How Liberation and Delusion Develop
How Liberation and Delusion Develop out of the Clear Light of the Ground, etc.
by Yukhok Chatralwa Chöying Rangdrol
In the tradition of the Clear Light Great Perfection, it is said that the subtle wisdom we call the ‘youthful vase body’ — an inner clarity that is immanent and unobscured — is present in the mindstreams of all living beings, beginning with the lowliest spirits of the charnel ground. This youthful vase body is the wisdom of uncompounded clear light, which is ‘youthful’ in the sense that it is beyond birth and death, ageing and decay. It is a ‘vase body’ in that the seal of spontaneous presence remains unbroken. It is an inner clarity, which does not obstruct the kāyas and wisdoms. And it is a subtle wisdom, which is generally difficult to realise.
Obscuration by the three kinds of habitual tendency is likened to a vase. And subtle wisdom itself, which has the identity of the three kāyas, is likened to a lamp within this vase.
Following the conclusion of all the stages of dissolution, during the dharmakāya intermediate stage of dying, you remain in the clear light of the ground for five ‘meditation days’. When rising from this state, if you recognise the clear light of the ground as your own projection, then, in the first instant, you recognise the natural state of the original, primordial ground of alpha-purity; in the second instant, the recogniser dissolves into absolute space; and in the third instant, by seizing the stronghold within absolute space, you are liberated at death into dharmakāya reality.
If you are not liberated in that intermediate state, however, then during the intermediate state of dharmatā, the seal of the youthful vase body breaks, causing the secret gateways of spontaneous presence to open and five-coloured lights to emerge. When this process unfolds in a pure way it is as follows:
In the first instant, you recognise the experience as your own projection. In the second, you recognise that your own projection is unreal. In the third instant, the recogniser (or analyser) is liberated in the expanse of dharmakāya. At that time, outwardly radiant forms of consciousness revert within, and inner clarity, the stirring of consciousness, is liberated into original, absolute space. For a while, you remain, unmoving, within the original ground. Then there follows the manifestation as teachers of the three kāyas: arising as the dharmakāya with the essence of wisdom within the empty essence; arising as the sambhogakāya with the essence of light in the cognisant nature; and arising as the nirmāṇakāya with the essence of awareness in all-pervading compassionate energy. The pure realm manifests from the lamp of utterly pure space; the peaceful and wrathful palaces manifest from the lamp of empty spheres; the forms of the peaceful and wrathful ones manifest from the vajra chains; enlightened speech manifests from the self-sound of dharmatā; the wisdom of the omniscient mind manifests from the radiance of the awareness of compassionate presence; and one’s own projections are liberated as the sambhogakāya.
If the process unfolds in an impure way:
Dharmatā becomes the basis for the delusion of perceived objects; the five-coloured lights become the basis for the delusion of the environment and inhabitants; and awareness becomes the basis for the delusion of ordinary mind. The five-coloured lights appear as the five elements; spheres appear as ordinary dwelling places; the vajra chains appear as your own body; the eight collections of consciousness appear out of the omniscience of compassionate presence as the ordinary mind, the basis of delusion, by means of the three causes and four conditions; and the various languages of the six classes of beings emerge out of the spontaneous sound of dharmatā. And with this, we experience delusion within the endless cycle of saṃsāra.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2016.