Dependent Arising: A Praise of the Buddha
(for the essence of his dharma:
his great teaching of dependent arising (pratityasamutpada) <==> leading to a realisation of emptiness (sunyata),
and to a direct realisation of the the true nature of the Ground / Reality / Mind:
the inconceivable Harmony / Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle.)
by Lama Tsong Khapa
(Note: In Praise of Dependent Origination (also known as Dependent Arising: A Praise to the Buddha) was composed by Lama Tsongkhapa, the great scholar and yogi who founded the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and revitalized many sutra and tantra lineages and the monastic tradition in Tibet.
"... Everything is the unification of emptiness and dependent arising. This subtle dependent arising is what Guru Shakyamuni Buddha realized. … This is what Lama Tsongkhapa praised. … He composed a text, a praise to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha for having taught dependent arising [In Praise of Dependent Arising.]” -- Lama Zopa Rinpoche)
[Résumé: THE KING OF MADHYAMAKA REASONING:
1) Everything is empty of inherent existence (2nd truth) <== because dependently co-arisen / co-dependent (1st truth) --
co-dependent with its parts, its causes & conditions, its conceptual opposite(s), and as object co-dependent with the subject / mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising it in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma;
2) Everything is dependently co-arisen / co-dependent (1st truth) <== because empty of inherent existence (2nd truth);
3) One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). One aspect / truth proves the other (<==>). This is the Union of the Two Truths.
Thus everything is not inherently existing, not completely non-existing, not both together, not neither. Everything is like transparent / dream-like / illusion-like. Appearing but empty, empty but still appearing and relatively functional. Beyond any discrimination in absolute terms, beyond all dualities; beyond accepting and rejecting in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively.
Those two aspects / truths are not contradictory or in opposition; they are more like inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. using the tetralemma: they are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, no non-existent, not both together, not neither. Because those two aspects / truths are themselves co-dependent <==> then they are both empty of inherent existence, and vice versa. This is the Union of the Two Truths about the two truths themselves. So in a sense the two truths -- dependent origination & emptiness -- are both conventional truths, imperfect adapted skillful means, temporary antidotes / medicines. We should use them as such, without grasping, without attachment, without becoming claves to them, without thinking they are inherently existing / independently / separately / absolutely. The inconceivable Ground / Reality is beyond them, is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle. It is not mere dependent origination, not mere emptiness, not both together, not neither.
The teaching of “dependent origination” is the supreme teaching because it leads to an understanding of the true nature of the Ground / Reality / Mind as it is here & now, as pointed by concepts like the Union of the Two Truths, the Union of the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, the primordial equality & purity & perfection & divinity of everything here & now … and to a complete liberation from all illusions / conditioning / karma.
After that, we still can use our body / physical fabrications, speech / conceptual fabrications, mind / mental fabrications -- our 5 aggregates --, but we are not fooled by them anymore. We can use them without grasping, without attachment, without being slave to any of them, without thinking they are existing inherently / independently / separately / absolutely. We can use them without entertaining any di-vision between the three spheres -- 1) subject / actor / perceiver / knower, 2) relation / action / perception / cognition, 3) object / result / perceived / known --. We can use them while being fully aware of their true nature, of the true nature of Reality / the Ground.
It is this direct wisdom that transmutes our impure body speech & mind into the inseparable pure body speech & mind of a Buddha (Trikaya), that transmutes samsara into nirvana -- that transmutes our vision of reality into a Buddhaverse.)
[3 translations: T1, T2, T3]
T1: Homage to my guru, the youthful Manjushri!
Seeing and speaking of dependent arising (1st truth),
He was wisdom supreme, teacher supreme.
I bow to him who knew and taught
the all-conquering dependent arising (1st truth).
(T2: 1 He who speaks on the basis of seeing,
This makes him a knower and teacher unexcelled,
I bow to you, O Conqueror,
you who saw Dependent origination and taught it)
(T3: 1 I bow down to the unsurpassable Teacher
Whose supreme wisdom
Realised and taught
The conquering dependent arising.)
T1: Of the suffering existing in the world,
its root is none other than IGNORANCE.
The understanding to kill this root
you said is none other than dependent arising (1st truth).
(T2: 2 Whatever degenerations there are in the world,
The root of all these is ignorance;
You taught that it is dependent origination,
The seeing of which will undo this ignorance.)
(T3: 2 Whatever problems there are in the world
Have ignorance as their root.
You taught dependent arising,
The seeing of which refutes ignorance.)
T1: How could those of intelligence not see
dependent arising (1st truth) as the heart of your doctrine.
Where is greater praise of you, therefore,
than in praise of dependent arising?
(T2: 3 So how can an intelligent person
Not comprehend that this path
Of dependent origination is
The essential point of your teaching?
4 This being so, who will find, O Savior,
A more wonderful way to praise you
Than [to praise you] for having taught
This origination through dependence?)
(T3: 3 How could those of intelligence
Not comprehend that
The pathway of dependent arising
Is the very core of your teachings?
4 That being so, O Protector,
Who could find a more marvellous way
To praise you, than for teaching
The foolish, however, seize on it
and only tighten chains of extreme views,
(i.e. Misunderstanding the true relation between those two truths, grasping this as if an independent / objective / absolute truth or view, one would fall into one extreme or another.)
while for the wise it cuts entangled nets of fabrication.
(ie. While the Wise use this as mere antidote -- non-affirming negations --; so he is thus free from all conceptual elaborations about them, free from all extremes & middle about them, not grasping at any view about them.)
(T2: 5 “Whatsoever depends on conditions,
That is devoid of intrinsic existence.”
What excellent instruction can there be
More amazing than this proclamation?
6 By grasping at it the childish
Strengthen bondage to extreme views;
For the wise this very fact is the doorway
To cut free from the net of elaborations.)
(T3: 5 “Whatever depends on conditions
Is itself empty of inherent existence.”
What excellent method of instruction is
More extraordinary than this teaching?
6 By grasping at dependent arising, the immature
Strengthen the shackles of extreme views.
The same for the wise is the very means
To sever completely the net of fabrications.)
T1: This teaching is not seen in the works of others,
the title of Teacher, therefore, is yours alone.
Given to others it is but the hollow flattery
of a fox being hailed a lion.
(T2: 7 Since this teaching is not seen elsewhere,
You alone are the Teacher;
Like calling fox a lion, for a tirthika (heretic)
It would be a word of flattery.)
