How Listeners and Self-made Buddhas are Born from Enlightened Beings

How Listeners and Self-made Buddhas are Born

from Enlightened Beings

 

DANG PO LA GSUM, NYAN RANG GNYIS THUB DBANG LAS SKYES TSUL DANG, SANGS RGYAS RNAMS BYANG SEMS LAS ‘KHRUNGS TSUL DANG, BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’I RGYU’I GTZO BO GSUM BSTAN PA’O,,

 

The first of these itself we will discuss in three parts: how it is that listeners and self-made buddhas are born from the Lords of the Able; how it is that Buddhas take their holy birth from bodhisattvas; and lastly a description of the three principal causes of a bodhisattva.

 

 

DANG PO NI, YANG DAG PA’I GDAMS NGAG GZHAN LAS NYAN NAS, BSGOMS PA’I ‘BRAS BU NYAN THOS KYI BYANG CHUB THOB PA NA, DON DE GZHAN LA THOS PAR BYED PAS NA NYAN THOS TE,

 

Here is the first.  The word “listener” (Tibetan: nyen-tu) here refers to practitioners who listen (nyen) to the perfect teachings from others; use them to attain, as a goal of their meditation, the enlightenment of the listener (nyen-tu) level; and then impart (tu-par je-pa) these points to others.

 

 

THOS PAR BYED TSUL NI ‘DI LTAR BYA BA BYAS SO, ,’DI LAS SRID PA GZHAN MI SHES SO, ZHES BYA BA LA SOGS PA GSUNG RAB LAS MANG DU ‘BYUNG BA LTAR RO,,

 

How is it that they “impart” these points?  We see many references in scripture which describe it, reflected in statements such as “I have done what I needed to do; I will know no other suffering existence after this one.”[1]

 

 

SGRA BSHAD ‘DI GZUGS MED KHAMS KYI NYAN THOS [@5a] SOGS ‘GA’ ZHIG LA MED KYANG, SKYON MED DE SGRA DNGOS MING DU ‘JUG PA LA SGRA BSHAD PA’I RGYU MTSAN YOD PAS MA KHYAB PA NI,

 

Now it is true that our literal explanation of this term, “listener,” may not apply in certain cases—for example, with listeners who are living in the formless realm.  This though is not a problem, since it need not always be the case that for a term to apply as a main name for something, its literal explanation applies to that thing.

 

 

DPER NA, SKAM LAS SKYES PA’I PAD MA LA MTSO SKYES KYI SGRA DNGOS MING DU ‘JUG PA BZHIN NO,,

 

The name “child of the lake,”[2] for example, is applied as a main name even for a lotus which has grown from dry land.

 

 

YANG NA NYAN THOS KYI SKAD DOD SRA BA KA NI THOS SGROGS LA YANG ‘JUG PA LTAR NA, ‘BRAS BU’I MCHOG GAM SANGS RGYAS SU BGROD PA’I LAM, SANGS RGYAS RNAMS LAS THOS NAS THEG PA CHEN PO’I RIGS CAN LAM DE DON DU GNYER BA RNAMS LA SGROG PAR BYED PAS NA NYAN THOS TE,

 

Moreover, the Sanskrit original for the word “listener” here is shravaka,[3] which can also refer to “someone who spreads what they have heard.”  In this context, a person is said to be a “listener” when they are someone who hears, from the Buddhas, teachings on the path which leads to the highest goal, or enlightenment—and then spreads these teachings to those people who aspire to this path, and who belong to the greater-way class of practitioner.[4]

 

DAM CHOS PAD DKAR LAS,

,MGON PO DE RING BDAG CAG NYAN THOS GYUR,

,BYANG CHUB DAM PA YANG DAG BSGRAG PAR BGYI,

,BYANG CHUB PA YI SGRA YANG RAB TU BRJOD,

,DE BAS BDAG CAG NYAN THOS MI BZAD ‘DRA, ZHES GSUNGS TE

 

As we see in the Holy Teaching of the White Lotus,

 

O Savior, today we have become the listeners,

And we will spread forever this highest enlightenment;

We will sing out this song of enlightenment—

Thus are we your never-ending listeners. [5]

 

 

RGYU MTSAN ‘DI GNYIS BYANG CHUB SEMS DPA’ LA NI NYAN THOS DANG ‘DRA BA’I RGYU MTSAN YIN LA, NYAN THOS RNAMS LA NI THOS SGROGS KYI DON DNGOS SO,,

 

In these two senses, listeners are similar to bodhisattvas; but it is the listeners in which the real connotation of “those who spread what they have heard” is complete.

