Thursday, January 14, 2021

Royal Song - Saraha - 055

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Analysis of “The Royal Song of Saraha

  • Part I - How we have gone astray

  • Part II - How we can rectify the situation

  • Part III - Preparing to restore our natural state -- Overcoming fixation

  • Part IV - Determining the significance of the path

  • Part V - Discarding attachments to mistaken paths

  • Part VI - Explaining the Mahamudra method

  • Part VII - Result

  • ADDED: A Résumé of “The Royal Song of Saraha” 

(Note: As you will notice there is some divergence between the four translations. And none of them seems better than the others. Often, you will have to decide by yourself what was the true intention of the author by combining parts of the three translations, and, when possible, to use Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings to fill in the blanks and extrapolate. But, obviously, this has its limits.

(Wikipedia: The name Saraha means "the one who has shot the arrow." According to one, scholar, "This is an explicit reference to an incident in many versions of his biography when he studied with a dakini disguised as a low-caste arrow smith. Metaphorically, it refers to one who has shot the arrow of non duality into the heart of duality."
Rigpawiki: He was also one of Nagarjuna's teachers.)

Short Résumé: coming soon ...


[First translation - Saraha's Dohakosa: The Royal Song, via Keith Dowman :]

HOMAGE TO ARYA MANJUSHRI
Homage to the destroyer of negative energy (or demonic power)!

[Second translation - The Royal Song, via Herbert V. Guenther :] 

The Song on Human Action

The Treasure of Dohas

I bow down to noble Maiijusri.

I bow down to Him who has conquered the finite.

[Third translation - King Doha - Saraha’s Advice to a King, via Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche :] 

I prostrate to the one who has overcome the power of the maras

[Fourth translation - Saraha’s Song for a King, Via Martin? :]
Doha kosha nama tsarya giti

Doha mdzod ces bya ba spyod pa’i glu

 

I prostrate to the one who has vanquished the power of the maras.



Part I - How we have gone astray

[T1 - Saraha's Dohakosa: The Royal Song (Dowman):]
1. [Simile:] The wind lashes calm waters into rollers and breakers;

[Meaning;] The king makes multifarious identities (many) form out of unity (one),

seeing many faces of this one archer, Saraha (the author).
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(i.e. What is ‘one’ appears to be ‘many / two’; or what appears to be ‘many / two’ is in fact ‘one’. Ex. waves & ocean, subject & object, the Ground & its displays, stillness & movement, etc.)
(i.e. Tetralemma: Everything appears to be ‘many’, but in fact, everything is not “many, not one, not both together, not neither”. And we insist on everything being ‘not many’, so we say that everything is ‘one’, as an antidote to our usual position. This applies to the opposites of all dualities, triads, quads, etc. Ex. the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object --.)

[T2 - The Royal Song Of Saraha (Guenther):]
1. As calm water lashed by wind

Turns into waves and rollers,

So the king thinks of Saraha

In many ways, although one man.

[T3 - King Doha - Saraha’s Advice to a King (Traleg Kyabgon):]
1. Whipped by the wind, 

Still water becomes waves and rollers, 

So the king perceives Saraha unity (one)
Appearing as diversity (many) (depending on what the King’s mind focuses on).

[T4 - Saraha’s Song for a King (Martin):]
1. Just as when the wind blows

And still water is turned into moving waves,

So the appearing Saraha is just one,

Yet the king creates diverse aspects.

2. [Simile:] The cross-eyed fool sees one lamp as two;

[Meaning:] The vision (object & relation / action) and the viewer (subject) are one (Union),

You broken, brittle mind!
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(i.e. Subject & object (& action) appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / two, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [U3S] Union of the three spheres = [U2T-3S] Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres -- subject, relation / action , object --: The three spheres appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition, meeting once in a while. But, in fact, the three spheres are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). The three spheres are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)

2. To a fool who squints

One lamp is as two;

Where seen (object) and seer (subject) are not two (Union), ah! the mind

Works on the thingness of them both.

2. A fool, through squinted eyes 

Sees a single lamp as two. 

Perceived (object) and perceiver (subject) are not separate. 

How absurd it is, seeing the mind as two things!

2. The ignorant press their eyes

And see one lamp as two.

Like this, in mind’s nature where seer and seen are not two,

Alas! The mind appears as two things.

3. [Simile:] Many lamps are lit in the house,

But the blind are still in darkness;

[Meaning:] Sahaja (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) is all-pervasive 

But the fool cannot see what is under his nose.
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(i.e. Although all-pervasive, immaculate, unalterable, unchanging, always present, this ‘Self-arisen Ground / Primordial Mind / Reality / Dharmata / Suchness / unity / oneness / Union’ … is not perceived / understood by ordinary sentient beings … because of the presence of ignorance, because their mind is busy elsewhere, remembering the past, dreaming of the future, mis-interpreting the present, drowning in its conditioning / karma, perpetuating it.)
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(i.e. Sahaja = the inconceivable unconditioned self-arisen Pure Ground / Mind with its three inseparable qualities (see: https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Ground ); [Uopp] Union of opposites; [U2T] Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas; [U2T-3S] Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres.)

3. Though the house-lamps have been lit,

The blind live on in the dark.

Though spontaneity is all-encompassing and close,

To the deluded it remains always far away. 

3. Though many lamps are lit in the house, 

The blind remain in darkness. 

Co-emergent wisdom permeates us all

Close by, yet for fools so far away.

3. Though many lamps are lit throughout the house,

Those with eyes to see remain in darkness.

Like this, though spontaneous wisdom is all-pervasive and nearby,

For the ignorant it is far, far away.



Part II - How we can rectify the situation

(How we should rediscover the light that dispels the darkness.)

4. [Simile:] Just as many rivers are one in the ocean

[Meaning:] All half-truths are swallowed by the one truth;

[Simile:] The effulgence of the sun illuminates all dark corners.
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(i.e. Although there are many conventional truths / appearances, there is a unique inconceivable Ultimate Truth / Ground / Reality / Union beyond all extremes & middle. The light of wisdom gaining insight into the nature of things can dispel all darkness / half-truths and illuminate the one Truth. Realising one key point, we realise the true nature of everything.)

4. Though there may be many rivers, they are one in the sea,

Though there may be many lies, one truth will conquer all.

When one sun appears, the dark

However deep will vanish.

4. Diverse waterways become one in the ocean. 

A multitude of deceptions are dismantled with a single truth. 

With the rising of the sun, in one stroke, 

All manner of darkness vanishes.

4. Though diverse, rivers are one in the ocean.

Though myriad, lies are overcome by a single truth.

Though darkness is manifold,

The rising of a single sun clears it away.

5. [Simile:] Clouds draw water from the ocean to fall as rain on the earth

And there is neither increase nor decrease;

Just so, reality (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) remains unaltered like the pure sky.
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(i.e. This Truth / Ground / Reality / Union is not fabricated, not changing (increasing or decreasing), not ceasing; like the ocean as a whole, or the sky. -- Everything is always characterized by the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Union of the three spheres [U3S], the Union of opposites [Uopp], the Middle Way free of all extremes & middle … That simple fact is the only thing that is truly permanent, unchanging, self-arisen, uncontrived, true, beyond all extremes & middle … everything else is conditioned, fabricated, impermanent, transparent-like, half-true. That is like the basis of Reality, of the whole universe. In meditation, we might feel it like a ‘universal primordial permanent naked unalterable non-conceptual non-dualistic awareness’; empty of inherent existence but always functional / luminous, functional / luminous but always empty of inherent existence.)

5. As a cloud that rises from the sea

Absorbing rain the earth embraces,

So, like the sky, the sea remains

Without increasing or decreasing.

5. The ocean, giving rise to rain-bearing clouds, 

Receives the water, once again. 

Yet, as with unchanging space

Neither increase nor decrease occurs.

5. Though cloud banks take up water from the ocean

And fill the earth again with descending rains,

The ocean does not decrease; filling the whole sky, it remains full:

There is no increase or decrease.

6. [Meaning:] Replete with the Buddha's perfections (clarity / luminosity / pure appearances)

Sahaja (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) is the one essential nature;

Beings are born into it and pass into it,

Yet there is neither existence nor non-existence in it.
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(i.e. Appearances, sentient beings, seem to fluctuate, to change continually, like the waves or the clouds, but the Ground / our true nature is always stable, unaltered, like the ocean or the sky, neither increasing nor decreasing. Appearances / displays seem to come out of it, and to return to it. But, both are empty of inherent existence (not really existent) <==> because co-dependent with each other (not completely non-existent). So there is no real coming out (origination), lasting for a while (duration), changing, and returning back (cessation). Both, displays & Ground, are transparent-like: not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither. So we say the displays are the Ground / Mind manifesting, are always One with it. So there is nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms … Our Buddha-nature, our true nature One with the Universal Ground, has always been, is always, and will always be our Buddha-nature.)
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(i.e. Empty-cause / Ground <==> empty-causing/producing <==> empty effect / luminosity / appearances / displays.)
(i.e. The Ground & its luminosity / manifestations / appearances / displays appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / two, but they are the same unity, the same Reality. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [Uopp] Union of Ground <==> appearances / luminosity / displays (pure or impure) = [U2T-opp] Union of the Two Truths about the Ground and its inseparable displays: This Ground / Reality appears to be the basis of all appearances in both samsara & nirvana. It appears to be existing inherently, prior to, independently, separately from those appearances. But, in fact, Ground and appearances / luminosity / displays are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). Ground and appearances / luminosity / displays are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)
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(i.e. Sahaja = the inconceivable unconditioned self-arisen Pure Ground / Mind with its three inseparable qualities (see: https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Ground ); [Uopp] Union of opposites; [U2T] Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas; [U2T-3S] Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres.)

6. So from spontaneity (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) that's unique,

Replete with the Buddha's perfections,

Are all sentient beings born and in it come

To rest. But it is neither concrete nor abstract.

6. Our authentic nature -- (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality)

Innate and INSEPARABLE from the aspects of buddha's being (pure manifestations), 

Despite our fluctuations as migrators, 

Neither is nor is not a substance.

6. The Victorious Ones are filled with perfect qualities,

Which all have the very same nature -- spontaneous presence.

From the natural display of the great sphere, living beings take birth and therein cease.

In relation to this, there is not thing and no non-thing.



Part III - Preparing to restore our natural state -- Overcoming fixation

(Four analogies incongruent with the actual meaning … emphasizing the notion of overcoming fixation.)

7. Forsaking bliss the fool roams abroad,

Hoping for mundane pleasure;

[Simile:] Your mouth is full of honey now,

Swallow it while you may!
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(i.e. We should not fixate on false ways to obtain genuine bliss; techniques producing only artificial, temporary bliss. There is an opportunity to not miss here.)

7. They walk other paths and so forsake true bliss,

Seeking the delights that stimulants produce.

The honey in their mouths and to them so near

Will vanish if at once they do not drink it.

7. Forsaking genuine bliss to walk other paths, 

Placing hope instead in what is contrived, 

Like bees amassing honey but not consuming it, 

An opportunity so close is squandered.

7. Giving up genuine bliss, you take another path

And place your hopes in conditioned bliss. 

Taking nectar in their mouth, bees come close,

But not drinking, they are far from enjoyment.

8. Fools attempt to avoid their suffering,

The wise enact their pain.

Drink the cup of sky-nectar

While others hunger for outward appearances.
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(i.e. We should not waste this opportunity. We should let go of our fixation / grasping / attachment … to views, methods / techniques, short term goals ...)

8. Beasts do not understand the world

To be a sorry place. Not so the wise

Who the heavenly nectar drink

While beasts hunger for the sensual

8. Animals don't make suffering for themselves 

That's the human expertise. 

