Dzogchen: Precious Garland | Longchenpa | 3


The Four-Themed Precious Garland


(3) Pathway Eliminates Confusion

1. Shared Mahāyāna Pathway of Mind

(54) Furthermore, out of the shared, special and unsurpassable methods for having the pathway minds eliminate confusion,

the first is the great Mahāyāna pathway of mind that is shared in common (by sūtra, all classes of tantra, and Dzogchen).

With its identity-nature of the 4 immeasurable attitudes, the development of a Bodhichitta aim, aspiration prayer and compassion, and through great waves of Bodhisattva behaviour, you eliminate confusion.

(55) When you have (Bodhichitta) with a heart-essence of voidness (in other words, emptiness) and compassion, and are practicing fully for both your own and others’ aims,

then in order to cleanse away fleeting stains from the sphere of all things, which is constructive and unaffected,

meditate on the 37 factors leading in the direction of a purified state, which are (cultivated) on the 4 pathways of mind of building up, applying, seeing and accustoming.

Also, fully perfect the 6 far-reaching attitudes with the pure view of the 16 Voidnesses and faultless Bodhisattva behaviour.

(56) (Thus,) understanding the lack of the impossible “souls” of both persons and (all) phenomena and then training with methods that are antidotes for the disturbing emotions and attitudes is the excellent pathway of mind of the Bodhisattvas.

(57) In other words, from (understanding that everything conventionally exists) merely in the manner of mirages, dreams and deceptive appearances,

you abandon and adopt (appropriate practices), work for the aims (of others), adopt what is constructive and reject what brings negative force.

You cleanse away the disturbing emotions of longing desire, hostility, and naivety with the waters of (their antidotes, namely meditation on) ugliness, love, and dependent arising;

(58) While, on the level of deepest fact, (you understand that) because (this level) is unborn and pure, there are no dualistic (distinctions) of Saṁsāra and Nirvāṇa: it is parted from (such) mental fabrication.

The pathway mind (that understands these) 2 truths (in terms of) dependent arising is the causal great Mahāyāna vehicle of mind, that of dialectics.

2. Special Mahāyāna Pathway of Mind

(59) The special great Mahāyāna pathway of mind, that of secret mantra, has outer and inner (classes).

It has the fathomlessly supreme method of the generation and complete stages as a unified pair, by which you cleanse away confusion through various steps.

(60) As for the 3 outer (classes of) secret mantra, through their taking purification as the main (practice), you abandon and adopt in turn (what is appropriate) and thus remove taints (from your pathway of mind) by (applying their) antidotes.

As for the inner (3 classes of secret mantra, the emphasis is on) deep awareness, which is a non-dualistic unified pair. In terms of (this deep awareness), through (the application of) methods, you transform into a pathway of mind those things that are to be abandoned.

(61) In the maṇḍala of the sphere of the basis, which is a womb containing a Blissfully Gone One, all phenomena, which are its reflexive appearances, are mere appearances of your own limited mind:

They are deceptions, not true phenomena – devoid forms that are (just) clarity and appearance itself.

(62) When you have become mindful that the aggregate factors of experience, the element sources, the cognitive stimulators, and so on, are, in pure (form), the 5 (Buddha) families,

then through the generation stage (practices), the Saṁsāra world of appearances becomes a single maṇḍala.

You join bodies to deities, speech to mantras, and remembrances and (other) conceptual thoughts to emanating and reabsorbing (deep awareness; so that) in the end, (all) deceptive appearances are regarded as a Buddha-field.

(63) With the complete stage (practices), everything is made to enter into the sphere of the actual nature (of all things) and clear light mind beyond all thought.

(To accomplish this,) through yoga (practices) dealing with the energy-channels, energy-winds and creative energy-drops, the energy-winds and the mind (are made) serviceable and the sphere (of voidness) and deep awareness are conjoined.

The pathway mind of the Great Seal, Mahāmudrā, which is (this) indivisible unified pair, is the resultant Vajrayāna vehicle of mind of secret mantra.

3. Unsurpassable Pathway Mind of Dzogchen

(64) The unsurpassable vehicle of mind of the supremely secret Great Completeness, Dzogchen, connects you directly with the sphere that spontaneously establishes (all appearances).

In the sphere of the basis, which is unchanging like space, (the appearances of) all good qualities are spontaneously established like the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars.

Because (their appearances are) spontaneously established from the depths, without need for being sought, (this is) a pathway of mind with a functional nature of being straightforward, making no effort or exertion.

(65) The maṇḍala of the sphere of the clear light mind is unaffected:

It is the naturally abiding Dharmakāya (a Corpus Encompassing Everything), the intended point (of the Buddhas’ teachings), which is equally (in everyone).

Having stable realization (of it) is (to have) the supreme (correct) view of the abiding nature (of all things).

(66) On the sphere that is (primary) pure, the clouds of fleeting obscuration (cause) deceptive appearances (to arise on) the limited minds of wandering beings.

