The text is MODERNISED FROM THE FIRST EDITION of 1889 (later editions often have variations).
THE  NOTES are collected or written by Y0UR COMPANION - Muriel Daw
H.P.B.'s own wording in her notes are in ITALIC PRINT.


Fragment II - THE TWO PATHS

 

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1     And now, O Teacher of Compassion, point the way to other men.  Behold all those who, knocking for admission, wait in ignorance and darkness to see the gate of the Teaching flung open!

 

2     The voice of the Candidates:

 

3     Will you not, Master of your own Mercy, reveal the Doctrine of the Heart? 50  Will you refuse to lead your Servants to the Path of Liberation?

 

50  Doctrine of the Heart: The two schools of Buddha’s doctrine, the esoteric and the exoteric, are respectively called the “Heart” and the “Eye” Doctrine.
     The “Heart” Doctrine is so named, because it is the teaching which emanated from Gautama Buddha’s heart, whereas the “Eye” Doctrine was the complementary work of his head or brain.
     The “Heart Doctrine” is also called  “the seal of truth”  or the “true seal,”  a symbol found on the heading of almost all esoteric works.
See Note B The Two Paths

 

4     Says the Teacher:

 

5     The Paths are two;51  the great Perfections three;52 six are the Virtues 53 that transform the body into one that sits under the Bodhi Tree.54

 

51  The Two Paths:  The Wisdom Way of the Arhat [exoteric] and the Compassion Way of the Bodhisattva [esoteric]. See Note B The Two Paths

 

52  The Three Great Perfections:  the Three Jewels in which a Buddhist takes refuge — Buddha, Dharma and Community. See Note A
     One takes refuge in the Buddha as an example, takes refuge in the Dharma as the Path, takes refuge in the Sangha as companion­ship on the Path.  At first we think of the Buddha as Gautama, the historic Buddha; the Dharma as the Scriptures; and the Sangha as the order of Monks who help us on the Way; but later, as the teaching takes root in our hearts, the idea of the Three Jewels deepens in meaning. The Buddha becomes Vairocana, the great Innate Buddha of this universe with the l0,000 Buddhas of all the interdiffused realms;  the Dharma becomes the Law, the Nature of Being, the Cosmic Law as we might perhaps say; and the Sangha becomes the hierarchy of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas innate both in the Cosmos and in the human psyche.

  53  The Six Virtues:  The Six Transcendental Virtues forming the first part of the Bodhisattva Path.  See Note C The Transcendental Perfections
  54  The Tree of Knowledge:  a reference to the Bodhi Tree under which all Buddhas receive enlightenment. Each Buddha sits under a different variety of tree. For our period of time the Bodhi tree is the peepul tree under which Gautama Buddha attained his enlightenment.
For another reference to the body of an enlightened person referred to as ‘the Bodhi Tree’ See note 58

 

6     Who shall approach them?

 

7     Who shall first enter them?

 

8     Who shall first hear the doctrine of two Paths in one, the truth unveiled about the Secret Heart?  The Law which, shunning learning, teaches Wisdom, and reveals a tale of woe.

 

9     Alas, alas, that all men should possess the Fundamental Consciousness,55 be one with the Great Soul, and that possessing it, this Consciousness should so little avail them!

 

55  Fundamental Consciousness: Ālaya  [Skt]         
     This Consciousness is all-existent before, during and after manifestation, and to it sentient beings have access in meditation.
     Ālaya means the “store-house,” implying that this consciousness is the reservoir preserving the potential psychic energy resulting from all ideas, memories, and desires.  It holds all primordial forms, the arche­types, the seeds or germs of all things. It is also the fundamental cause of both samsāra and nirvana. See Note D on Consciousness

 

10     Behold how like the moon, reflected in the tranquil waves, this Fundamental Consciousness is reflected by the small and by the great, is mirrored in the tiniest atoms, yet fails to reach the heart of all.  Alas, that so few men should profit by the gift, the priceless boon of learning truth, the right perception of existing things, the Knowledge of the non-existent!

