Revealing the Hidden Faults: by Longchen Rabjam

The following is respectfully quoted from “Drops of Nectar” compiled by Ngagyur Nyingma Institute:

Vajra Song:

Instructions for Rousing Myself: Longchen Rabjam

Namo Guru Bhaya! Feeling truly wearied by the worldly experiences of myself and others, at Orgyen Dzong, I, “The Yogi of Various Kinds of Self-Liberation”, Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363), roused myself with this song of advice.

Chapter 1
Revealing the Hidden Faults

The great ship of the primordial wisdom of vast compassion
Liberates all beings without exception from the ocean of cyclic
existence.
I bow to the feet of the glorious protector, the sacred guru
Who has gone to the precious continent, peaceful and
immaculate.

The ocean of samsara is extremely difficult to cross;
With its raging waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.
It is hard to escape from the boundlessly deep.
To you confused ones who are floundering here I offer these
suggestions from my heart!

Without applying these suggestions to dig out hidden faults,
There will be no time to cast off all your unwholesome
behavior.
Without looking back into your inner mind,
There will be no time to see your negative faults.
Therefore, today I offer these suggestions from my heart!
Keep this in mind. It is beneficial spiritual advice.

Even if you live in solitude, you can become more accustomed
to depending on others;
If you are not free from the eight worldly concerns and the
distractions of this life,
You can become someone who appears to benefit others while
pervertedly benefiting himself.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

By abiding in solitude, the Victorious Ones of the past attained enlightenment
And even former practitioners of the dharma achieved
accomplishment,
But you are completely distracted.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

Not recognizing all material wealth, fame, glory, and valuable
possessions as magical illusions
And deceptive obstacles to accomplishment,
It’s like you are receiving something from one person and
giving it to another.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

Not recognizing as manifold demons of distraction and illusion
All kinds of business with many different people,
you think that babbling platitudes about the dharma will
benefit others.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

Being uncertain about exactly where you are heading,
You gather material wealth, build castles on dung heaps and so on.
Reckoning that you will live there forever, you take illusory
appearances to be real.
Do you think such conduct will suffice?

Failing to tame and stabilize your own mind,
But hoping to tame and stabilize the minds of others,
You will experience incessant suffering and torment.
Do you think such conduct is good enough?

Never applying yourself to the actual essence,
While day and night making great efforts for this life is a great mistake.
Such childish and imprudent ones are objects of the noble
beings’ smiles and laughter.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

When a group of many aimless ones have gathered,
Distracted teachers and students fetter one another.
This is like making an aimless search for a guesthouse.
Clinging to never-ending appearances of magical illusion
As happiness and bliss, you lose the enlightened path to liberation
And feel no weariness toward cyclic existence.
Do you think such conduct is good enough?

This year is the dwelling ground of the Female Fire-Hog,
And twelve years from now will be the ground of the Male Iron-Dog, when
Foreign invasion is prophesied. Yet you make no effort to escape.
Do you think such conduct will suffice?

From all directions, war and strife will increase,
People will become intolerant and there will be many types of destruction,
But you are not trying to find the precious hidden land.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

Even if you always perform good deeds without deceit,
Since there won’t be time to complete this, both inside and out,
The foundation of purposeless suffering will be uninterrupted.
Do you think such conduct is good enough?

Remaining in solitude in the mountains, but acting like you
were on the edge of a city,
Accustomed to countless meetings and gatherings,
You become completely careless and your occupations never end.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

Although you mentally renounce this life, you cannot let it go;
Although you dismantle deluded ego clinging, it doesn’t fall apart;
Even remaining alone in the mountains, you’ll find no occasion for solitude
Do you think you can get by with that kind of conduct!

Although with words you talk about needing nothing, you
pursue food and clothing;
Although you speak of the impermanence of life, you’re still
not mindful of death;
Even remaining in solitude to practice, you’re still distracted by
entertainment.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

Despite talking about the delusion of ordinary life, you chase
the eight worldly concerns;
Despite talking about the pointlessness of illusory appearances,
you still find a lot to do;
Although you say all things are equal, you maintain your partiality.
Do you think that kind of conduct will suffice?

Even if you sit down to accomplish the natural state, present
worldly concerns deceive you;
Even practicing the Dharma of your own free will, external
influences mislead you;
Whatever you do, day and night you are beguiled by illusion.
Consider whether you can get by with such conduct!

