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The Sovereign All-Creating Mind: The Motherly Buddha (A Translation of the Kun byed rgyal po'i mdo)

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The Sovereign All-Creating Mind
The Motherly Buddha

A Translation of the Kun byed rgyal po'i mdo
E. K. Neumaier-Dargyay
State University of New York Press



Contents

Acknowledgments

The present work was made possible through a Leave Fellowship granted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada which provided me with the funds to carry out the necessary research during a sabbatical leave granted by The University of Calgary. To both institutions I am much indebted for their support and encouragement. The Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath/Benares, India, offered excellent research facilities. My sincere thanks go to Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, Principal, who extended such warm hospitality. Professor mKhan-po Rig-'dzin tu-tored me with endless patience in my attempt to understand the essence of the text I am presenting here in translation. His instructions proved an invaluable help which I am acknowledging with great gratitude. But I am sure there are still things I have misunderstood or not at all understood. These failures are my sole responsibility. Dr. Bettina Bäumer, Alice Boner Stiftung, Benares, helped me with her expertise in Kashmiri Shaivism in particular and in Hindu spirituality in general. With joy and gratitude I will always remember the hours she spent with me sharing her knowledge. But I am also indebted to my colleagues and friends, particularly to Dr. Phyllis Granoff, who through critical questioning brought me to a fuller appreciation of the present text and its philosophical implications and who was so kind as to read the manuscript of the introduction. Dr. Harold Coward gave me much-appreciated advice with regard to the final manuscript. Geshey Lobsang Dargyay contributed much to the success of my work through his intellectual support but also through making daily life in a difficult environment easier.

Introduction

"The All-Creating Sovereign, the Mind of Perfect Purity" (hence-forth KBG) is a Buddhist scripture. What distinguishes it from so many other Buddhist texts is the timeliness of its ideas. It constitutes a radical attempt towards deconstructing Buddhist philosophy and presents a rather unusual feminist perspective of Buddhist spir-ituality. Regardless of the origin of the text (which is still largely veiled in mystery) the text in itself speaks loud and clear and delivers a message germane to the present. The text is adamant in saying that "being" is the centre and depth of existence, thus accessible in everyday experience. More than any other Buddhist scripture the KBG states: the fleeting existence (samsara) is in its depth "being," i.e. a dynamic process of complete integration (nirvana). This consummation may well be described as divine reality of a feminine dimension. This divine reality, the text argues, must never be appropriated through our conceptual thinking or through the process of defining and naming it. Thus the doctrinal structure of Buddhism is not only questioned but deconstructed, and eventually rejected. The natural corollary is then that there is no spiritual goal to achieve (i.e. nirvana), no religious practice to perform (i.e. path to enlightenment), and neither disciple nor Buddha. In other words the entirety of the Buddhist doctrinal and practical system is brushed aside by a Buddhist text! These seemingly extreme positions are maintained on the ground that all that exists does so due to "pristine awareness" as the dynamic of being. Thus, one has to conclude, all that exists is already in the process of consummation. Being as such (understood as a dynamic "spinning," and not as an essence) is buddhahood. The world in its manifold variety is the manifestation of the pristine awareness which endows all that exists with order and intelligibility. Consequently the world is beautiful, and the KBG admonishes its reader to rejoice in this beauty. Even what appears to the ignorant eye as ugly and painful reveals its intrinsic beauty to the sage. With this message the KBG certainly opens a new dimension of Buddhist thought.

This is the first time that this text has been translated into a modern language. The text itself consists of several components: the "root tantra," and two additions called "later tantras." The additions are in general recapitulations of topics covered in the root text. For this reason only the latter is given in translation here. As is the case with many Buddhist texts, The All-Creating Sovereign is repetitive because the text is a meditation orbiting around one theme: the "mind"[1] as intelligent, all-pervasive ground of the universe, and as an autonomous cognitiveness or gnosis. This theme is contemplated in all its facets, mirrored in a hundred ways, by illuminating it in the light of leading Buddhist concepts. Therefore the text gives us the impression of moving along loops rather than along a straight line. Subtle nuances distinguish seemingly similar, if not identical statements. But in this repetitiveness the richness of the basic theme also reveals itself to the contemplative mind.

First we shall talk in a cursory way about the position mind holds in Indian thought. Because of our scant knowledge and the complexity of this topic, only those Indian texts which may have provided a philosophical background for our text will be briefly mentioned. Then we shall examine the Buddhist views of the mind as stepping stones leading us to a fuller comprehension of the KBG. Secondly we shall survey the historical context from which the text emerged, and ask in particular, what kind of text is the KBG? The text has the appearance of a sutra, which commonly means that Buddha is talking to a person who poses certain questions to him. However, the text is preserved in the tantra section of the Buddhist canon and therefore called a tantra (an esoteric Buddhist text). This incongruity will be discussed together with the authenticity of the text and its transmittance through the tradition. Thirdly, I shall summarize the basic ideas of the text to enable the reader to follow the translation with more ease. A topical analysis of the chapters (given at the end of the book) will make the structure of the text more transparent. Finally the language of the text and its inherent meaningfulness will be examined, together with a discussion of the way the Tibetan text has been translated.

1. The Conceptual Context

The attempt to provide a background for the broader understanding of the themes covered in the KBG by illuminating areas of similar Indian and Buddhist thought is questionable, regardless of how desirable it is. From its beginnings, Indian thought orbited around a non-physical power which comes close to what we mean by "mind." A plethora of religious and philosophical texts, the majority of them neither translated nor properly studied by modern scholars, exists within the many strands of Hindu and Buddhist traditions, whereby each text and each tradition redefined the inherited assumptions and incorporated new ideas. The complexity of such endeavour and our still fragmented knowledge of the voluminous literature pertinent to the topic "mind" precludes the possibility of covering it within an introduction. The desire to discuss this topic in a scholarly and responsible way would not only require a lifelong commitment to researching it, but would also necessitate a series of monographs. It is one of the deplorable but unavoidable facts of oriental studies that compact and yet accurate information, for instance in the form of an encyclopedia, is virtually non-existent.

Having said all this, I want nevertheless to give the reader some help in exploring this vast field for him- or herself. Thus I shall mention certain literatures and traditions which contributed more than others to the Indian idea of "mind." The underlying assumption is that these works of similar ideas constitute, to some extent, the intellectual and literary environment in which the KBG arose. A study of these works of related thought may provide an opportunity to appreciate the idiosyncrasy of the KBG within its philosophical and religious context.

A. The Mind—Pivot of the Universe in Non-Buddhist Indian Literture

For centuries the West has preferred to see the universe as a gigantic machine which is either in perpetual motion (Laplace) or which converts heat into motion with a final state of thermal equilibrium, "heat death."[2] Despite of the enormous diversity of opinions about what constitutes the nature of the universe, all, except for the most recent hypotheses, perceive it from a mechanical point of view—as a matter of physics. In contrast to this modern view, India, for more than three millenia, has embraced the idea that a non-physical potency is the origin of the universe. In recent years western scientists seem to revert to some of these ancient ideas. Fritjof Capra with The Tao of Physics is perhaps the most widely read author and the first to draw public attention to this issue.[3] Others followed in his footsteps[4].

(1) The Mind as Creative Potency in Vedic and Hindu Literature

The Buddhist text presented here deals with timeless questions: what is the ontological reason for the existence of the universe? what is being? what is the position of humanity within this framework? what is the nature of interaction between the different components of the universe? how does the universe come into existence? if everything is saturated with the divine, what is the role, of ethics? But the text presents these questions and their answers in the trappings of its own historical and cultural environment. One has to break through this cultural shell to reach the kernel, i.e. the meaning of the text which is not confind to one era or one culture.

At present the history of the KBG cannot be traced back beyond the 8th century at the earliest, as will be shown in a subsequent chapter of the introduction. Nevertheless, the text was most likely part of a stream of Indian Buddhist texts that reached Tibet during the 8th and 9th centuries. Thus we may assume that the ideological and literary background of the KBG has to be sought in India. However, before we embark on a journey to trace possible connections with ancient Indian ideas, we have to consider another possible root of the KBG, and that is its link with Chinese Ch'an Buddhism (in the West better known under its Japanese name "Zen"). First, M. Lalou described Tibetan texts documenting the existence of Ch'an Buddhism in early Tibet (8/9th century).[5] Later, the Italian pioneer of Tibetan studies, Giuseppe Tucci, established a connection between early Tibetan Buddhism and Ch'an Buddhism. In his influential work Minor Buddhist Texts[6] he expressed the opinion that the Tibetan form of Ch'an survived in camouflage as a strand known as the Great Perfection (rdzogs then) to which our text belongs.[7] A further connection with China is provided by the Tibetan tradition which links some early masters of the Great Perfection school with China.[8] A problem which plagues this issue is that many of the Buddhist masters who lived and worked in China were raised and educated in places located in Central Asia along the Silk Road where Indian cultural influence was predominant. Consequently many of the "Chinese" masters were actually Sogdian or Khotanese.[9] It would be premature at this moment to venture a position as to whether the leading ideas of the Great Perfection school as expressed in the KBG came directly from India to Tibet, or via Khotan, Sogdia, and/or China to Tibet. Regardless what future research will discover, it is a fact that Buddhism originated and had thrived in India for more than 1500 years, and that from there it had reached Inner Asia and China. Thus the entire field of Indian thought must be considered as a primary reservoir for any development of Buddhist thought. This of course does not preclude indigenous developments which opened new frontiers in Buddhist thinking.

If, for the time being, we accept the statement of the Tibetan tradition that the KBG was translated from an Indian language into Tibetan by the end of the 8th century, then we have to infer that the text, not necessarily in the present form but perhaps as a set of oral instructions, existed in India prior to that time.

In what follows I shall refer to schools of thought and literatures which consitute the intellectual and literary context for ideas of the "mind" as the creative force of the universe, that is, ideas which show a variant degree of similarity with what we find in the KBG. These sparse references should however by no means be understood as a survey of the Indian literature about mind.

Jan Gonda has in a recent article compiled numerous evidences as to manas (inadequately translated as "mind") found in the Rig- Vedic and later Vedic literature.[10] Gonda comes to the conclusion that "mind" in modern usage is an abstract and erudite construct, while to the ancient sages it was a potency full of life and fire.

In the post-Rig-Vedic literature it is maintained that before nonbeing and being came into existence there was only manas.[11] In the KBG 3.6-16 we read that the "mind of perfect purity" predates everything else:

I am the mind of perfect purity, the maker of all. If I were not existent in the past, no vigour were there for all things to originate. If I were not existent in the past, no Sovereign were there who made all things. If I were not existent in the past, none were there to be a teacher from the primordial. If I were not existent in the past, none were there to teach from the primordial. If I were not existent in the past, that which is known as retinues would not be there from the primordial.

In the Brahmanas and Aranyakas this manas is further qualified as "lord" and "ruler" over a number of "vital principles" (prāna). Vishvakarma, the Vedic "All-Maker" is endowed with manas, and from this statement the development leads to the saying that manas becomes the principle potency responsible for creation.[12] Thus the images we find in the KBG, i.e. the primary, non-appropriated mind, ruling like a sovereign over all that exists and creating everything, were available in certain strands of Indian thought at a fairly early time, perhaps even prior to Buddhism.

Well-educated Buddhist thinkers of India certainly lived in a situation of "intertextuality," that is "texts"—whether in oral or written form—constituted part of the general environment in which literary people conversed.[13] Phrases, metaphors, stereotypes, and symbolic expressions were "public domain" to be borrowed by everyone who liked these expressions. This textual and literary environment influ-enced, most likely unintentionally and unconcsiously, the literary style of compilers and authors of texts like the KBG. Regardless of the philosophical disagreements between Vedic/Upanishadic and Buddhist thought, Buddhist writers and thinkers still lived within the environment of Indian literature; they were exposed to its style and influenced by its predilection for metaphoric expressions. When it came to the point to verbalize mystical experiences, like those underlying the KBG, the "author" (unknown to us) could regress to earlier stylistic and symbolic expressions and still maintain a rejection of the major conceptual framework in which these stylistic elements were originally embedded.

A major stepping-stone in the development of a philosophy of mind in India are the works of Gaudapāda and Shankara, which declared the mind as the source of the ephemeral world. Occasionally the mind is said to be like akāsa, sky or space. In the KBG the most used metaphor of the sovereign mind is nam mkha', the Tibetan equivalent to Skt. akāsa.

The Yogavāsistha, a voluminous work whose literary and ideological context is still debated, contains long passages dealing with the mind as the base of the universe. The text projects a non-dualistic world-view whose focus is the mind, perfectly pure, the ground of all being, and which is like ether. Some of the images and metaphors of the Yogavāsistha seem to be echoed in the KBG, or vice versa: for instance in 2.55-56 of the Yogavāsistha, the absolute is compared with an actor impersonating different characters by putting on different costumes; while KBG 73.34 talks about a dance of stillness by the sovereign mind thereby letting unfold the manifest world. Despite the extensive scholarship on the Yogavāsistha the text has retained much of its mystery. Thus speculations about possible connections between the KBG and the Yogavāsistha are premature at present."[14]

In recent years, Kashmirian Shaivism has attracted scholarly attention, although a comprehensive understanding of this system is still unachievable.[15] The system developed in Kashmir, a place with strong ancient ties to Tibet, at a time when the contacts between these two countries were particulary vibrant, from the 8th to the 11th centuries. Thus the geographical and historical context could be seen as providing a forum for contacts between the circles promoting ideas of Kashmirian Shaivism and those associated with the thinking we find in the KBG. Whether this was truly the case, however, can at the present not be decided. Furthermore, Kashmirian Shaivism seems to have certain aspects in common with the KBG: Shiva is seen as the inner self of all sentient beings and of the inanimate nature,[16] very much like the All-Creating Sovereign who as autonomous, or self-originated pristine awareness (rang byung ye shes) is present in all that exists. The awareness of Shiva as the inner self can not be generated because from the beginning of existence this inner self breathes life into all that exists. Thus this primordial awareness is not a new state of knowing but rather a recollection of something that has been there all the time, although unknown to the individual. A major point of dissent is that the KBG appears to be more inclined towards feminine symbols and metaphors, while Kashmirian Shaivism remains firmly entrenched in its phallocentric symbolism. The KBG further disagrees with Kashmirian Shaivism when it comes to define a method to achieve this sublime state of recollection. In Shaivism there are four stages of "means" (upāya) facilitating the purifying of the mind so that the individual becomes aware of its primordial divine nature. In contrast, the KBG rejects any attempt to structure such a path by firmly insisting on the full presence of the divine in the given situation. Consequently, Kashmirian Shaivism knows about a yoga leading to the realization of the divine, while the KBG rejects such an idea as a fatal error. These few remarks about possible affinities between the KBG and Kashmirian Shaivism should not cloud the fact that a detailed comparison of the two systems is beyond the scope of an introduction; the complexity of the respective thoughts warrants a monographic study.

To discuss Indian religious works as hypothetically providing a milieu from which some of the thoughts found in the KBG could arise is further justified when we consider the following information: Pho-brang Zhi-ba-'od, an 11th century prince of the Himalayan kingdom of Guge (today known as Spiti), alleged that the KBG was a text forged by Drang-nga Shag-tshul (Shākya tshul-khrims) of Khro-gangs in Upper Nyang. This accusation is included in a letter addressed to the Buddhists of Tibet in which the prince warns them of certain texts which he deems detrimental to the pursuit of liberation and enlightenment. The alleged author he classifies as a follower of "eternalism," that is, of a view that embraces ontologically real entities; such a view is in Buddhism always branded as an extreme, in other words, a deviation from the middle path of the true Buddhist teaching.[17] In general Tibetan Buddhist writers identified Hindu philosphers as "eternalists;" thus one may speculate that our prince of Guge opined that the KBG along with a number of similar works are the result of a forgery committed by some Hindu thinker(s), and given the close association of certain ideas with Kashmirian Shaiva notions, we might even assume that he had in mind a Kashmirian Shaivite. At the same time, however, it should be mentioned that the validity of this letter is open to questioning as several of the works on this "black list" were accepted as authentic Buddhist works by masters whose integrity was beyond question. In any case, given the close ties of Kashmir to Tibet, we might be justified in assuming that Kashmirian Shaivism forms part of that environment of "intertextuality" we have referred to before.

B. The Mind in Buddhist Thought

The following inquiry is not intended as a comprehensive discussion of this more than complex topic, but to provide stepping-stones for readers not well-acquainted with Buddhist thought to follow the translation with greater ease. Thus the theme will be treated in a subjective and selective way.

In Buddhist texts the term citta (which is commonly considered to be synomymous with manas, the term preferred in the Vedic and post-Vedic literature) is used as a generic term to cover the non-physical components of humans and other living creatures as well as the intelligent element integral to absolute Reality. Thus the term occurs in the context of Buddhist psychology, ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. The concept of "mind" (in the sense of citta) is more central to Buddhist thinking than to any other system of Indian thought. In fact, there is a common impression that much of Buddhism consists of nothing else but in gazing at one's own mind. This view is not unjustified if we look at the opening verse of one of the most ancient and most popular Buddhist texts, the Dhammapāda:

The mind (manaso) precedes the given phenomena which are dominated by the mind, conditioned by the mind. If one speaks or acts with a distorted mind then suffering will follow this person as the wheel follows the draught animal. (Dhp.I.1)[18]

In this programmatic statement "mind" may refer to the individual mind or to Mind as a transpersonal potency inherent to being. If we embrace the first option, then the second line has to be taken as an elaboration of the first by saying that through the mind one acts and speaks. But if we take the second option, then the second line would be in contrast to what is said in the first line. That is to say, only after the transpersonal Mind has become manifest as an individual mind, does a person speak, i.e. conceptualize and communicate, and act in accord with and in dependence on that Mind. In other words, the dual character of "mind" would then be addressed in these two lines: the first speaking of the transpersonal ("absolute") Mind, while the second referring to the personal mind through which the individual conceptualizes and interacts. Some of the difficulties in translating and understanding this verse are discussed in Max Müller's translation.[19]

The Theravāda commentators embraced the first option of understanding this verse by interpreting it within the context of the twelve limbs of dependent coarising (pratītyasamutpāda). This chain of twelve causal limbs starts out with "ignorance," i.e. an obscured mind, and covers the circle of death, rebirth, and old age.[20] The problem created thereby is that the term manas, as a generic term, comprises the four non-physical aggregates (skandha), i.e. feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness, which form part of the twelve limbs of dependent coarising. This implies that the generic term, i.e. manas, is said to precede its specific forms, and that mind antedates or presupposes ignorance.[21] Such thinking is only possible if an independent transpersonal entity is supposed as lying behind the specific, but that would be unacceptable to the Buddhist teaching. Another possible scenario could be constructed by arguing that the word "preceding" is used in a non-temporal and non-causal sense, that is, that without mind no given phenomena could exist. But why, then, would one say that without the generic no specific could exist? And after all, this would bring us back to the previous dilemma. We will take up this problem again when discussing the view of the Sarvāstivāda school.

At the moment we shall continue our search for Mind/mind in the Pāli Canon. In the Pāli Abhidharma it is said that when the practitioner has entered the transcendental path (lokuttara magga) the mind will be of a transcendental nature (lokuttaram cittam bhāveti).[22] The Abhidhammattha Sangaha distinguishes four kinds of transcendental mind: the mind associated with the path of having entered the stream of Buddhist teaching (sotāpatti magga cittam), the mind associated with the path of returning only one more time to samsaric existence (sakadāgāmi magga cittam), the mind associated with the path of no returning (anāgāmi magga cittam), and the mind associated with the path of the arhat, the person who realizes nirvana (arahatta magga cittam). These four types of transcendental mind are then subdivided into many more categories as the transcendental mind of each path relates to other soteriologic aspects.[23] It seems that the term lokuttara, which I rendered as "transcendental," refers to the mind as being part of the advancement towards nirvana. Thus the more concrete notion of the term would be "other-worldly," with the implication that it does not refer to the this-worldy mind, but to that which strives for nirvana. This transcendental mind is characterized by "knowing the unknown," that is, a new frontier which opened itself to the mind, or, in more conservative Buddhist terms, the mind passes through the door of liberation. The transcendental mind cognizes what is essentially unknowable to the ordinary mind. If that transcendental mind is capable of doing that, one may argue, then not only is its object of transcedental nature but so is the Mind itself. In this context mind is not the individual's response to the sensory stimuli provided by the outside world but is fundamental to being.

Buddhaghosa, in his commentary on the Dhammasanganī, explained that passage by telling the parable of a man and four baskets:[24] A man has four baskets in a treasure-chamber. At night he has to do some business there. He lights a candle, whereby only one basket, being in the light, becomes visible to him. He carries out the business he had come for, and when he leaves the chamber darkness covers all baskets. Three times he repeats this act, but when he enters the chamber for the fourth time the sun is about to rise and all four baskets become visible. This is the moment of enlightenment. The gist of the parable seems to be that whatever insight is acquired prior to enlightenment, it is of a fragmentary character while the liberating insight gained at the moment of arhatship (entering nirvana according to the Theravāda school) is all-encompassing; it is whole and total. Thus this insight is of transcendental character. Buddhaghosa makes reference only to a mind perceived as a flux of momentary phenome-na whereby the nature of the flux changes due to the changing character of the individual phenomena of which it is comprised.

A crucial problem of Buddhism has been how there can be continuity in one's striving towards nirvana and spiritual progress if all mental phenomena are conceived as momentary entities which come and go like a flash. This dilemma was continuously reformulated, and the various traditions responded to it in different ways. The predicament was not only of a conceptual nature, but at its heart lay a meditational experience. The experience the Buddhist recluse had when his or her mind was in a state of stillness, beyond all conceptual thinking, seemed to contradict the assumption of the universal momentariness of all mental phenomena. The Short Sermon on Voidness (Cullasuññatta sutta) talks about this experience in an explicit manner.[25] In this sutta the Buddha says that the Buddhist mendicant (bhiksu) ought to empty his mind of sensory objects. The training takes the practitioner through a regimen to empty the mind from the perception of relatively coarse objects (like elephants, villages, and forests) up to more subtle ones, like thoughts and imaginations, till one reaches a state of no-thought. This is expressed in a statement indicating a dialectic jump; it says that the mendicant realizes the emptiness of his or her mind and dwells in its fullness which is experienced as bliss. How can bliss be sensed if the mind rests without the awareness of any object? What senses this bliss? What is this bliss? Something else but mind? These questions arising from meditational experience had to be reconciled with the premises of Buddhist philosophical thinking.

Western thinking originated, according to Northrop Frye, as a reconciliation of metaphorical thinking with metonymic.[26] In Buddhism the issue was to reconcile the conceptual casting of the Buddhist doctrine with how these same theorems were intuitively sensed during objectless mental absorption. Buddhist schools that considered meditational experience superior to reasoning would then argue for a non-physical, non-substantial groundedness carrying the stream of momentary mental entities. The followers of the school "All Exists" (Sarvāstivadins) called this groundedness paramārtha citta, the absolute Mind whose nature is ceaseless and immutable. This Mind constituted in their system the base of everything. Other Buddhist schools, like the Sautrāntika, rejected this proposition.[27] In the Mahāyana literature this idea gained momentum and branched into several strands: the ālayavijñāna (frequently translated as "storehouse consciousness" but perhaps more adequatly as "foundation-consciousness"), the concept of the innate "Buddha-germ" (tathāgatagarbha), and voidness (sunyatā) as understood by the Tibetan thinker Dol-po-pa. Although Dol-po-pa's understanding of voidness is a fascinating deviation from the mainstream Madhyamaka understanding, his thought will remain beyond our consideration because he formulated his ideas after the KBG was established as a text.

Canonical statements, supporting or believed to support such concepts, are found in the Suvikrāntavikrāmi pariprchhā prajñāpāramitā sūtra,[28] the Siksasamuccaya,[29] the Lankāvatāra sūtra,[30] and he Ratnagotravibhāga, to name the most important. The ālayavijñāna is sometimes understood as a flux of mental phenomena that constitutes a continuum existing beyond the individual's life.[31] But, as L. Schmithausen showed in his thorough study of the ālayavijñāna, such an assumption is reading into the text the exegis it received in later tractates.[32] Originally the term seems to identify a reservoir for all karmic "seeds," or a continuum to which these seeds could "cling" (which is one of the many connotations of the word ālaya).

The text which comes closest to the KBG in all of this is the Ratnagotravibhāga.[33] This canonical text tells us that "This" (i.e. being as such) cannot be polluted or mutilated by anything, and that in this respect it is similar to all-pervading space (or sky) that cannot be polluted due to its subtle nature.[34] This statement is reminiscent of KBG chapter 5 (Tib. p. 15) where it is said:

Like the sky so is Reality; by means of the sky as simile Reality is pointed out. The imperceptible Reality is taught by pointing at something else which is imperceptible.

Verses 59-63 of the Ratnagotravibhāga talk about the "Innate Mind" being like space, but a reversive trend of the mind generates defilements and the multiplicity of phenomena which constitute an ephemeral reality. The "Innate Mind" knows of no beginning or end, not even a stability. In its true nature this Mind is brilliant and immutable like space. A cursory reading of the Ratnagotravibhāga suggests that the KBG has adopted several of its terms and main ideas. Takasaki assumes that the Ratnagotravibhāga was compiled after Nāgarjuna and Aryadeva (commonly dated into the 2nd century C.E.) but before the Lankāvatāra sūtra was translated for the first time into Chinese by 433 C.E. Thus it would be possible for the compilers of the KBG (said to have been translated into Tibetan by the late 8th century) to have been fully acquainted with the ideas and the terminology of the Ratnagotravibhāga.

If, for the moment, we accept as true the premise that the KBG was translated into Tibetan during the later part of the 8th century, then we have to limit a possible influence of the Ratnagotravibhāga upon the KBG to the time when the KBG was still circulating in India. The Ratnagotravibhāga was translated into Tibetan during the 11th century by Blo-ldan shes-rab at Srinagar in Kashmir and consequently was not known at the time the KBG is claimed to have been translated into Tibetan. However, if we doubt the claim made in the colophon of the KBG regarding the date of its translation into Tibetan, then we may opine that the KBG is perhaps the literary result of an encounter with the Ratnagotravibhāga. Such a hypothesis would find support in the accusation made by a prince of Guge during the 11th century that the KBG is a forged text (see the section above on a possible influence of Ka shmirian Shaivism).

In Chinese Ch'an Buddhism the development took a distinctive turn in so far as the concept of "no-mind" (Chin. wu shin or wu nien) was to displace Mind as proclaimed in the Ratnagotravibhāga. This concept of wu shin was developed by Hui-neng who adhered to the southern school of Ch'an. It was felt that when self-nature, the autonomous being innate to all that exists, is intuited, the mind as one of the five aggregates can no longer be its reference. Thus the reference for intuiting self-nature is "no-mind" or, as the KBG would say, pristine awareness (rang byung ye shes). Suzuki elaborates on this issue as follows:

When thus the seeing of self-nature has no reference to a specific state of consciousness, which can be logically or relatively defined as something, the Zen masters designate it in negative terms and call it 'no-thought' or 'no-mind', wu nien or wu hsin.[35]

The obvious similarity shared by some ideas developed within Chinese Ch'an traditions and the Tibetan Great Perfection tradition was mentioned before. At present our knowledge is still scanty and does not allow a comprehensive understanding of how this similarity came about. By now however we are certain, unlike earlier scholars of Tibetan Buddhism, that the Great Perfection is not the Tibetan form of Ch'an. The present hypothesis is that the Great Perfection School preserved material that was seminal to the development of Chinese Ch'an, but which was lost later on. Further studies of the literature of the Great Perfection School are necessary to gain a better understanding of its own evolution before we may venture upon a comparative study.

