The four metaphors explain the conduct to be adopted when listening to the teachings, and are given in the Gandavyuha Sutra (The Sutra Arranged Like a Tree, Tib. སྡོང་པོ་བཀོད་པའི་མདོ་ ), which is the final section of the Avatamsaka Sutra (The Flower Ornament Sutra, Tib. མདོ་མེ་ཏོག་རྣ་རྒྱན་ཕལ་པོ་ཆེ་ or simply, Tib. མདོ་ཕལ་པོ་ཆེ་).
Noble one, think of yourself as someone who is sick,
Of the Dharma as the remedy,
Of your spiritual teacher as a skilful doctor,
And of diligent practice as the way to recovery.
- *Bibliography of The Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche, translated by Padmakara Translation Group, ISBN 0-06-066449-5, page 443.
- *Patrul Rinpoche, Preliminary Points to be Explained When Teaching the Buddha’s Word or the Treatises, translated by Adam Pearcey.