Naropa     13 posts


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Tilopa was a Bengali mahasiddha who developed the mahāmudrā method around 1,000 C.E. Tilopa gave Naropa, his successor, a teaching on mahāmudrā meditation called the Six Words of Advice.

' Tilopa's Six Words of Advice '

Don’t recall, Let go of what has passed - mi mno*
Don’t imagine, Let go of what may come - mi bsam
Don’t think , Let go of what is happening now - mi shes
Don’t examine, Don’t try to figure anything out - mi dpyod
Don’t control, Don’t try to make anything happen - mi sgom
Rest Relax, right now and rest, - rang sar bzhag

* - Tibetan language

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BEYOND ALL THOUGHT

One need not ask when one has seen the actuality,
The mind beyond all thought, ineffable, unveiled;
This Yoga, immaculate and self-arisen, in itself is free.
Through the Guru's Grace highest Realization has been won,
One's own and others' interests fulfilled. Thus it is.

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TWELVE SIMILES DESCRIBING THE PHENOMENAL WORLD

A magic spell, a dream, a gleam before eyes,
A reflection, lightening, an echo, a rainbow,
Moonlight upon water, cloud-land, dimness
Before the eyes, fog, and apparitions;
These are the twelve similes of the phenomenal.

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Song of the Mahamudra (Tilopa's Song to Naropa)


Mahamudra, the royal way, is free
from every word and sacred symbol.
For you alone, beloved Naropa,
this wonderful song springs forth from Tilopa
as spontaneous friendship that never ends.
The completely open nature
of all dimensions and events
is a rainbow always occurring
yet never grasped.
The way of Mahamudra
creates no closure.
No strenuous mental effort
can encounter this wide open way.
The effortless freedom of awareness
moves naturally along it.
As space is always freshly appearing
and never filled,
so the mind is without limits
and ever aware.
Gazing with sheer awareness
into sheer awareness,
habitual, abstract structures melt
into the fruitful springtime of Buddhahood.
White clouds that drift through blue sky,
changing shape constantly,
have no root, no foundation, no dwelling;
nor do changing patterns of thought
that float through the sky of mind.
When the formless expanse of awareness
comes clearly into view,
obsession with thought forms
ceases easily and naturally.
As within the openness of universal space
shapes and colors are spontaneously forming,
although space has no color or form,
so within the expanse of awareness
realms, relations and values are arising,
although awareness possesses
no positive or negative characteristics.
As the darkness of night,
even were it to last a thousand years,
could not conceal the rising sun,
so countless ages of conflict and suffering
cannot conceal the innate radiance of Mind.
Although philosophers explain
the transparent openness of appearances
as empty of permanent characteristics
and completely indeterminable,
this universal indeterminacy
can itself never be determined.
Although sages report
the nature of awareness to be luminosity,
this limitless radiance cannot be contained
within any language or sacramental system.
Although the very essence of Mind
is to be void of either subjects or objects,
it tenderly embraces all life within its womb.
To realize this inexpressible truth,
do not manipulate mind or body
but simply open into transparency
with relaxed, natural grace
intellect at ease in silence,
limbs at rest in stillness
like hollow bamboos.
Neither breathing in nor breathing out
with the breath of habitual thinking,
allow the mind to be at peace
in brilliant wakefulness.
This is the royal wealth of Mahamudra,
no common coin of any realm.
Beloved Naropa, this treasure of Buddhahood
belongs to you and to all beings.
Obsessive use of meditative disciplines
or perennial study of scripture and philosophy
will never bring forth this wonderful realization,
this truth which is natural to awareness,
because the mind that desperately desires
to reach another realm or level of experience
inadvertently ignores the basic light
that constitutes all experience.
The one who fabricates
any division in consciousness
betrays the friendship of Mahamudra.
Cease all activity that separates,
abandon even the desire to be free from desires
and allow the thinking process to rise and fall
smoothly as waves on a shoreless ocean.
The one who never dwells in abstraction
and whose only principle
is never to divide or separate
upholds the trust of Mahamudra.
The one who abandons craving
for authority and definition,
and never becomes one-sided
in argument or understanding,
alone perceives the authentic meaning
hidden in the ancient scriptures.
In the blissful embrace of Mahamudra,
negative viewpoints and their instincts
are burned without remainder, like camphor.
Through the open door of Mahamudra,
the deluded state of self-imprisonment
is easily left behind forever.
Mahamudra is the torch of supreme liberty
shining forth through all conscious beings.
Those beings constituted by awareness
who try to ignore, reject or grasp awareness
inflict sorrow and confusion upon themselves
like those who are insane.
To be awakened from this madness,
cultivate the gracious friendship
of a sublime sage of Mahamudra,
who may appear to the world as mad.
When the limited mind
enters blessed companionship
with limitless Mind,
indescribable freedom dawns.
Selfish or limited motivations
create the illusory sense of imprisonment
and scatter seeds of further delusion.
Even genuine religious teaching
can generate narrowness of vision.
Trust only the approach
that is utterly vast and profound.
The noble way of Mahamudra
never engages in the drama of
imprisonment and release.
The sage of Mahamudra
has absolutely no distractions,
because no war against distractions has ever been declared.
This nobility and gentleness alone,
this nonviolence of thought and action ,
is the traceless path of all Buddhas.
To walk this all-embracing way
is the bliss of Buddhahood.
Phenomena on every plane of being
are constantly arising and disappearing.
Thus they are forever fresh,
always new and inexhaustible.
Like dreams without solid substance,
they can never become rigid or binding.
The universe exists in a deep, elusive way
that can never be grasped or frozen.
Why feel obsessive desire or hatred for it,
thereby creating illusory bonds?
Renounce arbitrary, habitual views.
Go forth courageously to meditate
in the real mountain wilderness,
the wide open Mahamudra.
Transcend boundaries of kinship
by embracing all living beings
as one family of consciousness.
Remain without any compulsion
in the landscape of natural freedom:
spontaneous, generous, joyful.
When you receive the crown of Mahamudra,
all sense of rank or attainment
will quietly disappear.
Cut the root of the vine that chokes the tree,
and its clinging tendrils wither away entirely.
Sever the conventionally grasping mind,
and all bondage and desperation dissolve.

