Bodhichitta – on three levels

 

Bodhichitta

The Teachings on Taking the Arousing of Bodhichitta as the Path

The great master Padmakara is an emanation of Buddha Amitabha. Having trained his mind in the numerous Mahayana sutras, he loves all sentient beings as a mother loves her only child. Acting always for the welfare of others, he is the steersman who delivers all samsaric beings to nirvana. Without being asked he gives instruction to all those to be tamed. Endowed with great compassion he is the king of all bodhisattvas.

When he was staying in the Lion Fortress Cave at Monkha, I, Lady Tsogyal of Kharchen, aroused bodhichitta, the mind set on supreme enlightenment. Having offered a mandala of precious substances to the great master, I made this petition: “Emaho! Great master, you have taught that having cultivated love and compassion for all beings, the sole importance in the Mahayana teaching is to train in bodhichitta This being so, how should we engage in the training of bodhichitta?”

The master replied: “Tsogyal, if, having entered the Mahayana, you do not train in bodhichitta, you will fall into the lower vehicles. Therefore it is essential to always arouse the mind set on supreme enlightenment and to exert yourself in the trainings of benefiting others.

Countless detailed explanations of that have been given in the sutras and tantras of the Mahayana. When bodhichitta is explained concisely in accordance with these teachings, it is divided into three sections: the outer training, the inner training, and the secret training.”

The Outer Training in Bodhichitta

Lady Tsogyal asked: “What are the methods of the outer training?”

The master replied: “There are twelve points to the outer training:

1. the essence of training in bodhichitta,

2. its divisions,

3. its definition,

4. the characteristics of the person,

5. the object from whom you take the vow,

6. the ceremony for taking it,

7. the benefits of the training,

8. the reason for training,

9. the shortcomings of not training,

10. the precepts,

11. the dividing line between losing and possessing it,

12. the method for repairing it if damaged.”

“How are these points you described?” she asked.

1. The Essence

The master replied: “The essence of arousing bodhichitta is the desire to attain unexcelled enlightenment together with the vow to do so in order to liberate all sentient beings from samsara.

2. The Divisions

The sutras describe many classifications of divisions, but in short, there are two kinds: aspiration and application. The aspiration is the wish to accomplish the welfare of beings, but that alone is not sufficient. It is important to actually engage in benefiting all sentient beings.

It seems to be quite difficult for prejudiced people who are not free from egotism to give rise to bodhichitta

3. The definition

The definition of bodhichitta is the arising in oneself of an altruistic attitude which has not previously arisen.

This attitude will not arise in beings who have not gathered the accumulations.

4. The Characteristics of the Person

The person who engages in the training of bodhichitta should possess certain characteristics. He should aspire towards the teaching of the Mahayana, unlike the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas. Due to great intelligence, he should be totally free from doubt. He should have taken refuge in a master and in the Three Jewels and should feel weary of incorrect or inferior teachings. He should be naturally peaceful and gentle.

The people of Tibet are hostile towards the Dharma, the ministers are evil-minded, the king is gullible; there are only a few who are suitable recipients for the Mahayana teachings. Tsogyal, be free from partiality toward friend and enemy.”

5. The Object

The object from whom you take the bodhichitta vow should be a master, who has the Mahayana aspiration and whose mind is filled with love and compassion. He should be a teacher who does not act for the benefit of himself for even an instant, and who observes his precepts without transgressions.

In this dark age, one will fall into the hands of Mara unless one follows a qualified master.

6. The Ceremony

The ceremony for taking the bodhichitta vow is as follows. Having arranged an extensive display of offerings before the Three Jewels on the fifteenth or the eighth of the waxing moon in an auspicious year and month, pay respect to the sangha. Offer a ganachakra to the yidam. Make extensive torma offerings to the dakinis, Dharma protectors and elemental spirits. Give away all your possessions and gather a vast amount of merit.

That same evening, offer the initiation fee to the master. With respect for the master, the disciple should gather the accumulations by means of the seven pure aspects.1

In particular, you should confess misdeeds as follows. Visualize the syllable ‘a‘ at the crown of your head. By means of the light streaming forth from it, establish all sentient beings in the enlightenment of the buddhas and make offerings to all noble beings. By means of the light being absorbed back into the ‘a,’ absorb the nectar of the siddhis of all the noble ones which then dissolves into your body, speech and mind, and burns away all of your misdeeds and obscurations. Imagining that, recite ‘a‘ 108 times.

Imagine that the light radiating from the ‘hung‘ in the heart of the wisdom being in the master’s heart center dissolves into your body, speech and mind and thereby burns away all misdeeds. Thinking this, recite ‘hung‘ 108 times.

Then follows the verbal confession. Remembering all misdeeds accumulated since beginningless samsara, recite this confession three times with remorse:

Vajra master and all vidyadharas, pay heed to me!

Assembly of yidam deities together with your retinue of peaceful and wrathful buddhas, pay heed to me!

Victorious ones of the ten directions together with your sons, pay heed to me!

Mother dakinis guarding the teachings together with the Dharma protectors, pay heed to me!