 

11     Says the pupil:

 

12     O Teacher, what shall I do to reach to Wisdom?

 

13     O Wise one, what, to gain perfection?

 

14     [The Teacher instructs:]

 

15     Search for the Paths. But, O Disciple, be of clean heart before you start on your journey. Before you take your first step learn to discern the real from the false, the ever-fleeting from the everlasting.  Learn above all to separate Head-learning from Soul-Wisdom, the “Eye” from the “Heart” doctrine.

 

16     Yes, ignorance is like a closed and airless vessel; the soul a bird shut up within.  It cannot sing nor stir a feather; but sits mute and torpid, and dies of exhaustion.

 

17     But even ignorance is better than Head-learning with no Soul-wisdom to illu­minate and guide it.

 

18     The seeds of Wisdom cannot sprout and grow in airless space. To live and reap experience the mind needs breadth and depth and points to draw it towards the Diamond Soul.56  Seek not those points in the realm of relativity;57  but soar beyond illusions, search the eternal and the changeless TRUTH, mistrusting fancy’s false suggestions.

 

56  Diamond Soul:  Vajrasattva   [Skt]  A name given to the Higher Self. It is also a title of the supreme unknowable Buddha — the “Lord of all Mysteries, whom the Higher Self reflects. See note 91

  57  Realm of relativity:Māyā [Skt] Illusion

 

19     For mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects.58 It needs the gentle breezes of Soul-Wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions.  Seek, O Beginner, to blend your Mind and Soul.

 

58  Mind is like a mirror: From Shen-hsiu’s Doctrine, which teaches that the human mind is like a mirror attracting and reflecting every atom of dust, and has to be, like that mirror, watched over and dusted every day.  Shen-hsiu was the sixth Patriarch of North China who taught the esoteric doctrine of the Zen School.

This note of H.P.B.'s is extremely interesting to Zen students, who always regard the Sixth Patriarch of the Zen School as being Hui-Neng, not Shen-hsiu. The School which regarded Shen-hsiu [605?-706] as Sixth Patriarch died out after only 5 generations. Shen-hsiu wrote the poem:

‘Our body is the bodhi-tree,
And our mind a mirror bright;
Carefully we wipe them hour by hour
And let no dust alight.’

His rival, Hui-Neng, Sixth Patriarch of the still-active Southern School of Zen, responded with the verse:

 

‘There is no bodhi-tree,
Nor stand of mirror-bright.
Since all is void,
Where can the dust alight?’

For insight into Hui-Neng’s verse it is necessary to conceive some Yogācāra understanding of ‘Manas’ or Mind. It is understood as a mirror which is a view-point.  This mirror can turn either to reflect the outer world or to reflect Universal Consciousness where sense of body does not exist. See Note D on Consciousness

 

For full details concerning Hui-Neng read: 'The Platform Sūtra of Hui-Neng' [several modern translations]. This Sūtra was only available in Chinese and Japanese during the life of H.P.B.

 

20     Shun ignorance, and likewise shun illusion. Avert your face from world deceptions; mistrust your senses, they are false.  But within your body — the shrine of your sensations — seek in the Impersonal for the “eternal man;”59 and having sought him out, look inward:  you are Buddha.60

 

59  The Eternal Man: The reincarnating Ego is called by the Northern Buddhists the “true man,” who becomes in union with his Higher-Self —   an Enlightened One.

  60  You are Buddha:  The title Buddha here means ‘Enlightened One.’

 

21     Shun praise, O Devotee.  Praise leads to self-delusion.  Your body is not self, your self is in itself without a body, and either praise or blame affects it not.

 

22     Self-gratulation, O disciple, is like a lofty tower up which a haughty fool has climbed.  Thereon he sits in prideful solitude and unperceived by any but himself.

 

23     False learning is rejected by the Wise, and scattered to the winds by the good Law.61  Its wheel revolves for all, the humble and the proud. The “Doctrine of the Eye” is for the crowd; the “Doctrine of the Heart” for the elect. The first repeat in pride: “Behold, I know,” the last, they who in humbleness have garnered, low confess, “thus have I heard.”62

 

61  The good Law:  The Dharma. See Note A


  62  “Thus have I heard”: Tradition says that after Gautama Buddha had entered Nirvana, a Council was held; and it was decided that all of his teachings must be recorded.  Ānanda, having been the Buddha’s personal attendant, was able to repeat all of them, commencing each recital with: “Thus have I heard.

