Friday, March 6, 2015

Longchen Rabjam - Vajra-Homage

Vajra heart source

The head verse of each canto is a root verse; the subsequent prose is Longchenpa's commentary with illustrative verse quotes; and the prose in lower point type is the translator's commentary.
Homage to Glorious Samantabhadra, the All-Good!

To the matrix of primordial, spontaneous perfection,
to the original lord, the glory of samsara and nirvana,
and to the masters and magi, mystics and lamas,
we bow down with a thousand shimmering petals of lotus-faith.

I shall now elucidate The Treasury of Natural Perfection,
the quintessential truth, the final, definitive teaching,
distilled from the enigmatic heart-drop of direct experience,
the apogee of attainment that is existential pre-eminence.

The glorious Samantabhadra, manifestly and totally present in the fundamental ground of the here-and-now, abiding in the immutable vajra-space that is hyper-sameness, turns the wheel of unsurpassable, definitive revelation. The sublime fruition is the profound mystery of natural perfection. This is the indisputable and unchanging reality of pure gnostic mind and pure being revealed directly and effortlessly, ineluctably present in the moment. This treatise of secret instruction called The Treasury of Natural Perfection is a summation of the incontrovertible truths of natural perfection.

1. Vajra-Homage

To timeless buddhahood, basic total presence,
to unchanging spontaneity, the spacious vajra-heart,
to the nature of mind—natural perfection,
constantly, simply being, we bow down.

This verse of homage evokes the essential immutable spaciousness, the vajra-space, of this treatise. This spaciousness is the essence of self-sprung awareness, the ground of the spontaneity - the perfection and creativity - of pure and total presence. It is the unchanging field of reality, clear light as the nature of mind, the original face of natural perfection.

'Vajra' homage is rendered in and to that unchanging space without any attempt to alter anything, without focusing on anything, and without stirring from the disposition of pure being. Natural perfection is the self-sprung awareness that precludes any specific bias or partiality, rendering any training or endeavor redundant.

Ho! The atiyoga of natural perfection! Dzogchen Ati!
The Great Perfection, in its unbiased inclusivity,
actualizes the meaning of self-sprung awareness;
as the lion overawes all other beasts with his roar,
so the language of Great Perfection commands the gradual approaches;
speaking a tongue of its own, it engenders its own ultimate meaning.

The land of natural perfection is free of buddhas and sentient beings;
the ground of natural perfection is free of good and bad;
the path of natural perfection has no length;
the fruition of natural perfection can neither be avoided nor attained;
the body of natural perfection is neither existent nor nonexistent;
the speech of natural perfection is neither sacred nor profane;
and the mind of natural perfection has no substance nor attribute.
The space of natural perfection cannot be consumed nor voided;
the status of natural perfection is neither high nor low;
the praxis of natural perfection is neither developed nor neglected;
the potency of natural perfection is neither fulfilled nor frustrated;
the display of natural perfection is neither manifest nor latent;
the actuality of natural perfection is neither cultivated nor ignored;
and the gnosis of natural perfection is neither visible nor invisible.

The hidden awareness of natural perfection is everywhere,
its parameters beyond indication,
its actuality incommunicable;
the sovereign view of natural perfection is the here-and-now,
naturally present without speech or books,
irrespective of conceptual clarity or dullness,
but as spontaneous joyful creativity
its reality is nothing at all.

In the verse of homage, the first, second and third lines reveal the self-sprung natural essence while the fourth line shows familiarity with that unchanging space of reality. The fruition of natural perfection is distinguished from our ordinary disposition by nothing more than an indication about the existential ground (the starting point that is 'basic total presence' adduced in the first line of the vajra-homage). All experience, therefore, is revealed as perfect and complete in the gnosis of pure mind.

There is no imperfection anywhere:
perfect in one, perfect in two, perfect in all,
life is blissfully easy.

Unity is perfect as unitary pure mind,
duality is perfect as the mind's creation,
and multiplicity is abundant completion.

In the transmission of the perfection of unity
lies the pure buddha-dynamic;
the teaching on the perfection of duality
reveals everything as perfect projection;
and by virtue of the perfection of multiplicity
everything turns whole and splendid.

Abiding here, doing nothing,
embodied as man or god,
our dynamic is buddha-reality;
here sentient beings are cared for,
and without any exertion we live in ease.

So homage is given to the nature of mind itself, self-sprung awareness, the projective base of samsara and nirvana:

Homage to the sole nature of mind, the seed of all and everything,
to the mind that creates the sense of existence and release from it,
to the mind that fulfils all our desires like a wish-fulfilling gem!

The act of vajra-homage, a ritual verbal gesture, is recognition of the primordial perfection of the nature of mind. The language of the Great Perfection is the natural expression of gnosis, empty and joyful, that establishes its own nonreferential reality. Inducing self-sprung awareness, the totality of experience, its language evokes a timeless reality beyond linguistic - and also social and moral - conditioning.

The famous line 'perfect in one, perfect in two, perfect in all' could be rendered 'unity is perfect, duality is perfect, plurality is perfect' - everything is necessarily perfect. The 'perfection' of Dzogchen carries with it the notion of completion. The final verse of that quotation is an introduction to the notion of nonaction, that nothing at all need be done to attain natural perfection since everything is perfect as it is. Yet, transmission is required - one pure mind accomplishes all:
Source text  HERE
 Old Man Basking in the Sun

Longchenpa's Treasury of Natural Perfection

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