Categorie archief: KLASSIEKE TEKSTEN

Great Ancient Masters


      Jampa in Nalanda India                                                                               foto : jampa
Great Ancient Masters ( many of whom taught in Nalanda )

The wisdom teachings of the Mahayana are contained in three primary sets of writings. The first and oldest of these are the Prajnaparamita texts, which date to the beginning of the current era. These wisdom texts go beyond conventional understanding and speak directly to one’s innate enlightened nature. They are the first pointing out texts –transmitting the transcendent wisdom that sees the emptiness of all conceptualized views of reality.

Later, Nargarjuna applied the insights of the Prajnaparamita to classical Indian philosophy and through his articulation of the nature of emptiness beautifully and impeccably dismantled prevailing scholastic views on the nature of reality, establishing the primacy of the inexpressible as the heart of the Buddhist path. In the Mahayana tradition Nargarjuna is seen as the primary spokesperson of the Pranjaparamita literature.

These teachings were united with the meditative and devotional traditions of Mahayana by a brilliant set of teachers from Gandhara, Asanga and Vasubandu, whose works are the culmination of the early Mahayana movement. The school that held this transmission tradition was Yogacara, which became the leading philosophical school in India during the 3rd to 5th centuries, at the same time that Neoplatonism was the leading philosophical school in the Classical Western World. Yogacara teachings still form the philosophical core of the great Buddhist contemplative lineages such as Zen, Mahamudra and Dzogchen. In a similar manner Neoplatonism underlines Western contemplative lineages.

Yogacara translates as “practitioners of yoga” emphasizing the school’s commitment to meditation as the essential nature of the Buddhist path. It is also known as the Consciousness Only School for their central teaching that all reality is a display of consciousness.


According to the Tibetan tradition, Asanga was born in Purusapura, the capital of Gandhara, of a Brahmin woman who was herself a considerable adept in the teachings of Buddhism and who taught him the “eighteen sciences” which he mastered easily. He became a monk and for five years applied himself diligently, memorizing one hundred thousand verses of dharma each year and correctly understanding their meaning.

He then left the monastery to practice the Arya Maitreya Sadhana in a cave at the foot of a mountain. For three years, not a single good sign appeared, and he became depressed and decided to leave his retreat. Emerging from his cave he noticed a bird’s nest by the mountain where the rock had become worn just by the brushing of the bird’s wing as it flew back and forth. Realizing his perseverance was weak, he returned to his cave to practice. For three more years he meditated, but again not a single good sign appeared. He became discouraged and left again. This time he saw a rock beside the road that was slowly disintegrating because of the trickle of single drops of water. Inspired by this, he returned and practiced another three years.

When again no signs appeared, he left his retreat a third time. He encountered an old man who was rubbing a piece of iron with a smooth cotton cloth. “I am just finishing this needle,” the man said to Asanga. “I have already made those over there” and pointed to small pile of needles lying nearby. Asanga thought, “If such effort is put into a mundane task such as this, my effort so far has been merely a trifle.”

He returned and meditated for another three years. Although he had by now meditated for 12 years on Maitreya, he still had no signs of favor. He became extremely despondent and walked away from his cave. After awhile he came across a half-dead dog lying beside the road, infested with maggots, crying out in pain. Asanga thought, “This dog will die if these worms are not removed, but if I try to lift them out with my hand, I will crush them.” So using his tongue so as not to hurt them, and cutting off some of his own flesh for them to live in, he bent down to remove them. At that moment the dog vanished and Maitreya appeared, showering cascades of light in all directions.

Asanga burst into tears and cried, “Ah, my sole teacher and refuge, all those years I made so much effort in my practice, exerting myself in a hundred different ways, but I saw nothing. Why has the rain and the might of the ocean come only now when tormented by pain, I am no longer thirsting?” Maitreya replied, “In truth, I was in your presence constantly, yet because of karmic obscuration you were unable to see me. However, your practice has purified your karma and removed your obstacles. Now by the force of your great compassion you are able to meet me. To test my words, put me on you shoulders for others to see and carry me across the city.”

Asanga was overjoyed. Lifting Maitreya onto his shoulders carried him into town, yet no one saw Maitreya. One old woman saw Asanga was carrying a dead dog and that brought her endless good fortune. A faithful servant saw Maitreya’s feet and found himself in a state of samadhi which granted him all the siddhis. Asanga himself realized the samadhi called “Continuum of Reality”. “What is your desire now?” Maitreya asked him. “To revive the teachings of the Mahayana,” Asanga replied. “Well then, hold onto the end of my robe.” Asanga did this and together they ascended to the pure land of Tushita where they stayed for fifty years. Here Asanga mastered the teachings of the Mahayana and received the famous Five Texts of Maitreya, each of which opens a different door of samadhi.

Dedicated to actualizing these teachings, Asanga returned to the earth and built a small temple in a forest. At first only a few students came to learn teachings from him, but gradually the fame of his doctrine spread and the Yogacara School was established. He became the abbot of Nalanda and lived to be well over 100, but always had a youthful look, with no gray hair or wrinkles.

He compiled many important Mahayana works including what has come to be known as The Five Texts of Maitreya. These include the Abhisamayalamkara (Ornament of Clear Comprehension), the  Mahanaya Sutralankara (Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras),  the Madhyanta-vibhanga (Discourse on the Middle between the Extremes), the Dharma-dharmata-vibhaga, and the Uttaratantra (The Peerless Continuum). His Mahayana-samparigraha (Compendium of the Mahayana), Abhidarma-samuccaya (Compendium of Higher Doctrine), and Yogacharabhumi-shastra (Treatise on the Stages of Yoga Practice) are also famous.

According to the Tibetan historian Taranatha, Tantric teachings were handed down in secret through the Yogacara lineage from the time of Asanga. In the Tibetan canon are several Tantric works ascribed to Asanga including a Maitreya Sadhana and a Prajna-Paramita Sadhana.


The cofounder of Yogacara, Vasubandu, is traditionally said to be the younger brother of Asanga. He was also born in Purusapura in Gandhara and became a monk of the Sarvastivadin school. He went to Kashmir to study their teachings including their renown Abhidharma works. He also was said to possess a complete understanding of the Tripitaka and the tenets of all the Hinayana schools.

Vasubandu wrote Seven Branches of Metaphysics, an encyclopedic work clarifying the main points of teachings of the early Arhats, The Four Oral Traditions of Vinaya on Buddhist discipline, and the most famous compendium of Abhidharma teachings in the Buddhist tradition, the Abhidharma-kosa and a commentary to it called the Abhidharma-kosa-Bhayasa. The Kosa describes the Buddhist path to enlightenment by categorizing and analyzing the basic factors of experience called dharmas.

Impressie uit Nalanda hd from jampa gyatso on Vimeo.

Already famous for his intellectual understanding of Buddhism, Vañsubandu came to Nalanda University and was converted to the Mahayana by Asanga. According to a traditional account, Asanga summoned Vasubandu under the pretext that he was dying. When Vasubandu arrived and asked the cause of his illness, Asanga replied, “I have a serious disease of the heart which arose on account of you.” Vasubandu asked, “How did it arise on account of me?” Asanga replied, “Because you do not believe in the Mahayana and are forever attacking and criticizing it. For this wickedness you will be reborn in a miserable existence. Grieving for you has brought me close to death.” Vasubandu was surprised at this and asked Asanga to expound the Mahayana to him. Upon doing so he became convinced of the truth of the Mahayana and asked his brother what he could do to overcome the negative karma he had accumulated. Asanga answered, “Since your skillful and eloquent speech against the Mahayana earned you this negative karma, you must now use your skillful and eloquent speech to propound the Mahayana.”

De ruines van Nalanda , Bihar , India                                                                                                                           foto : jampa

Vasubandu went on to write many works which systematized the Consciousness Only teachings including On the Three Natures, the Twenty Verses, and the Thirty Verses, perhaps the most famous of the Consciousness Only texts. He also wrote devotional hymns and commentaries on Mahayana texts, including works of Asanga. He is also credited with being the founder of Pure Land Buddhism.

According to one Tibetan account,

Vasubandu was in the habit of reciting daily the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Verses. Once a year he would sit in an iron cauldron filled with sesame oil and for fifteen consecutive days and nights would recite five hundred Hinayana sutras and five hundred Mahayana sutras. After Asanga passed away, he became abbot of Nalanda. Every day he taught 20 classes on various Mahayana Sutras and constantly met in debate and defeated the false views of other teachers. For over 100 years he traveled in India and Nepal establishing the dharma and teaching the Mahayana doctrine.

Many of his debates were with Samyka teachers, a school like Yogacara based on yogic experience that flourished at that time. Other debates were with proponents of yoga as reflected in Patanjali’s famous sutras.

After a long life, Vasubandu eventually left this world to reside in the Tushita heaven with Maitreya.


Stirmati was one of the famous disciples of Vasubandu. He was born in the southern Indian city of Dandakaranya of low caste parents, and studied with Vasubandu from age seven. He wrote commentaries on Abhidharma and the works of Vasubandu, including the Trimsikabhasya (Commentary on The Thirty Verses).


Dignaga, another disciple of Vasubandu, was one of the most respected Indian philosophers. Born in the southern Indian city of Simhavakta to a Brahmin family, he became a monk with a Hinayana teacher, but dissatisfied with the Hinayana teachings went in search of further instruction and met Vasubandu.

Every day he would recite 500 Mahayana sutras. From a tantric master who was an emanation of Heruka he received the empowerment and the “Method of Actualization” of Manjushri. By practicing this, he received a vision of Manjushri, and from then on received teachings from Manjushri whenever he wished.

Dignaga is known as the founder of Buddhist logic. He wrote over a hundred works on logic and other matters including Arya Prajnaparamita -samgraha-karika (A Verse Compendium of the Noble Perfection of Wisdom), and the Pramanasamuccaya (The Synthesis of All Reasoning). The later was such a profound and timely text that according to the Tibetans when Dignaga wrote the salutation to the work, “Homage to him who is Logic personified…”, the earth shook, thunder and lightning flashed, and the legs of all the heretical teachers in the vicinity became as stiff as wood. Using his skills at logic, he became famous as a debater. He was also famous for his miracles and had many disciples. He traveled throughout India establishing Mahayana, and spent many years in Kashmir. He completed his life meditating in a remote cave in the jungles of Odivisha.


Gunaprabha, one of Vasubandu’s closest disciples, is famous for his mastery of Vinaya. He was born in Mathura of a Brahmin family. He studied the Vedic teachings, and the Hinayana teachings in addition to receiving Mahayana teachings from Vasubandu.

According to the Tibetan accounts, he recited the Hundred Thousand Vinayas daily and resided in a monastery in Mathura called Adrapuri that had 5000 monks, all of whom kept the Vinaya rules perfectly.

He composed the Vinaya-Sutra, Basic Teachings of the Vinaya and One Hundred Actions. His Aphorisms of Discipline are one of the “five great books” that form the basis for the twenty year study program in Tibetan monastic colleges.


Vimuktasena was another close disciple of Vasubandu. He is famous for his mastery of the Prajna-Paramita sutras. He was born in Jvala-guha in south-central India. He was a devotee of Maitreya and received both advice and teachings from the celestial Buddha.

He wrote a text called Twenty Thousand Lights on the Prajna-Paramitas. Towards the end of his life he became the spiritual guide of a king in South India and supervised twenty-four temples where he widely taught the Prajna-Paramita Sutras.


A disciple of Dignaga, Dharmapala became the head of Nalanda after his teacher died. After that he went to Bodhgaya and became abbot of the Mahabodhi Monastery. He died at the age of 32. He wrote a number of original works and commentaries most of which have been lost.


Dharmakirti was born in the southern Indian town of Cudamani to a Brahmin family. At an early age he became learned in the arts, the teachings of the vedas, medicine, grammar, and the tenets of the various sages. Then becoming inspired by the teachings of Buddha and the lineage of Pure Consciousness, he took ordination as a monk from Ararya Dharmpala and studied the Tripitaka from beginning to end. Every day he recited 500 different sutras and mantras.

He became a great adept at logic, equal to the master Dignaga himself, and wrote a famous commentary on Dignaga’s Synthesis of All Reasoning. He also wrote Seven Treatises of Logic. His works became the basis for debate training in the Tibetan monasteries. He himself was said to be such an excellent debater that the population of Indian sages of other schools was quite depleted by his efforts, since after losing they had to convert to Buddhism or throw themselves into the Ganges.


A disciple of Dharmapala, Silabhadra was born to a royal Brahmin family in the East Indian city of Samatata. He was conversant with the teachings of all sects, famous for his mastery of Buddhist sutras and commentaries, and became head of Nalanda where 104 years old, he taught the Chinese Master, Hsuan-Tsang, the Consciousness Only doctrine through his exposition of Asanga’s Treatise on the Stages of Yoga Practice.


Paramartha was one of the great translators of Buddhist texts into Chinese, Paramartha was already a master in India when he traveled to China in 546 at the age of 47. At the request of the emperor of China, he settled in the capital and began the translation of texts. Political instability in China forced him to move quite often, but he was still able to translate the important works of the Yogacara lineage into Chinese including the Abhidharmakosa, the Mahayana-Samparigraha, and various works of Vasubandu. He is also famous for his translation of the Diamond Sutra. All together, Paramartha translated sixty-four works in 278 volumes. His translations made the later success of Yogacara possible in China and inspired Hsuan-Tsang several generations later to travel to India for additional texts and commentaries.


Hsuan-Tsang in de Hsuan-Tsang Memorial Hall in Nalanda, India foto : Jampa


Hsuan-Tsang was a remarkable spiritual pilgrim who became one of the most famous Chinese Masters. The son of a poor Chinese official, he left home at the age of 13 to study Buddhism. According to a traditional account,

During those early years of study, if there was a Dharma Master lecturing on a Buddhist text, no matter who the Dharma Master was or how far away the lecture was being held, he went, whether it was a Sutra lecture, a Shastra lecture or a Vinaya lecture. He listened to them all. Wind and rain couldn’t keep him away from lectures on the Tripitaka, to the point that he even forgot to be hungry. He just took the Buddhadharma as his food and drink. He did this for five years and then took the Complete Precepts.

