The Meaning of the Natural Great Perfection

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Patrul Rinpoche

Dza Patrul Rinpoche

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Advice on How to Put the Meaning of the Natural Great Perfection into Practice

by Patrul Rinpoche

Homage to the guru!

To you, who reveal directly the nature of primordial liberation,
Which is the meaning of the inconceivable Great Perfection,
Omniscient father and son,[1] together with the heirs of your lineage,
And the guru, who is the glorious protector — at your feet I bow!

One's own present awareness, left as it is, in natural ease,
Beyond qualities and flaws to be added or removed, accepted or rejected,
Is the unaltered, unchanging wisdom of pure awareness;
And to rest in this experience is to unite view and meditation.

To know how to meditate but not how to liberate
Is akin to the concentration of the devas, it is said.
So it’s crucial that you have full confidence in liberation.

The concentration that calms and stills an active mind
Might temporarily suppress the mental afflictions,
But unless you know the secret key that is self-liberation,
Circumstances will still trigger old maladies of thought!

If you understand the point of naturally occurring self-liberation,
Thoughts of acceptance and rejection will be like writing on water:
They'll arise all of a sudden, then, failing to take hold, disappear.
When arising and liberation occur simultaneously,
Negative thoughts cannot remain: they arise but amass no karma.
With instant realization, who is there to be benefitted or harmed?

If you lack the crucial point of instantaneous liberation,
Undercurrent thoughts and afflictions will proliferate,
And although you might simply notice them through mindfulness,
Good and bad thoughts will still generate hopes and fears,
Accumulate karma, and becomes causes for saṃsāra.

Thus, far greater than a thousand experiences of mental stillness
Is but a single instant of naturally liberating pure awareness.
Primordial liberation, natural liberation, liberation upon arising, direct liberation and so on
Include all the keys to view, meditation and conduct,
So train in this crucial point of realizing self-liberation.

If you realize this point, there’s no need for other views or meditations.
All positive thoughts will continue to arise without attachment,
And even as you apply yourself to virtue, you’ll not feel superior or conceited.
All negative thoughts will vanish, just like the snake's own knots uncoiled;
The five poisons will arise, but they'll be liberated naturally in an instant.
And neutral thoughts will subside by themselves in the awareness-expanse,
Naturally arising and naturally freed, like the path of a bird in flight.

The source of saṃsāra is discursive thought.
If you’re confident in taking thoughts on the path through liberation,
Then, it is said, saṃsāra is freed within nirvāṇa’s sphere.

But if you lack this key to bringing adversity upon the path
Through full confidence in liberation,
Then even though you make empty, theoretical pronouncements,
Your own flaws and negative character will be plain to see,
Your stubborn five poisons worse than those of an ordinary person.
Why so? It is the fault of not understanding liberation.
Therefore, since the crux of view, meditation and conduct
Comes down to confidence in the modes of liberation,
It's vital that you apply your realization to circumstances.

Although I lack these points in my own mind,
By relying on the words of the omniscient guru,
Who was truly a buddha in person, I have written this without error.
Since it contains the crucial points of practice, keep it in your heart.

Sarva maṅgalam.

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2018.


Tibetan Editions

o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po. "nyams len gnad 'gags/." In gsung 'bum/_o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po. TBRC W24829. khreng tu'u: si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2003. vol. 3: 127–129

_____ . "rang bzhin rdzogs pa chen po'i don nyams su len tshul gdams pa/" in gsung 'bum/_o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po. TBRC W1PD107142. 8 vols. khreng tu'u: si khron dpe skrun tshogs pa/ si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2009, vol. 8: 282–284

Version: 1.2-20230808

  1. i.e., Longchen Rabjam and Jigme Lingpa.  ↩

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