[in the translation of this line], the purity goes with the mandala of deities.
PK: When the phenomenal world is purified, you see the mandala of deities, which has the essence of complete purity?
[At this point we concluded the day’s meeting; the conversation resumed the following morning]
PK: We had a few ideas from yesterday’s meeting.
TO: I’d like to say “the phenomenal world, when purified is the mandala of deities.” Is that right? Is that going too far?
PK: Or you could say, “within the completely purified phenomenal world, the mandala of deities.”
MN: Or, “within the phenomenal world, completely purified as the mandala of deities.”
LM: I still prefer to put “mandala of deities” at the beginning for emphasis: “In the mandala of deities, the completely purified phenomenal world.”
MN: Whichever you put first—“phenomenal world“ or “mandala of deities”—will come across as the main point. What is the main focus of the sentence?
CR: Actually, after thinking about it, I agree with Larry’s reading: “In the mandala of deities, the complete purity of the phenomenal world, . . .”
LM: That is what we had originally.
PK: The only thing I would want to change with that would be to change “complete purity” to “completely purified” because I really liked Rinpoche’s explanation yesterday about how the phenomenal world, when purified, was the mandala of deities. If it just says “the complete purity of the phenomenal world” then that explanation doesn’t come across as clearly as if we say “in the mandala of deities, the completely purified . . .”
CR: Actually we could say “purified” here.
LM: What you said yesterday about complete purity really going with “mandala of deities” is what causes us to think what Patricia just said. Whereas the way we had it before, “the complete purity of the phenomenal world” really sounds like complete purity just goes with phenomenal world. As opposed to that it’s doing something to the phenomenal world, purifying it.
CR: The purity of the phenomenal world, whether we say “purity” or “purified,” what I’m looking at is whether we can make sure that nobody can attack this, saying “Oh, there’s a mistake.” [reads from “Saddharma Punsters” from First Thought Best Thought by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche] Here, Trungpa Rinpoche says:
Until the philosophy is carried out between translators and interpreters,
We will have to talk about why blue is not black,
Why a round earth,
Why the solar system.
So we end up agreeing with each other, . . .
Whether we say “purity” or “purified”—if I say “purity” I can attack that, and if I say “purified” I can also debate that. Now, looking at all the angles, I think “the complete purity of the phenomenal world” is much better.
LM: Yes, I think the way Patricia originally had it is the nicest. When you say “the complete purity of the phenomenal world” to me that’s meaning fundamentally the phenomenal world is completely purity. And that is the mandala of deities.
CR: Yes, that’s how we explain it from the point of view of ground. The explanation in terms of “the thing to be purified,” “the purifier,” and “the result of purification” is from the point of view of path. If you phrase it from the point of view of ground, it can be attacked from the path point of view. If you say “purified,” it can be attacked from the ground point of view.
LM: There’s no way you’re going to make everybody happy.
CR: The tricky thing is that in Tibetan, you can bring in complete purity from any point of view. Complete purity can be primordially pure, temporarily pure—you can just put anything there.
SW: So, Rinpoche, you feel that the flavor of this text is more from ground point of view than from the path point of view?
CR: Yes. Does “complete purity” show that the real origin of the phenomenal world is purity?
NTC (group): yes.
CR: I think that if we can show that, we are safe enough.
LM: I think that’s what it says.
PK: And that would be from the point of view of ground?
CR: If we can show the actual origin of the phenomenal world being purity, obviously that is established from the ground point of view. But we can defend quite a lot.
LM: We have more ammunition with this.
CR: The reason why I’m looking at this is when we look at how Berotsana and other lotsawas (great translators) translated, even in translation there’s no way it can be attacked. So we should also make sure there is purification through the three examinations, even in the translation.
PK: So, that’s great. So, we’ll leave it as is then.
SW: (laughing) After talking with many lamas, we didn’t change a single word of this line!