Compassion which Focuses upon Things, and upon the Way in Which Beings are Not Even There

Compassion which Focuses upon Things,

            and upon the Way in Which Beings are Not Even There

 

GNYIS PA NI, CHOS LA DMIGS PA DANG DMIGS PA MED PA LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE YANG, DMIGS PA’I SGO NAS GSAL BAR BYA BA’I PHYIR ‘GRO BA ZHES PA GNYIS SMOS SO,,

 

Here is the second part from before—where the author bows down to the form of compassion which focuses upon things, and upon the way in which beings are not even there.  The two sections of the original text which include the words “every living being” are meant to isolate two aspects of compassion, according to their object of focus: the type which is focused upon things, and the way in which beings are not even there.

 

 

[,’GRO BA G-YO BA’I CHU YI NANG GI ZLA BA LTAR,

,G-YO DANG RANG BZHIN NYID KYIS STONG PAR MTHONG BA YI,

,RGYAL BA’I SRAS PO ‘DI YI SEMS GANG ‘GRO BA RNAMS,

,RNAM PAR GROL BAR BYA PHYIR SNYING RJE’I DBANG GYUR ZHING,

,KUN TU BZANG PO’I SMON PAS RAB BSNGOS DGA’ BA LA,

,RAB TU GNAS PA DE NI DANG PO ZHES BYA’O,]

 

From Entering the Middle Way:

 

The one we call the “first” is the one

Where a child of the Victors sees every living creature

As constantly shifting, and empty

Of any nature of their own—

Like the moon reflected in shifting waters;

 

And where their heart becomes a slave

To thoughts of compassion,

Determined to free these beings;

Living in a place of joy,

Dedicating all they do

With the prayer of Perfect Goodness.]

 

 

‘GRO BA RLUNG GIS G-YO BA’I CHU YI NANG GI ZLA BA LTAR G-YO BA STE SKAD CIG GIS ‘JIG PAR MTHONG NAS, DE LA SNYING RJER GYUR PA GANG YIN PA DE LA ‘DUD DO, ,ZHES PA DANG SBYAR BA NI CHOS LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA’O,

 

At this point, Master Chandrakirti is bowing down to the form of compassion which is focused upon things; to relate this to the root text, what he is saying is: “I bow down to that thing which is the compassion where we first see that every living creature is constantly shifting, like the moon reflected in shifting waters (which is to say, coming and going by the instant), and then experience the feelings of compassion.”

 

 

DE BZHIN DU ‘GRO BA CHU’I NANG GI ZLA GZUGS LTAR, RANG BZHIN NYID KYIS GRUB PAR SNANG YANG DES STONG PAR MTHONG NAS, DE LA SNYING RJER GYUR PA LA ‘DUD DO ZHES PA DANG SBYAR BA NI, ,DMIGS PA MED PA’I SNYING RJE LA PHYAG ‘TSAL BA’O,,

 

He is also bowing down to the form of compassion which is focused upon the way in which beings are not even there; to relate this one to the root text, Master Chandrakirti is saying, “I bow down to that thing which is compassion where we first see that every living creature is like an image of the moon reflected in some water (that is, they may seem to exist through some nature of their own, but in fact they are empty of any such nature); and then experience the feelings of compassion.”

 

 

‘GREL PAR ‘GRO BA ZHES PA BZHAG NAS SNYING RJER GYUR GANG DE LA ‘DUD CES GSUNGS PA NI, DMIGS PA ‘OG MA GNYIS LA ‘GRO BA ZHES PA YOD PA LA DGONGS SO,,

 

At this point in the autocommentary,[1] the wording mentions “bowing down to that thing which is compassion,” but passes over “every living creature.”  The idea is that the phrase “every living creature” is assumed in the two subsequent objects of focus.

