How the Cause of Liberation is produced Longchenpa


The absolute truth of the self-arisen ones
Has to be realized by means of faith.
The blazing light in the circle of the sun
Is not seen by those who have no eyes.



How the Cause of Liberation is produced






By the all-knowing eye of the great Sage himself
Having seen that the honey of the dhatu or gotra,
Has obscurations that are like the swarm of bees,
He makes them be completely abandoned and disappear.


Third, the example of the dhatu existing in a covering characterized by propensities of stupidity:

Just as kernels of grain still covered by their husks
Are not usable in that form by human beings,
And they remove the grain from out of the covering husk.
Using the part they want for food and otherwise

Just so, mixed with defiling kleshas of sentient beings,
As many victorious ones as there are in the three-fold world,
If they are not liberated from being mixed with kleshas,
So many will not be made into victorious ones.

Fourth, the example of the essence existing in a covering manifesting kleshas characterized by the arising of passion, aggression and stupidity all together:

Just as on a journey someone’s treasured gold
In the confusion might fall into a filthy place,
That dharmin by falling there, would not have been destroyed,
Remaining there like that for many hundreds of years.

By a god who had the pure eye of the gods,
If the gold existing there was seen and found
People would say the god established that precious thing,
This supremely precious thing, that actually was abandoned,

So the buddha qualities of sentient beings.
Have sunk and disappeared among the filth-like kleshas.
When that was seen by the Sage, to purify them of filth,
For all beings he caused the Dharma to arise.

As for the example of the dhatu existing in a covering of habitual patterns of ignorance, in the arhats of the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas:

Just as in the house of a poor man, under the floor,
An inexhaustible treasure might be lying buried;
But he would not know about the existence of the treasure,
Nor would the treasure say to him that it was there;

So with the precious treasure that is within the mind,
Spotless dharmata, with no adding or taking away,
When it is not realized, we experience
The impoverishment of suffering, continuously arising.

If the covering is abandoned when seen, here is the first of the two examples of what the essence is like:

Just as in a mango or in other fruits
There are undestroyed dharmas of seed and germination,
And then if there is plowed earth, as well as water and such,
The stuff of a king of trees will gradually be established.

So in the fruit of the ignorance of sentient beings,
Within the covering skin is the excellent dharma-element
Which similarly depending on the condition of goodness
Will gradually become the stuff of a King of Sages.

As for the second example:

As a precious statue of the Victorious One
Might be covered up in dirty tattered rags,
But still a divine one on the path might see and reveal it,
And then it would be said, "He really dwells on the path."

So the sugata nature, wrapped in beginningless kleshas,
Having once been seen, even within an animal,
There would be a real means by which it could be freed.

From the two examples of how, within the covering of defilements to be abandoned by cultivation, there exists the splendor of the good dhatu of dharmas, as for the first:

Just as an ugly woman with no one to protect her
Staying in a shelter for the poor and homeless
Might hold a splendid king in the confines her womb,
But would not know this lord of men was in her belly.

In the refuge mission of life within this world,
Defiled sentient beings are like that pregnant woman.
With no more than she has, she will one day have her protector.
Gestation of the spotless dhatu is similar.

As for the second example:

Just as gold ore that has a big nugget inside of it
Has a external nature that is very drab,
But, having seen it, those who know it for what it is,
In order to purify the gold that is inside,
Undertake to remove the outer covering.

Having seen the luminous nature that is within us,
Although it has been covered up by the incidental;
The source of seeing what is precious in sentient beings
Removes the obscurations of supreme enlightenment.

Though the obscurations to the pure ground are many, the same text says:

Passion, aggression, and ignorance; active or as an imprint;
What is to be abandoned by seeing and meditation;
The higher bhumis respectively impure and pure,
Many defilements are taught by the covering lotus and so forth.
Transcending all the divisions of closely-connecting kleshas,

By these defilements fools and those with the learning of arhats,
Are meant by respectively four and one of these examples.
Seeing and cultivation, and the pure and impure levels
Have two and two comparisons to their impurities.

Joining these examples of defilements and the essence to a determination of their meaning, the same text says:

Just as when a lotus arises from the mud,
When it first manifests, the mind is very joyful,
But afterward it decays and there is no more joy;
The joy arising from desire is like that.

Just as delicious honey is completely crawling
With irritated bees that sting like an army of spears;
Just so, if aggression rises, and swarms within our minds
Suffering will be produced within our hearts.

Just as the essence, the kernels of rice and other grain,
Is hidden by an external husk which covers it,
So sight of the essential meaning, buddhahood,
Has been obscured within the shell of ignorance.

