Three Principle Paths

Written by Lord Lama Je Tsongkhapa (Lozang Dragpa Sumati Kirti)

I bow to the high and holy lamas.

As far as I am able I shall explain the essence of all high teachings of the Victors, the path that their holy sons commend, the entry point for the fortunate seeking freedom.

Listen with a pure mind, fortunate ones who have no craving for the pleasures of life, and who to make leisure and fortune meaningful strive to their minds to the path which pleases the Victors.

There is no way to end, without the pure reunciation, this striving for pleasent results in the ocean of life. It is because of their hankering life as well that beings are fettered, so seek reunciation first.

Leisure and fortune are hard to find, life is not long; think it constantly, stop desire for this life. Think over and over how deeds and their fruits never fail, and the cycle’s suffering: stop desire for the future.

When you have meditated thus and fell not even a moment’s wish for the good things of cyclic life, and when you begin to think both night and day of achieving freedom, you have found reunciation.

Reunciation though can never bring the total bliss of matchless Buddhahood unless it is bound by the purest wish; and so, the wise seek the high wish for enlightenment.

They are swept along the four fierce river currents, chained up tight in past deeds, hard to undo, stuffed in a steel cage of grasping “self,” smothered in the pitch-black ignorance.

In a limitless round they are born, and in their births are tortured by three sufferings without a break; think how your mothers feel, think of what is happening to them, try to develop this highest wish.

You may master reunciation and the wish, but unless you have the wisdom perceiving reality you cannot cut the root of cyclic life. Make efforts in ways then to perceive interdependence.

A person is entered the path that pleases the Buddhas when for all objects, in the cycle or beyond, he sees that cause and effect can never fail, and when for him they lose all solid appearance.

You have yet to realize the thought of the Able as long as two ideas seem to you disparate: the appearance of things- infallible interdependence; and emptiness- beyond taking any position.

At some point they have no longer alternate, come together; just seeing that interdependence never fails brings realization that destroys how you hold objects, and then your analysis with view complete.

In addition, the appearance prevents the existence extreme; emptiness that of non-existence, and if you see how emptiness shows cause and effect. You will never be stolen off by extreme views.

When you have grasped as well as essential points of each of the three principal paths explained, then go into isolation, my son, make efforts, and quickly win your ultimate wish.

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3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Enlightenment is impossible without realising all three aspects of the path. In this text, Lama Tsongkhapa has summarised all the paths of practice which lead to enlightenment. It is said that Manjushri himself gave the title to this short text.

  2. “When you have meditated thus and felt not even a moment’s wish for the good things of cyclic life, and when you begin to think both night and day of achieving freedom, you have found renunciation.”

    Particularly brilliant verse. When you dont even feel a moments wish for the good things of cyclic life, actually your free from attachments (renunciation). When your free from attachments, then your free from suffering because suffering is the result of attachment.

    The verse also points to the fact you can be in cyclic existence, but still have found renunciation. But if your still stuck in samsara, and your seeking renunciation, then really the closest you can get to it is by joining a monastery. No attachment to your appearance, your hair, making money, no attachments to family, no attachments to work…our monasteries are extremely important, and its sad the bans driving monasteries to divide and become weaker entities.

  3. Life is so short and therefore we should take this golden opportunity to listen, learn and practice dharma as knowing that hatred, jealousy, desire, attachments, greedy and many other negative thoughts may not lead us to the liberation.
    Thank you for this sharing. May anyone who sees and reads this text, will develop their loving kindness and compassionate thought for the benefit of others.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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