Sunday, January 17, 2021

Mahamudra Pith instructions - Tilopa - 062


Mahamudra Pith instructions - Tilopa

I bow to Vajra Dakini.

Homage to the Vajra Dakini!

Homage to the Vajra Dakini!


Mahamudra cannot be taught, Naropa,

But your devotion to your teacher and the hardships you’ve met

Have made you patient in suffering and also wise:

Take this to heart, my worthy student.
(i.e. Mahamudra: the Ground, the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths free of all extremes & middle, free of all conceptual elaborations, free of all conditioning / karma. It has to be directly perceived / realised / abided in. That is the goal of meditation.)

Mahamudra is beyond description

But for your sake, O Naropa, my most devoted disciple,

who is diligent in ascetic practice and exertion, this shall be said:

Mahamudra cannot be taught. But most intelligent Naropa,

Since you have undergone rigorous austerity,

With forbearance in suffering and with devotion to your Guru,

Blessed One, take this secret instruction to heart.


For instance, consider space: what depends on what?

Likewise, mahamudra: it doesn’t depend on anything.

Don’t control. Let go and rest naturally.

Let what binds you let go and freedom is not in doubt.
(i.e. Mahamudra is comparable to the classical notion of space.
But all similes are imperfect and flawed / absurd if you look at them closely.)

Space lacks any locality at all. 

Likewise, Mahamudra rests on naught.

Thus, without making effort, abide in the pure primordial state,

and the fetters that bind you will simply drop away.

Is space anywhere supported? Upon what does it rest?

Like space, Mahamudra is dependant upon nothing;

Relax and settle in the continuum of unalloyed purity,

And, your bonds loosening, release is certain.


When you look into space, seeing stops.

Likewise, when mind looks at mind,

The flow of thinking stops and you come to the deepest awakening.
(i.e. Turn inward, calm your mind by letting your thoughts (objects) naturally come & go, just observe them with equanimity -- not accepting, not rejecting --, and then, when it is calm enough, turn and directly look at the essence of your mind (subject), free of all conditioned fabrications (ex. conditioned thoughts, concepts, dualities ...); that is called directly perceiving the naked self-arisen unalterable primordial pristine awareness: the pure empty relative functionality of awareness / Reality / Ground / the Union of the Two Truths about awareness & everything. That is the only thing that is not conditioned & impermanent in both samsara & nirvana.)

Just as when looking into the open sky,

fixed concepts of centre and circumference dissolve,

So, if with mind one perceives the mind, mental activity ceases; 

then is it, that Enlightened-mind is realized.

Gazing intently into the empty sky, vision ceases;

Likewise, when mind gazes into mind itself,

The train of discursive and conceptual thought ends

And supreme enlightenment is gained.


Mists rise from the earth and vanish into space.

They go nowhere, nor do they stay.

Likewise, though thoughts arise,

Whenever you see your mind, the clouds of thinking clear.
(i.e. The more you concentrate with equanimity on this primordial mind in action, the more your mind calms down. With a calmer mind, by watching your thoughts... come & go naturally, you gradually directly realise the true nature of the three spheres -- subject / mind, relation / action / thinking, objects / phenomena / thoughts --; the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres; the Union of the Ground <==> and its displays / manifestations / appearances. By directly realising their true nature & dynamic, all illusions / conditioning / karma self-liberate / are purified / are transcended; you get free from them. Free to use them without any grasping / attachment, without being fooled by them, without becoming slaves to them … Those points are explained in more detail in other Blog posts.)

Clouds that arise and take form in the sky,

pass away quite automatically according to natural law.

Likewise, the flow of concepts arising in the mind,

naturally pass away when mind perceives mind.

Like the morning mist that dissolves into thin air,

Going nowhere but ceasing to be,

Waves of conceptualization, all the mind's creation, dissolve,

When you behold your mind's true nature.


Space is beyond color or shape.

It doesn’t take on color, black or white: it doesn’t change.

