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DRIKUNGPA LORD JIGTEN SUMGON “RATNA SHRI”

1143 - 1217
ORIGINAL THANGKA EARLY 13TH CENTURY
COMMEMERATING RATNA SHRI’S BUDDHAHOOD

FOUNDER
DRIKUNG KAGYU GOLDEN ROSARY LINEAGE

www.drikung.org
An Outline of the Sublime Dharma, the Holistic
Enlightened View (Gong-chig)

Translated by Acharya Kinley Gyaltsen and Terence Barrett

The Holistic Enlightened View (Gong-chig)

1. A presentation of the teaching

1.1. The deeds of the teacher

1.1.1. The twelve deeds that you know

1.2. The way the teachings spread

1.2.1. Peace was discovered, and spread throughout India

1.2.2. And spread throughout Tibet

1.2.2.1. How the translation occurred

1.2.2.2. How many virtuous masters nurtured [the teachings]

1.2.2.3. How our own lama became superior

2. The actual dharma of the enlightened view

2.1. Lineage

2.1.1. View

2.1.2. Meditation

2.1.3. Conduct

2.2. The dharma that arose from the [lineage]

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2.2.1. Ground: view/meditation/conduct teaching

2.2.1.1. Determination of appearance-mind

2.2.1.2. Teaching on view/meditation/conduct

2.2.1.2.1. Teaching on the method of understanding

2.2.1.2.2. Determination of suchness

2.2.1.2.2.1. Determination of view and meditation

2.2.1.2.2.2. Distinctive conduct

2.2.1.2.2.3. Teaching on understanding with all


enlightened qualities

2.2.1.2.2.4. Distinctive teaching on the method of


not discarding cause and result

2.2.2. Path: detailed explanation of the practice, the three trainings

2.2.2.1. First, key points of the Vinaya

2.2.2.1.1. Teaching on the Vinaya vehicle

2.2.2.1.2. Teaching on vows

2.2.2.1.3. Teaching on the nature of what is to be


practiced and what is not

2.2.2.2. Three in the middle

2.2.2.2.1. Teaching on the re-arising of obstructers

2.2.2.2.2. Teaching on the entity of the vows

2.2.2.2.3. Teaching on consciousness as principal

2.2.2.3. Three about what is to be practiced and what is not

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2.2.2.3.1. Whether imposed or un-imposed, the results of
virtue and vice are the same

2.2.2.3.2. Cherishing the liturgies of the teaching

2.2.2.3.3. The heavy fault of ignorance

2.2.3. Fruition: teaching on perfection, [with] enlightened qualities


and activities

2.2.3.1. Key points of bodhicitta

2.2.3.1.1. Teaching on the difference between compassion


and bodhicitta

2.2.3.1.2. The arising of the vow as engaged by


individualized beings of different families

2.2.3.1.3. Teaching on abandonment and realization

2.2.3.1.3.1. Teaching on cause and result

2.2.3.1.3.1.1. Teaching on the unstoppability of the


result of afflictions by bodhicitta

2.2.3.1.3.1.2. The fault of over-reaching conduct by


one who is insecure

2.2.3.1.3.1.3. Teaching on the capabilities of


bodhicitta

2.2.3.1.3.1.4. Teaching on cause and result as un-


mixed

2.2.3.1.3.2. Teaching on the manner of traversing


the bhumis

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2.2.3.1.3.2.1. Teaching on the paths and bhumis by
way of the three: abandonment and
realization, enlightened qualities, and tenets

2.2.3.1.3.2.2. How conventions always obscure virtue

2.2.3.1.3.2.3. The method by which those with


distinctive means collect the accumulations

2.2.3.2. Mantra

2.2.3.2.1. Path

2.2.3.2.1.1. Realization path

2.2.3.2.1.2. Liberation path

2.2.3.2.1.2.1. Completion stage

2.2.3.2.1.2.2. Generation stage

2.2.3.2.1.2.2.1. Way of abiding

2.2.3.2.1.2.2.2. Characteristics

2.2.3.2.1.2.2.2.1. Characteristics of the


actual deity

2.2.3.2.1.2.2.2.2. Practice liturgy

2.2.3.2.1.2.2.2.3. The profundity of the


lower vehicles

2.2.3.2.2. Result ▼

2.2.3.3. Provisional result

2.2.3.3.1. Mistaken provisional qualities

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2.2.3.3.2. Not discarding virtue and vice, and so forth

2.2.3.3.3. Final result ▼

2.2.3.4. The enlightened activity result

2.2.3.4.1. Key point: wheels

2.2.3.4.1.1. Dharma

2.2.3.4.1.1.1. Teaching on self-streaming tenets

2.2.3.4.1.1.2. Vehicles

2.2.3.4.1.1.2.1. Distinctions of vehicles

2.2.3.4.1.1.2.2. Teaching as one

2.2.3.4.1.2. The stages of the path of practicing the


[Dharma]

