A Precious Garland for the Four Themes (of Gampopa)

Prologue

In Sanskrit, (this text) is called Dharma-chatur-ratna-mala. In Tibetan, it is called Chos-bzhi rin-po-che’i ‘phreng-ba. [In English, it is called A Precious Garland for the Four Themes (of Gampopa).]

I prostrate to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.

(1) With a crown of a hundred-fold belief in what’s fact, I make offerings to you, O sun (like Buddhas) Gone to Bliss. In the sphere of the space of your naturally (abiding) Dharmakaya (a Corpus Encompassing Everything), the mandala-disc of your Corpus of Forms having five certainties spreads forth and causes the lotus (minds) of disciples to blossom through the rays of your enlightening deeds.

(2) The cool shade of the precious wish-granting tree of the ways of the Triumphant One’s Dharma offers protection from all the torments of compulsive (samsaric) existence and complacent (nirvana. Therefore,) as a way for all beings with belief in what’s fact to enter (into its shade), step by step, I shall explain the massive tree of good qualities of the four aspects (of the Dharma). Listen well.

1 Having the Mind Go toward the Dharma

Precious Human Rebirth

(3) What anyone who wishes to cross the boundless ocean of recurring samsaric existence first must think is to make full effort, right now in this lifetime, to achieve the stilling and the blissful awareness that are the phenomenon of liberation.

(4) At (this) time when you have obtained the ship of a (human) body, with respites and enrichments, difficult to find and easily lost, if you do not exert yourself, you will never liberate yourself from the ocean of compulsive existence or break the continuity of having many and varied (kinds of) sufferings.

(5) You will be tossed about in this unbearable, fearsome great ocean (of samsara), where an end to the current of birth and death is not evident, where streaks of foam of sickness and old age thicken everywhere, and where the tides of disturbing emotions spread everywhere, up to the far reaches of the highest realm of compulsive existence.

(6) (But) whoever hears (the Dharma teachings) will be able to break the continuum of birth and death and will never be parted from a supremely great blissful awareness. (Therefore,) with the excellent and precious ship (of a fully endowed human body), make efforts in the supreme Dharma, (which brings) a stilling, in order to cross the repository of waters of the disturbing emotions of the three planes of existence.

(7) If this time around you have not practised toward actualizing a purified state with a pathway of mind (that leads) to liberation, in the future you will never even hear the name fortunate rebirth, and, through endless unfortunate rebirths, one after the next, you will lack any methods for liberating yourself from eternally remaining in uncontrollably recurring samsaric existence.

(8) Therefore, people with sense, having now attained a human body of respites and enrichments, practise to achieve (a state of) benefit and bliss, with great effort from your hearts, and by means of this, come to fulfil the aims of both yourself and others.

Death and Impermanence

(9) Even if you have attained the respites and enrichments, there is never any mental security. As all things are unstable, ever-changing, without any essence, momentary, nonstatic, disintegrating phenomena, think from your hearts, “Soon I shall die, all of a sudden.”

(10) It is the same as well with the entire perishable world of your environment. At the times of its disintegration through seven fires, one flood, or wind, everything will become void, without even a remnant of a tip of a hair left: there will be only space.

(11) Its inhabitants, nonstatic wandering beings, ever are moving. No matter how many limited beings there may be – divine (godly) beings, the would-be divine, humans, animals, clutching ghosts, or joyless realm beings – when their time is up, they must plunge into the waters of death, transference and rebirth.

(12) Years, months, days, seasons and moments are impermanent, disintegrate and march on. As you have sadness with the changing of the four seasons, think about how your own time, too, will be impermanent.

(13) There is no mental security: very soon your body and life-force will part (from each other. Therefore,) from today on, think with certitude, “It is uncertain which will occur first, tomorrow or the time when my life shall be spent.”

The Shortcomings of Samsara

(14) The sufferings of rebirth are more frightening than those of death. There is never any happiness no matter where you are reborn, for the functional nature of recurring samsara is like that of a pit of fire. (Therefore,) seek a method to liberate yourself from it right now.

