Tibetian Teachings

Stanza 134 ‘The greatest wealth consisteth in being charitable, And the greatest happiness in having tranquility of mind. Experience is the most beautiful adornment; And the best comrade is one that hath no desires.’
Folio 5
 ‘To him who knoweth the True Nature of things,
  What need is there of a teacher?
  To him who hath recovered from illness,
  What need is there of a physician?
  To him who has crossed the river,
  What need is there of a boat?’
Folio 13
 ‘Time is fleeting, learning is vast; no one knoweth the
       duration of one’s life:
  Therefore use the swan’s art of extracting milk from water,
  And devote thyself to the Most Precious [Path].’
  Although many stars shine, and that ornament of the Earth,
     the Moon also shineth,
  Yet when the Sun setteth, it becometh night.’
Verses 29-34
 ‘Charity produceth the harvest in the next birth,
  Chastity is the parents of human happiness.
  Patience is an adornment becoming to all.
  Industry is the conductor of every personal accomplishment.
  Dhyana is the clarifier of a beclouded mind.
  Intellect is the weapon which overcometh every enemy.’
Verses 77-80
 ‘Be not to quick to express the desire of thy heart.
  Be not short-tempered when engaged in a great work.
  Be not jealous of a devotee who is truly religious and pious.
  Consult not him who is habituated and hardened to evil-doing.’
Verse 146
 ‘Preaching religious truths to an unbeliever is like feeding a
     venomous serpent with milk.’
Verses 193-4
 ‘He who knoweth the Precepts by heart, but faileth to practise
  Is like unto one who lighteth a lamp and then shutteth his

 (1) One should acquire practical knowledge of the Path by
treading it, and not be as are the multitude [who profess, but
do not practise, religion].

 (2) By quitting one’s own country and dwelling in foreign
lands one should acquire practical knowledge of non-attachment. [1]
 [1] This implies non-attachment to all worldly possessions, to home
 and kin, as to the tyranny of social intercourse and custom, which
 commonly causes the attached to fritter life away in what Milarepa
 so wisely teaches, ‘All worldly pursuits have but the one unavoidable
 and inevitable end, which is sorrow: acquisitions end in dispersion;
 buildings, in destruction; meetings, in separation; births, in
 death.’ (See Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa, p. 259.)  All the Great
 Sages, in every land and generation, have traversed the Garden of
 Human Existence, have plucked and eaten of the glamorous vari-
 coloured fruits of the Tree of Life growing in the midst thereof,
 and, as a result, have attained world-disillusionment, whereby man
 first sees that Divine Vision which alone can give to him
 imperishable contentment both now and in the hour of death.
 Ecclesiastes, the Jewish Sage, who was once ‘king over Israel in
 Jerusalem’, in language very much like that of Milarepa, tells us,
 ‘I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold,
 all is vanity and vexation of spirit.’  (Ecclesiastes i. 14.)

 (3) Having chosen a religious preceptor, separate thyself
from egotism and follow his teachings implicitly.

 (4) Having acquired mental discipline by hearing and meditating
upon religious teachings, boast not of thine attainment,
but apply it to the realization of Truth.

 (5) Spiritual knowledge having dawned in oneself, neglect
it not through slothfulness, but cultivate it with ceaseless

 (6) Once having experienced spiritual illumination, commune
with it in solitude, relinquishing the worldly activities of
the multitude.

 (7) Having acquired practical knowledge of spiritual things
and made the Great Renunciation, permit not the body, speech,
or mind to become unruly, but observe the three vows, of
poverty, chastity, and obedience.

 (8) Having resolved to attain the Highest Goal, abandon
selfishness and devote thyself to the service of others.

 (9) Having entered upon the mystic Mantrayanic Pathway,
permit not the body, the speech, or mind to remain
unsanctified, but practise the threefold mandala. [1]
 [1] A mandala is a symbolical geometrical diagram wherein dieties are
 invoked.  (See Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa, p. 132.)  The threefold
 mandala is dedicated to the spiritual forces (often personified as
 Tantric deities) presiding over, or manifesting through, the body,
 the speech, and the mind of man, as in Kundalini Yoga.

