Golden Letters, 1.5 & 1.6



The "Last Testament" of dGa>-rab rDo-rje

pp. 129 to 138

[Bodish texts translated, including commentator's remarks (1.6.14-29 when bracketed)]

p. 131 the 3 Statements [1.6.14 pp. 147-8] integrating dualisms

"One's own individual ... condition of interior awareness ..., and the states of other things in the outer world ..., come to encounter each other and become integrated. ...

{Integration of one own internal awareness with the internal awarenesses of "other things" (specifically, of other intelligent beings), is needful in order to achieve universal telepathy with the universalist society of all intelligent beings.}

["But, where this is not understood by the individual, then oneself and other things (the "I," which is one's own interior awareness, and the "others," {viz., all other intelligent beings} which are external ...) are perceived as arising in a dualistic fashion of interior subject and external object."]"

{Where it is not understood by the individual that universal telepathy is essential, then an unnecessary distinction between one's own interests and the interests of others will arise to pose an artificial pseudo-metaphysical "dualism" as an obstruction to the achieving of universal telepathy. An error originates in making the misleading distinction between an "interior" and an "exterior" to the supposed self.}

[pp. 131-2 the 1st Statement] 1.6.16 p. 149 one's own state of existence doth not really exist

"Whatever may arise or appear (as external phenomena), is merely one's own state of existence ... . ["this organized and structured system of phenomena ... (in fact) does not exist (in reality)"] By virtue of the totality of its inherent (capacity or) power, ["it (Rigpa ...) ... allows various different kinds (of phenomena) to liberate (of themselves) ... ."]"

{Any excessively self-centred ostensibly "organized and structured system" cannot have any very real existence, simply because [cosmic] reality is a universalist co-operative network; it is not anything repraesentable in narrow individualistic self-centred terms. By the capacity of its universalism it allows all who connect into it to liberate themselves from limitations.}

[p. 132 the 1st Statement] 1.6.17 p. 151 self-liberation of statements by means of language-recognition

"comes to encounter its own self (or face) directly ["as, for example, when people who have the same (native) langauge meet (each other) somewhere ... where a foreign language is spoken, ... (immediately they recognize and) know each other .. ."]"

{When telepathists do not know the universal language (which is generally used in universal telepathy), they must rely on finding (by telepathy) other persons who use their own language. The universal-telepathy network is highly efficient for locating any such persons.}

[p. 132 the 1st Statement] 1.6.22 p. 153 transcendence as the 4th dimension of space

["One's own ... essence ... is like space dissolving into space or like the three coils of a snake liberating them spontaneously."]

{Here the 3 dimensions of space are described as misconceived by certain nuclear physicists who (in order to propound their fictitious hypothesis) conjecture multiple dimensions of coiled space. Liberation is described as nuclear physicists abandoning their gratuitous hypotheses of coiled space-dimensions.}

[p. 133 the 1st Statement] p. 155 1.6.29

["it is like entering into a single great city which lies at the end of one hundred or one thousand roads."]

{This may be an allusion to the S`ata-patha ('100-pathed') Brahman.a; or, to the Upper Aiguptian Hekaton-pulos ('100-gated') Thebai.}

[p. 133 the 2nd Statement] p. 156 1.60.30 alleged discovery

"one directly discovers that all of one's final visions (that is to say, the tiny spheres of rainbow light one sees in practice) are actually arising from within oneself."

{Are these perhaps aequivalent to the tiny "rising" bubbles said in so-called "Transcendental Meditation" to be the forms of thoughts continually arising?}

{But if one can merely see their rising, but not their source; then how can it be determined that the "self" is in any way their source? If their source be concealed, would that not suggest that some great deities must be [modestly] concealing their own handiwork, that the thig-le (bindu) forms are all divinely produced?}

p. 134 the 3rd Statement [1.6.37 p. 162] become a Cakra-vartin

"Then, ... with regard to other people ..., one's confidence becomes like {that of?} a king who is a Chakravartin, or a universal monarch."

[Conclusion] p. 172 1.6.65 praeternatural descent from heaven of this text

"This (last testament) descended (from the sky) ...; it was written in ink made of melted azure-colored vaid[.]urya (lapis lazuli)."