In the presence of those who are worthy of veneration, I, (name),2 remorsefully confess all the evil karmic actions I have accumulated by the power of erroneous thinking by means of body, speech and mind, through committing unvirtuous actions and misdeeds, causing others to commit them or rejoicing in their doing so, since beginningless lifetimes to this very day.

Then resolve not to further proliferate misdeeds. Repeat the above supplication and then say three times:

Just as the tathagatas and their sons of the past, by means of the perfect life-examples of the paths and bhumis, turned away from unvirtuous actions and misdeeds, so will I, (name), from this very moment until reaching the essence of enlightenment, turn away from committing misdeeds through erroneous thinking. I vow to henceforth refrain from them.

The actual arousing of bodhichitta

This has two parts. The first is for the beginner to arouse the bodhichitta of aspiration.

From the core of his heart the disciple should arouse the genuine attitude of thinking: “In order to save all the sentient beings of samsara from the ocean of suffering, I will attain unexcelled enlightenment!”

At the end of repeating the above supplication he should say three times:

With the attitude of regarding all sentient beings as being my fathers and mothers, my brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters, or my teachers and Dharma friends, I, (name), from this very day until reaching the essence of enlightenment, will generate the firm intention of liberating all beings who have not been liberated. I will cross over the ones who have not crossed over, I will relieve the ones who are not relieved, and I will establish in the nondwelling state of enlightenment of the buddhas all beings who have not passed beyond suffering.3

Secondly, for arousing the bodhichitta of application, form the thought: “From this very moment and for as long as samsara is not emptied, without being distracted for even a single moment, I will accomplish the welfare of beings in manifold ways.” Repeat the above supplication, after which you should say three times:

From this very moment until samsara is emptied, I, (name), will persistently generate the firm intention to gradually train, carry out and perfect the six paramitas and the four means of magnetizing. Just as the buddhas of the past and all the bodhisattvas by means of the perfect life-examples of the paths and bhumis, were endowed with the root and branch vows, in that way I also will train, carry out and perfect them. Please regard me as a bodhisattva.

The master then says, “So be it!” and the disciple, “It is good! It is meaningful!” After having repeated the above three times, one has obtained the vow.

In order to keep the vow unimpaired from that moment on, the master should instruct the disciple in the precepts. The disciple should then offer a gift and perform an extensive offering of thanksgiving.

From that moment on it is of the greatest importance to continuously exert oneself in arousing bodhichitta and in the trainings of bodhichitta, like the steady flow of a river.

7. The Benefits

The benefits of training in the bodhichitta you have thus developed are as follows. Elevated above the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas, you are included in the assembly of Mahayana practitioners. Your disturbing emotions, misdeeds and obscurations are all annihilated from their very root. All the virtuous actions of your body, speech and mind become causes for what is meaningful and a vast gathering of merit will be perfected in your being. You will always be watched over by the buddhas and bodhisattvas and the great protectors of the Dharma. All sentient beings will love you as their own child and find you beautiful to behold. You will never be separated from the Mahayana teachings.

In short, you will quickly accomplish the superior qualities of buddhahood and awaken to true and complete enlightenment. Thus the qualities are inconceivable. Therefore be persistent in just this.

8. The Reasons for Training

It may be sufficient to attain liberation by yourself alone, so why should you liberate all sentient beings from samsara? Since all beings are your own parents, your debt of gratitude is inconceivably great, and so you need to train in order to repay their kindness.

Their kindness consists in forming the basis for your life and body; raising you from childhood with the best food and drink; undertaking all kinds of pain and difficulties for your benefit; cherishing you as higher than themselves, more important even than their own hearts.

Moreover, they have endowed you with wealth and possessions, educated you, connected you to the sacred Dharma and so forth. Because of the inconceivably great kindness of these parents, you must liberate them all from samsara. Since all sentient beings have the basic cause, the essence of enlightenment, you are also connected with them and so you must liberate them all from samsara.

Tsogyal, if you desire happiness for yourself alone, you have no connection to perfect buddhahood.

9. The Defects of not Training

The defects of not training are as follows. Having fallen to the level of being a shravaka and pratyekabuddha, you are hindered in attaining the great enlightenment; all the actions you perform become futile; all the merit you have accumulated in the past will be exhausted; you will always be hampered by spirits; others will feel hostile and dislike you. In short, your wishes will never be fulfilled and so forth. Thus there are countless shortcomings.

Tsogyal, how silly it is to expect to be a Mahayana follower without possessing bodhichitta

10. The Precepts

There are two types of precepts to observe. For the precept of the bodhichitta of aspiration you must train again and again in bodhichitta with the intention to never forsake sentient beings. The bodhichitta of aspiration is impaired if:

* preceded by the intention to reject another sentient being, you get angry or physically hit another person and allow one day to pass without applying an antidote.

* preceded by the intention to deceive your master, teacher, vajra friend or anyone else worthy of respect, you deceive them and let one day pass without applying an antidote.

* you cause someone to regret a vast root of merit he has created, which is an object for rejoicing and not for feeling regret. This occurs when, preceded by the intention to make him feel remorse, you say, “There is something superior to this! This is not excellent!”

* motivated by anger, you utter a sentence of criticism to a bodhisattva who has developed bodhichitta

* without compassion, you deceive another sentient being.