Although you ponder everything, this is not the essence.
Whatever you do lacks meaning and is a cause for suffering.
Abandon everything in an empty place without people.
If you could go today itself, this would be best!

Since there is nothing nearer than oneself,
I give this useful advice out of pity,
Listen, you virtuous-minded one who desires liberation!
If you heed these suggestions it will always be virtuous!

At the outset, the virtue is to abandon your present worldly activities.
In the middle, the virtue is to discard entertainment in solitary retreat.
In the end, the virtue is to achieve exhaustion in the natural state.
Ease in this present life and happiness in the future is the
intention of this advice!

I compose this advice by myself and for myself
To encourage others as well I offer this instruction.
It will be excellent if both others and I listen carefully!
Please pursue this excellent permanent aim from today!

From the Vajra Song of Instructions for Rousing Myself, this completes the first chapter of exposing one’s hidden faults.

Homage to Śrī Samantabhadra: Longchenpa

LONGCHENPA

The following is respectfully quoted from “Kindly Bent to Ease Us” by Longchenpa:

Homage to the beginningless primordial Lord,
an ocean great and full of capabilities,
Whose range of intuition and depth of
tenderness cannot be fathomed,
Who is the birthplace of the Wish-fulfilling Gem, the
Buddhas and their spiritual sons, and
From whom cloud banks of prosperity and bliss arise.

Sheer lucency, founding stratum of meaning,
immaculate, man’s Buddha-nature,
Through ego-centered apprehensions following the loss
of pure awareness, strays into fictitious being.
Wearied and weakened in the deserts of
Karmic actions and turbulent emotions may Mind
today find comfort and ease.

Friends, a precious human body, being a unique
occasion and the right juncture,
Is very hard to find within the six-life forms.
As delighted as a blind man who has stumbled on a
precious hoard,
Use this body for prosperity and bliss.

What is meant by a unique occasion and the right
juncture?
I am a person beyond the eight unfavorable
conditions:
My mind has not been born in the realms of hells,
of hungry spirits,
And of animals, I am not dumb, and I am not one of the
long-living gods, nor one of the savages, and
I do not harbor wrong views, and do not live in a period
in which there are no Buddhas;
And I represent the right juncture; five events affecting
me directly by being complete in me–
I have become a human being, I live in the central
country, and I possess all senses,
I do not revert to inexpiable evil deeds, and I have
confidence in the foundation of spiritual life; and
Five events affecting me directly;
The coming of a Buddha, his having taught the
doctrine, the presence of his teaching now,
The following so that it continues, and the loving
guidance by others.
These are the eighteen facets of a unique occasion and
the right juncture.
While they are thus complete,
Thoroughly exert yourself and realize deliverance.

If in this lifetime you do not make good use (of your
existence)
You will in the hereafter not even hear the word ‘happy life-form’
But for a long time will roam about in evil forms of life.
Not knowing what is to be rejected and what to be
accepted, so going the wrong way,
You cannot but drift about in Samsāra that has
no beginning nor end.

Therefore, while you still have the power now,
Apply yourself to the accumulation of inexhaustible
positive qualities,
In view of the fact that you are the juncture for the path
to happiness,
And pass beyond the stronghold of fictitious being.

But if I dare not cross the endless ocean of Samsāra,
Although I have a precious boat,
What shall I do when forever
Emotional reactions and frustrations are raging in
tumultuous waves?

Then quickly don the armor of perseverance
And, in order to let the turbid state of mind and mental
events be cleared,
Set out on the path of sheer lucency, of immaculate
pristine cognitions,
And let no obstacles impede the road to limpid
clearness and consummate perspicacity.

He who has become the foundation for bliss and
happiness
And has found a precious and clean vessel,
But does not gather the refreshing rain of the
nectar-like doctrine,
Will let himself be crushed by the swelter of Samsāra.

The downpour of (the Buddha’s) truth, the refreshing
water of pristine cognitions
With clouds of glorious bliss and happiness and
prosperity,
Will fall on the pure mind of living beings, the fertile
soil of a unique occasion at the right juncture.
Therefore, with joy and from your heart engage in the
quest for the real meaning of life.