(T3: 7 Since this teaching is not seen elsewhere,
The title of Teacher is yours alone.
Like calling a fox a lion,
It would be flattery for a tirthika (heretic).)
T1: Greatest of teachers! Greatest protector!
Speaker supreme! Guide supreme!
I bow to the teacher of dependent arising (1st truth)!
(T2: 8 Wondrous teacher! Wondrous refuge!
Wondrous speaker! Wondrous savior!
I pay homage to that teacher
Who taught well dependent origination.)
(T3: 8 Wonderous Teacher! Wonderous refuge!
Wonderous speaker! Wonderous protector!
He who masterfully taught dependent arising,
I prostrate to that Teacher.)
T1: Benevolent teacher, you taught to help all living beings (out of compassion).
(T2: 9 To help heal sentient beings (out of compassion),
O Benefactor, you have taught
The peerless reason to ascertain
Emptiness, the heart of the teaching.)
(T3: 9 For the sake of benefitting sentient beings (out of compassion),
Benevolent teacher, you have taught
The definitive, peerless reason for emptiness,
Which is the heart of the teachings.)
T1: Those claiming it proves the opposite (i.e. thinking dependent origination proves self-existence),
those denying its very existence (i.e. rejecting dependent origination -- 1st truth; and/or emptiness -- 2nd truth),
how will they grasp your teachings?
(T2: 10 This way of dependent origination,
Those who perceive it
As contradictory or as unestablished,
How can they comprehend your system?)
(T3: 10 How could those who perceive
The technique of dependent arising
As contradictory or not established
Be able to comprehend your system?)
T1: For you, emptiness (2nd truth) seen as (proven by, <==> ) dependent arising (1st truth) (, and vice versa)
(T2: 11 For you, when one sees emptiness
In terms of the meaning (the consequence, <== ) of dependent origination,
Then being devoid of intrinsic existence and
Possessing valid functions (relative functionality) do not contradict.)
(T3: 11 For you, when emptiness is eventually
Perceived in terms of the meaning (the consequence, <== ) of dependent arising,
Being empty of inherent existence and
The validity of action and agent (causality / relativity) will not contradict.)
T1: To hold to the opposite, however--
(i.e. thinking the two truths are in real opposition, contradictory, that one negates the other)
that with emptiness there can be no function
and with function, no emptiness--
is to fall into a dangerous trap.
(T2: 12 Whereas when one sees the opposite,
Since there can be no function in emptiness
Nor emptiness in what has functions,
One falls into a dreadful abyss, you maintain.)
(T3: 12 If the opposite to that is seen –
What is empty is unable to perform an action
And what performs an action cannot be empty –
You assert that one falls into a terrifying abyss.)
T1: In your teachings, therefore,
knowledge of dependent arising (1st truth) is highly praised,
but it will not be known to views of self (existence) or non-existence.
(T2: 13 Therefore in your teaching
Seeing dependent origination is hailed;
That too not as an utter non-existence
Not as an intrinsic existence (, not both together, not neither).)
(T3: 13 Therefore, in your teaching,
Seeing dependent arising is highly praised,
Since it is neither completely non-existent
Not inherently existent (, not both together, not neither).)
T1: Non-dependence (inherent existence), you have said, is like the sky flower.
Non-dependence, therefore, does not exist.
Anything existent by its own nature
contradicts existence by cause and circumstance (dependent origination / causality).
(T2: 14 The non-contingent is like a sky flower,
Hence there is nothing that is not dependent.
If things exist through their essence, their dependence on
Causes and conditions for their existence (causality) is a contradiction.)
(T3: 14 Non-dependence is like a sky flower.
Hence, there is nothing that is not dependent.
If anything were existent by its own nature,
It would contradict dependence on causes and conditions (causality).)
(T2: 15 “Therefore since no phenomena exist
Other than origination through dependence,
No phenomena exist other than
Being devoid of intrinsic existence,” you taught.)
(T3: 15 Therefore, you taught no phenomenon exists
Except for what is dependently arisen;
And no phenomenon exists
Except for what is empty of inherent existence.)
T1: Self-nature, you said, cannot be destroyed.
Phenomena, therefore, possessed of nature,
would render nirvana impossible.
Samsara likewise would have no end.
(i.e. It is "self-nature / inherent existence" that is in contradiction with Reality, with the observed causality and functionality of the world, with both samsara and and the possibility of cessation / nirvana.)
(T2: 16 “Because intrinsic nature cannot be negated,
If phenomena possess some intrinsic nature,
Nirvana would become impossible
And elaborations could not be ceased,” you taught.)
(T3: 16 “Because inherent existence cannot be negated,
If phenomena possessed even the slightest inherent nature
Nirvana could not be achieved nor
Fabrications eliminated”, you taught.)
T1: You spoke, therefore, with the roar of a lion
again and again on this absence of nature (emptiness of inherent existence -- 2nd truth),
and amid the assemblies of the wise,
who dared to challenge you?
(T2: 17 Therefore who could challenge you?
You who proclaim with lion’s roar
In the assembly of learned ones repeatedly
That everything is utterly free of intrinsic nature?)
(T3: 17 Who could possibly challenge you
When, with a lion-like roar, you taught so often and so well,
To assemblages of the intelligent, that
“Therefore, everything is totally free of inherent existence?)
T1: The absence of self-nature anywhere (emptiness of inherent existence -- 2nd truth),
this arising because of that (dependent origination -- 1st truth),
both presentations are true,
and what need to say that both come together without contradiction (i.e. U2T: Union / harmony of the Two Truths).
(i.e. Non-contradiction / Inseparability / Harmony / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths. One implies the other (<==>).
This Union is indescribable / inconceivable: Using the tetralemma: the two truths are not different / separate / multiple / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither. That is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, free from all conceptual elaborations.)
(T2: 18 That there is no intrinsic existence at all
And that all functions as “this arising
In dependence on that,” what need is there to say
That these two converge without conflict?)
(T3: 18 “There is not the slightest inherent existence at all,” and
“In dependence on this, that arises.”
As both these presentations are completely correct,
What need to say that they unite without contradiction?)
T1: Moreover, by reason of dependent arising (<==> and emptiness united: Union of the Two Truths),
one will not depend on extreme views. (i.e. This is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle)
This is the excellent teaching, my protector,
that renders you orator supreme.
