of the Basic Space of
Longchen Rabjam is revered as one of the greatest masters in the Nyingma school of Vajrayana Buddhism. He wrote more than 250 treatises on a wide variety of topics, but is best known for his works on dzogchen, or great perfection, especially the extensive scholastic exegesis of the great perfection tantras known as The Seven Treasuries. This collection discusses the primordial nature that is the ground of all experience, the view, meditation, and conduct of the spiritual path, and the final freedom that is the fruition of that path.
The treasury commonly known as the Chöying Dzöd consists of two texts, Longchen Rabjam’s source verses and his own commentary on them (published individually as A Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission). The present volume, The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena, contains the source verses, which provide a poetic summary of the subject matter dealt with at length in the commentary.
These companion volumes concern the great perfection approach of trekchö (cutting through solidity), which brings spiritual practitioners of the highest acumen to freedom effortlessly. Longchen Rabjam summarizes the definitive topics of this approach from the perspective of the basic space of phenomena — naturally occurring timeless awareness, awakened mind.
About the Cböying Dzöd, Longchen Rabjam states, “Though the topics in this text are so profound that ordinary people will find it difficult to fathom their meaning, I have presented them without adulterating them with more common themes, and so have ensured that these teachings concerning the vajra heart essence, the most majestic spiritual approach, will last for a long time in this world.” “To those of you fortunate enough to have a devoted interest in this sublime spiritual approach, my earnest advice is: This text will serve as your eyes, so treat it with the highest respect.”
In his foreword, His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche underscores the importance of this work: “Simply having [this] book in one’s home is more valuable than having statues or stupas, for it is truly a relic of the dharmakaya.”
The Padma Translation Committee was established by His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche and operates under the auspices of the Tibetan Heritage Institute, a nonprofit educational foundation whose purpose is to preserve the Buddhist teachings and cultural heritage of Tibet.
His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
The publication of Longchen Rabjam's Seven Treasuries should be a cause for rejoicing among deeply committed English - speaking Buddhists who aspire to realize the dzogchen, or great perfection, teachings of vajrayana Buddhism. Though there are many spiritual traditions in this world, Buddhism offers the deepest examination of what constitutes the root of samsara, and of how to deal with all levels of obscuration and attain liberation. Among Buddhist teachings, none are more profound, more capable of freeing the mind from its most subtle obscurations, than those of the great perfection.
Yet, because great perfection transmission leads to wisdom beyond words and concepts, the translation of dzogchen texts presents tremendous difficulties. Some lamas have said that it is not even worth the attempt, that too much distortion results. I respect their opinion, but feel that those of us with the supreme fortune to have received authentic transmission from great dzogchen masters have a responsibility to maintain the oral lineage, including the translation of texts, as well as the mind-to-mind lineage of realization. If we eschew this work, the precious great perfection teachings will remain inaccessible to some excellent Western practitioners who have potential as meditators but who do not know Tibetan. An avenue for the flourishing of the transmission will be cut off.
I am also gravely concerned about the translations of great perfection texts produced by Westerners who know Tibetan but who rely solely on scholarly knowledge, without recourse to teachers. Intellectual understanding alone, without the ripening process that takes place under the direction of qualified dzogchen teachers, will certainly result in misguided translations, perpetuated in misguided meditation by those who base their spiritual practice on such translations. But again, if qualified dzogchen masters refrain from working on translations because they fear imperfect results, can they lament when even more erroneous translations are published?
The translator of these texts, Richard Barron (Lama Chökyi Nyima), has truly mastered both literary and spoken Tibetan, but his deeper understanding is based on an extended retreat under the guidance of His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche, on a number of six-week dzogchen retreats, and on listening to and translating the teachings of many eminent lamas. He has translated other great perfection texts and sadhanas, notably Dudjom Lingpa’s Buddhahood Without Meditation, under my direction. He thus brings more capability to his work than mere theoretical and intellectual competence. The other members of the translation committee have a grounding in the study of dzog chen terminology and have likewise participated in annual dzogchen retreats. The learned scholar Khenpo Chödzö has been consulted on many details of this translation of The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena. I myself have brought to the process whatever understanding of great perfection I have attained in the course of a lifetime of study and meditation.
