The commentary on Mipham's Sherab Raltri 



 by Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche





This text, the Sherab Raltri, Sword of Prajña, by Mipham Rinpoche, summarizes many important points from the sutras and tantras.  There are two important spontaneously written texts in which Mipham expresses his vision of Buddhist teaching.  They are this Sword of Prajña of the Completely True Meaning, and The Precious Torch of Certainty. Many great masters say Mipham wrote five "sword" texts and five "lotus" texts, named for the scepters in the hands of Mañjushri.  To reach enlightenment is the main purpose of this text, of course.  But in particular, among the three prajñas, hearing, contemplating, and meditating, this text focuses on contemplation.  It is an overview that tells how to contemplate thoroughly what we have studied.

     When the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies was established in 1967, this was the first course in the Nyingma department.  The root text was written by Mipham Rinpoche at the request of Lhagsam Tenpa Gyaltsen, a famous master in his own right.  Mipham wrote a short commentary, which I studied in Tibet; but I couldn't find it or any other commentary that had been brought to India.  I did have some notes that Mipham made in the text, and I used them.  I started writing every day, on the blackboard, and students would copy it down.  By the end of the year the whole thing was done.  Every year there would be another ten or twelve students, and the same thing would happen again.  Everyone thought we should publish this, but we didn't.  Later, when I was in New York, some students wrote and asked if it could be printed, and if anything would need to be changed.  When I went back to Nepal, I made some corrections and edited the text with the help of some students there.  Then the Tibetan version was printed.

Guru Rinpoche wrote a famous commentary on the Mañjushri-nama-sa.mgiti, called the Blazing Lights of the Sun and Moon.  That seemed auspicious, so I adopted the title for this commentary.








Unsurpassably great and glorious former teacher,

Supremely kind crown jewel of the learned and accomplished,

Jetsun Mañjushri emanating in human form,

Known as Jamgon Mipham Chokle Namgyal Gyamtso,

Supreme in glory and goodness, producing a hundred and eight Commentaries setting forth the intended meaning

Of the sutras and tantras of the Victorious One.


     This treatise teaches without error the vast and profound piths of the mahayana sutras and tantras.  The subject expressed is the two truths.  It is expressed in terms of the four correct reasonings.  The fruition is the great treasure of the eight confidences.  That is the way in which this great text was composed.  This treatise, the Sword of Prajña of the Completely True Meaning is one of four very famous commentaries.  It is supreme among commentaries that explain without error difficult points of words and their meanings.  This commentary on the Sherab Raltri is entitled the Blazing Lights of the Sun and Moon.  These days the precious teachings of the Buddha in general have been harmed and diminished, particularly in Tibet, the Land of Snow, by the army of the red Chinese.  In this situation, replenishing the blaze of the former teachings from the remaining embers was supremely kind.

Born in Riwoche in Khams he indisputably went to the heights level of learning, discipline, and nobility.

  Born and remaining a glorious lord of the teachings and beings,  This is Khenchen Palden Sherab, glorious, good, and excellent.  It was he who composed this.

In 1976, in Varanasi, when the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies was established, this text was presented to students at the institute as lectures about Khen Rinpoche's own Nyingma tradition.  As no commentary on it had reached India, Khen Rinpoche, with supreme compassion for those under his care, newly composed this one.  Until now, it remained as an active course, and so it could not be requested that it be published.  Now after 13 auspicious presentations of those lectures, Khen Rinpoche has responded to new requests to publish it, from the country of America.

Greatly moved by these requests and the approach of this supreme occasion, he gave the order to print this, and the pure requests of those sitting at his feet were accomplished.

After thirteen times sending a lamp to beings, in the 2530th year of the teacher's passing in his sthavira-aspect, in the seventh tibetan month, tenth day, by these requests that this be printed, auspiciousness increased.

This introduction was written by the chief of the many who were formerly benefitted, the khenpo's brother Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche.  May there be a connection to the vidyadharas. Dge'o Dge'o




Namo shri Vajrapadmatikshnaye.




In the wind-chariot of the two accumulations, excellently leading the four forces of the army of the ten powers,

You overcome the warfare of the gods of desire and their host is overcome;

While with the sharp fangs and claws of the four fearlessnesses, you drink from the skulls of vicious feuding elephants, the eternalists and nihilists.

Knowing the nature and extent of dharmas, having removed the darkness of the two obscurations from the place of snow-mountains, by your generosity there are the two yogic disciplines.

In the center of the wheel of 112 spokes you, the supremely exalted lion of men, Siddartha, bestow auspicious fortune.


Blazing with the deathless splendor of a thousand radiant marks,

Liberated from a lotus blossom in the middle of a lake,

You are the nirmanakaya who overcomes the phenomenal world,

My beautiful crown-ornament until the heart of enlightenment.




A hundred devotional petals crown the lotus anthers of teaching.

Dharma Lord, I always offer you reverent homage.

You who are the ever-youthful lion of speech,

Bestow on these beings shining intelligence, filling the sky.




In the expansive lotus-garden of speech of all the conquerors,

With 100,000 melodious blooms of holy Dharma,

You are a singing swan that shines as bright as moonlight.

May you now enjoy the vast lake of my mind




The secret streams of truth of the three collections of tantra

By a gulp of analysis swallowed into the belly of intellect.

Are regurgitated as excellent teaching, as with Agastya.

I praise a hundred times the former rigdzins and rishis.






At the council of well-written teachings, the sagely teacher,

In a bowing throng of attendant-ministers unbiased in learning,

On his elephant vehicle, which is the great perfection,

Surveying all like Indra, with a thousand different eyes,

Confidently manifesting the hundred pointed vajra

Whose prongs are the points of teaching, debate, and composition,

Wearing a crown that is set with gems of many traditions,

The incomparable lord of learning who is known as Longchenpa,

 Is renowned as a king of the gods of a kind not seen before

His fame surpasses even that of the lord of the world.




A thousand elephants of vicious self-serving contention,

Arrogant, with no gentle thoughts of any kind,

You overcome and have no thought of enduring them,

The lion of speakers, with far-reaching laughter of proper reason,

Is the victorious one called Mipham Chokle Namgyal.




By the sharp vajra-weapon of scripture and proper reason,

Opponent asuras' arrogant power is overcome.

Gracious one who sees the excellent path of truth,

Prevail among spiritual friends like Indra among the gods.


After these poetic expressions of homage, like beautiful white lotus petals strewn to welcome a teacher, now there is this terma-prophesy by the tamer of beings Sangngag Lingpa:


An emanation named Mipham of the great translator Nub

An especially noble master of mind-terma will arise.


Also here is a terma-prophesy manifested by the power of the great tertön Tatung Dudjom Trolö:


By Mipham Gyamtso the host of extremes will be transformed.

The conqueror of all the doctrines of wrong view,

Will make the radiant secret mantra clear as day.



In accord with these and the vajra prophesies of Padmasambhava, the second buddha of Uddiyana and others, you the omniscient intrinsic form, the supremely excellent omniscient embodied essence of all the victorious ones of mantrayana, the lion of vajra teachers, appear in the form of a spiritual friend.  Mastering the eight great treasures of confidence and the four discriminating knowledges, you are an authority on ordinary and extraordinary fields of knowledge, beyond the scope of thought.  In particular, revealing in an extraordinary way the well-taught word of the Sugata, the profound and vast intentions of the sutras and tantras, uniquely analyzing without depending on others, you, the jetsun inseparable from Mañjushri, are truly omniscient and great in vision, a learned and accomplished master.  You, the jetsun guru who possesses objectless compassion, whose very name is so awesome that we hesitate to utter it, are famed as Mipham Jamyang Namgyal Gyamtso or Jampel Gyepe Dorje throughout the three worlds.  The completely certain truth formerly well-taught by you in this Sherab Raltri is what I shall explain.

  The explanation has three parts.  These are the name or title, the main part of the teaching so entitled, and the final conclusion.


First overall part.


The title of the text is the don rnam par nges pa shes rab ral gri, The Sword of Prajña, that Ascertains All the Details of the True Meaning.


The meaning of the subject


Nubchen Sanje Yeshe says in the Lamp of Meditation that Illuminates the Pith of Meditation:


The cause of certain knowledge of truth is prajña contemplating an example, a reason, and a conclusion reached by correct reasoning.  These are evaluated by individually-discriminating prajña.


The profound and vast meaning told in the Buddha's teachings in the sutras and tantras and the commentaries on their intention, accords with the way things are.  This is revealed as profound, completely certain prajña through the process of true and genuine correct reasoning.  This prajña cuts all at once like a sword through the nets of non-realization, wrong understanding, and doubt. That is the contents of this text.


The title expresses this by joining the example and the meaning.  That intended meaning is named by the title in order to clear away stupidity about the conventional.  The Lankavatara Sutra says:


If no names are given,

Everyone in the world will be confused.

Therefore, to clear away confusion,

The Protector used names.


Second overall part: the main text that teaches what the title denotes.


Within that are:


1. the ancillary parts of the composition that are good in the beginning,

2. the meaning of the composition that is good in the middle, and

3. the meaning of the conclusion that is good at the end.


The ancillary parts of the composition that are good in the beginning


Here there are the expression of offering and the promise to compose the text.  Each of the two is presented in verse.


I. The expression of offering:



The Doctrine never possesses any kind of confusion.

It has completely abandoned any kind of error.

It is mind without any doubt about the three meanings.

Let us bow to the treasure of Mañjushri's knowledge.


The Doctrine


"The Doctrine", grub mtha' in Tibetan, is the translation of the Sanskrit "siddhanta."  The Doctrine is the ultimate goal of examination and analysis by scripture and correct reasoning.  It is the certain knowledge at the end of establishing.  Beyond this there is nothing further to establish.


"Confusion" cannot resolve the way things are.  Non-confusion can.  These arise respectively as worldly doctrine, and The Doctrine beyond the world.


1 As for the FIRST, The second Buddha of Uddiyana said in his Oral Instruction on the Mala of Views:


The countless wrong views in the worldly realm are summarized under four headings, Phyalwa, gyang phen, mur thug, and mu tek


Likewise, the there are two kinds of paths beyond the world.  These are the vehicle of philosophical characterization, and the vajrayana.  The great translator Kawa Paltsek says in his Explanation of the details of Views:


There are both the worldly and the world-transcending.

Like articles of gold, they appear from a single substance.

The levels of their appearance are five times three plus two,

Being known, these should be left alone and accepted.


Regarding the Buddhist view that is beyond the world, FIRST, the Buddhist teachings of The Doctrine are scriptural pramana.  As such, they have none of the faults of confusion.  The reason is that the one who taught them is the Buddha Bhagavat.  He has completely abandoned all errors of the two obscurations, along with the habitual patterns which are the seeds of their continuation.  The doctrine was taught by this great being whose knowledge is the vision of perceptual pramana.

The way of establishing this highest truth as The Doctrine, is to establish it as scriptural pramana, established teaching purified by the three analyses.  This is done through a process of correct reasoning.  This process uses the three kinds of inferential reasoning in such a way that the three modes of correct reasoning are all complete.  From so doing comes certainty without doubt.  This certainty is the essence of profound intelligence.  It is the great treasure of knowing Mañjushri.  Again, let us pay homage with the three gates to the great treasure of you, Mañjushri, arising by your blessing.


In regard to this, due to the correct reasoning of productive action, homage is expressed chiefly to the pramana of the teachings.  If this is established in a syllogism, it is said:


"The dharmin "Buddhist doctrine" has no confusion; because it was taught by the Buddha, who has completely abandoned all error."



If it is established that Buddhist doctrine was taught by the Buddha, then the following are established, showing that the three modes are complete:


1) the presence of the reason, "non-error," in the subject, "Buddhist doctrine."


2) the forward [universal] entailment: "What is taught by the Buddha is certainly without confusion," and


3) the reverse [universal] entailment:  "What is confused was certainly not taught by the Buddha."


First it was taught that, since the Buddha has no error, therefore the teaching no error.  Now it is taught that, since the teaching is authentic, the Buddha must also be authentic.


To prove this, when all the errors of the two obscurations, together with their habitual patterns, have been completely abandoned, ultimate knowledge, wisdom, arises.

Whoever has this ultimate knowledge can teach the path properly.  Doing so depends only on the cause of compassion.  The great compassion is the extraordinary cause attained by the Buddha.

Therefore, in regard to the Buddha Bhagavat, there are the cause of the benefit for oneself, complete renunciation-realization, and the cause of the benefit for others, the completed power of wisdom and loving-kindness.  From these arise all the teachings of the holy Dharma, in accord with the faculties, power of mind, and thoughts of those to be tamed.  If any of these is practiced, its own particular fruition will be attained.  In that sense they are non-deceptive.  Therefore, Buddhist doctrine is established as non-deceptive.  The Prajñaparamita Sutras say:


After attaining omniscience, the wheel of Dharma is turned.


They also say:


If we have not attained omniscience, we cannot turn the wheel of Dharma


Glorious Dharmakirti says in the tshad ma rnam 'grel:


The one who has gone there has the meaning of realization.


The Buddha's regent Maitreya says in the Abhisamayalankara:


Whoever has the authentic truth, has the omniscience of the sages and can teach all their different kinds of teaching.


The great teacher Naagaarjuna in the bla na med par bstod pa, says:


Whoever knows clearly the solitary object of knowledge,

Will resolve completely all of the objects of knowledge.

I therefore prostrate to a guru such as that

Who in such a way is equal and otherless.


Also Asanga says in the Suutraala.mkaara:


Truly liberated from all the obscurations,

You possess the knowledge that pervades all objects.

Mighty one, the tamer of everyone in the world,

I prostrate to you who are completely liberated.


Also the great teacher Ashvagho.sha says In his Hundred and Fifty Praises:



Whether powers of mind are supreme or not

Whether they may be the lesser, middle, and greater

And all the limitless divisions of their aspects,

Are not realized by anyone but you.


Also he says:


You alone, by wisdom,

Encompass every object,

By everyone but you

Some objects are left out.


Also he says:


You do good even without urging.

You are kind to others without a reason,

A good friend, even for those who have not met you;

A helper and counselor that we do not need to know.


Also he says:


If we should try to do this with even our flesh and blood

Why even speak of how to view all other things?

Doer of good deeds you even gave your life

For the beings who asked you, by your bodies and lives,

You have ransomed a hundred times the bodies and lives

Of those given over to slayers of embodied beings.


The great pandit Vimalamitra says in his commentary on the Uttering the name of Mañjushri, 'jam dpal mtshan brjod, Mañjushri-nama-sa.mgiti:


In connection to the wishes of all sentient beings, you liberate them from the fetters of the kleshas.  As many dharma-teachings as have been explained are one in being antidotes for taming the kleshas.


The great teacher Gekpé Dorje, in his commentary on the king of tantras the gsang ba'i snying po, the  'grel pa spar khab, says:


These teachings are so-designated

 From his knowledge and what they accomplish

But they appear differently

By differences between minds.


The great teacher Dharmakiirti, in his auto-commentary on the first chapter of the tshad ma rnam 'grel the stong phrag phyed dang bshi pa says:


Again, to take another approach, the words that exhaust defects are not deceptive.  Therefore, this inference should be made:


In teaching what is to be accepted and rejected

together with the means by which that should be done,

 Which is the principal benefit of certainty,

As He was non-deceptive, this should be inferred. 

What is to be accepted and rejected and what are the means of doing that are non-erroneous teachings.  They are non-deceptive.  For example, the way in which the four noble truths are explained is non-deceptive.  Familiarity with this is a pre-requisite for the benefit of beings.  Moreover the non-deceptive object of this should be proclaimed to be non-deceptive,


1.  because to do otherwise would be contradictory

2.  because to say that a teacher who explains it is unnecessary is a wrong and fruitless teaching.


And also Dharmakiirti says:


When someone's words, by being pramana,

Are non-deceptive, people follow them.

Their words then attain to being scripture.

People will not do what does no good.


"Words whose pramana is not confused" is the definition of scripture, lung.  Therefore, what is the same as what is said in the scriptures is also scripture by the power of its pramana.

  Also the great teacher Asanga says in the sdud pa


Why is Buddhist doctrine true?  Here is what has been said.  The teachings do not disagree with actual reality.  If this is seen, its meaning becomes the cause of complete purity.  That is the meaning of its being true.  Moreover, Buddhist doctrine is free from the six faults and has the three virtues.  Therefore it is not deceptive.  Rather, it is established as scriptural pramana, the teachings of holy Dharma.




As for these six faults and three virtues, the Sadé, Asanga's Five Works on the Bhuumis says:


no benefit, wrong benefit, possessing benefit;

Merely heard, merely  contentious, genuinely established;


Hypocritical, unkind, eliminating suffering:

Free from these six faults, the treatises have these three virtues.


1)  "Without benefit," means not having the benefit of truly establishing liberation.


2)  "Wrong benefit," or "wrong sense" means falling into the extremes of eternalism and nihilism, saying things injurious to the Dharma and so forth. When these two faults are absent, then Buddhist doctrine is true and possesses benefit.


3)"Merely heard," means just repeating what has been heard.


4) "Merely contentiousness," means merely searching out faults in others.


Buddhist doctrine is free from these faults is sincerely or genuinely established.


5) "Hypocritical" means that attesting to the dharma for motives that are not right.


6)  "Unkind" means being without the compassion that wishes to protect sentient beings from suffering.  When it is free from these two faults, Buddhist doctrine is the holy Dharma that eliminates the suffering of samsara.


The teachings of Buddhist doctrine remedy the cause of samsara, the kleshas, and their fruition, the sufferings of the three lower realms of samsara.  Therefore, it is established that the teachings are scriptural pramana and unconfused.  Vasubandhu's rnam bshad rigs pa, says:


They remedy all the enemies, the kleshas,

And protect us from the lower realms of samsara,

Because of these virtues of remedy and protection

 The teachings are never other than these two virtues.


The regent, Lord Maitreya, says:


Whoever has what is meaningful, fully connected to Dharma,

Is taught to abandon all the kleshas of the three realms.

Whoever teaches the beneficial virtues of peace

Is taught to be a sage and irreversible.


Also he says in the Uttaratantra:



What is spoken only in terms of Conqueror's teachings

 Explained with a mind that is undistracted from that,

In accord with the path of attaining liberation,

Like the words of the Sage himself should be received on the head.




The natural state of all the knowable dharmas of the phenomenal world of samsara and nirvana is taught as the true path of emptiness and interdependent arising, and therefore the Buddhist teachings are established as the unconfused doctrine of scriptural pramana.


The great teacher Nagarjuna says:


For whomever emptiness and interdependent arising

Are of one meaning in the madhyamaka path,

I prostrate to such a sage, who is a master

Of the secret that is unequalled and supreme.


Thus, the Buddha taught the teachings included within the stages of the nine vehicles, as many as there are within the scriptural doctrine of holy Dharma, in accord with the nature, capabilities, and wishes of those to be tamed.  If we practice these with devoted aspiration, the particular fruition of each will be gained without deception.  Therefore, it is taught that the doctrine is not confused. For that reason, the Second Buddha of Uddiyana said:


All the vehicles, on their own level, are true doctrine without contradiction.


As this is extensively taught there and elsewhere, if we have faith in all the doctrine and do not close our eyes to the intelligence of pure perception, that will be the first opening of the great gate of the path of liberation.



SECOND, the Buddhist teachings of Holy Dharma are The Doctrine or scriptural pramana.  By reason of their being established as unconfused, the one who taught them, the Buddha Bhagavat, is established as a great being of pramana.  As such, he has eradicated and completely abandoned all the errors of ignorance.  He knows and sees all knowables with unobscured perception.  The pramana of the teachings depends on the pramana of the teacher.  As for the pramana of the teacher, the cause is explained as the intent of perfect benefit.  For that reason, from the perfect activity of the teacher arises the perfect fruition.  This has the benefit for oneself that one is a sugata, and the benefit for others that one is their protector.  The great teacher Dignaga says in the first praise of the tshad ma kun btus


Becoming authentic should be regarded as

For the benefit of every sentient being.

I prostrate to the teacher, the Sugata and protector.


Also in his auto-commentary he says:


The FIRST topic is a praise to the Buddha Bhagavat.  By having a perfect cause and fruition, he has become authentic.  That is the reason for my arousing devotion to him.

The perfect cause is his perfect intention and perfect action on it.  It is explained that his wish is to benefit beings.  The action is to teach the teachings to sentient beings.

The fruition is perfection of the two benefits, those for oneself and others.

The perfect benefit for oneself is becoming a sugata.  This should be understood in three senses.  1) The benefit of supreme beauty is like having excellent personal form. 2) The benefit of irreversibility, is like a plague being well-cured. 3) The benefit without exceptions is like a vase being well-filled.  These three benefits are without desire for externals.  Therefore this perfection of the benefit for oneself is beyond being learned and unlearned alike.

As for the perfection of the benefit for others, through the benefit of liberating them, we are their protectors.  Having prostrated to the teacher who has such virtues,...


The great teacher Vasubandhu says:


The one who has eternally conquered all darkness,

leading beings out of the mire of samsara,

I prostrate to this teacher of things as they are.


According to the teacher mtho btsun grub:


Having abandoned all the other teachers,

I go for refuge to you Bhagavan.

If someone should asks why, it is because

You have no faults, but only excellence.


THIRD, given that this teaching, purified by the three analyses, is an unequalled way of entering into complete liberation, what is to be proved is that the teacher who has perfect intention, application, and fruition is a being of unequalled pramana.  This can be established beyond doubt by syllogistic proofs, using the three kinds of inferential pramana in which all of the three modes of syllogism are complete.  In syllogistic form:


The dharmin, "the teacher, the Buddha," is an authentic being; because the teaching is scriptural pramana;

for example, like that of the great rishis.


As for the teaching being The Doctrine, scriptural pramana:



It is established that it the teacher who spoke it was the Buddha.  So the FIRST mode is there, presence of the dharma in the subject.

  When teaching is scriptural pramana, it is certain that the teacher of it is a buddha, an authentic being.  That is the second mode, the forward entailment.

When the teacher is not an authentic being, it is certain that the scriptural teaching is not pramana.  That is the third mode, the reversed entailment.

After the process of correct reasoning with the three pramanas, if confidence in the non-deceptive certain knowledge of such a teacher and teaching arises within our being, that is supreme faith.  This is also the ultimate essence of refuge and supplication.  It is also the root of the path of liberation, and of blessings entering into our being, the single root of a multitude of good things.  The second buddha of Uddiyana Padmasambhava says that if we have ultimate devotion, we will receive blessing, and if we are free from doubt our wishes will be fulfilled:


If our minds are devoted, blessings will enter in.%

By being free from doubt, our wishes are established%


Also the omniscient great pandit Shantarakshita says in his auto-commentary to the Madhyamakala.mkara:


What is spoken by the Tathagata is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end.  Like fine gold being smelted, cut, and polished, it will not be harmed by perception, inference, or his own words in the scriptures.  This wisdom unmixed with samsaric things, is completely undisturbed by their total clutter.  By this wisdom, having seen suchness, you Buddha are the leader of the divine and human realms.  You are the crown of them all.  They offer garlands to adorn your two lotus feet, as master and guru of all the world.  Who, having known you, would not generate faith, practicing from the heart with complete detachment?




Whoever relies on that surmounts degeneracy,

With undeceived certainty in the guru and the three jewels,

Grasping that from now onward to the bone core of the heart,

I go to refuge until the essence of enlightenment.


 Now there is a kind of analysis



This precious certain knowledge is essentially non-deceptive.  It is unequalled intelligence free from the murkiness of doubt, possessing a thousand undefiled rays of light.  Since this is the great treasure of your knowledge, Mañjushri, I bow to you.  Or again, since that intelligence without doubt arises from the blessing of the great treasure of your knowledge, Mañjushri, I bow to you.

That comes chiefly from the process of correct reasoning of the cause depending on the fruition. I express homage to the chief of all benefits.  Moreover, for these words of the root verses that express homage, the first verse refers to the jewel of the holy Dharma, the second to the jewel of the Buddha, and the third to the jewel of the sangha.  To you I bow as the embodiment of these three excellencies, the great treasure of jetsun Mañjushri's knowledge.

The purpose of this expression of homage is to benefit oneself by showing why these people are holy beings, and also to gather the two accumulations.  The benefit for others, is to inspire their faith in the teachings and teacher. The mdo rgya cher rol pa says:


The wishes of a person who possesses merit are established.


The great teacher Nagarjuna says:


It is not fruitless, when authors of the treatises

Express their homage to the teacher and teaching.

By so doing they give us inspiration.


The ched du brjod pa'i tshoms says:


For persons who have accumulated merit,

There can be no harm arising from others

Or obstacles of maras and of gods.


II. The promise to compose the text


Its vastness and profundity are hard to realize,

As for the amrita of the Sugata teachings,

For whomever wishes to experience it,

May this light of understanding be completely granted.


The absolute is free from all the complexities of existence, non-existence, and so forth.  Therefore, it is profound.  The relative is the bhumis, paramitas, and so forth.  Its vastness is difficult to realize.  These are the Sugata's teachings of the mahayana.

  Those teachings are like amrita.  May whatever fortunate ones wish to experience their taste or to practice them be granted the light of undefiled understanding of the excellent teachings of this Sword of Prajña.  May it be produced within their being.  The teacher Nagarjuna says:


The holy ones do not make many promises;

But if they ever promise something difficult,

It is as if their promise had been written in stone.

Even if they die, they do not relinquish it.


How the topic of composition is good in the middle


the subject to be analyzed is the two truths.  The analyzer is the two correct reasonings.  With the teaching of the fruition of what is to be analyzed, that makes three parts.  As for the FIRST:



The Buddhas taught the Dharma

In terms of the two truths,

The relative truth of the world

As well as the absolute truth.


The perfect buddha bhagavans taught something like 84,000 gates of Holy Dharma.  In as many of these as were taught, briefly, what is spoken about relies completely on the two truths.  These are the relative truth of the world and the ultimate truth beyond the world.  As for the meaning of the worldly one, the Prasannapada of Chandrakirti says:


Here the world consists of the well-known skandhas.

Worldly truth is what depends on these.


Since they arise in dependence on the skandhas, imputed individual beings are the world.


So he and many others have said.  No better realization is possible than realization of the nature of the two truths as they are.  It should be known that, in the progression of the nine vehicles,realization of the nature of the two truths becomes ever more profound.

Here, to give a provisional analysis of the details of the system of the two truths, there are the essence, semantic analysis, definition, divisions and purpose, five altogether.



1) the essence of the relative is the objects contemplated by mind and the five sense-powers.  All these are objects of thought.  The essence of the absolute is the sphere of individual and personal wisdom free from mind, free from all the extremes of complexity.


2)  the semantic analysis,  of truth in the phrase "relative truth".  Natureless, illusory appearance is the confused viewpoint of transient relative.  This viewpoint is "truth" insofar as its identifying characteristics are not deceptive.  It is also "truth" in the sense that it leads us to absolute truth, our ultimate aim. Since the dharmas of path and fruition are not deceptive, in that sense, relative truth is called "truth".


3)  the definition of relative truth, is the truth of "dharmas that are not beyond the sphere of mind and that will not bear analysis."  The definition of the absolute is that of "nature beyond mind where conceptions are completely pacified."


4)  the two divisions are the relative and absolute truths.  The yab sras mjal ba'i mdo says:


There are two kinds of truth by which the world is known

No other distinctions are heard, and they are self-sufficient.

These are the absolute truth and the relative truth.

There is no such thing as any third kind of truth.



Because of the needs of worldly beings, within the relative, the distinction of true and false was made.  As appropriate kinds of symbolic knowledge for this purpose, the classifications were created of the true relative and the false relative.


The true relative is the appearance of objects to a mind in which the six senses are not defective.

The false relative is the appearance of objects to the mind in which the six senses are defective, seeing hairs before the eyes and so forth.


5) regarding the purpose, the bden gnyis says:


Those who know the distinction of the two truths

Are not to be deceived by the Sage's words.

Having collected all the accumulations,

They will go to the other shore, perfection.


The meaning of the composition that is good in the middle


Within this there are two sections


1.  the short teaching of the two correct reasonings

2.  the extensive teaching in terms of the four correct reasonings.


I. The short teaching of the two correct reasonings:


With regard to the natures of these same two truths,

If we enter into the non-erroneous mind of certainty,


The good eye of the two immaculate pramanas

Is the excellent view that is to be established.


The two objects of analysis are the natures of relative truth and absolute truth.  If philosophical analysts want to enter properly into these by means of certain, unerring awareness, they must establish the excellent/ supreme view like a good eye that ascertains awareness of its two aspects.  These two aspects are:


1) the pramana of conventional analysis without the faults of error

2) the pramana of absolute analysis.


These are pramana and madhyamaka respectively.  They  support each other, like the well-known emblem of two lions with crossed necks.





II. The extensive teaching of analysis by the four correct reasonings.


The action of these is the four reliances.  The fruition is explained as the eight great treasures of confidence.  First, the three first correct reasonings are explained together, and then the reasoning of proper establishing is explained.


FIRST there is the general teaching of appearance as interdependent origination; then the explanation of the particularizations of the correct reasonings of essence, cause, and effect.  The meaning is summarized under those three.


A. FIRST The general teaching of appearance as interdependent origination:


Thus, regarding these appearances

The pattern of their arising is interdependence

Therefore, something that is not dependent

Like a lotus in the sky will not appear


How in the world are there these appearances of samsara and nirvana?  Certainly and definitely, they all arise interdependently from causes and conditions.  What is other than that, with no dependence on causes and conditions, never appears within the scope of mind.  For example, a lotus flower in the sky never appears.  For that reason, all knowables that can be named should be understood as interdependent-arising-emptiness.  To think interdependent arising is only the arising of conditioned things from their causes is a very small vision of that universal necessity.  If all things that are unconditioned do not also arise interdependently, there will be no equality between them.  The great teacher Nagarjuna says:


Whatever arises interdependently

Is to be explained as emptiness.

The classification which depends on that

Is itself the path of madhyamaka.

Except in terms of interdependent arising

No dharmas can be said to be existent.


"But what is interdependent arising?"  There are three aspects: the meaning of the word, the essence, and the divisions.


1)The meaning


The Sanskrit word pratitya samutpada means interdependent arising.  The two volume grammar, sgra sbyor bam po gnyis pa says:


Pratityasamutpada means interdependent arising.  Pratitya means dependent or conditional.  sam is sambandha, which means connected together.


utpada is a word for arising.  Outer and inner dharmas do not arise autonomously.  They arise from an assembly of causes and conditions.  In dependence on previous causes, other things arise unobstructedly later and later still.  Therefore, this is called interdependent arising.


Glorious Chandrakirti says in the Madhyamakavatara:


That which arises interdependently

Is characterized as meeting and working together.


2) The essence


These dharmas, summarized under the inner and outer, never arise without a cause.  They do not arise from non-causes, such as causeless eternal creators other than themselves, the self, time, or a god  Their arising is called interdependent because each thing arises in dependence on being connected to the assembly of its own particular causes and conditions.

3) The divisions


The divisions are external and internal interdependent arising.


a) External interdependent arising


All external dharmas arise interdependently as the sprout does from the seed.



b) Inner interdependent arising


Inner dharmas, the skandhas of sentient beings, high, middle, and low, arise interdependently in the style of the twelve links of interdependent origination, as exemplified by the arising of the sprout from the seed.


4) How these in turn are divided


a) external interdependent arising should be known in terms of the seven causal connections and six conditional connections.


1) The seven causal connections as they apply to the seed are


1 the sprout

2 the leaves

3 the stalk

4 the hollow within the stalk

5 the pith

6 the flower

7 the fruit.


From the former stage, the later stage arises, produced by the power of closely related causes.  So it is taught.


2) The six conditional connections are:


1 earth

2 water

3 fire

4 air

5 space

6 time.


According to the stages, there are firmness and endurance, gathering, ripening, increasing, expansive openness, and gradual change.


These co-producing conditions produce a six-fold association between sprout and fruit.


b)In inner interdependent arising, when there is connection of causes, there are the twelve links of interdependent origination.  What are those?  The sutras say:


Interdependent arising is like this:  since this exists, this arises.  Because of this having arisen, this arises.

In this case:


       1) Conditioned by ignorance, there are 2) formations.

3) Conditioned by formations, there is consciousness.

4) Conditioned by consciousness, there are name and form.

5) Conditioned by name and form there are the six ayatanas.

 6) Conditioned by the six ayatanas there is apprehension of objects.

7) Conditioned by apprehension, there is feeling.

8) Conditioned by feeling, there is craving.

9) Conditioned by craving, there is clinging.

10) Conditioned by clinging, there is transmigration.

11) Conditioned by transmigration, there is birth.

12) Conditioned by birth there is old age and death.


There also arise pain, lamentation, suffering, unhappiness, and disturbance.  Thus only this great heap of suffering arises.  By the cessation of ignorance old age, death, suffering and so forth, this great heap of nothing but suffering, will cease.


Conventionally speaking, when the previous ones of these twelve links exist, the later ones will subsequently arise.  By the arising of the previous ones, the later ones are produced.  If the former ones do not exist and have not arisen, neither will the later ones.  Since they will not arise, the heap of suffering will cease.


