A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra

This is the printer-friendly version of: http: / / www.berzinarchives.com / web / en / archives / advanced / mahamudra / gelug_kagyu_mm / gelug_kaguy_mm_dhargyey.html (dGa'-ldan bka'-brgyud rin-po-che'i phyag-chen rtsa-ba rgyal-ba'i gzhung-lam) by the First Panchen Lama Lozang-chokyi-gyeltsen (Pan-chen Blo-bzang chos-kyi rgyal-mtshan) with commentary by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, translated and edited by Alexander Berzin based on oral translations of Sharpa Rinpoche, July 1975 revised by Alexander Berzin, July 2003, September 2006 First edition published as: The First Panchen Lama. The Great Seal of Voidness: The Root Text of the Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra, with Commentary by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, 1975 Reprinted in H. H. the XIVth Dalai Lama et. al. Four Essential Buddhist Texts Dharamsala, India: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, 1982 Order the first edition of this text directly from Paljor Publications {1}. Namo mahamudraya - homage to mahamudra, the great seal of reality. I respectfully bow at the feet of my peerless guru, lord of that which pervades everywhere, master of those with actual attainment, who expounds, in a denuding manner, the diamond-strong vajra sphere of mind, parted from (what can be expressed in) speech, inseparable from mahamudra, the great seal of reality, the all-pervasive nature of everything. The First Panchen Lama, Tutor of His Holiness the Fifth Dalai Lama, prostrates to his root guru, that is to his main spiritual mentor, Kaydrub Sanggyay-yeshey (mKhas-grub Sangs-rgyas ye-shes), from whom he received this mahamudra (great seal) lineage. Next is the author's promise of what he intends to compose. Gathering together and thoroughly condensing the essence of the oceans of sutras, tantras, and verbal guidelines, I shall write some advice concerning mahamudra from the Gelug-Kagyu tradition of the fatherly Dharmavajra, a mahasiddha with supreme actual attainment, and his spiritual offspring. The verbal guideline teaching of mahamudra presented here is that of the Gelug adaptation of the Kagyu tradition. It is based on the pure vision (dag-snang) of Manjushri that the Gelug founder, Jey Tsongkhapa (rJe Tsong-kha-pa Blo-bzang grags-pa) received clarifying the mahamudra teachings he had studied with his many Kagyu masters. It was not committed to writing before this text. Tsongkhapa passed its near lineage (nye-rgyud) orally to Togden Jampel-gyatso (rTogs-ldan 'Jam-dpal rgya-mtsho), one of the eight disciples to accompany him in his famous retreat for
A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 1

since seeing the actual nature of mind is indeed dependent upon strengthening the enlightenment-building networks and purifying yourself of the mental obscurations. there has been no disagreement that the way to lead disciples onto the path to enlightenment is through the preliminary practices of safe direction. For this. As for the first." With bodhichitta resolve. "Entrust your mind. The Sakya tradition of Parting from the Four Clingings (Zhen-pa bzhi-bral). Sakya Pandita (Sa-skya Pan-di-ta) has stated this succinctly. and from him to his spiritual son or main disciple Gyelwa Ensapa (rGyal-ba dBen-sa-pa Blo-bzang don-grub). Then. In fact. to Baso Chojey (Ba-so Chos-rje Chos-kyi rgyal-msthan). mandala offerings. The lamrim lineage then passed down to the First Panchen Lama through the same line of lineage masters as did the Gelug-Kagyu mahamudra lineage. He passed that to Kaydrubjey (mKhas-grub rJe dGe-legs dpal-bzang)." Similarly. Togden Jampel-gyatso was also the immediate recipient of Tsongkhapa's lamrim (graded path) lineage. These extraordinary preliminaries. and guru-yoga. Dharma. who transmitted it in turn to Baso Chojey. earnestly take the safe direction of refuge and develop a bodhichitta aim. the First Panchen Lama. attest to the fact that developing such a motivation or aim is the singular gateway for entering the Mahayana path. Vajrasattva purification. direct (toward your root guru) at least a hundred thousand repetitions of the hundred-syllable mantra and as many hundreds of prostrations as possible. among the masters of all the traditions of Buddhism in Tibet. made while reciting The Admission of Downfalls. This is the dividing line between being a Buddhist or not. in turn. Do not have these merely be words from your mouth. in order to have a gateway for entering the teachings and a central tent pole for (erecting) a Mahayana mind. as well as many tantric texts.such as Atisha. who combined the two streams of the Kadam and mahamudra traditions. bodhichitta. there are preparatory practices. heart. and chest to the Three Precious Gems and their inspiration will strongly follow.emphasized taking in life the safe direction of refuge in the Three Precious Gems of Buddha. it passed to Dharmavajra (Chos-kyi rdo-rje). From him. actual methods. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 2 .A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra preliminaries and the compiler of his secret (spiritual) biography. who transmitted it in turn to the author. and concluding procedures. as well as the common ones of lamrim (graded path) meditation. a mahasiddha (a great practitioner with actual attainments). Moreover. the fifth successor to Tsongkhapa's Ganden throne (dGa-ldan khri-pa). the founder of the Kadam Tradition. O people of Dingri. also makes a strong point of this. The latter passed the lineage to Kaydrub Sanggyay-yeshey. and his spiritual masters Dharmamati of Suvarnadvipa and Shantipa . you work to attain the full enlightenment of Buddhahood in order to be best able to help others gain liberation from suffering. The works of Shantideva and Atisha. Jampel-gyatso transmitted it. which derived from the master Dragpa-gyeltsen (Grags-pa rgyal-mtshan). "If you do not take in life the safe direction of refuge. you are not a Buddhist. Many Indian masters . the First Panchen Lama is recognized as the reincarnation of Gyelwa Ensapa. are especially prominent in the works of Jetsun Milarepa (rJe-btsun Mi-la Ras-pa bZhad-pa rdo-rje) and his disciple Gampopa (sGam-po-pa bSod-nams rin-chen). the fatherly Padampa Sanggyay (Pha-dam-pa sangs-rgyas) has said. and Sangha.

