Other translations:

The Essence of the Definitive Meaning: A Commentary on The Three Kinds of Confidence

Namo Shri Hasa Vajra Ye

As the sovereign of translators, Marpa, had foreseen
You traveled on, not holding on to natural retreats
You practiced meditation with so much mastery
You gained three kinds of confidence that make your view supreme
Yogi, you are the greatest of all the cotton-clad
To you I make this offering, Oh jewel that crowns my head

The mastery of view has given you the confidence
In no arising, equality, inseparability
So deep they are, profound they are, their meaning hard to glean
So here we’ll show their link with flawless scripture and reasoning
Because definitive teachings are so vast in their extent
Here we can only catch a glimpse of their immense intent

Of all phenomena, external and internal too
Comprising both samsara’s circle and nirvana too
There are none of these which ever arise from itself or something else
Nor from a combination of itself and something else
Nor do they ever occur without a cause, so it’s in place
To say they do not really arise, like the moon on the water’s face

In genuine reality, arising and the rest
Are quite beyond conceptual fabrication at its best
So these are mere appearances which do exist, it seems
But only in a relative way, as interdependencies
They’re indivisible void-appearance, like reflected forms
And even certainty gained in this from the guru’s kindness comes

In reality, of kayas’ and pure lands’ appearances
Not a single one has ever moved from equality’s expanse
Just so with impure appearances that make samsara’s realms
Not a single atom of these ever leaves equality’s expanse

Samsara’s wheel and nirvana’s peace are an equality
And since we can determine this with stable certainty
The fact that they appear to be completely different things
Is merely the interdependent way they exist comparatively
When dependently existent thoughts are freed in their own place
That is what is called,”nirvana freed of fleeting stains”

Whatever happiness appears, whatever suffering
Though occurring, it occurs within equality’s clear light
Though liberated, it is freed in equality’s clear light
Its occurrence and freedom, known as equal, deepens the heart’s delight

Friend and enemy are an equality
Happiness and suffering – equality
Growing and diminishing – equality
Getting born and dying – an equality
Doing good and doing wrong – equality
And how these all are equal is the point you have to see
And all who know this point and know it well with confidence
Will find that they can rest at ease in equality’s expanse

And that is why equality, the basic mode of being
Is proven in the flawless scriptures and with reasoning
When the great protector Nagarjuna’s way to analyze
Is joined with the Buddha’s words, your certainty will stabilize

Samsara and nirvana in their basic mode of being
Cannot be differentiated as two separate things
Phenomena in contradiction, those in harmony
Cannot be differentiated in their basic being
And, therefore, all distinctions made in separating things
Are mere appearances, produced through interdependency
To clarify just what they are, these mere appearances
Are likened to illusions, dreams and the moon on the water’s face

Distinctions made between the schools, between their differing views
Depend in turn on the individuals making up these schools
Distinctions made between there being something to adopt
And something to reject depend on the thoughts of those involved
And thus within reality, the genuine and true
All differences have always been indifferentiable
To know that this is so and understand it as it is
It’s view in its profundity that you have realized

Since actuality is free of every kind of split
There’s nothing in it to produce or stop, adopt, reject
Since actuality is free of every kind of split
No effort can produce it and no thought can make it fit
Since actuality is free of every kind of split
There is no pure and no impure there anywhere in it
Since actuality is free of every kind of split
There is no goal to gain there and no lack of gaining it

On gaining confidence in freedom from all split like this
You’re past all clinging to what you like and hopes of getting it
You’re past not liking what’s not to your liking, shunning it
You rest in a spaciousness that’s free of getting or getting rid

But even so, just like reflections on a pool that’s clear
Unblocked and each distinct, samsara and beyond, appear
And like what looks like what is pure and impure in a dream
”Distinctions free themselves” is the confidence that view will bring

So, that is how these forms of confidence relate to view
And this, their meaning so profound, I’ve here explained to you
The rays of light of Shepa Dorje’s love and wisdom shine
This wakens prajna in my mind and this has helped me find
An explanation, rather brief, but which, as you have found
Has formed a commentary on the meaning so profound

He whose name as a Khenpo is Tsultrim Gyamtso spoke this extemporaneously in the Garden of Translation near the Great Stupa of Boudhanath in Nepal.
Translated and arranged by Jim Scott on the kind request of Ari Goldfield and based on his translation, March 1998; revised April, 1999. Translation copyright 2012, Jim Scott