Zusammenfassung 1b : finding ease in the nature of mind:
Vers 1- 39 : Resumee and Introduction into the text: up to Vers 60 short explanation and overview over the content of the chapters.
The first four chapters deal with four thoughts that turn the mind away from samsara. Now, having turned the mind away from samsara, we want to rely on a spiritual friend and this is the subject of the fifth chapter. The first thing we learned from a spiritual friend is going for refuge. Having understood that, we can develop the four immeasurables, which are the basis for the development of bodhicitta. That is the eighth chapter and that is where the Mahayana starts. That is why from the first until the eighth chapter we will deal with the vehicle of characteristics, the Sutrayana.
Vers37-39: From the ninth chapter onwards, the text deals with Vajrayana and within the Vajrayana, we have the outer and inner tantras. These chapters, from the ninth to twelfth, deal mainly with Mahayoga. Within Maha-, Anu-, and Atiyoga, the three inner tantras, the Mahayoga is the main one, and we are focusing here on the view, meditation, and action of the development and completion stage.
Vers 40 -49: We have learned about the view, meditation and action from the ninth till twelfth chapter; now the thirteen chapter deals with the result – the attainment of the bodies (kāyas), and wisdoms.
What Longchenpa did here while composing the thirteenth chapter is that he showed the path to a person in order to become totally complete – first finding renunciation towards samsara, relying on a spiritual friend, and gradually progressing on the path, becoming a buddha.
Vers:50 this year we are going to deal with the vehicle of cause. : We will start with the subject of the difficulty of finding freedoms and favors. That is what we are going to do today.
The chapter one – freedoms and favors difficult to obtain – has four sections.
The first topic, the general explanation of being free and well favored, has two parts – the summary of the essence and the extensive explanation of the nature.
Vers 60-69:If we do not obtain the precious human body, we cannot become a buddha.
As for the explanation of eighteen freedoms and favors, of the precious human body:
born in the human realm, and in a central country. In addition, we are sound in all our faculties. Not having done extremes of wrong in our deeds and actions, we are properly faithful to the objects of faith. Thus, the five holy favors regarding oneself are complete. A Buddha has appeared, and he has taught the Dharma. Moreover, at this time the teachings remain. So that they may continue, people still follow them; and others are treating us with kindness and concern. These five favors are those that exist in regard to others. Those were the eighteen kinds of being free and well-favored. On this auspicious occasion, they are complete within us. So strive from the heart, that liberation may be accomplished.
Vers 70-79: Even if we are humans but if we have only the appearance of the human, and our behavior is extremely bad like that of a coarse barbarian, we cannot enter the Dharma.
And if we want to enter, but we fall into extremes of believing into existence and non-existence, that is to say, the extremes of exaggeration or denigration; we possess the wrong views; these four situations have no freedom of mind.
Vers 80-89: The main reason why they are in such a situation is that they are deprived of the freedoms because of their own bad karma.
In the same way, if we did not accumulate virtuous karma in our previous lifetimes, we could not be hearing and studying the dharma like this right now.
Vers 90 -118: Those who have the freedoms from these eight should strive in eliminating further births.”
On top of these eight freedoms, there are also ten favors.
– 1. We are not included in lower rebirths;
2. we are not feeble-minded, idiots;
3. our senses are not impaired;
If our senses are impaired, we cannot practice the dharma,
There are five senses
if we cannot see, we cannot practice the Dharma.
If we cannot hear, we cannot practice.
It is similar with all the other senses.
That is why it is said, “our senses are not impaired.”
4. We are born as vessels of the teachings,
5. our health is good;
6. we are not impoverished;
7. we are not enslaved, and…
8. we have the power to use words.
That is many people’s view of what they are.
Though that has been explained, here they are as in the Sutra of the Twelve Excellent Freedoms (dal ba phun sum tshogs pa bcu gnyis bstan pa’i mdo),
1. We have attained the human condition.
2. We are born in a country where there are noble ones.
3. Our powers are sound.
4. We have not performed extremely evil deeds.
5. We have faith in the proper objects of faith.
These were the five excellences pertaining to oneself.
