Parting from the Four Attachments

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Parting from the Four Attachments (Tib. ཞེན་པ་བཞི་བྲལ་, Wyl. zhen pa bzhi bral) — a short teaching spoken by Manjushri to the Sakya patriarch Sachen Kunga Nyingpo.

The Teaching

When he was twelve years old, the great Sakyapa lama spent six months in strict retreat[1] doing the practice of Arya Manjushri, and as a result, on one occasion he had a direct vision of the deity. The glorious Manjughosha, orange in colour, was surrounded by a mass of brilliant light and seated resplendently upon a jewelled throne. He was displaying the mudra of teaching the Dharma, and was flanked on either side by two bodhisattvas. He spoke the following words:

“If you are attached to this life, you are not a true spiritual practitioner.
If you are attached to samsara, you do not have renunciation.
If you are attached to your own self-interest, you have no bodhichitta.
If there is grasping, you do not have the View.”
༈ ཚེ་འདི་ལ་ཞེན་ན་ཆོས་པ་མིན།

Reflecting on the meaning of this statement, Kunga Nyingpo realized that this mind training of ‘parting from the four attachments’ incorporates all the practices of the path of the transcendent perfections, and he felt an extraordinary confidence in all the teachings of the Dharma. Samāptamithi.

Alternative Translation

If you cling to this life, you are not a practitioner;

If you cling to the three realms, that is not renunciation;

If you cling to self-interest, you are not a bodhisattva;

If grasping arises, it is not the view.[2]


  1. The location of his retreat was Manjushri Cave, located on the North side of Sakya town, in Tsang province.
  2. Mind Training, The Great Collection, translated by Thupten Jinpa for the Institute of Tibetan Classics, Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-440-7, page 517.

Alternative Tibetan

༈ ཚེ་འདི་ལ་ཞེན་ན་ཆོས་པ་མིན།




Tibetan text

Teachings on Parting from the Four Attachments

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Further Reading

External Links