 (10) During the period of youth, frequent not those who
cannot direct thee spiritually, but acquire practical knowledge
painstakingly at the feet of a learned and pious guru.

 These are The Ten Things To Be Practised.


 (1) To have but little pride and envy is the sign of a
superior man.

 (2) To have but few desires and satisfaction with simple
things is the sign of a superior man.

 (3) To be lacking in hypocrisy and deceit is the sign of
a superior man.

 (4) To regulate one’s conduct in accordance with the law
of cause and effect as carefully as one guardeth the pupils of
one’s eyes is the sign of a superior man.

 (5) To be faithful to one’s engagements and obligations is
the sign of a superior man.

 (6) To be able to keep alive friendships while one [at the
same time] regardeth all beings with impartiality is the sign
of a superior man.

 (7) To look with pity and without anger upon those who
live evilly is the sign of a superior man.

 (8) To allow unto others the victory, taking unto oneself
the defeat, is the sign of a superior man.

 (9) To differ from the multitude in every thought and
action is the sign of a superior man.

 (10) To observe faithfully and without pride one’s vows of
chastity and piety is the sign of a superior man.

 These are The Ten Signs Of A Superior Man.  Their
 opposites are The Ten Signs Of An Inferior Man.


 (1) At the very outset [of one’s religious career] one should
have so profound an aversion for the continuous succession of
deaths and births [to which all who have not attained Enlightenment
are subject] that one will wish to flee from it even as a
stag fleeth from captivity.

 (2) The next necessary thing is perseverance so great that
one regretteth not the losing of one’s life [in the quest for
Enlightenment], like that of the husbandman who tilleth his
fields and regretteth no the tilling even though he die on the

 (3) The third necessary thing is joyfulness of mind like that
of a man who hath accomplished a great deed of far-reaching

 (4) Again, one should comprehend that, as with a man
dangerously wounded by an arrow, there is not a moment of
time to be wasted.

 (5) One needeth ability to fix the mind on a single thought
even as doth a mother who hath lost her only son.

 (6) Another necessary thing is to understand that there is
no need of doing anything, [1] even as a cowherd whose cattle
have been driven off by enemies understandeth that he can do
nothing to recover them.
 [1] The yogin’s goal is complete quiescence of body, speech, and
 mind, in accordance with the ancient yogic precept, ‘Be quiescent,
 and know that thou art That’.  The Hebrew Scriptures echo the same
 teaching in the well-known aphorism, ‘Be still, and know that I am
 God’ (Psalms xlvi. 10).

 (7) It is primarily requisite for one to hunger after the
Doctrine even as a hungry man hugereth after good food.

 (8) One needeth to be as confident of one’s mental ability
as doth a strong man of his physical ability to hold fast to a
precious gem which he hath found.

 (9) One must expose the fallacy of dualism as one doth the
falsity of a liar.

 (10) One must have confidence in the Thatness [as being
the Sole Refuge] even as an exhausted crow far from land
hath confidence in the mast of the ship upon which it resteth.

 These are The Necessary Things.


 (1) It is great joy to realize that the mind of all sentient
beings is inseparable from the All-Mind. [1]
 [1] Or the Dharma-Kaya, the ‘Divine Body of Truth’, viewed as the

 (2) It is great joy to realize that the Fundamental Reality
is qualityless. [1]
 [1] Qualities are purely sangsaric, ie. of the phenomenal universe.
 To the Fundamental Reality, to the Thatness, no characteristics can
 be applied.  In It all sangsaric things, all qualities, all
 conditions, all dualities, merge in transcendent at-one-ness.

 (3) It is great joy to realize that in the infinite, thought-
transcending Knowledge of Reality all sangsaric differentiations
are non-existent. [1]
 [1] In the Knowledge (or Realization) of Reality all partial or
 relative truths are recognized as parts of the One Truth, and no
 differentiations such as lead to the establishing of opposing
 religions and sects, each perhaps pragmatically in possession of some
 partial truth, is possible.

