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Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Garab Dorje (Fl. 55 CE) (Tibetan:དགའ་རབ་རྡོ་རྗེ་, Wylie: dga’ rab rdo rje) 9Skt. Prahevajra (Pramodavajra/Surativajra) was the semi-historical first human teacher of the Ati Yoga (Tib. Dzogchen) or Great Perfection teachings according to Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Garab Dorje means 'Indestructible joy' Garab Dorje (6th century BCE-second century CE) (Pramoda Vajra, Ga-rang Duo-jie Sheng-xi Jin-gang, dga’ rab rdo rje): Born in Uddiyana, the birthplace of Master Padmasambhava.
The lineage of Dzogchen, unbroken to the present day, is traced from the dharmakaya Samantabhadra (‘Kuntuzangpo’ in Tibetan) to the sambhogakaya, represented by the five buddha families and Vajrasattva, and then to the first human master Garab Dorje.
It then passed to Mañjushrimitra.
Whereupon Garab Dorje was moved, and his hand reappeared, in which was a small golden casket, the size of a thumbnail, containing the teaching of Hitting the Essence in Three Words, which he let fall into the hand of Mañjushrimitra.
Nomenclature, orthography and etymology
That said, Germano (1992: p.4) cited "Vajraprahe" in the "Direct Consequence of Sound Tantra" within the Nyingma Gyubum (NGB1 24,1) and goes on to state in the same work that John Myrdhin Reynolds (1989, 2000 revised) reverses the two words in the contraction in his translation and analysis of a section of the Bardo Thodol from Tibetan into English, specifically the Rig pa ngo sprod gcer mthong rang grol (Wylie) where he employs "Prahevajra".
Born (as son of Su-dharmā, island-dwelling daughter of king Upa-rāja of Dhana-koṣa) in the land of Uddiyana, also the birthplace of Padmasambhava, Prahevajra is said to have received all the Tantras, scriptures and oral instructions of Dzogchen directly from Vajrasattva and Vajrapani.
- The Lord of Secrets (gSang-ba'i-bdag-po) instructed the Holders of Wisdom (Rig-'dsin) in Dhanakośa in Uḍḍiyāna the contemporary Swat valley.
Testament of Prahevajra
- One is introduced directly to one's true nature or "Direct Introduction." (Wylie: ngo rang thog tu sPrad)
- One attains certainty about this natural state or "Remaining without Doubt." (Wylie: thag gCig thog dug Cad)
- One continues with confidence in Liberation or "Continuing in the non-dual state." (Wylie: gDengs grol thog du ’cha’)
Primary & secondary resources
The following texts are attributed toGarab Dorje:
- "Cutting Through the Three Times" (Tibetan: དུས་གསུམ་ཆིག་ཆོད, Wylie: dus gsum chig chod)
- "Overwhelming the Six Modes of Consciousness with Splendour" (Tibetan: ཚོགས་དྲུག་ཟིལ་གནོན, Wylie: tshogs drug zil gnon)
- "Natural Freedom That Underlies Characteristics" (Tibetan: མཚན་མ་རང་གྲོལ, Wylie: mtshan ma rang grol)
- "Direct Encounter with The Three Kayas" (Tibetan: སྐུ་གསུམ་ཐུག་ཕྲད, Wylie: sku gsum thug phrad)
- "Vajra Fortress" (Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་མཁར་རྫོང, Wylie: rdo rje mkhar rdzong)
- "Deep Immersion in Awareness" (Tibetan: རིག་པ་སྤྱི་བླུགས, Wylie: Rig pa spyi blugs)
Introducing directly the face of rigpa in itself,
Decide upon one thing and one thing only,
Confidence directly in the liberation of rising thoughts.
"When, from out of the primordially pure Dharmadhatu,
Suddenly Rigpa arises, and with it there is an instantaneous recognition, it is
Like finding a precious jewel in the depths of the ocean,
No-one has created it - it is just the Dharmakaya".