In 629 at the age of 27, having been a monk for fifteen years, he secretly left China and made the dangerous journey across the silk road to India. Sixteen years later, having learned Sanskrit and studied with the best Indian teachers, he returned with an incredible collection of 657 Indian texts, a number of statues of the Buddha and various relics. He was acclaimed by the Emperor who supported him the remainder of his life so he could translate the texts and convey the Mahayana teachings to China. On his deathbed he dedicated his merit so that all present would be born again among the inner circle of Maitreya in Tushita Heaven

De reis van Hsuan-Tsang in de Hsuan-Tsang Memorial Hall Nalanda India                                  foto : Jampa

His Cheng Wei Shih Lun (Treatise on the Attainment of Consciousness Only), a compendium outlining Yogacara doctrine, became the standard text for the Consciousness Only schools of China and Japan.

He translated many other Sanskrit texts into Chinese including the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, which filled 600 volumes, Asanga’s Treatise on the States of Yoga Practice, the Master of Lapis Lazuli Radiance Tathagata which established the practice of the Medicine Buddha in China and the Far East.

Yogacara Masters After Hsuan-Tsang

Kuei-Chi (638-682 A.D.) was Hsuan-Tsang’s most prominent Chinese student. He systematized the Yogacara teaching and established Yogacara as a distinct school in China, called Fa-hsiang. He also wrote commentaries to Hsuan-Tsang’s Yogacara works including the Fa-yuan-i-lin-chang and the Wei-shih-shu-chi.

Hsuan-Tsang also had several notable Japanese and Korean students. Dosho (628-700) studied with Hsuan-Tsang for ten years sharing a room with Kuei-Chi. When he left to go back to Japan he was given sutras, treatises and Yogacara commentaries to help him establish Yogacara there which he did, teaching at Bwangoji monastery. His most famous student is Gyogi (667-748). A Korean student Chiho studied with Hsuan-Tsang and also went to Japan to teach. His pupil Gembo went back to China in 716 and was instructed by Chih-Chou, a pupil of Kuei-Chi. Another early Japanese student who studied with Hsuan-Tsang was Chitsu. “Thus,” as Junjiro Takakusu wrote in his Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy in 1947, “Japan received the orthodox teaching sacrosanct from first-hand authorities of the Indian and Chinese Yogacara School and with the Japanese even now it is the chief subject of Buddhist learning.”

Hosso, the Japanese name for Yogacara, thrived during the Nara period and today several prominent ancient temples are still functioning. Yogacara proper in India and China did not fare so well. The Yogacara School in India became part of a Yogacara-Madhyamika School which thrived in the last centuries before Buddhism disappeared in India under Islamic persecution. This school became influential in Tibet through Santaraksita, one of the first Buddhist Masters to teach in Tibet, and today all Tibetan sects have a strong Yogacara component. This is especially visible in the more contemplative Kagyu and Nyingma practice traditions. Several Kagyu teachers have supervised English translations of Asanga’s works in recent years.

An example of the respect Tibetan teachers have for Yogacara is this appreciation taken from a dharma talk by the Venerable Traleg Rinpoche,

People have generally ignored how Yogacara philosophy influenced Buddhist tantra and its development. Even though it’s quite patent in the writings of Buddhist tantra… Yogacara philosophy itself developed as a reaction against too much theorization. It came to emphasize individual experience and practice,hence the name Yogacara, meaning practitioners of yoga… You could not theorize about Yogacara philosophy without meditating. In fact, you could not be a Yogacara philosopher unless you meditate. When we look at the writings of Yogacara philosophy, we discover many tantric concepts mentioned.

The Fa-hsiang School suffered under the general persecution of Buddhism in China during the middle of the 9th century and gradually disappeared. However, its works are still preserved, and it was revived in the 20th century by several Masters including Ou-Yang Ching-Wu (1871-1943), Abbot Taiuhso (1889-1947, and Hsin Shih-Li (1883-1968), who wrote A New Doctrine of Consciousness Only in 1944. This revival led to the Hsuan-Tsang’s Cheng Wei Shih Lun being translated into English for the first time in 1973 by Wei Tat, a member of a Hong Kong Yogacara group.

Perhaps the greatest success of the Yogacara teachings was in Gandhara where it Third Turning was revealed. There Yogacara became the foundation for Dzogchen which flourishes today in Tibet as the summit of Buddhist philosophy. That is no small honor for the remarkable work the early Yogacara Masters accomplished in clarifying the essence of the Mahayana path.


De Acht Verzen voor de Training van de Geest door Geshe Langri Tangpa


Door Geshe Langri Tangpa

1e Licht Omdat ik de hoogste realisaties wil bereiken , veel beter dan een wensvervullend juweel , dien ik alle andere wezens te koesteren.

2e Licht Wanneer ik omga met andere mensen , dien ik mijzelf en mijn wensen als onbelangrijk te beschouwen , en met een goed hart dien ik anderen te koesteren.

3e Licht  Mij bewust van al mijn handelingen van lichaam , spraak en geest , moge ik op het moment dat een begoocheling opkomt die mijzelf en anderen tot niet-vaardig handelen aanzet , het onder ogen zien en verhinderen te groeien.

4e Licht  Als ik ongeduldige mensen vol van kwade en donkere , geweldige emoties zie , moge ik hen dan beschouwen als kostbare schatten.

5e Licht  Zelfs als iemand waar ik bijzondere zorg voor had en die ik helemaal vertrouwde , zich tegen mij keert , moge ik hem dan als mijn speciale leraar zien.

6e Licht  Wanneer anderen vol van jaloezie , of andere begoochelingen , mij veel moeilijkheden bezorgen , moge ik de nederlaag op mij zelf nemen en hen de overwinning schenken.

7e Licht Moge ik als besluit , in het openbaar en in het geheim , hulp en geluk aan alle levende wezens schenken en al hun pijn en lijden op mij nemen.

8e Licht Moge ik vrij van verstoring , door de acht onevenwichtige gevoelens en alle dingen als illusie ziende , bevrijd worden van de gevangenis van negatieve gedachten.

De acht onevenwichtige gevoelens

1-gelukkig voelen als het leven goed voor je gaat
2-ongelukkig voelen als het leven tegen je schijnt te zijn
3-gelukkig voelen als we rijk zijn
4-ongelukkig voelen als we arm zijn
5-gelukkig voelen als we beroemd en belangrijk zijn
6-ongelukkig voelen als we onbekend en onopgemerkt zijn 
-gelukkig voelen als anderen ons prijzen en bewonderen
8-ongelukkig voelen als anderen ons kritiseren en ons beschuldigen

The Prayer to Guru Rinpoche



dü sum sangyé guru rinpoché
Embodiment of buddhas of past, present and future, Guru Rinpoche;

ngödrup kun dak déwa chenpö shyap
Master of all siddhis , Guru of Great Bliss;

barché kun sel düd dul drakpo tsal
Dispeller of all obstacles, Wrathful Subjugator of maras

solwa depso chingyi lap tu sol
To you I pray: inspire me with your blessings.

chi nang sangwé barché shyiwa dang
So that outer, inner and secret obstacles are dispelled

sampa lhun gyi druppar chin gyi lop
And all my aspirations are spontaneously fulfilled.

Discovered by the great terma-revealer Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, from the right-hand side of the Sengchen Namdrak rock on Mount Rinchen Tsekpa, ‘The Pile of Jewels’. Because the blessing of this prayer, one intended for this present time, is so immense, it should be treasured by all as their daily practice.

Heart Sutra – Sanskrit-English


Translated by Zuio H. Inagaki

Namah sarvajnaaya
-Adoration to the Omniscient!    
Aaryaavalokiteshvara-bodhisattvo gambhiiraayaam prajnaapaaramitaayaam caryaam caramaano vyavalokayati sma: panca skandhaah; taamshca svabhaava-shuunyaan pashyati sma.    

-When Holy Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva performed the deep practice in the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom, he contemplated that there were five aggregates but observed that they were devoid of essential nature.
Iha Shaariputra ruupam shuunyataa shuunyataiva ruupam, ruupaan na prithak shuunyataa, shuunyataayaa na prithag ruupam, yad ruupam saa shuunyataa, yaa shuunyataa tad ruupam.    
-In this case, Shaariputra, form is voidness and voidness is itself form; voidness is not different from form, and form is not different from voidness; that which is form is voidness, and that which is voidness is form.
Evem eva vedanaa-samjnaa-samskaara-vijnaanaani.    
-So it is for perception, conception, volition and consciousness.
Iha Shaariputra sarva-dharmaah shuunyataa-lakshanaa, anutpannaa, aniruddhaa, amalaa, na vimalaa, nonaa, na paripuurnaah.    
-In this case, Shaariputra, all things have the characteristics of voidness; they neither arise nor perish; they are neither defiled nor pure, neither deficient nor complete.
Tasmaac Chaariputra shuunyaayaam na ruupam na vedanaa na samjnaa na samskaaraa na vijnaanaani.    
-Therefore, Shaariputra, within the voidness, there is no form, no perception, no conception, no volition, nor consciousness.
Na cakshuh-shrotra-ghraana-jihvaa-kaaya-man aamsi.    
-Neither is there eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind.
Na ruupa-shabda-gandha-rasa-sprashtavya-dha rmaah.    
-Neither is there form, sound, smell, taste, touch nor concepts.
Na cakshurdhaatur yaavan na mano-vijnaana-dhaatuh.    
-Neither is there realm of sight, etc., until we come to the non-existence of realm of consciousness.
Na vidyaa, naavidyaa, na vidyaa-kshayo, naavidyaa-kshayo, yaavan na jaraa-maranam na jaraamarana-kshayo, na duhkha-samudaya-nirodha-maargaa, na jnaanam, na praaptir apraaptitvena.    
-Neither is there wisdom, nor ignorance, nor extinction of wisdom, nor extinction of ignorance, etc., until we come to the non-existence of old age and death and the non-extinction of old age and death. Neither is there suffering, cause of suffering, extinction of suffering, nor the path leading to extinction of suffering. Neither is there wisdom nor acquisition because there is no grasping.
Bodhisattvasya prajnaapaaramitaam aashritya viharaty acittaavaranah. Cittaavarana-naastitvaad atrasto, viparyaasaatikraanto nishtha-nirvaanah.    
-Depending on the bodhisattva’s Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom, one dwells without any mental hindrance. Because of the absence of mental hindrance, one is fearless; freed from delusory thoughts, one will reach Nirvana.
Tryadhva-vyavasthitaah sarvabuddhaah prajnaapaaramitaam aashrityaanuttaraam samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhaah.    
-All Buddhas dwelling in the three periods realize the highest, perfect enlightenment depending on the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom.
Tasmaaj jnaatavyo prajnaapaaramitaa-mahaamantro mahaavidyaa-mantro ‘nuttara-mantro ‘samasama-mantrah, sarvadukha-prashamanah, satyam amithyatvaat, prajnaapaaramitaayaam ukto mantrah.    
-For this reason, know that the Great Mantra of the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom is the Great Wisdom Mantra, the Unsurpassed Mantra, and the Unequaled Mantra. It extinguishes all suffering, and is true and real because it is not false. It is the Mantra proclaimed in the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom.
Tad yathaa gate gate paaragate paarasamgate bodhi svaaha.
-Namely, “Gone, gone, gone to the other shore;
Gone completely to the other shore.
Iti prajnaapaaramitaa-hridayam samaaptam.    
-Thus ends the Essence of the Transcendent Wisdom Sutra.

Thirty-seven Verses on the Practices of Bodhisattvas



Lokeshvara Bodhgaya Mahabodhi Temple photo : Jampa 2011

Nama Lokeshvaraya

Though he sees that in all phenomena there is no coming and going,
He strives solely for the sake of beings:
To the sublime teacher inseparable from Avalokiteshvara, the Protector of Beings,
I pay constant homage with respectful body, speech, and mind.
The perfect buddhas—source of happiness and ultimate peace—
Exist through having accomplished the sacred Dharma,
And that, in turn, depends on knowing how to practice it;
This practice of the bodhisattvas I shall therefore now explain.
Now that I have this great ship, a precious human life, so hard to obtain,
I must carry myself and others across the ocean of samsara.
To that end, to listen, reflect, and meditate
Day and night, without distraction, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
In my native land waves of attachment to friends and kin surge,
Hatred for enemies rages like fire,
The darkness of stupidity, not caring what to adopt or avoid, thickens-
To abandon my native land is the practice of a bodhisattva.
When unfavorable places are abandoned, disturbing emotions gradually fade;
When there are no distractions, positive activities naturally increase;
As awareness becomes clearer, confidence in the Dharma grows-
To rely on solitude is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Close friends who have long been together will separate,
Wealth and possessions gained with much effort will be left behind,
Consciousness, a guest, will leave the hotel of the body-
To give up the concerns of this life is the practice of a bodhisattva.
In bad company, the three poisons grow stronger,
Listening, reflection, and meditation decline,
And loving-kindness and compassion vanish
To avoid unsuitable friends is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Through reliance on a true spiritual friend one’s faults will fade
And good qualities will grow like a waxing moon
To consider him even more precious
Than one’s own body is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Whom can worldly gods protect
Themselves imprisoned in samsara?
To take refuge in the Three Jewels
Who never fail those they protect is the practice of a bodhisattva.
The Buddha taught that the unendurable suffering of the lower realms
Is the fruit of unvirtuous actions.
Therefore, to never act unvirtuously,
Even at the cost of one’s life, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Like dew on grass, the delights of the three worlds
By their very nature evaporate in an instant.
To strive for the supreme level of liberation,
Which never changes, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
If all the mothers who have loved me since beginningless time are suffering,
What is the use of my own happiness?
So, with the aim of liberating limitless sentient beings,
To set my mind on enlightenment is the practice of a bodhisattva.
All suffering without exception arises from desiring happiness for oneself,
While perfect buddhahood is born from the thought of benefiting others.
Therefore, to really exchange
My own happiness for the suffering of others is the practice of a bodhisattva.
If someone driven by great desire
Seizes all my wealth, or induces others to do so,
To dedicate to him my body, possessions,
And past, present, and future merit is the practice of a bodhisattva.
If, in return for not the slightest wrong of mine,
Someone were to cut off even my very head,
Through the power of compassion to take all his negative actions
Upon myself is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Even if someone says all sorts of derogatory things about me
And proclaims them throughout the universe,
In return, out of loving-kindness,
To extol that person’s qualities is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Even if in the midst of a large gathering
Someone exposes my hidden faults with insulting language,
To bow to him respectfully,
Regarding him as a spiritual friend, is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Bodhgaya photo : jampa 2011