Now the following are the five excellences pertaining to others.
6. Being born at the time, when a buddha has come to the world.
If a buddha would have come but he did not teach, then this favor would not be complete.
Even if a buddha came to the world and taught the Dharma, but the Dharma did not remain – it got degenerated – we would not have the favor of the holy Dharma still remaining.
Therefore, the third (eighth altogether) favor pertaining to others is – the holy Dharma still remains.
The fourth favor is – not only me but also others are practicing it.
The fifth favor is – others are kind to those who practice the Dharma.
Others being kind to those who practice the Dharma – this completes the five excellences (favors) pertaining to others.
As for others being kind, the spiritual friend apprehends us with compassion, and leads us to the Dharma. As for there being twelve perfections, the two bases of distinction are also counted.
We can say that there are eight freedoms and ten favors, but also we can count twelve favors.
Again – “As for others being kind, the spiritual friend apprehends us with compassion, and leads us to the Dharma. As for there being twelve perfections, the two bases of distinction are also counted.” Let us examine this.
145-160: 3 section: the instruction to strive for the Dharma, follows.
Longchenpa is saying, “An opportunity of liberation from the limitless depths of samsara is hard to find. So let us strive for the Dharma with all our hearts. That is the instruction.”
Therefore, now when we still have the power to do so, by auspicious conditions that accord with the proper path, relying on the inexhaustible wholesome dharmas gained by having gathered the two accumulations, let us pass beyond the city of samsara.
We should be guided by the path of liberation and if we do whatever goodness we can, we shall surely come forth from samsara.
The Sutra of the Vast Display (Lalitavistarasutra, rgya cher rol pa’i mdo) says,
“Oh monks…when death, aging and sickness are non-existent, and by cultivating goodness your powers are transformed, enlightenment will proliferate. Therefore, strive to accumulate the accumulations of merit and wisdom.”
“If you do so, for you the three cities of samsara will be emptied.”
These three cities of samsara are the higher realm of gods, the lower realm of nagas, and the intermediate realm of humans. The gates to the lower realms will be cut off.
The stairway to the happy celestial realms will be established The level of liberation will be attained.
Vers 161-171: The 4. Section: The main subject here is how we must work hard at this right now, not in some time in the future.
“At this time, in the midst of the fearful, limitless ocean of cyclic existence, which has no end or boundary, we possess the precious ship of the freedoms and favors that know about and establish such benefit and goodness. Control of it has been taken by a steersman who is our spiritual friend, “
Longchenpa: “If we do not cross the limitless ocean of samsara, now at the time of having attained this precious ship, how can we ever do it at another time when painful waves of the kleshas are always utterly raging? Shāntideva says in the Bodhicaryāvatāra,
Whoever with the support of this ship of human birth can cross the great waters of the river of suffering, since later such a ship may be difficult to find, would be wrong to sleep at this time, because of stupidity.
Vers 173- 259: Section 5: Differentiation between conceptual mind, mind concsiousness and mind as wisdom, explanation of the two Truths: Because the freedoms and favors are so difficult to attain:
From the root text, “Therefore, quickly don the armor of exertion to clear the turbidity of mind and events of mind. Ascend the path of spotless luminous pristine wisdom. May the path of enlightenment be without obstacles.” The commentary says, “When the turbulence of samsaric mind and mental events is pacified, the luminous wisdom of the nature of mind rises within us.”
“Becoming familiar with this (meditating upon it) is what we call the path of enlightenment.”
“Try to practice it uninterruptedly day and night, abandoning sleep and indolence. Just remain there, just do this!”
By abandoning sleep and indolence, doing just this, we can attain the enlightenment.
In The Five Stages (pañcakrama, rim lnga,) it is said,
“All the complexities of mind and mental events, at the time when these are completely pacified, arise as luminosity, the state of wisdom. This is without conceptions and has no center or limit.”
