Generation and Completion Stage non-dual

Comments: Some people consider the generation stage (of the Vajrayana system) to be ‘conceptual’ , ‘dualistic’ and prefer teachings purely on emptiness or the nature of mind, Dzogchen etc.  While it is okay to concentrate on the aspect or teachings that suit one’s inclinations, it is not so okay to have a biased or erroneous view of the other Dharma methods/paths.  This may cause us to accidentally denigrate the teachings to others who may be suited to such teachings or to lose a precious opportunity to progress on the path with a method that may actually be of tremendous help to us (despite our reservations.)  I found this precious story of Ra Lotsawa (a great realized being and adept of Vajrabhairava), do read :

Maben Chöbar, Tsur Lotsawa and Barekpa Töpagawa, who were pupils of the Indian Vajrapani, came to receive Dharma teaching from Ralo. When he gave them the empowerment and instructions, Tsur Lotsawa gained a realization that was like space and Maben Chöbar gained unimpeded miraculous powers. Barekpa was thinking, “This lama’s instructions on the generations stage of the deity are so very detailed, he has an attachment to complexity as solidly real,” and so he didn’t develop any qualities.

That evening, the three men were staying together in the same house and so they compared their experiences. As nothing had happened for Barekpa the other two said, “We have developed excellent experience and realization through receiving this lama’s instructions, but as nothing happened for you should ask to receive them again.”

When Barekpa did that, Rachen smiled and said, “You don’t have faith in me.”

Barekpa said, “No, I am not lacking in faith.”

Ra Lotsawa laughed and said, “I know exactly what you are thinking.”

Barekpa made many prostrations and offered a confession, so that Ra Lotsawa said, “The superior mantrayāna is distinctive because of its methods. In wisdom and emptiness there is no division into good and bad. There are many kinds of methods but there is none greater than the generation phase. It is the teaching of the inseparability of the basis, path and result.  Some say the meditation of the generation phase is inferior and the meditation of the completion stage is superior. However, both are the natural power of the mind so how can there be any superiority or inferiority? Seeing the non-dual as two and viewing one as superior and the other inferior: that is attachment to solidity.” Then he sang this song:

I pray from my heart with veneration

To venerable  guru Bharo.

Give your blessing to deluded beings

So that they may realize non-duality.

In the last of the five hundred year periods,

The time when only the outer image of the Dharma,

The meaning and view of the Buddha’s teachings

Will be incorrectly explained by minds with partial understanding.

The practice of the generation phase of the deity

Will be declared to be conceptual by the ignorant.

It is attachment to duality if you adopt and reject

The inseparability of clarity, knowing and emptiness.

In particular the special teaching of the mantrayāna

Is solely the generation stage of the deity;

It is the meditation of emptiness

And it is present throughout the vinaya and sutras.

The principal cause of our wandering in samsara

Throughout beginningless time until the present

Is solely the attachment to ordinary appearances.

The Buddha taught the generation stage in order to purify that.

The teaching that the generations stage is inferior,

Which is found in Dzogchen, Mahamudra, the dohas, and elsewhere,

Is for the purpose of negating the attachment

Of beings who have the view of eternalism.

Otherwise, the inseparability of the generation and completion stages,

When meditating on the deity meditation,

Is that the clear appearance is the generation phase

And the empty nature is the completion stage.

Their non-duality is the union.

There is no adoption or rejection, division into good or bad.

All appearances of form are the union of emptiness and appearance, the Body.

They have no nature of their own, they are like rainbows.

Through the qualities of meditating in that way,

Physical obscurations are purified and the nirmanakaya is attained.

All sounds are the union of emptiness and sound, the Speech.

There is nothing to be identified, they are like echoes.

Through the qualities of meditating in that way,

Vocal obscurations are purified and the sambhogakaya is attained.

All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.

Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.

Through the qualities of meditating in that way,

Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained.

Everything is non-dual,

Self-arising, self-appearing, like mist.

Through the qualities of meditating in that way,

The svabhavakaya, beyond the intellect, is attained.

In brief, the generation stage has great qualities.

Everything that you wish for comes from it.

Even attachment to ordinary appearances and belief in solidity

Are purified by meditation on the generation stage.

Even the peaceful, increasing controlling and wrathful activities

Are accomplished through meditation on the generation stage.

Even an immeasurable benefit of beings

Arises through meditation on the generation stage.

Without any physical or vocal difficulty being needed

Everything will be accomplished through the meditative state.

Ease of practice, great benefits, skilful methods,

Are the special qualities of the mantrayana.

Barekpa was filled with faith and, saddened, asked for  forgiveness for his earlier lack of faith. From then on Barekpa single-pointedly practiced whatever instruction the lama gave. He had a vision of Vajrabhairava and directly perceived the true nature of all phenomena. He subsequently accomplished a vast benefit for many beings and in the end departed to the pure realms.

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