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Gampopa (1079-1152) - Modified artwork


Precepts that follow, were compiled by the Tibetan guru Gampopa (1079–1152), also known as Sgam-po-pa and Dakpo Lhaje (or Dvagpo-Lharje), in the middle of the 1100s AD (cf Tiy 57).

Gampopa is at least one of the greatest disciple of Milarepa. He did much to systematise Tibetan Buddhist teaching to make it fit for further development. He also authored yogic treatises that are broadly related to Zen.

He received the best medical training that could be had in Tibet at the time, studying under many doctors from China and Tibet. Considered one of the best physicians of the time, he was known as "the physician from Dakpo", that is, Dakpo Lhaje. He met Milarepa and practiced his teachings with great diligence, and gained Enlightenment.

Precepts that these sayings are extracted from or based on, are welcomed by sages of the inspired dynasty of Kagya gurus. For study and comparisons, some book references are given quite near the bottom of the page.

The compilation that this sample is based on, is of a later date - probably one of the first two decades of the 1900s - copied from a manuscript that a wandering yogi carried with him while passing through Gangtok in Sikkim. The yogi was glad to let his copy of the book, The Precious Rosary, serve study and transcription. A translation was made by Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup and Walter Y. Evans-Wentz of Oxford University shortly after 1920 (cf Tiy 59).

How Gampopa Became a Disciple of Milarepa

Gampopa was born in the Sebas Valley of Nyal in Tibet. His father was a physician with two wives. When Gampopa was fifteen, he had already learnt many tantric teachings and mastered the medicine that his father practiced. At twenty-two Gampopa married and soon got a son and a daughter. The children died from pestilence, and soon his wife was about to die from it as well. He promised, "I will devote my life to practicing the Dharma and will not marry again," as that was what his dying wife hoped for him. At her last moments she gazed into his face with her eyes full of tears and died.

Afterwards Gampopa felt very much at ease and happy, he told an uncle. The uncle got furious and offensive, but Gampopa reminded him of his promise to his wife on her deathbed, and the uncle got ashamed of himself and promised to take care of Gampopa's land and property. After two travels to Buddhist monasteries he was fully ordained as a monk, and studied thoroughly. Afterwards he thought, "Now I must practice these teachings," and then meditated. By day he studied Buddhism diligently, and at night he meditated, among other things.

He now got a vision where he saw a green yogi dressed in rags, who put a hand on Gampopa's head, and flicked spittle in his face. And Gampopa's meditation grew better and deeper, his mind became clearer and his vision of the green yogi appeared again and again.

At the same time the green yogi, who was Milarepa, told his followers that surrounded him, that someone who was to come to him, would soon receive his Pith-Instrucions in full. The coming man would be a fully ordained monk, a physician. Milarepa was overflowing with joy over it, singing such as:

Only by vying with a tiger can one fully appreciate its leap.

Only after tasting bitter gall can one fully understand its bitterness.

The teachings of Naropa are deep and most profound, yet if one does not practice them one sees nothing deep in them.

Those of little weight cannot receive my own effective and precise instructions; they are only given to the able student. Yet they all will be imparted to the monk, my coming heir. [Extracts]

Gampopa learnt who the green yogi of his visions was, and walked a long way to get to him. On the journey he fell from a rock and fainted, lying unconscious for half a day, thirsting and feeling ill. But Milarepa was in a happy mood, and smiled and laughed. When asked about it, he said,

"The monk from Wen fell fainting and in pain beside a rock and called to me for help. I blessed him (there and then). Then I got very joyful and burst with laughter. He will get here tomorrow or the day after."

Gampopa arrived at the place and felt a little self-conceited. For that reason Milarepa had him wait for an audience for a fortnight. Milarepa then sang:

By the mercy of Naropa I have this knife-like teaching, sharp enough to cut Samsara's chain.

In days of defilement people have little time for leisure.

Waste not your time in studies, but practice the Essential teachings.

You will spread the Buddhist faith. Follow my way and practice as I do.

Gampopa was then given Milarepa's Pith-Instructions, and later asked him for the essentials of the View, Practice, and Action. Milarepa then sang:

Observe your mind steadfastly.

The Ultimate Practice is not to consider distractions as faults.

Rest at ease.

The Ultimate Guru is one's mind.