These deeds are called the ‘five perverted actions’ if you allow one day to pass without counteracting them with an antidote. Give them up as they will cause you to lose your vow of aspiration.

Tsogyal, you can be ruined by taking many precepts which you do not keep.

There are, moreover, five actions to which you should adhere:

1) As an antidote to showing anger or beating sentient beings, you should always be peaceful, gentle and try to help them.

2) As an antidote to deceiving someone worthy of respect, you should be conscientious and never lie even at the cost of your life.

3) As an antidote to causing others to feel regret, establish all sentient beings in the virtue which leads to the great enlightenment of the buddhas.

4) As an antidote to criticizing others out of anger, you should praise all followers of the Mahayana while regarding them as your teachers.

5) As an antidote to deceiving sentient beings, you should take your own mind as witness and with pure intention, follow those who are stable.

Adhere to these deeds and you will be a holder of the teachings of Shakyamuni even though you are born as a woman.

Secondly, the precepts of the bodhichitta of application will be explained under three points:

1) the ten nonvirtues to be abandoned,

2) the ten virtuous actions which are the antidotes,

3) the ten paramitas that are to be engaged in.

The ten nonvirtues

Among the ten nonvirtues, there are first the three physical deeds: killing, taking what is not given and engaging in sexual misconduct.

The essence of killing is to interrupt the continuation of life. There are three types enacted by the three poisons:

1) Killing out of desire means to slaughter animals due to desire for their meat, skin and so forth.

2) Killing out of anger means, for example, to murder another with a vicious intention.

3) Killing out of delusion means to kill without intention, for example, when a child kills a bird or an ant dies by being trodden on.

Sentient beings who are not free from the three poisons have no happiness.

The act of killing is completed when committed by means of the following four aspects:

1) The preceding thought of intending “I will do such a misdeed!”

2) The deliberate engagement in the act and pursuing it with effort.

3) The actual deed of killing, experiencing the act.

4) The conclusion of rejoicing in the act without feeling regret.

The results of killing appear in three ways:

1) The result of ripening is that by killing out of desire you will mainly be reborn as a hungry ghost, by killing out of anger you will mostly be reborn in the hells, and by killing out of delusion you will mainly be reborn as an animal.

2) The result of the dominant action is that, dominated by the former unvirtuous action, you will have a short life span and much sickness even if you take rebirth as a human being.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that you will take pleasure in the act of killing due to your former habitual tendencies.

Tsogyal, therefore we should not commit these actions. The sutras teach that if you put effort into abandoning these actions you will turn away from the previous result of ripening, the result corresponding to the cause, and the dominant result. Then you will attain the abundant happiness of gods and men.

Taking what is not given

The essence of the second physical nonvirtue, taking what is not given, is the act of making another person’s possession your own.

This nonvirtue includes taking by force, for example robbing in open daylight, taking by sneak such as stealing unnoticed, and taking by deceit, for example dishonesty with weights and scales.

Tsogyal, people who have not turned away from desire possess no happiness.

Just as before, this action is consummated when four aspects are complete, and the results are again of three types:

1) The result of ripening is that you fall into the three lower realms according to whether the act is done to a greater, medium or lesser degree. In particular, you will be reborn as a hungry ghost.

2) The dominant result will be that, even if you are reborn as a human being, you will have few possessions and encounter a lot of thievery and robbery.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that, due to this unwholesome habitual tendency being accumulated in the all-ground, you will delight in taking what is not given in future lives.

Tsogyal, if you give up committing such actions you will have three results. You will obtain the opposite of the previous three results, such as being reborn in the forms of god and men, having much wealth and so forth.

Sexual misconduct

The essence of the third physical nonvirtue, sexual misconduct, is the act of engaging in intercourse with an object of desire with whom one has no authority to do so.

When divided, there are the following kinds:

1) It is unsuitable for a commoner to have intercourse with someone under the guardianship of a king, such a his queen.

2) It is unsuitable to have intercourse with someone prohibited by the law.

3) In India, it is unsuitable to have casual intercourse with someone under the guardianship of parents, since men and women not in their own household are protected by their parents.

4) It is unsuitable to have intercourse with someone protected by ‘civilized principles,’ which means someone with whom it is shameful such as a mother or a sister.

5) It is unsuitable to have intercourse with someone under the guardianship of the sacred Dharma, such as the guru’s consort, an ordained person and so forth.

Lustful people do not enter the path of liberation. Tsogyal, apply the antidote.

There are also occasions on which it is unsuitable to have intercourse even with your rightful companion:

1) It is unsuitable to have intercourse at an inappropriate time such as on the full moon, new moon and the eighth day.

2) It is unsuitable to have intercourse in an inappropriate location, such as in the presence of a shrine for the Three Jewels.

3) It is unsuitable to have intercourse in an inappropriate orifice, such as engaging in the manner of animals.

Tsogyal, in general people who have not abandoned the life of householders are trapped in the prison of Mara.

As before, the act of sexual misconduct is consummated by means of the four completing aspects, and again there are three types of result:

1) Through the result of ripening you will be reborn in the three lower realms. Even if you do take rebirth in the higher realms, you will have fights with your spouse and so forth.

2) The dominant result is that even in future lives your helpers, spouse and so forth will be unresponsive and show various acts of ingratitude.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that your unwholesome habitual tendencies will cause you to take pleasure in sexual misconduct.

