Purity and equality

From Rigpa Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Purity and equality, sometimes referred to as ‘great purity and equality’ (Tib. དག་མཉམ་ཆེན་པོ་, Wyl. dag mnyam chen po), is a central principle of the Vajrayana. It is the view of Mahayoga expounded in the tantra Web of Magical Illusion (Wyl. sgyu ‘phrul drva ba). All appearances, in their purity, are the mandala of the kayas and wisdoms. This comprises the superior relative truth. Being pure, they are all equal, wisdom and emptiness united. This is the superior absolute truth. The ‘pure’ status of the appearing mode and the ‘equal’ status of the absolute mode of being are present indivisibly in every phenomenon. This is referred to as the great Dharmakaya.[1]

To expand this a little: The stream-of-being which manifests in the form of deluded phenomena – the karma and disturbing emotions of the truth of origin and the truth of suffering – is primordially pure in that self-knowing mind is the awakened state and the innate aggregates, elements, and sense-sources are the mandala of the deities of the three seats of completeness. Due to this vital point, no matter how deluded and no matter what something appears as in the relative impure perception, rather than the methods for abandoning, covering, and purifying of the philosophical vehicles, in Mantra, you take pure perception as the path. This means that all your present perceptions are – without accepting or rejecting, removing or adding anything – primordially displayed as being the ocean of kayas and wisdoms. Through this practice of pure perception, the actuality of not being able to find the two truths of suffering and origin, even if you were to search for them, is experienced as the two truths of cessation and the path. Therefore, in a basic and real way, samsara and nirvana are equality, without having to reject one and accept the other, and the relative aspect is purity. Since this is originally so, without meeting or parting, the indivisibility of the two truths is the ‘superior dharmakaya’ – that is the ultimate view of the path of Mahayoga. (Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche)[2]


  1. From the glossary of the Treasury of Precious Qualities, Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, published by Shambhala, p.427.
  2. The Light of Wisdom Volume 2. Root text by Padmasambhava and commentary by Jamgön Kongtrül the Great. Published by Shambhala Publications. p. 157, Note 65.

Internal Links