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Highest Yoga Tantra - An Introduction to the Esoteric Buddhism of Tibet

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Highest Yoga Tantra

Highest Yoga Tantra An Introduction to the Esoteric Buddhism of Tibet

by Daniel Cozart

Snow Lion Publications Ithaca, New York Boulder, Colorado

Snow Lion Publications P.O. Box 6483 Ithaca, NY 14851 USA (607) 273-8519 www.snowlionpub.com Copyright Contents List of Charts 8 Technical Note 9 Acknowledgements Preface 12

11

Part One Highest Yoga Tantra

in the Context of Great-Vehicle Buddhism 1 The Superiority of Secret Mantra 21 2 Paths Common to Sutra and Tantra 29 The Need for Renunciation 30 The Need for Compassion 30 The Need for Wisdom 31 34 3 Initiation

4 Pledges and Vows

Part Two The Stage of Generation of Highest Yoga Tantra 39 41 1 Features of the Stage of Generation Yogas 42 Winds 42 Channels 43 45 Dissolution of Winds The Power of Meditation 46 46 Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth

2 Divisions of the Stage of Generation 48 Coarse and Subtle Y ogas 48 Three Meditative Stabilizations 51 Four Levels of Achievement 52 3 Calm Abiding and Special Insight 55 4 Divine Pride 57 5 Distinguishing Persons from Paths 59 Part Three The Stage of Completion


of Highest Yoga Tantra 63 The Six Levels of the Stage of Completion 65 Physical Isolation 68 Etymology of Physical Isolation 69 Divisions of Physical Isolation 70 Meditation on a Subtle Drop 71 Fierce Woman 71 72 The White and Red Drops The Four Empties 73 The Four Joys 76 Meditation on Emptiness with Bliss 78 Viewing Appearances As Bliss and Emptiness 78 80 Deities 83 Returning to Meditation on Emptiness Verbal Isolation 84 84 Etymology of Verbal Isolation Meditation on a Mantra Drop 86 Meditation on a Light Drop 87 Meditation on a Substance Drop 88 Mental Isolation 89 Two Conditions for Attaining Mental Isolation 90 The Four Empties and the Four Joys 92 Impure Illusory Body 94 The Coarse, the Subtle, and the Very Subtle 95 The Four Empties and the Illusory Body 99 Exemplification of the Illusory Body 100 Clear Light 106 107 Attaining Clear Light After Sutra Paths

Types of Clear Light 109 6 Learner's Union 111 Bringing Death to the Path


Part Four A Comparison of the Kalachakra and Guhyasamaja Stages of Completion 1 15 Systems of Highest Yoga Tantra 1 17 Channels, Winds, and Drops 1 19 123 Levels of the Kalachakra Stage of Completion 1 24 Individual Withdrawal 126 Concentration Vitality-Stopping 126 126 Retention Subsequent Mindfulness 126 Meditative Stabilization 127 Summary of Differences with Respect to Practice 129 The Five Paths and Ten Grounds 132 Glossary, Bibliography, Notes, and Index 1 35 English-Sanskrit-Tibetan Glossary 1 37 Bibliography 1 45 1 Selected Tantras 145 145 2 Sanskrit and Tibetan Texts Cited in This Book 149 3 OtherWorks Notes 156 Index 1 85

24 Wisdom and Method 25 Bodies of a Buddha Initiations 36 General System of Highest Yoga Tantra 61 74 Signs Accompanying Dissolutions 92 Deeds for Enhancement 97 The Coarse, the Subtle, and the Very Subtle 1 05 The Illusory Body and the Dream Body 165 Correlations to the Bodies of the Buddha 1 10 Meanings of Clear Light Transformation of the Ordinary State in the Path 122 Drops in the Kiilachakra System 124 Yogas of Levels of Kiilachakra Achievement of a Buddha's Body, Speech, and 128 Mind

The drawings o n pages 4 0 and 116 are by Sidney Piburn.

Technical Note It is hoped that this book will be of use to the general reader as well as to Buddhologists who work with Tibetan and/or Sanskrit texts. For the latter, Tibetan and Sanskrit equiva­ lents of key terms are furnished in an English-Sanskrit­ Tibetan glossary. Transliteration has followed the system devised by Turrell Wylie. 1 Some key items in the glossary are marked with an asterisk upon their first occurrence. For non-specialists, three procedures have been followed in the body of this book to increase its accessibility: (1) Sanskrit and Tibetan words have been limited to parenthetical citation with two exceptions: a small number of Sanskrit terms are treated as English words, and proper names are not translated, except for book titles, which have been translated a's an aid to understanding the contents of the books cited. The Sanskrit terms treated as English words, unencumbered by italicizing and diacritical marks, are: Bodhisattva, Buddha, karma, mandala, sutra, tantra, and yogi. (2) Technical information deemed of interest but not of central importance has been placed in notes. (3) A system of "essay phoenetics" that renders Tibetan and Sanskrit names in an easily pronouncable form, minus



Highest Yoga Tantra in the Great Vehicle

marks for high tones, is used throughout the body of the book. It was devised by Professor Jeffrey Hopkins of the University of Virginia and is fully explained on pages 1 9 through 2 2 of his Meditation on Emptiness (London: Wis­dom Publications, 1 983). It is used because I share Profes­sor Hopkins' feeling that mere transliteration places un­necessary obstacles in front of the reader who is not familiar with Tibetan and/or Sanskrit. For instance, it seems clear that no one whose native language is English could reason­ ably guess how to pronounce lcang-skya or 'jam-dbyangs­ bzhad-pa. Names such as these are fated to remain alien and forgettable and may just as well have been reproduced in Tibetan script. J ang-gya and J am-yang-shay-ba, on the other hand, are easy to pronounce and are easy to re­ member. The problem with Sanskrit names is less acute. Still, because English speakers would tend to pronounce the first letter of Cakrasamvara as a hard c as in can rather than as ch as in chair, chis used for c, resulting in Cakrasamvara; and because they would tend to pronounce the first letter of Shantideva or the � of Asvalghosha as s as in so rather than, more correctly, as sh as in show, sh is used for § and �h for $, resulting in Shantideva and Ashvaghosha. (Chh is used for ch.) Hyphens are placed between the syllables of Tibetan names not to reflect the fact that Tibetan itself punctuates each syllable by a dot, but to avert the incidence of confus­ing combinations such as Janggya or Tupden ngawang.

Acknowledgements The greatest thanks must go to Professor Jeffrey Hopkins of the University of Virginia, for his wise and compassion­ate guidance through the complexities of Buddhist tantra. All of the preliminary work of translating Nga-wang-bel­ dt:n's the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra was completed under his direct supervision in a year-long class in 1980--8 1, which included Craig Preston, Jules Levinson, Katherine Rogers, Guy Newland, Leah Zahler, and Elizabeth Nap­ per. Professor Hopkins brought all of his vast expertise to the class, correcting our sometimes miserable attempts at translation, conveying a great deal of information from his own extensive reading and from his long association with eminent Tibetan scholars, and stimulating us with his own critical insights. He has seen the present effort through several stages, at each point painstakingly identifying errors and ambiguities, and suggesting a multitude of ways to improve phrasing and structure. All of the virtues of this book may be traced to him; the defects I claim as my own. I would also like to thank Professors Karen Christina Lang and M . Jamie Ferriera of the University of Virginia, Professor Donald S. Lopez of Middlebury College, and my wife, Christine Cozart, for reading and making helpful comments on the manuscript at various stages.

Preface In the treasure-house of Tibetan Buddhism, tantra* is the crown and Highest Yoga Tantra*2 is its jewel . Greatest of the four sets of tantras, the four collections of the Buddha's secret discourses on practices intended for superior adepts , 3 Highest Yoga Tantra is universally praised in Tibet as the Buddha's most profound and wonderful teaching, granting the most proficient of its practitioners the ability to reach the ultimate rank of Buddhahood within just a single life­ time. Like the Great Vehicle (mahayana) sutras*, the tantras are traditionally considered to have been hidden after their initial promulgation by the Buddha, not again emerging into widespread practice until centuries later. Western scholarship tends to assume that the tantras were actually fabricated by Great Vehicle monks. In either case, the earliest appearance of a tantra of the Highest Yoga Tantra class is probably that of the Guhyasamaja Tantra, which can be dated to the sixth century C. E. The Buddhist historian Taranatha reports that the other principal Highest Yoga Tantras were procured by a series of teachers who lived between 800 and 1040 C . E . , the period of greatest tantric activity in India. 4 This period roughly corresponds to the


era in which Buddhism was transmitted to Tibet, un­doubtedly an important factor contributing to the high regard felt for tantra in Tibet. All of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism acknowledge the importance of tantra; initiation into the tantras and practice of them has been and continues to be a major part of the lives of Tibetan Buddhist adepts. The main purpose of this book is to provide a map for the difficult terrain of Highest Yoga Tantra theory and prac­tice . To that end, it identifies the prerequisites, stages, and sub-stages of Highest Yoga Tantra practice, explains tech­nical tantric vocabulary, and explores several differences between two of the. most important Highest Yoga tantras, the Guhyasamaja Tantra and the Kalachakra Tantra. The presentation of Highest Yoga Tantra contained here­ in is based on an extraordinarily lucid Tibetan text con­cerned with the levels of attainment, or "grounds"* and "paths"*, of Highest Yoga Tantra. For the most part a presentation of the two stages of practice of the Guhyasama­ja Tantra, the principal tantra of the Tibetan Ge-luk-ba (dge lugs pa) tradition,5 it is entitled the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of the Four Great Secret Tantra Sets. 6 Its author, the nineteenth century Mongolian Ge-luk-ba scholar Nga-wang-bel-den (ngag dbang dpal ldan), is also noted for his many works on topics such as the Middle Way School*, the Perfection of Wisdom* literature, ultimate and conventional truths* in the four systems of Indian Buddhist tenets, and his annotations for }am-yang-shay-ba's ('jam dbyangs bzhad pa) Great Exposi­tion of Tenets. 7 The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra emphasizes the integral structure of Highest Yoga Tantra; it does not contain detailed descriptions of the initiations, permissions, visualized entities, and ritual acts that would be required for the actual practice of a tantra. Therefore, the present book also is mainly an outline or overview of the structure of Highest Yoga Tantra and is not meant to be a sufficient guide to its practice. In this book, several sources have been utilized to clarify

and supplement the basic exposition of Highest Yoga Tan­ tra found in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra. Throughout the book, whenever any of these sup­ plementary sources are used for clarification or contrast, they are footnoted; Nga-wang-bel-den's text itself, the basis for all of Parts One through Four, is cited only when directly quoted and at the beginning of each major section to spare the reader the tedium of a footnote-cluttered page. The supplemental source most extensively utilized is the oral commentary of the present head of the Ge-luk-ba order, Jam-bel-shen-pen, known as the Gan-den Tri Rin­ bo-chay, who is also the former abbot of the Tantric College of Lower Hla-sa (rgyud med grwa tshang) . 8 As a Visiting Professor and in association with the Center for South Asian Studies of the University of Virginia, Tri Rin-bo-chay taught a series of seminars on the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra at the University of Virginia from June, 1980, to July, 198 1 . Those discourses were recorded and have been partially transcribed. Tri Rin-bo-chay's remarks were pro­ found and extensive, bringing to the text the flavor and insights of the oral tradition . His translator for those semi­nars was Jeffrey Hopkins, Associate Professor of Northern Buddhism at the University of Virginia and Director of the Center for South Asian Studies, whose incisive questions to Tri Rin-bo-chay resulted often in further clarifications, comparisons, and speculations . Additional insights and opinions have been gleaned from the writings of several eminent contemporary Ge-luk-ba scholars, including His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the Four­ teenth Dalai Lama; Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, spiritual direc­tor of the Manjushri Institute in England ; and Geshe Lhun­dup Sopa, Professor in the Department of Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) . Also, some points have been clarified by reference to Nga-wang-bel-den's chief sources, A-gya Yong-dzin's (a kya yongs 'dzin) brief presentation of the grounds and paths of the Guhyasamaja Tantra, 9 and the monumental Great Exposition of Secret Mantra by the founder of the Ge-luk-ba order, Dzong-ka-ba (tsong kha pa, 1357-14 19) . It has not been my intention to offer original analyses and reflections on Highest Yoga Tantra, but rather to present in a simple, straightforward, yet precise fashion, the struc­ture of Highest Yoga Tantra from the point of view of a single living Buddhist tradition, the Ge-luk-ba school of Tibet. My focus is entirely on what the Ge-luk-bas think Highest Yoga Tantra to be about. The reader who wishes to investigate theories· on the origins of tantra or to consider interpretations of its functions other than those given by the Ge-luk-ba tradition will need to consult other sources .10 Furthermore, the reader should be aware that this pre­sentation of Nga-wang-bel-den's thought on Highest Yoga Tantra is neither the final word on Highest Yoga Tantra in Tibet nor even on the Ge-luk-ba school's interpretation of it. Tibet's other principal Buddhist sects - Nying-ma (rnying ma), Sa-gya (sa skya), and Ga-gyu (bka' brgyut) explain Highest Yoga Tantra somewhat differently, and even within the Ge-luk-ba tradition there is, on many points, a diversity of opinions. Nevertheless, the Illumina­tion of the Texts of Tantra is a highly regarded text from within the mainstream of the Ge-luk-ba tradition, the largest Buddhist school of Tibet, and this partial exegesis of its contents is offered in the hope that it will serve as a guide to those interested in Highest Yoga Tantra but put off by the few dense and difficult studies that now exist, and that it may yield valuable insights to be applied to future studies of Buddhist tantra. It has been decided to present a book based on the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra rather thari a translation at this time because even though the text is very clear in many respects, it presupposes extensive background and would be extremely difficult to read without a lengthy commen­tary. The present book generally follows the order of topics in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, except that a number of minor points have been eliminated or relegated -


to notes in order to prevent the exposition from bogging down; also, Parts One and Two contain much information of an introductory nature that is either not discussed or discussed very briefly by Nga-wang-bel-den. Despite the obvious importance attached to the practice of tantra by several major Buddhist traditions, Western scholars have written very little on the subject. To date, they have only begun to scratch the surface of an enormous wealth of material extant in Sanskrit and Tibetan. Only a few tantras have been translated, even in part; an even smaller portion of the vast commentarial literature has been examined; and only a few attempts have been made to study Buddhist tantric practice in its contemporary setting.11 At the same time, there has clearly been great interest in the subject of tantra. The relative dearth of scholarly stu­ dies has been, it seems, largely due to the esoteric nature of the subject. In the first place, tantric texts themselves are open only to those who can read Sanskrit or Tibetan, and, to a lesser extent, Chinese or Japanese, but even the few who have such qualifications are faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of deciphering works encrypted such that they can be understood only by carefully chosen initi­ates. Moreover, until quite recently, the principal Buddhist practitioners of tantra, the Tibetan Buddhists, severely re­stricted the dissemination of their accumulated· knowledge of tantric practice to outsiders. What little they revealed was carefully prefaced with dire warnings about the extreme danger of revealing the contents of the tantras and was of such a general nature that it could not by itself be used by potential practitioners as a guide to higher practices. Following the Tibetan diaspora of 1959 onwards, and the resulting dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism to the West, the situation has substantially changed. Recent years have seen the publication of a number of books on tantra in Tibet, some by Tibetans themselves, 13 and a great many Westerners have personally been initiated into tantric prac­tice by Tibetan masters both in India and the West. It


seems safe to say that we are now on the threshold of an unprecedented era of explorations of the tantras, and it is hoped that this book will in some small way aid that process by providing a general context for more specialized studies.

Part One


Highest Yoga Tantra in the Context of Great Vehicle Buddhism

The Superiority of Secret Mantra

In general, the vast corpus of Buddhist scriptures may be distinguished into two basic types: sutras and tantras. Trad­itionally, the sutras are held to be discourses the Buddha spoke openly in his lifetime (c. 560-480 B.C.E.) whereas the tantras are the discourses he, taking the form of various meditational deities or ideal beings/4 taught secretly to special disciples.15 These two divisions of Buddha's word are the scriptural bases for the two "vehicles"* within Great Vehicle Buddh­ism, the Perfection Vehicle* and the Secret Mantra Vehi­cle*. The systems based on sutra and tantra are vehicles in the sense that they are the means for traveling to the dest­inations of either liberation from cyclic existence or to Buddhahood itself.16 The Perfection Vehicle teaches paths to enlightenment found in the sutra literature, particularly in the Perfection of Wisdom sutras, such as the six perfec­tions* of bodhisattvas. The Secret Mantra Vehicle teaches paths found only in the tantra literature in addition to paths common to sutra and tantra. The Secret Mantra Vehicle's name stems from mantra*, meaning "mind protection" (man, mind + trii, protect) in the sense that tantric practice "protects", i.e., isolates, the mind from ordinary appear-


ances through the substitution of exalted appearances.17 It is not denied that the presentations of the Buddha's teaching in sutra and tantra sometimes appear to be contra­dictory, just as his Low Vehicle* and Great Vehicle teachings appear to be contradictory. These putative faults are traditionally cited as indications of the great compassion and singular skill with which the Buddha taught his doc­trine according to the widely varying capacities of persons to understand and practice it. It is argued that because a Buddha has at the core of his being the unshakable deter­mination to set all sentient beings in the blissful state of Buddhahood, he teaches everything that might be of help to others, not merely doctrines that can be assimilated by extraordinary individuals. Thus, different systems are de­veloped for different audiences. The potential hearers of the Buddha's teaching are, in general, said to be of three types: beings of small, middling and great capacity. 18 Beings of small capacity are so-called because they seek only happiness for themselves, either mainly in their present lives or in future lives. Some of those who mainly seek happy future lives are motivated by this goal to practice Buddhism in the most rudimentary fashion by taking refuge in the Three Jewels (the Doctrine, the Teacher - Buddha, and the Spiritual Community*). Beings of middling capacity have understood the unsatis­factoriness of continued powerless rebirth due to the force of contaminated actions* well enough to have a strong wish to be free from cyclic existence* and suffering. These per­sons have become capable of entering the practice of the Low Vehicle. Beings of greatest capacity have not only grasped the benefits of liberation from cyclic existence for themselves, but have been profoundly affected by the realization that what is true for them is true of all others. By reflecting on certain truths, such as that all beings have at one time or another in the vast duration of cyclic existence been their mothers and shown them great kindness, they gradually


develop love and compassion for others. Their wish to make others happy and to free them from suffering becomes an "unusual attitude"*, the willingness to take on the burden of bringing all others to the exalted state of Buddhahood. In its highest development, their compassion becomes a deter­mination to achieve Buddhahood as a means for freeing all sentient beings. Beings of greatest capacity are the main trainees of the Great Vehicle, the sutra version of which is also called the Perfection Vehicle*. Of these altruistic persons, there are some who are very intelligent and at the same time have such great compassion that they cannot bear to spend any unnecessary time in the attainment of Buddhahood because they aspire to be a supreme source of help to others. These persons are said to be qualified to enter the Secret Mantra Vehicle. According to the Great Vehicle traditions, Buddha set forth several vehicles and innumerable methods and stages so that all beings, whatever their capacity, could progress toward highest enlightenment.19 That the vehicles and practices differ in .completeness or speed is due to the superiority or inferiority of their main trainees. In the Low Vehicle, for instance, the final nature of all phenomena­ their absence or emptiness* of inherent existence*- is not taught; only a coarse level of the selflessness of persons is explicitly set forth. The reason, as Chandrakirti says, is that:20 If emptiness were taught in the very beginning to those who have not developed their intellects, very great ignorance would be produced; therefore, the Superiors* do not teach emptiness in the very be­ginng. Similarly, because the main practitioners of the Secret Man­ tra Vehicle are more intelligent than the main practitioners of the Perfection Vehicle, it is more suitable that they train in the special techniques of tantra. Both the Perfection Vehicle and the Secret Mantra Vehi-

24 Highest Yoga Tantra in the Great Vehicle de teach practices that are a "union of method and wis­dom" (see chart 1). "Wisdom"*, in both vehicles, refers to a consciousness that realizes "emptiness"; emptiness is the lack of inherent existence that every phenomena has as its actual mode of existence.21 "Method"* refers to motivation and its attendant deeds, which are means of enhancing wisdom. In the Perfection Vehicle the principal method is the practice of the three perfections of giving*, ethics*, and patience*; in the Secret Mantra Vehicle one practices the perfections but also employs "deity yoga"*, causing the mind that directly (non-conceptually) realizes emptiness to appear in the form of a deity such as a Buddha. Chart 1 . Wisdom and Method Vehicle

By engaging in the practices of method and wisdom, one builds up the karmic collections of merit* and wisdom that are the causes, respectively, for the two "bodies" of the Buddha, the Form Body* and the Truth Body* (see chart 2). A Buddha's Form Body appears to sentient beings in two ways, as the Complete Enjoyment Body* that always abides in a Highest Pure Land* teaching Bodhisattva Su­periors, and as his Emanation Bodies*, a Buddha's appear­ance spontaneously and instantly throughout the universe in various forms (such as the Buddha Shakyamuni of ancient India) for the sake of all types of sentient beings. Like the Form Body, a Buddha's Truth Body also has two aspects, the Wisdom Body* being the Buddha's omniscient consciousness which remains continually in non-dual meditative equipoise on emptiness, and the Nature Body*

The Superiority of Secret Mantra

25

being the emptiness - the lack of inherent existence- of that consciousness. The Truth Body is said to be the im­ print*, or result, of the collections of wisdom, and the Form Body is said to be the imprint of the collections of merit. At various times, a Buddha's bodies are enumerated as two, three, four, or more. The two bodies are the Truth Body and the Form Body; the three bodies are the Truth Body, Complete Enjoyment Body, and Emanation Body; and the four bodies are the Wisdom Body, Nature Body, Complete Enjoyment Body, and Emanation Body. Chart 2. Bodies of a Buddha


Truth Body (imprint of wisdom)

Wisdom Body (omniscient consciousness) Nature Body (emptiness of Wisdom Body)


Form Body (imprint of merit)

Complete Enjoyment Body Emanation Body

It is not possible for either the Form or Truth Bodies of a Buddha to be achieved separately,22 because attainment of either depends upon the conjoined causal collections of merit and wisdom. Hence, since it is not sufficient to prac­tice only method or only wisdom, all presentations of the path to Buddhahood must explain how method and wisdom are conjoined on the path. On this point, the explanations of the Perfection Vehicle and Secret Mantra Vehicle are significantly different. When the philosophical tenet systems of the Perfection Vehicle explain the union of method and wisdom on the path, they do not assert that in their systems method and wisdom are an inseparable entity; for them, it is not poss­ible for a single consciousness to realize emptiness explicitly and to engage simultaneously in the practice of giving, and so forth. Rather, they assert that their paths join method

26 Highest Yoga Tantra in the Great Vehicle and wisdom both in the sense that wisdom - the conscious­ness that realizes emptiness - is affected by the force of having previously engaged in giving, and so forth, and in the sense that method the practice of giving, and so forth - is affected by the force of one's having meditated on emptiness. 23 The texts of the Secret Mantra Vehicle argue that the Perfection Vehicle's conjunction of wisdom and method is merely that of two separate consciousnesses which affect each other, not of a single consciousness in which method and wisdom are mixed. That is why a vast stretch of time­ three periods of a countless number of great aeons* - is required in order to enhance the wisdom consciousness that realizes emptiness so that it is able to overcome all forms of the extremely tenacious and pervasive conception of inher­ent existence and the predispositions it establishes, which together comprise the two types of obstructions barring the way to full enlightenment. In fact, according to Highest Yoga Tantra, even three periods of a countless number of great aeons spent in the practice of the Perfection Vehicle are insufficient for the attainment of Buddhahood; without engaging in tantric practice, one is destined to ascend no higher than the tenth Bodhisattva ground, the last grada­tion of the path prior to Buddhahood. 25 The Secret Mantra Vehicle teaches deity yoga, an ex­traordinary method of uniting wisdom and method in which wisdom and method are joined together in a single consciousness. The subtle consciousness used to realize emptiness appears in compassionate physical form (a Form Body), thus uniting wisdom and compassionate method in a single consciousness, called deity yoga. Through this, one is able to amass simultaneously the requisite collections of merit and wisdom, making it possible to attain Buddhahood in less than three periods of countless aeons. 26 In Highest Yoga Tantra, Buddhahood can be attained in as little as one lifetime. Deity yoga is the principal method that the tantras add to Perfection Vehicle.practices; hence, all of the specific ___,..


techniques taught in the tantras are said by Dzong-ka-ba to be "either methods for heightening cognition of emptiness or branches of deity yoga. "27 Deity yoga surpasses the practice of the perfections of giving, and so forth, by being a union of wisdom and method in one consciousness, but it also is superior to the methods of the Perfection Vehicle because it is a technique that actually resembles the countenance, or aspect*, of the Form Body of a Buddha. In other words, giving, patience, and ethics are admitted to be powerful practices, but be­cause they bear no resemblance to a Buddha's marvelous Form Body, they cannot develop into it. The unique method of Secret Mantra, on the other hand, is to cause one's own mind, absorbed in the realization of emptiness, to appear in the form of the very enlightened being - a Buddha - that one is destined to become upon enlightenment. 28 This compassionate appearance of the mind that realizes emptiness, in the form of a Buddha deity, actually develops into the Form Body of a Buddha while the mind itself develops into the Truth Body of a Buddha. As the current Dalai Lama succinctly says, "In brief, the Body of a Buddha is attained through meditating on it. "29 Highest Yoga Tantra comprises two stages, the stage of generation* and the stage of completion. Both are con­cerned. with the transformation of one's mind and body into the mind and body of a Buddha. On the stage of genera­tion, one generates a vivid imaginative visualization of one's transformation into a deity; then, the stage of completion "completes" the transformation by actually bringing about a new physical structure, that is, by transforming one into an actual deity, a Buddha. Deity yoga, in general, is such a powerful transformative technique that even the stage of generation, in which one merely visualizes a deity, is said to far surpass the Perfection Vehicle in terms of its capacity to overcome the obstructions to enlightenment. Kay-drup (mkhas grub), one of the two chief disciples of Dzong-ka-ba, the founder of the Ge-luk-ba order, explains the great dif-


ference it makes to meditate on emptiness using a divine image rather than an ordinary object:30 In terms of capacity to serve as an antidote to the consciousness conceiving inherent existence, that mind which, observing a divine circle [of deities and their divine environment], ascertains the object of observation - the absence of inherent existence - surpasses one hundred-fold an awareness such as that which, observing a sprout, ascertains the ab­sence of inherent existence. The mind accomplished by deity yoga - one which realizes emptiness at the same time it compassionately appears as a deity - is not even considered possible in the Perfection Vehicle, where it is usually said that when empti­ness is realized, the subject whose emptiness is being real­ized does not itself appear to the mind. 31 However, accord­ing to Ge-luk-ba scholars, it is possible for two factors ­ the factor of ascertainment, which realizes emptiness, and the factor of appearance, which appears as a divine body­ to exist simultaneously within the entity of one conscious­ness; in other words, they claim that the mind that realizes emptiness itself can appear in the form of a deity.



Paths Common to Sutra and Tantra

As mentioned earlier, Highest Yoga Tantra practice com­prises two stages, the stage of generation and the stage of completion. The stage of completion is necessarily preceded by the stage of generation, which itself has three sets of prerequisites: ( 1) previous practice of the paths common to sutra and tantra; (2) initiation* in a tantra of the Highest Yoga Tantra set; and (3) assuming special tantric pledges* and vows*. Before beginning to describe the stage of gen­eration in detail, these three sets of prerequisites will be briefly explained. Before practicing the stages of Highest Yoga Tantra, it is necessary to establish in one's mind the correct motivation and the correct view as taught in the sutra presentations of the paths to enlightenment. Indeed, almost all of the feat­ures of sutra are included in tantra;32 hence, the tantras do not replace the·sutras, but rather, complement them. That being the case, the three principal aspects of the path, as delineated by the Indian scholar Atisha and explained by Dzong-ka-ba and many others, are no less indispensable to tantric practitioners than they are to others. The three principal aspects of the path are: (1) renunciation*, the de­termination to leave cyclic existence; (2) the altruistic aspira-


tion to enlightenment*, the determination to become a Bud­dha for the sake of all sentient beings; and (3) the correct view*, the realization that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence. The Need for Renunciation Those who aspire to enlightenment must turn away from their attachment to the appearances of this life and their attachment to future lives, meditating on the meaningful­ness of leisure and fortune and the difficulty of finding it and the inevitability of suffering and death. It is said that without a strong intention to renounce cyclic existence there is no way to generate a strong aspiration to attain Buddhahood. As Dzong-ka-ba says in his Three Principal Aspects of the Path (lam gyi gtso bo rnam pa gsum):33

Without a complete thought definitely to leave Cyclic existence there is no way to stop Seeking pleasurable effects in the ocean of existence. Also, craving cyclic existence thoroughly binds The embodied; therefore, in the beginning, a thought Definitely to leave cyclic existence should be sought. Renunciation is a prerequisite for the practice of any vehi­cle, be it sutra or tantra. For tantra, renunciation is particu­larly important because sexual desire is used in the path; without renunciation, the practitioner can easily become attached to the object of desire. 34 The Need for Compassion Tantric trainees, like Perfection Vehicle trainees, should be Bodhisattvas*, persons who not only have renounced the world, but are fully committed to attaining enlightenment in order to serve the welfare of others. 35 In fact, those who practice tantra should have an extraordinary degree of com-


passion; their motivation for practicing tantra should be that they cannot bear to spend unnecessary time attaining Buddhahood because they want to be a supreme source of help and happiness to others as soon as possible. 36 As Jang-gya (lcang skya, 1717-86) says in his Presentation of Tenets (grub mtha'i rnam bzhag):37 It is said in the precious tantras and in many com­mentaries that even those trainees of the Mantra Vehicle who have low faculties must have far great­er compassion, sharper faculties, and a superior lot than the trainees of sharpest faculties in the Perlec­ tion Vehicle. }ang-gya contradicts a view, widely held in the West,38 that compassion belongs to an earlier phase of Buddhism, tantra having replaced compassion with passion. The Need for Wisdom Tantric practitioners should also have made progress in meditation on emptiness. Meditation on emptiness is the heart of the Buddhist path in both sutra and tantra. Although compassion is said to be the basis of practice, it is basic in the sense of being one's motivation; meditation on emptiness is the chief practice of Buddhism because it actualizes one's compassionate intent by removing all ob­structions to Buddhahood. All the practices of method, both in sutra and tantra, are done specifically in order to enhance the wisdom consciousness that realizes emptiness, as Shantideva's Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds (spyod 'jug, bodhicaryavatara, IX.l) says:39

The Subduer said that all these Branches are for the sake of wisdom. Considering the centrality of meditation on emptiness to the tantric path, it must be regarded as misleading to contrast the Secret Mantra Vehicle to the Perfection Vehicle as does S.B. Dasgupta:40


The different metaphysical systems deal with the nature of reality and the philosophical method for its realization; whereas the tantras lay stress on the esoteric methods for realizing that reality. On the contrary, Jeffrey Hopkins argues the tantric yogi must engage in the same sort of reasonings as other Buddh­ist practitioners:41 ... non-dualistic wisdom is the life of both the sutra and tantra paths, and in both paths initial reliance on reasoning to uncover the nature of phenomena, hidden to our direct experience, is necessary. Tantric yogis succeed in their cultivation of wisdom more quickly than do practitioners of the Perfection Vehicle be­cause the tantric yogi, employing deity yoga, can achieve a mind that is a union of calm abiding* and special insight* -a mind of alert one-pointedness that realizes emptiness -in far less time than the period of countless great aeons required for those who practice sutra paths alone. 42 Tantric yogis use deity yoga to enhance meditation on emptiness; their use of deity yoga brings them more quickly to an initial direct cognition of emptiness by enhancing their ability to combine meditative stability with analysis (see pp. 55-6). Also, in Highest Yoga Tantra, powerful, subtle consciousnesses that realize emptiness are manifested, whereby the obstructions to liberation* and omniscience* are quickly overcome. Even though tantric practitioners seem to be superior to others both in terms of their cultivation of method and their cultivation of wisdom, some commentators, both past and present, have thought that they are inferior. For instance, the great Italian Tibetologist, Guiseppe Tucci, says:43 The tantras of the 'superior class' are above all addressed to men in whom non-religious impulses, especially those of a sexual nature, are at their most powerful.


