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Longchempa: SEMNYI NGELSO
13 chapters of the main body of the text:
Chapter 1 – deals with THE FREE AND WELL-FAVORED HUMAN BODY, SO DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN
Chapter 2 – deals with IMPERMANENCE OF LIFE
Chapter 3 – deals with explaining the SUFFERING OF SAMSARA (causes and effects and difficult situation – reborn in samsara)
Chapter 4 – deals with the KARMA AND THE LAW OF CAUSE & EFFECT (4 thoughts)
Chapter 5 – deals with RELYING ON A SPIRITUAL FRIEND
Chapter 6 – deals with GOING FOR REFUGE (base for all the Dharma)
Chapter 7 – deals with FOUR IMMESURABLES
Chapter 8 – deals with BODHICITTA ITSELF – the mind focused on COMPLETE ENLIGHTENMENT
Chapter 9–12 – deal with MAHAYOGA
Chapter 13 – deals with THE RESULT – THE ATTAINMENT OF THE BODIES (KAYAS) AND WISDOMS; In it Lonchempa showed the path to us in order to become totally complete:
1) finding renunciation for samsara
2) relying on spiritual friend
3) gradually progressing on the path
4) becoming a buddha
Starting with Video 1-a
“Finding Ease in the Nature of Mind” – ‘Semnyi Ngelso (Sems nyid ngal gso), along with its commentary called ‘The Great Chariot’.
Summary of video 1-A by Jeanny in English (L- 1-296)
L-2-52 explaining about title
This text belongs to the vehicle of Dzogpa Chenpo ‘dzokpa chenpo’ (rdzogs pa chen po, (the highest teaching) It is a text entitled “Finding Ease in the Nature of Mind” – ‘Semnyi Ngelso (Sems nyid ngal gso),belonging to the inner Tantra; Atiyoga (Dzogchen) its commentary is called ‘The Great Chariot’.
Two titles: in Tibetan and in Sanskrit. Text did not originate in India, but still title in Sanskrit
The reason that title is in Sanskrit:
1. To implant some kind of positive imprints in our minds.
To put these positive imprints in our minds by reading titles in the Sanskrit, in future, reaching B.hood ourselves, we would be able to teach in Sanskrit.
2. To inspire blessings to enter in our minds.
3.To remember the kindness of the translators
The full title of the Tibetan text is The Commentary on Great Perfection, Finding Ease in the Nature of Mind, and ‘Shingta Chenpo’ or The Great Chariot.
1. The Tibetan title is Rdzogs pa chen po – sems nyid ngal gso’i [‘grel pa] shing rta chen po zhes bya ba – Commentary on the Great Perfection – Finding Comfort and Ease in the Nature of Mind and the Great Chariot.
2. Dzokpa Chenpo – The Great Perfection or the great completion, the word ‘dzok’ (rdzogs) – perfect, [complete, fulfilled] is that all the vehicles from the lowest to the highest are included and complete within this vehicle.
The expression ‘semnyi ngelso’. ‘Semnyi’ means ‘mind’. Because of our mind, we have been wandering in samsara for a long time, we want to bring it into ease in the sphere of peace. ‘Ease’ or ‘relaxing’ is (‘ngelso’)
The commentary is called the Great Chariot. Longchenpa wrote both the root text and the commentary.
It is called a ‘chariot’ because this brings us on the path to B.hood.
L-53-58: Reasons to analyze the title of the text.
1. Those with the highest mental faculties, by looking at the title will comprehend the entire text.
2. Those with middling capacities will have an estimate what the text is about by merely looking at the title.
3. Those with lesser capacities, by looking at the title, will have at least an idea to what kind of Dharma section the text belongs to.
L-59 homage of the translator
(Because the text was not translated from Sanskrit there is no need for homage. “I prostrate to glorious Samantabhadra”)
He prostrates to Samantabhadra, Kuntu Zangpo (kun tu bzang po) because this text is included within the teachings of Dzokpa Chenpo, the Great Perfection.
After the homage, there is a section of offering.
