From the Translator's Introduction
Tangentially, the message of Dzogchen provides a functional approach to the medical ills of old age, a redemptive approach to sexuality and a positive, joyful vision of death and dying. These popular effects of Dzogchen, however, should not obscure its fundamental purpose - to recognize the unity of all things in a nondual universe of full awareness, harmony and compassion. (p. xiii).
The vision of Dzogchen is innate in any soteriological culture, or indeed in any human society. If a perfect nondual state of being is indeed the inescapable intrinsic state of all our being, as Longchenpa, the author of
The Treasury of Natural Perfection, intimates, then we should expect to see traces of the idea around the world in poetry and historical religious literature, which surely is the case. (p. xv)
'Liberation', synonymous with happiness, whatever the method, is thus the purpose of life. Dzogchen assumes a stance not only outside and beyond the innumerable schools of Buddhism and Hinduism that provide methods of attaining that release, but by default beyond all religious systems whatsoever, including the Judeo-Christian and Muslim, and all secular systems of belief including nihilist, atheist, hedonist and humanist. (p. xvii)
The innate awareness of this pristine nondual brilliance is called
rigpa, which herein is translated as 'gnosis'. (p. xviii)
Dzogchen 'nonmeditation' is a spontaneous noncontingent continuity - a timeless synchronicitous awareness. (p. xvii)
...First is the mind's spontaneous function of disengagement from sensory and mental objects of attachment and simultaneous self-identity with the light of which they are made.
This is called
Breaking Through, or Cutting Through
,into the original purity - or alpha-purity - where natural perfection lies.
In the spacious luminosity of alpha-purity there may still be a gap between the mind of the hyper-yogin with its all-suffusing light and this last vestige of self-consciousness, and this is eliminated by the natural flow of nonmeditation upon the brilliance of the light through its apparent nuclear components known as 'holistic nuclei' which may be compared to the pixels of light in a hologram.
This phase of hyper-yoga is called
and implies entry into the state of spontaneity that belies causality. (p.xix)
Dzogchen provides a deconstructive view that allows automatic access to the spaciousness of the intrinsic complete and perfect reality that is the nature of mind. This lurch from a reliance upon the rational mind to an existential understanding of reality occurs in the light of deep initiatory experience, which is known technically as an introduction to the nature of mind. (..) The intellect is redundant in the momentary insight into every experience of the flow of experience as compassionate emptiness and light. (p.xx)
Initiatory experience is present in this very moment and nothing can be done to facilitate its advent.
Recognition of our lived experience, just as it is, in its miraculous immediacy and beauty, without any yen for change, is the practice of radical Dzogchen, and belief in personal development and improvement, progress towards a social ideal, moral evolution of the species, and so on, is deviation from the pure pleasure of the unthought timeless moment. (p. xxi)
The here-and-now is the receptacle of the nondual reality that is the matrix of mind where gnosis inevitably fires in the very moment of every experience. If this matrix of intrinsic gnosis sounds like God to some people, then they are definitely on the right track. (...) If we look closely, it appears that this 'God' has no kind of existence or definable attributes whatsoever and can only be spoken of - if at all – in terms of gnosis, luminosity, emptiness and nonduality. (...) 'Buddha' is primordial cognitive awakening that happens only in a moment of experience of here-and-now and, therefore, can never be distanced and objectified. It is an egregious mistake to understand 'buddha' or 'the nature of mind' as something infinitely subtle yet indicative of a state that may be attested or attained. (p. xxii)
To the top end of recipients of the Dzogchen transmission, merely by its assimilation, an immediate dissolution of of samsaric dichotomy is assured, and whatever validity such a promise entails it indicates the nature of the transmission and the Dzogchen dialetic as a functional tool. (...) Far from being an objective philosophical description of the world at large, or a soteriological blueprint, this exposition is a magical psychotropic poem. (p. xxii)
In the mind of natural perfection, certainly, moral discrimination and moral causality do not exist, yet what remains in nondual 'bodhichitta', both the ground and the emanation of pure mind, which can only ever be pure vision and perfect conduct. What begins as pure mind exists and ends as pure mind. Here, bodhicitta, which in Dzogchen means the pure Gnostic mind of nondual perception, reaffirms its Mahayana definition of compassion. Here and now compassion is all. (...) In Dzogchen, 'taking the position of consequence' (...) there is no fall from grace, and there never has been a fall, and in the realization of that reality where the golden age lies just beneath an insubstantial, fragile surface of dualistic belief, any moral dualism becomes a problem rather than the solution. (p. xxv)
So stay here, you lucky people,
Let go and be happy in the natural state.
Leave your complicated life and everyday confusion alone
And out of quietude, doing nothing, watch the nature of mind.
This piece of advice is from the bottom of my heart:
Fully engage in contemplation and understanding is born;
Cherish non-attachment and delusion dissolves;
And forming no agenda at all reality dawns.
Whatever occurs, whatever it may be, that itself is the key,
And without stopping it or nourishing it, in an even flow,
Freely resting, surrendering to ultimate contemplation,
In naked pristine purity we reach consummation.
The body of the text comprises four themes - absence, openness, spontaneity and unity - all of equal weight, each providing a complete description of, and by default, access to, buddhahood. The four themes are the samaya-commitments of Dzogchen, aspects of reality that are intrinsic to our everyday experience and which are naturally observed through our participation in being. (p. xxix)
Excerpts from the Disclosure of Absence
The Commentary to
The Treasury of Natural Perfection:
An Exposition of the Inner Meaning
of Dzogchen Instruction
Homage to Glorious Samantabhadra, the All-Good!
To the matrix of primordial, spontaneous perfection,
to the original lord, the glory of samsara and nirvana,
and to the masters and magi, mystics and lamas,
we bow down with a thousand shimmering petals of lotus-faith.
I shall now elucidate The Treasury of Natural Perfection,
the quintessential truth, the final, definitive teaching,
distilled from the enigmatic heart-drop of direct experience,
the apogee of attainment that is existential pre-eminence.
To timeless buddhahood, basic total presence,
to unchanging spontaneity, the spacious vajra-heart,
to the nature of mind—natural perfection,
constantly, simply being, we bow down.
Ho! The atiyoga of natural perfection! Dzogchen Ati!
The Great Perfection, in its unbiased inclusivity,
actualizes the meaning of self-sprung awareness;
as the lion overawes all other beasts with his roar,
so the language of Great Perfection commands the gradual approaches;
speaking a tongue of its own, it engenders its own ultimate meaning.
The land of natural perfection is free of buddhas and sentient beings;
the ground of natural perfection is free of good and bad;
the path of natural perfection has no length;
the fruition of natural perfection can neither be avoided nor attained;
the body of natural perfection is neither existent nor nonexistent;
the speech of natural perfection is neither sacred nor profane;
and the mind of natural perfection has no substance nor attribute.
The space of natural perfection cannot be consumed nor voided;
the status of natural perfection is neither high nor low;
the praxis of natural perfection is neither developed nor neglected;
the potency of natural perfection is neither fulfilled nor frustrated;
the display of natural perfection is neither manifest nor latent;
the actuality of natural perfection is neither cultivated nor ignored;
and the gnosis of natural perfection is neither visible nor invisible.
The hidden awareness of natural perfection is everywhere,
its parameters beyond indication,
its actuality incommunicable;
the sovereign view of natural perfection is the here-and-now,
naturally present without speech or books,
irrespective of conceptual clarity or dullness,
but as spontaneous joyful creativity
its reality is nothing at all.
There is no imperfection anywhere:
perfect in one, perfect in two, perfect in all,
life is blissfully easy.
Unity is perfect as unitary pure mind,
duality is perfect as the mind's creation,
and multiplicity is abundant completion.
In the transmission of the perfection of unity
lies the pure buddha-dynamic;
the teaching on the perfection of duality
reveals everything as perfect projection;
and by virtue of the perfection of multiplicity
everything turns whole and splendid.
Abiding here, doing nothing,
embodied as man or god,
our dynamic is buddha-reality;
here sentient beings are cared for,
and without any exertion we live in ease.
Homage to the sole nature of mind, the seed of all and everything,
to the mind that creates the sense of existence and release from it,
to the mind that fulfils all our desires like a wish-fulfilling gem!
2. The Promise to Compose
This unutterable space that is the nature of things
the apogee of view that is natural perfection -
listen as I explain my understanding
of this sole immanent reality.
The super-matrix of nonaction, unbegun and unending
like the Golden Isle, is all-inclusive and undifferentiated,
and without outside or inside, the sun of pure mind
ever dawning, never setting, dispels the shadows of polarity.
Pure mind does not spurn the four extreme beliefs
but it is unaffected by them, and glitches are in effect eliminated.
In the pure nature of mind, uncleft, where no abyss can be,
the three gnostic dimensions are spontaneously complete and perfect,
samsara and nirvana mere labels imputed by conditioning.
He who loves others and serves them
does not slacken his effort when his life is endangered;
the fearless sage with true sense of responsibility
never forsakes others' desperation.
I am pure mind, the supreme source:
realize my nature
and all events that occur, whatever they may be,
shall be revealed as nothing other than me.
