SUBLIME HEART TEACHINGS (3)


The Serkhangma “Golden Temple Prayer” Practice & Teachings with Khenpo Samdup Rinpoche


Transcription: Day 2 (Transcribed as spoken with little editing, and includes further commentary).


(Continuation of transcription of teachings, of Day 1 which can be found on Sublime Heart Teachings (1) and (2), pages of this website).





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Day 2

(Section 2)

Verse 21 (Offering Verse 11)

“The Vajra Goddess of mind, nature of sound,
Is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified hatred.
I merge her with the ears of the Lama, Lord of Dharma.
Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”.


“The Vajra Goddess of mind, nature of sound,…”. These are the sound offerings. The mind nature of sound, is the same nature, as the mind nature of form. “Sound is empty, emptiness is sound. Sound is none other than emptiness, emptiness is none other than sound”. The offerings are also on three different levels, (depending upon meditative realisation). The three of them purify the obscuration to sound, (attachment or fixation, to sound). On the outer level, we create beautiful sounds, – music, chanting melodies, and offer it. (We have fixation to the worldly, samsaric sounds). Using the spiritual practice sounds, (as a guide), using the beautiful sounds of the spiritual chanting, – that is antidote to the samsaric, worldly, negative sounds. Then, we are also doing mantras, so all this ordinary speech is transformed to Enlightened beings speech (sound), – [we] create Enlightened beings speech.

In meditation, all hearing sound is emptiness [as expounded in the Heart Sutra of the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom, (4 of the lines quoted above)]. The mind that is in the rigpa state, the nature of dharmadhatu, (that realises the nature of the Absolute Truth guru), – in that meditation, then there is no attachment to the sounds, and sound is emptiness in that state. It is called sound is dharmadhatu. The sound offering is on three levels, outer, inner and secret levels. Outer level, we create beautiful voices (sounds), all the beautiful voices are offered to Enlightened beings. Inner level, chanting the mantras, reading the prayers like this Serkhangma Prayer. Reading prayers every single day is called inner level sound offering. And then, secret level sound offering, is when we chant the prayers, in the nature of rigpa state, (Realisation of Absolute Truth guru). Meditating in this way, and chanting is called secret level offerings, (sound offerings).  


Fully purified sound offering

“… is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified hatred”. Then, the sound offering is the Vajra Goddess of sound. Sound is emptiness. As long as there is no attachment to the sound, sound will not create fixation, so not create jealously and anger. Usually if someone is saying harsh words, negative words, due to our fixation, grasping, when we hear those sounds, strong anger arises. In the case where someone is speaking negatively, (negative voice), and what is arising is unpleasant to hear, – recognise that sound is empty. “Sound is emptiness, emptiness is sound. Sound is none other than emptiness. Emptiness is none other than sound”. Then anger, hatred is naturally fully purified, that is called Supreme Goddess of fully purified hatred.

“I merge her with the eyes of the Lama, Lord of Dharma”. So then hearing sound, (when there is no fixation to that, no attachment to that), then sound releases itself, [in] emptiness. This is called the Absolute Truth guru’s sound. “Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”. Then that is the Absolute Truth offering to the guru, sound is offering to the guru. In this Serkhangma, this prayer is a very powerful practice. Actually every vajrayana practice, and sutra practice, all the practices are brought into this offering practice. This prayer, this practice, has everything in there. So when anger arises, anger releases itself, [the Realised nature of the practice], and that is called Absolute Truth, secret level offering. Anger is merged here with eyes of the Lama(s). [The Absolute Truth guru nature]. “… Lord[s] of Dharma”. The Lama(s) here, refers to the nature of rigpa.

Anger releases itself, is the nature of rigpa. Where is anger arising from? It is arising from the sound, [which is actually the nature of rigpa]. Sound is recognised as emptiness, and that sound is dharmadhatu, so this is very powerful. When we hear sound, using this prayer, this practice, all sound can become transformed, that anger is transforming, and that creates mirror-like wisdom, [one of the five wisdoms awareness]. “Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”. “Lord of Dharma”, usually refers to the five wisdoms, [the purification of mind]. Here, anger purified, is mirror-like wisdom, anger releases itself, becomes part of the offerings. Anger purified into wisdom is offered. Anger releasing itself, that is called Absolute Truth offerings. Then the next verse…




Verse 22 (Offering Verse 12)

“The Vajra Goddess of qualities, nature of odor,
is the supreme goddess of fully purified arrogance.
I merge her with the nose of the Lama, Lord of Dharma.
Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”.


“The Vajra Goddess of qualities”… . As I explained at the beginning, Vajra Goddess is – the nature is arising, the form is called vajra. Nature is emptiness. All the senses are emptiness. So that arising form, is the [Vajra] Goddesses qualities. “… nature of odor”, odor is the [sense], smell. “… is the supreme goddess of fully purified arrogance”. So, Vajra Goddess of smell [odor], “is the supreme goddess of fully purified arrogance”. [Self-grasping is arrogance, – contaminated aggregates], – smell creates attachment or hatred (aversion), either one. So when there is a really unpleasant smell, we could think about garbage, rest rooms, corpses, spoiled food etc, – so it smells really bad, – spoiled something.  Then we don’t like that smell. It is called [strong aversion], hatred arising. And then good smell, we’re attached to that.

In this verse, [the Vajra Goddess] “… is the supreme goddess of fully purified arrogance”. “… fully purified arrogance” is, – not hatred to the bad smell, not attached to the good smell. Bring all to emptiness. It is actually emptiness. Recognise all smell is emptiness, smell does not actually exist, – that Realisation, – that smell is emptiness, that is called, “the supreme goddess of fully purified arrogance”. So that Realisation is fully purifying our pride. Pride and arrogance is purified this way, – so the smell is offerings, (like beautiful smells). We don’t like the unpleasant smell, but we’re attached to good smell. So, using all the good smells, like perfumes, incense, flowers and plants that have good smell, different [oils] and lotions and so forth, – all this, is being offered, that offering is outer level offerings, [antidote to the grasping at self].  


Absolute Truth level offerings of smell

Inner level offering, all the smell is recognised as emptiness. Then Absolute [Truth] level offering is, smell is emptiness and, also bad smell, good smell, is inseparable, not separate. It doesn’t matter if it is good or bad, it is emptiness. So that Realisation is called offerings, the [purification of smell] offering is “… fully purified arrogance”, because bad and good are brought into one, [into oneness nature]. Arrogance is, “I am good, and the other(s) not” [you know], divisions. Divisions bring the arrogance, – is pride. As long as there is Realisation of the Absolute Truth guru (nature of rigpa state), good and bad are one, inseparable, then that Realisation is the offering, – it is called purified arrogance (pride). “I merge her with the nose of the lama, Lord of Dharma”. The Realisation is called “nose of the lama”.

Don’t think the lamas don’t know (hear), good or bad smell [Khenpo and group laugh]. In order for good and bad smell to be brought into one, (not separate), there must be Realisation of the true nature. The judgemental [mind, relative level] is also dissolving, to one taste [awareness], no separation, all is one nature, – that is “… the nose of the lama”. The fully purified arrogance (pride), in the dharmadhatu, nature state, is called “Lord of Dharma” and is equanimity wisdom. The arising of equanimity wisdom is the secret level offering, (the equanimity offerings). Then the next verse.





Verse 23 (Offering Verse 13)

“The Vajra Goddess of speech, nature of taste,
is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified desire.
I merge her with the tongue of the Lama, Lord of Dharma.
Please accept this in the bliss of non-duality”.


“The Vajra Goddess of speech, nature of taste,…” [the purification of the sense of taste]. Speech is emptiness, and emptiness is the true nature of taste [one taste awareness], because speech is emptiness, it is equal. Where does it [speech] come from? Not any source, – just all the conditions arising, and then the sounds arise. But if you really investigate, we cannot find any source, physically permanently there. So same as equal, [equanimity wisdom], that is called the ‘nature of taste’. [This is the Realisation of the Absolute Truth nature, the Perfection of Wisdom, (all is purified in its own true nature, – dharmadhatu state), when there is the cessation of the clinging to self].

“… is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified desire”. [Ordinarily, (relative level)] speech creates attachment. Mundane words, or gossip is due to self-grasping attachment. Knowing our (voice), speech, is emptiness, is “The Vajra Goddess of speech, nature of taste”. This “is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified desire”. Knowing speech is equal or emptiness [Realisation, of Absolute Truth nature], there is no attachment to speech – this is the “fully purified desire”. “I merge her with the tongue of the Lama, Lord of Dharma”, means desire releases itself, that is called “the tongue of the Lama”. Absolute Truth “tongue of the Lama”, not the ordinary tongue. Ordinary physical tongue, is not this quality. So “tongue of the Lama”, is desire releases itself. Speech is recognised as emptiness, like an echo, there is no fixation or attachment to that, so that is called the “… tongue of the Lama, Lord of Dharma”.  