Tsogyal, if you give up these acts and refrain from engaging in them, you will obtain the opposites of their results, so abandoning them is of great importance.

Secondly, there are four types of verbal nonvirtues.

Telling lies

The essence of the first, telling lies, is to verbally state that something untrue is true.

When divided, there are the following kinds:

1) Lies that neither benefit nor harm, such as the lies of an old senile man.

2) Lies that do benefit or harm, such as benefiting one person while harming another.

3) The ‘lie of having supreme human qualities’ means that you claim to possess such qualities in your stream of being such as higher perceptions, when you do not.

Tsogyal, do not utter a lot of thoughtless words.

As before, the act of telling lies is consummated by means of the four completing aspects, and again there are three types of result:

1) The result of ripening is that you fall into the lower realms.

2) The dominant result is that even if you are reborn as a human, your voice will hold no power.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that in future lives you will again delight in telling lies.

Tsogyal, if you give up these acts you will obtain the opposites of their results, so abandoning them is of great importance.

Divisive talk

The essence of the second verbal nonvirtue, divisive talk, is the act of separating people who are good friends.

When divided, there are the following types:

1) Public divisive talk by talking directly to someone’s face.

2) Indirect divisive talk by talking in a round about way.

3) Private divisive talk by talking to others individually.

Tsogyal, people who cannot keep their lips tight will have no happiness.

The four completing aspects are just as before, and there are again three types of result:

1) The result of ripening is that you will fall into the three lower realms.

2) The dominant result is that, even if you take rebirth as a human being, you will have few friends and many arguments. You will always have many regrets, be disliked by everyone, and whatever you utter will be ineffective.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that in future lives you will again take pleasure in divisive talk.

Tsogyal, if we abandon such acts we will attain the opposites of their results, so it is important to abandon them.

Idle Gossip

The essence of the third verbal nonvirtue, idle gossip, is to waste free time.

When divided, there are the following types:

1) Shamanistic incantations.

2) Story telling and word games.

3) Bantering conversation.

Just as before, it is consummated by the four aspects, and will have these three types of result:

1) The result of ripening is that you will fall into the three lower realms.

2) The dominant result is that, even if you are reborn as a human being, your words will be undignified, babbling and unconnected.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that in future lives you will again take pleasure in uttering idle gossip.

Tsogyal, if you give up these acts you will attain the opposite of their results, so do not be fond of pointless chatter.

Harsh Words

The essence of the fourth verbal nonvirtue, harsh words, is talk which hurts another person.

When divided, there are the following kinds:

1) Exposing someone’s faults in public.

2) Hurting someone indirectly.

3) Uttering in private something which will hurt another person.

Tsogyal, the fire of harsh words burns the heart of both yourself and others. The weapon of harsh words kills the life-force of liberation.

This act is consummated by the four completing aspects, and has the following three types of results:

1) The result of ripening is to be reborn in the three lower realms.

2) The dominant result is that, even if you take rebirth as a human being, whatever you say will be offensive to others and you will always appear to aggravate them.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that you will be fond of speaking harsh words.

Tsogyal, if you abandon these actions you will attain the results of their opposites. The sentient beings of the dark age have no happiness.

Thirdly, there are three mental nonvirtues.

Covetousness

The essence of the first, covetousness, is attachment to something excellent.

When divided, there are the following types:

1) Refraining from giving away your own possessions.

2) Desiring to make others’ possessions belong to yourself.

3) Attachment to something excellent which belongs to neither oneself nor others.

Tsogyal, do not hold on to ownership of material things. Dharma practitioners with no understanding of impermanence have no happiness.

This action is consummated by the four aspects, and has the following three results:

1) The result of ripening is rebirth in the three lower realms.

2) The dominant result is that, even if you take rebirth as a human being, you will always live in an unpleasant area where there is hunger and thirst.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that in future lives you will take pleasure in covetousness.

Tsogyal, it is therefore essential to abandon these actions.

Ill-will

The essence of the second mental nonvirtue, ill-will, is an attitude of hostility.

When divided, there are the following types:

1) Ill-will resulting from anger.

2) Ill-will resulting from resentment.

3) Ill-will resulting from jealousy.

Tsogyal, do not commit mental actions which hurt yourself and harm others.

This act is consummated by the four aspects, and has the following three types of results.

1) The result of ripening is to take rebirth in the lower realms.

2) The dominant result is that, even if you are reborn as a human, others are unjustifiably hostile towards you and constantly you meet with enmity and lawsuits.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that you will develop a malicious frame of mind.

Tsogyal, if you do not give up ill-will you can practice neither Hinayana nor Mahayana.

Wrong Views

The essence of the third mental nonvirtue, wrong view, is to exaggerate or denigrate.

When divided, there are the following kinds:

1) The wrong view of holding the non-Buddhist beliefs of eternalism or nihilism.

2) The wrong view of holding a rule or ritual to be paramount, such as ‘asceticism of dogs and chickens.’4

3) The wrong view of holding the belief of the ‘transitory collection.’5

Tsogyal, there are few who understand the difference between Dharma and non-Dharma.

