21. Activities of the Buddha

In the five paths and ten bhumis, bodhisattvas apply great effort toward purification and accomplishment of all the excellent qualities.

When they are done, it is like a potter spinning his wheel for the benefit of all sentient beings.

If the potter has constructed his wheel well, it turns effortlessly and creates hundreds of pots.

Likewise, a Buddha who has perfected all these qualities effortlessly manifests infinite activities.

But even Buddha’s activities depend on causes and conditions. In order for sentient beings to meet with a Buddha’s activities, they must have enough positive karma and good fortune to receive the blessings, even though a Buddha’s activities manifest unceasingly.

If the condition of water isn’t present, then the moon of activities cannot be reflected.

So therefore, always strive to meet these precious activities.

Dharma Lord Gampopa took all the metaphors in this chapter from the Unsurpassed Tantra, a commentary by Maitreya on the final discourse of Buddha’s teaching.

In brief, one who has the interest and opportunity to study and practice this magnificent text written by the enlightened being Dharma Lord Gampopa is so fortunate.

This text is the essence of all three Mahayana pitakas.

Every sentence, each and every word, of this book is very precious; it is vajra speech which dispels all ignorance and confusion.

This book contains all the magnificent blessings of the Buddhas of the three times.

So, Readers, observe its meaning carefully, cherish it in your heart, and apply it in practice.


The virtues and merit of this work, as well as that of all the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, Arhats, and all sentient beings, are dedicated in the following way:

Glorious, holy, venerable, precious, kind root and lineage lamas,

Divine assembly of Yidams and assemblies of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, yogins, yoginis, and dakinis dwelling in the ten directions,

Please hear my prayer!

By the power of this vast root of virtue,

May I benefit all beings through my body, speech, and mind.

May the afflictions of desire, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and jealousy not arise in my mind.

May thoughts of fame, reputation, wealth, honor, and concern for this life not arise for even a moment.

May my mind stream be moistened by loving-kindness, compassion, and bodhicitta

And, through that, may I become a spiritual master

With good qualities equal to the infinity of space.

May I gain the supreme attainment of Mahamudra in this very life.

May the torment of suffering not arise even at the time of my death.

May I not die with negative thoughts.

May I not die confused by wrong view.

May I not experience an untimely death.

May I die joyfully and happily in the great luminosity of the Mind-as-such

And the pervading clarity of Dharmata.

May I, in any case, gain the supreme attainment of Mahamudra at the time of death or in the bardo.

By the virtues collected in the three times

By myself and all sentient beings in samsara and nirvana,

And by the innate root of virtue,

May I and all sentient beings quickly attain

Unsurpassed, perfect, complete, precious enlightenment.

Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen (Frederick, Maryland, United States)

Source: Gampopa, Dharma Lord. The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: The Wish-fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings. Translated by Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche. Edited by Ani K. Trinlay Chodron. Boulder, Colorado: Snow Lion, 1998.