[Conclusion] p. 172 1.6.66 nestling pretious containers of text

"And (the text) had been put inside a vessel one full thumb-nail (in size), and

{The VALakhilya gods are likewise said to be thumb-sized.}

placed within a casket of precious crystal".

{Sphati.ka (quartz) is the gemstone of Varun.a ("SMDS" -- Linga Puran.a 1:74:4). This name (*/VaLUNa/) is apparently cognate with that of Norse god Vo,LUNd, maker of caskets.}

"SMDS" =



By the translator (J.M.R.) : Interlinear Commentary to the "Last Testament"

pp. 139 to 173

[remarks by J.M.R.]

p. 139 the 5 compilations of Maha-siddhi upa-des`a (ostensibly by Vimala-mitra)

__ Yig ('__ Letters [of alphabet]')

written in __ ink

gSer (Golden)


Zans (Copper)


Khra (Variegated)

various colors

Dun (Conchshell)


gYu (Turquoise)


pp. 139 & 140 the "Golden Letters"

p. 139

"the text was originally written in golden letters (gser yig-can)."

"The text ... belongs to a collection of [g]Terma texts known as the >Das-rjes, or "posthumous {/posthumous/ being literally 'after burial', a better translation would be /postmortem/} teachings," from >das-pa, "to pass away, to die," and rjes, "afterwards.""

p. 140

"the >Das-rjes ... is now found in the Bi-ma snying-thig collection of Longchen Rabjampa (kLong-chen rab->byams-pa ..., 1308-1363) ... . ... Longchenpa received them from his master [Kumara-raja] (rig->dzin Kumaradza, 1266-1343), Specifically, this text is contained within volume 6A ... (pp. 273-344). The Bi-ma snying-thig is one of the four collections of old [r]Dzog[s-]chen teachings found in Longchenpa's famous sNying-thig ya-bzhi".

pp. 139-41 the 4 postmortem revelations

p. 139

There are 4 such postmortem Maha-siddhi revelations, revealed by the 4 dead Vidya-dhara-s (Rig->dzin) : Pra-he[la]-vajra, Man~ju-s`ri-mitra, S`ri-simha,

p. 140

and Jn~ana-sutra; plus Z`ar->byun (Addendum) by Vimala-mitra. These are :-






Tshig gSum gNad Du brDeg-pa (3 Statements that Strike Essentials)

Pra-he[la]-vajra =

dGa>-rab rDo-rje (Garab Dorje)



sGom N~ams Drug-pa (6 Meditation Experiences)

Man~ju-s`ri-mitra =

>Jam dPal bS`es-gn~en


p. 141


gZer-bu bDun-pa (7 Important Points)

S`ri-simha =

dPal gyi Sen-ge mGon-po



bZ`ags-thabs bZ`i (4 Methods for Remaining in Contemplation)

Jn~ana-sutra =

Ye-s`es mDo



mKhas-pa Bimala>i Z`al->chems (Last Testament of Erudite Master)

Vimala-mitra =

Dri-med bS`es-gn~en


p. 141 "Vimalamitra ... never died, but on the contrary, he realized the Rainbow Body of the Great Transfer (>pho-ba chen-po>i >ja>-lus)".

p. 142 translations of /rig-pa/

"Rig-pa is vidya {literally meaning 'lore'} in Sanskrit but ... as against that in the Sutra system, where it generally means "intelligence," as ... to distinguish ... from shes-pa, "... to be aware, to know something," and shes-rig, "... a knowing awareness.""

1.6.6 pp. 145-6 postmortem apparition of Pra-hevajra to Man~ju-s`ri-mitra

p. 145

"his beloved master, who had dissolved (yal-ba) his physical body into ... the Body of Light (>od lus), ... was again

p. 146

visible, but now in the guise of a young child

{The body of immortality achieved by means of Taoist internal alchemy is typically in the guise of a young child.}

sitting in the middle of a sphere of rainbow light (thig-le).

{also typically Taoist}

At that moment, the master presented ... his last testament in the form of an Upadesha (man-ngag), or secret instruction."

p. 141 The name /Pra-hevajra/ is more fully /Prabhava Hevajra/.

