SECRET TEACHINGS OF PADMASAMBHAVA (page15, 16, 17)
### The meaning of The Fivefold Essential Instruction
The Fivefold Essential Instruction shows how the five #elemental
phases of #earth
, and #space
operate at deeper and deeper levels of #reality
At the outer level, which is the first of the five levels of understanding,
the natural environment that we experience consists of five phases of earth, water, fire, wind, and space.
These emanate from the primordial ground of being as a "spontaneous glimmering in five hues,"
but are collectively experienced as five physical phases through a process of concretization.
"Concretization" refers to the process of moving from a spiritual to a physical reality.
The inner level shows how living beings of the six realms of samsara originate from the "active aspect" of the phases.
Their mutual functioning produces life-sustaining processes such as the change of seasons and the growth of plants.
On the hidden level, the functioning of the five phases is used to explain the ordinary experience of living beings in samsara, including their growth and aging.
The more hidden level takes us into the tantric understanding of the body and how to put this understanding into practice.
Each phase has two aspects.
One is our ordinary experience of the body and its interactions with mind and behavior.
Another is a spontaneous presence, like a radiant hue, that transcends the dichotomy between material and spiritual.
This presence, and its subtle gradations, is referred to with terms such as the" creative potency," "pristine awareness," and "active energy" of the phases.
The more hidden level discusses how this creative potency can be accessed to both maintain vitality and experience enlightenment
through the body.
There are two ways to do this:
.one, by increasing the creative potency naturally;
.and two, by increasing the creative potency using a suitable partner.
The first is done by oneself.
The phases and their creative potency cycle through the chakras in the course of a lunar month, and visualizing these energy centers at the appropriate times can increase their power.
While the moon is waxing, these subtle energies rise from the chakra at the sex organs to the crown chakra;
with the waning moon, they expand downward again.
For example, at the navel chakra one visualizes
(by the fourth day of the month) dakas and Dakinis of the Lotus family radiating the light-energy of the five phases through all energetic pathways of the body:
In this way the functioning of the phases is harmonized,
health is maintained, and the various aspects of pure awareness are
The tantric ritual calendar of new moon, full moon, dakini practices,
and so on, is based on this subtle movement.
The second method, utilizing a sexual partner, increases the
efficacy of these visualizations.
While some techniques associated with tantric sexual practice are discussed, so is the importance of going beyond technique,
as we mentioned above.
Here Padmasambhava also injects a rare personal statement, indicating that there is room for further investigation in the experiential realm
of tantric practice:
"If there are some errors in the wording here,
intelligent people ought to investigate them.
By this instructionmay the path of passion be learned and the active energy of one'sphases increased and protected."
The fifth level and final section of our text
is a kind of addendum,
for it shows how to heal various kinds of illnesses caused by the imbalance of the phases,
and their interactions with thought and behavior.
This was especially important practical advice for someone on retreat for an extended period of time in a remote location.
The colophon states: "I, Padma of Urgyen, have composed this in the cave on top of Rust Mountain. Without spread ing it everywhere,
I make it an experience for myself."