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The Practice of

the Essence of the Sublime Heart Jewel,


View, Meditation and Action
The Propitious Speech
from the Beginning, Middle and End
by
Patrul Rinpoche
translated by
Thinley Norbu
Introduction
Patrul Rinpoche was an emanation of Shantideva, who is
inseparable from Avalokiteshvara (Tib. Chenrezig). From
among the many commentaries and precious teachings which
he wrote, I thought it the most beneficial to translate
Propitious Speech from the Beginning, Middle and En.d,
which explains how to practise with the six syllables: OM MANI
PADME HUM. I translated this text with my friends in order to
benefit many beings, including Ernie McCormick and Pip
Nicholls who asked me for a teaching on the best way.
When a text written by a sublime person is translated by
an ordinary person like myself, translation becomes more
dangerous than original composition because many precious
points of view can be lost. The translator is like the weak
trekker who cannot climb to the top of Mt Everest and must
explain about it through maps, pictures and the view from the
base camp. The superior trekker who reaches the top of Mt
Everest can see all the different levels within space, as
Vairocana did. The author just shows his own lungs, kidneys,
liver, heart, veins, gall bladder and spleen. It does not matter
whether his writing is beautiful or disgusting. There is no one
interpolating.
There are two different styles of translation. One is from
word to word and the other is from word to meaning. It is best
to do both without losing words, syntax, order, grammar and
especially meaning. Yet because of different styles sometimes
it is impossible to translate literally, so one must try to
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predominantly translate the meaning. As much as possible,
and in my own style, I have tried not to lose the meaning. If
others can translate this text in a different style through their
own understanding mind, then it would also be beneficial and
kind.
According to this teaching, these six syllables are the
essence of all syllables. The definitions and benefits of this
mantra are innumerable. Briefly, with a view to gain liberation
from the six realms, the explanation is:
OM doses the door to the suffering of being reborn in
the gods' realm. The suffering of the gods is the foreseeing of
one's fall from the gods' realm when one dies. This suffering
comes from pride.
MA closes the door to the suffering of being reborn in
the warring gods' or Asuras' realm. The suffering of these anti
gods is constant fighting. This suffering comes from jealousy.
Nl doses the door to the suffering of being reborn in the
human realm. The suffering of humans is birth, sickness, old
age and death. This suffering comes from desire.
PAD (pronounced PE) doses the door to the suffering of
being reborn in the animal realm. The suffering of animals is
stupidity, preying upon one another, being killed for meat and
skins, and being beasts of burden. This suffering comes from
ignorance.
ME doses the door to the suffering of being reborn in
the hungry ghosts' realm. The suffering of hungry ghosts is
hunger and thirst. This suffering comes from greed.
HUM (pronounced HUNG) closes the door to the
suffering of being reborn in the hell realms. The suffering of the
hells is heat and cold. This suffering comes from anger and
hatred.
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This text was translated at the place where the fourth
Buddha's lotus feet blessed the land; where the bodhisattvas
Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani were wisdom
messengers of all the Buddhas' wisdom body, speech and
mind; where they raised and blessed many stupas and golden
tiled temples with their sunshine wisdom; where they prayed
for all sentient beings to accumulate merit and benefit from
these holy sites; where one can pray to reach stainless
compassion, the same as Chenrezig.
OM MANI PADME HUM
Thinley Norbu
Boudhanath, Nepal
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Namo Lokishwaraya I
Even if just one nectar drop of your name falls on our ears,
it fills them with the sound of Dharma for many lives.
Wondrous Triple Gem, reknowned for your glory,
may you always give the auspicious.
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I, illusory Dharma image, am like the mango fruit of Autumn,
the outside seemingly ripened even though the inside is not.
My mind and Dharma are not integrated.
Therefore my expression of Dharma is not complete.
Nevertheless, at your reverent request,
without refusing, honestly I will speak.
Without compromise to the vulgar beings of the Kali Yuga,
I will speak and you should understand.
