golden dorje

The Chapter on Direct Perception
of Vajrasattva

- from the Guhyagarbha-tantra -

golden dorje

Samantabhadra and sentient beings are gathered indivisibly in immaculate existential space, and in order to demonstrate experientially the direct perception of Vajrasattva's face, deliberately, Samantabhadra speaks:

In direct perception of this mundane world, where things are never what they seem, where all is delusory enchantment, like hallucination, seeing all and everything as a continuity like the reflection of the moon in water, that is the buddha's pristine awareness, and a flash of undivided recognition of that gives us a unitary experience of total presence. A finger snap of ungrounded limitless space, in timeless existential space, the here and now, that is Vajrasattva wielding an utterly inviolable vajra. When vision and conduct are in sync with direct perception, we see his face in the intrinsic purity of the mandala.

    That boundless existential space is oneself in a union of utter purity, and all is spontaneously awakened. Whoever experiences this realization he is seeing with the eye of pure awareness and he sees the immaculate matrix of being, and he is utterly inviolable, adamantine, imperturbable. Intrinsic existential space radiates clear light which is the immaculate voice of pristine being (sattva). In that recognition is direct perception of his face.

    With this spontaneity of perfect equipoise, the mind is filled with the magnificent self-sprung mandala of the Five Tathagathas, the five aspects of awareness, and in this unitary mind free of subject and object contemplating the buddhas' radiance as nothing at all, without seeing or hearing or any sensation, here is the clear light of pure awareness of intrinsic presence and everything is realized as intrinsically empty and in reality there is no substance whatsoever.

    Just as the victorious Buddha sat as a focus in the middle of the hosts of Mara all gathered around the bodhi tree, miserable in their state of malignancy trying to cut the tree but quite unable, so is Vajrasattva: when oneself is at one with samadhi that is direct perception of the vajra-face.

    The mind filled with Vajrasattva, samadhi saturated with radiance, everything becomes his vajra-nature, and since he is everything, nothing can harm him; with oneself and sattva inseparable action accords with whatever appears, and the vision and activity of oneself and sattva are one and that is direct perception of the vajra-face.

    Now, the immaculate mandala of reflected images: conjoined by means of the coarse and tangible (thabs) apprehending sensory distinctions, perfect insight (prajna) is realized and the non-dual connection of means and insight is sublime skilful means. All and everything as the space of that manifold insight, all appearances and existence, everything whatsoever, unmoving from the intrinsical here and now, are neither existent nor non-existent and their being and non-being are indivisible: all is gathered into the space of existential sameness and such a communion never coming into being, everything, in that way, inseparable from sameness, is inviolable. That is the abode of sattva and the supreme order who realize that, their status in accord with sattva, they see directly the vajra-face.

    All transforming illusion, the psycho-organism and the elements of perception, is one in the suchness of the ground of being, and illusory appearances, all reflected images, lack any substance in their very nature; yet that very absence of substance displays multiplicity: the five aspects of the psycho-organism are the Five Tathagathas, sense organs and conciousnesses are the bodhisattvas, the objects and times are the goddesses the four concepts of the self are the four wrathful male guardians, the four extreme views of eternalism and nihilism are the four wrathful female guardians. That awakened mind – known as intrinsic presence – all as existential space, Samantabhadra, that is Vajrasattva. Whoever recognizes that, his buddha-mind in harmony with sattva, He sees the vajra-face.

    All things, all experience without exception, can be expressed by representational name, word, letters and sound, but like all those letters, names and sounds nothing whatsoever has any substance. That very absence of substance appears as multiplicity, the nature of appearances is nothing at all; although there is a constant stream of creativity it is no-thing and that is immaculate. The utterly inviolable here and now is not insensate matter; it is radiantly clear light, and Vajrasattva abides there. Whoever recognizes that is a member of the supreme order, and indivisible from the vajra-order he has direct perception of the vajra-face.

    The eminent man or woman with high creativity can realize the meaning of such universal identity; but the result is intangible, for the place in which enlightened mind exists is like a womb or an egg. Although unreal, obscurations do arise, and just as in the process of their creation they dissolve so the forms of thought are abandoned instantaneously. In that way he is empowered by all things and he becomes a being of the sublime order.

    Identical to Vajrasattva, the supreme siddhis are perfected in him; he attains the blissful pure land, supreme wisdom becomes his display, and he is an exemplar to gods and men; he is empowered in body speech and mind and whatever he imagines is actualized.

    He is mastered by the four boundless states, his activity everywhere is supreme awareness of bliss, and he has reached the place where suffering has ceased – the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death.

    Reaching the supreme vajra-status, through the blessings of great compassion he leads all beings without exception into that vajra-order.

    Annihilating the hosts of Mara, taming the passions impeccably he turns the wheel of dharma; to all beings without exception he teaches the nature of impermanence in a way compatible with their every path – to the shravakas the way of the arhat, to the bodhisattvas the way of the self-born, to the spontaneously originated buddhas of the unsurpassable approach, inviolable existential space. Without moving from intrinsic existential space he reveals to everyone immutability, and all paths without exception are accomplished in that space.

Thus he spoke the vajra-secret word! The word spoken by himself to himself!



The thirty first chapter: "Direct perception of Vajrasattva's face by high beings with creative minds": from the gSang ba'i snying po de kho na nyid nges pa.

Translated by the Inje Nyomba Kunzang Tenzin at the behest of a sky-being in the Orgyen Tsamkhang in the City of Buda, this version finished during the auspicious visit of Chogyel Namkhai Norbu to the Kathmandu Valley, 21st September, 2000.

This text is taken from the rNying ma rgyud 'bum published in gTing skyes dGon pa in Tibet by Dingo Khyentse Rimpoche, Thimbu 1973, Vol. 14, Pha, the sGyu 'phrul le'u lag (Maya Appendix), Chapter Thirty-one, "Zhal mthong gi le'u", pp. 534.1-537.6.

Sarva Mangalam!
May all beings be happy!