Thursday, November 29, 2007

chos kyi dbyings kyi ye shes - Dharmadhatu wisdom

The fifth of the five wisdoms, ye shes lnga, is chos kyi dbyings kyi ye shes, dharmadhatu wisdom.

chos has so many interpretations and meanings, but here it's really part of a term, chos kyi dbyings. Anyway, for the time being think of this with the Sanskrit term, dharma, phenomena.

kyi is a genitive particle and binds the word to the right with the one to the left. dbyings also has many meanings: nature, realm, space, dhatu in Sanskrit... Anyway, here chos kyi dbyings is dharmadhatu. kyi is again a genitive particle, and ye shes is wisdom.

This is also sometimes written in short form: chos dbyings ye shes.

As for the term dharmadhatu, that would take a while, and I'm actually very tempted to look into more dharmadhatu terms after this section with the five wisdoms, as it's a very, very intriguing section, and I like to look at this myself from time to time, as it's mind expanding.

Anyway, let's think of dharmadhatu here as the realm, or sphere of phenomena, and is indirectly pointing at the potential of emptiness where anything is possible due to interdependence. So the wisdom has to do with this expansive realm, as it covers all phenomena. Different traditions have somewhat different interpretations about this wisdom. Anyway, one way to look at this is to think of the wisdom of the true nature of reality, and by leaving it by that I avoid getting stuck in all the different interpretations what it means -- from a valid lineage they are always true, just different interpretations.

Next, the somewhat astounding poison that is turned into this wisdom.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

tshor ba - Feeling

The skandha associated with mnyam pa nyid kyi ye shes is tshor ba, feeling. In this case, feeling means feeling levels of happiness and unhappiness.

More associations with this wisdom. Concerning the five elements it is earth, with the five senses it is smell.

Next, the fifth and final transcendental awareness.

Monday, November 26, 2007

rin chen 'byung gnas - Ratnasambhava

The dhyani buddha associated with mnyam pa nyid kyi ye shes is rin chen 'byung gnas, Ratnasambhava.

rin chen is jewel, ratna in Sanskrit. 'byung gnas is source, place of origin, sambhava in Sanskrit. Thus, padmasambhava might now make sense - Origin of Lotus, or Born from Lotus as this title of the second Buddha of Tibet is sometimes translated in English.

Ratnasambhava is yellow in color. The element associated with Ratnasambhava is earth.

The mandala entrance, or direction, is south. The symbol is of course a ratna, or jewel.

Next, the skandha associated with mnyam pa nyid kyi ye shes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

nga rgyal - Pride

The mental poison which is really mnyam pa nyid kyi ye shes in an impure form is nga rgyal. This term is actually easy to learn, as you will see.

nga is me. rgyal means king. Thus, nga rgyal is 'me king', or the word for pride. It's easy to see the connection between the single words and the actual term.

So, if someone is very self-centric, the wisdom of equanimity is impure, if one is no longer self-centric, the wisdom of equanimity is shining.

Next, the dhyani Buddha associated with this wisdom.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Custom Dictionaries in Leopard (MacOSX 10.5)

MacOSX has had built-in dictionaries for selected languages since the early days, but no official way to build alternate dictionaries and install them.

I had a discussion with a college from the same team where I work and he told me that with Leopard (10.5) he could now create custom Japanese dictionaries and install them. The XCode 3.0 development tool has a template example how to create such dictionaries.

This means that anyone interested could create Tibetan dictionaries and install them on their Mac. The benefits is that you could do spell checking (provided the dictionary is big enough to catch most common words and phrases), as well as doing direct lookup of words similar to using a thesaurus.

Note that the Tibetan words and terms need to be in Unicode, so anyone who has a set of Wylie based dictionary material needs to first convert the Tibetan to Unicode, and then create the needed data files for such dictionaries. Otherwise, it should be easy to build these.

I've done some more testing with Unicode and Tibetan on my MacBookPro running Leopard, and it's so much fun to finally have everything in one single, uniformed, document, using Unicode.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

mnyam pa nyid kyi ye shes - Wisdom of Equanimity

The fourth of the five wisdoms, ye shes lnga, is mnyam pa nyid kyi ye shes, wisdom of equanimity.

mnyam pa is equal, to be alike. nyid is a very useful word to memorize, it is used in combination with other terms and words, and means just, the very same, exactly like that (and nothing else!). Thus, mnyam pa nyid means equality, the fundamental likeness, or sameness and nothing else.

kyi is a genitive particle, it takes this form as the last letter on the left is a da, and binds the words or expressions on the right to the left. ye shes is wisdom (or I like to think of it as transcendental awareness myself, nowadays, sounds more wide and expansive than just wisdom.)

As you could see, by just doing a simple translation of this wisdom term, you could get a deeper glimpse into the meaning itself compared with the English translation used. This means that this wisdom expresses that everything, all beings, are equal, have the same needs and the same future. It is said that the dharma is raining down on everyone equally. In other words, such a wisdom there are no distinctions, rather impartiality, as it really is; no distinction between important and not important, self and others. An enlightened being could still discriminate between all these states (remember the so sor rtog pa'i ye shes.)

