“As the Anuyogatantra known as the Sutra that Gathers the Intention of All the Buddhas, or Gongpa Dupa Do, states, “The three Inner Tantras will rule over or empower everything.” In other words, this yana will completely reveal the nature, or the purity of the way things are, without holding anything back.
But what exactly do we mean by “rule over” or “empower”? The Tibetan expression is wang gyur [dbang bsgyur]. Wang is “power” and gyur is “turning,” “ruling over,”“ruling out,”or “power of method, skills, or secret.” So, what does “ruling over” or “ruling out” mean here? It means this teaching will rule over or rule out duality mind, ordinary mind, or regular duality conceptions. And from where or to where will it rule them out? It will rule them out in the purity state, the way the nature already is. Thus, the Inner Tantras rule out regular, ordinary duality conceptions and usher us into the purity status, also known as the “purity state of wisdom and the kayas” or the“purity state of wisdom and forms.”
Yet the power carried by the Anuyoga teachings that rules out dualistic conceptions is not limited to these teachings alone: Mahayoga does that, Anuyoga does that, and Atiyoga does that. Each of the Inner Tantras overpowers our duality conceptions, transcending them into the original nature. All three Inner Tantras are basically the same—there aren’t too many big differences between them, since they share the same nature [ngo bo]. That said, the reason and purpose of having three Inner Tantras is that they highlight slightly different aspects of the teachings. The principal purpose of the Mahayoga teachings is to liberate or transcend the neurotic state of anger; therefore, one of the important benefits of Mahayoga is that it helps us overcome problems related with anger. The principal purpose of the Anuyoga teachings is to liberate or transcend the neurotic state of attachment; therefore, one of the important benefits of Anuyoga is that it helps us overcome problems related with attachment. And the principal purpose of the Atiyoga teachings is to liberate or transcend ignorance; therefore, one of the important benefits of Atiyoga is that it helps us overcome ignorance. Here we are just highlighting slightly different aspects of the teachings, but, again, each of the Inner Tantras actually does these three things.
To elaborate, Mahayogatantra mainly gives a variety of instructions on how everything is in the enlightened state of buddha qualities, also known as the “visualization stage” or “creation stage” [bskyed rim]. The Mahayoga teachings explain how to visualize and discover that everything has the nature of the form of the deity or buddha. So, Mahayogatantra emphasizes these instructions, while transcending problems related with the neurotic emotion of anger. Anuyogatantra talks a little bit more about working with the inner structures of the body that will ignite realization of inner blissfulness, thereby transcending the neurotic emotions of craving, attachment, and desire: all are transcended in the wisdom status. Finally, Atiyogatantra is made up of nondual or neuter teachings; it is the single state that unites both Mahayoga and Anuyoga, focusing on the inner awareness state of wisdom mind. By discovering the inner, natural qualities of mind, we discover the nature of every other thing, or all phenomena. Such are the Atiyoga or Dzogchen teachings. This is a brief, general overview of the three Inner Tantras”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
Key to Opening the Wisdom Door of Anuyoga
Chapter One: Introduction to the Anuyoga Teachings (pgs 2-4)
Copyright © Padmasambhava Buddhist Center at Padma Samye Ling. All rights reserved.