 

 

‘DI LTAR CHU SHIN TU DVANGS PA [@15b] RLUNG SHIN TU DRAG PO MIN PAS, CHU’I CHA SHAS BRLABS PAS KHYAB PA’I NANG DU ZLA BA’I GZUGS BRNYAN,

 

The picture here is of a crystal-clear body of water covered by ripples created by currents of a wind which is not particularly strong; and in a certain part of the water’s surface we see a reflection of the moon.

 

 

GZUGS BRNYAN LAS SNGAR DMIGS PA’I RTEN GYI YUL CHU DANG LHAN CIG TU, NYE RE RE ‘JIG PA ZLA BA RANG GI DNGOS PO MNGON SUM DU DMIGS PA LTA BUR SHAR BA NA,

 

But rather than appearing to be a reflection, the moon—fluttering in and out of existence as it floats upon the surface of the water, the basis that we focus upon first— seems to be the real thing, standing right there in front of our eyes.

 

 

DAM PA STE SKYE BO TSUL DE LA MKHAS PA DAG GIS SKAD CIG RE RE LA MI RTAG PA DANG, GANG DU SNANG BA’I ZLA BA’I RANG BZHIN GYIS STONG PAR MTHONG NGO,,

 

“Holy ones”[2] though—meaning people who are well versed in how all this works—see that the moon in the water is impermanent, lasting only instant by instant; and that it is empty of having any nature of being the moon which it appears to be.

 

 

DPE DE BZHIN DU BYANG SEMS SNYING RJE’I DBANG DU GYUR PA RNAMS KYIS KYANG, SEMS CAN ‘JIG LTA’I MTSOR DE RGYAS PA’I PHYIR DU ‘BAB PA’I MA RIG PA’I CHU SNGON PO RGYA CHE BA DANG LDAN PA, TSUL MIN YID BYED KYI RNAM RTOG GI RLUNG GIS BSKYOD PA’I NANG NA GNAS PA, NAM KHA’I ZLA BA LTA BU’I RANG GI LAS DKAR NAG GI GZUGS BRNYAN LTA BUR MDUN NA GNAS PA RNAMS,

 

The metaphor holds with those bodhisattvas who are slaves to thoughts of compassion.  They are focusing on living beings who possess vast rivers of ignorance, feeding into an ocean of the view of destruction, swelling it.  These beings exist within waters which are stirred by the winds of their wrong ideas—of how they think of things in the wrong way.  And there in front of them lies the reflection of how they have treated others—right or wrong—like that of the moon in the sky.

 

 

SKAD CIG RE RE LA ‘JIG PA’I ‘DU BYED KYI SDUG BSNGAL THOG TU ‘BAB PA DANG, RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAS STONG PAR MTHONG BA NA, DE RNAMS LA DMIGS NAS SNYING RJE CHEN PO SKYE BAR ‘GYUR TE,

 

In every passing moment of their lives, they are stricken by a special kind of suffering: the fact that certain forces have given them their birth—and so they must in turn be destroyed.  And they are devoid of possessing any nature which is their own.  The bodhisattvas see these beings thus, and in their hearts rises that great compassion which focuses upon them.

 

 

DE YANG SEMS CAN YID DU ‘ONG BA DANG, ‘KHOR BAR ‘KHYAMS PA’I TSUL BSAMS PA LAS SKYE STE SNGAR BSHAD PA BZHIN NO,,

 

This compassion is as well born, as we have already mentioned, from seeing all these beings as beloved, and from thinking about how they are wandering through the cycle of pain.

 

 

‘JIG LTA MA RIG PA YIN KYANG DE LAS MA RIG PA LOGS SU BSHAD PA NI, ‘JIG LTA ‘DREN BYED CHOS KYI BDAG ‘DZIN GYI MA RIG PA LA DGONGS SO,,

 

What we call the “view of destruction” is a kind of misunderstanding, but misunderstanding is traditionally also treated separately.  The idea behind doing this is that what brings on the view of destruction is misunderstanding in the form of grasping to the idea that things could be themselves.

