Wylie:Sgrub brgyud shing rta chen po brgyad kyi smin grol snying po phyogs gcig bsdus pa gdams ngag rin po che'i mdzod kyi dkar chag bkra shis grags pa'i rgya mtsho
གདམས་ངག་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་མཛོད་ཀྱི་དཀར་ཆག་ ་ ་ ་
sgrub brgyud shing rta chen po brgyad kyi smin grol snying po phyogs gcig bsdus pa gdams ngag rin po che'i mdzod kyi dkar chag bkra shis grags pa'i rgya mtsho
An Ocean of Auspicious Renown: The Catalog of The Treasury of Precious Instructions
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An Ocean of Auspicious Renown: The Catalog of The Treasury of Precious Instructions
[1b] I pay homage to, and take refuge in, the glorious, holy masters—my primary gurus and those of the lineages. Embodiment of timeless awareness, with consummate mastery of the noble state of wisdom, utterly transcending the limitations of conditioned existence and mere quiescence; immutable enlightened speech, amassing the clouds of sambhogakāya through unconditional love to let fall a rain of nirmāṇakāya emanations; enlightened mind, profound and lucid, emerging victorious in the battle with samsara through nonconceptual power, and cutting through the bonds of dualistic fixation: I bow to the guru, Vajrasattva in actuality—sovereign lord of the hundred families of inconceivable secrets. Foundation from which emerges the entire vast range of mandalas without exception, actuality of evaṃ and source of mantra and tantra— since the sublime secret delights in the dance of supreme bliss, you who create and enjoy the display, together with those in the lineages, grant us your blessings! Like the splendor shining from the sun that gives us the day, whatever is excellent in the realms of conditioned existence and the peace of nirvana all comes always from the three precious Jewels, Homage and so I revere them as my refuge, with faith born of informed appreciation. Through the inconceivable enlightened activities of the learned and accomplished, the teachings based on scripture and realization spread completely in the holy country and in Tibet; I offer the flower of praise, extolling the life examples of those in the great mainstream lineages of sutra and tantra who spread those teachings. [2a] Peaceful and passionate and blazing with intense wrath, a single reality with numerous expressions, guiding those difficult to guide— O chosen deities, engaging in the dance of innate compassion, grant us the attainments that bring our wished-for goals to consummation. Moving through the space of timeless awareness, delineating right from wrong, O ḍākinīs of the three places, O oath-bound guardians and dharmapālas, be heedful of our exacting pledge and determine the circumstances for lenience: annihilate what causes hindrances and nurture the fortunate! Renowned throughout the Land of Snows are the eight great mainstream lineages of accomplishment and those who followed them; I open here the great gateway to a marvelous treasury, never before seen, in which the riches of all manner of profound instructions are included in their entirety. The great Treasury of Precious Instructions (gDams ngag rin po che’i mdzod) gathers together in a single collection countless profound means of accomplishment that constitute the distilled essence of all the sacred Dharma, the teachings of the buddhas: the means that include, in their entirety, all the limitless stages for practically applying the profound import found in the sutras and tantras; that are easy to implement yet accommodate the minds of those of the three degrees of acumen (excellent, middling, and lesser); and that swiftly bring the state of supreme enlightenment into full evidence. There are five major topics in my concise catalog of this collection: (1) the purpose of compiling this great collection [2b]; (2) the processes by which these traditions developed in India and Tibet; (3) an identification of what these teachings constitute in their essence; (4) an enumeration of the teachings contained in the collection; and (5) a discussion of the lineage successions through which these teachings have been transmitted.