Likewise, your mind, in essence, is beyond color or shape.

It does not change because you do good or evil.
(i.e. On one hand, this Ground, this primordial awareness, Union of the Two Truths, is the only thing that is self-arisen, unconditioned, unalterable, always pristine, permanent -- beyond all conceptual proliferations, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all description / conceptualisation, discrimination / dualities, causality / production, form / matter-energy, space & time.
On the other hand, this Ground covers everything in both samsara & nirvana. Everything is this Ground: not many, not one, not both together, not neither. So it is not like there is this Ground here, and all the appearances -- physical, conceptual, mental; positive, neutral, negative -- over there. That is the Union of the Ground <==> and its displays / manifestations, appearances. It is like the inseparability of the sun and its rays, of the ocean and its waves. Good or bad, thoughts, concepts, dualities, actions … are all the Ground.)

Space has neither shape nor colour;

it is changeless, and not tinged by either white or black.

Likewise, mind-in-itself has neither form nor colour,

nor can it be stained by virtue or vice.

Pure space has neither colour nor shape

And it cannot be stained either black or white;

So also, mind's essence is beyond both colour and shape

And it cannot be sullied by black or white deeds.


The darkness of a thousand eons cannot dim

The brilliant radiance that is the essence of the sun.

Likewise, eons of samsara cannot dim

The sheer clarity that is the essence of your mind.
(i.e. This Ground / primordial awareness / Union of the Two Truths is not alterable by anything we do.
It is as if it predated both samsara & nirvana. But that is just an image. Samsara is limitless; or, in other words, the sun and its rays, the ocean and its waves, the Ground and its displays -- pure & impure -- are inseparable / One. It is called samsara when there is ignorance and nirvana when there is wisdom of being fully aware of the true nature & dynamic of Reality while living in it, while being it. It is like a universal eternal core principle or basis of everything. But, don’t grasp at this simile, it is also imperfect; a finger pointing at the moon, not the moon itself.)

The burning stellar radiance of the sun

can not be covered by the eternal darkness of space.

Likewise the luminous essence of mind

can not be shrouded by Samsara’s endless duration.

The darkness of a thousand aeons is powerless

To dim the crystal clarity of the sun's heart;

And likewise, aeons of samsara have no power

To veil the clear light of the mind's essence.


Although you say space is empty,

You can’t say that space is “like this”.

Likewise, although mind is said to be sheer clarity,

There is nothing there: you can’t say “it’s like this”.
(i.e. The Ground / Union of the Two Truths about the mind (subject) is the inconceivable Union of its relative functionality / clarity / luminosity / cognizance (1st truth) <==> and its emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth). One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). But, again, do not grasp at any of those concepts; they are mere tools, antidotes, fingers pointing at the moon, not the moon itself. The true nature of the Ground / Mind / Union is inconceivable for our flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic mental. It has to be directly perceived.)

Though we say that space is empty,

the actual nature of this vacuity defies description.

Though we say that mind is luminous,

it is actually beyond all words and concepts.

Although space has been designated "empty",

In reality it is inexpressible;

Although the nature of mind is called "clear light",

Its every ascription is baseless verbal fiction.


Thus, the nature of mind is inherently like space:

It includes everything you experience.
(i.e. Everything is the Ground, Union of the Two Truths, Union of the Ground <==> and its displays / manifestations / appearances -- positive, neutral, negative --. In that sense, everything is already equal / pure / perfect / divine here & now. So it is not about accepting this and rejecting that. It is about directly recognising the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now: that everything is already Union of the Two Truths, in Union with the Ground.)

In that mind is like space, it encompasses all.

The mind's original nature is like space;

It pervades and embraces all things under the sun.


Stop all physical activity: sit naturally at ease.

Do not talk or speak: let sound be empty, like an echo.