Also:44 The Anuttaratantras are reserved for the creatures who sin most, who do not distinguish good from evil, who lead impure lives. Notions such as these are explicitly refuted by Ge-luk-ba scholars. Practitioners of tantra, they say, should be acting on the purest of motives - the altruistic aspiration to highest enlightenment -and should have impeccable be­havior. Highest Yoga Tantra does indeed use desire, but only to destroy desire, just as "wood-born" insects eat the wood that engenders them.45 Desire is used to generate a powerful bliss consciousness which is then employed in the destruction of the root of desire, the conception of inherent existence, through realizing the emptiness of inherent exist­ence. Ge-luk-ba scholars also reject the position that tantra is an easy path, meant for persons incapable of more difficult practices, as Mircea Eliade has suggested:46 ". .. the Vaj­rayana represents a new revelation of Buddha's doctrine adapted to the much diminished capacities of modern man." On the contrary, the tantric path is considered far more difficult than the sutra path. Consequently, it is said that there are many who wish to practice tantra but few who are qualified for it.47

3 Initiation In addition to cultivating renunciation, compassion, and the correct view, the practice of the stage of generation of a particular tantra requires that one must first receive an initiation*48 from a fully-qualified master of that tantra. An initiation is a rite involving extensive visualization, prayers, offerings, and the use of ritual implements and substances, its purpose being to purify defilements, to confer upon initiates permission to practice the tantra, to teach them the procedure of the stages of practice, and to establish in them potencies for successful practice. To practice the path fully, one needs four types of initia­tions: the vase initiation*, the secret initiation*, the know­ledge-wisdom initiation*, and the word initiation* (see chart 3 , p. 36) . The vase initiation, which is conferred by means of water from a vase, is given in all four tantra sets, whereas the latter three initiations are unique to Highest Yoga Tantra. 49 Only the vase initiation is necessary in order to practice the stage of generation; the remaining three initiations are bestowed prior to embarking on the stage of completion. The vase initiation is a rite involving one of four types of mandalas*:50 a painted cloth mandala, a colored sand man-


dala, a body mandala, or a concentration mandala. A man­dala is a "divine circle" ; the term can refer either to a specific deity or to the deity's habitat. "Mandala" is also frequently used to designate a representation in two or three dimensions of the inestimable mansion and surroundings of a particular deity. A painted cloth mandala is a two­ dimensional painted rendering of the deity's marvelous mansion and its inhabitants, usually hung on a wall, and a colored sand mandala is a similar representation drawn on a platform or floor with colored sand particles tapped from sand muskets. Body mandalas, in which the lama's body is visualized as the parts of the mandala,51 are less frequently used due to certain restrictions: (1) they cannot be used with one who has not initially received initiation in the tantra by some other means; (2) though they are acknow­ledged in the Guhyasamaja Tantra, they are not used for initiation; and (3) they do not exist at all in the three lower tantras and some Highest Yoga Tantras such as Vaj­rabhairava (rdo rje 'jigs byed). Concentration mandalas­ visualized mandalas that appear clearly both to a lama and his student as a result of their individual concentrations­ are even rarer. 52 The secret, knowledge-wisdom, and word initiations, when given in their full-fledged form using actual sub­stances and consorts, are given only to special highly ad­vanced trainees. 5 3 The secret initiation involves the use of a "conventional mind of enlightenment"* mandala, the con­ventional mind of enlightenment being a mixture of the fluids of the male and female deities produced by sexual union. Similarly, the wisdom initiation involves the use of a "vagina"* mandala. 54 The word initiation involves the use of an "ultimate mind of enlightenment"* mandala, this being the words of instruction given by the lama concerning the union of pure body and pure mind. 55 There are four levels of attainment of initiation.56 The lowest level of attainment of initiation is to pretend that when the initiation is bestowed, bliss is generated. The

second is to develop some bliss from the touch of the water or other initiation implement at the time of initiation. The third is to mimic meditation on emptiness with a conscious­ ness of great bliss. The greatest is actually to experience great bliss from the bestowal of initiation and to use that bliss consciousness to meditate on emptiness.

4 Pledges and Vow/7 At the time of initiation, tantric practitioners take various vows and make pledges in addition to those they share with Perfection Vehicle trainees. Among these promises are a pledge of secrecy, for tantric practices are not only diffi­cult, but dangerous (because engaging in practices involv­ing desire without having established a pure motivation would only increase one's afflictive karma). All tantric practitioners must take and protect the eigh­teen root and forty-six auxiliary Bodhisattva vows. Addi­tionally, in Yoga Tantra and in Highest Yoga Tantra, there are fourteen root and ten additional tantric vows. Thus, it is hardly the case, as some have thought, 58 that tantric yogis are lawless. Their behavior is, in fact, strictly regulated. For each tantra in the Highest Yoga Tantra class, there are specific pledges- promises to engage in various prac­tices of ethical behavior - and vows- promises not to engage in certain forms of behavior- to be taken at the time of receiving initiation. In the Kalachakra Tantra, for instance, there are twenty-five modes of behavior that are to be guarded against: five ill-deeds (taking life, taking what is not given, adultery, lying, and drinking beer), five secon­dary ill-deeds (making bets, playing dice, eating impure


flesh, senseless chatter, dispersing offerings to ancestors, and cow-sacrifice), five killings (of ox, child, woman, man, or [[[Buddha]]-] images), five wrong thoughts (non-faith in the Buddha and his Doctrine, malice towards leaders, malice towards the Spiritual Community, and cheating those who trust one), and five desires (for forms, sounds, odors, tastes, and tangible objects). 59 These pledges and vows differ slightly from tantra to tantra, but in every case, keeping the pledges and vows is held to be extremely important. It is said that even if one does not practice the tantric paths with great effort, but manages to keep the pledges and vows, one will attain Buddhahood in no more than sixteen lifetimes.60 On the other hand, if one does not keep the pledges and vows, no matter how well one performs the other practices, one will fall into a bad migration.61 If the pledges or vows are broken, they may be reinstated by following a ritual procedure specified in the tantra for disclosing the infractions and by promising to refrain from future repetition of them.



The Stage of Generation of Highest Yoga Tantra

Guhyasamaja

1

Features of the Stage of Generation

The purpose of the stage of generation is to "ripen" the mental continuum* for the stage of completion. Its synonyms include "stage of imagination"* and "yoga of fabrication"*.62 It is a rehearsal of the stage of completion in the sense that one passes from the stage of generation to the stage of completion by bringing one's imaginative vision to such a height of clarity and power that what one has imagined begins to become real. The stage of completion "completes" the vision by effecting the transformation of the trainee into a Buddha. The definition of the stage of generation is:63 A yoga that (I) does not arise from causing the winds to enter, abide, and dissolve in the central channel through the power of meditation but is a ripener of the continuum for the stage of comple­tion that is its effect and (2) is a meditation newly and mentally imagining an aspect similar to any of the three -birth, death, and intermediate state. The remainder of this section will explain the key terms of this definition.


Yogas "Yoga"* is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, to join; it is cognate with the English word "yoke" . 64 In general, yoga means to control the mind, to join one's mind to a fact. 65 In the context of Highest Yoga Tantra, yoga also refers to the union, in one consciousness, of the sublime and the pro­ found - a sublime feeling of bliss combined with the profound realization that persons and other phenomena lack inherent existence. 66 The generation of this conscious­ness, in which the feeling of bliss is mixed with emptiness such that they seem to be non differentiable, is the greatest achievement of tantric practice. With a powerful, subtle composite of bliss and the realization of emptiness it is possible to overcome the obstructions barring the way to Buddhahood in as little as one lifetime, whereas no non­ tantric practice enables the accomplishment of this goal in less than three periods of countless great aeons. Yogas of the stages of Highest Yoga Tantra induce path consciousnesses - minds comprising the five paths of accumulation*, preparation*, seeing*, meditation*, and no more learning*, the stages of progression towards Buddha­ hood (see chart 4, p. 62). Practitioners on the first four paths are called "learners" , for they strive towards but have not yet reached the level of Buddhahood, the "path of no more learning. Winds The yogas of the two stages of Highest Yoga Tantra are performed in order to control "winds"*, or vital energies. In Buddhist physiology, the winds are not merely moving air, but are the vital energies that cause all movement by and within the body, such as muscular movement, the circulation of blood and lymph, defecation and urination, breathing, and so forth. The winds also are instrumental in the functioning of the six consciousnesses or minds (ear, eye, nose, tongue, body, and mental).67 Consciousnesses are said to "ride" on winds


in the same manner that a horseman rides his mount; by travelling on the winds, consciousnesses are able to leave their bases in the sense-powers (located in the eye, ear, and so forth) to contact their objects. Because minds are inop­erative without winds to provide a medium for their move­ment, and because winds lack specific direction without minds, minds are likened to cripples with sight and winds to blind men with legs;68 the lame climb on the backs of the blind and together they can move about. Because the winds are the medium for the operation of minds, fluctuation in the winds necessarily affects consciousness, and thus it is crucial for tantric yogis who wish to yoke consciousness to gain control over the movement of winds. Tantric yogis engage in a variety of practices to bring about a concentra­tion of the winds, for concentration of the winds leads to concentration of consciousness. The winds are distinguished in several different ways in Nga-wang-bel-den's description of the stages of Highest Yoga Tantra. In one scheme, winds are enumerated as five: (1) the vitalizing wind*, which causes inhalation, exhala­tion, and so forth; (2) the pervasive wind*, which makes possible the movement of the limbs, and so forth; (3) the upward-moving wind*, which is involved in speech, swal­lowing, and so forth; (4) the downward-voiding wind*, which is responsible for defecation, urination, the emission of semen, and so forth; and (5) the fire-dwelling wind*, which is responsible for digestion, and so forth. 69 In another scheme, winds are distinguished into basic winds* and secondary winds*; the basic winds are the five winds ·just mentioned, and the secondary winds are the five parts of the vitalizing wind which are associated with the five senses. 70 (Thus, the secondary winds are actually in­cluded within the basic winds.) In yet another scheme, winds are divided into coarse winds and subtle winds. Of those two, only the coarse .winds (the coarse basic and secondary winds) operate in ordinary waking life. 71 The subtle winds are the basis for

44 Stage of Generation mind of clear light*, and hence for the illusory body* (both of which will be explained later), and operate only after all the coarse winds have dissolved. Channels The winds move in a system of 72,000 subtle "channels"* arrayed throughout the body. 72 There are three major chan­nels, running parallel to each other from mid-forehead up over the crown of the head down to the base of the spine and then under the trunk of the body to the tip of the sexual organ. The upper opening of the central channel* is at the forehead between the eyes and the upper openings of the right channel* and left channel* are at the top of the nose.73 The right channel and left channel wrap around the central channel at certain places, constricting it such that the winds cannot pass through it. In the Guhyasamaja sys­tem, the central channel is said to have seven loci of con­striction; they are called channel-wheels* because many smaller channels branch out of them like the spokes of a wheel, and they are also called channel-knots* because of being places of constriction ?4 The wheel-spokes are some­times called petals because the channel-wheel spreads out like a flower. The channel-wheels are located at the forehead, the crown of the head, the throat, the heart, the navel, the "secret place", and the opening or tip of the sexual organ . 75 The forehead channel-wheel is the upper opening of the central channel and the channel-wheel at the tip of the sexual organ is its lower opening. The navel channel-wheel is located behind the solar plexus, closer to the spine than the navel. The "secret place" is located at the base of the spine. The channel-wheels have varying numbers of petals or spokes: at the crown there are thirty-two petals, at the throat there are sixteen, at the heart there are eight, at the navel there are sixty-four, at the "secret place" there are thirty-two, and at the sexual organ there are eight. 76 Winds can move both into and out of the central channel


at any of the channel wheels, not merely at just the upper and lower openings. However, the same knots that constrict the vertical movement of winds in the central channel also "plug" the central channel ends of the spokes or petals. Until the knots at the channel wheels are loosened, winds from various parts of the body may be drawn up to those places but not past them; for instance, at the end of the practice of physical isolation, the winds are drawn into the central channel but cannot enter the heart because of the heart channel-knot. 77 The sign that winds have entered the central channel is that the pressure of exhalation and inhalation is equal and that the volume and pressure of air moving in each nostril is equal, whereas normally there are various imbalances in the breath. 78 As more winds enter the central channel, brea­thing becomes progressively weaker and finally ceases altogether. Dissolution of Winds In the context of the three lower tantra sets - Action Tantra, Performance Tantra, and Yoga Tantra - gaining control over the winds means to be able to restrain the senses by preventing the winds they depend on from going out of the "doors" (the eyes, ears, and so forth) of the senses. However, in Highest Yoga Tantra, the aim is not merely to prevent the winds from going outside, but actual­ly to draw them into the body and then into the central channel by the power of meditation. When the winds are caused to enter the central channel, they are held there, moved around, and drawn into various places where they "dissolve" (cease). The dissolution or cessation of winds concomitantly causes the cessation of the types of minds that rely upon them. Thus, as the coarser winds cease, so do the coarser types of minds, leaving only subtle winds and minds. 79 The remaining subtle mind (mounted on the re­maining subtle wind) is then used to cognize emptiness.


The Power of Meditation The meditation that causes the winds to enter, remain, and dissolve in the central channel consists of special techniques involving penetrative focusing on important parts of the body. The practice of penetrative focusing is begun on the stage of generation, but at that time it is not yet developed sufficiently to cause the entry and dissolution of winds in the central channel. That is what occurs on the stage of completion.' In addition to the techniques involving intensive focus­ ing, yogis of the stage of completion use sexual union with either a real or imagined consort to generate sexual desire, which in turn is used to enhance concentration and cause the generation of a blissful physical and mental feeling. The bliss thus engendered causes the manifestation of subtle consciousnesses called "empties" which the yogis use to realize emptiness. Then, after meditation on emptiness, they practice perceiving all phenomena to be manifestations of bliss and emptiness. Through lengthy cultivation of these practices over the various levels of the two stages of Highest Yoga Tantra, one completes the collections of merit and wisdom, the imprints of which are the Form and Truth Bodies of a Buddha. These techniques will be described in subsequent chapters on the levels of the stage of completion. Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth By gaining control over the winds, yogis mimic the process of death, intermediate state*, and rebirth. 8 0 They are then able to actualize subtle consciousnesses capable of over­coming the barriers to full enlightenment. In the process of ordinary death, winds are involuntarily drawn into the central channel, the channel knots relax, and those winds dissolve into the indestructible drop in the center of the heart. This causes the manifestation of the most subtle of all consciousnesses, the mind of clear light. 8 1 When the mind of clear light of death ceases, the


intermediate state commences, and rebirth occurs some­ time within the following forty-nine days. 8 2 Special meditative techniques are used in both stages of Highest Yoga Tantra to bring about the same sequence of events as in ordinary death. During the stage of completion, winds enter the central channel, remain there, and then dissolve into the indestructible drop; concurrently, the mind of clear light dawns. However, because these events occur due to the power of meditation one does not enter the intermediate state as one would subsequent to death; rather, one rises in an illusory body - an unobstructive, subtle body made of wind that resembles a deity -and instead of being powerlessly reborn into cyclic existence*, one eventually becomes a Buddha. Most of the meditations of the stage of generation mimic the process of death, intermediate state, and rebirth, as specified in the definition, but, according to Nga-wang-bel­ den, some do not. For instance, yogas of the stage of generation are said to include the use of an actual consort or the visualization of a circle of protective deities, but neither of those are practices that mimic death, intermediate state, and rebirth.83


There are numerous ways to divide the stage of generation. As in the three lower tantra sets -Action Tantra, Perform­ance Tantra, and Yoga Tantra - one can speak in Highest Yoga Tantra of "four branches of approximation and achievement," or "four yogas," or "six branches," or "three meditative stabilizations". 84 The Illumination of the Texts of Taritra describes fully only two of these ways to distinguish the phases of the stage of generation, a division into coarse and subtle stages of generation and a division into three meditative stabilizations. However, it also sets forth a division of the persons on the path in terms of their mastery of practice, particularly visualization practice, that illuminates aspects of practice on the stage of generation. Those three modes of division will be described in this section. Coarse and Subtle Yogas The "coarse" stage of generation is the "yoga of single­ mindedness of the coarse,"*8 5 a practice involving the visualization of imaginary deities and their divine residence, which together are called the coarse mandala. The mandala is considered "coarse" not because it lacks clarity or detail,


but simply to distinguish it from the mandala imagined on the subtle stage of generation. On the subtle stage of gen­eration, an entire mandala full of deities and other features is visualized inside a tiny drop. The visualization of the coarse mandala is called a yoga of single-mindedness to indicate that one is to focus intensive­ly on the mandala, building up a mental image of the various deities, architectural and ornamental features, and larger environment. Dzong-ka-ba says:8 6 The phrase "single-mindedness" refers neither to one occasion of being mindful of the deity, nor to mindfulness of just one deity. Rather, it is mindful­ness of only the deity, or mindfulness of oneself and the deity as one. Though in general that [term] applies to meditating on both coarse and subtle deities, here it is the coarse yoga of divine residence and residents. . . When one trains in the stage of generation, one initially generates a meditative sta­bilization in which the coarse appears clearly. The visualization proceeds in accordance with a specific tantra's "means of achievement," * its sadhana; this is a meditation manual written to facilitate visualization. The vision of the mandala is to be built up in each meditative session by adding on pieces until the whole is achieved; one does the entire "means of achievement" in each meditative session, not just a portion. For example, if one were practicing the stage of genera­tion of the Kalachakra Tantra, 87 one would need to imagine oneself as Kalachakra, as follows. One's body is dark blue, with three necks of black, red, and white, and four faces of black, red, white, and yellow, each with three eyes. One's hair is bound on the top of one's head, and op.e's crown is ornamented with a vajra, a half moon, and a figure of Vajrasattva. Various ornaments -earrings, garlands, and so forth - adorn one's body. There are twelve upper arms­ two red arms, two blue arms, and two white arms on each


side - and twenty-four lower arms - four black arms, four red arms, and four white arms on each side. One's hands respectively hold a vajra, a sword, a trident, a curved knife, a triple arrow, a vajra hook, a drum, a mallet, a wheel, a spear, a staff, an axe, a bell, a shield, a kharvanga (a three-pointed instrument), a skull filled with blood, a bow, a noose, a jewel, a lotus, a conch, a mirror, an iron chain, and a four-faced head of Brahma. One leg is red, the other white; one's right foot treads on a Cupid, the other on a Rudra . Kalachakra embraces his consort Vishvamata, whose body is yellow, with four faces of yellow, white, blue, and red, each with three eyes. She has four arms on each side, which respectively hold a curved knife, an iron hook, a drum, a rosary, a skull, a noose, a white lotus, and a jewel. Additionally, since Kalachakra and Vishvamata are three deities in one, one would imagine Akshobhya and Vajrasatt­va, who are fused with Kalachakra, and Vajradhatvishvari and Prajnaparamita, who are fused with Vishvamata, as they would look when separated from Kalachakra and Vish­vamata. One would also imagine the ten goddesses - shak­ tis - who stand on the petals of a lotus beneath the central deities. Accomplishing the visualization of all this, one would still only have begun to visualize the multitude of deities, a total of seven hundred twenty-two, that abide in the various parts of the mandala. Also, the mandala itself, in which the deities appear, is an extremely elaborate build­ing with five tiers and extensive grounds. For instance, each of the four walls of this building has an elaborate doorway in the alcoves of which are many objects and beings. Such is a brief indication of the visualization performed on the coarse stage of generation. In the subtle stage of generation, the "yoga conceiving the subtle,"* one imagines that the entire mandala is contained within a tiny drop, the drop being located at the upper or lower opening of the central channel. With the perfection of this yoga through the attainment of calm abiding and special insight (see pp.


5 5-6), one moves from the stage of generation to the stage of completion. Three Meditative Stabilizations Another way to distinguish phases of the stage of generation is by way of the three meditative stabilizations. The three meditative stabilizations are a way of describing the various degrees of accomplishment in visualization. The first of these three is "initial application"* , in which one works on generating the clear appearance of the divine environment and the basic figures of the mandala; the second is "sup­reme king of mandalas,"* in which one generates the full mandala; and the third is "supreme king of actions,"*88 in which one imaginatively acts as the deity, doing various activities such as purifying places and beings. Throughout all three meditative stabilizations, one is to maintain cognition of emptiness. Dzong-ka-ba says:89 The yoga in which the mind possessing the aspect of a [[[divine]]] circle is absorbed in suchness, that is to say, selflessness, is, in accordance with Bel-dray-dar­ jay's (dpal 'bras rdo rj"e) explanation, the general procedure of all three meditative stabilizations . Such i s also the thought o f Janapada. A t the time of the first stage [i.e . , the initial visualization of deities] , meditation on the circle of deities - the class of the appearing - is indeed main. However, through inducing strong force of ascertainment with respect to the meaning of the non-inherent existence of phenomena, one trains in [causing] everything to appear as like illusions. And after meditating on the divine circle, one is to do. - with each cultivation of clear realization - the yoga of non-dual profundity and manifestation in which the mind having observed the object of observation, the deity, has the [[[subjective]]] aspect of ascertaining the meaning of the absence of inherent existence. The


mode of apprehension of the ascertaining conscious­ness is absorbed in suchness and that which has the aspect of the apprehended [i. e. , that consciousness] appears in the aspect of the deities of the support and supported. The visualization of deities on the stage of generation, no matter which of the three meditative stabilizations one is practicing, must include cognition of emptiness. As Dzong­ ka-ba says, the mind observing a deity is at one and the same time absorbed in the realization of emptiness and is itself appearing as the deity under observation. Four Levels of Achievement Persons traversing the two stages of Highest Yoga Tantra are often designated according to the level of the path they have achieved, but they are also sometimes designated according to a broader four-fold scheme: (1) beginners*, (2) those on whom a little wisdom has descended*, (3) those who have attained slight mastery with respect to wisdom*, and (4) those who have attained thorough mastery with respect to wisdom*.90 In terms of the stag es of generation and completion, beginners and those upon whom a little wisdom has descended are practitioners of the coarse stage of generation; those who have attained a slight mastery with respect to wisdom range from practitioners of the subtle stage of generation through to practitioners at the end of the level of impure illusory body in the stage of completion; and those who have attained thorough mastery with respect to wisdom are practitioners who have attained at least the level of clear light of the stage of completion. Beginners are yogis who have not yet managed to make the entire coarse mandala appear clearly for at least forty­ eight minutes. 91 Given the tremendous detail in a typical mandala (for instance, Guhyasamaja has thirty-two major deities, each with smaller deity figures located at their sense organs, in addition to the many other features of the divine


mansion and its grounds) one i s likely t 0 remain a "begin­ner" for a long time, though a year is said to be sufficient if one works at it continuously.92 A beginner works serially, building up the various parts of the image one at a time while performing the entire visualization in every session. Those upon whom a little wisdom has descended are able to visualize clearly and firmly the entire coarse mandala with all its deities - with arms, legs, and most minor features - at one time. However, they are as yet unable to cause the tiny deities located at the sense organs of the major deities to appear clearly. They can cause the entire coarse mandala to appear suddenly, but they are still work­ing by stages on the addition of the subtle deities. Wisdom "descends" in the sense that at this level one imagines that visualized deities enter one's ordinary body through the top of the head and dissolve there, causing a special feeling, like goose bumps. 93 Those who have attained slight mastery with respect to wisdom are able to visualize clearly and firmly the entire mandala, even the subtle deities at the sense organs of the larger deities, at one time. They have by this stage become so familiar with the images visualized that those images can appear with the slightest effort; thus, it is said that it is no longer necessary to distinguish meditative sessions from non-sessions, since one can do deity yoga at all times, maintaining the sense that one is a deity while carrying out all manner of daily activities . At higher levels, even one's need for ordinary nourishment diminishes; one "lives off the food of meditative stabilization. "94 Those who have attained slight mastery with respect to wisdom have reached at least the subtle stage of generation, where the emphasis changes from simply visualizing the mandala in normal size to shrinking it so that the entire mandala appears in a tiny drop or hand-held symbol (such as a vajra or lotus).95 Finally, those who have attained thorough mastery with respect to wisdom have attained at least the actual clear light of the stage of completion.96 At that point, their cultivation of wisdom has resulted in the direct cognition of emptiness and simultaneously has resulted in the destruction of all of the obstructions to liberation from cyclic existence. The stages of the path of those who have attained mastery with respect to wisdom are described in Part Three.

3 Calm Abiding and Special Insight In the course of the visualization practices of the coarse and subtle stages of generation, it is necessary to analyze again and again.97 That is, one must establish and re-establish the parts of the visualized mandala of deities and inestimable mansion by recalling from memory their color, placements, names, and so forth, and one must think again and again that they are divine appearances. Also, one must adjust and balance the appearance of the image.98 In general, analysis tends to destroy the stability of one's concentration on an object, just as stability tends to pre­clude analysis . In the system of the Perfection Vehicle, it is not until well after one has attained calm abiding* - a state of strong, pliant meditative stabilization* in which it is possible to remain for as long as one wishes on a certain object of observation - that analysis no longer impedes stability but actually works to promote it. In that system, after one attains calm abiding, one alternates meditation on emptiness and the cultivation of meditative stabilization until familiarity with both makes it possible to perform strong analysis without destroying stability. It is said that eventually, analysis will even induce greater stability. In tantra, however, even during the stage of generation


analysis can promote, rather than destroy, stability, making it possible to attain calm abiding without refraining from analysis and to attain a union of calm abiding and special insight* very quickly.99 Special insight is a conceptual or direct realization of emptiness occurring within a state arisen from meditation, i. e. , a conceptual or direct realiza­tion of emptiness by a mind with the stability of at least the level of calm abiding. In the context of tantra, a union of calm abiding and special insight is gained through the practice of withdrawal and dispersal of visualized deities.100 This practice is per­formed within meditation on emptiness in the sense that it is imagined that the deities are one's own wisdom con­sciousness that realizes emptiness and simultaneously appears in those forms. However, one is not analyzing an object's mode of existence, as one does in the Perfection Vehicle. 101 There is, therefore, no alternation of practices leading to stability and those leading to wisdom such as in the Perfection Vehicle; both are carried out at the same time with the same consciousness. This meditative stabilization is brought about by two practices. (1) Initially, one meditates on a subtle drop, visualized as containing an entire mandala of deities, lo­cated at the upper opening of the central channel (the location of the forehead channel-wheel). When that medita­tion becomes stable, calm abiding is attained. 102 (2) One then visualizes that deities are emanated from the subtle drop out into the world in a number equal to the number of sentient beings in order to be of help to those beings, and then visualizes the withdrawal of those deities back into the drop.103 B y the repeated practice of the dispersal and with­drawal of deities, a union of calm abiding and special in­sight is achieved, and the stage of generation is brought to conclusion.

4 Divine Pride To this point, the description of the stage of generation has emphasized one's appearance as a deity, but of at least as much importance is the cultivation of what is called "divine pride". As was mentioned earlier, the very meaning of "mantra" in "Secret Mantra" is protection of the mind from ordinary appearance and from conceiving oneself to be ordinary. In the systems of Secret Mantra, one protects the mind from ordinariness by combining visualization of pur­ity -the divine mansion and its divine inhabitants -with "divine pride , the thought that one is oneself the deity being visualized. 104 In fact, the development of divine pride is said to be the main practice of the stage of generation, the cultivation of divine appearances being of secondary im­portance. The two are, of course, closely connected and mutually supportive. The cultivation of divine pride is begun right at the inception of the coarse stage of generation, for "single­ mindedness" with respect to the coarse mandala of deities and their mansion means to adhere firmly to the notion that one is the deity being visualized. As one gains facility in visualization, the mind becomes entirely absorbed in the imaginary divine appearances to the mental consciousness


such that, although objects continue to appear to the senses, they are no longer ascertained. Adhering to an attitude of divine pride seems to run contrary to the central Buddhist teaching of selflessness, which is that the inherently existent I, innately conceived to exist by ordinary, ignorant awarenesses, is utterly non­ existent. That is, while there is a nominally existent I, there is no inherently existent I even though such an I is naturally conceived to exist. However, divine pride is cultivated only after meditation on emptiness, which negates the false con­ception of I; hence, the I of deity yoga is not conceived to inherently exist, as is the ordinary I, but rather is under­stood to be only nominally existent, even when one is completely focused on the thought that one is the deity. Thus, divine pride can actually serve as an antidote to the ordinary conception of I and the afflictive pride based on that.105 Also, this indicates that divine pride is not a wrong consciousness* -an awareness mistaken with regard to the object it engages -for one creates it deliberately within the context of a practice of imagination. Divine pride is not merely self-delusion, but is an extremely effective fabrica­tion that allows tantric actors to gain liberating insight about themselves through the process of immersing them­selves in their roles.

5 Distinguishing Persons from Paths In the stage of generation, one pretends through creative visualization both that the winds that go out from the sense-powers are being drawn into the body and that those winds and the winds that course through the body are entering, remaining, and dissolving in the central channel. In the stage of completion one no longer merely pretends that the winds are being drawn into the central channel; this process actually occurs. However, there are exceptional cases in which someone practicing the subtle stage of gen­eration, without having begun the specific practices of the stage of completion, experiences the entrance and dissolu­tion of winds in the central channel. Even though these experiences occur to someone of the stage of generation, they are counted as instances of the stage of completion. 106 Thus, a distinction is made between persons who are of the stage of generation and the paths they are practicing, which may be designated as sutra paths, paths of the lower tantra sets, or even stage of completion paths, depending upon their activity and/or the effect which results from them. There is nothing extraordinary about the fact that persons of the stage of generation practice sutra paths, for the cultivation of compassion and the realization of empti-


ness are as essential to tantric practice as they are to sutra practice. It is also not uncommon that such persons practice paths of the lower tantras. It is unusual that persons of the stage of generation are said to practice paths of the stage of completion, but there are two instances in which this occurs: (I) at the end of the stage of generation and (2) when an external "seal"* (sexual consort) is used. In the first case, a spontaneous entry of winds into the central channel may be experienced upon finishing the stage of generation. According to Dzong-ka-ba, the stage of generation is finished at the point where there has been full development of a meditative stabilization that is a union of calm abiding and special insight. The second instance in which persons not of the stage of completion experience a path of the stage of completion can occur when yogis ritually engage in sexual union with con­sorts called "Knowledge Women"* while vividly imagining that they and their partners are specific deities.107 By this means, yogis already skilled in meditation on emptiness can mix their realization of emptiness with bliss, turning it into a blissful consciousness realizing emptiness. This blissful consciousness is a path of the stage of completion. (Because that consciousness stamps or seals with bliss all the phen­omena that appear to it, the consort who helps to induce it is called a "seal" . 108 ) Persons who use this method, which is normally reserved for practices of the stage of completion, are still considered to be of the stage of generation because they have not perfected their ability in visualization to the point of being able to cause the winds to enter the central channel merely by the power of meditation. . In short, although these persons have finished the stage of generation and are experiencing a path of the stage of completion, Nga-wang-bel-den, following Dzong-ka-ba, calls them persons of the stage of generation rather than persons of the stage of completion.109 That is because for them the winds do not enter, remain, and dissolve in the central channel due to the power of penetrative focusing on


important places in the central channel. Similarly, i t is possible to experience the four joys* - bliss consciousness­ es that, on the stage of completion, occur due to the entry, abiding, and dissolution of winds in the central channel­ even by receiving initiation, 1 10 but persons who experience the four joys due to initiation are not considered practition­ers of the stage of completion.


