The Three Principle Paths

By Lord Lama Je Tsongkhapa

I bow to the high and holy lamas.

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

4. 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.

5. 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 renunciation.

6. Renunciation 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. You may master renunciation 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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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