 

24     “Great Sifter63 ” is the name of the “Heart Doctrine,” O disciple.

 

63  “Great Sifter”: This is the symbol of a Bodhisattva who becomes irreversible at the Eighth of the Ten Stages of Transcendental Perfections which lead to
See Note C Transcendental Perfections number 8

 

25     The wheel of the good Law64 moves swiftly on.  It grinds by night and day. The worth­less husks it drives out from the golden grain, the refuse from the flour. The hand of Karma guides the wheel; the revolutions mark the beatings of the Karmic heart.

 

64  The good Law:  The Dharma. See Note A 'Dharma is the Law'

 

26     True knowledge is the flour, false learning is the husk. If you would eat the bread of Wisdom, you must knead the flour with Immortality’s clear waters. But if you knead husks with illusion’s dew, you will only create food for the black doves of death, the birds of birth, decay and sorrow.

 

27     If you are told that to become enlightened, you must cease to love all beings — tell them they lie.

 

28     If you are told that to gain liberation you must hate your mother and disregard your son; disavow your father and call him worldly; and renounce all pityfor man and beast  — tell them their tongue is false.

 

29     Thus teach the Brahman ascetics, the unbelievers.

 

30     If you are taught that sin is born of action and bliss of absolute inaction, then tell them that they err.  Non-permanence of human action; deliverance of mind from slavery by the cessation of sin and faults, are not for the True Self.  Thus says the “Doctrine of the Heart.”

 

31     The Dharma of the “Eye” is the embodiment of the external, and the non-existing.

 

32     The Dharma of the “Heart” is the embodiment of divine Wisdom,65 the Permanent and Everlasting.

 

65  Divine Wisdom: Bodhi   [Skt]  Enlightenment;  from the root budh [to be awake] meaning knowledge. Wisdom. Enlightenment. Having insight into the true nature of things.  The spiritual condition of a Bodhisattva.

 

33     The Lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean.  To make them clean a cleaner is required.  The flame feels not the process of the cleaning.  “The branches of a tree are shaken by the wind; the trunk remains unmoved.”

 

34     Both action and inaction may find room in you; your body agitated, your mind tranquil, your Soul as limpid as a mountain lake.

 

35     Would you become an Initiate of “Time’s Circle?”66 Then, O Disciple:—

 

66  “Time’s Circle”:  Kālachakra  [Skt]   Refers to a Mandala and its Initiations which are given only by the Dalai Lama.  This Initiation has now occasionally been given in the West by His Holiness.  For details read 'THE KĀLACHAKRA TANTRA' by Tenzin Gyatso — H. H. the Dalai Lama.  Wisdom Publications.
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36     Do not believe that sitting in dark forests in proud seclusion and apart from men, or living on roots and plants with thirst assuaged with snow from the great Range — do not believe, O Devotee, that this will lead you to the goal of final liberation.

 

37     Do not think that self-mutilation unites you to your silent Higher Self. Do not think that when the sins of your gross form are conquered, O victim of the shadowy physical body, your duty to nature and to man is accomplished.

 

38     The blessed ones have scorned to do so. The Lord of Mercy, the Buddha, perceiving the true cause of human woe, immediately forsook the sweet but selfish rest of quiet wilds.  From being a hermit, he became the Teacher of mankind.  After the Buddha had entered Nirvana,67 he then preached on mount and plain, and held discourses in the cities to spirits,68 men and gods.

  67  Nirvana:  This word now belongs to the English as well as to the Sanskrit language.  It is impossible to define, but here is an approximation:

    The Noumenon.  The Absolute.  ‘The Unborn, Unconditioned, Uncreate.’ 

    The state attained when the ego has been cooled out of existence. The extinction of all notion of separate individual existence. This is the aware­ness that transcends birth and death.

    The summum bonum of Buddhism.  A state of supreme enlightenment, beyond the power of the intellect to describe.
 

