A Typology of Bodhicitta

Returning once again to Wangchuk’s study, he marvelously breaks down the very Typology of Bodhicitta. First up for today is the Grand Gnoseological bodhicitta:

1) Gnoseological bodhicitta is nonconceptual (nirvikalpa: rnam par mi rtog pa) by nature.

Its origin comes from the deepest recesses of the bodhicittapada, the self-awakened and compassionate Mindseal. As such, it is inconceivable.

2) It is undefiled (anāsrava: zag pa med pa). It is no longer subject to the ills of sasāra.

This Mindseal is that of the Tathagatas, pure and unadulterated and thus untouched and immune to the disease of samsara.

3) It is a direct yogic perception and hence a valid cognition (pramāa: tshad ma). Thus it neither superimposes qualities on its object nor denies it the ones it has. In other words, it is fully objective.

The yogin, bathed in deep samadhis, dons a perceptive-lens that is unconstrained to ordinary dualistic channels of observance. In this vein the Yogin sees [directly] into the nature of the Element of Truth–the Dharmadhatu. This realm of the Real does not distinguish between subjective or objective, but all that is purely itself, even though some dharmata are littered with transitory adventitious stains. Hence, its [objective] is the very essence of non-discrimination.

4) It is born of meditation (bhāvanāmaya: sgom pa las byung ba), that is, the combined practice of quietude (samatha: zhi gnas) and superior insight (vipaśyanā: lhag mthong).

In actuailty, its quality far supersedes Wangchuk’s elementary definition of meditation and its attributes. It’s closer to what The Vajrasamādhi Sutra constitutes as a diamond absorption, and thus vajrasamadhi which bears elements of both meditation and contemplation. As Wŏnhyo notes, “When the Tathāgata accesses samādhi, there is nothing that can alarm or startle him, for he has gained autonomy in both abiding in and emerging from samādhi.” It should also be stressed that the diligent yogin also develops a spiritual-autonomy when engaged in deep-samādhis—one that is blessed in perseverance and therefore baptized with superior insight.

5) It has ontological bodhicitta as its object and is free from the subject-object dichotomy.

Similar in scope to number 3, wherein the ontological, or pure beingness is the determining factor of all discernment–based upon and coming from the primordial essence.

6) It has a soteriological impact on the person who possesses it.

The yogin, through the vajrasamadhi, is both protected and inspired by countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. In this understanding Bodhicitta is the very Mindstream of the Tathagatas themselves, from which the yogin receives a great benediction.

7) It is by nature stronger than the factors opposed to it, and thus never succumbs to them.

Similar to number 6 in that Gnoseological bodhicitta has the benefit of that superior Mindstream, against which no-thing in the created order can withstand.

8) Its soteriological effect is irreversible.

The salvific bodhipower incurred from the supernal anointment can never be annulled.

9) It destroys the very foundations of immoral attitudes and actions. Thus a person who possesses it is incapable of deliberately inflicting pain on others.

The yogin who is blessed with Gnoseological bodhicitta exclusively follows the Unborn Will and no-thing else. It is thus impossible to knowingly and willingly inflict harm on others.

10) It is the only means of access to ontological bodhicitta. Without it, ontological bodhicitta will never be experienced as a spiritual event.

The absolute can never be experienced unless one is first immersed in this necessary gnosis, or being directed by primordial agencies–the Primodials themselves.

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