If you give this transmission of mine to others,
your entire audience gathered around
will realize my nature,
the nature of the supreme source,
and they will become one with me.
Then whatever happens, whatever appears,
relinquish the dualistic discipline of rejection and inhibition,
forsake the grace of the three types of ritual purity,
and no longer strive to develop samadhi and a compassionate mind.
Since everyone is created in me, the supreme source,
everything and everyone is the same as me;
I am sameness, so I need not promote sameness.
I reiterate: identity with me need not be cultivated!
So to what purpose is this understanding?
To reveal the purpose and necessity:
Innumerable aeons ago
some ati-yogins with good fortune and karmic connection,
with faith in me, the supreme source, and in my total presence,
perceived that there was no view to cultivate, no commitment to keep,
no ideal conduct to strive in, no path to tread,
no climbing spiritual levels, no karmic cause and effect,
no duality of ultimate and relative truth,
and nothing to cultivate in meditation,
and seeing that there was no mind to develop and no remedy
they saw the nature of my mind:
this revelation is necessary for those like them!
The Concise Exposition
3. The Short Exposition of the Four Ineluctable Vajra-Binds
The conclusive meaning of Mind, Matrix and Secret Precept
The entire teaching is contained in the elucidation of the ultimately significant four hyper-commitments of natural perfection, to wit the samaya of the intrinsic absence of all experience, the samaya of primordial spontaneity, the samaya of impartial and unrestricted openness and the samaya of the integral unity of self-sprung awareness.
lies in absence, openness, spontaneity and unity.
These four are treated each in four aspects:
disclosure, assimilation, 'the bind' and resolution.
The natural samayas of wondrous spontaneity,
absence, unity and openness,
all of which are beyond any observance,
all are aspects of each other.
My hidden samaya is intrinsic gnostic awareness
where the commitment and the observance are the same
and where the keeping and the breaking are the same,
and therein are the four commitments that need no heeding,
confidently observed, inviolable, from the first:
the contrived commitments of the eight lower approaches,
I deny, and I call that 'absence';
liberated from lesser obligations, uncommitted,
the media of awareness—body, speech and mind,
are vastly spacious and I call that 'openness';
the way of keeping an inviolable commitment,
a pledge that cannot be observed,
is through holistic, intrinsic gnostic awareness,
that alone, and I call that 'unity';
that intrinsic gnostic awareness,
maintained effortlessly, doing nothing,
that I call 'spontaneity'.
I, the supreme source, have no samaya commitment to keep,
for in the absence of cause and condition, endeavor is redundant.
I am spontaneity itself, so analysis is futile;
I am timeless awareness, so knowledge is vanity;
I am self-sprung, so causes and conditions are unavailing;
I am undiscriminating, so renunciation and self-discipline are pointless:
I am unreal and 'Absence' is my name.
Never becoming concrete, pristine awareness is never reified,
and thus 'openness' is defined;
all is one in pure mind, and thus 'unity' is defined;
all and everything, whatever happens,
as mental events in pure mind
is always complete and perfect,
and thus 'spontaneity' is defined.
Rather than time or no time,
measurement of time now redundant,
a single unbroken flow,
without beginning, middle or end,
we call 'hyper-sameness'.
In such sameness appearances are ambiguous
and thoughts are indiscrete and unknowable
and the universal significance of natural perfection
insinuates itself into the poor intellect;
the conceptual process, objectless,
involuntarily stops in its tracks.
Without ever knowing delusion
root ignorance is automatically cut,
eradicated from the first without trying -
but surely we all know that!
All coarse materiality, besides,
evanesces by itself in the moment,
and with no place to go simply vanishes:
in fact, the body has never existed;
there is only gnosis without past or future.
Everything, outside time or even in time,
as unity, duality or multiplicity,
visible, invisible, or evanescent,
invisible but resonating or vibrating,
everything holds its place but transcends it -
surely everyone knows that everything is timeless!
The pathless path
is the path always under our feet
and since that path is always beneath us,
if we miss it, how stupid!
The dynamic of involuntary concentration,
irrespective of meditation, is always present -
but surely we all know that!
Surely we all know that our selves
and the things we want and cling to,
from the very first, in reality,
are all images of intrinsic gnosis.
The five passions, self-imposed shackles,
from the first occur together with gnosis -
surely we all know that!
The four material elements,
earth, water, fire and air,
constitute the body -
surely we can all see that!
The distilled elixir of the most secret instruction
resounds spontaneously in every ear -
surely we can all hear it!
Or don't we have ears to hear?
The tang of natural spaciousness and gnosis
indelibly surrounds us -
surely we can all smell it!
Or are our noses blocked up?
The three elixirs rolled into one secret precept
have always been the flavor of body-mind -
surely we can all taste it!
Or have we lost our tongues?
The phantasmagoria of pure vision
is always with us, day and night,
like a shadow, a part of the body -
or are we shadowless corpses?
Surely we can all feel it!
Happiness, hand in hand with suffering,
inexpressibly, is intrinsically present -
or are our minds too dull to notice?
The build-up of samsaric propensities,
primordially, is the pure dimension of being -
pity him who has not noticed!
In the field of sense organ, object and consciousness
every recollection and apperception, every flicker of the mind,
arises as the dimension of perfect enjoyment -
how can we fail to see it!
All goal-oriented conventional activity
and all chatter, gossip and laughter,
is the dimension of magical emanation -
surely we all know that! Or are we so dull?
Every impulse and stirring of the mind,
seamless, like a flowing stream,
our constant mental enchantment,
is effortless, natural meditation -
surely we can't miss that!
Looking closely at matter and energy,
and at thought, sound and form,
it is all insubstantial projection,
and this view that empties our urban samsara
has always been with us, though unseen -
surely our doors of perception are now open!
To understand my nature with certainty,
take the sky as the illustration,
'unoriginated reality' as the definition,
and the elusive nature of mind as the evidence.
As 'sky-like reality'
it is indicated by the simile of sky or space.
All experience is pure mind,
which is likened to the sky (that same simile):
the nature of pure mind is like the sky.
Pure mind, uniquely uncreated, creates all;
everything made has the nature of pure mind
and the unique uncreated cannot be contrived.
The First Vajra Theme: Absence
'All things material and their qualities are absent'
I.1. The Disclosure of Absence
4. The Absence of All Concrete Reality
First let me tell you about 'absence',
the absence that is essentially emptiness:
in the super-matrix of pure mind that is like space
whatever appears is absent in reality.
In the nirvana of indeterminate gnosis,
there is no proliferation, no substance or attribute.
5. A Definitive Simile for Absence
In the universal womb that is boundless space
all forms of matter and energy occur as flux of the four elements,
but all are empty forms, absent in reality:
all phenomena, arising in pure mind, are like that.
Just as all worlds, inner and outer,
all forms of matter and energy,
the animate and inanimate,
all contained in space, are absent,
so is the vast field, the super-matrix of pure mind,
with its buddhas and sentient beings,
its crucible and contents, environment and life-forms:
in immaculate reality everything is nondual,
free of inflating or deflating conceptual projection.
6. Appearances in the Nature of Mind are Inherently Absent
Magical illusion, whatever its form,
lacks substance, empty in nature;
likewise, all experience of the world, arisen in the moment,
unstirring from pure mind, is insubstantial evanescence.
No experience of the world, inner or outer, no matter or energy,
no event in samsara or nirvana, ever leaves pure mind.
8. The External World is Neither Mind Nor Anything But Mind.
Experience may arise in the mind
but it is neither mind nor anything but mind;
it is a vivid display of absence, like magical illusion,
in the very moment unutterable.
All experience arising in the mind,
at its inception, know it as absence!
12. Gnosis Supersedes Moral Conditioning
The actual essence, pristine gnosis,
As it is said:
cannot be improved upon, so virtue is profitless,
and it cannot be impaired, so vice is harmless;
in its absence of karma there is no ripening of pleasure or pain;
in its absence of judgement, no preference for samsara or nirvana;
in its absence of articulation, it has no dimension;
in its absence of past and future, rebirth is an empty notion:
who is there to transmigrate? and how to wander?
what is karma and how can it mature?
Contemplate the reality that is like the clear sky!
Gaze persistently at actual gnosis
Pristine gnosis is naked, simple, pure being. How does virtue affect it? Certainly it cannot make it any better. Thus virtue brings no benefit. And vice? Vice does not change it for the worse or distort it and it is therefore harmless. Since the nature of mind is nowhere attested, it has no karma, and there is no possibility of an action ripening as happy or sad, or good or bad. In the absence of linear time there are no past and future lives and there is no karmic cause and effect, so 'samsara', a mere label, is ineffectual.
and are there any ten virtues there to practice?
is there any samaya commitment to observe?
any view, meditation, conduct or goal to realize?
is there any maturation, karma or hell?
For those who lack an intuition of the nature of mind, samsara appears in all its dualistic pleasure and pain, but for the gnostic yogin or yogini there is the primal purity of emptiness in which all motivation - all existence - has ceased. Even though samsara and nirvana and virtue and vice appear dream-like in the gnostic scope, they do not cover the face of pure mind, which is thus free of moral conditioning. In the absence of causality there are no past and future lives, birth loses all meaning and the triple world flows in each moment into its alpha-purity. This is called 'emptying the depths of samsara'.