 

 

‘DIR ‘GREL PAR SNYING RJE GSUM RNAM PAS MI ‘BYED PAR DMIGS YUL GYIS ‘BYED PAR GSUNGS PAS,

 

In the Autocommentary[3] we see the statement that compassion is divided up according to the object towards which it focuses, rather than being classified by how we are thinking as we feel it.

 

 

GSUM GA’I [@16a] RNAM PA NI SEMS CAN SDUG BSNGAL DANG ‘BRAL BAR ‘DOD PA’I RNAM PA CAN YIN PAS, SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA YIN PA YANG ‘DRA STE, SNYING RJE DANG PO’I SKABS SU ‘GRO LA SNYING RJER GYUR ZHES GSUNGS LA, PHYI MA GNYIS KYI SKABS SU YANG ‘GRO BA G-YO BA ZHES GSUNGS PAS, SEMS CAN DMIGS PAR BSTAN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

The way we think as we feel this compassion, then, is the same in all three cases: we want living beings to be free of pain.  As such, all three are also the same in that they are focused upon these beings.  This is true in the way in which Entering the Middle Way indicates that living beings are the objects of focus here: in the case of the first form of compassion, the text says “compassion for all beings”—and in the case of the latter two forms it speaks of “every living creature, constantly shifting.”

 

 

DES NA CHOS LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJES NI, SEMS CAN TZAM ZHIG LA DMIGS PA MIN GYI, SKAD CIG GIS ‘JIG PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA YIN PAS, SKAD CIG GI MI RTAG PAS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN DMIGS PA’O,,

 

Thus we can say that the form of compassion which focuses upon things is not just focused upon living beings, but rather upon living beings who are being destroyed moment by moment.  That is, it is focused upon living beings as distinguished by the quality of instantaneous impermanence.

 

 

SEMS CAN SKAD CIG GIS ‘JIG PAR NGES PA NA, RTAG GCIG RANG DBANG CAN GYI SEMS CAN YOD PA BLO NGO DER KHEGS PAS, PHUNG PO LAS NGO BO THA DAD PA’I SEMS CAN MED PA NGES PAR NUS SO,,

 

Once a person comes to a realization of the fact that living beings are being destroyed moment by moment, the idea that a living being could be unchanging, singular, and independent cannot be kept inside their mind.  And then they are capable of realizing there is no living being that exists separate from the parts that make them up.

 

 

DE’I TSE SEMS CAN NI PHUNG PO’I TSOGS TZAM LA BTAGS PAR KHONG DU CHUD PAS, PHUNG SOGS KYI CHOS TZAM LA BTAGS PA’I SEMS CAN DMIGS PAR ‘GRO BAS CHOS LA DMIGS PA ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

At this point, they grasp the fact that living beings are projections overlaid upon nothing more than combination of their parts.  And so when they focus on a living being it turns into focusing on a living being which they see as the result of a projection upon nothing more than certain objects or things, such as the parts of a person.   As such, they are said to be “focusing on things.”

 

 

MI RTAG PA’I SEMS CAN ZHES PA NI MTSON PA TZAM STE, RANG RKYA THUB PA’I RDZAS SU MED PA’I SEMS CAN DMIGS PAR BYED PA LTA BU LA YANG, CHOS LA DMIGS PA ZHES BYA’O,,

 

When we mention a living being here who is “changing,” it’s just one of the examples we could have chosen.  When we take, for instance, a living being who has no substantial existence—in the sense of not being self-standing—as our object of focus, this can also be termed “focusing on things.”

 

 

DES NA CHOS TZAM LA BTAGS PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA LA CHOS LA DMIGS PA ZHES PA NI, BAR GYI TSIG MI MNGON PAR BYED PA’O,,

 

Therefore the expression “focusing on things” is actually a shortened version of the full expression, “focusing on a living being who is the result of a projection upon nothing more than certain objects, or things.”

 

 

DMIGS PA MED [@16b] PA LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJES KYANG SEMS CAN TZAM LA DMIGS PA MIN GYI, DMIGS PA KHYAD PAR BA RANG BZHIN GYIS GRUB PAS STONG PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS SO,,

 

The form of compassion which we say is “focused upon something which is not even there” is another case where we are focused upon something more than a simple living being.  That is, there is a certain distinction in how we focus: we are focusing on a living being that we see as being devoid of existing through any nature of their own.