Gampopa then persisted in his meditation, and stagewise was lead by Milarepa to finer (subtler) and subtler accomplishments. They included dreams and other meditative phenomena that were explained by Milarepa. In the face of strange experiences of this kind, Milarepa said, "Just sit at ease and meditate." Another time: "Practice more gently."

And Gampopa practiced, at times disturbed by dreams.

Milarepa repeated, "Relax and set your mind at rest, at ease in a state of naturalness. The dream you just told me show that you will not be sullied, but accomplish a worthy and stable Mind. You will nurture your disciples with the Pith-Instruction, and you will enjoy good health, being mindful. To prophesise by judging signs correctly is allowed by the Dharma. However, to be attached and fond of dream interpretation [may become] harmful. A master of the art can recognise good dreams. Dear monk, bear these words in mind!"

Milarepa added: "You should not look at the faults of your friends. Sentient beings in Samsara are equal in essence." He then talked for both self-benefit and altruistic deeds, saying "In the primordial state they are but one," and also said, "Do not come to a conclusion too hastily."

After some more weeks of meditation, Gampopa went to Milarepa to tell him of more dreams he had had.

But Milarepa said, "There is no need for your to tell me your visions. I know them already. Although you would like to stay with me, you must go to Central Tibet and meditate there. Be extremely cautious about miraculous powers. Keep these powers most secret. Gather disciple to benefit all. Teach them Mind-Essence. Growing conviction will make you start to teach."

He sang:

Your true home is in the Dharma-Essence.

All countries are delusive.

Visualise your Guru in the centre of your heart.

Go and do altruistic deeds!

Milarepa now escorted Gampopa a part of the way toward Central Tibet, and said when they came to a stone bridge: "A good Buddhist should never associate with wicked persons lest he be contaminated. Practice the transcendental teachings. Never stick to narrow-mindedness.

Narrow-minded people are veiled with great ignorance - never associate with them or pay attention to their babblings. Because of their narrow-mindedness good advice won't do them good. Watch your conduct with the greatest care!"

Singing again:

It is important to be modest.

Rest at ease in the sphere beyond all words, rest at ease in the non-doing state, the non-clinging state.

And learn to observe your mind without particular hopes.

Milarepa then said, "I have just imparted to you all the Four Initiations. Now be happy and joyful. Cherish this teaching and never waste it."

[The above excerpts are from Garma C. C. Chang's The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, chap 41.]


Gampopa Precepts

1. Causes of Regret

Having got a pure and well endowed human body, try and use it for the best. It would be a cause of regret to spend it wholly in worldly aims and pursuits (cf Tiy 67).

To spend the prime of youth mostly in vulgar amusements, can be a later source of much regret (cf Tiy 67).

To abandon kindly parents can turn into a source of regret (cf Tiy 68).

2. Some Requirements

Learn to judge (estimate) and compare what you are up to. In order to estimate your capabilities, faults and virtues too, hope your intellect is up to the task (cf Tiy 68).

To avoid error in choosing a guru, one needs knowledge of one's own faults and virtues (cf Tiy 68).

Keen intellect and very firm faith are required to tune in with the mind of the guide (cf Tiy 68).

Watchfulness and mental alertness, graced with humility, are required to keep the body, speech, and mind unsullied by evil (cf Tiy 68).

A tall, good armour coupled with a very strong intellect is very welcome (cf Tiy 68).

3. Some Sensible things to be done

Seek and go for delightful psychic influences (cf Tiy 69).

Keep friends with habits like your own (cf Tiy 69).

Study the teachings of Great Sages as impartially as you can (cf Tiy 69).

Study medicine and the profound art of taking omens (cf Tiy 69).

Adopt such regimen and manner of living as will keep you in good health (cf Tiy 69).

Adopt such devotional practices as will conduce to your spiritual advancement (cf Tiy 69).

One is to maintain alertness in walking, in sitting, in eating, and in sleeping [walking Zen, sitting Zen, and so on] (cf Tiy 69).

4. Some Things to Be Avoided

It is generally well to avoid a guru set on acquiring possessions (cf Tiy 70).

Avoid friends who are detrimental to your peace of mind (cf Tiy 70).

Avoid gaining your livelihood by means of deceit and theft (Tiy 70).

Avoid acts of levity and thoughtlessness as lower you in another's esteem (Tiy 70).

Avoid useless conduct and actions (Tiy 70).

Avoid such food and habits as disagree with your health (cf Tiy 70).