(T2: 19 “It is through the reason of dependent origination
That one does not lean towards an extreme;”
That you’ve declared this excellently is the reason,
O Savior, of your being an unexcelled speaker.)
(T3: 19 “Due to the reason of dependent arising,
One does not subscribe to extreme views.”
This perfect presentation is the reason
For you, our protector, being an unsurpassable teacher.)
T1: All this by nature is empty (emptiness of inherent existence -- 2nd truth),
and this arises from that (dependent origination -- 1st truth).
Such realizations do not hinder but mutually complement (i.e. U2T: Union / harmony of the Two Truths).
(i.e. Non-contradiction / Inseparability / Harmony / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths. One implies the other (<==>).)
What is more wonderful, more astonishing than that?
Praising you this way is praise indeed;
all other praise is lesser.
(T2: 20 “All of this is devoid of essence,”
And “From this arises that effect” –
These two certainties complement
Each other with no contradiction at all.
21 What is more amazing than this?
What is more marvellous than this?
If one praises you in this manner,
This is real praise, otherwise not.)
(T3: 20 That all things are empty of essence, and
From this arises that result -
Are two certainties that
Do not contradict but mutually complement.
21 What is more wondrous than this?
What is more marvellous than this?
Praising you in this manner,
Is praise indeed. All other is lesser.)
T1: That some, hostile to you,
held as the slaves of ignorance,
are unable to bear the sounds of no self-nature (those rejecting emptiness of inherent existence - 2nd truth)
comes as no surprise.
(T2: 22 Being enslaved by ignorance
Those who fiercely oppose you,
What is so astonishing about their being
Unable to bear the sound of no intrinsic existence?)
(T3: 22 There are those who fiercely oppose you
Due to being enslaved by ignorance.
Hence, the words “no inherent existence”
Are unbearable and that comes as no surprise.)
T1: That others, accepting dependent arising (those accepting dependent origination - 1st truth),
the crown jewel of your teaching,
are unable to tolerate the roar of emptiness (while rejecting emptiness of inherent existence - 2nd truth)
does surprise me.
(T2: 23 But having accepted dependent origination,
The precious treasure of your speech,
Then not tolerating (rejecting) the roar of emptiness –
This I find amazing indeed!)
(T3: 23 Having accepted dependent arising,
The crown jewel of your teachings,
Yet cannot bear (rejecting) the roar of emptiness.
I do find this to be most astonishing!)
T1: If by the very name of dependent arising (1st truth),
gateway supreme to no self-nature (2nd truth - emptiness),
self-nature is asserted (thinking dependent origination is compatible / the proof of self-nature / inherent existence),
how will they be led to that noble path that pleases you,
that incomparable highway well-traveled by exalted beings?
(T2: 24 The door that leads to no intrinsic existence,
This unexcelled [door of] dependent origination,
Through its name alone, if one grasps
At intrinsic existence, now this person
25 Who lacks the unrivalled entrance,
Well travelled by the Noble Ones,
By what means should one guide him
To the excellent path that pleases you?)
(T3: 24 Dependent arising is the incomparable entranceway
Leading to non–inherent existence;
But these people, through that term itself,
Grasp at inherent existence.
25 Being separated from this incomparable entranceway
Through which supreme arya beings progress;
By what method could they be led
To this excellent path that pleases you?)
T1: Self-nature -- real and non-dependent (inherent existence);
dependent arising -- unreal and of dependent nature (1st truth);
how, without contradiction, could these two ever come together?
(i.e. Inherent existence and dependent origination that are incompatible / contradictory.)
(T2: 26 Intrinsic nature, uncreated and non-contingent,
Dependent origination, contingent and created –
How can these two converge
Upon a single basis without contradiction?)
(T3: 26 Inherent existence – unproduced and independent.
Dependent arising – produced and dependent.
How can these two, upon a single basis,
Co-exist without contradiction?)
Things, however, do not appear that way.
All this, you have said, is therefore like an illusion (or transparent, dream-like, reflection-like).
(T2: 27 Therefore whatever originates dependently,
Though primordially free of intrinsic existence,
Appears as if it does [possess intrinsic existence];
So you taught all this to be illusion-like.)
(T3: 27 Consequently, whatever is dependently arisen,
Has always been free of inherent existence.
Moreover, due to how it appears,
You taught that all this is like an illusion.)
T1: "Others may attack your teaching
but they will never be any match."
Such claims are validated by dependent arising (1st truth).
How? Because its explanation casts away all possibility
of flawed assertion and faulty denial
of all phenomena evident or hidden.
(T2: 28 Through this very fact I understand well
The statement that, to what you have taught,
Those opponents who challenge you
Cannot find faults that accord with reason.
29 Why is this so? Because by declaring these
Chances for reification and denigration
Towards things seen and unseen
are made most remote.)
(T3: 28 Although some may dispute what you taught
They cannot find faults that accord with reality.
It is also through this very teaching
That they will come to a correct understanding.
29 Why is this so? Because, by teaching this,
One reduces the possibility of
Exaggerating or denying
Manifest or hidden phenomena.)
T1: This very path of dependent arising (1st truth),
the reason for seeing your words as unparalleled,
generates conviction in the validity of other teachings.
(T2: 30 Through this very path of dependent origination,
The rationale for your speech being peerless,
Convictions arise in me [also]
That your other words are valid too.)
(T3: 30 Since this very path of dependent arising
Is the reason your speech is regarded as peerless,
Certainty arises in the validity of
Your other teachings as well.)
T1: Having seen the truth, you taught it.
Those following you will leave all troubles far behind,
for they will cut to the root of every fault.
(T2: 31 You who speak excellently by seeing as it is,
or those who train in your footsteps,
All degenerations will become remote;
For the root of all faults will be undone.)
(T3: 31 Having seen reality just as it is, you taught it excellently.
For those who train by emulating you,
All their troubles will recede away
Due to uprooting the root of every fault.)
T1: Those, however, outside your teachings,
though they practice long and hard,
are those who beckon back faults,
for they are welded to views of self.
(T2: 32 But those who turn away from your teaching,
Though they may struggle with hardship for a long time,
Faults increase ever more as if being called forth;
For they make firm the view of self.)
(T3: 32 Due to being disinclined towards your teaching,
The view of self-grasping remains firm.
