Lamrim Yeshe Nyingpo

The Wisdom Essence of Oral Instructions in Stages of the Path

Spoken by Padmasambhava
Recorded by the Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal
Revealed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Lingpa

(The following is the root text translated by Erik Pema Kunsang. Please consult the book "The Light of Wisdom" published by Shambhala Publications for the complete text with commentary. "Likewise, whoever reads and memorizes it, recites, explains, or studies it, will be blessed by me, Padma" said Guru Rinpoche.)

The essence of primordially pure space is Samantabhadra,
The spontaneously present awareness is Padmasambhava,
And their indivisible unity, Dorje Drakpo Tsal,
Is the heruka, the supreme sovereign of all mandalas.

In the realm of the great sphere, the all pervasive dharmadhatu,
In the sambhogakaya palace with the fivefold luminosity,
And in all the indefinite places of nirmanakayas who tame beings,
They turn throughout the three times
The wheel of Dharma of the inconceivable number of causal and resultant vehicles,
For ocean like assemblies of disciples possessing potential,
In accordance with the various types of suitability and capacity of each individual.

I will now teach to my closest disciples
The quintessence of all these condensed into one,
The essence of my heart, the ultimate counsel,
As a direct instruction that is easy to understand and simple to apply
Don't let it dwindle away, but practice one pointedly.
It has that to be understood, that which causes realization, and the final result.
Thus it is demonstrated by these three aspects.

The ground to be understood is the all pervasive sugata essence.
Uncompounded, luminous, and empty, it is the natural state of awareness.
Beyond confusion and liberation, it is completely quiescent, like space.
Although it abides without separation in samsara or joining in nirvana,
Due to the great demon of coemergent and conceptual ignorance,
From the solidified habitual patterns of grasping and fixation,
And the different perceptions of worlds and inhabitants,
The six classes of beings appeared as a dream.

Although this is so, you have never moved and will never move
From the original condition of the essence.
Endeavor therefore in purifying the temporary stains.

The stages of the path that bring about realization are innumerable.
Purify your beings, sow the seeds, and cultivate them.
Remove the hindrances, and likewise bring forth enhancement.
Thus enter the correct path through these five aspects.

First of all is to purify your mind and being.
The vajra master, the root of the path,
Is someone who has the pure conduct of samaya and vows.
He is fully adorned with learning, has discerned it through reflection.
And through meditation he possesses the qualities and signs of experience and realization.
With his compassionate action he accepts disciples.

Serve a master endowed with these characteristics by means of the three pleasing actions,
And do not commit the displeasing ones for even an instant.
Take the pledge to accomplish whatever he commands
By the skill of correctly training in his thoughts and deeds.

The master should give the teachings suited to the mind of the disciple
Who has faith, renunciation, and compassion,
And who has sharp faculties, intelligence, and discipline.
He should not give instructions that are inappropriate for the recipient.

For the way of guiding gradually in accordance with the types of mental capacity,
First, keep far away from places of disturbance
By going to a place of solitude and giving up worldly activities.

Sit on a comfortable seat, straighten your body, and expel the stale breath.
Supplicate the Three Jewels and generate devotion to your guru.
Apply mindfulness and reflect in the following way;

This bodily support adorned with the perfect freedoms and riches,
Like the udumbara flower, is extremely hard to find.
If you skillfully take advantage of it,
Then this find has great value, exceeding that of a wish fulfilling gem.
Therefore follow spiritual guides and virtuous friends
At all times and on all occasions.

Giving up concerns for this life, and for the sake of the future.
Exert yourself quickly to take advantage of it, for if you don't, (it will not last).

Like the rising and setting of the sun and moon, composite things are impermanent.
The time of death lies uncertain, like a flash of lightning in the sky.
At the time of death nondharmic things are of no help at all,
So practice the sacred and sublime Dharma correctly.

The root of practicing the sacred Dharma is the law of karma.
Through evil deeds and non virtues you will go to the three lower realms.
By virtuous actions you achieve the higher realms and liberation.
Therefore confess evil deeds and make the wholehearted vow to refrain from them.