Next about the poison that is this wisdom in an impure form. Our family is traveling in Southern California this week, so depending on the Wi-Fi connections the entries might show up now and then.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

'du byed - Mental Formation

The skandha associated with bya ba grub pa'i ye shes is 'du byed - mental formations. Another translation for this part of a being is impulses, or habitual tendencies -- samskara in Sanskrit.

More associations with this wisdom: concerning the five elements is is wind, concerning the five senses it is associated with tongue consciousness.

Next, the fourth wisdom of the ye shes lnga.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

don yod grub pa - Amoghasiddhi

The dhyani Buddha associated with bya ba grub pa'i ye she (all-accomplishing action wisdom) is don yod grub pa, Amoghasiddhi.

don is benefit, purpose, yod to exist, but don yod means meaningful, useful, purposeful. grub pa is accomplishment or accomplished, siddhi in Sanskrit.

Amoghasiddhi is green in color. The element associated with Amoghasiddhi is the wind.

The direction, or mandala entrance, is north. The symbol is a double-vajra, a very common symbol you could find in various places in Tibetan centers. This symbol is also used at the base of a statue to seal the prayers inside.

Next, the skandha associated with the all-accomplishing action wisdom.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

phrag dog - Jealousy

The dug lnga (one of the five poisons) that is actually bya ba grub pa'i ye she in an impure form is phrag dog, jealousy.

I don't personally know the full story behind the background of this Tibetan word for jealousy, but looking at each part gives one interesting scenario of why this word combination was selected; note this is just my own speculation. phrag means intermediate space, and dog means narrow, tight. So it's like the mind becoming very narrow, instead of being spacious.

Alex Berzin has more interesting information about this Tibetan word.

Why no ending sha (long line) here? Well, this word ends with the letter ga, and that long part is already considered to be useable as a separator marker in Tibetan.

Next, the dhyani Buddha associated with this wisdom of all-accomplishing action wisdom.

Monday, November 12, 2007

bya ba grub pa'i ye shes - all-accomplishing action wisdom

The next of the ye shes lnga (five wisdoms) we will go through is bya ba grub pa'i ye shes. This word actually has two separate words good to learn, as you will see those here and there in Tibetan Buddhist texts.

bya ba is action, from the verb bya, to do.

grub pa is accomplishment, from the verb grub, accomplish. And the 'i is the genitive particle that binds this from the right to the left, where to the right we have the word ye shes, wisdom.

This wisdom is usually translated as all-accomplishing wisdom, but I think a more clear term is all-accomplishing action wisdom, or wisdom accomplishing actions. It means that with this wisdom, all wishes are naturally and effortlessly accomplished. This means that the ultimate wish sentient beings have, be free from suffering, reach liberation and ultimately full enlightenment could effortlessly be provided by those who have this wisdom in their mind stream. Just need to get the other end to listen and be attentive, and it usually takes all kinds of skillful teaching tricks.

Next, the mental poison that is this wisdom in an impure form.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

'du shes - Perception

The skandha associated with so sor rtog pa'i ye shes, discriminating wisdom, is 'du shes - perception, or distinguishing (recognizing objects). On the bigger level, Amitabha represents speech.

More associations with this wisdom: within the five elements it is fire, concerning the five types of consciousnesses it is associated with the nose consciousness.

Next, the third wisdom of ye shes lnga.

Tibetan Input in Leopard - MacOSX 10.5

Ok, here's more info, if you go into the preferences in Leopard (MaxOSX 10.5), and select the International/Input part, and scroll down, you will notice that there are three new input methods, Tibetan - Otani, Tibetan - QWERTY and Tibetan - Wylie.

If you enable those, you will get new input methods. Those could be enabled/disabled at the small icon next to the volume icon in the top-right corner.

What this all means that it's now very, very easy to type Unicode Tibetan on a Mac system! I have not tried out the Sanskrit level stacking which is usually tricky, as Wylie does not really cover it all, but general Tibetan works just fine, and the new built-in font also looks very nice. The default size is usually small, so you need to adjust this if you type documents and entries with Tibetan fonts.

Friday, November 09, 2007

'od dpag med - Amitabha

The dhyani buddha associated with discriminating wisdom, so sor rtog pa'i ye shes, is 'od dpag med, Amitabha.

'od is light. dpag is to to measure, med negotiates this, so dpag med is limitless or boundless. In other words, one straight translation how Tibetans translated Amitabha is Boundless Light.

Amitabha is red in color, as red is considered the color of love, compassion, and desire. Think of red sports cars! The element associated with Amitabha is fire, which makes sense, symbolically.

The direction, or mandala location, is west. The symbol is a lotus, padma, this is also usually the word Tibetans used in their translations.