This means that while we have not necessarily produced flawless translations, we have confidence in this groundbreaking attempt. It should be understood that works of this kind are not casually read and easily comprehended. In fact, for most people, the texts are quite difficult to fathom; their meaning unfolds according to the depth of the reader’s spiritual preparation. However, simply having these books in one’s home is more valuable than having statues or stupas, for they are truly relics of the dharmakaya. Such holy works carry powerful blessings and are worthy objects of faith and devotion.
The project of translating Longchen Rabjam’s Seven Treasuries is ongoing. We encourage anyone with knowledge and experience of the great perfection to contact us with suggestions, clarifications, or corrections, which we will consider for incorporation into future editions. May these precious texts illuminate the minds of all who read and venerate them.
Translation Committee’s Note
Among the works in Longchen Rabjam’s famous collection, The Seven Treasuries, is that commonly known as the Chöying Dzöd, which consists of two texts: a set of source verses entitled The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena and Longchenpa's own commentary on those verses, A Treasure Trove of Scriptural Transmission. Although we have published them individually, they are considered companion volumes. Details concerning the Tibetan verses in the present volume can be found in the endnotes to the commentary.
Homage to glorious Samantabhadra! (rb)
Naturally occurring timeless awareness一utterly lucid awakened mind一
is something marvelous and superb, primordially and spontaneously present.
It is the treasury from which comes the universe of appearances and possibilities, whether of samsara or nirvana.
Homage to that unwavering state, free of elaboration.(rb)
The very pinnacle of spiritual approaches, the expanse in which the sun and moon orbit the most majestic mountain,
is the expanse of the vajra heart essence一spontaneously present and utterly lucid一
the expanse of the naturally settled state that entails no effort or achievement.
Listen as I explain this superb, timelessly infinite expanse.(rb)
Within the expanse of spontaneous presence is the ground for all that arises.
Empty in essence, continuous by nature,
it has never existed as anything whatsoever, yet arises as anything at all.
Within the expanse of the three kayas, although samsara and nirvana arise naturally,
they do not stray from basic space一such is the blissful realm that is the true nature of phenomena.(rb)
Mind itself is a vast expanse, the realm of unchanging space.
Its indeterminate display is the expanse of the magical expression of its responsiveness.
Everything is the adornment of basic space and nothing else.
Outwardly and inwardly, things proliferating and resolving are the dynamic energy of awakened mind.
Because this is nothing whatsoever yet arises as anything at all,
it is a marvelous and magical expression, amazing and superb.(rb)
Throughout the entire universe, all beings and all that manifests as form
are adornments of basic space, arising as the ongoing principle of enlightened form.
What is audible, all sounds and voices without exception, as many as there may be,
are adornments of basic space, arising as the ongoing principle of enlightened speech.
All consciousness and all stirring and proliferation of thoughts, as well as the inconceivable range of nonconceptual states,
are adornments of basic space, arising as the ongoing principle of enlightened mind.(rb)
Beings born in the six classes through the four avenues of rebirth, moreover,
do not stray in the slightest from the basic space of phenomena.
The universe of appearances and possibilities一
the six kinds of sense objects manifesting in dualistic perception一
appears within the realm of the basic space of phenomena just as illusions do, manifest yet nonexistent.
Without underlying support, vividly apparent yet timelessly empty, supremely spacious, and naturally clear, just as it is,
the universe arises as the adornment of the basic space of phenomena.(rb)
However things appear or sound, within the vast realm of basic space
they do not stray from their spontaneous equalness as dharmakaya, awakened mind.
Since the timeless state of utter relaxation is naturally empty and without transition or change,
whatever manifests constitutes the scope of naturally occurring timeless awareness, the true nature of phenomena,
merging in a single blissful expanse, without any effort, without anything needing to be done.(rb)
Sambhogakaya is unwavering natural lucidity.
Even as anything at all manifests, it is by nature spontaneously present,
uncontrived and unadulterated一a pervasive state of spontaneous equalness.(rb)
Due to the way in which the distinct, myriad display arises,
emanations occur naturally一the amazing magic of what has ultimate meaning.
They never stray from the wholly positive state in which nothing need be done.(rb)
Within awakened mind itself, which is without pitfalls,
the spontaneous perfection of the three kayas, entailing no effort,
is such that, without straying from basic space, they are spontaneously present and uncompounded.
The spontaneous perfection of the kayas, timeless awareness, and enlightened activity, moreover,
is a great amassing一the supreme expanse that is timelessly perfect, timelessly arising.(rb)
Timelessly and spontaneously present, this pure realm is without transition or change.