Even if one I’ve lovingly cared for like my own child
Regards me as an enemy,
To love him even more,
As a mother loves a sick child, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Even if my peers or my inferiors
Out of pride do all they can to debase me,
To respectfully consider them like my teachers
On the crown of my head is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Even when utterly destitute and constantly maligned by others,
Afflicted by terrible illness and prey to evil forces,
To still draw upon myself the suffering and wrongdoing of all beings
And not lose heart is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Though I may be famous, and revered by many,
And as rich as the God of Wealth himself,
To see that the wealth and glory of the world are without essence,
And to be free of arrogance, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
If one does not conquer one’s own hatred,
The more one fights outer enemies, the more they will increase.
Therefore, with the armies of loving-kindness and compassion,
To tame one’s own mind is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Sense pleasures and desirable things are like saltwater-
The more one tastes them, the more one’s thirst increases.
To abandon promptly
All objects which arouse attachment is the practice of a bodhisattva.
All that appears is the work of one’s own mind;
The nature of mind is primordially free from conceptual limitations.
To recognize this nature
And not to entertain concepts of subject and object is the practice of a bodhisattva.
When encountering objects which please us,
To view them like rainbows in summer,
Not ultimately real, however beautiful they appear,
And to relinquish craving and attachment, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
The various forms of suffering are like the death of one’s child in a dream:
By clinging to deluded perceptions as real we exhaust ourselves.
Therefore, when encountering unfavorable circumstances,
To view them as illusions is the practice of a bodhisattva.
If those who wish for enlightenment must give away even their own bodies,
How much more should it be true of material objects?
Therefore, without expectation of result or reward,
To give with generosity is the practice of a bodhisattva.
If, lacking discipline, one cannot accomplish one’s own good,
It is laughable to think of accomplishing the good of others.
Therefore, to observe discipline
Without samsaric motives is the practice of a bodhisattva.
For a bodhisattva who desires the joys of virtue,
All who harm him are like a precious treasure.
Therefore, to cultivate patience toward all,
Without resentment, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Merely for their own sake, even shravakas and pratyekabuddhas
Make efforts like someone whose hair is on fire trying to put it out:
Seeing this, for the sake of all beings,
To practice diligence, the source of excellent qualities, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Knowing that through profound insight thoroughly grounded in sustained calm
The disturbing emotions are completely conquered,
To practice the concentration which utterly transcends
The four formless states is the practice of a bodhisattva.
In the absence of wisdom, perfect enlightenment cannot be attained
Through the other five perfections alone.
Therefore, to cultivate wisdom combined with skillful means
And free from the three concepts is the practice of a bodhisattva.
If I do not examine my own defects,
Though outwardly a Dharma practitioner, I may act contrary to the Dharma.
Therefore, continuously to examine my own faults
And give them up is the practice of a bodhisattva.
If, impelled by negative emotions, I relate the faults
Of other bodhisattvas, I will myself degenerate.
Therefore, to not talk about the faults of anyone
Who has entered the Mahayana is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Offerings and respect may bring discord
And cause listening, reflection, and meditation to decline.
Therefore, to avoid attachment
To the homes of friends and benefactors is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Harsh words disturb the minds of others
And spoil our own bodhisattva practice.
Therefore, to give up rough speech,
Which others find unpleasant, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
When emotions become habitual, they are hard to get rid of with antidotes.
Therefore, with mindfulness and vigilance, to seize the weapon of the antidote
And crush attachment and other negative emotions
The moment they arise is the practice of a bodhisattva.
In short, wherever I am, whatever I do,
To be continually mindful and alert,
Asking, “What is the state of my mind?”
And accomplishing the good of others is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Dedicating to enlightenment
Through wisdom purified of the three concepts
All merit achieved by such endeavor,
To remove the suffering of numberless beings, is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Following the teachings of the holy beings,
I have arranged the points taught in the sutras, tantras, and shastras
As The Thirty-seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva
For the benefit of those who wish to train on the bodhisattva path.
Since my understanding is poor, and I have little education,
This is no composition to delight the learned;
But as it is based on the sutras and teachings of holy beings
I think it is genuinely the practice of the bodhisattvas.
However, it is hard for someone unintelligent like me
To fathom the great waves of the bodhisattvas’ activities,
So I beg the forgiveness of the holy ones
For my contradictions, irrelevances, and other mistakes.
Through the merit arising from this
And through the power of the sublime bodhichitta, relative and absolute,
May all beings become like the Lord Avalokiteshvara,
Who is beyond the extremes of samsara and nirvana.

For his own benefit and that of others, Thogme, a teacher of scripture and logic,
composed this text at
Rinchen Phug, in Ngulchu.


Bodhgaya photo : Jampa 2011

Text Outline

Opening Verses

PART ONE: The Preparation
v.1 First, the need to give meaning to this human existence of yours, so rare and difficult to obtain
v.2 Second, abandoning your native land, the source of the three poisons
v.3 Third, living in solitary places, the source of all good qualities
v.4 Fourth, giving up the concerns of this life by reflecting on impermanence
v.5 Fifth, avoiding unsuitable friends, whose company creates conditions unfavorable to your progress
v.6 Sixth, relying on a spiritual teacher, whose presence creates conditions favorable to your progress
v.7 Seventh, going for refuge, the entrance to the Buddhist teachings

PART TWO: The Main Teachings, Illuminating the Path
v.8 First, the path for beings of lesser capacity
v.9 Second, the path for beings of medium capacity
Third, the path for beings of superior capacity.

v.10     1. The bodhichitta of intention.
     2. The bodhichitta of application
         I. Relative bodhichitta
v.11             A. The meditation practice of exchanging oneself and others
             B. The post meditation practice of using unfavorable circumstances on the path
                 i. Using on the path the four things that you do not want to happen
v.12                     a. How to use loss on the path
v.13                     b. How to use suffering on the path
v.14                     c. How to use disgrace on the path
v.15                     d. How to use disparagement on the path
                 ii. Using on the path the two things that are difficult to bear
v.16                     a. How to use on the path being wronged in return for kindness
v.17                     b. How to use humiliation on the path
                 iii. Using deprivation and prosperity on the path
v.18                     a. How to use deprivation on the path
v.19                     b. How to use prosperity on the path
                 iv. Using hatred and desire on the path
v.20                     a. How to use objects of hatred on the path
v.21                     b. How to use objects of desire on the path       
II. Absolute bodhichitta
v.22             A.  The meditation practice of remaining in a state free of conceptual elaborations without any
             B.  The post meditation practice of abandoning any belief in the objects of desire and aversion as
truly existing
v.23                 i. Abandoning any belief in the objects of desire as truly existing
v.24                 ii. Abandoning any belief in the objects of aversion as truly existing
     3. The precepts for training in those practices
         I. T raining in the six transcendent perfections
v.25             A. T ranscendent generosity
v.26             B. T ranscendent discipline
v.27             C. T ranscendent patience
v.28             D. T ranscendent diligence
v.29             E. T ranscendent concentration
v.30             F . T ranscendent wisdom
         II. T raining in the four instructions taught in the Sutra
v.31             A. To examine oneself for one’s own defects and to give them up
v.32             B. To give up speaking of a bodhisattva’s faults
v.33             C. To give up attachment to a sponsor’s property
v.34             D. To give up harsh speech
v.35         III. T raining in how to be rid of the negative emotions
v.36         IV. T raining in accomplishing others’ good with mindfulness and vigilance
v.37         V. Dedicating the merit to perfect enlightenment

     1. How and for whom this text was composed
     2. The unerring nature of these practices
     3. A humble prayer for forgiveness
     4. Dedicating the merit of having composed this text
     5. The colophon
Ngulchu Thogme Sangpo life :

38 keer boeddhistische wijsheid



38 keer boeddhistische wijsheid

1 Als je de leegte niet kent kun je de bevrijding niet bereiken en zal je verwarde geest rond blijven zwerven in de gevangenis van de zes bestaanswerelden Bodhicittavivarana

2 Samsara en nirvana zijn geen twee veschillende werkelijkheden.In het begrijpen van de werkelijke natuur van samsara begrijpen we nirvana. Samputra Tantra

3 Uit onwetendheid ontstaat zelf-bestaande werkelijkheid.verwijder onwetendheid en samsara wordt nirvana. HeVajra Tantra

4 Omdat er geen actor is , is er geen actie. Er kan geen zelf zijn van een niet-bestaand persoon.Als jij die de waarheid zoekt de leegte van ik en mijn realiseert zul je perfecte bevrijding bereiken. Chandrakirti , Madhyamakavatara

5 Het doet er niet toe waar je zoekt tussen de tijdelijke fenomenen van het universum ,een boeddha zul je er niet vinden. Als je een perfecte boeddha wilt vinden , kijk dan in je geest. HeVajra Tantra

6 Je zult de oer-boeddha worden , wanneer je de natuur van je eigen geest begrijpt. Vajradakini Tantra

7 Geest is het zaad van alle werkelijkheden , waaruit samsara en nirvana zich ontvouwt. Saraha

8 Ontspan de geest in zijn natuurlijke staat , want als de geest ontspannen is zal bevrijding van innerlijke slavernij bereikt worden. Mahasiddha Tilopa

9 Concentratie onderdrukt slechts de verstoringen van de geest , doch wijsheid vernietigt de verborgen wortel-verstoringen. Samadhi-Nirmocana Sutra

10 Alle voortgebrachte dingen zijn vergankelijk Alle bezoedelde dingen zijn ellendig Alle fenomenen zijn leeg en zonder een zelf Nirvana is vrede Shakyamuni Boeddha

11 Monniken en geleerden moeten over mijn woorden goed nadenken . Zoals goud getoetst moet worden door het te smelten , te verdelen in stukken en te poetsen, en dan die woorden aanvaarden , maar niet om mij hun eerbied te tonen. Shakyamuni Boeddha

12 En evenzo komt een begrijpen van de leegte van een fenomeen niet tot ontwikkeling als men zich niet vergewist van datgene waaraan een fenomeen leeg is ( gebrek heeft ) Shakyamuni Boeddha

13 Als de gedachte van het innerlijke en het uiterlijke als “ik” en het “mijne” is vergaan , houdt het inhalige op. En door dat ophouden , komt er een eind aan geboorte (bhava=wording) Shakyamuni Boeddha

14 Als handeling en bezoeking ten einde komen, is er verlossing. Ze ontstaan uit onjuiste begrippen ; deze ontstaan uit de spinsels van onjuiste kijk op inherente existentie ; de spinsels verdwijnen in de leegte. Nagarjuna : Prajna namamula madhyamika karika XIV 4-5

15 Leringen , onderricht door de Boeddha’s berusten geheel op twee waarheden : De conventionele en de wereldse waarheden , en de waarheden die de uiteindelijke zijn. Nagarjuna : Prajnanamamu la madhyamika karika XXIV.8

16 Boeddha zei dat alle fenomenen twee entiteiten hebben : die welke ontdekt worden door waarnemers van goed en van kwaad ; objecten van waarnemers van het ware zijn werkelijkheden , objecten van waarnemers van het onjuiste zijn conventionele waarheden. Chandrakirti :supplement op Nagarjuna’s Verhandeling over de Middenweg Madhymikavatara VI.23

17 Ook zijn zij , die onwerkelijke dingen bespeuren van tweeerlei aard : die met klare heldere zinnen en die met gebrekkige zinnen. bewustzijn met gebrekkige zin staat in onjuiste verhouding tot dat met gezonde zin. Objecten gerealiseerd door de wereld en door de zes niet gebrekkige zinnen begrepen , zijn slechts waar vanuit een werelds standpunt , de rest wordt beschouwd als onwaar vanuit het standpunt der wereld alleen. Chandrakirti :supplement op Nagarjuna’s Verhandeling over de Middenweg Madhyamikavatara VI.24-25

18 Een vorm op een afstand gezien , wordt duidelijk gezien door hen die dichtbij zijn. Als een luchtspiegeling water was , waarom wordt er dan geen water gezien door hen die dichtbij zijn ? De wijze waarop deze wereld gezien wordt als echt door hen die ver af staan , wordt zo niet gezien door hen die dichtbij zijn , voor hen is het zinloos als een waan. Nagarjuna Kostbare Guirlande Ratnavali 52-53

19 De persoon is niet aarde, noch water , noch vuur , noch lucht , noch ruimte. Hij is niet bewustzijn en hij is niet al die dingen. Wat voor persoon is er behalve deze dingen ? Nagarjuna Kostbare Guirlande Ratnavali 80

20 Er is nooit een voortbrengen waar dan ook van enig fenomeen uit zichzelf , uit een ander, uit beide, of zonder oorzaak. Nagarjuna Prajna namamula-madhyamika-karita. De fundamentele wijsheidstekst

21 Omdat het bestaat , wordt het bestaande niet voortgebracht ; omdat het niet bestaat , wordt het niet-bestaande niet voortgebracht. Nagarjuna Sunya tasaptati