1 Hommage; to the Three Jewels(L-67 read text)
2 Hommage; To Guru Rinpoche (L-68)
3 Hommage; Nature of mind (is Buddha’s nature, this homage is connected with commentary L- 69-71)
L72-86 about the vow,
Longchenpa vows to compose in a clear and understandable way.
This explanation of Great Perfection: The Nature of Mind, has 3 main sections.
First section about the manner of entering into the composition of the treatise and the introductory section.(title and homage)
Second section is the extensive explanation of the main subject of the text.
Third one is the conclusion.
The text itself has thirteen chapters1.
Why Longchenpa compose this text?: “The Great Perfection etc.”: That readers and others could cross completely the ocean of sufferings of Samsara.
L 89-120 the homage
“The Buddha came into this world. The excellent speech of his teachings, the holy Dharma, remains in existence by the kindness of authentic great beings.” Buddha came to the world, but his teachings are upheld by teachers, so we can meet these teachings.
But we need to attain the precious human body, otherwise we would not be able to meet with these teachings and important is to help others to do so too, as we think about the benefit of others our own benefit, will be accomplished also. The main point is to think about the benefit of others.
“At this time the freedoms and good favors, so difficult to achieve, have been attained.”
what are the 18 freedoms and good favors2 (extra attachment)??
There are different approaches of sutra and tantra, including the fruition vehicle of mantra and the vehicle of characteristics of sutra, they are like an ocean.
Longchenpa statment. All is completed within it, he says “I wished to compose the thirteen chapters of this treatise, the Great Perfection: The Nature of Mind, Easer of Weariness, so that its readers themselves and others could cross completely the ocean of sufferings of Samsara; Longchenpa made this statement to compose this text.
Now Homage and offering are basically the same thing.
Why the homage is offered in the beginning?
1. To repel all obstacles while composing he text, to complete this successfully
2. That readers know, that the composer is a holy individual,being
“The primordial lord, the great, full ocean of buddha qualities, whose natural wisdom and kindness is limitless in its depth, is the wish-fulfilling source of the conquerors and their sons. I prostrate to the one who is the emanator of these heaped up clouds of goodness and of benefit.”
The Primordial lord, here is the teacher, the Buddha Bhagavat, having the great full ocean of qualities of renunciation and realization and Buddha has accomplished both the benefit for himself and for others.(others loving kindness, wisdom and compassion)
The benefit for himself has two main parts:
The qualities of renunciation are the abandonment of all the afflictions.
After having renounced all that has to be renounced, the qualities of realization will develop.
That is why the text compares the qualities of renunciation and realization to a full ocean. We call Buddha the possessor of wisdom and compassion.
By practicing this Dharma, our own mind becomes the jewel from which the buddhas come. But we need faith. The Buddha says; “I have shown the path and we have to follow it, it depends on ourselves and on our capacities.
150 why homage?
The reason for Longchenpa, for prostrating, offering homage to the buddhas and bodhisattvas before composing the text? It is to point out their good qualities.
Different perspective: In Mahayana: B. Shakyamuni was enlightened from the very beginning, showing us the path, progressing on the path and he showed the manner of reaching enlightenment, as if he was following the path.
From Shravakayana Vehicle, B. is born as a son of the king, not being Buddha from the beginning.
Longchenpa says; wisdom within which understanding and kindness are entirely perfect, is nothing other than Buddhahood.
Jewels; Buddha, Dharma and Sangha3
Secret Mantrra, Lama, Yidam and Dakini
Longchenpa says: the purpose of prostrating: the great benefits attained by oneself, others and both together. By oneself it is a good fortune of being able to understand the words and meanings. Benefit for others is, that by understanding the teachings well, devotion can arise. The purpose of attaining both kinds of benefits for oneself and for others: is by perfecting the accumulations (merit and wisdom), the goal of ripening will be accomplished.
2nd part: is the Vow to compose the text
“Luminous dharmakāya, immaculate realm of the conquerors! For us who wander here in samsara, by ignorant grasping, in this realm of grief of karma and the kleshas, today may our weariness come to rest in that nature of mind.”