Some more notes: as many of you know, Amitabha is maybe the most known dhyani buddha, the Pure Land tradition is focused on this Buddha practice. The pure land of Amitabha is called Sukhavati in Sanskrit, or bde ba can (Dewachen) in Tibetan. It's one of the easiest pure lands to achieve, but even that takes single-pointed determination. Je Tsongkhapa wrote a very famous prayer for being reborn into Sukhavati. The Panchen Lamas are considered emanations of Amitabha.

Next, the skandha associated with discriminating wisdom.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

'dod chags - desire based on attachment

The poison of the so called dug lnga that is transmuted into so sor rtag pa'i ye shes is 'dod chags, desire (based on attachment).

The reason I like to remind that it's desire based on attachment is that there's desire, and desire. Desire to become enlightened is not polluted, desire to own a better car than the neighbor is polluted.

It kind of makes sense that discriminating wisdom, when impure, is desire. I think these kinds of combinations are best explored with private contemplation; let's say having a nice cup of coffee, sitting in the sofa back home and thinking about the connection between knowing the uniqueness and sameness of all things, versus having an impure passionate view on objects. You might get a very strong insight, and that could then be strengthened with meditation on this object.

Next, the dhyani buddha associated with this wisdom, maybe the best known dhyani buddha out there.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

so sor rtog pa'i ye shes - Discriminating Wisdom

The second wisdom we will now look at it so sor rtog pa'i ye shes - discriminating wisdom.

so sor is a very good expression or word to learn, it bubbles up here and there in the texts. It means separately, individually, for each part. rtog pa is in Sanskrit vitarka, it means thought, concept, mental projects in general.

so sor rtog pa is actually a term, individual analysis, discrimination.

The 'i at the end is a genitive particle -- you should now recognize those in your sleep! This binds the word to the right with the left. ye shes is wisdom.

So if we look at the Tibetan words, and the typical translation, discriminating wisdom, is that there's individual analysis of things, and the wisdom, or really transcendental awareness, is to notice each one individually, or discriminate with such things, or working with the wisdom of individuality.

More clearly, an enlightened being could see the uniqueness of every thing, as well as the sameness, at the same time. This also has an interesting side issue, when someone becomes enlightened, does this being become like all the other enlightened beings, like this cloud of enlightenment? Well, there's both the uniqueness and sameness!

Anyway, this has nothing to do with realizing a self-existent nature, rather the interesting world of emptiness with manifestations, forms, and still lack of self-existence. You could read more about various terms related to this wisdom here in the article.

Sometimes this term is also translated as 'timeless awareness', you will see later how it's related to this wisdom. By the way, this term is sometimes shortened to sor rtog.

Next, what poison is manifesting this wisdom in an impure form.

Monday, November 05, 2007

rnam shes - Consciousness

The aggregate, or heap, associated with me long lta bu'i ye shes is rnam shes - consciousness, vijnana in Sanskrit. This is according to the Guhyasamaja system. On the broadest level Akshobhya represents mind.

Furthermore, more associations with this wisdom is: concerning the five senses it is associated with sound, with the five elements it is associated with space, and with the five types of consciousnesses it associated with the body consciousness. As you see the number five plays an intriguing role when drawing connections between various parts.

Next, the following wisdom.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

mi bskyod pa - Akshobhya

The specific dhyani Buddha that represents me long lta bu'i ye shes is mi bskyod pa, Akshobhya. This name itself has symbolism that presents the mirror-like wisdom itself.

bskyod is to move, agitate. In Tibetan you use pa to make words from verbs, so bskyod pa is movement. mi is a negation particle, so mi bskyod pa is immovable. This name is also sometimes shortened to mi bskyod.

Akshobhya is blue in color (sngo); blue is like water, and water is immovable, and vast, and acts like a mirror, as things really are. Water is also the element associated with Akshobhya.

Usually in a mandala Akshobhya is placed in the east, the entrance port. The family symbol for Akshobhya is a vajra (rdo rje).

There are many good images of Akshobhya on the net, so do a net search in case you want to see an image.

Next, the skandha associated with me long lta bu'i ye shes. Yes, there's even a connection between the five skandhas and the five wisdoms. Five is an important number in Buddhism.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Jamnyang Khyentse Wangpo Mini-Site

I just saw that the excellent LotsawaHouse web site created a special Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo mini-site. It has all kinds of translations, and also one short Tibetan text, byang chub lam bzang. This has also been translated in the translations section.

I won't give any clues, but you should be easily able to find it by opening up both the Tibetan text and the translation in separate windows, and learn by investigating how this two-page text was translated. A nice Sunday morning hobby!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

zhe sdang - Anger

From now I will use the Tibetan terms used earlier in order to get you to remember them, if you don't remember them, or are new, just find the terms used earlier in this blog.

The one of the dug lnga that will be transformed to me long lta bu'i ye shes is zhe sdang - anger.

Anger is really a delusion, and by transforming it, it will become mirror-like wisdom. It is really fascinating to realize that when we notice anger, we are actually perceiving mirror-like wisdom, but in an impure form! Anger is a very destructive force, but by purifying this it becomes the wisdom of knowing everything as it really is.

Next about the so called Dhyani Buddha that represents mirror-like wisdom.