Five wisdoms (awareness) of the fully purified mind

We have mentioned the five wisdoms [“Lord of Dharma”], and spoken of dharmadhatu wisdom [fully purified ignorance], mirror-like wisdom [fully purified hatred (anger)], equanimity wisdom [fully purified arrogance (pride)], so here, this one is discriminating wisdom [fully purified desire (attachment)]. “Lord of Dharma. Please accept this in the bliss of non-duality”. So discriminating wisdom is the offering. The offering is “the bliss of nonduality” [Realisation of dharmadhatu nature]. Nonduality is the Absolute Truth guru and that is the purified desire. Now we go to the next verse.





Verse 24 (Offering Verse 14)

“The Vajra Goddess of activity, nature of tangible objects,
is the supreme goddess of fully purified jealously.
I merge her with the body of the Lama, Lord of Dharma.
Please accept this in the bliss of non-duality”.


“The Vajra Goddess of activity, nature of tangible objects,…”tangible objects”, is referring to touch [sense]. Ordinarily, we feel happy to touch smooth and soft. If something hurts the body, then we don’t want to touch that, it is not pleasant. We have attachment to objects [that we like], and hatred [anger] to objects [that we don’t like], usually, created by these tangible objects. “The Vajra Goddess of activity, nature of tangible objects, is the supreme goddess of fully purified jealously”. So the tangible object’s nature is emptiness. When jealously, arising from self-clinging, attachment and aversion, to sense objects, is fully purified, – it is [dharmadhatu] nature. So long as we know the tangible objects are emptiness, then that “is the supreme goddess of fully purified jealously”. It means, in the Absolute Truth nature (the Realisation), jealously purifies itself, releases itself.

Jealousy arises from the senses, attaching to these tangible objects. Ignorant attachment is the root. Ignorance comes first, and then attachment. As long as we have these two, (ignorance and attachment), then anger, pride and jealously, these three, arise as a result, (secondary branch, afflictions). It is due to fixated attachment to tangible objects, that attachment arises. Through attachment, the result is jealously. (So jealously is based on attachment). Attachment is based on ignorance. Then, the result of jealously, is anger. Very strong jealousy is called anger. So this, root cause, is tangible objects [ignorance]. Knowing (Realisation), that tangible objects are emptiness, then jealousy is not created. So that is why we need to know [and Realise], tangible objects are emptiness. Emptiness is called “the Vajra Goddess of activity”. Then, that is “supreme goddess”, – that knowing, (the Realisation), purifies our jealously.


The body of the Lama (dharmadhatu wisdom)

Then, “I merge her with the body of the Lama, Lord of Dharma”. Jealously releases itself in the emptiness, that is called, “I merge her with the body of the Lama(s)”. Then that is “Lord of Dharma”, – jealously fully purified is called “all accomplishing wisdom”. Here, the last of the five wisdoms is “all accomplishing wisdom”. The five wisdoms are within this practice, and are brought as offerings. In this offering prayer, the five senses release themselves, and that is called the five wisdoms. Actually, all the five wisdoms are one, [it is oneness, dharmadhatu nature]. All the wisdoms are subsumed to the dharmadhatu wisdom, and all the five afflictive emotions, are subsumed to the ignorance. In an Unrealised state, the five senses are the objects of the five afflictive emotions. As long as there is fixation or grasping in the mind, (we are afflicted), then the senses are object(s), or source(s) of afflictive emotion. When the Absolute Truth nature, emptiness is realised, then the five senses, knowing it is emptiness, are the source of five wisdoms. Knowing, (Realisation) that the five senses are emptiness, is the offering. It is called nondual offering. “Please accept this in the bliss of non-duality”. We will leave the teaching here today, thank you.





Weekend of Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th August 2023 – Serkhangma Sadhana Prayer (continued)…




I am going to continue to share the teaching, the Seven Branches of the Mantra, that are called the Serkhangma Prayer. This text is composed by Jigden Sumgon. This prayer is of the Seven Branches, there are many different Seven Branches. In this Seven Branches Vajrayana tradition, the Seven Branches are followed by Guru Yoga and Mahamudra altogether. The most important is the first section, and the first and second verses in particular. So last week we have been through those verses. Today I am also going to do a short recap of these verses, to remind you of them. Actually these verses are important to memorise. So long as we have memorized these, then we can apply this practice every day, in our daily lives. Every moment, every single day, you can apply these, it doesn’t matter where you are. So using the verses through memorization, or mentally chanting them, or you are just reading them, this really helps connect with the guru, and our own nature of rigpa. This is why I am going to remind you of the first verses again.

[Repetition is for the purpose of habituating the mind (Relative level), to the practices of mind, that clear obscurations and awareness is established in its own Absolute Truth nature].




Brief recap of opening verses of Serkhangma Sadhana Prayer.



Verse 1

“I gaze upon the supreme,
self-arisen Lama seated on the immutable,
spontaneously established throne,
here in the mandala of primordially pure-mind,
as it is, in the supreme palace of all Victorious Ones of the three-times”.


“I gaze upon the supreme, self-arisen Lama…”, so we are looking to our own guru. Last week I spoke of this guru. There are two levels of practice, Outer level gurus, and Inner level gurus, [the outer, and the inner Absolute Truth guru]. Thinking about Outer level guru, helps to naturally release all our samsaric thoughts and impure perception. There arises the devotion and connection to the Outer level guru and the practices. Then, Inner level guru, is when we are really using our mindful awareness, and looking into our own nature of rigpa. So, then that is why it says here, “I gaze upon the supreme, self-arisen Lama,” which is actually our nature of rigpa. Looking into our own nature of rigpa. The nature of rigpa is “… seated on the immutable, spontaneously established throne”. So our nature of rigpa is always there, never lost. Just as if we have a strong connection with the guru and teacher, through our devotion, and we are thinking about guru, then guru is always there. So even thinking about Outer level guru, guru always is there [a practice connection of awareness of mind, of Absolute Truth guru mind]. As long as there arises devotion, and all the conditions and connections come, then guru is always there.  

So we can supplicate to the guru, through our devotion. When we have devotion and this arises [in our mind], even Outer level guru, always is there. Same, when we have mindful awareness, we are using our awareness, looking into our own nature of rigpa. Nature of rigpa is always there, never lost. So this has two meanings. Either way of practicing is correct. So that is why here, when we chant this [Serkhangma] prayer, we can mentally read, then thinking about our root guru, and we can supplicate root guru. Root guru is always there. Then, “here in the mandala of primordially pure-mind”. So root guru appears in our own mind, and then we are part of our own guru’s mandala. “… as it is, in the supreme palace of all Victorious Ones of the three times”. It is where all the Buddhas, Enlightened beings arise from, – it is the nature of the mandala. When we enter into the mandala of Enlightened awareness (practices), we become a part of Enlightened beings citizenship.


Mandala of Enlightened Awareness

So Outer level, as long as we have devotion, the guru is always there. Guru is always there, and then in your mind visualize guru, we become part of guru’s mandala. And then that mandala is where all the Enlightened beings come from, the source. So Outer level we have to think that way. Then Inner level, looking into our own nature of rigpa. So long as we see our own nature of rigpa, looking into our own nature of rigpa, nature of rigpa is always there. And not apart from us, never separate. Then, nature of rigpa is always there. And so seeing nature of rigpa, that here is, “… here in the mandala of primordially pure-mind,” that is the true mandala, Absolute Truth mandala. Nature of rigpa mind is always there, never separate, so we are going back to our own Absolute Truth mandala. So long as you recognize that, then that is “… as it is, in the supreme palace of all Victorious Ones of the three-times,” from where all the Buddhas arise. So here, the main point is seeing our own nature rigpa and when we are actually seeing our own nature of rigpa, we become Enlightened beings. So all Enlightened beings come from seeing our own nature of rigpa. So then if you use this technique, and are practicing, on seeing our own nature, then we are Enlightened, so that is in these verses. The verses are very powerful, very meaningful. Then, the second verse and its benefit [for the mind].




Verse 2

“I gaze upon the supreme Lama,
who is meaningful to behold.
The instant I behold that great bliss of Dharmadhatu,
I cross the vast ocean of samsara and arrive at the blissful pure ground”.


“I gaze upon the supreme Lama”. So we are seeing our own Lama. Lama is Outer level guru, or our Inner Absolute nature of ripga. “… who is meaningful to behold,” that is the ‘truly meaningful’. Then, “The instant I behold that great bliss of Dharmadhatu”. So we arrive into our own nature home, that is seeing guru [Absolute Truth guru], or seeing our own nature of rigpa. “I cross the vast ocean of samsara and arrive at the blissful pure ground”. We arrive at the Enlightened state, or Enlightenment, free from samsara. So that is seeing the nature of rigpa, then we naturally arrive in the Enlightened state.