As for the associated conditions, suffering arises from the kleshas, including ignorance, being objects of attention, and having been associated with the inner senses and so forth.  Karma also arises like that.


The seven-fold name and form etc. of suffering,


1) The inner earth element is solidity.

2) Inner water is wetness

3) Inner fire is heat, digestion of food and such.

4) Inhalation and exhalation of the breath and so forth are the inner air element.

(5 Open orifices are the element of space.

6) Arising of the element of consciousness is produced when there has been the condition of the six elements being brought together.


The eye-consciousness arises by bringing it together its support the eye-power or organ, perceived form, light, unobscured space, and mental attention.  Awareness is joined to the appropriate other-entity, and it is known.

Consciousness arises from its preceding moment of closely associated consciousness, and therefore is seen to remain as a continuous stream.  Without preceding closely-associated causes, the one who has thoughts cannot arise, any more than a sprout can arise from a stone, or light from darkness.  This continuity of the clear insight of consciousness, as it arises in someone well-trained in reading and so forth, is observed arising form earlier to later, in unbroken continuity.

If the assembly of causes is entirely complete, then how will the stream be broken at the time of death?  This stream is like a viable seed.  If it has the conditions of water, manure, heat, moisture and so forth, it will inevitably grow; or it is like the continuous flow of a great river.  Thus all outer and inner dharmas arise from the necessary associations of just the causes and conditions that each requires.  If they are not all there, these dharmas will not arise.  If they are all there, these dharmas certainly will arise.  That is the nature of interdependent origination.

From beginningless time within the continual movement  of this stream, there is no ego to be its producer, no owner etc. at all.  The causes do not think, "I will produce these fruitions."  They arise having the five interdependent connections of cause and effect.


What are these?


1.  While the seed still exists unceasingly, the sprout does not arise.  The sprout arises after the seed ceases.  Therefore, the seed is impermanent.


2.  After the seed ceases, the sprout does not arise after a gap.  The ceasing of the seed and the arising of the sprout occur unbrokenly like the beam of a balance swinging up and down.


3.  The seed and sprout are two, since in terms of essence and action they are not one.  Nor does the earlier change into  the later.


4.  Since the diminishing of the seed yields the augmentation of the sprout, by a small cause a big fruition is established.


5.  From a wheat seed a wheat sprout arises.  From the goodness of merit, doesn't there come a succession of good causes and fruitions?  Outer and inner causes and effects should be known to have these five kinds of causal accord.  For example, Lord Nagarjuna said:


Recitations of texts, lamps, and mirror reflections,

Burning glasses and insults, reverberating echos,

As well as the skandhas that are linked in the chain of rebirth,

Should be understood by the wise as never transferring.


B. The explanation of the particularizations of the correct reasonings of 1) essence, 2) cause, and 3) effect.


Within that there are the explanations of:


1) the correct reasoning of dependence of the fruition on the cause

2) the correct reasoning of productive action

3) the correct reasoning of suitable establishing

4) the correct reasoning of nature.


1) The correct reasonings of dependence of the fruition on the cause and productive action


There are the main subject and its purpose.


a. The main subject:


If all the assembly of causes is there,

Their productive action produces the fruition.

However many individual fruitions there may be,

Each depends on its own cause.


The 'phags pa dgongs pa nges par 'grel ba'i mdo, says:


Correct reasoning should be understood to be of four kinds:


1) the correct reasoning of dependence

2) the correct reasoning of productive action

3) the correct reasoning of suitable establishing

4) the correct reasoning of nature.


Moreover the bstan bcos chos mngon pa sna tshogs kun las btus pa says:


As for the Dharmic effort of analyzing dharmas, if it is asked how many kinds of correct reasoning there are, it is said that there are four kinds of correct reasoning.  These are the correct reasoning of dependence, the correct reasoning of productive action, the correct reasoning of establishing reasons, and the correct reasoning of nature.


FIRSTTo briefly explain the general meaning of these four correct reasonings, 


FIRST: The meaning of "correct reasoning."


Jamgon Mipham says:


Why is it called correct reasoning, rigs pa?  Because it is suitable or reasonable, rigs pa nyid, that the nature of dharmas is as it is and, therefore, it is called rigs pa, correct reasoning.  Also whatever is analyzed in accord with this is called correct reasoning.


Also the lion of teachers rang zom dharmabhadra says:


"Correct reasoning," in Sanskrit is called nyaya.  Since nyaya consists of the nature or real state of things, the nature of things as they are, it is called correct reasoning.

Yukti or samyukti, since it is proper, is also called correct reasoning.  Thus, correct reasoning should be known to consist both of both the way each thing is and the mind in accord with that.

In terms of to verbal etymology, nyaya means "to attain."  Since what is attained is indestructible, it is called correct reasoning.

Yukti is good connection. It consists of good connection of words.  Nyaya consists of irrefutability.  Pratipada also means irrefutability.  A proposition that cannot be refuted by being contradicted by any words and thoughts at all, but can be well-established is called correct reasoning.  Whatever characteristics and reasons produce such knowledge also are also are included in "correct reasoning."  These should be known as correct reasoning in the overall or general sense.


SECOND, The definition of the four correct reasonings in general


"From the power of the things themselves all dharmas, having the nature of interdependent arising, are established in a way free from exaggeration and denigration."  That is the definition of correct reasoning.  The theg chen tshul 'jug, says: 


In regard to this, as for the manner of the four correct reasonings, in general the definition is that "all dharmas are established to arise by interdependent origination."


Third, individual definitions of the four correct reasonings.


1  "Establishment by the collective power of the causes in terms of the fruition" is the definition of the correct reasoning of the producing cause.

2  "Establishment of the collective power of the fruition in terms of the cause" is the definition of the correct reasoning depending of the fruition.

3     "Establishment by that which is the nature of each dharma" is the definition of the correct reasoning of nature.

4     "Establishing the way of knowables in regard to cause, fruition, and essence through correct reasoning from the power of the things themselves" is the definition of the correct reasoning of suitable establishing.


  The former text says:


Establishment in terms of the fruition is the correct reasoning of productive action.  Establishment in terms of the cause is the correct reasoning of dependency.  Establishment in terms of the essence is the correct reasoning of nature.  Correct reasoning itself, produced without defilements, is establishing.  This is the correct reasoning of proper establishing.


Fourth, that which is removed by the four correct reasonings, or their action.


1The correct reasoning of productive action removes doubts about causal production.  If the assembly of causes is not complete, the fruition will not arise.


2The correct reasoning of dependence removes doubts about the fruition being completely dependent on the cause.  An effect that does not depend on its cause is not possible.


3 The correct reasoning of nature removes doubts about essences, since it establishes the essences of the relative and the absolute.  

4 The correct reasoning of suitable establishing removes doubt about correct reasoning itself.  This is because the nature of the two truths is truly established by the pramanas of perception and inference.


The former text says:


As for the four things removed by these correct reasonings, respectively they clear away doubts about production, the established, the essence, and correct reasoning.


Fifth  The objects and validity of the four correct reasonings.


Before debating both debaters must establish a dharmin that is established by shared perception or appears the same to both of them and is indisputably established for them both.  Otherwise the objects to be examined and analyzed by means of the four correct reasonings cannot be established.  For example, If the particular object someone calls "fire" is not hot and burning, it is the wrong object for fire.  The former text says:


As for the objects and validity of these, if the object of the nature is undefiled, and if the object is not wrong, reasoning is properly classified as correct reasoning of nature.  Similarly, if the objects of production, establishment, and correct reasoning are undefiled and if their objects are not wrong, these are properly classified as correct reasoning.

The object of nature being undefiled is like its being expected that a burning glass will heat.


The wrong object is like saying that fire, rather than water, means what a deer bathes in.  That is the wrong object for a hot fire.  The others too are joined to what is proper for them.


Sixth The fault of excess, over-application, fault of the four correct reasonings.


When didactic conceptual reasoning in the scope of consciousness alone produces great obstinate rigidity, and this becomes extreme, there will be the fault of reification or materialism.  Here the theg chen tshul 'jug says:


Here are the excesses of the four correct reasonings: if by the correct reasoning of nature there is exaggerated extreme establishment, all things will not be eliminated.  In the end, we will become exponents of self-existing causes.

As for excess of the correct reasoning of productive action, all action and effort will not be eliminated.  In the end we become exponents of doers of acts.

If the correct reasoning of dependency is excessive, all powers will not be eliminated.  In the end we become exponents of causation by creator deities.

If the correct reasoning of proper establishing is excessive, all occasions of correct reasoning will be faultless.  Then in the end pride will manifest.

When exponents of materialism and reification establish things, they are established mostly by excess in the correct reasonings of nature and of direct perception.  Therefore, the right measure/ scope and excess of these should be told.


What the great teacher Chandragomin says in the rigs pa sgrub pa'i gron me is mostly in accord with the above.  The tshad ma'i mdo says:


Whoever instructs in nature from the path of conceptual fixation harms the long continuation of the Sage's teachings.  When those with the authentic Dharma of the Tathagata depart into something else, this should be refuted.


As the profound nature of that


is not within the scope of conceptual arguers, if we search for dharmata through conceptual argument alone, we are far from the Sage's teachings, and they will have been damaged.  Rather than that, wrong expositions and bad expositions of the profound nature, the intended meaning of the teacher, the Sage, should be refuted.


For that reason, the great teacher Nagarjuna said:



Whatever arises interdependently

Has no cessation and it has no birth;

It is neither nothingness nor eternal;

It is without coming and without going;

It is neither different things nor one.

It completely pacifies complexity.

To those who are the teachers of that peace,

The speakers who are perfect buddhas,

In homage to those holy ones I prostrate.


According to these special praises, the immaculate essence of the excellent teaching of the excellent teacher Shakyamuni, the supreme King of Exponents of the path of correct reasoning within these three realms of samsara, is the subject, the two truths.

One of these two truths is not refuted and the other established.  Appearance is interdependent arising.  Interdependent arising is emptiness.  These two are inseparable in essence, like fire and heat.  Existence and non-existence, both and neither, the four extremes; birth and cessation; eternalism and nihilism; going and coming; these eight complexities and so forth, in the union of appearance and emptiness, are like the eight examples of illusion.  Ground, path, and fruition are on an equal footing, and become all-pervading.

If we realize this excellent profound certainty, having established the view of buddhism, we have reached its life-source, the profound pith.  If we do not know this, having fallen into the places of excess of the four correct reasonings, as explained above, we will be far from establishing the view of the buddha.  Knowing how to do this is very important.

That is how the way of existence of things is to be evaluated.

The evaluating mind in accord with that is called pramana or correct reasoning.  When the knowable objects of correct reasoning have been analyzed in terms of the three aspects of cause, fruition, and essence, these are said to be the correct reasonings of productive action, dependence, and nature respectively.  When within these objects of analysis exaggeration has been cut through, producing a proper style of affirmation and negation, that is the correct reasoning of proper establishing.  So it is taught.

For objects that are directly perceived, the evaluator is the pramana of direct perception and for hidden or indirect objects the evaluator is the pramana of inference.  There are these two.  Though inference has a hidden object, through the power of inference,  the dharmin is grasped as pramana, so that, in the end, it becomes directly perceived.  However, that direct perception can reach only its nature.

Though some production and dependence are also part of the nature of things, they are gathered together within the correct reasoning of nature alone.  What resolves the style of all correct reasonings, and makes them praiseworthy is the correct reasoning of nature.  Having reached this, there is a suitable benefit with no need to establish anything else, just as the reason why fire is hot needs no further explanation.  Thus rang zom mahaapandita says:


The aspects of nature, production, dependence, and proper establishing, the so-called four correct reasonings, are indeed establishable; but so that those of little learning and small mind may have easy realization, reasons conforming to the correct reasoning of nature alone should be told them.


Such mental analysis in accord with the nature of things is known as the correct reasoning abiding in the power of things themselves.

Since the way things are is unerringly evaluated, the meaning of this kind of correct reasoning cannot be appropriated by the others.  Both conventional and ultimate pramana are said to dwell in the power of the things themselves.  Thus, that fire is naturally hot is, relatively speaking, its nature, or the way it is.  That fire is natureless is its nature, or the way it is absolutely speaking.   By combining these two pramanas, the way things are is unerroneously resolved, but this is not to say it will be so for every single verse.


TWOThus, having briefly explained the general meaning of that, now there is the main topic of the text, the correct reasoning of productive action.


For external causes, eg the seed, water, and manure and for inner causes, eg mental object, the senses, and so forth, when the assembly of causes is all present, there is the power of producing the fruition, eg the sprout, consciousness etc.  From that being so, this is called the correct reasoning of productive action.  The dgongs pa nges par 'grel pa'i mdo, says this about it:


The correct reasoning of production is like this.  By whatever causes and whatever conditions dharmas occur or are established, saying what actions produce the arising of these is called the correct reasoning of causal production.


The great teacher Asanga says in the Shravaka Bhumi from the Yogacara-bhumis:


As for the skandhas, which are produced by their own causes and their own conditions, their own action produces the joining of those causes and those conditions.  Thus, for example, the eye produces looking at forms.  The ear produces the hearing of sounds,... and so on up to the mind produces knowledge of dharmas.  Form is made to appear within the sphere of apprehension of the eye,... and so on up to dharmas are made to appear within the sphere of apprehension of the mind.  Moreover the kind of productive action of these on one another with the configurations and means by which this comes about is called the correct reasoning of productive action.



The Dharma manifesting king Trisong Detsen in his summary of the bka' yang dag pa'i tshad ma mdo says:


What is called the correct reasoning of productive action is described in terms of actions and causes.  By the action of what and what else this and that are produced, ascertaining that such and such producers are the causes and conditions, it is taught that what is produced, such and such fruitions, are produced.


As for the correct reasoning of dependence,  whatever fruitions there are, sprouts, consciousness, etc., all those objects have their own individual causes that produce them.  They must certainly depend on the seed, the sense powers, and so forth.  This is called the correct reasoning of the dependency of the fruition on the cause.  The dgongs pa nges par 'grel ba'i mdo, says:


The correct reasoning of dependence is like this:  By such and such causes and such and such conditions composite things arise, and whatever conventionally imputed things arise, these are called the correct reasoning of dependency.


The Yogacara-Shravaka-Bhumi says:


The correct reasoning of dependence is like this:  In brief, dependence has two aspects, the dependence of arising and the dependence of imputation.  The dependence of arising is like this:  By whatever causes and whatever conditions the skandhas arise, those skandhas depend on those causes and conditions.


The dependence of imputation is like this:  By whatever assembly of names, of words, and of letters the skandhas are imputed, those skandhas are dependent on those assemblies of names, words, and letters.


These are called the dependency of arising and dependency of imputation of the skandhas.


the bka' yang dag pa'i tshad ma'i mdo btus pa says:


The correct reasoning of dependence is said to be the correct reasoning of dharmas and their effects.  Compounded things, whatever is imputed to those things conventionally, and whatever fruitions arise, these and their causes and conditions are taught to be in a relationship of dependence.


Classification of causes and fruitions


It may be asked, "Well what kinds of cause and fruitions are there?"  As for the classification of the causes, conditions, and fruitions of arising, there are six causes, five fruitions, and four conditions.


A Regarding the six causes, the Abhidharmakosha says:


Producing cause and co-emergent arising

Equal situation, equality possessing,

All pervading and ripening;

Causes are said to be of these six kinds.


As for these six,


1  The producing cause


The Abhidharmakosha says:



The producing cause produces another from itself.


With regard to the producing cause the vaibhashika school says that it is all dharmas other than the fruition itself.  If so, all causes and non-causes are included within this.

The FIRST division, the producing cause with power, is like attributing to the sprout dependency on the seed.

The SECOND, the producing cause without power, is like saying that the sprout is uncompounded and arises within formless mind, like the skandhas of hell.  Classifying these producing causes without power as causes is done simply on the basis that arising was not hindered.  Though it is said that some of these may also have an indirect power, only producing causes with power need to be considered.  This is the general classification for all causes.

So that the producing cause will not be obscured, among the kinds of causes in a situation, a certain number of causes are taught.  Within the classification of the producing cause, the direct cause and co-producing condition are taught.


a.The direct cause is like the sprout arising from the seed and so forth, or the arising of a later consciousness from an earlier one.


b.The co-producing condition is like water and manure for the seed or the perceived condition and the sense-power within awareness.

Moreover, there are the producing causes like that of the seed producing a sprout and like a lamp shining inside a vase in a dark house.  Also ten kinds of producing cause are taught.  The dbus mtha' rnam 'byed:


As for the ten producing causes there are arising

Duration, support and supported, becoming and separation.

Other, and belief, understanding, and attainment;

The eye, food, a lamp, and fire and so forth

Are the examples that are presented of them;

As are a sickle, and also knowing how to make things,

As well as smoke, and inner causes, the path, and so forth.


1) The producing cause of arising is like the arising of the eye-consciousness from the eye organ.

2) The producing cause of duration is like the four kinds of food producing the duration of the body.

3) The producing cause of support is like the dependence of the essence, sentient beings, being supported by the vessel, the earth.

4) The showing or clarifying cause is like a lamp illuminating forms within a dark house.

5) The change-producing cause is like fire producing burning.

6) The producing cause of separation is like reaping grass with a sickle.

7) The cause of transformation into something else is like knowing how to make something or the a goldsmith's knowledge of how to make gold nuggets into jewelry.

8) The belief-producing cause is like the sign of smoke producing certainty of fire.

9) The understanding-producing producing cause is like certainty about the object arising from the cause and such and such reasons.

10) The cause of attainment is like attaining nirvana from the path.


2. Co-emergently arising cause.


The Abhidharmakosha says:


Things that co-arise are each others' mutual fruition;

Like the four elements and subsequent cognitive acts

Or like characteristics and the characterized.


The co-emergently arising cause is like things being each others' mutual fruition, depending on each other like the poles of a tripod.  This is like a single assembly of the four elements; mind and its subsequent states, and characteristics and the characterized.

What are subsequent cognitive acts?  These are like the linkage of mental events and spotless meditation.  Mind and those subsequent events are one without earlier and later time.  The fruition arises simultaneously or as one with it; as since the nature of virtue and so forth are one with the mind, they are called subsequent events or continuations of mind.

Generally, as for causes, there are the sorts of cause that produce the produced effect and the kind of cause without which it does not arise.  From these two ways of classifying cause and effect, the FIRST is like the seed and water and so forth producing the sprout.  The SECOND is like classification as "short" being dependent on "long," or "there" being dependent on "here," and so forth.  In this case, the classification of latter resembles classification as cause and effect.

Really the one does not produce the other.  The "effect" arises at one and the same time with the cause, so that if one is not there, that is a sufficient reason why the other also will not arise.  In that sense it is classified as a cause.


3.  the cause of equal situation


The Abhidharmakosha says:


The cause of equal situation is similar.


In the cause of equal situation, skal mnyam rgyu, the cause and the fruition are the same kind of thing, as virtue comes from a virtuous mind etc., barley grows from barley, and so forth.  Here the cause does arise before the fruition, and is chiefly classified through being of the same kind of thing and in the same place.


4. The equality-possessing cause.


The Abhidharmakosha says:


In the equality-possessing cause, minds and mental events have equal dependence on each other.


According to what is said there, the equality possessing cause of minds is their being produced only because there are mental events.  However, this is distinguished from co-emergent causation in that mind and mental events are equal in five ways:


1.  Both mind and mental events equally depend on the support of ego and the condition, the senses.

2.  With one sphere and one object, they have the same perception.

3.  Neither earlier or later than each other, they are at one and the same time.

4.  In the ways they take account of phenomena and so forth they are one and the same.

5.  Each has the same essence and substance.


In this cause, mind and mental events arise possessing mutual equality.  This is taught for the sake of knowledge, and the way of classification is as before.



5. The all-pervading cause, kun a'gro'i rgyu.


The Abhidharmakosha says:


What is called the all-pervading cause is the intrinsic 5 all-pervading ones of those who possess the kleshas


As for the all-pervading cause, kun a'gro rnams, "all-pervading" refers to the kleshas.  It is merely a separate explanation of production of dharmas possessing the kleshas, which is also otherwise explained, so that this is merely additional.  It says that all dharmas having the kleshas is what produces them.  Those having the kleshas are born from those having the kleshas.  Accordingly, that from having the kleshas they arise with the kleshas is distinguished from equal situation.  In this regard, the dharmas that arise intrinsically with the kleshas arise before those that have them as produced fruitions.


6. The ripening cause


The Abhidharmakosha says:


The ripening cause is only the possession

Of the defilements of vice and virtue.


The ripening cause is otherwise explained as the aspect of samsaric fruition that produces the pleasurable and unpleasurable.  This is merely defiled virtue and non-virtue.  Those were the six causes.


B The five kinds of fruition


The sdom byang says:


There are ripening fruition and the ego fruition

According with the cause, and that produced by the person.

Also that which is called the fruition of separation.

These comprise the list of the five kinds of fruition.


1. the ripening fruition


The Abhidharmakosha says:


The ripening fruition is of the inferior.


Ripening fruitions are fruitions produced in dependence on the defiled joy and sorrow of samsara.  The essence, being obscured, is not what can be expected to occur.  What is to be expected is self-caused virtue or non-virtue.  They arise from ripening causes.  They are included within the continuua of sentient beings or designated as dharmas associated with them.


2. The ego fruition


The Abhidharmakosha says:


The ego fruition is first


As for the ego fruition, the first fully-produced fruition of the six causes is the ego, it is said.


3. The fruition according with the cause


The Abhidharmakosha says:


As for the one according with the cause

It is equal fortune and also all-pervading.

That which arises here is both of these.


The fruition according with the cause is both a fruition of equal fortune and a fruition of the all-pervading.  This designation is used because these fruitions accord with their own causes.


4.The person-produced fruition


The Abhidharmakosha says:


When by someone's power anything arises,

That fruition is a person-produced fruition.


The person-produced fruition is a fruition of both the co-emergent and equally-possessing causes.

When a person produces a vase, the maker and the object made both individually exist.  The name is conferred on what is like that example.





5.The fruition of separation


The Abhidharmakosha says:


Separation is exclusively involved with mind.


In the fruition of separation, the prajña of mind, by its power of individual-discrimination, eliminates the separable aspect to be abandoned.  Our own uncompounded essence is classified as the fruition.  Our own essence is not produced by a cause, but hindrances to it need to be abandoned.  From their being abandoned the essence arises in experience.  If they are not abandoned, this is the cause of its not so arising.


C.The four conditions


The sdom byang says:


The causal condition, and the preceding condition;

The perceptual-object condition, and the preponderant.

These are what are known as the four conditions.


1.  the causal condition, the Abhidharmakosha says:


The so-called cause is five causes.


All the other five causes but the producing cause, are classified as casual conditions.


2.The immediately preceding condition


The Abhidharmakosha says:


Mind and whatever contents of mind may have arisen

If they are not last they are equally preceding.


As for mind and mental contents equally being preceding conditions, previous to any incorrect mind and mental events their own respective preceding incorrect mind and mental events have arisen.  Until the last moment before an arhat enters the mind without outflows, all mind and mental events are immediately preceding conditions.


3.  The perceptual object condition the Abhidharmakosha says:


This is all the dharmas that are perceived.


The perceived condition, is all dharmas.  When they have been perceived, awareness of them arises.


4.  The preponderant condition, the Abhidharmakosha says:


The producing cause, so-called, is explained as the controller.


The first of the six causes, the producing cause, is also called the preponderant or master-condition.


Of these four conditions the perceived condition and preceding condition are mental causes alone.  The other two are conditions producing all compounded things.




Therefore in regard to these causes and fruitions

Knowing the way in which they exist and do not exist,

Since by that they can be made to start and stop,

The arts and such and doctrines all have this as their root.

Therefore these arts and doctrines have been gathered together,

As helpful advice within the world and beyond the world.


For these formerly explained reasons, as for the cause of productive action and dependence of the fruition on the cause, by such causes such fruitions are produced.  By knowing as they are the ways that those fruitions exist dependently on these causes, and how they are not produced by them and do not exist dependently on them, we engage in and refrain from actions in the world.

Thus there will be the creative arts and crafts and so forth, medicine, grammar, pramana, the study of Buddhism the 5 major sciences dealing with worldly objects.  there are also rhetoric, drama and dance, astrology, composition, and poetics, the lesser five sciences.  There are these ten sciences of knowables.  There are not only those but also the productive function of all the doctrines of Buddhists and outsiders without remainder, and so by means of the style of these two dependencies we have the root of practical discrimination.

For this reason, it should be known that within these two correct reasonings of production and dependency, all worldly helpful instructions and all helpful doctrines that are beyond the world are collected.


SECOND, the correct reasoning of nature is explained in two ways by means of the relative, appearance, and by means of the absolute, emptiness.


FIRST, The explanation by relative appearance 


Within this there are two parts, the main topic and its classifications.


FIRST, The main topic:


Having arisen interdependently

All dharmas, by their own natures,

Each have their individually existing characteristics.

Solidity, moisture, heat, and so forth

These conventional natures have no falsity.


Interdependently arising through causes and conditions, whatever has arisen gathered under samsara, nirvana, and the three paths, all these dharmas, none of which are produced by anything else, each by their own natures exist with characteristics which are not those of others.  They have their own individual natures which are not shared.  Earth is solid, water is moist, fire is hot, air is motile, space is unobstructed, and so forth.  If anyone says these conventional natures are not like that, it is false.  These indispensable conclusions are known as the correct reasoning of essential nature.  The dgongs pa nges par 'grel pa'i mdo says:


The correct reasoning of nature is like this.  It was proper even before the Tathagata arose in the world.  Even if he had not arisen, it would be proper.  The existence of natures and the existence of dharmadhatu are the correct reasoning of nature.


the Shravaka-bhumi says:


The correct reasoning of nature is like this, why the skandhas are like that, and why worldly existences are like that.  Why solidity is the defining characteristic of earth, that of water moisture, that of fire heat, and that of air motility.  Similarly, why the defining characteristic of form is properly being visible/ sensible. That of feeling is being emotionally felt.  That of perception is knowing all characteristics.  The defining characteristic of formations is forming  The defining characteristic of consciousness is producing consciousness of the factual.  Why? Because that is their nature.  That is the nature of those dharmas.  Since their essences are like that, these natures which they have are said to be properly theirs.  The bka' yang dag pa'i tshad ma'i mdo btus pa says:


"the correct reasoning of natures" is expressed by means of the natures of dharmas.  Whatever natures dharmas have in relative truth and absolute truth are taught.


SECOND, The classifications


Within a single dharma are also various dharmas.

Conventional terms that establish and eliminate

Distinguish limitless classifications of different objects.

Each of these exists with its own particular nature.

By perception these objects are completely grasped.

By means of what characteristics pertain to each of these

Dharmas have their different characterizations.

Joined and distinguished by conceptual mind.

Knowables are to be understood. from these two kinds:

Real substantial things and imputed characteristics

From that come the classifications of many complexities.


For example, this is like there being various dharmas within the single dharma a vase.  A vase has impermanence, is a material thing and so forth, By such statements of what it "is" and "has" what is established about it is asserted.  Also it is not permanent, is without consciousness, and so forth.  By means of these "nots" and "withouts" there are limitless distinctions of classifications negating or excluding conventional terms, excluded meanings which are other than it and which it is said not to have at all.  Thus by its own nature it exists as what it is.

As for what happens by such dharmas perceived, they are grasped as objects, substantial entities with their intrinsic individual characteristics, like a vase.  What has been produced has impermanence, arising, and so forth.  Using such characteristics it is constructed as apparently different dharmas.  Conceptions of it are grasped as a mixture of the verbal and the real.  They are grasped with a mixture of sound and meaning.  By these characteristics, conceptual mind distinguishes these as individuals and joins them together.

Thus dharmas that are things exist substantially and have characteristics attributed to them.  By means of these two aspects in relation to knowables, without error we assert and deny, accept and reject.  We become involved with or avoid them.  The way things are is rightly realized.

From that come numerous extensive classifications of complexities such as things and non-things, object and perceiver, general and particular, compounded and uncompounded, permanent and impermanent, materiality and awareness, cause and fruition, substantial existence and imputed existence, conceptual and non-conceptual, contradiction and logical entailment, characteristic and characterized, the thing which is distinguished and the dharma that distinguishes it, the expression and expressed, clarifying and eliminating, negation and assertion, general characteristics and individual characteristics and so forth.  Having produced these various conventional classifications of common meanings, in reliance on them the limitless topics of knowables are clarified.


SECOND explanation by means of the absolute:


Thus the dharmas whose essence is cause and its fruition

If they are rightly apprehended and analyzed,

They are not conceived as having been produced,

And so they also do not arise dependently.

Even though each appears according to its own essence,

The essence of all of these alike is emptiness,

Dharmadhatu possessing the three marks of liberation,

They are dharmata, the absolute nature of things.


As explained before, the producer, the cause, and the fruition, the thing dependent upon the cause, and dharmas that essentially have the nature of cause and fruition, if they are completely examined and analyzed by the correct reasoning that examines for the absolute, not even a particle of nature exists for them.  They are characterized by the three marks of liberation.

If we examine the cause, by the reasons of the vajra slivers, if knowable dharmas are well analyzed and examined, no producer, or "cause," is observed to arise in terms of any of the four extremes, cause by self other, both, or no cause.  Therefore cause is markless.

If we analyze the fruition, by the reasons of existence and non-existence or arising and cessation, through dependence on causes and conditions there may be arisings of fruitions.  However, since those alleged fruitions will not be existent, non-existent, both, or neither, and so forth, these fruitions are unborn, and they cannot be wished for.

If we examine the essence, by the reason of being free from one and many, though conventionally there is that which is other, appearing with a nature of its own that is essentially not in common, that which is other has not been produced.  Therefore, by its own nature it is emptiness free from being either truly one or truly many.  It is essentially empty of nature.

If so, in the absolute, conventional cause, effect, and essence, are dharmadhatu having the three marks of liberation.  It is properly said that their essence is that of the absolute.


THIRD, The summary of the essence:


Production and dependence


Since they are the nature of things themselves,

As for the end of correct reasoning,

When the nature is reached, no reason is sought.


As explained above, conventionally the action of the cause produces the fruition.  Each fruition is produced in dependence on its own producing cause.  As this is the intrinsic nature of things, when there is such a reason, that is the end of correct reasoning.  If we reach the proper intrinsic nature of things, we need seek no further for other reasons.  This is the nature of things, like fire being hot.


SECOND, The reasoning of suitable establishing


Within suitable establishment there are the brief teaching, and the extensive explanation.  As for the FIRST, the brief teaching:


When something has been evaluated

According to the nature of the two truths,

Since it is established by the power of the thing itself,

This is the correct reasoning of suitable establishing.

As it appears and as it exists

Its own essence is directly perceived.

Or depending on perceived appearances,

Without deception, other things are inferred.


As explained above, an object to be evaluated has both the apparent nature of relative truth and the empty nature of absolute truth.  In accord with these what is evaluated or the perceiver arising from it, the evaluating mind is established from the power of the way things intrinsically are in themselves.  Therefore it is also called the correct reasoning or pramana of suitable establishment.  The dgongs pa nges par 'grel ba'i mdo says:


The correct reasoning of proper establishing is like this.  When we say by what cause and conditions something is entailed to occur and explained, and the sense we want to establish established; that which was fully and truly comprehended is called the correct reasoning of proper establishing.


The rnal 'byor spyod pa'i nyan thos kyi sa says:


Properly established correct reasoning is like this.  The skandhas are impermanent, or interdependently arising, or miserable, or empty, or egoless.


The three pramanas are accepted scripture, perception, and inference.  They produce realization.  So, as for correct reasoning of proper establishing, these are the three pramanas that appropriate the essence of the holy ones.  They are like this:  The skandhas are presented and established as impermanent, or interdependently arising, or miserable, or empty, or egoless.  That is called the correct reasoning of proper establishing.  The bka' yang dag pa'i mdo kun las btus pa says:


Reason-establishing correct reasoning is universal.  It shows such and such established characteristics.


To explain briefly the supplementary points of pramana taught here, the definition of pramana is "non-deceptive knowledge."  The tshad ma rnam 'grel says:


Pramana is non-deceptive knowledge.


Within this definition of pramana, as non-deceptive, there are three distinctions.


1) The non-deceptive object of action consists of individual characteristics.

2) The non-deceptive agent is a mind with the two pramanas.

3) The non-deceptive mode is such that when there is a distinction of existence, that existence is non-deceptive.  When there is a distinction of non-existence, that non-existence is non-deceptive.  When there is a distinction that something is or is not characterized as this or that, it is really so.


Someone may say, "but isn't pramana also defined as "the producer of cognizance of an unknown object?"

Yes, it is.  These two are dissimilar only their style of verbal expression.  The realities have no dissimilarity.  How so?  In knowledge that cognizes unknown objects, there is first a mind deceived about that object.  This is because that which is non-deceptive knowledge is the producer of cognizance about that unknown object.

 Therefore these two definitions both join the individual definitions applying to conventional and absolute pramana.  Since they join both of these, they are said to be definitions of pramana as a whole.  Though what is said to have one meaning arises in three parts, in our own tradition only the latter should be grasped.  So the Jamyang guru Mipham has said.

