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The Eight Doha Treasures A text that clearly teaches the Mahmudr instructions

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Page 1: Doha Treasures

The Eight Doha Treasures

A text that clearly teaches the Mahmudr instructions

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Introduction………………………………………………………………….…..…… i

The Mahmudr Instructions entitled ‘The Doha Treasure’

Author: Saraha [or avara?]

Translator: Vairocanarakita ………………………………………………………… 1

The Doha Treasure

Author: Virupa

Translator: Vairocanarakita ………………………………………………………… 14

The Doha Treasure

Author: Tilopa

Translator: Vairocanarakita ………………………………………………………… 23

The Doha Treasure

Author: Kapa

Translator: Vairocanarakita ………………………………………………………… 26

The Doha Song of the View Meditation Conduct and Result

Author: Maitripa [or Saraha?]

Translator: Mar-pa Chos-kyi Blo-gros………………………………………………… 30

Mahmudr Instructions

Author: Tilopa

Translator: Mar-pa Chos-kyi Blo-gros………………………………………………… 31

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Summary of the View

Author: Naropa (Jñnasiddhi)

Translator: Mar-pa Chos-kyi Blo-gros………………………………………………… 40

Mahmudr in Brief

Author: Maitripa

Translator: Mar-pa Chos-kyi Blo-gros………………………………………………… 47

Colophon and notes………………….………………………………………………… 50

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The Doha

Poetry written in Sanskrit and related languages in India, employ various kinds of

verse and meter. Unlike Tibetan, which only counts the number of syllables per line,

Sanskrit uses a meter based on patterns of long and short syllables. The Doha verse is a

form, based on two lines, a couplet; its most famous example being the poetry of Kabir in

which each doha, or couplet, was an independent separate work. This is a form of verse

associated with the later centuries of the first millennium, and is used in the late middle

Indic and early late Indic languages that have Vedic Sanskrit as their ancestor. Do means

two and is derived from the Sanskrit dva. Tibetan pronunciation of Sanskrit reflects north

Indian dialects from the beginning of the second millennium. The word dva in a mantra

would be pronounced do. Indian languages were written in a form that reflected the

phonetics. In this case the Tibetan has left doha untranslated, as there is no Tibetan

equivalent for the word. However, the general word for a spiritual song in Tibetan is

mgur, and as these songs are generally referred to in Tibetan as being mgur, there has

been an inaccurate back translation of all instances of mgur as doha.

The text

This is a compilation of eight mahmudr songs that are to be found within the

bsTan-‘gyur, with a minimal commentary that divides some of the songs into themed

parts. This edition was made at Rumtek, during the sixties or seventies, under the

auspices of the sixteenth Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpay Dorje (1924-1981),whose seat in

exile it was. It is based on an earlier block, of un as yet unknown date. There are some

errors in this text, in the succession of subdivisions and possibly in the attribution of

authorship, which may not be in the original blockprint, which was carved by one

Lethang Tshedon; Lethang is surely synonymous with Lithang, the province within

Kham; this degree of variation in place-names is quite common as they were not as

standardised as they are at present. This was carved within the mobile tent monastery of a

Karmapa. This large nomadic monastery, complete with its own army was a distinctive

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feature of the Karmapas, and even gave rise to one of the principal traditions of Tibetan

painting Karma Gardri ‘Karma-camp art’. If he is an important figure in the Karma

Kagyu, it should be possible to identify him.

The TBRC has another edition of this text, which was published by the Kargyu

Sungrab Nyamso Khang in Darjeeling, either in the late seventies or early eighties. It is a

reproduction of the rTsib-ri edition, an important centre for publication in the first half of

the twentieth century, and its productions were usually of a higher quality. The rTsib-ri

block was carved between 1934 and 1958. Apparently its colophon identifies the original

compiler of this text as La-dwags Khrid-dpon ‘Khrul-zhig Padma Chos-rgyal.

I am awaiting critical editions of the dohas as they appear in the various editions

of the bstan-‘gyur. None f these works appear under these titles in the bsTan-‘gyur.

The Authors




Tilopa (also written as Telopa, Tailopa and Tillipa), whose formal name was

Prajñbhadra, is viewed as the initial source for the lineages of all the bKa’-brgyud

schools. He was from the Bengal region of India and lived during the tenth century. His

traditional dates as given in the Tibetan sixty-year cycle, are “earth-ox” to “earth-bird”,

which would have to be 928-1009. However, dates given for the earlier masters in the

bKa’-brgyud lineage are uncertain. Tilopa was an eclecticist who taught a number of

tantric traditions that had emerged in the latter centuries of the first millennium, such as

Cakrasavara and Hevajra. , traditionally, Tilopa is described as a solitary dark-skinned

wanderer with bulging eyes and long-matted hair, who frequented the charnel-grounds.

He is said to have been a monk who gave up the monastic life to live an overt tantric life

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during which he is said to have chained himself into the meditation posture for twelve

years. Iconographically, he is portrayed wearing the charnel ground costume of

“jewellery” made of human-bone, as do the deities in his practices. His songs are in an

early form of Bengali.


Nropa/ Jñnasiddhi

Tilopa’s successor in the bKa’-brgyud lineage is said to be Nropa from Kamir,

who is the receppient and transmitter of of his dohas.. His traditional dates are given as

fire-dragon to iron dragon, which would be 956-1040. Atia arrived in Tibet in 1042,

bringing with him relics from the recent cremation of Nropa. The stpa containing these

relics still survives in Nethang Temple south of Lhasa. He is said to have undergone a

series of twelve gruelling hardships under Tilopa, such as jumping off a building, from

which he would have died if not for Tilopa’s miraculous healing powers. Fllowing this

period in his life, he became a great scholar and author at Nlnd monastery, before

eventually retiring to his hermitage of Pulahari to the north of Nlnd. Later versions of

his life, make him a scholar first and a pupil of Tilopa afterwards, reflecting a view that

maintains the supremacy of meditation over scholarship.

The colophon of the Nropa song calls it a summary of Naropa’s views, gives

Jñnasiddhi in transliteration as the name of the author and makes no attempt to make

clear that this is in fact Nropa’s Dharma name. There are songs attributed ti Mar-pa in

which he addresses Nropa solely by this name. There is no other Buddhist master who

could be identified as the author.


According to the tradition of his pupil Vajrapani, he was brn in the year of the

dog, while the tradition drevied from Vajrapani’s pupil Asu says that he was born in the

year of the sheep. Roerich in The Blue Annals, decided these years were 1107 or 1110,

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and these dates have been repeated in other works. However, these dates seem to be too

late. His most important pupil in the transmission of Mahmudr to Tibet was the above

mentioned Vajrapi, whose birth year is more specifically recorded as being the fire-

snake, which wuld have to be 1017. He was brought to Maitripa by his elder brother who

was already a pupil of Maitripa as an established master, and he already defeated antipa

in debate. The years of his birth may therefore be 1083 or 1086, 1071 or 1074. He is said

to have died in his seventy-eighth year. However, he outlived Nropa, who had died in

1040. Therefore we are looking at 1083-1060 or 1086-1063 (1071- 1048 and 1074-1051

are probably too early).

Maitripa holder of the lineage of avaripa; he was a great scholar and had many

important pupils and a wide range of mahmudr instructions. A number of lineages

derived from Maitripa’s pupils entered Tibet, particularly those of Vajrapi (born 1017)

Atia, Tipupa, Marpa, Vairocanarakita, Karopa (who was previously a pupil of antipa

and Kapa and had been a scholar monk at Vikramala, and was ).

The Translators


He was a twelfth century Paita, originally from south India, who studied in

north India under a number of masters, the most famous being Abhayakaragupta the

greatest Buddhist master of his time.

His principal teacher for mahmudr wasthe great scholar and yogin Surapla at

Nland, who taught him ‘The Twenty-six teachings of Amanasi (no mental activity)”

[amanasi skor nyer-drug, all twenty-six texts are in the bstan-‘gyur), the mahamudra

dohas, four of which are compiled in this text as translated by him, and Maitripa’s

tradition of Mahamudr.

Vairocanarakita was a master of mahmudra as well as other tantras, and he

visited Tibet a number of times and died there. He made these translations on his own at a

place named rGyal in the Phen-yul district of central Tibet. There is a mahmudr text by

him in the bstan-‘gyur: Shes-rab Ye-shes gsal-ba Prajñ-jñana-prakaa.