Looking back at our survey of how "mind" was understood within the Indian and Buddhist traditions, we witnessed a development from an archaic concept of mind as a creative potency to a mystical awareness of "no-mind." All these various facets, created in the attempt to grasp the nature of the elusive mind, have bearings on the KBG. If we adopt for the moment Northrop Frye's theory about the phases in the development of language we may apply it to the KBG in the following manner:[36] It employs metaphoric language, typical of the Vedic literature, when it refers to the ground of being as "all-creating sovereign;" it uses metonymic language (signifying something other than the word alleges) by interpreting the term rang byung ye shes, self-originated or autonomous pristine awareness, as being void of any object to become aware of; in its discussion of doctrinal matters of Buddhism the texts applies a descriptive language. These three phases, metaphoric, metonymic, and descriptive, are indicative of three phases in human history: the archaic, the scholastic, and the modern. Thus the KBG is a text which aspires to include the entire literary tradition of India and Buddhism by transforming each of its distinctive traits into a cipher meaningful only within a web of paradoxes. This fabric of signs, each eluding rational conceptualization, is designed to lead the reader to experiencing the overpowering message of silence or the muteness of language. Language itself becomes a web of illusion veiling the depth of being. The text will take us from the surface of Buddhist doctrinal elements (such as the three forms of Buddha's existence) to the depth of final integration where all distinctions coincide in oneness.

2. The Historical Context

The historical context within which the KBG became crystalized as a coherent religious text is the history of Buddhist literature in general and of that of the canon in particular. First we shall survey the formation of the Buddhist canon before we discuss the transmittance and authenticity of the KBG itself.

A. Formation of the Buddhist Canon in India

Buddhist scripture is the word of the Buddha; this is the basic definition given by the tradition. A close examination shows however that this stern sentence asks for modifications and that Buddhist scriptures are only an approximation of this maxim. The very fact that Buddhist scriptures were not put into writing before the 1st century B.C.E., that is 400 years after Buddha's death, makes the statement that they record Buddha's word questionable. At an early time the problem of what exactly constitutes the word of the Buddha arose for the tradition. Buddhists more than anybody else were aware of the fleeting character of the spoken word, so what was commended to writing? The word spoken by the Buddha, or the word heard by the disciples, or the word most suitable for demonstrating the way to enlightenment; what hermeneutical devices were suitable to decode the not always apparent meaning of a sacred text?

In the course of history each Buddhist community created its own collection of sacred texts. Thus there are several Buddhist canons which comprise different collections of sacred texts: the Pāli canon, or tripitaka, of the Theravāda tradition; the Chinese canon, mostly referred to as san ts'ang, recognised by the Buddhists of the Far East; and the Tibetan bka' 'gyur (Kanjur) accepted as "Buddha Word" by the Buddhists of Central Asia. There were also further collections which are extant in fragments or which have vanished altogether.

(1) The Pāli Canon

In the Theravāda tradition, custodian of the Pāli canon, it was assumed that the word spoken by the Buddha was faithfully imprinted in the disciple's mind. Ananda, Buddha's attendant for decades, was equipped with an extraordinary memory, and so it became his task to rehearse the sermons after Buddha's entry into nirvana. These sermons reproduced from Ananda's memory became the cornerstone of the Pāli canon. This collection of texts was first put into writing in the Aluvihāra of Ceylon, or Sri Lanka as this island is known today, under the reign of King Vattagāmanī Abhaya (r. 89-77 B.C.E.) after 400 years of oral transmittance. The text's authenticity rested at that time upon the credibility of the rehearser.

When Buddha's sermons started to proliferate in a number of Middle-Indian vernaculars the problem of authenticity and faithfulness became more acute.[37] The Indian civilization of that era had already developed sophisticated methods to ensure an accurate transmitting of oral texts as substantiated by the transmission of the Rig-Veda. But the historical Buddha rejected this approach with its emphasis on memorization, dissecting the text into its linguistic elements and so on. As the prime focus of Buddha's instructions was the realization of liberating insight or nirvana, the form of these instructions became irrelevant. Thus monks from different regions of India and other countries used their own languages and dialects to repeat Buddha's words. This was the source for the enormous diversification of the Buddhist canon.[38] But the Theravāda tradition rejected this view by upholding the opinion that Pāli was the Buddha's own language and that his disciples should use it as the sole medium in transmitting the Buddha word. The result was the codification of what is known as the Pāli canon, a well-defined body of scriptures, organized in three collections: the collection of regulations pertinent to the monks and nuns; the collection of Buddha's sermons (sutta); and the collection of theoretical abstracts (abhidharma) which was added later on. In our effort to trace the development of "mind" and its understanding in the early Buddhist literture we came accross some of the texts incorporated in this canon.

(2) The Canons of the Mahāyāna Tradition

When a segment of the Buddhist community distanced itself from the Pāli tradition and its canon, it gradually developed ideas from which a movement originated known as Mahāyāna. The concept of scripture asked for redefinition in the light of these new ideas.[39] By that time, the presence of the historical Buddha, whose paramount figure had dominated the early disciples' minds, had faded away in favor of a symbolic understanding of Buddha's nature. In the words of the Buddhist doctrine we may say that the dharmakāya, Buddha's intrinsic awareness of reality, displaced the rūpakāya, Buddha's visible presence or his historical existence. The word of the Buddha was not anymore grounded in the earthly, historical Buddha's uttering but in its conformity with the spirit of what the historical Buddha had experienced: enlightenment. Consequently those who had achieved enlightenment could speak "in the spirit" of the Buddha. On this basis the Mahāyāna sutras claimed to be authentic scriptures, regardless of whether the words of the text had ever been voiced by the historical Buddha. But also the concept of what constitutes the content of the sacred text changed during this process of actualization. In the attempt to capture "things as they are" (yathābhūtā) the Buddhists found themselves in the predicament to have to express the inexplicable. Thus Buddhist scripture changed from being a pragmatic instruction of how to achieve enlightenment (as expressed in the parable of the man hit by an arrow) to being an expression of encountering a reality that was by its very nature beyond the reach of words (resulting in a language full of paradoxes and negations).

In the course of time, the Mahāyana took over the various previous schools with the sole exception of the Theravāda. Ideas which were generated amidst the older schools became seminal for the development of Mahāyāna thought.[40] With the begining of the Common Era, the Mahāyana canon began to grow. It started with individual sutras, sermons considered as Buddha word, and ended with a canon comprising a much larger quantity of texts than the older Pāli canon. Only a few of the Pāli texts were included in it. The details of how the Mahāyana canon developed are still unknown. The general assumption is that the Mahāyāna texts were originally conceived in an Indian language, in most cases in Sanskrit, before they were translated into Chinese, Khotanese, and then into Tibetan, and other Asian languages. But the Indian originals were largely lost, and only a few fragments have been discovered in the arid soil of Central Asia.

This makes the translations into Chinese, Khotanese, and Tibetan all the more valuable. In general the Mahāyāna canon comprises the collection of the monastic regulations (vinaya); the collection of Buddha's sermons, or sutras; and the tantras, esoteric teachings of the Buddha which incorporate elements not usually found among the sutras. But each redaction of the canon resulted in new changes and revisions of the previous version. Some texts were newly incorporated, while others were dismissed as inauthentic; the individual sections of the canon were rearranged all the time. There were no two redactions of the canon which were identical.

The first edition of the Chinese canon was produced under Emperor Wu-ti of the Liang dynasty in 518 C.E. Most of the 2,213 works included in that edition are considered to be lost. During the next two centuries a number of canons were compiled in China. Gradually more works of Chinese Buddhist thinkers found entrance into the collection. During the Sung dynasty (960-1126) the canon was printed for the first time. Copies of the Chinese canon reached Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

B. The Reception of the Buddhist Canon in Tibet

(1) General Developments

The inception of Buddhism in Tibet may have started with casual contacts between Tibetan tribes and the surrounding Buddhist nations. But the existence of Buddhism in Tibet is not significant before the mid 8th century, which Tibetan sources identify as part of the period of the early dissemination of Buddhism. King Khri-srong lde-btsan (r. 755-797) became the main figure in transplanting Buddhism to Tibet, but during the time of his reign only the royal family and some of the court nobles were affected by this new religion. When Khri-srong lde-btsan's father was still in his boyhood he came across a prophecy by one of his royal forefathers. In this statement the ancient ruler foresaw the advent of Buddhism and its growth in Tibet; the young prince felt that it was his duty to carry out his forefather's predictions. Thus the prince sent envoys to India to bring the Buddhist tradition to Tibet. This account is given in the sBa bzhed, one of the oldest texts recording the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet.[41] Initially the reception of Buddhist scriptures in Tibet was connected with a belief in their power to give presence to the divine which reportedly should result in establishing the subjects in happiness. Thus the sacred texts were in high regard not because of their message (which is the reason usually given in Buddhist tradition) but because of their assumed supernatural power to evoke and embody the divine presence.[42] Later the same king sent two court officials to China to collect more Buddhist texts. It was the time when early Ch'an Buddhism took most of the Far East by storm. The two Tibetans came into contact with a Korean Ch'an monk, Chin Ho-shang, who had taken up residence in Szechuan, a country wedged between the mainland of China and Tibet. Chin Ho-shang gave valid advice to the Tibetan delegates for handling the precarious situation in their homeland where anti-Buddhist forces had become active.[43] If we are inclined to see a Ch'an influence upon the Great Perfection School and its KBG, then this encounter with Chin Ho-shang could be a possible link between the two traditions.

During the reign of Khri-srong lde-btsan, Tibet's contacts with the two Buddhist nations, India and China, intensified. They resulted in Indian and Chinese masters coming to Tibet, bringing along with them those texts they thought to be most beneficial for the newly converted Tibetan Buddhists. After the inauguration of the first Tibetan monastery at bSam-yas (approximately 775 C.E.) and the ordination of seven Tibetan young men as monks, the translation activity gained prominence over other religious interests. Sacred texts imported from China as well as from India were translated into the native idiom under the assistance of Chinese and Indian scholars. This ambitious undertaking was financed by the Crown. The result of this translation activity was the production of a library of independent Buddhist texts housed in the royal palace. Later they became known as the Old Translations (the KBG is counted among them). The selection of Buddhist texts available in Tibetan by the late 8th century reflected the doctrinal predilections of the Tibetans' Buddhist preceptors.[44] As far as we know, there was no attempt to translate a complete set of the tripitaka. This did not happen before the period of the Later Translations (beginning with the late 10th century).

By the end of the 8th century, tensions between the masters of Chinese Buddhism and their followers, and the Indian masters of Buddhism became tangible in a debate held at bSam-yas, the first Tibetan monastery. The accounts of the debate are conflicting, nevertheless, later historiographic writings tell us that the Indian party won the debate. The Chinese representative Ho-shang Ma-ho-yen (in Tibetan texts known as Mahāyāna), a Buddhist from Tun-huang who was trained in the system of Northern Ch'an,[45] was expelled from Tibet. But, so we are told, he had left behind his "shoes" as a symbol of the lasting impact of his teachings. Since then any Buddhist theory loosely connected with the Ch'an teachings of Ma-ho-yen was considered heresy by the mainstream Buddhists of Tibet. As we shall see, the teachings of the Great Perfection School were the preferred target for this allegation. Thus during the period of the later dissemination (from the late 10th century onwards) the Old School tried to clear itself of any such accusation, which lead to profound changes in their teachings.

The Later Translations were produced during the "later period" of Buddhist propagation in Tibet. After the earlier translation work had come to a standstill by the mid-9th century, the Later Translations started due to the efforts of Rin-chen bzang-po (958-1055), a native of Guge, a petty kingdom nestled in the western Himalayas. He, together with a number of equally motivated Tibetans, started to translate Indian Buddhist texts which were not yet available in Tibetan. Under the guidance of Rin-chen bzang-po this editorial team also revised some of the Earlier Translations. At the same time the works of the Earlier Translations were scrutinized as to whether they should be considered genuine Buddhist works. Members of the royal family of Guge were particularly critical about some of the Great Perfection texts which claimed to have been translated during the 8th century. Among many other texts, the KBG was rejected as a work of forgery.

The Tibetans who came to India during and after the 11th century tried to save whatever they could of Buddhism as they saw Muslims of Afghanistan destroying Buddhist libraries in India. The Buddhist community of India, the prime target of the Muslims' attacks, saw the dusk of Buddhism coming.[46] The attempt to compile a complete set of Buddhist scriptures in Tibetan was a natural response to that situation. The compilation of the Tibetan canon was a direct result of the political changes in India and the beginning demise of Buddhism there. For the first few centuries the Tibetan canon was transmitted in the form of manuscripts, but from the beginning of the 15th century the canon was reproduced as woodcut prints. At present seven different recensions of the printed canon are known.

(2) The Scriptures of the Old School (rNying ma)

While the Tibetans came into formal contact with the Buddhist civilizations of India and China from the 7th century C.E. onwards, they started to translate Mahāyāna texts in the 8th century. This translation activity climaxed towards the end of this period, resulting in a literature known as "the old translations" of which the KBG forms a part. When the promulgation of Buddhism came to a halt during the middle of the 9th century, later generations questioned whether the "old translations" were faithfully preserved or whether they had been tampered with.[47]

The followers of the Old School of Tibetan Buddhism assert that the old translations are genuine Buddhist texts and scriptures, while those schools which originated after the 11th century, i.e. during the period of the "later translations" (e.g. the bKa' gdams pa, dGe lugs pa, Sa skya pa, etc.) deny this. Most of the old translations themselves claim to be translations of Indian, and in a few cases of Chinese Buddhist texts. As the KBG is part of the old translations and incorpo-rated in the body of scriptures of the Old School we shall examine this body of scriptures more closely.

There are two main collections recognized as authentic Buddha word by the Old School in addition to the Tibetan canon which is accepted by all Schools; they are: The Hundred Thousand Old Tantras (rNying ma'i rgyud 'bum), and The Hundred Thousand Tantras of Vairocana (Bairo rgyud 'bum). Besides these two collections there are many other collections, but none of them enjoys the same authority as these two do. Each collection consists of many tantric texts (but none comprises one hundred thousand texts) whereby several occur with some variations in both collections. Some texts were at a certain time incorporated in the Kanjur, while other old translations remained excluded. The question arose whether all the texts which claim to have been translated from a Sanskrit original were indeed based upon lost Indian Buddhist scriptures. And we shall see that this applies particularly to the KBG and its related literature.

At present we know little about how the old translations were organized during the period of the early dissemination. During the later dissemination writers of the Old School linked the organization of their scriptures with the structure of the Buddhist teaching as they saw it. The Old School organizes the Buddhist teaching into nine stages (theg pa rim pa dgu). The first three of them comprise mainstream Buddhism, i.e. the vehicles of the hearers (shrāvaka), of the solitary Buddhas (pratyekabuddha), both known as Hinayāna, and of the bodhisattvas which constitutes the Mahāyāna. The next three stages comprise the "external tantras" which are characterized by ritualism and purifications: Kriyāyoga, Caryayoga, and Yoga. The last three stages are known as the "internal tantras" and consist of Mahāyoga, Anuyoga, and Atiyoga. Mahāyoga and Anuyoga represent advanced stages of what constitutes the "external tantras," while the Atiyoga is free of any attempt to reify reality or to conceptualize the world as we perceive it. The Atiyoga stage is divided into three segments: "mind class" (sems sde), to which the KBG belongs, "expanse class" (klong sde), and "sacred instruction class" (man ngag sde). The Tibetan tradition knows of eighteen texts of the "mind class" but there is widespread disagreement as to which texts belong to this group.

The Atiyoga is also known as rdzogs chen or Great Perfection. There is Atiyoga teaching, practice, and literature. The Atiyoga literature is mainly contained in the first two volumes of the Hundred Thousand Old Tantras, but some of the texts are also found in the Hundred Thousand Tantras of Vairocana. The history of the Hundred Thousand Old Tantras is not known in full. The collection's core texts of Atiyoga are mentioned in the historical accounts of the Old School when they talk about the Indian roots of their own tradition,[48] but most of these accounts cannot be substantiated through independent evidence. Ratna-gling-pa (1403-1479) gives the following account in his The Lion's Roar, an apologia of the Old School's teachings (Chos 'byung bstan pa'i sgron me rtsod zlog seng ge'i nga ro):[49]

Further, there were many tantras of the Great Perfection tradition buried underneath a vase-shaped pillar at Vajrāsana. Previously Srisimha and 'Jam-dpal bshes-gnyen had entrusted them to guru Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra.[50] Now we shall talk about the remaining tantras: At the time when the three (Tibetan) translators, bKa'-(ba dPal-brtsegs), Cog Klu'i rgyal-mtshan, and rMa Rinchen-grags, were about to invite Vimalamitra, the scholar, to Tibet the Indian pandits planned a plot. Through their slander Vairocana, who was a sickness to their heart, was banned to Tshaba-rong, and they advised King Milakutra to ban Vimalamitra to Tibet[51] because he had become to famous as a scholar. But it was announced that King Milakutra could not refuse the request made by the King of bSam-yas. In their sick mind, the pandits pretended to be pleased if Vimalamitra went to Tibet. Vimalamitra as master and the three translators as his attendants approached the king and his pandits by saying "Now that I am going to Tibet I need a religious stronghold never heard of before." The pandits replied "Underneath the vase-shaped pillar at Vajrāsana are countless sacred texts of the Great Perfection tradition but we Indian pandits have no authority to explain them as this is not the right time for such a doctrine. Furthermore as your journey to Tibet is so important take out whatever you deem suitable and bring these texts with you to Tibet. As Vimalamitra, the master, together with the three translators as his attendants were so ambitious and because Vimalamitra thought that he would never return to India at a later time, they took out all the sacred texts of the Great Perfection tradition. Thereby the root of all Indian books of the Great Perfection was severed.

Two things in this account are particularly relevant to the present discussion: the fact that Indian pandits felt the time was not right for promoting any one of the Great Perfection texts, and that Vimalamitra together with the Tibetan translators had removed all the remaining texts from Vajrāsana (i.e Bodhgaya in Bihar). For the Old School there is no doubt that the Great Perfection texts originated as authentic Buddhist teachings in India. Other Buddhist schools of Tibet debated, and sometimes rejected this claim. From a critical viewpoint one may argue that the entire story smacks of a cover-up, that it wants to explain why there are no Indian traces of Great Perfection texts.

That the Great Perfection literature, at least in some specimens, had come to Tibet as early as the 8th or 9th centuries can be inferred from the fact that some of these texts are found among the Tun huang documents. As the caves containing these documents were closed by the mid 11th century, and because Tibetan domination over this area ceased by the mid-9th century, the general assumption is that the Tibetan texts were put there prior to 850 C.E. This would mean that a segment of the Great Perfection literature was known to the Tibetans at the time when they started to convert to Buddhism.

Ratna gling-pa (1403-1479) was the first Tibetan known to make an effort towards collecting the various texts belonging to the Great Perfection. In his biography it is said that Ratna gling-pa compiled these manuscripts, which filled twenty volumes. Later he had them copied with silver and gold ink.[52] Unfortunately nothing is said about where Ratna gling-pa had found these manuscripts. Dudjom Rin-poche, the late hierarch of the Old School, reported in his account of this school that Ratna gling-pa found most of these manuscript in the district of Zur 'ug-pa-lung in central Tibet, but supplemented them with mansucripts found at various other places.[53] For the next three hundred years we do not know what happened to the Hundred Thousand Old Tantras. In the 18th century another master of the Old School, 'Jigs-med gling-pa (1729-1798), re-edited the Ratna gling-pa edition and composed the first catalogue of the Hundred Thousand Old Tantras. Under the editorship of 'Jigs-med gling-pa the number of volumes increased from twenty to twenty-five.[54]

Most texts of Atiyoga promote ideas with a certain degree of affinity to early Ch'an thought, such as sudden enlightenment, no-interference, no-deed, etc., while most other texts of the Old School are in accord with mainstream Vajrayāna conventions.

The Old School underwent major changes after the inauguration of the "new translations" from the late 11th century onwards. Along with the "new translations" a new form of Buddhism was introduced to the Tibetans: the gradual path towards enlightenment (known as lam rim in Tibetan) which was promoted by the Indian scholar Atisha (who entered Tibet in 1042) and his subsequent disciples.[55] Atisha's gradual path was in direct contrast with some of the "older translations," which asserted that enlightenment will be spontaneously realized. When Atisha's system became dominant among the Tibetan Buddhists, the Old School had to incorporate at least some of the newer concepts into its own system. Klong-chen-pa Dri-med 'od-zer (1308-63) was the genius who achieved this amalgamation. Because we know so little about the teachings and the literature of the Old School prior to the beginning of the later dissemination, we are ill-advised to use writings of the later dissemination to elucidate problems we encounter in the writings of the earlier period. The first step is to conserve what we know about the literature of the early dissemination; in a second step we may ask how these texts were interpreted by later thinkers of the same tradition.

3. The All-Creating Sovereign—mind Of Perfect Purity As A Literary Work

After an examination of the conceptual and historic contexts in which the KBG is embedded we shall turn to study this text as a work of literature. First we shall examine how the KBG was transmitted, and whether it may be considered as an authentic Buddhist text. Secondly, we shall examine some of the leading ideas encapsulated in it. A topical analysis of the chapters is incorporated at the end of the book. Thirdly some thoughts about the language of the text and the manner of its translation will be shared.

A. Transmittance and Authenticity of the KBG

The KBG is a tantra found in the Kanjur section of the Buddhist canon in Tibetan and in two collections of tantras which were not universally accepted as authentic Buddhist scriptures, i.e. the Hundred Thousand Tantras of the Old Translations (rNying ma'i rgyud 'bum) and the Hundred Thousand Tantras of Vairocana (Bairo rgyud 'bum).[56] The Tibetan title of the text identifies it as a sutra, a categorization supported by the evidence of the text's appearance. But the fact that the text was incorporated in several collections of tantras suggests that, at least at the time when these collections were compiled, the KBG was no longer considered a sutra. Although the KBG is a canonical and not an apocryphal text, it attracted the attention of only a few Tibetan masters, most of them just paying lip service to the importance of the text without exploring its spirit, and the text has been neglected by Western scholars altogether.

Despite these facts, the KBG constitutes the main scriptural source of the "mind class" (sems sde) of the Great Perfection (rDzogs chen), a mystical strand of Tibetan Buddhism. Many parts of the KBG are included in other sems sde texts, or make up independent texts. At present it would totally premature to guess which text(s) constituted the source for the other(s).

The authenticity of the KBG cannot be discussed except within the broader context of the authenticity of the old translations in general. The core of the old translations are the Hundred Thousand Old Tantras. At present several of these Old Tantras are incorporated in the Kanjur of the Tibetan Buddhist canon, where they form a separate section.[57] This fact indicates that the compilers of the canon who did incorporate these Old Tantras accepted them as authentic scriptures. Thus questions arise as to when the Old Tantras were for the first time included in the canon, who was responsible for this compilation, and what were the reasons for doing so.

When by the 14th century the Tibetan Buddhists started to compile numerous pieces of scriptures to form an authoritative collection, the textual transmission was mainly based on manuscripts. By the beginning of the 15th century the Tibetan canon was printed for the first time, not in Tibet, but in China. The printed version proliferated and branched into various "trees" or stemma.[58] The oldest extant manuscript version of the canon is known as the Them spangs ma. Its earliest copy is known to exist in Gyantse (Tibet), while copies of this copy exist in Tokyo and in Ulan Bator.[59] This Them spangs ma manuscript canon is based upon the original compilation of the canon arranged at sNar-thang from which all other canons derived. Another version of the canon which stems directly from the sNar-thang canon is the Tshal pa canon.

Now, the KBG is present in volume 94 of the Ulan Bator copy of the Them spangs ma. At present it is assumed that the Them spangs ma was compiled during the 15th century, and that an exact copy of it was presented to the Mongol dignitaries towards the end of the 17th century.[60] But the KBG is absent, along with all other Old Tantras, in the 'Jang sa tham canon which is a copy of the old Tshal pa canon.[61] But above all, the KBG was excluded by Bu-ston, the chief editor of the sNar-thang canon, from being incorporated into the oldest Tibetan canon. He did so despite the fact that he had studied the KBG along with other key scriptures of the Old School under his grandfather Tshul-khrims dpal-bzang-po.[62] This exclusion was interpreted by the opponents of the old translations to imply that the Old Tantras were later fabrications and not authentic scriptures. But Bu-ston in his catalogue of the canon which was appended to his Great History of Buddhism (chos 'byung chen mo) admitted that although some Bud-dhist scholars of the 11th century rejected the Old Tantras as inauthentic, his own teachers, Rig-ral and sMra-ba Nyi-ma'i mtshan-can, had seen their Sanskrit originals housed at bSam-yas.[63] The question, why he did not then include them in his edition of the sNar-thang canon when he considered the Old Tantras to be genuine translations from Indian sources, remains unanswered. Scholars of the Old School speculated that the political bias of his patrons forced Bu-ston to disregard the Old Tantras when he prepared the authoritative edition of the canon. This surmise has some substance if we consider more closely the political affiliations of Bu-ston's patrons, the princes of Zha-lu. They were feudatories of the Sa-skya hierarch, who ruled as viceroy over Tibet, and of the Mongol emperor, lord over most of Asia. Consequently the Zha-lu princes had to show a certain amount of loyalty and veneration for the Sa-skya hierarchs and their doctrinal dispositions. One of their most esteemed members was Sa-skya Pan-dita, who wrote a scathing tractate on the old translations, i.e. the "Treatise on the Distinction of the Three Vows" (sDom pa gsum gyi rab to dbye ba'i bstan bcos).[64] Consequently it is reasonable to assume that the Zha-lu princes adopted Sa-skya Pandita's verdict on the authenticity of the old translations, and therefore refused to sponsor the publication of such questionable texts. Bu-ston was apparently obliged to follow suit.

Whatever the case may have been, it is a fact that the KBG, together with other texts dating from the era of the old translations, was considered authentic by the Old School and a large number of followers of other schools. However, a few individuals, among them Pho-brang Zhi-ba-'od, a member of the royal house of Guge, and Saskya Pandita, voiced their concerns about the authenticity of these texts. The general argument brought forth against the Great Perfection is that its teachings are identical with or similar to Ho-shang Ma-ho-yen's (Hva-shang Mahāyāna) ideas. In the eyes of the Tibetan Buddhists, this statement means that the accused is guilty of heresy. If one compares the KBG or other Great Perfection texts with the whole range of Mahāyāna thought then we have to come to the conclusion that it is not more heretical than the Ratnagotravibhāga, or some other texts. The doubts about the authenticity of the KBG seem to be more a response to an inner-Tibetan dispute about which strand of Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna is the most preferable, than an unbiased assessment. In fact, many a text discredited by Pho-brang Zhi-ba-'od in the same manner as the KBG was later without hesitation incorporated into the authoritative body of scriptures. In other words, the voices of criticism have to be evaluated within their contextual situa-tion, and should not be taken as definitive statements.

From the vantage point of a modern scholar it seems that the Old Tantras of the Great Perfection preserved a form of Buddhist mysticism that was later on displaced by a more scholastic form of thinking that produced the astonishing quantity of Tibetan philosophical and epistemological works. The antiquity of the Great Perfection literature is, as we have mentioned earlier, to some degree substantiated through the fact that several of its tractates were discovered among the Tun huang documents.

Reading the KBG and other texts of the Great Perfection will instill the impression that they convey a message similar to the texts of Ch'an Buddhism. However, the 9th century Tibetan Buddhist master gNubs-chen Sangs-rgyas ye-shes tells us in his work bSam gtan mig sgron that the two schools are different. One of the most significant differences is that Ch'an promotes meditation as the means to realize enlightenment while the KBG emphatically denies the validity of meditating. Furthermore Ch'an considers the teaching of the Perfection of Wisdom sutras (Prajñāpāramitā) to be a valid method for spiritual progress while the KBG rejects every teaching that affirms causality, the acquisition of certain phenomena or the abandoning of others. A detailed consideration of these points is beyond the scope of this introduction; suffice it to say that to see the KBG as a Ch'an text or Ch'an-related text would be inadequate despite the fact that both have certain characteristics in common.

B. The Message of the Text

A text is as much a part of the historical and philosophical context from which it originated as it is part of the reader's world. When we read a text as distant in time and place as the KBG then we generate a process of appropriation, to make the text ours, to gain access to its meaningfulness. This process may go on undetected by the reader; or it may be intentionally started. Regardless of what our methodological positions are, as readers we are part of our own contextual situation and the text we read originated from another contextual situation. Thus a far more fundamental "translation" than the one from Tibetan into English has to happen. Unlike the translation from one language into another, which is done by someone for the reader, the contextual translation has to be performed by the reader him- or herself. While reading, the reader will inevitably translate the text into his or her own contextual situation. Therefore every reader sees the text in a different light. Thus no matter how remote a text may be from the reader's own situation, it will become part of it as soon as the reader starts to read the text.

The process of the reader's appropriation may be affected by the mass of historical and philological information with which tradition and scholarship encumbers a text. A text like the KBG was never truly appropriated by the Tibetan tradition. For this reason there is no well-defined exegetical context within which we could interpret the text. A scholar of Buddhist thought may regret this, but this lack turns into a challenge and opportunity for the reader. The text invites the reader of the late 20th century as much as it invited the reader of 8th century Tibet to interpret the text within the given situation of our own time. A text as unorthodox as the KBG particularly lends itself to this appropriation by the reader. Despite the historical and circumstantial information I am providing here, I do not want to discourage this process from happening. A comprehensive interpretation of the system of thought presented in the KBG would harness the reader's creative appropriation and dialogue with the text. As the Tibetan tradition has not created a context within which a "secured" interpretation of the text could occur, I do not want to impose my own appropriation of the text upon the reader. In the following chapter, I am merely trying to provide some help for understanding and appropriating the text by referring to the text itself. But some topics and issues are not clearly defined in the text and, therefore, must remain somewhat unclear. Hopefully, further studies of this so-little-known literature will provide us with the answers.

In order to make the cultural shell of the KBG more transparent, I shall focus on metaphoric expressions, like "All-Creating Sovereign," "three-fold nature," "ten characteristics," the concept of "entourage" and "manifestation." A topical analysis by chapters will provide further help in understanding the text (see end of book).

(1) The All-Creating Sovereign

The expression "All-Creating Sovereign" is a metaphor to elucidate the very nature of what is the ground of the universe. This ground is thought of as an intelligent and intelligible potency. The Buddhist text equates the "All-Creating Sovereign" with the phrase "the mind of perfect purity" (Tib. byang chub sems).

For this reason we shall first examine the term "mind of perfect purity" before we go on to study the phrase "All-Creating Sovereign". In general the Tibetan term byang chub sems corresponds to Skr. bodhicitta which is customarily translated as "mind of enlightenment" or "enlightened or awakened mind." For instance, in the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras we find this term as the main characteristic of the bodhisattva. There it means the firm intention to achieve enlightenment for the sake of all other sentient beings and to realize enlightenment in its fullest form as omniscience. Thus the practice of universal compassion and the understanding of emptiness are the two main components of the "mind of enlightenment" as understood in general Mahāyāna Buddhism.[65]

In Vajrayāna the term "mind of enlightenment" has a new connotation in so far as its main components, compassion and emptiness, are associated with masculinity and femininity. Consequently the union of the two components was symbolicly expressed through terms denoting the sexual union of man and woman. Within this context, the "mind of enlightenment" was seen as the most crucial element in the process of realizing enlightenment. It became the very essence of one's spiritual life and the sole force which inspired the practitioner to continue his or her pursuit of enlightenment. Thus the "mind of enlightenment" was frequently glossed as the "life force" symbolicly present in semen and blood.[66] This meaning of "mind of enlightenment" is found in the works of the three external tantras (i.e. Kriyāyoga, Caryayoga, and Yoga) and of the first two stages of the internal tantras (Mahāyoga and Anuyoga). But the two meanings which we have discussed so far are absent in the Atiyoga tantras to which the KBG belongs.

The KBG as well as other Atiyoga texts reject the ideas expressed in the eight other levels of the Buddhist path (see theg pa dgu). Thus the understanding of the term "mind of enlightenment" as given in these texts is quite different from its more common meanings. The KBG defines the term in chapter two in the following way:

My own being is the mind of perfect purity. 'Pure' is taught to be the nature of the limpid (dag pa) in its three aspects of totality. 'Perfect' is taught as the nature of the limpid as encompassing the three rea-sons.[67] The limpid is all-encompassing like the sky. The nature of what is called "mind" is taught as the ceaseless, all-encompassing All-Creating Sovereign. Everything is made, all is generated in the mind of perfect purity.

This passage defines the "mind of enlightenment" in a way which renders the common translation of the term meaningless. Consequently I have chosen a translation which is based on the interpretation of the term in the text itself: "mind of perfect purity."

The mind of perfect purity is in an allegoric manner addressed as the "sovereign" who governs the universe. This is well expressed in a passage of chapter forty-one of the KBG:

I am the core of all the Buddhas of the three times. I am father and mother to all sentient beings of the threefold world. Also, I am the cause for all that exists as animated and inanimated. Not one thing is that does not emanate from Me.

The All Creating-Sovereign is not a male god presiding as judge over the world but its governing life force which is beyond any gender-related distinction. The Sovereign is the intelligent ground of the universe. Only in an allegoric fashion can this ground talk like a person. This "person" is male as well as female. In the root-text the Sovereign Mind is seen as "father" and "mother" of all that exists. In the second appendix the issue of gender equality is taken one step further. In a chapter dealing with the different names given to the Sovereign Mind it is said:[68]

Because all the Buddhas of the three times (past, present and future) merge from Me, I am called the Buddha-Mother.

Other Atiyoga texts support this position. The rDo la gser zhun states that if the nature of All Good as a female (Samantabhadrā) is not grasped the bliss of truth cannot be appreciated.[69] Another Atiyoga text, the Instruction on The Chain of Doctrinal Views (Man ngag lta ba'i phreng ba) ascribed to Padmasambhava, represents the five great elements as five "mothers" of "own being." It further says that the totality of what exists as compound and non-compound phenomena (this includes nirvana) is the feminine creative force (chos bya ba mo), "All Good," that is "own being" which exists from the primordial.[70]

Thus within the context of the Atiyoga literature it is accurate to render the ultimate as of feminine gender. This is an essential point which should be kept in mind when reading the translation. I shall address the issue of gender-specific language versus an inclusive language when I talk about the nature of Buddhist language (see chapter four of the Introduction).

The term "All-Creating Sovereign" is always paraphrased as "mind of perfect purity." In this context "mind" is an inadequate reference to the non-physical, order- and meaning-giving force which is the base of all that exists. Because this force arrays the things of this world in order, it makes them intelligible. On numerous occasions the text talks about the fact that the universe is accessible to the intellect, not in a way of counting, measuring, or reckoning, but in an intuitive, yet intelligent way. Thus the force is an intelligent one. This force is said to be in balance, as it is free of any partiality, particularity, or peculiarity. It rests squarely in itself. Thus the text calls it "self-originated;" it knows neither cause nor conditions nor results. It is not tainted by subject-object dichotomy, thus its nature is "pure" and "limpid." It transcends the parameters of time and place; it is from the primordial. The most common simile given in the text to say something about this force, which otherwise is called inexplicable, is nam mkha' which means the expanse of the sky, the heavens in their limitless space, that which cannot be tainted, which is intangible, and limitless. The term has a clear spiritual connotation which uses the visible sky only as a metaphor. The metaphor points to the fact that this non-physical and intelligent force is all pervasive and all encompassing at the same time, very much as the dome of the sky encompasses all and like space permeates everything. The word "sky" is among the most frequently used words in the entire text.

This intelligent ground is called the one. It is one, yet manifest in all. This, however, does not mean that its nature is divided into many individual entities. Wherever it is (and there is nowhere it is not) it is there in its totality. Like the sky in its endless reach it encompasses all and permeates everything but remains the immutable one. The intelligent ground is self-originated pristine awareness (rang byung ye shes) which abides in its own lucid nature. It is not dependent on anything. The ground's oneness is its decisive characteristic but it presents itself in a threefold way. These two statements are not mutually exclusive but complementary. The intelligent ground is one, immutable and timeless, but it is present in all that exists in a such way that we as human beings can speak of its three aspects or three natures. Both statements are equally true and valid.

(2) The Threefold Nature of the Intelligent Ground

From the perspective of the ground it is one and nothing but one, but from the perspective of the world and its creatures it is sensed in a threefold manner. In other words, the indescribable intelligent ground is described in details and particularity for us humans who depend so much on conceptualizing things. This description, which is suitable for us, is not relevant for It. The three natures or aspects are:

1. The own being (rang bzhin) of the intelligent ground as pristine awareness;
2. the actuating force or essence (ngo bo) inherent in the intelligent ground and which is the factor responsible for the existence of the universe; :3. compassion (snying rje) which is the sole force determining the interaction among the different components of the world.

This scheme is not unanimously accepted in all Atiyoga texts. In many of them ngo bo is considered to be primary being, and rang bzhin its actuating force, while the third facet of the consummate Mind, i.e. compassion, remains unaffected. This inversion of terms is possible because in common usage the two Tibetan terms ngo bo and rang bzhin are considered to be synonymous. At the present stage of our knowledge it would be premature to speculate whether or not this change in terminology has more far-reaching implications. The translation of these terms suggested here reflects the way these terms are used and defined within the KBG. In other contexts they need to be translated in a different way.

Each of these three aspects warrants further examination. The pristine awareness which is all-pervasive consists in the oneness of the universe and constitutes the own being of the All-Creating Sovereign. Its nature constitutes the laws of the universe. In its pristine and consummate being it is the one. It is the ground from which the universe in its multiplicity and particularity arises: the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity. In chapter forty-seven we read:

This incomparable pristine awareness which does not stem from any cause, i.e. the self-originated pristine awareness which is ceaseless and all-permeating, generates everything; from nothing else the phenomena (dharma) arise.

The pristine awareness imprints its own luminous nature upon the universe which becomes thereby intelligible. This point is repeated throughout the text. But this intelligibility of the universe is not of the same order as the factual knowledge we accumulate during our life. It should not be mistaken for the scientific attempts to measure, analyze, or reckon the universe. To the contrary, the intelligibility of the universe rests in itself, in its own luminosity and equipoise without any object-oriented mental activity. It can be intuited through unmediated experience where there is no attempt to reify this pure experience. The orderly structure of this experience mirrors the meaningful organization of the universe. Our text talks about the universe being arrayed like a precious set of jewels, where aesthetics, balance, and harmony are integral elements. Thus the pristine awareness permeates existence and becomes apparent in its meaningful and orderly structure which is sensed as beauty.

The reason why people in general fail to perceive the universe in this way is that they are searching the surface for something which is integral to the depth of their own being from beginningless time. As the text points out in the last chapter, we cannot become Buddhas because we are already Buddhas. One might say that in the view of this text we are like people totally engulfed by the hustle of everyday trivia, overlooking the fact that the enormous silence of the universe comforts us as a mother comforts her child. Another way to make clear what the text conveys is to use David Bohm's concept of implicate order in modern physics as a metaphor for the fact that the pristine awareness is veiled from the eye of the ordinary person yet permeates all.[71] The order-giving, lucid nature of being is its governing force yet is hidden in invisibility from the eyes of those who want to distinguish the "governor" from the "governed." Therefore, the text says, there is no path to buddhahood on which we could progress, there is no goal which we could reach, and there is nothing of which we should rid ourselves. This statement however is not a per-mit to follow one's vices; this point will become clear in the discussion of compassion as the third aspect of the intelligent ground.

With regard to its all-pervasiveness the pristine awareness is the true being (rang bzhin) of the All-Creating Sovereign, as his and her mind, pure and consummate, consists in nothing else but this pristine awareness. But because every thing, every creature, in its true being, also rests in this limpid awareness it governs all things. For this reason it is called "Sovereign". The concept of sovereignty in this text is that the sovereign "sees everything," that his and her presence is felt in every aspect of his and her domain. This concept is very close to the Taoist concept of the ruler who should remain as invisible and as the Tao itself. Chuang Tzu says about the ruler and the way of conducting good government the following:[72]

Resolve your mental energy into abstraction, your physical energy into inaction. Allow yourself to fall in with the natural order of phenomena, without admitting the element of self,—and the empire will be governed.

But the image of sovereignty offered by the KBG is remote from the Indian concept of the ruler who is defined by his exercise of punishment (danda). As a good (Taoist) ruler implementing harmony and happiness, is apparent in every part of the empire, so is the pristine awareness present in every aspect of existence.

The pristine awareness is the ground of the universe, but it would be incorrect to say that this awareness came into existence at a certain time. Such a statement implies that before this act it was non-existent. To describe the transtemporal character of the pristine awareness the Tibetan uses the term ye nas which literally means "since the beginning;" but in this context it is quite obvious that there is no beginning in a temporal sense. Thus this phrase has to be understood in an ontological sense.

The pristine awareness rests in the depth of itself, fully integrated. Its second facet, i.e. "actuating potency" (ngo bo) is the force which arouses the pristine awareness to become manifest, tangible, perceptible, thinkable. The "actuating potency" makes the transition from a state of undifferentiated cognitiveness to the world of multiple phenomena possible. The "actuating potency" propels the pristine awareness from its stillness to manifestation. In a metaphoric context, pristine awareness is seen as the ultimate "ur-Buddha" thus the manifestations produced through "actuating potency" are metaphorically speaking the hosts of his attendants and disciples, or entourages, as Buddhist texts like to call them. Thus the metaphoric image is as follows: the ur-Buddha rests in the centre, unreified, beyond conceptualization; he and she is surrounded by the different forms of the manifest world. The opening chapter of the KBG depicts this vision by identifying individual "entourages" with certain components of the manifest world, such as the elements. The text looks at the common Buddhist teaching with its numerous paradise-like Buddha worlds, where the teacher is surrounded by hosts of listening disciples, and interprets this image as a meaningful diagram for laying out its own propositions: the world of phenomena is nothing but the manifest form of awakened awareness. To make this process of emanation plausible to its Buddhist audience the text engages common Buddhist terminology, like dharmakāya.

The true nature of the All-Creating Sovereign as part of the three aspects of its true being is already the first stage of emanation. As such it is identified with what, in traditional Buddhism, is known as the dharmakāya, i.e. the manifestation of ultimate truth which is the true being of a Buddha. The Sovereign's own being as part of these three aspects is therefore somewhat different from the true being as pristine awareness. Therefore the manifestation of truth as the Sovereign's own being is labeled "retinue," while this term would be inadequate for the intrinsic awareness in its primary state of un-differentiatedness. The term entourage implies that it is oriented towards some thing else, i.e. the centre. Consequently the centre can never be called an entourage, which would amount to labelling it as something on the perimeter.

The second phase in the ontological but not temporal or causal emanation of the universe is the Sovereign's actuating potency (ngo bo) which evokes a response from the depth of its own being. Many times this creating force is glossed with the expression "central vigour" (snying po). This response is known as the retinue of sambhogakāya, i.e. the manifestation of consummate joy, the second of the retinues. It is the phase where the ultimate in its oneness rejoices in a situation characterized by the experience of "you." In the metaphors of Buddhist thought it is described as the manifestations of joy rejoicing in sharing the truth with other living beings. In Buddhist art this event is portrayed as a paradise where a princely Buddha or bodhisattva teaches similarly advanced persons the truth of the doctrine. Our text makes it abundantly clear that this phase is not to be understood as a form of heaven but as a phase where the one intelligent ground of the universe begins to unfold into the multiplicity of the existing world, and this event is one of joy and exuberance. In more concrete terms this second phase is characterized by the emergence of the primary elements of the physical world: earth, water, fire, wind, and sky. These five primary elements are called the adornment of the world. This statement is in contrast to the common Buddhist world-view which sees the world in rather negative terms, while this text praises the wonder of creation. In chapter fifty-two we are encouraged to rejoice in the wonder of being manifest in the variety of living beings. This joy reveals the third aspect of the Sovereign's being: compassion (snying rje). It is the force which provides the mode of interaction between the one and the emanated multiplicity, and it is the sole base for all such interactions.

For this reason, the KBG stipulates natural ethics and not a set of prescribed morals. Common Buddhism knows of five basic rules to be embraced by the laity: to abstain from taking life; to abstain from taking what is not given; to abstain from sexual misconduct; to abstain from false speech; and to abstain from intoxicants as tending to cloud the mind.[73] In the later tradition these five precepts become expanded and form a group of ten precepts. Monks and nuns observe many more rules enforcing strict abstention from all sexual activities, renunciation of property, limitation of their needs, etc. (several hundred more rules regulate their lives in every detail). The KBG criticizes the ten moral precepts, i.e. the moral guidelines of ordinary Buddhism. The point of its criticism is the fact that by following a set of morals certain activities or attitudes are rejected while others are sought. Such an attitude is seen as improper, as all activities and attitudes are saturated with pristine awareness. Consequently, to reject certain activities implies a rejection of their innate divine nature. Such partial denial of the divine reality jeopardizes the realization of totality. The person who is rooted in the intelligent ground will act in accordance with compassion not because it is said to be moral or because it will produce advantageous results (i.e. "merit"), but because such a mode of acting is integral to the person's nature. Our text strongly rejects all attempts to use the Vajrayāna for condoning licentious behaviour such as drinking, sexual misconduct, black magic, etc. even if these activities are carried out within a ritual context. The Atiyoga's rejection of prescribed morals is not a free ticket for the pursuit of one's passions but is motivated by a deep concern for regaining natural ethics.

Compassion becomes visible as the earthly manifestations of the Buddha, for instance as Buddha Shakyamuni, whom the Western world calls the historical Buddha; but compassion also generates all other sentient beings who populate the universe. They all constitute the third retinue. The corporeal manifestations of the Buddhas preach what is suitable for the different disciples. Not all their teachings reflect the sublime and subtle truth of the Atiyoga, as many people are not capable of understanding it. Therefore the earthly Buddhas replace the definitive lore with a teaching which is in need of commentaries and interpretation.

The ideas described above are given in the text in the following passage:

In the untainted mansion of pristine awareness (the All-Creating Sovereign's) own being (rang bzhin), Her actuating essence (ngo bo), Her compassion and pristine awareness became manifest as vari-ous retinues in the following way: The retinue emerging from Her own being is known as the retinue of truth manifestation (dharmakāya); the retinue emerging from Her actuating essence is known as the retinue of joy manifestation (sambhogakāya). The retinue of Her actuating essence, the manifestation of consummate joy is called the retinue of the element water;[74] ... retinue of the element fire; ... retinue of the element wind; ... retinue of the element sky. Furthermore, the manifesting of Her compassion and pristine awareness as retinues in the form of corporeal manifestations (nirmāna) happened in this way: the retinue known as sentient beings of the realm of desire (kāmaloka), the retinue known as the sentient beings of the realm of form (rūpaloka), and the retinue known as the sentient beings of the realm of formlessness (ārūpaloka). Furthermore, the retinues equal to Her own being correspond to the four yoga: the retinue of Atiyoga (shin to rnal 'byor), the retinue of Anuyoga (yongs su rn al 'yor), the retinue of Mahāyoga (rnal 'byor Chen po), and the retinue of the Bodhisattvayoga (sems dpa' rnal 'byor). As Her own being, Her actuating essence, and Her compassion are inseparable from Her nature, there is only one method.[75] (chapter 1)

This passage makes it abundantly clear that the entire universe constitutes a "retinue" of the All-Creating Sovereign. In other words, all that exists does so in dependence on the intelligent ground. As there is no Buddha without disciples to teach, so there are no disciples without being taught by a Buddha. In the same way, the intelligent ground and the existent universe are mutually dependent and mutually integrated. Neither one is without the other. This makes every attempt to purge, cleanse, or abandon the one for obtaining the other obsolete. The divine reality is not located in another world but is present in every moment and every aspect of this existence.

(3) The Ten Characteristics of the Nature of the Consummate Mind (rang bzhin bcu)

Chapter nine of the KBG mentions these ten traits for the first time, but there are many references to them throughout the text. The Tibetan term would warrant a literal translation of "ten natures" which however would lead to a misunderstanding. The fact, as sub-stantiated by this passage, is that these are ten characteristics of the All-Creating Sovereign's own being, and they typify the Atiyoga teaching. Thus the ten characteristics highlight Atiyoga's otherness by setting it apart from all other Buddhist teachings. In other words, by means of the ten characteristics the idiosyncrasy of this teaching can be appreciated. The importance of this topic asks for a more detailed discussion of each of the ten characteristics.

Klong-chen-pa talks about these ten characteristics in his Don khrid, but his list is different from the one given in the KBG.[76] Therefore we shall concentrate on the KBG list. The pertinent passage in chapter nine first lists these ten characteristics, which mainly consist of rejecting common Buddhist ideas and practices, before it gives a more detailed description of what will happen if such precautions are not heeded. We shall try to juxtapose these opposing statements to achieve a clearer understanding of this concept.

(1) The first characteristic is the absence of lta ba (Skr. darsana), doctrinal "view," which deserves to be contemplated. Such contemplation of the doctrinal view may be carried out in six ways: two appreciative judgements are made with regard to the three facets of the primary being. One may embrace or pursue (blang), or reject (dor) each of the ten characteristics in its correlation with the three facets, which are essential vigour, suchness, and the true nature of things or Reality.[77] If one would contemplate a doctrinal view from these six perspectives, the One, i.e. the pristine awareness, would be clouded with error. This amounts to nothing less than a rejection of the entire abhidharmic (or scholastic) tradition of Buddhism. The underlying assumption is that all abhidharmic categories result in distinction, and distinction is according to the KBG discrimination against the primary Mind. Therefore the entire scholastic system of Buddhism is rejected in this statement.

(2) The second characteristic deals with the irrelevance of vows whose observance is recommended by Buddhism in general. The taking of vows is intended to stimulate the individual to modify his or her behaviour in order to achieve a certain ideal form of life. Such discrimination is in opposition to the Oneness of the primary Mind.

(3) Consequently the third characteristic states that all the salutary acts (phrin las) are achieved without the slightest effort. This is so because the primary Mind does not know of any striving or achieving.

(4) The fourth characteristic sets the one and primary pristine awareness apart from other forms of awareness, such as the six sensory awarenesses. Those who are inclined to assume that the primary awareness is subject to the same restrictions applicable to the six sensory awarenesses, are in error.

(5) The practice for achieving the ten bodhisattva stages (bhūmi) is declared as being not in accord with the primary Mind which is not in need of any practice.

(6) Thus there exists no soterilogical path with a promise to let the individual reach a spiritual goal. The assumption of "progress" in itself is rejected as erroneous.

(7) The seventh and eighth characteristics deal with the nature of things as seen by the abhidharmic tradition. The KBG rejects any definition of the nature of things, be it "subtle," "dualistic," or "dependent." Therefore it is said things are neither subtle (phra ba chos med),

(8) nor dual, nor dependent.

(9) The ninth characteristic says that there is no accurate sacred instruction firmly established except for that which reveals the Mind as the primary potency.

(10) The last of the characteristics warns against any attempt to define the instructions except that they are beyond praise and blame. This is considered to be "the right view of the great perfected mind of perfect purity."

In summary, the ten characteristics make and articulate a plea for not appropriating the Atiyoga lore in such a way as to destroy its spiritual meaning in the hair-splitting of scholastic reasoning. Through deconstructing Buddhist abhidharmic thinking an attempt is made to regain the original vitality and freshness of liberating insight (samyaksambodhi).

C. The Climax of Atiyoga

If every existent creature and thing is fully integrated in the intelligent ground and its divine nature, what then, we may ask, has the text to teach? It certainly rejects the concept of a goal which has to be reached by proceeding on a strenuous path leading from an undesirable situation, i.e. samsara, to another thought to be desirable, i.e. nirvana or buddhahood. Thus it would not be right to talk about a goal of Atiyoga. Yet without any doubt, the text wants to convey a message. But what is it? The answer the text wants to instill in us is an awareness that existence in total integration (i.e. being) is the consummation.

The notion of individual existence ceases in the unmediated experience of totality which is translated as "oneness." The statement that being is one does not imply a negation of the diversity of existence; on the contrary it means that in its diversity the experience of totality rests. In this totality the usual dichotomy of subject/object is subsumed into a sense of being one with everything else. Oneness and diversity are not mutually exclusive concepts, as they are under ordinary circumstances, but complementary aspects of the same reality.

Those who are grounded in this unreified experience of totality differ in an essential way from all other people. They will not indulge in activities designed for obtaining results but will abide in deedlessness. Deedlessness does not mean that the adepts of Atiyoga remain in complacent quiescence but that they engage in the only meaningful activity, integration in the totality of being. Every moment presents itself anew in its total integration. The adepts of Atiyoga are in harmony with this. Their acts come forth spontaneously and not as a reaction to something else, nor are their acts destined to change or produce anything. Thus their acts fulfill the most sublime purpose but are in an ordinary sense purposeless.

The idea of deedlessness (bya bral) is well known from the writings of philosophical Taoism where the term is known as wu wei. In Taoism it means to act in accordance with the tao and the "nature" of the affected thing. The Taoist sages "act without action."[78]

The state of mind typifying the Atiyoga is beyond the scope of conceptual thinking as all distinctions become irrelevant. The adepts of Atiyoga refrain from doctrinal debates as well as from ritualism as both are based on a distinction-making attitude. The adepts will accept every event in its own right without imposing definitions or judgments on it. In a figurative way they become speechless in a nameless world of blissful silence in integrated being. For this reason the Atiyoga rejects the entirety of Buddhist philosophy, scholasticism, and all formal meditation techniques. All the scriptures of Buddhism are said to be of a meaning that requires interpretation. They are of an ephemeral nature and their content does not reveal the truth in its finality. In contrast to the scriptures, Atiyoga is not a teaching taught by the Buddha, it is the matrix of buddhahood.

No method is revealed as to how to realize this sublime state of Atiyoga, no path is described to pursue this elusive goal, and rightly so. If there were such instructions we would have reason to doubt the authenticity of this teaching.[79]

4. Translation Considerations: Towards a Philosophy of Buddhist Language

The bulk of Buddhist texts were originally composed in four Indic languages: Pāli and Prakrit, both Middle Indic , Sanskrit and, in the terminology of Franklin Edgerton, Hybrid Buddhist Sanskrit. These four languages belong to the Indo-Germanic family of languages; they share similar grammatical structures and many of their words are derived from the same stem or root. The Indo-Germanic family of languages is widespread, as it comprises languages as different as Latin and Sanskrit, and English and Russian. What they all have in common is a certain grammatical structure characterized by distinguishing between different categories of words, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives; and by making the verb dependent upon the agent which functions as the grammatical subject in a sentence.

If we assume that language is a system of symbols permitting us to express our experiences and our thoughts, then we have to view the structure of language as a reflection of the structure of our minds. Philosophers of phenomenology have argued for some time that sensual perception and the expression it finds in our thoughts, in our speech, and finally in our writings are mutually interdependent.[80] If this assumption is correct then we have to expect that the speech of Buddhist writers reflects a Buddhist view of the world. In other words we have to be prepared to find in Buddhist speech less or no emphasis on the "I" or a similarly dominant agent. Such grammatical and syntactical preferences result in a sentence structure not quite in accord with what is deemed good English. A Buddhist writer who sees the world as a web of interrelated and interdependent fleeting phenomena will express his or her perception of the world accordingly. The sentence structure will emulate this Buddhist view by preferring a syntax that is flexible and often ambiguous and where the individual phrases and clauses reach out to all other components of the sentence to create this web of interrelatedness. Meaning in such speech is not confined to one single possibility, but meaning is revealed in various ways because the correlations of the individual components of the sentence are not fixed. Buddhist speech invites the reader's mind to become engaged in multi-directional associations to let his or her mind float in an ocean of meaning.

This brief characterization of Buddhist speech versus speech based upon occidental ideology makes it clear that translating a Buddhist text requires a certain sensitivity towards this issue. It is neither sufficient to translate word-for-word, which would result in a senseless hodgepodge of words and sentences, nor is it sufficient to paraphrase the original in such a way that the product reads as plain English or whatever modern language of the Indo-Germanic family we may use. On the one hand the meaningful idiosyncrasy of Buddhist speech should be preserved because it bespeaks an authentic Buddhist perception of reality. On the other hand the English translation should follow its own grammatical and syntactical conventions. Thus a translation is a compromise, a middle road between extremes of "purism."

One issue which comes to mind here is the gender of the term kun byed rgyal po, translated here as "all-creating sovereign." The text itself makes it abundantly clear that the kun byed rgyal po is beyond any distinction of sexual orientation. In chapter twenty-one of the KBG the following statement is made:

By being the Sovereign who has made all things, I am father and mother of the teacher in his three manifestations, and the progenitor of all the Buddhas of the three times.

Consequently the neutral pronoun "it" would seem to be the right choice. But the kun byed rgyal po acts and speaks in the text like a person and interacts as such with other persons. Many sentences start with "My nature . . . " Can such be said of an "it?" The Tibetan, the language in which the text is preserved, knows of reflexive pronouns which do not specify the gender of the pertinent noun (e.g. rang). Consequently the issue of gender does not arise in the original text. The pronoun rang is equally used for things as well as persons of both genders. When such sentences are translated into a modern Indo-Germanic language the possessive and reflexive pronouns create a dilemma, forcing the translator to change the text from an inclusive to a gender-biased speech. This is a regrettable situation, particularly at a time when we in the West struggle to integrate the two sexes and the grammatical genders in a more holistic view of the world. Initially I was inclined to give in to the pressure of conventional Buddhist translations, that is to render the All-Creating Sovereign as male. But after reading through most of the works belonging to the "mind section"(sems sde), and after considering the impact patriarchy had upon how Buddhist thought was presented throughout time, I decided to follow the intent of the Atiyoga texts and render the All-Creating Sovereign as feminine. Thus the reader will find "her" where the Tibetan text reads "his/her/its." To provide a more bal-anced view of the text, I chose to speak of the Buddha, at least in the Introduction, as "he and she" whenever the term Buddha referred to the depth of being and not to the historical teacher. Until the present the rendering of Buddhist thought, in the West as well as in the East, was mainly done by men who were sometimes forgetful of the fact that, at least in some branches of the Mahāyāna, every male Buddha has a female equivalent "Buddhā," that buddhahood is neither male nor female, and that the perfection of wisdom is seen within feminine symbolism. The social structure of the past has prevented women from developing their own perception of Buddhist thought. Thus a religion which had the potential of not being gender-oriented became encapsuled in a patriarchal crust. It is time to understand this fact and to challenge Buddhist thought from a more inclusive perspective. Some may say that in the Tibetan term kun byed rgyal po a male connotation is included as rgyal po means "king." However in this text, the term "king" is used as a metaphor. The question is, what does the text want to say by applying this metaphor. The text speaks about the intelligent ground being omnipresent, and thus it is called "king."[81] This statement helps us to develop the right understanding of what is intended when the text uses the metaphor "king." Just as a good but energetic ruler can be felt in every corner of the country governed by his or her laws, so the divine ground of existence is present and can be sensed everywhere. In order to diminish the male connotation of "king," and be more in tune with the spirit of the text, I chose "sovereign" over "king" to render the Tibetan rgyal po.

In many cases the Tibetan does not specify the subject of a sentence or the indirect object of an action expressed in the verb. In such cases I have supplied them from the context. To distinguish my inser-tions from the translation of the text proper, I put my additions between square brackets. The text prefers a non-active mode, as most Buddhist texts do, and indeed as many non-Buddhist texts in Sanskrit and Sanskrit-based languages also do. For this reason the reader will find more passive sentences in my translation that one may normally expect in English. But in the light of the above-mentioned considerations I felt that replacing the non-active style of the original with an active mode would distort the text and the meaning it wants to convey.

On occasion the text fails to specify the intelligent ground in any form, referring to it by using demonstrative pronouns (de in Tibetan) without a noun as a reference in its vicinity. As I have pointed out in the notes added to the translation, such usage is well established in the spiritual writings of India. One may also point to Merleau-Pointy who sees in the demonstrative pronoun the least "interpreted" ex-pression.[82] To distinguish this use of the demonstrative pronoun from its more ordinary usage I have capitalized it. Buddhist philosophy rejects one basic assumption made by all Indo-Germanic languages, that is, the assumption of the I as centre and origin of all activities and events. To put it bluntly, a sentence like "I read a book" is wrong from a Buddhist viewpoint: It is not that I do something to the book; rather, a Buddhist would argue, something happens in a field consisting of a book, a person ("me"), and an event, i.e. "reading." Consequently a Buddhist way of saying it would be "there is the reading of a book with regard to me." Indo-Germanic languages do not allow for such flexibility in their grammatical structures. The example sentence is bad English just as it would be bad Sanskrit, if I had bothered to translate it literally. Because of the Buddhists' unhappiness with the active mode, the prominent position of the agent, etc., they preferred in their Sanskrit writings nominal constructions.[83] That is, they transformed a structure essentially governed by the subject and its dependent verb into one that is governed by verbal nouns. Our example from above would then read "book-read-by-me." In the course of time Buddhists developed this form of language into a true art, so that they were able to produce long and complex sentences consisting of nothing but verbal nouns and their attributes. Under the influence of such thinking the activity becomes an event that happens in a field of interdependent factors with none superior to the others. By the late 8th century C.E. the Buddhists had largely transformed the Sanskrit language into a tool suitable to express a Buddhist world-view.

When the Indian Buddhist texts were brought to Tibet during the late 7th and 8th centuries to be translated into her native idiom the difficulties dwindled away. Tibetan was still a very young language at that time, and flexible enough to accept readily Buddhist philosophy as a basis for developing a more formalized grammatical structure. A factor which encouraged this trend was that Tibetan did not belong to the Indo-Germanic languages but to the Tibeto-Burmese family of languages. These languages do have quite different grammatical premises. For instance, they do not distinguish different categories of words (a word may function as a noun one time and as a verb at another time); active and passive modes are rather the exception than the rule; and expressions which can be understood in only one way are considered a sign of mental immaturity. All these characteristics influenced the way the text is translated here. After all, the reader of the translation should be able to catch a glimpse of the aesthetics of this Buddhist text.

THE ALL-CREATING SOVEREIGN, MIND OF PERFECT PURITY, THE CONSUMMATION OF ALL
Translated from the Tibetan



From the Ocean "The Tantras of the Old Translations," part of the Vajrayāna of Secret Spells, such texts as The Great Consummate All-Creating Sovereign which belong to the section on the mind (sems sde) will follow here.

{p.2} In Indian language: sarva dharma mahasanti bodhicitta kulaya rājā In Tibetan: chos thams cad rdzogs pa then po byang chub kyi sems kun byed rgyal po (The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity,[84] the Consummation of All)

Chapter 1

Homage to the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of complete purity, the victorious one!

At a time this sermon was taught in the realm No-Below (Akanishtha) where Reality is like the sky, and the dimension of Reality itself (dharmadhātu) like the vastness of the sky. There is the place where the Mind itself (sems nyid) exists.[85]

In the untainted mansion of pristine awareness the All-Creating Sovereign's own being (rang bzhin), Her actuating essence (ngo bo), Her compassion and pristine awareness became manifest as various retinues in the following way: The retinue emerging from Her own being is known as the retinue of truth manifestation (dharmakāya). The retinue of Her actuating essence, the manifestation of consummate joy (sambhogakāya) is called the retinue of the element earth;[86] {p.3} . . . retinue of the element water; . . . retinue of the element fire; . . . retinue of the element wind; . . . retinue of the element sky. Furthermore, the manifesting of her compassion and pristine awareness as retinues in form of corporeal manifestations (nirmāna) happened in this way: the retinue known as sentient beings of the realm of desire (kāmaloka), the retinue known as the sentient beings of the realm of form (rūpaloka), and the retinue known as the sentient beings of the realm of formlessness (arūpaloka). {p.4} Furthermore, the retinues equal to Her own being correspond to the four yogas: the retinue of Atiyoga (shin to rnal 'byor), the retinue of Anuyoga (yongs su rnal 'byor), the retinue of Mahāyoga (rnal 'byor chen po), and the retinue of the bodhisattva yoga (sems dpa' rnal 'byor). As Her own being, Her actuating essence, and Her compassion are inseparable from Her nature, there is only one method.[87]

Furthermore, the retinues cognizing Her own being are such: the retinue resting in Her, i.e. the Buddhas of the past; the retinue realizing Her objective, i.e. the present Buddhas; the retinue that brings forth Her deeds, i.e. the Buddhas to come later. Because they are inseparable from Her own being there is only one method.

After that, the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity, absorbed into Her mind and heart all the retinues so that they were blessed with Her own being. {p.5} She then let the self-originated pristine awareness become lucid. To endow all things with Reality, She then dwelt as one in the void focus (bindu) after She had united all things.

After that, Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, who abided through Her in the great void focus of Her own being, emerged from this state and sat down with a mind of joy and a pure and bright appearance in front of the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity. The All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity, spoke to Sems-dpa' rdo-rje:

"Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, emaho, generate a mind of joy, emaho; produce a pure and bright countenance, emaho: You have come forth from Me, emaho!"

Thus She spoke.
Then Sems-dpa' rdo-rje addressed Her:

"Oh teacher of the teachers, All-Creating Sovereign! Is the void focus of the non-conceptual (spros med) also the teacher Herself, or is the void focus of the non-conceptual also the entirety of retinues, or is the void focus of the non-conceptual also the entirety of teachings, {p.6} or is the void focus also time and place,[88] or how does the teacher of the teachers teach if everything abides in the nature of this void focus? For what purpose do the retinues circulate as Her retinues? Why is a teaching taught to the retinues? How can it be that time and place are one?"

Thus he asked. After that the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity, gave Sems-dpa' rdo-rje the following instruction:

"Oh great bodhisattva, direct your mind towards this instruction! Let me explain the meaning. Oh Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, Mind-as-such, i.e. I, the All-Creating Sovereign, am the central vigor (snying po) of all things. This central vigor, which is non-conceptual, is the primordial void focus. The void focus in its final value (don) is without conceptualization from the primordial. The teacher, the teachings, the retinues, time and place, they emerged from Me as the primordial void focus. My own being is known as the void focus." Such the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity, spoke.

This is the first chapter, the introduction.

Chapter 2

{cont'd p.6} After that the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of complete purity, dwelt in what is called a contemplation (samādhi) of 'all things emerge from Her.' Then Sems-dpa' rdo-rje arose from the own being of the retinues and, approaching with a smiling face the teacher, the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity, asked Her and sat down:

"Oh teacher of the teachers, All-Creating Sovereign! As I am in an integrated way present in Your retinues, what is then the objective of my existence ('tshal)?[89] Please teach me about the objective of my existence!"

Such he spoke.

{p.7} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity, laid out all things on the basis of Her own being, Her actuating essence, and Her compassion. That from the one great self-originated awareness the five great self-originated awarenesses come, is as follows: the great self-originated awareness as hatred, as attach-ment, ignorance, jealousy, and pride—these five self-originated awarenesses bring forth the five great elements as cause of adornment.[90] She set up the three great realms ('khams) as a receptacle of what is perishable. That the cause of adornment obtained its five forms[91] as one is as follows: There is the form of earth as the cause of adornment; there is the form of water, fire, wind, and sky as causes of adornment. All these forms were obtained as one.

The five awarenesses were organized according to the five 'families': the family of the self-originated awareness of hatred, that of the awareness of attachment, of ignorance, of jealousy, and of pride. The beautiful appearance of the forms of the "families" associated with the five self-originated awarenesses was set up as the Reality of those endowed with a body (i.e. sentient beings). As Reality was set up in accord with Her own being, even the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity, dwelt in this manner.

{p.8} Then Sems-dpa' rdo-rje again abode in front of the All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity:

"Oh teacher, All-Creating Sovereign! From the self-originated awareness, one with Your[92] mind, the five forms of self-originated awareness come, and from that the five causes of adornment come. Oh All-Creating Sovereign, what is the reason for this fact that the five self-originated awarenesses adopt five different forms?"

Such he asked.

The All-Creating Sovereign, the mind of perfect purity, explained further:

"Oh great bodhisattva, this you must know: Besides Me, the All-Creating Sovereign, the maker, there is no other maker. None besides Me creates Reality. None besides Me establishes the teacher's three forms of manifestation (sku gsum). None besides Me establishes the hosts of retinues. None besides Me establishes the things as they are (tathatā) in their Reality. Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, by Me you are! I shall show you My own being. My own being has three aspects (rnam pa). My own being is the mind of perfect purity. 'Pure' is taught to be the nature of the limpid (dag pa) in its three aspects of totality. 'Perfect' is taught as the nature of the limpid as encompassing the three reasons.[93] The limpid is all-encompassing like the sky. The nature of what is called 'mind' is taught as the ceaseless, all-encompassing All-Creating Sovereign. Everything is made, all is generated in the mind of perfect purity."

Such She spoke.

This is the second chapter of the All-Creating Sovereign, the Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is explained how Reality has become apparent.

Chapter 3

{p. 9} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, spoke about "How I[94] have become in the past the maker of all things:"

"Oh great bodhisattva, lend your mind to the ear! Understand My words by virtue of listening. Oh, I am the All-Creating Sovereign. I am the mind of perfect purity, the maker of all. If I were not existent in the past, no vigor were there for all things to originate. If I were not existent in the past, no Sovereign were there who made all things. If I were not existent in the past, none were there to be a teacher from the primordial.[95] If I were not existent in the past, none were there to teach from the primordial. If I were not existent in the past, that which is known as retinues would not be there from the primordial. Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, do not have doubts. Also you, oh great bodhisattva, are an emanation of Me."

Such She spoke.

Then Sems-dpa' rdo-rje addressed the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity:

"Oh All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, You are from the primordial the great one. Because you, the creator of teacher, teaching, and retinue as well as of all things, have made them, how then do all things come into existence? It seems that you, the creator, have made them. Has then one teacher appeared or many? Is there one teaching or many? Are the retinues one or many?" Such he asked.

Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, spoke again:

"Oh the self-originated pristine awareness, sole teacher of all, appears as the three aspects of My own being, and with regard to the number of teachers {p. 10}, they come into existence as three. Because I am one with suchness (de bzhin nyid) the Reality of all things is this suchness. Nothing is except My self, i.e. the mind of perfect purity. From Me emanated the teacher's three forms of manifestation that teach the retinues the three forms of teachings. My actuating essence has been manifest as one and because My own being is declared to be one, all is one as My, i.e. the All-Creating Sovereign, retinue. But the retinues of the teachers, though emanating from Me, are of three divisions."

Such She spoke.

Sems-dpa' rdo-rje asked:

"Oh teacher of the teachers, All-Creating Sovereign! From You, the teacher's three forms of manifestation emanated, but is there a path for the sentient beings to Your stage (sa) or not? If not, can one reach Your stage or not? If so, does one reach it by means of progressing on a spiritual path or by not progressing?

The All-Creating Sovereign:

"Listen great bodhisattva! The teacher's three forms of manifestation emanate from Me, but there is no path on which you could proceed towards My stage. I have shown[96] the self-originated pristine awareness. But all the Buddhas of the three times have taught the retinues, associated with the teacher's three forms of manifestation, a universal path (kun gyi lam), i.e. the path to liberation in five stages.

The five paths of the five self-originated pristine awarenesses are attachment, hatred, ignorance, pride, and jealousy. This is the true universal path, i.e. the five aspects of self-originated pristine awareness."

Such She said.

Sems-dpa' rdo-rje:

"Oh teacher of the teachers, All-Creating Sovereign, expound the five paths in accordance with the self-originated pristine awareness. How has come to be what is known as `self-originated'; what are the synonyms for the term 'awareness'; what is given as meaning of 'path'. I beg You to expound {p.11} the meaning of the five paths as to the five aspects, i.e. attachment, hatred, ignorance, pride, and jealousy!" Such he asked.

The All-Creating Sovereign:

"Great bodhisattva! With regard to the path of the five aspects of the self-originated pristine awareness it is as follows: 'self-origi-nated' is said because it is without cause and condition; 'pristine awareness' is said because it is lucid in its ceaselessness. There is no reason to proceed on this path, as it is without cause or conditions. The five self-originated pristine awarenesses are known as the five paths on which one can not progress. 'Desire' is to want the things for oneself; 'attachment' is to covet that which one desires for oneself; 'mind (zhe)' is the nature of the unborn, and 'wrath' is to hate its miraculous variety; 'ignorance' is not to achieve clarity about the divisions of sameness and Reality through meditating on the non-conceptual. I am the unerring mind of perfect purity. In this suchness I am Sovereign from the primordial. Because everything is one in suchness, to appreciate and depreciate the notion of existence and non-existence will create a jealous feeling. This is the explanation about the five paths on which there is no progress.

Oh great bodhisattva listen! All things, in the way they appear, come forth from these five paths of the self-originated pristine awareness. The realm of desire is the self-originated pristine awareness, so is the realm of form, and so is the realm of formlessness. Because I, the All-Creating Sovereign, have created them, all things made by Me are known as the actuation (ngo bo) of the pristine awareness. That all the beings of the six different categories living in the threefold world are not the self-originated pristine awareness, such I have never proclaimed. Furthermore, {p.12} I do not say that the mind of perfect purity is not the progenitor of all Buddhas. My, the All-Creating Sovereign's nature, is declared as the three aspects of Reality. The unborn Reality does not truly appear, but is explained as the realm of formlessness. With regard to the wonders of existence as form, it is taught as the realm of form. Given the fact that compassion comes forth as an actuation of pristine awareness, compassion becomes manifest as the realm of desire in order to exhaust the karma of good luck and ill by compassion."

Such She spoke.

This is the third chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is explained how all things originated as deeds done by the All-Creating Sovereign.

Chapter 4

{cont'd p. 12} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, gave the following talk about the Reality of the names given to Her own being.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! From the primordial I am the self-originated pristine awareness. From the primordial I am the central vigor (snying po) of all things. I am the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity. A bodhisattva ought to understand My name. If a bodhisattva recognizes My name, he or she will understand all things without exception. I am called the central vigor as I am the central vigor of all things. I am called self-originated because I am totally beyond the scope of striving and achieving and as central vigor I am free of causes and conditions. I am called pristine awareness because by virtue of this ceaseless and stainless awareness I am the teacher of all things. I am known as mind of perfect purity. {p. 13} The meaning of 'from the primordial' is that I exist right from the beginning. 'All things' is said because all the teachers are present in Reality, and so are all the teachings, and the retinues manifest in place and time are present in Reality. Not a single thing is that is not present in Reality. This Reality which is called inner vigor is the inner vigor which gives rise to everything.

In the own being of the mind of perfect purity, the three teachers are also coming from this Reality, the three teachings are also coming from it, and the retinues appearing in place and time are also coming from that source. As everything comes from it, it is called central vigor.

About Me you should know that as central vigor of the mind itself I have created all things without any exception. 'All' is said with regard to all things or everything. 'All things'—whatever can be cognized as teachers, teachings, retinues, place and time. 'Creating' —I am called master of creation (bya ba mkhan). As I have created the teachers, teachings, retinues, place and time, I am the master of the self-originated pristine awareness. I am called Sovereign as I am superior to everything as the creator of all things and as the inner vigor of the self-originated pristine awareness.

The meaning of purity is that it is the central vigor of the mind of perfect purity. By means of the self-originated which is pure from the primordial, the All-Creating Sovereign makes everything. Because I am pure in total immaculateness I am known as the pure one. 'Perfect' is said in this sense: due to the central vigor of the self-originated pristine awareness all things which appear or exist, in short the animated and inanimated, as all the Buddhas of the three times {p.14}, and the six categories of sentient beings in the three realms are vastly established and totally perfected in suchness. Therefore 'perfect' I am called.

The meaning of 'mind' is as follows: The central vigor of self-originated pristine awareness discerns with strength the perishable in all that exists as animated and inanimated. Therefore it is known as mind. The causeless and conditionless central vigor exercises power over everything, and creates all. Oh great bodhisattva, if you under-stand My own being you will also understand all the teachers, and all the teachings; you will understand the thoughts of the attendants, and that the entirety of place and time has become one. Because I am all and everything you will understand all things if you understand My own being. Therefore by non-striving you will be spontaneously self-perfected in what is totally beyond doing deeds, and beyond striving and achieving."

Thus She spoke.

This is the fourth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which Her name is explained.

Chapter 5

After that the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, instructed Sems-dpa' rdo-rje in the concise meaning of the teachings about Her own being:

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! My own being is like this: Its intrinsic being (yod) is nothing but one. Its teaching (bstan) is taught in two aspects. Its origin (byung) is revealed in the nine vehicles. Its integration ('dus) is integral to the Great Perfection. Its explicit being (yin) is the mind of perfect purity. Its existence (gnas) abides in the dimension of Reality (chos nyid dbyings). Its luminosity illuminates the space of intuitive wisdom (rig pa'i mkha). {p. 15} Its pervasiveness (khyab) covers the entire animated and inanimated world. Its manifestation (byung)[97] manifests as the entirety of what appears and exists. Teaching on it, means things do not have fixed characteristics. Seeing it means one will be free of objects of perception. Knowing it means one will not attempt to express it through words.

This essential vigor, which does not come from any cause, is free of all fetters created by the methods of explanation. If one wishes for a thorough understanding of this matter one has to take the sky as a simile: the point is that Reality is unborn, and that as the main characteristic the mind is ceaseless. Like the sky so is Reality; by means of the sky as simile Reality is pointed out. The imperceptible Reality is taught by pointing at something else which is imperceptible. The Reality which cannot be expressed through words is explained through something which is inexplicable. The quintessence of the imperceptible is taught as the main point of a teaching that is joined with similes. The essence of this meaning is given in comments. Thereby you ought to understand the meaning of Me. Thereby you will be led to understand the meaning of Me. If you don't understand thereby the meaning of Me you will never meet Me, regardless of how many words you have learned. If you deviate (gol) from Me I shall be veiled, and for this reason, you will not obtain the pith of Reality (chos kyi snying po)."

Thus She spoke.

This is the fifth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which "meaning" is commented upon.

Chapter 6

Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, gave this sermon in which She declared that the perfection of all things rests in Her own being:

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen to these words! I am the All-Creating Sovereign, and I have arranged all things from the primordial. I made the things apparent. I will show you My actuating essence. After I show you My own being I shall point out its meaning in words, and sounds, and you will be able to envisage My actuating essence as taught to you. My own being, when explained, you will understand it as the letter A.[98] By means of speaking these words you will perceive the meaning."

Such She said, and did not say anything more. She abided in the actuating essence of all things. Because of that Sems-dpa' rdo-rje arose from amidst the attendants and sat with a sombre face in front of the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity.

The All-Creating Sovereign:

"Oh great bodhisattva, you are sitting here before Me in a sombre mood. Ask what you wish to know!"

Then Sems-dpa' rdo-rje asked:

"Oh teacher of the teachers, All-Creating Sovereign! If all things are Your own being, what then did You[99] establish as teachers, teaching, and retinues? What are the perfect entities?"

This question he asked.

Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, spoke these words:

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! Things are made in a perfect man-ner. This is so because I am the nature of perfection. I shall show you My own being. Because My own being is non-conceptual and uncreated, I have made things as to exist in the realm of Reality (chos dbyings). They do not rest on anything else but the mind of perfect purity. As My own being is immaculate and all-pervasive the things do not rest upon anything else but on the self-originated awareness itself in the mansion of awareness, i.e the lucid sky. {p.17} As I am the central vigor[100] of all things which come into existence, i.e. the five great elements, the threefold world, the six categories of sentient beings: they are nothing else but My form, utterance and spirit. I have established the things as My own being. I am revealing to you the Buddhas of the three times and the sentient beings of the threefold world as My own being. Because My actuating essence is un-born, and non-conceptual, it does not exist (mi gnas), but transcends all areas of perception. It even transcends the objects of meditation and does not become apparent in mental absorption. Although My own being is imperceptible, I reveal My actuation to you as the threefold world, consisting of the five great elements, and the six categories of sentient beings. From the five elements which are the apparent form of My own being, i.e. the perfect and pure mind, come the five self-originated and vigorous awarenesses. The five awarenesses bring forth the five sensual objects; after the five desires have come forth the five passions come forth. The five passions bring their individual results which individually appear as the six categories of the sentient beings. I am teaching you the appearance of the universe to be like that.

Even if I taught you the three forms of manifestation, and the six vehicles, you would not understand them. Each of them (i.e. the teacher's three forms of manifestation and the six vehicles) is endowed with My true being in an individual fashion, and each of them is My actuation in individual fashion as form, utterance, and spirit. The individual actuation lets you see the whole. In such way My own being is also taught. I, as the mind of perfect purity, the actuating essence of all that is pure, let emerge from Me the play (rol pa) of the threefold world, and the six categories of sentient beings, because I am actuating the dimension of the non-conceptual, and I am the existential ground (gnas then) of all Buddhas. Particularly I teach that, if you are not mistaken about the pure, all acts of happiness and misery are My compassion. {p.18} I, the All-Creating, will not teach such lore to those who adhere to the vehicle of cause and result. If I taught them My lore as definitive, they would cast praise and slander on Me, the All-Pure, as they assert that cause and result do exist because of good and bad acts. For this reason they will not meet Me, the All-Pure One, for a long time. I am the teacher, the All-Creating One, the mind of perfect purity. The mind of perfect purity is the All-Creating Sovereign. The mind of perfect purity creates the Buddhas of the three times; the mind of perfect purity creates the sentient beings living in this threefold world; the mind of perfect purity creates what appears and exists as the animated and inanimated world.[101]

To bring the concepts of cause, result, simile, objective, and definition into agreement with this teaching, you ought to know: at the time of cause, the five great elements are created; at the time of result the sentient beings in this threefold world are created; at the time of simile the sky as a simile of everything is created; at the time of the meaning the unborn is made by Me as the meaning of everything; at the time of sign the All-Creating Mind of Perfect Purity is revealed; at the time of definition the self-originated awareness is taught. This is how cause, result, simile, meaning and definition are brought into agreement with this teaching.

By means of the mind of perfect purity all is made; not one thing is not made by it. The All-Creating's own being, the mind of perfect purity has made all, and not one is that is not made by it; there is no reason for itself to be created. My own being, the All-Creating One's, is beyond cognition (ma brtags par), but I am perceived with certainty in the things I have created. By means of a longing desire the appearance of these things is achieved, but they will perish because of their impermanent and illusory nature, a nature which is impartial and like a man born blind. Although the All-Creating Sovereign is impartial in Her creating, {p. 19} the senses get obstructed when they experience suffering when the six sensory objects are perceived by the six sense faculties. For this reason, the All-Creating Sovereign is impartial in Her creation. Thus, no result does exist which could annihilate cessation and origination.[102] Certainly, the two truths arise from this One (i.e. the mind of perfect purity). The ultimate and the conventional arise as two, existent and non-existent, despite the fact that Reality is created by Me, the All-Creating One. Therefore the two truths[103] do not lead to the overcoming of cause and result. Within the concept of two truths no result is achieved which leads to the overcoming of cause and result. By engaging in a contemplation which attempts to purify and search what does not exist and in a meditation of wonderful steps, which will never arise, you will not achieve a result which is free of pursuing and rejecting.[104] Who contemplates the three aspects of a single-purpose meditation, and who performs a step-by-step meditation in accord with the four practices of religious services and evoking the gods, will not achieve a result which overcomes striving and achieving, i.e. that which is totally free of activity and which acts because it is spontaneously self-perfected. Because I teach the unborn, signless, self-less you should understand the inexplicable as being free of praise and dispraise.

A simile for all things being the mind of perfect purity is that all things created are in their own being like the sky; this is the main point of the mind of perfect purity. Sky, wind, water, earth, and fire, these five elements come miraculously forth from the mind of perfect purity as Buddhas, the threefold world, the five paths, and the six categories of sentient beings. The apparent yet immutable (Akshobhya) Buddha whose deeds are well-ripened is from the primordial the perfect purity of the threefold world as expressed in form, utterance, and spirit. Therefore whatever appears as animated and inanimated has consequently no place to exist except in the mind of perfect purity like the centre of the sky which exists only in itself. Because of the vast scope of the mind of perfect purity as the actual object (yul Chen), all that appears and exists as animated and inanimated, i.e. Buddhas and sentient beings, {p.20} is free of praise and dispraise, is non-dual in so far as all is the entirely pure Reality. Who does not see the mind as the vigor of non-being will not achieve the goal for many eons. The root of all things is alone the mind of perfect purity. The vigor of perfect purity from which all and everything comes forth, i.e. Buddhas, sentient beings, all that appears and exists as animated and inanimated, cannot be expressed through counting what is not even one. Also the Buddha's form and utterance, and the sentient beings' body and speech are the mind of perfect purity, and therefore they are free of such concepts as subject and object (gzung 'dzin). Who accomplishes freedom from such concepts as subject and object will master the root of all things, and will be known as all-accomplished. With joy one will recognize an understanding of what constitutes thinking—the uniqueness of the mind of perfect purity. I teach what is beyond reckoning and duality.

How is it that the own nature of Reality is this sole mind, and that the three aspects of this own nature make the mind manifest? The three aspects of this own nature are the three best arrangements (bkod pa), and this is the Reality of perfection. This one nature, although non-dual, is connected with everything. If it is put in relationship with balance (rnal ma) it unfolds into four aspects: "the four yogas" as the objects of My teaching. I teach the one mind permeating the five great elements. Because the mind's own being is en-owed with five faculties (yon tan) they are called the five great elements.[105] If judgments regarding the existence or non-existence of the one, that is definitive, would arise, then these many errors, obscurations, doubts and judgmental thoughts are removed by the All-Creating One who transcends striving, achieving, and judgmental thought. To purge these judgments regarding existence and non-existence and the resulting doubts {p. 21} I establish this unerring and definitive lore because those other people cannot understand the perfect purity through suchness. In order to show you that this lore clearly deserves your faith I teach the ultimate which is free of striving, achieving, and deeds by means of the ten instructions[106] which deserve your faith and which let you avoid deviations (la dor).[107] So trust them!

The proclamation of the nine words of truth which are non-existent: as to the one vigor, nine visible objects emerge. If they are individually recognized one speaks of the nine words of truth.

Because in Me, the All-Creating One, all is consummate you should foster your understanding of the meaning of the perfect and pure mind. The root of all things is the All-Creating One, the mind of perfect purity. Whatever appears is My actuation. Whatever comes into existence is My wonder. Whatever sounds and words arise, all arise as sounds and words of My intrinsic meaning. The Buddhas form, wisdom and qualities, and the sentient beings' body, karmic inheritance (bag chags) etc., what appears and exists as animated and inanimated, this all together is from the primordial the actuation of the mind of perfect purity. With the exception of the mind, from Me all things have come forth. The previous Buddhas did not teach these sacred instructions now given by Me, the All-Creating Sovereign, and the presently residing and the future Buddhas will not teach these sacred instructions of the perfect purity, the All-Creating Sovereign."

Such She spoke.

This is the sixth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the sole root of the universe is discussed.

Chapter 7

{cont'd p. 21} After that the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, taught how the things which emerged from the creation done by Her became the things in their particularity (dbye ba'i chos).

{p. 22} "Oh great bodhisattva, how is the mind the actuation of Reality? How is it that all particularity is totally absent in the non-dual great bliss? What is known as the fathomless one transcends all perceptible objects and dwells from the primordial in a non-conceptual state (spros bral)—just like the sky. No simile permits one to fathom (bgrang) the mind of perfect purity. The things created by the mind are purified of particularities. It is said that whatever is created by the mind, i.e. what appears and exists as the animated and inanimated world, the Buddhas and sentient beings, is produced from the mind's own being as its actuation.

I shall now teach you how the universe manifests after it was produced. The five great elements and the appearing of the six categories of sentient beings realize their purpose through form and body. They become measurable after they emerge from the pure own being of the mind."

Such She spoke.

Then Sems-dpa' rdo-rje asked:

"Oh All-Creating Sovereign, emaho! All Good (Kun-tu bzang-po) emaho! Oh You mind of perfect purity, emaho! When first the mind of perfect purity arises, unaware of itself and the things, these are united as the retinues of You, the omniscient one. You, the omnis-cient one, may explain this to me as I am unfamiliar with the object of my question. Briefly explain how all things are united as one, the mind of perfect purity; teach me, how two are in one; how can the purpose of existence be fathomed?"

This he asked.

Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, pro-claimed:

"Ho, I am spontaneously self-perfected (lhun gyis grub) from the primordial. I am the vigor of spontaneous self-perfection of all Buddhas. {p.23} I am the actuating essence of compassion. I shall teach the purpose of what I have created for the good of those who take joy in My deeds at a time appropriate for such joy.

Listen, oh Sems-dpa' rdo-rje! The one thing you ought to take joy in, is that I am teaching that the actuating essence of the mind of perfect purity, i.e. the essence of the mind, creates all because all things are encompassed in this one. For those who like to enumerate characteristics, I teach that it is insufficient to specify the variety of what is created by the All-Creating Sovereign. But I also teach My own being: the one is my vigor; what emerges as two is created by Me. You may count the created things, whereby the counting is one, two, etc., but in the end, this counting is inexplicable. The inexplicable is the vigor of all things. I teach the inexplicable, the vigor of all things to be one. This one is the all-creating mind of perfect purity, while the created things are in a state of duality. Cause and result are of two kinds, therefore ultimate and conventional are of two kinds, and therefore there are definitions of these three, i.e. example, meaning, and characteristic.

Sacred instructions of definitive meaning and those of a debatable meaning are classified as two types. On the basis of the five great elements as cause, the result in form of the three realms and the sentient beings becomes apparent. When the three realms and the sentient beings function as cause, the Buddhas are called the result. If cause and result are taught in terms of simile and meaning, then the cause is given in the sentient beings of the three realms, while the result is called the Buddha's teachings. This is known as a debatable teaching. You ought to distinguish between these two: the cause is the five great elements, yet all the created things become apparent because of the mind. {p.24}

If one does not understand suchness, one surely considers such things as the six sensory objects in terms of object and subject by applying these wrong and erroneous concepts. For this reason the six perishable (i.e. sensory perceptions) and the six receptacles (i.e. sensory objects) are known as the "perishable receptacle" (i.e. the world). The six objects are the support of the six desires, thus the six desires lead to suffering, and therefore they are called misery.

What is called the overcoming of misery is: one does not consider the things as the six objects, and no birth happens in the place of the six forms of existence. Because of the overcoming of misery, it is called the transcendence of suffering.

How is it that from the perfect purity, the vigor, the true being effortlessly arises, that also the five great elements are understood as its own characteristics, that perfect purity is the vigor of all, that one is able to grasp the actuating essence which is otherwise imperceptible? This is explained as the characteristic of the characteristics. Because of the five great elements' arising from the purity's own being, a vigor generating all things becomes apparent, and which in turn generates all sentient beings. Not to understand that these emanations are self-originated will result in the following assumptions: After considering this path of practice (spyod lam) as the cause for spiritual progress one will desire to obtain the result of that cause. Therefore what is called cause is declared to be the vehicle to obtain whatever result is desired. This is taught as abandoning, obstructing, and practising.

What is called result is known as the result (or fruit) which is produced by the essential cause (snying po rgyu). Its essential own being is an own being free of birth and decay, and is called 'diamond' (vajra) nature. There are two ways of achieving this diamond na-ture: (a) The outer one is the desire to achieve results by means of performing certain acts and abandoning others—acts based on form, utterance, spirit and wisdom; it is like reaching for the moon reflected on the water; {p. 25} (b) While the inner achievement of the diamond nature which is free of performing and abandoning certain activities is to see the scope of one's own self (which is identical with the dimension of own being) by means of the essence and the three stages.[108] You will overcome any salutary acts which essentially are no-acts when you become one with the essence of all, i.e. this deedlessness which has no support whatsoever. I am establishing the sacred lore of the bliss of non-striving by giving up the bliss of the deedless. If the followers of the vehicle of striving, who may have practised their system for three eons, or seven life spans, or one year and six months, or a mere sixteen months, are instructed in the intrinsic nature of the deedless they will dwell in the bliss of effortless spontaneous self-perfection. It is impossible not to be perfected therein.

The one is consummate, and thus are the two consummate, and all is consummate, thereby the creation is in a state of consummate bliss. "The one is consummate" means the mind of perfect purity is consummate; "the two is consummate" means the creation by the mind is consummate; "all is consummate" means that absolutely everything is consummate. Through this sacred instruction that the one is consummate, which is the Buddha's intention, you shall dwell in the Buddha's intention. The meaning of "all is consummate" is that everything is made in its utmost perfection. Who dwells in the deedless is Buddha in the Reality of Her intention, although that person's body may be that of a human being or of a god. By this means you will reach the bliss free of striving and achieving and fulfill the purpose of a sentient being."

This She spoke.

This is the seventh chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the fathoming of Reality was summarized.

Chapter 8

{cont'd p. 25} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, declared that all created things are one in their suchness, that from this suchness the three aspects of the All-Creating Sovereign's own being appear, {p. 26} and She explained how each individual appearance will occur.

"Oh great bodhisattva, My suchness, the one, appears in its fullness in three aspects (i.e. own being, actuating essence, and compassion). Likewise My unborn own being is suchness which appears in the objects. Each object contains the entirety of suchness. Further, after one has investigated this all, one will gaze at suchness. The stainless, self-originated pristine awareness appears as the teacher's three forms of manifestation (sku gsum) teaching causation. Some manifestations appear as teachers of causation; some as teach-ers of interdependence ('brel pa); some as teachers of result. From the five forms of self-originated pristine awareness, that emanate from compassion, the Buddhas and sentient beings come forth, and they appear as objects of My teaching and as retinues.

In a similar way the three manifestations of the teachers of cause and result teach the retinues different views, although there is only one object—suchness. They teach some to give up and obstruct certain objects, some to purify and progress on the spiritual path, some to purify through blessings, some to achieve nirvana through acquiring and rejecting, some are taught to realize the pure mind through striving and achieving. In this way the teacher's three manifestations taught the retinues the concepts of cause and result. Although the manifestations teach that cause and result are two different entities I, the All-Creating, teach only the lore of stillness and of suchness.

Suchness has to be understood as follows: I, the All-Creating, am suchness, but also what I created is suchness. The six sensory objects, I made them; the six sensory faculties are My intelligence; all the sense awarenesses are My self-originated pristine awareness. {p.27} The five great elements also are the five causes, and the entirety of the five causes is suchness. That compassion is nothing but the five forms of self-originated pristine awareness, that the six categories of sentient beings in this threefold world are the actuation of suchness—such I declare.

The suchness of My own being is in its actuation non-dual. Yet the four stages of resting in tranquility (i.e. the four yogas) come forth from their being one with My own being. The following constitutes the four yogas:

Listen great bodhisattva, the central vigor of everything, the Mind of perfect purity is the actuation of the stillness of all things. From the primordial it dwells just like this in suchness. By means of the four yogas, i.e. Atiyoga, Anuyoga, Mahāyoga, and Bodhisattva yoga one will see the deedless stillness of the true central vigor. The object of this cognition is these four aspects.

At the stage of Bodhisattva-yoga they will see the objects and enjoy the sensory faculties, the five forms of enlightening insight (byang chub lnga) and the four miracles, and the two deities of the Bodhisattva-yoga after the blessings are performed. But they will not see the stillness and true central vigor. They still ought to meditate on non-conceptual suchness.

Those who mastered the Mahāyoga will see the deedless stillness of the true vigor (don gyi snying po). They will see themselves perfectly accomplished through expansion and contraction of the visualized deities after they have perfected the limbs of the pūja through the four services: the mandala of the gods of cause and result in their own mandala from the primordial pure mind. But still, they will not see the stillness of the true vigor. They should thoroughly meditate on uncontrived suchness.

Who mastered the Anuyoga (yongs su mal 'byor) will see the dimension of Reality, the stillness of the true vigor as cause {p. 28} and they will view the great pristine awareness as the result of that stillness. They will understand the oneness of the the central vigor in its dual aspects of cause and result, yet they will not see the stillness as beyond cause and result. They should meditate on the non-contrived Anuyoga just as it is.

Who will be able to understand the great perfection of the Atiyoga as the deedless stillness of the true vigor, will recognize the mind of perfect purity as the vigor of all. This they will see as the stillness of the non-contrived essence (don). They ought to contemplate this view which is unfathomed from the primordial. They ought to contemplate the vows which from the primordial are not to be observed. They ought to contemplate salutary acts which from the primordial are not to be sought. Through these contemplations, they will harness suchness.

The four yogas should be known in their peculiarities: each subject (i.e. each of the four yogas) is to be divided into four aspects.

(1) There are four peculiarities regarding the Bodhisattva-yoga:

(a) At this stage the mind does not reflect upon objects or the sensory faculties, therefore it is called Bodhisattva-yoga (sems dpa'i rnal 'byor). :(b) When the wondrous blessing of perfect purity is released then it is called Mahāyoga.
(c) When it is associated with the four great seals (mudrā) it is called Anuyoga.
(d) Those who see that the vows of awareness lack own being, will aspire to the mind of perfect purity and understand it as Atiyoga.[109] They do not see the yoga free of acquiring and rejecting.

(2) The four peculiarities of Mahāyoga:

(a) First, a person who has acquired the three samādhi is known as being at the level of Bodhisattva-yoga.[110] :(b) Those who are able to see the pristine awareness by means of their own pure mind are known as being at the level of Mahāyoga. :(c) Those who have perfected the four services (bsnyen sgrub) are known as being at the level of Anuyoga. {p. 29} :(d) When they see everything as the great self (bdag nyid chen po), they will be known as being at the level of Atiyoga. They do not see the stillness beyond striving and achieving.

(3) The understanding of the four peculiarities of Anuyoga:

(a) at this stage of samādhi they do not generate the deity as their own individuality, but because the people are dwelling in the pure nature of Reality; this stage is known as Bodhisattva-yoga. :(b) Because they do not depend on "father" and "mother" as method and wisdom, but have perfected the mandala in its essential parts only, they are known as being at the level of Mahāyoga. :(c) Those who dwell in the contemplation of Reality, which is without own being, yet apparent, are known as being at the level of true Anuyoga because of their general bearing. :(d) When all things in the entirety appear, just as they are, and when the practitioners see the dimension of Reality as cause and pristine awareness as result—they are known to be at the level of true Atiyoga. But they do not yet see the stillness beyond cause and result.

(4) The four peculiarities of Atiyoga:

(a) The mind of perfect purity, free of acquiring and rejecting, this is called Bodhisattva-yoga.
(b) The mind of perfect purity beyond striving and achieving is called Mahāyoga.
(c) The mind of perfect purity beyond cause and result is called Anuyoga.
(d) The mind seeing the things as being beyond praise and dispraise, beyond existing and non-existing, this is called Atiyoga by Me.

As the three lower stages, such as Anuyoga, and so on, are not associated with the great self-originated pristine awareness, those who are still in these phases should practice the stages of the bodhisattva path (bhūmi) during their progressing on the path. Be-cause such practitioners preserve their vows and contemplate the doctrinal views there is no practice or theory of a vivid or relaxed meditation.[111]

{p. 30} The practice of the lore of Atiyoga is as follows: because from the primordial the All-Creating Herself has made everything, there is no progress on the path, and no practice of the bodhisattva stages (bhūmi). There is no observing of the vows nor a contemplation of doctrinal views. Because from the great path of perfect purity everything emanates, there is no proceeding of the perfect purity in the perfect purity. Because there is no other bodhisattva stage (bhūmi) for progress outside of perfect purity itself, perfect purity is not practised with regard to perfect purity. As the nature of the vows is the perfect purity itself, the perfect purity needs not to be preserved with regard to the perfect purity. As the nature of meditation is perfect purity in itself, the perfect purity itself does not meditate upon itself. As the goal of the doctrine is perfect purity in itself, perfect purity does not reflect upon itself. This is the deedless practice of the lore of Atiyoga.

If one's meditation of the self-originated pristine awareness is vivid, one will meditate on the All-Creating Sovereign. This is not the practice of those attached to the vehicle of cause and result."

This is the eighth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is explained how all things are set up in the Reality as objects due to the own being of things.

Chapter 9

{p. 30} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, talked about what constitutes errors and obscurations with regard to the great perfection, because to proceed on the path of the vehicle of cause and result is wrong.

"Oh great bodhisattva, the very nature of the mind of perfect purity is like that: it is the central vigor of absolutely all things; it is stainless because it is pure and unborn. There is no error in it because it is without a path to proceed on. It is effortless as it is totally perfect from the primordial. The mind of perfect purity, i.e. the essential vigor of all things, is one. {p. 31} But if one would count it as one then it constitutes an error. To proceed on something which is without progress constitutes an error. Viewing the imperceptible constitutes a wrong with regard to the invisible.

Although everything is one in suchness, there are some who, by working on the causes, desire to obtain later the results and by means of the ten perfections (pāramitā) they aspire to achieve the ten bodhisattva stages (bhūmi). These practitioners will be obscured with error for three eons. Even if they purify the state of their vows and pledges by practising the three purifications of the outer, inner, and intellectual realms, the five forms of enlightening insight, and the four limbs of miracles,[112] they will still be obscured by error for seven lifespans. Those who hold a view that by preparing the causes they will obtain the results, and by considering doctrinal views and religious practice to be two different things, they will be in a state of error and obscuration as to what is non-dual for three lifespans.

If these practitioners observe pursuit and abandoning (blang dor) with regard to the one essential vigor, they will not be able to see it in its oneness but in its duality, and therefore they will be clouded by erring till they free themselves from pursuit and abandoning. Those who contemplate the ultimate in three aspects, although it is the one which is self-originated, they are said to err as to the goal which is free of striving. Those who do not understand that the essential vigor of things, which appear and exist just the way they are, is suchness, they will view the dimension of Reality and the pristine awareness as cause and result. Because of this praising the cause and dispraising the result, they will be obscured till they are confident that there is no reason for praise and dispraise.

There are six desires for a result that does not exist:

(1) to achieve a true appreciation of the two truths as cause for spiritual progress;
(2) to achieve the result of spiritual progress by performing the three purifications;
(3) the wish to achieve results by keeping the doctrinal views and the religious practice separately; : (4) the wish to achieve results by the practice of pursuit and abandoning;
(5) the wish to achieve results through a meditation in three stages;[113] : (6) the desire to achieve liberation by seeing the dimension of Reality and pristine awareness as cause and result.

{p.32} These are the six wishes for achievement (thob rnam drug).

There are six errors and six obscurations in turn. I say the practitioners should rid themselves of the faults of these six wishes for achievement because such desire is faulty, obscuring, and wrong with regard to the mind of perfect purity. I also declare examining and reflecting to be an error and obscuration as I do with such concepts as subject and object, and doctrinal views and religious practice.

Doctrine and practice, pursuit and abandonment, striving and achieving, causation, all these concepts are an obscuration as they are wrong with regard to the great bliss which is without effort.

The mind of perfect purity is like the sky. This mind itself, i.e. the Reality, is like the sky and therefore it is said:[114] : (1) No doctrine is to be contemplated,

(2) nor vows to be observed.
(3) The salutary acts (phrin las) are without effort and
(4) pristine awareness is without obscuration.
(5) There is no practising of the ten bodhisattva stages (bhūmi) and
(6) no path to proceed on.
(7) Things are neither subtle (phra ba chos med),
(8) nor dual, nor dependent.
(9) There is no accurate sacred instruction firmly established except for that about the mind.
(10) There is no definition of the instructions except that they are beyond praise and dispraise. This is the right view of the great perfected mind of perfect purity.

(Opposite of the first statement:) By meditating in six ways upon what is not to be meditated upon, i.e. that one beyond doctrinal view, an erroneous obscuration will come because of such a view full of error and obscuration.
(Opposite of the second statement:) By observing the six vows, with regard to that one which is beyond observance, an erroneous obscuration of these vows will occur because of such obscuring error.
(Opposite of third statement:) By pursuing the six salutary acts with regard to that one which is without effort, an erroneous obscuration of these acts will occur because of such obscuring error.
(Opposite of fourth statement:) By generating the six pristine awarenesses with regard to that one, free of obscuration, an erroneous obscuration of this pristine awareness will occur because of such obscuring error.
(Opposite of fifth statement:) By generating the six achievements of practising the bodhisattva stages, with regard to that one which is not to be practised, an erroneous obscuration of the ten bodhisattva stages will occur because of such obscuring error.
(Opposite of sixth statement:) By generating six forms of progressing on the path, with regard to that one which is of no progress, an erroneous obscuration of this path will occur because of such obscuring error.
(Opposite of seventh statement:) By generating six ways of grasping, {p. 33} with regard to that one which is not to be grasped, an erroneous obscuration of the existing things will occur because of such obscuring error.
(Opposite of eighth statement:) By generating six ways of linking, with regard to that one which is non-dual, an erroneous obscuration of this linking will occur because of such obscuring error.
(Opposite of ninth statement:) By producing six certainties, with regard to that one truth, an erroneous obscuration of these sacred instructions will occur because of such obscuring error.
(Opposite of tenth statement:) By producing six ways of explantion, with regard to that one which is inexplicable, an erroneous obscuration of the religious instructions will occur because of such obscuring error.

This mind of perfect purity is the essential vigor of all. There is no need for accomplishing the goal by seeking the realization of the ten characteristics of My true nature because My own being is consummate from the primordial. An all-encompassing symbol of My own being is the sky as no one made any effort to purify the pure sky. Even if everyone sought to purify the pure sky, the sky which made everything (nam mkhas kun byas) is beyond such seeking and achieving. Likewise, the mind of perfect purity, the essential vigor which creates all of all created, I[115] transcend the scope of all sensory perception (spyod yul), and therefore from the primordial, there is no point in theorizing Me or in meditating upon Me. Likewise, not even the ten characteristics of My true nature can affect Me who tran-scends everything. Those who follow the vehicle of causation and who try to seek Me through these ten characteristics by desiring to see Me and My own being, they will fall like somebody who attempts to walk over the sky will fall upon the earth. Who desires to proceed by means of these ten characteristics will likewise fall. My own being is firmly taught to be the origin of the universe. Because I am transcending the scope of sensory perception (spyod yul), no doctrinal view about Me should be contemplated upon. Likewise, because the ten characteristics of My true nature lack meaning, so do not reflect upon a possible meaning of them. {p. 34} Contemplate suchness, but don't make up doctrinal views about Me as I am never an object to be seen through doctrinal views.

There is no need to observe the moral precepts and vows as there is no reason to rid yourself from what is non-conceptual and unborn. Because the essential vigor is from the primordial spontaneously self-perfected, there is no need for striving and achieving. Because the self-originated pristine awareness is without obscuration, you should not generate clarity with discriminative knowledge (rig pa'i ye shes). There are no bodhisattva stages (bhūmi) which could be reached through practice because everything exists in My stage. There is no path on which to proceed towards Me because everything exists by being encompassed in Me. There are no designations like "subtle" to be attributed to Me because from the primordial I am neither object nor subject. Because I am encompassing all with My form, there is nothing from the primordial which could be called two. I am from the primordial the self-originated pristine awareness, and therefore others should not make firm statements about Me. I am the essential vigor of all, the mind of perfect purity, and thus no other secret instructions exist. Because I am beyond all praise and dispraise, I firmly declare that neither praise nor dispraise should be applied to all things.[116] Beside Me there are no other objects, therefore I also firmly declare that there is no doctrinal view to be contemplated. Because besides Me nothing should be guarded, I also firmly declare that the vows should not be guarded. Because there is nothing else than Me to be sought, I also firmly declare that no salutary acts should be performed. Because there is no dwelling in anything else but Me, I also firmly declare that the bodhisattva stages (bhūmi) should not be practised. Because there is no fault of Me from the primordial, I also firmly declare that I am the self-originated pristine awareness. {p. 35} Because I am the unborn Reality, I firmly declare that I am the subtle Reality. Because there is no progress other than in Me, I firmly declare there is no path to proceed on. Because everything which appears and exists as the inanimated and animated, i.e. the Buddhas and sentient beings, has emerged from Me, the essential vigor, i.e. the perfect purity, I firmly declare that from the primordial I am non-dual. Because the self-originated pristine awareness came down as correct revelation (gtan la 'bebs pa), I firmly declare that the sacred instructions of the Great Perfection (lung chen) came down like a flash of lightning. Because all things do not exist outside of Me, I firmly declare that I am all—the All Creating One.

Not to know Me, I declare to be the actuation of obscuration. To seek anything else than Me produces error. A teaching claiming action and knowledge to be two different things is not seeing what is right and wrong, and this is obscuration to action; not knowing Reality is an obscuration to knowledge. Likewise I declare that striving and achieving is an error, and so is the claim that ignorance and not-knowing are the essence of this dual obscuration because all things which appear are the actuation of the mind of perfect purity, the essential vigor.

Oh, great bodhisattva, listen! If you recognize the things which appear just the way they are as being of no other nature than yourself, this constitutes an obscuration of yourself due to yourself. Do not understand your own nature in this manner! Enter into a state of bliss consisting in a knowledge of sameness and non-discriminative thinking because all things, which appear just the way they are, are nothing but the mind[117] and not different from itself.

With regard to that, the meaning of "bliss" is as follows: there is no need to seek the ten characteristics pertinent to My great nature. {p. 36} By not seeking the ten characteristics of My great true nature, there will be no limit to these 360 errors and obscurations, that is six times sixty errors.

Oh, great bodhisattva, that all things appear as they do, due to the manifestation of perfect purity as the essential vigour of My own being—if not this, nothing else I teach about the things. I tell you, do not try to intellectualize this! I recommend that you, oh great bodhisattva, will teach the hosts of retinues in the same way as I taught you."

Such She said.

This is the ninth chapter of the All-Creating Sovereign, the Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the removal of faulty errors and obscurations is taught.

Chapter 10

{cont'd p. 36} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, talked about Her own being as consummation:

"Oh, great bodhisattva, listen! Because everything is incorpo-rated in Me, for this reason, I am called the consummate. I am called the All-Creating One because from the three aspects of My own being, i.e. that of the All-Creating One, emanate these three things: teacher, teaching, and retinue.

First I shall teach you the consummation of the teacher. From the self-originated pristine awareness, i.e. Me, the All-Creating One, emerge the three aspects of My own being. They are taught to be the three teachers in their three forms of manifestation (trikāya). They are known as the manifestation of truth (dharmakāya), the manifestation of highest communal joy (samyaksambhogakāya), and the corporeal manifestation (nirmānakāya).

The nature of these three forms of manifestation is explained as follows: The nature of the truth manifestation is explained as dwelling in the own being because it is unborn and free of a subject-object dichotomy. The nature of the manifestation of highest communal joy is dwelling in perfect joyful fulfillment of whatever desires there are. {p. 37} The nature of the corporeal manifestation is explained as dwelling in the manifest body which is likewise disciplining.[118]

The teaching pertinent to the three forms of the teacher's manifestation is explained under three aspects, i.e. outer, inner, and secret (gsang ba gsum). The teaching pertinent to the truth manifestation is explained as follows. The secret is told to be of a threefold nature. From the ground (gzhi),[119] i.e. the pure nature of Reality, the nature of secret generation stems as well as that of the secret perfection, and that of the great secret perfection. They are labeled secret because they are not within anyone's field of sensory perceptions. The secret teaching is to generate the three stages of no-Reality, thus it is labeled the secret generation (as pertinent to bskyed rim). The teach-ing about the different forms of manifestation (sku) is called secret perfection. Do not investigate the secret by means of contemplating the inner knowledge. All things which appear just as they do, are explained as the essential knowledge and this constitutes the inner contemplation. After you have transformed your own pure mind into an eternal deity, you will wish the inner and outer sense-fields (āyatana) of your own diamond body to be the embodiment (bdag nyid) of non-duality free of doctrinal views and practice, acquiring and abandoning. This is declared to be the perfection of the inner secret.

The secret of the great perfection is taught as follows. All things which appear as they do, are not produced as mind of perfect purity by means of the three samādhi; they are not made perfect because of uttering the essential characters of the mantras. I, the All-Creating One, am the great one who perfects all things. Nothing exists which is not perfect in Me.

My own being is taught to be threefold, and it is taught as the three stages of the great perfection, i.e. the mind of perfect purity.[120] This is the explanation of the secret great perfection. This is also explained as the teaching of the teacher manifest as truth. The teaching of the teacher manifest in the form of highest communal joy (samyaksambhogakāya) consists of the three outer sections of the rituals to be performed (bya byed pa).[121] {p. 38} The tantra section of rituals to be performed along with discursive thinking consists of mainly contemplating the three purifications of the outer, inner, and conceptual realms by means of a non-discursive samādhi; and you should enter the samādhi at a time when the planets and stars are suitable for such penetration.[122] At this stage, you will strive for the siddhi of form, utterance, and spirit, although non-existent, by means of bodhicitta and the various miracles after having performed the offerings by executing the three purifications by considering the visualized deity and yourselves to be like lord and servants.

It is declared that both the ultimate and the conventional are an illusion. If doctrinal views and religious practice are divided into two separate units then, by relying on this dichotomy, a belief arises in the achievability of the final purpose, which is one. Those who pur-sue an impossible goal by practising what is there, are like a she-wolf stretching herself out on the sky which offers no support.

The secret of the outer tantra sections in terms of acquiring and rejecting, is to bless everything through unreflective samādhi and blessed miracles. After that the wisdom deity (ye shes lha) is formed. These practitioners hope that they, being endowed with the four seals (phyag rgya bzhi) and the deity's form, utterance, and spirit, will obtain whatever siddhi they desire. But they will not realize the samādhi, free of hope for desirelessness, by acquiring and rejecting certain doctrinal views and religious practices. This is the explanation of the teaching pertinent to the manifestation of highest communal joy.

The teaching of the teacher in corporeal manifestation is explained in the three pitaka, whereby those of the hearers, the solitary awakened ones, and the Mahāyāna sutras are declared to be external because of characteristics known as external. The five pleasurable sensory objects (clod yon lnga), which are the actuation of Me, the All-Creating One, come forth as the actuation of the five awarenesses, and from them come attachment, hatred, and ignorance. The remedies for controlling these afflictions are taught as the 84,000 dharma-doors (i.e. teachings). {p. 39} The five pleasurable sensory objects emerge, and therefore form, sound, smell, taste, and touch come forth. They bring forth attachment, hatred, and ignorance. The remedy for their control are the three pitaka. As remedy for the control of attachment, the 21,000 precepts of the vinaya are taught. As remedy for the control of ignorance, the 21,000 sermons of the sūtra pitaka were taught. As remedy for the control of hatred, the 21,000 tractates of the abhidharma pitaka were taught. For equally controlling all three poisons the 21,000 teachings of the three pitaka were proclaimed as remedy. In general, the 84,000 teachings were proclaimed as an external remedy for controlling the three poisons.

The vehicle of causation and philosophy consists of three sections: the dharma-doors of the sūtra-, vinaya-, and abhidharma-pitakas. There is a teaching that is known as being of a condensed meaning, and there is the sūtra pitaka explained in twelve ways. Each teaches in detail an individual meaning.

The three poisons as causes effect the three evil forms of exis-tence. By regarding the sentient beings as cause, good and evil deeds, doctrinal views and religious practice effect good or evil rebirths. This is well proclaimed in the vehicle of causation and philosophy. It was proclaimed in the past; it is presently proclaimed, and it will be proclaimed later on. Its meaning, as far as it is an inexplicable meaning, was not proclaimed at previous times, nor is it proclaimed at present, nor will it be proclaimed in the future by the different corporeal manifestations. Therefore this is known as the teaching of the corporeal manifestations.

Oh great bodhisattva, the first retinue of the teacher's three manifestations arises from the three aspects of My, the All-Creating's own being. {p. 40} The three retinues of the teacher's three manifestations, are now explained.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen to this explanation of the retinues of the teacher's truth manifestation! All the retinues created by Me are the retinues of the teacher's truth manifestation, which is My own being. All that appears and exists as inanimated and animated world, i.e. as Buddhas and sentient beings—nothing exists which is not united in the retinues of the truth manifestation."

Such She spoke.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen to this explanation of the retinues of the teacher's manifestation of highest communal joy! Those who surpassed the stage of the four perfections in devotion,[123] and who have mastered the first bodhisattva stage, called the "very joyful," up to the tenth, "dharma cloud," they are declared to be the retinues of the teacher's manifestation of highest communal joy.

The explanation of the retinues of the teacher's corporeal manifestation: Those who had deviated from the utmost path of enlightenment as tīrthika, mu stugs, phyal pa, and lokāyata, after being blessed by the Buddha's compassion, were converted and became Buddhist monks and nuns, lay men and lay women—they are known as the retinue of the teacher's corporeal manifestation."[124]

Such She spoke.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen to this explanation of the individual realm of each of the three manifestations who are the teacher's three manifestations emanating from Me. The realm of the teacher's manifestation of truth is explained as the palace of Akanishtha, the dimension of Reality. Akanishtha is hereby explained as the ultimate purity.

The realm of the teacher's manifestation of joy is explained as a divine mansion, a towering building in the Akanishtha realm, which is above the boundaries of this world. The realm of the teacher's corporeal manifestation is explained as {p. 41} Gridhrakūta, the place where Shākyamuni, the seventh Buddha, became manifest. The realms of the other manifestations of Buddha's compassion are un-defined."

Such She spoke.

"Oh great bodhisattva! I shall explain in which individual realm (zhing khams) the teacher in three manifestations, emanating from Me, disciplines the sentient beings:

The teacher's three manifestations, emanating from Me, are the same with regard to cause and to result, and are of one own being. The cause, that is the mind of perfect purity, is one with everything; the result, that is the buddhahood, is also one with everything. This is declared as the own being of Reality, the one actuating being. The right time for disciplining was not divided into earlier and later."

Such She spoke.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen further! Now the ways of promulgation as practised by the teacher's three forms of manifestation that emanate from Me, the All-Creating One! The teacher's truth manifestation promulgates the teaching by means of blessings; the manifestations of perfect joy promulgate the teaching by means of their own actuating being; the corporeal manifestations teach those persons who are able to hear the word and the meaning of the dharma by integrating the word with the meaning.

{p. 42} Now the promulgation of the dharma by means of blessing by the truth manifestation: all created things are taught to be My own being. Although unborn, in the wonder of genesis, all things which appear and exist as animated and inanimated come forth as a miracle of My compassion and actuating being. This is called the promulgation by means of blessing of My own being.

Now the promulgation by the manifestations of perfect communal joy by means of their own actuating being: all things, which appear in whatever form, are taught to be perfect, in so far as they are pleasurable sensory objects for which one may feel desire as form, sound, smell, taste, and touch. This I teach as the promulgation by means of My actuating being.

The promulgation by the corporeal manifestations by means of the integration of words and meaning: At this stage it is not appropriate to teach all things which appear and exist in whatever way as the teacher's actuating being because what is called 'teacher' is in a peculiar way the creation of one's own desires. The corporeal manifestations promulgate the meaning of the teaching through the sound of words and letters, and due to this activity, the disciples understand the meaning by means of words and letters. This is the meaning explained through words and letters.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen! I, the the All-Creating Sovereign, am actuating the three forms of manifestation. Without reflection (mi rtogs), just existing in balance, I am actuating the truth manifestation as non-conceptual (spros bral). The wonder of genesis which comes from My own being, this is the manifestation of perfect joy as the origin of desires which are fulfilled by disciplining in whatever way by means of compassion. This is also the actuation of the corporeal manifestation. The All-Creating Sovereign, through the three forms of Her nature (i.e. the three forms of manifestation) causes teachers to appear in bodily form to discipline by whatever method is suitable. Although the nature of the teaching is inexpressible in its meaning, the meaning is expressed in whatever way is suitable. This is called the perfect teaching.

{p. 43} The nature of the retinues is that those apt for unity will become the first-borns in the "Buddha families" after they have been united. This is called the perfect retinue.

I am the teacher, the All-Creating One, the mind of perfect purity. The All-Creating is one, but is known in Her three aspects (rnam pa gsum): I, the All-Creating, My own being, and the things created by Me—these are the three aspects. I am the teacher, the All-Creating One, the progenitor of everything. My nature is taught in terms of ten characteristics: they are declared as the essential vigour of all teaching. I, the All-Creating, have made all and everything. The Buddhas dwell in the three times as one, and without discrimination they make all the sentient beings living in the threefold world their noble retinue. Because the One, the All-Creating One, has made everything in a perfect manner, for this same reason, all the mind's needs are perfected by the All-Creating One. Whatever amount of needs and what kind of needs there are—it is said that I, the All-Creating One, perfectly fulfill them.

The teacher's own being is taught under three aspects (ston pa'i rang bzhin rnam pa gsum): manifestation of the truth, manifestations of pristine awareness, and manifestations of compassion. Under what-ever forms the teacher in three manifestations disciplines, they perfect the retinues who abide in accord with himself.

I, the teacher of the teachers, the All-Creating Sovereign, show you My nature in its three aspects. As the first retinue, the teacher in Her three manifestations arises; this is the unborn pristine awareness which is free of subject and object. As the first retinue, the teacher in Her truth manifestation arises; it is the miracle of genesis, the all-pure play (līla). The manifestations of perfect joy arise next from which the diverse desires, whatever they may be, come. {p. 44} In accordance with oneself the teacher satisfies every one. Then the various forms of corporeal manifestations are known to come. Those who have gazed into the direction of what is known as the teacher in the three forms of manifestation, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and those who have achieved patience (i.e. tshogs lam and sbyor lam) are united as the teacher's manifestations. In accordance with this, they dwell in their appropriate realms and teach the essential point.

The teaching's nature is such that it is an instruction given to the retinues by one of the three manifestations. As to the retinues that need to be disciplined, one way or the other, the Buddha promulgates what is known as perfect in order to discipline and teach gods and humans of good karma in this world. The Buddhas of the three times, who abide in the dimension of the truth manifestation which is non-explicitly existing, teache all sentient beings living in the threefold world the non-conceptual mind of perfect purity by means of this truth manifestation.

The manifestations of enjoyment (dwelling) in Akanishtha in a state of pristine awareness, explain to the bodhisattvas of the tenth stage the mind of perfect purity by means of their manifestation and their wisdom.

The various undefined manifestations of the Buddha's compassion also teach their retinues, those united in their pursuit of patience, the main points of disciplining by whatever unspecified methods they find suitable. For those of good karma, due to their pledges, and if not interfered by other circumstances, the time when My compassion becomes embodied has come. Join the retinues I am going to teach.

I teach the non-dual true meaning by three means (i.e. through the three manifestations). The accumulations of merit and wisdom will lead to perfecting the time, place, and nature in which the three manifestations proclaim the dharma. The fully perfected teaching in its three aspects, i.e. the three jewels, is taught as being precious. They are explained as form, utterance, and spirit of Me, the All-Creating Sovereign.

The teacher, the precious Buddha, the jewel, {p. 45} is the manifestation of truth, the manifestation of enjoyment, and the corporeal manifestation. The best and precious promulgation of the teaching, the noble dharma, is the three best promulgations as explained in what follows of the inexplicable All-Creating One. As to the best sangha, as part of the retinues, I shall give instructions on whatever they need.

I, the teacher, the All-Creating, the mind of perfect purity, created the teacher who generated the three manifestations. The teaching of the noble dharma is arranged in three ways. It is arranged into external, internal, and secret.[125] Each of these three divisions is divided into three sections, thus nine divisions are known. The corporeal manifestations make three promulgations to discipline in this way by means of their compassion. The joy manifestations make three promulgations in terms of external, internal and secret of the ritual acts. The truth manifestation makes three promulgations of the secret, ultimate lore. These are the three types of promulgations, i.e. the external, internal, and secret ones. From body, speech, and mind at the human level, and from form, utterance, and spirit at the level of the deities emanates that from which the nine vehicles (theg pa rim pa dgu) come. By crossing nine mountain passes, and nine valleys on nine paths you will progress towards the one vehicle, i.e. the all-creating mind of perfect purity. Then you will have reached the stage of perfect purity (enlightenment) which is beyond progress, that is the All-Creating, free of acting and agent, and beyond striving and achieving."

Such She spoke.

This is the tenth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the all-perfected structure of the universe is explained.

Chapter 11

{coned p. 45} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, explained the root in which all things are united.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The root of all things in correlation with My own being is as follows: As I am all things' own being, there is not another thing outside of My own being. {p.46} The teachers' three forms of manifestations—they are My own being. The Buddhas of the three times—they are My own being. The bodhisattvas-they are My own being. The four yogas—they are My own being. The threefold world of the realm of desire, the realm of form, and the realm of formlessness—they are declared to be My own being, i.e. that of the All-Creating One. The five great elements are also My own being. The six categories of sentient beings are My own being. All that appears (snang ba) is My own being. All that exists (srid pa) is My own being. The entirety of the animated and inanimated world is My own being. Outside of My own being, nothing is, therefore the root of all things consists in Me. Not one thing exists that does not consist in Me.

My own being unfolds in three aspects (rang bzhin rnam pa gsum), i.e. the unborn, the miracle of genesis, and compassion. These are the own beings of the three teachers. With regard to the three times, i.e. past, present, and future, all the Buddhas exist in oneness because I Myself, i.e. My own being, exists in oneness. This is also known as My own being. I am free of subject and object -related thinking, and therefore I am pure and like the sky all-encompassing.

Because I have created the central vigor of all things, My own being also is the mind of perfect purity. Those who combine the four yogas with My own being, which is balance in itself, they will be united in the one. In such way My own being is taught. As to the sentient beings' body, speech, and mind[126] it is said that they come into existence because they come from My own being; {p. 47} that they are encompassing because they are encompassed in My own being, and that they are explicitly existent because they exist as My actuation. For this reason it is said that the threefold world is My own being.

My own being, i.e. that of the All-Creating, is of fivefold aspect (rang bzhin rnam lnga): from My actuation come forth the five elements—sky, wind, water, earth, and fire. They are taught as My own being, i.e. that of the All-Creating One. My, the All-Creating One's, compassion becomes manifest and is known as the five forms of the self-originated pristine awareness. Whatever appears as the six categories of sentient beings, it is known as My, the All-Creating One's, own being. From My own being, i.e. that of the All-Creating Sovereign, everything originates—in short, all that appears and exists as animated or inanimated. I make everything and therefore all originates from Me. For this reason there is not a single thing that is not encompassed in Me. From Me, the teachers' three forms of manifestation also emanate, and thus My, the All-Creating One's own being is declared to be the three teachers. Also the Buddhas who dwell in oneness in the three aspects of time, i.e. past, present, and future, abide in My own being, the All-Creating One's, which is without past and future. Also the bodhisattvas, freed from thinking in subject/object dichotomy, are My, the All-Creating One's, own being as I have created them as bodhisattvas. Also, if you have entered the state of balance by means of the four yogas, you will rest in tranquil balance in Me, the All-Creating One. As everything is made by the All-Creating Sovereign, likewise, everything is encompassed in the All-Creating Sovereign Herself."

Such She said.

This is the eleventh chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, The Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is said that the root of all things is encompassed in the intrinsic self of the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity.

Chapter 12

{p. 48} After that the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, proclaimed this sutra about the source of all things.

"Listen, great bodhisattva! I am the source of all sacred instructions. Likewise you must know that all and each thing in the way it appears, that everything emanates from Me! Listen to this exposition on the general and great origin of all things! I shall instruct you on how all things come to exist. As I, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, am the sovereign of all great sacred instructions, the teachers three forms of manifestation first emanate from Me.

'Sacred instructions' are called the teachers words. As I am the root of all instructions, I, the All-Creating Sovereign, did not teach the Buddhas of the three times and the sentient beings of the threefold world any other teaching besides that which comes forth from the mind. All the tantras and sutras are general comments. The tantra and sutra sections are the teachers teaching and they have emanated from My, the All-Creating One's, own being. These scriptures comment on both, teacher and teaching. I, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, am declared to be the climax of all teachings. Although from Me have emanated the teachers' three forms of manifestations, their teachings of the vinaya, sutras, abhidharma, and tantras—organized into their appropriate sections of a hundred thou-sand, are still associated with striving and achieving associated with the practice of generative, consummate, and secret meditations. But you will proceed towards Me only after transcending all striving and achieving. You will not see Me unless by transcending striving and achieving. This explains the climax of all teachings.

I, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, am declared to be the quintessential vigor of all vehicles. Three vehicles exist with regard to the three manifestations of the teachers, but only one vehicle exists with regard to the truth of certainty. {p. 49} This one vehicle is the 'earth' (bhūmi), the universal vehicle, the mind of perfect purity. This is explained as the quintessence of all vehicles.

Oh, I let appear the great wisdom after the darkness of ignorance was cleared away. Further, if you ask Me to explain how does this come, I answer: the darkness of erroneous reflections darkens one's mind as one does not understand that all existent things are in their suchness the perfect purity. But because the All-Creating mind of perfect purity makes all things just as they exist, one should understand the All-Creating mind of perfect purity in this way.

Then also the self-originated great pristine awareness will arise and spread after the darkness of discriminative appreciation (so sor rtog pa) has been removed with regard to how all things have come to appear. Therefore it is said that after the darkness of ignorance is removed, awareness will rise and spread. Oh, great bodhisattva, to tear apart this web of discursive thinking, one should sever the chain of obscurations (klesha).

Some of the followers of the vehicle of causation see all things which exist as poison, and they think these things ought to be abandoned; others see the same things as objects of the mind's attachment and think they have to scrutinize this attachment by means of the two truths; others see the same things as objects of purification and they think that by means of the three purifications and blessed miracles in the way of 'lord and servant' (i.e. deity yoga) the purification of the world is brought about; others think that they want to achieve the purification of the nature of their mental flux by means of the four forms of service and worship. The practitioners of Atiyoga cut the chain of obscurations, that is the discriminative appreciation, after they have rid themselves of such thinking that there is nothing else but the mind, because of Me, the All-Creating mind of perfect purity."

{p. 50} Such She spoke.

"Oh great bodhisattva! I, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, taught you to understand My own intrinsic being as to the point that all existent things, just as they are, are nothing else but Me. You will instruct the hosts of attendants, gathered around you, in My teaching so that they will understand My, i.e. the All-Creating One's, intrinsic being, and become transfigured into My own being. When they are transfigured as My intrinsic being, they will not engage in such doctrines as the two truths, nor in such practices as giving up and obstructing all existent and apparent things, nor will they engage in blessing these things by means of the three purifications, nor will they engage in achieving or seeking the contemplation on bodhicitta. They will understand that everything has been created in Me, the All-Creating; therefore everything is the same with regard to its groundedness in Me, the All-Creating One. As I am sameness, there is no need to generate sameness. Previously, I already taught that this sameness does not need to be generated."

Such She spoke.

This is the twelfth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is explained the source of the lore of certainty.

Chapter 13

{ cont'd p. 50} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, proclaimed the ways of explanation (bshad lugs) which explain the general instructions (spyi lung) regarding all things, because She is the sovereign of all teachings.

"Listen, oh great bodhisattva! Because I am the general instructions on the things I am proclaiming the five ways of explanation which explain the meaning of their definitions by means of the five general meanings (spyi don):[127]

(1) The instruction explaining the meaning of accounts of transmission (lo rgyus);
(2) the instruction explaining the meaning of "root";
(3) the instruction explaining the meaning of yoga; {p. 51}
(4) the instruction explaining the meaning of the intended aim;
(5) the instruction explaining the meaning of the word.

First I shall teach the explanation of the meaning of accounts of transmission because they provide the basis for faith. I shall teach the meaning of the root because the root of all things is encompassed in the mind. I shall explain rudimentarily the meaning of yoga because the particularity of each vehicle needs to be detailed. I shall explain that there is a need for the meaning of purpose because it is taught that there is no purpose in striving or achieving. I shall explain the meaning of the word in accord with the letter because the meaning of non-discursive thinking (mi rtogs) should be understood.

(1) Oh great bodhisattva, now to the explanation of the meaning of the accounts of transmission! First, because it is taught to be a basis for faith, the explanation of the meaning of the accounts of transmission is taught, the explanation as to the blessing coming from the own being, the explanation as to the teaching about My own actuation, the explanation as to the integration of meaning with word. Also you ought to believe this because of the way in which the source originated, that from Me, the All-Creating One, the teachers three manifestations originated by means of My own being, actuation, and words.

(2) Listen, oh great bodhisattva! The explanation of the meaning of "root": Because everything which is encompassed in what appears and exists as animated or inanimated, such as everything that belongs either to the Buddhas or to the sentient beings, is made by Me, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, there is no other thing {p. 52} from the primordial, nor anything outside of the mind of perfect purity. Because the entirety of what exists is taught to be Me, the mind of perfect purity, this explanation of the meaning of 'root' is given.

(3) Oh, great bodhisattva, listen now to the explanation of the meaning of yoga! What I, who transcend cause and result, teach is the essentials of Atiyoga, the great perfection, despite the fact that the teaching of the manifestations of complete communal joy and that of truth maintain that there are individual peculiarities in the different tantra and yoga classes. It is taught to be the consummate lore, dis-tinct from all other vehicles. For this reason, this teaching is called the stipulation of the meaning of yoga.

(4) Oh, great bodhisattva, listen to the explanation of the meaning of purpose (dgos ched). Those Atiyoga adepts of propitious karma who have had faith in Me, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, for countless kalpas in the past, they will know that there is no doctrinal view to contemplate, no vows to observe, no salutary acts to strive for, no path to proceed on, no bhūmi to be practised, neither cause nor result nor the dichotomy of absolute and conventional Reality, neither meditation nor achievement. Because they realize that bodhicitta cannot be generated through striving, and that there is no antidote to the three poisons, they will see the own being of the all-creating mind. This is the explanation of the meaning of purpose."

Such She spoke.

"(5) Oh, great bodhisattva, listen to this explanation of the stipulated meaning of the word! It is taught that all things, just as they appear, are suchness, that is Me, the All-Creating mind of perfect purity. If the nature of suchness, the all-creating mind, is not proclaimed with words and letters, the sentient beings with a capable mind {p. 53} will understand it, and thereby the nature of suchness will appear unveiled. If thereby words and letters are proclaimed, it is known as the stipulated meaning of the word.

(1) Oh great bodhisattva, whatever accounts of transmission are told, they are the accounts of transmission of the teacher, the teaching, and the retinues.[128] The nature of the retinues emerges as the teacher's three manifestations from the three aspects of the teacher's all-creating own being. There are three ways to proclaim the teacher's three manifestations: these are the accounts of transmission of the teacher's three teachings.

(2) Whatever is proclaimed as root, it is so, due to the fact that the teacher's three manifestations emanate from Me; therefore whatever dharma is proclaimed, it is taught to have its root in the mind of perfect purity. This explains the definition of the meaning of root with regard to the teacher, the teaching, and the retinues.

(3) Although My own being is one in its suchness, the four yogas have their yogic particularities as to their related doctrinal views, practice, vows, and ways of achievement. Thus they are not in accord as to their individual particularities. To overcome striving and achieving at the Atiyoga stage is the explanation of the meaning of yoga.

(4) The explanation of the meaning of the purpose: if one sees one's own mind as suchness and as the stipulated purpose of all sentient beings in the threefold world, one will not dwell at a stage where one clings only to the words of the Buddha. By virtue of this insight one will gain the Atiyoga. However, those of narrow faculties and without proper predisposition will not understand what is unveiled and obvious. They are like those who search for a precious gem {p. 54} by working away on a piece of wood. Those of good faculties and proper disposition will recognize that with regard to the Atiyoga there are neither doctrinal views, nor vows, nor salutary acts, nor bodhisattva stages (bhūmi), nor paths to enlightenment, that neither the generation of bodhicitta, nor the reflection on causation, nor meditation or achievement provide an antidote to the three poisons, and that the absolute and conventional are not two different things. Thereby they will see the mind's own being; such is the stipulated purpose."

Such She spoke

"(5) The definition of the meaning 'word' is such that by pronouncing the word, i.e. the non-existent word and sound of the meaning, which also does not exist, inactivity is seen as the meaning. By realizing that the All-Creating Mind is not in need of any activity, the teaching of the meaning of 'word' is given."

Such She spoke.

This is the thirteenth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the ways of explanation pertinent to the mind are discussed.

Chapter 14

{cont'd p. 54} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, gave this noble instruction about Herself being secret.

"Oh, great bodhisattva! I, the All-Creating One, am also the secret one who is in all. From Me, the teachers three forms of manifestation come, but the three aspects of My own being cannot be taught and remain secret therefore. In Me, the Buddhas of the three times dwell, but My own being cannot be taught and should be kept secret. In Me, all the hosts of retinues are united, but My own being cannot be taught and should be kept secret. I make all the sentient beings in this threefold world, but My own being cannot be taught and should be kept secret.[129] {p. 55} If the teaching about My own being is not kept secret, the teachers' three forms of manifestation will not arise from Me. If the teachers three forms of manifestation do not arise from Me, the three teachings, the three vehicles, and the three retinues, they all will not appear. If the three teachings and the three vehicles are not perfect, all retinues will not understand the matchless perfect purity pertinent to the three jewels, i.e. Buddha, teaching, and community. If My own being in its relationship to the Buddhas of the three times is not kept secret, but is taught, a loss will occur as to the teachers' three manifestations, although essentially they are non-existent. If My own being, in terms of the hosts of the three retinues being united in Me, is not kept secret, but taught, the vehicles of the three teachers will not be detailed in their peculiarities. If My compassionate nature as apparent in the sentient beings of the threefold world, whom I have created, is taught, the teaching of the three teachers will not remain. If the teachings of the three teachers do not exist, who then will call all things, made by Me, the All-Creating One, perfect? For this reason, I Myself, the All-Creating Sovereign, teach My own being after I caused it to become apparent. I teach My own being with regard to Me. The teachers' retinues, that come forth from Me, I, the All-Creating One, do not inspire them with My teaching. Who know that I, the All Creating One, am Atiyoga, to them I shall reveal My own being."

Such She spoke.

This is the fourteenth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is explained that the All-Creating One remains secret to those of deficient talent.

Chapter 15

{cont'd p. 55} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, proclaimed this evident instruction about Her great message. {p. 56}

"Oh great bodhisattva! I, the All-Creating Sovereign, teach the evidence of My being under three aspects because My own being is also taught under three aspects:

(1) the teaching of the meaning 'teacher';
(2) the attendants who wish to understand this meaning; and
(3) the certain, unerring meaning.

These three issues are made evident by Me, the All-Creating One.

(1) Now the evidence of 'teacher' who teaches the meaning: The three forms of manifestation as that of truth, perfect communal joy, and incorporation, are taught as the first retinues and also as the teachers' three forms of manifestation. This is the teaching of the meaning 'teacher'. My own nature free of subject and object, the teaching as to My actuation, and the nature of compassion—these three facts evidence the three aspects of My own being for the good of all sentient beings. These three facts are also known as the evidence of the three forms of the teacher.

(2) Now the evidence as to those who wish to understand this meaning, in particular that of the teaching about the three retinues of the three teachers! The teaching in its detail is as follows: The Buddhas dwelling in the three times, and all sentient beings living in this threefold world, abide in a non-reflective state of balance. I, the All-Creating, am evidenced through them as retinues. Those who do not understand that the obscurations (klesha) pertinent to the sensory objects are not generated through the sensory faculties, and who reflect upon their own mind of perfect purity in terms of it being a thing or the thing's Reality, these people will remain obscured and divorced from their entry into the first bodhisattva stage (bhūmi) up to the tenth. My actuation will become apparent under the dual as-pect of teacher and retinue to the bodhisattvas of the tenth stage who are seen to enjoy the five sensory objects.

(3) By reflecting upon the nature of suchness with an understanding mind {p. 57} they will gain a notion of having understood. Some will understand this notion as eternal, and others will understand it as separate from the empty. When the four kinds of non-Buddhists, who see causation in a wrong way, become converted (literally blessed) they are taught causation. As a consequence they will give up their sins and develop the four virtuous attitudes. For three great eons I shall be evident as teacher and retinues who are existent. As to the pristine awareness which has intelligence as its object, it will become evident in terms of the certainty of the pure.

Oh, great bodhisattva, what is called evidence is evident by whom, what is evident, and to whom is it evident? By whom is it made evident?—by Me! What is evident?—the mind in itself is evi-dent! To whom is it evident?—It is evident to the retinues who envis-age it as their individual goals.

To some it becomes evident for the purpose of giving up; to others for the purpose of obstructing; to others for the purpose of practising; to others for the purpose of purifying; to others for the purpose of rejecting and acquiring; to others for the purpose of itself. Some see it as an object to be given up; some as an object to be obstructed; some as an object for cleansing; some as an object for purifying; some as an object for rejecting and acquiring; some as an object for gathering the retinues under one's supremacy. The reti-nues following the teaching of causation see it this way.

Oh great bodhisattva! As to My own being, becoming evident, I teach the following with certainty: I am actuating you, which is the revelation of My own being, and which comes forth as your own being {p. 58}. By virtue of your own evident nature, you ought to know your own being; you ought to understand your own actuation, thereby you teach this message to the retinues receptive to the teaching of causation."

Such She spoke.

Then Sems-dpa' rdo-rje gave this sermon to the retinues about causation:

"Oh, attendants who should be instructed in causation, the teacher of the teaching, the All-Creating One, has made everything in a perfect manner. The perfectness becomes evident; it becomes evi-dent as my own being. Therefore I understand that I am Her own nature. I understand I am Her actuation. Nothing else is to be recognized as existent. I recognize that She Herself exists in all.

If you do not recognize Herself as existent in you by not understanding that She Herself is in the very object, whereby you consider the objects as great enemies, then you will not see your own mind in its Reality (chos nyid) for as long as a hundred eons because you have abandoned your own being. If you do not see your own mind in its Reality you are about to abandon your own nature of perfect purity for as long as a hundred eons, and you will not obtain the bliss of the deedless (bya med). But if you do not understand the object as your own self, you will consider the object as an enemy because of its conditions. This view obstructs your own nature, and for a hundred eons you will not see your own mind in its Reality. If you do not see your own mind in its Reality, your own perfect purity will be obstructed for a hundred eons, and because of that you will not obtain the great bliss of the deedless. By not understanding the object as your own self, you will consider the object as an object for purifica-tion. Thus if you attempt to purify your own being, you will be unable to see your own mind in its Reality for as long as three great eons. {p. 59}

Not to see your own mind in its Reality is to be without the confidence to see your own mind as not in need of purification. If you see filth in subject and object with regard to the objects which are of perfect purity and simplicity (rang dag), you will attempt to cleanse them through the three purifications, i.e. inner, outer, and mental, as well as through bathing and other purifications.

By not seeing your mind in its clarity, you are deprived of the clarity of your own mind. For seven lifespans you will not see your own mind in its Reality. If you consider the objects as something which is either to be accepted or rejected, although they are of perfect purity where accepting and rejecting is not applicable, you practise accepting and rejecting with regard to the self-originated itself! You exercise accepting and rejecting as to your own selves! For a duration of three lifetimes, you will not see the non-duality of your own mind. If you view the objects as something which can be accomplished through striving, although they are self-perfected, of consummate purity, you will appropriate and subjugate everything by means of the three samādhi of bodhicitta. Because you wish to accomplish through striving what is your own mind's perfect purity where striving is not applicable you will assume the form of a joy manifestation at the sixteenth of every month, or for a duration of 1,106 years, and you will consider the practice of endurance with regard to your own self-perfected mind. For those of you who attempt to accomplish enlightenment through striving, it is of no use to consider what is evident as your own mind in its Reality as cause and result. But for those of you who are endowed with the right karmic disposition it will evidence itself in its meaningfulness."

Such Sems-dpa' rdo-rje said.

Then the All-Creating Sovereign gave this sacred instruction:

"Oh great bodhisattva! The evident Reality is your own mind. Those who adhere to the vehicle of causation {p.60} will not recognize their own mind as evidencing Reality. Therefore, for eons, they will remain in a state of mental obstruction because of their abandoning such insight. By thinking of progressing on the path through purifications they will stay in samsara for three eons. With purifica-tions like bathing and other purifying rites they will spend seven lifespans, and another three lifespans with exercising blessing, and acquiring and rejecting. By wishing to gather retinues for themselves, they spend 1,106 years to generate the visualization of joy man-ifestations, thereby cognizing it as their own mind. But when they gain infallible insight (rtogs pa) they will obtain without effort the great bliss.

Oh, great bodhisattva, listen! You ought to comprehend My sacred instruction, which is the All-Creating One's, because this instruction is unlike the Mahāyāna which teaches causation. Likewise, you ought not to ponder on the system of causation because, from the primordial, everything, in the way it appears, is one with the Reality of your own mind.[130] By understanding your own mind in its suchness your own perfect purity will appear as actuation. Al-though many do not understand this, they apply individual terms, such as 'the appearance of the conventional' or 'the non-appearance of the absolute'. But absolute or conventional, these are not two, but only one truth. Through such statements, whether or not the pure truth is truly existing, I become also obscured as they attempt to define the pure.

The desire for bliss is a sickness of attachment, and for this reason, you will accomplish bliss only by not desiring it. By performing Buddha sādhana you will not realize buddhahood,[131] but you will be self-perfected by abiding in your own being which cannot be sought. Contemplate without reflection on the own being which cannot be sought.

I do not teach that the pure Buddha exists in words claiming to define (bla dags) the essence of 'Buddha'. Whoever sees the Buddha as existent will not realize {p. 61} the Buddha who is not different from the dimension of Reality (chos dbyings), but if some people do not theorize the Buddha, they will cognize their own mind as deedless (bya med). If no theoretical framework is applied their own mind will shine forth as it has been from the beginning. This mind does not actually appear but their own mind is all-encompassing. This appearance is the actuation of existence.

To those who follow the vehicle of causation, and who do not think this way, the deedless Reality of their own mind will be obstructed due to their concerns for giving up obstacles, purging, and various blessings. This is like somebody who leaves things in their place, but then searches for them in the far distance. After giving up the bliss of the deedless, they take to striving—there is no weariness[132] other than this.

The samādhi of no-agitation (ma yengs) is a hitching post binding the mind instead of freeing it. Since beginning the own being is without agitation or loss. The great vehicle of causation, which is a teaching in need of interpretation (drang ba'i lung), is taught by impostors in hope for an unagitated samādhi. Since beginning own being is without agitation and without loss; it is the antidote of all striving and achieving, and destroys them. If I, the All-Creating One, would expound such a teaching to the retinues by teaching a doctrine of causation it would mean to exercise praise and dispraise in saying 'result comes from causes.

Those who adhere to a samādhi and a yoga in the pursuit of buddhahood give up the genuine (ma bcos) yoga due to their desire for samādhi. The genuine balance is the entirety of Reality, and apart from this Reality there is no Buddha. To apply a name to the Buddha is just a word (bla dags). What is called Reality is nothing else but one's own mind; the genuine own mind is explained as manifestation of truth. What is genuine is birthless from the primordial. The gist of the birthless is to be without striving and achieving. {p. 62} Trying to achieve spiritual progress through striving will not bring about the deedless achievement.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The teachers in their three aspects as manifestation of truth, joy, and incorporation, the teachings of the one vehicle, of the two vehicles, and of the three vehicles, were brought forth by Me, the All-Creating Sovereign. I am the origin from which all teachers emanate. They come forth from the three aspects of My own being.

The non-reflective, well-poised manifestation of truth comes forth from My nature, which is free of subject and object, and it does so for the good of the retinues who are non-conceptual, unborn, and joyful. The retinue of the manifestation of truth is indivisible as it is taught that it is in balance and unborn. This is declared as the true dharma without remainder (lhag ma med pa'i chos).[133] As My own being appears in everything, therefore My manifestation of joy comes forth as hosts of retinues who enjoy the sen-sual pleasures in a purified manner. Thereby the actuation is per-fected as to doctrinal views and practice. What emanates from My playful (rol pa) actuation is not the common vehicle.

The corporeal manifestation and the four retinues work the weal of whatever students are to be disciplined by means of these cor-poreal manifestations that come forth from My compassionate na-ture. These manifestations also come forth as My compassion in accord with the teaching on causation.

Oh great bodhisattva! In short, what is called evident instruction is taught as being My own nature. This is explained as the evident instruction. As My, the All-Creating One's, own being is one, the perceivable objects appear in three aspects, and from them come forth all things, such as the Buddhas, sentient beings, the animated and inanimated world—everything. {p. 63} My, the All-Creating One's, own being becomes evident in this way. Who discern anything else to exist beside this will not meet Me, the All-Creating One, for the duration of eons. Therefore My first retinue, the three manifestations, are the retinues following the vehicle of causation and gradual purging.

Oh great bodhisattva! I am this evidence; there is no other evidence. I Myself am evident; one's own mind is evident; the non-erring is evident; the firm is evident; and the suchness is evident.

Oh great bodhisattva! My evident nature evidences the Buddhas of the five great elements. This is how the Buddhas of the five great elements are. My actuation is evident as this Reality because of all that appears and exists as animated and inanimated world. It is evident in all that exists. Because it does not need any deeds, it exists since the beginning as Buddha. Because it is without striving and achieving, it is since the beginning known as great. What is known as the revealed Buddha is this evidence of My own being. Because it has become the centre, the central vigor, it is the self of everything. As it does not need any deeds, it is the Buddha since the beginning. As it is free of striving and achieving, it is since the beginning known as great. The great self is known as the great Buddha (bdag nyid chen po sangs rgyas the bar bshad). This evidence which is unborn and non-conceptual is the dimension of Reality because, since the beginning, it is free of subject and object. As it is not in need of deeds, it is the Buddha since the beginning. As it is not in need of striving and achieving, since the beginning, it is known as the great. It is known as the dimension of Reality and the great Buddha.

I am surely evident. Simile, meaning, and investigation are taught as three aspects. The sky is taught as a simile giving meaning to Reality. Certainly, those who investigate the mind of perfect purity, and certainly those who have doubts will say this is the Buddha by means of simile, meaning, and investigation. This suchness, My own being, will not appear to anybody, although it is evident. 'This' (de) is the non-erring nature; 'such' (bzhin) is the genuine (ma bcos) own being; '-ness' (nyid) is called the actuation in itself.[134]

Do not overvalue the existence of the Buddhas in the three times with regard to suchness and the own being as such. But do also not undervalue the non-existence of the threefold world and its sentient beings. I do not explain the Buddha's non-existent greatness because they who apply analytical and discursive thinking will not be able to grasp it."

Such She spoke.

This is the fifteenth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the evidence as to the three aspects of Her own being is explained.

Chapter 16

{cont'd p. 64} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, gave this sacred instruction to Sems-dpa' rdo-rje:

"Oh great Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, listen! Since the beginning, I, the All-Creating Sovereign, have created the teachers, the teachings, the retinues, and the time appropriate for their instruction, but I also created the teacher of the teachers. The teachings are taught to be My own being. Also the retinues have emanated from My actuation, and time and locale as My own being are in this way taught to be My own being, i.e. the All-Creating One's. Beside of this, I did not teach a single issue which is not Me. {p. 65}

Also your self, oh great Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, is taught to be My own being, i.e that of the All-Creating One. Therefore, also you have come forth from Me and by Me. Contemplate upon Me, the All-Creating One, as the core of all things. I, the All-Creating One, am the one who has everything perfectly created, thus, I do not teach all the retinues that there needs still something to be done. If I would teach the retinues that still something needs to be done, they would be afflicted by a sickness of striving, and a damage would occur in negating the self-originated pristine awareness. There would be a damage done as to altering ('chos pa) the mind of perfect purity. There would be a damage as to altering suchness. Such damage will be contrary to the good qualities. If lies spoil the truth with deceit, then one cannot achieve what is deedless because the mind of perfect purity is free of striving.

You, oh Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, should know Me, the All Creating One! All things which I have created are since the beginning the self-originated pristine awareness and suchness. The three manifestations of the teacher are My self-originated pristine awareness. The three teachings are My suchness in itself. Also, all the retinues, the same way as you, Sems-dpa' rdo-rje, are perfected as are time and place,[135] that is everything is Me, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity."

Such She spoke.

This is the sixteenth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which an instruction is given to Sems-dpa' rdo-rje.

Chapter 17

{cont'd p. 65} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, talked about how to uphold the relics of Her own manifestations.

"Oh great bodhisattva, grasp this! If one always upholds the relics and bones, one has to say that they are equal to the progenitor {p.66} of the Victorious One (jina), that is to Me, the All-Creating One."

Such She spoke.

Sems-dpa' rdo-rje addressed this question to Her:

"Oh progenitor of all Buddhas of the three times, teacher of the teachers, All-Creating Sovereign! One who always upholds the relics and bones, how should this person understand 'manifestation', of what Victorious One, and what manifestation? What bones of what Buddha, and what relics?"

The All-Creating Sovereign:

"Listen, oh great bodhisattva! These manifestations are My sons, the manifestations of the three Victorious Ones. My mind is known as 'bones', as present in the Victorious Ones of the three times. If one upholds these beings as eternal and non-temporary, they are the base for worshiping all the Buddhas of the three times. This is known as the bones and relics of the manifestations."

Sems-dpa' rdo-rje:

"Oh teacher of the teachers, All-Creating Sovereign! Although the bones and relics of the manifestations are in such way well explained, then tell me how does one worship the Buddhas of the three times? What are the good qualities acquired through this wor-ship?"

Such he asked.

The All-Creating Sovereign:

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The bones and relics of My manifestations are to be worshiped by constantly contemplating the mind as the Buddhas of the three times! One will not be divorced from their good qualities, but will gain them, and after that one will become mighty like the everything-making All-Creating Sovereign."

Such She spoke.

This is the seventeenth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the explanation of the bones of the manifestations is given.

Chapter 18

{cont'd p. 66} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, proclaimed that the Reality of all things is "My self:"

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The entirety of what appears and exists as animated and inanimated appears as an appearance of My actuation. The pure is pure in the dimension of Reality. {p.67} The various teachings[136] about the features of disciplining, and the origin of the various forms of the three manifestations are taught as the essence of the three vehicles. This makes the followers of the vehicles of causation content.

By not depending on past objects, the practitioners of Atiyoga will not desire the result nor the completion of the cause. Through an attitude free of desires, they will understand that nature is self-perfected. From the primordial it is like that, and there is no need for certain activities, as likewise, the essentials are unagitated, and therefore don't need to be achieved. Because the nature of all things is self-perfected there is no instruction given to achieve anything by striving, even if some claim to realize the Buddhas of the three times. If some seek what is sought by meditation, then this is a crucial point in a meditation which achieves nothing.

Oh great bodhisattva! Although all the teachers, besides Me, perceive whatever perceptible objects there are, such as the various actions and deeds, the stages of analytical contemplation (bsam pa'i ting 'dzin), and various lights radiating, the fact is that actuality (ji bzhin pa) is unagitated. It cannot be achieved through acts and deeds. The analytical contemplation will diminish; the radiating lights will calm down; there will be no seeing of whatever object of perception. Thereby there is no activity of striving carried out.

Oh, great bodhisattva, the teaching of achieving through striving for the objectives of the spiritual path is taught for the followers of the vehicle of causation. However, with regard to the Reality as taught by the Mahāyāna which asserts cause and result, one should know that it divides things and their reality into two categories. But there is no instruction to be obtained and no Reality to be sought through categorizing things in such a way."

Such She spoke.

This is the eighteenth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is explained {p. 68} that there is no achievement by means of striving.

Chapter 19

{cont'd p. 68} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, proclaimed the chapter about achieving through non-striving:

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The three manifestations of the teacher, emanating from Me, have taught the teachings of the three vehicles. The three teachers do not teach a lore of non-striving, but I, the All-Creating One, teach the one vehicle, and I do not expound an instruction of achieving trough striving.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen! From the the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, from My nature, comes the spontaneously self-perfected nature, free of striving. This is the central vigor of the manifestations of the three Victorious Ones. My own being is realized as the perfect and genuine manifestation of truth; My actuation is perfected as the genuine manifestation of joy; My compassion is evident as corporeal manifestation. There is no teaching about a result achieved through striving."

Such She spoke.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The three manifestations are en-compassed by Me, the All-Creating One. All things which appear just like that, i.e. My own being, My actuation, and My genuine compassion, are taught to be the teacher's three forms of manifesta-tion as My suchness. Besides Me and My suchness, there is not even praise for the good qualities of what is called 'Buddha', and there is no dispraise for the faults of what is called 'sentient beings'. There is nothing else than abiding just like that in balance, without conceptual thinking.

The Buddhas have not received any instruction beside this one from Me, the All-Creating One. {p. 69} Not even I, the maker and All-Creating Sovereign, have a trace of a teaching on suchness, the bal-ance, free of conceptual thinking in Myself or by Myself."

Such She spoke.

This is the nineteenth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is explained the self-perfection through non-striving.

Chapter 20

{cont'd p. 69} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, talked about the origin of all things as coming from Herself:

"Oh rDo-rje, who encompasses all things, listen! I, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, am the central vigor of all things. I am the seed of all things. I am also the cause of all things. I am the stem of all things. I am the ground (gzhi ma) of all things. I am the root of all things.

I am called the central vigor because all things, which appear just like that, are permeated by Me. I am the seed because all existent things, which appear just like that, are born from Me. I am the cause because all things, which appear just like that, arise from Me. I am the stem because all things, which appear just like that, branch out from Me. I am the ground because all things, which appear just like that, abide in Me. I am said to be root because all things, which appear just like that, are Me.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen! I, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, teach that the three manifestations come from the three aspects of My genuine nature only as designations. Certainly, the teachers in their three manifestations do not depart from suchness. Only by designation it is said do the unborn truth manifestations come from Me, the All-Creating mind of perfect purity, who is free of subject and object, and consequently unborn. {p. 70} Certainly, as 'truth manifestation' is a mere designation, it does not depart from suchness.

I, the All-Creating mind of perfect purity, am evident as actuation but only as mere designation. As 'manifestation of perfect joy' is a mere designation, the manifestation of joy does not depart from suchness. I, the All-Creating mind of perfect purity, am evident in My compassion as corporeal manifestation. The corporeal manifestation arises only by mere designation from My compassion and genuine own being. Certainly, also this corporeal manifestation does not depart from suchness. The three manifestations do not depart from the nature of suchness.

Likewise, the dharma taught by the three manifestations, and the retinues gathered around the three manifestations do not depart from the entirety of things. Those who define the unagitated Reality as cause and result exercise achievement through striving, and thus are in error as they desire cause and result, and they are far from transcending cause and result, which in actuality were made by Me, the All-Creating One."

Such She spoke.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The teacher in Her three manifestations, originating from Me, the Buddhas of the three times, originating from Me, the retinues, place and time, etc. also originated from Me—if all these things are Me, the mind of perfect purity, then you ought not to investigate them through investigation, oh Sems-dpa' rdo-rje. I am from the primordial the All-Creating mind of perfect purity, and also all that I created is the mind of perfect purity. My own being is from the primordial utterly pure. {p. 71} It is perfect because from the primordial it encompasses all that exists through Me. It is from the primordial the mind because My own being is luminous (gsal ba). My own sky-like being, the mind of perfect purity, which exists from the primordial, creates the world as illusion, such as saying it consists of momentary particles. The teachers in their three manifestations and the Buddhas of the three times opt for a method to discipline the retinues, sons or nephews, and give instructions on the non-erroneous truth: they are teaching such as the mind of perfect purity is like the sky, and the All-Creating One as the origin of all is like the sky."

Such She spoke.

This is the twentieth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is explained the mind of perfect purity, the All-Creating One, as origin of all things.

Chapter 21

{coned p. 71} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, proclaimed these words which come from Herself because She is the sovereign and the origin of all Buddha-teachings:

"Oh you great bodhisattva, rDo-rje, listen! By being the Sov-ereign who has made all things, I am father and mother of the teachers in their three manifestations, and the progenitor of all the Buddhas of the three times. I am illuminating (sgron ma byed) the teachers of the retinues, as well as place and time. The teachers in their three manifestations have emanated from Me, the All-Creating One, from the three aspects of My nature. Due to the three ways of explaining exercised by the three manifestations the dharma is also explained in three ways. This is also explained by Me, the All-Creating One.

Because My nature, i.e. that of the All-Creating Sovereign, excels {p. 72} in worthiness all the teachers, I am teaching the source of non-erring accurate statements (nges pa'i gtan tshig) through five systems of explanation which give the gist of these statements.[137]

Oh great bodhisattva! I am the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity. This mind of perfect purity is from the primordial perfect and grand. The great perfection (rdzogs then) transcends causation from the primordial. Two different systems of explanation are taught: one is taught as the explanation of transcending cause and result, and the other is the explanation system which stems from the teachers in their three manifestations which emanate from the nature of the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity. Now the system of explanation of the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity: Because the mind of perfect purity is beyond cause and result the gist of the accurate statements is given in five systems of explanation.

The three systems of explanation affiliated with the teachers in their three manifestations: among the five aspects of perfection, the truth manifestation is explained through blessings, the manifesta-tion of perfect joy is taught through its own actuation; the corporeal manifestation is affiliated with the verbal expressions of meaning. These are the three explanation systems of the teachers' three manifestations. The three aspects of My nature constitute the individual explanation systems. I, the All-Creating One, am beyond causation. And because[138] I am beyond causation, I am beyond the scope of sensory activity. The mind of perfect purity, Reality, transcends all. The mind of perfect purity is the central vigor of everything. Because it is the central vigor, it is also taught to be the source of confidence. The mind of perfect purity is the root of all things; and because it is the root it encompasses the gist of all. The mind of perfect purity excels everything in worthiness; and because of this excellence in worthiness, it is distinct from the other vehicles.

{p. 73} To understand the mind of perfect purity is to understand Reality as the entirety of the Buddhas. For this reason I am teaching this lore for the benefit of the talented ones. The mind's nature cannot be expressed in words. The inexplicable nature of the mind does not appear. For this reason, if I would say that because of its non-appearance, it cannot be pointed at, all the retinues would not see their own mind but engage in achieving through striving. For this reason I do explain its (i.e. the mind's nature) meaning in words although it is inexplicable. Therefore, through the five systems of explanation pertinent to the gist of the statements, the meaning of the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, was fixed in a non-erring and correct manner. As there is neither cause nor result, it was fixed in this way.

As everything is the mind of perfect purity, confidence is established. Because of the mind of perfect purity being existent, confidence is there from the primordial. As there is no striving directed towards the mind, one is confident. As there is no striving, the practitioners are confident from the primordial. For this reason they abide in great bliss, which can not be reached through striving. In this way, they abide in My nature, i.e. in that of the All-Creating One. There is no other Buddha besides Me, the All-Creating One."

Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-first chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which is treated the explanation systems of the firm statements.

Chapter 22

{cont'd p. 73} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, proclaimed this great origin of the deedless (bya med) teaching of perfection, in order to place the mind in a state of balance.

"Oh great bodhisattva, rDo-rje, listen![139] As to the deedless objects, which are non-existent like the sky, some claim that they come forth as part of previous pledges from subtle objects, i.e. the path of dharma, while these people do not understand that the objects they perceive do not exist. As investigation and meditation are particularly pointless for realizing {p. 74} the manifestation of truth, the follower of Atiyoga remains just so, and does not at all investigate the self-originated pristine awareness. To seek the essential goal by means of religion and its branches, is to enjoy in this through a method which does not entail any understanding, as there is no remedy to cure the non-existent, i.e. the goal of the deedless. Outside of the rise of the own being of central vigor, there is no other truth manifestation. By dissecting an atom, one part will remain totally free from being oriented towards the cardinal directions. The good awareness, which is non-existent yet purposeful (don nyid), originates by itself. You will achieve the mastery of balance after entering this pure path with regard to the broad essence which does not at all immediately recognize things. There is no place for being attached to because nothing is becoming, and nothing has become. Likewise, there is no place for the mind to grasp what is not an object. If one wishes for obtaining manifest results one will always ponder upon their causes, but one will not realize the aim of balance because of being happily attached to meditation.

Because the one manifestation (i.e. the dharmakāya) encompasses everything, there are no things which are to be augmented. Because the destination (i.e. nirvāna) cannot be reached, the dimension of Reality knows no loss. As things dwell in enjoyment (rol) there is no place for lowering or elevating. As to the aim of the great self-origination, everything is poised just as it is.

The eye which sees the no-object, sees the wonder. Who separate themselves from what they hear and what people talk about, they will remain in a state of union with things and Reality, and will be inseparable from them.[140] There is no explanation in addition to calling it the ultimate Reality (don dam chos). If they deliberate as to whether or not the path of perfect purity is erroneous,[141] they will not realize it. Also the self-originated pristine awareness is free of the limitations of the word. As to the apparent existence of the true self and the eternal Buddha {p. 75} you ought to understand it like the simile of the body and its shadow.[142] The essence of negating negation and non-negation rests with the issue of voidness which is void and not void at once. Such notion is born as a recognition of what arises from the sky's own being.[143] You will receive the deedless by not desiring the bliss to capture it. This awareness is about to come forth from what is not an object of enjoyment.[144] Indeed, you will be entirely engulfed by suffering due to the spiritual pursuit by placing your heart on being attached to the previous sages.[145]

Those who, motivated by the wish to enter this path to nature, constantly meditate on the notion of how the omniscient one is, are sick from attachment due to their longing for the great bliss. If they don't apply the great medicine of abiding in stillness the cause for proceeding to celestial realms will be seized by obscuration (klesha). It is a great sickness to enter a path which is no-path. Those who wish to proceed on it are like a deer pursuing a mirage.[146] Abiding in stillness is not an object of gain, nor does it arise from the threefold world. A state where they gaze at the ten bodhisattva stages (bhūmi) is an obscuration of perfect purity.

The truly acute awareness is free of all thinking; like a precious jewel it arises amidst spiritual friends. Those who are not fixated on an issue which is imperceptible and unchanging, such people will have fulfilled all their hopes due to their own being. Such awareness will well arise in its grandeur if they contemplate what cannot be investigated. To all, it is a teacher of the different forms of passion, which does not materially appear; it is a master teacher free of such concepts as oneself and others—a treasure of jewels. It teaches selfless compassion which is known as the objective of all achievement. {p.76} It does not move in its inner being nor is there room for searching it in its inner being. It is imperceptible to those who take on the bodhisattva vows whose objective is the attachment to external objects.

It is the selfless compassion which cannot be entered upon, nor can it arise. It exists from the primordial and for all future time; there is no other jewel than this. By desiring this bliss they will turn their back towards this bliss. Being grasped by bliss means to seek bliss by means of bliss. To thirst for the taste of the dharma is to err from the perfect purity.

Likewise, no such subject as the Buddha can be seen. As there is no Buddha, there is no name 'Buddha' to be given. It is an error to assume that the teacher carried the name 'Buddha'. This is a wrong path as it aspires to achieve Buddhahood through something else.

There is not the slightest trace of a teaching that all things are formless. This self-originated pristine awareness is calm and free of attachment and grasping; it is not a thing and totally abandoned (rnam par spong), because its nature is the great nectar, but there is no sensation of a way to enjoy it.[147] It is broad (yangs), grand, the great dharma. It is the antidote to all smallness. If they make equal the parts of what they perceive as great, they will be freed from the concepts of small and big.

The teaching, the expanse, the perception, and the appearance[148] are like scenes created by a magician. Such things come forth because the awareness is befogged by such concepts as emerging and entering. It is superior to all vehicles. Let it go, let it rest—it is the nature which cannot be coveted, nor can it be obtained. There is not a trace of eagerness; it is like the great eagle soaring in the sky. It knows neither expansion nor contraction. There is no need of fearing that it gets lost nor can it be consumed. Like the ocean it makes the various things arise from the primordial. The limitations of its qualities are like those of the sky. {p.77} The place of its contraction is not certain. It arises as the great king of samādhi at once from the central vigor of perfect purity. Its appearance is like the great ocean. It expands like the unknowable boundaries of the sky: There are no such things as birth and demise as it is the realm of sensory perception of All-Good (Samantabhadra).

It is explained that through praise the twelve limbs of causes and conditions are bound. But the wise should know that this is only an entrance to delusion. The appearance of the six categories of sentient beings should first be known as path. Those who, in the pursuit of desires, are saturated with compassion, may pursue the perfect purity by whatever means they like.[149] Butchers, whores, offenders of the five limitless sins, and covert sinners are abandoned by the world. But the wholly perfected one, due to the honey of the dharma, knows these acts not different from the great bliss. In this way they should see the yield of all things, because of the nature of the things.[150] To claim that Reality is dependent on others is like a person searching for Reality by means of the things, or for the sky by means of the sky, like one who extinguishes fire with fire—these accomplishments are difficult to do. The imperceptible essence is not hidden to the mental flux of all creatures. Those who live in accord with perfect purity, which they don't appropriate, dwell entirely in their own being."

Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-second chapter of The Ten Teachings on the Deedless Perfection, in which the non-existent no-objects are treated.

Chapter 23

{cont'd p. 77} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, gave this talk on what is not an object of doctrinal views.

{p. 78} "Oh great bodhisattva, listen! Because all the existent things are one's own mind of perfect purity, consequently no objects of doctrinal views are given. Those of non-conceptual thinking (mi rtog pa) will have a mental attitude equal to the sky—i.e. one of balance. Yoga means to do this. Those who do not reflect upon that which appears to the five sense faculties in terms of being self-illuminating (rang gsal), they, too, have a mental attitude equal to the sky. These practitioners of yoga dwell in suchness. Those who speculate about the meaning of words and letters, they, too, dwell in a mental attitude equal to the sky due to the non-speculative balance or suchness. The main point of not thinking (bsam du med pa) is to abide from the primordial in a sky-like state."

Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-third chapter of The Ten Teachings on the Deedless Perfection, in which is explained the sky-like thinking which is not an object of doctrinal views.

Chapter 24

{cont'd p. 78} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, taught the chapter of the ways of abiding, that is the seal of the lore of deedless perfection (bya med rdzogs pa'i lung).

"Oh great bodhisattva! The teaching about how the mind itself, the All-Good (Kun-tu bzang-po, Samantabhadra) is abiding, is as follows: when you only abide in the mind of perfect purity, you abide in the central vigor of all things. Such knowledge is the All-Creating Sovereign. The All-Creating Sovereign is without becoming, thereby She is taught to be without becoming.

When you only abide in the truth manifestation you will abide in a state free of conceptualizing subject and object. To be free of conceptualizing subject and object, is to be without becoming.

When you only abide in the manifestation of perfect joy, you will abide in the perfect saturation of desires by being endowed with the pleasures arising from the five sensory objects. {p. 79}

When you abide in the corporeal manifestation only, you will abide in the fulfillment of all needs by being embodied in whatever form is required in accord with the time for disciplining and by whom.

You will abide without becoming in the three times. This is the characteristic of the sky, the seal of all things. The sky's characteristic is suchness. The characteristic of the three manifestations is to abide just as they are, that is to abide in the suchness of all. All the existent things are genuine, just as they are. Among all who want achievement by striving there is not one who has arrived at that goal through previous progress on the path. There is not one who has received the result by what she or he has done in the past. There is none who achieved what he or she had aspired to in the past through striving for achievements. There is no becoming as everything is just as it is."

Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-fourth chapter, taken from The Ten Teachings on the Deedless Perfection, in which an instruction is given on the deedless perfection, the seal of non-becoming.

Chapter 25

{cont'd p. 79} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, gave an explanation about one's own mind being the teacher for the sentient beings in the threefold world.

"Oh you sentient beings of the threefold world! If I taught that this, your own mind of perfect purity, is the teacher for the duration of 100,000 eons (kalpa), you will not be able to see your own mind as teacher. For this reason, I, the All-Creating Sovereign, have become present in your own mind as the teacher.

Listen to this lore of one's own mind being the teacher! {p. 80} I, the All-Creating Sovereign, am the cause of everything, and from the mind of perfect purity come forth the five great elements as the mind's actuation, and from them come forth the five teachers as the mind of perfect purity.

Manifestation is taught as the manifestation of perfect joy; 'truth' (dharma) is explained through the actuation of one's own nature, and 'teacher' is declared to be one's own nature. The teachers in their manifestations of perfect joy teach not to speculate on thinking itself,[151] nor to speculate on other doctrinal issues. The five teachers of the mind of perfect purity teach likewise that all is Reality.

The pristine awareness (ye sties) of the mind of perfect purity, coming forth as teachers in the manifestation of the element 'earth' do not teach words or letters, but teach through one's own nature,[152] so that one does not speculate on self and other. They teach a non-speculative thinking of balance. All sentient beings of this threefold world, by understanding this, are equal to the Buddha. They will achieve through non-striving the Reality which others zealously seek.

The pristine awareness of the mind of perfect purity, coming forth as teachers in the manifestation of the element 'water' does not teach words or letters, but teaches through one's own actuation, so that one does not speculate on self and other. They teach a non-speculative thinking of balance. All sentient beings of the threefold world, by understanding this, are equal to the Buddha. They will achieve through non-striving the Reality which others zealously seek.

The pristine awareness of the mind of perfect purity, coming forth as teachers in the manifestation of the element 'fire' do not teach words or letters, {p. 81} but teach this lore through its actuation, so that one does not speculate on self and other. They teach a non-speculative thinking of balance. All sentient beings of the threefold world, by understanding this, are equal to the Buddha. They will achieve through non-striving the Reality which others zealously seek.

The pristine awareness of the mind of perfect purity, coming forth as teachers in the manifestation of the element 'wind' do not teach words or letters, but teach this lore through its actuation, so that one does not speculate on self and other as being two different entities. They teach a non-speculative thinking of balance. All sentient beings of the threefold world, by understanding this, are equal to the Buddha. They will achieve through non-striving the Reality which others zealously seek.

The pristine awareness of the mind of perfect purity, coming forth as teachers in the manifestation of the element 'sky' do not teach words or letters, but teach this lore through its actuation, so that one does not speculate on self and other as being two different entities. They teach a thinking of non-differentiation. All sentient beings of the threefold world will be instructed in this lore by their own actuation because of these evidences (i.e. the elements). In this way they ought to understand all.

Oh, all you sentient beings of this threefold world! Because I, the All-Creating Sovereign, have created you, you are My children and equal to Me. Because you are not second to Me, I am present in you. The five teachers related to My actuation teach that the five aspects of My nature are just one. As this One is Me, the All-Creating One, consequently, you ought to have confidence in this truth.

Oh all you sentient beings of this threefold world, if I were not, you would be non-existent. If there was a time where you did not exist, the five teachers would not come forth. Also the non-speculative lore would not be taught."

Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-fifth chapter of The Ten Teachings on the Deedless Perfection, in which the coming forth of one's own mind as teacher is covered.

Chapter 26

{coned p. 82} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, gave the assurance that the unborn, the mind of perfect purity will appear as teacher as a sign of the teacher originating from the five great elements, which come forth from the mind.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The mind of perfect purity, which is beyond thinking and inexplicable, is much praised by others as it became a lamp for the teachers. As it became the central vigor of all things it is Manjushri himself. It dwells in the self-perfected bliss which is deedless and self-perfected. It became the ground of an ocean of diverse religious practices, such as morals, etc., and it is taught to be the path of whatever form of liberation. It became the mother of the tathāgata, and likewise the path of all tathāgata.

If this mind of perfect purity was not, nothing would originate, therefore I am the best path of liberation. It is a path, subtle and difficult to understand, which is non-speculative and beyond thinking. It is non-existent (mi gnas), imperceptible, and non-conceptual (spros med), it is free of all thinking. It cannot be captured in words, free of form and colour, it is not an object of the sense faculties. It is firm, difficult to comprehend, and totally inexplicable.

Those who enter upon the path of the previous sages will be caught by a sickness, that is a path attached to meditation. When they consider this path to lead towards the goal in accord with Buddha's word, they are following a sequence of speculations and are similar to those who pursue a mirage.

The truly pure path cannot be pointed out in words. To teach it as the truly pure in itself makes Me obscured: the pure and the impure are not two different entities but like an amalgam. Also, pristine awareness and ignorance are not at all to be distinguished. One should be free of all these thoughts such as the All-Creating Sovereign is like a lamp which illuminates from the primordial. The inexplicable mind of perfect purity which transcends all thought dwells as the master of meditation covered by the fog of being unagitated by its very nature. {p. 83} It is the eye which sees directly, but does not see due to the direct seeing. Therefore it is called the eye of the omniscient one. It is a natural knowledge, broad and without boundaries or a centre. It dwells as the mastery of balance that neither acquires nor rejects. It is like an amalgam whereby the mind and its karmic inheritance (bag chags) are not two different entities. All the existent things which are cognized due to perception, are neither rejected nor abandoned as they appear as a beautification of Herself. One rejoices in them due to a method of not-at-all thinking. One reaches the mastery of balance by dwelling in this truly pure path of the five obscurations (klesha) and the five limitless offenses—things which are abandoned by everybody because they are in disagreement.[153]

One should not give up everything like women, etc. When one places the two meanings of the transmittance (lo rgyus) on a valid cognition (tshad ma'i blo) one will proceed towards the goal of achievements after stabilizing the three samādhi. This is called a deviation from the lore of non-striving, and it obscures the mind. This mind of perfect purity dwells in the bliss of self-perfection which is totally perfected and deedless. This is the central vigor of the great self-originated pristine awareness which is free of all designations, non-agitated and unchanging. It has overcome the ill of striving with the nectar of having achieved eternal perfection (zin pa).[154] It dwells just like that in the objects which have been eternally perfected with regard to doing and striving.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen! As all things are the own being of the perfect and pure mind, they are the great empty circle (thig le chen po). Therefore they are neither conceptual (spros med) nor encompassed, neither born nor ceased. This pristine awareness dwells just like that and cannot be deprived. This central vigor of non-thinking abides from the primordial like the sky in total transcendence of thinking and articulating such reflections."

{p. 84} Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-sixth chapter of The Ten Teachings on the Deedless Perfection, in which is explained that the deedless perfection is not to be contemplated.

Chapter 27

{coned p. 84} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, gradually taught the great lore in accord with Her own instruction.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! As all things have come forth from Me, all things, which appear just like that, are taught to be from the primordial within the dimension of the very pure. The dimension of Reality consists from the primordial in all the inner (i.e. animated) and outer (i.e. inanimated) things. Because the Buddhas and the sentient beings are not different as to their field of perception, which is pure from the primordial, how then could one attempt to alter that through antidote and following a path? If one does not wish to stir with vehement actions the unachievable, then this is the point earlier made about the deedless and spontaneously self-perfected.

To what end should the dimension of Reality, where reflection and the pure are not two, be enticed by the habits of ordinary people characterized by wrong reflections? It is not different from the earlier explained great path even if one calls it an erroneous path by confusing the habits of the sentient beings with the non-dual great bliss. For this reason, and because the follower of Atiyoga knows balance, this person will be the lord of the Buddhas. To speculate on the I and the mine is the wrong path of the unbelievers. Enticed by ordinary people you may feel compelled to enter a path of speculating on the practice of religion, although there is no path on which to proceed, and no time appropriate for speculation. How could one find Reality by searching for a thing! Certainly, through such speculations you will seize a wrong path and you will rely on a teaching of a monkey-like acārya who lacks valid cognition. {p. 85} Instead it is suitable to pay a limitless price for a treasure of jewels that is an acārya with authentic teachings, as this is like applying a certain salt[155] to gold. "[156]

Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-seventh chapter of The Ten Teachings on the Deedless Perfection, in which the lore of the dimension of deedless purity is explained.

Chapter 28

{cont'd p. 85} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, talked about Her own nature as immutable.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! My own being is within the dimension of the immutable. My pristine awareness is immutable like the sky. My Reality is of immutable nature. My mind is the immutable central vigor of all things. Likewise, everything is immutable but the teachers in their three manifestations, although emanating from Me, they teach through their embodiments a doctrine which defines things as causes and results. Thereby they make their followers to renounce the sensory objects with their senses. I do not teach those sentient beings who embrace the idea of the five obscurations to be conditions for their own existence that there is a self-originated Reality. If one taught 'the evil life forms are a great offense', and that one should give up the offenses committed through body, speech, and mind by engaging in the ten precepts, for many eons such a person will not meet the self-originated pristine awareness because he or she would exercise acquiring and rejecting with regard to the self-originated Reality. Listen, oh great bodhisattva! If I taught the host of retinues, although they are My manifestations and united in Me, to renounce the things through the five self-originated pristine awarenesses, to give up and to subdue them like enemies through the five awarenesses, the retinues will not recognize that these five enemies (i.e. the sensory objects) are the self-originated pristine awarenesses. But I do not teach to give up one's own mind.

{p. 86} Oh great bodhisattva, listen! If one claims that the results stem from causes and if one applies ultimate and conventional truths as two separate concepts to Reality which comes from one's own mind, and if one continues to do that for three eons, one will not be able to change one's self through vows and the performance of the ten perfections (pārāmitā). I do not teach that the mind in itself is mutable.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen! Some hope to gain supranormal abilities (siddhi) from the deity they propitiate by being blessed with a samādhi of the Reality of one's own mind, by purging with purification rites the mind which is like the moon in the water, and by visualizing the lord (i.e. one's chosen tutelary deity) and making offerings to please the god. But these people will not cognize their own mind because[157] it is not like the moon in the water. Therefore I am not teaching that within the duration of seven lives the self-originated pristine awareness will not exist.

Listen, oh great bodhisattva! Those who meditate upon the blessed wonders of their own mind, may hope to be bestowed with whatever supranormal abilities they wish for themselves because of the friendship and accord between the visualized deities[158] and themselves as meditators. But, for three lifespans, they will not meet their own mind of the deedless which cannot be obtained by desiring the self-originated Reality. Such lore I, All-Creating Sovereign, do not teach.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen! By transfiguring Reality which originates from itself into a deity, by performing the four seals,[159] and by emitting and condensing the sacred mantras[160] they achieve only to make the immutable Reality change. To think that one can obtain reality by virtue of performing a samādhi of the mind, and that thereby anything will be obtained—such, I do not teach.

Listen, oh great bodhisattva! I do not teach that the dimension of Reality is mutable because as the dimension is the ground, it is immutable. The three manifestations, in subjugating the dimension of Reality, {p. 87} teach their own retinues a samādhi of seeking calm abiding (samatha). Thereby they are teaching a doctrine in need of interpretation.[161] Likewise, the immutable sky, this sky in itself, cannot be altered through the sky. Likewise, the immutable Reality, this very Reality, cannot be altered through any thing. Likewise, the immutable mind, this very mind in itself, cannot be realized through one's own mind. This would be a meditation making the immutable change. To place one's hope in pledges (pranidhāna) and the duration in carrying out a samādhi fixated by the time, this is exasperating. Such is not taught by Me, the All-Creating Sovereign."

Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-eighth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the deedless perfection is explained as immu-table, and not to be found through striving.

Chapter 29

{cont'd p. 87} Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, talked about the mind resting in balance.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! I, the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity,—all things are Me. From the primordial, My entire nature is resting in balance.

It is taught that My own being should be known as of five aspects (rang bzhin rnam pa lnga): teacher, teaching, retinue, place, and time. These five aspects are poised in My own being. But the teachers' own being also rests therein. In their truth manifestations, they rest in genuine balance and are poised as My own being. In the manifestation of joy, they rest in the genuine actuation, and are poised as My own being. In their corporeal manifestations, they rest in genuine compassion, and are poised in My own being. {p.88} The self-originated pristine awareness is poised. Place is where anything is put in place; this also rests in balance. Time is the time which combines past with future. Being in balance is associated with time.

Oh great bodhisattva, listen! The totally perfected has five aspects. There is not anything else called 'thing' besides what rests in genuine balance. Oh great bodhisattva! It is also not said that there is even one thing which is not encompassed in the totality of the perfected. Oh, because everything is poised in Me, all things are liberated in their Reality. The teachers are liberated in genuine Reality. The teaching is liberated in genuine Reality. Also the retinues are liberated in genuine Reality. Oh you, who accept that all things are liberated, do not falsify your own body by contemplating upon it as a deity! Do not falsify spoken words or speeches. Do not practise samādhi so that you don't falsify the mind! By falsifying one will not attain the state of balance, and by not being in balance one will not be liberated.[162] Without liberation one will not attain identity with Reality.

Oh great bodhisattva, it is like this: the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, rests from the primordial in a state of balance and transcendence, but the followers of various doctrinal views do not know how to rest in balance. The great perfected, the All-Creating One, rests from the primordial in balance, but if the hearers and solitary awakened ones hear or learn about it, they would say 'this produces poison', and they will abandon their own mind by assuming it constitutes an obstruction. They will also not know how to poise the doctrinal views, and they remain for many eons not knowing how to be poised.

{p.89} If the followers of the Mahāyāna-sūtras hear about the Great Perfection, they will not understand the suchness of their own mind. Likewise, they will not know how to rest in balance. They will continue for three eons to think that they progress by cleansing. If the followers of yoga (the first level of the four) hear about the Great Perfection they will not understand that all things which appear just like that are the suchness of their own mind, and they will not know how to rest in balance. They will continue for seven life-spans to sanctify their mind by practising the limbs of bodhicitta and various miracles (cho 'phrul).

If the followers of the Mahāyoga hear about it, they will try to achieve through striving something new, although it is from the primordial, as they are in accord with the nature of causation. For 2,600 years they will not know how to rest in balance, and they will remain at the stage of the three samādhi.

If the followers of Anuyoga hear about it, they will apply such designations as causation to what exists from the primordial. Likewise, they will not know how to rest in balance. As cause they want to achieve the dimension of pure Reality, and, as result, the mandala of pure pristine awareness. Uninterrupted they remain like this for one lifetime.

If the followers of Atiyoga hear about it, they will abide in the realm of Buddha from the primordial. They will gain the deedless great bliss. As they realize that there is nothing to achieve, thereby they will gain buddhahood.

Sentient beings, either humans or gods, are not of the same mental abilities. Some use their abilities, but only partially. Some also know that their abilities are definitive from the primordial. {p. 90} Therefore there is a reason to teach these people, and I am teaching this lore. The Great Perfection of Atiyoga is to understand like this: 'ate will be explained by the letter: 'a' is the unborn Reality which is poised. `Ti' is explained as the non-striving self-perfected. Those who claim that the Great Perfection of Atiyoga is connected with causation will not reach the goal of understanding the Great Perfection. Those who claim that the ultimate and the conventional are two entities, use words of praise and dispraise. For this reason, they will not understand what is the non-dual. But the understanding of all the Buddhas of the three times is such that it does not see a duality, that it rests in balance, and understands oneness."

Such She spoke.

This is the twenty-ninth chapter of The All-Creating Sovereign, Mind of Perfect Purity, in which the mind resting in balance is covered.

Chapter 30

Then the All-Creating Sovereign, mind of perfect purity, expounded to rDo-rje sems-dpa', who is the central vigor of Herself, this talk which is like an imperishable banner of victory on the lore of Sems-dpa' rdo-rje's own being as the deedless perfection.

"Oh great bodhisattva, listen! I shall explain your own being to yourself. Your self is Me, the All-Creating Sovereign. From the primordial, I am the mind of perfect purity.

The mind of perfect purity is like this: It[163] is, oh rDo-rje sems-dpa', like the big sky; it is All Good (Kun-tu bzang-po, Samantabhadra),[164] broad, the dimension of Reality.

This all-pure, great path is unproduced, unobstructed, and inconceivable as it liberates all sentient beings. To actualize its final purpose, love should not be practised as great compassion. {p. 91} This greatness (i.e. the mind of perfect purity) does not praise any good qualities of this profound greatness. Its final purpose is unagitated in itself. It is liberated through a deedless liberation. As the self-originated pristine awareness is free of striving, it has been liberated, and is thus taught as path of liberation.

The elements are the Victorious One (Bhagavan) who abides in the nature of all beings. Even what is called wrong is nothing else but the liberated, self-originated awareness. To achieve this great awareness, which is so difficult to obtain, by relying on wisdom and skill-in-means,[165] is nothing but words saying to rely on others, while the true bliss arises from one's own mind.

The great wonders are not difficult to see. Through subtleness the understanding of suchness as to all good qualities and forces immediately arises from its own. This non-apparent Reality is to be contemplated not by means of searching for it, but by leaving it. If one searches for it therein, its suchness will not arise from it. The most secret Reality cannot be heard by anything, how then by the ear faculty? Likewise, the faculty of the tongue cannot at all proclaim it.[166]

By perfectly understanding the beings' suffering as mind of perfect purity, one dwells in joy. One will not be upset by it, but dwell in balance, just like the horizon of the sky. Although the particularities are identical, some may still say 'it is due to karma'. If one is under the influence of such karma thinking, one will not be in the self-originated pristine awareness. The causes are the same as the conditions for the immutable (literally diamond), and therefore what is unborn is imperishable. One will not advance to the dimension of Reality by striving for the mind of perfect purity, which is the vigor of the universe from the primordial. A contemplation of the great good qualities cannot be achieved through contemplating them by means of contemplation itself.[167]

From intuitive insight (rnam rtog nyid) arises pristine awareness as to its Reality which is unthinkable, and not to be practised. This is called the subtle door. If the mind searches for the path of solitude, one grasps the solitude amidst the wilderness. If one reflects, one should contemplate the process of reflecting.[168] Applying designations like 'cause' and 'result'implies a cleansing of both, virtues and offenses. Who says 'I want to leave this world' will generate an eager-ness for acquiring and rejecting. Attachment and detachment are a path of mere words and, similar to the Middle Path, they are like an echo. But the lord of all beings explained to the sentient beings (