 

 

KHA CIG RKANG PA GSUM PA LA DAM PA’I SGRA MED PAS BYANG CHUB SNGA MA NI THEG CHEN GYI DANG, PHYI MA NI NYAN THOS KYI BYANG CHUB BO ZHES ZER MOD KYANG,

 

Now we do see those who make the claim that—because the word “highest” is not repeated in the third line of this quotation—the first “enlightenment” mentioned is that of the higher way, whereas the second is that of the listeners.

 

DANG PO NI THEG CHEN GYI BYANG CHUB DANG, GNYIS PA NI BYANG CHUB DER BGROD PA’I LAM LA BYED PA ‘GREL PA’I DGONGS PA’O,,

 

The intent of the commentary though at this point though is that the first refers to the enlightenment of the greater way, and the second to the path which leads to this enlightenment.[6]

 

 

BYANG SEMS RNAMS KYANG SANGS RGYAS KYI LAM SANGS RGYAS LAS THOS NAS, GDUL BYA LA SGROG PAS NYAN THOS SU ‘GYUR RO SNYAM NA,

 

The following question might occur to you: “Bodhisattvas also listen to teachings on the path to Buddhahood from the Buddhas, and spread them to their own disciples; wouldn’t they then also be considered ‘listeners’?”

 

 

NYES PA MED DE LAM DE SGROG PA BYED PA NYID YIN GYI, [@5b] RJES SU MTHUN PA TZAM YANG RANG GIS MI SGRUB PAR BSAMS PA YIN PAS SO,,

 

And yet there’s no such issue.  The idea behind the term “listener” here is that they only spread this path, and fail to actually practice it themselves, in even an approximate way.

 

 

What Is a “Medium Buddha”?

 

SANGS RGYAS ‘BRING ZHES PA’I SANGS RGYAS NI, ‘GREL PAR SANGS RGYAS KYI DE NYID GANG ZAG GSUM CHAR LA ‘JUG STE, ZHES GSUNGS PA’I DON NI, KHA CIG TA TVA BUD DDH’A ZHES PA’I SGRA GANG ZAG GSUM GA LA ‘JUG PAR ‘CHAD PA LTAR LEGS TE,

 

Let’s turn our attention to the expression “medium Buddhas,” found in Master Chandrakirti’s verses here.  The commentary says that “the nature of a Buddha applies to all three levels of practitioner”[7]—let us examine just what this means.  Some have explained it by saying that the Sanskrit term tattva buddha[8] applies to all three, and in my opinion this is a good approach.

 

 

TA TVA NI DE KHO NA NYID DO, ,BUD DHA KHONG DU CHUD PA LA’O, ZHES ‘BYUNG BA LTAR DE NYID RTOGS PA BUD DDHA’I SGRA’I DON DU BYAS PA’I TSE, DON DE GANG ZAG GSUM GA LA YOD PAS, DE NYID RTOGS PA’I SGRAS RANG SANGS RGYAS KYANG BSNYAD CES ZER RGYU YIN PA LA, SANGS RGYAS SU BSGYUR RO,,

 

As they say, “tattva means suchness”; and “buddha means to comprehend.”[9]  Following this, we can take the literal meaning of the word buddha to mean the perception of thusness.  This connotation applies to practitioners of all three levels; and so we can say that the expression “one who perceives thusness” applies to self-made buddhas as well—meaning then that they are buddhas.

 

 

SPYIR BUDDHA’I SGRA SANGS RGYAS LA BSGYUR DU YOD KYANG, SKABS ‘DIR MI ‘TSAM MO, ,BUDDHA’I SGRA NI PAD ‘DAB RGYAS PA DANG, GNYID SAD PA LA YANG ‘JUG PAR BSHAD PAS SANGS RGYAS KHO NA LA BSGYUR MI DGOS SO,,

 

Generally speaking, the word buddha can be translated as Enlightened Being; but the present context is different.  Recall those explanations which say that this term, buddha, can apply as well to the opening of the petals of a lotus; or to awakening from a state of sleep.  As such, it need not always be translated as Enlightened Being.

