Mind is often referred to as the inseparable union of clarity and emptiness. The Supreme Teacher described the nature of mind in many different ways: alternately as the union of appearance and emptiness, the union of great blissfulness and emptiness, and the union of absolute truth and relative truth emptiness. On the level of reality, all arising appearances are the inseparable union of these qualities, which exist in a single, indivisible state. The teachings often compare this union to a fire and its warmth, since one cannot be distinguished from the other. Likewise, emptiness and appearances cannot be separated from each other; they are reflections of a single state, or nature, with two different aspects.
In his Mula-madhyamaka-prajna, Nagarjuna compares this situation to molasses and sweetness in addition to fire and its warmth. In the same way, emptiness and appearances are inseparable. The entire phenomenal display—all appearances without exception—are empty. Usually when we say that something is a “union,” we imply that two different ingredients have been added together to make a whole. Such is not the case with the nature of reality, which cannot be divided at all, in the same way water and its moisture can only be separated at the level of concepts. The true nature cannot be divided, categorized, or separated. This is the nature of everything!
But if the entire universe and world—including our own minds— are in an indivisible state of union, why do great masters such Nagarjuna and the Buddha himself emphasize emptiness, emptiness, emptiness? Why not appearances? It is because duality mind does not grasp very much to notions of emptiness; rather, it tends to grasp and cling to appearances, or objects of perception. Because we are overwhelmed by dualistic conceptions, we tend to hold on to everything we experience, including the places we go and the activities we engage in. So all this talk of emptiness is designed to help us see past the mere surface of appearances and break down our beliefs about substantially existent phenomena.”
Ven. Khenpo Rinpoches: One of the teachings in the Mind Only school is on different types of minds. In Tibetan there is the word rig (rigs), which can be translated as “family, race, caste or gene.” In Sanskrit they call it gotra. The Mind Only school classifies different types of minds into five different categories or families. These five families are as follows: (1) the shravaka family, (2) the pratyekabuddha family, (3) the bodhisattva family, (4) the uncertain type of family, and then the category of (5) not being part of any particular family. These five families encompass every living being. Their capabilities, mentalities, and personalities all fall within these five categories.
The people who are in the shravaka category are completely going to stick with the so-called “Hinayana” or shravakayana teaching even when they hear Mahayana teachings or anything other teachings. Even if you pull at them, it won’t go into their ears. Instead, it will go from one ear out the other ear. It just passes directly through them. So you cannot change someone who is in this particular family. People of the shravaka family stay within the shravaka family.
Similarly, those who are in the bodhisattva family are not going to change their habitual tendencies even if they are in the middle of the Hinayana. Their mind is completely different. They are going to have a strong tendency to retain Mahayana qualities and activities regardless of circumstances.
Beings in the uncertain family are neutral. They are not predisposed to anything in particular. Whatever circumstances and situations occur will influence their minds according to that particular direction. So they are not really in a fixed category. If they become connected to the Hinayana, their mind will develop according to the Hinayana and they will follow Hinayana practices. If they are connected with the bodhisattvayana, they will gradually begin to follow the bodhisattvayana. There is no certainty of mind for this type of being. Everything is able to change pretty easily.
Finally there is the category of having no family—the family of no- family. For this type of being, no matter what the situation or circumstance, he or she will not change anything. Things will just stay as they are. There will be no improvement. It will be very difficult for any kind of change to occur. This kind of individual is not going to accept any teachings or any kind of spirituality. They will not be receptive to any kind of deeper meaning. That’s it. They’re stuck and they will stay that way. These are the five different families of beings.
Question: If someone doesn’t have the “gene” for spirituality (i.e., is in the category of no-family) does this continue from lifetime to lifetime? Can anything cause one type of mind to change to another type of mind?