2.2.3.4.1.3. Result ▼

2.2.3.4.2. Key point: interdependence

2.2.3.4.3. The way the result dawns

2.2.3.5. Result

2.2.3.5.1. Being Dharma itself, the enlightened qualities


of ground/path/fruition

2.2.3.5.2. The single end of all paths▼

2.2.3.6. Key points concerning interdependence

2.2.3.6.1. Forward sequence

2.2.3.6.1.1. Teaching on unspecified non-virtue

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2.2.3.6.1.2. Teaching on momentary mental events

2.2.3.6.1.3. Teaching on the propensity body

2.2.3.6.1.4. Completion of the twelve links from


fundamental non-knowing in a single moment

2.2.3.6.2. Reverse sequence

2.2.3.6.2.1. The manner in which outer appearances


arise from inner mind

2.2.3.6.2.2. Practice

2.2.3.6.2.3. Result ▼

2.2.3.7. Key points concerning the result, the state of


buddhahood

2.2.3.7.1. The non-dual beyond rational mind

2.2.3.7.2. Abiding as a collection of all enlightened


qualities

2.2.3.7.3. Having abandoned forgetfulness and peace,


striving continually for the benefit of sentient beings

This is the outline for the holistic enlightened view of every buddha
throughout all time.

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18 Nov 2012

Gongchig Teachings at Drikung Kagyu Institute:


First Week

At Drikung Kagyu Institute in Dehradun India, a teaching has commenced on


the subject of the Gongchig ("The Holistic Enlightened View"), the core
philosophy of the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. This teaching,
by Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön, the founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage,
organized and written down by his direct disciple Chännga Dorje Sherab as
"The Lamp of Wisdom Illumination", and currently being taught by
Khenchen Könchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche to more than two hundred
participants, presents a revolutionary approach to actualizing a direct and
authentic perception of reality and to engaging in a path of practice that brings
about the best possible benefit for oneself and all others.

This first week of the teaching started by setting up a stark contrast between
the way that the philosophy and practice of Buddhism is typically presented
and this Gongchig style of teaching. In general, the Buddha, "The Thus Gone
One" (Sanskrit tathāgata), is presented, either explicitly or implicitly, as a kind
of Buddhist God, similar to the all-powerful creator God of Hinduism,
Christianity, and other traditions. This religious style of presentation,
understanding, and practice of Buddhism brings about much benefit, and is
vitally important to the tradition. Here though, the Gong-chig style of
presentation, that of the Holistic Enlightened View, starts with non-dual
reality, as it is, and opens up from there, naturally and comprehensively
unfurling into whatever level of detail is required for each practitioner to come
to engage authentically with reality. This style of presentation is a scientific way
of approaching reality, from first principles, and is one that does not require
any need for blind faith and accords well with the modern mind.

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18 Nov 2012

The first Gongchig presentation of reality was a single sentence: "It is generally
accepted that the Thus Gone One is the God of the Dharma; and held to be
like that, is taught as like that, and so becomes just that; but here it is accepted
that all of the buddhadharma reveals solely the mode of abiding of the basic-
character / disposition (reality as-it-is)."

Next, the Gongchig opened up to a seven-fold presentation as:

1) Wheels of Dharma
2) Interdependence
3) Vowing for Individual Liberation
4) Training as a Bodhisattva
5) Tantric Accomplishment
6) View, Meditation, and Conduct
7) The Result, Buddhahood

This seven-fold presentation was illustrated by the example of an umbrella with


seven ribs: From the top it is seen as a unified whole, but look underneath and
the seven supporting ribs can be seen distinctly and individually, but
interdependently, working together to make the umbrella useful. In addition,
these seven ribs come together into a single handle so that the whole thing may
be grasped as once.

The practice aspect of the Gongchig was presented by corresponding these


seven to the pinnacle practice system, the Five-Fold Path of Mahamudra:

1) Bodhicitta Motivation: (4) Training as a Bodhisattva


2) Yidam Deity: (5) Tantric Accomplishment
3) Guru Yoga: (6) View, Meditation, and Conduct
4) Mahamudra: (1) Wheels of Dharma and (2) Interdependence
5) Dedication: (7) The Result, Buddhahood

Supporting all five aspects of the practice: (3) Vowing for Individual
Liberation

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18 Nov 2012

The seven-fold presentation of the Gongchig then opened up further into one
hundred and ninety "vajra statements" (one hundred and fifty main statements
and forty supplementary statements) divided into seven sections. These were
introduced this week, and will begin to be explained one by one in the second
week of teachings.