 

 

‘BRING GI DON NI, RANG RGYAL RNAMS NI BSKAL PA BRGYAR BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES STAN [*BSTEN @Jiki check STEN or BSTEN] PA GONG DU ‘PHEL BA’I KHYAD PAR GYIS, NYAN THOS LAS KHYAD PAR DU ‘PHAGS SHING,

 

How are we to understand the word “medium” here?  The practice of both merit and wisdom by self-made buddhas expands for the length of a hundred eons; and it is this difference which makes them infinitely superior to the listeners.

 

 

BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES KYI TSOGS GNYIS DANG, SEMS CAN THAMS CAD LA DUS THAMS CAD DU ‘JUG PA’I THUGS RJE CHEN PO DANG, RNAM PA THAMS CAD MKHYEN PA SOGS MED PAS RDZOGS PA’I SANGS RGYAS LAS DMAN PAS ‘BRING PO’O,,

 

These self-made buddhas are, though, inferior to fully enlightened Buddhas in that they lack the two accumulations of merit and wisdom; that great compassion which embraces all living beings in all times; omniscience, and other such qualities.  As such we can call them “medium” Buddhas.

 

 

KHA CIG NYAN THOS LAS YE SHES LHAG PA’I DON, GZUNG DON RTOG PA SPONG PHYIR DANG, ZHES GSUNGS PA LTAR YIN ZHES SMRA BA NI

 

Now some have asserted that when we say that the wisdom of the self-made buddhas exceeds that of the listeners, we are following the distinction made in the line which says, “The have eliminated this idea about the objects which are grasped by their perceptions.”[10]

 

 

MI RIGS TE, LUGS [@6a] ‘DIR CHOS THAMS CAD RANG BZHIN MED PAR RTOGS PA NYAN RANG GNYIS KA LA YOD PAR GSUNGS PA’I PHYIR DANG, DE SKAD SMRA BA DES KYANG GRUB MTHA’ DE ‘DOD PAR ‘DUG PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

This though is a mistaken opinion, since it is taught in the current system that both listeners and self-made buddhas possess the realization that nothing has any nature of its own.  In fact, even the person who wrote that line was someone who followed this system.[11]

 

 

DES NA ‘GREL PAR YE SHES GONG DU ‘PHEL BA LHAG PAR GSUNGS LA, GONG DU ‘PHEL BA NI, LAM GYI BGROD PA GONG NAS GONG DU JE BZANG DU ‘GRO BA’O,,

 

Thus it is that the commentary speaks of how “the wisdom, which has expanded,” is something more.[12]  The meaning of “expanded” here is that the journey of these self-made buddhas upon the path has gotten better and better.

 

 

DE YANG BSKAL PA BRGYAR BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES LA GOMS PA LHUR LEN PA YIN GYI, NYAN THOS LTAR LAM LA GOMS PA SRID MI NUS PA MIN PA’O,,

 

This expansion refers to their habituation to the practices of merit and wisdom over the period of these hundred eons; it is not meant to imply that it is not possible that their habituation to the path cannot come in the form that it takes for listeners.

 

 

BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES SPYI LA TSOGS KYI SGRA TZAM ‘JUG PA YOD KYANG, TSOGS KYI SGRA ‘JUG PA’I GTZO BO NI, ‘GREL PA DON GSAL LAS,

 

The word “accumulation,” in only its usual sense, can be used to apply to merit and wisdom in general.  Nonetheless, the primary application of the term is, rather, how we see it described in A Commentary which Clarifies the Meaning:

 

 

YANG DAG PAR ‘GRUB PA’I NGO BOS BYANG CHUB CHEN PO ‘DZIN PAR BYED PA’I PHYIR NA, SNYING RJE CHEN PO LA SOGS PA NI TSOGS YIN PAS,

 

Qualities such as great compassion are considered “accumulated” insofar as the very nature of their proper practice is that they bring one to embrace the great enlightenment.[13]

 

 

ZHES BLA NA MED PA’I BYANG CHUB PHYIN CI MA LOG PAR SGRUB PA’I THABS KYIS, ‘BRAS BUR ‘DZIN PA LA GSUNGS PA LTAR GYI DON TSANG BA’I BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES SO, ,DON DE MA TSANG BA GNYIS NI TSOGS PHAL PA’O,,

 

We can thus say that the principal reference of the word “accumulation” is to merit and wisdom in a form in which the stated elements are complete: where they serve as a method of attaining matchless enlightenment in a way which is flawless, leading one to embrace the final goal.  In any case where these elements are not complete, we can only refer to them as “accumulated” in an ordinary sense of the term.