 

 

DMIGS PA MED PA NI MTSAN ‘DZIN GYIS BZUNG BA LTAR GYI ZHEN YUL MED PA BDEN MED DO,,

 

The expression “something which is not even there” is a reference to the fact that something is not real—in the sense that the thing which we believe is there when we feel that the indicators of a thing are the thing itself could never be there. 

 

 

BDEN MED KYIS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA LA, DMIGS PA MED PA LA DMIGS PA ZHES SAM, DMIGS PA MED PA’I SNYING RJE ZHES BAR GYI TSIG MI MNGON PAR BYAS PA’O,,

 

 

Again this is a shortened way of referring to a particular form of compassion: in this case, we give the name “compassion for something which is not even there” or “compassion which is focused upon something which is not even there” to a compassion which is focused upon a living being while at the same time drawing the distinction that they are something which is unreal.

 

 

BOD KYI t’IK BYED MANG POS SNYING RJE GNYIS PA NYID KYIS SKAD CIG GIS ‘JIG PAR DMIGS PA DANG, SNYING RJE GSUM PA NYID KYIS RANG BZHIN MED PAR DMIGS ZER BA NI, ‘DI DAG GI DMIGS RNAM LEGS PAR MA RTOGS PA’I BSHAD PA STE,

 

Many Tibetan commentators have made the claim that the second form of compassion alone is focused upon how something is being destroyed moment by moment; and that the third form alone is focused upon how something has no nature of its own.  This explanation though reflects a failure to understand clearly what the objects upon which these forms of compassion reflect actually are—and here’s why.

 

 

SNYING RJE GNYIS NI SEMS CAN SDUG BSNGAL DANG ‘BRAL ‘DOD KYI RNAM PA CAN DU KHAS LEN DGOS LA, SKAD CIG MA DANG RANG BZHIN MED PA GNYIS RNAM PA’I YUL DU ‘DOD NA, SNYING RJE GCIG LA ‘DZIN STANGS KYI RNAM PA MI MTHUN PA GNYIS SU ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

First of all, we have to accept the idea that how we think as we feel both these forms of compassion is that we want living beings to be free of suffering.  But if we go on to accept that the two facts of something changing moment by moment, and of lacking any nature of its own, are the objects of our thoughts at this point, then we come up with a single compassion which is entertaining, at the same time, two incompatible ways of thinking about the object it is considering.

 

 

DES NA KHYAD PAR GNYIS KYIS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN SNYING RJE’I DMIGS PAR ‘JOG PA LA, SNYING RJE GNYIS RGYUD LDAN GYI GANG ZAG GIS SEMS CAN SKAD CIG MA DANG, RANG BZHIN MED PAR SNGON DU NGES ZIN PA LA BRTEN NAS KHYAD CHOS GNYIS KYI RNAM PA SHAR BA CIG DGOS KYI, SNYING RJES DE GNYIS SU DMIGS PA MI DGOS SO,,

 

Here then is how we actually have to describe the way in which a living being which we are distinguishing in two different ways can be the object upon which compassion is focusing.  A person who had the two forms of compassion in their mind would have had to realize, at some previous point in time, that living beings were both changing moment by moment, and also lacked any nature of their own.  Based on this realization, they could at some later point focus upon beings with these two distinctions still going on in the back of their mind; but we could not say it was the case that their compassion was focusing on these two distinctions themselves.

 

 

RTZA ‘GREL GNYIS KAR SNYING RJE [@17a] PHYI MA GNYIS LA SNGAR BSHAD PA’I KHYAD PAR GYIS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN DMIGS PAR BSHAD LA, SNYING RJE DANG PO LA DE ‘DRA BA’I KHYAD PAR GYIS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA MIN PAR, SEMS CAN TZAM ZHIG DMIGS PAR GSUNGS PAS,

 

The root text and the Autocommentary both describe the living beings focused upon by the latter two forms of compassion as being distinguished by the features we’ve just mentioned.  The first form of compassion though is not distinguished by such features; thus it is said to focus “on simple living beings.”