At Indestructible Drop at Heart (some winds) At Heart At Lower Opening

The Stage of Completion of Highest Yoga Tantra

The Six Levels of the Stage of Completion The definition of the stage of completion is:111 a yoga in the continuum of a learner that arises from having caused the winds to enter, abide, and dis­solve into the central channel by the power of meditation. In the stage of completion, one is actually transformed into the deity one has merely imagined on the stage of genera­tion. Within the vivid visualization of oneself as a deity and one's environment as divine, one practices penetrative focusing on important points of the body, causing the cur­rents of energy (winds) that course through the body to enter and dissolve in the central channel and then into the indestructible drop in the center of the heart. Using the very subtle and powerful mind of " clear light" that dawns as a result of the total dissolution of winds in the inde­structible drop, one realizes emptiness. Rising up in the form of a deity in an illusory body - a body made of wind -and meditating on emptiness with a mind of clear light, one swiftly amasses the collections of wisdom and method, overcomes all of the obstructions to liberation and omnisci-


ence, and achieves the fmal rank of Buddhahood. There are two principal ways to distinguish the various levels of the stage of completion: by results and by techni­ques. In other words, separate levels are posited in accord­ance with the occurrence of actual physical changes that result from the use of special techniques, or else they are distinguished according to the techniques themselves. Nga­ wang-bel-den uses the mode of division based on results, mentioning the division by way of techniques only in pass­ing; Part Three of this book is, therefore, set forth in terms of the mode of division based on results. According to the method of distinguishing the levels of the stage of completion according to results, the six levels of the stage of completion are: 1 2 3 4 5 6

physical isolation* verbal isolation* mental isolation* illusory body* actual clear light* learner's union*

Not all presentations of the Guhyasamaja system enumerate the levels in this manner; some others condense the first two or the first three levels into a single level (but do not make any other changes in the mode of positing levels or determining their limits).112 Also, physical isolation, the first level of the stage of completion, is considered to be a yoga of both the stage of generation and the stage of completion.11 3 Nga-wang-bel-den implies this since his def­inition of physical isolation specifies that it is the physical isolation which is a stage of completion, suggesting that there is also a physical isolation of the stage of generation, this being preparatory to the actual dissolution of winds in the central channel. When the levels of the stage of completion are distin­guished by way of techniques, there are also six:114 1 withdrawal*

L

concentration* lengthening vitality and exertion* retention* subsequent mindfulness* meditative stabilization*


The definition of physical isolation is: 1 1 5 that stage of completion ranging from the point at which a yogi who has completed the subtle stage of generation of this system, through meditation on [the entire mandala in a] subtle [drop] at the lower opening, produces an exalted wisdom of emptiness that arises through the winds entering, abiding, and dissolving in the central channel, through to but not including generating the exalted wisdom that arises from the upper and lower winds dissolving in the central channel at the heart. The meditation on a mandala in a subtle drop is the main practice of the subtle stage of generation of this Highest Yoga Tantra system. In the stage of generation, the drop is clearly visualized at either the upper or lower opening of the central channel; here, in the stage of completion, it is visualized only at the lower opening (the tip of the sexual organ). This subtle drop, though extremely tiny, is to be seen as containing the entire mandala, with deities, palace, guards, and so forth. Because immense concentration is required to generate this extremely subtle product of im-


agination, when it is actualized the accompanying mental concentration pulls the winds back from sense objects and draws them to the lower opening of the central channel, where the subtle mandala is being visualized. When this subtle drop yoga actually causes some of the winds to enter, remain, and dissolve in the central channel at the lower opening (which in turn causes the manifesta­tion of subtler consciousnesses called "empties", which will be explained below), it then technically fulfills the defini­tion of the yoga of physical isolation of the stage of comple­tion. During the meditative practices associated with this level, the winds enter the central channel, and some of the channel-knots begin to loosen, allowing the winds to move in the central channel. Physical isolation is insufficient, however, to loosen the heart channel-knot, which is more difficult to loosen than any other knot, or for causing the winds to be gathered at the heart. 1 16 The level of physical .isolation culminates with the beginning of the loosening of the channel-knot at the heart. Etymology of Physical Isolation In tantric practice, the conception .and appearance of ordi­nariness are to be "isolated", i.e. , suppressed, in order to protect the mind from them. This does not entail just a withdrawal of the mind from ordinary appearances. The senses are indeed withdrawn from external objects during meditative equipoise in the various levels of the stage of completion, isolating the yogi from the conception and appearance of ordinariness, but withdrawal of old appear­ances is followed by substitution. One makes ideal substitu­tions for ordinary appearances by seeing them either as manifestations of bliss and emptiness or as deities. Mere withdrawal of the mind from external objects would not be deity yoga. The term "physical" in "physical isolation" refers to a meditation practice of this level wherein one views, as deities and a divine environment, the twenty types of gross


objects (consisting of the five aggregates, the four consti­tuents, the six sources, and five objects)1 1 7 which comprise all impermanent phenomena. One is thus "isolated" from the appearance of the physical world as ordinary. Neither "isolation" nor "physical" is exclusive to the level of physical isolation. All levels of the stage of comple­tion and the stage of generation are isolations because they suppress the conception and appearance of ordinariness. Moreover, the visualization of all phenomena as deities and a divine environment, the so-called "physical isolation" , is carried out at all levels of both stages. However, here those terms serve to demarcate the initial level of the stage of completion. Divisions of Physical Isolation The two major divisions of physical isolation are (1) with­drawal and (2) concentration. Concentration is further di­vided into five parts: (i) individual investigation, (ii) analy­sis, (iii) mental bliss, (iv) bliss of pliancy, and (v) meditative stabilization of a one-pointed mind. These parts are not, however, practiced in the- order listed; mental bliss, bliss of pliancy, and meditative stabilization are actually performed first, because they are facets of meditative equipoise, whereas withdrawal, individual investigation, and analysis are activities performed subsequent to meditation. More­over, these divisions are clearly not exhaustive because the description of the practice of the level of physical isolation suggests that all six of the divisions and sub-divisions are associated only with the second, third, and fourth phases of a four-phase process of meditation, 1 1 8 on which the follow­ing discussion is based. The four distinct phases of meditation in the level of physical isolation are: (1) meditation on a subtle drop; (2) meditation on emptiness using a mind imbued with bliss; (3) meditation in which one views everything that appears as a manifestation of bliss and emptiness; and (4) returning to meditative equipoise on emptiness.

Meditation on a Subtle Drop As explained earlier, the meditation on a subtle drop in the level of physical isolation is essentially the continuation of the meditation on a subtle drop performed in the subtle stage of generation. The entire mandala of deities and a divine mansion, containing representatives of all types of objects, is visualized in a subtle (tiny) drop at the lower opening of the central channel (the tip of the sexual organ).119 Due to intense concentration on that point, the winds are drawn to the lower opening of the central channel and begin to enter the central channel there. This causes the downward-voiding wind, whose seat is in the lower abdo­men, to turn upwards, igniting the heat of the Fierce Woman*, 120 which in turn melts some of the white drop and causes the manifestation of the four joys and four empties. Before continuing with the description of the other phases of meditation in the level of physical isolation, the "Fierce Woman" , white and red drops, four empties, and four joys will be explained further. Fierce Woman. "Fierce Woman" is the literal translation of gtu mo, the name of the heat yogis generate in the abdominal region through intense concentration. Yogic techniques to ignite heat are indispensable to tantric practice because they cause the white and red drops -subtle substances that�oat the inside of the channels -to melt and flow to various spots, bringing about an intense feeling of bliss; the result­ing bliss consciousnesses are powerful awarenesses that can be used to realize emptiness. The bliss engendered by caus­ing the. white and red drops to flow in the central channel is said to be a hundred times greater than the pleasure of ordinary orgasm.121 (In ordinary male orgasm, the white drop is caused to melt and flow near the central channel, its proximity to the central channel being the source of the experience of pleasure.122 Such orgasmic pleasure is limited because the Fierce Woman is ignited only momentarily, the winds do not flow in the central channel, and the white drop merely passes near the central channel, not within it. ) Causing the Fierce Woman to blaze up is a practice common to all tantras. In Guhyasamaja, the Fierce Woman is ignited by wind yoga, but the yoga itself is not called Fierce Woman yoga, or heat yoga, as in some other sys­tems. The White and Red Drops. The white and red drops, along with the winds and channels, are an integral part of tantric physiology. They are described as the pure essence of the essential fluids of the male and female, having evolved from the original white drop of the father and red drop of the mother that combined to become the original physical basis for the human body at the time of conception. 123 Hence, both the white and red drops are found everywhere in all male and female bodies, where they coat the inside of the channels "like frost. " 124 However, the drops are not equally distributed throughout the body, for the white drop pre­dominates at the top of the head and the red predominates at the solar plexus. The origin of the drops is the "indestructible drop" at the heart, a tiny drop the size of a large mustard seed or small pea, with a white top and red bottom;125 it is called "indes­tructible" because the continuum of the very subtle wind within it is never broken.126 The indestructible drop is actually two indestructible drops: (1) the "eternal" indes­tructible drop, which is the very subtle wind and mind, and (2) the lifetime indestructible drop, which is a subtle mate­rial object and is destroyed at the end of an individual's lifetime. The "eternal" drop, which lasts until Buddha­ hood, is located inside the lifetime drop. Winds dissolve into the lifetime drop and then into the "eternal" drop.127 The white and red drops located inside the indestructible drop are subtle drops whereas those located in the channels are coarse drops.128 When the winds enter, abide, and dissolve in the central channel, thereby causing the Fierce Woman to ignite and

melt the white drop, the four empties, the four joys of ascent from above, and the four joys of descent from below are gen­erated.

The Four Empties. The entry, abiding, and dissolution of the winds in the central channel generates an "exalted wis­dom of emptiness"*. In this context, an exalted wisdom of emptiness is not an exalted wisdom consciousness that directly realizes a phenomenon's absence of inherent exist­ence, as these terms suggest. Rather, here an exalted wis­ dom of emptiness is any one .of four subtle minds called "the four empties" . These subtle types of consciousness are to be used to realize emptiness, but they are not themselves emptinesses nor realizations of emptiness. The four empties are associated with the entry and dis­solution of winds in the central channel. They are the last four of the "signs" accompanying the dissolution of winds (see chart 5). Because these signs are associated with the dissolution of winds in the central channel, they occur not only due to tantric practice, but also in the process of ordinary death, and at the times of going to sleep, ex­periencing orgasm, and fainting, occasions when winds are drawn into the central channel. At all of those times, each of the signs in chart 5 (p. 74) appear to the mind. The four empties are respectively termed "the empty", "the very empty", "the great empty", and "the all-empty" and are also called the mind of radiant white appearance*, the mind of radiant red or orange increase*, the mind of radiant black near-attainment*, and the mind of clear light*. The first empty, the mind of white appearance, is brought about when, because all the winds from the right and left channels enter into the central channel above the heart, the white drop* located at the top of the head melts and drips down to the top of the heart. (Drops will be explained in a later section). When the drop arrives at the top of the heart, the mind is filled with a brilliant white


consciousnesses -ordinary minds such as sorrow or happi­ness that get at their objects indirectly by way of a generic image*.130 These are simply the wholesome and unwhole­some conceptual awarenesses of ordinary experience, · rang­ing from hatred to compassion.131 The four subtle minds of white appearance, red or orange increase, black near­ attainment, and clear light are thus devoid of all coarse conceptuality, but the first three of these are nevertheless said to be conceptual consciousnesses because they are neither devoid of subject-object duality nor of the appear­ance of inherent existence. The second empty, the mind of red or orange increase, occurs when the winds in the right and left channels below the heart have entered the central channel through the lower opening, causing the red drop located at the navel to ascend toward the heart. When the red drop touches the lower part of the channel-knot at the heart, the mind is filled with a reddish appearance like sunlight. It is called "very empty" because it is devoid not only of all the coarse winds, but even ·of the mind of white appearance and the wind that is its mount. The third empty, the mind of black near-attainment, occurs when, through the force of the winds being gathered at the heart, the heart channel-knot is loosened, enabling the white drop above the heart and the red drop below the heart to move to the indestructible drop in the center of the heart. When the white and red drops meet, the mind is filled with a vacuous blackness like a clear autumn night sky.132 One eventually swoons into unconsciousness. This min d is called "near-attainment" because of its proximity to the mind of clear light and is called "great empty" because of being devoid not only of all the coarse winds, but even of the mind of red increase and the wind that is its mount. The fourth empty, the mind of clear light, is the most subtle consciousness possible. It occurs when all of the winds dissolve into the very subtle vitalizing wind and the red and white drops are dissolved into the red and white n

parts of the indestructible drop. At that time the very subtle primordial wind and mind of clear light become manifest* and the mind is filled with a totally non-dualistic appear­ance of a mere vacuity free from the white, red, and black appearances. The mind of clear light is called the "all­ empty" because it is completely devoid of all other subtle and coarse minds and winds. The four empties cannot occur until winds have entered, remained, and dissolved in the central channel; hence, the four empties are merely imaginary on the stage of genera­tion and are not fully-qualified on the stage of completion until the end of the level of mental isolation. Again, the empties should not be confused with emptinesses, the absences of inherent existence of persons and all other phenomena. The empties are subtle conscious­nesses which are used to realize emptiness. They occur whenever winds enter the central channel, such as at the time of death, when going to sleep, fainting, and orgasm . . They can be used by. highly skilled yogis not only when they are brought about by the techniques of the stage of comple­tion, but also at the times when they naturally occur. 1 33 However, making use of them at such times is extremely difficult. For instance, even though the mind of clear light of the ordinary process of death can be used to realize emptiness, dying persons are typically engrossed in the terror of annihilation and are thus unable to make use of that mind for any purpose. 1 34 The Four Joys. The four j oys135 are bliss consciousnesses generated because of the melting of the drop and its move­ment in the central channel. 136 In order of least to greatest, they are called joy*, supreme joy*, special joy*, and innate j oy*. There are various other ways of distinguishing the joys. For instance, in the context of physical isolation, the joys generated by the descent of the drop from the top of the head are distinguished from those generated by the ascent of the drop from the "secret place" at the base of the


spine. The joys generated from the ascent of the drop are much more powerful than those generated from the descent of the drop; all of the joys from the ascent of the drop are considered innate joys, the type with the greatest intensity. Thus, although there are said to be four joys from above and four joys from below, the joys from above and from below are not necessarily the four - joy, supreme joy, special joy, and innate joy - since the four from below are all innate joys. Rather, the four joys above and below are posited not according to the intensity of bliss, but according to the movement of the drops in the central channel. The four joys from above are generated respectively when the white drop flows down from the crown to the throat, from there to the heart, from there to the navel, and from there to the base of the spine. 1 37 The four joys from below are generated respectively when the red drop rises from the base of the spine to the navel, from there to the heart, from there to the throat, and from there to the crown. On the path, when the four joys are produced as a result of the entry and dissolution of winds in the central channel, they are also often called the four empties. Many scholars follow the explanation that the four joys simply are the four empties. Their assumption probably is that the empties subtle consciousnesses that occur when the winds are with­drawn - and the joys - subtle bliss consciousnesses that occur when the winds are withdrawn - are in fact the same consciousnesses described from different perspectives. Nga-wang-bel-den disagrees, citing Dzong-ka-ba's refusal to equate the four empties and the four joys, as well as Dzong-ka-ba's approval of the explanation by Tup-ba-bel (thub pa dpal) that the four empties are also generated during the white drop's traversal of the sexual organ.1 38 Moreover, the four empties could not be identical to the four joys simply because at the time of death there is no experience of the joys whereas there is experience of the empties.


Meditation on Emptiness with Bliss In the first phase of meditation on the level of physical isolation, one visualized the subtle drop filled with the array of visualized deities and the divine mansion; this caused the winds to enter, remain, and dissolve in the central channel, the Fierce Woman to be ignited, the drops to flow, and great bliss to be engendered. Now, once that has occurred, one is to associate the four joys and emptiness as subject and object in meditative equipoise. In other words, one is to use the blissful consciousness that has been created to realize emptiness. At this point in the meditation, one begins to practice the aspects of physical isolation called mental bliss, bliss of pliancy, and the one-pointed meditative stabilization, three different aspects of one consciousness meditating on empti­ness within the force of great bliss. (These aspects are not distinguished with precision in Nga-wang-bel-den's text.) Deities do not appear to . this bliss consciousness, but be­cause it is generated due to much previous visualization of deities, its three aspects of bliss, pliancy, and meditative stabilization are still considered instances of deity yoga. For the same reason, even though those three aspects would not fit the etymology of physical isolation because they do not involve isolation from ordinary appearances by substituting ideal appearances, they are still considered physical isola­tions. Viewing Appearances As Bliss and Emptiness After having used the bliss consciousness to realize empti­ness, it is said that one should remember bliss and empti­ness, restraining all other mental activities so that whatever appears seems to be a manifestation of bliss and emptiness. As Dzong-ka-ba says:139

An internal object - a special physical tangible object -is produced through melting the mind of enlightenment by means of a method of penetrative


focusing on important places on and in the body. That serves as the observed-object condition* whereby a special blissful feeling of the body con­sciousness is generated. That [special blissful feel­ing] acts as an immediately preceding condition* whereby the mental consciousness is generated as an entity of marvelous bliss. At that time, through remembering the meaning of suchness that has already been ascertained, emptiness and bliss are associated. The dripping of the white drop in the central channel produces an extraordinarily blissful body consciousness, which in turn produces a blissful mental consciousness. Then, with the recollection of emptiness, bliss and empti­ness are associated. The restraint of other mental activities so that everything will appear to be a manifestation of bliss and emptiness is the practice of withdrawal, probably so-called because manifestations of bliss and emptiness appear to the sixth consciousness, the mental consciousness, dominating the sense consciousnesses and causing them to withdraw. Through withdrawal, one's mind is so permeated with a feeling of bliss that all appearances are strongly affected. Concurrently, recollection of meditation on emptiness makes phenomena appear to be light, ephemeral, and like illusions. Everything appears to be "sealed" with bliss and emptiness. This type of imagination is a similitude of a Buddha's actual mode of perceiving phenomena at all times. To Bud­dhas, phenomena are always sealed with bliss and emptiness. This means that there is a sense in which a conscious­ ness viewing the world as sealed with bliss and emptiness is not faulty, not contradicted by valid cognition. 1 40 The practice of withdrawal is essentially a matter of con­tinuing a visualization begun on the stage of generation, when one imagined the world to be a manifestation of bliss


and emptiness. However, the same practice on the stage of completion is much more powerful due to the force of one's experience, the immense infusion of bliss that one has ex­perienced as a result of wind and heat yogas. There are two, more difficult, variations on the practice of withdrawal, one called "individual investigation" and the other called "analysis". In individual investigation, one mentally divides all of the phenomena of the world into the twenty types of gross objects, and then sees them all not only as manifestations of bliss and emptiness, but as taking on either the specific form of a single deity, Vajradhara, or the forms of five deities. It is called investigation because it investigates the entity of the deity inasmuch as it sees that the deity is an expression of bliss and emptiness. One pretends that the mind realizing emptiness appears as the twenty types of gross objects, which in turn appear as either Vajradhara or as five deities.1 4 1 "Analysis" is similar to individual investigation but is much more demanding. In analysis, one mentally divides the twenty gross objects into one hundred objects and then visualizes them as twenty deities each of which have five lineages (of the Buddhas Vairochana, Akshobhya, Amogha­siddhi, Amitabha, and Ratnasambhava). 1 42 The practice is called "analysis" because it analyzes in detail the. specific features of the deities. Deities. The deities which are/ vividly visualized in tantric meditation are the imagined forms of various Buddhas who appear either as Buddhas or as Bodhisattvas of high rank.143 Bodhisattvas are beings who have generated the altruistic aspiration to attain Buddhahood for the welfare of others. Those of high rank are well advanced on the Bodhisattva grounds, which is to say that they have acquired many of the abilities of Buddhas though not in the full measure of Buddhas. Since it is recognized that both Buddhas and high rank Bodhisattvas have the ability to emanate to sentient beings in any manner that will be helpful, even as ordinary


objects that people unthinkingly pass over i n their daily routines, it is permissible to imagine these enlightened beings in any conceivable form. However, in practice, tantric manuals prescribe a certain number of deities (for instance, thirty-two in Guhyasamaja) and describe them in varying degrees of detail. The purpose of those descriptions is to assist the meditator, who must attempt to construct a mental picture of the mandala for visualization practice, although such a person will probably also be assisted by a painting (such as the Tibetan tang-ga [[[thang ka]]]) which has been drawn and colored to match the description. A tantra is usually named after its principal deity. The tantra that is the basis for Nga-wang-bel-den's text, the Guhyasamaja Tantra, has Guhyasamaja, one of the many emanated forms of the Buddha Akshobhya, as its principal deity. Although there are thirty-two deities in the mandala, t h e y a r e a l l , i n f a c t , h e l d t o be emanati o ns of Guhyasamaja.144 In a detailed manual for the practice of a particular tantra - its "means of achievement" - there would be a precise depiction of the position, posture, color, ornaments, and so forth, of Guhyasamaja, his consort, and the other deities in the Guhyasamaja mandala, as well as all the features of their environment. The manual also sometimes contains a lengthy discussion of the symbolic significance of all the details mentioned in the description, aimed at enhancing one's development of divine pride, the sense that one actually is the deity one imagines. For instance, in the water initiation portion of the Kalachakra initiations for the stage of generation, the manual correlates the five seed syllables of the mantra to the five symbols into which they are transformed, five deities with their consorts, the deities that appear on their crowns, and the elements, such as space, wind, and fire, that are cleansed. 145 Some deities are depicted as being peaceful whereas others are shown to be fierce. In both cases, the tantric


iconography symbolizes a union of bliss and emptiness. For example, the fierce deity Chakrasamvara holds a skull filled with blood, but the skull symbolizes bliss (because bliss is experienced when the white drop at the crown of the head is melted) and the blood symbolizes the mind realizing emptiness. 146 The deities imagined in meditation are, in one sense, recognized to be products of the imagination; hence, yogis engaged in deity yoga do not have wrong consciousnesses, i.e., awarenesses, such as an eye consciousness mistaking a distant pillar for a man, that are incorrect with regard to their main object. Even though yogis cultivate "divine pride", a sense of actually being the deity, theirs are not considered a wrong consciousnesses because divine pride is developed deliberately with a high intention. On the other hand, the deities imagined in meditation are definitely held to exist in fact, for the actual deity is "in­vited" to enter the imagined deity. There is a seeming paradox in the fact that one is training to become a deity that already has a separate existence, but in fact, the para­dox does not exist if it is understood that all Buddhas can take any form, that no form is exclusive. Although one cannot have the same mental continuum as someone who has already become a Buddha, there is no limit to the number of beings who, upon becoming Buddhas, can man­ifest the form of that Buddha. Thus, according to the Ge-luk-ba presentation, at least one prominent Buddhist scholar is clearly mistaken when he claims that the images of deities have no reality whatsoever and are abandoned by becoming aware of one's "bodhi-essence".147 Deities are visualized in a mandala, a symbolic repre­sentation of a divine mansion and its immediate environ­ment in which the principal deity and his consort are at the center. As mentioned above, each tantra has its own par­ticular mandala which is often represented in paintings or carvings in two dimensions, as seen from above, with the tops of its walls and porticos pointing out to the sides.


Returning to Meditation on Emptiness In the previous three phases of meditation -meditation on a subtle drop; meditation on emptiness with bliss; and meditation viewing appearances as bliss and emptiness one meditated on a subtle drop at the lower opening of the central channel, used the resulting bliss consciousness to meditate on emptiness, and emerged from _ meditative equipoise, seeing all phenomena as a manifestation of bliss and emptiness. In the fourth phase of meditation, one is drawn back into meditative equipoise because bliss has caused the winds of the sense powers to withdraw inside. This in turn increases bliss because the winds ignite the Fierce Woman, which melts the drops, causing them to flow in the central channel, producing great bliss. The way in which meditation leads to bliss and bliss draws one back into meditative equipoise illustrates one of the great differences between the paths of tantra and the paths of sutra. Once one has gained facility in the very formidable visualization practices of tantra and has had success in meditation on emptiness, the tantric path gets easier rather than more difficult; bliss and meditation on emptiness become mutually supportive. One meditates on emptiness with a mind empowered with bliss; then, subse­quent to meditative equipoise, one sees everything as bliss, which causes the sense powers to withdraw, the Fierce Woman to ignite, the drops to flow, and bliss to increase, drawing one back into meditative equipoise on emptiness. This cycle occurs again and again. Moreover, just seeing phenomena as manifestations of bliss helps one to realize their lack of inherent existence, their emptiness. As the Dalai Lama has said, when phenomena appear to be the sport or manifestation of the mind of clear light one can understand all the better that they are empty and just nominally designated.148


The definition of verbal isolation is: 149 a stage of completion that is a state beginning from the point at which a yogi of this system generates the exalted wisdom of appearance that arises from the three - the winds of the upper and lower openings entering, remaining, and dissolving into the central channel at the heart due to having medi­tated on a mantra drop at the point of the heart. It ranges up to but does not include having generated the exalted wisdom of appearance which arises from the winds entering, abiding, and dissolving into the indestructible drop at the heart upon loosening completely the channel-knot at the heart by the power of meditation. On the level of verbal isolation, winds are caused to enter, remain, and dissolve into the central channel at the heart but have not yet entered, remained, and dissolved in the indestructible drop in the center of the heart. Etymology of Verbal Isolation Although physical isolation involves the substitution of


divine appearances for ordinary appearances, verbal isola­tion does not similarly involve the substitution of divine speech for ordinary language. It is true that "speech" is to be isolated, but here "speech" refers not to verbal com­munication but rather to the three phases of the activity of breathing: ( 1) inhalation, (2) the pause before exhalation when the breath is held, and (3) exhalation. What is to be isolated, that is, suppressed, is the ordinary worldly con­ception about these three phases of breathing, namely, that their "tones" are not identical with the "tones" of the three letters, OM., Ali, and HUM.. In fact, says Nga-wang-bel­ den, the "tones" of the three phases of breathing, the breath's natural reverberations which occur every moment but ordinarily escape notice, are identical with OM., A li, and HUM. The practice of verbal isolation, therefore, is to notice that the natural reverberation of the breath sounds like OM., A li, and HUM.. This means that one is to realize only that the reverberation of the three phases of breathing when the winds move in the central channel are the tones of OM., Ali, and HUM., not to think that these reverberations are identical with the written letters OM, Ali, and HUM, nor that they are identical with the external vocalizing of these syllables, nor that they are identical with the mental recol­lection of such external vocalization. 150 The level of verbal isolation is named after the second of its three yogas, the meditation on a light drop at the point of ·the nose, during which the actual verbal isolation takes place. The first and third yogas of the level of verbal isola­tion -the meditation on the mantra drop at the heart and the meditation on the substance drop at the sexual organ are designated as verbal isolation but are not actual verbal isolation because they do not actually involve the associa­tion of the breath with certain syllables. The yoga of the level of verbal isolation is one that is manifestly concerned with the breath, and hence is a "leng­thening of vitality"* (i.e., breath) yoga (prii'f}iiyiima) . It is


only one of several types of tantric wind yogas, some of which have already been discussed. Prar;ayama is a very broad term; it includes all meditations -on letters, drops, and so forth -that gather winds in the central channel. In Kalachakra and in the lower tantras, prar;ayama means restraint of the winds, but in the Guhyasamaja Tantra praNayama also comes to mean "lengthening of vitality" in the sense that the central channel, ordinarily empty, is being filled with winds. There is also a lengthening of vitality in the sense of longer life; humans are said to be limited to 2 1 ,600 breaths per day over the lifespan deter­mined by their particular karma, and vitality-lengthening yoga expands the lifespan by causing the rate of breathing to be slowed. 1 5 1 Meditation on a Mantra Drop Verbal isolation comprises three wind yogas that utilize three different types of subtle drops: the mantra drop*, the light drop*, and the substance drop*. 152 The first yoga of verbal isolation is a meditation on a "mantra" drop -a drop the nature of which is imagined to be the mantra syllable HUM -imagined at the heart channel-wheel in the shape of the Tibetan punctuation mark, the shay (shad), 153 which resembles a spike, thick at the top and tapering to the bottom. (This means that the mantra drop looks like a shay, not like the syllable HUM, even though it is imagined that its nature is HUM.) As a result of focusing on this point, winds from both the upper and lower parts of the body are drawn into the central channel and thence into the area of the heart. The entry and dissolution of winds there in turn brings about at least the first of the four empties, the mind of radiant" white appearance in which the mind is absorbed in an appearance which is like brilliant white moonlight. The production of the first empty marks the actual beginning of the level of verbal isolation. 154 Even though the winds have dissolved in the central channel at the heart, at this stage the channel-knots at the heart are

still tight, preventing the winds from moving. Meditation on a Light Drop The second yoga of verbal isolation, meditation on the light drop, actually causes the winds to enter, remain, and dis­solve into the indestructible drop in the center of the heart . One meditates on a drop of light imagined to be at the point of the nose. This drop is called a light drop because it is very clear, imagined as if it had a nature of light. 1 55 As the breath is imagined to pass by this drop of light, one is simply to observe that it reverberates with the sounds OM, A li, and HUM in the phases of inhalation, retention, and exhalation, respectively. This observation, also called "vaj­ ra repetition"*, enables the winds in the central channel to move back and forth and forces the knots to loosen a little. 1 56 When, due to that, the winds begin to enter, remain, and dissolve into the indestructible drop, produc­ing the first empty, the level of verbal isolation ends and the level of mental isolation begins. After some success has been gained in the light drop yoga, one switches from observation of the four basic winds to observation of the five secondary winds. The basic winds are the ordinary five winds with the exception of the perva­sive wind; thus, the four basic winds are the vitalizing, fire- accompanying, downward-voiding, and upward­ moving winds, associated respectively with water, fire, earth, and wind. 1 57 The secondary winds are those associ­ated with the senses; they are actually included within the basic winds, being branches of the vitalizing basic wind. By switching one's observation of the breath from the basic winds to the secondary winds , the channel-knots are loosened further and the winds are allowed greater access to the indestructible drop at the heart. Vajra repetition is an important practice of the stage of completion; Nga-wang­ bel-den mentions that even though it is not mentioned in connection with subsequent levels, it can be continued right through the level of union.


Meditation on a Substance Drop The third yoga of verbal isolation, the meditation on the substance drop, enhances the process of drawing winds into the indestructible drop . The substance drop is imagined to be composed of the white and red drops; in the meditation on it, one imagines a drop at the point where there is a meeting of the two lower openings of the two central chan­nels of oneself and either a real or imagined "seal" (a sexual consort that assists one to achieve a bliss consciousness that realizes emptiness, "sealing" phenomena with bliss and emptiness) . 158 This sexual union, real or imagined, causes the substance drop to appear at the tip of the sexual organ, but the drop is not emitted, being willfully held in place. The seal with whom one is in sexual union may be either real or imagined. However, if the seal is merely a Wisdom Seal*, an imagined consort, one can attain only the level of mental isolation, not the final mental isolation that results in an illusory body in one's present lifetime. 159 An Action Seal* , an actual consort, is needed in order to complete all the qualities of mental isolation, because one needs to with­draw all of the winds just as they are withdrawn at death in order to rise in an illusory body. This yoga serves to further enhance the loosening of the channel-knots and the collection of winds into the inde­structible drop . As will be seen, the definition of the level of mental isolation seems to imply that the substance drop yoga is in fact necessary for the full loosening of the knots. When the three drop yogas of verbal isolation have caused the dissolution of at least some of the winds in the indestructible drop, one passes to the level of mental isola­tion.