Rather than drinking the ambrosia of space, 

Fixation is what we opt for.

8. Having gone astray, the animals do not create suffering;

On the basis of this human life, experts create suffering.

On one hand, practitioners come to drink the nectar of space;

On the other, experts remain very attached to objects.

9. [Simile:] Flies eat filth, sourcing the fragrance of sandalwood;

Men lost to Nirvana further their own confusion,

Thirsting for the coarse and vulgar.
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(i.e. We should not waste our time in vain pursuits, impermanent objects, status, friends ...)

9. To a fly that likes the smell of putrid

Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul.

Beings who discard Nirvana

Covet coarse Samsara' s realm.

9. Spurning sandalwood's fragrant aroma, 

Flies are attracted to excrement. 

Likewise we turn from transcending misery, 

Captivated by habitual negativity.

9. Bugs on excrement are attached to its smell

And think the pure fragrance of sandalwood foul.

Likewise, attached to dense ignorance, the source of samsara,

Individuals toss away the transcendence of suffering.

10. [Simile:] The rainwater filling an ox's hoof-print

Evaporates when the sun shines;

The imperfections of a perfect mind,

All are dissolved in perfection.
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(i.e. We should not fixate on our results of meditation -- positive or negative --, short terms gains or losses. They are impermanent experiences.)

10. An ox's footprints filled with water

Will soon dry up; so with a mind that's firm

But full of qualities that are not perfect;

These imperfections will in time dry up.

10. An ox's hoof-print filled with water soon dries out. 

It is not so precious. 

Though seemingly perfect and stable, experiences, 

No matter how desirable, will too evaporate.

10. The ignorant think an ox’s hoofprint filled with water is the ocean and look for gems therein,

Yet soon this water will evaporate. 

Likewise, those who take their passing experiences to be enlightenment

Will not see the perfect qualities. 

By developing a stable and perfect mind,

The mind clinging to passing experience as perfect will evaporate.



Part IV - Determining the significance of the path

(Determining the real significance of the meaning of the path using four non-contradictory analogies.)

11. [Simile:] Salt sea water absorbed by clouds turns sweet;

[Meaning:] The venom of passionate reaction

In a strong and selfless mind becomes elixir.
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(i.e. All appearances, defilements, poisons, thoughts, judgments, all fabrications of the mind -- positive, neutral, negative -- can be self-liberated / purified / transcended / transmuted into the Ground / natural state of the mind simply by directly realising their true nature & dynamic; otherwise they are binding and do not lead to ultimate freedom. Bodhicitta helps to get there.)

11. Like salt sea water that turns

Sweet when drunk up by the clouds,

So a firm mind that works for others turns

The poison of sense-objects into nectar.

11. Just as sea water evaporating from the ocean 

Turns into clouds of sweet rain, 

A mind released can benefit others. 

What we see as poison becomes ambrosia.

11. Just as the ocean’s salty water

Taken into the clouds turns sweet,

The stable mind works to benefit others,

The poison of objects turns into healing water.

12. The unutterable (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) is free of pain;

Non-meditation gives true pleasure.

[Simile:] Though we fear the dragon's roar (thunder)

Rain falls from the clouds to ripen the harvest.
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(i.e. Do not be afraid of the sound of ‘emptiness’; it doesn’t mean complete non-existence / total rejection of the world / nihilism. The ultimate truth (2nd truth - emptiness - not real existence) doesn’t deny conventional truths (1st truth - dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances - not complete non-existence). The two truths are not in opposition, but in perfect harmony. One implies the other. So the teachings of emptiness should be greeted with joy. Gaining a proper understanding of genuine emptiness -- free from all extremes & middle -- leads one to the true experience of non-dual unchanging bliss, to definitive freedom from all conditioning / karma.)

12. If ineffable, never is one unsatisfied,

If unimaginable, it must be bliss itself.

Though from a cloud one fears the thunderclap,

The crops ripen when from it pours the rain.

12. The ineffable — this is not suffering. 

Non-meditation — that itself is genuine bliss. 

Likewise, Though the sound of thunder may invoke fear, 

The rain it portends matures crops.

12. When you realize the ineffable, it is neither suffering nor bliss.

When there is nothing to meditate upon, wisdom itself is bliss.

Likewise, though thunder make evoke fear,

The falling of rain makes harvests ripen.

13. The nature of beginning (past) and end (future) is here and now (present), (the 3 stages of becoming / 3 times)

And the first does not exist without the last;

The rational fool conceptualizing the inconceivable (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality)

Separates emptiness from compassion.
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(i.e. Union compassion <==> wisdom / emptiness. Co-emergent wisdom has no real origination, duration, cessation. It is not caused / produced. It is a spontaneously naturally-produced state, a spontaneously-risen state. It is empty but still appearing & is relatively functional; and vice versa. It is indescribable, inconceivable, beyond conceptualisation, discrimination, causality, matter-energy, space & time. It is inseparable from compassion.)
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(i.e. The three times or three stages of becoming -- origination / beginning / before / past, duration / middle / during / present, cessation / ending / after / future -- appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / three, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [U3T] Union of the three times or three stages of becoming = [U2T-3T] Union of the Two Truths about the three times or three stages of becoming: The three times or three stages of becoming appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition. But, in fact, the three times or three stages of becoming are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). The three times or three stages of becoming are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)
.
(i.e. The Two Truths, the ultimate truth / emptiness and conventional truths, methods & goals -- ex. virtuous methods like loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity, meditation; various adapted skillful means used on the path -- appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / two, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [U2T] Union of the Two Truths -- relative & ultimate -- = [U2T-2T] Union of the Two Truths about the Two Truths -- relative & ultimate, or compassion & wisdom / emptiness --: The two truths, or compassion & wisdom / emptiness, appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition. But, in fact, the two truths, or compassion & wisdom / emptiness, are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). The two truths, or compassion & wisdom / emptiness, are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.
.
So, the ultimate Ground / Reality / Mind … is not merely appearances (relative truths & methods / realism), not merely emptiness (ultimate truth / nihilism), not both together (the two truths together / dualism), not neither (neither of the two truths, something else beyond / monism). The Ground is the unutterable inconceivable unconditioned unalterable self-arisen non-dualistic Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, about the three spheres, about opposites.)

13. It is in the beginning, in the middle, and

The end; yet end and beginning are nowhere else.

All those with minds deluded by interpretative thoughts are in

Two minds and so discuss nothingness and compassion as two things. 

13. Thusness (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) has neither start nor conclusion.

It has no place of abiding — no beginning (origination), no end (cessation), no in-between (duration). 

To those befuddled by conceptualization, 

Emptiness enmeshed with great compassion is how it's put.

13. First a thing and in the end a non-thing -- neither is established; likewise, there is nothing other than these two.

There is no place to abide in the beginning, middle, or end.

For those whose minds are obscured by continual concepts,

Emptiness and compassion are expressed in words.

14. [Simile:] The bee knows from birth

That flowers are the source of honey;

How can the fool know

That samsara and nirvana are one?
.
(i.e. Although co-emergent wisdom is naturally present in everyone, most people cannot access it, are not aware of its presence, because of their ignorance. They have no knowledge about it; about the possibility to self-liberate / purify / transcend / transmute everything; about the Union of samsara <==> and nirvana.)
.
(i.e. Samsara & Nirvana appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / two, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [Uopp] Union of samsara & nirvana -- = [U2T-opp] Union of the Two Truths about samsara & nirvana: Samsara & Nirvana appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition. But, in fact, Samsara & Nirvana are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). Samsara & Nirvana are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)

14. Bees know that in flowers

Honey can be found.

That Samsara and Nirvana are not two

How will the deluded ever understand?

14. Just as bees know 

To find nectar in a flower, 

So, befuddled fools should fully comprehend 

Not casting away the essence of samsara and nirvana.

14. Just as the nectar dwelling within a flower

Is known by the bumblebee,

The fortunate toss away neither existence nor nirvana.

Like them, the ignorant should fully understand.

(From commentary of translation 3: In this section, we have looked at four verses (verses 11-14). Basically, the last of these says that bees are able to extract the true pollen, an analogy for the knowledge that samsara and nirvana are not opposite poles, that understanding the true essence of both leads to liberation. Each of these four verses involves developing a knack. If one has the knack of doing something then, even if it is a very weighty and complicated thing, it can be done very simply and almost effortlessly. That is the basic thrust of these four verses.

  1. The first one talks about how different mental formations and thought-forms can be transformed if we have the knack, just as the salt water of the sea is transformed into the fresh water of rain. 

  2. Next, if one can really get the knack of understanding the ultimate reality of emptiness, which is inexpressible and beyond conception, then everything becomes revealed. Consequently, if one greets emptiness with as much joy as one greets the monsoon rain, then one becomes liberated. 

  3. Thirdly, if one develops the knack of understanding that the ultimate state is beyond formulation, in terms of space-time categories, then again one becomes liberated into one's natural state. 

  4. Finally, if one develops the knack of extracting the essence of samsara and nirvana, one is liberated not by trying to renounce samsara and pursue nirvana, but by understanding the essence of both.)

15. Facing himself in a mirror

The fool sees an alien form;

The mind with truth forgotten

Serves a untruth's outward sham.
.
(i.e. Because of ignorance of the true nature & dynamic of the Ground / Mind / Reality as it is here & now, of the Union of the Two Truths, of the Union of the three spheres, of the Union of opposites, ordinary sentient beings are fooled by appearances, thinking objects are inherently existing, independently of the subject / mind, separately, in opposition. From this come all grasping, attachment, bounding, suffering, the self-conditioning / karmic cycle, samsara.)

15. When the deluded in a mirror look

They see a face, not a reflection.

So the mind that has truth denied

Relies on that which is not true.

15. Seeing an image in a mirror 

A fool misconstrues what is there. 

So we turn from ultimate truth, 

Relying instead on what is false.

15. Just as an image appears on the mirror’s surface,

Where the ignorant look in their lack of knowledge,

So the mind that throws away the truth

Relies on many concepts that are not true.

16. [Simile:] Flowers' fragrance is intangible (2nd truth: not real existent, empty of inherent existence)

Yet its reality pervades the air (1st truth: not complete non-existent, still dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearance),

Just as mandala circles are informed

By a formless presence. (i.e. One truth implies the other.)
.
(i.e. We can transcend, get free from, those continuously arising appearances by realising their true nature & dynamic. They will not disappear, but we will not be fooled by them anymore. We need to start by simply not reacting to them, just observing them with as much equanimity as possible, trying to learn from them here & now. Everything is then seen as the workings of the wheel of the three kayas. This purifies all perception (the three spheres of perception).)
.
(i.e. All dharmas appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / three, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [U2T-all] Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas: All dharmas appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition. But, in fact, all dharmas are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). All dharmas are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.
Note: They, all dharmas, could be co-dependent (1st truth - not complete non-existence) with their parts (when applicable) (Union whole <==> parts), with their causes & conditions (when applicable) (Union cause <==> effect), with their conceptual opposites (always) (Uopp: Union of opposites), and especially as objects they are co-emergent, co-evolving, co-dependent with the subject / mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising them in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (U3S: Union of the three spheres).)

16. Though the fragrance of a flower cannot be touched,

'Tis all pervasive and at once perceptible.

So by unpatterned being-in-itself

Recognize the round of mystic circles.

16. A flower's fragrance has no form 

Yet reaches far and wide. 

So, through the nature that is formless, 

The wheels of the mandala will be known.

16. Though the fragrance of a flower has no form,

It clearly pervades everywhere.

Likewise, through the formless nature

The circles of the mandalas will be known.