(15) Joyless realm beings suffer from heat and cold, clutching ghosts from hunger and thirst, and animals by devouring each other, stupidity and being muddleheaded. Humans are tormented by the three and the eight faults, the would-be divine by fighting and quarrelling, and divine beings by death, transference, and falling (to lower rebirths).

(16) The happiness (of the divine beings) may change into grief and their affective suffering abounds. After their lives transfer from the pleasures associated with the divine realms, they may once again enter the fires of a joyless realm. Having thought like this, work to pass beyond compulsive existence.

(17) The appearances of this life are like a dream just as you are about to wake up. They are changing and impermanent. Because you must go on, after having left them behind, what can retinue, wealth and such do for you? Make effort in the Dharma right now!

Developing a Stilled and Settled State of Shamatha

(18) Desire is like poison, weapons, or fire. Tormented (by it), there is never a chance for happiness. There is suffering through accumulating, protecting and increasing (what you desire, and consequently) you are always bound by arrogance, greed and stinginess. Having quarrels with everyone, the taints of your disturbing emotions increase. You have mental wandering with busy-work and it threatens your body and life.

(19) Having your aims and activities be too numerous and contradictory to the Dharma is always scorned by the highly realized aryas. (But) for those whose desires are few, constructive (activities and qualities) automatically increase. Therefore, those (of you) who would enter into a pathway of mind (that leads) to liberation, which is a stilled state, make your desires be few and have contentment.

(20) It is said that if you exhaust your desires, you are a real arya; and if your desires are few, you are of the arya type. Just as suffering and disturbing emotions increase for those with desire, what is constructive naturally increases for those whose desires are few. Therefore, by following in the footsteps of the hallowed beings of the past, be always content and make your possessions be few.

(21) The faults of associating with people are indeed without limit. There is far too much useless distraction and activities. Anger, arguments and fighting increase, and attraction and repulsion arise. You always become infected with suffering and that’s pointless.

(22) No matter what you have done, there is never a time when you can please (others). No matter how you try to teach them (the Dharma), the chances to benefit (them) are slim. Likewise, even when you listen (to them), it’s never the excellent Dharma. Even if you are close (to them) as friends, in the end you will have to part.

(23) Therefore, rid yourself completely of close relationships of dependency on followers, friends or relatives, and make a definite effort, from today on, to practise the hallowed Dharma, alone in isolation.

(24) Supreme hallowed beings of the past have said that from living in isolation, they found the nectar (of Dharma experience). Therefore, (resolve that) I too shall live alone in isolation in a forest in order to actualize a state of being stilled.

(25) Living in isolation has been praised by the Triumphant (Buddhas). With no one unruly (around you), you increase your absorbed concentration on what is profound. You naturally practise the Dharma and develop sombre thoughts of impermanence. You put material possessions aside and have no busy-work or distractions.

(26) Your bountiful stores of belief in what’s fact, renunciation and good qualities enlarge and, not having close relationships, automatically your activities decrease. Therefore, without (concern for) the eight transitory things in life, or for keeping the minds of others (happy) or saving face, pass your days and nights with the Dharma in the bliss associated with being under your own control.

(27) Making your respites and enrichments have meaning and taking the essence of your attainment (of them) – as words cannot encompass those and more benefits, practise absorbed concentration on the profound (Dharma) for your entire life, alone, in the middle of a totally isolated forest.

(28) May the cooling rain of the Dharma, well spoken like that, after stilling (all) disturbing emotions and tormenting conceptual thoughts, fill the pond of lotuses, which are constructive masses of absorbed concentrations, and (thus) spread an endowment of a stilled state.

This (concludes) the first chapter of A Precious Garland for the Four Themes (of Gampopa), “Having the Mind Go toward the Dharma.”

2 Having the Dharma Function as a Pathway of Mind

The Necessity for Having the Dharma Function as a Pathway of Mind

(29) Those of you who wish for a pathway of mind (that leads) to liberation, having, through belief in what’s fact, engaged yourselves with the supreme, lustrous, hallowed Dharma like that – cherish making the Dharma go (within you) as a pathway of mind, in order that your very mind becomes fully tamed.

