The Place where the Primordial Speaks


Art by Mara Berendt Friedman

1. The Place where the Primordial Speaks

Homage to the [Supreme Source], the mind of complete purity, the victorious one!

At a time this sermon was taught in the realm No-Below (Akanishtha) [where] Reality is [like] the sky, and the dimension of Reality itself (dharmadhatu) [like] the vastness [of the sky]. There is the place where the Mind itself (sems nyid) exists.

Akanishṭha: Akanishṭha is the highest realm of the Buddhaic-heavens. It is the abode of the Adi-Buddha, in this instance the Yin-Feminine Side or Samantabhadrī. It is the “living abode” of the Supreme Self-Nature of Mind Itself.

There is the place where the Mind itself (sems nyid) exists: E. K. Neumaier-Dargyay writes in a footnote:

The Tibetan term gnas is used throughout the KBG in a modified meaning. The term certainly maintains the general meaning of place, but adds the connotation of existence. It is not too different from the Latin word existere, “standing out,” from a homogeneous and non-specified form of esse, The All-Creating Sovereign being. The English word “to exist” has not preserved this connotation, and it is the only verb which can be used for describing the unqualified fact of being. The distinction made between Latin esse and Latin existere, which roughly corresponds to the use of Tibetan yod and Tibetan gnas in the KBG, is difficult to preserve in English.

In the untainted mansion of pristine awareness [the Supreme Source’s] own being (rang bzhin), Her actuating essence (ngo bo), Her compassion and pristine awareness became manifest as [various] retinues in the following way:

actuating essence: [Actuating-Essence]: A phrase that will continually be developed–the principle of Actuosity–mentioned time and time again throughout these blogs here at Unborn Mind Zen.

Mind is Perfect-Suchness in an endless bravura of actuosity (Abundant activity)*…thus, as this sutra will show everything is Mind in a perfect state of actuosity.

“The ‘actuating potency’ makes the transition from a state of undifferentiated cognitiveness to the world of multiple phenomena possible. The “actuating potency” propels the pristine awareness from its stillness to manifestation.” (Neumaier-Dargyay)

[various] retinues: I much prefer the translation of “retinue” as “assembly” in the version from The Supreme Source: The Fundamental Tantra Of Dzogchen Semde Kunjed Gyalpo. That translation reads in full:

In the divine palace of unhindered wisdom, there manifested the assemblies of disciples of Kunjed Gyalpo’s essence, nature, energy, and wisdom. The assembly of the dharmakaya were the audience of his essence. The assembly of the earth element of the sambhogakaya were the audience of his nature, the assembly of the water element of the sambhogakaya were the audience of his nature, ture, the assembly of the fire element of the sambhogakaya were the audience of his nature, the assembly of the air element of the sambhogakaya were the audience of his nature, the assembly of the space element of the sambhogakaya were the audience of his nature. The assembly of the nirmanakaya were the audience of the energy of his wisdom, consisting of the beings of the world of desire, of the world of form and of the formless world.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu;Andriano Clemente. The Supreme Source: The Fundamental Tantra Of Dzogchen Semde Kunjed Gyalpo (Kindle Locations 1550-1555). Kindle Edition.

The following is E. K. Neumaier-Dargyay’s assessment of the Trikaya in context of this Sutra:

Dharmakaya: As such it is identified with what, in traditional Buddhism, is known as the dharmakaya, i.e. the manifestation of ultimate truth which is the true being of a Buddha.

Sambhogakaya: The second phase in the ontological but not temporal or causal emanation of the universe is the Sovereign’s actuating potency (ngo bo) which evokes a response from the depth of its own being. Many times this creating force is glossed with the expression “central vigour” (snying po). This response is known as the retinue of sambhogakaya, i.e. the manifestation of consummate joy, the second of the retinues. It is the phase where the ultimate in its oneness rejoices in a situation characterized by the experience of “you.”

Nirmanakaya: This joy reveals the third aspect of the Sovereign’s being: compassion (snying rje). [Nirmanakaya] It is the force which provides the mode of interaction between the one and the emanated multiplicity, and it is the sole base for all such interactions.

Furthermore, the retinues equal to Her own being correspond to the four yogas: the retinue of Atiyoga (shin tu rnal ‘byor), the retinue of Anuyoga (yongs su rnal ‘byor), the retinue of Mahayoga (rnal ‘byor chen po), and the retinue of the bodhisattva yoga (sems dpa’ rnal ‘byor). As Her own being. Her actuating essence, and Her compassion are inseparable from Her nature, there is only one method.

Assembly of Mahayoga, anuyoga, and atiyoga:

“All contain the same basic elements of practice on the tantra path to enlightenment. They differ in terms of emphasis. The same distinction is true concerning the three divisions of anuttarayoga tantra: father, mother, and nondual tantra. The two division schemes, however, are not equivalent.”

“The practice of anuttarayoga tantra entails the generation stage (bskyed-rim) and the complete stage (rdzogs-rim, completion stage). On the generation stage, we generate ourselves as Buddha-figures merely with the power of our imaginations (visualization). On the complete stage, everything is complete for actually generating the immediate causes for the body and mind of a Buddha – not just in our imaginations.”