Although exhausted through perpetual practice,
Faults will ever increase as if invited.)
T1: Ah! When the wise see the difference,
how could they not revere you
from the very depths of their hearts!
(T2: 33 Aha! When the wise comprehend
The differences between these two,
Why would they not at that point
Revere you from the depths of their being?)
(T3: 33 Amazing! When the wise fully comprehend
The distinction between these two,
How could they not at that point
Revere you from the very depths of their being?)
T1: What need to talk of many teachings!
The simplest conviction in just a single part
brings on the greatest of joy!
(T2: 34 Let alone your numerous teachings,
Even in the meaning of a small part,
Those who find ascertainment in a cursory way,
This brings supreme bliss to them as well.)
(T3: 34 Why mention your numerous teachings,
When finding even the vaguest of certainties
In the meaning of just a single part of a statement,
Brings supreme bliss?)
T1: Alas! My mind is ruined by ignorance!
For so long have I gone for refuge
to this great store of meritorious qualities,
yet not a single one do I possess.
(T2: 35 Alas! My mind was defeated by ignorance;
Though I’ve sought refuge for a long time,
In such an embodiment of excellence,
I possess not a fraction of his qualities.)
(T3: 35 Alas, my mind is marred by confusion.
Although I have long sought refuge
In the great store of extraordinary virtues,
Not a single meritorious quality have I attained.)
T1: As yet, however, my life has not slipped
between the jaws of the Lord of Death
and, having a modicum of faith in you,
I do consider myself fortunate.
Among teachers, the teacher of dependent arising (U2T: Union / harmony 1st truth <==> 2nd truth),
among knowledge, knowledge of dependent arising (U2T: Union / harmony 1st truth <==> 2nd truth).
These two, like a mighty conqueror in the world,
you know to be supreme, where others do not.
(T2: 36 Nonetheless, before the stream of this life
Flowing towards death has come to cease
That I have found slight faith in you –
Even this I think is fortunate.
37 Among teachers, the teacher of dependent origination,
Amongst wisdoms, the knowledge of dependent origination –
You, who’re most excellent like the kings in the worlds,
Know this perfectly well, not others.)
(T3: 36 However, before this stream of life,
That is flowing towards death ceases,
I consider myself fortunate
To have gained some slight trust in you.
37 Amongst teachings, the teaching on dependent arising;
Amongst wisdoms, the wisdom of dependent arising.
These two are like the supreme conqueror of all worlds.
You, and no others, know these perfectly and thoroughly.)
T1: All that you have taught
[starts and] proceeds from dependent arising (U2T: Union / harmony 1st truth <==> 2nd truth);
its purpose, the transcending of suffering.
Nothing you do, therefore, is not for peace (liberation / enlightenment).
(T2: 38 All that you have taught
Proceeds by way of dependent origination;
That too is done for the sake of nirvana;
You have no deeds that do not bring peace.)
(T3: 38 All that you have taught
Starts and proceeds from dependent arising itself;
Its purpose is the transcendence of suffering.
Therefore, nothing you do is not for peace.)
T1: Ah! Your teachings (Buddha dharma -- U2T)!
Those whose ears they fall upon will all find peace.
Who, therefore, would not hold them dear?
(T2: 39 Alas! Your teaching is such,
In whosoever’s ears it falls,
They all attain peace; so who would not be
Honoured to uphold your teaching?)
(T3: 39 How marvellous your teachings are!
Since they bring peace to all
Whose ears they reach,
Who would not respectfully follow your teachings?)
T1: Across their breadth, no contradiction (in the Buddha dharma -- U2T);
opponents' arguments all destroyed
fulfilling the two aims of living beings.
My joy in these teachings grows and grows.
(T2: 40 It overcomes all opposing challenges;
It’s free from contradictions between earlier and latter parts;
It grants fulfilment of beings’ two aims –
For this system my joy increases ever more.)
(T3: 40 My ever-increasing delight in this system that
Overcomes all challenges from opponents,
Is empty of all upper and lower self-contradictions,
Bestows the two aims of sentient beings.)
T1: For this knowledge (Buddha dharma -- U2T) you gave away
over countless eons again and again
your loved ones, your possessions,
sometimes your body, other times your life.
(T2: 41 For its sake you have given away,
Again and again over countless eons,
Sometimes your body, at others your life,
As well as your loving kin and resources of wealth.)
(T3: 41 For its sake you gave away,
Again and again over countless aeons,
Sometimes your body, at other times your life, as well as
Wealth and possessions, and the ones you loved.)
T1: Seeing such qualities
I am drawn by your mind
like a fish on the hook.
Not hearing your Dharma (Buddha dharma -- U2T) from you in person,
(T2: 42 Seeing the qualities of this teaching
Pulls [hard] from your heart,
Just like what a hook does to a fish;
Sad it is not to have heard it from you.)
(T3: 42 Through seeing its virtues’ qualities,
Like a fish on a hook,
I was drawn to your exalted wisdom.
What misfortune not hearing that teaching from you in person!)
T1: By the pain of such sorrow,
my mind will never give you up (the Buddha dharma -- U2T),
like the mind of a mother for her precious child.
(T2: 43 The intensity of that sorrow
Does not let go of my mind,
Just like the mind of a mother
[Constantly] goes after her dear child.)
(T3: 43 The intensity of that sorrow –
Like a mother’s mind drawn
Towards her precious child –
Does not let go of my mind.)
T1: And yet as I think on your words,
hearing you talk of this and that,
teacher with a voice melodic as Brahma,
resplendent with features of perfection
encircled by garlands of light,
your enlightened form reflects in my mind,
like the cool light of the moon,
(Buddha dharma -- U2T is) medicine for my feverish torment.
(T2: 44-45 Here too, as I reflect on your words, I think,
“Blazing with the glory of noble marks
And hallowed in a net of light rays,
This teacher, in a voice of pristine melody,
Spoke thus in such a way.”
The instant such a reflection of the Sage’s form
Appears in my mind it soothes me,
Just as the moon-rays heal fever’s pains.)
(T3: 44 As I reflect on your teaching, I think,
“Blazing intensely with glorious marks and signs,
And hallowed in a net of light
This teacher with a melodious voice,
Spoke thus in such a way.”
45 The instant such a reflection of the Buddha
Appears in my mind,
Is like the cool light of the moon
Soothing my feverish torment.)