(30) There are those who have engaged themselves with the teachings of the Triumphant (Buddhas) like this and have even embarked on hearing, thinking and meditating (on them). Yet some have not stilled (their disturbing emotions): their mental continuums are worse. Some engage themselves with distorted pathways of mind, or inferior ones, or pathways of mind that lead astray.

(31) (Some have) great desires and craving, and (some are) distracted with (concerns for) this life and the like. All those faults, contradictory to the Dharma, have come from their not having made that Dharma go (within them) as a pathway of mind. The faults (that come) from that in this and future (lives) are boundless.

(32) Whoever is fooled by (such) deception will be (filled with) regret at the time of death, will have terror and anxiety in the bardo in-between period, will go to worse rebirth states in the future, and not have the opportunity to liberate themselves forever from compulsive existence. Therefore, make the Dharma go (within you) as a pathway of mind.

(33) Just as you may improperly even take hygienic medicine as an antidote for a sickness, yet since it was in fact improperly (taken), it would make you even more tormented than you were tormented (before); likewise, what use is the Dharma if you have not made it go as an antidote? Therefore, as there are boundless faults like that; O people having belief in what’s fact, understand this well.

Entrusting Yourself to Spiritual Mentors

(34) Concerning that, since making that Dharma go (within you) as a pathway of mind depends, first of all, on spiritual mentors, cherish entrusting yourself to qualified hallowed gurus. All excellent bounteous good qualities come from that.

(35) As for that, entrust yourself fully and with great (respect and) appreciation to those who are skilled in methods, have a compassionate nature, are stilled, are tamed and have patience; who have a splendid manner of behavior (in accord) with their vows and close bonds, have heard many (teachings) and have (achieved) a great (level) of having trained (in them) well;

(36) (Those who) have a boundless enlightening influence that automatically transforms the appearances of others; who are not corrupted with (thoughts of) this life; who are purified, like the sky, of concerns about the eight (transitory) things in life; who have made making (life) meaningful as the gauge for association (with them), and who set out (for others) the pathway of mind (that leads) to liberation. (Such spiritual mentors as) this are emanations of the Triumphant (Buddhas) at (this) time of the deteriorations.

(37) The benefits from that are boundless and inexhaustible: You become disgusted with compulsive existence and renounce it. (Thus,) your worldly planning becomes less; your concerns for this lifetime become lame; and your grasping for an impossible “soul” (based on) deceptive appearances falls apart;

(38) You naturally become tamed; you come to possess (the powers of) listening, thinking and meditating (on the teachings); you come to possess the good qualities of having extensively trained, such as belief in what’s fact; your present life becomes meaningful; and your future ones will reap the results. Therefore, entrust yourself to hallowed (spiritual mentors).

(39) Moreover, by being undeceiving with your three gateways (for action), always please (your spiritual mentors) by showing respect from your appreciation (of their kindness), like a patient to a doctor, a sea merchant to a navigator, a passenger to a ferryman and a visitor to an escort.

(40) It has been said that if you develop thoughts of disbelief (in your spiritual mentors’ actual good qualities) or a distorted view (of them), you enter a worse rebirth state for (as many eons as) the number of moments (you develop it). Therefore, make effort to protect, as you would your eyes, keeping your close bonds (with your teachers) pure, by being extremely sincere in openly admitting (if you ever violate them), restraining yourself (from breaking them), and feeling regret (should you ever transgress them).

Developing Renunciation

(41) Having fully entrusted yourself like that to hallowed spiritual mentors, and then having trained your own mental continuum by listening, thinking and meditating on (their teachings), transform whatever you do into something intent on a constructive (goal), with the thought of desiring only liberation. This is the quintessence teaching for making that Dharma go (within you) as a pathway of mind.

(42) Whenever you are listening to, thinking about, or reciting (the teachings), undertake that for the intention of liberating your own mental continuum. Whenever you are writing, reading, memorizing, or teaching (the Dharma), undertake it with the desire only for liberation.

(43) Whenever you are meditating, (studying the correct) view, or conducting yourself (with it), strongly make effort to (feel) renunciation and disgust (with samsara) by never parting your thoughts from being (set) only on liberation. There is nothing higher than this heart-essence quintessence teaching.