But. Milarepa was able to attain full enlightenment in his very lifetime. All masters of the four major Tibetan traditions of Buddhism have agreed that a healthy relation with a spiritual mentor is vital for the realization of voidness. the founder of the Drigung Kagyu Tradition. while Vajrasattva meditation with repetition of the hundred-syllable mantra is especially effective for degenerated tantric vows. Pagmo-drupa (Phag-mo gru-pa). you might still not be able to attain enlightenment. for example. and whose inspiration is the root for all your actual attainments. as well as eighteen sets of 100.000 mandala offerings. make repeated. one to each of the thirty-five Buddhas. As preliminary practice (ngondro) for strengthening an enlightenment-building network of positive force (collection of merit) and for cleansing obstacles. and practice generosity to limited beings for eons. In doing so. the attainment of mahamudra becomes easy. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 3 . and apply the respective meditation practices as opponents to counteract your downfalls. present. you need to regret these mistakes. heartfelt requests to your root guru. After openly declaring your transgressions. a disciple of the First Karmapa (Kar-ma-pa Dus-gsum mkhyen-pa). promise to try your best not to repeat them. • In terms of the Hinayana tradition of the shravakas (listeners). He is the spiritual mentor to whom you completely entrust yourself. Drigungpa Jigten-gonpo (' Bri-gung-pa 'Jig-rten mgon-po). In addition. reaffirm your foundation of safe direction and bodhichitta. you need to make these practices complete with the four opponent forces. The First Karmapa was a direct disciple of Gampopa. he realized mahamudra. Recitation of The Admission of Downfalls three times each morning and three time each evening is the special method for restoring weakened bodhisattva vows. there are two when divided according to the sutras and tantras. In The Profound Four Types of Mudra (Zab-pa'i phyag-rgya rnam-bzhi). explained the four types of mudra (seals) in accordance with the three vehicles. Jey Tsongkhapa offered thirty-five sets of 100. mahamudra is the state of nirvana (total release) without any residue of physical or mental aggregates. and future. Both Marpa and Jey Tsongkhapa had the custom of prostrating while reciting The Admission of Downfalls (lTung-bshags). "Even if you were to make offerings to all the Buddhas of the past. Gampopa has said that when he realized the inseparability of his mind and his root guru Jetsun Milarepa. while Drigungpa was the disciple of another of Gampopa's disciples.000 prostrations. inseparable from all Buddhas of the three times. Your root guru is the one who gives you tantric empowerments. popularly known as Admission before the Thirty-five Buddhas. through relying fully and properly on your spiritual mentor in a healthy manner. As for the actual basic methods. he was elaborating on the explanation given by Drogon Rinpoche (' Gro-mgon Ras-pa bSod-nams grags-pa)." The Guhyasamaja Tantra also stresses this point.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra Jetsun Milarepa's repeated building and dismantling of houses for his guru Marpa were all for eliminating obstacles to his spiritual progress. To cleanse yourself thoroughly of the obstacles that arise from such broken commitments. The Kalachakra Tantra states. Having overcome the hindrances accumulated by his previous destructive actions. although there are many ways of asserting mahamudra.

Skt. In this text. of the deep awareness (ye-shes) that is a blissful awareness arising simultaneously with a nonconceptual awareness of voidness. anuttarayoga." is as follows. however. Skt. • In the Mahayana tantra tradition of the anuttarayoga class in general. Once activated. meditation deity) in accordance with the instructions of a fully qualified tantric master. In order to practice the mahamudra of the tantras. avadhuti. you employ various methods to unblock the channel-knots and to cause the energy-winds to enter. Channel-knots normally block the central channel so that energy-wind (rlung. In addition. mahamudra is the above-mentioned deep awareness spontaneously established through mere recollection of voidness. It contains 72. mahamudra is the manifestation. the unified pair of voidness and appearances. upon familiarity with methods such as tummo. prana) cannot pass into or through it. the hidden etymology of "phyag-rgya chen-po. Skt. Then. "rgya" indicates liberation from all samsaric phenomena.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra • In the Mahayana sutra tradition of the bodhisattvas. • In the specific context of the anuttarayoga complete stage (rdzogs-rim) practice of tummo (gtum-mo. The vajra-body (rdo-rje lus) corresponds to your subtle physical body when used for tantric practice. on the subtlest level of clear light mind. nadi). energy-heat). initiation) into the highest classification of tantra. the generation stage (bskyed-rim). it is the single taste of voidness and compassion. Skt. it is essential to keep the purity of the bodhisattva and tantric vows you have taken and to uphold the closely bonding practices (dam-tshig. to the point at which you have gained stability in its practice. The latter is a greatly blissful. and mind through meditation on the mandala and mantras of a Buddha-figure (yidam. Of the eight. and "chen-po" implies "unified pair" (zung-'jug. and dissolve in the central energy-channel. there is only one mahamudra . The visualizations of the generation stage activate the subtle energy system. eight of which are major. The purpose is to gain a deep awareness of voidness with the resulting blissful subtle consciousness. then on the second stage of anuttarayoga practice. Skt. This entails purifying your body. samaya) you have promised to follow.000 energy-channels (rtsa. you must first receive purely the four empowerments (dbang." the Tibetan term for " mahamudra. the most important is the central energy-channel (rtsa dbu-ma. clear light mind manifested by such skillful methods as penetrating vital points of the subtle vajra-body and so forth. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 4 . According to Go Lotsawa ('Gos Lo-tsa-ba gZhon-nu dpal). a contemporary of Pagmo-drupa. yuganaddha) . We need to understand the tantra presentation of mahamudra in terms of this etymology. which runs parallel to and slightly in front of your spine. first the latter in brief and then the former in detail. you must have gained proficiency in the first stage of anuttarayoga practice. the complete stage. According to A Mudra Drop (Phyag-rgya thig-le). the definitive. nonconceptual deep awareness of voidness itself. the First Panchen Lama explains a twofold division of mahamudra into sutra and tantra. abide.namely. speech. "Phyag" signifies the deep awareness of voidness. sushumna).namely.