These actions are consummated by the four aspects, and produce the following three results:

1) The result of ripening is to take rebirth in the three lower realms.

2) The dominant result is that, even if you are reborn as a human being, you will take birth in a place such as in an uncivilized border tribe, where you will not even hear the name of the Three Jewels.

3) The result corresponding to the cause is that the habitual tendencies of holding wrong views will solidify in your all-ground, after which you will be fond of holding wrong views.

Tsogyal, all noble beings denounce these ten nonvirtues. They are renounced by all learned people. They are not to be committed even by those who seek to attain the special splendor and wealth of gods and humans, so give them up.

There are many people who do not recognize good from evil, but those who do have entered the Buddha’s teachings. To commit nonvirtue while knowing well the cause and effect of virtuous actions and misdeeds is to be no different from an animal.”

Lady Tsogyal asked: “When abandoning these actions, what are the results will one attain?”

The master replied: “As the result of ripening you will be reborn among gods and humans. Like Brahma your voice will be melodious, like Indra your body will more beautiful than that of others, and like a universal monarch you will have great wealth.

As the dominant result you will hold great learning, you will be very intelligent, and you will meet with the Dharma of the Buddha’s teachings. Ultimately you will attain the three levels of enlightenment.

As the result corresponding to the cause you will, in all future lifetimes, exert yourself in abandoning the ten nonvirtues.”

Lady Tsogyal asked: “Concerning these ten nonvirtues, is there any difference in the severity of evil?”

The master replied: “Yes, there are differences. In general, there is the division in terms of the disturbing emotion:

1) Through committing the ten nonvirtues out of anger, you will be reborn as a hell-being.

2) When the nonvirtues are committed out of desire, you will be reborn as a hungry ghost.

3) When the nonvirtues are committed out of delusion, you will be reborn as an animal.

There is also a difference in severity in terms of the object:

1) By committing the ten nonvirtues towards a special object, you will be reborn as a hell-being.

2) By committing them towards an ordinary object, you will be reborn as a hungry ghost.

3) By committing them towards an inferior object, you will be reborn as an animal.

In particular, among the different types of killing, the most severe evil ripening stems from taking the life of a bodhisattva who has developed bodhichitta.

Among the different types of taking what is not given, the greatest misdeed is to steal that which belongs to the Three Jewels.

Among the different types of sexual misconduct, the greatest misdeed is to have forced intercourse with an arhat.

Among the different types of telling lies, the greatest misdeed is to deceive a master or a venerable member of the sangha.

Among the different types of divisive talk, the greatest misdeed is to cause a schism in the sangha.

Among the different types of harsh words, the greatest misdeed is to speak unpleasantly to a member of the sangha.

Among the different types of idle gossip, the greatest misdeed is to disturb the mind of a monk or someone practicing the nature of nondual meditation.

Among the different types of covetousness, the greatest misdeed is to crave the funds donated to the Three Jewels.

Among the different types of ill-will, the greatest misdeed is to plan committing the ‘five deeds with immediate result.’

Among the different types of wrong views, the greatest misdeed is to disparage the ‘true meaning.’

Tsogyal, you should not commit any of these actions even at the cost of your life.

Generally speaking, there are also differences among the ten nonvirtues:

1) Through killing, divisive talk, harsh words and ill-will, you will be reborn as a hell-being.

2) Through sexual misconduct, taking what is not given and covetousness, you will be reborn as a hungry ghost.

3) Through telling lies, idle gossip and holding wrong views, you will be reborn as an animal.

The Ten Virtues

Lady Tsogyal asked the master “How should one practice the ten virtues, the antidotes that are to be adopted?”

The master replied “The ten virtues have four topics:

1) The essence is a pure action of body, speech or mind which produces the Truly High.6

2) The definition of ‘virtuous action’ is that action which, when correctly committed by a person who has obtained the freedoms and riches, yields the result of a desired happiness.

3) The divisions are the virtues which are the opposites of the ten nonvirtues: to save lives, to be tremendously generous, to abide in pure living, to speak truthfully, to reconcile strife, to speak gently and disciplined, to speak meaningfully, to be loving towards all beings, to be unattached, and to be free from doubt about the results of actions and the definitive meaning.

4) The following are the ten supports which cause the virtues to remain in your stream of being: to have faith in the true teachings, to keep self-respect and pure conscience, to refrain from gambling and quarreling, to refrain from watching market gatherings, to always act conscientiously, to cast away laziness, to not associate with immoral friends, to train in the pliancy of body, speech and mind, to cultivate the ‘fourfold spheres of perception,’ and in particular to focus your mind on the path of noble beings.

Tsogyal, by acting in these ways, there is no doubt that you will attain the results of the Truly High.”

The Ten Paramitas

Thirdly, for engaging in the actions of the ten paramitas, there are five topics:

1) The general essence is that which has the nature of the path for accomplishing unexcelled enlightenment.

2) The definition of ‘paramita’ is that which causes you to reach (ita) to the great nirvana, the other shore (param) of the ocean of samsara.

3) The function is to perfect the two accumulations and accomplish the welfare of sentient beings.

4) There are two kinds of divisions: general and specific. The general division is the six paramitas of generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, concentration and discriminating knowledge.