 

A Unique Occasion at the Right Juncture: Longchenpa

longchenpa-sergey-noskov

The following is respectfully quoted from “Kindly Bent to Ease Us” by Longchenpa:

A Unique Occasion at the Right Juncture

Traditional philosophy has been dominated by the contrasting ideas of essence and existence. Essence is said to be that factor in finite entities which determines them and marks them off from others, while existence is the act that makes them actual and separates from nothing. As the determinate whatness of finite entities, essence was further conceived to be something universal, timeless, and inactive, and the various essences of the multiplicity of finite entities were held together by necessary logical relationships. All this led to the construction of conceptual systems, and to the assumption that essence preceded existence in the case of man determining his nature, which remained fixed for all times. Similarly existence was tied up with particular entities. When in more recent times it was claimed that existence preceded essence and that in the act of existence man determined his own essence, this existential reversal of the essentialist trend did not change the basic conceptualism.

Whether we give precedence to essence or existence, we deal with an abstraction, and this means that we have taken something smaller from something greater. It is a fact that the greater can never be caught by or reduced to the smaller. It cannot even be pointed out. Attempts to do so are more often than not attempts to dwell on elements which are merely ingredients, aspects of rationalization upon which the construction of a conceptual system rests, but which in a work of art is known as beauty and in a life situation as Being.

While we cannot point out beauty or Being, we can point to it and this pointing may help people to experience for themselves this something greater. Such pointing is indicated by the use of word ‘Being’ which is the most universal of concepts, for it covers anything and everything — even ‘nothing’ which, in the sense that it is spoken or thought, is something. Beyond the domain of this concept there is, in the strictest sense of the word, nothing more on which ‘Being’ could rest and on the basis of which it could be more specifically determined. This is tantamount to saying that the more comprehensive a concept is the more indeterminate and ’empty’ is its content. There is ‘nothing’ of either essence or existence in it, and yet there is the awareness and feeling of ‘Being’ in the sense that ‘Being’ is awareness and awareness if feeling.

Of course, terms like ‘awareness’ and ‘feeling’ are quite inadequate. We have the tendency to say that we are aware of something and we tacitly assume that this something is always something finite, as is the awareness itself. The same applies to feeling, as when I say that I feel happy or comfortable, unhappy or uncomfortable. What we have done in all these cases is that we have made up a concept and, in our efforts to bring the something greater under the concept, we have attempted to make it something smaller and have quite literally strayed away from it into fictions of our own making–whether we call it ‘essences’, ‘existences’, or ‘minds’. It is as if, and it seems almost inevitable to do so, we were desperate to fill nothingness, the ’emptiness’ of Being, with ‘essences’, fundamental characteristics, and to replace pure awareness by distinct acts of cognitions. However, rather than to see we ‘fill’ nothingness it seems more correct to say that we tend to ‘falsify’ ‘Being’ into some sort of ‘existent’ which we then further split up into essence and existence, and to ‘falsify’ Mind (as a pointer to awareness that is Being) into ‘some’ mind which also is split up into a mind and mental events. Thus the openness of Being is lost, its sheer lucency becomes dimmer and dimmer until it is as dull as the ‘existents’, the objects it deals with as mind.

This falsification, however, makes us uneasy. This uneasiness not only signals the fact that something, somewhere, sometime has gone wrong, and that something has to be done about it, it also makes clear that what is at stake is man’s humanity which cannot be defined in terms of ‘essences’ but is inseparable from, if not identical with, Being, to which, in the context of man’s being human, the name ‘Buddha nature’ is given.

Insofar as Being operates through a human existence which illustrates this working of Being as the rediscovery of Being by itself, a human existence is a ‘unique occasion’ and ‘right juncture’. To the extent that Being is allowed to penetrate man’s ‘existence’ and return it to ‘Being’ , to heal the wounds of fragmentation and to restore the wholeness of Being, a human existence is precious. This means neither more nor less than that the presence of something already there, and the direction and scope of the question (and the quest) of being human, are determined by the question and the quest of Being, which aims at making the meaning of Being explicit through its immediate experience.

 

Mirror that Illustrates the Crucial Points: From “Drops of Nectar”

The following is respectfully quoted from “Drops of Nectar” by Ngagyur Nyingma Institute:

The Ultimate and Meaningful Instruction: Longchen Rabjam

Supreme glorious master, all-pervasive lord of the hundred Buddha-families.
Who combines into one, the power of compassion and enlightened activity.
Of the limitless mandala of the infinite Victorious Ones,
I constantly pay homage at your feet.