3 Mental Isolation The definition of the level of mental isolation is: 160 the stage of completion from the point at which one generates the exalted wisdom of appearance that has arisen due to the dissolution of the winds in the indestructible drop at the heart - having fully un­ tied the channel knot at the heart in dependence upon ( 1) internal conditions, [namely] vajra repeti­tion and the stages of withdrawal of the two concen­trations, and (2) an external condition, vitality­ lengthening involving a seal - for as long as one has not achieved an impure illusory body. Mental isolation begins with the manifestation of the empties due to the dissolution of winds in the indestructible drop in the heart, and it ends just before one rises in an illusory body. There are actually two types of mental isola­tion: a mere mental isolation that is achieved by depending on a Wisdom Seal - an imagined consort - and a final mental isolation that can only be achieved with an Action Seal - an actual consort - or at death. A final mental isolation is a prerequisite for passing on to the next level of the stage of completion, the level of illusory body. Mere


mental isolation requires the dissolution of at least some of the winds into the indestructible drop whereas the final mental isolation occurs only if all of the winds are dissolved in it. On the level of mental isolation, that which is isolated, or suppressed, is conceptuality; the mind is isolated from con­ceptuality by being made to appear as an entity of non differentiable bliss and emptiness. 16 1 The practices begun on the level of verbal isolation are continued. To proceed from mental isolation to the next level, that of the illusory body, one must switch from an imagined to an actual consort if one has not done so already. Two Conditions for Attaining Mental /solation The internal and external conditions one must depend upon in order to attain the level of mental isolation and bring it to completion are very similar to the practices of the level of verbal isolation. The internal condition is vajra repetition ­ the second yoga of verbal isolation, the actual verbal isola­tion in which, visualizing a drop of light at the upper opening of the central channel (between the eyebrows), one observes the reverberation of the breath as OM, Ali, and H UM and two stages of "withdrawal" involving visualization practices . 162 The first type of withdrawal in­volves a visualization in which one imagines a Buddha's Pure Land, marvelous in appearance and filled with deities, and a syllable, HUM, located at the heart, from which light rays are emitted. The rays of light emitted from the HUM at one's heart are imagined to dissolve the environment and the beings of the Buddha's Pure Land; the resulting mass of light then dissolves in one's own body, and coalesces into one's heart; after that, appearances cease, and one medi­tates on emptiness . The second type of withdrawal does not involve the imagination of a Buddha's Pure Land, and so forth. One imagines that the light rays emitted by the HUM at one's heart dissolve one's body into light; subsequently, appearances cease and one meditates on emptiness. 163 -

The external condition of mental isolation is either a Wisdom Seal or an Action Seal. The Wisdom Seal is an internal (imagined) seal whereas the Action Seal is an exter­nal (actual) seal; thus, it is not the case that the external condition of mental isolation must be an external seal, in the sense of an actual consort. An Action Seal is a special partner, one who must have received initiation in the tan­ tra, know its meaning, keep the pledges and vows, and at least have experience of the stage of generation, if not the stage of completion. Some tantras even specify the shape, type of eyes, tone of voice, and skills in the sixty-four "arts of love" that should be possessed by an ideal Action Seal. 1 64 Certain activities are carried out with an Action Seal to increase bliss and thereby enhance the consciousness that realizes emptiness . These deeds* 1 65 (see chart 6) are per­ formed after attaining a mere mental isolation, and their enactment helps one to gain, respectively, the illusory body, a learner's union, and a non-learner's union. Without these deeds, which presuppose the assistance of an Action Seal, enlightenment in one lifetime is. impossible. There are three categories of deeds: the elaborative*, the non-elaborative, and the very non-elaborative . Elaborative deeds involve masks, clothing like that of the Seal, and the "call and response" of the imagined deity and Seal. Non­ elaborative deeds also use masks and clothing but do not involve the "elaborations" of call and response. Very non­ elaborative deeds involve only sexual union with a Wisdom Seal and use of the clear light of sleep without any external elaborations . Deeds o f all three types are performed both o n the stage of generation and the stage of completion. After completing both the coarse and subtle levels of the stage of generation, one performs deeds with a Seal to bring about more quickly the attainment of what are called "common feats" (Buddha­ hood being the "supreme feat), which include the control of harmful beings, the increase of intelligence and wealth, clairvoyance, and being able to understand a treatise im-


The use of an Action Seal is one of two ways to proceed to the level of illusory body. The only other way to rise in an illusory body is to use one's actual death as the means of withdrawing all the winds, practicing vajra repetition as one is dying. (If one is capable of performing it, this practice would result in an illusory body instead of an intermediate state body and in the attainment of enlightenment without again being reborn into a coarse body .) Shakyamuni Bud­dha, in his last lifetime prior to enlightenment, used an Action Seal, but it is said that although Dzong-ka-ba also became a Buddha, he did not use an Action Seal, becoming enlightened in the intermediate state instead. Dzong-ka-ba did this because he feared his followers would imitate him without being properly prepared, thus hampering instead of enhancing their practices. 167 Some tantric yogis abstain from the use of a consort out of concern that if they are not properly able to use desire in the path they will destroy what they have previously accomplished and fall into a bad migration. Nga-wang-bel-den, however, states that if one uses an Action Seal after having attained mental isolation, one will incur no such faults . The Four Empties and the Four Joys In verbal isolation, the four empties and the four joys are


experienced as the result of the entry, abiding, and dissolu­tion of winds into the central channel and the blazing up of the Fierce Woman, whiCh melts the drops and causes them to flow in the central channel, producing the four joys . In mental isolation, the empties and joys occur as a result of the dissolution of the winds into the indestructible drop, a process that is not completed until the final mental isola­tion. As in earlier levels of the stage of completion, one does not experience full-fledged manifestation of the four empties at mere mental isolation. The four empties cannot be fully qualified until all of the winds are dissolved in the indestructible drop in the way that they are at death, and this occurs at the very end of mental isolation. 168

4 Impure Illusory Body The definition of the level of impure illusory body is : 169 the stage of completion starting from the actual achievement of a divine body adorned with the ma­jor and minor marks, by way of the following. The metaphoric clear light of the final mental isolation has acted as the cooperative condition, and the fun­damental wind that serves as its mount has acted as the substantial cause . Also, simultaneously, the mind of near attainment of the reverse process has been established upon the winds moving slightly from the metaphoric clear light of the final n1ental isolation. It ranges up to but does not include gen­eration of the proximate causes that are the methods [for actualizing] the actual clear light� In the level of illusory body, one actually takes on the form of a deity. This occurs in the following manner. First, because of the meditations of the level of mental isolation and the use of an Action Seal, all of the winds dissolve in the indestructible drop in the heart. Then, the mind of metaphoric clear light* - the fourth empty - is experi­enced. When the winds fluctuate slightly, the form of the deity one has been visualizing in previous levels of the stages of generation and completion suddenly materializes . This is the illusory body; made entirely of non-obstructive wind, it shimmers and moves like a mirage. It appears to be exactly like the body of the deity, except that it is white instead of being multi-colored . 170 At the moment of attain­ing the illusory body, one begins to re-experience the minds that are coarser than the metaphoric clear light of mental isolation; going through a reverse process, one experiences the minds of black near-attainment, red or orange increase, white appearance, and then the sense and conceptual con­sciousnesses, all the while appearing in an illusory body. At this level of the stage of completion, the deity body in which one arises is an impure illusory body. It is considered­ to be impure because one has not yet abandoned the afflic­tive obstructions*, that is, the obstructions to liberation from cyclic existence established by the afflictions of desire, hatred, and ignorance. 1 71 (It is not until the level of clear light that those afflictions are eliminated; after liberation one's appearance in an illusory body is pure .) An illusory body is so-called because, like a magician's illusion, it is non-obstructive, being made only of wind, and seen only by the yogi and others who also have attained an illusory body. 1 72 Nevertheless, it bears the complete markings of a Buddha, which consist of thirty-two major and eighty minor features (such as a crown protrusion, elongated ears, dharma-wheel on the palms, and so forth) . An illusory body can separate from the coarse body and go where one wishes it tp go, but whether or not it must initially rise inside the coarse body is disputed. 1 73 The Coarse, the Subtle, and the Very Subtle Each sentient being has three types of bodies and minds the coarse, the subtle, and the very subtle (see chart 7). The coarse body is the body of which we are ordinarily aware, composed of the four elements and the substances evolved from them. The subtle body comprises the chan-


nels, winds, and drops. The very subtle body is the very subtle fundamental wind in the indestructible drop that serves as the mount of the mind of clear light. The fun­damental wind is called "fundamental" because even though it is impermanent, changing moment to moment, its continuum is eternal. Dwelling in the indestructible drop throughout all of one's previous lifetimes, it continues to exist even at Buddhahood, 175 serving as the mount for the very subtle mind of clear light in which a Buddha con­tinuously abides. It is the most subtle wind, more subtle than the winds in the channels that dissolve into it, those in turn being more subtle than the coarse. winds (such as the winds of the sense powers) that dissolve into them. With regard to minds, the coarse minds are the sense consciousnesses; the subtle mind is the conceptual mental consciousness; and the very subtle mind is the mind of clear light that is mounted upon the very subtle fundamental wind. The difference in the subtlety of these minds is said to be like the quality of the subtlety of the mind at the time of being awake (coarse), when dreaming (subtle), and when in a dreamless sleep 1 76 (very subtle) . In ordinary waking life, only the coarse body and the coarse and subtle minds (the ordinary sense consciousnesses and the mental consciousness) are manifest. However, in the levels of physical, verbal, and mental isolation of the Highest Yoga Tantra stage of completion, the subtle body of channels, winds, and drops, and the subtle minds of the four empties - white appearance, red increase, black near­ attainment, and clear light - also become manifest. (The four empties, except for the actual clear light of the level of clear light, are conceptual consciousnesses because they are not non-dualistic, being affected by the appearance of sub­ject and object and by the appearance of their objects as being inherently existent. Hence, they are only subtle minds, not very subtle minds .) The very subtle mind - the mind of clear light - becomes manifest only after all the coarse and subtle winds have dissolved into the indestruct-


ible drop at the heart. The very subtle body - the very subtle fundamental wind - also becomes manifest only when the coarse and subtle winds dissolve into the inde­structible drop . As previously mentioned, it serves as the mount for the mind of actual clear light. The very subtle wind and mind and the coarser winds and minds never operate simultaneously. Chart 7. The Coarse, the Subtle, and the Very Subtle Coarse



For the illusory body to appear, it is necessary that the subtle and coarse bodies be separated, that is, that the coarse body cease to function. Tantric yogis use one of two ways to separate the bodies. One way of separating the bodies is to use death, which always separates the coarse and subtle bodies (and causes the coarse body to be dis­carded as a useless corpse) . Ordinary death can only be used in the path if a yogi has achieved the level of mental isola­tion and is able to perform practices associated with verbal isolation - vajra repetition and the two stages of withdraw­al - while undergoing the process of death. By doing that, the yogi gains control over the winds, causing them to dissolve into the indestructible drop; then when the mind of clear light becomes manifest at the moment of death, he or she can remain within it, 177 subsequently rising in an illu­sory body instead of an intermediate state body. After rising in an illusory body, the remaining stages of Highest Yoga Tantra can be completed without again being reborn in a coarse body. Dzong-ka-ba himself is said to have attained enlightenment in place of the intermediate state. 178


The other way to separate the coarse and subtle bodies is through meditation, which is of two types . The first type of meditation is the practice of transference of consciousness*. One of the practices of the tantric system known as the six yogas of Naropa, it can be used to transfer one's mind into the body of someone who has just died or to gain rebirth in a Highest Pure Land* at the time of death. 179 It involves the ejection of the fundamental wind and mind, in the form of a deity, from the top of the head by means of wind yoga and repeated imagination. However, transference of conscious­ness merely separates the coarse and subtle bodies without also leading to the attainment of an illusory body. The second method of using meditation to separate the coarse and subtle bodies is the meditation of final mental isolation, which involves causing the winds to enter and dissolve in the indestructible drop with the assistance of an Action Seal, an actual consort. The use of an Action Seal is a powerful technique for causing the winds to enter the central channel. 180 This technique alone is sufficient, for when all the winds are totally dissolved in the indestructible drop, all the activities of the coarse body cease and the fundamental wind naturally rises into an illusory body. As was mentioned earlier, once one rises in an illusory body it is possible to separate from the coarse body accord­ing to one's wish. If an illusory body initially rises inside the coarse body, it does so at the heart. 1 81 One may stay outside the coarse body for as long as one is able to remain in the illusion-like meditative equipoise of final mental isolation, that is, a meditative equipoise in which all objects appear to be like illusions . As the meditative equipoise deteriorates, or as one approaches the end of a previously set-up medita­tion session, the illusory body re-enters the coarse body. The coarse body cannot be utterly abandoned at this level of practice, because the force of the karma that impells it has not been destroyed (and will not be destroyed until the level of actual clear light) . However, even later, when one has a pure illusory body and no longer needs the coarse body, the


coarse body need not be abandoned; if, for the sake of others, it would serve a purpose to continue in one's old form, the old coarse body can become one of one's emana­tion bodies . Enlightenment is actually attained in a pure illusory body as one passes from a learner's union to the non-learner's union (Buddhahood) and it occurs in the same lifetime that one attains the impure illusory body. It is not possible to become enlightened in the coarse body; hence, Shakyamuni Buddha's attainment of enlightenment under the bodhi tree in India was a display done for the sake of others, his enlightenment having been accomplished prior to his birth as Siddhartha Gautama, prince of the Shakyas . The only sense in which it is possible to achieve enlightenment in one body in one lifetime is when "one body" is taken to mean one coarse body, for in tantric practice one initially uses a coarse body but later switches to a very subtle body - the pure illusory body composed of the very subtle fun­ damental wind - to finish the path. The Four Empties and the Illusory Body The illusory body has two causes: the mind of metaphoric clear light of mental isolation and the fundamental wind that serves as its mount. The fundamental wind in the indestructible drop is the "substantial cause"* of the illu­sory body, the material from which it develops. The mind of metaphoric clear light is, therefore, a "cooperative condi­tion"* of the illusory body; it is a necessary element of the production of the illusory body because the fundamental wind would not be manifest in its absence. The mind of clear light of mental isolation is "metaphoric" because it is not an actual mind of clear light, being tainted by subtle dualistic appearance. (The actual clear light is the non­ conceptual, non-dualistic realization of emptiness by a mind of great innate bliss. ) When one initially rises in an illusory body, one reverses out of the mind of clear light that dawned at the end of the


level of mental isolation, going back into the third empty ­ black near-attainment - and subsequently into the second empty, first empty, and eighty indicative conceptions . These minds are called the empties, etc . , of the "reverse" process because the mind, having gone "forward" through the minds of white appearance, red increase, black near­ attainment, and clear light as more winds entered and dis­solved in the indestructible drop, now reverses the process as the very subtle fundamental wind takes shape as an illusory body. The attainment of the impure illusory body at the begin­ning of the "reverse" process after having achieved the metaphoric clear light of mental isolation is similar to the way an intermediate state body is manifested in the process of death, intermediate state, and rebirth. At the time of death, the mind of clear light of death becomes manifest; immediately after it has ceased, the coarser minds serially manifest, beginning with the mind of black near-attainment of the reverse process, and an intermediate state body - a type of illusory body - instantaneously rises from the fundamental wind. 182 Acquiring the ability to manifest an illusory body means, in effect, that one has overcome death forever. Ordinarily one has no control over the process of death, intermediate state, and rebirth, being powerlessly drawn into cyclic ex­istence again and again; but one who has attained an illu­sory body cannot die, for to die means to experience the process of death due to the impelling force of karma, thence to be drawn into an intermediate state body and thence to be drawn into yet another birth. One who has achieved an illusory body has gained control over the winds and can experience the process of death without entering the in­termediate state and taking rebirth. Exemplification of the Illusory Body The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra uses twelve metaphors to exemplify the illusory body. The illusory body is likened to: 1 a human emanated by a magician, because it is only wind and mind·' 183 2 the reflection of the moon in water, because just as the moon, reflected in hundreds of puddles, seems to be everywhere, so the illusory body can spontaneously appear anywhere; 184 3 a shadow, because it is an appearance of a body without flesh and bones; 4 a mirage, because it shimmers and fluctuates; 5 a dream body, because of being mere wind and mind, separate from the coarse or fruitional body (that is, the ordinary coarse body that is the fruit of karma); 6 an echo, because just as an echo seems to be disassoci­ated from the original sound that was its cause, so the illusory body, though actually one continuum with a fruitional body, 185 appears to be different from it; 7 a city of scent-eaters or fata morgana, because just as the tiny beings called "scent-eaters" inhabit cities that seem to appear or disappear suddenly, an illusory body in­stantaneously appears or disappears;186 8 a hallucination, because just as many figures can appear in a hallucination, the illusory body can appear to be many; 9 a rainbow, because its colors are unmixed; 10 lightening in dark clouds, because just as lightening flashes within clouds, an illusory body abides in the aggregates of the fruitional body; 1 1 a water bubble, because just as a water bubble rises up suddenly out of the water, an illusory body arises all at once from emptiness; and 12 a mirror-image of Vajradhara, because all its limbs are complete. The best of these examples is said to be the dream body because (1) it is the only example that actually is itself a type of illusory body, and (2) its precursor, actuality, and con-


elusion - that is, what immediately precedes it, what it is, and how it ends - exemplify the illusory body (see chart 8). A dream body is a subtle body made of wind and mind that issues forth out of the coarse body after one has gone to sleep. Even ordinary people have dream bodies, but most have no control over them, whereas yogis can use them to travel about and perform various activities. 187 The dream body is itself an actual illusory body (though not one pro­duced by the path) because it is a body made of wind and mind, either abiding within the coarse body or issuing out of it after the winds have been withdrawn and one has experienced the four empties (very briefly) at the time of sleep. The precursor, actuality, and conclusion of the dream body exemplify the precursor, actuality, and conclusion of the illusory body as follows. The empties that are always briefly experienced at the time of going to sleep and which are the precursor of the dream body, are similar to the empties experienced on the path that are the precursor of the illusory body. Then, the dream body itself exemplifies the illusory body because it is itself a type of illusory body, being a body made of wind. The conclusion of the dream body is the dream body's return to the coarse body at the end of the dream, which is like the illusory body's return to the coarse body or emanation body. Chart 8 . The Illusory Body and the Dream Body Phase Precursor


In a similar way, the illusory body, mind of clear light, and emanated forms exemplify the three bodies of a Buddha - the Truth Body , Complete Enjoyment Body, and Emanation Body (see chart 9). In reality, a Buddha's Truth Body is the actual clear light, the mind of great innate· bliss directly realizing emptiness; his Complete En­joyment Body is the pure illusory body, the magnificent form body made of the very subtle fundamental wind; and his Emanation Body is the variety of forms he manifests for the sake of sentient beings . On the path of Highest Yoga Tantra, 189 there are similitudes of the three bodies of the Buddha: the actual clear light of the stage of completion is like the Buddha's Truth Body; the impure illusory body is like his Complete Enjoyment Body; and the use of the old coarse body as an emanation body by one who has attained an illusory body is like the Buddha's Emanation Body. Similitudes of a Buddha's three bodies can be identified not only for the path, but also for the ordinary states of sleep and death. When one goes to sleep, the mind of clear light is momentarily experienced (though not, ordinarily, remembered later); this mind of clear light of sleep is like the Buddha's Truth Body, which is the mind of actual clear light. After one is asleep, a dream body may arise; this dream body, which is a type of illusory body, is like the Buddha's Complete Enjoyment Body, which is a pure illu­sory body. Finally, when the dream body re-enters the coarse body, it is like the Buddha's emanation of a body to serve the welfare of sentient beings. Similarly, at the time of death, one experiences the mind of clear light of death, which is similar to the Buddha's mind of clear light, the Truth Body; when one rises in an illusory body in place of the intermediate state body, one has a body like the Buddha's Complete Enjoyment Body; and when one uses another body or series of bodies to complete the path, it is like the Buddha's Emanation Body. Also, just in the ordinary state in general, the mind of clear light at the time of death is like the Buddha's Truth

104 Stage of Completion Body; the intermediate state, in which one has a type of illusory body, is like the Buddha's Complete Enjoyment Body; and conception in the womb is like the Buddha's Emanation Body. I n terms of the different phases of wak­ing, sleeping, and dreaming in ail ordinary day, it is said that deep sleep, a state wherein one is not involved with objects in a dualistic way, is like the Buddha's Truth Body; dreaming, in which one has a dream body, is. like the Buddha's Complete Enjoyment Body; and waking after sleep is like the Buddha's emanation of forms.190


Emanation Body


5 Clear Light The definition of the level of clear light is:191 the stages of completion ranging from the proxi­mate causes that are methods for manifesting the clear light up to but not including the attainment of union. The actual clear light is the mind of great bliss that directly realizes emptiness. Simultaneous with its manifestation, all of the obstructions to liberation -the subtle conception of inherent existence and its karmic seeds -are completely destroyed. Minds of clear light are the fundamental consciousnesses of all beings, ranging from hell-beings to Buddhas. It is the type of mind into which .all beings die and out of which all beings are born in the sense that it is always experienced at the moment of death and again at the moment of concep­tion. For most beings, their mind of clear light is experi­enced only at times when they have no control over it and no cognizance of it -at death, when going to sleep, and so forth. Buddhas, on the other hand, operate only from with­ in it, for Buddhas remain continuously in the mind of clear light, realizing emptiness totally non-dualistically while dualistically realizing all other phenomena with emanations


filling the universe for the welfare of others . The mind of clear light manifests when all of the winds are totally dissolved into the indestructible drop in the heart. The total withdrawal of winds teamed with great bliss makes it an extraordinarily powerful means for realiz­ing the nature of reality, emptiness . The other three empties - white appearance, red in­ crease, and black near-attainment - leading up to clear light are its proximate or immediately preceding causes* . Those three empties are, except for the mind of clear light itself, the most subtle of all consciousnesses and are the last three minds experienced prior to the mind of actual clear light. Though the definition of the level of clear light in­cludes them within the level of clear light, they are not themselves clear lights . Conversely, it is possible for a par­ticular mind of clear light not to be of the level of clear light. For example, minds of clear light experienced at the time of death are not actual clear lights because they are not even path consciousnesses . Also, minds of clear light experi­enced at earlier levels of the stage of completion are "metaphoric" clear lights and not of the level of actual clear light because they are conceptual consciousnesses, tainted by subtle dualism. Furthermore, the mind of clear light of the level of a learner's or non-learner's union is a mind of clear light but is not of the level of clear light. Attaining Clear Light After Sutra Paths Although the other three empties are the immediately pre­ceding or proximate causes of the actual clear light, the basic prerequisites for attaining the actual clear light are either the attainment of the impure illusory body or the accumulation of merit over three periods of countless great aeons . In general, tantric Bodhisattvas attain the impure illusory body as a prerequisite for attaining the actual clear light whereas sutra Bodhisattvas accumulate merit for three periods of countless great aeons. Because Shakyamuni Buddha accumulated merit for three periods of countless great aeons, he was able to actual-


ize the clear light without having to attain the impure illusory body, which would have required the use of a consort. This does not mean, however, that he became enlightened in his coarse body, nor that he shunned the use of a consort on the path. At the end of his last lifetime prior to enlightenment, he attained the last of the ten Bodhisattva grounds (the ten levels of the path of meditation, which immediately precede the path of no more learning, i.e., Buddhahood). He was taken to a Highest Pure Land where in his tantric practice he eventually joined with a consort named Hlay-bu-mo Tik-lay-chok-ma or Devi Tilottama (lha'i bu mo thig le mchog ma, the "Divine Daughter Whose Drop is Supreme") . He received instructions and initiations from previous Buddhas, actualized the clear light, the pure illusory body, and union, whereupon he became completely enlightened; later, he emanated a human body, the historic­ al Shakyamuni, to teach the Doctrine. 194 There are two slightly different explanations for how the actual clear light can be manifested after sutra paths. The first, by Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro, the teacher of Nga-wang­ bel-den, is that when one reaches the last of the ten grounds of the Perfection Vehicle (a point at which one has aban­doned the afflictive obstructions and a certain portion of the obstructions to omniscience) one dwells in meditative equipoise in a Highest Pure Land until aroused by the finger snaps and exhortations of all the Buddhas. They be­ stow on one the third of the four tantric initiations (i.e., the wisdom initiation, which requires a consort) at midnight, and this enables one to manifest the four empties. At dawn, they give one further instructions on the clear light and union - the last initiation (the word initiation) - enabling one to rise in a learner's union, the pure illusory body with the mind of actual clear light. Shortly thereafter, in the third portion of the dawn, one attains a non-learner's union, Buddhahood, the simultaneous union of the pure illusory body and actual clear light devoid even of the obstructions to omniscience. The other explanation of enlightenment at the end of the


sutra paths is that of Dzong-ka-ba's disciple Kay-drup, who explains that with the third initiation one is also "set up" with further instructions (apparently the fourth initiation) . Through the third initiation, one realizes emptiness with great bliss (the mind of actual clear light), and then, through the force of the previous set-up, one rises in a body of union. Those who attain Buddhahood after the complete traversal of the sutra paths always attain it in a Highest Pure Land, whereas those who practice tantra prior to complet­ing the sutra paths can attain enlightenment within the Desire Realm* itself, and those who practice vajra repeti­tion and withdrawal at the time of death can attain enlight­enment in place of the intermediate state. 1 95 Types of Clear Light The term "clear - light" can refer either to a subject or an object. The objective clear light* is emptiness; it is the clear light that is to be realized . The subjective clear light* is the mind realizing emptiness and can be sub-divided into sub­jective clear lights that conceptually realize emptiness and subjective clear lights that directly realize emptiness . The subjective clear light that is the conceptual realization of emptiness is called the metaphoric clear light and the sub­jective clear light that is the direct realization of emptiness is called the actual clear light. The actual clear light of the fourth stage is also spoken of both as "external manifest enlightenment" because it is always initially manifested at dawn (just as Shakyamuni Buddha became enlightened at dawn) and as "internal manifest enlightenment" because it is the all-empty clear light into which all other minds have dissolved. There are three other ways on the stage of completion of speaking about clear light, in terms of the "general" mean­ing, "hidden" meaning, and "final" meaning of clear light (see chart 10). There are two general meanings of clear light; the first is clear light in the sense of a coarse mental consciousness that realizes emptiness. Hence, in this gener-


al meaning of clear light, a mind of clear light is experienced even in the Perfection Vehicle (the sutra paths) and the three lower tantras because they also include such minds that realize emptiness . The second general meaning of clear light is in the sense of a "melting" bliss consciousness one generated due to the melting and dripping of the drops in the channels - that realizes emptiness. This type of consciousness is also not unique to the Highest Yoga Tantra stage of completion, for it can be experienced even on the stage of generation. The "hidden" meaning of clear light is the metaphoric clear light, the ordinarily hidden subtle consciousness that does not become manifest until winds dissolve in the central channel. The metaphoric clear lights that occur on the levels of physical, verbal, and mental isolation, and impure illusory body are this clear light. The actual clear light is the final meaning of clear light, the final mode of realizing emptiness by a consciousness of innate bliss . It is fmal in the sense of being the "final quality" or highest level of mind . 1 9 6 Chart 10. Meanings of Clear Light Type


Learner's Union

The definition of a learner's union is: 1 97 the stages of completion taken from rising in a pure illusory body -in dependence on the winds that serve as the mount of the actual clear light of the fourth stage serving as its substantial cause and the mind of clear light serving as its cooperative condi­tion, this arising being simultaneous with slight movement of the winds from that actual clear light of the fourth stage -up through the actual clear light at the end of learning. After one has experienced the actual clear light, the winds stir slightly again, and one rises in an illusory body that - now, due to the destruction of the obstructions to liberation from cyclic existence, is called a pure illusory body. The substantial cause of the pure illusory body is the very subtle fundamental wind, and the cooperative condition of the pure illusory body is the mind of clear light. However, the mind of clear light is not itself manifest at the time of attaining the pure illusory body. 198 Instead, one "reverses" into the mind of black near-attainment and goes back through the other coarser minds. When one has attained the


pure illusory body but does not also have the mind of actual clear light, one has attained a union of abandonment*, whereas when one later re-experiences the mind of actual clear light, one attains a realizational union* . That is, when, having risen in a pure illusory body, one again attains the actual clear light, one achieves a realizational union of the pure illusory body and actual clear light. 1 99 With the attainment of a learner's union one has simul­taneously attained the second Bodhisattva ground and the fourth of the five paths, the path of meditation . Continuing to meditate on emptiness and also to perform other activi­ties while subsisting in a pure illusory body, one again attains the actual clear light. Within the resulting realiza­tional union of the pure illusory body and the actual clear light, one practices until the obstructions to omniscience have been destroyed and thereby passes on to Buddhahood, the non-learner's union of the Form Body and Truth Body, that is, the pure illusory body and the mind of actual clear light, devoid of all obstructions. From the illusory body one can emanate as many forms as one wishes (including using one's old, coarse body) to act for the benefit of others, thus quickly amassing vast collec­tions of merit. 200 When the collections of merit and wisdom have been completed, the last obstructions to omniscience are eliminated, and the actual clear light and the pure illusory body become the mind and body of a Buddha. This final union, that of a non-learner, has seven exalted features: 201 1 one's Complete Enjoyment Body has the thirty-two ma­jor and eighty minor marks of a Buddha; 2 one's Complete Enjoyment Body is embracing a Wisdom Seal; 3 one's mind always remains in a state of great bliss; 4 that bliss is always mixed with cognition of emptiness; 5 one's mind never wavers from great compassion for all sentient beings;


6 the continuum of one's body never ceases; and 7 one's emanations pervade the universe ceaselessly per­forming activities for the benefit of others. These are the incomparable qualities of a Buddha Superior. Bringing Death to the Path The achievement of Buddhahood through the tantric path also brings to a conclusion the tantric process of mimicking death, intermediate state, and rebirth. The quintessential feature of Highest Yoga Tantra is that the ordinary events of death, the intermediate stage, and rebirth are "brought to the path", i . e . , mimicked, and transformed into the three bodies - the Truth Body, the Complete Enjoyment Body, and the Emanation Body - of a Buddha (see chart 1 1) . Death is brought to the path in the stage of generation by visualizing the process of the dissolution of elements, etc . , as it occurs at the time of death; it is brought to the path in the stage of completion by the actual dissolution of all of the winds in the indestructible drop at the heart at the end of the level of mental isolation,. a process that corresponds, in the ordinary state, to dying. The very subtle mind of clear light that dawns upon the dissolution of winds in the indestructible drop at the heart, rather than becoming the clear light of ordinary death, becomes the metaphoric clear light and then the actual clear light, the omniscient consciousness - the Truth Body - of a Buddha. The intermediate state is brought to the path in the stage of generation by visualizing that one rises up in the form of a mantra seed syllable or as a hand symbol such as a vajra or lotus, and it is brought to the path in the stage of comple­tion by rising in an illusory body, an event that, in the ordinary state, occurs only as one enters the intermediate state between death and rebirth . The very subtle wind that abides in the indestructible drop and ordinarily becomes manifest only at the time of death does not become the substantial cause of the body of the intermediate state