While not truly existing, yet through their nevertheless appearing, the 3 planes (of Saṁsāra existence) and the 6 classes (of wandering beings) are perpetuated.

But whatever appears, at the time of its appearing is not (truly) established on the deepest level. Like the sky and the clouds (in it), it is merely appearing (dependently on) fleeting circumstances.

(Therefore, as the appearances of) uncontrollably recurring Saṁsāra existence are interpolations; (when you realize) their defining characteristic, they stop.

(67) (In other words,) “while not (truly) existing, (the phenomena of Saṁsāra) nevertheless appear” (means that,) being void by their own essential nature, void appearances are not (true) phenomena.

They are like a blur, falling hairs (seen by someone with cataract), a dream, a mirage, or a conch perceived as yellow (by someone with jaundice).

At the very time of their appearing in whatever way (they may appear), they can never be (validly) experienced as being (truly) established.

They are without a basis, without a support, and without an (actual) beginning, middle or end. Know that, by functional nature, they are pure from the start.

(68) Concerning (all) phenomena like this – the Saṁsāra world of appearances: environments and their inhabitants – there are no (true) cognitive objects to be taken. They are like magical emanations or visual apparitions.

And there are no (true) limited minds to cognitively take them (as objects. All is) pure like empty space.

(Since) there is no (true) pair: cognitive objects to be taken and (limited minds) that cognitively take them, Saṁsāra has never been (validly) experienced as being (truly) existent.

Liberate (yourself) by knowing that (Saṁsāra) is an appearance of what doesn’t (truly) exist and has the functional nature of being deceptive.

(69) Because the appearances of things to be abandoned or adopted, causes, effects and circumstances naturally purify themselves away, know that, on the deepest level, their abiding nature is beyond cause and effect.

The basis support for this (natural purification) is pure awareness, Rigpa, the (deepest) Bodhichitta mind. The sphere of (naturally) released Nirvāṇa, the great spontaneous establisher (of all appearances – this is) the deepest truth, pure from the start.

(70) In other words, with an identity-nature of being without a beginning and without an end, (pure awareness) is the clear light mind in its self-nature – profound, stilled and parted from mental fabrication.

It is (the deep awareness) naturally abiding from the depths, a stainless Dharmakāya Corpus Encompassing Everything. It abides as an essential nature, without shifting or changing over the 3 times.

(71) This is the sphere of the basis, the diamond-strong Vajra essence.

In other words, whoever has stable realization of that (pure awareness) has the (correct) view itself of the abiding nature; and, with interpolation and repudiation stilled, has stable realization of it as the heart-essence of the deepest level.

4. Cultivating a Correct View of Dzogchen in Meditation

(72) Stainless meditation, (done) within a state of stable realization of the heart-essence of the clear light mind, is parted from mental dullness, flightiness of mind and mental fabrication.

It is without distraction, parted from the dualistic mind, and extremely expansive.

In other words, it is completely pure like the sky, without restriction or selective bias, beyond all thought, expression and imagination.

5. Cultivating Correct Behaviour Based on the Dzogchen View

(73) As for behaviour, whatever appears has no true (existence): it purifies itself away.

(Thus, concerning) internal (limited minds) taking (objects), any that dawn naturally liberate themselves (by automatically dissolving.

And concerning) external (objects) cognitively taken, they are like a dream or an illusion. On the deepest level, there isn’t the pair, and (so) act without adopting or discarding.

6. Recapitulation of Dzogchen

(74) Regarding (limited minds) taking (objects, objects) cognitively taken, disturbing emotions and attitudes, negation and affirmation phenomena – in arising, they are automatically liberating themselves.

(That is to say,) with knowing their functional nature, (you know that they automatically) liberate themselves.

With their liberating themselves, then within a state of equality in Dharmakāya, complete from the depths, there is no need to seek a Nirvāṇa from having an abandonment of Saṁsāra.

(75) Whatever (cognitive objects) appear, they are mirrors revealing the deepest (level).

Whatever (limited minds) dawn (that cognitively take them), know that they automatically liberate themselves. They are the effulgent display of a Dharmakāya. Like water and waves, they have a singular support in Dharmakāya.

This is the (Buddhas’) intended point concerning the ultimate level, the very summit of views, the great completeness, Dzogchen.

7. Summary

(76) In short, whoever practices in any of these ways, (know that) grasping for an impossible “soul” automatically liberates itself and disturbing emotions and attitudes purify away in the sphere (of voidness).

Being skilled in the pathways of acting with (these) methods in all (situations) is taught as (the way for) having the pathway minds eliminate confusion.

(77) May all beings, without exception, cross the ocean of compulsive existence by means of the precious great ship of (these) ways of the Dharma like that, and, on the supreme island of a stilled state of precious Liberation, behold a banquet of an untainted stilling and bliss.

This (concludes) the third chapter of A Precious Garland for the Four Themes, “Having the Pathway Minds Eliminate Confusion.”