Specifically, generosity has three types: the giving of Dharma teachings, the giving of material things and the giving of protection against fear.

Discipline also has three types: the discipline of refraining from misdeeds, the discipline of gathering virtuous qualities and the discipline of benefiting sentient beings. In other words, these disciplines are observed by refraining from the ten nonvirtues, by the six paramitas and by the four means of magnetizing.

Patience also has three types: the patience of being unconcerned about undergoing suffering when renouncing samsara, the patience of undertaking hardship in order to benefit beings, and the patience of keeping confidence in the Dharma, which means to refrain from fearing the profound nature.

Diligence also has three types: the diligence of applying the Mahayana teachings, the armor-like diligence of repelling adversity, and the relentless diligence of accomplishing the buddhahood of perfect omniscience.

Meditation also has three types: the meditation which focuses on the correct mundane path, the meditation which focuses on the supramundane path and the general meditation that takes both as focus.

Knowledge again has three types: the knowledge that realizes conditioned things to be beyond focus, the knowledge that realizes the innate nature to be beyond focus, and the knowledge that realizes that all phenomena are beyond duality and transcend words, thought and description.

You should know that in order to assimilate each method within your stream of being, you must have four paramitas complete:

To vanquish stinginess and poverty through the generosity of not expecting a reward, is the paramita of strength.

To give while being free from the intentions of ordinary people and the Hinayana is the paramita of method.

To give with the thought, “May I interrupt the poverty of myself and all sentient beings!” is the paramita of aspiration.

To give with the total purity of the three spheres is the paramita of wisdom.7

Similarly, to vanquish nonvirtue with the discipline of not desiring samsaric results, is the paramita of strength.

To observe your vows while being free from the eight worldly concerns, is the paramita of method.

To wish “May the immoral behavior of all sentient beings be interrupted!” while not desiring the states of gods and men for yourself alone, is the paramita of aspiration.

To embrace that with the nonconceptualization of the three spheres is the paramita of wisdom.

To vanquish anger by behaving equally to everyone, is the paramita of strength.

Not to hold a worldly purpose such as deceit and hypocrisy, is the paramita of method.

Not to desire rebirth in a beautiful body of gods or humans for yourself alone, but to wish “May the ugliness of all sentient beings be pacified!” is the paramita of aspiration.

To embrace that with the nonconceptualization of the three spheres is the paramita of wisdom.

To vanquish laziness with the diligence of keeping the faults and qualities in mind, is the paramita of strength.

Not to hold a worldly purpose such as expecting to be held in faith by others, is the paramita of method.

To wish “May all beings bring an end to laziness and exert themselves on the true path!” is the paramita of aspiration.

To embrace that with the nonconceptualization of the three spheres is the paramita of wisdom.

To vanquish distraction through the concentration which has transcended the formless realms, is the paramita of strength.

To practice for the sake of accomplishing the qualities of unexcelled enlightenment, with no desire for the states of gods or men, is the paramita of method.

To wish “May the distraction of all sentient beings be interrupted!” is the paramita of aspiration.

To refrain from conceptualizing the three spheres is the paramita of wisdom.

To vanquish the constructs of distinguishing attributes with the knowledge of emptiness endowed with the nature of compassion, is the paramita of strength.

To be inseparable from that throughout the three times is the paramita of method.

To wish “May I and all other realize the true meaning!” is the paramita of aspiration.

To recognize the fact that since the beginning, your mind essence has the nature of this knowledge, is the paramita of wisdom.

Tsogyal, practice in this way undistractedly.

5) Their result is that you will be liberated from the lower realms and, attaining the special level of gods or men, you will perfect the paths and swiftly attain buddhahood after which you will become a great guide liberating sentient beings from samsara.

11. The Dividing Line Between Losing and Possessing the Vow

The moment of obtaining the bodhichitta vow is as follows. Having gathered a vast accumulation of merit, when you give rise to the thought that you must accomplish the genuine welfare of beings through fully purifying your mind, you obtain the bodhichitta vow at the end of the third utterance of the complete ritual.

The moment of losing the bodhichitta vow is when you give rise to wrong views or denounce the Three Jewels, thus violating the trainings. It is therefore essential to exert yourself while keeping mindfulness and conscientiousness on guard.

12. The Method for Repairing when Damaged

If you damage the root precepts, you must retake the vow as instructed before. If you have damaged the branch precepts, you must confess that in the presence of the master or the Three Jewels.”

The Inner Bodhichitta

Lady Tsogyal asked the master: “How should one train when arousing bodhichitta in the inner way?”

The master replied: “For this there also twelve points of training.

1. The Essence

The essence is to arouse the intention to help those beings who do not realize that the innate nature, the true meaning, is devoid of constructs.

2. The Definition

Without being dependent upon ‘outer’ actions of body or speech, it is called ‘inner’ because it is developed exclusively by your mind.

3. The Divisions

There are two divisions: aspiration and application.

The aspiration is to wish that sentient beings who have not realized this nature may realize it. Just to sit and mutter this is not enough; you must exert yourself in the means for making all sentient beings realize it.

Tsogyal, as long as you are not free from dualistic fixation the application is rather difficult.

4. The Characteristics of the practitioner

In addition to earlier explanations, the characteristic of the person who engages in this training is to have only a minor degree of conceptual constructs.