Our mind itself is primordial luminosity, the essence of buddha nature. The buddha nature pervades all sentient beings from the beginning. This very primordial luminosity is that what we call the buddha nature itself.
“When in the luminous nature of the mind the kleshas are seen to be without an essence; after it has been realized that all beings are completely pure of the four extremes, they will dwell within perfect buddhahood, possessing the mind that has no obscuration. Beings, completely purified, will possess the limitless vision of the perceiver, wisdom. Therefore, to that nature I pay homage.”
Although that primordially pure pristine wisdom exists within us, by not recognizing it, we wander here in samsara.
Ignorance that produces ego-grasping (grasping to ”I” or ”oneself”) creates karma.
Karma produces passion, aggression, ignorance, pride, and envy. Because of these five poisons, or kleshas, even though we have buddha nature, we are whirling around in cyclic existence.
How do we wander?
Because of various kinds of “bagchags” = habitual patterns, subtle traces obscuring the ground of ālaya.(see extra attachment)
Connected with ignorance, this negative result caused reborn as animals, by the karma of ignorance.
The habitual pattern of the karma of passion is connected in the result that we are born as hungry ghosts or pretas.
The worst negativity connected with aggression that is superimposed in our ālaya, the result is; being born in the hell realms4.
Equal amount of pride – when that is superimposed in our ālaya, these beings are reborn as gods or human beings.
Those who have merit but it is contaminated by jealousy – if the jealousy is obscuring their ālaya, then these beings are born as jealous gods, demi-gods – asuras.
Because of these five afflictive emotions, we are being stuck in Samsara.
221-266 ; explanation of grasping at an “I” or “Self”
We grasp at appearances of an “I”, a real “self”, which are like the seeming appearances of a dream.
However, if we examine these well, they are non-existent; at this time of our confusion, they appear to be really and truly existent, even though they are just like a dream. If we do not analyze them properly, when we are confused, we think they are real. If we ask ourselves whether they exist or not, we discover that they do not exist. Even though it does not really exist, we behave as if it did.
Overpowered by strong notions of ‘I’, and ‘self’, is the main reason that there is strife and warfare in the world. It is like “my country”. Because of these strong notions, we fight.
Firstly try to establish as a primary practice the hearing and reflection.
Having first properly studied and reflected, the meditation will be very good. “hearing”, study, “contemplating” and “practicing”
260 again: the grasping to an “I” and “Self”.!
Even though there is no such object as an “I”, or “Self”, there is the subject which thinks that an “I” and “Self’ exist.
Even the notions of ‘me’ and ‘others’ should be considered to be the very same thing.
The main reason why we still wander aimlessly in samsara, grasping to an ‘I’ and ‘self’.
All the afflictions have come into existence because of that self-clinging (and I-clinging).
SO: If we stop this notion of “self”; the afflictions themselves also will not arise
Candrakīrti has said, “Within all the decaying things, all the faults and afflictions without exception arose from view. If you see them as such, and understand that the self is their object, what the yogi will do in such a situation, he will put an end to that self”.
what Candrakīrti explained; is that all the faults and afflictions are coming into existence because of clinging to an ‘I’.
That is why the very first thing that should be stopped is the clinging to an ‘I’.
In a similar way, because of the clinging to the notion of ‘self’, the afflictions, such as passion, aggression, and ignorance arise.
Longchenpa had the perfect, immeasurable love and compassion as motivation to compose these text. Start with The motivation of composing the text that He says,
“seeing the weariness of sentient beings, who are wandering in samsara, I wished to compose a treatise giving instructions for how we can ease this weariness by coming to the resting place adorned by the wondrous wealth of the victorious ones, the level of great nirvana.”(279) I wished to illuminate how we can guide those who wander in samsara with immeasurably abundant compassion.
By the inspiration that we have, while seeing all sentient beings as our mothers and fathers. Making offerings and praising the Tathagatas.
Longchenpa has vowed that he will not rest until he composes this text, which will accomplish the meaning. This vow, is like a promise saying, “I will compose this for this and that reason
ENDING OF HOMAGE AND VOW TO COMPOSE THE TEXT end of 1-A