Monthly Archives: November 2014

The final one of the 150 vajra-statements discusses the place where the Buddhas finally abide. Dorje Sherab describes the general view, according to which the Exalted Buddhas, having accomplished all deeds, transcend all misery, like a fire dies whose fuel is exhausted. They abide in the “palace of the sphere of reality of Akanishta,” the dwelling place of all Buddhas, which is ornamented with inconceivable arrangements of qualities. Every single present Buddha of the ten directions transcends misery and proceeds to that place, and all the Buddhas of the future too will complete their activities, transcend misery, and proceed and abide there. In contrast to such a view Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön maintains that (7.15) all Buddhas dwell in the natural continuum (khams rgyud ) of all sentient beings. Rigdzin Chökyi Dragpa shows considerable interest in this statement and provides in his comments more details than we can find in the Dosherma and the Rinjangma . His main arguments can be summarised as the following eight points:

(1) From the moment onwards when they have cultivated the resolve for the benefit of beings, the Buddhas engage only in benefiting beings. Therefore their activities are not compatible with merely dwelling “in the sphere of peace.”
(2) They dwell in “the natural continuum (khams rgyud ) of the sentient beings who exist in samsara.” (For a definition of “natural continuum” see below, no. 8).
(3) All the Tathagatas fit into the mental continuum of each and every being, since
– the Buddha’s body emanates everywhere,
– true reality is inseparable from sentient beings’ mental continua,
– all beings belong to the Buddha-family and thus posses the essence of the Buddha.
(4) That “the Buddhas are dwelling in one’s natural continuum since beginningless time” means that they are “the undefiled nature of the mind” that is connected with the beings since beginningless time, while the afflictions are not a part of the beings’ nature.
(5) When temporal adventitious defilements are removed, that has been taught to be equal to Buddhahood.
(6) Buddha fields like Sukhavati, Akanishta, and Abhirati are not somewhere else, but exist within the natural continuum of sentient beings.
(7) The very world into which a being is born is the Buddha field. This point is also made in Sherab Jungne’s Praise of Definitive Meaning , a praise of his teacher Jigten Sumgön, where he reports the following question he asked his teacher and the latter’s reply to it: “Protector! Into which Buddha field will you proceed when you leave this world? Whereto shall we direct our prayers? [Reply]: This is the Buddha field! Where else should it be? I dwell wherever the true nature of the mind and mahamudra are an inseparable unity. Never separate from the practise of your own mind! That means ‘to be inseparable from me.’ How can I be at only a single place like Oddyana und Jalandhara?”
(8) The very thing that is called “natural continuum” (khams rgyud ) is so called because it is unproduced, spontaneously achieved etc., and it is a synonym of Buddha nature (sugatagarbha ).

The Dosherma and the Rinjangma tie in here the teaching of disciplined conduct (shila ) in an interesting way. They do this by focusing (in accordance with the above points) on the inside, namely the natural continuum of beings. Thus they state that all the far-away-Buddha-activities are in truth existing within the individual natural continua of all beings. In which way? If a person engages in bad conduct, not only do all ordinary beings perceive their faults, but all the Tathagatas, too, perceive this misconduct with their pure gnosis perception (i.e., so to speak, from within the natural continuum). On the other hand, if a person behaves correctly through the three venues, just that is the entrance gate for Buddha activities and their blessings.