 

 

DE LA DGONGS NAS SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE ZHES PA YANG THA SNYAD BDE BA’I PHYIR NYER BSDU’I MING NGO,,

 

It’s with this fact in mind that we speak of “the compassion which focuses on living beings”—this expression is itself a contraction, used for convenience’ sake.

 

 

DES NA SNYING RJE DANG PO ‘DIS RTAG GCIG RANG DBANG CAN GYI SEMS CAN LA DMIGS DGOS PAR ‘DOD PA NI, MI RIGS PAR SMRA BA STE, BDAG MED PA’I LTA BA MA RNYED PA’I RGYUD KYI SNYING RJE LA YANG SEMS CAN TZAM LA DMIGS NAS SKYE BA DU MA YOD PA’I PHYIR DANG,

 

Therefore the assertion that this first form of compassion must be focusing on a living being as one which is unchanging, singular, and independent is mistaken.  First of all, there can be many cases where the compassion which arises in the heart of a person who has yet to reach the viewpoint that things are not themselves is one which focuses on a simple living being.

 

 

GANG ZAG GI BDAG MED THUN MONG BA DANG, DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA RNYED PA’I RGYUD LA YANG, SNGAR BSHAD PA’I KHYAD PAR GNYIS GANG GIS KYANG KHYAD PAR DU MA BYAS PA’I SEMS CAN LA DMIGS PA’I SNYING RJE DU MA YOD PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

And there are also many cases where the compassion which focuses upon living beings—without the two aforementioned distinctions being drawn at all about these beings—can exist in the heart of a person who has reached the general idea of how no person is themselves; and the view of suchness.

 

 

DPER NA BUM PA RTAG PAR ‘DZIN PA’I ZHEN YUL SUN PHYUNGS NAS, MI RTAG PAR KHONG DU CHUD PAS KYANG, BUM PA DMIGS PAR ‘JOG RES KYIS MI RTAG PAS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I BUM PA DMIGS PAR MI ‘JOG PA DU MA ZHIG ‘ONG LA,

 

Consider, for example, a case where someone had been able to prove to themselves that it was impossible for the object that the idea that a water pitcher is unchanging is grasping on to, to actually exist.  There are still though many cases where they could be taking a water pitcher as the object of their focus and not take as the object of this focus a water pitcher which was distinguished by the quality of being changing.

 

 

BUM PA MI RTAG PAR KHONG DU CHUD PAS KYANG, BUM PA DMIGS PAR ‘JOG RES KYIS RTAG PAS KHYAD PAR DU BYAS PA’I BUM PA DMIGS PAR MI ‘JOG PA BZHIN NO,,

 

They would have already understood that the water pitcher was a changing thing, but it is not the case that in every single subsequent instance in which they focused on this pitcher they never thought of it again as something characterized by being unchanging.

 

 

‘DI’I SNYING RJE GSUM NI DMIGS PA GSUM PO GANG LA [@17b] DMIGS KYANG, SEMS CAN THAMS CAD SDUG BSNGAL MTHA’ DAG LAS BSKYAB PAR ‘DOD PA’I RNAM PA CAN YIN PAS, NYAN RANG GI SNYING RJE DANG KHYAD PAR SHIN TU CHE’O,,

 

Regardless of which of the three objects of focus the three forms of compassion described here take at any particular point, they will always be doing so with the thought that they would like to protect every living creature from every pain there is.  As such they are vastly different from the kinds of compassion felt by listeners and self-made buddhas.