68  Spirits: Devas  [Skt]   Originally ‘Shining Ones.’  Celestial beings, good or bad in nature, who exist in a state of happy sensuality.

    Devas have realms, rulers and palaces; but, although seemingly immortal, their imperma­nent form of life is even more unsatisfactory than that of a human being because there is no possibility of attaining enlight­enment except from the human realm.


 

39     Sow kindly acts and you shall reap their fruition.  Inaction in a deed of mercy becomes an action in a deadly sin.

 

40     Thus says the Sage.

 

41     Shall you abstain from action?  Not so shall your soul gain her freedom. To reach Nirvana one must reach Self-Knowledge, and Self-Knowledge is born from loving deeds.

 

42     Have patience, Candidate, as one who fears no failure, courts no success. Fix your Soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray you are, the flaming star that shines within the lightless depths of ever-being, the boundless fields of the Unknown.

 

43     Have perseverance as one who does for evermore endure. Your bodies and per­sonalities live and vanish;  that which in you shall live for ever, that which in you knows , for it is itselfknowledge, is not of fleeting life, it is the man that was, that is, and will be, for whom the hour shall never strike.

 

44     If you would reap sweet peace and rest, Disciple, sow with the seeds of merit the fields of future harvests. Accept the woes of birth.

 

45     Step out from sunlight into shade, to make more room for others. The tears that water the parched soil of pain and sorrow, bring forth the blossoms and the fruits of Karmic retribution. Out of the furnace of man’s life and its black smoke, winged flames arise, purified flames. These, beneath the Karmic eye, soar onward, weaving in the end the glorified fabric of the three vestures of the Path.69

 

69  This verse and the next describe the Mahayana ideal of the Compassion of the Buddha towards which the would-be Bodhisattva strives. [In contrast to the next verse which describes the Theravāda ideal of the Wisdom of the Buddha towards which the would-be Arhat strives.] Thus verses 45-47 clearly show the contrast in aim between The Two Paths.

    The vision of the Esoteric Schools shows the three levels of existence of a fully enlightened being:

    1]  The Body of Truth existent in Universal Mind [Dharmakāya], which manifests as:    

    2]  The Divine-Body, or the perfect Body-of-Enjoyment [Sāmbhoga­kāya], in the  archety­pal realm of creative vision and enjoyment, and finally crystallises as:

    3]   An Incarnate Body [Nirmānakāya], in the realm of action and transformation.

    In Mahayana the three bodies are regarded as distinct, but also as aspects of one body that pervades all beings. 

    This doctrine is a Mystery in the full sense of the word.  None of us will understand the Three Bodies of the Buddha until we ourselves are Buddhas.
For more details of the 3 Bodies: see note 142

 

46     These vestures are:  the Body of Incarnation, the Body of Enjoyment, and the Body of Truth, body Sublime.

 

47     The Hempen Robe,70 it is true, can purchase light eternal. The Hempen Robe alone gives the Nirvana of destruction; it stops rebirth, but, O Disciple, it also kills — compassion. The perfect Buddhas, who don the glory of the Ultimate,71 can no longer help man’s salvation. Alas! shall SELVES be sacrificed to Self; mankind, unto the happiness of Units.

 

70  The Hempen Robe:  A robe made from sāna [Skt] — a fine nine-tufted grass which grows in India, a form of hemp.

    Once a grass-cutter presented Gautama with eight handfuls of Sāna grass, from which he made a cushion on which to sit under the tree. The next day he arose enlightened, and from this incident grew the legend of a sage being born where this auspicious grass clothed the ground.

    Legend also says that when Sānakavāsa, one of the two main disciples of Ānanda, was born, he was already wearing a robe woven from this propitious grass.
The fine tufts of the grass are said to be sharp enough to cut off all defile­ments, therefore it shows the Wisdom aspect of enlightenment, the Theravāda practice, which leads straight to Nirvana.

    Upon reaching the state of awareness where no fear or pain exist, there is naturally a great inclination to remain in it. If this state [physically, mentally and spiritually] has passed beyond into a state of no-return to the relative world and out of the realm of rebirth, it is then Parinirvāna, the highest ideal of the Theravāda. [The ‘no-return’ is why it is called the ‘Nirvana of destruction.’]