“On the complete stage, we cause the energy-winds (rlung, Skt. prana) to enter, abide, and dissolve in the central channel. This enables us to access the subtlest level of mental activity (clear light, ‘ od-gsal) and use it for the nonconceptual cognition of voidness – the immediate cause for the omniscient mind of a Buddha. We use the subtlest level of energy-wind, which supports clear light mental activity, to arise in the form of an illusory body (sgyu-lus) as the immediate cause for the network of form bodies (Skt. rupakaya) of a Buddha.”

“Within this scheme of anuttarayoga tantra:

  • father tantra emphasizes illusory body practice,
  • mother tantra emphasizes clear light practice,
  • nondual tantra emphasizes the unified pair (zung-’jug) of illusory body and clear light.

If we use the same scheme as in anuttarayoga to analyze the Nyingma presentation, and divide the complete stage into two phases – before attaining actual clear light nonconceptual cognition of voidness, and after, when we attain the immediate cause for a rupakaya – then:

  • mahayoga emphasizes the generation stage,
  • anuyoga emphasizes the first phase of the complete stage and working with the energy-winds, channels, and chakras,
  • atiyoga (dzogchen) emphasizes the second phase of the complete stage, at which we actualize the immediate causes for the enlightening mind and form bodies of a Buddha.” (Source=hyperlink)

there is only one method: from E. K. Neumaier-Dargyay’s footnote:

The term “method” (Skr. upaya, Tib. thabs) refers to the Buddha’s method of rescuing the sentient beings from the endless abyss of samsara. Its most crucial component is his “great compassion” which enables the Buddha to see all things as essentially one. Sometimes the term is also translated as “skill-in-means”. In this text, the term “method” is—as most other terms of the sutra literature—loaded with a different meaning. As shall become clear later on, method in this text means “no-method” as reality is, since beginningless time, in the state of consummation.

Furthermore, the retinues cognizing Her own being are such: the retinue resting in Her, i.e. the Buddhas of the past; the retinue realizing Her objective, i.e. the present Buddhas; the retinue that brings forth Her deeds, i.e. the Buddhas to come later. Because they are inseparable from Her own being there is only one method.

Past: already consecrated and consummated in the bliss of Suchness.

Present: First coming to her noble self-realization, i.e., the first stirrings of Recollecting the Supreme Principle.

Future: Fully consummating her Divine Objectives.

After that, the [Supreme Source], the mind of perfect purity, absorbed into Her mind and heart all the retinues so that they were blessed with Her own being. She then let the self-originated pristine awareness become lucid. To endow all things with Reality, She then dwelt as one in the void focus (bindu) after She had united all things.

Blessed with her own being: Absorbed into the Mind-flow of the Absolute.

To endow all things with Reality, She then dwelt as one in the void focus (bindu) after She had united all things: Empty of all except Self-Essence. Bindu–focal point usually in center of forehead—but here constitutes the center-point of the imageless eye of Tathata.

After that, [Vajrasattva], who abided through Her in the great void focus of [Her] own being, emerged from this [state] and sat down with a mind of joy and a pure and bright appearance in front of the [Supreme Source], the mind of perfect purity.

This constitutes the inward essence meeting essence of the Mind-flow.

The [Supreme Source], the mind of perfect purity, spoke to [Vajrasattva]:

“Vajrasattva, emaho, generate a mind of joy, emaho; produce a pure and bright countenance, emaho: You have come forth from Me, emaho!”

Thus She spoke.

Emaho: A Tibetan expression meaning wonderful, marvelous, fantastic, amazing—in essence, She is asking him to incur A spiritual ejaculation–especially in the sweet ecstasy of being marvelously fully endowed with Mind.

Then [Vajrasattva] addressed Her: “Oh teacher of the teachers, Oh [Supreme Source]! Is the void focus of the non-conceptual (spros med) also the teacher Herself, or is the void focus of the non-conceptual also the entirety of retinues, or is the void focus of the non-conceptual also the entirety of teachings, or is the void focus also time and place, or how does the teacher of the teachers teach if everything abides in the nature of this void focus? For what purpose do the retinues circulate as Her retinues? Why is a teaching taught to the retinues? How can it be that time and place are one?”

Is this miraculous focus just the teacher herself, or are all the retinues included in this self-focus? If all this is Self-true, then why the need to teach?

Thus he asked. After that the [Supreme Source], the mind  of perfect purity, gave [Vajrasattva] the following instruction:

“Oh great bodhisattva, direct your mind towards this instruction! Let me explain the meaning. Oh (Vajrasatta), Mind-as-such, i.e. I, the[Supreme Source], am the central vigor (snying po) of all things. This central vigor, which is non-conceptual, is the primordial void focus. The void focus in its final value (don) is without conceptualization from the primordial. The teacher, the teachings, the retinues, time and place, they emerged from Me as the primordial void focus. My own being is known as the void focus.”

Central Vigor and Void Focus: Keep in mind here the importance and significance of a Sphere–without edges–one circular and uninterrupted Mind-flow.

Such the [Supreme Source], the mind of perfect purity, spoke.

[Thus ends the First Chapter]

This entry was posted in Kulayarāja Tantra—The Motherly Buddha and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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