T1: Those unwise in this wonderful doctrine
were confused and entangled like plaited grass.
Seeing this, I followed with diligence the great scholars,
seeking again and again your thoughts (Buddha dharma -- U2T),
poring over many works of our and others' tradition,
yet still my mind was torn by doubts.
(T2: 46 This excellent system, most marvellous,
Some individuals who are not so learned
Have entangled it in utter confusion,
Just like the tangled balbaza grass.
47 Seeing this situation, I strove
With a multitude of efforts
To follow after the learned ones
And sought your intention again and again.
48 At such times as I studied the numerous works
Of both our own [Middle Way] and other schools,
My mind became tormented ever more
Constantly by a network of doubts.)
(T3: 46 Whilst this excellent system is marvellous,
Those people who are not learned in it
In every respect, entangled themselves,
Just like plaited belbaza grass.
47 Upon seeing this situation,
I diligently and continuously
Studied the works of scholars,
Repeatedly seeking your true intent.
48 At that time, as I studied numerous texts
Of our own and other schools of thought,
An ever-growing net of doubts
Tormented my anguished mind.)
T1: [THE INSURPASSABLE BUDDHA-DHARMA : MAHAYANA MADHYAMAKA --
MIDDLE WAY FREE FROM ALL EXTREMES & MIDDLE --
UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS ABOUT THE THREE SPHERES, UNION OF OPPOSITES;
UNION BUDDHA-NATURE <==> GENUINE EMPTINESS.]
When, with the kindness of my lamas, I saw
this unsurpassed vehicle of yours leaving behind
extremes of existence and non-existence, -- (The Mahayana / Middle Way fre of all extremes & middle)
elucidated by the prophesied Nagarjuna, -- (Madhyamaka reasoning)
his lotus grove illuminated by the moonlight
of the glorious Chandrakirti's teachings, -- (Madhyamaka Prasangika)
whose globe of stainless wisdom moved
freely through the sky of your words,
dispelling the darkness that holds to extremes,
outshining the stars of false speakers
it was then that my mind found its peace (certainty, free of doubts).
(T2: 49 The night-lily grove of Nagarjuna’s treatises –
Nagarjuna whom you prophesized
Would unravel your unexcelled vehicle (Mahayana) as it is,
Shunning extremes of existence and non-existence – (Middle Way free from all extremes & middle)
50 Illuminated by the garland of white lights
Of Candra’s well-uttered insights –
Candra, whose stainless wisdom orb is full,
Who glides freely across scriptures’ space,
51 Who dispels the darkness of extremist hearts
And outshines the constellations of false speakers –
When, through my teacher’s kindness, I saw this
My mind found a rest at last.)
(T3: 49 The system of your unsurpassed vehicle,
Abandoning the extremes of existence and non-existence,
Was prophesied to be elucidated exactly
By the moon-lily garden of Nagarjuna’s scriptural tradition.
50 The waxing orb of stainless exalted wisdom
Glides freely in the sky of sacred writings,
Clearing the heart of extreme views’ darkness,
Outshining the constellations of false propounders.
51 The Glorious Moon’s perfect explanations
Illuminate through its garlands of white light.
When I beheld this by the great kindness of my teachers,
My weary mind found rest and ease.)
T1: Of all Buddha's deeds his words (Buddha dharma) were the greatest,
and they were words of dependent arising (U2T: Union / harmony 1st truth <==> 2nd truth)
Let the wise, therefore, remember him this way (Buddha dharma -- U2T).
(T2: 52 Of all your deeds, your speech is supreme;
Within that too it is this very speech;
So the wise should remember the Buddha
Through this [teaching of dependent origination].)
(T3: 52 Among all his enlightened activities,
The activity of speech is supreme.
And amongst those, this one is supreme.
For this reason, the wise should remember the Buddha.)
T1: [TAKING REFUGE]
Becoming ordained into the way of the Buddha
by not being lax in study of his words,
and by yoga practice of great resolve,
this monk devotes himself to that great purveyor of truth.
(T2: 53 Following such a teacher and having become a renunciate,
Having studied the Conqueror’s words not too poorly,
This monk who strives in the yogic practices,
Such is [the depth of] his reverence to the great Seer!)
(T3: 53 I ordained into the way of the Buddha
And was not lax in training in the Conqueror’s speech;
– A monk who enthusiastically exerted himself in yogic practice.
In this way I honour the Great Sage.)
T1: [DEDICATION -- BODHICITTA]
Due to the kindness of my lamas,
I have met the teachings of the greatest of teachers.
I dedicate this virtue, therefore, for every living being
to be nourished by true spiritual friends.
(T2: 54 Since it is due to my teacher’s kindness
I have met with the teaching of the unexcelled teacher,
I dedicate this virtue too towards the cause
For all beings to be sustained by sublime spiritual mentors.)
(T3: 54 Only due to the kindness of my lamas,
Have I met the unequalled teachings of the Buddha.
I dedicate this virtue so that all sentient beings without exception,
May be guided by kind and holy teachers.)
I pray that the teachings of he who is solely benevolent
remain unscattered by the winds of false views until the end of time,
and with faith (CERTAINTY) in the Buddha gained from understanding
their essential nature (U2T), may they pervade forever.
(T2: 55 May the teaching of this Beneficent One till world’s end
Be unshaken by the winds of evil thoughts;
May it always be filled with those who find conviction
In the teacher by understanding the teaching’s true nature.)
(T3: 55 I pray that until samsara’s end the teachings of the Benevolent One
Remain completely unchanged by the energies of false views.
And may there always be an abundance of those who have found firm trust
In the Teacher through understanding the precise meaning of his teachings.)
T1: In all my births, even at the cost of my life,
may I never falter nor shrink from working
for the wonderful doctrine of the mighty Buddha (Buddha dharma -- U2T),
who showed clearly the nature of dependent arising (U2T: Union / harmony 1st truth <==> 2nd truth).
(T2: 56 May I never falter even for an instant
To uphold the excellent way of the Sage,
Which illuminates the principle of dependent origination,
Through all my births even giving away my body and life.)
(T3: 56 In all my rebirths, even at the cost of my body or life,
And never faltering for even an instant,
May I uphold the Buddha’s excellent tradition
That clarifies dependent arising exactly.)
T1: I pray that I pass my days and nights
in thinking how I might spread this Dharma (Buddha dharma -- U2T),
born from the heroic perseverance
in the face of countless hardships
of this supreme guide.