Diligently take up the roots of virtue.
Prostrations and circumambulations purify the wrongdoing of your body.
Reciting and reading the Buddha's words purify the obscurations of your speech,
And supplicating the Three Jewels pacifies the faults of your mind.
Always train correctly in being mindful, careful, and conscientious.
In particular, for accomplishing the state of emancipation,
With the recognition and remembrance that all of samsara
Is like a fiery pit, a garden of razors, or a forest of swords,
Arouse again and again the intense and genuine attitude
Of desiring to be quickly freed from the three sufferings

At some point, when you understand that all samsaric grandeur
Is impermanent, inconstant, and illusive,
Fascination with even the splendor of Brahma and Indra
Will have no occasion to arise for as much as an instant.

While truly perceiving the Three Precious Ones, the Roots, and the guardians of the Dharma
To be the unfailing and permanent protection,
Regard them respectfully as your refuge until enlightenment
In order to free yourself and others from the terrors of samsara.

Using your own experience as a measure,
Arouse the bodhicitta of aspiration
Through the four immeasurables of love, compassion, joy and impartiality
In order that your mothers, all beings, may have happiness and be free from suffering

With the intent of pursuing complete enlightenment solely for the sake of others,
Give away, like grass, your body and possessions,
And give the relief of protection to those disturbed by dangers.
Practice the Dharma yourself and establish others in it.

With the intention of renouncing, a thoroughly delighted frame of mind,
Constrain yourself from committing the negative misdeeds of your three doors.
Practice the conditioned and unconditioned virtues as much as you can,
And motivate yourself to carry out all your deeds for the sake of sentient beings.

In order never to be overcome by harm doers,
Cultivate patience through mindfulness of the demerits of anger.
Joyfully undertake hardships for the sake of the Dharma,
And be unafraid of the profound emptiness.

By awakening a courageous fortitude for what is virtuous,
Don the armor of tirelessly engaging in bodhisattva deeds.
Exert yourself without distraction throughout day and night,
And cast away weariness when achieving the welfare of others

With the thorough intention to calm your mind,
Take the mundane dhyanas as the foundation.
Through fully accomplishing samadhi with vipashyana,
Enter the domain of the experience of the tathagatas.

By means of the intelligence that fully discerns phenomena,
First comprehend the words of all teachings through learning.
Next seek an understanding of their meaning through reflection,
And finally realize the meaning through meditation.

Having ripened your own beings, gather followers through generosity,
Delight them with pleasing words, and comfort them by being consistent.
Through counseling them in meaningful conduct, fully establish them, temporarily and ultimately
In the splendor of benefit and well-being.
As the essential point, take upon yourself the burden
Of all the miseries of sentient beings,
Give away your happiness and virtue to the six classes of beings,
And train in compassion and bodhicitta without being carried away by difficulties.

In particular, external objects grasped by fixation
Are all unreal and appear like an illusion.
Not permanent, yet their transiency is able to function.
They are not singular, since a variety emerges and changes.
They are not independent, but follow the karmic deeds.
They are not particles, since partless atoms do not exist.

If they did exist, gross things could not be assembled.
If they had parts, this would contradict the assertion of partlessness.
They are nothing but a nonexistent and false appearance, an interdependence,
Like dreams, magical illusion, and the reflection of the moon in water.
Regard them as a city of gandharvas and as a rainbow.

The mind that observes is also devoid of an ego or a self-entity.
It is neither seen as something different from the aggregates
Nor as identical with these five aggregates.
If the first were true, there would exist some other substance.
This is not the case, so were the second to be true,
That would contradict a permanent self, since the aggregates are impermanent.
Therefore, based on the five aggregates,
The self is a mere imputation by the power of ego-clinging.

As to that which imputes, the past thought has vanished and is nonexistent.
The future thought has not occurred, and the present thought does not withstand scrutiny.

In short, understand the twofold self, the perceiver and the perceived,
To be totally quiescent, like the sky, and devoid of arising,
And also that this nonarising is beyond the domain of conceptual mind.
Since even the Omniscient Ones find no words for this,
This absence of mental constructs is called the Middle Way.

Having realized this, rest in equanimity,
Free from conceptual activity, in the state devoid of fixation.

Thoughts then subside, and the natural state of the essence is seen.
Hereby you accomplish the virtues such as the eyes,
superknowledge, and dharani-recall.

The causal vehicle of the paramitas
Is to gradually attain the paths and bhumis.
On the path of fruition, you should still regard
The practice of unified emptiness and compassion as the basis of the path.