it is the quintessence of the anuttarayoga class of tantra as taught in The (Seven Texts of the) Mahasiddhas and The (Three) Core Volumes. voidness is nonconceptually cognized by the subtlest level of consciousness accessed by causing the energy-winds to enter. it is nonconceptually cognized by a grosser level of mind. For example. pratyekabuddha. such as compassion or anger. Various traditions give different names to these subtle and subtlest levels of mind when they have blissful cognition of voidness. mental factors) that accompany it are the same. the primordial mind (gnyug-sems). something without which there is no reaching of an endpoint. intermediate and brief (Prajnaparamita Sutras). the term mahamudra implies that for gaining either liberation or enlightenment through the shravaka. [See: Mind and Mental Factors: The Fifty-one Types of Subsidiary Awareness {2}. "Maha" means great understanding. "Except for this. there is no method other than one based on nonconceptual cognition of voidness. Nagarjuna. "mudra" means absolute necessity or prerequisite. • A primary consciousness cognizes merely the essential nature or the category of phenomenon (ngo-bo) that something is. The supremely realized Arya Nagarjuna has said. or bodhisattva paths." According to another hidden etymology of the term mahamudra. • A subsidiary awareness cognizes the same object as the primary consciousness it accompanies does and cognitively takes it in special ways. blissful nonconceptual cognition of voidness with it is called an actual clear light mind (don-gyi 'od-gsal). "recognizing mind" in mahamudra focuses mainly on recognizing the nature of primary consciousness. and dissolve in the central energy-channel. Naropa. eye consciousness cognizes a sight as merely a sight. The difference lies in the level of mind that nonconceptually cognizes it. The former refers to the ways of meditating on voidness as directly indicated in the expanded. the noncontriving mind (ma-bcos-pa'i sems). and so forth. and Maitripa. Although the natures of primary consciousness (rnam-shes) and the subsidiary awarenesses (sems-byung. There is no difference between voidness cognized by tantra methods and that by sutra ones. there is no other pathway of mind leading to liberation. The mahamudra of the traditions of Saraha. These include the definitive level short syllable "a" (nges-don a-thung). Thus. I shall give relevant instruction on mahamudra in accord with these intentions of his and discuss the methods that lead you to recognize mind in keeping with the expositions of the lineage masters. Some perform functions that help principal awareness to take an object. Others add an emotional flavor to the taking of the object. such as attention and concentration. With the sutra ones. the nondissipating drop (ma-bshig-pa'i thig-le).A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra A conceptual cognition of voidness with this blissful subtle consciousness is called a model clear light mind (dpe'i 'od-gsal. approximating clear light). When you fully dissolve all the energy-winds so that you achieve the subtlest level of consciousness. These are all synonyms. With the anuttarayoga tantra methods. abide. Here.] A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 5 .

This is followed by meditation for developing a stilled and settled state of mind (zhi-gnas. Its explanation of mahamudra describes the meditation combining a blissful awareness and a deep awareness of voidness as similar to the process of joining the front and back halves of an amulet box. Then comes meditation for developing an exceptionally perceptive state of mind (lhag-mthong. can lead you to recognize or "meet the face" of the nature of your own mind. the six spheres of equal taste. the attainment of this unified pair comes from realization of a blissful awareness arising simultaneously as merged with a deep awareness of voidness. to Gampopa. what it is. and guru-yoga. The reference to lineage masters in the text refers to masters from the two lineages of the Gelug-Kagyu tradition of mahamudra. and so on. The four are prostrating while taking safe direction. The teachings of this Kagyu tradition of mahamudra entail initial practice of four preliminaries (sngon-'gro. The distant lineage (ring-rgyud) passes from Buddha through the great Indian mahasiddhas and the early Kagyu masters of Tibet to Jey Tsongkhapa. the object to be cut off. it comes from realization of appearances arising simultaneously as merged with voidness. mental quiescence) having absorbed concentration (ting-nge-'dzin.namely. The tradition known as "simultaneously arising as merged" (lhan-cig skyes-sbyor) traces from Gampopa. Vajrasattva purification meditation. relevant. the discursive madhyamaka view. The other refers to mind's deepest nature . Skt. mandala offering." The texts of the great lineage masters. which means its conventional. its voidness. through Jetsun Milarepa. Skt. together with the inspiration and instructions of your spiritual master. or from direct A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 6 . Skt. The possessing five (lnga-ldan) tradition is found among all the Dagpo Kagyu lineages. dharmakaya). samadhi). the pacifier. special insight) with the realization of voidness." "Meeting the face of someone" is also the way in which Tibetan expresses "being introduced to someone. relative truth) and deepest truth (don-dam bden-pa. "ngondro"). The Gelug tradition derives its practice of the protector Six-Armed Mahakala from Shangpa Kagyu. the four syllables. Skt.in other words. These practices aim for the attainment of a unified pair . This distinction accords with the Madhyamaka presentation of the two truths about anything: superficial truth (kun-rdzob bden-pa. functional nature . there are numerous traditions. There are two levels of recognizing the nature of mind. From the point of view of individually ascribed names.how it exists. rupakaya. possessing five. form body) and corpus encompassing everything (chos-sku. and effective. The amulet box (ga'u-ma) tradition traces from Kaydrub Kyungpo Neljor (mKhas-grub Khyung-po rNal-'byor). the founder of the Shangpa Kagyu Tradition. shamatha. vipashyana. they can " introduce" you to it.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra "Recognizing mind" (sems-kyi ngo-sprod) literally means "meeting the face of the mind. such as those of the simultaneously arising as merged. According to the sutra system. dzogchen. ultimate truth). One refers to recognizing the superficial nature of mind. The twelve derive either from direct disciples of Gampopa. after whom it is named. the amulet box. In this sense. The twelve Dagpo Kagyu lineages trace from Marpa. The important point here is the necessity for the lineage of a teaching to be unbroken in order for that teaching to be vital. The near lineage (nye-rgyud) passes from Manjushri directly to Tsongkhapa and down the line of his successive disciples who mastered and transmitted these teachings. According to the tantra system. the nondual attainment of a Buddha's corpus of forms (gzugs-sku. Skt. operative.

Pagmo-drupa. who." The four syllables connote: 1. sickness. 5. Drigung Chenngawa (' Bri-gung sPyan-nga-ba Chos-kyi rgyal-po). derives from Maitripa. disturbing emotions and attitudes. nonconceptual meditation on voidness. 2. 2. founded the Drugpa Kagyu Tradition. The four syllables (yi-ge bzhi) tradition. An example of this type of practice. "terma"). cutting down to the foundational root state of the conventional mind. who together with Naropa were the main Indian spiritual teachers of Marpa. found widely among the various Kagyu lineages. 2. The six are: 1. Rechungpa hid these teachings as a treasure text (gter-ma. 5. which means "not taking to mind" or "not paying attention (incorrectly). refers to the following five practices done in conjunction with mahamudra: 1. like Gampopa.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra disciples of Gampopa's disciple Pagmo-drupa. The six spheres of equal taste refer to practices for transforming six normally adverse conditions into paths for developing deep awareness of appearance and voidness. distorted conceptions. Its purpose is to eliminate compulsive attraction and attachment to ordinary appearances. 3. 3. 4. 3. Such practice may be undertaken only after receiving an anuttarayoga tantra empowerment. The tradition of the six spheres of equal taste (ro-snyoms skor-drug) originated with Rechungpa (Ras-chung rDo-rje grags-pa). was a direct disciple of Jetsun Milarepa. It explains mahamudra in terms of the hidden meaning of the four syllables of the Sanskrit word amanasi (yid-la ma-byed-pa). The possessing five tradition is especially discussed in the songs of one of Pagmo-drupa's disciples. with reference to distorted conceptions. 4. who. mahamudra is like a lion and its practice without the oral tradition of possessing five is like a lion robbed of its sight. transforming the mind into the nature of pathways of deep awareness. Ling-raypa was a disciple of Gampopa's disciple. together with his Guru Ling-raypa (gLing Ras-pa Pad-ma rdo-rje). gaining certainty with the methods for quieting and settling the mind in concentration. According to this set of teachings. bodhichitta meditation. whatever you see into the form of a Buddha-figure. Drigungpa Jigten-gonpo. Jey Tsongkhapa studied the possessing five tradition with one of his main teachers of bodhichitta. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 7 . and whatever you cognize into an awareness of appearance and voidness. death. firm conviction in and appreciation of your spiritual mentor's good qualities and kindness. harm from gods and spirits. a great master from the Drigung Kagyu school. visualization of yourself as a Buddha-figure. is transforming whatever you hear into a mantra. They were discovered and made known by Drogon Tsangpa-gyaray (' Gro-mgon gTsang-pa rGya-ras). then. severing the mind's connection with points where it can deviate into conceptual cognition of true existence and into destructive states. prayers of dedication. Mahamudra possessing five. 4. suffering. 6.