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His pupils in Tibet are said to have included Bla-ma Zhang (1123-93) and Gyi-jo

Zla-ba’i ‘O-zer (1123-82), who was the son of Khon-pu-ba (1069-1144) and therefore a

nephew of Ma-cig Zhwa-ma.1

He also taught sKor-Nirupa in sNye-thang (the site of Atia’s temple and Nrpa’s

stpa just suth f lHa-sa) (see below), from whm comes the later traditin of mahamudra

Marpa Chos-kyi Blo-gros.

The famous source of the bKa’-brgyud lineage, his life is primarily known from

legendary versions. The dates for his life are uncertain. However, he was born towards

the beginning of the eleventh century, probably around 1110. He went to Nepal and India

in his mid-teens, and spent many years there with Nropa on his first visit. On his second

visit, made in his late twenties, Nropa had given up teaching and maintained a complete

silence, and therefore he was unable to receive any more instructions from him during the

year he spent in his community. He subsequently studied with other masters, such as

Maitripa, and received mahmudr instruction from him, so that the bKa’-brgyud-pa

mahmudr lineage extends back not through Nropa, but through Maitripa. He probably

passed away in the 1090’s.

The Introduction of Mahmudr into Tibet

The early period

Atia Dipakra (982-1054) studied mahmudr under Maitripa. He arrived in

Tibet in 1042 and stayed there until his death twelve years later at the age of seventy-two.

Though taught the mahmudr to his pupil ‘Brom-ston (1004-1063), who translated the

text Jñnasiddhi (Tibetan: Yes-shes Grub-pa), which is in the bsTan-‘gyur. However,

‘Brom-ston decided against making the mahmudr a part of the bKa’-gdams-pa

tradition which he founded.

1 The Blue Annals, trans. George Roerich; 844-7.

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Mar-pa Chos- kyi Blo-gros,

Mar-pa’s tradition is classed as the Zur-‘gyur ‘subsidiary translation’. There are

so many variations of Mar-pa’s life story that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact years of

his birth, his death or the number of his visits to India. However, he was born towards the

beginning of the eleventh century, probably around 1110. He went to Nepal and India in

his mid-teens, and spent many years there with Nropa. Following Nropa’s death in

1040, he studied with other teachers, in particular Maitripa, from whom he learned the

mahmudr meditation, so that the principal bKa’-brgyud-pa mahmudr lineage extends

back not through Nropa, but through Maitripa.

Then Vairocanarakita (see above)

sKor Nirupa. (1062-1102)

Nirpa (1008-1081) was said to have been the principal pupil of Karopa, a pupil

of Maitripa (see above); in his seventy-fourth year, in 1081 was said to have transferred

his consciousness into the body of a young Tibetan named sKor (1062-1102) who had

just died on a visit to Nepal, through the use of the prapravea practice. His old body

was cremated and he went to Tibet in his new one. Though now a Tibetan, on his return

to Tibet he at first wore the clothes of an Indian, In Tibet, sKor met his guru Karopa and

his wife on their brief visit there. paita. He taught for twenty-one years, dying in 1102

in his forty-first year

The intermediate period

The stod-lugs was taught by Vajrapi, who settled in the Kathmandu valley to

teach there in 1066. There he taught many Tibetans a range of texts, including the doahas

and the teachings of Maitripa, such as the Sekanirdea (dbang-nges), and those of the

toher three main pupils of Maitripa and his fellow pupils Sahajavajra’s Tattvadaatik,

and Rmapla’s Caturmudrnicaya and Devakaracandra (aka nyatsamadhi)’s

Sekanirdeapñjik) and his own texts. He was invited to Tibet, where he went with his

pupil the ne yeed Kmiri Dharmar, gave many teachings in gTsang.

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Vajrapani’s teaching also included a method which used a hundred and seventy-

five pebbles together with the three dohas of Saraha

The sMad-lugs taught by his pupil Asu

Asu was Nepalese from a padita family, where he became a pupil of Vajrapani,

and then, it seems in the beginning of the twelfth century, probably after Vajrapani’s

demise, he went to live permanently in Tibet, he went to stay at Sum-phreng in ‘Phan-

yul. Where he married a Tibetan woman. He taught the mahamudra to Ras-chung-pa

1084-1161, but also he had a family line of mahamudra teaching through two of his four

sons. As well as many pupils.

Next Ras-chung-pa

Later period

Last Nag-po Sher-dad.

A pupil of Vajrapani in his old age in east India from whom he obtained the

dohakosa nma caryagti tg. 2224 and other texts. Which from the phyag rgya chen po’i

chos bcu. He was alsoa pupil of ’Gos lotsawa. He was poisoned. Both he and sKor taught

blama so

The lineage of grub-snying and the 26 amanasi and grub-snying nly existed as

lung by 15th century

Also Grub-pa sde-bdun 2217-2223

Tattvadaaka 2232 tattvadakaka 2254

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The Mahmudr Instructions entitled ‘The Doha Treasure’

[by avara Saraha]

In Indian: Doha-ganma mahmudra upadea2

In Tibetan: Do-ha mdzod ces bya-ba phyag-rgya chen-po’i man-ngag

I pay homage to r Vajraki3

I pay homage to innate wisdom [the dharmakya]4 and great bliss.

There are three parts to this text:5

1. The Mahmudr true nature.6

2. The practice of Mahmudr.

3. The liberation of Mahmudr.

2 This title (which needs to be checked in other editions) appears to be in a late middle

Indic language, often encountered in mantras, and in which the ubiquitous rules ofsandhi (euphonic combination) are not applied. Actually ganama, appears to meana collection rather than a treasure. One wuld expect Dvadha-koa-mahmudropadea . I have to check the bstan-‘gyur. In the bstan’gyur the title isDoha-koa-mahmudra-upadea . I just noticed that a mantra O padmoia-vimale h pha, although wirttne I that way in the lentsa script, is transliteratedas padmo-uia, partially breaking up the sandhi. But this may reflect an Indianlanguage where sandhi was no lnger applied.

3 The homages at the beginning of the dohas, unlike other texts in the bsTan-‘gyur, areprobably a part of the original song and not necessarily an addition by thetranslator

4 Left out of the Rumtek edition, it is in the bsTan-‘gyur.5 The attempt to divide the text into categories ends in complete confusion, as we shall

see below. A third main part is never given. In the translation, for the sake ofclarity, the categories are arranged together as lists.

6 gNas-lugs.

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The Mahmudr true nature.

This is in three parts:

1.1. The manner in which [the Mahmudr] is present.

1.2. Beings are deluded because they have not realised the truth7 [of Mahmudr].

1.3. The realisation of avara.8

The animate and the inanimate, the mobile and the immobile,

Things and nothing, appearance and emptiness,9

Everything, without exception, throughout all time,

Never deviate from the nature of space.

You can repeat, “Space!” “Space!” but still

The essence of space has no reality whatsoever;

It transcends being an object that can be said10 to exist, to not exist,

To neither exist nor not exist, or to be something other than that.

Thus, there isn’t the slightest difference

Between ‘space’, ‘mind’ and ‘the truth’;

These are just separate, incidental terms,

They are nothing but meaningless, false words.

7 De-nyid, which was a literal translation into Tibetan from tattva.8 Ri-khrod-pa (‘Mountain-man) is the Tibetan translation for avara. However that word

has no specific etymology; in India this term refers to tribal peoples. It meansthose who live in the mountain forests outside of civilization. This self-referenceseems to identify the author as the siddha named avarapda [Tibetan: Sha-wa-ri-pa]. The song was already a few centuries old when it was translated. See also thedoha attributed to Maitripa, which may be by Saraha.

9 The first two lines are in the reverse order in the bstan-‘gyur text.10 Rumtek mtshon pa; bstan-gyur: mtshan pa. “It transcends being a conceptual object

that exists, does not exist/ neither exists nor not exists, or is something other thanthat.”

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All phenomena are ones own mind.

There is not even a particle of phenomena that is other than mind;

The one who realises the primordial non-existence of mind

Attains the sacred realisation of the victors of the three times,

It is perfectly named ‘the Casket of the Dharma’11

It is not a Dharma that is anything other than12

The nature that is primordially13 innate.14

Its truth is not something that can be taught;

It cannot be described, so no one can understand it.

To say it has a possessor would be a mistake,

For how could there be [a possessor] in primordial selflessness?

If the mind exists, then all phenomena would exist.

If the mind does not exist, who would realise the Dharma?

That which appears as mind and phenomena,

If one seeks it, it will not be found, and there is no seeker15 anywhere.

It is non-existent, throughout the three times it is unborn and unceasing.

It does not become anything else.

It is the ultimate state of great bliss.