1 14 Stage of Completion being; rather, it becomes the substantial cause of the im­ pure illusory body and then the pure illusory body, which, at the time of a non-learner's union, is the Complete Enjoy­ment Body of a Buddha. Death, the dissolution of the aggregates due to the exhaustion of their impelling karma, is destroyed. Birth is brought to the path in the stage of generation by one's appearance as a deity and it is brought to the path in the stage of completion by taking the old body as an Emana­tion Body after enlightenment, just as one ordinarily assumes a body at the time of conception in the ordinary state. Chart 1 1. Transformation of the Ordinary State in the Path Ordinary State



Systems of Highest Yoga Tantra



The Tantric College of Lower Hla-sa teaches eight great tantric systems of instruction for the stage of completion: Nagarjuna's system of Guhyasamaja, Janapada system of Guhyasamaja, Luhipada's system of Chakrasamvara, GhaiJ.tapada's system of Chakrasamvara, the system of Kalachakra, the system of the three Yiimaris, the system of Mahi Chakra, and the Six Yogas of Naropa. 20 3 With the exception of Kalachakra, all of these systems explain similarly the process of achieving complete enlightenment. 204 They say that first one practices the stage of generation and makes it stable (as in the Guhyasamaja subtle stage of generation, wherein at the perfection of visualization the entire mandala can be vividly seen in a subtle drop) . Then one gains serviceability of the winds and drops through various techniques (such as wind yoga or heat yoga); 20 5 as a result, winds enter the central channel, bringing about the manifestation of the four empties - the minds of white appearance, red increase, black near­ attainment, and clear light. Completing the process of wind-gathering, one rises in an illusory body , subse­quently experiences the mind of actual clear light, and fmally attains a simultaneous union of the clear light and


illusory body. In all of these systems, the actual clear light is the substantial cause of the Buddha's Truth Body, and the illusory body is the substantial cause of his Form Body. The exception to this scheme is the system of the Kalachakra Tantra, which sets forth unique methods for the creation of similitudes of a Buddha's mind and body. Whereas other tantras merely teach methods to separate the very subtle body and mind from the coarse and subtle body and mind, the practice of Kalachakra results in the total de-materialization of the coarse body of the elements and their evolutes and the subtle body of drops and winds. The following sections will describe the physiology of the subtle body according to Kalachakra and delineate the differences between the Kalachakra and Guhyasamaja systems with regard to the structure of the tantric paths and the fruits of practice. 207


Channels, Winds, and Drops

The Kalachakra system shares with the Guhyasamaja sys­tem the basic scheme of the channels and winds, with minor differences . 208 1 In the Guhyasamaja system, the right and left channels run parallel to the central channel from top to bottom, but in the Kalachakra system, they cross over the central channel at the navel. 209 2 In the Guhyasamaja system, in ordinary waking life the right and left channels contain wind whereas the central channel is absolutely empty. However, according to the Kalachakra system, all three channels contain various substances . In the upper part of the body, the right channel contains blood, the left channel contains semen, and the central channel contains wind. In the lower part of the body, the right channel (now on the left due to having crossed-over at the navel) contains feces, the left channel (now on the right) contains urine, and the central channel contains semen. 3 Some of the channel-wheels have a different number of petals, or spokes: in the Guhyasamaja system, the crown has thirty-two, the forehead has none, and the throat has sixteen, whereas in the Kalachakra system the crown has


Guhyasamaja and Kalachakra



four, the forehead has sixteen, and the throat has thirty­ two . 4 In Kalachakra there are said to be ten winds instead of the five presented in Guhyasamaja. 210 When compared to the other great tantric systems, the most remarkable aspect of the Kalachakra scheme is that winds are already moving in the central channel prior to the beginning of tantric practice and before death. It is also remarkable that the lower portion of the central channel is said to contain semen. (In the Guhyasamaja system, where the central channel is empty from top to bottom, the plea­sure of orgasm is explained by the fact that semen passes near the central channel; that is why the presence of the red and white drops in the central channel causes a bliss a hundred times greater than that of orgasm.) The Kalachakra system also differs greatly from the Guhyasamaja system with regard to the types of drops (see chart 1 2) . As in the Guhyasamaja system, there are material red and white drops, but the Kalachakra system adds four other types of drops (made from the red and white drops) that normally abide in seven separate locations in the body. The four drops are: (1) body drops, located at the crown and navel, which bear the karmic predispositions involved in wakefulness; (2) speech drops, located at the throat and secret place, which bear the karmic predispositions in­volved in dreaming; (3) mind drops, located at the heart and center of the sexual organ, which bear the karmic predispositions involved in deep sleep; and (4) exalted wis­dom drops, located at the navel and tip of the sexual organ, which bear the karmic predispositions involved in absorp­tion (sexual pleasure). All four types of drops are the size of mustard seeds and are a mixture of red and white drops . The very subtle wind and mind abides in all of them (rather than in an indestructible drop, which is never mentioned), and hence, these drops are the basis for the infusion of karmic predispositions . zu That being the case, the four drops contain all the obstructions that are to be removed,


that is, purified. The collection of winds at the locations of these drops activates the predispositions infused in them. In wakeful­ness, many winds gather at the crown of the head and at the navel; in dreaming, many winds gather at the throat and secret place; in deep sleep, many winds gather at the heart and center of the sexual organ; and in sexual union, many winds gather at at the navel and tip of the sexual organ. Due to the activation of karmic predispositions that are located at those places, various pure and impure objects are pro­duced. When one is awake, either pure appearances (such as the body of a deity) or impure appearances are produced; when one is dreaming, either pure "mere sound" (such as mantra) or impure "mistaken speech" are produced; when one is in a dreamless sleep, either pure non-conceptuality (the direct realization of emptiness) or impure unclarity are produced; and when one is in sexual union, either pure bliss (a great bliss consciousness that realizes emptiness) or im­ pure emission of semen are produced. Ordinary persons experience only impure objects, for they are as yet unable to activate the karmic predispositions for the production of pure objects. The goal of the path is to purify the drops such that only the pure objects -pure appearances, mere sound, non­ conceptuality, and bliss - remain, whereas the impure objects -impure appearances, mistaken speech, unclarity, and emission of semen - are precluded On the path, potencies with the body drops are purified into the "empty forms" (deity bodies devoid of materiality) that will ripen as the Buddha's body, potencies with the speech drops are purified into the mantra sounds that will ripen as the Bud­dha's speech, and potencies with the mind drops and ex­alted wisdom drops are purified respectively into the non­ conceptual realization of emptiness and the great bliss realizing emptiness that will ripen as the Buddha's mind. In terms of the three bodies of the Buddha, potencies with the body drops become the Emanation Body, potencies with .


the speech drops become the Complete Enjoyment Body, and potencies with the mind and exalted wisdom drops together become the Truth Body. 212 In contrast, the Guhyasamaja system does not posit body, speech, mind, and exalted wisdom drops, does not say that drops are bases for the infusion of karmic predispositions, and does not have practices aimed at the purification of drops. Chart 1 2 . Drops in the Kalachakra System Type of


3 Levels of the Kalachakra Stage of Completion As in the Guhyasamaja system, the Kalachakra system21 3 seeks to establish the causes for Buddhahood by the genera­tion of a consciousness in which bliss and emptiness are non differentiable united. In Kalachakra, the non differentiable union of bliss and emptiness refers to supreme immut­able bliss and empty form bodies, that is, bodies of the male and female deities which, though they appear as bodies, are devoid of materiality. Still, because both the appearance of empty form bodies in Kalachakra and the appearance of oneself as a deity in Guhyasamaja are appearances in form of the wisdom that realizes emptiness, and because the "in­ nate" bliss of Guhyasamaja is not inferior to the "immut­able" bliss of Kalachakra, 214 the two systems are not essen­tially different in their presentation of the union of bliss and realization of emptiness . The six levels of the Kalachakra stage of completion have the same names as the Guhyasamaja system's six types of practice according to technique, namely: individual with­drawal, concentration, vitality-stopping, retention, subse­quent mindfulness, and meditative stabilization. Despite this, there is little resemblance between the two tantric

systems with regard to the actual activities of similarly­ named levels . Chart 1 3 . Yogas of Levels of Kalachakra Level


one binds one's limbs with cloth .or rope. Then one rolls one's eyes upwards (closing them halfway), and holds one's observation on the upper opening of the central channel (between the eyebrows), where there is an empty space. What one begins to see there is a tiny blue drop; it contains the predispositions that produce the waking state. 216 As one gains facility in this meditation, a series of eleven objects appear to the mind, called "night signs" and "day signs" . 21 7 The four night signs are ( 1) an appearance like smoke, (2) a shimmering appearance like that of a mirage, (3) an appearance like the specks of light given off by fireflies, and (4) an appearance like the sputtering light of a nearly-depleted butter lamp . These four signs are the same mental images that appear to the mind at the time of death during the dissolution of the four elements - earth, water, fire, and wind - of the body, except that the first two signs are reversed in the Kalachakra system. 2 18 After the night signs dawn, the six day signs 9 arise. They are: the planet kalagni (which is like the sun, or destructive fire, at the end of a great aeon), the sun, the moon, the planet rahu (an eclipse), lightning, and the blue drop itself. The eleventh sign is neither a night or day sign; it is the appearance, in the center of the blue drop, of the outline of Kalachakra and his consort, Vishvamata, in sex­ ual union. This last sign is a precursor of empty forms (forms devoid of materiality) that, on the fifth level - the level of subsequent mindfulness - will appear in reality. The eleven signs that dawn in the yoga of individual withdrawal are not those that precede the dawning of the four empties, although they are very similar to the signs accompanying the dissolutions of the elements and winds preceding death or on the stage of completion of Guhyasa­ rriaja. They are not signs of the four empties because they are not generated due to the dissolution of winds in the central channel; rather, at the time of individual withdrawal when these signs arise, the winds are merely stopped from going outside from the doors of the senses and have not yet been drawn inside.


Concentration Concentration is the continuation of the yoga of individual withdrawal (the penetrative focusing on the upper opening of the central channel) . It is performed in order to stabilize the eleven night and day signs that arose earlier . When the signs become clear and steady, it indicates that the central channel has been purified, and winds from the right and left channels naturally begin to enter it. 220 The first two levels of the Kalachakra stage of completion merely prepare the central channel for the entry of winds, whereas the two like-named levels in the Guhyasamaja sys­tem actually cause winds to enter the central channel. Vitality-Stopping Vitality-stoppini 1 (pra1Jtiyama) has two phases, ( 1) vajra repetition, the observation of the "tones" of the breath, and (2) a yoga called "pot-possessing" which puts together the vitalizing and pervasive winds in the central channel. The pot -possessing yoga is the vivid visualization that the winds from the lower part of the body are held in a pot-like configuration below the navel. 222 These practices cause the winds from the right and left channels to flow into the central channel. Retention Retention is the holding of the winds inside the central channel. One does this by holding the breath, without exhalation or inhalation, after the winds have been gathered in the central channel by means of vitality-stopping. This causes the Fierce Woman to be generated. Subsequent Mindfulness Subsequent Mindfulness involves the use of either an im­agined or actual seal (consort) to make the Fierce Woman blaze up, melting the white drop at the top of the head. Also, one performs deeds of any of the three types elaborative, non-elaborative, or very non-elaborative -


with this seal in order to increase the constituent and keep it from spreading out at the channel wheels. 223 The white drop flows down to the tip of the sexual organ, generating "innate immutable bliss;" it is not emitted, for one has gained control over the winds that ordinarily would cause emission. 224 This drop is the first of 2 1 ,600 white drops that descend and pile up in the central channel, forming a white column while 2 1 ,600 red drops rise one at a time to the top of the head and pile downwards, forming a parallel red column.225 As this process unfolds, one begins to experience the appearances of actual empty form deities; that is, one one­ self appears as a deity devoid of materiality. (These appear­ances, however, are not fully qualified until the end of the next level, meditative stabilization; they gradually become manifest as the drops pile up. 226) That is because, as each drop piles up or down without any emission, one portion of the material {for:m) aggregate and karmic winds are con­sumed and one "immutable bliss" is experienced . The materiality of the entire body gradually diminishes because each of the 2 1 ,600 portions of the form aggregate pervades the whole body. 227 The ordinary body does not actually become an empty form body; rather, it is explained that just as in alchemy, where iron is not transmuted into gold but rather disappears in the presence of the alchemical sub­stance, allowing gold to appear, the ordinary body is de­ materialized so that an empty form body can appear. 22 8 Meditative Stabilization Meditative stabilization is the continuation of subsequent mindfulness, with perhaps one difference. During subse­quent mindfulness, it is said to be sufficient to use any of the three seals (the imaginary Wisdom Seal, actual Action Seal, or Great Seal of Empty Form) . Meditative stabiliza­tion specifically involves the use of a Great Seal of Empty Form, which is needed to accomplish the complete con­sumption of the material aggregates.


The perfection of this practice is sufficient to bring about Buddhahood. Gradually, the white and red drops are built up and down, the material aggregates are consumed, the karmic winds are consumed, and one is suffused with su­ preme immutable bliss . (The drops, it should be noted, also lose their materiality as they pile up and down .) This bliss serves to vastly empower the wisdom consciousness that realizes emptiness, making it possible to quickly overcome the obstructions to liberation and the obstructions to omniscience. At the end of this level, one has completely abandoned all obstructions to Buddhahood and is endowed with both a Buddha's mirror-like wisdom and his body of empty form, which is said to be "like a rainbow" . Chart 1 4 . Achievement of a Buddha's Body, Speech, and Mind Levels of Stage of Completion


3 Summary of Differences with Respect to Practice It is now evident that in several respects there are consider­able differences between the Guhyasamaja and Kalachakra systems of the stage of completion. ( 1) With respect to the stages of the path, the first level of the Guhyasamaja stage of completion - physical isolation - would not occur in the Kalachakra system until the level of vitality-stopping, because it is not until then that winds actually enter the central channel. The first two levels of Kalachakra practice would not even be included in the Guhyasamaja stage of completion, but would be consigned to the stage of generation. Also, heat yoga (the generation of the Fierce Woman) does not begin in the Kalachakra sys­tem until the fourth level - retention - whereas in the Guhyasamaja system, the Fierce Woman is generated at the first level - physical isolation - and at every subsequent level of the path. Furthermore, in the Guhyasamaja system, it is necessary to cause all of the winds to dissolve in the indestructible drop at the heart in the central channel, and for that, it is necessary to generate the Fierce Woman, inner heat, by way of sexual union with an Action Seal. However, in the Kalachakra system, the winds are not said to dissolve


into the indestructible drop. The absence of the Fierce Woman until the fourth level of the Kalachakra stage of completion presumably means that there is no experience of the four joys of descent and ascent of the white and red drop until the fifth stage (al­ though, in fact, the four joys are never mentioned ; only "supreme immutable bliss" i s mentioned as the aspect of bliss ) .

(2) There are ten signs of the dissolution of the coarse into the subtle instead of the eight posited by the Guhyasamaja system, and the order of the first two signs, the appearance of smoke and mirage, is reversed. (3) The Kalachakra system requires the use of a different type of seal - the Great Seal of Empty Form - because it is said that otherwise the drops would not be able to pile up without spreading out at the channel-wheels . (4) The effect of the piling up of drops is to de-materialize the body, which means that there is no way that the old body could be used as an emanation body as in the Guhyasamaja system. (However, if one wished, one could emanate a body like the old one.) (5) From the point of view of the Guhyasamaja system, there would be no way to achieve enlightenment in place of the intermediate state in the Kalachakra system because there is no metaphoric clear light or illusory body. Accord­ing to Guhyasamaja, the attainment of the metaphoric clear light is a necessary precondition for attaining enlightenment in the intermediate state; also, if one were to be enlightened in the intermediate state, it would be in an illusory body which takes the place of an intermediate state body . However, the Kalachakra system speaks of dematerializa­tion of the form aggregate rather than the manifestation of an illusory body. Since Kalachakra practice aims at the dematerialization of the coarse and subtle body in order to destroy the karmic seeds and predispositions preventing liberation and omniscience, it must occur in a coarse body, not in a subtle body such as an intermediate state body. 229



Summary of Differences


This means that one could not attempt to become enlight­ened in the intermediate state as one was dying, contrary to other systems both of tantra and sutra. 2 30 (6) In the Kalachakra system, unlike the Guhyasamaja system, one can generate an empty form - an appearance of the fundamental mind - without actualizing the fun­damental mind itself. (7) Finally, whereas in Guhyasamaja the fundamental wind is the substantial cause of the pure illusory body, in Kalachakra there is no mention of any substantial cause of the empty form. body. 2 3 1

4 The Five Paths and Ten Grounds The paths leading to enlightenment in the sutra system are five: accumulation, preparation, seeing, meditation, and no more learning. A practitioner of the Great Vehicle reaches the path of accumulation upon making a firm determination to attain highest enlightenment with the altruistic motiva­tion of being the greatest source of help to others. The path of preparation is attained through conceptual realization of emptiness by a consciousness that is a union of special insight and calm abiding. The path of seeing and the first bodhisattva ground is reached by the direct realization of emptiness . Subsequently, the realization of emptiness is deepened and enhanced by meditation and the practice of the perfections on the path of meditation (which is compos­ed of the remaining nine bodhisattva grounds), culminating in Buddhahood, the path of no more learning. When the Guhyasamaja and Kalachakra stages of comple­tion are correlated to the five paths and ten grounds, it is clear that the breakdown of Kalachakra levels is weighted more to the paths of accumulation and preparation than is the system of Guhyasamaja. Five of the six Kalachakra levels are correlated to the paths of accumulation and prepa­ration, whereas only the first three Guhyasamaja levels -


physical, verbal, and mental isolation - are equivalent to those sutra paths . In the Guhyasamaja stage of completion, one passes from the path of accumulation (which begins with the generation of the altruistic aspiration to enlightenment by way of the Guhyasamaja system) to the path of preparation when winds begin to enter and dissolve in the central channel; this occurs at the very beginning of the stage of completion when the subtle stage of generation becomes the level of physical isolation of the stage of completion. One remains on the path of preparation through the level of impure illusory body, passing to the path of seeing at the first moment of manifesting the mind of actual clear light. The path of meditation is coextensive with the level of learner's union. It can be divided into nine bodhisattva grounds according to the enhancement of the bliss consciousness that realizes emptiness, the increase in the number of one's exalted qualities, and so forth. 23 2 The path of no more learning, the path of a Buddha, is the non-learner's union. In the Kalachakra system, on the other hand, the path of preparation does not begin until the first white drop reaches the tip of the sexual organ on the fifth level, the level of subsequent mindfulness . The path of seeing (the first direct realization of emptiness) occurs when the white drops have piled up to a point halfway to the secret place, that is, at the 1 ,800th drop, at the beginning of the level of meditative stabilization. 233 There are twelve bodhisattva grounds in the Kalachakra system as opposed to the ten grounds in the sutra and Guhyasamaja layouts/34 and the other eleven grounds are .attained in the same way: one passes from one ground to the next with the completion of each series of 1 800 drops. This reflects the fact that with the descent of each successive drop, the ignition of bliss becomes more intense, enhancing the realization of emptiness. The level of meditative stabilization develops right into Buddhahood, the path of no more learning.

Glossary Bibliography Notes Index

Glossary (Asterisk denotes reconstruction of Sanskrit)

English

Sanskrit

Tibetan

achievement

pratipad

sgrub pa

action

karma

las

Action Seal

karmamudra

las rgya

Action Tantra

kriyatantra

bya rgyud don gyi 'od gsal

actual clear light aeon afflictive

kalpa

bskal pa

klesavarat}.a

nyon mong pa'i

obstructions/

sgrib pa

obstructions to liberation

aggregate

skandha

phung po

altruistic aspiration

bodhicitta

byang chub kyi

analysis

vicara

dpyod pa

appearance

pratibhasa

snang ba

attachment

tr�Qa

sred pal'dod chags

to enlightenment

sems

basic winds

rtsa ba'i rlnng

beginner

adikarmika

las dang po pa

bliss

sukha

bde ba

Bodhisattva

bodhisattva

byang chub sems dpa'

138

Glossary

English

Sanskrit

Tibetan

body

kaya

Ius/sku

branch

arl.ga

yan lag

Buddha

buddha

sangs rgyas

calm abiding

samatha

zhi gnas

cause

hetu

rgyu

central channel

avadhooti

rtsa dbu ma

channel

naQ.i

channel-knot

rtsa rtsa mdud

channel-wheel

cakra

clear light

prabhasvara

'od gsal

coarse

audarika

rags pa

Complete

sambhogakaya

longs sku

rtsa 'khor

Enjoyment Body collection

saD;lbhara

tshogs

compassion

karuJJa

snying rje

concentration

dhyana

bsam gtan

conceptuality

vikalpa/kalpana

rnam rtog/rtog pa

consciousness

jfia/vijfiana

shes palrnam shes

Consequence

prasangika

thal 'gyur pa

continuum

saq1tana

rgyun/rgyud

conventional mind

saq1vrtibodhicitta

kun rdzob byang

conventional truth

saqJ.vrtisa tya

kun rdzob bden pa

correct view

samyakdr�ti

yang dag pa'i lta ba

cyclic existence

saq1sara

'khor ba

School

of enlightenment

chub kyi sems

deeds

carya

spyod pa

deity

deva

lha

deity yoga

devayoga

lha'i rnal 'byor

desire Desire Realm

raga

'dod chags

kamadhatu

'dod khams mngon sum du

divine pride

devamana

lha'i nga rgyal

Doctrine

dharma

chos

direct cognition

rtogs pa

Glossary English

Sanskrit

downward-voiding

139

Tibetan thur sel gyi rlung

wind drops

hindu

effort

virya

eighty indicative

thig le brtson 'grus rang bzhin brgyad

conceptions

cu'i kun rtog

elaborations

prapaiica

·spros pa

Emanation Body

nirmai].akaya

sprul sku

empowerment/

abhiseka

dbang stong ba nyid

initiation emptiness

sflnyata

empty

sflnya

stong pa

enlightenment

bodhi sila

byang chub

ethics exalted wisdom of

tshul khrims stong pa'i ye shes

emptiness excitement exertion

auddhatya vyayama

rgod pa rtsol ba

Fierce Woman

cai].Q.ali

gtum mo

frre-dwelling wind

mnyam gnas kyi rlung

Foe Destroyer form/visible form Form Body

Form Realm

arhan/arhat

dgra bcom pa

rflpa

gzugs

rupakaya riipadhatu

gzugs sku gzugs khams

giving

dana

sbyin pa

great aeon

mahakalpa

bskal pa chen po

Great Vehicle

mahayana

theg chen

ground

bhumi

sa

Highest Pure Land

akani�!ha

'og min

Highest Yoga

anuttarayogatantra

rnal 'byor bla med kyi rgyud

ignorance

avidya

rna rig pa

illusory body

mayadeha

sgyu lus

Tantra

140

Glossary

English

Sanskrit

imprint

Tibetan lag rjes

increase

vrddhiprapta

mched pa

inestimable

  • amatragrhal


gzhal med

mansion

  • sumatragrha


khang/gzhal yas khang

inhalation

analsvasa

dbugs rngub pa

inherent

svabhavasiddha

rang bzhin gyis

establishment

grub pa

initial joining initiation/

dang po sbyor ba abhiseka

dbang

innate j oy

sahajananda

lhan rkyes kyi dga'

intermediate state

antarabhava

bar do

isolation

viveka

dben

j oy

ananda

dga' ba

Knowledge Woman

vidya

rig ma

knowledge-

prajftajftanabhiseka

shes rab ye shes kyi

empowerment ba

dbang

wisdom initiation lama

guru

bla ma

latencies/ predispositions

vasana

bag chags

laxity

laya

bying ba

learner

si�ya

slob pa

left channel

lalana

brkyang ma

liberation

mok�a

thar pa

light drop

abhasabindu

'od thig

mandala

maiJqala

dkhyil 'khor

manifest

abhimukhi

mngon gyur

mantra

mantra

snags

mantra drop

mantrabindu

snags thig

means of

sadhana

sgrub thabs

achievement

Glossary English

Sanskrit

Tibetan

meditative

samahita

mnyam bzhag

samadhi

ting nge 'dzin

cittasarptana

sems rgyud

PUIJ.ya

bsod nams

141

equipoise meditative stabilization mental continuum mental isolation merit

sems dben

metaphoric clear

dpe'i 'od gsa!

light method

upaya

thabs

Middle Way School

madhyamika

dbu ma pa

middling

madhya

'bring

mind

citta

sems

mind of enlighten-

bodhicitta

byang chub kyi sems

ment/altruistic aspiration to enlightenment Mind-Only School

cittamatra

sems tsam pa

mindfulness

smrti

dran pa kun slong

motivation Nature Truth Body

svabhavikakaya

ngo bo nyid sku

near-attainment

alokasyopalabdhisa

nyer thob

non-conceptual

nirvikalpaka

rtog med

obstructions to

klesavaraiJ.a

nyon mongs pa'i .

liberation/afflic-

sgrib pa

tive obstructions obstructions to

jfieyavaraiJ.a

shes bya'i sgrib pa

path

marga

path of

lam

sarp.bharamarga

tshogs lam

omniscience

accumulation path of meditation

bhavanamarga

path of no more

sgom lam

asaik�amarga

mi slob lam

learning

142

Glossary Tibetan

English

Sanskrit

path of preparation

prayogarnarga

sbyor lam

path of seeing

darsanarnarga

rnthong lam

patience

k�anti

bzod pa

Perfection of

prajiiaparamita

shes rab kyi phar

Perfection Vehicle

paramitayana

phar phyin theg pa

Performance

caryatantra

spyod rgyud

Wisdom

rol tu phyin pa

Tantra pervasive wind

khyab byed kyi rhing

phenomenon

dharma

chos Ius dben

physical isolation pledge

samaya

dam tshig

pledge-being

samayasattva

dam tshig pa burn pa can gyi rnal

pot-possessing yoga

'byor vas ana

bag chags

pride

mana

nga rgyal

Pure Land

k�etrasuddhi

dag zhing

predisposition/ latency

rtogs pa

realization

rtogs pa zung 'jug

realizational union renunciation

nil}saraiJ.a

nges 'byung

[restraining] vitality

praiJ.ayarna

srog rtsol

and exertion retention

dhara:Qa

'dzin pa

right channel

rasana

rtsa ro rna

seal

rnudra

phyag rgya yan lag gi rlung

secondary winds secret empowerment

guhyabhiseka

gsang dbang

Secret Mantra

guhyamantrayana

gsang sngags kyi

sense power sentient being

indriya

dbang po

sattva

similar in aspect

  • akarabhagiya


sems can rnam pa dang

Vehicle

theg pa

mthun pa

Glossary

143

Sanskrit

Tibetan

special insight

vipasyana

lhag mthong

special j oy

virmananda

khyad par gyi dga'

Spiritual

sa�gha

dge 'dun

stage of completion

ni�pannakrama

rdzogs rim

stage of generation

utpattikrama

bskyed rim

subsequent

anusmrti

rjes dran

dravyabindu

rdzas thig

English

ba Community stability

gnas cha

mindfulness substance drop subtle

phra ba

Superior

arya

'phags pa

supreme joy

paramananda

mchog dga'

supreme king of

las rgyal mchog

actions supreme king of

dkyil 'khor rgyal

mandalas

mchog

sutra

sfttra

mdo

tantra

tantra

rgyud

tenet system

siddhanta

grub mtha'

those upon whom a

ye shes cung zad

little wisdom has

babs pa

descended those who have

ye shes la cung zad

achieved slight

dbang thob pa

mastery with respect to wisdom those who have

ye shes la yang dag

achieved

par dbang thob

thorough

pa

mastery with respect to wisdom Truth Body

dharmakaya

chos sku

144

Glossary

English

Sanskrit

Tibetan

ultimate mind of

paramartha-

don dam byang

enlightenment

bodhicitta

ultimate truth

paramarthasatya

union

yuganaddha

union of

chub kyi sems don dam bden pa zung 'jug spangs pa zung 'jug

abandonment upward-moving

gyen rgyu'i rlung

wind vagina

bhaga

vajra repetition

vajrajapa

bha ga rdo rje bzlas pa

yana

theg pa

bum dbang

vase initiation vehicle vitality-lengthening

srog sing

vitalizing wind

srog 'dzin kyi rlung

vow

saqtvara

sdom pa

wind (element)

vayu

rlung

wind (vital energy)

prai].a

rlung

wind yoga

prai].ayama

srog rtsol

wisdom

prajfta

shes rab

wisdom being

jftanasattva

ye shes pa

Wisdom Seal

jftanamudra

ye shes kyi phyag

Wisdom Truth

jftanadharmakaya

ye shes chos sku

rgya Body withdrawal

pratyahara

word initiation wrong

sor 'dus tshig dbang

mithyajiiana

log shes

yoga

rnal 'byor

consciousness yoga yoga of single-

rags pa dran pa gcig

mindedness of

pa'i rnal 'byor

the coarse yoga realizing the

phra ba rtog pa'i

subtle Yoga Tantra

rna! 'byor yogatantra

rnal 'byor rgyud

Bibliography Note: "P" refers to the Peking edition of the

Tibetan Tripitaka

(Tokyo-Kyoto: Tibetan Tripitaka Research Foundation, 1956).

1.

Selected Tantras

Guhyasamaja Tantra sarvatathaga takayavakcittarahasyaguhyasamajanamamahakal­ parajalde bzhin gshegs pa thams cad kyi sku gsung thugs kyi gsang chen gsang ba 'dus pa zhes bya ba brtag pa'i rgyal po chen po P 8 1 , Vol. 3 Kiilachakra Tantra paramadibuddhoddhrtasrikalacakranamatantrarajal mchog gi dang po'i sang rgyas las byung ba rgyud kyi rgyal po dpal dus kyi 'khor lo P 4, Vol. 1

Sanskrit and Tibetan Texts Cited in This Book

2.

Chandrakirti (zla ba grags pa, 7th century)

146 Bibliography Brilliant Lamp, Extensive Commentary [on the "Guhyasamaja Tantra"] pradipoddyotananamatika/sgron rna gsal bar byed pa zhes bya ba'i rgya cher bshad pa P 2650, Vol. 60 .

Commentary on (Nagarjuna's) "Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning yukti�a�tikavrttilrigs pa drug cu pa'i grel pa P 5265 , Vol. 98. Dzong-ka-ba (tsong kha pa blo bzang grags pa, 1357- 1 4 1 9)

Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating (Nagarjuna's) "The Five Stages": Quintessential Instructions of the King of Tantras; The Glorious Guhyasamaja rgyud kyi rgyal po dpal gsang ba 'dus pa'i man ngag rim pa lnga rab tu gsal ba'i sgron me P 6 1 67, Vol. 1 5 8 . Also : Varanasi, 1 969.

Great Exposition of Secret Mantra rgyal ba khyab bdag rdo rje 'chang chen po'i lam gyi rim pa gsang ba kun gyi gnad rnam par phye ba, also known as sngags rim chen mo Dharmsala: Shes rig par khang, 1 969. Also:

Collected Works,

Vol. 4 (New Delhi: Ngawang Gelek Demo, 1 975). Sections on Action and Performance Tantras translated by Jeffrey Hopkins as Tantra in Tibet: The Great Exposition of · Secret Mantra. (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1977) and Yoga of Tibet: The Great Exposit-ion of Secret Mantra, Parts 2 and 3 (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1 98 1) . Middling Exposition of the Stages of the Path lam rim chung ba (lam rim 'bring) P 6002, Vol. 1 32 . Also: Dharmsala: Shes rig par khang, 1 968 . Translation of section on special insight by Jeffrey Hopkins

(unpublished); also, Robert A. F. Thurman, Life and Teaching of Tsong Khapa, (Dharmsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1 983).

