Therefore, since all dharmas are just expressed through names, even if one expresses them for eons, the dharmadhatu is not exhausted or increased. To dwell in the equanimity of this [dharmadhatu] is to focus in the manner of ultimate reality.

.

Moreover, as for the way of entering conventionally: as one does not waver from equanimity, one understands the dharmas that have their birthplaces in these five syllables, such as A, and all other afflicted and purified dharmas that are just infallible relativity. This is an unrivaled, wondrous miracle. Because existence and peace appear, wisdom, like an eye, pervades existence everywhere and manifests all kinds of displays. This understanding depends upon a conventional mode of analysis.



.

If one thus accomplishes the eyes of analytical wisdom that analyze the two truths, then in dependence upon the skillful means of mantra, one quickly accomplishes all of one's goals. Therefore, if one practices with illusion-like samadhi on the coalescence of the two truths, one will accomplish the eloquence dharani through the emanation and retrieval of lights from the mantra at the heart of oneself visualized clearly as a deity. The qualities of that are as follows:

.

One will be able to take into one's stomach in a gulp, with the force of one's analytical mind, all knowable objects, like the water of the great ocean; the jewel of one's heart [that can do that] is the hero Manjusri, the radiance of whose wisdom is stainless. In that state, the dharani of total recall, the treasures of brilliance, and the noble intellect of discrimination blaze gloriously.



.

As it is said:

The dharmakaya-terton of the effulgence of awareness

Has taken out this treasure from the expanse of wisdom.

It is not like [treasures that are] the essence of earth and stone.

.

L6: [0.3.3.2.2.2.2 Its result is consummation in the non-conceptual state of the perfectly pure Manjusri]



.

###


0.3.3.2.2.2.2

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.

.

The nature of those syllables is the effulgence of one's own mind, which appears everywhere unobstructedly, because it is the original emptiness that is inseparable awareness and emptiness. In that state, the fundamental expanse, which is free of center and extremes, the luminosity beyond mind, which is the abiding reality reached by means of the path of certainty in the equanimity that is free of the four extremes of elaboration, and which is the coalescence of the two truths, is the Great Perfection—Manjusri. To abide in that state is the supreme dharani entrance to the inseparability of the two truths.



.

L6: [0.3.3.2.2.2.3 Having abandoned obscuring stains through that, one attains eloquence with respect to the ultimate meaning]

.

###


0.3.3.2.2.2.3

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, by equipoise in the vast expanse of the king of views, free of extremes, one sees the true meaning. Because of that, one does not need to make efforts to eliminate the darkness of the low-mindedness of intentional apprehension of the four extremes—namely, nescience in general or philosophical superimpositions in particular. Instead, the unobstructed effulgence of the sun of the self-luminous wisdom of luminosity, which knows everything just as it is, eliminates them automatically.



.

L3: [0.3.4 Stating the meaning of the treatise, including both questions and answers]

L4: [0.3.4.1 Including both questions and answers, the way of composing the crucial points of scripture]

.

###



0.3.4.1

Thus, the questions asked by that wanderer

Were explained in the number corresponding to

The [seven] accoutrements of royalty.

.

This great sage analyzes in an honest and upstanding way; sudden, adventitious thoughts are the mendicant. By means of the questions posed by the mendicant to that sage, these seven questions, equal in number to the accoutrements of royalty, were explained.



.

The Uttaratantra says:

Someone who only refers to the teaching of

Buddha and unwaveringly practices it

Is on the way to attaining liberation.

By the sage's command, I revere that one on crown of my head.

.

L4: [0.3.4.2 Having cast away arrogance, the presence of profound and extensive meaning in this treatise]



.

###


0.3.4.2

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.

.

Having cast away arrogance, a feeble-minded (blo chung) intellectual like myself has taken from the mind treasury of sublime, great-minded beings these profound and abstruse subjects—the topics that are difficult to understand, namely the profound exposition of ultimate reality and the extensive exposition of deceptive reality—and composed this text accordingly. For example, it is like the wish-fulfilling tree of the gods taking root in the world of humans.



.

L4: [0.3.4.3 Differentiating joyfully the meaningful speech that posed questions in that way]

.

###


0.3.4.3

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.

.