Through the yoga of intuiting gnosis, abiding in the gnostic nature of mind, when the yogin or yogini has become fixated on the nature of mind, no amount of virtue or vice brings the slightest advantage or disadvantage because he or she is integrated with the immediacy of what is. The most excellent hyper-yogin or yogini, therefore, lacks moral discrimination yet always acts harmoniously and appropriately. Recognizing all appearances as perfect images of gnosis there is no escape from pristine awareness.
13. 'There Is Only Ever Nonduality'
Constantly deconstructing, investigating keenly,
The profound significance of the absence of moral causality and conditioning is the lack of any distinction between past, present and future. Insofar as we may repeatedly seek the inside, outside and middle of gnosis and find no distinction, and insofar as we cannot find an iota or particle of solid matter in the universe, and insofar as we search for a discrete moment of pure gnostic mind and find nothing, and insofar as we fail to separate past, present and future because the past has gone, the future never comes, and the present is lost in between, so far we can find no karma, no process of karmic maturation, and no moral conditioning.
not even the slightest substance can be found;
and in the undivided moment of nondual perception
we abide in the natural state of perfection.
Absent when scrutinized, absent when ignored,
not even an iota of solid matter is attested;
so all aspects of experience are always absent -
know it as nothing but magical illusion!
If time and space are absent when scrutinized, then in the same way they are surely absent when they are not under scrutiny, for then the parameters of investigation are absent and the objective field has neither specific nor general characteristics (like shape, color, or moral quality). In the latter case time and space are absent also in the conventional sense, for a babe oblivious to the zing of reality, conditioned to time and space, loses the sense of the existence of an experience once it has vanished. It may seem to him that he has performed a conventional good or bad action, but no process of maturation is experienced because the nature of mind always remains unchanged. In truth, cause and effect cannot be distinguished because there is no change between one moment and the next. Therefore, moral causality is never true for anyone, and particularly not for the yogin or yogini, for whom it does not exist even as a lie—karmic maturation cannot be experienced!
Trust in the absence of causality may unfold through these seven wonderful quintessential principles:
Ho! O Vajra Speech-Essence, listen! I, Samantabhadra, teach that by virtue of the first principle - that intrinsic gnosis is unborn and undying - there is not the slightest difference between a person who kills millions of sentient beings and one who practices the ten perfections (paramitas).
O Vajra Speech! I, Samantabhadra, teach that by virtue of the second principle - that the nature of reality is unstructured - there is not the slightest difference between a person who is always meditating upon emptiness and one who has never even momentarily entertained the idea of emptiness.
O Vajra Speech! I, Samantabhadra, teach that by virtue of the third principle - that gnosis is unconditioned - as to the completion of the accumulations of virtue and awareness there is not the slightest difference between a religious person who has performed countless conditional virtues and a psychopathic killer.
O Vajra Speech! I, Samantabhadra, teach that by virtue of the fourth principle - that the nature of gnostic awareness is unmoving - as to the vision of the real nature of things there is not the slightest difference between a person whose body and language exhibits all the signs of understanding and one who has never cared even momentarily to listen or study the teaching or to think about it.
O Vajra Speech! I, Samantabhadra, teach that by virtue of the fifth principle - that the nature of being is unborn and deathless - as to accessing realization there is not the slightest difference between a person experiencing the torment of hell and one experiencing the bliss of buddha.
O Vajra Speech! I, Samantabhadra, teach that by virtue of the sixth principle - the immutability of gnosis - as to intuiting the natural condition there is not the slightest difference between a person who has restrained discriminatory mental functions and one who has a strong fixated ego.
O Vajra Speech! I, Samantabhadra, teach that by virtue of the seventh principle - the intrinsicality of pure being - as to potential for fruition there is not the slightest difference between a person who performs all kinds of external offerings, uttering praise and prayers, and one who lives free of all religious activity.
O Vajra Speech! A person who lives by these seven great self-sprung principles gains confidence thereby in effortless realization, conviction in the understanding of appearance as inseparable from the three gnostic dimensions and intuition that he or she is buddha.
21. Disclosure of Absence: the Trailer
Without outside and inside, subject and object,
Thus it is determined that every dualistically-perceived experience of the environment and life, samsara and nirvana, inner and outer, however substantial it may appear, in the moment is an image of absence, a pure form of emptiness in unconditioned sky-like gnosis. In as much as it appears, it is empty light; the appearance of empty gnosis, which is the empty brilliance of the luminous self-expression of self-sprung awareness, is revealed here crucially as baseless, rootless, vivid shine.
intrinsic gnosis, being out of time and space,
supersedes all finite events that seemingly begin and end;
pure like the sky, it is without signposts or means of access.
Any specific insight into gnosis is always deluded,
so that any spiritual identity, always delusive, is abandoned;
and convinced that the space of undifferentiated Samantabhadra
is the all-encompassing super-emptiness of all samsara and nirvana,
the natural state obtains as the reality without transition or change.
Breaking out of the brittle shell of discursive view
into the hyperspaciousness that is nowhere located
in the experience of absence the crux of the matter is fully disclosed.
In my emptiness, there is no structured field,
The section on the disclosure of all experience as absence is here concluded.
and my radiance cannot be asserted or negated;
my presence of mind is infallibly retentive,
my appearances a process of direct perception;
I cannot be evoked by verbal elaboration,
and engendered by mantra, I am already perfect;
I am completely free of any cause or condition,
and free of dogmatic and experiential distortions
I am nonreferential, zero-dimensional.
I have no representation or symbolic object,
no visualization, nor mantra,
no dogma, beyond all designation,
and I have neither friends nor foes.
Imperceptible, I have no body,
no religion, no doctrine;
no one is here, no one to perceive:
I do not exist and nor does my retinue.
No spaciousness, no gnostic dimension,
no virtue, no ripening of sin;
no life and nothing to lose,
no accumulation and nothing to gather.
Here is no buddha nor sentient being,
no place to stay nor even emptiness itself;
no method to teach, nor anyone to hear,
no space, no time,
nor any timeless moment.
Therefore, I am nothing at all,
undivided and indivisible,
my scope beyond gradation,
the conception and the act identical,
and in the identity of past, present and future,
there is no field nor its ineffable ground.
Appendix I: The Tibetan Text and Quotations
The Tibetan title of the root text is
Gnas lugs rin po che’i mdzod, given in Sanskrit as the
Tathātva-ratna-kosha-nāma, which may be rendered into English as
The Precious Treasury of Natural Perfection.
This is arguably the most important of Longchenpa's seminal works grouped together as the
Mdzod bdun (The Seven Treasuries).
This work was composed in the middle of the fourteenth century in Central Tibet at a hermitage called Gangs ri thod dkar (above Snye phu shugs gseb), still a place of pilgrimage.
The title of Longchenpa's auto-commentary is
Sde gsum snying po’i don ’grel gnas lugs rin po che mdzod ces bya ba’i ’grel ba
(The Commentary Upon The Treasury of Natural Perfection: An Exposition of the Inner Meaning of the Three Series of Dzogchen Instruction).
The root verses seem to be paraphrastic in origin, while the illustrative quotations are overt attributions. The former may be ascribed to Longchenpa himself; the latter may have been drawn from versions of the tantras other than those to which we have access, or alternatively, edited with deep sagacity by the author himself. Whatever the case, in virtually every instance, with some notable exceptions, Longchenpa's version in our opinion is preferable to the tantra sources.
The majority of quotations cited by Longchenpa are drawn from the tantras of the
Rnying ma rgyud ’bum (The Collected Tantras of the Ancients). This collection may have been started as a handwritten compendium as early as the twelfth century as the
Bairo rgyud ’bum. A more comprehensive collection was carved in blocks in the 18th century under the auspices of Jigme Lingpa. The three collections available today besides the
Bairo rgyud ’bum are the Gting skyes (Mkhyen brtse) and
Mtshams Brag editions both printed in Bhutan, which we have utilized, and the edition of the Derge Parkhang.
The most oft-quoted tantra is the
Kun byed rgyal po (The Supreme Source), the principal tantra of the Dzogchen Mind Series (sems sde). A compilation of diverse material from the early days of Dzogchen transmission in Tibet, it also includes the five earliest translations of Bairotsana such as
Mi nub pa’i rgyal mtshan (The Eternal Victory Banner), also known as the
rDo rje sems dpa’ nam mkha’ che (The Vast Space of Vajrasattva). The
Kun byed rgyal po has been partially translated by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Adriano Clemente (1999) as
The Supreme Source, which has been a constant source of inspiration (see page references in the notes).
The second most important group of sources from within the
Rnying ma rgyud ’bum is a group of texts known as the seventeen tantras of the Secret Precept Series (man ngag sde), sixteen of which Longchenpa quotes at least once in the
Gnas lugs mdzod.
The most frequently cited texts belonging to this group are the
Sgra thal ’gyur (Beyond the Sound),
Klong drug pa (The Six Matrixes of Samantabhadra), the
Seng ge rtsal rdzogs (The Rampant Lion), the
Rin chen spungs pa (The Heap of Jewels) and the
Rig pa rang shar (Natural Gnosis).
