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  • CHOGYAL NAMKHAINORBU

    THE PRECIOUS VASE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BASE OF

    SANTIMAHA SANGHA

    Translated from the Tibetan, edited and annotated by Adriano Clemente with the precious help of the Author Translated from Italian into English by Andy Lukianowicz

    Shang Shung Edizioni

  • This book should be treated with maximum respect and is intended for the use of those who have received the related transmission and teaching from the Master.

    Original title: Sand maha sangha 'i rmang gzhi 'i khrid rin chen bum bzang zhes by a ba.

    Cover drawing: Anna Pucci

    © 1999 Associazione Culturale Comunita Dzogchen Shang Shung Edizioni 58031 Arcidosso GR Tel. 0564966039 e-mail ssed@amiata.net

    IPC - 062EN99 - Approved by the International Publishing Committee of the Dzogchen Community founded by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

    mailto:ssed@amiata.net

  • CONTENTS

    Preface 13 PART ONE: HOW TO PREPARE ONESELF FOR THE BASE OF SANTIMAHA SANGHA 19 Chapter One THE MUNDANE VIEW AND THE SUPRAMUNDANE VIEW 23 1. The differences between the mundane view and the

    supramundane view 23 2. The main mundane views 24 2.1. The view of the Chalpas 25 2.2. The view of the Gyangphenpas 25 2.3. The view of the Murthugpas 27 2.4. The view of the Mutegpas 28 2.4.1. The view that refutes the cause but affirms the effect 28 2.4.2. The view that misconstrues the law of cause and effect 29 2.4.3. The view that affirms the cause but refutes the effect 30 3. The supramundane view 31 Chapter Two THE WAY TO ENTER THE TEACHING THAT TRANSCENDS SAMSARA: THE SIX PRELIMINARY POINTS 33 1. Cultivating the three trainings, the foundation of the path 33 2. Studying without limits the various fields of knowledge 34 3. Calming body, voice and mind and re-educating oneself 36 3.1. The four awarenesses that change one's mental attitude 36 3.1.1. The precious human body 37 3.1.2. Impermanence 37 3.1.3. Karma 37 3.1.4. The suffering of samsara 38 3.2. The seven special mind trainings 39 3.2.1. Training the mind in the thought that everything

    compounded is impermanent 40 3.2.2. Training the mind in the thought that all actions are

    the cause of suffering 41

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  • 3.2.3. Training the mind in the thought of how we are beguiled by diverse secondary causes 44

    3.2.4. Training the mind in the thought that all the actions of this life are meaningless 45

    3.2.5. Training the mind by reflecting on the fruit of supreme liberation 45

    3.2.6. Training the mind by reflecting on the value of the teachings of one's teacher 46

    3.2.7. Training the mind by means of meditative stability in the state beyond thought 47

    3.2.7.1. Training in the state beyond thought by means of pleasure and emptiness 49

    3.2.7.2. Training in the state beyond thought by means of clarity and emptiness 50

    3.2.7.3. Training in the ultimate nature of phenomena completely beyond thought 51

    4. Avoiding negative actions and increasing virtues: training in morality 54

    4.1. The meaning of 'negative action' 54 4.2. The ten non-virtuous actions 55 4.3. The way a negative karma is accumulated 56 4.4. The two types of negative action 56 4.5. The five actions with immediate result 56 4.6. The five near actions 57 4.7. The four heavy actions 57 4.8. The eight contrary actions 58 4.9. The results of negative actions 59 4.10. The way to develop virtuous actions 60 4.11. The result of virtuous actions 60 5. Having shame and restraint and cultivating faith 62 5.1. The sense of shame and restraint 62 5.2. The need to cultivate faith 63 5.3. The various types of faith 65 6. Following teachers and virtuous companions 67 6.1. Various types of teachers 68 6.2. Becoming skilled in examining a teacher 71 6.2.1. The characteristics of a teacher worthy of following 71

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  • 6.2.2. The characteristics of a teacher not worthy of following 76 6.2.3. The characteristics of disciples worthy or unworthy

    of being accepted 79 6.3. Becoming skilled in following a teacher 81 6.4. Becoming skilled in acquiring the teacher's way of being 83 6.5. The need to follow virtuous companions 88 6.6. The need to relinquish bad companions 89 6.7. The qualities obtained by relinquishing bad companions 90 Chapter Three REFUGE, THE BASE OF THE THREE TRAININGS 93 1. The meaning of Refuge 93 2. The Refuge vow and training 94 2.1. The Refuge vow in the Hinayana system 94 2.2. The Refuge training in the Mahayana system 96 2.3. Refuge in the Tantric way of transformation 98 2.4. Refuge in the Ati way of self-liberation 98 3. The way to take Refuge 99 3.1. Outer Refuge 99 3.2. Inner Refuge 101 3.3. Secret Refuge 102 4. The way to practise Refuge 103 Chapter Four THE CULTIVATION OF SUPREME BODHICHITTA 107 1. The three ways to cultivate Bodhichitta 107 2. The two subdivisions of Bodhichitta 108 3. The two types of Bodhichitta 108 4. The way to cultivate relative Bodhichitta 109 4.1. The way to take the relative Bodhichitta commitment