Do not think about anything: look at experience beyond thought [beyond all conditioning / karma -- at the core of Reality].
(i.e. So, to get to this direct perception / realisation of the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, we first need to calm our body, speech and mind sufficiently, to be present here & now sufficiently, to be able to directly perceive the true nature of our thoughts (objects), of our mind (subject), and or their inter-relation / action in the here & now. That is the goal of meditation, to directly perceive what is beyond all conditioned fabrications, at what is really self-arisen, unconditioned, unalterable, permanent -- the Ground of everything, everything as the Ground. In other words, we need to simulate the result / fruition in order for this naked primordial mind / Ground / Reality to directly recognise itself here & now through us. It is like the indivisible Universe spontaneously directly recognising itself. Everything we do on the path is to clear the way to make this spontaneously possible.)

Therefore cease with bodily movement and sit relaxed;

close your mouth and simply remain in silence;

empty your mind and leap beyond the phenomenal!

Be still and stay relaxed in genuine ease,

Be quiet and let sound reverberate as an echo,

Keep your mind silent and watch the ending of all worlds.


Your body has no core, hollow like bamboo.

Your mind goes beyond thought, open like space.

Let go of control and rest right there.
(i.e. Do not hang on to (grasp at)  anything physical, conceptual or mental.
Go beyond all appearances, all illusions / conditioning / karma.)

Let the body rest at ease, insubstantial like a bamboo tube.

Let the mind rest in itself, spacious and un-preoccupied with thought.

The body is essentially empty like the stem of a reed,

And the mind, like pure space, utterly transcends the world of thought:

Relax into your intrinsic nature with neither abandon nor control -


Mind without projection is mahamudra.

Train and develop this and you will come to the deepest awakening.
(i.e. This Ground, this naked self-arisen unalterable primordial pristine awareness, free from all conditioned appearances -- physical, conceptual, mental -- is what we have to awaken to without awakening to anything. It is relatively functional but still empty of inherent existence, empty of inherent existence but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). It is the inconceivable Union of those two aspects / truths that is the naked self-arisen unalterable permanent Ground, the true nature of Reality, the basis of everything in both samsara & nirvana -- a basis without being a basis --.)

When the mind is not possessed by aims, that is Mahamudra.

When this is realized, that is Great Enlightenment!

Mind with no objective is Mahamudra -

And, with practice perfected, supreme enlightenment is gained.


You don’t see mahamudra’s sheer clarity

By means of classical texts or philosophical systems,

Whether of the mantras, paramitas,

Vinaya, sutras or other collections.
(i.e. Again, this awakening without awakening is not caused / produced by our own efforts -- physical, conceptual, mental, individual, collective, cosmic --, by any path. It is beyond causality & acausality, production & non-production, action & non-action, thinking & non-thinking, conceptualisation & non-conceptualisation, discrimination & non-discrimination, study & non-study, this path or that path or no-path, etc. Everything we do on the path is to clear the way to make possible this spontaneous awakening beyond any di-vision between the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object --. So, this Ground / true nature of Reality is not an external object to perceive, not an object independent of the mind / subject, not an inherently existing whole. It is an inconceivable  Union. It is not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not many, not one, not both together, not neither; not other-produced, not self-produced, not both together, not neither; not caused, not non-caused / spontaneous, not both together, not neither; not physical, not mental, not conceptual, not both/all together, not neither / none; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither. Meaning it is beyond all conceptual proliferations, beyond all extremes & middle (of any duality).) 

Adherents of the Tantra and of the Mahayana,

of the Vinaya and Sutra, and the followers of the World Religions,

with all their various scholastic theologies and devotions,

have no idea whatsoever of this wondrous simultaneously-born Mahamudra.

The clear light of Mahamudra cannot be revealed

By the canonical scriptures or metaphysical treatises

Of the Mantravada, the Paramitas or the Tripitaka;

The clear light is veiled by concepts and ideals.


Ambition clouds sheer clarity and you don’t see it.

Thinking about precepts undermines the point of commitment.