(44) Eating, sleeping, walking, sitting, talking, speaking, thinking, and so on – in short, whatever activities you do, enhance your disgust (with samsara) by never parting from an attitude of wishing liberation and (thus) tame your mental continuum. This is the essential point for making the Dharma go (within you) as a pathway of mind.

Developing a Bodhichitta Aim

(45) (Furthermore,) for making (the Dharma) go (within you) as a Mahayana pathway of mind in particular, direct toward the benefit of others whatever constructive things you do. (In other words,) develop, with compassion, a bodhichitta aim; have firm conviction (in the good qualities of enlightenment); dedicate (your positive force toward achieving this goal); and rejoice (in your own and others’ efforts toward this), and (thus) practice in full in order to (bring about) the benefit of (all) limited beings.

(46) (Practicing) like this, all wandering beings, (having previously been) your fathers, mothers, relatives and dear friends, are (appropriate) fields for (receiving) your help. And (so), by developing a bodhichitta aim for (fulfilling) the aims of others as well as your own, practice whatever is constructive for the sake of wandering beings.

(47) “By my constructive (force), may (all) \wandering beings become happy and may the sufferings of all of them ripen on me. May my constructive (force) ripen on (all) wandering beings and (thus) may all embodied beings attain enlightenment.” Thinking that, train yourself to develop a bodhichitta aim of immeasurable compassion.

(48) Whatever constructive (actions you do), as preparation develop a bodhichitta aim, as the actual procedure do not be aimed (at impossible ways of existing), and as the conclusion dedicate (to your own and others’ enlightenment the positive force). Moreover, completely purify (yourself of misconceptions about the nature of) the three circles – the object to be trained in, the act of training and the one who is training. Like illusions, they are mere appearances (based) on nothing real, like magical emanations. (Therefore,) purifying (yourself concerning) the natures (of these three), dedicate (the positive force) in order to benefit others.

(49) “Firm conviction” is having supreme belief in (the good qualities of) the Triumphant (Buddhas), the Triumphant Ones’ Dharma teachings, the hallowed (bodhisattva) spiritual offspring of the Triumphant, and the fields for (growing) positive force – (in the good qualities of) all of these, without exception. From having firm conviction in (the good qualities of what fulfils) your own aims, the aims of others and the aims of both, you will receive praise, shows of respect and esteem beyond all examples.

(50) “Rejoicing” is habituating yourself (in meditation) to feeling happy about all the constructive acts of the Triumphant Ones, their spiritual offspring, and all wandering beings. This is a supreme method for transforming fathomless masses of positive force into something immeasurably great.

(51) Make “aspiration prayers” of the purifying (type), for the sake of benefiting wandering beings. (In this connection,) meditate in accord with the quintessence teachings concerning purifying the objects of your actions.

(52) Without being distracted for even a moment to the side of ordinary affairs, take as your heart-essence (practice) having the constructive (actions) of your three gateways (for action) be for the benefit of others. Having tamed your own mental continuum, then coming to have the development of an exceptional resolve is said to be (the way to) make any Dharma (practice) go (within you) as a pathway of mind.

(53) In this way, may the melodious beat of the sound of the wondrous drum of the profound meaning, the renowned roar which is vast and profound, wake all wandering beings from the intoxicating sleep of their unawareness. May they behold, on a wide-spread scale, a joyous banquet of being stilled.

This (concludes) the second chapter of A Precious Garland for the Four Themes (of Gampopa), "Having the Dharma Function as a Pathway of Mind."

3 Having the Pathway Minds Eliminate Confusion

The Shared Mahayana Pathway of Mind

(54) Furthermore, out of the shared, distinct and unsurpassable methods for having the pathway minds eliminate confusion, the first is the great Mahayana pathway of mind that is shared (by them) in common. It eliminates confusion by developing a bodhichitta aim through the four immeasurable attitudes and (engaging in) great waves of (bodhisattva) behavior having an identity-nature of aspiration prayers and compassion. 

(55) When (you have gained stable realization of) voidness, having compassion at its heart, and (thus are able to) fulfill completely both your own and others’ aims, then to cleanse away the fleeting stains from the sphere of reality, which is constructive and unaffected, meditate on the thirty-seven factors leading to a purified state through the four pathways of building up, applying, seeing and accustoming, and, with the pure view of the sixteen voidnesses, perfect the six far-reaching attitudes with faultless (bodhisattva) behavior.