 

 

DE ‘DRA BA’I SNYING RJE RNAMS BSKYED PA NA, SEMS CAN GYI DON DU BDAG GIS SANGS RGYAS KYI GO ‘PHANG CI NAS KYANG THOB PAR BYA’O SNYAM PA’I BYANG CHUB KYI SEMS BSKYED PAR ‘GYUR RO,,

 

Once we have been able to develop the kinds of compassion described here, we are then able to go on and reach the Wish for enlightenment, where we think to ourselves: “No matter what, I will attain the state of a Buddha, for the sake of every living being.”

 

 

MCHOD BRJOD YUL DU GYUR PA’I SNYING RJE NI, THOG MA’I SNYING RJE GTZO BO YIN KYANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I SNYING RJE GZHAN RNAMS KYANG YIN PAS NA, SKABS ‘DI RNAMS SU ‘GREL PAS SNYING RJE SKYED PA PO BYANG CHUB SEMS DPAR GSUNGS PA RNAMS KYANG MI ‘GAL LO,,

 

It is the first of the three types of compassion which is main object of the offering of praise; nonetheless, other forms of compassion possessed by bodhisattvas are also included in this object.  As such, references at this point in the Autocommentary which describe the person who reaches the compassion as being a bodhisattva are in no way contradictory.

 

 

‘O NA LAM DU THOG MAR ZHUGS PA’I BYANG SEMS KYI RGYUR GYUR PA’I SNYING RJE DE LA SNYING RJE GSUM GA YOD DAM MED CE NA,

 

“Well then,” one may ask.  “Let’s talk about the compassion which acts as the cause which brings about a bodhisattva who has just entered the paths.  Can it be any one of these three types of compassion?”

 

 

‘DI LA GNYIS LAS THEG CHEN GYI RIGS CAN CHOS KYI RJES ‘BRANG NI, YANG DAG PA’I DE KHO NA NYID SHES PA TSOL BA SNGON DU BTANG STE, DON DAM PA LEGS PAR GTAN LA PHAB PA’I ‘OG TU SEMS CAN LA SNYING RJE CHEN PO BSKYED PA LA BRTEN NAS, SEMS BSKYED CING THUB PA’I BRTUL ZHUGS BYANG SEMS KYI SPYOD PA LA SLOB BO,,

 

There are two possibilities here.  Those who belong to the greater-way type and follow after actual things first engage in a pursuit of the knowledge of the absolute purity of suchness.  Only after they have been able to learn all about the ultimate do they come to great compassion for all living beings.  And then based on this compassion they give birth to the Wish for enlightenment and train themselves in the activities of a bodhisattva—the “rigorous way of life followed by the Able Ones.”

 

 

THEG CHEN GYI RIGS CAN DAD PA’I RJES ‘BRANG NI, SNGON DU DE KHO NA NYID RTOGS PAR MI NUS PAS SEMS BSKYED PA’I ‘OG TU YANG DAG PA’I DON SHES PA TSOL BA LA SOGS PA’I SPYOD PA LA SLOB STE, DBU MA’I RGYAN LAS,

 

Those who belong to the greater-way type and who follow after faith haven’t the capacity to grasp suchness first.  And so they first develop the Wish for enlightenment and then afterwards engage in the various activities, such as the pursuit of a knowledge of the absolute purity of things.  The Jewel of the Middle Way puts it like this:

 

 

,YANG DAG SHES TSOL SNGON BTANG STE,

,DON DAM RNAM PAR NGES GYUR [@18a] NAS,

,LTA NGAN THIBS GNAS ‘JIG RTEN LA,

,SNYING RJE KUN TU BSKYED NAS SU,

 

First they engage in a pursuit

Of the knowledge of absolute purity;

Once they’ve realized the ultimate,

Then all their mistaken views collapse,

And compassion bursts forth in their heart

For all the entire world.

 

 

,’GRO DON BYED PAR DPA’ GYUR PA,

,BYANG CHUB BLO RGYAS MKHAS PA NI,

,BLO DANG SNYING RJES BRGYAN PA YI,

,THUB PA’I BRTUL ZHUGS YANG DAG SPYOD,

 

These wise and intelligent bodhisattvas,

Warriors in the service of others,

Covered in jewels of compassion and knowledge,

Keep then to the rigorous way of life

Followed by the Able Ones.

