Tuesday, 17 July 2012


                             THE THREE PRINCIPLES OF THE PATH
                                                      Venerable Lobsang Drakpa

Homage to the foremost Lama.

            1, I will explain as well as I can
The essential meaning of all scriptures of the Buddha,
The path praised by the excellent Bodhisattvas,
The doorway for the fortunate ones longing for liberation.

            2, Whoever is not attached to the pleasures of mundane existence,
Whoever strives in order to make leisure and fortune worthwhile,
Whoever is inclined to the path admired by the Buddha,
Those fortunate ones should listen with a pure mind.

            3, Without a completely pure renunciation
There is no way to stop seeking pleasurable effects in the ocean of existence.
Also, craving cyclic existence thoroughly binds the embodied beings.
Therefore, in the beginning renunciation should be sought.

            4, Leisure and fortune are difficult to find and life has no duration,
Through familiarity with this, emphasis on the appearance of this life is reversed.
If you think again and again about karma and its inevitable effects And the sufferings of samsara,
The emphasis on the appearances of future lives will be reversed.

            5, If, having meditated thus, you do not generate admiration
Even for the prosperity of cyclic existence,
and if an attitude seeking liberation arises day and night,
Then renunciation has been generated.

            6, Also, if this renunciation is not combined with the generation of
a complete aspiration to highest Enlightenment,
It does not become a cause of the marvellous bliss of unsurpassed Awaken State.
Thus, the wise should generate supreme Bodhicitta.

            7, Samsaric beings are carried by the continuum of the four powerful currents.
Are tied with the tight bonds of karma difficult to oppose,
Have entered into the iron cage of the self grasping attitude
Are completely obscured by the thick darkness of ignorance,

            8, Are born into limitless samsara, and in their births
Are tortured ceaselessly by the three sufferings.
Thinking thus of the condition of mothers who have come to such a state,
Generate the supreme altruistic intention to become Awaken one.

            9, If you do not have the wisdom realizing the way things are,
Even though you have developed renunciation and Bodhicitta,
The root of samsara cannot be cut.
Therefore work on the means of realising dependent arising.

            10, Whoever sees reality of cause and effect of all phenomena
in samsara and nirvana as infallible,
Thoroughly destroys the mode of misapprehension of
those objects and has entered the path that is admired by the Buddhas.

            11, As long as the two realisations of appearances, The infallibility of dependent arising
And the realization of emptiness, the non-assertion,
Seem to be separate, there is still no realisation
Of the thought of Shakyamuni Buddha.

           12, When the two realisations exist simultaneously, without alternation,
           And the view of infallibility of dependent arising will entirely cease,
           The mode of apprehension of the conception,
           Then the analysis of the view is complete.

           13, Further, the extreme of existence is excluded by appearance,
And the extreme of non-existence is excluded by Emptiness.
If within Emptiness the appearance of cause and effect is known,
You will not be captivated by extreme views.

            14, When you have realised thus just as they are
The essentials of the three principle aspects of the path,
Resort to solitude and generate the power of enthusiastic perseverance.
Accomplish quickly your final aim, my son.

(Colophon: This is taught by the learned monk Lobsang Drakpa Pal (Tsongkhapa) to Gyalrong Tsa Kho Vonpo Ngawang Drakpa)


Lama (Tib., Skt. guru): A spiritual guide or teacher. Literally: rich of spiritual quality

Scriptures of the Buddha (Tib. Gyal wai sung rab, Kagyur, Tengyur and Sungbum):
Buddhist canon, classical Buddhist literature of Indian and Tibetan masters

Bodhisattva (Skt.): One who possesses Bodhicitta

Liberation (Skt. Mokya): Destruction of all afflictive emotions or delusions, attainment of the state of an Arhat, path of no more learning of the sarvakabuddha and the pratikabuddha

Pleasure of mundane existence: Pleasure directed by attachment to sensual pleasures

Leisure and fortune: Having good facilities and conditions to practice Dharma

Fortunate ones: Those who have met the Dharma and are able to practice

               Renunciation: Authentic intention to leave samsara and reach nirvana

Ocean of existence: (Skt. Samsara, Tib. Khor wa)

Emphasis on appearance of this life: Being concerned with aspects regarding our present life only

Samsara (Skt.): Contaminated aggregates of a sentient being, which since beginningless times have lead to the recurrence of the cycle of death and rebirth under the control of delusion and karma, and have lead sentient beings to be fraught by the sufferings of the six physical/spiritual realms

Emphasis on appearance of future lives: Concern with the aspects regarding future lives in samsara

Aspiration to highest Enlightenment: (Skt. Bodhicitta, Tib. jang chub kyi sem )

Unsurpassable Awaken State: Buddhahood

Bodhicitta (Skt.): Authentic aspiration to reach complete Enlightenment in order to
bring all sentient beings to the state of complete Enlightenment

Four powerful currents: rebirth, aging, sickness and death

Actions (Skt. Karma, Tib. Les): A subtle imprint on the mind stream coming from
previous experiences, giving impulses for mental and physical actions

Apprehending self (Tib. Dag zin): Mistaken view which grasps at a self or an I as being inherently existing

Three sufferings: Suffering of pain, suffering of change, suffering of condition

Mothers: All sentient beings, the most dear ones, those who have benefited us the most

An altruistic intention to become Awaken one: Refers to (Skt. Bodhicitta) in this context

Wisdom: Realisation of Emptiness

Way things are: Empty of existing inherently, ultimate mode of existence of things

Root of Samsara: Ignorance of not seeing the truth, opposite to wisdom

Dependent arising (Tib. ten byung): Mode of being of things and events, existing interdependently

Nirvana: Beyond suffering, end of suffering

Appearance, the infallibility of dependent arising: Conventional reality or conventional truth
Emptiness, the non-assertion: Ultimate reality or ultimate truth

Thought of Buddha Shakyamuni: Non-dual nature of the two truths

View: Ultimate reality

Extreme existence: A view of things exist only inherently or from it’s own side.

Extreme of non-existence: View of things not exist, if not inherently exist.

Emptiness: Suchness of non-inherently existing phenomena

Appearances: Common vision

Extreme views: Nihilistic view and eternality view

The three principle aspects of the paths: Renunciation, Bodhicitta and Wisdom

Enthusiastic perseverance: Joyous effort in the practise of Dharma

Final goal: Complete Enlightenment, Buddhahood

My son: Directly referred to Tsakhowa Ngawang Dakpa, indirectly to all his disciples.

(Translated and added the glossary by Geshe Gedun Tharchin)