With the perception of the true nature of phenomena within basic space,
wisdom arises continuously as the adornment of that space.
Not created or achieved, it abides timelessly.
Like the sun in the sky, it is amazing and superb.(rb)
Within this ultimate womb of basic space, timelessly and spontaneously present,
samsara is wholly positive, nirvana is positive.
Within the wholly positive expanse, samsara and nirvana have never existed.
Sensory appearances are wholly positive, emptiness is positive.
Within the wholly positive expanse, appearances and emptiness have never existed.
Birth and death are wholly positive, happiness and suffering are positive.
Within the wholly positive expanse, birth, death, happiness, and suffering have never existed.
Self and other are wholly positive, affirmation and negation are positive.
Within the wholly positive expanse, self, other, affirmation, and negation have never existed.(rb)
Labeling takes place in confusion, for what is nonexistent is taken to exist.
Given that the nature of things is similar to that of dream images, which have no basis,
how exceedingly strange it is to fixate on samsara and nirvana as though they existed in their own right!(rb)
Everything is wholly positive, a supreme state of spontaneous presence.
Since there never has been confusion, is no confusion, and never will be confusion,
conditioned existence is merely a label.
It is beyond the extremes of existence and nonexistence.
Since no one has ever been confused at all in the past,
no one is confused at present and no one will be confused later on.
This is the enlightened intent of the original purity of the three planes of conditioned existence.(rb)
Since there is no confusion, nothing exists as some unconfused state.
Supreme, naturally occurring awareness is timelessly and spontaneously present.
Since there never has been freedom, is no freedom, and never will be freedom,
nirvana is just a label and there is no one who has ever known freedom.
There never will be freedom, for there never has been bondage.
Complete purity, like space, is free of being restricted or localized.
This is the enlightened intent of the original purity of total freedom.(rb)
In brief, within the ultimate womb of basic space, spacious and spontaneously present,
whatever arises as the dynamic energy of its display一as samsara or nirvana一
in the very moment of simply arising has never known existence as samsara or nirvana.
Whatever arises in a dream due to the dynamic energy of sleep does not actually exist.
There is only self-knowing awareness, the blissful place of rest,
extending infinitely as the supremely spacious state of spontaneous equalness.(rb)
This is the first section of The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena, demonstrating that samsara and nirvana by nature do not stray from basic space.(rb)
Given that basic space is by nature primordially and spontaneously present,
it is infinitely pervasive, with no division into outer and inner.
Without any limiting boundaries, it is beyond division into above and below or any other direction.
Beyond the duality of spacious versus narrow, awareness—pure like space—
is this very expanse, free of the elaborations of a conceptual framework.(rb)
The magical expressions that originate within unborn basic space
are completely indeterminate and not subject to any restrictions whatsoever.
They cannot be characterized as “things” for they have no substance or characteristics.
In that their nature is like the panoramic vista of space,
they are unborn, spontaneously present, and free of any time frame, any beginning or end.(rb)
The essence of all samsara and nirvana is awakened mind.
Spontaneously present—not occurring, not originating, and not finite—
it has not come from anywhere, nor does it go anywhere at all.
The expanse of awakened mind, with no linear time frame,
does not come or go, for it is infinitely pervasive.(rb)
The true nature of phenomena一suchness一has no beginning, middle, or end.
This state of infinite evenness, equal to space and pure by nature, has no beginning or end.
It is beyond any time frame.
It is unborn, unceasing, and has no substance or characteristics.
It neither comes nor goes and cannot be characterized as some “thing.”
It involves no effort or achievement or anything needing to be done.
The ground of suchness itself has no periphery or center.
Since it is nonreferential and uninterrupted, it is the expanse of equalness.(rb)
Since the true nature of all phenomena is equalness,
there is not a single thing that does not abide within the expanse of that equalness.
The scope of awakened mind is a single state of evenness in which everything is equal.
Since it is unborn—an infinite evenness so vast that it is equal to space—
the scope of equalness is without interruption.(rb)
Therefore, the fortress of infinite pervasiveness is spontaneously present and beyond extremes.
The fortress of the spacious and timeless expanse has no division into higher and lower or in between.
The fortress of unborn dharmakaya encompasses everything impartially.
The fortress of the precious secret is unchanging and spontaneously present.
The universe of appearances and possibilities, whether of samsara or nirvana,
is perfect as the timeless fortress of a single state of equalness.(rb)
On this infinite foundation, extending everywhere impartially,
the stronghold of awakened mind does not distinguish between samsara and nirvana.
