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30x41,5 cm., (11,8x16,3 inches) canvas, chinese ink

Private collection, Italy


Garab Dorje

(tib. dga' rab rdo rje)

For Tibetan Buddhists, Garab Dorje is the first teacher of Dzogchen. The Nirmanakaya manifestation of a totally realized being, he was born in Oddiyana circa 55 A.D. His mother Sudharma, a princess who had become a nun, conceived him in a meditative vision. She threw him into a pit of ashes after his birth and, when he survived, he became known as the Ash- Colored Revenant (Ro-lang thal mdog). Later he was known as the Happy Revenant (Ro-lang bde ba and Joyful Vajra (Garab Dorje). From the age of seven, he defeated the pandits of Oddiyana and India with his teaching that dzogchen goes beyond the law of karma, the law of cause and effect. At his passing into the Body of Light, he gave his disciple Manjushrimitra what have become known as the Three Statements or Three Testaments.

In his book The Crystal and the Way of Light, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche renders them as follows:

1. DIRECT INTRODUCTION to the primordial state is transmitted straight away by the master to the disciple. The master always remains in theprimordial state, and the presence of the state communicates itself to the disciple in whatever situation or activity they may share.

2. The DISCIPLE enters into non-dual contemplation and, experiencing the
primordial state, NO LONGER REMAINS IN ANY DOUBT as to what it is.

3. THE DISCIPLE CONTINUES IN THE STATE of non-dual contemplation, the primordial state, bringing contemplation into every action, until that which is every individuals true condition from the beginning (the Dharmakaya), but which remains obscured by dualistic vision, is made real, or realized. One continues right up to Total Realization.

James Rutke (Palden Lotsawa)

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Copyright 2002, N. Dudka
Design: S. Tarasenko
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