The roots: the Six Doctrines of Niguma

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Adapted from a booklet by Prof. Matthew Kapstein - which encourages copying and free distribution

The roots: the Six Doctrines of Niguma (rtsa ba ni gu chos drug)

The Vajrapadas say, with reference to the Six Doctrines:

Matured by the four empowerments,
endowed with faith and strenuousness,
training in the preliminaries on impermanence, revulsion for and the shortcomings of samsara,
whoever strives upon this surpreme path,
will attain Buddhahood within six month, a year or during this life!

Accordingly, an individual who is spiritually matured by receiving the empowerments of the five Tantras which are taught in the "Ocean of Jewels of the Great Tantras", or of the mandala of Śri-Cakrasaṃvara, and the transmitted blessings of the Six Doctrines, and who has well practised the common preliminaries, first purifies himself (or herself for that matter) by means of the practice of "The empty Enclosure of A" (a'i stong ra). Then, by way of the practice of "The Path of Skillfull Means", the warmth of well-being blazes naturally. Through the yoga of "Illusory Form" attachments and aversions dissolve naturally. Through the yoga of "Dream" the subtle bewilderment (which underlies all bewilderment) is naturally cleansed. By way of the yoga of "Clear Light" ignorance is naturally dispelled. Establishing these four as the root, the defilements which arise in the bewilderment of the four states of being (waking, deep sleep, dream and meditative absorption) are removed. The remaining two, "Transference of Consciousness", by which Buddhahood is attained without having realised it in meditation, and the "Intermediate State", by which the Sambhogakaya-aspect of Buddhahood is realised, are practiced as an appended meditational sequence for those who are lacking in strenuousness and acumen, whereupon, according to the grades of excellence, mediocrity or inferiority, one becomes liberated in one or another of the three intermediate states.