Do not think about anything; let all ambition drop.

Let what arises settle by itself, like patterns in water.

No place, no focus, no missing the point

Do not break this commitment: it is the light in the dark.
(i.e. So the best attitude in meditation, or between meditations, is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: not to accept / affirm / seek / do / add in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the liberating Truths. So just let it be!
And this doesn’t mean that we should reject / neglect our conventional truths, virtuous methods & goals. Just that we should remain aware of their limits, and never grasp at them as universal / absolutes / inherently existing.)

As to the keeping of covenant-vows (samaya), they are broken only by the act of trying to adhere to them. 

The light is hidden only by striving to know it. 

Cease with rules and ritual, abandon volition, stray not from the Ultimate, 

and then a true Precept-keeper will you be, a lamp illuminating the darkness.


Not caught up in perceptions, nor caught in desire,

seeking nothing, abiding in the self alone, one simply lets

consciousness be, like a wave in the Great Ocean.

By harbouring rigid precepts the true samaya is impaired,

But with cessation of mental activity all fixed notions subside;

When the swell of the ocean is at one with its peaceful depths,

When mind never strays from indeterminate, non-conceptual truth,

The unbroken samaya is a lamp lit in spiritual darkness.


When you are free from ambition and don’t hold any position,

You will see all that the scriptures teach.

When you open to this, you are free from samsara’s prison.

When you settle in this, all evil and distortion burn up.

This is called “The Light of the Teaching”.
(i.e. Don't become slaves to any conditioned fabrications -- physical, conceptual, mental; individual, collective, cosmic --. They are all imperfect impermanent conditioned illusions. Use them as possible adapted skillful means, as temporary rafts, but without any grasping / attachment, otherwise they turn into poisons for self & others.)

If you slip not into conation, if you hold to neither this nor that,

the real meaning behind all the Scriptures, will make itself clear.

Just abiding, one is released from the prison of Samsara.

Just abiding, all one’s karmic impurities are burned away.

It is then that you shall be known as a “Lamp of the Teaching”.

Free of intellectual conceits, disavowing dogmatic principles,

The truth of every school and scripture is revealed.

Absorbed in Mahamudra, you are free from the prison of samsara;

Poised in Mahamudra, guilt and negativity are consumed;

And as master of Mahamudra you are the light of the Doctrine.


The foolish [ignorant] are not interested in this.

The currents of samsara constantly carry them away.

Oh, how pitiable, the foolish — their struggles never end.

Don’t accept these struggles, long for freedom, and rely on a skilled teacher.

When his (her) energy enters your heart, your mind is freed.

Even the ignorant who understand not Mahamudra,

and fools who are lost for a time in Samsara,

can be saved if they but rely on a holy Lord (guru).

Through grace (adhisthana) they may be sure of deliverance.

The fool in his ignorance, disdaining Mahamudra,

Knows nothing but struggle in the flood of samsara.

Have compassion for those who suffer constant anxiety!

Sick of unrelenting pain and desiring release, adhere to a master,

For when his blessing touches your heart, the mind is liberated.

16. [View, Path (meditation, conduct), Fruition:]

What joy!

Samsaric ways are [ultimately] senseless: they are the seeds of suffering.

Conventional ways are [ultimately] pointless. 

Focus on what is sound and true.


Majestic outlook (view) is beyond all fixation (dualities).

Majestic practice (meditation) is no distraction.

Majestic behavior (conduct) is no action or effort (accepting this, rejecting that).

The fruition is there when you are free from hope and fear.

Know all the phenomena of Samsara as worthless;

just the cause of attachment and aversion.

All created phenomena are without real substance,

therefore seek instead the nature of the Ultimate [Ground / U2T].

Non-duality is the King of Views.

Resting the mind without flux is the King of Meditations.

Not choosing this or that is the King of Conduct.

When there is neither hope nor fear, that is the King of Results.

KYE HO! Listen with joy!

