The Great Perfection: All is Always Perfect!
Rongzom Pandita (lived 1012 to 1088 a.d.) wrote a very important Dzogchen text called “Entering the Great Way” in which he defends the Dzogchen teachings against various critical competing views. He wrote the text around 300 years before Longchenpa was born. His views do vary from more modern versions of Dzogchen, so his writings offer a window into earliest or original Dzogchen.
Here are some selected quotes from this text:
“All Confused Appearance Is Seen as the Play of Samantabhadra”:
“Concerning the phrase “the play of Samantabhadra”: everything is “all-good” (samantabhadra, kun bzang), because there is nothing at all negative or to be rejected in connection with everything known to beings wandering within saṃsāra, which are confused appearances (’ khrul snang). Since there is not any goal to strive toward and no core point to resolve, since illusion is a state like a game, it is play (līlā, rol pa).”
“Totally unimpeded appearance never strays from Reality (Dharmakaya) and is in fact indivisible from Reality
itself—and thus is an ornament. Given that there is no phenomenon that is not totally perfect (sangs rgyas), everything, because of being the very proof of the Buddha Mind’s deeds, pertains to the nature of greatness.”
“Thereby, one may be described as “abiding in the view of the Great Perfection,” which is the act of simply being divorced from all clinging to views.”
“In attaining meditative absorption (samadhi), clairvoyance is attained. Through mastery of the breath, a luminous maṇḍala emerges.”
“Utter luminosity is such that it is unbearable to gaze upon.”
“All phenomena are resolved to be nondual”
“All phenomena are included within the mind. Therefore, there is nothing knowable outside of the mind.”
“...resolve how the ground of the indivisible Samantabhadra is disclosed spontaneously without effort in the present state because of the greatness that constitutes the fact that everything, everywhere, is at all times already perfect.”
“Given that there is no phenomenon that is not totally perfect..”
Kunje Gyalpo tantra:
“The meaning of 'Perfect' is the following: this Source, self- originated wisdom, pervades all and is totally Perfect in everything, such as beings, their karmic visions, everything encompassed by the universe and its beings, all buddhas of the three times, sentient beings of the six classes in the three realms, and just-that-ness. Thus, the Source is 'Perfect'. “
“The root of all phenomena is All-Creating Pure Perfect Presence. Whatever appears is my nature. The way in which appearances manifest is my magical display. All sounds and words that arise in any way manifest my state as words and sounds. Everything encompassed by the animate and inanimate universe, such as the qualities of the kayas and wisdoms of buddhas and the bodies and karmic tendencies of sentient beings, is primordially the nature of Pure Perfect Presence.”
“When followers of these vehicles, who struggle for three eons, seven lifetimes, six months, one year, or sixteen months, are taught this nature beyond action, they will come to abide in the bliss of self-perfection beyond struggle.”
“In this dimension there does not exist anything that is not perfect. Because there is one perfect, two perfect, and all perfect, activities are bliss as the Perfections. 'One perfect' means that all is perfect in Pure Perfect Presence. 'Two perfect' means that all (conventional) creations of Presence are perfect. 'All perfect' means that all Perfections are perfect. Through this perfect teaching about the one, beings can abide in this knowledge of a Buddha. Through this meaning of total perfection, everything functions as the Perfections. "Whoever abides in this effortless state, even with the body of a god or human, is a buddha in the real condition of knowledge.”
"Everything is naturally perfect just as it is." Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche
"It is perfection of all in that whatever appears is completely perfect."
The Künjé Gyalpo Tantra says:
"This has nothing about it at all that is not perfect."
The earliest known Dzogchen text:
The Six Vajra Verses
"Although apparent phenomena manifest as diversity yet this diversity is non-dual, and of all the multiplicity of individual things that exist none can be confined in a limited concept.
Staying free from the trap of any attempt to say it's 'like this', or `like that', it becomes clear that all manifested forms are aspects of the infinite formless, and, indivisible from it, are self-perfected.
Seeing that everything is self-perfected from the very beginning, the disease of striving for any achievement comes to an end of its own accord, and just remaining in the natural state as it is, the presence of non-dual contemplation continuously, spontaneously arises."
(Translation by Namkhai Norbu)
The great early Dzogchen master yogi and scholar, Rongzom (1012-1088) wrote; regarding that even if one doesn’t yet see this view of the Great Perfection, the perfection of ALL current phenomena, in direct experience:
“Thus it is not in any way a mistake if one, rather than that, is inclined to approach simply by faith, regarding the scriptures and oral instructions as valid. One will then gain access through trust.”
“Establishing Appearances as Divine” by Rongzom, translated
By Heidi I. Koppl)
The very early Dzogchen master Rongzom, says even if one hasn’t seen the perfect nature of all and everything directly, just having faith in this universal perfection, is itself of great benefit.
My point is asking “how would just having and holding the concept that all phenomena, mental states, actions and events are always absolutely “perfect”, influence our state of mind, stress and enjoyment of life?”.
One can find many benefits regarding having a positive attitude for body and mind in the medical literature. But what would an unbreakable conviction regarding the total perfection of all phenomena and experiences do? I would suggest such a view, even if only conceptually held, could be completely transformational in nature.
But through the approach of Dzogchen methodologies when applied, actual experiences of this “total perfection” arise as the non-conceptual, conscious insights of rigpa’s unique wisdoms.
Without this insight into the “total perfection” of all and everything, indestructible joy, the ending of fear, unconditional love and infinite compassion would not be possible.