Tsogyal, let your mind take some rest!

5. The Object from Whom it is Taken

You should receive it from a master who has realized the nature of the twofold selflessness through training in the three types of knowledge, and is thus free from the eight worldly concerns.

Tsogyal, a master is essential for entering the gate of the Mahayana teachings.

6. The Ceremony for Receiving

Free yourself from the three spheres of concepts, give up concerns for all worldly activities and thus request the true oral instructions.

7. The Benefits of the Training

Your will rise far above the Hinayana and erroneous paths. Thus it has the effect of abandoning all thoughts of selfishness and dualistic fixation, and of realizing the nature of selflessness.

8. The Reason for the Training

The reason for training in this inner way of arousing bodhichitta is to establish all sentient beings on the true path, the nature of the twofold selflessness.

9. The Shortcomings of not Training

The defect of not training is that you will stray from the nature of selflessness.

For ordinary people whose minds have not been changed by a philosophical school and for non-Buddhists who have entered an incorrect philosophical school, the ‘self of the individual’ is regarded as being that which controls and experiences the conditioned five aggregates, twelve sense-bases, and eighteen constituents. Moreover, regarding this self as being permanent and concrete, they fixate on it as being friend and enemy, self and other.

Tsogyal, you must pull up this stake of fixation.

The danger of conceptualizing such an individual self is that by apprehending an ego and a self-entity, objects will appear as ‘something other.’ By apprehending this duality, you will regard that which benefits the ‘self’ as friend and that which harms the ‘self’ as enemy. Thus the experiences of attachment and aversion will cause you to commit various kinds of unvirtuous actions. Through these actions you will wander in the lower realms and the whole of samsara.

Tsogyal, unless you expel this evil spirit you will find no happiness.

What type of person denounces this self? In general it is denounced by all Buddhists. In particular, the shravakas specifically denounce it. Needless to say, we who have entered the gate of the Mahayana also denounce fixation on the individual self.

It is claimed that the shravakas partially realize the ‘self of phenomena, and that also the pratyekabuddhas do not realize it fully. That is to say, the shravakas mistakenly assert the existence of matter instead of understanding the self of phenomena, and the pratyekabuddhas dwell in the state of fixating on the empty mind-essence instead of understanding the correct meaning.

Tsogyal, as long as you are not free from the beliefs of the lower philosophical schools you will not perceive the true meaning.

The danger of conceptualizing the self of phenomena is that by such assertion and fixation you will give rise to disturbing emotions. These will cause you to wander in samsara. That is pointless effort even if you were to exert yourself for aeons.

What type of person denounces the self of phenomena? In general all Mahayana followers denounce it. In particular, it would be a bad sign if we who have entered the gate of Secret Mantra fixate on partiality, as the followers of the Middle Way also denounce it.

10. The points to be observed

You should train yourself in the meaning of selflessness of which there are two kinds, aspiration and application.

The three important points of aspiration to be observed are:

1) To continually form the aspiration of thinking “May all sentient beings always realize the meaning of selflessness!”

2) To train yourself three times a day and three times a night in rejoicing in others who meditate on the meaning of selflessness.

3) To always train yourself assiduously in not straying from the meaning of selflessness.

Secondly, the two points of application to be observed are the outer and the inner.

The four outer points are:

1) Not to separate yourself from the master or spiritual friend who teaches the meaning of selflessness until you have realized it.

2) To give up partiality concerning dwelling place, country and area, caste, enemy and friend.

3) To study, reflect and meditate upon the teachings which demonstrate selflessness and emptiness.

4) Not to fixate on yourself as being a name, family or body.

The four inner trainings are:

1) Not to apprehend names as being things since all labels and names of outer things have no existence in your mind.

2) To acknowledge that everything which comprises the world and the beings within it has no self-nature, although it appears, just like dreams and magic.

3) To seek out three times a day and three times a night this mind which fixates on various objects, although nothing whatsoever exists.

4) Not to stray from the meaning which is nameless and devoid of extremes. Even though you search your mind, is not found to be anything whatsoever.

It is of utmost importance to train yourself diligently in this way. Through exerting yourself in this way, you will annihilate the evil spirit and turn away from samsara.

11. The dividing line between losing and possessing the Vow

The moment of obtaining the inner bodhichitta vow is when you receive the oral instructions from your master.

The moment of losing it is when you pursue ordinary dualistic fixation without understanding the nonexistence of a self-nature. Since it is lost at that moment, be sure to apply the antidote!

12. The Method for Repairing when Damaged

Train in remaining undistracted from the meaning just explained and you will automatically untie the knot of dualistic fixation.

The Secret Training

Lady Tsogyal asked the master: “How should one train in the secret arousing of bodhichitta?”

The master replied: “This has eleven points.

1. The Essence

The essence of the secret arousing of bodhichitta is to recognize that which is beyond effort since the beginning, the primordial purity of nonarising free from the limitations of thought and description.

2. The Definition

It is naturally ‘secret’ from all the lower vehicles since it lies beyond that which can be indicated by words or thought of by the mind.