  71  Glory of the Ultimate:  Dharmakāya  [Skt]   This aspect of a Buddha is cosmic, and not in any way individual. see note 69

 

48     Know, O beginner, this is the Open PATH, the way to selfish bliss, shunned by the Compassionate Bodhisattvas of the “Secret Heart.” 72

 

72  Bodhisattvas of the Secret Heart:
For the Genealogy of the Esoteric or ‘Heart’  Doctrine: See Note B The Two Paths

    For definition of a Bodhisattva:
link


 

49     To live to benefit mankind is the first step. To practise the six glorious virtues73 is the second.

 

73  6 glorious virtues:  Pāramitā  [Skt]   6 Transcendental Perfections.

    To cross over from this shore of births and deaths to the other shore, nirvana, necessitates certain qualities which must be fostered and trained. Followers of the Mahayana sum these up as Six Perfections:  Generosity, Purity or Morality, Patient Acceptance, Energy, Meditation, Insight Wisdom.

    These Perfections are described more fully in Fragment 3, where they comprise 6 of the 7 Portals.

 

50     To don the humble robe of the Incarnation Body74 is to forego eternal bliss for Self, to help on man’s salvation. To reach Nirvana’s bliss, but to renounce it, is the supreme, the final step — the highest on Renuncia­tion’s Path.

 

74  Incarnation Body: Nirmānakāya   [Skt] see note 69

 

51     Know, O Disciple, this is the Secret PATH, selected by the Bodhisattvas of Perfection, who sacrificed the SELF to weaker Selves.

 

52     Yet, if the “Doctrine of the Heart” is too high-winged for you — if you need help your­self and fear to offer help to others — then, you of timid heart, be warned in time:  remain content with the “Eye Doctrine” of the Law. Hope still. For if the “Secret Path” is unattainable in this life, it will be within your reach next time. Learn that no efforts, not the smallest — whether in right or wrong direction — can vanish from the world of causes. Even wasted smoke remains not traceless.  A harsh word uttered in past lives, is not destroyed but ever comes again. The pepper plant will not give birth to roses, nor will the jasmine’s silver star turn to thorn or thistle.

 

53     You can create in this life your chances for the next.  In the Great Journey, life after life, every cause bears its harvest of effects, for exact Justice rules the World.  With mighty sweep of never erring action, it brings to mortals such happy or sad lives as are the Karmic progeny of all our former thoughts and deeds.

 

54     Be patient and accept as much as merit has in store for you.  Be of good cheer and rest content with fate.  Such is your Karma,75 the Karma of the cycle of your births, the destiny of those who, in their pain and sorrow, are born as aspects of you, rejoicing and weeping from life to life, chained to your previous actions.

 

75  Karma link

 

.       .       .       .       .       .       .      .       .

 

55     Act you for them “to-day,” and they will act for you, “tomorrow.”

 

56     The sweet fruit of final Liberation springs from the bud of Renun­cia­tion of the Self.

 

57     Doomed to perish is he who, fearing Temptation, refrains from helping man, lest he should act for Self. The pilgrim who would cool his weary limbs in running waters, yet dares not plunge for terror of the stream, risks succumbing to heat.  Inaction based on selfish fear can bear but evil fruit.

 

58     The selfish devotee lives to no purpose. The man who does not go through his appointed work in life — has lived in vain.

 

59     Follow the wheel of life; follow the wheel of duty to race and family, to friend and foe, and close your mind to pleasures as to pain. Exhaust the law of Karmic retribution. Gain Powers76 for your future birth.

 

76  Powers: Siddhis (Skt) link

 

60     If you cannot be the Sun, then be the humble planet. Yes, if you are debarred from flaming like the noon-day Sun upon the snow-capped mount of eternal purity, then choose, O Beginner, a humbler course.

 

61     Point out the “Way” — however dimly, and lost among the host — as does the evening star to those who tread their path in darkness.