All of these texts—along with the
Kun byed rgyal po and several others—have been transliterated into the Wylie script by Jim Valby in his digitalized text collection of Nyingma tantras, which we have used by his courtesy to identify and compare cited passages.
Another crucial text from the
Rnying ma rgyud ’bum, not included amongst the seventeen tantras but quoted many times and quite extensively by Longchenpa, is the
Thig le kun gsal (The Sphere of Total Illumination). It contains a detailed explanation of Dzogchen terminology.
Besides these tantra sources, Longchenpa illustrates his themes most frequently with the revelations of the Knowledge-bearers or Masters of Gnosis (rig ’dzin; Skt.
vidhyadhara), the early lineage holders. The Khyung chen (Great Garuda) by Sri Singha, found in the Snying thig yab bzhi, is frequently quoted. The source of the six important texts attributed to Garab Dorje has not yet come to light. Further, Longchenpa includes only two quotes from mahayoga and two from mahayana sources; nothing from the
Kanjur and nothing from Bon sources.
- A-’dzom blocks of Rnying ma’i rgyud bcu bdun. 3 vols. New Delhi: Sanje Dorje, 1973-7.
- Bairo rgyud ’bum. 8 vols. Leh, 1971. See SC.
- Bdud ’jom chos ’byung. Dudjom Rimpoche (1991).
- Jim Valby (Jim Valby digitalized collection).
- Gnas lugs mdzod. Ed. Dodrub Chen: Gangtok, Sikkim, c. 1966 (Adzom Chogar edition).
- Snying thig ya bzhi. New Delhi; Sherab Gyaltsen, 1975. (From the A-’dzom Chos sgar blocks).
- Padma Translation Committee.
- The Supreme Source. Namkhai Norbu and Adriano Clemente (1999).
- Samantabhadra Collection online at the University of Virginia: <hhtp://www.thdl.org/collections/literature/nyingma.php>
- Mtshams Brag edition of the Rnying ma rgyud ’bum. 46 vols. Thimphu, Bhutan: National Library, Royal Government of Bhutan, 1982. See also SC.
- Gting skyes edition of the Rnying ma rgyud ’bum. 36 vols. Thimphu, Bhutan: Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche, 1973-75. See also SC.
The sources of the quotations in the text are listed below according to their classification in the collected volumes of tantras. The titles cited in the endnotes, which open each listing, translate the short Tibetan title of the text. The extended title according to TB (except in the case of
Kun byed rgal po where TK has been utilized to conform with
The Supreme Source) with its translation, is also provided, followed by references in the various collected sources etc, the page references in the NLD, and finally some alternative title translations. (NB. The indices following the TB volume number are derived from the SC index.)
Mind Series Tantras
The Supreme Source: Kun byed.
Chos thams cad rdzogs pa chen po byang chub kyi sems kun byed rgyal po: "The Universal Great Perfection of Pure Mind, the Supreme Source".
TK Vol.1/1. (pp. 2-262) 84 chapters (employed only in the annotation of the Kun byed).
TB Vol.1/1 (pp. 2-192) 57 chapters.
JV #1, ff.1-200, unknown edition.
Translated in Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Adriano Clemente (1999).
NLD: 26.4-6; 28.2-4; 28.5-7; 29.6-30.1; 32.4; 32.5; 33.6-7; 34.1-2; 35.2-4; 37.3-4; 40.1-41.1; 50.2, 50.2, 50.2-5; 51.1-7; 58.1-2; 60.6, 6-61.5; 62.1,1-5,5-6; 63.1-64.2; 64.2-4; 64.7-65.1; 65.3-4; 65.6-66.3; 69.4-5; 70.6-71.2; 76.6-77.2; 83.6-84.1; 84.3-4; 84.4-5; 84.6-85.1; 85.3-4; 85.7; 86.2-4; 86.5; 87.4-88.2; 89.2; 90.3-4; 91.1-2; 92.6-7; 94.3-5; 94.5-6; 95.1-2; 95.3-6; 95.7-96.1; 96.5-7; 97.6-98.2; 99.1-3; 5; 102.3-5; 102.5-6; 104.3; 104.4-5; 113.6-114.1; 114.4; 114.7-115.3; 116.1-2; 116.6-7; 118.3-7; 119.6-7; 121.1-2; 121.5-7; 122.3-4; 123.2-3; 127.3; 127.4-5; 128.3-4; 128.4-5; 128.6-7; 129.5-130.3; 132.7-133.1; 133.1-2; 134.1-2; 135.1-2; 135.5; 136.1-2; 137.7-138.1; 138.5-6; 138.6-7; 139.3-140.1; 140.3; 140.3-141.1; 145.2-3; 147.3-4; 147.4-5; 147.5-6; 149.5-6.
"The All-Accomplishing King" (DCJ Vol. II p. 275); "The All-Creating Monarch" (PT).
Mind Series Transmissions Translated by Bairotsana
The Eternal Victory Banner: Mi nub pa’i rgyal mtshan nam mkha’ che / Mi nub rgyal mtshan chen po.
Rdo rje sems dpa’ rang bzhin mi nub pa’i rgyal mtshan: "The Nature of Vajrasattva: The Forever-Unfurled Victory Banner".
BGB Vol. 2, kha, pp. 357-366.
Translated in Adriano Clemente (1999), and in Keith Dowman (2006).
TB Vol.1/1 Ka, pp. 106-113.
JV #26, ff. 89-96, ch. 30 of Kun byed rgyal po, unknown edition.
NLD; 129.2-3; 130.6; 130.6-7; 131.1 See also 104.3; 104.4-5; 105.3
"The Total Space of Vajrasattva", Adriano Clemente (1999).
"The Eternal Victory Banner", Keith Dowman, (2006).
The Great Garuda in Flight: Khyung chen lding ba.
BGB Vol. 2/53 pp. 366-370.
Translated in Keith Dowman, (2006).
NLD See 35.2-4; 64.7-65.1; 86.5; 128.7; 149.5-6.
Secret Precept Series Tantras
Beyond the Sound: Thal ’gyur.
Rin po che ’byung bar byed pa sgra thal ’gyur chen po’i rgyud: "The Great Tantra Beyond the Sound: A Fountain of Jewels".
TB Vol.12/1 (pp. 2-173) 6 chapters.
JV #77, ff. 386-530, Volume 10 of TK.
NLD: 96.5; 99.6-100.1; 105.6; 115.4-6; 116.4-6; 125.6-126.2; 130.5; 135.7; 136.7-137.1; 142.5-143.2; 6-144.1; 147.7-148.3
"The Penetration of Sound" (DCJ Vol. II, p. 261), "Reverberation of Sound" (PT); "The Direct Consequence", "Unimpeded Sound" (David Germano).
Beautiful Luck (The Great Tantra of): Bkra shis mdzes ldan chen po’i rgyud.
TB Vol. 12/2 (pp. 173-193) 5 chapters.
JV #64, ff. 207-232, AD.
The Blazing Lamp: sGron ma ’bar ba.
Gser gyi me tog mdzes pa rin po che sgron ma ’bar ba’i rgyud: "The Beautiful Golden Flower: The Tantra of the Precious Blazing Lamp".
TB Vol. 12/8 (pp. 467-491) 4 chapters.
JV #79, ff. 281-313, AD.
Direct Introduction (Tantra of): Ngo sprod spras pa’i rgyud.
Ngo sprod rin po che spras pa’i zhing khams bstan pa’i rgyud: "The Tantra of the Buddhafields of Precious Direct Introduction".
TB Vol. 12/5 (pp. 280-304) 3 chapters.
JV #69, ff. 77-109, AD.
The Garland of Pearls, Mu tig ’phreng ba.
Mu tig rin po che phreng ba’i rgyud: "The Tantra of the Precious Garland of Pearls".
TB Vol.12/6 (pp. 304-393) 8 chapters.
JV #68, ff. 417-537, AD.
NLD 112.6; 119.1-4; 126.2-5; 126.5-127.2; 141.4-5.
The Great Array of Gems (Tantra of); Nor bu ’phra bkod chen po’i rgyud.
Nor bu ’phra bkod rang gi don thams cad gsal bar byed pa’i rgyud: "The Tantra of the Great Array of Gems Illuminating the Purpose of Life".
TB Vol. 12/11 (pp. 712-777) 14 chapters.
JV #71, ff. 1-76, AD.
NLD 72.2; 142.4-5; 145.5-146.5.
"The Array of Gems" (PT).
The Heap of Jewels: Rin chen spungs pa.
Rin chen spungs pa’i yon tan chen po ston pa rgyud kyi rgyal po: "The Sovereign Tantra Revealing Great Qualities as a Heap of Jewels".
TB Vol.11/5 (pp. 757-788) 5 chapters.
JV.#82 ff. 73-114, AD.
NLD 29.3; 30.4-32.1; 42.2-43.4; 44.4-45.4; 49.2-5; 65.3; 69.1-4; 93.4; 94.1; 125.3; 133.2-4; 143.4-6.
