relic depicting footprint of the Buddha with Dharmachakra and triratna, 1st century CE, Gandhāra
thanks to @RareHistorical
The ultimate mode of being, the ground wherein both we and Guru Rinpoche are primordially inseparable – namely, the self arising primordial wisdom, which is subject to no movement of discursive thought — is referred to as Guru. Because deluded perceptions are themselves primordially pure, the path is free from all striving and the fruit is present spontaneously like a lotus in full flower. Therefore [the path itself] is referred to as Padma, or lotus. For the fruit is not something that occurs at a later stage as a result of the practice. In the ultimate expanse, which is self arising and spontaneously present, the primordial wisdom of self awareness is clearly [and already] manifest. This is referred to as Siddhi, or accomplishment. And, although in terms of conceptual distinctions the self arising primordial wisdom may be classified as ground, path, and fruit, these three are not different in nature. This is directly perceived by self-cognizing awareness and is indicated by the syllable Hung.
Nondistraction means not being lost in subtle undercurrents of delusion or indifferent stupor; it is immaculate, unending mindfulness. Not understanding this, if one is fearful and cautious about being distracted and is bound by a repressed, constricted mind, this is an error.
Natural, ordinary mind means this present mind unstained by either faults or good qualities. This self-nature is unstained by the continuity of awareness. Not understanding this, if one grasps at the substantiality of the rigid concepts of worldly, ordinary mind, this is an error.
To be meditationless means to enter profound, unconditioned natural space, detached from meditating and non-meditating, without any contrivance or aim, stabilizing the expansive fortress of mindfulness. Not understanding this, if one remains in ordinary, careless neutrality, or is lost in meaningless indifference, this is an error.
Sunlight Speech That Dispels the Darkness of Doubt, Sublime Prayers, Praises, and Practices of the Nyingma Masters : translated by Thinley Norbu
[T] essence of being is originally pure and, in relation to its self-manifestation, [is free from] transitory defilements of delusion, which have been purified directly upon the basis of being. This essence of being is designated by the term “Unsurpassed Realm”. It is the basic space of phenomena, the self manifest sacred circle of essential awakening not belonging to minds [of beings in] the ten directions, and not defined by size, limits, or orientation.
The Treasury of Knowledge: Books Two, Three, and Four
Buddhism’s Journey To Tibet
by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye
translated by Ngawang Zangpo : page 541
Even if we think we have found the origin of phenomena, we are only being deluded by the karmic seeds of new discoveries which are constantly ripening, becoming exhausted, and being replaced through the ripening of other karmic seeds. Yet we continue to be fascinated by trying to define substance, constantly trying to catch it, thinking that we have caught it but then losing it. We are endlessly lured by the material creations of our conceptions. Sublime beings, knowing the characteristics of each phenomenon and the nature of all phenomena, are never lured by anything. They abide in the infinite display of enlightenment’s empty appearance without trying to catch anything or being able to be caught.
Crossing the Waves of Ocean Mind to the Serene Continent of the Triple Gems : Thinley Norbu
The key to understanding the truth of suffering is what the Buddha called the “three marks” of everything that exists. All conditioned phenomena, he said, are pervaded by these three marks: impermanence ( anitya ), dissatisfaction or suffering ( duhkha ), and insubstantiality ( anatman, “without self” ).
According to the Buddha, if we do not understand how conditioned phenomena are marked by these three aspects, then we will not be able to understand the first Noble Truth. We may do all we can in order to avoid facing the fact that everything is contingent and transient – we may try to hide ourselves from it, and we may even spin out all kinds of metaphysical theories of an unchanging, permanent, substantial reality to avoid this all-pervasive nature of ephemerality. Also, if we do not understand that conditioned phenomena are unsatisfactory, we will not think about restraining ourselves from overindulgence in sensory gratifications, which makes us lose our center and become immersed in worldly concerns, so that our life is governed by greed, craving, and attachment. All of these things disturb the mind.
If we do not understand that everything is insubstantial – anatman – then we may believe that there is some kind of enduring essence or substance in things, or in the personality, and because of this belief we generate delusion and confusion in the mind.