(T2: 57 May I spend day and night carefully reflecting,
“By what means can I enhance
This teaching achieved by the supreme savior
Through strenuous efforts over countless eons?”)
(T3: 57 I pray to spend both day and night
Carefully contemplating the best means to spread
What was achieved by the Supreme Guide
Earnestly practising through countless hardships.)
T1: When I pursue these endeavors wholeheartedly and sincerely,
may I be supported constantly by Brahma, Indra, Mahakala,
the four guardians of the world, and all other protectors.
(T2: 58 As I strive in this with pure intention,
May Brahma, Indra and the world’s guardians
And protectors such as Mahakala
Unswervingly, always assist me)
(T3: 58 When pursuing these endeavours with a pure altruistic intention,
May ceaseless assistance always be granted by
Brahma, Indra, worldly guardians,
And protectors such as Mahakala too.)
T1: Colophon: Composed by Je Tsongkhapa, translated by Gavin Kilty.
(T2: This hymn entitled “Essence of Well-Uttered Insights,” praising the unexcelled Teacher – the great friend to the entire world [even] to the unfamiliar – for teaching the profound dependent origination, was composed by the well-read monk Lobsang Drakpai Pal. It was written at the heavenly retreat of Lhading on the towering mountain of Odé Gungyal, otherwise known as [Ganden] Nampar Gyalwai Ling. The scriber was Namkha Pal.)
Strive to understand relativity ~ Lama Tsongkhapa
Even though you experience transcendence,
and cultivate the spirit of enlightenment,
without wisdom from realizing 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 (2nd truth),
you cannot cut off the root of the cyclic life —
so you should strive [first] to understand 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 (𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 -- 1st truth).
– Lama Tsongkhapa
from the book "The Life and Teachings of Tsongkhapa"
(More: "... everything is the 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 (𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆)."
(i.e. Inconceivable Inseparability / Interdependence / Co-dependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths.)
-- From: Lama Zopa Rinpoche, A teaching about Lama Tsong Khapa's
𝗜𝗻 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗗𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗢𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
(also known as Dependent Arising: A Praise to the Buddha),
Sydney, Australia, in 1993
The birth of certainty ~ Lama Tsongkhapa
The knowledge that appearances arise unfailingly in dependence (1st truth: nature - dependent origination),
And the knowledge that they are empty (2nd truth: essence - emptiness of inherent existence)
and beyond all assertions (Middle Way free from all extremes & middle, free from all conceptual elaborations)—
As long as these two appear to you as separate,
There can be no realization of the Buddha’s wisdom.
Yet when they arise at once, not each in turn but both together,
(i.e. Inconceivable Inseparability / Interdependence / Co-dependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths.)
Then through merely seeing unfailing dependent origination
Certainty is born, and all modes of misapprehension fall apart —
That is when discernment of the view has reached perfection.
– Lama Tsongkhapa
Three Principal Aspects of the Path
The Life of Tsongkhapa, Dr. Alexander Berzin
Functionality and emptiness ~ 14th Dalai Lama
Nagarjuna said that for a system where emptiness (2nd truth -- emptiness of inherent existence -- not real existence) is possible,
it is also possible to have functionality (1st truth -- dependent origination & relative functionality of appearances -- not complete non-existence),
and since functionality is possible, emptiness is also possible.
(i.e. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). One depends on the other (<==>).
Inseparability / interdependence / co-definition / co-relativity / co-dependence / co-emergence / co-evolution / co-cessation / co-transcendence / harmony / Union of the Two Truths.)
So when we talk about nature, the ultimate nature is emptiness. What is meant by emptiness, or shunyata? It is not the emptiness of existence (not complete non-existence / nihilism)
but rather the emptiness of true or independent existence (2nd truth -- emptiness of inherent existence -- not real existence),
which means that things exist by dependence upon other factors (1st truth -- dependent origination & relative functionality of appearances -- not complete non-existence).
– 14th Dalai Lama
Everything is dependently arising ~ 17th Karmapa
When we talk about emptiness (2nd truth -- emptiness of inherent existence -- not real existence), it has to be based on an understanding of the relativity (1st truth -- dependent origination & relative functionality of appearances -- not complete non-existence) of all things. Looking at ‘the reflection of the moon on water’, we can see that there is nothing there. Even that is dependently arisen, dependent on the existence of the moon and the water, on the ability of water to reflect. All of these things must come together to enable us to see the reflection of the moon on the water. That is emptiness. Emptiness and interdependence are inseparable.
(i.e. Inconceivable Inseparability / Interdependence / Co-dependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths.)
Everything is dependently arising; nothing exists on its own. ==> Therefore, the nature of everything is emptiness.
And because everything is emptiness and everything is interdependent, <==> then everything is possible (everything conventionally exist in interdependence and relative functionality; and vice versa).
(i.e. That is the King of Madhyamaka Reasoning: One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). One aspect / truth proves the other (<==>).)
-- 17th Karmapa
The union of appearances and emptiness ~ Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
Ultimate reality cannot be apprehended by concepts (inconceivable).
We can, however, in an experiential way that transcends the ordinary conceptual mind, achieve a genuine understanding of reality as being the Union of appearances and emptiness.
(i.e. Inconceivable Inseparability / Interdependence / Co-dependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths.)
-- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
The dance between emptiness and appearance ~ Tsoknyi Rinpoche
When you have achieved a state of calmness and readiness, then you are ready to know, ready to understand in a deep way the dance between emptiness and appearance. Once you catch a glimpse of that dance, don’t hang on to it. Just let it go, like your first glimpse of essence love.
-- Tsoknyi Rinpoche
Fooled by appearance ~ Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
If we recognize the unchanging, absolute nature of phenomena, we will also recognize their intangibility. Things appear yet are empty; they are empty yet appear. Emptiness is not the absence of phenomena, and phenomena are not the absence of emptiness.
Rather, there is a Union of appearance and emptiness.
(i.e. That is the Ground / U2T: the inconceivable, infinite, permanent, intrinsic, self-arisen, unfabricated, uncompounded, uncaused, unproduced, unborn, unconditioned, untainted, unchanging, self-illuminating, self-knowing ... aspect of anything and everything in the Universe / reality. it has many different names, but just one indescribable meaning.)