17. [Simile:] Still water stung by an icy wind

Freezes hard in starched and jagged shapes;

In an emotional mind agitated by critical concepts

The unformed (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) becomes hard and intractable.
.
(i.e. The rigid / inflexible mind: It is almost impossible to realise the true nature & dynamic of the Ground / Mind / Reality as it is here & now, with an ordinary conceptual dualistic mind unconsciously slave to its accumulated conditioning / karma, and constantly reacting to illusory appearances. This mind can do only one thing at a time; so, while it is busy chasing or fearing ghosts, accepting this while rejecting that, it is not mindful enough of the Reality as it is here & now.)

17. When [in winter] still water by the wind is stirred,

It takes [as ice] the shape and texture of a rock.

When the deluded are disturbed by interpretative thoughts,

That which is as yet unpatterned turns very hard and solid.

17. When icy winds gust over water, 

What was fluid becomes like stone. 

So, with our distorted beliefs, 

We fools solidify the formless.

17. When a wintry wind strikes and stirs up water,

Though soft, it takes the form of stone.

When concepts attempt to disturb mind’s nature, where ignorance cannot take form,

Appearances become very dense and solid.

18. The Mind Immaculate (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) by nature is untouched

By samsara and nirvana's mud;

[Simile:] But just like a jewel lost in a swamp

Though it retains its luster, it does not shine.
.
(i.e. All sentient beings have this Buddha-nature, but it is not apparent under all of this meaningless activity, under all of this conditioning / karma.
Although originally pure, all-pervasive, immaculate, unalterable, unchanging, always present, this ‘Self-arisen Ground / Primordial Mind / Reality / Dharmata / Suchness / unity / oneness / Union’’ … is not perceived / understood by ordinary sentient beings … because their mind is busy elsewhere, remembering the past, dreaming of the future, mis-interpreting the present, drowning in its conditioning / karma, perpetuating it. The Mind with ignorance of its true nature & dynamic is impure -- that is samsara --; the mind with wisdom is pure and purifies everything -- that is Nirvana --. Its true nature is purity.)

18. Mind immaculate in its very being can never be

Polluted by Samsara's or Nirvana's impurities.

A precious jewel deep in mud

Will not shine, though it has luster. 

18. Though mired in samsaric bondage and nirvanic freedom, 

Our natural state remains untouched. 

Submerged in mud, a precious gem's lustre, 

Whilst not evident, does not diminish.

18. The true nature of any state of mind is free of flaws

And unaffected by the mire of existence and nirvana.

Even so, if a supreme gem is placed in a swamp,

Its radiance will not be clear.

19. As mental dullness creases pure awareness’ ribbon, 

As mental sloth increases suffering also grows.

[Simile:] Shoots sprout from the seed and leaves from the branches.
.
(i.e. The causes of ignorance & wisdom, what perpetuates them or increases them: One important factor is discursive thoughts. Discursives thoughts agitate the mind; they reinforce ignorance and defilements / conditioning / karma. A mind slave to its ignorance and to its conditioning / karmic cycle has little chance of developing direct wisdom, and gaining liberation. So, we need to calm our body speech & mind in order to be able to learn directly from Reality as it is here & now -- in meditation --.)
.
(i.e. Cause & effect, or producer & product, appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / two, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [U3S] Union of the three spheres of causality = [U2T-3S] Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres of causality -- subject / cause / producer, relation / action / causality / production , object / effect / product --: The three spheres of causality appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition, meeting once in a while. But, in fact, the three spheres of causality are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). The three spheres of causality are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)

19. Knowledge shines not in the dark, but when the darkness

Is illumined, suffering disappears [at once].

Shoots grow from the seed

And leaves from the shoots.

19. When ignorance flares up, wisdom dies down. 

When ignorance flares up, suffering flares up. 

From a seed, a seedling sprouts; 

From the seedling, foliage forms.

19. When stupidity is clear, wisdom is unclear.

When stupidity is clear, wisdom is clear.

Like this, from a seed, a seedling arises;

With this seedling as a cause, offshoots appear.

20. Separating unity from multiplicity in the mind (reasoning of one or many)

The light grows dim and we wander in the lower realms;

Who is more deserving of pity (compassion) than he

Who walks into fire with his eyes wide open?
.
(i.e. Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings are useful to gradually discard all extremes views, to clear the field; but they cannot help you to take the final step: the personal spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct perception / realisation of the true nature of the Self-arisen Inconceivable Ground / Reality. Also, misunderstanding Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings can lead to extreme positions. One needs much rigor to master them.)
.
(i.e. So, we should have compassion for sentient beings slave to their ignorance, graspings, attachments, illusions, conditioning / karma. And especially those who fall with eyes open into extreme views, methods, goals, paths.
Extremes like: existence / realism / dependent-origination (1st truth alone), non-existence / nihilism / mere-emptiness (2nd truth alone), both existence & non-existence together / dualism / manyness (the two truths together), neither existence nor non-existence / monism / oneness (neither of the two truths), subject /mind-only / subjectivism, object /appearances-only / objectivism, relation /action-only / relationism /actionism, process-only / processism …)

20. He who thinks of the mind in terms of one

Or many casts away the light and enters the world.

Into a [raging] fire he walks with open eyes

Who could be more deserving of compassion ?

20. By analyzing, through the reasoning of neither one nor many, 

Abandoning clarity 

One gazes into the pit of nihilism and heads for the lower realms. 

Who could be more deserving of compassion?

20. In analyzing the mind with the reasoning of being neither one nor many,

If you discard the clear aspect of mind’s nature, you will descend to the lower realms;

While gazing at that suffering, you fall into its bottomless pit.

How could one have anything but compassion for this?



Part V - Discarding attachments to mistaken paths

(Next is the main section of the description related to Path Mahamudra, lam chakgya chenpo which involves discarding attachments to mistaken paths.

Before discussing the Mahamudra path, Saraha lists some alternative spiritual paths one can follow with Buddhism and then explains why they are in some way inadequate. He is not suggesting they are incorrect in themselves but that, if followed incorrectly, they will fail to deliver the real thing. In other words, by following them incorrectly, one will only end up with a semblance of spiritual realization; one will not attain genuine realization. Saraha seems to indicate that following other paths will involve more elaborate rituals and more complicated practices, therefore giving more room to the possibility of going astray. The Mahamudra path is presented as being simpler, thereby allowing less room for getting sidetracked.)

21. Obsessed with the joys of sexual embrace (karmamudra - sexual yoga)

The fool believes he knows ultimate truth;

He is like someone who stands at his door

And, flirting, talks about sex.
.
(i.e. Grasping at sexual embrace. Attachment to the temporary bliss of karmamudra.
The worst is the ignorant that thinks that he knows it all, fighting others to defend his pride.) 

21. For the delights of kissing the deluded crave

Declaring it to be the ultimately real

Like a man who leaves his house and standing at the door

Asks [a woman] for reports of sensual delights.

21. Fools, obsessed with sexual embrace, 

Declare the ultimate to be known, 

Like wandering to others' doorsteps 

Telling lewd tales of Kamarupa.

21. Once totally attached to kissing and the bliss of what follows,

The ignorant say that this is indeed the ultimate.

Having left his house, he stands in front of the gate,

Soliciting tales of sensual pleasure.

22. The windstorms in the House of Emptiness (pranatama - related to prana, nadi, bindu)

Exciting delusions of emotional pleasure;

Fallen from celestial space, stung,

The tormented yogin fades away.
.
(i.e. )

22. The stirring of biotic forces in the house of nothingness

Has given artificial rise to pleasures in so many ways.

Such yogis from affliction faint for they have fallen

From celestial space, inveigled into vice.

22. Generating winds in the empty house, descent from the essence of space

So many ways are contrived. 

Practicing wrongly, tormenting themselves, 

All the yogis do is faint.

22. For the sake of the winds, you meditate on your body as an empty house,

Practicing artificial means in great variety and number.

From space it falls along with faults.

Overwhelmed, the yogi faints away.

23. Like a Brahmin taking rice and butter (ex. agni puja - fire puja, and other tantric practices)

Offering sacrifice to the flame,

He who visualizes material things as celestial ambrosia

Deludes himself that a dream is ultimate reality (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality).
.
(i.e. Attachment to the experiences produced, and to some practices. Grasping at material things that are like illusions.)

23. As a Brahmin, who with rice and butter

Makes a burnt offering in blazing fire

Creating a vessel for nectar from celestial space,

Takes this through wishful thinking as the ultimate. 

23. Just as Brahmins taking ghee and rice, 

Toss it in blazing fire expecting fair return, 

So those taking nectar from the essence of space, 

Expect the ultimate from passing experience.

23. Just as Brahmins make their burnt offerings

Of ghee and rice in a blazing fire,

Know that, from Ham, the quintessence of space, the substance of nectar produces experience;

The passing experience of bliss is grasped as reality.

24. Enlightening the House of Brahma in the fontanelle

Stroking the uvala in wanton delight,

Confused, believing binding pleasure to be spiritual release,

The vain fools calls himself a yogini.
.
(i.e. Grasping at all kinds of extremes views, methods, techniques, practices, behavior, paths.)

24. Some people who have kindled the inner heat and raised it to the fontanelle

Stroke the uvula with the tongue in a sort of coition and confuse

That which fetters with what gives release,

In pride will call themselves yogis.

24. Using heat ascending to Brahma's abode, 

Stroking the uvula with the tongue

Some, attached to such congress, their mastery held dear, 

Call themselves yogis through pride.

24. Some make the firelight burn and bring it to their fontanel;

With their tongue they enjoy union with the smaller one.

This bonds them up and makes them thoroughly disturbed.

Swayed by pride, they call themselves yogis.

25 Teaching that virtue is irrelevant to intrinsic awareness,

He mistakes the lock for the key;

[Simile:] Ignorant of the true nature of the gem

The fool calls green glass emerald.
.

(i.e. Mistaking some experiences of self-awareness to be genuine self-existing, self-cognizing awareness.
Or, rejecting conventional truths methods & goals, thinking it is contrary to the ultimate truth. Abandoning all discrimination between good & bad, pure & impure, thinking the are the same. Thinking everything is equal / identical / the same / non-dual / one in absolute terms.)

25. As higher awareness they teach what they experience within.

What fetters them they will call liberation.

A glass trinket colored green to them is a [priceless] emerald;

Deluded, they know not a gem from what they think it should be.

25. Announcing self-awareness as self-cognizing awareness 

Declaring it to free what binds

Calling a bauble an emerald because of its color, 

Fools can't see what should be prized.

25. An experience of self-awareness, a mere name, they display with a proud intellect.

"Whatever binds, that itself liberates," so they say.

Not knowing how to appraise a gem, the ignorant

Single out the color green to say that some trinket is an emerald.

26. His mind takes brass for gold,

Momentary peak experience for reality accomplished;

Clinging to the joy of ephemeral dreams

He calls his short-thrift life Eternal Bliss.
.
(i.e. Mistaking meditative experiences for realizations.)

26. They take copper to be gold. Bound by discursive thought

They think these thoughts to be ultimate reality.

They long for the pleasures experienced in dreams.
They call the perishable body-mind eternal bliss supreme.

26. Thinking brass is gold, 

Mistaking meditative experience for realization. 

Attachment to the bliss in a dream

The aggregates are impermanent, how can you say such bliss is not?

26. This is bringing brass to mind as gold.

You think carrying this experience onto the path will accomplish the ultimate.

That is like being attached to the bliss of a dream.

You claim that aggregates are impermanent and bliss is permanent?

27. With a discursive understanding of the symbol EVAM,
(Note: E-Vam represents the Union of opposites; or the Union of bliss & emptiness; or Union of relative & absolute.)