Investment in samsara is futile; it is the cause of every anxiety.

Since worldly involvement is pointless, seek the heart of reality!


In the transcending of mind's dualities is Supreme vision;

In a still and silent mind is Supreme Meditation;

In spontaneity is Supreme Activity;

And when all hopes and fears have died, the Goal is reached.


Beyond any frame of reference mind is naturally clear.

Where there is no path you begin the path of awakening.

Where there is nothing to work on you come to the deepest awakening.

Once you let go of all objects-of-perception, the true nature of the mind shines forth.

Not trying to meditate is the supreme path of the Buddha.

By the meditation of non-meditation Enlightenment is won.

Beyond all mental images the mind is naturally clear:

Follow no path to follow the path of the Buddhas;

Employ no technique to gain supreme enlightenment.


Alas! Look carefully at this experience of the world.

Nothing lasts. It’s like a dream, like magic.

The dream, the magic, makes no sense.

Experience this grief and forget the affairs of the world.

Alas! Impermanent is this world.

It passes like a mirage or a dream.

Even the illusion of its existence

is not something that exists.

Moved by weariness, abandon worldly pre-occupation.

KYE MA! Listen with sympathy!

With insight into your sorry worldly predicament,

Realising that nothing can last, that all is as dreamlike illusion,

Meaningless illusion provoking frustration and boredom,

Turn around and abandon your mundane pursuits.


Cut all ties of involvement with country or kin,

Practice alone in forest or mountain retreats.

Rest, not practicing anything.

When you come to nothing to come to, you come to mahamudra.

Renounce distinctions of class and race,

and meditate alone in forest, mountains and solitary places.

Abide without seeking; loosely remaining in the natural state.

By attaining non-attainment, quickly shalt thou reach the state of Mahamudra.

Cut away involvement with your homeland and friends

And meditate alone in a forest or mountain retreat;

Exist there in a state of non-meditation

And attaining no-attainment, you attain Mahamudra.


A tree spreads its branches and leaves.

Cut the root and ten thousand branches wither.

Likewise, cut the root of mind (ignorance) and the leaves of samsara wither.

If you sever the main root of a living tree,

then all the many branches wither and die at once.

Cut through (kathinaccheda) the very root of consciousness,

and all mental projections will immediately cease.

A tree spreads its branches and puts forth leaves,

But when its root is cut its foliage withers;

So too, when the root of the mind is severed,

The branches of the tree of samsara die


Though darkness gathers for a thousand eons,

A single light dispels it all.

Likewise, one moment of sheer clarity

Dispels the ignorance, evil and confusion of a thousand eons.

The darkness of long ages is dispelled

instantly by the lighting of a single lamp.

One moment’s experience of the mind of Clear Light

immediately rends the veil of ignorance for ever.

A single lamp dispels the darkness of a thousand aeons;

Likewise, a single flash of the mind's clear light

Erases aeons of karmic conditioning and spiritual blindness.


What joy!

With the ways of the intellect you won’t see beyond intellect.

With the ways of action you won’t know non-action.

If you want to know what is beyond intellect and action,

Cut your mind at its root (ignorance) and rest in naked awareness (Ground / U2T).

Aha! That which pertains to consciousness is unable to perceive transcendental Gnosis (jnana).

That which pertains to created phenomena is unable to perceive the uncreated Reality.

If you would attain the transcendent, beyond consciousness and creation;

then look directly into one’s own mind, until awareness is revealed in its bare nakedness.

KYE HO! Listen with joy!

The truth beyond mind cannot be grasped by any faculty of mind;

The meaning of non-action cannot be understood in compulsive activity;

To realise the meaning of non-action and beyond mind,

Cut the mind at its root and rest in naked awareness.


Let the cloudy waters of thinking settle and clear.

Let appearances come and go on their own.