Ema, fortunate yogins listen to me. We have all now obtained this perfect human body with the freedoms and endowments. We have been introduced to the precious teachings of the higher vehicle. We have the freedom to behave in accordance with the sublime dharma. At this time, we should make sure that our human life does not go to waste and pass without meaning. We must establish our ultimate goal correctly. The categories of teachings are innumerable, the doors to the teachings are countless, and the commentaries to the teachings are vast.

If you cannot practice the essential points of the teachings, then although one knows a hundred thousand volumes of scriptures by heart, certain benefit at the time of death is difficult to achieve. Although you may have acquired boundless qualities of knowledge through study and contemplation, if your mindstream does not accord with genuine dharma you will not be able to tame the enemy of delusions. Moreover, if you don’t commit to an attitude of not needing anything, even with control over the one billion world systems, contentment won’t arise.

Without preparing soon for the uncertain time of death, you will not accomplish the great essential objective when death occurs. If you don’t correct your own mistakes and train in unbiased pure perception, being motivated by attachment and aversion, you won’t fully enter t dharma of the greater vehicle.

Among the six realms of the three worlds, there is not even a single sentient being who has not been your parent. If you do not regularly and continually aspire and pray for their well-being and happiness with the compassionate mind of enlightenment, the treasure of benefiting others will not be revealed. If you do not cultivate the devotion to your root guru that regards him as even more kind than the actual Buddha, the power of blessings will not be great.

If genuine blessings do not enter into you, the sprout of experience and realization will not emerge. Without realization dawning from within, the fruit of enlightenment will not be obtained through mere intellectual understanding or empty talk. In short, if you do not mingle your mind with dharma, merely appearing like a practitioner will not bring about your purpose. Consider that you do not need more than is merely sufficient to support your life force and vital energy.

Pray single-pointedly to your guru and practice Guru Yoga. Whatever virtuous activities you do, always focus on the benefit for sentient beings, your parents. No matter what happiness or sorrow, good or bad might occur, always meditate on the compassion of your guru. Within the expanse of self manifesting non-grasping self-cognizing awareness, abide in non-fabricated and unforced naturalness. Whatever thought arises; know its nature and liberate everything as the play of the true nature of reality.

Without so much as a hair tip of something solid to meditate on, and without falling for even a moment under the power of perpetual ordinary delusion, maintain undistracted mindfulness in all your daily activities. By training in recognizing all sights and sounds — whatever arises of the six consciousnesses — as magical play lacking true existence, you will gain mastery over the experiences of the bardo.

In short, at all times and on all occasions ensure that whatever you do accords with the sacred dharma and dedicate all virtue for the attainment of enlightenment. Acting in that way, you will not only fulfill the intentions of your root guru but also be of service to the teachings. You will repay the kindness of your parents and spontaneously accomplish the two benefits, of self and others.

I request that you retain this in your hearts. Even if you meet me in person, other than these instructions, I have nothing more to say. Therefore, at all times and on all occasions, practice!

The powerful conqueror, the excellent Longchen Rabjam wrote this when he lived on the slope of Gangri Thodkar. May it be virtuous!

 

Endowed with Garland of Flowers: The Reasons for Exhaustion by Longchen Rabjam

The following is respectfully taken from “Drops of Nectar” published by Ngagyur Nyingma Institute:

Endowed with Garland of Flowers: The Reasons for Exhaustion by Longchen Rabjam:

Om Svasti Siddham!

The delightful enlightened form, like a blooming lotus garden,
Whom gods and humans honor as the omniscient one,
The glorious Samyepa of mountain retreat,
Offers some verses to the ears of people with clear minds!
Nowadays, some people have been, in a manner of speaking,
Claiming I lack knowledge of appropriate manners, wealth and
short of an unconfused frame of mind,
That I am not firmly established in solitude and am extremely exhausted.
To all these, I answer. Listen as I speak!

Although criticized by sublime beings, non-dharmic evil behavior is increasing.
Lies, cunning and fraud are the basis of deceiving others,
Causing regret at the time of death and falling to lower realms in future lives.
Such appropriately worldly manners are better done without!

Sublime beings criticize sensual pleasures as the lasso of samsara.
Bringing on quarrels with everyone, it is the basis for many kinds of suffering.
Even if you have enough, you’re not satisfied and craving increases.
Since it’s the cause for downfalls, it’s fine to be devoid of wealth!

If revulsion towards worldly dharmas does not arise,
There will never be liberation from the ocean of existence.
Toward impermanent and essence-less phenomena,
It’s good to be unattached and better if you are short of worldly plans!

