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Buddhadharma : Winter 2014
winter 2 0 1 4 buddhadharma: the Practitioner’s quarterly 41 Finally, Milarepa describes the fruition of the Buddhist path: Not seeing your mind and buddha as differing This is as full a fruition as it can be When there is no difference for you between your own mind and buddha, this is mastery of fruition. Your mind includes the relative, confused mind as well as genuine reality, the clear-light mind. Mind that is not different from buddha is the clear- light mind, genuine reality, buddhanature, Maha- mudra, the great perfection, Dzogchen; all of these have the same meaning. “Buddhahood” is a term that includes two kinds of purity: purity that is already present by nature and purity acquired through cleansing superficial stains. The nature of mind of all sentient beings is completely pure by nature. This is buddhahood in the first sense: naturally present complete purity. It means that in the essence of every being’s mind, there is no stain whatsoever. But in sentient beings, this buddhahood has not been freed of superficial stains. One “becomes a buddha” when the stains that cover up the naturally present purity have been removed. It is important to make this distinction. Otherwise, there would be no difference between buddhas and sentient beings. Buddhanature has three stages: ground bud- dhanature, path buddhanature, and fruition bud- dhanature. The first two relate to buddhahood in the sense of mind’s naturally present purity but recognize that the surface stains have not been puri- fied. The third, fruition buddhanature, is buddha- hood freed of the superficial stains of delusion. This constitutes what is called “buddhahood endowed with twofold purity.” The nature of mind, which is originally completely pure, has been freed, or puri- fied, of all the stains produced by confusion. This distinction is crucial. There are also teachings on ground, path, and fruition Mahamudra. Tilopa relates this to the process of extracting oil from sesame seeds. He compares the unprocessed sesame seed containing oil to ground Mahamudra, pounding the sesame seed to extract the oil to path Mahamudra, and the oil freed of the superficial husk to fruition Mahamudra. In the Vajrayana, what one accomplishes is referred to as Vajradhara. These same three stages of ground, path, and fruition are also related to Vajradhara: The nature of mind of all sentient beings is ground Vajradhara. By practicing the path, one comes to a realization of the very nature of mind; this is path Vajradhara. When one is in the process of realizing mind’s nature, this is the path. Without this, there is no path happening. “Path” here means that your practice is enabling ground Vajradhara (the basic nature of mind) to emerge directly. Your meditation on, or habituation to, this is “Vajradhara as the path”; Vajradhara as the nature of mind has turned into Vajradhara as the path. When this path is finally perfected, it becomes Vajradhara as the fruition. This concludes a brief presentation of the “Eight Kinds of Mastery” by the lord of yogis, Milarepa. A full explanation of these would be very extensive, but all eight are in fact presentations of the view. If you look carefully at what all eight of these are say- ing, you will get a clear picture of view. It would be difficult to fathom the points raised here right away. But don’t just lay it aside and think, “I don’t get it.” Work with this over time, coming back to it again and again. By doing so, you will be able to comprehend what is being said. At that point, you will understand what ultimate view, ultimate meditation, and ultimate conduct are all about. This teaching was translated by jIM SCOTT, a longtime student of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso and a teacher in his lineage.