The Lord of Lords, most reknowned sage,
by the path of honesty attained the state of honesty,
and to honest beings showed the honest noble path.
Therefore he is called the greatest honest sage, isn't he ?
Alas I In this degenerate age, the temperament of beings,
their center of noble honesty, is diminished by the use of deceit.
Therefore they have crooked minds and crooked speech.
How can we trust those who lure others' minds?
Alas I Mind is confused by beholding the beings of this
degenerate age.
Alas I Who can trust anyone's speech ?
While remaining in this land of violent rakshas, be charitable
to yourself.
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Previously, our own single mind,
wandering and pushed by karma, took birth in this world.
Now, like removing a single hair from butter,
leave everything and go alone.
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This is impossible without having good intention for ourselves.
This is impossible without having honesty for ourselves.
By not accomplishing the essence of Dharma for our own
benefit, we destroy our own dominion by ourselves, don't we?
The intentional actions of people in the Kali Yuga are so base,
whoever cannot be of benefit just lures us.
It is also difficult for us to benefit them,
so it is better to cut the commotion, isn't it ?
However superior people are served, they are never satisfied.
However inferior people are supported, they are never content.
Even though we love others, they rarely love us.
You must understand this and have a determined mind.
Even if one is learned, this is not beneficial; it often only
increases metaphysical debate.
Even if one is a siddha, this cannot benefit others; it often
only attracts more abuse.
Even if a high position is held, it cannot be sustained; it
often only incites revolt.
You must understand this age of degeneration and have a
weary mind.
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Even if explanation is given, others misinterpret and will not
accept it as truth.
Even if intention is beneficial, candid and from the heart,
they keep their misconceptions.
Behold this age when crookedminded people see honest
ones as crooked.
The rope of hope and expectation must be cut, since it
cannot benefit anyone.
The Victorious One said : ccAII phenomena are like
But what greater magic is there than the present age ?
Enticing magicians are performing;
fear the beguiling, hypnotising phantoms of the Kali Yuga.
The Victorious One said : ccAII speech is like an echo>>.
But now a much greater echo
is hypocritical speech.
Shun these luring words.
Whoever are seen are not human beings, they are deceivers.
Whoever speaks, this is not speech, it is just luring words.
Now there is no longer anyone to trust,
so remain content alone.
If bodily action is in accordance with Dharma, then most
people object.
If speech is honest, then most people get angry.
If pure from the heart, then most people consider it a fault.
Now it is time to hide the selfnature.
Hide body and stay in a solitary place.
Hide speech and disengage from conversation.
Hide mind and only watch your own faults.
Therefore be called a hidden yogi.
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No one can be trusted, so have aversion.
Nothing has essence, so be sorrowful.
Whatever is wished for, there isn't time to accomplish, so
stop wishing.
To be a companion of these three is most beneficial.
Now happiness is exhausted, there is no time for happiness.
Not desiring sorrow, end the age of sorrow by practising
Dharma.
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Whether happy or unhappy, know that it comes from karmic
force.
Now, have no doubt or expectation in anyone.
Hoping in others with false smiles,
the self pretends with expectation,
doing this and that with hopes and doubts.
Now, when this occurs, do nothing.
Even if death comes today, do not regret leaving samsaric
dharma.
Even if 100 years are survived, still, passing youth is not
joyful.
Whether death or life comes, so what ?
To accomplish Dharma for the next life is enough.
Ah ! My sole lord, treasure of compassion,
root guru, Lord Chenrezig,
your six syllables of Dharma are the essence of speech.
There is no source of hope except in you.
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Whatever is understood is just an understanding thought : no
benefit now.
Whatever is done is lost for this life: no benefit now.
Whatever is considered is lost into delusion : no benefit now.
It is time to recite the six syllable mantra : true benefit now.
The undeceiving sole refuge is the Triple Gem.
The essence of the Triple Gem is Chenrezig.