Verse 3

“With the ‘eye of wisdom’,
I gaze unwaveringly upon the Lama, the victorious Hero in battle.
Just by remembering that refuge, all afflicting emotions, thoughts,
and the hordes of maras are defeated”.


“With the ‘eye of wisdom”, – using our own wisdom. Wisdom is our own awareness. Our own awareness, looking into our own nature of rigpa. As long as we are seeing our own nature of rigpa, then that is called, “with the ‘eye of wisdom’”. “I gaze unwaveringly upon the Lama”, means all the time looking with our own nature of rigpa. Then, “… the victorious Hero in battle”. We become “the victorious Hero,” free from all the afflictive emotions. “Just by remembering that refuge, all afflicting [suffering] emotions, thoughts and the hordes of maras are defeated”. So we become free from afflictive emotions, we are Enlightened, and that is called “the Victorious One”.

These first verses are a very important section, first, second and third verses [particularly]. So it is good to memorise these verses, and then you apply these verses often and often in your mind. So it brings together our Guru Yoga practice and Mahamudra practice, also Supplication to Guru and Yidam, everything is included there in those verses, in that state [of rigpa, Absolute Truth Guru]. So that is why the first part of this Serkhangma, the first section is very important to memorise, if you want to practice and apply this, as daily life practice. So even if you don’t have the whole sadhana memorized, memorising the first section [or first few verses], is very important for practice.




Serkhangma Sadhana

[…] Last week, we shared that, in this Serkhangma [Sadhana] is the Seven Branch [offering] prayer. So the first section is all Homage to the Guru, [Absolute Truth Guru], body, speech and mind. So praise to the Guru’s body, Guru’s speech and Guru’s mind. And then after that, “the Offerings” [Offering section]. So ‘Homage’ is first. ‘Homage‘ is ‘prostration‘. We have different levels of prostrations. Different levels means, following the Ngondro practices in the sadhana. Usually for those who are going to join the monastery, or really want to be a good practitioner this requires Ngondro Sadhana, Ngondro practices. So the practitioner has ‘100 thousand prostrations practice’ to do.


100 thousand prostrations practice

So 100 thousand prostrations practice is, we bring our hands together at the top of the head. This mudra, represents purifying our body obstacle, and connects us with the Enlightened body. Then placing the mudra [hands cupped together] at the throat. So this helps to purify our speech obstacle, and connects us with Enlightened speech. And then, this prostration, the mudra [hands cupped together], are placed at the heart, and this purifies our mind obstacles, and connects us with the Enlightened mind. And then we go down to the ground. A full prostration is when the five points touch the ground [forehead, both hands and both knees]. We reduce, (are subduing) the five afflictive emotions. And then when we get up, raising the hands, represents bringing the Enlightened body, speech and mind and all the blessings into our body.

Usually those people who want to really practice, and go into a more deeper level of the spiritual path, physically are doing 100 thousand prostrations. So, the prostrations really help to remove the obstacles. Nowadays, even without this Ngondro practice, we share Mahamudra, Dzogchen teachings. Without Ngondro people have the ability to recognize the nature of rigpa, but if the obstacles are not removed, then they are not going to become a good practitioner. So Ngondro practice really helps the practitioner to become stable in the practices. Our practice is more stable, less obstacles, so that requires Ngondro practice. Sometimes people think without Ngondro practice, then it is not possible to recognize the nature of rigpa or nature of mind. Without Ngondro you can not practice Yidam deity. You cannot practice Guru Yoga or Mahamudra, that is misunderstanding actually. You can practice. You can receive the teachings, but sometimes practitioners get lost. The reason is due to obstacles. So that is why Ngondro is required, it means your practice is more stable. When you have Ngondro practice, then that person goes along the path [more smoothly], your practice has less obstacles, is more stable, because you create a good accumulation of merit.  


Accumulation of merit

So, accumulation of merit, holds our practice, it becomes more stable. Otherwise, it can be lost easily. We easily lose devotion and connections. Not even through not knowing. Even if we know how to practice Yidam deity, even if we know how to practice Guru Yoga, even if we know what Mahamudra means. Even if we know Mahamudra meditation, sometimes we lose connections, and that means we don’t have enough accumulation of merit. This is the reason why the teachers make it a requirement to create an accumulation of merit. In this Seven Branch Prayer, we create an accumulation of merit, at another level of practice. It is not required to physically make prostrations, it is mentally practicing, our mind practices prostrations. Not required to make physical offerings, we are mentally offering, mind is offering. And that is why we have this ability to bring all different kinds of offerings, because our mind creates all these offerings, and is mentally offering them. Prostration removes the negative karma, and offering brings more accumulation of merit. So long we have these two, [mentally prostrating, and mentally offering], then the meditator/ practitioner’s practice, becomes more stable, so that is why the teachers make it a requirement.

We have Ngondro practice, we have the Seven Branch practice. If we don’t have Ngondro practice, but someone chants every single day using this Serkhangma, then that is also part of the preparation. It really helps connect with our spiritual practice, because this really brings the true [Absolute Truth] guru’s blessing, and removes our body, speech and mind obstacles. So that is why this practice really helps, and that is the reason Jigden Sumgon also shares this, for someone without the ability or opportunity to practice Ngondro. 100 thousand prostrations, 100 thousand Vajrasattva (purification) long mantra, 100 thousand refuge, 100 thousand Guru Yoga practice, 100 thousand mandala offerings. 500 thousand accumulations altogether. So if we don’t have the time or ability to do that, then for that person who always practices this Serkhangma, then all these practices are brought together there.


Serkhangma Prayer in daily practice

This Serkhangma has mandala offerings. All these offerings are mandala offerings. This practice has Prostrations, Vajrasattva (confession practice), Refuge, Guru Yoga, Mandala offerings, everything is included in there, all, is together. So that is the reason we share the teaching, before we chant the whole sadhana. It is part of our opening [daily] prayer, and this is also very good to do. We have many different levels of practice, but sometimes we don’t have enough time, to chant the whole sadhana. So, this is just to remind you, before, we go into the main daily practice, after the opening prayer, we can use the opening part of this sadhana prayer, and everything is included there. The first part [of Serkhangma sadhana prayer], Jigden Sumgon is referring to the Absolute Truth guru, and of connecting to Absolute Truth guru, through homage [praise], of the body, speech and mind [of the Absolute Truth guru].

Then, the second section, the focus is more on the offerings. There are different levels of offerings, all these offerings our mind creates, (the offerings are created mentally). We can have physical offerings too, and that is also good. If we don’t have physical offerings, offering is also possible through mentally offering. [Now we go to where we left off last week], this is still the offering part. Last week we spoke of these offerings as the purification of the sense perceptions, desires. Usually the senses, and attachment to desire objects, are the causes of samsara, the causes of suffering. In this second section, on recognizing the nature of the Absolute Truth guru (rigpa), all this [attachment] is transforming [into its innate nature], and [therefore], it becomes the causes of Enlightenment.


Mahamudra level offerings

In this offering part, the causes of suffering, become the causes of happiness. The five sense objects desires, all this desire is offering. The Offering, is transforming the five afflictive emotions into the Absolute Truth [nature] offerings. In this Serkhangma sadhana, that offering is part of Mahamudra offerings. Jigden Sumgon shares the very high-level offerings, in this text. Not every verse  is Mahamudra offerings, some are Outer level offerings. Within the [Serkhangma] teachings, are Outer level offerings, Inner level offerings, and Secret level offerings – Mahamudra level. There are three different levels of offerings in the sadhana, and some are Secret level offerings – Mahamudra level. All this, (the five afflictive emotions), are releasing themselves, or, are released in their own nature states. So that offering, becomes Mahamudra offering, (the Secret level offerings).




Last week we shared the Offering section, [of the Serkhangma sadhana prayer]. The Vajra Goddesses, are the Supreme Goddess of purified sense-desires, the innate, true nature, [nature of dharmakaya, Absolute Truth guru state]. The point is, their nature is emptiness. So then, sound is recognized as emptiness, form is recognized as emptiness, and the senses are also recognized as emptiness. In this ultimate state, all the five senses, desire objects, – is seeing, (recognizing as emptiness). So then, that “offering” is Mahamudra level, Secret level offerings, as long as there is this recognition of the rigpa state [dharmakaya nature].





Verse 21 (Offering Verse 11)


“The Vajra Goddess of mind, nature of sound,
is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified hatred.
I merge her with the ears of the Lama, Lord of Dharma.
Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”.


“… the Supreme Goddess of fully purified hatred,” or anger, naturally releases itself. Anger is purified in its own nature, so that is the true offering to the Enlightened beings. This means, the offering is not really subject and object, – its emotion releases itself. It is called offering, that means the five afflictive emotions are transformed into the five wisdoms. So we have shared these verses, they are very beautiful sections. Today we are on page 9 of the text.