 

 

‘DI YANG TSOGS KYI SKAD DOD SAm BHA RA LA NGES TSIG GIS BSHAD PA’I DON NO,,

 

This is in fact the meaning of the original Sanskrit word for “accumulation”—sambhara—when it is explained in a literal way.[14]

 

 

BSOD NAMS DANG YE SHES KYI BGROD PA NYAN THOS LAS CHES LHAG PA’I PHYIR, ‘DOD PA KHAMS SU YANG SRID PA THA MA PA’I TSE, SLOB DPON GZHAN GYIS BSTAN PA LA MI LTOS PAR DGRA BCOM PA’I YE SHES SKYED NUS SHING, DE YANG RANG GCIG PU’I PHYIR SANGS RGYAS PA STE [@6b] DGRA BCOM THOB PA DANG THOB PAR BYED PAS NA, RANG SANGS RGYAS ZHES BYA BA RANG BYUNG ZHES KYANG GSUNGS SO,,

 

Why exactly do we refer to them as “self-made buddhas” (or, as is sometimes seen, “the self-born”)?  It is because—in their final incarnation in the desire realm—these practitioners are able to give rise within themselves to the wisdom of an enemy destroyer,[15] without relying upon the teachings of any other master; and because they have either attained or are working to attain “Buddhahood” (here referring to the state of an enemy destroyer), all for themselves.  And all of this is possible precisely because they have journeyed vastly farther in merit and wisdom than the listeners.

 

 

THUB PA’I SGRA NI NYAN RANG DGRA BCOM LA YANG ‘JUG MOD KYANG, THUB PA’I DBANG PO MIN PAS SANGS RGYAS NYID LA THUB PA’I DBANG PO ZHES BYA STE, NYAN RANG DANG BYANG SEMS RNAMS LAS KYANG GONG NA MED PA’I CHOS KYI DBANG PHYUG DAM PA BRNYES PA DANG, GANG ZAG GSUM PO DE SANGS RGYAS KYI BKAS CHOS KYI SRID LA MNGA’ SGYUR BA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Now admittedly the term “able one” can be used with reference to enemy destroyers of both the listener or the self-made buddha type; these practitioners though are not “Lords of the Able,” and so it is only an Enlightened Being to whom we can refer with this expression.  This is because an Enlightened Being has attained an eminent lordship of the teachings which is higher than any of that reached by any listener or self-made buddha—or even by any bodhisattva.  Moreover, practitioners of all three of these types are invested in their power over the kingdom of the teachings precisely by the command of the Enlightened Ones.

 

 

THUB DBANG DE RNAMS LAS NYAN RANG RNAMS SKYES PA NI DE DAG GIS BSKRUN PA’O,,

 

And when we say that the listeners and self-made buddhas are “born” from these Lords of the Able, what we are saying is that these Lords have produced them.

 

 

THUB DBANG GIS NYAN RANG BSKRUN TSUL JI LTAR YIN ZHE NA, SANGS RGYAS ‘JIG RTEN DU BYON PA NA RTEN ‘BREL ZAB MO PHYIN CI MA LOG PAR STON PA LA ‘JUG LA, TSUL DE NYAN RANG GI RIGS CAN RNAMS KYIS NYAN PA DANG, THOS PA’I DON SEMS PA DANG, BSAMS PA’I DON SGOM PAR ‘GYUR LA,

 

One might ask just how it is that the Lords of the Able do this “producing” of the listeners and the self-made.  When an Enlightened Being comes to a planet, they engage in teaching—unerringly—the profound instructions upon dependent creation.  Practitioners who are attracted to the paths of the listener and self-made buddha then listen to these teachings; and contemplate upon what they have heard; and meditate upon the conclusions reached in their contemplations.