Its imposing and lofty summit is the spacious expanse that is the true nature of phenomena.
At the very center of the panorama of this uncreated nature,
the entranceway that frees one from developmental effort is wide open.(rb)
Within that palace, adorned by the spontaneously present array of wealth,
the king, naturally occurring timeless awareness, sits on his throne.
All aspects of the dynamic energy of that awareness, manifesting as thoughts that proliferate and subside,
serve as ministers, exercising control over the domain.
The holy queen, naturally abiding meditative stability,
is accompanied by the royal heirs and servants, naturally arising enlightened intent.
This encompassing expanse of supreme bliss is naturally lucid and nonconceptual.(rb)
Within that very context, unwavering and beyond imagination or description,
mastery is gained over the entire universe of appearances and possibilities.
This is the vast dominion of the basic space of phenomena.(rb)
If one abides in that domain, everything is dharmakaya.
With no wavering from this single, naturally occurring timeless awareness,
there is an unfabricated, timelessly ensured transcendence of effort and achievement.
Given that the sphere of being, without any “hard edges,” is inclusive,
everything, just as it is, is encompassed within the expanse in which there is no differentiation or exclusion.(rb)
Neither the realms of the six classes of beings nor even the pure realms of buddhas exist elsewhere.
They are the realm of space, the true nature of phenomena.
Given that they are of one taste in naturally lucid awakened mind,
samsara and nirvana are fully encompassed within the scope of awareness.(rb)
In this treasury of the basic space of phenomena, the source of everything,
nirvana is timelessly and spontaneously present, without having to be sought.
So within dharmakaya一unchanging, nonreferential, and infinitely extensive一
the manifestation of the outer and inner universe is sambhogakaya,
and the natural arising of things like reflections is nirmanakaya.
Since there is no phenomenon that is not perfect as an adornment of the three kayas,
everything arises as the display of enlightened form, speech, and mind.
Moreover, without exception, the countless pure realms of the sugatas
arise from the very same source一mind itself, the expanse of the three kayas.(rb)
As well, the “cities” of the six classes of beings, whose nature is that of samsara,
are simply reflections arising within the scope of the basic space of phenomena.
Moreover, the various manifestations of birth and death, pleasure and pain,
are like phantasmagoria within this expanse一mind itself.
Although they do not exist, they appear to, and in manifesting they have no basis,
and so they are like clouds in the sky, simply occurring adventitiously due to circumstances.
Neither existent nor nonexistent, they are by nature beyond extremes,
fully encompassed within the sphere of being, free of elaboration.(rb)
Mind itself一that is, the nature of awakened mind一
is pure like space, and so is without birth or death, pleasure or pain.
It has no substance to delimit it and is free of the phenomena of samsara and nirvana.
It cannot be characterized as some “thing,” and being an infinitely spacious expanse,
it is unchanging, without transition, spontaneously present, and uncompounded.
Given that buddhahood lies within the vajra heart essence of utter lucidity,
everything is a naturally occurring realm of bliss一
the very context of sublime enlightenment, a state of spontaneous equalness.(rb)
This is the second section of The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena, concerning the universe of appearances and possibilities arising as a pure realm.(rb)
Everything is subsumed within all-inclusive awakened mind.
Since there is no phenomenon that is not included in awakened mind,
the true nature of all phenomena is that of awakened mind.(rb)
Space is a metaphor for awakened mind.
Since that mind has no cause and is not an object that comes into being,
it does not abide in any finite way, is inexpressible, and transcends the realm of the imagination.
The phrase "the realm of space" is simply a way of illustrating it metaphorically.
If even the metaphor itself cannot be described as some "thing,"
how could the underlying meaning that it illustrates be imagined or described?
It should be understood as a metaphor for what is naturally pure.(rb)
The underlying meaning is that awakened mind is self-knowing awareness equal to space.
It is not within the realm of the imagination, for it defies illustration or description.
Naturally lucid and unwavering, the spacious expanse of utter lucidity
is not created but is spontaneously present, with no fixed reach or range.
Dharmakaya is the spacious domain that is the heart essence of enlightenment.(rb)
The evidence is that anything can and does arise due to the dynamic energy of awareness.
Even as it arises, there is no place of arising or anything arising.
"Arising" is simply a label, for if examined, it is found to be like space.