(56) After gaining stable realization of the lack of both an impossible “self” of persons and of phenomena, then cleansing (your mind) with this method as  the antidote to the disturbing emotions is the excellent pathway of mind of the bodhisattvas.

(57) In other words, from within (the state of everything existing) merely in the confusing, deceptive manner of an illusion or a dream, work for the sake (of others by) abandoning and adopting – adopting what is constructive and rejecting what is negative – and cleanse (your mind) with a river of (meditation on) uncleanness, love and dependent arising (as antidotes) for the disturbing emotions of longing desire, hostility and naivety. 

(58) While, on the deepest level of what is perfect, because it is unborn and totally pure, there is no dualism of samsara and nirvana, being parted from (such) conceptual fabrications. The pathway mind (that has stable realization) of the meaning of the two truths to be dependent arising is the causal Mahayana vehicle of mind, that of dialectics.

The Distinct Mahayana Pathway of Mind of Secret Mantra: Outer and Inner

(59) The distinct Mahayana pathway of mind, that of secret mantra, has outer and inner (classes). It has the fathomlessly supreme method of the generation and complete stages as a unified pair, by which you cleanse away confusion through various steps.

(60) As for the three outer (classes of) secret mantra, through their taking purification as the main (practice), you abandon and adopt, sometimes one sometimes the other, and thus eliminate stains by means of antidotes. As for the inner (three), with deep awareness of the non-dualistic unified pair, you transform, with that as the method, those actual phenomena that are to be abandoned into pathway minds.

(61) In the mandala of the basis sphere, which is a womb containing a Blissfully Gone One, all phenomena, which are its reflexive appearances, are mere appearances of and to your own limited mind. They are the deceptions of confusion, not true phenomena – devoid forms that are states of clarity and appearance.

(62) When you have become mindful that the aggregates, the constituent elements, the cognitive stimulators, and so on, are, in pure (form), the five (Buddha) families, then through the generation stage (practices), the samsaric world of appearances becomes a single mandala. With your body as deities, your speech as mantras, you apply your conscious conceptual thoughts to emanating and reabsorbing, (so that) in the end, (all) deceptive appearances are regarded as a Buddha-field.

(63) With the complete stage (practices), everything is made to enter into the sphere of the actual nature (of all things) and the clear light mind beyond all thought. (To accomplish this,) through yoga (practices) dealing with the energy-channels, energy-winds and creative energy-drops, the energy-winds and the mind (are made) serviceable and the sphere and deep awareness are conjoined. The pathway mind of the great seal, mahamudra, which is (this) inseparable unified pair, is the resultant Vajrayana vehicle of mind of secret mantra.

The Unsurpassable Pathway Mind of Dzogchen

(64) The unsurpassable vehicle of mind of the supremely secret great completeness, dzogchen, connects you directly with the sphere that spontaneously establishes (all). In the basis sphere, which is unchanging like space, all good qualities are spontaneously established like the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars. Because (they are) spontaneously established primordially from the depths, without need for being sought, (this is) a pathway of mind with a self-nature of being straightforward, making no effort or exertion.

(65) The mandala of the sphere of the clear light mind is unaffected. It is the naturally abiding Dharmakaya (a Corpus Encompassing Everything), the intended meaning of what is equal (in everyone). Having stable realization (of it) is the supreme view of the abiding nature.

(66) On the sphere that is totally pure, the clouds of fleeting obscurations are the confusion of deceptive appearances on the limited minds of wandering beings. While being on something that is totally without them, yet through their nevertheless appearing (to their minds), these (beings) continue to roam as the six classes (of wandering beings) on the three planes. But whatever appears, at the time of its appearing, is not established on the deepest level. Like the sky and clouds, it is merely appearing (dependently on) fleeting circumstances. These interpolations (appearing) as uncontrollably recurring samsara are (totally conceptional objects) cut off from being definitional ones. 

