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Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpocze

The Sky's Excellent Path:
A Concise Explanation of the Great Vehicle

Om delek su gyur chik!

The sun of wisdom shines in Dharmadhatu's sky,
Light rays of love dispel the darkness of ignorance.
To those who cause Dharma to flourish in the realms of wanderers--
To the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions, I bow. (1)

Genuine reality transcends "top","bottom", and directions,
But through dependent imputation,
"Top", "bottom", and directions are imagined to exist.
This way [that] beings engage in direct and inferential valid cognition
Is the basis of all conventions, all fabrications. (2)

Samsaric happiness and suffering, beings' birth, death, and so forth,
Have never existed in reality's basic nature.
Yet they appear to exist, and the Buddha taught as if they did.
This way of teaching is a method
Of getting beginners to enter the Dharma. (3)

Experiences of happiness and suffering
That come from positive and negative actions
Are like dreams, illusions, and watermoons, the Buddha taught.
Yet beings think these are real because they directly experience them.
This is nothing more than a confused way of relating
To one's own karmic experiences. (4)

Past and future lives and the way of leaving one life and going to the next
Have no self nature, like watermoons.
Yet in order to counteract the view of nothingness,
If beginners believe in them as being real, that is good. (5)

The difficulty of finding the freedoms and advantages,
The impermanence of this life,
The infallibility of cause and result,
And the sufferings of samsara:
These help beginners turn their minds away from samsara,
And so they are vital preliminaries for all practices of meditation. (6)

Thinking of samsara's varieties of sufferings is frightening,
And when yearning for liberation arises,
With a mind free of any doubts at all,
Go for refuge to the three supreme and undeceiving protectors. (7)

In order to make this the Great Vehicle's path,
Cultivate great love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
And with these four immeasurables as the preliminaries,
Give rise to the supreme mind
Turned toward supreme enlightenment--bodhicitta! (8)

Without wisdom realizing emptiness,
There is no way to purify samsara's confused appearances.
So with profound intelligence investigate, investigate and meditate
Upon the true nature of all phenomena, reality free of fabrication. (9)

Meditating like this, one traverses the four levels
Of the path of junction, called:
Heat, Peak, Patience and Supreme Dharma.
On each of these levels, respectively,
What remains is clinging to true existence
That is gross, subtle, extremely subtle, and the mere appearance of duality: 
This is a path of ordinary beings. (10)

Then, at the end of the Great Supreme Dharma,
Through the pacification of all signs of fabrication
Actual reality, Dharmadhatu, becomes manifest.
This is the path of seeing,
Where the Noble Ones' grounds are reached. (11)

Completely Joyous, Stainless, Luminous, Radiant,
Difficult to Overcome, the Manifest, Gone Far, Unmoving,
Excellent Mind, and Cloud of Dharma: these are the ten grounds.
They are divided into the seven impure and the three pure ones. (12)

Generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, meditative concentration,
Wisdom, means, aspiration prayers, power, and primordial wisdom
Are the ten transcendent perfections.
When one connects the way they become more and more extraordinary
Over the ten grounds, with the ten "Mind Productions" of the Entrance,
That is excellent. (13)

Then, when the realization of the ten grounds is perfected,
The remedy, the Vajra-like samadhi, defeats dualistic appearances,
Together with the habitual tendencies that produce them.
The abandonments and realizations are perfected,
And Buddhahood is attained. (14)

The Buddhas' three kayas, five wisdoms, and so forth,
The glorious abandonments for the benefit of self,
And the glorious realizations for the benefit of others become manifest.
And compassion perfected ensures
That deeds benefitting others never ceases. (15)

This brief explanation of the Great Vehicle's path and fruition,
A gateway for fresh minds, called The Sky's Excellent Path,
From the wide open sky-path above the Pacific
Shone the radiance of Dechen Rangdrol's bliss/emptiness. (16)

Through this virtue, may I and everyone with whom I have a connection
Ripen our mindstreams on the Great Vehicle's path.
And may the Great Secret Vehicle's
Profound generation and completion stages
Be a cause for our gaining Buddhahood in a single life! (17)


These were some extemporaneous words spoken by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche in the expanse of sky above the Pacific, while traveling from Australia to Thailand on December 2, 1998.