Tilopa’s Ganges Mahamudra Oral Instructions Translated by Daniel Brown, Ph.D. 1.

Out of respect for the lineage, who developed these instructions to counter an ocean of suffering in Samsara, Let me pour this View into your mind, my friends. 2. Although Mahamudra isn’t anything I can really explain. Just let go, and hold this vantage point of mind, without artificial meditation strategies, and freshly [without conceptualization]. Just as space has no substance to it, Likewise, the real nature of the mind, Mahamudra, has no substance that can serve as a support to focus on 3. Cling to nothing as I speak, and there is no doubt, liberation will come. Take this View as if you were looking directly into awareness-itself, like space, in such a way that you aren’t trying to see, because from this vantage point, awareness sees itself by itself. And when all attempts to conceptualize cease, you will attain perfect awakening. 4. Clouds float through space, but don’t go anywhere, or stay anywhere. In the same way conceptualization arises in the mind, but from the vantage point of the real nature of the mind, thought is like waves that become calm. 5. Just as space has no color. It has no form. It has no darkness. No light. It is changeless. Likewise, the real nature of the mind has no color, no form, Nor is it tinged by the darkness of bad, nor the light of virtuous actions. For thousands of aeons, the sun that shines everyday day has never been clouded by darkness. Likewise, the real nature of the mind’s clear-light of awareness has never been clouded by the cycle of Samsara. You’ll probably conceptualize about the mind in so many ways, calling it “empty space’ or ‘clear-light’ but you can’t really explain it in words. This mind is...insubstantial, and words won’t make awakening happen.



just makes to stray from this truth. and don’t think about anything whatsoever. Those who are unable to appreciate this Truth are toss about in the sea of Samsara. Conduct an examination-meditation right now on the Truth. Simply take this vantage point. right here is Mahamudraawakening. Having ideas about how you routinely keep your vows. The real nature of the mind is always right here.. and you will become liberated from the prison of Samsara.8. Simply vow never to leave it. You will not see the clear-light of Mahamudra by chanting mantras. in you samadhi-meditation.. shut your mouth. endless. right now. as the teaching beyond all practices. This truth is beyond the reactivity of the mind moving away or moving toward anything. now stop doing anything to set up your body posture. 12. Let go of meditating. The body has no substance. or by practicing ethical precepts. trying to conceptualize how you might [awaken]. reading the wisdom texts or sutras on emptiness. 11. beginning less. When the [ordinary] mind [incessantly reacts] by moving away from practices it dislikes and moving toward practices it likes You stay obscured and will not see the clear-light of Mahamudra-awakening. 10. immediately becomes calm by itself. not trying to stay. 9. like space itself. not even trying to see it. . and nothing will obscure the flames [of awakening!]. Never leave Thatness. And the mind. Don’t particularize anything. like the hollow inside of a bamboo stalk. So let go of any artificial strategies of meditating. is beyond any intended meditation object. Then. and so the mind remains like a still pool of water. the flames of this Truth will burn up all the bad karma and obscurations. like vast space that saturates everything! So my dear friends. Beyond the reactivity of the [ordinary] mind moving toward and moving away. then you will see everything there is to see! 13. and don’t try to represent it. but don’t stay in it either. be quiet. and whatever seems to arise by itself. And when this mind reflects itself to itself.

16. Likewise. 20. 19. The leaves and branches of a tree whither and wilt when its roots are cut. Do not search for anything. like a mirage or a dream.. Be without any expectation of gain or fear of failure.14. There is no path to walk. mirages and dreams are not the Truth. 15. other than taking the vantage point of what is the essence of Truth. break connection with [ordinary] sensory experience. now you awaken! 18.. So at least for now put aside everyday activities. And when you are familiar with what its like meditating in this way. without any intended meditation object. Those foolish beings who continuously get caught up in negative states of misery and sorrow. and the leaves and branches of Samsara end. need only depend on the teacher’s pointing out instructions. not the cause of Truth. cut the roots of the mind. . The essence of this teaching is: to do nothing. The King of Practice is: Do nothing. So my friends. It only generates more desire and aversion.. and it is perfect. Everything that seems to exist in this world is impermanent. everything that exists within Samsara is only the cause of suffering. And as such. Dwell in the forests or mountains and meditate. you will attain Mahamudra-awakening. So my friends. The King of Views is: Going beyond subject/object duality The King of Meditation is: Holding this vantage point uninterruptedly. and when you don’t try to attain it. please understand me well. and you are already facing Buddha-mind as your mind. So now move beyond any intended meditation object to the real nature of the mind’s awareness self-illuminating itself to itself. 17. and your realization will directly come to fruition. All these sorry folks who wish to be free. [above all] stay in this vantage point of non-meditation. Yet.

25. Do not hold onto anything. Do not make anything happen nor prevent anything from happening. 27. and you are freed from Samsara. Beyond any intention or cutting anything off. and cut to the root. always right here. Then. Likewise. The smallest lamp can eliminate darkness that has accumulated for thousands of eons. that have accumulated for eons. This is the Supreme Meditation. Beyond all expectation of outcome or fear of failure. it is beyond all conceptualization and all artificial meditation strategies. So if you want this Truth. Wide and deep and limitless. self-illuminates the storehouse of all potential experience. This is the Supreme Practice.21. and defilements. 23. it flows gently like the vast Ganges. All that obscures. 22. in a single instant. Don’t engage in any artificial meditation strategies. So my friends. and hold the vantage point freshly. is Mahamudra-awakening. a singe flame of the clear-light of the mind’s awareness self-illuminating itself to itself. or you won’t see the Truth that is beyond all conceptualization. and right here. it is a great ocean wherein the infant of individual consciousness and the dharmakaya mother consciousness flow into one another. obscurations. nor let anything go. 26. even the subtlest propensities cease. And finally. Ease up so you let whatever arises come forth in its own right [self-contentedly]. the mind frees itself. Purify the muddy water of conceptualizing until it becomes clear. Don’t do anything. This is the Supreme View. Use your sword of emptiness everywhere. or you won’t see the Truth that is beyond all doing. This is the Supreme Fruition. eliminates all the ignorance. At first awakening the mind is like a fast-moving waterfall. Complete liberation from all extreme [views]. The awakened mind. 24. For those less intelligent who can’t stay [continuously] in the vantage . don’t conceptualize this.

entering samadhi. If you take that vantage point as your support. This is my oral advice to you. Through empowerment. and distill the nectar of awareness with many concentration practices. and in the hearts of all sentient beings!. Awakened Wisdom arises. then saturate your entire being. You will seem ageless and healthy like the waxing moon.point of awakened wisdom [once you taste it] You can [once again] stay on the breath. my friends. its radiance. [and when your concentration is strong again] Above all learn to hold the vantage point of awareness-itself 28. its radiance. When you don’t grasp for it. [the seeds of] this Awakened Wisdom are gently drawn into the mandala [in your heart]. You’ll seem to have the strength of a lion. and all the ordinary [positive states] and special powers of a Buddha will flourish. then manifest in various sites in your body. 29. Let it stay uninterruptedly in your heart. on the essence of Mahamudraawakening. . its emptiness. Awakened Wisdom arises. its emptiness. then insight. You become radiant.

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