(sKyo-ston bSod-nams Bla-ma). "chod") tradition consists of the functional teachings of the pacifier tradition. you avoid the serious error of abandoning your safe direction in Dharma by advancing sectarian views. Skt. By realizing how all Buddha teachings are noncontradictory skillful means for attaining liberation and enlightenment through the nonconceptual cognition of voidness. which is Buddha's definitive teaching. Sutrasamuccaya). require no further interpretation. The dzogchen (rdzogs-chen. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 8 . however. and its specific sutra points are based on Nagarjuna's Anthology of Sutras (mDo-rnams kun-las btus-pa. (I shall explain) here in accordance with the latter method. namely the deepest understanding of voidness. namely seeking a meditative state on top of having gained a correct view (of voidness) and seeking a correct view on top of a meditative state. It has two main lineages. The father cutting-off lineage traces from Padampa Sanggyay himself to Kyoton Sonam Lama. when scrutinized by a yogi.being complete (in the sense that they do not need conventional existence added or true existence taken away) and thus already perfect according to a correct view of voidness. and are the specialty of the Nyingma Tradition. The discursive madhyamaka view (dbu-ma'i lta-khrid) refers to the understanding of the Prasangika-Madhyamaka teachings of Nagarjuna on voidness expounded by Jey Tsongkhapa and transmitted in the Gelug Tradition that he founded. Its name derives from a passage in The Heart Sutra (Shes-rab snying-po. they require interpretation by a spiritual master to bring disciples to the intended realization. while the mother cutting-off lineage traces from Kyoton Sonam Lama to the motherly Machig Labdron (Ma-gcig Lab-sgron). "Chen" (great) refers to the great liberation from samsaric existence and its suffering that the realization of voidness brings. This tradition originally had as its philosophic base the Prasangika-Madhyamaka teachings. Teachings of definitive meaning. all the Tibetan Buddhist tradition adopted its methods and varied the emphasis in its philosophic base accordingly. They may be taken literally as the deep significance toward which disciples are being led. but rather are expressions of Buddha's skillful and effective means used to lead disciples to deeper and more profound understandings. Mahayana divides Buddha's words into interpretable (drang-don) and definitive teachings (nges-don). And so for this (sutra tradition of mahamudra). Skt. According to these. Prajnaparamitahrdaya Sutra) that the mantra of prajnaparamita (far-reaching discriminating awareness) is the pacifier of all suffering. their definitive meanings are all seen to come to the same intended point. In later times. All the previously mentioned traditions teach the same intended meaning. All Buddha's other teachings are interpretable and lead to this deepest understanding. The former are not to be taken literally. out of the two methods. Its philosophy is purely Prasangika-Madhyamaka. Thus. great completeness) teachings were introduced into Tibet by Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) and Vimalamitra. a South Indian master who was also a disciple of Maitripa as well as of the long-lived Nagarjuna. One etymology of the term dzogchen is that "dzog" (completeness) refers to all phenomena . Nevertheless. you can cut off all bonds tying you to continued rebirth with suffering in samsara through the practice of first separate and then combined meditations on voidness and bodhichitta. The cutting-off (gcod. in accordance with Nagarjuna's teachings. learned in scripture and logic and experienced (in meditation).A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra The pacifier (zhi-byed) tradition traces from the fatherly Padampa Sanggyay.those that appear and exist in either samsara or nirvana .

Skt. spine. forming a triangle at the level of your navel. As for a proper place conducive for practicing shamatha meditation. but this position of the tongue should minimize salivation. On top of the platform. Maitreya has explained in A Filigree of Mahayana Sutras (mDo-sde rgyan. The second method is first to attain shamatha focused on an object other than voidness and then to develop a correct view of voidness and apply shamatha to focus on it.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra The division of Mahamudra meditation methods into two general categories is only with reference to the sutra system. If there is excessive saliva. Keep your eyes half-open. On a seat conducive for mental stability. your mind tends to become dull and you may fall asleep. you may swallow. Rest your hands on your upturned feet. If they are wide-open. Bend your head slightly forward and down. an easily available supply of food and water. The first method is to attain a correct understanding of voidness first and then develop shamatha totally absorbed on voidness. Keep your lips relaxed. place a cushion with its back slightly raised. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 9 . If it is bent too low. Sit in the vajra position. raised three or four inches from the ground. If they are closed. place reeds of kusha grass with their tips pointing toward the center. eyes. Peaceful contentment with a simple life is a further condition conducive for this type of meditation. known in hatha yoga as the full lotus posture. you will become dizzy. If it is raised too high. 3. without straining them in an unnatural cross-eyed position. it is essential to keep strict ethical self-discipline. quiet location with a congenial climate. not pursed. for the successful development of absorbed concentration in shamatha meditation. The seven parts of this standard meditation posture refer to the positions of the legs. Either on or beneath this cushion. again you will see too much and will easily become distracted. Mahayanasutralamkara) that it needs to have the following five conditions: 1. For mahamudra practice. Keep your spine straight as an arrow to allow the currents of energy-wind in your body to flow freely through the energy-channels without impediment. Have your tongue gently touch your upper palate to retain saliva. a secluded. all the necessary instructions and texts about the practice. and teeth not clenched. the approval and blessings of your spiritual mentors or of great masters of the past who have meditated there. and shoulders. In addition. assume the sevenfold bodily posture and clear yourself purely with a round of the nine tastes of breath. Underneath it. head. with your feet crossed and locked. other meditators nearby for inspiration 5. These two divisions are drawn according to whether absorbed concentration in meditation for developing a stilled and settled state of mind (shamatha) is attained before or after gaining an understanding of voidness. and with the thumbs touching. 4. resting upon the opposite thighs. The sevenfold posture is that of Vairochana. arrange grain in the auspicious design of a swastika. you will be able to see too much and your mind will wander. so that your mouth does not become dry. with the left hand beneath the right. focused loosely on the vicinity of the tip of your nose. the Buddha-figure with whom to identify in order to purify your aggregate of form. arrange a meditation platform made of wood. but also leaves you with few needs. This not only eliminates mental distraction. mouth. and to prevent drooling. hands. 2.

imagine your breath in the form of white cleansing rays of light passing down your right energy-channel and accumulating in the left. change hands. otherwise. The nine tastes of breath may be practiced with or without the following visualization of the energy-channels. and ending at your left nostril. passing over the crown of your head and ending between your brows. but this time breathe in through your left nostril and out through the right. When you exhale through your right nostril. raga) is blocked and frustrated. Visualize your body empty like a balloon. Visualize your central energy-channel as parallel to and slightly in front of your spine. breathe through your nose quietly. Visualize your left energy-channel (rkyang-ma. The practice of the nine tastes of breath is extremely effective for reducing mental wandering and disturbed states of mind. visualize your breath in the form of white light passing down your left energy-channel and accumulating in the right in which the energy-wind of the disturbing emotion of anger and hostility (zhe-sdang. Its lower end is four finger-widths below your navel. During the second three breathings in your left nostril and out the right. imagine your breath in the form of white light passing down both right and left energy-channels and accumulating in your central one in which the A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 10 . Skt. close your right nostril with your right ring finger. Skt. the same thickness and length as the right one. running close to the central channel and ending at your right nostril. In addition. you may not. Have your in-breath be of the same length as your out-breath. and breathe out slowly through the left nostril. This sevenfold meditation posture is often referred to as the eightfold one by adding the method of breathing. In meditations other than specific ones involving the breath. When you breathe in. rasana. visualize your longing desire leaving you in the form of black rays of light. visualize the bottom end of your right energy-channel inserted into the bottom end of the left. at the same level as each other. During the last three breathings in and out both your nostrils. and do not hold your breath. the thickness of a stalk of wheat. This is also essential for the proper unimpeded passage of energy-wind through your body. When you breathe in. Without pausing. lalana. keep your elbows slightly bent. in which the energy-wind of the disturbing emotion of longing desire (' dod-chags. If you have received a tantric empowerment for a particular Buddha-figure. you may in addition visualize your form as that of the figure. Visualize your right energy-channel (ro-ma. The last three rounds are in and out through both nostrils. Repeat this sequence three times and then repeat three times more. Its upper end curves like an umbrella handle. the thickness of a medium-sized bamboo. Skt. leaving a small space between your body and arms for ventilation. ida) as white in color.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra Hold your shoulders straight back and even. When doing the first three breathings in through your right nostril and out through the left. pingala) as red in color. Close your left nostril with your left ring finger and breathe in slowly through the right nostril. imagine your anger leaving you in the form of black light. imagine the bottom end of your left energy-channel inserted into the bottom end of the right. When you exhale through your left nostril. with neither of them too deep or too shallow. visualize the bottom ends of both your left and right energy-channels inserted into the bottom end of the central energy-channel. Skt. When you breathe in. dvesha) is blocked and frustrated. white on the outside and red on the inside. hollow. not forcefully or unnaturally. starting six finger-widths below your navel.

do not repeat it with further rounds. Guru-yoga is basic to all Tibetan traditions of Buddhism. Concentrating totally on your breathing. direct (toward your root guru) your taking of safe direction and the reaffirmation of your bodhichitta aim. moha. you usually recite the "migtsema" (dmigs-brtse-ma) verse of Tsongkhapa. imagine him coming to the top of your head. Absorb for a while unwaveringly in that state which is without the gurgle-gurgle of appearance-making and appearances (of "this" and "not that. visualize your root guru before you. while visualizing their spiritual masters in the form of Vajradhara or of Marpa. For this. and then sinking to your heart and dissolving. little room remains for extraneous thoughts. that you cease all attention as if you had fainted or fallen asleep. This does not mean.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra energy-wind of the disturbing emotion of naivety (gti-mug. after making hundreds of very strong. Once you have completed a round of nine tastes of breath. with your in-breath the same length as your out. while visualizing your root guru in the form of Tsongkhapa. dissolve your (visualized) guru into yourself. or Gampopa. speech. in the Gelug Tradition. and station alertness to be aware of any mental movement. closed-mindedness) is blocked and frustrated. fervent requests. Feel that your body. For mahamudra meditation. Rather. While performing guru-yoga and making fervent requests. When you exhale. with a purely constructive mind. [See: Six-Session Yogas {3} and An Offering Ceremony to the Spiritual Masters {4}. count in your mind each round of in. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 11 . Followers of the Gelug Tradition often perform as well An Offering Ceremony to the Spiritual Masters (Bla-ma mchod-pa. Meditate next on a profound path of guru-yoga and. then. Skt. Breathe in and out both nostrils silently. the performance six times each day of a Six-Session Yoga (Thun-drug) is the most commonly practiced form of guru-yoga. within the framework of Hundreds of Deities of Tushita (dGa-ldan lha-brgya-ma).") Do not contrive anything with thoughts such as expectations or worries. sitting there facing the same way as you do." " The Guru Puja") by the First Panchen Lama. and mind have merged indistinguishably with those of your guru.] Make fervent requests to your guru for inspiration and success in your practice while reciting the mantra of his Sanskrit name. As it is normally difficult to concentrate on even one thing at a time. visualize your naivety leaving you from between your brows in the form of black light.] Followers of the Kagyu traditions recite similar verses. " Lama chopa. you must tie (your attention) to the post of mindfulness in order not to wander. another method is as follows. If the first round fails to eliminate your gross mental wandering. not forcefully. At the conclusion of this essential preliminary. by concentrating both on breathing and on counting. and without holding your breath.and out-breaths as one for twenty-one rounds. Having thoroughly separated out muddied states of awareness from lucid ones. however. Milarepa. [See: Hundreds of Deities of Tushita {5}.

Analysis of the ugliness or dirtiness of the body may or may not accompany the focus. on your feelings of happiness or unhappiness while knowing their problematic nature. and on all phenomena (subsidiary awarenesses other than feelings A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 12 . • objects of focus for cleansing oneself of disturbing emotions and attitudes (nyon-mongs-pa rnam-par sbyong-ba'i dmigs-pa. For example. enemy. they are the same visualized objects. but when focused on while trying to achieve shamatha and thus without any accompanying analysis. you focus on a friend. They refer to visualized objects focused on conceptually either with or without discursive thought (rnam-rtog) about them. For example. This is a state of mind devoid of any preconceptions. you focus on some aspect of a visualized corpse as an example of ugliness or dirtiness. (3) Objects of focus with knowledge are objects such as the five aggregates when focused on while knowing something about them. • objects of focus with knowledge (mkhas-pa'i dmigs-pa).] (2) Objects of focus for cleansing one's behavior are for cleansing behavior dominated by a specific disturbing emotion or state of mind. To eliminate behavior based on anger. [For more detail. formally begin the meditation by concentrating without the slightest mental wandering. Thus. doubts. with the four close placements of mindfulness (dran-pa nyer-bzhag bzhi. single-pointedly on an unstructured or undetermined state of mind. depending on whether analysis by discursive thought accompanies the focus. while holding it firmly with the mindfulness (dran-pa) that never lets go.yeng). • objects of focus for cleansing one's behavior (spyad-pa rnam-par sbyong-ba'i dmigs-pa). Rather. they are visualized objects focused on while trying to achieve vipashyana and thus analysis accompanies the focus.] (1) Pervasive objects are so named because they pervade or include all objects of focus in the other three categories. [See: Concentration Terminology {6}. This does not mean. for example analysis of their nonstaticness or of their voidness. fix your attention (yid-la byed-pa) unwaveringly focused on its object. see Objects of Focus for Developing Shamatha and Vipashyana {7}. In the former case. set your alertness (shes-bzhin) the task of watching from a distance to check that your mindfulness maintains its hold and that your attention remains focused. keep your alertness constantly prepared to sense any mental wandering (rnam-g. or flightiness of mind (rgod-pa. there are four categories of objects of focus to use in meditation: • pervasive objects of focus (khyab-pa'i dmigs-pa). [See: Discerning and Stabilizing Meditation {8}. or neutral person with an accompanying attitude of wishing him or her to be happy and to have the causes for happiness. dullness (bying-ba. In the latter case. or aspirations for either temporary or ultimate purposes concerning either the future or the past. that you cease all conscious attention as if you were asleep or had fainted. to eliminate behavior based on longing desire or attachment.] In general.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra After these preliminaries. an unstructured state of mind. wishes. four close mindfulnesses). however. "sinking"). you focus on your body while knowing its uncleanliness or ugliness. mental agitation). In addition. on your mind (primary consciousness) while knowing its nonstaticness. each object in the following three categories may serve as an object of focus for either shamatha or vipashyana. In other words.

Thus. With indecisive wavering (the-tshoms). Moreover. Through straightforward cognition (mngon-sum. with nondetermining cognition (snang-la ma-nges-pa. seeds. Although such awareness is nonfraudulent. or even a right one but without understanding why. or all five aggregates) while knowing their lack of a truly existent "me." (4) Objects of focus for cleansing oneself of disturbing emotions and attitudes are for cleansing all of them together. In the former case. you have a fresh. you focus on the sixteen characteristics of the four noble truths." It is a cognition that arises without directly A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 13 . Firmly tighten (the hold of your mindfulness) on that which has the essential nature of clarity and awareness and behold it starkly. does not employ any object of focus from these four general categories for developing absorbed concentration. and objects for ridding oneself of them from their roots. inattentive perception). it is still invalid because it is not fresh. The instruction for meditation is to fix your attention on the nature of the mind itself as a nonstatic phenomenon having the ability to produce cognitive appearances (clarity) and validly cognize them (awareness). for developing a stilled and settled state of shamatha. but with three of them. a wrong one. it uses the mind itself as an object of focus. because each moment of cognition freshly arises. and with distorted cognition (log-shes).] Mahamudra meditation. With presumption (yid-dpyod). you are not fully aware of it. not just specific ones. bare perception). since each moment in a stream of continuity of cognition of an object lacks truly established existence. An inferential cognition (rjes-dpag) is of static metaphysical entities (spyi-mtshan) and arises by relying on a valid line of reasoning. There are two varieties: objects for merely weakening the legacies (sa-bon. you cognize an object both accurately and decisively. This. [See: Sixteen Aspects and Sixteen Distorted Ways of Embracing the Four Noble Truths {9}. tendencies) of the disturbing emotions and attitudes. Prasangika does not include " fresh" as a criterion for a cognition to be valid. you regard the lower ones as having a grosser mistaken basis and the higher ones as having a subtler one. you do not even apprehend your object correctly. With apprehension. Instead. your mind can cognize or can know things in seven ways. With subsequent cognition (bcad-shes). While doing so. you jump to a correct conclusion either for no reason. In general. is suggested only for people of great intelligence as a way to develop absorbed concentration for use in mahamudra meditation in either the sutra or tantra system. you focus on each of the rebirth states and the disturbing emotions and attitudes occurring with them. according to the Sautrantika tenet system. you grasp things incorrectly. With a valid way of cognizing. With the other four ways of knowing. however. you can apprehend (rtogs-pa) something correctly. you apprehend correctly what you have already done so through either of the two previous valid ways of knowing. you have valid nonconceptual cognition of nonstatic objective entities (rang-mtshan). nonfraudulent (gsar-tu mi-bslu-ba) awareness of something validly knowable. Prasangika redefines bare cognition as "straightforward cognition. however. The Prasangika tenet system does not assert subsequent cognition as a way of knowing something. you are unable to decide about what appears to you. In the latter case. Although a validly knowable object may appear to you. Two of them are valid (tshad-ma).A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra of happiness.

. As has been said. when you inspect when settled. "This is mental wandering. you will experience flightiness of mind. Therefore. "When mind itself. cut the thoughts off completely. focus on the nature of your mind as something that.) no matter what thought arises. As is said. Alternatively. When extraneous thoughts arise while trying to concentrate. When you look at the nature of any thought that arises. Firmly tightening your attention. like a dueler. changing from moment to moment. ensnared in a tangle. are (1) observing your thoughts and seeing them disappear into the clear bareness of your mind. relax and loosen up." And elsewhere. This means simply to distinguish and identify. but without any wandering. If you are too tense. Whatever thoughts might arise." "This is mental dullness. while your mind is externally relaxed and joyous. (Thus. without blocking it. cut thoughts off immediately as soon as they occur. have your mind be neither too high-strung nor too loose. continue the meditation in a relaxed and natural manner. straightforward cognition may be either conceptual or nonconceptual. Alternatively. "Just as a crow having flown from a ship after circling the directions must re-alight on it . can nevertheless have a fresh and nonfraudulent awareness of whatever cognitive appearance it produces. If you are too relaxed.. Instead. loosens up. Finally." "This is flightiness of mind. as soon as they occur. you see a vivid. do not pursue them any further or analyze them." Having recognized these thoughts for what they are. Thus. then. return immediately to concentrating on the object of meditation. and (2) analyzing your mind and coming in this way also to its bare clarity.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra relying on a line of reasoning. when." A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 14 . Once you have completely cut these off and have settled (your mind). try to distinguish this bare nature of your mind as clearly and starkly as possible. "Relax and loosen its firm tightness and there is the set state of mind. Likewise." These two methods. when you have eliminated all extraneous mental activity and your mind is settled in a cleared state." Like these statements. the method suggested here is to recognize them merely for what they are. nonobstructive bareness and clarity. wham-wham. without losing mindfulness. you recognize (that it is) a movement (of mind) and have settled on its essential nature. and focus on nothing else. According to this formulation. it disappears by itself and an utter bareness dawns. Concentrate on the mind as something that gives rise to the mental appearances that dawn and can validly cognize them. you will experience mental dullness. (This is) well known as "the settled and moving (minds) mixed together. like your opponent in a duel. To meditate properly. (you find) it is like the example of the flight of a bird confined on a boat. recognize them as being that and that. like the strings of a guitar. then. loosen up. there is no doubt that it frees itself. by understanding the difference between the valid and invalid ways in which your mind cognizes things. you need strong concentration internally. Do not let your mindfulness or remembering of this slacken.

like space. it is. in fact. with the previous tensions of anger and attachment having decreased. Settling like a small child looking at murals in a temple. to be like that. goes on with meditation. but never in its depth. no matter what feelings of pleasure. but simply seeing the rough form of its distraction. it will eventually disappear and thus you will have returned to your original object of focus. your mind never looks at the details of its wandering. No matter how clear and concentrated a state of mind you achieve with primary consciousness. with exceptional perception. Scratching is to follow the distracting train of thought. say that this method is a wondrous skillful means for beginners to accomplish the settling of their mind and is a way that leads you to recognize (merely) the superficial nature of mind that conceals something deeper. Having identified what has arisen in your consciousness. if while meditating your nose begins to itch. although the actual nature of mind may be seen straightforwardly. and flightiness. Nor does it mean making a deep analysis of the void nature of the distraction. flexibility). 3. Be that as it may. dullness. your mind is cleared of all obstacles such as mental wandering. Settling like the movement of the ocean caused by the wind. you gain great flexibility to use your absorbed concentration limitlessly for constructive purposes. pain or indifference you experience. it is not considered an actual still and settled state of shamatha unless it has also been grasped with the subsidiary awareness known as a sense of physical and mental fitness (shin-sbyangs. Settling like an eagle soaring high in the sky. these leave no trace on your mind which simply goes on meditating without attachment. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 15 . By merely concentrating on the itch. Settling like a bird flying in the sky and leaving no trace. [See: Achieving Shamatha {10}. this particular method is to concentrate on the itch. 4. There are six ways. From cultivating such (methods as these. not cognitively taking (as a "this") anything that arises. an utter bareness that allows anything to dawn and be vivid. 2. you realize that. your mind becomes relaxed and flexible absorbed in meditation. which comes automatically as the result of training your mind through the nine stages of settling the mind (sems-gnas dgu). unobstructed by anything.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra To fix on the nature of a train of thought that has arisen while meditating does not mean blindly letting your mind wander along this train of thought. and not established as any form of physical phenomenon. your mind meditates smoothly without applying effort. in which the mind can become settled into a state of total absorption (mnyam-bzhag). but not to scratch it.) since the essential nature of the totally absorbed mind is a lucidity and clarity. 6. For instance. Nevertheless. is a guideline for putting within your grasp the forging of Buddhahood.] The great meditators of the Snow Mountains are practically of a single opinion in proclaiming that this setting (of the mind) at ease. 5. your mind as something that can produce mental appearances of things and validly cognize them. it cannot be taken as a "this" and be (verbally) indicated. and where it might lead you. With its attainment. merely concentrate on it. Settling like coarse wool softening when soaked in water. Settling like the sun unobscured by clouds. Chokyi-gyeltsen. your mind can only be ruffled on the surface of its concentration. 1. I.

"An individual is not earth." All such statements come to the same intended point. To immerse your awareness in the state of (this) dawning and totally absorb single-pointedly. no matter what has cognitively dawned." When you search and. oh. It appears not to depend (on anything else). and.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra It is a common mistake to think that when you have eliminated your gross mental dullness. since you may sink into blankmindedness. intelligently inspect the self-nature of the individual who is the meditator. accumulating and experiencing the effects of karma. you have attained shamatha and are practically enlightened. As for the methods that can make you recognize the actual (deepest) nature of mind. with a tiny (portion of) awareness. without any wandering. In short. (scrutinize your) mind. And just as an individual is not perfectly existent because he or she is (what can be labeled on) a conglomeration of six constituents. however. Sanggyay-yeshey. nor fire. Assuming the guise of a monk clad in saffron. not consciousness. in that there is no conventionally existent snake present when a rope is labeled a "snake. and the like. are falsely (existent as findable wholes). single-pointedly. omniscient in the true sense. I shall now set out the personal instructions of my root guru. not water. my goodness!" Similarly. Nor is he or she all of them. you are fully aware of it as (having its existence established merely by its being) what can be cognitively held by a conceptual thought. our guardian. it is a nonobstructive utter bareness that gives rise to the cognitive dawning and projection of a wide variety of things . Yet what individual is there separate from these? Labeling a striped rope as a snake and a network of constituent elements as an individual person are the same in so far as both are imputations or projections of a mental label onto a basis for labeling. They differ.' such as a rosary. like a tiny fish flashing about in a lucid pond and not disturbing it. and so on. Shantideva. engaging (with objects) without discontinuity.a continuum of unhindered (unceasing) clarity and awareness. Although this elimination is a great accomplishment. likewise none of the constituents are perfectly existent because each is (what can be labeled on) a conglomeration (of parts). cannot find even a mere atom of a total absorption. as has been said from the precious lips of my spiritual mentor. who (as his name literally means) is (the embodiment of) the Buddhas' deep awareness. O people of Dingri. While in a state of total absorption as before. A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 16 . "Within a state of voidness. To understand this difference is extremely crucial. A correct view (of reality) is not a tangible obstruction. "What are called a 'continuum' and a 'group. he has eliminated the darkness enshrouding my mind." By means of scriptural authority and lines of reasoning (such as this). It is just as our actual protector for refuge. present when a network of constituent elements and consciousness. Furthermore. totally absorb on the lack of existence established as things appear. while in a state of total absorption. like that. the highly realized Arya Nagarjuna. the deepest sphere of reality is dawning without need to rely on anything else. the hallowed (fatherly Padampa Sanggyay) has said. has said. an army. But as for the conceptually implied object of the mind that grasps (for it to exist as it appears). then cultivate absorbed concentration on space-like (voidness). not space." but there is a conventionally existent person. has said. "When. it can be a misleading and a potentially dangerous state. someone totally absorbed. nor wind. Sanggyay-yeshey. the lance of awareness is to be twirled around. Not established as any form of physical phenomenon.

when you inspect. denuded and distinctly. (you see that) the dependent arising of the functioning of what is merely imputedly existent. (who holds the monastic degree of) Infinitely Learned Scholar of the Ten Fields of Knowledge. while they can tell the difference in the case of mirages. Yet after you have arisen. like dreams.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra At the conclusion (of your meditation). total absorption on the actual nature (of everything) like that. "The close examination of whatever dawns on your mind is the essential point of a correct view of voidness. such as (inherent. inspect minutely its manner of appearance. may all wandering beings quickly become triumphant Buddhas through this pathway of mind. positive force has accrued from meditating on mahamudra. Persistence in making further analysis is counterproductive. as well as your ocean-like network of constructive actions of the three times. "Any seer of one phenomenon is the seer of everything." Before the face of proper. be satisfied that things do exist conventionally. the excellent pathway mind (that cognizes from the single viewpoint) of voidness and dependent arising being synonymous. The speaker of these words has been the renuncient called Lozang-chokyi-gyeltsen. dedicate whatever ennobling. and illusions. (Author's colophon:) I have compiled these methods that lead you to recognize the great seal of reality. mirages. toward great peerless enlightenment. mahamudra. any object whatsoever that cognitively appears. (This is) the essential point for having whatever has cognitively dawned being like what you recognize. findable) existence. Aryadeva has also given voice to that in saying. This point is one of the main thrusts of the Prasangika-Madhyamaka view. at that time." In short. and of A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra 17 . When you know (one thing to exist) like this. then no matter what has dawned as an appearance of a cognitive object to your sixfold network (of consciousness). at the repeated previous request of Gedun-gyeltsen. Its manner of existence will dawn. (you see that) it applies uniformly to the self-nature of all phenomena of samsara or nirvana. The venerable Maitripa has said. All appearances of samsara and nirvana resemble mirages in the sense that their existence is established by mental labeling alone. Any voidness of one thing is the voidness of everything. reflections of the moon in water. simply by names. apart from which there is no second gateway to a state of serenity. who has listened to much (teaching).] (When you realize simultaneously that) appearances do not obscure voidness and voidness does not make appearances cease. you are manifesting. such as your own mind and so on. Having accustomed yourself like this. (total) nonexistence. In the fact that the existence of all things is established by mental labeling alone. there is just the severance of mentally fabricated extremes regarding (everything of) samsara and nirvana.don't grasp at it (to exist in the manner that it appears) .and always sustain (that certainty). [See: Introduction to Voidness (Emptiness) and Mental Labeling {11}. and so on. By its positive force. make yourself certain about its manner of existence . Nevertheless. they differ from mirages since ordinary persons cannot distinguish that their mode of appearance differs from their actual mode of existence. undeniably and naturally still cognitively dawns. the great seal of reality.

berzinarchives. the King of the Shakyas. what was not set down (in writing) at that time due to the power of its being restricted was intended for a later period. the ultimate oral guidelines for mahamudra. have also requested me. which are not included among these aforementioned pathways of mind and which are not well known at present to those of the Land of Snows.berzinarchives. But. you could never say to those who would (prematurely) write about this method of their own accord that you are enlightened.com / web / en / archives / sutra / level1_getting_started / approaching_study_meditation / discerning_stabilizing_meditation. Also. not letting the close bond of its practice be lost.com / web / en / archives / practice_material / prayers / guru_yogas / guru_puja_lama_chopa. Moreover.berzinarchives. I have been unable to set out now. the omniscient.html {5} http: / / www.berzinarchives. (I have especially composed this text now since) the great triumphant Ensapa.paljorpublications.html {10} http: / / www. Further.berzinarchives. has said in one of his songs of experience to instruct himself and others. following a sagely way of life and taking this pathway of mind as their essential practice.html {4} http: / / www. If you ask why.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra Sherab-senggey from Hatong.berzinarchives. all the way from entrusting yourself to a spiritual teacher up through shamata and vipashyana.html {3} http: / / www. also in order for such prophesies as this to be fulfilled. and who myself have become a member of this lineage.berzinarchives.html Links 18 .com / web / en / archives / sutra / level2_lamrim / advanced_scope / concentration / concentration_terms.com / web / en / archives / sutra / level2_lamrim / advanced_scope / concentration / achieving_shamatha. it is because those who are protectors of refuge have regard for the times. in The Lotus Sutra. the renuncient Lozang-chokyi-gyeltsen. who have not let degenerate the lineage of inspiration from those who have practiced straightforwardly this pathway of mind from the peerless Universal Teacher." Thus.berzinarchives.html {6} http: / / www.com / web / en / archives / sutra / level4_deepening_understanding_path / types_meditation / list_16_4_noble_truths.html {9} http: / / www. down through my root guru. "I have compiled the instructions concerning lam-rim (the graded stages of pathway minds) from the Kadam tradition. and who uphold the verbal guidelines of the sutras and tantras. in written words. the omniscient Sanggyay-yeshey.html {7} http: / / www. They have seen that the eight transitory things in this (world) are like dramas of madness and now live in remote solitude. I. Links {1} http: / / www.html {8} http: / / www.com / web / en / archives / practice_material / prayers / guru_yogas / hundreds_deities_tushita. "Because it is to be realized completely by the Buddhas' deep awareness (Sanggyay-yeshey).com / web / en / archives / sutra / level4_deepening_understanding_path / mind_mental_factors / mind_mental_factors_51.com {2} http: / / www. for example. (who holds the monastic degree of) Master of the Ten Difficult Texts. who wish to practice mahamudra at its definitive level. it was stated. in the end. many other disciples.berzinarchives.com / web / en / archives / sutra / level2_lamrim / advanced_scope / concentration / objects_focus_shamatha_vipashyana. majestic commander of the ennobling ones with actual attainment.com / web / en / archives / practice_material / prayers / six_session_yogas / extensive / extensive_6_sess_yoga_98." Therefore. have compiled this at Ganden Monastery.

berzinarchives.A Commentary on A Root Text for Gelug-Kagyu Mahamudra {11} http: / / www.html Links 19 .com / web / en / archives / sutra / level2_lamrim / advanced_scope / voidness_emptyness / intro_voidness.

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