While staying together as one, attachment and hatred naturally increases.
Distractions, diversions and activities become even greater.
By binding one to existence, ego clinging is the cause of bondage.
In this kind of situation it’s better not to have any certainty!

Even my exhaustion is not without a cause.
As I ponder the auspicious throughout the day and night,
[I see] the ocean of samsara, with its waves of birth and death.
We wander here from the natural illusion of ego clinging.

Having seen the deep ocean of existence that is difficult to cross,
I despair and, shedding tears, become exhausted!
Please listen to how I am even more wearied by
Examining behavior of other people.

Venerable abbots, teachers and lamas, though quite secure,
Do not pursue the path of Dharma but chase after sense
pleasure and entertainment.
Outwardly peaceful, they are extremely arrogant within,
Having seen their cunning ways, I become exhausted!

Even those endowed with the Dharma pay attention to the wealthy.
The straightforward guides as well are more benevolent
towards their dissimulating retinues.
They pursue the eight worldly concerns, those versed in non-Dharma.
Seeing mere reflections of the Gurus, I become exhausted!

The slanderous ones who engage in divisiveness know nothing
about what is meaningful.
The crooked demonic ones who never take a stand but who live by flattery
Are not pleased by goodness and separate two who are in harmony.
Seeing friends like this, I become exhausted!

Unable to bear it themselves, while expecting others to cope with effort;
Not helping in times of need, and upholding others’ unworthy positions.
Displaying all kinds of moods even for minor things;
Seeing friends like this, I become exhausted!

If you teach those who have no proper respect, you evoke harsh words.
Lacking faith and devotion, rigid as unyeilding wood
They run after food and leave behind the activity of exertion.
Seeing students like this, I become exhausted!

They praise you to your face, and speak badly behind your back.
Not striving on the path of Dharma, but chasing after sense pleasures,
As the final return for your nurture they manufacture quarrels.
Seeing students like this, I become exhausted!

If your food and clothing are inferior, you’re cast down even if
you’re learned.
With great wealth, even the stupid are venerated
And reckoned as talented although their companions are evil and cunning.
Seeing this kind of people, I become exhausted!

They look on those who live in an honest way as being completely uncultured.
They take those who lack wealth as having merit.
They say that those who follow the Dharma have accomplished
only worthless methods.
Seeing this kind of people, I become exhausted!

Those who are expert at fitting into the ordinary are counted
excellent scholars.
Those who mimic good qualities are said to be wise in Dharma
Those who are good at using harsh, stupid and deceitful words
are considered quite exemplary.
Seeing this kind of people, I become exhausted!

With only verbal generosity, they dedicate as though the merits
were complete.
Bringing harm, they are proud as though they had created virtue.
Engaging in non-Dharma, they clearly believe they have
accomplished the journey to the bliss realm.
All these perversions make me quite exhausted!

Without Dharma, obtaining mere trifles is counted as happiness.
And genuine monks without wealth are scorned by all who see them.
When fools are more valued than noble ones,
If there is any feeling, exhaustion is appropriate!

At this time and place, principles are perverted.
Being the opposite of one’s mistakes, good qualities are
reckoned as erroneous.
Just as the beings of Tsuta (a realm where all beings have only one leg) laugh at two-legged humans,
Saying one leg is extra,
The one called Samyepa who composes, teaches and debates,
Now faces insults for acting in accord with the Dharma!

When I expound this truth, the throng of heedless, ignorant fools,
The most stupid who pretend to be studying and contemplating
the system of logic,
The foolish hypocrites with their imposing air of mastery of the
supreme precious three trainings,
And those lofty associates who easily befriend them, are most displeased.

However my body of discipline is superb; the petals of the
three trainings are formed and expanded.
And the excellent ones who can discern the causes assemble at
the fortress of honesty.
In order to awaken delight in their minds I arranged this composition.

All whose minds are clear, please examine whether the
meaning is true or false.
In this manner the sweet-voiced one of mountain retreat
I, Tshultrim Lodro Zangpo composed this.

By this virtue, may I and all beings,
Sit before the great tree of the essence of enlightenment;
After defeating the devils of unpleasant speech,
May we become Dharma Kings with the spontaneously established three kayas!

With the intention of a perfect exposition, this answer, called “Endowed with Rosary that Completely Subjugates”, was composed by the greatly learned poet, the glorious Samyepa, Tsultrim Lodr. It is here complete.

 

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