The Garland of Crucial Points
Literary Genres › Advice | Schools & Systems › Dzogchen | Tibetan Masters › Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Courtesy of Terton Sogyal Trust
Advice Entitled 'The Garland of Crucial Points'
by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
The brilliance of your twofold knowledge
Eradicates the darkness of ignorance—
Guru Loden Choksé, in devotion
I bow down at your lotus feet.
There are many ways, profound and vast,
To embark upon the Mahāyāna path,
But here I shall set out the path’s stages
As a garland of crucial points.
This excellent support with its hard-won freedoms
Will not last forever, you must understand.
Bring to mind the shortcomings of saṃsāra,
And strive to adopt and avoid acts according to their effects.
Upon the pure basis of vows of ethical discipline,
Establish a dharmic foundation through taking refuge.
Generate the bodhicitta of noble altruistic intention
And do not let it diminish but maintain it steadfastly.
Train your mind without any bias or partiality,
Transform adversity into the path of awakening.
Treat all happiness and sorrow as equivalent,
And apply equanimity to the eight concerns.
View appearance and existence as by nature illusory.
And in illusion and emptiness beyond expression
Meditate on the inseparable union of the two truths.
Having set out upon the path of the vajra vehicle,
Mature your mind through empowerment, keep samaya pure,
Abide continuously on the path of the two stages,
And never be apart from the three vajras.
With the pith instructions of the supremely secret
Great Perfection in particular, come to know the mind
And how all phenomena are without basis or origin,
Primordially non-arising and non-abiding,
Not coming, going or ceasing—awakening mind,
The king of awareness, the thus-gone buddha,
Samantabhadra, residing within yourself.
Recognize the dharmakāya ground of freedom,
Which has never experienced delusion.
In rigpa there is nothing to abandon or attain.
All things are complete within its great sphere.
There is no division into subject or object.
Knowing and what is known are of equal taste.
Within the great empty space of primordial purity
The nature, clear light, is spontaneously present.
Its expression is unceasing, can arise as anything,
And what arises dissolves into rigpa’s expanse.
Settle in the state beyond bondage and freedom.
"Settle" here, however, is merely an expression.
On the direct path of natural luminosity,
By applying the crucial point of the six lamps,
Liberate saṃsāra and nirvāṇa within a great body of light.
Perfecting the strength of the spontaneously present three kāyas,
Seize the stronghold of non-abiding dharmakāya.
Then, through establishing a cloud-like array of outwardly radiant
Kāyas and wisdoms, you’ll bring about the welfare of beings.
Chökyi Lodrö wrote this in response
To a request from Asé Chatralwa.
Through its virtue may all sentient beings
Attain non-abiding nirvāṇa.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey with the generous support of the Khyentse Foundation and Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2022.
'Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros. "Zhal gdams gnad kyi phreng ba" in 'Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros kyi gsung 'bum. 12 vols. Bir, H.P.: Khyentse Labrang, 2012. (W1KG12986) Vol. 8: 302–304