[Continuation from where we left off last week…]




Verse 25 (Offering Verse 15)

“The Vajra Goddess of primordially emptiness of all phenomena,
nature of sound, is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified mind,
as it is. I merge her with the mind of the Lama, Lord of Dharma.
Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”.


“The Vajra Goddess of primordially emptiness of all phenomena,…”. So this verse, is going into more of a summary of the previous offering verses, and bringing these all together. Here, what is called Vajra Goddess is (seeing) “as it is”, it is emptiness, that is Vajra Goddess. Vajra Goddess is emptiness. Emptiness is indestructible, so that is why it is called “vajra”. Emptiness arising as form, is called vajra. Usually we are using this vajra, [here Rinpoche picks up the vajra ritual object], this is the outer level symbol of vajra. And then, this vajra represents transforming the five afflictive emotions, this is called vajra. The main point is, emptiness is arising the form body, this is called vajra. So, “The Vajra Goddess of primordial emptiness of all phenomena, nature of sound, is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified mind, as it is”. We may say, we practice, we realise emptiness, but actually that is also misunderstanding, [conception]. Emptiness is primordially emptiness, means since beginningless time until now, it is emptiness. [This is the nature of our mind, but we have not recognised it]. So the point is, we are not “Knowing” that, [having that inner awareness realization of the nature of rigpa]. We didn’t recognize that.

All phenomena is primordially emptiness, [at its root], means every phenomena is emptiness, (has the nature of emptiness), since beginningless time, until now. Not only our own realization, realizing emptiness, actually all phenomena, is emptiness. All the time, has been emptiness, – since beginningless time until now, is emptiness. But due to delusion we didn’t recognize it is emptiness. “… nature of sound, is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified mind”. “Knowing” [realizing the nature of Absolute Truth guru], that all this phenomena is primordially emptiness, that is called “… the Supreme Goddess of fully purified mind”. Means all the phenomena is fully purified, [in its own Absolute Truth nature, dharmakaya]. So all the form(s) are transformed, [realized] as emptiness. Then, no longer is there any form which is the object of the fixation, or [desire] attachment object. All the form [without exception], since beginningless time is emptiness. So “Knowing” [having direct realization], that is called “… the Supreme Goddess of fully purified mind”.


Fully purified mind

“… fully purified”, is of fixations, desires, – all is fully purified, “as it is”. “I merge her with the mind of the Lama, Lord of Dharma. Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”. So, the main point here, – from beginningless time until now, all this phenomena is emptiness. Not only is the phenomena emptiness, (outer level phenomena), our mind is emptiness. So then that is called, “The Vajra Goddess”. So the offering is non-duality offering. Non-duality offering is, object is emptiness and subject (mind) is also emptiness. (No subject and object duality, all is rigpa, dharmakaya nature). And “Knowing” that, having that [direct] recognition of mind-nature, [non-conceptual Realisation], is offering. So it is called non-dual offering. “Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality,” and this means it is actually Mahamudra offering. Not offering, Outer level, Relative Truth level offerings. Relative Truth, Outer level offerings, have subject, object and actions. It is called non-duality offering. So non-duality offering is when we meditate, – all the seeing form is there, (all the phenomena is physically there), but our mind is no longer fixated/ attached to all the forms.

The mind in the nature of rigpa state, then all form is emptiness, because it is no longer fixated to the object of desire-attachment. So, even if the object is there, it is actually emptiness nature. [As in the Heart Sutra of the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom, “Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form. Form is none other than emptiness. Emptiness is none other than form,” (and so forth)]. So, intellectually we can be ‘knowing of emptiness’. However through our meditation practice, we come to ‘Knowing emptiness,’ [as direct Realisation of Absolute Truth nature of mind, rigpa state, dharmakaya], that is different. Intellectually we talk about ’emptiness,’ and we investigate. Using logic, we can realise [intellectually], all these forms don’t truly exist. [Similar findings in Quantum Physics]. Use the object, and investigate [right down] to the smallest particle. When we really investigate, [using analytical meditation], we can not find anything exists there truly, [inherently]. [It is the appearance of impermanent phenomena, the coming together of various causes and conditions, in dependent relativism (relationship). This appearance- nature of the phenomena is referred to in the texts, as mirages, dreams and so forth. “Things appear and yet are empty, empty yet appear,” like rainbows in the sky]. It is called emptiness.


Nature of rigpa Realisation

Then, on the practice level [of meditation], we practice [meditation and cultivate the causes and conditions for there to arise Realisation through the practice], to go into our nature of rigpa, (free from concepts, – all the conceptual level states). When mind realizes the Absolute Truth nature, then whatever physical objects there are in front of us, the mind does not grasp/ attach to those, it is not fixating to those objects. Our mind does not follow the object(s). Even when we see all these different kinds of objects there, but mind is not fixating/ grasping to any of the forms and objects. All these objects, whatever we are seeing in front of us, are there, but they are emptiness, because your mind is no longer fixating to the object(s). At that moment, we are looking to our own nature of rigpa, then our mind is present, clear, emptiness. And then at that time, we are seeing all the form(s) are there, but there is no fixating or grasping [in the mind]. The object is never distracting. Then, if one thousand different kinds of objects were in front of us, there would not be any distractions.

Through meditation, we realise that, feel that. All the form is there, but it does not truly, inherently exist. [The belief] in ‘truly, inherently existing,’ – means that mind has fixation to that, and a strong desire object, [object of strong desire]. [The perception is mistaken, as long as the Absolute Truth nature (rigpa state) is not Realised. Even though the object does not truly exist, we create it, as truly existing, through our conceptual fixation. [This arises, from the mistaken belief in a solid self, inherently existing from its own side, instead of, merely being imputed by the mind. The phenomena is merely labelled, designated by the mind, and then mind clings to that label/ concept, as if it is somehow real, solidly, inherently existing from its own side. All phenomena, self and other phenomena are empty, of any inherent existence, from their own side, it is because of this, that we are able to awaken, (from the delusion of duality), and Realise the Absolute Truth nature]. So when we meditate, even if there are a thousand different forms in front of us, when our mind is in the nature of rigpa state, we are seeing all these different kinds of objects in front of us, but there is no longer any fixation, or attachment [in the mind] to that.


Meditation on emptiness, (as habituation)

All this form is there, but it is Realised as emptiness, [dharmakaya nature], that is why it is called ‘seeing form as emptiness’. “Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form. Form is none other than emptiness. Emptiness is none other than form,” [~ Heart Sutra of the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom]. So that is for our meditation practice experience, [shamata (calm-abiding), followed by vipassana, (analytical meditation)]. [Through vipassana meditation], we intellectually recognize emptiness, also we get certainty that all form is emptiness. We have certainty about that, however, when we see the form, we can easily get distracted, [by the forms]. Distracted by the objects, (objects are distracting), and also, easily have fixation to the object, grasping to the object. But, when we meditate, – (all the forms are there), however, mind is no longer fixated, or attached to anything, because mind has Realised the rigpa state, its own Absolute Truth nature, and is ‘holding its own’, the Recognition, Realisation of its own nature state, (Mahamudra)].

The form is not distracting, is naturally emptiness. So that Realisation is offering to the guru. The offering is, – no subject, no object. Here it says, “I merge her with the mind of the Lama”. Our mind is merging with the Lama. So how we merge our mind with the mind of the Lama is, our mind is Realising the nature of rigpa states. Guru’s mind is the Absolute Truth nature, we are merging with Realisation of the nature of mind, (dharmakaya state). Then that means our conceptual mind is transformed, becoming inseparable with the guru’s mind. So this experience only comes through the meditation. When we meditate, all this conceptual fixation/ attachment releases itself, and then mind is empty, clear, present. Even if the form is there, there is no fixation, no attachment, – that moment, you think about guru. In that state, you can think about guru, then guru appears to our mind. Guru appears to our mind, and our mind and guru’s mind are merging inseparably together, (Absolute Truth guru nature), through the meditation practice. So that is called the Absolute Truth Guru Yoga. And we have Relative level Guru Yoga, we are supplicating to guru, paying homage to guru. There are many different ways we can practice. But Absolute Truth guru yoga is, – this conceptual mind has to be released, and realise its own nature of rigpa state.


Absolute Truth guru practice

As long as we have dualistic concepts, then, that cannot be Absolute Truth guru practice. Absolute Truth guru yoga is free from concepts, thoughts and emotions. So mind must be in the nature of rigpa states, when our mind in the nature of rigpa state, then our mind is merging with the guru. So in this verse, “I merge her with the mind of the Lama,” our mind merges with the Guru Yoga, and our mind is merging with the Yidam deities. So in this state, guru, yidam, Mahamudra, all three of these practices are inseparable. How can they be inseparable? We have to meditate. When we meditate, of course in the first stages, we cannot go directly into the non-dual experience. And that is why Tilopa, in the Ganges Mahamudra [text] said, First our mind is like the gorges, the river is rushing down from the gorge, (our mind is moving fast, filled with so many thoughts). Then, second our mind is the same as the river Ganges, it slows down. Then, third, our mind is the same as, the river reuniting in the ocean. We have our own experience of each section of meditation, as we do it.

