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Chenian Commentary on the Tantric Ritual of Avalokitesvara White and Red

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Part I. Translated Ritual from Tibetan Doctrine

Section I Visualize the Sunyata

A. Repeat the following Sunyata incantation
B. Visualize all the ten Dharmadhatus dissolved into their nature of Sunyata.

Section II Visualize the Palace of Avalokitesvara (Mandala)

In the Sunyata, there is a word HUM (Bk074 hum.jpg) which suddenly appears. It shines with holy light. In that light, there are two vajras crossed. Its size just covers the foundation of the ten Dharmadhatus. Above the crossed vajras there is a vast lotus, the Mandala is established: Around the outside of the mandala, there are walls. From the outside these are, in the following order, skull walls, vajra walls and lotus walls to protect the Mandala. Out of these three kinds of walls, there are five elements in the form of flames.

In the center of the Mandala, there is a reddish three-dimensional triangle standing on its apex. The upper part of this triangle is as wide as the whole mandala.

Section III Visualize Oneself as the Yidam of Avalokitesvara

In the center of this triangle in three dimensions is the word BOM. It transforms itself into a white lotus. Lying on the lotus is the word ROM transforming itself into a sun, on which there is a reddish HRI. (Some other rituals have a moon on the lotus. Red Avalokitesvara may visualize a sun, White Avalokitesvara a moon, says the commentator.)

From HRI the practitioner becomes the Yidam Avalokitesvara White (or Red). He has one head, four arms, with the upper two arms folded and holding a gem, and the lower pair holding a rosary in the right hand and a lotus in the left.

If he is reddish, he embraces his Dakini named "Secret Wisdom," who is pink. She has only two arms. The right one holds a knife aloft and the left one holds a skull full of nectar of great pleasure, offering it to her consort. Their reproductive organs are connected in a great pleasure Samadhi.

Section IV Visualize the Wisdom Yidam Who is in the Position of Consequence of Avalokitesvara

The practitioner who visualized himself as the Avalokitesvara is in the position of cause, hence he should unite with the one in the consequence position and be witnessed by the latter.


and visualize the Yidam in the position of consequence coming into the body of the practitioner. They are in Oneness. Hereafter the practitioner should not think of himself as a human being as before. He should have the Holy Pride as if to say, "I am the real Avalokitesvara; I must do something to save every sentient being here as well as does Avalokitesvara in the Pure Land." One who has taken the White Avalokitesvara should visualize the white wisdom one to come; Red, red to come!

Section V Initiate the Yidam

A. Repeat the Incantation of Initiation:


B. Visualize all the five Dhyani Buddhas descending from their Pure Land and coming into the body of the Yidam i.e. the practitioner, and becoming oneness. Their symbols are shown on the head of the Yidam. They become a crown which is called the Five Buddhas Precious Crown in which the five heads of the Buddhas are the ornaments. As Avalokitesvara is the great Bodhisattva, awaiting his destiny to fill the vacancy of Buddha of the Western Pure Land Amitabha, so on his tuft "usnisa" he has the head of Amitabha.

Section VI Offerings to the Yidam and his Witnesses

As the practitioner has become the Yidam and has been witnessed by the five Buddhas, so he deserves the offerings of eight things in general, and some special things in particular, as much as can be prepared or visualized.

A. Outward Offerings:

1. Repeat the eight offerings incantation: OM AVALOKITESVARA, SA BA RI VA RA, AH GON, BAH DON, BU BA, DO BA. AH RU GA, GAN DAN, RU WE DA, DRA ZA HUM

2. Visualize the eight offerings, viz., water to rinse the mouth, water to drink (Indians used to drink a water which was not exactly tea), flowers, incense, a light or lamp, perfume to put on hands and body, food, and music. All are of the best quality and in numberless quantity, as many as the clouds in the sky.

B. Inward Offerings:

1. Repeat the three vajra words: OM AH HUM.

2. In a skull made into a vessel, place some brandy and sugar. After repeating the three vajra words, it becomes nectar and also every kind of meat. Offer both to the Yidam and Buddhas to drink and eat.

C. Secret Offerings:

1. Repeat the great pleasure incantation: OM MAHA SUKHA HUM.

2. Visualize the beautiful young Dakini embracing the Yidam and giving offering to Him with deep gnostic pleasure. If you are the Red Avalokitesvara, the Secret Wisdom Dakini should also receive offerings from some visualized handsome young Bodhisattvas.

D. Most Secret Offerings:

1. Repeat the Dharmakaya bija OM

or the incantation of Adi Buddha: OM DHARMADHATU AH

2. Visualize the Dharmadhatu's light which is like the autumn sky, without a cloud. If you are the Red Yidam, visualize the light shining out from between the two privates of the Yidam.

Section VII Praise the Yidam


A. For both Red and White:

In the great transmigration-ocean,
So far have you sailed the great steamer;
Many sentient beings have come on it,
May I also have such a manner!

B. For White Yidam:

Without pollution, you are so pure and white,
With a mind full of compassion and rectitude.
For saving every sentient being I pray;
Do bless us and grant the salvational might.
Any kind of hymn may be added here!

Section VIII Visualize the Incantations

In the Yidam's heart there is the white lotus on which there is the moon lying like a mattress. In the center of the moon there is the bija (seed word) HRI which is reddish. Around this bija on the edge of the moon there stands the incantation. If it is White Yidam, his incantation is called Six-Words-Great-Vidya (enlightenment): OM MA NI PAD ME HUM

If it's red, before the Six Words there are four words which altogether make ten words: OM A HUM HRI OM MA NI PAD ME HUM.

A. Repeat this at least 108 times, the more the better.

B. Visualize each word in its own special color of light shining out to the six realms of sentient beings. If it is the Red Yidam, the four foregoing words also shine some Holy Light from four kinds of holy beings to bless the six realms. These, A. and B., may be practiced alternately or simultaneously, if possible. Visualize again that after the six realms receive the light and hear the incantations, they all become Yidams. They all repeat the same incantation and shine the same light as well as the practitioner has done.

Section IX Repentance

A. Repeat the Vajrasattva incantation as taught in the Four Foundations of Tibetan Tantra (Booklet No. 70). It is in One Hundred Words and is known by that name (See Part II of this Commentary, Chapter IV.)

HA HA HA HA HO (11),

B. Think of the meaning of these one hundred words (See commentary).

Then one must keep one's concentration here for a long time until some disturbed delusion is finished. Then visualize this little hair also dissolved in the Sunyata, and keep the concentration on the Sunyata as long as possible.

Section XIII Reappearance of the Yidam

When one prepares to leave his seat and do some good karma for sentient beings, one must visualize again that one is like the fish who was in the bottom of the enlightened ocean. Now it jumps up to the surface and one becomes the yidam very clearly. Whatever the Yidam Avalokitesvara should do for the sentient beings, the practitioner should do as well.

Section XIV Turn the Merit to Sentient Beings

All that I have practiced
May be of little merit,
To all the sentient beings;
Whose minds may be fit it!

Part II. The Chenian Commentary on the above Ritual

Chapter I: Sunyata

A. The meaning of the Sunyata incantation is that all Dharma or phenomena are pure, clean, and without selfish defilement; I myself am also pure and clean without ego defilement.

B. Keeping the meaning in mind, one should visualize both the inside and outside of one's body; there is only Oneness in Sunyata, which is pure and holy in nature. But one must know also that Sunyata is one thing with two sides. The back side is in itself void as the bright mirror, while its face reflects something, as the shadow in the mirror. The former is called the Sunyata of nature. When a holy being such as a Buddha, a Bodhisattva or the accomplished practitioner is dissolved in the static samadhi of voidness, he is said to be in the samadhi of the Sunyata nature. Such a samadhi is also termed the fundamental samadhi. While the latter is when Buddha appears as a shadow in the mirror and he does something for sentient beings; he is then in a dynamic samadhi of Sunyata condition of function; he is said to be in the samadhi of final attainment. Thus two kinds of samadhi are identified. Yet for the beginner, they may be practiced separately. This is why one sometimes lays the most stress on the practice of the samadhi of nature, while at other times, the samadhi of condition. When a person is accomplished, these two kinds of samadhi cannot be separated. They are always identical in the realization.

In this ritual, say in every ritual of Tibetan Buddhism and in every school, the starting point of the first section is the practice of Sunyata nature. From that nature the HUM appears, which is in the second section, until all the successive visualizations are reabsorbed into the Sunyata nature; they all belong to their Sunyata conditions, without which the function of the Great Compassion of Avalokitesvara will not occur.

C. How can the Sunyata produce the bija words as HUM, BOM, and ROM?

Sunyata on the one hand is of nothing; but on the other hand, is of everything. When the practitioner is in his static meditation, it is the Sunyata of nothing; when he is going to help sentient beings in his dynamic meditation, it is the Sunyata which is of everything.

HUM is divided into five parts. For the convenience of saving descriptions, I do not point out all the five parts separately. In short, these five parts denote the five holy elements and the five holy wisdoms. All the seven essences are the factors of function. Hence HUM appears before other things which are to be visualized later on.

Because every Dharma is itself void, without self, the five elements and wisdoms are also void. When they have not been practiced for the purpose of saving sentient beings, the five parts abide in the nature of Sunyata; while they are utilized by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas or practitioners, their five parts will be employed and function from their Sunyata of conditions.

BOM is the element water from which the lotus grows. ROM is the element fire from which the sun gathers warmth and light. Each has its own function which is the condition of Sunyata.

Each function may appear during a visualization made by the practitioner. It may also be reabsorbed under the person's meditative force.

Through long hard practice of the visualization of the symbols such as the Bijas, they may become very clear to the practitioner and even to persons close to him. But if they have not been identified with the philosophic background of Sunyata conditions, such appearances would not function very well. This is why many practice this ritual for a long time, but few have identified with the Sunyata. Thus many persons can only obtain some small merit from repetition and few persons completely accomplish the enlightenment of Avalokitesvara, which is to say, his salvation. Recognition and understanding of this commentary is absolutely essential.

D. How may all the things surrounding the mandala and the body of the Yidam appear in the Sunyata?

The body of the Yidam is the body of wisdom which is of Sunyata. When the body of the Yidam disappears, it returns to the nature of Sunyata, just like ice returns to water when it is dissolved by sunshine. When water freezes, it becomes ice. As the Yidam has no ego, there is no obstacle to his appearance and disappearance.

For the same reason, the mandala is also of the wisdom that is of Sunyata. Under some conditions, certain Dharma shall be spread and certain persons will be converted. It all appears from the Sunyata nature. Just as Milarepa's time had come and his initiation was granted, the mandala of Sambara had been shown in his guru Marpa's realization. When all the conditions of salvation are completely fulfilled, the mandala may disappear.

E. How is it possible to invite the real wisdom Yidam to come from his Pure Land to this Saha world and unite with the practitioner's visualized Yidam?

