7. THE ABSORPTION OF THE MAṆḌALA AND THE SECRET MANTRAS
7. THE ABSORPTION OF THE MAṆḌALA AND THE SECRET MANTRAS
The purpose of this chapter is to present the maṇḍala of the secret mantras of buddha speech, which is an aspect of the aforementioned maṇḍala of meditative stability. Once the visualized maṇḍala has been emanated through meditative stability, the secret mantras then emerge from the indestructible buddha body, speech, and mind of all the tathāgatas in order to disclose the maṇḍala of buddha speech (v. 1).
First, there is a description of the actual syllables and words forming the secret mantras of the forty-two peaceful deities in the order in which they emerge, followed by the mantras that confer empowerment and blessing.
The actual mantras are enunciated in the following sequence: Those that visually generate the maṇḍala palace (v. 2) and the meditational deities within it (vv. 3–8), followed by those that invite and absorb the genuine deities into the visualization (v. 9) and make offerings to them (v. 10). A prayer for spiritual accomplishment ensues (v. 11). Consequently, the mantra syllables resonate throughout the world systems (v. 12).
Next, there are the mantras that confer empowerment through the five pristine cognitions and the five enlightened families (vv. 13–15). These, in turn, give rise to a blessing that dissolves indivisibly with the mundane body, speech, and mind of trainee practitioners, transforming the mundane world and its inhabitants into the maṇḍala of deities (v. 16).
More generally, the inner significance of buddha speech is then clarified and established through an exposition of its inexpressible essential nature (v. 17), its inconceivability (v. 18), its originally pure abiding nature (v. 19), its apparitional nature (v. 20), and its nondeviation from the expanse of actual reality despite its diverse manifestations as the teachings of the nine vehicles (v. 21). In fact, the indestructible buddha speech discernibly manifests through its disposition of compassionate spirituality for the sake of living beings (v. 22), but there is a paradox: it remains essentially unspoken while being ostensibly spoken (v. 23).
SECOND [see above, p. 236], the detailed exegesis of the branches [of the maṇḍala of meditative stability] (22.214.171.124.2) comprises (i) the maṇḍala of the mantras of buddha speech (126.96.36.199.2.1) and (ii) the maṇḍala of the seals or hand emblems of buddha body (188.8.131.52.2.2).
The former [which is the subject matter of ch. 7] comprises (i) a description of the causal basis for the emergence of the maṇḍala of buddha speech (184.108.40.206.2.1.1); (ii) the revelation of the actual maṇḍala of secret mantras (220.127.116.11.2.1.2); and (iii) the establishing of its nature (18.104.22.168.2.1.3). The first of these [comments on the verse]:
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:1)
Once the maṇḍala of meditative stability had been revealed, then in order that its ancillary maṇḍala of mantras might be revealed, these following secret mantras emerged from the indestructible body, speech, and mind of all the tathāgatas, along with the assembled host of their queens.
THE REVELATION OF THE ACTUAL MAṆḌALA OF SECRET MANTRAS [22.214.171.124.2.1.2]
THE MANTRAS THAT VISUALLY GENERATE THE MAṆḌALA [126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52]
The former has four aspects: (i) the mantra that visually generates the supporting celestial palace (184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1); (ii) the mantras that visually generate the deities supported [within it] (18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2); (iii) the mantras that completely perfect buddha activities (126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3); and (iv) the appearance of wondrous indications (184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4).
THE MANTRA THAT VISUALLY GENERATES THE SUPPORTING CELESTIAL PALACE [18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1]
The first of these [comments on the verse]:
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:2)
Concerning the recitation of BHRUṂ VIŚVAVIŚUDDHE, BHRUṂ is a seed syllable associated with Vairocana, the ritual vase, the celestial palace, the wheel, and [the Buddha Uṣṇīṣacakravartin. Among these, in this context, it visually generates the celestial palace upon the circle of pristine cognition, which is the immeasurable ground. It is because the celestial palace is the essential nature of Vairocana and because a ritual vase may also take the form of a celestial palace that these too may be visually generated from the syllable BHRUṂ. This same [[[Wikipedia:syllable|syllable]] BHRUṂ] is also indicative of the Buddha Uṣṇīṣacakravartin because he was the one who formerly made an aspirational prayer for the sake of buddhas and sentient beings to the effect that it would become the celestial palace. As is said in the Short Commentary:
And in the Sequence of Light:
The diverse maṇḍalas are diffused in BHRUṂ.