On the path of seeing there is (1) mindfulness whereby one does not forget the object, the truth; (2) the wisdom of perfect discernment with regard to the object; (3) diligence, delight in virtue, being assiduous in undertaking what is right and avoiding what is wrong in accordance with the path; (4) joy or mental happiness regarding the latter; (5) flexibility, in which mind and body function appropriately; (6) concentration; and (7) evenness, in which the mind enters the natural state, free from the conditions of lack of clarity and wildness. These seven are elements of the path of seeing, the essence of enlightenment. They will make one accumulate or accomplish the positive actions that help one attain nirvana.
The Enthronement ceremony of HH the 4th Drubwang PEMA NORBU Rinpoche. The 13th Throne holder of PALYUL Monastery.
Sentient beings are brought to maturation through three forms of generosity: giving all, giving equally, and giving tirelessly. Bodhisattvas do not have even one iota of their own body or enjoyments that they are not willing to give to others if they see that it would help the other person to do so. They give all that they possess.
Moreover, their generosity does not simply benefit others by supplying them with the particular thing that is given. It benefits others in this life by completely fulfilling their wishes, and, as it also matures them and establishes them in virtue, which is the cause of the fulfillment of one’s wishes, it benefits them in future lives as well. Thus, bodhisattvas establish these beings in lasting happiness by planting the seed of liberation. In this way, generosity matures sentient beings by helping them in two ways, insofar as there are both temporary and lasting benefits.
Moreover, this generosity is practiced with equal regard for all. Since there are no biases in terms of the recipients’ moral standing, social position, or relation to oneself, they characteristically practice giving equally.
Finally, not content with giving a confined number of material things for a certain number of years or eons, a bodhisattva never knows enough of the qualities of generosity, even were he or she to continue giving until the end of cyclic existence.
from pages 173–174
top right : Cave 1: Attendant of Bodhisattva Vajrapani, Mahayana phase
bottom left : Cave 17: Part of Simhalavadana story, Mahayana phase
bottom right : Cave 1 : Consort of Bodhisattva, Mahayana phase
wikipedia entry :
The Ajanta Caves (Ajiṇṭhā leni; Marathi: अजिंठा लेणी) in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India are about 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 or 650 CE. The caves include paintings and sculptures described by the government Archaeological Survey of India as “the finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly painting”, which are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, with figures of the Buddha and depictions of the Jataka tales. The caves were built in two phases starting around the 2nd century BCE, with the second group of caves built around 400–650 CE according to older accounts, or all in a brief period of 460 to 480 according to the recent proposals of Walter M. Spink. The site is a protected monument in the care of the Archaeological Survey of India, and since 1983, the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The caves are located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, near Jalgaon and just outside the village of Ajinṭhā 20°31′56″N 75°44′44″E), about 59 kilometres (37 miles) from Jalgaon railway station on the Delhi – Mumbai line and Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line of the Central Railway zone, and 104 kilometres (65 miles) from the city of Aurangabad. They are 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the Ellora Caves, which contain Hindu and Jain temples as well as Buddhist caves, the last dating from a period similar to Ajanta. The Ajanta caves are cut into the side of a cliff that is on the south side of a U-shaped gorge on the small river Waghur, and although they are now along and above a modern pathway running across the cliff they were originally reached by individual stairs or ladders from the side of the river 35 to 110 feet below.
The area was previously heavily forested, and after the site ceased to be used the caves were covered by jungle until accidentally rediscovered in 1819 by a British officer on a hunting party. They are Buddhist monastic buildings, apparently representing a number of distinct “monasteries” or colleges. The caves are numbered 1 to 28 according to their place along the path, beginning at the entrance. Several are unfinished and some barely begun and others are small shrines, included in the traditional numbering as e.g. “9A”; “Cave 15A” was still hidden under rubble when the numbering was done. Further round the gorge are a number of waterfalls, which when the river is high are audible from outside the caves.
The caves form the largest corpus of early Indian wall-painting; other survivals from the area of modern India are very few, though they are related to 5th-century paintings at Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. The elaborate architectural carving in many caves is also very rare, and the style of the many figure sculptures is highly local, found only at a few nearby contemporary sites, although the Ajanta tradition can be related to the later Hindu Ellora Caves and other sites.
The most senior living lineage-holder of the Palyul Tradition, Tulku Thubten Palzang Rinpoche (“Tulku Thubzang Rinpoche”), was born in the year of the Fire Rat (1936). He was discovered by the great Khenpo Ngaga Rinpoche, the same Khenchen who confirmed the recognition of our late Holiness, Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche.
Tulku Thubzang Rinpoche was a younger classmate and dear friend of His Holiness along with Dzongnang Rinpoche. The three young tulkus studied and practiced as brothers under the direct guidance of Khenchen Ngaga and received teachings and empowerments together from many realized masters. As a youth, Tulku Thubzang Rinpoche was present when His Holiness Penor Rinpoche completed Ngondrö. He has described the single-pointed zeal and physical hardships endured without complaint through which His Holiness completed all of the recitations and accumulations.
Among the empowerments Tulku Rinpoche has received are Rinchen Ter Dzöd (“Precious Terma Treasury”) from Chötrul Rinpoche and the Dam Ngang Dzö (“Treasury of Essential Instruction”), the Do Wang Drangtsi Chu Gyun (Anu Yoga Empowerment-“Continual Flow of Nectar”) from Khenpo Legshed Jordan. From Lungtog Rinpoche, he received all the Longchen Nyingthig empowerments and oral transmission teachings. From Khenpo Khyentse Lodrö, he received the Du Do Drelwa (Anu Yoga Commentary) and many other empowerments and transmissions.
Tulku Rinpoche has spent the majority of his life in Palyul, Kham, overseeing the rebuilding of Palyul Monastery. However, while making sure we have the physical buildings where all can study and practice the teachings, most important has been his activity to save and preserve the texts of teachings. Through great effort, personal danger and the blessings of all the lineage masters, Tulku Rinpoche has managed to collect texts that were nearly destroyed. The Kama teachings, for instance, were scattered in personal collections throughout the local area and the world. These he assembled in the Palyul Library, and had re-carved into wooden blocks based upon the copies. He has also preserved some of the original wooden printing blocks of the Nam Chö which remarkably had escaped destruction through being mistaken by those who would do so for firewood. The original pre-1959 library held wood blocks for 50 volumes. Thanks to Tulku Rinpoche’s hard work, and with the addition of the Kama teachings, the library today holds printing blocks of more than 110 volumes. It has likely become the world’s largest wood block library for texts related to Kama collected in one place. Because of this effort, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche was able to obtain the texts required to carry through the series of retreats known as Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, now regularly given in Namdroling Monastery and in the US Retreat Center.
Biographies often mention that Tulku Thubzang Rinpoche is renowned for his expertise in the detailed instructions of all the ritual activities such as Mudra (hand gestures) and Cham (sacred lama dance). This understates his mastery. It is because of his capacity to know all of the most minute details of the elaborate rituals for Drupchen (twenty-four-hour a day, seven-day prayer ritual) and Accomplishment Ceremonies that these teachings have been preserved. He also knows how to play nearly all of the sacred musical instruments and has taught these. To understand the extent of his knowledge, we must know that ordinary aspirants generally can remember just one of the instruments. The monastic retreats within Palyul Monastery, Kham, are all also overseen by Tulku Rinpoche. Fortunately for us, Tulku Thubzang Rinpoche has been able to confer these teachings to hundreds of aspirants, insuring they are remembered for generations to come. In this way, granting teachings and empowerments based on these texts and based on his knowledge of all of the rituals of Palyul, Tulku Rinpoche has spent many years caring for and nurturing the entire Palyul lineage.
Free from the stain of partiality, Tulku Thubzang Rinpoche’s activities are like a great ocean of enlightened conduct for the benefit of the teachings and all sentient beings. For Palyul students, we know him for his profound humility and for a devotion to and faith in His Holiness Penor Rinpoche so deep and so vast, it makes eyes tear and hearts tremble in appreciation to observe. In the region of Palyul, he has served as His Holiness Penor Rinpoche’s surrogate. Along with His Holiness, he has been a major contributor in preventing these teachings from falling into extinction. Now, we pray, with visits to Asia and the West, he will continue to propagate these teachings to the world. [ Reference: Palyul Ling International ]