3. The Divisions

When divided, there are two positions: asserting the universal purity to be nonmeditation and asserting the spontaneously present nature to be primordially perfected as nonmeditation. You should be free from any partiality concerning this.8

4. The Characteristic of the Practitioner

The characteristic of the person who engages in this is that he should be of the highest capacity with a mind weary of concrete phenomena.

Tsogyal, this can only be a person who possesses former training.

5. The Object from Whom one Receives

The object from who you receive it should be one who has realized the single circle of dharmakaya and therefore remains in the state of the effortless great expanse.

Tsogyal, this can only be a master who has realized the meaning of the Great Perfection.

6. The Ceremony for Receiving

The ritual for receiving is the empowerment of awareness-display.

Abandon your impure mundane physical activities as well as your pure virtuous actions. Remain like a person who has completed his deeds.

Abandon your impure unwholesome verbal utterances as well as your chanting and recitations and remain like a mute tasting sugar.

Abandon your impure samsaric thought activity as well as your pure nirvanic thought activity and remain like a person whose heart has been torn out.

By your master’s mere indication you will thus perceive the primordial dharmakaya of your mind beyond the reach of words and description.

Tsogyal, this oral instruction of mine is a teaching of liberation simultaneous with understanding.

7. The Effect of Training

The purpose of training in this is that without abandoning samsara it is liberated in itself after which the disturbing emotions are spontaneously perfected as wisdoms. Thus it has the quality of bringing enlightenment in the present moment.

8. The Reason for Training

The reason for training in this way is that you must possess the nature free from bias and partiality.

9. The Shortcoming of not Training

The danger of not training yourself is that you will fall into the partiality of philosophical schools and have the defect of being intrinsically fettered.

Tsogyal, if your practice fall into partiality it is not the Great Perfection.

10. The points to be observed

1) To view as a mere convention, that the root of all phenomena is contained within your own bodhichitta awareness, the primordial purity of nonarising.

2) To view that this bodhichitta awareness is primordially enlightened since it does not possess any constructs such as a watcher or an object to be watched.

3) To recognize that whatever type of thought or fixation arises within the state of this awareness is primordially empty and luminous awareness itself.

4) To recognize that whatever outer appearances may arise do not possess any identity whatsoever from the very moment they are experienced, and therefore do not transcend being the display of dharmata.

5) To experience the nonduality of objects and mind as the innate great bliss, free from accepting and rejecting, affirming or denying.

6) In particular, to experience all disturbing emotions and suffering as the sacred path of enlightenment.

7) To realize that sentient beings, from the moment they are experienced, do not possess any true existence and therefore that samsara is the primordial purity of nonarising and does not have to be abandoned.

8) To realize that everything experienced as kayas and wisdoms is contained within your mind and therefore that buddhahood is beyond being accomplished.

Do this and you will become the successor of Glorious Samantabhadra.

11. The Dividing Line Between Losing and Possessing and the Method of Repairing when Damaged

Here, there are no such efforts since you are primordially never separated from this throughout the three times.

Epilogue

Tsogyal, I have condensed the meaning of all the sutras, tantras, scriptures and oral instructions into these outer, inner and secret ways of arousing bodhichitta

Put them into practice!

Bring them into the path!

Take them to heart!

Be in harmony with their meaning!

They are the root of the Mahayana teachings.”

Thus he spoke.

o – o – o

This was the Mahayana training of bodhichitta entitled ‘The Teachings on Taking the Arousing of Bodhichitta as the Path.’ It was written down in Monkha Senge Dzong.9

Completed.

Treasure seal.

Concealment seal.

Entrustment seal.

{*Dakini script to be included here from the umey version}.

1. The seven branch practice of prostrating to the Three Jewels, confessing negative actions, making offering, rejoicing in the virtue of others, requesting to turn the wheel of Dharma, beseeching to not pass into nirvana, and dedicating the merit to the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

2. Say your ordinary name at this point.

3. Liberating the beings in the three lower realms to a state in which they can practice the Dharma. Helping the beings of the three higher realms to cross the ocean of samsara and attain emancipation. Relieving the aspirant bodhisattvas with the attainment of the bhumis.

4. A Hindu system claiming to attain liberation by imitating the conduct of animals.

5. To hold the mistaken view that an ego or self-entity is inherently existent within the continuity of the five aggregates.

6. The word ‘Truly High’ simply refers to a rebirth in the three higher realms within samsara: humans, demigods and gods.

7. The ‘three spheres’ are the concepts of subject, object and action.

8. This refers to the two main aspects of Dzogchen practice: the primordial purity of ‘trekcho’ and the spontaneous presence of ‘thogal.’ These two practices must be learned through the oral instructions of a Dzogchen master.

9. The last lines for the Lama Gongdue version which had combined the teachings on refuge and bodhichitta into one reads:

“These advices on refuge and bodhichitta known as the foundation of precious gold, are the basis of all Dharma practice. They are in harmony with all practitioners and are special instructions to be treasured by everyone.

According to the oral instructions given by Padmakara, the Master of Uddiyana, for the sake of the beings of future generations, I, the Princess of Kharchen, committed them to writing and concealed them as a precious treasure. May they meet with all worthy people in the future. Samaya.”

Skriv et svar

Din e-mailadresse vil ikke blive publiceret. Krævede felter er markeret med *