The Yidam in the position of consequence is of Sunyata and the one in the position of cause is also of Sunyata. It is like adding milk to milk, they become Oneness.

If the practitioner's visualization is not clear, or if he has not recognized the Sunyata of nature as pervading his entire body, or if his samadhi has not yet attained the skill to make the abstract visualization into the concrete embodiment of the Yidam, it surely cannot succeed at that time; only through very frequent practice of Sunyata and visualization, will his attainment of a Yidam succeed sooner or later. Hence the meditation of Sunyata in the course of Mahayana is a most important foundation. One should practice it before receiving the initiation of Tantra. If one has not yet practiced, he should make some complementary practice for the realization of Sunyata and unite it with his Tantric practice. This commentary simply warns of this necessity, which is neglected by many practitioners, even in Tibet.

F. How is it possible to receive the initiation?

The Yidam in the consequence position who is the bestower of the initiation is the same entity in Sunyata as the Yidam in the causal position, who is the recipient of the initiation. They are in the same nature as Buddhahood. It is just like the emperor who is able to give the empire to his son, the prince. There is no question.

Plus the Great Compassion of the real Yidam, Avalokitesvara, is always sending his merciful light to every sentient being. The practitioner who has visualized Avalokitesvara in the causal position might be inspired immediately for the Yidam as practiced and visualized by the practitioner has more or less the same characteristics as the real one. Through long practice of this ritual, they will be harmonized by the skillful practitioner who recognizes this philosophy and has a deep samadhi to hold both the visualization and the right view of Sunyata.

G. What do the four words mean and how are they connected to Sunyata?

The meaning of the incantation of initiation eventually reveals itself in the visualization!

It can be explained in brief as "All Buddhas, give me the initiation in accord with your original vows." What are the meanings of the four separate words? The following statement is the answer:

TZA means welcome.

HUM means they are close to the head of the practitioner.

BON means united with the practitioner as water which comes into water. They come into the body.

HO means harmonized without differentiation. They and the practitioner become Oneness.

These four words and their visualization are common to every Yidam. The white one is the same as the red one.

Outwardly, the red has the same meaning as the white above, but they only belong to the outward visualization. Usually they are explained by the Yogic Tantra as four things, viz., Vajra Hook, Vajra Lock, Vajra String and Vajra Bell. But the red one has other special meanings.

Inwardly when one utters TZA, the right arm of the Dakini "Secret Wisdom" should encircle the neck of Avalokitesvara. When HUM is uttered, the left arm touches Avalokitesvara tightly; at BOM, the right leg should encircle Avalokitesvara, and when HO is uttered, the left leg and the whole body is close to Avalokitesvara.

Secretly, when one utters TZA, the Vajra of Avalokitesvara touches the small goddess who guards the outer door (of the anus) and offers it to her. When one utters HUM, the Vajra should be offered to the eight goddesses outside the Lotus of the "Secret Wisdom" Dakini. At the utterance of BOM the Vajra should be offered to the Lotus inside. Utter HO and the secret nerve of the Lotus should be inserted into the small hole (the ejaculatory duct, urethra) of the Vajra and they both become oneness. The Vajra is in the Lotus and the Lotus nerve is in the Vajra, and both participants experience very great pleasure in their vajra love samadhi in the fourth kind of Tantric Sunyata.

For the beginner who has only this [[ritual] ] but not the third great initiation of vajra love, these last two kinds of visualization are not necessary. For increasing interest and encouraging the beginner to progress faster, I comment a little more here.

H. Why is the offering made and how does it connect with Sunyata?

After the initiation is accomplished, there is no differentiation between these two Yidams. They should be given offerings even though the offerer and the recipient of the offering are one and the same. Why should the offering be performed in such a relationship? It is because subjectivity and objectivity may be in oneness or vice versa. Both are in the Sunyata and the subjective offering is for sentient beings and not for oneself. The objective receiver who accepts the offering does it also for sentient beings and for the practitioner. Otherwise he has no need of such worldly things. Christians use such pretext for offering nothing to their Trinity but in my humble opinion that merciful God would accept worldly offerings for increasing the merits of sentient beings or of His Creatures. That is why every Christmas I offer a fire sacrifice to Jesus whom I must cooperate with to propagate Buddhism in the West.

Furthermore, when one is making an offering, one must visualize every kind of offering as a sign of the Sunyata condition.

Water has no ego. The first one among the seven offerings is for washing or for rinsing the mouth; the second one is for drinking. They are eventually the same quality. The water can become ice and soup. It can make wine or spirits; it can make urine. It can become a mountain of ice such as the Arctic or Antarctic iceberg. It can make oceans such as the Pacific and Atlantic.

The Sanskrit word "Saindhava" means water, but there are also three other meanings of this same word. Beside water, it may also signify salt, vessel or horse. When the emperor asks for "Saindhava" the attendant must consider the emperor's need at the moment. He must understand the context so as to provide the exact proper thing. If the emperor is going to wash, he must offer water; when eating, he must offer salt. If the emperor is drinking, the attendant must offer the vessel; and when the emperor is preparing to go out, he must be offered the horse. So language has no ego, but has correct function or usage only under conditions (or in context). This is what the Sunyata of water is.

A flower also has no ego. Sometimes the flower is in the leaves, as in the Begonia Rex, Andraenum Lindle and Putz Antherium. Sometimes it is in the fruit, as in the Lotus. Some are fragrant, some stink, and some have no smell at all. Some are double and last for many days, while others open in the morning and fade away by evening. Every flower is a sign of the Sunyata in nature and is also lovable under some temporal condition.

Incense sticks have no ego. The Nyingmapa School emphasizes its own formula for making them. Other schools have their own special ingredients which they, too, prefer. The incense stick may be yellow in color, or reddish, or black. It may be long or short, large or small. It may be mixed with silver or gold powder and be very dear in price, while other s may be quite cheap. One cannot say that in only such a size and in such a color and in such a proportion is the real incense found.

24. FGP Avalokitshowara-D.jpg

Lamps have no ego. They are also Sunyata in nature and have differences in conditions. They can be made of gold or silver or brass. Who can say whether the light is coming from the oil, the wick or the lamp itself? Men usually notice only the outward quality and call it "the gold lamp" or "the brass lamp." If it has no light, could it be called a lamp at all? Should a lamp be known according to its

quality only? If so, when we take the silver from the lamp and make it into a bowl using it to store rice or wheat, where is the lamp then? Different oils such as butter, vegetable oil or mustard oil should be used in accordance with one's purpose for prayer. Some are for increasing wisdom, others for getting rid of sins. The wick is usually of a thin stick wound around with cotton, but for increasing wealth, instead of cotton, one may use gold foil. Hence it is not the specific material which is the real lamp, but only by meeting certain conditions does a lamp possess the Sunyata condition.

Arghya (a scented, medicinal powder made to put on hands, face and skin) is also Sunyata. Before putting it into water, the water is water. After the scent disappears, it loses the name of Arghya. The perfume used by the ancient Indian sages was different from that used in the Japanese Tantric School. I use the perfume "Paris Evening Queen" or "1177" which may also be called Arghya. Recently a friend sent me a bottle of "Calandre" made by Paco Rabanne in Paris. Who can say I am too modernized! Arghya may be made by using one or several various flowers with a good smell. Each kind of Arghya has its own recipe. Yet not one of them could be proud of his own scent and reject others.

Food has no self. It is also Sunyata. According to Tibetan custom, a type of cookie called "Tzo" is made from flour. It is made in different forms with various decorations for different Yidams. These ornaments have different colors and designs and forms according to the habit or heritage of the school. Some are mixed with white sugar, some brown sugar, some honey. A red triangular Tzo denotes a meat offering to the

wrathful deities; a white triangular Tzo symbolizes a vegetable offering to the peaceful deities. For the Protectors, black color must be used and the recipe calls for the use of poison things. I remember the biography of the incarnation of Six-Armed Mahakala who was the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty of China. He used to send his attendants out to collect poisonous insects and animals such as cobras, serpents, scorpions and centipedes for his dinner. Nectar may become poison in Vajra Love mis-practiced; most of

the Tantric methods are misused as poison. Poison may become nectar, as the sages have transformed it. Hence, there is no certainty in food. This is why I say food is of Sunyata. Those Tzos are like the play of children who make many kinds of mudpies in different forms, still only flour and sugar. It proves every kind of food is of Sunyata. When one knows this, one will not fall into egoism, pride, prejudice and volition.

Music is obviously of Sunyata and more easily comprehended than the other kinds of offerings. All the musical instruments denote Sunyata. Consider the wisest Buddhess or the Dakini of Voice, Saraswati, who is a virgin in Hinduism, but married Manjusri after her conversion to Buddhism. Both were skillful in wisdom, but she especially comprehended the Sunyata through her understanding of her

musical instrument, the vina, an Indian instrument like a lute. My guru Rona Rinpoche used to explain the truth of Sunyata with the vina. The sound of music is neither from the sounding gourd, nor from the strings, nor from the fingers, but is from all these conditions together. Were any of these conditions lacking, no musical sound could be produced.

In a modern musical instrument such as the organ, we may also perceive the Sunyata. Each note in the diatonic scale has its relative pitch but no absolute one. Different keys will use different notes to start with as the tone "do" and then the next note to follow will be

"re." Thus (in solmization) each note in a scale may bear the same name but have a different tone, depending upon the scale being played. The "do" has no certain pitch nor does the "re." But when "do" is set up in its scale, then a certain "re" must follow it. Hence no tone has an ego of a specific voice. This is quite enough to prove that all music is of Sunyata.

It is just because sound itself is of Sunyata so the tone is only a condition of Sunyata. Things of Sunyata can be harmonized, identified and exchanged. One Sunyata may become many different kinds of offerings. In this ritual, the four qualities of offerings also may be mentioned, outward, inward, secret, and most secret. One is deeper than all the others. I will mention the major classifications and not include all things within each classification. Of the eight common offerings, each has its four-fold symbolism delineated in the ritual.

1. Water is an element outwardly; inwardly, it is the nectars; white Bodhi and red Bodhi secretly, and most secretly the tearful Great Compassion.

2. The flower has beautiful nature outwardly; inwardly, it is the heart which is like an eight petaled lotus inwardly; secretly, the Dakini's reproductive organ; and most secretly, the five wisdoms.

3. Incense has a good aroma outwardly; the pure vinaya characteristic smell inwardly (it is said when one's vinaya is beloved by all protectors and gods, good ghosts and Buddhas, he is circled by those lovers C the holy beings. His body is involved with best heavenly perfume which is much better than that of sandalwood. In my experiences I received that best smell even when I was in the lavatory). Secretly, it is the great incense (stool of sages) and small incense (urine of sages) of the Tantric sages; and most secretly it is the best scent emanating out of Buddha's samadhi.