    by oneself 110 4.2. Meditation on one's own contentment 111 4.3. Meditation on others' contentment 111 4.4. The essential way to practise the cultivation of

    relative B odhichitta 112 5. Training in the Bodhichitta of intention:

    the Four Immeasurables 112 5.1. Immeasurable equanimity 113

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  • 5.2. Immeasurable loving kindness 114 5.3. Immeasurable compas sion 116 5.4. Immeasurable joy 117 5.5. The way to train one's mind in the Four Immeasurables 118 6. Training in the Bodhichitta in action: the six Paramitas 119 6.1. The Paramita of generosity 119 6.1.1. The gift of material things 119 6.1.2. The gift of the teaching 120 6.1.3. The gift of release from fear 121 6.1.4. The way to practise the essence of generosity 122 6.2. The Paramita of morality 124 6.2.1. The morality of abstaining from negative behaviour 124 6.2.2. The morality of gathering virtue 124 6.2.3. The morality of acting for the benefit of others 124 6.2.4. The way to practise the essence of morality 125 6.3. The Paramita of patience 126 6.3.1. The patience of enduring the bad received in exchange

    for good 126 6.3.2. The patience to bear hardships for the teaching 127 6.3.3. The patience of not becoming afraid when faced with

    the profound meaning 127 6.3.4. The way to practise the essence of patience 128 6.4. The Paramita of perseverance 129 6.4.1. Perseverance like armour 129 6.4.2. Perseverance in application 129 6.4.3. The perseverance of never being satisfied 130 6.4.4. The way to practise the essence of perseverance 130 6.5. The Paramita of meditative stability:

    training in contemplation 131 6.5.1. The meditative stability of beginners 131 6.5.2. The meditative stability that discerns the real meaning 131 6.5.3. The supreme meditative stability of the Tathagatas 132 6.5.3.1. Three secondary practices for developing meditative

    stability 133 6.5.3.1.1. The equality of oneself and others 133 6.5.3.1.2. Exchanging oneself and others 134 6.5.3.1.3. Cherishing others more than oneself 136

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  • 6.6. The Paramita of discriminating wisdom: training in prajna 137 6.6.1. Prajna derived from study 137 6.6.2. Prajna derived from reflection 137 6.6.3. Prajna derived from meditation 138 6.6.4. Relative truth and absolute truth 139 6.6.5. The absence of self-nature in the person 140 6.6.6. The absence of self-nature in phenomena: the four

    applications of presence 140 6.6.6.1. Presence applied to observation of the body 141 6.6.6.2. Presence applied to observation of sensations 141 6.6.6.3. Presence applied to observation of the mind 141 6.6.6.4. Presence applied to observation of phenomena 142 PART TWO: THE THREE DHARMAS OF THE PATH AND THE REALISATION OF THE FRUIT 147 Chapter Five THE WAYS TO ESTABLISH THE VIEW 151 1. The three philosophical characteristics vehicles 151 1.1. The essence of the view of the Shravakas 151 1.2. The essence of the view of the Pratyekabuddhas 154 1.3. The essence of the view of the Bodhisattvas 157 1.4. The real difference in meaning and the origin of the

    terms Hinayana and Mahayana 159 2. The Secret Mantra vehicles 161 2.1. The difference between the sutras and tantras 161 2.2. The meaning of tantra 162 2.3. The subdivisions of the series of tantras 163 2.4. The reason for the subdivision in various series of tantras 164 2.5. The outer tantras 164 2.5.1. The essence of the view of Kriya Tantra 164 2.5.2. The essence of the view of Ubhaya or Charya Tantra 168 2.5.3. The essence of the view of Yoga Tantra 169 2.6. The Anuttara Yoga Tantras 173 2.7. The Sarma or new translation tradition 174 2.7.1. The three aspects of Tantra 174 2.7.2. The three orders of tantras: father, mother, non-dual 174 2.8. The Nyingma or early translation tradition 177

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  • 2.8.1. The classification in nine vehicles 111 2.8.2. The three series of inner tantras 178 2.8.3. The eighteen tantras of Mahayoga 178 2.8.4. The fundamental differences between the ancient and

    modern traditions and between Mahayoga and Anuyoga 180 2.8.5. The ripening initiation, entrance to the three series

    of inner tantras 182 2.8.5.1. The ultimate meaning of initiation 183 2.8.6. The fundamental principle of Mahayoga 184 2.8.7. The fundamental principle of Anuyoga 188 2.8.8. The fundamental principle of Atiyoga 192 2.8.9. The way to enter the total perfection of Ati 203 2.8.9.1. The four understandings 203 2.8.9.2. The three characteristics 207 2.8.9.3. Connection, necessity and supreme necessity 207 2.8.9.4. The four branches of approach and attainment 210