22 Dat wat uit oorzaken wordt voortgebracht is niet inherent teweeggebracht , het heeft niet de inherente aard om te produceren. Wat afhankelijk is van oorzaken noemt men ledig. Wie leegte kent is bewust. Anavatapta Sutra

23 Omdat er geen fenomenen zijn die niet afhankelijk ontstaan zijn ,zijn er geen fenomenen die niet leeg zijn. Nagarjuna  Prajna nama mula-madhyamika-karika XXIV.19

24 Wat onafhankelijk van iets anders ontstaat kan geen Kracht-uit-Zichzelf hebben , daar ze alle onafhankelijkheid missen , kan er geen zelf zijn , geen inherent bestaan. Aryadeva Catuhsataka XIV.23

25 Als de ontleder die analyseert of fenomenen inherent bestaan analyseert en constateert dat het hen onbreekt aan inherente existentie omdat ook de ontleder ontleed moet worden ; zou dat dan niet tot in het eindeloze doorgaan ? Als de objecten van de analyse geanalyseerd zijn , dan bestaat er geen basis. Omdat de bases inherent niet bestaan , en de ontkenning ervan niet inherent teweeggebracht worden , noemt men ook dat nirvana. Shantideva  Bodhicaryavatara IX. 110-111

26 Dat wat afhankelijk ontstaan is noemen wij leegte. Dat is iets vermeends dat afhankelijk is van iets anders. En dat is nu precies de Weg van het Midden. Nagarjuna  Fundamentele Wijsheidstekst XXIV.18

27 Een zich vergewissend denken en een onterecht opdrukkend denken zijn entiteiten die uitwissen en uitgewist worden. Alle gebreken zoals begeerten hebben als hun tegengif de wijsheid van zelfloosheid inzoverre hun verminderen en toenemen afhankelijk zijn van het toenemen en verminderen van die wijsheid. En dus neemt het denken door er mee vertrouwd te raken de aard aan van die wijsheid – en aldus worden de beoordelingen na verloop van tijd teniet gedaan. Dharmakirti Commentaar op Dignaga’s Compendium over Valide cognities Pramamavarttika hfst. 1

28 Als de inherente existentie van fenomenen afhing van oorzaken zou de yogi , als hij de leegte (sk.sunya) realiseerde, door die te ontkennen de fenomenen teniet doen. Daarom zou het zien van de leegte een oorzaak zijn , die fenomenen teniet doet , maar aangezien dit niet met de rede strookt , bestaan de fenomenen niet inherent. Als men de fenomenen analyseert , merkt men dat ze niets zijn dan fenomenen met de aard van het werkelijke daar ze niet-inherent bestaand teweeggebracht zijn of ophouden te bestaan en daarom hoeft men de conventionele waarheden der wereld niet te analyseren. Als de realiteit wordt geanalyseerd , is voortbrengen uit het zelf en andere oorzaken niet aannemelijk. Volgens dezelfde beredenering is ook inherent bestaand produceren op conventionele wijze niet aannemelijk. Hoe zou men dan dat inherent bestaande produceren kunnen vaststellen ? Chandrakirti  Supplement VI.34-36

29 Wat dit aangaat , Sariputra , als een bodhisattva , een verheven wezen , de volmaaktheid van wijsheid beoefent , ziet hij een bodhisattva niet als iets werkelijks…En waarom ? Sariputra , dat zit zo : Een bodhisattva is zonder een inherent bestaande bodhisattva. De naam bodhisattva is eveneens zonder het zijn van de naam van een bodhisattva. Waarom ? Omdat dat hun aard is. Het zit zo : Het is niet dat een vorm leeg is wegens zijn leegte ; leegte is niet gescheiden van vorm. Een vorm op zichzelf is dat wat leeg is ; en net precies wat leeg is , is vorm. Pancavimsati sahasuka-prajna-paramita soetra

30 Fenomenen worden niet leeg gemaakt door de leegte . De fenomenen zijn op zichzelf leeg. Ratnakuta (Kasyapa hoofdstuk)

31 De idee dat fenomenen voortgebracht uit oorzaken en toestanden werkelijk zouden zijn werd door de Leraar onwetendheid genoemd; uit die onwetendheid spruiten de twaalf takken (sk. nidana’s) voort. Nagarjuna , Sunya Tasaptati

32 Als iets niet-ledigs bestond dan zou ook iets ledigs bestaan. als het niet-ledige helemaal niet bestaat , hoe zou dan het ledige dat kunnen ! De Onoverwinnelijken zeiden dat  leegte alle slechte visies doet verdwijnen ; Zij die de leegte beschouwen als inherent bestaand werden niet-te-genezen genoemd. Nagarjuna , Fundamentele wijsheidstekst XIII. 7-13

33 Daar de nectar der leegte wordt onderwezen om alle onjuiste begrippen te laten varen , wordt hij die zich eraan hecht als inherent bestaand , krachtig door U de Boeddha gehekeld. Nagarjuna , Lokatitastava

34 Als met de gedachte “het bestaat niet” het geanalyseerde niet wordt begrepen als inherent bestaand , hoe zou zich dan aan het denken van een inherent bestaand iets kunnen voordoen , waaraan een basis ontbreekt , dat wil zeggen een inherent bestaande leegte zonder het object dat het bepaalt ? Wanneer inherent bestaande dingen en niet-dingen ons niet voor ogen staan , aangezien er niets anders is dat inherent bestaat , dan worden met de bedoelde objecten , van het begrip “inherente existentie” , daar zij niet bestaan de doorwrochte ideëen van dualiteit en inherente existentie teniet gedaan . Shantideva Bodhicaryavatara IX 34-35

35 Als een metalen kledingstuk dat verontreinigd is door bezoedeling en in het vuur ontvlekt moet worden , in het vuur gebracht wordt , branden de smetten weg , maar zelf verbrandt het niet. Wat dus het helder lichtend verstand betreft dat de smetten draagt van begeerte en zo , in het vuur van wijsheid worden de smetten verbrand , maar zijn aard , helder licht , blijft onaangetast. Nagarjuna Lofprijzing van het Element van Superieure Kwaliteiten Dharmadhatustratra

36 Omdat lichamen van een volmaakte boeddha zijn uitgestraald omdat het werkelijke niet wordt gedifferentieerd , en omdat de levende wezens de natuurlijke tot ontwikkeling bestemde afkomst hebben geschikt . Daarom hebben alle belichaamde wezens de boeddha-aard. Onoverwinnelijke Maitreya  Uttaratantra

37 Ik buig mij neer voor de volmaakte boeddha , de beste der leraren die ons voorlegde dat wat afhankelijk van iets anders ontstaat nimmer ophoudt , niets teweegbrengt , niet teniet gaat , niet blijvend is , zonder komen of gaan , zonder verschil , zonder gelijkheid is , vrij van bewerkingen van inherent  bestaan en van dualiteit en vredig is. Nagarjuna Fundamentele Wijsheidstekst I aanroep

38 Laatste citaat Boeddha en zijn Leer en de Verheven Gemeenschap zijn de toevlucht van hen die verlangen naar bevrijding. Chandrakirti  Trisaranasaptati

Dit waren de 38 citaten zoals ZH de XIV Dalai Lama ze bij elkaar heeft gebracht in het boek “Tibetaans Boeddhisme en De Sleutel tot de Weg van het Midden” ( Deventer 1979 ISBN 90 202 45589)

Voortreffelijke studie over de sadhanamala van Vajra Tara



Op onderstaand adres vind je een interessante studie over de Sadhanamala teksten van Vajra Tara door Tim Van Der Haegen die zo zijn graad van licentiaat bekwam in de Oosterse talen en culturen aan de Universiteit van Gent. Ik bespeurde wel een belangrijke fout . In de inleidende bespreking verwisselt de auteur vajra en bel als symbolen van respectievelijk de methode en de wijsheid , van mededogen en de leegte.

De Zang


guru-rinpochePadmasambhava, die posthuum bekend werd als Guru Rinpoche, leefde in de achtste eeuw. Guru Rinpoche betekent “de Waardevolle Leraar”. Guru Rinpoche’s visie en onderwijsmethode wordt doorgaans geassocieerd met het esoterische Boeddhisme zoals dat in de Himalaya-regionen gestalte heeft gekregen. We vinden er echter ook sporen van terug in de Japanse Shingon-leer, en, zoals onderstaand wordt aangeduid; de Chinese Huayen voelt zich er niet door vervreemd. Wat Padmasambhava onderwees was niet identiek aan de leer van de Huayen , de Avatamsaka Soetra zoals deze is uitgewerkt in China. Maar ze is ook niet verschillend, want wat zegt de eerwaarde Hai Yün, een Taiwanees monnik die de Huayen onderwijst in een in 2004 gepubliceerde lering met betrekking tot Samantabhadra Bodhisattva: “Wanneer we het hebben over het bewustzijn als Zoheid, dan hebben we het eenvoudigweg over de essentiële aard (in het Chinees ti) van de geest. In deze essentiële aard is er noch zuiverheid, noch onzuiverheid. En omdat die geest, in zijn essentiële aard altijd al geweest is wat ze is: noch zuiver, noch onzuiver, noemen we ze Zoheid. Het andere aspect van bewustzijn (geest) is gecompliceerder omdat ze onderhevig is aan het proces van geboren worden en sterven, van verrijzen en verdwijnen. Het gewone denken heeft de neiging Zoheid in contrast te stellen met geboorte en dood, en zou overwegen dat het ene zuiver is, en het andere onzuiver. Maar dit is een heel grove manier van denken. Zoheid is noch zuiver, noch onzuiver, maar tegelijkertijd is het zowel zuiver als onzuiver. Daarom kunnen we zeggen dat zuiverheid het rijk van Samantabhadra is, maar we kunnen net zo goed zeggen dat onzuiverheid het rijk van Samantabhadra is.” (Toel.: Zuiverheid en onzuiverheid mag ook begrepen worden als ‘relatief bestaan’, resp. het absolute.)

De Zang

1. Dit bewustzijn, een dat in het hele leven en in de hele bevrijding doordringt,
2. Wordt niet herkend, ook al is het onze eigen fundamentele aard.
3. Zijn flux is constant, maar we zijn onwetend.
4. Zijn lichtende en feilloze weten wordt niet gezien
5. Alhoewel het uit alles aan het licht komt.
6. De Helden hebben het niet-voorstelbare onderwezen,
7. En de totaliteit van de meest geheime leringen
8. Hebben het over niets anders dan over deze verheven realisering.
9. Hoewel de Geschriften omvangrijk zijn als de hemel
10. Onderwijzen ze niets anders dan deze geest van eenheid.
11. Deze rechtstreekse vingerwijzing is het terrein van de Helden.
12. Slechts deze vingerwijzing verschaft je vaste voet in het Absolute.
13. O, overwinning!
14. Jullie, mijn kinderen die het getroffen hebben, luister!
15. Dat “Bewustzijn”, die “geest”, dat woord dat zo bekend en onbekend tegelijk is,
16. Daar weten de wezens niets van.
17. Hun begrip ervan raakt niet aan het essentiële.
18. Deze realiteit, daar kunnen ze niet bij.
19. Vervreemd door (het concept van) individualiteit, stappen ze over de aard van het bewustzijn heen, 20. En stappen daarmee ook over hun eigen aard heen.
21. Onzeker dwalen ze rond door de drie Rijken
22. En missen de essentie.
23. Asceten en meesters (uit andere kring) zeggen dat ze ’t door hebben,
24. Maar deze schat, daar hebben ze geen weet van.
25. Als verlamd door boekenwijsheid en intellectualiseren
26. Geraken ze niet aan de ruimtegelijke transparentie van het bewustzijn.
27. Gefascineerd door (dogmas over) subject en object
28. Stappen zowel de gematigden als de extremisten over deze schat heen.
29. Door hun tantrische rituelen verwijderen ze zich er van,
30. Door hun (meditatieve) praktijk sluiten ze er de ogen voor.
31. Zelfs zij die zich in de tradities van de Mahamudra en Dzogchen weten
32. Zijn ingeperkt door hun eigen (beperkte) weten;
33. Ze dwalen rond, van dualiteit naar niet-dualiteit,
34. En nooit verder komend kennen ze het Ware Ontwaken niet.
35. Je eigen bewustzijn, dat is leven en Bevrijding.
36. Wordt niet de gevangene van een opvatting die, in een oneindige cyclus,
37. Zichzelf in de staart bijt. Geef op te wikken en te wegen!
38. Ja, laat het achter en verblijf in het vorstelijke niet-handelen.
39. En door deze lering tot uitvoering te brengen realiseer je tezelfdertijd, onmiddellijk,
40. Je Grote Natuurlijke Bevrijding.
41. Door je schouwen, door je Weten dat van alles ontdaan is, tot op het bot,
42. Realiseer je die perfectie die het Bewustzijn aangeboren is.
43. Dat Bewustzijn, in dit lichtende absolute gewaar zijn 44. bestaat en bestaat niet, tegelijkertijd
45. Het is de bron van geluk, van duhkha (ongemak), en van bevrijding.
46. De leringen hebben er namen voor: realiteit van het bewustzijn,
47. Zijn of niet-zijn,
48. Het uit zichzelf geboren bewustzijn,
49. De Absolute aard,
50. Het grote zegel (mahamudra),
51. De natuurlijke bevrijding,
52. De lichtende parel,
53. Het fundament van het gewone.
54. Deze realisering kent drie Poorten:
55. De afwezigheid van sporen, helderheid, en het ruimtegelijke.
56. De realisering die we hadden of hebben
57. Is nergens in gevestigd, is pas geboren, en onmiddellijk.
58. Haar aard is Zo te verblijven, door niets ingeperkt.
59. Door het moment simpelweg en onmiddellijk te grijpen,
60. Door zich zo in ieder moment ontdaan van alles te zien,
61. Zal je schouwen stil en doorzichtig zijn, objectloos.
62. Dat is het heldere schouwen, (zich manifesterend als) een bliksemschicht.
63. Het is de ruimtegelijkheid die niets pretendeert,
64. Het is de schitterende leegte voorbij de vormen,
65. Ontdaan van het permanente, vloeiend,
66. Het is grenzeloos, vol gloed en helder.
67. Niet een, niet meervoudig
68. Heeft het slechts één smaak –
69. Nergens ontstaan
70. Helder bewust van zichzelf
71. Is het de Werkelijkheid zelve.
72. Deze directe vingerwijzing naar de Realiteit
73. Draagt de totaliteit van de werelden in zich.
74. (Het is) het Lichaam van de waarheid, van vreugde, en van het absolute
75. Vloeit er van over.
76. Schitterend stralend is deze natuurlijke energie van bevrijding.
77. Dit is dan de introductie tot deze krachtige methode
78. Die de Werkelijkheid zelve aan het licht brengt.
79. Op dit moment is je bewustzijn deze totaliteit,
80. Is ze deze natuurlijke helderheid die door niets wordt ingeperkt.
81. Kun je zeggen: “Ik begrijp de aard van het bewustzijn niet”
82. Terwijl er, in deze feilloze helderheid van je schouwen,
83. Niets is waarop je kunt mediteren!
84. Kun je zeggen: Ik zie de aanwezigheid van het bewustzijn niet”
85. Terwijl diegene die denkt deze werkelijkheid is!
86. Kun je zeggen: Zelfs al zoek ik het, het blijft een mysterie”
87. Terwijl je helemaal niets hoeft te doen!
88. Kun je volhouden dat het ondanks al je streven aan je ontsnapt,
89. Terwijl je alleen maar in dat door niets ingeperkte hoeft te verblijven!
90. Kun je zeggen dat het je moeilijk valt in actie te komen
91. Terwijl de aard is onbewogen te blijven!
92. Kun je zeggen dat je ’t niet kunt
93. Terwijl de helderheid, je bewust zijn en het ruimtegelijke je eigen Realiteit zijn!
94. Kun je beweren dat de oefening geen vruchten baart
95. Terwijl ze natuurlijk is, spontaan en ongebonden!
96. Kun je zeggen: “Ik zoek en vind niet”
97. Terwijl het denken en de natuurlijke bevrijding er gelijktijdig zijn!
98. Waarom denken dat de geneeswijzen niet baten
99. Terwijl je eigen bewustzijn simpelweg Zo is!
100. Hoe kun je voorwenden dat je ’t niet weet!
101. Wees ervan verzekerd dat de aard van bewustzijn ledigheid is, dat nergens op steunt.
102. Je geest is net zo ontdaan van substantie als de lege ruimte –
103. Of je ’t nu leuk vindt of niet. Schouw in dat bewustzijn.
104. Klamp je niet vast aan een nihilistische visie op ledigheid,
105. Wees ervan verzekerd dat wijsheid altijd helder is geweest,
106. Lichtend, spontaan, in zichzelf berustend,
107. Als zonnestralen.
108. Of je ’t nu leuk vindt of niet, schouw in dat bewustzijn.
109. Wees ervan verzekerd dat je kennen onfeilbare wijsheid is,
110. Dat als een vlot op de stroom van een rivier deint.
111. Of je ’t nu leuk vindt of niet, schouw in dat bewustzijn.
112. Weet dat je geen reden zult kunnen vinden,
113. Want die deining is net zo substantieloos als de rest.
114. Of je ’t nu leuk vindt of niet, schouw in dat bewustzijn.
115. Weet dat alles dat zich aan je geestesoog voordoet
116. Niets anders is dan je eigen natuurlijke perceptie,
117. Vergelijkbaar met een weerspiegeling.
118. Of je ’t nu leuk vindt of niet, schouw in dat bewustzijn.
119. Wees ervan verzekerd dat alles dat verschijnt zich onmiddellijk bevrijdt,
120. Uit zichzelf voortgekomen, zichzelf voortbrengend,
121. Zoals je geest een wolk kan scheppen.
122. Of je ’t nu leuk vindt of niet, schouw in dat bewustzijn.
123. Dat schouwen is leeg, bevrijding is spontaan, het waarheidslichaam
124. is schitterend lichtende ruimtegelijkheid.
125. Realiseer het absolute door de niet-Weg te gaan,
126. Op dat moment toont zich je eigen heiligheid.
127. En zo zou je intuïtieve weten, dat ruimtegelijk is,
128. Zou deze spontane bevrijding die ontstaan is door het schouwen niet méér te laten zijn dan schouwen,
129. Zou deze diepste realisering,
130. Het onderzoeksgebied moeten zijn waar je hele wezen naar tracht.
131. Eer aan dit diepste geheim.



Bij de titel De Kashmir-traditie van de tantras, met name die van de Kaula en Spanda waar ook de naam van Shiva wordt geëerd, zou de titel van deze zang, “….dat heldere schouwen dat bevrijding brengt”, als volgt vertalen: “Zijn (Padmasambhava’s) zang over het heldere schouwen van de aard van het bewustzijn, dat bewustzijn dat bevrijding brengt.” Hier ligt dan een verschil tussen de Vedische en de Boeddhistische opvatting en praktijk. · Regels 6 en 11. De Helden. Sanskriet jina: held, overwinnaar, een aanduiding voor een Gerealiseerde. · Regel 21. De 3 Rijken: van heden, verleden en toekomst. Ook wel de drie Rijken van ongelukkige bestaansvormen, het mensenbestaan, en het bovenmenselijk bestaan dat nog steeds beneden de Volkomen Realisering ligt. En de derde mogelijkheid is: de wereld van 1/ verlangen, van 2/ vorm of materialiteit en 3/ van het vormloze — drie verschillende (meditatieve) stadia. · Regel 31. Mahamudra en Dzogchen zijn twee technieken en/of zienswijzen onderwezen binnen het Himalaya-Boeddhisme. Wanneer Padmasambhava spreekt over deze twee technieken betekent dat, dat hij Bhutan, resp. Tibet binnenkwam op een moment dat er al een behoorlijk ver gevorderde Boeddhistische praktijk was, een (monniken-) gemeenschap met leraren die een verfijnde opvatting van de Boeddha-Dharma verkondigden. · Regel 44 raakt aan de kern van het begrip over bewustzijn in Boeddhistische zin. Het woord wordt dan ook niet vertaald met “geest” omdat dan al snel de neiging bestaat bewustzijn te verabsoluteren, hetgeen zelfs in de Tathagata-garbha-leer (tekst 58, 1e noot), die ook uit Padmasambhava’s woorden put, wordt gemeden. · Regel 61: stil en doorzichtig als helder stilstaand water. · Regel 62. Als een bliksemschicht. “Bliksemschicht” is gekozen om de intensiteit van het licht weer te geven, niet het onmiddellijk voorbijgaande. · Regel 64. Schitterende – als sterren. · Regels 70 en 71 hebben het over het bewustzijn, of, meer bepaald, het bewust zijn dat gewaar is van het eigen bewust zijn – je kunt in je meditatieve oefening “zien” dat er lege helderheid is. · Regel 74. Hier wordt gesproken over de Drie Lichamen van Boeddha: de Nirmanakaya, hier satyakaya, waarheidslichaam genoemd, het Vreugdevolle Lichaam (sambhogakaya), en het Absolute Lichaam (Dharmakaya). Alle drie zijn in feite één, maar manifesteren zich al naar gelang de behoeften van de praktikanten-meditatoren. · Regels 81 tot 100 zullen met vreugde herkend worden door Zen-beoefenaars. Het verschil is, dat hier een ervaring van luminositeit het doel is, terwijl Zen zegt dat ook die ervaring illusoir is, en achtergelaten moet worden. · De kern van de regels 27, 33, 67, en 97 vinden we ook in de Lankávatara Soetra, tekst II, de toelichting bij tekst 20, de eerste noot. · Regel 119 – 121. “Wees ervan verzekerd dat alles dat verschijnt zich onmiddellijk bevrijdt, Uit zichzelf voortgekomen, zichzelf voortbrengend.” Ook hier vinden we een afwijzing van de scheppingstheorie uit andere denkrichtingen, en bovendien een bevestiging van de Enkel-Bewustzijnsleer die zegt dat alles in en uit de geest is. Lees daarvoor Deel I van de Lankavatára Soetra, tekst 1, noot 29. Het is niet gezegd dat Padmasambhava exact dezelfde opinie was toegedaan, maar het geeft een indruk. · Regel 126. Hier wordt ‘je eigen heiligheid’ gebruikt, maar het is niet zeker of het originele manuscript daarmee overeenstemt.



This is a very condensed and precious explanation of what Buddhism is all about.

So take your time to read this text bit by bit and repeatingly.

When you clearly analyze and feel able to accept the meaning, you more or less hold the key to understand most other Buddhist texts and (very important!):
the main purpose or goal of meditation, whatever technique or method is used (e.g. shine, deity yoga, awareness).

This teaching by HH. Kalu Rinpoche
should be printed in gold letters and illuminated with sparkeling rainbows of enlightenment!

The Mahamudra.(1).experience and approach is perhaps the quintessence of
all Buddhadharma.(2). In order for this quintessential approach to be
effective, we must have some understanding of the nature of the mind that we
are attempting to discover through the Mahamudra techniques.

Mahamudra has three aspects: foundation, path, and fruition.Foundation
Mahamudra is the understanding which is based on our appreciation of the
nature of mind. This must be augmented by the process of path Mahamudra
which is direct experience and acclimatization to that nature of mind through
meditation. Finally, there is the fruition or result aspect of Mahamudra,
which is the actualization of the potential inherent in the nature of mind.
This actual aspect of transcending awareness includes the Dharmakaya.(3),
Sambhogakaya.(4), and Nirmanakaya.(5) as the facets of completely enlightened
experience. It is not beneficial to speak of Mahamudra lightly; we must not
ignore any of these three aspects of the Mahamudra approach.

Foundation Mahamudra implies a deep appreciation and understanding of the
nature of mind. When we say that this is the correct view, we do not use the
phrase in a casual sense. Very often, we say, “Well, in my view, such and such
is the case,” but this does not necessarily mean that we have understood it at
all. We may say, “I believe in previous existences,” or, “I don’t believe in
future existences,” but very often our talk is not based on experience and
appreciation, but merely on an idea to which we give lip service. What is meant
in foundation Mahamudra is a thorough appreciation of the nature of mind
itself, the mind with which we are working, and the mind which we are
attempting to discover.

To get a deeper understanding of the nature of mind itself, we can quotes the
authority of enlightened masters of the lineage as a guide. The third Karmapa,
Rangjung Dorje), wrote a prayer of aspiration for the realization of Mahamudra
in which he said, “It is not existent because even the Buddha could not see it,
but it is not non existent because it is the basis or origin of all samsara.(6)
and nirvana.(7).” It does not constitute a contradiction to say that mind
neither exists nor does not exist; it is simultaneously existent and non existent.

Let us consider the first part of the statement that the mind does not exist.
We take into account that the mind is intangible. One cannot disscribe it or
find it. There is no fixed characteristic that we normally ascribe to things
which we can ascribe to mind. Consciousness does not manifest with any
particular color, shape, size, form or location. None of these qualities has
anything to do with the nature of mind, so we can say that the mind is
essentially empty of these limiting characteristics.

Even the fully enlightend Buddha Shakyamuni.(8).could not find any thing that
is mind, because the mind does not have identifying characteristics. This is
what Rangjung Dorje meant when he said, “It does not exist because even the
Buddha could not see it.”

So, then, is mind nonexistant? No, not in the sense that there is nothing
happening. That which experiences confusion, suffering, frustration and all the
complexity of samsaric existance is mind itself. This is the origin of all
unenlightened experience; it is within the mind that all unenlightened
experience happens.

On the other hand, if the individual attains enlightenment, it is mind
which is the origin of the enlightened experience, giving expression to the
transcending awareness of the various kayas.(9).

This is what Rangjung Dorje meant when he said, “One cannot say that it does
not exist, because it is the basis for all samsara and nirvana.” Wether we are
talking about an enlightened state of being or an unenlightened one,we are
speaking about the state of experience that arises from mind and is experienced
by the mind. What remains if mind neither exists nor does not exist?
According to Rangjung Dorje, this is not a contradiction, but a state of
simultaneity. Mind exhibits, at one and the same time, qualities of
non existance and qualities of existance. To state naively that mind exists is
to fall into one error; to deny the existance of anything at all is to fall
into another error. This gave rise to the concept of what is called the Middle
Way or Madhyamika. Finding a balance between those two beliefs, where there
is simultaneous truth to both, is the correct view, according to the Buddha’s
description of the nature of mind.

When we hear a guru make the statement, “Mind does not exist;mind does not
not exist; but it is at the same time existent and nonexistent, and this is
the middle view,” we may say, “Fine, I can accept that,” but that is not
enough. It is an idea that may appeal to us, a concept with which we are
comfortable, but that kind of understanding lacks any real spirit or depth.
It is like a patch you put on your clothes to hide a hole. One day the patch
will fall off. Intellectual knowledge is rather patchy in that way.It will
suffice for the present but it is not ultimately beneficial.

This is not to say that intellectual knowledge is unimportant.It is
crucial because it is that which gives us the ability to begin to develop
personal experience of what is being discussed. However, mere understanding
on a superficial or intellectual level should not be mistaken for the direct
experience. We can only arrive at that through meditation and the continued
analysis of our own experience. The value of intellectual knowledge is that
it is a springboard to deeper, more intuitive experience.

First, then, we say that mind is essentially empty, that is not describable
as some thing. Other than using the label mind., there is no thing that could
be further described in terms of form, shape, size, color or any
distinguishing characteristic.

Beyond this essential emptiness, we can make the statement that mind is
like space. Just as space is all-pervasive, so is consciousness. The mind
has no problem conceiving of any particular place or experience. While we
have attempted to describe the indescribable by saying that mind is
essentially empty, that is not the complete picture. We are speaking of
something that is obviously qualitatively different from simple space.We
need to remember that when we are using these terms, we are attempting to
describe something that is indescribable. However, that does not mean that
it cannot be directly experienced. The person who is mute is still able
to experience the sweetness of sugar without being able to describe it to
anyone else. Just as the mute person has trouble describing the taste of
sugar, we have trouble describing the nature of mind. We search for examples
and metaphors that will give us some idea of what is being experienced.

Another aspect of the nature of mind is its luminosity. Normally we think
of this term in a visual sense. We think of a luminous body like the sun or
the moon which shines and gives off light. However, this is merely a
metaphor to give us some idea of what is being hinted at. To say that the
mind is luminous in nature is analogous to saying that space is illuminated.
For example, we can have empty space and there might be no illumination;
then the space would be obscured. There is space, but no ability to see
clearly; there is no direct experience possible in complete darkness.
Just as there is clear vision in illuminated space, so in the same way,
while mind is essentially empty, it exhibits the potential to know,which
is its luminosity. This is not a visual experience per se, but the ability
of mind to know, perceive and experience.

In our continuing attempt to describe the nature of mind, to discribe the
indiscribable, we next speak of the unimpeded or unobstructed dynamic nature
of mind. It will be useful to divide this element of unimpededness into a
subtle and a gross aspect. The most subtle or fundamental level of the
unimpeded quality is an awareness of the emptiness and luminosity of the
mind. The mind is essentially empty and has this illuminating potential to
know and experience.

The coarse or gross aspect of the unimpeded dynamic manifestation of mind
is conscious experience, which does not depart from emptiness and
luminosity, but is the experience of, for example, seeing and recognizing
form as form, hearing and recognizing sound as sound, and so forth.This is
the ability of mind to experience the phenomenal world, to make
distinctions, to make value judgments based upon that discrimination.

We may utilize a metaphor here. The Emptiness of mind is the ocean; the
luminosity of mind is the sunlit ocean; and the unimpeded dynamic quality of
mind is the waves of the sunlit ocean. When we take the waves of the sun lit
ocean as an event or situation, it is not as though we are trying to seperate
ocean from waves from sunlight; they are three aspects of a single
experience. The unity of these three aspects forms the seed or potential
for enlightenment. They are the pure nature of mind; the impurity of
obscurations, ignorance and confusion overlays what is inherently the
nature of mind itself.

There has always been the pure nature of mind and there has always
been fundamental ignorance in the mind. The essential empty nature of mind
has never been recognized for what it is; the luminous nature of mind has
ever been experienced for what it is; and the unimpeded or dynamic
manifestation of mind, this consciousness, this awareness, has never been
directly experienced for what it is. Because this level of ignorance is so
subtle and so fundamental, and because it is co-existent with mind itself,
it has been valid as long as mind itself has been valid. We speak of it as
co-emergent ignorance.

Just as there are subtle and gross aspects to the dynamic awareness of
mind that we noted earlier, there are subtler and coarser aspects to the
ignorance of mind. We have already spoken of the fundamental level of
co-emergent ignorance, the lack of direct experience of the empty,clear
and unimpeded nature of mind itself, and this is the subtle aspect of
co-emergent ignorance.

There is second level of ignorance that we might distinguish which is
termed labelling ignorance; it is a more conventional or relative ignorance.
Not only do we lack direct experience of the essential emptiness of mind,
for example but we substitute the self or ego for that experience.The
individual mind as something ultimately real is a distortion that has taken
place, due to a lack of direct experience, and this is an example of
labelling or relative ignorance. Likewise, due to a lack of direct
experience of the clarity and luminosity of mind, there is a projection of
something other than the mind, an object other than the subject. This is
again a relative level of ignorance. Rather than being a simple lack of
direct experience, there has been a distortion into something.

So the second level of obscuration in the mind is the aspectof ignorance
which begins to label things as I and other. Lacking direct experience,
the distortion takes place on a coarser level of dualistic fixation between
subject and object.

Once we have this dualistic framework, of coarse, emotionality develops
and action takes place. Karmic tendencies are reinforced by actions based
on the emotional confusion which springs from dualistic clinging. All of it
is based upon the fundamental ignorance which is the lack of direct
experience of the nature of the mind itself.

The nature of mind is like empty space, like the sky, which at present is
filled with clouds and fog and mist and periodically has all kinds of
activity such as hailstorms, snowstorms, rainstorms and thunder and
lightning. This activity does not change the fact that the empty space is
still present, the sky is still there. However it is temporarily obscured
by all these activities. The reason the Buddha presented his teachings,
which encourage basic moral choices between virtuous and nonvirtuous
actions and encourage the practice of meditation, is to eliminate the
obscuring and confusing aspects of our experience. This permits the
inherently pure nature of mind to become more obvious and be discovered,
just as the sun becomes more obvious as the clouds begin to dissipate.

As the most effective means to bring about that transformation rappidly
and directly, the Mahmudra approach has no equal. It gives us the most
powerful methods to turn the balance, to eliminate obscurations and allow
that manifestation to take place. Our present situation as unenlightened
beings is due to the victory of ignorance over intrinsic awareness;
Mahamudra speeds the victory of awareness over ignorance.

When we are concerned with foundation Mahamudra, then, we first and
foremost need to be exposed to ideas. This should take place in the
presence of a teacher who holds the transmission and can accurately
introduce us to the concepts which are the theoretical underpinnings of
the Mahamudra approach. After we receive the teachings and understand
what is being said, we take them home with us and begin to apply them
to our own experience. We say to ourselves, “Well, mind is empty,
clear and unimpeded. What do I experience when I experience mind? Does
it exist; does it not exist?” We check with our own experience. That
is very beneficial for developing a kind of mental construct from which
we can work, though it is not the ultimate experience. Conceptual
understanding is only a springboard, because the theme of Mahamudra is
spontaneity and uncontrivedness, and it is still a very contrived
situation to think of the mind as being empty. To directly experience
the nature of mind itself requires meditation.

So on this foundation level of Mahamudra, the analytical approach is
followed by, and interwoven with, the more intuitive approach of relaxing
the mind in its own natural state. The particular skill required is that
it must be a state of total relaxation which is not distracted or dull.
It is not an objective experience of looking for the mind or looking at
the mind. On the other hand, it is not a blind process; we are not
unaware. There is seeing without looking; there is dwelling in the
experience without looking at the experience. This is the keynote of the
intuitive approach.

While the mind is poised in the state of bare awareness, there is no
directing the mind. One is not looking within for anything; one isnot
looking without for anything. One is simply letting the mind rest in its
own natural state. The empty, clear and unimpeded nature of mind can be
experienced if we can rest in an uncontrived state of bare awareness
without distraction and without the spark of awareness being lost.The
pure nature of mind calls to mind an image such as the sun or the moon,
a luminous body. The unimpeded nature of mind permits the act of
thinking of this form in the first place, and we can rest in the bare
perception of that form without any further elaboration; we dwell in the
bare awareness of that form.

Thus one’s approach in developing the foundation aspect of Mahamudra
is, at times, an analytical or conceptual approach of examining the mind
from the point of view or trying to locate it, describe it or define it,
and at other times an intuitive approach of dwelling in the experience of
total relaxation of mind, an uncontrived state of bare awareness which
allows the experience of the nature of mind to arise.

The third Karmapa wrote a prayer in which he said that confidence comes
of clearly establishing the parameters of practice by defining the nature
of mind precisely. Then the confidence of actually experiencing and
appreciating it on an intuitive level completes the foundation. The prayer
describes meditation as remaining true to that experience by refining
through continual attention to and absorption in that experience. Path
Mahamudra is the refining of and attending to the basic experience of the
nature of mind and refine it, then at a certain point, an automatic
quality arises; the experience happens without one generating it or
discovering it. The mind is subject to very little distraction at all.
When this occurs, one has entered into the level of path Mahamudra which
is focus on a single thing. In this case,the
focus is on a single aspect of experience, the experience of mind nature.
Traditionally there are three degrees of this one-pointed experience:
a lesser degree of intensity, an intermediate, and a very intense degree.

As meditation continues, the next clearly definable stage is a certain
spontaneity, where the experience is no longer the result of any particular
effort; to think of meditation is to have the experience. One begins to
discover the incredible simplicity of the nature of mind, absolutely free
from any complication and this, in fact, is the name given to the second
phase of experience,.simplicity, the freedom from complication.
Traditionally this phase also has three degrees of intensity; a lesser
degree, an intermediate degree, and a very intense degree.

In the beginning, one is meditating for short and frequent periods of
time rather than attempting long periods of forcing the mind. But as
experience accumulates and simplicity arises, one’s meditation naturally
begins to be longer and longer duration. Soon the phase termed one flavor
arises, which is the experience of the essential quality of all aspects
of phenomenal experience. Soon, seeing form, hearing sounds, smelling
smells, tasting tastes, feeling textures, thinking thoughts, formless
states of awareness and form states of awareness all have the same flavor.
One perceives the underlying essential nature of these experiences,rather
than being concerned with the superficial content. This is the third phase
of the experience of path Mahamudra, the unique flavor of all aspects of
one’s experience, and again, it has different degrees of intensity forming
a spectrum of experience, rather than clearly defined steps.

The spontaneity of the experience will take over completely so that there
seems no need to meditate at all. The experience arises without there being
any particular thought of meditating. This is a glimpse which itensifies
further to become the actual experience of the nature of mind without there
being any thought of meditation. The most intensive degree of this stage is
that meditation and being become one. At that point there is no longer any
distinction between meditating and not meditating because one is always
meditating. The full experience of this is the most intense degree of the
fourth phase of path Mahamudra which is termed beyond meditation..The
sustained experience of this phase is the result of all one’s efforts,
Mahamudra. It is the quintessential experience, the pinnacle experience in
terms of the attainment of enlightenment and realization.

It is important to identify the context of the Mahamudra experience.
Tradition assures us that any approach, other than one’s own efforts at
purifying and developing oneself and the blessing that one receives from an
authentic and qualified guru.(10), is stupid. Of course, at a certain
point, the practice becomes spontaneous and the efforts to purify oneself
and to develop devotion to receive blessings from one’s guru become second
nature. However, this does not become spontaneous until the intense level
of the simplicity experience, the second phase of Mahamudra practice,when
the practice of meditation becomes one’s purification, one’s development
and the receipt of blessing from one’s guru. The fundamental identity of
the guru’s mind and one’s own mind begins to be directly perceptible;
one’s deepening awareness assures further development of merit and the
further purification of obscurations and negativity; there is no necessity
to formally supplicate one’s guru, meditate upon one’s guru or generate
devotion in order to receive blessing, because the meditation practice
carries one along.

Up to that point, however, the efforts that we make to purif yourselves,
to develop our devotion and open ourselves to the guru’s blessing are
absolutely crucial. Only present exertions will convey us to the time when
they are no longer necessary; the practice of meditation becomes the process
of purification, the process of development and the process of receiving

– This teaching was given by Ven. Kalu Rinpoche at a meditation retreat in
Marcola, Oregon, USA, in 1982 and edited from tapes by a team of
translators. It is part of the book: H. E. Kalu Rinpoche ‘The Foundations
of Tibetan Buddhism’ (Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY USA).

– Some Annotations
(1).Mahamudra = Great Seal (Sanskrit) ~ (2) Buddhadharma = teachings
(dharma) of the Buddha ~ (3) Dharmakaya = enlightened mind  of pure light
and emptiness (our immament etheric Buddha nature of light and sound;the
formless and  non-dualistic ‘reality’) ~ (4) Sambhogakaya = the mind in a
various dreamlike form-body’s (like during sleep or having visions of e.g.
deities, ghosts, various magical emanations) ~ (5) Nirmanakaya = the mind
in a physical body (physical ‘reality’) ~ (6) Samsara = world of illusion,
ignorance and karmic restrictions (our obvious ‘reality’). In the Buddhist
view even the worlds of highly realized gods and goddesses are not free of
illusion and karmic restrictions ~ (7) Nirvana = state of emptiness
(beyond illusion, ignorance and coarse karmic restrictions / our hidden
‘reality’) ~ (8) Buddha Shakyamuni = the historical Buddha ~ (9) kayas=
embodyments/states (Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya, Dharmakaya) ~ (10) guru=
spiritual friend, experienced practitioner and teacher (p.s. in case you
don’t find such a person, try to visualize a radiant golden Buddha in front
of you or sitting on top of your head, blessing you with radiating golden
or rainbow-colored light, becoming your personal guru, and by melting into
your heart).

– Thank you for your interest!

De drie zijnsniveaus


Emaho ! Luister naar het lied van deze zwerver !

Er zijn twee manieren om de drie zijnsniveaus uit te leggen :

In termen van het Gewaarzijn als de universele grond van zijn,
en in termen van het proces waarin de verschijnselen uit de universele
grond van Gewaarzijn ontstaan.

Begrijp goed dat je door deze twee verklaringen samsara en nirvana intuïtief

zult herkennen als de pure bestaansvormen van de drie zijnsniveaus.

Hoewel ik deze metafoor al eerder gegeven heb, is hier de verklaring van de

drie zijnsniveaus die het oorspronkelijke Gewaarzijn structureren :

Oorspronkelijk inherent Gewaarzijn is als een kristallen bal : zijn leegte is de aard  van

dharmakaya ; zijn heldere en natuurlijke uitstraling is sambhogakaya ; en als als onbelemmerd medium van wat er ook verschijnt is hij nirmanakaya.

Zo worden de drie zijnsniveaus verklaard als oorspronkelijk Gewaarzijn , en hoewel
zij er niet identiek mee zijn , zijn zij er ook niet van gescheiden.

Net zoals de vijf kleuren van het spectrum uit het kristal voortkomen , ontstaan de

manifestaties van de grond van het zijn uit oorspronkelijk Gewaarzijn.
De manifestaties van de zuivere uitstralingen van de Boeddha werelden en de verwarrende
uitstralingen van alle verschijnselen en levende wezens , zijn alle in essentie leeg : deze leegte is dharmakaya. Hun aard is stralend licht sambhogakaya. En het onbelemmerd ontstaan in hun verscheidenheid is nirmanakaya.
Zo worden de drie niveaus van zijnsvormen verklaard als het proces waarin verschijnselen uit de universele grond van het zijn ontstaan.

Het onderscheid tussen deze twee verklaringen wordt zelden gemaakt , maar het is belangrijk

om dit duidelijk te begrijpen. Ik heb dit geleerd door de uitstekende uitleg van Longchenpa.

Als je dit begrijpt dan weet je dat het hele universum van verschijnselen , dingen-op-zich en de energie die hen belevendigt , de spontaan ontstane mandala is – en altijd geweest is – van de drie zijnsniveaus , en dat het geen zin heeft om ergens anders te zoeken naar de zuivere werelden van deze drie zijnsniveaus.

Als mensen in staat waren om spontaan de ware aard te herkennen van de zes werelden als de drie zijnsvormen , dan zouden zij , zonder ooit de geringste meditatie oefening te hoeven doen, allemaal de verlichting van de Boeddha bereiken.

Beschouw deze drie bovendien niet als verschillend , want de drie fundamentele zijnsniveaus zijn eigenlijk dharmakaya. Beschouw ook de drie manieren van manifesteren vanuit de grond van het zijn niet als verschillend , want ze zijn in wezen rupakaya (vormlichaam).

En ook dharmakaya en rupakaya zijn niet verschillend : in de dimensie van dharmakaya heeft leegte één smaak.

Wanneer uiteindelijk de manifestaties van de grond van zijn spontaan weer oplossen ( in de grond van zijn) . en de geest van de universele dharmakaya verwezenlijkt is , is het ultieme doel bereikt. Daarna vertonen de twee aspecten van rupakaya (sambhogakaya en nirmanakaya) zich als een regenboog, zonder de ruimte van dharmakaya te verlaten , en ontstaat er een ononderbroken stroom van activiteiten voor het welzijn van alle wezens.

Uit : De Vlucht van de Garoeda  hoofdstuk 12 door Shabkar Lama

Kelsang Gyatso de VIIe Dalai Lama


Kelsang Gyatso de VIIe Dalai  Lama (1708 – 1756 ) dichtte onderstaand gedicht:

Wat is dan toch die grote oceaan,waaruit het zo moeilijk is om gered te worden ?
Het is de kringloop van geboorten, waardoor wij ondergedompeld worden in die oceaan van lijden.
Wat is dan dat sterke gif, dat onopvallend toch de oorzaak van ons zware lijden is ?
Het kwaad in denken , spreken en doen dat niet wordt betreurd,is het waartegen geen kruid is gewassen.
Wat is dan die zware duisternis, die niet wordt herkend als de tegenstander ?
Het is dat wat heerst sedert het begin, de duisternis van geest die onwetendheid heet.
Wat is dan dat vurige ros, dat zijn ruiter afwerpt en in de afgrond stort ?
Dat is de hoogmoed van de trots en het gepoch over de eigen voortreffelijkheid.
Wat is dan als de berg waarvan men zo diep kan vallen, nadat men hem steeds weer opnieuw beklommen heeft ?
Het zijn de aardse schatten die wij moeten achterlaten, die wij met zoveel moeite vergaard hebben .
Wat is de hand die leeg blijft, hoewel hij in alle drie de werelden om zich heen greep ?
Het is dat wat helemaal aan het begin van de kringloop van lijden , werd begeerd en waarnaar werd gedorst .
Wat is dat veld van heerlijkheid, waarin zelfs het woord lijden niet meer wordt gehoord ?
Het is de verlossing, vol van zalige rust ,
De bevrijding uit de boeien van de arbeid vol van kwade dingen .
Wie gelijkt op de wolk, die zegen brengt aan eenieder, ver of dichtbij ?
Hij die in zijn hart de wens heeft gebracht , om anderen geluk en zegen te brengen.
Wie is de mens die leeft, van zijn boeien bevrijd, in vrede en vrolijkheid ?
Hij die vrij is van begeerte naar de dingen waar het verlangen naar uitgaat.
Wat vliegt zonder enig probleem door de wijde hemelruimte ?
De meditatie, waarin de dingen die worden overdacht, gelijk zijn aan dat wijde firmament.
Wat is dat wonderlijke schouwspel, dat wij, zonder te reizen, van hieruit kunnen zien ?
Het weten, dat alle zintuigelijke waarneming berust op illusie.
Wat is de enige ware grondslag van het verbinden van zowel wereldse als geestelijke verdiensten ?
Het zelf van de eigen ziel
het stralende fundament van het onbesmette zijn.

In Praise of the Dharmadhatu




Translated by Jim Scott
1.There is something which as long as left unknown Results in life’s three planes of vicious circle. Beyond all doubt, it dwells in every being. To the dharmadhatu I devoutly bow.
2. When that which forms the cause for all samsara Is purified along the stages of the path, This purity itself is nirvana; Precisely this, the dharmakaya, too.
3. As butter, though inherent in the milk, Is mixed with it and hence does not appear, Just so the dharmadhatu is not seen As long as it is mixed together with afflictions.
4. And just as the inherent butter essence When the milk is purified is no more disguised, When afflictions have been completely purified, The dharmadhatu will be without any stain at all.
5. As a butter lamp that burns inside a vase Would not even be slightly visible, As long as left inside afflictions’ vase, The dharmadhatu is not visible.
6. If one perforates the surface of the vase, Whatever holes are made in whichever directions, Through those and in precisely those directions Light will shine, as is its nature to.
7. At the moment when the vajra-like samadhi Is able to obliterate the vase, At that very moment the light burning inside Will shine throughout the reaches of all space.
8. The dharmadhatu was never born, Nor will it ever cease. At all times it is free of all afflictions; At the beginning, middle, and end, free from stain.
9. As sapphire, the precious gem, Shines with brilliant light all the time, But when confined within a grosser stone, We do not see its bright light shine,
10. Just so, although obscured behind afflictions, The dharmadhatu has no trace of flaw. While samsara blocks its light, it does not illuminate; Nirvana gained, its light will brilliantly shine.
11. If the fundamental element is present, Work will yield the sight of purest gold; If the fundamental element were lacking, The labor would produce no fruit but woe.
12. As kernels are not considered to be rice As long as they are enveloped in their husks, Just so the name of “buddha” is not given To all of those whom afflictions still enfold.
13. And just as when loosened from the husk, The rice itself is what appears, Just so the dharmakaya itself, When loosened from afflictions, freely shines.
14. It is said, “Banana trees are void of pith.” One uses this example in the world. But the fruit of such a tree has pith indeed; When eaten, it is sweet upon the tongue.
15. Just so, samsara has no pith, And if beings can remove affliction’s peel, The fruit within is buddhahood itself, The nectar for all corporal beings to taste.
16. And just as from a given kind of seed A fruit results resembling its cause, Who with common sense would seek to prove A fruit exists without its specific seed as cause?
17. The basic element which serves as seed Is seen as the support of all great qualities. Through gradual refinement, step by step, The stage of buddhahood will be attained.
18. Although the sun and moon are unstained, Five veils exist which manage to obscure them. These consist of clouds and fog and smoke, The face of Rahu and dust as well.
19. And so it is, as well, for mind’s clear light. Five obscurations manage to obscure it: Desire, laziness, and ill intent, And agitation too, as well as doubt.
20. And just as fire can clean a soiled cloth Miscolored with various marks and stains, And just as when submerged within the fire The marks are burnt away but not the cloth,
21. In just this way the mind, which is radiant clarity, Is soiled by desire and the other stains, But the fire of primordial awareness burns up these afflictions, Without, however, burning away the radiant clarity.
22. In the sutras of the Teacher, In whatever ways the Victor described emptiness, All of these ways can rectify afflictions; None can diminish the potential.
23. Just as water deep inside the earth Lies untouched and perfectly clean, Just so can primordial awareness rest within affliction And remain completely free of any flaw.
24. The dharmadhatu is not the self. It is neither man nor woman either; And being beyond everything perceivable, Just how could it be thought of as oneself?
25. Within phenomena, all free of passion, Male and female cannot be seen. For the sake of taming those that desire blinds, Terms like male and female are taught.
26. “Impermanent” and “suffering” and “empty”: Three designations purifying mind; But what refines the mind unto its utmost Is the teaching that nothing has any self-nature.
27. As a child in a pregnant woman’s womb Is there and yet is not yet visible, Likewise when covered by afflictions, The dharmadhatu is not visible.
28. From thinking “I” and “mine,” And from thinking of names and grounds for these, Four conceptual patterns come to be— Due to elements and compounds too.
29. The buddhas do not perceive Any characteristics of their aspiration prayers, Because the buddhas are of the nature of self-awareness And have their own permanently pure being.
30. Just as the horns on rabbits’ heads Do not exist except in the imagination, Phenomena are all precisely like that, Merely imagined, having no existence.
31. Because they are not made of solid atoms The horns of oxen cannot be seen, either. Since not even tiny atoms exist, How could one imagine that something made of atoms exists?
32. Since arising is a dependent occurrence And cessation is a dependent occurrence, There is not one single thing that exists— How could the naive believe that there is?
33. Using examples like rabbits’ and oxen’s horns, The Thus Gone One has proven That all phenomena are nothing other than the Middle Way.
34. Just as one sees The forms of the sun, moon, and stars Reflected in vessels of perfectly clear water, So is the consummation of signs and characteristics.
35. That which is virtuous in the beginning, middle, and end Is undeceiving and is marked by constancy, And is free from self in this very way. How could that be thought of as “I” or “mine”?
36. Just as water, during the summertime, Is spoken of as being something warm, And the very same water, throughout the winter season, Is spoken of as being something cold,
37. Those ensnared in the net of the afflictions Are referred to by the label, “sentient beings”; The very same when freed of states afflicted As “buddhas” are revered.
38. When eye and form assume their right relation, Appearances appear without a blur. Since these neither arise nor cease, They are the dharmadhatu, though they are imagined to be otherwise.
39. When sound and ear assume their right relation, A consciousness free of thought occurs. These three are in essence the dharmadhatu, free of other characteristics, But they become “hearing” when thought of conceptually.
40. Dependent upon the nose and an odor, one smells. And as with the example of form there is neither arising nor cessation, But in dependence upon the nose-consciousness’s experience, The dharmadhatu is thought to be smell.
41. The tongue’s nature is emptiness. The sphere of taste is voidness as well. These are in essence the dharmadhatu And are not the causes of the taste consciousness.
42. The pure body’s essence, The characteristics of the object touched, The tactile consciousness free of conditions— These are called the dharmadhatu.
43. The phenomena that appear to the mental consciousness, the chief of them all, Are conceptualized and then superimposed. When this activity is abandoned, phenomena’s lack of self-essence is known. Knowing this, meditate on the dharmadhatu.
44. And so is all that is seen or heard or smelled, Tasted, touched, and imagined, When yogis [and yoginis]* understand these in this manner, All their wonderful qualities are brought to consummation.
45. Perception’s doors in eyes and ears and nose, In tongue and body and the mental gate— All these six are utterly pure. These consciousnesses’ purity itself is suchness’ defining characteristic.
46. See how the mind has two aspects: It can be worldly, it can transcend the world. From clinging to a self comes samsara; When there is self-awareness, there is suchness.
47. The ceasing of desire is nirvana, As is stupidity’s and anger’s end. For these to cease is buddhahood itself, The refuge of ennobled beings.
48. One either proceeds with knowledge or proceeds without— Samsara and nirvana both have their source in the body. Either you are bound by your own thinking, Or, if you know the true nature, you are free.
49. Enlightenment is neither near nor far. It does not go away nor come to you. Right there within the cage of your afflictions, Either you will see it or you will not.
50. Abiding in the lamp of prajna Will lead to peace, the most sublime there is; Examining for self is the way to abide. This is taught in scores of sutra texts.
51. The strengths, all ten, assist the immature With a blessing force like that of the full moon. But as long as they are caught up in afflictions, Beings will fail to see the Thus Gone Ones.
52. Just as those in hungry spirit realms See the sea as dry before their eyes, Just so with those in ignorance’s grip Who think the buddhas don’t exist.
53. For lesser beings and those with lesser merit, No matter what transcendent conquerors do, It is like placing a precious jewel In the hands of someone never known to see.
54. For beings who have amassed sufficient merit The signs are radiant with shining light. All thirty-two ablaze with brilliant glory— Beings like these in buddhas’ presence dwell.
55. The protectors inhabit forms of bodily dimension For many kalpas, and many yet to come; However, in order to tame disciples They demonstrate different activities in the expanse that tames.
56. On definitely targeting its goal Consciousness engages in its object, Within the purity of self-awareness The bodhisattvas’ grounds all inherently abide.
57. The mighty lords’ magnificent abode, The beautiful domain of Akanistha, And consciousness, the three of these together Can be blended into one, I dare to say.
58. For the immature it renders total knowledge, For noble ones affords variety, To the mighty gods it grants long life, It is the cause for life spanning kalpas’ long march.
59. It is that which guards the outer realm of beings, And preserves their lives as well through countless kalpas, It is that which makes it possible for life To persevere within all living beings;
60. This the very cause that knows no end; The results of such a cause are endless too; When imperceptibility is realized, Prajna becomes the condition for nirvana’s dawning.
61. Enlightenment should not be thought far off Nor should it be considered close at hand; When objects, six in kind, do not appear, The genuine is known just as it is.
62. Just as milk and water mixed together Are present in the very same container But a crane would drink the milk and not the water, The case of transformation is like this:
63. There is primordial awareness, there are covering afflictions, Where both are found together in one body. But the primordial awareness is what yogis [and yoginis] choose to take And leave the ignorance behind.
64. For as long as “I” and “mine” are held to exist And the outside is imagined as well; When both forms of selflessness are seen The seed of existence is destroyed;
65. The dharmadhatu is the ground For buddhahood, nirvana, purity, and permanence; The immature impute the two kinds of self, And yogis [and yoginis] abide without these two.
66. In giving one endures a range of hardships, And ethics gathers in the benefit of beings, Through patience one performs the good of all, These three will cause the potential to unfold.
67. Through being diligent in all the teachings And steeping mind in meditative samadhi, Through thorough reliance on prajna, Enlightenment will grow and flourish.
68. Prajna endowed with skillful means, Prayers of aspiration that purify, The mastery of strengths, and thereby wisdom, These four will cause the potential to unfold.
69. “Do not commit yourselves to bodhicitta”; There are some who speak such dire word. But were there no bodhisattvas to develop, The dharmakaya would be out of reach.
70. One who throws away the seed of sugarcane But wants to taste the sweetness its fruit yields Will, without the seed, Have no sugar at all.
71. When someone values seed from sugarcane, Maintains them well, and works to make them grow, A crop of sweetest sugar can be harvested. And just as what has come about like this,
72. Through valuing the bodhicitta fully, Maintaining it, and working with it well, The arhats and pratyeka-buddhas arise As so the perfectly enlightened buddhas.
73. Just as seeds of rice and other plants Are treated by the farmer with great care, Aspirants who wish to make the greatest journey Are treated by their guides with greatest care.
74. Just as on the fourteenth day of waning, The moon is barely visible at all, For aspirants who wish to make the greatest journey The kayas are but barely visible.
75. Just as the moon when it is new Visibly grows larger bit by bit, Those who have reached the bhumis See the dharmakaya more and more.
76. Just as on the fifteenth day of waxing The moon has reached completion and is full, Just so for those who’ve reached the bhumis’ end point The dharmakaya shines complete and clear.
77. The bodhicitta, perfectly engendered, Through stable and consistent dedication To the buddha, to the dharma, and to the sangha Does not decrease, and develops more and more.
78. When the four meaner deeds have been relinquished, And the four better deeds have been embraced, Just then is thatness definitely realized. This is what “the joyful” thoroughly signifies.
79. “The stained” are those whom shifting patterns mark With the constant stains of desire and the rest; Whoever has grown free of flaw is pure, And this is what “the stainless” signifies.
80. Once afflictions’ net is rent asunder, A flawless wisdom shines, and with its light Purifies all darkness past all limit, Removing it, and hence “illuminates.”
81. It shines with light that is always pure; Primordial awareness, which eliminates diversion, Is steeped in light which shines on every side. This bhumi hence is known as “radiant.”
82. Since awareness, feats, and crafts are mastered here, The range of meditative concentrations themselves, And kleshas difficult to purify completely have been vanquished, So “difficult to overcome” is its name.
83. With enlightenment of all three types included, And everything perfected and complete, With birth no more, disintegration finished, This level is “directly manifest.”
84. Since the bodhisattvas’ web of brilliant light with its display Reaches every point in their surroundings, And since they have crossed samsara’s swampy ocean, They are called “the ones who reach far.”
85. Definitively guided by the buddhas, In contact with primordial awareness’s sea, Spontaneous and free of any effort, “Unshaken” by the maras’ echelons.
86. Since yogis [and yoginis] at this level have perfected The dialectics used to teach all points Connected with precise correct awareness, It takes the name, “select intelligence.”
87. The body at this point is made of primordial awareness, Is equal to an unpolluted sky; The vigilance afforded by the buddhas Forms the “cloud of dharma” everywhere.
88. The ground of the qualities of buddhas, The fruits of training fully held in hand, The transformation, when perfectly completed, Is given “dharmakaya” as its name.
89. Samsara’s tendencies are ponderable, Freedom from tendencies is not; You are completely inconceivable. Who could ever have the power to know you?
90. Beyond the pale of speech entirely, And not an object senses’ powers grasp, Realizing you takes the mind’s awareness. I bow in praise of all that you embrace.
91. The illustrious heirs of the buddhas, By following the path step by step, With the primordial awareness that attends the “cloud of dharma,” Can see emptiness, the pure mode of being.
92. As soon as mind has utterly been cleansed, Samsara’s caged confinement broken through, These will then assume their rightful place, Upon a wondrous lotus flower seat,
93. Utterly surrounded on all sides By lotus flowers, many tens of millions, Each endowed with tantalizing anthers, Their leaves alight with many precious gems.
94. The buddhas with ten powers are replete. Their fearlessness sets others’ minds at ease. Their qualities are inconceivable. From simplicity’s domain they never fall.
95. Through excellently practicing all paths, They’ve gathered merit, garnered wisdom full. So they are like the harvest moon on high Surrounded by its court, the clustered stars.
96. With a hand like the sun, Buddha holds a flawless gem with light ablaze. With this the Enlightened One empowers the most senior heirs, This abhisheka greatest of them all.
97. The mighty yogis [and yoginis] living on this plane Look with god-like eyes on worldly beings, Inferior because of mental blindness, Whom suffering can frighten and distract.
98. And having seen them, light rays from their bodies Shine, without the slightest strain at all, And open up what gates there are for all Who wander in their own confusion’s dark.
99. Those who have reached nirvana with remainder Believe they have reached nirvana that’s without; The nirvana that is reached in this tradition Is a freeing of the mind of any flaw.
100. Sentient beings’ essence free of substance Is the sphere that is encountered on this plane. Seeing this is the royal bodhicitta, The dharmakaya free of every flaw.
101. When the dharmakaya is seen in all its purity This is transformation, wisdom’s sea, And from its depths a wealth of precious jewels Fulfill beings’ needs as they have always wished.
In Praise of the Dharmadhatu composed by the great Acharya Nagarjuna is hereby completed. In cooperation with the Indian Khenpo, Krishna Pandita, it was translated (from Sanskrit to Tibetan) by Lotsawa Tsultrim Gyalwa. Based on teachings given by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, it has been translated from Tibetan into English by Jim Scott, April 1997, and edited by Ari Goldfield, September 1998.




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De Drie Hoofdzaken van het Pad



Hulde aan de Heilige Guru’s !
(1) Ik zal de essentiële strekkingen van al de Leringen van de Overwinnaars ,
het pad geprezen door al hun heilige zonen en
de ingang voor de fortuinlijken die vrijheid zoeken ,
zo goed als ik kan uitleggen

(2) Luister met een zuivere geest, fortuinlijken,
die geen verlangen hebben naar de geneugten van het cyclisch leven.
en die om genoegen en gelegenheid betekenisvol te maken er naar streven
hun geest te richten naar het pad dat de Overwinnaars behaagt.

(3) Er is geen manier om, zonder zuivere drang naar bevrijding ;
dit streven naar genoeglijke resultaten in de oceaan des levens te beëindigen.
Want het is ook door hun hunkering naar leven dat wezens verteerd worden ,
dus zoek de drang naar bevrijding eerst !

(4) Genoegen en geluk zijn moeilijk te vinden , het leven is niet lang ;
stop, dit voortdurend overdenkend, het verlangen naar dit leven.
Overdenk steeds weer de onverbiddelijkheid van de daden en hun gevolgen ,
en het lijden van het cyclische bestaan : stop verlangen naar de toekomst.

(5) Wanneer je zo gemediteerd hebt en nog niet de geringste wens voelt voor
de goede dingen van het cyclisch bestaan ,
en als je dag en nacht begint te denken
aan het bereiken van vrijheid , dan heb je bevrijding gevonden.

(6) Indien hij niet ondersteund wordt door het zuivere streven naar verlichting
zal de drang naar bevrijding niet de voortreffelijkste gelukzaligheid
van het hoogste Boeddhaschap brengen.
Dus moet de wijze de hoogste wens naar verlichting opwekken

(7,8) Weggevoerd door de stromingen van de vier woeste rivieren ,
strak gebonden aan de bijna niet te ontsnappen ketenen van evolutie,
gevangen in de ijzeren kooi van grijpend zelf,
gesmoord in de duisternis van onwetendheid.
Steeds weer opnieuw geboren wordend in eindeloze levenscycli,
onophoudelijk gemarteld door de drie vormen van lijden –
overdenk zo’n staat van alle wezens alleen voor je moeders.
Ontwikkel de hoogste wens naar verlichting ten bate van hen.

(9) Als je niet de wijsheid hebt om de werkelijkheid te doorgronden ,
ook al beheers je de drang naar bevrijding en de wens naar verlichting,
dan kun je de wortel van het cyclisch bestaan niet doorhakken.
Streef daarom naar het begrijpen van onderlinge afhankelijkheid.

(10) Een persoon is op het pad dat de Boeddha vreugde schenkt als hij voor alle verschijnselen
in het cyclisch bestaan of daarachter de onfeilbaarheid ziet van oorzaak en gevolg,
en als de vastheid van de objectieve verschijning verdwijnt.

(11) Je moet nog de bedoeling van de Overwinnaar realiseren
zolang als voor jou de noties gescheiden schijnen van de onfeilbaarheid van onderlinge afhankelijkheid van de verschijning en de leegte vrij van alle beweringen.

(12) Als ze niet langer elkaar afwisselen en gelijktijdig de onfeilbaarheid van onderlinge afhankelijkheid gezien wordt,
worden alle wijzen van het object waarnemen vernietigd.
Op dit punt is je analyse met zicht compleet.

(13) Voorts, als je weet hoe , verdrijft verschijning absolutisme en leegte verdrijft nihilisme
en nu leegte verschijnt als oorzaak en gevolg ,
Zul je nooit meer beslopen worden door extreme ideeën.

(14) Wanneer je op deze wijze zo goed als ik de essentiële punten
van ieder van de drie uitgelegde paden begrijpt ,
ga dan in eenzaamheid , span je geweldig in
en verkrijg snel je eeuwige doel , mijn kind.

Uit de Engelse vertaling door Geshe Acharya Ngawang Sherab
in het Nederlands vertaald door Jampa Gyatso

Een rozenkrans van geestelijk advies



Aan de intelligente vrienden met belangstelling voor de leringen,

luister goed naar een bescheiden advies.

Hoewel wij eindeloos omzwerven in het wiel
van dood en geboorte,
is er weinig tijd voor langdurig geluk,
vanwege het negatieve waarin wij ons wentelen.
Zoek naar het ambrozijn van de onsterfelijkheid,
de wijsheid van zowel de dagelijkse als de
allerhoogste waarheid.

Kleed uzelf eenvoudig en onopvallend en
spreek niet op onaangename wijze of misleidend.
Dompel het verstand onder in heilzame spiritualiteit.
Beweeg u voort in de wijsheid van de hoogste
zoals een vis zwemt in de oceaan,
zonder de haken van verleiding en gebondenheid.

De grote boom staat trots en rechtop als een koning,
echter zal hij ook op een dag oud en verdroogd zijn.
De Heer van de Dood zal ook ons eens komen halen,
en als wij dan, zonder de juiste kennis, daar niet
op zijn voorbereid,
zullen wij zonder twijfel smart en spijt kennen.

De ontelbare hoeveelheid levende wezens zijn,
zoals ikzelf, gevangen in de cyclus van het bestaan.
Vele malen zal men als een vader voor mij zijn
En zich liefdevol over mij hebben ontfermd.

Gedun Drup  leerling van Je Tsongkhapa

Zestig Verzen van Milarepa


    • Milarepa was een boeddhistisch heilige uit Tibet die leefde van 1052 tot 1135. Onderstaande tekst is een soort boeddhistisch memento mori, dat de luisteraar aanspoort om de vergankelijkheid van het leven voor ogen te houden en te zoeken naar dat wat van werkelijke waarde is. Milarepa richt zich in de vorm van een lied tot een rijk zakenman, die hem verwijt dat hij bedelt i.p.v. te werken voor zijn levensonderhoud. De tekst komt uit “Sixty Songs of Milarepa”, translated by Garma C. C. Chang (als pdf-bestand te downloaden via Buddhanet). 


Je verblijft het liefst
In kastelen en steden vol mensen;
Maar besef dat deze plekken zullen vervallen tot ruïnes
Nadat je deze aarde verlaten hebt!

Trots en ijdelheid zijn verlokkingen
Die je nu maar al te graag achterna loopt;
Maar besef dat ze geen bescherming of toevlucht bieden
Wanneer je stervensuur is aangebroken!

Je vertoeft nu het liefst
Temidden van landgenoten en verwanten;
Maar besef dat je ze allemaal moet achterlaten
Wanneer je deze wereld verlaat!

Je bent verknocht aan
Dienaren, rijkdom en kinderen;
Maar besef dat je lege handen niets kunnen meenemen
wanneer je stervensuur is aangebroken!

Je koestert je kracht en gezondheid
Als je kostbaarste bezit;
Maar besef dat na je dood
Je lichaam in een kist wordt weggedragen.

Nu zijn je organen nog helder,
En je lichaam sterk en vol energie;
Maar besef dat je er niet langer over kunt beschikken
Wanneer je stervensuur is aangebroken!

Nu ben je nog dol op
Zoet en aangenaam voedsel;
Maar besef dat het speeksel uit je mond zal lopen
Wanneer je stervensuur is aangebroken.

Wanneer ik dit alles bedenk,
Dan moet ik wel op zoek gaan naar het onderricht van de Boeddha’s!
De genietingen en aangenaamheden van deze wereld
Hebben voor mij geen aantrekkingskracht.

Ik, Milarepa, zing over de Acht Vermaningen,
In de herberg van Garakhache in Tsang.
Met deze heldere woorden geef ik een waardevolle waarschuwing;
Ik verzoek u dringend ze voor ogen te houden en in praktijk te brengen!