In general, the definition of mind, blo, is "that which understands," rig pa.  The definition of awareness, shes pa, is "apprehension and experience."

As for the fortune of supreme knowledge, if all thoughts of non-pramana are gathered into correct reasoning, intellectualizations, uncertain appearances, subsequent cognition, wrong knowledge, and doubts are said to be gathered into it too.  The mind of pramana has two kinds of pramana.  These are the two divisions.  The tshad ma'i mdo, the Pramana Sutra says:


Direct perception and inference alike are pramana.

The definition of pramana is apprehended as double.


Also the tshad ma rnam 'grel says:


There are two objects to apprehend.

Therefore there are two pramanas.


As is taught there, there are necessarily two kinds objects to be evaluated:


1. individual characteristics and

2. universal characteristics.


In terms of fruition, there are dharmas with a real productive power and those with no such power.

In terms of intrinsic nature for different things the same dharma may be in common or not in common.

 In terms of word and object, there are cases where the expressing word expresses a real thing and those where it does not.

In terms of the knowledge of the perceiver, there are conceptually known apparent objects and non-conceptually known apparent objects.

In terms of the way the object appears, there are evident and hidden, which are necessarily two in number, and so forth.  The mind apprehending these has both perception and inference, which are likewise necessarily two in number.

The definition of an evident object of evaluation is "that which is realized by the pramana of direct perception."  The definition of hidden object of evaluation is "that which is realized by inference."


The definition of perception is "unconfused awareness that is free from conception."  There are four divisions of perception:


1.  sense-perception

2.  mental perception

3.  self-awareness

4.  yogic direct perception.


Their definitions are below.


The definition of inference is "mind that realizes what is to be established, its own hidden object, in dependence on a reason in which all the three modes are complete."

The divisions of inference are:


1.  inference for one's own benefit

2.  inference for the benefit of others.


There are also these divisions:


1. Inference from the power of the thing itself

2. Inference from reports

3. Inference from belief.


Correct reasoning with reasons for inference is extensively explained below.


Inference from the power of the thing itself is like realizing "impermanent" in dependence on the reason "having been produced."


Inference from reports is like realizing, using one's own knowledge of conceptual objects as the reason, that "the one with the rabbit's image" = "the moon."


Inference of belief


Depending on scripture purified by the three analyses is like realizing that what we have been taught is non-deceptive.  For example:


Generosity is activity, discipline is merit,

Patience is a good form  and exertion splendor.

By meditation peaceful mind is liberated.


Following the presentation of these remaining subsidiary topics of pramana, now there is the main subject.


The two truths:


Relative truth is the way things appear.


Absolute truth is the way things really are.


For each of these two distinct truths there is perception and inference.


Perception realizes individual natures.

Inference uses apparent signs or reasons to infer another object non-deceptively through analysis.


In that way each of the two pramanas is itself divided into two, making four altogether.  Presenting in order the bases of distinguishing these:


1) Perception of essence within the relative, is like perception by a non-confused eye-consciousness of a blue utpala lotus


2) Perception of the absolute essence is like the wisdom of meditation of the noble ones.


3) Inference in conventional analysis is like inferring fire from smoke or from something's having been produced that it is impermanent.


4) inference in absolute analysis is like inferring emptiness by reason of the absence of unity and so forth.


Therefore, glorious Dharmakirti says:


The meanings of things, seen and unseen

By the two aspects, perception and inference,

Are irrefutable and non-deceptive.


SECOND Suitable establishing of perception and inference


A.  Suitable establishing of perception


Within this are the general teaching, the explanation of the particulars, and the summary.


1) the general teaching:


The classification of perception is four-fold:

There are the perceptions of non-confused sense and mind,

Those of self-awareness, and the perception of yoga.  


Their objects appear as individual characteristics.

Therefore they are always non-conceptual.


If there is no perception, then there are no signs

Because there are no signs, there is no inference.

Things arising from cause, and cessation of such things,

All these appearances would be impossible.

If it is like that, their emptiness and such,

Depending on what could they be possibly known?

Therefore, without depending on the conventional,

The absolute as well will never be realized.


FIRST there is the explanation of proper establishing of perception.  The rigs pa thigs pa, the Drop of Correct reasoning, says:


As perception is free from conception, it is unconfused.  Conception is expressible knowledge and appearance appropriate to be mixed with that.  Perception is free from that mixing, for example not confused by dimness, turning quickly, being in a boat, shaking about, and so forth.  Such knowledge is perception.


There are four kinds of perception:


1. The knowledge of the senses


2 Mind consciousness


 This is directly subsequently produced to or by the knowledge of the senses, having sense knowledge as its own preceding object, and its immediately preceding condition.  It is similar to that sense knowledge.


3.  Self-awareness of mind and all mental events


4.  The limitlessly arising knowledge of yoga


This is excellent meditation on true reality.


The objects of these are individual characteristics. Whatever different objects far and near appear in awareness are individual characteristics.  These same characteristics exist absolutely.  This is because the characteristics of things exist only as productive powers.

There are also universal or general characteristics.  These are the objects of inference.  However, the fruition of such inferential pramana is perceptual knowledge.  This is because its essence is only to realize objects.  That pramana is concerned with objects and their similarity, since by its power, realizations of objects are established.

The great pandit Shantarakshita, pad ma'i ngang tshul and 'dul ba'i lha all say that freedom from conception eliminates inference.  Non-confusion eliminates obscured knowledge and so forth.  Both are explained as having the characteristic of eliminating what does not accord with correct reasoning.  Dharmottara says:


As for non-confusion, since the meaning/ object grasped is not confused, it has the power to eliminate conceptualization.  To clear away the wrong conceptions of the nyaiyaaikas, samkhyas, mimamsakas, and so forth who say that perception is conceptual, it is said to be free from conception.


The mdo'i rang 'grel, says:


This is distinguished from dependence on what is said by others.


In the case of sensory and mental perception, the essence of sensory and mental perception in general, or as a whole, is recognition or identification.  There is not recognition or identification in perceptual pramana alone.

  Pramana is "non-confused."  By being joined to that it should be known to be revealed in its particulars.


The supremely learned phya ba says:


 When perception and perceptual pramana have been distinguished, the definition of the FIRST is "unconfused knowledge free from conceptualization."  The definition of the SECOND is that "by experiencing something we have not realized before, exaggeration is cut through."


So it is explained here, but the approach of our own tradition will be explained below.


The object characterized by perceptual pramana is exclusively non-confused knowledge.

The definition of perceptual pramana is "unconfused knowledge free from conceptualization."  

There are four divisions  of perceptual pramana:


1.  Sense perception

2.  Mental perception

3.  Perception of self-awareness

4.  Yogic direct perception.


Here are their respective definitions:


1.  The definition of the pramana of sense perception is


 "unconfused knowledge free from conception that arises in dependence on the dominant condition of the bodily senses."


The divisions of the pramana of sense perception are the unconfused five sense consciousnesses, the eye consciousness and so forth.

Seeming sense perception corrupted by illusion, appearance of the one moon as two and so forth is not perceptual pramana.


2.  The definition of the pramana of mental perception is


 "unconfused knowledge free from conceptualization arising in dependence on the dominant condition of the mental sense."


Non-conceptual mind subsequently associated with confused sense experiences, such as knowledge within a dream, is not pramana.


3.  The definition of the pramana of yogic perception is


 "unconfused knowledge free from conceptualization arising in dependence on the dominant condition of the yogas of shamatha and vipashyana."

Phenomena like the appearance of skeletons in the meditation on repulsiveness are not unconfused.  Therefore, they are not pramana.



4.  The definition of the perceptual pramana of self-awareness is


"unconfused self awareness free from conception apprehending itself as the essence of mind and all mental events."


Confused or unconfused, whatever awareness arises is unconfused and free from conception, as mere self-apprehending experience in itself.

In regard to their objects, those four kinds of perception do not mix up objects, times, and aspects.  This is because actual individual characteristics appear in perception, with no conceptions that could confusedly grasp words and meanings.


In that case, what is the conceptualization that is to be separated from direct perception?  In general regarding the divisions of conceptualization, the dbus mtha' says:


Mind and mental events, and the three worlds as well

Always have the aspect of exaggeration.


Thus the essence is understood.


The mdzod says:


Conception and analysis are like fine and coarse.


As it says there, conceptual analysis is conceptual


 The rnam 'grel says:


Whatever is known, the meaning of the word for it is grasped.  That is the conception of that.


As it says there, conceptualization has a mixed grasp of word and meaning. From those three quotations, direct perception is free from conceptualization.  The tshad ma mdo says:


Joining names and kinds etc. in freedom from conception is direct perception.


Here there are four styles.


1.  Saying that the proliferation of direct perception of sense and mind does not arise.

2.  Saying that after an instant of sense knowledge there is only mental perception


3.  Saying that at the end of a succession of sense perceptions, mental perception arises.


4.  Saying that after the first moment of sense perception mental perceptions arise in a series accompanying another series of sense perceptions, and that finally at the end of the last moment of sense perception there arises the last moment of mental perception.


Of these four, the Jamyang guru says that just this last should be maintained.


These four perceptions, have two divisions in terms of individuals who have them


1) The perception of ordinary beings

2) The perception of the noble ones.


In terms of support:


The objects and understanding of sense and mental perception depend on the senses.

Self-awareness depends only on paratantra.

Yogic perception depends on meditation.


In terms of their objects:


Mental and sensory direct perception are aware of some object other than themselves.

Self-awareness coarsely perceives itself.

Yogic self perception is aware of both itself and others.


  These four direct perceptions are not related by the difference that refutes one, since all four are real things.

  Nor are they merely related by the difference of different manifestations of a single essence.  This is because the three other perceptions are different substances, while also they are not different in essence from perception of self-awareness.  The other three perceptions have one essence with perception of self-awareness, but they are different objects.

The purpose of the four perceptions is to clear away four wrong conceptions:


1.  The Hindu rig pa can pa school do not accept the pramana of sense perception.

2.  The rna ma phug pas do not accept the pramana of mental perception.

3.  The vaibhashikas do not accept the pramana of self-awareness.

4.  The rgya 'phen pa school do not accept yogic direct perception.


The great teacher 'dul ba'i lha says:


Because they clear any four wrong conceptions these excellent divisions are taught.

Some say that the sense-power itself is the seer of pramana.  To eliminate this view, the FIRST is taught.  The knowledge arising from the sense-powers is not the power of perception.

Some attribute faults to mental perception.  The SECOND division is taught for the sake of completely abandoning this fault.

Some do not accept the self-awareness of mind and mental contents.  The THIRD is taught to eliminate this.

  Some do not accept the direct perception of yogins, and so this is called the FOURTH kind of perceptual pramana.


Also the great teacher dgra las rgyal pas says:


Saying that there are four kinds of perception is to eliminate particular wrong conceptions:

1.  the thought that perceptual pramana is seen by the senses themselves, rather than by the knowledge that depends on them.

2.  The thought that the phenomena of perception of the mental sense, whose essence has already been explained, exist as other.

3.  The thought that self-awareness is impossible.

4.  the thought that yogic knowledge is impossible.


If these four direct perceptions were absent, since smoke and so forth would not appear, there would be no signs or reasons.  Therefore, inference would be non-existent.  If that were non-existent, that from the cause, the seed, the sprout arises, and that it ceases in destruction and so forth, all that appears and is heard in the world, all these conventional dharmas, would be unknown.  If that is said, there would be no occurrence of the reasons by which the natural state of such relative entities, emptiness and so forth, is known.

Therefore it is taught that without dependence on the means of the worldly appearance of conventional truth, the absolute truth, emptiness, that arises from that would not be realized.  Glorious Chandrakirti's commentary, the Prasannapada, says:


Since this is the means of attaining nirvana, as those who want water first get a vessel, it should first be told how the relative exists.


Also the 'jug pa rang 'grel says:


Conventional truth alone is the teacher of the absolute.  From fully comprehending the teaching of the absolute, the absolute is attained.  A treatise says:


Without depending on the conventional,

The absolute truth will not be realized.

Without relying on the absolute truth,

Nirvana likewise will not be attained.


SECOND, regarding sense perception, mental perception, the perception of self-awareness and yogic perception,


FIRST, Sense perception:


By whatever mind-events have arisen from the five senses

Apprehension of their objects is experienced.

Without this sense perception, objects would not be seen, As they are not in the case of those who are blind, and so forth.


Depending on the dominant condition the eye-power and similarly the ear, nose, tongue, and body-sense, the five consciousnesses of a person experience the apprehension of their objects, form, sound, smell, taste, and touchables.  This is sense perception.  without it, like those who are blind, deaf, and so forth, we could never perceive external objects.


SECOND, Mental perception:


Of outer and inner objects that rise from the mental sense

Mental perception is the drawer of clear distinctions. 

Without this mental perception all the dharmas would be

Without the knowledge of ordinary understanding.


Arising in dependence on the mental sense as dominant condition, knowledge that understands objects clearly distinguishes experiences of outer objects, form and so on, and by knowledge of self-awareness, distinguishes the objects of inner awareness and dreams.  This is mental direct perception.  A sutra says:


O monks, there are two kinds of knowledge of form.  They depend on the eye and on the mind.


Also the tshad ma mdo says:


...and mental objects....


Its auto-commentary says:


Mind, yid, engages with phenomena that are apprehended and experienced, such as form etc.  This is exclusively non-conceptual.


The author of the rnam 'grel rgyan sher byung sbas ba says:


Existing familiarly before one

That which is known as "this" and so forth

Since it produces such perception,

This is said to be mental perception.


Rngog pa says:


Co-emergently bound up with sense perception, there is the pramana of mental direct perception.


Without this, all external and internal dharmas would lack the understanding of ordinary knowledge.



THIRD, yogic direct perception:


Meditating well according to the instructions

One apprehends experience of the ultimate as our object.

If there is not this kind of yogic direct perception,

We will not see the real beyond the everyday.


By the yogin's meditating well in accord with the precepts taught by the guru, the ultimate meaning of egolessness, the two emptinesses, and three and countless kinds are seen.

Moreover, in a single atom as many buddha fields as there are atoms, and limitless pure phenomenal worlds, the mandalas of countless buddhas, are seen and so forth.  Clearly experiencing its own sphere, this is yogic direct perception.


The great teacher Dignaga says:


As shown by the experiences

Only unmixed objects are seen.


The teacher Dharmakirti says:


The knowledge of yogins was explained before.

It arises within their meditation.


To analyze in outline this clear realization of egolessness in yogic perception, there are the meaning of the word, the essence, the definition and the divisions.  Regarding the FIRST, as for "yoga," the sgra sbyor bam gnyis The Two Volume Grammar, says:


"Yo" is yoga.  This is the name of the meditation which unites shamatha and vipashyana.  In Tibetan this is rnal 'byor.  Here the meaning is rnal ma, the natural state of the mind, or the state in which it is 'byor joined to mastery.

Pratyaksha, in Tibetan is mgnon sum, direct perception.  Prati means near or direct.  It has many meanings such as "individual."  Yaksha is the equivalent of dbang po, the sense powers, so the overall meaning is "depending on the individual senses" or "depending on the senses."


Of the four extremes of the words "description" and "denotation," Pratyaksha depends on the senses, but does not explain.  All knowledge grasping individual characteristics has a denotum.


Moreover, for both sense perception and mental perception there is the verbal description and the denotum.


For the perceptions of self-awareness and yoga there is only the denoted, and there is no description  For confused sensory knowledge, there is description but no denotum.


In general as to the four extremes of description and denotation, if we take for example the epithet, "the lake-born," where the literal words mean "born in a lake" but the phrase refers to or denotes a lotus, there are the extremes of:


1.  the description existing and the denotation not existing

2.  the description not existing and the denotation existing

3.  both description and denotation existing

4.  neither description or denotation existing.


The FIRST is like living beings born in a lake.

The SECOND is like a lotus in a dry place.

The THIRD is like a lotus born in a lake.

The FOURTH is like a vase.


SECOND, the essence of yogic perception is the mind to which the egolessness of objects clearly appears.


THIRD, the definition of yogic perception in general is "non-confused knowledge depending on meditation, free from the conceptualizations of sentient beings."


FOURTH, the divisions of yogic perception.  Generally, to divide it into different kinds, there are the three kinds of yogic perceptions of:


1.  shravaka noble ones

2.  pratyekabuddha noble ones

3.  bodhisattvas.


As for the pratyekabuddhas, the mdzod says:


They are one in that they all depend exclusively on meditation.


As it says there, pratyekabuddhas do not study, and have no learning.  Shravaka and bodhisattva noble ones may be either learned or unlearned.  That makes five kinds altogether.  Dividing these five in two by yogic perception of post-meditation with appearance, and yogic perception of meditation without appearance makes ten kinds in all.

If these individuals had no such yogic perception, it would therefore follow that they saw nothing especially noble beyond the scope of the minds of ordinary beings.


FOURTH, self-awareness:


Just as perceived experience of form cuts through distortion.

If such experience exists regarding our own mind,

Knowing that, we will not meet the existence of other.

Therefore by the essence, gsal rig, luminous insight,

Aware of objects is of the nature of oneself,

Self-apprehension, rang gsal, is without dependence.

This is what is meant by terms like self-awareness.

That which is experienced by the other perceptions,

Being ascertained to be perception itself

Is the work of self-awareness. If that dod not exist,

No other modes of perceiving could establish anything.


For the perception of the eye consciousness, experience of the form of a white conch shell is the cause of cutting through the distortion of thinking it is yellow.  In regard to our own mind, self-awareness is exists the cause of cutting through a similar distortion.  For a knower who does not know self-awareness, other must exist.  If we have self-awareness, the knower for who the other must exist and so forth will ultimately become non-existent.  We will not meet with knowledge that something exists as other at the same time, or not at the same time, and so forth as self-awareness.

For that reason, in knowledge, a chariot, a building, and so forth, which have a material nature separate from awareness are eliminated.  By their becoming of the essence of awareness, while we have knowledge of external objects in consciousness, they are oneself and do not depend on any other.  This self-apprehension is self-awareness.  The great teacher Shantarakshita says in the Madhyamakala.mkara


Then there is full development of elimination

From consciousness of the nature of material things

That which is of a nature that is not material

Is known as "this," oneself.


Ascertaining whatever objects are experienced by the other three perceptions as perception itself is the function of self-awareness.  This is because our own mind is not be hidden from one, as for example we have the power to decide whether we are happy or unhappy.

 If there were no self-awareness, experience of other kinds of perception too could not be established as such by any other means.  The reason is that self-awareness of them would not exist.

We may think that for example that blue would be established by being seen by the eye consciousness; but we should analyze how by perception or inference the eye consciousness is established.  If first it is established by perception, then the perception would have to be both at the same time and not at the same time.  That is unsuitable.

If the eye consciousness is supposed to be established through inference, there will be none, because the perception this presupposes will be non-existent.  That is unsuitable.

For that reason, if objects such as a vase were material things, they could not be apprehended and perceived.  Therefore, their essence is produced within or as awareness.

 Though a mind that is illuminated by and apprehends others must be dependent on them in some sense, this knowledge is not like knowledge of material things.  As our own essence that is being intuited, this need not depend on other conditions.

The conventional classification "self-awareness" is totally suitable.  This is because it has arisen from oneself alone, has the nature of awareness and is essentially free from action, actor, and karma.  For example, it is like a lamp that illuminates itself.  The tshad ma mdo says:



Even conceptualization is said to be self-awareness.

 Since that is realized, conception is not real


Also the Madhyamakala.mkara says:


For that whose nature is being single and partless

Three natures are therefore unsuitable.

As for this being aware of itself

Act and actor are unreal.

Therefore, since this is the nature of knowledge,

It is properly called self-knowledge.


Third, the summary of the meaning:


Inference has perception existing as its root.

Perception in turn is ascertained by self-awareness.

Once experience by unconfused mind is reached,

There is no other establisher than that alone.

Therefore, for whomever relies on pure perception,

Unconfused and free from all conceptualization,

From whatever dharmas may be manifested

Exaggeration will be completely cleared away.


Since inference arises from having relied on the power of perceived signs as reasons, it has perception as its root.  Since perception has been ascertained by self-awareness itself, perception must be classified as self-awareness.  If all experience of a mind that is not confused by the causes of confusion are the ultimate, self-awareness, no other external establisher need be sought.  That is the experience of unconfused mind.  It is like finding the elephant.

Thus at the limits of inference, perception is what is reached.  Apprehension of objects of perception ultimately arrives at apprehension-experiencing self-awareness.  Therefore, if we want to make a presentation of pramana of the seeing of this side, samsara, it will be unsuitable without self-awareness.  Therefore, the partiality of not accepting self-awareness has been refuted.

The ways of establishing that this is true are extensively taught in the texts of the two lords of correct reasoning Dignaga and Dharmakirti.  Whoever is free from conception with its mixed grasping of word and meaning relies on the unconfused purity of the four perceptions.  For such a person exaggeration will be completely cleared away from perceived dharmas that seem to be a vase etc..  This occurs by the power of the experience that there is no vase, and so forth,.  This is the suitable establishing of perception.


In brief, the pramana of inference is ultimately the pramana of perception.  The pramana of perception is ultimately the pramana of self-awareness, the clear experience of our own mind apprehending itself as object.  Therefore, if within the relative there is no self-awareness, all the world's classifications of truth and falsity will be unsuitable.



As for the refutation of self-awareness in the texts of madhyamaka, it should be known that, by correct reasoning about the absolute, only the true existence of self-awareness is negated and not self-awareness itself.


SECOND Inference


In regard to inference there are the essence, divisions and abandoning contentiousness.  Within the FIRST, the essence, there are the mind that infers, the signs from which inferences are made, and how inferences are made.


FIRST, the mind that infers


After the universal marks of things are fully grasped,

By being mixed with names, they are understood.

This is called conceptual mind, and by its concepts

Various conventions are proliferated.

Even for persons who do not know linguistic symbols

Universal characteristics appear within their minds.

Mixable with names, conceptions such as these

Produce engagement and disengagement with their objects.

If there were no such thing as this conceptual mind,

There would be no conventional statements and denials.

Any kind of teaching would be impossible.

Of inference or of any subjects of learning and study.

By concepts we can deal with the future and so forth.

We evaluate and establish what is not evident.

If there were conceptions, but no inference,

We would be like children who are newly born.


SECOND, within the explanation of the suitable establishment of inference,  the definition of the pramana of inference was briefly explained above in the brief explanation of proper establishment.  The mind that infers is conceptual mind.  What is the essence of conceptuality?  Having mentally grasped only the universal aspects of the individual characteristics of objects, such as a vase,  by confusing appearance and conceptualization as one thing, it mixes them.  for example the word "vase" is mixed with its meaning.  The producer of conceptions about a vase and so forth is called conceptual mind.

As for the action of this, in the world conceptual mind produces the proliferation of various conventionalities of assertion, denial and so forth.  Within the minds even of persons who do not understand symbols, small children and those who are like animals, the universal characteristics of food and drink, at least, appear.  Even if they do not know their own names, these conceptualizations which mix names and objects produce engaging and disengaging with objects or accepting and rejecting them.  If there were no conceptual mind, with its mixed grasping of word and meaning, then within the world there would also be no conventional classifications that refute others and establish our own view.  There would be the fault that we could not infer hidden meanings, nor teach any subjects of study.

For that reason, through concepts, we think in terms of taking care of the future; we understand the past in terms of memory; and for present objects joining names and kinds, depending on relative concepts or signs, we analyze and establish concepts and so forth that are not manifest.  For this reason if there were no conceptual inference, there could be no reliance on reasons for accepting good and rejecting evil.  All the people in the world would be like children before action is engendered within them.  They could simply have no purposes at all.


SECOND, the signs from which inferences are made:


That relying on which something can be understood

Is that which is known as the reason or the sign of inference.

There are also the presence of the dharma in the subject

And the forward entailment and reversed entailment.

The three modes are complete, there is no confusion.

From reasons or signs that are resolved by perception

That which is hidden can thereby be inferred.

By the power of relations what is to be established,

In fruition will be established, and its nature, the reason,

Will be a reason such that by non-observation

Or that whose conception is contradictory with that,

That which is to be refuted, has been refuted.

Thus the three reasons will be purified.


But how does this conceptual mind infer other hidden dharmas?  There are two divisions, inference for our own benefit and for that of others.  Inference for our own benefit and inferential pramana have the same meaning.

FIRST, the essence of the first, inferential pramana for one's own benefit, is a mind that realizes what is to be established from a reason for which all the three modes of syllogism are present.

The tshad ma mdo says:


Of the two kinds of inference, as for that for one's own benefit

From the three modes of the sign, the meaning will be seen.


The rigs pa'i thigs pa says:


There are two kinds of inference, that for one's own benefit and that for others.


Inference for oneself is known from a reason with the three modes.  Here establishing the conclusion of correct reasoning is like perceiving.  The three modes of the reason, are these:


1.  Its existence in what is to be inferred.

2.  Its presence in similar cases.

3.  Its absence in dissimilar cases.


What is to be inferred is the particular characteristic of the subject that we want to know about.  Similar cases also have the dharma to be established.  Dissimilar cases do not.  There can be no cases other than these or contradictory to them.

The three modes are only possession of the three reasons regarding the unperceived, the nature, and the fruition.


As it says there, a reason or sign is a dharma depending on which there is the power of inferring another dharma.  The sign establishing that the dharma to be proved is in the subject of the proposition to be proved is called the phyogs chos, the presence of the reason in the subject.  That is the first mode.

If a sign is not established in a subject and its presence is debatable, analysis of the entailments will be useless.  First, we must analyze whether the designated sign exists or does not exist in the subject in question, eg a vase.  That in which the sign is known to exist has the presence of the dharma in the subject.  That is the first mode of syllogism.


When the reason has been established, the dharma to be established with this reason follows as a consequence, since these two have been analyzed and apprehended as connected.  That is the forward entailment, the second mode.  For example,  "What is produced is impermanent," is certain pramana because "impermanent" follows from "produced."


If the dharma to be established is wrongly identified or non-existent, then the reason will be wrong and cannot apply.  For example, "what is not impermanent cannot be produced."  That is the reversed entailment, the third mode of the three.


With these last two modes, by pramana, necessarily true statements of entailment and exclusion can be expressed.  These are taught using an example such that:


1)  all the according features are present

2)  all the discordant ones are absent.


If all the three modes are present, there is a true reason that establishes the conclusion without confusion.


What are the definitions of the three modes?


As for the definition of the phyogs chos, presence of the dharma to which the reason applies in the subject, "the reason, itself said to be known to be established, is established to apply to the dharmin with necessity, according to pramana."

The definition of forward entailment, is that "the reason is established in such a way that things for which it is established certainly exist only in accord with its similar cases."

The definition of reversed entailment is that "according to the way the reason is established, what does not accord with the reason will certainly be without the dharma to which the reason applies."

The definition of a genuine example is that "it is an object certainly pervaded by the certainty of what is to be established."



The divisions of genuine examples, are two:


1)  examples according with the reason

2)  examples not according with the reason


  The definition of an example truly according with the reason is that it is "truly a ground of the forward entailment of the reason to be proved."  For example, an according example of what is "produced" being "impermanent" is a vase.

The definition of a non-according example, is that it is "a true example of the reversed entailment of the true thing that is to be established."  Space is a non-according example of what is "produced" being "impermanent."

The definition of a merely apparent example, is that it "is taken to be a true basis of entailment by the real thing to be proved, but this cannot be so."

Relying on a reason resolved as valid by the experiential power of any of the four perceptual pramanas, some hidden dharma whose presence is to be evaluated is established inference by the power of logical relationships.  Anything that is not logically related cannot be logically established.  The tshad ma rnam nges says:


A reason having a logical relationship other than "if the phyogs is not there that which is to be established will not occur" is a merely apparent reason.


There are many other logical relationships such as having a characteristic, and inclusion in a class


Glorious Chandrakirti says:


All dharmas whatever have either the nature of unity or that of difference.  In the first case they are essentially one with the possessor or subject, while for things related by difference they can certainly be numbered as a second.

For the first, the relationship of unity with the subject, in unity with a single basis such as a vase, due to the characteristic "impermanence" being dichotomous "permanent" is eliminated.  If "unproduced" is eliminated for some object, "produced is established.  From eliminating "non-thing," there is its opposite the exaggeration-eliminating quality of individual existence.  These can be understood from the individual names of each object, and cannot be understood in terms of any other.

Therefore, this very individual object that is presented as the object of the verbal concept is one with the essence of a vase alone.

  As for its being produced, impermanent, and so forth, those qualities are related to it as further aspects of its single discrete selfhood. Over and above a vase they are connected to it by its single selfhood.


So it is presented.  From the viewpoint of the conception that eliminates what is other than the characteristic in question, though there are supposed to be relationships of inclusion and discrimination, since it is said that in reality there is only a single discrete subject, it cannot connect itself to itself, any more than a sword cannot cut itself.


SECOND, as for the relationships arising from that, there are the modes of cause and fruition.  These are the direct cause and co-emergently producing conditions.  Though in other texts six causes and four conditions, or five causes etc, have been presented, in reality, all causes are included under arising-producing producing causes and logical causes of definitional dependency.

Though actually such connected arising is impossible, having connected things together by conceptualizing them as an earlier cause and later fruition, when that cause does not exist, that fruition will not arise.  That is conventionally called connected arising, 'byung 'brel.

As for the definition of relationship, 'brel ba, from the viewpoint of a mind that has correctly excluded what is other  than some quality, the other dharmas are not rejected.

There are two divisions.  FIRST the definition of connection in a single possessor is that from the viewpoint of rejection of a dharma because of the subject's single nature, the dharma that is other is not rejected.   As for the definition, of that relationship, "by the power of that rejection the dharma that is other is not cleared away."

 The definition of subsequent contradiction, is that it occurs when two things are mutually contradicting and contradicted.

As for the FIRST of the two divisions, the definition of the contradiction of non-co-existence is that whatever dharmas things have, those with the contradiction of non-co-existence cannot be associated by the same causal power.  The two divisions are


1) contradictory objects/ states of affairs [eg hot and cold]

2) contradictory states of mind [eg ego grasping and egolessness.


SECOND, the definition of being mutually abandoned is that whatever dharma allegedly has a contradictory pair of characteristics is unreal, eliminated by being contradictory.  The two divisions are like:


1) permanence and impermanence being contradictory within the same thing

2) being produced and being permanent being contradictory.


By having such a relationship, some reason in which the three modes are complete has the characteristic of proving what is to be established in a syllogism.

If this is divided, there are three kinds of reasons, gtan tshigs.


1)  the reason of the fruition

2)  the reason of the nature


3)  the reason of non-observation, that which by non-observation or by being conceived as contradictory to the object, is refuted as what is to be denied.


Within these three reasons all the reasons that evaluate hidden things that are to be established are included.  The tshad ma rnam 'grel says:


There are three kinds of reasons establishing the entailment

Of the presence of the dharma in the subject of the thesis.

If they are absent, that dharma's non-arising is certain.

Merely apparent reasons are those that are other than this.


If the classification in correct reasoning of these strictly necessary reasons is extensively explained, in general, as for the definition of a sign presented as a suitable sign or reason, "if the basis is established, it is always a suitable reason."

If reasons are divided, there are genuine reasons and apparent ones.

  In the FIRST, genuine reasons, there are the definition and divisions.  As for the FIRST, definitions, the definition of a genuine reason is that it is one in which the three modes are all present.  Here dividing them to show the connections, there are three kinds:


1) the reason of fruition

2) the reason of nature

3) the reason of what is not conceived.


In the FIRST, the reason of fruition, there are the definition of the reason of fruition and the divisions.  The definition of the reason of fruition is: "that which is connected to the arising of the fruition and has been presented as a reason of fruition, establishing the inference that is asserted, in which the three modes are complete."

As for the divisions, in terms of the means of presenting the relationship, there are five kinds:


1.  "The dharmin "actual smoke" has fire, since it is smoke."  Such syllogisms establish a cause from an actually existing sign of the fruition.


2.  Similarly, "The dharmin "the appearance of smoke" has not occurred before its preceding cause, fire, since it is smoke."  These establish a preceding cause from its effect.


3.  "The dharmin "the proliferating skandhas"  occur with their respective causes, since they are things existing only some of the time." That establishes causes in general for temporary things.


4.  "The dharmin "appearance of sense consciousness of green" is accompanied by its own object-condition, because it is sense consciousness."  That establishes that there is a particular cause.


5.  "The dharmin "a lump of molasses in the mouth" has form, because it has taste."  Here the dharma which is the cause is the reason for an inferred fruition.  In reality from the present taste of molasses, both the former and present taste and form of the molasses, as a single association produced by a preceding cause can be inferred.


Thus, there are many ways of establishing the cause by the fruition, and by this splitting of hairs or making fine distinctions that water is unmoving is attributed to its being supported by a support.  From spoonbills, water, croaking frogs, and ants being carried away there is attributed the cause that rain has fallen, and so forth.  All such correct reasonings attributing causes to fruitions should be gathered under the heading of reasons of fruition.