11 Dharma-karaa; Chos kyi za-ma-tog.12 Rumtek log-pa’i; bstan-‘gyur: log-pa’i. “It is not another mistaken Dharma”.13 Rumtek: gdod nas; bstan-‘gyur: gzod nas. Same meaning, though Rumtek has adopted

the more common term; the bstan-‘gyur text is therefore the original, as changesalmost always go towards a more familiar term.

14 lHan-cig skyes-pa; sahaja (literally ‘born together’; the Tibetan is a literal translation)15 Rumtek: ‘tshol-mkhan gang na’ang med; bstan-‘gyur: tshol-mkhan gong nas med.

‘tshol and tshol same meaning. The Rumtek version is the correct spelling.Seeker has nit existed from before” The bstan-gyur version appears to be corrupt.

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Therefore, all appearances are the dharmakya,

All beings are buddhas,

All composite actions are the primordial dharmadhu,

All nominal16 phenomena are like a rabbit’s horns.17

1.2. Beings are deluded because they have not realised the truth [of Mahmudr].


Although the cloudless sun’s light rays are all pervading,

Darkness appears constantly18 to the blind.

Although the innate is all pervading,

The ignorant are very far from it.

Because beings have not realised the non-existence of the mind

Their analysing19 mind binds the mind.

Just as the insane are possessed by demons

And powerlessly experience meaningless suffering,20

Beings21 possessed by the great demon of conceptualisation and belief in reality,

Create nothing but meaningless suffering.

There are some, ignorant, who bind [themselves] with intellectual classifications;

They leave the master at home and seek him elsewhere.22

16 The text has brtags, which I am assuming for the moment, until I check other editions,

is in error for btags. Yes, the bstan-gyur has btags. brTags would mean‘examined’.

17 Bstan-‘gyur has ra in error for rwa.18 Rumtek rtag tu; bstan-gyur: rnams la, which is clearly an error: ‘appear as the

darknessess to the blind’19 Rumtek brtags; bstan-gyur: btags: ‘the nominal mind’20 Rumtek du kha; bstan-gyur: sduug-bsngal: the frmer a transliteration, the latter a

translation.21 Rumtek skye bos; bstan-gyur: skye bo: the latter is an error as it has dropped the

instrumental suffix.

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Some believe reflections to be real objects,23

Some ignore the root and cut the leaves,

Whatever they do,24 they are not aware that they are deceived.

1.3. The realisation of avara.

Hey ho!

Even though these infants25 don’t know the truth

I understand that they are never apart26 from the truth.

I know my27 beginning and my end.

I have seen myself, I alone am left.28

I look at that aloneness29 and I see nothing.

As there is no seer or seen, it is indescribable.

As it is indescribable,30 who can understand it?

22 Rumtek ‘tshol; bstan-gyur: tshol: the latter is in error.23 Rumtek don; bstan-gyur: gdon: the latter is a mistake, it would mean ‘demons’!24 Rumtek ji ltar byas; bstan-gyur: ji ltar bas: the latter appears to be a mistake, missing

the ya-btags.25 Rumtek byis pa; bstan-gyur: bu-pa: the latter is a mistake, the ya-btags copied as a

zhabs-skyu.26 Rumtek g.yo; bstan-gyur: g.yos: the latter is a mistake.27 Rumtek yi; bstan-gyur: yir: the latter is a mistake.28 Rumtek nga yis nga mthong nga nyid gcig pur lus; bstan-gyur: nga yis nga

mthong’ang nyid gcig pur lus: the latter is a mistake.29 Rumtek gcig pu nyid; bstan-gyur: gcig po nyid: the latter is probably the changed

version, though it has the same meaning30 Rumtek med pas; bstan-gyur: med pa: ‘who can understand the indescribable? The

Rumtek version is probably the original.

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When the natural mind is purified

One will enter my, avara’s,31 realisation.32

A lion’s milk is not for an ordinary, bad bowl.33

Just as in the forest a lion’s roar

Terrifies all the weak animals,

While the lion cubs joyously run34 towards it,

Teaching this primordially unborn great bliss

Terrifies the ignorant and the mistaken,

But35 raises goose bumps of joy on the worthy.

2. The second [of the three main parts of the doha]: the practice of Mahmudr

This is in three parts

2.1. Attaining certainty through the view

2.2 The meditation.

2.3. The conduct36

31 This appears to indicate that the author was avara; Saraha is usually renowned as ‘the

great brahmin’, as he was from India’s highest caste, the antithesis of a avara, butthis may be a deliberate, provocative reference to himself as tribal.

32 Rumtek pa ‘jug; bstan-gyur: par ‘jug: the latter is probably the correct form.33 It was believed in India that lion’s milk would break a bowl if it was not made of a

precious material.34 Rumtek rgyug; bstan-gyur: brgyug: the Rumtek present form is probably the original.35 Rumtek yang; bstan-gyur: kyang: the latter is a mistake. Suffix r shuld be follwed by

yang and never kyang.36 In the text this is introduced as a fourth part.

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2.1. Attaining certainty through the view

This is in three parts:

2.1.1. The nature of the view.

2.1.2. The manner of realisation.

2.1.3. It is unchanging.

2.1. The first [part of attaining certainty through the view]: the nature of the view:

Hey ho!

With37 an undistracted mind, look at yourself

When you have realised your own truth

Even the distracted mind arises as mahmudr.

Concepts are spontaneously liberated; there is the state of great bliss,

The happiness and sufferings38 of dreams

Have no reality when one is awake,

And so all thoughts39 of hope and fear are abandoned;

Who will then have thoughts of cessation and accomplishment?

All the phenomena of sasra and nirva

Have no real nature when the truth is seen,40

And so thoughts41 of hope and worry come to an end,

And what effort of adoption and rejection could there then be?

37 Rumtek sems kyis; bstan-gyur: sems kyi: the latter is a mistake.38 Rumtek du kha; bstan-gyur: sduug-bsngal: the former a transliteration, the latter a

translation.39 Rumtek bsam pa; bstan-gyur: bsam pas: the latter is a mistake.40 Rumtek mthong bas; bstan-gyur: mthong pas: the latter is a mistake.41 Rumtek bsam pa; bstan-gyur: blo ni: ‘the mind/intellect’. This latter is probably the

original form.

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All appearances and sounds are like illusions,

Mirages and reflections; without characteristics of reality.

The one who creates these illusions42 is the mind, is space,43

Which has no edge or centre,44 which no one can know.

Know45 that, just as the various rivers, such as the Ganges,46

Have one taste in the salty47 waters of the ocean,

So all analysing48 minds and various mental events

Have one taste in the dharmadhtu.49

2.1.2. The second [part of attaining certainty through the view]: the manner of


Someone may examine the entirety50 of the realm of space,

But51 as it has no edge or centre, seeing ceases.

In the same way, if one examines mind and phenomena,

There is not a particle of an essence to be found

And even the examining mind will not be seen;

One sees that there is nothing whatsoever to see.

42 Rumtek sgyu ma; bstan-gyur: sbyu ma: the latter is a mistake.43 Rumtek nam mkha; bstan-gyur: nam mkha’i: the latter is a mistake.44 Rumtek dbus med; bstan-gyur: dbus mar: the latter is a mistake.45 Rumtek shes par gyis; bstan-gyur: shes par byos: same meaning.46 Rumtek gang ga; bstan-gyur: gang g.47 Rumtek ba tshwa; bstan-gyur: ba tsha: the latter is a mistake.48 Rumtek brtags; bstan-gyur: btags (the nominal mind): probably the latter is a mistake.49 Chos-kyi dbyings. Can mean either ‘expanse of phenomena, as in the entire extent of

the universe, or as in this case ‘the primary substance” or ‘element’ ofphenomena.

50 Rumtek khams kun; bstan-gyur: khams ni.51 Rumtek yang; bstan-gyur: kyang: the latter is a mistake.

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2.1.3. The third [part of gaining certainty through the view]: it is unchanging.

Just as a crow52 flies away from a ship53

Circles in all directions and returns54 to it,

The desiring mind, even though it pursues thoughts,55

Returns56 to the natural primordial mind.

The vajra mind is not disturbed by conditions;

It destroys the den57 of fear that is the result of the failure of hopes.58

2.2. The second [part of the practice of Mahnudr]: the meditation.

This is in three parts:59

2.2.1. Mahmudr is not to be meditated on.

2.2.2. The supreme meditation that is never apart from non-meditation.

2.2.3. Examples that illustrate the Mahmudr path, which is the unidentifiable

ordinary mind that is completely free from triplism.