Fully transformed, it becomes the palace of pristine cognition.455
This syllable is also said to refer outwardly to the palace of the deities, inwardly to the seed syllables of the deities, and secretly to the womb (bhaga) of the female consort. As is said in the Tantra of Penetration from the Net of Magical Emanation:
The expanse of BHRUṂ gathers diversity in the womb.
Is this bejeweled basket of the buddhas.456
VIŚVA means “diversity,” indicating all that appears as the phenomena of cyclic existence and nirvāṇa, and VIŚUDDHE means “naturally pure.” The expanse of actual reality free from conceptual elaboration, which is itself revealed to be the residence of the buddhas, is in this context illustratively referred to as the celestial palace.
THE MANTRAS THAT VISUALLY GENERATE THE SUPPORTED DEITIES [126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:3)
They respectively designate
The Conqueror among Conquerors (Jinajik),
The Holder of the Gemstone (Ratnadhṛk),
The Indicator of Great Desire (Ārolik),
And the Holder of Discriminative Awareness (Prajñādhṛk).457
VAJRADHṚK and so forth are the essential mantras that symbolize the nature of these [[[Wikipedia:male|male]] buddhas: The first [VAJRADHṚK] is the essential mantra of Akṣobhya, VAJRA indicating the indestructible reality where appearance and emptiness are without duality, and DHṚK indicating that Akṣobhya is the holder of that reality. JINAJIK, meaning “conqueror among conquerors,” is the essential mantra of Vairocana, indicating that the expanse [of actual reality free from conceptual elaboration conquers the mass of
nonvirtuous actions and that the present and future physical forms that arise from it are also [inherently] pure in the body of the Conqueror Vairocana. Similarly, RATNADHṚK is the essential mantra of Ratnasambhava, ratna meaning “precious gemstone” and dhṛk meaning that Ratnasambhava holds it because he grants all that is desirable to living beings. ĀROLIK is the essential mantra of Amitābha, indicating that he is attracted toward those who are to be trained, and PRAJÑĀDHṚK is the essential mantra of Amoghasiddhi, indicating that he holds or maintains diverse modes of discriminative awareness for the sake of those to be trained.
As for the essential mantras, indicative of their respective natures, MŪṂ DHĀTVĪŚVARĪ is the essential mantra of Dhātvīśvarī, who is naturally pure. LĀṂ DVEṢARATI is the essential mantra of Buddhalocanā who is the female councillor of all the buddhas. MĀṂ MOHARATI is the essential mantra of Māmakī, who is the caretaker of sentient beings. PHYĀṂ RĀGARATI is the essential mantra of Pāṇḍaravāsinī, indicating that she is not covered by defective blemishes; and TĀṂ VAJRARATI is the essential mantra of Tārā, indicating that she liberates sentient beings from cyclic existence.
The second category [of the mantras that visually generate the deities supported within the celestial palace] comprises the mantras of the male and female bodhisattvas of buddha mind (184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2.2). [This comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:4)
KṢIṂ HI RĀJĀYAḤ
TRĀṂ Ā GARBHAYAḤ
JIṂ KURUPĀṆA HRĪḤ
HŪṂ LĀSYE SAMAYAS TVAṂ
TRĀṂ MĀLYE SAMAYA HOḤ
HRĪḤ GĪTI RĀGO’HAṂ
ĀḤ NṚTI RĀGAYĀMI
HI RĀJĀYAḤ is [the essential mantra of Kṣitigarbha, the king who acts on behalf of sentient beings, nurturing them like the earth and the eyes.460 Ā GARBHAYAḤ is [the essential mantra of Ākāśagarbha,] the nucleus from which all desirable necessities emerge. HA HŪṂ PADMĀBHATAMAḤ is [the essential mantra of Avalokiteśvara,] who has a lotus-like face because he is without attachment and captivates the minds of those to be trained; and KURUPĀṆA HRĪḤ is [the essential mantra of Vajrapāṇi,] who acts on behalf of sentient beings in an indestructible [or vajra-wielding] manner.