The Heart-Mirror of Vajrasattva: Rdo rje sems dpa’ snying gi me long.
Rdo rje sems dpa’ snying gi me long gi rgyud: "The Tantra of Vajrasattva's Heart-Mirror".
TB Vol.12/3 (pp. 193-245) 8 chapters.
JV #81, ff. 315-388, AD.
The Rampant Lion: Seng ge rtsal rdzogs.
Seng ge rtsal rdzogs chen po’i rgyud: "The Great Tantra The Rampant Lion".
TB Vol. 12/10 (pp. 559-712) 13 chapters.
JV #75, ff.245-416, AD.
NLD 71.7-72.2; 82.4; 83.3-4; 105.6-7; 109.1-2, 122.2-3; 125.2-3; 128.3; 138.7-139.1; 142.3-4; 144.4-6.
Spontaneously Arising Gnosis: Rig pa rang shar.
Rig pa rang shar chen po’i rgyud: "The Great Tantra of Spontaneously Arising Gnosis".
TB Vol. 11/3 (pp. 323-693) 86 chapters.
JV #74, ff. 389-855, AD.
NLD 25.4-26.2; 35.7-36.1; 66.7-67.1; 133.6-7; 134.5-135.1; 136.1; 136.2; 136.5-7; 137.1-3; 138.1-2.
"Natural Rising of Awareness" (DCJ Vol. II 275) (PT).
The Natural Freedom of Gnosis: Rig pa rang grol.
Rig pa rang grol chen po thams cad ’grol ba’i rgyud: "The Tantra of Universal Gnostic Liberation".
TB Vol. 11/4 (pp. 699-757) 10 chapters.
JV #72, ff. 1-72, AD.
"The Natural Freedom of Awareness" (PT).
The Precious Blazing Relics (The Tantra of): Sku gdung ’bar ba rin po che’i rgyud.
Dpal nam mkha’ med pa’i sku gdung ’bar ba chen po’i rgyud: "The Great Tantra of the Glorious Nonspatial Blazing Relics".
TB Vol.11/6. (pp. 788-815) 3 chapters.
JV #80, ff. 115-151, AD.
Samantabhadra's Mirror of Mind: Kun tu bzang po thugs kyi me long.
Kun tu bzang po thugs kyi me long gi rgyud: "The Tantra of Samantabhadra's Mind Mirror".
TB Vol. 12/4.(pp. 245-280) 4 chapters.
JV #67, ff. 233-280, AD.
NLD: 35.7; 67.4-68.2; 72.6-73.2; 141.3-4.
"Mirror of Enlightened Mind" (PT).
The Six Matrixes: Klong drug pa
Kun tu bzang po klong drug pa’i rgyud: "The Tantra of the Six Matrixes of Samantabhadra".
TB Vol.12/7 ff. (pp. 394-467) 6 chapters.
JV #66, ff. 111-214, AD.
NLD: 52.3-53.1; 58.4-60.1; 74.6; 98.4-5; 99.3; 100.1-2; 105.7; 106.2-3; 121.2-3; 121.7; 122.4-5; 123.3-4; 123.4-124.5; 141.5-6;149.3.
"Six Expanses" (PT).
The Unwritten Tantra: Yi ge med pa.
Yi ge med pa rgyud chen po: "The Great Unwritten Tantra".
MB: 11/2 (pp. 298-322) 6 chapters.
JV #83, ff. 215-244, AD.
NLD 73.6-74.1; 80.7-81.3; 117.5-7.
Unclassified Tantras from the Nyingma Gyubum
The Epitome of the Definitive Meaning (Tantra of), Nges don ’dus pa’i rgyud.
Rdzogs pa chen po nges don ’dus pa’i rgyud lta ba thams cad kyi snying po rin po che rnam par bkod pa: "The Tantra Epitomizing the Definitive Meaning, the Heart-Essence of All Vision: Jewels in Array".
TB Vol.6/1 (pp. 2-145) 81 chapters.
The Sphere of Total Illumination: Thig le kun gsal.
Thig le kun gsal chen po’i rgyud: "The Great Tantra The Sphere of Total Illumination". Attributed to Garab Dorje.
TB Vol. 13/3 (pp. 296-499), 96 chapters.
NLD: 29.4-6; 33.3; 37.1; 37.1-2; 37.2; 38.7-39.3; 53.6-7; 76.2-4; 78.1-2; 78.4; 91.2-5; 105.3; 110.2-6; 131.7-132.1.
"Tantra of the Great All-illuminating Sphere" (JV); "The All-Illuminating Sphere" (PT).
The Stream of Empowering Self-sprung Perfection (Tantra of): Rdzogs pa rang byung dbang gi chu bo’i rgyud.
Sku thams cad kyi snang ba ston pa dbang rdzogs pa rang byung chen po’i rgyud: "The Great Tantra Self-Sprung Perfect Power Revealing the Vision of All Gnostic Dimensions".
TB Vol. 11/1 (pp. 2-298) 25 chapters.
JV #73, ff. 235-558, AD.
The Supreme Secret: The Mind of All the Tathagatas (Tantra of ): De bzhin gshegs pa thams cad kyi thugs gsang ba chen po’i rgyud.
Sang rgyas thams cad kyi thugs gsang ba chen po’i rgyud: "The Great Tantra of the Secret Mind of All Buddha".
TB Vol.13/17 (pp. 667-681) 6 chapters.
Texts of Sri Singha
The Great Garuda: Khyung chen. See The Flight of the Great Garuda
The Flight of the Great Garuda: Khyung chen mkha’ lding in the first instance and thereafter Khyung chen.
NTY, Vol. V: Bima snying thig (Part III), 2b (Ta), pp. 52-63
NLD: 47.5-6; 48.1-2; 48.5-7; 53.3-4; 57.1-2; 60.3-5; 61.7; 64.7; 68.5-7; 79.7- 80.1; 80.3-4; 82.6-7; 98.4; 121.1; 121.5; 122.3; 123.2; 145.5.
Spoken Word: The Secret Oral Tradition: Kha gtam gSang ba’i snyan brgyud.
"Spoken Words: The Secret Oral Lineage" (PT).
The Works of Garab Dorje (unlocated)
Free Identity: Mtshan ma rang grol.
NLD 46.3-47.3; 74.6-75.1; 79.2-3; 111.5-112.2; 112.6-7; 125.6; 127.7-128.1; 149.6-7
"Natural Freedom that Underlies Characteristics" (PT).
The Junction of the Three Dimensions: Sku gsum thug phrad.
NLD: 27.3-5; 34.4-7; 41.1-2; 55.7-56.3; 78.5; 81.5-7; 89.1-2; 6-7; 104.7-105.3; 120.5-6.
"Direct Encounter with the Three Kayas" (PT).
The Sacred Vase of Gnosis: Rig pa spyi blugs.
NLD 37.7-38.6; 54.6-55.1; 57.4-6.
Synchronicity: Dus gsum chig chod.
NLD 77.4-5; 88.6-89.1; 90.3; 101.3-7; 107.3-108.1.
"Cutting Through Time", "Cutting Through the Three Times".
The Transfiguration of the Six Sensory Fields: Tshogs drug zil gnon.
NLD 75.3-4; 86.1; 92.2-3; 103.2-6; 106.7; 151.1-2.
"Overwhelming the Six Modes of Consciousness with Splendor" (PT).
The Vajra Fortress: Rdo rje mkhar rdzong.
The Magical Web of Manjushri: ’Jam dpal sgyu ’phrul drwa ba.
TK Vol. 14-16. Unlocated.
"The Web of Magical Display of Manjushri" (PT).
The Matrix of Mystery: Gsang snying.
Gsang ba’i snying po’i rgyud: Skt. Guhyagarbha Tantra
TK Vol.14, no.187.
TB Vols. 20-1.
See DCJ Vol. II p. 275.
"Heart Essence of Secrets" (PT); "Matrix of Mystery" (HG).
The Great Commentary of The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Verses: Brgyad stong ’grel chen of Haribhadra.
The Treasury of Abhidharma: Chos mngon pa mdzod of Vasubandhu.
Miscellaneous Unlocated Sources
A Concise Commentary on the Oral Transmission: Snyan brgyud ti ka.
Dohakosha of Saraha (Collection of Dohas): Do ha mdzod (Saraha).
The Right Time: Dus gnad brtag pa of Padmasambhava.
Other Titles: "Examination of the Key Points of Timelessness" (PT).
The Supreme Lamp (Sutra of), Dkon mchog Ta la la’i mdo (see DCJ Vol. II, p. 272).
Appendix II: Index of Similes
Note: indices refer to the canto numbers.
- Brass for Gold
- Taking appearances as one's own mind is like mistaking brass for gold (8).
- Bird in the Sky
- Internal events are like a bird's flight-path in the sky (64);
all internal events are like the imprint of a bird in the sky (64).
- The body is ephemeral like a bubble (97).
- Display is like the incandescence of a candle-flame (8).