 

 

DE ‘DRA BA’I RIM PA LAS KYANG RANG ‘BRAS BU GANG LA MOS PA JI LTA BA BZHIN DU NYAN RANG GNYIS KYI ‘DOD PA RDZOGS PAR ‘GYUR BA’I PHYIR, DE GNYIS THUB DBANG GIS BSKRUN PA’O,,

 

They begin to feel an aspiration towards certain goals of this process—that is, for either the goal of the listener or that of the self-made buddha—and in time their wishes are fulfilled.  And thus it is that we can say that they have been “produced” by the Lords of the Able.

 

 

GAL TE NYAN THOS KYI RIGS CAN MANG POS SANGS RGYAS LAS CHOS THOS PA’I TSE DE NYID LA BYANG CHUB MNGON DU BYED KYANG, RANG RGYAL GYI RIGS CAN RNAMS KYIS TSE DE NYID LA RANG GI BYANG CHUB MNGON DU MI BYED PAS, DE DAG GIS THUB PAS GSUNGS PA’I DON LA THOS BSAM SGOM GSUM BYAS PAS RANG GI ‘DOD PA RDZOGS PA MI ‘THAD DO SNYAM NA,

 

The following question might then occur to a person:

 

A great many practitioners of the listener type listen to teachings from the Buddhas, and then in that same life attain their enlightenment.  Those of the self-made buddha type though fail to reach their enlightenment in that same life;[16] and so it is incorrect to characterize them as having employed the three-fold process of learning, contemplation, and meditation upon what the Able Ones have said to them, and thus fulfilled their particular wishes.

 

 

SKYON MED DE, GAL TE RANG RGYAL GYI RIGS CAN KHA CIG ,STON PAS [@7a]

RTEN ‘BREL GSUNGS PA NYAN PA KHO NA LAS, DON DAM PA RTOGS PA LA MKHAS PA BYUNG YANG, CHOS THOS PA’I MTHONG CHOS KYI SKYE BA DE KHO NA LA, RANG RGYAL GYI MYANG ‘DAS MI ‘THOB MOD KYANG,

 

This though is not an issue.  It is admittedly the case that certain practitioners of the self-made buddha type might only listen to instructions granted by the Teacher upon dependent creation, and thus attain some mastery in the perception of the ultimate—but still fail to attain the nirvana of a self-made buddha in nothing more than the lifetime in which they heard the teaching, as what we refer to as “something seen in the same life.”

 

 

SANGS RGYAS KYIS RTEN ‘BREL BSTAN PA’I RANG RGYAL GYI SGRUB PA POS, MYONG NGES KYI LAS BSAGS PAS LAS SOG PA’I TSE DE NYID LA ‘BRAS BU MA MYONG YANG, SKYE BA GZHAN DU NGES PAR MYONG BA LTAR,

 

Nonetheless, a practitioner of the self-made buddha type who receives teachings on dependent creation from an Enlightened Being collects karma of the kind which is “certain to be experienced”; and so even though they may not experience the attainment of the goal in the very same life in which they collected this karma, it is certain that they will have this experience in another lifetime.

 

 

TSE ‘DIR MYANG ‘DAS MA THOB KYANG, TSE RABS GZHAN DU NGES PA KHO NAR MYANG ‘DAS ‘THOB PA’I PHYIR DANG, SNGAR SANGS RGYAS KYIS CHOS BSTAN PA LA NYAN BSAM BSGOM GSUM BYAS PAS, ‘DOD PA RDZOGS PAR BSHAD PA NI TSE DE KHO NA LA BSAMS NAS BSHAD PA MIN PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Just so, it is totally certain that these practitioners will attain nirvana in one of their lifetimes to come, even if they do not achieve it in this particular life.  And when we say that they go through the three-fold process of learning, contemplating, and meditating upon the teachings that they have received previously from Enlightened Beings—and thus see their wishes fulfilled—it is not the case that we are speaking of all this having occurred only in that one particular life.