4. The lamp is the light outwardly; inwardly it is the open and bright and frank mind; enthusiastic Tummo secretly; and most secretly the full Enlightenment.

5. As the incense has the four-folds of perfume, so has the scent (perfume) powder. There is no need to explain about this again.

6. Food is famous and delicious, as Chinese and French cuisine, outwardly; inwardly, it is the heavenly nectars from one's meditation; secretly the Dakini's pleasure; most secretly the four best principal virtues of Nirvana.

7. Music is the beautiful song outwardly; inwardly is the rhyme of the incantation; secretly, Hymn of the Tantric king or the Arum Voice from the Lotus during Vajra-love practice. Most secretly is the numberless Dakinis' praising when one attains the full Enlightenment.

The more abstruse the meanings you can imagine, the more profound are the realizations you can gain.


I. In exoteric ritual, one offering is one; two, two. But in esoteric ritual, the practitioner has already achieved the meditative course of Sunyata and the confirmation of Samatha and he is able to visualize all offerings in a wonderful multiplicity based upon the Sunyata philosophy. One may be many, small may be enlarged, dirt may be purified, hidden things may be unfolded, the three-periods of

time may be telescoped into one whole period. Things far distant may be drawn near, sinful things may be transformed; opposite things may be harmonized; base things may be identified with noble things! In short, everything may be taken into the mandala and become an offering. They are all like Indra's net, wherein the brilliance of each jewel is reflected in the others.

When an offering as above mentioned is recognized, the various music from numberless different musical instruments all sound in a symphony of praise. Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Herukas, Dakinis, Protectors, and all the sentient beings visualized by the practitioner, join

together in the praising work. Between the Yidam to be praised and the praiser there is no differentiation. Surely the main object of praising is the real Yidam who comes from his Pure Land. Nevertheless, the practitioner who is in the causal position as a Yidam very close to the sentient beings and trying to accumulate all the Holy Characteristics, the same ones as possessed by the Yidam in the consequence position, is worthy of praise, too. The practitioner should have such Holy Pride. One must exert great real effort to be able to possess all the merits of Avalokitesvara through all kinds of practice.

J. What is the Incantation of Sunyata?

Our Lord Gautama Buddha taught us in the Avatamsaka Sutra that each Sanskrit alphabet character has a meaning in Sunyata philosophy. Hence all the alphabets in the incantations have their special meanings in the philosophy of Sunyata. Please read my book Discriminations Between Buddhist and Hindu Tantras, page 46, where you will find the list of the Sanskrit alphabet and their meanings in Sunyata Philosophy. A few examples are quoted below:

A C Denotes that all things are uncreated.

B C Denotes that all manifestations are unobtainable.

Sa C Denotes that all things are silent in nature.

Ha C Denotes that all causes are unobtainable.

The incantation of Avalokitesvara contains six characters, each with its special function based upon its philosophic background. Again, please see pages 52-53 in my book Discriminations Between Buddhist and Hindu Tantras. The advantages of the repetition of this incantation are also mentioned there.

Some Western scholars usually make the six independent characters as four words and define their meanings only in common-sense terms. But the more secret the meanings, the more functions are found in the realizations. It is called the Six-Alphabet-Great-Mantra and should not be considered as four words.

As regarding the incantation of the Red Avalokitesvara which is in ten characters, there is an addition of four alphabet characters prior to the other six. These are: OM AH HUM HRI. It is named the Ten-Alphabet Incantation.

These four characters, in order, denote the four Kayas of Buddhahood, viz., OM: Dharmakaya, AH: Sambhogakaya, HUM: Nirmanakaya, and HRI: Sahajakaya. They are just blessing the other six alphabet characters which denote the six realms of sentient beings. Hence, these ten alphabet characters denote the ten Dharmadhatus which are of Sunyata too!

K. Why return to the Sunyata?
4 arms avalokiteshvara.jpg

In the first section of the ritual it has been mentioned thus: One should visualize every Dharma as in the nature of Sunyata; this is to let us get rid of worldly desires, the ego of every Dharma, and the fresh body of a human being. This time the extra-mundane mandala and the holy body of the Yidam Avalokitesvara should also come into the nature of the Sunyata. The Holy Pride and the volition of

holy objectivity and subjectivity will become pure. Other religions may also say that worldly things or persons should be meditated away, but they never say God and Heaven are Sunyata. Nevertheless, Buddha says that everything, whether mundane or extra-mundane, is Sunyata. In the Diamond Sutra, Buddha confessed that there was really no Dharma by means of which he attained the Supreme Enlightenment. It is a proof.

L. How Can the Sunyata Produce the Reappearance of the Yidam?

Actually Sunyata in nature and in condition are always identical. For the beginner they may be practiced separately which is why the first section of the ritual is the practice of the Sunyata in nature alone, and the successive sections are taught as the practice of Sunyata in condition

alone. Now in this section, reappearance, the identification of the Sunyata nature and condition, are taught simultaneously. One is practicing the Sunyata thoroughly in this whole ritual. When the mirror is alone in its brightness and purity, it is Sunyata. When something is reflected in it, Sunyata is still there. Mirror and shadow, neither separate nor together, both are Sunyata. When the shadow is reflected, nothing is increased; when the mirror is all alone, nothing is reduced!

M. How May One's Merit be Given out to Others?

It is because one's own nature and that of others are both in the Sunyata in spite of whether you are aware of it or not. This is why the practitioner who gives out his merits and the sentient beings who receive them are both in one spiritual body. The arms cannot say, "I need no eyes;"

eyes cannot say, "I need no arms." Thus, one takes food which becomes blood after digestion, and this blood circulates throughout the entire body nourishing every cell. When our spiritual food turns its merits to others, it is also this way. It is the same as when some hot water is poured into cold water; they become mixed together and just as one cannot distinguish which drop of water was which, neither can

one distinguish which merit is the practitioner's and which is the sentient beings'. Yet the cool drop meeting the hot one becomes a little hot even though it may not be as hot as the practitioner's. This is how one's merits may be shared by others. This is why prayers for others are not impossible.

In this Chapter on Sunyata I have explained one section after the other. One must know all the sections even as they differ in quality and quantity, yet, all are equal in the practice of Sunyata. If one does not recognize the philosophy of Sunyata, as many of my visitors and readers fail to do, one has to exert himself to make a complementary study and practice in the Mahayana course, and one must carefully think of all the similes in Sunyata until they are completely comprehended. This is highly important advice.

Chapter II: Great Compassion

How is the Great Compassion Carried out through this Ritual?

A. How does the first section of Sunyata visualization contribute to the welfare of sentient beings and guide them under the Yidam's Great Compassion?

To the beginner, Sunyata seems unable to function as the Great Compassion. After reading the following lines, you will understand the reasons for its possibility.

To release others from pain, disease, disorder and calamities is a kind of compassion, but not so great. As the root of those bad conditions is the ego, when it is not entirely eradicated those pains and bad conditions will occur again and again. For one's conduct centralized in his own ego will be selfish, and many demerits will follow, frequently resulting only in pain. Hence, all the bad conditions

find their source in and entangled around the ego, just like the silkworm which winds its cocoon around itself many times. So the real Great Compassion is to dissolve the ego into Sunyata. In so doing, every kind of bad condition will be totally and absolutely banished. None will ever happen again. That is why the Sunyata visualization is a practice of Great Compassion with which no other practice can compare.

B. How is the second section of visualization of the mandala a practice of Great Compassion?

1. HUM is a [ [[[word]]]] of five parts as I have explained in the last chapter. Each part has both functions of wisdom and an element. See Discriminations Between Buddhist and Hindu Tantras, chapter IX. They are all necessary for salvation which is the final result of the Great Compassion. The Great Compassion is not simply staying within the oath or will, but mandatory performance with powers from the five wisdoms and elements. Otherwise, the more oaths that are vowed, the more lies are committed.

2. The second section of visualization of the mandala is based on the two crossed vajras foundation under which all demons are suppressed. They can do no more evil conduct to trouble those sentient beings who have faith in Buddhism, or the practitioner who is going to practice this ritual. It is a kind of Great Compassion, too.

3. On the crossed vajra foundation there is the great lotus with numberless petals as the seat or throne of the mandala. It denotes the complete renunciation in which, if the believer is able to abide, all his sorrows and pains in the transmigration will be completely liberated. Renunciation is a term for liberation or freedom in their causal position. If we modernize it, it can be termed "dropping out", as all the hippies emphasize. But one must abide on such a throne positively, instead of negatively, so be warned as to the matter of dropping out. When one is truly free from every sorrow and pain, there is no compassion any greater than this.

Readers are reminded: how many evil things of the plastic society have you suffered from? How many worldly things have trapped you? Did you rise up as the lotus has risen from the dirty mud? After rising, did you open your mind to receive Buddhism as the Lotus receives the warm sunshine and blossoms so beautifully and bears such sweet fruit? You must be aware that your dropping out starts the Lotus growing at that very instant. If you do not practice the Dharma, even though you drop out, you will never sit on the throne; your lotus will be faded; you will not have shared in Avalokitesvara's Great Compassion!


4. Each of the walls has its own special function of protection. The flame walls protect us from the calamity of fire and the wrathful devils. The skull wall protects us from the calamity of accidental death and Yama. The lotus wall protects us from water calamities and lustful sorrow and the human-semen-eating enemies. The vajra walls protect us from earthquake calamities

and weary nightmares and the fundamental sorrow of ignorance. No matter how careful in conduct one may be, and how providently with Vinaya one may be, whenever the demons or evil ghosts come out during sleep and trouble you with many harmful traps, one would be unable to refuse them without these protection. Such protection is also a sign of the Great Compassion.

5. To visualize oneself as a Yidam is to carry on all the holy Karmas of the salvation of Avalokitesvara. No matter how powerful the Yidam in consequence position is, he must realize or pass through the exertion of a human body, who is the Yidam in the

causal position and very close to the human beings who need salvation. The Great Compassion should be employed by a human body. Such a visualization of a Yidam is just like assembling the equipment for salvation. Thus without this personification, all the good wills of Avalokitesvara are only invisible thoughts without performance ! That is why an initiation to make the visualized Yidams into

real ones followed in this ritual. It makes the Yidam's holy karmas certain to be carried out. Whenever the good merits are grained and distributed, and all the holy works are done, the Yidams of both the original and visualized ones should be offered to and praised. Every step practiced in this ritual should be scrupulously followed. They may encourage one's Yidam to do all the good works and services for the [[sentient

beings]] and allow everyone to be saved under the Great Compassion. Readers must be aware of this principle, that when you practice the ritual you are exactly in the same position of salvation in relation to every sentient being. You must have Holy Pride and give up thinking that you are still a human being.

6. To repeat the incantation is to bless the six realms of sentient beings. The light which shines out from the incantation is to purify their sins, subdue their demons, and nourish them with spiritual food such as samadhi, Sunyata, compassion and all kinds of realization assurances. How great is the compassion of this practice ! !

