The Great Chariot

by Longchenpa | 268,580 words

A Commentary on Great Perfection: The Nature of Mind, Easer of Weariness In Sanskrit the title is ‘Mahāsandhi-cittā-visranta-vṛtti-mahāratha-nāma’. In Tibetan ‘rDzogs pa chen po sems nyid ngal gso’i shing rta chen po shes bya ba ’...

a. Since the guru is the ground of all virtues, there is the admonishment rely on the guru.

This is the instruction to rely on such a guru:

This is the actual basis of splendor and of wealth,
From which arise clouds of benefit and happiness.
Those who want a rain of amrita throughout the three levels,
Let them rely on those who are compassionate.

The omniscient Buddhas are the true glory of themselves and others. By the deathless wealth of

Dharma they protect beings, and they possess limitless good qualities.

From these numerous clouds of benefit and happiness in the three realms falls the rain of the three turnings of the wheel of Dharma. Those who want to obtain this should rely on the spiritual friend. The Middle Length Prajñaparamita says:

Subhuti, Those who wish to attain omniscience should rely on the spiritual friend.

The Prajñaparamitasañcayagatha says: #416.2

Why should one always rely on competent gurus?
The qualities of competence rise from them.

As for the three turnings, the Buddha Bhagavat taught these dharmas after seven weeks of seven days. The first week he merely sat in cross-legged posture. The second, he saw the field of the essence, enlightenment. The third he trod nearby upon Jambuling. The fourth, he trod far away on the third thousand worlds. The fifth, he went to the dwelling of the king of nagas, Grasping and Rejecting. The sixth he remained in the grove of the field to be liberated.

Uncompounded, profound, peaceful, simple, and clear
Is this amrita-like Dharma that I have obtained.
There is no one at all who will understand it.
Not speaking, I shall remain alone within the forest.

So he said and remained there. Brahma offered him a melon and honey, but he did not take the vessel. The four kings offered four stone begging bowls at one time, and were blessed. After he ate, he spoke only words of auspiciousness. On the seventh day, Brahma and Indra supplicated him. Then when he had gone to Varanasi, for the five excellent disciples he turned the wheel of the four noble truths together with the instructions on the divine eight-fold path.

Then on the Vulture Peak for the excellent bodhisattvas of the ten directions, the four kinds of retinue, the gods, nagas and so forth he turned the wheel of Dharma of marklessness.

Then in the realms of the gods and nagas and the cities Kumuda Saljin ???and so forth he turned the wheel of the Dharma of true meaning.

These three turnings were taught at various uncertain places. They were intended for those of lesser, intermediate and greater powers; or for those first entering the path, those who were continuing on it, and those who had the final goal, the essence. The three pitakas were taught in the style of the expresser and the three trainings of discipline, samadhi, and prajña are the three subjects of learning expressed.

Some teachers say the Buddha turned the three wheels of Dharma at one time, and in different appearances to different individual beings, and that the sutras of existence and non-existence were explained in separate years is not right. The particular great treasuries of explanation, are maintained to have continued until he was eighty years old. The Buddha’s parinirvana or passing is claimed to have been at the age of eighty years and three months. The Eight kinds of Stupas (mchod rten brgyad pa) says:

Three months after the supplication by Tsunda
I prostrated to the nirvana-made stupa.

Some other teachers maintain that it was when he was eighty-two. That really it was three months and eighty years is taught in many sutras. As for it’s being eighty, the Great Treasury of Explanation (bshad mdzod chem mo) says:

The places of the turnings,
Are the city of Vaishali,
Sakarchen[1] and the heavens, ???
Jipasön[2] and Kaushambhi,
In verdant Highland pastures,
By stupas and in mountains,
At Radiant Grove and Drarche[3]
And the city of Kapalivastu.

Buddha Shakyamuni,
The most excellent of beings,
Dwelt from year to year.
Two in the Blazing Cave,
Three in the Medicine Grove.
Five in the royal court.
Six in ascetic practice.
Twenty three in Shravasti.
Twenty nine in elegance.

After eighty years,
The Victorious One, the Sage,
The Supreme One went beyond suffering.
To those places of merit
The dwellings of omniscience.

Ceaselessly offering bows
In body, speech and mind,
Devotedly I prostrate.

b. The instruction to do as was done formerly

To pacify the kleshas in the space of mind,
Accustomed to their torment from beginningless time,
We should seek the Dharma, as formerly was done by Sadaprarudita and Sudhana.
Abandoning sorrow and weariness, rely on spiritual friends.

Until we ourselves are without karma and the kleshas, in order to pacify these we need to attend on a guru better than ourselves. This is because we need higher qualities. As to how this is done, in the

city “Arising Place of Happiness,” was a master merchant Supreme support of Wealth who had a son Good Wealth or Sudhana, who from his southern lineage went to all southern places. By his always seeking the Dharma, it was prophesied that he would become the Prince of Jambuling and so forth, and so he was blessed by fifty-four gurus. Afterwards he was taught by fifty-four more gurus, so he relied on a hundred and eight.

The bodhisattva Sadaprarudita, Ever-weeping, when he was seeking the perfection of prajña squeezed his body. He stayed in a chariot with five hundred merchants’ daughters. When they had come to the eastern city of Possessing Incense he made offerings to the bodhisattva Noble Dharma. We too should do such reverence.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Sa dkar can: place having white earth.

[2]:

byis pa gson: child or fool listening.

[3]:

dgrar bcas: with enemies.

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