 

62     Behold Mars, as in his crimson veils his “Eye” sweeps over slumbering Earth.  Behold the fiery aura of the “Hand” of Mercury extended in protecting love over the heads of his ascetics.  Both are now servants to the Sun who leaves them in his absence as silent watchers in the night.  Yet, in eons past, both were themselves bright Suns, and in future ages they may again become two Suns.  Such are the falls and rises of the Karmic Law in nature. 79

 

79  In Tibetan Astrology Migmar or Mars is symbolized by an “Eye,” and Lhagpa or Mercury by a “Hand.” Nyima is the Sun.


 

63     Be like them.  Give light and comfort to the toiling pilgrim, and seek out him who knows still less than you;  who in his wretched desolation sits starving for the bread of Wisdom and the bread which feeds the physical body, without a Teacher, hope or consolation, and — let him hear the Law.

 

64     Tell him, O Candidate, that he who makes his pride and self-regard servants to devotion;  that he who, although cleaving to existence, still lays his patience and submission to the Law as a sweet flower at the feet of Gautama the Buddha,78 becomes a ‘Streamwinner’79 in this birth. The mystic Powers of perfection may loom far, far away; but the first step is taken, the stream is entered, and he may gain the eye-sight of the mountain eagle, the hearing of the timid doe.

  78  Gautama the Buddha: Shakya-Thub-pa. The usual name for Buddha in Tibet. Shakya [Skt] is the clan to which Gautama Buddha belonged, and Thub-pa is Tibetan for “the mighty or capable one.” [Note by Alice Cleather]
 

79  'Streamwinner': Srotāpatti  [Skt]   One entering upon and attaining the first stage of the path to Nirvana. The stage of ‘He who has entered the stream’ which will carry him in time to the ocean of Nirvana. This marks a first vision of Liberation and hence a conversion from the ways of men to the ‘divine’ life within. It is the culmination of many years and lives of self-preparation, in which a realisation of the basic principles of the Dharma has finally borne fruit in the practice of the holy life. By attaining the state of a stream-entrant, a disciple does away completely with the mental intoxicant of false views  and the intoxicants of lust, becoming, and ignorance [which produce birth in low states]. 
See Note B The Way of the Arhat.

 

65     Tell him, O Aspirant, that true devotion may bring him back the knowledge, that knowledge which was his in former births.  The divine-sight and divine-hearing80 are not obtained in one short birth.

 

80  Divine-sight and divine-hearing:
    Sight and hearing as of the Devas (Skt)

    These psychic powers are frequently developed on the way to enlightenment.  It should, however, be stressed that they are not consciously acquired, but are merely by-products.  A deliberate training of such powers merely strengthens the self-centred lower ego.

 

66     Be humble, if you would attain to Wisdom.

 

67     Be humbler still, when you have mastered Wisdom.

 

68     Be like the Ocean which receives all streams and rivers.  The Ocean’s mighty calm remains unmoved; it feels them not.

 

69     Restrain by your Divine your lower Self.81

 

81  Restrain by your Divine your lower Self:  Be reborn into the True, the Divine Self, and restrain the greedy ego.  Then —

 

70     Restrain by the Eternal the Divine.82

 

82  Restrain by the Eternal the Divine:  — The Divine Self will learn to be restrained by the Eternal, the Spirit of the Cosmos.

 

71     Aye, great is he, who is the slayer of desire.

 

72     Still greater he, in whom the Self Divine has slain the very knowledge of desire.

 

73     Keep guard over the Lower lest it soil the Higher.

 

74     The way to final freedom is within your self.

 

75     That way begins and ends outside of personal self.

 

76     In the proud sight of unbelievers, the mother of all Rivers is unpraised and humble.  Even as  in the sight of fools the human form is empty, though it is filled with the sweet waters of Life.83  Moreover, the birth-place of the sacred rivers is the sacred land, and he who has Wisdom is honoured by all men.

 

83  Waters of Life:  Amrita  [Skt]  The drink, usually translated as ‘nectar,’ which-gives-immortality.

 

77     Illumined Ones and Sages of the boundless Vision are as rare as the blossom of the Udumbara tree. 84 Enlightened Ones are born at midnight hour, together with the sacred plant of nine and seven stalks,85 the holy flower that opens and blooms in darkness, out of the pure dew and on the frozen bed of snow-capped heights, heights that are trodden by no sinful foot.

