Pithy Advice on Checking One’s Progress on the Path

from The Essential Amrita of Profound Meaning: Oral Instructions and Practical Advice Bestowed Upon Fortunate Followers, Eye-opener to What is to be Adopted and Abandoned

by Chokgyur Lingpa

To know whether or not you’re aware of impermanence,
check if your plans are long or short term.

To know whether or not you perceive samsara as flawed,
check if you have attachment and desire.

To know whether or not you’ll attain liberation in the next life,
check whether your conduct is good or bad.

To know whether or not you’ll attain awakening in this life,
check if you display the signs of progress in generation and completion.

To know whether or not you’ve generated love and compassion,
check how you take care of those in need.

To know whether or not you’ve tamed the demon1 of anger,
check how much hatred you foster toward enemies.

To know whether or not you’ve tamed the ogress2 of attachment,
check how attached you are to your loved ones.

To know whether or not you’ve dispelled the obscuring evil3 of ignorance,
check how much you cling in hope and fear.

To know whether or not you’ve purified the three poisons,
check how much you’ve let go of fixation.

You’ll know whether or not your Dharma practice follows the path
by thoroughly examining your mind.

This was written by Chokgyur Lingpa at the request of the Galap Dzong Lama, Könchok Tenzin Chökyi Lodrö.4 May it bring goodness!

| Lhasey Lotsawa Translations, 2020.


Source text
  • mChog gyur gling pa, “rJes ’jug skal bzang rnams la bstal pa’i zhal gdams bslab bya nyams len gyi skor spang blang mig ’byed zab don snying gi bdud rtsi.” In mChog gling bka’ ’bum skor. Vol. 36 of mChog gling bde chen zhig po gling pa yi zab gter yid bzhin nor bu’i mdzod chen po, 87-88. Kathmandu, Nepal: Ka-nying Shedrub Ling monastery, 2004.
Secondary Sources
  • Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Rene De. Oracles and Demons of Tibet: The Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities. Delhi: Book Faith India, 1996.

  1. Demon here translates rgyal ‘gong, a type of malevolent spirit born from the union of rgyal po and ‘gong po spirits. (Rene de Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Oracles and Demons of Tibet, 300). ↩︎

  2. Ogress here translates srin mo, a female rākṣasa, or rākṣasī. ↩︎

  3. Evil here translates gdon, a general name for evil spirits or malevolent influences. ↩︎

  4. Könchok Tenzin Chökyi Lodrö (dKon mchog bstan ‘dzin chos kyi blo gros, 1801-59), also known by his tertön name Nüden Dorjé (Nus ldan rdo rje), was a Drigung Kagyü throne-holder, sixth Drigung Chungtsang and thirty-second abbot of Drigung Til (‘Bri gung mthil). See his profile on TBRC: https://www.tbrc.org/#!rid=P2230↩︎


Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa

Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources



chos lam du song ma song shes pa'i man ngag

Pithy Advice on How to Check One's Progress on the Path


Chokgyur Dechen Zhikpo Lingpa


In this pithy text addressed to the sixth Drigung Chungtsang, Könchok Tenzin Chökyi Lodrö, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa offers straightforward instructions on how to check one’s progress on the path and development of key qualities for one’s Dharma practice.