Precious Jewelled Key
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
The Precious Jewelled Key
A Synopsis of the Aspiration of the Great Perfection Mañjuśrī
by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Mañjughoṣa who is all-pervasive like space,
Embodiment of wisdom beyond constructs and ideas,
Guru and primordial buddha, to you I bow down,
As I disclose this brief synopsis.
The following explanation of “The Self-Radiance of Indestructible Awareness and Emptiness: An Aspiration towards the Meaning of the Indivisible Ground, Path and Fruition of the Great Perfection Mañjuśrī” by Jamgön Mahāpaṇḍita Mipham Namgyal has three main sections: I) title, II) actual explanation of the main body of the text, and III) conclusion.
The Self-Radiance of Indestructible Awareness and Emptiness: An Aspiration towards the Meaning of the Indivisible Ground, Path and Fruition of the Great Perfection Mañjuśrī.
II. Actual Explanation
This has two parts: A) a brief summary and B) an elaborate explanation.
A. Brief Summary
This has two parts:
1) An explanation that relates the name of Mañjuśrī to the meaning of the ground, Kadak Trekchö:
You embody the wisdom of all the bliss-gone buddhas and their heirs
Throughout the ten directions and four times, and keep to the way of non-duality –
Ever-youthful Mañjuśrī, ‘Gentle Splendour,’ the state of perfect equality:
May we spontaneously perfect the real meaning of non-action!
2) A brief statement related to the guru’s blessings and the meaning of luminous Lhundrup Tögal, which is the expression of awareness:
With the devotion of viewing the primordial protector and glorious guru
As the enlightened body of truth, the dharmakāya of perfect equality,
May the inspiration of the ultimate lineage be transferred into our hearts,
And may we gain the great empowerment of the expression of awareness!
B. Elaborate Explanation
This has three parts: 1) ground, 2) path and 3) fruition.
The ground, ascertaining the view, includes the following:
a) Showing the necessity of relying on the instructions of a guru who holds the lineage of recognizing the wisdom that abides as the ground:
Primordially present and thus not forged through exertion,
It does not depend on capacity or constitution;
As it is so simple, we doubt this mystery of the mind:
Let the guru’s instructions give us the strength to see!
b) Showing that this is not to be sought elsewhere as well as the necessity of cutting through elaborations of conceptual thought:
Elaboration and analysis are superfluities of thought,
While seeking and cultivating serve only to exhaust.
Focusing and meditating are traps that merely bind –
Let such painful complexity cease within the mind!
c) Deciding that this is nothing other than the natural state of one’s own mind just as it is:
Beyond thought and expression, there’s nothing that is seen.
Nor is there more to it, something additional, unseen.
This is the profound point for the mind to ascertain.
May we realize this nature, so hard to point to and make plain!
d) Aspiration towards the meaning of inexpressible great equality, beyond all clinging to extremes of existence and non-existence:
Always pure, without complexity, it avoids the eternalist extreme.
Rigpa’s radiance is spontaneously present, not a nihilistic void.
Although spoken of as two, that’s for ease of comprehension:
May we see the meaning of equality, beyond division and description!
How to practise through meditating on the path includes the following:
a) How to Cultivate the Path of Kadak Trekchö
i) How the essence of dharmatā is beyond intellectual analysis, and aspiring to see it with the wisdom of self-knowing awareness:
Like a finger pointing to the moon,
Reasoning and words show the way at first.
But the natural state is no object of thought,
So let us turn within and thereby truly see!
ii) Aspiration towards the meaning of great self-abiding, spontaneous perfection, beyond any rejection or cultivation, elimination or addition:
In this, you won't find anything to be removed,
Nor conceive of what could be added or produced.
Dharmatā is unstained by efforts to block or cultivate:
May we arrive at the state that's spontaneously present!
iii) Showing through the example of space how all the phenomena of the ground, path and fruition are merely labels within the natural condition, and aspiring towards the effortless:
Although we might label a ground to be known,
Path to be followed, or fruition to be attained,
In the natural state, these are like levels of space:
Effortlessly, then, may we keep to true non-action!
iv) Aspiring to see the natural condition of primordial purity, which is beyond all forms of duality such as the saṃsāra-nirvāṇa dichotomy:
Impure saṃsāric phenomena, conceived in delusion,
And their opposites too, labelled ‘pure appearance’,
Are dependent designations, elaborate projections:
May we see their absence in the unelaborate condition!
v) Aspiring to remain naturally in the genuine condition, since all the phenomena of the ordinary mind obscure the natural condition of dharmatā:
The actual nature as it is, beyond the ordinary mind,
Is obscured by tainted notions of view and meditation.