SECOND, under the reason of nature there are the definition and divisions.  FIRST, the definition of the reason of nature is when "a reason is presented that is of the same essential nature as the thing to be proved itself, establishing what we want to say, in which all the three modes are present."  That is the definition of the reason of nature.


In the SECOND, the divisions of the reason of nature


There are divisions in terms of reasons and in terms of what is to be established.  The FIRST, division in terms of reasons, is like, "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is produced or "...because it arises."  Here there is dependence on a distinction or qualification.

The other is like "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it exists as a thing."  What is presented here is a syllogism with a sign of the nature that is pure of distinctions.


Of these two ways of expressing the reason, the former shows another thing as fruition.  This is like dependence on another.  The later, merely describes the essence autonomously.  This is called pure of dependency or without dependency.  Aside from their mere classification these have no real 



SECOND there are real establishment and conventional establishment.


The FIRST, real establishment, is like, "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is produced."

The SECOND, establishment by conventional terms is like, "the dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is instantaneous."


Third, a syllogism with a reason of non-observation,


Within this there are the definition and the distinctions.  As for the FIRST, the definition of an syllogism with a reason of non-observation is "that which is presented as a reason for refuting what is to be refuted."  This is the definition of an reason of non-observation in which the three reasons are not observed to be complete.

If we divide, there are a true unobserved sign which is incapable of appearing, and a true unobserved sign which is capable of appearing.

Within the first are the characteristic and the subject with the characteristic.  In the FIRST we are unable to prove that a dharma to be refuted is necessarily absent in the basis of dispute, but are able to refute its existence.  That is the definition of a non-apparent unobserved reason in which the three modes are complete.

In the way of establishing such a syllogism, for a continuum encountering that invisible object no pramana could produce the perception of such an object, for example, an invisible rakshasa.  This non-apparent unperceived object, which we cannot evaluate and so forth, in brief, is an unfathomable or uninferable object that should neither be exaggerated or deprecated.






SECOND Perceivable but unobserved true reasons



Within this there are the definition and the divisions.


FIRST, the definition of a perceivable but unobserved reason is, "a basis of establishment in which the dharmas to be refuted can be certainly established to be non-existent, by a reason having all of the three modes." For example if an ordinary person were here we could see that person, so if we do not see anyone, no one is here.  In the divisions of a perceivable but unobserved reason there are perceivable but unobserved reasons with a necessarily related pair and with a necessarily excluded pair.


FIRST, as for perceivable but unobserved reasons with necessarily related pairs,


Within this there are the definition and the divisions.


FIRST, the definition of necessarily related pair is: "a perceivable but unobserved true reason always paired with the thing to be refuted." That is the definition of an apparent unperceived true reason joined to the reason for negation by non-affirming negation.


There are four divisions of necessarily related pairs.


FIRST, an unperceived nature is like: "In the dharmin "this house" there is no vase, since it is perceivable but not perceived by pramana."


SECOND, there is an unperceived cause, because what is paired with it is not perceived.  This is like: "The dharmin "the ocean at night" has no smoke, since it has no fire."


THIRD, an unperceived class, is like: "The dharmin "that rock fortress over there" has no shimshapa trees, since it has no trees at all."


FOURTH, an unperceived actual fruition, is like, "The dharmin "a constructed circle without smoke" does not have the actual fruition of smoke, since there is no smoke there."


SECOND, the reason where the opposite is perceived to be contradicted


Within this there are the definition and the divisions.


FIRST, the definition of a reason where the opposite is perceived to be contradicted, is "a perceivable but unperceived true reason for a dharmin said to be known, for which the dharmas to be refuted are non-existent, making it into a sign that is certainly established."


Second the divisions of a reason where the opposite is perceived to be contradicted



Within these, there are true reasons where the opposite is perceived to be contradicted depending on the contradiction of simultaneous non-existence, and on the contradiction of abandoned mutuality.


FIRST true reasons where the opposite is perceived to be contradicted depending on the contradiction of simultaneous non-existence


Within this there are the definition and divisions.


FIRST, the definition of a true reason whose simultaneous non-existence is contradictory is: "a reason where the opposite is perceived to be contradicted that depends on the contradictoriness of not existing simultaneously, and whose own necessary connection is certain."


SECOND, there are three divisions of true reasons where the opposite is perceived to be contradicted depending on the contradiction of simultaneous non-existence:


1) The four perceptions of contradictory nature

2) The four perceptions of contradictory fruition

3) The four perceptions of objects of entailment.


These are twelve in all.


1) the four perceptions of contradictory nature are these:


1.  Perceiving a nature contradicting the nature.

2.  Perceiving a nature contradicting the cause.

3.  Perceiving a nature contradicting the fruition

4.  Perceiving a nature contradicting the class/ khyab byed


These respectively are like the following examples:

The dharmin "a thing on fire all over"


1. continuously cool to the touch;

2.  ...produces the fruition of cold, rising hairs;

3. a real cause of cool touch;

4. continuously without the feel of snow


because it is a thing on fire all over.


2) The four perceptions of contradictory fruition are these:


1.  Perception of fruition contradicting the nature.

2.  Perception of a fruition contradicting the cause.

3.  Perception of a fruition contradicting the fruition.

4.  Perception of a fruition contradicting the genus.


Respectively these are like the following examples:


the dharmin "a thing is pervaded by being compelled to give rise to strong smoke"


1. continuously cold to the touch;

2.  ...has the fruition of cold, rising hairs;

3. a real cause of cool touch;

4. continuously without the feel of snow


because it is thing that is pervaded by being compelled to give rise to strong smoke.


3) perception of a contradictory object of entailment.  There are perception of a object of entailment contradicting nature, cause, fruition, and genus. Examples are: the dharmin "a thing pervaded by a sandalwood fire,"


1. continuously cold to the touch;

2.  ...has the fruition of cold, rising hairs;

3. the real cause of cool touch;

4. continuously without the touch of snow


because it is a thing pervaded by a sandalwood fire.


SECOND, for the true reason depending on perception of contradiction through the contradiction of abandoning what is mutual, there are the definition and the divisions.


FIRST, the definition, "a true reason of conceptual contradiction depending on a contradiction of abandoning what is mutual whose universal connection is necessarily certain," is the definition of this reason of perceived contradiction.  There are two divisions

the FIRST is true reason of conceptual contradiction with the genus.


This is like "the dharmin "sound" is empty of being an eternal real thing because it is produced."


The SECOND is the true reason of conceptual contradiction with a necessary entailment.


This is like "The dharmin "a vase" is not dependent on another object for a cause of destruction, because merely from its own existence, its destruction is certain."

  The number of things to which these two apply is not certain, since there are no known limits to what is not included within them.  Therefore, it is a certainly true reason whose practical scope depends on the number established.





SECOND, merely apparent reasons


Within this there are the definition and the divisions.


FIRST, the definition of a merely apparent reason is "whatever is presented as a reason in which the three modes are not complete."


SECOND, the divisions of a merely apparent reason are


1) the unestablished reason

2) the uncertain reason

3) the contradictory reason.


FIRST  The unestablished reason


Within that are the definition and the divisions.


The definition of the unestablished reason is that what we say is known is not established as it is supposed to be.

the divisions of the unestablished reason


Within this are the reason unestablished in reality and the reason unestablished from the viewpoint of mind.


FIRST, the reason unestablished in reality


Within this there are four kinds, non-establishment because:


1.  ...the subject does not exist

2.  ...the reason does not exist

3.  ...both do not exist

4.  ...both do exist, but are without connection.


FIRST, non-establishment because the subject does not exist, is like the subject "absolute sound."  Though a reason may be presented, the subject does not exist.  Therefore, the presence in the subject of the dharma to which the reason is applied cannot be established.


SECOND, non-establishment because the reason does not exist, is like: "because it is the horn of a rabbit."


THIRD, non-establishment because both do not exist, is like "the dharmin "absolute sound" is permanent, since it is the horn of a rabbit."  Neither subject nor dharma are established.


FOURTH, non-establishment because both do exist but are without connection, within this are three kinds the reason said to be known is not established because


1.  it is impossible

2.  it is not universally so

3.  it has both aspects that are universally so and aspects that are not.


The FIRST because it is impossible is like "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is unhearable."  or "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is apprehended by the eye."


The SECOND because it is not universally so is like, "The dharmin "sound" always precedes the mind."


The third, because it has both aspects that are universally so and aspects that are not  is like "The dharmin "sense-consciousness of the appearance of two moons" is perceptual pramana, since it is free from conception and unconfused.  The subject is established as universally free from conception, but it is not established as unconfused.  So it follows that this is not established as a reason.  Such over-entailment, is uncertain, has an unestablished reason, does not follow...six things like that


SECOND, not being established from the viewpoint of mind.


There are four kinds altogether, non-establishment from the viewpoint of mind of:


1)...the subject


3)...both being established but their connection not being established.


The FIRST is like a jewel being presented as the subject if we are not sure whether it is a jewel, rakshasa vase, or lamp.

The SECOND, it is like, "Since there is freedom from desire, it has been produced, if we are not sure whether there is freedom from desire. Or it is like, "Because there is smoke," if we are in doubt whether what is there is smoke or mist.

The THIRD is like, "The dharmin "a rakshasa vase" is here, since an invisible rakshasa is here."

In the FOURTH there are non-establishment through belief in impossibility, non-entailment, and both.


The FIRST is like "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is produced," for a mind that thinks sound is unproduced.

The SECOND is like, "the dharmin "words" is not self arising, because it is produced by a person," for someone who thinks that some verbal sound is produced and some not.

The THIRD is like, "The dharmin "Indra" is permanent, because Indra both a thing and impermanent,"  from the viewpoint of someone who thinks that, though things for the most part do not endure, gods like Indra may really be permanent."


"Since there is virtue now, there was virtue before," and "By a peacock's cry in the midst of a mountain ravine, a peacock is established," may be uncertain, even though the reason is established."  Gathering together here the others that are depended on in disputation and so forth, there are those like "sound is impermanent, because it arises by effort."  If someone thinks sound always arises from effort, this would be a true reason, and the inference would be established.  Rally, if we think of certain naturally occurring sounds like the sound of water, it is not established for those.  This entails that it is also not established for all sounds, and this should be explained.  The six such kinds have twelve kinds of non-establishment.


SECOND, Uncertain reasons.


Within this there are:


1. The definition

2. The divisions.


FIRST, the definition of uncertain reasons is "a reason that produces doubt as to whether what is to be established has been established."


SECOND, the divisions of uncertain reasons


Within this there are uncertain reasons with no common basis and with a common basis.


Within this are two divisions:


1. Uncertain reasons with no common basis where the characteristics are not different

2. Uncertain reasons with no common basis where a common basis exists does exist, but both the corresponding and non-corresponding classes are instantiated.


The two classes are the corresponding class, and the non-corresponding class,:


FIRST, Uncertain reasons with no common basis where the characteristics are not different


Within the FIRST there are these four sub-divisions:


1. The uncertain reason where subject and reason have no common basis because they are identical.  This is like, "the dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is sound."


2. The uncertain reason where dharma and reason have no common basis because they are identical.  This is like, "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is impermanent."


3. The uncertain reason where basis, reason, and dharma have no common basis because they are identical.  This is like, "The dharmin "sound" is sound, because it is sound."


4.  The uncertain reason with no common basis because the assembled meaning of the basis and dharma and the reason are identical.  This is like, "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is impermanent sound."


77. 16 SECOND, Uncertain reasons with no common basis where a common basis does exist, but both the corresponding and non-corresponding classes are instantiated.  There are four divisions:


1.  The uncertain reason where no common basis is seen because both classes are non-existent.  Neither the corresponding nor the non-corresponding class is seen.  This is like, "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is unheard."  Since both classes are non-existent, they are not seen.


2.  The uncertain reason with no common basis where there is doubt because we cannot observe which of the two classes apply to the subject.  This is because, although both the corresponding and non-corresponding classes exist, neither can be observed.  This is like "The dharmin "this being" has transmigrated from the life of a god, because he has eyes.  We are unable to observe either those with eyes who have transmigrated from the life of a god or those who have not; From not seeing either, we are in doubt.


3.  The uncertain reason with no common basis where the corresponding class exists but is not seen.  This is like, "The dharmin "sound" is permanent, because it is produced," for a disputant who says that vedic sound is permanent and produced from the ultimate nature but not observed. The corresponding class is permanent sound, the non-corresponding class is impermanent sound  From that viewpoint, the corresponding class exists, but is not seen.  However, really what is permanent cannot be produced and there is no permanent sound.


The uncertain reason with no common basis where the non-corresponding class exists but is not seen.  This is like, "the dharmin "the Vedas" is impermanent, because it is produced from the vedic viewpoint which holds the opposite.  The vedic view is that the Vedas have an unproduced eternal existence that cannot be observed by ordinary human beings.  The corresponding class is permanent Vedas.  The non-corresponding class is impermanent Vedas.  From the vedic viewpoint the non-corresponding class exists, but is not observed.


Within the SECOND, reasons where a common basis is uncertain, there are


1) reasons uncertain about a common basis which is a real thing

2) reasons uncertain about a common basis depending on mind that has is uncertain about a remainder.


Within the FIRST, reasons uncertain about a common basis which is a real thing, there are four kinds.


1.  The FIRST is like "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is evaluable.  The reason, "being evaluable" is universally true for both classes, the according class "permanent things" and the non-according class "impermanent things".

2.  The SECOND is like "The dharmin "sound" arises from effort, because it is impermanent."  The reason, "being impermanent" is universally true for the corresponding class, "things that arise from effort," such as "a vase."  The reason applies to some aspects of the non-corresponding class, "things that do not arise from effort" such as "a vase" and does not apply to some aspects, such as "space."


3.  The THIRD is like, "the dharmin "sound" does not arise from effort, because it is impermanent.  The corresponding class has both pervaded and non-pervaded aspects.  The reason applies to some aspects of the corresponding class, "things that do not arise from effort" such as "a vase" and does not apply to some aspects, such as "space.  The reason, "being impermanent" is universally true for the non-corresponding class, "things that arise from effort," such as "a vase."

4  The FOURTH is like "The dharmin "the sound of a conch" is hearable, because it arises from effort."  The according class is hearable things.  Some hearable things like the sound of a conch or trumpet arise from effort, but some like the sound of a waterfall do not.  Some non hearable things like the visual appearances of a painting arise by effort, but others like the visual appearances of a waterfall do not.  For both classes the reason applies to some aspects and does not apply to some aspects.

Another example is "The dharmin "sound" is permanent because it is not touchable for the bye brag pas, a school which says that the atoms of the four elements are permanent and touchable, so that there is a basis of both of these, however that there are impermanent sounds and that some untouchable things are permanent.

Within the SECOND, reasons uncertain about a common basis depending on mind that has a remainder, there are


1) the true uncertain reason having a remainder

2) the contradictory uncertain reason having a remainder.


FIRST, the reason with uncertainty about there being a true remainder


This is like, "The dharmin "this being" is an omniscient being, because of speaking."  The reason is seen (eg. by a non-Buddhist opponent) to apply to the non-corresponding class, ordinary people, but the corresponding class, omniscient beings or buddhas, is not seen.  Mostly beings are not omniscient, but whether there might not be a truly existing remainder of buddhas existing as the corresponding class exists is uncertain to the opponent.


SECOND, the uncertain reason having a contradictory remainder.


This is like "The dharmin "this being" is not an omniscient being, because of speaking."  the corresponding class of non-omniscient beings is seen and the reason, speaking, is seen to apply to it.  The non-corresponding class, omniscient buddhas, is not seen and (the opponent) suspects that it does not exist.  However (the opponent) is uncertain whether there may not be a remainder of omniscient buddhas who speak that would contradict the reason, "All speakers are non-omniscient."


Third, the definition and divisions of the apparent contradictory reason.


FIRST, the definition of the apparent contradictory reason


it is certain that what is to be established by such a reason is erroneously established.


SECOND,  the divisions of the apparent contradictory reason



Within this there are the contradictory reason of real dependence, and the contradictory reason of dependence from the viewpoint of mind.


FIRST, the contradictory reason of real dependence


Within this there are the contradictory reason of erroneous negation and the contradictory reason of erroneous assertion.


The FIRST, the contradictory reason of erroneous negation, is like "the dharmin "a lump of clay devoid of the shape of a bulging belly" is a vase, because it does not appear."  The reason of non-perception eliminates everything.


The SECOND, the contradictory reason of erroneous assertion, is like, "The dharmin sound is permanent, because it is produced."  The natures are contradictory.  Or it is like, "The dharmin "sound" is permanent because it arises from effort."  A permanent fruition is contradictory.  In brief, the fruition's own reason and that which is to be proved are all wrong.



contradiction depending on viewpoint of mind, it is like, "The dharmin the sound of a conch is impermanent, because it is sound," for someone who says that sound is permanent.  If that were true, what is established would be contradictory.

Or it is like, "The dharmin a vase is not newly arisen, because it exists,"  for someone who says that all existence is momentary and hence newly arisen.  The denial is contradictory.  In accepting it we accept a contradiction.  When a mind depends on that, it is really an apparent reason.  It is not a true reason and will never be one.  In reality it is not a proof.  A reason that only seems true to the mind is not properly a true reason.  In reality an apparent reason and a true one should be distinguished. Again it is said.


As said, mere seeming appearance of a genuine reason

Unquestioning, if we mount it quickly as valid reason

The very profound great level of conceptual understanding,

 Will it not readily in an instant be destroyed?


THIRD how to make inferences


There are three parts.  There are three classifications in terms of what is to be analyzed, four in terms of the manner of establishing, and two in terms of the manner of application.

FIRST, classifications of how to make inferences in terms of what is to be analyzed:


All that truly appears

Is therefore primordial equality, and


By continua that are pure, since purity is seen,

One abides in possession of the nature in purity.

In dependence on things there is sure to be arising.

In dependence on non-things there is sure to be imputation.

Therefore things and non-things, are by nature emptiness.

The actual natural state is the basis of emptiness;

And since it is not something different from emptiness,

Inseparable appearance/ emptiness is inexpressible.

It has to be apprehended by personal experience.


By the ultimate madhyamaka that examines the absolute, if we examine by the correct reasoning of speech, in the genuine reality of the natural state, all this that appears as samsara, nirvana, and so forth has always been primordial equality without distinctions of good and evil and so forth.

Therefore, if we analyze with the ultimate correct reasoning that examines the conventional, as taught in vajrayana, since within our own pure continuum, only the pure environment and inhabitants of the mandala are seen.  All that exists has the pure nature of the natural state.

Things arise in dependence on some kind of cause and conditions.  Non-things do not arise from cause and conditions,   but are imputed depending on that which is to be refuted being completely eliminated.

Therefore neither things like a vase and non-things like emptiness that hinders a vase are established in the natural state.  They are empty by and of their own nature.

In reality, the ultimate, natural state of suchness, neither a thing that is empty, such as a vase, nor the emptiness that eliminates it, have separate individual characteristics.  Apparent objects such as a vase and the emptiness of their not being established are both inseparably empty from the time they appear, and apparent from the time they are empty.

This is not within the sphere of words or conceptions.  It is inexpressible by any nouns, adjectives, and so forth at all.  Someone may think, "Well then who realizes it?  it is realized by individual, personal wisdom.


SECOND, how to make inferences in terms of the manner of establishing:


As many aspects of assertion as there may be

May all be summarized under "has" and "is."

As many aspects of negation as there may be

May all be summarized under "has not" and "is not."


FIRST establishment


As many aspects as there may be that are included and established in the world are summed up under establishment as existing, and establishment as having such and such characteristics.


SECOND negation


As many aspects as there may be that are excluded and denied can be summarized under the two kinds of negation.  These are the following:


1.  Non-affirming negation is complete absence that does not bring in any other dharma.

2.  Affirming negation that is not complete absence and does bring in other dharmas.


If so, the characteristic of establishment should be realized by the mind with complete definiteness and certainty, 


The divisions of establishment


in the divisions of establishment there are the establishment of appearance and the establishment of elimination.


FIRST establishment of appearance


The definition of establishment of appearance is that it "is realized with complete definiteness by non-conceptual knowledge."

The basis of characterization of establishment of objects of appearance is individual characteristics of objects of appearance.


SECOND, the establishment of elimination


The definition of the establishment of elimination is "conceptual mind realizes exaggeration with complete definiteness and certainty."  Other existences that are so characterized are eliminated.


SECOND, negation/ refutation


the definition of negation/ refutation is that what is refuted is "understood by the mind to be completely cut off."

The divisions of negation/ refutation are:


1.  affirming negation

2.  non-affirming negation.


FIRST, affirming negation


The definition of affirming negation.  "What is to be negated or refuted by conceptual mind, after its negation or refutation has become completely certain, should be realized as completely cut off."  This and eliminative assertion or establishment have the same meaning.


SECOND, non-affirming negation


The definition of non-affirming negation, "when existence or establishment has been completely cut off for that which is to be negated by conceptual mind, it should be realized as exclusively cut off without remainder."  This has the same meaning as absolute negation.





Third, how to make inferences in terms of the manner of engagement:



Depending on pramana, after classification

Of assertions and denials has been properly ascertained,

Then moreover, in accord with correct reasoning,

Establishments and refutations are expounded.

As for refutation, there are three classifications,

These are reasons established by asserting one's own thesis,

Those depending on proclamations of another,

And refutation that states the consequence of a position.


In general, first the object to be evaluated by oneself is made unobscured.  The object to be established is established using valid pramana of undeceived perception and inference.  One produces certainty for oneself by refuting what is wrong and establishing what is right.

Inference for others depends on such a previous presentation of valid inference for one's own benefit.  For other disputants, since what the topic to be evaluated is like is not realized and wrongly conceived by them, the same sense formerly seen by oneself is shown to accord with correct reasoning. It is made very clear.  We establish our own tradition as suitable and present refutations of the unsuitable positions of others.  The tshad ma mdo says:


As for inference for the benefit of others,

The meaning seen by oneself is completely clarified.


The rigs pa'i thigs pa says:


Inference for the benefit of others is said to be a reason with the three modes, because the cause is imputed as the fruition.  There are two divisions, proper and improper.


According to what is said there, establishment and refutation are divided into four kinds:


1  genuine establishment

2. merely apparent establishment

3. genuine refutation

4. merely apparent refutation.


FIRST, genuine establishment


Truly establishing speech and valid inference for the benefit of others have the same meaning.


The definition of truly establishing speech is


"speech possessing the two limbs of teaching, which show the three modes of syllogism to the opponent."  This is done:


1.  without anything omitted or spurious

2.  by the reasoning established by a disputant's own pramana.


The divisions of truly establishing speech are:


1) truly establishing speech in which the forward entailment and the presence of the dharma in the subject accord


2) proper non-connection establishing speech.


This is truly establishing speech in which the reversed entailment and presence of the dharma in the subject do not accord


FIRST,truly establishing speech in which the forward entailment and the presence of the dharma in the subject accord


This is like, "whatever is produced is impermanent, for example a vase, and sound too is produced, isn't it?  Then it must also be permanent.


The presence of the dharma in the subject and forward entailment are shown to an opposing disputant.


SECOND properly-disconnected establishing speech


This is like, "What is permanent is not produced, for example, like space.  But sound is produced, isn't it?  So how can it be permanent?"


The presence of the dharma in the subject and the reversed entailment, are shown to the opposing disputant.


SECOND, apparently establishing speech


the definition of apparently establishing speech is what is presented as establishing speech, but has some sort of fault.  

The divisions of apparently establishing speech are:


(1 faults of mind

(2 faults of meaning

(3 faults of words.


The FIRST, faults of mind, is like, "The dharmin "mental ease" is without mind, since it is has birth and destruction.



The SECOND, faults of meaning, is like, "The dharmin "sound" is permanent, since it is any thesis and corresponding class at all.

The third, faults of words, is like "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, since it is produced.  For example like a vase.  Sound too is produced.  Therefore, it too is impermanent."

Here there is the fault that the thesis, the reason, the example, and the conclusion entailed are run together.


The definition of true refutation is "speech that tells why a fault is a fault, so that we can understand it."


The divisions of true refutation are:


(1 refutation of a reason for one's own benefit, having the three modes according to inference, after the reasons have been established within one's own continuum.


(2 refutations depending on the assertions of another, if the three modes of those assertions are not complete, by telling the consequences.

As for the respective objects characterized, here is what is said in order to refute an opposing disputant who says that sound is permanent, but produced.

For ourselves we establish, "The dharmin "sound" is impermanent, because it is produced."  Then for the opponent we say:  "From what you say it follows that the dharmin "sound" is unproduced, because it is permanent."

Setting out a proof using that reason, we draw the undesired consequence.  If that is properly done, we reveal and bring out various necessary consequences of the reason established by pramana or asserted by the opponent.


SECOND, apparent refutation.


The definition of apparent refutation is "a refutation presented in speech that has a fault, but where the one who presents it does not understand that it is faulty."


Truly drawing out the consequences of what has been said


The definition of truly drawing out the consequences of what has been said, is "speech drawing consequences that are irrefutable by one who receives them."


Apparent drawing of consequences of what has been said


The definition of merely apparent drawing of consequences is that it is "speech such that the one who receives it can refute these consequences."


SECOND, within the divisions of apparent refutation,


 there are the actual presentation and the summary of the meaning.


FIRST, The actual presentation of apparent refutation 


Within that there are conventional pramana and the pramana that examines the absolute.


FIRST, Conventional pramana:


The way that things appear within the conventional

Does not coincide, with the way things really are.

There are two pramanas of all the conventional.

These depend on the impure seeing of this side

And pure vision, as with the human and deva eye.

These two are distinguished in essence, cause, fruition, and action.

The mind that is not deceived about temporary objects

Arises from having properly grasped its appropriate object.

Clearing exaggeration from objects perceived on this side,

It will completely grasp the meaning of situations.

Vast wisdom arises from having perception of the nature.

Clearing exaggeration from inconceivable objects,

It has as its fruition the knowledge of extent.


Within the conventional, relative truth, individual appearances which accord and do not are distinguished.  These are appearances in which the way things appear coincide with the way things are, and those in which they do not.  As either according with the way things are or the lack of it applies truly and universally without qualification,  There are two pramanas that evaluate these two situations.  These are:


1.  The impure, worldly pramana of all the conventional which sees from this side.

2.  The pramana of all the conventional depending on the pure seeing of the noble ones.


An example of the first is the human eye, which sees only its own object.  An example of the second is the divine eye, which sees former situations as well as its own object.


Distinction of impure and pure pramana


  These two pramanas are distinguished in four ways in terms of essence, cause, fruition, and action.


FIRST, for the impure, worldly pramana of all the conventional which sees from this side


Its essence is mind that is not deceived about the situation of its appropriate object, a temporary knowable.


Its cause arises from having truly and properly grasped things as they are in terms of the appropriate objects of situational pramana.


Its action is clearing away the exaggerated errors of the seeing of this side.


Its fruition is completely grasping situations that occur without error


SECOND, the pramana of all the conventional depending on the pure seeing of the noble ones 


Its essence is wisdom that is not deceived about the vast sphere of the extent of knowables.


its cause is having truly perceived the nature, the simplicity of how things are, in meditation.


its action clears away exaggerated conceptions about objects that are inconceivable to the mind that sees from this side.


its fruition is the wisdom that knows the extent of knowables.


With that we reach the buddhas' vision of trikaya.  This is the profound instruction of the vidyadhara gurus of the three lineages, the instructions of the three dharmas by the learned and accomplished lords of the three families.  These depths of mind-samaya revealed by former learned and accomplished vidyadharas was again revealed in the valleys of the Land of Snow by the jamyang guru Mipham Rinpoche.  He had the three-fold eye that sees the three realms of things to be evaluated in the sutras, tantras, and treatises.


Now this is said:


In the pramana that analyzes conventional truth

Are conventional pramana of impure seeing of this side

And conventional pramana of the pure seeing of the aryas.

The only proper thing is to make this distinction early.




Within the absolute there are also two divisions,

The accountable and the unaccountable absolute.

The pramana that analyzes for absolute truth

That evaluates these two is also of two kinds.


Within absolute truth,


FIRST there is the accountable absolute, emptiness as a mere non-affirming negation.  It refutes the arising, enduring, and so forth of the objects of consciousness of the situations of post meditation. They are shown to be non-arising, non-enduring and so forth.


SECOND there is the unaccountable absolute.  Here the objects of the ultimate wisdom of meditation are free from all complexities of the extremes of arising or not arising, existing or not existing and so forth.


There are also two kinds of pramana that evaluate these two kinds of absolute truth:


1) The pramana that examines the accountable absolute.

2) The pramana that examines the unaccountable absolute.


As ways to resolve absolute truth both in stages and as a unity, according to the essences of post-meditation and meditation, and in terms of the accountable and unaccountable absolute two schools called svatantrika and prasangika madhyamaka arose.  These schools are defined by respectively 


1  accepting and not accepting individual characteristics conventionally


2  establishing reasons as their own theses, or merely as consequences of the views of others; 


3  joining or not joining what is to be refuted to the absolute; 


3  proclaiming or not proclaiming that the dharmin has a common appearance with the absolute.


However, presenting such distinctions as these is merely making distinctions about their limbs.  Here is the real distinction between the two:

Svatantrika first brings out the two truths of post-meditation by the power of distinguishing prajña, and then resolves it with the proclamation of the situational accountable absolute.  Having done so, it then enters the stage of the ultimate, unaccountable absolute that is free from all proclamations.

Prasangika from the first having taught meditation as the inseparability of the two truths, the unity of appearance and emptiness, the unaccountable absolute truth, as thought-transcending ineffable sudden wisdom.

Here are the bases of distinguishing svatantrika madhyamaka and prasangika:  For Svatantrika, in accord with evaluating the two truths by individual pramanas, one's own assertions of them as separate exist, and from that for others, reasons established by pramana as their own theses, are presented chiefly as syllogisms to overcome the confidence of opponents.  For that reason they are called svatantrikas = those who present their own theses.

The prasangikas remain free from all assertions about the complexities of the four extremes, but in disputing the assertions of others by presenting the consequences of the reasons presented by their opponents, they eliminate wrong conceptions.  For that reason they are called prasangikas.

Respectively, as for the characteristics of the svatantrika and prasangika madhyamaka, the definition of svatantrika is "madhyamaka exponents who explain emphasizing assertions and teaching of the accountable absolute."  Those who teach with explanations emphasizing the unaccountable absolute free from all assertions are the prasangikas = those who draw out consequences.

In brief, from the teaching of the masters of svatantrika and prasangika having styles of explanation emphasizing the accountable and unaccountable absolute there arise the two streams of doctrine of svatantrika and prasangika.  However, as for the ultimate great ocean of realization, without divisions or mixing up of higher or lower views they should be known to be of one taste.  That is very important.

The way things are conventionally is the ultimate great purity and the way things are is the absolute great equality.


Those who teach that view of the inseparable truth of purity and equality as liberation use whatever means they have of trying to see it that way.  So the kind ones teach.


THIRD, as for abandoning contention


Within this are the general teaching and the particulars.


FIRST, the general teaching of abandoning contention


Within this are abandoning contention about what is:



unestablished, and



As for the FIRST, abandoning contention about what is impossible:


Mind with thoughts or mind that is without any thoughts,

As with two moons, or dreaming, or taking a rope for a snake,

Has confused aspects and aspects that are unconfused.

There is the classification of pramana and non-pramana.

If there is no pramana and no non-pramana,

Since it will never be possible to make the valid distinction

That the confused is false and the non-confused is true,

Established doctrine will not be able to exist.


Some may think that even if there is pramana it cannot possibly be unconfused; but there is unconfused sense and mental consciousness, with no conceptualizations grasped in a way that mixes word and meaning.  There is also mind consciousness with conceptual thought that has an unconfused grasp of mixing of word and meaning.

Also there is confused non-conceptual sense consciousness, such as one moon appearing to be two.  There is confused non-conceptual mind consciousness, such as in a dream.  there is confused conceptual mind consciousness, such as in a mind that grasps a multi-colored rope as a snake.

Within both conceptual and non-conceptual consciousnesses these confused and unconfused aspects are distinguished.  Because unconfused awareness is not deceived, it is pramana; and because confused awareness is deceived, it is not pramana.  These individual classifications are established by correct reasoning from the power of the thing itself.

If we could not distinguish pramana and non-pramana, we would not be able to distinguish what is false because it is confused, and what is true because it is unconfused.  It would follow that we could not establish that the heretical doctrines of outsiders are false, and that Buddhist doctrine is true.


SECOND, abandoning contention about what is unestablished:


If we have genuinely examined and analyzed

Pramana and non-pramana of perception and inference,

Whatever sorts of classifications there may be,

And whatever sorts of complexities may occur in those,

These are all established as emptiness of essence.


There is freedom from all complexities like the heat of fire,

Yet all that exists as conventional complexity,


is inseparable with this as appearance/ emptiness.

Within all dharmas, upaya is found mixed with its source.

We cannot refute the one and still establish the other.


