The Wisdom Lamp That Illuminates the Basic Nature by the Third Karmapa








The view of being free from extremes, 
The meditation that is a continuous flow,
The conduct of being without do’s and don’ts, 
And the fruition of being without hope and fear—
All yogins who realize these to be one 
[Embody] the three kayas and five wisdoms.

The three kays are threefold—
Mind’s primordial purity is the dharmakaya,
Speech’s unrestrained empty resounding is the sambhogakaya, 
And the body’s various ways of conduct are the nirmanakaya. 

What are their divisions?
Mind’s great luminosity is the dharmakaya,
It’s being without meeting or parting is the sambhogakaya, 
And unobstructed thought-activity is the nirmanakaya—
These are the three kayas of mind, the dharmakaya.

Speech beyond words, thought, and expression is the dharmakaya, 
Sound resounding yet empty and free from clinging is the sambhogakaya, 
And breath’s many ways of coming and going are the nirmanakaya—
These are the three kayas of pure speech, the sambhogakaya.

The body in activity-free equipoise is the dharmakaya, 
Its unconstrained ways of conduct are the sambhogakaya, 
And its various movements are the nirmanakaya—
These are the three kayas of pure body, the nirmanakaya. 

Great meditators who cultivate the basic nature,
Point out the three kayas in this way!

What are the pure realms of the three kayas?
The alaya free from extremes, the actuality of the middle, 
Is the pure realm of the dharmakaya.
Minds great unchanging bliss
Is the pure realm of the sambhogakaya.
Minds unceasing flow of luminosity 
Is the pure realm of the nirmanakaya. 

You great meditators traveling through mountain retreats,
If you are headed for the pure realms, do so for these! 

Yogins who realize basic natures reality,
The skandha of form being pure in its own place,
The supreme abode of Akanishtha being spontaneously present, 
And resting in unchanging dharmadhatu wisdom
Are the family of the sambhogakayas, such as Vairocana, 
Of all Buddhas in the three times—
If you’re looking for a place to practice, go for this!

The skandha of consciousness being pure in its own place, 
The pure realm of Abhirati being spontaneously present, 
And resting in mind being lucid-empty, mirrorlike wisdom, 
Are the family of enlightened mind, such as Akshobhya—
If you’re looking for a place to practice, go for this!

The skandha of feeling being pure in its own place,
The supreme abode of Shrimat being spontaneously present, 
And resting in the wisdom of inseparable equality
Are the family of qualities, such as Ratnasambhava—
If you’re looking for a place to practice, go for this!

The skandha of discrimination being pure in its own place, 
Sukhavati being spontaneously present,
And resting in blissful-empty mind, discriminating wisdom, 
Are the entire assembly of the deities of enlightened speech—
If you’re looking for a place to practice, go for this!

The skandha of formation being pure in its own place,
The pure realm [of Karmaprapurana] being spontaneously present,
And resting in inseparable mind, all-accomplishing wisdom, 
Are the place to practice enlightened activity, so go for it! 

Great meditators headed for solitary places,
If you wish for places to practice, go for these! 

Manifest realization is [the wisdom of] suchness,
And knowing the mind streams of others is the one of variety—
Not realizing that these two knowledges,
As well as the three kayas and the five wisdoms, are your own mind,
Wishing to search for them somewhere else is just wishful thinking. 
Not realizing that the three kayas and the pure realms
Of the victors are complete within yourself,
To wish for them outside is just wishful thinking.

Within the ground, uncontrived spontaneously present Samantabhadra, 
The essence of the Buddhas of the three times is perfectly complete. 
In the state of the alaya, the great being,
Samsara and nirvana are perfectly complete without exception. 
Within unchanging great bliss,
All efforts, accomplishing, flaws, and qualities are perfectly complete. 
Within the unborn inconceivable mind the dharmakaya,
The qualities of all Buddhas of the three times 
Are perfectly complete without exception—
Effortless, spontaneously present, and amazing, 
Make this great perfection a living experience! 


Translated by Karl Brunnholzl


from the book "Heart Advice of Karmapa "


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