When you are starting to meditate, your mind is the same as the river, rushing down from the gorge. And then you put effort, meditate, and you see your mind slows down. And then that means, [mind] becomes like the river Ganges. Then you put effort, practice, put more effort, it becomes that your mind does not follow the conceptual thoughts. It becomes, that you are really seeing your own mind nature, [rigpa], – present, clear, awareness, (so that means, all the water is reuniting in the ocean). When we reach that level in our meditation, then our mind is merging with the guru, [the nature of Absolute Truth guru]. Our mind is merging with the yidam deity, our mind is inseparable with guru, and Mahamudra, that experience is called “non-dual offering”. Then, “Lord of Dharma”. Here, “Lord of Dharma” is guru, but also the meaning of “Lord of Dharma” is Realisation. We really have our own experience, and Realisation of mind nature, [rigpa], that is called “Lord of Dharma”, the supreme Realisation. So that is the highest level, the most Supreme Realisation, (there is nothing higher than that).


Nothing to accept or reject (in the non-dual, nature of rigpa state)

“Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”. This prayer, that we are chanting [here now], is Relative level practice, (when we chant the prayer, and our mind is still on the conceptual level). On the conceptual level we can say, “Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality,” but when we meditate, all this conceptual mind dissolves, into the nature of rigpa, non-dual [state]. Then, at that time, we are free from the conceptual. In that case, we don’t have to say, “Please accept this”. [The mind is already in the nature of rigpa state. (One, with that, so nothing to accept there). Realisation of emptiness, (Absolute Truth guru, dharmakaya nature)]. The object (or guru), and [us, (the subject)], “Please accept this,…” our practice, and [our action] of offering it, those three, are inseparable in that state. (No subject, action and object separation). All is one, in the Realised awareness, nature of rigpa state]. Not separate. So that is the reason why, we have the prayers and the teachings, but when we do the meditation practice, it is different. We receive teaching, follow teaching exactly on the conceptual level, but still we may find that we can not access the non-duality experience. This is because this practice is a non-duality state, (free from concepts, (the conceptual [thought] level).

So if you follow exactly all this teaching, and organize [your practice], – you organize, and you create, very strongly mentally,… ‘I’m going to do this, this and this’. You are organizing, but you never allow yourself to realise the non-duality state, (through meditation practice), by allowing the mind to rest in the meditation, and bring the practice altogether]. In such a case, that is the reason, [the nature of rigpa state is still not being Realised]. Teaching, is words. At some levels, it really helps, [provides a conceptual framework, guidance for practicing]. At another level, [meditation for experiential Realisation], the meditation, must become our actual experience. [Meditation of the teaching, in practice. The learning is…], what follows, as our own experience. Not only organizing our minds, [our practice], but then, letting go and being in, (going into), the nature of non-duality. Otherwise, you are fixating very strongly, ‘I want to do this, this, this’ (stages). (You have fixation). You create this, and in that you are mentally very strong, yet your mind is always still in these dualistic concepts (states), so you cannot be in the nondual, [rigpa, nature state]. So that is why Tilopa also mentioned, that dualistic [conceptualization], cannot reach to non-duality, – [Realisation of the nature of rigpa state]. Dualistic effort cannot reach to non-duality states.


Non-dual state, nature of rigpa

So we create, (that is duality effort), such strong duality effort, (conceptual effort), yet this cannot reach to non-duality. We have to let go of this duality effort. The teachings, everything, [we see, hear, do, and so forth, conceptually], are [mentally and physically], ‘organized,’ by duality effort, [in unrealised states]. Non-dual is free from that duality effort, these two are against each other, [(in opposition actually). We need to shift into the non-dual, nature of rigpa state]. But we don’t talk about the duality effort, and [receive education], that you cannot reach to the non-duality, [blissful states, (lasting joy), without the meditation awareness practice]. Duality effort is important, at preceding levels, [in the progressive stages of the practices, to bring about outer, mental, and inner mechanics shifts for accessing deeper levels of awareness]. However, at other, [deeper] levels [of awareness practice], you have to let go of that. So, we are using the transportation, we have to take the transportation, but, at another (deeper) level (of practice), we have to leave the transportation behind. You cannot take the transportation, into your bedroom. [Just as] you don’t take your car into your bedroom. So your transportation, you cannot take into your room, into your house. So we have to leave these behind, at [certain deeper] levels, [of the stages of the practice]. In the same way, we have to use this duality effort (concept), as transportation, but then at a certain level, we have to leave that, (release that). Or otherwise, you will not arrive at your own true home.

Our own true home is the non-duality state. The non-duality state is free from duality effort (concepts). However, when we are starting off in our meditation [practice], we need dualistic effort. Without effort, you are not going to meditate. We must have effort in order to practice. If you are going on a journey somewhere, you need the transportation, so you have to think about the transportation. In the same way, when we are going to practice meditation, we need the dualistic effort (duality effort), at that stage. When we reach a certain level however, we have to [let go of that], become free of that. Otherwise, (when you are in the meditation states, and you still put dualistic effort), you cannot reach to the nondual nature, (Absolute Truth guru, nature of rigpa, dharmakaya state). So think about it. If we do thirty minutes of meditation every single morning, before daily practice. We need duality effort for that, for coming into the practice. So, when we practice, we put in duality effort for at least, maybe 10 minutes, at the first stage of the practice. Then, you let go of duality effort, and must be in, the free from effort state. Then, you can really be in your own nature. At that time, we can merge our mind, “with the mind of the Lama, Lord of Dharma”.


Non-duality states

Otherwise, if you meditate and then continue to put in so much effort in the meditation, the non-duality state will not be Realised. We cannot merge our mind with guru’s mind. So, if you meditate, and put so much effort in during the meditation, every single object in front of you is a distraction. People moving are a distraction, people talking are a distraction, and seeing things is also distracting, that means that we are still in the duality effort. When you Realise the non-duality state, (free from effort), then whatever is going on in front of you, people yelling, talking, doing things, – it is not distracting. At that time, we really know, mind is more in the nature [of mind, awareness] states. Then, whatever people are saying in front of us, “Hearing sound is emptiness, emptiness is sound, sound is none other than emptiness. Emptiness is none other than sound”. Your mind has no fixation, it is no longer attached to that, or has hatred to the sound(s) or voice(s). So voices are not a distraction. This was covered last week, (bottom of page 7, Verse 21 (Offering Verse 11), of the Serkhangma text).





Recap Section




Verse 21 (Offering Verse 11)


“The Vajra Goddess of mind, nature of sound,
is the Supreme Goddess of fully purified hatred.
I merge her with the ears of the Lama, Lord of Dharma.
Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”.


We have the ability to practice that. “I merge her with the ears of the Lama, Lord of Dharma”. When our mind is in the nature states, then whatever sound we hear is not a distraction. It doesn’t matter whether it is good or bad, all sound is emptiness. When you have Realised that state, all sound becomes just emptiness, that is called “The Vajra Goddess of mind, nature of sound”.

This section of the sadhana all follows in the same way. Then, the next verse, p.8 of the text.




Verse 22 (Offering Verse 12)

“The Vajra Goddess of qualities, nature of odor,
is the supreme goddess of fully purified arrogance.
I merge her with the nose of the Lama, Lord of Dharma.
Please accept this in the great bliss of non-duality”.


[These verses are covering purification of the senses]. This verse here is [smell]. Whatever you smell, if the mind is not in the nature states [rigpa], then our mind is in dualistic effort. Someone puts something with good smell in front of us, we really like that, so good, right. Feels pleasant. Some bad smell comes, hatred, [or aversion], unhappy about that. So, in that moment, our mind is in the dualistic states. Even if we are meditating, but we are in the dualistic effort, it is not the non-duality state. When we are in the non-duality state, it doesn’t matter if the smell is good, or bad, it is not distracting. “Smell is emptiness. Emptiness is smell. Smell is none other than emptiness. Emptiness is none other than smell”. So, at that time, “The Vajra Goddess of qualities, nature of odor, is the supreme goddess of fully purified arrogance”. Then the arrogance, becomes offerings, (it is purified in its own nature, (rigpa state), Absolute Truth guru, dharmakaya). The five afflictive emotions, all become offerings.

We transform the causes of the five afflictive emotions. All these objects of desire, (the different kinds of five sense objects), are the cause of the five afflictive emotions. When we transform these five senses, then all five afflictive emotions are naturally released, purified, that means the five afflictive emotions are offerings. We have to understand this, at this level, nature of mind, [nature of rigpa, Absolute Truth guru, dharmakaya state]. Next we go to Verse 26 (Offering Verse 16), on the middle of page 9, [where we left off last week].