The illumination from an oil lamp
lights the room instantly,
even if it has been dark for aeons.
Mind is boundless radiance.
How can the slightest darkness
remain in the room of daily perception?
But one who clings to mental processes
cannot awaken to the radiance of Mind.
Strenuously seeking truth
by investigation and concentration,
one will never appreciate
the unthinkable simplicity and bliss
that abide at the core.
To uncover this fertile ground,
cut through the roots of complexity
with the sharp gaze of naked awareness,
remaining entirely at peace,
transparent and content.
You need not expend great effort
nor store up extensive spirtual power.
Remain in the flow of sheer awareness.
Mahamudra neither accepts nor rejects
any current of energy, internal or external.
Since the ground consciousness
is never born into any realm of being,
nothing can add to or subtract from it.
Nothing can obstruct or stain it.
When awareness rests here,
the appearance of division and conflict
disappears into original reality.
The twin emotions of anxiety and arrogance
vanish into the void from which they came.
Supreme knowing knows
no separate subject or object.
Supreme action acts resourcefully
without any array of instruments.
Supreme attainment attains the goal
without past, future or present.
The dedicated practitioner
experiences the spiritual way
as a turbulent mountain stream,
tumbling dangerously among boulders.
When maturity is reached,
the river flows smoothly and patiently
with the powerful sweep of the Ganges.
Emptying into the ocean of Mahamudra,
the water becomes ever-expanding light
that pours into great Clear Light
without direction, destination,
division, distinction or description.

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A natural knowing that is free of thought.
This self-knowing cannot possibly form thoughts.
Without conceptualizing 'a mind,'
Since it is not something to be conceived,
This original wakefulness, cognizant yet thought-free,
Is like the wisdom of the Tathagata.

Therefore, it is taught, "Realize that luminous mind
Is the mind of original wakefulness,
And don't seek an enlightenment separate from that."

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"The View, Concisely Put"


English version by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and Erik Pema Kunsang


This mind that knows emptiness
Is itself the awakened mind, bodhicitta.
The Buddha potential is just this.
The sugata essence is just this.

Because of tasting what is,
It is also the great bliss.
The understanding of secret mantra is just this.
Means and knowledge is just this.

This self-knowing, while one is still defiled,
Does not depend on other things,
So self-existing wakefulness is just this.
Being aware, it is cognizance.

A natural knowing that is free of thought.
This self-knowing cannot possibly form thoughts.
Without conceptualizing 'a mind,'
Since it is not something to be conceived,
This original wakefulness, cognizant yet thought-free,
Is like the wisdom of the Tathagata.***

Therefore, it is taught, "Realize that luminous mind
Is the mind of original wakefulness,
And don't seek an enlightenment separate from that."


*** - The word's original significance is not known and there has been speculation about it since at least the time of Buddhaghosa, who gives eight interpretations of the word, each with different etymological support, in his commentary on the Digha Nikaya, the Sumangalailasini:

-He who has arrived in such fashion, i.e. who has worked his way upwards to perfection for the world's good in the same fashion as all previous Buddhas.
- He who walked in such fashion, i.e. (a) he who at birth took the seven equal steps in the same fashion as all previous Buddhas or (b) he who in the same way as all previous Buddhas went his way to Buddhahood through the four Jhanas and the Paths.
- He who by the path of knowledge has come at the real essentials of things.
- He who has won Truth.
- He who has discerned Truth.
- He who declares Truth.
- He whose words and deeds accord.
-The great physician whose medicine is all-potent.