(67) (In other words,) while being on something that is totally without them, (the phenomena of samsara) nevertheless appear, but their essential nature is voidness. Void appearances are not (true) phenomena. They are like a blur, falling hairs (seen by someone with cataract), a dream, an illusion, or a conch perceived as yellow (by someone with jaundice). At the time when they are appearing in whatever way (they may appear), they can never be (validly) experienced as being established from themselves. They are without a basis, without a support, and without an (actual) beginning, middle or end. Know that, by self-nature, they are primordially pure from the start.

(68) Concerning (all) phenomena like this – the samsaric world of appearances: environments and their inhabitants – there are no (actual)  objects to be taken. They are like magical emanations or visual apparitions. And there are no (actual) limited minds that take them; (all is) pure like empty space. (Since) there is no (actual) pair: objects to be taken and minds that take them, samsara has never been (validly) experienced as being (actually) existent. By cognizing it as an appearance on what is totally without it and as having the self-nature of being deceptive, you liberate yourself.

(69) Because the appearances of things to be abandoned or adopted, causes, effects and circumstances naturally purify themselves, know that, on the deepest level, their abiding nature is beyond cause and effect. The basis support for them is pure awareness, rigpa, the (deepest) bodhichitta mind. The sphere of (naturally) released nirvana, the great spontaneous establisher (of all) is the deepest truth, pure from the start.

(70) In other words, with an identity-nature of being without a beginning and without an end and being a clear light mind in its self-nature – profound, stilled and parted from conceptual fabrication – it is a Dharmakaya naturally abiding in you, primordially from the depths, without any stains, abiding with an essential nature that never shifts over the three times.

(71) This is the sphere of the basis, the diamond-strong vajra essence. Whoever has stable realization of that is someone with the (correct) view of the abiding nature, and, with interpolation and repudiation stilled, has stable realization of it as the heart-essence of the deepest level.

Cultivating a Correct View of Dzogchen in Meditation

(72) Stainless meditation, (done) within a state of stable realization of the heart-essence of the clear light mind, is parted from mental dullness, flightiness of mind and conceptual fabrication. It is without mental wandering and, being parted from the dualistic intellect, it is a great expanse. In other words, it is totally pure like the sky, without the making or dropping of plans and without bias, beyond all thought, expression and imagination.

Cultivating Correct Behavior Based on the Dzogchen View

(73) As for behavior, whatever appears has no truly (established existence): it purifies itself away. Any (conceptual mind) internally taking (objects) that dawns automatically releases itself. External (objects) taken are like a dream or an illusion.. On the deepest level, there isn’t a duality, (so) act without adopting or discarding.

Recapitulation of Dzogchen

(74) As for the phenomena that are taking (objects, objects) taken, disturbing emotions, negations and affirmations, they arise and automatically release themselves. By knowing their self-natures, they automatically release themselves. They release themselves into a state of equality in Dharmakaya, primordially complete from the depths. (Thus,) there is no need to seek a nirvana from having an abandonment of samsara.

(75) Whatever appear are mirrors making a clear image of what is deepest. Whatever dawn, when known, automatically release themselves. They are the effulgence of Dharmakaya. Like water and waves, they are an overarching oneness in Dharmakaya. This is the (Buddhas’) intention concerning the ultimate point, the very summit of views, the great completeness, dzogchen.

Summary

(76) In short, however you practice in any of these ways, grasping for a “self” automatically releases itself and disturbing emotions purify themselves away in the sphere. Being skilled in behaving according to (these) methods in all (situations) is taught as (the way for) having the pathway minds eliminate confusion.

(77) May all classes of beings, without exception, cross the ocean of compulsive existence by means of the precious great ship of (these) ways of the Dharma like that, and, on the supreme island of a stilled state of precious liberation, behold a banquet of an untainted stilling and bliss.

This (concludes) the third chapter of A Precious Garland for the Four Themes of (Gampopa), “Having the Pathway Minds Eliminate Confusion.”

4 Purifying Confusion into Deep Awareness

Provisional Purification

(78) Next is purifying your confusion into deep awareness. Out of the provisional and ultimate stages, first is the provisional one at the time of having a pathway of mind of practicing. By having familiarized yourself with the profound methods, whatever disturbing emotions arise totally purify themselves away into their spheres, making manifest the (underlying) deep awareness, which is reflexive clarity. This  is called “purifying conceptual thoughts of deceptive confusion into the sphere of deep awareness.”