7. The next step of the practice is repentance. It is for both sides. On the one hand, it is because the practitioner has not enough merit to save all the sentient beings who are still suffering now. On the other hand, it is because the sins of sentient beings are too great for them to be saved. It is written in the history or biography of Avalokitesvara that when he thought of the heavy sins of sentient beings, he was cast into Great Compassion, whereupon his head was broken into ten heads, and the Buddha Amitabha consoled him with his own head

to add to the ten as an eternal blessing. He is thus called Eleven-Headed Avalokitesvara whose long incantation was inspired early and is famous. It has been collected into a large volume, The Record of the Great Compassion Incantation in which many wonderful miracles and inspirations are written. They are too long to quote in this booklet.

Tara C his incarnation C is said to have been born in his tear when he felt the sins of the sentient beings to be saved.

8. As the ritual is practiced by oneself alone, one's visualization of sentient beings may not be sufficient to influence them, so after the ritual has been integrated one has to deflect one's merit to them. In doing so, one's prayer may be heard by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Gods and all protectors. They will surely assist in letting one's Parinamana (turning the merits) be successful. It is their holy duty. Hence

through the merit of the practitioner, even though it is not sufficient to influence them, but through the helpfulness of those Holy Beings, more or less, sooner or later, some of the sentient beings whose time of salvation is near, and whose conditions are more closely related to the practitioner's, might be saved.

9. Why must there be the return to the Sunyata? Does the Sunyata bear the same quality in relation to the Great Compassion?

Yes! The final goal and natural place and ultimate deliverance are all in the Sunyata which is the Great Compassion without limitation. To give alms to the poor, to help others, to obtain money or love, to heal others' diseases and to drive others' demons out and away, all these merits are worldly, but to save others from egoism and deliver them into Sunyata is the real Great Compassion.

10. Why should one appear again as a Yidam before one leaves his meditation seat?

For one's own full enlightenment, it is enough for the practice to be accomplished to the last section C that is, returning to the truth of Sunyata C but for ceaseless salvation, one has to appear again as a vivid Yidam. After one leaves the meditative seat, he is going to be in

contact, eventually, with some sentient beings. He does not like sitting alone there without correspondence with actual sentient beings. To those accomplished sages there is no differentiation between sitting and moving, but the practitioner who is active in his daily life has more opportunity to help some of the sentient beings.

One must encourage oneself to do everything as the Yidam does; utter every word like the Yidam's speech, think of every truth as would the Yidam's mind. Where there is no compassion, make it manifest; where there is little compassion, make it strong; where there is more

compassion, make it harmonized in the Sunyata. One must expend every moment in the Great Compassion and give all one's energy in the Great Compassion; utilize every occasion to stimulate the Great Compassion; take every opportunity to invigorate the Great Compassion. This is the genuine practice to make us become Avalokitesvara.

It is said that among Buddha's ten names is the name "The Two-Foot Nobility." Two feet are not really meant as in the physical body but they mean one characteristic of wisdom which is connected to the last chapter of Sunyata, and one characteristic of compassion which is connected with this chapter. Hence, the practitioner may attain Buddhahood if these two characteristics have been practiced and will have obtained their realization assurance in its entirety.

Chapter III: Light and Its Colors

Light, in the view of hippies and persons who like curiosities, seems to be a very rare and holy thing. Nevertheless, light is of many different kinds and comes from many different sources. Some kinds are from disease, others from evils, some from bad karmas, while others are from practical samadhi. One must realize at the outset that even an insect has light. In bioluminescent science, we read that shrimp, jellyfish,

combjellies, mollusks, protozoans and dinoflagellates among other creatures all have light. They are all luminescent organisms. So why should there not be light from human beings? And even more so from holy beings such as Avalokitesvara, the Mahabodhisattva who is said to be an old Buddha but who for the salvation of sentient beings, assumes the appearance of a Bodhisattva. This chapter will not deal with discrimination among all the kinds of light, which has already been described in my work Discrimination Between Buddhist and Hindu Tantras. Here I will only point out what kind of light and its color should occur when one practices a given section of this Avalokitesvara ritual.

A. The Light of Sunyata


Sunyata's light source is from the static samadhi of nature or truth. It is just like the autumn sky, clear blue in color without any part hidden by clouds. Thus it was taught in the Tantra. In my own experience and as the ancient sages said, the sky is only the zenith and not the total light of Sunyata. I would like to add some descriptions to make this more vivid! It is not only the zenith, but also the nadir; it is not only from China to Peru but from Hell to the Pure Land of Buddhahood. It is not just an object seen by the subject, but also includes the subject, without a see-er or a thing to be seen. It is like a ball without a surface. But through the repetition of this ritual alone as common lamas and laymen have done, one cannot obtain the light called the Everlasting Silent Light or Dharmakaya.

The former name concerns the Pure Land, the latter concerns the Kaya. Since the Buddha has no differentiated concept of objectivity and subjectivity in the Dharmakaya sense, so this light deserves both of these names. Nonetheless, as the ritual belongs to the Tantra which is a doctrine taught in the position of Consequence of the Sambhogakaya, every experience may be foretold by the practitioner. After completing the practice of the evolutional and the integral yogas, it will be possible to realize this light concretely and fruitfully.

B. The Light of HUM (Bk074 hum 5.jpg)

HUM contains five parts, each of which denotes one of the five wisdoms and one of the five elements. Each has its light of a certain color. They are, in order: first, blue or white; second, white or blue; third, yellow; fourth, red; fifth, green or black. In the lower three Tantras, they usually teach about two sources or seeds. One is called the central source or seed. Whenever the Yidam of the central seed is practiced, the central color is white. Hence blue and white may be interchanged. In the Anuttara Tantra there is more transposition than in the lower yogic Tantra of Japan. Among the five parts or departments, any one may be the center as the Yidam and the other four may be the four retainers of the Yidam. Suppose you take the Amitabha Buddhas as a Yidam; then, the center is red and the western one should be blue. The other three departments are in the usual colors as mentioned above.

Tibetan transcription of HUM (Bk074 hum.jpg)

Readers may ask how the other four colors may be produced from the Sunyata color of white or blue. This is quite scientific and has been proven by investigators. Scientists use Newton's disk to demonstrate the colors of the sun. It can be clearly seen when the instrument is rotating rapidly that the sun light is white, but when it is standing still, its seven colors are separately distinct and apparent. It all depends upon the speed. Scientists say that light travels faster than sound, which is why we see lightning before hearing the thunder. But scientists never studied the speed of thought or wisdom which, in Buddhism, is faster than any other thing.

This the great Yogi Milarepa showed us, when an outsider requested him to compete in a race to the summit of a mountain in the Himalayas. Milarepa needed only a thought to get there; he arrived at the very moment that he actually thought of the tip of the peak. Every sage is called a Walker of the Sunyata Nature. When he is in a static samadhi, the light is blue; when he is in a dynamic samadhi of the Sunyata condition, the lights may be different from one another in accordance with his function in salvation. Both are Sunyata; both may be exchanged.

Again, according to science, light consists of electromagnetic radiations of various wave-lengths in vibration, and if a beam of light is refracted through a prism, it can be spread out into a spectrum with each color corresponding to a particular wave-length. At the long wave-length end of the spectrum is the red and yellow radiation; at the short wave-length are the yellow-green, green, blue-green and blue hues. Purples are a mixture of radiations from both ends of the spectrum (ultra-violet is short). When the surface of an object is illuminated by white light, some parts of the spectrum are absorbed, depending on the molecular structure of the surface material and the dyes or pigments which may have been applied to it. Thus, a red surface will absorb the light of the long wave-length end. Colors vary in brightness or luminosity of hue and in the saturation, i.e., in the extent to which they are admixed with white.

Science also admits that color is a quality of visual sensation but that it does not know what transpires in the mind of an observer when he perceives a color.

Here one must recognize the Prism in the Buddhist sense as the Sunyata in the triangle form with three dimensions. It denotes the three liberations: non-born, non-will and non-form. All three are characteristics of Sunyata. The absorption is the samadhi of Sunyata. The wave-length whether long or short, denotes the degree of Sunyata realization by the practitioner. Scientists only understand light in the material, physical sense, or else as the emotional impact identified and observed when different colors are exhibited, as in psychology. Only in Tantric Buddhism are the identical nature of the mental and the material sphere emphasized. Hence, light and its color are described in a psycho-physical way. It is more true and more integrated than in science.

Again, science says electromagnetic wave radiations are caused by a change in the state of the atom at the source, and heating is the usual method of exciting a substance to produce light radiation. But the Holy Wisdom Light is from the Sunyata samadhi which is non-atomic, and the {{Wiki|psychophysical]] Holy Wisdom Light is excited by the Tummo, or wisdom-fire, which is also produced in the samadhi of the identification of wisdom, deep breathing, and the Sunyata meditation. Science never realized this. However, in the Munsell color system, the psycho-physical significance concerning perception of various saturated colors is mentioned but not the Wisdom of Sunyata. So the former is a kind of human psychology in a system of Karmic ignorance and the latter is a system of non-egoism whose wisdom is quite different from any science.

One may ask again, why has the Munsell color system listed 267 colors, but in Buddhist Tantra there are only the five mentioned before?

It is because the Buddhist philosophy consists of five elements and five wisdoms, and the Tantric body contains five energies and five chakras and five is the auspicious number for nearly everything in the Dharma. The primary colors in Buddhism are five, but the secondary colors are many, many more than the primary ones, and so variegated colors may be even more numerous than the secondary ones.

They will occur in the mandala or in the Sambhogakaya and only be supernatural powers. For practice, the five primary colors are necessary. Just because we practice the ritual of the five Dhyani Buddhas or five Herukas, it does not mean that there are only five Buddhas or Herukas. In the Tibetan Book of the Dead 100 Buddhas are mentioned and in Mahayana doctrine there is the Thousand-Buddha-Names Sutra. In fact, Buddhas are numberless. Color or light is the same. Yet for the expedience and convenience of the practice, five colors are emphasized, even by outsiders.


Furthermore, the reaction of a human to a certain color has no reliable predictability. Thus, the Karma of human beings all differ, but the true meaning and the fruitful functions of the Holy Light are certain, and are never confounded and confused.

Many scientists have attempted to describe what happens when a color is seen, but they all disagree with one another. Goldstein (1942), Gerad (1957), Merleau Pontry (1962) and Ott (1968) all have different opinions. Many experiments have been conducted and a number of theories published. Basically, each person differs in his view of life and of the universe from all others. Someone who is pessimistic likes deep, dark colors such as blue, black and deep green, and he appears depressed. Others who are optimists prefer light colors such as pale yellow, white, pink and light green, and they hold their heads high in the clouds. The same red which to the Communists seems to be the face of a fighter, seems to the victims who have suffered at their hands to be bloody and cruel. Both the flags of Red China and Free China have the color red in them. The Formosans call the Reds' flag one of blood and rancidity and consider their own a flag of blue sky, white sun and red firecrackers exploding fully upon the earth, one of freedom and joy.