With nothing to change, (i.e. There is nothing to accept nothing to reject; just directly perceive / release their true nature & dynamic as it is here & now)
the world you experience becomes mahamudra. (i.e. Through this direct wisdom, everything is self-liberated / purified / transcended / transmuted into nirvana here & now, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond all conceptual proliferations.)


Because the basis of experience has no beginning, patterns and distortions fall away.

Rest in no beginning, with no self-interest or expectation.

Let what appears appear on its own and let conceptual ways subside.

Let the polluted pool of mental activity clear itself.

Merely watch the flow, just as it is.

Do not engage with appearances as they arise,

for Mahamudra is beyond acceptance and rejection.

Since the fundamental ground (alaya) is unborn,

it can neither be obscured nor defiled.

Just rest in the unborn state, neither meditating nor not-meditating,
letting appearances resolve back into Ultimate Reality (Dharmata / Suchness / Ground / U2T).

Allow the muddy waters of mental activity to clear;

Refrain from both positive and negative projection - leave appearances alone:

The phenomenal world, without addition or subtraction, is Mahamudra.

The unborn omnipresent base dissolves your impulsions and delusions:

Do not be conceited or calculating but rest in the unborn essence

And let all conceptions of yourself and the universe melt away.

24. [View, Path (meditation, conduct), Fruition:]

The most majestic of outlooks is free of all reference.

The most majestic of practices is vast and deep without limit.

The most majestic of behaviors is open-minded and impartial.

The most majestic of fruitions is natural being, free of concern.

In being free of the extremes, one attains the King of Views.

Entering the vast and deep, one attains the King of Meditations.

Not making an effort, one attains the King of Conduct.

In non-seeking awareness, one attains the King of Results.

The highest vision opens every gate;

The highest meditation plumbs the infinite depths;

The highest activity is ungoverned yet decisive;

And the highest goal is ordinary being devoid of hope and fear.


At first, practice is a river rushing through a gorge.

In the middle, it’s the river Ganges, smooth and flowing.

In the end, it’s where all rivers meet, mother and child.

At first the yogi feels his mind to be turbulent,

like the upper course of a rushing mountain torrent.

Then it becomes smooth like the broad river Ganges.

In the end it is like entering the ocean, a child returning to the mother.

At first your karma is like a river falling through a gorge;

In mid-course it flows like a gently meandering River Ganga;

And finally, as a river becomes one with the ocean,

It ends in consummation like the meeting of mother and son.


When your mind is less acute and does not truly rest,

Work the essentials of energy and bring out the vitality of awareness.

Using gazes and techniques to take hold of mind

Train awareness until it does truly rest.

One who wishes to attain this level of meditation

should first begin by practicing remembrance of the breath.

Through control of the gaze and such exercises,

the mind will be disciplined until it abides in its own state.

If the mind is dull and you are unable to practice these instructions,

Retaining essential breath and expelling the sap of awareness,

Practising fixed gazes - methods of focussing the mind,

Discipline yourself until the state of total awareness abides.


When you practice with a sexual partner (Karmamudra), empty bliss awareness arises.

The balancing [Union] of method and wisdom transforms energy.

Let it descend gently, collect it, draw it back up,

Return it to its place, and let it saturate your body.

When you are free from longing and desire, empty bliss awareness arises.

Now concerning the practice of Karmamudra,

the union of Wisdom (prajna) and Means (upaya):

draw down and blend, then raise it up to the source.

Finally cause it to saturate the entire body.

If this is performed free of lust, then Bliss-Emptiness is attained.

When serving a karmamudra, the pure awareness

of bliss and emptiness will arise:

Composed in a blessed union of insight and means,

Slowly send down, retain and draw back up the bodhichitta,

And conducting it to the source, saturate the entire body.

But only if lust and attachment are absent will that awareness arise.

28. [Benefits:]

You will have a long life, you will not gray, and you will shine like the moon.

You will radiate health and well-being and be as strong as a lion.

You will quickly attain the ordinary abilities and open to the supreme one.