Having unchanging trust in Chenrezig,
with confident determination, recite the six syllables.
Compassion is the root of the Mahayana path.
Vast compassion is the only path of all the Buddhas.
Compassionate mind is inseparable from the noble path.
With spontaneous compassion towards sentient beings, recite
the six syllables.
From beginning less time until now we have wandered in samsara,
whatever was done has gone to sin and further wandering.
Confess transgressions with heartfelt conviction,
and with four perfect powers (I 1 spontaneously recite
the six syllables.
The attached, grasping mind is the cause of samsara.
Therefore, offer up to sublime beings and give down to pitiful
beings accumulated virtues, including wealth and body.
Dedicate samsara and nirvana to all beings.
Throw away precious sentiments and recite the six syllables.
The root guru is the essence of all the Buddhas.
His kindness is much greater than that of all the Buddhas.
The root guru and Chenrezig are inseparable.
Have strong, enthusiastic faith and recite the six syllables.
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Purify all obscurations : (2) follow the path of meditation and
the four kayas (3) are realized.
Chenrezig is holder of the four initiations.(4)
When selfnature is recognized as the root guru, the four
initiations are accomplished.
Spontaneously attaining self-initiation, recite the six
syllables.
Samsara is just self-phenomena, nothing else.
If it is known that all existing phenomena are the deity, this
automatically benefits others perfectly.
With four pure-phenomena initiations (5) given to beings
instantaneously, thus stirring samsara's depths, recite the six
syllables.
Various systems of visualization cannot be complementary
within the mind.
If just one Buddha is visualized it is spontaneously the nature
of all the Buddhas.
Whatever phenomena arise is the Great Compassion Body,
Chenrezig.
Phenomena and emptiness are inseparable, natural deity
body, so recite the six syllables.
Deity reliant mantras, obtaining mantras, and activity
mantras (6) are only elaborations.
The six syllables are the sound of Dharma, the all
accomplishing mantra.
This sound is inseparable from the speech of sublime beings.
By knowing the mind this empty sound is mantra, so recite
the six syllables.
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If conceptions of the two obscurations (7) are purified, then
experience and realization naturally increase.
If self-phenomena is conquered, then the paranoia demons
and enemies are naturally subdued.
Chenrezig is the granter of common and supreme
attainments in this life,
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thus the four activities (8) are spontaneously accomplished, so
recite the six syllables.
Offer whatever phenomena arise as torma to the self-liberation
guests.
In the mold of emptiness make tsa-tsa (9) inseparably from all
clay-phenomena that arise.
Prostrate to the non-dualistic thatness-mind lord.
Practise all-encompassing Dharma; recite the six syllables.
Subdue the enemy of hatred with loving weapons.
By the skillful means of compassion sustain your relatives,
the beings of the six realms.
In the fertile ground of faith grow the crops of experience
and realization.
To accomplish perfectly these daily activities, recite the six
syllables.
Burn this old attachment corpse in the fire of non-attachment.
Practise essence Dharma with present phenomena, this
contains the seven periods. (tO)
Accumulated merit is a smoke offering,
perfectly dedicated to the deceased, so recite the six
syllables.
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Son of faith, put your practice at Dharma's door.
Prevent samsaric offsprings by aversion to this life's
phenomena-house.
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Betroth the daughter of compassion to the bridegroom of the
three realms.
This perfectly accomplishes life's occupation for being, so
recite the six syllables.
Limitless phenomena are delusion, never the truth.
Samsara and nirvana are just conceptions, nowhere real.
If it is known that arising thoughts are self-liberated, this
accomplishes perfectly the stages of the path.
By this pith of liberation, recite the six syllables.
Awareness and great void, inseparable, is continuous
Dharmakaya.
Without contriving, remaining in unending mind, luminosity
self-arises.
Spontaneously without effort, traverse the path by this sole
method and accomplish Dharma.
Just leave awareness fresh and recite the six syllables.
With calm, stillness-mind cut following moving thoughts.