Precious Sprout, a Final Analysis

mtha' gcod rin po che'i myu gu/ rgyud kyi rgyal po dpal gsang ba 'dus pa'i rgya cher bshad pa sgron rna gsal ba'i dka' ba'i gnas kyi mtha' gcod P 6 1 52, Vol. 1 5 6 .

Three Principal Aspects of the Path

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lam gyi gtso bo rnam pa gsum P 6087, Vol. 1 5 3 . Translated by Geshe Wangyal,

The Door of Liberation, pp. Life and Teachings of

1 28-30, and Robert A. F. Thurman,

Tsong Khapa, pp. 5 7- 8 .

Jam-yang-shay-ba ('jam dbyangs bzhad p a , 1 648- 1 72 1 )

Great Exposition of Tenets/ Explanation of "Tenets", Sun of the Land of S amantabhadra Brilliantly Illuminating All of Our Own and Others' Tenets and the Meaning of the Profound, Ocean of Scripture and Reasoning Fulfilling All Hopes of All Beings grub mtha'i rnam bshad rang gzhan grub mtha' kun dang zab don mchog tu gsal ba kun bzang zhing gi nyi rna lung rigs rgya mtsho skye dgu'i re ba kun skong Mussorie: Dalarna, 1 962.

Presentation of the Seventy Topics dngos po brgyad don bdun cu'i rnam bzhag legs par bshad pa'i mi pham blo ma'i zhal lung Volume 1 5 of

Collected Works (Delhi: Ngawang Gelek Demo, 1 973). Jang-gya Rol-bay-dor-jay (lcang skya rol pa'i rdo rje, 1 7 1 7-86)

Presentation of Tenets/Clear Exposition of the Presentations of Tenets, Beautiful Ornament for the Meru of the Subduer's Teaching grub mtha'i rnam bzhag/grub pa'i mtha'i rnam par bzhag pa gsa! bar bshad pa thub bstan lhun po'i mdzes rgyan Varanasi: Pleasure of Elegant Sayings Press, 1 970. Also:

Collected Works (New Delhi ; Mongolian Lama

Guru

Deva, 1 982) . Kay-drup-ge-lek-bel-sang (mkhas grub dge legs dpal bzang, 1 3 85- 1438)

Ocean of Feats, the Stage of Generation bskyed . rim dngos grub rgya mtsho/rgyud thams cad kyi rgyal po dpal gsang ba 'dus pa"'i bskyed rim dngos grub rgya mtsho Toh. 548 1 , Vol. 59. Lo-sang-gyel-tsen-seng-gay (blo bzang rgyal mtshan seng ge, born 1757/8)

Presentation of the Stage of Completion of the Lone Hero, The Glorious Vajrabhairava, Cloud of Offerings Pleasing Mafijushri

148

Bibliography dpal rdo rje 'jigs byed dpa' bo gcig pa'i rdzogs rim gyi rnam bzhag 'jam dpal dgyes pa'i mchod sprin Delhi: 1 972.

Nga-wang-bel-den (ngag dbyang dpal ldan, b . 1 797)

Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of the Four Great Secret Tantra Sets gsang chen rgyud sde bzhi'i sa lam gyi rnam bzhag gzhung gsal byed rgyud smad par khang edition, no other data. This is the edition used for this book. Also: The Collected Works of ­ Chos-rje Nag-dban-dpal-ldan of Urga, Volume II (Delhi: Mongolian Lama Guru Deva, 1 983) .

Pai].-chen So-nam-drak-ba (pan chen bsod nams grags pa, 14781 5 54)

General Presentation of the Tantra Sets, Captivating the Minds of the Fortunate rgyud sde spyi'i- rnam par bzhag pa skal bzang gi yid 'phrog Dharmsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1 975 . Shantideva (zhi ba lha)

Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds bodhisattvacaryavatara/byang chub sems dpa'i spyod pa la 'jug pa P 5272, Vol. 99 . Sanskrit and Tibetan texts :

Bodhicaryavatara of Santideva,

ed. by Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya (Calcutta: Asiatic Society, 1 960) . Translated by Stephen Batchelor as Guide to the Bodhisatt­ va:�s Way of Life (Dharmsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1 979) . Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro (dbyangs can dga ba'i blo gros, also known as A-gya Yong-dzin [a kya yongs 'dzin] , eighteenth century)

Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating the Presentation of the Three Basic Bodies - Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth gzhi'i sku gsum gyi rnam gzhag rab gsal sgron me

The Collected Works ofA-kya Yongs-'dzin, Vol. 1 (New Delhi: Lama Guru Deva, 197 1 ) .

Translated and introduced b y Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey

Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibe­ tan Buddhism. (Ithaca, N . Y . : Snow Lion Publications, Hopkins as

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3 . Other Works Bagchi, Prabodh Chandra. 1 939. Beyer, Stephen.

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The Tantric Tradition. New YorkSamuel Weiser, 1 97 5 . " S akta and Vajrayana: Their Place i n Indian Thought,"

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padhyay, 1 959 (reprint of 1 924 London edition) . Bhattacharyya, Narendra Nath.

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ism. New Delhi: Munishram Manoharlal, 1 98 1 , pp. 86-99. Blofeld, John.

The Way of Power. London: George Allen &

Unwin, 1 970. Bolles, Kee W. "Devotion and Tantra," in

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Tibetan Yoga. New York: Samuel Weiser,

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The Six Yogas of Naropa & Teachings on Mahamudra. Ithaca, N . Y . : Snow Lion Publications, 1 986 (2nd ed.), (Orig. pub . as Teachings of Ttbetan Yoga, 1 963) . Ch'en, Kenneth. "Transformations in Buddhism in Tibet," Phi­ losophy East and West 7 (Jan. 1 95 8), pp. 1 17-126. Conze, Edward. Buddhism: Its Essence and Development. New Chang, Garma C.C.

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· Buddhist Texts Through the Ages. New York: Harper &

Row, 1 964. Dasgupta, N. Y. "Doctrinal Changes - Tantrik Buddhism, Va­

jrayana, Kalachakrayana, Sahajayana," in The Struggle for Empire, Vol. V of The History and Culture of the Indian People, ed. K. L. M. Munshi. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1959.

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Sricakrasan;zbhara­ tantra in Tantric Texts, VII and XI (ed. Arthur Avalon) . Delhi:

Dawa-samdup, Lama Kazi (ed. and trans . )

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Bulletin of Tibetology 1 ,

no. 2 (Oct. 1964), pp. 5 - 1 6 .

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Drub, Gendun, Dalai Lama I.

Ithaca; N.Y. : Snow Lion Publications, 1 985 . Elder, George. "Problems of Language in Buddhist Tantra,"

History of Religions 15 (Feb. 1 976), pp. 23 1 -250. Pataiijali and Yoga. New York: Schocken Books,

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Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, trans.

Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup. Oxford University Press, 1 928. Filliozat-Jean "Le complexe d'oedipe dans un tantra Bouddhi­ que, " in Bareau (ed . ) ,

Etudes Tibetaines Paris: Librairie

D' Amerique et d'Orient, 1 97 1 . Finot, Louis . "Manuscrits sanskrits de Sadhanas retrouves en Chine, "

Journal Asiatique, 225 ( 1 934) .

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of the West Virginia Philosophical Society 12 (Spring 1977) pp .

20-23 . Getty, Alice.

The Gods of Northern Buddhism. Rutland, Vermont:

Charles E. Tuttle. George, Christopher (trans. ) .

The CarJ4amaharo$arJa Tantra. New

Haven: American Oriental Society, 1 974 .

Creative Meditation and Multi­ Dimensional Consciousness. Wheaton, Ill . : Theosophical Pub­

Govinda, Lama Anagarika . lishing House, 1 976 . --- ·

Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism. London: Rider and

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India, 1956, pp . 94- 1 04. Gray, Terrence James Stannus.

Why Lazarus Laughed: The Essen­ tial Doctrine, Zen-Advaita-Tantra. London; Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1 960..

Guenther, Herbert V. Buddhist Philosophy in Theory and Practice. New York: Penguin Books, 1 97 1 . --- ·

The Life and Teaching of Naropa. Oxford: Clarendon

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Matrix of Mystery. Berkeley: Shambala Publications,

1 984.

Treasures on the Tibetan Middle Way. Berkeley: Shamba­ Tibetan Buddhism Without Mystification, 1 969). Yuganaddha - The Tantric View of Life. Varanasi:

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Tantra. Berkeley: Shambala Publications, 1 975 .

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Guhyasamaja or Tathagataguhyaka . (ed. Benoytosh Bhat­ tacharya) . Gaekwad's Oriental Series #53. Baroda: Oriental Institute, 193 1 . Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang. The Clear Light of Bliss. London: Wis­ dom Publications, 1 982 . · Buddhism in the Tibetan Tradition. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. Gyatso, Tenzin (bstan 'dzin rgya mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV, 1935-). Kindness, Clarity, and Insight. Ithaca, N .Y . : Snow Lion Publications, 1984. The Kalachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation. London: Wis­ dom Publications, 1985. Hadano, Hakuyu. "Human Existence in Tantric Buddhism," Tohoku Daigaku Bungaku Kenkyu-mempo No. 9, 1 958 (Annual Report of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University, Sendai). Hoffmann, H. The Religions of Tibet. London: Allen & Unwin, 1 96 1 . Hopkins, Jeffrey. Meditation on Emptiness. London: Wisdom Publications, 1983 . · The Tantric Distinction. London: Wisdom Publications, 1 984. "Reason as the Prime Principle in Tsong kha pa's De­ lineation of Deity Yoga as the Demarcation Between Sutra and Tantra", Journal of the International Association of Buddhist S tudies, Vol. 7, No. 2 ( 1984), pp. 95- 1 1 5 . Hopkins, Jeffrey (trans. and ed. ) . Compassion in Tibetan Buddh­ ism. Ithaca, N .Y. : Snow Lion Publications, 1 980. Tantra in Tibet: The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1977 . --- · The Yoga of Tibet: The Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, Parts 2 and 3. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1 98 1 . The Kalachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation. London: Wis­ dom Publications,_ l 985 . Hopkins, Jeffrey, and Lati Rinbochay (trans .). Death, Intennedi­ ate State and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism. Ithaca, N . Y . : Snow Lion Publications, 1 980 (2nd Edition). Kariyawasam, A. G . S . "Anuttarayoga-Tantra," Encyclopedia of Buddhism, ed. G . P. Malalasekera. Colombo : Government of Ceylon, 1 96 1 . ---

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Kiyota, Minoru. Tantric Concept of Bodhicitta. Madison: Uni­ versity of Wisconsin South Asia Center, 1 982. Lati Rinbochay. Mind in Tibetan Buddhism. (Elizabeth Napper, trans. and intro . ) . Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1 980 . Lati Rinbochay and Hopkins, Jeffrey. Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism. Ithaca, N .Y . : Snow Lion Publications, 1 980 . Lessing, Ferdinand D . , and Wayman, Alex (trans. ) . Mkhas Grub Rje's Fundamentals of the Buddhist Tantras. The Hague: Mouton, 1 968 . Lopez, Donald S . "Approaching the Numinous: Rudolph Otto and Tibetan Tantra", Philosophy East and West 29, No. 4 (October, 1 979) pp. 467-476. · The Tantric Difference. M.A. Thesis, University of Virgi­ nia, 1 978 . Mullin, Glenn (trans). Selected Works of the Dalai Lama /: Bridg­ ing the Sutras and Tantras: Ithaca, N.Y.: Snow Lion Publica­ tions, 1 985 . Muses, C. A . , and Chang. Esoteric Teachings of the Tibetan Tan­ tra. Switzerland: Falcon's Wing Press, 196 1 . Nalanda Translation Committee. The Life of Marpa the Trans­ lator. Boulder: Prajna Press, 1 98 2 . Odin, Steven . Process Metaphysics and Hua-yen Buddhism . Albany: State University of New York Press, 1 982. "Fantasy Varlation and the Horizon of Openness - A Phenomenological Interpretation of Tantric Buddhist Enlight­ enment," Int�rnational Philosophical Quarterly, 1 98 1 , v. 29, no. 4, pp. 4 1 9-43 5 . Pott, P. H . Yoga and Tantra. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1 966. Rao, Saligrama Krishna Ramachandra. Tibetan Tantrik Tradition. New Delhi: Amold-Heinemann, 1 977 . Reigle, David. The Books of Kiu-te. San Diego: Wizards Book­ shelf, 1 98 3 . Sadhanamala. (ed. Benoytosh Bhattacharya). Gaekwad's Oriental Series #41 . Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1 92 8 . Saunders, E. Dale. "Some Tantric Techniques," in Studies of Esoteric Buddhism and Tantrism. Koya San: Koya San Universi­ ty, 1 96 5 , pp. 1 67- 177 . sGam-po-pa (sgam po pa, 1 079- 1 1 53). The Jewel Ornament of Liberation (trans. H . V. Guenther). London: Rider, 1 959. ---

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1 54 Bibliography Snellgrove, David L. The Hevajra Tantra. (2 vols.) Oxford Uni­ versity Press, 1959. Buddhist Himalaya: Travels and Studies in Quest of the Origins and Nature of Tibetan Religion. New York: Philosophic­ al Library, 1957 . Sopa, Geshe Lhundup. "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism (Notes Contextualizing the Kalacakra)" , Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2. Sopa, Geshe Lhundup, and Jeffrey Hopkins. Practice and Theory of Tibetan Buddhism. New York: Grove Press, 1976. Steinkellner, Ernst. "Remarks on Tantristic Hermeneutics," Bibliotheca Orientalis Hungarica XXIII, ed. Loui s Ligeti. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1978 . Thurman, �obert A. F. "Confrontation and Interior Realization in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Traditions," The Other Side of God (ed. Peter Berger). New York: Anchor Press, 198 1 , pp. 208250. (trans. , ed.) . Life and Teaching of Tsong Khapa. Dharm­ sala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1982. Tsong-ka-pa. Life and Teaching of Tsang Khapa (trans. , ed. Robert A. F. Thurman) . Dharmsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1982. Tantra in Tibet. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1977. Yoga of Tibet. London: George Allen and Unwin, 198 1 . Tsuda, Shinichi. Sart�-varodayatiintra. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1 974. Tucci, Giuseppe. The Religions of Tibet. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1 970. Theory and Practice of the Mandala. London: Rider & Co. , 1 96 1 . Tibetan Painted Scrolls. Rome: Libreria dello Stato, 1 949 . "Some Glosses upon the Guhyasamaja," Melanges Chi­ nois et Bouddhiques III, pp. 339-5 3 . Waddell, L. A. The Buddhism of Tibet or Lamaism. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons, 1 895 . Wangyal, Geshe. The Door of Liberation. New York: Lotsawa, 1 978. Warder, Anthony Kennedy. Indian Buddhism, 2nd ed. Delhi:

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Motilal Banarsidass, 1 980. Wayman, Alex. Yoga of the Guhyasamiijatantra. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1977 . The Buddhist Tantras; Light on Indo-Tibetan Esotericism. New York: Samuel Weiser, 1973 . Wayman, Alex, and Lessing, Ferdinand D. (trans.). Mkhas Grub Rje's Fundamentals of the Buddhist Tantras. The Hague: Mouton, 1 968 . Willis, Janice Dean. The Diamond Light ofthe Eastern Dawn. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972. Winternitz, M. "Notes on the Guhyasamiija-Tantra and the Age of the Tantras," Indian Historical Quarterly IX/1 , 1933, pp. 1-10. Wylie, Turrell. " A Standard System o f Tibetan Transcription," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 22, 1959, pp. 261 -67. --- ·

Notes (See the bibliography for complete publication data of works cited in notes). 1 . Turrell Wylie, "A Standard System of Tibetan Transcrip­ tion", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 22, 1959, pp. 261 -67. 2. mal 'byor bla na med pa'i rgyud/anuttarayogatantra, literally "unsurpassed" or "unexcelled" yoga tantra. 3 . The other three sets of tantras are Action Tantra (bya rgyud, kriyiitantra), Performance Tantra (spyod rgyud, caryiitantra), and Yoga Tantra (mal 'byor rgyud, yogatantra) . The four sets of tantras are said to be differentiated by way of their specially intended trainees' varying abilities to use in the path four forms of desire: looking, laughing, holding hands or embracing, and sexual un­ ion. Only those able to use sexual union in the path are fit to be the specially intended trainees of Highest Yoga Tantra. The intended trainees are also differentiated by their ability to com­ bine external activities and meditative stabilization (Tsong-kha­ pa, Tanira in Tibet, pp. 162-3, and Dalai Lama's introduction, p . 75 . Also, see Jeffrey Hopkins, introduction to Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, The Kiilachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation, pp. 30-38). 4. Taranatha's History of Buddhism in India, trans. by Lama Chimpa and Alaka Chattopadhyaya, edited by Debiprasad Chat­ topadyaya, p . 343 . Also, see A.K. Warder, Indian Buddhism, 2nd

Notes

157

ed. , pp. 488-9, 49 1 . 5 . For instance, Jam-yang-shay-ba calls it the "King of Tan­ tras" (Jam-yang-shay-ba, Great Exposition of Tenets, cha 54b S) Almost two-thirds of the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra is devoted to Highest Yoga Tantra, and for that portion Nga-wang­ bel-den apparently relied mainly on Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro's (dbyangs clzn dga' ba'i blo gros, also known as A-gya Yong-dzin [a kya yongs 'dzin, eighteenth century]) Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of Mantra According to the Superior Nagarjuna's Inter­ pretation of the Glorious Guhyasamaja, A Good Explanation Serving as a Port for the Fortunate. The Guhyasamaja Tantra is taken as the "general system" of Highest Yoga Tantra, the model in terms of which other tantras may be understood. 6. See the bibliography for complete citations. 7 . For biographical information, see Lokesh Chandra, Mater­ ials for a History of Tibetan Literature, Part Two, pp. 1 0- 1 3, 282-284. 8 . Jam-bel-shen-pen, as head of the Ge-luk-ba order, is called the "Throne-holder of Gan-den" (dga' ltan khri pa) to signify that he is the bearer of the lineage originating with Dzong-ka-ba, the founder of the Ge-luk-ba order, who founded Gan-den (dga' ltan) Monastery as the first monastery of his new order. Tri Rin-bo­ chay is a Kam-ba (khams pa) who, as it happens, received his Ge-shay (dge bshes) degree at Gan-den Monastery in Tibet, be­ coming abbot of the Tantric College of Lower Hla-sa after it was re-established in India and becoming head of the Ge-luk-ba order in 1 984. The Tantric College of Lower Hla-sa and the Tantric College of Upper Hla-sa (rgyud s.dod grwa tshang) were the two principal centers of tantric education for the Ge-luk-ba order. Often, one entered the tantric colleges only after the completion of one's other monastic studies, which culminate in the Ge-shay degree, an indication of the Ge-luk-bas's genuine concern that one have a proper basis of monastic discipline, training in theory, and prac­ tice of sl.J,J:ra Buddhism prior to embarking on tantric practice. The two tantric colleges have been re-established by Tibetan refugees in India. 9. See Bibliography under Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro for com­ plete citation. 1 0 . For instance, see works by Bharati, Beyer, Tucci, and .

.

158

Notes

Govinda in the Bibliography.

1 1 . See Agehananda Bharati, The Tantric Tradition, pp . 303336, for an extensive, partially annotated bibliography. He writes : "The excellent work done by a few scholars who braved potential and actual criticism, and who dealt with tantric material . . . appears like a drop in the ocean; an ocean that contains much redundant water, let it be said . . . " (p. I O) . Also, there is a helpful bibliography including translations, editions, and other works, in David Riegle,

The Books of Kiu-te, pp. 53-68 . Among the few

tantras that have been translated into Western languages are the

Hevajra, Chakrasarttvara, Cha1J4amaharo$hat}a, portions of the Sarttvarodaya and Guhyasamiija, and fragments of others. In addi­

tion to the root tantras themselves, there is a vast collection of commentatorial literature that is virtually untouched. Very few studies have been done on the living tradition of Buddhist tantra (there are descriptions of rituals by Lessing, Snellgrove, Way­ man, and a few others). One notable exception is Stephan Beyer's

The Cult of Tara, a fascinating and thorough exploration of the practice and theory of tantras of the Action Tantra (kriyatantra) class.

1 2 . Tri Rin-bo-chay said that according to one text, teaching tantra without pure motivation would result in death within six months and birth in a hell (June 24, 1980) . 1 3 . A recent publication by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a Ge-luk­ ba teacher well-versed in both sutra and tantra (Geshe Kelsang

Clear Light of Bliss. London: Wisdom Publications, 1 982, 254 pp . ) , is a general and moderately detailed commentary

Gyatso,

on Highest Yoga Tantra drawn from many sources and clearly indicates a trend toward greater openness concerning even Highest Yoga Tantra . There are a number of differences between Geshe Gyatso's commentary and Nga-wang-bel-den's presentation of Highest Yoga Tantra, mainly because. the latter is based on the

Guhyasamaja Tantra whereas Geshe Gyatso uses the Heruka Tantra (Chakrasarttvara) for illustration . 14. The deities of tantric Buddhism are considered to be some of the infmite variety of forms taken by Buddhas and Bodhisatt­ vas to teach sentient beings or to be of use to them in other ways.

1 5 . According to Tri Rin-bo-chay, tantras are of two types, those that are the means of expression and those that are the objects of expression. The tantras that are the .means of express-

Notes

159

ion are the books or spoken words o f tantra, and the tantras that are the objects of expression are comprised of three tantras: the fruit tantra, Buddhahood; the path tantra, the graded path of tantric practice; and the natural or causal tantra, the natural causes in sentient beings' mental continuums that make it possi­ ble for them to become Buddhas (June 26, 1980). The basic meaning of tantra is "continuum" or "stream"; a book is a continuum ofwords, and the fruit, path, and natural tantras are also continuums. 16. "Vehicle" can also mean the destination to which one is going. The Hearer Vehicle and Solitary Realizer Vehicle, within the Low Vehicle, are vehicles for those seeking the ranks of Hearer and Solitary Realizer Foe Destroyers . (For an eXPlanation of the translation of shravaka and pratyekabuddha as "Hearer" and " ' Solitary Realizer" , respectively, see Jeffrey Hopkins, Meditation on Emptiness, n. 495 , pp. 840-5 . ) Dzong-ka-ba ex­ plains that vehicles are posited either if there is a great difference of superiority or inferiority in the goal toward which they are progressing or if there are different stages of paths that give them a different character {Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 100). 17. Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 106. He fmds this ety­ mology in the eighteenth chapter of the Guhyasamiija Tantra. According. to Geshe Lhundup Sopa, in the tantric perspective the obstructions to liberation from cyclic existence are the concep­ tion of things as ordinary (rather than divine) and the obstruc­ tions to omniscience are those ordinary appearances thems�lves (Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in " Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, p. 52). This might suggest that the conception of ordinariness and the conception of inherent existence (the obstruction to liberation according to the sutra systems) are the same, as are the appearance of ordinariness and the appearance of inherent existence (the obstruction to omnisci­ ence according to the sutra systems). 1 8 . The source for remarks on the three types of beings is Kensur Lekden (late abbot of the Tantric College of Lower Hla-sa), in Compassion in Tibetan BUddhism, (Ithaca, N.Y. : Snow Lion Publications, 1 980), pp. 1 8-2 1 . 1 9 . Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p . 104. 20. Chandrakirti's Commentary on (Nagarjuna's) "Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning (yukti�a�tikavrtti, rigs pa drug cu pa'i 'grel pa; P

160

Notes

5265 , Vol. 98), cited in Jeffrey Hopkins, Meditation on Emptiness, p. 200. 2 1 . Sentient beings are drawn into a cyclic existence of death and rebirth due to ignorance. The subtlest form of ignorance, the actual "root" of cyclic existence, is identified by Ge-luk-bas (fol­ lowing their interpretation of the Middle Way Consequence School) as any consciousness conceiving that persons and other phenomena exist inherently, that is, from their own side, without depending on their parts, on causes, or on imputation by thought. Because sentient beings innately conceive phenomena to exist inherently, they easily generate desire, hatred, anger, and so forth, creating predispositions in the mind that have the capacity to mature into episodes or even lifetimes of future suffering. 22 . The Form Body and the Truth Body have a relationship of being conceptually distinct within being an inseparable entity, or, technically, different isolates within one entity (ngo bo gcig la ldog pa tha dad). See Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro, Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of Mantra, 16b.3-.4. 23 . Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in his introduction to Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 50. 24. "Countless", according to former tantric abbot Kensur Lekden ( 1 900-7 1) is a number followed by fifty-nine zeros; a great aeon consists of eighty intermediate eons (Jeffrey Hopkins in Tsong-kha-pa, Yoga of Tibet, p. 207). 25 . Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism" , JIABS 6, #2, p. 50. 26. A yogi is said to gain vast merit by viewing "all physical movement, all verbal expression, and all thoughts and realizations as the seals, mantras and wisdom of a deity" (Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in his introduction to Tsong-kha-pa, Yoga of Tibet, p . 14). Only Highest Yoga Tantra has this feature· of great speed (although the three lower tantras do speed one's progress over the frrst two of the five graded paths, the paths of accumulation and preparation), and only humans of J ambudvipa, the "southern continent" of four continents in the scheme of Buddhist cosmolo­ gy, can attain Buddhahood in a single lifetime; gods (who are not immortal beings but rather are sentient beings with marvelous resources and lengthy lifespans) may attain Buddhahood within eight lifetimes (Yang-j en-ga-way-lo-dro , Presentation of the

Notes

161

Grounds a nd Paths of Mantra, 1 6a.2-.3). See Tsong-kha-pa, Tan­ tra in Tibet, pp. 62-3_ Also, according to Tri-Rin-bo-chay, a principal way in which vast merit is quickly accumulated on the tantric path is the practice of visualizing the emanation of deities in a number equal to the number of sentient beings, imagining that thereby those sentient bemgs are set in Buddhahood itself. Incalculable merit is amassed through such tantric practices (February 9, 198 1 ) . 27. Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 1 34. 28. Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in his introduction to Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, pp. 66, 69; and Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 109. 29. Tsong-k�a-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p . 65 . 30. Ocean of Feats, the Stage of Generation (bskyed rim dngos grub rgya mtsho), quoted in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 2 8 . 3- . 5 . It is also said that a practitioner of the Highest Yoga Tantra stage of generation nearly matches, in terms of realization of emptiness, a practitioner of sutra paths who has reached the eighth of the ten Bodhisattva grounds (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light ofBliss, p. 203). He explains that this is due to the fact that the Secret Mantra practitioner uses a much more subtle consciousness to realize emptiness than does the Perfection Vehi­ cle practitioner. However, it is difficult to see why this is so for someone of the stage of generation, who has not yet manifested any of the subtler consciousnesses - the four "empties" - that are used to realize emptiness on the stage of completion. 3 1 . This is a disputed topic; some scholars maintain that it would not contradict the Perfection Vehicle to say that the subject of which emptiness is being realized appears to the mind that realizes its emptiness . 32. Tri Rin-bo-chay, July 1 0, 1 980. 33. P 6087, Vol. 1 5 3 . Quoted in Sopa and Hopkins, Practice and Theory of Tibetan Buddhism, p. 2 1 . 34. See Lati Rinbochay, commentary on Gendun Drub, Dalai Lama I, "'Phe Two Yogic Stages of the Kalachakra Tantra'.' in Selected Works of the Dalai Lama I: Bridging the Sutras and Tan­ tras, p. 1 5 1 . 3 5 . Tibetan traditions generally hold that the most realistic motivation for Bodhisattvas is to seek enlightenment as quickly as possible so that the welfare of others can be served in the most

162

Notes

effective manner, with the incomparable qualities of a Buddha. Although it is a commonplace in other interpretations of the Great Vehicle that Bodhisattvas seek to place all others in Buddhahood before becoming enlightened themselves, in at least some Tibetan traditions this is regarded merely as an exaggeration of the Bodhi­ sattvas' concern for others, not as an exemplary strategy. See Jeffrey Hopkins in Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, The Kiilachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation, pp. 14- 1 5 . 3 6 . Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in his introduction to Tsoilg-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 1 8 . One Ge-luk-ba lama has written that " . . . those who practice Anuttarayoga Tantra must have renunciation, love and compassion one hundred thousand times stronger than that of the practitioner of Paramitayana. " (Ven. Gungbar Rinpoche, "Sri Kalachakra" , Dreloma No. 6 [ 1981 ] , p . 14) 37. Quoted by Jeffrey Hopkins in Tsong¥kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 207. 38. E.g. , David Snellgrove, The Hevajra Tantra, p. 24. 39. Compare Stephen Batchelor, Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, (Dharmsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Arc­ hives, 1979), p. 1 3 1 . 40. S . B . Dasgupta, Introduction to Tantric Buddhism, p. 72. 4 1 . Jeffrey Hopkins in Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 209. 42. This is the explanation of Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in his introduction to Tsong¥kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 70, and in his introduction to Tsong-kha-pa, Yoga of Tibet, pp. 33-5 . 43 . Guiseppi Tucci, The Religions of Tibet, p . 5 1 . 44 . Tucci, Theory and Practice of the Mandala, p . 80. 45 . Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 1 6 1 , quoting Viryavajra. A "wood-born" insect is thought to be one not born from an egg or womb, but just from the wood itself. 46. Mircea Eliade, Patafijali and Yoga, p. 179. 47. See Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, introduction to Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, pp. 1 5-2 1 . 4 8 . See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 20. 3-.6. For a discussion of the various etymologies for abhiseka (dbang) see Jeffrey Hopkins in Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, The Kiilachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation, pp. 66-68 . 49. All the initiations of the three lower tantras are called vase initiations . The vase initiation is a rubric covering what are called

Notes

163

the five knowledge initiations - the water, crown, vajra, bell, and name initiations - and the vajra-master initiation (which is given only in tantras of the Yoga Tantra and Highest Yoga Tantra sets) as well as the appendages to all of those initiations . They are called vase initiations because in each, initiation is bestowed by way of a vase filled with water; either the vase is placed on the head, or water is poured on the head, or one drinks the water (Tri Rin-bo-chay, July 3, 1980).

50. For a discussion of many meanings of "mandala" drawn from Bu-don, see Jeffrey Hopkins, introduction to Tenzin Gyat­

The Kiilachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation, p . 75 . 5 1 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, July 3, 1980. He added that body man­ dalas are now used only in conjunction with the Chakrasan:zvara Tantra. 52. Tri Rin-bo-chay, July 3, 1 980. 53. According to Tri Rin-bo-chay, actual trainees who can receive these initiations must have three qualifications : (1) they so , Dalai Lama XIV,

must have the pride and clear appearance of the deity, to the extent that they feel even when going to the store that they are the deity; (2) they must be able to hold back their emission of semen; and (3) they must be able immediately to turn a bliss conscious­ ness into a consciousness that realizes emptiness (December 9,

1 980). 54. The vagina mandala is not explained in Nga-wang-bel­ den's text and was not discussed by Tri Rin-bo-chay; Kay-drup states only that the vagina mandala involves sexual union with a

Knowledge Woman (Wayman and Lessing, trans. ,

Mkhas Grub Rje's Fundamentals of the Buddhist Tantras, pp. 32 1-23). 5 5 . See the discussion of the fourth initiation in the section on · clear light, pp. 1 08-9. 56. The source for this paragraph is Tri Rin-bo-chay, July 3, 1980. 57. See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 20.7-2 1 .4 . 5 8 . A . G . S . Kariyawasam, i n his article on "Anuttarayoga­ Tantra" in the Encyclopedia of Buddhism, maintains that a tantri­ ka of the Highest Yoga Tantra class needs and has no restrictions because he has already reached a level where his actions yield no result. That would imply that in order to be a practitioner of Highest Yoga Tantra, one would already have to be a Foe Des-

164

Notes

troyer

(dgra bcom pa, arhan), one who has destroyed (beam pa) all (dgra), that is, the afflictions of desire, hatred, ignorance,

the foes

and all of their seeds . Only those of at least the rank of Foe Destroyer have completely eradicated the conception of true ex­ istence; they alone perform actions that, without the motivation of ignorance or the afflictions based on ignorance, are without karmic consequences . Kariyawasam is clearly mistaken, because there is no tradition that says that one has to become a Foe Destroyer before one can practice tantra. A yogi of Highest Yoga Tantra who has not switched over from another path does not attain liberation from cyclic existence until the fourth level of the stage of completion.

