Tilopa transmitted to Naropa the Mahamudra Way,
The Song of Mahamudra by
Mahamudra is beyond all words and symbols,
The Void needs no reliance; Mahamudra rests on naught.
Without making an effort, but remaining natural,
If one looks for naught when staring into space;
The clouds that wander through the sky have no roots, no home,
In space, shapes and colors form
The darkness of ages cannot shroud the glowing sun;
Though words are spoken to explain the Void, the Void as such can never be expressed. Though we say "the Mind is a bright light," it is beyond all words and symbols. Although the Mind is void in essence, all things it embraces and contains.
Do naught with the body but relax;
The practice of Mantra and Perfections, instructions in the Sutras and
Precepts, and teaching from the Schools and Scriptures will not bring
realization of the Innate Truth.
One who keeps the Tantric Precepts yet discriminates, betrays the vows of
He who abandons craving and clings not to this or that,
In Mahamudra all one's sins are burned; in Mahamudra one is released from the prison of this world. This is the Dharma's supreme torch. Those who disbelieve it are fools who ever wallow in misery and sorrow.
To strive for liberation one should rely on a Guru. When your mind
receives the Guru's blessing emancipation is at hand.
To transcend duality is the Kingly View; to conquer distractions is the Royal Practice; the Path of No-practice is the Way of the Buddhas. 0ne who treads that Path reaches Buddhahood.
Transient is this world; like phantoms and dreams,
Cut the root of the tree and the leaves will wither;
The light of any lamp dispels in a moment the darkness of long eons; The strong light of the mind in but a flash will burn the veil of ignorance.
Whoever clings to mind sees not the truth of what's beyond the mind.
One should not give and take but remain natural, for Mahamudra is beyond
all acceptance and rejection.
---------------------------------------------------------------Tilopa's case was very special since his guidance came from the commanding appearance of a dakini ("sky-flyer" - female spiritual being), who manifested at important moments in his life to set him in the right direction. From the very outset, she made it clear to him that his real parents were not his worldly ones, but primordial wisdom and universal voidness:
On her advice, he frequented monasteries and gradually took up a monk's life, eventually becoming an erudite scholar and an exemplary monk, known as Prajñabhadra. Following a vision, he discovered a text hidden in the base of a statue in the monastery. Not understanding its meaning he prayed to his dakini mentor, who sent him to the illustrious gurus Matangi and Saryapa to study tantra. Returning some time later to the monastery, he furthered his classical studies. Another critical encouter with his celestial dakini teacher initiated him further and definitively closed the gaps that existed between his theoretical knowledge and his experiential insight.
Taking avantage of his new-found freedom, Prajñabhadra practised meditation very intensively, travelling when necessary to receive the special techniques and guidance of most of the great teachers of his day: Guhya, Darika, Dingi and so on.
.. great seal - (Tib. phyag.rgya.cken.po Skt. mahamudra) in this instance 'uncharacterised mahamudra', i.e. without ritual, form or sophistry,
.. heat yoga -(Tib. gtum.mo, which literally means 'angry mother'),
.. lucidity - (Tib. od.gsal means ' as clear as if illuminated'--sometimes called 'clear light' in modern translations) this includes dream and between-life (bardo) yogas
.. union - (Tib. Ias.kyi.phyag.rgya Skt. karma mudra)
...These four transmissions contain the very essence of all three levels (yana) of Buddhism. Each contains the others and therefore each contains everything. As a whole they are calledmahamudra.
If each of the above were not an aspect of a whole, tu-mo, subtle heat, would simply be a technique for producing warmth; one would be no more than a human oven. Radiant lucidity would be just something illuminating, like torchlight. They are not like that. Subtle heat and lucidity are very profound practices, richly supported by mahamudra's insight, mantras, visualisation-stage mahamudra etc. They are very complete, each being a highlighted aspect of the same thing.
These four, one of which is intimate knowledge of mind and the other three skilful areas of technique, have been transmitted in their original integrity, via a lineage of perfect masters and perfected students, from the time of Tilopa until our present day. They form the hub of the present Kagyu Lineage.
During this period of his life, he acquired the name Tilopa, which means sesame-grinder, as this was the secret guise in which he lived externally, while all the time perfecting his meditation internally. A marvellous phrase occurs in this part of his biography:
Having inherited the Buddhist lineages of his time, Tilopa was then advised by his guiding dakini to go to the impenetrable valleys of Orgyen, where he would receive extraordinary transmissions of teaching. In a veritable épopée, he worked and fought his way through earthquakes, hallucinations, demon army attacks and other phenomena and was rewarded by becoming heir to some very special teachings; the heart teachings of the dakinis. These included the nine secret dakini teachings and the four wish-fulfilling-gem teachings.
Then followed his enlightenment. Although he had had many excellent gurus, including celestial dakinis, his enlightenment occured through direct fusion with the mind of Sakyamuni's sambhogakaya. Tilopa experienced this as meeting "the Buddha Who Holds the Vajra(yana)" (Vajradhara Buddha). The fivefold transmission of insight that took place then is indescribable. It ended with Tilopa being indistinguishable from the enlightenment of all the Buddhas. The remainder of his earthly life was spent teaching and ensuring that the precious wisdom and lineages he had inherited were perpetuated by worthy disciples for the future benefit of humankind.
THE FOUR LIMITLESS THOUGHTS
Enter the space of sacred sounds with a concentrated mind.