Everything being encompassed within a supreme state of equalness without bias
constitutes the expanse of infinite evenness, which entails nodualistic perception.(rb)
Given that naturally occurring timeless awareness—the true nature of phenomena—is boundless,
analogies are used so that it can be ascertained through metaphor, underlying meaning, and evidence.
Equal to space, that nature, which subsumes everything and is without differentiation or exclusion,
is exemplified by these three linking factors.
In the womb of basic space, a supremely spacious state of equalness,
everything is timelessly equal, with no time frame of earlier or later, no better or worse.
This is the enlightened intent of Samantabhadra, of Vajrasattva.(rb)
Awakened mind can be compared to the sun.
It is utterly lucid by nature and forever uncompounded.
With nothing to obscure it, it is unobstructed and spontaneously present.
Without elaboration, it is the scope of the true nature of phenomena, which does not entail concepts.(rb)
In being empty it is dharmakaya, in being lucid it is sambhogakaya, and in being radiant it is nirmanakaya.
The three kayas do not come together or separate.
Since these enlightened qualities are already and forever spontaneously present,
they are not obscured by the darkness of flaws and faults.
They are identical in being without transition or change throughout the three times,
identical in permeating all buddhas and ordinary beings alike.
This is called "naturally occurring awakened mind."(rb)
Its dynamic energy arises as anything at all—
whether there is realization or not, there is the universe of appearances and possibilities
and beings' perceptions in all their variety.(rb)
Though things arise, none of them has any independent nature whatsoever.
Like water in a mirage, a dream, an echo,
a phantom emanation, a reflection, a castle in the air,
or a hallucination, all things are clearly apparent yet do not truly exist—
they merely manifest adventitiously, without basis or support.
You should realize that all these manifestations are temporary, adventitious phenomena.(rb)
Due to the nature of spontaneously present awakened mind,
there is a continuous display, the magical illusion of samsara and nirvana.
Since this entire magical display is fully encompassed within basic space,
you should know that it does not stray from the scope of primordial being.(rb)
Within this, everything is the scope of awakened mind.
With that single perfection, all is perfect—without being made so, everything is perfect.
Naturally occurring timeless awareness is by nature spontaneously perfect.(rb)
Given that awakened mind is neither apparent nor not apparent,
the outer and inner worlds of samsara and nirvana do not exist as phenomena
yet arise nonetheless as a myriad display—
the universe of appearances and possibilities, whether of samsara or nirvana—
because they are, by nature, the stirring of mind's dynamic energy.(rb)
In simply arising, forms are by nature empty.
From what is unborn there manifests what seems to be born,
but even as it manifests, nothing whatsoever has been born.
From what is unceasing there manifests what seems to cease, but there is no cessation.
These are illusory expressions of emptiness.
Even with abiding there is nothing that abides.
There is no basis on which anything could abide.
Within the context in which there is no coming or going, regardless of what manifests, it never exists as what it seems to be,
and so one is reduced to merely labeling it as "having no independent nature."(rb)
Sensory appearances, moreover, arise naturally due to the dynamic energy of awareness,
and so their nature is described in a purely symbolic way as one of "interdependent connection."
Even in the very moment that things seem to arise due to that dynamic energy,
they do so without being subject to extremes or divisions—with no question of whether or not something arises—
and even "dynamic energy" is just a symbolic term, with no finite essence whatsoever.
So within the context that is never subject to transition or change,
nothing strays in the slightest from awakened mind.(rb)
This is the third section of The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena, presenting the metaphors for awakened mind.(rb)
It is the nature of all-inclusive awakened mind that it is not apparent,
for it transcends that which is apparent.
It is not empty, for it transcends that which is empty.
It is not existent, for it has no substance or characteristics.
Nor is it nonexistent, for it permeates all samsara and nirvana.
Neither existent nor nonexistent, it is primordial basic space, spontaneous and uniform,
not subject to extremes or division, and without substance, foundation, or underlying basis.(rb)
Uninterrupted, awareness is the expanse of awakened mind.
Without transition or change, the “sky” of basic space is timelessly and infinitely extensive.
Naturally occurring timeless awareness,
which has ultimate meaning in that nothing compares to it,
is subsumed within the single sphere of being, unborn and unceasing.
Indeterminate and all-pervasive, it is absolutely without limiting extremes.(rb)
The legacy of the vajra heart essence is one of unwavering spontaneity and equalness.
