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Namo Buddhāya!


སྡིག་པ་ཆུང་ཡང་དུག་བཞིན་བསྲུང་། །

དཀའ་ཡང་དགེ་བ་འབད་པས་བསྒྲུབ། །

རྩ་བ་བདག་འཛིན་རྣམ་རྟོག་གཞོམ། །

འདི་གསུམ་ལྡན་ན་མཁས་པ་ལགས། །

To guard against even the smallest misdeed as if it were poison,

To endeavour to accomplish virtue even when it’s difficult,

To thoroughly destroy concepts at the root of self-clinging,

To be endowed with these three is to be a sage.

Photo credit: Himalayan Art Resources

Published: June 2021



Rin chen grub. 2008. Dwags po rin chen la gnang ba'i gdams pa. In Gsung 'bum/ rin chen grub (bris ma). 28 vols. Beijing: Krung go'i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang, vol. 26, pp. 429–430. BDRC W1PD45496


གནད་ཀྱི་གདམས་ངག་གསུམ་ཚན་གསུམ་འདི་ནི་ཆོས་རྗེ་ཐམས་ཅད་མཁྱེན་པ་བུ་སྟོན་རིན་པོ་ཆེས།  དྭགས་པོ་རིན་ཆེན་ལ་གནང་བའི་གདམས་པ་ཡིན་ནོ། །


“Essential Advice in Three Sets of Three” was composed by the All-Knowing Dharma Lord, Butön Rinpoche, and delivered to Dakpo Rinpoche.


Essential Advice in Three Sets of Three

གཞན་གྱི་སྡིག་སྡུག་བདག་གིས་བླང་། །

བདག་གི་དགེ་བདེ་གཞན་ལ་གཏང་། །

སྟོང་ཉིད་སྙིང་རྗེ་རྟག་ཏུ་བསྒོམ། །

འདི་གསུམ་ལྡན་ན་བྱང་སེམས་ལགས། །

To take on oneself the misdeeds and sufferings of others,

To give to others one’s own virtue and happiness,

To constantly meditate on emptiness and compassion,

To be endowed with these three is to be a bodhisattva.

ཅིར་སྣང་སྒྱུ་མ་ལྷ་སྐུར་ཤེས། །

དྲན་རིག་བདེ་གསལ་མི་རྟོག་པ། །

བྱིན་རླབས་བླ་མའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར་བསྒོམ། །

འདི་གསུམ་ལྡན་ན་སྔགས་པ་ལགས། །

To know that whatsoever appears is the illusory body of the deity,

To be mindfully aware of bliss, clarity, and non-thought,

To meditate on guru yoga, the wellspring of blessing,

To be endowed with these three is to be a Mantrayāna practitioner.


As potent as it is pithy, this short text outlines three sets of qualities required respectively by sages, bodhisattvas, and practitioners of the Mantrayāna. There is obvious overlap in the advice contained at each level, particularly ascending from the initial to the final qualities, which mirrors the central training of the three Buddhist vehicles essential to the Tibetan tradition. The work was composed by the fourteenth-century Sakya master Butön Rinchen Drup, one of Tibet’s most prodigious scholars and the abbot of Shalu Monastery. 


Essential Advice in Three Sets of Three

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