1.6.10 p. 147 Ati

"Often in [r]Dzog[s-]chen texts, the term ati, left untranslated {but meaning 'beyond' in Samskr.ta; it may be cognate with Latin /et/ 'and', and with Yoruba /ati/ 'and'}, is used as an abbreviation for Atiyoga."

1.6.14 p. 148 rig-pa distinguished from rnam-s`es

"Strictly speaking, ... interior Awareness (nang rig-pa) exists prior to consciousness (rnam-shes) because the operation of consciousness, as defined in Buddhist psychology, is always ... the dichotomy between internal subject and external object".

{In some situations, howbeit, there is no discernable distinction betwixt "internal" and "external". This is the case in, e.g., dreaming, or even hypnopompia and hypnogogia. To imagine a distinction between "internal" and "external" is effectively to forbid telepathy.}

1.6.14 p. 148 "self-manifestion" vs. its opposite

"Self-manifestion (rang-snang) means that something appears or comes into manifestation without an antecedent cause. Its opposite is gzhan-snang, a manifestation or appearance due to something else. This state of self-manifested internal awareness is in contrast to the states of other things, both animate and inanimate".

{Relative to itself, consciousness must have no mutable (and hence no temporally sequent) causality. Its opposite could exist only in the realm of non-consciousness (the existence of which must remain not directly verifiable). Inability to blend one's awareness with that of other living beings is due to making conjectural contrasts.}

1.6.17 p. 152 net of Indra

"Rigpa ... is like the great net of Indra made of chains of linked mirrors, where every mirror reflects every other mirror. ... it is said that Indra ... had the divine artisan Vishvakarman construct such a net of mirrors for his celestial palace Vijayanti atop the central cosmic mountain Sumeru."

{The universal-telepathy network is involved in ongoing reduplication of information-storages. These connectivities tend to be centred in the universe's centre, its cosmic acme and locus of divine artisans of information-technology.}

1.6.30 p. 156 visions of thig-le

"One's "final visions," or "what appears finally" (mthar snang), are tiny spheres of rainbow light (thig-le, Skt. bindu), often strung together in vajra chains (rdo-rje lu-gu-rgyud) and in other patterns ... . ... Beyond the stages of vision is the attainment of the Rainbow Body of Light. ...

In one's own natural state (rang thog tu) as practitioners, that is, in the state of contemplation, one definitively determines (thag-bcad) that these final visions of the thig-le, and so on, actually originate within oneself".

{Practitioners must definitively determine that all visions actually originate from denizens of the divine world, and are implanted within one's subtle sensory ranges by such deities. The mortal self hath neither any potentiality nor inner-light, except such as hath been gifted to it by the deities. It a very gross absurdity to deny (as Bauddha metaphysics doth) the very existence of the self, while simultaneously affirming all sorts of [supposed] supernatural powers of the self.}

{Denial of any independent existence of deities is, of course, the main feature of Mimansa philosophy. Bauddha misappraehensions are all due to a fanatic clinging to Mimansa philosophy, uncritically swallowing all of its most absurd self-contradictions.}

1.6.30 p. 157 the 6 Lamps


__ sGron-ma (__ Lamp)

its characteristic


Rig-pa dByins (awareness dimension)

Ran rTsal ("one's own potentiality")


Tsit ta S`a (heart fleshy)

Ran gSal (Self-Radiance)


dKar >Jam rTsa (white smooth nerve)

Nan >Od (Antara-jyoti 'Inner Light')


rGyan Z`ags Chu (lassoing-everything water)

"cinema show"


Thig-le sTon-pa (light-sphaires empty)

[p. 158 rDo-rje Lu-gu-rgyud ("vajra chains")]


S`es-rab Ran-byun (Wisdom self-originated)

[p. 158 "pure Buddha fields"]

1.6.30 p. 158 cardiac luminosity?

"In Thod[-r]gal practice, one discovers that the self-originated inner light ... resides in the hollow of the physical heart, much like a flaming lamp inside a hollow vase."