The immensity of sublime basic space, which is not made or unmade,
is not some finite range that can be characterized with words.
It is the welling forth of an expanse of sublime knowing, the scope of one’s self-knowing awareness.
A yogin who is free of conceptual and descriptive elaborations
comes to a decision that whether it can be characterized or not is irrelevant.
Since neither meditation nor anything to meditate on can be discovered,
there is no need to “slay the enemies” of dullness, agitation, and thought.(rb)
Within the timelessly abiding, omnipresent state—the true nature of phenomena—
there are no concepts of self or other,
and so the three realms themselves constitute a pure realm of natural equalness.(rb)
For victorious ones of the three times, awareness’s own manifestations are pure.
Since everything constitutes a single state of equalness, with nothing to renounce or accept,
there is nothing in the slightest to attain elsewhere.
All phenomena are clearly evident within the vast expanse of mind itself,
yet they do not stray in the least from the ultimate meaning of equalness.(rb)
There is no division into outer and inner, and no disturbance due to thoughts arising and subsiding.
The foundation, awakened mind, dispels the darkness of extremes.
With nothing having to be renounced, the potential for error is cut through as a matter of course.(rb)
The world of myriad ways in which beings perceive—
and even the kayas and timeless awareness of pure buddhahood—
all that permeates the realm of basic space as a continuous display
arises due to dynamic energy, either in light of realization or in its absence.
There is simply realization or its lack within the realm of the basic space of phenomena.
For those with realization, who have reached a state of bliss, there is pure perception.
For those without it, there is nonrecognition of awareness and the habitual patterns of dualistic perception,
from which sensory appearances manifest in all their variety, though none of this strays from basic space.(rb)
Awakened mind is the actual state of everything.
It exhibits an unceasing quality.
Whatever arises in all its variety is naturally and clearly apparent,
evident within pure basic space, the true nature of phenomena.
There is no division or exclusion—the mode of awareness is without restriction.(rb)
Unobstructed timeless awareness, a naturally occurring spacious expanse,
is utterly lucid—unobscured, with no division into outer and inner—
and so self-knowing awareness is the great radiant mirror of mind.
The precious gem that provides for all wants is the basic space of phenomena.
Since everything occurs naturally without having to be sought,
naturally occurring timeless awareness is the splendid source of all one could wish for.(rb)
However many great qualities can be enumerated,
they come from basic space and are of basic space, arising continuously as sublime skillful means.
Since everything is spontaneously perfect in unborn basic space,
the substance of things is outshone by their emptiness as the expanse of enlightenment,
while their emptiness is outshone by self-knowing awareness as the expanse of enlightenment.(rb)
In awakened mind, appearances and emptiness have never existed.
But do not fixate on nonduality, for the inconceivable miraculous display still occurs.
With no time frame, the unborn basic space of phenomena
is an unchanging, undivided, and uncompounded expanse.
Throughout the three times, buddhahood is awareness, the basic space of timeless awareness,
the expanse of enlightenment, of self-knowing awareness that outshines dualistic perceptions.
With no division into outer and inner, the true nature of phenomena is spontaneous and spacious.(rb)
This is the fourth section of The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena, demonstrating the nature of awakened mind.(rb)
Within mind itself—the essence of awakened mind—
there is no view to cultivate in meditation, no conduct to undertake,
no fruition to achieve, no levels of realization or paths to traverse,
no mandala to visualize, no recitation, repetition, or stage of completion,
no empowerment to be bestowed, and no samaya to uphold.
In the pure state that is the true nature of phenomena, timelessly and spontaneously present,
such adventitious factors of developmental effort and causality are transcended.(rb)
The essence of these factors is awakened mind.
Unobscured by clouds or darkness, the sun shines in the sky by its very nature,
not as something adventitious.(rb)
Any teaching concerning the ten attributes that involve effort and achievement
is given in response to the confusion that occurs adventitiously due to the dynamic energy of awareness.
It is a skillful means for engaging those whose acumen requires development through effort.
It is not given to yogins who genuinely experience
the ultimate meaning of the vajra heart essence, atiyoga.(rb)
So that individuals who exert themselves in order to progress developmentally
may be led to primordial basic space—the true nature of phenomena—
there are the spiritual approaches of the shravaka, the pratyekabuddha, and the bodhisattva.
These are the stages demonstrated on the three lesser levels.