Here, “mind,” means the exaggerated conceptualized apprehensions which exist as the support of the three realms and subsequent analysis in terms of these conceptions. Since these are the murky disturbances that obscure suchness. That is what is said about “mind.”
If we completely pacify these conceptualized apprehensions, mind enters into non-conceptualized wisdom.
The Two Truths (bden gnyis) says, “Mind and mental contents are conceptualized apprehensions, with the form of exaggerations comprising the three realms.”
We talk about mind and what arises from mind – there are two things.
When we talk about mind, we talk about eight consciousnesses.
If we try to enumerate those apprehensions that come from the mind, there are fifty-one kinds of them.
All of these we have in our mind. Basically, we cannot master all of that – mind and its contents.
The difference between mind and its contents is that when the mind focuses on the essence of things, its contents focus on its particulars of objects perceived. That is why it is said in the text,
Mind in the above sense correlates with the generalized conceptualized apprehension in the mind of „this,“ when an object is first seen.
For instance, „That is an utpala lotus“ is the mind’s consciousness of such a first moment, we think like this when we first perceive the object.
Then, as we produce particularities about the first apprehension, various distinctions of that object we first saw, we make analytic particularizations of the contents of mind.
In the mind, such conceptions arise as, “This utpala lotus is blue in color, and round in shape. It has stamens, and pistils.” The Discriminating of the Middle and Extremes (dbus mtha’ rnam ’byed, Madhyāntavibhaṇga) says, “To see the object as “that” is consciousness. Distinctions of “that” are the objects of the mind.”
The Treasury of Manifestation of the Elements of Existence (Abhidharmakosha, chos mngon pa mdzod) says, “There are conceptualized apprehension and analytic discernment, and these may be fine or coarse.”What is really being talked about here is the conceptualization and analysis.
Within the Buddhadharma, “tokpa” (rtog pa) or conceptualization is explained in three different manners.
One is described in Abhidharmakosha, another is described in The Discriminating of the Middle and Extremes. The Third one is described by Dharmakīrti in his compendium of “Valid Cognition” (Pramāṇavārttika, Tshad ma rnam ‚grel). Therefore, when we talk about conceptualization, these are the three kinds of approaches we talk about.
Usually, the word ‘tokpa’ (rtog pa – ‘thought’, ‘conceptual construction’), is used in the expression ‘namtok’ (rnam rtog) meaning ‘conceptual thoughts’.
We talk about conceptualization (rtog pa) and non-conceptualization (rtog med).
If we would give an example, ‘conceptualization’ is like a blind person who can still know what is going on around him, he understands and can express it, he can think and he can talk.
Non-conceptualization is like a mute person who cannot speak, who does not have a faculty of language, sees what is all around him, but cannot express it.
This is the difference between what we call conceptualization (rtog pa) and non-conceptualization (rtog med). For instance, we have the eye consciousness. The eye consciousness can see all the outer objects.
However, this is not the eye consciousness who knows, “this is this object, this is that object.”
Although the eye consciousness has seen an object, the one who can say, “This is a good object, this is a bad object,” is mind. In this way, all the consciousnesses – the eye consciousness, ear consciousness, tongue consciousness, nose consciousness, and the body consciousness are all non-conceptual.
That what has the conceptualization and non-conceptualization is the mind consciousness.
The mind consciousness can have either conceptualization or non-conceptualization.
As I said before, all the other consciousnesses are completely non-conceptual.
Sakya Pandita has said, “Sense consciousnesses are like a mute with eyes… …and conceptualization is like a blind person with the faculty of speech.” What do we call conceptualization? When one does not see objects clearly but knows everything, understands everything. The mind that we have, which thinks about the past, present and future is all conceptualization.
