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Buddhadharma : Spring 2008
buddhadharma| 43 |spring 2008 The root meaning: the path of generation and completion’s union. This has what has to be known and what has to be meditated. In the fifth song of The Quintessence of the Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen: The Practical Instructions of the Noble Great Compassionate One, Chenrezik, Karma Chakme Rinpoche describes a path that consists of the uni- fication or integration of the generation stage (the visualization of a deity or deities) and the comple- tion stage (which in this case refers to recognition of the mind’s nature). This path is presented as two things that can be practiced simultaneously and do not necessarily have to be practiced separately. The song has two parts: what is to be understood and what is to be meditated on. The meaning is profound and extensive. What is to be understood is the actual view behind all deity meditation, and what is to be practiced is the main meditation of this path. The View of Vajrayana The essence of the mind of all beings Is primordially the essence of buddhahood. Its empty essence is the birthless dharmakaya. Its clear distinct appearances are the sambhogakaya. Its unceasing compassion is the variegated nirmanakaya. The inseparable union of those three is the svabhavikakaya. Its eternal changelessness is the mahasukhakaya. The view is to be understood as follows: The nature of the mind of all sentient beings, irrespec- tive of any obscurations that may obscure or con- ceal it, has from the very beginning been buddha. There is an inherent wakefulness and perfection to the mind of each and every being. In fact, this is what the mind of each and every being is. In and of itself, it is free of all defects and complete with all qualities, and therefore the nature of the mind can be called buddha. Even though we have become confused and wander through samsara, that basic nature has not degenerated, and even when we attain full awakening, that nature itself will not improve. The nature of the mind remains unaffected; in other words, it is the same in both the context of ground and in the context of frui- tion. Its essential emptiness is the dharmakaya, the essential nature of the mind that is free from arising, abiding, and cessation. Nevertheless your mind is not just empty; it is vivid, lucid, and cog- nitive. That characteristic or appearance of the mind as a lucidity that is unmixed in its experi- ence of appearances is the sambhogakaya, or body of complete enjoyment. The actual display of that lucidity, the goodness or responsiveness and compassion of the mind, which is unlimited and unceasing in its variety, is the nirmanakaya. When we speak of them in these terms, these three seem different from one another. The mind’s emptiness, its clarity, and the arising of appear- ances within the mind are not in and of themselves substantial, but rather they are the appearance of that which is without inherent existence, like a rainbow. Although these three sound different, they are not three different things, but are in fact a unity. That unity, which is the mind itself, is the svabhavikakaya, or essence body. This unity also never changes: it does not improve at the time of fruition, nor does it degenerate under other circumstances, so therefore it is called the maha- sukhakaya, or body of great bliss. This primordial innate presence in yourself Was not created by the compassion of the buddhas, by the blessing of the gurus, Or by the profound special essentials of the dharma. Wisdom has primordially been present in this way. All sutras and tantras are in accord on this. From the very beginning, this primordial wis- dom has been inherent in each and every person. It is innate; it is something that we are never without; we never lose it nor deviate from it. Because it is and has always been the unity of emptiness and lucidity, the path that corresponds in characteristic to the ground is therefore the unity of these two stages, generation and completion. This unity itself, which has always been the nature of our minds and Khenpo Karthar rinpoche is the abbot of Karma triyana DharmachaKra, the north american seat of the seventeenth Karmapa, locateD in WooD- stocK, neW yorK. this teaching is aDapteD from The QuinTessence of The union of MahaMudra and dzokchen: The PracTical insTrucTions of The noble GreaT coMPassionaTe one, chenrezik, by Karma chaKme rinpoche, With commentary by Khenpo Karthar rinpoche, publisheD by KtD publications, 2007. (Facing page) Avalokiteshvara – Jinasagara (Ocean of Conquerors) Eastern Tibet, 1800 – 1899 (iTemno.696)ColleCTionofRubinmuseumofART(ACC.#P1996.29.1)