(79) In accord with the method you have entrusted yourself to, that can be divided into individual (methods) – shared, distinct and unsurpassable – cleansing away (disturbing emotions) with antidotes, transforming them with methods, and letting them automatically release themselves into their own grounds, not having abandoned them, but letting them purify themselves away into their spheres.  Regardless of how you train with whichever one you like, ceasing them and letting the disturbing emotions purify themselves away are identical on the deepest level. 

(80) When you have recognized the faces of the “own grounds” for the arising of longing desire, hostility, naivety, arrogance and envy, they automatically settle themselves, they automatically release themselves, purifying themselves into the five aspects of deep awareness. This is called “provisionally purifying the confusion of the five poisonous emotions into the (five) great deep awarenesses” – fully observing, mirror-like, sphere of reality, equalizing and accomplishing.

Ultimate Purification

(81) The ultimate is parted from (all) fleeting stains over the source. When you have reached this purified state that is stilled and parted from any speck (of defilement), the self-nature of the sphere becomes manifest just as it is. You have reached (the state of) deep awareness where the Three Corpuses of a Buddha are of one taste in Dharmakaya (a Corpus Encompassing Everything), also called “a Corpus of the Sphere Possessing Double Purity.” It is not a cognitive object (knowable) by anyone other than the Triumphant Ones themselves.

(82) The Three Corpuses (of a Buddha), namely Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya (a Corpus of Full Use) and Nirmanakaya (a Corpus of Emanations), together with the deep awarenesses, are integrated together by a Svabhavakaya (a Corpus of Essential Nature), which is static, pervasive, unaffected and without shift or change.

(83) It remains in the sphere of Dharmakaya, which is a wish-fulfilling gem, and, from that state of its real nature, its Deep Awareness Corpus of Enlightening Influence, as a play of Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya Bodies, appears (respectively) to those abiding with levels of bhumi mind and to other wandering beings.

(84) Further, from their appearing like that from the workings of the combination of the enlightening influence of the Triumphant Ones and the strength of the positive karmic force of those to be tamed, the enlightening influence fulfills their hopes, (like a wish-fulfilling) gem or wish-granting tree, continuing without any break for as long as the compulsive existence (of samsara) endures.  This is called “the (ultimate) purification of confusion into deep awareness.”

(85) May the seven-horse-drawn (sun), which is of profound meaning and the heart (explained) like that, by emanating thousands of light-rays of its assorted words and their meanings on the world of those needing to be tamed through the pathway of the sky of their minds, eliminate the darkness of unawareness from all wandering beings.

This (concludes) the fourth chapter of A Precious Garland for the Four Themes (of Gampopa), “Purifying Confusion into Deep Awareness.”

Author’s Colophon

(86) This spread of a banquet (laid out) for the sake of both myself and others from the magnificent mansion of the broad intelligence of these (Dharma) methods, and garnished with a lavish amount of hearing, thinking and meditating, has been arranged in accordance with the meaning of the sutras, tantras and heart-essence quintessence teachings.

(87) By the constructive (force) of this, may I and all wandering beings level the mountain of compulsive samsaric existence in this lifetime and attain a supreme purified state that is stilled and parted from any speck (of defilement). May we become Buddhas, completely fulfilling the aims of both ourselves and others.

(88) And then in a land beautified with expansive snow-mountains of clear meaning, may (the sun of our) lustrous good qualities, which extends to the limit of (all) directions, highlight the heart-essence points on the precious gems of the scriptures and (thereby) bring joy to the masses of people with belief in what’s fact.

This work, called “A Precious Garland for the Four Themes (of Gampopa),” has been composed by the yogi of the Supreme Vehicle, Kunkyen Ngaggi-wangpo (Longchen Rabjampa), illumined by the crystal moon in the magnificent mansion of Samantabhadra in a garden called “A Cloud of Flowers” on the slopes of Limestone Mountain and completed in one sitting.

May a rain of great bliss fall for all times and in all directions as in the (golden) age of a complete eon, granting everything hoped for in everyone’s wishes.

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