This discussion has four topics: the goal to be accomplished, the means by which it is accomplished, how one engages in such means, and the purpose of such accomplishment (as well as the benefits and advantages). A. Goal At a certain point during this fortunate aeon of illumination, from among all those victorious ones who will eventually have appeared as suns shining in this world, there appeared the incomparable Lord of the Śākyas—our teacher imbued with supreme compassion, whose armor of motivation is far superior to others’; who is more superb than all the others who liberate those to be guided who were and are not yet liberated in these times of strife; the mere hearing of whose name frees one from the effects of harmful actions reinforced through eighty thousand great aeons; and who is endowed with the aspiration to guide all beings along the path to enlightenment without regression. It is the precious teachings of this buddha that are still alive and enduring. From among the teachings of all these buddhas of the three times, Śākyamuni especially caused the illumination of the teachings of the secret mantra approach, the Vajrayāna, both the general and the specific, to spread—teachings that appear as rarely as the udumvara flower. Due to a very powerful reinforcement of positive forces in many previous lifetimes, and not just to random chance, those who have attained an unflawed, noble working basis of freedom and opportunity 3 and who have the good fortune to enter through the doorway of the Victorious One’s teachings have gained something that is just within the realm of possibility, like a pauper who dreams of finding a wish-fulfilling gem. At this point, in order to ensure certain benefit on a vast scale for themselves and others, they must definitely strive for, and attain, that unique enlightened dimension (kāya) of timeless awareness that constitutes the inseparability of bliss and emptiness, the consummate state of supreme enlightenment that is not confined to either of two extremes. 4 One might wonder, What does this constitute? Timeless awareness is the quasi-subjective perceiver, the facet of what is ultimately true—supreme and utterly unchanging bliss—which is the totally perfect state of utter lucidity. Emptiness endowed with the sublime capacity to manifest in all ways is the quasi-object, what is relatively true, the dimension of illusion in which suchness arises in any and all ways as what is knowable. [3a] The oneness of these as equal in taste, not subject to any division, is spoken of in Mañjuśrī: Web of Magical Illusion: buddhahood without beginning, without end; original buddhahood, undifferentiated . . . 6 This is a reference to the state of primordial unity that requires no more training, the enlightened dimension of innate timeless awareness, the state of the primordial lord protector, the supreme Vajradhara. This goes by limitless varieties of names and embodiments—Kālacakra, Vajrasattva, Guhyasamāja, Cakrasaṃvara, Hevajra, and so forth. It is endowed with four aspects of transcendent perfection: • the transcendent perfection of sacred immaculacy, in that it does not serve as a basis for the continuation of habitual patterns; • the transcendent perfection of sacred presence in the ultimate sense, in that it constitutes the complete subsidence of all elaborations of identity or lack thereof; • the transcendent perfection of sacred bliss, in that it is not subject to any extraneous force but is the nondual perception of all that is knowable, in which any embodiment based on the nature of ordinary mind is eliminated and in which the habitual patterns of the nonrecognition of pure awareness are absent; and • the transcendent perfection of sacred constancy, in that, for as long as space itself endures, from the original moment of omniscient awareness onward there is no difference in its manifestation at earlier and later points in linear time. Interior_DNZ_Catalog_12_03_13.indd 8 3/18/13 3:55 PM Purpose 9 It is endowed with three aspects of supremacy: • a supreme state of elimination, in that all limitless aspects of adventitious distortion—the three levels of obscuration, 8 together with the habitual patterns they entail—have been eliminated; • a supreme state of realization, in that there is realization (requiring no deliberate examination) of knowable phenomena without exception, as being similar to the images in a diviner’s mirror, an illusion, and so forth; and • a supreme state of mind, in that there is constant awareness, without any interruption, that permeates any and all ordinary beings, without any discrimination between near and far, ensuring the benefit of limitless beings for as long as space itself endures. In accord with the reference to buddhahood embodying the five kāyas; sovereign lord embodying the five aspects of timeless awareness . . .9 it is that embodiment of the primordial unity of the five kāyas and the five aspects of timeless awareness for which alone one should strive and of which one should gain accomplishment. If one gains accomplishment of such a state of the supreme seal (mahāmudrā), the most sublime fruition state, through one’s higher altruistic motivation, enthusiastic diligence, and stable fortitude, it is in the nature of things that all attainments—the four kinds of enlightened activity, 10 the ten powers, 11 and so forth—come about in an effortless and spontaneous manner, just as a fine harvest of grain results in chaff and straw as a matter of course. 12 [3b] B. Means of Accomplishment On what means, or path, does one rely in order to accomplish such a superior goal? As is said: The sacred Dharma is that which dispels all suffering and all obscurations. That is, one should enter through the doorway of the precious teachings Interior_DNZ_Catalog_12_03_13.indd 9 3/18/13 3:55 PM 10 The Catalog that are still present without having waned—those of the three turnings of the wheel of Dharma by the omniscient Victorious One, who conferred these through the three kinds of miracles 13—and, having entered, one should gain accomplishment by incorporating these teachings into one’s experience. In particular, it is not possible to gain accomplishment of the sublimely unchanging state of primordial unity through any means other than by relying entirely on the unsurpassable swift path of the Vajrayāna. The sacred Dharma subsumes the three higher trainings as its subject matter and the Three Collections as the presentations thereof. 14 If these are to be summarized, we may cite the master Vasubandhu: The sacred teachings of the Teacher are twofold, embodying scripture and realization. 15 They thus can be subsumed under the two headings of scripture and realization. Of these, the aspect of the Dharma as scripture is described in the Highest Continuum: The Dharma is that which is free of and brings freedom from attachment and is endowed with the characteristics of the two levels of truth. Freedom from attachment is subsumed within the truths of cessation and the path. 16 As this passage notes, that which is free of attachment is the truth of cessation, while that which brings freedom from attachment is the truth of the spiritual path. Of these, the truth of cessation is characterized as any context that, due to a focus on suchness itself, entails the cessation of anything associated with corruptibility 17—that is to say, the states of elimination on the paths of training and no more training, the state of nirvana that involves no residual traces, 18 and the dharmakāya of buddhahood as defined in the Mahāyāna approach. This is also referred to as the fruition state—the transcendence of sorrow (which is to say, suffering and the causes thereof) 19—imbued with the seven attributes of peace and negating the four kinds of impermanence. The truth of the path is characterized as the means by which that cessation is made fully evident, which constitutes incorruptible timeless awareness and its attendant factors—[4a] that is, the three paths of seeing, meditation, and no more training or (in the Mahāyāna context) the two paths of seeing and meditation. The attendant factors are the two paths of accumulation and linkage. 20 The aspect of the Dharma as scripture is characterized as the descriptions that allow one to gain access to the aspect of Dharma as realization—that is, the twelve branches of the Buddha’s excellent speech, 21 which are appropriate causes that bring about realization of the true nature of reality. In this regard, there are also the two aspects of the Dharma as it is practiced and the Dharma as it is explained. Of these, the former is endowed with four excellent qualities that allow the fruition state to be attained. These four excellent qualities are as follows: • It does not entail any factors of compulsion or perpetuation, for it leads to the citadel of nirvana and does not lead to that of samsara. • It is uninterrupted, for it connects one to nirvana without obstacles and with a continuity that is unchanging. • It causes no harm, for it is not affected by the thieving effects of desire and attachment and so forth. • It reveals itself in an intimate way, for it is fueled by the food of one’s delight in the Dharma. As for the Dharma as it is explained, it is endowed with four functions that elucidate the factors of the spiritual path, for it demonstrates • what is attended to (“This is the path”); • what brings certainty about this (“This is indeed the path, while anything else is not”); • what elucidates the requirements for this (“These factors, such as the four applications of mindfulness, are the causes of the path”); and • the utter pacification of obscurations (“The obscurations of karma, afflictive states, and obstacles to longevity cause hindrances on the path”). Concerning the Dharma as it is explained, a text states: All the teachings of Dharma are subsumed in two categories, the Buddha’s words and the treatises— respectively, what was spoken in an excellent manner and the commentaries on the intent of that. Due to the power of these, the teachings of Śākyamuni will endure for a long time in this world.22 This is a reference to the two divisions of (1) what was “spoken in an excellent manner” in some ten ways23 and (2) the treatises that comment on the enlightened intent of the former. 1. The Buddha’s Words As for the first of these divisions, the Buddha’s words are concerned with both what is forever meaningful in the greatest sense and what is connected to the accomplishment of that meaning. Their function is to eliminate all the limitless afflictive mental states associated with the three realms of existence. They set forth the benefits and advantages of the fruition state of peace—that is, nirvana, the transcendence of sorrow. [4b] They derive from the enlightened deeds of buddhahood as their governing condition.24 They may be classified as follows:25 • According to the chronological order in which the Buddha spoke them, there are three cycles: the initial, the intermediate, and the final.26 • From the perspective of their subject matter, they concern the two levels of truth.27 • From that of their presentation, there are the twelve branches of the Buddha’s sublime speech. • In accord with the categories that are associated with the antidotes they discuss—that is, the factors to be eliminated, those to be adopted, and those to be understood—there are the Three Collections.28 • From the perspective of the greater or lesser capacity of those who are to be guided by these teachings, there are the two approaches of the Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna, the latter further consisting of the dialectical approach (in which the path is based on causes) and the mantra approach (in which the path is based on the fruition). • Again from the point of view of the governing conditions, there are the words of the Buddha that were communicated directly, those that came about through blessings, and those that came about through permission being granted.29 Given the foregoing categories, in this great Treasury are found teachings that cover the entire meaning of what is to be put into practice according to Interior_DNZ_Catalog_12_03_13.indd 12 3/18/13 3:55 PM Purpose 13 all three cycles of teachings, with emphasis on the ultimate level of truth, a focus on the category of the most exten