Compassion of the Wisdom Bodhisattva

part 1 We now turn the discussion to compassion of bodhisattva wisdom after completing Twenty Emptinesses of Chandrakirti. This important clarification of Nagarjuna's thinking answered many questions that arose at that early time in relation to Nagarjuna's new middle way philosophy describing the nature of reality. The writings and teachings of Chandrakirti are equally important to the writings and teachings of Nagarjuna. So much so, that many feel that without Chandrakirti, Nagarjuna's presentation would have been lost due to the difficulty of understanding what he meant. For those of you who have ever opened a book by Nagarjuna, respected it profoundly but not understand it, Chandrakirti did us a great service. We also discover in his writings that he was not just parroting or struggling to understand what Nagarjuna said. Chandrakirti had original thinking and opened up new levels of inquiry.

So, now you might also have questions regarding Chandrakirti or my commentary. For that reason, I asked myself some of the questions that you might be asking yourself in the future. I begin, "Rinpoche, if everything is devoid of the very thing that I believe is solid, real, and trustworthy inside and outside, the past, the present, and the future, and even the bodhisattvas are not the really real that I think they are, then how to bodhisattvas generate bodhichitta?" I ask the question, and then have to think about it for a while…

Actual bodhichitta is an authentic inner sense. The preparation practices and training you are learning are what is possible and what is needed while you are in the human realm with a human body and a human mind and an innate view. If the preparation practices did not take into account your innate view, it would just simply be another philosophical musing, isn't that so? So, the preparation practices take into account that you do have an innate view and do not expect you to be perfect or to hide your lack of perfection while you are trying to accomplish the important task of achieving transformation toward perfection. It would be a logical trap if only the perfect can become enlightened. It is our good luck that it does not work that way.

This innate view we can then look at like a cocoon that has given you parameters that you needed in order to emerge into another way of being. Like that butterfly, you must make efforts to be released from the cocoon in order to be strong enough to enter into another phase of your development. Now, that makes a lot of sense outside and inside. If that change is done carefully, the rest of the bodhichitta practices await the newly enlightened being beyond the state of lack of foundation support. One must enter into that state without the foundation of the innate view that solidifies perceptually what is not intrinsically real in order to be prepared enough to enter into another way of being and makes you suitable for learning something else. If that change is done carefully, it prepares you for entering into the rest of the bodhichitta practices.

Energetic transformation that was previously done in the human realm will cause you to energetically reject the lower nirvana of liberation for yourself alone and move onto other practices and further experiences to become a benefit being. There will be some who will enter liberation because that is all they would be capable of doing. Not everyone is capable of the bodhichitta path, not everyone has the powerful desire awakening, "I want to be of benefit to all living beings." That is why bodhichitta motivation is considered to be so special and unique because it places you into the trainings that allow you to become that benefit being. So, they enter into cessation, and they are no more. Or, they enter into a stasis kind of cessation with a need to satisfy some karmic result, and so they fall away from karmic temporary cessation, assume form and perhaps go back to ordinary being.

This emptiness of the actual way you are alive acts like a membrane that holds you away from all of life while you are presently receiving training, or it holds you away from all of life while you are trapped in cyclic existence and unable to leave. After the bodhisattva goes through many different kinds of training in many perceptual world spheres and pure lands, they become so skillful and so very needed that they become valuable and continue benefiting many. Eventually, they become so skillful that they become candidates for perfection, as though they could not help it.

Even though they reject the lower Nirvana again and again and again, at a certain point they have no control over it, and they become candidates for entering the perfected state. This is what we acknowledge to be a Parinirvana. After entering the perfected state, their nature and the nature of perfection are not different. Then from perfection, there emanates an intention that has the ability to enter into any form through a process of manifestation that I have described in other teachings. However arriving at the gate of human perceptual realm, the emanation from perfection has not moved from perfection. This is the one who is capable of observing the needs of living beings. This is not a form that is here to satisfy your every need, but here to observe and free perfection living under poor dynamics in the form of suffering ordinary beings.

The concern that they feel and their capacity to free that obstacle to development is called Great Compassion. Great Compassion can only be generated from the perfection state. All of the careful training that emerging learner bodhisattvas is compassion of the correct inner sense bases trained to use in the correct manner. Bodhisattva trainees are receiving training in compassion in using the correct inner sense bases, in the correct manner. So they are using their inner bases and senses, like you are using the human mind, human body, and your innate view to generate in the correct way, your stage of development in compassion. Why? Because compassion is so important that you must become compassion.

Now, many things that I am describing are said to be qualities and activities of dharmakaya, but I believe, the word dharmakaya has changed and become more related to interior human activities. Let us just say that the meaning of dharmakaya has become too well known, too familiar and everybody who is anybody is in the dharmakaya sphere. Their mind does not move from dharmakaya, and Lama sits on the teaching throne, remaining fully in dharmakaya while teaching. It has become a social dharmic respect and not an acknowledgment of the actual quality it had in ancient days by interior enlightened standards.

We are putting the state of perfection correctly beyond this lowered standard of dharmakaya as a known quality and one easily discussed so casually. If you are going to experience emptiness and the nature of the way that things actually exist, then you are in dharmakaya? No, and that would not make sense. There are many different levels and trainings and purifications and processes that one goes through before they enter the perfection state. For simplicity of explanation, one could not jump right from lack of inherent existence to the perfected state of dharmakaya. To be continued….


  1. Exciting and delightful reading Rinpoche! Thank-you! Always looking forward to the next!


    ~ Rinnyi


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