The Essence of Semnyid Ngalso
by Tulku Dakpa Rinpoche
Having condensed all of the topics of the Tripitika and the four divisions of tantra into one, the complete teaching of the Bhagavan Buddha is combined into a single graduated path.
Chapter one through chapter ten extensively explain the nature of the basis, starting from the difficulty of acquiring freedom and endowments.
The next two chapters, chapters eleven and twelve, the so-called “chapters of the great naturally perfected meditation,” extensively analyze the stages of the path by principally explaining the yogas of śamatha and vipaśyāna.
Chapter thirteen extensively presents the result, clearly demonstrating the Natural Great Perfection, the ultimate result.
To begin with, the path of the common vehicles, such as the difficulty in attaining leisure and endowment (the vehicle of gods and humans for the higher states), death and impermanence, the faults of samsara, the benefits of liberation, the way to rely on the virtuous mentor, going for refuge, generating the mind of supreme bodhicitta are demonstrated with eight chapters.
Chapter nine explains in great detail critical points of creation and completion, the stages of the path of general secret mantra.
Chapter ten explains the uncommon path of the Natural Great Perfection (from among the mind, space and intimate instruction series) primarily according to the intention of the mind series in accordance with the intention of the All-Creating King Tantra and so on, combining into one the two aspects of the basis and the view of the Natural Great Perfection.
Both chapter eleven and twelve explain the meditation and conduct of the Great Perfection. Chapter thirteen demonstrates in detail the presentation of the result of the Natural Great Perfection. As such, the clear explanation of the Cause Vehicle of Characteristics, Result Vehicle of Secret Mantra and the Vehicle of the Natural Great Perfection in thirteen chapters is the outline that encompasses the text from beginning to end.
Additionally, there are fifteen Dharmas that arise as branches which spread from the Relaxing in the Nature of the Mind of the Great Perfection.
The root text is the Relaxing in the Nature of the Mind. The outline is the Garland of Jasmine. The commentary is the Great Chariot. The outline of the Great Chariot commentary is the Garland of White Lotuses. The practice manual is the Excellent Path of Awakening.
The root text is the Relaxing in Concentration of the Great Perfection. The outline of that is the Garland of Puṇḍarikas. The commentary is the Pure Chariot. The practice manual is the Condensed Elixir.
The root text is the Relaxing in Illusion of the Great Perfection. The outline is the Garland of Mandarava. The commentary is the Excellent Chariot. The practice manual is the Wishfulfilling Gem. The general meaning of the Dharma history of those texts is the Ocean of Eloquent Explanations. The index is the Thousand-Petalled Lotus. When combined there are fifteen Dharmas. The All-Knowing One himself states [in the Thousand-Petalled Lotus]:
The Trilogy of Rest, Trilogy of Chariots, Trilogy of Garlands, Trilogy of Instruction, Ocean of Eloquent Explanations, White Lotus and the index make fifteen divisions.
Thus, since all fifteen Dharmas within the Trilogy of Relaxation are Dharma sections of one text, Relaxing in the Nature of the Mind the subject of the gradual path of the intimate instructions of the Great Perfection is in reality the subject here which must be understood. Therefore, Relaxing in the Nature of the Mindof the Great Perfection is a vast text, inclusive of the complete intended meaning of sūtra and tantra. For example, if one looks from the peak of Sumeru, one can see the four continents all at once. Likewise, all the essentials of the sūtras, tantras and treatises are clearly and extensively explained by this text of intimate instructions of the Great Perfection. Likewise, the All-Knowing One himself extensively praises the Trilogy of Relaxation [in the Ocean of Eloquent Explanations]:
[The Dharma that] combines the essentials of all vehicles together,
the unmistaken path of the texts of the cause and result,
the elevating instruction for those of all capacities,
the parts of the path without need to depend on others —
by hearing it, the darkness of ignorance is removed,
by reflecting upon it, the meaning of reality is realized,
by meditating upon it, one is liberated into the expanse of dharmatā,
by explaining it, one’s own and other’s wisdom is increased,
by listening to it, the lotus of intelligence blossoms,
by seeing it, the misdeeds and obscurations of affliction are exhausted,
and by examining it, the awakening of the path of liberation is attained —
a himalayan lake perfectly adorned with a great collection of immeasurable qualities,
the Trilogy of Relaxation is a treatise of intimate instructions on the Mahāyāna…