End of Recap Section




Verse 26 (Offering Verse 16)

“I offer means and wisdom inseparable, the supreme Victorious One,
the Five Families with consorts, the assembly of Viras and Dakinis,
and the Buddhas filling the limitless sky.
Please accept this great bliss”.


“I offer means and wisdom inseparable, the supreme Victorious One”…. So the offering here is, means and wisdom inseparable. Wisdom is emptiness. Seeing form is emptiness. All the smell, taste, the senses, are emptiness. So that is called means and wisdom, inseparable. Hearing sound is emptiness. Emptiness is hearing sound, that is called ‘the offerings,’ the Absolute Truth guru, “…the supreme Victorious One”. The supreme offerings, are Realisation of the Absolute Truth [nature, rigpa], “… the supreme Victorious One,…”. [It is the bodhicitta activity of the enlightened beings, ripening sentient beings minds, and the sentient beings engaging in those activities]. We make the supreme offerings to the enlightened beings [activity], through Realisation of the nature of rigpa state. So then, “the Five Families with consorts, the assembly of Viras and Dakinis, and the Buddhas filling the limitless sky. Please accept this great bliss”. [The Realisation of the nature of rigpa (is the ‘means’ or ‘compassionate method’, and ‘wisdom of emptiness,’ – are one/ inseparable. “… the Five Families with consorts,” is the purification of the senses, Realisation of the emptiness [female aspect], of appearances [male aspect], this is the wisdom nature, Absolute Truth guru, dharmakaya state]. The verses here are referring to “the Five-Families and their consorts,” (five female buddhas, wisdom-emptiness, with [consorts] compassionate activity, – fully purified mind (senses), – emptiness/ clarity nature of dharmakaya state.  

“… the Five Families [five female Buddhas] with consorts, the assembly of Viras and Dakinis and the Buddhas filling the limitless sky,” are within our own body. Outer level [conceptually, separate], we have the Five Families with consorts, or Dakas and Dakinis, but inner level, all these enlightened activities are inseparable, within our own body. [Through bodhicitta, (enlightened awareness activity), – transforming ignorance to blissful (joy) state, Realisation of the nature of rigpa]. All this, (purification of mind, which is the fully Realised aspects of the Five Families), the inseparable, compassionate, wisdom (emptiness) activity, is within the subtle level body chakras. So when we are “Knowing” that, (which is Realisation of the nature of rigpa state). that “Knowing” means all this desire, (the five sense desires) are “Knowing” emptiness, through the wisdom of (skilful means). [Teaching that we find in the Heart Sutra, The Perfection of the Transcendental Wisdom]. We have these Five Families with ourself, [our subtle body], when we are “Knowing” all the five sense desires are emptiness, then that is offering actually, to our own Five Families.


Absolute Truth Refuge

So, this is the same as we offer homage to our own guru [Absolute Truth guru]. We take refuge in our own guru, that is called “Absolute Truth Refuge,” “Absolute Truth guru,” which we shared in last week’s teachings, This offering is also the true offering to our Yidam deity. The Five Families are our own Yidam, (the Five Families are within ourself). On Realisation of the nature of rigpa state, we are seeing, all the five sense desires, the five afflictive emotions, as emptiness, through wisdom, – these are the true offering(s). “… the Five Families with consorts, the assembly of Viras and Dakinis”. Here this refers to the Five Families, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas (female and male forms). Outer level it appears, but inner level, all this is within ourself. We can use this outer level offering, for the outer level Five Families, and also Viras and Dakinis, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Inner level is, we are “Knowing” [Realisation of rigpa], our desire is emptiness. All these five sense desires, and the five afflictive emotions, release themselves. Inner level offering is ourself. [Recognising the nature of Absolute Truth, (nature of rigpa state), we let go of the delusion of duality, the clinging, grasping to merely imputed self-conception, (as somehow solidly, inherently existing from its own side)]. All the Buddhas are within ourself, Realised upon Realizing the Absolute Truth guru, dharmakaya nature. [Samsara is created through the desirous attachment, clinging to self. The purification of mind of self-grasping is nirvana. Both samsara and nirvana, are of the same Absolute Truth, dharmakaya nature, but because of grasping, to the merely adventitious stains in the mind, (self-clinging), as having some solidly, inherent existence from their own side, the true nature remains obscured, not Realised].

So that is why, in the Hearing Liberation Teaching, it says, all the Buddhas are within ourself, and not somewhere else. [Realised, when the root of self-grasping, (self-cherishing attitude), is cut, through a direct perception of emptiness, (Realisation of the dharmakaya nature, rigpa state)]. All the Yidam deities, Buddhas, are within our own body, the Buddhas and Peaceful deities are located at our heart centre, the Wrathful deities in our brain chakras. So these are, the very subtle body levels. It is not possible for us to see these. Right now, the body is called gross-level body. This gross-level body dissolves when we die, its causal nature is the five elements. But the subtle level body, (the winds, channels, nadas, chakras) are never lost. So that is why Jigden Sumgon, in the [Drikung] Gongchig teaching said, [samsara is uncontrollable rebirth in delusion], we take life in samsara, again and again. It is not only mind, but the subtle level body, (the subtle level body is with the mind together), inseparably taking rebirth again and again. Our body has this subtle level Five Families, which Jigden Sumgon speaks of in this verse. It is never lost, always with us. 


Absolute Truth guru, yidams

The point is, when we have Realisation of rigpa, it is offering to [our own Absolute Truth guru nature], these are our own yidams. “The Five Families with consorts,” [female/mother, male/father aspects, wisdom and compassion inseparable], “the assembly of Viras and Dakinis, and the Buddhas filling the limitless sky. Please accept this in great bliss”. So, using these five sense objects, (desire objects), sound, taste, smell, and so forth, all this can be offering to the enlightened beings, (outer level) [practice]. When we recognize all the five desires are emptiness, then that is really offering to our own nature [of rigpa, dharmakaya state]. All Buddhas are of the nature of dharmakaya, (one nature), this is the Realisation (of the nature of rigpa (non-duality state)). All the Buddhas and all the deities, are inseparable in this nature, – (there are so many deities), all this can be brought into one yidam deity, one mandala. An analogy here. One kingdom has one king (father, compassion, skilful means, appearance), there is a queen (mother, emptiness-wisdom), ministers, [government] cabinet at different levels, all the subjects, the country. So that is the same within ourself, we have one kingdom. We could say, one kingdom with all these many details in there. [Through the cultivation, and Realisation, of the Unmistaken View, in practice, this is living dharma, within ourselves]. There can be confusion, because, sometimes the teaching refers to outer level [practice/ offerings], sometimes inner level [practice/ offerings], and sometimes secret level [practice/ offerings], these three different levels. In the prayers [sadhana], and the teachings, all three of these levels, are in there together.

In the Serkhangma sadhana prayers, sometimes it refers to the outer level guru, sometimes the inner level guru and sometimes secret level guru. Here, in this verse, “I offer means and wisdom inseparable, the supreme Victorious One, the Five Families with consorts, the assembly of Viras and Dakinis, and the Buddhas filling the limitless sky”. Outerly, all this we can visualize. Innerly, this is all inseparable with our chakras, nadas, within ourselves. The previous verses covered offerings of the five sense objects. The offerings are “Knowing”, everything is emptiness, nondual, [Realisation of the nature of rigpa]. So those are the true offerings. “Please accept this great bliss,” – that offering is called, offerings to our own nature [rigpa], because all these Buddhas are within ourselves. “Knowing” that, all these desires are emptiness, is called “Absolute Truth Offerings,” – (Realisation within oneself, of the emptiness of all phenomena), [as Realisation of rigpa]. This is the same as “Absolute Truth Refuge”, “Absolute Truth Guru Yoga”. Then the next verse.





Verse 27 (Offering Verse 16)

“From the equality of all phenomena, the ocean-like Samadhi,
oceans of unwavering manifestations arise and guide all beings.
Please accept the assemblies of the Victorious Offspring, the Bodhisattvas,
who rule all Buddha-fields”.


“From the equality of all phenomena, the ocean-like Samadhi, oceans of unwavering manifestations arise and guide all beings. Please accept the assemblies of the Victorious Offspring, the Bodhisattvas, who rule all Buddha-fields”. So, “From equality of all phenomena…” is (equanimity), free from conceptual duality. (Free from conceptual duality, is equanimity). “… equality of all phenomena,” is, it is inseparable. “… the ocean-like Samadhi,” – in that state, then offering, is like “ocean-like samadhi”. (In dualistic states, we cannot have offerings, the same as “ocean-like samadhi”). “Ocean-like samadhi” is non-conceptual, non-duality, equality. In that state, all phenomena [is Realised as nature of rigpa], inseparable. Then everything is the same as “… ocean-like samadhi”. Mind is in the non-duality state, and that offering is called the “…ocean-like samadhi” offering. “… oceans of unwavering manifestations,” means, [the manifestations] arise constantly. “… oceans of unwavering manifestations arise and guide all beings”. All the offerings are arising from the Samadhi state, the non-duality, non-conceptual, [nature of rigpa, dharmakaya state]. We spoke about this on the first day, – all the offerings arise through the “Absolute Truth Bodhicitta,” [or, through the Absolute Truth Bodhicitta, arise all the offerings]. So, “Absolute Truth Bodhicitta” is Realisation of emptiness.