It could be well to avoid and eliminate what is most likely inspired by greed (cf Tiy 70).

5. Some Things not to Be Avoided

Good passions, rightly used, are not to be avoided: Taste life to the full, rather (cf Tiy 70).

Affluence, that manure and water for spiritual growth, is not to be avoided (cf Tiy 70).

That which comes of itself as a good gift, is not to be avoided (cf. Tiy 70).

Reason, a best friend, is not to be avoided (cf Tiy 71).

Helping one's body and mind to carry on and flourish, is not to be avoided (cf Tiy 71).

6. Things To Know

The mind is quite impermanent (cf Tiy 71).

Ideas very often arise from a concatenation [a linking together in a series or chain] of causes. (cf Tiy 71).

Some sorrow is rather inevitable in a lifetime (cf Tiy 71).

Life works as a guru.*

Attachment to worldly things easily makes prosperity inimical to spiritual progress (cf Tiy 71).

Misfortune is also a guru. (cf Tiy 71).

All things are quite interdependent (cf Tiy 71).

7. Some Things to Practice

Quitting one's own country and dwelling in foreign lands, learn practical ways that matter there. Besides, some non-attachment could be made easy by moving too (cf Tiy 71-72).

It should help and matter to follow through one's most pregnant realizations of truth.

Don't boast of your attainment, but apply it to realise more Truth inwardly (cf Tiy 72).

Permit neither the body to become tactless nor tamed by obedience, so keep an observing eye on things that matter (cf Tiy 72).

During youth, gain practical knowledge at the feet of someone who is learned and wishes you well (cf Tiy 72).

8. What to Persevere In

A beginner should both listen to and meditate on salvaging expert teachings (cf Tiy 73).

Striving to dominate great drowsiness may prolong it. Remain sensible with yourself, at any rate (cf Tiy 73).

Should various misfortunes assail you, expressing pity is not enough (cf Tiy 73).

Should there be great mental attachment, contemplate so as to advance in spite of that (cf Tiy 73).

Hurry toward perfection.

9. Incentives

Get a free career so as not to be dominated (cf Tiy 73).

Be incited to live piously (cf Tiy 73).

Reflecting on the results of evil, avoid evil (cf Tiy 73).

Win enlightenment of mind yourself (cf Tiy 74).

Seek the antidotes of evil and bad propensities before the latter win (cf Tiy 74).

Aimlessly frittering away one's life is no small incentive to diligence too (cf Tiy 74).

It helps to be incited to diligence - in any neat way you can (cf. Tiy 74).

Mount not evil.

10. Errors

A weak intellect is apt to lead to narrow-minded dogmatism (cf Tiy 74).

Without adequate religious instruction, great zeal makes some go to erroneous extremes and follow misleading teachings (cf Tiy 74).

Lack of adequate preparation may easily cause much time misspent in the "basement" of unconsciousness, instead of "moving upwards and upstairs" furtively (cf. Tiy 74).

Much and sound knowledge can divert some into worldly thinking: Guard against it (cf Tiy 75).

Worldly ambitions bring about that one allows oneself to be dominated by worldly motives (cf Tiy 75).

A vulgar mind may be puffed up with worldly pride (cf Tiy 75).

Exhibiting skills in worldly rites through pride is no small error (cf Tiy 75).

Decadence is always wrong.

11. Resemblances

Cessation of thought-processes may be mistaken for the quiescence of eternity within, the true goal (cf Tiy 75).

A mere glimpse of Reality [Primordial Essence] may be mistaken for complete realization (Tiy 75).

So-called masters of yoga, apparently liberated from all conventional laws, can be slaves of dark, deep passions. And yes, charlatans may be mistaken for sages as well (cf Tiy 75).

12. No errors in that, per se:

Studying the fit doctrine, reflecting and meditating on it (cf Tiy 76).

Nourishing lofty aspirations (cf Tiy 76).

Having liberal views while being firm (cf Tiy 76).

Being circumspect and sagaciously intelligent with little show-off in public, and very little personal pride (cf Tiy 76).

Adequate religious learning and deep knowledge with absence of pride (cf Tiy 76).

Dwelling in solitude while devoting oneself to wise contemplation methods (cf Tiy 76).

13. Mistakes

Butter doesn't come from sand. [Gam2, Pt 3: Interview with Gampopa).

To return empty-handed from a land rich in precious gems, is no small failure (cf Tiy 76).

Dying of thirst on the shore of a lake, is a grievous failure (cf. Tiy 77).

A diseased guy carrying a bag of medicine which he never uses, makes a solid mistake (cf Tiy 77).

Not to practise important sayings, quite like a parrot saying some prayers, is a huge error (cf Tiy 77).

Offering a mother the flesh of her own child is no small error (cf. Tiy 77).

To become somewhat like a cat in order to kill a rat, amounts to an error (cf Tiy 77).

Bartering away precious gems for a pellet of goat's dung, can work very, very wrong (cf Tiy 77).

Working like a physician with a chronic disease easily amounts to being suspicious, which may give rise to bad esteem and not a few failures from that again (cf. Tiy 77).

A rich man who has lost the key of his inner treasury, is a sad rich one (cf Tiy 78).

To serve like a blind man leading the blind, amounts to nothing fine, after all (cf Tiy 78).

To mistake the brass of experiences for the gold or fruits of contemplation (diving inside) is no small error (cf Tiy 78).

14. Weaknesses

To be obsessed with worldly thoughts says "too weak inside" (cf Tiy 78).

Religious and weak ones hankers for own interests and not altruistic ones (cf Tiy 78).

It is a weakness to hanker after merit in the eyes of common men and women (cf Tiy 78).

To be unable to tread a higher path, suggests a comparable weakness (cf Tiy 78).

To choose in serious matter without due inspection beforehand, can be due to mental weakness (cf Tiy 78).

Exhibiting strange powers for unworthy guys, spells weakness (cf Tiy 78).

To barter sacred truths for the comfort that money and prestige may bring, may stem from mental weakness (cf Tiy 78).

Indifference to a comfortable life, favouring unneeded hardships, could be due to severe mental weaknesses. One of them is "doing as told" (cf Tiy 78).

15. That serves us well

A comprehending intelligence, applying the Best Doctrine to one's own needs, serves us well (cf Tiy 79).

A capable guide or teacher serves us well (cf Tiy 79).

Unceasing performance of good deeds serves us well (cf Tiy 79).

Maintaining chastity of body, purity of mind, and control of speech, hopefully serves us well (cf Tiy 79).

A comprehensive enough philosophy serves us well (cf Tiy 79).

A fair and advanced system of contemplation serves us well (cf Tiy 79).

Practising the fit and select teachings, normally serves one well (cf Tiy 80).

To avoid dangers does well indeed (cf Tiy 80).

Serenity of mind comes in handy (cf Tiy 80).

16. Signs of a Superior Babe

Little pride and envy (cf Tiy 80).

Satisfaction with simple things (cf Tiy 80).

To be lacking in hypocrisy and deceit (cf Tiy 80).

To be faithful to one's engagements and obligations (cf Tiy 80).

To keep alive friendships with impartiality is very, very good (cf. Tiy 80).

To direct or usher an unenlightened mind into the Primordial Essence inside, looks like the best you can do (cf Tiy 81n).

Remembering the perfect teachings.

To allow the victory of progressing methodically to others (cf Tiy 81).

To differ from the multitude well enough to make a difference (cf. Tiy 81).

17. The Best You Can Do

Refraining from giving over-much attention to what is illusory, can be one of the best things you can do (cf Tiy 81).

Never hoping that when we die, foolish and profane descendants will render us assistance, is one best thing to do (cf Tiy 81).

Not to help thrash on and up into riches, influence, and worldly power, could be one of the better things to do (cf Tiy 81).

Deciding not to fritter away the precious moments of life, could work a decisive influence (cf Tiy 81n).

Winning or gaining enough to be able to assist others, is another good thing to go for (cf Tiy 81n).

Not devoting precious time to humouring and obliging kinsfolk and friends to the preference of progressing on the path, is a good thing to do (cf Tiy 82, 82n).

To devote less that your whole life to worldly things alone, could help you on and up (cf Tiy 82).

Try and consider Death to be not useless, and prepare for it: It should be seen as a good thing to do, years before Death actually comes (cf Tiy 82).

Becoming better able to develop spiritually by handiness coupled to the art of living, is generally favourable (cf Tiy 82).

To seek Divine Wisdom [Primordial Essence] rather than favouring vice, could serve you well inside (cf Tiy 82).

18. Quite Self-Imposed Troubles

To enter the state of the householder without means of sustenance, brings on trouble, and trouble can bring about havoc (cf Tiy 82).

An insane person who jumps over a precipice brings trouble on himself (cf Tiy 83).

To live hypocritically turns one's food into poison (cf Tiy 83).

A feeble old woman who tries to herd cattle, brings trouble on herself (cf Tiy 83).

A blind man who allows himself to become lost in a desert, surely invokes trouble (cf Tiy 83).

To undertake difficult tasks and not have the ability to perform them, is to invoke troubles (cf Tiy 83).

A man without strength who tries to carry a heavy load, brings on troubles (cf Tiy 83).

A king who follows a perverted policy, brings about troubles (cf Tiy 83).

Meditators who descend like deer to the valley to be accepted or esteemed, may lose favourable time (cf Tiy 83).

To pursue just worldly things can bring on dire troubles as time passes (cf Tiy 83).

Swallowing red-hot coals of impiety instead of favourably nourishing the growth of Divine Wisdom [Buddhahood Essence], looks like invoking troubles (cf Tiy 83).

19. It Is OK to Favour Oneself

One favours oneself by hearing, reflecting, and meditating on well-chosen teachings (cf Tiy 84).

One should favour oneself by dwelling alone in solitude (cf Tiy 84).

One does good to oneself by getting free from many mundane cravings (cf Tiy 84).

One does good to oneself by not taking advantage of others (cf Tiy 84).

One favours oneself by choice, innocent transitory pleasures (cf Tiy 84).

One does good to oneself by the right use of body, speech, and mind (cf Tiy 84).

20. Good Things

For one of superior intellect, to have thorough comprehension of many best things is a good thing (cf Tiy 85).

Comprehending very well the act of knowing is a good thing (cf Tiy 85).

For one of superior intellect, to remain in mental quiescence, devoid of most thought processes, if not all of them, is very good (cf Tiy 85).

For one of superior intelligence it is good to abstain from many keen worldly desires and actions (cf Tiy 86).

21. It May Be Fine

To follow a benign guide sincerely may not become an error, but to give one's heart to a hypocritical charlatan tends to be an error all along (cf Tiy 86).

Adjusting to chosen secret teachings of the Great Sages and testing their truths is fine (cf Tiy 86).

Living sanely as though each day were the last, and quite like a miser, could work well (cf Tiy 86).

Gaining understanding of what works and what does not work, is fine (cf Tiy 87).

Adjusting becomingly for tax benefits could work very well (cf Tiy 87).

Being unattached to some fruits (consequences) of actions is good too at times (cf Tiy 87).

Cultivating one's own innate spiritual powers is found to be good (cf Tiy 87).

Persevering when all the circumstances favourable for spiritual advancement are present, may be handy (cf Tiy 87).

On the other hand, to reform others rather than reforming himself is a tall mistake (cf Tiy 87).

22. More Good Things

One will wish to flee from captivity (cf Tiy 87).

Joyfulness of mind may serve a great deed of far-reaching influence (cf Tiy 87).

One should comprehend that perhaps there is not a moment to be wasted, particularly not for someone who is wounded by an arrow (cf Tiy 87).

Fix the mind on a single thought of good influence when time fits it [This is a vital part of regular contemplation] (cf Tiy 87).

There seems to be no need to do anything if you comprehend everything (cf Tiy 87).

One is to remain calmly confident of one's mental ability for as long as can be (cf Tiy 88).

Hold fast to whatever precious gems you have found (cf Tiy 88).

The exhausted crow that is far from land, may or may not trust to the mast of the ship it settles on, but does so anyhow. Have fit, jolly and bright confidence (cf Tiy 88).

23. Some Uncanny Things

For someone who has arrived at the Goal, there is no need to meditate on the Path, and no need to meditate on the state of noncognition (Tiy 88, 89, 88n).

So long as sorrow and misfortune are recognized to be blessings, there is an unrecognised need to seek extreme happiness (Tiy 88).

Boring religious teachings and seeking absolution too long instead of arriving at a solution, is far too low for high-set individuals (Tiy 88).

24. Some More Precious Things

One Sage is more precious than many worldly-minded persons packed together (Tiy 88).

One ruby in the hand is far more precious where you are than five remote gurus that do not care*

One momentary glimpse of Divine Wisdom is more precious than thinking about religious teachings (Tiy 88).

It should be good sport to enjoy sensual bliss (Tiy 88).

Time spent in the quest for Enlightenment can be more precious than ages spent in worldly pursuits (Tiy 88).

25. No Hard Attachments

For him who has realized, it is quite the same whether he meditates or not, and whether he refrain from worldly activities or not (cf Tiy 91).

In the supreme state of mental quiescence, meditation has fulfilled its main purpose. - W. Y. E.-W. (cf Tiy 91n).

Freed from any attachment, it is quite the same whether he practises asceticism, and lives according to conventional codes of conduct or not (cf Tiy 91, 92n).

For him who understands thoroughly, it is quite the same whether he meets with bad fortune and meditates for the good of others, or not (cf Tiy 91, 92). When the realization of Non-Meditation has been produced, because of great compassion the mind does turn towards the aims of others and does turn away from one's concerns of this life. Then . . . the aims of others arise . . . in a perfect way (Gma1, Lord Phagmo Drupa's Interviews, Interview one).

Tony Duff on the practice of Mahamudra: "One is a gradual approach called the Four Yogas of Mahamudra, the other is a sudden approach called Essence Mahamudra . . . The name Essence Mahamudra is given in contrast to the Four Yogas of Mahamudra. The Four Yogas of Mahamudra, because they are a graduated path, do not simply and directly point at Mahamudra itself. Instead, they successively teach onepointedness, freedom from elaboration, one-taste, then nonmeditation; at the very end of non-meditation one finally arrives at the very entity of Mahamudra. Essence, or we should say Entity Mahamudra, bypasses all complexity and indirectness contained in any graded approach and teaches the entity of Mahamudra, that is, what Mahamudra actually is. Thus, this is not Essence Mahamudra but Entity MahamudraŚMahamudra exactly as it is, what it is, without any frills sidetracks or provisional approaches to it." (Gma1, "Essence Mahamudra")

This may be condensed: At the end of gradual Mahamudra is Essence.

26. Virtues of Doctrine

Many are the progressive stages of consciousness in the process of emptying one's mind so as to attain the transcendent Beyond-Land (Nirvana) well (cf Tiy 93n).

Consciousness exists of itself (cf Tiy 93n).

Gautama Buddha - one of a long succession of Buddhas, it is held - found out that severe ascetism of yoga failed him while he was set on transcending the common world, Sangsara (cf Tiy 93n).

There are kings who guard us all - Dhritarashthra guards the East and has white as his colour. Virudbhaka guards the South, and has the colour green. The red guardian of the West is Virupaksha, and the yellow guardian of the North is Vaishravana, tells W. Y. Evans-Wentz (cf Tiy 93n).

Steps on and up:

  1. "Entering the Stream".
  2. "One who receives birth once more".
  3. "One who will not come back [to birth]" has taken the third step and might pass on to Beyond-Land (Nirvana) if he so chooses.
  4. Being a Divine Incarnation, a Nirmanakaya. Self-Enlightened (Skt. Pratyeka) Buddhas [often] do good to those who come into personal contact with Them, and omniscient Buddhas preach widely, both to gods and men. (cf Tiy 94n).
Men, after having lived in evil ways, should renounce a worldly life and become saints of the world (cf Tiy 95).

That wrong-doers enter into unhappy after-death states, verily shows the virtue of after-death states (cf Tiy 95n).

27. On Figurative Terms

Foundation Truth cannot be described; "Foundation Truth" is just figurative (cf Tiy 96).

The expression "Path" is just figurative; the "True State" is just figurative; and the "Pure State" is just figurative. (cf Tiy 96).

There is neither any enjoying nor any enjoyer of the Natural Mood, so the expression "Natural Mood" is just figurative and maybe misleading as well. (cf Tiy 96-97).

The Natural Mood can be reached in the highest samadhi, concomitant with the True State and the Pure State. - W. Y. E.-W. (cf Tiy 97n).
The True State, realizable in the highest samadhi, is the quiescence of an inner ocean. Further, the Pure State is an intensified aspect of the True State, and exists - W. Y. E.-W. (cf Tiy 96n).

There is neither any vow-keeping nor any vow-keeper; the two are just figurative. (cf Tiy 97).

The expression "Twofold Merit" is just figurative. (cf Tiy 97).

"Obscuration" is just figurative (cf Tiy 97).

Cf "Obscurations of intellect resulting from evil passions"; and "Obscurations of intellect resulting from wrong belief" - W. Y. E.-W. (cf Tiy 97).

There is neither any renunciation nor any renouncer [of worldly existence], hence the expression "worldly existence" is just figurative in what it usually denotes (cf Tiy 97).

"Results of actions" is just figurative (cf Tiy 97).

Personality is rather transitory (cf Tiy 97n).

There is no seer of the True State - W. Y. E.-W. (cf Tiy 97n).

To describe supersensuous experiences can never be anything more than figurative - W. Y. E.-W. (cf Tiy 97n).

28. Joyful Realizations

All-Mind (cf Tiy 98).

The infinite (Infinity) does not really exist (cf Tiy 98).

There are no disturbing thought-process in Primordial Mind (cf Tiy 98).

Mind and matter are inseparable in the Dharma-Kaya, the "Divine Body of Truth and Transcendence" (cf Tiy 98).

In the Dharma-Kaya there exists neither any holder of theories nor any support of theories (cf Tiy 98).

Thus you must not say "there is no support for the soul" in higher states, for in the Dharma-Kaya, or State of the Fundamental Truth of Perfect Enlightenment, no odd theory is conceivable; no theory is conceivable (cf Tiy 98, 98n).

There is no change in the Sambhoga-Kaya, which is the "Divine Body" and "self-emanated primary reflex of the Dharma-Kaya, for the Sambhoga-Kaya transcends conceptions (cf Tiy 98).

The Nirmana-Kaya, or "Divine Body of Incarnation", is the secondary reflex of the Dharma-Kaya and equals the Spiritual State (cf Tiy 98n).

Qualities are purely sangsaric (cf Tiy 98n).


The Colophon

It is commonly believed that the Tibetan guru Gampopa, [alias Dvagpo-Lharje etc.], compiled the work at the root of the discourse above. It is said that he handed it on with words such as these: "I entreat those devotees of generations yet unborn, who will honour my memory and regret not having met me in person, to study this . . . along with other religious treatises" (Tiy 100).

His treatise was put into manuscript form by Digom Sönam Rinchen, who had thorough knowledge of main Tibetan teachings of Buddhism (Tiy 100).

"May this Book radiate divine virtue; and may it prove to be auspicious. Mangalam (Blessing, Happiness, or "May blessing be upon it")," are benign translator wishes related to it (Tiy 100).

Concluding Words

Be lamps to yourselves.
And hold fast to the Truth.

- From a saying by Gautama Buddha (240).


Gampopa, Sgam-po-pa, Dakpo Lhaje, Dvagpo-Lharje, Sgam-po-pa Dakpo Lhaje Dvagpo-Lharje teachings, tibetan guru, Vajrayana, Tibetan Buddhist teachings, Literature  

Gma: Duff, Tony. 2011. Gampopa Teaches Essence Mahamudra: Interviews with his Heart Disciples. Vol.1 and 2. Kathmandu, NP: Padma Karpo Translation Committee.

Gmy: Trungram Gyaltrul. 2004. Gampopa; The Monk and the Yogi; His Life and Teachings. Dr. Dissr. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Hts: Chang, Garma C. C., tr. 1999. Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, London: Shambala Books. ⍽▢⍽ Partial view of an earlier 2-volumed edition at Google Books.

Jlg: Gampopa. 1988. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: The Wish-Fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings. Tr. Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche. Boston: Snow Lion. ⍽▢⍽ This is a good foundation for study and practice from beginning to Buddhahood, and one of the most inspiring and comprehensive works of the Tibetan tradition. It includes views on finding the spiritual master, development of six good and salvaging qualities (the six perfections: generosity, ethics, forbearance, diligence, meditation and wisdom), activities of the Buddha and more. It is a fine overview in a form accessible to the Western non-scholar practitioner, with a fine biography of Gampopa.

Lg: Stewart, Jampa Mackenzie. 2004. The Life of Gampopa. 2nd ed. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publications.

Lik: Evans-Wentz, W. ed. 1968. The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation or the Method of Realizing Nirvana through Knowing the Mind. London: Oxford University Press.

Tiy: Evans-Wentz, W. Y., ed. 1967. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.

Tm: Evans-Wentz, Walter Y., ed. 1969. Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa. 2nd ed. London: Oxford University Press.

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