The three divisions of kriya, upa, and yoga
are by their very nature the three intermediate levels.(rb)
The three divisions of maha, anu, and ati
manifest primordially as the three higher levels.
By opening the doorway that leads beyond other approaches based on causes or results,
they guide fortunate beings to three levels of enlightenment.(rb)
The culmination of all these, moreover, is found in the ultimate meaning of the vajra heart essence.
They must lead toward this superb, supreme secret,
and so utter lucidity, sublimely unchanging, is the pinnacle of them all.
This is renowned as the spiritual approach of the heart essence of manifest enlightenment.(rb)
Furthermore, of the two alternatives within spiritual teaching,
one involves a concerted effort to accept or reject.
It is taught in order to refine away the habitual patterns of ordinary mind and mental events,
whose nature it is to arise as a display due to dynamic energy.
This approach holds that timeless awareness is purer than ordinary mind.(rb)
The supreme teaching involves no concerted effort to accept or reject.
Naturally occurring timeless awareness, the essence of awakened mind itself,
is made fully evident in that one does not waver from the direct experience of it.
So there is no need to strive for it elsewhere.
It rests in and of itself, so do not seek it elsewhere.(rb)
This—the ultimate meaning of suchness itself—is like the essence of the sun.
I hold that it abides as a natural state of rest, unwavering utter lucidity.
It can be shown that other approaches are like attempts to create the already-present sun
by dispelling clouds and darkness through a process of effort and achievement.
Therefore, these two kinds of approach are as different as heaven and earth.(rb)
Nowadays, those “elephants” who pride themselves on being ati practitioners
allege that thought patterns, stirring and proliferating, are awakened mind.
All of these fools are submerged in darkness,
far from the meaning of natural great perfection.
They do not understand even dynamic energy or what arises from that energy,
to say nothing of the essence of awakened mind.(rb)
In this discussion of mine, primordially pure awakened mind
is ultimate truth一the true nature of phenomena as basic space.
Beyond description or imagination, it is the perfection of sublime knowing.
Inherently unwavering, it is utterly lucid by nature
and timelessly free of elaboration—of concepts stirring and proliferating—
and so is called “the essence of being," analogous to the orb of the sun.
Its dynamic energy is unobstructed awareness as a continuous mode for what arises
and is free of both conceptualization and analysis.
Though vividly lucid, it does not entail dualistic perception.(rb)
Awareness expresses itself through its dynamic energy as consciousness that involves conceptual elaboration,
marked by the myriad dualistic habitual patterns that such consciousness generates.
Since what are not objects are misconstrued as objects, there are the five kinds of sense objects,
and since what has no identity is invested with identity, there are the five afflictive emotions.
These constitute all possible confused perception—of the universe and the beings within it.
Even what manifests as samsara arises due to that dynamic energy,
but when this is not realized, the manifestation itself is one of erroneous perception.(rb)
Through realization, within the vast expanse of being, of the true nature of phenomena—
coming from nowhere, going nowhere, and abiding nowhere at all—
there is “the enlightened intent of the total freedom of the three realms."
This is the transmission of ati—spontaneous presence, the vajra heart essence,
arising from the wholly positive expanse of supreme spaciousness.(rb)
Within the essence of totally pure awakened mind,
there is no object to view or anything that constitutes a view—
not the slightest sense of anything to look at or anyone looking.
There is no ordinary consciousness meditating or anything to meditate on.
Due to spontaneous presence, without any duality of goal and conduct,
there is not the slightest sense of any fruition to achieve.(rb)
Regarding what is nonexistent, there are no levels of realization to traverse,
and so there are never any paths to journey along.
Since utter lucidity is already ensured as the supreme sphere of being,
there are no mandalas to visualize through the proliferation and resolution of thoughts
and no mantras, recitations, empowerments, or samaya.
There is no nonreferential stage of completion, such as a gradual process of dissolution.
In the kayas and timeless awareness, which are already ensured timelessly,
there is no causality based on compounded adventitious circumstances.
If any of these were the case, timeless awareness would not occur naturally.(rb)
Being compounded, such awareness would be subject to destruction,
and then how could it be characterized as “spontaneously present and uncompounded’?(rb)
Therefore, within the essence of ultimate basic space,
causality is transcended and the ten attributes do not pertain.
Mind itself, the ultimate meaning of genuine being, involves no effort or achievement.
Please understand this in order to pacify all conceptual elaborations of existence and nonexistence!(rb)
This is the fifth section of The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space o f Phenomena, demonstrating the transcendence of effort and achievement, cause and effect.(rb)
Just as all light is subsumed within the sun as its source,
all phenomena are subsumed within awakened mind as their source—
even the impurity and confusion in the universe of appearances and possibilities.
Whatever occurs, by examining basic space as its matrix and abode
you find that it has no foundation, but is subsumed within the timeless freedom of mind.
Beyond labels and their meanings, confusion and its absence are subsumed
within the true nature of phenomena—the timeless expanse, a supremely spacious state.(rb)
Even the marvelous display of awareness’s own pure manifestations一
the kayas, pure realms, timeless awareness, and enlightened activities—
is subsumed within the naturally occurring state that is not made or unmade.
Awakened mind subsumes the universe of appearances and possibilities, all of samsara and nirvana.
Lucid and uncompounded, it can be compared to the sun shining in the empty sky.
Occurring primordially and naturally, it is a spacious, timeless expanse.(rb)
Mind itself is an unchanging, vast expanse, the realm of space.
Its display, the dynamic energy of awakened mind, is indeterminate.
In that it entails mastery over samsara, nirvana, and all spiritual approaches,
this unique state, in which nothing need be done, outshines everything else.
There is no context anywhere that constitutes an extreme.
There is no straying at all from the true nature of phenomena, awakened mind.(rb)
Given that everything is wholly positive, arising as a single state of spontaneous presence,
that which is sublime and without rival—
the greatest of the great, within which everything without exception is subsumed—
is the wholly positive basic space of phenomena.
Since everything is united within it as though under a monarch,
it entails mastery over all samsara and nirvana and does not waver at all.(rb)
Since everything is wholly positive, with not a single thing that is not positive,
all things are identical within the wholly positive state, in which there is neither good nor bad.
Since everything—whatever is or is not the case—is of the same basic space,
all things are identical within the unwavering, spontaneously present state of equalness.(rb)
The single state from which everything without exception arises is the basic space of phenomena.
There is nothing to achieve or to seek within the context in which nothing need be done.
Since effort and achievement are not other than their natural state of basic space,
whence could effort come? To what achievement could it lead?(rb)
Since there is no object to seek, nothing to perceive in meditation,
no state to achieve, nothing that comes from anywhere else,
and no coming or going, there is equalness—dharmakaya.
This spontaneous perfection is found within the basic space of the supreme sphere of being.(rb)
The transmissions of shravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas
are decisive concerning the nonexistence of both the self and what pertains to it,
and so they are identical in their intent, a spacelike state free of elaboration.
The transmission of supreme yoga_ the sublime secret of ati—
is that of resting in genuine being, just as it is—naturally occurring timeless awareness—
within the spacious state in which there is no distinction between self and other.
So the ultimate meaning of the enlightened perspectives of all three lower approaches
is subsumed within this sublime heart essence.(rb)
The three approaches of kriya, upa, and yoga, moreover,
which employ oneself, deity, meditative absorption, and clouds of offerings,
are identical in holding that spiritual attainment comes from the complete purification of body, speech, and mind.
However, according to the secret and most majestic transmission of the vajra pinnacle,
appearances, sounds, and awareness are completely pure—timelessly the deity.
Spiritual attainment is fully evident as the complete purity of body，speech, and mind,
and so the enlightened perspectives of all these approaches are subsumed within this sublime heart essence.(rb)
In the three stages of maha，anu，and ati，moreover,
the universe of appearances and possibilities is a pure realm of masculine and feminine deities.
These stages hold that the unwavering nature of phenomena is naturally occurring timeless awareness,
for basic space and timeless awareness are inseparable in their total purity.
Given that everything is completely pure within this sublime, excellent secret,
the immeasurable mansion，without being created, is a blissful realm, a timeless expanse.
Within this infinite and all-pervasive state, which cannot be divided into outer and inner,
there is nothing to characterize in light of your value judgments.
With everything timelessly infinite—the spacious expanse of dharmakaya—
the enlightened perspectives of all these approaches are subsumed within the heart essence of the supreme secret.(rb)
Perfection in one, perfection in everything—
the expanse within which all phenomena are subsumed
is itself subsumed within the supreme state of spontaneous presence,
a timeless and naturally lucid state of utter relaxation.(rb)
This is the sixth section of The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena, demonstrating that everything is subsumed within awakened mind.(rb)