 

84  Udumbara tree: The common-fig tree [Ficus glomerata] which never has visible flowers, but produces fruit. [The flowers are inside the fig, and pollinated by one species of insect.]

    Legend says that it bears a lotus of immense size once in 3,000 years; hence this is analogous to the rare appearance of a Buddha.

  85  Sacred plant of nine and seven stalks:
     as of the sāna (Skt) A fine nine-tufted grass which grows in India, a form of hemp.

 

78     No one becomes enlightened in that birth when the Soul first begins to long for final liberation.  Yet, O you anxious one, no warrior, not even one recruit, volunteering fight in the fierce strife between the True Self and the personal self can ever be refused the right to enter on the Path that leads toward the field of Battle.

 

79     For, either he shall win, or he shall fall.

 

80     Yes, if he conquers, Nirvana shall be his; before he casts aside his mortal self — that pregnant cause of anguish and illimitable pain — in him will men a great and holy Enlightened One honour.

 

81     And if he falls, even then he does not fall in vain; the enemies he slew in the last battle will not return to life in his next birth.

 

82     But whether you would reach Nirvana, or renounce it, let not the fruit of action and inaction be your motive, you of dauntless heart.

 

83     Know that the Bodhisattva86 who changes liberation for Renunciation to don the miseries of “Secret Life,” is called “thrice Honoured,” O you candidate for woe throughout the cycles.

 

86  Bodhisattva [Skt] One whose being or essence [sattva] is pure enlighten­ment [bodhi].

    At a human level, any person whose essence is guided solely by the wish to attain enlightenment in order to help others may be known as a bodhisattva — the great model being Prince Gautama, who was a bodhi­sattva until the moment of enlightenment which made him a Buddha.

    It is impossible to help others without wisdom, therefore the struggle for enlightenment must come first. Only then can one choose between the Two Paths. Even Gautama Buddha had difficulty in choosing. After he became enlightened, he continued sitting under the tree for seven days enjoying the bliss he had found. Next he considered trying to help others with his new–found knowledge. He thought “It is too difficult, no one will under­stand.” Then the gods persuaded him, saying: “Yes, many are ignorant, however there are some who have but little dust in their eyes.”

 

 

Bodhisattva

    In Buddhism there are also many Archetypal [or Celestial] Bodhisattvas, who represent the essence of enlightenment of each of the great virtues.
For example:
    Avalokitesvara [Compassion],
    Vajrasattva [the Vital Energy which is the True Self and also a reflex of the Centre],
    Samantabhadra [Perfect Motive],
    Mañjusri [Wisdom],
    and Maitreya, the Buddha-to-Be who can be born within each one of us.

 

 

84     The PATH is one, Disciple, yet in the end, two-fold. Marked are its stages by four and seven Portals. At one end — bliss immediate, and at the other — bliss deferred. Both are of merit the reward:  the choice is yours.

 

85     The One becomes the two, the Open and the Secret. The first one leads to the goal, the second, to Self-Immolation.

 

86     When to the Permanent is sacrificed the Mutable, the prize is yours: the drop returns whence it came.  The Open PATH leads to the changeless change — Nirvana, the glorious state of Absoluteness, the Bliss past human thought.

 

87     Thus, the first Path is LIBERATION.

 

88     But the second Path is — RENUNCIATION, and therefore called the “Path of Woe.”

 

89     That Secret PATH leads the enlightened one to mental woe unspeakable; woe for the living Dead,87 and helpless pity for the men of Karmic sorrow, the fruit of Karma Sages dare not still.

 

87  Living Dead:  Men ignorant of the Esoteric truths and Wisdom are called “the living Dead.”

 

90     For it is written: “Teach to eschew all causes; the ripple of effect, as the great tidal wave, you shall let run its course.”

 

91     The “Open Way,” no sooner have you reached its goal, will lead you to reject the Bodhisattvic body and make you enter the thrice glorious state of the Body of Truth,88 which is oblivion of the World and men for ever.