Just having a glimpse of understanding that things are not as they appear is already a big step toward seeing the true nature of things. We are like a naïve child who is easily fooled by appearances until we gain this understanding. In our confusion, we treat the phenomenal world as solid and real. We do not see that it is merely an expression of wisdom and the display of emptiness (of the Union of the Two Truths beyond all extremes & middle; or Buddha-nature; or Genuine Emptiness). We reify phenomena and this sets in motion an unending succession of attractions and aversions that lead to craving and desire. This one mistake, solidifying phenomena (including dependent origination and emptiness), gives rise to the endless cycle of samsara.
-- Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche
SONGS TO THE 25 DISCIPLES
Padmasambhava listen here,
Sangye Yeshe, mendicant from Nub!
Awakened mind is empty (2nd truth) while perceiving (1st truth -- dependent origination & relative functionality of appearances -- not complete non-existence)
And likewise perceives (1st truth) while being empty (2nd truth -- emptiness of inherent existence -- not real existence).
An inconceivable unity (Union) of perceiving (1st truth) and aware emptiness (2nd truth) --
Remain in naturalness, undistracted from this sphere.
To remain unmoved from this
is itself the Awakened One.
(i.e. This Sphere is the Ground: the inconceivable, infinite, permanent, intrinsic, self-arisen, unfabricated, uncompounded, uncaused, unproduced, unborn, unconditioned, untainted, unchanging, self-illuminating, self-knowing ... aspect of anything and everything in the Universe / reality.
It has many different names, but just one indescribable meaning.
This Sphere / the Ground is
not "dependent origination / causality / functionality / appearances / luminosity alone" (1st truth),
not "mere emptiness alone" (2nd truth),
not "both truths together",
not "neither truth" or something else like a Big Transcendental Oneness".
It is the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths,
the Union of Buddha-nature <==> and Genuine Emptiness,
primordially free from all extremes & middle,
primordially free from all conceptual elaborations,
primordially free from all conditioning / karma;
beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / opposition / duality, causality / production, forms / matter-energy, space & time.
It is not many, not one, not both together, not neither;
not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither ...)
(Note: to get there, first realise the "dependent origination" of everything; then the "emptiness of inherent existence" of everything; then that those two aspects / truths are not contradictory, but inseparable, interdependent, co-dependent, in harmony ...; understand and directly realise the Union of the Two Truths, then solidify this realisation by experiencing it again and again, until it becomes a "certainty", and until you become "aware of this all the time" while acting: awareness of the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object --.)
Five Stanzas on Love ~ Maitripa
If it weren’t for the adored bridegroom
Of appearance as mere dependent origination,
(1st truth -- dependent origination & relative functionality of appearances -- not complete non-existence)
The loving bride of emptiness
(2nd truth -- emptiness of inherent existence -- not real existence)
Would be no better than dead.
Emptiness is the most lovely bride,
A ravishing beauty beyond compare.
If he ever became separated from her,
That handsome bridegroom would be fettered in shackles.
Therefore, trembling with anxiety,
Bride and bridegroom turn to the guru,
Whose inborn kindness for them
Places their love right back to its original, innate state.
Ah, the genuine guru’s sagacity
And great skill are so wonderful
That those two become originally indivisible,
Nonreferential, and unsurpassable.
This couple is endowed with the abundance of all characteristics
And is free from the two extremes. (i.e. Middle Way free from all extremes & middle.)
It is the nature of all that is, yet lacks a nature of its own — (i.e Union of the Two truths about the two truths themselves, and about their Union.)
Thus it always flourishes.
Essence of mind ~ Mipham Rinpoche
What we call “essence of mind (subject)” is the actual face of unconditioned pure awareness (true nature of the mind), which is [directly] recognised through receiving the guru’s blessings and instructions.
If you wonder what this is like,
1. it is empty (2nd truth -- emptiness -- dharmakaya) in essence, beyond conceptual reference;
2. it is cognisant (1st truth -- dependently co-arisen relatively functional appearances or functionality / cognizance / clarity -- nirmanakaya) by nature, spontaneously present;
3. and it is all-pervasive and unobstructed in its compassionate energy [dynamism] (Union of the Two Truths -- sambhogakaya).
This is the rigpa in which THE THREE KAYAS ARE INSEPARABLE
(Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the three pure kayas -- Svabhavikakaya / Vajrakaya).
– Mipham Rinpoche
from the book "Beyond the Ordinary Mind: Dzogchen, Rimé, and the Path of Perfect Wisdom"
Seeing clearly the Union of emptiness and the dependent arising of phenomena ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Once you have understood the Union of emptiness and the dependent arising of phenomena (Union of the Two Truths), you will see clearly how deluded and deceiving the ways of the world really are, and, like an old man forced to play children’s games, you will find them very tiresome. When you have realized the utter foolishness of spending your life attached to friends and scheming to subdue your enemies and competitors, you will find it tedious. Once you have been struck by the pointlessness of letting yourself be forever influenced and conditioned by your habitual tendencies, you will become sick of it. … That will inspire you to strive towards liberation — and by striving for it, you will attain it.
-- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book The Heart of Compassion: The Thirty-seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva
Everything is emptiness and dependent arising inseparable ~ 17th Karmapa
When we talk about emptiness, it has to be based on an understanding of the relativity of all things. Looking at ‘the reflection of the moon on water’, we can see that there is nothing there. Even that is dependently arisen, dependent on the existence of the moon and the water, on the ability of water to reflect. All of these things must come together to enable us to see the reflection of the moon on the water. That is emptiness. Emptiness and interdependence are inseparable (Union of the Two Truths). Everything is dependently arising; nothing exists on its own. Therefore, the nature of everything is emptiness. And because everything is emptiness and everything is interdependent, then everything is possible.
-- 17th Karmapa
Training in the Union of the Two truths ~ Mipham Rinpoche
If one trains for a long time in the Union of the two truths, the stage of acceptance (on the path of joining), which is attuned to primordial wisdom, will arise. By thus acquiring a certain conviction in that which surpasses intellectual knowledge, and by training in it, one will eventually actualize it. This is precisely how the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas have said that liberation is to be gained.