Just as filth is something that is unsuitable,
So are those who have desire for these poisons.
That is because depending on the cause of their desire,
What is like filth will be arising everywhere.

Just as when wealth is hidden underneath the ground,
One who does not know this will not attain the treasure,
So the self-arising treasure of the nature
Is hidden in the ground of habitual patterns of ignorance.

Just as by gradual growing of the sprout and so forth
The shell of the seed is sundered, and it falls away,
So by seeing the suchness of the natural state
What is to be abandoned by seeing is reversed.

Those who conquer the essence of transitory collections
Through being connected to the path of the noble ones,
Make wisdom the thing to abandon on the path of meditation.
This is taught to be like being wrapped in rags.

The defilements supported by the first seven bhumis,
Are like the defilement found in the covering of a womb.
Non-thought is like being free of the covering of the womb,
This completes the ripening of the insight of wisdom.

Defilements associated with the three highest bhumis
Should be known to like a covering of mud and clay.
By a great being’s having attained the vajra view,
The vajra-like samadhi destroys that covering.

Thus the many defilements of desire and so forth
Are like the examples of a decaying lotus and so forth.

The Enumeration of Dharmas of the Complete Passing Beyond Suffering of the Noble Ones says:

Then the Bhagavan spoke to Kashyapa. O son of noble family, it is, for example, like this. A wealthy king had on his forehead a vajra jewel. With other wealthy ones, radiating power, it touched the heads of those other wealthy ones.

Then the jewel on the forehead sunk inside his flesh, and he did not know where it had gone. Because a wound arose, he asked a doctor, "Cure me." From this instruction, a very capable doctor would not treat him for that wound of the jewel going into his flesh, saying these words, "Kye most powerful one, why are you asking about your forehead-jewel?"

That wealthy one, from aversion, would say to the doctor, "Because my forehead jewel should not go anywhere." He would think, "Is it an illusion that it is not there?" This would produce much suffering.

Then that doctor producing joy in that wealthy one would say, "Do not produce suffering like that. If you emanate power, the jewel will sink into your flesh, and a mere reflection will appear externally. If you emanate power, hatred will arise. Though the power of the jewel has sunk into your flesh, you did not feel it."

Not believing these words that were said, the king would say, "Doctor don’t lie. If it sinks into my flesh, which is matter and blood that is very opaque, it is not reasonable that a reflection would appear."

Then the doctor would say, "A mirror is likewise opaque, but a jewel will also clearly appear in that. When you have seen that this is like that, a wondrous, marvelous perception will arise."

O son of noble family, all sentient beings are like that. Since they do not venerate the spiritual friend, though they have the buddha nature they cannot see it. It is obscured by passion, aggression, and ignorance. Many different beings who have so been overcome are within samsara and suffering.

From that nature, O son of noble family, from within the bodies of all sentient beings come the ten powers,

the thirty-two major marks, and the eighty excellent minor marks.


This has been taught in many ways. The Hevajra says:


Within the body there exists the great wisdom
The truth of this has abandoned all conceptions.
Universal, it pervades all things.
Embodied existence does not arise from the body.


The Precious Mala says:


I and limitless sentient beings are primordial buddhas.
By the power of discursive thoughts there is samsara.
From that I shall produce the supreme mind of enlightenment.

The Wisdom of the Moment of Death says:

Whoever realizes mind is a buddha. Produce the supreme perception by not searching anywhere else.


The Praise of the Vajra of Mind says:


Water that exists within the earth
Exists there pure without defilement.
Just so, within the covering of the kleshas,
Wisdom exists without defilement.


The Secret Essence says:


Throughout the ten directions and four times,
Perfected buddhas are nowhere to be found.
Except for the perfect buddha, the nature of mind,
Do not look for any other buddha.
The victorious ones themselves, if they should search,
Would never find it anywhere else at all.


So it is taught, there and elsewhere. In brief, by the example of the great billion-fold expanse of the three-fold thousand worlds it should be known that within all sentient beings primordially exists the kayas and wisdoms of buddhahood, without adding and subtracting, like the sun and its light. That dhatu is always naturally pure. Its self-nature never changes. Its defilements are false conceptions and mere temporary changes. The commentary on the Uttaratantra says:

O great rishi, The kleshas are darkness. Complete purity is light. The kleshas are weak. Clear seeing is strong. The kleshas are temporary. Natural purity is the root.


So it is taught there and elsewhere. Since the dhatu is primordially without defilement, it is pure. Since it is changeless, it is the true self. Since it always exists, it is permanent. Though it falls into the sufferings of samsara, it is not overcome by them, and so it is the perfection of bliss.


The Uttaratantra says:


Purity, self-nature, bliss, and permanence
Are the perfect qualities of the fruition.

The dhatu of the tathagata pervades all sentient beings.. The Mahayanasutralankara says:

Just as space is maintained as eternal and omnipresent,
This too is maintained to be eternal and omnipresent.
Just as space is an aspect found within all forms,
This too is in all the assembly of sentient beings.

When this essence is obscured by clouds, they do not stain it, any more than the sun when is stained when it is obscured by clouds. At the time of primordial buddhahood, the dhatu exists indestructibly and inseparably. The commentary to the Uttaratantra says:

The dhatu of the Tathagata existing in the three occasions is present within all beings. All their kleshas and phenomenal appearances are composed of this changeless reality.


As regards the three occasions, the Uttaratantra says:


These are the three-fold stages of impurity,
Both pure and impure, and being completely pure.
They are said to be the stage of sentient beings,
That of bodhisattvas, and that of tathagatas.

The impure situation is that of sentient beings. That which is both pure and impure is that of bodhisattvas. Complete purity is the situation of the buddhas. As nothing is like the gotra, it cannot be exemplified by anything at all. The same text says:

Since it is completely beyond the world
No example is seen within the world.
Therefore the Tathagata and the dhatu
Are taught to be similar in this respect.

As to how it is incomparable, it is essentially single.

Therefore, to explain it by many examples from different situations would be merely partial characterization of it.

It may be asked, "How can this gotra be seen as it is?" Beings who do not see the natural state are accepted by the spiritual friend. Those who have devotion to the vehicles of the shravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas; and also beings dwelling on the bhumis realize it in a single way. This realization is one with that of the bodhisattvas dwelling on the tenth bhumi. As for this being the way it really is, it is not seen otherwise even by the buddhas themselves.


The commentary to the Uttaratantra says:


Seeing clouds and the sun, whether from here on the earth or from the sky above the clouds, we have a similar apprehension. The noble ones whose eye of the mind is pure also see all this very clearly. Bhagavan, your completely pure understanding of dharmakaya sees all the limitless knowable objects pervading the space of the sky.

The dhatu or essence is the buddha field of the three kayas of one’s own mind itself, along with their wisdoms, existing as the circle of the ornament. How is this seen? Since this is buddhahood, it is properly explained in these texts. By having faith in the paths of learning it is entirely apprehended.


The former text says:


The absolute truth of the self-arisen ones
Has to be realized by means of faith.
The blazing light in the circle of the sun
Is not seen by those who have no eyes.



The Sutra on the Essence of Buddhahood says:


No matter what they rely on, individual sentient beings, shravakas, pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas do not see the essence of the buddhas as it is. For example, as a blind man cannot see what is painted by others in oil colors. When they say, "It is like this pillar," he touches the pillar with his hands and grasps it as cold. They say, "It is like the wings of a swan." By hearing the sound of the wings of a swan the color of a pillar is grasped as a fluttering sound. He asks, "What is the color of those wings like?" "It is like a conch." By touching a smooth conch, he grasps it as smooth. Just as a blind person does not know colors as they are, seeing the highest nature of buddhahood is very difficult.

It is also very hard for sentient beings to realize it. The same text says:

A king assembled many blind men, and having shown them an elephant. Asked to describe the characteristics of an elephant, those who had touched the trunk said, "it is like a hook." Those who touched the eye said, "It is like a bowl. Those who touched the ear said, "It is like a winnowing basket. Those who touched the back said, "It is like a tray. Those who touched the tail said, "It is like a rope." These blind men were not talking about anything other than an elephant, but they had not understood its totality.

The buddha nature is also like that. Those who have said different things, that it is emptiness, like illusion, luminous and so forth, have not realized its totality.

Beings who are noble ones have a little realization of it, but not as it is. The Nirvana Sutra says:

O son of noble family For example, it is like this. A blind man in order to have his eyes healed went to a capable physician. The physician holding a gold knife removed the hindrance. Having cut off the cataract that obscured the eye. He lifted up a finger. When he showed it, the blind man said, "I do not see it." If he showed two or three fingers, the patient would say, "I see a little bit."

O son of noble family, if this Sutra of Complete great Nirvana is not taught, as many are not among the bodhisattvas, even after they have perfected the ten paramitas, even when they exist on the tenth bhumi, they will not see the nature of buddhahood.

It is like that. When this is taught by the Tathagata, they will see it a little.
Dedicated to the swift reappearance of the Peerless Guru for the benefit of all beings
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2 Responses to How the Cause of Liberation is produced Longchenpa

  1. marie rogers says:

    The greatest website. Who has translated all these text.

    Thank you very much for posting them.

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