If someone thinks, "such emptiness therefore cannot established as absolute," if true reality, or the natural state of suchness, is examined and analyzed by the correct reasoning that examines for the absolute, the pramanas of sense and inference, as well as that which is non-pramana of sense and inference, objects and perceivers that are verbally established as well as those that are refuted, each and every one of these classifications of complexities is established as emptiness, free from all the extremes of complexity.

Therefore the nature free from all the complexities of existence, non-existence, both, and neither, exists universally within all conventional complexities, as heat does in fire.  For that reason, appearances like a vase and the emptiness of their not truly existing are never separate.

  Since this exists within all conventionalities, appearance, which is upaya, and emptiness, which is the source of upaya, are mixed.  That after refuting one, such as the conventional, the other, such as the absolute, is established, or that after refuting the absolute, the relative is established, is impossible.  This is because the natural state of things is the inseparable truth of appearance/ emptiness.  Therefore, the Heart Sutra says:


Form is emptiness.  Emptiness itself is form.  Form is no other than emptiness.  Emptiness is no other than form.


So the teachings were bestowed, after the arisen complexities of the four extremes of existence, non-existence, both, and neither had been refuted.


THIRD, abandoning contention about what is unnecessary:


Not examining pramana and non-pramana,

Only by worldly seeing, might we enter the absolute?

Indeed, the possibility cannot be refuted.

But as for those who see that "This arises from that,"

By this very dependence on the world's perception

There is inference that penetrates to the truth,

They do not use its name, but have not abandoned truth.


As it says here, pramana and non-pramana are not individually examined, according to prasangika tradition.  Someone may ask whether having proclaimed relatively merely whatever conventionalities are seen within the world, since we are able to enter directly into the absolute, it might not be unnecessary to classify things in terms of pramana and non-pramana.

It is indeed true that we can never refute that someone without the classifications of pramana and non-pramana might still enter into the absolute.

Nevertheless the worldly perception that sees that from this cause, the seed, this fruition, the sprout, arises, and sees that this fruition, the sprout, arises from its cause, the seed, and so forth, is also pramana.  Depending on these perceptual reasons, there is penetration to whether hidden objects exist or not.  This is inference, as well as the reasoning that establishes the absolute.

Therefore worldly people too, though they do not clearly distinguish the names of pramana and non-pramana and designate things by them, do not really abandon the classifications of pramana and non-pramana.  Since worldly people produce negation and assertion, acceptance and rejection, entering and relinquishing, they very much need the classification of pramana.


Within the SECOND there are abandoning contention in conventional analysis, abandoning contention in absolute analysis, and a common summary.


FIRST, abandoning contention in conventional analysis:


If there were not the two conventional pramanas,

The noble ones' pure seeing would have to be called false.

Impure seeing of a white conch as yellow

Would then not properly be either true or false.


Someone may think that conventional is single, and that one pramana analyzing it is enough and two unsuitable.

Well what if, within the pramana that analyzes the conventional, no distinction were made between the pramana of all the conventional depending on pure vision and the pramana of all the conventional of the impure seeing of this side.  Then there would be only the pramana of the seeing of this side.  No pure pramana other than this would exist.  That within a single atom there are as many buddha fields as there are atoms, that there is sugatagarbha, that the pure phenomenal world is a universal, divine mandala--such pure visions would be false.

Moreover, it would never be acceptable to say that a conch shell is truly classified as white and falsely as yellow.  This is because there would be nothing else but a single pramana of whatever is seen on this side.


SECOND, abandoning contention in absolute analysis:


If absolute analysis were not two-fold in nature,

The union of the two truths could never come about.

The absolute would fall into extremes of concepts,

And it would destroy itself by doing so.


Someone may ask, "Well isn't there just a single absolute truth?  So why isn't one pramana enough to analyze for it?  What need is there for two?"

What if no distinction were made between the pramana that examines for the accountable absolute and the pramana that examines for the unaccountable absolute?  Then we would be saying that the accountable absolute alone, the conceptually realized path of emptiness as non-affirming negation is the ultimate.  This path has neither an ultimate natural state or exaggerations of it.  Within it inseparable appearance emptiness, the meaning of the unity of the two truths, can never be realized, and is, in fact, impossible.

Since there would be only the complexities of non-affirming negation and so forth, even the absolute would fall into the extremes of complexity.  In that case the absolute too would be a complexity.  The absolute truth, the way things are, as well as the correct reasoning that examines the absolute and the pramana that examines the absolute, could not be innately or autonomously established and so would be destroyed.


Third, the common summary:


If the relative, what is analyzed, is unestablished,

The analyzing mind, and self awareness too,

When analyzed, are not established, like the moon in water.

The ultimate truth, which is inseparable, single truth

Exists as nirvana, unqualified reality.


Since all dharmas whatever are that ultimate,

It is the inseparable kaya of knowledge and knowables,

Appearance for wisdom free from any center or limit.


In terms of the way things are, ultimate suchness, the object to be analyzed, the relative, is not established as real.  The natures of the mind that analyzes are its seven collections of consciousness and self-awareness.  If these too are examined and analyzed with the correct reasoning that examines for the absolute, they are not established either. They are no more established than, for example, the moon in water.

If such a natural state is the ultimate, these conventional appearances primordially appearing as empty are the single, unified truth of nature in which the two truths are not individually distinguished, is the primordial field of nirvana.  This naturally established nirvana is unreservedly true.  Within it, all dharmas are equal to that, and so there are no dharmas except for dharmadhatu.  Within this supreme emptiness possessing all the supreme aspects, knowable dharmas never fall away from that.  They too are the ultimate.  This is the appearance of the kayas and wisdoms, in which knower and known are inseparable, naturally without center and limit.


SECOND, the action of the kayas and wisdoms, the four reliances


Within this there are the general teaching, and the explanation of the particulars.  As for the FIRST, the general teaching:


Those in whom this vast profound good eye of prajña

Has opened are the children of the Sugata.

From these beings who are of great intelligence

The path on which they go ought to be well discerned.


This is the way of the sutra and the mantra vehicles,

Which is so hard to attain within the diversions of time,


Therefore let us not make it into something fruitless.

Those of brilliant intelligence who have the four reasonings,

Never abandon others.  By this discrimination,

The four reliances will certainly be produced.


If we do not have an attitude like this,

It is like a blind man leaning on his staff.

Due to opinion and words, and easy understanding,

We will misunderstand the four reliances.


As explained above, after the good eye of spotless prajña has opened, with the correct reasoning of the profound absolute and vast relative, we are sugatas, buddha bhagavats.  The path of a sugata's heart sons of supremely great intelligence, the bodhisattvas, is the good path that dwells neither in samsara or peace, but has gone into nirvana.  Let us work hard with the means of seeing this.  Now within this world realm of forbearance, among the thousand and two guides of the good kalpa, like a mind-produced white lotus, the praiseworthy supreme leader, the son of king Zetsang, the Buddha, has taught in the extensive style the precious vehicles of the teachings of the sutras and tantras.  this is very hard to obtain.  However, from the power of collecting hundreds of our former merits, when the time for the auspicious connection of aspiration and karma has come, it is obtained.  The taste of this is not now experienced within our continuum.  Do not enter into the free and well favored situation without the fruition of listening.  So those who wish for liberation are instructed by the kindly ones.

It may be asked, "Is such a good path to be seen?"  The four correct reasonings are the correct reasoning of productive action, the correct reasoning of dependency, the correct reasoning of nature, and the correct reasoning of suitable establishing.  The intellect having the spotless appearance of the four correct reasonings not following the speech of others, not making itself dependent on others, having the power of undefiled examination of its own correct reasoning from the power of things themselves, depends on these four correct reasonings.  By so doing, the four reliances that are being explained, must certainly be produced within our continuum.

By our own power, as explained above, if we do not also have analyzing intellect, it is like being without eyes and having to rely on a staff.  If we do not examine the world, we will therefore only follow opinion, and grasp things only verbally.  If we produce only the easy reasons of the external provisional meaning and the sphere of consciousness, the four reliances will gradually be abandoned.


The four reliances are as follows:


1.  Not relying on the individual, but relying on the dharma;

2.  Not relying on the words of the dharma, but on their meaning;

3.  Not relying on the provisional meaning, but the true meaning;

4.  Not relying on the true meaning within consciousness, but within wisdom.




The great commentary on Kalachakra dri med 'od says:


The four reliances are like this:


1) Rely on the Dharma, not on the individual

2) Rely on the meaning, not on the words

3) Rely on the true meaning, not the provisional meaning

4) Rely on wisdom, not on consciousness.


SECOND, the four reliances,




Therefore, do not rely on individuals.

It is the holy Dharma that we should rely upon.

One is liberated by the speaking, not the speaker,

Of the true path established by proper reasoning.


If it has been properly taught by anyone,


It will do its job whoever the speaker may be.

The Sugata himself by his power of taming

Emanated as butchers and similar kinds of people.

If the teachings contradict the meaning of mahayana,

The seeming teacher, however good, will not succeed.


If we do not have the kind of intellect described above that examines by its own power, it is taught that the four reliances will be reversed.  For this reason, not relying on individuals as individuals, the mind should rely on the dharma they teach.  The true means of liberation is the path established by the power of correct reasoning from the things themselves.  We are liberated by this being spoken without confusion, but not by the speaker alone.  Therefore do not rely on the individual but on the Dharma.

For this reason, when any being speaks about the true path established by correct reasoning, it is appropriate; this is so whether that particular speaker is good, bad, or whatever.  Even the Sugata, the Buddha himself, by his power that necessarily tames beings, emanated as explained above and in other ways.

If the expressible essential meaning of the mahayana is just emptiness free from the complexities of the four extremes, which is what is known as the view of the Chinese Hwa Shang; and if it accords just with the absolute as examined by correct reasoning; and if this is said to be the ultimate, absolute truth and so forth; and if this is what is taught, That contradicts the tradition of mahayana.  the teacher is behaving in a style of mere imitation and so forth.  However "good" such person may be, it will be of no help.  Even evil-doer maras may emanate as seeming to be buddhas with the major and minor marks, perfect in action, but teaching a dharma that reverses the mahayana and so forth.




Even when we have heard and contemplated the Dharma,

Do not rely on the words, rely instead on the meaning.

If we realize the meaning, whatever words we say,

There will be no contradiction in what is said.


Desiring verbal expressions to realize their meaning.

Understand them in terms of the meaning of their message.

 Busying oneself with verbal complexities

Is like searching for an elephant we have already found.


If wanting words, we go our way with merely words,

Discursive thoughts are not exhausted, but increase.

Becoming farther and farther removed from the actual meaning,

Is the cause of silly fools' completely exhausting themselves.


Yet even a single word, a little "and" or "but,"

If it reveals that the object, is inexhaustible,

By this alone and nothing more there will be suchness.


This is the exhaustion of any need for words.

If a finger points to the moon, a fool looks at the finger.

If fools depend on words alone and think they know,

The time of really knowing is difficult to find.


Even when we cut through the exaggerations of hearing and contemplating the Dharma, the mind should not rely on the expressing words, but on the expressed meaning.  If the expressed meaning is realized as it is, the expressing words, whether expressed in good verses or bad and so on, will be suitable and without contradiction.  As for the need of words, for the sake of realizing the meaning, the expression of human beings is wished for, and therefore symbols are joined together as a message.

These should be understood to be words spoken for the purposes of a particular situation.  If that is understood, and later we devote ourselves to complexities of words, it is like, for example, someone who has lost an elephant and, even when it is found, still keeps on looking for it.  This is like that.

  Having given credence and been attached only to words, if only words are extensively and genuinely being dealt with, not only discursive thoughts, but verbal complexities as well, increase inexhaustibly.  We wander farther and farther from the meaning to be understood.  Since the meaning is not realized, we are childish fools.  Such mere words are only a cause of exhaustion.

Take, for example the utterance, "Bring wood!"  If the places, times, and details and so forth are fully revealed, that may indeed yield inexhaustible extremes of the meaning, but even so, one will not necessarily understand what was really meant.

If the meaning on that occasion of use, "You Bring that wood over here" is understood, the intention of the expressing words is that alone.

If a person points his finger to show the moon to fools, the fools do not know they are supposed to look at the moon, but look at the finger instead.  Just so, fools are attached only to the expressing words, and if they do not discriminate the expressed meaning, but only the expressing words, and think they understand the expressed meaning, it will be very hard for them to reach a time when they really do understand.  The Great Commentary on Kalachakra says:


Even in barbarous dialects and in broken words,

Those in yogic union convey a grasp of the meaning

As there is truly milk mixed into the water,

When it naturally comes to the top, then they will drink it down.


The absolute itself is the sort of object

Where the great ones never will rely on words.

Those who know what is actually meant by the names of objects,

What use will they have then for wordy of treatises?


Also the great gnubs sangs rgyas ye shes said in his Lamp of the Eye of Meditation:


And so, in brief, knowing the meaning is much better than learning.


The Mirror of Dharma says:


An ocean of collected verbiage is not learning.

But understanding a single word is the very best kind.


The Lankavatara Sutra says:


What is called "having heard much," is being competent with the meaning, rather than just the words.


It should be understood by what is taught there.




If we enter fully into the meaning of this,


Having come to know the true and provisional meanings,

Not putting our reliance on the provisional meaning,

Instead we should rely on the meaning that is true.


The omniscient one himself by using his omniscience,

Considers the powers and abilities of those to be tamed.

As for the stages and vehicles being in accord with those,

They are taught to be like the rungs of a ladder.


Whoever has realized what is their basic intention

Then goes by the eight concealed intentions and intentions. 

Going literally by pramana Is something to be destroyed.

The teachings exist for that reason. In the four schools of doctrine


And in the vehicles up to the ultimate vajra vehicle,

Parts that are not understood by the lower ones

Have been explained by the higher ones.

Then what accords with scripture is made even greater by reason.

When it has been seen, the true meaning will be grasped.

Like milk rising out of water, is the play of supreme intelligence

Within the ocean of speech of all the victorious ones.


The profundity of vajrayana is also sealed

With six extremes and four ways of interpreting,

With the accompaniment the lineage instructions,

By undefiled correct reasoning they must be resolved.

All dharmas, eternally pure, are one in the great equality.

That is the meaning resolved by the two authentic pramanas

In the style of the paramitas, and of the developing stage,

The perfecting stage and also that of the great perfection;


In these manners the general designation of words

Enters into the ultimate pith without contradiction.

We gain the deepest certainty about their meaning.

That limitless Dharma treasure of supreme intelligence,

Is the victory banner of teachings of scripture and realization

That waves in the hands of the children of the Victorious One.


If we enter completely into the expressed meaning of the excellent speech of the teachings by hearing and contemplating, we will have come to know how to distinguish the provisional meaning and true meaning taught by the Victorious One.  Our mind will not rely on the provisional meaning; but on the true meaning.  The knowledge that perceives the nature and extent of knowables, and all dharmas without obscuration, is buddhahood.

By that, through omniscience about the place where there are those to be tamed, the means of taming them, and so forth,in accord with the perceptual constituents, powers of mind, and thoughts of those to be tamed, for the sake of leading them gradually to the level of omniscience, there are the stages of vehicles for entering the gate.  These go from that of the shravaka Vaibhashikas all the way up to ati yoga, the highest unsurpassable secret of vajrayana.  They have been taught to be, for example, like the rungs of a ladder.  The Shrimahanirvana Sutra says:


Like the gradual stages of a ladder's rungs

My profound teachings should be earnestly studied stage by state

Not skipping anything, going through the whole succession.


This is also found in the tantras of Anuyoga.  The sangs rgyas thams cad kyi dgongs pa 'dus pa'i spyi mdo chen po says:


As for the vehicle of the true absolute,

The appearance of truth is in a three-fold way:

As the vehicles of the guide who shows the origin,

Heroic practice, and means that transform our powers.


As is said there, the types of minds of those who are to be tamed are summarized under superior, intermediate, and lesser.  If each of these again is divided into three, there are the stages of the nine vehicles.  The second buddha of Uddiyana in his great commentary on Properly Pronouncing the Name of Mañjushri called the Blazing Lights of the Sun and Moon said:


The minds of sentient beings who are to be tamed are higher, intermediate, and lesser.  By each of these three being again divided into three, there are nine.  They are not said to be easy to understand.


The lowest three teach the three collections of characteristics.

The middle three teach the three collections of yoga.

The highest three teach the three aspects of developing and perfection.


In regard to the distinctions in the powers of beings, the rin po che snang byed says:


By distinctions of minds there are nine stages of the vehicles.

Explaining view and action in their own discordant ways.


Of the Dharmas of the nine vehicles, the various lower ones are the provisional meaning, and the various higher ones are the true meaning.


What are the provisional and true meanings?  The omniscient dharmaraja Longchen Rabjam explains the precious key to evaluating them like this:


As for the classifications of the provisional meaning and true meaning, the nature of all dharmas is the space of suchness, naturally pure, seeing the luminous nature of mind.  Because it is naturally pure, it is the unchanging essence of space, beyond birth, enduring, and cessation.  This is the true epitome of all the words of the teacher and of all the treatises.  The dharmin, all that appears, arising and ceasing, coming and going, pure and impure, skandhas, dhatus, and ayatanas, and such various details are appearances like a dream.  All teachings that analyze and exaggerate the details of speech, thought, and expression are known as the provisional meaning.  In the words of the teacher and all the treatises, this is included within the relative.  For example.  "The nature of mind like the sky."  If in speech, expression, or thought there is pride about this, it too is relative.  The nature of the absolute is the true meaning which is really so.




The dbu ma bsam gyis mi khyab par bstod pa says:


The emptiness of all dharmas

Is the true meaning as is taught.

What is born, ceases, and so forth

The lives of beings and so forth

Is taught as provisional meaning,

And as the relative.


The Shri Samadhiraja Sutra says:


As the teacher, the Sugata, has taught them,

Know the particulars of the true meaning sutras.


Wherever individual sentient beings are taught

Know that all those dharmas are the provisional meaning.


The 'phags pa lo gros mi zad pa bstan pa'i mdo says:


What are the sutras of the true meaning? What are the sutras of the provisional meaning?  Sutras taught for the purpose of entering the path are those of the provisional meaning.  Sutras taught for the purpose of entering into the fruition are those of the true meaning.

Sutras that explain ego, sentient being, life, persons, and individuals, those born of Manu, self, the doer, the experiencer, and various words, and those that teach egolessness along with ego are of the provisional meaning.

Sutras that teach emptiness, no characteristics, non-aspiration, not collecting anything, the unborn, the non-arising, no things, and no ego, no sentient beings, no life, no individuals, and no interval until egolessness and liberation, these are those of the true meaning.  As for these, it is said that we should rely on the sutras of the true meaning and not on the sutras of the provisional meaning.


In brief, the nature of the natural state and the sutras that teach it are the true meaning.  The many means of entering into its nature, the impure, confused Dharmas that guide the minds of sentient beings there and all teachings about their divisions and so forth are the provisional meaning and Dharmas of the provisional meaning.

In this way a mirror for looking at Dharmas and a first key to distinguishing them is taught.  In order that these may be clarified and the nature of the intended meaning realized, the presentation of the distinction between the intentions and concealed intentions must be explained.  These are understandings explained with a little exaggeration, having a purpose to which we are not explicitly guided.

First to instruct in the meaning of the Sanskrit word "tsaa twa ro a bhi pra ya," it refers to the four intentions.



Regarding those the Sutrala.mkara says:


Equality, other purposes

Likewise other times

And thoughts of individuals

Are the four intentionalities.


As is taught there, because of the purpose, as for having other intentions


with the intention of equality, the Buddha taught, "I at that time became the Buddha rnam par gzigs."

The intention of other objects is like saying "all dharmas are essenceless, there is not form, feeling and such, with the intention that they are not non-existent as mere conventionalities, but in the absolute.

The intention of other times, is like teaching that just by apprehending the name of a buddha we will be born in his buddha field.  It is not certain that this will occur as soon as this life is over, but the intention is that it will certainly happen at some point.

the intention of the thoughts of individuals, is like discipline being praised, and generosity being said to be lower to someone having the thought that just generosity is enough.  Here in truth discipline is nobler than generosity.  Here each case has its own purpose.


SECOND "tsaa twa aa bhi sa ndi," to instruct in the meaning of that word, there is also concealed intention.  The Sutrala.mkara says:


There are the concealed intention of entering

The concealed intention of definitions/ characteristics,

The concealed intention of antidotes,

And the concealed intention of transformation.


These concealed intentions are mostly not to be grasped verbally, but are brought to apprehension by other phenomena.

The concealed intention of entering is called that because the shravaka teachings enter gradually.  When here it is taught that there is individual egolessness, but that dharmas such as form exist, the hidden intention is that they exist merely in relative truth.

As for concealed intention of characteristics, from the intention of the mtshan nyid gsum, the 3 natures of yogachara, having intended the absolute, it is like teaching essencelessness and primordial nirvana and so forth.

The concealed intention of antidotes gnyen po ldem por dgongs pa, is called that because it eliminates that which is to be abandoned from the continuua of those who are to be tamed.  Having grasped that buddhahood is in both the excellent and the inferior, beings may therefore abandon trying to attain it, and there will be the vision of buddhahood explained above.  If like that they think that the Dharma is easy to obtain, if it is said, "the antidotes attained are like those gained by worshipping as many buddhas as the sands of the river Ganges, then a wish for the mahayana Dharma will arise.  The concealed intention is that that is what is taught to happen after realization is attained.

For a lazy person who thinks, "I cannot learn the path," because of laziness, it is said, "If you 


aspire to the pure realm of Sukhavati you will be born there.  For such sayings the intention is that it will occur at another time.

Having disparaged those who grasp merely small virtuous roots as enough, praising other virtuous roots has an intention for individuals with thoughts like the above.  That is what expressed by means of those four intentions

Moreover, though it is not the real intention, having regarded or intended it in that way only for the thought of those individuals, for those who have pride in family, their bodies, or wealth, by praising other fields and individuals, they will have a lessened perception of themselves, they will perceive their own situation as inferior.

As an antidote to those who desire defiled objects, world-transcending wealth is highly praised.

It is taught that those who because they have done evil deeds of harming holy objects and so forth, repented, their minds are filled with great longing, and that when they harmed the buddhas and bodhisattvas they made a connection with virtue.  The intention is that having confessed or exhausted their faults, that eventually they will act virtuously.

For those whose bodhicitta is uncertain and who have a desire to turn away from the mahayana it is taught that there is no vehicle but that one.  The intention is that the individual fruitions of the three incidental vehicles will not be attained, but the ultimate realization will be.  If so, by teaching the Dharma of the supreme vehicle, all these obstructing faults will be abandoned.

Whoever grasps the words in mind or considering their meaning, puts them into practice does as is as taught in the above two verse dharani.

As for the concealed intention of interpretation/ transformation, by some of the heretics and so forth, it is said,"the Buddha's teachings are easy to realize," to reverse such grasping of them as inferior and so forth they have transformed them into other symbols, with a concealed or indirect intention that they should be known to have another meaning than the words explained by them.  For example, 


Knowing what is essenceless as an essence,

The kleshas will be extreme kleshas

If we dwell well on what is wrong,

We will attain true enlightenment.


As is taught there, if we explain the intended meaning of that, By engaging with both "Saa ra", the essence, and the motion of agitation, for the mind training in trying hard to make them completely motionless, even having known the essence, performing the training of effort and discipline, the one who has the kleshas produces even more kleshas.

If those who wrongly grasp purity and virtue as an eternal ego, properly remain in training the prajña, by that they will attain true enlightenment.  That is the concealed intention.

Similarly, that we should kill our fathers and mothers refers to the father and mother of the world of samsaric formations and the one who clings to them.  It has the intention that we should abandoning them and so forth.  All sayings of that kind should be known as concealed intention of interpretation.

Here, as for the distinction between intention and concealed intention, the great translator rngog pa blo ldan shes rab­ says:



Not understanding another meaning than what speaker is thinking of from the speakers words by the listener is the intention. The same meaning the speaker is thinking of being understood by the listener is the concealed or indirect intention.  The theg bsdud kyi 'grel pa bshad sbyar says:


The intention is simply what is presented to the mind, It is not proclaimed to depend on grasping anything else.  The concealed intention does depend on grasping something else.


Thus, whoever has realized the basic intention of the skandhas and so forth, according to what was just explained, the four concealed intentions and four intentions according to those eight, in those in having grasped the words literally, as for that, by true pramana is also taught for the purpose of being something that has the existence of harm and the teachings also have that purpose

The Shravaka vaibhashikas and sautrantikas, and the mahayana exponents of mind-only and madhyamaka are the exponents of the four schools.  The ultimate level of fruition of all of these is the secret mantra or vajrayana, including the three outer and three inner tantras, going up to the highest, ati yoga.  When the lower doctrines are examined and analyzed by lower intellects, the mind does not enter into the true object.  That very thing has been done with the highest clarity by the higher ones of the higher doctrines, and the meaning of the scriptures that exhausts faults should be realized or experienced as it is.

Having seen greater and greater things established by this great correct reasoning, not putting together a position out of the provisional meaning alone, we grasp the true meaning with naked directness, for example, like water that has naturally separated from milk. Those whose intelligence has become supreme, conquer the warfare of the four maras.  They can play like swans or perform activity in the situation of the Buddha's teachings as if it were a great ocean.  This is very profound and hard to realize.

The vajrayana also says this, as in the gal po:


By extensive explanations of the six extremes,

Realization of the sense of provisional meaning

 And realization of the true meaning are explained.

When words are not realized, their suchness is non-suchness.


The six extremes taught there are:


Those who have only the provisional meaning and those who do not.

Those who have realization and those do not.

Those who know how the words are meant and those who do not.


Since the six tantra vehicles of the vajrayana do not go beyond these six extremes of words and meaning, they are also called the six extremes.

Also the gal po says:




There are verbal, general, concealed, and ultimate.


There are four ways of interpreting the texts, verbal, general, secret, and the ultimate.

The verbal meaning works with explaining the literal meaning of the configurations of words and letters in accord with the texts of grammar and pramana.

As for the general meaning, if we do not enter quickly into the blissful mantra path, if we regret dwelling on the slow sutra path and ascetic path, these are explained as bridging paths.  Also to live in sexual practices of union and liberation, not even dreaming of the pure mantra path, like a dog or a pig, is thought by the exponents of Dharma to be the dharma of the heretics.

If we repent of this, but do not also abandon grasping and attachment to the dream of purity of the sutra path, we will not see the meaning of equality.  If we abide in virtuous mind, whatever accumulation of merit there may be, it is explained as in the mi nag mdung thung can bsad pa and so forth:

The secret meaning, is the extensive actions of the developing stage and the secret bindings and so forth produced by nadi, prana, and bindu.


The ultimate meaning is realization of the absolute, luminosity.  This is the ultimate natural state in which the two truths are unified.

Moreover, in the verbal style the four kayas are taught as OM AAH HUUM, HRIH, or EVAM, A and so forth, or as the four chakras.

In the general style, the paths and bhumis of the paramitas and so forth are expressed by mantra as well.

In the secret style, the objects of the higher vehicles are not the objects of the lower ones.

The ultimate style is the wisdom of buddhahood for which views and vehicles are of no benefit.

By means of these six extremes and four styles, those without the good fortune of the vajrayana, who have wrong views, who are separated from buddhahood so that it does not appear to them, must realize the meaning of secret mind from the path of the instructions of vajrayana.

From the instructions of the lineage from dharmakaya Samantabhadra to one's own root guru, we should correctly resolve the meaning of the realization of the profound, secret vajrayana, through pramana and analysis undefiled by accompanying faults.  We should reason correctly by the reasons of the four correct reasonings, the extraordinary realizations of the four correct reasonings, and so forth.

That is the king of all tantras, the peak of all vehicles, the source of all teachings, the general commentary on all scriptures, and the great, direct path of all the buddhas.

The holy penetrating mind of all the sugatas, the glorious, miraculous, great net of miraculously arisen qualities, the guhya garba, or secret essence, the certain continuity of suchness, is taught by the great king whose correct reasoning is not in common with those of the lower vehicles.

Here there are three extraordinary correct reasonings:


1.  The reason of the revelation of pramana

2.  The reason of the meaning that is in accord with words, as taught by the noble ones

3.  The correct reasoning where words and meaning are not in accord.




FIRST, the reasons of the teachings of pramana, 


Within this there are four topics.  These are the following:


1.  The reasons of the four realizations.

2.  The reasons of the three purities.

3,  The reasons of the four equalities.

4.  The reason of the mahatma, or great self.


FIRST, the reasons of the four realizations,


Within this there are the following:


1.  The reason of the single cause.

2.  The reason of the style of the syllables.

3.  The reason of the blessing.

4.  The reason of manifestation.


FIRST, the reason of the single cause


The dharmin, "the dharmas of the phenomenal world," is eternally united with the space of the absolute as naturally existing wisdom.  This is the single cause.  No dharmas go beyond it.


SECOND, the reason of the style of the syllables


The dharmin, "appearances that arise from the space of the dhatu by way of the example-letters," the relative, appears as the kayas and wisdoms.  Therefore, it does not go beyond the nature of space.


THIRD, the reason of the blessing


The dharmins "the relative" and "the absolute" mutually bless each other and are inseparable.  They are united and do not exist with separate natures.


FOURTH, the reason of manifestation


The dharmin "the inseparable natural state" is free from everything within the scope of mind.  Therefore, it is the realm of individual, personal wisdom, the perception of yoga, which is incomprehensible to conventional mind.


SECOND, the reason of the three purities


The king of tantras, the Guhya garba says:



The continuities of the vessel and essence are purely realized.


As it says there, the dharmins "the five elements, the five skandhas, and the eight consciousnesses" dwell within the nature of the three purities.  Therefore, they exist primordially with the nature of the five consorts, the five families, and the five wisdoms.


Third, the correct reasoning of the four equalities


The king of tantras, the Guhyagharba says:


Two equalities, with a further two equalities,

Are the mandala which is the buddha field of Samantabhadra.


The dharmins "the two absolutes," the accountable absolute which cuts through every partial complexity and the unaccountable absolute which cuts through complexities altogether, are equal as the mere absolute.  It manifests completely, simply because the natures of complexity are not established.

The dharmin's appearance with causal efficacy is the true relative.  Its appearance without causal efficacy is the false relative.  These two are equal as the mere relative.  Things appear to have self-nature, but if examined they have none.

The dharmins "the accountable absolute and the non-accountable absolute," are equal in having a self-existing essence and having the seven exceptional riches of the absolute.  That is because the absolute is the space of the dhatu, the natural state non-dual with primordial wisdom.

The dharmins "the two kinds of the false relative" are also equal in being within the mandala of the kayas and wisdoms.  This is because the nature of the way things really are is primordially pure.


FOURTH, the reason of the mahatma, the gsang snying says:


Naturally present wisdom appears without existing.


The dharmins "the many ways things appear," the apparent dharmas of samsara and nirvana, in terms of the way things really are, are the mahatma, the great self, naturally present wisdom.  That is because this is established as the wisdom that discerns the ultimate natural state.


SECOND, the reason of being taught with similar words but exalted meaning


The tantras teach that the dharmin "the five poisons" should not be abandoned.  Though the word "poisons" is the same, the meaning is exalted.  The five poisons are not abandoned by antidotes, because in realization, they arise as the five wisdoms.


THIRD, the reason of non-according with a particular sense


The dharmin "the nature of dharmas" is definitely established not to have the nature of any complexity at all, because it arises as all the various appearances of samsara and nirvana.  The dharmin "these appearances of the relative" is definitely not of a fixed nature and may arise as anything.  This is 


because no nature of its own is established for it.  What is said there and so forth is realized in the lower vehicles only with extraordinary correct reasoning.


To briefly summarize the profound main point of the views of both sutra and tantra, there is the correct reasoning that establishes the relative as the great purity, establishing all the dharmas of the phenomenal world, from their primordial beginning, as divine appearances, and the correctly established truth existing abiding with that as the essence of the perceiver wisdom.

There is also the reasoning that establishes the absolute as the great equality.  All the dharmas of samsara and nirvana, free from their primordial beginning from all extremes of complexity, are within the state of the great emptiness beyond mind, inexpressible by speech or thought, the equality of all good and bad, and accepting or rejecting.

Thus, as purity is established from the viewpoint of appearance, and equality from the viewpoint of emptiness; these two are inseparable from all dharmas, equal with them in the sense of being of one taste with them.  This is the utter, total purity of the great net of miracles, the uncompounded unity of insight-emptiness.  It is dharmakaya, the single dot or drop of bindu, realized by the holy ones through their individual, personal wisdom.  It is the unity of the great perfection.

When this has been truly resolved by the true pramana that analyzes the conventional and also by the pramana that examines for the absolute, the same meaning is found by both these analyses.  If it is explained in terms of the two stages of the vajrayana path of the secret mantra, this meaning is as follows:

The developing stage, utpattikrama, with the symbolism of the relative body, teaches that all dharmas are like illusions and so forth.  The teachings of the paramitas and the illusion-like bodies of the deities etc. are visualized.  The divine body of prana and mind, taught to be like illusion etc., is perfected.  Spontaneous presence, taught to be like the natural radiance of insight, is gradually brought into the way of being of the great perfection.  When the verbal, general, secret, and ultimate meanings are resolved, we enter into this.


The perfecting stage, sampannakrama, denotes the luminosity of the absolute.


The mere luminosity also taught by the paramita-path is the verbal meaning.

Abiding in the luminosity of the developing stage is the general meaning.

The luminosity evoked by the four emptinesses of the perfecting stage is the secret meaning.

In both these two stages, all dharmas are realized as the primordial, natural state of eternal emptiness.  The ultimate meaning, ultimate realization of the primordially-pure wisdom of the four abhishekas, has the style of luminosity of the great perfection.


By the power of entering into the profound meaning of the pith of these four styles, among which there is no contradiction, there is the profound sense of the teachings of the sutras and tantras, true knowledge that does not need to depend on anything else.  Whoever has confidence in such intelligence, has the supreme mind of which no one can be deprived.  We are great heart-children of the Buddha, participants in the kayas of the victorious one.  Holders of this great, undiminishing treasury of holy Dharma, as taught in any of the teachings of the three vehicles or the nine, are bodhisattva-mahasattvas, the protectors of all those remaining within samsara to be tamed.  These bodhisattvas have realized the twelve limbs of the buddha's teaching, the Dharmas of the scriptures included in the six tantra-vehicle-collections, the three excellent trainings and the teaching of realization that includes both of the two stages.  They are completely victorious over all partialities that do not accord with these precious teachings of scripture and realization.



If we practice the true meaning, we do not rely on consciousness,

The mind of grasper and grasped that follows verbal concepts,

Instead we put our reliance in non-dual wisdom itself.

As for the ego that has an object--that is mind.


Its nature is the grasper and the object grasped.

Whatever object it has, it is always false.

The reality of nature has nothing to do with things.

Conceiving things or non-things, with duality or without,

All conceptual objects, however they are conceived,

Whatever may be grasped, belongs to the realm of Mara.

So it has been taught by the Buddha in the sutras.


Denials or assertions can never destroy conceptions;

But if it is seen that there is no adding or taking away,

There is liberation, free from subject and object.

There is the natural radiance of luminosity.

Eliminating complexities of the four extremes,

This is taught to be the excellence of wisdom.


To the fool who has never seen it, it is like the sun to the blind,


They do not know it, but even from trying to think about it

Panic arises in the minds of fools like these.

Nevertheless by the power of authentic scriptural teachings,


By valid reasoning that eliminates all extremes,

And by the oral instructions given by the guru

It seems to us as if just now we first had eyes.

Then by the faith of experience of the Sugata's Dharma-amrita,

Which is just a name for limitless expanding joy,

The wisdom of the Sugata is bestowed on us.

Since dharmas without remainder have reached the goal, equality,

One attains inexpressible depths of certainty.


The wise call this the inexhaustible Dharma treasure.

Having developed skill in the way of the two truths,

When the two truths are seen to be a unity

It is like threshing the husk for the sake of having the essence.

Know that all skillful means lead only to this end


Therefore, the Sugata, knowing these skillful means,

Referred to this as the genuine path of all skillful means.


Let irreversible faith arise for Teacher and teaching.

Having attained the supreme, non-dwelling state of wisdom,

We are free from all the extremes of samsara and nirvana.

The spontaneous flow of the stream of effortless compassion

Pervades to the farthest limits of time as well as space.


We should cultivate realization of the true meaning as it is in itself, not relying on the mind of consciousness, whose nature is grasped objects and the grasping mind which follows after words and concepts.  Instead, rely on the mind of non-dual wisdom without grasper and grasped.

The ego has conceptions of empty, non-empty, both, and neither and so forth.  Since that mind has the nature of the grasper and external objects that are grasped, it is confused.  So conceived, it is false.  Since it will not bear analysis, we cannot make contact and join with its real nature beyond all complexities of things.

What is the reason?  The conception of things, and the opposite conception of non-things, the conception of neither and so forth, however they are conceived, are motions of the mind. They are concepts.  Since they are concepts, whatever conceptions may grasp at things and non-things, these are the realm of Mara.  So it has been taught in the 'jam dpal rnam par rol pa'i mdo:


Whatever is conceived and whatever is compounded, that is the work of Mara


Therefore refuting things, establishing non-things, and so forth, whatever conceptual negation and establishment there may be cannot destroy the grasping of conceptual mind.  The nature eliminates any dharmas whatever.  When we do not establish or postulate any dharmas at all, all complexities of grasper and grasped subside.  Therefore, we are liberated from conceptions and complexities.  The regent Maitreya and lord Nagarjuna both have a single intention, and there is a song that says:


Nothing should be postulated at all

Truth will then be truly seen as it is.

Having seen it, we will be liberated.


In that case, since we are entirely free from conceptualized grasped objects and the conceptualizing subject that fixates them, there are no grasper and grasped.  Materiality is empty, non-existence like space.  This has the nature of intrinsic wisdom where knowledge arises by itself.   This is luminosity in which all the complexities of the four extremes are naturally absent.  The Victorious One has said that this is supreme wisdom.  The rgyal yum sdud pa rin po che says:


In the pure worlds, whatever names of dharmas are named

They all arise transcended, abandoned in the truth.

There is no other deathless, holy wisdom than this.

Therefore, this is known as prajñaparamita.



As the blind never see the form of the sun, fools who see only this side have never seen nature free from all the extremes of concepts.  By thinking, "It is simply empty," and so forth, not knowing the mind of faith, these fools cannot enter into the nature free from all complexities, and terror arises in them.

However, if this has been well-resolved by the extraordinary three true pramanas, meditators realize the natural state as it is.  The rgyud rdo rje me long says:


Those who evaluate using pure pramana,

Of scripture, proper reasoning, and the oral instructions,

Will enter into that which they are trying to know.


The word taught by the Buddha is genuine scriptural pramana of the true meaning.  The pramana of correct reasoning, free from all proclamations and eliminating all extremes is the teaching of the mahatmas.  The pramana of the oral instructions of the authentic guru with the lineage instructions practiced by the wise have the power to liberate.  When world-transcending wisdom arises in our being by the power of unfeigned devotion for this, it is like a blind person obtaining eyes.

Here there is a style of patience or example wisdom in accord with the situation of individual beings.  Since true perception of situations appears within one, the person having the distinctions of true knowledge then experiences the taste of the amrita of the Sugata's holy Dharma.  By confident faith in that, joy, the eye that sees the essence, develops.  This is not the ordinary physical eye but the supreme eye of wisdom.  It always one-pointedly views dharmakaya, the wisdom of the Sugata.

In this case, all the different dharmas of samsara and nirvana, virtue and vice, good and bad, and so forth are realized as inseparable equality.  By that there is a deep true knowledge inexpressible by names, words, and so forth.  This cannot be refuted by anyone in the world, including the gods.

That is the subject of this work.  It is what is expressed by the teachings and all the inexhaustible Dharma treasury of the three vehicles.  As is said:


If we attain the depths of the true meaning, hundreds of thousands of Dharma treasures issue from our hearts.


Therefore, by having come to know the true way of the two truths by hearing, contemplating, and meditating; when the unity of the two truths is seen in a way where it is not seen by oneself, the essence of the fruition is attained.  Like gradually removing the husk from the subtle inner truth, we should try to enter into and remain in the unity of the two truths, the ultimate means of liberation of all those taught by the Tathagata.

By these the singularity of dharmadhatu is realized.  Except for this one ultimate realization, there is nothing else.

The Sugata, the Buddha Bhagavat knows means of taming that accord with the faculties, powers, and so forth of those to be tamed.  The final goal of all the means he taught is omniscience.  Therefore, that is the true path.  Irreversible faith arises that these teachings cannot be ravished from the mind by the host of billions of maras.  This is because the way things fundamentally are has the essential nature of the unity of emptiness and compassion.  If this is truly realized, we attain the manifestation of supreme self-arising wisdom, the genuine prajñaparamita, the fruition that dwells neither in samsara or in nirvana, as the benefit for oneself.  We are liberated from the one sided extremes of samsara and nirvana, without having to refute them.

As the benefit for others, for sentient beings who do not realize this, there naturally arises the stream of the great compassion will naturally flow, pervading the ten directions and the three times to their limits.  By the spontaneous, eternally-pervasive presence of buddha activity, the supports of the path,

the actual path, and the ultimate path are established.


Third, the explanation of the eight great treasures of confidence in the fruition:


Thus contemplating the way of the dharma of the two truths,

Using the skillful means of the four reliances,

The action of which is taught as the four correct reasonings;

From this undefiled cause, by the deep wisdom of fruition,

If the phenomena of experience blossom forth;

One is set free by the eight great treasures of confidence.

That bring about this expansion into the space of insight.


Traditions that were formerly heard and contemplated,

Not forgotten, then become the treasure of memory.

The meaning of these, as profound as it is extensive, 

Is then completely revealed as the treasure of intellect.

All the meanings of the sutras and the tantras

Are entered into as the treasure of realization.


All the details of the teachings we have heard

Never forgotten become the treasure of retention.

Explaining things properly to all sentient beings

Is the satisfaction-producing treasure of confidence.

As for the precious treasury of holy Dharma,

Completely guarded, this becomes the Dharma treasure.

The continuous families comprising the three jewels

Not cut off, are the treasury of bodhicitta.

In the unborn equality of the nature itself,

Attaining patience manifests as the treasure of practice.

These are inseparable and inexhaustible.

Those who attain the eight-fold power of the treasures of confidence,

As praised by the victorious ones and all their sons,

Over the three worlds they are empowered as lords.


As explained above, the way of the dharma of the two truths is analyzed and resolved by the non-erroneous analyzer, the four correct reasonings, whose well-contemplated action is the four reliances.  By having this supreme cause that is undefiled by faults, when the fruition blossoms whose uttermost depths are very hard to penetrate, there is profound appearance of wisdom, as limitless as space.  this is the fundamental space of primordial insight that is not realized by ordinary people.  It is will be liberated by the eight great treasures of confidence, as if that was what made it blossom.  What are these eight?  The rgya cher rol pa says: will not be broken.  This is the treasure of relative bodhicitta.


8.  By practicing the Dharmas that have been resolved by hearing and contemplating, we attain patience within the unborn equality of nature.  This is the treasure of practice.


These eight great treasures are attained.  How is this done?  These treasures of memory, intellect, realization, and grasping are the cause of confidence.  The treasure of Dharma and so forth are the fruition of confidence.  That is why these eight have the common name of treasures of confidence:  From having the treasure of memory and so forth, irreversible confidence arises.  From confidence the treasures of protecting the Dharma and so forth arise.  Thus confidence is the chief of them, and they are known as the great treasures of confidence.

Having joined these eight great treasures of confidence to our own powers, every word and meaning become the wealth and power of the inseparable, inexhaustible, limitless eight great treasures.  Holy persons who do this are supreme children of the victorious ones.  They are praised as such by the victorious ones together with their sons.  They will be lords of the three worlds of the nagas below the earth, human beings on the earth, and gods above the earth.


Third, the teaching of the fruition of analyzing in this way:


To gain pramana is the teaching of the Buddha.

If true authentic pramana has fully been established,

Through the certainty produced by the path of pramana,

By the teaching of pramana, we see the truth of fruition.


Here the benefit for those who become beings of pramana is explained.  What is always taught in the teaching of the Victorious One, the perfect Buddha Bhagavat, is the conventional pramana that is not in contradiction with the path of correct reasoning, and the pramana that analyzes for the absolute.  These are established as much higher than the doctrines of outsiders and so forth.

Therefore, glorious Chandrakirti, glorious lord Nagarjuna, and so forth taught the path of correct reasoning in their texts, teaching the analysis of the two truths and so forth.  The path that they taught, the teachings of pramana, has produced the certainty of supreme faith.  Therefore, those who are famed for learning in the world together with its gods, as well as the noble ones of the shravakas, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas, and so forth, who do not know things as they are, by this pure Dharma amrita, will see the highest true fruition.

Having the renunciation/ realization that completely perfects the five paths and ten bhumis, they will therefore produce mastery over the four bodies of a buddha and the five wisdoms.

Finally, there are the two sections of the meaning of entering into the merit of this,


1) the manner of composition

2) the dedication of merit.


As for the FIRST, the manner of composition:


As a result of vision that is completely pure

One will reach the ultimate goal, the great compassion.

The Sugata said, after this path had been taught by him,

"As for the taste of amrita of that which I attained


Those who are possessors of these four proper reasonings

Experienced by the means of the four reliances,

Produce by that the fortune of sharing that amrita."

Corrupted nowadays, by the power of the dark age,

Due to its way of reversing the four reliances,

The excellent taste of the teachings is hard to experience.

Having seen it, have an attitude of devotion

To this the finest of thoughts, the most excellent of teachings.


In itself, the vision that sees the way all dharmas are as it is is very pure.  Because of that, we reach the final goal, the great compassion, which in its kindness protects all other sentient beings as limitless as space, with their causes of suffering.  The supreme being of the shakyas, the Sugata, the son of king Zetsangpa, for those to be tamed established the three or the nine vehicles, appropriate for the respective powers of each being.  Because he has taught those paths, the tastes of holy Dharma amrita which the teacher, the perfect Buddha himself attained, is also genuinely experienced by those who have the four correct reasonings, by means of the four reliances.  So both the sutras and tantras truly teach.

When the portion of amrita attained by oneself has been produced within this world, many beings of the good kalpa will experience this taste of holy Dharma.  But by the 5 denigrating corruptions, and in particular in this present time by the power of defilements of the view, understanding of what is explained above is reversed.  The certainty of the path of the four correct reasonings is not produced.

The non-erroneous way of the four reliances is the supreme taste of the supreme leader Gautama's teachings of scripture and realization.  After its perfect abundance, so difficult to experience, was genuinely seen, there were only excellent wishes to benefit others. Having realized this precious teaching that is difficult to meet with, the great reason of certainty unequalled by others, was realized, by supreme devotion to the faith that desires the radiant essence, this treatise was composed.


SECOND, the dedication of merit:


Producing undefiled prajña from contemplating this,

By the merit embodied within this brief expression

My all beings come to abide in the state of Mañjushri


The above mentioned intention is a special ultimate or quintessential purpose.  For such a reason, the manner or means of producing within the continuua of sentient beings the prajña without the faults of defilement that arises from contemplating the three prajñas is discussed just a little in a few texts.  Since the subject is naturally vast, by the limitless merit of composing this, reaching to the limits of space, may all these beings not be kept far away from inseparable space and wisdom, the jnanasattva level of Mañjushri, but quickly attain it.


Third, the completely perfect, ultimate meaning:


In the direction manifesting the sun of Mañjushri,

If the lotus of the essence blooms because of faith,

By the red honey droplets of good explanation having arisen

May celebration increase for the bees of the excellent kalpa.


According to previous advice to write this, and recently exhorted by the victory banner of the excellent thoughts of learned ones, in the Sakyong year, third month, twenty-ninth day, this was written by Jampel gyes pa, Mipham].  Mangalam.  There are a hundred and four verses.  Dge'o.


Here is the identifying scepter of the colophon


When these, my good explanations, have been contemplated,

May various great and subtle doubts unwind themselves.

May total certainty rise by supremely clear intellect,

Bestowing the treasures of inexhaustible confidence.


fire horse year, fourth month, fourth day.


Jetsun Mipham, the sun of exponents of Mañjushri, made his mind one-pointed by the great force of longing.  Drawn by the three faiths in the direction he was looking, the lotus of the essence, drawn upward by the three faiths, was opened by the penetrating solar rays of blessing.  When anything was explained, the good explanation rose from the hundred petals of intellect, like tiny red droplets of honey.  For the host of bees of the good kalpa who want to taste the supreme flavor of this sage's speech, together with the commentary on its intention, may the celebration of realizing the intention as it is not only put an end to samsara, but increase ever more and more.


Again this is said:


By the excellent teacher, the chief of two legged beings,

As for the natural state of knowing things without mixing,

The great knowledge mandala of the nature and extent

Seemingly emanating a hundred thousand rays,

The all-pervading light of the objectless compassion,

According with the powers and thoughts of those to be tamed,

Proclaiming the eighty-four thousands heaps of dharmas as one.

From the thick darkness of ignorance that makes them fall asleep

May the beings of the three worlds instantly be exalted.


Good in beginning, middle, and end, this excellent teaching,

Has the two-fold goodness and the four pure actions.

In the great ocean of amrita of this auspicious teaching,

There is seen the play of 10 million naga lords, 

The learned accomplished ones of India and Tibet,

A country of valleys wreathed by surrounding snowy mountains.

Led by the three ancestral leaders, and khenpo, loppön, and Dharma

The golden chariot of arousing bodhicitta

Is full of ten million rigdzins of the two accomplishments.


From now on possessors of the special six Dharmas

As the legacy of the ten million former rigdzins

 Learned and accomplished, who have now passed on,

The difficult pith of the sutras, tantras, and oral instructions,

The vajra vidya mantra tradition of joyful teachers

Is the play of the dance of the saffron lion of all teachers.


The three realms' Dharma lord, jamgon guru Mipham,

From a meadow by the lake of play of supreme learning

From the welcome single circle the wheel of the deepest sense,

With its day-producing power like the sun,

On the non-deceptive path of freedom and omniscience

May there gleam white parasol of pramana.


Within the circle of the two truths of the nine-fold vehicles,

May the retinue, the eighty-four thousand teachings,

Free from stain, amidst the great thousand petalled lotus

The explanation of teachings of the Victorious One,

Satisfy with the anthers of the four proper reasonings.


By interdependent arising, the essence of knowables,

Having the great vase of well-described analysis

Of the two pramanas, in the ocean of excellent teaching,

With the analysis of the two conventional pramanas,

Their insight flashing auspiciously like the golden fish,

The nine-fold lineage precepts, coiled to the right,

May the dharma conch of the four reliances pleasantly sound.


From the pure and equal wisdom of the net of miracles,

Eight treasures of confidence gather into a knot of eternity,

The completely certain meaning of the sutras and tantras

May this victory banner the Sword of Prajña fly in samsara.


Within the vast and extensive ocean of all dharmas,

May those who want to sever at once the hundred nets,

The snares of non-realization, wrong realization, and doubt,

Grasp this thought-arisen razor-sharp sword of prajña.


Thus while staying in the great place of Varanasi,

In the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, 

Being well-supplied with the needed Tibetan texts,

Since this is my own tradition, to benefit some new minds


By the kind teacher Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche

Quickly written, by the guru's oral dictation,

With ornamentation by learned treatises of pramana,

He followed the early translation, a knower of ancient haughtiness


The supreme instructions of prajña, he arranged in the boldest style 

I, by intellect, as narrow as the eye of a needle,

For the sake of good explanation as extensive as the sky


By the supreme and spotless merit of doing this

Having illuminated the thick darkness within all beings,

May they attain the ultimate level of omniscience,

Great prajña whose vision is the suchness of knowables.


Here within the extent of the limits of Jambudvipa,

The rain-clouds of the true view are gathering.

May rains of the benefits of loving-kindness fall,

May there be the perfect auspiciousness of the new young sun.


Here for the sake of gathering the glorious gift of blessings, are the great Rishi Ajita's true and pleasant words of auspicious aspiration, the loosely rel;axed grace of a gandharva maiden


By this well-performed appearance of the sun

When the darkness of the dark age has finally been expelled,

The grove of young utpala lotuses of the truth of mind

Blossoms to the very limits of the directions.

May beings taste the joy of the celebration of this


I and all beings who open the treasure, the Sugata's teachings,

Are rendered wealthy by the appearance of his mind.

Without all pride, but with the highest aspirations,

May the realm of benefits for those to be taught increase.


May the prophesied dharmaraja, the coming Dharma lord,

Victorious in all directions, just like Dharmakirti,

Discover the highest dharma, attaining the dharma-eye.

Eliminating adharma, may the way of Dharma flourish.

May the shining sun of Mañjushri with its blazing heart,

Scatter huge petals of explanation everywhere.

May red honey droplets of benefit for other beings

Expand to the limits of space throughout the ten directions.

So may they be grasped by every sentient being.


The eye of prajña the seer of knowables in themselves,

Clears away the darkness of the mist of views.

By its producing that brilliant daylight in this world,

May all beings thereafter always glow with beauty.

The lotus feet of the Jamgon guru, lion of teachers,

Having touched my head, may the vase examining eye

The path of proper reason, limitless as space,

Beautify all this world with the sound of the lion's roar.


This commentary was written in 1986 In the great Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, to explain my own Nyingma tradition.  It was delivered orally and was not originally intended to be published.  Having consideration for my students, strongly urged by their pure requests again and again, very moved, after the direct rain of the auspicious benefits of Nyingma was assembled on thirteen occasions, the chief Khenpo rigdzin dorje, the great leader, urged very strongly, further requests were made at the Nepali stupa, and the teachers Ugyen Tendzin and Tsering tendzin having written an important/ kind auspicious letter hardly needed to do so again.

This occurred in the year of the teachers passing 2530 in the eighth month on the tenth day, when I the holder of the name of Nyingma khenpo Palden Sherab was in Varanasi, in the place where the rishis had been in the Deer Park, and this was the cause of the good fortune of the place and time of composition being so perfectly auspicious.  Sarva mangalam.

Thus in Varanasi at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies after thirteen presentations of the glorious happy sense of the former Nyingma, in the fire tiger year on the seventh month, tenth day  (BE 2530) this was printed.  ge'o ge'o.


Translator's note


Translating this text had the general purpose of presenting Buddhist logic in English.  In particular it is a rare presentation of a uniquely Nyingma approach to reasoning, and the particular views of the subject of the great Mipham Rinpoche.  There is no greater authority on Mipham than Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche, who is also one of the most learned Nyingma Khenpos in his own right.


This project was begun by members of the Nalanda translation committee.  Later the committee members in Boulder, Colorado continued working on it with commentary by Khenpo Palden Sherab.  Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal gave a running translation.  The members most active in this were myself, Ann Helm, Gary Wiener, Nelson Dudley, and Tony Duff.  This process covered only about 1/5 of the text.  Ann especially did some further work, but for the most part I was on my own after that.  I was able to ask some questions due to the kindness of Khen Rinpoche's colleague Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso California, which made it possible to finish the text.   rime lodrö Waldo, Guy Fawkes Day 1997.    May it be auspicious.





English Glossary:  For meanings see the Tibetan listing or search the Tibetan term


abhi.sheka:  dbang

abhidharma:  mngon chos

absolute truth

absolute:  don dam

accept and reject:  blang 'dor

act and effort:  bya rtsol

action:  spyod

adding and taking away:  'du bral

affirmation and negation:  dgag sgrub

affirmation:  sgrub

negation: dgag

Akanishta: 'og min

alaya:  kun gzhi

alayavijñana:  kun gzhi rnam par shes pa

all at once:  cig char

all-pervading, all-encompassing: phyam gdal

all-sufficient:  gcig chod

alpha-pure:  ka dag

amrita:  bdud rtsi

analysis:  dpyod pa

antidotes:  gnyen po

anu:  a nu

appearance:  snang ba

artificial:  bcos

Aryan riches, 7,:  'phags pa nor bdun

as it is:  rang babs, rang sar, rang mal

asura: lha min 

ati:  a ti:  rdzogs pa  chen po

authentic:  yang dag

Avalokiteshvara: spyan ras gzigs

Avici Hell:  mnyal ba mnar med pa

awakened:  sangs

awareness:  shes pa

ayatanas, 12: skye mched bcu gnyis

bardo:  bar do

bhagava[-t][-an]:  bcom ldan 'das

Bhrama: tshangs pa: Hindu creator god

bhramin bram ze

bhuta:  byung po

bhuumi:  sa

bias:  ris

bindu:  thig le

bodhicitta:  byang chub sems

bodhisattva vehicle/yana

bodhisattva:  byang chub sems dpa'

buddha activity: phrin las

buddha qualities:  yon tan

Buddha qualities: sangs rgyas kyi yon tan

buddhadharmakaya: sangs rgyas chos kyi sku: = dharmakaya.

buddha[hood]:  sangs rgyas


reasoning: rigs pa: see text

cause and condition:  rgyu rkyen

ceaseless:  ma 'gags, 'gag med.

certain:  nges

characteristics:  mtshan

charya yana: see theg pa dgu

co-emergent:  lhan cig skyes pa

coarse:  rags

collection of oral instructions:  man ngag sde

compassion:  thugs rje

complexity:  spros pa

concept:  rtog pa

conceptions:  dmigs pa

confusion:  'khrul pa

Conquerer: rgyal ba.

consciousness 5/6: rnam shes lnga/drug

consider:  ltos

contrived:  bcos

conventional: tha snyad

coronation vase:  spyi blugs

created:  bcos

crystal:  shel [gong]

cutting through:  khregs gcod

dakini:  mkha' 'gro

dedicating the merit: bsod nams bsngo

defilements:  dri ma

deity:  lha

detail:  rim pa

developing [stage]:  bskyed [rim]

dharmakaya:  chos sku

dharmata:  chos nyid

dharma[s]:  chos

Dharmdhatu:  chos dbyings

dharmin:  chos can

dhatu:  dbyings, khams

dhatus, 18: khams bco brgyad

dhyana[s, 4]: bsam gtan bzhi

difference of different manifestations of a single essence: ngo bo gcig la ldog pa tha dad

difference that refutes one: gcig pa bkag pa tha dad

direct liberation:  cer grol

discontinuity:  rgyun chad

discriminating awareness wisdom:  so so rtags pa'i ye shes

discriminating awareness:  so so rang rig; so sor rtag pa

discursive thought:  rnam rtog

display:  bstan, bkod

disturbed:  rnyog

doer of all:  kun byed

dön:  gdon

drowsiness and discursiveness [wildness]:  bying rgod

ego:  bdag

eight consciousnesses: tshogs brgyad

eight examples of illusion:  sgyu ma dpe brgyad

eight extremes:  mtha' brgyad

eight kinds of suffering: sdug bsngal brgyad

eight ordinary siddhis: dngos grub thun mong brgyad

eighteen dhatus:  khams bco brgyad

element:  khams, rigs

eliminate or establish:  dgag sgrub

eliminate: log

emanation:  sprul pa

embodiment:  'du ba

empowerment:  lung, dbang

emptiness with all the supreme as­pects:  rnam mchog kun ldan stong nyid

emptiness: stong nyid

empty:  stong pa

enlightenment:  byang chub

ennailment:  gzer [bu]

environment and inhabitants:  snod bcud, rten dang brten pa

equality:  mnyam nyid

equanimity:  mnyam nyid

essence:  ngo bo [snying po]

establish: sgrub

eternal:  ye

eternalism:  rtag [lta]

etherial:  sang seng

even:  phyal ba

examination:  brtags pa

examine:  brtags pa

examin[e][ation]:  dpyod pa

exhaustion:  zad pa, rdzogs pa

exist:  yod pa

experience:  rang snang

experiences:  nyams

extremes:  [mu] mtha'

fabrication:  bcos 

false conception:  kun btags

family:  rigs

father tantra:  pha rgyud

fine and coarse:  rags phra

five aspects of sadhana:  cho ga rnam pa lnga

five buddha activities:  phrin las lnga

five buddhas:  bcom ldan 'das lnga:

five certainties:  nges pa lnga

five colors:  kha dog lnga

five desirables: a'dod pa lnga

five elements:  'byung ba lnga

five enlightenments [manifestations of...]:  byang chub lnga

five eyes:  spyan lnga

five families:  rigs lnga 

five kayas:  sku lnga

five paths:  lam lnga

five perfections:  phun sum tshogs pa lnga

five qualities:  yon tan lnga 

five root kleshas/ poisons:  rtsa ba'i nyon mongs lnga

five skandhas:  phung po lnga

five wisdoms:  ye shes lnga

Five buddha families: see five buddhas, five families.

fixation and grasping:  gzung 'dzin

fixation, fixated object:  gzung ba.

fixator, fixating subject: 'dzin

fixed:  nges

flickering [emanation etc]:  'gyu ba

four extremes:  mtha' bzhi

four fearlessnesses: see text

four individual true apprehensions: meanings, words dharmas, powers.

four kayas: sku bzhi

four kinds of birth:  skye ba bzhi

four legs of miracle:  cho 'phrul rkang pa bzhi

four manners of birth:  skye tshul bzhi

four maras:  bdud bzhi

four mudras:  phyag rgya bzhi

four noble truths:  'phags pa bden bzhi

four purities: see ch. 6

four reliances: see text

four seals:  phyag rgya bzhi

four, the, propitiation and so on: bsnyen sgrub bzhi.

four times:  dus bzhi

four ultimate realizations:  rtogs pa bzhi

Four elements: khams/ 'byung ba bzhi

Four immesurables: tshad med bzhi

freedom:  grol ba

freedoms and favors, 18: dal 'byor bcu brgyad: Ch. 1.

fresh and relaxed:  lhang nge lhan ne

from all eternity:  ye

fruition:  'bras bu

fundamental luminosity = gting gsal

fundamental state:  gzhi gnas [not = shamatha]

gandavyuuha:  stugs po bkod pa

Gandha :Gandha: goddess of perfume.

gandharva: dri za

garbha:  snying po

garuda:  khyung

gather:  'du ba.

gelong:  dge slong

genuine:  yang dag

exaggeration:  sgro 'dogs

good and evil:  bzang ngan

gotra:  rigs

grasper & grasped:  gzung 'dzin

grasper/grasping [subject]:  'dzin pa

great full ocean:  gang chen mtsho

great perfection:  rdzogs pa chen po

ground:  gzhi

groundless:  gzhi med

guard samaya:  dam tshig srung ba

Guru Rinpoche: Second Buddha of Uddiyana = Padmasambhava

guru:  bla ma

heart-[essence]:  snying po

higher perceptions:  mngon shes

higher realms:  mtho ris

highest yoga:  shin tu rnal 'byor

hinayana:  theg dman

hungry ghosts:  yi dwags

ignorance:  ma rig pa

Immense ocean:  gang chen tsho:  AKA rnam snang

incidental:  glo bur

included:  'du ba, 'dril ba, 'ub chub

individual insight:  so so rang rig

individuating characteristics:  rang mtshan

Indra: brgya byin

insight:  rig pa

instantly:  skad gcig par, cig car

intellect:  yid [special cases]

intellect-consciousness:  yid kyi rnam shes

intention:  dgongs pa

interdependent arising:  rten 'brel 'byung ba

intrinsic-:  rang-, rang bzhin gyis-

Ishvara: "the Lord,"a Hindu creator god.

jetsün:  rje btsun

jewel: in context of three jewels dkon mchog

jñana:  ye shes

jñanasattva:  ye shes sems dpa'

kagyü: bka' brgyud

kalpa:  bskal pa

kama: desire

karma:  las

kaya:  sku

khen[po]: Buddhist scholar

kinnara: mi'am ci

klesha:  nyon mongs

knowledge:  shes pa

kriya:  kri ya,  bya rgyud

liberation:  grol ba

limit:  rgya chad

limitless as the sky:  mkha' mnyam

loka:  sems can rigs drug

lokayata:  rgyang phan

Longchenpa:  klong chen [rab 'byams] pa

Longdé:  klong sde

Lord of death: shin rje

lord:  mgon pa, bdag po, mnga dban­g, rje

lower realms:  ngan 'gro

luminosity:  ['od] gsal

luminous appearances of what does not exist:  med pa gsal snang.

luminous:  ['od] gsal

madhamaka: dbu ma


madhyamaka:  dbu ma

magic wand:  sgrib shing

mahamudra:  phyag rgya chen po

mahasandhi:  rdzogs pa chen po

mahasattva:  sems dpa' chen po

mahasukha:  bde ba chen

mahasukhakaya:  bde ba chen po'i sku

mahatma: bdag pa chen po

mahayana:  theg chen

Maheshvara: dbang po chen po

maintain:  skyong

Maitreya: byams pa

major and minor marks:  mtshan dpe

Major and minor marks of a buddha: mtshan dang dpe byad

mandala:  dkyil 'khor

manifest:  mngon gsum

Manjushri: a'jam dpal

mantra:  sngags

mantrayana: sngags kyi theg pa


mara:  bdud

marks:  mtshan

measure:  tshad

meditation:  bsgom pa, mnyam bsh­ag, bsam gtan

memory:  dran pa

prasangika: thal a'gyur: see text

mental contents:  sems las 'byung ba

middle:  bar

mind:  sems, yid

Mind:  [itself][-nature of] sems nyid

mind-only:  sems tsam

mindfulness dran pa

Mipham:  mi pham

miracle:  cho 'phrul

Mount Meru:  ri rgyal rab

mudra:  phyag rgya

Muni:  thub pa

nada: na da

nadi:  rtsa

nadis, three: rtsa gsum

naga:  klu

natural state:  gnas lugs, rnal ma

natural:  rang byung, rang bzhin gyis etc.

nature:  rang bzhin, gzhis

negation:  dgag

neither established nor cleared away:  sgrub bsal med

net:  rgya, dra ba

neutral: lung ma bstan 

nihilism:  chad [lta]

nine yanas:  theg pa dgu

nirmanakaya:  sprul sku

Nirvana:  mya ngan las 'das pa, zhi

noble ones: 'phags pa

non-dual:  gnyis med

non-men:  mi ma yin

non-obstruction:  'gags med:  zang ka

non-thought:  mi rtog pa

not adding and subtracting (taking away):  'du bral med 

Nyingma:  rnying ma 

Kagyu: bka'a brgyud

Gelugpa: dge lugs pa

nyingthig:  snying thig

object, kaya: yul sku: the object of enlightened perception is the kayas, having the essence emptiness and the nature of luminosity.

object:  yul

obscuration:  sgrib

offering substance:  rdzas

omniscience:  kun mkhyen, thams cad mkhyen pa['i ye shes]

one taste:  ro gcig

one's own insight:  rang gi rig pa

one's own seat:  rang mal

opposite:  ltos

oral instructions:  man ngag:

ornament:  rgyan

overturned:  ru log

pandit: scholar

paramita:  pha rol tu phyin pa

paratantra: gzhan dbang

parikalpita: kun btags

parinishpanna: yongs grub

partiality:  phyogs

particularizing characteristics:  rang mtshan

pass the pass:  la bzla ba

path of splendor of vivid rainbow colors:  khra lam lam

path:  lam

perceiver, wisdom: yul can ye shes

perception:  dmigs pa

perfect:  rdzogs

perfecting stage:  rdzogs rim

perfect[ing] yoga:  yongs su rnal 'byor

pervasion, backward pervasion.

phenomena:  rnam pa

phenomenal world:  snang srid

pith:  gnad

play:  rol

post-meditation:  rjes thob

power:  rtsal

powers [of mind]:  dbang po

prajña:  shes rab

prajñaparamita:  shes rab pha rol tu phyin pa

pramana: tshad ma

prana:  rlung

prasangika:  thal 'gyur pa

pratyekabuddha:  rang rgyal

preta: yi dwags

primordial purity of wakefulness: ye sangs

primordial space:  gdod ma'i dbyings

primordial:  gdod nas, thog nas, ye

projection:  [rang] snang, kun btags, rang gzugs

provisional meaning: drang don

puja:  mchod pa, cho ga

pure appearance:  dag snang

pure bhuumis:  dag pa sa

purified:  dag, sangs, sbyangs

qualities:  mtshan, mtshon

rakshasas: srin po

real:  don du, dgnos

realization:  rtogs pa,  dgongs pa

recognize:  ngos bzung

reference point:  gtad [so]

relative truth: kun rdzob bden pa

relative:  kun rdzob

renunciation and realization:  spangs rtogs.

resolve:  gtan la 'bebs pa

rich display:  'byor ba'i bkod

rigdzin: (enlightened)awareness holder

royal treasures, 7: rin chen sna bdun

rupakaya:  gzugs sku

pure appearance: dag snang

sadhana:  sgrub thabs, cho ga

Sage: thub pa, the Buddha

Saha: This world called the realm of endurance.

Sakyong:  sa skyong:  earth preotecting (king)

samadhi:  ting nge 'dzin,

Samantabhadra [i]:  kun tu bzang po [mo] 

samapatti:  snyoms 'jug

samaya:  dam tshig

samayasattva:  dam tshig sems dpa'

sambhogakaya:  longs [spyod rdzogs pa'i] sku

sampannakrama:  rdzogs rim

Samsara:  'khor ba:  srid pa

Sangha: dge 'dun

Saraha:  Sa ra ha

Sarasvati:  consort of Shiva

sattva: sems dp'a

sautrantika school: mdo sde pa

sautrantika: mdo sde pa

sealing:  rgyas thebs:  phyag rgya

Second Buddha of Uddiyana: Padmasambhava = Guru Rinpoche

Self existing equanimity: lhun [grub] mnyam [pa nyid]

self-existing:  lhun grub, rang gnas

self-insight:  rang rig

self-liberation:  rang grol

self-luminosity:  rang gsal:

self-nature:  rang ngo

self-subsiding:  rang yal

Semdé:  sems sde

separation of clearing away:  dbye bsal

seven fold service: prostration, offering, confession, rejoicing, requesting to teach, asking the teacher to remain, dedicating the merit.

seventeen tantras:  man ngag sde rgyud bcu bdun.

Shakyamuni:  sha kya'i thub pa

Shamatha:  gzhi gnas

Shastra:  bstan bcos

shentong:  gzhan stong

Shiva: drag po, dbang po

shloka:  sho lo ka

shravaka:  nyan thos

shunyata:  stong nyid

siddhi:  dgnos grub

sign:  rtags:  tshad

simple:  spros bral

simplicity:  spros bral

single dot:  nyag gcig

six ayatanas: ske mched drug

six higher perceptions: see mngon shes

six lokas: rigs drug

six perfections/ paramitas: pha rol tu phyin pa drug

six realms of beings: rigs drug

six senses:  tshogs drug, dbang drug

skandhas:  phung po

sky:  nam mkha'

solid:  dgnos

space of the dhatu:  dbyings

space:  dbyings, go, [nam] mkha', bar snang

Space: [Spaciousness] klong

spheres of activity:  spyod yul

spheres of apprehension:  spyod yul

spontaneous:  lhun grub

stage:  rim pa

sthavira: = elders. The original hinayana Buddhist monastic style Sugata

straying:  gol [sa]

Subhuti:  rab 'byor

subject:  yul can

substance: rdzas

subtle: phra ba

subtlest:  shin tu phra ba

suchness:  [de][ji] bzhin nyid

sugata:  bde gshegs pa

sugatagarbha:  bde [bar] gshegs [pa'i] snying po

suitable establishing, and nature

support and supported:  rten dang brten pa

Surya: the Hindu sun god.

sutra: A discourse of the Buddha in the mahayana

sutra:  mdo

svatantrika:  rang rgyud

svatantrika: rang rgyud:  see text

taking and leaving:  btang bshag

taming:  'dul ba

tantra: A discourse of the Buddha in the vajrayana

tantra:  rgyud

Tara:  taa ra, sgrol ma

tathagata:  de bzhin shegs pa

ten bhuumis:  sa bcu

ten dharmic activities:  chos spyod bcu

ten directions:  phyogs bcu

the 5 pranas: rlung lnga

the dhatu: khams: = dharmadhatu

the four abhishekas/ empowerments: dbang bzhi

the four reasonings: those of dependence, productive action, three jewels

the Nature:  ngo bo

thing:  dgnos po

things as they are:  gnas lugs [tshul]

three gates:  sgo gsum

three jewels:  dkon mchog gsum

three kinds of suffering: sdug bsngal gsum

three mandalas: dkyil 'khor gsum

three modes: presence of the reason in the subject, forward three natures

three natures: rang bzhin gsum

three poisons/kleshas:  dug gsum

three pramanas:  scripture, perception, and inference

three purities:  dag pa gsum

three samadhis:  ting nge 'dzin gsum

three times:  dus gsum

three worlds [realms]:  srid gsum, khams gsum

Three levels: sa gsum

tirthika: mu stegs: Hindu, extremist.

tonglen:  gtong len

training on the bhuumis:  sa sbyang

transmission:  ngo sprod

transparent:  zang thal

trikaya: sku gsum

true meaning:  nges don

tummo: gtum mo

turning the wheel of dharma:  chos kyi 'khor lo 'khor.

twelve ayatanas:  skye mched bcu gnyis

twelve divisions of the Buddha's sutra teachings: bstan pa'i dbye ba bcu gnyis

twelve links of interdependent origination: see ch. 8 rten a'brel

two acumulations: tshogs gnyis: accumulation of merit and wisdom.

two benefits: don gnyis

two bodhicittas: byang chub sems gnyi

two cessations: 'gogs pa gnyis

two kayas: sku gnyis: dharmakaya and rupakaya, chos sku and gzugs sku.

two obscurations: kleshas and knowables.

twofold purity:  dag pa gnyis

ultimate point: 'gag bsdam

unborn:  skye ba med

uncompounded:  'du ma byas

universal:  [rab] 'byams

unmixed:  ma 'dres

unobstructed:  'gag med, thogs med, zang ka

upa/ charya:  u pa, spyod rgyud

upaya:  thabs

upayayoga:  = upa

utpattikrama:  bskyed rim

vaibhashika: bye brag pa

vajra holder:  rdo rje 'dzin pa

vajra master:  rdo rje slob dpon

vajra:  rdo rje

Vajradhara:  rdo rje chang

vajradhatu:  rdo rje dbyings

vajrakaya:  rdo rje sku

Vajrapani: lag na rdo rje

Vajrasattva:  rdo rje sems dpa'

vajrayana: rdo rje theg pa

vasana:  bag chags

vase of coronation:  spyi blugs

vast:  yangs

vessel and essence:  snod bcud

Victorious One: rgyal ba

vidya mantra:  rigs snang

vidyadhara: knowledge holder

vidyadhara: rig 'dzin

vinaya: 'dul ba

vipashyana:  lhag mthong

virtues:  yon tan


Vishnu: khyab 'jug

vision:  dgongs pa

visualize:  bskyed

vividness:  sal le ba

wisdom of equality:  mnyam nyid ye shes

wisdom of extent: ji snyed pa'i ye shes

wisdom of nature: ji lta ba'i ye shes

wisdom:  ye shes

wish-fulfilling gem:  yid bzhin nor bu

without support:  rten med

without transition and change:  pho 'gyur med.

two truths: bden gnyis

yana:  theg pa

yanas of cause and characteristics: rgyu mtshan theg pa

ye: primordial There is no creation or creator in Buddhism.  The nature is beginningless and eternal, much as God is described.

yidam:  yi dam

yoga tantra:  yo ga:  rnal 'byor [rgyud]

yogachara:  sems tsam, rnal 'byor spyod

Tibetan glossary

'phags pa nor bdun, faith discipline, generosity, learning, decency, modesty, prajna.

'bras bu:  Effect, result, fruition (the kayas and wisdoms etc.) —lam du byed pa:  Making the fruition one's path.  —theg:  The last three of the nine yanas in which the fruition itself becomes the working basis.  Vs. rgyu mtshan theg pa in which the result is produced causally by purification, practice, etc.

'bud:  See bud.

'byed pa med pa:  Without distinction, of dualistic conceptions etc.  —thugs rje, impartial, distinctionless compassion.  It is there for all beings equally, regardless of their state of virtue, understanding etc, as rain falls on the just and unjust alike.

'byor ba'i bkod:  Rich display.

'byung ba lnga:  sa, chu, rlung, me, nam mkha'; earth, water, air, fire, and space.  In their coarse form as substantial exist­ents, they are obstacles to enlighten­ment.  In their subtle form, they are phenome­nal principles that respond to the will of the yogin.  Thus they are known as the consorts of the five bhagavans.  In their subtlest form, they are not different from insight-bodhicitta itself.

'dre ba:  mix.  Eg. things are seen clearly without being mixed up in ji snyed ye shes, qv.

'du ba:  1 Gather, assemble, accumulate, collect, join, meet.  (active sense).  2 Be united or included (of changeless enti­ties).  3 To embody (of deities etc).

'du bral med:  Without gathering or separation, without adding or taking away.

'du byed: the fourth skandha, forma­tions, habitual tendencies, karmic forma­tions.  

'du ma byas:  Uncompounded, uncondi­tioned.  Not produced by combining dharmas through cause and effect.

'du shes:  Perception, [conception] discernment, ideation, inclination, the third skandha.

'dul ba: the teachings of monastic disci­pline, such as the 250 rules for monks and 350 for nuns.  One of the 3 pitakas or baskets of the teachings, sde gsum.  Vinaya, [monastic] discipline, conversion, cultivation, taming.  'dul byed, is the tamer or teacher and 'dul bya, the tamed or disciple.

'dus pa:  See 'du ba.

'dzin:  See gzung 'dzin.

'gag med:  1 Unobstructed, unlimited by or free from..., able to manifest.  2 Un­ceasing.

'gag:  1 Pith, crucial or principle point.  Cf. gnad.  2 To cease.

'gogs pa gnyis of discriminating aware­ness 1 without complexity resting in natureless meaning in which defilements are like the sky.

'gro ba:  1 Sentient being = sems can.  2 Animal.  3 To go.

'gro ba'i lam:  Path of one's travels, path of beings.

'gyu ba:  movement, moving thoughts, discursive [vibration], thinking.  Has the connotation of unsteady flickering like lightning, tongues of flame, or reflections on water.  All distracting mental activi­ties including perceptions, feelings, and the undercurrent of subconscious gossip are included.  'phro:  Flickering emana­tions of the moving, more or less equal to, rnam rtog, discursive thoughts; errat­ic, mental activity.

'jam dpal:  Mañjushri bodhisattva of knowledge.

'jog pa:  1 Put, place.  2 Leave, abandon.  3 Postulate, assert.  4 Classify, pigeon­hole.  5 Rest the mind in meditation.

'khor ba:  Sa.msara; confused, cyclic, transmigratory existence; to whirl or spin; rotate.

'khrul pa:  Confusion, deception, mis­take, frenzy, madness, bewilderment.

'od gsal:  Luminosity, luminous clarity.  The glory of the vision of the pure bhu­umis from the eighth upward, in which the two obscurations are removed.  non-objectivized manifestation within the great emptiness.  Its full blown form is the buddhas' vision of things as they are, corresponding to ji snyed ye shes or kun mkhyen ye shes.  All schools of the mahayana accept its existence.  Therefore, it is a mistake to understand emptiness in a way that excludes such vision.

'od:  Light, radiance.

'og min:  Akanishtha, = gandavyuha, the highest realm, pure land, or buddha field, that of the vision of enlightenment.  It is on the level of sambhogakaya, and said to be inhabited by mahasattvas, (who alone can apprehend it.) It was at first the name for the highest of the realms of the gods.

'phags pa bden bzhi:  Four noble truths.  1 All is suffering, sdug bsngal.  2 The origin, kun 'byung, of suffering, ego grasping etc.  3 'gag pa, Cessation of suffering.  4 The path, lam, leading to the end of suffering.

'phags pa nor bdun, faith discipline, generosity, learning, decency, modesty, prajna.

'phags pa:  Arya:  Changeless, without transition or change.  Cf. pho ba, the yoga of transference of consciousness.

a nu:  Anu yoga, the eighth yana.  See theg pa dgu.

a ti:  Ati yoga, the great perfection, the ninth yana.  See theg pa dgu.

a'dod pa lnga: desirable qualities of the 5 senses.

a'jigs chen bzhi: old age, illness, death, deterioration.

a'khor lo bsgyur ba'i rgyal po.  Universal monarch, especially Dharma kings.

bag chags:  vasanas Habitual tendency or pattern, karmic propensity or seed.  In yogacara philosophy karma is stored as bag chags, in kun gzhi, alaya, a formless and neutral basic conscious­ness.  These mature into such manifestations as being born in a physical body, having particular mental propensities or character, seeing the world in terms of sa.msaric confusion, experiencing the karmic result of previous good and evil deeds, etc.

bar do:  Intermediate state in cyclical existence, especially those experienced between death and rebirth, according to texts like the bar do thos grol, the Tibetan Book of the Dead.  These are the 'chi ka'i bardo, the bardo of the moment of death, where the radiance of dharmata is experienced; the chos nyid bar do, bardo of dharmata, where visions of peaceful and wrathful wisdom-deities etc.  are experienced; and the srid pa bar do, the bardo of becoming or rebirth.

bar snang:  Space.  (The literal words could mean appearance in the middle but seldom do.)

bar:  The middle, middle way between opposites, eg.  inner mind and external appearance.  It may become an object of fixation, and it is said that the wise do not dwell in the middle either.

bcom ldan 'das lnga:  the five bhagavans, peaceful deities or sambhogakaya buddhas, Ak.shobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amita­bha, Amoghasiddhi, Vairochana.  They are said to appear in the visions of the chos nyid bardo, and also figure in many tantric visualization practices.  They represent the enlightened forms of the five skandhas, form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness and five kleshas anger, pride, desire, jealousy, and ignoring.  They manifest as the five wisdoms, mirror-like, equality, discriminating, all-accomplishing, and dharmadhatu wisdoms.  Locana, Mamaki, Pandaravasini, Tara, and Akasha­dhatvishvari are their consorts, representing the pure form of water, earth, fire, air, and space.

bcom ldan 'das:  bhagava[n][t], blessed one, the Buddha.

bcos ma (n) pa (v):  Fabricated, artificial, created, cranked up, created purposely, fake, unnatural, pretended.

bdag pa chen po: great being

bdag:  Self, ego, atman (false and delusive) master, sovereign.  —nyid = bdag or sometimes = essence, ngo bo or similar words. — pa chen po :  great being, mahatma, universal mind of enlightenment or buddhahood, as symbolized by Samantabhadra etc.  By becoming enlightened one attains this.  There is no conflict with emptiness.  This self is empty in essence like any other.

bde ba chen [po'i sku]:  Mahasukha[kaya], the body of great bliss, referring to the intrinsic and inseparable bliss of enlightenment, bde ba, which is closer to well-being and equanimity than physical pleasure.

bde bar gshegs pa:  Sugata, epithet of buddha, the blissfully gone one, due to experience of mahasukha.

bde gshegs snying po:  Sugatagarbha, sugata essence, buddha nature, the ultimate, changeless reality from which temporary phenomena arise and to which they return.  v.  Uttaratantra etc.  Because of its existence as our real nature we are of the “enlightened family” and can attain enlightenment.  Sometimes sugatagarrbha refers to that potential or Buddha nature.

bden gnyis: the relative and absolute, kun rdzob and don dam:  The two truths are usually said to be emptiness and appearance, in the third turning they are also presented as appearances being or not being like things as they are.

bdud rtsi:  amrita.  The intoxicating nectar of the gods, which conveys long life, bliss, and spiritual accomplishment.  The literal words mean "devil juice."

bkod pa, (n or v):  Arrange[ment], display, order, setup, array.

bdud:  Mara, demonic or obstructing forces, either personified or seen as psychologi­cal or karmic propensities.  Mara is the king of such demons or forces, as the Devil is in the west.  There are many divisions (see text), especially the four maras:  The klesha and skandha maras (personifications of those); mrityu mara, personifying death, rigidity, darkness, depression and such life-destroying forces; and the deva putra (son of deity) mara concerned with the seductions of pleasure, power, and various ego-building experiences.

bla ma:  guru.  Teacher who embodies, displays, and transmits the sacred reality of enlightenment, also teaching the path by which it may be obtained and so forth.  In tantric teachings like ati it is generally held that even though enlightenment is our true nature, it would be extremely difficult to realize this without the guru.  Therefore great respect is in order for those rare persons who can properly perform this function.  At the same time one must transcend devotional conceptions about the guru as separate to attain realization.  Over-conceptualized devotion can actually be a hinderance.

blang 'dor:  Accepting and rejecting, receiving and abandoning, taking and discarding.

blo:  (Conceptual) mind, intellect, cognition, awareness, plan; —zangs, good intelligence —'das, beyond conceptual or sa.msaric mind, beyond thought or intellect.

bram ze: brahman, hindu priestly caste.

brgya byin: king of the 33 gods in Hinduism

brtag pa:  Vitarka.  Investigate, inquire, examine; —s: Pf.  of rtog:  Think conceptual­ize.  Applied and focused thought approaching and determining the nature of its object.  Cf. dpyod pa.

brtags pa gnyis pa:  Condensed text from the cycle of the Hevajra Tantra.

bsam gtan bzhi:  the dhyana "trances" have five factors concets, analysis/scruitiny, joy, wellbeing and equanimity [rtog pa, dpyod pa, dga'a ba, bde ba, btang snyoms).  Accounts vary.  In each successive dhyana one drops out until the 4th has equanimity alone.  These states also correspond to heaven realms where the gods have correspondiong realizations.  See Ch. 4.

bsam gtan:  Dhyana, state of meditation.  In particular, the nine dhyanas, four with form and five formless concentrations.  See snyom 'jug.

bsgom pa:  Meditate, action of meditation.  See text for divisions.  V. shamatha, vipashyana.

bshugs:  That which has been entered into and within which one dwells.  What presents itself.  To consist of, constitute.

bskal pa:  In Hindu-Buddhist cosmology a great kalpa consists of 4 to 80 (depending on the source) small kalpas of about eight million years.  During this period the world evolves, develops, deteriorates and finally is completely destroyed in fire.  It is said we live in a sub-period called the good kalpa because many buddhas appear in it.  

bskyang:  p. of skyong: Protect, guard, maintain, preserve, care for, nurture, govern, enjoy.  Dharma protector deities are chos skyong.

bskyed rim:  Developing stage.  One performs various liturgies involving visualization of deities, making praises and offerings to them, reciting their essence mantras, and so forth.  The deities are more aspects of enlightened mind than disembod­ied, personal entities external to and more powerful than oneself.  But they are sometimes experienced as personlike beings.  Eventually one hopes to see the phenomenal world as embodying various aspects of the pure environment and inhabitants of the mandalas of deities.

bskyed:  Generate, cultivate, create, produce, vis­ualize, develop.

bsod nams bsngo:  all good deeds including practice accumulate merit or good karma.  When ego thinks it owns good karma it is easily defiled, so it is best to give or deicate it to beings and the path.

bstan pa'i dbye ba bcu gnyis:  General/sutras, verse summaries, prophecies, verse teachings, exhortations, biographical tales, narratives of former examples, conditional eclarations, extensive teachings, narrativges of former births, resolutions, narratives of miracles.

btang bshag med:  Without taking or leaving:  Intransitive or participle of 'bud,  revealed, occurred.  It just happens.  bud pa, dispense with.  'bud, transitive:  strip, lay bare, reveal, set free, expel, slander, blow (conch, on fire etc.), endeavor.

bya ba grub pa'i ye shes:  All-accomplishing wisdom, the karma family wisdom.  The speed, struggle, and poverty mentality of jealousy is transmuted by realization that real achievement is effortless and self-existing.  As with Vajrakilaya (indestructible dagger) practice, the power of realization cuts through the confusion of obstacles.

bya rgyud:  Kriya tantra.  See theg pa dgu.

byams pa: the next buddha, Maitreya, now residing in the Tushita Heaven.

byang chub lnga:  The five manifestations of enlightenment are 1  Sitting on a sun and moon seat.  2  One's body completely manifests the body of the deity.  3  One's speech manifests the seed syllables.  4  Mind manifests the attributes of the deity's scepter, eg. Vajrayogini's trident and skull cup.  5  Jñanasattvas descend. 

byang chub sems dpa':  Bodhisattva.  One who has reached at least the path of seeing of the five paths, but not yet attained complete buddhahood.  With the buddhas they are called noble ones or aryas, 'phags pa.  There are usually said to be ten levels or bhuumis of the bodhisattva path, on each of which a certain perfection or paramita is emphasized, though up to fifteen are sometimes mentioned.  —theg pa:  The bodhisattvayana practices the paramitas in the context of the understand­ing, and later the vision, of emptiness.  see theg pa dgu.

byang chub sems gnyis: aspiring and entering smon 'jug.

byang chub sems:  Bodhicitta, enlightened mind.  In the mahayana there are the bodhicitta of aspiring to enlightenment, and that of actually entering into it.  There are relative bodhicitta, concerned with compassion and the details of practicing the paramitas etc.  and absolute bodhicitta, the ultimate nature of things.  Bodhicitta is presented in ati as the absolute mind of enlightenment.  It is more or less equivalent to rig pa, insight, and sugatagarbha, when they are used to refer to the fruition.

byang chub:  Bodhi, enlightenment.  byang:  purified of obscurations and chub = perfected in enlightenment.

bye brag pa:  Either the vaishe.shikas among the six hindu schools, or the vaibha.shikas among the shravaka schools.  The eighteen schools more or less followed these tenets.  Stcherbatsky's The Central Conception of Buddhism is one of many sources.  They define the relative as the composite, and hold that the absolute is physical atoms and the momentary dharmas of mind.  They also hold that these absolutes are linked by various truly existing causes and conditions.  They hold that the three times, space, etc. are established as substances.  They hold that partless atoms aggregate into gross objects, and that partless moments of consciousness directly perceive their objects.  They hold that effects in some sense pre-exist in their causes

bying rgod:  Drowsiness and wildness, sinking into dullness and the arising of uncontrollable discursiveness, as obstacles experienced in meditation.  They are said to be defenses of ego against fundamental space in which it does not exist.

byis pa:  1 Immature persons, children.  2 Disparaging:  childish fools.

byung po:  Ghost, generic name for 'dre, gdon (döns) and bgegs (geks) etc.  Demon, evil spirit, esp. of the preta realm of the six lokas.

cha med:  Nothing whatsoever, partless, without aspects.

cha phra:  Infinitesimal, subtle [parts].

chad lta:  Nihilistic view.  Those who hold that nothing truly exists or who are skeptics holding that we cannot know what exists are nihilists.  But this fault is most often ascribed to those who hold that there is no moral order of karmic cause and effect, so that the various good and bad events in the world arise only by chance.  Thus many scientists would be nihilists from the buddhist viewpoint.

cho 'phrul:  Magical display, apparition, illusion, trick, creation, power, miracle, magical attack.

cho ga rnam pa lnga:  The five aspects of sadhana:  Visualization, recitation, offering, praise, and blessing.

chos can:  That which possesses the various qualities of individual dharmas as opposed to the single nature of dharmas, emptiness, dharmata.  The subject of a logical reasoning.  Sometimes the phenomenal in general.  

chos dbyings:  Dharmadhatu.  Space, source, or realm of phenomena.  Absolute reality, the Dharma = enlightened mind, bodhicitta etc..  In the eighteen dhatus of hinayana, as presented by the Abhidharma­kosha, dharmadhatu is the object, vi.shaya,  yul, of the mental sense.  In this sense there are as many dharmadhatus as there are sentient beings.

chos kyi 'khor lo 'khor:  The three turnings of the wheel of Dharma.  The first was at the deer park in Varanasi with hinayana teachings of truly existing dharmas, the four noble truths, and eightfold path; the second at the vulture peak taught emptiness of true existence; the third in the indefinite realms taught the changeless, eternal, ultimate nature, absolute bodhicitta or sugatagarbha.

chos nyid:  Used in the Abhidharmakosha etc to mean absolute reality or realities, the real nature of something.  It is sometimes used in this text in such a sense.  The Tibetan schools all accept emptiness as the absolute reality, so the terms are more or less synonymous.  In ati this is the great emptiness beyond emptiness and non-emptiness, things as they are beyond concept, their ultimate being or nature.

chos sku:  Dharmakaya.  See sku gsum.

chos skyongs:  Dharma protector, dharmapalas, various generally wrathful deities, who protect the teachings, attack those who pervert them for reasons of ego etc.  In general when basic sanity begins to slip, the phenomenal world gives gentle messages, like you can't find your car keys.  If that fails, you might drive your car into a tree.  That is called a manifestation of the protectors.  Mahakala, Vaitali, Ekajati etc, are examples.  

chos:  1 dharma, phenomenon, thing, existent, ultimate constituent of existence, that which is suitable to be known by the mind, mental object.  2 Dharma (capitalized):  The Buddhadharma, the teachings of buddhism.  3 Religion in general.  4 quality, property.  5 Right, duty, moral law.  6 Scripture or doctrine.  7 Truth, order, law.  8 Principle, topic.  9 Meaning, value.  10 In ati the vision of realization is the end of the buddhadharma, and this is called “the Dharma.”  If the guru transmits this vision to someone, it is called “giving the Dharma.”

dag pa gnyis:  rang bzhin dag, glo bur dag.  Purity of nature and purity of pure experience from the incidental.  The two purities result from removing the veils of conflicting emotions, the kleshas, and of primitive beliefs about reality that obscure omniscient wisdom.

dag pa gsum:  There are various lists of three purities.  In the bodhisattva path there is threefold purity (=emptiness) of actor, action, and object.  In mahayoga there are purity of the outer world, inner contents, and the continuity of the mind stream    snod, bcud, rgyud.  The list referred to in the text, during a discussion of kriya is probably this:  1  lha dag dkyil 'khor, the mandala of the pure deity  2  rdzas dang longs spyod dag, pure substance = longs spyod, enjoyment or abundance  3  sangs rgyas don dag ting nge 'dzin the samadhi of the pure meaning of buddhahood.  [ES lists sngags dang ting nge 'dzin, purity of mantra and samadhi for 3]  It is worth noting that ES's source specifically refers to kriya and ours is more a mahayoga feast commentary.

dag pa'i sa:  The three pure bodhisattva bhuumis, the eighth, ninth, and tenth.  They are so called because only on these levels do luminosity, pure appearance, wisdom, the ornament, gandavyuuha, Akani.shtha, etc.  manifest.  Bodhisattvas of these levels are to some extent like the buddhas in seeing things as they are.  Those on a lower level have direct cognition of emptiness in meditation.  But they have not yet removed the obscurations of primitive beliefs about reality that veil pure appearance.  

dag snang:  Pure appearance, sacred outlook (VCTR, who wanted to that here everything appears has a sense of overwhelming sacred value).  Enlightened vision of the relative = luminosity possessing the two purities etc.  Ultimately = the kayas and wisdoms.

dam bca':  Thesis, promise, oath, claim, idea.  "Dam" here = firm, stable.

dam tshig srung ba:  To keep, guard, or maintain samaya.  It is sometimes said that this is almost impossible for someone who is not enlightened.  For buddhas it is self-existing and effortless.

dbang bzhi vase (5 buddha families, water, crown, vajra, bell, and name), secret (inner feelings and phenomena  are the mandala), prajnajnana (bliss of union), suchness (the nature).

dbang drug:  The six indriyas, or sense organs, the six senses, the five usual senses plus the mental sense; ES:  six tantric empowerments of yoga, but he does not list them.

dbang lgna:  1 The five senses.  2 The five powers:  faith, perserverence, mindfulness, samadhi, and prajña.  

dbang po chen po"the great Lord,"a Hindu creator god.

dbang po: Hindu god, of the three Bhrama, Vishnu, and Shiva he is associated with destruction and ascetic yoga, and with the dance of existence.  He is also much associated with Hindu tantra.

dbang:  1 Empowerment (= dbang bskur, abhi.sheka)  Typically a ceremony introducing students the ritual and mandala of a particular deity.  One can also be empowered as a teacher or with a certain state of being.   2 Power.  3 Senses or their faculties (= ­ dbang po, usually as conditioned experiences to be transcended.  4 Mental acuity or capacity.  5 Ruler.

dbu ma:  1 The middle way.  2 The central channel visualized in tantric yoga.  3 The madhyamaka philosophy of emptiness established by Nagarjuna.  Nagarjuna claimed to establish logically the teachings of the prajñaparamita suutras that absolute reality is empty of true existence of what conventional concepts impute to it, of any real nature and so forth.  Interdependent arising of all conventional things is one way of establishing this.  The prasangika school dbu ma thal 'gyur, emphasizes that reality transcends concepts, even that of emptiness.  Therefore, insofar as possible, it makes no attempt to establish doctrines of its own, but limits itself to showing the inadequacies in the doctrines of others.  Ati is highly influenced by the prasangika viewpoint, which it presupposes.  Reasoned arguments do not appear in this text, because they have been resolved previously.  Therefore, one who wishes to study ati should first have personally resolved the meaning of emptiness as presented by madhyamaka.  Then it is possible to go on to realize how emptiness manifests in experience as non-dual emptiness/luminosity.

     Ati to some degree also accepts the notion of svatantrika madhyamaka:  without distinction, division, classification, or exclusion.

dbyings kyi snying po:  Garbha of space = sugatagarbha.  Sometimes = dharmadhatu, sometimes the seed, potentiality, or “genes” of dharmadhatu, which makes it possible for sentient beings to attain it, as in the Uttaratantra.

dbyings las mi g.yo:  Not departing from space, going beyond it in the sense of becoming something with a truly existent different nature, not of one taste with it, non-empty, something dual in relation to insight.

dbyings:  Field, dhatu, realms, [basic] space, expanse, totality continuum, source.  dbyings su, can mean spontaneously.  dbyings su dag, can mean spontane­ous or fundamental purity.  Basic nature, eg.  wetness can be called the dbyings of water.

de bzhin gshegs pa['i snying po]:  Tathagata [garbha] [womb of the] thus-gone.  tathagata = buddha qua one who courses in suchness = emptiness = things as they are.  Tathagatagarbha:  the buddha nature or essence.  It is like sugata­garbha except the emphasis is on the emptiness rather than the bliss aspect.  Sometimes it refers to the buddha nature as potential for enlightenment in all beings, as opposed to full blown enlightenment.  Sometimes it means realization of absolute truth = absolute bodhicitta etc.

de bzhin nyid:  Suchness, emptiness, things as they are = chos nyid.

ded dpon:  Guide.  Literally it means a ship captain, as a metaphor of one who can guide people safely on a long journey.

dgag sgrub:  Assert or deny; prove or refute in the verbal sphere; hinder or establish in the experiential sphere.

dge a'dun: followers of the Buddha's teachings.

dgnos grub:  The relative thun mong or kun rdzob, siddhis are accomplish­ments such as the six higher perceptions, mgnon shes.  Absolute siddhi, thun mong ma yin or don dam) = enlightenment.

dgnos po:  Thing, conceptualized as something solid and real with a fixed, independent essence.  That which has the power to produce an effect, don byed nus pa, is a thing.  What does not, like space, is a non-thing.  cf. dgnos su, in reality.

dgnos [por] 'dzin:  To recognize, either things as they are or in terms of some conceptual reference point falsely fixated as invariant and objective; to grasp as solid or as things having fixated characteristics of essence and effect-producing power.  The experiential quality of the world so grasped.

dgongs pa:  Literally intended meaning, and thence by extension vision or realization.  KPSR.

dkon mchog bzhi: Buddha Dharma, Sangha, and guru.

dkyil 'khor gsum: body, speech, and mind.

dkyil 'khor:  Mandala.  Literally, center and border.  The mandala of a deity has that deity with customary accoutrements at the center.  Around the central deity are the retinue and attendants of the four families other than that of the deity.  Around that are the palace, vajra fence, charnel grounds, and other environmental symbols.  Altogether they symbolize in detail the particular modes of being, action, and awareness symbolized by the particular deity.  Mandala is also used to mean the experience of body, speech, and mind of primordial buddhahood.  Such a mandala is not an artificial creation, but a self-existing display for whoever reaches this level.  This display of the mandala of the king of dharmata is not chaotic, but is experientially as organized as the experience of a real king's court.  By extension almost any perspective or arrangement can be called a mandala.

dmigs pa:  Conception, image, object-focus, perceived object, visualization.  —med:  without any of the above, inconceivable, inexperiencable, unimaginable.  —rkyen object condition of perception.  —med pa'i snying rje:  objectless (impartial, egoless) compassion.

dngos grub thun mong brgyad:  magic pills, eye medicine, sword, going in space, invisibility, deathlessness, conquersing sickness.

don byed nus pa:  Ability to perform a function or produce a result.  The defining characteristic of things.

don dam:  True, real, absolute, ultimate.  rnam grangs— the conceptually describable absolute vs. rnam grangs min pa'i —, which cannot be described but only experienced.

don gnyis: rang don and gzhan don, benefit for self and other.

don grub:  Attainment, accomplishment, success.  = Siddhartha.  KSTR.

don:  1 Meaning, sense, significance.  2 Object, thing.  3 Fact.  4 True, real, ultimate.  5 Topic, subject.  6 Purpose, benefit.  7 Result.  8 Nature.  9 Message.

dpyod pa:  Vichara.  Sustained analytical thought on objects determined by vitarka, usually with the intent of resolving them in terms of practical judgement.  Subconscious gossip on sense impressions, an ongoing indistinct murmur of conceptuality (manojalpa) underlying our experience.  Vitarka searches to match sense experiences to conceptual reference points.  Vicara attempts to fix them there definitively.  Thus, one might use them to decide respectively that sa.msaric objects are impermanent and empty, and should not be relied on by one who hopes for liberation.  In hinayana brtags pa and dpyod pa, are considered desirable in building concentration that leads one to a more direct cognition of reality in dhyana, meditation.  But they drop out in the second dhyana leading to clear lucidity (samprasada.) PPA, appropriate sanskrit index headings.  In the Tibetan schools also examination and analysis are considered as preludes to the clarity of direct comprehension. In CYD and LT analysis is almost invariably madhyamaka analysis for the absolute:  Memory and understanding, wakefulness.

drag po, Hindu god, of the three Bhrama, Vishnu, and Shiva he is associated with destruction and ascetic yoga, and with the dance of existence.  He is also much associated with Hindu tantra.

dran pa:  Memory, mindfulness, a term for conditioned sa.msaric consciousness altogether, as used eg. by Saraha.

dri ma gnyis:  The two obscurations of kleshas and knowables.  KSTR.

dri med:  Stainless, spotless, immaculate, undefiled.

dri za: celestial musician spirits said to susbust on smells.

dril ba:  Include, essentialize, wrap up, sum up.

dug gsum:  The three poisons; chags pa, zhe sdang, gti mug; passion, aggression, and ignorance.

dug lnga:  The five poisons = the five kleshas, anger, pride lust, jealousy, and ignoring.

dus med:  Timeless, constant.

dus bzhi:  The four times:  Past, present, future, and the all-inclusive fourth.

dus gsum:  The three times, past present and future.

dus: age krita, treta, dvepara and kali are four ages of the universe after which the world is destroyed.  The first is like a golden age dominated by bhramins (priests).  The following ages deteriorate, and are controlled by kshatriyas (rulers/warirs) vaishyas (merchants) and shudras (servants/ laborers

gdod ma'i dbyings:  gdod= Primordial.  dbyings= chos kyi dbyings= Space of dharmadhatu, [= The dhatu], as sphere, source, and element of all there is.

gdod nas:  Primordially.  Sim. thog nas, ye nas.

gdon:  Malevolent or demonic spirit, especially of the preta realm, said to bring about disease and accidents for those who lack mindfulness.

glo bur:  Temporary, incidental, transient, adventitious, not innate or intrinsic, sudden, abrupt.

glod:  Relax, rest, be natural, free, loose, release, let go, set free.

gnad:  Main, essential, vital or key point; pith, essence, secret.  —kyis:  due to.  —'gag,  put into a single point.  lus kyi gnad:  teachings of physical practice, hatha yoga etc.

gnas lugs [tshul]:  Natural:  Antidote, remedy.  Eg., the contemplation of disgusting aspects of the body is a hinayana antidote for carnal lust.  The path as a whole is the antidote for sa.msara.  Emptiness is the antidote for belief in self-nature.  Tibetans often think of the bodhisattvayana as the one that principally employs antidotes.  Whereas the first two yanas are said to find nothing good in negative thoughts and emotions and to recommend suppressing them, the bodhisattvayana compares them to an unpleasant tasting medicine.  They may be useful in building resolve for enlightenment, non-attachment, compassion, and other wholesome attitudes.  From the viewpoint of ati, since buddhahood is self-existing, there is no need for antidotes.

gnas:  Place, basis, ground = gzhi, abide, exist, to live, lifetime, remain, endure, be stable, establish oneself, domain, realm.  -skabs:   Occasion.  -'gyur:  Transforma­tion.  -cha:  Stability, section of a text, point, topic.  -snang:  The way things appear and the way things are.

gnyis med:  Non-duality, non-existence of either or both.  Eg. gzung 'dzin gnyis med, may mean that grasping subject and grasped object are non-dual, not separate states, co-emergent, in union etc; or it may mean that neither of them exists.  The former approach is characteristic of the mind-only school, where enlightenment is defined as realization of ultimate mind as one without subject/object duality.  The latter is characteristic of madhyamaka, which says that neither mind nor its objects truly exist as independent entities with a nature of their own and so forth.  But the same arguments that refute them also refute any truly existing ground such as dharmadhatu that would be beyond mind.  So they cannot be said to exist non-dually as that or anything else.

     Ati ultimately accepts the madhyamaka viewpoint:  Straying, deviation, misunder­standing; place where these can occur -gsum:  clinging to bliss, clarity, and non-thought.  -bzhi:  Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in LM:  Misunderstanding the great primordial emptiness, one labels mind with conceptual negation.  This is known as straying into the realm of conceptual shuunyata (emptiness).  Not having faith in the ground and fruition of ordinary mind within oneself, one hopes for a new acquisition of the fruition of dharmakaya elsewhere.  This is known as straying in regard to the path.  Misunderstand­ing the way of self-liberation, one seeks antidotes elsewhere than in the kleshas themselves.  This is known as straying in regard to the antidote.  Thinking that all dharmas of apparent existence, sa.msara and nirvana, are merely shuunyata, one is stuck in a fixation of nihilism.  This is known as straying into labeling."

goms:  1 Proficient, habituated, trained, skillful, adept, having mastered, accustomed, developed.  2 Paces, footsteps.

grol ba:  Liberation, freedom, to liberate oneself or another, untying, releasing escaping from, recovering from illness, to end [a meeting].  to become non-existent [of things] = cease.  —bzhi, the four kinds of liberation:  shar grol, liberation on arising; gcer [cer] grol direct liberation; rang grol, self-liberation, and ye grol eternal liberation.

grub thob:  Siddhi, accomplishment; siddha, the one who has such accomplishment.  Absolute siddhi is enlightenment.  The relative siddhis involve miraculous displays of power over phenomena, the higher perceptions, mngon shes qv., and the like.

gsal ba:  Clear, clearly appearing, clearly explained, luminous.  See 'od gsal.

gtad med:  Not solid, shifty, offering no fixed or steady reference point.  KPSR.   VCTR.

gtan la 'bebs pa:  Establish, resolve with certainty, determine, settle, clarify, put in order, usually of doctrines.

gzhan stong:  Empty of other.  In shentong philosophy it is said:  Foundation, ground, basis, object [-ive support] basic nature, = buddha nature (sugatagarbha, the Space of insight) , source, subject.  — gzhi: the thing which is . (eg. stong gzhi, the thing which is empty.)  —grub, established foundation.  —rten  ground and support, foundation = gzhi.  —lam 'bras:  ground, path, and fruition:  Eg. the ground, one's nature, sugata­garbha, emptiness possessing all the supreme characteristics, is the nature as cause and ground.  Therefore, one can practice the path of the buddhadharma in the ways described in this text, and attain the fruition, enlightenment, the manifestation of the kayas and wisdoms and so forth.  This text is presented in that order.

gzhi gnas:  1 Intrinsically present, abiding in the ground, gzhi gnas ye shes gsum qv.  2 Shamatha meditation:  One-pointed meditation on an object, most often the breath.  It is a means of cutting through conceptualizations and attachments so that one can experience the basic self-existing nature.

gzhi med:  Groundless.  Things are mere appearance of what does not exist.  Cf. med pa gsal snang, stong gzugs, rten med.  KPSR.

gzugs brnyan:  Reflection.  Ordinarily we think of reflections as reflections of something that is not itself a reflection, such as the moon in water, or "reflected" in visual experience.  But here all phenomena are "reflections" in that they arise interdependently.  The external moon is a considered to be a projected, false conception, with even less reality than the experienced one, and so forth.  Whatever arises is experienced as empty, in something like the way we experience the moon in water now, or like the way we experience a dream, when we know we are dreaming.

gzugs sku:  Ruupakaya.  The two form kayas sambhogakaya and nirmana­kaya, constituting the benefit for others.  See trikaya.

gzung 'dzin:  Usu. Abbr.  gzung ba'i yul dang 'dzin pa'i sems:  Fixated or grasped object , gzung ba and fixating or grasping mind, 'dzin pa; illusory, sa.msaric fixations of independent, truly existing subjects and objects.  VCTR translated this "grasping and fixation," rather than the more com­mon "subject and object."  One reason is that enlight­enment in ati is not envisioned, as sometimes in hinayana, as nihilistic cessation of experience of subject and object; nor, as in mind-only, as their becoming one thing.  The enlightened object is the kayas, emptiness possessing all the supreme aspects.  Theenlightened subject is insight-wisdom.  They can be said to be inseparable and non-dual, so that this perception is self-insight of itself.  But for ati this state is also the great emptiness beyond existence and non-existence, beyond mind and no-mind etc.  Ati accepts the madhyamaka claim that no predicates can adequately describe absolute reality.  So it is beyond the absolute mind of mind-only.  Thus, VCTR used "grasping and fixation" to indicate that enlight­enment tran­scended confused conceptualiza­tions of the perceiver and the per­ceived.  Those who translate gzung 'dzin gnyis med, as [with nei­ther]­[without the duality of] subject and object are in general aware of these considerations, so that in the end there need be no fundamental disagreement.  VCTR some­times used these terms so that they seemed to refer to a simulta­neous co-dependence of subject and object, and sometimes spoke of a successive occur­rence of the subject-object split, gzung ba, followed by mental grasping, 'dzin pa.  Obviously one should not mix the two usages.

It is traditionally said that the shravakas realize the non-existence of ­ gzung 'dzin, of the individual ego, and that pratyekabuddhas also realize half-egolessness of dharmas by realizing the non-existence of gzung but not of 'dzin.  KPSR explains that this means that there is no individual ego ('dzin) and therefore no objects (gzung) that have a substantial, causal, or any other kind of dependence to it.  Pratyekabuddhas are said to realize interdependent arising, according to the twelve links of interdependent arising and so forth.  Therefore, they realize that dharmas of the external world do not exist with an independent nature of their own.  They view them as aspects of the experience of a perceiver.  However such a perceiver is not an individual ego.  Such a view is very like mind-only, or perhaps some versions of Sautrantika Abhidharma that anticipate mind-only.  cf. BPTP.  Bodhisattvas have full realization of emptiness, and therefore do not accept the grasper of dharmas as truly existing any more than those dharmas themselves.

gzung:  V. gzung 'dzin.

theg pa dgu: the nine vehicles

I.  Hinayana:

1 shravaka yana nyan thos, the hearers or disciples.  This is the monastic buddhism taught by the nirmanakaya.  It emphasizes the four noble truths:  Life is full of suffering, this arises from the causal setup of dharmas, skandhas etc, which are transient without any enduring self.  But given this situation, suffering too depends on a transient setup and cessation is possible.  This is achieved by means of the eightfold path, right view, speech, thought, action, livelihood, exertion, mindfulness and samadhi.  By learning to be there, doing everything properly and mindfully, one cuts off the suffering arising from the speed, clinging, and desire for self-aggrandizement of ego, and attains enlightenment.  One relearns like a baby to sit, eat, and walk like a buddha.  Practicing shamatha and vipashyana, zhi gnas and lhag mthong, one learns to have the buddha mind.  And yet it is said, the fathers dwell in complete humility.

     2 Pratyekabuddha yana, rang rgyal:  The basic physical setup has already been determined.  Here solitary yogins traditionally unlock the development of mind in sa.msara and nirvana, seeing how the skandhas, phung po, develop.  Contemplat­ing a corpse, one reasons backward through birth and craving etc to ignorance, the ultimate cause of life's sufferings.  Cutting craving and attachment to externals, the yogin realizes the self sufficiency of one's ultimate nature.  Letting this be as buddhahood is maitri, the ultimate kindness to oneself.  In ati tradition the account given sounds very like the view of mind-only.  It is said that the yogin realizes the emptiness of individual ego and of objects other than mind, but not of mind itself.  Pratyekabuddha solitariness betrays a subtle remainder of belief in the independence and separability of self and other, which is basic to ego.

I.  Mahayana, theg pa chen po:

     3 Bodhisattvayana, byang chub sems dpa'i theg pa:  Here madhya­maka emptiness is realized.  In ati tradition the emphasis is not nihilistic.  Rather the nature of enlightened mind glimpsed in mind-only is seen to have always been universal and unobstructed.  The skandhas and so forth which cause suffering are seen to be like mere temporary clouds on the face of the basic nature, sugatagarbha.  Therefore, with great joy one enters the path of the bhuumis that goes beyond sa.msara.  As self and other do not exist, there is no boundary between maitri and compassion for all sentient beings.  Yet this path is not trod by turning away from the phenomenal world, but rather relating to all situations fully as expressions of the ultimate nature.  This is like the mindfulness of the eightfold path, but now it is unleashed in emptiness.  It manifests as the practice of the ten paramitas, by which finally the proper manifestation of the body, speech, and mind, buddhahood, trikaya, is attained.  However there can be a problem here.  For example, the elder Vimalakirti was totally devoted to virtue and saving others.  He goes among sewer-like dens of thieves and whores and was not corrupted.  But the whole human world still looked like a sewer inhabited by perverts and criminals.  One may see the absolute and the natural world as pure, and still have no pure vision of the relative altogether and of human society.  So even with the vision of sugatagarbha and the paramitas, relative existence is something of a crude joke, a pot of night-soil.  Hence the need for vajrayana.

II.  Vajrayana, rdo rje theg pa:

      A.  the outer tantras, phyi rgyud:

     4 kriya yoga, kri ya, bya rgyud, the tantra of action):  Here we find that within us there is also the sacredness of the vajra world, the sambhogakaya world of pure perception inhabited by deities, who are like kings and queens with their palaces and retinues.  Because they have become totally egoless, everything they do is pure, sacred, and immensely powerful.  In fact we encounter this world by relating to the guru's world, which invokes this pure aspect of ourselves.  At first we may feel rather like stupid, filthy monkeys in relation to this world.  We cannot participate as equals, but only as spectators.  However, if we surrender ourselves to this as devoted servants, there is a possibility of becoming part of the vajra world.  That is the logic of kriya.  Meanwhile one can purify oneself and one's basic energies in hopes of becoming a decent vajra-citizen.  In kriya this is very literal, with many baths and changes of clothes, white food, etc.

     5 Upa, The most basic difference as we progress to upa through the outer tantras is that one begins the relate to the deity as a friend.  Oneself is samayasattva, the deity is jñanasattva, the real thing, who is sending his wisdom down on us, and the pretence of being of that nature seems less and less preposterous.

     6 yoga:  Finally we truly realize that the deity, who represents the nature of the guru's vajra world, also is our own true nature as well.  So we can actually become mahasukha princes and princesses of the five families.  That is the fruition of the yoga yana.  The five skandhas etc.  have been transmuted into the perfection of the five wisdoms.

B.  The inner tantras:

     But even here there is a subtle reference point of perfection, wisdom-message, divinity and so forth, vs. something imperfect, unwise and so forth that is co-emergently ignored.  Hence the further journey of the inner tantras that transcend reference point altogether.

     7 Maha:  Here there is much more confidence in situations as embodying the continuity of the self-existing fruition mandala.  For example, in the eight heruka mandala,  bka'.brgyad, the herukas are less embodi­ments of ideas, than means of cutting through such concep­tu­alizations.  Yangdag yang dag, the vajra heruka punctures concepts with a scepter like a pin, reveal­ing naked space The ratna heruka is the King of Death , shi rje, with an owl.  Hayagriva and Vajrakil­aya, rta mgrin/ rdo rje phur ba, the padma and karma herukas,  reveal naked passion and aggression.  etc.  This yana emphasizes the visualiza­tions of the developing stage, bsked rim.

     8 In comparison to this complex network of divine forces:, a sort of tibetan cabala, anu,  is relatively simplified, in essence one sees every­thing as the union of primordial space and wisdom, eg. the bliss of union of Samantabhadra and Samanta­bhadri in their cosmic dance.  The complexities of the lower yanas are largely removed.  The means for doing this is the practice of the fulfillment stage, and in particular, the yoga of nadi, prana and bindu.

     9 Ati is like the punch line, and doesn't make proper sense without the other yanas.  All remaining conceptualizations are stripped away so that the fruition becomes completely naked and self existing.  As the text says, this is how it is for one who has done all the work.  One can say to a superbly trained musician etc,“Just let go and do it,” and hope to hear beauti­ful music.  If one gives the same advice to a person without musical training, this result is unlikely.  Thus ati traditionally functions as the framework and culmination of the nine yana train­ing, as a means for removing nirvanic neurosis and so on.  It is not generally meant as a complete program in its own right.  Most distortions of ati come from ignoring this.

ji lta ba'i ye shes:  Wisdom of the absolute nature of everything as it is, ie. as the great emptiness.

ji snyed pa'i ye shes:  Wisdom of extent; ji snyed = as much as there is, whatever kinds, as suitable; omniscient qualitative wisdom of all phenomena as they are, discriminating all details without confusion.

ka dag:  Primordial purity, purity from the start.

kha ldog lnga:  Blue, white, yellow, red, and green, the colors of the five families and elements.

khams/ 'byung ba bzhi:  these are the 5 minus space.

khams bco brgyad:  The eighteen khams, dhatus, (classes of dharmas) are the six sense powers, dbang po, indriyas, including the mano-dhatu or, yid kyi dbang po, the faculty of intellect; the six sense-objects, yul, vishaya, including the dharmadhatu, here in its original sense = the realm of non-sensu­ous, intellectual objects; and the six conscious­nesses including the manovijñana or intellectual sense.  The conscious­ness of touch is called the kaya conscious­ness, meaning here "of solid bodies." the six senses, their six objects, and the six conscious­nesses of those objects.  Here "dharma," in a special sense, means intellectual object,  and dharmadhatu is the realm of such objects,  analogous to the realm of colors,  sounds, etc.

khams gsum:  Three worlds.  1 The desire realm, the realm of material form.  2 Pure non-material form, the realm of the impure visions of dreams, and those of the god realms; and the pure ones of meditation, such as visions of the sambhoga­kaya deities.  3 The formless realm [objectless space, time, conscious­ness, neither perception nor non-perception.]

khams: 1  Element, dhatu, realm.  2  Disposition of individual personali­ty; the nature of something, sim. rang bzhin; the elements.  Eg.  the khams of fire is heat.  Such natures are partial vs.  3  the basic nature = rigs (gotra) = sugatagarbha, buddha nature.  potential or seed; semen.

khong yangs pa:  [Innerly] vast or wide open, open minded, to perceive or understand.

khra lam:  Vivid, clear, bright, splendid.

khrol khrol:  Bright, sparkling (cf. khrol po) (loud or rumbling of musical instruments); insubstantial, unobstructed (cf. khral khrol); LUS:  Continuously liberated (cf. ­ bkrol ba).

khyab 'jug:  Hindu god. Of the threw Bhrama, Vishnu and Shiva, responsible for maintaining the universe.  He has a number of incaranations such as Krishna, and according to the Hindus, the Buddha.

klong:  Space (capitalized in text) expanse, sphere, realm of..., mass, immensity vastness, scope or boundaries.  —gyur:  attaining perfection or mastery.  —chen, immense space or knowledge = dharmadhatu —chen rab 'byams:  realization of vast universal Space or knowledge = Longchenpa.  —zer, :  nail of space.  See gzer.

     Longchenpa says in LT that klong can be differentiated from dbyings as the space of ultimate mind vs. that of the universal ground.  VCTR differentiated them by comparing dbyings to the vastness of contemplating the horizon from the seashore.  Klong is more like skydiving in the middle of the night.  He was referring in particular to the black klong experience of the forty-nine day bardo retreat in darkness.  Here Space is beyond reference points of vastness and constraint.


klu:  Naga, water spirit, serpent [deity].  Living in low watery places and caverns, they are often associated with the lower aspects of the human situation, either those which are necessary, but not exalted, or those which are dark, evil and poisonous.  Thus they are associated with skin diseases such as leprosy.  In this aspect, they are the enemy of garuda.  However, they are said to have great wealth, and to have received the wisdom of the prajñaparamita from the Buddha, guarding it until Nagarjuna, klu grub, could receive them.  Also the nagas protected Buddha from attacks of the maras on the night before his enlightenment.  

kri ya [rgyud]:  Kriya tantra, = bya rgyud, the fourth yana.  see theg pa dgu.  

kun btags:  False conception, parikalpita, the merely imputed or illlusory nature of external reality projected onto mind-only, which has no true existence at all, like space.

kun byed rgyal po:  The all-creating (doing, accomplishing) King, title of the main scripture of the Semdé.  The King = bodhicitta, personified as Samantabhadra qv.  His attributes are explained at length in the text.  The King also is one's true enlightened nature.

kun gzhi rnam gsum: the neutral alaya, alaya of various habitaul patterns, alaya of reality.

kun gzhi rnam par shes pa:  Alayavijñana:  Universal ground- consciousness.  See rnam shes brgyad.

kun gzhi:  Alaya:  Universal ground.  See rnam shes brgyad.

kun mkhyen ye shes:  The omniscient wisdom of enlightenment, which sees all phenomena without mixing them up.  cf. ji snyed ye shes.

kun rdzob:  Relative, conventional, obscured (in the sense of disguised or costumed) truth, as opposed to don dam, absolute truth.  Various systems have different views of what constitutes the relative.  See bden gnyis.  —gnyis, the two aspects of the relative are, [yang] dag pa'i kun rdzob and log pa'i kun rdzob.  Sometimes these refer to ordinary right and wrong judgements within the everyday sphere.  In this text they differentiate the confused perception of sa.msara and the perception of enlightenment which sees things as they are.  yang dag is sometimes called absolute truth, but the sense is different from, though not in conflict with the absolute truth of emptiness, which it presupposes.

kun tu bzang po [mo]:  Samantabhadra [-i] literally means total or universal goodness.  In mahayana Samantabhadra is one of the eight main bodhisattvas, an emanation of Vajrasattva. In sadhanas the environment is purified as pure appearance by the Samantabhadra offerings, in which offerings of desirable things of the five sense objects are visualized like clouds filling the whole of space.  In ati Samantabhadra is the first, primordial buddha, who spontaneously achieved understanding of his own nature as universal enlightenment.  His consort is Samantabhadri.  Usually he is blue, she is white, and they are naked.  The text presents this in detail.  When Samanta­bhadra is united with his consort Samantabhadri, she symbolizes the primordial space of the empty essence, dharmadhatu and prajñaparamita.  He symbolizes pure arising in that space of entities that do not go beyond its nature.  Samantabhadra does not exist as an ego or individual being, but = buddhahood, one's own true nature.  Therefore, all who are enlightened are said to be equal to him.  The “I” of the Künjé, who is the all-creating King, is Samanta­bhadra.  He may be considered the essence of all that is sacred.  Ati might say that this is the real concern of all religions and their deities.  Some have wondered whether Samantabhadra as lha and bdag chen, big mind, the great self, was not like God in the western sense.  I think this is true in a sense.  Bdag pa chen po is the great mind beyond ego and non-ego, or self and other, and even God and atheism.   In theory the via negativa of Dionysius and “God is not a what” of Aquinas are compatible with this.  If there are theists who have no problem with God being emptiness and not something removed by a gap from what we really are, so be it.

lag na rdo rje: bodhiattva who is the lord of secret vajra teachings.

lam bgrod:  Treading, traversing the path.

lam lnga:  The five paths.  These will vary somewhat with different systems.  1) Accumulation, tshogs lam:  One accumulates merit and wisdom and avoids confusion and evil deeds so that one will escape the lower realms and enlightenment will eventually manifest.  The four foundations of mindfulness are practiced and developed in shamatha.  This leads to the clear seeing of vipashyana.  2) Preparation (unification), sbyor lam, Developing vipashyana, one develops a deep understanding of the four noble truths, cutting the root of the desire realm.  3) Seeing, mthong.lam:  The practitioner comes to understand the unsatisfactoriness of all the realms of form, including the god realm.  Direct vision of emptiness is seen.  This conveys the essence of liberation, and one enters the first bhuumi, supremely joyful.  4) Meditation, sgom lam: Practicing meditation and relating to the phenomenal world through the paramitas, pha rol tu phyin pa, one attains the second through tenth bhuumis.  This culminates in the vision of luminosity and wisdom.  5)  Fulfillment or no more learning, mthar phyin or mi slob,  Attaining the vajra-like samadhi the practitioner enters the eleventh bhuumi, prabhasvara, kun tu 'od, the complete luminosity of buddhahood.  See JOL.

lam:  The practitioner's way to enlightenment as taught by the Buddha, the method of practice, “the path” = the buddhadharma altogether.  —khyer, make something into the path, practice, bring something to the path.  eg. one can use kleshas as a means of practice in various ways.

las rlung:  Karmic energy, karma prana, as opposed to ye shes rlung, the energy of wisdom.

las:  1 From, as, which is, instead of, rather than.  2) Karma.

lha min: jealous gods who are enemies of the gods, one of the six realms of existence, rigs drug

lha:  Deities, the divine, the level of things that are exalted.  Sometimes buddhist scriptures accept the existence of the entire hindu pantheon on deities as the highest sort of temporarily existing beings.  The deities of sadhana, yidams, protectors, buddhas and bodhisattvas (such as Samantabhadra in this text) sometimes seem to be approached as beings having a personal existence, and sometimes as principles of the energies of one's mind and the phenomena of the world.  In any case they are ultimately empty of essence.  Buddhahood is eternal, but a certain being Samantabhadra was first to realize it.  Doing so, he ceased to be merely personal.  We too can become what he became.  It is not the existence and nonexistence of deities that differentiates Buddhism from “theistic” religions.  It is that the whole issue shifts elusively, leaving one nothing to rely on, so that one is just left hanging.  The “theism” that Buddhism eschews has less to do with accepting and worshipping deities than trying to fix the reference points of one's universe through conceptual idolatry.  This the great theistic religions also decry.  Fixating emptiness and nihilism about any divine nature in any sense is part of that “theism.”

     It has sometimes been noted that Buddhism sometimes makes statements, eg. about Chakrasa.mvara or Samantabhadra, that are indistinguishable from those theistic dogmatists make.  But since these perspectives are not fixated, but seen in the context of the great emptiness, they become a commentary on the phenomenological possibilities of religion. Such openness is the very reverse of cultish dogmatism (or should be).  Here one can compare what Longchenpa says about the difference between the use of sems tsam terminology to establish metaphysical and spiritual dogmas and the use in ati to go beyond them.

lhag mthong:  Vipashyana, clear seeing.  Having calmed the mind through shamatha, and in that stillness gained some sense of the self-existing basic nature, the meditator continues with mindfulness on the breath etc., but lets the boundary dissolve into all-inclusive, panoramic awareness in which all phenomena, not just those of mind, are included without accepting and rejecting.  This occurs by seeing there is no real step between the two.  The sense of boundary is an illusory fabrication that requires maintenance.  As one explores the phenomenal world in this way, the connections of interdependence that lead to sa.msara and nirvana become self-evident.  This deepens into direct experience of emptiness as one enters the bodhisattva bhuumis.

lhan [cig] skyes pa'i [ye shes]:  Sa.msara and nirvana arise in one's situation simulta­neously.  Therefore, the solidity of each is annihilated, and the wisdom beyond both spontaneously appears.  Very intense suffering naturally tends to self-liberate into co-emergence, and the attempt to stabilize a nirvana free of sa.msara tends naturally to evoke co-emergent, conceptualization, fixation, ignorance and so forth.  —kun btags, co-emergent false conceptions, ; -ma rig pa, co-emergent ignorance.

lhun grub:  Self-existing, of the changeless essence.  In particular, the self-existing, spontaneously present nature of dharmadhatu, which, from the path viewpoint, arises effortlessly when pure perception is achieved.  One of four states of meditation in Semdé according to NN.  

lhun:  1 = lhun grub.  2 Monolithic, massive.  3 Dignity.

like thunder you can hear but not see:  having no real identity, cf. nges med, ngos 'dzin med.  It is like a cloud of no fixed shape or a mutter in stadium that seems to be saying something, but it isn't quite clear what.  Really it is not anything in particular.  The situation is like a dream where one feels that something crucial is happening, and yet nothing really justifies such a feeling.

log:  Eliminate, wrong, perverted:  lta log, wrong view.

longs spyod rdzogs pa'i sku:  sambhogakaya.  KPSR presents longs spyod literally being activity = bya ba, which includes in particular the realization of extent ji snyed.  longs spyod also means enjoyment and in fact, since nothing needs to be accomplished the realization of sambhogakaya is appreciation, and the activity ce­lebration.  It is often so glossed.  see sku gsum.

lung bstan:  Give instruction, teach, prophesy.

lung ma bstan:  1) It is not taught.  (occurs frequently in the Künjé.  2) it comes to nothing.  It is also used this way in the “Song of Lodrö Thaye” in The Rain of Wisdom.  3) Neutral, neither wholesome nor harmful, bad or good.  Eg. kun gzhi lung ma bstan, the neutral alaya.

lung:  1 Scripture.  2  Passage or quotation from scripture (as in lung gi gter mdzod, The Scriptural Treasury, the name of Longchenpa's commentary on The Precious Treasury of Dharmadhatu.  3 Reading transmission of a text or practice.  4 Precept.  5 Teaching.

lus ngag sems:  Body, speech, and mind (non-honorific), vs. sku gsung thugs.  These sets of terms can be used to differentiate the body, speech, and mind of the enlightened and unenlightened states.

ma 'dres:  Unmixed, unconfused.  Eg. in ji snyed ye shes all the different, individual things are clear and distinct.  They do not get mixed up with each other or confused.  Unadulterated:  Wisdom is not mixed = adulterated with sa.msaric fixation and grasping.

ma 'gags:  See 'gag med.

ma bskyed:  Not purposely produced, developed, or cranked up.  Hence, self-existing, natural.  Cf.  ma bcos.

ma btsal:  Literally, “not sought.”  But things could be unsought for reasons of ignorance.  Also, they are often missed just because they are sought too greedily.  So the sense is more like not needing to be sought, because they are self-existing.

ma rig pa:  Ignorance, as opposed to rig pa, understanding, insight.  ma rig pa occurs when rig pa is covered over by incidental defilements.

mchod rten: stupa.  Originally a memorial structure containing relics of the Buddha.  Later other holy objects and texts were also put in.

mdo sde pa:  Sautrantikas, an abhidharma school of the hinayana.  The Abhidharma­kosha of Vasubandhu, dbyig gnyen, propounds this viewpoint.  The logicians, such as Dignaga and Dharmakirti, hold that what has the power to produce an effect, is absolute truth, and that what does not is relative.  They deny the, bye brag pa, vaibha.shika, assertions that space and cessation substantially exist, and that there are simulta­neous cause and effect.  They hold that consciousnesses do not nakedly see their objects but are themselves generated in the image [rang rig].  They deny the self of persons, but accept that there are other truly existing entities.  Thus they accept the self of dharmas.

mdo:  Confluence, juncture, main point, suutra (a discourse of the Buddha) mdor na­:  In summary.