 

 

,YANG DAG DAD PAS RJES ‘BRANG BA,

,RDZOGS PA’I BYANG CHUB SEMS BSKYED NAS,

,THUB PA’I BRTUL ZHUGS BLANGS BYAS TE,

,DE NI YANG DAG SHES TSOL BRTZON,

 

Those who follow after perfect faith

First reach the Wish for complete enlightenment;

Then they take up those rigors of the Able,

And strive in the pursuit

Of the knowledge of absolute purity.[4]

 

 

ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR YIN PAS SNYING RJE GSUM GA SNGON DU SKYED PA YOD DO,,

 

As these lines are describing, there are cases where all three forms of compassion are developed first.

 

 

SNGON DU DE KHO NA NYID KYI LTA BA RNYED KYANG SPYOD PA LA SLOB PA’I DUS SU YANG, DE KHO NA NYID KYI DON GTAN LA PHAB NAS, DE LA SLOB PA LA ‘GAL BA MED PA TZAM DU MA ZAD TSUL DE NGES PAR BYA DGOS PA YIN NO,,

 

One may, by the way, have previously reached the view of suchness; during the period that one is training oneself in the various activities, though, a person may continue to work out the meaning of suchness further.  In fact it’s not only that this kind of thing is not a contradiction at this point; rather, it is without question necessary during this time.

 

 

DE LTAR MCHOD PAR BRJOD NAS BRTZAM PAR DAM BCA’ BA DNGOS SU MA MDZAD KYANG SKYON MED DE, DBU MA RTZA BA DANG RIGS PA DRUG CU PA BZHIN NO,,

 

It’s not a problem that our author here makes the traditional offering of praise but then undertakes no direct commitment to compose the work afterwards, as can also be traditional.  We can point to similar examples with the foundational verses of Wisdom, and the Sixty Verses as well.[5]

 

 

DE BZHIN DU BRTZAM PAR DAM BCA’ MDZAD NAS, MCHOD BRJOD DNGOS SU MA MDZAD PA BSHES PA’I ‘PHRIN YIG LTA BU YANG YOD DO,,

 

There are also cases where the author makes a commitment to compose the work, and then adds no direct offering of praise; we can take The Letter to a Friend as an example.[6]

 

 

‘ON KYANG DBU MA LA ‘JUG PA RTZOM PAR ‘DOD NAS MCHOD BRJOD MDZAD PA YIN PAS, SHUGS LA NI BRTZAM PAR DAM BCA’ BA YOD DO,,

 

In the case of Entering the Middle Way though we can say that the author has written the offering of praise because he wishes to compose the work; and so the traditional commitment to compose the work may be assumed.



[1] This point in the autocommentary: That is, at folio 223b in our edition (%S3, TD03862).

[2] Holy ones: A continuing reference to the Autocommentary, still at f. 223b.

[3] In the Autocommentary: Still at f. 223b.

[4] First they engage in a pursuit: The lines (as here) are traditionally and apparently universally attributed to the Jewel of the Middle Way, by Master Shantarakshita (%S22, TD03884).  But we can only find them in his autocommentary to the work; see f. 83a of A Commentary to the “Jewel of the Middle Way” (%S23, TD03885).  In our version of this commentary in the Derge edition of the Tengyur, by the way, the phrase “warriors in the service of others” (‘gro-don byed-par dpa’ gyur-pa) appears simply as “people in the service of others” (‘gro-don byed-pa-par gyur-pa).  The two versions would sound almost identical in spoken Tibetan on the debate ground.

[5] “Wisdom” and the “Sixty Verses”: For the former, refer to the offering of praise on f. 1b (%S4, TD03824).  For the latter, also composed by the higher being Nagarjuna, see the offering of praise on f. 20b (%S24, TD03825).

[6] “Letter to a Friend”: See f. 40b of the work, for a promise to compose the work without an offering of praise (%S@, TD04182).