Compassionate energy

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The Ground of Dzogchen is described as being endowed with three qualities―essence, nature and compassionate energy. The third quality of the Ground is its compassionate energy (Tib. ཐུགས་རྗེ་, tukjé; Wyl. thugs rje).

Just as the sky and sunlight are indivisible, so the empty essence and cognizant nature are always a unity. This inseparability or unity is called ‘compassionate energy’, the manifestation of the compassionate energy of the enlightened mind.

This unceasing compassionate energy is described as:

  • unconfined,
  • unobstructed, and
  • all-pervasive.

It too possesses three wonderful qualities:

  • the wisdom that knows,
  • the compassion that is loving and caring, and
  • the power that is able to liberate, protect, and benefit beings and fulfil the enlightened activity of the buddhas.

Tulku Tsullo, a student of Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, describes it in the following way:

The manifest power of that wisdom is capable of arising as anything whatsoever, and therefore this compassionate energy pervades all phenomena. All the pure phenomena of nirvana and impure phenomena of samsara―whatever there might be―are merely appearances arising to one’s own mind. All the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are like this; there is not a single phenomenon in samsara or nirvana that is not like this, and which exists from its own side. The nature of conceptual ideas evaluating phenomena and also non-conceptual states of mind is the wisdom of rigpa’s pure awareness. Therefore, in short, all the phenomena of samsara and nirvana are but a display arising through the creative power of the wisdom of rigpa within our own minds. [1]


  1. *His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Vision of Enlightenment, pages 315, published by The Tertön Sogyal Trust, ISBN 0 95 312514 9. Also published by Wisdom Publications as Mind in Comfort & Ease, The Vision of Enlightenment in the Great Perfection. ISBN 0-86171-493-8

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