LĀSYE SAMAYAS TVAṂ is [the essential mantra of Lāsyā,] meaning “may I, endowed with a sensual demeanor, receive the commitments of all buddhas.” MĀLYE SAMAYA HOḤ is [the essential mantra of Mālyā,] meaning “I should maintain the commitments of all the buddhas through mnemonic incantation and meditative stability.” GĪTI RĀGO’HAṂ is [the essential mantra of Gītā,] meaning “I am attracted toward sentient beings, like a sweet melody”; and NṚTI RĀGAYĀMI is [the essential mantra of Nartī,] meaning “I must attract sentient beings through enlightened activities such as dance.”
The third category [of the mantras that visually generate the deities supported within the celestial palace] comprises the mantras of the male and female bodhisattvas of buddha speech (18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2.3). [This comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:5)
MAI DHARAṆĪ SVĀHĀ
THLHĪṂ NISSĀRAMBHĀYA SVĀHĀ
HŪṂ SARĀJĀYA SVĀHĀ
MŪṂ ŚRĪ ĀṂ RĀGĀYA SVĀHĀ
JAḤ DHŪPE PRAVEŚĀ
HŪṂ PUṢPE ĀVEŚĀ
HOḤ GANDHE CITTA HOḤ
DHARAṆĪ is [the essential mantra of Maitreya,] who accepts sentient beings with loving-kindness. SVĀHĀ means “may the ground be established.” NISSĀRAṂBHĀYA SVĀHĀ is [the essential mantra of Nīvaraṇaviṣkambhin,] who dispels obscurations that are obdurate or hard to purify. SARĀJĀYA SVĀHĀ is [the essential mantra of Samantabhadra,] the all-positive king whose intrinsic nature does not abide in the duality of cyclic existence and nirvāṇa, and ŚRĪ ĀṂ RĀGĀYA SVĀHĀ is [the essential mantra of Mañjuśrī,] the glorious one who is attracted toward sentient beings, without abiding in duality.
DHŪPE PRAVEŚĀ is [the essential mantra of Dhūpā,] the fragrance of ethical discipline that permeates the minds of those to be trained. PUṢPE ĀVEŚĀ is [the essential mantra of Puṣpā,] the extensive cascade of the flowers of enlightenment into the minds of those to be trained. DĪPASUKHINĪ is [the essential mantra of Ālokā,] who dispels the darkness of fundamental ignorance with the lamp of pristine cognition, and GANDHE CITTA HOḤ is [the essential mantra of Gandhā,] who satisfies the minds of those to be trained with her flowing stream of nectar.
The fourth category [of the mantras that visually generate the deities supported within the celestial palace] comprises the mantras of the male and female gatekeepers (126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2.4). [This comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:6)
HŪṂ YAMĀNTAKṚT PHAṬ
HŪṂ VIGHNĀNTAKṚT PHAṬ
HŪṂ PADMĀNTAKṚT PHAṬ
HŪṂ PRAJÑĀNTAKṚT PHAṬ
The seed syllables of the four male gatekeepers are respectively HŪṂ, HŪṂ, HŪṂ, and HŪṂ. Through the sound of these syllables there comes about a convergence (saṃharaṇa), whereby cruel and malign beings are overpowered, or the enlightened attributes of greatness are established in the minds of those to be trained. Also, through the sound of their final syllable PHAṬ, there comes about a diffusion or dispersal (āspharaṇa), in which the cruel and malign beings are dispersed.
YAMĀNTAKṚT is [the essential mantra of Yamāntaka,] who apprehends and puts an end to the form of Yama, lord of death. VIGHNĀNTAKṚT is [the essential mantra of Mahābala,] who subdues or puts an end to obstructive impediments. PADMĀNTAKṚT is [the essential mantra of Hayagrīva,] who is not covered by the mire of cyclic existence; and PRAJÑĀNTAKṚT is [the essential mantra of Amṛtakuṇḍalin,] who subjugates the demonic force of afflictive mental states.