Creating four seals through an analysis of the moment,

He labels his peak experience sahaja (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality)
He is clinging to a reflection mistaken for the mirror.
.
(i.e. Thinking their sublime experiences to be the ultimate goal. We should not get attached to karmamudra, dharmamudra and samayamudra, but instead focus our mind on the realisation of Mahamudra, beyond conception, beyond attachment.)
.
(i.e. Sahaja = the inconceivable unconditioned self-arisen Pure Ground / Mind with its three inseparable qualities (see: https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Ground ); [Uopp] Union of opposites; [U2T] Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas; [U2T-3S] Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres.)

27. By the symbol EVAM [they think] self-clearness is achieved,

By the different situations that demand four seals

They call what they have fancied spontaneity (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality),

But this is looking at reflections in a mirror.

27. The words "e" and "vam" are understood individually. 

By classifying four moments, four seals are set out. 

Some claim the experiences to be the state of union (sahaja). 

They are focusing on the replica in the mirror.
.
(i.e. Sahaja = the inconceivable unconditioned self-arisen Pure Ground / Mind with its three inseparable qualities (see: https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Ground ); [Uopp] Union of opposites; [U2T] Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas; [U2T-3S] Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres.)

27. The letters E Vam make themselves understood.

By classifying four moments, the four seals are set out.

Some claim that through experiences, spontaneous presence appears.

Do not be like the one attached to the mirror’s reflection.

28. [Simile:] Like befuddled deer leaping into a mirage of water

Deluded fools in their ignorance cling to outer forms

And with their thirst unslaked, bound and confined,

They idealize their prison, pretending happiness.

28. As under delusion's power a herd of deer will rush

For the water in a mirage which is not recognized,

So also the deluded quench not their thirst, are bound by chains

And find pleasure in them, saying that all is ultimately real. 

28. Not understanding, deer rush 

Toward water that is a mirage. 

Similarly, the foolish cannot slake their parching thirst

Latching onto bliss, they claim it as the ultimate.

28. Not understanding, the deer runs

In confusion after the water’s mirage.

Likewise, the ignorant cannot evade thirst, and die.

Claiming it is ultimate, some take up bliss.

(From the commentary: Saraha is stating that when it all boils down to it, we should determine the fundamental focus of our mind when we engage in spiritual practice. Does our focus lie on what is immediate and empirically present, or does it rest on the transcendental realm? Even in terms of our practice, if we pursue our spiritual goals with our focus solely on empirical things-meaning things which are dependent on causes and conditions—then whatever positive results we gain will be transient, impermanent. These wonderful experiences will arise and dissipate, arise and dissipate, so are not really trustworthy. And if we think that through these means we are pursuing the "eternal" or transcendental center of our being, the dharmakaya, we have everything backwards.

This is like a deer rushing forward thinking there is water in the distance, only to be disappointed because what they are rushing towards is a mirage and there is no water. If, through our attempts to satisfy our thirst for spiritual nourishment, we try to drink up all the temporary comfort of the encouraging experiences we have, then we fail to establish ourselves on a secure foundation. We will not realize the eternal, unchanging foundation of our being because we will be too involved with the ever-changing permutations of our experiences. We will not be anchored to a stable center. If that is so, we will not find liberation from the cyclic existence that is samsara. In our pursuit of temporary bliss, eternal bliss will literally slip through our fingers.

That then completes Saraha's warnings against incorrect practices and his explanations of the dangers involved with non-Mahamudra types of practices—if one develops fixation on them. From Saraha's perspective, in the end they will leave us wanting. While these practices may act as supplements, we need to see Mahamudra as our main practice and also main goal.)




[Saraha was one of Nagarjuna's teachers
at Nalanda Monastic University in North India.]

Part VI - Explaining the Mahamudra method

29. The relatively real is free of intellectual constructs,
(i.e. Step 1: Realising the emptiness of objects / appearances <== because dependent on the subject; merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma)

.

And ultimately real mind, active or quiescent, is no-mind,
(i.e. Step 2: Realising the emptiness of the subject / mind <== because dependent on objects / appearances; the same for the action)

.

And this is the supreme,the highest of the high, immaculate;
(i.e Step 3: Realising the Ground with its three inseparable qualities; the inconceivable Union of the Two truths about the three spheres: the self-arisen inseparability / interdependence / co-emergence / co-evolution / Union of i. subject / mind <==> ii. relation / actions of the mind <==> iii. objects / appearances; an inconceivable Union beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle.)

.

Friends, know this sacred high! (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality)
.
(i.e. Four steps of Mahamudra. Which comes down to gradually perceiving / realising / abiding in the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites free of all extremes & middle.)

29. Non-memory is convention's truth

And mind which has become no-mind [is ultimate truth].

This is fulfillment, this the highest good.

Friends, of this highest good become aware.

29. The truth of experienced reality corresponds to non-remembrance

Remembrance of mind that is perceptual experience dissipates into this. 

The state that is revealed as, then the supreme of supreme

The genuine supreme. Friends, you should know these.
.
(From the third translation’s commentary: the four symbolic instructions: 

[1] remembrance: focusing on the empirical, focusing on what we experience, determining that nothing we experience has objective existence independent of the mind; (emptiness of all objects because dependent on the mind; the subject / mind is also empty because dependent on the objects / appearances);

[2] non-remembrance: realising that there is no separation between the mind & remembrance; (non-dual samadhi: subject & object & action merge; opposites merge; everything is perceived as equal, pure, perfect, divine);

[3] the state of un-created: realising that this state is uncreated; (realising that this is the self-created Ground of everything in both samsara & nirvana; the Union of samsara & nirvana);

[4] the state beyond conception: beyond all extremes & middle; (Going beyond all conceptual elaborations, all extremes & middle. Extremes like: existence / realism / dependent-origination (1st truth alone), non-existence / nihilism / mere-emptiness (2nd truth alone), both existence & non-existence together / dualism / manyness (the two truths together), neither existence nor non-existence / monism / oneness (neither of the two truths), subject /mind-only / subjectivism, object /appearances-only / objectivism, relation /action-only / relationism /actionism, process-only / processism …).)

29. The relative truth refers to mindfulness; non-minding

Points to those mental states when the mind is released from mindfulness.

When completely transformed, this is the supreme of the supreme.

The result is the genuine supreme. Friends, you should know these.

[Third text commentaries for the next verses:]

We have discussed remembrance, non-remembrance, the uncreated state, and the state beyond conception already, in relation to the four mudras. We will go through these again in order to understand Mahamudra in relation to

  1. remembrance, 

  2. non-remembrance, 

  3. the state of uncreated-ness, and 

  4. the state beyond conception.

[1.] First, Saraha says we have to exercise remembrance or memory, mindfulness — all of them — as part of our meditation. How do we do that? We do it 

  • by focusing on the empirical,

  • by focusing on what we experience, and

  • by determining that nothing we experience has objective existence independent of the mind.

We have to determine that through recollection, remembrance, and mindfulness. 

[2.] That should lead to the state of non-remembrance; one should not remain satisfied with that initial level. If one realizes that mindfulness is the same as mind, then one will realize mindfulness/remembrance/recollection are not something separate from mind. That will then cease to be something that mind does. There is no separation between the mind and remembrance and this then leads to the realization of non-remembrance.

Once one has realized that non-separation between remembrance and mind, and realized the state of non-remembrance

[3.] that state then will be revealed as uncreated. It is not produced by causes and conditions. One thus attains the uncreated state. While the state of non-remembrance is already an exalted state, there is a state that follows from that. This state of uncreatedness is called the supreme.

[4.] Again, while already being an exalted state, the supreme state is followed by the ultimate state, which is the state beyond conception. That is why this state, the state beyond conception, is called the supreme of the supreme, chogi chok in Tibetan. This state beyond conception, the supreme of supreme, is equated with Buddhahood. 

These are called the four symbolic instructions, da shi in Tibetan. As the root verse states: “...the supreme of supreme the genuine supreme. Friends, you should know these" — these four. 

There are alternative ways of matching the four sets of fours, but we do not need to discuss those.

30. In mind absorbed in samadhi that is concept-free,

Passion (appearances, defilements, poisons) is immaculately pure (self-liberated);

[Simile:] Like a lotus rooted in the slime of a lake bottom,

This sublime reality (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) is untouched by the pollution of existence.
.
(i.e. In that sense, everything is the Ground spontaneously manifesting its inseparable displays, dancing its magical dance. Everything is Union of the Two Truths -- Union of being dependently co-arisen <==> and empty of inherent existence --. Everything is Union of the three spheres, merely labelled / imputed by the mind. Everything is Non-dual / Union of opposites, beyond all opposition, duality, discrimination in absolute terms. Not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; meaning beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. So there is no inherent / universal / absolute basis any discrimination or non-discrimination, conceptualisation or non-conceptualisation, action or non-action, thinking or non-thinking, feeling or non-feeling, remembrance or non-remembrance, accepting or rejecting. In that sense, everything is perceived as already equal, pure, perfect divine here & now. This way, all appearances, defilements, poisons, can be self-liberated / purified / transcended / transmuted into the Ground simply by directly realising their true nature & dynamic; that they are inseparable with the Ground, in Union with the Ground.)

30. In non-memory is mind absorbed; just this

Is emotionality perfect and pure.

It is unpolluted by the good or bad of worldliness

Like a lotus unaffected by the mud from which it grows.

30. Non-remembrance corresponds to a samadhi. 

Completely untainted by the afflictions, 

Like a swamp-grown utpala unaffected by mud, 

Neither samsara's faults nor enlightened qualities obscure it.

30. The mind released from mindfulness engages in samadhi.

It is completely purified of the afflictions.

As the utpala born from a swamp is not stained by it,

So the mind itself is not affected by the faults arising from samsara nor by the qualities found in the Victorious One.

There are also four different kinds of samadhi, which have to be matched with the other states mentioned in the previous verses.

  1. There is a samadhi, elegantly expressed in Tibetan, which means something like "lion-like samadhi”. 113 This samadhi conveys non-remembrance/non-recollection/non-mindfulness [2], as represented by the utpala flower which is in no way dirtied by the mud in which it grows. This is revealed through the state of non-wavering. (non-dual samadhi: subject & object & action merge; opposites merge; everything is perceived as equal, pure, perfect, divine)

  2. The state of remembrance [1], the first of the states Saraha presents, corresponds to what is called “illusion-like samadhi.” 114 (emptiness of all objects because dependent on the mind; the subject / mind is also empty because dependent on the objects / appearances)

  3. The state of the uncreated [3] corresponds to the “heroic samadhi” 115 which enables one to go beyond things empirical. (realising that this is the self-created Ground of everything in both samsara & nirvana; the Union of samsara & nirvana)

  4. The state beyond conception [4] corresponds to the “vajra-like samadhi”, 116 the highest level of samadhi one can attain, which reveals the nature of all things while not conflating their differences, and this is revealed through Mahamudra. (Going beyond all conceptual elaborations, all extremes & middle. Extremes like: existence / realism / dependent-origination (1st truth alone), non-existence / nihilism / mere-emptiness (2nd truth alone), both existence & non-existence together / dualism / manyness (the two truths together), neither existence nor non-existence / monism / oneness (neither of the two truths), subject /mind-only / subjectivism, object /appearances-only / objectivism, relation /action-only / relationism /actionism, process-only / processism …).)

31. Make solid your vision of all things as visionary dream (gaining certainty with repeated practice)

And you attain transcendence (freedom from all appearances; not accepting, not rejecting),

Instantaneous realisation and equanimity;

A strong mind binding the demons of darkness

Beyond thought your own spontaneous nature (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) is accomplished.
.
(i.e. We need to gain certainty about this through repeated experiences / practices / meditation. This is the goal, the liberating factor: an understanding and then a personal spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct realisation of the Self-arisen Inconceivable Ground / Reality, as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle -- nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively --, the tetralemma, the equality / purity / perfection / divinity of all dharmas in both samsara & nirvana, the Union of samsara & nirvana, the Union of the Ground and its displays.)