With moving thoughts watch on the calm, stillness-mind.
There is no difference between stillness and movement,
so sustain fresh ordinary mind.
Remaining in this sole experience, recite the six syllables.
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By examining relative truth, establish absolute truth.
By establishing absolute truth, watch how relative truth
arises.
These two truths are inseparable, conceptionless, unending
self-nature.
This point of view is spontaneously free from elaborate
mental activity, so recite the six syllables.
On phenomena, cut attachment-mind.
On mind, demolish innermost deceiving phenomena.
Phenomena and mind, inseparable, is completely free of
duality's trap.
Spontaneous realization is of one taste, so recite the six
syllables.
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Natural mind is liberation into unending awareness-
emptiness.
The self-display of awareness-thought is self-purified.
Inseparable mind and awareness is spontaneously Great
Tigle.
Non-meditation is spontaneous Dharmakaya, so recite the six
syllables.
If it is known that all appearing forms are the deity, this is
the pith of the generative visualization stage.
Concepts of attachment to beautiful and ugly phenomena are
self-liberated.
Phenomena of mind, free of attachment, is the body of the
sublime being, Chenrezig.
Spontaneously self-liberating appearance-phenomena, recite
the six syllables.
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If it is known that all sounds are mantras, this is the pith of
chanting mantras.
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Concepts of attachment to good and bad reputation are self-
liberated.
Self-sound of samsara and nirvana, free of attachment, is the
speech of the six syllables.
Spontaneously self-liberating hearing-phenomena, recite the
six syllables.
If it is known that all scents are unborn, this is the pith of the
completion stage.
Concepts of attachment to fragrant and foul scents are self-
liberated.
Phenomena of scent, free of attachment, is the morality of
sublime beings.
Spontaneously self-liberating scent-phenomena, recite the six
syllables.
If it is known that all tastes are gana chakra, this is the pith
of offering.
Concepts of attachment to delicious and distasteful
phenomena are self-liberated.
Phenomena of taste, free of attachment, is the favorite food
of sublime beings.
Spontaneously self-liberating taste-phenomena, recite the six
syllables.
If it is known that all touch-phenomena are thatness-
equanimity, this is the pith of balance.
Concepts of attachment to warm and cold phenomena are
self-liberated.
Phenomena of outer and inner feeling, free of attachment, is
the effortless action of the deity.
Spontaneously self-liberating touch-phenomena, recite the six
syllables.
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If it is known that all phenomena are empty, this is the pith
of point of view.
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Concepts of attachment to true and false judgements are self-
liberated.
Existence of all phenomena of samsara and nirvana, free of
attachment, is dwelling continuously in the Dharmakaya.
Spontaneously self-liberating aggregate conceptions,
recite the six syllables.
Do not follow after the object of hatred, just watch on the
grasping hatred-mind.
Self-arisen anger-phenomena are self-liberated into
emptiness-clarity.
There is no Mirror-like Wisdom other than this emptiness-
clarity.
Spontaneously liberating hatred, recite the six syllables.
Do not follow after the object of pride, just watch on the
grasping proud-mind.
Self-arisen, self-righteous pride is self-liberated into
primordial emptiness.
There is no Equanimity Wisdom other than this primordial
emptiness.
Spontaneously liberating pride, recite the six syllables.
Do not follow after the object of desire, just watch on the
grasping attachment-mind.
Self-arisen attachment-phenomena are self-liberated into
emptiness-bliss.
There is no Discerning Wisdom other than this emptiness-bliss.
Spontaneously liberating desire, recite the six syllables.
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Do not follow after the object of jealousy, just watch on the
grasping jealous-mind.
Self-arisen jealousy is self-liberated into emptiness-activity.
There is no Unhindered Activity Wisdom other than this
emptiness-activity.
Spontaneously liberating jealousy, recite the six syllables.
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Do not follow after the object of ignorance, just watch on the
face of ignorance.
Self-arisen thought is self-liberated into emptiness-awareness.
There is no Dharmadatu Wisdom other than this emptiness-
awareness.
Spontaneously liberating ignorance, recite the six syllables.
Primordial emptiness-form is unborn like the sky.
Sole emptiness-awareness is Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Namkhai Gyalpo. (11)
Spontaneously dwelling in emptiness point of view, recite the
six syllables.
Like a lasso, feeling binds subject and object.
Realizing non-dualistic equanimity is Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Donyod Shagpa. (11)
Spontaneously realizing equal taste, recite the six syllables.
Perceiving phenomena as real is deluded mind.
Leading all sentient beings with compassion is Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Khorwa Dongtrug. (11)
Spontaneously increasing aimless compassion, recite the six
syllables.
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With intention one wanders in the cyclic six realms of
samsara.
Realizing that samsara and nirvana are the same is
Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Drodul Thugje Chenpo. (11)
Spontaneously benefitting without discrimination and with
one taste, recite the six syllables.
The natural aspect of the eight consciousnesses, (12)
if realized as Dharmakaya thatness-mind, is Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Gyalwa Gyatso. (11)
Knowing natural mind is Buddha, recite the six syllables.
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To grasp body-phenomena as substance is the cause of being
bound.
To know emptiness-phenomena is Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Khasarpani. (11)
Remaining in emptiness-phenomena, the form of the deity,
recite the six syllables.
To grasp speech-phenomena as sound is the cause of delusion.
To know emptiness-sound is mantra is Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Senge Ora. (11)
Recognizing all sounds are mantras, recite the six syllables.
To grasp mind-phenomena as real is the cause of ignorance.
To remain in conceptionless nature is Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Semnyid Ngalso. (11)
Remaining in the Dharmakaya thatness-mind, recite the six
syllables.
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All existing phenomena are primordially pure, the nature of
the Dharmakaya.
Seeing the stainless self-face of the Dharmakaya is Chenrezig.
There is no other sublime Jigten Wangchug. (11)
Spontaneously remaining in all-pervading pure phenomena,
recite the six syllables.
Sole Lord, Chenrezig, is the essence of all Buddhas.
Sole mantra, the six syllables, is the essence of all mantras.
Sole Dharma, Bodhicitta, is the essence of the generative and
completion stages.
Spontaneously remaining in sole understanding, complete
liberation, recite the six syllables.
What is the benefit of having done so much in samsara ? It is
only the cause of more samsara.
Look at the meaningless nature of whatever we have done.
Now it is better to forget meaningless action and remain in
the effortless nature.
Forget all activities, recite the six syllables.
What is the benefit of whatever we say? It is only the cause
of gossip.
Look at the meaningless distractions we create.
Now it is better to forget meaningless talk and remain in a
speechless state.
Absolutely stop talking, recite the six syllables.
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What is the benefit of coming and going ? It is only the cause
of fatigue.
Look at how much we wander, this much distance from
Dharma.
Now it is better to establish relaxed mind, single pointedly.
Be at ease, recite the six syllables.
What is the benefit of eating ? It is only the cause of shit.
Look at how much we eat but still are never satisfied.
Now it is better to be nourished by samadhi food.
Stop compulsive eating and drinking, recite the six syllables.
What is the benefit of so much thinking ? It is only the cause
of delusion.
Look at your wishing, it is never successful.
Now it is better to cut ideas of this short worldly life.
Completely stop thinking, recite the six syllables.
What is the benefit of attachment to wealth ?
Look at all the acquisitions abandoned at death.
Now it is better to cut grasping attachment.
Throw away the intention of collecting, recite the six
syllables.
What is the benefit of sleeping ? It is only continuous
ignorance.
See how life is wasted by just waiting around.
Now it is better to increase diligence from the heart.
Abandon distractions day and night, recite the six syllables.
No time, no time to be lax.
If death comes suddenly what can we do ?
Better to try to accomplish pure Dharma right now.
Immediately and with haste, recite the six syllables.
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What is the benefit of calculating years, months, day and
night?
Look at changes from moment to moment.
Each of these moments brings us closer to death.
From now, just now, recite the six syllables.
Life just goes further and further like the sun to the West.
Death comes closer and closer like a shadow drawing near.
Our life span is like the setting sun.
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There is no more leisure time, recite the six syllables.
Even though the Dharma of six syllables is noble,
if recited with distracted eyes and mouth, it is of no benefit.
Consider counting the mantra with strong concentration.
Singlepointedly look at mind, recite the six syllables.
If we examine our own mind again and again,
whatever we do goes along the pure path.
This is the sole essence of hundreds of other precious
teachings,
all rolled into one, recite the six syllables.
Firstly, this speech of sadness at the actions of Kali Yuga
beings,
is instructed from myself to myself.
The lamenting words are changing my heart deeply.
I offer them to you thinking you feel the same as I.
If your feelings differ from mine and you have the confidence
of high point of view and meditation,
being intelligent with sophisticated worldly dharma activities,
and rely on the plans of big organizations to benefit yourself
and others,
if you have such feelings, then I must apologize to you.
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Secondly, to establish the point of view and meditation,
even though I do not have the experience of realization,
through the precious lineage of the all-knowing father and
son, (13)
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I expressed my understanding by the grace of their preserved
speech.
Lastly, even though I did not have the desire to speak,
this speech, requesting you to change from weariness-mind
to Dharma, automatically elapsed.
It is the speech of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
not the opposite, so if you can practise that is very kind.
This Propitious Speech from the Beginning, Middle and End,
was accomplished in the Victorious Point White Rock Cave,
urgently written for an insistent dear friend,
by a ruined man with the flaming five fire passions. (14)
Maybe it is only idle chatter,
but if it is undeluded noble truth, then there is a flowing of
accumulated virtue.
For you, for me and for all sentient beings,
I dedicate this to the cause of successful complementary
Dharma.
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NOTES
(1) Four Perfect Powers:
1. supportive image power : power created using an image of superior
beings in a tangible or intangible form.
2. dispelling obscurations power: with supportive image power,
obscurations are dispelled through the power of weariness and regret.
3. antidote power : with supportive image and dispelling-obscurations
power, merit is accumulated through the power of applying antidotes to
the obscurations.
4. restoring to purity power : with the three powers, purification is
attained resulting in confident action.
(2) Four Obscurations : ripened karmic obscurations; passions-obscurations;
incognitive obscurations; and residual or habitual obscurations.
(3) Four Kayas : nirmanakaya, sambhogakaya, dharmakaya,
svabhavikakaya.
(4) Four Initiations : vase, secret, wisdom and word initiations.
(5) Four Pure Phenomena Initiations :
1. Body : all form is deity phenomena,
2. Speech : all sound is deity speech,
3. Mind : all thought is awareness mind,
4. Essence : the essence is that these three are not different.
(6) Deity reliant mantras, obtaining mantras and activity mantras are
mantras with different concentrations and aims.
(7) Two Obscurations : passion and cognition.
(8) Four Activities : pacifying obscurations, increasing benefits, bringing
conditions under power and subduing evil and unfavorable interrupting
forces.
(9) Tsa-Tsa : miniature clay stupas offered in large quantities to stupas of
pilgrimage.
(10) Seven Periods : rituals are performed for the deceased during a period
of up to three weeks or fourty-nine days after death.
(11) These are names of Chenrezig used to symbolize different aspects of
this essence at appropriate place in the text.
(12) Eight Consciousnesses : sight, sound, smell, taste, touch,
consciousness, passions and the basic consciousness of not being, and
not, not being, yet also not Dharmakaya.
(13) This is the wisdom lineage of Kunkhyen Longchenpa and Rigzin Jigme
Lingpa.
(14) Five Fire Passions: desire, hatred, Ignorance, pride and jealousy.