Study notes

The Gods and the Demons are not two - A Tantra of the Great Perfection - Experiential notes

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The Gods and the Demons are not two - A Tantra of the Great Perfection - Experiential notes

Motivation

Introducing directly the face of rigpa in itself.
Decide upon one thing, and one thing only.
Confidence directly in the liberation of rising thoughts.[1]

Ordinarily even if a group of people experiences just one event, each person experiences it differently. In this sense: their realisation is influenced by subjective (illusory) tendencies. Pointing this out is a gesture to facilitate the right kind of attention before an exploration of this Tantra.

Kaivalya - Isolation and Liberation are not the same- on integration

The goal is not Kaivalya, the isolation of awareness from activity, as is
the case with Jainism and the Samkhya philosophy, but their reintegration (Skt.
yuganaddha). This is a perspective wherein Dzogchen differs from many other
systems of meditation, which define the goal as the isolation (Skt. kaivalya) of a
passive awareness or consciousness (called variously Skt. purusa, jiva, or
atman) from the play of energy which is the world and nature (Skt. prakrti). In
Dzogchen, Awareness is active just as Buddhahood is active in the world,
although its essence transcends the world.
[…]
Thoughts spontaneously manifest as this directly penetrating
knowledge (ye-shes zang-thal) without any intervening process of transforming
impure karmic vision into pure vision, as is the case with the Tantra system of
practice. Nevertheless, to the outside observer, the mind of the Siddha may look
deceptively like an ordinary mind because very mundane thoughts continue to
arise; but all is not sweetness and light here. The Yogin continues to lust, hunger,
and defecate as long as he is in a physical body, the product of past karma.
Even though the morning sun strikes the glacier, the ice does not melt
immediately; similarly, all the qualities of enlightenment do not immediately
manifest, even though the mind has realized enlightenment. But whereas the
ordinary individual is forever trying to create or suppress thoughts (dgag sgrub)
and so continues to accumulate the energy of the samskaras (unconscious
impulses), the Yogin realizes the liberation of these same thoughts precisely at the
moment when they arise.[2]

To be contemplated. Many traditions refer to different things with the same Sanskrit-words. The instantaneous quality is a hallmark of the Dzogchen tradition, often referred to by the Mirror. Whether Kaivalya can be “integrated” precisely at the moment when [thoughts] arise is the question regarding the True Nature of the Demons and Gods.

Liberation of Sight

The Mirror [Melong] does not discriminate, whether it’s darkness or light. It reflects both equally.
This is instantaneously manifest - non-isolated in spontaneous perfection. There is nothing to
change.

Dzogchen - The Great Perfection - is often translated as the Way Of Light. This builds on an understanding that Clear Light isn’t ordinary light. Ordinary light can be reflected just as light. Clear Light permeates all, darkness and light.

If we do not have a core
In which our positions and preferences
Are liberated into their own place,
The results of the designated meditations we do
Will not reach any conclusion.
We will be like parrots that expound on the Dharma:
We will drink our water with husks.[3]

Prajnaparamita - beyond the intellect


Fudo Myoo artwork by KatLunoeArt

It is difficult to leave the intellect behind.
Those who do not understand what this means Are the majority.[4]

Iconographies of Japanese Buddhas render the sword in the hand of a Dharma protector as a symbol of the intellect: it can be sharp and focused, but it needs the right hands. Seeing beyond the intellect doesn’t mean that one should attempt to avoid all teachings. Neither does it actually discourage using the intellect. It just means that one should be aware in every breath. And not merely with scholastic intelligence, or any limited expression.


  1. tsik sum né dek - Hitting The Essence in Three Words - First Word of Garab Dorje, the first human Dzogchen master ↩︎

  2. Comment by Dudjom Rinpoche in The Golden Letters - The Three Statements of Garab Dorje - translated by John Myrdhin Reynolds ↩︎

  3. Wilkinson, Christopher. The Gods and the Demons Are Not Two: A Tantra of the Great Perfection (p. 12). Unknown. Kindle Edition. ↩︎

  4. Wilkinson, Christopher. The Gods and the Demons Are Not Two: A Tantra of the Great Perfection (p. 7). Unknown. Kindle Edition. ↩︎