31. Yet with certainty must all things be viewed as if they were a magic spell.

If without distinction you can accept or reject Samsara

Or Nirvana, steadfast is your mind, free from the shroud of darkness.

In you will be self-being, beyond thought and self-originated.

31. Having certainty all things are illusion-like, 

Take the moment that is transcendence, and rest with it. 

In minds with this revealed, ignorance is brought to a halt. 

Self-arisen and beyond conceptualization, the nature of mind is abiding.
.
(i.e. All dharmas appear to have three stages of becoming: 1. dependent origination / production / beginning / birth, 2. duration / middle / life / change, 3. cessation / destruction / ending / death. Those three stages seem to be universal characteristics of all composites / fabricated. They seem to be inherently existing / separate / independent / three, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent … So, there is no real origination, duration, cessation for any dharma in both samsara & nirvana.)
(i.e. [U3T] Union of the three stages of becoming = [U2T-3T] Union of the Two Truths about the three stages of becoming: The three stages of becoming appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition. But, in fact, the three stages of becoming are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). The three stages of becoming are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)
.
(i.e. The Ground itself is said to be self-arisen, abiding, unchanging, indestructible ... In fact, the Ground, as well as its inseparable displays, are not self-arisen / self-caused, not other-arisen / other-caused, not both together, not neither / uncaused / spontaneous; not permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not dependent, not independent, not both together, not neither; not empty, not non-empty, not both together, not neither; not pure, not impure, not both together, not neither; not many, not one, not both together, not neither; not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not abiding, not non-abiding, not both together, not neither; not purely-subjective, not purely-objective, not purely-relational / purely-process, not two or three of them together, not none of them. But, because we have to use dualistic concepts to talk about it, and because we need antidotes against our usual position, we say that the Ground is self-arisen, spontaneity, permanent, unchaning, one, abiding, mind, not-empty, etc. Just don’t grasp at those concepts as really describing the Ground / Mind; they are not. The Ground is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle, beyond the four positions of the tetralemma about any dualistic concept.)
.
(i.e How do we feel this Ground / Reality in non-dual samadhi? It feels like our true nature / primordial awareness directly recognising itself here & now. It feels like the Union of bliss <==> emptiness; Union of awareness <==> emptiness; Union of clarity / luminosity / cognizance <==> emptiness. Which is the Union of the Two Truths about the mind but immediately more personal / experimental / phenomenological.) 

31. Mindfulness also sees with certainty that all things are like an illusion.

Transcending the world, take this moment into your mind and rest evenly in meditation.

Those whose minds recognize the teaching bind up ignorance.

Self-arising and inconceivable, wisdom naturally abodes within.

[Note: The commentary of this verse (3rd translation) reveals much more than the verse itself:]

This verse explains that at the level of mindfulness/recollection/remembrance, there is the experience of phenomena in their myriad forms. These appearances will occur because they are dependent upon causes and conditions. Their nature, however, is unwavering and not dependent on causes and conditions. Therefore, unlike the things themselves, the nature of things is abiding so the concepts of coming into being (dependent origination / birth) and ceasing to exist (cessation / death) do not apply. In terms of the reality of things, unlike the things themselves it does not come into being, does not dwell anywhere, and does not go out of existence.

[Union of the Two Truths about the two tuths:] Because of that, there is complete union between the empirical phenomenal appearance of things (relative) and the nature of these things (absolute). There is no conflict between the two; they are not adversarial, their relationship is one of harmony (of the two truths). So therefore, while the phenomena appear the way they do, their nature always remains empty.

The meditator's experience of this is revealed through 

  • the non-divisibility [Union] of bliss and emptiness, 

  • the non-divisibility [Union] of awareness and emptiness, and 

  • the non-divisibility [Union] of clarity and emptiness

It is revealed through this series of unitive experiences: bliss and emptiness, awareness and emptiness, clarity and emptiness, and so on. Even though, conceptually, we can distinguish all of these as being separate, in themselves bliss and emptiness, clarity and emptiness, emptiness and awareness, and so on, are also not separate. Their nature is also abiding reality, the same as everything else. Through that, one realizes non-remembrance. (i.e. non-dual samadhi: subject & object & action merge; opposites merge; everything is perceived as equal, pure, perfect, divine)

Although these appearances themselves are the product of causes and conditions and they appear — and this includes even things within the mind, so whatever appears to the mind — in their nature they are not caused. When one realizes that then one sees, one attains, the level of uncreated-ness (i.e. realising that this is the self-created Ground of everything in both samsara & nirvana; the Union of samsara & nirvana). This is why it is said the nature of mind has never been caused to come into existence and for this reason it is abiding.

32. Appearances have never ceased to be their original radiance,

And unformed, form never had a substantial nature to be grasped;

It is a continuum of unique meditation,

In an inactive, stainless, meditative mind that is no-mind.
.
(i.e. So, in meditation, there is no need to get alarmed if thoughts or feelings pop up. Do not accept them, do not reject them. Just let them be; observe them with equanimity. They spontaneously come from the Ground and will naturally go back to the Ground; they are One with the Ground. It is of the Nature of the Ground, of our Mind, to spontaneously manifest itself with all of those appearances. That is the nature of the Union of the Two Truths; the whole universe comes from this compassionate energy of the Ground. Just learn and be mindful of the true nature & dynamic of any appearance that pops up. That is enough.)
.
(i.e. All appearances have alway been pure inseparable non-dual inconceivable manifestations of the Ground / Reality.
They have never really dependently originated or appeared spontaneously, changed / evolved, and then ceased.
They have never really been empty or non-empty.
The mind is not really producing them.
They have always been like an inconceivable Union of the Two Truths: Union of being conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth - not completely non-existent) <==> and emptiness of inherent existence (2nd truth - not really existent).
They have always been Union of the three spheres: Union subject <==> relation / action <==> object.
They have always been Union of opposites.
They have always been Union of appearance / functionality / clarity / luminosity / cognizance <==> and emptiness of inherent existence.
They have always been Union of the Ground <==> and its displays.
They are not dependently co-arisen only (1st truth), not empty of inherent existence only (2nd truth), not both truths together, not neither of the two truths.
Their true nature is beyond all conceptual fabrications, all extremes & middle, beyond all conceptualisation & non-conceptualisation, discrimination & non-discrimination, causality & spontaneity / production & non-production / action & non-action, matter-energy & black-matter-energy, space & omnipresence, time & timelessness.

32. This world of appearance has from its radiant beginning

Never come to be; unpatterned it has discarded patterning.

As such it is continuous and unique meditation;

It is non-mentation, stainless contemplation, and non-mind.

32. Appearance, from the outset, is clarity, not-caused in nature. 

Let phenomena, either visible or without form, be. 

Rest continuously in the nature of the mind-the only concentration. 

Flawless non-mentation is not absorption.

32. These appearances have the nature of clarity; from the very first they are unborn.

They do not arise as an entity with form; discard as well thinking they arise in the aspect of form’s characteristics.

Abide continually within the mind itself and practice only deep meditation.

Without thought, rest in this meditation free of mental activity and free of flaws.

What do meditators need to do if, while meditating, discursive thoughts come up or if they experience phenomena? This may occur even though, a moment earlier, they may have been in a state of non-remembrance. If one has been roused from that state of non-remembrance, with the mind stirred up yet again seeing various images of different colored objects and so forth, one need not be alarmed. Whatever has arisen in that state of arousal will dissipate back into the state of non-remembrance.

33. Thus the I is intellect, mind and mind-forms,

I the world, all seeming alien show,

I the infinite varieties of vision-viewer,

I the desire, I the anger, I the mental sloth -

And bodhicitta.
.
(i.e. Everything is It! (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality) All fabrications -- physical, conceptual, mental fabrications; subject, relation /action, object; pure, impure; past, present, future; individual, collective, cosmic; in both samsara & nirvana -- are manifestations / displays inseparable from the Ground. Abiding in the realisation is Mahamudra.)
.
(i.e. The Ground & its luminosity / manifestations / appearances / displays appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / two, but they are the same unity, the same Reality. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [Uopp] Union of Ground <==> appearances / luminosity / displays (pure or impure) = [U2T-opp] Union of the Two Truths about the Ground and its inseparable displays: This Truth / Ground / Reality / Union beyond all extremes & middle appears to be the basis of all appearances in both samsara & nirvana. All appearances appear to be produced by this Ground / Mind. The Ground appears to be existing inherently, prior to, independently, separately from those appearances. It may even be appearing that we could meditate on the pure Ground / primordial awareness without any appearances / objects. But, in fact, Ground and appearances / luminosity / displays are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). Ground and appearances / luminosity / displays are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)

33. Mind (subject), intellect (relation / action), and the formed contents (objects) of that mind
are It (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality),

So too are the world and all that seems from It to differ,

All things that can be sensed (objets) and the perceiver (subject),

Also dullness, aversion, desire, and enlightenment. 

33. Intellect, mind, and what appears to it are one's natural state. 

Our experiences of the world or otherwise are one's natural state. 

Everything perceived or doing the perceiving is one's natural state. 

Even lust, anger, ignorance, and enlightened mind are one's natural state.

33. Intellect, mind, and mental appearances have this very nature.

All the worlds appearing in their diversity have this very nature.

All the varieties of the seen and the seer have this very nature.

Attachment, desire, aversion, and bodhicitta, too, have this very nature.

It doesn't matter whether one is experiencing something totally mundane in quality, texture, and substance or something exalted, a more rarefied state of consciousness — in either case, one needs to realize that nothing that one experiences can occur independently of one's natural state of being. In that sense, everything one experiences is permeated by Mahamudra.

In order to attain the state beyond conception which is Mahamudra, one has to realize that nothing we experience can be outside the Mahamudra state. So when we see something, then that object, the subject who perceives that object — everything involved with that perceptual experience — is in fact not separate from the state beyond conception. The state beyond conception reveals itself through these myriad ways, through the variegated experiences. If one has the real Mahamudra perspective, then all the causes of samsaric bondage, such as lust, anger, ignorance, and so forth that we think we need to renounce, as well as the bodhichitta (Skt.) and insight into emptiness that we think we need to cultivate, should be seen as permeated by this state beyond conception. In meditation one should not allow the mind go into a state of focusing on a meditational object.

34. Now there is a lamp (mindfulness) lit in spiritual darkness

Healing the splits riven by the intellect

So that all mental defilements are erased.

Who can define the nature of detachment (let it be)?
.
(i.e. Path: We need specific instructions from a meditation master, and the torches of listening to the teaching, contemplating the teachings, and mindfulness / meditation / direct practice.)

34. Like a lamp (mindfulness) that shines in the darkness of spiritual

Unknowing, It removes obscurations of a mind

As far as the fragmentations of intellect obtain.

Who can imagine the self-being of desirelessness (let it be)?

34. A lamp (mindfulness) is lit against the darkness of ignorance. 

The discriminating intellect shows what's there. 

So mind's obscurations are discarded. 

Focus on natural non-clinging (let it be).

34. A lamp is lit in the darkness of ignorance.

While you differentiate mental categories,

You discard the mind’s flaws.

Reflect upon the nature of non-attachment.

Here, Saraha discusses how to practice this in relation to listening, reflecting, and meditating

First, he mentions the need to practice mindfulness. At the beginning we need to carry the lamp. Mindfulness is like a small lamp that we have but, because we are groveling in the dark, even if we try to think about emptiness, we are only conceptualizing about it so we are none the wiser for it. That state is still ignorant and thinking and conceptualizing about it will not shed any light on it and lift our ignorance. Therefore, we will not realize our own mind from doing this. What then will lift that ignorance? Reading about emptiness, conceptualizing about emptiness, and contemplating on emptiness will help but if one does not meditate, one will still remain in the dark. One needs to bring in some light and to do that we need to carry the torch of mindfulness.

Again, we have to be very careful about this notion and appreciate this is simply a convenient device we need to resort to. The mindfulness we are exercising is one of mere non-forgetfulness, mere remembrance. This mere remembrance has to be employed in order to illuminate the darkness that pervades our mind so that the five kinds of wisdom inherent in the nature of mind itself can be ignited by this torch. How do we use that torch to ignite the five wisdoms: wisdom of accomplishment; wisdom of equanimity; wisdom of discrimination; mirror-like wisdom; and wisdom of suchness? For that we need specific instructions from a meditation master. Relying on these instructions, we should then use the other torch, the torch of listening to the teachings, and contemplation on the teachings. That will also bring intellectual, conceptual illumination.

In this case, one should do study and reflection as needed. One should not study and reflect on these things just for the sake of study and reflection but in order to aid one's meditational practice. One's meditational practice should be the focus, not the study and reflection. If study and reflection are not put into the service of one's meditational development, then, again, one has failed to carry the torch of intellectual illumination properly and use it correctly. Ultimately, all of these should aid one to have genuine and unadulterated meditation.

35. It cannot be denied (rejected) nor yet affirmed (accepted),

And ungrasp - it is inconceivable.

Through conceptualization fools are bound,

While concept-free there is immaculate sahaja (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality).
.
(i.e. Ultimately, to realise the true inconceivable nature of the Ground / Reality / Primordial Awareness we cannot use our conditioning / karma, our body & speech & mind, our physical & conceptual & mental fabrications, our flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic mental. It has to be a personal spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct perception / realisation of the true nature of the Self-arisen Inconceivable Ground / Reality. It is like the Ground / Reality / Indivisible-Universe / Primordial-Awareness / our-true-nature directly recognising itself here & now. Only then can we get perfect certainty & liberation. / enlightenment.
.
This is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle -- nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the Truth.)
.
(i.e. Sahaja = the inconceivable unconditioned self-arisen Pure Ground / Mind with its three inseparable qualities (see: https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Ground ); [Uopp] Union of opposites; [U2T] Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas; [U2T-3S] Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres.)

35. There's nothing to be negated, nothing to be

Affirmed or grasped; for It can never be conceived.

By the fragmentations of the intellect are the deluded fettered;

Undivided and pure remains spontaneity (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality).

35. Neither negating nor establishing, 

Non-fixation is inconceivable. 

The discriminating intellect binds the foolish. 

Inseparability, co-emergence, is utter purity (Union / Ground / Primordial Awareness / Reality).

35. There is no negating, no constructing,

And no apprehending; it is inconceivable.

The ignorant are bound by mental categories.

The inseparable, the co-emergent, is utterly pure.

The above verse concerns how to meditate. What should we do in Mahamudra meditation? What we need to do, in essence, with Mahamudra meditation is develop proper understanding. That proper understanding has to be such that it comes from inner conviction and is not simply because we are well-versed in the dialectical methods used by various schools of Buddhist thought. It should not have to do with propositional statements, either in defense of a particular philosophical position or used as an aid to demolish someone else's point of view. In other words, conviction should not simply be based on the establishment of a certain philosophical view; it has to be based on one's own experience of spiritual development.

Meditation also has to be free of the concept of meditating, as if meditation is something that one has to do." Saraha asserts that if we really learn to use mindfulness properly, then we will realize that we do not need to establish or negate anything.

The point is really about entering into one's natural state rather than establishing a point of view about it. If we apply mindfulness in the correct manner, then the state of non-mindfulness or the state of non-remembrance will naturally occur. In other words, one does not need to hanker after the accumulation of any positive qualities and attributes either.

36. The concepts of unity and multiplicity do not bring integration;

Only through awareness do sentient beings reach freedom.

Cognition of radiance is strong meditation;

Abide in a calm, quiescent mind.
.
(i.e. Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings are useful to gradually discard all extremes views, to clear the field; but they cannot help you to take the final step: the personal spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct perception / realisation of the true nature of the Self-arisen Inconceivable Ground / Reality. Also, misunderstanding Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings can lead to extreme positions. One needs much rigor to master them.)

36. If you question ultimacy with the postulates of the many and the one,

Oneness is not given, for by [transcending] knowledge are sentient beings freed.

The radiant is potency latent in the intellect, and this

Is shown to be meditation; unswerving mind is our true essence.

36. Not through the reasoning of one and many alone, 

But by simply recognizing, are migrators liberated.

Recognizing the apparent, remain in meditation

The non-wavering state. Enter into that.

36. Examining emptiness with the reasoning of one or many, you see that it is neither.

Through mere recognition, living beings are utterly freed.

Meditate recognizing what is clear and unmoving.

I apprehend the stable mind to be just that.

The reasoning of one and many is the Madhyamaka reasoning, as well as the form of reasoning used by Buddhist logicians such as Dignaga and Chandrakirti. They try to arrive at emptiness through the use of reasoning but, in the end, reasoning alone will not lead to the actual realization of the unsullied state. The unsullied state will only be realized through meditation, but in such a way that conflicting emotions and so forth are not seen as something that must be renounced or discarded. Instead, it is realized through accessing one's own natural state of being. As one enters into one's own natural state,

  1. mindfulness or remembrance, recollection, turns into non-remembrance;

  2. non-remembrance turns into the non-remembrance of emptiness;

  3. non-remembrance turns into the state of uncreated-ness;

  4. and uncreated-ness turns into the state beyond conception.

So in meditation one does not need to worry about what is to be avoided or what is to be cultivated. What the meditator needs to do is simply be aware of the tendency to become drowsy, to fall under the influence of stupor, on one hand, and mental agitation, on the other. If one just remains in that state, then one will be in that state of non-wavering. Remaining in that unwavering state is meditation.



Part VII - Result

37. Reaching the joy swollen land

Powers of seeing expand,

And there is joy and laughter;

Even chasing objects there is no separation.
.
(i.e. RESULT: In the end one is totally free from all appearances, defilements, poisons, conditioning / karma, body & speech & mind, physical & conceptual & mental fabrications, the five aggregates … free from the self-conditioning / karmic cycle. Free from them, but not necessarily without them. One can still use them as simple tools when necessary, without any grasping, without any attachment, without becoming slave to them, without being fooled by them, without thinking they are inherently existing / separately / independently of the mind. One use them while being fully aware of their true nature as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle -- nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively --, the tetralemma, the equality / purity / perfection / divinity of all dharmas in both samsara & nirvana, the Union of samsara & nirvana, the Union of the Ground and its displays. That is acting in perfect accord with the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, in perfect accord with the View and with Fruition; thus not creating any cause for more suffering for self & others. The simple fact of being aware of the true nature & dynamic of anything & everything purifies it. This way samsara is transmuted into Nirvana here & now using wisdom. Even chasing after objects, or fabricating whatever, or conceptualising, or discriminating / using dualities, or using the concepts of subject action & object, are not a problem.)

37. Once in the realm that's full of joy

The seeing mind becomes enriched

And thereby for this and that most useful; even when it runs

After objects it is not alienated from itself.

37. Attaining the place of all-pervading bliss, 

The mind that sees is actualized. 

As for being a place to which one has goneIt is not something separate.

37. Through attaining the vast land of happiness,

And through seeing its own nature, mind becomes vast.

You walk through the land, yet mind’s nature is not separate.

From the practice of Mahamudra, unlike the other practices mentioned, the bliss attained would be the co-emergent bliss — unadulterated, unchanging bliss. This bliss is all-pervading because one is in a state of total non-fabrication and one has actualized buddha's authentic state of being. Even though we may talk about approaching enlightenment, travelling towards enlightenment, embarking on the path to enlightenment, and so on, as if enlightenment is a place that we arrive at, in actuality there is no separate place that we travel to when we attain enlightenment. Enlightenment is attained in the present. It is only the mind that makes that separation.

38. From joy, buds of pure pleasure emerge,

Bursting into blooms of supreme pleasure,

And so long as outflow is contained

Unutterable bliss will surely mature.
.
(i.e. Result: The result is simply living with more and more freedom, with more and more loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity -- while these are perfected by combining them with more and more wisdom / emptiness. These qualities have always been present in our true nature; they are just set free to express themselves. The result is called Union of compassion <==> and emptiness; or Union bliss <==> and emptiness; or the Union of the three kayas. In other words, one does not cease to operate / live / act / think / conceptualise / discriminate / play. On the contrary, even at the end, the buddha / bodhisattva activity continues as long as it is needed, using an infinity of possible adapted skillful means, conventional truths methods & goals.)
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(i.e. The three kayas -- dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, nirmanakaya -- appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / three, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [U3K] Union of the three kayas = [U2T-3K] Union of the Two Truths about the three kayas: The three kayas appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition. But, in fact, the three kayas of becoming are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). The three kayas are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)

38. The buds of joy and pleasure

And the leaves of glory grow.

If nothing flows out anywhere

The bliss unspeakable will fruit. 

38. The seed of blissful joy 

Arisen as petals of the sublime state

There is no outflow to the ten directions then, 

Just the fruition of blissful lack of conceptual elaboration.

38. Co-emergent joy is the dharmakaya. The sambhogakaya is the seedling of joy

And superior; the leaves come forth.

At the time of the path, the dharmakaya does not radiate in the ten directions.

Bliss free of constructs is fruition itself.

The co-emergent bliss that one attains as a result of Mahamudra practice is not only untainted by the elements of samsara but it is even free of nirvanic constraints. It is thus totally free of all constraints. This state is pure right from beginning, so therefore nirvana has nothing to add to it to make it any better. One realizes the body of bliss at the time of fruition. All three aspects of buddha's being: the physical aspect, the communicative aspect, and the authentic state become manifest and actualized. They are not three separate things joined to form one, but they are one, in the authentic state of buddha's being. The other two, the physical and communicative aspects, are inseparable from the authentic state of buddha's being.

The authentic state permeates all aspects of the totality of one's being. But having attained one's goal, having arrived at the state of enlightenment, then one does not cease to operate. On the contrary, the buddha / bodhisattva activity continues through the realization of the physical and communicative aspects of buddha's being so that as long as there is a need for a buddha to appear then, one would appear for others' benefit.

39. What, where and by whom are nothing (2nd truth - emptiness of inherent existence),

Yet the entire event is imperative (1st truth - conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances).

Whether love and attachment (1st truth - pure or impure)

The form of the event is it’s emptiness. (2nd truth - emptiness of inherent existence)
(i.e. Union of the Two Truths: One truth implies the other (<==>).)
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(i.e. All dharmas appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / three, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [U2T-all] Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas: All dharmas appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition. But, in fact, all dharmas are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). All dharmas are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.
Note: They, all dharmas, could be co-dependent (1st truth - not complete non-existence) with their parts (when applicable) (Union whole <==> parts), with their causes & conditions (when applicable) (Union cause <==> effect), with their conceptual opposites (always) (Uopp: Union of opposites), and especially as objects they are co-emergent, co-evolving, co-dependent with the subject / mind merely labelling / imputing / conceptualising them in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma (U3S: Union of the three spheres).)
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(i.e. The Two Truths, the ultimate truth / emptiness and conventional truths, methods & goals -- ex. virtuous methods like loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity, meditation; various adapted skillful means used on the path -- appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / two, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [U2T] Union of the Two Truths -- relative & ultimate -- = [U2T-2T] Union of the Two Truths about the Two Truths -- relative & ultimate, or compassion & wisdom / emptiness --: The two truths, or compassion & wisdom / emptiness, appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition. But, in fact, the two truths, or compassion & wisdom / emptiness, are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). The two truths, or compassion & wisdom / emptiness, are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)
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(i.e. Buddha & ordinary sentient beings appear to be inherently existing / separate / independent / two, but they are the same unity / Union / Ground, the same Reality / Mind. They are not really existent, not completely non-existent ...)
(i.e. [Uopp] Union of the Buddha & ordinary sentient beings = [U2T-opp] Union of the Two Truths about the Buddha & ordinary sentient beings: The Buddha & ordinary sentient beings appear to be inherently existing, separate, independent, in opposition, meeting once in a while. But, in fact, Buddha & ordinary sentient beings are more like a Union of being empty of inherent existence (2nd truth - not real existence) <==> because of being inseparable (one cannot exist without the other(s)), interdependent (one implies the other(s)), co-defined (one defines the other(s)), co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving (1st truth - not complete non-existence), co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, equal / non-dual / one -- in the non-dual sense of those terms: ex. not existent, not non-existent, not both together, not neither; not different / separate / many / dual, not identical / united / one / non-dual, not both together, not neither; nor permanent / continuous / eternal, not impermanent / discontinuous / annihilated, not both together, not neither; not equal / pure / perfect / divine, not unequal / impure / imperfect / ordinary, not both together, not neither; not this, not non-this, not both together, not neither; etc. Meaning their true nature is beyond all conceptual elaborations, beyond all extremes & middle. Thus, they are appearing <==> but are always empty of inherent existence; empty of inherent existence <==> but still conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>). The Buddha & ordinary sentient beings are merely labelled / imputed / conceptualised together by the mind in dependence of its past / conditioning / karma; like illusions / mirages / dreams / reflections; like transparent.)

39. What has been done and where and what in itself it will become

Is nothing (2nd truth - emptiness of inherent existence):
yet thereby it has been useful for this and that (1st truth - conventionally dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances).

Whether passionate or not (1st truth - ex. opposites)

The pattern is nothingness (2nd truth - emptiness of inherent existence).

39. Without absolute existence (2nd truth - emptiness) in terms of "by whom," "where" and "to whom," 

Benefitting wherever and whoever as needed

Appearing as having form, caring without attachment, 

Yet empty in nature.

39. Those staying in the land benefit those living there but are not truly existent.

Nevertheless, there is a need that they stay in that place, benefiting those beings.

Attached and ultimately not attached are the form kayas;

Emptiness is inseparable from appearance.

The nirmanakaya or physical aspect of buddha's being appears. One would appear everywhere one was needed and continue to work for the benefit of others. How one benefits others, again, does not waver from the confluence of relative truth and absolute truth [i.e. Union of the Two truths]. Beneficial acts are performed in the world and beings do genuinely receive benefit but at the same time, from the ultimate point of view, the buddhas and the sentient creatures in need of aid or help are not separate. Even the way in which buddhas appear works with the same principle as everything else. That is, buddhas do appear but the nature of buddhas does not waver from ultimate reality which is emptiness.

40. Like pigs we wallow in this sensual mire

But what can stain our pearly mind?

Nothing can ever contaminate it,

And by nothing can we ever be bound.
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(i.e. Result: After attaining enlightenment one re-enters samsara for the benefit of others. But when one re-enters samsara, one is not touched one iota by the "filth" of the samsaric condition.
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In other words, one does not cease to operate / live / act / think / conceptualise / discriminate / play. On the contrary, even at the end, the buddha / bodhisattva activity continues as long as it is needed, using an infinity of possible adapted skillful means, conventional truths methods & goals.
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In the end one is totally free from all appearances, defilements, poisons, conditioning / karma, body & speech & mind, physical & conceptual & mental fabrications, the five aggregates … free from the self-conditioning / karmic cycle. Free from them, but not necessarily without them. One can still use them as simple tools when necessary, without any grasping, without any attachment, without becoming slave to them, without being fooled by them, without thinking they are inherently existing / separately / independently of the mind. One use them while being fully aware of their true nature as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle -- nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively --, the tetralemma, the equality / purity / perfection / divinity of all dharmas in both samsara & nirvana, the Union of samsara & nirvana, the Union of the Ground and its displays. That is acting in perfect accord with the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, in perfect accord with the View and with Fruition; thus not creating any cause for more suffering for self & others. The simple fact of being aware of the true nature & dynamic of anything & everything purifies it. This way samsara is transmuted into Nirvana here & now using wisdom. Even chasing after objects, or fabricating whatever, or conceptualising, or discriminating / using dualities, or using the concepts of subject action & object, are not a problem.)

40. If I am like a pig that covets worldly mire

You must tell me what fault lies in a stainless mind.

By what does not affect one

How can one now be fettered? 

40. "Like a pig I wallow in the samsaric mire," 

Yet with a flawless mind, where's the fault? 

Unaffected by anything, How is it I am bound? 

40. It is not like a pig attached to the mire of samsara.

Once you have realized the flawless mind, what fault is there?

Anyone who practices like this is not affected by anything.

Why would this person be bound by flaws?

At the end, Saraha stops singing to the king. At this point, the king makes a tongue-in-cheek comment to Saraha: "Saraha, I have heard what you have had to say about spiritual practices. Well, what you are saying is that pigs have got it right! Pigs do not cultivate anything and they do not denounce anything; they are quite happy to play in the mud” This is langdor gang-yang mepa in Tibetan. Lang means “to cultivate," dor, “to renounce," and gangyang mepa means "nothing."

The basic point of this verse is that first there is the tongue-in-cheek exchange described then the verse concludes with a comment on the progression involved for the practitioner. This progression is similar to that portrayed in the ox-herding pictures found in the Zen tradition. First the ox-herder has to tame or get to know the ox, then they become friends, then finally the ox allows the herder to ride him. At the end there is no ox and there is no rider-he then returns to appear in the market place.

A similar thing occurs after attaining enlightenment in that one re-enters samsara for the benefit of others. But when one re-enters samsara, one is not touched one iota by the "filth" of the samsaric condition. One re-enters and benefits all sentient beings, being in the world completely yet not touched by the world. A buddha is thus in the world, but not of the world. Nothing going on in the world impacts on the buddha's attainment, so there is no possibility of relapse or sliding back, of slowly getting corrupted by the world.

This completes the preliminary, main, and concluding sections of this doha.




This song of existential freedom was composed by the Glorious Master Yogin Saraha.

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This Dohakosa of Saraha has been translated by Kunzang Tenzin in Kathmandu over many years, finished on the full moon of the seventh month of the wood-ox year.
May all beings be happy!
May all manner of things be well!

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Sarva Mangalam!

May all beings be happy!

Colophon: These verses were composed directly by glorious Saraha, great lord of practitioners. It was translated from the Indian original into Tibetan by the bilingual Nepali, Lama Asu. It was translated into English by Michele Martin and published in A Song for the King: Saraha on Mahamudra Meditation, with commentary by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Wisdom Publications, 2006).


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Résumé of “The Royal Song of Saraha

Part I - How we have gone astray

  1. In general, what appears to be ‘many / two’ is in fact more like ‘one’, like waves and ocean.
    Or, more precisely, using the tetralemma, everything is not many, not one, not both together, not neither, but we say ‘one’ as an antidote to our usual position.

  2. Subject / perceiver / knower and object / perceived / known appear to be ‘inherently existing / different / separate / two / in opposition’ but are in fact more like an inconceivable ‘Unity / Union of being inseparable, interdependent, co-dependent ... <==> and being empty of inherent existence’; one aspect implies the other (<==>). Subject & object are like transparent: not really existent, not completely non-existent, not both together, not neither. Let’s call this the Union of subject and object; or the Union of the Two Truths about subject & object.

  3. Although this ‘Unity / Union’ is all pervasive and close, it is not perceived by most ordinary sentient beings.

Part II - How we can rectify the situation

  1. If we can directly realise this one Truth, this ‘Unity / Union’, then all darkness will be dispelled.
    There may be multiple conventional truths, but just one ultimate truth:
    the Union of the Two Truths about everything, all dharmas.
    Realising it can solve all of our problems.

  2. Although appearances uninterruptibly continue to arise and change, this unique Truth, this true nature of Reality or of our Mind, is not dependent on anything, not fabricated / conditioned, not changing -- not increasing, not decreasing --, not ceasing; like the ocean as a whole, or the sky.

  3. Everything partakes of this single self-arisen unchanging pure nature, the Ground of everything, the Union of the Two Truths beyond all extremes & middle (extremes like existence, non-existent, both together, neither).
    Everything has this Buddha-nature, or this ‘Unity / Union’.

Part III - Preparing to restore our natural state -- Overcoming fixation

  1. We should not fixate on false ways to obtain genuine bliss; techniques producing only artificial, temporary bliss.

  2. We should let go of our fixation / grasping / attachment … to conditioned views, methods / techniques, short term goals … and embrace this unique opportunity, aim for genuine unchanging bliss, definitive liberation from all of our illusions / conditioning / karma.

  3. But because of their ignorance of this one Truth, the true nature of Reality, most ordinary sentient beings are lost in the self-conditioning / karmic cycle, samsara, perpetuating the causes of their own suffering.

  4. We should not fixate on short term relief of suffering using artificial views & methods / techniques. Their benefits are quite temporary / impermanent. We should aim for the ultimate prize.

Part IV - Determining the significance of the path

  1. Our 5 aggregates, our body, speech & mind --  all of our physical, conceptual & mental fabrications, individual, collective, cosmic; positive, neutral, negative -- are automatically self-liberated / purified / transcended / transmuted simply by directly perceiving / realizing this one Truth, the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now, the Unity / Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas. This way samsara -- all of our conditioning / karma -- is self-liberated / purified / transcended / transmuted into Nirvana here & now; this is permanent genuine bliss inseparable from wisdom.)

  2. We should not be afraid of ‘emptiness’; it is not ‘compete non-existence / nihilism’, or ‘rejection of the world’. The two truths -- appearances/functionality & emptiness -- are not in real opposition, contradictory, but more like inseparable, interdependent, in harmony. And it is directly realising this self-arisen unalterable inconceivable one Truth, the Union of the Two Truths free from all extremes & middle, that brings genuine permanent bliss / Nirvana.

  3. In this Reality / Ground, nothing is really existing, not existing, both together, neither, in any of the three times; there is no real/inherent three stages of becoming -- origination / beginning / birth, duration / middle / life / changing, cessation / ending / death -- for anything, any relation / action, or any being. There is no real three times -- before / past, during / present, after / future -- in relation to anything.

  4. Although co-emergent wisdom is naturally present in everyone, most ordinary sentient beings cannot access it, are not aware of its presence, because of their ignorance. They have no knowledge about it; about the possibility to self-liberate / purify / transcend / transmute everything; about the Union of samsara <==> and nirvana.

  5. Because of ignorance of the true nature & dynamic of the Ground / Mind / Reality as it is here & now, of the Union of the Two Truths, of the Union of the three spheres, of the Union of opposites, ordinary sentient beings are fooled by appearances, thinking objects are inherently existing, independently of the subject / mind, separately, in opposition. From this come all grasping, attachment, bounding, suffering, the self-conditioning / karmic cycle, samsara.

  6. We can transcend, get free from, those continuously arising appearances by realising their true nature & dynamic. They will not disappear, but we will not be fooled by them anymore. We need to start by simply not reacting to them, just observing them with as much equanimity as possible, trying to learn from them here & now. Everything is then seen as the workings of the wheel of the three kayas. This purifies all perception (the three spheres of perception).

