You are pure as you are

There is a mantra of which my Root Lama was very fond:
om svabhava suddha sarva dharma svabhava suddho’ham

It can be translated: “All is pure as it is. I am pure as i am.”

However, he always cautioned me to pay close attention to the meaning, rather than just the words. What does “pure as it is” mean? Does it mean, as some would have it, that we can just perceive all as perfect if we only change our perspective? Or does it actually mean that in its true nature (“as it really is”; svabhava means “own-nature”), all is intrinsically perfect? It is this second meaning that is intended.

Relative reality is ultimately self-empty, not truly established, non-existent. Ultimate reality is ever blissful. The Kalkin Pundarika stated: Samsara and nirvana are not identical, but like a shadow and the sun. As long as we perceive the duality of self and other, it is samsara, it is shadow, it is suffering. 

There need not be a contradiction between our present condition and our highest aspirations. Time is the only thing that separates us from Buddhahood, and time is ultimately a concept, a mental construct.

For the Bodhisattvas, both realized and in training, the Dharma is not escapism into personal liberation. It is not a path of self-deception. It is assuming the suffering of others and dedicating ourselves to their happiness. It is in that dedication that there is cessation of suffering, as the false self is consumed by the sun of love and compassion. In that dedication, there is true bliss, here and now.

In Vajrayoga, generating ‘the Sincere Mind’ involves two realizations: (1) that we intrinsically possess Buddha Nature, and (2) that our Buddha Nature is currently veiled by afflicted emotions and obscurations to wisdom. We then generate ‘the Deep Mind’: the certainty that the power of the Vows and Dharma activities of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not only our support on the path to cessation of suffering, but also the guarantee of ultimate enlightenment. With that certainty, we generate ‘the Mind of Aspiration’: relying on the grace of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for ourselves, we dedicate all our merit to the welfare of others.

While pride is an inflated assessment of our present condition, and thus an afflicted emotion, lack of faith in the Three Jewels as perfect and effective Refuge is an obscuration to wisdom.

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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8 Responses to You are pure as you are

  1. Firstly, thank you for your postings, including this one. The problem is that we KNOW this assertion, but we (speaking about me) cannot feel, live it, live in it.

    Secondly, a question: What a “Root Lama” means?

    Thirdly: I believe that an important step to enlightenment is to fulfill the goal, the mission of the present life. How can someone become truly aware of this mission and how can s/he discriminate between what “I like” and what “I must” (apart from the lack of pleasure that usually accompanies the “must”)?

    Thank you again

    • Tashi Nyima says:

      Dear Magdalena,

      om svasti

      Thank you for your visit and your questions.

      The Buddhadharma is often said to contain 84,000 gates. This is a metaphor for the infinite number of skilful means that can be utilized to lead our minds to the awareness of Natural Perfection. By making wise use of these ‘gates’ –under the guidance of a qualified Teacher– we can indeed feel and live this Natural Perfection. These many gates are elaborations of the threefold instruction of the Buddha: abstain from harm, practice virtue, and purify the mind.

      Relaxing the body through postures and mindful movement, practicing breathing exercises, reciting mantra, and meditation on breath are some of the most important skilful means.

      A Root Lama is one’s principal Teacher. One can have many teachers throughout this and other lifetimes, but eventually we come to recognize one among them who is our dearest and nearest Spiritual Friend and Guide. This is the Root Lama.

      In the beginning of the path, as long as we do not directly perceive what is our specific duty or mission, we are advised to observe the Five Precepts, cultivate the Four Immeasurables, and practice the Six Excellences to the best of our ability.

      When we eventually take Refuge in the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha) and obtain the guidance of a qualified Teacher, we can clearly discern what is our duty.

      Please be patient with yourself, with others, and with the Path, and all will become clear.


      • Thank you…[I do not how to address to you] for your time.
        It is difficult to have a conversation this way, especially when the situations could be a little bit different from the rule.
        Anyway, I like to read your posts that I believe, help people to live.

      • Tashi Nyima says:

        You are welcome! Feel free to write me directly at .
        My friends call me Tashi or Nimai. I don’t much like formality…

  2. Pingback: You are pure as you are | Relax Into Perfection

  3. Pingback: om All is pure as it is. I am pure as I am. | Relax Into Perfection

  4. Guy says:

    I have recently been hearing reference to this mantra and needed explanation. An online search led me to your explanation, which is clear, helpful and inspiring.

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