2.2.1. The first [part of the meditation]: Mahmudr is not to be meditated on.

The fully realised mind is like space;

It is not meditated on,60 and therefore there is no activity in the mind.

52 Rumtek bya rog gis; bstan-gyur: bya rog ni: the latter is a mistake.53 Rumtek gzings nas; bstan-gyur: gbrings la: the latter is a mistake.54 Rumtek ‘babs; bstan-gyur: ‘bab.55 Rumtek rtog; bstan-gyur: bstan: the latter is a mistake.56 Rumtek ‘babs; bstan-gyur: ‘bab.57 Rumtek skungs sa zhig pa; bstan-gyur: skugs sa zhigs pas. ‘Through destroying the

gambling-place it is the vajra mind’.58 Rumtek chad pas; bstan-gyur: chad pa. The latter is a mistake59 The text says three parts follow.60 Rumtek bsgom; bstan-gyur: sgom.

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The natural intrinsic state of the ordinary mind

Is unpolluted by contrived mentation.

The naturally pure mind does not need alteration;

Do not hold it, do not release it, leave it as it is.61

If there is no meditation in the unrealised mind

There is no meditator or object of meditation for those with realisation.

Just as space cannot focus on space,

Emptiness cannot meditate on emptiness.

The non-dual mind is like water and milk:

The one taste of multiplicity, a continuous great bliss.

2.2.2. The second [part of the meditation]: the supreme meditation that is never

apart from non-meditation

In this way, always, throughout the three times,

There is nothing to be done62 in the mind; it is the natural state free from


We name63 this “cultivation” and “meditation”.

Don’t hold the breath, don’t bind the mind;

Leave the uncontrived mind be, like a baby.

If memories and thoughts arise, look at them themselves;

Don’t think of the water and the waves as separate.

61 Rumtek rang ga; bstan-gyur: rang dga’: ‘as it likes’.62 Rumtek byar med mtha’ bral; bstan-gyur: bya ba med cing ma bral. The latter is a

mistake because there are two extra syllables.63 Rumtek btags; bstan-gyur: gdags. The latter is a mistake (it is the future form)

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2.2.3. The third [part of the meditation]: Examples that illustrate the Mahmudr

path: the unidentifiable ordinary mind that is completely free from triplism.

Do not meditate,64 because there is not even an atom of meditation

In the Mahmudr, the non-activity of the mind,

The supreme meditation, which is never apart from65 non-meditation,

The innate non-duality, the taste of great bliss.

Just like water poured into water has one taste,

When one rests in that state in that way,

The attached mind that clings to focussing ceases.

2.3. The third66 [part of Mahmudra practice ]: the conduct

This is in three parts:

2.3.1. The unpredictability of mahmudr conduct.

2.3.2. This conduct prevents conditions from staining.

2.3.3. The spontaneous arising of a compassion that is free from attachment and

benefits others.

2.3.1. First: The unpredictability of mahmudr conduct

Hey ho!

What adoption or rejection would

A yogin of natural non-duality have?

64 R bsgom; T sgom.65 R don dang ‘bral; T don pa ‘bral.66 The text hasbzhi-pa “fourth” in error for gsum-pa “third”.

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I neither grasp67 nor discard any phenomenon.

I never say, “Son you must do this!”

Just as that jewel is unreal,68

The conduct of the yogin is unreal.

Though he speaks with a composite variety of chattering,

The yogin’s mind does not depart from singleness;

There is not even a ‘one’ existing in that singleness,

And so, with the variety of outer aspects having no fixed basis,

Act69 like a madman, unconfined and without a care,

Like a baby in whose conduct there is nothing to be done.

2.3.2. The second [part of the conduct]: This conduct prevents conditions from



The mind is like a lotus that grows in mud;

There is no fault that can stain it.

Though there is the bliss of eating, drinking and sexual union,

Though the body and mind are severely pained,

Whatever different kinds of conduct are performed,

Nothing will bind or free or stain.

67 T has omitted ma bzung ( not grasp/hold)68 I don’t know what jewel is being referred to. It may be the nature of the mind as a

wish-fulfilling jewel.69 K bya; T gnas ‘dwell’.70 K e ma ho; T e ma.

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2.3.3. The third [part of conduct]: the spontaneous arising of a compassion that is

free from attachment and benefits others

In the carefree state71 of realisation’s own conduct,

When ignorant beings are wretched,

The power of overwhelming compassion causes tears to fall;

‘I’ is swapped for ‘others’ and there is application to their benefit.

When objects are analysed, there is freedom from triplism;

They become unreal, like a dream or an illusion,

So72 then there is joy, no sadness, freedom from attachment,

As in the conjurer73 who creates objects of illusion.

3. The third74 [main part of the text]: the liberation of mahamudra

This is in three parts:

3.1. The attainment of the result.

3.2. The delusion of wishing to attain non-attainment.

3.3. Complete non-attainment is called ‘the attainment of Vajradhara’

3.1. The attainment of the result.

There is no elimination or attainment, whatsoever,

Within the nature of space, which is primordially pure,

Non-activity in the mind is the mahmudr;

So do not perform any rejection in order to gain any result.75

71 K ngang; T dang (which is a mistake).72 K skyo med pas; T skyo med pa.73 K sgyu ma khan pos; T sgyu ma mkhas pa..74 The text has bzhi-pa “fourth” in error for gsum-pa “third”.

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The hoping mind is primordially unborn,

So what real elimination or attainment could there be?

If there were to be a real attainment by anyone,

What use would be the teaching of the four mudrs?76

3.2. The delusion of wishing to attain non-attainment

Just as animals that are afflicted with delusion.

Run towards a mirage of water,

Ignorant individuals who are afflicted by desire,

However hard they try, become even further away.

3.3. Complete non-attainment is called ‘the attainment of Vajradhara’

There is not the slightest difference within

The completely pure nature that is primordially unborn.

The examining mind is purified in space,

Which is merely given the name ‘Vajradhara’.

Just like water appears, but water does not exist,

75 R ‘bras bu gang du ‘dor bar ma byed cig; T ‘bras bu gang du ‘ang re ba ma byed cig

(do not hope for any kind of result)76 The four mudrs, as taught in the Yoga Tantras, are the dharmamudr (of the speech:

elimination of the delusions of the mental consciousness and the manifestation ofdiscriminating wisdom); samayamudr (of the mind: purification of the delusionsof the afflicted consciousness and the manifestation of equality wisdom),karmamudr (of activity: purification of the delusions of the five senseconsciousnesses and the manifestation of accomplishing wisdom) andmahmudr (of the body: purification of the delusions of the groundconsciousness and the manifestation of mirror wisdom).

Alternatively, the four mudras are “all composite phenomena are impermanent”; “all thatis polluted is suffering”; “all phenomena are selfless” and “nirva is peace”.

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In the mirages of a dry plain,

Just so, the primordial purity, the purified examining mind,

Cannot be described as being either eternal or nothing.77

Through the power of prayer, all hopes are fulfilled,

As with a wish-fulfilling jewel or a wish-fulfilling tree.

There are no world, concepts or relativity,

Whatsoever, within this sacred meaning.

That completes The Mahamudr Instructions Entitled ‘The Doha Treasure, which came

from the mouth of avara Saraha.

This was translated by the Indian Pandita Vairocanarakia.

77 Rtag-pa and chad-pa. As views they are the extremes of ‘eternalism’ and ‘nihilism’.

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‘The Doha Treasure’

[by Virupa]

In Indian: Doha-koa-nma

In Tibetan: Do-ha mdzod ces bya-ba

I pay homage to r Vajrasattva.78

I pay homage to Bhagavat Nairatmy.79

There are three parts to this text:

1. The ultimate mahmudr: the true nature of the basis.

2. The relative mahmudr’s ‘adoption as the path’.

3. Liberation in the inseparability of the two truths.

1. The true nature of the basis: the ultimate mahmudr.

Wondrous! The mahmudr, the equality of sasra and nirva,

Is quintessentially completely pure, like space;

It does not have a nature that can be indicated, so it does not have a path of words

and terms;

It has an inexpressible nature; its essence is free from all dependant phenomena;

It cannot be examined or analysed, it cannot be indicated by examples;

It does not even exist as inexemplifiable; it transcends being an object of the


It is not permanent; not measurable; it is neither sasra nor nirva.

78 In Indian texts, synonymous with Vajradhara, the essence or source of all deities.79 ‘Selflessness’, the consort of Hevajra.

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It is not appearance; it is not emptiness; it is neither a thing or nothing; it is not


It is not the natural true nature;80 it is not a transcendence of intellect;

It’s not ‘isn’t’ and it’s not ‘is’, because it cannot be described by the intellect;

It has no connection with any dualistic phenomena; it is primordial equality.