5 9 . See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 77 .6-78. 3 . 6 0 . The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra says seven o r sixteen lifetimes. Lati Rinbochay explains that if one guards the pledges and vows well and practices the two stages of Highest Yoga Tantra intently, one can gain enlightenment in one lifetime; if one guards the pledges and vows and practices as well as one can, one will attain enlightenment in seven lifetimes; and if one guards the pledges and vows but does not practice Highest Yoga Tantra, one will gain enlightenment in sixteen lifetimes (commentary on Gen­

dun Drub, Dalai Lama I, Selected Works of the Dalai Lama I: Bridging the Sutras and Tantras, p. 1 57). 6 1 . Nga-wang-bel-den's source is Dzong-ka-ba's Explanation of (Ashvagho$ha's) "Fifty Stanzas on the Guru (bla ma. lnga bcu pa'i rnam bshad) and his Explanation of the Root Infractions, Fruit Cluster of Feats (rtsa ltung gi rnam bshad dngos grub snye ma). 62 . Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro, Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of Mantra, 3b.2. 63 . The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 2 1 .4-.6. The discus­ sion of the stage of generation is found on 2 1 .4-28 .6. This defmition i s set .forth b y Pai].-chen Lo-sang-cho-gyi-gyel­ tsen

(parJ. chen blo bzang chos kyi rgyal mtshan). Nga-wang-bel-den

modifies it; he contends that not all yogas of the stage of genera­ tion mimic death, the intermediate state, and birth.

64. William Dwight Whitney, Roots, Verb Forms, and Primary Derivatives of the Sanskrit Language (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, n.d.), p . 1 32 . 65 . The latter part i s taken from Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in his introduction to Tsong-kha-pa, Yoga of Tibet, p. 10.

Notes

165

66. Tri Rin-bo-chay, November 2, 1980. 67 . The tantric systems assert that mind always rides on winds; therefore, even in the Formless Realm (gzugs med khams, ariipyadhiitu), where beings are said to have no form aggregates, there is actually at least one subtle form, the very subtle wind in the indestructible drop (Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, n. 1 8 , p. 61). 68. Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 24, 198 1 . 69 . Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism, p. 14. See chart of six characteristics of each wind on p. 25 of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss . 70. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, pp 24-27, has an extensive discussion of these winds. 7 1 . Subtle winds operate at times of fainting, sneezing, and orgasm in the ordinary waking state, as well as at sleep, at death, and due to the practice of Highest Yoga Tantra. 72 . In the sutra systems there are said to be 80,000 channels but in the tantric systems there are said to be only 72,000 (Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in "Tibetan Views on Dying" in Kind­ ness, Clarity, and Insight, p. 172). Also, according to Denma Locho Rinbochay, gods of the De­ sire Realm ('dod khams, kiimadhiitu) and of the Form and Form­ less Realms have no channels or drops (oral commentary, June 22, 1 978, translated by Jeffrey Hopkins). However, according to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, tenth ground Bodhisattvas, who attain enlightenment in a Highest Pure Land, do have channels and drops even though they have the bodies of Form Realm gods (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 2 17). 73 . For the purposes of meditation, the central channel is visualized as blue, the right channel as red, and the left channel as white (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 2 1 ) . 7 4 . According t o Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, only four o f the chan­ nel-wheels have knots, and of those, the knots are single except at the heart, where there is a triple knot (Clear Light ofBliss, p. 21). 75 . Geshe Kelsang Gyatso identifies ten channel-wheels, adding the wheel of wind at the center of the forehead (hence, the upper opening of the central channel is placed between the eyeb­ rows), the wheel of fire midway between the throat and heart, and

166

Notes

the jewel-wheel in the sexual organ near the tip (Clear Light of Bliss, p . 1 9) . However, he says that the major channel wheels are six in number and are located at the crown ; throat, heart, navel, "secret place", and sexual organ; knots occur only at the frrst four of these (p. 22). 76 . Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 22 . 77 . The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 39.6-.7. However, even though the channel-knots prevent both the horizontal and vertical movement of winds, there appears to be some way that the winds can enter the central channel without loosening the channel-knots. This occurs in the level of verbal isolation when winds that have been dissolved in the heart enter the central channel without loosening the channel-knots above and below the indestructible drop in the central channel in the center of the heart. Even so, because those knots have not been loosened, the winds cannot move around, and an additional practice is required to loosen the- knots. (See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 4 1 .6-42.2.) 78. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 69. 79. Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism, p. 1 5 . 80. For a detailed explanation of death, intermediate state, and rebirth, see Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, In­ termediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism. 8 1 . The mind of clear light of death is not the same as the actual clear light of the fourth level of the stage of completion, being just a "stoppage of gross dualistic appearance" (Lati Rin­ bochay and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermediate State, and Re­ birth in Tibetan Buddhism, p. 48). 82. If conditions are not right for intermediate state beings to take rebirth within seven days, they experience a "small death" and take another intermediate state body. This can occur up to six times (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light ofBliss, p. 87, and Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism, p. 52). 83. With regard to the circle of protective deities; envisioning such around one is not the same as the generation of oneself as a deity and thus would not resemble birth. The same might be said of using an actual consort on the stage of generation. Tri Rin-bo­ chay remarked that such practices could be viewed as preliminar-

Notes

167

ies or appendages to the stage of generation and thereby be excluded from it, but Nga-wang-bel-den clearly considers them to be yogas of the stage of generation (January 23, 198 1 ) . See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 2 1 .4-22. 5 . 84. For a description of the four yogas and six branches, see Dzong-ka-ba, Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, 686.2ff. For a description and chart of the four yogas, four branches, and six branches, see Stephan Beyer, The Cult of Tiira, pp. 1 14- 1 8 . 85 . See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 22.5-23. 3 . 86. Dzong-ka-ba, Precious Sprout: a Final Analysis (mtha' gcod rin po che'i myu gu), cited in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 23 . 5- . 6 . 87. The following description i s just a small part o f a much more extensive description given in Jeffrey Hopkins' introduction to Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, The Kiilachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation, pp. 75-9 1 . 8 8 . According to two editions of the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, (22. 7-23 . 1 in the edition cited throughout this book) the supreme king of mandalas and below (man chad) go with the coarse stage of generation; this also agrees with Dzong-ka-ba (in a line immediately after the quotation above) . Yang-jen-ga-way-lo­ dro says the opposite, that the supreme king of mandalas and above (yan chad) go with the coarse stage (Y ang-jen-ga-way-lo­ dro, Presentation of the Grounds and Paths ofMantra, 3b .4), but it seems likely that this is a misprint ·or scribal error. 89. Dzong-ka-ba's Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, cited in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 27. 6-28 . 1 . 90. See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 23 . 3-24.4. According to Tri Rin-bo-chay, these designations are from the basic tantra (January 26, 198 1). Also, see Stephan Beyer, The Cult of Tara, pp. 7 1 -75 . 9 1 . According to Tri Rin-bo-chay, the "period" (yud dzam) is one-thirtieth of a day, which would be 48 minutes (January 26, 1 98 1 ) . 92. Dzong-ka-ba, Great Exposition of Secret Mantra (Collected Workf wa) 1 12a.6, P 62 10, Vol. 1 6 1 , 1 87. 1 .7-2 . 3), cited. in Beyer, pp. 75-6. 93 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, January 26, 1 98 1 . 94. Tri Rin-bo-chay, January 30, 1 98 1 . 95 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, January 30, 198 1 . H e added that there

168

Notes

are, prior to this, meditations in which one visualizes a subtle drop at the upper or lower openings of the central channel for the purpose of making meditation stable but those are not cases of visualizing an entire mandala in a drop. For instance, if one needs to avoid laxity in the meditation, one meditates on a sun disc on which there would be a subtle drop or hand symbol, visualized at the upper point of the central channel, between the eyebrows; if one needs to overcome excitement, the disc with its drop or hand symbol would be visualized at the lower opening of the central channel. 96. According to an Am-do (a mdo) lama's condensation of Dzong-ka-ba's Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, one attains this level upon getting mastery over the internal four elements of fire, earth, wind, and water (Tri Rin-bo-chay, January 30, 198 1) . 97� For this section, see the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 25. 1 -26.6. 9 8 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, January 30, 1 98 1 . 99. See Jeffrey Hopkins, Meditation on Emptiness, pp. 67- 109 for an extensive discussion of calm abiding and special insight. 1 00. Since, in tantra, one may realize emptiness even while appearing to the mind as a deity, it is perhaps not surprising that a union of calm abiding and special insight realizing emptiness could be achieved even while one was not at all involved with ultimate analysis - the search for an inherently existent subject - which sutra yogis employ to attain such a union. 1 0 1 . Dzong-ka-ba, Middling Exposition of Special Insight (lhag mthong 'bring), Hopkins translation, p. 1 34, Thurman translation in Life and Teaching of Tsongkhapa, p. 176. 1 02 . Tri Rin-bo-chay said that according to many books, sta­ bility is attained when one can stay on the object without laxity and excitement for at least four hours (February 9, 1 98 1 ) . 1 03 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, February 9, 1 98 1 . ' 104. For an explanation of divine pride, see the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 24.4-25 . 5 . Tri Rin-bo-chay explained that eventually, divine pride includes the thought that one is all the deities and even the inestimable mansion in which they live (January 26 and 30, 198 1). Some persons fear imagining them­ selves in divine form, and this has led some scholars to say that Action Tantras are for such persons; however, such views are refuted by the Ge-luk-ba school (see Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama

Notes

169

XIV, in his introduction to Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, pp.47, 5 8-9, and Yoga of Tibet, pp. 47-62). 105 . Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in his introduction to Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 64, and in his introduction to Yoga of Tibet, p. 12. 106. See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 29. 1-30.2. This is Dzong-ka-ba's opinion; Nga-wang-bel-den (30 . 1) may not wish to go so far, for he wonders if these should be merely counted as "types of realizers" (rtog rigs) of the stage of completion (and thus neither of the stage of completion nor of the stage of generation) or whether they should be counted as instances of the stage of completion "in the continuum of someone on the stage of genera­ tion. 1 07. According to the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra (45 .746. 3), the use of an actual sexual consort on the stage of genera­ tion is very rare, and, if carried out incorrectly, will result in the practitioner's fall into a bad migration. On the other hand, it is said that sustaining a mind uniting bliss and the realization of emptiness on the stage of generation "ripens the roots of virtue for generating realizations on the stage of completion" (rdzog rim gyi rtogs pa skye pa'i dge rtsa smrin) and makes gathering winds by focusing on important places in the body, on the stage of comple­ tion, much easier. 108. Jeffrey Hopkins reported that this explanation is from Nga-wang-bel-den's Word Commentary on (Jam-yang-shay-ba's) "Tenets" . See Tsong-kha-pa, Tantra in Tibet, p. 240, n. 72. 109. In the material Nga-wang-bel-den quotes, Dzong-ka-ba does not discu ss the issue of the status of these persons because his point is simply that the paths they experience are to be posited as paths of the stage of completion. 1 1 0. The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 29. 5 . 1 1 1 . Ibid . , 28 . 8 . 1 12. For instance, Chandrakirti identifies five levels of High­ est Yoga Tantra: the stage of generation, isolation, illusory body, actual clear light, and learner's union, according to Tri Rin-bo­ chay; Apri1· 29, 1 98 1 . Also, Nga-wang-bel-den notes (Illumination of the Texts of Tan­ tra, 66.4-.6) that J:iianapada's explanation of the Guhyasamaja system speaks of meditations on four drops or four joys. There, the four drops or joys are: (1) the indestructible drop at the heart;

170

Notes

(2) the secret drop at the "jewel" (the sexual o.rgan); (3) the "drop of emanation" at the upper opening of the central channel; and (4) again, the indestructible drop at the heart, also called the "suchness drop" . The first two are yogas of drops and the third is vajra repetition. 1 1 3 . Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 1 83 , appears t o consider physical isolation to b e a yoga o f the stage of generation. 1 14. Nagarjuna enumerates five stages, the paiicakrama: vajra repetition (vajrajapi), purification of consciousness (cittavisud­ dhi), blessing into magnificence (svadhi�!hana), manifest enlight­ enment (abhisarrzbodhi), and union (yuganaddha). They can be correlated to the six yogas of this list as follows: lengthening vitality and exertion corresponds to vajra repetition; retention corresponds to purification of consciousness and blessing into magnificence; · subsequent mindfulness corresponds to manifest enlightenment; and meditative stabilization corresponds to un­ ion. Withdrawal and concentration apparently come before any of the flve stages of Nagarjuna. See Alex Wayman, Yoga of the Guhyasamajatantra, pp. 163-173, esp. 173 . Dzong..;ka-ba correlates the six yogas to the six levels o f results as follows: withdrawal and concentration are included in the level of illusory body, lengthening vitality and exertion is the level of verbal isolation, retention is the level of clear light, and subse­ quent mindfulness and meditative stabilization are included in the level of union (P 5 302, Vol. 1 5 8 , 196.4, cited in Wayman, p. 1 67). The names of these practices are also found in other Indian yogis systems such as the Yogasutras of Pataiijali (Wayman notes that they are almost the same as the names in the Maitri Up­ anishad), but the Buddhist practices are very different. 1 1 5 . The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 3 3 . 6-.7. Phy�ical ' isolation is discussed on pp. 33.6-37.7. 1 16. See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 3 1 . 3-.4. 1 17. The five aggregates are the aggregates of form, feelings, discriminations, compositional factors, and consciousness . The latter four are mental, the first, physical. The four constituents are earth, water, fire, and wind. The six sources are the objects of the six consciousnesses - eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mental - and the five objects are the objects of the five sense consciousnesses .

Notes

171

1 1 8 . Tb:e meditation of physical isolation is not explicitly set forth in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra; I have disting­ uished four phases in order to clarify the ··process further. 1 19. The description is consistently done in terms of a male body, but Tri Rin-bo-chay repeatedly stressed that women can practice tantra too. They may visualize themselves either as men or as women (altering the instructions where necessary), just as men can visualize themselves either as men or as women, as in the popular Vajrayogini practice. 120. In other tantras, concentration on a short (Sanskrit) letter a at the navel causes the Fierce Woman to be ignited (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 29). 12 1 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 20, 198 1 . 122. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p . 57. 1 23. Lati Rinbochay, commentary on Gendun Drup's "Notes on Kalachakra" in Bridging the Sutras and Tantras (New Delhi: Tushita, 198 1), p. 1 30 . 124. Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 20, 198 1 . 125 . Lati Rinbochay, and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism, p. 1 5 . 1 26. Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 3 , 198 1 . The very subtle wind within the indestructible drop is also called indestructible because it is never separated from the very subtle mind. 127. Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 3, 1 98 1 . 128. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p . 28. 129. The description of these four subtle minds is from Lati Rinbochay, and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermediate State� and Rebirth in Tibetan BuJdhism, pp. 42-5 . The etymology of the four subtle minds is from Dzong-ka-ba ' s Lamp Thoroughly Illuminat­ ing (Nagiirjuna's) "The Five Stages", 225b. 1-3. 1 30. For a discussion of the characteristics of conceptual con­ sciousnesses, see Lati Rinbochay, Mind in Tibetan Buddhism, and the introduction by Elizabeth Napper (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1980), pp. 20-22, 28-3 1 , 50-5 1 . 1 3 1 . A list of the eighty indicative conceptions may be found in Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, pp. 82-5, and Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism, pp. 39-4 1 . One of the eighty concep­ tions is the last gross mind to occur before death. One's lifelong habits and activities determine which conception will be the last

1 72

Notes

(Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 8 1 ). The nature of the last conception before death is very important because one's next rebirth is largely determined by that mind; if it is unwholesome, one will be born in a bad migration, whereas if it is virtuous, one will be born in a happy migration. 1 32. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 73 . According to Geshe Gyatso, the white and red drops cover the indestructible drop like a box; when they dissolve into the indes­ tructible drop, one experiences the mind of black near­ attainment. When they separate and continue their ascent and descent, respectively, one experiences the mind of clear light (Clear Light of Bliss, p. 86). 1 3 3 . At the time of sleep, orgasm, and death, winds enter the central channel but one is generally in no position to make use of that occurence. It is not the case, then, that at those times one "comes close to opening the central channel" but cannot, as Thurman suggests in his contribution to The Other Side of God, p. 246 (see bibliography for complete citation). 1 34. Lati Rinbochay, and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intermedi­ ate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism, p. 47. 1 3 5 . See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 36. 1 -37.4. 136. Snellgrove, in his commentary on the Hevajra Tantra, identifies the four joys with four aspects of sexual pleasure. He says that the first joy comes from desire for sexual contact; the second from desire for even more sexual gratification; the third from the cessation of passion; and the fourth from the transcend­ ence even of the third joy (The Hevajra Tantra, I, p. 1 34). His interpretation comes from the text of the tantra itself (II, p. 76) where the description is a little vague; it does not seem to have a similar application for Guhyasamaja. Also, according to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, there are four joys of the stage of generation · in addition to four joys of the stage of completion. (Clear Light ofBliss, p. 99). The joys of the stage of generation, of course, are not caused by the entry, abiding, and dissolution of winds in the central channel. 1 37. According to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the fourth joy is generated when the drop reaches the tip of the sexual organ. This may, however, not rule out the experience of the fourth joy at the point where the white drop reaches the base of the spine, as in the other explanation.

Notes

173

138. The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 37. 1 - . 3 . 139. Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating the Five Stages (gsal sgron), cited in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 70. 1-. 3 . 140. Since emptiness is the nature of every phenomenon, and the "expression" of emptiness is a blissful appearance, it can be said that all phenomena actually are sealed with bliss and empti­ ness even if they appear to be ordinary (Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 17' 1981). 141 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 17, 198 1 . 142 . Ordinarily an explanation of Guhyasamiija would. include 32 deities, but Nga-wang-bel-den explains that the latter twelve have not been mentioned here in the context of the twenty gross objects because they do not appear in the root text itself (Illumina­ tion of the Texts of Tantra, 36.6). 143 . Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, Kindness, Clarity, and Insight, p. 96. 144. Ibid . , p. 97. 145 . See Jeffrey Hopkins' introduction to Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, The Kiilachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation, p. 1 10 . 146. Ibid . , p . 98. 1 47 . Kenneth Ch'en, "Transformations in Buddhism in Tibet", Philosophy East and West 7 (January, 1958), p. 124. 148 . Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, Kindness, Clarity, and Insight, pp. 212- 1 3 . 149. The Illumina.tion of the Texts of Tantra, 37.7-3 8 . 2 . Verbal isolation is discussed on 37.7-43 . 5 . I SO. See th e Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 40.6-.7. The breath need not be associated only with those three syllables; alternatively, two syllables - H UM and HOii - may be used, being associated respectively with inhalation and exhalation. 1 5 1 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, May 1, 198 1 . 1 52 . These three yogas concentrate on the heart, but in other Highest Yoga Tantra systems such as the six practices of Naropa, the concentration is on the naval (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 29). 1 5 3 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 29, 198 1 . 1 54. Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro is, therefore, wrong to say that one passes to verbal isolation as the result of doing varjra repeti­ tion, the second yoga of the level of verbal isolation; see Nga-

174

Notes

wang-bel-den's refutation of his position in the Illumination

of the Texts of Tantra, 42 .6-43 .7. Since the meditation on a mantra drop

at the point of the heart is actually performed prior to the begin­ ning of the level of verbal isolation, it would seem to belong at the end of the level of physical isolation. Mantra drop yoga has been included in the level of verbal isolation because of being the cause of verbal isolation, much as the meditation on a subtle drop containing a mandala of deities - a practice of the subtle stage of generation - came to be included in the level of physical isolation because of being the cause of physical isolation.

1 5 5 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, April 29, 198 1 . 156. Lati Rinbochay, and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intennediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan ·Buddhism, p. 1 5 , give a different account of the loosening of the channel-knots in the context of the process of death: as one dies, the channel-knots are loosened because the right and left channels become deflated as winds flow from them into the central channel. In tantric practice there is also a more forcible loosening of the knots; the Illumination

of the Texts of Tantra likens the loosening of the channel-wheel knots to

the process of opening the clogged hollow of a bamboo tube by ramming a long stick through it, an image of forcible rather than natural opening.

1 57 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, May 1 , 198 1 . It is apparently the case that one achieves different results from meditation on the secon­ dary winds than when one meditates on the basic winds . For instance, the Illumination

of the Texts of Tantra (41 .2-. 3) says that

for the purpose of achieving various feats for the collection of merit, one practices verbal isolation on the four basic winds to achieve deeds of ferocity and pacification, whereas one practices verbal isolation on the secondary winds in order to achieve the five types of clairvoyance.

1 5 8 . Nga-wang-bel-den (the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 4 1 . 3) says that the drop is at the tip of the "secret"; since it is said that the drop is "not emitted" , this means the tip of the sexual organ.

1 59. Nga-wang-bel-den cites many opinions regarding the lowest point on the path where it is necessary to make use of an actual consort.

160 . The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 43 .5-.6. Mental 43 . 5-50.7.

isolation is discussed on

Notes

175

1 6 1 . Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro, Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of Mantra, 8b .3; cited in Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey Hop­ kins, Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism, p . 70. 1 62 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, May 1 , 198 1 . Geshe Kelsang Gyatso places these practices in the level of impure illusory body, as

(Clear Light of Bliss, pp . 204-6). 1 63 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, May 1 , 198 1 . 1 64. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, pp . 126-7. 165 . See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 70.6-73 . 2 . 1 66. See Tsong-kha-pa, Yoga of Tibet, pp . 1 73-9, and Jeffrey Hopkins, "The Need for Common Feats" in Tsong-kha-pa, Yoga of Tibet, pp. 20 1 , 208-9. 1 67. Tri- Rin-bo-chay, June 26, 1980, and April 6, 1 98 1 . 168. That it is possible to have a mental isolation that is less than fully qualified is likened (48 . 1) to the fact that, as Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realization (mngon rtogs rgyan, abhisamiiya­ larrzkiira) says, on the Mahayana path of preparation, practitioners, prerequisites for attaining the actual clear light

depending on their sharpness, may or may not have the signs of irreversibility (the signs that show that one is definite to become enlightened, namely, the disappearance of the discrimination of

Presenta­ tion of the Seventy Topics (dngos po brgyad don bdun cu'i rnam bzhag legs par bsha pa'i mi pham blo ma'i zhal lung), Collected Works, Vol. 15 (Ngawang Gelek Demo, Delhi, 1973), 1 59 . 5-.6. 1 69. The Illumination ofthe Texts of Tantra, 5 1 . 1-5 1 .3 . Illusory body is discussed on 5 1 . 1-5 8.4. 1 70 . Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, pp. 97, 1 04. 1 7 1 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, June 9, 198 1 , reported that according to forms, etc. , as truly existent) . See Jam-yang-shay-ba's

some, because the impure illusory body has contaminated wind - wind produced by contaminated actions and afflictions - as its mount, it must dissolve before one can experience the mind of clear light.

1 72 . This description of the illusory body's qualities is in Brilliant Lamp (sgron gsa[), cited in Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 1 8 8 . 1 73 . See debates and discussion in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 52.5-54.7. According to Tri Rin-bo-chay (June 6, 198 1 ) , an illusory body is, like a Buddha's emanation, not bound Chandrakirti,

176

Notes

to any particular place; it can spontaneously arise inside or out­ side of the coarse body and move from there to other places. A Buddha can spontaneously emanate a body without having to travel to the place where it is to appear; likewise, he reasoned, the illusory body can suddenly appear anywhere, inside or outside of the body. 174. The very subtle body, wind, and mind are taught only in Highest Yoga Tantra, according to Jam-yang-shay-ba (Jam-yang­ shay-ba, Great Exposition of Tenets, cha 54b . 5). The identifications of the coarse, subtle, and very subtle are drawn from Lo-sang-gyel-tsen-seng-gay's (blo bzang rgyal mtshan seng ge, born 1757/8) Presentation of the Stage of Completion of the

Lone Hero, the Glorious Vajrabhairava, Cloud of Offerings Pleasing Manjushri, cited by Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey �opkins in Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhism, pp . 3 1-2. 175 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, April l l , 198 1 . 176. Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, "Tibetan Views of Dying" in Kindness, Clarity, and Insight, p. 178. 1 77. See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 73 . 5 - .6. According to the Dalai Lama, since 1959 there have ·been at least ten cases among the Tibetan refugees in India of persons who have been able to remain, for at least two weeks without de­ terioration, in the mind of clear light that dawns at the time of death ("Tibetan Views on Dying" in Kindness, Clarity, and In­ sight, p. 178). Whether or not this means that all of those persons were able to attain enlightenment in place of the intermediate state was not said. 178. Tri Rin-bo-chay, May 4, 1 98 1 . This is sometimes called enlightenment in the intermediate state, even though one is not actually in the intermediate state, having risen in an illusory body instead. 1 79. See Herbert Guenther, The Life and Teaching of Niiropa, pp. 72-74, 197-201 . According to his biography, the founder of the Ga-gyu order, Mar-ba (lho brag mar pa chos kyi blo gros, 1 0 12- 1 096), became highly skilled in this practice and displayed it on several occasions, transferring his consciousness into the bodies of a pigeon, a lamb, a deer, and a yak (The Life of Marpa the Translator, trans. Nalanda Translation Committee, pp. 94-5, 146-55).

Notes

177

180. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p . 1 26, says that the use of an Action Seal causes the winds to enter the central channel more forcefully, helping to loosen the knots at the heart channel-wheel. It is interesting to note that Tripirakamala, as reported by the Sa-gya scholar Bu-don, holds, in contrast, that the very best trainees need neither a real nor imagined consort; that those of slightly less stature need only an imagined consort; and that the lowest of those capable of practicing Highest Yoga Tantra need a real consort (from Condensed General Presentation of the Tantra Sets, unpublished translation by Jeffrey Hopkins). 1 8 1 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, June 6, 1 98 1 . He added that this is the reason why even in the lower tantras, a deity is imagined on an eight-petaled lotus; the eight petals of the lotus represent the eight petals of the heart channel-wheel when the illusory body rises there. For instance, in the mantra of Avalokiteshvara, OM MA1'll PADME HU M, Avalokiteshvara is the jewel (MA1'll) that arises in the lotus (PADME), i.e. , the deity that appears at the heart. 1 82. Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, Kindness, Clarity; and Insight, p. 178. His Holiness adds that this is true for all sentient beings except for those to be reborn in the Formless Realm, who have no intermediate state. 1 8 3 . According to Tri-Rin-bo-chay, this is a mistake, for a magician's illusion is a mere mental appearance, not wind (June 9, 198 1). 1 84. According to Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, this example refers to the fact that a yogi who has attained an illusory body can manifest simulaneously in many forms, just as the reflection of the moon can appear simultaneou�ly in many bodies of water (Clear Light of Bliss, p. 200) . 1 8 5 . Nga-wang-bel-den (the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 5 6 . 5) thinks that the sixth and tenth examples, likening the illusory body to an echo and to lightening, require modification when applied to an illusory body at Buddhahood, because at that time the illusory body does not abide in a fruitional body, but in an emanation body. Also, because emanation bodies may reside in coarse bodies, a Buddha's emanations may be anywhere, in any­ thing. Hence, it is possible, said Tri-Rin-bo-chay, for people actually to meet with deities through statues, paintings, and other

178

Notes

objects (June 9, 1981). 1 86. Scent-eaters (dri za, gandharva) are beings with very sub­ tle bodies who can live even inside of rocks and are able to subsist by using scents for food. They inhabit cities that seem to spring up out of nowhere and disappear suddenly. The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra compares the relationship of the scent-eaters and their city to the relationship between the illusory body's mandalas of the support and the supported. The mandala of the support is the mandala itself, whereas the mandala of the sup­ ported is the deities arrayed within the mandala. Like a city of scent-eaters, the mandala the yogi meditates on - of which, as a deity, he is a part - seems to arise and disappear suddenly (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p. 200). 1 87. According to the Dalai Lama, a dream body can separate from the coarse body and go anywhere, even into deep space ("Tibetan Views on Dying" in Kindness, Clarity, and Insight, pp. 179-80). 1 8 8 . The following identifications are from Tri-Rin-bo-chay, June 1 1 , 198 1 . 189. I n the following examples, the system of Kiilachakra must be excepted, as it does not purify the intermediate state or have illusory bodies made of wind and mind (Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Bt>dy in Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, p. 56). 1 90. The latter correlations are from Tenzin Gyatso., Dalai Lama XIV, Kindness, Clarity, and Insight; p. 97 . 1 9 1 . The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 58 .4. Clear light is discussed on 5 8 .4-62 . 3. 1 92 . Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, Kindness, Clarity, and Insight, p. 178. 193. Sarat Chandra Das, A Tibetan-English Dictionary (Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, 1 902), p. 576. 1 94. Tri-Rin-bo-chay, April 3 , 1 98 1 . 1 9 5 . Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, pp . 21 5-1 6. 1 96. Tri-Rin-bo-chay, June 12, 198 1 . 197. The Illumination of the Texts .of Tantra, 62.3-.4. Learner's union is discussed on 62. 3-64.6. 198. There is some controversy over the relationship of the mind of black near-attainment of the reverse process and the mind of clear light that precedes it. Kay-drup thinks that since

Notes

179

the afflictive obstructions are destroyed in the first moment of actual clear light, it would seem that the mind of clear light is an uninterrupted path of meditative equipoise and that the mind of black near-attainment that follows it is a path of release of medita­ tive equipoise. (In meditative equipoise on emptiness, the unin­ terrupted path is the portion of meditative equipoise that actually destroys obstructions - either the afflictive obstructions or the obstructions to omniscience - and the path of release is the portion of meditative equipoise -that follows the destruction of those obstructions.) He thinks that the verbal conventions of "uninterrupted path" and "path of release" are applicable be­ cause both consciousnesses directly realize emptiness, though the mode of apprehension of the mind of black near-attainment is looser than that of clear light. Those who disagree with him reply that the mind of black near-attainment, being dualistic, cannot possibly be a path of release; moreover, it is a coarser mind than the very subtle mind of clear light and thus is even a different type than it. Nga-wang-bel-den reserves his judgement, but Tri-Rin­ bo-chay went along with Kay-drup, even going so far as to say that although a path ·of release is an exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise, it is not necessarily non-conceptual (June 18, 1 98 1). 1 99. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, p . 2 1 1 . 200. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, pp. 2 1 1 -2 12 . 201 . Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro, Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of Mantra, . 16b. 1 -.2. 202. In this paragraph and the two subsequent to it, informa­ tion on the stage of g�neration is from Lati Rinbochay and Jeffrey Hopkins, Death, Intennediate State, and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddh­ ism, pp. 69-70. 203. There are many other tantric systems in addition to these eight; for instance, there are six systems of Chakrasarrz.vara alone. Bu-don classifies - some twenty-four tantric systems; see David Riegle ,. Books of Kiu-te, p. 20. One famous system not mentioned in Nga-wang-bel-den's list is that of the Hevajra Tantra, tradi­ tionally considered to be the original source for the practice of heat yoga (the Fierce Woman) found in many other tantras (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, pp. 34-5). 204. Although, with the exception of Kalachakra, the great tantric systems are quite similar, they have divergent emphases, generalized in the distinction between "father" and "mother