Glowing inwardly, blessed with renewed vigour and vitality,

thy life-power shall expand like the waxing moon.

Radiant and healthy, with the composure of a lion, thou shalt attain
Accomplishment (siddhi), both mundane and supreme.

Then gaining long-life and eternal youth, waxing like the moon,

Radiant and clear, with the strength of a lion,

You will quickly gain mundane power and supreme enlightenme.

May these pith instructions, the essentials of mahamudra,

Abide in the hearts of all worthy beings.


By virtue of entering this practice, may all obstacles to the realization of Mahamudra dissolve away.

May the Clear Light of Mahamudra dawn in the minds of the practitioners.

May this Pith Instruction on Mahamudra come to abide in the hearts of those disciples fortunate to connect with it.

May this pith instruction in Mahamudra

Remain in the hearts of fortunate beings.

These are the great Tilopa’s oral instructions. On the completion of the twelve hardships, Tilopa taught these on the banks of the river Ganges to the Kashmiri pandit, the wise and learned Naropa. Naropa taught The Twenty-Eight Vajra Verses to the great interpreter, the king of translators, Marpa Chökyi Lodrö. Marpa finalized his translation at Pulahari in the north of India. Ken McLeod translated this into English in Los Angeles in the southwest of the United States, working from the efforts of previous translators and various commentaries.

This pith-instruction on Mahamudra in 28 Verses was given by Sri Tilopa to Mahapandita Nadapada on the banks of the Ganges River. It was translated into Tibetan from the Sanskrit by Marpa Cho-kyi-lodro, and is now presented in English by the Dharma Fellowship. The original text may be found in the Do.ha. mdzod. brgyad. phyag. rgya. chen. po’i. man.ngag.’i. gzhung., printed at the Rumtek monastery of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa, in Sikkhim.

Colophon: Tilopa's Mahamudra Instruction to Naropa in twenty Eight Verses was transmitted by the Great Guru and Mahasiddha Tilopa to the Kashmiri Pandit, Sage and Siddha, Naropa, near the banks of the River Ganga upon the completion of his Twelve Austerities. Naropa transmitted the teaching in Sanskrit in the form of twenty eight verses to the great Tibetan translator Mar pa Chos kyi blos gros, who made a free translation of it at his village of Pulahari on the Tibet - Bhutan border.
This text is contained in the collection of Mahamudra instruction called the Do ha mdzod brgyad ces bya ba Phyag rgya chen po'i man ngag gsal bar ston pa'i gzhung, which is printed at the Gyalwa Karmapa's monastery at Rumtek, Sikkim. The Tibetan title is Phyag rgya chen po'i man ngag, or Phyag rgya chen po rdo rje'i tsig rkang nyi shu rtsa brgyad pa.


This translation into English has been done by Kunzang Tenzin in 1977, after transmission of the oral teaching by Khamtrul Rinpoche in Tashi Jong, Kangra Valley, India.


Sarva Mangalam!

May all beings be happy!









The absence of wisdom and awareness ~ Thrangu Rinpoche

Due to the absence of wisdom and awareness and due to having failed to learn how phenomena manifest and how they are, the mind has built up and developed the habitual pattern of ignorance since beginningless time and remains entangled in its darkness.

– Thrangu Rinpoche

from the book "The Five Buddha Families and the Eight Consciousnesses" 


Beginning to identify with pristine awareness ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

Though we're conditioned to identify with the thoughts that pass through our awareness rather than with awareness itself, the awareness that is our true nature is infinitely flexible. It is capable of any and every sort of experience - even misconceptions about itself as limited, trapped, ugly, anxious, lonely, or afraid. 

When we begin to identify with that timeless, pristine awareness (the naked self-arisen unalterable permanent Ground -- empty but still functional) rather than with the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that pass through it, we've taken the first step toward facing the freedom of our true nature (freedom from all conditioning / karma).

– Mingyur Rinpoche

from the book "Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom"