The Great Bundle of Precepts. The Source Esoteric Instruction on Severance, the Profound Perfection of Wisdom

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CoryThe Great Bundle of Precepts. The Source Esoteric Instruction on Severance, the Profound Perfection of Wisdom
The Great Bundle of Precepts
The Source Esoteric Instruction on Severance, the Profound Perfection of Wisdom
Volume #: 014 (ཕ་) (4a3-9a1)
Catalog Information for this text
Tibetan Citation མ་གཅིག་ཡེ་ཤེས་ཀྱི་མཁའ་འགྲོ་ལབ་ཀྱི་སྒྲོལ་མ་. ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པ་ཟབ་མོ་གཅོད་ཀྱི་མན་ངག་གི་གཞུང་བཀའ་ཚོམས་ཆེན་མོ་. གདམས་ངག་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་མཛོད།, པོད་ ཕ་༽, ༧-༡༧. ཏེ་ལི་་་རྒྱ་གར་: ཞེ་ཆེན་དཔེ་མཛོད་ཁང་, ༡༩༩༩.
Wylie Citation ma gcig ye shes kyi mkha' 'gro lab kyi sgrol ma. shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa zab mo gcod kyi man ngag gi gzhung bka' tshoms chen mo. In gdams ngag rin po che'i mdzod, Volume 014(pha), 7-17. New Delhi: Shechen Publications, 1999. Enlarged reprint of the 1979 edition published by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche from prints from the dpal spungs xylographs.
TBRC Link VolumeI1CZ3976
Topics yan lag gi chos - Instruction manual; gcod gzhung - gcod yul skor; Three root texts of the Severance Object
Colophon

ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པའི་མན་ངག་གཅོད་ཀྱི་བཀའ་ཚོམས་ཆེན་མོ་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་མ་གཅིག་ཡེ་ཤེས་ཀྱི་མཁའ་འགྲོ་ལབ་ཀྱི་སྒྲོལ་མས་[1]མཛད་པ་རྫོགས་སོ། [2]གཞུང་འདི་ཉིད་གྲ་ས་ཧ་ག་སྟོན་གྱི་དུས་ཉན་བཤད་བྱེད་པ་བརྒྱད་ཅུ་ཙམ་བྱུང་ཟེར་ལ། སྔ་དུས་ཀྱི་འགྲེལ་པ་མདོ་སྡུད་པ་དང་སྦྱར་བ་ཞིག་ཀྱང་སྣང་ཞིང་། ཆོས་ཀྱི་རྗེ་རང་བྱུང་རྡོ་རྗེས་ས་བཅད་དང་འགྲེལ་བས་མཚོན་ཕྱིས་ཀྱི་གཞུང་འགྲེལ་མང་ངོ། འདི་དང་བྲམ་ཟེ་ཨཱརྱ་དེ་བས་མཛད་པའི་གཞུང་ཡིད་བཞིན་ནོར་བུ་གཉིས་གཅོད་ཡུལ་གྱི་གདམས་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་ཀྱི་གཞི་ལྟ་བུར་སྣང་ངོ། མཆན སརྦ་དཱ་ཀ་ལྱཱ་ཎཾ་བྷ་ཝ་ཏུ།

shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i man ngag gcod kyi bka' tshoms chen mo zhes bya ba ma gcig ye shes kyi mkha' 'gro lab kyi sgrol mas mdzad pa rdzogs so/_gzhung 'di nyid gra sa ha ga ston gyi dus nyan bshad byed pa brgyad cu tsam byung zer la/_snga dus kyi 'grel pa mdo sdud pa dang sbyar ba zhig kyang snang zhing /_chos kyi rje rang byung rdo rjes sa bcad dang 'grel bas mtshon phyis kyi gzhung 'grel mang ngo/_'di dang bram ze Ar+ya de bas mdzad pa'i gzhung yid bzhin nor bu gnyis gcod yul gyi gdams pa thams cad kyi gzhi lta bur snang ngo/_mchan_sarba dA ka l+yA NaM b+ha wa tu/

Further Cataloging data
*Side A:
  • གཡོན་: ཕ གཅོད་ (གྲངས་ཀ་) གཞུང་
Left: pha gcod (tibfolio#) gzhung
  • གཡས་: གདམས་ངག་མཛོད་
Right: gdams ngag mdzod
  • Side B:
  • གཡོན་: གཅོད་ཡུལ་སྐོར་
Left: gcod yul skor
  • གཡས་: #
Right: #
Volume #: 014 (ཕ་)

Begin-End Pages (Western): 7-17

Begin Tibetan page and line #: 4a3

End Tibetan page and line #: 9a1

Total # of pages (Western): 11

Total # of pages (Tibetan): 6

Number of lines per page: 7 (1 page of 5, 1 page of 1)

Introduction

Introduction to Machik’s Great Bundle of Precepts

The Great Bundle of Precepts on Severance is considered a source text (gzhung) of the Severance tradition attributed to Machik Lapdrön (1055-1149), the founder of the lineage. According to The Religious History of Pacification and Severance by Khamnyön Dharma Senge (19th c.), it was taught in a single day to a large crowd, which included the three Indians who arrived instantly in Tibet by means of the practice called “swift foot” to investigate the authenticity of Machik and her increasingly popular teachings (30b). As a woman and the originator of a “new” teaching tradition, Machik Lapdrön was under considerable suspicion and often had to prove her worth. In Machik’s Complete Explanation, she explains the meaning of the name “bundle of precepts” as meaning that it is based on the long, middle length, and short precepts of the Buddha Shakyamuni, which she had studied previously (94). In other words, she maintained that the teachings contained herein are nothing other than the authentic words (bka’) of the Buddha.
The commentary and outline are by Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339), the Third Karmapa hierarch, who was an important figure in the Severance tradition. His many works on Chöd are considered authoritative in the Kagyu lineage. The text translated here as found in Kongtrul’s Treasury of Precious Instructions appears under the simple title “Outline”, although it also contains a commentary as a separate text, bearing the Sanskrit name ṭīkā, usually translated into Tibetan as rnam par bshad pa, “Complete Explanation”. It is unusual and quite edifying for a Tibetan author to actually separate out the outline from the commentary, although it does present a few extra problems of consistency. Nevertheless, Rangjung Dorje’s work exhibits his usual precision and brilliance. The text is also found in his Collected Works. The words in parentheses after the headings in the Outline were included by Rangjung Dorje to indicate the beginning word[s] of each verse, and they are repeated in the commentary. However, due to the differences in English grammar, it was not always possible to keep them at the very beginning of each verse in translation, but they will appear somewhere in the first line.

Translation

The Great Bundle of Precepts:
The Source Esoteric Instruction on Severance, the Profound Perfection of Wisdom

(draft translation by Sarah Harding ©2011)



Homage to the unspeakable, unthinkable, unimaginable state;
basic space beyond objects, without reference.

This Great Bundle of Precepts on Severance
is written in hopes of benefiting a few.[3]

The root devilry is one's own mind.
The devil lays hold through clinging and attachment
in the cognition of whatever objects appear.
Grasping mind as an object is corruption.

Devils are classified as four:
tangible devil[4] and intangible devil,[5]
the devil of exaltation[6] and the devil of inflation.
All are included in the devil of inflation.

Tangible devils are numerous, however
judging the appearances that arise to our senses,
negating or affirming them, is the tangible devil.
Grasping them as definite binds us to samsara.

Form is empty of the essence of form.[7]
Do not attach to form, meditate on it as empty.
Lacking attachment to form as definite
is release from the devil of fixation on permanence.
Not meditating on emptiness mentally {8}
is definite liberation from the devil of nihilism.
The appearance of form cannot be stopped,
[but] without definite grasping it is lucid self-appearance.
Sound, smell, taste, tactile sensation,
mentation and so forth are similarly released.
Mentation is the intangible devil,
but when it arises through the sense doors
it is taught as the tangible devil.
With an attitude of self-liberation,
directly cut through all that appears to the sense perceptions.
It becomes inseparable great stupidity.[8]

Intangible devils occur in this way:
Good and bad sensations[9] [of] mental objects
that are distinguished by one's own thoughts
are revealed as the intangible devils.
Apart from being products of naturally arising mind,[10]
fixating on good gods as gods,
fixating on bad demons as demons,
and all the thought-provoking mental hopes and fears
are one's own devils rising up to oneself.

From the realm of phenomena's great expanse of clarity,[11]
any thoughts and memories whatsoever may arise.
For example, like the arising of waves and so on
from the unmoving ocean.
Thus a person with realization
rests on their own ground without altering it.
Help and harm do not occur, liberated in space.
Self-arising from the space of phenomena's nature,
jealous acts and acceptance and rejection do not apply
in self-occurring mind unengaged with acceptance or rejection.

The devil of exaltation occurs in this way:
common devils and supreme devils
come from the mind of deluded cognition[12]

In haunted places, [when] demons do not affect you,
arrogance arises and becomes the devil of exaltation.
[When] signs of blessing and ability occur,
the merit and material wealth are the devil of distraction.
Wealth, fame, friends, and foes[13] are the devil of delight.
Gods and demons bestow spiritual powers,
children and relatives gather as entourage
causing joy (dga') and conceit (brod): the devil of exaltation (dga' brod).

Whatever qualities occur, whatever arises,
an attitude of nondual object and mind
does not grasp at those qualities [as the self].[14]
As with the objects in dreams,
engage without attachment to their nature.
Like the beauty produced by a lovely face, {9}
self-occurrence adorns itself—
there is no cause for arrogance.
If it does arise, fixating in deluded cognition corrupts.

Bibliography

Bibliography for Katsom chenmo and Rangjung Dorje's commentary

THE PRESENT TEXTS

Machik Lapdrön. Great Bunch of Precepts on Severance/ Great Bunch of Precepts: the Source Text of Esoteric Instructions on Severance, the Profound Perfection of Wisdom. Shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa zab mo gcod kyi man ngag gi gzhung bka' tshoms chen mo. DNZ vol. 14, ff. 4a3-9a1.
_____(2nd Source) Machik's Bunch of Precepts. Ma gcig gi bka' tshoms in The Collected Works of Omniscient Longchen Rabjam (Kun mkhyen klong chen rab 'byams kyi gsung 'bum), vol. 26, pp. 291-300 (partial)
Rangjung Dorje, Karmapa III. The Great Bunch of Precepts on Severance Outline. (gCod bka' tshoms chen mo'i sa bcad) and Complete Explanation of Severance (gCod kyi tikka) DNZ, vol. 14, pp 53-79.
_____(2nd Source) gCod bka' tshoms chen mo'i sa bcad and gCod kyi tikka in Collected Works of Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (Karma pa rang byung rdo rje gsung 'bum) vol. 11 (a) pp. 265-298.


WORKS CITED IN THE TEXTS

Kangyur/Scriptures ?a sutra

?Noble [Perfection of Wisdom?]

Heart of Perfection of Wisdom (Heart Sutra). Bhagavatīprajñāpāramitāhṛdaya. bCom ldan ldas ma shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po. Dg.K. shes phyin, ka (Toh. 21).
Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines, Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā. Shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa brgyad stong pa, Dg.K. shes phyin, ka (Toh. 12). English translation: Edward Conze, The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines and its Verse Summary (San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1973/1983)
Perfection of Wisdom in One Hundred Thousand Lines. (Extensive Sutra, rGyas pa) Śatasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā. Shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa stong phrag brgya pa. Dg.K. shes phyin, ka-a. (Toh. 8)
Verse Summary on the Perfection of Wisdom. Prajñāpāramitāratnaguṇasañcayagāthā. 'Phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa sdud pa tshigs su bcad pa. Dg.K. shes phyin, ka (Tôh. 13). English translation: Edward Conze, The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines and its Verse Summary (San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1973/1983)

Tengyur/Treatises

Maitreya (Byams pa). Highest Continuum, Mahāyānottaratantraśāstra. Theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma'i bstan bcos. Dg.T. sems tsam, phi (Toh. 4024). English translations: E. Obermiller, “Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation” (Acta Orientalia 9: 81–306, 1931), J. Takasaki, A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Rome: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1966), Ken Holmes and Katia Holmes, The Changeless Nature (Eskdalemuir, Scotland: Karma Drubgyud Darjay Ling, 1985), Rosmary Fuchs, Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary (Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 2000).
Nāgārjuna (or Rāhulabhadra). Eulogy to the Perfection of Wisdom, Prajñāpāramitāstotra. Sher phyin bstod pa. Dg.T. ?(Toh. 1127).
Telopa, Mahāmudra Esoteric Instructions, Mahāmudraopadeśa. Phyag rgya chen po'i man ngag (The Ganges Mahāmudra (Phyag chen ganga ma) Dg.T. ?(Toh. 2303) also in Collected Works of Marpa vol. 1 p. 369. Also vol. 7 (pp. 33-36) of DNZ. Translations at: http://www.naturalawareness.net/ganges.html
Maitreya (Byams pa). Highest Continuum, Mahāyānottaratantraśāstra. Theg pa chen po rgyud bla ma'i bstan bcos. Dg.T. sems tsam, phi (Toh. 4024). English translations: E. Obermiller, “Sublime Science of the Great Vehicle to Salvation” (Acta Orientalia 9: 81–306, 1931), J. Takasaki, A Study on the Ratnagotravibhāga (Rome: Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1966), Ken Holmes and Katia Holmes, The Changeless Nature (Eskdalemuir, Scotland: Karma Drubgyud Darjay Ling, 1985), Rosie Fuchs, Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary (Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications, 2000).


REFERENCE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Tibetan Texts

Khamnyön Dharma Senge (Khams smyon Dharma seng ge, also known as 'Jig 'bral chos kyi seng ge). The Religious History of Pacification and Severance: A Precious Garland Ornament of Liberation (RHPS). Zhi byed dang gcod yul gyi chos 'byung rin po che'i phreng ba thar pa'i rgyan. In gCod kyi chos skor, pp. 411-597. Delhi: Tibet House (1974).

Other Works and Translations

Phuntsho, Karma. Mipham's Dialectics and Debates on Emptiness. London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005.
Conze, Edward. The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines and its Verse Summary. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1973/1983.

Notes

  1. should be སྒྲོན་མས་ / sgron mas (sic)
  2. the following is a scribal note added after the colophon
  3. According to Rangjung Dorje's commentary, this line is actually part of the following quatrain. In the poem here it seems better to include it with the statement of the title. Also, in the Longchenpa edition, these two lines are in a four-line verse as follows: “[In] This Great Testament of Severance, “Severance” (gcod) is to naturally sever discursive thought, "Word" (bka') is explained as collection of explanations. It has been written in order to benefit beings.” (p. 292)
  4. Interlinear note: "based on the outer object"
  5. Interlinear note: "based on inner mental designation"
  6. Interlinear note: "based on attachment to the reality of qualities"
  7. Extra line in Longchenpa edition: gzugs la dngos por ma bzungs bas (by not grasping to form as definite).
  8. For an explanation of this unusual statement see Rangjung Dorje's commentary, p. 00.
  9. Taking byung tshul here as byung tshor based on Rangjung Dorje's commentary and the Drime Ozer edition.
  10. rang byung sems las ma gtogs pa, but in Longchenpa: rang byung sems nyid ma rtogs pas (By not realizing that they come from naturally arising mind).
  11. chos dbyings klong chen ngang gsal la[s]. Drime Ozer edition: sems nyid klong chen dang gsal la (The mind itself's great expanse and clarity).
  12. The DNZ (and Sean’s edition) read rigs 'khrul (deluded types), which might have been understood as confusing the two types of devil, common and supreme. However, the Longchenpa edition has rig 'khrul (deluded cognition or awareness) which corresponds better with Rangjung Dorje's commentary as rang rig 'khrul pa las byung pa yin (it comes from one’s own deluded cognition).
  13. dgra gnyan (friends [and] foes). Longchenpa: snyan grag (reputation).
  14. Insertion based on Longchenpa edition yon tan bdag (rather than dag) tu me gzung bar