Through the Realisation of emptiness arise all these offerings, “oceans of unwavering manifestations arise”. “… and guide all beings. Please accept the assemblies of the Victorious Offspring, the Bodhisattvas, who rule all Buddha-fields”. So that offering is made to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, who guide all beings. “Please accept the assemblies of the Victorious Offspring, the Bodhisattvas, who rule all Buddha-fields”. So we make these offerings, [which is Recognition of our own Absolute Truth guru nature], through our meditation, samadhi, Realisation,- to all the enlightened beings, Bodhisattvas, who benefit, [who bring benefit to], all sentient beings. [Realisation of the nature of rigpa is Buddha’s mind, (the “offspring” of Buddha’s mind, (Bodhisattvas)). This offering is to our own guru. Guru guides all beings. We guide ourself, through offering to our guru. In these verses, each one has some outer level [practice], inner level [practice], secret level [practice], different levels. Sometimes the verses bring together these three different levels. So that is why it is dependent on our own ability, how we are using the practices, [the level of Realisation, in the mind, of ultimate nature, (Absolute Truth guru, dharmakaya state). How we are guiding the mind in recognizing and realizing its own nature, (rigpa)].


Absolute Truth guru nature

For someone who is meditating, and mind is in the samadhi states, (has Realised the nature of rigpa), the offering is all emptiness, [dharmakaya nature, our own Absolute Truth guru, nature of rigpa state). [The Realisation of the (ultimate and most precious) dharma in practice, arises the “Unmistaken View”, (selflessness of person and phenomena), – the state of rigpa, (non-duality), nature of dharmakaya, (Absolute Truth guru)]. “Please accept the assemblies of the Victorious Offspring, the Bodhisattvas, who rule all Buddha-fields”. We can use this verse to follow and make offerings on the outer level, inner level, and secret level. So inner level, [we develop the habit, (the mental exercise), of offering from our minds [practice], as much as we can, (with joy, reverence, consistency and sincerity, – devotion to the practices), – antidote to deluded state, of mind self-grasping at phenomena, not Realising, the nature of rigpa (non-duality)]. Offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas (pure lineage holders), which is our Realised nature. So, guiding mind along the path of awareness, Realisation, (rigpa state, dharmakaya, nature of Absolute Truth guru)].

There are different levels of offering, as covered. The outer, (physical level offerings), inner level offerings, (when we are using the source of our afflictive emotions to generate wisdom awareness), and secret level offerings, (in the nature of rigpa state, making, the offerings of the Realised mind). The offerings are transforming the ignorance, (deluded attachment), into the wisdom awareness (Realisation of emptiness, nature of rigpa state, blissful joy), through compassionate means (method). So that offering part, is offering to all the Five Families with consorts, (the Five Buddhas, five female Buddhas), Bodhisattvas, (male and female forms), which represents the purification of mind, (of attachment to objects of sense desires), – cutting through that attachment, using the awareness nature of the Realised mind.


Subtle level chakras

The next verse, is offering to the Wrathful deities. So, in accordance with the Hearing Liberation teaching, the Wrathful deities are located in our brain level, (brain chakra), and the Peaceful deities are located in our heart centre chakras. [Right thinking, in the heart centre]. There are different levels of chakras, outer level, inner level and secret level chakras. Right now, we don’t receive [the heightened awareness], if we’re not aware of these chakras. [*”Chakras, focal point of energy, or prana in the body. In Tibetan tradition, there are five main chakras, and five seed syllables are associated with them. These chakras are syllables related to the external body, internal body, and secret body”. It depends on correct understanding, and practice of using these]. The gross level body, is the object of the ordinary eye [perception], (what the ordinary eye can see). [The subtle level body, the ordinary eye cannot see]. These are very subtle level, these chakras. The subtle level chakras also have different levels, outer, inner and secret. On the conceptual, ordinary mind level, we cannot see all the subtle level chakras, with the physical eye, it is not possible. Sometimes we use this special kind of technology to recognize something inside our body. Likewise, the ordinary eye cannot detect our subtle level chakras, so that is why we don’t recognize. So there is different levels of chakras in there. The main point, according to the teachings is, the Wrathful deities are located in the brain chakra.





Verse 28 (Offering Verse 17)

“The ones of great fierce. Wrathful out of immeasurable compassion,
show grinding teeth and fierce faces on their posing bodies.
Please accept these wrathful Victorious Ones of primordial wisdom,
who defeat the hordes of Maras by the roar of ‘HUNG’ and ‘PHAT’”.


“The ones of great fierce. Wrathful out of immeasurable compassion…”. The source of the Wrathful deities is immeasurable compassion. (Immeasurable compassion arises with the Wrathful deities). The guru, yidam have the four activities, not only one activity. [*The four concerned activities, (for arising the compassionate, wisdom awareness, Realisation) are, pacifying, enriching, magnetizing and subjugating (ignorance)]. Through their compassion, they enact these activities, [in order to bring the benefit to sentient beings]. So if the guru is always peaceful, that would not be enough immeasurable compassion. [Both the peaceful and wrathful are aspects of compassionate activity]. Different levels of students, the guru shows these aspects in accordance to students, [guiding them on the path of Realisation of the ultimate nature (rigpa), Absolute Truth guru]. Sometimes wrathful is needed, and sometimes peaceful is needed. Sometimes magnetizing is needed, and sometimes increasing is needed. The guru and yidam deities perform all these different levels of concerned, compassionate activities, [to benefit beings].  

And then, these Wrathful deities, for ordinary people’s thinking, is like anger. Anger arises wrathful. But the yidam deities arising wrathful is the opposite of the ordinary person’s thinking. For the ordinary person, the wrathful aspect means showing anger, and the source, anger and jealously. The guru and yidam deities wrathful activity, the source is immeasurable compassion. So, when there is immeasurable compassion, there arises strong wrathful activity. [Sentient beings are trapped in their own ignorance]. Seeing form as wrathful is fearful, fierce activity. We see this in the images of the Wrathful deities. They “show grinding teeth and fierce faces on their posing bodies”. This is all showing different bodies, (forms). [The activity of the Wrathful deities is transforming ignorance, into the wisdom-awareness bliss of non-duality, through us Recognising, Realising the nature of our mind (rigpa). (Ignorance is the cause of fear)]. “Please accept these wrathful Victorious Ones of primordial wisdom,…”. So, we are offering to all the Victorious Ones, (we have shared this already, in the previous verses). This offering is to all the Victorious Ones, this includes the Wrathful deities. So, here this is offering to the Wrathful deities, and the offerings are, (as we talked of last week). “… these wrathful Victorious Ones of primordial wisdom,…”. The wrathful deities are also primordial wisdom.


Wrathful deities enlightened activity

“… who defeat the hordes of Maras by the roar of ‘HUNG’ and ‘PHAT’” So, then the sound of the Wrathful deities arises the voices, like the roar of ‘HUNG’ and ‘PHAT’”. So ‘HUNG’ and ‘PHAT’ is destroying all the negativity. ‘HUNG’ and ‘PHAT’ is dissolving, cutting, and transforming all the negative sound. So that is why it is called ‘HUNG’ and ‘PHAT’”. The Wrathful deity (deities), show the wrathful aspect of guru, and the yidam deity, (Absolute Truth guru), [of the compassionate wisdom awareness activity, for mind to Recognise, Realise its own true, oneness nature, inseparable, non-duality, rigpa state, dharmakaya. Protecting the pure (unstained) teaching, our own true nature of (rigpa), from wrong view, by eliminating the obstacles to us Realising the View, the nature of Absolute Truth guru]. The wrathful aspect of guru [Absolute Truth guru], is not shown for beginner practitioners. The wrathful aspect of guru is only shown for practitioners on the path, with that awareness understanding, Realisation. Only high-level practitioners use the wrathful yidam deity [practice]. We recognize that. Otherwise, use wrathful words, even say strong words, students cannot accept. [Not the understanding/ awareness from doing the practices]. Easily against the teacher. So that is why the wrathful guru and yidam deity is not for the beginner people. We have to recognize, we are a beginner, or we are a good practitioner.