 

 

DE LTAR YANG BZHI BRGYA PA LAS,

,DE NYID SHES PAS GAL TE ‘DIR,

,MYA NGAN ‘DAS PA MA THOB KYANG,

,SKYE BA GZHAN DU ‘BAD MED PAR,

,NGES PAR THOB ‘GYUR LAS BZHIN NO,

ZHES DANG,

 

The 400 Verses concurs when it says,

 

Once a person has known suchness,

Then—even if they fail to attain

Nirvana here and now—

They are certain to attain it effortlessly

Within another life; it’s like

The case with that kind of karma.[17]

 

 

DBU MA LAS KYANG,

,RDZOGS SANGS RGYAS RNAMS MA BYUNG ZHING,

,NYAN THOS RNAMS KYANG ZAD PA NA,

,RANG SANGS RGYAS KYI YE SHES NI,

,RTEN PA MED PAR RAB TU ‘BYUNG,

,ZHES GSUNGS SO,,

 

The Middle Way states as well,

 

Fully enlightened Buddhas

May be yet to come,

And all the listeners

May be already gone,

 

But the wisdom

Of a self-made buddha

Will still rise forth,

Depending on no one.[18]

 

 

‘GREL PAR GAL TE YANG KHA CIG CES SOGS KYI DON LA, ,KHA CIG RTEN ‘BREL BSTAN YANG NYAN THOS LA SOGS PA’I GO ‘PHANG MA THOB PA SNANG BAS, RTEN ‘BREL BSTAN PAS NYAN THOS LA SOGS PA RNAMS YONGS SU RDZOGS PAR MI ‘GYUR RO, ZHES PA’I LAN BSTAN PAR ‘DOD PA [@7b] DANG,

 

Some people have stated that the lines in The Commentary which include “Now it is admittedly the case that some practitioners…”[19] are meant to express an answer to some people who say, “We can see cases where practitioners are taught dependent creation, but still fail to attain the state of a listener or whatever else the case may be.  As such it cannot be said that listeners and the rest are fulfilled through receiving teachings on dependent creation.”

 

 

GZHAN DAG RTEN ‘BREL SKYE MED KYI DON NYAMS SU BLANGS MA THAG TU ‘BRAS BU DE ‘BYUNG RIGS PA LAS, DE MED PAS NA, PHYIS KYANG ‘BRAS BU DE MI SKYED DO ZHES PA’I LAN STON PAR ‘CHAD PA NI,

 

Others have explained this section as expressing a reply to someone asserting that “It would make sense if these practitioners reached their particular goal immediately after putting into practice the teachings on dependent creation, in the sense of nothing in the world ever starting.  And yet they do not; and so neither do they make these goals come about later.”

 

 

SKABS KYI DON MA RTOGS PA’I BSHAD PA STE, THUB DBANG GIS RANG RGYAL BSKRUN TSUL LA DOGS PA CHE BAS DE LA DMIGS KYIS BKAR NAS, DOGS PA GCAD DGOS PA MA BCAD PAR ‘DUG PA’I PHYIR RO,,

 

Both of these explanations though reflect a failure to grasp the point of the context of the work at this particular juncture.  The idea is that serious questions could arise in a reader’s mind about just how it is that the Lords of the Able produce self-made buddhas; and so this question needs to be isolated and resolved—whereas those proposed treatments of the section fail to offer such a resolution.


[1] I have done what I needed to do…:  A common phrase found in the teachings of the Buddha himself, where disciples who have listened to and followed his advices have reached their goal.  See for example multiple uses of the phrase in Part Two of The Foundation of Assorted Topics of Vowed Morality (Vinaya Kudraka Vastu, or ‘Dul-ba phran-tsegs kyi gzhi, KL00006-2), at ff. 39a, 304b, 364b, and 492a-b.

[2] Child of the lake: Tibetan, mtso-skyes; Sanskrit, saroja; a common poeticism for the lotus.

[3] Shravaka: Sanskrit śrāvaka {note on this edition as far as the sra; Kumbum says shra ba ka; ACIP original says sra ba ka; @jiki check scans}

[4] The highest goal: In much of this immediate section, Je Tsongkapa intertwines material from the Autocommentary; see f. 221a, entry %S3, TD03862.

[5] Your never-ending listeners: See f. 72a, entry %S11, KL00113—which is one of the sutras commonly referred to as The Lotus Sutra.

[6] Intent of the commentary: That is, the Autocommentary, at f. 221a, entry @S3, TD03862.

[7] The nature of a Buddha: The Autocommentary, at f. 221a, entry @S3, TD03862.  The actual wording in our reference edition is: sangs-rgyas kyi de-nyid nyan-thos dang rang-sangs-rgyas dang bla-na med-pa yang-dag-par rdzogs-pa’i sangs-rgyas gsum-car la yang ‘jug ste.