Answer: Yes, even beings in the category of no-family can change from lifetime to lifetime because they have buddha-nature. Therefore, someone who is not very receptive to spiritual teachings can change over time, but it will be very hard and is a long process. Because their mind is so obscured and they do not have many kinds of sparking, shining things within their mind already, it will take a long time to change from the no-family type of mind into a different type of mind like the bodhisattva family.
Opening the Clear Vision of the Mind Only School (pgs 36-38)
I am the wanderer called Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje. I was born in the hidden land of Pema Kö in the Wood Dragon year of the fifteenth rabjung (1904). My father, Khengla Jampal Norbu Wangyal, was descended from the royal family of Kanam. At about the age of three, I was recognized as the incarnation of the great treasure revealer Dudjom. His disciples took me in, and so I entered the gate of dharma. My tutors, knowing that the foundation of knowledge is reading and writing, set me on a course of constant study and ensured that I memorized the daily prayers and rituals. They educated me in physical, verbal, and mental conduct so as always to avoid wrongdoing and behave correctly. They employed history, stories, elementary principles, and the like, so that with these various methods of teaching, my eye of wisdom opened a little.
As I grew in years and wisdom, accordingly a succession of learned and realized masters looked after me with their love and compassion. Grammar, poetry, astrology, medicine, and the other ordinary sciences I picked up in bits and pieces. As for the extraordinary sciences I studied just a few scriptures on the middle way, the teachings of Maitreya, A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, and teachings on the three vows. In particular, it was the ripening empowerments, liberating instructions, tantric commentaries, profound pith instructions, and so on from the ocean of kama and terma of the Nyingma tradition of mantrayana with which I was chiefly concerned. Beginning with the thirteen great activities of a vajracharya, which include the performance of rituals, torma making, decorative arts, dance, drawing, chanting, and music related to various classes of practice, I applied myself assiduously to learning the tradition of the lineage of the vidyadharas without neglecting anything. At times, I devoted myself to practice, first the accumulation and purification of the ngöndro practice, and then the main practice of the creation and completion stages, with the phases of approach and accomplishment, and I did my best, diligently accumulating ounces into pounds. But, unfortunately, thanks to my having the title of “lama,” all I really did was to serve as the slave of distraction posing as “benefiting the teachings” and “helping beings.” The result was that in the end the realization and qualities I gained from practice were as copious as the hair on a tortoise.
Whatever nectar of dharma I received, and whatever I learned, I taught and spread as much as I could to people everywhere, according to what they required. Even though I’m not a member of the illustrious club of scholars, in order not to refuse people’s demands, and in the hope that it might be of some small service to the teachings, I wrote History of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, Fundamentals of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, History of Tibet, commentaries on Definitive Distinctions among the Three Vows, practice instruction manuals for the many cycles of sadhanas, pith retreat instructions, and other works. They are being compiled and edited—more than twenty volumes have already been published—and these I leave as the achievement of my learning, set down in writing without any expectation or fear.
Thanks to the kindness of my sublime masters, my eyes of pure perception are not blind. I’ve never accumulated the bad karma of forsaking the dharma by bearing ill will toward or criticizing other teachings or individuals. I have always managed to keep a good heart without any crookedness or hypocrisy. So I do not have the slightest doubt that I can count myself a disciple of the compassionate Lord Buddha, our teacher, among the lower levels of his fourfold retinue. About this I sometimes feel a little sense of pride, and yet I wonder whether these thoughts are virtuous or unvirtuous. Still, here is a brief summary of my story, the story of an old yogin.”
¡Próximo nuevo libro en español por el Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches!
ECOS INCESANTES DEL GRAN SILENCIO
Un Comentario sobre la Prajñaparamita del Sutra del Corazón
Por Khenchen Palden Sherab Rimpoché & Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rimpoche
¡Me postro ante Prajñaparamita, la Sabiduría Transcendental!