 

88 Body of Truth:   Dharmakāya  [Skt]  The Body of Truth of the Buddha;  the Body of Infinite Spiritual Potentiality  knowable solely by realisation;  the root of all experience of oneness;  the matrix from which all dharmas are born. The Body of Life which is the universe. see note 69

 

92     The “Secret Way” leads also to the bliss beyond Nirvana89 — but at the close of eons without number; Nirvanas gained and lost from boundless pity and com­passion for the world of deluded mortals.

 

89  Bliss beyond Nirvana:  Parinirvāna  [Skt]  A Buddha’s final entry into nirvana;  as opposed to his experiencing nirvana, and then continuing to function in the world. See note 70

 

93     But it is said "The last shall be the greatest," the perfectly and fully Enlightened BUddha, the Teacher of Perfection, gave up his SELF for the salvation of the World, by stopping at the threshold of Nirvana — the pure state.

 

.       .       .       .       .       .       .      .       .

 

94     You have the knowledge now concerning the two Ways.  Your time will come for choice, O you of eager Soul, when you have reached the end and passed the seven Portals.  Your mind is clear.  No more are you entangled in delusive thoughts, for you have learned all. Truth stands unveiled and looks you sternly in the face.  She says:

 

95     “Sweet are the fruits of Rest and Liberation for the sake of Self; but sweeter still the fruits of long and bitter duty. Yes, Renunciation for the sake of others, of suffering fellow men.”

 

96     He who becomes a Self-Illumined-Buddha,90 makes his obeisance but to his Self. The Bodhisattva who has won the battle, who holds the prize within his palm, yet says in his divine compassion:

 

90  Self-Illumined-Buddha: Pratyeka Buddha [Skt]  One who attains enlightenment by his own exertions.

    Defined in The Lotus Sûtra as a believer who is diligent and zealous in seeking wisdom, loves loneliness and seclusion, and understands deeply the Twelve Links of the Law of Dependent Origination.

 

    Because he is self-taught he has none of the skills of a teacher, and therefore cannot attempt to pass on his understanding.


    In Northern Buddhism to be a “Self-Illumined-Buddha” is sometimes thought of as synonymous with spiritual Selfishness because he does not teach, but perhaps this is really an unfair comment.


 

97     “For others’ sake this great reward I yield” — accomplishes the greater Renunciation.

 

98     A SAVIOUR of the WORLD is he.

 

.       .       .       .       .       .       .      .       .

 

99     Behold!  The goal of bliss and the long Path of Woe are at the furthest end.  You can choose either, O aspirant to Sorrow, throughout the coming cycles!  .  .  .  . 

ŌM VAJRAPĀNI  HŪM 91

Diamond Sceptre


Hail to The True Self,  Wielder of the Diamond Sceptre

 

Vajra [Skt]

 

 

91  ŌM VAJRAPĀNI  HŪM:  This is a mantra and its meaning cannot be accurately translated.  It is an invocation to Vajrapāni, [Wielder of the Vajra or Diamond Sceptre], a mystical name of the True Self. Perhaps:


    Hail to The True Self, Wielder of the Diamond Sceptre


    The usual name of the True Self is Vajrasattva [Diamond Being], but when he wields the Diamond Sceptre it is an indication of his Kingship. In this aspect he is Vajrapāni and reflects the nature of the Cosmic Buddha.


    Vajrasattva is the archetype of the True Self, the Diamond Being innate within us who cannot reveal himself until we are purified. In his own nature he is described as hollow, transparent like crystal.  Because he is made of spiritual diamond, we cannot see him. But, because, like us, his nature is formed of the basic great elements, different coloured rays of light emanate and refract from him, so we can be very conscious of his presence.

Vajra (Skt)

    The hardest possible substance: Spiritual  Diamond.  Adamantine.


    Also a ritual object symbolising indestructibility, the bodhi­sattva’s skilful means rather than his wisdom.  It is made up of the origin, the point in the centre, which becomes a sphere, and blossoms into the 5 Wisdoms of the Innate Dhyāni-Buddhas.  It is reflected, as is the whole universe:  as above, so below.  Although masculine, it contains the lotus petals.

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