Although its essence, etymology and function is taught,

That’s the same as [teaching] the unreal sharpness or bluntness of the unreal horns

of a rabbit.

All phenomena are no different from these characteristics.

The phenomenal relativities that exist and appear in this way

Have no essence, they are just the application of names and symbols;

There is not slightest distinctive difference between these names and their


As it is primordial innateness, there is nothing to seek elsewhere,

The mind’s nature, an empty name, free from conceptualisation, is mahmudr,

It is the same as the nature of space, a primordial non-existent emptiness;

It is quintessentially unborn; it is not a conceptual entity.

Like space, it is all pervading and has no change or passing away;

It is empty in all times and circumstances and it is primordially selfless.

It has no memory, thoughts or concepts, like the water of a mirage.

It neither binds or frees; it never departs from the natural state,

All beings are the emanations of mahmdur

The essence of emanation is primordial birthlessness, the dharmadhtu.

All the features of dualistic appearances also, such as happiness and suffering,

80 Dhatmat; chos nyid.

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Are the natural true nature, the display of mahmudr.

And within that display also there is no truth, no permanence,

And therefore it never departs from the seal of the natural state of emptiness.

2. The relative mahmudr’s ‘adoption as the path’.

This is in two parts:

2.1. The deluded ‘adoption as the path’.

2,2. The undeluded ‘adoption as the path’.

2.1. The deluded ‘adoption as the path’.

Some give abhishekhas, causing torment;

Some cry “H” and “Pha” and count their mala beads;

Some consume faeces, urine, blood, semen and flesh;

Some are deluded by meditation on the yoga of n and vyu.81

2.2. The undeluded ‘adoption as the path’.

This is in four parts:

2.2.1. The instructions on the definite view.

2.2.2. The instructions on the practice of meditation.

2.2.3. The instructions on the conduct of ‘adoptionas the path’.

2.2.4. The result: the complete accomplishment of the mahmudr.

81 The ‘channels’ and the ‘winds’

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2.2.1. The instructions on the definite view.


In the care of a pure guru, realise the single knowledge in this way:

As everything is delusion, there is no true realisation;

As there is no realised or realiser, this is freedom from all extremes and bias;

As there is no freedom or non-freedom, it is a state of natural equality;

If one has that certain realisation, there will be stainlessness in all else.

As everything82 appears as the dharmakya, no thoughts83 of adoption or rejection


As there is neither meditation nor non-meditation, concepts cannot stain.

There is never any dependence on perceived appearances or non-appearances.

As there are no ideas of actor or action, there is freedom from all orientation.84

As there are no thoughts of hope and fear, all attachment is given up.

If one realises the natural true state that has been taught by the guru,

All memories and thoughts85 are destroyed in the dharmadhtu.

Consciousness does not dwell on its objects and there is freedom from all


Therefore, all phenomena are liberated within the uncontrived natural state.

Unattached to anything, free from pride and all other stains,

Reverent and perfectly guided by the pure [guru],

Free from all mental activity, there are no stains and no doubts;

82 sNa-tshogs is usually tranaslated as ‘variety’, but it is used to translate viva, which

though it does mean ‘variety’ is used in Indian languages to mean ‘all’ or‘everything’.

83 Sems here is a literal translation of citta, which usually means thought or smethingsimilar in context.

84 lambana ‘dependence’, translated into Tibetan as the vague dmigs-pa.85 Rig here is probably translating something like citti.

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Purified of knower and known, the dharmmat86 manifests.

If one doesn’t realise the natural mahmudr

There will always be attachment to everything, because of the power of duality;

There will be a continuous darkness87 of all kinds of thoughts;

There will be no dwelling in the unmistaken meaning, instead there will be

wandering and circling in sasra.

There will be attachment and craving for all fame and gain.

On the contrived path there will arise signs of great learning, contemplation and


Good experiences, siddhis, blessing and power,

But as these are the stains of outer objects, the wise do not direct their minds

towards them.

If one fabricates the truth in the mind, one will fall into the two extremes

And circle in sasra, because that is the root of becoming.

Look at the root of everything: the essence of the mind, whatever it is.

If one looks, sees nothing and is freed from mental activity, one will definitely be


2.2.2 The instructions on the practice of meditation

In the expanse of the true nature of the mind, there is no “It is this!”

Therefore, within it, there isn’t the duality of meditation and an object of


Rest undistractedly in a state where is no thought of any existence or non-


86 Chos-nyid; the nature or essence of phenomena.87 Rab-rib is a translation of the prominent Indian term tamas.

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If one mentally fabricates anything such as emptiness,

Birthlessness, transcendence of the intellect and freedom from extremes,

One will not dwell in the meaning of the true nature, but be far from it.

Rest in a relaxed state, without considering emptiness or non-emptiness,

Without resting or not resting, freely releasing as it is.

Be just like a zombie, without thoughts of releasing or holding,.

If one knows the true nature of the truth and rests in that state,

Habituation to concepts of duality will be swiftly destroyed.

If one is distracted by concepts and does not dwell in a state of realisation,

Habituation to concepts of duality will not be stopped.

Although someone with loss of sight knows he has an illness of the eyes,

If there is no eye illness, the appearance of darkness is not be countered.

If one mentally fabricates the true nature, has attachment to experiences,

And focuses on the meaning of the truth, ones meditation will be mistaken.

2.2.3. The instructions on the conduct of ‘adoption as the path’.

This is in two parts: The actual conduct. Errors of conduct. Not being apart from the mahmudr commitments. The actual conduct.

Attachment to favourable circumstances becomes the cause of bondage,

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All adverse, evil circumstances are sacred siddhis.

Because adverse circumstances clarify the yogin’s experiences.

Do not reject bad circumstances! Knowing the true nature, cultivate it within


The conduct that cultivates in that way, and reaches the conclusion of experience

and realisation,

Is like a whip that encourages the fast steed.

If someone with realisation and good experience does not have the aid of conduct,

He will be like a man with no eyes and no legs.

Practice the meaning of the ultimate true state without attachment—

The supreme sublime conduct of doing whatever one likes in ones own way

Without rejection, without accomplishment, without attachment, without conduct

without stopping. Errors of conduct.

If with attachment and craving, one accomplishes or stops everything,

This will not accord with the tantras88 and will be the error of transgressive

conduct. Not being apart from the mahmudr commitments.

Even if a person has the great confidence of relatively being a buddha,

They should not forsake a great accumulation of merit, but apply themselves to it

as much as possible.

Even if samsaric beings have minds that are without worry and free from fear,

They should avoid even the slightest action that is bad karma.

88 rGyud. This could also mean ‘being’

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Even if all phenomena are empty and free of extremes, like space,

Completely abandon all attachment and aversion, all grasping and clinging.

Even if you have realised the meaning of the true nature, the great immateriality

free from extremes,

Until you have attained stability in them, keep your experiences and realisations

secret from others.

Even if you have realised that, ultimately, yourself and others are non-dual,

Relatively, think of bringing a great benefit to beings.

Even if you have great confidence and don’t need to rely on anyone else as a


Place your kind guru upon the crown of your head.

2.2.4. The fourth [part of the undeluded ‘adoption as the path’] the result: the

complete accomplishment of mahmudr

This is in two parts: The temporary results. The ultimate result. The temporary results.

As there is no seer or seen, differences are spontaneously liberated.

As the practitioner is eliminated, there is freedom from all accomplishment of


As the goal is eliminated, there is liberation from all hope and fear.

As the self has been uprooted, there is victory in the battle with the mras.

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As attachment to reality has been spontaneously destroyed, there is liberation

from all sasra and nirva. The ultimate result.

When knowledge is purified in the basis, it is called “perfect buddhahoood”.

When the level of the cessation of intellect and phenomena is reached, that is

called nirva:

Uncontrived, unchanging, total liberation from all attainment and elimination.

3. Liberation in the inseparability of the two truths.


Whatever it is that is named by that great profound word

‘Mahmudr’, it is also merely named ‘empty’.

As there is natural emptiness with each instant, who realises selflessness?

As there is no realiser, ‘buddha’ is merely a designating name

That has no true reality: it is an appearance to disciples.

To the disciples also it is merely a selfless, illusory emanation.

‘Mahmudr’ is a name given by the intellect of infants;

‘Delusion’ and ‘non delusion’ are also just names;

What being knows and experiences delusion?