MAHĀVAJRADHARO MAHĀKRODHĪŚVARĪ JVALANĪ HŪṂ is [the essential mantra of Aṅkuśā,] the great retainer of indestructible reality, the mighty and fiery wrathful mistress. Similarly, the same mantra substituting RATNA [for vajra is [the essential mantra of Pāśā,] the wrathful mistress who is [the retainer of] gemstones. With the substitution of PADMA, it becomes [the essential mantra of Sphoṭā,] the wrathful mistress [who is the retainer] of the lotus, or padma in the original Sanskrit; and with the substitution of KARMA, it becomes [the essential mantra of Ghaṇṭā,] the wrathful mistress who is [the retainer of] buddha activity.
The fifth category [of the mantras that visually generate the deities supported within the celestial palace] comprises the mantras of the male and female Samantabhadra (184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2.5). [This comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:7)
A A A VAJRĪBHADRASAMANTĀ AḤ
The mantra of the male aspect, Samantabhadra, has three initial syllables HŪṂ, HŪṂ, HŪṂ, indicating the three pristine cognitions or purities in the minds of sentient beings within the three world systems. VAJRACITTA OṂ is [the essential mantra of Samantabhadra,] whose nature embodies the compassionate spirituality of all the buddhas.
The mantra of the female aspect, Samantabhadrī, has the three initial syllables A, A, A, indicating that the three media of body, speech, and mind, the three times, and the three expanses respectively are uncreated. VAJRĪBHA-DRASAMANTĀ AḤ is [the essential mantra of Samantabhadrī,] indicating that this reality is the pure nature of Samantabhadrī.
The sixth category [of the mantras that visually generate the deities supported within the celestial palace] comprises the mantras of the six sages (18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2.6). [This comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:8)
OṂ MUNE KRIṂ SVĀHĀ
OṂ MUNE TRUṂ SVĀHĀ
OṂ MUNE SRUṂ SVĀHĀ
OṂ MUNE PRAṂ SVĀHĀ
OṂ MUNE KṢAṂ SVĀHĀ
OṂ MUNE YE SVĀHĀ
KRIṂ, meaning “creator,” is the seed syllable of the sage of the exalted gods, because he creates the desirable attributes of the senses. TRUṂ, meaning “array of armor,” is the seed syllable of [the sage of] the demigods. SRUṂ, meaning “essence” (sāra, ’khyil ba) or great focal point, is the seed syllable of [the sage of] human beings. PRAṂ, meaning “stooping” (prahva), is the seed syllable of [the sage of] the animals. KṢAṂ, meaning “affliction” (kṣara), is the seed syllable of [the sage of] the anguished spirits, who are afflicted by the transformation of actual appearances. YE is the seed syllable of [the sage of] the denizens of hell, which is transformed in all respects into a state of redness owing to its dullness.462
SVĀHĀ means “may the ground be established!”—so that this class of living beings and their propensities might be pacified.
THE MANTRAS THAT COMPLETELY PERFECT BUDDHA ACTIVITIES [126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3]
The third aspect [of the mantras that visually generate the maṇḍala, see p. 277], concerns the mantras that completely perfect buddha activities. These form three groups, the first of which comprises the mantras of invitation and absorption (184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3.1). [This comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:9)
OṂ EHY EHI BHAGAVĀN MAHĀKARUṆIKA DṚŚYA HOḤ
SAMAYAS TVAṂ JAḤ HŪṂ VAṂ HOḤ
OṂ EHY EHI BHAGAVĀN MAHĀKĀRUṆIKA DṚŚYA HOḤ SAMAYAS TVAṂ means “Come here! Come here, transcendent lord endowed with great compassionate spirituality! Look [upon us] with compassion! May we receive the commitments!” JAḤ HŪṂ VAṂ HOḤ are the mantras that respectively summon with the iron hook [of Aṅkuśā, bind with the lasso [of Pāśā, tie with the iron chain [of Sphoṭā], and overpower with the bell [of Ghaṇṭā.
The second group [of the mantras that completely perfect buddha activities comprises the mantras that scatter the offering flowers of one’s own awareness (18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3.2). [This comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:10)
OṂ ĀḤ HŪṂ SVĀHĀ
VA VA VA VA VA
JRA JRA JRA JRA JRA
SA SA SA SA SA
MA MA MA MA MA
YA YA YA YA YA
OṂ ĀḤ HŪṂ SVĀHĀ
OṂ, ĀḤ, HŪṂ, and SVĀHĀ [are the seed syllables that] indicate the five enlightened families and the five pristine cognitions. The [five] syllables VA, JRA, SA, MA, and YA, which are recited separately here, should be combined with the five [aforementioned] seed syllables preceding and following them, in this way: OṂ VAJRA SAMAYA OṂ indicates that buddha body is attained through the commitments of buddha body. ĀḤ VAJRA SAMAYA ĀḤ indicates that buddha speech is attained through the commitments of buddha speech. HŪṂ VAJRA SAMAYA HŪṂ indicates that buddha mind is attained through the commitments of buddha mind. SVĀ VAJRA SAMAYA SVĀ indicates that buddha attributes are attained through the commitments of buddha attributes, and HĀ VAJRA SAMAYA HĀ indicates that buddha activity is attained through the commitments of buddha activity.
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:11)
Equipoised now in the most wondrous buddha body,
May I unite with the great seal!
JAḤ HŪṂ VAṂ HOḤ
The expression OṂ King of pristine cognition constitutes an appeal to the Transcendent Lord, saying, “Equipoised now in the accomplishment of the most wondrous buddha body, speech, mind, attributes, and activities of all the tathāgatas, may I unite, right here and now, with the great seal of the deities’ body, speech, and mind!”
OṂ VAJRA SAMAYA HŪṂ timely summons the commitments of buddha body. OṂ VAJRA SAMAYAS TVAṂ [timely] summons the commitments of buddha speech, and OṂ VAJRA SAMAYA HOḤ [timely] summons the commitments of buddha mind. JAḤ HŪṂ VAṂ HOḤ brings about integration and stability in the nondual nature.
THE APPEARANCE OF WONDROUS INDICATIONS [126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:12)
With these words, the maṇḍalas of the secret mantras of buddha speech resounded pervasively with the great sound of mantra in all the ten directions of the six realms. They further resounded by conferring maturation on all the minds of sentient beings, and they absolutely resounded by conferring liberation on them.
One should know that these [three resonances] also refer respectively to (i) the secret mantras of buddha body, speech, and mind, along with their sound; (ii) the rays [of light] that are emitted from them; and (iii) the great apparition that is diffused in all the rays.
THE MANTRAS THAT CONFER EMPOWERMENT [184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11]
The latter part [of the teaching on the actual maṇḍala of secret mantras, on which see above p. 276] concerns the mantras that confer empowerment. This has two aspects, of which the first, concerning the manner of their enunciation (18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1) [comments on the verse]:
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:13)
Then the Supreme Identity of the tathāgatas of the ten directions and four times brought forth from the Net of Magical Emanation, the indestructible reality of buddha body, speech, and mind, these [following mantras, which are said to subsume the pristine cognition and splendor of the Supreme Identity.
Once the [aforementioned] mantras that visually generate [the deities had been revealed, then the Transcendent Lord vanished into that maṇḍala of buddha speech where Samantabhadra, the indestructible active male subject indicative of the mental faculty, and Samantabhadrī, the indestructible passive female object indicative of mental phenomena, are nondual. And once he had vanished therein, then Samantabhadra, the Supreme Identity of all the tathāgatas of the ten directions and four times, brought forth these following secret mantras, which are said to subsume all the excellent pristine cognition and splendor of their great accomplishment, that is, the identity of the body, speech, mind, attributes, and activities of all the buddhas. This emerged, naturally arisen through blessings, from the Net of Magical Emanation, the nature of indestructible reality where the buddha body, speech, and mind of the male and female teachers Samantabhadra and Samantabhadrī are nondual, and where skillful means and discriminative awareness are coalesced.
THE ACTUAL MANTRAS THAT CONFER EMPOWERMENT [126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2]
The second aspect concerns the actual mantras [that confer empowerment. These fall into three groups, the first of which concerns the conferral of empowerment through the five pristine cognitions that cleanse defilements (184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2.1). [It comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:14)
OṂ MAHĀŚŪNYATĀJÑĀNAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ MAHĀDARŚAJÑĀNAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ MAHĀPRATYAVEKṢAṆĀJÑĀNAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ MAHĀSAMATĀJÑĀNAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ MAHĀKṚTYĀNUṢṬHĀNAJÑĀNAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ MAHĀŚŪNYATĀJÑĀNAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ means “I am the identity that is the essential nature of indestructible reality, the great pristine cognition of emptiness.”463 When [the words of this mantra are similarly correlated with the other pristine cognitions, ĀDARŚA indicates the mirrorlike pristine cognition, PRATYAVEKṢAṆĀ indicates the pristine cognition of discernment, SAMATĀ indicates the pristine cognition of sameness, and KṚTYĀNUṢṬHĀNA indicates the pristine cognition of assiduous accomplishment. JÑĀNAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ means “I am the identity that is the essential nature of the indestructible reality or pristine cognition.”
The significance of this empowerment is that, at this juncture, [the deities are crowned by the lord of their own particular enlightened family, a full inch in size. In that regard, the Tantra of Penetration from the Net of Magical Emanation accordingly says:
Being without consort, is a [[[Wikipedia:solitary|solitary]]] hero.464
At this point, you may ask, should the principal deity not represent the crowning enlightened family of Vairocana? Here Akṣobhya is acceptable because he symbolizes the buddha mind of the Buddha family. However, when in the context [of our tradition Vairocana assumes that role, Akṣobhya symbolizes the buddha body. Here all the deities are crowned by the five tathāgatas.465
The second group [of the actual mantras that confer empowerment concerns the mantras through which power is introduced and blessing conferred by the five enlightened families (18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2.2). [It comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:15)
OṂ SARVATATHĀGATA MAHĀKĀYAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ SARVATATHĀGATA MAHĀVĀGVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ SARVATATHĀGATA MAHĀCITTAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ SARVATATHĀGATA MAHĀNURĀGAṆAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ SARVATATHĀGATA MAHĀPŪJĀVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ
OṂ SARVATATHĀGATA MAHĀKĀYAVAJRA SVABHĀVĀTMAKO’HAṂ means “I am the great natural expression of indestructible reality, the buddha body of all the tathāgatas.” Similarly, VĀGVAJRA indicates the indestructible reality of buddha speech, CITTAVAJRA indicates the indestructible reality of buddha mind, ANURĀGAṆAVAJRA indicates the indestructible reality of buddha attributes, and PŪJĀVAJRA indicates the indestructible reality of en-lightened activity.
Through these mantras, the five tathāgatas are visually generated in the five energy centers of all the deities. More than twenty-one thousand buddhas abide in this illuminating meditative stability because they are visualized within the five centers [of the deities. The number twenty-one thousand refers to the blessings of the buddha body, speech, and mind.466
The great assembled host, diffusing light rays
In and of themselves, by way of two causes.468
In the lunar disks of the two centers—
The navel and the one associated with it469—
Diffuse and absorb their respective light rays,
And brilliance is consequently acquired.470
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:16)
Through the recitation of these mantras that confer empowerment and blessing, the blessings granted through the power of those deities dissolved indivisibly in the body, speech, and mind of those to be trained, whereby the five poisons of afflictive mental states radiated as the essential nature of the [five] pristine cognitions, and whereby all the psychophysical aggregates, sensory elements, and sense fields blazed forth light as the maṇḍala of the deities.
ESTABLISHING THE NATURE OF THE ACTUAL MAṆḌALA OF SECRET MANTRAS [126.96.36.199.2.1.3]
The third part [of this chapter is the establishing of the nature [of the secret mantras, see p. 276]. It comprises (i) the inexpressible essential nature of buddha speech (188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206); (ii) its inconceivable natural expression (220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168); (iii) its originally pure abiding nature (22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199); (iv) its supreme apparitional nature (188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206); and (v) its mode of being, which does not deviate from the expanse [of actual reality (220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168).
Root Tantra (Ch. 7: 17)
Transcends all language, names, and words,
But clearly emerges as diverse languages.
This reality, wondrous and marvelous in nature, is the buddha speech of all genuinely perfect buddhas, a sacred wheel of inexhaustible adornment. This essential nature of buddha speech is wondrous in that it transcends all expressive language and the names and words that are applied to phenomena, but, at the same time, it is wondrous because it clearly emerges in immeasurable languages, comprising the diverse excellent intonations of speech, corresponding to the perception of living beings.
Though known in conformity with its sixty modulations, buddha speech is inexpressible.
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:18)
Are inconceivable and all-pervasive—
All languages, names, and words that may be distinctly known
The unique buddha speech forms an authentic maṇḍala because it is adorned with sixty modulations of tone. As such, its sixty modulations include six primary qualities, namely, a range that is like the voice of Brahmā, a resonance like the rolling of cymbals, a musicality reminiscent of opera, a high modulation like the song of the kalaviṅka bird, a deep bass tone like the crash of thunder, and a pleasant rhythm like the sound of a lute. Each of these qualities in turn has ten subsidiary modulations, in that they are perceptible, apperceptive, worthy of hearing, harmonious, utterly profound, coherent, unassailable, euphonious, orderly, and distinctly clear, making sixty modulations in all.
Alternatively, buddha speech is said to have ten qualities, in that it is melodious, penetrative, swiftly understood, unhesitating, specifically intended, momentary, accessible, inspirational, distinguished, and instructive, each of which has six subsidiary aspects, making sixty in all.471
When the [former sixty modulations] are combined with [the latter ten qualities], there are six hundred aspects of intonation. These multiply to six thousand and then to twenty-four thousand when each is subdivided according to the ten directions and the four times. Then, when further subdivided according to the six realms, the aspects [of buddha speech are inconceivable in number, and they are pervasive in all world systems.
These [aspects] are known and understood in conformity with the languages of distinct sentient beings and their manifestation as distinct names and words. However, all these languages are actually shown to converge in the nature of the inexpressible supreme seal of buddha speech.
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:19)
All higher and lower vehicles, and the languages
Of all errant realms, without exception,
Are subsumed in buddha speech—
From the hundred thousand chapters of the Net of Magical Emanation, supreme among all tantras, the meanings of buddha speech emerge because it is the actual melodious sound of the doctrine—a causal basis endowed with inestimable [interim] benefits and ultimate bliss for the sake of living beings. And yet, all these things are primordially present in the lotus-like disposition of actual reality, untainted by blemishes from the beginning. Thus the essence of language is indeed demonstrated to be the empty essential nature of naturally pure actual reality. For this reason, the language associated with the vehicles that indicate the path of liberation or release [from cyclic existence and the diversified languages of cyclic existence, which are conducive to rebirth in [the world system of] desire and so forth, as much as they are expressed, all of these do not transcend this actual reality but are in fact the uncreated emptiness of sound. They constitute the inexpressible nature of supreme buddha speech, the primordially pure essential nature.
All language associated with the higher and lower vehicles of the path to release [from cyclic existence and the languages of all sentient beings without exception, including those of the three errant inferior realms, are actually subsumed in the inexpressible buddha speech, the indestructible reality or abiding nature of primordial enlightenment, the essential nature of the uncreated emptiness of sound, where positive and negative are without duality.
A single expression of buddha speech, being inexpressible, resonates to all, but its nuances are differently appraised.
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:20)
But when it is enunciated, it abides as the inexpressible.
That resonates to all but is differently appraised.
The actual truth may be differently interpreted,
As, for example, in the expression “removal of numbness.”
From the disposition of this summation in the inexpressible essential nature of buddha speech, an inestimable number of doctrines are proclaimed by manifold emanations and understood in the ten directions. This doctrinal language is itself enunciated in its unborn primordial disposition, in conformity with the perception of those to be trained; but at those times when it is enunciated, it abides as the inexpressible essential nature of buddha speech.
This very inexpressible abiding nature, on being expressed, becomes the source of diverse languages, so that a single term resonates in common to all those who require training, but its meanings are differently appraised. The actual truth of a single expression [may be differently understood], as, for example, in the expression “removal of numbness,”472 which is understood by some to mean the removal of numbness caused by poison, by some to mean the removal of numbness caused by pins and needles, and by others to mean the removal of numbness caused by gnostic mantras. So, owing to the language employed in a single expression of the tathāgatas’ buddha speech, all things corresponding to the thoughts of different sentient beings may be differently interpreted. This is the intrinsic nature of the genuine supreme buddha speech—the king of all languages that appear. Accordingly, it says in the Pagoda of Precious Gems:
May be heard differently, owing to the power of volition.
Concerning this passage of the text, there are some who claim that the Tathāgata had sneezed (sbrid pa sangs) at the entrance to his citadel, and that this was heard differently by an invalid, a nurse, and a doctor. Such persons, however, have not learned to appraise diction and meaning!474
The fifth [concerning the mode of being of buddha speech that does not deviate from the expanse of actual reality (22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199) itself has three parts, the first of which demonstrates that although buddha speech manifests as the different vehicles, its essential nature remains unspoken (188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1). [It comments on the verse:]
Though differently heard, [the vehicles] are not enunciated in isolation from the actual truth.
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:21)
Although there are inconceivable higher and lower vehicles,
They are not enunciated in isolation from the actual truth.
Although they are heard differently according to skillful means
For the sake of those to be trained,
They are unspoken, according to the actual truth.
Although there are inconceivable higher and lower vehicles that appear to be enunciated, they are not enunciated at all in isolation from actual reality, the actual truth. The Pagoda of Precious Gems concurs:
From the time when I attained perfect buddhahood until my final nirvāṇa, I did not teach any doctrine, but, derived from the actual truth, it appeared differently, in accordance with the volition of living beings. This indeed is the inconceivable mystery of the Buddha’s speech.475
Although the words of buddha speech are not actually spoken, they are heard differently by sentient beings according to the enumerations of doctrine, owing to his skillful means that grants instruction for the sake of those to be trained. Although all scriptures of the tathāgata included in the twelve branches are ostensibly expressed according to the manner in which the lamp of the five aforementioned vehicles is arrayed,476 if appraised according to the abiding mode of actual reality or the actual truth, they are the conclusive buddha body of actual reality, and therefore unspoken even minutely as a doctrinal discourse. As is said in the Diamond Cutter:
Those persons, who remain on the false path,
Do not perceive me—
As such, it cannot be known.477
The second part [of the mode of being of buddha speech that does not deviate from the expanse of actual reality concerns the appearance of the indestructible buddha speech for the sake of living beings through its disposition of compassionate spirituality (220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2). [It comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:22)
Diverse meanings are individually distinguished
The meaning [of the scriptures comprises the unwritten abiding nature and the words that express it manifest as the buddha speech. Though buddha speech, which is the awareness of the sugatas, is heard by living beings, from the moment when it is heard it does not resonate at the tip of the buddha tongue as sounds and words with individual characteristics. Yet, by the blessing of naturally present pristine cognition, the buddha speech of the conquerors’ compassionate spirituality, diverse words and meanings are individually distinguished and heard for the sake of living beings who are to be trained, corresponding to their volition. This is the indestructible reality of buddha speech.
The third part [of the mode of being of buddha speech that does not deviate from the expanse of actual reality exemplifies [the buddha speech that appears to be spoken although it is not spoken (22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.3). [It comments on the verse:]
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:23)
Indeed do not waver from the disposition of the actual truth,
This clarity of words and the meanings of the doctrine that appear in that manner through the compassionate spirituality of the buddhas and the volition of sentient beings, in the hearing of those to be trained, is the genuine supreme indestructible buddha speech, uncreated from the beginning. The actual truth of the doctrine that is inexpressible but appears to trainees is such that the meanings of buddha speech that emerge for the sake of living beings become manifest in and of themselves and indeed do not waver from the disposition of the expanse [of reality, the actual truth. Just as, for example, the sound of an echo does not exist at all—either in the person [who makes the echo], in the cliff [that reverberates it], or in the intervening space between the person and the cliff—but rather it emerges as it is expressed, through certain conditions, so it is through the condition of the pure deeds of trainees and the primary cause of the buddhas’ compassionate spirituality that buddha speech appears in the form of the doctrine. It is also said in the Supreme Continuum of the Great Vehicle:
Emerges in accordance with the apperception of others
[But is nonconceptual and uncontrived],
[Emerges in accordance with the apperception of others
But] abides neither externally nor internally.478
Root Tantra (Ch. 7:24)
This completes the exegesis of the seventh chapter from the Secret Nucleus, concerning buddha speech, Definitive with Respect to the Real, which manifests from the inexpressible reality, in conformity with volition, entitled “The Absorption of the Maṇḍala and the revelation of the nature of the Secret Mantras” of the different deities.