Vers 228- 263: Entering into the Middle Way (Madhyamakāvatāra, dbu ma la ‘jug pa) says,
“By burning away the dry firewood of every knowable object, there is peace, the dharmakāya of all the victorious ones. Then there is no arising, and also no cessation. Such cessation of mind will manifest the enlightened bodies. This self-awareness or ‘rigpa’ (rig pa) is what is explained in the homage to Prajñāparamitā, saying, “Transcendental beyond thought and expression, does not arise, does not cease, is [of the] nature of space, is a sphere of self-awareness. To this mother of all the buddhas of the three times, I pay homage.”
What is called the ordinary mind, ‘samsaric mind’ is the self-awareness, primordial wisdom obscured by the confusion of grasping and clinging, covered and meshed with afflictions.
From within the virtuous, non-virtuous, and neutral actions, the conceptualization and grasping is what brings the downfall towards the non-virtuous.
That is because the enlightened object and perceiver are free from attachment to the conceptualized apprehension and analysis of grasping and fixation. That is to say, the Buddha can perceive but does not get caught up in grasping and fixation.
A text called The Praise of the Vajra of Mind, (sems kyi rdo re’i bstod pa) says,
“If we are enmeshed in the net of kleshas, that is what is expressed by saying “mind.”
The unceasing desire of mind is stupidity. Thus, even when we meditate, objects still appear within sensory awareness, but awareness of conceptualized apprehension and analysis ceases.
The Vinaya Scriptures (’dul ba lung) say,
“Within dhyāna, o monks, though the motion of the mind of that meditative equipoise has ceased, objects still appear within the sense-consciousnesses. Objects still whirl about. But now they are like reflections arising on a still pond.”
“Objects still whirl about. But now they are like reflections arising on a still pond.”
Dharmakīrti in its The Ascertainment of Proper Reasoning (tshad ma rnam par nges pa, Pramāṇavinishcaya) says,
Even when the inner self rests motionless, visual forms arise in the mind of the visual sense.
However, within the senses, apparent objects are not conceptualized.
“Sense-awareness itself is not samsaric. So it is taught.”
“In brief, conceptualized apprehension and analysis of objects produced due to grasping and fixation are called “samsaric mind and its mental objects.“Object and insight when grasping and fixation are completely pacified are the kāyas and wisdoms.
264- 267: 6. section: It describes the way how we will be suffering within samsara, if we do not practice now. The Generation Born in an Iron House (lcags kyi khyim du skyes pa’i rabs) says:
Even though the free and favored vessel was gained, since no drops of Dharma were received within it, now we shall roast in Hell-fire, so difficult to bear. Long and excruciating pain will be our karma.
267- 273: The 7. section is talking about teaching of the freedoms and favors, which support the Dharma:
The holy rain of the cooling waters of wisdom from the banks of clouds of glorious benefit and great bliss falls on the ground of the freedoms and favors, the pure minds of beings. Therefore, joyfully practice the Dharma from your heart. For those with the freedoms and favors, a great abundant rain of Dharma will fall. They will possess immeasurable benefits.”
278- 314: The eighth section is explaining whether the freedoms and favors are easy or difficult to obtain and it talks about how difficult they are to obtain. , “It is harder for us to gain a human birth than for a tortoise to thrust its head into a yoke that is tossed about in the middle of the ocean. That is what the Teacher of gods and humans said. Then why even speak of a free and well-favored body? So let us be diligent in days that are to come.” To see a guide is something very hard to find. To hear the teachings, the Dharma of peace, is very hard. It is very hard to be born as a free and favored person. Discipline and faith are always hard to find.
If we do not behave in a good way now, then in next lifetime we cannot go to a good place.
If we cannot go up, the only way to go is down. On whom does it depend if we go up or down? It depends on us.
If we think like that – that it is important to do good actions in this life, that brings lots of benefit, there is a big profit in that. Just like I said, we first study the first chapter about how difficult is to obtain the freedoms and favors and even when this precious human body is once obtained, it will not stay forever, it will have to decay and die because of impermanence. And then we have to experience the sufferings of samsara which are caused by karma. These are the four first chapters.
In order to get a good body, we need a good mind.
If we obtain the precious body and we have a good mind, then such a life is very meaningful.