Not an atom of the result, nirva, exists, or can be seen,

‘Liberation’ and ‘non liberation’ are just incidental names,

Non-existence and ‘the path of liberation’ are bound in peaceful and pure space;

‘Relative’ and ‘ultimate’ are also [merely] persistent namings;

In the dharmadhtu, there are no two truths; there is no dharmadhatu.

That completes The Doha Treasure composed by the lord of yogins Birwpa (Virupa)

This was translated on his own by the Indian Pandita Vairocana[rakia]

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‘The Doha Treasure’

[by Tilopa]

In Sanskrit: Doha-koa-nma

In Tibetan: Do-ha mdzod ces bya-ba

I pay homage to r Vajrasattva.

I pay homage to unchanging self-knowing Mahmudr.

There are two parts to this text:

1. The detailed teaching.

2. The summary.

1. The Detailed Teaching

This is in four parts:

1.1. The view.

1.2. The meditation.

1.3. The conduct.

1.4. The result.

1.1. The View.

The skandhas, dhtus and yatanas,89

Without exception, appear from and merge back into

The nature of mahmudr.

89 phung-po; khams; skye-mched; the five psycho-physical ‘aggregates’, the eighteen

‘elements’ of sensory perception and the twelve ‘bases’ of sensory perception.

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Freedom from the conceptualisation of things and nothing,

Non-activity in the mind, should not be mistaken as the meaning.

Within the nature of everything being unreal,

Beginning is eliminated and end is eliminated.

Whatever becomes the perception of the mind

Is not the true nature, it is a subjective naming.

The true nature is not created by the guru and not by the pupil;

Without realising it as mind or non-mind,

Know it to be the one that eliminates the many;

If there is attachment to the one, that alone will cause bondage.

1.2. The meditation

I, Telo, have nothing to teach.

The place is not solitary; it isn’t not solitary.

The eyes are not open; they are not closed.

The mind is not contrived, it is not uncontrived.

Know that there is nothing to be done in the natural mind,

Realise that incidental experiences, memories and knowledge

Are unreal and let them go where they like.

In the dharmat, which is free from conceptualisation,

There is no decrease or increase, attainment or loss, whatsoever.

1.3. The conduct

Do not rely on earnest asceticism in the forest!

Through washing and cleanliness, you will not find happiness!

Even though you make offerings to deities, you will not attain liberation!

Know the free openness that has no adoption or rejection!

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1.4. The result

This is in two parts:

1.4.1. The temporary results

1.4.2. The ultimate result.

1.4.1. The temporary results.

Ones own true nature is the result.

Simultaneous realisation and attainment does not depend on a path.

The ignorant world searches elsewhere;

But bliss is having cut through dependence on hope and fear.

1.4.2. The ultimate result.

Whenever the mind’s grasping to a self ceases,

The appearances of dualism completely cease.

2. The summary.

Don’t think! Don’t contemplate!

Don’t examine and analyse!

Don’t meditate! Don’t act! Don’t have hope and fear!

Spontaneously liberate the composite mind that grasps at that.

By this, come to the primordial dharmat.

That completes The Doha Treasure composed by the lord of yogins Tailopa [Tilopa].

It was translated on his own by the Indian Pandita Varocana[rakita].

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‘The Doha Treasure’

[by Kapa]

In Indian: Doha-koa-nma

In Tibetan: Do-ha mdzod ces bya-ba

I pay homage to the naturally represented true nature

This text is in two parts:

1. The cessation of the absolutism of view, meditation, conduct and result.

2. The immaterial, incalculable true nature.

1. The cessation of the absolutism of view, meditation, conduct and result.

This is in four parts:

1.1. The cessation of the absolutism of view.

1.2. The cessation of the absolutism of meditation.

1.3. The cessation of the absolutism of conduct.

1.4. The cessation of the absolutism of result.

1.1. The cessation of the absolutism of view.

Worldly ones who are proud,

Based on various scriptures and logic,

State, “I have entered emptiness.”

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There is no error, there is no entry;

Emptiness also is empty of emptiness;

Birth is not possible because of birthlessness;

All of that is false;

There is no essence to passing away, changing or healing;

Whatever is conceived through the intellect

Is not realisation, it is thought;

Therefore, the illness will completely arise again.

1.2. The cessation of the absolutism of meditation.

Thoughts are delusion.

Neither the object nor the knower have reality;

Impermanence is unreal and therefore has no truth;

Therefore they are the path of delusion.

If the intellect adopts this as an object,

This is the experience of ‘the Lord without waves’90

This is completely experienced by the Sugatas of existence,

The host of wrathful goddesses, by those of the maala circle.

1.3. The cessation of the absolutism of conduct.

To make effort in accomplishing this is an error!

Adoption and rejection ends in exhaustion.

90 I don’t know what this phrase refers to, and I do not understand the meaning of the

entire verse either!

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1.4. The cessation of the absolutism of result.

The dharmat is like space,

Those who wish to go there,

Are like pretas91 searching for the end of space.

Those who wish to attain the ultimate quintessence,

Are like deer following after the water of a mirage.

To be a primordial buddha

And yet wish for buddhahood, is a delusion.

2. The immaterial incalculable true nature.


An illusory being enters the middle way.

A mountain in the sky is adorned by a dream forest.

An illusion of an elephant follows a river in a mirage.

The son of a barren woman rules the kingdom of the gandharvas.92

I, Kapa, never change at anytime,

I am free from the path’s effort, I am in a state of naturalness,

I realise it to be the true nature, and I make no calculations.

If, without calculation, without error, you see the certain truth

There is no attachment to the duality of ‘empty’ and ‘not empty’;

By that, one arrives at the final limit of the cessation of phenomena, the cessation

of intellect.

91 ‘Those who have passed on’. The text has pre ti. The Tibetan would be Yi-dwags. They

are spirits tormented by hunger and thirst and constantly searching for food anddrink.

92 The kingdom of the gandharvas is said to be the illusion of an unreal city thatoccasionally appears in the sky.

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That completes The Doha Treasure, which was composed by Kapa.

It was translated on his own by the Indian Pandita r Vairocana[rakia]

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The Doha Song of the View Meditation Conduct and Result

[by Maitripa]

In Indian: Bhava-ditti93-carya-phala-doha-gatti nma

In Tibetan: lTa sgom spyod pa ‘bras bu’i do-ha zhes bya-ba

I pay homage to rya-Mañjur

The variety of individual [phenomena] are ones own mind;

All of sasra and nirva are inseparable;

Buddhas and beings are inseparable,

As in the example of water and its waves.

The mind nature, which is without things or nothing,

Eliminates, on the instantaneous path of the realisation of the yogin,

The suffering of sasra, which has a nature of darkness,

Like a small candle that overcomes a great darkness.

The mahmudr, the union that transcends the intellect,

Is clarity and non-thought like space,

Which pervades and is vast, which is compassion

Which is an appearance without reality, like the moon in water.

Clear and free from the ideas of edge and centre,

Unstained by anything, free from the impurities of hope and fear,

93 The text is a bit unclear and this word is unidentifiable.Unlike the Tibetan Bhava

‘meditation’ (cf. Sanskrit: bhvana) come first in this list and ditti ‘view’ (cf.Sanskrit: di) comes second.

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Like a mutes’s dream, it is indescribable;

The measureless great bliss, which has the nature of wisdom,

Is, like moonlight and sunlight, not restricted in direction

Hey ho!

The self-originated yoga is wondrous!

The uncontrived natural mind is the dharmakya!

The contrived mind cannot attain yoga,

Therefore, it is seen as going in the direction of bliss.

The naturally accomplished yoga is so blissful!

As it is free from thought, it is impossible to long for peace.

These words are spoken by me, siddha Sara[ha].94

Hey ho! In this practice of the view of yoga

My body, this mountain, is the supreme place;

My mind, the practitioner of the yoga of time,

BBinds the senses, creates the retreat boundary and becomes blissful.

Even distractions are not deliberately abandoned;

When encountered, if known as the mind, they are the yidam deity.

Knowledge is not drawn in and thoughts are gradually eliminated.

If thoughts arise in the mind, the yogin

Rests naturally like cotton wool.

Abandon action; let the mind look at itself;

If desire arises, know it to be the mras.

94 This self-reference appears to imply that the song is by Saraha, not Maitripa.

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The root of thoughts is the mind;

As that does not exist, thoughts do not exist;

With mindfulness or without minfulness, the meditating yogin

Examines the mind, and as it does not exist, it merges into himself.

As there is no desire for meditation, the result, buddhahood, is accomplished.

The yogin has no thought, like a baby.

