Means and knowledge

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Means and knowledge (thabs dang shes rab); Skt. prajna and upaya.

Buddhahood is attained by uniting means and knowledge; in Mahayana, compassion and emptiness, relative and ultimate bodhichitta. In Vajrayana, means and knowledge are the stages of development and completion. According to the Kagyu schools, means refers specifically to the 'path of means,' the Six Doctrines of Naropa and knowledge to the 'path of liberation,' the actual practice of Mahamudra. According to Dzogchen, 'knowledge' is the view of primordial purity, the Trekcho practice of realizing the heart of enlightenment in the present moment, while 'means' is the meditation of spontaneous presence, the Togal practice of exhausting defilements and fixation through which the rainbow body is realized within one lifetime. [RY]