Phyag rgya chen po gsal bar byed pa'i bstan bcos tshangs pa'i 'khor los gzhan blo'i dregs pa nyams byed
In this book, Śākya Chokden seeks to explain the luminous nature of the mind which he says is also popularly given the name Mahāmudrā in Tibet (སེམས་ཀྱི་རང་བཞིན་འོད་གསལ་ལ།། ཕྱག་རྒྱ་ཆེན་པོའི་མཚན་གསོལ་ནས། །གངས་ཅན་ལྗོངས་སུ་ཆེར་གྲགས་པ། །དེ་ཉིད་མདོ་ཙམ་གསལ་བར་བྱ།།). In elucidating the Mahāmudrā advocated by Gampopa, he presents a detailed explanation of it by pointing out that the Mahāmudrā in this context is the luminous nature of the mind, which is common to all Mahāyāna traditions, and the one which is explicitly taught in the works of Maitreya, particularly in the Ultimate Continuum. This nature is totally obscured or tainted in the ground phase (གཞི་དུས་མ་དག་པ་), partially tainted or obscured at the path phase (ལམ་དུས་ཕྱོགས་གཅིག་དག་པ་) and fully purified at the fruition phase (འབྲས་དུས་ཐམས་ཅད་དག་པ་). He writes that the basic element of buddha nature is the ground to be purified, the stains to be removed are nine-fold perhaps referring to the nine analogies used to illustrate how buddha-nature is obscured by the afflictive emotions, the antidote which purifies is the discernment of buddha-nature and the final result the perfection of purity, self and bliss. A resemblance of the final result is already perceived on the Path of Seeing, and such experience of buddha nature is said to be the seeing of Mahāmudrā.He states that Mahāmudrā in this context is not the emptiness of non-implicative negation as argued in the scholastic writings of Nāgārjuna but what is taught in the writings of Maitreya, or the definitive ultimate reality taught in the Third Turning after having taught self-emptiness in the Middle Turning. He then explains how such nature is actualized through meditation by removing the dualistic conceptual thoughts and emotions which are included in the eight types of consciousness that characterize the three realms of cycle of existence. In the final section, he refutes several misunderstanding and criticism concerning Mahāmudrā and argues that this Mahāmudrā cannot be realized merely through conceptual reasoning but through practice of non-mentation with the help of instructions which points out the nature of the mind and devotion to guru. Intellectual study and single-pointed concentration are not prerequisites for the experience of Mahāmudrā. He adds that positing the emptiness, which is a non-implicative negation after a reductionist analysis, as Mahāmudrā is not in accordance with the Ultimate Continuum or the purport of the hymns by Saraha.
Recensions of This Text
Philosophical positions of this text
Śākya Chokden's general position is that only those beings on the Bodhisattva stage level and above have buddha-nature but equating Buddha-Nature with Mahāmudrā, he seems to accept all beings have Buddha-Nature in this text.
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