{According to the schematic of Kun.d.alini Yoga, Anahata (the cardiac cakra) is the site of the divine black antelope -- "the black antelope skin is the colour of ... the black of the night. " (TB 6:1:3) : it is darkness (and not brightness) that is characteristic of this cakra. (Do Bauddha-s manage to deceive themselves even while doing yoga?! They may have plagiarized this cardiac "inner light" from the Roman Catholic fancifully flaming "Sacred Heart".)}

TB = Taittiriya Brahman.a

1.6.30 p. 158 fractals?

"This light then manifests as tiny spheres of light (thig-le) or as vajra chains (rdo-rje lu-gu-rgyud), and so on. With continued practice, the spaces inside of these empty tiny spheres open up and develop spontaneously like fractals, and eventually one comes to see visions inside of them that eventually include visions of Buddhas and Buddha realms."

1.6.31 p. 160 no more distinction between Samsara & Nirvan.a : seeing one's "original face"

"when one is in the state of contemplation and recognizes one's real nature as being the Primordial State, there is no more distinction between impure vision (Samsara) and pure vision (Nirvana). ...

In this state of true understanding, where one recognizes one's own original face or real nature (rang ngo), one is integrated ... with these final visions that spontaneously manifest inside the thig-le."

1.6.39 p. 164 the nature of a Siddha

"Having realized the Body of Light, the Siddha or Adept ... may continue to be manifest in the world .. to other sentient beings to teach them ... . Although the Siddha may visibly manifest to others, he or she has transcended material existence ..., either at the time of death or even while alive".

{All the same traits are likewise said to be characteristic of Taoist hsien ('immortals').}

1.6.47 pp. 166-7 attaining transcendence

p. 166

"One's own sense of presence and reality dissolves and integrates into the vision visible inside the thig-le, or sphere of rainbow light, a vision of ... the man[.]d[.]ala ... . ... One becomes this pure vision of Buddhahood ... . ... The Primordial State (the Mother {for a male practitioner; but for a female practitioner it would be the Father}) and one's individual sense of presence (the Son {for a male practitioner; but for a female practitioner it would be the Daughter}) are unified ... . ... One's material body ... no longer sustained ... fades away, dissolving into space. ...

p. 167

One finds oneself instead in a spontaneously perfected Body of Light, the Rupakaya, observing the dissolution of one's former physical abode. ...

{Actually, although when one is projected out of the astral body into the mental body, the astral body thereupon undergoeth disintegration; yet the material body is not so readily self-dissolved.}

One becomes a Rainbow Body ... without shadow. ...

One finds oneself in a state of total global awareness -- this is what "omniscience" means. ...

{Actually "omniscience" is different : it is a matter of automatic sharing of informational awareness with the universal telepathic network of all beings, a universally telepathic communality.}

Even in recent years there have been a number of Tibetan [b]Lamas, both Buddhist and Bonpo, who attained realization of the Rainbow Body (>ja>-lus-pa) at the end of their lives, and ... these occurrences were witnessed". [p. 348, n. 1:6:1 : "See Namkhai Norbu and Adriano Clemente, eds., Dzogchen : The Self-Perfected State (Ithaca : Snow Lion, 1995), pp. 37-41."]

1.6.53 p. 169 transcending Samsara?

"Samsara recognizes itself by itself ..., that is, it ... self-liberates. This is like ... while one is asleep, recognizing that one is dreaming. ...

{Whereas recognizing a dream as a dream must consist of hailing all other (other than one's self) dream-denizens as mighty deities; can one parallelly, upon recognizing Samsara, hail the deities praesiding over Samsara? (If so, such Samsara-deities ought to be the elemental spirits.)}

Samsara and Nirvana are identical in their nature or essence ... . The difference is that the state of Nirvana is aware, knowing the nature of reality, whereas the state of Samsara is ignorant and unaware, not knowing the nature of reality."

1.6.70 p. 172 golden paper

Of dGa>-rab rDo-rje, "The three statements were written on golden paper (shog ser)".


John Myrdhin Reynolds ([a.k.a. Vajranatha] translator & commentator) : The Golden Letters : the three statements of Garab Dorje ... together a commentary by Dza Patrul Rinpoche. Snow Lion Publ, Ithaca (NY), 1996.

{Comments to 1.5 and 1.6.14, 16-17, 22, 30, 47, 53 were written Dec 18 (Tue) 2012.}