The Blazing Lights of the Sun and Moon


The commentary on Mipham’s Sherab Raltri entitled
The Blazing Lights of the Sun and Moon.
by Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche
INTRODUCTION [SPOKEN BY KPSR] This text, the Sherab Raltri, Sword of Prajña, by Mipham Rinpoche, summarizes many important
points from the sutras and tantras. There are two important spontaneously written texts in which
Mipham expresses his vision of Buddhist teaching. They are this Sword of Prajña of the Completely True Meaning, and The Precious Torch of Certainty.

Many great masters say Mipham wrote five “sword” texts and five “lotus” texts, named for the scepters in the hands of Mañjushri. To reach enlightenment is the main purpose of this text, of course. But in particular,
among the three prajñas, hearing, contemplating, and meditating, this text focuses on contemplation.
It is an overview that tells how to contemplate thoroughly what we have studied.
When the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies was established in 1967, this was the first course
in the Nyingma department. The root text was written by Mipham Rinpoche at the request of
Lhagsam Tenpa Gyaltsen, a famous master in his own right. Mipham wrote a short commentary,
which I studied in Tibet; but I couldn’t find it or any other commentary that had been brought to
India. I did have some notes that Mipham made in the text, and I used them. I started writing every
day, on the blackboard, and students would copy it down. By the end of the year the whole thing
was done. Every year there would be another ten or twelve students, and the same thing would
happen again. Everyone thought we should publish this, but we didn’t. Later, when I was in New
York, some students wrote and asked if it could be printed, and if anything would need to be
changed. When I went back to Nepal, I made some corrections and edited the text with the help of
some students there. Then the Tibetan version was printed.
Guru Rinpoche wrote a famous commentary on the Mañjushri-nama-sa.mgiti, called the3
Blazing Lights of the Sun and Moon.

That seemed auspicious, so I adopted the title for this commentary.

Unsurpassably great and glorious former teacher,
Supremely kind crown jewel of the learned and accomplished,
Jetsun Mañjushri emanating in human form,
Known as Jamgon Mipham Chokle Namgyal Gyamtso,
Supreme in glory and goodness, producing a hundred and eight Commentaries setting forth the intended
meaning Of the sutras and tantras of the Victorious One.
This treatise teaches without error the vast and profound piths of the mahayana sutras and tantras. The
subject expressed is the two truths. It is expressed in terms of the four correct reasonings. The fruition is
the great treasure of the eight confidences. That is the way in which this great text was composed. This
treatise, the Sword of Prajña of the Completely True Meaning is one of four very famous commentaries. It
is supreme among commentaries that explain without error difficult points of words and their meanings.
This commentary on the Sherab Raltri4
is entitled the Blazing Lights of the Sun and Moon. These days the
precious teachings of the Buddha in general have been harmed and diminished, particularly in Tibet, the
Land of Snow, by the army of the red Chinese. In this situation, replenishing the blaze of the former
teachings from the remaining embers was supremely kind.
Born in Riwoche in Khams he indisputably went to the heights level of learning, discipline, and nobility.
Born and remaining a glorious lord of the teachings and beings, This is Khenchen Palden Sherab, glorious,
good, and excellent. It was he who composed this.
In 1976, in Varanasi, when the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies was established, this text was
presented to students at the institute as lectures about Khen Rinpoche’s own Nyingma tradition. As no
commentary on it had reached India, Khen Rinpoche, with supreme compassion for those under his care,
newly composed this one. Until now, it remained as an active course, and so it could not be requested that
it be published. Now after 13 auspicious presentations of those lectures, Khen Rinpoche has responded to
new requests to publish it, from the country of America.
Greatly moved by these requests and the approach of this supreme occasion, he gave the order to print
this, and the pure requests of those sitting at his feet were accomplished.
After thirteen times sending a lamp to beings, in the 2530th year of the teacher’s passing in his sthaviraaspect,
in the seventh tibetan month, tenth day, by these requests that this be printed, auspiciousness
This introduction was written by the chief of the many who were formerly benefitted, the khenpo’s
brother Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche. May there be a connection to the vidyadharas. Dge’o Dge’o
Namo shri Vajrapadmatikshnaye.
In the wind-chariot of the two accumulations, excellently leading the four forces5
of the army of the ten powers
You overcome the warfare of the gods of desire
and their host is overcome;
While with the sharp fangs and claws of the four fearlessnesses
, you drink from the skulls of vicious
feuding elephants
, the eternalists and nihilists.

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