- Immersed in conditioning like innocent children in the playground (20)
- Clouds, Mist
- All concepts melt away like a mass of clouds evaporating (40);
all events arise and fall like clouds emerging in the sky and then dissolving therein (51);
the imagery of samsara and nirvana evaporate like clouds in the sky (89);
this display is like clouds billowing in the clear sky (97);
every experience reverts into gnosis like clouds dissolving in the sky (110);
corporeality dissolves like mist evaporating (122i);
the elements dissolve like mist evaporating (122i).
- Gnosis diffracts like the crystal (69);
gnosis is like the crystal, its brilliance like the fivefold spectrum within the crystal, and its potential for projection like the propensity of the light to emanate out of the crystal (69);
our immaculate nature is like a flawless crystal statue (69);
gnostic awareness, like a crystal prism, contains the fivefold spectrum of natural light (77);
the display of gnostic potency, like the spectrum of light appearing in a crystal (82);
samsara and nirvana evaporate like colored light retracting into the crystal (89);
pristine gnosis laid bare is like a crystal (102);
the qualities of gnostic self-expression are like light diffracted in a crystal prism (102).
- Samsara and nirvana appear like dreams in the gnostic scope (12);
samsara and nirvana, all gnostic vision, is like dream (94);
the miserable states of samsara appear illusory like dream (52);
objective appearances are like a woman in a dream mistakenly identified as a former lover (52);
potency manifests like dreams arising from the potency of sleep (67).
- Emperor, the King
- The transmission of atiyoga is like Sumeru, the king of mountains (39);
spaciousness governs everything, like an emperor (84);
these secret precepts are like an absolute monarch (122i).
- Earthen Pot
- A conditioned result perishes like an earthen pot (19).
- Thoughts are like fish in a pond (50);
every flickering thought is like a golden fish darting in a pond (50).
- Like blind blundering fools they cling to fleeting illusions that inevitably perish (99).
- Golden Isle
- The matrix is like the Golden Isle (2, 11).
- Great Garuda
- Hatching from the egg and flying away is like abandoning the corporeal shell in buddhahood (91);
the view of natural perfection is like a great garuda soaring in the empty sky (122ii);
the carefree yogin soars like a great garuda (127).
- House Collapsing
- The dissolution of corporeality is like the coalescence of interior, exterior and intermediary space as a house collapses (90).
- We jump through like a lion leaping long and high (90).
- Magical Illusion
- All experience of the world is like magical illusion (6);
appearances are like the eight similes of magical illusion (8).
- A fool deceived by magical illusion is like an animal pursuing a mirage (17).
- Moon in Water, Reflection
- Appearances are like the shimmering reflection in water (36);
whatever appears in empty gnosis is like the reflection of the moon in water (48);
appearances are like reflections in a pellucid lake (54);
samsara and nirvana, all gnostic vision, is like the reflection of the moon in water (94).
- Old Man
- Relieved like an old man basking in the sun (20);
deeply satisfied, like an old man, his work done (55).
- Rainbow etc
- Ornamentation is like a rainbow, or the sun, moon, stars and planets, in the sky (8);
like a rainbow shining in the sky having no existence separate from the sky (69).
- River, a Flowing Stream
- Natural meditation is like a flowing stream (3);
hyper-concentration is like a river's strong current (23);
concentrated absorption is like a great river's flow (23);
nondual pure pleasure is uninterrupted like the river Ganges (23);
contemplation is like a great river's flow (79).
- Spiritual exercises are like children's sand castles (31);
the creative phase is a childish game like building sand castles (31).
- Pure vision is with us like a shadow following the body (3).
- He who applies deliberate effort falls straight to earth like a tenderfoot sky-walker (40).
- Space, Elemental Space, the Sky
- Reality is like the sky (3, 12, 24, 113, 114, 115);
pure mind is like the sky or space (3, 4, 9, 30, 61, 80, 83, 106, 114);
gnosis is just like elemental space or the sky (9, 21, 99);
intrinsic gnosis is pure like the sky (21,115);
gnosis is brilliant emptiness like the sky (35, 90, 95, 98, 99);
gnosis is infinitely open, like a crystal-clear sky (55);
gnosis is empty like the sky (65), our fundamental nature is like space (10);
the nature of mind is like the sky (11,30,75);
the nature of Samantabhadra is like elemental space (40);
atiyoga is like space or the sky (18, 44);
nondual perception is open like the sky (46);
contemplation is like the sky (91),
open-ended like the sky (53),
tranquil like the sky (81);
total presence is like space (83, 122i);
the natural state is like space (84);
equanimity is like the sky (84);
alpha-purity is like the sky (87);
unity is timelessly unstructured like the sky (95);
consciousness emerges naturally like the sky (29);
the language of biased projection and morally discriminating goal-directed endeavor is like the nonactive sky (35);
images are like the sky (65);
the body-mind uncontrived like the sky (81);
the mind, birthless and deathless like the sky (97);
nonjudgmental mind is like space (115);
the mind and its field are both pure like the sky, baseless and utterly empty (113);
display is nonactive like elemental space (115);
view and meditation is like the sky (115);
brilliant emptiness is like the sky (122ii);
identity is like the sky (122ii);
whoever seeks emptiness fails like a blind bird trying to reach the end of the sky (17).
- Sun, Sunlight, Sun-rays
- Display is like the display of the sun as light (8);
timeless expression, original radiance, shines like the sun's rays (29);
the sun of reality obscured like the disc of the sun in summertime (38);
gnosis is untouchable like the heart of the sun (39);
clear-light dawns in the field of reality like the sun in the sky (40);
gnosis arises like the sun (46);
like an old man basking in the sun (20);
the clear revelation of absence is like the rising sun (40).
- Nondual body and mind is like a vajra (97).
- Water and Waves
- Display is like water and its waves (50);
the play of self-sprung awareness is like water and its waves (104);
gnosis is saturated by timeless brilliance like water by wetness (48).
- Wish-fulfilling Gem
- The mind fulfils all our desires like a wish-fulfilling gem (1);
awareness with the speed of light is like the master's fountain of jewels (63);
pure mind is like a wish-fulfilling gem (66);
the spaciousness of reality is a wish-fulfilling gem (66);
the spaciousness of reality is a wish-fulfilling gem (102);
the inexhaustible treasure he holds in his hand is like a special precious jewel (120);
like someone hankering after the wish-fulfilling gem (74).
ka dag: alpha~ original~ primordial~ purity; alpha-pure
ka dag chen po: original hyper-purity
Kun byed rgyal po: the supreme source
kun dpe: the universal simile
kun ’byung: the source, the ubiquitous source
kun ’byung nor bu: wish-fulfilling gem
kun gzhi: experiential~ gnostic~ existential~ ground
kye ma: beware
klong: matrix; expanse
klong chen: super-matrix, vast matrix
klong rdol: bursting forth; efflorescence
dkyil yangs po: boundless center
sku: existential~ dimension, mode, body; =chos sku
sku dang ye shes: pure being and pristine awareness
sku gsum: the three (gnostic) ~dimensions ~modes ~buddha-bodies
skye ’gag gi chos: temporal experience
skye med: unborn, unoriginated, unbegun
kho thag gcod pa: to reach conviction, to finally surrender
khyab gdal: all- ~pervading ~encompassing ~embracing; stretching out
khyab dal chen po: integral openness
’khod snyoms: congruent
’khor ’das chos rnams: all experience of samsara and nirvana
’khyil ba: converge, entwine, integrated
’khrul ’khor: vicious circle
’khrul snang: delusive appearances
’khrol du ’jug pa: to give room
gol sgrib: glitches and veils; deviation
gol sgrib med: infallible, flawless
gol sa: place of going astray, deviation
grub bsal med: unproven and irrefutable
grol ba: release, freedom, liberation
grwa zur med: zero-dimensional, without edges or corners
dgag tu med: incessant
dgag sgrub med: without assertion or denial
dge sdig: (conventional) morality, moral duality (virtue and vice), moral conditioning
dge sdig med: in the absence of moral conditioning
dge sdig rgyu ’bras: moral ~causality ~causation ~conditioning
dgongs don: dynamic, purpose
dgongs pa: gnostic dynamic, buddha-dynamic, dynamic; contemplation
’gag: crux, focus, locus, nub, key
’gag bsdam pa: assimilation, integration
’gag med: unimpeded, unobstructed
’gyur ’jug: accessing, to access
’gro drug: six types of beings
’gro ’ong med pa: without moving, neither coming nor going, without variation
rgya grol: unrestricted
rgya chad phyogs lhung med: unrestricted and impartial; indefinite openness
rgya ma chad: unrestricted, impartial, unlimited
rgya yan: unconfined, unrestricted, uninhibited, unbounded freedom, unbound
rgyan: ornamentation, beauty
rgyas chod: confirmed
rgyu ’bras: causality, contingency, conditioning, cause and effect