-- Mipham Rinpoche
from the book The Adornment of the Middle Way: Shantarakshita's Madhyamakalankara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham
The indivisibility of the two truths ~ Patrul Rinpoche
Ultimately we need to realize the indivisibility (Union) of the Two Truths, but claiming that the relative refers to existence, while on the absolute level things do not exist, will never qualify as the view of the middle way. When we realize the one genuine nature of the correct relative, the two truths will merge inseparably, beyond the conceptual extremes of existing, not existing(, both, neither), permanence and nothingness(, both, neither) (beyond all conceptual proliferations; beyond all extremes & middle about any dualistic concept; tetralemma). As it says in the Mother Prajnaparamita:
‘The real nature of the relative is [not different than] the real nature of the absolute.’
-- Patrul Rinpoche
Immune to any extreme view ~ Lama Tsongkhapa
When you know that appearances dispel the extreme of existence,
While the extreme of nothingness is eliminated by emptiness,
And you also come to know how emptiness arises as cause and effect,
Then you will be immune to any view entailing clinging to extremes.
– Lama Tsongkhapa
Three Principal Aspects of the Path
Love this text from Tsongkhapa, but I think this is a bad translation, or incomplete.
13. [The Middle Way free from all extremes like existence and non-existence:]
Further, the extreme of [inherent] existence is excluded [by knowledge of the nature] of appearances [existing only as nominal designations],
And the extreme of [total] non-existence is excluded [by knowledge of the nature] of emptiness [as the absence of inherent existence and not the absence of nominal existence].
If within emptiness the way of the appearance of cause and effect is known,
You will not be captivated by extreme views.
Things are empty (2nd truth - not really existent) <== because they dependently appear;
Things dependently appear (1st truth - not completely non-existent) <== because they are empty of inherent existence.
One truth implies the other (<==>). One truth proves the other (<==>).
That is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle:
the Inseparability / Interdependence / Harmony / Union of the Two Truths:
Union dependent origination <==> emptiness of inherent existence of all dharmas.
Another commentary from Study Buddhism, Berzin Archives
Commentary on “The Three Principal Aspects of the Path”
– The Dalai Lama, The 14th Dalai Lama
Further, when you know how appearance eliminates the extreme of existence and voidness eliminates the extreme of nonexistence, and how voidness dawns as cause and effect, you will never be stolen away by views that grasp for extremes.
Often, we find it explained that the fact of appearance eliminates the extreme of total non-existence – things are not totally nonexistent, because they do appear. And also, the fact of voidness eliminates the extreme of inherent existence – things are not inherently existent, because they are devoid of existing in that impossible way.
Here, however, we have an opposite way of assertion. The fact of appearance eliminates the extreme of inherent existence. This is because, for things to appear, they must be devoid of inherent existence. They must be phenomena that dependently arise. Therefore, the fact that they do appear eliminates the possibility that they could exist inherently.
Further, the fact of voidness eliminates the extreme of total nonexistence. The fact that something is devoid of inherent existence means that it can appear by dependently arising: it could not possibly be totally nonexistent. Therefore, the fact of voidness eliminates the extreme of total nonexistence.
This is Tsongkhapa’s special manner of assertion and it accords with Choney Rinpoche’s (Co-ne Rin-po-che) commentary to Tsongkhapa’s Praises to Dependent Arising (rTen-’brel bstod-pa).
Thus, the understanding of things being devoid of inherent existence (2nd truth -- emptiness) because they dependently arise (1st truth -- dependent origination),
and that things dependently arise (1st truth -- dependent origination because they are devoid of inherent existence (2nd truth -- emptiness),
prevents us from falling to either of the two extremes of grasping at true inherent existence or at total nonexistence.
(i.e. One truth implies the other; this is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: the Union of the Two Truths.)
"The sky unites with the sky!
We are all the sky,
The magnificent sky! "
-- From: The Origin Of Life: The Great King of the Tantras
From: Natural Bliss - Five Tantras of the Space Section
Translated by Christopher Wilkinson
Merging of the ultimate meaning with the ultimate mind ~ 14th Dalai Lama
The only way to experience deep meditative equipoise and subsequent realization simultaneously, and to overcome [the] perception that the two truths are essentially different, is by bringing about that realization of emptiness at the subtle most level of consciousness. What is required is the merging of the ultimate meaning (as object), which is emptiness, and the ultimate mind (as subject), which is the innate mind of clear light. When this occurs, then appearances and emptiness no longer appear separately, and the subtle defilements are overcome.
– 14th Dalai Lama
from the book "The Middle Way: Faith Grounded in Reason"
i.e. Enlightenment is directly realising with certainty
the Union of the Two Truths [U2T],
Union of subject & object & action [U3S],
the Union of opposites [Uopp].
All meaning the same thing from a different perspective
"In fact, there is no difference between dependent arising on a relative level of phenomena and the nature of emptiness on an ultimate level. According to Ju Mipham Rinpoche, dependent arising, emptiness and the middle way are all different names for the same truth. In Longchenpa’s Finding Comfort and Ease in the Nature of Mind, the metaphor of the reflection of the moon in a bowl of water is employed to describe emptiness and appearance. The moon in the sky projects its reflection onto the surface of the water. The image of the moon, which is visible on the water’s surface, represents the relative truth of appearance, and the fact that it is just a projection of the real moon in the sky without any essential existence represents the ultimate truth of emptiness. The appearance of the moon on the water’s surface perfectly expresses the nature of emptiness and appearance, and shows that emptiness and appearance are not different in any way. To see and recognize the perfect union of appearance and emptiness is to realize the truth of all phenomena."
Tsongkhapa’s In Praise of Dependent Origination – Commentaries by Khenpo Sodargye in Establish the Faultlessness in Buddhism, p 17
Two truths ~ Nagarjuna
The Buddha’s teaching of the Dharma
is based on two truths:
a truth of worldly convention
and an ultimate truth.
Those who do not understand
the distinction drawn between these two truths
do not understand
the Buddha’s profound truth.
Without a foundation in the conventional truth
the significance of the ultimate cannot be taught.
Without understanding the significance of the ultimate,
liberation is not achieved.
from the book "The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika"
How liberation is to be gained ~ Mipham Rinpoche
If one trains for a long time in the union of the two truths, the stage of acceptance (on the path of joining), which is attuned to primordial wisdom, will arise. By thus acquiring a certain conviction in that which surpasses intellectual knowledge, and by training in it, one will eventually actualize it. This is precisely how the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas have said that liberation is to be gained.
– Mipham Rinpoche
from the book "The Adornment of the Middle Way: Shantarakshita's Madhyamakalankara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham"