RECOGNITION OF THE MOTHER
A philosophical Song, by Lcan skya Rol Pal Rdo Rje, translated from the Tibetan, together with The Lamp of Words, a commentary by Dkon Mchog 'Jigs Med Dban Po, transcribed at Wu T'ai Shan, in northern China, by the Bhikshu Blo Bzan Dban Rgyal; translated into English by Paul Nietupski and Upasaka Robert Thurman.
continued from issue 65,64
B. Encouraging Intimacy with the Authentic Reality, by Getting Rid of Useless Suspicions.
CHEER UP, YOU REALISTS, NO NEED TO BE NERVOUS,
SINCE EXTERNAL THINGS ARE NOT DONE AWAY WITH!
CHEER UP, ALI, YOU MIND-ONLY PHILOSOPHERS,
SINCE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE FUNCTIONS EVEN WITHOUT SELF-AWARENESS!
CHEER UP, SVATANTRIKA MASTERS,
FOR RELATIVITY IS DISTINCT EVEN WITHOUT INTRINSIC IDENTIFIABILITY!
YOU UPHOLDERS OF PERSONAL LINEAGES NEED NO SUSPICION,
EVEN HOLDING NON-CONTRADICTION OF VOID AND CLARITY IS OK!
YOU KNOWLEDGE-HOLDERS NEED NOT INSIST ON GOODNESS,
SINCE GOOD AND BAD APPLY EVEN IN PRIMAL PURITY!
YOU WISE OLD PHILOSOPHERS NNED NOT BE STICKLERS,
SINCE THE INNATE WILL ARISE, EVEN MEDITATING ARTIFICIALLY!
YOU HARD-HEADED DIALECTICIANS, DON'T GET EXCITED,
IT'S OK TO ASSERT FREEDOM FROM PHENOMENALIZATIONS OF BEING AND NOTHINGNESS!
(The author) means (to say): "You realists, Vaibhasikas and Sautrantikas, should cheer up in your hearts about the fact that the ultimate is the lack of intrinsic reality, without entertaining unnecessary doubts that make you nervous such as thinking that it is not correct to assert non-establishment since such would do away with external objects. And you advocates of the Mind-only school should be happy, since, although (your) self-awareness, the solitary subject that only looks within, does not exist, it is still possible for right knowledge to assess its objects. And all you Svatantrikas should cheer up, since although, in the ultimate, things have no intrinsic identifiability,42 nevertheless, on account of mere conventional establishment by name and identification, the distinct variety of relative things does not get mixed up. And you holders of the master-disciple-lineage’s need have no nagging anxieties, since, although things are not established by intrinsic identity, the clarity that is nature of the mind and the voidness with respect to identity are not contradictory. And you Rninma Tantrics, known as 'knowledge-holders,' need not insist upon (an exclusive nature of) goodness, since conventionally the presentation of good and evil is operational, even though things are 'primarily pure,' or pure from the beginning. And you old dialecticians, "brugpa Karmapas, need not one-sidedly belabor the idea that "only non-artificial (meditation) is necessary,' since, it is evident that the Great Symbol, the ultimate Body of the innate clear light, will arise even through meditation that newly makes up the mind. And you Thansagpa scholars, so hardheaded you never agree with anyone, should embrace the ultimate meaning as intrinsic unreality, without excitedly worrying unnecessarily, since it is quite proper to assert that the ultimate condition of tings is the freedom from the phenomenalizations of the two extremes, the absolutism that things ultimately exist, and the nihilism that things do not exist at all conventionally.
C. Begging Indulgence
YES, IT'S POSSIBLE THAT WITH LITTLE PRACTICE IN SCRIPTURES
YOU MIGHT JUST NOT KNOW THE WAYS TO USE CONVENTIONALITIES,
SO IT'S NOT THAT I AM WANTING IN RESPECT FOR YOU--
IF I HAVE STRUCK (ON A SORE SPOT), PLEASE BE TOLERANT!
Granted I have spoken honestly, (the author says) yet in your solitude you have had little practice of the philosophical treatises, and have not studied them extensively, and so it is possible that your formulation, (that I have refuted above) arose from your not knowing the ways to employ the conventional expressions according to the Madhyamika authorities. It is not that I do not have heartfelt respect for you, and if, out of my honest expression of the ultimate reality, I have hit upon a sore spot by touching on the flaws in your theories, please be tolerant, as (one tolerates) flowers getting trampled in a horse-race!
II.2.iii The Author's Own Quest (for the View) of Profound Relativity.
A. The Treatises Basic to the Quest.
THROUGH SKILL IN RIDING, USING ANALYSIS AND FAITH,
THE GOOD STALLION OF THE ANCESTRAL TREATISES,
I HAD SOME HOPE FOR LIBERATION FROM THE PATH OF DEVASTATION.
(The author) means that, although he was not a "descendent" who "knows" accurately the ultimate nature of "all" things, on the "good stallion" which is the impeccable philosophical system of the "ancestral" Nagarjuna and his sons; by virtue of his "skill in riding" with the energy of application of "faith and analysis," he "had some hope for liberation" from the "devastating narrow path" of action and afflictions which is so hard to escape for the uncritical) realist and the (uninspired) indolent (nihilist).
B. The Discovery at the End of the Quest
NO NEED TO SEEK IT, IT IS THE SEEKER HIMSELF.
DON'T INSIST UPON TRUTH, FOR IT IS UTTER FALSITY.
DON'T CEASE THE FALSENESS, FOR IT IS TRUTH ITSELF.
IT'S ENOUGH TO REST IN THE IMPERMANENT AND UNANNIHILATED.
(The author) means that it is unnecessary to seek afar off that mother reality-voidness, as she lives right together with the seeker himself. One should not insist upon relativity’s as truths, because they are false, as their mode of appearance and mode of existence do not correspond. And that falseness is not to be ceased conventionally, because it is the truth of ultimate non-existence by intrinsic reality itself. And sufficiency is discovered by resting in the realm free of the extremist phenomenalizations, where there is no annihilation due to conventional existence, and no permanence due to ultimate non-existence.
C. Giving Thanks for the Kindness
THOUGH I DO NOT SEE THE MOTHER, BY THE MERE NAME
I SEEM TO MEET FACE TO FACE WITH KIND LONG-LOST PARENTS--
GREAT THANKS, 0 NAGARJUNA AND SONS!
GREAT THANKS TO YOU, 0 TSON KHAPA!
GREAT THANKS TO YOU, 0 KIND LAMA!
IN REPAYING SUCH KINDESS, I WORSHIP THE MOTHER!
The (author) means that, although he did not directly see the mother voidness by intrinsic reality, "by the mere name" he seemed to meet" face to face," as if right in front of him, the "longlost" "kind parents," namely, (mother) voidness and (father) relativity, and thus he gives great thanks to the protector Nagarjuna, and his sons, (Aryadeva, Buddhapalita, and Candrakirti); great thanks to his holiness Tson Khapa Blo Bzan Grags pa; and great thanks to that kind Lama who made him seek the identification of the authentic view. As a means of repaying that kindness, he vows to "worship" that mother voidness with respect to intrinsic reality by meditating upon her.
A. Dedication of Virtue
AS THE BIRTHLESS, INEXPRESSIBLE OLD MOTHER
NESTLES TOGETHER WITH THE SMALL CHILD OF THE INTELLECT,
BY MEANS OF THE GREAT FEAST OF PERFECTLY GOOD DEEDS,
MAY SHE LEAD ALL BEINGS INTO FINAL HAPPINESS!
(The author) means that, regarding the merit of thus explaining the message of the profound view, the "old mother" who is "inexpressible" and ultimately "birthless" according to the vision of non-discursive wisdom, and who is also the essential nature of the mind known as the "Buddha-nature" (sugatagarbha), as "nestled together" "with the small child of the intellect" whose habit-pat-tern is to take that (essential nature) as an object, she should, "by means of the great feast" that satisfies "all living beings" that consists of the Bodhisattva "deeds" such as the six transcendences, "lead all those beings into the permanent happiness (of Buddhahood)."
B. Rejoicing in Finding the View
EMA (WOW)! --I ROL PAI RDO RJE
BY STAMPING OUT HERE - YAHOO - (AHOHLA)!
THE HAPPY DANCE OF JOY -- YIPPEE -- (OHNALA)!
DO WORSHIP THE TRIPLE GEM - HALLELUJAH! (AHO)!
("Wow" and "Hallelujah" (Ema and Aho) are expressions of awe, and the other two are merely conjunctions. The author means that he, Rol Pai Rdo Rje, feels extreme awe about the pattern of voidness and relativity, and by "dancing" in this spot the "dance of else and joy," i.e. by singing the song of his understanding when the profound arose in his mind with the meaning of relativity. Thus it should be understood as worship of the Three Gems, the place of refuge.
THUS, THIS ECHOING RHYME OF THE FALSE SPEECH IDENTIFYING THE
MOTHER, WAS SPOKEN BY LCAN SKYA ROL RDO RJE, OUT OF HIS INTENSE
ADMIRATION FOR THE GREAT MIDDLE WAY, IN THE SUPREME PLACE FOR BUD-
DHA-INCARNATIONS WU T'AI SHAN, AND WAS RECORDED BY THE BHIKSHU
DGE LEGS NAM MKHA...
This is easy to understand.
Concluding verses of the Commentary.
May this wish-fulfilling tree of good elucidation, which grows from the ambrosial immortal pond of the profound thought of the omniscient one, and is laden with the wondrous fruit of relativity—may the whole space—full of beings take it over for their own!
From this excellent speech, I wonder if you, protector, are not performing the saffron dance of Vajra Manjusri, or whether the great Nagarjuna has not once more come back to life! It must be false, what they say that the ultimate beyond phenomenalization is beyond the scope of word and thought—or else what is this clear teaching of the complete profound nature of that ultimate?
May the magical noose of this excellent elucidation, so wonderful in word and meaning, ensnare the mental powers of all wise men, as a sexy girl attracts the lusty!
How can such as I explain, this mass of such unprecedented good elucidation—yet I have written it nonetheless, as a custodian pays a required tax.
The inner meaning of the Lama is profound as an ocean, and my intelligence is tiny as the tip of a stalk of kusha-grass, so may the wise tolerate any errors I have made!
Having placed the arrow of virtuous voidness with its three vows on the bow of the great compassion of benefit to others, and shot it with the joyous strength of the conception of the will to enlightenment, may we triumph in the battle with the Ravana-demon of egoism!
Thus, this Lamp of Words, commenting on the Philosophical Song from the lotus-feet of the All-Pervading Adamantine Hero Himself, Lean Skya Rol Pai Rdo Rje, whose very name is hard to express, was composed by the Bhikshu who received the dust from these lotus feet of that (Lama), a teacher of science and liberation, Dkon Mchog 'Jigs Med Dban Po, otherwise called Mi Pham Dbyans Can Dga Bai Rdo Rje, at the request of Uchumunchen Gushri Nag Dban Bstan 'Phel, whose intellect in the sciences such as sutrology, etc., is as expanded as the petals of a lotus, and of the Lama's own attendant the Bhikshu Dge Legs Nam Mkha, who is so perfectly accomplished in faith, effort, and philosophical discrimination, in the Temple of the Buddha's Presence in the supreme place of holy incarnations, Wu T'ai Shan, and the scribe was the Tantric adept Blo Bzan Dban Rgyal.
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42Tib. ran gi mtshan nid kyis grub pa. Skt. svalaksanasiddha.
43It is somewhat doubtful that these strange sounds a o la and o na la are merely conjunctions, and it seems rather that the commentator is trying to sober up the whole performance. It seems more likely that the author is expressing his ecstatic feelings with a variety of meaningless exclamations of delight.
44Wu T'ai Shan, the Five Mountains, is North Central China, and has long been famous as one of the major pilgrimage centers for both Chinese and Tibetan Buddhists, as the holy place par excellence of Manjusri. It may surprise the reader that such was the place of composition of this Tibetan book but the Lean Skya Incarnations were traditionally resident in China, as formally high spiritual advisors of the Ching Emperors, and they headed large monasteries in Peking, at Wu T'ai Shan, and in their native Inner Mongolia. Indeed, both the author and the commentator of this song were native Mongolians, although Tibetan Mahayanist by culture.
climb the golden mountain
the totality of the universe is mind.
you are of it, it is you.
there is no need to kill your brother,
it is only killing yourself.
you don't have to steal from others,
you are taking from yourself.
we don't have to lie to each other,
we are only fooling ourselves.
never chase licentious lovers,
the pain it creates is your pain too.
not smother but fuels a flaming scattered
with the compassion inherent in us all we will help each
other climb the golden mountain of the boundless life.
Gwo Shr Ettelson