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All things are empty of their own identities.
This concept fixed on emptiness has dissolved in itself.
Free of concept, holding nothing in mind,
Is in itself the path of the Buddhas.
For the most fortunate ones,
I have made these concise words of heartfelt advice.
Through this, may every single sentient being
Be established in Mahamudra.

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The emotions are the great wisdom.
Like a jungle fire, they are the yogi's helpers.
How can there be staying or going?
What meditation is there by fleeing to a hermitage?
Without understanding this, all possible means
Never bring more than temporary liberation.
When understanding this nature, what is there to bind you?
While being undistracted from its continuity,
There is neither a composed nor an uncomposed state
To be cultivated or corrected with a remedy.
It is not made out of anything
Experience self-liberated is dharmadhatu.
Thinking self-liberated is great wisdom,
Non-dual equality is dharmakaya.
Like the continuous flow of a great river,
Whatever you do is meaningful,
This is the eternal awakened state,
The great bliss, leaving no place for samasara.

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It is neither something to be corrected nor transformed,
But when anyone sees and realizes its nature
All that appears and exists is Mahamudra,
The great all-encompassing Dharmakaya.
Naturally and without contriving, allowed simply to be,
This unimagined Dharmakaya,
Letting it be without seeking is the meditation training.
But to meditate while seeking is deluded mind.
Just as with space and a magical display,
While neither cultivating nor not cultivating
How can you be separate and not separate!
This is a yogi's understanding.
All good deeds and harmful actions
Dissolve by simply knowing this nature.

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It is neither something to be corrected nor transformed,
But when anyone sees and realizes its nature
All that appears and exists is Mahamudra,
The great all-encompassing Dharmakaya.
Naturally and without contriving, allowed simply to be,
This unimagined Dharmakaya,
Letting it be without seeking is the meditation training.

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Homage to the state of great bliss!
Concerning what is called Mahamudra
All things are your own mind.
Seeing objects as external is a mistaken concept;
Like a dream, they are empty of concreteness.
This mind, as well, is a mere movement of attention
That has no self-nature, being merely a gust of wind.
Empty of identity, like space.
All things, like space, are equal.
When speaking of 'Mahamudra'
It is not an entity that can be shown.
There the mind's suchness
Is itself the state of Mahamudra.

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The Summary of Mahamudra
by Naropa

English version by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and Erik Pema Kunsang


Homage to the state of great bliss!
Concerning what is called Mahamudra
All things are your own mind.
Seeing objects as external is a mistaken concept;
Like a dream, they are empty of concreteness.
This mind, as well, is a mere movement of attention
That has no self-nature, being merely a gust of wind.
Empty of identity, like space.
All things, like space, are equal.
When speaking of 'Mahamudra'
It is not an entity that can be shown.
There the mind's suchness
Is itself the state of Mahamudra.
It is neither something to be corrected nor transformed,
But when anyone sees and realizes its nature
All that appears and exists is Mahamudra,
The great all-encompassing Dharmakaya.
Naturally and without contriving, allowed simply to be,
This unimagined Dharmakaya,
Letting it be without seeking is the meditation training.
But to meditate while seeking is deluded mind.
Just as with space and a magical display,
While neither cultivating nor not cultivating
How can you be separate and not separate!
This is a yogi's understanding.
All good deeds and harmful actions
Dissolve by simply knowing this nature.
The emotions are the great wisdom.
Like a jungle fire, they are the yogi's helpers.
How can there be staying or going?
What meditation is there by fleeing to a hermitage?
Without understanding this, all possible means
Never bring more than temporary liberation.
When understanding this nature, what is there to bind you?
While being undistracted from its continuity,
There is neither a composed nor an uncomposed state
To be cultivated or corrected with a remedy.
It is not made out of anything
Experience self-liberated is dharmadhatu.
Thinking self-liberated is great wisdom,
Non-dual equality is dharmakaya.
Like the continuous flow of a great river,
Whatever you do is meaningful,
This is the eternal awakened state,
The great bliss, leaving no place for samasara.
All things are empty of their own identities.
This concept fixed on emptiness has dissolved in itself.
Free of concept, holding nothing in mind,
Is in itself the path of the Buddhas.
For the most fortunate ones,
I have made these concise words of heartfelt advice.
Through this, may every single sentient being
Be established in Mahamudra.

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Advice to Marpa Lotsawa




You Marpa, the translator from Tibet!
Do not make the eight worldly dharmas the goal of your life.
Do not create the bias of self and other, grasping and fixation.
Do not slander friends or enemies.
Do not distort the ways of others.
Learning and contemplation are the torch that illumines the darkness.
Do not be ambushed on the supreme path of liberation.
Previously, we have been guru and disciple;
Keep this with you in the future; do not give this up.
This precious jewel of your mind,
Do not throw it in the river like an idiot.
Guard it carefully with undistracted attention,
And you will accomplish all needs, desires, and intentions.

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