He is like a bee experiencing taste in a garden;

He is like a lion wandering from forest to forest;

He is like various winds moving everywhere;

If the mind has the appropriate manner, that is the supreme conduct;

With an unceasing nature, behave like a madman.

By just encountering this essence of the mind, all various appearances,

As it does not exist, it is the mahmudr.

The result, buddhahood, arises whether there are appearances or no appearances;

If one thinks of it, the sacred siddhi,

All that is outer and inner, the innateness,

Becomes non-thought, a yoga like a river flow.

There is nothing to seek elsewhere than the mind;

Non-activity in the mind is the path of mahmudr;

If the result is not realised, that is the mahmudr;

If non-realisation is realised, it is like clouds in the sky;

If realised it is the nature of truth, of emptiness,

And the innate inseparability of view, meditation, conduct and result.

If non-duality is realised, that is the supreme result, buddhahood.

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That completes The Doha Song of the View, Meditation Conduct and Result. It came

from the mouth of the Indian Paita, Master Maitripa, and was translated by the Tibetan

Locchva, the great scholar Martön Chökyi Lodrö.95

95 Mar-ston Chos-kyi Blo-gros.

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Mahmudr Instructions

[by Tilopa]

In Indian: Mahmudra Upadea96

In Tibetan: Phyag-rgya chen-po’i man-ngag

I pay homage to Vajraki.

Even though the mahmudr does not exist as something to be taught,

Wise Nropa, you who can endure suffering,

Who undergoes hardship and has reverence for the guru,

Fortunate one, do like this in your heart.

Just as in space there is nothing that depends on anything,

In the mahmudr there is no object to depend upon.

Rest, relaxed, in the natural, uncontrived state;

If you relax the bondage, there is no doubt that there will be liberation.

If the mind looks at the mind in the same way

As when one looks into the centre of space and seeing ceases,

Then the multitude of thoughts will cease and unsurpassable enlightenment will

be obtained.

Just as mists and clouds vanish in the element of space,

Without going anywhere and without abiding anywhere,

In the same way, there are thoughts that arise in the mind,

96 The rule of sandhi (euphonic combination) has been ignored. This should be


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But on seeing the mind, they vanish like waves.

Just as the nature of space is beyond colour and shape,

Unchanging and unstained by white or black,

In the same way, the essence of the mind is beyond colour and shape

And it isn’t stained by the black and white phenomena of good and bad actions.

Just as the essence of the clear bright sun

Cannot be obscured by the darkness of a thousand aeons.

In the same way, the bright and luminous essence of the mind

Cannot be obscured by aeons of sasra.

Just as, although one names space as “empty”,

Space cannot be described by saying “It exists like this;”

In the same way, though one describes the mind as ‘luminosity’,

There is no basis for any words that say, “it exists in this way.”

Thus the nature of the mind is primordially like space;

All phenomena, without exception, are included within it.

Discard all physical activity and rest at leisure in naturalness;

Without the voice speaking, empty sounds are like an echo;

Think of nothing in the mind and look at the Dharma of transcendence.

The body has no essence, like the stem of a reed;

The mind is like the centre of space, it transcends being an object of thought;

Rest relaxed in that state, without placing or sending away.

If there is no focussing upon the mind, that is the mahmudr

When one is habituated to and blended with that, unsurpassable enlightenment is


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The luminosity, the mahmudr will not be seen

Through the texts and traditions

Of reciting mantras, of the pramits

Of the vinaya, the stras, the various pitakas.

Desire arises and obscures the vision of the path of luminosity,

Which breaks the vow of guarding against thoughts, breaks the meaning of the


Without mental activity, free from all desire,

There will be self arising, self-pacification, like waves of water.

If you do not depart from the meaning of not abiding, of not focussing,

You will not transgress the commitments; it will be a lamp in the darkness.

If you are free from all desires and do not dwell in the extremes,

All the pitaka-dharmas, without exception, will be seen.

If you are dedicated to this meaning, you will be freed from the prison of


If you rest in this meaning, all karma and obscurations will be incinerated.

This is taught to be ‘the lamp of the teachings’.

The stupid beings that do not aspire to this meaning,

Are constantly carried away by the river of sasra.

I pity the stupid who suffer endlessly!

One who wishes for liberation from unendurable suffering should rely on a wise


The blessing will enter the heart and the mind will be liberated.

Hey Ho!

These phenomena of sasra, which are the cause of meaningless suffering,

Are created phenomena that have no essence, so look at the meaningful essence!

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If there is transcendence of the entirety of perceiver and percepts, that is the king

of views.

If there is no distraction, that is the king of meditation.

If there is no deliberate activity, that is the king of conduct.

If there is no hope or fear, the result will manifest.

When focussing upon an object is transcended, the nature of the mind becomes


When there is no path to be followed, the path of the buddhas has been attained,

When there is no object of habituation, unsurpassable enlightenment is attained.


An excellent understanding of worldly phenomena

Cannot be permanent; it is like a dream or an illusion;

The objects in dreams and illusions do not exist;

Therefore, develop disillusionment and forsake worldly activity;

Sever all connection with sasra’s attachments and aversions;

Meditate alone in the forests, in a mountain hermitage;

Dwell in the state that is without meditation;

If you attain non-attainment, you attain the mahmudr.

Branches and leaves grow from the trunk of a tree;

If you sever the single root, ten thousand branches, a hundred thousand branches,

will wither;

In the same way, if you cut through the root of the mind, the leaves of sasra

will wither.

Just as darkness can accumulate for over a thousand aeons,

But one torch will eliminate that mass of darkness,

In the same way, ones mind, with one instant of luminosity

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Eliminates the ignorance, bad karma and obscurations that have been accumulated

for aeons.

Hey ho!

The phenomena of the intellect will not see the meaning that transcends the


Created phenomena will not realise the meaning that is without action.

If one wishes to attain the meaning which transcends the intellect and is without


Cut through the root of the mind and leave ones knowledge naked.

Allow the water that is stained by thoughts to become clear.

Do not stop or create appearances, leave them as they are.

Appearance and existence without elimination or adoption is the mahmudr.

The universal ground is birthless, so it becomes clear of the veil of obscurations

and latencies.

Don’t be proud or calculate, but rest in the unborn essence.

Appearances are ones own appearances; see them as nothing but mental


Total freedom from all extremes is the supreme king of views.

Profoundly depth and edgelessness is the supreme king of meditation.

Freedom from extremes and bias is the supreme king of conduct.

Abiding naturally, free from hope, , is the supreme result.

Action is at first like a torrent in a ravine,

In the middle, it moves slowly like the Ganges River,

At the end the rivers are like a child meeting its mother.

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Beings with inferior minds do not rest in that state

But hold the breath, while disregarding the awareness in the essence,97

Through many aspects of fixing the mind to a way of looking

Their awareness does not rest in the [true] state, but is restrained.98

By depending on a karmamudr, the wisdom of bliss and emptiness arises:

Entering union through the blessing of method and wisdom,

Gently descending, filling, reversing, drawing up,

Bringing to the site and spreading throughout the body.99

If there is no attachment to that, the wisdom of bliss and emptiness will arise.

There will be a long life without white hair, increasing like the waxing moon,

One will be bright, clear and glowing and as strong as a lion;

Ordinary siddhis will be quickly attained and one will be engaging with the


May this essential instruction of the mahmudr

Dwell in the hearts of worthy beings.

This came from the mouth of the great Tailopa, who had the spontaneous

accomplishment of mahmudr.

Tailopa taught this on the bank of the Ganges to the Kashmiri Paita, the scholar and

siddha Nropa, at the conclusion of his twelve hardships.

The Twenty-eight Vajra Verses of Mahmudr was dictated by the great Nropa and was

received translated and revised by the great Tibetan locchva, the king of translators,

Marpa Chökyi Lodrö at Pulahari to the north [of Nalanda].

97 Tentative translation for gcud du bor.98 Tentative translation for bar du gcun.99 This describes the movement and control of bodhicitta (here embodied as semen)

during sexual yoga, where the union of method (the male) and wisdom (thefemale) takes place.

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Summary of the View

[by Nropa]

In Sanskrit: Abhisidhi-sam-nma

In Tibetan: lTa-ba mdor-bsdus-pa zhes-bya-ba

I pay homage to Vajraki,

I pay homage to the omniscient one,

The supreme of refuges, the lord of beings.

Following scripture and logic

I will summarise and make clear the principal meaning.

The phenomena of appearance and existence,

Because they are appear and are clear,

Do not exist apart from the self-knowing mind;

They are like the experiences of self-knowing.

If appearances were not the mind

There would be no connection between them and thus no appearances.