En estos tiempos es común observar por todo el mundo, y en particular en la poderosa nación norteamericana, los desarrollos en los campos de la ciencia que están incrementando nuestra comprensión general sobre el cómo existe y funciona la materia desde un punto de vista externo. Los científicos que realizan esta investigación merecen un continuo reconocimiento por sus análisis sobre los distintos aspectos de la realidad. Independientemente de que ellos estén o no familiarizados con el Buda, su trabajo ha confirmado muchos aspectos de sus enseñanzas. No obstante, la ciencia por sí sola no ha mostrado, en última instancia, su capacidad de disipar el sufrimiento o de producir experiencias dichosas.
Para alcanzar resultados definitivos necesitamos mirar hacia adentro, hacia la mente misma, extremadamente vasta y profunda, y descubrir su modo de ser. Puesto que esto no resulta fácil de hacer –y es de hecho extremadamente difícil- se necesita encontrar y seguir o aplicar un camino o método infalible. La Prajñaparamita es ese método o camino. Confiando persistentemente en su visión perfecta, es posible disipar todo sufrimiento y producir un beneficio y felicidad incalculables, tanto para uno como para los demás, de la misma manera en que lo han hecho incontables escolásticos y practicantes de quienes se tiene registro, tanto en la India antigua como en el Tíbet. La visión resultante es como el firmamento: libre de los extremos conceptuales; es como el sol, que disipa los oscuros nubarrones de la ignorancia; y es como la luna, que irradia la luz refrescante de la calma y la beatitud.
– Khenchen Palden Sherab Rimpoche
La Prajñaparamita y el Sutra del Corazón
El Linaje Tibetano
I. El Sutra del Corazón
(1) El Título
(2) El Texto Principal
Las Cinco Perfecciones
Los Cinco Skhandas o Agregados
(4) Formaciones Mentales
Las Dos Verdades
El Terreno, el Camino, y la Fruición
El Terreno del Samsara El Camino y la Fruición
(1) La Verdad del Sufrimiento
(2) La Causa del Sufrimiento
(3) La Verdad de la Cesación
(4) La Causa de la Cesación
(3) El Mantra
(4) Preguntas y Respuestas
II. Las Seis Paramitas
(1) La Generosidad
(2) La Auto-Disciplina
(3) La Paciencia
(4) El Esfuerzo Gozoso
(5) La Concentración
(6) La Sabiduría Suprema
Apéndice I: El Sutra del Corazón (el Sadhana)
Apéndice II: Las Diez Distracciones Mentales
Apéndice III: Las Dieciséis Clasificaciones de la Vacuidad Las Cuatro Vacuidades
Apéndice IV: Un Resumen en Ochos Puntos
Notas sobre el Glosario
Lista de Términos del Glosario
Nombres y Lugares
“The “Akanishtha of Power and Richness” [dbang phyug chen po’i ’og min], often referred to as “Great Akanishtha” [’og min chen po] in the teachings. This is the very place where sambhogakaya emanations arise from the dharmakaya. However, it is not just sambhogakaya emanations that emerge in the Akanishtha of Power and Richness—nirmanakaya emanations also arise here before they manifest in various realms. The great Indian master Nyi Od Senge taught that Buddha Shakyamuni actually achieved enlightenment in Akanishtha. From there, he emanated in this world as a nirmanakaya. In other words, Nyi Od Senge explained that the Blessed One became enlightened in the Akanishtha of Power and Richness, but the active state of his compassion and loving-kindness took the form of a body, thereby emanating in this world as the nirmanakaya Buddha Shakyamuni.
Likewise, in one of his own commentaries on the Guhyagarbha Tantra, the renowned Indian master Buddhaguhya explained that the Tathagata reached enlightenment in the Akanishtha of Power and Richness. Although he appeared to attain liberation under the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya, that was just a display for the benefit of beings to be tamed. Thus, the Akanishtha of Power and Richness is the perfect place where beings take enlightened form.”
Splendid Presence of the Great Guhyagarbha (pg 179)