The same yellow which, to those who have hang-ups, seems to have sexual connotations, or is intended derisively as in "yellow journalism," seems to Hinayana Buddhist monks to be very noble and holy, and this is why the Bhiskhsu of Ceylon wear yellow robes.

Black seems to sinful persons to be secretive, hence "black market" in money and goods. Those who like opium usually keep their rooms in darkness and only utilize the light of a small lamp for their smoking. And this is why it is written in the New Testament, John III:19, "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." But to those protected, holy beings, black seems to symbolize unchangeable chastity, which is why many protectors such as Mahakala are depicted black in color. This is also why Francis Bacon said, "All colors will agree in darkness." Put any other color on black, it will be black as well. Every other color can be placed against black and changed into black, but never the reverse. Hence black has the nature of the diamond, which is a simile of the vajra, and the vajra is the Sunyata's metaphor.

Each person's karma is like a pair of spectacles. They may be green or black or white, but through them everything viewed has the same color. No matter what the color of the thing viewed, whether it be white or black, if the lenses of the spectacles are black, and the thing's color is white, then it will appear black also. Hence, color in the view of human beings is subjective rather than objective. This is why John Greenleaf Whittier wrote:

    The tissue of the life to be
    We weave with colors all our own.
    And in the field of Destiny
    We reap what we have sown.
    And Nathalia Crane wrote:
    Once a pallid Vestal
    Doubted truth in blue;
    Listed red in ruin,
    Harried every hue.

However, the Buddhist view of light is quite different from that of human beings. One has to destroy one's subjectivity which is egoism. As W. W. Merwin said, "No one is a light unto himself, not even the sun." "The best way to see divine light is to put out thine own candle," as Thomas Fuller so strongly insisted.

Since Buddha Gautama received the full Enlightenment he has experienced all kinds of light without subjectivity. He taught us the function and dedications in the certainty of objective truth. Even though such objectivity is not really opposite to the subjectivity, there is no remaining egoism of subjectivity with its subtle pollution. Thus, all kinds of Buddhist holy lights conform in nature or truth without differences appearing among the karmas of individuals, as is so frequently the case in ordinary human beings.

Avalokiteshvara Ella.jpg

Each human being has his own karma, his own habits, his own sensations and his own emotions, all of which arise from egoism and ignorance, and which are reflected in his own feelings of color. Someone may suggest that green is freshness, while others feel that it is envy and jealously. Someone may suggest white is purity while others feel that it denotes death. Most Easterners wear everything entirely white when one of their parents dies, but in the West, black clothing is used to show lamentation. Some persons feel that yellow stands for cowardice and fear, while others feel that yellow symbolizes happiness.

Nevertheless, Buddhists who have followed the Dharma and are not controlled by their karmas of past lives have the right view of light and color based on the philosophy of Buddhist Tantra. Their reflections on color are always the same as each other's and will always be identical with the teaching of the Sambhogakaya who has personally experienced it in his Consequence position.

In the following statement I shall deal with the colors which should be visualized in accordance with all the sections of the ritual, from II to XIII.

C. Section II and its Light

When Sunyata in nature has been meditated upon, it is blue as I have previously said. After Sunyata in condition arises, five primary colors of light will be illuminated. As all persons and all things are mutually illuminated, these five colors are interwoven and identical, not only in horizontal space, but also in vertical position. Hence the five colors do not only become secondary but also become numberless and variegated, even more than the 267 colors identified by scientists. To know the principle of the mutual penetration of light is more important than to know each color of a person or thing. Hence before explaining the color of person or thing in each section of this ritual, I must introduce the reason for the principle of penetration and interconnection of the light:

1. Because all persons or things mentioned in the ritual are manifested from the same source of Tathagatagarbha, or the non-egoism of Sunyata, all lights can be penetrated and interconnected with one another without any obstacle.
2. Because all persons, beings or things have no self-centered ignorance, all the lights move freely in the ultimate truth.
3. Because the causes and conditions of every Dharma are interdependent and interrelated, all the lights are correlated and harmonized.
4. Because every Buddha-nature and Dharma is possessed in common by all, so all lights have similar liability.
5. Because the mandala is said to be a holy magic Mayal its lights are of the holy truth and can be molded in any color without restraint.
6. Because the mandala and the holy beings who live within it are as a shadow in the mirror of truth, their light may shine in any way.
7. As the holy Enlightenment is the result of all holy lights which are known to be limitless, no kind of light is hidden; they all cooperate to form a harmonious whole which cannot be separated by either cause or effect. They are in one truth of Sunyata. It is said in a Chinese phrase, "Cause includes the source of all effects; effect covers the ocean of all causes." Hence the primary color contains the variegated colors; variegated colors reflect the primary colors.
8. Because the realizational assurance of Buddha light is ultimate and is all in One, the transformation of all kinds of light is at his own will.
9. Because the Tantric functions of a Yidam are from supernatural power, the transformation of light is at his own will.
10. Because the supernatural power is not only the previous five but also the last which is called Arravaksayajnana without vicious propensities, so the transformation of holy light is quite free.

The reader who has understood all these reasons and principles may then visualize each of the following mentioned lights in every section. He may always keep it under these principles and will not hold each color as an independent one. Regarding the kind of color that should be visualized in each being or thing, it is easy to point out as below:

a. The crossed vajra has five colors as follows: blue in the center; white in the quarter which points to the east which is in front of the Yidam regardless of the direction on the world or earth; yellow in the quarter which points south and which is situated on the right side of the Yidam; red in the quarter situated to the rear of the Yidam; and green in the quarter toward the north, which is situated on the left side of the Yidam.
b. The walls = colors: Around the outside of the walls there are five elements; the space element is blue; the water element is white; the earth element is yellow; and the wind element is green. The flame walls are red, the skull walls are white, the lotus walls are white and the vajra walls are yellow or five colors.
c. The floor of the mandala, which is made up of different jewels, are of their own indicative colors such as, in the center, it is made of a jewel blue in color, Sapphire or Turquoise. On the eastern side, it is made of silver or crystal or pearls or cowries of white color. On the southern side it is made of gold or amber, yellow in color. On the western side, it is made of agate or coral or ruby, red in color. On the northern side, it is made of jade or emerald or beryl, of a green color.

D. The Yidam's Light


White Avalokitesvara is white in color; Red Avalokitesvara is red. Both have the Precious Crown with the five heads of the Dhyani Buddhas. They are, in order, blue, white, yellow, red and green in color.

White Avalokitesvara is a Yidam of the Yogic Tantra, inside whose body one should visualize a lotus-like cakra or wheel in his heart. The lotus is white or variegated in color; on the lotus there is a moon in white or light blue, and on the moon there is the bija (seed word) HSI in a white or red color. Around the edge of the moon, there are the six alphabet-character symbols of the incantation which are in order: white, blue, variegated, yellow, red and green in color.

While the Red Avalokitesvara is a Yidam usually practiced in the course of Anuttara Tantra, some gurus may also favor a ritual of Red Avalokitesvara in the course of Yogic Tantra as a path for those who have been initiated into the Anuttara Tantra but seem too immature to actually practice the methods of the second and third initiations, as Part I. Inside the Red one's body, the light is as the White one, but the incantation is in ten alphabet syllables. In the first four alphabet syllables OM is white, AH is red, HUM is blue and HRI is red. If here we want to know the lights of the Red Avalokitesvara in a body of the second initiation, then we should visualize: a white light in his head chakra; red, throat; blue, heart; yellow, navel; and green, private parts cakra. In the three main nadis: the right one is red; left, white; while the Median one is both white outside and red inside. The small cakras: in the right arm are all white; right leg, yellow; in the left leg, red; and in the left arm, all green. In the ten fingers and ten toes each with three small cakras, each is white, red, and blue, in order, from the root to the tip.

Tibetan transcription of HSI (Bk074 hri.png)

E. The Lights of the Seven-Offerings

The two kinds of water are both white; flowers, red; incense, yellow; lamp or light, blue; perfume for the skin, yellow or green; food, white for vegetables and red denoting meat. The food offerings are usually called the three sweets and the three whites. Of these sweets, sugar is white; brown sugar, brown; honey is yellow. Butter, milk, and cheese are all white.

Outward offerings are of variegated colors which are offered to the Nirmanakaya. Inward offerings are meat of a red color and brandy of yellow color which are offerings to the Nirmanakayas who are not vegetarians. Secret offerings are in five colors which come from the Lotus and Vajra of the Heruka bodies and are offered to the Sambhogakaya. The most secret offering is the Everlasting-and-Silent Light, light blue or white in color, like the autumn sky, and which is offered to the Dharmakaya.

Regarding the music: the seven fundamental notes and their pitches also have their seven colors just as in Newton's disk: Do is red; Re is orange; Mi, yellow; Fa, green; Sol, blue; La, indigo; Ti, violet. Hence, one song may reflect these seven colors many times.

F. The Light of Returning to the Sunyata in Section XII

It is the same as the light of Sunyata in Section I. Just like Newton's disk, when the Sunyata is accomplished, wisdom is in the full Enlightenment and, traveling at the speed of light, it arrives in its full extent. On the surface there is only white or blue light as the autumn sky, but all those seven colors have been absorbed into this final color, white. In Section I, the Sunyata emanated from the worldly, evil, karmas, persons and things, and their colors are also variegated in seven or five different colors, but all are mixed with black. The second time Sunyata returns from a holy mandala and holy beings and holy things, and then the variegated colors are very bright and pure. G. In Section XIII the lights reappear for the second time from the Sunyata. They are the same as in all the previous sections mentioned but much purer and brighter than before, like silver cleaned of tarnish; much whiter than before. The appearance of the Yidam and mandala are also much clearer and cleaner, and function in the work of salvation more conveniently and with more freedom.

All above-mentioned lights and their colors, in all the sections, form a harmonious and interconnected union. So the Dharmadhatu is like the transparent crystal ball. Its six cardinal parts, east, south, west, north, zenith and nadir, are like six mirrors. The lights and their colors shine from every person, everything, and every activity in the mandala. They have multiple beams in the seven-color group or in the primary color group, which I have pointed out in every section. Now the manifold group of light and its color shine up from the east, are then reflected in the west and, at the same time, introduce the light and its western color into the east. The total light of these two cardinal points then shines over to the south and induces the lights of the south to come into the north; thus the lights of the four directions illuminate one another. Their colors are not only the primary ones but also become secondary ones and also become again variegated ones. >From the totality of these four directions, lights shine up to the zenith and induce those lights to shine around the four directions; the colored lights then shine down at the nadir, and from zenith and nadir they become even more multiplied and their hues become infinitely more varied, not only 267 hues as the scientists say.