 (4) It is great joy to realize that in the state of primordial
[or uncreated] mind there existeth no disturbing thought-process. [1]
 [1] {Cf. pp. 89 [1], 153 [2].}

 (5) It is great joy to realize that in the Dharma-Kaya
wherein mind and matter are inseparable, there existeth neither
any holder of theories nor any support of theories. [1]
 [1] To the truth-seeker, whether in the realm of physical or of
 spiritual  science, theories are essential; but once any truth, or
 fact, has been ascertained, all theories concerning it are useless.
 Accordingly, in the Dharma-Kaya, or State of the Fundamental Truth,
 no theory is necessary or conceivable; it is the State of Perfect
 Enlightenment, of the Buddhas in Nirvana.

 (6) It is great joy to realize that in the self-emanated
compassionate Sambhoga-Kaya there existeth no birth, death,
transition, or any change. [1]
 [1] The Sambhoga-Kaya, or ‘Divine Body of Perfect Endowment’,
 symbolizes the state of spiritual communion in which all Bodhisattvas
 exist when not incarnate on Earth, similar to that implied by the
 communion of saints.  Like the Dharma-Kaya, of which it is the
 self-emanated primary reflex, the Sambhoga-Kaya is a state wherein
 birth, death, transitions, and change are transcended.

 (7) It is great joy to realize that in the self-emanated, divine
Nirmana-Kaya there existeth no feeling of duality. [1]
 [1] The Nirmana-Kaya, or ‘Divine Body of Incarnation’, the
 secondary reflex of the Dharma-Kaya, is the Body, or Spiritual
 State, in which abide all Great Teachers, or Bodhisattvas,
 incarnate on earth.  The Dharma-Kaya, being beyond the realm of
 sangsaric sense perceptions, cannot be sensuously perceived.
 Hence the mind of the yogin when realizing It ceases to exist
 as finite mind, as something apart from It.  In other words,
 in the state of transcendent samadhic ecstasy wherein the
 Dharma-Kaya is realized, finite mind attains to at-one-ment
 with its Source, the Dharma-Kaya.  Likewise, in the state of
 the Nirmana-Kaya, the Divine and the Sentient, Mind and Matter,
 Noumena and Phenomena, and all the dualities, blend in at-one-ment.
 And this the Bodhhisattvas, when in the fleshly body, intuitively
 feels; he knows that neither he himself, nor any sensuous or
 objective thing, has a separate or independent existence apart
 from the Dharma-Kaya.  For a more detailed exposition of this
 fundamental Mahayanic doctrine of the ‘Three Divine Bodies’
 (Skt. Tri-Kaya) the student is referred to The Tibetan Book
of the Dead, pp. 10-15.

 (8) It is great joy to realize that in the Dharma-Chakra
there existeth no support for the soul doctrine. [1]
 [1] The truths proclaimed by the Buddha are symbolized by the
 Dharma-Chakra (the ‘Wheel of Truth’) which He set in motion when He
 first preached the truths to his disciples, in the Deer Park,
 near Benares.  In the time of the Enlightened One, and long before
 then, the animistic belief in a permanent ego, or self, in an
 unchanging soul (Skt. atma), ie. in personal immortality, was
 as widespread in India and the Far East as it is in Europe and
 America now.  He denied the validity of this doctrine; and nowhere
 in the Buddhist Scriptures, or Dharma, of either Southern or Northern
 Buddhism, is there any support for it.

 (9) It is great joy to realize that in the Divine, Boundless
Compassion [of the Bodhisattvas] there existeth neither any
shortcoming nor any showing of partiality.

 (10) It is great joy to realize that the Path to Freedom
which all the Buddhas have trodden is ever-existent, ever unchanged,
and ever open to those who are ready to enter upon it.

 These are The Ten Great Joyful Realizations.

Author: Gilbert Tan TS

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