1 There is an overabundance of men who are prepared to explain, most elaborately, all things in heaven and in earth without really knowing anything about them. They become gurus, collect disciples, and pose as `Masters of the Far East'. The Christ called them blind leaders of the blind, for they mislead no one save the blind. To one who has himself realized Truth, their explanations of it are quite unnecessary.

 

2 Or, in a freer translation, the ‘Buddha within'.

 

3 Such a release is from all other dualities as well, the duality of good and evil being here regarded as the root duality whence all other dualities spring, even the ultimate duality, Nirvana and the Sangsara.

 

4 So long as man is fettered to appearances, to dualism, his thoughts and actions result in nothing more than after-death states of heavenly happiness or hellish miseries to be followed repeatedly by return to the human state. Thus he remains bound to the ever-revolving Wheel of the Sangsara.

 

5 This aphorism succintly summarizes the yogic doctrine of concepts expounded above.

 

6 The fountain refers to rain, which has its ultimate source in the Great Waters. Similarly, good and evil seem to be other than they are they, like all dualities, all concepts of the Sangsaric mind, are inconceivable apart from their ultimate source in the One Mind. In the Voidness of the One Mind they cease to exist, as do all other dualities; for there, as in the Great Waters, is undifferentiated homogeneity.

 

7 This aphorism may be otherwise phrased : ‘Seek, therefore, this Wisdom within thine own mind' or, more literally, ‘Therefore, thine own Wisdom, this [knowing of] mind, seek ye'.

 

8 Text : Zab-rgya (pron. Zab-gya): Zab = Deep, gya = vast. This abbreviated expression may be rendered in fuller form as, Deep and vast is Divine Wisdom [or this Doctrine] ' : or more concisely, 'It is the Vast Deep '.

 

9 Text : snyigs-mahi = snyigs-mahi-dus (pron. nyig-mai-dii), the ‘degenerate age of evil' now prevailing : Skt. Kali-Yuga, ' Black [or Dark, or Iron] Age'.

 

10 Text Crgyud-/une(pron. gyiid-lung), which may be rendered either as ‘Tantric prophecy ' or as ‘traditional precept'. We may, therefore, otherwise render the phrase as 'in accordance with Tantric [or traditional] teachings'.

 

11 This treatise, like the whole of the Bardo Thödol Cycle, was recovered, when the time was ripe, by the tertOns, or Tibetan takers-out of hidden texts, all more or less of an occult or esoteric character. (See The Tibetan Book of the Dead, pp. 75-77.)

 

12 Cf. pp. 2024, 2385, along with pp. 15-20 of the General Introduction.

 

13 Text : Pad-ma-Oyung-gnas (pron. Pe-ma Jung-nè: Skt. Padma-Kiira), the ordinary Tibetan name of the Great Master of the Tantric occult sciences, popularly known outside of Tibet as Padma-Sambhava. As Sarat Chandra Da' s, in the Tibetan-English Dictionary (Calcutta, 1902, p. 779), has written: Throughout Tibet, Padma Jungnas may be asserted to be more popular than Gautama the Buddha and [where he is known] as Guru Padma, Urgyan Padma, and LopOn Harnkara, his votaries are full of belief in his present might and powers of assistance.' Among the Great Guru's many names there are two others much used by Tibetans: Guru Rinpoch'e (' Precious Guru ') and Urgyän Rinpoch'e (` Precious One of Urgyan'). They also call him simply `Lo-ion', the Tibetan equivalent of the Sanskrit 'Guru', and of the English 'Teacher', or, 'Spiritual Preceptor'. Our Epitome of his Biography gives a number of other names, mostly initiatory.

 

14 Text : mkhan-po (pron. khan-po), a Tibetan appellation suggesting honour and prestige, applicable to a professor employed to teach, or to the head of a monastery, and, in general, to spiritually-endowed men of learning. In Tibet, the head of a particular college attached to a monastery, high priests who give vows to the junior or inferior lamas, and professors of sacred literature, are called mkhan-po; also learned men, who as such are endowed with spiritual gifts [inherited] from their spiritual ancestors, are called mkhan-po. Again, learned men such as are sent to China are also styled mkhan-po.' (Cf. S. C. Das, op. cit., p. 179.)

 

15 Text: O-gyan (pron. U-gyän), ordinarily transliterated into English as Urgyän, the country of Odiyama, sometimes, but probably incorrectly, taken to be (as in the Tibetan Lam-yig) the modern Gaznee, in Cabul. (See S. C. Das, op. cit., p. 1352.)

 

16 This is a Mahayanic technical expression referring to the vow of a Bodhisattva not to enter into Nirvana finally until all sentient beings are liberated and the whole Sangsara shall thus be emptied of them.