rgyu ’bras dge sdig ’bad rtsol: striving for a positive result
rgyu ’bras med: non-contingent, unconditional, without cause and effect
rgyu ’bras rtsol sgrub ’das: unattainable
rgyu ‘bras bya rtsol: rational endeavor, goal-orientation
rgyun chad med: uninterrupted
sgom med: nonmeditation
sgyu ma: magical illusion
sgrims lhod med: not too tight nor too slack
sgra thal ’gyur: beyond the sound
sgro skur: imputation; value judgement (assertion and denial), evaluation
gleng gzhi: discourse, history, association
ngang: space, scope
ngang gis: inhere, is inherent, naturally, intrinsically
nges pa: unequivocal, definite, certain
nges don: definitive meaning
nges med: equivocal, ambiguous, indeterminate
ngo bo: essence, face, nature
dngos po: substance, solidity, concrete identity
dngos med: insubstantial, without concrete identity, lacking any substance, 'nothing is solid', immaterial
snga phyi thog mtha’ bral: atemporal
cir (gang du) yang ma grub: nowhere attested
cer mthong: direct~ naked~ perception; 'seeing'
cog bzhag: freely resting, carefree ~relaxation ~detachment
cog bzhag chen po: zero-attachment
gcig pu: alone, unitary, the singularity, unity
gcer bu: naked
bcos med: without artifice, cannot be ~contrived ~improved
cha med: undivided
cha shas spros dang bral: free of ~fragmented structure ~differentiating constructs
chags sdang: emotion
chig chod: immediate, instantaneous
chings su bcing ba: 'the bind'
chub: perfected, comprehended, completed
cho ’phrul: magical emanation
chos: experience, phenomena, events, life, all and everything
chos sku: dharmakaya, pure being
chos dang chos min med: neither sacred nor profane, neither something nor nothing
chos nyid: reality
chos nyid zad pa: experience consummate
chos dbyings: spaciousness, hyperspace
chos med: unreal, nothing
chos zad: phenomena~ experience~ events~ ~consumed ~spent ~consummate
’char: arise, emerge, emanate, issue
’char tshul: mode, inception, emanation
ji ltar snang yang: whatever appears, no matter how they seem
ji bzhin: just as it is; simplicity
ji bzhin pa: what is already there
’jur sems: anal retention
rjen pa: bare, naked
brjod med: unutterable, inexpressible
nyag gcig: the sole, holistic
gnyis med: nondual
mnyam pa: equality, sameness; the same, identical, uniform, consonant with
mnyam pa chen po: super~ hyper~ -sameness; 'great equanimity'
mnyam pa nyid: sameness, equality, equanimity
mnyam bzhag: equanimity, meditative equipoise, settled in sameness
snying po: essence, nature, heart, core
ting nge ’dzin: natural~ samadhi
gtan la ’babs/dbab pa: to establish conclusively
gtad: focus, target, objective
btang bzhag med: simply being, without~ acceptance or rejection~ biased action; nothing to reject/discard or embrace/adopt
rtag chad med: neither eternal nor ~temporal ~ephemeral, free of eternalism and nihilism
rtog pa: to conceive; thought, thinking; construct, concept
rtog tshogs: mental ~constructs ~conceptions
rtogs pa: realizing, realization, understanding, intuition
lta ba: view, vision
lta ba sgom pa spyod pa ’bras bu: view, meditation, action, goal/fruition
stong pa: empty
stong pa chen (po): super~ vast~ emptiness
stong pa nyid: emptiness
stong gsal: brilliant emptiness, empty clarity, empty light
thag gcod pa: utter~ conviction
thig le: seed, nucleus; holistic seed, seminal nucleus; sphere; light-seed
thig le nyag gcig: the one~ sole~ holistic seed
thug phrad: junction, juncture (intersection)
thugs rje: compassion
theg sman, theg ’og ma: lower approaches; gradualist~ gradual~ progressive~ approaches
thog mtha’ med: beginningless and endless
thog ma’i gzhi: original~ primordial~ existential ground
mtha’ dbus: extension
mtha’ dbus med: zero-dimensional, without center or boundary
mtha’ bzhi,: four extreme beliefs; rigid attitudes/beliefs
dangs gsal ba: pellucid clarity
dam tshig: samaya, commitment
dal khod snyoms: congruent (homogenous) integration
dus gsum: past, present and future, three times, time
dus gsum chig chod: synchronicity
dus gsum sangs rgyas: buddha past present and future (Samantabhadra)
de kho na nyid: immediate reality, the timeless specificity of reality
de nyid: itself, reality, the nature of mind
de bzhin nyid: the zing of reality, tathata, suchness, reality just as it is, authentic reality
de bzhin gshegs pa’i snying po: pure mind essence
don: meaning, reality
don gyi: actually
don gyi snying po: essential reality, heart-essence, actual essence, core/heart of reality
don gyi rang bzhin: actual function
dran pa: memory, thought, reflection, recollection
dran bsam: ideation
gdangs ba: luminous; luminosity, expression
gdangs gsal ba: crystal clarity
gdams pa: advice, instruction
gdal ba chen po: all- ~pervasive ~embracing ~suffusing
gdod nas dag pa: primordially pure, pure from the beginning, alpha-pure
gdod nas sangs rgyas: primordial buddhahood, primordial awakening
gdod ma’i klong: primordial matrix
gdod ma’i sa: original seat
bdag nyid: identity
bdag tu ’dzin pa: concretization
bde sdug: feeling (happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain); samsara
bde ba chen po: pure pleasure, supreme bliss,
bden med: unreal
’das: superseding, transcending, gone beyond, dissolving
’du bral med pa: inseparable union; 'neither united nor separated', beyond union and separation, never lost nor gained, without anticipation, ineluctable
’du shes: idea, apperception
’dus ma byas: non-composite, unconditioned uncompounded
’dod byung nor bu: wish-fulfilling jewel
rdo rje: vajra, immutable, indestructible, ineluctable, adamantine
rdo rje’i ’gros: vajra- ~dance ~mode ~stance
rdo rje dbyings: vajra-space, the vajra-field
rdo rje snying po’i dbyings: spaciousness of the ~vajra-heart ~vajra-essence
nub pa med pa’i rgyal mtshan: the forever-unfurled (eternal) victory banner
gnad: focus, focal point, key, main thing
gnad bkrol ba: disclosure (of the focal point)
gnas ’gyu: stillness and movement
gnas pa: abiding, being, resting, remaining, existing
gnas pa med: unlocatable, homeless
gnas lugs: the natural state, way of being; natural perfection
rnam rtog: discursive~ thought
rnam dag: immaculate
rnal gzhag chen po: super-relaxation, great natural relief, satisfaction
rnal ’byor pa: gnostic yogin and yogini, authentic yoga
rnal ma'i: fundamental
snang ba: appearance, image, light-form, manifestation, vision
snang ba’i dus nas: 'the timeless moment', in its moment of appearance, at the moment of emanation, right from the start
snang shes nyid: cognition
snang tshul: appearance
snang yul: things arising
snang sems: integral vision
snang srid: the world and its inhabitants, environment and life-forms, animate and inanimate
snod bcud: matter and energy, worlds and life-forms, chalice and elixir
spang blang bral: no preference
spang blang ’khor ’das med: no preference for samsara or nirvana
spangs thob med: beyond rejection and attainment
spong len: discrimination, discipline
spongs thob med: ineluctable; discipline
spyod pa: conduct, behavior, practice
spyod yul: field of action
sprul sku: nirmanakaya, the dimension of magic
spro bsdu med: neither diffused nor concentrated
spros: multiplicity, structuring, elaboration
spros bral: unstructured, unelaborated; simplicity
phyam gcig: common unity
phyam gdal: equilibrium, equalized, spaced-out
phyam phyal: untrammeled openness
phyal ba: openness
phyal ba chen po: infinite openness
phyal yas: infinitely open, open to infinity
phyi nang: outside and inside, inner and outer
phyogs ’byams: all-suffusing
phyogs med: undirected, nonspatial, unbiased, spatially indeterminate
phyogs ris med: unbiased and impartial, the absence of spatial and temporal distinction, unpatterned, free of all restriction, unrestricted, undivided and unbiased, unrestricted spacetime
phyogs bral: undifferentiated
phyogs su ’dzin: taking sides
phyogs su mi blta: total perspective, free of any bias
phyogs su lhung med: impartial, unreified
phra rags: gross~ coarse~ and subtle
’phel ‘grib med: neither increasing nor decreasing
’pho ’gyur: in flux
’pho ’gyur med: without transformation, without transition or change; immutable
’phrin las: ideal conduct, buddha-activity, ritual activity
’phro gnas: proliferating or quiescent
’phro ‘du: oscillation
’phro gzhi: projective base
bag yangs: fully receptive
bar med: seamless
bya byed: deliberate action
bya bral: nonaction; nonactive, inactive; free-form
bya rtsol: goal-oriented endeavor, deliberate effort, striving, endeavor
byang chub: total presence, total pure presence
byang chub sems: (bodhichitta) pure mind
byang chub snying po: the essential heart of total presence
byar med: nonaction; nonactive, nonreactive, 'with nothing to do'
byas pa: purposeful action, goal-directed action
bying rgod: lethargy and agitation, laziness and excitement, volatility
byin brlabs: hallowed
byung tshor med pa: without affectivity
blang dor: discrimination, principled action
blang dor bya rtsol: directed~ discriminating~ activity
blang dor ’bad rtsol: discipline, struggle for principled action
blang dor med pa: nondiscrimination, without cultivating or rejecting anything, nondiscriminatory
blo: intellect, individual~ ordinary~ mind
blo ’das: intellect ~exhausted ~redundant; no-mind!