In true ordinariness there is neither theory nor practice:
May we naturally remain in the genuine condition!
vi) Aspiring to see the dharmatā that is free from all poison, flaws and perilous ways:
To focus on anything only poisons the view,
Deliberate fixation is but a meditative flaw,
Adopting and avoiding are perilous to action:
May we see the nature beyond such affliction!
b) Aspiration Towards the Path of Great Secret Luminosity, the Lhundrup Tögal of the Expression of Awareness
i) Aspiring to see directly the dharmatā that is the self-radiance of awareness:
Directly seeing what transcends the ordinary mind:
Rigpa’s radiance that’s not conceptually confined,
Without binding the sky in the rope of conjecture,
Let us master the genuine state of natural rest!
ii) Aspiring to light the lamp of naturally arisen insight, the cognizant quality of inner clarity:
The Gentle Voiced — Mañjughoṣa — of natural luminosity
Is the cognizance of self-awareness, the youthful vase body:
May the brilliant lamp of naturally arisen insight
Banish the dense darkness of mind’s obscurations!
c) Conclusion Concerning the Indispensability of These Two Practices
i) Showing that there is nothing to be achieved through fabricated paths in naturally arisen wisdom:
In the nature, which is uncompounded and uncontrived,
Nothing can be generated anew through fabricated paths,
Which is why the ultimate fruit does not arise from a cause.
May we come to see what is, and always has been, within!
ii) Aspiring to practise instructions for actualising one’s own awareness since all paths of intellectual speculation do not lead beyond the path of delusion:
Husk-like words of speculative ideas lead only to delusion:
However they’re expressed, they entangle us in thought.
Let us practise instead the heart’s profound instructions,
Which arise not from scripture, but are intuitively known!
iii) Showing how the phenomena of referential mind are deluded and aspiring to attain the wisdom dharmakāya that is self-arisen and uncompounded:
The mind of perceiver and perceived is essentially deluded.
No matter what its focus, it never accords with how things are.
May we attain the buddhahood of definitive reality –
The natural wisdom-kāya that does not derive from mind!
iv) Aspiring to capture the stronghold of unlocated dharmakāya, the single perfect sphere of luminosity that is the original great equality of all the phenomena of saṃsāra and nirvāṇa:
Within the all-pervading space of rigpa, empty and aware,
All things are equal, and, in this single, perfect sphere,
There are no longings or fears for saṃsāra or nirvāṇa:
May we capture this stronghold of unlocated dharmakāya!
d) In Addition, Showing How the Activity of Self-Liberation Brings Enhancement
This means additionally showing how there is an enhancement of space and awareness through the great unelaborate activity of refining all perceptions of environment, sensory objects or bodies so that they are self-liberated in the fiery light of great luminous wisdom and all subjective perceptions are brought to a state of exhaustion within dharmatā:
Whatever we perceive, as the body or as objects of the senses,
Is like defective vision, apparent through the force of thought alone —
By means of the natural radiance of great, non-conceptual wisdom,
May all be purified into the original space of phenomenal exhaustion!
Aspiring to gain all the features of the wisdom-kāya that is exceedingly pure and immaculate:
At that time, may we gain the ultimate, unobstructed fruition,
And, with a wisdom buddha-form as vast and limitless as the sky,
Become wish-granting jewels, providing benefit and happiness
To beings everywhere, throughout the whole infinity of space and time!
The conclusion provides the name of the one who requested the text and the author himself and shows the greatness of the teaching.
This was composed at the behest of the reverend lady Dekyong Yeshe Wangmo, who is universally renowned as an emanation of the wisdom ḍākinī, Vajravārāhī, and who, on the favourable date of the fourth day of the third month of the Fire-Dog year (1886), offered an auspicious silken scarf and preciously ornamented crystal rosary. With this as the condition, I, the one known as Mipham Jampel Gyepa, or Ösel Dorje, wrote this prayer, completing it on the very same day. Through the virtue of expressing whatever naturally arose in my mind, independently and in the unique terminology of the Great Perfection system, may all beings attain the level of the primordial protector, Mañjuśrī, the ever-youthful.
Dedicating the virtue of composing the treatise:
‘Merely hearing this is sure to bring liberation’ —
Thus, Vajradhara praised the supreme of paths.
What need is there to mention holding it in mind?
May the truth of dharmatā swiftly bring liberation!
‘When it’s difficult for students to follow effort-based vehicles,
The teachings of Samantabhadra’s wisdom-mind will arise’—
May these essential teachings, praised in such statements,
Pervade the whole universe, spreading everywhere, far and wide!
Through the virtue of producing
This precious jewelled key
Which opens the vajra lock
May all beings realize Mañjuśrī’s wisdom.
Thus, in response to a request from Tupten Chöpel, a monk from Shechen who keeps the treasury of threefold training and asked me to write a synopsis of the omniscient Jamyang Guru’s Aspiration of the Great Perfection Mañjuśrī, Jamyang Chökyi Lodrö spoke these words in stages as Muksang Choktrul Kunzang Sherab assisted by writing them down. May virtue and goodness reign supreme!
| Translated by Adam Pearcey with the generous support of the Khyentse Foundation and Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2020.
'Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros. "'jam dpal rdzogs pa chen po'i smon lam gyi bsdus don rin chen nor bu'i lde mig/" in ’Jam dbyangs chos kyi blo gros kyi gsung ’bum. 12 vols. Bir: Khyentse Labrang, 2012. W1KG12986 Vol. 9: 123–128