"The Lamp of Wisdom Illumination" is the earliest of the ten or so


commentaries on the Gongchig, and was written down by a direct disciple of
the founder, and so the teachings this week have included a wealth of detail
about the founding teacher Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön, his life and teaching style,
and how the Gongchig presentation of reality as-it-is and its path of practice
are truly a non-dual pair.

The teaching is progressing well, with Khenchen Rinpoche energetically


presenting the Holistic Enlightened View, as well as adding many engaging
insights, stories, and advice. A number of sponsors have contributed to offer
support to all the monastics in attendance, and morning tea and a complete
lunch is being offered daily to everyone by Khenchen Rinpoche – so all are well
contented and participating with full attention and interest.

Acharya Kinley Gyaltsen and Terence Barrett, 18 November 2012


The Office of HH the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang

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A Teaching of Jigten Sumgön [known as]
The Forty [Statements]

Clarified by Chän-nga She-rab Jung-ne


Organized and written down by Chän-nga Dor-je She-rab
Taught by Khenchen Könchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche
Explained by Acharya Kinley Gyaltsen
Translated by Terence Barrett

I pay homage to the peerless Dri-gung Rin-chen –


The omniscient Dharma Lord
Who perceives all things as unmixed objects of knowledge
In the mandala of stainless, luminous, enlightened mind.

All Guides of the ten directions and the three times, exalted due to a full array
of qualities, are the Timeless Teacher. Throughout the Dharma sphere, all
these Conquerors continually proclaim the sounds of accumulated qualities;
the renown of their enlightened forms, with the [seven] qualities of greatness,
pervade throughout the physical universe; each have a realm of miraculous
display, at the limit of objects of knowledge, that is like nothing else
throughout all of space; and they will always abide, throughout the ten
directions and until the end of time.

And thus it was that the Lama of all samsara and nirvana, the Ruler of all
phenomena, the Lord of precious moral conduct in the training of what is to
be practiced and what is not, the great wheel-wielding King, the unequalled


 
Lama, the Protector of the three realms Dharma Lord Dri-gung Ling-pa taught
[the following]:

It is generally accepted that the Teaching of every Conqueror of the ten


directions and the three times is dissimilar, different, and varied; but here it is
accepted that the disposition of the Teaching and Dharma of every Buddha is
the same.

1) Some say that the Dharma of Buddhas is different but the tenets are fixed;
but here it is accepted that the vehicles and tenets are buddha-interdependence.

2) It is generally accepted that the count of heaps of Dharma is that of a back-


load of a strong elephant or the like, but here it is accepted that it is eighty-four
thousand antidotes of the afflictions.

3) It is generally accepted that the twelve branches of the Excellent Speech are
separate, distinct, and unmixed; but here it is accepted that each branch is
replete with all twelve.

4) It is generally accepted that the five excellences do not pertain to that which
is not Instruction; but here it is accepted that everything in samsara and
nirvana is subsumed by the five excellences.

5) It is generally accepted that the three baskets are separate and without any
points of contact between them; but here it is accepted that they were taught
together, as mutually related, and that each are replete with all three.

6) In general it is said that the narrative teachings of the Excellent Speech do


not have the complete excellence [of the] Dharma; but here it is accepted that
all of the Instruction has every one of the five excellences.

7) There are many acceptance-traditions concerning the three of vinaya, sutra,


and abhidharma, but here it is accepted that the Instruction that teaches mind
only and common sutras [belong to] the basket of abhidharma.


 
8) It is generally accepted that those engaged in the way of the Bön1 or
Tīrthika2 [traditions] perceive truth; but here it is accepted that those engaged
in the way of the Bön or Tīrthika [traditions] have no such perception.

9) Furthermore, it is generally accepted that Bön-po and Tīrthika have nothing


conducive to liberation [from samsara]; but here it is accepted that it is not
contradictory [(with the former statement) to say] that Bönpo and Tīrthika
have some things that are conducive to liberation.

10) It is said that non-Buddhists have no vows and no compassion, and that all
Tīrthika practices are to be avoided; but here it is accepted that non-Buddhists
also have compassion and the keeping of vows.

11) It is generally accepted that buddhification using the casual, characteristic


vehicle [requires] three "limitless" [kalpas]3, but here it is accepted that
buddhification using the casual, characteristic vehicle can [be accomplished] in
a single lifetime.

12) It is generally accepted that characteristic-buddhas and mantric-buddhas


are not the same, but here it is accepted that the buddhahood is the same
whether [gained] in the dharmic-manner or experiential-manner.

13) It is generally accepted that the three vows get progressively looser, here it
is accepted that the three vows get progressively tighter.

14) It is generally accepted that the thirty-seven factors in accord with


enlightenment are the dharmas of the path and that the state of buddhahood
comes after that [path], but here it is accepted that traversal up to and
including the final state, buddhahood, is by a path of accumulation.