1 80

Notes

tantras. The terms "father" and "mother" derive from the father­ mother (yab yum) tantric iconography that depicts male and female deities in sexual union. The embracing figures symbolize the union of method and wisdom, the male deity representing method (great innate bliss) and the female deity representing wisdom (the mind of actual clear light realizing emptiness) . Accordingly, Father tantras are those that emphasize method, and Mother tantras are those that emphasize wisdom, based on whether or not the tantra extensively teaches the illusory body (Father tantras) or clear light (Mother tantras). Tantras such as the Guhyasamiija Tantra and the Yamiintaka Tantra are consi­ dered Father tantras , whereas tantras such as the Chakrasa11Jvara Tantra and Kiilachakra Tantra are considered Mother tantras (Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, p . 54 and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Clear Light of Bliss, pp. 1 89-90). The classification of Kiilachakra as a Mother tantra seems questionable because of the emphasis in Kiilachakra on generating empty form bodies. Bu­ don, in fact, sets it apart in a third category, shared by no other tantra, called "non-dual (advaya) tantras" (David Reigle, Books of Kui-te, p. 20) . The Dalai Lama discusses both views in The Kiilachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation, pp. 1 59-60. 205 . Dzong-ka-ba says that verbal isolation and mental isola­ tion can be replaced by the Fierce Woman, and that this substitu­ tion occurs only in mother tantras (Lamp Illuminating the Five Stages, cited in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 33 . 1-.2). 206 . In mother tantras, it is called a "rainbow body of light" (Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIV, in The Kiilachakra Tantra: Rite ofInitiation, p. 164). 207. For a description of the Kiilachakra stage of generation, see the Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins, The Kiilachakra Tan­ tra: Rite of Initiation (London: Wisdom, 1985). 208 . These differences are discussed in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 79. 1-81 .4. 209. The Dalai Lama explains that the difference in channels, and so forth, between the Guhyasamiija and Kiilachakra system stems from the fact that yogis have different types of bodies ("Union of the Old and New Translation Schools" in Kindness, Clarity, and Insight, p. 222). This would suggest that there are wide variances in the physical makeup of the subtle body, and

Notes

181

hence one needs to find a tantric practice for which one is phy­ siologically suitable. 2 1 0 . Apparently, five of the ten winds mentioned in Kalachak­ ra are secondary winds, just as there are five secondary winds mentioned in verbal isolation in the Guhyasamaja stage of comple­ tion. Gendun Drub (Dalai Lama I) says that all ten winds can be subsumed under the five basic winds (Selected Warks of the Dalai Lama I: Bridging the Sutras and Tantras, p. 165). He adds that there is a further difference - that the pervasive wind, in the Kalachakra system, mainly flows through the nostrils (p. 1 65). Ordinarily it is described as being responsible for the movement of the limbs and the vitalizing wind is involved with inhalation and exhalation. Some of the names are different; the ten winds mentioned in Kalachakra are: vitalizing, fire-accompanying, up­ ward-moving, pervasive, serpent, turtle, chameleon, devadatta, dhana7!1-jaya, and downward-voiding. 2 1 1 . In the Middle Way Consequence School (prasangika­ madhyamika), the philosophical basis for tantra as explained by the Ge-luk-ba school (though the Mind-Only School [[[cittamatra]]] is also said to be acceptable), the basis for the infusing of karmic predispositions is the "mere I", the "I" which is merely imputed in dependence on the aggregates and which goes from life to life. In Highest Yoga Tantra, since the final basis of imputation of the mere I is the very subtle wind and mind, it is the very subtle wind and mind in the drops that is the basis for the deposition of the karmic predispositions. 2 1 2 . The last two sentences are based on Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, p. 57. 2 1 3 . Levels of the stage of completion are discussed in the

Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 8 1 .4-90.2. 214. Nga-wang-bel-aen quotes Dalai Lama I, Gendun Drub (dge 'dun grub), on the difference between the supreme immutable bliss of Kalachakra and the innate bliss of Guhyasamaja; the first Dalai Lama argues that there could be no difference between the two because otherwise at the end of the paths of other tantras one would be required to enter the path of Kalachakra. Rather, the supreme immutable bliss of Kalachakra is given a different name than the bliss mentioned in Guhyasamaja to denote its unique mode of production, namely, a different method for increasing

1 82

Notes

the drops. In the Kalachakra system it is necessary to rely on a Great Empty Form Seal in order to bring about empty form bodies. The Great Seal of Empty Form is a special type of consort who in some way (not specified in the text) surpasses an Action Seal. According to the Kalachakra system, if one did not use a Great Seal of Empty Form, the drops piling up and down in the central channel at the level of subsequent mindfulness and meditative stabilization would spread out at the channel-wheels instead of staying in the central channel. 2 1 5 . Gendun Drub, Dalai Lama I, Selected Works of the Dalai Lama I: Bridging the Sutras and Tantras, pp. 177 . For a more detailed description of the meditation, see pp. 172- 175 . 2 16. In general, the predispositions that produce wakefulness are located at the crown or forehead and navel. 2 1 7. According to the First Dalai Lama, Gendun Drub, the four night signs dawn as the result of stopping the coursing of four of the ten winds in four of the ten channel-branches coming from the heart, namely, those of the intermediate directions . The first four day signs are produced as a result of stopping four more winds from coursing through the four channels branching out in the cardinal directions. The fmal two day signs are generated by stopping the fmal two winds, which course through the channel­ branches going up from and down from the heart, respectively

(Selected Works of the Dalai Lama I: Bridging the Sutras and Tantras, p . 175-176).

2 1 8 . According to the Dalai Lama, the signs dawn differently accordiilg to Guhyasamaja and Kalachakra systems because of the differences in the number of spokes or petals in the channel­ wheels at the crown of the head and at the heart ("Tibetan Views on Dying" in Kindness, Clarity, and Insight, p. 174). 2 19 . The day signs occur even at night "for superior persons" (the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 85 . 1) . The explanations of kiiliigni and riihu are from Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, n. 50 (p.65). Serkang Rinpoche, in a talk in Madison, Wisconsin, in August, 1 980, described the light of kalagni as like star-light. 220. Gendun Drub, Dalai Lama I, adds that one visualizes that the sky is filled with the various signs and then that they dissolve into the empty form body of Kalachakra and his consort. When one's divine pride is fully developed, this level is complete

Notes

183

(Selected Works of the Dalai Lama I: Bridging the Sutras and Tantras, p . 177). Also, although previously it was said that the right and left channels contained blood, semen, and so forth, they also contain winds in order for those substances to move about. 22 1 . PaiJ.-chen So-nam-drak-ba (pan chen bsod nams grags pa, 1478- 1 554), who wrote the textbooks for Lo-sel-ling (blo gsal gling) College of Dre-bung ('bras spung) Monastic University, explains that although the meanirig of prtirJtiyama in Guhyasamaja is vitality-lengthening - a life-lengthening wind - pratJayama in Kalachakra means stopping the winds of the right and left chan­ nels and causing them to enter the central channel (from General

Presentation of the Tantra Sets, Captivating the Minds of the Fortun­ atelrgud sde spyi'i mam par bzhag pa skal bzang gi yid 'phrog,

Dharmsala-: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 1 975 , cited in Jeffr�y Hopkins, supplement to Tsong-kha-pa, Yoga of Tibet, p . 265 , n. 105). 222. The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra says nothing more about this practice; Geshe Kelsang Gyatso adds that the pot­ possessing yoga, the vivid imagining of holding the winds of the lower part of the body in a pot-like configuration below the navel, is done to ignite the Fierce Woman (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso; Clear Light of Bliss, pp. 54-5). See Gendun Drub, Dalai Lama I,

Selected Works of the Dalai Lama I: Bridging the Sutras and Tan­ tras, pp. 1 79-80, for a more extensive explanation. 223 . See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 88 .2-.4.

224. Tri Rin-bo-chay, July 2, 1 98 1 . 225. The text (8i l-.2) seems to indicate that the red drops may not begin to pile down until the white drops are piled up, but is somewhat ambiguous. 226. Nga-wang-bel-den says that at subsequent mindfulness one achieves a "non-imaginary" empty form body (ma brtags pa'i stong g�ugs, 82.4-. 5), but he is not certain that such has been "achieved in fact" (dngos gnas la 'grub pa, 89.6-.7). It appears that Kay-drup and others hold the position that the empty form body is achieved in fact whereas Dzong-ka-ba indicates that it is not achieved until all material aggregates are consumed. Also, Sopa (p. 58) indicates that the empty form achieved on this level is the cause of the empty form body of a Buddha on the next level. 227. Tri Rin-bo-chay, July 3 , 1 98 1 . Dzong-ka-ba himself com-

1 84 Notes pares the process to alchemy, the transformation of iron into gold (the Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, cited in the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 89 . 3-.6). 228 . Tri Rin-bo-chay, July 2, 198 1 . 229 . Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, p. 5 9 . 2 3 0 . The exclusion o f enlightenment in the intermediate state is contrary not only to other tantric systems such as Guhyasamiija, but is contrary to the tenets of the Low Vehicle and Great Vehicle as set forth, respectively, in Vasubandhu's Treasury of Manifest Phenomena (chos mngon pa'i mdzod, abhidharmakosakiirikii) and Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realization (mngon rtogs rgyan, abhisamiiyala'!lkiira) (Geshe Lhundup Sopa, "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, p. 55). 23 1 . However, Nga-wang-bel-den (the Illumination ofthe Texts of Tantra, 89.6-90. 1) points out that perhaps the fundamental wind acts as the substantial cause of the empty form body, since the very subtle mind of clear light, mounted on the fundamental wind, is generated in the entity of supreme immutable bliss . Therefore, the fundamental wind would be present at the time of an empty form body. He notes that there is no clear source saying that the fundamental wind acts as the substantial cause of an empty form body, and takes no position himself. 232. See the Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 66 . 2 . 233 . Geshe Lhundup Sopa; "An Excursus on the Subtle Body in Tantric Buddhism", JIABS 6, #2, n. 52, p. 65 . 234. The Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 86 . 5-. 7, indicates that the path of preparation lasts through the 1 799th drop, when the path of seeing occurs; 1 800 drops later, the second ground, the Stainless, is generated. There is nothing particularly unusual in positing more than ten grounds, for there are systems in which eleven, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen grounds are po­ sited (Yang-jen-ga-wa)!-lo-dro, Presentation of the Grounds and Paths of Mantra, 17a.4- . 5).

Index Analysis, practice of, 70 A-gya Yong-dzin, 14, 1 57, 1 73 ; See also Yang-jen-ga-way-lo-dro anuttarayogatantra, see Highest Yoga Tantra abhidharmakosa, see Treasury of Manifest Phenomena, Vasuban­ A p pearance, mind of radiant white, 73, 74, 75, 86, 95, 96, dhu's 1 00, 107' 1 17 abhisamiiyalat1J.kiira, see Ornament for Clear Realization, Maitreya's Appearances, impure, 1 2 1 , 122 Appearances, pure, 1_2 1 , 122 Absorption, 120 arhan, see Foe Destroyer See also sexual union Accumulation, path of, 42, 132, Arts of love, sixty-four, 9 1 Atisha, 29 1 33 Action Seal, 98, 88, 89, 9 1 , 92, 94, Avalokiteshvara, 177 127, 129, 177 Bad migrations, 38, 92, 169, 1 72 Action Tantra, 48 , 1 56, 1 58, 168 See also tantras, three lower sets bar do, see intermediate state Beginners, 52, 5 3 of Beings o f three capacities, 22 Afflictive obstructions, 95, 108 See also great capacity, middling See also obstructions to libera­ capacity, small capacity tion Aggregate, material (forni), 127, Bel-dray-dor-jay (dpal 'bras rdo rje), 5 1 128, 1 30 Beyer, Stephan, 1 5 8 Aggregates, five, 70 Bharati, Agehananda, 158 akaninha, see Highest Pure Land bhumi, see grounds and paths Ak�hobhya, SO, 80, 8 1 Birth, 1 14 Alchemy, 127 Altruistic aspiration to enlighten- Blackness, appearance like thick, 74 ment, 29, 3 3 , 80, 1 32, 133, 1 6 1 Bliss, 3 3 , 3 5 , 36, 42, 46, 60, 6 1 , Amitabha, 8 0 6 9 , 7 1 , 76, 77, 79, 80, 8 2 , 83, Amoghasiddhi, 8 0 90, 91, 106, 107' 1 10, 1 12, 120, Analysis, 5 5 , 5 6 , 8 0

1 86

Index

12 1 , 123, 127, 128, 169 and emptiness, union of, 123 mental, 70, 78 of pliancy, 70, 78 Blood, 82 bodhicitta, see altruistic aspiration to enlightenment Bodhisattva grounds, 26, 80, 108, 1 12, 132, 1 33 bodhisattvacaryiivatiira, see Engag­ ing in the Bodhisattva Deeds Bodhisattvas, 2 1 , 24, 30, 80, 1 07, 1 5 8 , 161 Bodies coarse, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 1 02, 105, 108, 1 1 8, 130, 177 dream, 1 0 1 , 102, 103, 1 05 empty form, 1 2 1 , 123, 124, 125, 127, 1 3 1 fruitional, 1 0 1 , 177 separation of subtle and coarse, 97 subtle, 95 , 96, 97, 98, 102, 1 18 , 1 30 very subtle, 96, 97, 99, 1 18 See also intermediate state body, Form Body, Truth B ody, Emanation Body , C o m p l e t e E n j o y m e.n t Body, Wisdom Body, Na­ ture Body Brahma, SO Branches of approximation and achivement, four, 48 Branches, six, 48 Breathing, three phases of, 85, 87 Brilliant Lamp, Chandrakirti's, 175 (n. 172) Bu-don (bu ston), 177 (n. J 80), 179 (n . 203), 179 (n. 204) Buddha, 22, 24, 27, 30, 4 1 , 46, 47, 80, 82, 106, 1 13 , 1 14, 133, 158 actual mode of perceiving phenomena of, 79 bodies of (chart), 25 correlations to bodies of, 1 05 marks of, 94, 95 , 1 12 See also Emanation, Com-

plete Enjoyment, Form, Nature, Truth, and Wis­ dom Bodies; Shakyamuni; omniscience Buddhahood, 22, 23, 26, 30, 3 1 , 42, 66, 80, 96, 99, 108, 109, 1 12, 128 attainment in 7 or 16 lifetiine s, 38 attainment in one lifetime, 26, 99 Butter-lamp, appearance like, 74, 125 cakra, see channel-wheels Calm abiding and special insight, union of, 32, 50, 5 5 , 56, 60, 132 c a ry ii tantra, see Performance Tantra Central channel, 4 1 , 44, 45, 46, 47' 50, 56, 59, 60, 61 , 65, 66, 68, 69, 7 1 , 72, 73, 74, 77, 78, 79, 83, 84, 86, 87, 8 8, 93 , 98, 1 10, 1 17, 1 19, 120, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 133, 168, 172 in the Kiilachakra system, 1 19 signs of winds entering, 45 Ch'en, Kenneth, 173 Chakras�vara (deity), 82 ChakrasarJJvara Tantra, 1 17, 1 5 8 ( n . 1 1 ), 1 5 8 ( n . 1 3), 1 79 (n. 203), 1 79 (n. 204) ChatJ4amahiirofhat]a Tantra, 1 5 8 (n. 1 1) Chandra, Lokesh, 157 Chandrakirti, 23, 1 69 Brilliant Lamp, 1 75 Channel knots, 46, 69, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 174 Channel wheels, 44, 45, 1 19, 127, 130 Channels, 44, 72, 96, 1 10, 1 19 See also central channel, left channel, right channel Cittamatra, see Mind-Only School Clairvoyance, 174

Index Clear light, mind of, 36, 44, 46, 47, 52, 65 , 66, 73, 74; 75, 83, 96, 100, 103, 105, 107, 108, 1 1 1 , 1 13, 1 17, 175 , 178, 179 actual, 53, 94, 105, 107, 108, 109, 1 12, 1 1 3, 1 17, 1 1 8, 133, 169 attainment after sutra paths, 107 defmition of, 106 final meaning of, 109, 1 10 general meaning of, 109, 1 10 hidden meaning of, 109, 1 10 immediately preceding causes of, 107 metaphoric, 94, 95, 99, 107,. 109, 1 10, 1 13, 1 30 objective, 109 of death, 46, 76, 100, 103, 105, 1 06, 107 of sleep, 9 1 , 103 subjective, 109 types of, 109 Commentary on (Niigiirjuna's) "Six­ ty Stanzas of Reasoning, Chan­ drakirti's 159 (n. 20) Common feats, 91 Compassion, 22, 23, 27, 31, 34, 59, 75 Compassion in Tibetan Buddhism, Jeffrey· Hopkins"'s 159 (n. 18) Complete Enjoyment Body, 24, 25, 103, 104, 105, 1 12, 1 13, 1 14, 122 Concentration, 67, 70, 123, 124, 126 Conception in the womb, 1 04, 1 06, 1 14 Consciousnesses, see minds Consorts, 35, 46, 47, 8 1 , 82, 88, 1 69 See also seal, Action Seal, Wis­ dom Seal, Great Empty Form Seal Constituents, four, 70 Correct view, 29, 30, 34 Cupid, 50 Cyclic existence, 22, 29, 30, 47, 54, 160, 163

1 87

Dalai Lama I, see Drub, Gendun Dalai Lama XIV, see Gyatso, Tenzin Danger of tantric practice, 37 Dasgupta, S. B . , 3 1 Death, 30, 7 3 , 76, 77, 9 3 , 106, 1 13 , 1 14, 120, 172 brought to the path, 1 1 3 correlation to bodies of Buddha, 103, 105 overcome by attainment of illus­ ory body, 100 process of dying, 46, 47 used to withdraw winds, 92, 97, 109 Death, intermediate state, and re­ birth, 4 1 , 46, 47, 100, 1 1 3 Deeds, 9 1 elaborative, 9 1 , 9 2 , 126 non-elaborative, 91, 9 2 , 1 26 of ferocity and pacification, 174 very non-elaborative, 9 1 , 92, 126 Deities, 21, 24, 27, 28, 35, 47, 48, 49, 50, 5 1 , 52, 53, 55, 56, 57' 5 8 , 60 , 65, 69, 7 1 , 7 8, 80 , 8 1 , 8 2 , 1 14, 1 5 8 , 173 difference between actual and imagined, 82 peaceful and fierce, 8 1 Deity yoga, 24, 26, 27, 28, 32, 58, 69, 78 Dematerialization, 127, 130

Desire Realm, 109

Desires, five, 38 Devi Tilottama, see Hlay-bu-mo Tik-lay-chok-ma, 1 08 dhannakiiya, see Truth Body dhiitu, see constituents Dissolution of winds, 73 Divine pride, 57, 58, 8 1 , 82, 1 82 Divine speech, 85 Doctrine Jewel, 22 Dreaming, 96, 104, 105 , 120, 121, 122 See also body, dream Drop, 78, 93, 96, 1 10, 1 17, 1 18, 12 1 � 122, 124, 1 30

188

Index

blue, 125 body, 120, 1 2 1 , 122 exalted wisdom, 120, 12 1 , 122 four, 1 69 indestructible, 46, 47, 72, 75 , 76, 84, 87, 88, 89, 93 , 94, 97, 98, 100, 1 07' 120, 129, 1 30, 165, 1 69 light, 85, 86, 87, 90 mantra, 84, 85, 86, 173 mind, 120, 1 2 1 , 122 red, 7 1 , 72, 75, 77, 88, 120, 127, 128, 130 speech, 120, 121, 122 substance, 85, 86, 88 subtle, 49, 50, 56, 68, 69, 70, 7 1 , 78, 83, 86, 1 17' 168 white, 71, 72, 73, 75 , 77, 79, 82, 88, 120, 126, 127, 128, 1 30, 133, 172 Drub, Gendun (dge . 'dun gru b . Dalai Lama I ) 1 6 1 (n. 34), 1 64 (n. 60); 1 8 1 (n. 2 10), 1 8 1 (n. 2 14), 1 82 (n. 217), 1 82 (n. 2 1 5), 1 82 (n. 220) Dzong-ka-ba (tsong kha pa), 1 5 , 27, 29, 30, 49, 5 1 , 52, 60, 77, 78, 92, 97' 109, 1 59, 183 Explanation of the Root Infractions, Fruit Cluster of Feats, 164 Great Exposition of Secret Man­ tra, 14, 5 1 Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating the Five Stages, 78, 1 80 Three Principal Aspects of Path, 30 Elements, four, 74, 8 1 , 87, 1 1 8, 125, 1 68 Eliade, Mircea, 33 Emanation Body, 24, 25 , 1 03, 1 04, 105, 1 1 3, 1 14, 12 1 , 122, 1 30, 177 Emanations, 99, 1 1 3 Empties, four, 46, 69, 7 1 , 73, 76, 77, 86, 92, 96, 102, 1 07, 108, 1 17, 125, 1 6 1

Emptiness, 23 , 24, 25 , 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 42, 45 , 46, 5 1 , 52, 56, 59, 60, 65 , 69, 71, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 83, 90, 1 0 1 , 103, 106, 1 07, 1 09, 1 12, 12 1 , 123, 128, 1 32, 133, 1 69 and bliss, union of, 123 direct cognition of, 32, 54, 56, 132 meditation on, 3 1 , 32, 36, 55, 56, 58, 60, 83, 90, 92, 1 12, 1 14, 132 Empty form, 121, 123, 124, 127, 128, 1 3 1 Empty, the, 73 , 74, 75 Empty, the all- 73, 76, 1 09 Empty, the great, 73 , 75 Empty, the very, 73, 75 Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds, Shantideva's 3 1 Enlightenment, 99, 109, 1 14, 1 30, 1 3 1 , 132 external manifest, 1 09 internal manifest, 109 Ethics, 24, 27 Exalted wisdom of appearance, 84, 89 Exalted wisdom of emptiness, 68, 73 Exalted wisdom of meditative equipoise, 178 Explanation of the Root Infractions, Fruit Cluster ofFeats, Dzong-ka­ ba's 1 64 (n. 61) Explanation of (Ashvagho�ha's) "Fifty Stanzas on the Guru", Dzong-ka-ba's 1 64 (n. 6 1 ) Eye sense-power, 124 Factor of appearance, 28 Factor of ascertainment, 28 Fainting, 73, 76 Fierce Woman, 71, 72, 78, 83, 93, 1 17, 124, 126, 129, 1 30, 17 1 , 179, 1 80, 183 See also heat yoga Fireflies, appearance like, 74, 125 Foe Destroyer, 1 63

Index Form Body, 24, 25, 26, 27, 46, 1 12 , 1 1 8, 122, 160 substantial cause of, 1 1 8 Form Realm, 177 Formless Realm, 165 Ga-gyu School (bka' brgyud pa), 1 5 Gan-den Monastic University, 1 57 Ge-luk-ba School (dge lugs pa), 1 3 , 15' 27' 2 8 , 3 3 , 8 2 , 160, 1 68, 1 8 1 Generic images, 75 Ghcugapada, 1 17 Giving, 24, 25 , 26, 27 Great capacity, beings of, 22, 23 Great Exposition of Secret Mantra, Dzong-ka-ba's, 14, 5 1 Great Exposition of Tenets, Jam­ yang-shay-ba's, 1 57 (n. 5), 175 (n. 1 74) Great Seal of Empty Form, 124, 125, 1 27, 1 30 Great Vehicle, 12, 2 1 , 22, 23, 1 32, 1 84 Gross objects, twenty types of, 69, 80, 173 Grounds and paths, 13, 132 See also Bodhisattva grounds, paths gtu mo, see Fierce Woman Guhyasamaja (deity), 8 1 Guhyasamiija Tantra, 1 2 , 1 3 , 35, 5 2 , 6 6 , 72, 81' 1 1 7' 1 1 8, 1 19, 120, 122, 123, 125, 126, 129, 1 30, 131, 1 32, 133, 158 (n. 1 1), 1 79 (n. 204), 172 (n. 1 36) Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang, 14, 158 Gyatso, Tenzin (bstan 'dzin rgya mtsho, Dalai Lama XIV), 14, 27, 83 Hand symbol, 53, 1 1 3, 1 14, 168 Happy n¥gration, 172 Hatred, 75 Hearer Vehicle, 159 Heat yoga, 1 17, 1 29 See also Fierce Woman Heruka Tantra (see Chakrasamvara Tantra), 158 (n. 1 3) ·

1 89

He-vajra Tantra, 1 5 8 (n. 1 1), 172 (n. 1 36), 179 (n. 203), 179 (n. 204) Highest Pure Land, 24, 98, 108, 1 09 Highest Yoga Tantra, 26, 48 Hinayana, see Low Vehicle Hlay-bu-mo Tik-lay-chok-ma, 1 08 Ho_pkins, Jeffrey, 14, 32, 1 69 HUM, 86, 90 I, inherently existent, 5 8 I , nominally eXistent, 5 8

Ignorance, 160 Ill-deeds, five, 37 Illumination of the Texts of Tantra, 1 3 , 14, 1 5 , 48, 1 00 Illusory body, 36, 44, 47, 65, 66, 88, 90, 9 1 , 92, 97, 98, 1 0 1 , 1 02, 1 04, 1 1 3, 1 1 8, 1 30, 1 69, 179 and coarse body, 95 cooperative condition of, 99 exemplification of, 100 impure, 52, 89, 94, 95 , 103, 105, 1 07, 1 10, 1 14 metaphors for, 1 0 1 pure, 95 , 9 8 , 99, 1 08, 1 1 1 , 1 12, 1 14, 1 3 1 , 133 substantial cause of, 99 Illusory-like appearance, 5 1 , 79, 98 Imagination, 5 8 See also visualization

Immediately preceding condition, 79 Imprints of collections of merit and wisdom, 25 , 46 Increase, mind of radiant red or orange, 107, 73, 74, 75, 95 , 96, 1 00, 1 17 Indicative conceptions, eighty, 74, 1 00 Individual investigation, 70, 80 indriya, see sense-powers Inestimable mansion, 35, 5 5 Inherent existence, 23, 24, 25, 2 8 , 30, 42, 5 1 , 75 conception of, 26, 28, 33, 160

190 Index Initial application, 5 1 Initiation, 1 3 , 29, 34, 35, 36, 37,

61, 9 1 , 108, 1 09

four levels of attainment of, 35 knowledge, five, 162 knowledge-wisdom, 34, 3 5 , 1 08 secret, 34, 35 vajra-master, 1 62 vase, 34, 162 water, 8 1 word, 34, 3 5 , 108 Intermediate state, 92, 97, 1 04,

1 09, 1 1 3, 130, 1 3 1

enlightenment in, 176 Intermediate state body, 92, 100,

103, 105, 1 13, 1 30

Irreversibility, signs of, 175 Isolation, 21, 70, 85, 169 etymology of, 69 See also physical isolation, verbal isolation, mental isolation Jam-yang-shay-ba ('jam dbyangs bzhad pa), 1 3 , 1 5 7 (n. 5) Presentation of the S eventy Topics, 175

Great Exposition of Tenets, 176

Jambudvipa, 1 60 Jang-gya (Ieang skya), 3 1 Jiianapada, 5 1 , 1 17, 1 69 Joys, four, 6 1 , 7 1 , 73, 76, 77, 78,

92, 93, 130, 169, 172

innate, 76, 77 of ascent from below, 73 of descent from above, 73 special, 76 supreme, 76 Kalachakra (deity), SO, 125, 1 82 Kalachakra Tantra, 1 3 , 37, 49, 8 1 , 1 17, 1 18, 1 19, 120, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 129, 1 30, 1 3 1 , 1 32, 1 3 3 , 178, (n. 1 89) kalagni, 125 Kariyawasam, A.G. S . , 163 Karma, 37, 1 14

Kay-drup (mkhas grub) 27, 1 09, 178 (n. 198), 183 (n. 226) Kensur Lekden, 159 Killings, five, 38 klesa, see obstructions to liberation Knowledge Women, 60 kriyatantra, see Action Tantra

Lamp Thoroughly Illuminating the Five Stages, Dzong-ka-ba's, 78, 1 80 (n. 205) Laxity and excitement, 168 Learner, 42, 65 Learner's Union, see Union Left channel, 44, 73 , 75 , 1 19, 124, 126 in the Kalachakra system, 1 19 Leisure and fortune, 30 Levels of achievement, four, 52 Liberation from cyclic existence,

2 1 , 22

Lightning, 125 Lo-sang-gyel-tsen-sen-gay (blo bzang rgyal mtshan seng ge), 176 (n. 174) Love, 23 Low Vehicle, 22, 23, 159, 1 84 Luhipada, 1 17

Madhyamika, see Middle Way School Mahachakra, system of completion of, 1 17 Mahiiyiina, see Great Vehicle Maitreya, 1 84 Mandala, 49, 5 1 , 5 5 , 68, 8 1 , 82,

1 17, 173

body, 35 coarse, 48, 49, 52, 53, 57 colored sand, 34, 35 concentration, 35 conve�tional mind of enlightenment, 35 Kalachakra, 50 meanings of, 35 painted cloth, 34, 3 5 subtle, 49, 53, 56, 69 ultimate mind of enlightenment,

Index 35

vagina, 35 Mantra, 121 etymology of, 21, 57 of Kalachakra, 8 1 Mar-ba (mar pa), 176 (n. 179) marga, see grounds and paths Means of achievement (sadhana),

49, 8 1

Meditation, 46, 47, 5 6 , 60, 6 5 , 98 on a light drop, 87 on a substance drop, 88 on a subtle drop, 71 on emptiness with bliss, 78 See also laxity and excite­ ment , calm abiding and special insight, emptiness, visu�ation Meditation on emptines s , see emptiness Meditation, path of, 42, 1 12, 132,

1 33

Meditative equipoise, 70, 78, 83,

98, 178

Meditative stabilization, 49, 5 5 ,

60, 67

Meditative stabilization of a one­ pointed mind, 70 Meditative stabilization, level of,

123, 124, 127, 133, 1 82

Meditative stabilizations, three,

48, 5 1 , 52

Mental isolation, 66, 76, 87, 88,

90, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 99, 100, 1 10, 1 13 , 1 33 , 1 80 conditions of, 90 final, 89, 93, 94, 98 mere, 89, 9 1 , 93 Mere .I, 1 8 1 Merit, 24, 26, 27 Merit, collection of, 24, 25, 26, 46, 65 , 174 See also imprints of collec­ tions of merit and wisdom Method, 24, 25, 26, 27, 3 1 , 32,

1 79

Method and wisdom, union of, 24,

27, 179

191

i n Perfection Vehicle, 25 in Secret Mantra Vehicle, 26 Middle Way Consequence School,

1 60, 1 8 1

Middle Way School, 1 3 Middling capacity, beings of, 22 Mind-Only School, 1 8 1 Mindfulness, 49 Minds body consciousness, 79 coarse, 45 , 96, 97, 1 1 8 conceptual consciousness, 74,

96, 107

mental consciousness, 79 sense consciousness, 79 six consciousnesses, 42 subtle, 45 , 96, 97, 1 1 8 very subtle, 9