blo bral: mindless
blo rab: brilliant; brightest~ broadest~ keenest~ mind
dbye ba med: indivisible
dbye bsal med: all-inclusive, undiscriminating all-inclusive and indivisible
dbyings: spaciousness, field (of reality), hyperspace
’bad rtsol: effort, struggle, activity
’byung ‘jug: alternation, strobe-like
’byung ‘jug blo: fluctuating mind
’byung tshul: the manner~ mode~ of emanation, emanation
’bras bu: goal (negative), fruition (positive)
sbubs: cavity, hollow, sanctum
ma skyes: unoriginated, unmanifest
ma grub: unattested, indefinable, unproven, cannot be established
ma ’gags: uncrystallizing, inalienable, unreified; unimpeded
ma ’gags rol pa: uncrystallizing display,
ma bsgoms: unaided (concentration), uncultivated
ma nges: uncertain, ambiguous, indeterminate, equivocal
ma bcos: uncontrived, unfabricated, artless
ma byas: unmade, uncreated
ma btsal: unsought, pre-existing
ma rtsol: unattainable
ma yengs: undistracted
ma g.yos: never shifting (from), unstirring
man ngag: secret precept
mi ’gyur: unchanging
mi rtog: unthought, unthinking, nonconceptual
mi gnas: nowhere located, unlocated, unfixed, unlocalized
mi snang: unmanifest, invisible, intangible
mi phyed: indivisible
mi dmigs: unimaged
mi mtshon: unsigned, unindicated
mi g.yo: unmoving
ming tsam: mere label
med pa: absence, nonexistence
med pa gsal snang: brilliant/vivid appearance; image of absence
med pa’i chos rnams: empty phenomena
dmigs pa: imaged
dmigs gtad: an objective, point of reference, focus
dmigs gtad med: nothing to hold on to, untargeted, without ~objective ~ reference ~focus
dmigs med: invisible, unimaginable
dmigs bsam bral ba: indeterminacy
smra bsam brjod ’das: inconceivable and unutterable
btsal bsgrubs: deliberate effort
btsal ba med: not to be found, not to be sought, unwanted, involuntary
rtsal: potency; creativity
rtsa: basis, foundation, source, root
rtsal rdzogs: potentiated; rampant
rtsol ba: effort, striving, diligence, exertion
rtsol sgrub: goal-oriented ~endeavor; spiritual ambition
rtsol sgrub med: without endeavor, effortless, involuntary
rtsol med: the absence of striving
tshogs drug: six sensory fields
mtshan nyid: quality, attribute, character, identity
mtshan ma: characteristic, attribute
mtshan ma’i ris dang bral: free of all specifics
mtshan ’dzin: fixation
mtshan brjod ’das: beyond expression, inexpressible, ineffable
mtshon dang mi mtshon med: neither signed nor unsigned
mtshon du med: cannot be indicated
mtshon pa’i yul las ’das: beyond the specific
rdzogs: perfection; completion, wholeness
rdzogs chen: natural perfection, the Great Perfection as a school, title etc
’dzin pa: grasping, belief
zhi ba: quelled, assuaged, extinguished
gzhi: ground (of being), existential ground, base, basis, basic, fundament
gzhi bral: with no solid ground
gzhi snang: gestalt ~imagery ~emanation; archetypal imagery
gzhi dbyings: the spaciousness of the ground; the field as the ground
zang ka ma: pristine, authentic, genuine
zang thal: holistic transparence; transparent; all-embracing; unimpeded; immediate, synchronicitous
zang thal chen po: super-transparence; transparent, translucent
zad: consumed, consummate, spent, exhausted,
zad pa’i chos nyid: all-consuming reality
zil gyis gnon: outshine, overwhelm, transfigure, over-awe
gza’ gtad: focus, objective, target
gzugs brnyan: reflections
gzung ’dzin: dualistic perception (knower and known, subject and object)
gzung ’dzin med: nondual perception, the absence of dualistic perception
bzang ngan: good and bad, preference, judgement, discrimination
bzang ngan dge sdig ’das: beyond moral distinction
bzang ngan spang blang rgyu ’bras bya rtsol: morally discriminating causal reaction
bzang ngan med: undiscriminating, nondiscriminatory
bzang ngan spong len: value judgement
’od gsal: clear light
yangs pa: vast; expanse
yid la byed pa: attention
yin lugs: manner of existence
yul: object, (objective) field
yul can: 'the knower' /experiencing subject
yul snang: objective field, field of appearances, imaged field
yul dbang: sensory field
yul med: nonreferential, unimaged
yul sems: mind and its field, mind in its field
yul sems snang ba: dualistic appearance
yul sems ’dzin pa: dualistic grasping
ye grol: ultimate~ release
ye stong: ultimate~ utter~ emptiness
ye dag: primal purity
ye nas: timeless, primordial; pre-existent, ultimate
ye nas yin pa’i gnas lugs: the timeless state of natural gnosis
ye nas lhun grub: original spontaneity, spontaneously present from the beginning
ye gnas: has always existed
ye bzhin: timeless
ye shes: pristine~ timeless~ primal~ ever-fresh~ awareness
ye sangs: awakened
yeng dang ma yengs med: admitting no degree of focus
g.yo med: never leave, depart, waver from, stir (from)
rang grol: reflexive release
rang ngo: original face, face, nature of mind
rang ngo’i dgongs pa: natural dynamic
rang dag: naturally~ intrinsically~( pure = empty)
rang dangs: self-clarified, naturally unsullied, bright, pellucid, transparent
rang gdangs: self-expression, intrinsic luminosity, luminous self-expression
rang gnas: naturally abiding, indwelling, intrinsic, self-existing
rang snang: gnostic envisionment, auto-envisionment, gestalt imagery, display; self-imaged, self-manifest
rang babs: naturally ~falling ~occurring; adventitious; natural flow
rang byung: self-sprung, self-occurring; spontaneous, natural
rang byung ye shes: self-sprung (pristine) awareness
rang mal: natural disposition, the natural~ original~ state, natural condition
rang gzhag/bzhag: relaxation, natural ease
rang bzhin: nature
rang bzhin bcu: ten techniques; rubric or categories of tantric method
rang bzhin med: insubstantial, absent in reality; inherently absent, evanescent
rang bzhin rdzogs pa chen po: natural perfection, intrinsic natural perfection
rang bzhin gsal ba: brilliant nature, intrinsic clarity, brilliant
rang bzhin bsam gtan: natural~ intrinsic~ concentration
rang yal: (self-) dissolve, melt
rang rig: intrinsic gnosis
rang rig ye shes: intrinsic gnostic awareness
rang shar: naturally-arising, self-arising, spontaneously arising, occurring autonomously
rang sa ’dzin/zin: relax into the natural state, remains in its natural state
rang sar: as it stands, in the natural state
rang sangs: naturally pure, naturally pristine; self-actuating purification, self-dissolution
rang sems: the (ordinary) mind
rang gsal: intrinsic luminosity, natural clarity
rab ’byams: all-suffusing, all embracing
rig ngo: the face of gnosis, the original face, the nature of mind
rig stong: empty gnosis
rig pa: gnosis
rig pa zang ka: authentic gnosis
ris med: indivisible, undivided, indistinguishable
rig ’dzin: mystic, gnostic master
ro gcig: (the) one taste
rol pa: display, play
la bzla ba: resolution; to resolve
lam: path, process
lus ngag sems: physical, energetic and mental complexes
longs spyod sku: sambhogakaya, the dimension of perfect enjoyment
shar: arise, dawn, happen, start
shar grol: inception and release, release at inception
shar ba: inception; emitting
shar lugs: emanation
shar sa: field of origin, incipient state
shig ge: floating
shes rab: insight (into emptiness)
gshis don: basic meaning
sa bor: disdaining
sangs: awaken, purify, dissolve, clear away
sangs rgyas: buddha, gnostic master
sang rgyas pa: buddhahood
sems nyid: the nature of mind, mind itself
sems nyid byang chub: the pure nature of mind
sems snang: mental image
gsang chen: profound mystery
gsal: shine, radiate
gsal ba: brilliance, clarity, radiance
bsam brjod med: inconceivable and inexpressible, ineffable
bsam gtan: concentrated absorption
bsam dang bral: inconceivable, unthinkable, without plan, without ideation
bsam yul ’das: inconceivable, transcending thought and intention
har sang: awe, fully alert
har sang rgya yan: sudden wakefulness
lhag mthong: heightened insight
lhug pa: left loosely, relaxed; free and easy relaxation, relaxation; relaxed detachment
lhun grub: spontaneity; spontaneous perfection; spontaneously ~accomplished ~arising
lhun grub chen po: super-spontaneity, spontaneous creativity, spontaneous gnosis
lhun mnyam: immanent sameness
lhun ’byams: interfused
lhod pa: loose and easy, relaxed, carefree, slack
’ub chub: consummate fulfilment
’e ma ho: ho!
’ong ’gro: kinetic, variation