We always talk about full Enlightenment, a word with the root "light" but one who can really realize such a perfect and interconnected prevailing light will be approaching Full Enlightenment without question.

Chapter IV: Summary of the Commentary

Usually a commentary is just the explaining of some terms, definitions, pronunciations and concordance. This one is different. I want to point out all of the background in philosophy and Tantric techniques on which the ritual practice is based.

Tantra is a kind of yoga, which means it unites the philosophy with the practice in order to make the abstract theory become concrete realization and reach the final goal of Buddhahood.

I have explained all the terms and visualizations and incantations. The one called "One Hundred Word Incantation" was purposely omitted in the earlier explanation as I plan to conclude this commentary with a summary of all the principles and philosophy in this chapter.

A. First of all, let me explain the Incantation of One Hundred Words. It is an incantation of Vajrasattva, both a proper and a common name for all Bodhisattvas. For the four foundations practice, this incantation belongs to the proper Vajrasattva and not to the other Bodhisattvas. Since this ritual belongs to the great ancient Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, the names in this incantation are not of Vajrasattva but Avalokitesvara. The name has not been changed in some rituals, but it is not wrong, because every Yidam is a Vajrasattva and Vajrasattva is a common name for every Tantric Heruka. If it is exchanged with the Yidam's name especially in this ritual, it will be more effective and inspirational.

I have given the whole incantation in Section IX of the ritual with each sentence numbered. I will now give a commentary on each sentence.

1. OM AVALOKITESVARA SAMAYA; calling his name and samaya. Here samaya means his vow, his will or his vinaya. Whenever one's name is called, his noble personality is completely connected with and inspired; whenever the Yidam's samaya is requested and appreciated by anyone, his vows will come into action and his volitions will be carried out to the goal. His vinayas will be preserved in accordance with his real tradition, without change. If you call his name and not call his samaya, he may come to you but not really help you; if you call both, he has to help you as his will has been called simultaneously. It is just like when you call the name of your love, she will come to you; but if you said to her, "Do you remember that when we met the first time, you said > Love me little but love me long? = " (samaya) she will remember it and immediately embrace you and kiss you! We love our Yidam and it should be like this; he is always keeping his samaya and helping us. There is no question about it.

2. MANUPALAYA. Please let me not forget my pure nature, or with your samaya, please keep me in the pure nature C Sunyata. This is connected to the first section of Sunyata visualization. When one is in the Sunyata nature, he is preserved by the Yidam. He is the same entity as the Yidam. He will never be forgotten by the Yidam. He and his yidam are one.


3. AVALOKITESVARA TVENOPATISTA. Please bestow upon me Vajrasattvahood. Here Vajrasattvahood means the Vidyadhara who is the guru of the five Dhyani Buddhas. This is a kind of Bodhicitta and one must develop it before any practice is carried on. To save every sentient being, one has to become a Buddha who is able to do all the holy karmas of salvation. Usually the four infinite Bodhicittas (catvari apramanani) are mentioned in some rituals before the second section of visualization of the mandala. But this ritual is written for the participant who has already practiced the four infinite Bodhicitta and so it has been omitted. It is said that the One Hundred Words Incantation may be employed to complement any kind of shortage in any ritual.

4. DRITHO ME BHAVA. Please make my Sunyata nature firm. This obviously pointed out the Sunyata by which one should steadfastly abide. All the following visualizations in this ritual are like many stories of a building built upon the rock that is Sunyata.

5. SUTOSYA ME BHAVA. Please help me with yogic enjoyment. This is connected to the Third Initiation of Vajra Love, which is the secret practice of the Red Avalokitesvara. Nevertheless, in the White Avalokitesvara, the great identification of Sunyata with compassion is also a kind of yogic enjoyment.

6. SUPOSYA ME BHAVA. Please let me not depart from my Sunyata nature. Which is to say that, even in the great joy, one may still keep his Sunyata nature. Milarepa's secret instruction in Vajra Love emphasizes, "Enjoy the Sunyata when pleasure arises and enjoy the pleasure when Sunyata arises!" Here, although we only talk about the visualization, we should keep the Sunyata nature when we visualize something which is the Sunyata condition and keep the visualization when we think of the Sunyata. This kind of identification is in the thirteenth section of the reappearance.

Regarding the identity of Sunyata and the Great Compassion, I have to explain it in a little more detail because of its extreme importance which has influenced the full Enlightenment of every past Buddha and is emphasized by all the ancient sages.

One's full Enlightenment is hidden by sins. Actually everyone who is a human being is more or less sinful when he departs from the Sunyata nature. The cause of sin is simply abandoning the Sunyata nature instead of maintaining it; one has committed the sorrow of ignorance which centralizes one's ego and so performs evil deeds which harm others. By awareness of the danger in departing from the Sunyata nature, one will never sin. When one is in the Sunyata nature, he has no ego; what need has he to sin? When one's ego is abolished there is no one else; who does he need to harm? ! This is also the source of the Great Compassion due to the Sunyata nature entity of all beings from which in one awakens the Great Compassion of the same entity. Who will harm his leg with his own hands? Here is also the source of the Great Compassion of non-condition. It is not like the husband who loves only his wife. When every being is in one body there is no other special condition. One would not say, "My eyes belong to me, but my nose belongs to somebody else." As we are all parts of the same body, we should love it. The Sunyata nature is the same body as the ten Dharmadhatus which is a term even more vast than "universe" or "cosmos."

It is said that one practices the Sunyata until its full realization when one may meet the Great Compassion; one practices the Great Compassion until its full realization when one may meet the Sunyata. A famous story was repeated by my guru Nen-Tin of the Gelugpa School which is worthy of introduction here. A lama was once very fixed in his special habit of practicing the Great Compassion. He chose, therefore, to take Avalokitesvara as his Yidam. After many years of practice, he still had not comprehended the deep right-view of the Sunyata. While he was preparing a wooden block used in the ritual of Avalokitesvara, he thought of his lack of wisdom. With tears in his eyes, he vowed to Avalokitesvara, "If I will at last comprehend the Sunyata, when I throw the block up it will remain in the air; if not, it will fall down." No sooner said than done and he threw the block up. Immediately the block was received by Manjusri. The lama was consoled by him: "Avalokitesvara and I are one; Great Compassion is always identical with Sunyata and you will soon comprehend it." Therefore the lama eventually saw the Sunyata nature.

When I heard this story, I could not but weep for a long time. Now I remember it and, writing it down, I still weep for the immediate inspiration that the lama received. In our common English language, we "know no egoism" in Sunyata and the phrase Altruism is the great compassion; both have the same characteristics. They are just like two sides of one piece of paper. When one is able to be non-egoistic, he is also able to be altruistic. The former is the Sunyata and the latter is the Great Compassion; they are identical.

Talking about the identicalness of Sunyata and compassion is easy, but obtaining the full realization of this is very difficult. The reader is advised to refer to my book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical, pages 212 -216 in the first and second editions where there is a diagram with explanations. Some of my experiences may be found there.

7. ANURAKTO ME BHAVA. May I not be without the nature of pleasure. Here the nature of pleasure is Sunyata; the pleasure itself is a kind of Sunyata condition. In the sixth sentence, one should not depart from the Sunyata which is concerning the Sunyata nature and the seventh sentence concerns Sunyata condition. Both must be identified with each other as Milarepa instructed. Generally speaking, every condition should be united with the nature of Sunyata, especially the Third Initiation and its practice of Vajra love in the Red Avalokitesvara doctrines. The Sunyata is master in that practice.

8. SARVA SIDDHI ME PRAYACCHI. Please bestow full achievement on me. This is connecting all the good karmas of salvation. It covers all the practices in the ritual. In addition to the achievement of Sunyata nature, all the other sections are directly or indirectly concerned with the Great Compassion. Although the practitioner is doing the work of the ritual, all the work is united with and turned to every sentient being. I worship for sentient beings; I make offerings for sentient beings; I repeat for sentient beings; I confess for sentient beings; I praise Buddha or a Yidam for sentient beings. When all the sections are performed, one should turn over the merits entirely to all sentient beings. Such great compassion would be achieved through these prayer words.


9. SARVA KARMA SUCA ME. Please give me the freedom of every good karma. When one leaves his meditative seat and becomes a yidam appearing vividly in daily life, one actually connects every relative, friend, kinsman and family member, with all of society and helps them in every kind of good karma. One should do as a Yidam does, speak as a Yidam speaks and think as a Yidam thinks. There is no obstacle of selfishness or ignorance to one's good karma. The practitioner has the freedom of good merits; this is the incantation's implication.

10. CITTAM SREYAH KURU HUM. Please give me the great boldness of the auspicious mind. This is also a request for the most important Bodhicitta containing the boldness with which the great compassion may be carried on, in either the course of this ritual or in daily life. Why has one timidity? When a good karma should be performed, he lets "I dare not" wait upon "I would" because he is vulgar? Because he has ego and selfishness. He has desires which center upon his ego. Therefore he fears losing whatever he desires. He is out of the Sunyata. When one is in the Sunyata, he discards his ego, thereupon cutting off his desires. He thus becomes bold, courageous as a lion, bold as brass; he is a Vajrasattva who is able to do every good karma for every sentient being. This is why in Tibetan Buddhism all the male Bodhisattvas are called Bold Father and all the females Bold Mother. Boldness is mandatory in every practitioner, especially in this Kali age with its many demons.

11. HA HA HA HA HO. Please lead me to get the five wisdoms and their functions. The Sanskrit "HA" has a meaning that the cause of everything or person is unattainable. These five HA (the last one, HO, also contains the root of HA) denote the five wisdoms of Sunyata. All the practices in this ritual are connected with the five wisdoms. A basic outline of the functions of the five wisdoms practiced in this whole ritual is as follows:

a. The Sunyata in Section I and that in Section XII (Return to the Sunyata) are all of the first wisdom C Dharmadhatu Prakrti Jnana, which means the wisdom of the unity of the universe.
b. The light and its color appearing in all the parts and actions in the course of the ritual are of Adarsana Jnana which means the wisdom of the great and round mirror.
c. The initiation in Section IV and the mantra visualization in Section VIII both demonstrate the quality of the personalities. The former shows the equality between the Yidam in the causal position and that of consequence, while the latter shows the equality between the practitioner's Yidam and the sentient beings' Yidam. So it connects the Samata Jnana which means the wisdom of equality.
d. All the visualizations in each of the sections are united with the Pratyaveksana Jnana which means the wisdom of wonderful insight. One must know that the visualization is not like seeing things only with the flesh eyes of a sentient being but with the five complete kinds of eyes. This is the wisdom in the profound Buddhist philosophy of Sunyata, and not of just the thoughts of human consciousness. The five kinds of eyes are: (1) Flesh eyes C of sentient beings. (2) Heavenly eyes C of Heaven's Gods and Angels. (3) Wisdom eyes C of Arhats. (4) Dharma eyes C of Bodhisattvas. (5) Buddha eyes C of Buddha.
e. All the actions such as worship and offering performed in Sections VI and X and praise in Sections VII and XI are connected with the Krtyanusthana Jnana. This means the wisdom of perfecting the double work of self-welfare and the welfare of others. Regarding real acts in daily life, as Section XIII emphasizes, an act of a Yidam should be done exactly in accordance with the Krityanusthana jnana. That is why Tantra is a doctrine of the consequence position. A Tantric practitioner should not think again that he is still a vulgar human being.

The above statements from a to e outline the five wisdoms but eventually the five wisdoms cannot be so finely divided. They are One and derived from the Sunyata. One must practice Sunyata meditation until realization is attained; the five wisdoms will then be achieved and their functions will be carried on.

12. BHAGAVAN AVALOKITESVARA MA ME MUNCA: All Tathagatas and Avalokitesvara, do not exclude me from your great Karma. This is the very sentence which implies the function of confession and redemption. It is said that to confess and be redeemed, one should repeat the One Hundred Word Incantation. Still, the whole incantation is not only for confession and redemption, as I have explained previously. There is great danger in this sentence, but little implication of that is conveyed. Therefore I must point out the danger. Our falling into the state of a human being or some other type of sentient being is caused by and started at the moment of leaving the great Karma of the Holy Buddhas and Bodhisattavas. The perpetual transmigration will not cease until we return to the great Karma of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. When we are accepted or delivered by them, our sins are redeemed, our nature is recovered, our Sunyata is united and our great compassion will flourish. Hence, to suffer a lot is to leave; to achieve a lot is to return; what an important thing it is! I usually repeat this sentence with keen awareness and many tears. I always think of this simile: If my mother blamed me or struck me, I might suffer and bear it; but if my mother left me and we never met again, I would be much sadder than at any other punishment. So, please my dear readers, do not repeat it just as some wind passing between your two lips, but think about it, be aware of it, call attention to it.

13. AVALOKITESVARA BHAVA. Or depart from your nature of Vajra. Here nature of Vajra means the Sunyata. One is easily prone to depart from the Sunyata in the vulgar position of a human being which was why the first section of Sunyata practice was performed. Again, one may also depart from the nature of Vajra when many good karmas are conducted in a prejudicial manner which is why returning to the Sunyata is practiced in Section XII of this ritual.

14. MAHA SAMAYASATVA. Let me abide in the deep Samadhi of the great Sunyata. Usually the ritual requires that the practitioner practice the great symbol meditation after he is returning to the Sunyata nature. This kind of meditation is a kind of deep samadhi directly uniting the Dharmakaya light. Hence, both the lights shine separately in each section of the visualization, and the primary, permanent and quiet light of Dharmakaya in the sections of Sunyata are connected with this incantation.

15. AH HUM PHAT. Please favor me with the Sunyata nature "AH" and bless me with the function of great compassion "HUM", and subdue the demons "PHAT". These last three syllables have three functions as mentioned above. Hence the incantation may sometimes end at the first word AH, when one is practicing the meditation of Sunyata samadhi. Sometimes one is saving somebody and then it may end at the second word HUM. While one is subduing a demon or devil or Sata, one uses the third word in a loud voice to kill or dismiss the demon. When the One Hundred Word Incantation is repeated as one of the four foundations, it ends on the first syllable AH because every sin may be purified by the AH which is the seed of Sunyata.

B. Now I shall comment on the meaning or purport of this incantation as emphasized in Yogic Tantra which is now still flourishing in Japan's Koyasan Tantric University. I received this explanation from yogic Tantric guru, Ven. Great Upasaka and the great Acarya of T'ang Tantra or Japanese Tantra, Feng Ta'An. This incantation is divided into seven parts. Each of the first five parts is connected to one of the five divisions of five Dhyani Buddhas or five departments.


1. The first part C from first to fourth sentence. This belongs to the Buddha department which the practitioner requests for the blessing of abiding steadfastly in the Sunyata samadhi.

2. The second part, fifth and sixth sentence. This belongs to the Vajra department from which the practitioner requests the blessing of getting pleasure or enjoyment. If it is repeated on the occasion of the third initiation, it denotes the pleasure of vajra love. It remains undreamed of by a yogic Tantricist who has not yet been taught the third great initiation.

3. The third part is the eighth sentence which is repeated as the seventh sentence, differing from the gradation in Tibet. It belongs to the Mani department from which the practitioner requests the blessing of getting the supreme Mani or Gem or Rinpoche or the Vajra, the secret reproductive organ in the sense of the third initiation of Tibetan Anuttara Yoga.

4. The fourth part is the seventh sentence; they recite it as the eighth. It belongs in the Lotus department from which one requests the wonderful and beautiful form or object or in the third initiation sense, the young and pretty Dakini.

5. The fifth part is the ninth sentence. It belongs to the Karma department from which one requests the blessing of achievement in every kind of good Karma of salvation.

6. The sixth part is the tenth sentence. It belongs to the totality of the entity of the five departments which is the great auspicious samadhi from which one requests the boldness of the vajra-mind.

7. The seventh part is from the eleventh to the last (the fifteenth) sentence and which is the final realization from which one requests the samadhi of the Yidam who is the embodiment of the union of Sunyata and Great Compassion.

Hence, in Japanese yogic doctrine, the One Hundred Word Incantation is a practice of Yidam and has not any idea of confession. But in Tibetan Anuttara Tantra, it is only a foundation for confession. He who has learned yogic doctrine, whether in Tibet or in Japan does know the importance of this incantation, but usually most of the Tibetan scholars or lamas have ignored the Yogic Tantra and learn directly from the Anuttara Yoga. I bring this to their attention.

C. To summarize the functions of this incantation, three things should be mentioned.

1. The function of confession, which the Japanese Tantricists should recognize. I have previously pointed out the meaning concerning the confession.

2. The function of the blessings in the five Buddha departments; Tibetan lamas should take note of this.

3. The function of complement to every kind of ritual and practice. Any shortage or regret or error can be compensated for, completed or redeemed by it. This was always practiced by lamas.

D. Now I use it as a summary to this commentary which may be a new function in my work.

The intention concerning the four yogas of this ritual and the extension to its lower practical course and its higher practical course will be dealt with in the following paragraphs.

The Vajrayana is divided into four yogas: Kriya, Carya, Yogic and Anuttara Yoga. Which yoga does this ritual belong to? Does it belong only to Yogic yoga and have nothing to do with the other three yogas? No!

There are two traditional ways to practice the whole system of Tantra (four yogas). One is the Japanese way which follows the Chinese T'ang Dynasty Tantra imparted by the three very well known great yogis, Subha Karasimha, Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra. They practiced them one by one, discretely, without confusion. The other is the Tibetan way; most of their rituals attempt to include all four yogas in one single ritual.

Now let me point out all the four yogas in this ritual.

1. Kriya Yoga: Before one practices this ritual at his meditation seat, he has to prepare all kinds of offerings, worship the yidam at the altar, and make some food with Tzampa and butter, burn some incense and light the lamps. This is the Kriya Yoga which means to serve the Buddhas. In Japanese there is a doctrine named "18 Ways to Serve Buddha" and each way has its own special mantra, mudra, and Vipasyana (or incantation, gesture, and visualization) and each is preserved very carefully. These 18 ways are mentioned in my Booklet "A Short Dictionary of Tibetan-English Buddhist Terms, Exoteric and Esoteric, Part II." These 18 ways are also available in Tibetan translation, but they have not been taken into account in practice. The Japanese, however, emphasize "The three esoterics in one communion." The gestures of the body, the speech in the incantation, and the visualization of the mind should all work together in order to establish communication between the Buddhas and the practitioner. It is advisable for Tibetan lamas and believers to follow the Japanese' good example.

2. Carya Yoga: The repetition of the incantation belongs to Carya Yoga. It should be done with the six nobilities, to wit: a) Victorious signification which is the visualization of Sunyata. b) Voice nobility, that is the truth of voice as a sign of the AH [ ] which is the mother of every voice. AH means "Not born," a term with the same idea as Sunyata. c) Word nobility, that is that each syllable of the incantation has the Sunyata significance. d) Color nobility; this is the color of the incantation and its shining light. e) Mudra nobility, each incantation is accompanied by a gesture, in the three lower orders in Japan, but the Tibetans have some which are different, unlike the Japanese, which are very carefully preserved and practiced. f) Image or Yidam nobility; this means one should repeat it with a yidam's heart. This condition was sometimes ignored by the Japanese and this is why their Patriarch Kung-Hai said one should think of himself as a Yidam. In Tibet, however, all lamas who learn the Anuttara Yoga do know that to practice the Evolutional Yoga is to transform oneself into a Yidam personality.


3. Yogic Yoga: The Yogic yoga divided all the doctrines of Tantra into two great parts; one being Garbhadhatus, the womb cosmos, the other is Vajradhatu, Diamond cosmos. Up to this yoga in Anuttara yoga, the doctrines are divided into Mother Tantra and Father Tantra which are based upon the same division of the Yogic yoga. These two Tantra again in Tibet are also known as the non-dual Tantra. The Yogic Yogi in Japan should practice both parts. But in Tibetan Anuttara Yoga, only one of them may be chosen. These two parts of yogic Tantra are neglected by the Tibetans, which is a pity. They actually have these parts of the doctrine, but take no account of them. Among these two great parts of the doctrine, in my experience, the five wheel pagoda meditation of the Garbhadhatu and the five form Buddha body meditation of the Vajradhatu should be practiced in order to make the foundation of evolutional yoga steadfast and fruitful. For this ritual, if one has practiced these two kinds of meditation, then the Mandala visualization connected with the five wheel pagoda and the Yidam visualization connected with the five form Buddha body meditation will achieve their realizations very easily. For the five form Buddha Body, please refer to my Booklet New No. 75, How to Transform a Human Body into a Buddha Body, Part I.

4. Anuttara Yoga: Most rituals especially made by Nyingmapa School sages mention the Maha Perfection; by Kargyupa School, mention the Mahamudra; but only the Gelugpa School reasonably wrote the words on the meditation in the section on returning to the Sunyata that during which one should meditate for some time. This is, of course, if the practitioner has not received the fourth great wong (initiation) or even if he did, but is not able to practice the mahamudra. When one returns to the Sunyata, he can only meditate on the Sunyata and not really maha perfection or mahamudra. Actually the Sunyata practiced by the Hinayana practitioner and that by the Mahayana practitioner and that by the one who knows Mahamudra and by the one who knows Maha-Perfection, or Ch'an, are quite different from one another. But Tsongkhapa emphasizes that the Sunyata practiced by different yanas is the same. I absolutely reject this and have written a long essay in Chinese to distinguish among them. This ritual belongs to yogic yoga, but not to Anuttara Yoga. Hence, Mahamudra and Maha-Perfection should not be mentioned, but to those who have learned Mahamudrad still use this ritual, this is a good opportunity of returning to the Sunyata to practice Mahamudra or Maha-Perfection.