[8] Tattva buddha: All three editions of Je Tsongkapa’s text give the spelling as tatva buddha, the tatva being a universal variant by time of the native Tibetan commentarial tradition; whereas tattva is much more common for example in the titles of works in the Tengyur rendered in the Tibetan transcription of Sanskrit.  Bodhisattva for example is given universally as bodhisatva in both cases.  Whitney, in his incomparable Sanskrit Grammar, points out that both treatments of tva following a vowel are traditionally permissible (section 232a, p. 80, @E1, ACIP R00011).

[9] Buddha means to comprehend: The latter of the two correlations is found verbatim in the Tengyur, in The Compendium of Sanskrit Roots (f. 76a, @S7, ACIP TD04277), except that the buddha is rendered as budha {@Jiki check}.  The former sounds as though it must come from the same work, but we haven’t yet located it there.  The point it makes though is repeated in the same section of the Kangyur (Works on the Study of Sanskrit) a number of times; see for example A Clarification of the Categories of Grammar, a Commentary upon “The Proclamation of the Lady of Song,” a Major Treatise upon the Construction of Sanskrit, ff. 32b, 115a and 35b (this folio in fact includes a treatment of tattva buddha) (@S8, ACIP TD04298); as well as The Source of Jewels, a Book of Composition, f. 356a (@S9, ACIP TD04303).

[10] This idea about objects which are grasped: A well-known line from the Ornament of Realizations, by Lord Maitreya and Arya Asanga, explaining the distinction between practitioners of the three levels in terms of the subtlety of their realizations of selflessness (f. 5a, @S10, ACI TD03786.

[11] Person who wrote that line: I.e., Lord Maitreya, and by extension Arya Asanga.

[12] The wisdom is something more: See the Autocommentary, f. 221a.

[13]Embrace the great enlightenment: See f. 91a of Master Haribhadra’s renowned Commentary to “The Ornament of Realizations, a Book of Advices upon the Perfection of Wisdom,” commonly referred to as A Commentary which Clarifies the Meaning (%S12, ACIP TD03793).

[14] The original Sanskrit word: All three editions of Illumination give the same spelling, sabhara; the spelling now current is sambhāra.  The root here is bh, which as Whitney (in his invaluable Roots, Verb-Forms, and Primary Derivatives of the Sanskrit Language, p. 114) notes most often has the connotation of to bear—while the Tengyur lexicons will commonly describe it as ‘dzin-pa, or to hold (see for example f. 169a of Master Anubhutisvarupa’s Clarification of the Categories of Grammar, %S8, TD04289).  This verb plays prominently in the current discussion, as the word embrace; thus Je Rinpoche’s comment about the literal explanation of the Sanskrit.

[15] Enemy destroyer: Sanskrit, arhat: One who has permanently destroyed the enemy of negative emotions, and thus reached nirvana.

[16] Fail in that same life: Since, as already described, they reach their enlightenment in a lifetime in which they do not rely upon the instructions of another master.

[17] Nirvana here and now: See f. 10a of Master Aryadeva’s classic on emptiness (%S13, ACIP TD03846).  Our reference edition of the text, incidentally, reads “in the next life” (skye-ba phyi-mar) rather than “within another life” (skye-ba gzhan du).

[18] Depending on no one: See f. 11a of Arya Nagarjuna’s Wisdom (%S4, TD03824).  Our reference edition of the text reads “the wisdom…pours forth, even without a teacher” (ston-pa med las rab tu skye) rather than “will still rise forth, depending on no one” (rten-pa med-par rab tu ‘byung).  All three editions of Illumination give the latter rendering; the corresponding Sanskrit is @Jiki get Skt edition & check.

[19] It is admittedly the case: Here is the section of the Autocommentary in question: “Now it is admittedly the case that some practitioners who only listen to a teaching on how things are created in dependence might become masters in perceiving the ultimate, and yet still fail to attain nirvana in the life which they are presently experiencing.  Nonetheless, those practitioners who do receive such teachings will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, see the fruits they so ardently hope for ripen in other, future lives—in the same way that certain karmas are sure to produce a specific future result” (%S3, TD03862, ff. 220b-221a).