Fruition Mahamudra

Fruition mahamudra is the realization that relative appearances and mind are, by their very nature, the three kayas. To achieve this realization it is absolutely essential first of all to have a clear understanding of the ground, the proper view. Dharmakaya is the fact that whether one is talking about relative external appearances or the internal mechanisms of mind, by their very nature these are devoid of true existence. Sambhogakaya means that manifestation is unobstructed, and nirmanakaya that appearances are numerous and manifold. In the same way that dharmakaya is inherent in mind, the light of dharmakaya is inherent in appearances. Mind and appearances are as inseparable as the light of dharmakaya and its rays. These are the key points of the view.

If one looks at objects, that is, external phenomena, and one has some understanding of their ultimate nature, one can realize that objects are not truly, permanently, and unchangingly present, but are mere mental images -it is mind which identifies them as one thing or another. If one looks at the nature of mind, one can see only the present moment of awareness or thoughts; other than this one experiences no mind. One sees the nature of mind, its emptiness, its lack of true existence.

Phenomena are not truly present, but are merely projections of a mind which itself has no true existence; the appearance of phenomena is based on mind's luminosity. When one recognizes these two aspects, fixation on duality- the separation between external appearances and internally fixating mind-dissolves into itself. There is nothing to reject and nothing to attain and one recognizes mind's luminosity, its ultimate nature.

Ground mahamudra introduces one to the proper view, that is, to the unity of appearance and mind, the trikaya. On this basis, one practices the path, the application of the view of meditation. In terms of meditation, by practicing shamatha and vipashyana, mind rests spontaneously in the experience of nonduality, the unity of appearance and mind. One realizes that mind is dharmakaya and appearances are the manifestation of dharmakaya, its light rays. In terms of action, one adopts the conduct of a bodhisattva who has understood emptiness and compassion. This conduct reinforces meditative experiences and hastens fruition. This is the path of view, meditation, and action; the practice of these three leads to fruition, the actualization of the stainless trikaya.

Basic nature is devoid of true existence, since it is empty and free from extremes: this is dharmakaya. Out of dharmakaya or emptiness, free from extremes, appearances manifest unobstructedly. This is the luminous nature of sambhogakaya. Out of the unobstructed luminosity arise the manifold manifestations of the nirmanakaya. Therefore, the three kayas-dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya- pervade everything. There is nothing that lies outside their scope, nothing that does not partake of their nature.

The three kayas are not separate from each other. When one actualizes the dharmadhatu, the realm of phenomena, the unity of the three kayas, there is no longer any distinction between samsara as a state of confusion to be given up and nirvana as liberation to be attained. In the unchangeable realm of dharmas this distinction no longer holds.

Dharmadhatu, the spontaneous unity of the three kayas, is the stainless great bliss, the unity of skillful means and compassion in the vastness of unobstructed, all-pervasive supreme wisdom. Out of the unity of these two aspects, the unconditioned great bliss of experiences and the depth of wisdom, the active kindness of all buddhas and bodhisattvas manifests.

Thus, the state of omniscience is not a mere nothingness, a total void, but rather the wealth of perfect wisdom. The inherent expression of this wealth of wisdom is the kindness of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas that reaches all beings without obstruction. This kindness cannot be conceptualized, it is beyond any concepts one may have about it.

Having achieved perfect wisdom, the understanding of emptiness, the person who has actualized mahamudra is not caught up in samsara-the three spheres of conditioned existence- but rather experiences threefold purity. Having also realized perfect compassion, the accomplishment of skillful means, he or she does not dwell in a one-sided nirvana, a state of mere rest, the state that is achieved by the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas in their efforts to attain personal liberation. Out of the unity of wisdom and great, all-pervasive compassion, buddha activity for the benefit of beings is effordessly and spontaneously accomplished.

The ground, the true nature of phenomena, and the experiences accumulated along the path dissolve together. As has already been explained, this is described in terms of the meeting of mother and sun, the luminosity of the ground and the fruition of the path become one. This is the actualization of one's own innate nature. Thus, enlightenment is not something new that one acquires, nor is it found outside oneself -like traveling to a foreign country -but consists simply of recognizing the nature of one's own mind. Having recognized one's own mind and attained enlightenment, a treasure opens up inside oneself, for this attainment enables one to act for the benefit of all beings. It is truly wonderful and marvelous to have discovered Buddha in one's own mind and to have opened the wish- fulfilling treasure within.

The view of mahamudra does not involve thinking that mahamudra or mind are one thing or another, nor does mahamudra meditation involve analyzing thoughts. While mind rests in itself, one sees the nature of thoughts directly and realizes that there is no arising, cessation, or dwelling. Therefore, one should cast away mind-made representations about one's possible mental makeup and simply rest in the nature of mind. This is the view of mahamudra. Mahamudra meditation should be free from any form of fixation on meditation. One should not think, "Now I am meditating. ..this is meditation. ..this is not meditation." Free from any such ideas about meditation and without deliberately placing the mind in any fabricated state, one should just let the mind rest in itself. Mahamudra action is free from concepts such as "I will do this, I will not do that." This is freedom from the intention to act or not.

We have seen that the path of mahamudra leads to a fruition that is not something that one must acquire anew. Since attainment is not something one lacks and must therefore obtain, one should cast away all hopes, fears, and desires that, in one's ignorance, one may have with regard to attainment. Notions such as "If I practice this, I will attain that and if I do not practice it, I will not attain it," are unnecessary.


Kaya  Enlightenment body. Dharmakaya is the state of buddhahood itself; it is the nature of mind, or emptiness, and is meaning of oneself. Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya manifest out of compassion for the benefit of beings and are meaningful for others. Sambhogakaya buddhas such as Vajrasattva manifest as a deity and Nirmanakaya such as Shakyamuni manifest as a human.
dharmahatu  The space of phenomena; ultimate reality.

ani-bar.gif 1