So Marpa Lotsawa had many students. He didn’t show [these students] the wrathful aspect, only to Milarepa. [Milarepa had created heavy negative karma, it was to help him, to cut through and eliminate the obstacles to Realising the nature of rigpa]. He didn’t show the other students that wrathful aspect. Milarepa had the ability to bear, or go through that hardship. He had that quality. So that is why Marpa Lotsawa shows the wrathful aspect to Milarepa. And so then, also in that time, teachers were more close to students. They would tell you really, your errors, problems. If there is not really close connections, they don’t tell us our problems. So, when the teacher is very nice to you, that time you are not really very close. When they are telling you a little harsh words, that means that you are more close, and that we have to recognize. I have gone to see many teachers. I go to receive teachings from other teachers. We are not that close, they are very nice, kind, and whatever you ask, they give you something, share something with you. But then you are more close, then whatever you ask, they don’t give you. So different levels [of the practice]. So that is why the wrathful aspect of the guru and yidam deity is not suitable for beginners. [Stability, (of mind, and in the practices), and awareness arising from that, is needed, in order to understand the meaning correctly, and be able to benefit from that]. So, we have to think about, are we beginner or are we more of a practitioner? Then the next verse.





Verse 29 (Offering Verse 18)


“All manifold clouds of outer, inner, and secret offerings are offered
in this vast mandala of Samantabhadra’s mind,
within the ‘Mode of Abiding’ of unchanging non-duality.
The unsurpassed offering of suchness is offered”.


“All manifold clouds of outer, inner, and secret offerings are offered…” So this offering, is all the offerings together. When we are using outer offerings, we have outer level guru. Inner level offering, is when we are using the source of afflictive emotions in our body, to generate wisdom awareness. The point here is, the essence of the body is called inner offerings, and secret offerings, is the nature of rigpa. So outer level offerings, are all the beautiful objects. Inner offerings, the essence of our own body, and secret offerings, is mind nature (rigpa), nonduality. All this is offered. “… in this vast mandala of Samantabhadra’s mind within the ‘Mode of Abiding’ of unchanging non-duality. The unsurpassed offering of suchness is offered”. So, then this offering is the vast mandala of Samantabhadra’s mind, which means inexhaustible, limitless offerings. “… within the ‘Mode of Abiding,’ – mind is in the nonduality state, nature of rigpa. “The unsurpassed offering of suchness is offered,” – that is the secret level offerings. This prayer has outer level and secret level, offerings together. So outer level offerings is, we create in this vast mandala of Samantabhadra’s mind, many object offerings (mentally), and offer these. These are outer level offerings. Mind in the state of non-duality, (nature of rigpa), – that offering, is the secret level offerings. Then we go to the next verse.




Verse 30 (Confession Verse 1)

“All phenomena are primally and completely pure mind, as it is.
Within that, whatever confusion, dualistic appearance of oneself and others,
distinction of good and bad, hatred and attachment there might be,
each and everything I confess.
May it be purified within that state”.



“All phenomena are primally and completely pure mind, as it is,…” so this is Mahamudra. All this phenomena is inseparable with our mind, as it is. In the morning, before we start the teaching, we meditate, that all the phenomena, whatever is in front of us, we really see is emptiness. Mind is emptiness. All the form, whatever we have in front [of us], we’re no longer attached, or have fixation to that, [instead we are resting our mind in a state of meditative equipoise, awareness]. Its form [mind], is emptiness, so that means phenomena is primordially, “…primally and completely pure mind”. The phenomena is inseparable with mind nature (rigpa state). It is not like these physical objects, we bring into mind, merging together (not possible), this is conceptual level (physical distraction state). When our mind is meditating in the nature states (rigpa), then all this phenomena, whatever we are seeing, form is emptiness. We are seeing our mind is emptiness. So that means, “All phenomena are primally and completely pure mind, as it is”. Inseparable, because both are emptiness, – subject / object, “as it is”.

Within that, [as it is] whatever confusion, dualistic appearance of oneself and others, distinction of good and bad, hatred and attachment there might be, each and everything I confess”. We have now come to the Confession Verses. We have finished the Offering Verses, and we are going into the Confession, [acknowledging the mistaken perception]. So, in this Seven Branch Prayer, there is Homage to the Guru, then Offerings, and now this third one, is Confession. So, this Confession is called Absolute Truth Confession. “… whatever confusion, dualistic appearance of oneself and others, distinction of good and bad, hatred and attachment there might be, each and everything I confess”. We are confessing all this dualistic conceptualization. So, this confession is not talking about ordinary confession. Ordinary confession, is like we create some negative karma [action], and then we are confessing that. But we are not thinking about, confessing the [mistaken] dualistic conceptualization, (the dualistic concepts created by the mind). So, in this Absolute Truth Confession, not only are we confessing the negative karma, that we create, we are confessing all this delusion, because the mind is actually non-duality. But we [mistakenly roam] in dualistic, conceptual, delusion. So here we say, “Okay, I’m deluded, I confess”. Since beginningless time until now, [time is a human concept], we [have roamed in delusions, (dualistic concepts), in cyclic existence. [The continued action of delusion, creates rebirth in delusion, (this is the nature of the law of cause, effect and conditions universe, we are in)].


Purifying the source of the non-virtuous delusion

So, all this delusion we are confessing. Mind nature is not delusion. Mind nature is free from delusion. So, we create delusions, [in unrealized state]. We are confessing delusions. So, think about the ice. Ice is not ice, ice is water. Ice has to make a confession. “I’m confessing, when I did not stay in the water, I became ice”. Right, – so same, we are confessing, “I didn’t stay in the nature, (my true nature state (rigpa)). I’m deluded since beginningless time until now, I confess”. The non-virtuous deeds, are also part of the delusion. We are confessing the delusion, (in order to purify the source of the non-virtuous delusion, (dualistic conceptualisation)), in so doing, the non-virtuous karma, is naturally being confessed within that.


Mind, body, (all phenomena), is like an empty house

So, for example, we have a beautiful nature place, [represents nature of rigpa state]. Somebody makes a house in that place. So then the house destroys the environment, the nature, (natural state) there. [Analogy for mistaken view, (conceptualisation), not understanding emptiness of dependent origination, (the unmistaken view), and the nature of cause, effect and conditions]. The house is destroying the nature, [our connection to our true nature, (rigpa)], and then you paint the house black, or you paint it a white colour. It doesn’t matter what colour you paint it, it [obscures] the nature there, – as long as you create the house, [and there is attachment to your conceptualisation. The clinging, (self-grasping) to the house (concept), is mistaken view]. So then, you say, okay, I’m going to take down the whole house, I’m not going to destroy the environment there. So, we take down all the house, the black colour dissolves there, – (as long as you take down the house). In the same way, in confessing delusion, all the non-virtuous [deeds, dualistic conceptualisation], naturally, are being confessed within that. (The delusion [… masks] our nature, and in confessing delusion, we return to our own [true] nature [rigpa state]). Restoring our own nature. [Whilst mind nature (rigpa), can never be destroyed, it is hidden, (concealed) by layers of cognitive and emotional obscuration, (result of attachment to dualistic conception). As we say, restored [to our true nature state (rigpa).] Here in this verse of the text, “All phenomena are primally and completely pure mind, as it is”. Everything is pure mind, this means, [ultimate] nature (rigpa, Absolute Truth guru)].

“As it is,” is emptiness, (non-duality). “Within that, whatever confusion, dualistic appearance of oneself and others,” so dualistic appearance is, – self and others, [mistaken view], and “distinction of good and bad,” [dependent on our dualistic conceptualization]. So long as, – we gave the example of, create the house, or something affecting the natural space, [fixation to concept, self-grasping attachment], then the nature environment is destroyed already there. [It is obscured]. So, you create a beautiful home or ugly home, (it doesn’t matter). We have to take down, ugly home, or good home. We have to take it down, in order to protect the nature [rigpa], – [cut through the deluded attachment to conceptualisation (duality), the cause of our past, present and future, and continued suffering, (cognitive and emotional obscurations in the mind, which block the true seeing, Realisation of the nature of rigpa state)]. In the same way, here confessing all, the good and bad, because as long as, we’re in the dualistic state, all the conceptualization is arising. Then, we have to confess to our own nature, “… distinction of good and bad, hatred and attachment there might be”. Good brings the attachment, bad brings the hatred. “… each and everything I confess”. We have to confess all of this. “May it be purified within that state”. Purified within that state, is purification of our own non-dual states, (not dualistic purification), – it is purification through Realising non-duality.


Purification of mind, of its delusion

So, that purification is the same as the Ganges Mahamudra. In this text, Tilopa said, just as candles are used in a dark home, or in darkness, and the candle lights release all the darkness. In the same way, this confession releases all the negative karma. All the conceptual, dualistic, negative delusion, is confessed into the nature state [rigpa]. It is called Absolute Truth Confession. So, I think we can leave the teaching here today, Absolute Truth Confession. We have finished page 10. We have completed the 1. Homage, 2. Prostration, 3. Offering, and now the 4. Confession, sections. Three sections of the Seven Branch Offering prayer. There are another four sections to complete.





(Continued on Sublime Heart Teachings (4) …)


Any errors are the transcriber’s own.
Immeasurable thanks for the precious teachings.