  7. The rigid / inflexible mind: It is almost impossible to realise the true nature & dynamic of the Ground / Mind / Reality as it is here & now, with an ordinary conceptual dualistic mind unconsciously slave to its accumulated conditioning / karma, and constantly reacting to illusory appearances. This mind can do only one thing at a time; so, while it is busy chasing or fearing ghosts, accepting this while rejecting that, it is not mindful enough of the Reality as it is here & now.

  8. All sentient beings have this Buddha-nature, but it is not apparent with all of this meaningless activity, under all of this conditioning / karma.

  9. One important factor is discursive thoughts. Discursives thoughts agitate the mind; they reinforce ignorance and defilements / conditioning / karma. A mind slave to its ignorance and to its conditioning / karmic cycle has little chance of developing direct wisdom, and gaining liberation. So, we need to calm our body speech & mind in order to be able to learn directly from Reality as it is here & now -- in meditation --.

  10. Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings are useful to gradually discard all extremes views, to clear the field; but they cannot help you to take the final step: the personal spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct perception / realisation of the true nature of the Self-arisen Inconceivable Ground / Reality. Also, misunderstanding Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings can lead to extreme positions. One needs much rigor to master them.

Part V - Discarding attachments to mistaken paths

  1. Discarding attachment to the temporary bliss of kamamudra / sexual yoga.

  2. Discarding attachment to the temporary bliss of pranatama.

  3. Discarding attachment to the experiences produced, and to some tantric practices.

  4. Discarding attachment to extremes views, methods, techniques, practices, behavior, paths.

  5. Mistaking some experiences of self-awareness to be genuine self-existing, self-cognizing awareness.
    Or, rejecting conventional truths methods & goals, thinking it is contrary to the ultimate truth. Abandoning all discrimination between good & bad, pure & impure, thinking the are the same. Thinking everything is equal / identical / the same / non-dual / one in absolute terms.

  6. Mistaking meditative experiences for realizations.

  7. Discarding attachment to the temporary bliss of karmamudra, dharmamudra and samayamudra, but instead focusing our mind on the realisation of Mahamudra, beyond conception, beyond attachment.

  8. Discarding attachment to our prison / illusions / conditioning / karma. Even in terms of our practice, if we pursue our spiritual goals with our focus solely on empirical things-meaning things which are dependent on causes and conditions—then whatever positive results we gain will be transient, impermanent. We will not realize the eternal, unchanging foundation of our being because we will be too involved with the ever-changing permutations of our experiences.

Part VI - Explaining the Mahamudra method

  1. Four steps of Mahamudra. Which comes down to gradually perceiving / realising / abiding in the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites beyond all extremes & middle.

  2. In that sense, everything is the Ground spontaneously manifesting its inseparable displays, dancing its magical dance. Union Ground <==> and its displays / appearances / fabrications. In that sense, everything is perceived as already equal, pure, perfect divine here & now in emptiness, in the Union of the Two Truths free of all extremes & middle, as the Ground. There is nothing to accept nothing to reject.

  3. We need to gain certainty about this through repeated experiences / practices / meditation.
    This is the goal, the liberating factor: an understanding and then a personal spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct realisation of the Self-arisen Inconceivable Ground / Reality, as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle -- nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively --, the tetralemma, the equality / purity / perfection / divinity of all dharmas in both samsara & nirvana, the Union of samsara & nirvana, the Union of the Ground and its displays.

  4. So, in meditation, there is no need to get alarmed if thoughts or feelings pop up. Do not accept them, do not reject them. Just let them be; observe them with equanimity. They spontaneously come from the Ground and will naturally go back to the Ground; they are One with the Ground. It is of the Nature of the Ground, of our Mind, to spontaneously manifest itself with all of those appearances. That is the nature of the Union of the Two Truths; the whole universe comes from this compassionate energy of the Ground. Just learn and be mindful of the true nature & dynamic of any appearance that pops up. That is enough.

  5. Everything is It! All fabrications -- physical, conceptual, mental fabrications; subject, relation /action, object; pure, impure; past, present, future; individual, collective, cosmic; in both samsara & nirvana -- are manifestations / displays inseparable from the Ground / Union of the Two Truths. Abiding in the realisation is Mahamudra.

  6. Path: We need specific instructions from a meditation master, and the torches of listening to the teaching, contemplating the teachings, and mindfulness / meditation / direct practice.

  7. Ultimately, to realise the true inconceivable nature of the Ground / Reality / Primordial Awareness we cannot use our conditioning / karma, our body & speech & mind, our physical & conceptual & mental fabrications, our flawed conditioned conceptual dualistic mental. It has to be a personal spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct perception / realisation of the true nature of the Self-arisen Inconceivable Ground / Reality. It is like the Ground / Reality / Indivisible-Universe / Primordial-Awareness / our-true-nature directly recognising itself here & now. Only then can we get perfect certainty & liberation. / enlightenment.
    This is the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle -- nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively if it helps someone to get closer to the Truth.)

  8. Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings are useful to gradually discard all extremes views, to clear the field; but they cannot help you to take the final step: the personal spontaneous non-conceptual non-dualistic direct perception / realisation of the true nature of the Self-arisen Inconceivable Ground / Reality. Also, misunderstanding Madhyamaka Logical Reasonings can lead to extreme positions. One needs much rigor to master them.

Part VII - Result

  1. RESULT: In the end one is totally free from all appearances, defilements, poisons, conditioning / karma, body & speech & mind, physical & conceptual & mental fabrications, the five aggregates … free from the self-conditioning / karmic cycle. Free from them, but not necessarily without them. One can still use them as simple tools when necessary, without any grasping, without any attachment, without becoming slave to them, without being fooled by them, without thinking they are inherently existing / separately / independently of the mind. One use them while being fully aware of their true nature as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle -- nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively --, the tetralemma, the equality / purity / perfection / divinity of all dharmas in both samsara & nirvana, the Union of samsara & nirvana, the Union of the Ground and its displays. That is acting in perfect accord with the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, in perfect accord with the View and with Fruition; thus not creating any cause for more suffering for self & others. The simple fact of being aware of the true nature & dynamic of anything & everything purifies it. This way samsara is transmuted into Nirvana here & now using wisdom. Even chasing after objects, or fabricating whatever, or conceptualising, or discriminating / using dualities, or using the concepts of subject action & object, are not a problem.

  2. Result: The result is simply living with more and more freedom, with more and more loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity -- while these are perfected by combining them with more and more wisdom / emptiness. These qualities have always been present in our true nature; they are just set free to express themselves. The result is called Union of compassion <==> and emptiness; or Union bliss <==> and emptiness; or the Union of the three kayas. In other words, one does not cease to operate / live / act / think / conceptualise / discriminate / play. On the contrary, even at the end, the buddha / bodhisattva activity continues as long as it is needed, using an infinity of possible adapted skillful means, conventional truths methods & goals.

  3. Buddhas are not that different from ordinary sentient beings. Union of ordinary sentient beings <==> and Buddhas. 

  4. Result: After attaining enlightenment one re-enters samsara for the benefit of others. But when one re-enters samsara, one is not touched one iota by the "filth" of the samsaric condition.
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    In other words, one does not cease to operate / live / act / think / conceptualise / discriminate / play. On the contrary, even at the end, the buddha / bodhisattva activity continues as long as it is needed, using an infinity of possible adapted skillful means, conventional truths methods & goals.
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    In the end one is totally free from all appearances, defilements, poisons, conditioning / karma, body & speech & mind, physical & conceptual & mental fabrications, the five aggregates … free from the self-conditioning / karmic cycle. Free from them, but not necessarily without them. One can still use them as simple tools when necessary, without any grasping, without any attachment, without becoming slave to them, without being fooled by them, without thinking they are inherently existing / separately / independently of the mind. One use them while being fully aware of their true nature as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas, the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres, the Union of opposites, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle -- nothing to accept / affirm / seek / add / do, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / subtract / not-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively --, the tetralemma, the equality / purity / perfection / divinity of all dharmas in both samsara & nirvana, the Union of samsara & nirvana, the Union of the Ground and its displays. That is acting in perfect accord with the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, in perfect accord with the View and with Fruition; thus not creating any cause for more suffering for self & others. The simple fact of being aware of the true nature & dynamic of anything & everything purifies it. This way samsara is transmuted into Nirvana here & now using wisdom. Even chasing after objects, or fabricating whatever, or conceptualising, or discriminating / using dualities, or using the concepts of subject action & object, are not a problem.


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Quotes

The nature of mind is continually a luminosity that does not fall into the categories of either good or bad

There are various stages in the training that tames the mind, and among them all, the essential instruction is the Great Perfection’s teaching on the practical method of meditation on intrinsic awareness. The nature of the mind is continuously a luminosity that does not fall into the categories of either good or bad.  Our various experiences of happiness and unhappiness, which result from good or bad thoughts, can arise as the natural radiance of emptiness.

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~ HUNGKAR DORJE RINPOCHE

Via: Yangchen Love

https://www.facebook.com/love.and.compassion123/posts/212000633924018 


(i.e. This pure naked primordial Mind is empty but still luminous / relatively functional, and vice versa. It is free from all conditioning / karma, free from all concepts, dualities, etc. Free from, but not necessarily without. It is just that using those concepts, dualities, ... do not leave any trace onto this unalterable Mind.)

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Leave mind unfabricated ~ Padampa Sangye

Don’t take outer appearances inside!

Don’t project inner conceptions outside!

Don’t enslave body to mind!

Don’t occupy mind with body!

Don’t attend to view or meditation!

Leave mind unfabricated, just where it is!

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– Padampa Sangye

from the book "Lion of Siddhas: The Life and Teachings of Padampa Sangye"

https://quotes.justdharma.com/leave-mind-unfabricated-padampa-sangye/ 

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ANALYSIS:

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Don’t take outer appearances inside!

(i.e. don’t reduce everything to the subject / subjectivism)

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Don’t project inner conceptions outside!

(i.e. don’t reduce everything to the object / objectivism)

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Don’t enslave body to mind!

(i.e. don’t reduce everything to the mind / mind-only / idealism)

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Don’t occupy mind with body!

 (i.e. don’t reduce everything to the body / phenomena-only / materialism or processism or scientism)

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Don’t attend to view or meditation!

(i.e. go not grasp at any view, method / techniques, goals; they are just possible imperfect impermanent adapted skillful means, conventional truths, methods & goals)

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Leave mind unfabricated, just where it is!

(The Middle Way free from all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do, nothing to reject / nagate / abandon / no-do in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively. Because, in emptiness, everything is said to be already equal, pure, perfect, divine here & now.)


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Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche

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There are two types of causality: causes conditioned by confusion,

and causes based in wisdom and compassion.

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The result of causes conditioned by confusion is suffering.

The results of causes based in wisdom and compassion are peace and happiness.

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All the peace and happiness in this world and beyond are the result of an unafflicted mind.

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~ pg 45, Opening the Treasure of the Profound by Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche

https://www.facebook.com/KhenchenKonchogGyaltshen/posts/3777651388978664 

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Resting the mind in its natural state ~ Mingyur Rinpoche

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𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱.

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Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts. Meditation is simply a process of resting the mind in its natural state, which is open to and naturally aware of thoughts, emotions, and sensations as they occur.

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– Mingyur Rinpoche

from the book "The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness"

https://quotes.justdharma.com/resting-the-mind-in-its-natural-state-mingyur-rinpoche/ 

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Nothing to remove, nothing to add ~ Maitreya

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Therein is 𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲

And thereto not the slightest thing (𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴) 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗱𝗱.

The perfect truth viewed perfectly

And perfectly beheld is liberation.

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– Maitreya

Uttaratantra

quoted in the book "Finding Rest in Illusion: The Trilogy of Rest, Volume 1"

https://quotes.justdharma.com/nothing-to-remove-nothing-to-add-maitreya/ 

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