                                                            
1
Bön is the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet; those who practice Bön are known as Bön-po.
2
Tīrthika is a Sanskrit word referring to people who follow other enlightenment-oriented
traditions besides Buddhism.
3
A “limitless” kalpa is the period of time required for the life cycle of one universe – for it to
come into being, expand, abide, and then be destroyed.

 
15) It is generally accepted that hearers and solitary realizers are cut off from
the mahayana family and so will not attain buddhahood, but here it is accepted
that hearers and solitary realizers have the cause of buddhahood and so will also
attain the final, great enlightenment.

16) It is generally accepted that there are various uncertain vehicles and tenets,
but here it is accepted that all vehicles and tenets are buddha-interdependence.

17) Samsara is accepted [by some] to be limited and [by others] to be limitless,
but here samsara is accepted to be [both] limitless and free of elaboration.

18) It is generally accepted that the eighty-four thousand or so heaps of dharma


are each an antidote to one of the things that are to be abandoned, but here all
dharmas are subsumed in each of the vows of individual liberation4.

19) It is generally accepted that the four [early] schools each had a different
sublime dharma Vinaya, but here it is accepted that the four sections of
teaching at the root of the four schools are one entity.

20) It is generally accepted that seed-infraction during dream incurs no fault,


but here it is accepted that for those without the ability to practice such
infraction in dream incurs fault.

21) It is generally accepted that after attaining the first bhumi there is no fear
of a bad rebirth, but here it is accepted that those on the bhumis can go to the
lower realms.

22) It is generally accepted that the collections of the bodhisattva are


accumulated in reference to lower [beings], but here it is accepted that
marvelous practice accumulates the meditator’s collections.

                                                            
4
Here, “vows of individual liberation” means the three levels of Vinaya vows (layperson, novice
ordained, fully ordained) and well as the three overall levels of vows (vinaya, bodhisattva, and
secret mantra).

 
23) It is generally accepted that if illness or harm occurs while practicing,
outer-inner interdependence is beneficial, but here it is accepted that the
supreme method with which to dispel these is to take them onto the path.

24) There are many acceptance-traditions concerning the secret mantra being a
fourth basket or the like, but here [secret mantra belongs] to all three baskets
and is the essence of the three.

25) Concerning secret mantra empowerment, [some] accept that it cannot be


received even when bestowed and [some] accept that it can be received even if
not bestowed, but here it is accepted that those of high, medium, and low
capability all require [empowerment] with the profound rituals of the lineage.

26) It is generally accepted that the deeds of the three kayas are ascertained as
three, but here it is accepted that although this is the case, all enlightened
activities can be actualized with a single deity.

27) It is generally accepted that each deity has its own certain characteristics,
but here it is accepted that the characteristics of every deity will be held by
[one’s] principal deity.

28) It is generally accepted that [non-conformance with] the root samayas is


allowed during the four occasions5 of secret mantra, but here it is accepted that
there is no circumstance in which [non-conformance with] the root samayas is
allowed during the four occasions.

29) Some say that one becomes the deity in stages, from the first [aspect] to as
[many aspects as one] is able, but here it is accepted that instantly becoming
the deity is the profound way [to practice].

30) It is generally accepted that for making the generation stage firm the
approach-enumeration is principal, but here it is accepted that what is required
is awareness that the deity has been actualized with interdependent collections.

                                                            
5
Here, “four occasions” refers to the four stages of empowerment.

 
31) It is generally accepted that austerities and the like mistreat the deity, but
here it is accepted that they are disparaged because they impute an ordinary
body.

32) It is generally accepted that the first three of the four levels of tantra are of
provisional meaning and so not profound and that the unsurpassed [level of]
tantra alone is profound and so is of definitive meaning, but here it is accepted
that for all provisional [and] definitive meaning [to be included] extensive
rituals are required.

33) It is generally accepted that for the capable, engaging by way of an


extensive ritual from the beginning is required, but here it is accepted that for
those who have been tamed [by the extensive ritual], the abbreviated [ritual] is
also [appropriate].

34) It is generally accepted that fierce [deities], a vajra fence, and the like
[make] a profound wheel of protection, but here it is accepted that the
magnificent wheel of protection is the ‘armor of enlightenment’6.

35) It is generally accepted that for the uncommon, marvelous practice of


secret mantra the oral instructions on the channels and winds are most
profound, but here it is accepted that a key point more important even than
the channels and winds is the Vinaya.

36) It is appropriate to say that channels, winds, and drops made impure by
the actions of the three poisons require purification, but here it is accepted that
channels, winds, and drops with poisonous impurities are especially profound.

37) It is generally accepted that the disciple’s samaya is very tight and the
master’s samaya not tight, but here it accepted that the mutual samaya of the
master and disciple are equally [tight].

                                                            
6
‘Armor of enlightenment’ refers to bodhicitta.

 
38) It is generally accepted that even tenth-bhumi bodhisattvas do not fully
perceive the alaya consciousness, but here it is accepted that due to the power
of blessing, the alaya consciousness may be perceived at other times [as well] .

39) It is generally accepted that after perception of the dharmata-reality


[comes] the path of the ‘white multitude’, but here it is accepted that non-
virtuous conduct will drop even those on the tenth bhumi to the lower realms.

40) It is generally accepted that the three-trainings secret-mantra vajra vehicle


and the stages-of-the-path vinaya/paramita/secret-mantra path are different,
but here it is accepted that the six paramitas are the three-vehicle path.

41) It is generally accepted that mahamudra is obscured by both virtue and


non-virtue, but here it is accepted that it is impossible for the dharmakaya to
be obscured by that which is virtuous.

42) It is generally accepted that the results of separation have no cause, but here
it is accepted that causeless results are impossible.

43) It is generally accepted that the non-dual meditator / meditated mix of two
spaces is the final [state], but here it is accepted that it is [only] the free-of-all-
elaboration manifest realization of the hearers.

44) It is generally accepted that the four-fold yoga of directed wind and the like
are profound, but here it is accepted that resting at ease without retaining the
wind is what is really profound.

45) It is generally accepted that phowa is transference to the heart center of the
lama or yidam by way of the ‘hung’ or seed-syllable, but here it is accepted that
the supreme phowa is consciousness-lama-luminosity.

46) It is generally accepted that buddhahood is passing beyond sorrow, and like
a fire running out of fuel, “I” is gone when the fire is gone, but here it is
accepted that [buddhahood] is the unlimited embodiment of bodhicitta.
By this virtue as pure as a stainless snow-mountain
May the teachings of Rin-chen [Pal] spread in the ten directions
And the un-aware, deluded [beings of] the world
Attain the final, completely free buddha-wisdom!


 
ṇḍ

1
Skt. tathāgata; an epithet for the Buddha.
2
Literally, the "Dharma Īṣhvara ". Īṣhvara, more commonly known as Śhiva, is all-
powerful God in the Hindu context in which Buddha Shakyamuni lived and taught. For
people raised in Jewish, Christian, or Muslim contexts who practice Buddhism, the
equivalent concept here is Yahweh as all-powerful God.
1
2
3
3
‘Self-streamer’ is a pejorative, seemingly coined by Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön, with a
meaning akin to ‘dogmatist’.
4
4
‘The mindset for complete enlightenment’ is Skt. bodhicitta.
5
Jigten Sumgon's Footprint Left in Rock

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1
1
‘[Karma] of [self-]seen phenomena’ refers to karma that is created and experienced in the
same life.
2
2
‘Liberation through discernment’ is a translation for Tib. so sor thar pa (Skt. prātimokṣha),
that attempts to follow Kyopa Jigten Sumgön’s explanation of how the term should be
properly understood and applied. This term is generally understood as “individual
liberation”, and the vinaya basket of teachings is usually described as the Buddha’s
teachings on taking and maintaining one of eight “vows of individual liberation” that have
the goal and result of liberating oneself from saṃsāra. Kyopa Jigten Sumgön taught that
this term means something else: “liberation [to nirvāṇa or buddhahood] through
discernment [of what is to be practiced and what is not]” and that it applies to all three
levels of vowed practice, be it the so-called “individual liberation”, bodhisattva conduct, or
secret mantra, with the “what is to be practiced and what is not” specific to each level.
Furthermore, the vinaya basket is where this “liberation through discernment” is taught and
so practice of the vinaya is accepted by Kyopa Jigten Sumgön as necessary to attaining the
desired result of any of the three levels of practice, making the vinaya a vehicle shared by
all practitioners of buddha-dharma, the “shared vehicle” of the first vajra statement of this
section.
3

3
The ‘seven abandonments’ are refraining from the three non-virtues of the body (killing,
taking what is not offered, and sexual misconduct) and the four non-virtues of the speech
(lying, divisive speech, harsh words, and heedless talk); the ‘abandonment of the three
mental aspects’ refers to refraining from the three non-virtues of the mind (covetousness, ill
will, and wrong view).
4
4
‘Other migrators’ refers to beings who have not taken an individual liberation vow.
5
6
1
‘Mindset for enlightenment’ is Skt. bodhicitta.
1
2

ṃ ṇ

3
4
Section Five – Twenty eight vajra statements that summarize key points
concerning vowed secret-mantra knowledge-holders:

5.1) Although it is taught that mantra will not arise in the teachings of other
[buddhas], here it is accepted that mantra does arise in the teachings of other
[buddhas] – according to the distinction of [each buddha’s] trainees.

5.2) Although bestowal with a ritual does produce a comprehension that one has
received secret-mantra empowerment, here it is accepted that [empowerment] is
obtained [only] if the meaning of the empowerment, bestowed by a qualified lama,
arises in [one’s] mind-stream.

5.3) It is generally accepted that if [all] the different families [of deities] in a
maṇḍala circle are not complete, bestowal of empowerment will not occur; but here
it is accepted that bestowal of empowerment will occur with even a single-side
deity.

5.4) Many teach that the analogous [wisdom of the] third empowerment is
incompatible with the actual [wisdom], but here it is accepted that until realization
of [both] analogous and actual [wisdom] has occurred, the meaning [of the
empowerment] will not be internalized.

5.5) It is generally accepted that the generation stage [deity], upon examination, is
not [there], and so is of ‘imaginary [character]’; but here it is accepted that the
generation stage [deity] is of ‘wholly-established [character]’.1

5.6) It is generally accepted that for those in whom the ‘samādhi of awakened
former actions’ automatically arises, and for those like them, engagement rituals are
not required – [their] experience of suchness is sufficient; but here it is accepted that
engagement rituals are especially important for these ‘automatic ones’.

5.7) It is generally accepted that mantric deities, [with their] different [numbers of]
faces and hands, are like the trainees [that practice them]; but here it is accepted that
all [mantric] deities have the enlightened qualities of the major and minor marks.

5.8) Many take visions of the forms of tathāgatas, bodhisattvas, and the like as
principle, but here it is accepted that the deities and the like described in the sūtras
and tantras need to be given priority.

1
In this statement, two of the three ‘characters’ of phenomena described in the
Mind-Only system are referred to. The three characters are: ‘imaginary’,
phenomena that consist only of conceptual labels; ‘other-powered’, phenomena that
exist substantially outside the mind; and ‘wholly established’, phenomena as they
really are. The first two characters are relative reality and the third is ultimate
reality.

1
5.9) It is generally accepted that [practitioners of] the highest capacity have
‘instantaneous-recall perfect visualization’ and so the many liturgies, [meant] for
those of lower [capacity], are not of great account; but here it is accepted that all the
detailed liturgies are particularly important, and required for, [practitioners of] the
highest capacity.

5.10) It is generally accepted that all detailed liturgies were taught for those who
prefer the elaborations of interpretable meaning; but here it is accepted that all
elaborations are the arising of dispositional interdependence.

5.11) It is generally accepted that the vajra-body’s mode of abiding is as channels,


winds, and bodhicitta-drops; but here it is accepted that the vajra-body’s mode of
abiding is as the ‘wheel of profundity’.

5.12) It is generally accepted that the mode of abiding of the channels, winds, and
bodhicittas is completely explained in the textual tradition; but here it is accepted
that some [aspects of their] mode of abiding is concealed by Vajradhara.

5.13) It is generally accepted that the only profound [information] on the channels
and winds [is that found in the teachings of] secret mantra; but here it is accepted
that [for] some [aspects concerning their] condition and treatment, medical [science]
is more profound.

5.14) It is generally accepted that the quintessential instructions and related advice
on the channels and winds are more profound than the three vows and the like; but
here it is accepted that what is not profound to others is profound [here].

5.15) It is generally accepted that the kaya-result actualized through [practice] of


the profound channels and winds is complete; but here it is accepted that without
[having practiced] the non-profound instructions, [practice of] the profound
channels and winds will not result in buddhahood.

5.16) It is generally accepted that an experience or realization of something not


mentioned in the Instruction or Treatises2 is a ‘special dharma’; but here it is
accepted that experiences that contradict the Sugata’s Instruction are mistaken
realizations.

5.17) It is generally accepted that understanding [the teachings of] interpretable


meaning and definitive meaning to be distinct, and [practicing] them accordingly, is

2
The ‘Instruction and Treatises’ are the two collections of teachings that together
make up the Buddhist canon: the collection of instructions, or teachings, of the
Buddha, and the collection of treatises on those teachings that are considered
authoritative.

2
sufficient; but here it is accepted that [one] needs to proceed [along the path] without
contravening any of the Instruction enlightened-view.

5.18) It is generally accepted that [one should] always follow profound instructions
exclusively, regardless of whether positive or negative qualities of the practice arise;
but here it is accepted that [one] should not always follow the instruction, [but]
always follow the Instruction.

5.19) It is generally accepted that the three kāyas’ cause is faultless samādhi; but
here it is accepted that the three faultless samādhis are the cause of the three realms
[of] saṃsāra.

5.20) Although the three kāyas are described as distinct, as the kāyas that emanate
to the twenty-four places and the like, the enjoyment-kāyas, and so on, here it is
accepted that each of the three kāyas are the embodiment of all three.

5.21) Although many accept that since mantra is the enlightened view of
Vajradhara, vinaya, the enlightened view of the Sage, is not needed, here it is
accepted that mantra is powerless without moral conduct.

5.22) Although secret mantra has been taught as ‘accomplishment through practice
[with] the desires’, here it is accepted that the teachings on the hindrances caused by
desire predominate.

5.23) It is generally accepted that secret mantra is the path of transforming the
three-poisonous-afflictions basis; but here it is accepted that there is never an
instance of mantric non-virtue turning into virtue.

5.24) It is generally accepted that [in the] secret mantra, even non-virtue – when it
is the conduct of those skilled in means – is virtue; but here it is accepted that virtue
in vinaya is also virtue in secret mantra, and non-virtue in vinaya is also non-virtue
in secret mantra.

5.25) It is generally accepted that the afflictions are the families or lineages of the
buddhas; but here it is accepted that the result of purifying the afflictions is the
sugata.

5.26) It is generally accepted that the enlightened activities of ‘secret mantra


manifest conduct’ are not vice, but virtue, and so are prescribed; but here it is
accepted that other than [as] display of mantric power, manifest conduct is not
prescribed.

5.27) It is generally accepted that vajra hell is worse than the other hells; but here it
is accepted that vajra hell is in fact Unrelenting Torment and similar [hells].

3
5.28) It is generally accepted that [one] will not be released [from vajra hell] until
space collapses; but here it is accepted that a vajra master of superlative mental
capacity can get [one] out.

4
Section Six – Twenty vajra statements that summarize key points concerning distinctive
view, meditation, and conduct:

6.1) Although some accept dharmas that originate without a continuum – earth-dharmas,
sky-dharmas, termas, etc. – to be profound and marvelous, here it is accepted that because it
is a continuum, the Dharma of the lineage is what is profound and marvelous.

6.2) It is generally accepted that all the variously-appearing appearances are not connected
to the inner mind; but here it is accepted that all the phenomena that make up saṃsāra-
nirvāṇa appearing-existence are one’s own mind.

6.3) It is generally accepted that every cause and result of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa are
associated over a long time period; but here it is accepted that all phenomena are
embodiments of momentary thought.

6.4) It is generally accepted that when something has been ascertained as having a nature
of one or many, how it has been viewed is how it is; but here it is accepted that when
[something] cannot abide [a certain way] in the basic character, viewing [it that way] will
not make it so.

6.5) It is generally accepted that even with an unqualified lama, [one] can cultivate
enlightened qualities; but here it is accepted that enlightened qualities cannot be cultivated
with an unqualified lama.

6.6) It is generally accepted that the methods that bring about realization are various and
indefinite; but here it is accepted that there is definitely only one method that ensures
realization – devotion.

6.7) It is generally accepted that the Great Middle Way and the like are ultimate views; but
here it is accepted that possession of realization is the preeminent-realization view.

6.8) It is generally accepted that for realization of dharmatā-emptiness, only the Three
Greats1 are high enough; but here it is accepted that [this] realization is untouched by the
Three Greats.

6.9) It is generally accepted that realizations that come from hearing, contemplating, and
meditating are realization; but here it is accepted that all these hearing, contemplating, and
meditating emptinesses are where [one] gets lost and goes astray.

6.10) Although meditation is [generally taken to be] generation of bliss, clarity, non-
thought, etc. in calm-abiding samādhi, here it is accepted that [it] is cultivation, habituation,
the path of realization.

1
The ‘Three Greats’: ‘The Great Middle Way’, Mahā-madhyamaka; ‘The Great Seal’,
Mahā-mudrā; and ‘The Great Completion’, Dzog-chen.
1
6.11) It is generally accepted that the conduct ‘free of taking up virtue and giving up vice’
is what goes with the view, ‘dharmatā-emptiness mahāmudrā’; but here it is accepted that
conduct free of taking up and giving up is the precious moral conduct.2

6.12) It is generally accepted that ultimate mahāmudrā and moral conduct are mutually
exclusive dharmas; but here it is accepted that mahāmudrā and precious moral conduct are
one and the same – [this is] the highest of the Protector’s special dharmas.3

6.13) Although many accept that view, meditation, and conduct are three distinct [aspects
of the practice], here it is accepted that view-meditation-conduct is one [practice].

6.14) It is generally accepted that mahāmudrā has no qualities of any kind, positive or
negative; but here it is accepted that mahāmudrā is the embodiment of enlightened
qualities.

6.15) It is generally accepted that enlightened qualities arise after equipoise, not within it;
but here it is accepted that all enlightened qualities arise from the state of equipoise.

6.16) It is generally accepted that even if [their] causes have not been actualized, all the
enlightened qualities will arise; but here it is accepted that no enlightened quality can arise
without an actualized cause.

6.17) It is generally accepted that after emptiness is realized, causality is finished and done
with; but here it is accepted that after emptiness is realized, emptiness arises as causality.

6.18) It is generally accepted that once [one] has become realized, [one] no longer needs
the method path and the like; but here it is accepted that the method path and the like are
still very much needed by those possessed of realization.

6.19) It is generally accepted that one who practices the various realization-enhancements
and valid yogic disciplines wears the outfit of a yogi, frolicking in charnel grounds; but
here it is accepted that holding the training in moral conduct in the highest regard is the
distinctly superior, righteous conduct.

6.20) It is generally accepted that ‘great-equipoise bhu-su-ku’4 is the ultimate conduct; but
here it is accepted that a bhu-su-ku without the Three Dharmas5 is indistinct from ‘one
whose conduct is serenity’ 6.

2
‘Moral conduct’ is the second pāramitā, the upholding of all precepts, natural and
imposed.
3
‘The Protector’ is Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön.
4
‘Bhu-su-ku’ is a term derived from the Sanskrit words for ‘consumption [of food and
drink]’, ‘sleep’, and ‘elimination [of liquid and solid waste]’, and is used to refer to
someone whose life is made up of only these three basic biological needs.
5
‘The Three Dharmas’ referred to here are: “A true understanding of seeing faults as faults;
an established knowledge about the benefit of qualities; and benefaction to others which is
2
endowed with compassion.” (Taken from M. Viehbeck’s translation of the Gongchig
commentary named The Lamp Dispelling the Darkness.)
6
‘One whose conduct is serenity’ refers to one who is an arhat or pratyekabuddha – one
who rests in the serenity of nirvāṇa.
3
Section Seven – Fifteen vajra statements that summarize key points concerning the
result, buddhahood:

7.1) Although some accept that the state of buddhahood has both realities 1, here it is
accepted that at the state of buddhahood, reality is non-dual.

7.2) Typically there only two [options], to accept that the buddha-wisdoms exist or to
accept that they do not exist, but here it is accepted that the [buddha-]wisdoms are
exclusively non-dual wisdoms.

7.3) It is generally accepted that when phenomena from nirvāṇa [appear here in saṃsāra]
they [appear as] super-phenomena, illusion-like, and so therefore [such] illusions exist; but
here it is accepted that [the state of buddhahood] completely transcends [such] illusion-like
phenomena.

7.4) It is generally accepted that buddha-mind is a ‘valid cognizer’ until the second
moment; but here it is accepted that buddhas abide always as ‘valid cognizers’.

7.5) It is generally accepted that when, at [attainment] of buddhahood, [all] obscurations to


objects of knowledge have been abandoned, mental engagement ceases; but here it is
accepted that the result of separation is a wisdom-mind being.

7.6) It is generally accepted that because the dharmakāya is beyond all dualisms, [it] is
finished with causes and conditions; but here it is accepted that the dharmakāya’s qualities
are accompanied by enlightened activities and deeds.

7.7) It is generally accepted that a buddha cannot engage in causation because it is the final
result; but here it is accepted that even at buddhahood there is generation of the mindset [of
enlightenment].

7.8) It is generally accepted that the inexhaustible ornamented wheel of buddha body
speech and mind is mere manifestation; but here it is accepted that enlightened mind, and
only [enlightened mind], reaches as far as the views of permanence and nihilism.

7.9) It is generally accepted that buddhas perform the benefit of migrators using buddha-
emanations, and not [using] anything else; but here it is accepted that [buddhas] perform
[their] buddha-activities using every knowable thing in existence.

7.10) It is generally accepted that when [one] attains buddhahood, [one then] buddifies in
each different [buddha-]field; but here it is accepted that until one buddifies throughout the
dharmadhātu, one is not a buddha.

1
‘Both realities’ refers to relative and ultimate reality, also known as relative and ultimate
truth.
1
7.11) It is generally accepted that even though the sending out of infinite buddha-
emanations is without cause, there are sufficient emanations; but here it is accepted that
because causeless emanation is impossible, [emanations must be of] their own continuum.

7.12) It is generally accepted that the two [form] kāyas and the [buddha-]wisdoms are
appearances [for] others; but here it is accepted that buddha is an interdependent kāya.

7.13) It is generally accepted that the result of aspirational [bodhicitta] is emanation kāyas
and the enjoyment kāyas arise from engagement [bodhicitta]; but here it is taught that it is
also [possible] for enjoyment kāyas to arise due to aspiration [bodhicitta], and emanation
kāyas to arise due to engagement [bodhicitta].

7.14) It is generally accepted that the three kāyas abide separately, have different retinues,
and teach distinct dharmas; but here it is accepted that the three kāyas are without
separation.

7.15) It is generally accepted that all buddhas reside in places such as Akaniṣhṭa; but here
it is accepted that all buddhas reside in the sentient-being-element continuum.

2
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