This point has been confused even by well known scholars, such as the famous disciple of Milarepa, Gampopa, who mentioned the Mahamudra in the sixth Prajna Paramita in his publicized book The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, on page 216 as translated by Dr. Guenther. He also seemed to confuse the sixth Prajna Paramita with the Mahamudra. Once I wrote on this point and delivered my criticism to Dr. Guenther, but he did not say yes or no, in his reply. Further, some Tibetan scholars whose realization cannot compare with the great sage Gampopa's have written numerous Mahamudra books confounding and confusing it with the Sunyata meditation of Mahayana. I have written a thick volume in Chinese named The Subtle Discriminations and Criticisms on Tibetan Mahamudra Works, published in Hong Kong. In it those Tantric works which mix Mahayana Sunyata meditation, have been completely swept away from the pure and essential Mahamudra sphere. This Chinese book has been freely distributed also to many important libraries around the world. I hope some one will, some day, translate it into English for the Westerners, and Tibetans for their lamas.

I was asked by an American Upasaka, "Is there any book concentratedly dealing with the four yogas?" The above paragraph may clearly outline the four yogas. They are only on the classification of all yogas. No book written in one volume on the four yogas exists so far. I have read about this in Tibetan works. They are just like the classifications of world education, viz., primary school, secondary school (high school), college, and graduate school. There is no single book written for all education spanning 12 or 15 years.

E. The extension from this ritual to the lower practices and before one performs this ritual, concerning what kind of course one should practice or what should be given as complementary study, I shall introduce below.

From the contents of this ritual, we should know which are the lower ones which should be practiced before, and what should be complemented after one has started to practice this ritual.

1. From the first section we know Sunyata is the source of the mandala and Yidam. If you have not learned the six Prajna Paramita of Mahayana, you have to make a complementary practice according to Mahayana doctrine. In my book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical, there are many essential teachings you may refer to.

2. From Section II of the ritual, we know there are two times of Lotus visualizations. The first time is the great Lotus which is the foundation of the mandala; the second time it is the seat of the Yidam. Both have the symbolism of renunciation. One should learn this renunciation from Hinayana. My book and booklets may be referred to. Hippies emphasize dropping out, but if you do not learn Hinayana doctrine and practice renunciation, you are not really a drop-out. Those who have learned Hinayana doctrines but have not actually dropped out should be ashamed to meet those hippies; the ritual lotus visualizations will not happen in fact.

3. In Section VIII, when one visualizes the Dharani in his heart, think of the lotus on which there is a moon. This moon is said to be a symbol of our Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta practice is a very important course of Mahayana. If one has not practiced it in its whole system, especially the first three kinds of Bodhicitta, that is, Bodhicitta of Will or Vow, Bodhicitta of Conduct, and Bodhicitta of Victorious Significance, a detailed complementary practice should be made. Otherwise, this moon cannot appear in the heart as the ritual teaches. The ritual Bodhicitta pertains to the fourth Bodhicitta of Samadhi. Beyond this Bodhicitta there is the fifth Bodhicitta of Kunda, or of Red Bodhi and White Bodhi, which is an extension to its higher practice. Readers are advised to refer to my book entitled How to Develop the Bodhicitta. When one is skilled in such practice, he is able to develop the Great Compassion as well as such merit as the Yidam Avalokitesvara himself.


F. Regarding the extension of this ritual beyond its higher practices, this is introduced below. When one practices this ritual for at least three years, one may advance to the practice of the following doctrines and techniques of Anuttara Yoga.

1. The Evolutional Yoga which is pertaining to the first great initiation.

2. The integrated yoga or perfect yoga which belongs to the other three great initiations.

In the Kargyupa School, the Yidam of yogic yoga usually visualized is the white one, while the red one is practiced in the course of Anuttara Yoga in which there are four kinds of practice: outward practice, inward practice, secret practice and most secret practice. They correspond in order with the four great initiations.

The upper extension practice is not available in Japan which is why there were no highest attainment sages found there. But Tibet has many, many in her history. As for the worldly siddhis, the Japanese are much better than Tibetans because their lower three yogas have been seriously practiced. I hope both countries may know their deficiencies and make their complementary studies. This is my advice.

G. Usually Tibetan gurus do not give these two yogas of Anuttara Tantra to newly arrived Westerners. Those who never come at all to them will not receive such high teachings at all. In this case, the only way to learn them is through books.

1. My book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical, on pages 278-287 of the first and second editions, deals with the Evolutional Yoga.

2. Pages 287 -316 in the same book deals with the Integrated Yoga.

3. The book Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, edited by my late friend Dr. Evans-Wentz is useful. Read only the text and leave out the doctor's explanation.

Certainly and especially to learn Tantra a personal guru is a crying need and a long-felt void. But so vast is the globe and so few are the gurus! And now in this Kali age the demon Mao has driven many lamas from Tibet to go abroad. Now the U.S.A., U.K., Switzerland, Germany, Australia and Canada do have some Lamas living there, yet most of them are refugees and but a few are gurus. Among these few gurus, there are still fewer who are real gurus and who possess the certain conditions, characteristics, qualifications or merits that the Tantra demands.

Eventually the Tantra doctrine is only given or imparted by a Sambhogakaya Buddha to the Bodhisattva in the eighth stage or Bhumi who has achieved the Acala (unmoveable) attainment of calm unperturbedness. Among the one thousand Buddhas in the good Kalpa or Bhadrakalpa, there are only two Buddhas imparting the Tantra. One is our Lord Gautama; the other will be the Simhanada Buddha whose fore-incarnation is Karmapa Rinpoche in this generation. Needless to say, at present all the so-called Tantric gurus have not qualified in the attainment of Sambhogakaya. But, extravagantly to say, Buddha Gautama did admit that there is the Pratyeka Buddha who may get full Enlightenment alone without a guru; then why cannot the modern student who has only a book-guru more or less attain realization of Tantra?

Hence the dropout who is poor in property but rich in devotion, Bodhicitta, and wisdom, may get full Enlightenment only by his practice with the guidance of my works which are in every national library in the world. If one is well off, his search for a guru may be an ideal one; this is to fly to Ceylon to learn Hinayana first, then to Malaysia or Singapore, Hong Kong and Formosa to learn Mahayana and Ch'an, then to Japan to learn the lesser three Tantras; then, at last, he may stay in India, Dharmsala to learn Gelugpa Anuttara Yoga; Sikkim to learn Karmapa's and especially Milarepa's teaching and hence to Kalimpong, to learn Nyingmapa Padma Sambhava's highest great perfection. If the one who is in the middle class has some money but is not very rich, he may come directly to Kalimpong to learn the highest yoga under which all the lesser yogas and Mahayana and Hinayana are available, as well as in their proper countries.

Chapter V: Realizations

A.The realization is concerned only with the ritual and not its higher extension.

Avalokitesvara Bodh.jpeg

1.From the first section practice, if well-succeeded, one may get the realization of Dharmakaya upon death. In the philosophy of Tantra every sentient being, even if he never practiced Sunyata meditation, has a chance equal to the sages to unfold the Dharmakaya when death comes. But those who have practiced the Sunyata meditation in Tantra, may prolong the time of appearance of Dharmakaya. If one is skillful, he may utilize this chance to get the realization of Dharmakaya. He might even get the full Enlightenment, naturally. There is no doubt.

2.If the mandala visualization in the second section is very fruitfully practiced, one will not suffer in the Bardo state after his death. Nor can any terrible apparitions or sounds trouble him.

3.If the Yidam visualization, either in the causal position or in the consequence position, is well-practiced, one may continue to appear in the Bardo state and meet the blessing of a real Yidam. This is the realization of Sections III, IV and V.

4.If Section VI of offering and Section VIII of praising have both been performed devotedly, one may become rich and eminent and sic itur ad astra even in this lifetime.

5.The mantra's full realization is very common to every Tibetan and Chinese. Many records have been published, many stories, miracles and supernatural inspirations have been told about. Furthermore, the incantation is visualized in the heart wheel where the eighth consciousness and the life energy or soul (which is a term of other religions) is situated. If the lotus wheel is visualized, it can prevent the bad rebirth of a jarayuga or viviparous nature as with mammalia; if the moon visualization is successful, samavedaja or moisture bad rebirth (as fishes) is prevented; if the Bija or the seed word like HSI is well practiced, andaja or oviparous (as birds) rebirth is prevented; and if the Yidam visualization is well achieved, the aupapaduka or metamorphic (as devas and hell beings) rebirth is prevented. When one finally receives the full Enlightenment he might well become a savior with many disciples.

6.When confession and repentance have been well practiced and realized, then the practitioner's sins are redeemed and his body feels light. He may dream of himself bathing in milk, or vomiting black things out.

7.When one has succeeded in the reappearance practice in Section XIII, he is surely likely to get good rebirth in the Pure Land of the Yidam.

B.The realization is concerned with the upward extension course.

After one practices this ritual for at least three years, one advances into the Anuttara Yoga, Evolutional Yoga and Integrated Yoga; he may really become the Yidam as well as that in the consequence position. When I was in Sikkim, I heard a lama whose name was Tzaka Lama. He practiced the Yidam Avalokitesvara for a long time. He was realized actually with four arms. His attendants have all seen him using the four arms. Once the local chairman of his district came to call on him. He then used his upper two arms to wear his robe and used his lower two arms to wear his petticoat (Tibet is a cool place where every lama wears a petticoat). Thus his four arms were seen many times. With respect to inner experiences of great compassion and profound Sunyata and illuminating light, the very one who is already completely realized can know them all.

I am very glad I have finished this commentary just on the day of the full moon in the golden month of the Gold Pig Year. May all the merits be given to every sentient being through which every sentient being may succeed in his Yidam. May those who practice the Red Yidam be able to get the Vajrapamo (pig headed) like Dakini to be his consort until full Enlightenment is reached.

One Hundred Word Incantation

    Om Bendza Sato Samaya
    Manu Palaya
    Bendza Sato Tenopa
    Titsa Dridro Mebhava
    Sutokayo Mebhava
    Supokayo Mebhava
    Anu Rakto Mebhava
    Sarva Siddhi Mem Trayatsa
    Sarva Karma Sutsamey
    Tsitam Shiri Yam Kuru Hung
    Ha Ha Ha Ha Hoh
    Bhagaven Sarva Tathagata
    Bendza Mame Mumtsa
    Bendza Bhava
    Maha Samaya Sato Ah


By Yogi C. M. Chen