Precious Treasurey of the Genuine Meaning
tsig don rinpoche dzod
(tshig don rin po che’i mdzod)
Root-text translation coming soon
The Precious Treasury of the Genuine Meaning is one of seven treasures or seminal works composed by the illustrious illuminator of the Great Perfection doctrine, the Omniscient Longchenpa. In Tibetan, this is titled tshig don rin po che’i mdzod; and in English The Precious Treasury of the Genuine Meaning entitled “The Illumination of the Three Sites of the Unsurpassed Secret Clear-Light Vajra Essence.”
The entire LOB translation team, along with many fortunate students, received an extensive oral commentary on this crucial dzogchen text from Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche for two weeks each year over a 5-year period from 2008-2012. Sangye Khandro offered the oral translation during the entire teaching. A rough draft of the translation was distributed only to recipients during this time, and now finally the final translation of the root text is being polished by the Light of Berotsana translators and editor. It will be restricted to authorized students.
On this Guru Rinpoche 10th day in April, 2014, we are pleased to offer the following excerpt from the text. Having described the nature of the primordial ground of original purity and then how it is that sentient beings have wandered into confusion, this excerpt reminds us that—even though we sentient beings are in this temporary state of confused bewilderment—the innate nature of thorough, original purity is forever the ground of our being.
The text tells us:
The specific state of thorough purity is that all phenomena of the three realms of saṃsāra involve grasping toward the aspect of basic space from the outset; yet even though that is the case, each aspect of that correlates to that dimension [of basic space] like a reflection. Ultimately, [these phenomena] abide as the empty nature of phenomena; so when the aggregates, elements, and so forth appear, they arise in association with the kāyas and wisdoms. The three doors are intrinsically liberated as enlightened body, speech, and mind; and the phenomena of birth, old age, sickness, and death arise as the wisdom play of the space of phenomena. All activities and perceptions are described as the thorough purity of the dharmatā’s great self-arising view and meditation. This is stated in the Reverberation of Sound:
Furthermore, the subject to be elaborated upon is as follows. The inherent state of the confused mode of appearances is wisdom, yet until now this has not been seen. Due to the lack of a basis for this straying and conceptual reification, the ālaya was realized as the great dharmakāya; and the continuity of confused perception was severed. These appearances devoid of confusion emerge from the key point of their primordial liberation.
The aggregates of wanderers are the kāyas of the buddhas, primordially so; yet no one is aware of this. These aggregates as buddha [nature] emerge through the development of the syllables present within their [i.e., the wanderers] energy channels. Wisdom is self-manifest; though with their corporeal eyes, they are unable to see that wisdom is self-appearing, so the confused appearances that emerge from that [lack of awareness] emerge from the key point of their luminosities. Moreover, all physical actions are set free as the trikāyas, so all activities are the nature of phenomena.
All aspects of speech—however they may be expressed—are the recitation of secret mantra that emerges from the key point of the seed syllables’ manifestations. All conceptualizations in the minds of beings are contemplative states, yet no one recognizes this. When mind is released from conceptualization, that will be due to the key point of the genuine elements.
Since everything is revealed as the dharmatā in this way, there exists nothing to be accepted and nothing whatsoever to be discarded. The dharmatā is where all of this is absent. By realizing the key point that saṃsāra and enlightenment are liberated from physical activity, verbal expressions, or thought formations, there is no one who is not awakened. Hence, the three realms of saṃsāra are stirred from their depths.
Furthermore, all sentient beings of the three realms that have not transcended their body, speech, or mind need not search elsewhere for the trikāyas. Even if they do, there is no place to discover them. Not emergent from the past nor emerging in the present—through observation, this is seen right now. How astonishing!
The play of this great marvel involves no distinctions between the buddhas or sentient beings. Just as there are clouds in the sky, this is self-emergent, self-perfected inner peace. By the distinction of the direct realization of the dharmatā, there exists no difference concerning sharp versus dull faculties; so it is not the case that any sentient being abides as anything other than being awakened.
By virtue of the mind pervading all embodied beings, there are no living beings who are not buddhas. Like a fruit that develops from its seed, one’s own nature is the key point of this innate presence not existing in terms of verbal expression. By lucidly appearing to the scope of one’s faculties, this self-nature is liberated when directly witnessed. Moreover, based on circumstances, there is no single sentient being that is not awakened; and since self-appearances are completely conducive with wisdom, saṃsāra is primordially nonexistent. Hence, each being is naturally awakened as buddha.
When the true significance of birth itself is realized, abiding in the womb is seen as the space of phenomena. The union of body and mind is the interconnectedness of space and awareness. By remaining in a body, there are the trikāyas; and by aging, the exhaustion of phenomena brings an end to confused perceptions. Through illness, the dharmatā is savored; and through death, there is emptiness with nothing to identify. In these ways all sentient beings are buddhas.
So it is.
The Garland of Pearls states:
Whatever actions and speech occur, they are the conduct of lucid, empty awareness. Whatever concepts of good versus bad arise, they are the great expansive river of meditation. All wrong views and correct assertions are the view of an unbiased yogin. All clinging to hope and fear is the result that emerges from the unimpeded state. Those earnestly aspiring toward realizing the mahāmudrā will see their eating and drinking as the approach and their sleeping and sitting as the accomplishment. All states of volition will be abiding with the tutelary deity. The brain and phlegm will be the accomplishment of the maṇḍala. On the maṇḍala of the entire trichiliocosm, the preparation of rain and vapor will descend. The pathways of wanderers will be visualized as the great lines of demarcation, and their footprints will be the sand, colors, and designs [of the maṇḍala]. The urge to traverse is the demeanor [of the deity], while the movements of the extremities are the mudrās.
Whatever is spoken are mantric syllables, and thoughts are the generation stage. All mental events are the nature of offerings, and the appearances of forms are the kāyas of the deities. The expression of loud sounds is the nature of music; and one’s own body, the vase. One’s hair is the scepter as the beautifying ornament; blood and lymph, the hollow and solid organs, and so forth are themselves the ritual substances that fill the vase. Hence, the conferral of empowerment occurs within oneself, fully complete without bestowal.
The desire to transcend is samaya; while the desire to guard is restriction. The desire to liberate yields decline, while the desire for nothing is—among commitments—supreme. Visual impressions, symbolic mudrās, and attachment to them are the experiences; clear awareness of cognition is the sacred instruction; and the conjunction of body and the mind is the objective for the instructions’ delivery. Birth, old age, sickness, and death are the key points of familiarity; and the unceasing six states of consciousness are the realization.
So it is as taught.