This there is the clear presentation of the relative:

It was taught “All phenomena dwell in the mind.”

The main practice of the dharma is the mind.

Even if one examines, by analysing with logic100 and so on,

Whether the natural luminosity of the mind.

Is one with, or is different from,

The stains of incidental thoughts,

It will be an extremely great profundity.

100 Assuming that this is rigs not rig pa.

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Because it is very profound, the wise analyse it;

Even if it is taught, it is not written down.

That emptiness is knowledge, it is the mind.

The bodhicitta also is this.

The buddha family also is this.

The buddha nature is this.

Great bliss also is this.

Through experiencing the taste of it exactly as it is

Knowing mantra also is this.

Method and wisdom is this.

The profound and the vast are this.

Samantabhadra and his consort are this.

Wisdom and the expanse of appearance and emptiness

Should be known to be primordial buddhahood.

Self-knowing knowledge with its stains

Does not depend on anything else

And therefore is that self arising wisdom.

Because it is knowledge, it is clear;

Because it is self-knowing it is non-conceptual;

Self knowing can not possibly conceive itself,

Because it is not conceivable.

That mind is non conceptual;

It is clarity, non-conceptuality and wisdom,

Like the wisdom of the sugatas.

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Therefore, as to the mind’s nature and luminosity, it was taught that

It should be realised that the mind is wisdom

And one should not seek buddhahood elsewhere.

However, that mind is afflicted

By the incidental stains of thoughts;

Like water, gold and space,

There are phases of purity and impurity,

But within the luminosity nature of the mind

There is not even a hair tip of substance.

Just like lotuses that grow in the sky,

Because, in that way, existence has no reality,

There is also not the slightest reality to non-existence,

Because they are interdependent.

If ‘this side’ has no reality, neither does ‘the other side’.

It is not both existent and non-existent,

Because they have been separately refuted.

It is not neither existent nor non-existent,

Because existence and non-existence are contradictory.

Neither is it beings;

Neither is it not beings;

Therefore, it is beyond all conceptualisation.

Thus, there is the clear presentation of the ultimate:

It was taught, “The mind dwells in space.”

The self-knowing knowledge that is free of conceptualisation

Appears while empty and is empty as it appears.

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Therefore, it is the inseparability of appearance and emptiness.

Like the moon in water.

Thus, there is the clear presentation of non-duality:

It was taught “And it also does not dwell in space.”

The self-knowing knowledge, which is free of conceptualisation,

That is what sasra itself is.

That is what nirva also is.

That is what the middle way also is.

That is what has to be seen.

That is what has to be meditated on.

That is what has to be attained.

That is what the valid truth is.

Cause, method and result,

Renowned as ‘the three continuums’,

And renowned as ‘the basis, path and result’,

Are its phases.

It is known as the root consciousness, as the universal ground,

As the aggregation that lasts as long as sasra,

As ‘the dependent’ and so on.


The six classes of beings and the other manifestations

Of that mind and its stains,

Extend beyond the limits of space

As the inconceivable suffering and delusion of sasra.

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The self-knowing knowledge free from conceptualisation,

Free from the stains of thoughts,

Is the unlocated nirva

Vajrasattva too is this;

The six buddhas too are this;

The six classes of beings too are this;

Mañjur-kumra is this;

Vairocana is this;

The dharmakya, the great bliss

And union too are this.

The fourth empowerment too is this.

The innate joy is this.

The pure nature is this.

These and most other renowned

Terms and categories

In the stras and tantras

Are dependent upon this,

As logic [demonstrates] when it is applied to it.


The stainless mind’s

Emanated rpakyas include

The completely pure realms

The emanated maalas, and so on:

The greatly wonderful emanations

That appear throughout and beyond the limits of space.

The ignorant non-buddhists,

The Trthikas say that the mind

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Is tman and Purua,101 and so on,

Engaging with an ocean of mistaken traditions.

In our own tradition, the ravakas,

The pratyekabuddhas and the cittamatrins

Are attached to the duality of perceiver and percept

And correctly conceptualise non-duality.

There are also the ‘Truth’ and the’False’102 and other traditions

That have entered into a net of concepts.

Thus, if there is an unmistaken view,

The meditation and conduct will be pure,

In accord with the truth and enlightenment will be attained,

Like a horse that is shown at a race-course.103

When one is not in accord with the true view,

Meditation and conduct become delusion,

One will not attain the real result,

One will be like a blind man who has no eyes.

The true meaning is deep, like the ocean,

How can my mind, like a frog in a well,

Sitr and find its depths?

I ask the wise one to forgive my errors!

Through whatever good karma I have created,

May fortunate, pure beings

101 gTso-bo. This is according to the Sakhya tradition.102 rNam-bden; rnam-rdzun. They are Cittamatrin traditions. Will have to find the

Sanskrit for them.103 I don’t know why this image is used.

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Eliminate all the stains of delusion

And give rise to the wisdom of realisation.

That completes The summary of Nropa’s View.

This is from the mouth of Paita Jñnasiddhi104.

It was received, translated and corrected by Locchva Marpa Chökyi Lodrö.

104 This is Nropa’s Dharma name. Mar-pa songs address him by this name,

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Mahmudr In Brief

[by Maitripa]

In Indian: Mahmudra sañcamitha

In Tibetan: Phyag-rgya chen-po tshig-bsdus pa

I pay homage to the state of great bliss

And I shall describe the mahmudr.

All phenomena are ones own mind;

Seeing outer objects is the delusion of the mind;

Like a dream they are empty of essence.

The mind also is just the movement of memory and cognition

Without a real nature, [like] the power of the wind;

It is as empty of essence as space.

All phenomena are equal, like space;

That is called the mahmudr.

Its essence can’t be taught;

Therefore .the nature of the mind

Does not change or alter

From the nature of mahmudr.

If anyone truly realises the truth,

All appearance and existence will be the mahmudr,

The great, all-pervading dharmakya.

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Rest in naturalness, the uncontrived nature.

The dharmakya cannot be thought of;

Meditate by resting without seeking.

Meditating by seeking is the deluded mind.

There is neither meditation nor non-meditation,

Just like manifestations in space,

So how can there be freedom or non freedom?

The yogin who has that realisation,

Through knowing this, will be liberated from

The karma of all good and bad actions.

The defilements are great wisdoms;

Like fire in forest, they are the yogin’s companion.

Where can there be a going and staying?

Residing in the hermitage, what meditation can there be?

One who does not realise that,

Will not be liberated even from the temporary.

What could bind one who has realised that?

Dwelling, undistracted, within that state,

There will be no alteration of body or speech and no meditation;

‘Neither resting nor not resting in equanimity’

Nothing has any reality within this.

Know that whatever appears has no nature of its own.

Appearances are self liberating, are the dharmadhtu,

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Realisation is self-liberated, is great wisdom,

The equal non-duality is the dharmakya.

Like the continuous flow of a great river

However it abides, it has meaning;

It is always buddhahood.

Without the objects of sasra, it is great bliss.

All phenomena are devoid of their own essences;

The intellect that grasps emptiness becomes spontaneously purified;

In the intellect-free mind, there is nothing to be done.

This is the path of all the buddhas.

I have summarised this essential teaching

For those who are perfectly worthy.

Through this, may all beings, without exception,

Reside in the mahmudr

That completes The Summary of Maitripa’s Mahmudr.

This came from the mouth of that Paita, and was translated by Marpa Chökyi Lodro.

udhammastu sarva-jagata

[May all beings be purified!]

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The ‘Sign Dharma’ that is an essential concentration of nourishment,

The splendour that clearly ripens timely results and defeats bad thoughts105

In the dance of lotuses, in the ultimate nature of the ground:

Appearance and existence arises as the ground and pervades all space,

And therefore, with the glow of the kaila,106 of good motivation, greeting

one in front

And the excellent grove of joyous lotuses blossoming,

This excellent wish-fulfilling vase, this harvest with its nourishing


Was printed by Le-thang Tsedon

In the second Akaniha [paradise]: the great Karmapa camp.

Through this virtue, may the entire ocean of beings that pervades all space

Completely dispel the darkness of ignorance and dualistic appearances,

And may the joyous grove of the four kyas and liberation blossom!

This [edition was made] by the last in the line of those named Karmapa —I, the

sixteenth— in response to the encouragement of practitioners of good actions. In

accordance with this prayer, may it be the cause for entering the ocean of

Samantabhadras’s prayer.


[All good fortune!]

105 These lines are based n the image of the sun shining on blossoming lotuses.106 I have not identified this word that references the sun.