This excellent gentle shower of Dharma, the elegant explanation spoken above, is the only path trodden by millions of previous bodhisattvas. And by listening to the words with pleasure and enthusiasm and thinking about the meaning, all beings who become disciples in the future, by thinking about the attainment of the great temporary and final purposes, will rejoice in these questions, and open the door to this opportunity for receiving the nectar of the holy Dharma.



.

L4: [0.3.4.4 Stating the colophon, which is made for the sake of those with profound and extensive minds]

.

###


0.3.4.4

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.

.

Therefore, as there is a great meaning involved, for the benefit of many disciples who think about the profound and vast meaning again and again as explained in this way, the Dhih-named one has playfully written and arranged all the profound and vast meanings of the scriptures and commentaries, just as they arose in the lucid surface of his mirror-mind, which is free from any stain of confusion.



.

L4: [0.3.4.5 In dependence upon this, finding the excellent path of the supreme vehicle]

.

###


0.3.4.5

The profound way of the Buddha-dharma, 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


.

The profound Dharma of the Sugata cannot in any way be expressed, just as space cannot be measured. But relying upon the light of this Beacon of Certainty and abiding in it through study, reflection, and meditation, one will find the excellent supreme path and be able to gradually comprehend all the Dharmas of the Sugata.

.

Mangalam!



.

After the syllable Dhih the author's colophon reads,

.

###


"When I was very young and had just begun my studies, this text, the Beacon of Certainty, was written just as it came to mind. Looking at them now, some of the words seem a bit awkward, but since they are not contradictory and since there are important points to be understood here, I have not changed them but left them as is. Thus, this was spoken by Mipham at age seven."

.

I say:



Wishing to see the palace of Rang zom and Klong chen pa, which is filled with the jewels of eloquent explanations,

If one upholds this jeweled beacon with one's innate and acquired intellect,

One will have the good fortune to enjoy this profound and extensive treasure;

But others, alas, see only a fragment of it, and intend to possess it without aspiration?

The royal banner of the teaching of the early translations, possessed of six superiorities,

Is festooned with supreme divine ornaments, the scriptural knowledge and reasoning of the lion of philosophers.

Beautifully adorned, it flies high in the heavens of Tibetan philosophy;

With this beacon of brilliance held aloft, one should be able to see it perfectly.

By searching with the floodlight of this excellent text,

The sharp reasoning of its elegant explanations is unsheathed, like a sword.

Grasping its handle by means of this commentary, one can embark on its study,

And cut off one's doubts about the peerless, secret profundity.

The teachings of Rang zom and Klong chen pa, ornaments of the essence

Of the Buddha's teaching, were clarified by the reasoning of Ajita.

May we uphold the system of these peerless lords of scholarship,

Through study, reflection, and meditation!

Without a second thought you overwhelmed the arrogance

Of a thousand elephants of wicked disputation,

With the roaring laughter of a philosopher-lion.

May you prevail, Mipham Victorious in all Directions

May intellectuals, with their dry words and willful misinterpretations,

Confess their faults with heartfelt regret.

May the brilliant white moon of fresh merit

Cause the Buddha s teaching to spread and increase,

And may the holders of the teaching remain among us.

May all sentient beings with a connection to me

Be blessed with happiness and follow the teachings,

Find bodies of miraculous rebirth in pure realms,

And finally reach perfect Buddhahood.

.

Some time ago, since there were others whose interest in this text was similar to my own, I wrote a little bit about it. At that time, [Zhe chen rgyal tshab] 'Gyur med Padma rnam rgyal—the lord of the lineage possessing the three forms of kindness of the all-compassionate protector Zhe chen kong sprul—requested that I write a short commentary, so, to the best of my ability, I wrote an outline. Later, the one whose life epitomizes the liberation of a learned, ethical, and noble person, 'Jam dbyangs mKhyen brtse Chos kyi blo gros, proofread it and asked that I write a commentary based upon it. With a white scarf, a silver coin, and, in particular, the implements of method and wisdom—a vajra and bell—plus paper to write on, his command fell on my head. Someone who should be embarrassed even to take the dust of their feet on the crown of his head—who is known as the nephew of the lord of siddhas, 'Gyur med mtha' yas, and of the lord of scholars, Tshul khrims rgya mtsho—the Buddhist monk 'Jam dpal rdo rje was assisted by the scribe Khri dpon mkhan po Blo gros rab gsal. Virtue!



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